It is my belief that people must be taught how to think, not what to think… and that flies in the face of the constant fast food type of news analysis and ready made thinking screaming down at people from the TV sets everywhere.

You are insulted with an always fresh supply of stupidity from all corners of the broadcast world, without the opportunity to engage in thoughtful and measured discourse amongst your peers, simply because life is so hectic and we are so engaged in all things and on all fronts, that we accept unquestioningly the ready made solutions to our problems. Except these are not solutions at all…

This ready made thinking is poison for the soul. And it accumulates within our mind rendering us weak, powerless, and feeling rather stupid.

Yet sometimes we find the time to help ourselves discern muck from gold.

We find the strength to make our own choices that are clearly intelligent, and then we gather others around us, to help us define and create our own reality.  And in short — that is the genius of the human spirit. That is the genius of the human being.

So when we are faced with a barrage of negativity in our lives, we can either roll over and accept it or we can revolt and look to find a ray of sunlight, and gather a bit of hope, that will motivate us to throw off the shackles of doubt, and let go of the handcuffs of fear and the bondage of uncertainty — and start moving forward again.

It is exactly that moment that we can realize that we are powerful enough to move mountains…

But first we have to decide which mountains we need to move. And for that we have the activists who are the early pioneers and the leaders that can point us in the right direction in order to create a movement.

Activists are people who see the need for change and devote their time to doing something about it.

They are usually driven by passion and a vision for a better future. Activism comes naturally to some, while for others, it’s thrust upon them when they experience situations that hurt them or those they love.

And in many cases it is the many injustices performed in society that fire up the activist inside each one of us to take up a stone and throw it at the Status Quo shattering the illusions that keep us bound up in an unjust system. It is the simple act of civil disobedience that causes us all to revolt. It is the very human experience of equity distributed badly. Or healthcare offered unjustly and unequally. Or maybe people get upset when some of us are more entitled than others because of the color of our skin or of the place where we were born or because of religion and ideological upbringing.

In the face of things and against the all powerful status quo — it often seems that one person cannot do much. Yet in the face of these intractable odds the activists find their way to fight for their cause that always amounts to more Social, Human, and Environmental Justice.

So as I was working with some young people on a Democratic campaign yesterday — we thought of all the reasons and the whys and the hows of becoming an activist.

In a nutshell: Whatever your reason for wanting to become an activist, you have the ability to do so – no matter your age, your means, or your socio-economic background. It doesn’t matter who you are — you just have to admit that you don’t want to go quietly into the night, because it’s people like you, people who believe they have the power to make a difference, who end up changing the world for the better.

And all you need is to unleash your fire from within to want to Do the Right Thing. This passion will guide you forth because it often comes from a simple sudden realization that changes your life forever. And once that realization hits you, it is what will stoke the embers of your activism, even at the lowest points – when your your energy is running low and when sometimes you might feel like giving up.

Once you’re aware of something in the world that you believe needs fixing, changing, or overhauling – that awareness will dog you constantly and cause you to see the need everywhere, bringing a sense of responsibility with it.

Corruption is everywhere and all it takes is for some of us to start cleaning it up. And if all of us just start cleaning up in front of our own door – surely the world will become a very different place rather fast…

For example, you might find out that a company in your town is polluting your local river, and decide you’re going to do something to help stop this pollution… Think of the Flint river in Michigan that is so terribly polluted that we cannot even use the water for bathing let alone drinking, anymore. The whole city of Flint has gone sick from the lead, the arsenic, the PCBs, and the mercury, that is in their tap water coming from the Flint river.

Well, let’s think about it. Why is the Flint river so polluted?  Somebody at some pint put this industrial pollution in the river Flint, and they continue pouring it in. And am certain we know who did it. And the EPA knows it too. And perhaps we also know how to make them stop pouring it in. After all we have the EPA and the clean water act of 1973.

Right?

Not so right… because with the Republican Congress’s help we gutted all of the environmental legislation and made both the EPA and the Clean Water Act toothless. And now we can’t use them against the polluters to make them stop. But if you’ve seen the Erin Brockovich film – you know that you, Yourself, can do something about it…

So let’s get to it.

How to Help Stop Pollution from destroying your city?

First thing to remember is that when you are in the hole – you must stop digging further down. In the case of the Flint river — you must stop putting more pollution into the river before you start making plans to clean it up.

So, how do you clean up a river?

The answer, is twofold: 1) Treatment and 2) Dilution.

Take as an example the Yellow waters river in Colorado…

The approximate site of the Aug. 5 Gold King Mine breach near Silverton, Colorado.
Photo of Cement Creek in Silverton, Colorado, after the Gold King Mine contaminated it with toxic water.

A plume of orange-yellow water gushed into Cement Creek and the Animas River after EPA workers accidentally breached a debris wall holding back the acid mine drainage at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, on Aug. 5, 2015. This photograph was taken Aug. 9 at Cement Creek in Silverton.
Credit: EPA

On Aug. 5, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers inadvertently breached a wall of loose debris that was holding back a pool of mustard-hued wastewater from the abandoned Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.

With a sudden gush, some 3 million gallons (about 11 million liters) of acidic, heavy-metal-laden water flooded into Cement Creek, a tributary of the nearby Animas River. From there, the plume headed downstream into the San Juan River (a major tributary of the Colorado River), headed for New Mexico and, eventually, Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border.

On the way, the plume traveled through Durango and Navajo Nation land in New Mexico, forcing warnings against touching the water, drinking it or using it for irrigation. The EPA is now scrambling to clean up the mess. [See Images of the Gold King Mine Spill]

The Gold King Mine is one of an estimated 23,000 abandoned mines dotting the state of Colorado. Prospectors and mining companies dug gold-bearing ore and other precious metals out of the ground in the state for decades, but they had little responsibility for cleaning up after the mines closed. It wasn’t until the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act passed in 1977 that mining operators had to create a plan for cleaning up defunct mines.

That act established funding for states to clean up long-abandoned mines, like the Gold King (which closed in the 1920s). But funds, drawn from taxes on coal-mining companies, are limited. The Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining & Safety gets about $2 million a year, and that amount has allowed the closing of 6,127 abandoned mine shafts in the state since 1980. But that state agency has almost no money for environmental remediation beyond simply closing entrances and preventing mine collapse. There have been previous efforts to turn the area around the Gold King Mine into a Superfund site, which would fast-track funds for the containment of any toxic waste. But local opposition sunk those plans.

Meanwhile, abandoned mines leak out toxic wastewater all over the state. The EPA was working at the Gold King Mine as part of an effort to slow acidic mine water that was leaking into Cement Creek from the Red and Bonita Mine farther down the mountain. The plan was to build a cement bulkhead to plug the leak, with pipes that would allow the slow release and treatment of water. Instead, the crew’s machinery breached a debris wall that was holding back the nasty brew lurking in the Gold King Mine.

The mine water is toxic because it contains dissolved pyrite, or iron sulfide, better known as fool’s gold. The combination of iron sulfide, water and oxygen results in the formation of sulfuric acid.

“All you need is air and water” to create acid mine drainage, said Ron Cohen, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Colorado school of Mines who has been involved in mine remediation internationally.

This acidic water then leaches heavy metals — such as zinc, lead and cadmium — from the ground. Arsenic levels also spiked after the mine blowout to more than 25 times the state limit for water safety. The mustard-yellow color of the water is caused by oxidized iron, Cohen said — similar to the rust on an old nail.

“The old-timers used to call it ‘yellow boy,'” he said.

Cleaning up the spill: 

The EPA’s emergency cleanup is a quick version of typical mine treatment. According to news releases, the agency has excavated four holding ponds below the mine breach. Crews are treating the water in these ponds with caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) and lime (calcium oxide), which are very basic in pH. The goal is to reduce the acidity of the water.

“When the water is rather basic in nature, considerably above pH 7 [neutral], most of your metals will come out of the] solution,” Cohen told Live Science.

This process is often visible, Cohen said. Seemingly clear water will turn cloudy as the dissolved metals settle out.

The sludge left behind can be stripped of water and disposed of, Cohen said. Once they’re not in their dissolved form, the metals are far less toxic to the environment.

On Aug. 10, the EPA reported that the water released from its treatment ponds was cleaner and less acidic than the water in Cement Creek had been even before the spill. The agency did not respond to requests for comment.

It takes time and dilution:

The EPA and other agencies are monitoring wildlife and testing water quality downstream from the mine, all the way into New Mexico. The good news, Cohen said, is that dilution and time will likely go a long way toward mitigating the long-term consequences of the spill.

