Cloud &/or Ground and the mid air factor

Cloud and Ground are attention seekers in the ever burgeoning race for customer dollars as all software behemoths have their avatars in the offing. AWS & Azure and IBM & Oracle and salesforce.com & startups having been doing their rounds to evoke, consume and profit ultimately in this sugar coated maintenance less demand driven infra proposition. With Ground firmly entrenched by these different vendors want to claim Cloud, all enterprises and individuals need to think of the their security & reliability quotient which I would phrase it as “mid air factor”. How much they can err, tolerate and reclaim in these factors decides cloud adoption. As these platforms mature, so the eco system surrounding the Ground will surely gravitate to Cloud to fill the gaps, innovate and reinvigorate that marketplace too. It’s a matter of time & trend. The trend has set in and it takes time for tools and ease of usability to thrust this into mainstream. My prediction is in 3 years, quarter of enterprise projects will be a mix of Ground & Cloud application mash ups that requires its set of frameworks and consulting expertise. Consulting friaries will unleash their rounds too in creating and delivering value across multitude of platforms. Beyond the cloud, I predict the below to follow to unfurl the next in IT:

  1. Strong cloud-ground synch up software linking application, storage and infra – sort of clusters, safe failovers, load balancing  among cloud and ground infra in seamless way
  2. Proliferation of local clouds – “Low Clouds” – i.e. your computing & home devices joining together to form your local cloud
  3. Search Engines need that next big technology jump to spearhead swarms of cloud data in meaningful way
  4. Smart Phones, Tablets, Gaming devices, e-Readers – have to integrate further – pushed by advances in 3D, Display and Interaction technologies
  5. Basic net access become ubiquitous and free in the leading cities of world by 2015
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My friend’s close shave on OCD affliction

Happen to bump on my closest friend and had a “too long missed” conversation of nostalgia and our years of growing from college till now. Incidentally his birthday was on 23rd Jan and we had a great lunch. As we switched to our family and personal life, it was sad to hear that his spouse had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD. This name itself is a pain and I can’t believe how its actual effects unleash pain to the sufferer and kith & kin who live with closely. OCD can’t be detected early and may be mistook for behavioral traits, unexplained brief acts and it’s human fallacy that things will change for better and forgives such small acts quickly and brings it to the “forgive and forget” mode to move on.
Understood that it took him nearly a decade to understand that it was some sort of psychological issue and took the guts and persuade his spouse to reach for professional help. She was judged suffering from OCD, the dreary mental state with bouts of disorder behavior randomly popping and there’s no cure literally. But mild blocker drugs can alleviate the problem. These years has been a decade of less understanding, arguments and typical father/mother-in-law issue that crop up after marriage combined with the burden of raising children took its damning toll on the beautiful mind.

A sample of what my friend faced up as I spoke to him: The bouts are unexpected and random and manifests on an average, weekly once and results in yelling, shrilling, shouting and mild crying finally. Pointless switching of topics as normal conversations are escalated into needless arguments peppered with past acts being recalled to her point of advantage and any of her follies and mistakes brushed aside and switched to other’s faults. The irony is, this same behavior thwarted it being identified as an affliction, postponed it to the point of misery before being diagnosed and dealt professionally as the sufferer herself used tactic to no outcome but to make it acute. Another dimension to this sorrow is, he came to know that her father carries the same anomaly albeit genetically that might be running through ever and did seek professional help but refused to take prescriptive drugs.

One great relief to my friend was, in the end it was diagnosed and some drugs palliates this suffering a bit. This has resulted in great relief for my friend in dealing it but still he’s grappling with the random bouts. Before the diagnosis, it was a hellish situation, you can’t be dominant yet unyielding, loving yet cruel, freedom yet totally careless, a kind of scaling a steep wall. Added to the complexity is how his kids would take it as they witness the unfolding of fury of no reason and how their father has to bear torrent of negativity that floods & encrusts them and how much positivity & time drag that is necessary to restore back the relationship, cheer and aura in the family.

What I told him was this, because advice is easy said than followed (as you’re not the sufferer though!):

  1. It’s great that it has been finally diagnosed that such bouts now needn’t be treated intentional and can be endured for a grander cause – family bonding & ethos.
  2. Reduce expectations of all sorts from your spouse: intellectual, body, mind, cheer, etc. but rather you give back abundantly
  3. Be self-mortified for the grand cause of love & livelihood
  4. Practice the “law of attraction” to rekindle those you expect, essentially looking into the realm of ultimate consciousness to the remaking.
  5. Pray sincerely for some respite & rejuvenation – after all, everything  is subjected to some sort of cycles.

The Power of Premonitions

Had a chance to read this book by Larry Dossey. Good read on a non-scientific matter. The one most interesting thing that caught my attention was the connection between ENTROPY and EMOTION. Entropy is a measure of the disorder, randomness, or chaos in a system and when this reaches a sudden change, they are emotively appear as premonitions to people at random.

He cited reasons when people become premonition-prone:
1. Absorption, 2. Belief in Transcendent, 3. A sense of unity of life, 4. Compassion & Empathy, 5. Intuition, 6. Comfort with chaos & disorder, 7. External locus of control, 8. Meaning, 9. Interest & positivity, 9. respect for unconscious 10. Personality Type and 10. Common Sense

Premonitions are most common expressions of first sight. They are searchlights into the darkness of future, alerting us to events just lying ahead. If you want to hide the treasure, put it in plain sight. History is studded with “invisibles” that escaped notice, which following their discovery, became obvious. We can see what we can see and largely determined by our beliefs. A skilled researcher knows the right path to follow to produce results. These actions take place without interference of rational mind, on a spur of moment, for reasons that are obscure to individual experiencing them.

