Good people divided by politics and religion make our county weak.

Image

Our bias binds us and blinds us.  You can start by testing your morals online – just be prepared for the results.

There reason I bring up morals is that most people think that their morals are true, the highest, the best.  I’m not here to disagree, but I challenge you to consider walking in someone else’s morals occasionally.

There is an enormous social and economic divide in the US.  And it’s getting worse.  Everyone is to blame because everybody is sure that their side is right.  The current stalemate threatens our country, undermines our moral high ground and economic standing in the world.  Even more importantly the real threat is at home, here in these great United States.  We need to strengthen our economic engine by developing and integrating a social contract that makes our growth sustainable.  But first we need to share values.

Jonathan Haidt, moral psychologist, explains why liberal Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic (WIRED) arguments are weak and conversely, why conservatives don’t listen in the incredible new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. The summary is linked.  Or, I’ll lend you my copy (email me at kronn@AGDventures.com) if you promise to read it and return it. Or, you can buy your own. OR, If you can’t afford your own copy, I’ll buy you a copy. (Limited to the first 100 or so…50 liberals and 50 conservatives, please.)

If we respect other’s point of view, we can renew our social contract and keep our country great.  We all recognize that Media hypes the social divide just as reality TV creates conflict to make it interesting.  But the problems of economic and social justice are real and directly connected to our future.  An interesting side effect of all the shouting is that the real problem with hyperbole and rude interrupting is that you and I end up preaching to or listing to the same choir.

Both sides of an argument need to be articulated well so others listen, not just our own believers.  Haidt does a great job of providing a framework for construction of strong arguments on both sides.  His 6 pillars force a point of view to consider a broader and potentially more balanced argument.

It’s possible BOTH sides are right.

Bobby Kennedy used to say that one-fifth of the people are against you all the time.  He was right. It takes compromise from the 80% in the middle.  The radical 10% will never change.  So it is up to the majority of us to be the change.

Recognize your own bias and practice listen first.   Be respectful and be ready to change your mind – They just may have a valid point or two.  Only then we can begin to move back together – e plurbius unim – one from many.  Once we are understanding each other, we can rebuild the social and economic contract that will keep the United States strong and prosperous for all citizens.

The alternative is failure as a county.

Here is Jonathan Haidt’s TED talk if you need a quick start.

I’m taking book orders.

You need to learn to code. Seriously. You need to learn to code.

This cat can code.

This cat can code.

You need to learn to learn a new language: computer code.   I suggest Python.

Programming is not rocket science.  It’s not for someone else.  It’s not only for geeks.  It’s not only for the young.  It’s for everyone.  It’s for you.

Learning to program some code will change your life. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it isn’t. I’m not an engineer. I’m an entrepreneur and I can trace my success back to learning to write process maps and understand databases from college Fortran and COBOL classes.   I never programmed anything in those languages, but because I wasn’t afraid of technology, I was early into the Internet.  I understood the basics behind the Internet and that made me faster to market.

There aren’t enough people writing new software in the world and there is certainly a shortage of programming knowledge in the United States.  You don’t have to become a C++ expert, write complex programs or give up your social life to learn programming. You don’t need to know calculus or even be good at math.

You don’t have to become fluent, you just need to know some basics.  (Fluency is okay, too.) But, you just have to give it a shot.  They don’t teach programming in most schools, so you may have to buy a book or attend a class.

It is worth the small investment in time and dollars. We are surrounded by computers and they aren’t going away. Knowing the language that makes your computer or mobile phone app work will help you think clearer, you will be faster to use new technology and you will be better at leading teams.

If you don’t believe me that you need to code, watch this short video and tell me that you think programming is for someone else.

Happy coding and remember to send me a thank you note when you create that new mobile app, start that new company, get a promotion or start a new job.

You are welcome.

I thought only Catholics got into heaven.

The World of Religion

The World of Religion

So St Peter is walking a newly arrived Methodist around heaven. They walk past a door marked Presbyterian. He opens up the door and looks in waving. Closes the door and walks on. He comes to the next door and it is marked Episcopalian – you can hear music playing. He comments, “Nice group of people. Then he says, “Shhhh…We have to be quiet here. The Catholics are next and they think they are the only ones here.”

I grew up thinking that there were only Catholics in the world and certainly the only one in heaven were Catholic. The World of Religion infographic is courtesy of SoulPancake. It shows the breadth of beliefs. It turns out that there are a lot of Catholics, but there are a lot more options as well…and most believe that they are the true religion.

They are all correct.  So let’s be nice.

A little insight

Lovers bow tie detail

Lovers bow tie detail

A little insight

We live in a world where dreams come true with focus and hard work.  Every day is another good day when you walk in the right direction.  AGD Ventures occupies the space where business, art, family, friends, community and a life well lived overlap. We do things that are valuable, that we can do and others aren’t doing.

Our vision and mission drive our choices.

Vision

  • Simply Better
  • Dreams Come True
  • Create Legacy
  • Wholelifeistic 

Mission

  • Sustainable, Scalable
  • Job Creation
  • For Good, For Profit
  • March on Washington 2063

Our rituals drive our culture.

Ground Rules

  • Respect
  • Be positive, consider negatives
  • Duality exists and both could be right

Good Questions

  • Is it good for our team and the community?
  • Is it simply better?
  • Will it scale?
  • Is it profitable?

Axioms

  • The hero never gives up.
  • No extra points for degree of difficulty.
  • Be a baker, but own a bakery.
  • Creativity is built upon a standard, not in place of it.

Oh, and bow ties are good, too…

Canis Majoris is a bit brighter tonight.

Canis Majoris is a bit brighter tonight.

There is a new star in my Canis Majoris constellation. Betsey joined Buddy last night.

Betsey Girl was 16 years old and wanted to go play with her longtime companion, Buddy – of Another Good Day fame.

The constellation already includes Spud, Hans, Jenny, Karl, Audrey, Elvis and the strong felines, Fat Cat, Kitty, Sabrina and Itchy.

Good girl, Betsey.

Buddy

Buddy

Buddy is closing in on 19 years old.  About six years ago, I was pretty sure that Buddy’s days were numbered.  So every morning he woke up I would greet him with the saying, “It’s another good day for Buddy.”  I figured another day above ground was another good day for old Buddy.   Nearly six years later, I’ve learned that every day is another good day for Buddy and for me.  Old dogs can learn new tricks.