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In 19th century dog fighting, bull dogs weren’t the strongest or most aggressive dogs, but the fat and extra skin around their neck made it harder for other dogs to tear their throat out. Dogs could clamp down on it, but they couldn’t kill. That’s savage. There’s a lesson there.

You don’t have to be the best, you just have to be harder to destroy. You have to be relentless. Indefatigable. Sometimes, to get in the right position, you have to be able to absorb a lot of blows. You’ve got to know you’re taking hits for a reason, and have the tolerance and endurance to bear it. If you can actually enjoy and seek out that process?

Well, then you’re a savage. And you’re going to be very successful.

- Ryan Holiday

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I watched this video about the history of hip-hop and its growth rooted in the ghettos of New York to having a website, Rap Genius (which has a million monthly visitors), started by a Stanford law school graduate, Mahbod Moghadam in Silicon Valley and becoming a force for social change.

Mahbod, via Facebook, told me that he cofounded Rap Genius in an effort to have rap understood as poetry, the art that it truly is.

Nikki Giovanni, the American poet stated that for those who really know they’re history, rap’s precursor is the way the Preacher in the Church had a sing song way of delivering their sermons.

This is where hip-hop has come from, despite its growth stemming from in the party scene. I think the reason that caused Mahbod to start Rap Genius is because hip-hop has lost its way, rappers who can have mainstream appeal like Nas or Tupac are few and very far between nowadays.

Wale, said in an interview the hip-hop doesn’t have a message anymore, it’s all melodies. Jay-Z once killed a potential collabo between him, Kid Cudi & Drake when they were the GQ men of the year for ‘killing the gangsta persona in rap’. The reason is because it wouldn’t have been a good business decision for Jay.

That’s the problem with hip-hop music.

It’s not poetry anymore.

It’s considered a business, not an art form. Jared Ball, Member of the Green Party, says that 3 corporations own & distribute 95% of all music in the Western world, Warner, Universal & EMI. Everything you hear on commercial radio is owned by one of these companies.

On a bigger level, 5 companies control almost all of the media distributed in North America.

Think about that.

 

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Turns out the first person to ever have a credible UFO sighting, whose sighting launched the flying saucer UFO craze in America (according to the History Channel), was misquoted.

Kenneth Arnold, a prominent business man and pilot, didn’t see a circular disc or a ‘flying saucer’ like the idea that permeates science fiction culture, but a crescent shaped ship that moved like a disc skipping through water.

You can hear Kenneth Arnold’s account in his own words in this 1952 radio interview here.

As he stated in the interview he thought it could be military related (i.e. an early version of the ‘Flying Wing’) but he’s not sure, he just knew that what he saw was moving very, very fast, like nothing he’d seen before.

But the newspaper journalists got it wrong, they branded the skipping discs as “flying saucers”. And thus the UFO craze was born that German scientist Victor Schauberger also helped contribute to.

Kenneth Arnold’s was truly one of The First Sightings. His encounter compelled him to even write a book about it with Raymond Palmer, called “The Coming of The Saucers” (taken from media headlines).

This is probably the 1st book to take a serious look at UFO’s.


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Steve Blank, (#2 on my cool people list), prolific educator at Stanford/Berkeley, author & Silicon Valley heavyweight, ahd an interesting quote on of his recent blog posts called Why Innovation Dies about the times we are truly living in and just how much impact the internet is having on our global way of life.

Here it is:

“Every school district, college & university is struggling about how to deal with online education. The ability to reach millions of students with a single source is the most disruptive thing in education since Gutenberg’s printing press.

Think about that.

Hundreds of years from now, in 2512, Tim Berners Lee (#22 on my cool people list) will be looked at as the Johanne Gutenberg of the 20th century with his invention, the internet.

Check out Project Gutenberg here for over 20 000 ebooks.

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According to those recently interviewed by the BBC, Leonardo Da Vinci‘s layered drawings of the human anatomy, mainly of the hand & spine, from 500 years ago, are accurate, even by today’s standards.

