THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT

June 28, 2017


THE AUTHOR IS NOT KNOWN. IT WAS FOUND IN THE BILLFOLD OF COACH PAUL BEAR BRYANT, ALABAMA AFTER HE DIED IN 1982.

THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest:

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has Rules:

The set of Rules:

  1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
  2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
  3. You may only spend It.
  4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
  5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time, it can say, “Game Over!” It can close the account, and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted right?  Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself – right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

ACTUALLY, THIS GAME IS REAL!

Socked??? Yes!!!

Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it.

The PRIZE is “TIME”

  1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds, as a gift of life.
  2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining timeis not credited to us.
  3. What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.
  4. Yesterday is forever gone.
  5. Each morning the account is Refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.  Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.

Start spending….

“DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE PRIVILEGE!”

CONCLUSIONS:   The words above are so true.  Time really flies by quickly.  One of my favorite lines comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling and is as follows:  “If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,.  Filling that unforgiving minute is really difficult, or at least for me it sometimes is. I just completed a post involving Social Media and those twenty-five “personalities” noted by TIME Magazine as capturing the most exposure on global Social Media.  Sometimes we do waste too much time with trivia.


For the past three years, TIME Magazine has made a list of the top twenty-five (25) individuals having the greatest global impact on Social Media.  Their metric is who has the ability to drive the news on a day-by-day basis?  We are talking “global” not local, state, federal or country but global.  This year’s list was a great surprise to me mainly because I have no idea as to who some of these people are nor what they do.  Let’s take a look.

