Want to experience the future of reading? Go to this link, and click the "click to spritz" icon at the top of the page:
Spritz is a new company that believes it has a better way to read. After trying it, I actually think they might be right - at least for certain types of text.
For each word, the eye seeks a certain point within the word, which we call the “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP. After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you’re viewing.
When reading, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP.
Spritz works by eliminating the need for that eye movement. For me, it really sped up the reading process. What's more, it's a very compact UI, perfect for mobile devices.
Check it out and let me know what you think. I'm curious.
#reading #spritz #digitalpublishing
But there is something really important that this technology takes away. When I want to go back and reread a certain paragraph, in my head I can remember A) What the page looked like in terms of the shapes of the paragraph on the page and B) Where on the page I saw the section that it now interests me to revisit. Without mental page snapshots, going back over material is going to be more difficult.
Alix Partners, a consulting and business advisory firm, says a half million vehicle purchases in the U.S. have been avoided due to the growing popularity of car sharing programs like Zipcar and Relay Rides.
The study suggests that one car-sharing fleet vehicle displaces 32 vehicles that would have otherwise been purchased.
How long will it take for the auto makers to shift into service providers. Mercedes is already experimenting with its own program. Between this and self-driving cars, this industry is set for serious shakeup over the next decade.
With the HTML5 version of YouTube, you can control the speed of many videos. I know that many of you know this, but I did not until yesterday. Thanks to for this tip.
To turn HTML5 on for YouTube, go here:
Then, when you're watching a video, simply click the gear in the lower right of the video control (see red arrow below), and for some videos, you'll have a choice of speeds (like .25, .5, 1.5, and 2x). Just select the speed, and off you.
And yes, I listen to Audible books at 1.5 to 2x speeds. But only for certain books that I'm just trying to plow through rather than take my time with and enjoy. I'm guessing it will now be the same with YouTube.
Yes, reliable transcripts would be great. I think it's dragon-speak (?) for the closed captioning that they're pulling from. It sounds like it may be the same thing for the transcript.
Thanks for catching this one.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has an interesting piece outlining the way that Salesforce manages its philanthropy. The mission-driven technology consulting shop I used to run was a certified Salesforce shop, so I know a bit about how all this works, but this article helped me understand just how deliberate Salesforce about setting up its particular approach to philanthropy. I think it's worth understanding this approach as a potential model for other large technology providers.
Essentially, what distinguishes the Salesforce Foundation from other foundations is that it resells Salesforce software to the nonprofit sector. It generates revenue from those sales, revenue that is then used to serve the sector in a variety of ways that are detailed in this article. One of the more interesting aspects of the way it invests that money is the foundation's in-house technology team (many of whom are former members of my old team, by the way). This team innovates in ways that help solve problems that are particular to the nonprofit sector.
This model is not without its detractors, of course. Some would argue that Salesforce is simply using the foundation as a way to sell software at a discount to the nonprofit sector. It now generates some $20 million a year in nonprofit revenues on software that arguably has little incremental cost (note: I take issue with that argument: the ops costs and support costs for delivering this kind of software as service are significant).
So, yes, it's not a black-or-white, slam-dunk, this is the right solution answer, but I actually support what the foundation is doing. Why? Because it addresses the number one problem I have with traditional approaches to philanthropy: eventually demand for it outstrips supply and you can't scale. I ran into that problem over and over again in the organization I used to run. It's a huge problem. And an approach like this helps solve that. The key, of course, is having other mechanisms in place that sales and revenues don't put the cart in front of the horse, and that you keep the mission front and center at all times.
#philanthropy #socialenterprise #salesforce #nonprofits #technology
I like to describe Google+ and social media in general as "ego school." By this, I don't mean that they are places to grow our egos. Rather, I seem as places to get to know our egos. Jealousy is a powerful agent of the ego, and through jealousy, we can learn a lot about the contours of our egos.
This is a very candid piece and it deals with an emotion that each of us has no doubt wrestled with online (if we're truly honest with ourselves). I like Denis' recommendation of looking for the merit in others' success.
#jealousy #ego #emotionalintelligence
There is this "realm of jealous gods", according to Theravāda, where sentient beings are gods and enjoy the fruits of wholesome karma, but are jealous of the higher gods… As many of you know, these 'realms' are interpreted literally by some, but allegorically by others.
Anyone with some success, or some ease in life, but still jealous of "more successful" others is susceptible of rebirth in this realm… Moment-to-moment rebirth however means the lessons from this realm are applicable now!
After 's 16'37'' video Jealousy & Envy: How to Overcome the Green-Eyed Monster I thought I'd address the topic from a different angle.
There are milestones for 'influencers'… You know: the first 10,000 or 100,000 followers, the entry in the 'top' 1,000 "most followed" profiles, the first award / recognition, the first interview, the first invitation to give a conference, etc.
There also are moments when doubt creeps in… e.g. when there's not enough food or heat in one's body to create content, regardless of how many people are reached.
There are moments when envy arises —often under the guise of desiring the widest influence "to promote a good message" (even though it might actually be about the ego…).
There are moments when jealousy arises from seeing others' influence —jealousy possibly disguised under the delusional 'truth' that one brings something 'better' to the world than others do (« it's not jealousy, it's just an observation, a fact »)!
For example, when I post a piece carefully crafted to support people to live wholesomely, it might easily seem 'unfair' that a fashion model gets more 'influence' (more followers, more plusses, more reshares…) from just a selfie!