“Sad is the disciple that doesn’t surpass his master” (Forster codex III, f. 66 v.)

“Tristo è lo discepolo che non avanza il suo maestro” (Codice Forster III, f. 66 v.)

- Leonardo da Vinci

He coincidentally died 493 years ago today.

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The controversial movie ‘Ides of March’ produced & released by George Clooney in late 2011 chronicle’s a politician’s scandal that resulted in the untimely pregnancy of one his aides during a run for a Presidential campaign.

I’ve wondered what the story was behind the movie, and last week, on Anderson Cooper 360, I found out the story that based on the affair between Rielle Hunter & John Edwards that came up during Edwards run as a potential presidential candidate.

It should be noted that Clooney’s fascination with Julius Caesar is the reason behind the title, The Ides of March or March 15, a day of infamy that marks Caesar’s death.

The trial for John Edwards use of campaign donations to cover up his affair with Hunter began last month.

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After the Rwandan genocide, it became the first country in world history to do so, with encouragement from government policy makers.

As a result, these women are transforming their society.

Harvard Primatologist Richard Wrangham argues that more powerful women = less wars.

And women are more democratic in leadership roles than men are.

Hopefully, this could be the start to a quiet transformation in politics in Africa, and consequently the world.

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“The knowledge of rebirth is the turning point in the history of mankind.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche 

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I am confident that there is truly a thing such as living again, and that the living spring from the dead, and that the soulds of the dead are in existence.”

- Socrates, Greek Philosopher

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Start watching this video at 14:21 

For more info:

1. Checkout this blog post by PhD Carlos Alvarado on Ian Steveson’s study of reincarnation which was funded by Chester Carlson, the man who invented the Xerox

2. The Sri Lankan Guardian also provided An Objective Overview of Reincarnation all over the world

3. James Houston Jr., reincarnated WWII fighter pilot

4. The blur between ‘magic’ & religion that caused the rift of what is & what isn’t in modern theology

5. 30 Cases of Reincarnation

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To my surprise, San Francisco rapper Lil B (#174 on my cool people list) & arguably the most prolific rapper ever (maybe even the most multifaceted), actually did give a lecture at NYU earlier this month after an invite from them as a ‘cultural icon’.

Lil B has been touted as either a testament to the decline of Western society or a folk hero of rap counter culture.

At the lecture, Lil B (born Brandon McCartney whose rise to fame via the net), drew from the philosophy of  ’being based in positiveness’ that he discussed in his 2009 book ‘Takin’ Over’ released through Kele Publishing.

His ‘Based Philosophy’ is his answer to the negativity, hyper masculinity & violence promoted in mainstream rap, (Note: in the Bay Area,  ’Based’ is used to describe the effect drugs does to people, in effect, ‘slowing’ them down) that’s led to the deaths of some of rap’s greatest artists, like Tupac (who has been in the press for some very odd reasons lately).

In describing the based philosophy at NYU, Lil B used a story of an encounter he had with an older caucasian gentleman at a gas station, Lil B asked the gentleman, as a young black male, what major changes the gentleman had observed in his 60+ years of life.

The Gentleman asked Lil B: “You really wanna know [what's changed]?”

Lil B responded: “Yeah sir, I really wanna know”

Then The Gentleman responded: “You know what’s really changed? Your attitude.”

Instead of an ignorant approach to resolution, I think what The Gentleman was implying was that the overall youth of today are more mature today than they were 50 years ago.

Guess the argument that humanity as a species is maturing on an unconscious (with the discovery of soul development  & our lost history through reincarnationpast life regression) & on a conscious level (again) with the decreasing cases of conflict on Earth throughout history as suggested by Harvard Primatologist, Richard Wrangham.

In other words, what The Gentleman Lil B encountered was saying, is that the whole planet is evolving unconsciously & consciously, one person at a time.

