One important factor to consider in a Think Tank is what is happening in the present and the present perception of such events in the media. Often we hear people state as fact something they heard or saw in the news media. Yet, folks so far removed from the situation have no real clue as to what actually happened in real life. They often assume that what’s reported is the reality without questions.

To fully understand the impact it is often necessary to sift through events and news to find out what is real. Let’s take a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor “Iraq’s Maliki inks Syrian border pact – The prime minister is under growing pressure from the US to show some progress in Baghdad” by Hugh Naylor; and dissect it. First, off peace between neighbors is important and yet can anyone really trust Syria to uphold an agreement?

During the same week Saudi Arabia blamed Syria for allowing weapons and insurgents into Iraq from their country and other intelligence has reported that Syrian guards had assisted in getting insurgents into Iraq to destabilize and kill US Troops. Iran although full of denials is training insurgents, arming them and members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is playing a big role in it all both in Afghanistan and Iraq – Isn’t this all a bunch of déjà poo? Haven’t we all stepped in this Bull before, as one of these nations has promised during negotiation something that they do not honor and actually go and do the opposite with?

Just because the rhetoric changes or even the buzz words that are used, we still have the basic predicament. For instance let’s discuss some of the latest newly invented words that were recently listed in the Associated Press:

Blamestorming: A group process where participants analyze a failed project and look for scapegoats other than themselves. (new word, same human primate politics games which have been going on for 10,000 years – heck, even chimpanzees do this.)

BMWs: Bitchers, Moaners and Whiners. (Some folks specialize in complaining and no matter how great something is, they will find or invent some problem with it.)

Clockroaches: Employees who spend most of their day watching the clock — instead of doing their jobs. (Sound familiar – perhaps the reason we have unions – to justify this activity.)

Plutoed: To be unceremoniously dumped or relegated to a lower position without an adequate reason or explanation. (After Pluto was dumped, as it did not fit the new definition of a Planet – Convenient indeed, although not so great for the odd man out.)

Adminisphere: The upper levels of management where big, impractical, and counterproductive decisions are made. (The definition of a committee or what happens when lawyers spend their time coming up with new definitions. Ivory Tower syndrome has now been redefined).

Ringtone rage: The violent response by cube mates after hearing your annoying cell phone ringtone for the 15th time. (Disruptive bells and whistles, are making us nuts and destroying the peace, as if it ever really existed at all?).

Still in all these new ways to describe the same old thing in the fog of the mass media hysteria, inciting the populous of the world to take a stand against this thing or that other thing, one has to ask, hell – I have to ask; is it really doing any good? Speaking of good, just because you think you are doing good does not necessarily mean the “Ends” will be good for all concerned? For instance consider this article in the Associated Press: “Is the Western World’s gifts to Africa helping poverty?”

Good question because if you bring in food shipments, which are hijacked prior to delivery then, the guerrillas sell the food to the intended recipients, steal the truck and then use the money and the truck to assist in buying weapons and transporting 10-year old soldiers to kill innocent civilians with AK-47s. In that case are we really helping anyone with all our money – how can you have liberty, democracy and freedom with that going on and what about smaller issues and freedom? For instance this article by Anita Chang:

BEIJING — Blog service providers in China are “encouraged” to register users with their real names and contact information, according to a new government document that tones down an earlier proposal banning anonymous online blogging. At least 10 major Chinese blog service providers have agreed to sign the “self-discipline pledge” issued by the Internet Society of China, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

Online bulletin boards and blogs are the only forum for most Chinese to express opinions before a large audience in a society where all media are state-controlled.

China has the world’s second-biggest population of Internet users after the United States, with 137 million people online. It also has 30 million registered bloggers, and more than 100 million Chinese Internet users visit blogs regularly, according to the ISC. The group is under the Ministry of Information Industry.

The guidelines, issued Tuesday and effective immediately, “encouraged” real-name registration of users, according to a copy posted on the Internet group’s website.

Are these policies to make Blogs more polite or to quell opinion against the Chinese Government so they can crack down on free-speech and make some Bloggers disappear? We know that China is very worried about the Internet and their control over their huge population base. If the citizens there do not have a clear view of the real world, then they are denied information, which might allow them to reach their full potential and to demand honesty and integrity from their government.

Do you have a clear view of the World, do you ever wonder how clear it really could be? Well how about the New Visualization System at UC San Diego? Source: August 23, 2007.

