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Don’t #Unplug From Technology

This is key: notifications are ambiguous. They no longer tell you what’s important, they simply inform you that there is something new to look at. Like the Pavlovian creatures that we are, we just can’t help but take a peek at what the message could mean.

Turn all app notifications off.  They are complete distractions.  Don’t worry, everything will be ok when you plug back in.   

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Plugging Out

90 percent of the data that now exists in the world has been created in just the last two years. From now until 2020, the digital universe is expected to double every two years. (link)

We’re getting close to knowing everything, being one touch away from Google and Wolfram Alpha.  The future portends mass knowledge but learning ignorance.

Computers are also data mining everything about us based on our online behavior, creating a tool that accurately predicts what things we should do and eat next.  

Serendipity, wonder, uncertainty:  these are the things that make life exciting.  I don’t want to know 100% what I’m doing next.  Automation is anti-human.  

The next significant human movement should fight predictive technology, especially as the government follows our every move

Man, always an animal with brains, never a machine.    

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Technology and art: Engineering the future

Today, in our connected world, almost everyone creates. Almost everyone participates.

With the internet and new technologies of fabrication, remixing, editing, manipulating and distributing, it is becoming easier to create things – and share them with the world.

What is changing and probably – arguably – for the worse is that it is now easier to create “art”, and we see a lot of “bad” art being created and exposed.

Everyone is an artist. The tools are cheap and accessible and anyone can promote their work online. Technology inspires creativity.

However, few digital artists actually make it into the galleries. This is primarily because everyone’s art looks the same. The hanging wire, the reflection off the puddle, the lonely person, the smiling kid, beautiful hills, sunrise, etc. All Instagram’s look similar because they tell the same stories.

Real artists stand out. They break the mold, seek difference. They ignore the masses and build something unseen. Unfortunately, most art gets appreciated years later, sometimes after the artist dies.

Technology democratizes art and marketing. It makes it too easy. The best art will continue to emerge from those that take it seriously and work to offer a unique perspective. Sameness destroys creativity.

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Spectator of your own Life

“The more you document your own life, the more you check in, you tweet, the more you post photos of what you did last night, the more you do all of this stuff, or even in my case, the more you listen for little lines of dialogue that can make their way into stories, the more you photograph moments, in a way, the more you start to step out of those moments, and if you do that too much, you become a spectator to your own life.” – Jonathan Harris

Life-streaming is addicting.  While we capture everything and broadcast it to fans and followers, we really miss the moment.  Memories can be googled but feelings are lost without concentrated experiences.     

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The right person. 

The right idea. 

The right product. 

The right time. 

The right market. 

MAGIC

(Fred Wilson)

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Resources and happiness: Why people are happy with simplicity

Simplicity is a virtue. 

The best products are the simplest to use, look the best, and make people happy.

Minimalism is an art form all by itself.  It can be achieved with heaps of resources and scant resources.

For example, Apple has access to unlimited resources but carefully chooses the best.  Steve Jobs rediscovered Gorilla Glass, which made iPhones unscratchable so users can carry their keys and iPhone in the same pocket. 

Meanwhile, the Danish people make the best out of what they have. They’re the happiest people in the world

 “Furniture was built to last because we couldn’t afford to go and buy another piece next year, and that idea is firmly planted in the heads of our designers.  Materials are treated with respect, and there is always a good reason for why a piece looks the way it does.”

Both Apple users and Danes love their products.  They are extremely satisfied. 

In conclusion, simplicity can be achieved through a function of being resourceful and appreciating the resources you have.  It’s all about removing clutter.     

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The Art of Catching Up

People usually talk about family first when they catch up.  The conversation then shifts to common interests in sports, music, books, or film.

Catching up is a lost art.  Facebook, Twitter, and email have all silenced communication.  We catch up but we don’t really ‘catch up.’

That’s why we’re often shocked when we run into someone that’s been keeping up with our life through our social streams.  They often go into scary detail like, “So, you win that jackpot in Vegas?” or “your wife is beautiful.”

You should always catch up with people you truly care about face to face and be cautious of the updates you disseminate to ‘friends’, people you know but don’t really keep up with. 

Conversation is flowing faster than ever.  We’re meeting new people ever day.  The abundance of communication is making the world smaller but our relationships less personal.  Catching up is scarce.  Make sure you catch up with the right people.