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1,000 True Fans

1,000 True Fans
Year 2014 My self-published book, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities, became a best seller on Amazon last year (#15 of all books!). Crafted from the best of my blog Cool Tools, it recommends more than 1,000 of the best tools for individuals to use in making things and making things happen. The book is crammed with information, passion, and pointers. Producing the book with only 2 people was a gigantic undertaking, but the research still continues on the website. Mark Frauenfelder, founder of Boing Boing, has joined me in running the Cool Tools website.

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The New Media Model – Long Tails and Antifragile E-Celebs There’s a new media model forming – long tails, crowds, e-celebs, and anti-fragile business models. “Tech journalists” love to throw around terms like the long tail and anti-fragile, yet no one in journalism understands what is happening. They aren’t that smart, though, so we can’t blame them. Because the media is narrative-driven, truth speakers are not offered jobs at “prestigious” publications. Journalism is also a poor-paying profession. To make it as a writer, you must market to the a niche – the so-called long tail.

Seven futures from New Scientist  I’ve got round to reading the New Scientist‘s 60th anniversary issue, published in November, which tries to look forward in the general direction of 2076. There are 14 short “What If…” essays, on everything from “What if we engineer new life forms?” (we’ll need a ‘kill’ switch) to “What if we found a theory of everything?” (it’s a very slow train coming) to “What if we discover room temperature super conductivity?” How to Balance Power and Love Adam Kahane’s book Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change (Berrett-Koehler, 2010) opens with a quote from one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speeches, his last presidential speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “Power without love,” said King, “is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” This is a concept that business leaders need to understand, because in times of crisis (and afterward), the people of an enterprise are put under a great deal of stress. Many people in major corporations today are still wondering if they will lose their jobs. A system that follows only the impulses of compassion and solidarity (which Kahane calls love) will lose its competitiveness; a system that follows only the impulses of resolve and purposefulness (which he calls power) will sacrifice its people heedlessly and risk its capability for growth and recovery. Kahane is a partner in the small global consulting firm Reos Partners.

Nietzsche & Schopenhauer On Compassion Nietzsche Timothy J. Madigan explains the crucial distinction between compassion and pity. “You want if possible – and there is no madder ‘if possible’ – to abolish suffering; and we? – it really does seem that we would rather increase it and make it worse than it has ever been!”

bloomberg Scientists say we’re now as close to self-destruction as during the height of the Cold War. A group of scientists warn that human civilization is nearer destruction than at any time since 1953. Amid nuclear proliferation, American leadership that dismisses climate change—and in a nod to the 2016 U.S. presidential election—the risk of fake news sparking a crisis, the end is apparently a lot closer than it used to be. The Doomsday Clock, set by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, was reset Thursday to 2.5 minutes until midnight, a change from 3 minutes, where it was set for two years.

Memo to Start-ups: You’re Supposed to Be Changing the World, Rem I did interviews with most of the TechCrunch50 experts backstage and there was a common gripe about the companies launching there: Not enough passion, not enough swinging for the fences, not enough trying to change the world. There were too many people building safe businesses, too many companies just trying to make existing things slightly better, and too many people wanting to be the next, not the next Google. Nothing against Mint, but Silicon Valley wasn’t built on $170 million exits. Web visionaries like Reid Hoffman and Sean Parker struggled to come up with positive feedback on stage.

A Framework for Integrative Thinking about Complex Problems When problems are complex, solutions are imperfect. Actions taken in the face of complexity inevitably come to be associated with a hard to separate mixture of gains, losses, and ambiguities. These gains, losses, and ambiguities, furthermore, are understood and experienced from a variety of perspectives, none of which can justifiably claim to command a total view.

Nietzsche’s breakdown and his view on pity Martin asked: What do you think the horse episode before Nietzsche’s mental breakdown means if we consider it within the context of his philosophy as a whole? His reaction of pity towards an innocent suffering is indeed very surprising after reading his work and it really contradicts the kind of ideal man he wished to be? Answer by Martin Jenkins I think we have to define what Nietzsche means by Pity.

Thesis, antithesis and synthesis: A constructive direction for politics and policy after Brexit and Trump In the heady days of 1989, with communism collapsing and the Cold War seemingly over, the political theorist Francis Fukuyama declared that we were witnessing the "end of history" which had culminated in the triumph of liberal democracy and the free market. Fukuyama was drawing on the ideas of German philosopher Georg Hegel, but of course, history didn’t come to an end, and, as recent events have shown, the Cold War was just sleeping, not dead. Now, following the political convulsions of 2016, we’re at a very different turning point, which many are trying to make sense of. I want to suggest that we can again usefully turn to Hegel, but this time to his idea that history evolves in dialectical ways, with successive phases of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Hegel implied that we should see history, and progress, not as a straight line but rather as a zigzag, shaped by the ways in which people bump into barriers, or face disappointments, and then readjust their course Thesis

How to Build a High Performance Innovation Culture Innovation is the mantra in leadership these days. Isolated innovation efforts abound. Still, most likely, your innovation program will fail, as many do. Not because you’re incapable of good innovation or because you’re lacking a mandate, but because you’ve probably overlooked some fundamental pre-requisites. Is Nietzsche an ethical egoist? Julia asked: Explain why Nietzsche’s philosophy could be considered a version of ethical egoism, where ethical egoism is the belief that a moral act is one that furthers ones own goals and desires. Answer by Martin Jenkins Julia, I suppose Nietzsche’s writings could, to a degree, be described as a variant of ethical egoism.

It's the year's your cybersecurity? What if, in 2020, wearable devices did not care about how many steps you took, and instead were concerned with your real-time emotional state? With networked devices tracking hormone levels, heart rates, facial expressions, voice tone and more, the Internet could become a vast system of “emotion readers,” touching the most intimate aspects of human psychology. What if these technologies allowed people’s underlying mental, emotional and physical states to be tracked – and manipulated?

The Leadership Challenge Model - The Leadership Challenge Workshop Model The Way Leaders establish principles concerning the way people (constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers alike) should be treated and the way goals should be pursued. They create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow. Because the prospect of complex change can overwhelm people and stifle action, they set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives. They unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action; they put up signposts when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there; and they create opportunities for victory. Inspire a Shared VisionLeaders passionately believe that they can make a difference.

Nietzsche on the will to power and the Ubermensch Christopher asked: My “philosophy 101” textbook states that Nietzsche’s conception of the supreme human is a passionate person who has his/her passions under control. This may be so, but this seems to me like pretty low standards for the most supreme people of the human race. Obviously this statement is a generalization as well, but I would imagine that his vision of the Ubermensch would have a lot to do with power.

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