Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Academics have egos and there is nothing wrong with that

If academics did not have egos, we would not be able to reach the heights we have achieved, we would not be interested in lofty goals, excellence, and things that make us stand out.

Sure, we need to keep our egos in check from time to time, but our egos are part of what makes us who we are.

Do not forget this when decisions are made that affect us, no matter how trivial, do not forget the perception others outside your organization might have as well.

It is ego that has made me the 7th generation of college educated in my family, it was ego that allowed my grandfather to hood my father when he received his MD, and my father to hood me when I received my doctorate. Ego can breed excellence if used correctly.

I have earned my ego, and will use it to achieve even more.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Fanaticism is hurting this country: An education problem

The first thing a lot of people think of when they hear the word fanatic is Islamic extremism. Well this article has nothing to do with that, and everything to do with the everyday issues that cause major breakdowns in how we communicate with each other daily.

It is a political year, so we see it in how we elect our leaders, how we conduct political debate (or what passes for it), how bills pass through congress loaded with pork and personal requests. We do have separation of church and state, and we have it for real historical reasons, so please do not try and impose your religious views on my life (it does not mean I am disrespecting your religion by the way). And we wonder why our youth are disgusted with politics?

Even more poignant, we have the rise of the “Google Experts”, the people who know everything because they read it on the internet and therefore it is true. The people who go to the doctor having done a self-diagnosis and then proceed to tell the doctor, who is the expert, what treatment they want them to perform. It is difficult to discuss any other point of view with these folks because they are fanatic about how right they are.

Social media has given rise to the keyboard warrior, the person who will argue with experts from a distance using all kinds of fallacies, refusing to hear or even acknowledge another point of view. They keyboard warriors are quick to insult when you prove them wrong you because they know they are safe at a distance. They are fanatics about this.

Case in point: I had an argument with a moron today, and yes I use the term quite clearly; he was a moron. There was a discussion about kids dying in Chicago, and how very quickly did Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson get brought into this, as well as the oh so well known “black on black crime” (I have actually done scholarly research on the subject of crime and the answer is extreme poverty). As man of color I get bothered when people tell me that because of my skin color I must believe in this, vote this way, I am responsible for all “black on black” crime, and that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are my leaders. He was a fanatic and absolutely knew he was right, and the insults soon flew. I know you should not argue with idiots, but I am not a turn the other cheek kind of man, especially in the face of illogic.

We have small issues being imagined into hypothetical nonsense. How do you compare a gay couple to beastiality? It does not make sense! We are actually having national debate on bathrooms, and people are talking about shooting people if they use this bathroom or that bathroom! Really?! News flash, most people think about the bathroom for one thing and it is biological in nature, and they are not interested in discussing it publically.

This is fanaticism; this is the kind of extreme behavior that is hurting our country. It starts off small, but they are numerous; and we all know small things become big things if they multiply enough.

It is ok to use logic, to use rational thought, to engage in constructive debate; it is ok to be wrong and acknowledge someone else might be right. We can do this, and we can do it without having to sacrifice pride. Ask yourself: what is the point I am trying to make? Is it helpful in anyway? What is the end result of me being right?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, May 16, 2016

What is happening in Chicago? An Educator’s perspective

Last week I wrote a piece on the disparities that do exist, and when I look at what is happening in Chicago, I see the gap growing ever larger.

“Fear of a long hot summer as Chicago racks up a deadly record” http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/31/us/chicago-shootings-homicides-summer/

Ask yourself and be truthful: would this be happening in affluent neighborhoods? The answer is no.
Policing is not equal because the most vulnerable populations are often treated like criminals. When law enforcement agencies need to make their stats, they hunt in those neighborhoods:

Serial killers are often not caught for years if they hunt in poor under-served populations, the victims are often not considered victims, especially if they are for example prostitutes.

My point is this, more American are being killed in one of our major cities than American in our current war zones; this should be a state of emergency!

The disparities continue, justice is for the wealthy it seems…

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Disparities do exist; we just wish they did not: An education point

We like to say there is no difference with people, that we are a melting pot, or that we are post racial and color-blind. I wish this were true. There is an issue of discrimination between people of color those who are not.

We see the unequal treatment of minorities by law enforcement: “Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department” Ferguson Report

Really the report is no shocker, the evidence was always right there plain to see. What really needs to be revealed is how many places all over the country have similar statistics; that would be a shocker because no one wants to hear that.

