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Thoughts

Thoughts, Uncategorized

Crowded, Super Intelligence and our demise

The web is getting more and more crowded and

due to its ‘infinite’ nature, the web infrastructure can cope with this.

Bill Gates noted his concerns on where super intelligence may lead us and the human race. He declared

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First, the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that, though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern.”

Our understanding of technological processes is increasing.

Only last week did the  UK Parliament vote in favour of a three person baby fertility technique. Many have expressed significant concern at the start of a designer baby craze whilst others are celebrating the “good news for progressive medicine”.

Stephen Hawkins suggests that due to the slower biological evolution phases in humans, we will not be able to compete with the fast moving capabilities that artificial intelligence can evolve.

We have probably all seen science fiction where good intelligence compliments our living, but also that this intelligence can become distorted and threatens our living. We have seen the super intelligence shaped in the form of humans, but this need not be the future. On one hand we have the ‘collective’ Borg as harnessed in Star Trek or the less scary iRobot.

We are approaching a turning point in our evolution when decisions and care need to be taken as to how we can harness our capabilities and understandings of new processes.

 

 

 

 

Projects, Thoughts

This months challenge – fix the car – DONE!

I have been having a few issues with a car over the past month. The car is a complex menagerie of electronical circuits and mechanical bits that move or should do. My basic understanding is fuel in gets you propulsion.

I remember a few years ago, somebody pointed me in the direction of the Haines manual – queue a large online book store and the relevant manual landed in my letterbox.

PEOPLE JUMPINGMy neighbours must have been sniggering at the curtains as I spent hours with the bonnet up, staring blankly at the engine trying to understand what bits were what. You can imagine the conversation, fuel comes in there – ah, thats the engine, battery connects to the starter …..

What was happening was that on high revs when driving, the car cut the revs down to what the experts call limp home mode. To me this indicated something in the fuel system. It couldn’t be the fuel lines as I was fine below 3000rpm, but when I needed more fuel, it wasnt getting through.

I was now down to fuel filter or fuel pump.

Having visited a local autofactors, I purchased the right fuel filter (the cheapest option) and fitted it, but the car would not start. I was so out of my comfort zone.

A call to the local garage suggested filling the filter with diesel, this would then pull through the engine. They were spot on and the car started.

The reason for sharing this story is that the feeling of elation and success that doing this gave me. I had fixed my car. It was not about the cash I was going to save by not taking into the dealer, but it was the satisfaction that I had fixed it. It was the increase in knowledge that I had got from putting myself out of my comfort zone with a little help from a friendly garage.

Thinking about business, I wonder how this story can inspire others to give something a go. I wonder what it will take you to build together your advisors, your advocates and attempt something.

The risks to me was that my car was going to have to be towed to a garage, but I was not going to let this happened. I read around the subject, sought advice from experts and did it.

I leave you with one question –

What is there that is facing you right now,

that with a bit of dedicated thinking time, and

a conversation with friendly and trusted advisor,

you could attempt, achieve and overcome

with an outcome of building a better you?

 

 

 

Thoughts

The human mind is best when it is asleep

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is the power of the human mind. Many times when I am struggling to come up with an idea, I find that I need time to think about it. However, active thinking very rarely comes up with something, so to the concept of sleeping about it.

The Human Mind needs external reminders when it is asleep.A story I heard the other day was about a man who was trying to think about a company name for his new business. He could not get break through. A good friend suggested that he thought about this just before he went to bed and instructed him to have a pen and paper beside his bed. To pacify his mad friend, then man did this.

He awoke in the middle of the night with 2 words and wrote them down on the pad by the side of his bed. When he woke in the morning, he could not remember what he had written, but when he looked on the pad, the idea resonated so much that the company was called this.

An idea, regardless how small, or insignificant, or mad, is worth giving a go. Just think about how much more at ease this business owner is.

He now knows that his company name really means something and resonates with his desires for the business.

Thoughts

An update and a challenge to experience

A few years ago, I wrote a blog about an observation.


“One of my children surprised me the other day. We were having a chat about nothing in particular when they showed me something on the PC. Nothing amazing, but a little snippet that could prove useful at some time. I asked them how they had found out.

“I wanted to ensure that I learn something extra a day and this was todays” came the answer.

What a fantastic way of approaching things, an open, uncluttered mind that is hungry to learn. Hungry to acquire the quintessential luxury of our existence, knowledge. The actual snippet is really quite irrelevant, its the thought that a youngster has such a positive outlook.

Ok, so why cant this energetic curiosity be extended into adult life. Why can’t we be hungry to increase our non-core knowledge by one skill per day. Just think of the fun in investigation, just imagine the outcome of understanding how to program that PVR or how to tell North without a compass. What about a complete left field question, “If all the boats were lifted out of the oceans, how much would the sea level actually fall?

Exploration of the mind exercises the muscle and just like exercise on the rest of the body, exercise is good. It keeps you young, it keeps the wasting limited and lets you enjoy life more to the full.”


Why do I write this update?

Well, its a reminder. A reminder that we all have the opportunity to learn and experience different things at different times of our lives.

Another friend lives life to the full, owns several businesses, and embarked on learning a new skill and putting it into practice each month. He is incredibly richer in life due to this and his stories of what he has learnt are inspiring.

So – as we travel into 2015 – perhaps it is now time to think about this learning. I understand how I do learn, by experiencing and putting into action, so lets do it.

