[Contributor] The Use of Time

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Contributor – Alexander Gault
Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexanderBGault

Time in this age is considered a resource, like money or water.

Whether that’s an accurate description of time is unimportant, because that’s how it’s treated. To that end, just as we develop water-saving technologies, we have also been developing time-saving technologies, or so they have been marketed.

Does the technology of today actually save us time, overall?

It isn’t a question that can be answered with a simple yes or no, unfortunately.

It may seem that now, it’s so much faster to get a message to someone than 50 years ago, so much faster to get information, products, entertainment. But on the opposite side of that, we make up for these expedited services by using more of them. For example, when the television was first sold on the market, people claimed that it wouldn’t take off because nobody had the time to sit and stare at a screen. Lo and behold, the television was the most used method of entertainment in the western world for much of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st.

Technology, as it innovates and provides us with more services, prompts us to use those services. That’s to be expected.

But what most people don’t expect is that just as those services offer themselves for our use, we in a way offer ourselves for their use. Instead of allowing the expedited systems to save us time, and applying that extra time to other ventures, we instead use the time those services saved us for more of that service.

This can clearly be seen in services like Netflix.

It was fairly uncommon in earlier days to television entertainment to sit and watch a full day of a series. If you did watch multiples of a series, it was on days when a marathon was being aired, and even then you likely didn’t stay for the full marathon. Now, it’s very common to “binge-watch” a television series on Netflix, watching many episodes with minimal breaks in between them. This, because Netflix is on demand, can go on for days at a time, whenever the viewer wishes to watch something. In this way, innovation has caused us to devote more time to the service that’s been innovated.

This can be seen in many aspects of modern life.

In the workplace, people tend to bring their work home more often than before, as it’s as simple as bringing a laptop, or even more simply, a flash drive, with them. Instead of doing more work at work with these technologies, and keeping it all there, people do a lot in the workplace and a lot at home. In the earlier days of computing, it was almost impossible to bring work home, as most computerized industries were worked by people without computers at home, and even if they did it was unlikely they had the ability to bring their documents and programs with them. This meant that, for the most part, when someone came home from work, they didn’t spend any time on it that they normally would have spent with their families.

Its irrefutable that technology has come a long way from the punch-card computers and cathode-ray televisions of the early to mid 20th century. Much of these technologies are now advertised as time saving, and in a certain way they are. However, how we use them hasn’t changed how much time we spend on the things they streamline, but rather how much of that action we do in the same amount of time. This has definitely made the workforce more effective, but is it healthy for them?

Alexander Gault-Plate is an aspiring journalist and writer, currently in the 12th grade. He has worked with his school’s newspapers and maintained a blog for his previous school. In the future, he hopes to write for a new-media news company.

You can follow Alexander on Twitter here https://twitter.com/AlexanderBGault

[Contributor] Connecting the Internet of Things

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Contributor – Alexander Gault
Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexanderBGault

It’s no surprise as time marches forward and technology does the same, that the infrastructure which supports that technology reaches its carrying capacity. This became apparent, on an Internet level, in the 1990s, with the creation of IPv6. It was discovered that any future Internet-based growth would need support from an expansion of capacity now.

Technology has a tendency to advance at a rate far faster than most people expect.

The result of this is the terrible tendency for technology to rub up against the cap of its basic supporting structures, resulting in a stagnation of growth that can be difficult to remedy. Only a constant forward-thinking ecosystem of developers, companies, and providers can generate the environment necessary for uninhibited technological growth.

The coming Internet of Things, where any one house may have hundreds of connected items, all relying on that houses Internet connection to operate as expected, will require a drastic change in the capacity of Wi-Fi or wired routers and the connections that link those routers and modems out to the rest of the Internet.

While there is no recognized limit to the number of devices that can connect to any one Wi-Fi hotspot, there may soon be a limit on how much one can use their Internet connection.

It’s no secret that the big cable corporations of the United States, and perhaps the rest of the 1st world, all have one thing in common.

They’re terrible.

They charge too much for subpar service, they never send service people out when they say they will, and they throttle your internet connection down when you use it too much. Of course, those same companies are looking for other ways to protect their profit margins, especially with the entrance of Google Fiber to the scene. This new Google service provides fairly inexpensive fiber-optic Internet to its available neighborhoods, and for those who can’t afford or don’t need those speeds, Fiber offers a free standard-speed connection, with only a construction fee of $300.

Cable companies have been buying out areas where the only connections available are DSL and their own services, and working to box the companies we thought were the future of Internet connections (Verizon and AT&T with their respective fiber-optic networks) out of future expansion. Now, Frontier owns a chunk of Verizon’s previous FiOS and copper networks.

The second phase of cable’s limiting of fiber optic systems in the United States is their introduction of usage-based billing.

That’s right, your home Internet connection may become just as limited as your mobile Internet connection.

Cable companies hope to achieve a one-two punch on the expansion of the Internet infrastructure, by limiting most Americans to their services and then to limit those people again to metering out their Internet connections to avoid overage fees. After the FCC ruled in favor of net neutrality (where one connection cannot be favored over another one based on subscription level), the cable companies are searching for another way to reap as much as they can from their Internet subscribers.

Now, while this may all seem like a non-issue right now, as most people only have and need a standard Internet connection, this will not always be true. In the near future, the number of Internet-connected devices in an average home may double or even triple, and the data they send through that home’s Internet connection will become more and more specific and data-heavy.

Imagine if your fridge were to send you your grocery list every week, complete with images and amounts, and even nutrition information. The data for that message alone could equal one hour browsing the web. Combine that with your stove sending you minute-by-minute updates on the status of your soufflé, your car notifying you that its rear passenger side tire is leaking air, and your spouse and kids streaming their respective entertainment, a usage-billed, standard speed Internet connection would be like plumbing a whole modern city with one Roman aqueduct.

Simply not up to the task.

For the Internet of Things to be an attainable reality in the near future, things like usage-based Internet billing, copper-cable based infrastructure, and boxing-in of consumers between two sub-par methods of connection, must be avoided at all costs.

HSCT #Communication Blog Contributor, Alexander Gault-Plate is an aspiring journalist and writer, currently in the 12th grade. He has worked with his schools newspapers and maintained a blog for his previous school. In the future, he hopes to write for a new-media news company.

You can follow Alexander on Twitter here https://twitter.com/AlexanderBGault

[Contributor] Repairing the Internet of Things

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Contributor – Alexander Gault
Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexanderBGault

The connected TVs, refrigerators, microwaves, electrical outlets, cars, and so on have made their foray into the market, and into our homes. But with these new innovations comes a cost, and that cost is one of the most basic of any appliances.


When you have a broken refrigerator, chances are you can call a repairman or the family handyman to fix it. When your refrigerator no longer can stream Netflix, though, it’s less likely that you can call your family handyman, or even some repairmen. And it’s unlikely that the local computer repair shop will know what to do with your appliance either, as they are not typically run on a normal operating system.

The clearest example of the difficulty of repair presented by the connected world is in the car industry.

Since the late 1990s, cars have had increasingly computerized components used in them. Modern cars have MPG calculators, WiFi hotspots, computerized speedometers, thermostat units, and all other manner of computerized units to make it comfortable and convenient for its owners. Even car doors are more complicated than before, with auto-opening features on sliding doors and trunks that can disable a door with the slightest mechanical error.

A few months ago, I was watching a mechanic explain the systems of an Audi. He explained that often, when a car comes in with a service light on, it can be attributed to a simple sensor error, or even a trivial issue that can be resolved without the help of a mechanic. For example, most German luxury cars, including this Audi, have a slew of sensors in their electrical systems, that can detect even a blown trunk light. When the car came in for its routine servicing, the tool to detect error codes turned up multiple errors for cabin and trunk lights, all contributing to error codes on the information panel that worried the customer.

Car mechanics have, therefore, been required to update their methods, and sink much more time and education into their profession than they expected. For those who cannot or will not train, they quickly lose their relevancy.

This is the future for all handymen, those who make it their profession to repair things. In 10 years, your refrigerator will be automated, telling you when you’re almost out of food. And when it continually shows “Out of Milk”, or even worse, orders more each time it queries the sensors, you’ll have to find a mechanic relevant to the current decade.

Alexander Gault-Plate is an aspiring journalist and writer, currently in the 12th grade. He has worked with his school’s newspapers and maintained a blog for his previous school. In the future, he hopes to write for a new-media news company.

You can follow Alexander on Twitter here https://twitter.com/AlexanderBGault



[Contributor] Glass Houses: Social Interactions for the Modern Age

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Contributor – Alexander Gault
Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexanderBGault

As the popular adage goes “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Essentially, this means that people who have certain weaknesses shouldn’t criticize others for those same issues. However, a new spin to this old saying can be used.

Now, people live in those glass houses by putting their information all over the internet, and throwing stones is just saying something that might be damaging to themselves or others.

Many people in the first world have a social media account of some kind.

Older generations tend to favor Facebook, the youth of today favor Twitter and Snapchat, and Instagram is used by anyone with a camera phone. With these social medias, we put our thoughts, feelings, and lives out into the world for almost everyone to see.

This is not without consequence.

Let’s start at a fairly low level of how this impacts our lives; our real life social interactions.

If you post something to your social media account that, for example, contains an anti-gay marriage quote, and you have any gay co-workers, friends, classmates, or acquaintances who follow you on that account, most likely they will, at the very least, ask you about it later, making a fairly uncomfortable conversation out of the topic. More often than not, however, they might not talk to you, consider you anti-gay and sever their ties, and in a more extreme case, band together with other pro-gay marriage individuals to shut you out of any group you may have been in with them.

The next level would be professional interactions, with businesses, employers, or contractors.

If you post something considered very out-of-line with the ideology of a potential employer, you could lose your chance of getting that job. This could include making political remarks, talking about various social deeds deemed less than respectable, talking about drinking, partying, breaking laws. While many people don’t consider their social media at all connected with their jobs and professional life, many businesses look at the internet personas of their potential employees, and even current employees, to ensure their business is being well-represented among its employee-base.

For younger people, colleges are another potential pit-fall when it comes to social media.

Many colleges look at prospective students social media accounts to see what the student puts on there. The college may look for posts about how the student feels about that particular school, the student’s personal life, and even the language used. One misplaced swear-word can end a student’s chances at a top-tier school before the Admissions department even sees their application.

Even high schools are getting on the train. Some districts employ full-time social media monitors to keep a watchful eye on the social media environ that surrounds the student body. They mainly keep an eye out for excessive online bullying, threats between or at students, potential inappropriate student-teacher interactions, and terror threats by students. These monitors can suggest disciplinary actions for any student they take issue with, from detention to expulsion, depending on the severity of the infraction. And many of these schools have no set code delineating how their social media monitors make these decisions, leaving it to the discretion of the district.

Social media accounts are a double-edged sword.

They create a dangerous ecosystem for people to destroy their own and others’ lives, sometimes unwittingly. They create a system where people can remove their own privacy, put their private lives on display for all levels of society and business, and subject themselves to immeasurable pain in the process. But social media also allows those who use it properly to grow, develop new connections, maintain old friendships, and keep themselves informed.

Social media is a dangerous weapon, and with all weapons, its users must understand the dangers before they can enjoy the benefits.

Alexander Gault-Plate is an aspiring journalist and writer, currently in the 12th grade. He has worked with his schools newspapers and maintained a blog for his previous school. In the future, he hopes to write for a new-media news company.

You can follow Alexander on Twitter here https://twitter.com/AlexanderBGault.


[Contributor] Future Physibles


Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexanderBGault

Perhaps its bad form to use a word coined by a website dedicated to pirating digital products, but so far, physibles is the best way to describe the next wave of items that exist in the digital and physical worlds.

Physibles can best be described as objects created on a computer and formed in the physical world by computer equipment. While this may sound like another way to describe the production in any mechanized factory, physibles are more akin to a 3-dimensional printed object.

Physibles are the next big thing in consumer goods.

Through a combination of high end printers that more closely resemble the mechanized arms that assemble cars, and programs that feed the proper information to these printers, one can “print” out almost any item they would want. For the most part, this technology doesn’t exist in the public sphere, but it has achieved some major breakthroughs.

For example, the 3D printed car.

But the ability for one to forgo the mainstream manufacturing process entirely, and get the same goods they would have through such a channel, doesn’t bode well for the current economic configurations. Every economic idea that operates in the industrialized nations is created with the idea that people will have to get their goods from somewhere other than themselves. The distinct process of supply and demand governs almost every aspect of the economy, down to the resource-gathering sectors.

If one can shortcut around all of those, with only minor interaction with their computer, their printer, and the resources to create the items, then jobs and businesses will inevitably fail. And depending on the abilities that this technology may reach, perhaps even the resource-gatherers will find themselves out of a job.

Suddenly, at least 27% of the United States GDP is erased.

This lack of jobs, created and furthering the issue that nobody will be buying anything on the traditional market, will pose many issues. Productivity will drop in all sectors, because why would people be working if there’s no value in what they’re earning?

Infrastructure will fail all over the planet, resulting in the failure of almost every device that depends on the electric grid and Internet to create these goods. We’d be back to square one, and depending on the amount of people who decided to remain on and maintain the infrastructure, coupled with how long it will actually take between the start of this process and the failure of the electrical grid and Internet services, it may take years to reestablish ourselves to the previous state.

This being said, physibles becoming a reality isn’t all bad, and the dooms-day scenario previously described is very avoidable. Simply put, for a world were major manufacturing is no longer relevant and people can create all they need from their home, strict limits on home production must be maintained, and access to the forms for the home-printed goods must be put behind a pay-wall to maintain the relevancy of working.

This must remain so until maintenance and construction can be mechanized to such a degree that minimal human interaction is necessary.

As with all major changes to the way people interact with their goods and those who make them, a certain degree of caution and planning must be implanted to ensure that the change is smooth and does not result in any major catastrophes.

The future is bright, but humans must always tend that flame to ensure it doesn’t burn out of control.

