Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Managing Noncontiguous Resources

Managing Noncontiguous Resources

For better or worse

In 1955, if a man started working as a carpenter for Ford Motor Company he could count on retiring forty-five years later.  The biggest change he would face was the annual model change.  Even model changes did not affect him.  Someone who graduated Computer Technical School in 1975 may not be so lucky.  Now changes are happening without rhyme or reason, in various areas concurrently.  This pattern is referred to as ‘noncontiguous’ in this report because there are many things occurring in unrelated areas affecting a single individual or group simultaneously.
Some of the likely causes of this phenomenon are external sources such as the economy and technology.  Whatever the cause the effect is a workforce subjected to constant noncontiguous forces.  This noncontiguous environment affects both the management and the employees. 
For the employees there is no longer a reasonable expectation that they will be able to work only one job and provide a comfortable living for their family.  Further, job security for even public sector employees is no longer a given.  For older workers this change alone can be terrifying but younger workers who have spent years obtaining advanced degrees and education for specific business needs are also facing the challenge. 
Management can no longer expect they will be able to find qualified employees willing to come into the office at all – let alone put in a forty plus hour week! (Carol A. Meares, 1999)  More and more employees desire to work remotely with non-standard hours and no direct management.  In this case, the challenge facing managers is how to assure the company is actually getting what it is paying for.  Managers must develop new paradigms to measure performance.
Another concern is the exclusion of employees in remote or virtual arrangements from developmental opportunities that are otherwise available to employees who have greater face-time in the workplace. (Emily Busch, 2011) 
For both the workers and managers, reactions to organizational change resemble those to the death of a loved one.  Studies on change cite the work of psychologists.  Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross (Ross, 1997), who identified several specific stages in the latter.  The early stages include shock and denial, refusing to believe what has happened and instead believing everything will be all right; guilt, at not having done or said more or for not being the decedent; and anger, at the decedent or at God.  Later, one passes through the stages of acceptance, acknowledging what has happened, and moving on. 
Now there is a need for a clear vision of acceptance so the organization can move on.  The vision of what will be.  Management needs to provide the vision and no one person, no matter how competent, is capable of creating and developing the right vision.  Communicating the vision to all the people, eliminating all the key obstacles, generating short wins, leading dozens of change projects, the new manager anchors the new approaches deep in the organization’s culture.  Forming a coalition of the right composition, with a significant level of trust, and a shared objective is required to succeed. (Kotter, 2008)

The Problem

The downturn in the economy has caused a re-examination of many things that had been accepted norms.  Compounding this affect is the increasing effectiveness of technology, the over building of real-estate resources, and insurance – both government and private.  While large organizations are able to conduct functions with technologically enhanced smaller groups of resources, many are saddled with large employee populations protected by union agreements.  Information technologies and robotic technologies are eliminating the need for human intervention in many situations.  Resource structures optimized for contiguous operations become ineffective in this environment of multiple simultaneous noncontiguous changes.  The implication is that the operational structure must evolve to effectively respond to the needs of the community and the non-contiguous changes occurring.
The basic problem lies within the relationship between organization and management.  Management is the authority that individuals exercise over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment.  This includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources for planning the employment of, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling resources for the accomplishment of assignments. (Zajac, 2004)
Organization creates structure and form resources; it is the means of management.  Structure also determines interactions between the elements of the organization.  The effects of these interactions affect the compilation, distribution, and dispensation of information.  
The problem is that an operational organization built to support the mission during the last thirty years of economic growth inherently has an organizational control gap.  This gap may not be a problem if a prolonged operation is called for but when short (sometimes-intense) operations are completed, resources must be able to depart quickly.   The gap becomes a problem when three circumstances occur:
1.       The original management structure remains in place
2.       Business partners’ change priorities and accepted ‘friendly conditions’ erode – requiring rapid repeated tactical shifts to maintain continuity of services
3.       Management can not choose to eliminate dormant resources
In the new paradigm of noncontiguous operations, the organization must evolve to a more fluid dynamic.  By deploying technologies that allow consolidation of resources, the organization can be caused to contract (and expand) as needed.  Centralization of resources under a single unit deployment model empowers management to employ resources where needed based on the noncontiguous nature of change within business, while enabling technical and intellectual assets to enjoy a more rewarding work experience.

