Do Something Good For All Of Us

I practice a number of “daily disciplines.” They include meditation and service. This post is about the discipline of service. I’ve been a recycling fanatic for a number of years. Lately I attempted to contribute to a project called The Carbon Almanac. Check it out.

Seth Godin talked about a search engine called Ecosia that gives you good search results through your browser on the Web and also does good things for the environment by planting trees. Here are some thoughts from a recent Seth blog.

Seth Godin talked about a search engine called Ecosia that gives you good search results through your browser on the Web and also does good things for the environment by planting trees. Here are some thoughts from a recent Seth blog.

Seth Godin talked about a search engine called Ecosia that gives you good search results through your browser on the Web and also does good things for the environment by planting trees. Here are some thoughts from a recent Seth blog.

Make the choice to upgrade from Google.

There are many good reasons to do so, and few downsides.

Do it for your efficiency, for the health of the web and for the planet too.

First, a quick clarification because this is confusing to many people: The thing you use to browse the internet is not a search engine. Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Safari–these are web browsers. A browser is software that allows you to look at any web page–and these companies often make money by selling your attention to the search engine that bids the most. Apple takes billions of dollars a year from Google in exchange for steering you to their search engine.

And the reason that Google bids so much is that they make an insane amount of money. Billions of dollars a year from serving up ads and harvesting your data from your searches. That money needs to come from somewhere.

You can switch your search engine in just a few clicks. See a short video and find the links right here.

Here’s what will happen when you switch to Ecosia:

You’ll get faster and less cluttered search results, with far fewer ads.

You’ll be diversifying the web, so SEO hacks can’t easily take over.

You’ll be giving away far less data about yourself and maintaining more privacy.

AND! You’ll be planting trees through a certified not-for-profit B corp… more than 100,000,000 planted so far.

If you don’t like the results, you can switch back in two minutes.

If you switch and then you forward this to five more people who switch, we’re likely to plant another 100,000,000 trees in the next year. That’s a lot. If you switch and spread the word, search results will get better and Google will start to do a better job knowing that they don’t have quite the same scale of monopoly.

I have switched on all my devices. Check it out.

Promoting The Next Generation

This is post 2,800. It began as an experiment at the end of 2003 and grew and grew. Today there are usually more than 150,000 visits to this website every month. Thank you all very much.

A woman called Ellie wrote proposing to submit a guest post here. There are a couple of these requests every day. Either some SEO guru mistakenly told people that’s how to gain traffic or it’s a school project. Don’t know.

I started a standard reply about how this is a personal blog site. I write everything. I may quote people, but I don’t give bylined articles. There are magazines that get all their content that way. I’m not them.

However, I decided to check her Website. Ellie and Emily have a great blog site going. I think it’s great. The site is called Revolutionized. I thought I’d dedicate post 2,800 to a new generation. I’m so happy she wrote. Following are some highlights from their site that explain what they are up to. Please support with your visits.

Our world is driven by innovation. Science and technology are rapidly changing our lives. Everything from the industrial sector to the cities we live in are transforming before our eyes.

At Revolutionized, we want to connect curious minds to the ideas and processes disrupting our world. Our readers want to know what will revolutionize their industry next. Explore different niches within the technology, industry and science sectors. Revolutionized is for industry veterans and knowledgeable newcomers looking to discuss the evolution of these sectors.

Our goal is to create an ever-evolving thought leadership hub filled with in-depth insights into the latest research and development, as well as look back at the journey we took to get where we are today so we can continue creating a better tomorrow.

Emily Newton and Ellie Poverly, thanks, you make me feel old, yet keep me young.

Training

Seth Godin says this much better than I have (from The Practice).

If you want to get in shape, it’s not difficult. Send an hour a day running or at the gym. Do that for six months or a year. Done.

That’s not the difficult part. The difficult part is becoming the kind of person who goes to the gym every day.

A fitness coach said recently on a podcast, “I don’t go to the gym and work out. I train.”

That is so apt. Working out is just doing some exercises. Training require thought. Intention. Motivation. Study. I know what muscle group I’m training today. Why. How the various muscles relate. How to coordinate with breath.

Just so in our work life. Through university (one hopes) we learned to analyze and solve problems. How to collect the right data, and how to use them.

Today in your job are you training and using intention, motivation, study? Are you the type of person who goes to work every day to solve problems and move the organization forward?

