click – consume internet responsibly

Dear internet cohabitants,
Please watch this talk about how what we view on the web influences and forms it, and try to click / choose your daily consumption on the internet more responsibly.
Below I added, in my view, some alternatives for a smarter / more intelligent content that can also be entertaining – of course these are some of my personal pickings, the web is full of ignorance as it is of awareness and actual useful information / content.

Here are some alternatives, most also have Facebook pages, twitter accounts and some YouTube channels:

TED talks (and TEDx and other satellites)
Some TEDx videos are more local and thus sometimes difficult to appreciate the filtering of relevancy and degree of subjectiveness / specially in the life experience talks, but even those are perspectives worthy of consideration.
The mothership, the “TED talks” , are much as I’ve seen just brilliant people worthy of your attention and consideration. Really Ideas worth spreading.

TED is a platform for ideas worth spreading. Started in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, TED today shares ideas from a broad spectrum — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independent TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

ted.com

Big Think
They have a YouTube Chanel with many scientists and professors / “experts” invited, some subjective perspectives of philosophers too – but perspectives worth considering.

About page excerpt:

“In our digital age, we’re drowning in information. The web offers us infinite data points—news stories, tweets, wikis, status updates, etc—but very little to connect the dots or illuminate the larger patterns linking them together. Here at Big Think, we believe that success in the future is about knowing the ideas that allow you to manage and master this universe of information. Therefore, we aim to help you move above and beyond random information, toward real knowledge, offering big ideas from fields outside your own that you can apply toward the questions and challenges in your own life.

Every idea on Big Think comes from our ever-growing network of 2,000 Big Think fellows and guest speakers, who comprise the top thinkers and doers from around the globe.”

bigthink.com

The RSA

“The RSA’s mission is to enrich society through ideas and action.

We believe that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment.”

You surely know at least one of their RSA animate videos, they have lots.

“The RSA Animate series is an innovative way of sharing world-changing ideas. All audio is taken from the RSA’s free events programme, and all animations are created by Cognitive Media.”

thersa.org
youtube.com/user/theRSAorg

New Scientist

New Scientist is a world leading science and technology brand, covering the big ideas and developments from all areas of science and technology through a respected and influential weekly magazine and widely read website. Offering the latest news, ideas and opinions, New Scientist is an authoritative voice on all matters related to science, technology and the ideas improving our knowledge of the universe and those shaping our world and lives.

http://www.newscientist.com

The School of Life
We don’t have to keep making the same mistakes.

The School of Life is a place that tries to answer the great questions of life with the help of culture. It’s based here online and in 10 physical hubs around the world, including London, Melbourne, Istanbul and Seoul.

Brain Pickings
See the About page for info. Briefly:

“[…] a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.

Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012.”

brainpickings.org

Wait! but why?
Title says enough. See the wait but who page. Quite brilliant perspectives I’d say.
waitbutwhy.com

SciShow, Crash Course and others – YouTube channel

“SciShow discusses science news and history and concepts.

With equal parts skepticism and enthusiasm, we go a little deeper…without going off the deep end.

Most of the time, anyway.”

youtube.com/user/scishow/videos

They are also making the Crash Course YouTube channel and others, relevant education and just information has never been so accessible much as i see it.

Quora – virtual Agora

“Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.” (wikipedia descriotion)

This is awesome, you can find answers to any questions from people who had direct experience with what ever you want to know, the most relevant answers are voted up so you’ll know which ones are really worth reading. Want to know what is it like to survive, to fail, to face any kind of challenge, how something works, or validate an hypothesis, or anything really – among the users are scientists, journalists, writers, philosophers, doctors, government folks, experts from any domain really – from all over the world; it’s a virtual Agora and you can set your interest and get an e-mail with what interesting questions had been asked / answered previous week, you can ask your own questions, follow any question, it’s simply brilliant and an unlimited source of insightfulness from the consciousness of the world : )
Sometimes i find more very intriguing perspectives at the time, it’s the world as it should be.

quora.com

The Brain Scoop – YouTube channel

“I’m Emily, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago, former volunteer of the University of Montana Zoological Museum, and I’d like to share some of the amazing things we have in the collection with the Internet!”

youtube.com/user/thebrainscoop/featured

[Ve]ritasium – YouTube channel

“Veritasium is a science video blog featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science.”

youtube.com/user/1veritasium/featured

Shots of Awe – YouTube chanel
A more experimental and subjective perspective but mostly inspiring and enthusiastic views:

“Ever ponder the miracle of life? Or perhaps wonder about the evolution of intelligence? In Shots of Awe, “Performance Philosopher” Jason Silva chases his inspiration addiction as he explores these topics and more.”

youtube.com/channel/UClYb9NpXnRemxYoWbcYANsA

Of-course, there are more, but these are most frequent for me it seems.