The straw that broke the camel’s back

Why does the execution of tasks in response to changing conditions in the daily operations cause problems for the existing operational control organization?  There are two critical differences between operational direction and operational management.  The first difference is that while strategic planning is intrinsic to the Operational Director he (she) lacks the organic tactical capacity for fulfillment.  This means that the Operational Directors are incapable of tactical resource deployment and must rely on subordinates to do so.  The second difference is that an Operational Director’s logistic support is drawn from his (her) subordinate’s assets and thus must rely on subordinate units for support.  Clearly, this distracts the subordinate’s logistical element from its primary mission of supporting his (her) own resources and workloads.
In contrast, the operational managers focus on the arrangement and maneuver of resources in relation to each other and / or the workload in order to use their full potential.  The U.S. Army Joint Vision 2010 (DoD, 2010) document articulates the differences by using the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act, OODA, Loop analogy.  Applied to civilian organizations, the Operational Director Observes what is occurring in the workspace, Orients upon timely and relevant information, then decides upon a response.  The decisions translated into incidents and orders are sent quickly throughout the operational organization.  While theoretically the Operational Managers are responsible for ‘acting’, [not the Operational Directors], in reality the two levels blend.  However, in areas of noncontiguous operations Operational Directors retain the responsibility for the ‘white space’.  The ‘white space’ is the space between the noncontiguous zones of operation that are not generally characterized by heavy anomalous activities. When an Operational Director determines there is a problem the question becomes, how to execute tasks within the ‘white space’ between the functional and component resources.
When an operational organization attempts to execute tactical tasks it must rectify the capability shortfalls, which invariably cause it to function less effectively.  Meanwhile it must be careful that the structures do not create barriers between those who collect the information and those who must use the information.  

Defining a clear picture of the future

In order to evolve, the organization will be required to get a picture of the future it is evolving to.  John Kotter, in his book “Our Iceberg is Melting” offers an story that may help. (Kotter, Our Iceberg is Melting, 2006) If healthcare organizations are going to thrive, they must re-imagine what they are.  This includes Medical, clinical, and technical disciplines.
One way this may be able to work is modeled after the railroad. As fewer locomotives were needed to pull the trains, and as the technology progressed that made the caboose obsolete, it became important to crew the trains differently.  Engineers were needed at non-standard times and locations based on the movement of the trains (instead of the trains moving based on the availability of engineers).  The result was a software product named Crew Call (Gleeson, 2009) that enabled railroads to call upon crews when they were needed based on the location of and direction of travel of the train.  Similarly, healthcare should evolve to a model where health systems can call on medical, technical, and intellectual assets based on the needs of the patients not on the locations’ specific capacity or capability.
Information Technology can provide more cost effective services as a service organization model in which it ‘sells’ its services to each of the organizations within the health system based on their needs at the time.  This will provide for more accurate accounting of Information Technology service costs and will help stabilize the revenue cycle within health systems globally.

New standards of work

The products of advanced technology and, in particular, information technology pervade the workplace and lives of us all.  These products include the personal computer in all its formats, the smart phones on our belts, every new computing capable communication device in homes and offices as well as smart chips that make ID cards and credit cards function.  In medicine, research leading to the recent success in mapping the human genome is based primarily on advanced use of Information Technology.  Technology has already led to fundamental advances in perceptive understanding of the mechanisms of many diseases.  In the near future, this will result in the design of procedural interventions to improve health that can be customized to the needs of individuals.
We live in a time when IT is—on a worldwide basis—transforming how businesses interact with their customers and with one another.  Information Technology even affects how people interact with each other for business, social, educational, governmental, and recreational reasons.  
Many recognizable IT trends are pointing to the substantial and sometimes-unanticipated impact of the Internet has had in just a few years, suggesting that we have only begun to see the societal transformations enabled by IT.    Everyone must examine how this affects their business and adjust to it.  New questions are needed and new answers formulated, and managers need to learn how to manage in a workplace where operations are noncontiguous, constant, and rapidly occurring. (Zajac, 2004)

Works Cited

Carol A. Meares, S. J. (1999). The Digital Work Force: Building Infotech Skills at the Speed of Innovation. Washington D.C.: The U.S. Department of Commerce.
DoD. (2010). Concept for Future Joint Operations: Expanding Joint Vision 2010. Washington D.C.: The Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Emily Busch, J. N. (2011). Remote Work: An Examination of Current Trends and Emerging Issues. New York: Cornell University.
Gleeson, S. (2009, April 24). RailComm’s Crew Call Software Simplifies FRA’s New Hours of Service Law. Retrieved from RailComm:
Kotter, J. (2006). Our Iceberg is Melting. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Kotter, J. (2008). The Eight Step Process For Leading Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review.
Ross, E. K. (1997). On Death and Dying. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Zajac, M. M. (2004). Managing the White Space: Non-contiguous Operations and the Operational Control Structure. Fort Levenworth, KS: United States Army Command and General Staff College.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Technology In Motion

Technology In Motion

Every day I step from my seventh floor apartment into the warm South Florida sun and drive in the astoundingly frustrating Miami traffic to get to “my” health care system.  This is the place where an old geek like myself still has usefulness in the world that has become healthcare Information Technology.  Many of my friends are in this traffic with me, some of them are nurses and some are doctors, some housekeeping, and some technicians of various stripe, from radiology to computer.  All of us with one common mission – to provide world class health care to our community.

