Stay Hungry Steve

I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” ~ Steve Jobs

This question impacted me quite seriously, when I was in college. The whole commencement speech helped changed my path; I’ll not say whether negative or positive, as the choices made were by me. Steve changed me, he sent me off on a mission to create the change I wanted to see and to always, “Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.”

He helped change the world from the very early days. He helped introduce the PC to the mainstream. Even after being forced out of Apple, he helped  push change with NeXT and Pixar. He was humble enough to allow a competitor to help him recover the company he founded, and recover he did. He made digital music available in a cheap and legal manner, as well as providing an integrated portable device to store them. The defining legacy is that he continually pushed further on with what worked and promoting changes to forge new paths to take them. Our world as it is now is indebted to the leadership he has shown.

My condolences to his family  and friends.

I say this as someone who has never owned an Apple product, and aside from iPod’s and a very short tech call, I’ve never touched an Apple product. My view of Steve comes from watching him lead for the past few years, when he was able, and looking back on those moments in the past where he had shown the qualities of a true leader. I truly thank him for that commencement speech.

“Death is the destination we all share, no one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.” ~ Steve Jobs

Processing The End

The Emptiness…

It is a lack of fulfillment, both metaphorically and in actuality. It is the knowing that something should be done, how it could be done, but stressing out over how it will be done. It is the ever present NEVER.

Never finished.

Never shown.

Never critiqued.

Never. Never. Nev…

Many Endings…

With many starts, there also comes many endings. And while all things eventually end, there is a period in the middle that can be seen as an end, temporarily. That middle, however, doesn’t contain the finality of an ending. It could, but it often doesn’t. An end: Must be declared. Must be defined. Must include some sense of finality.

To not have those, you have many threads. These threads are silent, until ruffled. They are known, but not seen. They are ready to be wove together, to be knotted. The knot is the end, but…

…Never Seen

Process Undefined

Without a solid process, with an ending. One that can be declared complete. There will be no final solution, though there may be a solution along the way.

Fighting against an end, is natural. It is nostalgia. It is delusion. There has to be a process that demands a sacrifice of resistance. Fighting the end is futile. Fighting the resistance to the end is key.

A well defined process removes friction. It makes the end have definition. It bears the path to follow. Thought can consume a process as process removes thought.

Destroying the Habit

Forget what you know. Remember what you know. Fight. Fight for your freedom. Freedom from yourself. Freedom from your habits.

Your freedom depends on the destruction. The destruction depends on how well you fight. Your tools are the ability to think and the ability to act.

Think of a process. Act on the process. Repeat the process. Think. Act. Repeat. Process. Process.

Habitual Creation

Finality in the process.


The Game Can Change In A Blink

…Or how dreams go can go down the sink.

Earlier, this evening I found out that my cousin was pregnant, but she’s like a little sister, so I feel like I’m going to be an uncle. I’ve been having a hard time trying not to judge and just be happy, but it’s hard. She’s known for years what she wanted to do, and has had it all planned out, and then out of nowhere a surprise that’s going to shake her life. The unexpected turn that can derail even the best laid plans. Now I’m trying to fight myself off, I know she’ll be a great mom, but I can’t help but wish there was another way.

I’m fighting myself over being judgmental, but also fighting my own hypocrisy; when I was 16 my girlfriend got pregnant, it wasn’t mine but that didn’t matter to me. I offered to help her raise it, and be the father that the child would need, and started prepping for it. A few weeks later, after having discussed it, but without telling me until it was done, my girlfriend had an abortion. I understood the reason, fully, but it still hurt, then as it does now. My girlfriend, was trying to get rid of a bad dream for her, and open back both of our opportunities for the future.

During those few weeks, I felt invigorated, filled with more passion than anything before. During those weeks, I realized I had to fight, not for me, but for the child’s future. I’m not a fighter, when it comes to myself, I do what I do to survive, but I don’t really try harder than that. It’s unnatural to me. Tonight, that passion was revived,  this time I’m fighting for not just my ‘niece/nephew’ but also for my cousin’s future. I really don’t want to see her end up on the same path, I’ve gone down. I don’t want her dream to die.

