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Anti-vaxx? How about pro-disease?

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2014 measles rise

Measles cases in the U.S. just hit a two-decade high. In case you can't already guess why, assistant surgeon general Dr. Anne Schuchat explains:

The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people.

From Aeon, Polio whack-a-mole:

The great allies of infectious diseases are no longer poverty, nor dirt, but the global anti-vaccination movement.

Tags: medicine   polio   vaccines
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yaserbaqi
2912 days ago
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Filled my Facebook
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mw
2913 days ago
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Selfish? I really have no idea. But there's no doubt that they're among the stupidest of people.
tante
2913 days ago
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The great allies of infectious diseases are no longer poverty, nor dirt, but the global anti-vaccination movement.
Berlin/Germany
mikejurney
2913 days ago
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Parents who choose to forgo vaccinating their children are among the most selfish of all people.
New York, New York
lizamu
2914 days ago
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The great allies of infectious diseases are no longer poverty, nor dirt, but the global anti-vaccination movement.
New York, New York
lrwrp
2914 days ago
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.
??, NC

The Insecurity of Secret IT Systems

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We now know a lot about the security of the Rapiscan 522 B x-ray system used to scan carry-on baggage in airports worldwide. Billy Rios, director of threat intelligence at Qualys, got himself one and analyzed it. And he presented his results at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit this week.

It’s worse than you might have expected:

It runs on the outdated Windows 98 operating system, stores user credentials in plain text, and includes a feature called Threat Image Projection used to train screeners by injecting .bmp images of contraband, such as a gun or knife, into a passenger carry-on in order to test the screener's reaction during training sessions. The weak logins could allow a bad guy to project phony images on the X-ray display.

While this is all surprising, it shouldn’t be. These are the same sort of problems we saw in proprietary electronic voting machines, or computerized medical equipment, or computers in automobiles. Basically, whenever an IT system is designed and used in secret – either actual secret or simply away from public scrutiny – the results are pretty awful.

I used to decry secret security systems as "security by obscurity." I now say it more strongly: "obscurity means insecurity."

Security is a process. For software, that process is iterative. It involves defenders trying to build a secure system, attackers -- criminals, hackers, and researchers -- defeating the security, and defenders improving their system. This is how all mass-market software improves its security. It’s the best system we have. And for systems that are kept out of the hands of the public, that process stalls. The result looks like the Rapiscan 522 B x-ray system.

Smart security engineers open their systems to public scrutiny, because that’s how they improve. The truly awful engineers will not only hide their bad designs behind secrecy, but try to belittle any negative security results. Get ready for Rapiscan to claim that the researchers had old software, and the new software has fixed all these problems. Or that they’re only theoretical. Or that the researchers themselves are the problem. We’ve seen it all before.

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yaserbaqi
3010 days ago
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herrmann
3017 days ago
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That's an accurate description the modus operandi of Tribunal Superior Eleitoral, who runs elections in Brazil (only country in the world to use "perfectly secure" DRE voting machines and reject voter verified paper audit trails).
Brazil
cratliff
3019 days ago
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The basic truth about secure systems.
South Portland, ME
satadru
3019 days ago
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High quality government single source contract at your service?
New York, NY
superiphi
3019 days ago
at least they're not networked. At the price these devices cost I can see why they decide upgrading OS is more danger than known risks in old OS but still...
rtreborb
3019 days ago
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Ridiculous
San Antonio, TX
kazriko
3020 days ago
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Just... Wow. I thought some of the other systems I've dealt with were bad for using Windows server 2003.
Colorado Plateau
vxbinaca
3018 days ago
The "lawful intercept" hardware in ISPs runs off Windows 2000 and Solaris.
acdha
3020 days ago
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Turns out the TSA is equally good at both airport and IT security
Washington, DC

Daily Kos: Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did

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Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul
This will be a very short diary. It will not contain any links or any scholarly references. It is about a very narrow topic, from a very personal, subjective perspective.

The topic at hand is what Martin Luther King actually did, what it was that he actually accomplished.  

What most people who reference Dr. King seem not to know is how Dr. King actually changed the subjective experience of life in the United States for African Americans. And yeah, I said for African Americans, not for Americans, because his main impact was his effect on the lives of African Americans, not on Americans in general. His main impact was not to make white people nicer or fairer. That's why some of us who are African Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy. Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy, despite what our civil religion tells us, is not color blind.

