Massive Attack…its coming soon to a theater near you…

1 day away from Massive Attack at the Greek.

Robert Del Naja and Grand Marshall…could be epic if they play all my oldie favorites, including Unfinished Sympathy and Teardrop! Dragging better half, who has never heard of the band, nor the songs on the radio. They were big in london ….so maybe never made it prime time in US?

Massive_Attack_by_Sonic7

viking warriors

just crammed in season II of HIstory Channel’s Vikings series. Binge watching (i hear its all the rage) through the weekend, just finished a very bloody “Lord’s Prayer” finale. Holy King of scandinavia…

Now that was a twist I wasnt ready for the double agent…but then again, Floki is quite the jokester. Not sure if its “the best show on TV” as claimed by pundits…i think its  giving its competition a good run…i will eagerly look forward to season three.

Ragnar, Bjorn, Lagertha, Rollo, Athelstan, Siggy…vikings everywhere..

vikings

Rise of the Warrior Poets..i mean cops..i mean…

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article in August of last year that caught my attention. It focused on the militarization of the US police force. “Rise of the Warrior Cop“, which showcased the exponential increase in SWOT teams across the US.

Book image below with same title/name.

rise of warrior cop

From the article in WSJ …”the country’s first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.”

In today’s NYT, they show a very captivating photo on the home page of NYT.com of three armed SWOT type commandos rushing a protestor in Ferguson, MO. The article suggests this man was protesting a shooting. If so, why all the use of force? Curious to learn more.

military style domestic peace keeping

The question that starts to form could be…how many police officers do we need carrying sub machine guns, bayonets, or transporting in armored personnel carriers? This question can be viewed through the prism of (a) number of violent crimes committed over the last 30+ years and (b) number of crimes committed by assault rifles (and their ilk) vs smaller handguns and less powerful “force multipliers”.  Thus, maybe SWOT style responses are warranted in some cases, others possibly not (see Deterrence Theory as a possible organizing principle).

Anecdotal evidence suggests there is love affair with all things commando in the US, from navy seal books such as The Trident to modern day films such as Act of Valor or Hollywood blockbusters like Lone Survivor.

Presumably this love affair has a direct implication on how we staff our domestic policing forces and/or is a direct outcome of the much talked about “military industrial complex” in the US.

Education and the Physical Alternatives of Higher Learning (MBA or other)

Article on Poets and Quants

An interesting topic is the one posed by higher education and the intrinsic costs of physically attending a graduate program. Virtual learning and “online courses” speak to me for a variety of reasons at this point in my career/life..most specifically, i think it will start to open up a myriad of possibilities for middle aged employees who are intellectually hungry, desire additional learning (for the sheer pleasure of learning as well as sharpening the tools in the kit), combined with access to classes and world class professors.

Folks who cannot “up and quit their jobs” and go “back to school will benefit…and I believe there is pent up demand for an offering as our population ages. Another topic is the creation of hogwans for learning on the other end of the spectrum (children)..but again, i digress… (and not to be confused with Hogwarts).hogwarts

I surmise there is a bit of untapped demand for a new higher education learning product..if the quality is present and meaningful and measurable..as defined by a strong brand (meaning ..the class/offering is orchestrated by a University such as Berkeley Haas or equivalent)!

Interesting to look at both the opportunity costs (lost revenue, etc) as well as time out of the market when a student leaves the competitive work force and are focused on academic learning with a structured degree.  When comparing physical attendance at a program vs online education, i have yet to see research on the efficacy of the education absorbed and learned.  There are calls for an MBA “test” at the end of the program to merit and measure the learning (and the ROI of attending a two year graduate program)..but hard to fathom we will get to that stage and find a common measurement tool.

This article and its startling title:  “Can half of the business schools go out of business” caught my eye with its click bait type hyperbole!

haas

Richard Lyons, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting numerous times, sharing a breakfast here in LA as part of an alumni event and receiving a warm introduction by him as I spoke to the incoming MBA class a few years back…i take his perspective and views very seriously. He is a charismatic leader and visionary of higher education and has led the Haas school with much distinction.

His thoughts/commentary that within 5-10 years, a number of schools may/could go out of business due to market penetration of MOOCs is intriguing. He is fundamentally speaking to disruption in his discipline. Almost every industry of note over the last 1-2 decades, has gone through massive disruption due to technology (hardware and software), the connectivity caused by the internet of things, and most recently ..IP based content delivery.

Education, as it stands to reason, should not fare any better if the institutions hold true to the “old ways” of teaching and dissemination of its material.  A new model is being fashioned…wait and see! It will be fantastic!

The End of the Affair on audible.com

Going back to world war II genre…I recently listened to an audio book “The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene.

It was voiced by Colin Firth, who did a bang up job as Maurice Bendrix, the protagonist. With many catholic underpinnings, this book highlights a couple’s struggle with faith, during the bombings of WWII, their ability to cope with their affair, their confrontation with disease and ultimate demise. I highly recommend the audio experience…

end of the affair

Leadership at Google, talent and education

Interesting article on how Google’s HR team uses “data” to uncover leadership qualities in its employees. Their findings may surprise a bit…”successful managers”, or however they define such qualities, are not necessarily correlated to their undergrad/bschool, SAT boards or pedigree.

Its probably some combination of autonomy, gumption, grit and innate talent?

google

 

 

On this topic, i recently finished a wonderful book by Amanda Ripley titled “Smartest Kids in the World”. This book outlines teaching methods and approach in disparate countries like Korea, Finland and Poland. The book juxtaposes these approaches to teaching math vis a vis “how its done” in the US. Fascinating if you have children and think about the US education system, if you are interested in US competitiveness and labor, how math influences skill sets for the work population, etc…smartest kids

Geography is the new black…

Two articles that caught my attention:

Bloomberg’s rally cry for the benefits of Silicon Valley and the power of the networking effect. His article describes how environments and creative talent draw in capital and new ideas. A quick read!

An article on the global ad business and how geography is influencing the buy and sell side.

Go global!global