THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

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Posts Tagged ‘The Bryce is Right’

WE LIVE IN A PROGRAMMER’S WORLD

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 13, 2018

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Their perspective affects us all greatly.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Recently, I was putting up some outdoor Christmas lights and, wanting to schedule when they would turn on and off at night, I tried to adjust a timer to suit my needs. I didn’t have an instruction booklet, just the timer. I had worked with many timers over the years, but this one gave me fits in trying to set it. What I believed to be On/Off switches, of course, didn’t work. Then I noticed the lights went on and off mysteriously. I tried many variations of the settings, but nothing seemed to work. Feeling stumped, I thought back to something my father told me years ago, “You have to remember, this was designed by programmers, and they don’t think like the rest of us do.” I then applied reverse logic to the settings and “Voila!” it worked perfectly.

I had a similar problem with a new TV remote control which appeared to be simple in layout but wasn’t intuitive to use, requiring a learning curve for both my wife and myself. We have had it for a few months now but still do not understand its full functionality, but we limp along with what we’ve got.

Then there is the problem with my wireless PC printer. Not long ago, the Internet network in our neighborhood was recently knocked out. After service was restored, my main printer failed to recognize my wireless network. To solve the problem I pulled out the original installation CD and ran it. During the process, it couldn’t find our wireless network. Following the instructions, I tried to enter the data myself (with great precision I might add), but to no avail. The only way I could get it to work was to re-attach an old USB printer cable directly to my PC which remains there to this day. I thought this was incredibly odd as my network was working fine and communicating with other devices, but not my printer. This was something that should have taken a couple of minutes to correct, but turned into a two hour headache.

There are many other stories I’m sure you can relate to, but I think you get the point.

What these situations demonstrate is that we live in a programmer’s world. Devices that should be intuitive to use are complicated, seemingly by design. Having worked in the Information Technology sector for over thirty years, I have learned programmers will typically do what is easiest for them to program, not what is best for the end-user. This ultimately means humans are the ones truly being programmed, not the technology, as we have to adapt to awkward devices, not the other way around.

Many years ago I wrote a paper titled, “Theory P: The Philosophy of Managing Programmers” which attempted to explain how programmers think and how to manage them in the process. This ignited a tempest of protests from the programming community accusing me of defamation of character. In re-reading the column today, I stand by my observations and believe they are correct.

Among my comments, I contended, “There is also the problem that programmers tend to be somewhat faddish. It is not uncommon for them to recommend a solution that is technically fashionable, not necessarily what’s practical. An elegant solution to the wrong problem solves nothing.”

We have to remember, programmers are detailists consumed with their small part of a much larger puzzle. As such, they will not necessarily devise something to the end-user’s satisfaction, just their own. This explains why they require proper direction, or they will inevitably invent a devise that will either be difficult to use or cause the human to change to adapt to it, thereby causing strange operating habits or social foibles, such as our dependencies to answer smart phones like Pavlov’s dog or while driving around town, thereby creating a traffic hazard. Whichever it is, I resent having to apply reverse logic to get something to work.

I think my father was right, programmers really do not think like the rest of us do. Unfortunately, we’re stuck in their world, and we have allowed them to call the shots.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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Posted in Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP REDUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 11, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Some thoughts on how to promote citizenship in America.

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This is an updated version of a column I wrote some time ago. There’s a book recommendation at the end which would make a great holiday gift for a young person in High School or College.

I was recently asked to give a lecture on “Citizenship” at a local Masonic Lodge. Drawing from a couple of my past columns, I assembled the following short talk:

My biggest concern regarding citizenship pertains to how we teach history and civics in this country. In some High Schools, “American History” runs from World War II to the present. This means students are not learning such things as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Civil War, the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, Prohibition, the League of Nations, and much more. In other words, they only discuss the last 77 years, and not the events leading up to the founding of our country and the turmoils we had to endure. As an aside “World History” is now just World War I to the present. So much for the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Marco Polo, the Magna Carta, Ferdinand Magellan, Alexander the Great, et al. I presume they had no bearing on our civilization.

Such ignorance of our history caused famed historian David McCullough to observe, “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

We are also not educating youth properly in terms of “Civics”; understanding our responsibilities as citizens, such as voting, serving on a jury, how legislation is enacted, or what is included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. No wonder young people do not grasp the significance of such things as the Electoral College, the structure of our government, or what their rights are.

Naivety and ignorance leads to apathy at the ballot box. In the 2016 elections, only 57.9% of the citizens voted (over 90 million didn’t vote at all). This is a pitiful figure when you compare it to other democracies like Australia, India, and the Scandinavian countries. Surprisingly, this was the highest voting percentage in the United States since 1968 (60.8%). The highest in recent history was in 1960 (63.1%) for the Kennedy/Nixon election. Even though Millennials (ages 18-35) are now the largest potential voting block, they continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group.

It is sad when legal immigrants understand the workings of the government and history better than native born Americans. Maybe all citizens should take the same oath naturalized citizens do. Since 1778, immigrants coming to this country have had to pass a test and take an oath swearing their allegiance to the United States. The current oath is as follows:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Not surprising, immigrants coming through this program tend to appreciate this country and are more loyal than native born Americans. Another cause for this could be because there is less emphasis on teaching American government and history in the schools than in years past. As such, the importance of being a citizen has not been impressed upon our youth.

So, as a proposal, how about administering a modified version of the immigration oath to all native born Americans, perhaps on July 4th? Better yet, how about Constitution/Citizenship Day on September 17th? All that is necessary is to simply modify the first sentence of the Immigration Oath; to wit:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Parents could give the oath to their children, thereby turning it into a family tradition; civic organizations and local governments could administer it in public group settings, or perhaps some other venue. Maybe even the media could get involved and administer it over the airwaves or Internet. It should be administered in some solemn way with a right hand raised and the left hand placed on either a copy of the U.S. Constitution or perhaps a holy book such as a Bible, Torah, or Koran.

The oath is certainly not the same as the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, this is instead a reaffirmation of our commitment to our country and would help promote citizenship and voting. Maybe this is something that should be given routinely as opposed to just one time; to remind people of their allegiance to this country. I cannot help but believe this simple gesture would have nothing but beneficial effects.

One last observation, during this past year, the talking heads on television recommended avoiding any talk of politics at the dinner table, particularly during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays. I disagree. We do not do enough talking at the table in a calm and reasonable manner. Instead of leaving citizenship to the school educators and the media, parents should spend more time discussing it around the dinner table, not in a dictatorial manner, but in a frank and open discussion. I believe our youth would better understand the virtue of the Electoral College if it came from their parents as opposed to an entertainer or athlete.

Maybe then, youth will appreciate the need for “Citizenship.”

P.S. – Here are some reading resources that should be useful:

“Elementary Catechism of the Constitution of the United States” (1828) by Arthur J. Stansbury – for many years, school children learned this catechism. It is just as relevant today as it was nearly 200 years ago. It is available free of charge as a PDF file on the Internet.

Also on the Internet, the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service has a page describing “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” along with links to other free resources.

My favorite book for young people is, “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World” by W. Cleon Skousen. It sells for about $16-$18 and is available from Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. This makes an excellent holiday gift suitable for students in High School and College. In my humble opinion, all young people should be given a copy of this book as it describes the mechanics of our government. Think of it as a crash course in Civics. Enjoy!

Remember, education is the key to our political future.

Originally published: March 8, 2017

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

BABY, IT’S POLITICALLY CORRECT OUTSIDE

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 6, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Attacking holiday programming.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Tis the season, not for Christmas or any other religious holiday, but for political correctness. It appears the holidays have triggered a wave of criticism over audio/video classics as heard and seen for years over our airwaves. This is just another example of political correctness running amok.

First there was the TV special, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” which originally aired in 1973 and won an Emmy Award. For 45 years, it was a beloved holiday classic, but not in 2018 when it was accused of racism. It was recently pointed out that at the dinner-table scene, Franklin, the lone black character, sat on one side of the table alone in a lawn chair, while the other white characters were on the opposite side sitting in regular chairs. Critics today claim this is a very racist scene. To his credit, Charles M. Schulz, created Franklin in 1968, making him one of the first cartoonists to incorporate a black character in his strip. Schulz later claimed he created Franklin after being inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So instead of applauding Schulz’s efforts, he is criticized by the PC police in 2018.

Next, we have the 1964 Christmas Classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” narrated by the late great Burl Ives. For 54 years, this film was cherished by children, but not in 2018 where critics today declare it “disturbing.” Santa is accused of racism for not accepting Rudolph due to his red nose, Hermey the Elf is described as a “Sadistic Psychopath,” the elves are accused of inbreeding, and Yukon Cornelius is considered “Mentally Unstable.” I wonder how we overlooked all of this for over 50 years?

In 1969, “Frosty the Snowman” was brought to television and narrated by the late Jimmy Durante with his marvelous gravelly voice. It was inspired by the popular song sung in 1950 by the legendary cowboy-singer Gene Autry. For 49 years the show was enjoyed by millions of children, but again, as with the others, it is not acceptable in 2018. Frosty’s melting scene is now said to give children nightmares as he is “viciously murdered” by an evil magician who wants Frosty’s magic hat. Santa returns to bring Frosty back to life, but it is now being claimed this scene traumatizes young people. Having grown up in the north, and made many a snowman in my day, we all knew they were not real and what would happen when the Spring thaw came, but to be traumatized by this in 2018, it makes you wonder what they are putting in kid’s cereals these days.

Finally, we come to WDOK-FM 102.1 (aka, Star 102) in Cleveland who recently banned the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as it could be construed as promoting male predatory tactics of women, something of keen interest to the #metoo movement (anyone remember the Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings?). Although it is not a true Christmas song, it was written in 1944 and played around the holidays. It is primarily sung as a duet between a man and a women. In its 74 year history, there have been dozens of renditions by a variety of artists, including: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán, Vanessa Williams and Bobby Caldwell, Lee Ann Womack and Harry Connick Jr., Anne Murray and Michael Bublé, Martina McBride and Dean Martin, and many others. Great music, but you won’t hear it anytime soon in Cleveland.

WDOK-FM ran a poll on their Facebook page asking listeners what holiday song should be omitted from their playlist, and out of 600 responses, 94% (564 votes) were in favor of it, but only 6% (36 votes) were against it. So, thanks to a meager 36 people, the radio station dumped the tune. Who-da-thunk-it?

All of these shows and music range in age from 49 to 74 years old, and introduced in the 1940’s, 50’s, the turbulent 60’s, and early 70’s. One cannot help but wonder where was the outrage back then? Were we really so naive and clueless not to see the hidden meanings? Is it possible we were socially mal-adjusted or is there something wrong with today’s sense of right and wrong? Frankly, I think there is something in the water causing this distortion of reality. These classics may not have been the most brilliant artistically, but I do not believe they were deliberately designed to embarrass anyone.

The criticisms of the old television classics appear to be coming from Millennial writers who seem to be making mountains out of mole hills. They either want to create something controversial to boost their readership, or they honestly believe the nonsense they write. Unfortunately, their badgering will likely cause the mainstream media to abandon these holiday classics. I just wonder what they propose to replace them with, perhaps titles such as, “A Charlie Brown LGBT Thanksgiving,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wussy,” “Frosty the Snowflake,” and “Baby, Get Your Ass Out of Here, Can’t You See I’m Texting?”

The far left is confounded by President Trump who is an ardent proponent of Christmas. The fact he likes to say “Merry Christmas” this time of year, as opposed to “Happy Holidays” or “Season Greetings,” drives them crazy. Since there appears to be a resurgence in Christmas, the left is attacking the peripheral aspects of the holidays, hence the attacks on Rudolph, Frosty, et al. They will not be happy until organized religion, particularly Christianity, is removed from our culture. The reality though is this will never happen.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

TIME TO END THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 4, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– But not for the reason you may think.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

It’s time to wrap-up the Mueller Investigation, not because they haven’t found anything of substance yet, but because it is simply out of control with no end in sight. Allow me to explain.

I have been a management consultant in the Information Technology field for over forty years and I have met several consultants along the way. Ethical consultants have no problem defining the deliverables for a project, produce a reliable estimate of costs, and calculate a schedule which is all reviewed and agreed upon by the customer before embarking on the project. Unethical consultants are just the antithesis of this; they define no deliverables, they are not held accountable for costs, and fail to produce a reliable timetable of events. This latter type of project, or “boondoggle” I should say, is a gravy train for the consultant. I find it rather remarkable companies still allow such shenanigans to occur.

To illustrate, years ago I had a client in the New York City area who had a bad experience with a “Big 8” consulting firm (which has since been merged down to the “Big 4”). The consultant promised delivery of a new state-of-the-art system, but hedged at giving the customer a scheduled end date. Interestingly, they had no problem producing a monthly invoice like clockwork. This went on for two years where nothing of substance was produced. After much cajoling by the client, the consultant’s project manager finally announced triumphantly to the customer, “We have just finished Phase 1… now we start Phase 2.” “Phase 2?” the customer asked, “How many phases are there?” No answer was forthcoming from the consultant.

This is the same scenario being played out by the Mueller investigation. We have no idea where this investigation is going, how much it is costing, and when it will be completed. From a business perspective, this type of donnybrook is simply unacceptable.

The investigation was initiated by Order Number 3915-2017 from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Rod J. Rosenstein. Its prime purpose was to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”. Robert S. Mueller III was appointed Special Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, and the order was signed May 17th, 2017.

One year and seven months later, the investigation shows no signs of abating and has turned into a distracting political football. As part of Mueller’s investigation, he took over several FBI investigations involving peripheral subjects. Paul Manaford, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, W. Samuel Patten, Richard Pinedo, et al faced a variety of charges in the hopes it would squeeze them to become cooperative witnesses for investigators. So far, we have learned nothing from this tactic.