Checkout the clip of Lil B’s Lecture here

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“We’ve never had a culture built on a system where everyone is radically included. But with the internet, we’re starting to see the seeds of such a culture being planted today for tomorrow’s future.”

- Ken Wilber, influencer of Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra & Oprah Winfrey

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As discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’, little things can have big effects. Gladwell argues that ideas, products & messages spread just like viruses do.

Ken Wilber, of the Integral Institute, also argues that the recent mainstream rise of the net is sparking humanity’s 6th known paradigm shift. In other words, the whole planet is evolving, one person at a time.

In history, numerous ripple events in the past have created huge waves in the future.

For example,  when perceiving history as a science, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, sparked a chain of events that led to the outbreak of the first world war.

Jared Diamond makes the case in Guns, Germs & Steel that geography played a key role in allowing certain societies to thrive over others that fell by the wayside of history’s forgotten pages. (Some people disagree).

Lastly, everyone at Harvard demanding an online yearbook [called a 'facebook' on campus] led to the creation of the largest social network on the planet (which is announcing its IPO for May) led to the birth of this blog post.

And these little start ups could spark a little knowledge revolution in the near future.

 

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The following is an excerpt from ‘Before They Changed The World’:

‘The silent file of black men inched slowly forward, their heads bowed, their eyes downcast, their expressions mournful. Two 19 year olds from upriver watched transfixed as a snarling man wielding a whip marched beside them, flicking a whip menacingly to keep the procession moving.

The procession shuffled past a row of enclosures, walled off from the street by fences two stories high. The two youths saw the black men herded into a large open area and forced , one by one, to step on a platform in the centre, where their bodies and their lives would be offered up for sale. It was a horrifying picture that would remain with one of the youths, Abraham Lincoln, for the rest of his life.

Side Note: Happy 190th Birthday to Ulysses Grant, who I coincidentally read about yesterday along with Abe.

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Hannibal of Carthage, is widely considered 1 of the forefathers of modern strategy. He never though himself as a anything more than a man with an objective to achieve (destroy Rome at all costs). His tactics are still taught in Military schools today even though his  exploits that shook Rome to its core occurred around 216 BCE.

A gifted speaker, Hannibal led his army to victory after victory against Rome during his stab in the Punic Wars. His claim in history stem from his epic trek across the Alps in a surprise attack against Rome. If he had won the overall war and defeated Rome, he would’ve changed the course of history.

The reason why Hannibal is so revered isn’t just because he was Rome’s worst nightmare, but also because of his innovative battle tactics. He used a female elephant to lead her stubborn male counterparts with her pheromones. He was hired by Rome’s enemies and used their native venomous snakes as canon balls in sea battles.

As noted in John Prevas & Steve Forbes‘ book: Power, Ambition & Glory, He also planned meticulously for each & every  battle and marched his army with the wind to their back against his rivals to blow dust in their faces and slaughter them.

Hannibal was 1 of history’s greatest innovators, widely considered the greatest general the world has ever known and has inspired companies like Google and leaders for generations.

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On page 37 of Jim Tucker’s essay about Ian Stevenson’s research on children who spontaneously remembered past lives, I read something interesting, Chester Carlson, the man who invented the original Xeroxing process that would become the foundation of the Xerox Corporation (sparked by his wife Dorris) funded Stevenson’s original research project exploring the idea of reincarnation.

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“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

- Derek Bok, Former President of Harvard

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“Art is the most entrepreneurial thing you can do, you take nothing & turn it into something.”

- Margaret Atwood, Canadian Novelist & Poet

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Ramit Sethi, #5 on my cool people list, is giving away $1000, no strings attached, all he asks is that you tell him what you did with the money.

Sign up before 4/20 for your chance to win

Good Luck!

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I read a little while ago in my print copy of ideas & discoveries magazine about the ancient Khmer Empire (in Cambodia) city of Angor Wat.

