Giving 2017 context
Live from the Midtown Global Exchange in Minneapolis. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately throughout this live podcast I refer to the Midtown Global Market as ‘International Market Square‘, which is somewhere else in the Twin Cities.)
In 2006 the Midtown Global Market opened to much fanfare after 192 Million dollars was spent to redevelop the old Sears Building on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Tens of millions of dollars in grants, aid and bonding helped pay for the project which was sold as the key to redeveloping a decaying neighborhood.
Just inside the entrance are several large photos of the neighborhood back in the 1920’s before the Sears Building was constructed, with no subsidies, at a cost of five million dollars. Looking at those old pictures, knowing the neighborhood, I think of change, and context.
Like any New Year, we’re always optimistic about the future. We need 2017 context. How was your year? How do you compare it to other years? Did you have a good 2016? Will next year be better? Life doesn’t follow neatly defined month and year delineations. Life cycles operate on other timelines.
We make decisions individually and collectively. Those decisions provoke change and reaction. It takes awhile for results to appear. Just like this place. The marketplace has struggled since it opened in 2006 and continues to require subsidies to survive. The neighborhood has struggled despite redevelopment at enormous cost to the taxpayers. Is it better?
We live in a time of intense chronicling. Like a teenager’s journal every slight, every insult and every joy is recorded and exaggerated. A person looks back on their journals twenty or thirty years after and does not remember every detail. On the other hand, the Internet records every insult and slight and magnifies reaction. In this environment perspective and context, so important in human decision making, is distorted as well.
As I begin 2017 I find myself unhappy with what I see on social media, in broadcast and so called traditional media. Now a primary source of ‘news’, social media sets the tone for all other media. These sources are mostly devoid of perspective and context. In this podcast some 2017 Context.
We’re told celebrities are dying like flies and this is terrible. Is a celebrity more important than anyone else? How many people die every year famous or not? What is the context? How many babies are born every year? The famous do not retain their earthly status when they crossover. We all know this. So, why all the hand wringing about celebrity deaths?
In Podcast 586-Midtown Global Market, some thought starters for your 2017, live from the Midtown Global Market. Why is history so important? Where does change come from. How is our time different from other eras? Why do things we don’t want to change, often change? How do we manage change? What do we need to know to manage change?
So many people post and tweet these days because they want to be thought of as beautiful, a hero or a friend. Many go on social media so they can stand on top of a hill and be recognized for the contributions they feel they’ve made. Why? Aren’t we special just because we’re alive and in the world right now?
2016’s events effected many of us deeply. Government’s power is pernicious and often malicious; Starting a war. Pouring tens of millions of dollars into dubious development project. To the degree people people engage in gossip and back fence judgement via social media, they have less influence over those they have selected to ‘run things’. Here’s to providing context and perspective in 2017. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
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