Don't Think Social Issues are Important in the work place? Social Threats are close to Physical Threats

The latest book I am reading is Social by Matthew B. Lieberman


Two points made that can open your mind up.

Our brains evolved to experience threats to our social connections in much the same way they experience physical pain .

We intuitively believe social and physical pain are radically different kinds of experiences, yet the way our brains treat them suggests that they are more similar than we imagine.

Lieberman, Matthew D. (2013-10-08). Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect (p. 5). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

So much of work and school thinks being social is bad and a distraction, but you cannot turn off being social.

Based on the latest cutting edge research, the findings in Social have important real-world implications.  Our schools and businesses, for example, attempt to minimalize social distractions.  But this is exactly the wrong thing to do to encourage engagement and learning, and literally shuts down the social brain, leaving powerful neuro-cognitive resources untapped. 

Are you ready for the re invention of Media? Bezos, Omidyar, Jobs

NYTimes has a post about the reinvention of News Media.

What will get your attention in Paypal founder Omidyar is joining Bezos efforts in media.

Pierre M. Omidyar, the founder of eBay, revealed last week that he would back the journalist Glenn Greenwald and his colleagues in a newly conceived news site to the tune of $250 million. Just over two months ago, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, spent the same amount to personally buy The Washington Post. That’s half a billion dollars dropped into serious news production, a sector that investors in distressed assets have been fleeing.

And Steve Jobs wife is investing as well.

It doesn’t stop there. In July, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, invested in Ozy Media, a news start-up, joining a group that includes the angel investor Ron Conway; Larry Sonsini, a lawyer from an eminent Silicon Valley law firm; Dan Rosensweig of; and David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer.

What are some of things these  people are thinking?

“I think that technology could help find a way to actually do important journalism for our democracy that can impact many more people and help serve it to a general-interest audience in a way that can be commercially sustainable,” Mr. Omidyar said. (A separate article has more excerpts from the interview with Mr. Omidyar.)

Or some may just be dreaming.

This unfolding partnership will be fun to behold. For all their differences, the news and technology businesses share a kind of utopianism, an idealistic belief that the work of human hands can make life better for other humans.

40 Days of Dating goes Viral, Could 40 Weeks of a Data Center work too?

I was reading Om Malik's post on 40 days of dating.

40daysofdating: An awesome new kind of long-form story telling


AUG. 4, 2013 - 12:16 PM PDT



40daysofdating is a website that combines text, photos and video to tell the story of two friends Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman who after failing at finding love, are dating each other and sharing the experience. It is like reality television, except for the web.

I've been waiting for when someone would have an interesting web site that tells a story.

Needless to say, we have barely scratched the surface. At some level, 40daysofdating is like reality television — reality web if you will — and a good signpost for what could be a more episodic approach to content and story telling. In the past, it was comic books and stories in noir magazines that kept you hooked. So why not web-based episodic story telling?

In the data center world, there could be 40 weeks of a data center.  But, it could be 40 years before the data center world would adopt story telling as a way to share its ideas. :-)

Twitter and Youtube enabling more accurate reporting bypassing the media to distribute news

The reporting of Asiana Airlines accident at SFO has been interesting to watch.  I have this theory that the media are kind of like random efforts to get more traffic than others looking for the angle to tell that gets the most traffic.  Many times what gets the most traffic is not the truth, but what is most viral and gets shared through social media.  So what happens if social media itself is the best source of what is going on.

Example, PetaPixel reports on some of the most powerful photographs are coming from the NTSB.

The Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash Site, As Photographed by the NTSB

The Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash Site, As Photographed by the NTSB 9116ZRx

The media has been dominated by coverage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214′s crash landing in San Francisco this past weekend. What’s interesting is that some of the most powerful photographs showing the aftermath were not captured by professional photojournalists, but rather those with the most access to the site: US government employees.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States maintains a very active Twitter account, and has been Tweeting live updates to this story since news of the crash first emerged Saturday morning.

The officials have access to the real good stuff, and the media is looking for ways to get access.


Here is B Roll of the wreckage that is again powerful, informative and without the colored commentary of a media reporter.

If you want the facts of what has been disclosed you can watch the NTSB media briefing on YouTube.  It is a bit dry, but that is what happens when you discuss the facts.