The city started as a collection of small rice-farming and fishing villages in the 8th century and started to rise into a huge empire in 1100.

And it was big, it’s size was unequaled in its time, according to ID magazine, The Angkor Wat temple, built as dedication to the Gods, required more material to build than the Pyramid of Giza & was as big as Kansas City. For comparison, Europe’s largest city in the High Middle Ages was Cordoba, Spain had a population 1/10 the size of Angkor Wat’s.

It was the largest city of the pre-industrial era with sophisticated irrigation & drainage system.

Think about that.

Another interesting fact is that because of the rich trading relationship between Khmers & Indians, the 2 trader’s religions eventually merged.

In Angkor Wat, there are massive temples that pay homage to Buddha & Hindu Gods such as Vishnu as a result of the cross pollination of beliefs.

There are also statues that pay homage to successful Khmer Kings, mainly Jayavarman VII, “The Asian Sun King”, whose leadership skills helped bring The Khmer empire to the height of its glory & expansion.

Jayavarman VII was a warrior fully steeped in the knowledge of political tactics & intrigue. He rose to power when he quashed a palace revolt that cost his predecessor his life. He then struck a huge military blow to the Khmer’s archenemies, the Cham.

Afterward, he went onto conquer a portion of what is today known as Myanmar (who recently swore in Aung Kan Suu Yi as their democratic leader).

ID calls Jayavarman VII a mixture or Roman Emperor, Egyptian Pharoah & social reformer.

Jayavarman VII was also one of the most progressive rulers of his time anywhere in the world. He had dozens of hospitals built for the citizenry. This [religiously motivated] social welfare was financed by the plentiful harvests and tribute from conquered territories.

Unfortunately, with his death, a principle of history was confirmed: The rise of every great civilization carries the seed of its own downfall. With Jayavarman’s passing, Angkor Wat descended into civil war. On top of inner squabbles, the irrigation system broke down.

And with that, the city that could have become the center of a global empire , but instead, it fell to the wayside of history.

 

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What’s the largest industry in the world?

Why are scientists who experiment with finding free, limitless energy being oppressed?

Why would the descendant of 1 of America’s most powerful families think about stuff like this?

Don’t know?

I didn’t either, until I watched the 1st 30 minutes of this movie.

It’s a little stale to start but stick with it & your understanding of how the world works will change.

“Sin is the denial of the right to thrive.”

- The Canadian, Strieber, “The Key”

Watch It

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Zuck & Moskovitz used a real estate planning tool that most people 3x their age are familiar with.

They’re also relentlessly long term, they don’t even have kids but they’re planning for them already at age 27.

When Facebook was spreading like wildfire from campus to campus circa 2004-2005. Zuck & Moskovitz used a strategy based on geography to indirectly pressure big schools to join (Kirkpatrick, Facebook Effect).

[Side Note: If you're going to read Kirkpatrick's book about how Facebook was founded, read it understanding how biased it is.]

This helped them outmaneuver competitors like Club Nexus & (indirectly) MySpace. Everyone says Zuck got lucky, but the truth is, Facebook wasn’t the 1st social network, not by a long shot. A very, very, long shot.

Zuck may or may not have ripped off everyone  else’s idea, social networking was and still is a red ocean.

With that disclaimer, Facebook was just the 1st social network to get authentic identity right. And it was the first to have a truly deliberate & strategic method of expansion.

Simply put, Zuck, Parker & Moskovitz had what it took to win the war.

Facebook now runs the new internet that Google used to reign over. Facebook is a utility-platform that game changing apps like Highlight run on.

This isn’t by accident, Facebook’s usefulness is a very deliberate product of Zuck thinking ahead (even if he did join the party a little late).

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated that wealth is a reflection of a man’s capacity to think. And from the founding of Friendster to houseSYSTEM to facebook, a lot of thinking has been done.

And in order to win, you have to think [ahead].

