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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Xth Volume – November 2022 Edition

Welcome to November 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, Sailing Unprepared in to a Storm Called the ‘Digital Age’ by Anikethan Ramakrishna V.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Over the time the transitions that human civilization has undergone have been with increase pace of change. But drastic changes were ‘mostly once a generation’. That gave the people necessary time to eventually reorient themselves with the change.

The digital age has been a revolution like no other in human history. Every dimension of the human society is now in constant state of rapid churn.

Our ability to find meaning in life greatly depends on the reasonable stable set of principles and ideas with which we can work towards and an identity with we can relate to. However, abundance of mostly unreliable and irrelevant information is a challenge to us in our quest for an identity and meaning. And hence the challenges in integrating the right amount of digital presence and information.

  • The ‘societal’ and ‘individual perspective – Every significant change in the society has impacts at overall societal level and other at the individual level. The human tendency has always been to go with group, despite having possibly having and exact opposite point of view, at least to begin with. In the process, we tend to forget the freedom of choice that an individual has. This freedom of choice and our ability to exercise it, in many a case, is the difference between a meaningful life and one that is otherwise. Thus, the first step towards ensuring meaningful life in this digital age is through exercising the choice to participate in the digital world to the extent that is necessary and optimal for an individual.

Further readings:

Growing up in a digital world: benefits and risks

Leading concerns about the future of digital life – Kathleen Stansberry, Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie

  • The challenge of ‘How much to’ and ‘How to’ communicate and participate – Historically, owing to geographical and technical constraints, a person’s interactions on a regular basis were mostly limited to the people one would meet in person or could communicate via traditional mail or telephone services. More the level of interaction, stronger was the overall sense of community. However, the seamless communications that the digital world have rapidly ushered in has trivialised the inter-personal communication.

Further readings:

How to overcome 14 common communication challenges in the workplaceAleksandar Olic

  • The challenge of ‘What to’ and ‘What not to’ be influenced by – A unhealthier aspect of information overload is to influence our ideas and actions, generally without much contemplation. Consequently, the ability to critically dwell on the idea, internalize it if relevant and then if necessary to act on it gets lost. As result, Attention Deficit and Satisfaction Deficit have gained prominence now.

Further readings:

The Challenges of Countering Influence Operations – Elise Thomas,  Natalie Thompson,  Alicia Wanless

How to Increase Your Influence at WorkRebecca Knight

ADHD:  Symptoms, Causes and Natural Support StrategiesDr. Jockers

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – Saul McLeod, PhD

In the end, one must remember that society and individuals will have to live with the on the unending exposure to the information in the digital era. It is for the individual to exercise the choice of the extent and type of information that he would like to be exposed to and how he wants to act on it.  Leveraging this choice is the only means to ensure that we make life meaningful, on the daily basis as well as overall.

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

New Job Opportunities for Quality Professionals in Cloud Management – Alka Jarvis is the co-author of Successful Management of Cloud Computing and DevOps (ASQ Quality Press) with Prakash Anand and Johnson Jose. Along with discussing the benefits of cloud storage and how to align your cloud computing strategies with the business objectives, Alka discussed important skills quality professionals already have for getting into this new field.

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

  • The Real Value is in the Effort: The effort that we expend to reach a goal or a target is critical to our growth, both professionally and personally. Whether we accomplish the goal or target, perhaps is not the point-it is the learning, strength, confidence and fulfilment that is gained on our journey that is the real value to us and to those who surround us.
    • Anything worth accomplishing usually takes long, difficult and sustained effort to accomplish
    • The real value of accomplishment is in the journey toward reaching our goal.
    • No matter how difficult the journey may be, it makes all the difference in the world when that journey is leading to a destination we have chosen.
    • The commitment, discipline, focus and effort are indeed their own rewards.
    • It is precisely the effort and the value we put into the accomplishment that gives it value to us.
    • We need to commit to make the most of every opportunity and to give our best effort, and we’ll find ourselves surrounded by real, lasting value.

From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –

  • Roko’s Basilisk: The Scariest Thought Experiment Ever – This thought experiment[1] posits that the creation of an artificial intelligence will lead to an all-powerful, future artificial intelligence that will retroactively punish anyone who did not help bring it into existence. It’s been described by many as the scariest thought experiment ever. The really scary part is that it is grounded in actual rational thought and game theory. … It has been associated with Blaise Pascal’s argument that one should believe in God, even if God’s existence cannot be proved or disproved through reason. Taken to what some would agree is a satirical extreme, it has also been referred to as “Believing in and searching for kryptonite on the off chance that Superman exists and wants to kill you.” ….. Whether bolstered by a legacy of fantastic stories or not, because of the progress of the technology, these kinds of arguments have thrust themselves into real-world discussions of late…. For quite some time in manufacturing, the question was, “Are robots coming to take our jobs?” The answer, then and now, is that robots and AI stand ready to do the job side-by-side with humans, who can relinquish the mundane and repetitive jobs to concentrate on the aspects of the job machines just cannot do. Which means that addressing the skills gap is just as important as it has ever been for manufacturers.

Further readings:

How to Defeat Roko’s BasiliskKyle Hill

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.

[1]

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – October 2022 edition

Welcome to October 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, Collapsing Separateness by Gitanjali Murari.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The development of science over last couple of centuries have dramatically broadened the playfield of the human being, serving to emphasize the universality of human life experience in every region of the earth.

