Tag Archive: Baby Boomers


“My country tried to kill me” – An Anonymous Baby Boomer Source

The Vietnam War has been over for 43 years … It’s time, actually it’s past time, to get over it.

Almost DailyBrett has run into more than a few fellow Baby Boomers, who are always stubbornly angry, refusing to even acknowledge anything positive about the United States of America.

In almost each and every one of these cases, the culprit was the seemingly never-ending war slowly starting in the early 1960s and ending with the visions of overloaded helicopters departing the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon in 1975.

The Vietnam misadventure was truly the nation’s first television war. Just like other scenes of mortal combat it was not a pretty sight. For the record, the conflict reigned during the administrations of two Democratic and two Republican presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford.

There are those who lost loved ones in the rice paddies and jungles of Southeast Asia. Their eternal bitterness is understandable.

And there are those who could have gone, but for one reason or another missed the plane to Saigon.

In way too many cases, these folks (e.g., Baby Boomers) were not posting the red, white and blue on July 4 … or any other day of the year.

Some are nostalgic or still engaged in the communal poverty of the hippy movement. Everything from bras, draft cards and college administration buildings were publicly burned.

When in doubt, take to the streets. There are those who protest. There are those who invest.

The Vietnam Aggrieved has next-to-zero to say positive about living in an exceptional country.

How about Denmark? How about Sweden? How about Norway?

There were zero Vietnam Wars for this Nordic trio.

“This Country … “

Whenever a sentence begins with or/includes the phrase, “This country …,” don’t you instinctively know the dependent clause depicts a better life somewhere else/anywhere else.

Can’t tell you how many times, the author of Almost DailyBrett has mentally suggested a one-way ticket for the Vietnam Aggrieved to that somewhere else.

A man walks next to empty shelves in a supermarket in Caracas on January 22, 2012. According to the Central Bank (BCV) shortage of goods reached 16.3% in December 2012, the highest number in the last four years. AFP PHOTO / Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

“Venezuela has social justice … “ ‘Ticket to Caracas?’

“Denmark is a happy little country … “ ‘Did the Danes put a man on the moon?’

“Vietnam is so much better off …” ‘You didn’t want to go there in the late 1960s/early 1970s … do you want to go there now?’

Almost DailyBrett has zero issues with the Nordic countries, but still must ask what major role each played in defeating Nazism (there were resistance efforts for sure in Norway and Denmark) and Communism?

The United States is the global beacon for both opportunity capitalism and individual freedom … not bad, not bad at all.

The quality of life may be just swell among these Scandinavian countries, but collectively they are not even close to the productivity and influence of the world leading $20.19 trillion GDP generated by the United States of America.

Denmark has a beckoning mermaid in Copenhagen harbor. The United States has Lady Liberty in New York Harbor, who serves as an icon of freedom and a better life for literally millions and millions.

Is the United States perfect? Absolutely not. Stanford provost and former National Security Advisor/Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice labeled slavery as America’s “birth defect.” Guilty as charged.

And yet, she took full advantage of her awesome skills and opportunities provided  to her. Condoleezza is  to be wonderful example about what each of us can potentially achieve.

Instead of Baby Boomers bitching, moaning, bemoaning and watching Ken Burns’ documentary about a war that ended almost five decades ago, they would be better off using these last years on the planet to embrace America and make it better for their presence on the fruited plain.

Sure beats bitching, moaning and bemoaning.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/09/vietnam-war-ken-burns-us-imperialism

 

Does every image portraying Millennials always include a smart phone or does it just seem that way?

Soon – if not already – Millennials will be the world’s largest-ever generation.

Pew Research projects they will bypass the Baby Boomers as America’s most populous next year, not a moment too soon.

Millennials already are saluted and celebrated for being the planet’s most educated, caring and experiential generation.

This distinction favorably compares those born between 1980-2000 with their immediate predecessors: the nondescript, desultory X-Gens (1965-1980), and the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll Worst Generation, The Baby Boomers (1946-1964).

Is it fair — let alone accurate — for Almost DailyBrett and presumably thousands of other societal observers to instantly equate noses buried in a smart phone or other digital device when discussing, assessing and critiquing Millennials?

In the last two years of my face-to-face teaching tenure, your author has required Millennial students to put their phones into the “penalty box” during the course of graded classroom presentations or face the consequences of a game misconduct or worse, league suspension.

At first, the reaction was one of shock, horror and withdrawal. How can you take away the 21st Century equivalent of the teddy bear or security blanket?

Gasp …”What about my Snap, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram … accounts?”

“Can I visit and … even pet my smart phone during breaks in-between presentations? Pretty please with whipped cream and a cherry on top?”

Something magical happened when student devices were in the penalty box … the presentations were not only better; the follow-up questions from the audience were relevant. The reason: Student attention was focused, not divided.

Yes, these digital natives can actually live … for short periods of time … without the binary code of digital communications.

