Permanent Impermenance

Permanent Impermenance

While walking this morning in the pre-dawn quiet, I was listening to Neil DeGrasse Tyson talk about the important take aways from the Moon landings; namely, that the moon was formed by a Mars-sized object obliquely hitting the Earth eons ago.

And it got me to thinking, about all the knowledge that is now commonly accepted, uncovered or discovered since the time I was born.

The origin of the Moon (1969-1972). The cause of the demise of the Dinosaurs (1981). The location of the Titanic (1985). The nature of Quasars (early 80s). Too many wonders to enumerate.

But enough to recognize, that as much as we know, or think we know, we can anticipate new and game-changing discoveries racing at us daily.

Simply being able to look at images from Ceres, Pluto, and Charon this year – as well as the closeups from the Rosetta mission – should totally convince us we’re living in amazing times.

Yet – we’ve practically become inured to the wondrous and the incredible.

We walk around with the knowledge of the world at our fingertips. We communicate with each other instantaneously from the far reaches of the globe. We know where we are – to the very meter – through the magic of global positioning satellites. Our cars have cameras, telemetry, and satellite radio.

Why aren’t we more gobsmacked by all – or any – of this?

What would my dad have thought, back in 1962, if he had been given my Buick to drive, or my iPhone to use, or my MacBook to watch a video?

It would have been miraculous.

Today? It’s merely mundane.

As much as we think we’ve seen it all, twenty years from now, our children will wonder what we would have thought of their world. Forty years from now, our grandkids will think the same.

I think about the Buddhist idea of Impermanence – that our existence is transient, evanescent, inconstant.

Our sense of wonderment and ability to be amazed certainly is.

 

Reading about the gas pipeline sending the East Coast into a panic, points out the razor edge we walk, between complacent sleepwalking through our daily routine, and realizing our technological cocoons are paper thin.

And as impermanent as running water.

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Obsolescence, Irrelevance, & Failing to Dream “Big Enough”

Obsolescence, Irrelevance, & Failing to Dream “Big Enough”

Yesterday saw the announcement of a coming new iPhone (the iPhone 7), with much of the attention across social media given over to the lack of a headphone jack, coupled with expensive new wireless earbuds (“Air Buds”, @ $160 a pair), that will soon be lost in a washing machine near you.

“Courageous?” Or simply idiotic? I can see it both ways.

I mean, I can’t keep up with my wired earbuds, much less multiplying them by two, and then disconnecting them.

One thing it definitely is, though, is audacious. Moxie, chutzpah, and cojones are also words that come to my mind.

Now, traditionally, Apple has been a company that “dreams big.” But – are wireless earbuds “dreaming big” – or just derivative? Will these new accessories soon find their way into the obsolescent dust bin of digital history (along with the 8 track tape, VHS, and – soon – optical media)?

Hey – if I knew that, I wouldn’t be writing this at 6 am; I’d be shorting Apple.

I’m not one to judge; I can look back at many times in my professional life, when I thought I was dreaming big, but soon realized that I hadn’t dreamed quite big enough.

A few years ago I did a technology refresh, one that was a long time coming, and very much needed. It was sizeable in scale – and cost – and so, high visibility, and high stakes.

The refresh came off great. Our users were happy, and our students were happy.

But: we soon came to realize that we had neglected to accommodate an emerging cable standard – HDMI – that would have simplified our classroom AV support, and ended up limiting the number of devices we needed to support without buying additional adapters.

It’s hard – and embarrassing – to go back and retrofit a retrofit that you just completed.

We had not failed to “dream big.” We had failed to “dream big enough.”

In either of my roles as COO or CIO, I’m continually tasked with assessing project proposals that I try to judge not only on their merits, but also on the anticipation of the inevitable change of “facts on the ground”, that will determine whether the decision to move forward will be deemed innovative – or merely irrelevant.

Prescience is in very limited supply among us mere mortals.

All one can really do is try to act with the best facts available at the time, know as much as you can about your audiences and your working environment, and trust your instincts.

We can recognize obsolescence clearly, when it’s staring us in the face, in the immediate now – but we’re blind to its lurking presence, merely a few steps into the future.

Dream big.

But dream big enough.

How to Use Youtube Live Streaming for Free Lecture Capture | Eduhacker

How to Use Youtube Live Streaming for Free Lecture Capture | Eduhacker

Don’t panic, there is still a free lecture-capture solution for everyone.

Source: How to Use Youtube Live Streaming for Free Lecture Capture | Eduhacker