Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thoughts on Wisdom

"We do not receive wisdom. We must discover it ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, and which no one can spare us. For our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world."
~Marcel Proust

Our role in life, as teachers, friends and parents is not to spare our youth this journey. Rather, grant them fearless hearts able to embrace the journey, trusting themselves to come through better. Also, accept that they will change, and that we will love that person equally.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rocket Day

My son and I exploring rocketry, then me messing around with iMovie.

Possibly the first of many: both launches and dollars spent.












Friday, June 20, 2014

Freedom from "mistakes"

My thought of the morning: I don't think I believe in mistakes. The hedging quality reflects the newness of this notion. It's reflects a rather radical shift in my mind.

There's sloppy execution, then there's discovery.  Sloppy execution isn't a mistake, it's a lack of care and diligence. Clearly, more effort/better focused effort would've overcome the obstacles.

Accepting a challenge which doesn't go as expected isn't a mistake, either. We learn deeply from those moments. Amazing, cosmos shifting events resulted from unintended consequences.

I mustn't let my fear of mistakes paralyze me. This ruins so much joy, limits life's delights. I've seen this, up close and personally. And desire the removal of such life denying scripts from my psyche. Walking that path, slowly but surely, reaching that destination.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Limits Of Web Solutions

Today, one of the main sites I work out of is struggling with a DDOS attack. Well, it's actually been the past few days. This site tracks my workflow, and houses my to-do list. Being locked out has moved from annoyance to inconvenience to problem to serious issue.

This has me wonder, though: is technology really ready for "prime time"? For those of us who have shifted our calendars, tracking systems, CRM to the web, what is at risk? A relatively simply action can create significant paralysis.

To be clear, I'm not ready to abandon all my tech solutions and grab paper and binders yet. But I am considering what I can do, analog or otherwise, to be better able to react to these nuisances. There is no guarantee that any website will remain in business tomorrow. There are technological snafus. How do I minimize the risks inherent with going all-in with tech/web solutions? I'll be meditating on that for the next few days. 

Writing Media and Future Think

Talking with a friend, I see my writing has shifted solidly digital. I tend to create on a device, mostly my tablet, or my phone, then computer. I'll go weeks without touching my notebook.

I love the ability to edit, and unedit. There is a zen-like impermanence to this medium.  Changing things feels powerful.

On occasion, I wonder what historical research will be like. Probably an archeological dig through our data, sifting through millions of photos, notes and stories, aggregating our lives.

Strange combination of fluidity, impermanence and ageless data shall flow together into a richer understanding of who we were, collectively and individually.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Some thoughts on leadership

In Steven Covey's "Seven Habits..." book, he relates a story of a consulting gig. After asking "what's the best way to motivate..." some one spat out "hand-grenades".  Apparently a bit of a debate broke out. I've wondered what would say during that, and think I have my answer. "That's effective if your goal is to build a subservient fiefdom. If you're trying to build a dynamic team of effective contributors, this will fail gloriously."

In today's economy, a company of meandering automatons who only act directly upon orders is a recipe for failure. This is a blind bureaucracy. Any need for independent thought or action induces a fear based paralysis. These are non-agile orgs that cannot react nimbly. Their only strength comes from sheer mass. Most of the entities which remind effective do so because they command immense resources, enabling them to catch up with innovators...eventually. Or they just acquire them.

Many managers feel empowering their teams is some fluffy, sentimental fad. Sadly, some systems allow them to flounder in their ineffectiveness. They remain blind to the costs they craft, and to the opportunities squandered. Thus is the path of fear and brutality.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Prime Music

In case you missed the announcement, Amazon has launched Prime Music. As you can guess, Amazon is the latest tech animal to enter the online music fray. I downloaded the iPhone app last night and have been streaming music at my desk at work today. For now, the music selection is pretty small for the streaming service. As a heavy Spotify user, Amazon is not going to displace my current habits. Prime looks to be supplementing/feeding their mp3 download service. That's not where I am, at this point. Key phrase: at this point.

I fully expect that Amazon is "in it to win". They're fierce competitors, and I expect that they'll push this service further. Probably, there will come a point that Spotify's $9/mo service will seem redundant to my Prime membership fee. Then it will be tough. I'm not keen on giving too much control over my life to one vendor. However, I value my cash. Yeah; tough. Or, perhaps, Spotify will be bought by one of the big players and this will become a non-issue. Always in motion, the future.

Social Media: Work vs Magic

Magic. I've seen this idea many times, item X will "save us", " make us rich ", "make critics vanish", what have you. Looking to some tool as a savior, the proverbial " magic bullet"; all our problems will vanish. Nearly daily I see emails promising "Pinterist will make you rich", along with myriad, similar titles. Magic sells, but never returns on that investment.

