RIP: Windows XP

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I was at COMDEX  in Las Vegas when Bill Gates strode purposefully onto the stage back in 1995 and did a demo of Windows 95. I still remember thinking that I saw beads of sweat on his brow when he was demoing that “brand spanking new Plug and Play technology” (which at the time Apple had already nailed). Bill plugged a drive into the computer and patiently waited for the icon to appear. In front of thousands of people. Just when I thought he was going to flip out from the stress of the moment, the icon appeared and you could see him visibly relax.

He also played a video of “what things were going to be like in 2005″ some of which was pretty prescient (like touch screen tablets) and other’s not so much (the video featured some people driving around in what they called “an old Oldsmobile Aurora” – guess Bill wasn’t prescient enough to realize that Oldsmobile would be gone by then).

Of course, even the touch screen tablet was a bit off, I think they had this in-car system but the screen was giant – kind of like having a 23 inch flat screen attached to your windshield. Yep, Microsoft had predicted something like the iPad, about 15 years early. I wonder if Steve Jobs was in that audience.

But I digress. That was ’95, XP was a different beast. XP was truly the first broad based consumer and business focused OS which wasn’t built on DOS. It really was its own thing, it was the first OS from Microsoft to use the Windows NT kernel (remember NT meant New Technology)

I’m actually surprised that Microsoft supported XP for as long as it did, but I can totally understand why it ended up everywhere – almost like a poor mans embedded system. That thing powers everything from gas pumps to cash registers to that little trolley thing that hospitals use to capture your information when you check in. I think I still have a netbook in the garage which runs XP, that thing was solid as a rock. I bet I can fire that up right now and it would still be a great experience. In many minds, still better than Windows 8. (Full disclosure, I have Windows 8.1, and a touchscreen, and I love it. Seriously. No, I do.)

Things in the tech world progress and change at a crazy rate. If you ask me Moore’s Law is nothing – we are seeing change at a much faster rate than ever before, especially in the software space – where there are really no physical limitations to what you can do. On the one hand, software keeps getting better and better (if you, ahem, forgive, asides like Vista) but on the other hand, for many enterprises, who have to think about huge changes from top to bottom when rolling out a new OS to the organization, its not an easy decision. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Well, it might not be broke now, but at some point, it WILL break. New hardware, new security threats, software companies don’t simply release new versions in order to help their bottom line, they do it to improve the product, release new features, and protect against new threats.

Case in point: the Heartbleed bug, which is making the news this week, exposed a serious vulnerability to OpenSSL, which drives a HUGE chunk of the internet. People everywhere are scrambling to patch for it. This is not something that is going to go away – if anything it gets worse.

So you will, at some point, even if your software manufacturer doesn’t decide to stop supporting your software, still need to upgrade. The whole question is when. Some wait until the last possible moment, others are more proactive, still others wait until something breaks. But in most cases, you can’t wait until something breaks – even though it might cost a lot to upgrade, it also costs a lot to support and maintain an old OS. Probably even more, as the skill set to maintain that OS starts to retire to Hawaii (or Florida). Try looking for someone to program an Altair 8800 nowadays.

So lets have a toast to XP, it was a great OS, and we’ll miss you. Don’t worry though, your spirit (and probably some bits of code) live on in Windows 7+, so even though you’re not around – we still feel your soul. :)

“THIS week sees the last batch of bug fixes and security patches that Microsoft will issue for Windows XP. After April 8th, computers using the 13-year-old operating system will continue to work just fine, but all technical support for XP—whether paid or otherwise—will cease. In a change of heart, Microsoft has at least agreed to continue issuing updates for its Security Essentials malware engine, which runs on XP, until July 2015. Apart from that, users who continue to rely on the thing will be on their own—at the mercy of mischief-makers everywhere.

via Difference Engine: End of the road for Windows XP | The Economist.”