Also, in romanian, there’s Iv Cel Naiv, bringing you romanticised / serene views of life in verse. And the even more brilliant part is that the replies are also in verse as it becomes a place for thinking and seeing the world trough a serene – verses-build lens. I’m sure there are such places in English and other languages too, if not – then it means that there’s room for new beginnings.

“un om căra în spate / un dram de seninătate //”

ivcelnaiv.ro

role models

I’ve disabled my Facebook account a few times by now. And each time I came back, eventually, I got back to re-posting some things that I thought/think that are perspectives worth sharing. This brought me to the realisation of how important it is to ponder on who influenced you, who’ve been your so to say role-models. And out of a wide list here are the ones that are world wide accessible and with the lesser subjectivity embedment.

Models

My favourite: Carl Sagan – bringing about our context in Cosmos, how we’re all made of star-stuff – “a way of the cosmos to know itself”. Then the bunch of them: Steve Jobs about how life is not a set of walls which imposes us what to do – and try not to bump into them and that we can change / improve it because there are some pretty messed-up things in the world; there’s Don Tapscott highlighting the incentive of collaboration – sharing and transparency in this current era of communication which he so wonderfully encourages us to work together like the birds do in their murmuration phenomenon – calling it the murmuration era; there’s Gandhi setting himself as example for non-violence and encouraging us to be the change we want to see in the world, there’s Einstein that forever enhances the disinfecting light in our views reminding us how everything is relative – advising the regard to truth above all no matter if it concerns big or small issues – making it further more easy to realise the more perspectives not just conceptually – imaginary – philosophically but physically – scientifically; there’s also Socrates and Plato which, spite of some deprecated points of view which held us back for quite some time – they also helped us advance until one point – the story of the cave still helps us understand ignorance and ignorant behaviour which unfortunately will always be around; there’s Albert Ellis bringing about how we should realise that things are not necessarily bad but it’s often us that interpret it that way – suggesting, besides that it just might be us that over-blow the interpretation of a situation, to also regard how we react and affect the situation – to become aware of our own cognitive behaviour and of potential irrationality it may be field by; there’s Brené Brown which reminds us of empathy and tells of the importance of embracing vulnerability and of the trials that shame can bring and the armour that we tend to build because of it and how that can make us resort to sympathy rather then empathy and how different these two notions can be; there’s the Buddha which we find in a sutta describing “the middle way as a path of moderation, between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification, this, according to him, was the path of wisdom” suggesting to use this mindset onwards in the eightfold-path towards equanimity and an unbiassed – up-straight and mindful appreciation and relation with everything; there’s David Attenborough that made me feel like I visited and discovered the wondrous and divers nature around the world by strolling alongside him trough the jungles and the lands and trough the deeps of the waters – seeing how it all exists, some of it stopped existing, how it became and evolved and also how we affect it; there’s Charles Darwin who so patiently brought us the evidence of our evolution and the foundation to which science added so many of the puzzles of how we came to be; there’s also Richard Feynman who reminds us of the beauty that science enhances about the world and not subtracts it and that it’s ok that we don’t know everything yet – that we’ll learn the truth by being opened in discovering nature and the universe as it is and not by expecting it to be in a certain way or another – that there’s no reason to be afraid of not having a purpose given in the universe; and so many more in different fields like Ellen Lupton reminding of the importance of typography and realising the rules and braking them in need “from a perspective of knowledge and not ignorance”, John Lennon who reminds me I’m not the only dreamer and it stops being a dream once it’s a shared purpose – “so I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one”; and the list goes on: Charlie Chaplin, Michio Kaku, Ann Druyan, James Randy, Alan Watts, Sebastião Salgado and more subjective influences like writers / artists and such. Obviously all these people did / said / wrote more then I so briefly mentioned above, I just tried to set a sample of the awesome perspectives they borough and the magic i found in them.

