WBEZ | Al Gini http://www.wbez.org/tags/al-gini Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Is data overload more info or more spam? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-24/morning-shift-data-overload-more-info-or-more-spam <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/info overload flickr Sean MacEntee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Americans have access to more information at fast speeds than ever before. But is instant info always a good thing? We debate it out with a digital junkie and an analog enthusiast. (Photo: Flickr/Sean MacEntee)</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-death-by-data-bombardment/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-death-by-data-bombardment.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-death-by-data-bombardment" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Is data overload more info or more spam? " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 08:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-24/morning-shift-data-overload-more-info-or-more-spam You are your car http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-03/you-are-your-car-105844 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5907678514_b69783c2fb_z.jpg" style="float: right; height: 199px; width: 300px;" title="(Flickr/Anthony Ryan Tripoli)" />I totally get it: Detroit and the international car community are the main drivers (pun-intended) in industrial production and economic well being.</div><p>No one can debate the fact that as goes GM, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes, etc, etc, etc. &ndash; As goes the world economy.</p><p>What I don&rsquo;t get; or, should I say, what I no longer get is why we collectively are so fascinated with cars. Recently, I went to the Chicago Auto Show, and frankly, I was underwhelmed! Oh sure, there were a number of beauties to be found there.</p><p>Cars that mimed and mirrored car executive Robert A. Lutz&rsquo;s iconic statement: &ldquo;We are in the art business...art entertainment and mobile structure, which coincidentally, also happens to provide transportation.&rdquo;</p><p>Yes, there were a number of stunning pieces of art there to covet and admire: Jaguar Roadster; Corvette Stingray; Ferrari F12 Berlinetta; Infinity Q50 Sport; and, of course, the Maserati Quattroporte.</p><p>But except for these stand out Cinderella&rsquo;s, the rest of the ball was populated by a pretty pedestrian (again, pun-intended) crowd. As far as I was concerned, most of the cars on display, very much looked alike. The Fords looked like the Mazdas.</p><p>The Nissan SUV&rsquo;s could hardly be distinguished from everybody else&rsquo;s SUV&rsquo;s. The Honda, Hyundai and Toyota sedans were all peas from the same pod. And, I wasn&rsquo;t the only one who felt that way.</p><p>I went out of my way to ask a lot of people who were there, what they felt about the show, and, generally, they agreed with my opinion. One gentleman, I talked to who was around my age, nailed it for me.</p><p>He said that when our dad&rsquo;s were growing up, cars were a rarity, an extravagance, a luxury.</p><p>By the time our dads became dads, cars were still alluring and exciting, but they were becoming commonplace. And for our generation, he went on to say, while many cars are beautiful, expensive, and mobile symbols of class, most of us see cars as a utilitarian necessity.</p><p>We may still want to drive a Cadillac, but if the price is right and you can get a 10-year &ldquo;bumper to bumper&rdquo; guarantee, a Kia will do &ndash; at least for a while. Bill was spot on! Cars are beautiful. Yes, I would prefer to drive an Infiniti Sport Convertible, but in the end, it&rsquo;s only a car.</p><p>Prima facia, it may say something about me - something about my credit rating or how much I make - but, it&rsquo;s not who I am.</p><p>It certainly doesn&rsquo;t give me a sense of identity, purpose, or meaning in life. My best friend, Dennis, dropped out of high school in our junior year because he wanted a car. He wanted to be cool. He wanted to impress his girlfriend.</p><p>So he got a job and bought a beat up 1953 Chevrolet, and his girlfriend loved it. Back then, I guess we did think that owning a car made you cool. And clearly in Dennis&rsquo; case, it did.</p><p>His girlfriend, Nancy in fact married him. And guess what, they are still together. Now that is cool.</p></p> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-03/you-are-your-car-105844 Is technology changing our lives too much? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-03/technology-changing-our-lives-too-much-106033 <p><p>In the last 10 years, the electronic age has us totally interconnected. Social networking of all kinds &ndash; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Socialcam, texting, platforms such as iPads, iPhones, smartphones and computers of all kinds.</p><p>These tools have forever altered the normal concept of time and space. They have replaced it with an immediacy that has taken on a life of its own. All of us are now no more than a click away from communicating with everyone we have ever met or known in real or virtual time.</p><p>Thanks to the wild, wild word of the web, we can be anywhere and everywhere with the stroke of a key or click of a mouse.</p><p>In essence, what all of this has done is to radically change the pace and rate of our lives. Not only are we bombarded with more input, information and data than ever before, we are now required or at least strongly expected to respond to it faster than ever before. At one level, the increased pace and rate of change is a good thing. It forces us to be more agile, more responsive, more adaptable to an ever-evolving world. It opens us to more options and possibilities.</p><p>On the other hand, the increased rate and speed of input and change is exhausting. Here&rsquo;s the problem. When life becomes an Olympic endurance event (the Everydayathon), when the stopwatch is always ticking, when are we supposed to have fun?