From DSC:
Some very frustrated reflections after reading:


Right now, boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine.


This situation continues to remind me of the oil spill in the Gulf (2010), where valuable resources spilled into the water untapped — later causing some serious issues:

From DSC:
What are we doing?!!! We’ve watched the dropout rates grow — it doesn’t seem we’ve changed our strategies nearly enough! But the point that gets lost in this is that we will all pay for these broken strategies — and for generations to come!  It’s time to seriously move towards identifying and implementing some new goals.

What should the new goals look like? Here’s my take on at least a portion of a new vision for K-12 — and collegiate — education:

  • Help students identify their God-given gifts and then help them build up their own learning ecosystems to support the development of those gifts. Hook them up with resources that will develop students’ abilities and passions.
  • Part of their learning ecosystems could be to help them enter into — and build up — communities of practice around subjects that they enjoy learning about. Those communities could be local, national, or international. (Also consider the creation of personalized learning agents, as these become more prevalent/powerful.)
  • Do everything we can to make learning enjoyable and foster a love of learning — as we need lifelong learners these days.
    (It doesn’t help society much if students are dropping out of K-12 or if people struggle to make it through graduation — only to then harbor ill feelings towards learning/education in general for years to come.  Let’s greatly reduce the presence/usage of standardized tests — they’re killing us!  They don’t seem to be producing long-term positive results. I congratulate the recent group of teachers who refused to give their students such tests; and I greatly admire them for getting rid of a losing strategy.)

  • Give students more choice, more control over what their learning looks like; let them take their own paths as much as possible (provide different ways to meet the same learning objective is one approach…but perhaps we need to think beyond/bigger than that. The concern/fear arises…but how will we manage this? That’s where a good share of our thinking should be focused; generating creative answers to that question.)
  • Foster curiosity and wonder
  • Provide cross-disciplinary assignments/opportunities
  • Let students work on/try to resolve real issues in their communities
  • Build up students’ appreciation of faith, hope, love, empathy, and a desire to make the world a better place. Provide ways that they can contribute.
  • Let students experiment more — encourage failure.



From DSC:
Note the job descriptions further on down the page at shapetheworld.frThese are the types of jobs that may likely be in demand in the near future. Are we ready?

See also:


From DSC:
The above video reminds me why I posted this one.


Tagged with:  

Below are but a few examples that focus on money — is it any wonder that Jesus talked so much about this very subject!?!
(Second only to talking about the kingdom of heaven.)














Addendum on 7/23/12:

  • Wealthy hiding $21 trillion in tax havens, report says — from cbcnews
    ‘Debtor countries’ are actually wealthy when hidden money is accounted for


    The “super-rich elite” are hiding more than $21 trillion US in tax havens around the world, an amount roughly equal to the combined GDP of the United States and Japan, according to a new report.

From DSC:
Readers of this blog will know that I am pro-technology — at least in most areas. However, as our hearts can sometimes become hardened and our feet can sometimes find themselves on slippery ethical ground, we really need hearts, minds, and consciences that prompt us to care about other people — and to do the right thing as a result of that perspective.


Example articles that brought this to my mind recently include:


7 sinister technologies from Orwell’s 1984 that are still a threat — from by Hal Rappaport

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Technology is a wonderful thing, but in the words of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” If we are not careful, the technology we know and love could be used against us, even subtly. In the year 1984, Apple thought IBM was the bringer of “Big Brother.” In reality, the technology of today better resembles George Orwell’s dystopian vision than a 1980s era PC.

Every day we are in the process of becoming a more connected society. With social networks, cloud computing and even more specific, less-thought-about tech such as Internet-connected home surveillance systems, we may find ourselves in a delicate balance of trust and paranoia.

While we are grateful that we don’t live in a world as bleak as Orwell’s Oceana, it’s clear that the technology now exists to make his world possible if we let it. Keeping our paranoia in check, we should all be mindful of our technology and how it’s used. Security is a good thing and so is saving money, but consider how much of each your personal freedom is worth.

Wiping away your Siri “fingerprint” — from by David Talbot
Your voice can be a biometric identifier, like your fingerprint. Does Apple really have to store it on its own servers?


