Seen, Heard, Said

Things I’ve seen, heard, or was told by someone. Item in this category usually originate from the Internet.

The Question We All Ask

We had finished reading a book and I was about to turn off the light when she sat up and said, “Dad, I have a question for you. What have you noticed is my talent?”

Maybe that doesn’t sound that big to you, but what I heard was a little different. In her simple question I heard, “Dad, you know me best. You and mom are the people I trust most. Please define me. Please tell me why I’m special and what I’m good at. Please tell me who I am.”

That’s what I heard, but the crazy thing about her question is that we adults still ask it. Today, across the planet, people like me and people like you are going to walk out their front doors and ask people they see, “Who am I?”

At jobs, we’ll ask our bosses and coworkers to define us.

At school, we’ll ask our teachers and classmates to tell us we’re special.

At home, we’ll ask our spouses or boyfriends and girlfriends to tell us we matter.

In a thousand ways today, like a seven year old who is moldable and curious and undefined, we will seek out friends and strangers, bosses and spouses and ask them who we are.

And the sad thing is, the answers will fail us.

They won’t satisfy, they never do. That beat, beat, beat of our inquisitive heart will not be stilled by their words. That hurt, hurt, hurt of our heads will not be numbed by our accomplishments. That hope, hope, hope of our souls will not be quenched by this world.

And so we’ll ask someone else, we’ll seek it somewhere else, we’ll sit up in beds and classrooms and cubicles and say, “What have you noticed is my talent?”

But let me save you the time, let me save you the trouble of digging through the mud for an answer that will ultimately prove hollow. For although I might not know you, for although we might never meet, I do know the God who knows you, and he is not quiet about who you are. Actually, he won’t stop talking about who you are.

You are the reason he rises in the morning. (Isaiah 30:18)

You are the one he quiets with love. (Zephaniah 3:17)

You are the one he longs for. Not just likes but longs for. (Isaiah 30:18)

You are a child of God. (John 1:12)

You are an heir to the throne. (Galatians 4:7)

You are his workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)

Today, the world and the people in it will try to tell you who are. That’s just how this planet spins, but that’s not an open question. That’s already been determined. Whether you’re a mom in Australia or a student in Ohio, a teacher in London, or a surfer in California, I already know who you are.

You are the only part of creation God breathed to life. (Genesis 2:7)

And that’s enough.

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In Greek legend, Icarus flew too close to the Sun,…

In Greek legend, Icarus flew too close to the Sun, and the heat melted his wings and he fell to his death. But “melting” is a phase change which is a function of temperature, a measure of internal energy, which is the integral of incident power flux over time. His wings didn’t melt because he flew too close to the Sun, they melted because he spent too much time there.

Visit briefly, in little hops, and you can go anywhere.

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Somebody once told me, “Manage the top line, and t…

Somebody once told me, “Manage the top line, and the bottom line will follow.” What’s the top line? It’s things like, why are we doing this in the first place? What’s our strategy? What are customers saying? How responsive are we? Do we have the best products and the best people? Those are the kind of questions you have to focus on.

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Humans Need Not Apply

Just as mechanical muscles made human labor less in demand so are mechanical minds making human brain labor less in demand.

This is an economic revolution. You may think we’ve been here before, but we haven’t.

This time is different.

Automation is here, and it’s been expanding in cognitive ability. We already have self-driving cars, and, by some accounts, nearly all cars will be autonomous by 20501.

The question is not if they’ll replaces cars, but how quickly. They don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be better than us. Humans drivers, by the way, kill 40,000 people a year with cars just in the United States. Given that self-driving cars don’t blink, don’t text while driving, don’t get sleepy or stupid, it easy to see them being better than humans because they already are.

It’s not just self-driving cars2 though.

There is this notion that just as mechanical muscles allowed us to move into thinking jobs that mechanical minds will allow us all to move into creative work. But even if we assume the human mind is magically creative — it’s not, but just for the sake of argument — artistic creativity isn’t what the majority of jobs depend on.

This video isn’t about how automation is bad — rather that automation is inevitable. It’s a tool to produce abundance for little effort. We need to start thinking now about what to do when large sections of the population are unemployable — through no fault of their own. What to do in a future where, for most jobs, humans need not apply.

via Kottke

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  1. Autoblog: Nearly all cars to be autonomous by 2050 

  2. “Now to describe self-driving cars as cars at all is like calling the first cars mechanical horses. Cars in all their forms are so much more than horses that using the name limits your thinking about what they can even do. Lets call self-driving cars what they really are: Autos: the solution to the transport-objects-from-point-A-to-point-B problem.”