Aging, loss and being a father

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ways we could make the world a better place. I suspect that is as much be being a father as it is me being a “futurist.” Dad’s worry about things like where will my kids end up and will they be happy. It comes with the injection they give you right after you hold your kid for the first time.

So what does the future hold? For many years I believed in the old song “Que Sera Sera” whatever will be will be. But I’ve come recently to realize there is a missing pause in that statement. A momentary glimpse caused by a pause rather than a simple statement without the pause.

Whatever will be, (pause, wait for affect check your watch hold your breath smile) will be. It’s almost a fatalistic view when you add the pause (pre-determined, told, made so, destiny). You see in that pause we are all uncomfortable. We all live in that pause. That is the line between what is, and what will be.

I’ve lost a friend to something every decade of my life except the first one. I was sixteen when one of my friends died of Aids. From there every 10 years was filled with a death. Is death what will be? Of course it is, we all die at some point. This life we live ends. We move to something else (pending of course your personal belief system) that is hopefully better. But this life ends.

So the pause is critical. The pause defines us as human beings. The pause is what makes us human.

Our oldest dog is 15 years old. She joined our family in Cincinnati Ohio and has moved with us twice (once in Cincinnati and then to Indianapolis). She is blind now and can barely make it out of the bedroom. She still comes out to share the family popcorn (she was, when younger able to snatch popcorn kernels 4 and 5 feet off the ground in a graceful leaping catch). But she is fading. You can see less light in her eyes now as she struggles to stand up. It is the covenant she and I signed when she joined our family. I will protect you.

I wonder what will be.

I do not wish my fear to make Gwen suffer. But I do not wish to make that choice that people make to end the suffering yet. Whatever will be, will be.

 

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What would Aliens think of my blog?

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My two page a day habit.

It started out as a New Year’s resolution – blog more often nearly 4 years ago. I have now published (between my two blogs) 1500 + posts. Or figure roughly 750 days of dual posting. That is more than 2 years of dual posting.

Its gotta be a nasty habit!

I once wrote “Poets who read their poems out loud may have other nasty habits” I wonder how that equates to people who blast their semi-conscious (well in my case as I write this at 6 in the morning) thoughts to the universe.

What would aliens think reading this blog about blogging as a nasty habit I do every morning. What would they believe blogging to be?

Thoughts like tendrils of a giant squid floating in the ocean with no connection to the squid. What are they? What does blogging mean? Imagine the puzzled look on the poor aliens faces as they struggle to figure out what the tendril actually was and how it connected and worked. My blog, Alien Confuse System!

Non-serious ending:

Best Movies I’ve watched (some for the second time) in the past month

  • The King’s Speech
  • Outsourced
  • The A-Team (watched with the boys can’t help myself)

Thanks for reading!

(For any aliens trying to figure out this blog, I’ve embedded a secret message).

.doc

Putting the Syncverse down and going to bed

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I’ve been working on the Syncverse and its components now for more than 5 months. It is now away (nearly 120 posts on the topic) for awhile as I edit and clean it up. I will have to send it to my agent for shopping around to book sellers.

Today I would like to focus on an interesting comment made – are you a professional simply because it is in your auto-signature?

That is a chicken and egg question. If you have a high school diploma, are you a high school graduate? yes. Is your high school diploma the same as the person next to you? Possibly if you came from the same state and graduated around the same time. Laws change and requirements change as well over time.

The process of accreditation helps us realize our goal of being recognized as a professional. For software architecture today there are really only two ways of achieving that (open groups boards and the IASA CITA-P boards). That is the recognition that allows you to say “I am a certified Architect”

But the other side of the question is are you not an architect if you don’t have a certification? The answer to that is simple today: you are still an architect.

Ten years from now, however, my hope is that the answer would be no, you are not an architect if you aren’t certified. The argument now is how do we get there.

Thanks for the comment!!

 

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Syncverse, “The End”

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The End

The end is a new beginning. I heard that once during a presentation (also not at the very end of the book, although in both cases the end was/is very near). You begin with promise, connecting and syncing all of my multimedia devices (and for that matter your multimedia devices also) and you end with a dream (building a Syncverse that will hopefully contribute to making this world a better place).

