Category Archives: Humor

Sep. 25, 2011 Blumbers

HP Way Out

HP has a great tradition and good people. They support a number of projects in communities around the world. I have used all sorts of their products for years. Lately HP leadership has made some decisions that has a lot of people worried. This week Meg Whitman was named CEO of HP. I do not know if this will stabilize the situation.

To avoid these messy transitions, somebody proposed that HP choose CEOs randomly from among its many happy customers. Every time it needs a new CEO, the board could select a random serial number from one of its laptops, tablets or inkjet printers and announce it on the home page of their website. I don’t know if it would be better, but it couldn’t be any worse.

All of this makes me wonder if financier Carl Icahn will show up. Like Martin Blank in the film Grosse Point Blank, if he shows up at your company there’s a reason. If your company has failed to address the needs of customers, investors, employees, or even former employees, Mr. Icahn is the one to call.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 6, 2011 Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz

On September 6, 2011 Yahoo let go CEO Carol Bartz over a phone call. My first thought? Yahoo is still in business? I thought they had returned to their original business model of selling chocolate milk in a bottle.

Seriously, whatever trouble Yahoo was in, Carol Bartz couldn’t fix it. More chaos in Silicon Valley, and opportunity for someone else.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

July 17, 2009 Future Salon Brain Plasticity

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On July 17, 2009 at the SAP campus in Palo Alto, The Future Salon hosted Professor Michael M. Merzenich, Ph.D. co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Posit Science. He presented “Why Humans May Be Too Neurologically Limited To Successfully Rule The World”.

To paraphrase from the film “The Graduate”, the future is one word “plasticity”. Merzenich went through the whole development of the brain from birth to old age. He thinks it is important to stay connected to other people and interact with the natural world because that is how we evolved. The brain is incredibly flexible thing that must be used or it will atrophy.

Brain plasticity means you can teach a puppy or old dog new tricks. Actually most of the research was done on rats. Merzenich showed how older drivers could regain their peripheral vision using training software. It makes them more independent and productive.

He also talked about how to make people less productive. Did you know that most of the communication a child gets in a poor family is negative or corrective and in a wealthy family it is positive or supportive? This has enormous impact on whether a child winds up in prison. Detaching and trying to isolate people at risk eventually puts everyone at risk.

Some things are hardwired and difficult to override. He spoke of Sweden’s literacy program where they discovered that dyslexia persisted despite their best efforts in about five percent of the population. They had to make allowances for this disability in their schools. In another example, people with PTSD vividly relive their trauma. Neurologically, it never dissipates. Restitution and treatment for survivors works best, but it is still a major injury that never goes away.

Ultimately, the more positive neural stimulation you get, the more complex tasks you can learn. Get out of your routine. Keep moving. Don’t stay at a job for ten years, it’ll rot your brain.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

The Good German Shepherd Review

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This animated film noir spy thriller is adapted from Rin Tin Tin’s unpublished autobiography, All Good Dogs Go To Berlin. George Clooney plays the hero of a WWII canine unit who tries to reconnect with a dachshund played by Cate Blanchett, who turns out to be a real female dog. Meanwhile Matt Damon plays a terrier trying to trap terrorists under the guidance of Robert DeNiro as a basset hound. In the end Angelina Jolie adopts them all. At last, a serious discussion of moral ambiguity interspersed with happy songs the whole family can enjoy.

I am kidding. I just needed a laugh after seeing some of the grimmest movies of the year.
You have to admit, it would be funny.

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline All rights reserved.