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It’s been a month since the last blog post and with good cause, as life decided to shift gears with the forward momentum of engine failure.  Luckily, I have pushed my own car before.

Due to the famous entropy based method known as ‘re-org’, I have been given the new opportunity of re-evaluating future options.  In other words, as I walk down the street with a cardboard box in my hands, I’m hoping to take this chance to improve.  Improve myself, my skill set and try to find a better position (Note: This double entendre has been brought to you by chess).
To give it some depth, it was fourteen years of service and I admit, that I had originally planned around the idea of retiring there.  So, ouch.  However, as someone who has played games on a competitive level, bad blows and ‘BM’ happens.  You clear your mind and look forward for the next challenge.  It is funny though, one doesn’t normally question the wisdom of the kings until you realize, “Hey, wait a second.  This decision is negatively impacting me.  You’re pulling a ‘SURPRISE MUTHERFUCKER”??  Oh SON OF A…”

Now just to be honest, a thousand jokes and barbs did pass through my mind and I pondered about what jokes I would write about in self centered retort; its quite true that comedy comes from tragedy.  However, I think I’ll save those for another time.

As for TED Talks, there is something about them that I should point out.

I love dessert at the end of a nice meal.  A cheesecake, a creme brulee, or even a ice cream run to Dairy Queen.  However, it is something that stands out as unique to the rest of the meal.  It’s a treat.

The Ted Talks aren’t the main course to a person’s day.  They are a dessert.

An eight and a half hour job, on the other hand, is a meal that is missing something that the Ted Talks do provide in sustenance.  Now this is just an opinion and like all opinions, it is subject to change in the future but I admit I had a hard time wanting to watch a TT when there’s so many other things to be done.  (I like to keep myself busy)

So let’s start with a feel good.

 

No comments this time, no attempt to be witty or to play armchair critic and no need to delve into research.  It certainly stands well on its own.

Now that’s something we all want.

Looking for work and share,

ED

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Posted by on August 23, 2014 in In General.., TED Talks

 

Time goes on

These days it feels easier to be happy with less.  In my case, it only takes a few days away and celebrating another personal rotation around the sun.

Why less though?  I’d surmise it’s because we can do so much now with a computer and internet.  Another argument is that due to an accumulation of years of a reducing strength to afford things, its ingraining cheaper habits.  Hard to tell.  In any case, it was a great day.

Since I spent all freakin’ day surfing the internet, now is a good reason as any to make some comments about this crazy interwebs thing and some observations that can be made.

Ever go to a theme park as a child?  I did, A LOT.  The very first thing I would do is go over the list of rides and make a mental checklist of which rides I would do that day.  When it came to roller coasters and sky rides, I did ALL of them.

Today, in the exact same theme park, there are so many rides that even with careful planning and running about like a maniac it is impossible to try them all on a single day.  Fact is, the theme park grew past a point where time versus coverage became beyond the point of available time.  Likewise, the internet and general online space has grown SO big that to even catch all the popular ‘virals and memes’ out there, it extends beyond natural exposure.

What do I mean by this?  A simple example, would be the first time I visited a Reddit thread was only last year, and I have yet to start an account on Tumblr.  Icanhascheezburger was around for years before I saw my first cat photo (and this was the king of cat photos).

And what is the byproduct of this phenomenon?  The notion that it is harder for NEW concepts to go viral.  This is because they are in direct competition pre-existing virals and the creators/distributors OF that content.  Trending sites who are attempting to stay ahead of the curve start discussing content which might not reach 250,000 hits.  (And although that IS a large number, it does not represent a global consciousness like a Gangnam Style video, it might not even be nationally known.)

Websites, in a similar notion, have become the ‘people’ of the internet.  And like people, they are identified by previous bias rather than actual.  A website can drastically change (from crappy user experience to amazing) but if people do not interact with that experience they remain in the dark.  Likewise, people in REAL life change and evolve, yet people are unable to acknowledge the change unless they are actually interacting with the people themselves.

