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Plano Texas 75023
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Recent View from the Prairie Articles

August 2018

The Internet is Destroying Karl Marx

Recently, some places celebrated Karl Marx's 200 th birthday and the 150 th anniversary of the publication of Das Kapital. Today, the Internet is destroying his work. We know more about the history of money than he knew. And Karl Marx made two deep mistakes in his analysis. Nothing has intrinsic value, neither gold nor labor.

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The 8 Hour Work Day is Gone

One major by-product of the Information Revolution is the destruction of the 8-hour work day. It was an invention of the Industrial Revolution and no longer is meaningful.

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July 2018

Sometimes the little things matter

The Large Hadron Collider is where the Higgs Boson was discovered. No, nobody actually saw it nor was there a solid signal on a measurement. Instead, it was only a blip of other particles that had very strong probability that they were created from the Higgs Boson. This little blip brought the Nobel Prize. In the business world, little blips can be important. We define our corporate culture by what small things we praise and which we fire over.

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Credit Spigot Turn Off?

From the first, our country was built on credit but periodically, the credit spigot got turned off. In the 1800's, they called it a "financial panic" and those happened over and over again. In the 1900's, we only had the 1907 panic and the one Great Depression. More recently, we had the "Great Recession". However, what would happen if the credit spigot got turned off again?

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June 2018

Karl Marx - 200 years later

Recently, several countries celebrated the 200 th birthday of Karl Marx. In his writing, he targeted America and Britain hoping to change their economies. He failed. While America has had armed rebellion and soft revolutions, we did not follow the path Marx wanted for us. What happened? It is important to look at the economic situation when Marx was writing, look at how America and Britain chose other paths, and see how Marx's vision ultimately failed.

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The real danger of Artificial Intelligence

The story goes in WWII, the Russians trained some dogs to run bombs under tanks. But the German tanks smelled different so the dogs ran back under Russian tanks with the bombs. Artificial intelligence has similar problems. AI systems trained to detect images are being fooled by small changes to the pictures undetectable to humans. The results are AI systems not recognizing stop signs, misidentifying individuals, and not seeing dangerous situations.

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May 2018

Surfing the Change Wave

Can you handle how fast the world is changing around you? With social media and other outlets, our customers and potential customers can control the image we have in the community. We can't control so much of the environment in which we operate. Some companies are accepting this and riding the waves of change around them. They find ways to get energy from changes they can't control.

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The Science of Not Knowing

Human beings have three ways of not knowing. We can know that we don't know something. We can not know something and not know that we don't know it. We can "know" something but be totally wrong about it. This last one is the most costly and hardest to deal with. There are a number of costs of knowing but being wrong in that knowing.

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April 2018

Making Decisions with Incomplete Knowledge

We are always needing to make decisions without knowing the full information about the situation or what the consequences of the decision will be. We need to have a system of making decisions and reviewing such decisions when the consequences we become aware of them. We do best to also ask the deep questions.

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Mindfulness

A current wave through management circles is to spend time in "Mindfulness". The practitioners claim studies showing that managers who set aside time for "Mindfulness" make better decisions. There is an obvious reason for that result. But any time in "Mindfulness" can be improved by focusing on the questions.

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