The Web Is 25 Today

mosaic.6beta_610x569If you think about it – not a lot has changed since the web was born 25 years ago – we still use browsers – even though some have come and gone and have been reborn again – even thought we’ve seen a huge uptick towards mobile, even there we use mobile browsers to view the internet. In fact, I’m typing this blog post in a browser – of course no one at the time would ever imagine how the browser and the web would fully disrupt software as we know it.

If you look a Mosaic today, what you see is a very, very crude versions or what I’m using to write this blog post – while the power of the browser itself has changed – and many layers of technology have appeared to replicate the software on my desktop experience in the browser, I’m still loading a web page. If I were to look at my source right now, I’d still see HTML and hyperlinks, just as Tim-Berners Lee imagined it.

Of course, in the early days, the power of hypertext was in the ability to let you jump to the link when you needed additional exposition on that specific word – thus the term web “surfing”, you’d bounce from page to page, sometimes digging into the pages, other times, finding another path to somewhere else, with no idea how to get back. Until of course, you pressed the “back” button.

Even though we still call it “surfing”, we no longer surf in the traditional sense, well, most people I know don’t. They take a less active role, preferring instead to allow curated content to come at them in feeds, whether they be properly curated or not, The web of today is more of a lean back experience than ever. And since most people experience the web via Facebook, Google, Amazon and the like, and rarely venture far off those beaten tracks, there is even less – and likely to be less tomorrow. We went from a free roaming experience to one on rails (borrowing from the video game world) – even though we CAN go anywhere, we choose not to, preferring the popular neighborhoods than going off the beaten track.

Where will the web be in 25 years? Unrecognizable, I should think. First of all, we are already seeing a burst of different devices, mostly wearables, which will give us new form factors to consider. The web itself will shatter into a million niches – requiring the ability to display everything from single words, to weighty tomes, in any format, on any device, in a way it can digested. It’s like responsive design on steroids – and it will have to look awesome on all of them – since design will continue to be super important.

Secondly, a lot of the “stuff” that we have to do – things that seem really complicated and formidable to accomplish, will simply disappear. Oh, they will still be there, but they will subside into a pure platform play. For example, something like eCommerce, selling stuff, paying people, that won’t be a thing onto itself, its will become integrated into the fabric of the web. There won’t be payment apps, just payment APIs, hidden from the end user. And not just payment APIs, many services which require a full app and complicated instrumentation will disappear.

So many things will become effortless and seamless. You won’t need to do many things any more – agents will do things for you on your behalf – based on things that you’ve already done, things that it thinks you will be doing, and even things that it think you might want to do. Everyone will be a rock star, as technology provides everyone with an amazing virtual entourage, anyone can enjoy a rock star experience.

After that – the web will be everywhere. Once the web is everywhere – once every dumb device is smart and connected, we will have so much big data that we are able to, we can solve every problem.

We do have the web to thank for that. If it wasn’t for Tim, then the only people using the internet would be nerds and geeks like me. And there are only so many of us.

One of the things I like to joke about is that my Dad used to say “Why are you doing computers? Computers are a fad! You should get into a business which is necessary! Like being a doctor, lawyer, real estate agents. Everyone gets sick, everyone needs a house! Even barbers are necessary. But computers?” I think about what he said and I realize that the web is not only responsible for my career over the last 20 years, but also the careers of millions more. If you can possibly imagine life without the web, and the huge driver of commerce and economic growth that it has become, then I don’t want to live in that world. I could, but I wouldn’t want to.

So cheers to Tim Berners-Lee and the web. I have not idea where I’d be if it wasn’t for his awesome invention. Probably still crawling under desks and replacing hard drives, I suppose.

Secret, Whisper, Snapchat : Anonymity IS Free Speech

Faceless2If you think about it, apps like Secret, Whisper and Snapchat and even Twitter (assuming that you didn’t share your personal details in your profile or with Twitter – or even create a fake persona), are not only perfect for our new age of outrage, they are the true embodiment of real free speech. Free speech has basically disappeared from the net, as fear of retribution has pushed people away from using their real and true persona to speak freely.