However, we are in a new age.  For the first time EVER we are able to use social media to remotely view changes with other people.  It isn’t aimed for this goal so its rather inefficient, and people aren’t exactly out to communicate their inner thoughts so this idea is still a ‘work in progress’.  Nonetheless, the concept exists.

The best stories are those that inspire fans to create additional stories of their own.  They fill in backstory, create spin offs, a whole series of additional theories that were never presented in the original content.  What is fascinating is that many of these stories will never be shared or discussed or mentioned in a large setting.  (Unless it’s Firefly)

To tie it all together, people are these kinds of stories that we dream about.  And so websites, as the people of the internet, are also getting these fan made stories of what they are about.

All I know is that I wonder if I can alter the reference of how I’m viewed in my world.  (maybe be a rock star)

But tonight, I’m going to visit Icanhascheezburger to look at pictures of dogs and horses.

ED

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in In General..

 
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A Future Where All Robots Have Penises – Onion Talks – Ep. 5

(EXTREME WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND IMAGERY, SORT OF)

In this week’s Talks Lucas Oberlin examines the incoming improvements to society thanks to advancement of socially integrated technology.  We do not need to fear technology and there is very simple ways for people to be more accustomed to it.  And this begins with some very basic and innate human programming.  Not only will these advancements assist is in the workplace or on the road, but also in our kitchens and garages.

Link to Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lNPBtYDDKg&list=SP4NL9i-Fu15hhYGB-d0hmSWD1fcIvLvn1

Total Length: 2 minutes, 40 seconds

Speaker: Lucas Oberlin

And so I’m stuck with a bunch of questions that I’d like to see if I can answer.

5 Things about A Future Where All Robots Have Penises that you didn’t know

1. What the hell did I just watch???

What the fuck?  What the hell talk was this?  Of all the satire videos from the Onion based on the TED Talks, I ended up watching the one video where there’s a metal pyramid with a hot dog wanger sticking out of it?  And it goes around on a killing rampage at the end?!  People may doubt that it was programmed to kill but it seemed to me that ‘penis fail’ immediately started it’s secondary programming of ‘Kill everyone in the room’.  This is programmed into more things than you might realize.

Hmm.. This might also explain some of history’s greatest villains.  (Wow, this is already more enlightening than I thought it would be.)

2) If you give a Robot a Penis, Don’t do the following:

Don’t ask it to show it, all it’ll do is wave it around like it’s conducting an orchestra.  It’s pointless.

Don’t touch it with a pen.  It is quite obvious from the video that interacting with the robot’s penis causes the robot to deflate (also known as ‘lose its confidence) and thus leading to it’s self destruction.  (And then go bat shit insane and murder people.)

Name your robot Wesley.  Actually, a robot named Wesley is probably fine.

3. Oberlin might actually be right.

Let’s face it, technology is embraced by many industries but the one that leads the charge is a certain “entertainment industry” that makes it stick.  Movies and movie theaters only became big after the invention of grainy black and white peepshows.  The VHS versus Beta battle?  VHS had a lot more XXX titles to its name.  The same goes for DVDs, pay channels, top shelf magazines.  When I heard about the invention of the internet, I was skeptical that it would surpass the obviously superior FTP site technologies at the time.  Shortly after I had heard that ‘the internet was for porn’ and everyone knew right away that this technology would be embraced by millions.

Oberlin is simply thinking ahead, and when he says that people will accept robots into the home, it might just be because of the vibrate function.

4. The Satire of the Onion Talks is really next level.

Seriously speaking, it is remarkable that the TED Talks are so popular that it becomes an object of satire.  That’s one of those milestones that happens in the media industry these days.  You know you’ve made it as a star the moment you get ‘Punk’d’ or ‘Hidden Camera’d’.

5. This will start a Cold War of Robots with Penises

How do you “better” a robot with a penis?  The answer is simple, you build a bigger robot with a bigger penis.  The only way to stop a bad guy with a robot that has a penis, is a good guy with a robot that has a penis.  Soon, you will have hundreds of thousands of giant robots with giant penises all pointing at targets across the globe.  And there’s a war with NO wiener.

