QC + AI = S

Quantum Computing (QC) + Artificial Intelligence (AI) = Singularity (S)


Quantum Computing – Computers using subatomic particles to superprocess atincredible speeds and with less energy–it’s similar to massive parallel processing, but in the case of Qubits, they can store more than just 1s and 0s (bits–a binary state), but rather can be both o and 1 at the same time (a “superposition”).  So for very large problems (“exponential scaling”), instead of processing (computing one step at a time), you can process all options simultaneously to find the very best (“optimized”) solution by eliminating all options that don’t fit the algorithm.


Artificial Intelligence – Computers simulate intelligence, using language, perceiving their environment, reasoning to draw conclusions, solving problems usually done by humans, being creative, and where they can actually learn and self-improve!


Singularity – A state of runaway hypergrowth from the attainment of computing superintelligence, where computers are able to autonomously build ever smarter and more powerful machines that surpass human understanding and control leading to unfathomable changes to human civilization. 


The Information Age is giving way to the Intelligence Age, and it is all ready to explode. 


We are getting to the point of no return…


(Source Photo: Screenshot from YouTube with attribution to the move, Lucy“)

Wherever You Go

So my father used to say this idea about dealing with life’s challenges:

“Wherever you go, that’s where you are!”

If you think about it for a moment, it really is very profound. 


Some people think that they can run away from their problems.


Move here, there, everywhere. 


Change schools, jobs, spouses, whatever. 


But you can’t run away from yourself. 


Wherever you run, you’re still you!


So you need to fix yourself, your problems, your life. 


Yes, sometimes your in a place is bad, a bad fit, the people are bad, the chemistry is bad, the circumstances are bad. 


And then change can certainly be a welcome and good thing.


But when you change the external, the internal has to keep developing and changing as well, so that we learn and grow to be better people.  


Change your place is not a substitute for changing and growing yourself–that is the only constant with change. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Tooting Your Own Horn

So I always try to see the best in people.


But sometimes it is hard when they are so intent on tooting their own horns. 


Bragging, boasting, patting themselves on the back about how smart they are or a job so incredibly well done.


Oh, you’ve got to ask yourself…


Is it all really true?


OR  


Do we have perhaps some slight exaggeration going on with a dose of self-aggrandizement, a spoonful of self-promotion, and more than a pinch of big ego?


Perhaps, also the person is in denial as to what their own capabilities–and limitations–really are. 


For example, many artists are enthralled with their work and themselves.

“Isn’t this so good?”
“Can you believe I made this?
“Wow, this is impressive, right?”


Sure, there are plenty of talented people out there doing good and even amazing work. 


But even then tempering your achievements with a little modesty and balance, like “I do this well, but I need to grow more in that area”–goes a long way to making the admirable talents and achievements more honest, humble, and believable. 


Always, people are good at some things, and worse at others.


We all have things to work on and improve, and nobody is so perfect in this world!


We can try to come close–that’s our job to strive for it–but true perfection belongs to G-d alone. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Naked Sitting

Naked Sitting.jpeg

This was some amazing sculpture at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. 


This “Big Man” is just sitting in the corner at the top of the escalator.


Sitting naked and looking deep in thought and down on his luck.


In a sense, as we sit or stand in front of our Maker, we are all naked bearing witness to our transgressions and trespasses. 


What are we to do when we give in to weakness?


We see people looking around and hoping no one is seeing them as they try to get away with doing the wrong thing.


But as my Oma (grandmother) used to say in German to me: 

“Liebe Gott sieht alles” 

Almighty G-d sees everything!

Our souls, and the souls of those that came before us, and those that will come after us, are all around us, without limitation to time or space. 

Our nakedness is revealed no matter what we use to try to cover up with. 

Hunched in the corner, we don’t really know what to do, but to try to do better with each and every next time.

We have opportunities to right the wrongs, if we get up and exert self control and overcome our mortal and character weaknesses. 

Then our nakedness won’t be foul in sight and smell, but will be radiant, with our spirits having risen to the occasion of what we can be as the children of G-d. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Push The Button

Easy Button.jpeg

Thought this was a really funny quote about getting your buttons pushed: 


“Don’t push my buttons without reading the manual.”

– Gadgetmobile, Inspector Gadget

In terms of not pushing other people’s buttons:

“Remember, you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity.”

– Dale Carnegie

 (Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When The Solution Is Worse Than The Problem

When The Solution Is Worse Than The Problem

Not to be crude, but we had some clogged plumbing over the weekend.

We tried everything to get it working again–plunger, snake, and even some septic tank treatment.

Nothing seemed to work, so at one point, my wife looked up on the Internet what to do, and it said to unwind a hanger and try that.

Well this turned out to be a huge mistake and I must’ve gotten too close to the chemical fumes–my eyes were burning.

I ended up in the ER with my eyes being flushed for close to 2 hours.

Afterwards, being very supportive and sitting with me in the hospital with my eyeballs hooked to suction cups and saline solution, my wife says to me, “This is a case when the solution (i.e. the results of our trying to fix the plumbing ourselves) is worse then the problem (the clog).”

I thought to myself boy was she right, and while it is good to be self-sufficient and try to fix and improve things ourselves, it is also good to know when to leave it to the experts.

