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The Power of Engaging

There is direct connection with a dopamine serotonin feel good response when someone likes, comments, follows and shares on social media. The engagement received helps validate the person’s existence.

This validation that social media provides ultimately empowers the user and does a lot of good in the world because of this. The confidence that social media provides is driving the world to be a more productive efficient place.

it’s crazy to think of how many things are done with posting it on social being the main motivation. I know when I personally am doing stuff I usually think of how to post about it on social. if I am backcountry skiing I usually think about how what my caption will be on my daily Instagram post on the skin up.

Not all social media is created equal. While I think it’s beneficial to be on all social media possible, some social media primarily is designed to just a waste of time. A key takeaway for all social media seems to be spend less time digesting content and more time creating content to be digested. Spending time making content and then analyzing the engagement over the past year has really helped me dial in my audience and construct posts to optimize for my audience.

There is a lot of power in engaging with others. Showing the love on social gives the feel good response to the recipient. When you like posts on facebook for instance, the algorithms on facebook are skewed so next time when you post on social the chance of the friend seeing your post are higher.

This summer I came across an open source script called the love machine. This script uses a headless web browser to log onto facebook and automatically like all posts on my timeline. Besides causing some weird conversations and one person getting very pissed off the benefits of the love machine have been very good. People generally feel good when the love machine likes their posts. They then have a positive reception of me and engage with my stuff more.

It’s really interesting to see how validating people around me affects my personal life. Lately I’ve been experimenting with trying to validate everyone around me by smiling, conversing and joking around everyone I see. Some people just laugh at me and think I’m weird. The connection I have been able to make with people just by smiling and being happy around them has helped me tremendously.

I’m going to vibrate higher then everyone else to try to pull everyone up around me.

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3d Scanning

Yesterday I finished building a frame to hold my laptop and kinect sensor. The frame manages the cords and holds everything together so I can easily scan 3d environments.

 

The implications of this technology will be huge. What is interesting is the technology is only 3 months away from being much better software available from Google on a tablet.

 

It’s nice to adapt to the technology while it is still in its infancy. Google will have the technology in their smartphones at the end of next year and soon the technology will be standard and not thought about as new.

 

The implications that this technology (giving smartphones eyes) will have on society will be the biggest improvement of the smartphone since the original iPhone. There are 1000s of use cases that will dramatically improve, the quality of life for everyone.

 

It’s cool to look at this technology from a usability perspective. Currently creating and navigating 3d spaces is a challenge for non innovator every adaptor category. The key change on the software side is that it’s about to become easy to navigate and view 3d spaces.

 

I look to be on the cutting edge of usability improvements to the navigation of 3d spaces in the coming months.

 

It’s also going to revolutionize game design. I’m making a game where you are trapped as myself in a 3d scanned version of my house and you have to escape.

 

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Game Design

About a year and a half ago, motivated mainly the skiing game shredsauce. I decided to take on game design. After ripping apart several tutorials I decided tomake my first game, a ski prototype much like the shredsauce game that inspired me to start.

Game design really struck a chord with me. I’m constantly motivated and inspired by the complexity and challenge that game design brings. Game design to me feels like the unlimited balance of creativity and logic. Game design meshes Science technology engineering art and math (steam) into a perfect combination of human creation. It combines those 5 things well so they all build off each other. Each aspect motivates me to learn each other aspect and slowly design better and better games.

Over the next year I made 8 game prototypes. My skills as a designers were slowly increasing. Soon I was able to come up with simple ideas and build rough prototypes in a day thanks to the power of the game engine unity 3d. Rapidly prototyping games allows me to make iterative changes to the games and make games super lean.

I quickly learned about the power of mobile games. People have a big connection to their smartphones and have the ability to be completely immersed by the screens they can fit in their pockets.

This past summer I published 4 simple mobile games. The games were largely variants on previous popular games. I’ve made several mistakes with marketing and execution of those games. The good thing about games is they can be updated and improved fixing the mistakes.

Publishing games have been one of the most motivating things I have done. Over the next months I’m going focus my efforts on building games that are a lot more immersive and focus on creativity.

