I understand about the potential of AI, but we tend to overreact to what threatens some of us. The internet changed the world but hasn’t overwhelmed human judgement and values. Nor will AI.


Balancing Act®: The Newsletter

(No. 285, May 2023)

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Balancing Act® is in four sections this month:

  1. Observations
  2. Musings
  3. The Human Condition: The Wizard of Oz
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department

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  • I understand about the potential of AI, but we tend to overreact to what threatens some of us. The Internet changed the world but hasn’t overwhelmed human judgement and values. Nor will AI.
  • What we call 3D printing is going to make as significant a change as AI as it proliferates and becomes useful to individuals as well as corporations.
  • If you want to fix the economy, fix this: Small businesses are by far the greatest creators of net, new jobs (large companies replace people with automation as a rule). Yet 80% of them fail in the first five years or so, and 80% of the survivors in the next five years. Make it politically and pragmatically more likely that these firms survive by eliminating excessive bureaucratic regulation and excessive taxation.
  • If you could measure the export of American knowledge (global people attending our schools, experts providing help abroad, export of advice, etc.), we’d have a positive balance of trade.
  • The “great resignation” and “quietly quitting” create an opportunity to cleanse the workforce by forcing management to examine what jobs are really required for the future, instead of merely “replacing bodies” needed in the past lost through attrition.
  • Social media needs regulation as utilities, no less than gas, electric, and water utilities. They have too broad a range of influence through censorship, arbitrary rules, and tolerance for disinformation.
  • Don’t write me letters, and this isn’t about politics, but it is virtually impossible that President Biden and Vice President Harris will be nominated as running mates again in 2024.
  • By 2030 there will be more people in the US over 65 than there will be children. That is unprecedented and requires action today, which isn’t being accomplished or, perhaps, even understood.
  • The equivalent of today’s focus on climate will be a model for a huge, approaching movement on the morality of harvesting animals for food.
  • I’ve seen zero evidence that we will be able to support a sufficient electrical grid by the current deadlines for the numbers of electric cars that must be sold in place of internal combustion engines. We’re looking at a small or zero reduction in the “carbon footprint.” The answer is probably hydrogen (or something else), if we can learn to store it and transfer it properly, and there will be a rusting, hugely expensive, archaic electrical charging system in the country.

It seems to me that our society (and not just in the US, but in the West as a whole) is undergoing a sea change that is, ironically, quite subtle.

The “old days” of the “good old boys’ clubs,” with the insistence on the right schools, conforming attire, and correct “background” are, thank God, gone for the most part. We’ve made progress, from my youth in the early 50s (I’m among the eldest of the “baby boomers”) in terms of equality and opportunity in society. We’re not perfect and need to continue improving, but for me we’re beginning to conform with the true values of our founding.

Alexis de Tocqueville identified this potential is his landmark book Democracy in America, after the Revolutionary War. He predicted that the US and Russia would eventually be the two dominant nations, and feared what he termed “the tyranny of the majority,” meaning that democracy could be illusive if the rights of minorities were not protected.

In the recent past, however, we seem to have entered an age of the “tyranny of the minority.” We’re told to conform to identity, not talent; to use prescribed language and pronouns; and to suffer being “cancelled” if we don’t adhere to what amounts to a social theology. We’re asked to believe there are a belief system and values that supersede talent and skills.

De Tocqueville did not anticipate China as a world power, but it’s safe to say (perhaps less “safe” today) that freedom and democracy have created more wealth, progress, and security than any totalitarian government. Gerard Baker has said that “we seem to be losing our soul” as a civilization.

I’m an optimistic guy, but I foresee a crisis if we come to believe that what we’ve accomplished is unimportant, that our values are all wrong, that we’re burdened with guilt that can never be extirpated, and that merit is not the metric for success and a trait for admiration.

The Human Condition

The Wizard of Oz

For those of you too young, look it up, but Judy Garland had to deal with this guy in one of the most popular and successful movies ever, featuring one of the greatest songs of all time: Somewhere Over the Rainbow. (L. Frank Baum wrote the book, Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg created the score.)

I recently dealt with the Wizard’s descendants, in that Linkedin banned me for no discernable reason. Their software and algorithms had reasons, but they were opaque to me. After a week of wrong turns in the maze, I finally submitted the right form in the right manner to the right address at the right time. A human actually reviewed the form and reinstated me.

In the meantime, I received scores of emails from people telling me of their own brief or lengthy banishments from varied social media platforms.

I’m not concerned about AI or ChatGPT taking over the world. I think you have to be an alarmist or have very low self-esteem for these developments to scare you. (I do think that people who are lazy, non-creative, and generally slothful do have a huge problem, but that’s another story.)

I am concerned with how easily unseen and unforgiving technology can be used by crooks and criminals to shut us down. People’s bank accounts have been hacked, municipalities have been hacked and held up for ransom, autonomous cars have crashed despite safeguards. (Firefighters have told me you simply allow an electric car to burn, you can’t extinguish the flames safely.)

Are we taking enough precautions to protect ourselves and society from inadvertent and criminal trespass on our property, our rights, and our freedom?

When I found a human, I was able to restore my status on Linkedin. When Dorothy pulled the curtain aside, she was able to deal with the Wizard who was just another human. But when you pull the curtain aside tomorrow, you might not be able to see anything at all except a dark hole.

I'm an Old Cowhand...

It’s a foggy day, and I drive my Rolls out of the garage to go work out. I check my rearview mirror to ensure the garage door closes, but I can just see gray. A few people stare at the car as I drive to the gym, which isn’t unusual. There is just constant gray in my rear, no cars or headlights. Even the rear camera just shows gray.

When I get to the gym and hop out, I’m greeted by three people who simultaneously ask, “Why are you driving with your trunk open?”

Notice: Lisa Larter and I published a book called Masterful Marketing last year with Bloomsbury Press in London. We had been calling it Value Based Marketing but the publisher, as is his contractual right, changed the title to Masterful Marketing.

We’ve since found that Masterful Marketing® is a trademark of Debra Murphy and her firm, found here: https://masterful-marketing.com. We want to make this clear, to avoid any confusion. There is no trademark infringement nor competition, and I’d readily suggest you visit Debra’s site if you need help with digital channels and online marketing.

Development Opportunities
The Master Master Class

Master Master Class II

This sold-out event in March was so popular that I’m running another in October in Newport. I accept 16 people in person (you may also attend remotely on our large screen) and we have 7 seats remaining! I’m creating new material, exercises, and challenges. Past “grads” get a discount. One person said, “I’ve known you for nearly 20 years, and this is the best thing you’ve ever done!” (Maybe I just wasn’t that good before!)

Sentient Strategy

Sentient Strategy

Sentient Strategy, my new book, was released in March. It’s a revolutionary approach being facilitated by over 70 people in five countries. If you purchase the book, feel it’s justified and can give a five-star review on Amazon, I’ll invite you for free to a May Zoom session on Sentient Strategy and the role of strategy in contemporary society.

The Advisory Suite

NEW! Alan’s Advisory Suite

Nine options for groups or individuals to receive “real time” coaching to build their practices and lives on a continuing basis. The strongest, best people in business, entertainment, sports, the media—all use coaches.

For individuals and/or groups.

Alan Weiss's Coaching Confidential™

Alan Weiss's Coaching Confidential™ Newsletter

Sign up to receive my unique, monthly, highly targeted newsletter which contains inventive coaching methodology, case studies, and strange experiences in the coaching trade! I’ve coached thousands of business executives and entrepreneurs globally.

Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program

Million Dollar Consulting® for the World

I’ve provided 14 modules with videos from me, from your colleagues globally, slides, and text. They include everything from launch to self-esteem, proposals to fees, closing business to creating a brand. No upsells! It’s only $115. What do you think about a 10,000:1 ROI? We have over 500 people from 47 countries.

Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program ADVANCED

New: Million Dollar Consulting® for the World ADVANCED

The new program contains over 60 videos and has 15 modules focusing on what to do in the buyer’s office, overcoming crises, financial planning, and much, much more.

Sentient Strategy Certification

Sentient Strategy Certification

My new book on the topic (above) releases in later March so this is an ideal time to market Sentient Strategy. Write me to apply, join over 70 people certified in six countries. One-time fee of $12,000, includes 90 days of my support, free admission to all future certifications, and admission to a private web board with other Sentient facilitators. In a recent program a particpant sold a $100,000 strategy program within 48 hours.

The next certification is May 30-31 via Zoom, two three-hour sessions.

Vancouver Day

Vancouver Day

I’ll be providing a full day in Vancouver for as little as $300 (US) including lunch on September 9: How to Dramatically Increase Revenues while Radically Reducing Labor. I’ll be returning from an Alaskan cruise and need the money to pay for it! This is a rare appearance in Western Canada.


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