The Serendipity of Moore’s Law

The number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every 18-24 months – Paraphrase of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore’s 1965 “Moore’s Law

Almost DailyBrett remembers being asked as the director of communications for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in 1994, whether Moore’s Law would still be intact in 2000.

The media question seems almost silly now. Moore’s Law is alive and well a generation later.

What does Moore’s Law have to do with Millennials? Everything,.

As a result of Moore’s Law, every subsequent generation of gizmos is more functional, more powerful, faster, smaller and consumes less energy than its predecessor. The smart phone, tablet, VR, AR or whatever device being used by Millennials is at least the 22nd iteration of the technologies available 1965.

Without any doubt, Millennials are the first generation, comprised of digital natives. If a Baby Boomer needs tech support, it is better to first talk to a … Millennial.

Should we care if Millennials are characterized by the device in hand? Should Millennials lose sleep over this perception and/or metaphorical portrayal?

Just think, driving is improved when one is not jabbering on the phone, much less sending and responding to text messages.

Almost DailyBrett reported about the book by MIT prof Sherry Turkle: “Alone Together, Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Each Other.”

And what do we find on the book cover? What appears to be Millennials consumed with their smart phones.

Turkle’s main thesis is we have become a society — much more than Millennials alone — which can be physically present with living, breathing people, each with a pulse, and you would never know it because everyone is consumed with their own Bitmoji digital world.

There is good news for Millennial public relations practitioners and bad news.

The positives: There are more algorithmic tools than ever to micro-target and instantaneously communicate with virtually anyone of this planet in two-nanoseconds or less.

The negatives: Good luck breaking through to Millennials, who are addicted to their devices and rarely if ever come up for air.

As the author of Almost DailyBrett prepares to celebrate another happy class of Millennials graduating tomorrow, we need to be reminded that when it comes to Millennial metaphors, sometimes perception is indeed reality.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/

http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennials/

http://alonetogetherbook.com/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/the-worst-generation/

Narcissism (Noun): Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

There is a profound difference between “confidence” and “cockiness.”narcissus

Almost DailyBrett mentors present-and-future professionals to strive for the former and to not cross the clearly demarcated line to the latter.

We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, but at the same time we want and for the most part we deserve to be respected.

After all, doesn’t every airline implore us to put on our own oxygen mask first before helping others?

But what happens when a narcissist doesn’t give a particle about others? Screw their oxygen mask. Right?

What if everything and anything is about you, and only you?

Instead of being selfless, you are always selfish … and don’t even think twice about it, let alone recognize its existence.narcissist1

Forget about passing the ball to someone who has an easier shot. The narcissist wants to make that “One Shining Moment” basket.

And if he or she misses the shot, it is someone else’s fault.

You (the narcissist) can do no wrong. If something is amiss, how did others err? How will they make it up to you? What can they do for you? You are eternally entitled.

Doesn’t everyone else understand this basic fact of life?

Let others preach first-person plural (i.e., we, us, our). Your world is always first-person singular (e.g., I, me, myself) or worse yet, third-person singular (for example, referring to yourself as “The president” ala Richard Nixon).

Are these narcissistic individuals setting themselves up for a huge fall? They will blame others for their unfortunate sequence of events. It’s not their fault that they are lying on the canvas with their pretty tassels flying through the air.

Can these people – way too many First World souls in this writer’s estimation – find the help they need? Can they be helped?

It seems that far-too-many are OHHHDEEE-ing on Narcissism.

“Not Being Quoted at All”

Far worse than being misquoted is not being quoted at all.” – Former White House Communications Counselor and Presidential Candidate Patrick Buchanan

The author of Almost DailyBrett has openly admitted that he is not an expert on psychology; in fact he has never even taken one miserly course in the subject.

Having made this public admission, there seems IMHO to be even more signs of this malady besides the obvious references to Donald Trump. Yes, there is no doubt The Donald doesn’t care what you think about him, just as long as you are talking and thinking about him.

Mr. CombOver is certainly neither the first and nor will he be the last chief executive officer and/or politician (in his case a combination of the two) to have more than a healthy regard for himself or herself (e.g., Carly Fiorina).

Not everyone who becomes a household name is necessarily a narcissist, even though to a person all über-successful hombres and mujeres have a strong-positive opinion of themselves. Still each non-narcissist will put on their oxygen mast first, and then turn to assist others.

The Worst Generation of Narcissists and Their Offspring

“Tom Brokaw once wrote a book about the greatest generation, those brave people who survived the depression and fought in World War II. Unfortunately that great generation spawned a generation of narcissists: the baby boomers.” – Huffington Post blogger Gene Marks

He’s very moral. He’s very caring, unlike his image.” – Ronnie Wood discussing Rolling Stones band mate Keith Richards

The Baby Boomers (aka Worst Generation) have often been labeled as the “Me” generation. We are characterized by our overt preoccupation with our personal comfort. If it feels good, then just do it.narcissist

Is it any surprise that we passed along these traits to our offspring, the Millennials?

