Is your social media addiction changing your perceptions – Jaron Lanier

Here’s the always thoughtful and excellent Jaron Lanier in a 20-minute interview on Channel 4 News, talking about the effect of social media.

Lanier is a fascinating, new-Renaissance man: a writer on computer-philosophy, a computer scientist and programmer of very high regard (one of the fathers of VR), an artist and a musician.

His theme here builds on a point raised in his 2010 book You Are Not A Gadget:  that our perspective on the world is imperceptibly shaped and limited by the tools we use to perceive it: if your spectacles are the wrong prescription, you don’t see things far away; if your search engine tailors results to your tastes, you don’t see what you don’t know. Here, he adds the impact of social media algorithms tailoring your world view based on your response to what you see.

Fascinating.

 

Image: LAVREB University of Siena

Work to be one in a hundred

You don’t need to be one in a million to succeed, but you should aim for one in a hundred.

One hundred is an interesting number. In ancient Rome, a Centurion commanded one hundred men (usually between 60 and 150). Even today, an army company will comprise about 100-150 soldiers. Reaching 100 employees is a landmark, and a step-change, for a growing business.

The anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed, in 1992, that the human brain can maintain a maximum of around 150 social relationships (Dunbar’s Number).  In more recent research, he has found that the average number of Facebook Friends is 155. You can have more links, of course. Clicking is easy, but maintaining real social relationships is hard.

Take that across to a typical professional scenario. Your business relies on the relationship (not transactional) model: clients need to know and trust you. When your client faces a problem, they can choose from just 100-150 trusted relationships to solve it.

You want to be that one per cent – the one person best suited to save the day.

 

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Passive income streams for sovereign professionals – Forbes.com

Here’s a useful post from Abdullahi Muhammed on Forbes.com: 4 Passive Income Streams Freelancers Should Create To Secure Their Futures.

One of the ongoing challenges that sovereign professionals face is the direct relationship between time and money: if you work, you earn; if you don’t work, you don’t earn.

It manifests itself in other ways, too. When you’re busy you can quickly hit an earnings ceiling: there are no more hours to work and you feel like you’re leaving money on the table.

A useful goal, therefore, is to create passive income streams: ways to generate revenue even  when you’re on the beach. An obvious example is the successful novelist or recording artist who earns royalties from a popular back-catalogue.

Abdullahi offers four routes to passive income, here.

 

Photo by Salvador Martin Yeste on Unsplash

Back to school or off to uni

Nicholas Bate with sound advice for those kicking their heels and waiting for university to start:

1.Decide your timetable. Work time, play time. Be time. Creative time. Writing time. Schedule it. Timetables work.

5. Read more than the reading list. By definition, that’s a minimum. Make it a habit not to do the minimum.

6. Stop playing with your phone when you should be working.

8. Clean  up your fountain pen. And write more long-hand. There’s a stack of benefits in the hand-eye-brain connection, the aesthetics of hand-writing and a break from the key-board.

9. Thank great teachers. It’s nice to be appreciated.

Make it a habit not to do the minimum. Sage advice.

Read the full list, here.

 

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

John Perry Barlow – 25 Principles of Adult Behaviour

I was sad to hear of the passing of John Perry Barlow – internet pioneer, lyricist and cattle rancher – and posted this piece over on the Burning Pine blog.

I also came across this, which is better shared here. Approaching 30 and “surprised to have reached an age of indisputable adult”, Barlow wrote himself 25 principles of Adult Behaviour.

You can read the full list over on Lifehacker.

Here’s a taster:

  • Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
  • Expand your sense of the possible.
  • Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
  • Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
  • Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
  • Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
  • Endure.

Worth discovering.

Also, an excuse to share the song Cassidy, mentioned in the article.

Here’s the Dead:

I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream.
I can tell by the mark he left, you were in his dream.
Ah, child of countless trees.
Ah, child of boundless seas.

And also, on the subject of Cassidy(s), here’s a beautiful piece by Barlow describing the song’s origins.

Why we don’t have nice things – @thisisseth

We get what we deserve. So says Seth:

Every once in awhile, someone steps up and makes something better. Much better. When it happens, it’s up to us to stand up and notice it. Which means buying it and consuming it with the very same care that it was created with.

Read the rest, here.

 

Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash