UM Teaching Prof, Technologist & Entrepreneur. Connect with me here: https://www.christiansonjs.com/
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A generalist myself, I found a lot to like about this book. However, there may be some confirmation bias in thinking that everything he writes about a generalist’s power is brilliant. None the less, he provides several excellent examples about why generalists often see connections that specialists miss.

And don’t think that it is one way or the other, you are not always a generalist or confined to being a specialist. You may be a generalist in certain areas and a specialist and others. Or even better, you may be a generalist who has a few areas of specialty and/or…


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Unlike Smil’s book, in The New Map, there are many interesting stories to carry the reader forward, and I found it easy to read despite the geopolitical details (maps are included!). Yegin begins with the shale oil revolution in the US and then moves back and forth in time to describe the current energy landscape and how countries get their energy (or export it). The New Map is a fascinating book, and until I read this book, I did not understand the scope of issues around energy and climate change.


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Energy and Civilization was one of the books recommended by Bill Gates last year. After watching “Bill’s Brain,” which included an episode on energy and climate, I decided it was worth reading. Professor Smil has made a career out of studying energy and growth and has authored many books on these subjects.

Energy and Civilization provides a detailed description of the history of energy and human civilization back to the times when hunter-gatherer societies made stone tools. He looks at the relative advantages of different tools, comparing the energy efficiency of various designs. Smil explores the basics (moving water, harnessing…


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Green Lights is an exciting snack of a read. This autobiographical tale is well written and funny/crazy. It will answer a lot of the questions you didn’t know you had. Like: Who has a wet dream and sees it as a sign to buy a one-way ticket to Africa the next morning? Matthew Fucking McConaughey, that’s who!

In the printed book, McConaughey includes scans of his journals, poems, scribbles, etc. None of these additions seemed to engage me. So I skipped them. But in the main text, he talks about his life and his philosophy on various challenges the world…


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Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

Related to blacklight is a new search engine, Neeva. Yes, I said search engine. There is more to the world than just Google and Bing! Neeva improves on search in several ways, but its primary selling point is privacy. It does not track you as you search; they don’t sell ads and block tracking pixels and cookies.

When Niva is eventually released, there will be a fee associated with it. …


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SpaceX started taking orders for its Starlink Internet service today.

Covid has turned up the contrast on the digital divide. Those who zoom and those who can’t. Personal and national economic growth now depends on broadband access. Pre-covid, the World Economic Forum estimated that a 10 percent increase in broadband is associated with a 1.4 percent increase in GDP growth. Broadband access may impact which businesses survive and which students are left behind post-covid.

As of today consumers all around the world will have a new ISP from which to choose in 2021. High-speed, low-latency broadband via low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites is now rolling out from private companies such as…


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I have been on a bit of a podcast tear lately, and 99% of the time, I was interviewed by a host for 45 minutes to an hour, who then did a bit of editing and posted the podcast using the RSS generator of their choice (or never published, but that is another story).

But on one of the podcasts, I never met the host!

CallumConnects is a “micro-podcast” that comes out every single day. Only two to four minutes long it aims to provide “your daily dose of wholesome entrepreneurial inspiration.” …


I love this recent tweet from Viorica Marian

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And if you teach undergraduate students, then you probably love it too.

But if you can’t move your class time from 8am, then here is a little trick you can use to save the lives of your students’ distant relatives.

Tokens.

Here is how it works.

In my class, late assignments or make ups are not allowed. If you miss the deadline or are not present to complete an in-class quiz or assignment, a score of zero is recorded.

However, I give each student two “tokens” at the beginning of the semester…


Well, it’s that time of the quarter again, when sales reps start calling and trying to make deals so that they can close business and meet their quotas or secure their bonuses. Most are willing to give an extra 5–10% off on any deals that can get closed by the end of of the quarter. I certainly understand the perspective of the sales reps, and I would never want to be in that position. However, as a way of doing business, this has always seemed like a bad idea for several reasons:

  1. You open yourself up to being played by…

Hardware: Wave 3 Mic

You can have a videoconference without video, but not without audio. Audio is a critical component in all any zoom, WebEx, or Google Meet conference. It is tiring to be on a call all day, but in my opinion, the main contributor to Zoom fatigue is audio fatigue.

Since starting the fall semester, I have been trying various ways to improve my audio quality (you can read about and hear the multiple microphones I have tried in this medium article. I finally settled on the Wave 3 mic from the gaming accessory company Elgato. …

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