Saturday, October 26, 2013

Where is home ?



The best definition of home I have seen. Not anymore the place you sleep or were born, the place where you stand. Getting the freedom of traveling, while feeling at home.
You can only feel at home by sitting still. It works at any place, even for short period of time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Great execution is more important than a great idea

When someone says "I already had the idea about *insert widely successful idea here*", he most likely want to prove the world how visionary he is.

To me, it clearly shows lacks of conviction, laziness, lack of courage and bad execution skill.

The culture emphasizes too much vision. The guy with the vision is most likely the CEO of the successful company, and he attracts all the attention of the media.

Unfortunately, behind the decor, it lies the day to day business, the execution of plans to go from where you are to where you want to go. It is lonely, hard, and boring to outsiders.
An idea, before being great and successful, is just an idea.
You have to work on it, everyday, not knowing if anybody will be interested, not knowing if it will be successful. This is the hardest part.

Some people are all action and no theory, others all theory and no action.
A successful entrepreneur is both theory and action.

When you don't believe in your idea enough to execute, you lack conviction.
When you fear your idea will be a failure so you don't execute, you lack courage.
When you feel it is too much work to execute the idea, you are lazy.
When your idea did not work with you, but worked with others, you lack executive skills.

This is also a note to myself.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Don't box me in, this world is my home

In a hyper connected world, your location will become less and less relevant.
And yet, most of us want a home. A place to stay, relax and be safe.

But this concept of home is an artifact from the old world.
In the old world, you had one home  and stayed there to go to work.
I don't believe a family needs to settle in a home. Only work enslaved the family to stay where it is.
 
But why staying at the same place when you broke this enslavement, when you can go whenever you want ?

The truth is that unlearning the old concept of home is hard. When you leave it, you feel the stress and the need to go back, like an invisible chain.
That's a feeling I want to abolish, and the reason why I like and fear at the same time traveling far away for more than 1 month.
Leaving the comfort zone is always hard, but by looking back, always worth it, never to be regretted.

I will stay, relax, be safe, make friends and works everywhere.
Don't box me in, this world is my home.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Negociable Reality and Framework

Most of the concept of everyday life are part of a common "imagined reality".

Work, holiday, balance, pay-check, law, math, happiness, equality, safety, politics, money, hours, traffic, consuming, hobbits, social network, technology, judgement, religion, entertainment, good and bad.

These are all imagined reality, words whose sole purpose is to identify with our peers.
Ideas only exists in our heads, a broad reach define what we call culture and define the mass.

The more uniform the story is the more unified we are, but also less diverse.
We can ban these ideas from our head because, we are master of your mind, not judging them, just removing them from our framework.

When we are in the process of banishing these ideas it has interesting consequences.
We behave inconsistently from the point of view of the people we knew, but at the same time our landscape changes and expands. Like if we got out from the rabbit hole, it is liberating.

There is no judgement on the old ideas, and no reason I drop some of them.
But doing so is like dropping a 50 pounds bag while climbing the mountain, we feel lighter, and also enjoying again the exploration.

Here are some vocabulary that stopped existing in my framework :

Good, bad, wrong, right, entertainment, hobbits, traffic, money, safety, pay-check, life balance, work, holiday, comfort.

Instead I have :

cashflow, flexibility, freedom, liberty, growth, creating, discovery, knowledge, dream life -during sleep-, data analysis, accountability, habits, and purpose.

Freedom is doing where you want, liberty what you want, flexibility when you want.

This might change and will change, not because some other idea are more "mature" which would again imply judgment, idea I banish from my framework forever, but because I decided to explore another framework, exploring is fun.

These words define my current focus, and all my acts can only be explain through this framework.

Example : During  a trip, why  don't I sleeping at the hotel ?
1. It impacts my cashflow negatively,
2. It limits my freedom, (I need to reserve in advance)
3. It limits discovery (an hotel is an hotel, nothing new)
Yes it is more comfortable, but this is not in my framework anymore, so, irrelevant.

During a contract, why do I sleep at the hotel ?
1. My cashflow is not impacted, my contract pays the hotel (I bill additional fees)
2. My freedom, liberty and flexibility have already been impacted by the contract, nothing is left

My life follows rules of economic, but the value is not in the money but in the average of all what is in my framework.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hiring your company

I'm hearing here and there programmers complaining about their company.
I should feel sorry for them, but I am not, they have yet a wonderful world to discover.

All it takes is a shift of paradigm,
Developers, we are in a wonderful world, there is no craft with so much freedom.
We can work on what we want, where we want and for who we want.
I am privileged, and I'm so glad for that, I would not exchange my craft for one billion.

Knowing this fact, lead you to a complete shift in perception where complaining do not exist:
All you have to do is :

Stop believing that you are working in a company for their customers.
The reality is that you are hiring your company to search customers for you.


If that company does not reach its goal, fire it, other companies have great CV.

In this mindset, bad managers is never a problem.

The trick is to find the company that will give you leverage to grow, create, stimulate and push your limits.
And by growing I'm not talking about career ladder or paycheck.
Both of which limit you more than they help you, as soon as you are targeting them.

Climbing the career ladder and paycheck are natural side consequence of growing, you know you reach it naturally when you are not attached to your job, only to your creativity and growth.
If your company sinks or bad manager fire you, you either feel excited by new challenges or empathy, never on defensive because you have nothing to loose.

You can climb and increase paycheck artificially by targeting it, but as soon you do that you develop attachment for your job. With external attachment comes fear of loss, the most dangerous enemy with laziness of human development. It is the root of all anger.

That said, I almost never worked in a company, I hire customers and it is so fun to create with them that I almost never fired one, that's a wonderful life ! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Idea doesn't need owner but developers

And by developers, I don't mean software developer.
I mean people taking the idea, loving this idea, taking care of it and growing it.

Our culture put too much emphasize on who had the idea first.
This is harmful, it creates at atmosphere of suspicion and anger, energy that can be used to make the idea bigger. We are human and here to create.

If I like your idea, I breed it. It is simple as that. This is my small contribution to the world. Hopefully someone will take it from here and grows it to the next step.
I honor all former developers of the idea, its owner is a developer, no more different than others.

Monday, September 9, 2013

About muting mermaids and celebrating coffee machines

Using a carrot and a stick, compensation, prestige or whatever incentive or mermaid's song you like is considered best practice for motivating employees in an enterprise...

And yet, these are creativity killers.

Incentives talk to our primal brain, to do what someone else want.
Our primal brain wants to compare itself, measure, be noticed, and approved by other.
We can't really master completely that part of our primal brain.

That's why I think the best step for creative workers when incentives are showing up, it to mute it.
Just do not play by this game, it will kill your creativity, the greatest human specialty.

Why are these incentives killing creativity ?
Well, in fact, it is not the incentives that kill creativity, but some kind of incentives.
All incentive that have a social impact are bad.
In other words, all incentives where primary motivation is comparison with peers is bad.
It ends up creating a competitive environment. Such environment is good for manual task, but destructive for knowledge task.

Why is a competitive environment bad for knowledge tasks ?
Knowledge tasks involve creativity. That means that the path from point A to point B is unknown, and sometimes, point B is also unknown.
Creativity is what find point B and the path to it.

Where does creativity comes from ?
Creativity is the creation of ideas, and ideas are created from other ideas merging into a single mind.
It comes from dot connecting on past experience into a beautiful artifact.
So to create an idea, you need other ideas.

Where do these ideas come from ?
It comes from your own experience, the only thing that make you different from me.
And it comes from your peers talking with you at the coffee machine.

When you are in a competitive environment, and that ideas are the most precious resource odd things happen... and don't forget that ideas are easy to copy, like any data.
Peers stops talking at the coffee machine in fear that someone else reap the reward.