To be fair, the Millennials (born 1982-2004) seem to be far more interested than Baby Boomers in giving back to society, opting for experiences as opposed to material possessions. How many Millennials will need concrete blocks with garish orange doors at a monthly fee just to store our excess?

How about very few?

And yet, our negative influence is exhibited in Millennials far too much. Some refuse to accept their own responsibility for misfortune. Some will demand the prize because they “deserve it.” Some will say they are being “punished” when maybe … just maybe … they should just look into the mirror instead.

And where did they learn these traits?

There is a preceding generation that collectively needs to be looking into the mirror as well.

http://www.bustle.com/articles/150950-donald-trumps-latest-ego-trip-should-make-every-democrat-very-happy

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/the-worst-generation/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/vegan-gluten-free-elitism-with-coconut-oil-2/

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/03/here-is-when-each-generation-begins-and-ends-according-to-facts/359589/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/selfie-sticks/

 

 

 

“This on-demand or so-called gig economy is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation, but it’s also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.” – Hillary Clinton, July 13, 2015

“Big government liberals fundamentally can’t embrace digital innovation because it threatens the way they govern. They see car-sharing services as a threat to the local government taxi cab cartels. They see food trucks and Airbnb as a threat to urban planning and the tax and fee racket that they’ve imposed on brick and mortar restaurants and hotels.” – Jeb Bush, July 16, 2015 jebuber

How come one of the hottest IPO candidates, $50 billion estimated market-value Uber, has suddenly become a political piñata?

Maybe we should give privately held “unicorn” Uber a break? The company has not even commenced its roadshow to sell shares of Uber to the public, and yet it is caught in the middle of partisan crossfire.

Hillary didn’t even mention Uber and its $1 billion in annual revenues by name; she didn’t need too. Three days later, Jeb purposefully rode Uber around San Francisco to check out start-up Thumbtack, an on-demand provider via mobile technology for those looking for professionals from interior designers to dog walkers. Don’t worry: Jeb will not carry San Francisco, if he is the Republican nominee.uberphones

As The Economist described the issue here is the on-demand economy matching people with money and no time with people with time and no money. This is also a question of consumer choice between a cab and a private driver at a similar or even lower price. This is a question of deciding between a relatively expensive restaurant or a line of tempting food trucks (e.g., downtown Portland, Oregon), each specializing a particular cuisine for a reduced price. This is also the question of whether to stay in a standard hotel or motel or accessing Airbnb to find a guest room.

For the service provider, she or he can do the work they want, when they want to do it. The on-demand economy allows them to monetize an unused/underused asset (i.e., car, extra room, cooking talent). Does the on-demand economy make music for everyone? No, but conceivably it works for students wanting to supplement their income, young mothers needing a part-time job or the semi-retired wanting to re-engage in the marketplace and make some legal tender on the side.

The unifying characteristic of the on-demand economy is the ubiquitous smart phone used by 2 billion around the globe now, and expected to reach 4 billion users by the end of this decade or a brilliant device for more than half of the planet.

Translated: Potential customers with smart phones summon on-demand service they want, when they want it. They need a ride; they contact Uber or Lyft or Sidecar. Uber, a 2009 privately held start-up (now in 53 countries around the world), does the rest. Want a doctor within two hours, click on Medicast. Need a lawyer? Axiom is at your service. How about a contractor for a remodel? The Handy app is easy to find.

Uber: Net Plus or Net Minus? 

“Uber, a perfect example of how a disruptive technology can improve a formerly noncompetitive market, serves a real need in cities where taxis have taken advantage of riders for years.” – Washington Post lead editorial, July 20, 2015cabdriver

“Bashing Uber has become an industry in its own right; in some circles, though, applying its business model to any other service imaginable is even more popular.” – The Economist, There’s an app for that, January 3, 2015

Despite the positive features of this winning destructive technology, there are those in Washington D.C. and other bastions of the static quo that are threatened. According to The Economist, the number of temporary workers has doubled from 1.0 million to 2.0 million in the past 15 years, while private sector union membership has plunged from 12 percent in 1990 to about 6 percent now.

And there lies the rub for Hillary. Unions for obvious reasons are not thrilled with Uber and its on-demand economy, business-model followers. At the same time, Uber and its ilk appeal to Millennials, who realize the old rules don’t apply. They instinctively know this by examining the literally millions of desultory SOL Baby Boomers, who cannot or will not think out of the box.

The business model of the rust-belt factory with its long-term employment followed by a guaranteed company pension is broken. There is a life-and-death struggle underway between education and technology. What is needed to compete in the 21st Century economy is educational know-how/smarts to keep up and make technology your friend.

There are those who have services to provide and skills to offer and they use mobile technology to participate in the on-demand economy. There are an equal amount of consumers who want alternatives. On-demand companies do not offer perfection, but they do provide choices.

