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  • 1
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      ["title"]=>
      string(60) "Steve Jobs'​ Legacy Is Our Modern Technological Revolution"
      ["alias"]=>
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      ["introtext"]=>
      string(197) "

    It has been 8 years since Steve Jobs passed away on October 5th, 2011, from pancreatic cancer. 

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(2741) "

    In 1976 Jobs and several others came together to create a small computer company called "Apple Computer" in Jobs' garage. It would revolutionize the personal computing industry and eventually entire retail electronics sector - but not before Jobs was forced out from his own company and rehired in dramatic, spectacular, legendary fashion. 

    When Jobs passed away he had turned Apple from a small, risky, untested, audacious invention of the minds of him and several partners and friends to a then $350.50 billion corporation at the time of his death. Yet Apple's, and Jobs', story wouldn't end there - as Apple has continued to build on Jobs' work and is now is worth well over $1.02 trillion.

    Jobs' vision and values of shaking up the status quo represented precisely the modern technological mantra of constant, relentless, and ceaseless innovation. Yesterday's transformational product is today's legacy device and software and tomorrow's horse-drawn carriage. Apple's forays and developments into the personal computing and handheld devices industries, and eventually the smartphone and now a large variety of other products and services, shook up the then-behemoth technological providers that had grown too comfortable. 

    The problem with technology companies becoming "comfortable" is that they cease innovating and driving the near-perpetual growth, fueled by continuing advancements in science as well as in use and distribution of its fruits, that should be expect of technology in this day and age.

    This vacuum of growth then deprives investors of the high-reward gains that should be expected from a technology company's success in exchange for the larger risks inherently taken. On a broader level it also robs society of the benefits in lifestyle, work, and recreation we have enjoyed as technology continues its steady march. 

    It seems now to us lunacy to argue that the block phones and pagers of the 1980s and 1990s were the height of where technology could go - but were it not for the tinkerers (and at Apple in particular) in their labs we may have held steady at that point for far longer than we did. 

    Jobs motto of "we're here to make a dent in the universe" is being lived out not only at Apple, one company among many, but by countless other companies pushing forward into the unknown and continuing to fashion incredible daily improvements to our lives and well-being.

    Jobs may have passed from the physical world years ago - but his spirit and influence may always be intertwined with us. 

     
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    Steve Jobs'​ Legacy Is Our Modern Technological Revolution

    Erich Reimer
  • 2
    object(stdClass)#13372 (59) {
      ["id"]=>
      string(4) "4324"
      ["title"]=>
      string(40) "Military Service Has Taught Me Gratitude"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(40) "military-service-has-taught-me-gratitude"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(434) "

    I spent this past Independence Day in Washington, D.C. celebrating our country's founding in our nation's capital as I have for almost a decade straight. However this time it was different, as I now am a uniformed officer of our nation's armed services - and with that came a fundamentally different feel for what this holiday meant holiday as well as reflections on our modern economy, work world, millennial life, and more.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(3551) "

    It's now been almost a year since I abandoned my prior career track - working in DC for the pleasant and fulfilling world of government relations, as a media host and commentator interviewing the world's top business and political leaders, as well as my personal opinions and theories on philosophy, policy, economics/markets, and life reaching a viewership/readership of hundreds of thousands of people every single month (and sometimes the same on a particularly good week or even day) through television, print, online, and radio, both domestically and internationally.

    I had been around the block of politics, federal and state government, media, and business/startups/technology for a while and this seemed the culmination of years of hard work. All of it was growing, expanding, and heading up - bringing in more money, fame, and power, the building blocks of Washington D.C. life and indeed seemingly our entire modern material world.

    Yet something felt empty. Military service always seemed, particularly in our modern society, something extremely different - in daily activity as well as motivation and spirit. When the opportunity came, I jumped in - half-thinking and half-not - and now am settled in as a Captain in the United States Army.

    Duty and Mission Come First

    Life in the United States Army took many assumptions we have about modern careers and turned them upside down. Money, climbing the ladder, and lateraling to more lucrative positions is the core incentive driver in our modern economy and particularly in professional and technical services.

    However in the military there are no bonuses for stellar achievement nor promotions, outside of prescribed timelines, for extraordinary work. Everything is subservient to "the mission" and exceptional conduct is rewarded with the non-material, such as through medals or coins. Yet despite this we see people in the military exerting extraordinary effort and sacrifice - giving up sometimes even their body and life (but usually just their comfort and free time) - to serve and achieve.

    Duty - to one's country, to one's community, to the people of each country - motivates one to not look to the material rewards that our modern economy relies upon. It still gives fulfillment - deep and lasting - which questions some of the foundations our modern career-advice narratives so rely on.