Three million gallons of water (which spilled out of the mine) equals approximately 400,000 cubic feet. That’s no small amount, but about 8 million cubic feet of water flows through Cement Creek each day, Cohen said. As the contaminated water flows into larger and larger bodies of water, it will become increasingly diluted. Lake Powell currently holds about 560 billion cubic feet of water.

However, that dilution doesn’t negate the ongoing challenges caused by Colorado’s abandoned mines, which tend to wreak environmental havoc on their own. Many leak constantly at low levels, or release toxic waste during the spring melt each year. Others occasionally put out large pulses of contamination. In 2009, thousands of gallons of bright-orange mine waste poured into Clear Creek, west of Denver. Similar spills have happened at the California Gulch Superfund site near Leadville, Colorado, and at the Summitville Mine near Del Norte, Colorado. One of the Most Polluted Places on Earth.

“We’ve had many of these spills without the EPA’s help.” Many of the mines closed nearly a century ago, leaving no one to hold responsible for the mess.

“There is a real limitation due to resources — both human resources and money resources — to be able to go after all of these sites aggressively.”

“But we can start doing it and see where we get to.”

So in our general Life same as in the natural world – there are always ways to take care of things, and effect the cleanup of whatever corruption and pollution faces us.

Here are the top Seven methods of making the Environment a priority:  1) Making Sustainable Transportation Choices. 2) Making Sustainable Food Choices. 3) Making Sustainable Energy Choices. 4) Recycling, Reusing, and Reducing Your Waste. 5) Keeping Chemicals Out of the Water Supply. 6) Getting Involved and Educating Others. 7) Become an Activist and inspire others to activate.

In more detail: Stopping CO2 pollution in the atmosphere is clearly the most important thing for the survival of our people, for all the other species, and for the  maintenance of the atmospheric Goldilocks balance that has allowed us to thrive on this Earth.

The basic health and the well-being of the people absolutely depend on it. Climate Change can only be arrested if we limit global warming and the only way to do this is via the reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

In many cities of this earth the air is absolutely unfit to breathe. And although the air we breathe, in most of our cities is laden with hazardous contaminants, we think that we are unable to do anything about it. And it’s not just the cloudy air we breathe in the cities of China that am speaking of, because air unfit for human beings is found in most metropolitan areas of the globe.

Our lands are heavily polluted with pesticides, acids, and toxic substances and with increased radiation fallout all over on the Northern hemisphere from all the radioactivity we’ve unleashed since our experiments with testing and deploying nuclear weapons, and through all of the nuclear energy factory accidents, that up to day number over 700.

Same with our atmosphere where the radiation mostly rests in subatomic particles moving around with the winds and the seasons and dropping down with the rains like a terrible “manna” from the skies. The more than 700 serious nuclear accidents I am referring to are just the most serious cases of industrial nuclear accidents that happen with a ferocious regularity in all the nuclear energy plans like Fukushima in Japan, the Three Mile island in Pennsylvania, the Chernobyl in Ukraine, the Windscale in the UK, and all the rest:

Chernobyl disaster

The Hanford Nuclear Disaster in Washington State:

Hanford Site

Nuclear reactors line the riverbank at the Hanford Site along the Columbia River in January 1960. The N Reactor is in the foreground, with the twin KE and KW Reactors in the immediate background. The historic B Reactor, the world’s firstplutonium production reactor, is visible in the distance.

The Hanford Site is a nuclear production complex operated by the United States federal government on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. The site has been known by many names, including: Hanford Project, Hanford Works, Hanford Engineer Works or HEW and Hanford Nuclear Reservationor HNR. Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project in the town of Hanford in south-central Washington, the site was home to the B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world. Plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in the Fat Man, the bomb type detonated over Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Japan.

During the Cold War, the project expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the more than 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Nuclear technology developed rapidly during this period, and Hanford scientists produced notable technological achievements. Many early safety procedures and waste disposal practices were inadequate in hindsight, and government documents have confirmed that Hanford’s operations released significant amounts of radioactive materials into the air and the Columbia River.

The weapons production reactors were decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, and decades of manufacturing left behind 53 million US gallons (200,000 m3) of high-level radioactive waste stored within 177 storage tanks, an additional 25 million cubic feet (710,000 m3) of solid radioactive waste, and 200 square miles (520 km2) of contaminated groundwater beneath the site. In 2011, DOE emptied 149 single-shell tanks by pumping nearly all of the liquid waste out into 28 newer double-shell tanks. DOE later found water intruding into at least 14 single-shell tanks and that one of them had been leaking about 640 US gallons (2,400 l; 530 imp gal) per year into the ground since about 2010. In 2012, DOE discovered a leak also from a double-shell tank caused by construction flaws and corrosion in the bottom, and that 12 double-shell tanks have similar construction flaws. Since then, DOE changed to monitoring single-shell tanks monthly and double-shell tanks every 3 years, and also changed monitoring methods. In March 2014, DOE announced further delays in the construction of the Waste Treatment Plant, which will affect the schedule for removing waste from the tanks. Intermittent discoveries of undocumented contamination have slowed the pace and raised the cost of cleanup.

In 2007, the Hanford site represented two-thirds of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste by volume. Hanford is currently the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States, and perhaps the world, and is the focus of the US’s largest environmental cleanup effort ever. Besides the cleanup effort project though, Hanford still hosts a fully operational commercial nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, and various centers for Nuclear Energy scientific research and development, such as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the LIGO Hanford Observatory.

Hanford is clearly the most contaminated nuclear site in the world. And so Hanford’s radioactive and toxic wastes pose serious health and environmental threats especially as they leach into the Columbia river. These problems are a legacy of international tension and nuclear weapons production over the last century. The major challenge of Hanford Nuclear Disaster site today, is a tapestry woven from this complex history of this vast NUCLEAR RESERVATION. The tapestry of Hanford Nuclear Reservation is colored by four principal threads that still interfere with cleanup efforts:

1) The first thread is the extreme secrecy and isolation of this government project starting in 1943 in the midst of World War II. In most cases the Hanford workers did not know that their job was making the plutonium for atomic bombs until the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Security remained very tight during the decades of the Cold War. The government did not reveal a number of significant health-related events until forced to do so in the late 1980s by citizen exercise of the Freedom of Information Act. Although highly sophisticated radiation monitoring was performed throughout the history of Hanford, the government did not tell the public the details, repeatedly assuring them that everything was safe.

2) A second thread is the Hanford workers’ pride in their work and a strong sense of community that tolerated no criticism from insiders who knew of dangers or safety violations. Rejection, isolation and denial still meet whistleblowers’ efforts, and local pride still clamors for “production” jobs at Hanford.

3) The third thread is the slowly evolving understanding of radiobiology and its acceptance by political figures. For example, initial hopes that the soil would hold wastes from leaching into the groundwater were eventually proven wrong. The Chernobyl disaster alerted the public that serious accidents could occur at Hanford. The resulting contamination of the Columbia and its basin would affect the population of the entire Northwest. Increasing understanding of the effects of relatively low level radiation on DNA and the long lag time before such radiation effects are apparent in humans and animals has further focused public desire to safely contain the highly toxic nuclear wastes at Hanford.

4) The fourth thread is the tangled, often incestuous relationship between the US Government as represented by its local agency, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the large corporations doing most of the contracted work at Hanford. Often the government awarded contracts on bids involving lowest cost estimates that have led to disappointing progress, unsafe procedures and contractor turnover. General Electric followed Dupont, then Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), then Rockwell, then Westinghouse, and currently Fluor Daniel and Bechtel. Large bonuses for reaching or exceeding projected volumes of production of plutonium for our warheads lured corporations into giving a very low priority to safety measures and control of radioactive waste. The termination in 2000 of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. for mammoth estimated cost increases for glassification (vitrification) of high level wastes is but the latest example of Hanford’s contractor problems.

Many more highly dangerous nuclear accident sites dot this earth of ours and are going to be polluted enough to not allow human beings to trespass there for many Thousands of years to come…

Further, all of our oceans and waterways have been poisoned with the runoff of the chemicals we use on our lands, with the raw sewage we produce, with the plastics we use and discard wantonly, and also with all of the other garbage our throwaway consumer culture constantly creates.

If left unabated, this runaway pollution could leave us with a planet uninhabitable by humans. But for now it already has left many places of this Earth sapped of its beauty, vitality, and diversity of Life already.

We are going through a period of Great Despeciation similar to the previous mass extinctions of species our planet has already experienced due to climate change and anthropogenic influences.

That is why we call this geological season, the Anthropocene Era…

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

So…

Methinks we should do something about it.

