Category: Random thoughts


Solace is perhaps the less used word, of late.

Yet it has never been so actual.

How can we explain this paradox?

My take is that, in our perpetually fed cycle of hype, our race to the bottom, we just have lost the senses we were born with, but developed other ones. I believe that our 5 senses are a thing of the past, yet I don’t rejoice in thinking so.

I’m deeply saddened. Who are we now but meaningless drones? What is the purpose of our lives? What do we stand for?

Do we ever think about leaving a legacy?

NO.

We care about our ROI, about SEO, about a gazillion acronyms that I can barely remember.

Is it that, being human?

It seems that the definition of the human being has changed forever. It didn’t change by itself.

Everything is profit-driven.

We are no more social animals.

We are zombies. We are what we will never be anymore.

How do I find solace in this drama?

I am living offline. That sets me apart. What’s online is an alias, an avatar. It is not who I am.

Who wants to unplug and join me?

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Even though the word entrepreneur is french (no matter what this bloody ignorant Bill Clinton said about it)… France is really in short supply of entrepreneurs.

I’m afraid the upcoming presidentials will only make things worse…

Look at this before reading further:

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The main issue is not that there are not enough people not afraid to fail a thousand times, take insane risks…

The real problem is that France is stuck in a 1925-like mindset. It wants employees. It wants factories back in the country! It wants lazy and fat corporates.

Obviously, mad creatives (problem solvers) is a threat to this outdated model!

Being an entrepreneur, I can confidently tell you that it is not something I’ll do again if I had the chance (?) to change something in my past life.

The question is: why are the USA the “entrepreneur’s dreamland” even though the word entrepreneur and the verb entreprendre are french?

Silicon Valley is the epitome of entrepreneurship. Especially in a web 2.0 era.

Questions: the Worst Wild Web is still young. 20-something. It is just the beginning, and it’s a mess. What will it be in 40 years? Would it still exist?

This entrepreneur issue is again an example of a “transposed cultural scheme“.

I once again coined a sentence. It happens all the time!

It doesn’t matter where you were born. It matters where you achieve your goals.

Any comments?

As usual, I love to address topics I find overlooked, if not ignored.

So many people feel awkward when asked if they are self-taught or if they spent a colossal sum of money into an Ivy-league school curriculum.

The perennial battle of the successful (or not). It is lame.

I’ll kick in –after this little intro– by merely stating that being self-taught is not to be mistaken with being a self-made man.

Sure. You didn’t even need parents to give you birth. You made yourself out of nothing…

More seriously: no one is a self-made man.

Everyone, at some point, asked for help, guidance and advice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Death of the self-made man myth!

What’s dirty with having been trained, taught, coached, mentored? (let me know by commenting)!

What’s striking, –and serious studies show it– is that both grad PhDs and “self-taught” people reach the same level of competence, cleverness, happiness, and confidence.

Keep asking for help.

It shows how much you care. It shows how much you want to reach your goals, even at the expense of having your self-esteem a tad hurt. It even shows leadership abilities!

I openly hate the term “leadership”. Yet, face it: all of our Greats were a kind of leader. Quiet leaders or loud ones, it doesn’t matter.

What did you learn today?

Did you learn by making a mistake (a great way to learn, if you can understand what went awry), or by asking?

Keep asking. Just don’t be a pest… And ask the “right” people!

Help is the most effective and inexpensive word I know.

You first have to know what your goal is. If you don’t find it outright, it’s perfectly OK.

Let your mind wander. Read my previous post: Shower Power.

By now, I’m sure that you know that I asked for help today. I don’t have any reply yet due to the asynchronous nature of e-mail.

Yes, I don’t use Skype. I don’t use any IM. I don’t use my phone. I still use paper and send letters the old way. I have one friend only, and he doesn’t live in Europe, but in the USA.

I digress, but I’m fine with that.

Again: ask for help, and offer your help everytime you can.

By the way, may I ask you something?

For the last two weeks, I have tackled issues, and I’m still tackling new ones.

(Have a look at my past posts to know what I’m writing about).

Needless to say: it is exhausting.

I always find myself awake at 4:30 am, super energetic (it is usually my energy peak) , and I hate wasting energy.

So, I grab my iPad and read books nobody will. at least I think so.  Would you be interested in reading a book called “Inside Apple“? Unless your are a fanboi computer geek which is interested in HR and temperaments/personalities and their pros and cons, I bet you wouldn’t.

Not a safe bet.

My health has never been great, and I don’t want it to deteriorate.

There are a few tricks that I do before giving in (and I gave in once in my life: I had a lung infection and spent a few days in the coma. OK, I digress, but bear that in mind)!

Taking a shower after having triggered my mind with an insanely intricate computer science lecture, or an inspiring TED talk, is what I usually do.

Solutions and ideas appear when you least expect them. It is common sense.

The next Joe would say the same, but I’m not the next Joe.

When you let purposely your mind wander, it will certainly bring you where it wouldn’t if you were hyper-active and focused obsessed.

My weapon of choice is a simple shower, or a bath.

I soak my hands in warm water before playing keyboards or cello. Any tension disappears, and I can warm-up, then play confidently knowing that I prepared myself.

See… This is a borrowed parallel paradigm (a term I coined a few blog posts ago and didn’t use in a blog post)!

I use a “model” totally unrelated to the task at hand to solve it. I transpose it (sorry for the musical pun).

