Wednesday, February 21, 2024

When Easier is Available...

Nobody will take the most difficult path if an easier is made available to them. This is not only true for humans but also for other species as well. My dad recently placed a bird feeder on his property and a large gathering of bird have ensued. They eat the free food with such vigor that one has to wonder what they were eating before this came along. 

This has been going on long enough that birds are now waiting for the food to come rather than hunt for their own food. The birds will continue to wait for their free food for as long as they have hope that it will come and, in this situation, it will come for as long as there’s snow outside. 

Humans are like that too aren’t they? If you offer them social assistance, you effectively remove their willingness to go hunt for their own food. This will go on for as long as there’s free money available. 

I understand that some can’t get their own food and are required to go on social assistance as a result but let’s not kid ourselves here - there are definitely people that are abusing this system.


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Travelling Isn't for Everyone


As a consultant, there's a demand for me to travel which is something that was made very clear to me when I first started working. I never was the traveler which explains why my managers would tell me things like "you should enjoy travelling while you're young as you won't be able to when you're older".

Travelling is a necessity more so than something that I enjoy doing and I've always found the need to meet people "in person" kind of silly in the world of Information Technology. Whenever I take an airplane I ask myself if the carbon monoxide used to get me somewhere is actually worth it? (to me it isn't)

If you're a traveler then by all means travel; it certainly is great period in our history to do so considering all the methods we have available.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Choices You Have To Make with Bellow Average Work from Your Team


If you manage a few people then chances are that they will deliver below average work from time to time. When this happens, you are faced with one of the following options:
  • Accept the work as is...
  • Fix the work yourself...
  • Initiate a training exercise...
Anyone overseeing anyone else has to choose one of the above options every time below average work is delivered. The severity of the problem, or the importance of the task, is what will influence the choice that needs to be made. 
It's also possible that the employee is going through some tough times so be sure to clear the air prior to initiating anything. If he's going through a divorce, for example, it's very likely the cause of his problematic work.

While "Done is better than perfect" it's important to reach a point where the work provided is consistently acceptable for the project. If it isn't, and you find yourself needing to choose one of the above consistently and your attempts to work with your employee was fruitless then it may be time to part ways.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Tradeoff of Privacy


Most of what companies are offering for your privacy today isn't worth it. Whether it be Social Media, which takes your privacy in exchange for followers, or DNA tests, which takes your privacy in exchange for a "family tree" or even electric cars which takes your driving data... the tradeoffs are rarely worth it. 

What I mean by this is your privacy, or the data you give away, is more valuable than what you get in return and the demand for your data will only increase over time. It may come to the point where you won't have a choice but to surrender it.

What will the future of privacy look like?

Eventually, it will be possible for humans to connect their brains directly to the internet. In exchange for your "thought privacy", your brain will have access to unlimited knowledge. If this ever becomes a reality then you may not have a choice to surrender your "thought privacy" as not doing so would mean that you're at a disadvantage over everyone else that chose to do so.

As technology progresses, the tradeoff for your privacy/data will become increasingly appealing to the point that it may no longer be possible for you to refuse it.


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Think Twice Before Quitting College


It's not uncommon to hear someone say "Bill Gates was a college dropout" prior to quitting their advance degrees. What those people fail to understand is that for every Bill Gates there's a hundred thousand college dropouts that didn't succeed in whatever endeavor they thought would be better at.

Success stories like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are often highlighted, but it’s crucial to remember that they left college to pursue projects that were already showing significant promise. They had a clear vision and a plan in place.

If you don't like the subject you chose then by all means quit but don't quit thinking that you're going to be making it big if you don't have an idea to fall on.





Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Future of Video Games using A.I.


We're well into the era of procedurally generated environments and we're about to enter the era of adaptive experiences. Games will be different based on how they're played and who plays them. Think of the game engine as being an A.I. looking over what the player is doing and creating an experience that best suits their needs. 

The below are a few example of how I envision the future of gaming using A.I.:
  • If you like to play your FPS using stealth, you will be given additional opportunities to use stealth than the person who likes to run and shoot.
  • If you have a tendency to always use the same mechanics in your action games, the A.I. will introduce situations that will force you to switch things up.
  • The stages in platformers will adapt based on your skill level.
  • RPG stories/events will be created on the spot and could be played indefinitely in a ever changing world.
  • The interaction with NPCs will be in real time.
  • Racing games will adapt to the player's skill with opponents that feel more authentic/diverse.
Animation, sound, weather effects will also be improved using A.I. as the game engine will be able to mimic environments using real world data. 

When can we expect this A.I. revolution in games?

We have to keep in mind that "Left 4 Dead", a game that came out more than a decade ago, had a basic algorithm that made each playthrough different based on difficulty and player behavior. A player recently made a mod where NPCs in Skyrim are connected to ChatGTP and can interact, in real time, with the player... this means that some people are already toying with the idea of offering players unique experiences using some form of A.I.

What is being discussed here, however, is on a much larger scale and likely won't be made available offline as the processing power required is more than what players will be able to buy at home. I also believe that Epic Games will be the leaders of A.I. via Fortnite (Unreal Engine) considering that their metaverse strategy is dominating the market currently and A.I. seems to be the logical next step for them to take.

It's not crazy to think that this will start happening within the next 5 years.


Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Performance Enhancing Drugs in Bodybuilding is Annoying...


I saw an interview where Mike Tyson said that he supported the use of performance enhancing drugs in the world of bodybuilding because it wasn't a contact sport.

In any other sport, Athletes show us what is possible with hard work and dedication. Bodybuilding show us what is possible with hard work, dedication, and a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs. It's not possible to compete in Mr. Olympia without the use of it.

Why is it allowed?
The official reason is that Bodybuilding isn't a sport that is governed by the "World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)" which is responsible to enforce anti-doping regulation in most other sports. As a result, bodybuilding competitions are not subject to the same strick anti-doping rules as other sports.

In my mind, however, it isn't allowed because it brings "wow" factor to the sport.

Bodybuilding, at least in my mind, is supposed to be promoting healthy lifestyle or the achievement of the perfect spartan (symmetric) body but we've turned it into an unhealthy swollen mess with athletes dying before the age of 40.
To some, this is a beautiful sport but to me it's nothing more than a facade hiding something that is ugly.

My advice to you for 2024 is to exercise without the use of performance enhancing drugs.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Where are the Facts?

A few years ago, I attended a leadership seminar where the speaker said "trust but verify" the information that you find but today I find it difficult to "verify" any information.

Where are the facts?

When I was in school, I was assigned research projects where I had to provide at least 3 sources that would support my findings. The only sources that were accepted were from reputable organizations whether it be an encyclopedia or online. 

We have access to an abundance of information online. Many "experts" talk about things that disagree with each other. How are we supposed to discern facts from fiction? In addition to this, we also live in a world where some purposely share erroneous information for the sole purpose of making a profit.
This problem is made even worse with A.I. as it learns from the data that we give it. However, I also believe that the solution to this problem can also be fixed with the help of A.I. as it's also possible to tell it what is widely considered to be the facts on any given subjects.

The only thing that we can do is never assume that we know something - always be open to learning new things. This is what it means to be a Student of Life. 

Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year - 2024!

A new year often brings with it inspiration for change. Typically that change is physical but this year we should evaluate our minds.

The person that talks to you most in your lifetime is the voice inside of your head. To some, that voice isn't the most supportive or at least not where it should be. Start paying attention to what that voice is saying and make the necessary changes.

We can achieve a lot more than our mind often allows us to. Let's unleash that potential and become whom we're supposed to be.

May 2024 be your year!

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