Sunday, March 28, 2021

Very nice to meta you

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways.

Kids use a new word now, "meta" that is actually a very old word. Meta is a word which, like so many words, we have ancient Greeks to thank for. When they used it, meta meant "beyond," "after," or "behind."

In its simplest form (today) a book in which a character is writing a book or a movie in which the character is making a movie can be described as meta. I am not totally sure, but I think Cosmo Kramer's Coffee Table Book about Coffee Tables was also meta. 

Having meetings to discuss how to have better meetings seems to be pretty meta to me. Having virtual meetings to discuss how to have better LIVE meetings - virtually - is meta meta, right?

Yesterday was a good day. My wife and I drove up to Madison, Connecticut to see our kids new home. I have two sons, both married, both are well on their way to their own adventures. We are very blessed that we are only a few hours away - or shall I say - only a few chapters of Audible away. Gotta love those books on Audible. Especially when read by the author.  But I digress. 

Around an hour after we landed at the new Connecticut version of Camp Capone, I had to jump on a Zoom meeting via my smartphone. Pre-COVID our "go to" location for LIVE meetings in NYC was the GATEWAY. Founded in 2018 by the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, it was the first and foremost Swedish chamber based outside of Sweden. The last "cool" live event we held before the COVID lockdown was at GATEWAY. 

Yesterday, the Deputy CIO of Zoom, and folks from BARCO and other NYDLA vendors and sponsors met both LIVE and VIRTUALLY on the 29th floor, right above the bustling streets of Midtown Manhattan. Today, every professional faces a new challenge, returning to work under COVID-19 measures. No handshakes, fewer in-person meetings and uncertainty of the future. But we are all determined to build back better. 

A few weeks ago, I flew for the first time in years. I took plenty of pictures of our NADLA WEST expansion tour. Yesterday my mind jumped to self-driving cars - and what is taking so long! I know that it is coming soon, but can you imagine sitting in a driverless electric car, making the zero traffic 93 mile trip from NJ to CT and working in the back seat the entire time? Or listening to Audible, or participating in an Zoom meeting - while heading to the LIVE/VIRTUAL hybrid meeting?

I don't know if yesterday was a perfect day, but it is in my top ten of the past 12 months. The only negative was traffic - and self-driving and/or AI assisted cars would eliminate traffic forever. 

When we drove to the beach (normally 12 minutes away) we had a three car caravan - and we were all on Bluetooth Speakerphone talking to each other in real-time during the ride. My son took us the "long way" to see the local sights. It turned into a guided tour - virtually - but very real. 

We are still building back better, and it will take time. But I truly feel that we are indeed going to be BETTER. Yes, Zoom became a verb because of the COVID WARS, but that future was coming anyway. Self-driving cars, AI, Internet of Things, eCommerce, all things "cloud" were already changing the world. COVID just made 10 years of stuff happen in 10 months. 

I am 100% certain in just a few years I'll be getting invited to a Zoom Chat, where ONE of my sons (or one of my new daughters) will say: "Hey Dad, can you and Mom baby-sit this afternoon?"  

And I will say "Sure, let me book a self-driving Uber, we'll be there in one hundred and four minutes, exactly."

Cosmo Kramer

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