Isn’t it great when you can anonymously slam a public figure for being a jerk (or not a jerk, depending on how you feel about the following), whether it be Justin Beiber (jerky Canadian brat who thinks his fame lets him get away with anything), Anatoly Pakhomov (jerky Sochi Mayor who, I’m sure erroneously believes that there are no gay people in his city), or Jared Padalecki (who had the temerity to voice an opinion – God forbid we let people do that – on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman) with no fear of retribution. Isn’t it great when you can vent your anger and frustration and outrage at someone anonymously, and no one can get back at you for it.

Back when we first started talking to each other – we pretty much we had to speak directly to each other. Sure, we had ways of hiding speakers identities, like anonymous letters, through messengers and other ways. When you were outraged back then, you could write a strongly worded letter, or show up at the council meeting, or wherever you wanted to air your grievances and be heard. Of course, back then there was also a pretty strong filtering system which decided whether or not to actually broadcast your message. You had no choice in the matter – either the editors saw merit in your letter and printed it, or they didn’t and didn’t. I’ll bet that most of the anonymous letters received by newspapers back then never made it to press, unless it supported the same opinions as the editorial staff.

Human beings want to speak out. They want to be heard. But for the longest time, they haven’t had that option. But now we do.However, we are still used to an ephemeral world – where things live and die. We write something down on a sheet of paper, when we want to destroy it, we shred it or set fire to it. We are used to being able to destroy things when we don’t need them anymore – or they will affect us negatively later on.

We also love to vent when we feel strong emotions – its very therapeutic – and I’m sure that there are plenty of schools of psychology that support the outpouring of emotion onto paper. Unfortunately, we no longer live in an ephemeral world.

That world is over – and only now are we catching up to that fact. Most likely every single thing that you do online is being tracked and recorded somewhere. Even if you delete these tracks, my guess is that they are probably cached somewhere at whatever place you did whatever you did at – be it Facebook, Google, or any of the big 5 sites. Being able to just destroy what you did is almost impossible now – and we are only just coming to grips with that.

And not only is the online world no longer ephemeral, so is the offline world. Just using your smartphone to buy your coffee, or a credit card – creates an indelible, permanent stamp that you were in that place at that time. Just try to delete that record – you don’t even have the rights to it – its owned by the credit card company. As the internet of things grows, less and less of our lives will be ephemeral – everything that we say and do will be permanently recorded somewhere.

Look at wearables like Google Glass. If not Glass, probably in the next, oh say two years, the wearables form factor will take off – I’ve said so myself. These devices will be so useful in our lives that we will allow them to record all of our lives. And these previously ephemeral bits of our lives will be logged and stored forever.

Now on the one hand, this is not a bad thing – as we age and get more and more dependent on our machine sides (BTW, I did say that we are already cyborgs, didn’t I?) all of that memory in the backup brain will be very useful.

But on the other hand, do you really want that alcohol laced rage-fest about your last boss blogged to the world the afternoon after you were fired out there – I mean – at all?

We now get it – everything we do or say is out there – forever. And this is one of the reasons why apps like Secret, Whisper and Snapchat are so hot – people need to speak – but at the same time – they want the ephemeral nature of the old world to keep those thoughts from hurting them in future.

Based on my Whisper research, I can tell you that the anonymity – even if its not real – does allow one to speak freely – and that free speech, for some – is truly therapeutic in a world where many people have lost their way – on the one hand giving up any guidance from something like a religion, but on the other hand not feeling strong enough to be the master of their own destiny (I guess they never read Ayn Rand in high school)

So now that we know that – and we know that people want to be able to choose to make things go away – it should be very simple to add those attributes to your product – blog posts that disappear after a certain period – images that go away – as well the the ability to be timeless  but anonymous.

My sense is that going forward, apps who force an identity requirement will become less and less prevalent, and those who allow a sense of anonymity will prevail.

So get anonymous people – your users want it.