Until now game design has largely been a solo experience, building games based on what I learned from the game design community. I’m going to release some of my games open source to give back to the community. I’m also going to focus on collaboration with like minded people to build larger projects.

Check out my first open source mobile game demo.

https://github.com/andrewnakas/RollercoasterSimulator

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I like Self Validation.

In pre civilization times human beings were simple creatures. The tribal life was for them and they enjoyed a good night with their closest tribesmen around the campfire. For hundreds of thousands of years the Homo genus developed this way.

All it took was a couple seeds. A couple seeds the led to the birth of agriculture and the start of humanity. The next 10,000 years the human species used technology to solve problems and exponentially grow as a species.

The environment that humans live in today, is more different from pre civ days than ever before. While it’s getting more and more different technology is making it more and more easier to survive. I’n the next 100 years humanity will play a tough technology versus environment battle.

It’s fascinating how rapidly the internet has changed humans in such a short amount of time. It’s has really connected everybody and has brought forth a global tribe somewhat mimicking connection felt in the pre civ tribes. People connected to the internet feel like they have a global voice in the state of the world around them through the internet.

It’s crazy how much good this is doing for humanity.

The effect of social media in just the sheer motivational potential is astounding. Using peoples personal networks to validate themselves is a genius idea that gets people motivated to do things to get those likes.

 

 

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Actualizing the Ideal Self.

This weekend, on Saturday I had the opportunity to go biking in the Tobacco Roots mountain range with friends. The bike ride ended up on top of a very large smooth mountain. The mountain had 20 to 25 degree slopes with smooth dirt on all sides. I had gotten several great photos and videos of the event and decided to post two on Instagram the next day.

The first video showed everyone on the trip biking from the top at the same time. The video is a good portrayal of the actual event that took pace, objectively observing the activity of mountain biking.

The second picture I decided to post was originally this. Gunnar Oliphant changed his hiking position to make the run look steeper and I tilted my camera to artificially increase the angle.

photo(1)

I then Photoshopped it by stretching the mountains to represent the ideal self which was posted on Instagram.

STEEP

As of writing this the video got 37 likes¬†on Instagram and the Photoshopped picture got 74 likes. I’m definitely posting more ideal self pictures in the future. It is great that at least one of my friends Evan Schock called me out on the falseness of the photo.

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Flowing in the business world

Tonight marks the second week of business classes. I feel like the 5 business classes I’m taking right now are providing a very mixed and balanced learning experience. Its feels great seeing the business classes from an outsiders perspective. It has definitely put me in the flow state and exposed me to a lot of new ideas. I have came up with several great ideas and solved countless problems in the last two weeks partly due to this new energy i’ve gotten from taking these classes. Using what I learned in Jake Cook’s and James Oakley’s classes I was able to come up with a businesses model for my gyroscope software company. in Graham Austins class is gained a better understanding on the customers attraction to social media.

I asked my food entrepreneurship teacher if she thought it was possible to take on too many ideas at once. She thought so and I think she is partly right. For now i’m going to take on a lot of things.

My main time sinks right now are.
Sleeping
Biking
Eating
School
Game Design
Sunlabeled
Vr gyroscope concept
Quantified Sleep Alarm

I’m am going to start increasing the creation of things to position myself as an innovator in as many fields as possible. I have the ideas. I just need to execute.

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Town’s Harvest Garden, from a Business Perspective.

Today, marks the end of my Culinary Marketing: Farm to Table class. I found it quite an amazing class, as it was my first class under the sustainable foods school so everything was new to me. I tried my best to soak it all in like a cracker dipped in water.

In hindsight one of my favorite parts of the class was defiantly everything involved with the MSU extension farm Towne’s Harvest Garden. It’s an education extension of the college, but essentially operates like a business. It provides a cool relationship with the school, students and the community and allows great organic local produce to enter the community.

THG features organic and sustainable practices to produce the best vegetables possible in Gallatin county. They operate on 4 acres but plant very conservatively to not over stress the soil. They also feature a very complex crop rotation schedule to not deplete the soil of any essential nutrients. The work constantly to improve the soil through ruminant animals grazing cover crops and grass as well as composting. THG grows the best cucumbers strawberries and squash that I have ever had.