That's all ! when peers stop talking nat the coffee machine, innovation stops. No brainstorming session will change the game, as each participant will protect his ideas and attack others.

Make them talk at the coffee machine.

What is the alternative world view to develop creativity ?
Look at the open source world.
There is no incentive, the goal is contribution. Contribution is its own reward.

Work as in open source, not necessarily free, but where you feel you can make a contribution.
We are in this world to create only with a contribution mindset we can extend or creativity to its full power.

This idea of contribution over incentives is comes from the Art of Possibility, which I highly recommend reading... as Benjamin Zander is my favorite speaker !

Time is Life

When I don't want to spend time for something or someone, we call me lazy or antisocial.
I am not lazy. I am stingy but not lazy.

I consider time my most precious gift, and when I say that, I really mean it.
I think about the time dimension of every decision I take.
When I go shopping, I do not spend money, I spend time.
When my banker ask me to meet, I spend time.
When a friend tell me to go out for a drink, I spend time.
When I buy a cloth, I spend more time everyday to choose it among other alternatives.

Every question I ask twice waste my time.
I don't want to ask myself everyday what I will eat, or how I will dress, or when I need to pay a bill.
If I need to ask the same question multiple time,  I can automate the response by processes and habits.

Time is not refundable. Ever.

I can't control how much hour is left in my life.
But I can control the life there is in my hours. (Abraham Lincoln said something close to that)

Most people does not think that way, they say : you will have to work to get this money, and so you'll waste your time working anyway.
The difference is that their connotation of work is negative.

My work is creation, I grow every times I write a line of code, develop the curiosity of someone, or push my own.
My work adds life to my hours, and people are paying me for that !
The money I get from it is not for consuming stuff.
This money is here to develop my abilities and creativity into new ways.

When someone tells me that the most important thing in life is **** (complete by what you want), I always fear to ask : So why are you spending 3% of your time doing **** ?

I know that the response will be whatever justification of how the real world works, and that you can't get everything you want. That I am a special case living in the Wonderland because blah blah blah.
 I never agree with that because I believe our time is our own responsibility, if we justify ourselves we admit we are not responsible for our life and are nothing else but a lifeless puppet.

When we are responsible of our life, we might piss off lots of people. That's ok, it is just life that change its shape to reflect your priorities. Friction is the noise that life make when it changes its shape.

Where do you spend time ? what is your life priorities ? Do they match ? Why ?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lucid dreams and expectation

I am lucky enough to be a lucid dreamer. Not a good one, but since I trained, I can lucid dream once a month. (Great lucid dreamers can do it every night)

The key of lucid dream is self-fulfilling prophecies, the more you believe something only happen in lucid dream, the more this thing will help you to be lucid.

An example : In my lucid dreams, I never made any test on switch lights, but I read and heard that switch lights don't work correctly in dreams.
From that time, this expectation helped me to have lucid dreams, since, in my dreams, when I see a switch light not working, I become lucid. (And when I see a switch light not working in waking life, I start testing reality with other expectations)

The trick is that there is nothing true about limits of our brains that prevent switch lights from working in dreams.
Lights do not work because I expect them not to work, because I believe stories made by someone else.
Other expectations are that you can't read digit, or that your hand looks strange. This become true as soon as you read it and believe it. But these are just expectations, and if you stop believing them, then, you'll read digit in your dreams and see your hand perfectly.

I believe the trick to lucid dream is to create different expectations between dream and waking life, by repeating them in both, waking and dream life everyday, you can make the difference and improve lucidity.

Nevertheless your expectations shape both life. How interesting !

Friday, August 30, 2013

What we get and become

I have seen a talk given my Jim Rohn where he said an interesting thing:
"After you become a millionaire, you can give all of your money away because what's important is not the million dollars; what's important is the person you have become in the process of becoming a millionaire." -- Jim Rohn

I am not a millionaire, but I am lucky enough to have everything I want, great and fulfilling daily life, great customer friends, money and time. I am at the nirvana of time, money and energy.


I have time, money and energy.
Not as much money as a million, but the point is that I have everything I want, and know I can get what I want, my life reflects my dream, an amazing one.

But then I understood, something : If I stop creating and moving to my next goal (which I know I will finally always reach), I am depressed and feel empty. I have a urge to create and learn, if I play and do nothing for too long, I am depressed and empty.

I understand why I don't care about the million, but if it is here, I'll take it.
I will create my path to it, never work for it. It is what I become by creating this path that is worth a million dollar, bills are just paper.

Now I think about it... Minecraft is fun because Diamond is rare. Diamond is not what make us happy, the adventure to find it is the thrill of the game.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Question, Answer and Query

I have maybe often repeated this fact over my career as a trainer :
I may know a lot about my work, I'm not here to give you answers, I will help you asking right questions and questions right.

Ask the right question to your rubber duck and you'll get the answer.
A question is the same as an answer for me, if I teach to ask questions, I teach to get answers by yourself.

But that does not mean that I don't give any response.
As google does, I always respond to rightly formulated queries.
And by rightly formulated query, I mean every search for information that could be understood by a search engine.
What is the namespace for the class File ? It is System.IO.

This is a query, a search for an information that is not stored into your mind, but you know for sure that the result exists somewhere. So I give results.

The distinction between a query and a question is not on the grammatical level.
A question is nothing but an incomplete answer, when you ask me a question, and I know that you holds all the pieces to transform it to an answer, I'll help you gather these pieces by asking more questions... until the dots connect together and the elegant solution pop into your mind.
I never give the solution because I know you already have it.

A query is a search for information, best handled by search engines, but, for your comfort, I will give you the result.

Sometimes, you have a question, but can't transform it to an answer.
This is when you need to ask the same question differently.
Do you know someone that got the solution ? Then learn his way to ask the same question, we call that an"abstraction".

Nobody knows the answer ? Invent your own abstraction, we call that "research".

Friday, August 9, 2013

Iterative methodology is important for motivation and growth

The mind procrastinates as soon as it does not know where to go.
He might know what goal he is looking for, but if he does not know where to go, he will immediately start procrastinating or wait orders from someone else.

Asking yourself what is the "right way" is a sure way to fail, because when you don't know where to go, the "right way" does not exist.

To quote Alice in wonderland,
“Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked.
'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.
'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”


The best thing to do is : What is the simplest thing that I can do now that make me a little closer to my goal ?
Then iterating by asking : What's next ? What's next ? What's next ? What's next ? until you say "I reached my goal".

Sure such short sighted methodology to move on a project will not show you the shortest path from A to B. Your path will more likely be a zigzag, but this zigzag only exist in the eye of someone who knows better. This ZigZag is an invention of the mind of the one who knows a shortest path.

When reaching your goal, reflect on your actions, see your zigzag. It does not mean you have lost your time. On the contrary. It means you grew, you can see what you could not see before.

If you can't see the zigzag, it means you are the same as you were before. What is the purpose of the goal if you've not grown from it ?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Developer's evolutions

The life of a developer goes through several steps.
 
The complete beginner.
You learn about basic structure, loops, variable, object oriented programming and a language.

The happy hacker.
You start to feel power to do stuff, you can do whatever you can hold into your mind. If the problem can be summarized into one sentence, you'll hack some lines of code to get it done.

The curious assembler.
You know you have power, and you want to leverage what the developer's community have done for you. You learn about framework, APIs and switch languages until you find your preferred "hammer".

The astronauts architect,
You learn about design patterns architecture, good code, bad code, you start creating your own frameworks. You learn about the power of layers.
This is the worst step of your developer's life.
Your code will become so generic and layered that while theorically infinitively extensible, it is practically unusable.
But now, you can code something that don't hold entirely into your mind at once.

The pragmatic programmer
You know that for a code to be reusable, it has first to be usable.
You think about the purpose of each layer in relation to business purpose.
You clear cut certainty from the uncertainty of business actors, and code in consequence.