We must keep working to activate others and our societies, in order to engage in some practical ways that we can help stop pollution from our atmosphere, from our air, from our waters, and from our land…

Activists are passionate enough to believe they can make change happen if they work hard enough to find a solution.

Many people might become stalled when faced with the simple and unavoidable question: How much good can one individual do?

Well the truth is that myself as almost all activists believe that a single dedicated and persistent person can make a huge difference. Indeed it always has…

And indeed as Margaret Mead the American cultural anthropologist has always told us:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
Now if you want to join me in fixing some of these things and taking care of Corruption and Pollution in Washington State and beyond — please join me and stand with me because in these upcoming elections we are supporting a Great Candidate for President, Senator Bernie Sanders, and we have plenty of work to do.
And also myself as am considering a candidacy in support of this Grassroots Movement to boost our Progressive Democratic Politics in the United States Senate and Congress during this round of elections in order to get our 21st century Democratic and Environmental Policies across this great land.
And for that we want to seriously ask for your help, for your vote, and for your participation.
So come around and be counted, because the greatest kinship and love are found in the shared lives of people immersed in a collective effort to change their society.
This is simple and true activism. And as we all embark in this common search for meaning, and in our search of a more tolerable and ultimately more human society, and culture we need to build better social relations, because we need to come together. And that is why I support Bernie Sanders for President of these United States, because he gets that…
And because he is also the kind of person that is simple and very much like us, in that he recognizes intimately, that human relationships are at the heart of life, and that changing society includes changing the culture, the status quo, and people’s daily lives.
We get it. We get that economic and materialistic greed is sterile. We get that friendship and community don’t just happen on their own but must be consciously created. We get all of this, because this is what we feel in our hearts. And because we feel it, we must declare our allegiance to each other to be this simple and self-evident truth, and then we got to go and commit ourselves to making Change real.
Make Change Real.
Let’s get on with it, because what we are talking about is a spiritual and physical rebirth that is the result of human activism, interactions, and sharing.
Come along in this great journey and be counted.

A bridge is a wonderful thing because it joins the past and the future. It brings the where you come from to the where you going … and joins the spatial dimensions of your Life.

A bridge is a great span that will also allow you to traverse time. From the near past to the present and the future all is a drivable terrain. I love crossing this bridge driving over the “golden horn” of the pacific ocean. That’s why it’s called the Golden Gate in San Fran.

It’s a great gateway that you can cross into the new world but you can’t make your home into the bridge. Nobody’s allowed to build a home on top of the bridge… This is somewhat akin to change. We need to engage in it frequently but we can’t make it our habit.

Yet we need to cross the chasm frequently, because Change can be deferred for a long time, but soon will come knocking and we’ll have no choice but to open the door…

New political ideas are tantamount to change. The time to change is always now. When the need for change hits the ether – we have to respond. That is the timing of change. This is how has always been and this is how it will be going forward as well…

New economic ideas are just that: CHANGE. Change has it’s time and agenda all figured out irrelevant of our wish to engage or not…

Popular change agents and leaders are putting the wheels in motion while also putting the powers to be, on notice of the imminent change they herald…

This is how we can adapt to the changing realities of today’s US “rigged system” of economic politics. Economics and politics always go hand in hand. Any disharmony and imbalances are always vetted out as issues to be solved imminently because they don’t serve the people. And the best example of this is how today’s economic political system doesn’t work for the vast majority of Americans.

Yet the complacent politics of today’s establishment — offer no way out.

It is a travesty of an Economy that defiles the middle, to push and inflate the extremes. An economy that has given the 1% of the 1% the same economic power that the 90% of the other American people have.

Inequality breeds contempt. Contempt breeds revolutions. Democratic reforms avoid the chaos of rebellion and bloodletting by reforming our Political and Economic landscape in order to allow for these things to vent and get taken care of…

And it is always inevitable that things will boil to a head before we actually do something about it. Just like a good coffee got to have a healthy head of foam.

Like when making a good espresso, the machine brings the foam up floating to the top. And now in America, both political parties have to figure out how to drink this espresso quickly because before the foam dissipates into rebellion. Otherwise the existing political parties will be treated like dinosaurs and may soon become irrelevant and get pushed into extinction.

We all now know that we need a New Deal.

So who is gonna bring this Change?

Not the satisfied elites. That’s for sure…

So now that the elites of both parties have been put on notice — they better figure out how to cut Americans a better deal, or Americans will have to elect a new dealer…

And that’s all the process that’s taking place now.

Bernie Sanders, is an outsider that happens to have been working for change all of his career. He is a good Leader because he fits much of what people want and understands their need to be led by an honest dealer…

And so am rooting for him.

I also happen to teach Leadership and I embody most if not all of what I daily teach, by example and practice. It happens to be also be the same stuff that I learned from my communion with nature, from my leadership environmental work for the Environmental Parliament, from biomimicry, and all that I’ve learned from creating and leading Innovative companies that disrupted established Tech and Science incumbents, and changed the lives of most human beings in this world…

And I believe that change is life. Life is a constant process of change and don’t let anyone tell you different. The pace of change is what we all argue about. Not the mechanics of it. The timing that we all ask to be true to…

Remember the tyranny of Time that I spoke about earlier?

Time has no bounds but it dares to create bounds for all it’s strict adherents.

And yet time cures all things… Even lies and death. But it doesn’t cure time.

Let’s look at the time constraints of the presidential politics of the United States today.

Now Bernie Sanders came from an anti-establishment position of No-Hopeville, to being within reach of Victory and indeed carrying the mantle of Democratic Leadership in the United States. Time has worked well for him… because he is an agent of CHANGE whose time has come.

And because he is an agent of change – people flock to his message.

And because people want a change, seek the Leader who would deliver this cahnge.

And now they vote for this CHANGE too.

And that’s a Miracle in and of itself…

Then again — Life itself is a miracle.

All we need to do is perceive the language of change.

This is the basic language of life, because Life is Change — as the photons that pass through our bodies trigger the opening and closing of our DNA strands, and that is CHANGE.

Change is all the nutrients that we absorb every day and are converted through the sunlight [particle and wave] from provitamins, to vitamins, and through the process of photosynthesis — keep us alive and breathing.

Change is the universal carrier of all intelligence of which we are a part. Change in our bodies and ideas is the premiere job of adaptation. Through millions of years we learned to adapt, by being flexible to incoming change.

Tapping into this, all doings are possible.

So that’s how do we do this amazing “connecting” with the people, amid grappling with the issues, and while living and dealing with the challenges. We do this by being the jobs creators, and by addressing thousands of people seeking things that we can deliver — all around us.

We do this by getting in touch with the people. And we do this by staying relevant on the issues and by fighting the challenges we face daily. As an example, we stay relevant and strong by using Nature’s recuperative powers, not by destroying our nature. We strengthen our immune system, by walking in the gardens, in the woods, in the parks, and doing this occasionally throughout our working week in order to feel restored, connected, and refreshed. I take many of my meetings by walking in parks and the woods, or around the lake — and these are my most impactful moments, and offer the building blocks for my Business relationships.

I think that I’ve learned to control time well, although this is not what other people might say. Some even go as far as saying that I live on PST time. In my mind it is debatable if it refers to Pacific Standard Time, or Pano Standard time…

Still this is my domain expertise and between little sleep and meditation I manage to contain more things in my daily life, than most other living folks. And sometimes I get done on most of my tasks and take care of them, although my meeting time punctuality always suffers and I have to apologize often to my conversants and meeting partners.

So I’ve learned early on, that there is no pride, although some people get offended because they think my Life is about them.

Wrong…

Still we are all easily distracted by the clock whose tick-tock linear time marches us all around like an unsung God. Am often proud to be late for meetings and agreed upon services, because of the work that I accomplished instead, and because it is my little act of defiance to this non sensical measurement of space.

Still for physicists and philosophers time is relative, and as any reader of Einstein’s theory of relativity would tell you — for any kind of practice about time — you’ve got to meditate on the meaning of it all.

Even our ancestors understood that time is relative and our perception of time can be nuanced and manipulated. Take meditating as a discipline where by controlling your mind and breath, you can calm your mind, control your blood flow, and even slow the flow of time. Tapping into that place of “no time” in the empty moment of stillness is what I call Infinity. This is where everything happens and this is where you can tap into any information you desire.

Remember that you’re only a breath away from this infinite space/time…always.

To lead is to move from position to position, from place to place, from people to people, and from issue to issue… A quick solution to this is setting a timer to take a physical break every few minutes, and move to another task because every working day you’ve got to touch several important issues. Blend in some walks and that way, You’ll find yourself taking and accomplishing a lot more work along the way.

