Have the courage to use your own understanding

If you feel that marketing seems sort of superficial, trendy or ineffective, it may be because of the quirky nature of social media. Then there is the weighing of social media against SEO. Searching still seems to be the number one indicator of how people find things or at least attempt to find things whereas often diversion and multiple choices lead us astray. So for business sake we have to do both, do everything, all the time, just to keep up with the other guy and maybe we will by some small grace, some gift of intellect or creative genius, out smart the big guy. Some of us will think that sounds idealistic or pollyana-ish while at the same time think it has been known to happen, right, or more of the same? The big guys have all the money and can afford to do anything and make us think that maybe we can, too, while we struggle in the wake with our small change. It’s the American Dream. Courageous ambition, hard work, adventure, discovery, they may not be all myths.

Perhaps there is a little myth in the way I never know how things are going to go from a prompt to download a new version of compression software that I need to prep files for, say, amazon.com Search Inside The Book program. This program is supposed to help people not only find a book due to the ‘tag’ effect of words in the book but allows them to see it and read it, want to buy it, but not download it. The recommended way of delivering files to amazon is in a zip file, a compressed pack of files with cover jpegs and content PDF. I don’t know how much time I spent downloading and setting up a bit of software to accomplish this task but when it came to creating the archive, there was an error. Restarting didn’t help.

All this in order to perhaps sell a few more books and eventually offer them as ebooks, too, on amazon. Amazon used to scan books for this. Maybe they still do but my sense is they would rather not pay somebody to do this when it should be simple to upload a PDF. And it is. The snag is how to get the required covers to go along. I’m going to stop trying to figure a way to put them together and send them separately. I don’t have time for searching for the program or technical troubleshooting.

Such is the life of the little guy who has to hesitate to spend 30 or 80 dollars to get the full version of software that supposedly does this task of compression. Now I wonder if it makes sense to purchase the software or if even then it will fail and another hour or day will be spent in tech support trying to solve whatever the issue is. Haven’t we all had that experience? We think we need some internet security software that costs a mere 89.00 but for some reason we weren’t told that it is not compatible with our current system so we don’t find out until we install it.

It may be because half the time I am still using an older computer and operating system. There is a dilemma to the ever-changing and improving computer and its operating system, utilities, browsers, applications, all will become no longer able to function or use the new plug-ins, for example, especially with browsers, and, most importantly, they become less secure. So, as delimitating as this is, as frustrating and demoralizing, there is no getting around the eventual upgrade. It has to be planned. Just as parents try to instill the need for income, the work ethic and sense of business our young people must understand in order to continue to make more income, so should the sense that we must keep up with the improvements in technology. No matter how much we think Ford had the right idea, or that obsolescence is planned, corporations are just out to get our money and keep us down, we have to suck it up and keep that job. Keep our computers equipped with the latest software and extensions, utilities and all the rest because your business, personal identity and valuable data will become at risk.

I may sound a bit sarcastic, but I believe there actually is some truth to this. Being young and idealistic without being enterprising or realistic can lead to dilemmas, even poverty. But money is not everything. Wealth does not equal happiness.

In a recent article in The Economist (June 16th, page 52) “Money can’t by me love” discussing the Chinese people, the Confucian phrase leads, “admirable indeed” is a man who has only a begging bowl yet “did not allow his joy to be affected.” Even the thought that rulers are concerned with the people’s happiness seems out dated but studies show that in China surveys show that the people who expect their living standards to improve in five years went up “from 62% in 2004 to 73% in 2009.” With a Chinese growing economy there is also growing discontent thought to be due to “procedural injustices, abuses of power and the lack of resources.”

Do I come away from this with a notion that rulers and corporations try to use human behavior and habits to keep them engaged with money and merchandise as to keep them happy so they, the rulers and corporations can do what they want, or that it’s the same wherever we go? In this country, the USA, many are concerned with the enormous wealth being held by large companies and how the courts have given them almost carte blanche to influence political campaigns appearing to take away the democratic process while little is said about how people can organize to use power of their own.

There almost seems to be a trend in politics to divide and conquer, and it doesn’t stop there, if we think, we can go on to misrepresentations, blaming, deceptions, and more until it becomes bigger than life and our sense of futility grows driving us into some comfort zone. As if that is just where they want us to be. It all looks rather morose and incomprehensible.

Somehow we need to do our best at what we do and even better to find a way to compromise, to understand each other, to resist the urge to be unforgiving or assuming the worst and projecting onto one another things that are false beliefs. Somehow we must find the courage to use our own understanding and say and do things that unify us. We can always complain but it takes real leadership and real love to reach out and try to make a situation better.

Now, if I sound overly optimistic, look at this.

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