I however, am not clinical.  I am a geek.  When I walk these halls I am looking for ways to make the crucial and difficult job performed by the clinical staff easier and more efficient.  As the compliance issues become more complicated and the code names more prolific.  We walk the halls, put in the meetings, and work on the problems from our desks.  Information Technology is adapting … quickly.  Nevertheless – we who know and love I.T. are growing our skill sets exponentially and still not getting ahead of the curve.  Why?

Because health care is changing but the computer technology we are using to assist our medical providers is still locked in the age of the box.  Manufacturers, who arguably deserve to make money, are struggling to catch up with the technology they use to mold their market.  In healthcare I.T. in addition to networks, servers, storage, and operating systems, I find myself trying to find solutions that don’t exist. 

The current case has to do with a code name “Advanced Directives”.  This caused a series of meetings trying to find a technological answer to scanning documents into the EMAR, obtaining electronic signatures for authorization, and potentially collect copays.  The solution is best provided in a mobile configuration.   However, by the time you put a mobile computer cart, with lithium battery, into service in this roll – it looks more like an interplanetary research probe than a computer cart.  It is outfitted with a computer, we use a tiny (or mini) form factor device, a 22” monitor, a document scanner, a wireless hand scanner for 2d and 3d bar codes, and a digital signature pad.  Battery life with these devices installed is roughly 15 minutes.  Yet all of this could be accomplished with a tablet, however the tablet needs to be medical specific.

Why can I buy a drill with a quick change battery but I can’t get a tablet with one? 

Scanning can be done with the tablet’s integral camera, I have a scanning app on my phone that works quickly and easily.  2d and 3d scanners are already available on some tablet cases. 

If we who are in healthcare I.T. speak with one voice maybe we can get the manufacturers to step up and start custom building designs that make sense for us.  For fun I have attached a design I sketched this morning, maybe you can see the need for something like this in your organization. 

Here’s the thing, if I ask for it there is no profit for the manufacturers, but if WE ask for it they will be able to see how they can profit.

Think about it.  Take a look, maybe you’ll agree.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I enjoy watching Big Bang Theory

I enjoy watching Big Bang Theory.  But the best part is something most of you have never seen.  Chuck Lorre writes a one page blog at the end of the show.  It's only up for a few frames so - if you aren't looking for it you'll miss it.  And if you want to see it you had better be quick on the pause button.  I think it is the best part of the show although I have been wrong with a couple of the shows.  Try it, see if you are as amused as I am.  If you find yourself amused, well you may just have a warped sense of humor too.

Let me know.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's bring them home right!

Hi everyone.  I hope you agree and can help.

I was watching the Memorial Day Ceremonies in Washington D.C. on the television the other day from my hotel room in Kansas City.  They said veterans are taking their own lives at a rate of 22 per day!  22 per day!  They said the veterans should ask for help! 

There is a better way.  When a young man or woman enlists in the military they receive several weeks of basic training to teach them how to be military.  Then they go to technical school to learn how to do their specialty.   Usually after about 3 months (sometimes more) they are ready to go to the field of battle.  We 'trained' them on how to be a soldier, airman, sailor, or marine.

Many of these young people have only just gotten out of high school when they enlist.  They haven't learned how to be an adult yet - the only thing they have learned is how to soldier.  Now the military doesn't want them any more.  So one day they are in combat and the next they are on main street.

Many times they can't find a job.  Many times the people they love are strangers because the loved ones have not gone where they have gone.  Therefore, they are completely alone and rejected.  They turn to the only thing they can, suicide.

Why don't we de-militarize them?   When we bring them home let's send them back to school, let's keep them on base in places where they can get psychological decompression.  Let's get the people who trained them to be responsible to re-integrate them into society.

DON'T LEAVE IT UP TO THEM!  They learned to take orders.  Let's teach them how to be civilians now.

Copy this to your congressman, senator, and the President.  This is overdue.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Resisting Alzheimer’s Disease

Ok one more ... let me know what you think.  This is one of the most important projects we might be able to do.


Background of Project

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, ultimately fatal, disorder in which certain types of nerve cells in particular areas of the brain degenerate and die for unknown reasons. There is no known cure.

Regions of the brain that are vulnerable include the amygdala as well as the hippocampus and some areas around the hippocampus. Affected cell populations include cortical pathways involved in catecholaminergic, serotonergic and cholinergic transmission. The scientific study of the nature of this disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences have led to the belief that is the underlying cause of the classic clinical presentation of memory deficits followed by gradual erosion of judgment, reasoning ability, verbal fluency and other cognitive skills. (Association, 2012)

At the outset of the project Doctor David Lahasky was contacted for validation of the theory that technology could potentially be used to resist the onslaught of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. After receiving the presentation included in Appendix A of this presentation, Dr. Lahasky responded as follows:

I think the program is great and is very exciting.  The real issue is to detect and begin a program in patients who are in the early stages.  .

