Scouts are like newspapers; other links

Most of this week has been spent on a post-NOAC high; all the discussions, events and sights from the conference are very much in my mind still. It's been great to have this energy propelling my enthusiasm forward, and especially nice to have it in a week where I didn't have to actually do anything for the Scouts, just appreciate their impact.

A friend at the conference shared with me an article regarding the death of newspapers. He thought it was interesting to me because of my affinity for the industry. As I read it, I could not help but be struck by the similarities between the disruption of print media and the challenges faced by the Boy Scouts of America:

Newspapers, and thinking the unthinkable
Clay Shirkey explains not only the broken business model that newspapers were able to exploit for over a century, but gives perfect insight into why it fell apart once the Internet arrived. Shirkey points out how those who saw thing as they were ended up marginalized, while those presenting unrealistic but comforting solutions were embraced, and hastened decline. This kind of thinking, and the consequences of it, are exemplified in a great comparison between the inventions of the Guttenberg press and the Internet. Great reading for anyone in any industry going through massive upheaval.

The coddling of the young American mind
A few months ago, I posted about the Chicago professor who was attacked via Title IX for offending her students (a ridiculous accusation). The Atlantic uses this and other, similar incidents for an extensive look at how the young mind is being protected from offense in college education, and the disastrous results for their preparation. College students are becoming more isolated, less challenged, more mentally ill and less ready for work because they're being coddled from anything that might be objectionable. 

Donald Trump is a counterfeit Republican
George Will weighs in this week on a man I absolutely hate: Donald Trump. How I wish one of the other candidates would call Trump on the floor for what he is: a bigoted, angry, depressing and insecure man who inherited his fathers fortune, and attempts to compensate for his own deficiencies by painting his name all over each building he owns. His popularity is depressing, and it's scary that any percentage of people would think he's fit to lead the most powerful nation in the world.

Will Pope Francis change the Vatican?
National Geographic has an insider's look at how Pope Francis has changed the Vatican since his papacy began. I'm not looking forward to his visit to Philadelphia next month (and my place STILL isn't rented on AirBNB!), but I am one of the many non-practicing Catholics who have been inspired and reengaged by his message. I hope he continues to be successful rapidly changing the oldest human institution on Earth.

How Mary Nichols is trying to transform the auto industry
Up until this article, I'd never even heard the name Mary Nichols. Now I'm convinced she's one of the most quietly powerful people in all of American business. Ms. Nichols leads California's efforts to reduce pollution, and as such, is the leading disruptor of the auto industry. She's pushing for an even more sustained and rapid move to electric cars in California, and if history is any guide, she may get it.

The secret airline that flies to Area 51
I am a sucker for conspiracy theories and anything related to the obscured corners of American government or military policy. No, I don't think they have aliens buried somewhere at Area 51, but I'm pretty sure there's some wacky, interesting stuff going on there. Less considered is the mundane need to get all of the civilian workers onto the base each day, which is why the government maintains the most secretive airline in the world: Janet Airlines.