I learned a lot about the way THG operates as a business helping sell produce at the farm stand and it was fascinating. THG essential gets free labor all year long from student who actually have to pay money to work on the farm. They only have 2 paid employees that work on the farm and the main employee who runs it gets his salary paid for from the college. The only costs the farm has are the equipment, employee number 2, the seeds and other farm expenses like plastic and services to improve the soil. Due to their costs being drastically less then other farms of their scale, they actually have to artificially increase prices to lower demand so they don’t put other farms out of business.

It’s cool to think about other ways to lower the cost of labor on a farm to THG levels. Cough cough Hydroponics Cough.

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My Thoughts on Gluten.

This blog post may be controversial, and I am excited to hear your thoughts on it. I have certainly spent quite a bit of time thinking about it. It’s clear that is a very complex situation with many sides to the story.

I wasn’t planning on talking about this and mainly try to be reserved and not talk about my gluten choices, but the handing out of wheat berries in class and pro gluten talk two weeks ago made me want to share my idea on this fascinating subject.

My personal stance on gluten is that I want to abstain it as much as possible. This is challenging as contamination is very easy but since last November I have done everything possible to avoid it completely. What is intriguing about my relationship with wheat is that I definitely noticed that I actually felt better mentally after eating it, bread was the ultimate comfort food. The benefits that I personally feel after abstaining from wheat haven’t been enormous. The biggest changes that I feel are better metal focus and more self control due to the intense mental stamina it takes from avoiding all those tasty gluten foods. Some of the mental clarity I feel could be because soon after I cut out gluten a slew of other diet improvements came. That being said i’m going to make it a priority to avoid gluten for the rest of my life unless something changes my perspective.

The main reason why I’m not going to eat real bread again is not because how it makes me feel, but what I have read about gluten. WARNING: I’m about to get into some heavy puedoscience, but most people don’t understand the gluten free diet and think it’s a fad so i’m going to present a theory, that I have pieced together with some data about it.
One problem with gluten is that in the stomach it can’t be fully digested and some of it turns into Gliadorphin. (this is a good un biased veiw on the subject). “scientific evidence is not adequate to make treatment recommendations.[1]” Again what is happening in the gut differs from every one tremendously but the theory is that gluten causes your body to increase the gaps in your gut causing leaky gut syndrome. Then things leak out which causes an inflammatory response. The theory is that Gliadorphin also leaks out and makes it the brain, which is what I attribute to bread being a comfort food and hard for most people want to stop eating it. Wheat is calling to you in a similar way to cocaine. Now why this isn’t scientifically proven but just the idea of it makes me want to not eat it, It also brings up some interesting correlations. The craziest ones that I have seen are the link to gluten and schizophrenia and to autoimmune diseases. It’s a very complex issue but what I have seen has caused me to want to avoid it.

For me I look at it from a quantified self perspective. Sure It could hurt me, but there is a also a big chance that it is fine but I want to avoid the risk until more research comes out. Until then sweet potatoes and rice will be my staple carbs.

It was awesome last week to travel up to Bob Quinn’s farm and see him growing ancient wheat. Ancient wheat is more tolerable for most people. It’s awesome to see what healthy foods Montana can produce. I’m thinking of grass fed beef, lentils, potatoes, vegetables, and buck wheat. It’s crazy that besides beef the demand is quite low for those healthy foods and wheat still rains king as the main cash crop in Montana. The bottom line seems to be that the majority of people will by food according to their taste buds and how they feel and bread tastes awesome and feels good. .

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Canning cans and can’t.

We had a canning lab in my Farm to Table class today. It was very informative and interesting to say the least. The instructor had a very strong idea of what canning needed to be. I thought she did give out a lot of information on the subject. I came to the conclusion that canning is very useful for canning vegetables bought at the farmers market to eat all winter when I do the 100% local diet that i’m planning (when i have enough money :)). For everything else, including recipes jams and meats it just is not for me. The vegetable recipes look enticing but ultimately seem like a lot of work for better taste and potential negative nutritional benefits from including to many ingredients. The pickling part was interesting and I think that could be super beneficial and if pickled with apple cider vinegar.

