Keep Progressing to Stop Regressing

Elon musk made the point that when technology stop progressing, it regresses. The same is true in our lives and careers and anything we do in it. It’s for this reason we need to think about shaking things up when they become comfortable.

This could apply to your job, writing almost anything that we do. If we don’t then we may well start to regress:

via Elon Musk Just Gave Some Brilliant Career Advice. Here It Is in 1 Sentence | Inc.com

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on article – Credit Justin Bariso

The Destruction of Democracy

Look at that title – The Destruction of Democracy, it sounds like the title of some dystopian sci-fi novel or something. It also could be the start of some great conspiracy theory but how would much would it scare you to know that this is happening now and in a way has already happened? Would it scare you more to think that you, we, you and I are being used as the tools to destroy democracy?

Far fetched?

Fantasy?

How about fact, but don’t take my word for it – Google Cambridge Analytica. When I Googled this among the search results was an image at the top right, depicting a brain and the words “Data-driven behaviour change.” Looking at some of the highlights of the other Google results are a mix of results with Trump and Brexit in them. To explain this a little better is a (rather long) article from the Guardian:

the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

So what we have is a company using data from social media to deliver specific military style propaganda to individuals based on their social background – all of this being done by data derived by social media.

Now let’s get a bit more up to date – the UK elections, called in order to secure Brexit and a large Conservative lead. What already seems have turned into a presidential style campaign with a deranged May shouting her mouth off about conspiracies from within the EU it seems there’s an even darker twist to their campaign. It’s been said that the Conservatives campaign may be using the services of guess who? Yup – Cambridge Analytica!

TTeam

So what we’re facing here is a lot of people being bombarded with subtle but powerful persuasion in order to win votes and gain power. If this is true it stinks! We’re now faced with the choice of voting for those we think are unvotable or the billionaire data hackers? What’s the world coming to?

If this is true could this be the start of dystopia?

The end of any kind of recognizable democracy?

If it’s true… makes you think doesn’t it?

Simon :-/

Manic Monday – Planet Simon and the week ahead

I missed out my manic Monday last week as it was a bank holiday and I was otherwise getting up to tricks, but here’s a little bit to catch up on here. Planet Simon is always changing, moving about all over the place and trying news things. I have to say since Murphy’s Law has been kicked I’ve noticed so much more positivity in my life – it makes me think that the universe really is watching what we’re doing.

The new thing to start this week is the start of the Kindness Challenge, run by Niki of The Richness of a Simple life it going to be an interesting look at kindness and how I display it towards myself and others in my life.

Something subtle that you may not have noticed is that the Gallery link has now changed and takes you to my Flikr page, a bit more obvious is the link to my Wattpad account from my page. There’s not much there yet, bu that bring me onto the next thing…

The Titan Mystery is being re-written and re-published on Wattpad and will eventually end up as some kind of novella e-book (I hope). So watch this space – well that space!

There’s exciting things ahead and maybe even a bit more writing time ahead – more to come on this and hopefully this week!

Simon 🙂

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD – Amazing Value or Exuberant Con?

A little while ago my trusty Lenovo Yoga tablet was destoyed, as was my little LG. I was more than a little gutted. With not much budget to replace them with I bought a 7″ Kindle Fire HD.

camerazoom-20170319170033940.jpg

When I first turned it on I have to say I was impressed. Great screen with  easy to access functions. There’s all the popular apps available like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and WordPress in the app store so things started out well. But then when I got to look a little closer, many of the applications I need and in a way would expect from a device like this were unavailable. Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Keep, Google maps, Google Chrome… Spotted a theme? Yup – no Google!

This wasn’t all – Firefox is not available which is a pin as I use this as my default web browser and all of my favourites an history is synced to it. Then I found out that while I can install Netflix – it doesn’t work! Semi popular apps like Pinterest and StumbleUpon are also not available. So within minutes of unwrapping my sleek new Kindle Fire I feeling a tinge of disappointment. At this point I can hear cries of ‘so what? It’s just Amazon’s operating system right?’

