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Capital Ship Etiquette

The captain goes down with the ship” is an idiom and maritime tradition that a sea captain holds ultimate responsibility for both his ship and everyone embarked on it, and he will die trying to save either of them. Although often associated with the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 and its captain, Edward J. Smith, the phrase predates the Titanic by at least 11 years.[1] In most instances the captain of the ship forgoes his own rapid departure of a ship in distress, and concentrates instead on saving other people. It often results in either the death or belated rescue of the captain as the last person on board.
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History

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The concept is closely related to another protocol from the nineteenth century, “women and children first.” Both reflect the Victorian ideal of chivalry in which the upper classes were expected to emulate a morality tied to sacred honour, service, and respect for the disadvantaged. The actions of the captain and men during the sinking of HMS Birkenhead in 1852 prompted praise from many due to the sacrifice of the men who saved the women and children by evacuating them first. Rudyard Kipling‘s poem “Soldier an’ Sailor Too” and Samuel SmilesSelf-Help both highlighted the valour of the men who stood at attention and played in the band as their ship was sinking.

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Social and legal responsibility

The idiom literally means that a captain will be the last person to leave a ship alive prior to its sinking or utter destruction, and if unable to evacuate the crew and passengers, the captain will not evacuate himself.[2] In a social context, especially as a mariner, the captain will feel compelled to take this responsibility as a type of social norm. Shirking this responsibility in a crisis would go against societal mores because of the offender’s lack of ethics.

In maritime law the responsibility of the ship’s master for his ship is paramount no matter what its condition, so abandoning a ship has legal consequences, including the nature of salvage rights. So even if a captain abandons his ship in distress, he is generally responsible for it in his absence and would be compelled to return to the ship until danger to the vessel has relented. If a naval captain evacuates a vessel in wartime, it may be considered a capital offence similar to desertion unless he subsequently returns to the ship at his first opportunity to prevent its capture and rescue the crew.

Abandoning a ship in distress may be considered a crime that can lead to imprisonment.[2] Captain Francesco Schettino, who left his ship in the midst of the Costa Concordia disaster, was not only widely reviled for his actions, but was arrested by Italian authorities on criminal charges.[3] Abandoning ship is a maritime crime that has been on the books for centuries in Spain, Greece and Italy.[4] South Korean law may also require the captain to rescue himself last.[5] In Finland the Maritime Law (Merilaki) states that the captain must do everything in his power to save everyone on board the ship in distress and that unless his life is in immediate danger, he shall not leave the vessel as long as there is reasonable hope that it can be saved.[6] In the United States, abandoning the ship is not explicitly illegal, but the captain could be charged with other crimes, such as manslaughter, which encompass common law precedent passed down through centuries. It is not illegal under international maritime law.

Inequality hurts economic growth, finds OECD research

Inequality hurts economic growth, finds OECD research

09/12/2014 – Reducing income inequality would boost economic growth, according to new OECD analysis. This work finds that countries where income inequality is decreasing grow faster than those with rising inequality.

The single biggest impact on growth is the widening gap between the lower middle class and poor households compared to the rest of society. Education is the key: a lack of investment in education by the poor is the main factor behind inequality hurting growth.

“This compelling evidence proves that addressing high and growing inequality is critical to promote strong and sustained growth and needs to be at the centre of the policy debate,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Countries that promote equal opportunity for all from an early age are those that will grow and prosper.”

Rising inequality is estimated to have knocked more than 10 percentage points off growth in Mexico and New Zealand over the past two decades up to the Great Recession. In Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, the cumulative growth rate would have been six to nine percentage points higher had income disparities not widened, but also in Sweden, Finland and Norway, although from low levels. On the other hand, greater equality helped increase GDP per capita in Spain, France and Ireland prior to the crisis.

The paper finds new evidence that the main mechanism through which inequality affects growth is by undermining education opportunities for children from poor socio-economic backgrounds, lowering social mobility and hampering skills development.

People whose parents have low levels of education see their educational outcomes deteriorate as income inequality rises. By contrast, there is little or no effect on people with middle or high levels of parental educational background.

The impact of inequality on growth stems from the gap between the bottom 40 percent with the rest of society, not just the poorest 10 percent. Anti-poverty programmes will not be enough, says the OECD. Cash transfers and increasing access to public services, such as high-quality education, training and healthcare, are an essential social investment to create greater equality of opportunities in the long run.

The paper also finds no evidence that redistributive policies, such as taxes and social benefits, harm economic growth, provided these policies are well designed, targeted and implemented.