 

Artists Should Not Work For Free

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Just Cause Its Free To Deliver Doesn’t Mean It Should Be Free, Period.

Spotify’s latest move to make all of its services free (since they raised a quarter billion dollars) is just the latest strike against paying for content.

For a while now the perceived price of content has been under fire.

The source of this probably came about during the late 60′s with Stewart Brand‘s infamous comment:

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.

Note the part that stuck: “information wants to be free“. Ugh. But also notice that in the next sentence, he talks specifically about distribution.

While Brand was referring to the cost of distributing the information – the meaning of this has been stretched and pulled like taffy over time to extend over to the cost of the entire creation of “information”. And since this quote – all kinds of content have morphed from physical media – LPs, CDs – VHS tapes, DVDs, printed books, magazines – to information. So, its true – while the cost of distributing the information has approached zero, only in some of these areas has the cost of creation actually dropped.

For example, it used to require musicians for an artist to record, mix and release tracks of music. Recording studio space had to be secured, costs were high, as was the barrier to entry. But nowadays, free and low cost software can turn anyone into the next Skrillex (well not anyone, you need to still have the talent). In that industry the costs of creating the media have dropped, as in film. The technology required to make an independent film has dropped precipitously, so as above, anyone with a little talent and a smartphone can create a compelling vision. Not so much for writing though. The craft of writing really hasn’t changed all that much – sure the tools have gotten more sophisticated, but unless someone has created some kind of automatic writing engine which just takes concepts and spits out stories (I’d pay real money for that one), that mostly requires butt-in-seat time.

In all of this content creation – we may have shaved down the cost of the recording and distribution – but the time – and time IS a cost – and skill of the artist required to produce quality work – have remained the same. The skill to write a good story, to take a great picture, to produce an awesome track, to move people emotionally with film – those things have great value. It is my assertion that that value is being whittled away, bit by bit, by the audience – who just look at the recording and distribution costs nearing zero, as a reason that the entire cost of the object, including the time and skill the artist put into creating the work also should be zero.

When these things were physical objects, people gladly paid for them. For some reason, now that they are information – people want them to be free. We can lay the blame for this cheapening at the feet of many places – the distaste of people for what they perceive are the excesses of capitalism, the wrecking of the concept of a free market by places and services like Fiverr and iTunes, the open source and shareware/freeware software movements (on the one hand, the unfettered exchange of software is a great thing – but on the other hand, there are thousands of programmers out there, who, slave like, code for no compensation. And when people get used to you producing something for nothing, then why pay something when you get something for nothing?)

How do Fiverr and iTunes wreck a market? In a true free market, (like eBay, which is not perfect but closer to a free market) prices are set by an agreement between buyer and seller – they agree to a price where both the buyer and the seller walk away pleased with the deal – the buyer getting fair value for their money and the seller getting fair value for the time that they put into creating the product. Even fixed price markets, like Etsy, allow a seller to set a price – and there is even room for some negotiation. Places like Fiverr, where every service is one price, perverts this beautiful process, by forcing every product, content and service from shooting a video, or recording an audio track, to writing a blog post or a short story, to a single price. This sets the value ahead of time – no matter how much effort the seller does or does not put into the creation of the content, the price is the same. And in order to provide good value to the buyers, the sellers typically over deliver. Expectations are incredibly high, and the review and rating mechanisms are overly harsh to the sellers.

Since often these marketplaces often feature one of a kind created physical items, even those items are tarred by the same brush – even physical item prices – original works created by artists – suffer the same fate.

The artists are constantly getting screwed down. Probably partially based on the mistaken belief of the buyers that the full “costs” (as opposed to just the recording and distribution costs) to create a musical track, a video, or a book, or a photo, get lower and lower, the “price” a buyer should pay should also get lower and lower. Eventually, buyers will expect all content to be near zero – or even free.