The worst part for your team is the astronaut part, because you have the power to say complex things does not means you have to leave things complex.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Law of Attraction and 3D programming

What is the relation between law of attraction, 3D programming and physic and Futurama ?

They teach the same thing.

"The engines don’t move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is and the engines move the universe around it."

Moving the universe from your frame of reference, or moving yourself from the universe's frame of reference are the same things.

This is an alternative version of Albert Einstein asking to a train controller :
"Excuse me, does New York stop by this train?"

3D programming courses teaches you how you can change your frame of reference (also called space) of a 3D scene, so you can simulate camera, perpective, and lot more.
In such course, you learn that 3D object modelist are working in a frame of reference, also called the "object space", where you locate things in a 3D world relative to your objects.
There is the "world space" where you locate things according to a fixed point in the world.
There is the "view space" that locate things according to an observer (also called camera).
There is the "Projection space" where you locate things according to the observer but with a transformation that to make things more human. (ie, near objects are bigger than far objects)

There is no such things as "Real space", "world space" is no more real than others, 3D programming teaches you that you can move from one space to another only by using matrices.

So within your ship you can say : "Engines moves the universe" or "Engines move the ship" depending on your frame of reference. There is no religion involved in that.

For most people, this has no practical value... but this fact made 3D programming so much simpler ! We would not have been where we are without this powerful idea.


Now how is it related to the Law of Attraction ?

Because people mistake Law of Attraction with belief and religion, only because some authors use esotheric terms like vibration, wave, or quantum analogies.
Also, they say that there is no scientific evidence of its reality.
Using pseudo science to describe the law of attraction is misleading and dubious.
You can criticize their explanation but this does not reject the Law of Attraction.

"You think different, but hey, money is not coming by itself to my postal box just by thinking about it right ?"

The myth is that Law of attraction is not about magic power, law of attraction is about learning how to see the world from your own frame of reference, and taking control of it.

If you are a developer like me, then you are more sensible seeing a blue screen of death on a terminal in public space like airport. Some people will not see it.

If you are a fireman, you'll smell fire faster and instinctively more often than other people.

From the "world" frame of reference, sure, being a fireman does not increase the chance of fire, and being a developer does not increase the chance of computer crash.

But from your frame of reference, this is not true. Knowing more about software increase the chance of provoking a blue screen.
And being a fireman increase the chance of fire.

The world reference is not more real than your frame of reference.
Both are just different frame of reference, and you can take one or the other depending on your need.

If you want to make accurate predictions in the world's frame, you need to measure from world frame, your thought will not alter the measures you take in the world's frame.

If your goal is to be happier, then you need to acknowledge that happiness is a concept that only exist in your own frame, world does not care, and if you want to change your happiness you need to change your own frame. And only thought can change your frame.
So by having happy thought you will change your own frame of reference, because you'll be more receptive to happy signals, exactly the same way a fireman smells fire.

Law of attraction is not a question of belief, it is about clearly understanding what depends on your frame of reference and what depends on the world's frame.
If you are not wealthy, thinking about wealth will make you more likely to spot opportunity of wealth, from your frame it will appear wealth are attracted to you. In the same way as the engine will move the universe. And in the same way, snow flakes move horizontally as you drive.

This is not an impression, an illusion or a distortion of reality, just a different frame of reference.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Photo and memory

When I am traveling, I don't like to take lots of photo, and specially of me.
There are two purposes into taking photo :
  • Showing the world through your eyes to others,
  • Recording memory
The first purpose is a self reflective and artistic purpose, when I am taking photo, I am in this part, I want to show the world I see to my friends.
However, I had no way to express how I felt when I was lost in Tokyo with a photo -I like to be lost-, I can't express how kind people was with me, and other wonderful things I lived, I can't describe an atmosphere.
I expect an artist photograph could tell this story with a photo, but I'm not so I don't take lots of photo.

The second purpose is recording memory, and that's why most of tourists take photos during a trip.
They love taking themselves in photo to remember "I was here with these people".
I don't like these photo, because they get in the way of feeling the atmosphere an immerse into it.
It is like looking at a movie with someone asking to hit the pause button to take a photo every 5 minutes, you can't feel the movie that way because you are distracted.

They want to record it, so in 10 years, they can see themselves again how they were 10 years before. It is partially the same reason why they are using facebook.
But I don't want to see me 10 years before, and the reason might just be that I have very different belief.

The person you see on the photo 10 years younger than you is not you. I already wrote about that, we are multiple personas, and we switch persona depending on our environment, "real me" does not exist. We are all of our personas.
If you have a stable life you keep the same personas for long time, at the expense, and that's my belief, of growing.
By stable I mean doing the same things every day for years, whatever "same thing" means to you.

On the other hand, when we live new experiences, our personas are challenged, some die, some merge, some get stronger, but I believe, at the end we get an higher integrity, so we are less anxious by whatever can happen.

That person I see in the photo 10 years earlier is not me now, it is a weaker version of my old personas. 10 years after, I am a new person because I kept growing.

You can't believe at the same time that new experiences make you grow, and that you are growing by having a stable life.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Programming is complexity management

People that does not know anything about programming think you have to be strong in math and logic.
That's plain wrong.

Programming is about managing complexity.
I'm not talking about mathematical complexity, but human complexity.
That is the complexity of combining ideas to achieve a result.

You have to be strong in math if you are doing a math program, which is something like 1% of programs in the world, as much you have to be strong in business to create a great business app.

Studies say that our working memory can store 7 items, and temptations are great, to think that people that can work with more are more intelligent, and thus, write better program.

That's even more plain wrong.

A programmer that can store 20 items in their working memory at one time, and codes in consequence will be terrible.

The great developer makes himself replaceable so that everyone can improve his work. That's taking advantage of the power of our peers.
If nobody can understand your program without having 20 items at a time in his brain, then nobody will improve your program, and it will die as soon as you leave it.

The great developer will make the memory deficient person able to understand his ideas.
You know you are reading a great code when your logical brain is off, you are busy drawing boxes, arrows, and sketches into your head or on paper.
Vision is working more than logic.

The great developer might not be able to store more than 20 items in working memory, but he can transform anything to make it fit into a 4 items working memory.

Programming is about organizing ideas, not about logic.
The business domain of your program (business, maths, game) will define the other skills you need.
But programming by itself is only about organizing and writing down ideas on an IDE.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What is spam ?

The traditional definition of spam is not correct.
You might think that spam is whatever ends up in your mailbox that you are not interested in, like ads.

My definition is broader than that.
But to understand it, I must define what is "information".

According to the information theory, information is what is giving clues to a decision you must take.

If I take a stone, take it in one hand, and ask you to guess which hand has the stone, you have no clues.
If god spoils you that the stone is in my left hand, god, a100% trustful being, you just got 1 bit of information.
This information help you to take a decision with more certainty that you would without it.

What is spam ?
Spam is the dark side of information. Spam is everything that don't improve your certainty over a decision you must take, or worse, increase your doubts over this decision, provoking in some case what developers call analysis paralysis.

Analysis paralysis is what happen when a developer can't write a single line of code, because he has more spam in its head.

A fact can be either a spam or an information. This does not depends on the source and nature of the fact, it depends on the observer.

Does this fact, help the observer takes a decision ?
Yes ? then it is information, read it.
No ? then it is spam, trash it.
It might ? Do not read, reference it, until you know if it is information or spam. (Evernote, I love you)

Now you can reflect on how much spam is around you, not only in your mailbox.
How can you create a life that filter spam without any effort ?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

There is no such thing as reality

My life is somewhat different from my friends.
I sleep and wake up when I want, I don't have a boss, I have greatest customers ever, and don't pay anything for my office and place of living, and if I don't feel working... I don't.

Life is easy.
Then once in a while I hear from them : this is not reality, this is not the real life.
Which we end up arguing over choice and freedom.

How do you define reality ?
Most of them intuitively defend it that way : I live in reality, and you don't, so you can't have any idea about what choice led me to be where I am.

But reality is nothing else than perception of where you live, not only through senses, but also, and more than everything, through your ideas.

Your reality determines who you are, your reality determine the events that will impact your behavior and well being.

As we can't control what our senses are sending to our brain, we can control our ideas, and thus control reality.
This is radical sort of thinking, for people that think there is an universal reality. There is not.

This is crucial to be aware when we are in control of our reality and when it is imposed upon us.
Financial crisis, war, political scandals ? I don't care... well I don't even hear about them since I'm not reading the news. Why ? Because it's not my reality, it is their.

On the other hand, I'll be the first to know when fiscality impacts my bottom line.

This is all a matter of defining what should be in your reality, and what does not, all about finding the dividing line. There are things you can change, other you can't (fact), and other you don't care (noise).
Now decide which category everything belongs to before someone else do.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Work and Entertainment

Work is the refuge of the enchained mind for the dream of someone else.
Entertainment is the refuge of the free mind without any dream.

Flow is the state to be. Full immersion for your own dream.

I got something wrong.
When procrastinating, I advised to change habits so procrastination comes with frictions, for example:
  • Don't remember password to connect to your mailbox,
  • Use a complex password for facebook, hidden in a deep folder of your computer, don't remember the password,
  • Cut off internet
This might work on the short term, the problem is that the mind will always find other distractions.

Another solution is to acknowledge the problem : The world is a direct reflection of your mind, if you are procrastinating, it is because your mind has no goal, or an unclear one, so it try to find one.

Once you understand that, time is to meditate to empty this distracted mind.
Once it is quiet, time is to write down your dream, slowly focusing on its details, until you get an action plan.

Then the mind will feed with this action plan, and you'll be in flow again totally immersed and happy, traveling to your dream at full speed... until you have no more action in your plan.

Then repeat.

Working is the act of consuming the action plan of others.
While it keeps the mind far from distractions, it leaves you with a feeling of emptyness.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The mind, a glass to fill

Our unique skill is to create ideas.
By instinct the mind fill with ideas so it can create new ones.

The mind is like a glass that need to be filled with water, the mind fears the void, a mind can't fill become crazy.
That's why some political prisoner can read books several times in their cell. The mind needs to be filled by whatever mean to keep its sanity.

We can't change this fact.
Meditation do not change that.
Meditation can only empty the glass, and as soon as you drop your concentration, the mind naturally fill in with new ideas.

The mind will immediately fill with ideas coming from your senses.
Resisting poisonous idea coming through your senses demand self-control.
And self-control is a limited supply your get each day after sleeping.

Instead of wasting your self-control, you can modify your habit to move your sense where clean ideas are.

The habit of most people, after a long day of hard work, is to turn on television.
Television is filled in its biggest part with hatred, jaelousy, and scandals.
But at the end of the day no self-control is left to resist these bad emotions and they make their way in the glass.

On the other hand, clean ideas are filled with curiousity, compassion and empowerment.
Clean ideas never complain about how bad are things, clean ideas think about how you can make things better. This is a totally different point of view that remove all trace of hatred and weakness.
Ted Talks are obviously a great place with clean ideas.

Most of the times the communities you belongs to are filled with clean ideas.

At everytime, the world is exactly the same as the content of your glass.
If it looks miserable, there is too much dirty water in it.

Empty your glass. (meditation)
Change your habits so you are more exposed to the sources of clean waters. (Most likely, other clean mind)

Sleeping do not replace meditation.
Sleeping does not empty your glass.
Sleeping will repair your body, and fill your self-control, but will never empty your mind.
 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Best practices

When you start doing new things, you learn about the "best way to do thing" or "rule of thumb to follow". This is specially the case in software development.

A best practice is composed of two parts : the action, and the purpose.

For example, a convention is a best practice.
The purpose of convention is to make your work easy to read for other people.

The problem is that newbies only remember the action part of the best practice, but rarely the purpose.
The action of the best practice applied to the wrong purpose is not application of the best practice.

Example :
I follow a nutrition plan and I need 2 slices of avocado.
A friend told me that the best practice is to cut the avocado vertically, and remove the kernel.
But she was wrong. She forgot the purpose of doing it that way.
If I cut the avocado that way, the rest of the avocado will rot quickly in my fridge, because I only need 2 slices.

That's why, I always ask my students "what do you want to do, and why ?" so I can explain the best way to do that in their context.

That's why, I also never says : "Always do blahblah because blahblah".
Because the students will remember "Always do blahblah"... or just forget.

On the other hand, you can say : "You are doing blahblah, what problem are you stumbling on ? ok, here is a best practice that solve it nicely".

The purpose must be taught before the action. And through practice the action will become automatic when the purpose appears.
This also teach to be practical and critical.

Memory is like a network, the more link lead to an idea, the stronger and longer it will stay.

Your students will never respond immediatly to a question like "what are the best practices in software programming ?"
However, as they write code, their brain muscle will automatically bubble up the right way of solving the current problem. The memory becomes contextual.
Retrieving contextual information is what a network is the best at, your memory retrieve contextual information without any effort on your part.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Physical and functional definition

I'm a trainer, and my first customer is nobody else than my dad.

He is using computer for his work for more time he remembers, but last time I almost lost patience when he asked me how to open a file.

"Click on it", I said
"Click ? how do I click ?", he responds

First, I suspected he lost his head for a moment, but then I understood the big deal.
He has a physical definition of the mouse.
He knows that what is clicking on a mouse.
But for him a mouse was that :
And here is what he got :

From his point of view, a touchpad is not a mouse, even if he already used that to control the computer.
For him, he was never clicking with it, he was pushing a button. He was not clicking because this is not a mouse, this is a touchpad, and you can only click on a mouse... and you push buttons on a touchpad.

The problem was that people should understand that every definition for your OS is functional and not physical. A mouse is not the physical object. A mouse, for the OS, is everything that can move a cursor on the screen, click and right click.

On a single touch screen, your hand is the mouse. And this is not a metaphor, a mouse is whatever click and move a cursor.

For the OS, everything is a functional definition and any physical definition is irrelevant.

This is the kind of stuff that we don't know we know when we are working with software for a long time... But when we think about it, it is not always obvious for occasional users.

Question : Imagine your device run on Android. Your screen is not multi touch, but you can plug multiple mouse to simulate each touch. Does Android consider you are multi touch ?

Response : Yes, as far as android knows, there are different cursors that come and go, thus you are multi touch... even if physically, you are not.

Stupid observation for geeks, but this is a dig to cross for occasional computer users like my dad.
 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Books : Business & money

Books are the oldest support for ideas, and it will stay for long.

In an era where everything is digital and ephemeral, books can stay on your shelf and remind you the origin of ideas that makes who you are. It creates a base that does not move.
With this plateform, you can observe change and use it at your advantage instead of being carried away by the stream.

The creative mind is just a place where idea are in conflict and then fusion to give birth to new ones.

Creativity is not a choice, it is a reflex of our brain fired by accepted but conflicting idea.

With no plateform, ideas come in and out from your mind, thus diminishing idea conflict without which, you can't be creative.

That's why I consider reading and keeping track of what you read should be a top priority for everyone and this habit is programmed inside my list on rememberthemilk : I give my money one time every 3 month for 3 books on amazon.

That's why I prefer book that digital information, and why I store quotes and every great articles in Evernote. They are a plateform that constantly remind me ideas that was once in my mind.

Some of the books are uncorrelated, because it is the easiest way to create new idea.
Pollenizing and connecting the dots is how we create unique ideas.