There is a great article in the  ANNALS of internal medicine from 2010 on Alzheimer’s disease sponsored by the NIH.  This was not sponsored by a drug company..  In this article it will discuss what little we know about Alzheimer's disease.  It is able to demonstrate that the medications have very little affect.  What impressed me the most was on page 180 regarding cognitive engagement, a large randomized trial of cognitive training consisting of memory, reasoning, and speed over only a 5 to 6 weeks period  showed modest benefits and had a statistically significant effect on reducing the extent of the age-related cognitive decline at a 5 year follow-up.  I was impressed that it only took 5 to 6 weeks to get a 5-year statistically significant improvement. One can only wonder if you 6 months to a year worth of a significant cognitive engagement how much improvement would you actually develop.

Its great hearing from you and hope all is well.

The article in the journal is from August 3, 2010.

David M. Lahasky,M.D.

The catalyst of this project is a personal commitment to an Alzheimer’s Disease patient within the family of, and who is in the direct care of, Timothy and Arelys Tuohy. During the process of performing the care which is an extreme burden on the family, an effort was begun to find a way – any way – to help slow or eradicate the symptoms of this terrible, terminal disease. There are two major considerations as to resisting the onset of these symptoms however and they are well documented in the article cited above by David Lahasky. (Lahasky, 2011)

Social and Cognitive Engagement

Whereas findings on the association of cognitive decline with living alone or being without a partner are inconsistent, a robust association exists between the loss of a spouse and cognitive decline. Limited but inconsistent evidence suggests that increased involvement in cognitive activities in later life may be associated with slower cognitive decline and lower risk for mild cognitive impairment.

Physical Activity and Other Leisure Activities

          Preliminary evidence suggests beneficial associations of physical activity and other leisure activities (such as club membership, religious services, painting, or gardening) with preservation of cognitive function. (Martha L. Daviglus, Carl C. Bell, Wade Berrettini, Phyllis E. Bowen, & E. Sander Connolly Jr., 2010)

         This project then became a passion and obsession as Timothy began to realize there existing technology that could be made or created to help in the process of combatting Alzheimer’s and while it may have been too late for his family member it may not be too late for others. His hypothesis was that a software could be created that would work similarly to Rosetta Stone for function but similar to Facebook for content. The technology to be developed by this project would allow clinicians and family members to upload pictures and short videos (as is done in Facebook) and the software would query the patient by producing an image on the screen and asking the patient who or what it was (similar to Rosetta Stone). Once the patient correctly responded the software would recognize that correct response with happy sounds and praise stimulating the patient to ‘want’ to succeed.

This could also be used in the recovery processes for stroke patients.


       “Dementia” is a canopy term describing a variety of diseases and conditions that develop when nerve cells in the brain die or are no longer function normally. The loss or failure of these nerve cells, named neurons, causes changes in memory, behavior and ability to think clearly. Resistance is intended to allow clinicians to help rebuild neuron path ways by providing a method to replace memories and reroute memory paths. (Lisa Fredman, 2012)

        In Alzheimer’s disease, these brain changes eventually impair an individual’s ability to carry out such basic bodily functions as walking and swallowing. Alzheimer’s disease is ultimately fatal. Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. While Resistance won’t arrest the disease, we may be able to help the patients restore or ‘move’ memories to ‘safe’ locations and open new paths to access them. Professor and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis - School of Medicine, Eugene Rubin writes, If treated early, we may be able to work around the paths of failure. (Eugene Rubin, 2010)
          Stroke like heart attack is blood flow related and in many cases, if treated quickly, can be recovered from. The statistics about stroke are difficult to grasp. Someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds. 750,000 people in the United States experience a stroke every year, and stroke kills nearly 160,000. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. About 30% of those who suffer a stroke are under the age of 65. They affect men nearly as often as women and blacks almost twice more often than whites. Resistance can be used to help recovering stroke patients to rebuild their memories as well. (Liaison, 2012)

            Resistance can also be a strong tool to help retrain individuals with Brain injuries. Listed below are Brain Injury Statistics in the State of Florida alone in FY 2009 and FY 2008 from The Annual Report on The Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program published by the Department of Health.

Total Florida Brain Injuries in the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury program:
            2009          2008

            2741          3050
            Resistance is proposed as a tool to help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s Disease, also as a tool to help recover from stroke and brain injuries.

Works Cited

Alzheimer's_disease. (2012). Retrieved from's_disease

Association, A. (2012). Alzheimer's For The Professional. Retrieved from Alzhaimer's Association:

Eugene Rubin, M. P. (2010). Can Your Brain Have Alzheimer’s Disease, But You Don’t Show Symptoms? Psychology Today,

Lahasky, D. (2011). M.D. (T. Tuohy, Interviewer)

Liaison, O. o. (2012). Know Stroke. Know the Signs. Act in Time. Retrieved from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:

Lisa Fredman, P. B. (2012). 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Retrieved from Alzheimer's Organization:

Martha L. Daviglus, M. P., Carl C. Bell, M., Wade Berrettini, M. P., Phyllis E. Bowen, P., & E. Sander Connolly Jr., M. (2010). National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference Statement: Preventing Alzheimer Disease* and Cognitive Decline. Annals of Internal Medicine, 176-181.


