On the Soul-Sustaining Necessity of Resisting Self-Comparison and Fighting Cynicism–Maria Popova recently delivered the 2016 commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication. She began with a little observation of riding her bicycle (how she travels within New York City) and being overtaken by a man on a motorized bike. Here’s a little of what she said about that and just a little more. For the rest, visit her Brain Pickings blog site. You will never go wrong reading her curated content.
[A]s he cruised past me, I realized the guy was on an electric bike. I felt both a sort of redemption and a great sense of injustice — unfair motorized advantage, very demoralizing to the honest muscle-powered pedaler. But just as I was getting all self-righteously existential, I noticed something else — he had a restaurant’s name on his back. He was food delivery guy. He was rushing past me not because he was trying to slight me, or because he had some unfair competitive advantage in life, but because this was his daily strife — this is how this immigrant made his living.
My first response was to shame myself into gratitude for how fortunate I’ve been — because I too am an immigrant from a pretty poor country and it’s some miraculous confluence of choice and chance that has kept me from becoming a food delivery person on an electric bike in order to survive in New York City. And perhaps the guy has a more satisfying life than I do — perhaps he had a good mother and goes home to the love of his life and plays the violin at night. I don’t know, and I never will. But the point is that the second I begin comparing my pace to his, my life to his, I’m vacating my own experience of that spring day and ejecting myself into a sort of limbo of life that is neither mine nor his.
Kiplinger’s Tech Alerts—an informative newsletter we get as a Kiplinger’s magazine subscriber. You too can get it if you sign up for it. Here’s a couple small samples from their May 11, 2016 mailing: For the whole article, click here.
More and more cities, including small cities and towns, are getting smarter, using sensors, Internet connectivity and data analytics to track traffic flow, air quality, waste collection needs and more. Sensors on traffic lights in Pittsburgh, for example, have reduced rush hour commute times by 25%. Other projects aim to lower crime with improved street surveillance and to better target waste collection and other city services.
Drones could replace $127 billion worth of business services and labor in the near future, according to a new report by PwC. The top industries for drone use are construction, agriculture and transportation. But drones will also lead to a new job category for people: Drone consultant.
What happens if a self-driving car hits a pedestrian? Oftentimes pedestrians struck by a car get two impact injuries–one from the vehicle and the second when they hit the pavement or some other unyielding object. So here’s what Google is thinking, according to an article in CNN Money:
The company wants to coat autonomous vehicles with a sticky substance so that if they hit a pedestrian, the person would be glued to the car instead of flying off.
“[The pedestrian] is not thrown from the vehicle, thereby preventing a secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object,” says the patent.
There’s more to the story; you will want to read it.
44 Fabulous Writer’s Conferences in June 2016—If you’re an aspiring writer (or even a perspiring one 😉 ) you may want to check out the list on Erica Verrillo’s Publishing and other Forms of Insanity blog. As she says,
Writing conferences offer so much to writers – master classes, opportunities to talk to authors, pitch sessions with agents, as well as workshops covering every aspect of writing and publishing. In addition, you get to share experiences with other writers – in the flesh!
If you can’t make one of the June events, the site regularly posts new conferences and plenty of other information helpful to writers. Most of these conferences recur annually, so if you miss one of these, mark it on your to do list for next year.
20 Tech Hacks That Will Make You Feel Like a Boss There’s more than a little overstatement to the title of this article, but everyone wants to simplify life and reduce clutter right? These tips are really simple. It that’s all it take to make you feel like a boss, more power to you. On the other hand, if you look at some of the photos, you will wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself. (Maybe you already did). Most cost little or nothing/ They do offer simple ways to deal with things like cords all over the place, charging your devices, etc. Here’s a sample to give you an idea of what’s there:
Make your own earbud holder using an empty thread spool: