But what’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander and even if you’re not a member of one of the cultures on the receiving end of the jackboot today, the fact that the jackboot exists means that it may be used against you in future. Beware of complacency and apathy; even if you think you are protected by privilege, nobody is immune.
Exercise when and where you want. Simple training in just 30 seconds.
The world’s gone mad.
There comes a time when someone has to ask: what the fuck is going on?
My thoughts are with the family of the teen who was murdered. I am also sad for the people of Ferguson, Missouri, who just realized they lived in jail.
Good night, and good luck.
Absolutely genius, as they said.
Re-thinking my social internet life
Tumblr just sent me a mail announcing that Attila’s Den, this blog, just turned 4 years old. At the same time, I’m coming back from a log-deserved holiday (seriously, it had been two years since I last took some real time off), where I haven’t used the internet for social media purposes at all. Meaning all my timelines went out of control (Twitter, Tumblr, ADN, mainly): this was okay, I survived, and it brings a few thoughts to mind.
First thing first, while I’m going to keep blogging here, with a few changes planned in the near future, I’m going to be off social media essentially. The main reason is that I don’t have time for it, really. The other reason is at ADN is slowly fading away, and… see, I am now convinced that ADN is what the future of social media should have been. For various reasons, particularly the fact it was not free, it has not taken off. This is why we cannot have nice things. Facebook has never had any value for me, I simply don’t give a damn. Twitter has now little value to me, and I find it really annoying actually. I have tried to get back to it, but cannot find anything interesting in it, even with using Tweetbot that does not let my timeline polluted by ads. The official twitter apps are just terrible, and my time is too precious to read or watch ads. It boils down to one main point: there is no value in social networks because there is not enough quality, and extracting quality means a lot of work on my side, piecing back all fragments into something that has value. This is not my job, this is some journalist’s job.
Time is the essence. Time is everything. I am now again a company owner 1, check IanXen, on top of being a prof in an university, and am working two full shifts everyday. I am still married (Ivanna supports me, still), and need to spend as much time as I can with our two kids. And I’d rather spend thirty more minutes with them everyday than working or playing with social media. So, what’s staying? Everything is much the same, except I won’t post regularly or read my timelines. I’m probably going to spend a little time to block everything that doesn’t bring immediate value - read, news - to me. That means, muting a lot of my timelines. I will keep interacting by DMs, of course. The DM feature of ADN remains one of my main communication avenues, it’s really good. My blog stays alive. My social accounts are taken care of by my various teams, and I’ll seldom post to the personal ones @davmendels from now on. And then, the one essential thing that is staying is RSS. See, despite what a lot of people said when Google tried to kill RSS, it remains pretty much alive. For me, it is part of those early things that make the internet great. The internet, as it stands, does not need to be re invented. Nor do social media, or communication means. For news and updates, I don’t need Facebook, Twitter or anything else: consuming my RSS feed in Unread every morning is a joy. For everything else, I have email (and hate it, but let’s face it, it’s still the best way to send large messages which we are sure are received and read) and DMs, and that’s good enough.
technically Cognoscens still exists, but it’s mainly to keep its IP - all its financial operations are paused for an unknown time. ↩
Interesting take on Indonesia’s situation. I see more uncertainty than the author, though. For example, a proclamation of the shariah (Islamic law) would result in the instant disintegration of that patchwork of societies, cultures and religions.
Let us all hope for the best.
FACEBOOK: Hi, I’m Facebook.
ME: Nice to meet you, I’m Ryan.
FACEBOOK: What’s your last name? Where do you live? When were you born? What’s your phone number? Is that work or mobile? Can I have your work number too?
ME: Facebook, I just met you.
FACEBOOK: This is what friendship is to me.
Hmmm. Ha ha ha
Wait, there’s crypto on Android?
Using cutting edge diagnostic tech, we will eradicate malaria from an entire Indonesian island.
I have just started the afore-mentioned on Indiegogo, and rather than just pushing it and asking my followers to give, I thought I would offer a bit of background. IanXen is a company that I have co-funded some three months ago, set in London, with our research lab in Jakarta, where I still live and chair the center of mobile, micro and nanotechnology at Surya University.
One of the specifics of creating a laboratory and center from scratch is that we start from zero. I had done that previously for nanomaterials and microfluidics, but experience helping decided that my next activity should be focused at the interfaces between those domains and mobile technologies. So, two years ago, I set to redefine what my research would be for the next ten, and one main fact struck me: the iPhone in my pocket now has the power exceeding that of a $30k workstation ten years ago. And yet, it is only used for (futile) things such as social media and gaming. That was, and remains, a lot of power that is not used or misused. So, apart from obvious activities in new types of education, I decided to start looking at the best ways to use that computing power. And since I was free to pick the problems I wanted to solve, I started to look for problems around me. Malaria came at the top of the list. It kills children for no reason: we do have the drugs to cure it if it is diagnosed early enough, and there are a lot of campaigns to eradicate it. Diagnosis remained an issue, and I thought that the iPhone could help.
Now is a good time to watch the video of the campaign. In short, over the past two years, I have researched and found some filters and image recognition techniques that enable fast identification of red blood cells infected by malaria parasites. The method works with a simple microscope attachment on the iPhone, it is dead cheap as it replaces the most expensive part of the traditional microscopy analysis: the microscopist. I do love the method, because it does not try to reinvent the wheel, and any practitioner familiar with malaria diagnostic can understand the method. It is the same as the old method, only smarter and way faster. In some famous words: "it just works".
We are now at a point where we have three prototypes working similarly, have demonstrated that they work in the lab on sets of standard microscope slides, have plans to manufacture more, and are raising some funds for the company to operate properly. Yes, it is a company. Yes, it is socially conscious: even though established as a business that needs to be sustainable, we needed to have a proper business structure to continue developing the research and product by reinvesting profits in a smart and efficient way… and the kind of reach we want for the technology can only be achieved by a business or a very large NGO. And yes, we have applied for various sources of public funding. Now, because we are in a hurry to have our first field tests, we are opening this Indiegogo campaign. I hope it will succeed. There is so much that we can do in that sense, if you think about it my way: by just having a microscope a tad more powerful than the one we have at the moment, we will be able to achieve roughly 90% of the needs for diagnostics in the field for countries which cannot afford them, at a tiny fraction of the current costs.
I believe that Future is awesome. I believe that no parent should have to survive his children for problems we have a solution for.
As always, you can reach me directly on twitter @davmendels if you have any questions or ask me anything here. If you don’t want to contribute or can’t, I will definitely appreciate a repost/retweet ;-). Thanks in advance,