Ego. AI. Random Thoughts. Women and Sports. Pure Talent.

A Sense of Self. Caution To the Wind? We Head into May. Serena “Nets It Out.” The Nicolas Brothers.

  • Quote of the Week: “To have ego means to believe in your own strength.” – Barbra Streisand

I do believe that having an ego is motivating, stimulating, and allows you to value yourself and your contributions. Ego is all about creating and maintaining a level of self-esteem. I am not very spiritual, but from that perspective, ego provides a sense of ‘self’ that can emphasize individuality and help shape your individual identity.

Unfortunately, the general impression from many is that ego can do more harm than good. That thinking may come from self-serving politicians, who in my opinion lead the way with their excessive need for admiration, lack of empathy, narcissism, sense of entitlement, and tendency to point their finger at others for their mistakes. No, I did not say ALL politicians, but there are a few who give the word ego a bad name. Have you had someone’s inflated ego impact a relationship, your overall well-being, or your career? Have you witnessed big egos leading to poor decision-making, as their self-serving nature makes some people believe, under any circumstance, they are always, right?

To me, the key word and action to check your ego is mindfulness. Whether that is paying attention to the moment with non-judgment, or listening to another’s opinion, being mindful is especially important. Hopefully, no matter your level of ego, you can slow your roll with excessive self-promotion, stop blaming others for your mistakes or failures, increase your empathy, and for sure stop trying to dominate every conversation. Is there a distinct difference between ego, attitude, and confidence?

Here is an interesting take on how to deal with a moronic narcissist:

“Chop Chop”

  • Previous posts have discussed artificial intelligence (AI) and the dire need for regulation. To me, the upside of AI is the massive quantity of information and processing speed AI offers, especially in the fields of healthcare, science, and education. Unfortunately, the threats posed by AI are not fully understood and sometimes underestimated by scientists, politicians, and the media. If you benchmark AI as a robust optimization system, can AI subsequently generate unintended consequences in the forms of miscommunication and manipulation? How crucial for those continuing to develop AI is a responsible and transparent approach, considering not only the benefits but also the potential risks and ethical implications? If many people cannot tell when they are being manipulated by social media, what chance do they (we) have with the continued development of AI? The video below tells an interesting story, to say the least.
Command and Control? Regulation?

Five Thoughts for the Last Sunday of April 2024

  • Florida’s Brightline rail system is ahead of planned passenger revenue and now Brightline has announced plans for high-speed rail between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Great news for U.S. transit but Europeans must wonder why the U.S. is so far behind the development of high-speed rail.
  • Boeing’s systemic issues are now wreaking havoc with Southwest Airlines and other carriers. The Federal Aviation Administration set a cap on how many 737 Max planes Boeing can produce in the wake of an emergency landing by an Alaska Airlines flight after a panel in its fuselage blew out during its ascent on Jan. 5. Not good.
  • This Saturday is the 150th edition of the Run for the Roses, a.k.a. The Kentucky Derby. Post time is 6:57 PM. Mint juleps, ornate hat-wearing, and the big party that takes place in the track’s infield. Good fun for all.
  • Cher, Mary J. Blige, Dave Matthews Band, Ozzy, Peter Frampton, Foreigner, Kool and the Gang, and A Tribe Called Quest. I cannot wait for October’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Will Ozzy perform?
  • From the think tank The Institute for National Security Studies: “…the regional and international coalition that participated in intercepting launches from Iran toward Israel demonstrates the potential of establishing a regional alliance against Iran.” How a think tank, or anyone for that matter, have any grasp of what is going on in the Middle East? Does that think tank’s statement fail to understand the complexity of challenges in that region of the world? An alliance of Middle East countries suppressing the Iranians? Doubtful.

  • The promotion, exposure, and success of women’s sports has never been greater. The professional women’s soccer league’s attendance is up 30% year-over-year, the WNBA’s media exposure is bar none, and Caitlan Clark’s historic performance at the University of Iowa was one of the greatest basketball performances of all time, woman, or man. I am a big supporter of women’s sports, from track and field to tennis to the soccer pitch. I do not benchmark women against men – I look to watch competitive athletes no matter their gender.

A few of my friends, one in particular, do not care for women’s sports. The words “too slow” comes up often but I feel that assessment alone is unfair. I watched a good bit of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament and the run up to the Final included great games and great performances. Great passing, sharp shooting (a.k.a. Caitlan Clark), and over-the-top hustle and desire were constants in most of the games I watched.

I have played a lot of tennis, including to my partner’s disdain, many mixed doubles matches. 🙂 Women tennis players, from teenagers to older women, sometimes destroyed me, not with their speed or pace, but with their tennis skills, fitness, and desire. I do agree that at the professional level, whether the sport be tennis, basketball, or soccer, there are many discernible differences between women and men, mostly aligning with physicality.

Serena Williams is the greatest women’s tennis player. That of course is my opinion, and many might disagree and reference Margaret Court, Steffi Graff, Chris Evert, and Martina Navratilova, who won fifty-nine major titles. As a point of clarity and explanation, I also give Serena Williams credit for clearly defining the differences between men’s and women’s tennis. Her statement takes nothing away from the awesomeness of women and their athletic abilities – she simply tells David Letterman the truth.

Kudos to Serena Williams.

  • For this week’s take regarding Pure Talent, we go back to 1935. The Nicolas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, were an entertainment act who obviously excelled at a variety of dance techniques. They performed between the 1930s and 1950s, with many calling the brothers’ acrobatic, artistic, and daring moves some of the greatest dancing of all time. Their level of performance and incredible athleticism more importantly opened doors that had been previously closed to African Americans. Fred Astaire, widely regarded as the greatest music dancer of all time, coined the Nicolas Brothers’ routine in the film Stormy Weather the best he had ever seen. Three minutes of Pure Talent.
I Have No Words Other Than Amazing.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Sunday Funday!

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