One of the two major parties will be pro-choice when it comes to destructive technologies, exploring and opening up new employment opportunities, particularly those with a young outlook on life. The other will look to the power of Big Brother to fight-off the relentless power of ones and zeroes of binary code.

When it comes to relentless destructive technologies: You can run, but you can’t hide.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/disrupting-washington-unleash-innovators-jeb-bush

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-calls-for-growth-and-fairness-economy-vows-wall-street-crackdown/2015/07/13/15d42d18-296b-11e5-a5ea-cf74396e59ec_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-uber-debate/2015/07/19/8f2623ba-2cae-11e5-a250-42bd812efc09_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/07/17/jeb-bush-wants-to-be-the-uber-candidate-heres-the-problem-with-that/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/10/business/an-uber-ipo-looms-and-suddenly-bankers-are-using-uber-coincidence.html?_r=0

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/the-worst-generation/

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/07/uber-vs-laws-000172?hp=b1_c1

http://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-1-progressives-0-1437607639

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When the war was over, the men and women who had been involved … joined in joyous and short-lived celebrations, then immediately began the task of rebuilding their lives and the world they wanted … They married in record numbers and gave birth to another distinctive generation, the Baby Boomers. They stayed true to their values of personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith.” – Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation 

“Tom Brokaw once wrote a book about the greatest generation, those brave people who survived the depression and fought in World War II. Unfortunately that great generation spawned a generation of narcissists: the baby boomers.” – Huffington Post blogger Gene Marks

The Baby Boomers are inevitably moving day-by-day toward the ash heap of recorded history … and not a moment too soon.woodstock

USA Today last week reported for the first time ever, the number of Millennials exceeds the population of Baby Boomers by an 83.1 million to 75.4 million count, according to the 2014 U.S. Census.

Poor Millennials and X-Gens. They will be the first generations in American history to have a worse standard of living than the preceding generation … that would be the Baby Boomers.

Many Millennials are going to college, graduating with oppressive student loan debt or for the lucky few, no debt, and settling for a job that once did not require a degree, and pays $10,000 less now than it did in the 1980s.

“Will that be a latte, cappuccino or mocha, sir (or madam)?”

And as a result of this economic dilemma, many Millennials particularly those saddled with an average of $40,000 in college loan debt, are being forced to … yes, move back into a parent’s or parents’ home.

Where will the “Hello Kitty” poster go?millennials

Can Millennials buy a house, even with near-record, low-interest rates averaging 4.19 percent this week? The author of Almost DailyBrett remembers buying his first house for $120,000 in Sacramento in 1984 at a 30-year fixed rate of 14.25 percent, paying two points for the privilege. Two years later, your blogger refinanced the loan down to 10.25 percent, once again paying two points.

Do you think Millennials can find any house in California for $120,000 that will not come with meth- lab neighbors, who will soon be auditioning for The Jerry Springer Show?

Brokaw wrote about “personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith” in describing the virtues of the Silent Generation, born between 1925-1945, which stared down the Global Depression and won World War II on two theatres of combat.

Do you think anyone would ascribe any of these Silent Generation virtues – personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith — to the hedonistic Baby Boomers? Seems like a silly question.

The Entitlement Generation 

“The selfishness that has been a hallmark of the Boomers will continue right up to the very end, as they force millions of younger Americans to devote an inordinate amount of time and resources to their care, bankrupting the Social Security system in the process. In their old age, the Boomers will actually take as much from the next generation as they did from the previous one, which fought WW II.” – The Onion, January 20, 1999

“But you know nowadays
It’s the old man,
He’s got all the money
And a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said nothing” — The Who, Young Man Blues

If it feels good; do it.

Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

Almost DailyBrett refrains for the most part in making absolute predictions, but will do so in this case:

Someone, someday will write an epic tome glorying the “Me, Me, Me” generation, and will attempt to be the Tom Brokaw of the Baby Boomers. It will be a pathetic effort that will nonetheless be coffee-table book lucrative because there will be some in the born-between-1946-1964 crowd, who will want to desperately justify their sorry existence on the planet.

They will point to the end of the Vietnam War. They will direct attention to the campaign for the equal rights for women. They will wax nostalgic about the civil rights marches. There are already plenty of revisionist Oliver Stone movies that make these very same points.

But weren’t all of these crusades … sorry bad word with religious overtones for some Baby Boomers … weren’t all of these movements mounted back in the 1960s? What have you done for us since then? Legalized marijuana?

The same-sex marriage victory? That achievement must be shared with Millennials and X-Gens.

Baby Boomers burned the flag, staged Woodstock and Altamont, the latter came with Hells Angels and bloody pool cues. Many against-the-war-in-Vietnam types still don’t like America very much,  bitching and moaning, while not even considering moving anywhere else.

Way too many Baby Boomers made lifestyle choices, which contributed to a nearly four-times increase of former workers on disability from 2.8 million in 1981 to 8.5 million in 2011. Guess who is and who will be paying the bill for these Americans, most of whom will never work again?

