Winter’s Summer Day

12 Feb

Dusk of Friday
Merriment begins.

Wine flowing,
Ego’s growing,
The night will have no end.

The moon’s half-lit glow
Sets the dizzy scene,
Of men
Children
Half-breeds,
A haze of lover’s dreams.

Time moseys by,
But is deceptively quick.
Suddenly its late,
And we agree –
Nothing ever goes as planned –
Then,
The night fades into obscurity.

I rise at eleven,
And the wonderous day begins.

It is a surprise,
A warm gem,
Amidst an icy year.

The brilliant shine
Of our brilliant sun
Draws the women outside.

I see in them
The Sun, Man, and Earth’s beauty.

Noise

30 Sep

This post is a reflection on a conversation I had with a friend of mine.

There’s a lot of noise out there.

An ear receives a sound wave, which our brain then maps to something in our memory, perhaps a word or a feeling.  Most of the time though, our ears aren’t just receiving one wave at a time.  In fact, I’d wager that our ears are constantly bombarded with waves from different sources (or the superposition of these waves).  As I write this, I’m hearing a professor lecture in a nearby classroom, the gentle taps of my fingers on the keyboard, the faint him of the air conditioning, the occasional shuffling of paper… and the list goes on and on.  Yet despite all of this noise, if someone was to walk up to me and start a conversation, I would be perfectly capable of interpreting their sound.  This is a testament to the design of the way our ears and brain work.  The assumption is that people care most about the loudest signal, so our brain naturally gives the most weight and processing to the loudest sound.

Ideally though, if you’re really trying to focus on understanding a sound, you want to isolate the sound from the noise.  When you go to a symphony, you’re asked to be silent.  When you go to a movie, the only sound is coming from the speakers.  In a lecture, the professor is the only one speaking.  This is so because in order to maximize the ability of our brain to interpret a sound, it needs to be completely focused on just that sound.  Noise disrupts out focus, which weakens the brain’s ability to interpret, and therefore the depth of our understanding of the sound.

So why all this talk about ears and sound?  Well, I’ll get there.  But first, I want to talk about the eyes.

There’s so much to see in the world.  Every moment our eyes are open, our eyes are receiving signals from different wavelengths of light rays, which are interpreted as colors.  These colors are then sent to our brain, which maps clusters of colors to objects we are familiar with.  But unlike sound, we have more control of what our eyes focus on.  Our eyes don’t fixate on the ‘loudest signal’ like our ears do.

Despite this difference, when we really want to understand an object seen by our eyes, we try to isolate that particular object.  The walls around a painting at an art gallery are white.  A movie theater is completely dark except for the screen.  We isolate these objects so that we force ourselves to focus in on the object we’re trying to understand.  Because we have more control of our eyes, we need to exercise discipline to focus on particular objects.  In this way,we are note overwhelmed and are more able to understand what we’re looking at on a deeper level.

In our new technology enabled society, we have access to an infinite amount of information.  This is great.  As Thomas Friedman talked about in his book The World is Flat, the playing field is essentially even for anyone in the world with an internet connection.

While access to this information is beneficial to society in so many ways, it is also detrimental.  With so much information at our fingertips, it’s vey easy to be overwhelmed.  It’s hard to know what information we should care about.  It’s hard to know which information we should spend time processing, and which information we should ignore.

I find that most people are glued to this access to information.  Walking around campus, almost every person is either holding their phone, or has their hand in their pocket ready to pull out their phone in an instant.  In study rooms, classes, and dorm rooms, almost all students have their laptops open.  And even more, they’ll have their e-mail, facebook, twitter, and various other hubs of information open simultaneously, as if they can read e-mails and articles at the same time as looking at the photos from last weekends frat party.  The existence and success of twitter is testament to the belief that we now prefer shorter chunks of information.

We can look at information in the same way we do sound and images above.  There’s so much information being literally ‘pushed’ down to our devices.  How can we focus on the information that matters, and the information that doesn’t matter?  How do we avoid becoming a society of people who know a little bit about a lot, as opposed to a lot about a little?

Perhaps we have to set aside time each day where we can engage in an activity that requires deep analysis uninterrupted.  Or perhaps the need to specialize isn’t as important as it used to be.

The internet is a great asset, but needs to be used wisely.  Stop and think about it when you get a chance.