It’s time to drop my humble approach towards life: Allow life to happen. It’s time for me to grab the bull by the horns and take this life for a run. The only thing that could happen is that I fall, and have to get back up. Infinite Upside. I’ve got nothing to lose, and so much to give.

…Or why business plans stink.

So far this post has been pretty personal, now let’s talk about business; business plans to be exact. The idea of a business plan is to provide some guidance about the market, your growth, competition, and strategy to achieve that growth. It used to be that the plans were long-term, 5-10 years. The problem with this, is that as our world becomes ever quicker to adopt new changes, your strategy can be invalidated. You very well may be stuck playing checkers, while everyone else plays chess, if you stick to the business plan.

If you want to stay alive, you have to change your strategy to fit the new rules of the game, otherwise you will lose. This means that you need to constantly be on the ball, and willing to change as you get new data, which requires that you actually acquire, analyze, and adapt to some set of data. And you need to be constantly aware, but also have some lag on decisions, so that you don’t get stuck working on a fad. Business plans have become near useless, for long-term prediction.

The important things now, aren’t the plans, per say, but that you understand your market and competition, can do what you say, and are willing to keep going with the feedback you get. You have to preempt competitive maneuvers and always be on the look out for new competition. The game is now not just about who gets there first or who does it better, but who does most of what I need, how I want

If you do everything according to plan, you will be beat, there is no doubt in my mind. You become predictable, you have to change the game that’s being played, and adapt to the new rules, when others change the game. If your plan is invalidated, don’t fight to save the plan, take that information and adapt to it. If you can’t stop there, then maybe you should go hang out with the telecom and cable giants, they’ll keep clawing to keep their duopolies on the market, but the casket will close on them if they aren’t careful. The status quo is deadly.

Be prepared to go to the brink, for what you believe.

You’ve got to take everything you’ve got and just go headlong into the fray. Life doesn’t stop because you want it to;  don’t try to stop it. Enjoy it, all of it, even hardships. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, after all. Make your moves with patience and diligence, but do make your moves before the clock stops.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Learn Along The Way

Over the past month and a half, I’ve been working on a new project, one which is a composition of several smaller projects. One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve learned more in that month and a half, than I have in quite a while, out of a necessity to fulfill my wants. Some of the things I’ve learned, or are learning, I had previously avoided do to my distaste for having to deal with them; now that I understand them, I actually try to help others get on board. OAuth is a good example, I’ve been avoiding this for over two years, just because I thought it was a messy annoyance, but now that I’ve implemented it in several libraries, I actually don’t mind.

The true inspiration for this post though, was actually a compounding of thoughts from various things I’ve read recently, and thinking upon things I’ve read in the past. The recent thing that really kicked it off was a presentation by the people at Skillshare, embedded below. While looking through it, I had an epiphany, “Learning shouldn’t be the goal, it should just happen naturally on your way to some practical goal, with real results.” Maybe it was because I’ve been steeped in such things and that I have a distaste for the ‘general’ waste that is higher education, but the thought really struck a chord.

“Today the pinnacle of education is getting into college.” – Skillshare Presentation, Slide 8

That is really my issue with higher education. Once you get in, there are many ways to subvert the system, so what good is it. The only real boundary presented is making that initial pass through the gates. Once there, it’s more business as usual, where you can skim your way through the majority of it, most of it is a waste of time. I find practical learning to be much more enthralling, and it can be done on a just in time basis.

Why waste 4 years learning what will be mostly stale by the time you leave; if you can learn it as you go, while it’s still fresh? Because, everyone says that college is the key to being successful. Sounds a whole lot like the story of the fisherman and the businessman, to me.  If you’re already doing something, you’ll gradually learn how to do it better, but they ask you to pause what you’re doing for a few years, and do it and other things so that you can be better.