The federal deficit was $2.8 trillion in 1989. Thanks mainly to the explosion of growing entitlements for Baby Boomers and some others; the red ink now stands at $18.1 trillion last month … another bi-product of the Baby Boomer generation.

Many Baby Boomers, including those who decried the “Military-Industrial Complex,” became very wealthy during the Internet boom (e.g. Yuppies), buying every McMansion in sight and driving up prices, until (you knew it had to happen) the Bubble burst, and their expensive cars were repossessed.

While markets were recovering, far too many Baby Boomers drove up their plastic debt, and then turned to real estate and refinanced to the max to keep up their spending habits until (once again: you knew it had to happen) … the real estate Bubble burst. Many were left with underwater mortgages … and simply walked away from their houses.

What was left for the Millennials, holding the bag? A rotten economy. Overpriced real estate, transforming the American Dream of home ownership into a pipe dream. Soaring tuition at colleges and universities and with it, $1.2 trillion in cumulative student loan debt.

And when they graduate? Part-time McJobs with no benefits for far too many. And you wonder why the Millennials are mad at the Baby Boomers?

Before going any further, the author of Almost DailyBrett has a confession to make: Yes, I was born in 1955, and am a card-carrying member of the Baby Boomer generation.dinosaur

Does it seem that I am rooting for my own personal demise as more Baby Boomers pass into the abyss every day? Well, no.

Am I embarrassed to be part of this selfish generation and wished it was different, far different? You bet ya.

Will Steven Spielberg, born 1946, serve as the executive director for “Baby Boomer World,” featuring out-of-control, carnivorous, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dinosaurs?

Be afraid, be very afraid.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/25/millennials-now-outnumber-boomers-census-says/29294241/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/matthew-primeau/2015/01/baby-boomers-ruined-the-world-for-millennials/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gene-marks/this-is-why-the-baby-boom_b_4441735.html

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a1451/worst-generation-0400/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2013/11/30/millennials-earn-less-than-their-parents-and-the-recession-isnt-to-blame/

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102410254

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/06/generational-decline

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/05/20/8-differences-between-boomers-and-millennials

http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/

http://www.theonion.com/article/long-awaited-baby-boomer-die-off-to-begin-soon-exp-647

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/why-the-boomers-are-the-most-hated-generation/276368/

http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/deficits.html

There seems to be an ongoing national sport associated with categorizing and contrasting generations.

If you listen to Tom Brokaw, there was “The Greatest Generation” (born 1922-1943) who overcame the Great Depression and Fascism and is now heading for the history books.

Next up were the Baby Boomers (1944-1963) with the defining events of the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, and Neil Armstrong on the moon. The most mature of this group are now entering their Golden Years.

Behind them are the X-Gens (born 1964-1980), coming to age with the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and now in their prime working years.

Generation Y or the Millennials (born 1980-1999) are now in their high school and college years and supposedly will only take a “yes” for an answer. Reportedly, they are the most educated in history.

And finally, there is Generation Z or the Zeds (born 1995-2009). The acronym “GM” means genetically modified to this generation with the more mature just entering college.

Much has been made about history and the interdependency and clashes between generations (e.g., “Turn that s… off!”), particularly the generational theory work of historians William Strauss and Neil Howe.

But please allow Almost DailyBrett to ask: Is it really this complicated?

digitalimmigrant

Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives

Instead of getting our collective knickers in a twist over generational divides, let’s just focus on the most important divide of all: The difference between Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives.

During the course of the lifespans of Baby Boomers and for the most part, X-Gens, occurred the most important-to-date technological changes.

Bob Noyce (Intel) and/or Jack Kilby (Texas Instruments) invented the integrated circuit in 1959, allowing more than one function to be included on a single piece of silicon.

Gordon Moore promulgated Moore’s Law in 1965, simply stating the amount of complexity that could be incorporated onto a defined slice of silicon real estate doubles every 18-24 months. This law has been accurate for nearly 50 years, and is responsible for more functionality in smaller spaces (e.g., iPhones).

IBM invented the PC and Apple the Mac computer in 1981 and 1984 respectively.

Web 1.0 (websites for surfing) came on the scene in 1990 and Web 2.0 (interconnectivity of wired and wireless computation devices) followed five years later.

First-mover and now all publicly traded social media companies came of age in the last decade-plus: LinkedIn, 2002; Facebook, 2004; and Twitter, 2006.

The point of this discussion is that all or the vast majority of these seminal technology changes came during the lifespans of the Baby Boomers and X-Gens. Under the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, a few will be “innovators”, more will be “early adopters”, even more will be “early majority”, the same amount will be “late majority” and then 16 percent will be bah-humbug, curmudgeon “laggards.”

Alas, many in the Digital Immigrant category fall into the late majority or laggard camps.

Teaching Digital Natives

The challenge lies with Digital Immigrants, whether they be Baby Boomers or X-Gens, teaching Digital Natives, whether they be Millennials/Generation Y or (gasp) Generation Z.

digitalnative

What this means is that Digital Immigrant educators must “get it” when it comes to meaningful technology shifts.