Facing Climate Change

one more and I am done for tonight.  I am not caught up but this is another subject I have thinking a little bit about ... let me know what you think.

Seeking a 'New Normal'

The sky is falling

The world is going through a period of climate change. While humanity is contributing to climate change by adding carbon and other greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, climate change is occurring anyway. No matter what level of spending on research to prove it is humanity’s fault, according to the letter signed by renowned scientists such as Dr. Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, human efforts to stop the change are futile (Morano, 2007). The framework of the global ecology is necessary to survive, but how will it endure this climate change event? York University Professor, Chris Thomas, in an article in Nature magazine, and quoted in the National Geographic Magazine, thinks it may not (Thomas, 2004). In order to survive this extinction level event, humanity must prioritize scientific research to adapt to the change.

The Washington Post called Lester Brown "one of the world's most influential thinkers." (Earth Policy Institute, 2010) Lester Brown blames human industrial activities for global climate change, and by altering humanity’s current technological trends will end climate change. In his book, Plan B4.0, Brown (Brown, 2009)writes a convincing argument of how human induced climate change affects sources and availability of fresh water and food production. He also links population growth’s contributions to reductions in fresh water availability through mismanagement and over use, food production reductions through urban sprawl, and increased sources of greenhouse gasses through technological advances. Plan B 4.0 is Lester Brown’s proposal for curbing humanity’s behavior and halt global climate change.

However, in its letter published in Science Magazine, dated May 2010, the National Academy of Science stipulated in its third conclusion that “natural causes always play a role in changing Earth's climate” (U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2010). Although this letter concludes that humanity is overwhelming the other sources of contribution, it does not eliminate the fact that the climate change event would continue without human contribution.

In addition to human activity, researchers working with the U.S. Geological Survey have found a number of contributors to this period of climate change. These contributors include changes in the Sun’s energy emission; amounts of that energy reaching Earth, amounts of that energy reflected by Earth, and the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere are contributing to global climate change. Continental positions, ocean currents, wind patterns, clouds, vegetation, animal emissions, ice, and more contribute to the global climate change. Even the Sun’s brightness has increased slowly for billions of years. The Sun’s brightness, combined with Earth’s orbital change relationally to the latitudinal and seasonal distribution of sunshine, has an effect on total sunshine reaching the planet over tens of thousands of years. Additionally, great tectonic forces in the Earth rearrange continents and promote or reduce the effects of solar radiation on the Earth (Brennan, 2009).

The world is going through a period of climate change, humanity is contributing to it, but the change is occurring with or without human assistance. Humanity’s choices are not between stopping climate change and not stopping it, but adapt to climate change or perish.

An acorn?

Accepting that climate change is occurring and understanding that it is a potential human catastrophe is not equal to taking action to assure the survival of the species. There is intense debate, both politically and scientifically, as to whether humanity is causing climate change or climate change is a naturally occurring cycle.

In the recent CNN Republican Presidential Candidate debate, Governor Rick Perry took the position that he was unprepared to put the economy of his state at risk based on incomplete scientific data. Governor Perry does have access to sources that question the validity of “accepted science”.

In a letter dated December 13, 2007, over 100 scientists, many of them former UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (United Nations, 2011)contributors sent a letter to the Secretary General of the UN. This letter stated the number of accepted scientific contributors to the writing teams and the fact that the drafts are ‘approved line-by-line by government representatives’ means the IPCC summaries do not properly represent the consensus view of the experts (Morano, 2007). This letter states that ‘attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile’.

The scientific community agrees that we are experiencing a period of global warming but Paleoclimate researchers have demonstrated the globe has warmed and cooled many times over the last several million years. Even if humanity is accelerating the current warming cycle, it is not certain that the lack of a human catalyst will stop the increase in temperature. Thomas Crowley is the Founder and Director of SAGES at the Edinburgh University School of Geosciences. His program studies the history and modeling of past climates. He finds from past climate records that Earth’s temperature fluctuations mirror variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. This has been true in all of the last four Ice Ages, and intervening warm periods. Observations have shown how rapid the switch from one climate to the other can be. In some instances abrupt change occurs in decades. Crowley’s concern is that the changes induced by humanity could lead to a comparable sudden switch in part of, or even the whole system. This is not because human activity is causing climate change but rather because human activities are adding to the root causes of climate change. (Thomas Crowley, 2008)

Climate change is a potential extinction event that prominent scientists think requires action. They disagree on what that action should be. To determine what is validly being done one must examine where money is being spent in research relating to climate change.

