Items Of Interest — #3

Another round of the items I found worth of short mention in the past week or so:

While personal online privacy and security (Yes, Virginia. You can and should have both.) continues to be an topic worthy of our discussion, I enjoyed this breakdown by Ben Brooks of how to best encrypt your stuff against “Starbucks Hacker Bob”. It might not protect you from the real spooks but it should help you in most public spaces.

Jack Cheng recently wrote one of the most insightful things on creativity I’ve read in a while. It is the idea that many of are motivated to create out of a desire to be loved. Yet, it is this desire that in fact keeps us from creating great art. That, great art is created out of the desire to love.

Here’s a very interesting post about Pope Francis’s daily meditation practice. It is a Jesuit twice-daily mindfulness practice called the examen, which is, as the name suggests, a quick examination of your state of mind.

While we are speaking of meditation and Catholicism, Pacem in Terris (which translates to ‘Peace on Earth’) is a Franciscan hermitage that is just a couple of hours away from me. I’m not Catholic (which is OK because they welcome all), but I would love to spend a two or three days alone here. I put it on my wish list.

Memez is a new iPhone game that looks like an interesting mashup of Tetris and puzzles.

Today, I’ll be doing all I can to attend the book signing for my friend Kelly’s latest book in the Fallen Blade series, Blade Reforged. I’ve read the first two in the series and they are fantastic. Now, I’m going to get the rest.

Have a great weekend!

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The Revolution Won’t Have To Be Televised

The old guard has not learned that yet. They still believe in a world where, if they don’t cover it, no one will find out. That the truth only exists the way they wish to tell it, when they wish to tell it, if they wish to tell the truth at all.

We on the ground know that time is long since past. That we don’t need them to televise revolutions and that there is no such thing as a local story. We know that history is best told by those who are living it and we have the tools to hear directly from the source.

We know that what seems to them like a tiny protest in another country is the spark of a full scale revolt. Even if their media does not cover it. We hear the truth the media doesn’t tell. We see the photos. We hear the news. And we watch it unfold in real time.

We know what seems to them as a lone whistle blower and a bad PowerPoint presentation to us is the hint of something deeper. The chink in the armor reveals the weakness within. And while they are focused on who and where the whistleblower is, the ‘we now informed’ are talking about who we are as a nation and what happened to the rights we are guaranteed (and what price is high enough to give them away).

What was to them was a lone state legislator’s opposition to a state bill not really worth covering, was to us a national story. While the old guard ignored the news, 100,000 people watched the live stream and millions monitored realtime coverage on social media. When they tried to change the rules or bend the truth, tens of thousands caught them in the act, called them on it, and forced them to change their tune.

There are no longer international stories, national stories, and local stories. There are only stories. Their power determines their reach and we decide their importance. The revolutions will not have to be televised because they no longer decide what they are. We do.

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Things I Need To Write

In no specific order…

  • Something to write with. What that is matters little. As long as I can put words onto/into… Something with… Whatever. I have my preferences, sure. Recently, that has been a pen and a perfectly blank page. But, I’ve been known to use other tools as well. Any tool will do.

  • Time. I need the time to think, clear my head, consider my thoughts and how best to express them, and do the writing. Not all in that order or all at once. Sometime these actions may take weeks. Other times, seconds.

  • Love. I need to love the act of writing and love what I’m writing about. I find it stiflingly difficult otherwise. I think many may be surprised just how many days I find little love in either. That said, when I do, it is magic.

  • Nutrition. I’m hypoglycemic so I get very hazy and disoriented when I don’t have proper fuel. It makes it difficult to do most things and, writing, especially so.

  • Life. I have to live one. With things to observe and people to have conversations with and lessons to learn through experience. Without these I have nothing worth writing about.

I lay this out because I’ve been battling illness for the past few weeks now. First a cold-like virus and, recently, a stomach flu. I wanted to remind myself that I need all of the items above to do my best work. That the absence of any of the above means it either will not happen or will not happen well. And, that, most days that’s just fine.

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