Monday, December 28, 2009

Rules of motion....

Why is it so hard for us as people to get started doing things? Why is procrastination and stagnation so easy in our personal, emotional, business and spiritual lives? The answer lies in that old law written by Newton, a body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force. Friction and drag act against moving objects, slowing them down unless said moving object is generating enough force to counteract those influences. If a car runs out of gas to run the engine, the car slows down as drag and gravity overcome it's inertia. If the car is sitting in park, it stays there until the engine is started, which directs force to the wheels, which generate inertia, moving the car forward.

Why the physics lesson? Because if we read the good self-improvement books and good Christian living books and good salesmanship books, we see the same principle applies to our lives. When we are moving, it is easier to keep moving. If we stop, it takes more energy to start again than it would have to simply keep moving. The sales analogy works well here. It is much easier to get up Thursday to make your cold calls if you got up Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to make those cold calls. It is much easier to walk into that fifth new business of the day if it is the fifth one, not the first one. Momentum is a key to success, whether it is in sales, writing, housework, or prayer life.

Why is momentum so difficult to maintain for us? Because it takes more energy. That's where the "body at rest tends to stay at rest" part comes in. Procrastination and excuses are much easier to come up with than that energy to just do it. There are a million distractions just waiting for us out there, which is where purposefullness and planning come into play, another weak area for so many of us. That is a whole 'nother can of worms though, and definately a speech in and of itself.

W. Clement Stone said "If there is nothing to lose and much to gain, by all means TRY!" When we start talking about our own positive activites, again, whether they be business, personal, emotional or spiritual, there is nothing to lose by trying. Trying is the start of that momentum, and there is definately much to gain in that momentum.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Virtualization, ISPs and the future

I attended a free lecture at SKT (visit their website here) on virtualization solutions for businesses. Now, I've been aware of virtualization for a while, but never really dove into it and the possibilities. The variety of options available now are fascinating, such as creating numerous virtual workstations on a central server so that workers or students log on with a thin client (a very small computer with all it's resources set to connect to the server. Much cheaper in the hardware, software, electricity and maintenance costs) or a repurposed PC (one that no longer has the capability to run newer OS's or software). There are numerous applications of this for a business or school alone. However, what got my wheels churning was the talk of using virtualiztion to push the OS from the server to a PC. The idea struck me that if the option is available, could ISP's set up a system where you sign up are given a netbook that when you turn it on, gives you a login which, once the customer logs on, gets it's OS from the ISP's server. Speaking with the presenter to confirm if it was a viable option, he confirmed that yes it is, and yes there are ISP's working on such a scenario.

Now, this idea scares me to death from a privacy and freedom standpoint. Imagine all of your documents, pictures, music, all stored not in the hard drive you your home PC or laptop, but on the ISP's servers. Don't pay your bill? All gone. ISP thinks you're downloading illegal media? All gone. Government wants to search for terrorist threats? They don't have to come to your home or hack into your computer, they just have to go to the ISP. We've already seen some inklings of the potential with this type of situation with Amazon deleting copies of 1984 and Animal Farm (oh the irony) from people's Kindles because the books were put into the Kindle store by people who lacked to proper rights to do so. (NY Times article here)

Another concern would be the implementation of web filters on the virtual desktop, disallowing access to sites that the ISP doesn't like. Think the Great Firewall of China and the arguments for maintaining net neutrality. (one starting point source here)

Am I being too gloom and doom? I really don't know. Imagine that instead of investing $4-500 for a new pc, paying your ISP $50-60 a month that includes internet service and the netbook. Imagine the majority of people not understanding that their files aren't really there on their computer. As has been said, eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