Consciousness 

Dyson believes cosmos is suffused with consciousness from the grandest level to the minutest dimensions. if it is why are we not aware of it?
”We don’t know who first discovered water, but we can be sure it wasn’t a fish” the old saw reminds us. Continual exposure to something reduces our awareness of its presence. Over time, we become blind to obvious. We swim in the sea of consciousness, like a fish swims in water. And like a fish has become oblivious to the aqueous environment, we have become dulled to the ubiquity of consciousness.  Aldous Huxley’s writings were cited in some occasions. I’ve yet another author to my repertoire whose works to read.

Being a Public Speaker

Mistakes + Content vs.. Time
An average person speaks 2 – 3 words per second, so a 10 minute talk requires 1500 words (600 seconds x 2.5 words per sec).
Mistakes include:

1. Of not having a interesting opinion
2. Of not thinking clearly about your points
3. Of not planning ways to make those points relevant to your audience

Butterflies in Formation

What to do before you speak: Practice, Practice & Practice. As you practice, when you stumble or confused, try the following:

1. Can I make this work if I try again?
2. Which slides need a change to synch?
3. A visual or a story be apt here?
4. What kind of lead-in is suitable from previous one?
5. Ripping any part will improve what?

Other stress reducers:

1. Reach early and never rush to venue
2. Perform Sound and system rehearsal early on
3. Try the seat where audience are seated to get their view of stage
4. Get your hunger pangs cured early on
5. Converse with audience early if possible

Theatrics & Managing Tough Crowd

Best place to lecture is lecture room with a raised platform just above the first row and the rows that are in semicircles raising up for the audience to view the stage without difficulty and be comfortable. Similar to amphitheatre but enclosed and built modern.

Worst situation to speak is a big room/auditorium with a few/small people. Energy from speaker is dissipated and its best to politely request the few to congregate at the front few rows. Incentives are best way to entice them to come forward and sit in front.

Dale Carnegie once handled a tough crowd of cynical, tough-minded folks who were critical of his work this way:
I know there’s considerable criticism of my book. People say I’m not profound and there’s nothing in it new to psychology and human relations. This is true. Gentlemen, I’ve never claimed to have a new idea. Of course I deal with obvious, I present, reiterate, and glorify the obvious – because the obvious is what people need to be told. The greatest need of people is to know how to deal with other people. This should come naturally to them, but it doesn’t. I’m told that you are hostile audience. But I plead “not guilty”. The ideas I stand for are nit mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus, and I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use? I’d be glad to listen.
People with courage to speak truth in microphone are exceptionally rare. He handled a tough crowd in a bold, smart and honest way.

Eating the Microphone

Avoid eating the microphone, that’s when audience stop listening and it happens when speaker wanders far away from anything the audience cares about and not because of errors, glitches, typos or momentary confusion.

To prepare well, you must do 4 things:
1. Take a strong position in the title
2. Think carefully of your specific audience
3. Make your specific points as concise as possible
4. Know the likely counterarguments from an intelligent, expert audience

It starts with a great title. for e.g.:
1. The top five problems you have with <insert the thing here> and how to solve them
2. Mistakes I made in <> and what I learned
3. The truth about <> and how it can help you
4. Why <> will change your life forever, for free, right now

With the title and first list to talk about, settle down to a list of 5 strong, interesting, reasonably aligned points, as well as a bunch of wacky, weird, mangled, half-baked stuff and draw a line and make it clear.With this simple outline, good things will happen and this is the structure & clear points of your talk. If any of your props fail & notes become unavailable or lost, you stick on to these points to elaborate them spontaneously to tide over the situation.

How not to bore people by your talk

1. Set the pace: Always set the pace for the audience. People love rhythm and speaker must do this to keep their attention. People drift in & out of focus during speeches and they must be able to rejoin your talk.
2. Direct attentions: Once you’ve everyone’s attention, briefly outline how things will work. Think of your opening as a movie preview: fill it with drama, excitement and highlights for why people should keep listening. The simplest way to do this is by telling stories and your situations.
3. Play your part: Speak louder, take strong positions, and behave aggressively than you would in ordinary contestation. These are the rules for performing.
4. Tension & Release: Tell someone will receive million dollars before this paragraph is over, who’ll win? how’ll they win? suddenly reading this paragraph creates thrill & builds tension. Simplest way to create in your speech is problem & solution.
5. Get the audience involved: Ask for show of hands, ask trivia and people shout out answers, get them a problem to solve
6. Always end early

Real Feedback

1. How did the presentation compare to others?
2. What one change would have most improved my presentation?
3. What questions did you expect me to answer that went unanswered?
4. What annoyances did I let get away of giving what you needed?

Whoever it is invites someone to speak to an audience has to sort out:
1. what they (the organizer) want from the speaker?
2. What the audience wants from the speaker?
3. what the speaker is capable of doing?

How to teach

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Strangely this idea being thousands of years old and having enthusiastic support from brilliant people, dew public speakers apply this wisdom. The reason: as difficult lecturing is, giving the audience things to do is much more difficult.

How to make a point

Locomotion: Logic, Character and Emotion – Logos, Ethos and Pathos – as outlined by Greeks in their techniques for rhetoric. When irate passengers in delayed flight go to airlines office with the following way to make their cases heard:
1. Your airlines is wrong
2. I’m special and deserve a seat
3. I’m angry and you should appease me
The 3 approaches fit what that has been outlined some 3000 years ago by Greeks as above. Rhetorical tactics can be found in a book called Thank you for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs (3 Rivers Press)

Sometimes emphasize the right word in a sentence & being silent makes your points very clear.

credit goes to Scott Berkun, www.scottberkun.com