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I write about design, technology, and people. Sometimes I photograph places I visit.

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Your own media company

I would like to hear your story. The story about your guiding principle on sharing your life and work online.

Everyone’s their own media company today. The tools and channels are out there, you just need to grab the reins and ride into glory. But should you? Read more

CV of Failures

Reading through other people’s achievements makes it too easy to fall into despair and self-doubt. Our own failures seem numerous and successes not as significant. That’s why a Princeton professor shared his CV of Failures (PDF) with this intro:

Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me. As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days. This CV of Failures is an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective.

Empathic vs. emotional

I’m always under the impression that many people mix being empathic and emotional. Oxford dictionary states:

Empathic:

  • having the ability to understand another person’s feelings, experience, etc.

Emotional:

  • causing people to feel strong emotions
  • (sometimes disapproving) showing strong emotions, some in a way that other people think is unnecessary

One can exist without the other or at least be less prominent. A self-absorbed movie celebrity can have excessive public displays of emotions in response to critic reviews, but have no consideration for colleagues on a movie set, friends, or family. On the other hand, a grandmother that lived a harsh life dulled her emotions to cope, but can pull from that experience to understand how people feel in complex situations.

Writing for intrinsic reasons

From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Flow:

Not so long ago, it was acceptable to be an amateur poet or essayist. Nowadays if one does not make some money (however pitifully little) out of writing, it’s considered to be a waste of time. It is taken as downright shameful for a man past twenty to indulge in versification unless he receives a check to show for it. And unless one has great talent it is indeed useless to write hoping to achieve great profit or fame. But it is never a waste to write for intrinsic reasons. First of all, writing gives the mind a disciplined means of expression. It allows one to record events and experiences so that they can be easily recalled, and relived in the future. It is a way to analyze and understand experiences, a self-communication that brings order to them.

Alternate reality

Note: I’m not implying any conspiracy theories or ill-doing here. I was just intrigued by the parallels between recent events in the real world and a fictional plot. Many big tech companies and startups work in VR today. Consider this a fun musing :)

I started to read Ready Player One, a science fiction and dystopian novel by Ernest Cline. It’s about a teenager being pulled into an adventure in a digital world accessed through VR goggles and haptic feedback gloves.

I’d heard of Halliday, of course. Everyone had. He was the videogame designer responsible for creating the OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis.

The OASIS would ultimately change the way people around the world lived, worked, and communicated. It would transform entertainment, social networking, and even global politics. Even though it was initially marketed as a new kind of massively multiplayer online game, the OASIS quickly evolved into a new way of life.

But the most interesting thing happens outside of the book, in our own real world. Read more

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