MBA Bamboozle

There are likely to be a few people reading this who have an MBA (Master of Business Administration). Over the last 10 to 20 years MBA programs have seen a huge spike in demand as well as universities offering such a program.? This is very true here in Europe, where it seems every country has a few MBA programs aimed at international or domestic students.

Popularity may be one thing, but this says nothing of why an MBA has become so sought after and so frequently offered.? Beyond that, what about the quality of the education MBA’s get and how do they perform as a result of this instruction.

ABC Radio National’s Background Briefing had a great program over the weekend focusing on the global impact of the MBA and how it rose to its current importance. It pays special attention to the role of MBA’s in the current global financial crisis.

Among the points I found especially poignant: the emergence of the MBA in the 70’s and 80’s, as being a manager was only beginning to be seen as a career. Prior to that, managers were those who had worked various positions and worked their way up with a company eventually getting the managerial post.? They also get into the creation of an elite based on what MBA program you graduate from, schools like Harvard which pride themselves in allegedly preparing people not only to manage companies, but to manage basically anything, including a government.

Recommended listening, whether you’ve got an MBA or not.

bm254 Raymond on the World of Online Video

While in Copenhagen last week I sat down with my friend and international vlog evangelist Raymond, to look at what is happening with video online and what is lacking when it comes to video online. Based his work on DLTQ and political campaigns in Denmark and Norway, Raymond provides insight on the good and bad when it comes to campaign vlogging and more. In many ways this podcast is an extension of the arguements and discussions brought forth in my podcast with Jay and Ryanne as well as with John Aravosis last December.

We Discuss:

  • The State of video online
  • YOutube
  • The depth of conversation and engagement with an audience
  • The political campaigns he worked 0n
  • The shortness of time and value in the world of blogs
  • The longterm struggle of todays vloggers

Besides DLTQ you can also occasionally find evidence of Raymond’s alter ego on

bm239 Women’s Rights, Abortion, and Philadelphia

My guest on this particular podcast is one of my closest friends on this earth – Leah.  It just so happens that she also works at a women’s center in Philadelphia where women can have abortions. This podcast is about her experience working day-to-day, and what it is like both inside and outside the type of place that is so controversial for some Americans. We recorded this during my recent visit to Philadelphia, and (I confess) I was very honored to have such a candid and educational interview with such a special friend.

We Discuss:

  • The Womens Center
  • Legal questions related to abortion in the state of pennsylvania
  • Type of People
  • The people outside the center
  • Other types of Places
  • Abortion in Holland
  • Private versus Public centers
  • Violence and intimidation against women
  • Lake of Fire

Not Satisfied

“Alot of people would be jealous of your life”, one of my best friends said to me via instant message yesterday. It was a response to my complaining, as another year of my life passes by, that I haven’t done the things I could have done by now.

People message me on Facebook, skype, myspace, gmail, twitter, and even in the offline world. They say things like “you’ve been travelling alot!”… or “You life seems like an adventure.” They’re probably right, but I confess that half the time I forget about the aventure and get worried about the choices I’ve made. The choice to live where I live. The choice to do the work that I do. The choice to be dedicated to blogging and podcasting. Yet somehow, these things feel like more than choices. Especially this blog and the podcasts that I do… I like to refer to them as my calling in life, just like priests always say about joining the priesthood… this medium, writing these words, and having you read them; this called out to me many years ago before I could fully understand why. And while I understand better today, why I do this, I still come to crossroads and moments where my critical nature causes me to question all these activities.

I happen to have alot of older friends that are close to me. When I fret about turning 28 and feeling like I’ve missed out on some of the wonderful things that I should have experienced by now, they laugh and say I’m young. Those that are younger than me say nothing. But in the end it is my own opinion that matters most, and by this age I had wanted to be further along with everything. Why haven’t I touched African soil with my hands? or seen Cuba and what life is like there with my own eyes? why haven’t I walked the streets of Tokyo with my good friends there? why haven’t I done the kind of reports that make a bigger impact throughout the internets. The kind of journalism that penetrates and resonates so far that it triggers real change.. change that I can see.