Social media won't make you rich, make critics vanish, nor any issue disappear. No blog post, tweet nor Google+ share will, either. It's way these efforts are called campaigns. Regular posts, with thoughtful content, over several channels, and with engagement, interacting; that's how an audience is built. Gaining fans, then nurturing those relationships, that's the gift of social media.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MaydayPAC and Hope for Democracy

I am excited by this project: Mayday, creating a crowdsourced SuperPac to end all SuperPacs (SuperDuperPac?). I've long admired Larry's work, and also have been concerned by cash's influence in politics. For me, this has the potential to be a profound pivotal moment of the internet age and social media driven democracy. This coming Monday (June 16) at 8:00 pm EASTERN time, Mr. Lessig and Amanda Palmer will be hosting a video conversation that I expect will be very much worth your time. If I can at all make this work with my calendar, I will be online for this.

Update: Here's some recommended "pre-reading":  1) 2) 3)




My Writing's Evolution

Noticing my poetry's evolution. Once, my focus was flowing words, rich in descriptors, often verbose. Now, now I so often seek brevity. Driving to strip distraction, superfluous text, longing to grasp the core meaning, what lurks at the deepest recesses. Often I fail, but that hardly dissuades me. Much like Thoreau's failure to attain the rich independence alongside the pond, failure is no shame. To stretch, dream, depart from the norm and traditional, daring something new; the results never match the dream. Its always so much richer.

Grasping hold of dreams, daring to work them real, that's my newest focus. Seek out the new, the never-done daring deeds of the heart. To live fully engulfed within a creative vortex, fearlessly facing the winds, that is what I seek to build now.

My poetry is the focus of another site:

Http://questionsall.wordpress.com

I'll endeavor to post daily. Challenging, pushing myself forward, beyond the limits of fear.

Such is my dream.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Domain Extension - Welcome .Ninja!

As a martial artist, this speaks to me. But not in a real, usable way. It would be fun for a couple of types of sites. Anyway...behold, Dot Ninjia!




Monday, June 09, 2014

Girlhood & Culture

Why does our culture saddle girls with so much insecurity? Easier to manipulate and control, perhaps. I'm not buying the differential biology explanation for this. Looking at marketing directed at boys vs girls tells quite a bit of the story.

Yet I don't see a nefarious plot. Generations upon generations of behaviors feeding back upon each choice. These dream fed mindsets, layering upon each, acting from the depths, our mind's unaware. And here we are.

Slowly, as we bring each behavior into our awareness, we see the fallacies before us; leaving them in the dust of history. Wretched dreams of forgotten kings, dominations waving in the dusty, dry wind.

6/10 Update:

Came across this article that's correlated: "Tips: Raising Children to have Healthy Relationships with Food & Their Body." (~ Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld)

I shall work to keep from feeding this, destructive cycle for I adore the girls/women in my life.

Micropoetry

I'm glad I was able to contribute to this Twitter thread. I'll need to contribute more often.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Debbie Millman's Design Matters Podcast : Noah Brier

I've been following Ms. Millman for sometime and highly recommend her podcast: Design Matters. I'm quite deliberate about making time as soon as I see the update come through on my iPhone. This week she interviews Noah Brier. I remember messing around with his project Brand Tags some time back, though after the interview I see an deeper power to the site that I really hadn't considered before.

The most important takeaway: that we need to abandon the idea of controlling a brand's image and identity. We, as professionals, can clearly influence and effect perception, but "control"; no. He points out that, really, it's the fans, the public that really control, really own a brand. The interactions with customers, fans and critics all play a part in the identity. Reminds me of several discussions over the years where I say "we can't please everyone. We need to identify who our audience is, focus on them, accept that there will be some un-detractable critics, and move forward." Not everyone can become a superfan. The more popular a brand, or anything, becomes, the more critics rise. It's the way of things.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Thoughts About Stairs And Short-Shorts

On the ferry yesterday, my son and I were behind a young woman. While she walked up stairs, she was clearly uncomfortable in her very short-shorts. They were short enough that we could clearly see her lack of undergarments. Her discomfort manifested mainly by her continued pulling the edges of her shorts down. Ironically, that's what gathered my attention, this continuous motion.

I felt bad for her discomfort. And I wonder, as I'm want to do, how we found ourselves here. Why was she compelled to wear clothes that pushed her comfort levels? Was she trying to be more attractive? Was it an unconscious choice, or conscious only to see the challenges of this fashion (and resultant discomfort) too late?  

Of course, we live in as culture where women and girls are supposed to be sexy, but not too sexy. It's a strange and painful duality.