With the risk of tiring people, the whole good/bad issue came mind not long ago was prompted by a lot of talk about good/bad/evil that seems prevalent in so many groups, since ancient times;
After a lot of different influences I put this on my tumbleblog recently:
Maybe true.. on good and bad
The only way you know what is good or bad is by the results your predict an action will have, either positive (good) or negative (bad). If you perform the action, you put everything in motion that will likely lead to that result. That ‘flow’ of effects can be stopped, but it never disappears. Logical, scientific, non-mystical, form of karma? ;-)
I won’t deny the Buddhist influences ;-) But only the last days I’ve begun to realize the implications.
Mainly that if good and bad can be defined as the positive or negative predicted outcome, that means that if the predictions turn out to wrong, to good-bad-factor won’t be affected. It is then truly the intentions that count. For me that feels fair, but it has practical problems in Western society.
Another thing is that pretty much no one does every single thing with pure positive results predicted (sometimes what helps one, might unbeneficial to another, right?).
If you know a colleague that is nasty to you, you will regard them as bad. But then again he/she might be the best parents in the world. On the other side, your best friend might be someone else’s nemesis (with just cause). So it would be possible to also state: Good persons are those persons of which we are on the receiving sides of their possitive actions; Bad persons are those of which we get the negative effects.
Of course some people have many more people on their ‘good side’, and others more on their ‘bad side’ but it does rule out any concrete immutable judgement. Though of course the actions themselves could be judged.
Ah well, maybe I’m rambling, or stating the obvious, or just being plain stupid, but ah well.. I can do that here ;-)
Have a great day!
Picture by oxyfocalis, on flickr]]>
Ola! Bonjour! Hello & Hoi!
On January the 24th, 2008, I wrote my last ’serious’ message on this site. I didn’t know it at the time, but that marked the start of a very interesting and eventful year. One of those years in which you listen more than you speak, a year marked more by learning than by sharing.
That, in a nutshell, is why I decided not to try to ’share’ anything here in 2008, but to just sit back and enjoy the ride for a year. A year and a week later I’m itching to get started again… so here we go!
This is what you get, when the intern demands an ode…. ;-)]]>
Three years ago I was sitting with some friends and we wondered why there are so many great students that never really get together and try to support eachother and stimulate self-improvement. So we started a network that did just that. Now, three years later after a fantastic time we decided the network served it’s purpose and we are disbanding it. The reason I’m mentioning it now isn’t really because I’m dramatic about it. Actually I’d like to share some of the more popular Show & Tell presentations that we made. So here you go…
In a previous post I’ve mentioned the concept of memes, something I recently learned about and started to research. But how I started that research is a complete story of it’s own.. A story I’m now going to share (obviously ;-) )
I’m an avid reader. A few months ago I was reading three books:
There was no real reason behind this selection, just books that came on my path and I started reading. Imagine when I reached a point in all three books where they discuss (in some form) the exact same concept: memes. I’m sure this is public knowledge for everyone who’s heard about memes, but I didn’t know it at the time.
This coincidence was a perfect example of my 3 times == action rule (discussed earlier) and so I was committed to researching the topic more thoroughly. So suddenly I find myself confronted with this little gem of a theory (which may or may not be scientifically valid), and as it turns out I can actually apply this theory in two business ideas I’ve been working on for years!
On another note, Kelly Abbott from Dandelife alerted me that what what my way of ‘filtering’ topics on how much you happen to come across them is closely related to a known philosophical concept: Jungian Synchronicity. Cool! So Kelly, thanks for even more to research ;-)
(Sidebar) When I’m talking about memetics I’m talking about the theory that treats pieces of knowledge almost like biological entities that can replicate and spread… not in the way that people sometimes call a hyped idea or popular concept a ‘meme’ (They are memes of course, but only a small category)..(End of sidebar)]]>
Last year I was doing something stuff for LogicaCMG, which we made a little video about, which went viral! That was cool, but when I was en route, I noticed I was wearing a shirt that was way too cramped. Can anyone say “manboobies”?
This morning I was a bit shabby, and look what happened.. ;-)
Documentary @ XOLO, Originally uploaded by mindcaster]]>
Words… are… redundant…]]>
Yesterday, I wrote about how I finally managed to write my mission statement (after trying to for months), that post was not all bad but it missed a minor thingy.. the mission statement itself ;-)
As promised, here is the end result. I know it might sound a bit pretentious, high-browed or maybe even downright arrogant, but that’s not the intention. It’s just what happens if you want an ambitious mission I guess :-)
I believe that the defining feature of a worthwile life is to live it according to a good and ambitious mission. There is no predetermined goal in our lives or any prearranged plan, nor is this life a simple preamble to a better ‘after-life’. We live now, and only during this life. Everything we want to do or want to be we should do or be now!
The essence of leaving a good life is to do well for others and myself in a way that is as positive and meaningful to everyone involved, which over time develops into a legacy that will determine how much my life has meant to others. I refuse to live my life according to a work-eat-watch tv-sleep routine.
For me the most important value is integrity. To live life with honesty. good intentions and good actions. I love how it feels to be completely honest and want to be able to keep feeling that way.
In every situation and at every time I promise to myself and the world to the thing that I feel is the right thing to do. This is the only way to make a positive impact and maintain integrity. The personal consequences are of secondary importance only.
I admire loyal positive people with vision, passion and the persistence to make things happen. Those are the people to keep around me, Those are the people to be inspired by.
