The Circuit


How to read minds

Post-GSA's spending scandal, the last thing one would expect is a mind reader as entertainment at an event attended by feds. But that’s exactly what happened at the Management of Change conference June 5 when Robert Priest, a self-proclaimed mind reader and former Army PSYOPS trained practitioner, gave a presentation on how to hack a mind.

“I don’t do anything with the spirits or the occult, I’m not the son of a gypsy witch and I haven’t been struck by lightning,” Priest told the audience as ways of introducing himself.

Using his background in psychology and something called “mind scripting,” Priest put on a show that rivaled any other illusionist’s. But the secret to his seeming clairvoyance was a background in neurolinguistic programming and use of psychological principles. Priest made no secret about that his craft was something everyone could learn if they invested the time, adding jokingly it took him 20 years in the Army to develop his skills.

But for those uninitiated, it seemed almost like magic.

To kick off his show, Priest used Zener cards, the well-known psychic test developed in the 1930s. Each of those cards display different sign: a circle, a plus sign, a square and a star. He asked the audience members to think about one of those signs, “whatever you feel drawn to,” he said. (Yours truly chose the star.)

When he asked how many picked the square, only a few of the audience members raised their hands. “Maybe 2 percent,” Priest estimated.

“I find that those who pick the square are intelligent and decisive,” he said, flipping over the card with the square to show that the back of it said “intelligent and decisive” in capital letters.

Next, he asked how many picked the plus sign and only a few audience members indicated they had done so. “About 6 percent,” Priest said.

“The plus-sign people tend to be creative and ambitious,” he said, showing that the back of the card stated the two adjectives.

As he moved onto the next sign, an equally small percentage of audience members revealed they had picked the circle. People who choose that sign tend to be flexible, Priest said.

With the last card in hand, it became obvious that most audience members had picked the star. And it also became obvious that Priest had known they would. Printed on the back of the card, the purported personality traits of people who gravitate toward the star, was: “Drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll!”

 

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jun 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments


How political nominees can win over a Senate committee

Joe Jordan may have found the secret to winning over a Senate committee at a confirmation hearing.

A 10-month-old son and a snack pack of Cheerios suitable for feeding to the boy.

Jordan, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, sat down May 9 in front of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee at his confirmation hearing to answer questions about acquisition and his views of how the government should proceed with contracting policies.

Turns out though, his son Carter was the star of the show, Jordan said in an interview June 5 with Federal Computer Week.

“While it was probably my 11th or 12th congressional testimony, I will say that, other than the great questions the senators asked, the one thing I would take out of it is that I should definitely invite my son to any future hearings,” he said.

Carter warmed the hearts of a number of committee members. And in an unexpectedly quick turn of events, the Senate confirmed him May 24, barely more than two weeks after the hearing. Their hearts may still have been warm.

From that hearing though, Jordan learned that he needs two key items in every future hearing:

“My briefing binder and a little thing of Cheerios,” he said.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jun 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments


ACT-IAC elects new leadership

One of the area’s largest government IT industry groups will see some new faces starting July 1 when a brand-new leadership is slated to take office.

The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council announced on June 5 the election results for the ACT Executive Committee and the IAC Executive Committee at Management of Change conference in Cambridge, Md.

Darren Ash, CIO at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will become ACT president July 1, 2012, and Rick Holgate, CIO at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, will serve as executive vice president. He'll step into his role as ACT president July 1, 2013.

New to the ACT Executive Committee are Mike Howell, Amy Northcutt and Keith Trippie. Current members re-elected for a second term include Jonathan Alboum, Steve Elky, Margie Janney and John Teeter. They join current members Deborah Diaz, Adrian Gardner, Darlene Meskell, Rory Schultz, Pete Tseronis and Kathleen Turco.

Current ACT President Mary Davie remains on the executive committee as immediate past president.

In accordance with the IAC bylaws, Dale Luddeke (TASC) becomes IAC chair July 1, 2012. Jim Williams (Daon) was elected as executive vice chair and will become the IAC chair July 1, 2013. Bob Suda (Suda and Associates) was elected as vice chair for finance while Judy Douglas (HP), Sherry Weir (Kearney & Company), Dan Chenok (IBM) and Mitzi Mead (Accela Consulting) were chosen as vice chairs at large.

Remaining on the IAC Executive Committee are Vice Chairs at Large Wayne Davis (CenturyLink), Ira Hobbs (Hobbs & Hobbs), Joel Horwitz (VMD Systems Integrators), Carol Miller (Mackson Consulting), Andrew McLauchlin (CGI) and Mike Mullen (Deep Water Point). Outgoing IAC Chair Jim Beaupre (JB Federal Consulting) stays on the Executive Committee until 2013 as immediate past chair.

Executive Committee members Kathleen Cowles (LGS Innovations), Ed Meagher (SRA), John Okay (J.L. Okay Consulting), and Jeff Shen (Red Team Consulting) have now completed their terms. 

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jun 05, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments