Grey.Beard


Today on my O’fieldstream Facebook account, one of my long-time friends and colleagues in the outdoor art and writing field, Bob White, posted the following quote of the day:

“What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away, you keep forever.”~ Axel Munthe

This is a truth that cannot be stated enough.  Especially in the light of today’s dog-eat-dog business clime.  There are far too many today who believe – not just think – but believe – that they only way to get ahead it to do everything in an aggressive manner; in the face of everyone else; doing whatever it takes to get ahead and make your mark. There is no mention of sharing or cooperative action – outside of ‘doing so to get what you want’.  So, where’s the sharing in that?

It’s not there. And so is something else much more important and precious: Self Respect.

During the mid 70’s, as a fledgling sign painter I came across a group of very talented, if not alternate-current sign painters who were members of an equally fledgling group called the Letterheads. I learned they were out to, ‘… change the world of sign painting…”.

Thankfully, for all us who have followed the – call of the brush and eventually computer – they did succeed!

Had they not succeeded, the world of sign painting would be a lot less vibrant than it is today.  In fact their very actions literally saved the sign painting industry from extinction as it was known.

Why I bring the Letterheads into this comment is to reveal a KEY to their success – and it ties directly into Bob’s quote selection.

The Letterheads had determined, amid a century-and-a-half of sign painting tradition, that – despite the ‘established dogma’ of there being a multitude of secrets in the trade and art of sign painting, that – in fact – there was but ONE TRUE SECRET.

Yes that’s correct.  ONLY ONE.

Even though the vast majority of the Letterhead members were young, hippy-like, free-spirit types, there were found among the neophytes, several ‘sign artists’, who had many years of practical brush-pushing, business savvy behind them.  They’d paid-their-dues … and they were not pleased with the returns.  The most unpleasant item was the veil of secrecy that oozed from the shops of the established sign-painting community‘.  Collectively they knew what was touted as the juju of the sign painting world was nothing more than contrived and touted hooey.  They saw it as a smoke-screen for the older guys lack of keeping up with technology and product changes. Not to mention a rapidly changing marketplace.

Looking it all over, considering all the facts, in the face of a very uncertain future, the Letterheads had determined that the ONE TRUE SECRET in sign painting, also had seriously deep roots throughout the universe.  Which, rather quickly, they deduced had to include ALL businesses: not just sign painting.

Yes, they did all of this about the time Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were just being introduced.  Long before Steve’s – ‘realizing that everything in the world is made from people no smarter than you.’ – revelation.

Realization of this TRUTH is not new.  It’s only NEW TO YOU when you FINALLY SEE IT.

And once you hear why – you’ll likely agree.

The ONE TRUE SECRET is this:

There are NO SECRETS.  There is only knowledge that is either shared or not shared.

Those who choose not to share their knowledge become locked into a closed mindset of cloaking, hiding and secrecy. Fear becomes their motivator. Everything and everyone become their enemy: their competition. They then slowly die from a lack of growth. They are mistrusting and mistrusted.  They have no allies: no real friends; at least in business.  They do not change.  CHANGE is the key basic requirement for growth.

On the other hand, those who choose to share – openly and freely – grow beyond their greatest expectation. Their growth comes from a lack of fear. Their willingness to be open and to share, opens their opportunities and their lives.

Those who share understand this simple fact: those to whom they pass knowledge, go on beyond their mentor’s abilities – it is realized – would have done so anyway.  But it would have been with the help of others and not themselves.  Such short-sightedness is seen a missed opportunity, not business savvy.

The Letterheads began to realize that stepping up and helping out, created three positive, wholly unexpected and current-industry-mentality defying, rewards:

  1. QUALITY levels are higher in the business field
  2. COOPERATION is built among businesses
  3. COMPETITION  becomes oriented toward Quality work, employees and customer service, rather than Market-share pricing

Instead of the customer-base having control of the business; playing company-against-company, shopping for lowest price, fastest service and deals, business was now – back in control.

Now businesses cooperated on pricing structures; focused on individual strengths instead of trying to ‘cover every base’; had the time, energy and vision to develop the education of the customer about the values of product, service and needs.  The sharing business knows, and understands, that the client whom is well educated about the products and services becomes a better partner for business.

Coming to this point was not easy.  It took the Letterheads nearly 15 years to become a large enough force that the rest of the Sign Industry (brush, electrical and the newly arrived computer elements) – had no choice but to listen.  Yet once the discussion began, it was not hard to demonstrate the value.  Because of the effects  – already in-play and used by – many of the small, medium and large companies were already successful, allowing them to enjoy financial success.  Hard sell was not necessary.

This notion has not remained solely in the Sign Industry; not at all.  Every company on earth has been affected  -one way or another- by the implementation of the knowledge of the One True Secret.  Yet, very few know the real story of how this came to be.  Even fewer truly understand it’s simplicity.

But that would not be you.  Because now YOU know the ultimate KEY to success in the Universe. Now, go out and tell others. It will only do you, your business and your industry good.

That is ALL GOOD.

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Article in Mashable on Laptop Wi-Fi and Sterility in Males

This is one of those little journalistic ditties that just puts a twitch in your eyebrow and should ignite a spark in your cogency.

We’ve heard for years from the ‘voices in the shadows’ about the dangers (oh, sorry … potential dangers!) of the use of cellular devices (ie, phones) – for extended periods of time – in near adhesion to the sides of our heads.

Financial interests in selling phones, devices and air-time have screamed ‘foul’ at each turn when such concerns have been raised.

For those who wish to ignore any potential danger in lieu of accessing their inner-technology-lusts support the screams-of-foul by tapping deep into their easy access to techno-smack.

The rest of humanity is made up of those who:  

a) feel something just doesn’t seem right;

b) don’t know and don’t care;

c) those whose lives have been forever altered by the so-called, ‘impertinent-apocryphal-warning’s most painful reality;

This report, of possible WiFi spermicide, will no-doubt be ballyhooed as a Chicken Little moment, by those with financial and lustful interests.  But there will be no value in egg-on-face moments – IF – in the near future – we find entire pockets of the human race empty due to a lack of fertility.  

OK.  I’m a technologist. I have been for the better part of the past 25 years. I use technology to the hilt. I have WiFi routers, my laptops are all actively using WiFi and I’ll soon be adding both Pad and Smart-phone technology to my techno-toolbox.  Is this in-the-face of what I just wrote?  No.  Not at all.  Here’s why.

  1. I am 59 and will not be fathering anymore children. Period. So, sterility is not an issue for me.
  2. I don’t use WiFi – in my lap, in my pocket, or within 10 feet of me, all the time.
  3. I realize the potential danger and take measures to mitigate the majority of the adverse (or, potentially adverse) side-effects.  
  4. I work smart within the parameters of the technology curtain.

Deeply concerning is the potentially damaging element underlying this report; a ‘hole’ that could be found wanting in the future of humanity.  

This hole won’t likely be found among the lower DNA-imbuing-ignoragrunts of humanity.  The ‘holes’ will be found in the brighter; potentially beneficial, elements of the human race.

Essentially, the intelligent people may be, in very unintelligent fashion, writing their own script for a version 3.0: Island of Dr. Moreau

So, a visit to Common-Sense land may well be a very intelligent forward-thinking effort to preserve the future viability of humanity..  

Keep the WiFi enabled/activated device

  • off your lap
  • out of your pocket
  • and if you need it to be on and plugged-in – shield yourself – for at least the majority of the time.
  • otherwise, just treat this warning like the dozen or so stickers found on the average step ladder.

You know those little ladders with all those stickers, containing warnings to not misuse the step ladder – like DO NOT STEP HERE – on what everyone calls the ‘top step’ – but it’s NOT a step, it’s the top of the step ladder. Those same warnings, ignored to the tune of an annual average of 160,000+ emergency room injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. – of which most occur at heights of 10 feet or less.

Can you spell – step ladder?

Can you spell – unnecessary?

Can you spell – stupid?

Can you?

Well, maybe you can. But, if you keep that laptop, pad, smart-phone or other electromagnetic broadcasting device – in your lap, pocket, or within an unshielded 10 foot perimeter of your body – your would-be-future-kids won’t be.

Period.


My comments and those of my Circles are also available on my G+ J.Leslie Booth – net500cg; if you have a G+ account and wish to read all comments – add me to a Circle; if you don’t have a G+ account, get one and get further connected: http://plus.google.com/

Turn It On and Go!

Thirty-three years ago last Monday (22 June 2009), Jimmy Luther Lee of Clayton, CA filed a U.S. Patent for the design of the current day Fish Locator [1] device. The idea of an electrical devices used to locate fish wasn’t a new idea. In the patent it was necessary to address the common Patent term known as prior art [2]. These so-called Fish Locators were already being produced before Lee’s invention, but they were troublesome, unreliable and fragile devices. Lee’s invention signifcantly changed, through technological improvement, the device and in-turn spawned the turn-it-on-and-go device we have today.

Lees’ invention made it vastly easier to use the device we call the Fish Locator; and by various other product branded names. Thus, it in turn made it vastly easier to SELL, as well! Popularity, accessibility, usability, necessity – all soared. To the point that nearly every motorized craft used in the pursuit of fishing – fresh and saltwater – have at least one Fish Locating device – onboard. Their popularity – yeah, necessity – even insures that even non-motorized craft make use of them. Ice fishermen have made the fish-locating device essential in their pursuit of fish through frozen surfaces.

Fish locators have become indespensible to the modern fisherman. Many refuse to leave home without one.

TRACK – STORE – RECALL

In a similar story, the world of communication has been altered forever by the power of 140 characters. In a way no one would – or could – ever have anticipated.

Before Twitter [3], communication in bite-size bits was considered incomplete and many times incoherent. And for the most part it was nearly impossible to keep track of such bits-n-pieces of information. Let alone even consider recalling them for future use. What use could they possibly have?

The major reason such small bits of information were deemed unsusable, was the lack of an ability to track, store and recall such tiny bits of thought. Then putting them together in any meaningful way… well, it would be literal nightmare. No one REALLY enjoys nightmares.

In the early 1990’s, when the information world was rocked to its foundation by the advent of the Internet [4], the problem of track, store and recall took on megalithic proportions. How to solve this thorny issue was on every database-thinking mind in computerdom.

The answer turned out to already be in their programming toolbox: the TAG [5]. The key was getting the ‘TAG’ out of its square hole and capable of conforming to meet any ‘need’ as necessary. The solution came in the form of a specific language for ‘TAG’s called XML [6], or eXtensible Markup Language.

XML is a 2nd Generation programming derivitive of an earlier, far more complex software language. This tool-of-programming-torture is known as SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) [7].

Anyone familiar with – whether knowledgable in the How-To’s or not, of creating web pages, may recognize the term ‘Markup Language'[8]. The acronym HTML [9], for which most people now recognize as the ‘language of a web site’ is ‘Hyper Text Markup Language’. HTML is also a much simplified and very specific derivative of SGML.

The solution for keeping track of the every exploding levels of information created by-the-second on the Interent was to embed TAGS in the HTML code. Very specific TAGS rules were established as the versions of HTML were developed. The result are what now know as META TAGS [10].

The META TAG is a way of highlighting specific WORDS and PHRASES with a published web-based document that are SEARCHABLE via the next solution in the track, store, recall. We call them Search Engines.

The search engines, the best known one being Google, are the devices we use to located what we would most like to read or see, from the billions of pages availalbe on the Internet.

The search engines send out billions of instructions every hour to scour the WEB for information on pages, types, updates, drops, locations, and much, much more – dealing with every single page that exists online. Without META TAGS, a page is NOT searched. Thus, it is NOT found, either.

XML is unique in that anyone can write completely new tags for their own specific needs that will work with any XML script they create. This has been far and wide across the Internet and Information Technology communities.

There are many ‘flavors'[11] of XML. XML has been ‘flavored’ a lot. Many of which are extremely powerful.

The entire financial world – irrespective of national origin – use XML as their tool of choice. One specific ‘flavor’ of XML called XBRL (Xtensible Business Reporting language) [12] is not only used, but since 2005 the U.S. Government has made, the use of XBRL, manditory for Financial and Business Reporting. By 2012 ALL nations worldwide will require ALL businesses to use XBRL for their reporting.

Why?

Three very important and powerful reasons: Track, Store, Recall.

#HashTAG and 140 Characters of POWER

Twitter is pervasive. Twitter is humongeous! Twitter, the social-networking tool, based upon communication in 140 characters or less, is rapidly becoming THE First Level of Communication in the Online World.

But there was a problem.

Twitter did not allow the ‘owner’ of a Twitter account to ‘get to the code’ so they can embed ‘searchable tags’. Fret not fellow cyber dispensor of Tweetdom! The community of Twitter-fiddlers have taken care of this thorny issue.

Twitter-users (Tweeters?) were able to provide every user with an amazingly simple solution. The solution came easily because the backbone of Twitter uses XML – remember, Xtensible Markup Language? – to store, retrieve and deliver data.

Remember earlier mention that XML’s power lies within its inherent ability for unique tag creation by the author of an XML script? Well, Tweeter developers tapped this power to provide us, their fellow Tweeters – aka: USERS – with a vastly easy solution: the #hashtag.

By incorporating what had already been used in the community of IRC (Internet Relay Chat)[13] users, #hashtags[14] [the ‘#’ pound or number sign is commonly referred as a ‘hash’ in programming, thus the name #hashtag] became the name by Twitter users.

When Chris Messina voiced his initial proposal on 25 August 2007[15], for the use of #hastags for Twitter and reiterated in his post on 23 DEC 2007[16], Twitter didn’t have a track feature and he was looking to solve a specific problem of grouping, he was echoed by many[17] within the budding Social Networking[18] community.

In a round about way, as do many of the best ideas developed have appeared, #hashtags become the default tagging system for Twitter users. Bringing Tweets the power of Track – Store – Recall. [19][20][21]

What DOES a Fish Locator and the #hashtag have in Common?

Despite what seems to be no connection between the story of a Fish Locator and the Twitter #hashtag, they reall are very much connected. Both are the result of filling a need, by using pre-existing platforms, to provide answers to immediate needs. But they did far more. Their introductions have spawned hundereds – even thousands – of other uses, ideas, products and services. They were both a unique answer to a common problem with wide-ranging additional applications and solutions. Each one in-turn presenting more questions to germinate the next wave of technological development.

But even more in-common they share the same end result. Both the Fish Locator and the Twitter #hashtag, in-the-end, are about Track-Store-Recall.

Information is power. The ability to TRACK information, then STORE it provides immediate and future power.

But, having the ability to RECALL that information at anytime, form anyplace, by anyone… well, that is priceless. And that, is power.

— Resources —-

[1] Patent Application: Fish Locator – http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4050308.html
[2] prior art (Patent Application) – a term used to describe any information made available to the public, in any form, BEFORE the application by another for invention patent, to establish originality. If prior art is established and uniqueness of the new application is not found, said application could be denied. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_art
[3] Twitter – http://twitter.com/about ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter
[4] Internet – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet
[5] TAG – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_(metadata)
[6] XML – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML
[7] SGML – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SGML
[8] Markup Language – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markup_language
[9] HTML – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML
[10] META TAGS – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta_element
[11] ‘Flavors’ – a term often used in relation to varieties of the Operating System LINUX, to describe variations on the core code. The ‘flavors’ retain the core abilities of the code, but provide additional – often very powerful – tools and capabilities. Thus the term has carried over into other areas of coding and program development. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Linux_distributions
[12] XBRL – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBRL
[13] IRC – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Relay_Chat
[14] #hashtag – http://twitter.pbworks.com/Hashtags
[15] Chris Messina: Groups for Twitter; or a Proposal for Twitter Tag Channels – http://tinyurl.com/3by4w3
[16] Making Sense of #hashtags – Chriss Messina – http://factoryjoe.com/blog/2007/12/23/making-the-most-of-hashtags/
[17] What does # mean in a twitter post? All about octothorpetags. – http://vielmetti.typepad.com/vacuum/2007/11/what-does-mean-.html
[18] Social Networking – http://www.commoncraft.com/video-social-networking ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networking
[19] #hashtags – http://hashtags.org/
[20] Twitter’s Page on ‘All Things #hashtag’ – excellent resource – http://twitter.pbworks.com/Hashtags
[21] Track your #hashtags a) http://hashtags.org, b) http://www.twitter.com/search, c)