I’m sure there are people coming to my site for the first time being confused at such a post. If this site is about under-reported news, why is he writing about his own regrets and thoughts? But my readers and listeners know me a little better. And you know that the person in personal media does not need to be hidden; on the contrary, when I feel the need.. I write something more personal. Thats the difference between this and your old newspaper. The journalist that believes the individual has no place in their writing. Personal media, to me, is about being up front about who you are, as well as bringing forward information and arguements that have stifled in the world of popular culture.

I’m still forming thoughts and plans in my head… but as of right now.. I’ve pretty much decided that my 28th year on this earth will be one where I stop putting off life. Where I throw caution to the wind in the name of experience and education. Even if it means financial ruin or some other extreme inconvenience… things are about to change for this podcast journalist.

(PS – No it is not my birthday yet and YES I do realize many of you have and continue to support what I do)

Instant Debate – Mention Islam to Europeans

It is certainly no new discovery, but as you can see from my vlog entry about the far-right demonstration in Brussels, a sure way to get people commenting and yelling (well not really yelling) at you is to defend people’s right to be muslim. So while I’ve lots of other issues I’d like to bring up, I’ll first come back to this one. And I should mention I do appreciate all comments and I especially appreciate criticism and debate that is carried out in such a way that is not insulting or name calling, but rather about saying I disagree, and here is why. So thanks to all of you who continue to do that.

There were a great deal of comments, including some heartfelt ones from a good friend in Chicago who is originally from Lebanon. (hi dear!) The underlying theme was that I shouldn’t be so in favor of welcoming all things islam into the social and political stage in Europe because, as many people insisted, it is a religion that seeks the joining of church and state, that excludes women, that refuses democratic principles etc, etc.

Now I must state here, because going any further, I don’t claim to know the muslim faith. I’ve never read the Koran or lived in a country where it was the dominant religion. So I don’t honestly know how it all works and what the ultimate goals are, etc. Some of you say you do, and that is good, I’m a big believer in learning, researching for yourself and understanding. All I do is study history, closely observe the present, and learn from my interraction with those in my daily life who I know are of the muslim faith, most of whom I have a great deal of admiration and respect for as kind and honest humans trying to live their lives.

>Here comes something I rarely reveal on the blog, overall, religions and their power over people, scare me. All of them. Places of worship, religious leaders, the artifacts and traditions in general.. I don’t much care for them. HOWEVER. I realize that lots of people do. I see the importance they have in people’s lives, the positive aspects, and I try to respect that. I have a curiosity and a desire to learn from the past, including time honored traditions… because maybe many of them have something to teach us. There are plenty of traditions that I don’t like, and even some I would consider flat out wrong, where humans are tortured or killed for example… I try to draw a line there. You might draw the line somewhere else altogether… fine.

But here’s my little conclusion for today. Generally speaking, the greater the amount of poverty, desperation, and lack of education, the higher the level of religiousity and especially of the irrational fundamentalist kind. In many countries in Europe we see empty churches and few people willing to go to war on the whims of the pope or if someone insults the Catholic or Protestant faith. But a few hundred years ago, those two religions wielded tremendous power and did terrible things in the name of their god. So when people start touting all the dangers and problems of the growth of another religion in Europe, I don’t see it that way. Rather than talking about stopping or in some way stemming the growth or influence of islam in Europe, why not look at the conditions people live in, especially in terms of economics and social mobility. Are people from certain countries really seen as equals and able to have the same access to power and wealth as the “native” population? Are we doing all we can to provide a solid education and social services to people regardless of what neighborhood they live in or their class? I say, learn from history, address these issues, and no matter what your background or your religion, Europe will have a bright future, with civil and healthy disagreement and debate.

bm221 Aske Dam on Japanese Community TV

Aske Dam has watched the world go from huge cumbersome video equipment to the tiny cameras he enjoys using today. And throughout the last decades he has also been a first hand witness to the phenomenon of local community television stations in Japan. At a time where we are so focused on the internet to set us free, Aske remembers groups of people in Japan who had made their own personal and community media, long before the internet. In this internet we discuss all this and more, while sitting outside overlooking the beautiful city of Heidelberg during VlogEurope 2007.

We Discuss:
-How he first got started with television in Japan
– Cable systems in Japan
-The function and structure of community stations
– The unique and wonderful programs and philosophies of the people involved
– Comparing it to community tv projects in Denmark
– The evolution of localized tv production
– Interactivity
– Later on, bought and sold? Or disappeared?
– Digital Education
– Digital Cinemas