(er..Winner*)

5. Happy April Fools Day (belated by now)

Don’t share this one, it’s.. ridiculous.

ED

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in In General..

 

The RGD TED Party

Writing on the fly on WordPress is a bit more dangerous than I realized.

Why?  Well, it starts with the fact I like to write with a hundred windows open that shoot all over the internet like a spider web of lag and information (mostly lag).

Accidentally press the back button on the wrong window, and I instantly realized I should be working in a standard word application.  Aw to hell with that, let’s live on the edge and type this raw.  (Seriously, anyone who reads just one of these blog entries should instantly recognize the signs of the ‘off the cuff’ writing style; multiple spelling errors, atrocious grammar mistakes, thoughts that run in pointless circles and random references to Gandalf / Aquaman and episodes of Community.  (PS> Aquaman sucks)

It’s that grab the seat of life and make no apologies mentality that brought me to the RGD TED Party.

It started with seeing a friend post “TED Party on Tuesday!” as her status, which I responded to with a lifted eyebrow brimming with curiosity.

An email here, registration form there, a drive to the Madison Pub and I was there!

It was the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario Provisional Team’s Social TED Party, an event held a couple times a year.  (Btw, I’ll be referring the above as RGD from now on… no reason)

Now I admit, I was late to the party / viewing.  Luckily, I had ended up sitting beside Lisa, one of the co-ordinators / Provisional team members who was hosting the event itself.  Friendly and enthusiastic, she gave me the basics about RGD and the event itself.

Note: RGD Ontario’s website can be found here: http://www.rgdontario.com/

Aside, I can see many benefits to having events like these.  Bringing groups of professionals together always gives birth to possible collaborations, networking and its a fun way to maintain friendships within the organization.  It also allows for them to pass along information and details about RGD to those that might be interested in learning more.

Each member had selected a TED Talk and each gave a small description / reason why they had selected that TED Talk to be viewed.  In some cases the reason was left to the audience member to decide but there was definitely a theme of design / humor that ran throughout the night.

In no particular order the TED Talks selected were:

Jane Chen: A warm embrace that saves lives

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jane_chen_a_warm_embrace_that_saves_lives.html

David Kelley on human-centered design

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/david_kelley_on_human_centered_design.html

Joe Sabia: The technology of storytelling

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/joe_sabia_the_technology_of_storytelling.html

Tim Brown on creativity and play

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play.html

David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/david_mccandless_the_beauty_of_data_visualization.html

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter …

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter.html

Now the selections above were actually quite fascinating to me, for in almost every case (except Jane Chen’s Talk which I hadn’t seen before), I had considered doing a write up on their TED Talk but decided not to.

The reasons why I had passed writing over the 5 others are each unique to the situation where I had first viewed them.  Maybe it didn’t relate specifically to the feeling I had that week or maybe there was something about that talk that did or did not stand out to me.

And it was in this difference, that these would be the top TED talks they wanted to show that opened my eyes about them.

There were brief moments throughout the night for members to get to know each other.  In some talks, like Tim Brown’s interactive audience moments, papers were passed along for the designers in the room to give it a try as well.

The most well received TED Talk, was selected by the co-ordinator Terra, this was the Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter selection.  (It is also with this Talk I’ll be delving into this week.)  Go spoken word poetry!

With the TED Talks completed, the various audience members slowly drifted out.  A couple stopped midway while exiting and asked if they could be invited to the next TED Party.

I understood exactly where they were coming from, after all, a TED Party is a great idea.

– Eugene

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in In General..

 

Another year wiser and other blatant lies.

Celebrated a birthday this week, and it was mine!

Not that I’m one to usually celebrate birthdays.  I realized something a long time ago and that is I can’t afford to give out presents to all the people I’d like to give presents to.  It’s a numbers game and I’m simply not there.