These are people that had done, said or written things that had an influence upon me, that made me consider new points of view or changed existing points of view from the foundation of my belief system.
I’ll try to add a sample in video for most of them:

forget me nots ep. 7 ~ finish what you started

There’s an enthusiasm about new starts – most of the times – I imagine. I remember for my self a joy and serenity in the possibilities that I could see in a new start, be it small or big, professional or personal.
Sometimes those possibilities seam like a huge projection, sometimes I suppose they are. Maybe sometimes specifically because it is a huge projection it gets so bitter when you fail to nourish that projection and the value that it had or could have had.
A feeling of shame can follow, resent, maybe loss of confidence, vulnerability… All of these are things we’ve learned to stay away from, block as much as possible. A survival of the fittest instinct makes us detect these as enemies and apparently we reject the source entirely. We’ve grown skeptic in a way, so much so that we hesitate to believe easily, we fear we’ll make a mistake and be vulnerable again, we fear it’ll be foolish or that others will think we’re foolish and we might loose more then there might be to gain.
So… probably denial or a weird state of tranquility in which we try to focus on something else, preferably something that will help us grow, in this world that promotes the strongest, in this soup à la Darwin, which is totally understandable actually.
Then, I suppose there are other reasons also, less dramatic or melodramatic. Reasons that get us sometimes to not be keen in continuing something, or to realise there’s no sense in continuing something. Sometimes we just don’t know how to continue something, perhaps overwhelmed, perhaps frightened, perhaps bored, perhaps eager to do something else, to find, learn and understand new things, new places. What ever the reasons, one can sometimes leave unfinished things on a shelve with the thought that it’ll be taken care of later or sometime, or by someone else or by itself.

I’m not proud to admit I save several such things on a shelve. And this series is one of them, ironically enough the last episode that I had announced, more then two years ago, had this title set then. I knew.
I realise sometimes it’s difficult to finish some things. But I reckon is better to stay away from developing a habit to not finish things.

A song I love has between the lyrics: “every new beginning comes form some other beginning’s end” (Semisonic – Closing time). While not EVERY new beginning HAS to come from some other beginning’s end, my realisation is that if you don’t really finish something, that possible new beginning might be getting just a part of what you could offer in your attempt to make the most of it, to value it as you might have hoped or projected at one point.

I recommend you check your shelves or perhaps clean your closet sounds more familiar. It can be liberating, sometimes at least. It could be a closure you never had or never offered to someone, an unfinished ensemble of a miniature airplane model, a project, a confession… whatever it is, it can retain un unfinished part of your self. If you’ve realised it’s best unfinished, make it official and leave the shelf free. You might use some more space for things you’re currently focused on, or would probably feel better to change the label by removing the ‘un’ prefix.

forget me nots ep.6 ~ begin! be there!

I’ve finally begun writing this post. It’s about a year later then I would have liked it to be and I’m not proud of it. It’s been all sorts of stuff keeping me from doing it. I suppose procrastination is one of them. Ever since I’ve learned about this word ‘procrastination’ I’ve managed on one hand to realize the damage it can do, and sadly it has done, and on the other hand I’ve recognized the.. sometimes meditative – sometimes creative results that followed it.

I find meditation and creativity to be some of the most important things that can better and shape our lives. But another such important thing is action. I’m comming to believe that with out it, meditation and creativity are.. meaningless. But that’s another talk.

Although the time was productive, creative, inspiring, insightfull, informative, energizing in a tired moment; I often remember there was something else I said to my self (and possibly others) that I would do.

It’s not the things I’m obliged to do for someone else, the kind of things you’d find in a contract or agreement. I’m trying to be as prompt as I can with those. But it’s the personal things.. something I want to do, planned to, maybe even dreamed of doing, maybe something I realized I should do or promised my self that I would do..

In a way the contracts and official agreements can get to be an easy excuse for procrastination. Some could tend to forget that, as it is for most, contracted effort usually has a personal scope that is not written in the contract / agreement. Such would be the paradox of working so hard to have money to do what ever you want that it takes ones time and energy so that one doesn’t get to do anything else but work. I hope that’s not a common situation.