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have constructed the highest-resolution computer display in the world — with a screen resolution up to 220 million pixels.

Looks as if the future of High Definition TV, Video Games and Virtual Reality is taking on a whole new dimension. Will this mean more people spending more time in their 360 xBox Living Room in an augmented reality system rather than looking outside in the real world? (see chapter II)

For those still interested in bettering the real world even with the shortage of labor or a potential future without illegal alien labor have you considered that the Robotic Landscaping of the Future is here, see InRobTech’s “Front Runner” design and buy one for your home, farm or construction business today.

Consider the many applications, for instance if your will the costs of grading and scraping plots of land or the work and logistics of the US Navy SeaBees? How about building a Mars Colony – first send in the robots and then later the people, all the while watching them on your large screen high-definition Earth ground station TV – too SciFi for you, well that future is now upon us. The Online Think Tank believes that robotics will be the industry of the future and there will be lots of competition. Speaking of competition may I recommend this book:

“Competitive Strategy – Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors” by Michael E. Porter 1980. It is truly amazing how things have changed and yet corporate intelligence seems to have so many new ways to get information, even if much of it is fluff, misdirection or fraudulent. In this book Michael discusses the theory and practicality of understanding competition intensity, analyzing information and the risks of using one size fits all models in all industries or with all types of companies.

Private companies, small businesses and corporations are all different and many times regionality of business units varying by wide margins. A corporation may run one business unit one way and another a different way and may have failing business units, that are not readily seen in public data. Often, highly competitive industry sub-sectors will not reflect or meet criteria for a company to exit due to co-marketing efforts that funnel customers to the main units.

Fragmentation in industries is also an important phenomena to understand and requires an entirely different type of strategy. When small and large businesses compete together often there are big cost disadvantages to one or the other regardless of volumes of sales. This occurs from either large buying opportunities and economies of scale or high overhead costs of layers of managers.

Just because a company is bigger does not mean it can blow the smaller one out of the water. Sometimes a small fast moving company can run circles around the larger company competing for the same market segment. I must recommend this book to all entrepreneurs, as it a business classic in my opinion, which has not been given enough credit. As the fast changing world of technology moves forward how can anyone compete? Well read this book and then we can discuss it:

“Competing on the Edge – Strategy as Structured Chaos” by Shona L. Brown and Kathleen M Eisenhardt 1998. The entrepreneur loves competing on the edge and corporations and shareholders fear it – why? Those who love the game and love to fly by the seat of their pants in the Information Age generally move too fast for anyone to catch or compete with them. They are indeed often called the creative geniuses of our time. But can a genius entrepreneur also deal with all the local dynamics, media PR, rules and regulations in the US and the rest of the world at the same time – in places where things are not always a level playing field, nor is that truth even pretending to hide the reality. Anyway please read:

“Mismanaged Trade – Strategic Policy and the Semiconductor Industry” by Kenneth Flamm 1996. This book is relevant to understand how World Trade wars start, progress and mature. We must understand that the game today is played at not only a higher level but also at The Speed of Thought or light even. This book deals with the US and Japan and today most corporations are concerned more with China. Echoes of the Japanese – US patent wars and eventual truce are seen again, but even as Japan and the US have rectified many issues of the past there are some long standing issues to still address.

For instance the constant attacks or raids on Intel Corporation in Japan, are they really about fair trade or an attempt to capture information, trade secrets and pay backs for other trade issues in other industries between the US and Japan? Is anything that is called “justice” sacred anymore? It appears not, as what is most often done in the name of justice generally has insidious undertones, which are condoned or not fully understood by the public and further amplified by mass media hysteria when no real crime has been committed.

Then on the other hand often there are crimes committed such as forgery, dumping, copyright, trademark, patent willful infringement, industrial espionage, spying or custom shipping falsified documents. Welcome to China and their way of doing business, perhaps we were forewarned as Sun Tzu said it 1000s of years ago, so it should not be surprising for it is nothing new. In many ways this book is an eye-opener to how the business world really works and how the game is really played – it is an expose on merely one industry. More thought is needed here, there is evil that lurks, all is not as it seems – to deny it is a death sentence to corporations, businesses, industries and entire economies.

You must constantly be using your mind, your major component of command and control in living your life experience to the fullest. If you fail to use it then you will lose it and a mind is a terrible thing to waste. So, think on this. Thank you for joining our Online Think Tank radio talk, my name is Lance Winslow and thanks for listening.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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