Since the mid 80s it has been popular for the business and technical press to write about the imminent fall of Apple. The 90s were a period when that nearly came to pass, but the trend continues and with Apple's current success after the death of Steve Jobs a comparison to Sony and Morita is being made.
Sony survived as a set of fiefdoms. Great engineers in many places. (And, to my astonishment, primitive TV manufacturing plants.) During Morita’s long reign, Sony went into all sorts of directions: music, movie-making, games, personal computers, phones, cameras, robots… For reasons of cultural (one assumes), Sony consistently showed an abysmal lack of appreciation for software, leaving the field to Microsoft, Nokia for a while, and then Google and Apple.
Under Akio Morita’s leadership, Sony took advantage of Japan’s lead in high-quality device manufacturing and became the masters of what we used to call the Japanese Food Fight: Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. When the world moved to platforms and then to ecosystems, Sony’s device-oriented culture — and the fiefdoms it fostered — brought it to its current sorry state.
There is increasing evidence that, apart from sleeping, just sitting for extended periods is harmful - even for people who are very active at other times of the day. Our bodies appear to have evolved to be in motion or at least standing. Gretchen Reynolds notes some research that looked at muscle biopsies on some men after a short sedentary period.
Studies of daily movement patterns, though, show that your typical modern exerciser, even someone who runs, subsequently sits for hours afterward, often moving less over all than on days when he or she does not work out.
The health consequences are swift, pervasive and punishing. In a noteworthy recent experiment conducted by scientists at the University of Massachusetts and other institutions, a group of healthy young men donned a clunky platform shoe with a 4-inch heel on their right foot, leaving the left leg to dangle above the ground. For two days, the men hopped about using crutches (and presumably gained some respect for those people who regularly toddle about in platform heels). Each man’s left leg never touched the ground. Its muscles didn’t contract. It was fully sedentary.
After two days, the scientists biopsied muscles in both legs and found multiple genes now being expresse differently in each man’s two legs. Gene activity in the left leg suggested that DNA repair mechanisms had been disrupted, insulin response was dropping, oxidative stress was rising, and metabolic activity within individual muscle cells was slowing after only 48 hours of inactivity.
In similar experiments with lab animals, casts have been placed on their back legs, after which the animals rapidly developed noxious cellular changes throughout their bodies, and not merely in the immobilized muscles. In particular, they produced substantially less of an enzyme that dissolves fat in the bloodstream. As a result, in animals and humans, fat can accumulate and migrate to the heart or liver, potentially leading to cardiac disease and diabetes.
Sedentary research is active and professional organizations are emerging. Most of the recommendations I've seen are that you should get up an walk around a bit every hour. Nothing really dramatic is necessary - just a bit of movement. Standing a lot is also good - standing desks may be just the ticket if you can make the transition. It is very important to note that this is quite separate from general exercise and it is good to be doig that too.
Childhood obesity - something that was rare 30 years ago and a good deal of it could probably be prevented with a combination of proper nutrition and an increase in activity (although most seem to agree the nutrition component is dominant) ... Of course there are firms who derive a lot of their profit from selling thinks that tend to promote childhood obesity.
There has been speculation that some homophobes are really gay and their hate is an outgrowth of their unwillingness to come to grips with who they really are. Recently a few studies appear to confirm this - from The New York Times.
...we identified a subgroup of participants who, despite self-identifying as highly straight, indicated some level of same-sex attraction (that is, they associated “me” with gay-related words and pictures faster than they associated “me” with straight-related words and pictures). Over 20 percent of self-described highly straight individuals showed this discrepancy.
Notably, these “discrepant” individuals were also significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects (also measured with the help of subliminal priming). Thus our research suggests that some who oppose homosexuality do tacitly harbor same-sex attraction.
What leads to this repression? We found that participants who reported having supportive and accepting parents were more in touch with their implicit sexual orientation and less susceptible to homophobia. Individuals whose sexual identity was at odds with their implicit sexual attraction were much more frequently raised by parents perceived to be controlling, less accepting and more prejudiced against homosexuals.
This is sad - there is nothing wrong with being gay. The only wrong is the evil anti-gay bigotry that some cling to and the evil encouraged by law, politics and religion. Perhaps if the societal penalties didn't exist these people could live normal happy lives.
Hate is such a terrible disease ... hypocrisy is nearly as bad and the two are often coupled.