Head below the fold to read about what Martin Luther King, Jr. actually did.

I remember that many years ago, when I was a smartass home from first year of college, I was standing in the kitchen arguing with my father. My head was full of newly discovered political ideologies and black nationalism, and I had just read the Autobiography of Malcolm X, probably for the second time.  

A bit of context. My father was from a background, which if we were talking about Europe or Latin America, we would call, "peasant" origin, although he had risen solidly into the working-middle class. He was from rural Virginia and his parents had been tobacco farmers. I spent two weeks or so every summer on the farm of my grandmother and step-grandfather. They had no running water, no gas, a wood burning stove, no bathtubs or toilets but an outhouse, potbelly stoves for heat in the winter, a giant wood pile, a smoke house where hams and bacon hung, chickens, pigs, semi wild housecats that lived outdoors, no tractor or car, but an old plow horse and plows and other horse drawn implements, and electricity only after I was about 8 years old. The area did not have high schools for blacks and my father went as far as the seventh grade in a one room schoolhouse. All four of his grandparents, whom he had known as a child, had been born slaves. It was mainly because of World War II and urbanization that my father left that life.  

They lived in a valley or hollow or "holler" in which all the landowners and tenants were black. In the morning if you wanted to talk to cousin Taft, you would walk down to behind the outhouse and yell across the valley, "Heeeyyyy Taaaaft," and you could see him far, far in the distance, come out of his cabin and yell back.  

On the one hand, this was a pleasant situation because they lived in isolation from white people. On the other hand, they did have to leave the valley to go to town where all the rigid rules of Jim Crow applied. By the time I was little, my people had been in this country for six generations (going back, according to oral rendering of our genealogy, to Africa Jones and Mama Suki), much more under slavery than under freedom, and all of it under some form of racial terrorism, which had inculcated many humiliating behavior patterns.

Anyway, that's background. I think we were kind of typical as African Americans in the pre-civil rights era went.

So anyway, I was having this argument with my father about Martin Luther King and how his message was too conservative compared to Malcolm X's message. My father got really angry at me. It wasn't that he disliked Malcolm X, but his point was that Malcolm X hadn't accomplished anything as Dr. King had.  

I was kind of sarcastic and asked something like, so what did Martin Luther King accomplish other than giving his "I have a dream speech."

Before I tell you what my father told me, I want to digress. Because at this point in our amnesiac national existence, my question pretty much reflects the national civic religion view of what Dr. King accomplished. He gave this great speech. Or some people say, "he marched." I was so angry at Mrs. Clinton during the primaries when she said that Dr. King marched, but it was LBJ who delivered the Civil Rights Act.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn't that he "marched" or gave a great speech.

My father told me with a sort of cold fury, "Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south."

Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this. If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don't know what my father was talking about.  

But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

I'm guessing that most of you, especially those having come fresh from seeing The Help, may not understand what this was all about. But living in the south (and in parts of the midwest and in many ghettos of the north) was living under terrorism.  

It wasn't that black people had to use a separate drinking fountain or couldn't sit at lunch counters, or had to sit in the back of the bus.  

You really must disabuse yourself of this idea. Lunch counters and buses were crucial symbolic planes of struggle that the civil rights movement used to dramatize the issue, but the main suffering in the south did not come from our inability to drink from the same fountain, ride in the front of the bus or eat lunch at Woolworth's.

It was that white people, mostly white men, occasionally went berserk, and grabbed random black people, usually men, and lynched them. You all know about lynching. But you may forget or not know that white people also randomly beat black people, and the black people could not fight back, for fear of even worse punishment.  

This constant low level dread of atavistic violence is what kept the system running. It made life miserable, stressful and terrifying for black people.  

White people also occasionally tried black people, especially black men, for crimes for which they could not conceivably be guilty. With the willing participation of white women, they often accused black men of "assault," which could be anything from rape to not taking off one's hat, to "reckless eyeballing."  

