Millennials and Teaching Ethics

I am learning a lot about millennials, those born between 1976 and 2004. Some put the first date later, while all affirm that millennials are that group that is coming of age at the turn of the century.

Coming of age is a good place to start. Millennials are not in a rush to make this happen. In fact, it’s not easy trying to teach a generation that is not eager about life. Optimism is a foreign concept for millennials because they seem to base optimism on a Facebook image or a snap-chat post. If it looks the part, then it is real optimism. Deep insight with understanding of real motive has vacated this generation almost entirely. Real relationship is hard for them to build.

How do you wake up such a group?
How do you inspire such a group?
How do you encourage a group that has no direction?
How do you reach a generation with no questions?

When I first started teaching I had many students who would pose questions in class and they would debate and argue with me. In fact, when I first started teaching at a small junior college many students wanted to start a philosophy club. They asked me to be the advisor and we named it the epistemology club, and over 35 attended the first meeting and it grew from there. Students today on average are not interested in that. It’s depressing. It’s almost as if millennials are not cognitively excited about much. I know I sound like a joy kill, but these are observations I have but do not believe.

What I believe is that there is a way to reach them. I see this as an ethical question since so much knowledge must be passed on other wise we are facing a near extinction of living wisdom. All that the greatest generation has to offer, everything boomers have realized, they are facing dissolution. At no time in history has a generation existed with almost no roots to the past or any foundation of principle from previous generations. Building an ethical foundation needs to start growing roots somewhere. Perhaps we start with empathy, but not to give it to millennials, but to take it away. For a generation that has been pampered more than any other, maybe its time we take some of that away. It might just be the way for many of them to develop empathy.

Optimism in Business Networking

Doug Casey, renowned investor, recently stated in his newsletter that “networking” is his secret to success.

In 1905 business owners in Chicago who rotated from office to office to conduct networking meetings formed Rotary. Within 20 years Rotary changed to a service organization and adopted the motto “service above self.” In 1915 Kiwanis formed as a business networking organization and later changed to a service organization with a motto, “serving children of the world.” In 2017 Lions formed first as a business networking organization and then latter it changed into a pure service organization with a motto “we serve.”

These organizations are now struggling to attract members. Every focus they once had on business networking is now gone. Even local chambers of commerce are dying across the country, all because they put real business networking aside in favor of luncheons, lectures and costly administrative overhead. We now have franchise-owned business-networking organizations, plus a few CEO/Leadership service organizations, pulling vital wealth and autonomy from the community. The true potential of a business network has never been realized.

Let’s be honest. The purpose of networking is to build wealth—first in individual member businesses, and second in the networking organization itself. Building wealth in member businesses and in the group is ignored because we do not see or run a networking organization as a business.

After 100 years, the organizations above have no wealth to show for all their effort. This is why they are failing.

The best achievements in humanity stem from businesses organizing to build wealth together. From the Charter of Liberties to the Magna Carta and to the Declaration of Independence, all are the direct result of business owners organized to serve each other equally. Wealth in diverse hands is exponentially greater to the community.

For the reasons above, we have founded Local Common Wealth, a genuine Business Networking Organization. Our motto is “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats.”

Local Common Wealth is different. Each chapter is run by common consent (like a micro republic), thus no political hierarchy to constantly centralize wealth to itself. Essentially, we are headless. The book The Political Optimist explains this philosophy, and a constitutional model for chapters is available if requested on this site.

Local Common Wealth groups meet twice a month to pass referrals and pitch each other’s businesses. Yes, we pitch each other’s businesses rather than our own. This is a major cultural shift from other networking organizations. Of the $750 in annual member fees, $500 stays local to build wealth in the chapter, again with no administrative costs other than a good CPA. This pooled wealth is then used to build a building, invest in each other’s businesses, hire a doctor for basic care to all members, or any number of needs that best serve all members equally.

Our first Local Common Wealth chapter has two groups meeting twice monthly. In 2016 we passed over $160,000 in business with just a few members. This has been achieved despite seven local franchise-networking organizations, plus a local executive networking organization, and despite a very active chamber with over 600 members. The goal for this chapter is to pass $1,000,000 in business in 2017 and to go nationwide with the model.

The more diverse and decentralized we can make wealth, the more hope for the future we create. This is genuine optimism.

Doug Casey is right; business networking is the secret to success. Local Common Wealth is the rising tide for a grand new optimism. If interested in starting a chapter in your area, see now.

