ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The symbol of the Statue of Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor, your hungry yearning to be free....    I grew up with these words ringing in my ear.  I lived in New York City and the Statue of Liberty was ever-present, as were the hundreds (thousands?) of European immigrants living beside me.

Ronald Reagan said on June 19th, 1989 in his formal statement to the White House (according to former Secretary of labor, Treasury and State George Shultz in the San Jose Mercury News on July 12, 2013:

 "We lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people - our strength - from every country and every corner of the world.  And by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation.
While other countries cling to the stale past, here in America we breathe life into dreams.  We create the future, and the world follows us into tomorrow.  Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we're a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy, and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier.
This quality if vital to our future as a nation.  If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost." 

Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 08, 2013

Does Multi-tasking contribute to autism?

I was born in an era when mother's were taught that bottle feeding was healthier than breast feeding... thus many of my generation missed out on the wonderful nurturing and bonding that breast feeding typically provides.

when bottle-feeding it is easy to prop the bottle on a pillow near the infant and thus not have to hold the baby.  Did this produce a generation of people who were less likely to feel comfortable nurturing and being nurtured?  I suspect so.

Now, the cases of autism being recorded are incredibly larger than at any other time in our history.  Of course a portion of these statistics are due to better diagnoses and diagnosis du jour.

However, I think a percentage of children with autism developed this syndrome because their mother - while nursing - was multi-tasking instead of nurturing.   Remember what I said about a portion of bottle fed babies.

If I pay attention to my infant while nursing, I am cuddling her/him and probably looking at my baby, engaging him/her in interaction with me.  If, on the other hand, I am multi-tasking - such as reading my e-mails texting, or working on the phone, my breast is no more than the bottle and instead of nurturing, it is as though my baby were propped up beside the pillow holding the milk.

Think about it.   Doesn't it make intuitive sense?   Someone ought to do the research.

Labels: , ,

Cheaper is very costly

Watching TV and learning about all the problems delaying the opening of the Bay Bridge new span, I am reminded of how much I dislike the notion of "lowest bid."  I'm clearly not privy to the details of the proposal but clearly corners were cut in some way.

When I work with government agencies or large corporate bureaucracies, I am often astounded at the rfp and proposal process - where cost seems to be more important than quality.

Why is it that people in contracts and procurement are under the impression that they are saving the company money by insisting on lower costs?   We all know the sign that says:  "Cheap, Quality, Fast - you can only have two of the three."

Cutting costs is all too often cutting quality.  When dealing with reputable vendors, they price their goods and services reasonably.  If they are forced to "low bid" something has to be cut out.  Is it fast?  or quality?  My guess is that quality is what is cut first.

Unlike many of my colleagues, or other professionals, I don't bill my clients for short phone calls or e-mails.  I don't charge for making copies, or sending faxes - unless there are a lot of them.  I create an hourly or daily or monthly fee that I'm comfortable with and that allows me to offer these small things for free.

Of course, one way to "low-bid" is to do the opposite.  Reduce the hourly fee, but charge exorbitantly for all the little extras - like the airlines are currently doing.

Oh, trying to be competitive without resorting to these games is sometimes difficult.

But, cheaper is always very costly.