Tennis Elbow

In an earlier article about my road trip to Sydney I explained how I had the misfortune to get tennis elbow.

Tennis (or golfers) elbow is caused by inflammation of the tendons that attach the muscles in the forearm to the bone on the elbow. It is actually mainly caused by poor ergonomics and often mouse use is to blame.

Tennis elbow is a chronic condition and people can have it for years and never really get rid of it. In my case the symptoms started in December and by mid March it was not getting any better despite a program of stretches, exercises and foam rolling.

In the last 2 weeks I have purchased a flexbar and this $40 lump of rubber has made a huge impact on my symptoms. It has been proven in trials to be effective in a number of trials

Surviving Terminal Cancer

In 1971 President Nixon Declared “War on Cancer”

Richard Nixon war on Cancer address

In 1971 one in thirty would develop cancer in their lifetime, today the figure is one in three.

The film Surviving Terminal Cancer suggests this failure is due to a flawed approach the medical establishment has towards terminal disease. The film covers a number of individuals that have been diagnosed with terminal cancer and in many cases given just months to live. Many of the individuals are still alive today (10 or 15 years later). The reason they are still alive is by ignoring the advice of their oncologists and self administering a cocktail of drugs. This practice has been shown to be effective against HIV but for other terminal diseases is difficult and often illegal.

The film highlights how the patients best interests and the the best interests of science are often at odds especially in cases of terminal disease.

Surviving Terminal Cancer from Indigo Rebel on Vimeo.

Don't Stay in School

The track “Don’t Stay in School” by Boyinaband went viral about 3 weeks ago.

Its worth a listen – even if you don’t like hip hop or androgynous looking men with long hair. He has nailed my feelings on this subject, It is now one of my favourite tunes.

After the deluge of interest in the the track the artist has said in a later video that he has big plans to continue taking this issue foreword. On the video below he is explaining how one school is making changes after the song being viewed by most of the students and staff.

Good work Boyinaband!

 

 

Research Rockets

I am pretty excited about a new start-up I am involved with called Research Rockets.

It helps people to conduct their own online research by providing a method to separate fact from fiction and display their research graphically in a way that is simple and shareable. It’s like a cross between an info graphic and a mind map and it will be embeddable in blog posts and web pages.

The application is in development and is scheduled to be released in limited Beta in April. More details can be found below

Using the trivium to make better decisions

Research Rockets was born out of a conversation I had last year where I attempted to help some of my family members who had some medical problems. I was talking to my brother, I suggested he might benefit from exploring other treatments. He was nervous about this and suggested that

As we are not experts researching ourselves could be more harmful than helpful.

I didn’t agree with that statement but instead of arguing I decided to take a different tack. I conducted my own research on the subject and then when complete I provided my brother with a map of the information and then talked to him about the method and approach I used to focus on the most relevant and exclude the misleading.  It worked fantastically well and brought us together with a shared way of talking about the subject. That approach was the precursor to what is now called Research Rockets.

Two months later at christmas I found myself in a situation where my employer had mandated two weeks of forced leave but my wife was only able to take three days off. So for one of the two weeks I took myself on a road trip (approx 3000km) in six days , starting boxing day.

My Trip

  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Canberra
  • Jindabyne
  • Albury
  • Melbourne

It was on that trip where I worked out the product , the pitch, the business model and the marketing plan for what is now called Research Rockets (and in the process gave my self tennis elbow -which I still have now).

Once I got back I pitched the idea to Kriang (an excellent developer and designer who I met at a startup weekend event in October 2015 ). He agreed to join me in this venture. We are now in the the process of building out the limited alpha version of the software (planned release end of March). Whilst Kriang is working on this I have set up a club to help people with individual research. We hope that by helping people out with their own research we can get some valuable feedback for the business. If you live in Melbourne and are interested in getting to grips with the method before the software goes live then please sign up to the mailing list on the site.

To see more of my articles about managing information, intellectual self defense, and how we can use information to bring more independence into our lives click here

 

Taking back control of your mind – The importance of grammar

The first step to taking back control is understanding

Everyday we are bombarded with incoherent, illogical and misleading information. We are swimming in more information than ever before but the paradox is, most people are drowning. 

The Trivium is a systematic method of critical thinking for deriving certainty from any information coming into the mind via the five senses. In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects that were taught first, specifically in this order: grammar, logic and rhetoric. If the three steps are arranged any other way, the Trivium will not work as a method for deriving certainty. The word is a Latin term meaning “the three ways” or “the three roads” which lead to Truth. This forms the foundation of a medieval liberal arts education.

reference wikipedia

Trivium

[Read more…]

Optimize your sleep

Biohacking is the process of using measurement to gain insight to optimize your health. A great diet and excersize regime can be completely ineffective if your not getting enough high quality sleep. Fortunately measuring sleep has just got a lot easier with the use of an iphone app that measures your sleep cycles while you sleep.

What are sleep cycles?