Change however is the variable humans both despise and frankly are afraid of as well. In January 2011 there was a study published by a scientist saying that it was too late to stop the impact of global warming. He wrote in the article that we should “get used to change now.” Climate changes caused by years of releasing carbon dioxide into the air were inevitable.

Yet you still hear arguments against global warming. Arguments that scientists are making the information up, or that human beings didn’t cause the problem. Go to any major city located near a river and look at the river. They look disgusting. Litter on the shores, the water discolored and you don’t see many fish. Humans have change the world forever. This of course could be for the best if something else is born of this. Change can produce good as well as bad.

The problem is well the number of people working on the problem. You have two significant camps of people the first are the scientists trying to solve the problem. If we were to implement the changes that are the Syncverse we could increase the number of eyes looking at the problem. The more eyes that view the problems the greater our chance that the scientist saying it is too late, is wrong.

Of course there always remains the broad problem of “ignorance is bliss.” Ignorance is a word that drives me up the wall. I’ve heard people call other people “ignorant and dumb” for years. But the very use of the word ignorant is often uninformed. A person who is dumb cannot through a physical, emotional or physiological issue speak. It truly has nothing to do with intelligence. Stupid or uninformed comes closer to what people are trying to say, it’s that in truth you haven’t been exposed to the information needed to make a good decision.

Enter the Syncverse again, not only a way to take big problems with lots of people, now an effective way to get a 360 degree view of issues, problems and questions around us. It is never about the decision you make, it is about the information you use to make that decision. The Syncverse becomes a tool for helping us change the world. With fingers crossed (and your toes, my toes and several million other people’s fingers and toes) this could be a better way to solve some of the nagging questions raised and discussed in this book and many other books.

To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a world where people are judged not for the way they look or the color of their skin but for the contents of their minds. To change the intent of Aldus Huxley’s line “ah what a brave new world to have people such as this (in it)” making it a positive. That world is a better place because we have all connected. We have the information we need to solve the problems we face and millions of minds thinking about those problems.

Can we face a future with unlimited potential? Oh yeah, and synchronize all my media files so I can have them on every device!

Syncverse Essays number 12, a tribute to Dr. King

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12. The freedom of information equality

(Written in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jan. 2011)

What is to be “taken” from a human life? Not taken in the forcible sense of removing something that person has. Rather a measure of a human being. What is the measure of a human being? I’ve asked (and attempted to answer that before) but this time I wish to move down a different path. Dr. King had a dream that his children would one day walk down the street and be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their minds. It wasn’t his grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren that he wished this dream for, it was his children. So potentially in Dr. Kings life expectancy or figure 20 to 30 years at the most beyond 1969. That puts us smack in the middle of the internet revolution.

Except the revolution never really happened or it wasn’t ever really a revolution. You see as I have said before is the concept of information. It still isn’t free and it certainly isn’t equal. There are firewalls and rules that prohibit the free sharing of information. Educational systems still aren’t unified (which is critical for everyone having an equal starting point). We really haven’t moved closer to the equality Dr. King spoke of.

Women are still treated as second class citizens frequently and far worse than second class in some parts of the world. We still pay someone more money to dunk a basketball than the person who taught them the fundamental components of basketball. The world news is dominated by acts of cruelty against other human beings.

Dr. King asked that his children someday have a chance to be judged by the contents of their minds. Not for their skin color or geographic location or nationality. To judge or take from a single life only the thoughts that person creates. Measure us by what we think. Then our actions will be against another person who thinks, breathes and lives just like us. We are all children of the lesser god (to steal a line from the wonderful play). We live in a world where sunshine is measured and controlled and thus we cannot grow to our full potential.

Dr. King we heard your message. A great society throughout the world where the thoughts of others are measured and valued as important as your own thoughts and never less regardless of where those thoughts come from. Can you kill another if they are your peer?

We move down your path Dr. King. But it is a long and winding road. It is our dream that we someday get there. In building the dream that is the Syncverse Dr. King was an inspiration. If we all start from the same place then where we end up may be so far beyond our sight that a new day dawns and all are equal.