Genuine Optimism Defined

While many see optimism as a mental attitude that takes the brighter side of everything (often blindly), there exists a meaning with greater significance, and it is derived from the original Latin, optimum, meaning “best.” The philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) later expanded this to mean “best of all possible worlds.” Leibniz felt that this is where God chose to exist. This means you can look on the brighter or positive side of everything, or you can define what really is the best of all possible choices according to laws embedded in the universe. In the case of the later, a degree of responsibility is required because the universe demands it. In the case of the former, there is no responsibility—you just think positively almost as if in denial of natural law. The key is in the term responsibility because looking at the brighter side of everything is subject to error and denial, meaning you can make a lot of mistakes in your thinking, and this is not being responsible. Choosing the more responsible action has a more genuine optimistic result. Responsibility and genuine are two words with close ties, meaning they qualify each other. As we will see, responsibility qualifies liberty vary nicely.

The most common mistake in taking the mental brighter side is that something else can be brighter and you may not know it. Even worse, you might find yourself fighting against better ideas. This is why taking the positive side can often showcase a closed approach, or an unwillingness to hear views that challenge established norms and tradition. You have to study many sources an not just one view such as religious, liberal or conservative. In other words, taking the agreeable side of everything assumes one always thinks positively while the rest of us are still looking for something in relation to many sources. A good example is Socrates, who spent his life looking for the best answers to his questions. His was not an open mind in the positive sense. He had a questioning mind. To be open and questioning are not the same. Socrates was seeking answers rather than trying to establish them. He required discussion with others and the normal process of questioning brought fourth better answers to all.

To have a questioning mind requires public access, something like a forum or discussion group that welcomes enquiry—the very thing Socrates thrived on. A mind cannot be questioning if it does not have public access to others willing to answer questions. If public questioning is deliberately withheld, the truth will not rise. This is essentially why Socrates was shut down from asking questions in public and eventually took his own life because of the judgment against him.

If there is no means to raise a question and seek wisdom openly, minds are left closed. The open mind simply holds a positive view to avoid intimidation. Socrates could not survive in such a world because he knew that a questioning mind does not act alone, despite what most tend to think. It needs public access and public expression.

Put a man on an island alone and there is no means to question or be questioned. An open mind would think positive that a solution will come without doing any questioning. Out of desperation a questioning mind will resort to asking God for help. The social model is rife with political intimidation and correctness. This is authoritative pressure, which more often than prevents questions but talks of an open mind as a denial of positive support, void of questions or doubt. The freedom to question cannot happen when an authoritative or dominant power center can shuts one down publicly. True freedom, for instance, would not have sentenced Socrates or Christ to death. It would have let them continue the questioning and speaking up for the least, for justice, and even to ask questions against the grain of established tradition. When there are questions there is true voice of personal thoughts, and when you have this in parallel with a vote or decision of agreement, this becomes a natural breeding ground for genuine optimism in reaching for the best possible ideas rather than the political optimism of positive thinking in order to control and seek favor.

America is a place where this has been idealized in the phrase “voice of the people.” Unfortunately we have not figured out how to organize the voice of the people very well—that of having a questioning spirit organized publicly. For too long we have slid into the assumption that an open vote is a voice. The job of a statesman or a leader is to figure out exactly how to get the true voice of the people without superficial, blind, and popular agreement by a majority. The usual pathway to getting any kind of consent from the people is to give everyone a vote. Sometimes the vote decides a new proposition or a new referendum, and sometimes the vote is made to choose a representative out of two picked by a few. However, if just fifty one percent confirms a decision, this leaves forty nine percent un-represented. This cannot effectively be called the voice of the people.

In order to reach a more accurate voice, and in order to create the optimum or best environment for a questioning and open mind to genuinely flourish, we need to go back to public assembly where all questions and all answers are free to roam without a dominant power center controlling who can speak and what can be spoken. Throughout history, controlling discussion and public discourse has been the first line of attack in protecting the established elite. This is why we need to take a step back into the arena of discussion before any voting. It is important to connect voice to a vote properly, and in that order. While the two are not the same, voting can only be derived from a questioning voice, and this happens to be the least recognized value in moving liberty. It also happens to be the mission behind Genuine Optimism, it is something that comes from the desert, the place where every soul can hear itself breath.

Report on IOTA, a rising new crypto currency/technology






Scalable, Decentralized and Modular for the Internet of Things.

If you know anything about me, I am a big proponent of B2B models. IOTA is going after a B2B market. I will explain the difference below.