The interesting part that I wish our instructor knew a little more about is the nutritional loss of canning. It’s clear that micro nutrients are lost in canning vegetables. Here is a link with some facts http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=177. This to me is less of a concern because pretty much all micronutrients lost in canning vegetables can be supplemented with the amount of vitamins that I take. To me vegetables seem best because of the alkaline ash that is formed digesting them at night preparing me for bed which canned vegetables can’t do as well but could still potentially do.

The elephant in the room that seems obvious is the macro nutrient degradation when canning meat. The meat has to be heated to 240f for 75 minutes to destroy botulism. To me this seems like a high temperature and would potentially denature the proteins of the meat. Also another concern seems to be the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats in the canning process. Robb Wolf pretty much the biggest paleo figure seems to say they are okay. Check out page 12 of this transcript for more info http://robbwolf.com/wp//wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Episode-113.pdf. He states that on the scale of things 240f is not a lot when compared to frying or grilling. The Paleo community seems to be one of the more sensitive mainstream communities about negative effects of food. I guess in the right scenarios the connivence of home canning meat may outweigh the negatives but i’ll stick to sous vide freeze meat.

The last issue that I want to touch up on is the negatives of industrial canning, if it’s a glass can it will be fine but there is a huge concern for me of BPA in cans. Long before I quit drinking alcohol I found out that all aluminum cans are lined with BPA or Bisphenol-A which is a plastic component that mimics estrogen in the body. It seems like scary stuff and I always try to avoid it. It leaches into canned food that has alcohol or is acidic. It’s so much in the food system that is can be found in 95% of americans urine. It’s scary to think commercial pickled foods are heated to a boil with a liner that contains BPA. This stuff isn’t awful for most people but is horrible for pregnant women and newborns. So much so that the french banned it. http://www.anses.fr/en/content/bisphenol-anses-demonstrates-potential-health-risks-and-confirms-need-reduce-exposure

I guess if I eat cans it will be cans prepared at my house.

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The Wonderful World of Farm to Table.

This past week I started a class in the sustainable food school at MSU called Culinary Marketing:Farm to Table. It’s up there with the Guerrilla Marketing class I took earlier this year as one of the coolest classes I have taken at MSU. The Farm part of the class is working at a local CSA organic farm and it is awesome. I defiantly feel like an outsider which is a good thing. While I have a Garden at my house I am definitely a novice when it comes to food systems. I am trying to be a sponge on the farm days, as it will defiantly help everything in my life. It’s fascinating how calculated everything has to be, it does not seem to far off from my realm of software development. Farming well requires the right inputs and solutions to get the right output, just like programming but more dirty. I am excited to see where it goes and what i can learn, as food systems are something that have a lot of room for innovation.

The table part of the class is something where I have a lot more experience with. Every farm day we pick one food item, that we build a recipe out of and cook and eat it for lunch the next day. It’s a really cool idea where the class gets to try some awesome food and develop our culinary skills. The one downside to this concept is that it pretty much has to be a cheat meal for me as I will have to eat many foods that I would never buy and prepare for myself.

Over the past year I have developed a very strong relationship with food as I have finally understood the connection clean eating has with mental and physical performance. I have made strides in eating the cleanest most nutrient dense low inflammation diet that I could come up with and afford. I’m a working member at the co-op to afford these high quality meals that I look for. The problem with eating very clean is that you have to eliminate many foods that the average consumer eats. I personally avoid wheat, corn, dairy, sugar, fruit, soy, vegetable oil, industrial meat and high toxin fish. I find when I avoid these foods my brain works the best and I feel awesome.

The problem with the table part of the class is that pretty much every single meal people make in the class will have one or more of these ingredients. I decided I can’t say no to most good tasting food so I will make an exception for that one cheat meal. There are a few things that I will not eat, mainly gluten or very heat damaged vegetable oils but beside those things I am excited to try what the rest of my class makes.

The knowledge I learn in this class will help me in my path to become a foodpreneur. I can’t wait.