 

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More Travelverse Functions

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Disconnect Service

There are times when you simply want to disconnect from the world. The disconnect service allows you to call forward your cellular phone to a service that can intercept all calls. If it is an urgent call the user can be contacted at the hotel or by entering a special pin to transfer the urgent call to their cellular phone directly.

· Follows the rules of the Myverse for contacts

· Structured answering system following the Myverse guidelines of the user

This allows the person to take time off and get away from the world, only interrupting that if there is an emergency (as designated in the Myverse).

Screen Share Function

Allow two people (or more) to share the same screen in booking/planning a vacation or a group event or meeting. This application should take into account screen real-estate, screen performance and device connectivity in allowing for the screens to be saved.

· The solution should support unlimited interactive screens

· The solution should support a single owner screen and other contributing screens

· The system should support any network connected device

The solution needs to be aware of how the team wishes to interact and support that interaction by allowing for the two sharing scenarios. Finally the solutions should allow any network connected device access to the sharing scenario.

Sharing should include interactive and managed connections. An interactive connections means the connected person can make changes that everyone can see. In the managed connections only the leader sees the changes with the option of accepting or declining all changes.

 

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Travelverse design v1

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Travelverse Design
Requirements

1. Follow the existing Myverse rules and processes

2. Be both a Myverse and a location application (when there is no connection to the internet)

3. Allow for user authorized, but user not present interventions when there are issues and the user is in flight or unavailable

4. Allow for minimal change to the interface for ease of use

The Myverse Application requirements include:

· Know the hotels I have status on

· Know the airlines I have status on

· Know the care company I have status with

· If I don’t have status but the cost difference is significant, apply for a point’s or identification card for me on that system

· Allow me to override any choices at any time

The Myverse application needs to be smart and effective at managing your travel. Where possible questions need to be answered once (potential or preferably during the setup process) and then only changed or altered if the user overrides the automated response.

Travel Templates

· The Myverse application should automatically produce templates for any travel booked so the user can simply say rebook a trip like x to x.

· The templates should include all relevant information

· The template should be offered as is, or with user specified changes

The templates should live in the Myverse but be synced with the local application. Templates should be used/leveraged whenever possible in building trips. If the trip is a net new trip to a new location, the preferences built into the Myverse should make the new travel experience as close to the template process as possible.

The Local Application should include:

· Device and screen awareness

· My complete itinerary

· Ability to change that itinerary locally and update my agenda and the airline/hotel/car company of the change

Just like in the Myverse the settings and preferences should be setup when the application is installed. The application should be configured as a linked application with the Myverse and allow and contain all of the relevant information for any specific travel (present, past or future as required by the user).

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Travelverse and “making some money”

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Travelverse income

1. Hotels that pay to be a part

2. Car Rental companies that participate in the program

3. Airlines that pay to be a part

4. Users that pay to participate

5. Companies that pay to participate for their employees.

6. Advertisers

7. Local or regional governments for tourism

8. Tourism or other bureaus

9. Groups that wish to offer their members travel packages

10. Organizations that provide services or support other countries, regions etc. during times of disaster (red cross) or other forms of financial and in person support organizations

11. Local businesses that wish to promote their location and store

Making money isn’t the problem in the various business and professional ‘verses. The cost reductions and savings from the Travelverse will make it cost effective for users and companies to sign up. The structured occupancy will help airlines and hotels plan their workforce and other resource planning.

Advertisers will again have a focused “opt-in” audience that is more receptive to purchasing or hearing advertisements about the products they are selling. Local and regional governments have a number of options that they can consider. They can offer access to local shelters, provide tourism information and support for travelers who have come upon a difficult situation. All of these would be chargeable services from the Travelverse to the specific user or organization.

Traveling Green Packages

Organizations like Green Peace and PETA can offer travel packages to locations that don’t participate or condone the things the organization protests against. There are a number of areas where these types of organizations can offer packages to their members as both a reduced cost travel package and as a fund rather for the organization.

1. Save the whales tour

2. Help rebuild the rainforest

This allows the organization to provide their members with a view into what they are supporting. At the same time these can be used as organizational fund raisers (which they use these for today) while opening them up to non-members or potential new members as well.

Expedition Packages

Organizations that participate in and support outdoor activities can sponsor expedition packages or for that matter adventure packages.

