Category: Technology


I love photography

We look at things all day.

We gain a better understanding of another person’s perspective through photography.

We have an endless amount of social photography tools to share our perspective: instagram, facebook, among several others.

It is an exciting time to explore and share our perspectives. Below you’ll find a photo I took a few days ago of Downtown, San Diego. This shot was taken from Point Loma.

The movement of vehicles at night is fascinating.

The movement of vehicles at night is fascinating. The paths of light remind me of the veins in our bodies.

In the photo above, the objective is to demonstrate the transfer of energy within a city. Light is a great way to capture energy.

This photo represents the ‘electric veins’ constructed by the movement of people at night. I like to think of cities as living beings. Downtown sits in the distance, the ‘heart’ of this social being…driven by energy and economy.

What do you see at night?

- Greg

 

Hi, my name is Greg

Greg Half BeardAs you can see above, I cut my hair and beard.

The past year and a half provided a social experience that proved to be unbelievably insightful, surprising, and humbling. This social experience I speak of is not just about the places I traveled, but also the impact of having a big beard and long hair.

The questions and comments cover a full spectrum:

  • “So how long have you been growing that beard?”
  • “Why are you growing that beard?”
  • “Woah. Dude. Sweet beard!”
  • “That is gross, why are you letting yourself go?”
  • “Jesus!”
  • “Chewbacca!”
  • “When are you going to cut it?”

Not only were there plenty of comments every day, but plenty of looks as well. Some places were more intense than others (ie. India vs Ocean Beach), but nonetheless it was a constant flow of commentary, staring, and curiosity.

My plan was no plan. There was no set date as a goal. There was no mission to accomplish. I immersed myself in the flow of things. My beard became a physical representation of my thought process. A superficial story to those I passed by.

I began to focus on the importance of ‘doing something by doing nothing’. This became a theme in many discussions instigated by my beard. This was not to promote laziness. It is really about promoting the need for many people in this society to accept that taking time to sit and relax can be the ultimate (and necessary) catalyst for creating something great.

The effect of doing ‘nothing’ by not shaving really surprised me. Conversations came to me. People gave me insight as I met them. Some opened up, others closed off. Regardless, every interaction provided a learning experience about people. It was like my beard was working for me.

I know that millions of people around the world have beards. Having a beard is not something new…but for some reason when you have an ‘intense beard’ it sometimes feels like people have never seen one before. It can make you feel like an outcast. It can cause anxiety. It can empower you as an individual. It can provide a unique perspective on people. It can allow you to uncover elements of society you may not see without looking differently.

For me, it further pushed me to always do what I want to do. To leverage from the fact that I can create my own reality, pursue my own interests, and create my own unique perspective about what is important in life.

So here is to all of you out there doing what you want to do regardless of criticism, social norms, and other attempts to diminish one’s true interests. It is a path worth pursuing and one that will give you more than you could ever imagine.

I decided to trim my beard and hair as I’ve just launched a company here in San Diego along with my Co-founder Derrick. Take a look at txtRacer.com and sign up to compete for deals you deserve here in San Diego.

Thank you for all of your support!

- Greg

 

 

 

Let Birds Be Birds

The mergence of technology and nature. A thought of what could become, and what should always remain sacred. Photo taken in Ocean Beach, CA.

A few days ago while walking and talking with my friend Nick I suddenly heard a loud swooooshhhh as something passed by. I looked up, and to my surprise, a hawk appeared in the sky.

We walked over to take a look as it was perched on the fence of the baseball field.

I looked at the hawk and was amazed at it’s ability to turn it’s head more than 180 degrees. It was a big bird and was constantly checking it’s surroundings.

As I watched the hawk look intensely at everything around it, I wondered…what does a hawk see? I thought of the common phrase…’hawk-eyed vision’.

What if we could have embedded technology in hawks to see what they see? What if we could video stream their vision to get a hawk’s view of the world? What if we used the actual hawk as a means of surveillance?

As these thoughts came to my mind, Nick and I continued to admire the hawk for several minutes. I discussed with him the possibility of embedding technology in the hawk to see what it sees. I was excited about the idea. I thought to myself…maybe this is where the future will go?

A few minutes passed, and we continued to look at the big bird perched above us. I decided that I wanted to capture a picture of the hawk with the technology I had in my hand…my iPhone.

I pulled my phone out of my pocket, turned on the camera function, and was just about to snap a photo until suddenly the hawk disappeared.

The hawk had impeccable timing in regards to the conversation.

Maybe the hawk told me that birds should be birds, and that technology-hawk-birds is taking technology a little too far.

I can never be sure, but it was convincing.

 

 

Gutenberg’s Printing Press

Johannes Gutenberg invented the Gutenberg printing press, a device that would ultimately lead to the vast dissemination of written works around Europe and the rest of the world. Many people credit Gutenberg’s invention to be one of the primary catalysts for what came to be known as the Renaissance.

Below are photos of a replica I created over 10 years ago with my stepdad (thank you Richard!). Today, we are living in an age where the Internet is influencing education and overall societal structures in a way much like that of Gutenberg’s printing press. Gutenberg’s Wikipedia page.

Replica of Gutenberg’s Printing Press.

Wood replica of Gutenberg’s Printing Press.

Take the time to listen to this TED talk by DON TAPSCOTT about open Internet and what can be learned from nature.

India mobile use

Arrived to Delhi and can’t help but notice how many people are on their phones everywhere. Noticed a lot of people with smartphones as well.

Check out some figures about India’s internet use here.

The price we pay for theoretical education.

In today’s world, theoretical education is arguably the most highly regarded institution in the world, aside from religion of course. We take out loans large enough to buy homes to purchase theories on everything. This is not to say that all education should be valued equally. The progress of science/engineering through education is undoubtedly valuable; however, we need to evaluate what is going on with theoretical education and why we pay so much for it (in the US).

Educational institutions are very powerful. They have huge investments and tons of highly sought after patents which earn great amounts of money. They have thousands of students paying thousands of dollars to consume concepts, intangible assets that can now be easily shared online through the internet.

I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the graduation cap and gown and that of a priest in religion. I watched the famous Steve Jobs commencement speech again at Stanford, and couldn’t pull my eyes away from the ridiculous caps and gowns everyone was using. In Jobs’ speech, he undermines the university system as a whole by sharing his story of dropping out of an expensive education to pursue the things he actually wanted to pursue.

Many of the great thinkers of yesterday and today have similar stories. They don’t believe in paying for an education. They don’t want their parents or themselves to be indebted to an institution for the majority of their career. They don’t want a piece of paper telling them that they are capable of something. They want to do what they want to do and not have to pay for it.

Today education is changing. It is in the beginning stages, but education is becoming something that people can explore, rather than pay for. It is a huge development in the equality of knowledge and the development of genuine interest for everyone.

Many people hate the job that they were able to get by means of their education and their expensive diploma. Not only do they hate their job, but they are also in debt from the very thing that got them the job – their education.

As we all know, religion has caused many upsets/wars/conflict around the world. I’m not suggesting that paying for theoretical education is causing as many issues, but what I am suggesting is that you think about what you want to do rather than pay someone to tell you what you should do.

I always have admired my mom’s ability to maintain the value of practical and personal education in her first and second grade classes. She builds gardens with the kids, incorporates physical activity, and allows students to draw and sing to enable students to develop in healthy ways and to focus on things that they love to do.

We don’t go through each day selecting the ‘right’ answers from a selection of ‘A through E’ options. We choose to do things because we follow our intuition and passion. ‘A through E’ test questions limit our ability to create anything at all. It is very admirable that my mom is able to still allow her students to focus on intuition and passion in and ‘A through E’ education world.

I can’t recall one single multiple choice question I had to answer from my university education – and there were probably thousands.

UPDATE – view – NPR Article on Student Debt

Check out WeAreThe99Percent

If you want to read more in depth about the debt issue with education read this article.

Take a look at the Khan Academy to see how theoretical education is being spread for FREE today. Wikipedia.org is also a part of this change obviously. It is a start, there is still much change that is needed.

Thanks to my step dad that has always introduced forward-thinking websites like the Khan Academy and Ted.com.

If Our Eyes Were Square

Perspective is everything. It is how we understand and create the world around us. For those of us that can see, our eyes provide the visual stimulus to create our holistic understanding of everything we do in life. As we utilize technology more and more in our daily lives, our perspective of the world will change. Our view of what the world looks like and our role in the world will change. It is already changing. You’re viewing this text through the internet…through pixels. Essentially, you’re viewing the (internet) world in squares. Although pixels can be represented through dots and lines, many of the images we view in the digital world are square pixels.

So the question is, what would our vision look like if we used the same method of viewing the world as a computer does? What would we see? What would we look like if we looked into the mirror?

I’ve created an image that is created from a photo of myself, cropped right over both of my eyes. It represents a distortion of our natural visual environment. Our digital vision. As we see the world more and more through pixels, we need to evaluate what impact it may have on our innate, biological visual experience.

Our Digital Vision of the World

Our Vision In Pixels

The image also represents a certain loss of identity…or a re-forming of identity. You’ll notice that the image has several pairs of eyes – this demonstrates the dissonance between our biological ability to see, merging with the digital world we have created. As we interact with digital technology at an exponential rate, we may experience confusion between the physical (‘real’) world, and the digital world we have created.

The several sets of eyes you can see represent our identity crisis/development of our digital perspective. Biology and evolution has taken millions of years to construct the features we use to see the world. The digital technology we use daily has been developed in a much shorter amount of time.

I think it is important to reflect and recognize the changes we are experiencing through these digital mediums. It is about self understanding, perspective, and our view of the world as a whole. We often take the technology we use daily for granted…step back and contemplate how your view of the world has changed with this new vision/perspective of so many things.

Technology + Freedom

Freedom of the press applies to everyone — yes, even bloggers — Tech News and Analysis.

Click the link to check out an article about our freedoms and rights to use technology in public space. I personally believe that if we can see it with our eyes, we can see and record it with our technology. If news corporations can record what they like, we as individuals should be able to have the same power (apparently governments don’t agree).

We have the opportunity to take the technology we have today (twitter, facebook, youtube) and use it as a means of changing the way we interact with global news. We are the news. Each one of us has our own unique perspective on what goes on in the world. We should be able to not only broadcast these perspective of events that we encounter, but also provide our own opinions and spins on what ‘news’ is relevant and important.

The current system of corporations owning most of the news channels in the world is not only problematic, it is dangerous. These media sources base many of their featured news pieces on the stories that will generate the most income. They want viewers to be glued to the screen. How do they do this? Continuous ‘news’ about violence and/or fame.

Our news source has the potential to be every person on this planet. Thanks to Twitter, blogs, Facebook, Youtube, among others; people are the news.

‘News’ should be something that ultimately benefits us in some way upon hearing it. ‘News’ should not be profit driven. ‘News’ should be benefit driven…how can this story benefit someone else in some way?

So I say stand up for your voice in what ‘news’ is and continue to support the use of personal technology for documenting what actually goes on in the world.