We see the disparities of prison sentences or just the court system in general. We have 17 year old boys of color getting sentenced to life sentences with no hope of parole; basically we are raising prisoners not men. Racial Disparities

Or the case of Kalief Browder, held at Rikers Island for three years without trial at the age of 16, accused of a crime he did not commit. His bail was set at $10,000 for allegedly stealing a backpack and his family could not afford the bail. He was brutalized in jail by guards and beaten by other inmates (on video). He refused all plea deals, and the charges were eventually dropped after someone brought his plight to light, but after three years of hell he could not cope and committed suicide in 2015, he was 22 years old. Kalief Browder

“The quality of health care you receive likely depends on your skin color” “More than a decade after the Institute of Medicine issued a landmark report showing that minority patients were less likely to receive the same quality health care as white patients, racial and ethnic disparities continue to plague the U.S. health care system. That report, which was published in 2002, indicated that even when both groups had similar insurance or the same ability to pay for care, black patients received inferior treatment to white patients” Quality of Health Care and Skin Color

Most recently, we are hearing about the rise of opioid deaths, and the concern that addicts get treated and not jailed. “Heroin vs. Crack: society shifts in its treatment of addicts” Heroin vs. Crack

“During the crack-cocaine epidemic, police pounced with force on inner-city neighborhoods. Congress and states passed mandatory sentencing laws. With the current heroin crisis in small towns and suburbs, addicts are treated as just that: addicts who need help, not jail cells”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78SyNyyH_Qc (American Violet, strong movie about this) Regina Kelly Story

Any family that has to go through the pain of drug addiction has my sympathy, but unfortunately they do not all have the sympathy of the court system. You have people of color in jail for 20 years because they used drugs, and sometimes the family is there with them because they lived in the same house.

America, we have a problem that we refuse to talk about, and do not have the will to solve. We will never achieve true equality unless we fix this system.  This is education, we should be educating the masses about this.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I miss the answering machine era

Answering machines, the precursor to voicemail, were useful tools because you controlled them completely. They were not subject to automatic erasure after 30 days, you could screen calls, keep the voices of loved ones alive, and most importantly, people would actually leave you a message. I miss this era of technology!

How many people leave voicemails nowadays? How many people check their voicemails regularly? Not enough it seems, because the amount of times I have heard “oh I do not ever check my voicemail” or “well I did not leave a message because you did not pick up” is killing me!

How do you run your business without checking messages and how do you expect people to know you called if you do not leave a message? I personally am not looking for missed calls; I am looking for voicemail messages.

Text messages will never replace voice communication, and nor should they. Text messages are impersonal, easy to misconstrue, and you have no clue who is really sending the message.

Modern voicemail could be a useful technology, because you can access it anywhere, I just wish more people would actually do that.

Rant over.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If you want my business

I have had a couple of interesting experiences recently which has prompted me to throw a couple of pointers when dealing with potential new clients:
  1. PICK UP THE PHONE. More often than not, if you do not pick up, I am going to go to the next name on the list, and if I must leave a message, do not make me wait too long before I hear back from you.
  2. SARCASM IS NEVER APPRECIATED. I am calling because I am researching information about whether your business can help me or not, so do not assume I researched you at this point or even know where you are located.
  3. PLEASE KNOW WHAT YOUR COMPETITORS ARE CHARGING SO YOU CAN COMPETE. Also, do not try and leave me with open ended prices after I have given you specifics because that will immediately rule you out.
  4. BE POLITE! You are trying to earn my business, so at least talk to me like you are interested in hearing what I have to say, try to pronounce my name correctly (ask if you cannot); just act like you care.
Seems funny that someone should have to say this correct? However, sometimes the basics needed to be reminded.
Signed, the customer you lost
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

This is not America! Ignorance at its worst…

This is not America! Ignorance at its worst…

I try not to let stuff like this affect me, and generally it does not; however, social media has created a keyboard warrior class whose only goal it seems is to spread hate and dissension.

There is a race problem in America, that problem is that the human race is not making a good faith effort to get along and embrace our differences. There is a problem with folks wanting to point out what divides us and not what unites us.

You might not like our current president, that is your right, but he is still our president, and people need to stop blaming him for everything. There is little subtlety in the bigotry and ignorance being published across the airwaves; all because some people have dark skin.

Here is the latest ignorance floating around, and believe me when  I say, I do not go looking for this, it comes to me:

Here are just a small sample of some of the comments in this group, the rest are too vile to post:

Pamela Boyer Her picture should be on the pancake syrup label not our money.
Dina Creazzo
Dina Creazzo 😂😂😂 That had me cracking up!
John Springer
John Springer she lookslike obamas moma
George King
Edward Wylie
Edward Wylie Put her on the Susan B Anthony dollar....the flipside....
Don Comstock
Don Comstock Sick of all this crap. Founding fathers who contributed to this country are honored on our bills. Maybe put her face on welfare checks ?
Toni Honeywell
Toni Honeywell My thoughts exactly. Put her on welfare checks & Obama on food stamps.
Victoria Melum
Victoria Melum yes they should put ANDREW JACKSON back on the bills
Marian Sharp Brandmaier

It is OK to be polite and critical when you disagree, it is OK have change, it is OK to think for yourself, it is OK not to believe everything you read on the internet, and it is OK to really admit that America has unresolved problems stretching back 400 years.

Some of you however, just need to be banned from social media because you are simply vile human beings!


Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam