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Links of a Different Kind...

Links to Information that I Find Inspiring

First, I will start by apologizing for the review-like nature of this page. This material is inspiring or thought provoking to me but may be complete rubbish to you. Obviously, if I was overly concerned about your opinions I just wouldn't publish it... kind of like most of my material!

At first I wanted to compile some of the lessons from these links and summarize them in my own words and relate them to the things Qsine has taught me. But I don't think I could condense it without losing a bunch of the meaning. The reason I chose the following items is because they are stories about people and their experiences. From ordinary to extraordinary, they are the kind of stories that can be told around a campfire and passed from one generation to the next. They are about people who are mundane, funny, courageous, legendary and even super-natural. Campfire, generational learning is being lost in our society and I think the results are obvious in the behavior I see in myself and people around me.

So much of the information I learn is formal, technical and straight to the point. While it is efficient and economical and has been mandatory to run a business, it has not helped me define nor accept my purpose in life. In the first video presented, Randy Pausch talks about "head fake" or indirect learning. He put into words a concept that, until now, I have not been able to verbalize. He describes how participating in sports teaches lessons like sportsmanship, team work etc. to kids even though they think they are just learning to play a game. In the same way we cannot teach children team spirit by talking about it, so many of life's lessons would not have come to me if not for the challenges of running Qsine... Enjoy!

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: About 80 min. I really liked this lecture. While I understand we are all dying, I can't help but give this guy a lot of credit for having the courage to stand in front of a crowd and talk the positive things that have happened in his life when he is 3-6 months from his inevitable demise.

The other thing I like is that he talks from experience and he limits the advice that he gives. As a reminder to myself (so I don't have to watch the movie each time I try and think about what he said) I have made a list of the points that I like about his lecture:

  • Experience is what I got when I didn't get what I wanted.
  • Fundamentals, Fundamentals, Fundamentals... and Hard Work.
  • Our critics actually love us. If someone is tough on me, it means they still care. If I'm screwing up and nobody says anything, they have given up on me.
  • "Brick walls" are not meant to keep me out, they are there to keep out the people who don't want it or care as much as me.
  • Head fake or indirect learning lessons are how we discover the things that change meaning or disappear when we look at them or search for them or get tainted when we talk about them.
  • Setting goals: "You obviously don't know where the bar should be. And you're only going to do them a disservice by putting it anywhere."

The Secret: About 90 min. This is a bit of an airhead movie but it stresses the importance of positive thinking and the detriment of negative thinking. I don't know that fantastic things will come to me just because I wish for it but I do believe they will never happen if I don't think about it. And I also believe negative thinking has brought negative realities into my life.

The one truth this movie solidified for me is that positive thinking is the first step in the manifestation of getting what I want and persistence creates each following step. Negative thinking is the first step in the manifestation of getting what I don't want and any lack of persistence creates each following step. Not thinking, well...

Brainman: About 45 min. This is a documentary on an absolutely gifted gent. Fascinating more than any real lessons but to a geek like me, this guy is a legend. He can calculate pi to 22,500 decimal places in his head! I have a few long running theories about genuis:

  • One is that genius or having a knack at something is related to a brain's hard-wiring for some form of pattern recognition.
  • Another is that the hard wiring in every person's brain makes each us good at something even if we are not extraordinary. My goal at Qsine is to help each of our people discover where they excel and make the most of it.
  • Finally, it doesn't matter what the skill is, extraordinary people are extraordinarily interesting people.
I don't mean to create a debate about whether Daniel is gifted or handicapped. I believe he is a living example that demonstrates the potential magnitude of human intelligence. I find this video amazing.

The Yes Men About 90 min. This is a crazy film but it shows something I've experienced in dealing with various people in institutions from Universities to banks and government agencies to corporations of all sizes: And that is, as Joe Average citizen, we have a lot of faith in letting a few Academics control our policies or situations because we think they know more than we do.

My problem as Joe Average was that my imagination led me to believe the Academics exercised great skill and powers behind the closed doors they worked behind. Qsine has taken me behind many closed doors where I have found that there is much confusion and little concern to be found. Many Academics simply rely on the door being closed to maintain the secret that they are merely educated and not necessarily intelligent, practical nor ethical.

The Yes Men is a bit of a cut-rate production that tried my patience at first but eventually I found it really funny, a bit shocking and quite enlightening after I thought about it for awhile.