Swami Vivekanand explains the miracle of scientific innovation in this illuminative statement: ‘The greatest force is derived from the power of thought. The finer the element, the more powerful it is. The silent power of thought influences people even at distance because the mind is one as well as many. The universe is a cobweb; minds are spiders.’ This has become the reality in the digital age, in the form Internet. People from all parts of the world meet virtually in a matter of seconds in a way that all barriers to knowledge have collapsed.

According to theory of butterfly effect[1], the flap of butterfly’s wings can create a hurricane halfway across the world. The modern internet travels much faster than that, not just over the physical distance, but over the mental distance too. As a result, the distance between minds have collapsed. More than a hundred years ago, in his lecture on ‘Vedanta and Its Application to Indian Life’, Swami Vivekanand had prophesied: ‘Even in politics and sociology, problems that were only national twenty years ago can no more be solved on national grounds only. They are assuming huge proportions, gigantic shapes. They can only be solved at the broader light of international grounds.’  How true this holds even today!

The Internet is continually expanding to accommodate variety. It seems to mimic nature which celebrates variety. This principle applies to humans as well. Not only we look different, but each has unique fingerprints, unique personalities, likes and dislikes, behaviour pattern, our own Gods. In his letter to Justice Subramanya Iyer, dated 3 January, 1895, Swami Vivekanand writes, ‘Jati means creation. I am one, I become many. Unity is before creation, diversity is creation. Now if this diversity is stops, creation is destroyed. So long as species is vigorous and active, it must throw out verities. When it ceases or is stopped from breeding varieties, it dies.’

In the pre-digital era, while the man was thrilled to discover cultures beyond his ken, he also used his power to subjugate indigenous tribes., he either excised or ‘civilized’ them for the sake of maintaining the social status quo. The degree of separation experienced by different societies then, literally and figuratively, spanned oceans. In the same letter to Justice Iyer, referred to earlier, Swami Vivekanand goes on to add, ‘The present caste system is not the real Jati, but a hindrance to its progress. It really has prevented free action of Jati, i.e., caste or variation.’

In the digital age, our interconnectedness – constant sharing of thoughts and ideas – is helping many to find their voice. What was tolerable or acceptable a decade ago is now under minute scrutiny.

The ever-changing nature of human values is reflected in scientific developments. As our need for greater satisfaction evolves, so does technology. Like Maslow, whose hierarchy of needs leads to self-actualization at the very top of the pyramid, Julian Huxley, a biologist and philosopher, believed that man journeys through levels of temporary satisfaction, transcending them one by one to ultimately reach a state of complete and eternal fulfilment. Swami Ranganathananda described this journey as adventure with many heights to conquer’, calling all the people ‘a great line of pilgrims. …. You give up something because you have got something better, something higher, something more valuable. And the highest value is spiritual realization.’.

As humanity continues to chase fulfilment, technologies of future will even be more sophisticated. The gap between inequalities may diminish, but new forms of injustices may also arise. Since we will be more intricately meshed together, the repercussions of these injustices will be swifter and harsher.

To attain equality and freedom, i.e., absolute well-being, is our birth right. Swami Vivekanand emphatically states that this can be acquired only through the knowledge of the Self. All other attempts to achieve absolute welfare, though well intentioned, will be short-lived.

Our struggles for a life full of purpose and consequent everlasting happiness hinges on refining our experiences by sacrificing sole self-interest and moving closer to the source of our absolute well-being.

If there is at all a possibility of a permanent end to our problems, then it lies in being as expansive and as inclusive as the Internet that we have created in being curious about our internal nature and understanding our external nature and allowing the ‘splendour’ within to collapse separateness forever.

More reading:

Man’s Search of Meaning[2] – Victor E. Frankl – While Freud speaks of a “will to pleasure” and Adler speaks of a “will to power,” Frankl focuses on a “will to meaning”, as the primary motivational force in man.

4 Keys to your life’s meaning – Dr. Viktor Frankl

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

  • Data Storage And Analysis – With big data comes great responsibility. Quality professionals have the knowledge and the and skills to help manage the challenges.

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

  • Organizations Need Committed People to Succeed – To be blunt, if anyone finds they cannot recommit rapidly when the organization must make changes, they should probably go somewhere else where the culture fits their approach. … This is not the same as asking that you be blindly loyal to the organization. That would likely strike you as rather hypocritical anyhow. Some leaders, however, seem to recognize the importance of two-way loyalty. … It is not surprising that employees who trust and respect the organizational leadership often feel more empowered and motivated to do their best – they become a highly committed workforce…. Organizations with a highly committed workforce generally outperform their competitors. However, the worker must get something in return, with both tangible and intangible benefits.  … Commitment is a gift you should give yourself, your family, your friends, and your organization. It can become contagious! Being committed will make your life, and those who surround your life, much more rewarding.

‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –

  • Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best – a mantra, made popular by poet and activist Maya Angelou and sales wizard and speaker Zig Ziglar – In its most elaborate form, it is part of exposure therapy, a cognitive behavior therapy.  … In essence saying, even if the worst happens, we will know how to deal with it. … Exposure therapy takes it a step further and, in a very controlled way, turns the activity which one fears doing of into a reality. As we experience doing that over and over again and realizing it does not result in our death, our discomfort with that activity begins to subside. …Individuals, businesses, and governments do roughly the same thing. Have you ever tested an unfamiliar chair by pressing on it to get a sense if it can hold your weight or pulled on a door after you’ve locked it to make sure it is secure? … Possibly nowhere else is this preparedness more evident than in manufacturing, particularly in quality… …. Quality processes not only increase our confidence in the products produced, but also in the health of the organization producing them.  .. One of the processes helping us tackle these risks is Lean manufacturing.  … So, check out Genevieve Diesing’s article, “Why Lean Principles Stand the Test of Time”  …….

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.

[1] Chaos: The science of butterfly effect

[2]

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – September 2022 edition

Welcome to September 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, Nature Connectedness: An Avenue to a Meaningful Life in the Digital Age by Sravanti Thutupalli.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Cleave not the sky. Injure not the mid-space. Be in the harmony with earth.
This sharpened axe has led you to the great good fortune.
Therefore, O you divine Lord of forests, grow with your hundreds of branches.
May we also grow with thousands of branches.

(Yajurveda 5.41)

Beneath the forest floor, lies a network that connects – often called as Wood Wide Web – that connects nearly all the plants on the earth. This network, made of mycorrhizal fungi, shares resources preventing neighbouring plants from dying and other parasite resources.

This example that reminds us of inextricable links between all of life, is strongly similar to the internet of the present digital world. This natural network is repository of huge amount of data that emanates from, and controls, the exact cyclical happenings in the nature. So is our generic makeup in the form of DNA. As far as we know, DNA is the source code for all life. Like binary coding in the digital technology, DNA has four constituent digits – A, T, G and C. This digital nature of DNA code enables us to take genes from one and transfer it to another organism. This unifying language of DNA is translated into the wondrous diversity of life on earth.

However, there is an inherent interplay between the underlying digital character of nature and our experiences with its many analogue forms.  Although our experiences with the innumerable analogue manifestations of natural phenomena are being recorded as information stored and transmitted in the digital form, these cannot be always broken down into the simplifying codes.

The Panchakoshas elucidiated in the Taittriya Upanishad mediate our experiences –

    • Annamaya Kosha – expreinces of our gross body
    • Pranayama Kosha – our life energy
    • Manomaya Kosha – our mind
    • Vijnanamaya Kosha – the intellect, and
    • Anandmaya Kosha – the state of eternal bliss

Nurturing and transcending the Kosha from the grosses (Annamaya) to the subtlest (Anandmaya) provides the path towards meaningful experiences into a subtler and more pervasive substratum until all are resolved into the pure awareness.

Thus, our body and its senses, are valuable sources of knowledge of the material world and as the vehicles for action that provides the means to travel inwards more meaningful experience.

The sustained engagement with nature (gardening, family-get-togethers etc.) and digital technology (long hours of work on digital devices) require our total attention and hence lead to some degree of temporal dissonance causing us the lose the track of time.

However, there are important cognitive and neurocognitive differences between the two experiences. There are some activities during which happen with ‘smooth and accurate performance with an acute absorption in the task’ to the point of time dissociations and dissociative tendencies. Such a state is also called the ‘flow state’ and is achieved during self-fulfilling activities.

Flow experiences strongly diminish identification of Self with the body and thereby provide the means to transcend the Aannamaya Kosha.

The challenge of our present lifestyles lies in getting rid of the constant distractions (social media notifications) that require low levels of skills and challenges.

Truly identifying the unity of nature’s mycorrhizal fungal network and the digital internet can provide the route to transcending the material and physical world and nurture the pranamaya kosha.

It is this loss of nature connectedness – identification with nature – that is said to have led to the disconnect with the purpose of our life. Ecological self-theory proposed that nature connectedness and spirituality are strongly linked.  This positive link is what leads us to attain optimal psychological functioning and our true potential. The nature connectedness helps in removing our false notion of dualism – looking upon God and the world as two distinct or different things – to realise our true nature, to realize that basis of human existence is not set apart from the nature.

When the digital technology seems to intrude into every nook and corner of our lives.  It becomes imperative that we do limit ‘digitisation’ of our many experiences simply for the sake of either ease of doing something otherwise felt difficult or for the sake of storage of information.

Such a perspective lends itself to cooperation and harmony – both found in abundance in nature – with the nature. The conflicts of interests also do exist in the nature, but nature operates by ‘a set of rules for negotiating conflicts in a way that resolve them’.  Unfortunately, as the mankind has made more scientific progress(?!), it has led to conditioning of its Vijnanamaya kosha that demonstrates in our investment in our bodies and lower mental functions, further manifested in the self-perception that nature is for the us to exploit. It has been growing so unchecked that we have brought the nature to the point of extinction. The inventions and innovations that solve today’s problems create more complicated problems of tomorrow. If one needs any corroboration, just look the way digital technology uses rare metals and, in the end, creates mountains of most hazardous wastes.

The way human creativity is cultivated, the self is positioned in the heart of the object (the entire external reality), and yet stands outside it. However, the fact is that creativity is a thread in the very fabric of what it means to be human and a path to the subtlest of the koshas – the Anandmaya kosha. While making any new developments, we need to ask ourselves a simple question – whether we are bringing ourselves to the nature. If we put it spiritually, the question should be – our nurturing our creativity to further nurture the sheaths of Panchakoshas to ensure our progress from gross to the subtle.

The nature’s nature has so incredible, awe-inspiring experiences to offer, that we ‘stand on the shoulder of the giants.’ It is for us to find the meaning of our lives that support the giants of tomorrow on our shoulders.