This is going to sound awful and perhaps a stain on my late father's memory, but when I was little, before the civil rights movement, my father taught me many, many humiliating practices in order to prevent the random, terroristic, berserk behavior of white people. The one I remember most is that when walking down the street in New York City side by side, hand in hand with my hero-father, if a white woman approached on the same sidewalk, I was to take off my hat and walk behind my father, because he had been taught in the south that black males for some reason were supposed to walk single file in the presence of any white lady.  

This was just one of many humiliating practices we were taught to prevent white people from going berserk.  

I remember a huge family reunion one August with my aunts and uncles and cousins gathered around my grandparents' vast breakfast table laden with food from the farm, and the state troopers drove up to the house with a car full of rifles and shotguns, and everyone went kind of weirdly blank. They put on the masks that black people used back then to not provoke white berserkness. My strong, valiant, self-educated, articulate uncles, whom I adored, became shuffling, Step-N-Fetchits to avoid provoking the white men. Fortunately the troopers were only looking for an escaped convict. Afterward, the women, my aunts, were furious at the humiliating performance of the men, and said so, something that even a child could understand.

This is the climate of fear that Dr. King ended.

If you didn't get taught such things, let alone experience them, I caution you against invoking the memory of Dr. King as though he belongs exclusively to you and not primarily to African Americans.  

The question is, how did Dr. King do this—and of course, he didn't do it alone.  

(Of all the other civil rights leaders who helped Dr. King end this reign of terror, I think the most under appreciated is James Farmer, who founded the Congress of Racial Equality and was a leader of nonviolent resistance, and taught the practices of nonviolent resistance.)

So what did they do?

They told us: Whatever you are most afraid of doing vis-a-vis white people, go do it. Go ahead down to city hall and try to register to vote, even if they say no, even if they take your name down.  

Go ahead sit at that lunch counter. Sue the local school board. All things that most black people would have said back then, without exaggeration, were stark raving insane and would get you killed.

If we do it all together, we'll be okay.

They made black people experience the worst of the worst, collectively, that white people could dish out, and discover that it wasn't that bad. They taught black people how to take a beating—from the southern cops, from police dogs, from fire department hoses. They actually coached young people how to crouch, cover their heads with their arms and take the beating. They taught people how to go to jail, which terrified most decent people.

And you know what? The worst of the worst, wasn't that bad.  

Once people had been beaten, had dogs sicced on them, had fire hoses sprayed on them, and been thrown in jail, you know what happened?

These magnificent young black people began singing freedom songs in jail.  

That, my friends, is what ended the terrorism of the south. Confronting your worst fears, living through it, and breaking out in a deep throated freedom song. The jailers knew they had lost when they beat the crap out of these young Negroes and the jailed, beaten young people began to sing joyously, first in one town then in another. This is what the writer, James Baldwin, captured like no other writer of the era.

Please let this sink in. It wasn't marches or speeches. It was taking a severe beating, surviving and realizing that our fears were mostly illusory and that we were free.

So yes, Dr. King had many other goals, many other more transcendent, non-racial, policy goals, goals that apply to white people too, like ending poverty, reducing the war-like aspects of our foreign policy, promoting the New Deal goal of universal employment, and so on. But his main accomplishment was ending 200 years of racial terrorism, by getting black people to confront their fears. So please don't tell me that Martin Luther King's dream has not been achieved, unless you knew what racial terrorism was like back then and can make a convincing case you still feel it today. If you did not go through that transition, you're not qualified to say that the dream was not accomplished.

That is what Dr. King did—not march, not give good speeches. He crisscrossed the south organizing people, helping them not be afraid, and encouraging them, like Gandhi did in India, to take the beating that they had been trying to avoid all their lives.  

Once the beating was over, we were free.

It wasn't the Civil Rights Act, or the Voting Rights Act or the Fair Housing Act that freed us. It was taking the beating and thereafter not being afraid. So, sorry Mrs. Clinton, as much as I admire you, you were wrong on this one. Our people freed ourselves and those Acts, as important as they were, were only white people officially recognizing what we had done.

Originally posted to HamdenRice on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Yes We Can Pragmatists, J Town, Black Kos community, Genealogy and Family History Community, White Privilege Working Group, Barriers and Bridges, Kitchen Table Kibitzing, Firearms Law and Policy, and Daily Kos.