Exciting industries

31 Aug

Cleantech.  Renewables, energy storage, energy production, energy efficiency, sustainable design.  Current energy sources are diminishing and negatively impacting our environment, what technologies will power the future?  How will this effect our lifestyles?

Healthcare.  Fitness, medical devices, healthcare software, neuroscience.  People are living very unhealthy lifestyles.  Many ‘outdated’ diseases still killing millions all over the world.  Cancer.  What can we do to increase life expectancy?

Entertainment.  Games, movies, music.  Technology is pushing the limits on the level of immersion we expect from our entertainment experiences, but at the heart of good entertainment lies some very fundamental concepts.

Food/Agriculture.  Growing population, especially in emerging markets and third world countries.  How can we meet the demand?  How can we feed the hungry?  How can we be healthier?

Internet.  Social networks, viral phenomenon.  The extremely powerful ability to share information in an instant.  How can we harness the internet to improve life?

Space travel.  The worlds going to blow up some day.  Where do we go?  What’s out there?

These are some of my interests.  What are you interested in???

Sunday

29 Aug

It’s Sunday

The lord’s day

and the clock reads eleven.

The virgin Mary guides me

to the big rock candy mountain,

a destination of fate

of love

of–

something devine.

And he calls

at momentary perfection

completing the illusion

For,

I finally realize

like the precious stones

my own identity

is nothing,

without polish and discovery.

Ray of Light

24 Aug

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It happened today.

Through a mist of people she came;
like a dream she was before me.

and I can’t recall any words,
only eyes of melted-honey,
and her natural magnetism–
Oh, the life in her slender face!

Her candor wins me one-thousand times over.

Collegiate Dreams

23 Aug

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And we return,
and we begin again,
minds flickering what our future lay–

The nervous boy holding on to his past,
grappling his year’s supplies,
starved of esteem and demand–
Will it ever come?

The girl, bluer than the ocean,
weeping tears of unconscious hope,
angry at the world’s unjustness–
Her obsession, like any, will certainly pass.

And I — ripe with the knowledge they seek,
billow in solitude;
mind flickering what my future lay.

And in the natural course of things…

12 Aug

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As summer comes to an end, new transitions begin.  Out goes the summer job, the traveling abroad, the couch potatoing and old friends. In comes a new school semester, new people and new ideas.  Some things are hard to let go of, others we are happy to rid ourselves of.  Some will embrace new challenges and opportunities, while others will worry about the unknown.

It’s important that we don’t mindlessly transition.  There is a huge opportunity during transition points to learn from the past and alter our course going forward.  Just take a few minutes and reflect on questions like the following…

  1. Did I have goals? Did I meet my goals?
  2. What have I learned from my experiences?
  3. How has my direction changed? How should I change my direction?

As you reflect on your past and make plans for the future, you can start viewing your life as a story.  A good story is all about transitions.  From poverty to riches, from criminal to hero, or from depression to happiness, we revel in the protagonist’s transitions.

So what’s your next chapter?

Insight:

11 Aug

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If you’re not constantly improving your trade, constantly striving to make your company’s stock price move higher — constantly making revisions so as to maximize shareholder value, then, you are not running a business at all.

And to the person it is no different;  constant revision is required in becoming a fulfilled man. We must let go of the things holding us back: old relationships, friendships, old mentalities — and push on! There is always something new to be learned, someone new for us to meet. Don’t be content — embrace change! — and think of yourself as an employee in the ever-changing business of life.

Check Out SoundCloud!

7 Aug

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SoundCloud, a file sharing Facebook application, helped me tremendously in bringing my mix, Saturn Blues, to the web. I was always weary of messing with websites for uploading purposes, but SoundCloud made my task easy — dare I say — enjoyable with its smart, interactive prompts and interface.

I was very impressed with SoundCloud; I feel it is a very useful, powerful, and dynamic social-networking plugin.

Find the SoundCloud Facebook app here.

and my mix, courtesy of SoundCloud, below:

***I highly recommend downloading and watching in the Itunes visualizer ;)

A Passage into the Creative? Steve Jobs speaks out.

7 Aug

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The Apple posterboy was recently asked about  his stance on moderated drug use; he had some interesting things to say.

Job’s comment here: http://digg.com/search?s=steve+jobs+marijuana

I could’ve guessed Steve Jobs smoked marijuana…

how do you think he came up with Visualizer?

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