Political shift

I know it took multiple terrible tragedies to make it happen, but finally I see a shift in the United States back to its best values. the peaceful protests that are currently going on in every major city in the country are really about affirming the inherent dignity of every human life

Somehow, as a nation, we seemed to lose sight of this core value. It is as though we had fallen into a deep dark slumber, from which we are only now emerging.

I am glad to see so many people now waking up. These are difficult times, and we will all need to draw love and support and strength from one another.

Huge porpoises

I have really been enjoying the Real Time Conference these last two days. I gave a keynote this morning and then participated in a really interesting panel and an on-line discussion. In a little while I am going to participate in an evening panel.

Being a presenter in a conference that is held entirely on-line is a fascinating experience. Of course there have been technical glitches, because all of this is new. But on the whole, I very much appreciate how people from around the world can share in the experience, without the great expense, inconvenience and difficulty of physical travel (not to mention the high ecological costs of physical conferences).

I am now watching the session just before the start of my own evening panel. A lot of really smart people are discussing “deep fakes”, algorithms which create very convincing visual simulcra of reality through the use of machine learning.

But my favorite moment came when Andrew Glassner started explaining how many of these algorithms need massive amounts of data, so they must rely on huge corpuses. But I was only half listening, so I misheard.

I admit that part of me was disappointed when I thought back on what I had just heard. Only then did I realize that Andrew was not talking about huge porpoises.

Work from fury, work from peace

Sometimes I find myself throwing myself into work with a furious vengeance. In the moment I feel highly productive, yet there is, underneath, a certain manic quality to it.

At other times I work serenely, flowing into the task like a duck gliding across a pond. Clearly my mind is working differently in those moments.

I suspect that the working from fury is actually smoke from a different fire. I’m most likely working through something else, and trying to displace some sort of unresolved tension into my creative work.

I have a theory that the times when I work from peace are the times when I have the greatest insights, and do my most inspired work. They are also probably better for my blood pressure. 🙂

Accessing our inner voice

We have all had the experience of having a sudden insight, or meeting a person and knowing immediately whether we can trust them. There are many moments like this in human existence — momentary flashes of a greater or deeper intelligence.

Most of us, most of the time, are too distracted or worried or indundated by information to be able to tap into this part of our being. We try to pay attention, to reason things out. Yet we still miss a lot of what is going on.

I wonder whether there is a way to train our brains to be able to better access that place of hyperintelligence. Can we learn to shut out the surrounding noise and instead listen to that higher functioning inner voice?

I suspect meditation or something like it would be part of the answer. But I also suspect that there is more to it than that.

Hmmm. If only I had better access to my own inner voice, I would probably already know the answer.

Visiting a hospital during the pandemic

Today, for the first time since the start of the outbreak, I visited a hospital. The person I am visiting is not suffering from anything COVID related, yet the entire scene is very very strange.

Everybody here is wearing a mask, and levels of screening are required even to enter the building.

But what strikes me is how normalized it has all become to the people who work here. The extra levels of mandatory social distancing, the safety protocols, they have just become part of everyday work at the hospital.

Doctors and nurses and other staff joke together, and see this now as just a normal part of existence. Perhaps that is what it has become.

The consequences of universal augmented reality

There are things you cannot do in real life, at least not yet. For one thing, you can’t draw something in thin air for somebody else to see. You can’t place an audio message in a particular place in a room for somebody else to listen to later.

But soon we will be able to do such things. They will become as normal as SmartPhones are today.

As augmented reality simply becomes reality, a number of fanciful super powers will be taken for granted. Children will simply accept their ability to do such things.

I am curious to know what else will change once we have those sorts of super powers. Will these be things that we can now predict?

Was Google search an inevitable outcome of the Web? Did the introduction of SmartPhones inevitably lead to Twitter, or something equivalent?

What will be the equivalent consequences of ubiquitous universal augmented reality? I guess we might just need to wait and see. 🙂


I enjoyed binging on Upload, created by Greg Daniels, who had previously created The Office. I found it to be a very clever and knowing satire.

In my mind, it was sort of asking the question: What if heaven were run by incompetent humans, all working for a really bad corporation? What results is a hilariously dark (very dark) comedy.

But now I wonder whether Upload is already out of date. I am still reeling from the image of a certain person sanctimoniously holding up a bible in front of a church. Just out of frame, we know that many peaceful protesters were attacked by tear gas to enable that silly photo-op.

Has reality finally surpassed The Office in absurdity? Is there some way we can all get out of this particular reality show?

The subversion of peaceful protests

Whoever is paying looters to subvert peaceful protests in American cities, they are doing a very effective job.

People who go to the protests consistently report that the protests are quite peaceful and respectful, but that doesn’t make for interesting news. What does make for interesting news is violence and disruption.

Some clever people have apparently figured out that if you pay a few people to go in, smash windows and burn down stores, you quickly get the attention of news reporters. That is so much more interesting as TV entertainment than all those boring citizens dutifully wearing their COVID masks and peaceably holding up signs calling for social justice.

It makes me sad to see evil people winning out over good people. It’s like watching the burning of the Reichstag all over again.

And we all know how that turned out.

Question of the day

Let’s suppose that you live in a hot climate. Now let’s also suppose that you spend all of your time indoors, day after day, in Zoom meetings with people who all live in a cold climate.

Will it start to feel to you as though you are living in a cold climate? Will your inner “weather voice” start to adjust to the prevailing social reality?

If so, what does that portend for our future?


Watching the news today, I saw journalists getting beat up, tear-gassed, shot, and just in general terrorized. Sometimes they were being attacked by angry cops, and other times by angry looters.

What struck me more than anything, was the fact that anarchist looters and heavy handed cops, who ostensibly are at opposite ends of the spectrum, have one thing in common: They both have it in for journalists.

All I kept thinking, as I watched on the TV one scene after another of violence against journalists, was this: Disease hates disinfectant.