10-Minute Executive Brief

presentationSo you've been asked to provide a review or summary for the boss' boss or even higher up. Top, middle or bottom... your rank is moot! You have been chosen for a reason. That reason could be technical, social, or political. The most important thing for you to know is that -- IT IS A BRIEF.

Prime Directive: Simple, simple, simple.

  1. "Today." Where are we now?
  2. "Tomorrow." Where are we going?
  3. "When in doubt - Leave it out."

Executive Reviews or Summary Presentations don't "win" or "sell" any more than a resume gets you a job. They are strictly informative -- purposeful and meaningful. These tools exist to create, focus, redirect, or kill interest. Make sure you understand your purpose and don't stray.

US Utilities Under Daily Cyber-attack

spearfishingAmerica’s water and power utilities under daily cyber-attack. America’s utilities face constant cyber-espionage and denial-of-service attacks against industrial-control systems (ICS), according to the team of specialists from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are called to investigate the worst cyber-related incidents at these utilities.

DHS’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) assisted utilities in network and forensics analysis on seventeen (17) major cases in 2011. Seven (7) of the security incidents originated as spear-phishing attacks via e-mail against utility personnel.

Removing Personal Information from Google

online identityDo you know what kind of personal information about you can be found from Internet? Do you know how to remove your name, address, phone number, unwanted pictures, bad publicity, and negative comments from Google and other search results? Do you know how to delete your personal information from online people search database records and the deep web?

Like it or not, Google does not accept complaints for defamatory, inaccurate, or incorrect content in their Search Engine Results. Should you desire to scrub unwanted content from third party websites appearing in Google Web Search Results pages, you must contact the Business Owner of the respective website(s).

In Buddha's Footsteps

buddha5Trace your way to the enlightenment and serenity as you travel down the lane through which Lord Buddha gained Nirvana. As you travel through these places you get a sense of believe on the suffering, the cycle of life and death and the philosophy of the eternal bliss, the nirvana.

As you follow the trails of Lord Buddha, who was born in a royal family as Prince Siddhartha Gautam, you learn that every place of Buddhist pilgrimage has its own significance. These famous Buddhist pilgrimages give you knowledge on the various stages of Lord Buddha’s life after he attained Nirvana.

You Can’t Read This Book

censorshipCensorship in the Age of Freedom... Of course you can read this book if you want to. But, as the Observer journalist Nick Cohen argues with passion and wit, there are many important books you cannot read, not because they have been banned but because they have not been written. Their authors have been forced into self-censorship through fear of violence, financial ruin or death.

Pre-publication censorship is rare in today’s world. But there are many other ways of silencing writers. The most effective is fear. For all the advances of secularism, democracy and new technology, the forces of religion, wealth and the state continue to suppress ideas and information. In fact, as Cohen argues, censorship has become more powerful over the past 20 years, not less.

Reaction to Unfairness

unfairHow does one deal with unfair behaviors? Today, there is unique neurobiological evidence to account for individual differences of reaction to unfairness. This subject has long been investigated by various disciplines including philosophy, psychology, economics, and biology. However, our reactions to unfairness differ from one individual to another.

Experimental economics studies using the ultimatum game (UG), in which players must decide whether to accept or reject fair or unfair offers, have also shown that there are substantial individual differences in reaction to unfairness. We combined a molecular imaging technique, an economics game, and a personality inventory to elucidate the neurobiological mechanism of heterogeneous reactions to unfairness.

The Anti-Norquist Pledge

99percentThe Norquist Pledge has nothing to do with tax reform as understood by most American taxpayers. For example, the majority of Americans favor increasing -- rather than capping -- the marginal tax rates of the top 1%. (By the way, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) -- a tax-exempt institution -- pays no taxes on its annual revenues of about $5 million per year, according to ATR tax forms.)

Grover Norquist even emphasizes that the pledge has no exceptions for war, natural disaster, or other misfortunes. For example, a signer of the Norquist Pledge isn't permitted to vote to increase tax rates on America's 1% -- even if such changes would be revenue neutral, and/or are desperately needed for a national emergency. Mr. Norquist's real goal (explained in his other writings) is to substantially shrink the size of government.

Reduce Risk Factors in Children

badbehaviorDisruptive and aggressive behavior in classrooms as early as the first grade has repeatedly been identified as a risk factor for this spectrum of problems later in life (Kellam et al., 2008).

The Good Behavior Game (GBG), a universal (classroom) behavior management method, was tested in first- and second-grade classrooms in Baltimore beginning in the 1985–1986 school year. Followup at ages 19–21 found significantly lower rates of drug and alcohol use disorders, regular smoking, antisocial personality disorder, delinquency and incarceration for violent crimes, suicide ideation, and use of school-based services among students who had played the GBG.

Addiction Research and Clinical Practice

quality of lifeSubstance abusers seek help quitting drugs not as an end in itself, but as a means to escape these negative consequences and to gain a better life. Accordingly, while substance abuse treatment seeks to promote abstinence or at least significant reductions in substance use, its ultimate aim is to improve the patient’s quality of life (QOL).  Unfortunately,

Clinicians tend to focus on symptoms, whereas for clients, symptom management is a means to an end.

Alexandre B. Laudet, Ph.D., presents current concepts of QOL and tools used to measure it, summarize recent paradigmatic shifts in the SUD field that are leading to an emerging interest in QOL, and review the evidence bearing on QOL in the treatment of addiction.  Dr. Laudet also presents implications of incorporating QOL concepts into clinical practice and research.

Information

Pragmatic Journey is Richard (rich) Wermske's life of recovery; a spiritual journey inspired by Buddhism, a career in technology and management with linux, digital security, bpm, and paralegal stuff; augmented with gaming, literature, philosophy, art and music; and compassionate kinship with all things living -- especially cats; and people with whom I share no common language.