Talking about Singularity, and how some of Ray Kurzweil predictions are already coming true I found this research that developed a nanobot capable of mimicking the pancreatic activity and deliver insuline when glucose concentration increases in your blood. A shot of these nanobots could maintain your insuline in safe levels for up to 10 days. How awesome is that?
I bought this book a few years ago, while I was preparing for a presentation but only had a chance to skim over quickly to look for some inspiration. At that time I also bought the book Super Apresentações (Super Presentations), in Portuguese, and decided to invest the reading time on it instead.
After that, I have the opportunity of watching one of Garr’s outstanding presentations when I went to the Creativity World Forum 2011 in Hasselt, Belgium.
The inspiration from that presentation was long lasting, and last weekend I decided to invest the time to read Presentation Zen Design, and now that I’m done with it, I have to say that I just loved it and it really changed the way I perceive design. Not only presentation design, but any design. Garr makes an outstanding job in introducing all of the most important design aspects, ranging from color concepts to type and from focus to empty space usage.
The way Garr puts Japanese culture in perspective to teach you design and zen concepts is genial, making you fall in love with it all – Japanese Culture, Zen and Design – and start to look for all these concepts in all the designs you interface with.
One of the greatest concepts I took from the book, teaches you of the importante of empty space and simplicity of your design. As Garr puts it – “It is the empty space, also called negative space or white space, that makes the positive elements of a design stand out”. And that is so true!
I highly recommend this book. Actually, I think it should be a crime for anyone to operate any slideware software like PowerPoint or KeyNote without reading this book first. Too much suffering to the eyes are caused by those, like my past self, who lack the design foo and follow the bullet point approach and built-in template schemes for making a boring presentation.
And Finally, the Super Apresentações (Super Presentations) book is in part what Presentation Zen Design achieves, but with less zen and more of the other aspects of a presentation, that includes the preparation of the story, rehearsal, organization of content and finally some hints on design.
The book is in Portuguese, but it is very intuitive and I highly recommend for those who can read it. It can’t replace Presentation Zen Design, but it is definitely a great complement.
If you own a .com or .org domain, expect to receive one of these:
(Letter to Head of Brand Business or CEO, thanks) Dear Sir or Madam, This is a formal email. We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on May 14, 2013 that a company claimed "Rolf Industrial Co. Ltd" were applying to register "umitproject" as their Brand Name and some umitproject Asian countries top-level domain names through our firm. Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for "Rolf Industrial Co. Ltd". Looking forward to your prompt reply. Best Regards, Martin Yang Auditing Department Address:No.166 Huangshan Road,Hefei 230001,Anhui,China Tel: (+86) 739-5266069 Fax:(+86) 739-5266169 Website:http://www.dot-network.org.cn
- They say they are the “department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China“, but their website leads to a regular comercial domain registration site. Nothing there looks official or government regulated whatsoever. Heck! There is nothing written in chinese in the entire site! They’re surely, just yet another domain registration website.
- When a company wants to register a domain through this kind of websites, it is a matter of: searching the name, if it is available under that TLD you select it, give your credit card number and it is yours right away. No background checking. What domain site would do a background check, and deny domains for its clients? For one, background checks are expensive, for two if the background shows a name clash he would have lost the business!
- The email implies that they could register under the domain names I currently own. That is impossible.
I decided to reply saying that I own that domain and that I’m not interested in lending its use to anyone else. Then, I got this reply:
Dear Adriano, Thanks for your response.As soon as receiving the application of "Rolf Industrial Co. Ltd", we checked and found "umitproject" is your company name. We are concerned that your company name might be affected negatively by their application, this is why we informed you, But now "Rolf Industrial Co. Ltd" wanted to apply for other domain names and Brand Name you have not registered in China yet. following Brand Name and domain names are applied for by "Rolf Industrial Co. Ltd": Brand Name: umitproject Domain Names: umitproject.asia umitproject.cn umitproject.com.cn umitproject.org.cn umitproject.net.cn umitproject.com.tw umitproject.hk umitproject.com.hk umitproject.tw umitproject.in At present,the domain names and Brand Name registration are open in the world."Rolf Industrial Co. Ltd" also has the right to apply for the available domain names. For this reason "Rolf Industrial Co. Ltd" is also an licit applicant and we have no right to reject them. Your company only own the preferential right to register these names. At present, we haven't passed their application, we need your opinion. If your company consider these names of importance to your company's business or interest, I suggest that your company register these names first so as to avoid confusion or speculation. Of course, each company has their own idea. If you don't want to protect your intellectual property rights, then my suggestion is your company give up these names so that we can finish registering for them as per our duty. Please give me your company's decision as soon as possible in order to handle this issue better.Best Regards Martin Yang Auditing Department
Short book, easy and quick to read, goes briskly through american history recollecting all the low hanging fruits it ate that made America this great economy. The subtitle of the book suggests that the author, Tyler Cowen, will make a case that the fruit was the reason why it got sick. Not the case – Cowen goes on to explain why the lack of the low hanging fruits made it sick, and why it is taking a while to recover.