  • CHRISSY TEIGEN—OK, I do know who she is. Christine Diane Teigen was born on 30 November 1885.  She is an American model and made her debut in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, 2010 addition. She appeared on the cover in 2014.
  • MATT DRUDGE—Matt Drudge produces a conservative web site highlighting news of the day. The postings result from individual contributors and news venues appearing on a daily basis.
  • K. ROWLING–Joanne Rowling was born on 31st July 1965 at Yate General Hospital just outside Bristol, and grew up in Gloucestershire in England and in Chepstow, Gwent, in south-east Wales. Her father, Peter, was an aircraft engineer at the Rolls Royce factory in Bristol and her mother, Anne, was a science technician in the Chemistry department at Wyedean Comprehensive, where Jo herself went to school. The young Jo grew up surrounded by books. “I lived for books,’’ she has said. “I was your basic common-or-garden bookworm, complete with freckles and National Health spectacles.”
  • CARTER WILKERSON–On Tuesday morning, Carter Wilkerson, a 16-year-old high school junior in Reno, Nev., became the owner of history’s most-retweeted tweet, knocking Ellen DeGeneres and her famous Oscars selfie off her perch. (For those unfamiliar, a retweet is the act of sharing someone else’s tweet so a new audience can see it.)  When he sent his fateful tweet on April 5, he thought it might be a fun joke for his friends. He had never gotten so many as 10 retweets on a single tweet before, he said, so topping that would-be kind of cool.  There’s no way Wendy’s would actually give him free chicken nuggets, he thought. (Some people just have too much time on their hands.  Get a job.)
  • YAO CHEN–Yao Chen is a Chinese actress and philanthropist. In 2014, Time named Yao as one of the most influential people on their Time 100 list. As of 2014, she is listed as the 83rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.She was born 5 October 1979 in Shishi, Gujian, China.
  • BRIAN REED—Brian Reed is the host of S-Town, a new podcast about John B McLemore and the town of Woodstock, Alabama. S-Town began life when Brian received an email with the subject: “John B McLemore lives in S***town, Alabama.” Inside was a plea for producers to investigate an alleged murder and its subsequent cover up. The podcast recounts how Brian travelled to Woodstock in the autumn of 2014 to meet with the email’s author, an eccentric horologist, and investigate his claims. Brian made “about 10 or 12 trips” to Alabama over the course of three years, and made many more phone calls from his home in New York to tell his story. What unfolds is a dark and gripping tale about a man who lived his life as an outsider in a town with a population of just over 1,000.
  • BTS–BTS, also known asBangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. Their name in Korean – Bangtan Sonyeondan and Japanese – Bōdan Shōnendan both translate to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. BTS debuted on June 13, 2013, with  the song “No More Dream” from their first album called 2 Cool 4 Skool, for which they won several “New Artist of the Year” awards including those at the 2013 Melon Music Awards and Golden Disc Awards, and the 2014 Seoul Music Awards. A year after their debut, they received major bonsang awards for their subsequent albums Dark & Wild and The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1.  The band continued rising to widespread prominence with their The Most Beautiful Moment in Life trilogy, with The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2 and The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Young Forever both debuting inside the Billboard 200.  (We will have a short test on this “boys band” at the end of this posting so pay attention.)
  •      ALEXEI NAVALNY— Alexei Anatolievich Navalny is a Russian lawyer, political and financial activist, and politician. Since 2009, he has gained prominence in Russia, and in the Russian and international media, as a critic.  He is a big critic of the Russian president.  Really surprised this guy is still alive.
  • DONALD TRUMP—OK, you must be living in a tree if you do not know this guy.
  • MATT FURIE— Pepe the Frog is a popular Internet meme. The green anthropomorphic frog with a frog-like face and a humanoid body is originally from a comic series by Matt Furie called Boy’s Club. (How could I have missed this?)
  • STEVEN PRUITTSteven Pruitt, PhD. Professor of Oncology. Member (Molecular & Cellular Biology). Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
  • BANA ALABED— Bana al-Abed is a Syrian girl from rebel-held Aleppo who, with assistance from her English-speaking mother, sends messages through Twitter documenting the siege of the city.
  • GIGI GORGEOUS— Gigi Loren Lazzarato, better known as Gigi Gorgeous, is a Canadian model, actress, and internet personality. (OK whatever. Never heard of her)
  • JONATHAN SUN— Jonathan Sun is an interdisciplinary researcher, designer, engineer, artist, comedian, author, and playwright. He is a PhD candidate at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies + Planning, and a 2016-2017 Berkman Klein Fellow at Harvard. He was previously a researcher at the MIT Senseable City Lab. His current research involves understanding how and why people gather as communities on social media, how these communities ascribe meaning to where they gather, and what a sense of Place means in ephemeral, online environments.
  • KATY PERRY— Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson(born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer and songwriter. After singing in church during her childhood, she pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager. Perry signed with Red Hill Records and released her debut studio album Katy Hudson under her birth name in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful.
  • KIM KARDASHIAN— Kimberly”Kim” Kardashian West (born Kimberly Noel Kardashian; October 21, 1980) is an American reality television personality, socialite, actress, businesswoman and model. Kardashian first gained media attention as a friend and stylist of Paris Hilton, but received wider notice after a 2003 sex tape with her former boyfriend Ray J was leaked in 2007. Later that year, she and her family began to appear in the E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Its success soon led to the creation of spin-offs including Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami. Kardashian’s personal life soon became subject to widespread media attention.
  • BRANDEN MILLER— Joanne the Scammer, also known as Joanne Prada, is an internet character created and portrayed by comedianBranden Miller. The character gained notoriety for Miller’s Twitter account, which posts from the perspective of Joanne, and Miller’s Instagram account, which consists of various videos of the character of Joanne.
  • RHANNA— Robyn Rihanna Fentyborn February 20, 1988, is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, she first entered the music industry by recording demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She ultimately signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for its then-president, hip hop producer and rapper Jay Z. In 2005, Rihanna rose to fame with the release of her debut studio album Music of the Sun and its follow-up A Girl like Me (2006), which charted on the top 10 of the US Billboard 200 and respectively produced the singles “Pon de Replay” and “SOS“.
  • CHANCE THE RAPPER– Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, known professionally as Chance the Rapper, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist from the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
  • ARIEL MARTAIN— BabyAriel is a Popular musical.ly personality with over 19 million followers, she is also popular on Instagram, YouTube, and You Now. She later joined a collaborative YouTube channel called Our Journey along with Loren Beech, Brennen Taylor, Mario Selman, Weston Koury, Zach Clayton, and Nick Bean.
  • CASSY HO— Cassey Ho is an American social media fitness entrepreneur with a YouTube channel and a website that sells fitness apparel. She is considered an Internet personality and a rising YouTube star nationally and internationally.
  • HUDA KATTAN— Huda Kattan of@HudaBeauty, who has 18 million Instagram followers, heads a namesake makeup line and is introducing a Huda Beauty emoji collection called Hudamoji (not unlike Ms. Kardashian West’s Kimoji) this spring.
  • MARK FISCHBACH— Mark Edward Fischbach, better known by his online pseudonym Markiplier, is an American YouTube personality. Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, he began his career in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is currently based in Los Angeles, California.
  • DANIEL WEISBERG AND CARLY ZAKIN— Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin had worked in pretty much every news division at NBC before they decided to walk away and launch their own company. Enterthe Skimm: a daily email newsletter targeted at millennials to deliver the news in a quick way that fits into their busy schedules. One email sent at 6 AM every morning aims to give subscribers everything they need to know about the latest news in politics, sports, entertainment and more. The Huffington Post sat down with Weisberg and Zakin on Thursday to find out more about how these two friends, who met during a study abroad program in college, have now become the co-founders of one of the fastest growing e-newsletters.

