Monday, August 27, 2012

The fallacies of the old man

"I am old, so stuff is harder to learn"
That is what I call "the fallacy of the old man". That is a dangerous sickness, and it is contagious...

When he says that, it gives enough reason for another old man to stop learning, thus giving a second "fallacied old man".

This is the lamest excuse that someone would tell you to justify their ignorance, incompetence, and unwillingness to learn.

I'll tell you the truth :
Knowlegde is like money.
The more you have, the more it comes.
The more you know, the fastest you learn.

If you think your brain is slow, it is just atrophied by your inactivity. That's all.

The other side of this fallacy is this one : "I can't be a genius like them, life did not give me the chance"
That is the second fallacy. This is what someone who has no idea about how much time the "genius" spends reading books and practicing.
If they learn things 10x times faster than you are it is because they spend 10x more than you on it.

This is the excuse of someone that need to rest in front of the television, when the genius go back to work, read books, learn, repeat, note and practice his craft.

If you are incompetent, just admit it and accept it -that's perfectly ok, you can't know everything-, but please don't be lame.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

This is why I hate echo

When I was a student I wanted to become MSP (Microsoft Student Partner) for recognition of my contribution in the .NET community on CodeProject , Codeplex, and my old coding blog.

For Microsoft, MSP are useful for referencing, propagating their news and evangelize their products. For students, Microsoft is usefull for recognition and free software they give away.
So I took a try...

And then someone in charge of this program told me : I see that you never speak about our new and next hot things, that's what we need.

My response : I hate echo, and if it is what you search, go somewhere else.
So I did not end up in their boat.

And indeed, all the MSP I knew at this time had a blog with the new and next hot things from Microsoft.

But writing anything else that don't make me unique is like selling my own soul.

I would become the same as people I hate the most : popular magazine/news/news paper journalists.
They all speak with different voices the same facts.
They do not investigate but accept, do not research but believe, do not write but repeat. Their sole purpose is to amplify whatever message we give to them.  Their sole purpose lies to be the tool of something else.

I show no respect for this type of work and I will never work for anything less worthy than full pride in myself.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Persist your brain on the net

Do you have a bad memory and friends that make fun of you by telling that you left your brain on the net ? You are not alone.

But as our brain was the only portable information device with paper yestersday, now, we have internet and our cell phone is better than us for information storage and retrieval.

Yes, I use now the storage part of my brain to remember -or guess- what keyword I might have typed on evernote to store an information that already passed through my head.

Every time I read something that I might need tomorrow, it is on evernote.
Every time I read a book, every worthwhile sentence, I evernote it.
Evey time I read a technical book, rich of content to remember, I draw mind maps.

For example, these days I am reading Windows Internal from Mark Russinovich, here are what I learned on windows security (chap 6) and concepts and tools (chap 1).

That is for only two chapters from this book, I repeat the same process for every certification I need to pass.

The amazing stuff is that no matter how much you forgot about the actual stuff, you will always remember the place in the diagram where you persisted it.

Arrows that connect bubbles will refresh your memory with all the concept you learnt at the time you persisted your information.  Your subconscious will bring back the whole graph as if you did it yestersday.

Your brain remembers better where you stored information than the information itself... take advantage of it, and persist your brain on the net.

The only thing you will remember is that you already persisted in the past what you are looking for.
Let evernote's index do the rest. (Or whatever index you are using)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sleep hacking

Maybe some of you already know Phrack Magazine.
This is a magazine for hackers, I'm not one of those, but these guys are among the smartest you can find.
I have huge respect for their exploits, hacks and knowledge. And I read it for the same reason most of them find exploits : fun and curiosity.
I'm not smart enough to fully understand their hack, but I hope with time, I will be able to appreciate their work.

Most of these articles are written in C/ASM and something that looks like english but obfuscated with hacking dialect. If you are not a security/software professional, coder or hacker, forget it.

But this time, they talked about a subject I understand. A subject I already tried to hack. They call it brain hacking : projection of consciousness, I call it sleep hacking.

I am lucky, I already had lucid dreams : that is a dream where you are fully aware you are dreaming, and the world around you, and the people in this world appear more real than real life.
You have full power in this world, you can fly, run fast, create landscape, or just enjoy and talk to people.
The people you met there are as smart as the one in real life.
You have full power, so you can make them disappear too.
All of that consciously knowing that in reality your are in your bed. (or what you called reality before that)
Phrack's article talk about other higher level of consciousness, but these I never had.

The first time you have a lucid dream, you will become obsessed to get back there, and seriously throw in the toilet the definition of "reality".
This lead me to another experience on sleep I made some years ago : Polyphasic sleep, or, to be more specific the uberman sleep pattern, to get these lucid dreams back.
During 2 weeks I got 4H of sleep with one nap of 30 minutes, every 4 hours. I must say that the first week you feel terrible, then strange things happen.
  • you have more dreams, 
  • more lucid dreams, 
  • you fall asleep in 3 minutes, every time you want,
  • you never oversleep past 30 minutes,  (alarm clock becomes optional)
  • you don't differenciate days, 
  • time is just "continous",
  • you wake up with full energy, and clear state of mind you never had before,
  • you can sleep everywhere,
  • when you wake up you have the sensation to have slept one full hour,
Dreams and lucid dreams become part of your life, and wake time is sometimes seen as the necessary time until your next dream.
But if you can't take one nap, you are broke for the three three next one.

My work at the time and my friends did not get it and made me skip some naps, I could not follow a different schedule than the one in which our society works.
This led me to stop the hack. But the experience ? definitively worthwhile.

