Archive for November, 2014

To encrypt or not to encrypt

Posted: November 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Last year around Christmas time I watched a you tube message from Edward Snowden. The message was about the mass surveillance programs exposed through the leaking of “The Snowden tapes”, and the need for privacy.
I was reminded of the Snowden Christmas message because of the two things. First I heard Christmas music in the store last night. Yeah, two days before thanksgiving and Christmas music was playing. Terrible!! The second event was me reading an article about, the messaging company What’s App offering end to end the encryption.
For those who are not all geeky end to end encryption is a system in which only the sending and receiving parties have the keys to open the message. So when the message is intercepted at the what’s app server the party who gets it gets an encrypted message. So with end to end encryption even the what’s app company (which is now Facebook) cannot read your texts.
Some people may wonder why privacy is so important. Snowden tries and o lay it out in his message to the people (the Christmas one).
Privacy is important because privacy is almost a necessity for free speech. Let me explain, in private we are more likely to criticize our leaders. With like minded family and friends we will discuss the mayors actions, pedigree and political affiliations. Then in a he paper, on the blogs and at the barber shop we will present our criticisms in discussion. Finally in November we will armed with criticisms public discussions and facts cast our vote. Without privacy often that first step cannot happen or it does so under duress.
Just recently the wire taps and FBI investigation into Martin Luther King Jr. were released. The tapes were telling. Martin Luther King Jr. Was a truly selfless man, our world is definitely worse off without him here. What is most troubling is a letter, in which the F B I encourages King to kill himself.
This was most likely done because of Kings alleged ties to the communist party. Now King was not a communist but in privacy with friends and family King may or may not have mentioned some of the admirable traits of the communist ideology especially when it comes to their stance on equality. The private was public and then in a war on communism (sound like a war on terror?) preemptive action was taken.
So privacy is very important. Our children have to be able to live without fear of retribution for their private conversations and thoughts.
I may not use encryption but I will support anyone’s right to use encryption and their 1st amendment rights in this country.





Everyone seems to have a story about how they were first, especially entrepreneurs. During the dot com bubble there was a rush to be the first company online. Many companies were in such a hurry to get online up and running that they entered markets with business models that were unsustainable and flopped. One of the biggest and most well known flops of the dot com era was The company was well known because of its advertising campaign. A sock puppet would interview people on the street. It was a great ad campaign but it seems that the greatness ended there. For the interested readers here is an informative article.

This is not a business blog so I will quit boring you with business stories. I only mention the story because today’s post title. ” Being first is not as important as being the best”. We live in a culture that hat does not reward second place. The victory lap goes to the one who crosses the finish line first. Even though we call it the human race life is not a race. In life there is no reward for finishing first. I don’t know about you but I have been caught up before in competition. I have gotten so caught up in competition that I have lost perspective and my sense of gratitude. This is bad. A sense of gratitude is can make all the difference and losing it can put a person to n a bad place psychologically. To avoid this I would encourage us all to, focus on doing well not the speed.


Don’t go quietly

Posted: November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
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So this weekend me and my brood went to the movies and watched interstellar. This was one of the best movies I have ever seen. There was mystery action all types of drama. The story was about man kinds salvation through interstellar travel and the search for a new earth.
One of the movies protagonists quotes Dylan Thomas. The quote he uses Gomes from a beautiful poem, titled “do not go gentle into that good night”. I really am a fan of this poem it is so inspiring and the prose is almost like a song. Read for yourself

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

See? I love the notion of never giving up or quitting. Of all the lessons I have learned from my parents that has to be one of the most important ones. Maybe because, I have faced some tough times and I know we all have and will struggle. Struggle is truly intrinsic to the human condition. You may avoid some struggle but you will face it and I hen you do that encourage you to rage, kick scream and do not quit. Of course the kicking and screaming are metaphors, most struggle will require the oh to think smarter work harder endure longer and love yourself and others more.
Love is powerful and transcendent and almost impossible to define and hard to act in but I can’t help but believe it is this power that will help with one of humanities longest struggle. The struggle for peace amongst each other.
Tell them jimmy


Love is tough especially with some people, but love is what we need. I see violence all over the world and I just can’t help but think how differently the world could look if all the hate was replaced with love.
The world we live i has a harsh climate. Some of the climates harshness is a direct result of mans impact. Stopping the impact and maybe reversing the results has to happen but will only happen when all parties involved work in love. We will get nowhere against something as large as climate change with a tribe mentality, we have to understand that we are all in this together and love can help with this perspective. The good news about love is this it can start small and grow exponentially!

Why not be one of those few people today. You know the ones, they love everyone and they never give up on anyone no matter how easy people or situations make it. Those people are the ones who make the world go round. I was so close to quoting arthur o shaughnessy, but I will not. Why not make an effort today to be one of those people?