During the night people go through a number of cycles between light medium and deep sleep, each cycle lasts about 90 minutes. You can use this information to infer sleep quality and also optimize the best time for you to wake up. The optimal time to wake up is when you are in your light sleep part of your cycle.

Sleep Cycle

The sleep cycle app measures your sleep quality by measuring movement using the gyros in the phone and sound with the microphone. The software uses this information to measure your sleep cycles.

Sleep cycle

My Findings

I have been using the app for about 3 weeks and can say that alcohol has consistently given me the worst quality sleep wheras eating a small amount of fat and reading a book have booth correlated to my having a better nights sleep. Thursday is also consistently my best sleep of the week.

Have you used Sleep Cycle please leave comments below

Flying Wind Turbines

Wind 2.0

Wind energy has come along way in the last 15 years. Year on year turbines have been getting more efficient and reliable, however conventional design is now nearing it’s limits. Two companies Altaeros Energies  and google have recently presented some innovative new methods for collecting wind energy that could change the game when it comes to efficient wind power.

Conventional turbines have been getting bigger and are increasingly being deployed at sea to take advantage of better, more consistent winds. In addition to consistency wind at higher altitude is twice the speed and has up to eight times the power of wind used for large conventional wind turbines. Altearos Energies and google use different approaches to harness the power of wind at higher altitude. If successful these innovative developements could mean a huge change in the uses of wind power in the future.

Altaeros Energies floating power-stations

The device pictured below is called the BAT  (Buoyent Airbourne Turbine) from Altaeros Energies . The floating turbine is basically a helium ballon containing a wind turbine. According to the company it is intended for use in remote areas and disaster sites. The BAT will be capable of powering 25 houses.

Altaeros_Wind_Turbine

Googles Flying Power-stations

Google project Makani has a very innovative concept for energy production. It works like a kite with propellers that are turbines and the electricity is delivered via the kite string. They are surprisingly powerful they are currently working on a 600 KW system – enough power for 300 homes. Below is a video

Your comments are much appreciated

Tunnelbear & Why Libertarianism is so Dangerous

Tunnel bearTunnelbear is free it allows you to view the web as if you reside in a different country.

There was a video on youtube that was blocked and only available in the US do I was able to use Tunnelbear to view the video. Very useful.

Why Is libertarianism So Dangerous?

The video is a very clever story about society and was well worth installing tunnelbear for – see below

 

If you watched the video and feel you are not really clear about what liberty is below is video that explains it entitled “The philosophy of liberty”.

Intellectual Self Defence & Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

This is not something our educational system or cuture seems to value. However nowadays we have access to more information than ever before, but at the same time we are more confused. This make developing critical thinking skills a higher priority for everyone. I covered problems and the causes of this problem in a previous blog post called “Education or Instruction?”. Poor critical thinking skills are so endemic that many people have lost confidence in their own ability to make decisions. Most people outsource the majority of their most important thinking to other people believing themselves incapable. I believe there’s huge room for improvement in most people , including myself and for this reason I was very excited when I came accross the Trivium and the Peace Revolution Podcast. Lacking in the ability and confidence to scrutinize information makes a person an easy target for scoundrels.  The Peace Revolution Podcast aims to provide information and tools to develop skills needed for  “intellectual self defence” by developing critical thinking skills.

 

The Trivium is one of those tools . Today the trivium is taught only in a small group of elite educational establishments.  The fundamentals  of the trivium are ancient, they were developed by  Aristotle. The Latin word “Trivium” means “from the three ways”

1. General Grammar (Answers the question of the Who, What, Where, and the When of a subject.) Discovering and ordering facts of reality comprises basic, systematic Knowledge

2. Formal Logic (Answers the Why of a subject.) Developing the faculty of reason in establishing valid [i.e., non-contradictory] relationships among facts, systematic Understanding

3. Classical Rhetoric (Provides the How of a subject.) Applying knowledge and understanding expressively comprises Wisdom or, in other words, it is systematically useable knowledge and understanding

Reference http://www.triviumeducation.com/

The mastery of the Trivium allows for an individual to quickly assimilate information, judge its quality and turn this information into wisdom. Wisdom being knowledge that has useful application. In studying the trivium Formal Logic is a good place to start as it deals with the identification of lies, which is something we are bombarded daily. Using Formal Logic to Identify fallacies   The study of Formal Logic helps understanding by rooting out contradictions and fallacies. Fallacies are not the same as lies they are information that is either deliberately or unknowingly misleading.  With the trivium you can you identify fallacies and also name the type of fallacy that is being perpetrated. For a list common fallacies that you could pop in your wallet see this Mental Antivirus checklist. To see some fallacies in action see below

I currently have the Mental Antivirus checklist in my wallet and have already brought some logical rigour to some pub conversations. I provided some friends a copy of the Mental Antivirus Checklist and found that using the common approach meant we had much more meaningful dialogue than normal.

Final thought

The word trivia is derived from  singular for the Trivium.  It is interesting how something so important has come stand for something so…………….trivial. I’d love know how you get on with the Trivium – Drop me line in the comments! Paul