Here are the list of one that changed me in some ways.

Peopleware

It explained me what make people feeling great at their workplace. It speaks not only about material tips, but also habits of the company that can poison its people.

Permission Marketing, Linchpin, The dip by Seth Godin

Well, Seth Godin wrote a lots of book, but they essentially explain the same idea about making things happen, and how ideas can spread, how much they can/should spread depending on the market, and how to be remarkable in business.

Lucid Dream

A french book about lucid dream, the book is not very good, but I talk about it because lucid dreams (knowing in a dreaming that you are dreaming) changed profoundly how I see the world. Once you get a lucid dream, you are simply amazed beyond imagination of the power of our mind. Inception is a pale imitation of what happen when you are conscious and fully vivid in your dream.
Lucid dream shaped how I see the world, so I cite this book that remind me this fact.

The E-Myth revisited

Thanks to this book, you will stop seeing your business as a technician, but as a business man.
Your business is not a place where you work, the business is your product.
When you push that idea farther, you'll see that the everyday life services you are using are application of this idea. It explains a lot about how big businesses works and see the world.
How it changed my view of the world : Mc Donald's goal is not sell hamburger. Mc Donald's goal is to open more Mc Donald.

Think and Grow Rich, Today we are rich, The richest man in babylon

Once you read this book, you'll understand that money does not make your rich.
Instead, being rich is a mindset that attract money.
That's why winning 1 million at the Lottery is not a dream. Earning 1 million is.
Winning at the lottery does not make you rich, but once you earn your first million, you can burn it, you'll stay rich because you know how to attract money like a magnet.

Unfair advantage, the new 8 rules of money from Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki seems like an infomercial guy, but his message is not scam, and, as the previous books, change your vision of money.
The idea is that people are focusing too much about how much money they have in their bank account, and how to protect and grow it. The problem with that is that it is easy to think that without money first, you can't be rich, and, moreover, by not educating yourself, you are giving your money to hands you don't know, that may have not your best intention in mind.
Robert idea is that people should focus on where the money flow and how to change this flow, instead of accumulating it mindlessly. You can make your money to work for you only if you are educated enough to understand how the money is flowing. If you don't, other people will take your money to work for them.

Reality Check from Guy Kawasaki, Startup weekend, Lean startup

Put your feet on earth, by focusing on what is really important for your startup : Shipping.
It also explain you what a banker thinks, and what an investors think so you can adapt your pitch depending on the person you are talking with.
Key ideas :
  • Some people can be interested in your business, and not in your product, spot them and adapt your pitch.
  • Ship, test, refine, ship, test, refine, ship, test, refine, ship, test, refine, scale.
 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Idea and possession

Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it’s laws
Amschel Rothchilds

No animal and certainly no human want we steal something from them.
Therefore animal get the sense of possession, and we are not exception.

Controlling money supply is about controlling this part of our brain that want to possess.
It's not unlike your dog obeying you for the rewarding meat.

But the speciality of humans is creativity, that is creating idea, that, by definition, spread.

One can argue that with an empty stomachs, you can't be creative, so you are inevitably controlled by money. And this was true.

The only thing that is different from the days Amschel Rothchilds said that is summarized in one things : Internet.

But first, what controlling money supply means ?
I suspect the author implied a geographical control of money, that is : the one who can move money to the pocket he wants get power.

But Internet changed the odd, now the money does not go into pockets, it goes into ideas.
Internet made ideas more powerfull, and borderless.
Now ideas are controlling money.
Money does not attract ideas.

Give money to a monkey and you get a rich monkey, not an idea.

"where the money goes ?" is not anymore a geographical question.
It is an idealogical one.

Even if it was a geographical concept, mobility improved at a point you can move at whatever location money goes.

This masquerade of crisis, is more a way to brings people back in survival mode, to push them to possess things.
But at the end of the day, we never had in history so much power between our ears.

Our brain can now follow whatever idea you want instantly.

Now, money is in the service of ideas, as long as you stop going into survival mode. (Tip : Buy an hammer and smash your TV)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If it hurts, do it more often

In software project, integration, deployment and delivery were the most painful part of any project.
The project seems to be 99% done, but the last 1% will take you 50% of the project's time.

You can't skip these steps, if you skip them, you won't ship, if you won't ship, you won't get paid.

The old quote, "if it hurts when you do that, don't do that" is only useful if not doing that is a possibility.

So what developers invented so these it stops hurting ?
They do it every single day, instead of once at the end !

The observation is that when something hurt, you keep doing it, then it stops hurting, then it becomes an habit, and then you forget it, this is hard coded inside the human nature.

This idea applies even more for developers, because when one is forced to do something that hurt very often, be sure that he will make the computer do the work for him.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Responsability and delegation

A basic problem with bad manager is that they think about adding man power so they can delegate their responsabilities to someone else so they can accomplish more.

But we can't delegate responsabilities.
We can give new responsabilities to someone so it helps meeting ours, but we can't transfer ours to someone else.

Transfering our responsability is fleeing,
Transfering our responsability is making a promise on behalf of someone else.

Once we make a promise, we are the only one that should make sure we meet it.
There is nothing bad into asking people to make promise to us, so it helps us fullfilling ours.
But that is different promises.

Telling : I could not do what I said because X did not blahblah is always a bad excuse.
It is the sign of someone who does not admit he brokes his promise.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Speaking about convictions

There is different level of discussion,

The first level is about weather, superficial, and safe,
No information gained, looking up is enough to see clouds, so talking is pretty much useless, but no war begans because of weather.

The highest level is about convictions, deep, and dangerous,

Convictions are powerful ideas that drive our behavior while making us more human.
Without conviction, we are as good as a fish in a bowl fighting for survival and security.
Without conviction, the lizard brain drives our life.
Only human can behave for an idea.

Conviction is an idea that make someone do what he does for its own sake.

Killing a conviction, can kill a man, so the lizard brain protects it,  by fighting and escaping.

However, talking about convictions should not be avoided, you can't understand a person until you know what is driving him.

What must be avoided is awakening a lizard brain.

But as we speak about conviction to someone without doing any judgement, with a curious, open mind and deep trust, his survival brain goes to sleep, and we can get insight from his most important persona. This is the best food of our mind, and the best way to understand someone.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

E-Myth summarized

I recently read again The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It.

This is a great book, a little bit romanced to get its point, american speakers are the best story tellers.

The idea is :

The product of the entrepreneur is a business.
The product of the manager is scalability.
The product of the technician is the commodity. (a book, a service, a software)

These are the three main personas in a company, and the company is as good as its weakest link.
If you are these three persona at the same time, any imbalance cause pain.

Too much of the technician, and you become your business' slave. You are not working for you, you are working so your business can survive another day.
A business should help its founder to survive... not the other way around.

Too much of the manager, nothing get done, everything become a process and the company becomes too heavy to adapt any change in the environment.

Too much of the entrepreneur, and nothing ship because there is always an idea to improve, and a new feature to add.

The entrepreneur makes the whole business appealing so someone else can buy it. (Either in share, in patent, or in franchise)
The manager makes sure that the business can scale easily, order and predictability are just a mean to this end.
The technician make what the customer is buying, the commodity.

Each of these three personas has their own goal, by hearing them, we can channel them on the same path for our own growth.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The survival instinct and creativity

The only thing that differentiate human from other animals is one trait : Creativity.
Emotions are not specific to humans, whatever any great poems can tell us, creativity is the only trait.

How to define creativity ?
Creativity is not the act to create.
Monkeys can create simple tools to solve simple problems, but can we say that they are creative ?

Creativitiy is the act to create ideas.
And an idea is a product of one's mind, than can spread and survive beyond its creator.

The lifetime of an idea is dissociated from its creator. In the move V for Vendetta the introduction says, "we can cry the death of a man, but not his ideas. You can't kill an idea."