CONCLUSIONS:  Aren’t you happy you have a day job?  I am greatly relieved that do not know most of these people consequently indicating I do not spend a great deal of time of Social Media.  We may be doomed!!!!!

COLLABORATIVE ROBOTICS

June 26, 2017


I want to start this discussion with defining collaboration.  According to Merriam-Webster:

  • to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.An international team of scientists collaborated on the study.
  • to cooperate with or willingly assist an enemy of one’s country and especially an occupying force suspected of collaborating with the enemy
  • to cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected.

We are going to adopt the first definition to work jointly with others.  Well, what if the “others” are robotic systems?

Collaborative robots, or cobots as they have come to be known, are robot robotic systems designed to operate collaboratively or in conjunction with humans.  The term “Collaborative Robot is a verb, not a noun. The collaboration is dependent on what the robot is doing, not the robot itself.”  With that in mind, collaborative robotic systems and applications generally combine some or all of the following characteristics:

  • They are designed to be safe around people. This is accomplished by using sensors to prevent touching or by limiting the force if the system touches a human or a combination of both.
  • They are often relatively light weight and can be moved from task to task as needed. This means they can be portable or mobile and can be mounted on movable tables.
  • They do not require skill to program. Most cobots are simple enough that anyone who can use a smartphone or tablet can teach or program them. Most robotic systems of this type are programmed by using a “teach pendent”. The most-simple can allow up to ninety (90) programs to be installed.
  • Just as a power saw is intended to help, not replace, the carpenter, the cobot is generally intended to assist, not replace, the production worker. (This is where the collaboration gets its name. It assists the human is accomplishing a task.)  The production worker generally works side-by-side with the robot.
  • Collaborative robots are generally simpler than more traditional robots, which makes them cheaper to buy, operate and maintain.

There are two basic approaches to making cobots safe. One approach, taken by Universal, Rethink and others, is to make the robot inherently safe. If it makes contact with a human co-worker, it immediately stops so the worker feels no more than a gentle nudge. Rounded surfaces help make that nudge even more gentle. This approach limits the maximum load that the robot can handle as well as the speed. A robot moving a fifty (50) pound part at high speed will definitely hurt no matter how quickly it can stop upon making contact.

A sensor-based approach allows collaborative use in faster and heavier applications. Traditionally, physical barriers such as cages or light curtains have been used to stop the robot when a person enters the perimeter. Modern sensors can be more discriminating, sensing not only the presence of a person but their location as well. This allows the robot to slow down, work around the person or stop as the situation demands to maintain safety. When the person moves away, the robot can automatically resume normal operation.

No discussion of robot safety can ignore the end-of-arm tooling (EOAT).  If the robot and operator are handing parts back and forth, the tooling needs to be designed so that, if the person gets their fingers caught, they can’t be hurt.

The next digital photographs will give you some idea as to how humans and robotic systems can work together and the tasks they can perform.

The following statistics are furnished by “Digital Engineering” February 2017.

  • By 2020, more than three (3) million workers on a global basis will be supervised by a “robo-boss”.
  • Forty-five (45) percent of all work activities could be automated using already demonstrated technology and fifty-nine (59) percent of all manufacturing activities could be automated, given technical considerations.
  • At the present time, fifty-nine (59) percent of US manufacturers are using some form of robotic technology.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), will replace sixteen (16) percent of American jobs by 2025 and will create nine (9) percent of American jobs.
  • By 2018, six (6) billion connected devices will be used to assist commerce and manufacturing.