Alexander Gault-Plate is an aspiring journalist and writer, currently in the 12th grade. He has worked with his schools newspapers and maintained a blog for his previous school. In the future, he hopes to write for a new-media news company.

You can follow Alexander on Twitter here https://twitter.com/AlexanderBGault.



[Guest Blogger] Larry Wolverton: So you want to be an entrepreneur? Are you sure? Are you really sure?

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon
If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.” – Brian Tracy
We here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) are committed to helping each one of our clients (and our potential future clients) to ethically attain peace in their lives through the real-world application of Christian ethical principles.
We are also committed to collaboration and collaborative learning from other professionals, not only in our field, but in fields that interest us and can provide us insight, such as the arts, engineering, medicine, and so on.
With that in mind, we are launching our Guest Blogger series.
For the remainder of April and May, as the leaves begin to pop out and spring visits our country, we will be featuring the thoughts, opinions and commentary of professionals in the field of mediation and conflict engagement.
We hope that these writings will inspire and engage YOU to ethically attain PEACE in YOUR life.
Our first guest blogger is Larry Wolverton, Change Maker & Chief Connector at Top Tier Liaison & Conflict Resolution Services in Arizona.
Connect with them through their website at http://www.toptierlcrservices.com/
Top Tier focuses on developing communication around change in businesses and organizations through the use of analyses, methodology and a multidisciplinary approach to communication between employees and management.
 Larry has multiple years of experience in education and with healthcare start-ups as well as international experience that he brings to the conflict engagement and communication table.

Today I am thinking about the “Entrepreneurial Spirit” and those traits that I feel make for a contented, happy, self-employed person. I will also explore what it means to be an entrepreneur, both in your own business or as a valued employee of another company.
Most people I have met had, at one time or another, “toyed” with the idea of starting their own business, so the idea is attractive for several reasons; potential unlimited income only constrained by our own efforts, freedom to make our own schedule, and doing things “our own way” are just a few advantages that we see successful entrepreneurs sharing with us in their highly visible life styles.
Not mentioned are the 60-100 or more hours per week required during the start-up phase (up to five years on average), or the stress of development of an idea for public consumption, the work required to create a clear business plan and company direction, and of course the ever high hurdle of financing a new business or business idea.
I would like to point out that to be a successful entrepreneur failure is a necessary ingredient in the mix of experiences required on the path to success. There is a very fine line between failure and success.
Learning how to manage failure and learn those lessons from “fantastic failure” is just one of those dues required to understand how to succeed in business.
I have paid those dues, however I feel the impact of those past failures has been tempered by lessons learned as an employee for others who paid to train me in production, operations, management, and other areas where transferrable skills are learned.
And for those with “great ideas”, there is the ever present negative feedback from those who “care about you.” Critical review of a new idea, product, or business plan is essential to remaining grounded. However the choice of who reviews these critical aspects of your business must be undertaken seriously so that a neutral, knowledgeable opinion is obtained.
I find the mindset shift from employee to owner/manager a natural one that also allows me to understand some of the business decisions my employer has made during my tenure at my “weekend” job, too.
So the question is more appropriate when we ask, “Do you want to be an entrepreneur, right now?” The desire to be self-employed is one that drives creativity and builds the traits necessary to actually be a business owner.
However, the learning process can and often is obtained by taking ownership of our current “day or weekend” jobs, and acting responsibly and creatively in performing above and beyond our employer’s expectations.
Today, right now, is the time to start building and demonstrating those traits that are commonly accepted as entrepreneurial and necessary to success.
Those traits include: humility, willingness to accept the need to change, a willingness to delegate and allow others to help grow the business, sharing the spotlight, listening to our industry experts and mentors, perseverance in face of “insurmountable” challenges, and a solid belief that what we are doing is right for us and our families, among many others.
And lastly, staying in the workforce and working for a company that demonstrates your personal values and goals, and that supports your efforts to be creative and a partner in growth, might be the best way to be an entrepreneur for you.
Not everyone has the luxury of taking the risks of starting their own business, and must forego that “dream” for the sake of their young family, or other reasons not highlighted here.
Taking that entrepreneurial spirit and applying it to your current job or seeking a new job more suited to your interests can be rewarding and just as fun and challenging without the stress.
Would I encourage you to go out into the world and build a business of your own? Yes, absolutely, but only if it is something you crave enough and have passion for that will drive you to follow through during challenging times.
Larry Wolverton,
Employee and Entrepreneur
Change Maker & Chief Connector
Top Tier Liaison &Conflict Resolution Services
Are you a business owner striving to bring the entrepreneurial traits of your employees out in their current jobs?
Top Tier Liaison & Conflict Resolution Services, will help you do just that through top tier, evolutionary communication.
Please see how here.

 -Peace Be With You All-Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/