So where’s the fair trade?  Well, that’s rather simple.  Don’t celebrate your own birthday and you skip all that ‘present exchange’ shenanigans.  Of course this rule is a very soft rule, so yeah, presents still come and go.  Except now instead of it being expected, it’s more of a ‘Surprise!’ (followed by the mental ‘you thoughtless jerk, how can I reciprocate this blatant generosity’ moment)  Btw, I can do a full rant on how every time a friend gets married it’s the cost equivalent of them smashing in one of my car windows but that’s just me ranting for the joy of ranting.

And as I sat on the hypothetical mountain top this week, I pondered my life.

Well, not just ‘my life’ as in past events.  It was present tense or rather where I’d like to see it going.  I have a couple of ideas, all requiring a great deal of effort.  And then this thought slipped into my mind, was I even wiser now that I’m older?  I’m getting ‘wider’, I’m not sure if that counts.

They say that wisdom comes with age and I have to say that this is a load of poo.

How do I know this?  Because I’m an idiot.

And I know it.

Self Awareness is one of those things that starts in the classroom.  In grade 5 we were assigned to write a short essay about our own self awareness.  I remember commenting on how our actions affect others, but this certainly stems to how we present ourselves, how we listen, and how we deliver our wisdom.

Now here is the most peculiar thing.  Why is it, the older we get, why does it feel like the ‘less likely’ someone will actually ask for our wisdom?

Sure, for specific questions, they still get asked.  However, these are really SPECIFIC. For instance,  What’s good to order at Taco Bell?  Combo 3, one hard shell taco and one soft shell taco.

This, from what I can tell, is the extent with which people wish to know my wisdom.

Or maybe which videogames to play.  Or if I can check a resume for typos.  Sometimes it’s about relationship advice.

Now please understand I’m not some greybeard who wanders the streets with a lantern and staff.  I’m not expecting people to start talking in riddles just so I can bestow my wisdom back at them with more riddles.

“What lurks in the shadows of doubt, where fear and openness struggle for dominance?”

“My answer, Combo 3, one hard shelled taco, one soft shelled taco.”

The fact is, finding wisdom is barely a stepping stone in North American society.  We aren’t given ‘quests for wisdom’, and there’s little reason to need to know more if one can simply pick up the process.  By that I mean, the ‘know how’ to do something will naturally contain conventional wisdom.  However, it doesn’t have the blood/sweat/tears that it might have took to find it.

I don’t have any problems with that.  Look at the internet.  It’s an information washing machine that takes in load after load of dirty information, washes it around in a forum of crowdsource-ing and spits out clean clean conventional wisdom to wear.  (Do NOT wash your personals in this washing machine, as it will have a tendancy to shrink them.)  Likewise, a bright sweater will temporarily affect the entire wash, making them pink or lime green.  I can only recommend a colder water setting with harsher restrictions.

I’ve obviously much wisdom about washing machines.

But the years = wisdom analogy?  I don’t feel a day wiser than I did in 2011.

Maybe certain outlooks have changed.  Goals have become more ‘real’, or ‘more easily measured’, arguably ‘easier to attain’.  Is that wisdom?  Or is that being pessimistic?  Could positive day dreaming be the real wisdom?  Could it be found on a fastfood menu?  The smiles are free, and isn’t that one of the best things life can offer?

Seeking wisdom also relates to the ‘point’ of where we are in our lives and the every increasing circle of contacts that we’re generating.  If you know 50 people who are accountants, it’s highly unlikely you’ll go to all 50 of them with accounting questions.  With that in mind, I can see why I’m not being tapped for anything in particular.  After all, without an event or designation that screams ‘answers here’, there’s little to no reason at all to knock anybody else up for information.  If anything it’s simply an opinion, and that’s something we’re told to keep to ourselves.

So I flip the question on my myself.  Do I seek wisdom from others?   Yes and no.  Like a decrepit vampire I often turn to the more society connected peers to know what’s in or which new television show to watch.  That’s a sort of backwards wisdom in the social herding aspect of society.

Do I know individuals that have great wisdom?  It’s quite possible.  However, I do know too that their opinions are often heavily shrouded by their history or personal preferences.  To ask for their wisdom, in effect, is either asking for them to self validate or worse, they might push their own agenda.

