Dreaming of America’s Four Gods

America's Four Gods

[D]espite living in the most modernized and technologically advanced country, Americans report one of the world’s highest levels of belief in God. Americans’ faith in God appears constant even as we have come to embrace twenty-first-century technology and the benefits of modern science….

While Americans tend to be religiously devout, we paradoxically tend to know very little about religion, our own or others’. Religion scholar Stephen Prothero has shown that America is composed of “Protestants who can’t name the four Gospels, Catholics who can’t name the seven sacraments, and Jews who can’t name the five books of Moses.” Religious illiteracy increases the odds of misunderstanding and conflict….

[T]he simple fact that nearly 95 percent of Americans say they believe in God undermines any notion that we are engaged in a holy war over the existence of God.

We might, however, be in a war over who God is….

The extent to which we believe God interacts with us and offers us blessings has a profound effect on what we think is right and wrong and what we feel we should do doing with our lives….

Knowing a person’s image of God, therefore, provides us with an opportunity to understand the most intimate moral and introspective conversations they have. Simply put, our picture of God is worth a thousand queries into the substance of our moral and philosophical beliefs…

In asking dozens of questions about God, we have uncovered two that pinpoint the most crucial theological disagreements in America. They are:

  1. To what extent does God interact with the world?
  2. To what extent does God judge the world?

If we know the answers to these broad questions, then we have tremendous insight into your entire worldview. In fact, our responses to these two questions predict the substance of our worldview much better than the color of our skin, the size of our bank account, the political party we belong to, or whether we wear a white Stetson or faded Birkenstocks….

Our image of God is never simply a reflection of the beliefs of our religious community. The traditional method of classifying people as Catholics or Baptists or Jews tells us little of consequence about what they believe.

~ American’s Four Gods
By Paul Froese
& Christopher Bader
“The American story cannot be fully understood without understanding the country’s religious history,” says God in America PBS series executive producer Michael Sullivan.

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Religious Literacy

Americans are both deeply religious and profoundly ignorant about religion.
~Stephen Prothero
Religious Literacy

Prothero---Religious Literacy

Noah of Arc and his wife, Joan, build a boat to survive a great flood. Moses climbs Mount Cyanide and receives 10 enumerated commandments; for all the differences among religious denominations, the Ten Commandments are a common bedrock that Jews, Catholics and Protestants agree on.
Sodom and his wild girlfriend, Gomorrah, soon set the standard for what not to do. They are turned to pillars of salt.
The Virgin Mary, a young Christian woman, conceives Jesus immaculately and gives birth to him in a Jerusalem manger. Jesus, backed by the Twelve Apostles and their wives, the Epistles, proclaims what we call the Golden Rule: “Do one to others before they do one to you.” The Romans repeatedly crucify Jesus — at Cavalry, Golgotha and other sites — but he resurrects himself each time.
Christianity spreads through the gospels, which differ on details but all provide eyewitness accounts of Jesus’s life from birth to death. Finally, Rome tires of throwing Christians to lions and becomes the first country to adopt Christianity as its religion. The Bible is translated from the original English into countless languages.

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Google is an old business

In a TechCrunch interview Tyler Cowen proclaimed:

Google is an old business…. Google has never really been about human psychology.

Google revenue

Truly effective advertising is based on psychology.
A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
~ Steve Jobs
Apple
In 1998, Bill Gates “couldn’t imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft.” Today, Apple’s market capitalization is $683 billion, more than double Microsoft’s current value of $338 billion.
Steve Jobs took a near bankrupt company and turned it into the most valuable company in the world by understanding the importance of human psychology in designing products and services.
Steve Jobs iPhone

Steve Jobs unveils first iPhone

Apple made $18.04 billion in profit and $74.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2015. Those are both records for Apple alone, but there’s more: The numbers mean Apple just had the most profitable quarter of any company ever, beating out Russia’s Gazprom by a neat $1.8 billion. Apple now has five of the top ten most profitable quarters. ExxonMobil has three.
In his book, Average Is Over, Cowen also proclaimed:

[Freestyle chess] is the model to consider if you wish to be among the high earners of the very near future….

