Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Musings

A beautiful day by the river!


The weather here has been amazing! Plus I also have a regular job which is great!

I’m temping at MIT for a professor as his assistant in their Media Lab (He invented the trackpoint on keyboards and mice, which is about all I know about his work). He seems really demanding so I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep up with all his work. All of last week was very hectic because it was the Media Lab’s sponsorship week meaning all their sponsors from IBM, Pepsi, etc came in to see what the lab groups have been working on. One of the grad students even asked me why I started last week b/c it was going to be hell. Great impression huh. To top it off, the desk they sat me at was super messy. It had piles of papers everywhere with “To do” post-its on them. I spent most of the week filing. Not the most glamorous work I could work in…but it pays $17/hr which makes me happy. I bike to work everyday – it’s a 15-20 min ride and my route is all along the Charles river (at least until we move to our new place in June). It’s very scenic. I also like to think that I get my exercise in each day from my commute. I only ride on the bikes/walk paths b/c the drivers in Boston are really scary. I try to avoid sharing the roads with any cars if at all possible.

Yesterday, Bryan and I went to Earthfest, a festival held at the Hatch Shell by the Charles River. It was sponsored by Wholefoods, etc. Anyways, they had about 4 bands playing at the open venue. What was really cool about the situation was that Bryan and I had just come back from the beach and saw a ton of people by the river while riding the subway home. We turned around and were really glad that we did. We made it to see James Blunt play for an hour set. Los Lonely Boys played after but we didn’t care too much for their music. The highlight of the event for me besides seeing and hearing James Blunt sing was eating all the free food there. This event had the most free samples I’ve ever had at a festival. There was a booth that was giving away whole containers of organic salad, soap made out of goat’s milk, another booth was giving out whole veggie dogs (Bryan was impressed w/ the veggie dogs). At the end of the day, we were given tubs of cottage cheese to take home b/c the booth was closing up. We must of tried 10 different health/energy drinks that day. The Hatch Shell was also very pretty – lots of grass to lay out on and relax.

Bryan has been really busy working and is enjoying working with our other two apartment-mates (pretty cool guys). Even with work though, he still manages to make time to hang out 🙂 He bought a new 24″ LCD monitor and we’re taking full advantage of it by watching movies. Our apartment-mates are funny – they sleep at 4am and wake up at 1pm. Isn’t that a crazy schedule? But they’re both funny and have been really great about taking us into their place. Bryan just met with Mr. Money Bags today (aka. Paul Graham of Y-Combinator) for a one on one at Paul’s house for the first time. He reported good results and a lot of great ideas, Go Bryan!

Oh yeah, we found a great place in Harvard Square that has good Boba tea! Yay – just like home!

I think we can get use to living in Boston – at least for now.

Categories
Musings

new bikes!…well…actually new used bikes!

Do I hear a $5 for this bike? Do I hear $10? $15? $21? Sold for $21 to number 175…

Bryan and I are now both the proud owners of two used bikes, purchased straight from the Cambridge Police Station’s yearly auction. They had about 12 used cars that were auctioned for $700-$1500 and a ton of bikes. We had thought that we’d shell out about $20 for a nice bike but all the really nice bikes were sold for $100-$500, which was definitely outside of our budgets. We had thought that we’d be two of 10 people at the auction, but the whole basement was full of people. The auction also sold some very random stuff like new boxers, a remote controlled toy Hummer, table saw and golf clubs. Everything for auction was either abandoned, unclaimed or stolen. I got a GT bike in OK condition for $21 with perhaps some need of a brake adjustment and Bryan bought a road bike for $25 that looks like it had some work done on it. It was fun waving our auction number card in the air when bidding against others in the room – sort of a rush actually as weird as that might sound. We took our bikes to the local bike shop (Bryan carried his on his shoulder to prevent any damages to his tires) and found out that my bike would cost about $150 to tune up and Bryan’s isn’t in any condition to ride because of the bike frame! This was a bummer to hear. But before leaving the shop, I still managed to buy a bike helmet for $30 and a lock for $30 – both which cost more than my bike might I add! But after returning back to the apartment, we had one of our apartment-mates look at our bikes and was reassured that my new bike would be alright without any work and was a pretty good purchase. He might help me out with adjusting my brakes too! As for Bryan’s bike…we’re going to try to sell that to someone who might want the parts. The auction was still a cool new experience, something we’ll remember for a very long time.

Ooooh yeah, on the way home, Bryan bought a huge box of strawberries and our apartment-mates just bought angel cake and whipped cream….so you know what that means….strawberry shortcake for dessert! Yay! 😀

Categories
Musings

Introducing the blog

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

Categories
Musings

Check out stylfile.com


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

Categories
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!