CONCLUSIONS: OK, why am I posting this message?  Robotic systems and robots themselves WILL become more and more familiar to us as the years go by.  The usage is already in a tremendous number of factories and on manufacturing floors.  Right now, most of the robotic work cells used in manufacturing are NOT collaborative.  The systems are SCARA (The SCARA acronym stands for Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm or Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm.) type and perform a Pick-and-place function or a very specific task such as laying down a bead of adhesive on a plastic or metal part.  Employee training will be necessary if robotic systems are used and if those systems are collaborative in nature.  In other words—get ready for it.  Train for this to happen so that when it does you are prepared.

ENTITLED DEPENDENCE

June 25, 2017


I’m generally a little behind the curve relative to changes in social phenomena.  I suspect this is due to my age and the fact that I’m just not that savvy with Social Media such as Face Book, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc etc.  I do have a Face Book account and LinkedIn account but do not spend that much time on either.  Social Media can be a “black hole” time-wise so I try to avoid sitting behind my computer hour-after-hour telling people I don’t even know what’s “shaking”.  It’s just me.  (Please note: I’m not critical of those who choose to participate.  That’s their deal and who am I to tell anyone what to do?  I do acknowledge is great to communicate and I do so with a limited number of friends and family.)  With that being the case, I came upon a new “trend” in social activity called the “Peter Pan” Syndrome or “entitled dependence”.

In many countries, the phenomenon is so widespread that other new terms have developed to describe it: bamboccioni [literally, big babies] in Italy, [living at] “hotel mama” in Germany, boomerang children in Australia, parasaito shinguru [single parasite] in Japan. These young men and women don’t leave home and don’t get married, because they only want to buy brand names and enjoy themselves and to live, as an ideology, at their parents’ expense. It’s nothing less than a pandemic.  My generation always said, “I can’t wait till the kids leave home and the dog dies”.  Maybe that’s not always the case anymore.

Psychologist Professor Haim Omer describes the world-wide phenomenon of a dependence on parents that doesn’t stop.  For the past few years psychologists have been dealing with a new social phenomenon, they sometimes call “entitled dependence.” Instead of leaving home to embark on an independent life, young adults remain dependent on their parents, not only asking for but actually demanding benefits from them.  Please note: the term “young adults” is used to describe this trend in living.  We are talking about twenty to early thirties age wise.  If we look at the manifestations, we see the following:

  • An unwillingness to get working or stay working when you’re not motivated. If you’re only willing to work hard when you feel like it, you won’t feel like it often enough. Working hard must be something you do; it’s not a decision to make. It’s foundational. The American work ethic is legendary.  We work hard in this country to the point that sometimes we are criticized for being “workaholics”.
  • Dabbling:being unwilling to stay focused on becoming sufficiently expert at anything. Brilliant people can achieve excellence in many areas but most people can’t. (This also is a new term to me.  I’m sure it’s in the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language 😊.)
  • Networking aversion. Not having taken the time to develop the deep connections with the right people that, alas, often are needed to land and succeed at a good job. You must admit, having a good, if not great, network of professional people and friends can be the key to landing a good if not great job.  That’s just the way it works.
  • Betting on longshot dreams: becoming a self-supporting actor, artist, documentary filmmaker, sports marketer, environmental activist, fashion executive, etc. Yes, obviously, some people have achieved such goals but unless you are unusually talented and driven (ideally with great connections,) your chances are small. Yet some people cling to their longshot dream, sometimes as an excuse for not doing the work required to launch a more realistic career.  I came to the conclusion some time ago that I’m not Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. I’m a blue-collar engineer—a worker.
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs. Enough said on this one.
  • Blaming your failure on something your parents, spouse, or former employer did to you. Many people who were terribly abused–including, for example, many survivors of the Holocaust or of Japanese internment camps–did just fine. You’ve probably suffered a lot less. Unless you suffer from a severe physiologically caused mental illness, you too can probably triumph over your past. You can look at politicians, both Republicans, Democrats and Independents to see the “blame game” is in full flower.  (OK, I do not know why Hillary is not president.)
  • Doing an insufficiently thorough job search.Here’s what a thorough job search looks like: identifying 50 people not advertising an on-target job but with the power to hire you for your target job or create one for you, and you not only pitch yourself to them but make the effort to build a relationship with them over months. You must also regularly contact your extended personal network to get leads and build the relationship, have a good LinkedIn profile, craft many top-of-the-heap job applications, including collateral material such as a white paper, a portfolio, and substantive follow-ups after job interviews, for example, a mini business plan describing what you’d do if hired.