Follow the money

The majority of money supplied for research by the U.S. Government is for researchers looking for ways to alter human industrial patterns, not adaptive science. Amy Schatz reported in the Wall Street Journal that governmental organizations like NASA, NOAA, and the EPA are spending tens of billions of dollars (Schatz, 2009) to perform climate change research. Supporting Amy Schatz’ article is the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] report for March 2010 that shows thirty billion budgeted for climate change research under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA]. The largest commitments of resources in the bill are for weatherization and other conservation efforts and for subsidies for new energy generation and electrical transmission, and the science programs received very little funding. There is no funding for research that would help humanity to adapt in the CBO report (Webre, 2010).

In order to address the problems of climate change both governments and scientists are developing requirements for the definition of best practice approaches for characterizing, communicating, and incorporating scientific uncertainty in decision-making (Morgan, 2009). This research is critical to developing methodologies that would lead to solutions that will make climate change survivable.

It’s nobody’s fault

Accepting that climate change is occurring and human activities are contributing, is not equal to the ability of humanity to stop it. Accepting that humanity is the major contributor of causal materials is no excuse for IPCC and government representatives to ignore historical data. In a report published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Stephen Schwartz, writing for Brookhaven National Laboratory, concludes that the Earth’s climate is only about one-third as sensitive to carbon dioxide as the IPCC assumes (Schwartz, 2007). NASA published a report titled Earth’s Fidgeting Climate over a decade ago which data is still valid today because the research has not been overturned. The report featured the conclusion that this warming period may be part of a normal pattern. (Barry, 2000) The NASA report showed there are cycles to the Earth’s climate patterns called “Milankovitch Cycles.” The “Milankovitch Theory” or “Milankovitch Cycle” credits the earth's axis for causing seasons, and changes in the axis of the earth change the strength of the seasons but this is not enough to explain the longer periods of warming and shorter ice ages (Weart, 2011). Milankovitch reasoned that, “The seasons are accentuated or modified by the eccentricity [degree of roundness] of the orbital path around the sun, and the precession effects the position of the solstices in the annual orbit (NOAA Paleoclimatology, 2009).” The relationship of the axis of the Earth and the continental alignments during the times when the Earth is tilted toward the sun are compounded by the degree of roundness in the orbit – contributing to warming of the Earth’s climate.

In 2003, researchers from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in Saint Petersburg, Russia - studying ice cores from Vostok, Antarctica - reported tracing carbon dioxide levels to global climate changes relationally for the last four hundred twenty thousand years. Their research concluded, “There is a close correlation between Antarctic temperature and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide” (Barnola, 2003). This finding corroborates the evidence that climate change is not entirely the fault of human industrial success. 

Christopher Scotese, 2002 Scientific American SciTech Award recipient, presented a thesis on the Paleoclimate that NASA presented in Earth’s Fidgeting Climate report. The data from Scotese’ research help to clarify ancient mechanisms of climate change and the subsequent collapses of ecological systems that existed in ancient times (Scotese, 2002). This data can be compiled, using the short instrumental record now available to form a longer-term context and testing model that is formulated to reach beyond the limited time that measurement instruments have been available. This will help determine the scope of the change. In NASA’s Earth’s Fidgeting Climate report the data from the Milankovitch Cycles is overlaid with the Paleoclimate data prepared by Scotese. This report provided data model that showed that the Earth spends more time warm than cool and that the warming trend we are currently in is likely to last longer than the cool period of recent earth history (Philips, 2001). Similar events historically have created mass extinctions of species unable to adapt to the changes, but humanity has the ability to think this through and find a survival solution.

You gotta eat!

Accepting that climate change is occurring equals focusing on survival of the species. If the increase in temperature is as sudden as other increases in temperature historically, in a relatively short time cities like Miami will be under water. With a rise of only 3 feet, Bangladesh would lose half of its ability to produce rice, as would many other lowland countries. In addition to temperature increases, evidence shows a broad variety of other climate changes, such as increases in the regularity of intense rainfall, decreases in snow cover and sea ice, more frequent and intense heat waves, rising sea levels, and widespread ocean acidification.   

No matter why climate change is occurring, it is important to look at the ecological stakeholders and form an understanding of the associated framework of linkages that occur in nature. No part of the Earth stands alone. The ecology of the planet interlaces from the depths of its core to the farthest reaches of the stratosphere. Throughout the complex structure and architecture of the ecological system that supports life on Earth there are complex chains (Swackhamer, 2009). Each of these frameworks and chains has collapse thresholds or ‘tipping points’ that are weaker than other points and are susceptible to damage and potential collapse. For example removing wild [domestic] cats from a downtown campus might result in a dramatic increase in rats. Ecological thresholds occur when external factors, feedbacks, or nonlinear instabilities in a system cause changes to propagate in a Jenga[1]-like fashion that are potentially irreversible (White, 2009). Identifying these ecological tipping points is a priority. Without a complete understanding of the climate change, it is imperative to know where the tipping points are, how to recognize threats to them, and how to protect them. 

Individually and collectively, these changes pose risks for a wide range of environmental systems, including freshwater resources, the coastal environment, ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, human health, and national security. The risks of failing in a global effort to learn to adapt to climate change remain great. A country, by virtue of its own will, cannot secure its own food supply, fresh water supply, and prevent the demise of its population because climate change does not respect political borders.

Adaptation to global climate change requires planning for ecological alterations, development of new technologies for food production, and methodologies. Climate change is not temporary; adaptation is essential to human survival.

Finding a 'New Normal’

Climate change is happening – what can humanity do to survive? In his book Plan B4.0 Lester Brown formulates a plan of building an economic system whose basis is sustainability rather than consumption. However, in addition to the changes he proposes, there is also need to develop other advanced technologies for adaptation. Studies to determine how to grow food in an environment that is more hostile will help assure agricultural success. Political negotiations are required to extend human rights and dignity to the underdeveloped countries and their people. Cultures must be educated out by providing other paradigms, replacing the old paradigms with a new culture of humanity as a member of the global community. 

Historical evidence compiled by Scotese shows the warm periods last longer than the cool periods (Scotese, 2002), humanity must be prepared to adapt permanently. Historically global changes of this nature have been extinction events for most life on Earth. Current human development offers the opportunity for species survival for the first time, but planning a path forward is too big a responsibility for a single person, a single government, or a single governmental union. The survival of the human species is at stake. Survival requires sweeping away failed systems. Educational systems must be developed and implemented that will reach all the population with information that alters current social norms. This will help alter the behavioral, consumptive, and cultural norms previously accepted. Humanity must embrace technology expanded to include advanced life sciences for the sake of survival on a more violent planet (McCarthy, 2001). 

The technology needed for this adventure has not yet been invented. Education systems have not been created that will enlighten the future. Medical technology has not been invented that will sustain human life in the future warm cycle of the planet. Foods development is necessary to sustain life. Irrigation methods and apparatus are not yet available. To continue to live advanced clothing technologies are needed. Energy systems in use today will quickly become obsolete, new ones are needed. Housing technology and construction materials will all be required. Water production and purification methods and apparatus are needed. A completely new type of human infrastructure will be needed to survive the warmer more violent climate of Earth.

These goals are multigenerational in nature but humanity does not have multiple generations to adapt, the speed of the global climate change is overtaking governmental progress. To survive global climate change humanity must find a new ‘normal’.

Works Cited
Barnola, J.-M. D. (2003). Historical CO2 record from the Vostok ice core. U.S. Department of Energy, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Oak Ridge, TN: Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change.

Barry, P. L. (2000, October 20). Earth's Fidgeting Climate. (D. T. Philips, Ed.) Retrieved September 25, 2011, from NASA Science - Science News:

Brennan, W. J. (2009). Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes. U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, U.S. Geological Survey. Washington. D.C.: U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

Brown, L. (2009). Plan B 4.0. New York: The Earth Policy Institute, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Christopher R. Scotese, P. P. (2002, April 20). Christopher R. Scotese, Paleomap Project. Retrieved September 25, 2011, from Climate History:

Christopher Walter, T. V. (2007, October 18). Science Based Policy for a better world. (R. Ferguson, Ed.) Retrieved September 25, 2011, from SPPI:

Dr. Deborah L. Swackhamer, D. B. (2009, May 29). Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Earth Policy Institute. (2010). Bio for Lester Brown. Retrieved from Earth Policy Institute:

McCarthy, J. J. (2001). Climate Change 2001. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Morano, M. (2007, December 13). Environment and Public Works. Retrieved October 3, 2011, from United States Senate:

Morgan, M. G. (2009). Best Practice Approaches for Communicating, and Incorporating Scientific Uncertainty in Climate Decision Making. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

NOAA Paleoclimatology. (2009, April 6). NOAA Paleoclimatology Program - Orbital Variations and Milankovitch Theory. Retrieved September 25, 2011, from NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service:

O’Lear, S. (2010). Environmental Politics : Scale and Power. The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Philips, D. T. (2001, October 20). Earth's Fidgeting Climate. Retrieved September 25, 2011, from NASA Science:

Pritchard, L. (1999). Social Dimensions of the Ecological Concept of Resilience. UMI, 131.

Schatz, A. (2009). Climate-Change Research Gets Big Boost in Budget. New York: Wall Street Journal.

Thomas Crowley, G. N. (2008). Abrupt Climate Change and Extinction Events in Earth History. Science, 996-1002.

Thomas, C. D. (2004, January 8). Extinction risk from climate change. Nature 427(8 January 2004), 145-148.