Now that the midterm elections are over and a new year beckons, it is time to either reorganize this boondoggle, or put it to bed. This reminds me of another client I had in Rochester, New York who had hired another “Big 8” firm to design and develop a new manufacturing system for the company. A team of consultants were assembled and given use of a meeting room where they brainstormed for several months and tacked several poster boards around the room with various ideas drawn up on them. This went on for months with no end in sight. We were contracted to come in, examine the project and make some recommendations. After instructing their systems management how to tackle such an assignment, the systems manager re-assembled the “Big 8” team in the meeting room, he then walked slowly around the room tearing up and discarding the posters. At the end, he said, “Gentlemen, let’s get down to business.”

It’s time for the Mueller investigation to either “get down to business” or get off the pot. Unless, of course, there are parties who do not want it to end as it serves other purposes. Hmm…

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT TO DO ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 29, 2018

BRYCE ON IMMIGRATION

– Let’s try something else, such as education.

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Last Sunday (Nov 25th) a group from the “Caravan,” a group of Central American migrants marching to the U.S. border, breached the border and tried to elude Homeland Security officers. In the process, some hurled rocks and bottles at U.S. officials who, in turn, shot tear gas at the crowd to break it up. No lethal force was used and about 50 people were apprehended after illegally crossing the border. All will likely be deported.

Conservatives see the “Caravan” as a legitimate invasion of our sovereignty, and they support President Trump’s deployment of military personnel along the border to prevent this from happening. They are also in favor of closing the Mexican border should the Caravan persist in trying to enter the country illegally. Liberals, on the other hand, portray the members of the Caravan as sympathetic characters who are destitute and deserve help. It is easy to sympathize with such people, but when they wave their own flag during their march, it is obvious their loyalty is with their homeland and are only interested in the economic benefits the United States has to offer, such as medical care, education, shelter, and food.

The difference between Left and Right here is whether it is necessary to follow “due process” in entering the United States. Whereas Conservatives are inclined to follow the rule of law, the Liberals want the borders opened for anyone to enter. Again, such a policy would threaten our sovereignty and ultimately bankrupt the country trying to pay for a massive influx of immigrants.

Let’s be clear about this, we cannot possibly accommodate anyone and everyone wanting to enter our country. We may be the greatest country in the world with a charged-up economy, but we simply cannot take care of everyone; it is not economically feasible to do so.

Central America has long been known for corruption, drugs, and strong-armed government tactics. Regardless if they claim to be free and independent republics, their label of “Banana Republics” has not gone away, particularly those participating in the Caravan, including Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, et al.

Historically, America has sent these countries money as foreign aid, which is typically plundered by their governments; military weapons, which are used to keep the populace in check (and the dictator du jour in power), and; food and medicine to nourish the needy, but this often fails as well. Instead of planting the seed grain and reap the harvest, there is the temptation to consume the grain instead. Frankly, none of this has truly altered conditions in Central America which has stagnated for many decades.

How about something different, such as education? We’ve done this on a small scale with the Peace Corps and other groups, but we need to go beyond the basics and offer advanced courses. If outsiders truly believe America is great, they should want to replicate us, which begins with education. This includes teaching them to teach themselves.

Our founding fathers, such as Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, and Adams were remarkable primarily because of their education. They were well versed in such subjects as law, philosophy, mathematics, languages, history, geography, architecture, speech, and theology. Without this background, it is unlikely the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution would have been written. This, of course, led to our separation from Great Britain, and allowed us to become the great country everyone wants to come to.

Education was deemed critical to the success of our new country, based on the premise it encouraged patriotism and citizenship, hence the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was created by our first Congress. The legislation includes verbiage stating, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” This led the public education system we know today which children are required to attend. Prior to this, only the children of rich families attended private schools. This also led to the creation of the first college in the northwest, Ohio University in 1804, my alma mater.

The point is, by cultivating education in other countries, we would not just be improving their skill sets, but we would be encouraging the populace to think for themselves and determine a proper form of government; something that feeds and protects its people, encourages invention and innovation, thereby creating jobs. There would be no reason to flee a country with peace and economic stability. And the United States would no longer be faced with an invasion of illegal immigrants.

The big question though is, do they really want to improve their homeland or forever seek handouts from other countries? If it is the latter, it will be necessary to toughen our immigration laws and borders. If it is the former, education will build better and more self-sufficient neighbors, as well as better trading partners. So, will it be education or tear gas? Forget sending them money, food and arms, invest in education instead. The return will be mind-boggling. Our own history proves it.

Just remember, the inscription at the Statue of Liberty reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

It doesn’t read:

“Give me your deadbeats, your criminals, and those too lazy to improve their own country.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

OVERCOMING GLOSSOPHOBIA (PUBLIC SPEAKING)

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 27, 2018

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Conquering your fear.

