Welcome to July 2022 edition of the Xth volume of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.
The theme for the Xth volume of our Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs is inspired from the editorial of the January 2022 special Issue of Prabuddha Bharata (The Awakened India) – Living a Meaningful Life in a Digital World.
For our present episode, we take up the article, Living in the Digital Age – Enslaved or Free by Anju Murari-Narula.
Here is abridged version of the article:
The ubiquity of digital information and the connectivity made life bearable during the Covid-enforced lock-down. We could not get out in the world; but the world could come to us. During that period, we shifted our lives from physical world to virtual world.
Grandmothers read to the grandchildren online, musicians discovered apps to play and connect to other musicians across the globe. Online libraries of movies, music and books were a click away, accessible 24×7.
However, the western concept of digital connectivity did not mention our third -inner- world – the source of sustenance.
Despite the positive and enriching experiences, the undercurrent of longing for the human connect remains strong.
The question is not about digital or real world-connectivity. It is about how best we use the connections in both worlds to further our inner world. In William Wordsworth’s words, ‘The external (world) is to much with us; late and soon. Getting and spending, we lay waste of our powers.’
At some point of time, a deafening roar grows from within, ‘to manifest our divinity within’. Only a Vivekanand can explain, with deep humanity, the cry of the soul –
Oh! I am sick of this unending force;
these shows they please no more.
This never running, never reaching,
Nor e’en a distant glimpse of shore.
All the knowledge we glean from the real world is but the first step, Shravana. For Manana and Nididhyasana  to follow, s deep dive into the inner world becomes imperative – becoming and experiencing are the real goals and a lifelong struggle.
Any amount of access to the digital information and knowledge is just a primer for the hard work waits for getting immersed in the work, that you like doing yourself or has to be done to discharge your duties, waits you in the solitary confinement with your own self.
Let us use the WORLD freely, but ready to shelve, store and even walk away when the actual practice begins. For in the unambiguous words of God Himself (in Bhagwadgita Karma Sanyāsa Yoga, 5.2.4)
He who’s happiness within, whose rejoicing is within and whose light is within
That yogi, established in Brahman, attains mergence in Brahman’
In effect, this means that Renunciation of Action (सांख्य–सन्यास- योग) and Yoga of Action (कर्म योग), both lead to the highest bliss. But of these two, Yoga of Action is superior to the renunciation.
Some additional readings:
- Survey X: The Next 50 Years of Digital Life
- Are we liberated by tech – or does it enslave us? – Jenny Judge
- How we’re becoming slaves to technology, explained by an MIT sociologist, Sherry Turkle – “We’re always on, always plugged in, always stimulated, always in a constant state of self-presentation.”
- Connected, but alone? – Sherry Turkle’s TED talk
- Connected but alone? Highlights from the TED.com community’s Live Conversation with Sherry Turkle
- The Digital Freedom Pass: Emancipation from digital slavery – Dennis Snower
We will now turn to our regular section -.
We now watch ASQ TV episode on –
- ASQ Chair, Blanton (Blan) Godfrey, Shares Stories of the Greats and Hope for a Bright Future at a general session before the annual business member meeting with ASQ members at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement, May 17, 2022. Blan told stories about his days at Bell Labs/AT&T and talked about discovering future solutions for the world’s challenges.
We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:
- Coping with Dissatisfaction – A few principles about unhappy customers –
- Treat Employees As External Customers. In Tom Peters’ book, “Thriving on Chaos,” he stressed that it is impossible to get people’s best effort if they aren’t treated with respect, honesty, and trust.
- Select And Train Frontline Employees Carefully. Frontline personnel need to be selected from key behavioural characteristics, trained, and retrained, and the frontline level should be involved in the training effort.
- Defuse The Situation, and let cooler heads prevail to resolve the situation.
- Measure Your Words Carefully. Avoid saying anything that sounds like a command or contradiction.
- Strive For A Partnership. Make your challenge the customer’s challenge.
- Get Personal, create a personal affiliation, support a partnership relationship, and can help defuse the situation.
‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –
- Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing – Technology asks, is there really? – Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing is a song by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell from 1968. The lyrics describe looking at a picture and reading a letter and that these things, while comforting, are no substitute for looking upon someone in real life or hearing their voice speaking the words, hence the title of the song. The sentiment of the song, further begs the question, when did we start substituting for the real thing, and why? …. There have been things purists would say there is simply no substitute for—hands-on learning. Managing Editor (Quality Mag) Michelle Bangert writes, in the article ‘Future of Quality – How will you use Quality 4.0 ideas at your location?’, Quality 4.0 technology is only one element in a broader quality transformation. It is transformational, it takes people – “It’s about telling stories with the data and solving problems.”
I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the theme of Living a Meaningful Life in a Digital World.
Note: The images or video clips depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images /videos.
 The three of the four stages of practice:
- Samanyasa or Sampattis, the “fourfold discipline” (sādhana-chatustaya), cultivating the following four qualities
- Nityānitya vastu viveka(नित्यानित्य वस्तु विवेकम्) — The ability (viveka) to correctly discriminate between the eternal (nitya) substance (Brahman) and the substance that is transitory existence (anitya).
- Ihāmutrārtha phala bhoga virāga(इहाऽमुत्रार्थ फल भोगविरागम्) — The renunciation (virāga) of enjoyments of objects (artha phala bhoga) in this world (iha) and the other worlds (amutra) like heaven etc.
- Śamādi ṣatka sampatti(शमादि षट्क सम्पत्ति) — the sixfold qualities,
- Śama(control of the antahkaraṇa).
- Dama(the control of external sense organs).
- Uparati(the cessation of these external organs so restrained, from the pursuit of objects other than that, or it may mean the abandonment of the prescribed works according to scriptural injunctions).
- Titikṣa(the tolerating of – adhyatmik, adhibhautik and adhidaivik – tāpatraya).
- Śraddhā(the faith in Guru and Vedas).
- Samādhāna(the concentrating of the mind on God and Guru).
- Mumukṣutva(मुमुक्षुत्वम्) — The firm conviction that the nature of the world is misery and the intense longing for moksha (release from the cycle of births and deaths).
- Sravana – listening to the teachings of the sages on the Upanishadsand Advaita Vedanta, and studying the Vedantic texts, such as the Brahma Sutras. In this stage the student learns about the reality of Brahman and the identity of atman.
- Manana, the stage of reflection on the teachings.
- Nididhyāsana, (निदिध्यासन) the stage of meditation on the truth “that art Thou”