Further readings:

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

  • Cloud Advantages And Aligning To Business Objectives – Alka Jarvis, the co-author of Successful Management of Cloud Computing and DevOps (ASQ Quality Press), sat down with ASQTV to discuss the benefits of cloud storage and how to align your cloud computing strategies with the business objectives.

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

  • Elusive Quality: Quality Doesn’t Just Happen – it’s time we got back to basic quality principles. We talk about getting to the root cause of problems. Well, we need to get to the root results of our actions by ensuring all projects include measurements to ensure quality. It’s critical to measure the level of customer satisfaction, improvement in mean time to failure (MTTF), reducing percent defective, preventing product recalls, and lowering return rates – not just focus on dollars saved, inventory turns, or process performance.

Quality just doesn’t happen; it must be nurtured every day with every action and project. The real quality objective is to achieve increasingly better products and services. As many organizations have discovered, without focusing on quality, the wrong measures can lead to negative results!

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.

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – August 2022 Edition

Welcome to August 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, When Virtual gets Real: Screening Life in Digital Era by Kanchan Gogate.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Today life moves so much at our fingertips, literally, that sans social media we feel out of touch, not only of outside world, but with us as well.  However, the penetrative and far-reaching technology has caused alarms for its impact on mind, brain, consciousness, and the overall quality of life.

The ‘actual’ problem of the technological era is not just limited to digital addition, but the understating of what it means to live in a time where life is technology-driven.

The Covid-19 pandemic pushed the school-going children as well as working class adults in the service industries to the increased use of internet for their studies and work respectively. In another parallel development, the teens and adults in all age groups also have turned to internet for the use of their leisure time through the streaming media content.

The net result was that these internet users got addicted to the screen of a digital device. On one hand the excessive usage of digital devices drove these people away from the human contact, making them vulnerable to loneliness, escapism, poor sleep quality and even depression but also to cyberbullying and at times to even addition to pornographic sites.

(The virtual reality of) internet technology came up a solution to constraints of location and time, but lack of poise also seems to be creating it into (a reality of) a problematic solution.

Another side effect is what is now known as Google Syndrome, wherein patients google the syndromes and also conclude not only the disease but the treatment well before the official diagnosis. In turn, they also have started distrusting the official diagnosis of a proper doctor.

This can still be termed as tip of the iceberg, with AI, VR technologies increasing digitization and automation coverage of homes, personal and social entertainment and work. Even though AI technologies can be superior and competent to a human brain on several parameters, it does not have the capability of the brain to evoke that consciousness which takes the mind beyond the material process.[1]

How can we understand our true self if we are disconnected even from our functional reality.

The solution lies in the practice of tapas / discipline to recognise that however intelligent or qualified, Time is the only resource that we can never get back once its is lost. The pertinent question that we need to ask ourselves is – is our use of digital technology improving the (real) quality of our life?

We also need to question ourselves – what is the change you want to make in this world?

The way we answer these questions will guide us towards (self)discipline/ swadharma and a meaningful life of contribution – towards the self-first, and then to the society.

Some more readings:

    • THE BRAIN WITH DR. DAVID EAGLEMAN (w.t.), six one-hour episodes that tell the story of the inner workings of the brain and take viewers on a visually spectacular journey into why they feel and think the things they do.
  • @ TEDxAlamo 10/29/09, Dr. Eagleman gave compelling examples of how reality is a matter of individual perception and how Nature’s adaptions function as “plug ins” for the brain.

  • David Eagleman, in conversation with Sadguru as they discuss a variety of subjects, ranging from different parts of the mind, the concept of time, quantum mechanics, religion, and meditation.

  • Mind the Gap Between Perception and Reality | Sean Tiffee | TEDxLSCTomball

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

Tips for success (Part 1 and Part 2) – focus on important actions:

  • Focus on end goals.
  • Make crisis an ally
  • Solicit input
  • Do not trust non-statistical metrics
  • Focus on vital metrics
  • Cost of Poor Quality (CoPQ) must be known
  • Improvement does not always centre on hard assets
  • Enhance employee worth
  • Take action

‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –

  • Focus More or Less – In science, Focal Point is the point at which rays of light, heat, or sound meet after being reflected. In geology, it is the place inside the Earth’s crust where an earthquake originates. … When applied to the human brain, focus is defined as a centre of activity, attraction, or attention, or a point of concentration. … However, the same amount of fanfare surrounds a somewhat diametrically opposed idea, that of multi-tasking – the opposite of hyper-focus. … A rather famous experiment – called The Invisible Gorilla – attempts to address some aspects of hyper-concentration versus multi-tasking by revealing the numerous ways that our intuitions can deceive us.[2] The authors, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, concluded that the experiment reveals two things, “that we are missing a lot of what goes on around us, and that we have no idea that we are missing so much.” … Some recent studies… suggest that our brains don’t really have the ability to concentrate on many things at once, but some of us are better at turning our concentration quickly from one task to the next and are simply better at organizing the thoughts and attention to be able to “bounce” from one task to another and back again with seemingly more ease than others.

Further Reading:

    • Seeing the world as it isn’t | Daniel Simons | TEDxUIUC

    • TEDxUIUC – Daniel Simons – Counter-Intuition

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.


[1] Swami Sarvapriyananda | Consciousness — The Ultimate Reality | Talks at Google

[2]

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – July 2022 Edition

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.