It seams starting means trying.. I’m not sure what’s really keeping us from trying.. the fear of failure, of the shame of failure, the vulnerability of the exposure..

What ever it is, I’ve started to realize the importance of trying. By trying I can find the value in it or the flaws of it, I can gain the benefit or learn the lesson it can bring.. I only have to lose by remaining hung-up with anything. Sure it’s good to prepare, investigate, ask for advice or more perspectives, but don’t get stuck. Triying can help you even if you fail, you’ll benefit from the experience in your next try and will be able to move to the next thing.

Think I’ll learn more from sharing these thoughts then keeping them for my self. Even without feedback, I seam to come back to what I write in here with a more objective perspective second or third time around.. although outside thoughts are way more productive. Add a title “personal” to the comment if you want to share an unpublished thought (all comments are moderated).
Thanks for your patience if you’ve made it so far.

forget me nots ep.5 – find & mind the extremes

I would like to use Buddha’s learnings. (extracted from Popular Deities of Chinese Buddhism)
The Buddha asked a monk who was reciting a sutra:

‘How did you find it when the strings were too loose?
No sound is possible. was the reply.
How when the strings were too tight?
They crack.
How when they were neither too tight nor too loose?
Every note sounds in its proper tone.’

In this sense the title of the post is referring to the middle way path. This middle way path is left for interpretation because people have different notions of extremes. If you’re not sure which would be the middle way, consider what would be the extremes of your situations. Then consider the actions which would most likely not get you anywhere near the negative extreme. Also start to ask if the positive extreme is not deluded, if it’s healthy or if it’s actually what you want.

It’s known that most things are more enjoyable when done occasionally then say every day or several times a day. That is because with most of the things it starts to be a routine and new interesting things in contrast to routine interesting things are usually more appreciated. Staying off for a while – missing the activity, you build anticipation and that then leads to enjoying the next experience in a more full minded way.

Still this perspective can lead in another extreme. So many times when people try to stay away from an extreme, they tend to go to another extreme, it seams some people have binary consciousness, I guess it’s easier to identify extremes, specially negative ones, because these are most popularized (unfortunately).

Update:

“Middle Path” may be misunderstood as equivocal. In fact Buddhism is not as such. “Middle” means neutral, upright, and centered. It means to investigate and penetrate the core of life and all things with an upright, unbiased attitude. In order to solve a problem, we should position ourselves on neutral, upright and unbiased ground. We investigate the problem from various angles, analyze the findings, understand the truth thoroughly, and find a reasonable conclusion.

Buddhism – The Middle Path

Update2. Actually do look at this possible positive extreme, you might find it is what you want, it’s healthy to want the best for your self and others thus this positive extreme is worth exploring to the maximum, that is probably where we all want to get, and we all deserve it. Do mind the delusion but mind it in a sense where you realize difficulties and get prepared, many or most things, like Rome, are not build in a day (or easily).

forget me nots ep.4 ~ don’t hurry! take the time!

Last episode I mentioned extremes and, ironically, this title could head you on a slippery path that could diverge you to one of these extremes, the one where – if you take too much time – you could end up loosing time – chances.
It’s true, you can slip on this path, but for some people – me included, it’s a path worth considering. But I am aware or try to keep awareness of the slipperiness of it, actually I’ll have some episodes about extremes. This gives me the occasion to announce the next episodes:

– Forget Me Nots Ep. 5 ~  Find & mind the extremes!

– Forget Me Nots Ep. 6 ~ Begin! Be there!

– Forget Me Nots Ep. 7 ~ Finish what you started!