There’s been a recent meme floating around the internet from a photographer, tired of his customers expecting him to work for very little or free, wrote and posted an ad on Craigslist asking for people to work for him for free, since everyone expects him to work for free – or very little:

Titled “Pro Photographer Looking for People to Do Their Job Without Pay,” the photographer decides it’s turnabout time. “I am a photographer,” the shooter writes, “and since people are always looking for free shoots I assume that they must also do their job, or provide their services, for free.”

“I am looking to hire all types of people to do all sorts of jobs for me, as long as I do not have to pay anything,” he continues. “Just think, you will gain more experience, and I will put the word out for you and let everyone know what wonderful work you do.”

I know a number of photographers, writers, videographers and musicians who are seeing it too – although the time and skill to create quality content has not changed, the price expectations has truly plummeted, to the point where one can no longer support oneself creating content, unless it’s a physical object. Only physical objects seem to hold more value, and the market which prefers physical objects is getting smaller and smaller.

What is the future path for content creators? Do they go down the path of open source developers and give their content (source code) away for free, only to make up the money in other ways (training and documentation)? I’ve read plenty of articles about how bands can’t make a penny on selling music, but make up their money in concerts and sales of physical goods. But what about writers and others? Even now, a book making its way up the charts Write, Publish, Repeat, is advocating giving away your first books for free, in order to satiate an audience that wants everything for nothing. I’m not sure that simply bowing to that pressure is the right way to go – which is why when I published my first fiction book, I priced it at what I thought was a reasonable amount, which would pay for my time and skill in creating the book.

In 2007, I filed for a patent on an idea to create a true media marketplace, where content creators and content purchasers could reach a fair price on the cost of the content – pleasing both the buyer and the seller. Since then, we’ve culturally forced down the cost of content to the point where a system like that might never allow the content creators to receive full and proper value for their time and skill.

There may be some solution for content creators in a crowdsourced environment, where some kind of bidding system would allow both the creators and the buyers the ability to reach a reasonable price for content – allowing the content creators to continue to do what they do best – create quality content – and give the buyers better content at a reasonable price.

We simply need to bring a true market back to content, and stop pushing the price near zero. We have to reassert the value in the time and skill required to take that beautiful picture, write that moving story or lay down that groove. Like never before, we have the technology and the networks in place to create a true free market for artists. Who will take the first step?

Work. Repeat. Win.

Repeat After Me

Repeat After Me

I’ve been reading a lot lately about how some startups get started and find traction I’ve been seeing some interesting patterns – namely one which seems to work in almost all cases, and that is simply repeating your message over and over and over until you get noticed.

Works for almost anything. If you blog, just blog like crazy and you will eventually get noticed. If you are an author, write and publish like crazy and eventually you will get noticed. If you are a musician, write, record and publish songs like crazy and you will get noticed. Just produce like crazy, and you will get noticed.

Famous blogger I know actually teaches a class where he says “just keep on blogging and eventually you’ll get noticed”.

The writers at a independent publishing house called Realm & Sands have put out a book called Write. Publish. Repeat. , where one of the key lessons they teach is: just keep writing. Produce like stink, get a ton of books out there, and eventually you will get noticed.

There is a little computer repair business near here called Cheap Squad who got customers by one of their founders posting their service on Craigslist 30 times a day! – after a while they got noticed.

I read in The Science of Marketing that there is really no such thing as over-tweeting. People who tweet more get seen more. And repeating the same or a similar tweet is actually a good idea, since some of your followers may have missed it at some point.

Of course, you old-line marketers out there will just say “but Chris, this is nothing new. Is what advertising is all about. If people see your message often enough and long enough, you will get customers” this is true. However, it used to be $$$ in order to get your message out. Now its free or cheap. Just requires labor. And if you produce content, no matter what kind of content it is, all you have to do is keep on producing it.

Moral: Work. Repeat. Win.

Coding On Christmas?

