Loving Your Neighbor is Good for Your Health

Ask, and it will be given to you;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
~ Matthew 7:7

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What is the greatest risk factor for your health?

Loving Your Neighbor is Good for Your Health

“There was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addiction, and very little crime. They didn’t have anyone on welfare. Then we looked at peptic ulcers. They didn’t have any of those either. These people were dying of old age. That’s it.”

Roseto, PA

Scientific evidence suggests that loneliness may be the greatest public health issue few people are talking about. We are tribal beings, and when we feel lonely, our nervous systems sense a threat, activating stress responses that predispose the body to illness.
AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’
“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
~ Mark 12:30-31

Connection to the Divine

Is Connection to the Divine important?

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Michael Jordan Chooses Failure: A Message to Entrepreneurs

Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.

Michael Jordan Forbes

This past fall Adidas passed Jordan brand as the second most popular sneaker in the United States.

When it comes to sneaker sales, Michael Jordan no longer has that hunger, and this lack of hunger reminded me of a recent email that I sent to motivate an entrepreneur. The text of the email is below.
Getting right to the point, you will most likely fail. Mainly because you are too afraid to make mistakes. Too afraid of looking stupid and therefore incapable of doing anything original:
I don’t mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. But we do know is that if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. If you’re not prepared to be wrong.
I have written versions of this email a number of times since our only meeting but have never sent the really blunt version. I didn’t want to seem mean.
Since I have written my Elon Musk article, it is much easier to make my point and also make the case that I am not picking on you to be mean or for some other trivial reason.
Ideas in the abstract are worthless. You have a good idea. So fucking what! Here’s a cookie and a gold star!
Friendster launched two years before Facebook, and MySpace copied Friendster and launched a year before Facebook.
Yahoo! and other search engines like Lycos, AltaVista, Infoseek launched about four years before Google. Yahoo! even had two chances to buy Google in 1998 and 2002.
In the mid-1980’s Commodore sold far more computers than Apple. Yet today Apple is the most valuable company in the world and Commodore went out of business in 1994.

Computer sales 1984-1987
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Dear Mr. Man: Let America Be America Again

All of history’s greatest figures achieved success by having pistis, “trust; commitment; loyalty; engagement.”

Dear Mr. Man - A documentary

Might not be in the back of the bus
But it sho’ feel just the same
Ain’t nothing fair about welfare
Ain’t no assistance in AIDS
Ain’t nothin’ affirmative about your actions
Till the people get paid
“Dear Mr. Man”
Prince
Where are the Black and Brown Mark Zuckerbergs? That was essentially the question — the challenge — that the late musician Prince asked Van Jones, civil rights activist, founder of the Dream Corps, and host of CNN’s The Messy Truth with Van Jones.

Prince Van Jones
Langston Hughes

We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
“Let American Be American Again”
By Langston Hughes
Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid (35) and Colin Kaepernick (7) take a knee during the National Anthem prior to their season opener against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, in Santa Clara, CA. The Niners won 28-0. (Daniel Gluskoter/AP Images for Panini) ORG XMIT: DGCA101

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Dear Mr. Man, Why Don’t Black Activists Fare Too Well?

Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid (35) and Colin Kaepernick (7) take a knee during the National Anthem prior to their season opener against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, in Santa Clara, CA. The Niners won 28-0. (Daniel Gluskoter/AP Images for Panini) ORG XMIT: DGCA101

Might not be in the back of the bus
But it sho’ feel just the same
Ain’t nothing fair about welfare
Ain’t no assistance in AIDS
Ain’t nothin’ affirmative about your actions
Till the people get paid
“Dear Mr. Man”
Prince
Prince was a great musician

“Prince came in, and he said to the labels, ‘Do not try to just put me with the urban group; I want the world. I want to be with the pop staff. I’m going to make rock and roll, as well as soul, as well as funk…I don’t want to just go to Soul Train, I don’t want to just open up for Rick James, I want to be on Dick Clark.’”
But more importantly, Prince was a great activist
“[Prince] helped so many people. Most people don’t know that. He wanted to keep his charitable activities a secret. He wanted to keep his passion for underprivileged people between him and his god.”

“We spent hours talking about [Prince’s] concerns about technology and getting those skills to inner city youth.”
Often in the United States, Black activists don’t fare too well

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I’m Now Very Impressed with Elon Musk

Update (April 14, 2018): Sir Ken Robinson:
I don’t mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. But we do know is that if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. If you’re not prepared to be wrong.
And by the time that they become adults most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frighten of being wrong. And we run our companies this way, we stigmatizes mistakes. And we are now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing that you can make.The result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.
Picasso once said this “all children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” I believe this passionately, that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it.

Elon Musk, in an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning that aired Friday, April 13th, admitted that he was wrong about automation in Tesla’s factory.