Now, let’s face facts—things in life are sometimes uncontrollable.  We just do not know when issues arise that need to be handled by caring parents or grandparents.  Our family is now a case in point.  Our oldest son recently had a very serious medical condition.  We are taking care of our oldest grandson and will be taking care of our oldest son when he leaves therapy.  His care will continue the remainder of this year and into the 2018 year.  As parents and grandparents, we DID sign up for this.  This is what families do.  What I’m talking about here is a child’s unwillingness to engage society. Wanting to live a life of relative ease with no vision for the future with minimum stress and anxiety.  If you work for a living, no matter what the job, that life is not available to you on an on-going basis.  It ain’t going to happen.  Stress can certainly be a good thing in moderation.  It motivates us to succeed although too much can even be life-threatening.

As always, I welcome your comments.


Information for this post is taken from the following companies:

  • Wholers Associates
  • Gartner
  • Oerlikon
  • SmartTech Publishing

3-D ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING:

I think before we get up and running let us define “additive manufacturing”.

Additive Manufacturing or AM is an appropriate name to describe the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether the material is plastic, metal, concrete human tissue. Believe it or not, additive manufacturing is now, on a limited basis, able to construct objects from human tissue to repair body parts that have been damaged and/or absent.

Common to AM technologies is the use of a computer, 3D modeling software (Computer Aided Design or CAD), machine equipment and layering material.  Once a CAD sketch is produced, the AM equipment reads in data from the CAD file and lays downs or adds successive layers of liquid, powder, sheet material or other, in a layer-upon-layer fashion to fabricate a 3D object.

The term AM encompasses many technologies including subsets like 3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping (RP), Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), layered manufacturing and additive fabrication.

AM application is limitless. Early use of AM in the form of Rapid Prototyping focused on preproduction visualization models. More recently, AM is being used to fabricate end-use products in aircraft, dental restorations, medical implants, automobiles, and even fashion products.

RAPID PROTOTYPING & MANUFACTURING (RP&M) TECHNOLOGIES:

There are several viable options available today that take advantage of rapid prototyping technologies.   All of the methods shown below are considered to be rapid prototyping and manufacturing technologies.

  • (SLA) Stereolithography
  • (SLS) Selective Laser Sintering
  • (FDM) Fused Deposition Modeling
  • (3DP) Three-Dimensional Printing
  • (Pjet) Poly-Jet
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing

PRODUCT POSSIBILITIES:

Frankly, if it the configuration can be programmed, it can be printed.  The possibilities are absolutely endless.

Assortment of components: flange mount and external gear.

Bone fragment depicting a fractured bone.  This printed product will aid the efforts of a surgeon to make the necessary repair.

More and more, 3D printing is used to model teeth and jaw lines prior to extensive dental work.  It gives the dental surgeon a better look at a patients mouth prior to surgery.

You can see the intricate detail of the Eiffel Tower and the show sole in the JPEGs above.  3D printing can provide an enormous amount of detail to the end user.

THE MARKET:

3D printing is a disruptive technology that is definitely on the rise.  Let’s take a look at future possibilities and current practices.

GROWTH:

Wohlers Associates has been tracking the market for machines that produce metal parts for fourteen (14) years.  The Wohlers Report 2014 marks only the second time for the company to publish detailed information on metal based AM machine unit sales by year. The following chart shows that 348 of 3D machines were sold in 2013, compared to 198 in 2012—growth of an impressive 75.8%.

Additive manufacturing industry grew by 17.4% in worldwide revenues in 2016, reaching $6.063 billion.

MATERIALS USED:

Nearly one-half of the 3D printing/additive manufacturing service providers surveyed in 2016 offered metal printing.

GLOBAL MARKETS:

NUMBER OF VENDORS OFFERING EQUIPMENT:

The number of companies producing and selling additive manufacturing equipment

  • 2014—49
  • 2015—62
  • 2016—97

USERS:

World-wide shipments of 3D printers were projected to reach 455,772 units in 2016. 6.7 million units are expected to be shipped by 2020

More than 278,000 desktop 3D printers (under $5,000) were sold worldwide last year, according to Wohlers Associates. The report has a chart to illustrate and it looks like the proverbial hockey stick that you hear venture capitalists talk about: Growth that moves rapidly from horizontal to vertical (from 2010 to 2015 for desktop).

