Thoughts on ‘How to Fly a Horse’
Kevin Ashton’s ‘How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery’ by Kevin Ashton [website] is a fine myth-busting attempt in how creation happens. Our stereotypical idea of creation is the ‘ah-ha’ moments and the outsized role of the subconscious or even thoughts that creating something new is the privilege of a chosen few amongst us. Ashton systematically dismantles those myths by citing research studies and historical precedents on the creation process; including the much-vaunted Archimedes ‘Eureka’ moment.
Coming up with a solution or an idea is often the result of hours of deliberation and attempts. There is no god-given gift to a few as is made evident in the story of Edmond, the 12-year-old slave who discovered how to pollinate vanilla; something that’s a big part of multi-billion-dollar industries now.
I had to return my beloved Booq laptop bag when I left my previous job (they asked for it back even though I used it for more than a year). I bought a cheaper Timbuk2 that was highly rated by Wirecutter. But alas, it just didn’t feel the same. I succumbed and finally returned it and bought the Booq.
Our son has been sleepwalking ever since he was two. The doctor tells us that he’ll eventually grow out of it. The first time he did it, he scared the nightlights (coz it was night time, duh!) out of us. We were living in-transition in an apartment when we moved to Austin. He was two and sleeping in his own room across the living room that was cluttered with unpacked boxes.
My wife awoke in the middle of the night and as she opened her eyes saw our son just standing next to her bedside silently. His eyes were half-opened but looking at us. She nudged me awake and we briefly had glimpses of Chucky. We soon realized what was happening and gently walked him back to bed. He dozed back off. We had no clue how he navigated around those half-opened boxes across two rooms to make it ours.
Couple of weeks, Amit posted a helpful guide to enabling web mentions and followed up a week later by ‘marketing’ Micro.Blog if you wanted to leave a comment on his blog. In the M.B community, this led to two distinct conversations. One thread talked about the importance of comments on a blog and the other on whether we should cross streams and display comments on one semi-public platform on a more public domain outside the community. While the second one is a more interesting conversation, I want to focus on the first one.
When I started blogging in the early aughts, I considered comments as an integral part of blogging. How can you not have a place for people to offer their feedback on your opinions, right? While there were interesting conversations on many posts, for the most part, it didn’t serve much purpose for the non-celebrity blogger. The best interaction happened when other bloggers wrote about the original blog on their blogs and in turn exposed the opinion to their readers. If the original opinion was really interesting, it snowballed into several posts across dozens of blogs. Now that was a true viral sensation.
The year 2018 in the rear view mirror at first glance looks uneventful; at least personally speaking. But like for many in the world, it has been tumultuous to say the least.
I changed jobs after exactly six years to the date. For those who’re mired in (legal) immigration uncertainty, you may empathize that such decisions aren’t taken lightly. Whether it was a dopaminergic decision in an attempt to look for something new & exciting or a need to find a more fulfilling workplace or simply an itch to do more substantive work, only time will tell. For now, I only know that it was a big decision not taken lightly and had kept me up on a few nights. But as my Sleep Cycle app will attest, the quality of my sleep has gone up drastically in the last few weeks.
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