Little Bits of Knowledge

I am changing the name of this blog to Little Bits of Knowledge.

This blog will be accessible from Little Bits of Knowledge or lbok. There are three reasons for this change.

  1. The new name reflects what I want to focus on, going forward.
  2. By removing my name, I can have more guests posting in this blog in future.
  3. I want to curate more posts and occasionally write new ones. I feel I can share and contribute better that way. This inspiration comes from Four Short Links.

So you will see shorter more frequent posts here.

Arthur C Clarke: No One Can See Into The Future

No one can see into the future. What I try to do is outline possible “futures” – Possible Futures by Arthur C Clarke.

No one can see into the future. What I try to do is outline possible “futures” – although totally expected inventions or events can render predictions absurd after only a few years. The classic example is the statement, made in the late 1940s, by the then chairman of IBM that the world market for computers was five. I have more than that in my own office.

Perhaps I am in no position to criticise: in 1971 I predicted the first Mars Landing in 1994; now we’ll be lucky if we make it by 2010. On the other hand, I thought I was being wildly optimistic in 1951 by suggesting a mission to the moon in 1978. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin beat me by almost a decade.

Still, I take pride in the fact that communications satellites are placed exactly where I suggested in 1945, and the name “Clarke Orbit” is often used (if only because it’s easier to say than “geostationary orbit”).

Some of the event listed here, particularly the space missions, are already scheduled. I believe all the other events could happen, although several, I hope, will not. Check me for accuracy – on December 31, 2100.

Somewhere in mid 60s I was reading his 1962 book which got me interested in Space. I always remember a few authors who thought deeply, wrote with passion about possible futures. While I may not believe every one of their predictions or take them seriously, they are triggers for thought. It is nice to think about future – not yours but of humanity and wonder if we live for another 100 years what we will see, experience or even comprehend.

What possible futures are you thinking of?

QuoteLog: Find a Subject You Care About

Some good advice on writing starts with this:

  1. Find a Subject You Care About

Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.

I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way — although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do.

 

From How to Write with Style via @brainpicker

A Couple of Pieces of Startup Advice

Present your startup idea to anyone who will listen. And even to those who won’t. Startups do not reward security and safety. If you are hesitant about exposing your idea to others, you won’t be able to expose it to prospects, customers and investors. Don’t expect constant support, either. Most people will say something like, “yeah, that sounds good. You should do it.” What you are looking for are those few who ask good questions or who challenge your thinking process and research.

Get really, really good at concisely stating your business idea. A lot of entrepreneurs fail in this area. It is important because you will need to communicate this to prospects, investors and new employees. What I have kept in my mind constantly over the years, is one internal question as I have started expounding on some idea: Later tonight, GL, (what I call myself) what will he say to Hilda about my idea? Or, as a great friend used to say over and over again, “if it is fuzzy in the pulpit, it is really fuzzy in the pews.”

 

This is from  A Complete List of 100 Attributes of People Who Start Companies:How You Can Be One of America’s Entrepreneurs. from an old post Dec 2007.

Meta

I remembered the post but forgot the source. I searched heaven and earth because I did not remember enough to do it properly. I knew that there were lots of Venn diagrams in his blog posts so I searched for Venn diagrams and was rewarded with some other nice articles.  Finally I found it in my own Linklog written in 2009! Somethings are worth searching for, and finding and sharing (again).

Yes. I updated the post and even changed the title a bit. I went from one advice to 2. But there are a cool 98 others worth checking out.

The More We Share…

A dose of inspiration from an author who writes, gives away his book and tells us why he writes:

A lot of what was on my mind and still is on my mind is how “information wants to be free.” I believe that economies that share outperform economies that don’t. I believe that information multiplies in value as it spreads. This the other selfish reason that I write: The more I share, the richer we all become. We discussed this idea on the JavaScript Jabber podcast earlier this year.

I am very committed to this idea of sharing. I campaigned, hard, for a job on the Firefox OS team at Mozilla. I really wanted to work on developer tools for Forefox OS. I believe that bringing another 10,000,000 or 100,000,000 or even 1,000,000,000 online with smart devices is going to be a tremendous opportunity for the world becoming a better place.

And not just in terms of “Oh look, 1,000,000,000 more people to join our social gossip-sharing gamified site,” but also in terms of there being another 100,000, 1,000,000 or even 10,000,000 new programmers writing programs to solve problems that we can’t even imagine as we sip our tasty espresso. How do we help them program? I’m super-stoked by where Mozilla is going with this, and likewise I’m so excited I can barely sit still when I look at what people are doing with things like Squeak orLight Table.

and so

You can talk about making the world a better place, and you can roll up your sleeves. So, I rolled up my sleeves and wrote JavaScript Allongé.

Need I say more?