According to Wohlers Report 2016, the additive manufacturing (AM) industry grew 25.9% (CAGR – Corporate Annual Growth Rate) to $5.165 billion in 2015. Frequently called 3D printing by those outside of manufacturing circles, the industry growth consists of all AM products and services worldwide. The CAGR for the previous three years was 33.8%. Over the past 27 years, the CAGR for the industry is an impressive 26.2%. Clearly, this is not a market segment that is declining as you might otherwise read.

THE MARKET:

  • About 20 to 25% of the $26.5 billion market forecast for 2021 is expected to be the result of metal additive manufacturing.
  • The market for polymers and plastics for 3D printing will reach $3.2 billion by 2022
  • The primary market for metal additive manufacturing, including systems and power materials, will grow to over $6.6 billion by 2026.

CONCLUSIONS:

We see more and more products and components manufactured by 3D Printing processes.  Additive manufacturing just now enjoying acceptance from larger and more established companies whose products are in effect “mission critical”.  As material choices continue to grow, a greater number of applications will emerge.  For the foreseeable future, additive manufacturing is one of the technologies to be associated with.

OVER MY HEAD

June 17, 2017


Over My Head is an extremely rare look into the workings of an injured brain from a doctor’s perspective.  It is a true story of a young doctor’s battle to overcome a debilitating head injury and build a new life.  The book is an inspiring story of how a medical doctor comes to terms with the loss of her identity and the courageous steps (and hilarious missteps) she takes while learning to rebuild her life. The author, a 45-year-old emergency-room doctor and clinical professor of medicine, describes the aftermath of a brain injury eleven years ago which stripped her of her beloved profession. For years she was deprived of her intellectual companionship and the ability to handle the simplest undertakings like shopping for groceries or sorting the mail. Her progression from confusion, dysfunction, and alienation to a full, happy life is told with restraint, great style, and considerable humor.

I’m not going to spoil the story for you but eleven (11) years ago, Dr. Claudia L. Osborn was riding her bike with a roommate, Dr. Marcia E. Baker.  It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Detroit with just about perfect weather.  Due to a fairly narrow road, they were riding in tandem with Marcia in front and leading the way.  A car made a right turn onto the road they were riding and swung much too wide to avoid hitting the ladies.  Marcia saw the car first and managed to navigate to the shoulder of the road where she “dumped” her bike.  Claudia was not that lucky.  The car hit her head on. She traveled over the hood, over the cab, over the trunk and landed on her head.  She was taken to the emergency room but the damage had already been done.

The beginning of her post trauma period is consumed with behaviors we so often see in this population; denial, depression, and frustration.   I am sure the medical profession has patients coming in after such an injury with unrealistic plans to return to exactly the same life they had beforehand?  Their all- consuming drive is to go back to who they were, to the life they lived before the injury, when in reality all around can see that will not happen.  However, everyone around is afraid of what will happen if they ever give voice to these concerns.  So there emerges an unspoken conspiracy to not put voice to the facts that serve to block the full return to a former life, in fear that these comments might be as traumatic as the actual injury was.

One symptom above all seemed to override nearly everything in Dr. Osborn’s recovery and this was a profound short-term memory deficit.  What many consider a simple errand, buying two or three things at the store turns into nightmare after nightmare for her.  In those instances when she would get to the correct store, she might find the first thing she had set out to purchase, then end up not remembering the other two things she needed.

Claudia might actually remember to get all the things into her basket to realize at the checkout counter she had not brought her money, or not being able to find her car after getting all of those things done correctly and having to wait until the parking lot cleared out to find her car.

Although from Michigan, Claudia ended up enrolling in a treatment program at the Head Trauma Program of New York University’s Rusk Institute, which included physiatry and allied rehabilitative specialists.     This book clearly demonstrates the roles that others play in working her acceptance of the new person who emerged after the head injury as well as helping to deal with her severe depression.

Those important in Claudia’s life serve as tremendous examples about what to do and not to do in supporting and helping an affected person.  Her mother is very supportive from the beginning but demonstrates many of the expectations that it will be ok in time and life will return to the way it was before.  Claudia also has an amazingly understanding life partner who seemed to know just the right times to back away and give Claudia the time and distance to discover who she was.  Accepting these evolving expectations from their relationship allowed them to come through the event and long recovery still together.  So often this is not the story.   As soon as it becomes evident that the injured party will not return to whom they were before the injury, the physically undamaged person leaves the relationship.    This story is a powerful message to those life partners and family of head injured patients everywhere about life after such an injury.

