The Frequent Flyer vs Quality of Life Tradeoff

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This is the business travel frequent flyer lifecycle graphed, illistrating the tradeoff between miles flown versus your overall quality of life.

You start off in your first business travel with the excitement of flying to a new country, but after yet another long flight followed by a long day of meetings in a confusing city, the joy of business travel starts to fade, decreasing rapidly as you squeeze yet again into a no-frills economy seat.

Then you reach a top tier in your preferred frequent flyer program (100k on United for example) and get complimentary upgrades to business class, complete with free booze and food. Life is very good, with the basic luxuries tempering the fact you are stuck in a metal tube for days on end.

If you are smart, you stay in the sweet spot, flying 100,001 miles per year, often with your family. You get the freebies, sooth the wanderlust, and see your family.

Caution not to be lured into going on that one business trip more.

Then you start down the slippery slope of flying too much. You forget your friends and family. You are confused by the word “home” and then your spouse decides you are never there long enough to still call it that. You now learn about divorce.

For a brief time afterwards, free from even the pretense of domestication, you have a euphoric travel high, but then its short lived as you fly more, and you become alone, friends only with strangers. Don’t go there. That is not a happy place.

Announcing a Successful $4.1 Million Lawsuit Against GW University


For Immediate Release: Washington DC, April 1, 2014 / PRNewswire / The law firm of A. Pril & F. Ools LLP is proud to announce the successful $4.1 million class action lawsuit against George Washington University, brought on behalf of lead plaintiff Wayan Vota, representing over 25,000 students, in a repetitive stress injury claim.

The law firm convinced a jury of his peers that Mr. Vota and thousands of other students at the university showed symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress disorder, caused by performing the single task of deleting extraneous GW emails over and over again in the course of their student career.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful progressive condition caused by the compression of a key nerve in the wrist, the median nerve. When swelling causes the median nerve to be compressed in the tunnel, numbness, tingling, and pain can result. Left untreated, hand muscles can deteriorate, making it difficult to grasp objects or perform other work with the hands.

Through investigative discovery, A. Pril & F. Ools found that the average GW student deleted 4.1 university emails per hour during each class day, or approximately 4,100,000 over the average five-year time span of student attendance.

“This is a great victory for student rights, and sends a message to the University leadership that we will not stand for email abuse. Its time to end the wanton massacre of our delicate tendons to assuage their arrogant use of the ‘send’ button”, said Mr. Vota.

“We have shown, beyond a shadow of doubt, that deliberate and reckless sending of emails to students is detrimental to their physical, mental, and spiritual health. It is time for the administration cease and desist with their ill-treatment, even exploitation of their captive student audience,” said A. Pril, lead attorney for the plaintiff.

The A. Pril & F. Ools law firm will manage student claims for lost study time, assignment submission, and medical bills. This students’ compensation will also continue to pay for necessary medical expenses related to the injury after the student returns to class.

About Wayan Vota
Wayan Vota is an expert in the use of information and communication technology in international development and a master’s student at George Washington University in the accelerated MBA program. He has personally deleted 3,713,925 GW emails so far in his university career.

About A. Pril & F. Ools
The law firm of A. Pril and F. Ools is a dirty shoe law firm headquartered on J Street in downtown Washington DC. Known for ambulance chasing and bleeding clients dry, it was founded by Hill staffers under SEC investigation and is proud to be whitelisted by 4.1% more bulk email service providers than George Washington University.

My Work Here is Done

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When I started at Development Gateway in late 2012, it was, well, stuffy. Its heritage as a World Bank spinoff was clear and present as the high cubicle walls. Then we went OpenGov Hub and blew away all the physical barriers. Open plan for everyone, including the CEO. That put a zap to the bureaucratic feel.

Next we broke down the mental barriers. We opened up marketing – anyone could write about their own project and we encouraged staff to explore current topics that excited them. And we liberated sales – finding new opportunities and writing proposals is now a company-wide effort, which, surprisingly, the project managers and software developers love.

The DG team is tight. From brain-bending competitive lunches where Bananagrams peel next to toppling Jenga towers, to the many happy hours remembered (and those best forgotten), Development Gateway has a esprit de corps any organization should envy. And envy you shall, their new swanky new digs when OGH 2.0 opens in April.

And that’s why I know its time to go. I came in with the mandate to shake things up and now DG is shaken, stirred, reassembled, and better and more beautiful than before. It is time for me to work my magic in the big leagues.

I’m joining the TechLab at FHI 360. John Zoltner and his team have seduced me with sweet whisperings of working directly with development constituents, of hacking hardware and screaming at software, of getting back to my roots in field-based ICT4D.

I can’t wait to get started and I look forward to seeing you in my new journey that starts later this month.

Why I Do Not Worry About Facebook Privacy And Neither Should You

There is much hand wringing about Facebook and its ever-changing privacy settings. Why just last month there was yet another attempt by Facebook to link users to purchases, this time at certain brick-and-mortar stores.

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Now all this privacy hoopla started back when Facebook introduced Beacon, an advertising system that caused a serious online uproar. In my Business Ethics class, we took a look at the Beacon case study through four moral filters, utilitarian, justice, rights, and virtue, to assess how Facebook should have responded to the backlash. You can read our A-grade paper for our in-depth analysis.

Why I don’t care about Facebook privacy

On a personal level, I wasn’t that shocked over Beacon or any of Facebook’s user privacy activities. Long ago, I lost my fear of the Internet and what I put on it. How? It’s not what you expect. I do believe in personal privacy and I do have a high regard for the privacy of others. I even have a high level of personal privacy.

What I don’t have is data on Facebook that I regard as personal. I make a conscious effort each time I share something online – be it Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or my many other accounts – to ask myself if I want to make this part of my life public. If the answer is “no”, if I would not want to put it on a bulletin board outside my house, then I don’t post it online. Not online but private – just not online to begin with.

So its that simple. I am not afraid of Facebook’s privacy because I don’t share anything I consider private. That’s how you too can loose your fear of Facebook privacy.

I do care about data divisions

That is not to say that I want Facebook, my credit card company, and my ISP to band together and either limit my Internet experience based on my social network activities, past purchases, or browsing history. Where I do draw the line is when companies coordinate to present an altered Internet experience. Net neutrality needs to be defended and I am happy there are lawyers ready to sue to keep companies in line.

That and a few other reasons are why I support the likes of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. While I may be casual in my care about privacy, I don’t want everyone to be that way.