Cezanne’s ‘Bathers’ enjoying free time Photograph: Corbis – Source: Are we liberated by tech – or does it enslave us? – Jenny Judge

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 [1] 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:

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Defuse The Situation, and let cooler heads prevail to resolve the situation.
  4. Measure Your Words Carefully.  Avoid saying anything that sounds like a command or contradiction.
  5. Strive For A Partnership. Make your challenge the customer’s challenge.
  6. 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.

[1] 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).
  • Sravanalistening 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”

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nididhy%C4%81sana

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – June 2022 Edition

Welcome to June 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, Hybrid Intelligence by Dr. Alan Hunter.

Before we take up the article proper, a word about Hybrid Intelligence from the current technological literature would be in order:

The basic rational of hybrid intelligence is combining the complementary strengths of heterogeneous intelligences (i.e., human and artificial agents) into a socio-technological ensemble. … We call this Hybrid Intelligence, which is defined as “the ability to accomplish complex goals by combining human and artificial intelligence to collectively achieve superior results and continuously improve by learning from each other.” –  Dellermann et al. (2019)[1])

In light of the recent deep learning driven success of AI in both corporate and social life there has been a growing fear of human displacement and a related call to develop IA (intelligence augmentation) rather than pure AI. In reality, most current AI applications have a significant human-in-the-loop (HITL) component and is therefore arguably more IA than AI already. From here, there are currently two trends in the field. In one, increasing machine autonomy is pursued, first by placing the human-on-the-loop (to verify the result of the machine computation) and then by hoping to take the human completely out of the loop (as in the pursuit of artificial general intelligence). Two main challenges of this approach are a) the value-alignment problem (how do we ensure that the machine satisfies human preferences when we often cannot even express or agree on these ourselves) and b) the extensive human deskilling that often accompanies algorithmic advances. The talk will discuss how these two challenges may potentially be overcome by the second trend: the pursuit of human-machine hybrid intelligence (HI), in which the two interact synergistically and continually learn from each other. [2]

The article under discussion opens up a very different perspective. Here is the excerpt from the article:

Breathing seems to be individual personal activity. Walking in a forest or hillside provides the experience in wider perspective, as we notice that virtually all existence is breathing.

Equally, the water flow in the human body is barely a drop in the hydrological cycle that flows through every living being.

Thus, even as we know that breath and water have a universal vastness, most of the time we feel that intelligence and awareness are restricted to ourselves and the people we admire.  Perhaps, we have just become blind to the vast expanses of the ocean of consciousness.

May be our restricted, heavily individualised, view of the nature of intelligence contributes to the causing the myriads of problems the human race face presently and failing to resolve them (as well).

However, the digital age has multiplied the human capacity to send-receive electromagnetic waves. That now seems to make it not impossible to communicate with entities beyond the solar system. Such contact may lead to a thorough revision of our most fundamental ideas and capabilities.

However, irrespective of ET communication, humans are now in position to enhance their intelligence and decision-making. This enhancement may arise in part through greater individual intelligence, or the emergence of religious or spiritual genius.

Beyond that we may also be able to benefit from hybrid forms intelligence – human-machine; human-plants; human-subatomic waves/particles and many other possibilities. Co-operation with machines is already increasing the use of OY – Non-biological intelligence -to control different types of human-computer interfaces.

People with interest in philosophy and spirituality may also consider if AI can play role in cognition of universal truths.

Humans have generally taken an instrumental view of plants and fungi. However there is growing awareness that the plant life of this planet may have its own ‘intelligence’. The study of plants from a cultural perspective, ethnobotany, reveals that traditional Indian culture is exceptionally rich in this respect, for example the pipal, banyan, Ashoka, tulsi, bilva and coconut.

Ancient cultures had tremendous respect for the spiritual components of animal intelligence, for example some birds deploy innate GPS far in advance of any human.

In short, plants and animals are totally integrated, complementary and balanced in the greater harmony of biosphere.

It is probable that in near future, there will be stronger links between plant intelligence and AI-assisted investigations. However, we do not have to wait for the results. The natural cosmos is all around, all the time.

Highly reputable scientists and philosophers strongly reject the idea that intelligent consciousness is somehow tied to and emanates from the human brain. They believe that this – known as scientism or physicalism – is out-dated and all that derives from it is pseudo-scientific.

One alternative perspective is that intelligent consciousness is inherent in and fundamental to the cosmos. This suggests that the term ‘hybrid intelligence’ should also convey the sense that, while its manifestations are hybrid, intelligence itself is fundamental and unitary. Human consciousness is unimaginably tiny component of highly integrated, intelligent, responsive cosmos does not exclude plants, animals, rivers, mountains, stars and galaxies and certainly does not prioritize one species over other.

The modern growth of human civilization is also leading the loss of biodiversity. Among all the losses that this entails, one is the loss of communication, or communion, with realities greater than our species. The digital technology has increased this pace of destruction, without fundamentally challenging it. Perhaps the fundamental mode of conventional computer transistors – on or off – is a good metaphor for black and white thinking, even of species that sees itself intelligence in itself and nowhere else.

More advanced Quantum technology may make it easier to explore a notion of hybrid intelligence, positioning human consciousness as a derivative fraction of an intelligent and creative cosmos. In other words, to create a meaningful era – whether digital or post-digital – we need a wise cosmovision, shared and personal.