</p><p>When will there be a time to be human in the old fashioned way? As Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt, professor of leisure studies, so aptly put it, &ldquo;Having to go so fast to keep up, we miss stuff-our existence is truncated. Some things simply cannot be done going full speed: love, sex, conversation, food, family friends, nature. In the whirl, we are less capable of appreciation, enjoyment, sustained concentration, sorrow, memory.&rdquo;</p><p>I think, if we can be honest with ourselves, we all do too much or try to do too much. My mother used to accuse me of having &ldquo;eyes bigger than my stomach.&rdquo;</p><p>She told me that I both literally and figuratively put too many things on my plate.</p><p>&ldquo;Alfredó,&rdquo; she&rsquo;d say, &ldquo;you do too much. Slow down, take smaller bites, or you&rsquo;re not going to enjoy anything. Piano, piano arrive sano!&rdquo; (Slowly, slowly, and you&rsquo;ll get there surely, safely!)</p><p>You know what, maybe we should all slow down, take a moment, and reflect on the wisdom of my mother&rsquo;s words. It couldn&rsquo;t hurt.</p></p> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-03/technology-changing-our-lives-too-much-106033 The ever-changing marriage carousel http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/ever-changing-marriage-carousel-103197 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/%28AP%20PhotoMiguel%20Villagran%2CFile%29%20Tom%20and%20Katie.jpg" title="Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise (AP PhotoMiguel Villagran,File)" /></p><p>Growing up in an ethnic/Catholic Chicago neighborhood, divorce simply did not exist. The macabre joke was that the only way out of a marriage was either by death (natural causes) or dismemberment (murder and mayhem). Television in the 1950 and &#39;60s reinforced this marital standard by portraying marriage as a lifelong commitment: <em>The Adventures of&nbsp;Ozzie and Harriet</em> (calm and sturdy); Lucy and Desi from<em> I Love Lucy</em> (frenetic but committed); Rob and Laura from <em>The Dick Van Dyke Show</em> (modern and urbane).</p><p>In todays world much has changed. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate of first marriage is around 50 percent; second marriages are at 60 to 67 percent and third marriages are at 73 to 74 pecent. Last February Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes announced they were getting divorced after five years of marriage. The tabloids suggested that the reason for the divorce was a simple one: The couple had entered in a five year contract and time was up! Whether or not this is true, the Cruise/Holmes divorce has sparked a discussion of marriage by contract. Or, as <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/fashion/marriage-seen-through-a-contract-lens.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">the <em>New York Times</em> headline succinctly put it</a>: &ldquo;Till Death, or 20 Years Do Us Part.&rdquo;</p><p>I think that the last 40 years of high divorce rates has forced us, individually and culturally, to rethink divorce &nbsp;and the reasons for getting married in the first place. To begin with, the marriage age is at an all-time high &mdash; 28.7 years for men and 26.5 for women. Part of this, of course, is due to hard economic times. At least part of the reason is that people, especially children of divorced relationships, are simply hesitant to take the plunge. Why make the same mistakes as our parents? Why not just cohabitate? Why not mimic the &#39;90s sitcom <em>Friends</em>? That is, live with your pals well into your 30s and just date around? Why not try to be George Clooney &mdash; keep dating, keep moving? Why get married and stay married unless you really want kids? Why risk living with someone that you might grow to dislike? Why put up with the day to day banalities of domestic existence? Why risk being unhappy? Why risk the &ldquo;change partner and dance&rdquo; divorce carousel? After all, everybody knows that it&rsquo;s almost impossible to get like, lust, and love in one relationship. So why bother?</p><p>OK, I admit it &mdash; I&rsquo;m an incurable romantic. Yes, divorce is scary. Yes, the statistics seem to be stacked against success. But, the real purpose behind marriage, partnership and commitment is the deep-set need to love and be loved in return. Psychologists tell us that we only know ourselves when we try to know and be empathetic with another. Love is not always a &ldquo;splendid thing&rdquo; but it is a necessary ingredient in the life process. So, yes love sometime makes fools of us. Yes, sometimes we are hurt and wind up hurting others. But we are human beings, and we need intimacy and we crave affection.</p><p>I think marriage will change, and must change. And, I hope the divorce rate will change as well for the better, of course. Maybe we will move to contract marriages, or short-term renewable marriages. I&rsquo;m not sure, but I am sure that the need and desire for intimacy and love are an elemental part of the human condition.</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/ever-changing-marriage-carousel-103197 When to forgive? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/when-forgive-101213 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/james%20holmes%20colorado%20AP.jpg" title="Al Gini argues that criminals like accused Colorado shooter James Holmes are beyond society’s forgiveness. But what about other wrong-doers? (AP/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)" /></div><p>On February 27, 1993, 14-year-old Greg Ousley went into his parents&rsquo; bedroom at 11:30 p.m. and shot them point blank with a 12-gague shotgun. He then called the police and said that he had just come home and found them murdered. It didn&rsquo;t take the sheriff&rsquo;s office in Warsaw, Ind., long to poke holes in his story. Ousley confessed and explained himself by saying: &ldquo;They don&rsquo;t seem to understand me&hellip;.I&rsquo;ve been thinking about killing them every time I get mad.&rdquo; Because Ousley admitted to planning the murder, the state tried him as an adult and sentenced him to 60 years in prison.</p><p>For the last 19 years Ousley has been trying to better understand why he killed his parents. (The <em>New York Times Magazine</em> ran <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/magazine/greg-ousley-is-sorry-for-killing-his-parents-is-that-enough.html?_r=1&amp;partner=rss&amp;emc=rss">a cover story about Ousley</a> last week, which included excerpts of <a href="http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/in-greg-ousleys-words/">a 40-page, hand-written essay</a>&nbsp;a 19-year-old Ousley wrote about his crime.) He still doesn&rsquo;t know exactly why he did what he did; but, he knows he did it and he accepts full responsibility for it. Ousley is quick to point out, however, that now he&rsquo;s not &ldquo;that crazy 14-year-old kid anymore.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m a 35-year-old-man and I&rsquo;m different now,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>That seems to be the case. While in prison, Ousley has done everything possible to change himself. He finished high school, graduated with honors for college, took years of anger management and self-improvement classes. He has worked in the warden&rsquo;s office and is trusted by the prison staff. The bottom line seems clear: Greg Ousley is not the same person that he was. He has paid a stiff penalty. He wants to help other kids avoid the anger and confusion that drove him to commit murder. Now, he wants to be free. He feels he has redeemed himself and that he should be forgiven. I for one think he&rsquo;s right.</p><p>But can we, as a society, ever forgive the behavior of such individuals as sexual predator Jerry Sandusky, the Batman terrorist James Holmes (12 people killed and 58 wounded) or the Norwegian white supremacist Anders Behring Breivik (77 dead and 319 wounded)? I don&rsquo;t think so. Given the immensity of their actions, I think forgiveness is asking too much.</p><p>Beyond forgiveness and redemption, what we need to do as a society is try to understand the motivations behind their behavior. Truman Capote, author of <em>In Cold Blood,</em> argued that to simply execute murderers or to put them away forever gains us nothing as a society. We need to study these people. And perhaps, said Capote, after years of studying different madmen and murderers we might come up with some answers.</p><p>Unlike Greg Ousley, there is nothing that Sandusky, Holmes or Breivik can do to reinvent themselves as human beings. Their actions are beyond redemption. But we must learn from them, so that in the future we can try and stop the behavior of others like them.</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 12:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/when-forgive-101213 ‘Presidents Club’ offers council for loneliest leader in the land http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/%E2%80%98presidents-club%E2%80%99-offers-council-loneliest-leader-land-101032 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/presidents%20club%20AP.jpg" title="Barack Obama is welcomed into the ‘Presidents Club’ by former presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)" /></div><p>Why would former campaign rivals and political enemies &mdash; still jockeying to secure their place in history &mdash; join a club in order to be of real help to each other?</p><p>That&rsquo;s the central question raised by <em>The Presidents Club, </em>Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duff&rsquo;s book about the impact and import of the world&rsquo;s most exclusive fraternity. With the presidential campaign about to shift into high gear, I picked up a copy. It turns out the answer to my question is political and practical, but also very human and personal.</p><p>The authors claim these men have endured experiences and decisions that few executives have ever dealt with. Moreover, the authors argue that, in the modern world, a President&rsquo;s decisions and actions are global, not simply national in their impact and importance. Bottom line: They need each other for council and advice &mdash; even a shoulder to cry on.</p><p>John F. Kennedy captured this issue succinctly after just ten days on the job. &ldquo;No man entering upon their office could fail to be staggered upon learning&hellip;the harsh enormity of the trials through which we must pass in the next four years,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Each day the crises multiply. Each day their solution grows more difficult.&rdquo; Former senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart once suggested that presidents wind up governing a country and dealing with problems that they never expected to handle. No one is ever prepared for the job; everyone in the job needs help.</p><p>Political analyst James Fallows has argued that no president is perfect, and that every president is bound to fail in various crucial aspects of their job. That&rsquo;s why presidents need to be open to the insights and experiences of others who have been there before them. Machiavelli once said that the successful prince must be a student of history to succeed as a leader. Gibbs and Duffy argue that the &ldquo;Presidents Club&rdquo; is a way to learn history by seeking refuge, respite and advice from others who have shared the office and understand the issues. &ldquo;The Club of Presidents&rdquo; is an attempt to overcome the great paradox of the presidency: It is simultaneously the most public and yet the loneliest office in the land.</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Thu, 19 Jul 2012 11:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/%E2%80%98presidents-club%E2%80%99-offers-council-loneliest-leader-land-101032 Ethics Moment: Seven billion and counting http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2012-01-18/ethics-moment-seven-billion-and-counting-95592 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-17/Crowd_JamesCridland_600.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Thomas Malthus published his essay on population in 1798, it would have been hard for him to imagine the accelerated increase in global&nbsp;population in the last century.</p><p>However, his theory connecting population with the land's yield is getting an update.&nbsp;</p><p>Al Gini looks at concerns of an increasing population in the modern world and recent findings that suggest our greatest concern is only six inches deep.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/taxtw5vv3p8" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19px; text-align: left; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of&nbsp;</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19px; text-align: left; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Business Ethics Quarterly,</span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19px; text-align: left; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">and the author of several books, including</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19px; text-align: left; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;My Job, My Self&nbsp;and&nbsp;Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher.&nbsp;</span></p></p> Wed, 18 Jan 2012 14:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2012-01-18/ethics-moment-seven-billion-and-counting-95592 Ethics Moment: Why Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning is the best book I've ever read http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-12-20/ethics-moment-why-viktor-frankls-mans-search-meaning-best-book-ive-ev <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-21/Pile of Books_Flickr_Emily Carlin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As many know, Loyola University Chicago professor Al Gini is an avid reader.&nbsp; Just last week, in fact, he posted his annual, wide-ranging list of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-12-06/christmas-book-bag-my-top-ten-books-2011-94643">Top 10 Books of the Year</a>. &nbsp;</p><p>It's chock full of fiction, non-fiction, mystery, memoir and all genres in between.&nbsp;</p><p>But what's his favorite book of all time?&nbsp;</p><p>As a reader and philosophy professor, Al has been presented with this question a lot.&nbsp;</p><p>And he’s found a fitting suggestion:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OPW7QB2kuco" align="middle" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no"></iframe></p><p><em>Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of</em>&nbsp;Business Ethics Quarterly<em>, and the author of several books, including</em>&nbsp;My Job, My Self&nbsp;<em>and</em>&nbsp;Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher.</p></p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 19:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-12-20/ethics-moment-why-viktor-frankls-mans-search-meaning-best-book-ive-ev Ethics Moment: Analyzing the six killer apps http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-11-29/ethics-moment-six-killer-apps-94253 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-19/4731067716_61b0fe8b59.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the American Century wanes and China continues its emergence as a global superpower, many predict that this new century will be dominated by Asia. If so, it would mark a shift not just in global power, but in a centuries old cultural balance of power as well.</p><p>In his book <em>Civilization: The West and the Rest</em>, historian and Harvard university professor Niall Ferguson explores why western civilization has been such a dominant force on the planet over the centuries. And, <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/niall_ferguson_the_6_killer_apps_of_prosperity.html">as referenced in his popular TED talk</a>, "The 6 Killer Apps of Prosperity," he identifies six key reasons why - or killer apps, as he dubs them.</p><p>Ferguson's list has inspired Al Gini to examine each more deeply - and the lessons they contain not just for America past, but for its future as well:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/unPltO93Lo8?rel=0" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe><br> &nbsp;</p><p>Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of <em>Business Ethics Quarterly</em>, and the author of several books, including <em>My Job, My Self</em> and <em>Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher</em>.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 09:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-11-29/ethics-moment-six-killer-apps-94253 Ethics Moment: The real meaning of Thanksgiving http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-11-21/ethics-moment-real-meaning-thanksgiving-94248 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-21/Thanksgiving.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Long before the Halloween candy and costumes could be returned to the stockrooms, Christmas decorations inundated shelves in seasonal departments nationwide.&nbsp;</p><p>Sandwiched between the hallows and holly is another holiday, one commonly associated with big meals, a big parade, and a big game.</p><p>However, for Al Gini, the true purpose of Thanksgiving is clear - and it requires a bit of reflection</p><p>In his commentary, Gini describes how the meaning of Thanksgiving grew out of our nation’s history, and how that meaning shares a connection with the world’s cultures and religions.<br> &nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KNotrwpsonQ?rel=0" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe><br> &nbsp;</p><p>Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of Business Ethics Quarterly, and the author of several books, including <em>My Job, My Self</em>, the <em>Importance of Being Lazy,</em> and <em>Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher</em>.</p></p> Mon, 21 Nov 2011 20:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-11-21/ethics-moment-real-meaning-thanksgiving-94248