Showing posts with label Out of the Box. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Out of the Box. Show all posts

February 26, 2019

From Chaos to Order

The world challenges us all the time. 

Yes, the world functions based on the "laws of nature," scientific facts, and mathematical formulas, and so you'd think everything in our lives would be orderly and work like clockwork.

But, as human beings, our lives are too a great extend a function of what gets thrown at us and how we react to them, and not the constancy of the world context that these things are happening in. 

It's easy to be surprised, become overwhelmed, or even be stumped by the daily barrage of things that we are new to us or we simply don't know how to handle.

A world governed by Mother Nature thus, often seems more like a world ruled by Murphy's Law. 

In a world that we can often experience as chaotic and disorderly, the answer is not to break down and cry or run and hide, but rather to create our own sense of order. 

Thus, the antagonist of chaos and disorder is consequence and order. 

The way to get to order in your life is through planning and preparation. 

The more you plan and prepare, the better you are able to deal with the challenges you are dealt. 

I believe this is the cornerstone of what a good education and training is--preparing you for real life!

Generally, if you plan and prepare for a broad spectrum of scenarios (especially the worst cast scenarios), you won't be left sitting out there scratching your head when the proverbial "sh*t hits the fan."

Thinking out of the box and ahead of the curve, and using scenario-based planning and preparation can give you the tools and confidence to leave the anxiety behind and move more swiftly to confront challenges head-on. 

Of course, we'll never be able to imagine or be prepared for everything that can happen--but the more you can free your mind to think about the "what if's" and how to mitigate the risks, the better shape you are in to act with determination and decisively when you really need to.  ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Elisa Riva)
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April 13, 2018

Why Worry?

So I had an interesting conversation with a colleague, and they tell me their philosophy about worry, as follows:
Worrying is suffering twice!

I thought this was pretty smart. 

With worry, we suffer when we worry and then we suffer again if the thing we are worrying about actually comes to fruition. 

So in essence, we are doubling up on the suffering.

Yet, worry can be constructive if we use it to spur us to positive action such as in confronting and dealing with challenging situations. 

But when we worry just for the sake of worry because we can't control our anxiety and moreover, it actually may paralyze us with fear, then this is obviously a bad thing. 

Do I worry?

Sure do, but like my dad, I use worry to try and think out-of-the-box, to plan, to problem-solve, to figure out coping mechanisms etc. 

Worry is suffering for sure. 

However, if we can channel the worry to positive impact, then the worry can be worth the pain it inflicts on us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 22, 2018

Not Every Problem Requires A High-Tech Solution

So I thought this was pretty smart.

Yes, it's a "Smart" car.

But more important is this guy parked his car in a very smart way. 

The spot was too small even for this micro urban car.

So he just parked it sideways--and poof it fits.

Also, look how easy it is for him to drive out of the spot when he's ready. 

Now, I'm not one to say whether this is legal or not (his rear wheels are on the sidewalk, of course).

Still there is something refreshing about this solution. 

Nothing high-tech about it -- he didn't need to move the cars further apart or shrink his own vehicle, rather just think out of the box. 

Frankly, it works, and I think this guy deserves the parking spot--so right on dude!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 20, 2017

Hammer and Nail

Often, we have a one size fits all orientation to life. 
"To a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

We try to solve fresh daily problems, yet everything we are going through is seen through our preset filters and mindsets. 

In many cases, we are simply and undeniably biased, mistakenly believing that what worked in the past or for particular challenges will always work in the future and for all our problems. 

We stereotype people and races and see them as either "the good guys" or "the bad guys"--but there's no grey in there to further differentiate.  

Also, we work in a comfortable zone of blind routine thinking that we wish it's all as simple as wash, rinse, and repeat.

But while some die-hard habits and lessons learned in life are very valuable and should be mentally recorded and referenced, seeing life through a single, or even a few handy-dandy, filters can prove disastrous when things or times change. 

For example, one big criticism of our dealing in Washington is that:
"Politicians, like generals, have a tendency to fight the last war."

Instead, if we evaluate the nuances of each person and particular situation, we can work to get a more detailed evaluation, and potentially be able to fine-tune approaches for what needs to be done, and how, with each and every one, accordingly. 

Chucking a batman belt approach to just using whatever tools are immediately available, can facilitate a broader and more creative approach to problem-solving. 

