Clean up Time

when the job is done
and the outcome is in
a glass of wine
and a cool night
a thing of beauty
an admiring eye
a grateful hand
and love of comfort
anything that i know
that isn't for the next
let them stumble
but the spare the hurt, 
power that be.
bearing the sweetness
ripe through the age
bundled for free
drops for the spoil
the biggest fight is with self
all the good and and not the pulp
flush the scum and float the cream
leave 'em to a long dream

Jet Stream

gentle tugs and nudges
very comfortable in-place
which has but once place to go
resting bodies, pensive minds
wrapped in safe hands
hugged by a quiet buzz
to wake to crispy morning
to dive back into the claim
no pain accepted
no square-inch ceded
dispose everything that sticks
enjoy every bite
one with the world
one with beyond
does a drop of water
ever exist in a stream?

Real Social Life

I’ve recently become less and less active on Facebook. I have had 100′s of friends there, and I was an avid poster of updates, photos and shared content. I used to check 10′s (if not >100) times daily, and used to read tons of updates and shares. There are two useful scenarios still – photo sharing and content sharing. The interestingness of content sharing is also on the decline, for which Twitter seems to be a better fit. I ditched foursquare and used Facebook to checkin as well.

Not any more.

It is probably their algo or perchance, but I see updates from the same set of folks, and their personality is now becoming more routine and less interesting over time. Posting my own updates is getting tiresome to my network, and the engagement has steadily fallen. This slow-motion of my virtual social life in a closed network of familiar folks has become kinda boring. It has had literally no impact on my ‘real’ social life, other than an occasional throwbacks to my Facebook posts during my real social interactions.

So what happened? I put on my product manager hat now.

Facebook pretty much has become a way to broadcast-subscribe casual communications. Someone posts something that many folks may or may not decide to consume, occasionally resulting in some sort of a group conversation. The central question is – does this mean Facebook is “Social”? I am not a super-social person in the real world. But I do have the OCD for patterns (boon and a bane). Here are my observations.

A social interaction in the real world is about people interacting with people, through a delicate dance of exchange of words, thoughts, feelings, glances and gestures. Exposing one self progressively in thoughts and attitudes, for a return favor in kind. Sometimes you hit off right away with another person. Sometimes it simmers. It’s mutual admiration. It’s physical. It’s metaphysical. It’s religious. There are bursts of interaction and then there are renewals. Some people ‘light up the room’. Some blow you away with wisdom. Grace. Beauty. You run into people occasionally - exchange pleasantries, make promises, and comfortably fade away. You are comfortable with some, you are intimidated by some, you love, you lust. It’s about creating shared life experiences with an ensemble cast of characters as wide ranging as the fate has in store for you.

How can we bottle up all of that into an algorithm to order the self-projections of outspoken individuals? How far are the written text and frozen images capable of bottling up the range of social mechanics?

I believe we are miles away from making people more social. Facebook is not social. Facebook interactions are as much a Social gadget as is a tap on the back, or glance askance, or tapping on a wine glass at the dinner table. Confusing a communication tool for a social utility is a big mistake, and vastly underserves the potential of electronics to aid folks in being more social.

I could think of a ‘copilot’ model of a social utility – sort of Google Now for social interactions. Pulls up a person’s profile when you are about to run into them. Pull up a quick pick up line. Or a dress recommendation for that cocktail party. I’d love that. I could get that kind of utility into something like a Google Glass. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Continuous Education

people’s skills are becoming absolete quicker than they used to. if you are out of a job for 2-3 years, you are very unlikely to find another similar job again, even if the economy picks up. why? because technology is changing the very nature of every job in fundemental ways. and workers can’t keep up with the currents if they aren’t swimming in the waters constantly.

if you look at education as a means of acquiring job skills (vs. as a means of acquiring knowledge), the process of educating oneself is no longer keeping up with the reality of how people can stay employed. it largely looks at education as a ‘step’ function. i.e., one gets educated, gets a job, and when the skills are obsolete, they go back to education to upgrade. not a great idea, since the model itself it embraces and perpetuates the discontinuity rather than eliminating it.

the online learning courses are a poor form of trying to meld the two. what’s needed is a structured on-the-job education. learning by doing. while the employers want the workers to be ready with the skills they need, how can they keep the employees that they already have always current?

what is the ‘maintenance’ model for human resources that is along the same lines as the ‘maintenance’ model for non-human resources we practice today? when will corporate benefits package include annual skills upgrade programs?

Thankful

for the grandma with a vision
and courage to carry a son

for the teasing dreams
and easy pickings
for willing surrenders
to the two fragile twigs

for the warmth of morning sun
and music when i want to run
for one foot in front of the other
sweet aches the morning after

for the sights of the day
for the peace of the night
for the every loving embrace
for the every grateful grace

for every stretch
for every breath

thankful