1. Climb specific mountains

2. See specific ruins or wonders (the pyramids, Machu Picchu)

3. Great writers of Europe tour

4. Great writers of Asia tour

Tours could include Africa or Chicago each providing a specific type of safari experience (it’s a jungle going up and down the Miracle Mile around Christmas in Chicago). Additionally these organizations could provide both educational and other experiences much as they do today, the value add being they can pay less to advertise and yet reach a broader audience of people who would in the end be more interested and engaged.

 

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More on the Travelverse

 

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles[1]

The two worst words you can hear when in an airport “flight cancelled” of course there is always the “flight delayed” which is the second worst thing you can hear. With the Travelverse we have the auto-rerouting process that will get you on the next flight. However what if you are in a time crunch and need to be somewhere at a certain time.

Now we have a rerouting engine that will support getting you to where you need to be, in the time you need to be there. While airplanes seem to dominate the world of personal and business travel there are a number of other method’s to get from pint a to point b. You can take a bus, catch an Amtrak train rent a car, switch to a boat or even charter a smaller plane or jet. All of these are options. They are often forgotten as it is so much easier to just go to the airport and wait then it is to switch transportation modes on the fly, but if it is an automated system that does it for you, it is not as painful and best of all you get there on time!

Shipping Service

The Travelverse will offer small luggage scales for all hotels that join the system. These scales will be used to weigh the traveler’s bags as they check out. Overage can be then boxed (items the traveler doesn’t need if they are traveling to another location rather than home) and shipped to their home or office. This will reduce the bag fees and other additional costs for the traveler.

Travelverse income

1. Hotels that pay to be a part

2. Airlines that pay to be a part

3. Users that pay to participate

4. Companies that pay to participate for their employees.

5. Advertisers

6. Local or regional governments for tourism

7. Tourism or other bureaus

8. Local businesses that wish to promote their location and store

Making money isn’t the problem in the various business and professional ‘verses. The cost reductions and savings from the Travelverse will make it cost effective


[1] “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” A Movie starring Steve Martin and John Candy involving two people trying to get home, and failing at every stop.

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Travelverse Pre-Packaged Services

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Pre-Packaged Travel Services:
Travel Tracking

An area where you can post where you have been and where you want to go for those you allow access to see. This would also allow the system to search for deals on trips to places you would like to go. As it would be a part of your Myverse, you would control complete access to this area.

Sights and Sounds

When new travel is booked or a new city is added to the tracking area (see travel tracking) the system can offer you the connection to the Citizenverse for that region or area. This can be toggled on or toggled off and can be tied to your arrival, where you will be and any other function that you wish.

Picture Service

Forget your camera? Well you sign up for picture service and you have a camera in every Travelverse destination. In fact the service can offer you a set of free photos from the places you visit from the photo archive as well.

Coat Service

The last time I traveled to India it was 86 when I landed (degrees F) but it was 28 when I took off from Indiana and 24 in Frankfurt where I had my primary layover. So I was alternately roasting and freezing. The coat service will allow you to have a loaner coat if needed when you land. With this service you can register to have a coat available rather than carrying one with you.

Flight Change Service

An extra value service that is provided to top airline mileage members is automatic flight rescheduling. If your flight is ever delayed the system will provide alternative routes and flights for your confirmation when you land. This would normally be done by a text (SMS) or voice message sent the minute the phone is on. Additionally if there are a number of options this could be an application in the Myverse designed to give you choices. Of course the reality is that the airlines will always allow their top or most frequent fliers the first reroute, but this application reduces the number of people standing in line waiting for help.

Hotel Change Service

If you book a hotel that has an issue, the system will automatically change the hotel and notify you that there was a problem with the original reservation. In filling out the preferences for this application in your Myverse you would include likes and dislikes about hotels (lots of noisy kids, beds that are lumpy, renovation of the hotel, construction near the hotel, far away from where you want to be etc.). This process would allow you to have a better traveling experience.

Print or other business services

How many times have you landed in a strange city and needed to print and collate your presentation? Or you need to print out your proposal or some other service like you forgot a file you needed? With this service there would be connections made to print shops so that they could be prepared for what you need or, offer FTP or other files services so that you can get what you need.

 

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