“What I’ve discovered through building and running very targeted online ad campaigns using this data is that users respond favorably to ads that are more targeted, but only if the ads don’t make it clear that I’m targeting sensitive information about them,” he said. “What’s most interesting, and what I’m learning, are which attributes are considered too creepy, and which ones are acceptable.”

“Google Now” knows more about you than your family does – are you OK with that? — from by Mark Hachman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Google Now aggregates the information Google already collects about you on a daily basis: accessing your email, your calendar, your contacts, your text messages, your location, your shopping habits, your payment history, as well as your choices in music, movies and books. It can even scan your photos and automatically identify them based on their subject, not just the file name (in the Google I/O demo, Google Now correctly found a picture of the Great Pyramid). About the only aspect of your online life that Google hasn’t apparently assimilated yet is your opinions expressed on Google+. But that’s undoubtedly coming.

Social network privacy settings compared — from by Nick Mediati

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

It should go without saying that protecting your privacy online is kind of a big deal. While people are generally good at not giving out their personal information to just any website that asks for it, those same people can be found filling their Facebook accounts with everything from their birthday to where they live and work. Putting this sensitive information onto a social network not only leaves your data exposed to third-parties (advertisers and so forth), but also to anyone who happens across your profile.

Facebook, Google+, and Twitter all have settings that let you tweak what others can see on your profile—but navigating them can be a bit of a mess. Not all social networks give you complete control over your privacy online, so here’s a quick overview of what Facebook, Google+, and Twitter allow you to do.

U.S. companies lost at least $13 billion to espionage last year — from by Robert Charette

Google Glass & Now: Utopia or Dystopia? — from by Sebastian Anthony

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If you didn’t watch the Google I/O keynote presented by Vic Gundotra, Hugo Barra, and Sergey Brin, let me quickly bring you up to speed.  Google Now is an Android app that uses your location, behavior history, and search history to display “just the right information at just the right time.”  For example, if you regularly search for a certain sports team, Now will show you a card with the latest scores for that team.  When Now predicts or detects that you’re leaving home in the morning, it will display a card with any relevant traffic information.  If you have a lunch meeting in your Google Calendar, Now will show you the route you need to take to get there — and when you need to leave to get there on time.  If you search Google for an airline flight, Now will show a card with the flight details (and any delays).

Big e-reader is watching you — from  by Laura Hazard Owen

Why privacy is big business for trial lawyers — from by Antonio Regalado
Tech companies that make privacy mistakes can expect a lawsuit.

Legal discovery: The billboard is imaginary, but the trend is real.
Trial lawyers are ramping up lawsuits over online privacy breaches.
Flickr Creative Commons | AdamL212 and istock/stocknroll

On 7/6/12:
  • Your e-book is reading you — by Alexandra Alter
    Digital-book publishers and retailers now know more about their readers than ever before. How that’s changing the experience of reading.

On 7/16/12:

On 7/23/12:

The Service Patch — from The New York Times, OP-ED piece by David Brooks

Let’s put it differently. Many people today find it easy to use the vocabulary of entrepreneurialism, whether they are in business or social entrepreneurs. This is a utilitarian vocabulary. How can I serve the greatest number? How can I most productively apply my talents to the problems of the world? It’s about resource allocation.

People are less good at using the vocabulary of moral evaluation, which is less about what sort of career path you choose than what sort of person you are.

In whatever field you go into, you will face greed, frustration and failure. You may find your life challenged by depression, alcoholism, infidelity, your own stupidity and self-indulgence. So how should you structure your soul to prepare for this? Simply working at Amnesty International instead of McKinsey is not necessarily going to help you with these primal character tests.

Furthermore, how do you achieve excellence? Around what ultimate purpose should your life revolve? Are you capable of heroic self-sacrifice or is life just a series of achievement hoops? These, too, are not analytic questions about what to do. They require literary distinctions and moral evaluations.

When I read the Stanford discussion thread, I saw young people with deep moral yearnings. But they tended to convert moral questions into resource allocation questions; questions about how to be into questions about what to do.


Also see:

If you’re in college, or happen to be about to graduate, and you’ve been mocked for getting a liberal arts degree, here’s a piece of welcome news: You’re actually in more demand than those who are getting finance and accounting degrees. That’s one of the findings of a new survey of 225 employers issued today by Millennial Branding and Experience Inc.