After I wrote this, I realised that the whole argument is better made in two words of Ramana Maharshi: Arunchala Shiva.[3]

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

  • The Importance of the ‘We’ Culture – Luciana Paulise, the author of The We Culture, spoke to ASQTV about changing cultures and recent conditions that have forced companies to back away from a top-down culture of results and emphasize a team culture instead.

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

  • Failure is a Myth – Don’t let failure inhibit creativity – Aristotle considered creativity a gift from the gods.  .. However, where does creativity originate? In one moment, there’s a blank page; in the next, an idea…. When the time comes to do something with a new idea, fear of failure sets in… Nobody wants to fail…. But failure can be a key attribute to success…. The whole concept of failure is a myth. There is no such thing as failure. If we deconstruct the situation, ask big questions, squeeze every ounce of wisdom out of the experience, failure simply becomes the feedback.

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.

[1] http://hybrid-intelligence.com/

[2] Hybrid Intelligence: First Rate Humans, Not Second-Class Robots • Jacob Sherson

[3] Arunachala (hill of wisdom) Shiva (Atma, the spirit)

This refers not only to the sanctity of Arunachala itself but also to the pre-eminence of the doctrine of Advaita and the path of Self-enquiry of which Arunachala is the center. – ref: Arunachala Hill.

Arunachal Chant

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – May 2022 Edition

Welcome to May 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, Digital Gods and Spiritual ®evolution by Swami Jnanishananda.

Here is the excerpt from the article:

AI can enhance our experience of physical world, by –

      1. pushing the biological limits to perform the task we are less equipped to handle, making us more effective and valuable in other areas of our lives.
      2. manipulating the minds positively (and even negatively too)
      3. providing the level playing field to the differently-abled and marginalized sections of the society
      4. better connectivity that overcomes physical limitations and reducing the barriers separating humans from each other and the physical universe.
      5. increased access to online (information) resource
      6. with advanced machine learning techniques, recording exponential improvements in the analytical and logical capabilities of AI to educated itself, we should see more aspects of human intelligence brought into scrutinising the human excellence in every field. Wisdom should finally take predominance over intellect.

However, the fundamental question we need to ask is whether AI has any moral obligation towards preserving humanity or not. AI has no moral foundation. It also has potential to manipulate the very goals that society would strive towards. However, in general, danger is not so much from AI or digital world itself than from a person’s natural propensity to look outside of oneself for fulfillment.

Use of intelligence in the term AI fits the dictionary meaning of intelligence – the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills – limits the objective descriptions of what a human being is capable of. However, the definitions set for by the ancient Vedic civilization limits these descriptions to into only a single aspect – intellect (buddhi)- of the intelligence.[1] Thus, Artificial Intellect would be a more accurate term to represent this technology.

If we explore knowledge, we find that lowest instrument of knowledge is instinct. Then comes reasoning. Even reason cannot take us beyond the question beyond our existence and that of universe. Logic becomes, to quote Swami Vivekananda, an ‘argument in circle.’ The instrument that can take us beyond this circle is inspiration. The realm of inspiration, lying beyond the intellect, is the true intelligence.

The body and mind should receive inspiration from the super-conscious realm leading to the goal of self-realization. Therefore, the AI and other digital ‘gods’ should be used to save our two precious resources, time and energy, so as to enable us to race through our journey from reason to inspiration., consciousness to super consciousness…….

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

  • Quality Professionals Must Lead – Communicate the economic case for quality – The technical questions in the cases of implementation of newer techniques by quality professionals conceal a deeper problem in their organization. Generally, that problems is that the senior management has a responsibility to question anything and everything that adds activities, time, cost, or transaction to their business. … Quality professionals would do well to lead the discussion by asking these questions first. In other words, the quality professionals need to follow the teachings of Dr. Armand Feigenbaum and Philip B Crosby, who told us that the language of management is quantified in monetary terms and related directly to the needs of the business. More so, in the current business climate….

‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –

  • Sixty Years in the Making – Imagining the future, technology, and automation – The stories that stand the test of time afford us a unique opportunity—to match the vision to reality…. Probably the most prolific examples of imaginary technology coming to fruition comes from a cartoon called The Jetsons, which premiered in 1962. Sixty years later, many of the “make-believe,” futuristic items used by this fictional family are a reality…for the most part. The family had a dog treadmill, talking alarm clocks, flat-screen TVs, watches that received phone calls, video chat, drones, robot vacuum cleaners, and digital newspapers. Unheard of in 1962, a reality in 2022…..While we may not have the ability, or the time, to fully predict the future, we can keep abreast of the technology and processes that can help us shape that future.

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.

[1] Intelligence and Intellect: What’s The Difference – Shekhar Kapur with Sadhguru

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – April 2022 Edition

Welcome to April 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, Understanding deep sleep according to Upanishads by Swami Satyamayanand.

Here is the excerpt from the article:

Our sleeping and waking cycles are regulated by a complex sequence of physiological and neurological processes, known in common terms as biological clock and technically as circadian rhythm. In the old days going to sleep was like going into nidra mandir, the inner shrine of sleep. However, the excessive domination of digitalization in the day-to-day activities has upset the circadian rhythms not just for the mankind but also for the innumerable creatures.

Some of the pressing problems caused by the sleep deprivation are:

    1. Negatively affected attention, intelligence, emotions, cognitions and memory.
    2. Depression and anxiety
    3. Gaining excess weight because of upsette4d endocrine system.
    4. Heart disease
    5. Diabetes
    6. Lowered immunity
    7. Increase in autoimmune diseases
    8. Premature aging of skin.

