Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Growing Up Is A Choice

As a kid, I would look at adults with awe because I believed that they had everything figured out. Now that I'm an adult I realize that not only do most people don't have everything figured out they're basically thinking the same way as they did when they were kids.

“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” 
-Walt Disney (or Charles Theodore Davis)

While you'll never have everything figured out, you must live your life in such a way that if you were to look back 5 years ago you can see how much progress you've made since. Gray hair, by itself, isn't a good enough indicator of how "grown up" someone is.

How do I "grow up"?

You need to plan for it as it won't happen naturally. You need constantly challenge your philosophies for life, read and associate with people that are better than you so that some of their experiences can rub off on you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A Snippet of The Book of Politics by Aristotle

I’ve learned 3 things from reading this book:

  • Books translated from Greek are difficult to read. 
  • Aristotle expects the reader to be versed in everything else going on in his day which makes his work difficult to read. 
  • The methods with which a tyrant takes over a government were the same 2500 years ago as it is today.

Some notable thoughts taken from the book:

“They who love in excess also hate in excess.”
-Aristotle, Politics

“All constitutions are overthrown either from within or from without; the latter, when there is some government close at hand having an opposite interest, or at a distance, but powerful.”
-P. 207 from “Politics” book by Aristotle (Translated by Benjamin Jowett)

“History shows that almost all tyrants have been demagogues who gained the favour of the people by their accusations of the notables.”
-P.216 from “Politics” book by Aristotle (translated by Benjamin Jowett)

"...The tyrant is also fond of making war in order that his subjects may have something to do and be always in want of a leader. And whereas the power of a king is preserved by his friends, the characteristic of the tyrant is to distrust his friends, because he knows that all men want to overthrow him, and they above all have the power."
-P.226 from “Politics” book by Aristotle (translated by Benjamin Jowett)

“Every man should be responsible to others, nor should anyone be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man.”
-P.244 from “Politics” book by Aristotle (translated by Benjamin Jowett)

“No one will doubt that the legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth, or that the neglect of education does harm to states. The citizen should be moulded to suit the form of government under which he lives. For each government has a peculiar character which originally formed and which continues to preserve it. The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy; and always the better character, the better government”
-P.300 from “Politics” book by Aristotle (translated by Benjamin Jowett)

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

A.I. Marketing Fail

ChatGPT is widely recognized has being the first A.I. made available to the public. Since then, other companies have also been introducing their variation and their marketing of it is mediocre at best.

If your marketing strategy is to say that "it's better, more powerful than ChatGPT" then you're not sharing any relevant information regarding your own A.I. because, frankly, who cares which A.I. is more powerful? Will users even notice that your A.I. produces results a second faster than ChatGPT? If ChatGPT already provide answers that are somewhat accurate, and your A.I. produces similar result, then how can you expect users to make the switch?

If you're not first, you're last... If you're not first, you're going to be making mistakes trying to catch up.

ChatGPT is to A.I. what ski-doo is to snowmobile meaning that the word is associated with the entity. In my mind, the only way other A.I. companies can make themselves relevant is by utilizing A.I. in new, more innovative, ways-not trying convinced people that it's "better" because the average user doesn't have a way to confirm it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

3 Phases of Reading Non-Fiction

"The brain is a muscle, and I'm a kind of body-builder." 
-Karl Lagerfeild

The brain is like a muscle and reading is how you exercise it. When reading non-fiction, we go through 3 phases:
  • Initial Struggle - We don't remember, or understand, what we just read.
  • Gradual Retention - We remember some of what we've read.
  • Application - We study/apply what we've read.
The most difficult part is to begin as we don't see the point of reading if we don't remember what we just read. If we're able to get through it then a wonderful world of self discovery opens to us. I would encourage you to read non-fiction - start small with only 2 pages a day. One of the best habits you can get into is the habit of reading as it has the power to improve every other aspect of your life.

"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read."
-Mark Twain 

 If you're wondering where to start, the below are some books that I've enjoyed reading with how difficult, I thought, they were to understand:
  • The below are easy to read:
    • "The 5 love languages" by Gary Chapman
    • "Personality PLUS" by Florence Littauer
    • "Alexander the Great" by Jacob Abbott
  • The below are of a normal difficulty to read:
    • "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey
    • "Enlightenment Now" by Steven Pinker
  • The below are challenging to read:
    • "Living Issues in Philosophy" by Harold H. Titus and Marilyn Smith
As I get older, I sometime feel like I'm falling behind and learning new things, from a non-fiction book, has helped alleviate those feelings.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Take Ownership of Your Education

I've rarely accepted to partake in learning engagements at work for the simple reason that most of these "classes" are taught by people that don't know anything beyond the Powerpoint presentation they've created for it. 

Take ownership of your education...

In 2007-08, I was a young, French only, punk about to start my career in the tech industry. In order for me to learn English, I created this blog. The plan was that I would do my research, in English, to write the blogs. Within a year, my English was to the point that I could communicate with my peers. 
A few years later, I was on a project where they were discussing Google Analytics & Adsense. Again, I used this blog to learn about these technologies. On another project, I needed test automation experience... this blog was used for this as well.

My point here is that whenever I needed to learn a new skill I created a little side project to teach myself how to do it. This isn't to say that there's no value in having a teacher but you do need teachers that have the results that you want.

"Listen to those that have the fruit from the tree."

If you can't find good teachers, then the only other option you have is to teach yourself.
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