Having a hand in the cycle of life keeps us grounded and reverent.

Connect with like minded people, and reduce time with all others who challenge your beliefs and instead only prepare you for debates and legendary talks. Community is huge in Leadership and so it is in tribal politics, but you’ve got to be using it sparringly. Connect with your people and don’t let others distract you into a perverse worldview that pulls you into mindless consumption and conflict. You are on the right path so lock arms with friends and work together to hold the line. You work for the Great Power now.

Don’t take society so seriously ~ the modern world is grappling with an epidemic of stress. Flamers, haters and trolls all over the Internet are not what you should be paying attention to because although people are so busy running around believing shit that isn’t real, trusting everything that’s on the Internet, buying crap that they don’t need — that they don’t stop to realize they’re squandering their life on senseless junk.

Then they complain, and back bite about not having enough trust, money, time, or energy, and forget that they’d have all of these if they would stop believing the shit, and buying the crap that’s polluting our planet and choking us out in the first place.

The wise Leader understands this is insane and holds court for the good people in his/her life. Let them see how happy and peaceful you are and, then by example, they can learn of a better way to live…

In times of economic change – steadfastednness and resolute leadership is paramount and as our economies sag and the central banks are dismayed with financial bubbles growing, the nature of financial risk morphing, inequality worsening, and non-traditional – and in some cases extreme – political forces continuing to gain traction, the calming influence of unconventional monetary policies is being stretched to its limits. The prospect that such policies will be able to keep the economic engines humming, even at low levels, looks increasingly dim. Instead, the world economy seems to be headed for another crossroads, which I expect it to reach within the next year or two. At most three years out we’ll reap what we sowed — and the best way to survive is to build resiliance in our Societies through more cohesive equality and strong well kept Middle classes to absorb all the incoming shocks.

Without the strengthened and empowered middle classes we have to admit defeat… like we now see in EU in China and elsewhere.

In the early days of 2009, the “new normal” was on virtually no one’s radar. Of course, the global financial crisis that had erupted a few months earlier threw the world economy into turmoil, causing output to contract, unemployment to surge, and trade to collapse. Dysfunction was evident in even the most stable and sophisticated segments of financial markets.

Yet most people’s instinct was to characterize the shock as temporary and reversible – a V-shape disruption, featuring a sharp downturn and a rapid recovery. After all, the crisis had originated in the advanced economies, which are accustomed to managing business cycles, rather than in the emerging-market countries, where structural and secular forces dominate.

But most astute observers already saw signs that this shock would prove more consequential, with the advanced economies finding themselves locked into a frustrating and unusual long-term low-growth trajectory. And with frequent recessionary events that make this recession not just a W shaped one but a WWW like the world wide web of recessions has caught on and doesn’t let go… as in Europe and in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and all over. In 2009 this became the “new normal” and we are all living through it.

The “new normal” was given short shrift because of the strong conditioning to “think and act cyclically” as espoused by the central banks and by the leading economic classes. No economic or political leaders were ready to admit that the advanced economies had bet the farm on the wrong growth model, much less that they should look to the emerging economies for insight into structural impediments to growth, including debt overhangs and the massively excessive inequalities.

But the First World’s economy was not bouncing back. On the contrary, not only did slow growth and high unemployment persist for years, but the inequality trifecta (income, wealth, and opportunity) worsened as well. The consequences extended beyond economics and finance, straining regional political arrangements, amplifying national political dysfunction, and fueling the rise of anti-establishment parties and movements.

Asset prices in all classes of assets are unduly elevated. Bubbles are everywhere and deflating them would take a bit of time. Working through our slow growth debt will also take time. And how we get the time we need to do all of these things?

By changing course and strengthening our Societies and not seeking the quick fixes from the fruits of war because these highs are just that. Cocaine for the economy. Short term jolts of hyper-activity that evaporate as if there were never there when peace ensues and there is no dividend to hold and grow with…

But nobody through of calling for a Change because CHANGE is an anathema to the banker-wankers and their minions, the store bought politicians like Hillary Clinton and the slew of GOP flunkies. No change is coming from that room full of Marie Antoinettes… especially from the Queen Bee herself that thinks she deserves the Democratic nomination because her hubby bedded half the female populatin of the country.

So we need the political change soonest, and we need it from another quarter, because the alternate path, onto which continued political dysfunction would push the world — leads through a thicket of parochial and uncoordinated policies to long term economic recession, severe extremities, far greater inequality, and amazingly deep and uncoordinated financial instability.

And trust my words here, that beyond harming the economic wellbeing of all current and future generations, this steady same policy maintainance of the status quo will lead to nasty outcomes that would undermine social and political cohesion.

Today that the American voters are taking to the preliminary voting across this great land on a state by state basis to elect the contest leaders between the two great big parties, we must admit that there is nothing pre-destined about which of these two paths will be chosen by the people and indeed taken by the winner to become the new President.

And indeed, as it stands, the choices are frustrating and impossible to predict. But in the coming months, as both the people and their leaders the policymakers, face intensifying financial volatility, hardship, and nagging concerns — the voters in the United States will face up to the power. They will surely rise to the occasion and choose wisely amongst what seems to be drastically different choices of Leadership.

This I am counting upon as we start seeing all of the clues concerning how things will play out, starting to literally rain down from the sky…

So now the analysis is in order. Let us take these early clues today, analyze them and formulate good choices that will lead us into the voting booth’s intimacy, because the hope is that the clues will point us to a more systematic pathway to CHANGE and thus to a more effective policy approach — through the choices we’ve made in the polls.

My fear is that the existing policies will not only fail to pivot away from the excessive reliance on the interplay of the central banks, and the big systemic banks and financial institutions, bit also on the 1% that is dividing us all with it’s amazing concentration of wealth and power.

It is not the banks that are holding us together. It is the Social Cohesion and the strength of our humanity towards each other. That’s what we have to build more of. Otherwise if we leave it up to the bankers, and their minions, we’ll crash the boat all over again onto the rocks, and go swimming into the ice cold sea.

Remember the Titanic?

That’s the Ship of State and every time it’s beached we all suffer mightily… and certainly worse than the 1929 Great Depression. And if you don’t believe me – ask the Greeks today what the hell they are going through…

And then we’ll end up looking back to the “new normal” with all of its stagnant economics, it’s watery and elusive growth, and all of it’s limitations and frustrations — as a period of relative calm and wellbeing.

So let’s change things NOW that we have the CHANCE to Change.

Let’s support someone for the White House that understands what the Hell is going on, and how to help the people survive.

Do you want to improve your lot in this World? Do you believe that the future is good? Do you even want to have a Future?

Then go ahead and vote.

And when you vote — think Bernie.

Think Bernie and vote for him because methinks He’ll make a good Captain and I trust that he’ll deliver what we need to get us through the shoals and the black rocks of these treacherous waters we are coursing through.

He’s a Good Captain. I know. We need a new Good hand at the tiller. A steady hand and a Man of integrity. A person that wants to bring about the Change we all seek.

And if you want to adapt to the forces that seek to sink us all together with the ship of State — you’ve got to change. And the easiest way to do this is by voting your conscience.

So…

Be the Change you want to see in the world.

Don’t preach…be.

 

And also make sure to have a Big Fat Dream.

Dream Big and carry a big wish list…

That’s why I love Bernie Sanders. Because He is not afraid to dream and dream big…

And what am saying is that we need to control the dream ~ the media paints a picture of a world filled with conflict wherein we need to give up our liberties and powers to forces that protect us from “them” but we know better than that. We know that we Love Life and all that’s in it and we don’t sow hate in our hearts…

So love all life and don’t buy into such petty sassiness, because we are different than our enemies…

And we know what to choose, what to buy, and what to let go of. Because every time we buy into somebody else’s hate — we fulfill the hate within our heart.

Why do you want to carry all that negative baggage?

Same thing goes for our choices of Life’s victuals, necessities, and frivolities.

Consumerism is Politics and Economics in action. And so is Investing too. The inevitability of Change drives my Life and so it should drive yours too because I’ve had to think long and hard about it, what is it, this shift, these opportunities that will be part of this new revolution within our societies?

We all hear about new peoples political movements, new economic movements, new green business shifts, less consumerism, sustainable futures — but we don’t know what is this shift in our society, or what this revolution happening now is all about.

Everyone agrees that there has been a drastic change happening since the beginning of this century, be it from communication advances, climate change, the rise of the millennials, or for the sustainable use of our natural resources, and our reaction to Climate Chaos.  It is truly hard to pin change down and probably to mix all of it up in this revolution taking place within our society.

