2014 WordCamp Grand Rapids #WCGR

WordCamp Grand Rapids keeps getting better every year :)

I’m warming up to the city of Grand Rapids

I love how wide a scope of focus WordCamp allows for speakers (from business, design theory in general, user experience for anything trackable, to how to find happiness in general while having a Web-centered career like being a WordPress developer).

Each year you can expect to find the hilariously entertaining and informative speakers like Brad Parbs

Right down to the outliers of areas that WordPress knows it needs to grow and incorporate into it’s focus (as mentioned before, like better design, user experience, simplicity in the backend of a growingly complex system).

And the constant collaboration promises for continued growth and success for the community. This year one great suggestion I heard was from Bryan Esler of Mindutopia at the J. Gardella’s Tavern for the after party:

A panel meeting between both designers and developers to help learn how to better communicate workflows, needs, and concerns to improve the working relationship between both.

On a personal level, because I’ve been WordPress focused for almost a decade now (even to the point of losing out on job opportunities because of it), it’s now especially great to see local digital marketing firms in the Muskegon area (where I am from), like Revel Marketing and RCP Marketing begin to embrace the WordPress platform.

There’s something great to be said about local communities growing together. And if WordPress can help facilitate that – it’s just one more example of how great the Open Source philosophy is.

And the one constant about WordCamp every year is that while all of this awesome is going on at your local meetup, there are hundreds of others going on across the globe.

So here’s to many many more to come and to growing together as a worldwide community!

Code is poetry.

</end-geek>

King Tim of Northern Ireland and the Lesson Never Learned from Empire

Northern Ireland riots from Orange order

“On both sides of the fence it looks like people are willing to believe almost anything about each other.

[...]

It feels dangerous. It feels like it wouldn’t take very much for it to really kick off. Like those boys, as lovely as they are, they’re angry angry angry boys, and the other side are angry. And just because we’ve had fifteen years of peace it doesn’t seem to be changing the way that they feel.”

Language and negative connotations

KAT is a commonly used graffiti tag in Northern Ireland by Protestant Loyalists. It stands for Kill All Tadghs.

Tadgh at one point was once a very common Irish male name, which is translated into English as Tim. Taig and Teague are the most commonly used spellings of the name today.

Taig is considered to be used purely as a derogatory term towards Irish Catholics. Some Irish Catholics have begun to use Teague as an ironic self-identifying term to glorify there struggle against Protestants in Northern Ireland.

KAH stands for Kill all Huns. It is commonly used graffiti opposing Protestant Loyalists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taig#Connotations

From the Orange of France to the Tricolors of Ireland

The Orangemen march of July 12 seems to be the main event that stirs up the violence that separates these two types of Northern Irish people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_walk

It’s horrifying how power weaves it’s way through everything – from kingdom to religion to government and anywhere else you allow it to corrupt you, absolutely. Right down to the most minuscule detail of whether or not a certain sect of the same religion can walk down a road in a neighborhood of a highly populated area by people of a different sect.

Upon researching more about the battle won on July 12 that the Orangemen march celebrates every year, ultimately what divides these Irish people is purely bad history surrounding religious tradition and territory. This is what is left from the near and still lingering past of a once domineering and warring soul for the crown of the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland.

At least on paper, the biggest difference of the two opposing sides in Northern Ireland is in how to properly be a Christian. In other words, Christianity was so successfully adopted throughout Europe in the last 2000+ years that the biggest fights between each other are the proper way to believe in the same thing. The similarities in the Apocalyptic literatures about the Roman Empire found in the Christian Bible telling of Babylon are not lost on me.

But aside from that, what really keeps sparking the fire of riots in Northern Ireland is the bad blood of local history. It’s the same problem with Palestine/Israel. This is why Northern Ireland fascinates me, because it hints to what we should anticipate to come for the future of the Palestine/Israel area of the Middle East.

At war with the human soul for mind and soil

It’s amazing how troubling the human ego is even with itself. We’re all our own worst critics at times. We’re almost never happy with ourselves. And even when we are no longer at war with others, in times of peace, we will still cling to our differences until we begin to argue and fight over piety.

We will essentially go to war over who believes the same thing more. “I believe in the same God so much that I’ll kill you to prove it.” Suddenly, the simplest of simple things like the way you worship and practice the same belief in God becomes a world apart in difference.

I compare this to the two party system of Democrats and Republicans that dominate politics in the United States of America. Fundamentally, when you compare there similarities to other countries with different political parties, the two are almost identical. But when you zoom in to nitpick the tiniest of detail it’s as if magically the two become polar opposites.