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Santa Could Use A New Laptop

Well, not actually coding, just throwing together a quick burndown list of what’s left to do on one of the many projects I’m working on. Don’t you love it when you’re working on something and you can’t stop thinking of great ideas for making it better? When this happens to me I have to pour it into Evernote or something, otherwise I’ll forget it. Of course, prior to the internet it would all be in those composition books all us engineering types love to write stuff in. I prefer mine blank so I can draw all sorts of things – I was never very good at following the lines anyways.

But I digress. I used to have a running joke with one of my colleagues – whenever he’d ping me or call me on the phone he’d say “You working?” and no matter when it was – whether I was driving, attending one of my kids MMA classes, or watching TV, or even actually even working, I’d say “Always!”

Truth is, I AM kind of always working. I think the very soul of a startup entrepreneur is just like that – no matter where we are or what we are doing, we have this little engine in our heads which is constantly churning out new ideas. I think everyone has that little engine – some of us purposely shut it down and other just ignore it. But that thing kicks out some great ideas – yes, even on Christmas Day.

So I say unto you – let your little engine let loose with those ideas, and write them down as soon as you get them – you never know if with a little development they might turn into the next multi-billion dollar idea.

Yes, even on Christmas.

Future News:Public Shaming Ruled Illegal

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Des Moines, IA, United States: In this Midwestern town, one of the first cities which experimented with a new method of deterrence, the local city government today made illegal the new/old practice of public shaming. If you haven’t read the stories on this trend that has been sweeping the country, a number of smaller cities have begun using a form of public shaming as punishment for offences in lieu of a more and more burdened local government which is increasingly unable to prevent crime. When a person commits a crime, their picture is posted with the details of their crime, allowed residents to treat that person accordingly. Chad Michaels, President of Take Responsibility (Des Moines Chapter) says “People think that this is an outmoded and uncivil practice, but in reality, it works. When someone lives in a community, they forget how often they need to interact with other members of the community. When they commit an offence against one person, they offend the community. This just lets the community know what the offence is, and allows the community to decide how to react. It’s amazing how people get in line when they think their crime isn’t private” The group has seen a very small number of inappropriate postings and or repeat offenders. Chad is not surprised that the Des Moines government has decided to ban the practice. “Governments can’t handle things that work and don’t cost anything. This won’t stop us though, it works too well”

About 6 years ago, I wrote a set of predictive stories about what life would be like 10 years out. Really interesting to go back to that time and see how much of that is on the way to actually happening: some of it – like 3d printers, are definitely moving along at a rapid clip. Others, not so much. I thought that you might find some of these interesting, so I’ll send them out in addition to my regular scheduled programming. Hope you enjoyed, and that it spurs some new thinking!

Why So Flat?

why-so-flat

Been doing some research on wearable devices (see Next Hot Space: Wearables) and I’ve come to the conclusion that we will have to see a radical shift in the way interfaces operate in this new world. When I look at wearables like the Meta space glasses, which project a 3D, nearly holographic image into your field of vision, then go back to the interfaces on your typical device today, I’m struck at how flat and similar everything looks.

Almost every app is just FLAT. Sure, its in 2D, but then everything is in 2D. Every know and then, you can see that the designers understand that they can do 3D, but its more of a nice design touch, and not integral to the design. For example, when you switch users in the iOS twitter app, it looks like a turning box. Nice, but no boundary pusher.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking 3D like the Nintendo 3DS or even 3D TV. In fact, I fully believe that we will soon, if not already, get a pushback on the use of that kind of 3D. What I’m talking about is making our interfaces live in a 3D world behind the screen.

Games have been doing it forever. Look at Infinity Blade, for example. It seems to me that sure, 3D is very cool in games, in rendering a new world for your users to experience and your characters to live in, but for some reason 3D hasn’t caught on in the app space outside of games.

If you ask me, there is a great opportunity here not only to create cool new 3D interfaces for mobile, but interfaces which can be seamlessly ported to the 3D wearable world, when projecting a 3D interface into a wearable device becomes more commonplace.

Despite what we see in Minority Report, I don’t think displays will remain floating 2D constructs which can be moved and swiped away, but 3D objects which can be rotated. We’re talking Tony Stark vs John Anderton, and Stark’s the winner.

