Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rule the World

Twenty two brave athletes sweating the Brazilian weather on beautiful World Cup pitches may impress many, but being there only reinforced my notion that the world is ruled by women. At least the world around me, in near proximity or with which I have broader affinity.

The subtleties of soft power cannot go unnoticed over time. Who sets priorities, who makes the tough calls, who really has sway in eight-out-of-ten households, who decides on a house purchase. One can go from fact to stereotype to caricature, but the idea has been brewing in my mind that we men are just useful idiots, and often not that useful.

The metaphor of men is that of World Cup players, physical, determined, with a sense of purpose that may or may not transcend gender. Pawns in a bigger game. Look "La FIFA" has a female gender.

The sweetest paradox is that cultures where women do not rule (yet), have no soccer presence in the world stage really.  And the conclusive proof may have gone unnoticed to the armies of commentators in Brazil 2014. Three of the four semi-finalist countries are run by a woman head of state, and the fourth, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was run by queens since 1890 until Beatrix abdicated last year, probably to have more time to follow the World Cup.

This blog proves I retain my freedom of opinion, even if our male opinions may matter less than we thought. I do not complain, relevant or not my blog has alway done one thing to perfection. When I read my own posts I feel exactly the way I did when I wrote them. That is as close as I can get to a time travel machine. Plus that picture takes me back to Fortaleza, Brazil just before the madness started.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

When Nobody is Watching

"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching". 
I find different forms of this quote going back more than one hundred years. So many variants, so many authors, they can't be wrong.

The chances to exercise our integrity are dwindling. An estimate of 1.85 million CCTV cameras in the UK, one for every 32 people. The Washington Post says the NSA can scan 1.7 billion emails a day. Everybody wants our data to rummage through. The privacy ambiguity introduced by the cyber lives we invented makes it hard to know when no one is watching. 

Given this is only getting worse we need new workable quotes for integrity and character. Something like "character is what you do when you think nobody is watching", and I have already read variations of that sort. 

Or maybe "doing the right thing when nobody cares", because all these Big Data engines are not really judging me I believe. Even if they are I may not care about their opinions of me. It would read as "doing the right thing even though we do not care about our reputation to the watcher. Nah, too long. 

The sign at Dojo had it right, "doing the right thing regardless of the consequences".

But then again there was another Japanese proverb used at the Dojo that conveyed the opposite.