Saturday Links of the Week: June 28, 2008

trust yourself magnetsSay yes, Be generous, Speak up, Love more, Slow down, and Trust yourself.: These are the six lessons in Patti Digh’s new book, Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally, taught through some of the most stunning stories you will ever read. It’s now available. Go buy copies for yourself, for your children (Patti wrote it for her daughters) and for anyone you love. This is going to be an incredibly important and successful book. Here’s her newest story about the importance of trusting yourself.

“You cannot productively help people by sitting them in rows of chairs and talking to all of them at once.”: Another great essay by William Tozier, this time on how new businesses really get started and how innovation really happens. Teaser:

Weósmall businesses, startups, independentsótaken as a whole we’re more than all the large-scale corporations combined…Don’t care what those people in the big Old world think. Thatís not a slangy lyric missing its pronoun, it’s a fucking imperative. Stop caring about what those people think. Stop golfing. Stop going to dawn breakfasts to rub shoulders with people who just got lucky and think being rich is proof of their acumen. Stop going to seminars. Stop asking them.

Better you ask 100 random people for helpóat the same time they’re asking youóthan ask one Professional for Expensive Advice.

“We have reached a point of planetary emergency”: That is the testimony of NASA climatologist Jim Hansen, testifying before a congressional committee exactly 20 years after he first pointed out the dangers of climate change to a somewhat incredulous Senate. “There are tipping points in the climate system, which we are very close to, and if we pass them, the dynamics of the system take over and carry you to very large changes which are out of your control.” You can read his full report here. Hansen wants to jail the Big Oil executives who knowingly denied their complicity in climate change.

The ‘Infantile’ Cult of Leadership: Johann Haro in the Independent laments the growing propensity of citizens everywhere to wait for some ‘leader’ to come and tell them what to do, instead of taking responsibility themselves. If you’re a fan of Mandela, Churchill or Gandhi you won’t like this article. In business in the US in particular, this leader-worship has become a national mania.

Flemming Funch on Complexity & Freedom: Fascinating SlideShare presentation from Flemming. He explains what complex systems are (most social and ecological systems are complex), then notes “Self-organized criticality: When things have self-organized so that they’re wound up, ready to go ï If something happens, something else is likely to happen ï Mostly small things will happen, but sometimes big things will happen.” This it seems ties into Tipping Point theory. He goes on to theorize: “You have more freedom within a complex network ï Your freedom is potentially more useful if the network is in a critical state ï The value of a network is proportional to its complexity.” You can be the butterfly in the Butterfly Effect, if you know where and how to be; and butterflies, of course, are free. Waiting for Dave Snowden’s thoughts on this.

Inflation, What Inflation?: Interesting data via Dale Asberry indicates food costs are up an average of about 20% in the past year. Fuel costs have approximately doubled in that time period. Health costs, insurance costs, property taxes, all way up. These are the things that most of us spend most of our money on. So there is no way inflation for the average consumer is anything less than 20%. I just looked at my costs over the past year and that’s what they’ve gone up by. So what is the “official” rate of inflation in Canada and the US? 2% and 4% respectively. When are we going to call them out on this fraud?

Oil Drum Suadi Arabian production

Saudis Promise to Pump More Oil…Again: To try to contain the price panic over the realization that the age of oil is ending, the Saudis have promised, as they have repeatedly done in the past, to produce more oil than they can. This study shows why they can’t. As the chart above (thanks, Oil Drum) illustrates, even with the accelerated production generated by pumping huge amounts of water into the wells to drive up the last of the oil, and even with every possible site being brought online, they are producing as much as they can, and after 2012 it’s all downhill, as it has been in the 20 other countries which have exhausted their supplies. Couple that with 20% per annum growth in demand from Asia and you’ll understand why the price is just going to keep rising.

Struggling Nations’ Plight Caused by Affluent Nations: Yet another report indicates that the inability of struggling nations to look after their own essential needs is the result of affluent nations’ theft of their natural resources, price-gouging on goods sold back to them, imposition of usurious IMF/World Bank covenants and policies, and tacit (and in some cases explicit) support of corrupt administrations. Just as we have ruined our own countries for future generations (and for our First Nations peoples), we have ruined struggling nations for their own desperate people. Time to repay our debts to them.

Given Up Waiting for Gmail to Add ‘To Do’ Lists: Although Google has been promising to add task lists to Gmail for a year, there’s nothing yet. So I’ve started using the Remember the Milk GMail extension for Firefox. I don’t find RTM particularly intuitive, but it’s better than putting my To Dos in Gmail messages to myself. So now my GMail page has my GTalk IM/VoIP contact list in the left pane, my messages (GMail and other forwarded email, GTalk chats and Twitters) in the middle pane, and my To Do list in the right pane. Communications central! Now if only it had a Skype and a Second Life window…

Will SlideCast Make Bums-On-Chairs Conferences Obsolete?: I’ve been putting my slide decks on SlideShare for a couple of years, but recently became aware of SlideCast, which lets you sync your audio track or your podcasts with your SlideShare slides. I wonder why we would need to go to most conferences anymore if the speakers would all agree to use SlideCast.Instead, we might make the SlideCasts prereading material for Unconferences and for Open Space events, real conversations instead of one-way dissertations.

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2 Responses to Saturday Links of the Week: June 28, 2008

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve been wondering whether slidecasting would increase the spread of the Pecha Kucha format (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) just since it appears much easier to set it up via the ‘Divide audio equally’ function instead of fiddling with individual transitions…

  2. John Powers says:

    As per to-do lists you may be interested in Mind Traffic Control

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