Thursday, November 10, 2011

Friendships and Human Relations

Todays post (updated for 2013) is not about anything technical related, its about friendships and humans relationships, something that can be one of the most important, joyful or frustrating things of our human existence. 

Some people give little thought to our human interactions with others, others can find it defines who we are as a person,  it all relates to a conversation I had with my son a little while back. 

As I am now in the "seasoned" part of my life , my son (whom is his early 20's), asked me this question the other day, he said "Dad, how come some friends of mine, never return phone calls, e-mails or SMS's , and I have to chase them up all the time? what's the story?"

My response, was, well son, sit down and let me tell you a story about friendships...
Having been around a while, I have asked this question of myself (many times), and so has my wife of 26 years, we have both found over the years that many people treat friendships as one way streets. They never drop in to see you. You have to go and see them, they do not call you, you have to call them, they never return phone calls you have to keep leaving messages. Does all of this sound familiar? I find after a few years I no longer see these people. I have had many "friends" whom I have had over for dinner parties, but you never get invited back, but then even go so far as to ask you, when are you doing another party? I have even said out loud, to one so called friend, "when are you going to do one at your place?" then you get looks of offence, like how rude of rude to impose yourself at our place.

On the odd occasion you might see these "friends", (which are not friends, I call them an acquaintance now), and they state "Oh I haven't heard from you in ages, how have you been? " etc etc... and they are all friendly, but wonder why YOU haven't been in contact with them. One person in whom this type of conversation was going on for years, I eventually confronted them , and said, " has your phone been out of order? " with puzzlement they looked at me, and didn't understand my question, "what do you mean?" , they asked? I said" you haven't phoned me, or seen me, so I presumed your phones been out, and your mobiles been stolen, and your internet has been out and your legs broke".... "Oh, ha ha , funny, I was waiting to hear from you!" , they stated. This is when I sigh, and just walk away... many people don't see it, they don't see when they are being all one way with their "friendship" (if you can call it that). They expect you to do all the running around after them, do everything their way. They cant take the time out of their day to see you, or put themselves out. I myself have always made time for, and done things for true friends, to which over the many years have found very few. 

Many acquaintances I have had, but VERY few true friends, and by true friends, I mean the ones they will put them selfs out for you, invite you back for dinner parties, make time for you, and return your phone calls, even if they are busy they will let you know they cant talk right now, but want to as soon as possible, when they have a free moment. 

I get that some friendships are just passing ones, ones that you need you have to get a job done, or ones they you only have coffee with once in a blue moon, not all friendships have to be the close, emotional types, I get that. The people that pretend they are the close ones, but are not, is what gets me, and yes I also understand that this type of manipulation has been going on since the dawn of time. Its understanding that that helps. The term,  fair-weather comes to mind. 

The true Friend is what many people seek, but can not find! These are the people that want to know you the person, not you the person that may know people that can help them leverage things or be able to do things for free or cheap for them. Those people are very rare indeed, and if you find a friend like that, hang on to them, as they are as rare as diamonds. I married my best friend, and thats the best friend I have ever had, hopefully you might find a friend like that too... but don't worry son, real friends do come along, but you will find most people you meet are not friends in the true sense of the word but really are acquaintances. Thats just life.

I have only a very few people in the category of true friends, one which lives out of state, but when we do catch up, its like nothing has changed. Maybe its the distance that keeps this type of friendship fresh alive, fresh and meaningful, or maybe its that they are true friends, and distance doesn't mean anything, and both parties accept that you will be out of contact for months. Although you still may exchange e-mails, phone conversations etc... its still not the same as being in physical presence with some one. A person that you can read all their body language, facial expressions etc.  

(A side note, a famous linguist once said 70% of communication of the human language is done via body language, facial expressions, with tone and inflection of voice. The actual words themselves make up 30%. Maybe why e-mails and forum threads get so out of hand so quickly, as they are misinterpreted, as much of the meaning of the words are lost, as they are stripped of their "voice" and "body".) 

Alas I digress, friendships (the real ones) do come in many different forms, its just recognising the real ones to the fake ones that one gets better with wisdom. 

One person whom I thought was a friend for many years,  was mealy a chameleon, trying to mimic what they knew I would like in a true friend, but too often I found them out for their true self, (secrets, hiding the truth, and using people as mere objects, as a way to try and get ahead) and they are were mealy after me, to manipulate me into helping them all the time. But when I had had a medical crises , they were no where to be found, had every excuse under the sun not being able to help. I found many of their core values , were twisted, selfish, and had such a sense of entitlement  Which just goes back to the old thing, I cant trust anyone expect for the family under my own roof. How jaded of me I know, but some people are every clever at hiding their true motives!