From DSC:
My thanks to Mr. Will Katerberg, Dir. Mellema Program and Professor of History at Calvin College, for these resources


For Indiana University business grads, a tough final lesson
Those who failed to pick up tickets for ceremony now face black-market prices.


“I can’t believe it. It’s absolutely distressing,” said Beatty, a senior from Fishers who missed the pickup time for free graduation tickets for herself and her parents last month and now faces paying several hundred dollars to attend the ceremony in the auditorium on the Bloomington campus.

“My parents spent $70,000 to send me here the last four years, and they won’t be able to attend,” she said Wednesday. “It’s really opened my eyes about Kelley students. What have we been taught here? Why are my fellow Kelley classmates charging me extortion rates?”

From DSC:
I can’t comment on Beatty or the other students who didn’t take immediate action to acquire their tickets to the event (perhaps that’s one lesson to be learned here).  But more troubling to me were the reflections I had after reading this article:

  • What lessons did these soon-to-be graduates really learn here? It seems that these students have learned to make a buck in whatever way they can.  After all, that’s capitalism, right? (But capitalism without true stewardship, values, leadership, and caring about others can be destructive — as we are witnessing and experiencing these days within the United States…and most likely within higher ed as well.)
  • What was modeled by IU? Were the “customers” treated right after spending tens of thousands of dollars at IU? What are the rest of us doing along these lines within higher ed?

Which got me to thinking…what are the motivations of today’s graduates as they enter the workplace? What are their goals in life? What are institutions of higher ed really teaching and modeling about such goals? 

Which got me to thinking…what are the states of their hearts? Our hearts? 

Deep thoughts from just a graduation event…
but the streams we swim in run deep and
we don’t have know how powerful they really
are until we try swimming upstream.




Year two notable delegates

  • Dr. Len Stolyarchuk – Moscow International School of Tomorrow, Russia
  • Dr. Mark Daley – Heritage Christian Online School, Canada
  • Megan Strange – North Cobb Christian School, USA
  • Barend Blom – Dalat International School, Malaysia

From DSC:
I couldn’t help but reflect again on the state of our hearts here in the United States when I read Greg Smith’s Op-Ed in the New York Times entitled, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs”. It’s a depressing accounting of the rampant greed on Wall Street, with a disregard for deeper qualities and a true attention to meeting a customer’s/client’s needs and goals. It speaks to employees not giving a damn about clients, but only looking to make as much money as possible. (It’s fine to make a living, but how about sincerely trying to make a contribution to society at the same time?)

Some excerpts from Smith’s article:

And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

From DSC:
I don’t know this man and I’m sure Goldman Sachs will try to discredit him; and yes, he was part of that culture and made a serious living off of it for years.

However, my focus is not on Greg Smith but upon the type of culture he spoke of; such a culture is not only bad for relationships — and ultimately for souls — but regardless of what you believe in terms of faith-based items, it’s simply bad business and it doesn’t benefit our society. In fact, it destroys it and it’s a significant contributing factor to the anger that continues to mount in the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon that is sweeping the nation.

 Some relevant graphics come to my mind:




The State of the Heart



Addendum on 3/21/12:

  • This CEO should be ashamed of himself — from by Sean Williams
    CEO gets 44% pay raise while “Pfizer is in the midst of a multiyear cost-cutting campaign instituted in 2005 that includes eliminating a grand total of 55,400 jobs. That’s not a misprint — that’s 55,400 jobs gone, eliminated, axed! Pfizer announced the final phase of those jobs cuts recently, which will target 16,300 jobs and save the company a purported $1 billion in 2012. I have to wonder, how out of touch with reality do you have to be to give yourself a 44% raise as you are in the process of eliminating 16,300 jobs?”

"Bully" shows that we have too many hearts of stone

Please also see:


LinkedIn inDay Speaker Series with Thomas Friedman - October 20, 2011.