 

 

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At work this past Wednesday, the topic of ‘past lives’ came up as a joke between myself a supervisor and another coworker (each of us had our own past selves we referred to) . I randomly alluded to a few books I read on the idea.

Then surprisingly,one of my coworkers said (and I quote):

“I believe it, one of my Aunts in Manitoba went to one of those past life regressionists when I was 7 and she found out that she was a man in her most recent past life.”

I’ve remained skeptical about the idea but now that I’ve met a few people who I can discuss the idea with, I’m a little more open.

A respected mentor of mine who was a soldier in WWII in a past life has discussed the idea & directed some of my thinking on the subject.

Also, one of my best friends who is skeptical but open to the idea suggests that we may have crossed paths as much as 2000 years ago in North Afrika. I contend that we were around North Afrika in the time of Ancient Rome or the Ottoman Empire.

But we can’t be sure until we look into it further. Guess we’ll only know once we actually delve into it!

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Most people will find this funny, but I’m dead serious:

I’ve been saying it for a while, but recent discoveries attest to my argument that the philosophy the Pokemon’s creators used to decide how the Pocket Monsters would evolve can be applied to helping us discover the origin of evolution.

Check the pictures out for yourself:

Note: Most of the discoveries were made years after the Pokemon were designed. For example, a miniture T-Rex recently discovered in the 2000′s could be equated with Charmander’s eventual evolution into Charizard, as seen with the first Pokemon games that came out in 1996.

 

 

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Over a month ago, I blogged a [very] brief history Silicon Valley & the Net. This is the 2nd half of the story.

In the past decade or so, we had Facebook in 2004, which finally created a reliable database of users in an anonymous digital world. There’s Google, in 1997 which as one of the 1st search dominated dominated companies. Apple created the iPhone, which now alone, is making more money than Microsoft’s entire business. Along with Napster (co-created by Parker), who single handedly destroyed the parasitic record label industry & forced artists to innovate. Each of these businesses (& Microsoft too, I guess) revolutionized the way we use the net.

So with that said, we went from the biggest database of info ever, the easiest way to find stuff on the web and redefining the meaning of “personal computer” with the introduction of mobile computing with the iPhone & iPad.

To what?

A company that hails taxi cabs. Another one that books rooms in other people’s houses overseas. One that is all about sharing pictures and feel good quotes. And another that allows you to process credit card payments anywhere, anytime. Now granted, these are all great businesses & incredibly customer and product focused (which is surprisingly hard to come by in the scaleable start up industry), they are not what we need.

We need more Sean Parkers who can realize the next big shift on the web or stick with an idea and develop them fully. But then again, not a lot of people have been involved directly with Facebook, Napster, Spotify & Airtime (aka almost every company that has driven innovation on the net) like Parker has.

There is one other company that Parker isn’t currently involved in that has a lot of potential, a company that could be that could be the future of the Internet along with Airtime.

Check it out. At least its better than Pinterest.

PS: So is this, Google’s Project Glass. It’s a game changer.

PSS: There’s also a huge market potential for disruption in the telecom industry. Imagine if someone created an internet based phone company. How much havoc would that unleash on the business status quo?

PSSS: Web 3.0 is social (thanks Zuck!) and this is how it will disrupt the net

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Short Version:

1. (Reluctantly) applied to college in 2007 after graduating from Lorne Park SS, contributed here, there & other places too. Thankfully, I eventually graduated in 2011 with a Marketing Diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming

2. Passed on a job offer with a Canadian Fortune 500 company to start a business with a few local investors and business owners

3. Got clients , investors ($200K worth), renovated offices, merged with another company (grew from 3 to 13+ people very quickly).

4. I didn’t like the direction we were going in, so I left. But I learned a ton about business & life from what I call “The Syber Experience”.

5. After googling Uncollege & Charlie Hoehn, I started teaching myself about history & how to build a world class brand. Now I’m blogging about it, making it through the early rounds of selection for the Thiel Fellowship, working my college debt away & charting out the next 5 years of my life business wise.

6. I’m also starting another company that’s launching in early 2013 called rez connect that will help students across the province, and eventually the nation, find compatible room mates with my partner Rob

You can follow me on Quora here

Long Version:

I’m Radz. I’m 22 years old. Back in April 2011, I graduated from the most under rated college in Canada with an ahem, *Advanced* (lol) Marketing diploma. And like the majority of my fellow graduating class out there that has started blasting out resumes in December, I didn’t get a job right out of college like I thought I would.

But after reading and applying Charlie Hoehn’s advice

I got 2 offers in June; A Marketing Manager position with a Fortune 500 company in Canada &  to co-found an online marketing start up. Took a risk & went with the latter to understand what it takes to launch a business in the “real world”. Even though it predictably didn’t end up making me a billionaire like I originally thought it would, I still learned a lot about what it takes to thrive in the chaos & instability of the real world.

I refer to those 7 months as the “Syber Experience”. I probably grew more in those few months more than I have in the past 2 years of college.

Being a part of that venture and learning more about the net, led me to Dale Stephens.

Dale is a fellow of a fund put on by Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Finding out about The Thiel Fellowship opened up my eyes to the modern day Rome that is Silicon Valley & how this is one of the best times in history to become an entrepreneur. I went from not knowing what I was going to do with my life to realizing in order to save “Turtle Island” (North America) we need to revamp our education system, we still have a chance to stay at the top if we’re willing to fight for it.

Although I had just graduated & was starting a business, Charlie, Dale & Peter inspired me to become a self taught polymath of practical skills (i.e. speed reading & coding), history, technology, entrepreneurship and alternative education along engaging in my own artistic talents in order to help change the world in my own little way.

This blog is going to share my journey with you & more importantly, everything we learn together along the way.

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Carrying on from yesterday’s post:

My own why is understanding that education as a system itself should be open minded. Malcolm Forbes once said that the very purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open one

The scientific method has long been biased against things that cannot be seen (which as a friend who has a degree in History told me, started with medieval Protestant scientists).

If one of the key methods of understanding our environments is biased what does that say about how we understand the world?

Humans who came after Christ polluted his message with their own views, not God’s.

There are some accounts that early Christian leaders edited the idea of reincarnation out of the Christian message because the notion of a simple [external] God with a simple message would draw more followers.

If this is true, what does that mean to the millions of people who are religious? How far have we been led astray by our early leaders?

Questions like these have eaten away at my soul for the majority of my life, most people accept it, but I can’t. this is why I blog about what I’m learning, so hopefully, others can learn too.

Why do you do what you do?

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History has a lot of great leaders, all with exceptional capabilities, but some always stand out above others. With the recent passing of Steve Jobs last year, one wonders why he got out of bed in the morning. Why he and Steve Wozniak started Apple.

Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why stated that Jobs & Wozniak started Apple to help the underdogs of small business take on the corporations. The Apple computer would give anyone the capability to start their own business. And to add insult to injury, Jobs and Wozniak made billions doing this.

Jobs’ genius was the way his vision integrated art and technology together. Although it seems like common sense today, it was revolutionary in the dawn of the Information Age in Silicon Valley. Some say Jobs helped change the way the world works , communicates & ultimately, lives.

Others, mainly Pay Pal co-founder Peter Thiel, don’t view the Apple’s innovations as technological breakthroughs.

As philosopher & developmental psychologist Ken Wilber has made a case for in his own work, integration is the next paradigm shift of the global human consciousness.

We now have the building blocks of knowledge with everything from the sciences to business to art to literature to varying views of evolution, history & culture (although we sill have a lot to learn).

But all of these great leaps in our knowledge started with why.

Apple wanted to level the playing field in business for underdogs.

Galileo was driven by a thirst for the truth which helped him prove that the earth revolves around the Sun.

What’s your why?

 

 

 

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