I will be making 2015 a learning experience.

It would be great to have some fellow journeymen to go on this with me and to help challenge each other – so get in touch and lets see what we can do!

PEOPLE JUMPING

Thoughts

My house, the NHS and energy suppliers.

I live in a moderate house – nothing too lavish but something that is comfortable.

Each month I pay to keep my services running. The gas powers our heating and cooking and electricity ensures that our ‘gadgets’ keep working as well as providing light. Water suppliers supply my cleaning and hydration.

Hospitals provide a health service to its patients for a defined budget determined by central government. This budget is continually threatened and essential services are also being threatened.

in my house, if I cut back on energy, then things would stop happening – the house would get cold, the ‘gadgets’ would not work when I wanted them to and I would smell.

Faced with options, I choose to look at different energy providers and save a buck here or there. I get to a stage where actually I do not really save that much in changing and that the ‘cost saving’ is now in clever contractual wording.

I know that continuous improvement and cost reduction programs are in force in the NHS.

Perhaps where we are with the NHS is that we cannot cut anymore.

Perhaps where we are is needing a ‘leader’ to take control and enable the NHS to be great again and celebrate the amazing people that coexist with it.

Perhaps what we need is for a realisation that we need something different to balance the books, something that is sustainable and fair to the wider population.

Where is this going? We need to stop before we fall off the end.

Where is this going? We need to stop before we fall off the end.

 

Thoughts

Generations

It is usual for many members of the family, from different generations to come together as part of this time of year ritual. Generations that have different motivations, different behaviours and different outlooks. Tensions exist as these differences are enhanced through the festive juices.

I read a Tweet recently suggesting that as people approach retirement, they should sell their businesses to younger members of their family. Discussions were supportive and also dismissive.

Business man and his team isolated over a white backgrounAs new motivations impact on our generations in different ways, we should become more tolerant of those different from us, and understand the benefits and opportunities that these different approaches can have on what we do.

Look at what Spotify does for music, and Netflix has done for Video. It makes a wider selection of choice of the market. The market behaves in a positive way towards this increased choice and flexibility. The older generations (me included) like having a trophy of a CD or a DVD. I like the feel and status of holding the CD, but my children are comfortable not owning the music but just having access.

So – as we go into a new year, I want to be challenged further. I wonder what the next phase of development is this year wondering how I can be part of the wave and I am excited by where we can take it.

 

Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wheresmylunch

Apps to distraction

Empty train (explored)

Photo courtesy of mescon(CC Attribution)

Working from home can have many benefits – but also many challenges. You are yourself accountable for your own time management, and how you choose to explore learning.

It has recently been suggested that there is no such thing as multi tasking but that actually the real skill is to be able to switch from one task to another as quickly and as cleanly as possible.

I caught a train this morning, and although I had bought a ticket, I didn’t realise that the ticket was actually the one I was going to use at a later date. The train was on the platform and I had to run to catch it. I had to pay at the other end.

I look at my iPad screen and see a plethora of Apps ranging from useful business productivity tools to games haphazardly displaced on the screen. I see one that catches my eye not remembering what that one was that I downloaded.

STOP… GET A GRIP

How many of us find ourselves distracted by stuff? Stuff that causes us to sidetrack. 

For me, its about paying attention to the train times, delete those apps I don’t use, and re organise the rest into groups so I can remain focused. What is it that you find is causing you a distraction from your main mission or plot?

Thoughts

What has business got to do with a box of oranges?

We had a frost this morning. Not a serious one but one that made me feel good that the car was on its way for its annual service. Having scraped the ice and visited the gym, I dropped off the car. It was going to be a few hours so I decided to get some work done in a different coffee bar.

Having walked for about 20 minutes, I was met with a smile at the door and here I am having just had a lovely cup of coffee.

On the counter, was a box of oranges. On the same counter was an industrial sized juicer. Put the two together and you have a really amazing glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Refreshing and invigorating not just in taste but in the clever marketing. Simple, but effective.

Put the oranges on display and encourage discussion, explain about how the oranges are imported and that the juice is not cheap but good. I develop a craving for an orange drink and buy one…. and I will be back for more.

Turning then to  business, I reflect on a few questions.

  1. How can we display what we really want to do and invite conversation with interesting people?
  2. How can we engage different senses within our potential clients?
  3. How can we discuss what matters now for our customers in a way that is not only aligned but totally motivated by wanting to assist the potential or existing client take advantage of our skills?
  4. What is it about pull marketing that is so enticing?

I am certainly thinking hard about how my presence can become more effective in the market. Fortunately for me, I now have a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to remind me of a few business thoughts.

Thoughts

Good Morning World

I am really not too sure what is happening this morning.

I woke this morning and had a spring in my step as I jumped out of bed. Perhaps it was the freshness of the morning air blowing through the room, or as I started moving around, the sense that today was another special day.

Perhaps it was a reflection of a talk I attended last night that confirmed that one of my business ventures is actually on track – ahead of the curve, yes but starting to get noticed.

Perhaps as I was walking in to town to catch my usual warming skinny cappuccino, it could have been the awareness of the engine of the economy starting to grind.

Perhaps it was the laid back sounds of Lady Antebellum in the background as I write this.

I don’t know but what I feel is that its going to be good.

Good Morning World.

 

 

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