1,000 Nights Out On @foursquare – Why I’m Still An Advocate

Get me in person and I’ll go over several practical uses for the service. I won’t call it a social network, although it is, it doesn’t have to be. You can use it and NEVER share any of your data with outsiders all while using recommendations from others. Based on cumulative data, foursquare’s explore has collected enough data too accurately send me to a craft beer bar in the Village, a phenomenal hoagie shop in suburban Miami or lobster stand on the cliffs of Maine 20 miles from our campground. I imagine these would be recommended to a new user as well, but they were the top recommendation based on my historical data. I RARELY have a bad meal or go to a crappy place. (my profile)

Anyway, here’s three other practical uses, including using it as a personal journal, along with my fanboy rant:

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Where I hang in NYC according to my checkins:

(create your own map at http://www.wheredoyougo.net/)

Related:
The Historical and Sentimental Value of Geo-locating Photos
foursquare fiction  
5 foursquare practical uses (from 2010)

Bonus: Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare, gave me shout on Twitter after I requested a phone call.

Paid Music Service Comparison: Spotify, Rdio and Mog

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Spotify: The most users, but it with that attention it seems to be the one with the most artists pulling out or blocking (they may all be the same, but I don’t know)
Rdio: The best of the bunch for me. Make sure that you don’t pay the $15/month!
Mog: Under the radar. I like them, but the user experience needs much improvement.

 

Money is the New Religion, Irrelevant

This post clearly needs more work.  I wanted to get the draft concept out as I’m finding the debunking of these ideas difficult during in-person conversations and debates.  I’m more of a conversationalist than a writer or researcher. This is currently one of my favorite conversations.  Take it as such.

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At one point, religion made the world go ’round. It still does for many individuals and regions of the world. Money has since layered on top (and, of course, mixed in with) religion as the global economy has been connected, well, globally. What if money wasn’t worth anything but a luxury?

Religions stepped in gave man a guide on how to live by sharing guides of principles and values. While religion may have served a great purpose, one no longer needs (and may have never have needed) a structured way to become a decent human being. A global economy based on currency has led us to this point in technology.  Over the past few centuries money has trumped religion in so many ways causing man to chase the almighty dollar over being a decent human being (example: advertising for unhealthy products). Of course, this plays out more in the Western world, but the two coexist and battle each other on individual, familial, national and global levels. They both have played critical parts for the development of mankind and served a great purpose for individuals and society alike. But let’s face it, neither religion nor money have nailed it.  We’ve made some great advancement s and achievements, but we won’t advance without shaking close-minded religious practices or economical desires. Something else is next and it is arriving sooner than we think.

As technology turns scarce resources into abundant ones, what will be the value of money?

Information: Not too long ago, only the very wealthy had access to education and information. We know this transformation is already here and growing exponentially. However, there’s still a great digital divide. That divide won’t last. The relatively enormous amount of data that we produce and learn how to act on will lead to technological advances in energy, food and water.
Energy: We’re currently underutilizing so many natural energy resources, particularly the sun, due to the “economical” procedures that hold us back.
Food: Imagine skyscrapers…of farms.  Flying robots that maintain, harvest and deliver more than enough (completely organic) food for the global population (which rate happens to lower with the increase of access to education.
Water: How long until we figure out how to turn salt water into drinking water? (more)

What’s left? Housing perhaps. But say that we soon cut the travel time from New York to Sydney to about 10 minutes and for little cost? Where do you want to be? Places that are not attractive to a lack of resources, food, etc. will soon be hard to find.

Health? We’ve already doubled life expectancy in a century, but have gone down in regards to increase of industrial-style food consumption.  Access to information internally (maybe tiny robots that swim in our bodies and report all health signs? Sign me up. Fitbit already going there) and a reduction of ignorance to what we’re eating will lead to the organic skyscraper farms over the corn-made ones of today.