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yaserbaqi
3043 days ago
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petya04
3041 days ago
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Outstanding and beautifully written. Most Americans not only don't know, but don't want to know.
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abbierhoad
3041 days ago
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Once the beating was over, they were free
Seattle, Washington

Crowdtilt Raises Another $23 Million From Andreessen Horowitz & Others For International Expansion, Enterprise Tools

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crowdtilt

Crowdfunding platform Crowdtilt wasn’t looking to raise another round, but when their Series A lead investor Andreessen Horowitz offered to lead their B round, the team decided it would make sense given their forthcoming plans. Today, the company is announcing another $23 million in new funding, which also includes participation from SV Angel, Sean Parker, Matt Mullenweg, Oliver Jung, DCM, Felicis Ventures, Naval Ravikant, Alexis Ohanian, Elad Gil, and others.

Founded in early 2012, Crowdtilt has already raised $14 million through its seed and Series A rounds. The company, to some extent, competes with sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, for example, but found a niche for itself in helping everyday users crowdfund smaller projects, often with a more community-oriented nature.

For example, CEO James Beshara says some of his favorites include the one where Rockridge city residents self-funded their own private security in the wake of police force cuts; or another where people raised money for Boston resident David Henneberry, whose boat was damaged in the manhunt for the Boston Bombing suspects; and then there’s the one where a Dallas resident raised over $50,000 to throw a private Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan party. (Yeah, okay…).

“There’s 85% of the population that won’t have a documentary, an artistic project or a hardware project to crowdfund, but they’re going to have an objective that they do want to send around to their friends and their network,” says Beshara. “That’s where Crowdtilt was born.”

crowdtilt-website

Here at TechCrunch, we’ve used the service amongst ourselves, too, once to raise money when co-editor Alexia Tsotsis’ Tsotsis’s headphones were stolen,another when medical expenses added up (for me – thanks guys!), and recently I raised money on Crowdtilt for some friends of mine who lost everything in house fire just before the holidays. The Crowdtilt service is really straightforward and simple to use even for first-timers, and when you get stuck or have a question, the company offers personal support.

Beshara says the average successful Crowdtilt campaign raises $1,320, on average. He won’t disclose how many are successful – or “tilt,” in Crowdtilt lingo – but notes that it’s “really high.” Higher, in fact, than the success rate for Indiegogo, which TechCrunch reported this August to be around 34%.

crowdtilt-mobile

Crowdtilt also offers a mobile app, a developer API that lets you build a full crowdfunding app or integrate a crowdfunding option in an app of your own, and it also recently launched Crowdhoster.com, a white-labeled, enterprise tool which companies can use to run their own campaigns.

On Crowdhoster, which is built with the Crowdtilt API, businesses can completely customize the experience, including adding their own branding, logo, and even modifying the code base, which is open sourced. Beshara sees similarities between it and WordPress, or, as he puts it, Crowdhoster is the “WordPress of crowdfunding.” (Meaning that Crowdhoster is open source and customizable, like WordPress. But it doesn’t hurt thatMatt Mullenwegis also an investor.)

“These enterprise tools started to take off and they really need extra investment,” explains Beshara, citing another reason why the company decided to raise the additional round.

Though only two and a half months old, the Crowdhoster service has already run 100 different campaigns, raising over $3 million. Its first customer was the Andreessen Horowitz-backed superfood Soylent, which sold $1.81 million of their project on Crowdhoster, which is more than they’ve raised from VC funding.

Crowdtilt generates revenue by charging fees on the campaigns run through its platform (1% via the API, 2.5% elsewhere), not for using the services itself. The Crowdhoster platform is also free, but in time the plan is to add professional services, including payment support, credit card processing, fraud protection, analytics, customer reporting, and more, which the company could charge for.

To date, the company has run over 100,000 campaigns across all its products, and while Beshara declines to saying how much it has seen in transactions, he says that the average campaign raises 192% of its target.

Going forward, Crowdtilt plans to expand internationally. There’s already been demand for the service in other English-speaking markets like Canada, the U.K. and Australia, but the company won’t confirm which countries it will reach next until Q1 2014.

Already, they’ve grabbed a few notable hires, includingBrian Birtwistle, formerly at marketing at Zynga, as head of operations and to lead Crowdtilt’s international push; and former director of product at Yelp, Bryan Byrne, as Crowdtilt head of product. Now the plan is to hire within their forthcoming international markets, as well as bring in additional execs.


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16 things I know are true but haven’t quite learned yet

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Post image for 16 things I know are true but haven’t quite learned yet

There’s a difference between knowing something and living as if it were true. At the end of 2013, these truths are all lingering on that awkward threshold, for me anyway.

1) The sooner you do something, the more of your life you get to spend with that thing done — even though it takes less effort (or at least no more) than it will later. It’s the ultimate sure-thing investment and I pass it up all the time.

2) I never regret working out. I can’t count the number of times I’ve negotiated with myself to work out the next day instead of today because I’m worried it will be a “bad workout.” I seldom have a bad day on a day that I work out.

3) Whenever I’m playing with my phone I am only shortening my life. A smartphone is useful if you have a specific thing you want to do, but ninety per cent of the time the thing I want to do is avoid doing something harder than surfing Reddit. During those minutes or hours, all I’m doing is dying.

4) Nothing makes me more productive and in-the-moment than a clean house. There is mind-clearing magic in cleanliness. Waking up in a house where everything is put away is a glorious feeling. There seem to be more possibilities in the air, and all my things seem more useful.

5) Minute-for-minute, nothing I do is more rewarding than meditation. Even after just a very short session, it reliably makes me better at everything, especially making decisions. It lets me do my best. Yet I still do it only intermittently.

6) Creative work is something that can be done at any time. It’s no different than any other kind of work. Inspiration is nice but completely optional. I’ve almost completely come around on this one in 2013. But sometimes the Four Horsemen still trick me.

7) Acting the way you want to feel usually works. When I feel crappy just before I have to go do something, if I decide to act as if I am happy for a while (even though I’m not) I usually end up feeling happy after not too long, or at least much less crappy. This is straight out of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and it’s an extremely powerful thing to experiment with. [More on this in an upcoming post.]

8) Ninety-five per cent of my happiness comes from having a home, a functioning body and something to eat. I live in utter luxury, by any sensible standard of what “luxury” is. If I am unhappy it’s because I’ve lost perspective about the other five per cent. 

9) Our minds are geared to manage much less than we typically end up managing. Modern people have so many options they conflict with each other in almost every area. The fewer things I have, the more I enjoy my things. The fewer goals I have, the better I do them. The smaller the portion size, the better food tastes.

10) The quickest and most reliable path to personal improvement is to do the things on my list that I resist most. Internal resistance should be taken as a big red sign guaranteeing rapid growth and new capabilities. Given my experience with the ecstasy that comes with overcoming resistance, logically I should be attracted to it by now.

11) All you need to do to finish things is keep starting them until they’re done. The idea of doing something in its entirety always seems hard. But it’s easy to commit to simply starting on something, and then you’re past most of the resistance. Continuing is just as easy. (Thanks to Leo Babauta for this one.)

12) Whenever I think I’m mad at a person, I’m really just mad at a situation. I’m mad because suddenly life requires something new of me, and it’s easy to implicate a person who contributed to that situation. I want the situation to be responsible for fixing itself, so I attribute it to someone else’s moral failing, and then I don’t have to feel responsible for this new problem of mine.

13) Ultimately, to get something done you have to forget about everything else while you do it. The mind is always telling you that 85 things are on fire and you need to do everything now. However you respond emotionally to it, to move things along you have to pick one to deal with, and let the rest continue burning while you do.

14) The most consistently joyful activities for me are visiting with other people and reading books. Aside from earning a living and a bit of travel there isn’t much else I need in my life. Somehow these two things are still not clear priorities. What are yours?

15) If I find myself in an argument, I’ve made a mistake. It doesn’t matter whose position makes more sense, because by the time it’s an argument any real communication has ended. Marshall Rosenberg’s brilliant method of Nonviolent Communication is a far more useful default response than argument, but I often forget it completely.

16) Few things matter long-term other than relationships, health, personal finance and personal growth. Crises in almost every other area turn over so quickly there’s not much reason to get upset at them. Interestingly, those four are the areas that probably contribute most to happiness in the short term too.

 

If this list is different at the end of 2014 then it will have been a good year. What’s in the same category for you?

Goodbye 2013, you were great.

***

Photo by David Cain
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yaserbaqi
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Yemina
3058 days ago
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Some really good points!
mommybrain4
3058 days ago
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Interesting read...not sure if it's full if guilt or motivation?
New Lenox, Illinois
timlikescake
3059 days ago
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Time to print this out and stick it on my wall.
emdot
3060 days ago
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Wow. This one is really good. All truths.
San Luis Obispo, CA
lograh
3062 days ago
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Much the same here. Great list, I think I'll make one of my own.

Relevant to #3: I read this on my phone. :)
bsawhill
3062 days ago
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yerp.
Oberlin Ohio
JayM
3062 days ago
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Nice list. I can appreciate all of those. Glad I've learned a couple of them already, now to learn the rest.
Atlanta, GA
sredfern
3063 days ago
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Read this
Sydney Australia
emdot
3060 days ago
Great share. Thank you.
chuckrayusa
3063 days ago
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So True
kerray
3063 days ago
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!
Brno, CZ
ryanbrazell
3063 days ago
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//
Richmond, VA
mikejurney
3063 days ago
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Genuinely insightful list of priorities.
New York, New York
glenn
3064 days ago
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good list
Waterloo, Canada

Why 2014 Is The Year You Change

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Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 11.37.24 AM Change

Editor’s note:James Altucheris an investor, programmer, author, and several-timesentrepreneur. His latest bookis“Choose Yourself!”(foreword by Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter). Follow James on Twitter@jaltucher.

I stopped going to classes. I had a scholarship that paid all my living expenses ($1,200/month) so I didn’t want to quit (ugh, and get a job?). So I stayed a student but I failed every class I took for three semesters in a row.

Finally, the dean wrote me a note that said, “We have to ask you to leave. You can come back when you are more mature.” I haven’t gone back yet.

Many years later I was at a job, and in the middle of a meeting I walked out, walked out of the building and never came back and never returned the phone calls. I quit.

Another time I stopped coming to work until the CEO asked me, “What’s going on?” and eventually they got rid of me.

I’m not saying this is good advice. I’m not “Dear Abby.”

I knew for sure in each situation that change was needed, but I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know how. I just knew who (me) and what (quit).

Why is this important for entrepreneurs? Because every moment you are a lifepreneur. And the change inside yourself is what allows you to create the abundance and change outside. I say this not like some bullshit self-help book, but because this is what has worked for me.

I started a business and raised a little over $500,000. I built the product and had users. Everyone was excited.

The day I raised the money I woke up shaking.

I knew that the idea was bad. It was called “140Love,” a dating service I built on top of Twitter. So instead of people seeing your profile they can see your tweets and know who you “really” are.

But here’s the problem: On dating services, people want to be anonymous. There was no way this idea was going to work.

I wired back all the money that had come in. I shut down the site, and ate all the costs for building it. I moved onto the next idea and never looked back. And, by the way, the next idea and the next idea failed also. And then one worked. And then another one worked.

When you waste time on a bad idea you don’t have any room or energy leftover for the good ideas.

Saying “no” to a change that’s begging for you will kill you.

Sometimes your mind doesn’t know what’s happening. Your mind is really just a tool.

About 10 times so far I’ve made complete changes in my life. Some horribly painful where I had to puke up all the garbage that had been shoved down my throat. And those were the fun changes.

The changes that weren’t fun were the changes I didn’t make. I wish I could apologize here for the changes I didn’t make. I wish I could CC the right people right here. But it’s too late and always will be.

I suspect I have another 10-20 changes left in me.

Saying “no” to a change that’s begging for you will kill you.

Benjamin Franklin said, “most people die at 25 but are buried at 75.”

You can’t ask the world to change to suit your needs…you have to change first. That’s the first step towards being an entrepreneur.

When you make a change, here is what happens: Well, I have no clue what happens to you. Here is what happens to me in a very no bullshit way.

Fear

What will happen to me? I’ll go broke! Or be lonely! Or get sick! Practicing dealing with uncertainty is the only way (CC:Jonathan Fields) to get comfortable with this fear.

