Both sides now


ABC News last broadcast of 2009 featured some celebrities we have lost, among them, one of its own: Peter Jennings.

Peter’s most memorable quote:: “when I look at a coin, instinctively, I want to flip it to see the other side”.

He used to take a bunch of books to read on plane rides, according to his biographer.

The inquisitive mind. Intolerance for ambiguity. Searching for a whiter shade of pale.

Toffler recounted a conference he had attended, where a man essentially said that he had done manual labor all his life, and then, just wanted to die an educated man.

Learning to learn.

From the vantage point of “the other side” , we can now afford to look back at the Digital Decade. A the macro level we got Health Care and Homeland Security. At the human level, we rediscovered bravery: rescue on the Hudson, fourth plane over Pennsylvania, and most recently, a Dutch passenger over Detroit.

We continue to underestimate our own capacity for good and evil.

Something is hard-wired in our brain (positive wiring, and negative wiring). That’s nature. Managerial conclusion ranging from aristocracy to meritocracy, from X to Y and Z. Post-industrial society pushes its manufacturing model (plants and machine) to the Far East (China is outsourcing this down to Vietnam, end of the supply chain). This made all the debate over NAFTA a waste i.e. Samsung digital TV made in Asia vs analog TV set made in Mexico, inter-America trucking vs intercontinental shipping.

Apple has its server farm in North Carolina, 19th century home to the textile and furniture industries.

Waltham, Erie and Pittsburgh all get a life extension, thanks to post-industrial reinvention, from factory to fab.

If Peter Jennings were alive today, he would still be flipping the coin to see what’s out there.

(being from Canada, and stationed overseas in Vietnam, the Middle East and England , he apparently saw it all).

Maybe the imminent phasing out of newspaper is not bad (NYT goes global today).

In Network Effect, the Economist concludes that people still need the news, even if they don’t need newspapers.

People once thought telegraph spelled death to newspapers. As it turned out, telegraph helped speed up the news.

One thing is certain: with broadband, more people will get their news and get it fast.

Speed, survival and self management ( a term used by Peter Drucker in this knowledge economy e.g. to learn, to mutate and to adapt.) To die an educated man, let’s flip the coin to see the other side.

 

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