I Have Been — and Always Shall Be — Your Friend — LLAP

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For the second time in a year, I’ve lost a man who was part of me in the truest possible sense. My father passed away last September. I eulogized him here.

Today, Leonard Nimoy, another man who became part of my very essence, is gone.

“You (humans) find it easier to understand the death of one than the death of a million.” — Spock, “The Immunity Syndrome,” Stardate 4307.1

I’ve struggled today with what to say about Nimoy‘s passing, or if this is even the place to say it. So much has already been said and will be said by so many who knew him better and have voices far more eloquent than mine. Yet I can’t let his passing go without comment, and surely the best way I can remember him is to speak of the many ways he and his character touched me at the very deepest level. With regards to sharing this message in this blog, I never thought when I launched this site a few weeks ago that I’d be writing about a topic like this. But this blog is now my voice and my platform, and much of what I learned from Nimoy‘s Spock applies quite directly to The Domino Principle. We will leave the business lessons for a more appropriate time, and today I’ll just talk about what Nimoy meant to me personally.

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“I Go to the Hills, when my Heart is Lonely”

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Cliff Kurtzman, overlooking Zion National Park, July 2014.

“Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream.”
–The Sound Of Music – Climb Every Mountain

“You can CHANGE LIVES in two minutes,” my friend Sam Horn wrote this morning (her full note is embedded later in this post, below). She’s right! It just takes a fraction of a second to knock over the first domino in a chain reaction that can change your life or the lives of others. Yet it can take days, weeks, or even a lifetime to set up the dominoes necessary to allow that chain reaction to occur.

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Connections — “Death in the Morning” by James Burke

connections-600Connections was an amazing 1978 documentary television series and book created, written and presented by science historian James Burke. Today we continue our look at  the series with Episode #2 – “Death in the Morning.”

From the introduction:

“I would say it was a pretty safe bet, that the one magic wish most people would like to be granted would be to be able to see into the future. Think what it would mean. And backing the right horse! But we can’t. We have to guess about tomorrow and we have to act on that guess, and it’s never been any different. And that’s why following the trail from the past up to the emergence of the modern technology that surrounds us in our daily lives, and affects our lives, is rather like a detective story. Because, at no time in the past, did anybody have anything to do with the business of inventing or changing things, ever know what the full effect of his actions would be. He just went ahead and did what he did for his own reasons, like we do. That’s how change comes about. And it’s like a detective story because if you follow the trail from the past up to a modern man-made object, the story is full of sudden twists and false clues and guesswork, and you never know where the story is heading until the very last minute.”

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401 Stories; Running the 9/10th Marathon; Domino Principle #4: Distress Potential

marathonersmarathonOver time, I’ll be introducing readers of this blog to a series of 10 specific Domino Principles. These Principles provide a framework for taking control of our lives and businesses, navigating the present, and shaping an exceptional future. In this article, I’m using the news of the past week coming out of Marathon Oil to introduce “Domino Principle #4: Distress Potential.” (The Domino Principle framework is still evolving and somewhat fluid. Things may change.)

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Oil — Around the World in an Under $80 Daze

“It may be taken for granted that, rash as the Americans are, when they are prudent there is good reason for it.”
— Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days

Who wins and who loses from the drop in the price of oil? That is a complex question, one which we will continue to explore on The Domino Principle for some time to come. Today we take a look at it from a broad geographic perspective, examining which areas around the world win or lose overall, heavily referencing 13 articles I’ve found which address the topic in great depth. In each case I provide the link to the source material for a fuller explanation.

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Connections — The Trigger Effect by James Burke

connections-600Connections was an amazing 1978 documentary television series and book created, written and presented by science historian James Burke. It demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology.

Years later the success of Connections in syndication led to two sequel series, Connections² (1994) and Connections³ (1997).

Connections illustrates The Domino Principle in action over periods of thousands of years. Fortunately, many if not all of the Connections episodes are now viewable online. So over time, I’ll be sharing episodes of this series with our readers.

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Can We Ever Really Change What We Are?

mohinder“When we embrace what lies within, our potential has no limit. The future is filled with promise; the present rife with expectation. When we deny our instinct, and struggle against our deepest urges, uncertainty begins. Where does this path lead? When will the changes end? Is this transformation a gift or a curse? For those who fear what lies ahead, the most important question of all – can we ever really change what we are?” –Mohinder Suresh, “The Fix,” Heroes.

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Did Oil Prices Hit Bottom, or is this a Dead Cat Bounce?

In yesterday’s post we looked at the price of oil from a historical perspective and discussed the factors leading to the steep decline over the past year.

So today let’s take a look at what might happen to the price of oil and gasoline in the future.

First a disclaimer… I’m not an energy industry analyst. I’m not a stock or commodity trader. And until a few weeks ago I’d never been terribly concerned with nor knowledgeable of the factors that influence short term changes in the price of oil or gasoline. If you think being an “expert” is important, just read this December 11, 2014 article from the Wall Street Journal: WSJ Survey: Oil Prices Are Near Their Bottom. The “experts” then predicted that the price of oil would not go any lower than $60/barrel, and would rise to around $65/barrel by the end of the year. Instead, prices continued to drop to around $45/barrel by mid-January, rebounding (at least for the moment) to $50.56/barrel today as this article goes to press.

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The Frackers Did Labor and Toil

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Graphic via Domino Convenient Stores.

“The frackers did labor and toil
To extract it out of the soil
But OPEC production was high
And demand less than supply
So down went the price of the oil.”
–Me

Before we start looking at the repercussions of the precipitous drop in the price of oil over the past year, let’s first set the stage in this post by putting the price drop into an historical context and understanding the factors that led to its occurring.

This graph shows historical crude oil prices per barrel for the past 10 years, trading at $49.07 as I post this article:

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There’s a Storm Coming, Mr. Wayne

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“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”
 
Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) to Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) in The Dark Knight Rises. Photo by Ron Phillips – © 2012 – WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND LEGENDARY PICTURES FUNDING, LLC


There’s a storm coming. I can feel it in my bones.

(Dominoes tiles are, not so coincidentally, also known as “bones.”)

We live in an increasingly dynamic and dangerous world. Have you ever struggled to understand how the repercussions of disruptive events, like the dramatic drop in the price of oil, the expansion of global terrorism, the fiscal consequences of having an out-of-control national debt, or the environmental effects of global warming, will affect you, your family and your business?

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