You can let your fears keep you from growing, or you can let your fears inspire you to grow. The good thing is, you get to choose.

Arguments

Bosses won’t want you to quit. Colleagues will get scared because it means change is forced on them. And depending on your change, maybe family is unhappy (when I was thrown out of school, my family was certainly unhappy).

Whoever wrote your script will be unhappy. You’re changing the movie.

Important: There’s nothing to say to the people who argue with you.

Because they are right also. In their life situations, it’s very right for them for you not to quit. Why argue with them? Conserve your energy for your change.

Guilt

Let’s say you’re leaving a relationship or a job or an agreement. I can tell you, someone is ready to make you feel guilty about this. It’s hard not to feel guilt, particularly if someone is sad because of “what you are doing to them.”

But much worse is the guilt you will feel if you don’t make the change your body and the universe is telling you to make. The universe is much bigger than the person on the other side. To go against that flow will make you sink and drown.

TearsHeaven

Tears

I don’t think I’ve ever once made a change in my life that didn’t involve me crying either on the day of the big change or sometime that week.

Why cry? Isn’t that a bit wimpy?

It’s because you have no idea what you are doing. It’s a change! You’re not supposed to know what happens next.

The faster you can say, “I have no clue why I am doing this but I do know this is the right thing” the faster you can stop crying.

How do you know if it’s the right thing? I can tell you, but the reality is with practice you know.

Change is very lonely, but you will never be lonely if you enjoy being with the person you are alone with.

None of the above sounds that great actually. So why change at all?

Prevent muscle atrophy.When a car doesn’t start all winter, the engine will get ruined. When you don’t walk for two weeks, your leg muscles atrophy and you need physical therapy to walk.

Change is a muscle.

Steep feels good.When you change you go from a flat learning curve (your old situation) to a steep learning curve (the new situation). Steep learning curves feel good. Like the feeling of new love.

So do flattening learning curves because you learn deeper subtleties. But upside down learning curves feel…like fuckness.

You want to be in a work of art, not a forgery or a plagiarism.

You were in the wrong script.At every stage of our lives, the people around us try to write our scripts.

When we are young the script your family writes you might be: school, cubicle, promotions, management, CEO, retirement, death.

But you might realize that the right script for you didn’t include “cubicle.”

You have to rewrite your script. If you stay in the old script it’s like acting in a role that is not written for you. The final production will be a disaster. People will throw food at you and spit on you in the street.

You want to be in a work of art, not a forgery or a plagiarism.

Evolution.For 400,000 years, humans were good at hunter-gathering. Which meant we had to know all of the terrain around us. We had to know all the foods, poisons, animals and enemies. And then we would move to a new terrain. Change was part of our DNA.

But for the past 10,000 years (a blip in evolutionary time), we had to specialize and be good at one thing and in one place.

Nobody told evolution this.

So our bodies break down, our minds get sick, we need all sorts of medications, we die. Evolution wants us to constantly change.

Play. When we were kids we played different games all the time. We would never play the same game for 300 days in a row, for 20 years in a row.

But then we got handed our “scripts” by our parents, schools, political parties, jobs, institutions, etc. We were told to stick to the script. But we never stopped being the boy or girl who wanted to play.

When you stop playing, you enter the vast world of excuses.

World domination.If you are good at making cars, and then you get good at design (a totally different area), then suddenly you might be the best in the world at car design.

When you change and learn from new fields you get to have idea sex (and idea orgasms). Your ideas have children.

Your ideas evolve many generations very quickly. Suddenly now you are the exponential result of your changes.

Your cheeks are rosy with the fresh air that constant idea sex bestows on you.

Being uniquely the best in the world at something is fun and valuable.

And it’s never too late. If you want examples, I will give you them. But you are never too old, no matter who tries to tell you you are.

Getting good at change (big, small, tiny – every day) means getting good at life.

Do it without expectation. Wish for nothing. Care for everything. Happiness will be in between.

Do I feel badly about that scholarship from 22 years ago? Yes. Sometimes I feel bad about a lot of things. Sometimes people will judge you and it will hurt.

But that’s just life. Trust me, you will have plenty of time for death later.


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yaserbaqi
3063 days ago
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