    If and when I someday return to the civilian world undoubtedly these lessons will remain with me. As with many other aspects of the military it has taught me firsthand the thousand things that we take for granted each day as free citizens living in the 21st century in the United States and this interconnected world.

    When I am on leave from military duty the things that bothered me in ordinary civilian life so much before all seem now like nothing and nonsense - because I know what it's like to have many of those things taken away in order to serve to protect the ability of others to enjoy those comforts.

    And I think that's something, no matter our occupation, we should all take to heart - remembering in our daily lives:

    • Duty
    • Loyalty
    • Humility
    • Hard Work
    • Integrity
    • Love of One's Fellow Person

    This July 4th that is what I am reminded of. And when I return to duty I will continue to remember the same.

    All views expressed are only those of the author and do not represent those of the Department of Defense.

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However this time it was different, as I now am a uniformed officer of our nation's armed services - and with that came a fundamentally different feel for what this holiday meant holiday as well as reflections on our modern economy, work world, millennial life, and more." 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    Military Service Has Taught Me Gratitude

    Erich Reimer
  • 3
    object(stdClass)#13375 (59) {
      ["id"]=>
      string(4) "4025"
      ["title"]=>
      string(33) "The Death of the Two-Party System"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(33) "the-death-of-the-two-party-system"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(295) "

    If anyone had been asked five years ago to predict when the two-party system in the UK would end and what the catalyst would be it is doubtful that any serious analyst would have said 2019 and Brexit or whatever it would have been called back, then.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(6488) "

    Brexit has determined the future path of the way elections will be fought in the UK going forward. As with several driving factors for the economy, business, investment and the life of the country, disruption the now a buzzword for politics.

    The fate of the UK’s departure from the EU has spawned at least three new political parties and torn asunder the entire landscape.

    I don’t see the opinion polls that have been released recently as being a genuine commentary on what is happening right now. The revolution may be longer coming but the expression “it has taken years to become an overnight sensation” perfectly sums up what could happen in the next General Election.

    Local elections and Parliamentary votes may register protest votes, but the true acid test is a General Election or at least a series of by-elections.

    Would the Brexit Party gain 49 seats at a General Election if it were held tghis year? Of course not. It would maybe get one or two seats but it would be a revolution of enormous proportions to were the face of UK politics to be forever changed.

    Talking of by-elections, surely the MPs who have defected to new Parties, Change UK, should be facing by-elections. One of the major issues with the Political mechanism in the UK. It is driven by small minds with small intentions who revel in the petty sense of power they hold over local associations.

    For MPs like Anna Soubry to say they have the support of their local associations and x% of their members support their stance is sheer arrogant nonsense. If you change your party, you should be forced to stand down and apply for re-election. That should be enshrined law!

    New Parties like Brexit and UKIP, who may not now be considered “new”, need to be able to demonstrate that they can create mass appeal. This charge, should of course, also be applied to Change UK.  

    For the revolution in politics to not whither on the vine, full manifestos should be written and delivered so that voters can “get” the basis of what the Party stands for over and above the single issue that may have brought into being.

    It is enlightening that the death of two-party politics may spawn more parties that are “outside the left- and right-wing views of Labour and the Conservatives. However, radical left or right wing views will never take root for any leangth of time despite it is entirely possible. that the next Prime Minister could be a Marxist.

    Can centrist liberalism in the UK work as a political concept? Personally, I doubt it and it shouldn’t need to be driven by a strict and rigid dogma which revolves around taxes and public spending. That is an issue that can be central to any party’s values, but they need to be taken on in tandem. Of course, the question of what fair is will always be a major question. Should the wealthy pay more tax? Should the funding of public services be topped up by more public debt?

    There needs to be a complete vision given to voters about what higher taxes, for all, not just the higher earners although that should also be discussed, would mean and where the money would and should be spent. Yes, of course, Labour drones on about how wonderful the National Health Service is, they do it naturally as they brought it in. It should be a jewel in the nation's crown but not the only one. Business needs encouragement and investment. The people need proper jobs, not the type made up to massage the employment data but real 40 hours a week jobs with a proper salary. Election gimmicks like increasing the minimum wage for under 18’s is all well and good but if we can encourage more education the country will reap the benefits down the road.

    The country is crying out for doctors, nurses, engineers and many many other trained professionals yet tuition fees are a mess. It doesn’t take a genius to see that courses that can benefit the country, as well as the student, should be charged at a far fairer rate provided the student shows a set level of commitment post-qualification.

    Social housing is a complete mess which depending on your point of view is either Thatcher's only mistake or one of many. Be that as it may and that is a question for modern history students, the fact is that housing shortages in the UK are at crisis point as is social care.