Painting is creative, the canva will survive the death of its author and in turn, influences other authors.
Entrepreneurship is creative, because a business will continue to survive beyond its founders.
Cooking is creative, a great recipe will spread its reputation in a culture.
Programming is creative, a program style will influence other programmers.

Canvas, businesses, recipes, programs, are the mediums of ideas, not the ideas.
They help spreading it, they are physical representation of these, so other people can get the idea, these are just recorders. Ideas live in the minds of people.

I have the highest values on the people that fight for ideas.
Even if they killed people, even if based on my judgement they are wrong, even if ideas are manipulated, they are the most human people. No animal fight for idea.
You can dismiss their idea, but you can't dismiss they behave more humanly than anyone.

I have the highest value on the people that created the idea.
The source of idea is the one worth reading, and also every his followers that do it for the sake of this idea. Every followers doing it for any other reason than the idea itself are driven by emotion, not by any human trait. We call them man of conviction or stubborn.

On the other hand, another well known trait we inherited from lizards is the survival instinct.
When an organization is over concerned by his own survival, the lizard brain spread into the culture, acting like one big lizard, and poisoning people mirroring the organization.
People fear, protect and flee instead of being creative, they loose their humanity.
The price of loosing creativity is despair. We get the same despair as we have when some of our emotions are not satisfied, but most people don't pinpoint it to this cause. They slowly die because they are not creating, their human mind dying since they don't use it.

The survival instinct is indispensable for our defense in hostile environment, our creativity is indispensable for our humanity. When people act for fear of loosing their jobs, saving, house or whatever, the survival instinct is speaking. Because, in our society, the symbol of survival is money.
In these terms, our world is currently hostile.

But Internet came in, and now ideas spread faster than never.
It empowered creativity because a new idea is nothing but a merge of several ideas into one's mind. When any idea merge with ideas from the laws of money, a new idea is born, and its physical representation is called a business.

No jobs, no house, no saving become important.
Thanks to the laws of money a business attracts money, so we can devote our energy to raise its idea without the survival instinct devoring our humanity.

This way of thinking solve our survival instinct and creativity into a nice equation.

That's why I am creating a business : it is a physical representation of what IT training should looks like that also attract money to it.
I fight for this idea since my lizard brain lastely shut off, but I need to attract money to it so the lizard brain will stays quiet, so I can continue to fuel this idea.
Why doing that ? Because that is the definition of creativity, it is the only thing that animal can't do, and, the most enjoyable activity.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Citations for thoughts

Our actions are influenced by our thoughts,
our thoughts are influenced by our culture,
our culture is influenced by where our mind and senses are.
Both of these, we are in total control.

I tend to capture words that inspire me, so I can read and think on them again to ultimately influence my actions on the good path. Some of which, I lost the sources, internet will find it for you, but they are valuable nonetheless, here they are :

Things don't just happen. Things happens just. Jim Rohn

Make sure what you do is the product of your own conclusion

Take an idiot motivate him, and you got a motivated idiot.

Have the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, the Courage  to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

You can't get rich by demand.

Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job
If you work harder on your job you'll make a living
If you work harder on yourself you can make a fortune. Jim Rohn

Plant in the spring or beg in the fall

No apology if you have done well, no complaint if you did not

Don't be a follower be a student

The creative adult is the child who survived.

The one with no objective, can't reach it. Sun Tzu

Comfort makes coward of us all.

Find what poor people read and don't read it
Find out how they talk and don't talk like they use.
Don't talk the language of the poor Jim Rohn


The core business of banking is best described as : "facilitating the movement of money from point A, where it is, to point B, where it is needed." Third Lord Rothschild

The world is but a canvas to the imagination Henry David Thoreau
 
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. Albert Einstein
 
Set a big goal, not for what it will bring you, but for what it will make of you to achieve it.
 
Discontent is a call for expansion 
 
"I don't need much", "well, so you don't need to become much"
 
Information without education is of limited value.
Education transform information into meaning.


"If I had more money, I'd have better plan..."  "No, if you had better plan, you would have more money"

Tax money feed the goose with golden eggs

A fat purse quickly empties if there be no golden stream to refill it. The Richest Man in Babylon
Him whose purse is empty does gold avoid The Richest Man in Babylon

what we call necessary expenses will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary.

Success is something you attract, it is not something to pursue

Have a mind that is open to everthing and attached to nothing

The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence. John F. Kennedy

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." Robert A. Heinlein

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination" Einstein

"It seems we learn better from bad experience than from good advice"

"Conviction increases the chance that there is creativity and some spark of imagination" A movie producer searching for a great realizator

We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination David Lynch

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it. Ellen Goodman

 
The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.
 
I Bargain with life for a penny.
And life would pay no more
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.
For life is a just employer
He gives you what you ask.
But once you have set the wages,
Why you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial's hire.
Only to learn dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of life
Life would have willingly paid.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Retirement is a dangerous virus

People think that retirement is a right and gift from society to reward hard work during all these years.

This is not. This is a tool manipulating people into thinking it is right to give your time for someone else for fifty years before doing what matter in their life.

Waiting for retirement as a goal for your life is a disease. A cultural virus, a weapon of mass alienation  of obedient workers, the modern concept of slavery.

Retirement makes people too lazy and too fearful to make decision for their own life...
The decision of aligning his goals with his time.

When you are working for what matter in your life, the whole concept of retirement disappears.
If the disease comes back, it is time to change your schedule to suit priorities.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The decision maker, the coward, and the caveman


There is four types of people on the internet : The guy for, the guy against, the guy that does not know, and the guy that does not care.

Culture says that : The guy against is Nazi, the guy for is naive or fanboy, the guy that does not know is balanced, and the guy that does not care lives in a cave.
So sure, everybody wants to be balanced.

But here is the truth, being balanced means two things :
  • Either your knowledge is so great that you can't make an informed decision, based on the input you got from the problem.
  • Or you want to calm down the war, feel cool, and tell your word to the world without being fanboy, Nazi or caveman, or you just fear decisions, in other word a coward.
Both, the guy for and the guy against are very interesting people. They can tell you exactly why they feel what they feel without any fear of political sanction.
Most of the time, these guys know a lot about their respective field, and defends what is feeding their wallet, brain and stomach. You can get a lot from them.
They are both decision makers.

The guy that says it depends... not every times. Is he able to ask you about what information does he needs to make a decision ? If not, it is just a coward, and you can get nothing from him.

Thus now, in my scale, it exists three types of people on the internet :  The decision maker, the coward, and caveman.

PS: despite I call him caveman, there is nothing wrong with him ! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Knowledgeability

In a Ted Talk, Gever Tulley, used a very interesting terms when teaching to children : "Knowledgeability".

The definition of this term is simple : Knowing that we can know.

That correspond exactly to how I define a teacher in the knowledge diagram.

The teacher makes someone knowing that he does not know, and the trainer makes someone knowing what he knows he does not know. We can't forget the teacher said, because it is rooted in our subconscious, but we can forget what the trainer said if we don't practice enough.

Knowledgeability is a really good terms, I don't think the speaker said it on purpose though.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Be the master of commitments and paperwork

I used to be scared about paperwork...
With good reason ! More paperwork means more commitment to take track of... and my brain, my friend will tell you, is a plain black hole.

When I started my first company, paperwork flooded me, and I tried to delegate that to my associates.
I was fleeing responsabilities.

Then, one day, in an airport in Tokyo, waiting for my plane, I read Getting things done by David Allen.
I'll be clear : this is not the best book I enjoyed in my life, but that's certainly the one that made the most impact.

Getting things done is not about technology, it is about organization.

It made me see something : Great achievers, don't have more space in their brain, they just have a better system to keep up with commitments.