How many times do we foolishly try to do something where “we are out of our league,” and actually can end up doing more harm then good.

In this case, I could have seriously damaged my eyes–permanently–and am so grateful to G-d that everything turned out okay.

Knowing our limits and accurately assessing risks can help us to know when to proceed ourselves and when to ask for some expert assistance.

It’s good do things for yourself and to try your best, but also value and know when to leverage other people’s strengths.

With my eyes irritated and burning and being flushed out for what seemed like an eternity, I had some serious time to ponder what can happen when things go wrong.

Years ago, I learned to “Hope (and pray) for the best, but prepare for the worst,” and I want to continue to work and improve on both these. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting Control By Getting Back To Basics

Controller

I don’t know if you’ve seen this–it’s pretty popular, but I just really liked it:

 

“Beware of your thoughts, they become your words. 

Beware of your words, they become your actions. 

Beware of your actions, they become your habits. 

Beware of your habits, they become your character. 

Beware of your character, it becomes your destiny.”


To me it just makes so much sense–and it’s how we can either get ourselves on a track for successful living or potentially into some pretty big trouble:

 

It starts with a simple thought–good or bad–light bulb goes on, bling! 

Utter the thought (in word) and it begins to take form–blah, blah, blah.  

Put that thought into action, and now–boy oh boy–what have you done?

Repeat once, twice, three times, and you have a habit–or in Jewish tradition a “Chazakah,” something firm or established–think of it as, you’re hooked. 

Habits sure as heck breed character–and don’t pretend otherwise…

And your character is your calling card with others and ultimately with G-d.


The good thing is that we have 5 steps to intervene–to gain control over where we are going with our lives.

 

And we can turn things around, at any time.

 

– Change your thinking. 

– Clean up your mouthpiece. 

– Act with kindness. 

– Repeat only the things you want to ingrain. 

– Guard your character through regular monitoring and course correction.


(Source Photo: here)

Dale Carnegie’s Advice In The Age of Social Media

Dale_carnegie_-_winning_friend
Dale Carnegie’s book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” is a classic (1936) and has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.
Carnegie was an expert in techniques for self improvement and he conducted corporate training to make people better with other people. 
Dale Carnegie’s focus on the human capital side of management was a breakthrough in his day when many other management gurus like Frederick Taylor, Henri Fayol, Edward Deming and  others were focused on the maximizing the production side of management through time and motion studies, functional specialization, and quality management.
Carnegie recognized that to really get things done in the organization or out, first, we need to be able to get along with others–make friends and influence people.
His ideas are principles that are as true today in the age of social media and telework as in the days of line production.
Some examples and how these might apply today:
1) “Don’t criticize, condem, or complain”–It’s easy to put somebody or their ideas down, but it’s infinitely more difficult to be constructive by offering alternatives or a better way. Today, we try to focus on contributing something positive and being solutions-oriented whether through crowdsourcing, answering questions where you are a subject matter expert, innovating improved business processes or technical solutions, or even just rating or liking what you think is a positive idea or share.
2) “Become genuinely interested in other people”–It’s easy, especially today, to become self absorbed in the world of social media, putting out new pictures of yourself, slideshows from your work, videos of your doings, and newsflashes from every moment of your life, etc.  However, as Carnegie would point out, this will not make you popular or influential. Rather, use the social web to learn about others, interact with them, and build relationships.  In the end, it’s not about you, but about building more “we” and “us”.
3) “Begin with praise and honest appreciation”–I remember learning in one of the oodles of management and leadership classes that I have been fortunate to participate in that we should always sandwich criticism between two layers of praise. Unfortunately, the praise in this context is usually not of the highest quality and sincerity, or deeply felt. But today, in an age of social media, I think we are learning to all be more open and honest with each other. Heaping praise on people, products, and services that are outstanding and putting criticism where it is due to hold unscrupulous vendors and poor quality products to answer publicly online.
4) “Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires”–It is not always easy to see things from some else’s vantage point. We all walk in our own shoes and usually can’t stand the smell of someones else’s. But in the age of sharing and collaboration, it is not really enough to put your ideas out there and always be right; instead we need to look at things from multiple perspectives, vet ideas, put them to the test, let others improve upon them, and build a better “widget” or decision collaboratively. By sympathizing with where others are coming from and looking for the merits of their points of view and why it is important to them, we can better negotiate a solution that is a win-win for all.
In a sense, I think this is really what Dale Carnegie was trying to get across when it came to winning friends and influencing people, it’s not creating a win for me, but about creating a win-win for each other, where we all walk away from the table feeling good that we were not only heard, but also understood and worked with. Then, we all own a piece of the solution; we have skin in the game, and we can work together to implement it as a team of one.

(Source Mind Map: here)

>Who Are You Trying To Please?

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The Guy in the Glass

by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,

And the world makes you King for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Who judgement upon you must pass.

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear up to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,

And think you’re a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum

If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

—————————————

In grateful memory of our father, the author, Dale Wimbrow

1895-1954

>The Four Noble Truths

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1. Life means suffering.

To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short:craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a “self” which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call “self” is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state of Nirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

There is a path to the end of suffering – a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely “wandering on the wheel of becoming”, because these do not have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.