Do I think I am perfect? far from it? I don't expect others to be either , but if we can all show the values above, and learn from our past mistakes , and acknowledge them, then we might have a closer connected world, rather than the current one which seems to be more disconnected than ever. The values of family are more important to me now then ever.  Sure I have disagreements with those I really love, but we have always come around to forgive each other, and respect each other for who we are, and what we stand for. That is after all what true emotional connections are about. 

I know we have to try and get one with most people in order to have some order in our lives, but success, for me,  is not dictated by money, possessions or status of your career.  I know some people pretend to be your friend in order for them to achieve what they think society wants in success (materialism), but they are not people I can really relate with. Nor at the same time do I think we need to all be Buddhists on a hill, mediating all day. There is a happy medium, after all if you crave nothing but the material things in life (keeping up with the Jones syndrome some call it), you will continuously be unhappy, as you strive for the unachievable , there will always be some one with more money than you, a better job than you, etc. The trick is to understand what you have now, and cherish that, that might be something as simple as your values, integrity, what you have done for others (no better gift than the one of giving).  That doesn't necessarily mean you gave money, it may be as simple as you gave some one your time, or your compassion or care etc. 

I try and not let the people that have "used" me over the years,  get to me, and just chalk it up to another experience , it also makes me reflect on what I have, and how lucky I am to be blessed with what I have, for I feel as rich as a king to have in emotional bonds with my wife and family. 

(* Notice I said wisdom, not age, as they two are not always linked. Usually as a person matures, they do gain wisdom, but not always. I am sure we have all met the very wise young person or older person, at the same time, met the old unwise person or young idiot. 
the old saying, quality not quantity seems to apply for so many things in life... this seems to be one that fits that mould as well... many "friends" some people may have, but very few real friends are had. )

Over the years I have heard many people say that have 100's of friends... but really the reality is, they do not have that many true friends in the sense of the word. The rest is just an illusion. It also maybe us more emotional types are more privy to what people what people want from other people in a friendship, maybe its material, or maybe is emotional or maybe a mix of both or something else. This does make me more venerable than most, and people who can read that, can trick us more emotional types. 

Since this conversation, my son has had a different view and seems to be more content with his life. 

Others might think I am little jaded with too many bad experiences, or others might see that I am seeking too much from friendships. I just know that getting to know a person, the real person, whom is genuine down to earth person, whom relates very closely to the core values I hold dear is the most rewarding thing you can have on this planet, and brings some meaning to our existence as humans. For me, life isn't about the collection of material possessions, or the acquisitions of wealth or power as symbols of success, it is how we value ourselves and others, and how we can all try and help make this world a better place. Its is the values of respect, charity, honour, honesty, passion, compassion, integrity, and love that are the important possessions of life. 

What do others think? My life experience is obviously different to many others, but I am sure there are few people that can relate to this story... thoughts??, comments ??

Monday, August 08, 2011


For almost a year now,  my new home has had the dreaded ADSL congestion issue. This means during most times when you are home the rest your suburb is trying to use the internet and it slows to a crawl,  to where its worse than old dail up speed. I often can get no more than 56kbs in speed or slower and pings are 1000ms or more making the internet useable for sending e-mails. No voice chat, no video chat, no downloading anything.,. even web surfing is a major chore with web pages taking minutes to display. Its like sharing your internet connection with 1000 other people in your house.

This is not helped by the fact that my 2 year old suburb was fitted with 10 year old infrastructure from Telstra. Telstra saw fit to install outdated ADSL 1 only multiplexers with no Backhaul to support them!  Thank you Telstra, good to see you have the nations future at heart!

I have complained on a weekly basis to them, to which I NEVER get a reply, I have been to the TIO, Local Member, council, you name it.. no one can do anything. The ISP who buys from Telstra whole sale has said there is a scheduled upgrade to the backhaul in October. No mention of upgrading the old ADSL 1 multiplexer to an ADSL 2 one. Even so , that will be a year of charging a premium amount for a rubbish service!

They charge me 100 bucks a month for a dial up speed service, and think that's ok. Its criminal that any business is allowed to conduct themselves this way. If I bought a plane ticket from Melbourne to Sydney, and instead a plane ticket I got a pair of running shoes, and told to RUN to Sydney, I would have a legal recourse. But Telstra are a law unto themselves, and no one has any say in how they conduct themselves. I do not see how this is acceptable nor legal in this country to act this way!

So Telstra stop FAILING at providing a service, if you cant provide a service then don’t offer it, or offer some compensation or alternatives. Stop ripping off the Australian people with substandard services!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Change your Signal

Time to change the Signal....