I need a decent level in 'concentration' practice not to let the mind 'naturally' ('ignorantly') roam in this direction.
'Unfair' here is an utterly irrelevant label, but this is the sort of 'views', the sort of mental fabrications, that the mind creates! The key is not in suppressing them, not in wanting such thoughts never to arise; the key is in relating to such thoughts in a different way, it is in not believing them to be 'truth' (once we stop believing them, the mind loses interest in creating them… but the quiet mind (koan.mu/quiet_mind.htm) is a side effect of ending ignorance, not of forcefully repressing thoughts).
In her video, Mindah invited us to reflect on what we take for granted in our situations and do not appreciate fully, and on how we erroneously imagine our happiness would improve "if only" we too could get what another has.
I suggest we can also take the complementary approach: we can reflect directly on what we under-appreciate about the success of others.
It is useful to always reflect as to why it might be, or is, beneficial / wholesome that someone else has more 'influence' than we have, more 'rewards', more 'responsibilities', more 'visibility', more, more, more…
Firstly, it lets us see our own cravings for 'more' (and how this craving doesn't exactly 'help' our happiness); great lesson! Even 'for' a "good cause", craving is a root of suffering: navigating the opportunities wisely as they present themselves isn't the same as craving for more opportunities…
Secondly, it may actually allow us to appreciate a contribution this person made when we couldn't, a contribution which might have a very wholesome impact… It may thus allow us to turn jealousy into "sympathetic joy" or "altruistic joy", which is important!
So, as an example, here is a post dedicated to… a meditating !
By a couple of photos (including the one attached), she probably promoted meditation more than I could so far, and maybe more than I will ever be able to; what's not to praise? I could criticise her meditation posture, I could be jealous of her influence… or I can appreciate her contribution aligned with what I think helps many people suffer less! Which attitude I have is my choice here and now, it is not dictated to me by events.
What does this have to do with non-influencers?
We all are influencers! We all have friends, family, colleagues, dharma brothers and sisters, cellmates… Even the hermit might 'inspire' others, without 'apparent' (or 'traditional' form of) contact.
Making the effort to find the wholesome acts of others is a good practice, even in relation to 'small' acts. It isn't about competition (be mindful of that tendency!), it is about praising what's good in the world, nurturing it, encouraging it, and even getting inspiration from it! It may even be about sending the right signals, by way of what we pay attention to (gplus.wallez.name/JPFt9VDF1Dy)!
There are milestones for 'professionals'… You know: hierarchical promotions, first 'individual' client or first 'individual' delivery, first big contract on which one's signature is binding, etc.
There are milestones for 'spiritual seekers'… You know: first insight, first time one inspires —by one's acts— someone else to enquire about Buddhism, cessation of a first fetter, etc.
This is not about pretending that "it's all the same", or that there's no 'lower' or 'higher' on any particular metric of success (there's no doubt that Cara is more 'influential' than I am)… This is not about pretending that the wholesome tendencies you may find in others 'should' count more than the unwholesome ones you might also see. This is not about being naïve.
This is about choosing to be inspired by what's aligned with an understanding of wholesomeness, without letting judgements about anything else interfere with this (regardless of how wise, or ignorant, these judgements might be) i.e. without letting the mind make grand generalisations. Grand generalisations are what's naïve!
Making the effort to find the wholesome acts of others is a good practice, even viz. their 'small' acts.
'Small' acts might cascade into major changes in the world, we shouldn't neglect them: widespread fires start with a spark.
If we can be selfless enough to let ourselves be inspired by even a single act by others (instead of preferentially seeking what's wrong, or what might have been done "even better"…), there's usually one reason or two, or three, to rejoice about the success of others, without tainting this joy by jealousy!
By realising selflessness enough, I can rejoice about the 'reach' of Cara in promoting meditation, and be thankful that she promotes a better world. In a weaker moment, if I'm not selfless enough, I still can be thankful of how she thus supports my teachings by creating an interest in meditation, and of how she creates opportunities for me to practice… This isn't "being blind to what I may disagree with" (whatever this may be!); it is "seeing what I do agree with".
What I focus on is my choice!
What I cultivate (from where I am at, without wishing for another place to start from) is my choice!
Photo: Cara Delevingne by © Nigel Shafran,
- The Vital EdgePublisher and Writer, 2013 - presentDisruptively good business.
- Alchemy of ChangeWriter, 2010 - 2012
- Groundwire.orgExecutive Director, 2001 - 2010
- MicrosoftProduct Unit Manager, 1991 - 2001
- US China Business Council1985 - 1989
- Social enterprise and mission-driven business
- Social media and social networks
- Engagement, relationship marketing and CRM
- Technology, innovation & cool breakthroughs
- Google+ tips, tricks & strategies
- Social change
- Soul, consciousness, & artificial intelligence
- Sustainability & "Bright Green" innovation
For nine years, I ran Groundwire, a mission-driven technology consulting group, dedicated to building a more sustainable world. Groundwire specialized in CRM, web and social media communications all aimed at helping organizations strengthen their ability to engage people. I am also a proud board member of YES! Magazine.
Prior to that, I spent ten years at Microsoft in various marketing, product development and management positions. While there, I developed CarPoint, one of the world's first large-scale e-commerce websites and marketed the company's consumer multimedia titles.
I was raised in Utah, lived and worked in Japan and China for several years, and now lives in Seattle with my wife, CJ, and two boys.
- Wharton SchoolMBA, 1989 - 1991
- Lewis and Clark CollegeInternational Relations
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