Costs and Benefits of Awareness

Ryan-on-Roof-500x333

 

I’m standing half-nude in front of a full-length mirror pinching and poking at my midsection.

Throughout the past two weeks I’ve been on a dietary cleanse—mostly raw foods, no alcohol, no caffeine, no processed foods, no animal products. Plus I’ve been hitting the gym with Shawn each morning for a rigorous workout. Two fine improvements to my daily routine. Without a doubt I’m healthier now than I was a month ago. Less body fat. More muscle. Better sleep. And, most important, I feel great (after all, how we feel is the best barometer of health).

So why am I more frustrated with the image staring back at me in the mirror?

Whenever we make radical changes—diet, exercise, career, etc.—we shine a spotlight on our flaws. Our blemishes shimmer in the light. This is the cost of awareness.

Our standards change whenever we are infected with a new awareness. We scrutinize ourselves more. The more we scrutinize, the more the spotlight brightens, and the more our imperfections stand out.

Awareness isn’t always pleasant. But becoming aware is important and necessary, because the benefits, especially the long-term benefits, can be experienced only once we’ve seen our flaws for what they are: past weaknesses. Only then can we work toward strengthening ourselves. Only then can we move toward the best version of ourselves.

True awareness allows us to improve, to grow. To become better, but not perfect. Our lives will never be perfect. We’ve all been cut deeply. But that’s okay. Awareness helps us heal, and our scars make up the best parts of us.

[Read more articles from The Minimalists like this one: How to Write Better]

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22 Years of Linux. 22 Years of Freedom

linux20infographic

This week, one of the most recognisable and powerful forces in open-source software (Ubuntu) turned 9-years-old. Ubuntu is a computer operating system that is based on Linux, the mecca of open-source computing. Well, this year we celebrate the 22 Years since the inception of Linux. A beginning that stood for freedom, openness  and community. The Linux community is by far, in my opinion, the most improved and helpful computer community there is out there- and this all began with one email from a curious Linus Torvalds.

Here’s an infographic from Linux Foundation, celebrating 20-years of Linux. Take a look at this “Then and Now”infographic representing how far we’ve come:

linuxthennowinfographic

Happy Birthday Ubuntu!

It was on this very day back in 2004 that Mark Shuttleworth took to the Ubuntu mailing list to announce the inaugural release of Ubuntu 4.10 – codenamed the ‘Warty Warthog’ due to its rough edges.

Nine years, and some nineteen releases on, the Ubuntu desktop we find ourselves sat in front of today bears little resemblance to that of its younger self. The distro went, virtually overnight, from a Debian-based curiosity – “A space tourist making a Linux distro?!” – to becoming one of the most recognisable and powerful forces in open-source software.

– OMG Ubuntu

 

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Did Copyright Kill Evolving Artistry?

Image is a screenshot from <a href=

Copyright is said to be created to protect the interests of the creator. More specifically, at least for a writer, the creator’s Intellectual property. I think this is bullshit.

Yes, we all have the desire to be recognised for our work and there’s absolutely nothing Wrong with that. But what good is being recognised for something that’s never been seen/read or heard?

We live in an age where platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and even Facebook have turned many of us into self-proclaimed writers- in our own right. Information is flowing-in at an extremely rapid pace and the output of that information (in the form of commentary and response) is moving just as quickly. In the Internet’s plight to integrate through expansion; copyright only serves as a detrimental factor to progression.

This is not to say that copyright is all that bad. The core intentions of copyright are to ensure that some lazy bugger doesn’t make a buck for work that took you hours to create. So yes, Copyright does have good intentions but it also has the tendency to set barriers between the creator and the consumer. For example: According to Copyright laws, you would have to ask me for permission before copying and pasting any of my work. But what if I get up to 160-emails a day and subsequently can’t get to yours? Then my work my message has not reached the amount of people that it could have, had you just been able to openly distribute (however you see fit) my work to your friends and to their friends and their friends…

If strictly implemented; copyright can become a mere impediment to progress within the eco-system of creativity and information consumption (which further aids creativity). The goal of the artist in 2013, is then to find the middle-ground between rightful recognition and open distribution.

By looking at the extract above, Leo Babauta‘s middle ground seems to be- books . Instead of restricting (adding a price) his content on a platform that is “free” to start-off with (his blog); he would rather extend this “restriction” only toward the hours that he spends writing, editing, printing (and more…) his awe-inspiring catalogue of insightful literature. This, however, is what he prefers not what he dictates.

How would you draw the line between restriction and openness?

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Linux: an ode to my Love

kNerdArt tribute to Linux

kNerdArt tribute to Linux

Yes, the above piece of kNerdArt may seem a bit silly but really Linux was exactly that for my old netbook and I- a savior. Now, i’m not about to give you another overly-geeky account about the benefits of using Linux as opposed to that old WINhag. No, this is merely a layman’s account of a personal experience with the operating system.

I had been using Windows all my life till I decided to upgrade from my ancient laptop to a “cleaner” less-ancient netbook. I bought it refurbished from bid or buy for an extremely convenient price. Part of the reason why it was such a bargain was because it didn’t have an operating system installed… yet.

And I thought: I’m broke, I need to fire-up this computer and I’ve always wanted to try this Linux thingy. Long story short:

The installation was a Dream!

Everything was easy, personalizable and very quick.

Linux opened up a whole new world to me. A world that was not bound by great programs that you end up relying on only to find that the trial is almost over and you now have to buy the full-version (“I thought this was the full-version!!”). Linux/open-source software isn’t all free (price) but the beauty about the open-source nature of the software projects is that any great programmer can offer a cost-free, perhaps, more improved alternative of the very same software.

Best part is, unlike Windows, upon starting-up Linux for the very first time- all my needs were taken care of. The OS was already bundled with the necessary software (eg: the office suite LibreOffice).

As for the drivers…
Linux Mint (like most of the other distributions) has a built-in driver set or rather the ability to automatically download and install the required drivers (ie: for your webcam, Ethernet, printer, scanner, Wi-Fi etc.).

satyriko.deviantart.com

Image Courtesy of satyriko.deviantart.com

The Software Center.
Here, I’m able to download as many apps as I’d like and the process seems to require much much less! Every installation in the center is merely a click away!

news.softpedia.com

Image Courtesy of news.softpedia.com

The Minimum requirements.
Windows 7 requires a minimum of 1000 Mhz processor with 1GB of RAM, while Linux Mint 15 requires a minimum of 700 Mhz processor with 512MB RAM. So on my little 10″ netbook, this made the World of sense. Also, if your’e planning on reviving an old computer… opt for one of the Linux Distros (distributions)- you won’t regret it.

No Viruses Baby!
“Viruses – Viruses and other malware continue to be a constant headache for windows users. Combating viruses is not only time consuming, but also expensive when we talk about using Windows in a large scale production environment. Moreover, there is always a need to purchase expensive antivirus software with yearly subscriptions, punching additional holes in your pocket.
Linux on the other hand has significantly less number of viruses, so you are considerable less likely to get infected.
In fact, I am yet to hear this from a friend or a fellow systems administrator, that they are using Linux, and that it has been infected! am sure most administrators or users must have had a similar experience.” – abstract from the Techluminati article Linux vs Windows.

bablotech.com

Protection Courtesy of bablotech.com

After almost 2-years using this operating system, I can be sure to say that I will not be leaving it anytime soon. It just doesn’t make sense.
Linus Torvalds created a system that is built for ease, convenience, speed and freedom- I’m for ALL of that and MORE!

Come and join our Open Life– Where we are governed by one another as friends, not Big Brother 

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Learn how to: Delegate and Relegate.

Picture credit: http://www.clipartof.com

 

 

Sometimes as entrepreneurs we try too hard.

We are hard on ourselves and we believe that for people to validate us as “proper entrepreneurs” we have to always take the hardest way and try create a smarter way even when the most obvious solution is the only solution.

Yes, it is pretty cool to have a story to share with people where you talk about how hard shit was for you and how you got through all the odds to finally make it. Pretty poetic huh?
But the thing is: there are already so many odds against you as an entrepreneur. Why would you want to add to that burden? It only wastes a lot of valuable time.

Instead of trying to crack your brain about a new way to access your app by adding a specific new button on every cellphone; you could just accept that this idea will never scale and move on to the next problem (hopefully this time with a less ridiculous strategy). This week I’m looking to make another employment. I’m employing a “Route Manager” to help me out with getting some information that will prove too time-consuming and costly for me to do by my own. Of course, I suffer the same “superman-condition” so initially I wanted to get all of this done myself and truly “grind hard”. Then it occurred to me that this would really just be pointless and too much.

I chose to delegate.

On the flip side, however: this is YOUR company, YOUR creation, YOUR initiative- you need to make sure that things are done. That’s the difficulty in being at the head of a certain project. At the end of the day, it’s your vision that you are trying to build and thus getting more people to aid you in achieving this vision. No matter how many people you employ, if you startup fails- it’s all on you. It’s your fault because it is your responsibility as the dreamer to ensure that your dream is secured and realized. So when a team member is not performing or when you feel that he/she is not as passionate about the project as they ought to be: you need to make the executive decision to relegate the team member (drop the team member from the league that is- your dream).

Delegate where you can but always be prepared and willing to relegate where you should.

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The RK1: the Robot for Kids/Kidults!

Image courtesy of TechCrunch

Image courtesy of TechCrunch

As you might have noticed from our most recent posts:

 

Techno Hobbyists are BACK

And they are taking the world by storm. Or perhaps, they aren’t doing so but they are definitely promulgating the movement towards it. This is a result of the recent hurricane of open-source-easily-programmable-electronic goodies that has swept us away over the past few weeks.

Here’s a recent addition to our collection:

The RK-1 Arduino-Based Mobile Robot

With this new gadget, you can program your childhood dream: a robot that can actually clean-up your room!

Or at least it will offer the foundations for such an invention. That’s the pivotal focus for most of these open source hardware projects: education. With such projects, children are allowed to try and realise all the thousands of inventions that they’ve BEEEN thinking of. And with so many projects available, the learning-curve is greatly shortened!

For just R 2,314.92 ($234) each device, you can then download the apps available on Google Play and the App Store onto your smart-device and start controlling the RK-1.

“And since Georgiou is following the example of other open source hardware hobbyist gadget sellers like Adafruit , there’s ample opportunity for cross-pollination with other similar projects, with built-in support in the ultimate companion app for sensors and breakout boards favored by the Arduino community.”

Now start imagining yourself Swiping your RK-1 to reach for the remote…

 

 

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