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Influence Circle

One time, I felt angry when watching the television full of misinformation. It affected my mood for the whole days.

This experience is not unique. You might be affected by what your friends post in social media. Or the rumor that passed to you.

It was not fun for me experiencing that. I’m full of anger, depressed, for something not directly affecting me. And it’s overwhelming me because I don’t know what to do, or how to fix the issue.

It was until I read seven habits by Stephen Covey, where he mentioned about the concept about Circle of Influence. I realized that all the news, all the rumor, are outside of my influence circle. If I want to care about it, I had to increase my circle of influence. It changes my perspective from how to solve the problems, to how to make that I have influence in that problems.

Once I know what to do, it’s easier to make conscious and rational judgement about should I or should I not do something about the problem.

What are things that is outside your influence circle that affects you?

Autoscaling Infrastructure

What great about clouds is you delegate and fastrak provisioning your hardware. That can be your server rack, your networking cable, and down to a new hardisk.

I started my first year working with clouds and take for granted all of this things, and isn’t easy to wrap around my head that provisioning server isn’t easy, because what I know is just click here and click there and you have the machine provisioned, ready and accessible from the internet. Compared to physical infrastructure where you would have the supply chain and wait for weeks before the machine is ready.

Now, how would you imagine autoscaling transportation infrastructure? One way to imagine it is like Uber. You would outsource provisioning the transportation to the 3rd party, with the final vision is to have autopilot driving the car.

I think we can do more than 4-7 seated cars.

What about autoscaling public transport? How would you envision it?

What about other physical infrastructure? Is it possible to “autoscale” it?

Sunny San Francisco

It’s rare.

San Francisco is a unique city where it’s surrounded by sea on three of its side. Its climate is very unique, where you always have around the same temperature, 1-10°-16°C (50°-70°F). The sun is warm when it shines, but the wind is forever cold. The wind is cold because of it’s coming from the sea where ocean currents come from the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. The Pacific Ocean current moves southward along the western coast of North America, beginning off southern British Columbia (west of Canada) and ending off southern Baja California Peninsula (west of Mexico).

Coming from a tropical country gave me the perception that beach is warm or hot. I suggest you dress in layers when you visit San Francisco. Even in summer.

This is a picture of my wife that I took with my phone enjoying the rare sunshine in Union Square, the center of the city.

3D TV hologram

I went to Google Next Conference 3 weeks ago and attend a lot of exciting sessions.

What I want to share is not the session, but one person who looks interesting.

If you look closely, you’ll see he is watching a hologram from his tablet look-alike. The hologram showing a concert/dance video and three dimensional. I’ve seen something called “Hologram Advertising Projector,” but what he used seems more an advanced version and more consumer friendly. Not that people might want it though. Hololens has a lot more potential in my opinion.

The VR world and AR world is still in its infancy, and there will be a lot of unsolved problem in this area before it’s mature. What do you think? What is the most exciting thing you heard from AR/VR world?

Compounding Time

You’ve probably heard about compounding interests, and I would like to tell you about compounding time.

I shared previously about the Pareto Principle that I used in my Toastmaster Club speech. If you focus on the most impactful activities, you will earn time. The time you saved, can be used to optimize other activity, which will again, increase your availability time. But, is it worth optimizing an action that usually takes 10 hours to become 4 hours?

There is no right answer to that question, yet. If you must, the correct answer is you need more data. How long optimizing the operation will take? 1 hour? 1 week? 1 month? How frequent the activity is? Daily? Weekly? Yearly? How many people doing the same operation? Only you? The whole team? The entire company?

You can do the math, or you can refer to this xkcd post:

Is it worth the time?

If the time it takes to optimize is longer than what is in the cell, that means the break-even point is longer than five years. That’s a long time! Even for an enterprise. Unless 500 people are doing the same stuff. Your optimization might be able to be used by everyone, which mean you saved everyone’s time. The time you shave off should count for everyone’s time if you are working in a company.

Have you heard that time is the most expensive things? If you present your case with the right approach, you can start your own project in the company

Instagram & Chimpanzee

This Instagram post recently goes viral.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mike Holston (@therealtarzann) on

Researchers already know that chimpanzee exhibit similar DNA strands with the human. Some people do a clinical trial using chimpanzee, and one of them tried to put human’s DNA into chimpanzees, to make them more, human. They tried to find the biological reason why a human is different.

In my opinion, it’s just a matter of cognition and behavioral extrapolated with the time that defines human as a species, human. The chimpanzee who scroll through the Instagram feeds shows a cognition process. The chimpanzee with fashion also exhibits a cognition process. The cognition will change their behavior over time and given enough time, they might learn how to use fire.

Is that a bad thing? I don’t know. In a way, the human was given the same evolution chance by God. Is humanity bad?

What do you think?

Indonesia’s Election

Indonesia’s just finished the election process one week ago. Of course, some people are not satisfied with the process. I won’t talk about the election results or the candidates at all.

I want to appreciate the volunteer who prepared for this biggest democracy’s event held in Indonesia, where each Indonesia’s citizen voted for their leader, and every vote counts.

It sounds like an easy task that you do once every five years. It’s not easy. It’s very challenging. It’s a huge logistical problem. You have to deliver hundred millions of voting ballots and logistics to more than 800 thousands different location. Some remote location is inaccessible by motor vehicle, and it requires you to walk, climb, or riding horses, elephant and any other means to get there.

Looking at these photos touched me up.

I want to say thank you for your hard work.

For people who passed away in the process, you are our hero of democracy.

Twenty Percent

Who uses keyboard shortcuts?

I think everyone agrees, using the keyboard shortcut can save your time. If you shave off 5 seconds by using a keyboard shortcut on a task that you do 50 times a day, do you realize that in 5 years, you just saved yourself 5 days?

Who remembers all existing keyboard shortcut?

I absolutely believe no one knows all existing keyboard shortcut, and no one should. Do you realize that you don’t need to remember all keyboard shortcut but only the most frequently used to gain the most from productivity?

In this writing, I will describe this phenomenon, walk through other similar examples, and how you can apply it to your daily life or works.

Continue with reading

Public Transport

What do you think about public transport? How much do you use it?

I live in San Francisco, and public transport is decent, better than some location in the Bay Area but not the best in the world. It’s also hard to find parking in San Francisco though.

It isn’t perfect. The biggest issue that I encountered a couple of times would be related to predictability. I’m okay with 15 minutes interval, as long as 15 minutes is 15 minutes, not 20 minutes, or 10 minutes.

In my opinion, the most significant benefits as the rider to use public transportation is the predictability. I love that I know the train will come in five minutes and me walking to the stop is 3 minutes, and it’ll take 29 minutes to arrive at the destination stop, and I’ll be on time for the 10.45am meeting.

When you take that away, it decreases the incentive to use public transport.