Does that translate into playing “Candy Crush”? Not exactly.

What it does require is daily participation in social media and/or blogging. Whether the good folks at the conventional media outlets like it or not (and in most cases they are kicking and screaming), digital publishing via mobile devices, and in declining cases with a mouse, is now a permanent and irreversible feature of our society.

When it comes to brand and reputation management, one needs to be afraid, very afraid. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List and others are there to help settle the score. If you are teaching brand management, your Digital Native students need to understand that you get it when it comes to the very fact that reputations can be drastically altered in a matter of seconds.

Only Digital Immigrant innovators, early adopters and early majority denizens can teach the Digital Natives. And that requires keeping pace with the inevitable changes that will occur. Amazon was born 20 years ago. The wildly successful IPO of China’s Alibaba was just this past Friday.

What will be the next killer app and where will it come from?

For Digital Native students, they have their own forms of angst, and they are having their fair share of troubles in finding a job in a stubbornly difficult economy. For them, there is no excuse. They are expected to “get it” when it comes to not only deciphering social, mobile and cloud technologies, but more importantly how to monetize these complex ones-and-zeroes.

It sounds like a mismatch: Digital immigrants, the majority of which did not initially appreciate the technological changes in their lives as they were happening, are mentoring the Digital Natives, who were born seemingly with a video game controller in their hands.digitalnative1

Nonetheless, there are still analog skills (i.e., to-the-point persuasive writing, overcoming Glossophobia, parallel construction, financial communications) that can be communicated to the Digital Natives. After all, Digital Immigrants had to find a job when they graduated too.

Now it’s time for Digital Natives to write their own cover letters, curriculum vitaes and of course, LinkedIn profiles, to compete for the jobs of the 21st Century.

Don’t forget your attachments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_Generation#The_Greatest_Generation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Brokaw

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory

http://www.techopedia.com/definition/28139/digital-immigrant

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_native

 

Did I hear this right?

A devoted wife was essentially ordered by her narcissistic husband to deliver via c-section (e.g., major surgery) her baby four days early in order for the offspring to be born on the birthday of one, Jim Morrison.

jimmorrison

 

The presumed thought-process of the selfish father: “My daughter will forever share her birthday with ‘Mr. Mojo Risin.’” The emphasis is on the first-person singular: “My.”

The mother-to-be was not pleased, but ultimately relented. The  Boomer family’s male OB/GYN thought the idea was really cool.

The baby fortunately was born relatively healthy and happy. Most of all, the narcissistic father of the “Me Generation” through a raw exercise of personal power, and a selfish disregard for the opinions of others, attained what he wanted: A December 8 c-section/birth.

If the baby had been born as scheduled four days later (December 12), she would have shared a birthday with “Old Blue Eyes,” Frank Sinatra. Enough said.

Back to the Jim Morrison birthday c-section: What was the purpose of this trivial and potentially dangerous procedure to the health of the mother and the daughter? One and only person was personally delighted, but in the long run will he ever be totally satisfied? The unrealistic demands will just keep on coming. And most likely there will be no reciprocation offered in any way, shape or form.

morrisongrave

Maybe the mother and daughter will be required to make a pilgrimage to Morrison’s final resting spot? Springtime in Paris?

As it turns out, the youngest daughter also has the same birthday as Kim Basinger, Sammy Davis Jr. and Ann Coulter.

One can only imagine, if Mr. Y-chromosome demanded the c-section be performed on Mick Jagger’s birthday, eight months later on July 26. Wouldn’t it be easier to hold out until December 18  to accommodate Keith Richards’ birthday?

Scar of caesarean section

The real question that comes to mind: What kind of husband demands that his wife hurry up or delay a C-section in order to accommodate the birthday of a rock legend?

“Men Need Better PR”

Walking the halls of the Office of the Governor in Sacramento back in the days when it was “Morning in America,” I was confronted out of the blue by our scheduling secretary.

She was not upset with the author of Almost DailyBrett per se, she was having difficulties with the testosterone-laden gender and needed to unload her frustration.

One could surmise that her anger was compounded by the presence of obsessed males of the Baby Boomer or Me Generation.

Without any further ado, she stated ex-cathedra that men needed better PR. She offered no rationalization, just assuming I would instinctively understand her thought process. Having got this matter off her chest (no double entendre intimated here), she proceeded on with her business.

Even though this exchange was a mere nano-second of my life, I always remember this gender-specific  pronouncement and in many ways one has to concur. Yes, the most important public relations are personal public relations.

Ubiquitous Narcissism

Even though the author of Almost DailyBrett has never taken a psychology course, and most likely never will, he does detect greater societal attention to the subject of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). This affliction touches both genders, but for this discussion let’s just focus on “Mr. Light My Fire.”

narcissus

Does this mean NPD is ever-present with male Me-oriented Baby Boomers born after World War II or from 1946-1964? Let’s leave that question to those with a higher pay grade.