As the Internet-of-Things keep expanding, the need for interoperability and sharing of resources become a necessity. IOTA enables companies to explore new B2B models by making every technological resource a potential service to be traded on an open market in real time, and with no fees. This may sound Greek to many, so let me explain. Right now, data is looked upon as stuff to possess and horde, and this is often done on larger platforms managed at great distances and housed on a single server. For example, I am a local guy and I see tons of ideas in local markets. Imagine 17 high school basketball teams come to town for a two-day tournament, ready to spend many thousands of dollars in lodging and food. Bigger hotels are often notified first, but because they are the big fish, the smaller businesses and local restaurants are not notified? The new tangle technology will decentralize the current control grid of data and expand more local power with more shared connections that are non-competitive. Sharing through cross-pollination will soon be a necessity for small businesses, all because they are learning to link interoperability to share resources, and with a crypto currency behind the scenes, they can get paid to share. And who benefits? The one who shares at the most local level, and not the one hording the data at a distance to then resale. In the future, crypto technology will decentralize naturally what governments used to do with anti trust lawsuits.

IOTA acts as a supplementation to the current blockchain ecosystem. It does this by serving as oracle for smart contract platforms like Ethereum and Rootstock. The tangle or Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) chain essentially means a collection of nodes or vertices, while allowing connectivity between nodes but with no circular edgings. In other words, you cannot start at one vertex and eventually loop back to that same vertex via a sequence of edges (connections). A blockchain can be loosely defined as a ledger of transactions shared by participating nodes in the system operating under some kind of consensus protocol. IOTA communicates in their white paper the following: we “propose a modification of the Bit-coin protocol by making the main ledger a tree instead of the blockchain. If this image grabs you, then you will understand that such a modification permits to reduce the confirmation times and improve the overall security of the network. In other words, as stated in their white paper after a lengthy mathematical explanation, the tangle provides a much better protection against an adversary with a quantum computer compared to the (Bitcoin) blockchain. Look at Iota like you would the tree in Avatar. If that helps, then you understand its potential.


As the projection of billions of connected devices within the next decade are tossed around, it seems most practical Iota, as a micro-transaction cryptotoken, must operate in conjunction with the myriad blockchains that will connect the myriad devices belonging to a diverse corporate world of things. This is like Blue Tooth Ibeacon technology on steroids. In other words, this opens up a new world of application development that is native but not dependent on the traditional served-run Internet. The main innovation behind IOTA, its secrete sauce, is the Tangle, a revolutionary new blockless distributed ledger which is scalable, lightweight and for the first time ever makes it possible to transfer value without any fees. Contrary to today’s Blockchains, consensus is no-longer decoupled but instead an intrinsic part of the system, leading to decentralized and self-regulating peer-to-peer network. Iota seeks to be a huge disrupter in the crypto world by attacking the central control of transaction data.

I have found no applications as of writing this, but I personally have a business model ready to build on the technology. Until then, consider the this. While blockchain technology will help automate contracts for insurance, accounting, financial and other industries that work on a linear path, there are critics that say such a robust framework is not ideal for machine-to-machine payments on a smaller scale. Enter Iota, a micro-transaction cryptotoken said to be designed for the Internet-of-Things (IoT), meaning micro transactions and connections between many devices. If you are an entrepreneur, let that sink in for a moment and maybe your imagination will go wild. Think of it this way. Real business is based on relational connections and not a linear transaction. In other words, who do you do business with? The people you know best. Iota is seeking to increase relational connections and not linear one’s. This makes for a more powerful platform to build on.

The main innovation behind IOTA is the Tangle, a revolutionary new blockless distributed ledger which is scalable, lightweight and for the first time ever makes it possible to transfer value without any fees. Contrary to today’s Blockchains, consensus is no-longer decoupled but instead an intrinsic part of the system, leading to decentralized and self-regulating peer-to-peer network. For the first time ever true micro and even nano-transactions are enabled due to the unique IOTA Tangle architecture, providing developers with a brand new set of tools for their applications in both IoT and Web. This nurtures brand-new business opportunities for companies that prohibitive fees have kept in the realm of the impossible until now.

Link to their Whitepaper.

On the date of making this post, IOTA was trading at $.40. It has climbed way above that, and fast. See this link to see its current market cap.

B2B models have traditionally returned 80% more than a consumer model (B2C). Consumer models are not much better than a 14% return. Sadly, so many new technologies go after users only. Take Steemit. It is strictly a consumer or user model only. It rose fast in the crypto world but is now fading. It has a great potential still, but it cannot compete with solving real business needs, especially small business. As I continue to post on new technologies in the crypto world, I am looking for B2B models first. This might give insight into those who follow. There is a reason why IOTO is ranked #5 as of writing this. I hope the above explains it. The reason IOTA may fall in valuation is because it has a larger than normal supply of coins. This cuts into its rarity, or value, and explains why it will have less short term growth. In short, IOTA is a long term hold.