Mountain Minute: Social media is NOT socializing

There are many posts being posted explaining the many benefits of "socializing" on social media platforms. And yet there is a contradiction of this sort of claim in terms of engagement in communication with that of psychological research studies.

Philosophical Engineering

In the work of Pentland (2012) three aspects were identified as being important to communication. The first being the energy that a person or persons exchange, then the level of engagement, and finally the concept of exploration as it relates to communication beyond the immediate parties involved. Pentland (2012) also suggests that it is the manner in "how" we communicate and not necessarily "what" we communicate that makes the difference of productivity. That face-to-face communication is most valuable in terms of energy levels than use of texting/emailing. 

We need to recognize that social media is a tool, despite the emojis and hashtag energy we incorporate and that it is not a replacement for how human beings communicate effectively with one another. If you're not convinced, physically go out "socializing" and see how many people are on their phones in public... 


Pentland, A. (2012). The new science of building great teams. Harvard Business Review, 90(4), 60-69.

We need more action. Not posting.

Less posting...

Philosophical Engineering

... and MORE doing.

No more re-posting or liking what "10 successful things people do" or "Top 3 habits of highly motivated people". Implement these suggestions and DO THEM. 

Mountain Minute: Stop posting quotes!

"I quote thee to make myself look..."

Philosophical Engineering

We all want our voice heard. Especially more than ever with online presence where our pixels get shared with anyone who has access to internet around the world. And yet we often list quotes that have all but become more than cliche, but annoying. We get it. We all want to think like Einstein and Zig Ziglar. And whether you justify your quotes like the writings on the wall to motivate you or to simply share the words of the wise, my question is really in the curiosity of how the quote was applied.

That when we all read these quotes, what do we do with them? How did it shape one's thinking or behaviors? I would personally rather see more posts like that. 

Mountain Minute: Millennials are lazy… says who?

I often find it insulting when I'm accused as a Millennial who is lazy and fails to work hard in life. That I complain about things needing to always come instantaneously to me on my phone. 

Philosophical Engineering

What is fascinating is looking at the people who actually are accusing Millennials of being these stereotypes. Most them are older people. So what credibility is there in describing a generation that they are not? This seems hardly acceptable. Would I criticize Lebron James about his work ethic in basketball, when clearly I'm not a basketball player and not even at his level?

I agree that technology has changed the way we operate and that we are used to downloading and streaming information quicker than before. That there is a misperception that hard work is lost when we don't have our face buried in books, but instead our phones.

But to change the direction of the accusations, it seems more appropriate to consider the effects of the Shallowing Hypothesis. That the more we (that is anybody and not just Millennials) use technology that promotes rapid communication style, without balancing it with a slower paced style, do we put ourselves into a position that has trained us to be inefficient at engagement in reflective thinking.

Mountain Minute: “Same shit, different day”

We have heard this phrase before, "same shit, different day" when we sometimes talk about the frustrations of our day-to-day job. But why do we often get frustrated at doing the same thing over and over again?

Philosophical Engineering

I often find inspiration from running and training for marathons. And every day I'm confronted with doing the same routine of fighting the alarm clock, getting ready to run despite my legs not feeling 100%, and battling through the possibility of giving up every step of the way. And yet, my frustration is not necessarily in doing the same thing over and over again. Instead it's the frustration of things not always going well and according to what I think my plan and execution of that plan should be. That I get frustrated when my shoe comes untied or the air being too humid. Maybe the traffic lights get on my nerves that morning as it seems to slow me as I need to stop and wait for the pedestrian signal. 

So when I think about this phrase in terms of work and what the phrase could possibly mean to me, I hear the frustrations of a boss not necessarily listening to your ideas or the customers calling back again with similar issues from last week or the equipment malfunctioning again since yesterday. But as I learn in running every day, I can either run forward or run away. But only one of those directions I choose, crosses the finish line. 

Mountain Minute: Who gets the blame today?

Looking in vs. looking out. That is, when there are issues that we face or problems to be dealt with in our day, where do we typically turn? Where does the blame go?

Philosophical Engineering

It almost seems that in our culture of the United States of America that when there are issues, it never seems to be our own fault and the blame goes to someone else. The parents blaming the teachers for their son or daughter's poor school grades. The fans yelling at the referees for the mistakes of the calls during the game. Your boss exposing a mistake on the report and you having to quickly defend yourself because of the printer being broken that morning. 

Mistakes are part of the process and we all know that. But what we sometimes forget are the spaces we need to create in ourselves to allow for mistakes in our process. And this requires looking in.

Mountain Minute: It’s after lunch and 5PM is near…

When we are at work, we think about being at home or somewhere other than work that might resemble play time. When we are at home, we think about the next day's report or meeting at work.

Philosophical Engineering

Often my lack of production is due to my inability to focus on the task at hand (not my focus on my smart phone in my hand), but rather my attention to being fully mindful of what I'm doing. Yes, it's after lunch and the "bell is ready to ring soon to let class out", but when I can focus when it's work and play when it's play, I can never seem to tell the difference apart.


Mountain Minute: The morning meeting

Most companies (teams really) have meetings to get on the same page. 

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Most people find that meetings are boring and it's really a test of how well you can be on your phone and still look like your paying attention. 

However, a meeting is just like a basketball team calling a timeout or discussing the next set of plays during halftime. View your meetings like this, and more of the employees will start getting into the game. 

Tired of the same old song and dance of get a degree, get a job, get married, and retire in 40 years? Design your own song and dance in life instead, and incorporate what's of value and important to you!

Mountain Minute: Last Week Audit Results

With every audit, comes opportunities for improvement despite the results.

Philosophical Engineering

One can look at the "number" of items that were incorrect and measure success based on that. However, we cannot lose sight within just looking at the "numbers". Rather, we must maintain the spirit of continuous improvement and use the numbers as guidelines for measurement. 

There were no major non-conformances for GMHT in the recent AS9100D transition audit for aerospace. However, there were many recommendations for improvement. Regardless of the labels and forms of feedback on the process, it's always the sense of improvement that moves us forward that should be the focus.

Tired of the same old song and dance of get a degree, get a job, get married, and retire in 40 years? Design your own song and dance in life instead, and incorporate what's of value and important to you!

Mountain Minute: The work place culture

An upcoming audit to meet Aerospace requirements in accordance to AS9100D, has reminded the team at General Metal Heat Treating of one thing.

Philosophical Engineering

"Do what you say, say what you do." In essence it's really that simple sometimes, and yet to remain on task of performing just those two things of "saying" and following through of actually "doing". This simple reminder, can define a work place culture.

Tired of the same old song and dance of get a degree, get a job, get married, and retire in 40 years? Design your own song and dance in life instead, and incorporate what's of value and important to you!