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I have been back on the speaker circuit lately, thanks in large part to the recent elections. I have also been on the radio more frequently to discuss politics. I relish the opportunity to talk to people, be it on politics, business, or our ever changing world. I like to believe I possess a personal touch as I try to get the audience to participate in my presentation and challenge them to think. I despise it when people sit there muted like zombies. I want them to participate. Some encourage me to run for political office, but I am probably too honest to do so.

I have lectured on a variety of subjects, be it related to politics, morality, technology or business related. Early in my career, I taught such things as corporate planning, systems design, data base, and project management, all of which was related to our “PRIDE” methodologies. From this, I realized I had to master the subject matter and exude confidence in my delivery.

Interestingly, it wasn’t always this way for me. In my youth, I was incredibly shy and suffered from glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The idea of speaking in front of a group of people was loathsome to me. If I knew I had to speak in front of the class the next day, I would be awake all night worrying what I was going to say. I didn’t get much help from my friends and teachers, so I basically had to figure it out for myself. As a freshman in college, I knew it was time to face my fear, so I took an early morning class in public speaking. The professor was a patient man and we hit if off from the start.

As students, we were asked to give a series of three minutes speeches on different subjects, then five minutes, and then fifteen. I prepared my talks with meticulous detail, but then I discovered something; if I truly mastered the subject matter at hand, there shouldn’t be any reason for me to be afraid. After all, I figured, I knew the subject matter better than anyone else in the room, so what was there to be afraid of? “Poof!” The spell was broken, as I learned to speak matter-of-factly with conviction. From then on, I went from defense to offense. It wasn’t a matter of imagining the audience naked and inferior to me, but rather if I had confidence in what I was talking about, I wanted to persuade people to see my side of an argument. I believe this phenomenon is called “salesmanship.”

Thereafter, I learned about such things as the three canons of speech as represented by ethos (an appeal based on the character of the speaker), pathos (emotional appeal) and logos (logical argument). In discourse, we will likely use all three when making a presentation, but it is necessary for students to understand what they mean and how to use them. As for me, I tend to rely heavily on logos, something I found useful when teaching management and systems subjects. In high school, the one math subject I excelled in was Geometry where you built theorems based on logic, e.g., “If A=B, and B=C, then A must equal C.” I found this particularly useful in public speaking as well as in my writings.

Public communications is incredibly important for just about any field of endeavor, and high schools should do more to teach the students this important skill. Personally, I would like to see students stand on a soap box and give a five minute speech to classmates passing by at lunch time. This would help them overcome their fear of speaking and give them the confidence to argue a point. They will need such resiliency throughout their adult life. Speaking from experience, as a young man, I was scared to death initially, but thank God I learned to overcome my fear as it allowed me to become more sociable and productive both in college and the work force.

I only hope my experience will help and encourage young people suffering from glossophobia to overcome their fear. I knew I had conquered mine the moment I realized I actually relished being in front of an audience, instead of behind it.

By the way, I finished my college career with a degree in Communications, specializing in speech and rhetorical thought. Who-da-thunk-it!

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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UNDERSTANDING NATIONALISM

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 20, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Creating “Win-Win” situations.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I find the vilification of nationalism to be appalling. It is being depicted as some sort of Fascist, racist, unpatriotic institution. The reality is, nothing could be further from the truth. It is being characterized as such, because it doesn’t fit in with the progressive/socialist agenda, nor other global developments, such as climate change, immigration, and defense.

President Trump embraced the concept as part of his “America First” initiative, which is one reason why Democrats find it offensive, but it is also being embraced in Europe by the “Brexit” movement in the United Kingdom, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and France. This explains why French President Emmanuel Macron recently made the claim, “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” as he views it as a threat to his presidency and the European Union.

As just about anyone who has visited the country can tell you, France is one of the most nationalistic countries in terms of its culture and language. You either fit into their way of thinking or get out. Mr. Macron also suggested the development of a separate army to defend itself against China, Russia, and the United States. This is an insult as America has come to the aid of Europe not just once, but several times over the last 100 years, both militarily and economically.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will not seek re-election following her term of office, also attacked nationalism by warning against “destructive isolationism.” She went on to say, “We know that most of the challenges and threats of today can no longer be solved by one nation alone, but only if we act together.”

I couldn’t agree more, but why is nationalism detrimental to this cause? In reality, it is not. People like Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel would have us believe we must all work together in a concerted effort, be it for the environment, immigration, health, and defense. This is all well and good, but what happens when there is a difference of opinion, and a country is asked to implement something in sharp contrast to their beliefs? In the case of “Brexit,” you withdraw from the European Union. In the case of President Trump, you withdraw from the Paris climate control accord, the Iranian peace deal, you move your embassy to Jerusalem over European objections, and you inform your “friends” you will no longer pick up the check for their activities, especially when we get nothing in return.

For many years I taught and consulted in the area of Corporate Culture. All companies, large and small, have a culture, a way of operating based on their values and perspectives. Not all companies think or act alike. In fact, the differences may be very pronounced. Also, within a Corporate Culture there may be a sub-culture, a clique or group of people (such as a department) exhibiting distinctly different characteristics. Such groups may be allowed to operate so long as they do not violate the norms of the overall culture.

Those embracing globalization would have us believe there is one corporate culture. Yes, there may be sub-cultures exhibiting minor differences, but all are expected to conform to the overall culture. This is what Macron and Merkel support. Those embracing nationalism see the world as a group of separate cultures with some similarities allowing them to work cooperatively on mutually beneficial projects. This means each culture is sovereign and is responsible for managing their own affairs. If they do not want to work with another culture, it is their prerogative.

Ideally, companies and countries should work on “Win-Win” projects, where both parties benefit. A good example of this is “NYLON” which was a joint venture based on groups in New York “NY” and London “LON.” If we run into a “Win-Lose” scenario whereby one party benefits at the expense of another, this becomes an unhealthy relationship. Whereas nationalism promotes “Win-Win” situations, globalization allows for “Win-Lose.” And frankly, America is tired of being taken for granted and asked to pay the bill all of the time.

Globalization involves the cultural integration of trade, capital, and immigration among the countries of the world. This tends to force countries to lose their identity and become subservient to others. Again, nationalism respects the sovereignty of a country.

From this perspective, French President Macron is dead wrong; patriotism, which involves the love of country, is promoted by nationalism, not globalization. If anything globalization is a deterrent to patriotism.

There is nothing wrong with forming coalitions for different endeavors, such as the United Nations, NATO, the OAS, the European Union, etc. It is when “Win-Lose” relationships form and one country must dance to the fiddle of another that discord erupts. Think about it; as citizens, does our allegiance rest with the United Nations or the United States? Frankly, I do not understand why this is a difficult concept to grasp.

Nationalism does not prohibit us from coming to the aid of our friends, as we have demonstrated for many years. However, when a friendship is abused and a financial burden added, it is time to ask why.

Nationalism is not the enemy, being asked to relinquish our sovereignty is.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

FLORIDA: WELCOME TO THE “LAUGHING STOCK” STATE

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 16, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– This is for all of the voters up North.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Knowing I write regularly on politics, as well as other things, I have recently been bombarded with calls, messages, and e-mails from acquaintances all over the world asking me about the Florida election recount. An old friend I know vacationing in southern Spain asks for daily updates. High School and College classmates from Ohio also ask me regularly, as are readers from throughout the Midwest, New England, and the South. I can’t remember a time when so many people have been asking me about a single issue.

After asking for the latest update, the next question inevitably is, “Don’t they know how to count down there?” It’s interesting, from the tone of the discourse they would have you believe all of the people in Florida are bumbling idiots, not just because we cannot seem to count ballots, but because there isn’t sufficient outrage to demand an end to this madness. I usually begin my defense of Florida by saying, “First, it’s not my fault.” Like all Floridians who voted, I followed standard operating procedures and assumed my County will tabulate the results correctly.

Prior to the Bush/Gore debacle of 2000, where punch cards were used, Florida also came under scrutiny and we had to endure the ridicule of “hanging chads,” “dimpled chads,” and “no votes.” This seemed to go on forever and we felt the wrath of the American people. As I have been involved with Information Technology for quite some time, I happened to ask some election technicians I knew as to what was going on. They told me there was nothing wrong with the election technology back then and the problem wouldn’t have surfaced had it not been such a close race. Then the attorneys and politicians got involved and blew everything out of proportion.

To make matters worse, the 2000 election caused Florida to abandon the punch card ballot, which was a cost effective method for tabulating results, and caused us to reinvent voting, not just once, but twice. Several million dollars later in new technology investments and we have the problems of 2018. I find it particularly hysterical when I hear election officials claim their tabulating equipment is “so old.” They make it sound like it is something from the 19th century. Even the 20th century isn’t that “old.” The reality is, their equipment is probably no older than eight years at the most, and used just once each year. “Old?” Don’t make me laugh.

All of this would suggest we need to once again reinvent the election methodology down here. Frankly, that is not the point. Regardless of the technology in place, if it is a close race, rest assured attorneys and politicians will find fault with it. Add to it, incompetence at the County Board of Election level driven by party affiliation, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Yes, there were other states who faced election recounts, but because Florida is an important “swing” state, the media spotlight is placed glaringly on us and we begin to suffer from a bad case of the stupids. This results in numerous political cartoons and jokes on the Internet poking fun at our inability to produce reliable computations, thereby making us the “laughing stock” of the country. Republicans are outraged by the moniker, Democrats couldn’t care less as they desperately want their candidates to win the senate, governorship, and agriculture commissioner job. Yes, we all want fair elections, but we shouldn’t try to change existing voting laws on the fly.

Counting ballots is not rocket science, but perhaps we should go back to manual counting since the advanced technology doesn’t seem to be working. The reality is, it is working fine and it is unlikely anything will change in terms of who won the election. Maybe Florida should get special dispensation to hold the election 30 days prior to the normal election day as that seems to be the right amount of time necessary for us to count votes.

As I tell my friends up north, I do not foresee any changes in the outcome of the Florida elections. I’m just ashamed we came out of this looking like a bunch of huckleberries.

Just remember, its not my fault.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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2018 ELECTION POSTMORTEM

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 15, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– What did I learn from this election?

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Coming from the business world, I understand the importance of conducting a Project Review (aka, “Project Audit”) whereby we make note of what went right and what went wrong. The intent is to pass these lessons on to others for the future. This is equally applicable to politics which is why I want to review the lessons I learned from the recent 2018 mid-term elections. This may seem a little dry, but it includes some important lessons for both parties to observe.

I have been keeping track of the voting numbers for two cycles now (2016 and 2018), representing Mr. Trump’s rise to the presidency, and the ensuing mid-terms.

The first thing I learned is the national and local political polls are useless and do not reflect reality. Frankly, they are a joke. I do not know their selection criteria for conducting surveys, but whatever they are doing, it is horribly wrong. This was proven in 2016 and 2018. To this day, they would have us believe Gillum and Nelson are still up by six points (and Mrs. Clinton by double-digits). The people who run these polls should find another line of work.

I found the early voting data provided by the state (in my case, Florida) to be much more reliable. In studying the data from both elections, I found the following:

* Republicans win the Mail-In votes (aka, Absentee).

* Democrats win the in-person Early Voting votes. Republicans do not find this convenient as it interrupts their business day.

* Republicans win the Election Day votes.

Turnout is ultimately based on the drumbeats of the parties. Whichever party can inspire their constituents to vote, wins. To illustrate, even though Florida Democrats had approximately 250K more registered voters than the Republicans, the GOP was able to get their members to the voting booth:

66.28% of all registered Republicans voted.
59.77% of all registered Democrats voted.

This resulted in 150K more Republicans voting than Democrats.

In the Tampa Bay area, I found:

* Hillsborough County (representing downtown Tampa) is solid Democrat.

* Manatee County is solid Republican.

* Pasco County is solid Republican.

* Pinellas County – Republicans lost the lead in early voting to the Democrats on the last day, but overtook the Democrats on election day.

* Polk County is solid Republican.

* Sarasota County is solid Republican.

This happened both in 2016 and 2018. Likewise, state-wide early voting resulted in a slim lead for the Democrats, but the Republicans outvoted them on Election Day by 171K votes.

Whereas large metropolitan areas voted Democrat, e.g., Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, all the rural areas voted strongly for the Republicans. For example, Republicans in tiny Citrus County, on the upper west coast of Florida, had 20K more votes than Democrats, thereby easily negating Jacksonville with +6K votes for Democrats. It was the rural and West Coast counties that carried the day for Republicans.

Other observations:

* Surprisingly, eleven of the twelve amendments to the Florida Constitution passed (#1 was the one defeated). Frankly, I was surprised by this. The only explanation I can think of is, due to the volume of legislation, people grew tired and simply checked off the “Yes” box in order to expedite their time in the voting booth.

* The campaign races were incredibly costly. I am told the Governor’s race alone was the most expensive in our history. The Senate race was also expensive. Even the races for the State Senate and House were expensive. There was one State Senator who spent over $500,000 on his campaign. As you probably know, I consider this enormously frivolous. We should be spending the money on more worthwhile endeavors than the media.

* I was not made aware of any voter fraud down here, except for one instance where a non-citizen tried to vote and the Democrats wanted it accepted. Of course, it was disallowed. There was also concern about northern students attending Florida colleges voting twice (once here and once back home in the north), but I have heard nothing tangible about this. The same could be said for northern retirees who have a house in the South for winter.