(separate, linked post?) A rapidly increasing transparent society helps not only with creating the abundance information, but dramatically decreases human corruption. It won’t be too long before we have an eye contact that serves our mobile device (yes, Terminator-like) that records and streams publicly most of what we view and displays augmented reality. These conversations that we have in person will be recorded, tagged and available for anyone to watch (if we flick the green button on) either live or in the distant future. Any forthcoming politician will not get into office (the current government system has again served a purpose, but is antiquated already compared to technology available in 2012) without running being completely transparent as society reflects. This won’t happen overnight, but we’re currently progressing that way in an embedded in accessing the above mentioned resources. It’s not Big Brother, it’s Older Brother when everyone has access to the transparent information instead of one central government.  (Twitter and YouTube are scratching the surface and currently hold great value and potential for this openness. Facebook  is desperately trying to be the open platform, but perceived privacy issues are holding it back. )

(Related: Destroying patents, trademarks,  copyrights and intellectual property leftover over from the 20th century for a smarter planet.)

Some tell me that I’m explaining a “Utopia” that can not exist. I think “Utopia” is a relative term and someone from the 1800s would believe 2012 is Utopia. Our challenges will be greater and life will continue to be a struggle … relatively speaking.

What’s next? Does there need to be something at all? Will we be forced to expedite this process from a global threat from outside one caused by man?

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Again, this is a draft. I’ve been having debates over the above for the last few years and needed to get it out there for potentially finding a larger audience that can find more flaws than the limited in-person conversations that are (currently) possible.  If you somehow stumbled upon this, thanks for reading. Feel free to add your thoughts, express holes in my theories or just call me ludicrous.

On e-commerce

I was willing to spend $25-$30 for two tickets. With “convenience” AND “processing” fees, I no longer feel compelled to make the purchase even though it was less than I expected. This happens so often. Why do I mentally do this? And why do companies insist having a convenient way to process purchases charge me for convenience and processing?

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Airplane Mode, Let Your Creative Mind Breathe

Prior to spending a week in Slovakia, I vowed to try disconnecting from the internet for a week while visiting. The second day, after being in an inebriated state (they fed me way too much food and way, way too much vodka) I broke down and bought a 120/MB data plan from AT&T.  My justification was that Slovakia is out of the way for most American travelers and the beauty of its people and its countryside (post on this coming) should be shared, thus reducing the ignorance of this little-known country. Hypothetically, I would not be checking work emails or “breaking” news.

Although I purchased the plan, I still did well for a while not connecting and only occasionally taking photos. I felt the creative side of my mind breathing and growing. In idleness, I’d contemplate a subject going deeper than “I’ve had time for” in a very long time. I reintroduced myself to myself, not having spent time alone (I’m often solo, but rarely “alone” if connected) in as long as I can remember.

Often, I wanted to jot down some ideas and opened Evernote to record them. That airplane icon often tempted me to turn it off.  The moment I did turn my iPhone off of airplane mode, my creative side became completely suffocated. I began thinking in very short bursts, conquering red notifications one by one.  As our trip got nearer to the end my data plan still had plenty of MBs left and I used them increasingly and rapidly after leaving the countryside while visiting Prague and Amsterdam between connecting flights home. By the time we boarded the plane for NYC, I had difficulty going back to those deep explorations of the mind and reflective states.

For a while, I let the creative side of my brain breathe and grow, however I did not give it quite the chance to flourish. Being constantly connected has been a true blessing for me in the years of late as I’ve experienced several, varying types of further education through online media and personal online connections. The connotation of Airplane Mode has switched to being a sometimes very positive feature that should perhaps be used more often while outside of an airplane.

Related:

Off to College? Don’t Waste Your Twenties

So, you’re heading to college this or next fall. Don’t get me wrong, your parents are smart people and you should listen to their advice…usually. If your parents, your family or society is telling you to take the secure option for a major, simply don’t consider it. As the world is and always will be changing dramatically and rapidly , there is no such thing as a secure career path. Again, there is no such thing as a secure career path. Every industry will be inevitably disrupted, including ones that don’t even exist yet. So, as your parents and loved ones mean well and want nothing for the best of you, go for what your heart and gut wants. Money comes and money goes. If you love what you do, the money will follow naturally. You might as well do what you feel is right for you.

Personally, I spent most of my twenties travelling due to not being passionate about any particular job or purpose. Granted, I struggled those years financially, but I just didn’t love anything other than life itself. If you love something, go for it. I wish I knew sooner, but I simply didn’t. It happened eventually (link to my first tweet).  Too many times I’ve heard something similar to, “Damn, I spent my twenties working on a career that’s practically now irrelevant while others were out surfing in Costa Rica or building a family? I’ve got no kids nor have I travelled. I’m 30 something and now have to completely reinvent myself.”.  Don’t fret, we all have to reinvent ourselves continuously. Just don’t waste your twenties studying something that you’re not truly passionate about.

Larry Smith – Why you fail to have a great career

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Stop Saying “Silicon Valley of the _______”

I move and travel quite a bit. In different areas of the USA and the world, I continuously hear, “We are the the Silicon Valley of (the North, India, the Midwest, Africa, the mountains, Idaho, prison system, yadda yadda)” or some regionalized variation of Silicon Valley such as “Silicon Alley” or “Silicon Forrest”. Stop.

Like Mitch Hedberg said about turkey:

There’s turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami — someone needs to tell the turkey, ‘man, just be yourself’.

I was at event tonight where FutureNYC’s Jonathan Bowles was talking about their report (excellent, by the way) and they we’re proud to say “We’re #2!”. NYC, along with other metropolitan areas, has the chance to completely alter and improve urban conditions throughout our planet. The tech in Silicon Valley is laying a serious foundation which we will all be a part of, but each type of region will create amazing technological advance that only can made in their respective region and/or circumstance.

One of my favorite quotes from the event was by Andrew Rasiej – “Technology is not a slice of the pie, it’s the pan.”

We’re in a transitional period and it is up to each city/region to maximize technology to better embed human society as an asset into the earth instead of a parasite of it. The ways Detroit (used to be #1 at something) will utilize technology will help other cities greatly damaged by 20th century industrialization. Only a city like Detroit can accomplish such.

VC money, acquisitions and currency in general don’t exist in a truly post-industrial society. Global advancements will certainly occur, but no one will care where they come from.

The whole world is just as excited as you and will also be playing their part.

Be yourself, everybody.

foursquare fiction

It was the perfect weekend for another assassination. She took the A train towards Lefferts BLVD. The swap was easy among the unsuspecting Friday evening commuters. She wondered what her iDouble, as she called him, would do this weekend with her beloved 4Smaybe he’ll grab a few Instagrams of that graffiti building in Queens. Perhaps he’ll splurge for a lobster roll and post it to Foodspotting. The foursquare Explore option would tell direct iDouble to friend-recommended gastropubs, odd points of interest and quirky shops to keep him busy and active.

Living in NYC,  she had a smattering of friends, most of whom she’d only see every month if she and friends happened to have overlapping free time.  No one would particularly notice her absence but iDouble’s checkins and posting on behalf of her would serve as her alibi for more than one purpose.

Sunday.

Ahhh, finally I get my own device back! What did I “do” this weekend? Smorgasbord, duh.  Ooh, I had the Polpette meatballs according to my Things Done list. iDubs knows I’m a sucker for ECava’s food tips.  His photography is getting more likes than usual.  Well, the Lux filter helps anyone I suppose. My tweets, my tweets…  “I just missed you.” — Good, he was responsive to my friends and knows  that I’m not a fan of exclamation points. “Here’s my number, call me maybe?” — What the hell was he talking about!? Oh well, it looks like my iDouble had a better weekend than my mark. 

Don’t Worry About China

I often hear in conversation how China is on pace to become the most powerful country in X amount of years. This may be true, but the path that we’ve been on as humans for the last few centuries is getting dramatically skewed. That pace leads to industrial society that no longer exists as move towards a truly global society, most likely without political countries as we know them. The connotation of the term “economy” will alter dramatically as we reshape human society on earth.