Then I started organizing my desktop... and one day I searched about how to become entirely "paper less".
What I am going to show you are the 4 things that changed my life forever.
And I'm not talking about the professional side, these things make my mind restfull as much as meditation, these tools are parts of my whole life.
I would feel like if someone cut a part of my body if one of these services goes down.
Now whatever document you ask me, I can get it in less than 5 min, with my phone or computer.

With Scansnap, I just have one button to push to scan a document and send it to Evernote.
This is the only scanner that has such integration with Evernote.

Scansnap scans my documents, recognizes characters, transforms into PDF, send to evernote.
Then evernote index it... And sometimes, I give one or two tags depending on the document. (invoice, order, bank stuff, training stuff)

Now when I'm going into my bank for opening a new account, and they ask me a paper I don't have on me because they want to earn some time, I just ask :
  • What is your email ?
Use evernote on my phone, get the document, and send by mail... without going back to home.
  • Ok now you have it.
My life is paperless,and all my commitments are kept up as long as I noted it in remember the milk.
I have total peace of mind, and feel like I can handle 10 times more commitments I currently have.

This system is as important as parts of my body, I would feel handicaped without it, it is a part of my life, an extension of me.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fear of loss at your advantage

Like me, you don't like losing money... but you don't mind if you miss earning it.

Losing money make your mind believe that you missed a cultural responsability which is to keep your own money safe.
On the other hand, not earning money is something out of or control. (or more exactly it is what our mind believe)

That's why you are pissed by a pickpocket who steals 20 euros from your pocket, but don't really mind this highly hidden tax you don't really understand decided by your government.
You think you are not responsible of the money you have not earned.

You can leverage this brain's bug at your advantage.

Example :

I know that if I learn about some web design, I'll make money because my sales skills will improve.
However, I'm not motivated to do it... because I just miss earning money, I'm not loosing anything.

Solution :

I pay to pass a certification in Web development (HTML5/CSS and javascript) in 2 weeks for 200$. Now the odd is different : If I don't learn about this new skill... I loose my own money !
Guess what ? Deadline + Responsability = Action.

Fear of loss is a powerful motivator. Just make sure all variables depend on you.

Controlling your mind is hard, setting up the environment to force it to go where you want to go is easier.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google Reader killed... are you kidding ?

Google and Microsoft want to be like Apple and Facebook : Don't please someone, please everyone !

They are all in a phase of integration, instead of diversification in the name of simplicity.
But over generalization is as bad as over specialization.

In other word, the only guy that these companies wants to pleased is called everyone.
And now they are just telling to the guy called someone to do like everyone does and just shut up.

They started by making sharing feeds on google reader harder by integrating G+ on google reader. (so much harder than I just stopped sharing)
And now they are calling blogs dead... just follow google+.
So now, I'm just not using their product anymore. (Thanks FeedDemon)

Both companies are killing their best product just because everyone is not using it...
For Microsoft it was Silverlight, windows desktop and XNA for HTML5. All great products.
Are they all getting mad ?
Who is pulling the strings ?
Who is brain washing these leaders into followers ?

If everyone is not calling them leaders, does not means that someone did not think it.
Now both everyone and someone are convinced that they are like a captain of a ship without sail bragging orders during the storm... Just powerless.

They now look like our politicians making fun of the competition, while doing exactly the same things as them. Different terms, same idea, same strategy.

It reminds me when IBM made Apple believe than closing their systems was better, then switching their strategy once they believed it. Who will be the first to diversify again ?

The diversification and generalization cycle is common to the life of all organism, company, market, or people are alike. These companies are now in the middle of the integration phase, and that's not a good time for geeks like me !

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Knowledge acquisition is the new golden stream

A job is not important anymore.
Nor Knowledge is.
Knowledge acquisition is the new golden stream.

Someone can fire you from a job.
But nobody can take your knowledge... or can it ?
The product of time and innovation kills knowledge.
Time is constant but innovation constantly growing.

Thus, if time and innovation kill your knowledge, what is left for you ?

Knowledge acquisition, or the speed at which you can keep up absorbing the right knowledge for the right use is now the new ultimate weapon.

It takes both curiosity and goal, self learning is not anymore optional. The knowledge of what an abstraction is, is essential.

The realization of this fact has the following consequences :
Keep learning, and so one has the power to take your freedom, unless you permit it.
Keep learning, and embrace and accept changes as an inevitable consequence of innovation.

Innovation and time can kill big fishes, and it is killing the ignorant.
Nobody can do the push up for them, and nobody can do them for you.
Never so much power have been in our own hands.

Non-Self contained abstraction

My previous post talked about self contained abstraction.

But a second kind of abstraction exists : Non-Self contained abstractions.
We also call it extensions.

The utilisation of extensions need that you understand the layer below, an extension is not a self contained abstraction.

If I take the car tuning. Tuning are just extensions to the car, but to make tuning possible, you also have to understand the car internals abstraction and it defines the internals of what is a suspension, an engine, tire and sway bars.
Tuning is itself an abstraction it define strut bars, spoiler, and body kit, for example. But you can't use anything of this abstraction if you don't know the car abstraction first.

For developers, extensions are what controls suite in WPF are to WPF. You need to understand both, the abstraction of the controls suite and the abstraction of WPF to make use of the controls in the suite.

PS: I know nothing about car tuning, a quick search on wikipedia gave me the vocabulary of these abstractions.

Self contained abstraction

Nobody talks about it, but something very important happen when learning to code.
We learn the power of abstraction.

Abstractions is something that hide the details of something else to make things simpler.
An everyday exemple is your car.
The whole driver seat is an abstraction layer.
The steering wheel, break, accelerator, dashboard are simplified vision of the internal mechanics of the car that talk about piston, wheel, motor, hoses.

These same internals are also abstraction over their internal components. (I don't know their name of these internals)

We talk about self contained abstraction when one can use an abstraction to reach a goal without having to go into the internals.

For some goals, for example car tuning, the driver seat abstraction is not enough, and one has to get the internals of this abstraction.

Another term to represent a self contained abstraction in software design is called a layer.
A layer is nothing but a self contained abstraction.

The more layer you understand, the more you can track down problems, and the more creative power you have. You break the limitation of having one layer of thought, and can search for a solution on multiple angles.
Common goals have common abstractions. (Driving in the city only needs the driver seat abstraction)
Uncommon goals have to work with multiple layer of abstraction.

A great developer transforms an uncommon goal to a common goal, and so the developper create its own self contained abstractions. It is also what we call the business domain.
We often call such programmer an architect, or just developer opposed to what we call programmer described below.

The goal of average developer is to just reuse self contained abstractions made by someone else. We call them code monkeys, or just programmer opposed to developers.

Both share the same activities, that is, coding. But they have not the same level of thinking to solve a problem. An architect make average programmers possible to work.

Finding architect is not scalable for a company. That is why having an architect is so valuable. It permits an enterprise to recruit more developers to get things done.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Language, Creativity, and Community

Any idea, complex or not, can be made simple by choosing the right language to describe it.
The idea does not become simpler for everyone. Just for people that know this language.

A language shared by the same group of people create a community and experts are the one in the group that know how to speak it unconsciously.

Being an expert is good for a living, but only creative one will draw fortune like a magnet through the law of attraction.

Creativity is only about combining ideas to create a new one.
You can't build a house without bricks, so you can't be creative without external ideas.
But you can't use external ideas without knowing the language to express them simply.

A lack a creativity is the result of a person speaking the same language day after day, by extent it is a sign of a person staying too much within the same community.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Freinet Method

I had the pleasure to read about the Freinet teaching method.
It corresponds almost exactly to what I called before "Conscious learning".

It emphasizes questioning, exploration, and experimentation over responses.

Also Célestin Freinet redacted some invariants on children,

"The child has the same nature as the adult"
These invariant, are true for adults too, any deviation probably means you are living for something else.

