The Great Race. Are you in or out?

Posted by John Park on Aug 13th, 2014
Aug 13

There is a very intense and serious race taking place in our society.

It is the Great Race to replace human expertise by duplicating it or even making it better via software.

Whether it’s an app on your smartphone or an engineering marvel, the world is fundamentally changing around us.

If your business makes alarm clocks, you should be alarmed by the simple app most people use on their phones.

If you cast molds for models, you should probably invest in a 3D printing device.

If you are a cashier, you should be paying close attention to the self-service registers popping up next to you.

And if you’re an expert marksman, even your honed in skills, which took decades to perfect, can be replaced.

Change is not coming. It is here.

Great rewards await those in the race.

Tough times await those watching the race go by.

DARPA, the advanced research wing of the US Department of Defense, has developed a prototype for a self-guiding bullet. These things can literally redirect themselves mid-flight to ensure they hit their target, even if thrown off course by high winds or a shooter error.

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Embracing Change After 244 Years

Posted by John Park on Mar 14th, 2012
Mar 14
Encyclopedia Britannica announced today that they will no longer publish the printed edition.
About a month ago, my Mother asked me “What should I do with the encyclopedia set?  Should I send them to you so your kids can use it?”
The books were precious to her because she had purchased them for me when I was in high school.  It was quite an investment at the time.
I recall answering “No, that’s okay.  Just leave them there.  My kids will never use them.”
First published in 1768, the title of their early advertisements read “All Questions Answered.”
Where do we go to get all questions answered today?
Change is not coming.  It’s already here.

It’s Dying. Accept it.

Posted by John Park on Oct 2nd, 2011
Oct 2
I just received a Groupon email letting me know that I could subscribe to Vogue for $8.  If I took advantage of this offer, I would receive in the mail 12 beautiful, full color issues of Vogue for just $8.  After Groupon takes their 50%, Vogue gets $4.
A few months back, I visited the web site of a notable advertising industry publication.  To subscribe, I would have to pay over $50 a year.  I passed.  Instead, I just decided to opt in to their email newsletter.  About a week ago, I started to receive the physical copy of the publication in the mail for free.  I didn’t pay a cent but they decided to start mailing them to me.
The magazine publishers are up against the wall.  The above scenarios are two small examples of a desperate industry.  If their content is so valuable, why I am I receiving them for free or practically for free?  Not only did I get it for free, I am receiving them at their cost.
The answer is simple.
It is more valuable for them to tout a larger subscriber base than to actually care about what their publications are being bought for.  It all funnels down to how many subscribers they can tout or claim to their potential advertisers.
This is not a new occurrence.  It has been happening for years but true desperation is rearing its ugly head for the first time.
Ladies and gentlemen.  PRINT IS DYING.
Don’t advertise in it.  Don’t pay for it.  Don’t invest in it.
If you are a magazine publisher, place ALL your resources towards digitization.  Accept reality.  Do you really believe that my 5 year old boy will buy a magazine for entertainment and information when he turns 18?

What does Donald Trump think about China?

Posted by John Park on Feb 11th, 2011
Feb 11

So… what does Donald Trump really think about China? Is he right? Does he have a point? The next time you shop at a Walmart or any big box store for that matter, think about what the repercussions of our discount consumerism may be. By the way, the Feds just announced that China is now holding over 2 Trillion dollars worth of our debt. That’s “TRILLION” with a T. That number is 5 times more than what had previously been announced.

Feb 8


Well, here is a select list of what is included in the hotly debated Economic Stimulus Package.  This particular list is based on what the Republicans and the Democrats cannot agree on.
There is probably a good and valid reason for every one of these programs.  I believe the question is about timing and the purpose of this bill.  I thought the purpose was to create immediate and sustainable jobs.  What do you think of this list?
The one that jumped out at me was the $650 million to save those people still using old analog TVs.  I wonder how many new TVs you can buy with that money instead of buying the soon to be outdated digital converters?  Hmmmmm… I don’t remember anyone giving me a credit or money when my Beta Tape Player became obsolete.
I also love the 248 million to buy new furniture for the Department of Homeland Security.  What are they sitting on now?  Wait… Don’t answer that.

As you review this list, keep in mind that every dollar we spend now will be passed on to our children and grandchildren for generations to come.  We won’t even let our kids out the door without gloves or a hat.  And yet, we seem to be turning a blind-eye to the massive debt we are throwing squarely on their shoulders.  Did I mention that our lead creditors will be countries like China?
• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.
• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).
• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.
• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.
• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s.
• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.
• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.
• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.
• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.”
• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.
• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.
• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.
• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.
• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.
• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings.
• $500 million for state and local fire stations.
• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.
• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs.
• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.
• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.
• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
• $850 million for Amtrak.
• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.
• $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.
• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.
List Source: CNN

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