Control your information life…

This stems from the other article I wrote about don’t worry be happy, its time people took control of the way they receive their information, be it news, information, the state of the world .. whatever, and stop being just a passive individual willing to eat the feeds of the negative so called “news” coming from commercial TV networks, magazines , radio and newspapers. Lets face it, TV news is just a platform to feed lots of horror stories on the latest flu epidemic, latest terrorist bomb, or murders etc, nothing about scientific discovery, or things that really inertest you. Radio has become totally irrelevant, with FM shock jocks talking about where they found their dirty undies last night, or what come out of their kids nose this morning. Newspapers are nothing more than advertisements disguised as news or information, or paid political announcements. Magazines are an amalgam all the above. Time to take control.

How to take control.

Well stop watching TV news, and listening to Radio, and read what you want. Use google, use the net, and read really what’s interests you, and you will find that suddenly the world isn’t this big terrorist camp, war ridden, plague ridden world. Not to deny these things are going on, but these things have been going on for 1000’s of years, we just didn’t have some media moguls feeding us lots of negative crap about how many car smashes happened today, or how many people died in some natural disaster. Get into podcasting, listen to what you want, not what packer wants you to hear with the occasional cute puppy story thrown in to try and balance all the terror. Get into RSS feeds on particular scientific, medical, SCI FI stories or whatever things interest you.

INFORMATION, should be selective about your interests, what drives you and your passions. Maybe if more of us got our view on the world this way, everyone might stop thinking how bad everything is for a change, and lighten up, and stop being so mean and selfish to each other. The current media feeds on everything negative, people in turn become negative, because its so much easier to be negative about everything than positive. You can start being more positive by controlling what you see and hear by taking these steps:

• Get a PVR (personal Video recorder, a hard drive unit that records TV). We all complain that there is nothing on TV, then control it, select what you want to watch, there are so many DVD’s and Box sets of good TV shows, watch them instead. Get a PVR and programme it to only record the shows, and doco’s you want, so what if they are on 2am in the morning.. get your PVCR to do all the work.

• Get and Ipod , and control what you hear be it music, podcasts etc. Hear info and science shows, debates, sci fi discussions whatever, and stop listening to the 90% of dribble coming from your FM radio or the 90% advertisements.

• Use the Net to get the rest of your once printed material, besides saving trees, you will have full control of the topics that interest you, and you will avoid the negative linear feeds of news papers and magazines.

* Use twitter! Yes twitter is not just useless tool for saying the last time you fed your cat, follow organisations, news feeds, people that have interests you like, and would like to engage in. News does not have to be passive, but interactive. Information exchange should be social. Twitter can make this happen. And if you have an iphone or other type of smart phone, why do you not have twitter? Look at how valuable it has been in recent events in Australia for the distribution of information.

For a long time now I have done most of these things to keep myself update on things that interest me, and its amazing on what a brighter world it seems when you are not fed the totally negative self serving rubbish of 90% of media outlets, epically the nightly so called “news”. Try it for a month and see how well your outlook on life becomes. As Captain Mal would say “CHANGE THE SIGNAL.”

Catalyst: Faster Computing - ABC TV Science

Catalyst: Faster Computing - ABC TV Science

We are on the verge on the next computer revolution with 3D chip design.

Silicon wafers historically have been two dimensional. Intel on just changed all of that with 3-D transistors, dubbed Tri-Gate. The aim: Ensure that Moore’s Law, which dictates that transistor density doubles every two years, keeps chugging along.

These 3-D transistors are in-production technology and are expected to be used in handhelds as well as servers. The 3-D transistors will be the crux of a range of 22 nanometer processors—code named Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge will be ready for production at the end of the year.

These 3-D-based chips will first hit servers, desktops and laptops; Atom-based products will come later. Intel didn’t detail exact delivery targets, but later this year is likely. The company said it expects it will have a three-year lead on rivals.

Intel first detailed 3-D transistors in 2002, and now these chips will hit the market. The general idea is to pack more computing cycles with lower power. For Intel, which demonstrated a 22nm chip, 3-D chips will allow it to move into more markets such as cars, medical devices and other devices.

Intel likened the Tri-Gate transistors to skyscrapers, which allowed developers to optimize space by moving upward.

Among the key points:

  • 3-D Tri-Gate transistors will operate at lower voltage with less leakage. The upshot is that performance will improve.
  • Chip designers will be able to pick fins and choose transistors for low power or performance.
  • 22nm Tri-Gate transistors will use less than half the power at the same performance as 2-D 32nm chips.
  • These 3-D transistors have a 10x lower depletion rate.
  • Applied to a CPU, you can have a lower clock rate with the same performance as higher speeds.

Thus in 5-10 short years we will see memory and speeds of computers be around a billion times more efficient, faster, and INCREASE in capacity than today. It is an amazing time to be a gadget person :)

Imagine your iPhone 7 having 1TB of flash memory storage with the power of a super computer of today in your pocket in 2016, with a battery that lasts for weeks, It looks like its going to happen.