U.S. National Academy of Sciences. (2010). Climate Change and the Integrety of Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Washington, D.C.: Science Magazine.

Uited Nations. (2011, June 28). IPCC. Retrieved from IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (n.d.). IPCC. Retrieved from ip.

Weart, S. (2011, May). Past Climate Cycles: Ice Age Speculations . Retrieved September 25, 2011, from Discovering Global Warming:

Webre, P. (2010). Federal Climate Change Programs: Funding History and Policy Issues. Congree of the United States, Congressional Budget Office. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Budget Office.

White, J. W. (2009). Past Rates of Climate Change in the Arctic. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

[1] Jenga is a 3 dimensional strategic thinking game where blocks are removed until the tower of blocks loses its continuity and falls into a jumbled pile.

The Managed Endpoint Model

Here's something I've been toying with let me know what you think and if it helps get a handle on stuff ... you know ... work stuff.

The Managed Endpoint Model

The following list details the seven layers of the Managed Endpoint reference model:
Layer 7—License Management
Layer 6—Software Management
Layer 5—OS and Patch Management
Layer 4—Data Management
Layer 3—Virus and Malware Management
Layer 2—Image Management
Layer 1—Physical Device Management
 Figure 1-1. The Endpoint Management Reference Model

Characteristics of the Managed Endpoint Model Layers

The seven layers of the Managed Endpoint Model reference are divided into two groups.
The upper layers of the Managed Endpoint Model deal with issues generally implemented only in software. The highest layer, the License Management layer, is closest to the Software and Operating Systems providers. Both users and hardware processes interact with software applications that contain licensing. 
The lower layers of the Managed Endpoint Model handle hardware issues. The physical layer and the data link layer are in hardware and software. The lowest layer, the physical device layer, is closest to the person (end user), physical network, and hardware provider.               
Since the Managed Endpoint Model provides a conceptual framework for managing computers, we are using this model to define and describe the design for desktop and endpoint standardization.

 1. Managed Endpoint Model Physical Device Management Layer

The Physical Device Management layer defines the electrical, mechanical, procedural, and functional specifications for activating, maintaining, and deactivating the physical machines and network systems. Physical Device Management layer specifications define characteristics such as:

computer type

  • computer manufacturer
  • processor type and speed
  • memory amount and speed
  • disk type and size
  • monitor size and type
  • mouse and keyboard
  • network interface requirements

For printing devices:

  • pages per minute
  • color or black and white
  • special forms requirements
  • copy and fax capabilities
  • scan to email or scan to disk storage
  • password coding
  • Manufacturer
  • Network interface requirements

2. Managed Endpoint Model Image Management Layer

The Image Management layer provides reliable computing experience across the multiple platforms of hardware in the physical network. Different Image Management layer specifications define different network and protocol characteristics, including user rights, software and application installation levels, data storage and retrieval rights and processes (including encryption), and printing control. Closest to the user it is the ability to control an image that most completely enables the entire Managed Endpoint Model .

3. Managed Endpoint Model Virus and Malware Management Layer

The Virus and Management layer provides a constant surveillance of threats to the network as it applies to the access points associated with endpoints. This includes updating virus definitions but is not just a methodology for keeping Antivirus software up to date. This includes a strategy for determining who has access to potentially dangerous websites, preemptive scans of areas within the network, data save restriction, and automatic image remediation.

4. Managed Endpoint Model Data Management Layer

The Data Management layer controls data from the network. It is primarily focused on data retention, distribution, and alteration. In conjunction with server level GPO and other security policies the Data Management layer governs the ability of users to save data at their local machine or on devices attached to their local machine. The Data Management layer is the central layer to the complete Managed Endpoint Model, all the layers below this layer build to it and all the layer above this layer contribute to it. The objective of the entire Managed Endpoint Model is to protect and process the data.

5. Managed Endpoint Model OS and Patch Management Layer

The Managed Endpoint Model OS and Patch Layer configures and maintains the Operating Systems on the physical devices. The OS and Patch Layer assures that patches intended to fix problems do not break applications or cause other problems. This layer assures all patches are tested and to the extent that they a fully functional – are current.

6. Managed Endpoint Model Software Management Layer

The Managed Endpoint Model Software Management layer provides a variety of software applications that have been tested and added to the approved software list. This layer maintains strict control of installed software and is aware of what the software does, who is affected, where the data is stored that the software uses, what happens to the data the software processes, and who ultimately is the responsible party for the software.

7. Managed Endpoint Model License Management Layer

The Managed Endpoint Model License Management layer is the layer closest to the software provider, which means that both the License Management layer and the user interact directly with the software application.

This layer interacts with software applications implemented assuring that each installed instance is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the software manufacturer and the associated license granted to the end user or the corporation. Some application programs fall outside the scope of the OSI model however, License Management layer functions typically include identifying communication partners, determining resource availability, and synchronizing communication to assure the license compliance fully meets the contractual agreements.