The working paper, Trends in income inequality and its impact on economic growth, is part of the OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges Initiative, an Organisation-wide reflection on the roots and lessons to be learned from the global economic crisis, as well as an exercise to review and update its analytical frameworks.

Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas by Amber E. Box

Be A Social Entrepreneur Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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On October 2nd of this year, the second annual Social Business Summit will convene in the Philippines. This year’s meeting will focus on rebuilding provinces of the country affected by Typhoon Yolanda, also known across the rest of the world as Typhoon Haiyan. The struggle that many parts of the country are facing on a daily basis is poverty and the inability to combat it, especially in the face of such disasters as Yolanda/Haiyan. The summit is sponsored by Gawad Kalinga, a social entrepreneurship project already working on rebuilding communities in the Philippines. Gawad Kalinga’s founder, Tony Meloto, recently talked to Rappler about the Social Business Summit, describing the issues they hope to address.

Be A Social Entrepreneur Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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According to Meloto, the “goal is to really address the two major reasons why we cannot achieve prosperity: loss of our human capital due to poverty…and the abandonment of land.”

With the meeting this week, Meloto and his team members are hoping to attract social entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world. The idea is to capitalize on the assets available within the groups attending in order to capitalize on the assets of those living in poverty conditions by way of ideas that will help rebuild stronger and more sustainable communities. The communities are already being built by Gawad Kalinga, but the summit will provide a platform to discuss the ability to develop and hone ideas to can make these new communities be as strong as they can in order to maintain and sustain their viability, hopefully allowing areas across the Philippines to rise out of poverty.

In addition, the summit is teaming up with the School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED Philippines) which are local high school students who will not have the opportunity to go to college. By doing so, the event hopes to foster the entrepreneur ideas into these younger generations, who are the future of the Philippines.

Be A Social Entrepreneur Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Taking place over three days, the event will put great minds from across the world together to achieve the same goals, “building a kinder, fairer, better and safer world that we can build together,” according to Meloto

The Pig Idea By Diane Walters

Be A Social Entrepreneur The Pig Idea » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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A slide appeared, on the screen on TED.com, of a dumpster full 13,000 bread crusts as social entrepreneur Tristram Stuart mused about never being able to get a sandwich from a retail shop that was made from bread crusts. Where do all the bread crusts go? From this single bread factory (shown on the slide), 13,000 bread crusts are dumped into the trash every day.

This food waste expert explained that in America, and other well-developed nations, grocery stores usually carried double the inventory it expected to sell. And, if you add in the food that is fed to livestock, there is up to quadruple the amount that is needed to feed the masses. In his further investigation of food waste, Stuart visited a farmer who was letting 16,000 pounds of spinach die because there were some blades of grass growing here and there. It was not suitable for market. It is quite common for farmers to throw out 1/3 to 1/2 half of their crops due to imperfect sizes, shapes or color that would be turned away at market.

In Europe, in 2001, feeding regular unprocessed food to livestock became illegal because of the foot and mouth disease epidemic. Because of the ban, soy has since become a major crop in South America. Due to the expansion of this commodity, forests are being cut down in places like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to grow soy. From 1965 to 2004 soy production rose from 29 to 200 million tons, most of which is used for livestock feed after the oil is extracted. For 9,000 years, pigs had been fed with the surplus food products and refuse that people did not eat. Presently, people throw away this human grade food by the ton every single day — and pay to have it hauled away to rot in landfills. Then, they buy pig food.

The Pig Idea was born from what Stuart had learned from the overwhelming food waste problem. He joined forces with other Londoners to create public awareness of food waste around the world with the hope that the animal food ban will be lifted. The idea is ecologically sound. Eliminating so much processed feed would save the planet about 20 times more carbon dioxide emissions. More of the rainforest in the Amazon would be saved, as not as much farmland would be needed. More farmers in Europe would be able to stay in business by saving the cost of the expensive grain they are forced to buy. The problem of the foot and mouth disease can be eliminated by cooking the food given to the pigs and chickens.

To bring awareness to this issue, Stuart and his colleagues — the hambassadors, seven of London’s best restaurants, and thousands of Londoners gathered in Trafalgar Square to enjoy over 5,000 portions of free food, including pork that had been raised on food that would have otherwise been wasted at The Pig Ideas’ Feast of 2013.

Stuart started studying food waste at the age of 15 when he raised pigs to supplement his income. He is a renowned author for his book “Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal,” and has won numerous and prestigious awards for his dedication to preserving the planet as well as the pigs.

GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission : By Amber E. Box

Be A Social Entrepreneur GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Be A Social Entrepreneur GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Want fresh, local-grown, organic food delivered straight to your door? It’s no longer a pipe-dream, and Good Eggs is the one to make it happen. The company, based in California, works to implement a socially conscious business model while providing farmer’s market quality food in the form of an online grocery store. How do they achieve all of this? With one really good mission: to grow and sustain local food systems worldwide. Good Eggs believes that their mission is so important, in fact, that they value it over their profits; the profits are considered a “byproduct” and an “enabler” of their mission. This mission, while quite simplistic, is actually pretty complex.

According to their website, a “local food system” is a one that supports and sustains local food growers and producers- everything involved with the process of providing fresh food from the gardeners to the butchers to the bakers. The product is a natural and healthier food source for 

consumers. But their mission extends far beyond this. By growing and sustaining these systems, they are helping to financially support these food producers as well as create new jobs in the agricultural industry. In addition, they promote sustainability and environmental awareness, which means they don’t use chemicals or unnecessary waste; by cutting down on the byproducts of the food industry, they are promoting a healthier planet as well as healthier consumers. Good Eggs also requires that the businesses they work with employ fair labor practices. And finally, the food that you buy is traceable back to the original source, which also helps to promote awareness and pride in the products being sold and being purchased.

An online grocery store isn’t exactly what you might think of when you think of a social entrepreneur. But when you add up everything about Good Eggs, it’s clear that they do everything that defines what a social entrepreneur is. Isn’t it about time you put some Good Eggs into your basket?

 

Have You Ever Taken a Chance in Life? by freefincal

I am a fan of actor Kevin Costner. I think he has taken pretty big career risks,pulled off some and failed in some, but has always stuck to his guns, which is admirable. He has even declared that if his stardom vanishes overnight, he can make a decent living with a blue collar job, because he is skilled.

I saw an YouTube interview yesterday in which he mentioned that, his father regretted never having taken a chance in life and having been in the same job all his life. Costner had to reassure him that he had been a good father who provided all he could for his family.

That set me thinking about my own life. Regular readers would be well aware that as an investor, I am pessimistic, cautious, and always keen to contain downside risk. It might surprise them, (as it did me!), that when it came to my career, I had repeatedly taken chances. Some driven by my heart- a refusal to do something that I don’t like, some was driven by my stupid self-belief.

I once gave up a lucrative contract in Germany because I felt home-sick. One part of me said I was committing career suicide (as did my mentors and many of my friends) and one part of me said, I can work in peace only when I happy.

After coming back home, I worked without pay for 4 months, when my employer took pity and created a makeshift position for me.

For the next 6-8 months, I did not look for any other job but put all my cards on a single job which I was desperate to get as it was the only one that appealed to me.

I got the job and completely changed my area of research. This is again considered professional suicide as it will take at least a couple of years to get published.

Though I was doing quite well, nearly two years later, positions for my dream job -one that involved teaching – was open.

There was fierce pressure from my current employer to prevent me from taking the interview. My father was fighting cancer and I was confined to the hospital taking care of him. I prepared for the interview from there.

Things got to such a point that there was the serious danger of losing both jobs – my current one and my dream job. My father urged me to take the chance. He said he believed in me and asked me to go for it.

The gamble paid off. I got the position but I went ahead and committed career suicide once again(!) by choosing to work in another entirely different research area.

While I did quite well on the teaching front, research was riddled with stumbling blocks. Thanks to some hard-working and spirited students, I was able to set up a decent laboratory.

After nearly a decade of doing this, I think I am all set to commit professional suicide once again! (Sorry can’t say more).

As mentioned above, some of the chances that I took was driven by my heart, and some by ridiculous self-belief that I could pull it off. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. In hindsight, considering my current circumstances, I am glad that I took those chances. Well, at least some of them!

Point of this rant

If you had a chance to take up a job that you truly love, will you take a chance and make an all-out effort to grab it? Even if it meant risking a cushy salary and perhaps your career in a particular area? Will you quit your well-paying job to become an entrepreneur?

I would probably vote, yes, but we will have to accept the consequences without too much regret.

Wealth creation or financial security has two components to it: Income and investing.

Investing is independent of how we earn an income. There are those who have taken some big chances with investing. I dont have the stomach for that. Perhaps because I am always doing stupid things to my “career”.

Income is a different ball game. We could earn from a job we truly love (in which case we wont worry about how much we make) or we could earn from a job we truly hate (in which case, all we care about is how much we make).

Sometimes the time window in which we could shift from a job we hate, to a job we love could be quite tight and narrow

Sometimes we will have to take a chance in life to achieve lasting change and happiness. Sometimes we will have to roll the dice and see how it pans out.

The regret of never having taken a chance could be greater than the consequences of having taken one.