A technological plateau is the reason why we got sick – the pace of innovation have declined in quantity and quality, with less focus on the public benefit instead of private interests. The low hanging fruits were all the discoveries and innovations made by science that revolutionized the way people interacted, reducing distances and optimizing organizations. Now that all those fruits were collected, we’re struggling to come up with the next revolution that will really boost the economy.
Although the book makes some use of other studies to support its statements, I found that some important arguments are out there as if they came from author’s opinion rather than supported by thorough research. Considering the fact that it is a small fast paced book, that might have been one of the reasons why it turned out that direction, aiming at becoming more attractive to read to a bigger population – since it is short – than focusing only at the readers that care about references. Not a huge flaw, though, and doesn’t affect the pleasure of reading or the overall quality of the work and reasonings made by the author.
At the end, he cites the Cognitive Surplus‘ concepts as one of the positive trends that might lead us to recover, and I found it very interesting that this is the second book I read that have a reference that author (Clay Shirky) and the terms he coined.
Since the plateau is the reason why we got sick, this book’s suggestion is to praise and value the scientist, and points out that this profession isn’t nearly as regarded as it should, while other professions like Medicine, Law, Artists, Politicians and High Account Traders usually get the biggest focus from society even though they sometimes do not contribute as much as scientific breakthroughs.
Great book, recommend reading. Very short, simple and easy to understand, will give you a new perspective through which you’ll understand our current condition and economy.
There is great effervescence out there as people talk about how internet is revolutionizing the way people interact, consume information, create content, share informations and collaborate. Whether this revolution is good or bad, society is definitely never going to retreat to the old ways of a pre-internet world.
We’re left to deal with these changes, and this book does a great job in explaining the source and fundamentals of this revolution, going back in history a far as Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century to explain the societal revolution caused by the invention movable type printing and how the Internet has caused a similar revolution, yet more profound, by bringing the costs of publishing and sharing knowledge down to marginally zero.
This is where the term “Cognitive Surplus” comes from. Sharing knowledge have become so ridiculously inexpensive that this surplus is invading the internet, leveraging amazing feats like Wikipedia that could have never been leveraged before.
Outstanding work, helps you understand the profound changes this revolution still have on the works and how to benefit from it. One critic, though: the book goes on for almost its entirety laying the foundation for a somewhat convoluted and short conclusion (final chapter, about 30 pages) at the end. I wish the conclusion of the book could be as well elaborated as its other chapters. Having said that, I still think it is great book and definitely worth reading.
This is one of those complex big books, with lots and lots of technical details, hundreds of references and dozens of new words to your vocabulary. What some would call a book nightmare, this is certainly not the case. Albeit long, it was extremely well written, and once you get started you can’t stop it until is over. Ray Kurzweil is a futurist who have been devoting his life predicting the future, and his work in this book consists of a thorough elaboration on what is currently on the works for the future with impressive details on how he sees it unfold and it is guaranteed to blow your mind.
An uncommon term for the non geek and non mathematician, Singularity is described by Ray as the moment in our history where computers will achieve human level intelligence and quickly surpass it, taking an ever growing (exponential growth, by the way) part of our lives and eventually even becoming parts of us (if not the whole, really).
The book goes from the law of accelerating returns, to Space Exploration, Ethics, Robotics and strong AI with an in depth analysis of current and future Genetics and Nanotechnology, arguing that this revolution is just a few years away. For a fact, this book’s predictions are already growing outdated in some areas, as some of these ideas have just become true a couple years ago.
Failing no other future prediction, and in accordance with Arthur C. Clarke definition of future prediction work, Ray is been targeted by critics all around. I’m definitely skeptical on some of what he predicts that Singularity will ultimately become, but I believe he is going in the right direction and I certainly concur and anxiously await for the marvelous technological improvements to life that future awaits.
Masterpiece. This book certainly goes to the list of my top must reads. It is eye opening and it is guaranteed to make your mind blossom with ideas and possibilities for the future.