How to prepare? Easy. Just look at your interfaces and see how they can be reworked for 3D. Consult with or bring on a designer with 3D modeling expertise. Have them generate menus and functions as 3D models in Maya, or if you can’t afford that, Blender. Use something like Unity 3D or some other game creation software to take those models and turn them into a fully functioning app.

If you do this, you’ll be ahead of the curve next year as wearables start hitting the mainstream in a big way, and you’ll already be working on an interface of the future.

Your Own Personal Think Tank

your-own-personal-think-tank

When was the last time that you just took a moment to simply sit and think? I tell you, its tough. The urge to whip out your smartphone when not even a moments boredom begins, its hard. Personally, I think it has something to do with our brains – we are wired to be ultra curious. We want to know things, and we want to communicate. Our brains are a never ending sponge for information and discussion. So much so that we sometimes never devote time to simply thinking.

When I was a kid, I used to imagine that in the future some people would get jobs which were pure thinking. That, like the shift worker, would head to work, punch a clock, then instead of working on some gadget, sweeping a floor, or doing some other type of physical work, they would sit in their office all day, just thinking.

A pure “knowledge worker”. They wouldn’t generate code, software, writing, or anything for that matter. What they would do is simply sit and think. They could sit there, for days on end, just devoting time to thinking. Maybe eventually, and as the insights strike they would write down any ideas which came to them.

These ideas would then be passed on to others who could turn them into something – be it a product or service. Sometimes the ideas would even bigger and broader concepts, then those would be written into papers which are then published. Since I was a kid, I had no idea that think tanks existed just for that purpose.

We used to be able to sit and think. We used to be mini personal think tanks. Some of the greatest inventions sprang out of minds from that era. Since then, since we have practically ended that practice. Some might say that is a good thing – that always on connectedness and access to immediate knowledge actually help in the ideation process – you can instantly validate an idea and determine if its worth pursuing.

But what if that idea could have become much better with thought. With pondering. Mulling its pros and cons in your mind, before checking the world. Would that idea maybe have morphed into something else?

I’m just as guilty of immediately checking on an idea the moment I come up with it. I say, lets start a new trend. Let’s spend a few minutes, every day, just turning off the devices and sitting and thinking. I’ll give you a pad and pen to jot things down. Just schedule a time, go into a quiet room, and sit and think. I bet you’ll be surprised what comes to you.

Don’t Wait For Mother Nature: Let’s Augment Ourselves!

roboticarmSo, Mother Nature, God or whoever got us to this point in history. If you believe in God, He set us down on this Earth for a reason. If you believe in evolution, you must feel that we must continue to improve ourselves.

I think that one of the reasons we discovered genetic manipulation, including the ability to re-write our genetic code in order to strip out diseases, create blond haired, blue eyed babies, or even dark haired, brown eyed babies, or any variation of the above, was that we were destined, either by God or Nature, to eventually achieve the ability to augment ourselves. That the next step of human evolution, or ascension, is human driven.

To the believers: Why did God give us the knowledge to manipulate future generations unless He wanted us to do it?

To the evolutionists: Isn’t it possible that the reason we know how to evolve ourselves now is because we evolved the knowledge to evolve ourselves?

So either way: we have gained the knowledge to improve ourselves, and our progeny, greatly. If we truly are to expand the human race to its fullest potential, we should use any and all methods, including genetic manipulation, cloning and drugs in order to improve the human race. And in the search for this improvement, we have to stop saying “should we?” and start saying “we must!”

Sure, there may be some who look at the outward visible, racial and gender aspect. But at the same time, imagine improving ourselves to the point that most of the diseases out there are eliminated. We could strengthen our immune systems, extend our lifespans, truly evolve ourselves into “homo superior”. I mean really, what’s so bad about that?

So let’s stop holding ourselves back, and see what the human race can really do when it sets its mind on it.