That Used To Be Us


From DSC:
I originally saw this at Gerd Leonhard’s where he entitles a blog posting:


Some of my notes on this video — Friedman’s main talk finishes around 35:45 w/ a Q&A beginning at 36:00
(From DSC: I’ve added my own thoughts in red)

  • Non-routine work — is the kind of work that you want to be able to do (there’s also the non-routine, local work — butcher, grocier — but that wasn’t the focus here)
  • Routine work — has been crushed via algorithms, outsourcing, (robotics), etc.

The bar has risen in non-routine work as we’ve moved from connected to hyper-connected world.

We are in the middle of an IT revolution/transformation — cloud, mobile, social, other — where Information Technology changes and globalization are creating global supply changes.  Tom’s key point is that the United States needs to be involved in these changes or we’ll get left in the dust.

In their Help Wanted chapter, the following skills are wanted:

  • Critical reasonsing
  • Problem solving
  • Non-routine work oriented
  • But most of all, you must be able to invent and reinvent your job WHILE you are doing the job
  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • (Pulse-checker and responder; which is why universities and colleges must begin offering classes on futurism/developing scenarios)
  • Unique value creation
  • Be able to bring your EXTRA

Average is over.  Now that we are hyper-connected, “average” is over.  If average is over — you must bring your “extra”.

From DSC:
If “average” is over, are we developing and raising up a generation of students who are learning how to bring their “extra”?  Does standardized testing help us or hurt us in this regard?

3 key attitudes you need if you want to “lean into this world”:

  1. Think like a new immigrant
    No legacy place waiting for me; I better figure out what world I’m living in, and then I better work hard to uncover and pursue the opportunities that current world presents; nothing is owed to me
  2. Think like an artisan
    Unique, hand-made; one-off’s, work in ways that you would be proud to carve your initials into your work
  3. Think like the waitress at Perkins Pancake House in MN
    Where she gave Thomas’ friend extra fruit and she mentioned that to them both; she brought her extra in areas where she had the control to do so

United States may be in relative decline — as we experience the “rise of the rest”; but what the US has to worry about it absolute decline

American exceptionalism — hogwash; no one owes us anything; have to earn our way; formula for success was a great private public partnership going back to Alexander Hamilton and built upon by Lincoln, Eisenhower, other (person asking question used the word ecosystem).  5 main pillars of this formulate for success/ecosystem:

  1. Education
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Open immigration policy
  4. Best rules for capital formation and risk taking
  5. Solid gov’t funded research

We’ve moved away from these 5 puillars of success and we’ve treated our nation like it’s a football that can be dropped w/ no resulting issues; the reality is we’re more like an egg; in another analogy, we can cut and hit arteries quickly…doing actual damage.

We misread environment — at end of cold war we put our feet up, thinking victory was won; the U.S. chased Al Queda instead of China, Brazil, other


  • Q: Influence — how changed and how stay the same
    A: To have influence, must get substance  right — content is key; diamond-hard realities are key; not the spins; still need to do grunt, basic work; can never be a Thor throwing down lightning bolts from on high
  • Q: Labor arbitrage
    A: Rebalancing happening, but may take time; what was outsourced may not stay where originally went to
  • Q & A about Occupy Wall Street — was/is about injustice; taking $ and treating it like they were in a casino; people doing that got away with it; what will leadership look like in a hyperconnected world?

Final thoughts:

  • Idea of OODA loop from the world of Air Force pilots — observe, ___ decide, act  — speed of OODA loops are key; our political leaders are talking about A when X,Y, and Z are really happening (and the two circles rarely intersect)
  • How long can we be a great country when our political systems cannot deliver optimal results?
  • Our political system needs shock therapy — Friedman argues that we need a 3rd party — see

From DSC:
Each of us must be able to continually do pulse checks on a variety of forces that may be affecting our domains/places of work. We must be able to develop future scenarios and our responses to those scenarios. The ability to do that will become even more important as we move forward at ever-increasing speeds. 

We can’t be looking 5-10 feet ahead when we’re driving at 180 miles per hour in this new, hyper-connected world!

The pace has changed significantly and quickly



If it feels right … — opinion piece from the New York Times by David Brooks


 During the summer of 2008, the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith led a research team that conducted in-depth interviews with 230 young adults from across America. The interviews were part of a larger study that Smith, Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, Patricia Snell Herzog and others have been conducting on the state of America’s youth.

