What are the Facts: A Catskills Ski Retreat and Conference

Last weekend we had a ski and snowboard Catskills retreat weekend, combined with a conference on Public Policy. The conversation moved from subject to subject and as we spoke about politics and economics a person I know began to say things that were not only incorrect factually but actually made no sense at all. It was clear that he was ignorant about the subject he was pontificating about and when I pointed out flaws in what he was saying, not flaws in his beliefs, just in his facts he admitted that he wasn’t very knowledgeable on the subject.

“I like to keep things simple” he said. “Maybe you’re just intellectually lazy” I responded lovingly.

I have been as guilty of this as anyone, especially in relation to the politics and history of the Middle East. I say things that make sense to me at the time but with a bit more research I soon realize that I’m off base…that a nice way of putting. In actuality I “don’t know what I am talking about.

There is just so much information out there and just when you think you understand it something new pops up. It can be a bit overwhelming.
That is one of the reasons I began a new book on Gamification and World Affairs. Whether we like it or not we live in a world where the decisions of others effect how we live our lives and force us to make economic decisions that are different than the one we might have made at another time.

In the past the price of a gallon of paint purchased in a local hardware store in a small town like the place I live in today would have been determined primarily by factors in the local economy. Many of the ingredients of this paint might have been manufactured locally or within a hundred miles. The distribution, wholesaling, retailing and my use of the paint would have all been tied to local affairs and the local economy. This is no longer the case.

This has been changing for a long time, for some products thousands of years – think the transporting of olive oil from the Mediterranean on merchant ships. Still this global influence on commerce and politics was limited to certain areas of life. Now it seems there is very little that happens locally that isn’t effected by what happens globally . What creates how a can of paint will be sold in my local hardware store is tied to federal and state laws, public policy, the environmental protection agency, union, oil exports, Russian foreign policy in the Ukraine, competition from big box stores, U.S. foreign policy, insurgencies, international monetary policy, etc.
A great motivation in writing this new book is to create a systematic approach to viewing and understanding what is going on in the world. It does not focus on what is good or bad…. only what “Is”. Sometimes it is easier to deal with things not easily controlled just by understanding what is going on.

I discuss much of this in my book Gamification for Business


Now and then these “Ask Lewis” newsletters will focus on world affairs. It may not change your life but it may give you a greater understanding of what is going on out there.
Thanks for reading and please share these with your friends and associates. They can e-mail me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com if they would like to receive it as well.

Here is a short music video to explain it all to you

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