No – this is where we really get to the heart of the issue and here’s why:

Amazon’s Kindle is Android based. That’s right, Amazon has taken Google’s own Android OS, hacked and fettled it to make it their own and in the process have kicked Google off it at the same time. I have to ask myself why this is, does Amazon hate Google? Maybe, but it’s a bit hypocritical to take the stack OS from a company you hate and then use it while locking them out. Or have Amazon wanted to make it their own? I’m not sure on this, in a way this makes Amazon worse than Apple for being technically introverted. The only thing that saves it a bit from this is it’s use of standard USB and Bluetooth. This though is marred by the fact that I can’t see a way to use my Google Chromecast with my Fire HD, which is another disappointment.


 

For me a clue to what’s going on and in some ways eases the confusion is when the power button is pressed and the standby screen comes on. This is annoying, every time you turn on the Kindle there’s adverts for anything Amazon. Books, Films, special offers, every time there’s something different.

camerazoom-20170319165904378.jpg

What this means though is that whatever else the Fire HD is, primarily it’s a selling platform for good, apps and services. This can also be seem with Amazon’s Fire TV stick where games, token and films come at a pretty heft cost. The touch screen is responsive and it feels like a quality Android 7″ tablet, there doesn’t seem to have been much penny pinching with the build quality over a device that costs twice the price.

When you turn it on for the first time you notice is that Amazon have kindly set up and linked the device to the Amazon account that it was bought from, all of the books, music and films you have bought are instantly available.

The Fire HD works just like any other 7″ tablet and while the different home screens set up by Amazon give it a custom feel you don’t have to dig deep to find the Android roots. The stock web browser that come with it is called Silk – however it’s fooling no one becasue when the user signs into any accounts you the annoying security email comes it clearly thinks that it’s being signed into by Chrome.


 

The whole thing is still confusing to me, it’s good at what it does, but there’s so much it doesn’t do and does a reduced price tag make up for it? It all depend on how a user looks at it I think – if you’re a cynic that thinks Amazon is trying to get of Google then it’s crap tablet. But if you’re after something to read your books on, browse the internet and get you’re emails, then it’s an incredible e-book reader!

Simon 🙂

 

Kindness Challenge Intentions

Niki of Richness of a Simple Life is running the kindness challenge and early on convinced me that this is something that I should do. This basically means that as a challenge I need to challenge myself to be kind in the way set for that week and then write a blog post about it. I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for until a few days ago when I saw this post:

https://therichnessofasimplelife.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/before-post-2/

and saw the topics:

  • Week 1 | Self-love
  • Week 2 | Self-compassion
  • Week 3 | Self-acceptance
  • Week 4 | Kindness role model
  • Week 5 | Choosing kindness
  • Week 6 | Kindness without expectation
  • Week 7 | Grateful for kindness

 

Be.png

So – the big question… what ARE my intentions?

The thing is I’m not sure now – I had envisioned this mainly being about kindness to those around me as well myself so the self love and acceptance is a slight curveball. I guess I’ll just roll with it and see what happens.

But finding a bit of inner peace would be a good thing right now as I don’t have much of that – I also think that it’s easier to be kinder to others if you can be kind to yourself right?

I guess this is going to be a learning curve.

Simon 🙂

Fight for Your Life!

Niki has got her ebook out now! She’s got some great thought on life so it will be worth the read!

Support her my fellow bloggies.

Simon 🙂

The Richness of a Simple Life

I’m incredibly excited to share that I’ve launched the eBook version of my book! I wrote about the process I used to overcome a 17-year battle with depression. It’s laid out as a blueprint giving steps of the process in phases that readers can implement using questions and exercises I present in the book.

View original post 192 more words

Mental Health – Sign the Petition 

Hi Bloggies, please sign this for my friend Charley! The petition is only open to those in the UK but we really need your signatures!

Simon 😊

booksandbakes1

Hey guys!

I hope you’re well. Happy bank holiday!

I’m posting today to ask a favour. My friend Steph has been campaigning tirelessly to make mental health compulsory in primary and secondary schools. I’m asking you my wonderful followers to sign this. The deadline was July, but it’s now been cut to May 3rd!

There’s less than 1000 signatures to go. Please help me? Mental health is so important. As a teacher, I see kids struggle daily, not knowing how to cope with stress. Thankfully, they come to me. But, as a collective, we could do more.

Please sign. Make a difference.

SIGN HERE

Apologies to all my international followers. It seems you’re unable to sign. Thank you for your support regardless!

Big love xx

View original post