You are probably aware of the “keep it simple crowd” that roams the internet. People like me who reasonably consider that many of the applications we use are far too complicated for our needs. See also this video about AbiWord:
And yes, too much complication slows you; it’s distracting. Most word processors, for example, how features that go unused even for the corporate user. And that is even truer for the home user. What should we do?
An easy solution has been simpler programs such as Abiword or Open office. They run quite well, open source, I find them crashing less often than many “professional” applications, they are easy to learn and they get the job done.
A more extreme solution is working with programs such as java darkroom, in which you can see nothing but a blank screen and a cursor with which to type. A keystroke combination will let you save and run some basic tools (spell checker, word count, that kind of stuff), or save as plain text.
Rejection. Failure. Losing. Nobody strives for this. There’s not one athlete that’s setting out to lose, there’s no entrepreneur whose goal it is to go bankrupt. But like some act of heavenly mercy, there is a lot of positives found in negatives, and successful people actually often are preaching the Gospel that value is to be found in failure.
Denis Waitley expressed this so well. He said: ‘Failure is supposed to be our teacher and in no way our undertaker. Failure is merely delay; in no way defeat. Failure is a short detour, in no way a dead end street. Failure is a phenomenon that can only be avoided if we say nothing, do nothing and are nothing.’
Successful persons’ marks lie in how they respond to negative situations. They are licking their wounds yet don’t quit the battlefield. They will find strength through their scars. Check out the following six blessings to soften and deal with failure, losing, and rejection.
You can clarify all your passions
A lot of people are struggling with making decisions. People creative minds usually are having their hand in multiple projects, but even jacks-of-all-trades understand that there are limits as to how thin you’ll be able to spread yourself.
In the past, I’ve caused some serious grief by applying labels to myself or others when I’ve been afraid or too lazy to go deep and really experience the moment. So now, when an especially challenging moment presents itself, I am consciously taking myself off autopilot… instead of acting or reacting or avoiding, I’m simply trying to BE. I’m resisting the urge to put a nice neat label on myself, others or even something as simple as an apple… or as complicated as love. But you know how it is, People put People in Boxes – Myself, Labeled Again!
I read an interesting idea that labeling only serves us as far as understanding the labeled person or thing in the simplest context. Once the label becomes ingrained, our mind closes and we lose our connection with whatever it is we’re labeling. And for me it’s the connection with myself, others and even objects that make life exciting, rewarding, worth the while…
But at the beginning of something, labels can come in really handy. For instance, I had this neighbor who was mad-scientist smart and as wired as the day is long. It was painfully obvious to everyone in the neighborhood that he had extreme ADHD. The strange part about it was, this never occurred to HIM. I was talking with him at a party once and he told he had been diagnosed ADHD – he was so excited because this discovery solved a mystery and gave him a deeper understanding and acceptance of who he is.
Long ago, before your grandparents were in this world, there was a young girl. Nara was her name. She lived near a very high mountain. Every day, at sunrise, she greeted the mountain like this:
“Good morning, dear mountain, I wish you happiness. I will climb you tomorrow.”
But she had barely finished these words when a crow perched by her window, and in a trollish voice, told her: “You can’t climb it. You are a very small child and that is a giant mountain.” So read on to learn about Climbing a Mountain – You can’t!
Always, at that time, Nara became sad. She believed she would not be able to conquer it, now, nor ever. But one day many smiling clouds arrived at her village. They covered all the sky, and the mountain top too. That way, the mountain looked smaller. That day Nara did not say: “I will climb you tomorrow” but “I will climb today.”
When the crow arrived at the window it did not find her because she was taking breakfast in the kitchen. It went there but she had gone to her room. It flew to her room, but the girl, after having put on her coat, her red woolen hat and her rainbow boots, had left the house. When it found Nara, she was already climbing the mountain. “Hello, crow,” was Nara’s greeting. “Hello, girl, what are you doing?”, replied the crow. “Going up, to the top.” “But you can’t reach the top, it’s a very high mountain.”
Hi, I did it again. Another huge project, not that huge at the Unhomeless script and also nothing compared to Newsies songs, but certainly a demanding one. And, for a change, I’m not setting up any deadline for this project, only that I want it available to the public by Christmas.
So what’s this project about? A traditional, pen-and-paper, roleplaying game with influences and inspiration from Horatio Alger, Dickens, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne and Mark Twain. You know, in a roleplaying game you pretend to be someone else, usually fighters, wizards, clerics, and thieves. Only in this game, you could be a newsboy or newsgirl from 1890 to 1910, living on your own in the fictional city of New Paris, USA. (more…)
It’s 7:30 PM. You are working on some stuff due tomorrow, 9:00 AM, and you have enough time to make it. But then a red light pops up in your mind. Yes, that other task you chose to procrastinate and had forgotten… guess when they want it done? I don’t mean coming up with the Under Pressure Lyrics? That’s how you fix it.
I know I sound like a mother, teacher, and boss, but it happens to be true: you must avoid procrastination. Had you done it when you had the time too, now you would not be facing this crisis. Some people may say that they love to work under pressure; I’d say that many of those only work when pressured enough.
Do you love tight deadlines? Good, just do stuff as soon as possible and try to beat your record every time. That’s all the pressure you’ll ever need or want.
We do, most of us anyway, yet not with the strength of our fathers. They saw the marvels of science transformed into technology: railroads, steamships, antibiotics, the airship, the plane, radio, television and last but not least, the Internet.
Yet at the same time, children are no longer safe roaming the streets, we are aware of every crime, villages that once had a vibrant cultural life are now transformed into TV watching drones and then plugged into the Internet. And let’s not forget the atomic bomb or even the conventional bombing that hit Guernika, Amsterdam, London and destroyed Hamburg and Dresden. Last but not least, an increasingly endangered nature.
Science is not really about that. Science is knowledge. But, the fact is, most of us judge science not by its capacity to predict anything, nor by being structured or follow any method, but by the cool things it brings to us.
A profound shift in the basis of competition has occurred. Today, competitive advantage in many businesses lies in the ability to capture unique information about customers – information that is not accessible to other vendors. For example, airlines develop frequent-flyer profiles that are not accessible to other airlines. This is the Online Competitive Advantage (capturing unique information).
Banks use information about balances and individual funds flow to market various financial products to their customers. Even grocers create loyalty card programs in order to build and act on proprietary profiles of their customers.
In infomediated markets, infomediaries hold these customer profiles on behalf of the customer and, subject to the customer’s privacy preferences, make them available to appropriate vendors willing to pay to access them.
Digital security is a trade-off. If securing digital data were the only concern a business had, users would have no control over their own computing environment at all – the Web would be forbidden territory; every disk drive would be welded shut. That doesn’t happen, of course, because workers also need the flexibility to communicate with one another and with the outside world.
The current compromise between security and flexibility is a sort of intranet-plus-firewall sandbox, where the IT department sets the security policies that workers live within. This allows workers a measure of freedom and flexibility while giving their companies heightened security.
That was the idea, anyway. In practice, the sandbox model is broken. Some of the problem is technological, of course, but most of the problem is human. The model is broken because the IT department isn’t rewarded for helping workers do new things, like finally passing the N.Y. Regents exam or studying for an advanced degree, but for keeping existing things from breaking. Workers who want to do new things are slowly taking control of networking, and this movement toward decentralized control cannot be reversed.
How should a fiction writer use the web? Should I limit myself to the plain text? There are powerful reasons to do so. Art thrives in boundaries. A communication needs a channel that both the writer and reader can understand. In a way, boundaries are a common comfort zone.
When these limits are breached, the readers are not really sure of what’s going on, nor the writers. I don’t think anybody is yet sure of what this whole online fiction writing would turn out to be; if it finally turns out to be something.
Cinema, before Eisenstein and Chaplin, was not meant to be an art. Just an amusement for the less cultivated. I believe online fiction writing is passing through the same process; only more complicated. You could use a blog, a newsgroup, a wiki, twitter, a social engine or even combine all those resources together. And then there are text, photographs, video, interactivity, links, comments… (more…)