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How I Use The Commute To Be Better

In a previous post, I mused on what fellow commuters do during the travel time of their commute. How some use the time wisely, and others not so much. Although I gave my opinion on how I perceived their time not being utilised, I didn’t digress on what I do. So let’s move that spotlight and judge what I do and whether it’s worthwhile (which is almost certainly not the most correct way). Read more »

Accepting You Have No Privacy Will Set You Free

Google’s 2013 court activity spurred a flurry of activity around privacy, and what companies and governments should be able to see of your data. The general consensus being “my data is private, gtfo!”. Ahem, excuse me sir/madam, the simple truth is you signed up to these services. With the amount of your data being retained/shared/sold, you didn’t suspect the viewing of your data long ago?

I believe the NSA (or any other country equivalent) and the large corporations such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple really do have genuine intentions for the greater good. Governments are looking to find the small amount of suspicious activity to protect you and the greater population from harm, while the corporations are looking to make our lives simpler and easier. In order to do either, our privacy needs to be breached to a certain degree.

The question is: What are you hiding that you don’t want people to see? And don’t give me that “It’s my right” or “It’s the principle of the matter” crap.

I’ve used Gmail since it was in early Beta. I’ve always known they scan my emails. I’ve also always known Google, Microsoft, and other companies know who I am, what I do, and [probably] what my children’s names are. The same goes for the governments, and they damn well should know that information about me.

You know what, I’m ok with that. And you should be too.

For most of my career, I’ve been a system administrator of some sort. In that position I was exposed to a number of situations whereby I had to check employees privacy. The most notable example would be monitoring of internet usage. However, this was only done when necessary, and to find illegal activity. It was my job. And what information I did see (which was some seriously questionable stuff), I didn’t do anything with it as it was not what the focus was. The same applies to what is happening on a grander scale with PRISM, Gmail, etc.

When working in these types of positions, employees have to sign non-disclosure agreements before they can view any data. The Edward Snowden event is an extremely good case as to how employees can break these agreements they’ve signed. He broke the agreement between him and the US Government trusting that he would not release any information to the public. I can understand why the US government want to charge him. Remember, it was your privacy he had breached.

Now, there is nothing much you can do about your privacy being breached by these big companies. You could just delete everything relating to you on the Internet and go home. But we both know that is highly unlikely to happen.

You have to accept that this is the way it is, and the way of the future.

Perceptions of Wealth

wealth
/welTH/

Noun
1. An abundance of valuable possessions or money.
2. The state of being rich; material prosperity.


Wealth is traditionally associated with money and riches. What if that association and perception changed to being wealthy in other areas of life? Areas such as strong lifelong friendships, or a devoted following?

Imagine three households on a long street. The first house is an expansive mansion with iron gates and a large well-maintained garden. Just down this street, the second house is a small, comfortable three bedroom home with a small lawn out front. Still further down this street is a little cottage at the back of a church.

Let us begin at the first house.

The family in this mansion earn huge amounts of money, allowing them to buy anything they want. They have the house, the cars, and all the gadgets. Take-outs, holidays, and all the available cable channels are easily afforded and consumed by this family. The family living here are happy. They know they are financially wealthy, and are grateful they can afford to live the way they do.

But, let us travel down the road to the second house. This household earns just enough in order to provide for their family. There are no optional extras here. No cable. No take-outs. No holidays. They know they’re not financially wealthy, yet they have an extremely strong family bond, as well as enduring life-long friendships. They are happy here too.

Further down the road we come upon the cottage. Here, a religious leader lives behind the church he preaches at. He, too, is not financially wealthy. He does not have a wife or children due to the path he has taken with his religion. There is no tight-knit family bond. Yet, he is happy and content. This religious leader preaches to his congregation regularly and has gathered quite a following. They are devoted to him and his word, and will follow him to the end of the earth.

Each of these homes display the possibility of a different perception of wealth. The first home is the traditional perception, whereby the family is working hard and reaping the financial rewards. Although the second home is not as financially wealthy, could it not be possible that the family is wealthy with strong lifelong relationships? Relationships that will support them during hard times, and revel with them during good times? And the third house. Could it not be possible that this religious leader is wealthy with the following he has gained, who see the vision in the religion he has dedicated his life to?

I believe being wealthy should not be limited to how much money is in your possession. Because we don’t have money, does not mean we cannot be wealthy in other aspects of life. Don’t get me wrong, money can certainly help, but it is by no means the be all and end all of wealthiness.

What do you think?

Getting Through The Productivity Lulls

There are studies that suggest humans are most productive in 90 minute spells. However, this is only during a given day. Are there similar productivity cycles on a daily and weekly scale? Read more »

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