I’ve just begun practicing, and did some classes to learn proper bow handling, form, aiming and shooting. It may seem easy to shoot with a bow – after all, it is just a bow and an arrow! anyone could shoot with it – but it turns out that handling it properly isn’t as easy as it seems.
The Dominant Eye
A dominant eye is the eye which is preferred by your brain for seeing things, in a similar way that you have a preferred arm and hand for dealing with things.
The fact that your best hand is the right one, doesn’t mean that your best eye will be the right one as well, although that can happen, and the cross eyed archer is faced with a dilema: If you are left handed, but your dominant eye is the right one, then you’ll have to pull the string with your weakest arm! Same if you’re right handed but left eye is dominant.
If your dominant eye is opposed to your best hand, you need to respect the eye dominance even though by doing that you’ll be using your weakest arm. This is in order to allow bringing the tail of the arrow and the string closer to your dominant eye without twisting the limbs or the bow by dragging the string from the wrong side to the right side for aiming – considering that you’re respecting the eye dominance and hand dominance at the same time, provided that they’re opposite.
Before learning about bow shooting I’ve never heard about eye dominance before, and how that can affect your life. There is a book (I still need to review it) I read a while ago – Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass – that teaches you of the fact that nobody can walk an imaginary straight line without aid. Everyone is got a small deviation pattern that is only noticeable if you walk for several meters without visual aid. A person will tend to walk to his right, or his left, and that is the reason why when people are lost they tend to walk in circles.Eye dominance explains some of that deviation, and is definitely something you need to be aware off as much as you need to be aware of which of your arms is your strongest.
Form is key
Anyone who have never shot a bow think that it is just a matter of putting the arrow in position, pulling the string, putting the tip of the arrow where you want it to hit and let go off the string!
Well, at least that’s what I thought. There are dozens of variables involved in proper bow form that can influence your shooting in several different ways. After a while shooting, I asked the instructor why some of my arrows entered the target with some inclination (angle between target and arrow different than 90˚, like the illustration below).
It turns out that there are several reasons, that range from position of my pinky finger from the hand that hold the string to slightly twisting the string while pulling. These are mostly very tiny details that you hardly notice while shooting and can drastically affect the quality of your results.
Most things in life are just like that – small details can easily change the inclination of your arrow for the worse. For the things we can train, like bow shooting, it is easy to detect, correct and maintain good practice with all these details, but for those we can’t train or test as often, like sending men to Mars, we must pay extra attention, simulate, check and re-check before prime time. The most important thing is to learn to see the details, understand that it can affect your performance and be prompt to correct them for achieving a better and more consistent result.
Don’t forget to breath
Breathing is, IMHO, one of the most underestimated, most performed and poorly executed tasks we all do throughout our entire lives. When you first go shooting, you’ll certainly not even remember you breath. Some times you’ll breath twice, some times six and some times you’ll hold your breath throughout the process. After all, breathing is mostly an involuntary act and most of us only realize that we are breathing once in a while. This is total caos and no shooting consistency. You can improve all your activities through breathing, but that requires practice as well. Try to walk or jog keeping a consistent abdominal breath for no more than 100 yards and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
We take several other things for granted in life that affect our decision making process. We should become more aware of those things and learn how to control them for better while making decisions.
Don’t hold the string for too long
One thing you’ll definitely do is hold your string for several seconds, trying to place that tip of the arrow in the exact spot before letting go of the string. Oh, poor little fingers. Depending on the bow you’re using to shoot, you’ll be holding up to 60 pounds with only 3 fingers! Not only you’ll get your fingers hurt, but the muscles in your arms and back will begin to tremble and your arrow will twist or most likely loose the target completely.
Some times we try to do that in life – hold on to that arrow trying to put the tip at the perfect spot, but it turns out that you try and try, and it is never good enough. Then you begin to get weary, you can’t aim the tip as well as you could at the beginning because now you began to tremble, and then you just let go off it to then learn that you should have shot a long while ago and now you’ve missed the target. Professional shooters don’t hold the string any longer than a few seconds. During competition, an archer is got only 40 seconds to position himself, place the arrow in the bow, pull the string and shoot, and most of them do that in way less than that limit, to hit the bullseye every single time. For all the other things in life, specially for entrepreneurship, don’t hold on too long to your strings.