Fitting in

Posted: November 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Do you use facebook? I do. I like facebook , Twitter, g+, LinkedIn, wordpress, zite. All types of social media. I love to see photos from family and friends I also enjoy reading some of the status of the same group. I live a considerable distance from me most of my family so social media is great.
Just the other day I was reading through the status of my favorite friends and I read a status that said something like I don’t know where I fit in. I could definitely sympathize with this person. We have all felt like outsiders at sometime or another. There is nothing wrong with being an outsider. I know, I am blowing your mom me now. I constantly support working within the system and now I am typing that being an outsider is ok. Please allow me to explain. The “system” I am referring to is not a tangible organization it is the universe. It (the system) is almost impossible to define, the system is human interaction, good decent respectful life interaction. The system is about how you and I relate with all life. Some people call this system the universe.

Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns it calls me on and on across the universe.
John Lennon

We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.
Ray Bradbury

So the system is vast and complicated and so is mankind

Man is a universe within himself.

Bob Marley

Because of how big the system and mankind are it can be easy to feel like an outsider. The important thing to remember is that everyone is unique and special and made to not fit in

There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. But I’ll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.
C. JoyBell C.


It’s you and me and her and him

Posted: November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

Do yesterday I was listening to a wonderful interview. The host of the radio show was speaking with the do director of a documentary that featured the Verunga national park in the Congo. To answer your question yes now I do want a obis it the park. During the interview the director makes mention of a man in the park who cares for orphaned gorillas. Some background before we dive deeper into what the director says. The documentary was filmed when some of the huge park was being over ran my a violent militia . The militia is gone now so safe again to visit. Since at the time the militia was violent an order came out that personnel should leave the park. One man choose to stay with the gorillas. When asked why what he said really resonated with me. He said that when we are born we must justify our existence on earth. His justification was taking care of the orphaned gorillas.
Human life is a beautiful fragile miraculous thing, and being born is a gift that few of us can justify. Mostly because we don’t know how. Now the religious person will tell you life’s purpose is to serve God the animal lover may make the same type of statement that the man on the park did. I would say the justification or purpose for life is different for everyone simply because everyone is different. I will not tell you what your purpose is but I will say that you cannot find your purpose through selfish means
Mahatma Gandhi says, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” And who am I to argue with this?



Posted: November 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

When I was a kid one of the cable channels would play the old Elvis Presley movies. These movies were great, Elvis would sing dance and do all kinds of stuff, the whole time he was this super cool dude.
In one of the movies Elvis wore a silver necklace, from the necklace hung the letters T C B. A young man in the movie asked Elvis why the letters and he said because it meant taking care of business and that was what Elvis was all about.
On my way into work this morning I listened to a senator, reporter and college professor discuss the immigration climate in the United States of America. Now I am not sure if you are familiar at all about the current immigration climate in the United States and I will attempt to describe it to you. Please keep in mind that I am not a political expert at all. The current immigration climate involves a few players. There is the United States congress, they are the legislative branch of the United States, then there is the president of the United States,his office is the executive branch and finally there are un documented aliens living in the United States (many in shelters awaiting trial to learn their fate, legal status for living here). Are you confused yet? Me too. But at least you know the players now what are they doing. So the un documented are waiting some are rewarded for their wait with visas for extended stays and a path to citizenship, some are deported and many wait in limbo. The president is currently asking and threatening. He is asking congress to create laws (legislative branch) that will work to reform the immigration climate in the U S. He is threatening to use an executive order to accomplish some immigration reform if action is not taking. An executive order is an order from a he executive office that helps other parts of the government do their jobs. So the order that may happen could be an order allowing the immigration customs enforcement agency to fast track legal proceedings for immigrants in shelters. The congress of the United States (remember our legislative branch?) they are, asking the executive office for two things, one execute the current immigration laws a and two give them time to make some new better laws.
So I said all along this to say that it seems that the immigration climate is a result of many players not being like Elvis and taking care of business. My hope is that the congress can take care of business this session and help the aliens which will in turn help the country.
It can be frustrating when we are doing our part like the executive has and his and the temptation to undermine our colleagues may be great, but this should be avoided. We should work within the system we are part of trust everyone to do their job and do our best at our job.

The question is philosophical

Posted: November 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ok so just the other day while eating my lunch I found myself in ear shot of a meeting. You got to love multi purpose rooms. Let me be clear my eavesdropping was not on purpose but it happened. I did my best to block out the meeting, however one of the speakers said something that just rubbed me the wrong way.
This meeting was a technical meeting concerning software and one of the speakers said “the questions n is philosophical”.
Philosophy is the study of the meaning of life.
No matter how important he feels his technical meeting part is it is not the meaning of life.

I think that part of me was agitated by the speakers use of this phrase because of an assumption I made as to the speakers reasoning for using this statement. See the speaker made the statement in response to some questions from a colleague of his in a dismissive way. This bugs me because I feel as though, there are no stupid questions and everyone is interesting. His dismissal makes me feel like he does not share this belief. The other thing about his statement is that while everyone is interesting the world does not revolve around anyone. It is not all about me or you or him or his technical stuff it is all about us
* What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.
— Aristotle (384-322 BC)
So be good to yourself and everyone else peace