But back to taking our time. Sometimes, some people seem to be doing things just to get over with them. This attitude sometimes comes after loosing enthusiasm or when enthusiasm is for something else and thus your head is drifting from what you are doing, often resulting in pour results.. Sometimes we get to some tasks in life, be them professional or not – but I suppose they are mostly professional, which we just want to get over with, fast.
In a way, if there’s no enthusiasm then that thing is not of importance to you and I can relate to that, unfortunately. But mind you that you are never the less responsible for it, it too will be your recommendation, the reflection of your abilities, a part of your evolution, it will be regarded as one of your approved – finished.. whatever it is. So don’t hurry too much on whatever you loose enthusiasm or have no enthusiasm for but are doing never the less.
But even with enthusiasm, because of the enthusiasm some tend to get all excited and an up-beat rhythm, sometimes the thrill of it can distract from paying attention to details; and sometimes important such details can make the difference between a winner or a deal-beaker. Unfortunate how some people don’t have the patience – don’t take the time, due to enthusiasm, to consider context, momentum, and sometimes miss out on great potential. If only we would realise and exercise  more patience and awareness for details,  and aknowledge the ease in wich enthusiastm can make us impulsive.

forget me nots ep3 ~ proofreading, proofreading, proofreading

This is a thing that I’m sometimes so obsessed with and never-the-less sometimes I manage to neglect. Grammar and spelling is indeed very important, it reflects on one side your capability to focus and your attention to details, but on another side, because of the effort that you made or did not make it also reflects your attitude – responsibility and care about what-ever you are doing – writing about.

Never-the-less, I have always thought that the content is way more important, and is more ignorant to ignore a good content or have a lower attitude towards it because of such mistakes. These days our focus is spread in multitasking like never before, there are tons of visual, audible or plain psychological distractions. These do not affect us just  directly whenever we might find ourselves typing, but can easily contribute to tiredness which again isn’t so productive for our focusing capabilities.

I suppose we are adapting creatures, and it is a sort of survival of the fittest one way or another. Technology is helping us with auto-correction but it can fail, I don’t always want to write “i donut kink munch about it” (that phrase did not get corrected – wasn’t underlined). But specially if it’s something that will be public, do take the time and do it right.

Do realize that there are two extremes in this: on one side you can miss important moments or opportunities by not expressing yourself as directly and fast as possible or at all – I’m saying this because in many things it’s a competition out there and the one that’s first is favored; but also the one that is best is favored and so on the other side – not realizing what you actually express and how you express it can have an unfavorable outcome.

This perspective and these extremes are important not only for the stuff we write, but also for things we say or for behaviour we have, choices we make; it comes as an incentive to think before we talk or act – exchanging perspectives (hats or shoes or roles with the others involved, or with the world like Kant would suggest – how ever helps), using critical thinking / skepticism too / questioning everything – including our own premises / conclusions.

Of-course, there’s more.

forget me nots ep2 ~ keep it short / simple

This is a challenge for me, a challenge I must take > pass > and only remember in laughter that I was once like this.

Imagine this post was like two or three screen scrolls long(er). Those that are closest to me maybe would have had the patience to read it entirely or at all.  Actually, looking back at my old long mails, post or memos, etc – I my self do not have the patience or the time to read them.

Now indeed it gets that long because, in my case, I don’t want to miss anything out and try to make sure it’s all clear. But it’s not efficient, the message is not  received – not evaluated, no feedback / reply – it’s literally into the void. Sure sometimes it makes sense, like when you are writing a book I suppose; but most of the times it’s just wasting what could be a possibility to share, get evaluated, evolve.

What can be done? On one hand: attention on details is good, so if you do have the time to write the whole thing do it. But if you want to share or get evaluated, give only the essential and let people know there’s more if they want it. That’s the solution I found for my self for now anyway.

Here’s an example, instead of a long post on time management (it applies in content management too):

“Collect all in one place > Choose the essential > Eliminate the rest > Organize the remaining”

Got any other perspectives / solutions? (appreciate it)
PS. There’s more.

forget me nots – series – late prologue

I wrote on twitter, recently, a memo that was meant for my self more then anything. It was like this:

” Forget-me nots. Ep.1 (i prefer the w3c one) W3C_and_Internet_Explorer_box_models.png

and that made the first of what I’m thinking of making a series of important memos and also lessons learned the hard way which should not be forgotten.

Up next, when I’ll have some time, will be three episodes:

“Forget Me Nots Ep. 2 – Keep it Short / Simple !!”

“Forget Me Nots Ep. 3 – Proofreading, proofreading, proofreading !!”

“Forget Me Nots Ep.4 – Don’t hurry!! Take the time!”

I know it’s a good idea to do this series for my self, maybe not only for my self. Do drop any feedback, thanks.