Posts Tagged ‘Businessweek’

Your BrainNow that plastic surgery is the must-do thing to land a job, let’s remember to dabble in a little cosmetic neurology to keep our jobs as well.  According to Businessweek, using mental pick-me ups (read: pill popping) is fast becoming a norm in the workplace.

Instead of getting a good night’s sleep, workers can gulp down Provigil to stay awake. A slave to your distractions? Don’t work on maintaining the will-power to focus. Concentrate on taking some Adderall.

The stigma of using “cognitive enhancement drugs” is steadily becoming lost on a generation that was raised on using attention deficit drugs. Whether in high school or college, some young people have casually used such “enhancements” to boost their brain functions. 

Despite health concerns, doctors and scientists think that more overworked professionals will begin to see the appeal in using cognition drugs to tighten up their own work performance.

So, now that doing a good job is not enough, workers need to do better than good. You have to be alert and focused for more than 8 hours the workday. Of course, drug use is not big news in the corporate world.

Yet, most likely, with the recession in full blast and workers even more jittery about their jobs – drug use will probably rise. Also, when boosting other parts of your brain, you’re probably depleting energy elsewhere.

You can’t get something for nothing – especially when it comes to your brain. Dr. Anan Chatterjee says,

Creative insights often arise when the mind is allowed to wander…If drugs that sharpen concentration become widespread in the workplace, they may nurture “a bunch of automatons that are very good at implementing things but have nothing to implement.”

If employees have to start taking drugs to just keep up, I don’t think I can afford it.


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Paris Hilton can only fetch a tawdry $37,000 for appearance fees from club owners. That’s significantly down from her previous demand of roughly $100,000.

One can only guess that Paris Hilton’s personal brand of mindless glitz and glamour is starting to wear thin on a crushed economy and tightening credit crunch. Maybe she should stop by the Gap and pick up a prairie-style cotton dress so she can look more like a woman of the people.

The Depression Era is hot and folks want to cash in. According to Ellen Gibson at Businessweek, Evite has recorded 40 invitations with the theme of “Depression parties” in October alone (up from 3 in September). Parties feature ’30s vintage clothing and music playlists favoring Big Bands. CEOs are researching Depression Era products developed by their companies in hopes of repackaging them as marketing tools in order to gain or lure potential customers.

Pretty nifty stuff – who would have thought being cash strapped would help businesses cash in?

Using the Depression Era brings as a reference brings some economical sincerity to the cash strapped over-commercialized 20-something. I’m still boggled at the popularity of shows like “The Real Housewives of [insert location].” These reality shows, nevertheless, may start to alienate only a small part of its audience because of the unabashed flaunt of richness and vapid materialism. Everyone likes to dream – don’t they?

Yet, the other reality is that as more households cut back, the necessity of watching such entertainment disappears into the murk of deciding between paying the gas bill or canceling cable.

I'd rather cancel my cable bill

I'd rather cancel my cable bill

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swingJon Fine, author of Businessweek’s weekly column, “Media Centric” brought up the interesting topic of blogs/alternative journalism and their influcence on politics.

Essentially, Fine surmised that blogs and the new wave journalism won’t have much of an affect on voting trends and election campaigns.

Political bloggers and readers alike have already made up their mind early on (thus named “high information voters”) . The electoral campaign is currently focusing on the slow pokes just now catching up to the bubbly political brew that is McCain and Obama (this group is imaginitively dubbed “low information voters).

I believe Fine makes a valid (and obvious) point. With the information overload that plagues the radio, broadcast television and now, the internet – I can imagine there will be only so many people who can pretend they have enough time to read the endless maze of blogs available.

According to Fine,

“Congrats if you can spit out the results of the last three Ohio polls right down to the margin of error, but the campaigns care more about the harried parents of three kids in exurban Colorado who’ve only started to pay attention.

As always, those voters will be pounded with messages as simplistic as an old Miller Lite ad.”


Anyway, it’s obvious with every election year (and turbulent presidential incumbant years) people hungry for change are most likely to investigate their options early, hence, pegging themselves into the “high information” voter category. As Fine puts it, over extended parents in places like Colorado probably haven’t had the time or energy to pay attention to the campaign. 

Even with enough YouTube, political blogs, Democrat demonizing and Republican griping at their (internet) fingertips- swing voters want to be wooed the old-fashioned way.

They are most likely worried about crippling gas prices, dwindling 401(k) values resulting from the reeling of Wall Street and the uncertainty of their home’s equity (not to mention job security and healthcare costs).

This is not to imply that high information voters are not in the same boat as their Colorado-esque counterparts, I only want to suggest that the latter demographic presents – cha-ching- swing voters. 

Virtually, the voting equivalent of an NFL free agent – up for grabs from the highest (or, in this case, most politically beneficial) bidder.

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