Social Trends

Michael Drew · August 31, 2016
Pendulum in Action, comments section, social media, technology

A major website is shutting down. But another website has done something more radical: it’s shutting down its comments section.

As for the overall shutdown, this happens all the time: sites go up, sites go bust, sites go away. Digital imprints remain somewhere in the online ether, but the daily interactions between writer and reader no longer exist.

The site […]

Bob Hughes · August 25, 2016
Pendulum in Action, Social Media, social interaction

A record-collector friend of mine used to keep a Saturday free every month to go into town and shop for new and used disks, at one of the many stores that catered to fans like him.

Most of those stores are now gone, victims of online shopping. His browsing these days, like the browsing for many people, is more virtual. And as a result his collecting days are limited, and he’s moved on to other pursuits. He still listens to music, but he’s o longer as avid a discoverer as he was of new […]

Bob Hughes · July 01, 2016
Pendulum in Action, technological change, information overload

If you’ve ever used the phrase “information overload,” you have the social scientist Alvin Toffler to thank. The social scientist died recently at the age of 87. His landmark book, Future Shock, showed how society is coping with accelerating technological change.

As a freelance writer in the 1960s, Toffler decided to focus his energies and write a book. He buckled down to study what he saw as that decade’s continuing social upheaval (a little like what Michael R. Drew and Roy H. […]

Bob Hughes · June 30, 2016
Pendulum in Action, something worth seeking, bright sense of humor

A dear friend of mine passed away this week. He was only 56. He’d suffered cancer a couple of years ago, but got through it and was given a clean bill of health. But a month ago, a new form of this pernicious disease afflicted him, and it took him away from us far too soon.

Ed was a wonderful person – a lawyer who thought not of prestige or salary but of clients, and how he could help people. He specialized in the First Amendment, and worked on behalf of everyone for freedom of […]

Bob Hughes · June 16, 2016
Pendulum in Action, community in action, coming to the rescue

The world has shown how hard life is recently, with tragedy everywhere, senseless killings, political demonization.

But recently a tragic event was avoided thanks to quick-thinking New Yorkers.

It was a sure sign of community in action. At, of all places, a subway station.

A few days ago, a man waiting for a train somehow lost consciousness, and fell to the tracks of the subway. The train he was waiting for was just minutes away – and in addition to an injurious fall, he could […]

Bob Hughes · February 03, 2016
Pendulum in Action, Seat of the Pants, polls, surveys

In a poll of myself, with a plus or minus accuracy of 100%, the subject – me – said that he finds polls to be absolutely unreliable.

If you polled yourself, would you say the same? Probably. And unlike most polls, you’d most likely be right.

Yet despite our skepticism regarding polls, we’re awash, or flooded, in polling numbers and stories of who’s up or who’s down in politics. And like most stories that are merely numbers-driven, accuracy isn’t the point: getting people to click […]

Bob Hughes · January 28, 2016
Pendulum in Action, notable women, WE Cycle, business

Did you know that a woman has already graced an American dollar bill?

Martha Washington, the wife of the first president, George Washington, was featured on a $1 certificate from 1866, well before the government decided to standardize the nation’s currency, in the late 1920s.

But women on the nation’s bills have been virtually nonexistent. U.S. bills feature Founding Fathers (George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton) or controversial presidents (Andrew Jackson). Some […]

Michael Drew · January 06, 2016
Pendulum in Action, social cycle, community cycle, victimhood

One of my wishes for the coming year is this: that fewer people consider themselves victims.

I don’t mean victims of crime or natural events, or of poverty or aggression or violence. I mean victimhood in general – the new way of thinking that’s becoming too common, one where you need a safe space in case someone says something you disagree with, or you need to be protected at all times from something that might in some way remind you of something remotely unpleasant, or that you need […]

Bob Hughes · December 29, 2015
Pendulum in Action, new years resolution, education

You know what’s fun?

Not keeping New Year’s resolutions.

And even more fun than that? Not making them in the first place.

Probably the number-one New Year’s resolution is losing weight. Another might be making more money. Another – well, you could put your own list together without thinking too much about it. Most people answer the same when they’re asked about what their New Year’s resolutions are.

But my favorite response to the question of New Year’s resolutions comes from […]

Bob Hughes · December 24, 2015
Pendulum in Action, creativity in business, happiness at work

Rather than a physical gift of some sort, many people might wish for a good job at Christmas. A lot of folks who are stuck working where they feel underappreciated, or worse, hope to be given or to find employment that might be more fulfilling to them personally than the job that currently pays the bills.

At least, that’s more and more the case. It’s not so much what you do as the atmosphere in which you do it that counts. Corporate culture is more critical than the title you have or […]