Creativity and Age..

Let’s face it, most people believe that old people just can’t be creative.  Of course, the definition of old varies widely among those with that belief. Some think if you are past 30 you are drained of creativity. You can call this bias if you want since it is pretty much ingrained into our society. I think the average age of the employees of Silicon Valley tech companies is about 30.

canstockphoto25890140.jpgBut in reality, some people get more creative as they grow older.   A 2016 Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study found that inventors peak in their late 40s and tend to be highly productive in the last half of their careers. I had a couple of mundane patents when I was working in the corporate world but for the most part, I never considered myself to be creative until I left that world in my early 50s.

It was not until I opened up my own custom cabinets shop that the creative bug bit me. I designed and built a wide line of custom made furniture. No two customers wanted exactly the same thing so my creative juices were constantly used during that six year period.  Like most things in my life, after I get good at something I usually also get bored with it and am ready to move on to something else.

In the twelve years since shutting down that furniture making shop my creative energies have gone into my photography and writing. I have done a lot of traveling in my region of the country and beyond. For me personally my creativity has grown as I have aged. Part of that might be due to the stifling atmosphere of many large companies. I can still remember one of my corporate bosses saying to embrace risk but to never fail?  If you never fail are you embracing risk?  That logic escaped me then and still does.

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking Outside The Box On Education

crayon-banner  “Thinking outside the box” is a new sub-category within the Crayon Marks category. The term “thinking outside the box” entails a thinking process, which uses an unusual approach to a logical thinking structure. It´s a process which aims to escape relational reasoning,  and rising to another level.

school-1465744-640x480 copy.jpgThere is just too much stuff today where people say “That’s the way we have always done it.” To me, that is just an excuse for being too lazy to try to find something better. One of those areas is in our educational processes. I recently read some articles written one hundred years ago that show we really haven’t made much progress in education reform. We are stuck facing the very same issues without really trying alternative methods.

Most people, especially progressives are pretty upset that Betsy DeVoss is the new education secretary, but I welcome the radical change in leadership. Maybe some basic change will finally happen in this area. I have several retired teachers who read RJsCorner and they often vent their frustration with the educational systems today. I hope some of them chime in on this post to give their opinions.

The public school system as it is currently set up seems to be biased against a child who really wants to learn. Instead, it is about handling the ones who just don’t seem to care about their educations. That attitude likely comes from their parents for any of a number of reasons. For teachers, it is mainly about keeping control of their classrooms and not actually teaching students.

I am a Hoosier and I’m pretty sure that Indiana is toward the front when it comes to charter schools and vouchers.  I know there are a number of charter schools in our adjacent county which includes a major university. We are told by our government representatives that having a choice allows those who really want to learn to find a venue to accomplish that. I kind of buy into that.

Teacher’s unions just seem to be more interested in teachers than educating students. That is another basic problem that needs to be addressed.  How much will Mrs. DeVoss end up accomplishing in this area is very much the question at hand? But I think it is finally time to do some destruction so that maybe a phoenix can rise from the ashes.

I know that educating future generations is and should be a top priority of our country.  I also know that the vast majority of my property taxes and even my State taxes go toward that purpose and that much of that money is currently being wasted. Right now change, any change is better than kicking the can down the road. I wish the new education secretary success in changing the status quo.

 

 

America Needs More Congressmen..

Banner- Looney Bin I am feeling better today so I thought I would tackle a “Crayon Marks” post about one of your favorite topics, Congress.. 🙂 

America needs more congressmen. Hundreds and hundreds more congressmen.  I love my friends over at The Week for regularly looking over the sides of our nationalist boxes for new solutions and this is one of them a few weeks ago.  Gerrymandering has skewed the representation of our country so that it is no longer about who gets the majority of votes and that takes power away from the people. It seems without the court skewing the vote will never get solved so we need to look at other solutions.

The first thing you must realize is that everything that happens inside the Beltway Loony Bin is about posturing. It’s primarily about getting and holding power for as long as possible and getting re-elected. So, how do you reduce the power struggles?  Right now we have one representative for every 700,000 people. That’s not mandated by the constitution or anything so we can change it. What would happen if we reduced that to 50,000? Crazy you might say but hear me out.

That would result in about 6,000 representatives in DC. Of course, we couldn’t put all of them in a room at the same time so many would have to telecommute. But they go home at least three days a week now anyway so that is not much of a change. That alone will keep the posturing to a minimum. Secondly, it would also be nearly impossible to draw up all those crazy maps that they make for who has the privilege of voting for them. With only 50,000 citizens keeping an eye on a representative it would allow us to see just what they are really doing for us and not for those other folks.

Let’s go one step further and make a “virtual” House of Representatives instead of a brick and mortar one. Amazon has shown that there is vast efficiency in that process and that is exactly what our government needs, efficiency.  I know I haven’t worked out all the details yet, my brain is still a little fuzzy, but this idea could have some interesting consequences.

What do you think??

Snow Birds…By Necessity..

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I don’t know whether to give credit to El Nino or global warming for the forecast above but I welcome it whichever it is. I always dread mid-January to mid-February here in the Midwest as it is for the most part bitterly cold, windy, and often snowy and that is a combination that gets me down.  I am one of those who get pretty seriously depressed during this time of year but maybe it won’t be so bad this year. I know global warming is a bad thing but I kind of appreciate it this time of year.

I wonder if we will hit that turning point in our atmosphere due to global warming where we would not be able to recover. They say it will happen quicker than many people want to admit.  I don’t know, but this warmer weather  in the depth of winter has got me to thinking. If it is going to be so warm in the winter in the northern States will that mean that the southern ones will have a much hotter summer?

Will we become snow birds, going in the opposite direction in the coming years? Will those living south of the Mason/Dixon line be forced to move to the north during the summer months?  If that is the case maybe we need to re-term this trend to something like “Road Runners”.   I guess I would welcome all my southern friends to have summer homes in my area. We do have some pretty places where they could stay for the summer.

Global warming is a very serious issue that we just can’t seem to convince some to even think about.  But personally I don’t think I have to worry about it too much so having some fun because of ignorance of it helps some. If any of you “road runners” want me to send you some tourist info about Indiana let me know…   🙂