Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let The Randomness Commence

My Hero:

Warren Buffet is my new hero because he wrote a statement titled "Stop Coddling the Super Rich" in which he claims that he would like the United States government to tax him and the other super wealthy more in order to make America a better place to live.  Go Warren!

No, I don't know of a bird named Kevin.
I'm fairly certain that Paradise Falls is a fictional place.
Does anyone have a question that does not relate to the movie Up?

Here is the full text of Buffett's opinion piece.

Fancy Book Learnin':

I'm tempted to sign up for the free online Stanford Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) course that starts on October 10, 2011 because it might be a way to interact with intelligent people.  Actual A.I. strikes me as being a pipe dream but researching the subject might lead me to learn something useful.  Here is what the New York Times has to say about the course.  Here is a link to the course web site.

Come with me if you want to learn

The New York Times article also references the Khan Academy web site that features thousands of video tutorials on all sorts of smart things as the inspiration for the pair of professors that will be putting together the Stanford A.I. course.  From what little poking around on the site I've done, the videos seem to focus primarily on covering math and science for middle school age folks.  I might watch some of these to fill in the gaps left by my public school education at some point in the future.

Also, Stanford is offering a free online course that provides an introduction to database software, which also sounds intriguing.

Quest for the Perfect Coffee Shop:

I've begun a quest to find Southern California's best coffee shop.  I'm trying to find the following:
  • Free WiFi (a must have)
  • Good view (the ocean, beach goers, a park, an urban location if there is either a lot of foot traffic or a dramatic view)   
  • Upgraded furniture inside (granite, comfy sofas, wrought iron, etc.)
  • Employees that don't bother me if I want to post up with my computer/ notebook/ book for hours
  • Oh, and coffee that tastes good would be nice
Adbusters has long written about the power of coffee shops as a gathering point for individuals looking to create a positive change in the way the world work.  Perhaps it's time for me to find a coffee shop.

Updated on July 7, 2012: 

Sir, you're doing it wrong:

Missing the point of mobile computing

I was a little shocked to see this well dressed man (note his white collar shirt, tie and what can't be seen in this photo is his suit jacket that matches his pants) walk into Starbucks carrying a bulging backpack.  He sat down and started breaking out all of the above.  My first reaction is that when you're wearing a suit you should probably be able to just use your smartphone these days and ask someone else at your office to do anything that requires a physical keyboard.  Apparently, this guy didn't get that memo. I think the craziest thing about his setup is the fact that he plugged a full sized keyboard into his laptop at a coffee shop.  If the built-in keyboard and trackpad don't work, why not just buy another computer I thought.  How is it that he seems to have the money to buy a decent suit but not $300 for a netbook?

End update

Hello Little Boys and Little Girls:

Yesterday, I saw several dozen kids playing on a basketball court below where the cardio equipment at the gym where I workout overlooks.  Before I began getting my heart rate up, the kids had already covered the surface of the court in chalk drawings that resembled a mind map or visual outline with circles and squares connected by lines.  Inside each of the circles and squares the children had written words- simple labels of locations or results.

The children had drawn and labeled a "Mountain" connected by a line 
labeled "Rope Bridge" to a circle labeled "City" with a line drawn to a jagged
edged object with the word "Dynamite" inside.  Coming off of the mountain in
another direction was an oval labeled "Cave"

Looking at the court it was impossible for me to determine where the game/ story that the children had been telling/ playing began.

I would have liked to have taken a photo of the court with my cell phone but the thought of having to explain to the Director of the kids summer activity program or someone's parent why I was snapping photos of their children prevented me from doing so.

What struck me about the children's drawings were the similarities between the structure of what the children were doing and the structure of links on the internet.  The choose-your-own-adventure style of fiction that merged storytelling with game play renewed my interest in a project that I've been gathering material for during the course of the last several years.  I'm now thinking of pushing forward with publishing a choose-your own-adventure style fictional story online.  I'm planning to set the story in the contemporary world and to take advantage of the capability of the internet to transmit text, photos and video in order to tell what I hope will be a compelling story.


  1. Khan academy is pretty sweet. I have it bookmarked for whenever I have spare time and want to learn.

  2. I am really glad to see people like Warren. He is in the process of giving away nearly all of his wealth, and can't stand to see the average man having so much trouble! Very classy.

  3. People like Warren make me happy.

    Do it, meat smart individuals, it'll bring good to your life!

    You should start your own coffee shop. Your rules, make it perfect.

    Kids are smarter than we make them out to be.

  4. I think a wealth tax would be pretty beneficial for any country that adopts it. But, the super wealthy are the people who run the countries, so i doubt they'll pass any laws that negatively effect them.

  5. Hey dude, you want to give work to my brain. Good luck.
    And regarding your comment in my blog,
    "I'll tune in tomorrow but only if the revenge involves cannibalism ;)"
    - I bet you already knew about greek mommies,didnt you?

  6. Thats the world's greatest investor!

  7. warren buffet is kinda my hero as well :D

  8. This course looks interesting, but it starts in the month that my actual uni exams begin, so it's doubtful. I also want a nice coffee shop to just go chill at. That would be awesome.

  9. The kids on the playground thing is interesting. I wonder how kids are affected psychologically by the ubiquity of internet access that wasn't around as much when I grew up.

  10. damn i have a lot more appreciation for warren now. what a guy!

  11. I agree with buffet sadly hes one of the few honest super rich when talking about tax rates. as many of them and asking them to pay a single percent is akin to "class warfare" sadly they don't feel the same way about taxing the rest of us or cutting programs many Americans need just to get by