    More properties need to be brought back into council ownership with rental rates lower than in the private sector but enough to ensure that councils are run as businesses (grants notwithstanding) and not charities.

    Crime and punishment need a complete overhaul. Since the current level of new offenders are second generation drug addicts which lead to questions over how social care is handled and who is ultimately responsible.

    Politics has become (maybe always has) been a byword for selfish undeserving people who have little interest in anything other than keeping their jobs. For an honest politician to be considered an oxymoron speaks volumes about the state of the country.

    The two-party system could have been finished for nearly fifteen years since the last time the UK had Government with a working majority was 2005.

    Finally, the last word on Brexit.

    The ongoing cross-party talks between the Government and Labour will never find a solution to the Brexit impasse because both sides essentially favour Remain.

    The conversations should be between prominent Brexiteers from both sides of the argument. The current situation sees the UK careering towards no deal which is economically the worst outcome no matter what the Brexit hawks say.

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    The Death of the Two-Party System

    Alan Hill
  • 4
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      ["title"]=>
      string(15) "What is Brexit?"
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    Brexit is far more than the quirky name given to the UK’s decision to leave the EU. It will come to mean far more than it does now as the country’s first few years following departure as Britain adopts new political, economic and social attitudes.

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    Even while negotiations or at least discussions are taking place, Brexit has become a word to divide the nation far beyond its departure from the European Union.

    Under thirty? Must be a remainer. Over sixty? Must have voted to leave. “Don’t worry, once all those old codgers have died off and those under eighteens get to vote when (not if) we get another referendum. A second or people’s vote appears to be the national panacea, but wait didn’t we have a referendum? Admittedly there is a lot of talk about political shenanigans but that will always be the case. Remain supporters appear to have jumped on the Trump/Russian support bandwagon, blaming Vladimir Putin for trying to destabilise Europe.

    That leads me nicely to another Brexit distinction; all Brexiteers must support Donal Trump since he supports the UK leaving with no deal. Really? All those who demonstrated against Donald Trump coming to the UK held a lovely reunion in Parliament Square affirming their support for remaining within the EU.

    It is interesting that while the EU was metamorphosing into something completely different from the organization based solely on trade Britain originally joined, there was a bit of moaning about Brussels interference in UK life but not until the country decided to leave did it become the issue it is today.

    Why is the UK so divided and embittered? The only thing that unites both sides is the utter humiliation the country feels over how the Brexit issue has been handled. This article is not intended to delve into the Parliamentary shambles so that will be left well alone.

    The EU has taken a long time to get to where it is today. I have already mentioned what it was when we joined, a Free Trade Organization. It was (apparently) originally formed to ensure that there would be no more wars in Europe, but now as an argument in favour of a single armed force, that sentiment has been changed to “no more wars between members”. I believe Russia is still a European nation and they are deemed to be a major threat.

    One thing the EU has done and continues to do is try to fit square pegs into round holes socially, politically and economically. Old friendships developed over centuries have been squashed and moulded into the shape Brussels desires. A nation’s shape is a conglomeration of its people’s hopes and desires and is often mirrored by its national characteristics. German efficiency, French joie de vie, Italian flamboyance and Spanish manana are but a few. But Brussels wants a grey Superstate where everyone is the same.

    So, the UK is split almost 50/50 about whether it wants to stay within that bloc but that is based upon two misunderstandings; first that the EU as it is today is how it will always be and second that the negotiations that have been concluded are the best the UK can do.

    So, what is coming to the EU soon? Well uniform taxation and therefore spending is a certainty. Will we want to have how we raise money in the UK and how it is spent agreed in Brussels? Will the families of those soldiers serving in the UK army be happy to be commanded where and who to fight by Brussels? because a single army is also on the way.

    There is a clear split within Europe over closer integration with the likes of Emmanuel Macron at its vanguard. The more nationalistic Party’s like Five Star in Italy see a less restrictive alliance where the option to leave the single currency is available every member.

    Brexit is turning into a lifestyle choice in the UK and will continue long after the furore over the UK’s membership of the EU has dissolved. It will become a rallying call for the new political activists who rebel against Government despite originally desiring to belong to a far more tightly controlled group.

    The only question that needs to be asked, which needs consideration of what the EU will look like five or ten years down the line is “Does the UK value its laws, traditions and (admittedly devalued) place in the world so little that it is prepared to hand over sovereignty to Europe?

    That is the only yes/no referendum that is needed.

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It will come to mean far more than it does now as the country’s first few years following departure as the country adopts new political, economic and social attitudes." 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    What is Brexit?

    Alan Hill

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