Yet after a bit of thought, I looked at how we are transitioning our own lives and our Economies as an Investor and I can’t say if this is a revolution or a much needed evolution.

What actually is this change?

Let’s see how it affects our politics, our economics, our ways of work, and our businesses. And also it’s changing surreally fast what the politicians and business leaders get up to, and what we allow all of them to do in our name about all those issues that affect us.

This constant change is affecting our daily lives, the way we live, the way we work and the way we communicate. All things are changing.  Things are changing far more than what has been discussed in the recent World Economy Forum’s events in Davos in January 2016, because their focus was on a 4th Industrial Revolution. How pedantic…

I only want to point out that industrial change is nothing but Societal change as a whole.  It should also be pointed out, that the industrial revolutions since the early 1700s have caused the current predicament in our climate, and our wasteful use of resources, and so I propose calling what is happening now, a Societal  Revolution.

This revolution is one where there is a fundamental change in how we live and interact, with each other. This is a revolution of how we become more sustainable in the use of resources and how we treat our fellow inhabitants on this planet. This is a Revolution about the way people interact with each other and how we fix what we have broken. This is not only about our survival, but about how our children and the future generations will judge us in reality and in our history.

The new buzz terms that are now been used in political and business circles, like Big Society, Circular Economy, Green Economy or the Blue Economy are only part of this revolution.  There are already changes that can be seen at the international level, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are just a few of these changes and that shows there is now a Societal Revolution.

There are resisters to this change, ones who don’t understand and ones whose livelihoods depend on the current status quo; but they are becoming less and less, yet, they still have a major impact on the speed of this change. We need to understand resilience as well as risk should be now the benchmark, incorporating not only mitigation, but adaptation and the means of implementation (MOI) into our investments. Societies are moving on and unless the investors do too, their business plans and investment portfolios will become stranded assets, and they themselves will become obsolete — far sooner than they think.

I do not think this Societal Revolution is advocating turning our backs on business and the markets — nonetheless the shift towards inclusion of the whole of society to make opportunities for all, is what Change is right now and this is what is happening right now.  One example of this is the the argument towards inclusive stakeholder ownership. that has been shown to be more effective in getting things done on time and on cost than the normal ways of business. This societal revolution is about joined up thinking in combining the workings of business, society, and resources in a sustainable way.

As this Societal Revolution is happening there is also a warning; as even though there are currently paradigm shifts in politics, in industry and in society, we have to be careful who is leading some of them and in what direction.  Are some these shifts in the best interest of society or just serve the few?

This is what should be at the forefront of the conversation the average person has with the politicians and those who want to become leaders. Incidentally this is what’s happening right now and this is how it will affect how our children and how all people will live in the future.

This is not another industrial revolution or a societal revolution that will surely lead to a balanced future. It is our Life expectancy as a species defined by our choices.

What is happening across our society today, is not changing how we adapt to this change, but how we will adapt to what is going to be our life and death. It will not just be our legacy — it will either be our swan song, to be played again, or our epitaph.

Keep in mind that every time that you engage in politics and in economics — you vote. Each trip to the supermarket is a political multiple question test of choices. We vote whenever we purchase something. You are voting with your money and your choices of patronizing products and services. You are giving away your power in the form of currency, to a company that is either helping make the world a cleaner, safer, healthier place, or to one that’s driving us in the other direction.

Choose wisely.

Investing in the wrong type of companies is self destructive too. You already know all this but it’s good to divest from planet killing companies, and people killing concerns.

Invest in Life if you want to live…

That’s the Right to Life.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

A leader travels and understands his or her role in this world, and only allocates mind space, money resources, and belief space only to people and companies that deserve it. Travel through life leaving a light footprint. Leave no tracks behind…

Travel and educate yourself. This way, we vote on the places and on the practices we want to see and we work to make the world a better place with every single action.

Do this, because that’s how we create the world we want to live in.

We build the Future through today’s actions.

And whatever future we create its truly up to us…

Good or bad.

“Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee, and when I love thee not, chaos is come again.”

~W. Shakespeare

 

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | January 29, 2016

What do I need to know?

In this season of elections in America — much too much ink has been spilled, video shot, and high Bollywood drama taking place all across the land.

If the Bard were alive today we would have surely had a slew of new plays to rival Titus Andronicus, by bringing about the essence of self imposed political importance to those seeking Leadership.

Never mind “Reason” it is a Hobbsian dystopia out there, made up mostly of incomplete human beings, and thus all my instincts tell me to stay as far away as possible, because they mostly play Animal Farm and they just don’t know it.

 

Yet the unprecedented opportunity of analyzing a presidential along with a general election cycle in the US, helps us better understand the rather arcane and complex intersection of Democratic science, human nature, and politics.

Being a dispassionate observer helps me carefully observe, quantify, and understand  — and perhaps explain how human instinct shapes voting decisions. Yet the real scientist can only infer data from experimentation and diligent observation of Nature.

So for the few of us — the true students of Democracy and Science — this season is a boon.

The basic premise is to find out what affects electoral contest outcomes.

So I always start by asking these questions of all comers. Fellow citizens, colleagues, friends, and foes alike:

What do I need to know?

Can you tell me how to frame the contest in order to win?

Can you help me elucidate the issues so that I communicate them well?

Can you help me improve the “game” in order to affect the outcome of the election in a positive way for all concerned?

What about ad hominem attacks?

Or negative TV ads?

What about underhanded smear campaigns?

Can these tactics affect the strategy of the game?

Can they win the game?

In a rational world the answer, of course, would be a resounding NO.

But often times I wonder if we live in a rational world or not.

Because in most people’s mind, our highly charged, and bigoted political and dirty electioneering world — is anything but rational.

Yet by drawing on science, politics, and history, we can explore the hidden forces behind our often illogical and incoherent political choices rather well so that we can always learn to seek the light when faced with the deluge of darkness.

Democracy was born as an ancient Greek mathematical Innovation exercise in the Pythagorean school of Philosophical Thought, that was seeking to find the best way towards correct decision making, leadership, and truth. It worked. It brought about the Golden Age of Greece. It worked so well people forgot about it and abused it. Naturally it got broken. People lost faith and consequently their Democracy was also lost. It fell into disuse. Much later it was reused, mimicked. improved, or improvised, yet much later it was reinvented through social revolutions, people’s rebellions, and in science in what is termed today as the Condorset Theorem.

Democracy is indeed a straight forward algorithm.

The Condorset Theorem is a verbatim copy of the ancient Greek Mathematical theorem that states that the opinion of the majority of people is always better than the best opinion of professionals and experts alike. And this scientific view led to the rise of Democracy because after a few Millennia of Jungle King rule — we wanted to have the best outcomes for our Society. And that included participation by all of us…

Mind shattering thing this theorem and the underlying algorithm is…

Today, it’s called Condorcet’s theorem, because it’s a political science theorem about the far greater probability of a given group of individuals arriving at a correct decision. The theorem was first expressed by the Marquis de Condorcet in his 1785 work Essay on the Application of Analysis to the Probability of Majority Decisions. He was a friend of Benjamin Franklin, the famously called “First American” who always sought to support the ideas of Democracy. And in some measure this why we start the Constitution with the words: “We the People…”

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 10.28.50 AM

In Political Philosophy, it is called “Scientific Democracy” where the science comes in generalizing the Condorcet Theorem to encompass majorities in Democratic elections.

And in short it proves that the crowdsourced decision of a majority is usually far better than anything else we have at our disposal.

Because although we are all animals first and humans second — we are truly social and political animals as Aristotle never tired of reminding us. But above all else we are always following the laws of Science whether we like to admit it or not.

And if you doubt that — please be my guest and go ahead to test gravity by walking out a third story window from any building you like around the world.

Add to this our Socratic social proclivities and our Platonian Republic ideals and here we go, having both Society and Civilization thriving today despite the dirty low brow politics of the day.

But thinking of this — challenges us to go beyond the headlines, which often focus on what politicians did, do, or say that they’ll do.  This step alone helps us concentrate instead on what’s really important, that is what shapes our responses to events taking place around us and to the challenges we all face… Real or perceived.

It appears that contrary to what we tell ourselves — it’s our instincts rather than arguments appealing to reason — that usually prevail on our choices when faced alone with a list of candidates, inside the voting booth. Because somehow we associate our response and the computer paper tick in the voting booth — with the flight or fight instinct of our long upbringing in the meat locker of the steppes where we were just as much fair game as the game we hunted.

Yet we forget that this is not the world we inhabit today.

We’ve long found solace, comfort, and safety in Society.

