Archive for May, 2011

6 / 2 (1 + 2) = ?

Other than the viral links circulating around Facebook these couple of days about Osama Bin Laden’s alleged bloody pictures or those “See Who Viewed My Facebook Profile” apps, one popular question on Facebook lately is the supposedly simple and straightforward math as follows.

6 / 2 (1 + 2) = ?

The question seems so straightforward (it’s fourth grade math) that 1.5 million adults answered online, and got it totally wrong.  That is, if you believe the answer is 1.

I think most remembered to add the bracketed 1 and 2 together first, but I, amongst the 1.5 million people so far (and still counting apparently…), totally forgot the cardinal rule of tabulating in the order of left to right.   So, for those who are 4th grade proficient, they know the correct answer is 9.  Those who answered wrongly with the answer 1 constitutes over 44% of the respondents.  Nothing to console myself about, really.

No, I’m not smarter than a 5th grader.  Now I’m depressed – again.

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Finding Ourselves

So I have a desktop computer at home, and a 16-inch laptop.  Oh yes I have another 10-inch netbook for my travels, and of course an iPhone.  I just ordered my iPad 2 a few days ago, which I am expecting in a couple of weeks. 

Things have definitely gone out of hand.

Now when I get an e-mail, I get it on my iPhone, on my computers, and on my Facebook if it’s a Facebook message.  When I work, I also have all my messages and e-mail forwarded to my work blackberry.  There are so many ways I can get in touch with my friends and it does take a while for the virtual party to figure out whether it’s best to text, whatsapp, MSN, Facetime, skype or Facebook chat with each other.  It just seems as if we are all too lazy to pick up the phone these days, and I am just as guilty as anyone I know.

If I ask you how you have been sending pictures to your contacts, I’m sure I will get quite a few different answers.  However, the trend is definitely moving toward personal mobile devices that can talk, text, take pictures, exchange info, entertain, and surf. 

I feel like we never have any so-called free time anymore.  In the city of Hong Kong, it’s like we have been trained to keep ourselves occupied 24 hours a day.  It’s a sin to stare blankly anywhere even for just a few minutes.  We are surfing Facebook, catching up with the news, playing games, and texting with our friends no matter whether we are on the subway, at the coffee shop, or quietly recuperating at home. 

I also feel at times that we are no longer actively using our brains.  Yes it’s been working but more often than not our brains have been passively bombarded with junk information that we can live without.  So much data is being pushed on us now and those who are not careful can very well lose track of who they are.  Why is it a crime to give ourselves a few minutes of free time to listen to our bodies and inner voices?  Are we feeling contented, or are we lost?  Are we designing our own destiny or are we following some set upon paths for us? 

Take a breather, get to the countryside, pack some light lunch, leave your gadgets and spend some quality time with yourself for an afternoon.  Think and be free.  We all deserve just that.


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Talk about business title inflation.  I now see so many “Chiefs” around the corporate space.  Southwest Airlines has a Chief Twitter Officer. Coca-Cola and Marriott have Chief Blogging Officers. Kodak has a Chief Listening Officer.  When does it end?  As with everything else, title inflation just leads to value degradation.  In order to have the relevant stakeholder give you the time of day, you need to be appropriately titled or apparently you are a complete waste of their time.

Sometimes putting a chief officer in an area is to merely broadcast to the outside world that you are committed to such space, rather than doing anything fundamentally useful.  In larger multinational corporations we always hear of the company’s core values and principles.  Easy, we’ll name a chief officer for each of them.  Chief Integrity Officer.  Chief Teamwork Officer.  Chief Speed Officer (no it’s not what you think).  Chief Openness Officer.  Chief Fun Officer.  Chief Equal Opportunities Officer.  Chief Creative Officer (Microsoft).  You will definitely not go wrong.

What’s popular these days?  Facebooking, twittering, blogging, etc. leads to companies creating such chief officer positions like SouthWest, Coca-Cola and Marriott. 

Sign me up for Chief Recreation Officer any day.  I heard it’s such a tough job that I should remember to ask for more vacation days.

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