Why I am talking about that ?

Hacking is not limited to computer hacking, hacking is about experiences, and experiences are about curiosity. Hacking is about challenging the status quo, asking why, finding the response, use it for ourselves and share it. And, as always, if now, you are more curious, be it about Phrack or sleep hacking, I reached my goal.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

From industrialism education to world education

First of all, thanks Seth Godin to write freely about the school problem with Stop stealing dreams.
This post is inspired by this ebook, I fully read in one bit, as always Seth is one of my favorite author and speaker.

Ask a child or teenager the following question : "why do you go to school ?"
And they will automatically respond : "To get a job."

Here the response I would like : "I will become astronaut, president, big boss, math researcher, or whatever"

What is the difference ? The "Getting a job" put you at the place of the compliant worker praying his safety to government and big bosses.

"Getting a job" is for someone not knowing where to go, and if you don't know where to go, if you don't know where to focus your energy, be sure you'll end up somewhere else.

"I will become xxx" is the response of someone that will focus all its energy to the goal. He is the master of its destiny. This person do not beg his future, he just takes it.

What is the link between that and industrialism education and world education, you ask ?

School was promoted during the industrialism age, and the tendency was pretty clear : we will have lots of factory and we need compliant worker to work in it.
The goal of the school was to create compliant and disposable workers. For a worker to be disposable, you just need tons of workers with the same skillset. And so what the industrialist school does.
To be sure all the workers are the same, standard curricula is the standard tool.

Except that now, these disposable workers are in concurrence with India, and China.

At the same time, we are experiencing radical technological progress, and you can learn anything for free. The knowledge tree is huge, and if you want to be indisposable you better be at the leaf and not the root.

Here is the paradox with our education system : We continue to create disposable workers we don't need, even though most knowledge in the world is 3 clicks away.

We ask our teacher and child that they need to become information (trivia) gatekeeper, when internet replace this role in a much more scalable way.

What I call world education is when children will learn not to have a job, but to realize their dreams. When teacher will teach them how to have this burnable desire to learn out of curiosity. And then give the rest to internet. They will see a world where they can get all knowledge and contacts they need to be whatever they dream of. They will stop begging your dream, and take it.

The best teachers and universities in the world share knowledge freely their courses.
The first time someone see by himself one of these courses, not to pass an exam and not to get a job, is the first step toward independance, and creativity.
These services will change the world for the better. They bring tredemous leaf learning, thanks to them you will not become compliant and disposable worker, the knowledge volume is too high for someone to know everything.

Teachers are not information gatekeepers anymore, I think they will more and more become coaches that is : They will make people knowledge independant. (Depending on no one to get and assimilate knowledge)

A trainer will become the highway to be knowledge independant on a specific subject.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Self-engineering

Habits are formed by willpower and environment, if an habit was a car, willpower and environment would be engines.

But like an F1 engineerer would tell you : If you want to go fast, maximize the engine's power, and minimize frictions. (car's aero dynamic)
And if you want to stop, maximize frictions. (parachute, brakes)

Willpower comes and go, and seems limited every day for whatever reason.
But what I know is that I have ultimate control over my environment.

You want to stop a bad habit ? add frictions.
You want to encourage good habit ? remove frictions.
When you set your environment to encourage you to go where you want to go, you need less willpower to have the same result.
  • Why my facebook account is disabled ? Because I would use it if it wasn't.
  • Why does my email password is not saved in the browser ? Because I would check them it if it was'nt.
  • Why do I set the alarm clock at 7am ? Because I would stay in my bed if it wasn't.
  • Why do I program the coffee machine at 7:10 am ? Because if I stay in my bed, I would be punished by wasting the morning coffee.
  • Why have I not any video game at home ? Because I would play it if there was.
  • Why do I want to give money if I don't meet my deadline ? Because if I would not, I will miss it.
  • Why I don't close my stores ? Because if I would the sun would not wake me up.
  • Why do I keep an old phone ? Because if I would, I would never disconnect.
I am lucky enough to be the master of my time. And it is so easy to waste it.
Here some tips to add frictions to your digital life :
Block website : http://stayfocusd.en.softonic.com/ (Once blocked, they made it very annoying to unblock)
Crash the internet : http://macfreedom.com/ (Yes, I paid for that)
Block websites and apps : http://www.focusme.co/

For the physical life :
Program the coffee machine, use alarm, use the pomodoro technique, don't close your stores, improve or break the design of every day things.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wake or give

Enough is enough, I wanted to be employee, I got a job.
Then I wanted to be independant, I got customers.
And now want to make business but I am stuck at the independant level... (Making a business means earning your life without trading your time)

Why am I stuck ??? Because I am lazy. Plain lazy, I recognize it and hate it. And I believe it is a dangerous disease that can kill dreams.
Or maybe, I'm just used to the carrot and stick.
So what to do ?
Seeing people around me getting closer than me creating a business is encouraging, but that is not enough. I am not jealous enough to stop being lazy.
So I will leverage my primary fear, to help me : I really hate loosing money.
  • I will set a measurable and verifiable goal,
  • I will set the deadline,
  • I will lend money to a project I want to support,
  • If the deadline is met, I get my money back,
  • If the deadline become liveline, the project I lent to will keep all the money forever.
I want to create a website for the wake-or-give.com and hope to heal lazy independant worker like me.
Having no boss, means that I am my own boss, if I am not though enough, seeing my money out of my pocket will seriously kick my ass off the bed.