My initial searching around isn't finding any details about who is working on this and what stage they are at, but it is a concern. If any readers have any details, please post links in the comments and let me know. I'll keep poking around and let you know what develops.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ok, I saw most of "Day After Tomorrow" today, and two things about the movie struck me. One, even with the end of the world bearing down on us, politics as usual would continue (see the scene at the US/Mexico boarder specifically) and two, nature doesn't care whatsoever about mankind. The events, laws, and cycles continue, unconcerned with their affect on our societies and monuments. Seeing the computer generated destruction of the famous Hollywood sign and the great beacon that is the Statue of Liberty buried under a wall of water just really drove the point home. Yet despite that uncaring chain of events that goes on around us, we still have people who are worshiping nature. Tree huggers, hippies and global warming nuts do it indirectly, making nature their idol in terms of "saving" it is their highest purpose, and various cults, wiccans, and others actively worship nature as an entity. But would a tornado jump over an avid recyler and target an SUV driver? Does the rain intentionally fall on the organic garden while avoiding the diesel combine running good old boy farmer's crops? "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt. 5:45) Nature is. It does not love or hate. So what is it that makes nature worthy of worship? As opposed to say, the God who wrote those laws and set those cycles in motion? The God who loves us all so much He sent His Son to take our punishment for sin?

Not to say mankind doesn't affect or need to take care of the physical earth. Genesis 1:28-30 tells us God gave earth to Adam and Eve to take care of. But all these years in Kansas, watching some fields bake while others flourish, seeing storms blow over one town and drop tornadoes, wiping out others, has taught me that there is no benevolent Mother Nature who blesses those who carry canvas bags to the organic farmer's market. Which just sets off the train of thought, why choose that which gives up nothing for you over He who loves you?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Communications Breakdown (Apologies to Zepplin)

I like Twitter. Really I do. It is a useful tool for keeping in touch with friends, getting headlines, and marketing. But that 140 character limit worries me. Attention spans and communication abilities keep shrinking. The time we dedicate to anyone thing at a time keeps shrinking. Movies are shorter. Our news channels have fifteen streams of data flying across the screen at all times. The ability to focus on one thing at a time seems to be vanishing. The train of thought reminds me of a quote from Martin Luther.(wikilink, just in case) "I have so much to do today, I need to spend another hour on my knees." The constant bombardment of information, the implied need to constantly multitask, and the call to condense our own output as much as possible makes serious focus on prayer for an extended period of time even more of an uphill battle than it is naturally. Prayer is communication. When our concept of communication has been reduced to "YO HOMESKILLET WHERE U @ DUDE?", what becomes of the prayer communications?

More of an raising awareness comment than a problem->solution comment. I'm guilty of it myself. A few thank yous, a few hey, I need help with this, and it's back out into the world. We all can use a reminder that God has no character limit.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Other stuff to expect

Outside of the big three previously mentioned, expect to see some music talk and reviews in here as well. I'm an old metalhead, and listen to just about anything that includes "metal" in it's name. Speed, thrash, death, black, hair, power, ect. Punk, hardcore (that should pull some interesting ads on the side) ska, rap, and techno/industrial are on the playlist as well. I prefer the Christian varieties of all of the above, but secular bands get some play as well. If your band has a demo/album available for review, let me know. I'd like to plug bands in the south central Kansas area, I know we have some hiding out here.

Introductions are in order

The usual about me, what to expect to see here stuff. I am in my early 30s, happily married for 10 of those years, and have generated 4 children. We live in Kansas, I have spent my whole life here, both on a farm, in the smaller towns and in the bigger cities.

Right now I am among the close to ten percent of Americans who are out of work, so expect talk of the numerous reasons behind our current economic woes, what is being done about it, and what needs to be done. In the interest of full disclosure, one of the primary reasons for this blog is to build up a portfolio and a following that can be turned into some form of income.

While the joblessness is at the forefront of my efforts and attention, I am also a Christian, which is the main thing that has kept me from snapping and climbing a clock tower with a high powered rifle. (That’s a joke, no calls to the FBI please. I don’t even own a high powered rife) There are plans in mind to join the ministry, and the intial steps were started, but various other factors got that put on the back burner. So expect a healthy dose of evangelism and theology mixed into the posts as well.

The last defining feature for now is geek. I like taking computers apart and finding why they don’t work, even if it’s something I tried to do to it that caused it to quit working. Old computers are fun, contrary to popular opinion. Cloud computing is coming, Google is gearing up to possibly create a serious contender to Microsoft, people who don’t want to or can’t afford to upgrade to Vista or Windows 7 are learning about Linux, social networking is having more and more affects on our lives, and those things in our pockets we still call phones have more memory, processiong power, and capabilities than my home computer.

These are interesting times in all of my fields of interest, and hopefully I can share, teach and learn here.

Enjoy the trip…..