Sure, to a certain degree, we are creatures of habit--and we intuitively rely on what's worked in the past, and reject and shun what hasn't--but past experiences do not necessarily foretell future successes. 

If we don't stay agile and resilient, we can easily get blown away by the situation or the competition. 

There is always a new challenge to test us and someone coming up who may be better, faster, or stronger that wants to try and take us on or down. 

A shotgun approach, in lieu of a more precise surgical strike, can result in a lot of collateral damage and maybe even missing the mark altogether. 

Think, think, think. 

Focus on what needs to get done--apply lessons learned as applicable, but also look for new sources and methods to build a bigger and more versatile tool chest.

In the walking dead, a hammer to the head works fairly well on all Zombies, but sometimes there are too many zombies in the hoard or even more dangerous living people and situations to attend to. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to stevepb)
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January 27, 2015

Trouble In Protection Land

The Secret Service is one of the finest agencies in the Federal government, but unfortunately, the "recreational" drone crash landing at the White House was a protection disaster this week.

(And it comes on the heels of knife-wielding assailants running wild through the front doors of the White House, people taking pot shots at the White House, and even planes crash landing there). 

This time it was perhaps, a small drone innocently passing low without a significant radar signature unto the White House grounds, but next time it may be a miniaturized drone the size of an insect that attacks the President or his senior staff in the White House itself. 

This could happen with a pin prick of poison or a small drone carrying explosives, biological, or chemical weapons. 

We are entering a new dimension of threats that are not easily addressed with existing technology. 

It is said the the President is proverbially protected by a bubble of defenses around him, but where we are going is that this bubble may need to become an actual physical bubble that nothing, not even an insect drone can get through. 

It may sound ridiculous, but it may be the only way (for now) to really protect against these threats that literally fly beneath our radar!

Perhaps at some future time, we will have our swarms of defensive drones that go after any attack drone, no matter how small or how many, but in the meantime, we must protect our critical leadership and assets. 

Almost two years ago, I blogged about robots, drones, and commandos in exoskeletons attacking the White House and our not being prepared with adequate defenses and counter-measures.

This week's drone crash should be making the alarm bells go off on this issue big time now!

We must move past reactive steps and a failure to anticipate and become true forward-thinkers, strategists, planners, enterprise architects, and futurists. 

The protection of our leaders, institutions, critical infrastructure, and people depend upon true out of the box thinking, not doing the same thing but on a different day. 

The time is now to think about protections from much more than traditional attack patterns to the wildest and craziest we can imagine--because our enemies are not hampered by the past and won't rest until they see what we won't. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to David Illig)
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November 27, 2014

Cool Cat Innovation

This is pretty in pink, amazing. 

Look closely at this cat.

The cat is made of full sticks of Crayola Crayons (literally).

The crayons are vertical--base down and point up.

It's brilliant rather than using the crayons to draw, the artist used the crayons themselves to put together a colorful cat (I also saw he made a dog and a guitar like this).

Very creative...novel...a different way of thinking. 

We need this cool cat thinking, and from everyone, to drive to solutions and for a brighter future--we can! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 29, 2012

Zombie Homeland Security Training 101


Unbelievable. The Halo Counter-terrorism Summit (Oct 29-Nov. 2, 2012) is hosting a mock Zombie Invasion as part of its emergency response training for about a 1,000 special ops, military, police, medical, firefighter, and other homeland security professionals. 

The Zombie Apocalypse training exercise is occurring mid-summit on October 31, Halloween--so it is quite timely for other ghoulish activities that day. 

There are two sessions--#1 at 4:30 PM and #2 at 7:00 PM.

Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have posted the CDC's Zombie Preparedness guidance--saying that "if you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack."

I guess this is very good news with Hurricane Sandy or "Frakenstorm" bearing down on the East Coast this evening.  Zombies, you ain't got nothing on Frakenstorm! 

In Yahoo News, Brad Barker, the President of Halo Corp., explained why Zombies are good for training, especially in asymmetric warfare: "No one knows what zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do."

Barker also jested that "No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it's going to be a federal incident, so we're making it happen."

Frankly, I love to see this type of creativity brought to national and homeland security and believe that this makes it less likely that we'll be perpetually fighting yesterday's war, instead of tomorrow's. 

The key is that we think out of the box in terms of what will the adversary do next--from cyberwar to weapons of mass destruction, we can't afford to be blindsighted. 

So do I think that aliens or zombies are coming for us some day--let's just say, never say never. ;-)

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