The same story from a different point of view

An even more tragic comparison is the fact that each of the three major monotheistic religions of the Middle East (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are all just different versions of the same story of the God of Abraham.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religions

I point this out not to belittle monotheism, any religion, or theism as a whole, but rather to try and give context to the reality of just how fragile the tragic human condition truly is.

We need more commonality – not division.

On a very macroscopic level, like the Troubles of Northern Ireland, the belief in a monotheistic God – it turns out – was so successfully adopted across the world abroad, that the believers of the very same God are essentially just blindly carrying on the local traditions of fighting over the better way to worship the same deity.

That and a whole lot of history of retaliation and ego.

Don’t let it go to your head, friend.

If you are reading this and I have offended you in how I sweepingly lump religious extremism into a category of all religion, I apologize, but please know this is only my point of view. I am subject to being wrong.

Feel free to respond with your point of view.

And as always I will try to do my best and turn the other cheek.

Blood Samples and Petri Dishes

Battle for blood types
And aortic dissonance
In A world full of I before you
Except after always we
I believe in destiny
Because it is Herstory
But I myself am fated
For history

May we be O- in our charities
And AB+ in our reasoning
And if you don’t know what that is
O
Look it up
This may B poor man’s poetry
But not for the dumb
B not boring -
Blind or lazy
Do not thot
B not thirsty
Instead
Use for good

We need to find our +
Forever peace
Our light of salutations
In our place -
For salvation
Where we stand
In mortal hand
Coiled + temporary

On square footing O
Standing, sitting
Kneeling, laying
Reasoning A
Praying B
Run or walk
Caravan or plane
Or jet pack AB
May your space of domicile
Keep divinity within it’s stars

However you get there
Just B there +
And in there
Knowingly B conscious
Of your part in helping determine
The living story -
Whether we AB grounded in
The time of
Becoming A people
Led to Canaanite fodder
Or lambs to laughter

If we B- people
Found wanting
Of the stuff that makes up +
A moral fiber -
Woven into dignity A
Passed down through B
The laurels of yester
For the lazy man’s jester AB+
Let us not sequester to squander
Or peel back the yonder of time

Find your eternal wanderer
Calling for + empathy
Searching
Pondering
For new ways to connect AB+
And balance O-
The living ethos
Of cognitive dissidence
Far from the kind of love
That grows AB-
And blossoms
And holds strong
For as far
As the <3 can
Beat O

Be the seed AB
Desoil bad dreams-
May your crops of tomorrow
Always yield abounding empathy
Ready for harvest

Life
Breathes
Anew
To both you +
And me -
So never fail to speak it
Say it out loud
L-O-V-E
May we B lost in it
Act it out
Show it to all
And to the least
Of us
The most

E-V-O-L-V-E
B+
long

Fireside chat with the founders of Google

You should presume that some day we will be able to make machines that can reason and think and do things better than we can.

Google and the giant power to grow

Serge Brin of Google - Fireside Chat Larry Page and Sergey Brin share the story of how they almost sold their company. The two discuss their other projects – from self driving cars, the Android OS, Google Now, to machine learning technologies they are beginning to venture into.

A great quote from Sergey that gives good insight into Google’s vision for the future surrounding machine learning is that “You should presume that some day we will be able to make machines that can reason and think and do things better than we can.”

Fireside chat with Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin with Vinod Khosla

Driving innovations and breakthroughs

Larry Page mentions the book, “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think” by Peter Diamandis, and how many of the things we need to be happy (housing, security, opportunity, etc.) will be easily provided for us in the near future. He points out that this could be accomplished currently with less than 1% of the amount of resources and work required to do so. Page goes on to say, “The idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet the people’s needs is just not true.”

Larry Page of Google - Fireside Chat They very briefly make hints to a possible Google Car in the far off future and how the traditional vehicle style is not necessarily needed with a self-driving car (like having a steering wheel, seats facing forward, etc.).

Page discusses how difficult it can be to have a large company manage so many inter-related things: “The user experience needs to make sense. It needs to feel like they’re using Google, but they’re using something else. I think there is a limit to kind of how much we can do there and we have to think carefully about it.”

All and all it gives pretty good perspective into the hearts and minds of the creators of Google. Check it out.

NASA Recording of Sound Waves in Space

Photo of Earth from outter space
Space lacks sound as we know it on Earth, because there is no air in space. But sound waves do still exist in space. I know, trippy, right?

Spooky and beautiful #science.

The above video plays sound wave lengths of space when translated for the human ear to Earth’s oxygenated atmosphere.

If you even understand what I just said, you #win at life.

PS-Saturn kind of sounds like a highway :)