The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEC) in the small municipality of Davos (pop. 11,289) with its picturesque, snow-capped chalets and its world-class ski-resort has always been one of those events which outsiders have considered an opportunity for the powerful and the super-rich to hob-nob and plan how to create opportunities to make more millions.
In his best-selling book, Outliers Malcolm Gladwell makes a convincing case for the psychological advantage the rice-paddy worker enjoys, historically, over his Western, agricultural counterpart. While farming, he says, is mostly governed by the seasons and fields, even when intensively farmed, have to have a time to recover, the same constraints are not imposed upon a rice paddy where the yield is directly linked to the amount of precise work and attention to detail the rice paddy farmer is willing to devote.
Intuitively I know that everything in the world is connected in ways that I cannot see but which I understand. I know, for instance, that neutrinos are going through me and the Earth at the rate of a few thousand per square centimetre. I know that everything around me, including my laptop screen is comprised of molecules which are in free flow, their solidity governed only by stable energy states and that everything, including my typing on the keyboard imparts energy which contributes to change.
There is an axiom in martial arts which states that “your first lesson is also your last”. It refers to the fact that what you learn at the very beginning of what, for most people, is an incredibly long and arduous journey, only sinks in much later, when you are better equipped by experience and ability, to really understand it.
In writing The Social Media Mind I ventured that social media, as we understand it today, is nothing new. The tools available may be different and the channels may be more accessible but it really has changed little from the days when it required a quick grasp of a populist notion and the guts to carry it off.
The road to hell truly is paved with good intentions. Because few of us are ever born chess masters and even fewer ever take the time to learn we tend, as people, to always fall back on our evolutionary hardwiring which was intended to enable us to deal with a crisis exploding in our faces in a step-by-step basis.
Everyone knows that the holiday sales season is make or break and perhaps none more so than in retail. In an unforgiving market and a tough economy casualties are to be expected. Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and K-Mart, both iconic US retail chains announced, on the last day of the year that up to 120 stores would be up for the chop.
The final month of 2011 was full of changes and developments in the world of social media and search engine optimization. Google did not disappoint, leading the way in SEO but it was social media which perhaps stole the show by providing lessons, in the form of disasters.
If, like me, you watched in fascination the finale of the mega-popular reality show, America’s Biggest Loser, you’d have been struck by the fact that here were fifteen of what I’ll call America’s biggest sinners as far as overeating, weak will and lack of focus in life, are concerned, and yet, they were all managing to do the seemingly impossible.