As the darkness starts intensifying, secretion of melatonin starts through the pineal gland, signalling the start of sleep cycle. An average human being undergoes six stages of sleep cycles, each stage of varying time length.

 

The deep sleep occurs in stage three, known as Delta sleep, or slow-delta waves sleep or deep Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep. This is the phase of the sleep which is restorative. It is very difficult to wakeup someone during this phase of sleep.

Psychologically, our ego is absent during the deep sleep, i.e., we seem to lose our identity during that period. When one one’s identity disappears, one experiences joy. This is also known as Nitya Pralaya, the Daily Dissolution.

More we sleep peacefully; more are the chances that we wake up from the sleep of ignorance and realize our true nature as eternally free.

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:

  • RegretsThe regrets are the emotions of wishing we had made a different decision. …The consequence of the decision may have adversely affected something or had a negative impact in some way. So, we generally have regrets caused by the outcomes of our mistakes…. Regrets exude great quantities of negative energy. We have the opportunity to point that energy in positive, productive directions. … So, we made a mistake last time. We need to learn from it and let our regrets be a reminder to do much better next time. … Regrets present us with compelling truths that are impossible to deny or ignore. We need to utilize those truths to create new achievement and fulfilment.

‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –

  • From Every Theory in Moderation? – or Firing the Silver Bullet? – The real life is all about hunting for an answer to everything, a real chance to find a sliver bullet. The moot point is what indicators you choose to study the situation for which you hunt for an answer…. at the root of the question—beyond the approach of either moderation or singularity—are the “indicators,” and using them efficiently and correctly. Same is true in quality. As authors Yves Van Nolan and Grace Duffy write, “Some doubt the value of KPIs (key performance indicators) as a tool for business or organization process management. The use of KPIs helps management make correct decisions. However, the way KPIs are used by most organizations is far from perfect.”

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.

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – March 2022 Edition

Welcome to March 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, Knowledge Revolution in the Digital Age – Human Knowledge at Crossroads by Swami Atmapriyananda.

Here is the excerpt from the article:

With the advent of the digital age, the boundaries of human knowledge seeming to be breaking down a, as the language through which the human knowledge expresses itself has been deconstructed and digitalised.  This transition has affected generation previous to Gen X, GenY, GenZ and the Gen Alpha quite differently…. As can be expected Gen Z seem to have remarkably developed skills of working in a coordinated fashion between ‘work’ and the internet. The more demanding than the technical skill of this coordination is need for developing the soft skill of solving complex problems with a humane approach. This, in effect, calls for a paradoxical mixture of fierce resolve of professional will and persuasive softness of personal humility.[1]

The new-found emphasis on multiple intelligences seems to converge with panch kosha – five sheaths of annamaya (The food), pranamaya (The vital energy or breath) , manomaya (The mind), vijnaanmaya (The intellect) and anandmaya (The bliss ), each having its own Chetana – the intelligence.

The knowledge in the digital age also has seamlessly integrated the two streams of jnana (the knowledge) and the action (karma). The interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches have revived the vison of ancient Indian Rishis of integrated, unified knowledge (akhanda advaita). Also getting revived is the Upanashidic idea of higher knowledge (para-vidya) and lower knowledge (apara-vidya) both need to be equally cultivated  and is found in the concept of knowmad[2] who is the unified version of digital age ‘nerd’ and ‘geek’ personalities.  Knowmads are a different species than knowledge workers and knowledge seekers. They are seamless, unrestricted, open and free, capable of and enjoying swimming courageously on a voyage over an uncharted sea. The vulnerability and flexibility of thought and the ease of navigation and action are the products of unique revolution of the ‘Digital Age’.

For the knowmads, a job is a position, mere form of employment and the work is long term in scope and relates to creation of meaningful outcomes. Thus, for them work is distinct from a career. A career ‘carries’ a person through the life, whereas work is a collection of activities that are backed with elements that are purposive at the individual level. The personal knowledge consists of explicit element, conveyed as information and the tacit element, developed through experience and experimentation. To remain competitive, a knowmad must continuously learn, unlearn and refine what they know. Organizations need to create environment that supports expansion of knowledge ecology to keep the knowmads motivated.

As such, the knowmad society requires new mindsets that encourage greater leadership form all stakeholders – at personal, organizational and policy levels. This is more than an attitude that supportive of knowmads but requires a fundamental cultural transformation to embrace new approaches to the purposive use of individual knowledge with strong social supports to help each one to maximise his /her potential without fear of failure.

We will now turn to our regular section -.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on –

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems

  • Change Reality – Reality is what you make of it. Life is defined by the way you choose to live it. So…if it doesn’t fit your expectations, make adjustments suitably. …. i.e., accept the way things are. They are what they are. …. To change your reality, change your expectations and work toward a new reality. …Give your sincere best in every moment, in every situation. Slowly, but surely, your current reality will become your new reality. How quickly that happens depends on many factors, much of which is under your control and influence. Begin today to make your reality of tomorrow achievable. You can determine the greatness that lies within.

‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –

  • Environmental Influences – Accelerating evolution, delivery apps, and handicapping – Acceleration can happen through conscious thought or natural reaction, it can wind up being positive or negative, and is part of a large host of things happening on our planet and in our societies…. However, it is a the battle between the irresistible force versus the immovable object – the evolutionary tendency of human being to change, and change fast versus inherent nature of environmental influences to allow the changes to evolve.