So be practical, focus on what you want, and when you have trouble, focus on understanding the issues you’re having. Understanding is way better than rote memorization. Understanding allows you to expand on the concept, in ways that rote memorization wouldn’t allow. If you have too much trouble find a mentor, and prove that you’re willing to try. In the end, all that should really matter, is if you can actually do what you say you can do. That’s it. So learn along the way, that way you have not just your education, but lots of other things to show for it.

On Suicide and Negativity

This was published by accident, and as such is lacking in the actual content I wanted to add, so I’ve added an addendum. I’ve also thought of taking it down, but some people responded positively to it, so I’ll keep it up with only minor editing.

I have been thinking quite a bit about suicide lately. Just thinking about it, it’s not something I could follow through on, anymore. Life is absolutely worth living. It has caused me to make changes and continued thinking about what I’m doing and what I should do. It is also a leading edge in my personal views.

For some background, I’ve made 3 serious attempts over the last decade, though the last was over 4 years ago.

My first was when I was 11, at school; one day the teacher walked out of the class room and I climbed into the second story window, and leaned back to roll out onto the sidewalk. Luckily, two other students grabbed my arms just as I had leaned back, pulled me back in, and convinced me it was stupid. During this period, I also used to drag my head on the ground while swinging trying to use the force to snap my neck.

The other two attempts occurred when I was about 15 or 16, once with a gun, and another jump attempt. I took my stepfather’s .22, off of his workbench in the garage, out into the woods, and sat there thinking about what I would miss for a few minutes. I then placed it up to my temple and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. My stepfather, keeps the magazine empty and the chamber clear, when it’s not on his person. I walked back to the house, placed the gun back on the bench, and went into my room and cried myself to sleep.

The other time, I walked out to cliffs near my house, and down to a little bench, that we used to look at the river from, because it was clearer there. I got ready to jump, but again decided to think about what I would miss, and sat down and thought about my girlfriend at the time, who was also suffering suicidal tendencies, and how much that might affect her. She had lost an ex, on her birthday a few months earlier, when he hung himself. I decided to walk away from this one, but almost accidentally succumb due to the slope getting back off of the shelf, and the leaves slipping from under my feet. This was, and will be, the last attempt I ever made.

I realized at that point, that my actions are selfish. I don’t just take my life, but I could ruin so many others. I also realized at that point, that death isn’t to be feared or fought against. To deny death, is to deny life. Life is to be enjoyed and filled with happiness.

My job of filling my life with happiness is often harder when I add socialization to the mix. I don’t like when people fearmonger, it’s one of biggest gripes, because it creates a negative mindset. I also try to avoid those with negative mindsets, because it doesn’t help anyone. Being positive, but even more so realistic, is the best that can be accomplished. Lately I’ve seen so much negative thinking, it’s bringing me down, and making it hard to keep the thoughts down.  Also people who say I can’t, make me sad, because I am filled with hope for individuals, and it shows that they aren’t filled with hope themselves.


I am an optimist through and through, but I’m also a pessimist at heart; this makes it easier to tear things apart and find a solution. I see potential in everyone, this is why, “I can’t,” annoys me so deeply, and even I am prone to excuses, but I loathe them, and try to find ways to subvert them in myself and others. I only turn my back on people, when they take advantage of me or others, to my knowledge. I also realize that life is filled with negatives, and these can make it seem like you can’t, but there is often a way to spin the negativity with optimism or ignore it, if there is no real ramifications to that ignorance.

“Just be…” The only time you have is now. Be happy. Be inviting. Be courteous. Be free. Be you.

*Addendum fin*

I just don’t have time for negative space, and negative thoughts and arguments. So I’m done with it.

25 Ideas To Live 25 Hours A Day

1. Sleep is unproductive and a waste of time.

Every hour you spend sleeping is one fewer hour you get to truly spend living. One hour a day is more than 2 weeks of extra time, every year. Obviously, taking it too far isn’t healthy, but a 4-6 hour night adds 1-2 months to your conscious living every year.