And in the Constitutional Framers opinion, participatory Democracy comes naturally to me because this seems intuitive. We have to use our brain before we even think about reacting. But for others this isn’t the case and they react viscerally because all around us popular culture tells us we can trust our instincts and so we run with them often times over the cliff.

Still today’s latest science has proven that when it comes to political choices our scardy cat and monkey mind mind, turns in on itself and becomes a stone age self serving brain, that often malfunctions, misfires, and leads us astray — against our true self interest.

In the age of our Trumped up Reality TV politics, this is spot on…

Climate, wars, threats, islamist attacks, terror, natural disasters, the tides, the moon cycle, even sports events and other pop factors — radically change the way people think about the world and about those running for elected political Leadership office.

In an attempt to alter the course the “animal” side of the human brain tends to take, we need to highlight the work of scientists who are pioneering new ways of understanding the world around us.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

While we are at it, let’s also try to explain how to take control of these instincts to make the brain work in our favor during stressful times like election season, and how to trust the crowdsourced wisdom of the Democratic process.

Democracy is not an ideology. It is simply a scientific method of Decision making. Got that?

We are all Democrats because we live in a Democratic society. A smart and scientific society that chooses to take the decision of who is to lead in a scientifically valid manner. We follow an ancient algorithm for decision making, and for electing the best Leaders, and that method has been validated as the best possible one in order to bring out the best outcomes — through a couple of thousand years of sporadic utility, and the resultant Golden Ages, when we fully embraced it. There’s a great track record when you correlate the times that Democracy was applied fully, and the success of the nations utilizing it.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 10.28.07 AM

Still republicans, decision making pundits, and leadership quorum theorists — rage in everlasting classical debates over the question of whether we want our political outcomes to be right, or whether we want them to be fair.

I say we want them to be both RIGHT & FAIR. Let’s settle that debate once and for all.

Democracy can be, and has been justified in either way, or both at once. We want our Decisions to be Right and to be Fair at the same time. Simple eh?

One would hope… but for systemic democrats, civil servants, and for the American framers of the Constitution — the aim of democracy is to “track the truth” and thus to also bring about the best desirable outcome out of a plurality of possible choices.

And truth be told — for all of them, as it is for us — Democracy is far more desirable than any alternative forms of decision making, because it does that rather well.

One democratic decision rule is more desirable than another according to that same standard, so far as systemic democrats are concerned.

Let’s not forget that our drafters of the Constitution and the Founders of this great Republic were all true democrats, believing that the aim of democracy is also to embody certain procedural virtues.

And that is why we have the electoral college. Procedural democrats are systemic democrats, appealing to Condorcet’s jury theorem, that simply and always says this: “The correct outcome is most likely to win a majority of votes.

Democrats, including true Republicans of virtually every stripe, have to agree.

PPS:

And for that I’d like to invite your comments and thought of whether I should run for political office or not…

PLMK

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Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | January 28, 2016

Maverick Tunes

Whoever calls me a maverick does me no small favor…

Indeed they actually hurt my chances of being a real maverick.

Now why do I say this?

Because today is Mozart’s birthday…

Mozart was born some 260 years ago on this day and he has given joy to the world ever since.

And if you look for a Maverick with as capital — that He was.

Mozart was baptized on 28 January 1756, the day after his birth, at St. Rupert’s Cathedral in Salzburg as “Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart”.

Otherwise known as Amadeus [Latin for Theophilus] Mozart.

Or Gottlieb Leopold Mozart…

Or Wolfgang Amadeus..

Or simply Amadeus.

Mozart?

And people complain that I have many names.

And they don’t understand why…

Let me tell you:

When you transcend language and tribal barriers — you end up translating and transliterating your names to fit; and that causes the plurality that often times confuses small minded folks.

But no matter what you call Amadeus — you truly speak of his divine nature. The nature that has given us the “Song of Paradise” as was described by his contemporary bishops.

So if I ever get to be able to give one hundredth of the pleasure he stirs in my soul to other people — then I’ll gladly accept the title of Maverick…

Yours,

Pano

PS:

Next up is Bethoven.

Nah…

Not a maverick by a long shot

 

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | January 22, 2016

R U Resourceful? R U Surviving? R U Effective?

A good friend of mine lost his grown up daughter – a Medical Doctor to suicide, and now this 87 year old man, has got to go back in Life and raise two young granddaughters on his own…

He is grieving but has no time to think of essential processes, and instead he is just plowing ahead to take charge and take care of these imponderable things that upend our lives and cause much distress, as death seems to always do…

I admire this man.

In other news: Almost $17 trillion of equity market capitalization has evaporated in the last 6 months with over 40 global stock indices steeped deep in bear markets despite the world’s central banks going into money printing overdrive over this same period.

How brilliant are all these morons at the Central Banks, and at the FED, as well as the ECB, and CBC, and all the central banks worldwide who stand frozen and unmoved in front of this massive tsunami of destruction.

I don’t admire these men.

I don’t admire them because they don’t care about their job and it’s repercussions.

I don’t admire them because they leave us all behind with nary a thought about our blood, sweat, and toil and they traipse over to snowy Switzerland for cuckoo clock discussions and holidays on ice.

I don’t admire them because they abandon all of us to deal by ourselves with this deluge of the shattered markets and the spoilage of so many good companies… And because as it often happens the broken pram is thrown away along with the good babies inside, and it is left upon us to search and rescue for our friends amongst the wreckage…

In my Life, at least within the highly competitive Venture Capital crucible — it is crucial to have a tethering line grounding you to reality, lest you get cut off, and enter what we jokingly call NASA tunnel thinking.

It’s like in the movie “The Martian.”

You’ve got to survive before you thrive…

And then make plans to escape the red planet.

Now — you wouldn’t think the VC life is like that but mine seems to be…

One has to be really resourceful and highly intelligent to be able to survive this journey and get back to Earth.

And today, reading a post about the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People acted as a reminder to me that I need to touch upon all areas of my Life even when the time is precious little…

1) Always make your best effort. Always do all that you can do. Fight on.

2) Think Long Term. Aim to create a legacy, and that is a good guide to doing the right thing on the short term as well…

3) Do three things each day and do them well. First things first. Prioritise

4) Be magnaminous in victory and graceful in defeat. To win is not to defeat

5) Enjoy the journey. Be the process. To act is not to achieve

6) Lead from the front. Find Synergies. Co-operate, don’t fight

7) Prepare and think ahead to do the work needed to achieve results. Always it is preparation that reduces work ad ensures positive outcomes.

And above all else think like Victor Frankl and set out to survive with a smile, because you’ve got a reason to live for…

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

We are all hurting in some way or another.

And I know your burden is always greater than mine or anyone else’s…

So I heartily recommend that in those difficult times it’s important to read my bedside companion:

Man’s search for meaning… by Victor Frankl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSRYCc7ApHc

Just to set the stage:

Almost $17 trillion of equity market capitalization has evaporated in the last 6 months with over 40 global stock indices steeped deep in bear markets despite the world’s central banks going into money printing overdrive over this same period.

How brilliant are these morons at the Central Banks and at the FED, as well as the ECB, and CBC, and all central banks worldwide…

Go figure…

The 15 technology companies with the largest market capitalizations in 2000 have been decimated — losing about $1.35 trillion, or roughly 60 per cent, of their combined market value. In fifteen years…

The same exercise is taking shape today with the blue chip Tech private and public stocks losing just as much value and especially the sky high floating Unicorns crashing swiftly back down to earth like the Hinterburger burning. In fifteen weeks…

History repeats itself only the first time is a tragedy and the second time a comedy. The first time is in Human time and the second time on steroids time…

Yet today another 15 companies that were together worth less than $10 billion in 2000, are now among the world’s 50 top technology companies as measured by market capitalization, with a combined worth of $2.1 trillion. Take for example Apple, which even in 2000 was viewed as little more than a curiosity, has risen in value from $6 billion to $660 billion.

And the reality is that several of today’s most valuable technology companies did not even exist in 2000 and were created mainly through the diligent application of Venture Capital work. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter together have now a collective corporate history of only 33 years. Even Google and SalesForce were barely smudges on the horizon in 2000. These companies now have a combined value of about $850 billion.

Now one must notice that none of these companies do the hard things. namely they don’t do hardware. Yet they have thrived from the artful deployment of software, and in particular the cloud based variant, and for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google’s YouTube service, they have built a business and profited from organizing and collating the contributions of their users.

But the fourth, fifth and sixth most valuable technology companies of today — are Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu. This Chinese companies threesome alone, is now worth almost $500 billion.

Half a Trillion USD is nothing to scoff at…

And this is a testament not just to how much China has progressed in a decade and a half, but to where China is going. Because China is shifting from being the workshop of the world to being the most valuable equities market of the world especially for Technology companies. And after the recent market turmoil unfurling it’s sails and upsetting it’s plans, this becomes a harbinger of the next several decades, as the country places increasing emphasis on spawning its own technology and creating it’s own major market makers from local companies going abroad and overseas to conquer the world…

A few themes jump out of this discussion. First, the power of novelty, second, the shift towards China, ad third the benefits of patience and the virtues of capital efficiency, as deployed through diligent, sustainable, and long term viewing, Venture Capital.

And then we have the Subprime Unicorns.

You know them. They are all the rage. All the young startuppers want to emulate them… And all the young VC wanna get into them. ANd for the right price they get in the club of their choice. Little do they know this is the club for stuck-up idiots. And the price of admission to become a VC for the Unicorns is exuberant optimism.

These Unicorn club going VCs — they represent the Tulip mania amongst the VC community of today. They indeed are the uber-Unicorns of today wearing the horn fashionably well, on top of their horse heads.

And now all those uber-inflated private companies that had stratospheric valuations that have now gotten back down to earth in a hurry and their VCs seek shelter from the storm, but the horse stables are all full up.

Alas — it is far too late for them to find shelter from this storm.

Now they need to go through the purgatory of hell and come out the other way cleansed. The IPO window is firmly shut for them and their exorbitant valuations and there are no New Fools out there to become the next greater fool. So all I have to say to their Investors is this: “Good Luck and Let mw know How this works out for you”

But all the wreckage of these Unicorns has me concerned.

I am terribly concerned that they will become extinct, and my heart goes out to them. Admittedly we are going through a great despeciation event and this is just another proof of it… but one has to have pity in their heart for the fallen ones.

But maybe there will be some Unihorns left if we can find proper employment for them. Maybe the only Unicorns left will be the ones tasked to carry on inside the game for children aptly named: “Ride my little pony” and specifically designed for errant and aberrant VC boys out there.

So let us all stop drinking the Cool-aid and remove the rainbow glasses and start seeing the stars for what they really are.

A celestial miracle of lights — free of real star obscuring space faring and earth bound floating unicorns. Like so much space junk the Unicorns are in constant need to observe and navigate around them, but with their imminent elimination — we are again free to roam the great wilds of our atmosphere and the near earth space.

And we can chalk all of that excess investment that got burned up, with the unicorn Hinterburgers and their likely fellows, the Weworks, the Theranos, the Ubers, the Airbnbs, and their assorted unfit to fly brethren — as an investment in EDUCATION.  Education for boys and gals that missed that pivotal Business Economics 101 lesson. Sadly this is not offering any edification for the errant VC boys, but there you have it.

Because…

Business and simple Venture Capital Leadership lessons come aplenty, when gravity takes hold and the early stage subprime unicorn companies start hurling down to Earth. But when they fly around without any parachute — life is peachy.

And this is truly an exercise in Wisdom seeking, and in gaining practical knowledge from the time when Reality arrives back in the house…

And take this writing for what it is because it best serves as the view from the beach, when the tide goes out and you get to see the naked swimmers crawling out “pruned” and mudy, after staying far too long in the water hoping for the return of the tides…

Not that there is anything really wrong with that — but there you have it.

However when one is seeking true wisdom and knowledge — one has to be diligent enough, and methodical enough, to win.

And to win in the VC game one has to be or become a Leader. Because only the Leaders can command great respect and thus gain the privilege to lead people, companies, and markets.

Don’t worry, followers are aplenty. You’ll never run out of those. But Leaders are a rare thing… And that is the thing we all should aspire to be, if we want to be considered as Great Venturers.

So let me start with a few questions right here.

A few questions that might start you thinking along the lines I choose to think and that might make you a bit smarter if not an outright genius.

Here it goes:

What does it mean to be a Great Leader in Life?

What does it take to be a Great Venture Capital leader?

What is it that great leaders and managers of Growth and Risk Capital do?

How do we set an ethical example for others to emulate?

How do we demonstrate a level of performance that others can only aspire to?

How can we carefully select good people amongst the flotsam and jetsam of the Sargasso sea, that want to work in venture capital with me — only because they think the rewards are immense but they don’t really have any of the required skills?

How do we attract the best ones?

And after we kiss a lot of frogs, how do we distinguish, separate, and motivate the Princes and the Seahorses, to come work creatively and productively with me after passing the frogs off to the French chef?

And how do we design the Princes’ Princesses’ and the Seahorses’ compensation & princely rewards, in a way that is both fair and abundant?

How do we collectively allocate capital?

How do we decide how much risk is prudent?

How do we select the strategic funnel for the companies that get through the fine mesh filters?

How do we avoid meddling with the investee companies’ strategy and execution?

How do we escape dwelling on insignificant details, or on people’s drama, conflicts, and personalities?

How do we shut down the haters, naysayers, negative pussies, and fearful monkeys, that are bound to exist out there?

How do we fire and replace CEOs and colleagues, without hate and rancor?

How do we avoid micro-managing?

How do we exploit the operating expertise and utilize the deep domain knowledge that certain company C-level suits have, since they are far more versed in their businesses and fiefdoms?

How do we bring this general wisdom to bear for the GOOD of all and sundry?

How do we support the VC interests when they are trampled upon, especially when a CEO leads a good business into the muck?

How do we act forcefully and take control – no matter how much one dislikes confrontation?

How do we ask our limited partners for upping their exposure to the Funds?

How do we explain to all the investors and company CEOs, and other shareholders, that first and foremost come our existing Capital investments, and the Fund’s interests and that’s why the term-sheets  frequently contain preferential terms that only we can command?

How do we answer the question if there is something we value more in our working life than increasing the underlying value and the ROI of our Venture Company?

These are most all of the questions that we have to fully and viscerally answer each and every day — in order to be the VC Leaders and maintain our Command of the field.

Incidentally these answers will also have to be answered by YOU, in order to be allowed to become a Leader in my world of Capital formation and allocation as well. Just to come work with me you’ve got to do this homework…

Don’t be afraid – reach out to me – because I employ good people and always seek some more. It’s not reality television but real Life and I fire people all the time which – on occasion – causes me to even fire skittish investors and relinquish LPs positions.

This lets my lieutenants and shareholders understand that with me — they own far more of the business they all cherish.

People who work with me long term understand that they own their Destiny and can write their own story, so they best “play” for all they’ve got…

And they surely DO.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

As you have no doubt noticed — I haven’t answered these questions today, not only because that is your job and by reading this Leadership series, You have already been treated to all of the answers.

And if you haven’t — no worries. I shall answer conclusively each one of these Questions at length over the next few days focusing on the individual topics.

Yet for now here is a morsel of wisdom straight up: tKeep remembering that here is only one narrative that matters and it’s the one you’ll create for the world. Everything else pales in comparison. So keep your priorities straight…

Now I only hope that the reader of this compilation, will be treated not only to my views on the topic of Venture Capital that is dear to my heart — but also to the cannon of knowledge and wisdom from all the Leaders of this field.

And I further hope that You will attempt to answer these questions o your won because the syllogistic thinking required to answer these questions, will be the best exercise to learn whether my VC world is an appropriate place for you too.

And if You feel that this is a place you can fit in, and make it your business — then I’ll invite you in. But first send me your answers and I will choose the best ones.

Just drop me a note, provided you can hack it.

Martians, invertebrate rule followers, inveterate office keepers, and assorted drama queens — need not apply.

 

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | January 16, 2016

WellHeart Inc @ the J P Morgan Healthcare Investors Conference

Reality is stranger than fiction.

Always…

Take as an example this year’s J P Morgan Healthcare Investors Conference the premiere event of it’s kind in the world…

At the same time the Conference was hitting it’s stride at the midway mark — the Biotech Index lost a good 10% of it’s overall value and kept on dipping to new lows…

And amid the general rocking it , the alcoholic frenzied parties, the drug ingestion, and the parties at the Asian Bordelos of San Francisco’s Korean town, Chinatown and Vitnamistan — and the general having of a great time between the conference and the official parties and companies’ receptions — it must have been a viral infection that made people sell everything.

Others like me had been shorting the Drug and the Biotech markets wholesale — because when we meet our “comrades in arms” we recognize that they can’t hack it and that they look just like lemmings in ties.

Immediately fear sets in and since familiarity breeds contempt and we talk to them about the falling markets — they all talk and then sell. Some far more entrepreneurial even follow my path and short their own market in Unison.

A very social thing to do. Like catching the influenza virus the fear virus is equally catching. And there had been great winnings and now they gave it all up… to the shorters and the wind…

Considering that we were all in San Francisco and I wasn’t the only one shorting this market — it makes perfect sense.