"Gaming and fun is not natural to the child, work is"
You don't have to force someone to work, given its own exploration path, he will move forward by himself.

"We prepare tomorrow's democracy in the country with today's democracy at school. Authoritative school can't train democratic citizen."
If we teach children to obey and don't question, we teach them to follow authoritative leaders.

"The child don't like to work and obey like a robot. He like individual work and cooperative communities"
As a developer, I am amazed about how great the open source community is. No master work for its own sake because its one own path.

"Acquisition are not made through study of rules and laws, but with experience. Learning rules and laws first is like putting the cart before the horse."
From questions come responses. Rules and laws are tools to give responses... but first you have to ask a good question. You will acquire knowledge with experience at applying those rules on your own questions.

I won't be able to apply such principle to children, but that's definitively what I am doing during training... Helping to ask right questions, so rules and laws are easily discoverable by themselves and then acquired through experience.

Quote collection

I have the habit to collect quote from the net and books that I read regulary so I can drive my effort to my goals... here are some of them :

"I bargain with life for a penny.
And life would pay no more
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For life is a just employer
He gives you what you ask.
But once you have set the wages,
Why you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire.
Only to learn dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of life
Life would have willingly paid."


In other words : Life is a reflection of the subconscious so you get what your primary thoughts are asking. I am amazed to see it at works since I believe and repeat this quote.

"Normal is getting dressed in clothes tant you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."
 Ellen Goodman

"Normal" is a social concept and its application is weither to be accepted in a group or to become invisible in this group. The normal concept of the group we call "Mass" is what Ellen Goodman is describing.
So I stay happy as long as "Normal people" think of me as a weirdo.

"A fat purse quickly empties if there be no golden stream to refill it."
The Richest Man in Babylon

A quick reminder that the real financial security comes from money streams, bank account balance is just another word for insurance.

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination"
"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."
Einstein

A reminder that every symbol language (actual language, mathematic, or programming language) are just tools to express your imagination in the outside world.
Without imagination there is nothing to express.

About banks goal : "facilitating the movement of money from point A, where it is, to point B, where it is needed."
Third lord Rothschild

Again a reminder that golden streams are the important stuff.

"The world is but a canvas to the imagination"
Henry David Thoreau

Why the world is needed ? Because you can draw on it then consciousness can switch concept by looking the canvas, pivot, and imagine more.

"Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing"

An open mind will draw imagination by looking consciously its canvas.
A detached mind is conscious that it is only a canvas, it cans tear pages, and erases the toxicity.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Money personal framework

An heavy purse quickly empties without golden stream to refill it.

Popular culture shows us people living as stars thanks to a big number there is on their bank account.
And money become only what is inside a bank account for people.

I have a different vision.

Money only exists as flow. The actual money amount on an (bank) account is insurance, to keep it alives in case of unexpected events. For this reason, I will call it "reserve".
The only reason to keep an account alives, is so money can continue to flow through it.

A flow is a transfer of money in a channel between two accounts.
A channel can be leaky, which means that money on the destination account might be way less than the money on the source account.
And there can be multiple channel between the same two accounts.
A channel has fluidity : You can't flow too much money at the same time in it.

Why is it leaky ? that is a fiscal, and law problems that can only be answered depending on the channel. The framework I am using don't respond to these question.

It means that a sound financial planning, for me, is to build a system where you are free to move money where you want it with minimal loss and maximum fluidity.
In case of exceptional catastrophe, the only goal of money amount in an account is to keep it alives enough time so other flow fill its gap.
A reserve buy time to adapt, nothing else.

What this framework clarifies ?

Financial security of an account depends on the source streams first.
Reserve buys you time to adapt to source stream changes.

If the set of account in your sphere on influence is a system that can also be represented by an account inside a larger system. :

The financial security of your system depends on the source streams.
Reserve buys you time to adapt to source stream changes.

Thus a system and a bank account obeys to the same laws, both will be called "account".

One account with multiple small source streams needs less reserve than an account with a big source stream.

Why ? because there is more chance to loose 1 big source than 100 small one at the same time.

During this time money will flow out of the account, how much time the adaptation can take ?
It depends on the reserve there is, it depends on the source stream that was taken down, and it depends if you can afford to bring down the fluidity of destination channels (that will also impact their reserve).

An account can multiply sources, so reserve can be minimal.
Well managed account is an account with the right reserve.
More money than needed in a reserve is sign of bad money management.
How much enough reserve is ? Take this formula :
Burn rate * time to restore the biggest catastrophe = reserve
Burn rate is the sum of amount of money going to destination accounts for an unit of time.

Currently popular culture is pushing us to fill personal accounts for no reason, and through the most leaky channel. (Salary)
Given that framework, it is clearly the dumbest move.
Why ? Because the personal account is not the only one you can profit. And less leaky channel exists.

You can profit of everything in the system of your sphere of influence. Law can place obstacles, and you will have more question to ask to spend... but that's what make life interesting.

That way of thinking is most likely "innate" for finance experts, but some apply the principle only for their employers, and not for themselves.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Expert Syndrome And Knowledge Diagram

The first training I gave was in my own school to 80 students. I was bad. Really bad.

But by looking back, I am conscious of my weakness. This is what I call the Expert Syndrome.

It happens when we are not anymore conscious of our skill because we practice them everyday.
We practice them enough that most of our skill moved to the subconscious world, we code and solve problems by reflex. This is what I called subconscious learning. It happens with repeated practice.

When an expert gives his first training to amateur, the following happens in his head :
"Why do they understand nothing ?  Because they are not listening me ! Why are they not listening ? Because they are lazy !"

Part of it might be true, but guess what : A great teacher is great enough so that people not only love what he teaches, but continue to practice for no apparent reward, for its own sake.
The great teacher gives intrinsic motivation.

There is four types of knowledge:

The one we know that we know.
The one we know that we don't know.
The one we don't know that we know.
The one we don't know that we don't know.

The problem of the expert, is that there is a mountain of knowledge he doesn't know that he knows.
If the expert wants to get attention of the amateur, he needs to move this knowledge from the "doesn't know that he knows" type to the "knows that he knows" type, so he can teach the missing part that the amateur "doesn't know he doesn't know".

Here is a summary of my last observations on knowledge acquisition :
 
 
 
 
 
The subconscious never forgets.The conscious will. A bachelor can fall back to professional without practice.
The expert can fallback to does not know he knows if he stops teaching.
But no expert can fallback, once you learnt how to ride a bike, you will always be able to do it.
The worse for the expert is knowledge obsolescence.
The expert never die but his subject can.

Curiously, once conscious of our ignorance, we never forget it.
I already learnt differential in math classes. I was a Bachelor. I forgot differential, but I know that I don't know differential, and I know I can use google to get back in the Bachelor state.

The power of Lucid Dream on learning and habits

Lucid dream, or the power to be conscious in our dream might happen just by chance, you can train to do it, and maybe, like some people, do them one by night.

Depending on the degree of lucidity, your dream might seems more real than real life, except you have the power on everything, dream character seems real, and can discuss with you.
And pushed to the extrem, some people just think of their dream as a second reality.

Despite the fact that you have all power you want inside, it is not the reason why I pursue it.

The real two powers is that :
  • Creativity and imagination is unleashed. (If you don't know why, back in school, you were able to solve math problem just by sleeping on it, you will understand why)
  • You can question your subconscious about your habits and break them, or form new one.
You can see it like a shortcut of shu ha ri or subconscious learning as I called it.

It has the same result without the repetition step.

Some people practice sport in their lucid dream. Part of Golf is about repetition of the perfect movement, for the same reason of martial art : Letting the subconscious do the work, Lucid dream being a direct access to subconscious, it is a very effective way to learn this kind of thing.