How Tough Are You? How tough do you have to be? A new era is coming socially, economically, and politically. A selection of news stories about technology shows how quickly our world is giving way to something new. Socially our ideas about morality, fairness and even the nature of reality are evolving. Economically old systems are transitioning to new, even as industry and ideas minted at the turn of the twentieth century can still be dominant, new ideas in manufacturing, media, communications and the tools we use to do our work are beginning to take hold and to forge their own reality. Politically new issues, new ways to communicate and new kinds of candidates are emerging and wreaking havoc with ‘the process’. These are significant changes that make the world unfamiliar to people who became adults just twenty or so years ago. Our individual success, and our success as a country may depend on how tough we are and whether we adapt to these changes well enough not just to survive, but to thrive. It’s clear these days, that the new world will look nothing like the old. Even assumptions so called ‘experts’ make about the future are turning out to be not be so accurate. Rapid change can be disruptive and confusing to say the least. Especially when people have to live through it. With 64 percent of the working age population out of the work force in the United States, and the new jobs most vulnerable to new technology tough days might be ahead and we will have to be tough to deal with it. What is ‘tough’? What does it mean to be ‘tough’? We hear a lot about the difficulties individuals have these days, but we aren’t hearing enough examples of real toughness, and they’re out there. Maybe it’s time we started thinking that way as a nation? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
New Thinking Part 1. These days, politics is one emotional appeal after another. The media refers to politicians like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as ‘populists’ but in fact they are demagogues; Using emotional appeals and often stimulating people’s long held prejudices and biases to gain support for their campaigns. In 2016 we’re going to see the ‘new rules’ of politics come into play with a vengeance. Most of the action will take place on the so called ‘small screen’ which means your television and especially your smart phones, social media, news websites where viewers watch a video, or part of a video and move on. A strange and symbiotic relationship between media, polling and politics have turned American politics into a freak show. Outrageous characters and weekly ripples in story lines mean more eyeballs. Media moguls and the candidates are laughing all the way to the bank, to the Capitol and the White House. Meanwhile increasingly angry voters become frustrated, losing faith in the outcome of elections, voting and the government itself. Moreover, the worst invective is often heard at meetings where the same politicians and charlatans troop through and tell people what they want to hear. It’s time for a reboot of American Political Thinking. It doesn’t start with politicians or personalities. It starts with individuals, communities, and values. It means researching and thinking about the concerns of your community, developing ideas about issues, talking about those issues, and creating effective political organization around those ideas, not the rhetoric of some pol who will forget about you and your concerns the minute he is elected. A new America is being created. A new way of thinking is being created, whether you want it or not. If we don’t change the way we think about politics, taking it back to the blocks and rebuilding it, we’re doomed to being controlled by personalities — demagogues — more interested in power than the people. I’m starting a new series of podcasts, which will bear the ‘New Thinking’ title. I’ll do them when the spirit moves me, or I encounter a person or situation I think will help build a new way to think, talk and DO politics in this country, because what we have right now, isn’t cutting it. Sponsored by Baklund R&D, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.
Asteroid. As a huge asteroid comes within striking distance of the Earth – relatively speaking – one wonders whether the now controversial Jade Helm exercise in the American West, and the mood of people in the last few weeks is connected somehow. While the object in question (1999 FN53) will come only within about four million miles of earth it’s the one they don’t see that will hit us. Begging the question, if they knew an object that was over a mile wide and could do catastrophic damage to the planet, would they tell us? This is a great story that provokes all kinds of questions. So much of our lives these days depends on supposedly making precise predictions about the future that are expected to be correct, even about outlier events. Yet life is rarely predictable and very messy. A person’s life can be changed in a blink of an eye, as can the life of a nation. This podcast shares one friend’s story of instant change. Probably everyone has a story about something that happened, and after that, their lives were different. There’s plenty of books, TV shows and movies about these kinds of situations, from The Walking Dead to Jericho and of course the Mad Max movies. What happened? Sometimes the show’s story line tells us and sometimes they don’t. Not knowing is half the fun, and maybe that’s what keeps us watching. Oddly enough, at the same time a new survey from Pew says that fewer and fewer Americans identify with the Christian Faith, provoking an honest personal observation about religion, religious people and the movie ‘Left Behind’, with Nicholas Cage. What role does religion play in our lives? After 9/11, people were more likely to go to church and identify with a faith. As the old saying goes, there’s no atheists in Fox Holes. Or are there? One of the topics of the Bob Davis Podcasts is often technology, disruption because of technology, and the impact it has on the way we work. This has been a topic of discussion on these podcasts since almost the start. Suddenly a lot is being written about autonomous machines, robotics, 3D printing, and automation in industries that have never been automated before. Now, we’re starting to see the first impact of truly autonomous machines in retail, fast food and semi skilled labor and a lot is being written about the impact. Sometimes the writer tries to persuade the reader that it must be stopped, other times writers appear to be trying to predict a jobless future because of these machines. What will happen and how do we get ready for it. A lot of things to think about in this unusual, candid and off beat midweek update. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.