Elon Musk - Time magazine cover

I did a recent interview with Carnegie Mellon Professor Zachary Lipton and his comment about Elon Musk has been in the back of my mind ever since:
Elon Musk doesn’t really deserve to have a voice in the public discourse about machine learning. He’s not an expert, and his primary achievement in the area is that he pledged a lot of money to fund AI research. But the media hype about ML, and the amount of journalists hungry to spin out click-bait amplify his voice. Elon has a certain iconic status, and that means that there’s clicks in a story about him, and whatever sensational hooey he happens to be spinning at the moment.
It doesn’t take much digging to discover that many of Elon Musk’s ideas are fundamentally wrong. Musk believes that Tesla will out-Toyota Toyota when it comes to lean manufacturing. In a recent analyst call he said:
The car industry thinks they’re really good at manufacturing and actually they are quite good at manufacturing. But they just don’t realize just how much potential there is for improvement. It’s way more than they think.
He also called the pace of today’s auto factories slower than “grandma with a walker….Why shouldn’t it at least be jogging speed?”
By simplifying car design to make them easier to manufacture, installing more robots and packing cars more densely on the assembly line, Musk is convinced Tesla can build as many as one million vehicles a year in a single factory — four times the output of a typical auto plant and greater than even the world’s busiest factory, Volkswagen’s flagship plant in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Nassim Taleb

In 2017, Toyota sold over 10 million cars, while Tesla sold just over 100,000. Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Antifragile, makes a great point in a Forbes article called “You Can’t Predict Who Will Change The World:“
“It is high time to recognize that we humans are far better at doing than understanding, and better at tinkering than inventing. But we don’t know it. We truly live under the illusion of order believing that planning and forecasting are possible. We are scared of the random, yet we live from its fruits.”

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NYC Schools are Very Segregated

De Blasio visits school

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visits a second-grade Spanish class at Amber Charter School in Manhattan on the first day of NYC public schools, Sept. 4, 2014, in New York City.

According to a report by UCLA’s The Civil Rights Project:
New York has the most segregated schools in the country: in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools. Heavily impacting these state rankings is New York City, home to the largest and one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation.
An Op-ed for The New York Times Editorial Board:
Despite its polychromatic diversity, New York City has one of most deeply segregated school systems in the nation. When asked about this last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio dodged by saying that the schools are a reflection of historical housing patterns, and, “We cannot change the basic reality of housing in New York City.”
Segregation in the city’s schools cannot be dismissed as an unsolvable problem. And though housing plays a role, decades-old educational policies have reinforced inequality and placed many low-income black and brown children on the road to second-class citizenship.
The Times’s Elizabeth A. Harris and Ford Fessenden made that clear last week in “The Broken Promises of Choice in New York City Schools,” an investigation of how a school choice initiative actually traps many low-income children in an inferior system-within-a-system.
The choice system was constructed not for the poor, but to keep white middle-class families invested in the public schools. Even some who supported the strategy 20 years ago, though, now recognize that it promotes class segregation and presents enormous obstacles to vulnerable families. As The Times article points out, the racial isolation of black and Hispanic students is just as great in high school as in elementary schools, evidence that the choice system is failing.

A Little History
Milton Galamiso, Adam Clayton Powell, and Malcolm X

Rev. Milton Galamison, Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, and Nation of Islam Minister Malcolm X in March 1964

On February 3, 1964, the Rev. Milton Galamison led the largest student boycott in the history of the New York City public school system, with 464,361 students staying home to fight for the end of school segregation.

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The Lack of Diversity at Tech Companies is Embedded

Jeff Bezos and Harvey Weinstein

In October, former head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price resigned. This was just days after producer Isa Dick Hackett publicly accused Mr. Price of sexual harassment. Hackett, an executive producer of the popular Amazon show “The Man in the High Castle,” said Mr. Price had lewdly and repeatedly propositioned her in 2015.
Hackett says that in 2015, she and Price were in San Diego to promote The Man in the High Castle at Comic-Con. At one point, she alleges, she wound up in a cab with Price and another Amazon executive who has since left the company. In the cab, Hackett says Price began to proposition her, saying, “You will love my dick.” Despite her expression of disinterest, Hackett says Price later said, “anal sex!” in her ear once they arrived at an Amazon party, where she had been speaking with other executives.
Jeff Bezos and Roy Price

Jeff Bezos and Roy Price

Rose McGowan, an actress who had reached a settlement with Harvey Weinstein in 1997 after an episode at a film festival, posted a series of tweets directed at Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon. In them, Ms. McGowan said she had told the head of Amazon Studios that Mr. Weinstein had raped her.
Before that series of tweets, Ms. McGowan had directed a Twitter message at Mr. Price concerning Mr. Weinstein, asking, “Remember when I told you not to do a deal with him and why?”
Roy Price and Harvey Weinstein

Roy Price and Harvey Weinstein

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