The tip of the arrow is not always pointing at the right place
Without any instruction, if you’re asked to shoot with a bow at the bullseye, you’re probably going to try to put the arrow in perspective with the target, with its tip in the middle of the bullseye. Then you release the arrow to find that it hit a totally different location in the target (if you hit the target at all).
Various elements affect your aiming, and you need to take it all into account if you’re to hit the bullseye. If you’re standing 3 feet away from the target, you’ll certainly hit it using this technique. But if you’re standing 18m away, you’ll be lucky if you hit the target at all. Although you added to the distance between the tip of the arrow and the target, the distance between your eye and the tip of the arrow is always going to be the same, and that changes the perspective of the tip projected on the target. The more distance you add, the greater the change. This is only one of the factors that may affect your aiming - we’re not even talking about wind (if shooting outdoors), bow poundage, arrow weight and composition, etc.
Entrepreneurs often disregard the distance between the tip of their arrows and the target, and shoot as if they were standing just 3 feet away, only to figure that their arrow completely missed the target. Fits this description all those products and services that are developed and brought to the market without being tailored to their users’ needs, failure to identify targeted users’ interest, pricing out of users’ range of perceived value, wrong timing of product release – too early, like Newton, or too late, like Windows Phone 8 -, etc.
We could certainly add a fith thing to the Chinese proverb that says “Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity”, and that thing is a product release. If you don’t carefully examine what you’re shooting at and the surrounding variables, you must consider yourself lucky if you actually hit the target.
Do not underestimate practice. You could read dozens of archery books, watch hours of videos and all that won’t replace actual practice. No book or video will make you feel the weight of the string or simulate the vision you have while aiming in real life. Practice makes perfect, and that is true for everything we do.
I recently reviewed a book that cites the conclusion of several studies that the average time a human being needs to practice before mastering a subject is about 10.000 hours, and the author examines the lives of several well known modern geniuses (like Bill Gates, The Beetles and Bill Joy) and the time they spent mastering what they do before their first breakthrough. Practicing for so long isn’t cheap neither it is easy, but not all things we do in life need to be mastered to that level and those who do and you take the time to master will return outstanding results.
You must pull your own arrows from the target
Archery is not like soccer, where for all balls you kick out of bounds there will be a ball boy to catch it and throw it back for you.
You are in charge of pulling all the arrows you shot at the target – or somewhere else if you missed it. The excitement of shooting and learning will make this act feel boring, and pulling becomes a constant repetition where you need to place your bow in a stand, walk several meters, pull every arrow from the target, walk several meters back to where you’re shooting and then start all over again.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had an arrow boy? It turns out that pulling the arrows is a great opportunity to get really close to the target and see for how much you missed the bullseye and in which direction, count your points precisely and learn how you improved you aim from previous shots which marks are still present in the target. This is where the archer have a chance to learn and improve.
In business, you have to get closer to your targeted public and learn how you’re performing with each product, and keep adapting your aim until you get it right. It doesn’t matter if you miss the bullseye or even the target at the beginning, as long as you’re willing to walk those meters to pull those arrows by yourself, walk back to your shooting place, fix the aim with what you learned and shoot again. Get in touch with your customers, use your own products and services as much as you can and be open to receive suggestions and critics. Ponder it all, fix that aim and shoot again!
Now, thinking about soccer… Maybe they should go get their balls themselves too!
Creating a personal blog seems to be some sort of rite of passage that most internet users have gone through. Keeping up with it, is yet another rite that only a very small percentage of them manage to pass. I am still trying to keep that up, and I have to admit that it is challenging to create the habit to post relevant content often.
This is where this book comes in handy – it takes you by the hand and gives awesome ideas on how to elaborate interesting content and keep up with your blog, podcasts, videos and more. Although I went through it from start to end, I’d suggest it more as a reference, since it gives so many ideas about so many different topics and you’re not always interested in all of them (you might be looking at creating just a blog, not a webinar, for example).
Thumbs up for this book, and I recommend reading if you’re looking for inspiration to go through the second rite of passage, which is to make your blog relevant and keeping up with it.
Written with a content focus similar to The World is Flat 3.0, this book does a great job at explaining the internet potential for leveraging outstanding feats through its users current un-organized social behavior.
This subject isn’t new, but it is far from irrelevant – we live in a world where change is promoted through inexpensive clicks, revolutions are started on social networks and businesses rises and fall with customer reactions on social networks.
Great book, and I recommend reading it. And if you’re up to do it, you should also consider reading the most recent book from same author – Cognitive Surplus, where you’ll understand more on the underlaying changes that helped create this cultural condition.