It's what you think it is.
Here is a really good presentation from Chris Guillebeau about fear and permission. Fear is a useful tool for survival. But it is worthless as a tool for providing purpose or inspiration. I am making a list of my dreams and my fears. Then I plan to overcome them one by one next year.
Tim Ferris also has good advice on this subject. Tim suggests that you visualize the worst case scenario, then make detailed plans to avoid it. Also plan out how much you will have to do to recover from it; if it actually happens (which is unlikely).
One of my dreams has been to sail around the world. I haven’t done it because of fears that are unidentified and likely unjustified. I am going to try to fix this fear bug in my lifestyle design next year. Then I will make an even scarier list.
I am currently participating in the NaNoWriMo project, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a yearly event where writers from around the world each attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript in one month.
It happens every November and it’s like a marathon race for writers. Check your local area and you will likely meet some interesting people taking the plunge.
I consider myself to be new writer at the lowest level. Which is to say that I am not published and I have never written much fiction before. But I admire writers and would like to become one some day.
I have found that no matter what the project is; it starts out as a writing project. Whether your building a website, starting a business plan, planing a trip, or producing a movie; someone will be required to write out a plan or scope of work.
This document needs to capture in as few words as possible everything that the project will become. Most of us think about reality through a prism of stories. Learning how tell stories effectively is a very useful skill and it’s fun.
If you (my future readers) have any tips on good storytelling tools or techniques, please include them in the comments section of this post. I will be adding more posts about storytelling soon.
I am in the process of losing about 25 lbs. over the next three months. Yeah, pretty cliche right? But I was motivated by the sight of my weight on the grocery scale near my house. So I decided to use that image as an information visual and reminder of my goal.
I took a photo of my current weight and then edited it to show where I will be in three months time. It turned out pretty good and I am now using this as my desktop wallpaper to remind me of my goal and to track my progress. I hope to apply this method of goal setting and milestone tracking through information visuals for other project in the future.
My dad always said that it is important to keep you motivational reminders in front of you as you go about working toward goals, otherwise it’s easy to loose focus. So I am in the process of writing down other goals. I hope that I will have as much fun designing reminders of them and methods to track the progress I make.
I just finished watching Wall Street 2 and it blows rotten milky chunks. I feel really bad for the director because he seems like the kind of guy who would care. But the first Wall Street was a seminal accomplishment and he has a few other movies to fall back on. The reason it sucked (for me) was that the plot was weak and generic.
For example, Old Boomer gets out of prison and no one is there to pick him up. His daughter hates him because he never had time for the family. The Josh Brolin characted is a “New Boss same as the Old Boss” cheesy, 2-dimensional, nihilist, broker dick. (who races road bikes and collects pretentious artwork) Charlie Sheen makes a cameo but adds nothing to the movie (other than all the loyal fans from WS1) ((CS got hosed))
They throw in a ton of pop-philosophy about how the rich eat the poor and how stuped we all arr for bailing out the banks. (Like we had a choice) Then it ends on a discord displaying how our political/financial system is firmly invested in delusional profits fueled buy idiots living on main street. Then the movie ends and offers no solutions. And the credits roll for half an hour, like some sort of apology to the crew for the shitty plot.
I few years ago I read a book about a guy who wrote letters to all kinds of people that he had never met. It was used in the book as a premise for the rest of the plot and I never finished the book but I remember it because he was able to get lots of really cool results from writing simple letters. I have decided to try to write letters myself.
I am not sure what the goal of this new project is but it has something to do with discovering the medium of letter writing as if it were something new. I will start out with one letter each week and then work up to one letter per day. These letters can be as small as a postcard or as lengthy as a few pages. I will write to authors, politicians, family, friends, and complete strangers. I will ask them to write back or to consider things.
I will read books about other people through time who also wrote letters. Maybe I will take an interest in stamps, now that I will be buying them in bulk. I will probably draw the attention of my mailman, who I never think about until I get a package from Amazon or Digikey. Did you know that post offices are going out of business?
I have been thinking about what makes social networks valuable. For example, Facebook was recently valued at $9 Billion dollars and Twitter at around $1 Billion. But what have either of these companies really produced?
So the software is not the product; but we are. Our personal information is what makes these networks valuable. We are like millions of individual treasuries minting our uniquely valued information for trade in their closed system. But we don’t own any of the system.
We exchange personal information and gain access to other people’s personal information. But the information stays in the network and the creator of the information is not allowed to take the information with them when they leave.
The other dimension of this new currency exchange is the “time value of personal information”. In other words, what will your twitter posts be worth ten years from now? to whom? for what purpose?
Your kids will interview for a job with an employerer who has access to everything they ever published on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Are you ready to live in an open source world, with delayed omniscience and no ability to forget? Can you afford not to if everyone else buys in? Is your information more valuable unpublished? To whom?
What opportunities are available in this new economy that don’t involve creating more logins, walled gardens, advertising schemes or freemium social network loops?
I am trying to plan out my adventures for the year and would like not to start from scratch. So I went to Google Calendar looking for a public events calendar (SXSW, Burning Man, Sapporo Ice Festival, NOLA Jazz Fest, etc.) and found nothing.
Google Calendar has a public events import feature but almost no content. So I thought to myself, why? Are event planners purposely trying to dissuade randos (random attendees) or are they just not informed?
I am hoping that it is the later more than the former. I am interested in developing a new project to solve this content vacuum in the public events calendar space. Anyone interested in helping me, let me know.
I have been working in the solar energy business for about 3 years now and it seems that almost everyone I talk to is interested in “going solar” but most feel that they just can’t afford it. Solar installations often cost thousands of dollars and people aren’t sure if they will stay in the home long enough to get it payed off.
Yet, renewable energy is all around us and equally available to everyone. The food we grow is a form of renewable energy. (photosynthesis). The challenge is how do we collect this energy in a method that anyone can afford. I feel that there are some great projects out there to “open source” renewable energy and reduce the upfront cost.
Solar power is becoming a commodity like rice, corn and other naturally produced resources. Why can’t we teach people how to harvest their own solar energy, instead of pricing them out of the market with centralized manufacturing models?
Here are some examples of how you can make your own solar collectors. Let’s make renewable energy as widely available as food and water.
Solar Pex Collector
Solar Thermal Controller (Linux Based)
Welcome to DzNodes.
A blog about anything and everything.
I will try not to blather on and on about random thoughts and such. But if I see something interesting or have an opinion on a subject in the news, this is a good place for me to post it.
I will try to keep my updates short, sharp and to the point. Also, I would really like to hear from you.