This insight clarifies many key issues, such as how we should reform our education; where new jobs will come from and why (some) wages might start rising again; which regions will see skyrocketing real estate prices and which will empty out; why some companies will get smarter and smarter, while others just try to ship product out the door; which human beings will earn a lot more and which workers will move to low-rent areas to make ends meet; and how shopping, dating, and meeting negotiations will all change.

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“The Police Need Legitimacy” T-Shirt Project

We are developing a crowd-sourcing campaign to sell t-shirts
The Police Need Legitimacy t-shirt

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath:

[L]egitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to fell like they have a voice—that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another….

[W]hen the law is applied in the absence of legitimacy, it does not produce obedience. It produces the opposite. It leads to backlash.

The concept of law enforcement and legitimacy is discuss further in an earlier blog entry: NYPD Needs Legitimacy.

“The Police Need Legitimacy” t-shirts will be:
  • Grown in the USA with organic cotton
  • Made in North Carolina
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks

New York Times op-doc:
Black Panthers

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Women Upping Their Chances Of Winning Government Contracts

It is estimated that, as of 2014, there are nearly 9.1 million women-owned enterprises, employing nearly 7.9 million workers and generating over $1.4 trillion in revenues. Women-owned firms now account for 30% of all enterprises, and are growing faster in number and
employment than most other firms. Despite this fact, women-owned firms employ only 6% of the country’s workforce, contribute just under 4% of business revenues, and only 2% of women-owned businesses grow beyond $1 million. This is according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

Women-owned businesses that have gotten federal government contracts are 23 times more likely to break through that $1 million+ revenue barrier, according to Women and Minority Small Business Contractors: Divergent Paths to Equal Success.

Getting government contracts is hard work. Not only do you have to be certified as a women-owned business, you have to actively pursue networking and partnering if you want to work with big business and government, said Pamela Prince Eason, CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in an interview with Associated Press.

Women's Forum

Save The Date
We are developing a government contracting forum series for women-owned businesses. The series will help women, obtain government contracts at every level of government: school board, local, county, state, and federal.
 
The focus for the first forum on Saturday, May 16th will be how to obtain a contract with the Mamaroneck Union Free School District. Their 2014-2015 budget is $131 million with $429,000 for equipment, $13.5 million for purchased services, and $2.3 million for materials and supplies.
At this forum we will also be exploring how to replicate the DC Central Kitchen model locally to train local people to provide healthy food to local school districts.
The Obamas at DCCK

President Barack Obama checks in on First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia as they prepare burritos while volunteering at the DC Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., on Martin Luther King Day
Our interview with Robert Egger, founder of DCCK: https://startuptown.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/robert-egger/

Tentative Speakers

Urvashi Rangan

Director, Consumer Safety and Sustainability
Expertise in: SafetyFoodProducts
Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D. leads and directs the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group for Consumer Reports. She is responsible for managing risk analysis, policy assessments, label evaluations and consumer advice for tests, reports, and related advocacy work. Urvashi joined Consumers Union in 1999 and developed the ratings system, database, and Web site, Eco-labels.org for evaluating environmental and food labels. In 2005, she managed the launch of GreenerChoices,org, which covers green aspects over a wide range of products and services.
Dr. Rangan serves as a primary, national spokesperson for Consumer Reports in the areas of sustainable production/consumption practices, food safety, and product safety issues related to chemical and contaminant hazards.
Marie Wiggins
Executive Director ROC New York
The mission of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) is to improve the wages and working conditions for the nation’s 10 million restaurant workers.
Toan Huynh
Toan is the co-founder and co-owner of The Saucey Sauce Co. She is also a co-founder and senior executive at Cloud Sherpas. She also serves as a mentor, investor, and panelist in the NY tech and food start-up space. Toan is a member of the 37 Angels, a women-only angel investing network, Ellevate (formerly 85Broads) among others.
Carmen Huertas-Noble

Associate Professor Huertas-Noble is the founding director of the Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC) at CUNY School of Law. She served as a senior staff attorney in the Community Development Project (CDP) of the Urban Justice Center (UJC). As part of CDP, she worked with neighborhood residents to form nonprofits as well as established organizing groups to create alternative institutions, such as worker-owned cooperatives (cooperatives).

Professor Huertas-Noble has played a leading role in providing transactional legal support to worker-owned cooperatives in New York. While at UJC, she counseled cooperatives in navigating their legal entity formation options and on creating democratic governance structures. She worked with ROC-NY in creating COLORS, a worker-owned restaurant in Manhattan and Green Workers Cooperatives in creating ReBuilders Source, a South Bronx worker-owned business that collects and recycles construction materials. Since then, numerous community groups and attorneys have consulted with Professor Huertas-Noble on entity formation options and democratic decision making structures for cooperatives. Such groups, include Cidadao Global, a current client of the CEDC. Cidadao Global is in the process of creating the first eco-friendly house cleaning cooperative based in Queens.

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The Success Equation: An Interview with Michael Mauboussin

Michael Mauboussin Head of Global Financial Strategies, Credit Suisse

Michael Mauboussin
Head of Global Financial Strategies, Credit Suisse

We are conducting interviews for our upcoming documentary addressing inequity called I Could Be….
Michael Mauboussin, prior to rejoining Credit Suisse in 2013, was Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management. He is a former president of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York and was repeatedly named to Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team and The Wall StreetJournal All-Star survey in the food industry group.
Michael is the author of The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition (Harvard Business Press, 2009) and More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places-Updated and Expanded (New York: Columbia Business School Publishing, 2008). More Than You Know was named one of “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time” by 800-CEO-READ, one of the best business books by BusinessWeek (2006) and best economics book by Strategy+Business (2006). He is also co-author, with Alfred Rappaport, of Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns (Harvard Business School Press, 2001).
Mauboussin books
Michael has been an adjunct professor of finance at Columbia Business School since 1993 and is on the faculty of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing. In 2009, Michael received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. BusinessWeek’s Guide to the Best Business Schools (2001) highlighted Michael as one of the school’s “Outstanding Faculty,” a distinction received by only seven professors.
Michael earned an A.B. from Georgetown University. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, a leading center for multi-disciplinary research in complex systems theory.
Visit his site at: michaelmauboussin.com/
Freestyle Chess
Q: In your paper “Lessons from Freestyle Chess: Merging Fundamental and Quantitative Analysis,” you “explore the applicability of freestyle chess to the world of investing, where fundamental analysts are ‘man’ and quantitative analysts are ‘machine.’” First, what is freestyle chess?

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The NYPD Needs Legitimacy Concert @ MSG

We are working on Kanye West headlining at Madison Square Garden at The NYPD Needs Legitimacy Concert. This concert will be featured in a documentary addressing inequity called I Could Be….
About 10 years ago we produced a local television show called Live From VA and we interviewed Kanye West three times. We have some great stories behind those interviews. Links to two of those interviews are below.
Kanye West with Diamond Black

Kanye West with Diamond Black: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_n6uNhwoPY

Is focusing on Black culture especially Black music the way forward?

Madison Square Garden

The NYPD Needs Legitimacy Concert
At Madison Square Garden

When the law is applied in the absence of legitimacy, it does not produce obedience. It produces the opposite. It leads to backlash.

Joanne Jaffe

Kids playing football with then NYPD Housing Bureau Chief Joanne Jaffe [now Community Affairs Bureau Chief] at PSA 6’s National Night Out event at the Grant Houses in Harlem.

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