“Sleep is unproductive and a waste of time.” ~ Louis Gray

2. Be Childish.

Never take yourself too seriously, life is too short. Enjoy every moment, and don’t block your own path. Spend your time with making memories and friends.

“If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.” ~ Frederick Buechner

3. Acknowledge the inevitability of death.

Sooner or later we will all die, fighting for survival is ultimately a losing battle. Stop fretting, and focus on every moment you have in the present.

“This is your life, and it’s ending one second at a time.” ~ Fight Club

4. Money is less valuable than time.

There is no way to gain more time in life, and the clock never ceases. Stop trading your time for more money than you need, if your time is more valuable.

“Time is money says the proverb, but turn it around and you get a precious truth. Money is time.” ~ George Gissing

5. Ignore the little things.

Do only the 20% most import things or those that you feel will have the biggest return. The time and energy you save, can be spent on the things you really want to do.

“20 percent of focused effort results in 80 percent out come of results!” ~ Vilfredo Pareto

6. Never be afraid to challenge the ideas.

There is no reason to let anything stop you, particularly yourself. Rules are roadblocks with 3 options: follow the rules, break the rules, find a way another way around the rule. Choose your own path in life, and never stop learning something new.

“The Way of Mastery is to break all the rules—but you have to know them perfectly before you can do this; otherwise you are not in a position to transcend them.” ~ Aleister Crowley

A Tech Lover’s Luddian Emotions

I have been conflicted for a long time with technology, and hype. Technology is wonderful in that it gives us productivity or efficiency, but what are do we trade for them? It isn’t always free, we still have to put in something, and maybe we don’t even see all the resources that are devoted to the process.

I have a tendency to feel Luddian about things, but it comes from knowledge not ignorance. Most things have merits, that, I can’t deny, but it also has somewhat hidden ramifications for it’s use. Cellphones. RSS. Search Engines. Social Networks. All have their positives, but simultaneously negatives.

We have reached a point of decentralization, so that we can do almost anything, anywhere; we’ve also managed to place a shackle upon ourselves, that is virtually always there, (or always virtually there.) We have created a world that we can’t walk away from, because it is so easy to connect and get drawn in. We can check the news, our portfolios, our relationships with family and friends, using the technology at our fingertips via text, photos, video, audio all on a device that can be kept in our pocket. At this point we have more knowledge that is more ubiquitous than at any other time, but with it we’ve become forgetful.

I’m stupid. I can’t give you a single friends phone number off the top of my head. My grammar and spelling is often atrocious, without spellcheck. I often have to check definitions because I only have half a clue of what a word might mean. I can find information, but it’s often not of the quality that is necessary, for what I want.

We gave up our freedom, of being unavailable for evenings, weekends, weeks, in order to always have access to the outside world, with cellphones. Then we gave up our freedom to not be bombarded by news, and information. How much of the news you see every day, has an immediate or profound effect on you? Noise is growing faster than the valuable pieces, and search is succumbing to it.

Last night, I spent 2 hours searching for an article I had read about the creation of Zork. Unfortunately, the article was mainly on the MDL language, with Zork  only as an example. Searching for it, Google gave me nothing but junk. Stumbleupon and Delicious  gave me nothing. I only lucked out in that I had shared the article with Friendfeed, and Friendfeed’s search was actually functional. It shouldn’t take that long to find what you’re looking for. That was 2 hours I could have spent actually doing something, by the end I was exhausted, and didn’t even really want to do what I had started the search for.

Everything comes with the sacrifice, but it seems that I’m having to sacrifice more and more to gather the value from all the systems that I use. I broke away from my cell phone last year, it was great for setting up the occasional meeting with friends, and in cases of emergency, but over all it was just a nuisance. I like to escape from constant distraction and information, because it’s what I deal with on a day to day basis. Somewhere I feel that we lost our way, but at the same time I’m damn amazed at what is possible now. I stand torn, in what I know, and my opinions on what I know.

This was written on January 21st, 2011.