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Musings

random acts of kindness

My good friend Jono forwarded me this encouraging story and I thought I’d share it:

In the drive-up lane at a Starbucks in Lynnwood, David Haslam reached out for his usual nonfat raspberry latte with two Splendas stirred in, but the barista wouldn’t take his money. “She leaned way out and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but the lady ahead of you paid for your latte. She said she wanted to make your day.'” Events like these don’t typically make news. There’s no Samaritan Index to say whether anonymous good deeds are up 11 percent or down 2 percent from last year, or whether Seattle ranks 7th or 77th in per-capita goodness. But Seattle Times reports that anonymous acts of kindness are catching on!

And why not? A latte sets you back only about $4, but I know I’d pay $4 to get the kind of love of humanity that David must now feel. It’s a net gain – you are exchanging money for a product, but you are creating good will wealth as a free byproduct. I really think this idea could catch on. It kind of reminds me of my staged kindness idea.

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Musings

rewarding trust

I finally got my haircut today.

It’s been a few weeks, and it was starting to look shabby. So I took a stroll to the local barber shop, and waited my turn to go under the knife. Anne was the hair massacurist of the day, she owns the two-seat shop with her sister. Been cutting hair for 20 years. Two decades hence, she worked across the street, and saw the “for sale” sign posted on her current shop. I wonder what it would be like cutting hair for 20 years.

Once the gobbs of hair were successfully detached, I grabbed my wallet, expecting money would await me there. It was somewhere else. One nervous glance at the cash register indicated that they did not indeed take fake money either. I, er, um, could I run down to the ATM? I offered her my cell phone in exchange for her trust.

No, don’t worry about it. Just pay the next time you pass by.

Wow. That’s trust. I really respect that. In a world full of suspicion and mistrust, she gave a stranger the benefit of the doubt. It cost her nothing, but it made me feel great. People need to do this more.

So I headed to the ATM, grabbed some cash, and gave her a 100% tip on the way back. She politely refused, but I told her that I appreciated her trust, and wished more people were like that. And I gave her the tip. It was worth it.

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Musings

If a tree falls in a forest

In both Buddhism and Quantum theory, there’s an interesting shared hypothesis: that our world is created through our conscious interactions with it. As the saying goes, if a tree falls in a forest, it won’t make a sound because it wasn’t observed. In fact, the tree cannot exist without an observer.

This is a pretty crazy statement, but let’s assume it’s true for a moment. And let’s assume we’re part of a computer simulation like the matrix.

For any sufficiently large application, developers must implement some sort of caching to save programming resources for where they are most needed.

Think about it: It would be remarkably inefficient to process areas of the simulation that aren’t being directly observed. Imagine all the pixels needed to render the eruption of a volcano? If no one were observing it, it would make more sense to just render the aftermath.

So are both these theories just arriving at the truth – that we are, in fact, just digital beings inside an efficient computer simulation? Or are all our theories about the world up until now, incorrect? The former just seems so much simpler to me.

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Musings

likebetter update


likebetter and pairwise are going well, now that Louise Crow is here helping Brian and I. We’ve released a ton of new features, and have really been working our behinds off loading new images and enhancing the algorithms. so if you like looking at pictures of really cool things, and dating, check out likebetter.com.

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Musings

likebetter.com relaunched (unofficially)

after much thankless working weeks, Brian and I released likebetter.com. while we expect many more such weeks to come, at least people can see what we’re doing. it’s a social networking and dating site. the *old* likebetter has been moved to morehotter.com, where you rate peoples ‘ pictures.

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Musings

Introducing the blog

Well folks, we’re finally feeling settled in here in Cambridge. Lots of stories to tell, so hang tight.

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Musings

Check out stylfile.com


This is a project of my inventor buddy – it’s a really cool nailfile.

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Musings

Join me at DIYdays SF today

2:15 to 3:15pm
PANEL: The art and science of crowdsourcing
There is power in the crowd. When they rise up they can fund, create, distribute and promote. But how do you turn an audience into an active community where members become collaborators? Panelists: Slava Rubin (indieGoGo), Skot Leach (Lost Zombie), Jason Harris (Mekanism), Bryan Kennedy (Mobmov.org), Blair Erickson (Millions of Us) Discussion Leader: Lance Weiler

I hope you come, it should be an interesting discussion!

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Musings

y-combinator

I just got accepted into y-combinator‘s summer founders program. Got the call at Macaroni Grill with Julia. This is a dream come true!

More to come in the following months.

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Musings

Update: pre-travel hysterics

We’ve hit kinda a roadblock here on the ol travel plans and we haven’t even left.

Last Wednesday, Julia discovered that her passport was missing. We look around both apartments, but nothing turned up. She applied for an emergency passport (for like $500), sent them all the documents they needed on Thursday, and they had it fedexed from Washington DC with a Saturday delivery. We figured we got extremely lucky, in the end, without a moment to spare.

Then this freakish storm overtook the land, it snowed in Berkeley, and blizzarded in Nashville. This being Fedex’s hub, all we can guess is Julia’s replacement passport is now sitting in the land of country music, frozen on a tarmac somewhere.

Which means we have to find her passport in like 3 hours max (plane is at 6:30) or no dice.

Ugh. Wish us luck.

+b

Bryan Kennedy
dictionary: aboutbryan.com
thesaurus: nudal.com