Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Startup Geometry EP 025 Robert Pool on Peak Performance

Robert Pool is a mathematician, science writer, and, together with Anders Ericsson, the author of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Today, we talk about the use of deliberate practice to improve physical and mental performance, why the 10,000 hour rule isn't what you think it is, the relationship between talent and success (it's less important than you think, what good mental representations will do for you, and why taste is essential to the development of expert skills.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Startup Geometry EP 024: Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a bestselling author of both science fiction and techno-sociological nonfiction, one of four editors of longtime popular weblog boingboing, and an activist and advocate for intellectual property rights, working extensively with the Electronic Freedom Foundation and others to put control of content back in the hands of the users like you and me.

Photo credit: Jonathan Worth 2013

Today, we talk about the EFF's plan to defeat Digital Rights Management (DRM) as a business model of rent-seeking corporations. DRM is the set of digital locks on the content you buy--everything from eBooks to your car's computer have DRM embedded--and while it isn't impossible to break, it is highly illegal for you (or anyone) to do so. That means you don't have control of things that you bought. It also means that security flaws cannot always be researched or revealed. That's a big problem.

We also talk about how he became a writer and how he gets his writing done despite a punishing travel and speaking schedule. Spoiler: 250 words a day, every day will result in a finished product very quickly. That's one page per day. You can do that, can't you?

Show Links and Notes
EFF
The EFF on the DRM lawsuit
Bunnie Huang on the DRM lawsuit

boingboing
Cory's website, craphound.com
The flashbake version control tool

Cory's books include:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mariana Gosnell's Lost and Found Photos

My aunt Mariana "Sere" Gosnell died three years ago, after a long and exciting life. For many years, she worked for Newsweek, primarily working as an editor in the Science and Medicine section. She was also a world traveler, pilot, photographer and wonderful human being. This spring, Deborah Acosta, a reporter for the New York Times, called to tell me that she'd found a cache of Aunt Sere's pictures outside of a storage facility in New York. Here's the story of how she tracked down the owner of these pictures and the reason they had been cleaned out of the storage space. More here

Friday, July 15, 2016

EP 023 Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly spends a lot of time thinking about the future. He once spent six months imagining that he only had six months to live (and keeps a timer on his own life expectancy), and co-founded the Long Now foundation, built around the idea of a 10,000 year clock to promote very long term thinking. His current book, The Inevitable: Understanding the Twelve Technological Forces that will Shape Our Future, deals with the future that is happening now, the ongoing future, the one William Gibson says is already here, just not evenly distributed yet. He is the co-founder and current Chief Maverick of Wired, and is a prolific writer, publisher, photographer and founder of group projects, including the Cool Tools book and website, The Silver Cord, a crowdfunded graphic novel about angels, and the Quantified Self meetups.

Today, we talk about how to think about the future, why people choose personalization over privacy, what it might mean to look through someone else's eyes for a day, and why the artificial intelligences in your future won't be what you expect.


Saturday, July 09, 2016

EP 022 Michelle Warnky on Overcoming Obstacles

Michelle Warnky is the owner of Movement Lab Ohio, a competitor in obstacle races and a traceusse de  parkour (a parkour freerunner). You can see her on American Ninja Warrior, where she's one of a small group of successful repeat competitors, and you can learn how to be a ninja in your own life at her gym.



Today, we talk about her experience as an English teacher in Kazakhstan, how to develop the skills you need to move your body through obstacles, and how she's balanced her roles as solo competitor, teacher and business owner.

Monday, July 04, 2016

George Saunders Goes To A Trump Rally

Who are all these Trump supporters?

He wings it because winging it serves his purpose. He is not trying to persuade, detail, or prove: he is trying to thrill, agitate, be liked, be loved, here and now. He is trying to make energy. (At one point in his San Jose speech, he endearingly fumbles with a sheaf of “statistics,” reads a few, fondly but slightingly mentions the loyal, hapless statistician who compiled them, then seems unable to go on, afraid he might be boring us.)

And make energy he does. It flows out of him, as if channeled in thousands of micro wires, enters the minds of his followers: their cheers go ragged and hoarse, chanting erupts, a look of religious zeal may flash across the face of some non-chanter, who is finally getting, in response to a question long nursed in private, exactly the answer he’s been craving. One such person stays in my memory from a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona, in March: a solidly built man in his mid-forties, wearing, in the crazy heat, a long-sleeved black shirt, who, as Trump spoke, worked himself into a state of riveted, silent concentration-fury, the rally equivalent of someone at church gazing fixedly down at the pew before him, nodding, Yes, yes, yes.