What I find interesting is this 2nd media briefing is missing the mass of media logo microphones on the podium.

With the use of Twitter and Youtube by those who have public information to share there is a change in how media operates.  

There are many who are curious what the conditions of the flight recorders are.  and the NTSB provides one photo.  This clearly answers there are two.  They are recovered.  Look undamaged.  There are thousands of more pictures and videos the NTSB has taken and they pick those that they think are most useful.  



Can you see the influence and factions in the data center industry?

Part of what I have an interesting time is discussing the influence and factions in the data center industry.  It is hard to discuss the specifics in a blog entry especially when I want to build on a public disclosure.  I started writing this post a couple of days ago and didn't decide to publish until Chris Crosby threw up his inbreeding post.

 For our industry to continue to grow and mature we need to better understand the needs, not the buzzword wants, of our customers. At a time when we should be more open as an industry, it seems that we are only becoming more insular. While this may make us better banjo players, it doesn’t help us improve the product that we offer to our customers in any meaningful way.

So, let me discuss ideas from my own observations and general concepts.

I just posted on my 10 data center journey.  And one of the top criteria for attending an event is how is easy it to network.  Most conferences I exchange maybe 20 business cards at the most, many times only 10 or less.  When going to sessions, I'll quietly watching from a corner spot or if I want to really focus on the presenters I got up front where I can take pictures and I am not distracted by the audience.

One of the principles I use is to focus on location.  When I go to bfast I look for who is there and where is a good spot to see the people coming in for Bfast.  This allows me to see many people coming in and connect with people as they scope where to sit.  When I go to the bar I look for friends already there and where is a good place to get an overall view of the people.  When I go to receptions, I go early and look for the best table to sit/stand to watch the people.  If you try to wander around to talk to the people it can be frustrating and draining.  My strategy is to find the best spots to hang with some of the best people and just watch what happens.

The funny thing about this strategy is when you apply it to social situations it can look like you are uncomfortable as you don't move around and mingle.  You sit/stand and watch.  I've been lectured by my wife and her friends that I am introverted and it is hard for people to know me.  At 7x24 Exchange I was telling one of my friends this story, and he laughed so hard that I was being accused of being anti-social, introverted, and hard to talk to.  Well the truth is sometimes when I do get in social situations and I am not in a conversation, then I'll start working on thought experiments designing new features, iterating on different ways to solve the problem, more information I need, and I am perfectly happy just sipping on my wine watching people.  

Back to data center conferences, part of the observation is seeing those groups who stick together as a company.  I went to one social in LV at a hotel suite during Data Center World.  I got there mid party, which made it hard to find the right spot to watch people. I saw a friend by the food in the corner away from all the people and chatted.  The host came on by and we were poking of fun of the guys who were wearing the company polo shirts all collected together.  <ALERT: possible inbreed group.>  Then he said it was really hot as he came over to try and turn down the thermostat which was already set to 60 degrees.  I figured out I was in the 2 x 4 ft section of the suite that was comfortable as I was right next to the air conditioning vent.  New lesson, sometimes the best spot to be in a crowded party is where the air conditioning vents.  The cool air can work well to get people to come by and cool off.

When a large group of company employees from a vendor are together, then the thing to watch is their clients are most likely close by or their suppliers that they favor.  Seeing who interacts with who and spends time together gets you an idea who can work together.  One of the biggest mistakes made is when suppliers are picked that really don't get along with each other.  Sometimes worse case they really hate each other, and given the client has made the choices, they can't do anything about it.

There are those who are hunting for new business which is rarely successful, but often enough that some sales people will interject themselves wherever they think they have something they can.  This is when I am glad that I don't buy anything which means people leave me alone.  And, being a blogger it can work to scare off people who don't want to talk to press.  Sometimes I wonder if my friends use my press shield capabilities to keep people away.  :-)  Notice how the press badges are usually red.  Warning.  Don't talk to this person unless you are press trained and be careful what you say.

Some people are looking for new jobs.  At some point there are conversations on who has changed jobs, who is looking, who is hiring.  Do you see the talent?  <squirrel>  Who has had a reorganization which disrupts staff and execution.