My general attitude should be appropriately humble, strongly empathic, resourceful and very calm/organized even in very stressful situations. Towards those close to me I want to be fun to be with and caring/loving.
I will always keep trying to improve myself in every aspect of life. Improving myself makes me a more capable person, which increases my capacity to do good actions
I will always make, have, keep and achieve goals that I set for myself. The most importantt of which are in this document and will be kept up to date.
All goals should follow my guidelines for integrity, doing good, being positive and self-development.
- To have a life that makes people ask “You did all that?” more and more often
- To directly improve the life of at least 1000 people significantly
- To visit every country and learn at least one important life lesson in each one
- Develop and maintain meaningful relationships with everyone I care about
- Die without regrets
I am not a saint, nor will I ever be. I will most likely slip up once in a while. This is not good, and I won’t stand for it.. but I will not be sidetracked from this mission as long as I live.
I am open about this mission and will distribute it so that others can hold me accountable for its contents and my actions.
“The worst state of being is remembering the future”
So there you have it, it might not be the most original text ever written, but it’s who I am :-) And as you can see all the elements I discussed in yesterday’s article are there. The goals, values, philosophy, the accountability to those around me. The quote at the end is there as a ‘mission reminder’ and it sums up the lifestyle quite well I think.
I found it a difficult and fairly confronting process, but inspiring in a way. One I certainly recommend.
I’ve been pondering for a while, on how personal my stories here should get and very nearly decided that they shouldn’t be all too personal (I feel so.. exposed ;-) ), but in the end I couldn’t see why I shouldn’t talk about things I find interesting, personal or not.
So that leads me to this (long!) post. Personally, I am not a religious person, I don’t believe in anything really supernatural; an after-life or personal deity. For me that means that I believe I have one life, and that this life is all the more precious because it is the only one I’ll ever have. It also means that I don’t think we have a predefined destiny or goal. In this post I’ll try to explain how I got mine.
This gives full control of a life to the person leading it, and it gives the option to determine your own goal/mission/meaning. A great opportunity, but what should that mission be?
I’ve thought about that for ages, always having some ideas about what I feel is most important in my life, but I never got around to actually writing something like a mission statement. My experience: writing something like that holds something of a Catch-22:
A few months ago I started working on this, first thinking about what should definitely be in my mission statement, after some thinking I settled on these aspects:
Not likely to be a short text huh? So, where to start? Well, I tried to fill in these points.
I see my philosophy as a kind of optimistic secular humanism. I believe in people, I believe that we live in societies and that what we contribute to that society is a great measure of our live. I also believe that if anyone is to judge what we do, it should be the people close to us.
The kind of life I want
This was actually most easily defined by me by saying what I don’t want: I always try to fight a very common lifestyle here in the Netherlands: People wake up, they go to work, go home and sleep on the couch, eat, and sleep in bed. That eat-pee-sleep routine would be horror!
The person I’d like to be (actions and values)
The tricky part, everyone has values and everyone is able to name a few of them, but it gets harder when you try to really prioritize them. Is integrity more important than loyalty? And honesty more important than empathy? It’s almost an impossible task. What I did, being the geek that I am, I put my values in a decision matrix with the values on both rows and column heads. That way every cell is a crossing point between to values, In the cell I wrote the value that I found more important. I then counted the number of times a certain value won and ordered the list accordingly.
It’s quirky; strange and slightly ludricous.. but it worked ;-)
My list of most important values in order of decreasing importance was: Integrity, Meaningful relationships, Legacy, Honesty, Loyalty, Personal development.
A not too vague list of things I really want to achieve :-)
What kind of people I want in my life
That was easy.
So… that gave me enough to go and write something that at least hopefully sounds somewhat intelligent and not too pretentious :-) The final result… will be in the next post ;-)
(To be continued)
Image by me, on Flickr
Okay, I’m going to make a point here, and I’m going to hammer it in relentlessly: There is no such thing as information overload! I repeat: There’s no such thing as information overload! Here’s why:
Information by definition thanks it’s status to the fact that it’s somehow useful or relevant to you. If it’s not, it’s not information anymore… just a pile of data. Data + Added value = Information. If you get overloaded, what you’re experiencing is actually a lack of information, caused by an overload of data.
This may sound like a silly semantic argument, but it’s not: It’s a good illustration of how to solve the issue.. get rid of the data by converting it into useful information. What you can do is set up a “Personal Supply Chain of Knowledge” as Thomas Friedman calls it in “The World is Flat”… which sound very fancy but is very fast becoming a real option with todays technology.
With Web 2.0 sites using RSS, web services, OPML and all kinds of other technologies, we have an unparalleled capacity to pull data in, and convert it to information that is useful to us. For about two years now I’ve been trying to realize this, with mixed success.. but with tools like Netvibes and Yahoo Pipes, it’s getting so much easier!
Quality of information
For now, I’d like to stick to the essentials: What makes good information? What gives it added value? My (admittedly limited) research shows that the following factors are critical:
Items 1-3 are fairly easy to determine, or at least have clear opimal values: The right recipient, at the right time, from the right source. Number 4 and 5 are a bit more tricky: You want to get things as detailed as possible (high resolution), but the higher the resolution, the more effort it takes to absorb it… so these two need to balance out.
When you’ve got these bases covered on just about all data that reaches you, you’d have a dream system. Of course, that’s not going to work yet, but we can at least make a start! More about specific tools and methods later…
Picture attributed to Buglay on Flickr]]>