At the start of 2012 we considered the futility of New Year resolutions; this year I thought we’d look at change, since any resolution requires it.
According to Francis Bacon, “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”
Arnold Bennett said, “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”
Anatole France elaborated on that thought, “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
That said, it is still wise to heed the words of Ellen Glasgow, “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”
Maya Angelou captured the idea of what to change in a nutshell when she said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Wise words and very true, but as Leo Tolstoy points out, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Change is a necessary part of growth, but I disagree with what Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” No matter how much or how often you change you will never be perfect.
One more very important point—share your changes; as Lillian Hellman reminds us, “People change and forget to tell each other.”
In ending, and since the New Year is almost upon us, let me propose a toast, “Here’s to positive change in 2013.
Everybody and their brother are doing Best and Worst for 2012 lists on dozens of topics, so I thought I’d provide something a different. Below are links to six odd bits involving the Internet.
Do you consider yourself Internet savvy? Too smart to click on iffy links or fall for the latest in phishing stories? That’s great, but how are you at avoiding extortion?
Essentially online extortion, ransomware involves infecting a user’s computer with a virus that locks it. The attackers demand money before the computer will be unlocked, but once the money is paid, they rarely unlock it.
Hackers regularly exploit tools like John the Ripper, a free password-cracking program that use lists of commonly used passwords from breached sites and can test millions of passwords per second.
The Internet is the greatest face-to-face avoidance tool ever invented; in most cases that not good, but there are times when doing things at a distance and avoiding direct contact is a boon for all involved.
Let’s just say that no matter how well ex-spouses and still-parents coordinate, there’s a good chance of teary phone calls, angry exchanges during drop-off, and all-out fights about who’s not saving enough for college, often played out smack in front of the children. Unless, of course, it’s all done remotely. (…) It’s joint custody — at a distance.
“We have an internal tagline: Use the Internet to get off the Internet,” said Kathryn Fink, community manager at Meetup, an online-to-offline start-up with 11 million members. (…) Hybrid social networks are connecting strangers with similar interests online, then directing them to meet in person for dinners, bar-hopping, bowling or biking excursions. Unlike dating or networking sites, these start-ups are focused simply on helping users make new friends and hang out face to face. If a hookup or job interview results — well, that’s just an added bonus.
While cell phones don’t fit technically into a review of Internet odd bits, I thought you would find this article on nomophobia of interest.
Doctors at a California recovery center say they are working with more and more patients suffering from nomophobia, or the fear of being away from their mobile devices, and that the condition can seriously interfere with people’s lives. (…) “One of the biggest things is anxiety or fear or panic at even the thought of losing their phone,” she said. “They make sure their phone is constantly in their reach, obsessively checking the battery life, and take their phone into inappropriate places to use it.”
Finally, while people may be familiar with Harvey Ball, the guy who designed the yellow smiley face in 1963, fewer recognize the name of Scott Fahlman, who created the :-) 20 years later.
In 1982, as a young professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he realized the need for a symbol to temper the bickering that plagued online forums. The Internet was just a baby then, and yet already flame wars raged. Fahlman decided that a smiley face could be useful as a “joke marker” (as he called it) to take the sting out of mocking statements or pranks.
A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read allIf the Shoe Fits posts here
I thought this comment from Steve Blank was a fitting end-of-the-year statement for If the Show Fits.
As it turns out most of the time, (founders) are actually hallucinating, and every once in a while they’re actually visionaries. They are insanely driven to bring that thing they see to fruition. And they need to be because of the amount of travails they go through in making something out of nothing. Founders create on a blank canvas; founders are closer to artists than they are to engineers or business people. They make things happen. And they need this perseverance and tenacity and resilience to drive them through those obstacles, because rationally, it would make a lot more sense to just exchange your labor for money.
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Hat tip to KG Charles-Harris, CEO, EMANIO, Inc. for sending me this quote.
It is well-known that Israel is a hotbed of entrepreneurs with a thriving startup culture, but are you aware of just how far back all that entrepreneuring started?
And so, in ancient Israel it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dorothy.
And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com. And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?” And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, “How, dear?”
And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah’s Pony Stable (UPS).”
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.
To prevent neighboring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew To The People (HTTP).
And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. Indeed he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates’ drumheads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say, “Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others.” And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or eBay as it came to be known.
He said, “We need a name that reflects what we are.” And Dot replied, “Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators.” “YAHOO,” said Abraham.
And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com. Abraham’s cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside.
It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).
And that, my children, in truth, is how it all began.
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There’s way too much ‘I’ in the world today; most everything improves when you replace ‘I’ with ‘we’, as shown in this anonymous meme shows.
When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we’
Even ‘illness’ becomes ‘wellness’.
During a conversation, someone asked me why I thought the term ‘friend’ had lost its meaning. I responded that today’s definition didn’t match what I called friends. They said “what’s the difference?” Here is what I said.
Friends who have time vs. friends who make time.
Friends who click to like vs. friends who act to like.
Friends who share vs. friends who care.
Finally, in case you’re wondering what I did about last night’s burn, I put crushed, raw onion on it (number 7 at My Home Remedies:) and it was immediately fine. I also added more onion on a light bit of cotton, wrapped it with plastic wrap and put a piece of Scotch tape around it. I wrote Saturday’s blog and it stayed on all night. No pain, no problems since.
If you think a cat owner would be thrilled getting a call from Hollywood for their cat to appear in the “Heathcliff” movie you would be wrong, especially if that cat were Maru, whose videos have been viewed some 160 million times.