I'm joining Service Space because ... Service rocks!
A good day to me is when ... I stay balanced
My hero in life is ...Buddha, Gandhi, and Dr. Seuss
My favorite book is ...Infinite Vision
One thing I'm grateful for is ... I'm around good friends, family, and food
Feb 10, 2016, 8 smiles In an email thread today, I was reminded of this beautiful essay ... Mayan temples, along with the aqueducts and reservoirs of the Mayan golden age, are wonderful feats of technology. They are a testament to the human capacity to make great things. They are also, equally, a testament to the availability of trees. To heat one square meter of the limestone plaster used to make these temples, the Mayans needed to burn 20 trees. Today we live in a golden age of software. As the Mayan temples were fueled by trees, our software is fueled by another natural resource: attention. I remember reading, a few years back, a wonderful book by the psychologists Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, in which they developed a theory they called Attention Restoration Theory. In this book, they introduced something they called soft fascination. As opposed to hard fascination, which refers to patterns that grab our attention — ... Read Full Story
Dec 04, 2014, 1 comments, 9 smiles This nicely articulates a couple truisms I've felt strongly about: Disagreements should be about collectively getting to the truth, not winning. "Any time you're in a fervent disagreement with someone, remind yourself to focus on what's right rather than who's right." "Many of us hold onto beliefs, even about our own lives, that aren't accurate. We tell ourselves "I'm good at ___, but I have never been good at _____," or "I could pull _____ off, but I could never pull ____ off." These unexamined mantras often turn into self-fulfilling prophecies, because we subconsciously seek to validate our position. Yes, we want to be proven "right," even if what we're right about keeps us from growth and change." If you think you're always right, you lose becuase you fail to learn from others: "Resist the urge to write people off as uninformed or just plain wrong, and instead ask yourself, "What can I ... Read Full Story
Nov 18, 2014, 2 comments, 20 smiles I recently attended a conference in Pune on Social Innovation hosted by the visionary Prof. Anil Gupta. With me was our own Bhav Yatri Sheetalben, who was representing ESI. There were many illustrious speakers throughout the day, including the founder of Jaipur Foot which has designed cheap and flexible artificial limbs which to provides free to the poor and Dr. Devi Shetty, who runs a 15,000 bed "health city" that does 12% of India's heart procedures. But my highlight was at the end of the conference, when a chance was given to anyone who hadn't spoken to share. Sheetalben gets up and humbly shares that she is from Moved By Love at the Gandhi Ashram :) where she has observed that social innovation begins with connecting hearts. It's not about the hardware, it's the software that is most critical. We can talk about funding and scaling, but what about the ... Read Full Story
Sep 23, 2014, 3 comments, 10 smiles Jim Carrey is one of my all-time favorite performers. Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura are comedy classics, I don't care what anyone says. Here is a wise, touching, inspiring, and of course humorous commencement speech he gave at Maharishi University. "Have faith, not hope. I don't believe in hope. Hope walks through fire; faith leaps over it". "You will only ever have two choices: love, or fear. Choose love, and don't ever let fear turn you against your playful heart."
Sep 14, 2014, 1 comments, 5 smiles Jason Padgett was a self-described party animal and goof-off before he was mugged and received severe brain trauma. After the injury he started perceiving the world in discrete geometry instead of continuous flow and led him to pursue study in math and is now considered a math genius. The story reminded me that genius is truly within all of us.
Jul 14, 2014, 2 comments, 12 smiles Power of place and community is often an under-rated value in today's globalized world. But Lebron James, in the prime of his career and already one of the top seven basketball players ever, made a surprising move recently and wrote this: Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It's where I walked. It's where I ran. It's where I cried. It's where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I'm their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now... But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel ... Read Full Story
May 28, 2014, 1 comments, 5 smiles In one of my favorite research papers, Beyond Being There, Jim Hollan and Scott Stornetta suggest that technology that tries to emulate and replace in-person interactions is misguided. Rather, technology should address needs that aren't met by in-person interactions. Here's the introduction: Face-to-face conversation provides a richness of interaction seemingly unmatched by any other means of communication. It is also apparent that living and working near others, whether that be in the same house, adjacent offices, or the same city, affords certain opportunities for interaction that are unavailable to those not co-located. Research has clarified and substantiated both of these commonsense intuitions. It has been shown, for example, that there is a predictable fall-off in likelihood of collaboration between two researchers as a function of separation distance, even after correcting for factors such as organizational distance and similarity of research interest. This is understood to occur because of the large number of ... Read Full Story
May 20, 2014, 2 comments, 7 smiles This question on Quora currently has 123 answers: I have everything I thought I wanted and I'm still not happy. Why? One answer that's getting buzz: No offense, but I completely disagree with the top answer, by William Franceschine. It's a very common view of things from the Western perspective, but there is a different way of viewing life and happiness. You've achieved your goals and still aren't happy, so set new goals and work for them? That's the gist of the top answer, but it doesn't make sense, does it? Isn't it clear that those goals as well won't satisfy? Zen Buddhism teaches that the solution, what leads to lasting happiness, is to stop chasing these goals. To practice true appreciation of the present time and place, without dwelling on the future or the past, what you don't have and want, or what you have but don't want. You can learn about Zen and ... Read Full Story
May 16, 2014, 4 smiles Just saw this poignant manifesto on a new project called Ello: "Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold. We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership. We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate -- but a place to connect, create and celebrate life. You are not a product."