“Authoritarian governments have started figuring out how to use social media to spy on activists and control political conversation,” he said. “Any new tool that lets people network with family and friends in a secure way is likely to have a political impact.”
Virtually everything Pixar touches turns to gold, and it’s not by accident. Leo Babauta rounded up some great takeaways he and his kids learned while touring their studios. My favorite:
7. Surround yourself with heroes. When Bernhard was interviewed at Pixar about 6 years ago, it took all day. The list of people interviewing him was a list of his personal heroes. That’s who he works with, the best in the world. How inspiring is that? You’d jump out of bed to get to work each morning, wouldn’t you? Of course, not all of us are that lucky, but we can surround ourselves with the work of our heroes, and use them for inspiration, maybe even reach out and meet one or two of them someday. Shoot for the stars, or at least illuminate your life with their light.
What struck me most reading that was how complacent the world outside the Pixar mentality seems by comparison - in the pursuit of that kind of inspiration. Maybe there’s just something in the water they drink in California. Heroes in that sense aren’t even that far out of reach when you nurture the tenacity and passion Leo mentions. A one-time encounter can be a life-changing moment, and opening even the smallest line of communication, building a mentor relationship or working alongside them can be exponentially more profound.
When I’ve gone after someone or something, the ease of success is shocking more often than not. But like most things, its easy to sit back and do nothing in a comfortable numbness that doesn’t reflect your true character, but rather your fears and insecurities. Wade long enough in that river and its easy to lose your character. I know because that’s how I’ve felt for the latter part of this year. The pain becomes overwhelming when you feel like your personality is morphing as you stray from the ideals you admire in your heroes. Stress takes a toll. Life becomes easier when you can release by complaining. You let yourself get dragged into petty squabbles with less-than-intelligent people. They bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. -Mark Twain
Then, every area of focus in your day starts to cascade around you uncontrollably because you let that doubt and anxiety take hold, and you lose perspective. This is a cliché reference, but it reminds me of the foresight Yoda had about Anakin Skywalker and his fears breeding anger, hate, and suffering. The feeling is probably the worst when you reflect on a loss of your sense of kindness and compassion in the worst moments. I bet the people who work alongside masters in their craft and surround themselves with the work of their heroes, so entrenched in goodness, are surely too distracted by the wonder of it all to give a damn about much else.
So tonight, I’ll raise a Winesday glass for the heroes and the sheepdogs I aspire to be so much more like. They’re doing it right. They live for self-fulfillment by loving what they do, while being a part of something bigger than themselves, together with like-minded individuals, creating and making awesome stuff, saving the world. Heroes. Some people are just living and playing a completely different game. I gotta get in there.
To infinity and beyond ;)
Cuba needs Project Loon! This could be huge for internet freedom in countries with low internet penetration rates and censorship. Project Loon and Google Ideas ought to hook up.
Twitter Campaign: #FreetheCuban11Million
From Capitol Hill Cubans:
The Castro regime remains intent on coercing the U.S. with its “Free the Cuban 5" (spies) campaign.
But the real focus should be on having the Castro regime free the 11 million Cubans captive under its totalitarian dictatorship.
If you have agree, join the #FreeTheCuban11Million Twitter campaign.
By Ron Bell, General Counsel, Yahoo!
We want to set the record straight about stories that Yahoo! has joined a program called PRISM through which we purportedly volunteer information about our users to the U.S. government and give federal agencies access to our user databases. These claims…