Back to the question of a mother, a c-section, a daughter, Jim Morrison and a NPD father, clinical psychologist Dr. Craig Malkin identified some of the characteristics of rampant narcissism. Three immediately jump out at you:

1.) Idol worship (e.g., the lead singer of the Doors)

2.) A high need for (ultimate) control

3.) A lack of empathy

There is also a  fourth characteristic that comes into play: The NPD-type will take immediate and long-standing umbrage to anyone and everyone who points out even the most-minute human frailty.

Let’s not forget that Baby Boomers and the X-Gens that followed through the fruit of wombs and issues of loins gave birth to the Millennials, born after 1980. Some have praised them for being civic-minded and others have derided them for generation-wide narcissistic behavior.

Having worked in both politics and big business, the ones that emerge to the top in these tough professions have a highly inflated opinions of themselves, the majority of whom are men. And yet not all of them display all of the symptoms of NPD.

The best of them (and I was fortunate to work for two of them) certainly had the obligatory ego to withstand the inevitable slings and arrows that comes from being at the top. What was most impressive was they insisted on eschewing the first-person singular: The “I,” the “Me” and the “Myself.” This song was not about them.

Instead, they mandated that all communications whether verbal or written, regardless of the technology, utilize the first-person plural: “We, Us and Our.” Yep, we were a team with a leader who was part of the team. This approach is healthy.

Without expressly stating it, they were also calling for the adherence to “The Golden Rule,” essentially treating others the way one would want to be treated.

Thinking back to NPD Mr. Jim Morrison Birthday C-Section, there is no first-person plural even though we are discussing what was once a complete nuclear family, and certainly no concept of The Golden Rule.

Instead, there was only “Me, Myself and I,” and Jim Morrison too.

Almost DailyBrett Note: The above story is true. Specific details including the particular rock icon and corresponding birth date have been changed to protect family privacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Morrison

https://www.thedoors.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_generation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarean_section

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obstetrics_and_gynaecology

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/05/millennials-the-greatest-generation-or-the-most-narcissistic/256638/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m all for progress: It’s change I can’t stand!” – Mark Twain

I keep on thinking of a former client, who would not give up on trying to market a 4.5-hour audio tape in a world of less-than three-minute YouTube videos. She is heading back into the recording studio to make her audio tape even longer.

Will she sell them in cassettes or eight-track tapes?

eighttrack

I reflect on a friend and colleague, who repeatedly states, “I just don’t get this social media stuff.”

He’s unemployed.

And another friend, who refuses to blog to build his personal brand, and reluctantly accepts the power of social media.

He has been unemployed since 2006 with the exception of five months.

There is my incredibly talented artist brother-in-law, who works as a metropolitan county employee just to hold on to his pension that he has already vested. He could make x-times more opening an art studio in a cool ocean-front town and putting out his own shingle.

He sleeps on a neighbor’s couch every night.

And then there is my only sibling, who categorically refuses to accept texts from her boss and colleagues at work. They can email or call her instead.

She is nearing retirement, counting on her pension. Wonder if she is going to be pushed out the door first.

Change Resistant Baby Boomers?

Does age make us more resistant to change? Is this a reason why north of 50-types are struggling in the pronounced economic malaise that started in 2008/2009? And what can they do about it?

All five of these people are extremely bright and capable, and that is the case for literally hundreds of thousands or more. According to political consultant Dick Morris, only 50 percent of working age Americans are employed and 100 million of this same group pay no income taxes.

woodstock

The economy is obviously a factor, but what about those who abhor change and desperately cling to the status quo?

The problem is that change is inevitable. Married people change during the course of their union. Do they manage this change or does the marriage fall apart?

Organizations change, particularly following an acquisition or a merger. You and your job may be just fine for the time being, but the culture has changed. The days of starting in the mail room, working up to the executive suite and retiring with the gold watch are gone forever.

Another key change, and certainly the fastest shift, comes in the form of gadgets, gizmos, bits, bytes, bells and whistles. For the Baby Boomers (born, 1946-1964), they are the last generation in history to come into the world before the true onset of digital technology.

The integrated circuit was invented by Robert Noyce in 1959. The first Baby Boomers entered the workforce in 1964. IBM introduced the PC in 1981. The last Baby Boomers entered the workforce in 1982. Microsoft was founded in 1986. The World Wide Web came online in 1990. The first blogs entered cyberspace in 1997. The first Baby Boomers started to retire in 2011.

Digital Natives

For the Millennials (18-33 years of age) and the X-Gens (34-45), they were born into technology. This will obviously be the case for each and every succeeding generation. For the Baby Boomers, technology was not intuitive. It had to be learned. Technology represented change whether they liked it or not. Obviously many still don’t like it, and many had to be dragged kicking and screaming to a computer screen.

millennials

According to Pew Research, 83 percent of Millennials interact with social media, only 43 percent for Baby Boomers.  The Diffusion of Innovation Curve states that in any population, 2.5 percent are innovators; 13.5 percent, early adopters; 34 percent, early majority; another 34 percent, late majority, and 16 percent are laggards.

