Jan. 15, 2017 Blumbers

Disabled Press

On January 8, 2017 in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Foreign Press Asoociation’s Golden Globe Awards, Meryl Streep sought support for the Committee to Protect Journalists to preserve an independent press. Streep was motivated by president elect’s mocking of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski for his disability. What do you do when someone not only ridicules a disabled member of the press but brags about it on social media? It would make it almost impossible for him to work for a living. I suppose he would then be ridiculed for that.

The president elect also said unfortunate things about a father who lost his son in a war. What kind of person does that? Considering the karma involved, an apology is only a start.

Buckle your seat belts and hang on. It is going to be a bumpy term.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.
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Jan. 9, 2017 The New Yorker

On Jan. 9, 2017 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Shop Till They Drop” about fake news purveyors using social media to drive boycotts. Companies need to think twice about becoming involved with or being identifying with divisive politics. “Trump’s victory has created a political realm in which tens of millions of people feel that if you’re not with them you are against them. That’s a curse for companies that aim for a mass market, America’s traditional strength.”

Kelefa Sanneh wrote “Secret Admirers” about Trump doing what many traditional conservatives want and ignore the people who voted for him.

Ian Frazier wrote “High-Rise Greens” about new hydroponic technologies to grow more food in cities.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 8, 2017 Blumbers

 

Computer Civil Rights

The film Hidden Figures depicts the struggles of three women with racism and sexism in NASA during the early 1960s. The women were called computers, which seems even more dehumanizing. I saw it with a group of women with technical skills who say not much has changed.  They struggle to get hired. They struggle to get recognized. Sometimes they struggle against insensitive men but also other women who do not exactly practice solidarity.

I have seen the reluctance to hire women with technical degrees and experience and pay them a decent wage has sent many a Silicon Valley company to an early grave. Somebody has to write the code while you give slide presentations to each other all day.

For me the lesson of the film was that social progress and technological process go hand in hand. If you do not train and make the most of everyone in your society, you will suffer. If you hire tech women your organization, you will have role models to attract a new generation of women. This will give you the competitive edge and someday they will make a movie where you do not look like such a jerk to future generations.

Copyright 2017. DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 1, 2017 Events To Attend

Here are some events you might want to attend. Check with the respective organizations for more information.

Date: Jan. 5, 2017 6:00PM

Org: STC East Bay

Topic: The Editor as Collaborator – Communication Makes the Difference

Speaking: Lori Meyer

Venue: Brass Door Restaurant, 2154 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583

Date: Jan. 10, 2017 12:00AM

Org: STC San Diego

Topic: Pub Social Night at Kilowatt Brewing

Speaking: Chapter members

Venue: Kilowatt Brewing, 7576 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego CA 92111

Date: Jan. 18, 2017 6:00PM 

Org: STC San Francisco Chapter

Topic: Leveraging Structured Authoring/DITA Techniques When All You Have are Unstructured Tools

Speaking: Monique Semp

Venue: Salesforce office at 121 Spear St. in the Rincon Center, San Francisco, CA 94105

Date: Jan. 20-21, 2017 9:00AM

Org: TC Camp

Topic: Technical communication workshops on GIT, Minimalism, Microlearning and more

Speaking: Liz Fraley, Peter Gruenbaum, Mysti Berry, Dawn Stevens, Beth Chagrin, Andrew Davis, Tom Johnson, Jenn Leaver, Sarah Maddox, Jeffrey Maramba, Gwen McLean, Gavin Nichols Cynthia Rich and many more

Venue: Hospitality Management Building, Mission College, 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Date: Jan. 23, 2017 6:00PM 

Org: STC Silicon Valley Chapter

Topic: Modern Technical Writing

Speaking: Andrew Etter

Venue: IHOP Restaurant 4200 Great America Pkwy. Santa Clara, CA 95054

Date: Jan. 23, 2017 8:00AM

Org: STC Orange County

Topic: Power Job Searching

Speaking: Mike Sanders

Venue: Mimi’s Cafe, 17231 E 17th St, Tustin, CA 92780

Date: Jan. 24, 2017, 3:00PM

Org: STC Puget Sound

Topic: DITA Listening Session

Speaking: Chapter members

Venue: Xeditor (inside the Galvanize Building), 111 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104

Date: Jan. 24-25, 2017 9:00AM

Org: CIDM

Topic: CIDM IDEAS Winter Online Conference—Understanding User Needs

Speaking: Patty Gale Vijay Kulkarni, Marie Louise Flacke, Eric Kuhnen, Nathalie Cotté, Siva Reddy Bora,Don Bridges, Kirsten Peterson, Jacob Royal, Jess Caldwell, Jack Henry, Lynn Chesler and many more

Venue: Online

Date: Jan. 28, 2017 6:00PM

Org: STC Berkeley

Topic: Touchstone Awards

Speaking: Richard Mateosian and Patrick Lufkin

Venue: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, California

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 31, 2016 Obituary

This was a terrible year. Very curious about the next one.

A lot of famous people died this year. Like old newspapers, I write obituaries ahead of time. If somebody dies I have most of it ready. If I know them, I usually ask them how they want to be remembered.  They are usually a lot nicer to me when they realize they are not going to be around forever. Of course, with modern technology you can keep popping up like Hari Seldon in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation.

This year we are seeing inevitable actuarial demographics. Many of the  celebrities were born after WWII. If the average life expectancy is 70, probably half of them are already dead. Not surprisingly, Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix all died in their twenties. Michael Jackson died at 50. George Michael was 53. Prince died at 57. Carrie Fisher was 60. David Bowie was 69. Ever the optimist, Mick Jagger just fathered a child at the age of 73. I do not know if he has any sympathy for the devil but he clearly has some sort of arrangement. Leonard Cohen was 82 although he was so depressed it felt longer. Debbie Reynolds was 84. The good news is that their artwork survives. You can hear their music or watch their video any time you want.

These were successful professionals with access to healthcare and they still died. Famous or not, you can quit smoking or drinking, eat all your vegetables and meditate all day and you are still going to die. Some of it is hereditary. How old were your parents when they died? What was their cause of death? If you are a GenXer born around 50 years ago and your parents died in their mid 60s, plan ahead. If your grandparents are still alive, you have to plan way ahead. One thing to do is to make sure there are rock solid guaranteed government support for everyone. Expand and enhance Social Security and Medicare. Honor the dead by improving the lives of others. If you cannot take it with you, leave something wonderful.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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For Future Reference