Oh crap, I sound like I’ve lost hope in humanity.  People aren’t jerks.  Intentionally, at least.

So that must be it, I’m viewing life through a tinted pair of glasses.  One that self validates my own decisions and might occasionally seek an agenda of its own.

Now to find the wisdom to remove them.

Combo 3, One hard shelled taco and one soft shelled taco please.

– Updated every Thursday

PS> Forget the tacos, I’d rather have some poutine.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in In General..

 

Coincidence is a repeating function.

When I had originally thought of the idea of the blog, I couldn’t place a name to what it should be called.  A few ideas bounced around in my mind but none of them really grabbed at me.

One morning I was driving in to the office and saw the initials ‘ED’ scribbled on a garbage can.  I did not and still do not know what ED on a garbage can means, but it did stick out to me.  (What does ED on a garbage can mean?)

That morning I had also forgotten my day pass, so I had to sign for one at the front desk.  Normally such a routine action wouldn’t stand out to me either, but I immediately noticed that my own initials also spelled ‘ED’.

Ed, well, maybe it was something I could use.  After all, ED rhymes with TED simply enough, so I ran with it and here it is.

About a week later, I see TED Ed for TED education and realize that I may have fell into a trap of naming the blog something ‘too close to home’ so to speak.  (What will the neighbors think?)  However, coincidence is coincidence and I can only call it that.  This site is obviously not Ted Ed and at no point will I try to convince others that it is.

Obviously, the two will eventually merge and we will have EdTalksTedEd, which is pretty horrible.

Seriously, that sounds terrible.  And if TED remains as progressive as it is, it will eventually begin to review and talk about itself from a meta perspective, effectively creating EdTalksTedEdTalksTed.

I really hope it doesn’t come to that, because I can’t even pronounce the damn thing.  It’s like Ted Talks meets Human Centipede and nobody wants to digest that.

In any case, back to the talks.

– Updated every Thursday (Yes, I am treating this as my tagline.  Terrible.)

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in In General..

 

What is EdTalksTed?

Well, it certainly stands to reason that the very first blog post should be about what I want to be blogging about so here it is.

I want to discuss TED talks (http://www.ted.com/talks), specifically those that I find absolutely fascinating, what questions are left in my mind afterwards, can I find a way to answer them and now that I’ve listened to the conversation what can I or we do about it.

Growing up I was a child with a lot of questions.  Certainly more questions than there was answers available and this in turned probably annoyed my father to no end.  Eventually I stopped receiving answers to my questions and started receiving the reccomendation of ‘Why don’t you read a book about it?’.

I took this advise to heart and found a job at the local library at the earliest I could.  (I was 13 at the time, which I believe was considered ‘too young’ to work at the library but they gave me a chance to work in the children’s department)  And from there I read books, and looking back I have to admit it was quite a fair number.  On the other hand, this certainly did not turn me into a genius or anything remotely valuable; rather just a kid that enjoyed reading books.

This did generate an idea that I always dreamed of having.  To someday create a book that I would call ‘The Book of Answers’ where every single question I had as a child/teen/adult would be put down and an answer would be written down for it.  It would be something that I could pass along to anyone else who had their questions.  It was only a short time later that I discovered the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which was exactly what I was looking for,  at least in the abstract.

Years later, enter the internet age.  And suddenly the Hitchhiker’s Guide exists in the form of Google and Wikipedia.  Any question can be answered almost immediately after a few strokes of the keyboard, could this be the end of curiosity since the answers can now be found?

Around this time I stumbled across the TED Talks.  One of the glorious things about TED is not that they are giving opinions or questions to those that exist in my mind.  Rather, it is that it is a forum to bring about questions that I did not even consider or was aware of.  This in itself is a reward, but this was only the uncovering of a iceberg that was much more enjoyable.

It turns out that a common thread among the speakers at TED is that they do it incredibly well.  They surprise you, they trick you, they make you laugh and bring your mind to stimulus that is new.  It is better than a book of answers, it is a place of new questions.

E

Updated every Thursday.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in In General.., TED Talks