I have to conclude with far too many of my Baby Boomer colleagues that they are (being charitable here) in the late majority. For someone trying to market 270 minutes of audio on preventable medicine or a sibling that will not send or accept texts, the word “laggard” or “Luddite” may perfectly apply.

How about obstinate? Resolute? Stubborn? Or maybe a word that is closer to the mark, Fearful?

The last lyrics of the Who’s rock anthem, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” It very well may not be the old boss. In most cases, it will be a younger boss in a skirt and a blouse, who can detect a technophobe in a matter of nanoseconds. Worse, she or he like a marauding shark can sense fear and hunger. Technophobia, fear and hunger all equate to the kiss of death in landing a job that requires adapting to and managing inevitable change.

It’s time, no it’s past time, to come to terms with change.

http://thepowerofpositiveaging.com/wpress/chapter-excerpts/

http://www.rogerclarke.com/SOS/InnDiff.html

http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/no_20100225_3691.php

I believe some Americans are simply saying, we don’t want to pay the price. We would rather spend our time on the net, texting, tweeting, gaming, creating our own little worlds. We are not willing to study hard. We don’t want to learn a trade. We don’t want to go to a demanding college. No. It’s far easier to devote our time to leisurely pursuits and let the government take care of us. – Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, February 14, 2012.

For just one mere nanosecond, please resist the temptation to shoot the messenger and concentrate on the message. There is an uncomfortable truth in these words, yes even words from Bill O’Reilly.

oreilly

The world is changing. It is moving from analog to digital. It is shifting from the old to the new. Are we wasting precious time or making the best of our limited tenure on earth? Will we take control of our lives or will we ask someone else to take care of us?

When it comes to sinking or swimming, I have made my decision. The real question is: Will I ultimately succeed? Nothing is certain.

After a long kick-in-the pants career including leadership stints in the California governor’s office, a publicly traded custom semiconductor innovator and an international public relations firm, my prospects came to a crashing halt three years ago.

When I would compete for a job, I would receive “optional” demographic forms asking me whether I was male of female? Male, strike one; Caucasian of anything else? Caucasian, strike two; Veteran and/or handicapped? Neither, strike three. None of these factors has changed or for that matter will ever change, but I do know that more of these optional demographic forms are in my near future.

What I can do and some of my fellow, mature, white, Anglo males are doing (none of these characteristics are an advantage) revolves around preparing to personally compete again in this high-tech world requiring as Mr. O’Reilly stated, skills, education and disciplined thinking.

If all goes well I will finish next month my master’s degree in “Communication and Society” from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. I am actually looking forward to sporting the long robes, the mortar board and tassel. This degree was hard-earned, much more difficult than I ever imagined. I sweated out this degree. Would I do it again? That’s not an easy one to answer.

DSC00347

As a Baby Boomer reentering the college ranks at 54-years young in order to reinvent myself yet again, I had several concerns:

1.)  Would I be accepted by my fellow classmates or would I be an amusing curiosity? There was no denying that I was almost 2x the age of the average graduate student. Refreshingly that turned out to not be a problem. For the most part, my colleagues have treated me well and with respect, and made sure that I was always invited to their bull sessions over adult beverages.

2.)  Would my annoying political philosophy be resented by my “progressive” colleagues? I adopted a policy that listening was cheap, and it doesn’t hurt to hear what people have to say. If my social justice classmates believe that Internet access is an entitlement and a basic human right…well then, intellectual property be damned.

3.)  Mac vs. PC. This was actually the biggest hurdle to clear. After two decades of jobs with IBM Think Pads loaded with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel and powered with Intel processors, virtually every machine at the UO School of Journalism is a Mac. It is akin to driving a stick for the first time, if you are used to an automatic.

Reflecting on O’Reilly’s words, I have to say that not all of us are willing to study hard and for good reason. I still have the scars from taking both Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis in the same quarter, and earning the Zertifikät Deutsch from the Goethe Institut. The 50-100 pages of laborious communications-related philosophy each night for the relentless Pro Seminar class was absolutely brutal. I made it.

O’Reilly opined that some of us don’t want to go to demanding colleges. This remark reminded me of the Stanford student holding up the sign (after Oregon spanked the Cardinal last fall) stating that Oregon was his “safety” school. If all else failed, he could go to Oregon.

Guess I must not be at the same academic level as the geniuses on the Farm. His opinion of my “safety” school is not going to make me any less proud. If a Baby Boomer asked me about going back to college my reply would be: “If not now, when?”

And finally, if I had a dollar for every time someone suggested that I was going back to college to chase coeds, I would be a very wealthy hombre. I am old enough in most cases to be a coed’s father…but that doesn’t mean that I am not interested in her mother.

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