Well, it’s time for a new TED talk and to catch up on my Stanford lectures (I have a strong disgust for the C language, and we are comparing Objective-C and ANSI C. I want to move on to the next step, yet I know that my teacher is doing what we’ll need ten lectures later).

Oh, one last thing: nothing beats a cup of Yunnan tea.

One more thing: this is the post where my 666th tag will appear. I’m an unabashed metal freak, but in no way Satanist. I just find that ending my post with something less serious could release some tension!

Which are your strategies to kick out stress and burn-outs from tearing you apart?

Do you let your mind wander to find solutions, or do you keep working until you run out of gas?

 

 

 

We are churning out Ph.Ds like never before, yet the cumulated contribution to humankind of one year strong of this scholar drivel has less impact than a 3-minute long TED talk.

Feel free to comment.

What is a Ph.D. worth today?

Does a degree realistically depicts what one is able to do?

Do you foresee the top-down model disappearing, and the need of something radically different?

Do you want to stick to the meritocratic status quo?

If yes, why?

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Here are some of the most pertinent thoughts about the Web, collected weekly on Twitter.

“Stop building empires for Google and Facebook and Twitter. Your self-hosted blog is your power.”

“As fond as I am of the Internet, I think it makes a pretty second-rate religion. Same is true with fine art.”

“Just as the Renaissance was “The Discovery of Ignorance”, the Industrial Revolution was “The Discovery of Shittiness”.”

“The Internet often reminds me of college. A place whose main purpose is mostly about showing off how smart you are.”

“I think social media can make one narcissistic, EVEN MORE so than being an artist. Who woulda thunk?

This blog post is a disguised “advertisement” for Hugh MacLeod: (@gapingvoid)

If you want a good laugh as well as wit, visit Hugh’s website.

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I really have unholy hours to wake up!

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I don’t always do it, but when I do…

There’s no return once I enter “The Zone”.

What is unique in my case is that the music I listen to when writing is as useful to me as a (humble) writer and as a musician. Perhaps even more as a musician.

I have the feeling that my writing and the music I listen to while writing produce a third entity: My own music.

I always make sure that there are lyrics, preferably in another language than the one in which I type. Also, I need complex, substance-rich music.

Simple sloppy chord strumming is not at all acceptable. It’s indigent.

A clear and real-world example would be… Meshuggah or Opeth as both have a really high level of abstraction and intricacy. The only “drawback” is that their lyrics are in english (some swedish ones for Opeth, though).

I’d rather have some fully instrumental stuff then… Like ISIS or ITTCT (If These Trees Could Talk.

Men när jag bloggar på svenska/danska/norska/isländska eller franska passar det jättebra.

Det har varit ett tag sedan jag bloggade på svenska här, fy fan!

Är inte helt sikker att det finns ingen skrivefeiler.

So, here it is, how I get into the Zone. What is incredible is that my Zone is kind of ubiquitous (in my life).

If I head on to write a blog post, I end up with a song, a drawing, a new cake recipe and… You get the idea.

Music as a trigger uses 25+ years of brain wires, and even creates new ones.

There’s magic in this.

Before going to bed yesterday, I had the pleasure of getting a mail from my buddy Derek Sivers.

We haven’t shared anything for months (I was entangled in some win/lose project with Wizdom Music LLC, Jordan Rudess’ company, and other programmers…There will be a post about that someday, when I’ll be able to write about this useless turmoil) so I was thrilled.

It was about procrastination (my favorite topic of discussion, ex æquo with schooling and music), sand shells and co-op.

I thought, “well, tomorrow. I’m shit-tired now. I mark it as unread and we’ll see later.” (I eventually grumbled about being born ten or twenty years too late to produce anything worth today.Keep reading…)

That must be a side-effect of reading Steve Jobs’ bio (I’m still not done with it, as I don’t rush through books. Is the goal to end up being the fastest sprinter? No, of course! A thousand times NO).

“An artist is not likely to produce anything great after he turns thirty” is a killer sentence. I’m not sure if it’s how Steve put it, but it’s close.

I’m 30. Holy cow.

Do I hang myself or do I go grunt-busyworking in a cubicle (if I can find it in a crumbling Europe), killing my art (not writing, crafting music -still hadn’t figured out how to make something great/meeting my standard of quality out of GarageBand for iDevices. I am really old-school. I need a rehearsal space and real instruments. I need sweat and tears. I need partners. You got the picture- and drawing dark art drawings) as I’m doomed anyways?

I digress and concatenate sentences. Whoops.

Derek’s point was to make people realize how much difference it makes in a sentence when writing/saying OR instead of AND.

It doesn’t work with all sentences. Try with some which have alternatives, or a list of conditions.

Oh well: figure it out yourself. It’s puzzling.

Once again he is right. Right now, I feel like the dumbest man on earth. This is so obvious!

My sentence “what is common for me might be awesome for somebody else” is a slight modification of his own words. Of course with his blessing to use it.

Derek and I believe in (the power of) sharing. It’s impossible for me to tell you how good I feel when I share something I know. I don’t trade knowledge for money.

Derek Sivers and Seth Godin… The most awe-inspiring people I met in my life… So far.

I doubt anyone will ever come close. I mean, I hold Derek and Seth close to my heart, and I don’t believe any other emotional bond as strong as those can be made with anyone. It doesn’t even needs to be made. It doesn’t make sense, frankly.

I don’t need more.