Steel Toes and Stilettos A Story of Manufacturing Transformation

The go-to book for manufacturing operations management for a generation has been The Goal by Jeff Cox and Eliyahu Goldratt. The book tells about transforming a failing plant using the Theory of Constraints and examples from life such as a Boy Scout hike.

Steel Toes and Stilettos: A True Story of Women Manufacturing Leaders and Lean Transformation Success by Shannon Karels and Kathy Miller captures my nomination for the manufacturing operations management story for the new generation. This first person account (told in sections by each of the authors) tells the story of how they assembled and led teams of three divisional automotive parts plants through a Lean transformation. The plants became clean, profitable, enthusiastic examples of how manufacturing can be done better.

Noticing, perhaps, that the authors are women, they use shoes as a metaphor for the journey and for the outline of the book. They also played with the metaphor of walking a mile in someone’s shoes. Part of the book discusses some of the work and planning involved from convincing people to try new ideas into having those same people (mostly) become creative participants in turning the plants around. Like all good stories, there are several levels. Another part of the story is how they managed to blend home life with the time consuming travel and meetings a turnaround requires. Still another part touches on some unique challenges women face in an overwhelmingly male culture.

Oh, and I think many grapes were killed in the making of this story. You’ll have to read the book to catch the meaning.

Note: I link to bookshop.org rather than to Amazon. This website supports your local independent bookstore. Just as I’m a fan of local coffee houses that provide direct trade coffee, I also support local bookstores.

What If?

The latest Tim Ferriss podcast features Jane McGonigal. I think it a disservice to label her a futurist (a term I’ve learned to dislike), but through her social game development she predicted something like the current pandemic in 2010.

Last summer I took my grandkids down to one of our water retention ponds so they could try out their remote controlled boat. They returned from wandering in the tall grass with a few ticks. I had not heard from any of the myriad dog owners in the community that there was a tick infestation problem.

The point of this aside—McGonigal pointed to a new ”pandemic” in the making. Some people are becoming severely allergic to animal protein. This could be anything from a hamburger to gelatin—something used for anything from gummy candy to medicine capsules. The allergy can cause hospitalization much like severe nut allergy. Your allergy could be aggravated just through smell, such as hanging out at a barbecue. Alpha-GAL comes from bites from the Lone Star tick. Tick populations and human populations are spreading and intersecting each other. What if enough people become infected to change the entire food supply?

I advise listening to the podcast for all the questions she raises. Questions we can all use to determine how we would react to possible future events. And how we could make things better or even change things for the better beforehand.

I began thinking about manufacturing/production/automation.

What if all users become completely locked in by their current supplier?

What if that supplier goes out of business? Or is acquired with the acquiring company forcing customers to change?

What if the power grid fails?

What if we suddenly need a new power source?

What if geo-politics suddenly destroy the supply chain?

What if you suddenly had to change careers? (I’ve done that at least three times. What about you?)

What if…?

I have recorded podcast reflections on the ODVA meeting–237 It’s Too Complicated. Or, you can watch it on YouTube.

Taking a step back to look at some trends, some other networking news and developments you can find at The Manufacturing Connection include 5G and private networking and chip advances. This topic will heat up this year as more companies implement advanced networks for bandwidth and security.

Companies who have developed advanced product information management applications have been a new addition to my coverage. These companies develop algorithms and math to handle the complexity of managing huge numbers of product variations and supply chain issues.

A few years back the hot topic was IoT. Companies had IoT groups. Websites (and businesses around them) sprang up. I even got some business based on covering connectivity (read IoT). The groups have been disbanded. Coverage is changing. Stacey Higgenbotham of Stacey on IoT recently discussed her expanded areas of coverage. HPE’s Tom Bradicich still writes on IoT issues, but his position at HPE changed and broadened. HPE now refers to Edge-to-Cloud. I’ve always been broader than IoT, so I am not really affected. But I find how markets change interesting.

Open Source Software continues to make advances. There is continual news coming from the Linux Foundation and Industrial IoT Consortium.

Podcasts have been on my daily agenda for twenty years. Here are some recents that are interesting and educating:

Analysts Benedict Evans and Toni Cowen-Brown discuss current tech trends at Another Podcast. Check out “Asking Dumb Questions.”

John Gruber of Daring Fireball interviews Ken Locienda about the origins of the iPhone.

Listen to the most impassioned plea for science and math education I’ve heard on Moira Gunn’s TechNation podcast interview with George Yancopoulos.

I’ve practiced varieties of health and fitness activities for years. Peter Attia, MD, has become a favored source of information. Check out How Fructose Drives Metabolic Disease and The Science of Obesity.