Herd mentality at full tilt. And that in a nutshell is the story of Investors and their feelings… A bunch of meercats. Lemurs bend on flying off a cliff — should that cliff ever presents itself. Albeit without a parachute.

That’s the effect of fear compounded by alcoholic consumption… and a fistful of drugs.
Ah… but I must admit — the parties at the Asian establishments were heavenly…

On more pedestrian news, I also spoke at the conference about our New Heart Drug the WellHeart that fixes broken Hearts and cures all viral infections of the heart in great therapeutic treatment. I had been assigned a relatively smallish standard room with chairs for about thirty people… on the second floor of the Westin. And all of a sudden when I started talking and did a quick headcount I saw that there were upwards of 75 people standing up like sardines in a tin can.

They all wanted to hear about the great promise of WellHeart Inc and the blockbuster drug that we have under our belt going for FDA approval.

I riffed off the few slides that I had and then I opened it up for Q&A…

The deluge of questions was momentous. Everybody had a couple or three or four and five questions all firing them up in a row.

Mayhem ensued and I talked and talked like a cottonmouth. We kept at it well after the intermission and the next vacant hour all the way until we had to be escorted out of the room when the time was up for the following presentation to begin.

I had a great time and made 75 new friends and bunch of Investors too.

Heady times.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

Anyway it’s California and the bears are dancing.

That’s my humble answer for the continued volatility of our markets.

For God’s sake the Bear is stiched on the goddamn flag here….

Any Questions?

Anyway — Ping me if you have more questions about the new WellHeart drug.

WellHeart, Inc. = Fixing Broken Hearts under clinical trials since 2005… and will be doing this with the FDA’s approval in the US in the next couple of years too.

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | January 10, 2016

Hit Change, Renew, Refresh.

My Life has been influenced by every single experience that I’ve lived through…

Yet never has it been influenced as much as it has by my constant pursuit of change, renewal, and growth.

Work, school, family, life – were of course all rather important, but far from the ultimate influences on my Life.

Yet they were all pivotal. I leaerned how to change.

Of course many thousands of other influences, and millions upon millions of choices — helped to shape my mind, and continue to do so today — as I hope this process never stops. Cause for me, living a full life means being open to new ideas, experiences, and persuasions — endlessly experimenting with new ideas, arguments, and knowledge. This debuting behavior of always gaining fresh new experiences, even while risking ridicule for testing and trying out new ideas — is called the American Way.

And that is why Innovation is seen as overwhelmingly positive in this country — whereas in other places people feel it is at best a nuisance or at worst an enemy to be stopped.

And since Innovating is my thing and it also happens to be what I aspire to continue doing – we are even Steven…

And as I aspire to constant change, to evolving growth, reaching for an ascendancy to understanding — I am gratified by my climbing of the mountain to reach for wisdom. And eventually to get to the Mastery of things & to the Usefulness for the world and society at large.

It’s rather simple really. No business plan needed.

Give me an understanding heart … any day of the week, over glory, over wealth, and over fame.

And since it doesn’t happen by itself — I work at it constantly because even the mere thought of descending into static respectability, and sclerotic behavior, is truly an awful thing and an appalling condition for me.

Yet some people love it. They like to sit on the couch of their Life, and watch the world go by on the Telly.

To each their own…

I just happen to believe that Dante was right: Indeed the inner circle of Hell is a place where nothing changes, where life is frozen into immobility, and where no one can change their destiny. Mild temperatures included. God help us — because it does not even get hot over there…

I have many friends that would like that because they don’t want to change anything in their lives. They don’t want to change even a bit of their ideas and they invariably fail to see that their bodies change constantly, and they go on and die from cancer laying in bed.

And then I have other friends who climb rock faces and live fearlessly by doing new & scary things every day — and they die on the mountain face; climbing, living and loving every minute of it.

Guess which way I like to exit…

Living.

So when people claim that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or that a leopard can’t change its spots, they just simply choose to shut themselves out of life.

And some others go a step further and spend their whole life in a groove, always seeking to achieve social position, wealth, property, and opportunities — by constantly doing the same thing. And in some cases they succeed by staying in the groove, and in some other instances they happen to even inherit those “goals” from their elders. Failing to see that this is bad enough — they also try to “inherit” ideas and thought frames as well as wealth. Yet they are blind to the fact that they renounce not only intellectual and personal growth, but also much of their humanity that actually seeks change as an integral part of the evolutionary process.

For me, I like evolution in my lifetime. So I’ve always decided fast and furiously – but I try to not take choices that are out there created by society, by others, or by circumstances. Instead, I create the choices that are ideal for any given situation, and that optimize the outcomes. Then I get to choose the best ones by following my inner compass.

I’m willing to take action in the absence of absolute expertise.

How I conduct myself is more important than the success I create on any given day – fact is, we’ll win some and we’ll lose some. I thoroughly enjoy your success, because mine is not a zero sum game. I pay attention to patterns, not isolated incidents. The quality of answers I get depends on the quality of questions I ask. Discipline is important.

So I try new things constantly. Every day I surprise myself. I debut new things once a week, major new things once a month, and epic new things once every quarter. This makes life interesting. And as the Chinese say in their subtle yet humorous way, when they can’t win an argument and they simply want to get rid of you:

“We wish you live in Interesting Times” And I do. Learning is optional yet some modicum of pain is always included. At least  for our daily quotidian…

The latest new venture I’ve engaged into is the beautiful debutante on the cover of this article.
Her name is “The American Venture Company”

With this new venture — we aim to really do this one simple thing: We aim to help Tech and Science StartUps from the Pacific Northwest to bridge the valley of death all the young StartUps face, when they go from the Angel Funding stage seed rounds that we have always been providing — to the proper institutional rounds of the follow on investors, the VCs from the Sandhill Road and from Wall Street.

So our fund is called “the Bridge… and Pi Ventures”

And we want to graduate as many of our Pacific Northwest startups as possible provided that they have a brain on top of their team… We look for good StartUps with a decent functioning team and a good leader. I am not looking for great or perfect…

Perfection is a folly. It doesn’t exist, except in science fiction. Think of it…

So once a day, I take a few minutes to slow down, linger, savor, and absorb. Some people call it meditation — I call it centering mediocrity. You get to the median — the golden rule. Not the other meaning of the word…

And then I get back on the saddle and face all the challenges and slay the dragons and save my people … just like St George does on the icons from Byzantium.

And am always reaching out for StartUps that are like that. Intelligent but not self deluded.

You don’t need consensus to do the right thing. Am saying this because whenever you have lots of well-intentioned people framing a challenge, you get plenty of complexity.

And then you need to simplify anew. So why not avoid this time wasting exercise and jump to conclusion through a straw poll?

It’s far quicker and helps you save your very Life from boring meetings and committees and boards.

After all no amount of motivation will ever cause people unwilling to change to follow through with radical new things. So you’ve got to let go of that dead weight before it sinks you down.

There is no shame to be a grand motivator, but to be a clear Leader is far more than that. Therefore I have no interest in learning a single skill that allows me to live a routine of a life of mediocrity but rather want to engage in a multiplicity of fields that allow me to thrive and use the pattern recognition skills I’m so good at.

And yes — I am a big fan of other successful people, but never envy their path. My success is different than anyone else’s and I never forget that.

Because for me — success is a choice that is created, and not one that is bought, earned, or entitled. It is clearly not sold anywhere – but is carefully chosen.

And to even be aware of it’s arrival — you’ve got to live in the present time. Be the moment. Take chances and follow through with rock climbing even if it’s going to kill you one day.

But up there on the frozen rock cliff — You need to be where your footholds and where your handholds are at all times.  Because … although You only die once — you really don’t want to speed up that process.

Therefore I always am where my hands work, and where my feet stand, and especially where I am on the path to reach a destination — even if only because I want to know where my head will drop down to sleep.

I don’t care what others think of me, or what they think that I do. I simply focus on my own business and on what I have to do…

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

Today is my day to own, to hold, and enjoy. And I aim to make the best of it.

What about You?

What is it that you plan to enjoy today?

Think of it and for a moment stop and look because you could also enjoy our debutante too.

And if you are one who can help us on our mission going forward or have a good startup to share — do pray tell…

Am listening now

 

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | January 5, 2016

Three little things

Some people say that the three most important metrics to measure the health of the Business — are employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.

Even the famed Jack Welsh of GE fame says so.

But I strongly disagree…

Because the three most important things to measure are product market fit, executive team fitness & functionality for purpose, and user/consumer experience as reflected on growth metrics…

Go figure it out for yourself.

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