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Until recently, when my daughter discussed a political or social issue at the dinner table, I would almost always take the opposite side. At first, she thought that my political views were just different from hers and she found it frustrating. But eventually, she caught on and realized that my constant opposition was just designed to make her think.

Now, I ask her to present the other side of the arguments herself…and to do it well enough so that those on the other side would believe that she was one of them. This isn’t any different from what goes on in any debate club (man, I wish that was mandatory for all high school kids…and every voting adult). But it isn’t easy…on any of us. I’ll admit, sometimes we just walk away and save the lesson for another day.

The point is that while I would love for both of my kids to simply adopt my obviously-superior political views (just as I would love for my neighbors, friends, and everyone else in this world to do the same), I feel that my primary job is to train them to think. I’m also careful not to conflate political views and values. They are not the same. Both political parties espouse the same values. And although they enact them differently, they aren’t even consistent enough within their own parties to paint with broad party-line brushes. Life is messy and 99% of the arguments I read totally lack nuance.

So if you see me taking a walk with my daughter (or son), I’m just as likely to stop and hug a tree as I am to cut it down…all to grow their minds. Because I’m less worried about the fate of that single tree and much more concerned about how the next generation will treat the forests.

And while your anti-Trump and anti-Biden posts are just endlessly funny (or not), let’s not forget that the next generation is watching us and they will be taking care of us in a few decades. If they act then like we are acting now, that world is going to be less pleasant to live in.

Love to all — tree huggers ...

Quality Level of Remote Education
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Ponder this...20 million Americans haven't had ANY school for nearly a year (and it wasn't like our educational system was killing it before COVID-19 happened).

How do they catch up?

Will they ever catch up?

What does this mean to the future talent pool?

What happens to the systems we rely upon (i.e. social security) if 20MM+ more people are underemployed or unemployable ten years from now?

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Hmmmm…Something strange is going on...Gee, you think?

Robinhood…who gamifies betting on stocks and offers free trades in exchange for providing hedge funds exclusive intelligence on trades so they can make money regardless of which way the market goes

Billions (and still counting) going to people who didn’t spend their share of the bailout...and instead ‘invested’ it.

A Reddit-fueled run on GameStop designed to trap a couple key hedge funds stupid enough to publicize their positions.

And now an asymmetrical response to prevent buying, encourage selling, and help bail out the hedge funds positions…

…and we finally have the first issue that both Democrats and Republicans agree on since the killing of Bin Laden.

Anything that's not sustainable will, by definition, come to an end. While some may cheer the comeuppance of hedge funds (Lord knows many of them need to be reminded that they haven’t rescinded the laws of gravity), let's not pretend that there isn't going to be a TON of collateral damage on the way down.

The system is rigged -- heads they win, tails we find out that they surrounded our financial system with Wildfire and gave the trigger to an over-caffeinated Joffrey Baratheon.

Be safe, everyone, something isn't right.

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Wait a minute -- there's a big election going on this year!?! Why haven't I heard anything about it?

In all seriousness...despite all of the hype machines turned up to 11, we are going to be just fine. Maybe not right away...but eventually.

I just try to keep in mind that, statistically, over 40% of the people that I encounter in my life DID NOT vote for the person that I voted for...and they have as many good reasons for that as I have bad reasons for voting for the person that I voted for.

I also try to keep in mind that whoever wins will make plenty of mistakes. Presidents aren't gods or even divinely-inspired kings. They are supposed to be servants. Right? ....Right?

And maybe...just maybe...if we're so uncomfortable about the outcome of this election (or the last one, or the one before that)...maybe we shouldn't be concentrating and centralizing so much power around such a small group of individuals whose egos must be a bit askew just to want to subject themselves to the process (and their principles must be more than a bit askew to make it through).

We remain a silly little species struggling through its adolescence. I, for one, can't wait for adulthood.


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Why is this so difficult? The only fair way to balance the US Supreme Court is to stop enabling them to stay on the court until they die, which is never going to happen in perfect intervals. If you give them each 18 years to serve...which is plenty of time, we could rotate them out every two years. Thus, each president would only get to appoint two per term.

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Business Casual is one of those podcasts where I pick and choose the episodes. Last week featured two great ones.

My favorite was an outstanding podcast interview with the CEO of Chegg. Sure, parts are a little self-serving (as they all are), but I haven't come across a better summary of the challenges and inevitable changes coming to universities over the next three months to three years.


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Recently, I find myself observing an awful lot of people engaging in very complex arguments and doing so with an alarming lack of nuance. While I don’t agree with every example in this article, it is well worth reading.

Read here

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Nintendo had its best quarter in over a decade. As did many other gaming companies. Okay, maybe this isn't surprising given the pandemic. But it is a little disappointing that millions of unemployed people are going to have nothing to show for the year 2020 other than minor improvement in games that may not even exist five or ten years from now.

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So Congress is looking to extend the unemployment benefits for those people whose employment have been adversely affected by COVID-19 through no fault of their own. And I applaud that to a certain degree. The lingering question that I have is this. How many of these people are taking an extended vacation — whether outdoors or on Netflix — while much of the rest of the population that is employed has been re-skilling just to figure out how to work from home or whatever hybrid model that their companies are employing?

In other words, it still comes back to this question – how many unemployed people are taking advantage of this downtime to re-skill (or up-skill)? And should we be monitoring this and perhaps making this a condition for continued unemployment benefits? This seems to be a reasonable middleground that was never fully explored with all of the welfare reform arguments over the past several decades.

With digital distribution, there’s almost no excuse. It is cheap, ubiquitous, and completely necessary to improve the capabilities of our society.

Let's help our fellow citizens financially now AND the future.

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For those of you who are conducting webinars, please stop taking stupid polls. For some reason, most people think that this increases the engagement, but if you aren’t actually going to tailor/change the content of your presentation as a result of the poll, then all you’re doing is wasting five minutes of everyone’s time.

If you are giving a webinar on COVID-19, don’t ask on a scale of 1 to 5 your level of concern.

If you’re giving a webinar on anxiety, don’t ask how often you find yourself worrying about things.

If someone is participating in a webinar on COVID-19, then obviously they have some heightened concern about the topic. If somebody is participating in a webinar on anxiety, and obviously the experience some level of anxiety or somebody close to them experiences some level of anxiety beyond just “occasionally”. Otherwise, why would we be participating in the webinar at all?

About This Site

Most of my writings are about lifelong learning (how it must evolve in the 21st century and how to do it well enough so that we may reap the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards for doing so).

This blog is a place where I will publish my thoughts on how current events relate to lifelong learning as well as some other topics of interest. Also, I may share various incomplete or half-baked thoughts here as I rummage through my two million words of unpublished content to get them prepared for publishing over on Genius By Design (my primary website).

Basically, Anakin.com is what falls on the cutting room floor. Enjoy.

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