* Following close races for the Senate and Governorship, there was a clamor to recall the votes. In the process, Broward and Palm Beach Counties came under scrutiny for possible election fraud and incompetence. Both counties are strongholds for the Democrats, thus heightening suspicions by Republicans. Full investigations are underway. I cannot remember the last time, if ever, an election was overturned here in Florida, including the famous Bush/Gore debacle back in 2000. Unfortunately, this proves our voting procedures are far from bullet-proof. Personally, I had no problem with the punch-card approach. Regardless, here is another reason why reforms should be enacted in our electoral process.

* There were a lot of close races, be it for the Governorship, U.S. Senate, County and Municipal races. Whoever won, be it Red or Blue, should be sensitive to this and realize the people will be watching their performance. Translation: They better get off their duffs and do something.

* The polarity of the country becomes more pronounced with each election. This is caused by differences in morality between the parties in terms of our perspectives as to what is right, and what is wrong.

Mid-term elections used to be as interesting as watching grass grow. Attendance was low. No more. The votes cast in Florida in 2018 were approximately 80% of those cast in 2016, an incredible figure. Thanks to the polarity of the country, the days of sleepy-eyed mid-term elections are long gone and we will continue to have massive political struggles from now on.

Thus closes the 2018 elections.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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BREAKING UP THE MEDIA/POLITICAL VICIOUS CIRCLE

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 13, 2018

BRYCE ON THE NEWS MEDIA

– Time to break the cycle.

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The 2018 mid-term elections was the largest campaign of its kind in history, both in terms of votes cast and campaign money spent, which was in the billions of dollars. Perhaps it is time to reflect on why this happened. We now live in a 24/7 news cycle. Whereas back in the 1960’s we would read morning newspapers, watch evening news, and skim through weekly news magazines (e.g., Time, Newsweek, Life, etc.), news is now offered on a non-stop basis, not just on one television channel, but several, as well as the Internet. Forget reality TV and sports, news is now the #1 entertainment medium and there are millions of news junkies around to prove it.

What we are now faced with is the diabolical manipulation of the American psyche, much more persuasive than anything invented by Joseph Goebbels during World War II. Let me be brutally frank, the news media is not concerned with reporting reliable news and accurate information, it’s about making money, and this includes all of the news sources. They have sacrificed “fair and balanced” for the political agenda they believe will cause the most angst among the American public. This includes the major television networks, cable, the Internet, and printed press. Their influence is so pervasive, it explains why the country is polarized and people suffer from such things as Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).

To illustrate, during the election, the news media was quick to quote the latest poll du jour. All of these polls were just as inaccurate as they were in 2016 when they confidently predicted Mrs. Clinton would win the presidential election. Instead of examining early voting data as provided by the various state board of elections, they preferred to quote some cockamamie poll instead. Please understand, the early voting data is far more accurate and insightful than any poll, yet the news media refuses to quote them as it doesn’t create as much drama as a skewed poll does.

This overt attempt to whip the public into a frenzy is shared by the news media, the polls, and fact checkers. They are all on the take, which is why they encourage upheaval, cast doubt on politicians, and lack professional courtesy. Their job, as they see it, is to make the news, not report on it.

The question thereby becomes, what can be done about it? The answer is actually simple. Since the source of energy for the media is money, we should minimize the amount they can earn. For example, our electoral cycles have fallen into the rut of creating campaigns lasting as long as two years. This includes campaigns for federal, state, county, and municipal politicians. I just witnessed a campaign here in Florida where I saw state and county politicians, who earn approximately $30,000 a year, spend ten times that amount to be elected, some much more than that. From a business perspective, this represents a lousy return on investment. Again, the only group profiting from this is not the politicians, but the news media who reaps the reward.

As an aside, in 2018, politicians spent in excess of $2 billion for campaigning, a new record. This money was not used for charitable purposes, or to update our infrastructure, or to cure cancer. It was used to line the pockets of the media and create multimillionaire celebrity news personalities.

The end of the 2018 election marks the official beginning of the 2020 campaign, and the vicious circle starts all over again. The pumping of huge sums of money into the coffers of the news media only encourages them to persist in irresponsible news reporting. But what if the gravy train was interrupted; what then?

To curb spending and obnoxious campaigning, we should do as other countries do and reduce our electoral cycle to a defined period, such as 90 or 120 days. For example, there are several countries who have less than a 90 day election period, such as Argentina, Canada, France, and Japan. Further, some countries do not allow the purchase of TV ads, such as Brazil, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Such policies dramatically inhibit the media money machines and causes them to take the histrionics out of their broadcasts.

The symbiotic relationship between the Media and Politics is so imbued in our culture, getting the two parties to agree to my proposal is out of the question. To implement such a program requires changes in our electoral process which must be driven by the citizenry, not politicians. This cannot happen unless the country becomes aware of the problem and expresses outrage over it, but since the media controls communications it is doubtful voters will ever learn of it. In fact, watch this column be torpedoed and sunk.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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