An Immodest Proposal

Many in the United States of America are disturbed about how two recent Presidential and Vice Presidential elections failed to mirror the popular vote.  Some are calling for the abolition of the Electoral College.  Yet others wish to retain it.

The reasons for keeping it include the very same reasons that our Founding Fathers argued for its original form, to keep popular but incompetent or selfishly ambitious and dangerous ideologues from reaching this our highest office.  But, it obviously failed most recently.

But the reason it failed is because the method of selecting our Electors has changed and not for the better.  We used to vote directly for these people, by name.  Now, they are the tools of partisanship, a party slate, voted not by name, but by party affiliation.  This is what must change.

Further, we must not be slaves to the past.  (Allusion intended.)  We must not continue to live with the compromises made in the late 18th Century with those elements that would own human beings as though they were draft animals.  The Electoral College must be apportioned by population only.

The easiest way of achieving both ends is to set the Electoral voting system by districts, in fact, the same districts as the House of Representatives (providing that gerrymandering has been eliminated).  This will allow voters to size up the potential Electors and weed out those who would fail to vote their conscience.  It won’t totally eliminate party influence, but it will eliminate winner take all by states.  It will eliminate the overweighting of low population states, giving back equal representation to the populous states.

There is one other proposal I would make… and that is that the Electors should be voted upon in the mid-term elections so as to allow a two-year period in which the Electors may confer among themselves, hear from their local constituents, to select the best candidates for the offices of President and Vice President.  This will have the effect of eliminating the “horse race” public campaigns that are so divisive of our nation.

Women in Tech Panel at DisplayWeek

I will be on a panel, “Women in Tech” at DisplayWeek in L.A. this coming May.  Will you be there?

(Addendum 5/27/17:  The panel was too short… but some of the conversations that occurred at the reception afterwards were enlightening.)

Thoughts on Leadership

I’ve been having interesting conversation with folks recently about management philosophy and the transition one makes from being an individual contributor to being a manager.  It’s not an easy one.

As I wrote in my essay on building creative teams, it starts with people.  Growing up, my father would always say, “Never be afraid to hire people smarter than you.  First rate managers hire first rate people.  Second rate managers hire third rate people.”  It can be troubling the first time as a manager when you realize that you don’t know as much about a particular bit of work a subordinate is doing as they do.  But that’s why you hired / recruited the best… to let them know what the organizations goals are… and then “Get out of their way!”

Ok, let’s be honest, “We can’t all be heros.”  Not all of your subordinates are going to be self-starting superstars.  That’s where you will have to understand what motivates each individual in your team and provide it.  Sometimes, it’s coaching and encouragement to help them overcome uncertainty.  Sometimes is personal recognition and an attentive listener.  Sometimes in technical coaching to learn a needed skill.  Sometimes (hopefully not often) someone with whom one can safely blow off steam.  Pay attention to what your team members asking of you.

What’s the Plan, Stan?

A team can only be as good as the plan.  One can’t succeed, or even know if they did or didn’t, if they don’t have a plan.  That’s the manager’s job, to help create the plan and goals for the larger organization, along with peers and one’s own upline management and communicate that plan effectively to one’s team.  It can be a lot of work… but that’s why we have full time managers and not just team leads.

Interesting links:

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/4033.html

https://www.managingamericans.com/BlogFeed/Leadership-Teambuilding/The-Difference-Between-an-Individual-Contributor-a-Leader.htm

http://billzipponbusiness.com/leadership-transition/

 

One Hundred!

Banner Day !!!

I have just learned that the United States Patent & Trade Office has issued another utility patent.  But this one is special; It is my one hundreth utility patent.  This is a personal milestone that I’m very proud of and have worked towards for all of my career.

OK, so it doesn’t come anywhere near the 1,093 that Thomas Edison earned… but not bad… not bad at all.

Here’s a link to the full list:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=0&f=S&l=50&d=PTXT&RS=IN%2F”brown%3B+candice”+OR+IN%2F”elliott%3B+candice”&Refine=Refine+Search&Query=IN%2F”brown%3B+candice”+OR+IN%2F”elliott%3B+candice”+or+in%2F”elliot%3B+candice”

Sexual Politics

I earlier discussed my radical thoughts on how the lower house in both state and federal legislatures should be selected by gathering proxies at large, as being truly representative of the population in a modern, aviation and internet connected, world.  Now, thinking about the upper house, the U.S. Senate, I believe, strongly, that it is time for better represenation for all humans… and especially for the half of the citizenry that has been historically under, and at one time, completely un-represented, women.

Each State of our Union sends two Senators to represent that state.  That should continue.  But they now should send one of each sex.  I call for a Constitutional Amendment for this requirement.

Before I hear that this would be “undemocratic”… think.  Only 96 years ago, our Constitution failed to protect the rights of women to vote at all… and though there are at any one time fully 100 Senators serving, now that there are 50 states in the Union, in all of our nation’s history, less than half that number have been women, TOTAL !  This is NOT representative democracy.

Join me in calling for Constitional Amendments; one to require that the state elect one Senator of each sex; the other that Representatives to the House be selected by gathering proxies at large across the nation.

No Legislation without REAL Representation!

 

Advisor at Vital Vio

I have just accepted a position as an advisor at Vital Vio an exciting tech start-up.  Vital Vio designs and manufactures light-based technologies that kill germs and bacteria rapidly, while being safe for humans and animals. The Vital Vio system massively improves sanitation and safely disinfects commercial environments, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery and other healthcare sites, compounding pharmacies, cleanrooms, public bathrooms, food storage facilities, and gyms.

The young and energetic team really knows there stuff and their enthusiasm is infectious (sorry, just had to say it).

http://vitalvio.com/index.html

First Draft of Novel

All the Stars are Suns is now in first draft form.  It is shorter than is usually recommended for SciFi books at only 75K words.  Though from what I’ve read, it is better to be on the low end for a first novel.  I am looking for beta readers to give me feedback on it.  If interested, send a note?

I intend to self-publish this as an eBook, perhaps on Amazon Kindle.