I can definitely recommend this book to anyone who has personally had a head injury or to anyone who has had a family member with a serious head injury.  For that individual, a “new normal” must be sought and accepted.

THINKING FAST AND SLOW

June 13, 2017


Thinking Fast and Slow is a remarkably well-written book by Dr. Daniel Kahneman. Then again why would it not be?  Dr. Kahneman is a Nobel Laureate in Economics. Dr. Kahneman takes the reader on a tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.   System One (1) is fast, intuitive, and emotional.  System Two (2) is considerably slower, more deliberative, and more logical.   He engages the reader in a very lively conversation about how we think and reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we tap into the benefits of slow thinking.  One great thing about the book is how he offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both the corporate world and our personal lives.  He provides different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.  He uses multiple examples in each chapter that demonstrate principles of System One and System Two.  This greatly improves the readability of the book and makes understanding much more possible.

Human irrationality is Kahneman’s great theme. There are essentially three phases to his career.  First, he and he coworker Amos Tversky devised a series of ingenious experiments revealing twenty plus “cognitive biases” — unconscious errors of reasoning that distort our judgment of the world. Typical of these is the “anchoring effect”: our tendency to be influenced by irrelevant numbers that we happen to be exposed to.  (In one experiment, for instance, experienced German judges were inclined to give a shoplifter a longer sentence if they just rolled a pair of dice loaded to give a high number.) In the second phase, Kahneman and Tversky showed that people making decisions under uncertain conditions do not behave in the way that economic models have traditionally assumed; they do not “maximize utility.” Both researchers then developed an alternative account of decision making, one more faithful to human psychology, which they called “prospect theory.” (It was for this achievement that Kahneman was awarded the Nobel.) In the third phase of his career, mainly after the death of Tversky, Kahneman delved into “hedonic psychology”: the science of happiness, its nature and its causes. His findings in this area have proven disquieting.   One finding because one of the key experiments involved a deliberately prolonged colonoscopy.  (Very interesting chapter.)

“Thinking, Fast and Slow” spans all three of these phases. It is an astonishingly rich book: lucid, profound, full of intellectual surprises and self-help value. It is consistently entertaining and frequently touching, especially when Kahneman is recounting his collaboration with Tversky. (“The pleasure we found in working together made us exceptionally patient; it is much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored.”).  So, impressive is its vision of flawed human reason that the New York Times columnist David Brooks recently declared that Kahneman and Tversky’s work “will be remembered hundreds of years from now,” and that it is “a crucial pivot point in the way we see ourselves.” They are, Brooks said, “like the Lewis and Clark of the mind.”

One of the marvelous things about the book is how he captures multiple references.  Page after page of references are used in formulating the text.  To his credit—he has definitely done his homework and years of research into the subject matter propels this text as one of the most foremost in the field of decision making.

This book was the winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.  It also was selected by the New York Times Review as one of the ten (10) best books of 2011.

DANIEL KAHNEMAN:

Daniel Kahneman is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his pioneering work integrating insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty. Much of this work was carried out collaboratively with Amos Tversky.

In addition to the Nobel prize, Kahneman has been the recipient of many other awards, among them the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association (1982) and the Grawemeyer Prize (2002), both jointly with Amos Tversky, the Warren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (1995), the Hilgard Award for Career Contributions to General Psychology (1995), and the Lifetime Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association (2007).

Professor Kahneman was born in Tel Aviv but spent his childhood years in Paris, France, before returning to Palestine in 1946. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology (with a minor in mathematics) from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and in 1954 he was drafted into the Israeli Defense Forces, serving principally in its psychology branch.  In 1958, he came to the United States and earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1961.

During the past several years, the primary focus of Professor Kahneman’s research has been the study of various aspects of experienced utility (that is, the utility of outcomes as people actually live them).

CONCLUSIONS: 

This is one book I can definitely recommend to you but one caution—it is a lengthy book and at times tedious.  His examples are very detailed but contain subject matter that we all can relate to.  The decision-making process for matters confronting everyone on an everyday are brought to life with pros and cons being the focus.  You can certainly tell he relies upon probability theory in explaining the choices chosen by individuals and how those choices may be proper or improper.  THIS IS ONE TO READ.

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