What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.

But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.

When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.

“I don’t really deal with right and wrong that often,” is how one interviewee put it.

Also see:

Moralistic therapeutic deism
The authors find that many young people believed in several moral statutes not exclusive to any of the major world religions. It is this combination of beliefs that they label Moralistic Therapeutic Deism:

  1. A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
  2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
  3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
  4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

These points of belief were compiled from interviews with approximately 3,000 teenagers.[4]

From DSC:
But don’t worry or lose any sleep or anything…these are the people who will be out on Wall Street or in the big banks (who are too big to fail) — and they’ll be carefully watching over the nest eggs that it took you 30-40 years to build. (Yeah, right…)

Or…these are the folks who you will be trying to do business with…where will the speed of trust be then? I don’t mean to point the finger at the youth…the problem is with us adults. We model or teach — or choose not to model and teach — the youth.


Addendum on 9-15-11:


Brian Kuhn writes a solid posting at “Greed, Economy, and Education”

I am about 60% of the way through Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph Stiglitz.  Joseph is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Studies and covers this topic very thoroughly.  Freefall is an fascinatingly honest retelling of the 2008 great recession and an exposing of the greed and corruption that essentially caused one of the greatest transfers of wealth in recent history.  Self-serving banks loaned money to people who couldn’t afford it based on the “value” of their home growing perpetually and the government allowed it to happen.   Wealth has evaporated from millions of people through loss of home and job around the world – wealth has been transferred to already very rich individuals from poor and middle class people.  The US government has borrowed at unprecedented levels (the burden is on “the people”) and through bailouts given 100’s of billions of dollars to banks with virtually no strings attached due to the fear that the banks are “too big to fail”.  Banks in turn paid out huge bonus and salaries to their leadership who essentially caused the failure of the financial system, toppled the economy, and ruined millions of peoples financial future and well being.  Isn’t it government’s job to protect and support “the people” rather than to reward greed and failure of corporate leaders?


From DSC:
I remember posting a graphic/item on this very item back on an old website on 12/30/08:

A MUST READ: The End –from, by Michael Lewis
NOTE: The language is not appropriate for kids.

End of Wall Street

From DSC:
Greed is at the heart of this matter…and speaking of hearts, we Americans need to tend to our often cold and non-caring hearts, which also contributed greatly to the problems that we are now facing. It’s a very disturbing article; and it points out the critical need for all of us to be standing on solid moral ground. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m a sinner (and so is everyone else) and my sin is ever before me. But when you mess with other peoples’ lives, money, and futures…you need to have your feet on some solid ground and at least strive to do the right thing!

It also points out that we Americans don’t often want to hear the truth until we have to hear the truth or until we need someone to point the finger at and blame for the issues we face. For example, how many politicians have been discarded in the past because they delivered some harsh, unpopular truth and plans of action? This same thing happened to some of the prophets of old who had to deliver some unpopular truth. Perhaps these struggles will be the 2×4 onside our collectives heads to get our attention and move towards caring about others.

Current update/further reflection from DSC (8/18/11):
When I look at this situation, I take solace in the Word that comes to us from Psalm 73:

Psalm 73
A psalm of Asaph.

1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.[a]
5 They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity[b];
their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.[c]
11 They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”

12 This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.

13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.

15 If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
   it troubled me deeply
17 [until] I entered the sanctuary of God;
   then I understood their final destiny. (emphasis DSC)

18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.

The point is…none of us should want to be someone who “has received their reward in full (see Matthew Chapter 6)” and I’m indebted to an old friend of mine who, years ago,  pointed me towards Matthew 6:33:
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Because if a person has had the best that they will ever have (in this life/age), I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes for what takes place in their eternity. The problem is…this type of thing is so easy to say and so hard to live out in our daily lives — especially when we see the same folks (seemingly or for real) getting wealthier all the time.

John Hunter on the World Peace Game — TED March 2011 — my thanks to Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Kate Byerwalter for this great presentation


TED Talks -- John Hunter presents the World Peace Game -- March 2011

About this talk
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.

About John Hunter
Teacher and musician John Hunter is the inventor of the World Peace Game (and the star of the new doc “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements”).




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