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.

[1] Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce ResolveJim Collins, HBR, I January 2001.

[2] The Paradox of a Knowmad: Daring Not to Know

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – Volume X – February 2022 Edition

Welcome to February 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 safely in the digital way of life, by Swami Satyapriyananda.

Here is the excerpt from the article:

The principle behind a happy, contended spiritual life is to take care of our needs avoid luxuries. In the digital way of living this can be interpreted as installing and using only those apps that you (really) need. This can be better done when the influence of digital way of living is understood so as to use digital way of living safely and effectively. For that purpose, the article discusses basics of a few aspects of the digital way of living:

Digital World: The digital world is about processing ‘data’ and generating digital ‘information’ for the fast access from a variety of sources, for fast communication between people or machines (objects) and fast decision making. We got connected with the rest of the world very easily and very fast, too. However, a family though seated together has each of its member lost in his or her digital addiction.

The Ecosystem of the Digital World:  The ecosystem of the digital world comprises of devices (hardware) of different types and types for running different software(s) the internet, cloud computing sever data centers, actuators, sensors and the devices connected through them, a variety of gadgets like cameras, autonomous vehicles like drones, robots and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) software(s) running over all of them. Most of the apps are very intuitive and deceptively simple in the hands of the users, But the design and build of these apps are very complex. So has been the modern life too, on one hand it has become very simple, with the help of this ecosystem, but had become over complex also because of the overpowering presence of that very ecosystem.

Artificial Intelligence: AI is software that really has made the devices really smart, by mimicking how the humans think. However, AI algorithms, inherently, encode their programmer’s biases and prejudices as well.

The discussion of all components of the ecosystem would be too complex and lengthy to be covered in an article like the present one.

The usage of digital way of living is becoming almost all pervasive with different e-applications like e-Governance, e-banking, e-healthcare, e-communication like smart chats or virtual video conferences, e-education, e-supply chains, e-maps and positioning, digital photography and video making and sharing, etc.

The biggest trap to lure the user to the app is making it available as free. In order to pay for that ‘free’ service, monetizing of the end-applications has led to abuses like usage of personal data for targeted advertising, pushing political, religious or social agendas or fake news and rumors, fraudulent usages, and intrusions into the one’s privacy. Has any lunch ever been free in its true sense?

Using these devices and the apps is like riding a tiger by its tail. A small error or oversight can lend the user into major financial loss apart from the loss of one’s critical data and privacy or using it too much can lead to various disease from eye problems or muscular strains to even depression

The golden rule(s) to live safely in the digital way of living are:

      • Input the barest minimum personal data to achieve one’s legitimate needs.
      • Keep distance from seductive offers
      • Be your own master of your time and your execution plans.
      • Stop all types of auto-notifications. Never carry your phone with you when you eat or sleep.
      • Do religiously follow the applicable guideline for safe and secure us of the app, as provided by the app provider.

The Bitter Truth that we need to remember on the Way Forward is that we, the human beings are indeed conditioned by external stimuli, as are these devices by the embedded software. But, then we have a mind of our own, not like those devices which are just dumb machines. In the name of (fast changing technological) progress, we should not surrender the unimaginable powers of our mind to that dumb machine.

One must set before oneself the goal of each phase of one’s life and an ideal to follow. Use the beneficial features of the digital way of life only to the extent that takes us forward in the life-long endeavor. Also, do ensure that these smart devices do not use us – our energies, our time and our life.

In other words, the way forward in live safely in the digital way of life is out smart the smart devices.

The search for the present day contexts of staying safe in the digital life, one will find several meaningful and updated articles on protecting yourself in digital world, with variations like tips to safe against cybercrime, or tips to stay safe online. One may find very useful discussions at platforms like TED.com, like -.

We will now turn to our regular sections in 2022 too.

We now watch ASQ TV episode on–

We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems :

  • Focus on What’s Important – If wait until the things get perfect, that day will never come. If we use what we have, howsoever flawed or imperfect as it may seem, we will soon be on the way to making substantial improvements. … All we must do is to start from where we are, with what we have and persistently do what we must do. “All you can do is all that you can do, but that all that you can do is enough.” There is no limit to where one can progress if we break our self-imposed barriers.

‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –

  • Indecision: From Aristotle and Buridan to Metastability and Digital Circuits –  Aristotle is said to have sarcastically asserted to the version that the earth is stationary because it being spherical, all forces acting equally from all direction, renders it motionless by the famous statement that the assertion “was as ridiculous as saying that a man, being just as hungry as thirsty, and placed in between food and drink, must necessarily remain where he is and starve to death.”,

Similarly, Buridian paradox of free will’s donkey starves to death because he remains indecisive to choose which of the bale placed at equal distance to choose.

Michael Hauskeller, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Exeter , explains by providing examples and scenarios that suggest that based on our experiences, feelings, and preferences, we must have a reason, known or unknown, for our decisions. And the biggest reason for having to decide, one way or the other, is reality, or time.

To help with decisions on the shop floor, Bill Tandler suggests we turn to GD&T. from Grim, Depressing & Troublesome into Grand, Delightful & Tantalizing,”

[Editorial note: When we outsmart the smart devise, we turn the digital way of life into GD&T, Grand, Delightful & Tantalizing way of life.]

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.