Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quotes from Pop!Tech: Victoria Hale

"How you do your work is more important than what you do, and in the end determines the magnitude of your impact." - Dr. Victoria Hale, Founder, OneWorld Health

The Guru of Getting Things Done

The October issue of Wired has a fascinating profile of David Allen, the author of the immensely practical, and best-selling Getting Things Done. I've been following Allen's fussy-practical productivity tips for a few years now, so I was surprised to learn that many of his techniques grow out of his direct experience, and ongoing involvement, with the human potential movement.

The article has a few other surprises: Allen is a former karate instructor and heroin user, and a current Minister in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, a church that believes in "a benevolent consciousness guiding mankind, who in the past has appeared as Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, and Abraham Lincoln."

The human potential movement fascinates me. In my spare time, I dream of writing a book that spells out the historical and philosophical connections between EST, Tony Robbins, Byron Katie, Jim Collins, Lifespring, cognitive behavioral therapy, The Secret, and Al-Qaeda. But in the meantime, we have this provocative article from Gary Wolf.

p.s. Speaking of personal productivity, I'm on my third day of getting used to OSX Leopard. One of the features that I'm spending a lot of time with, but that hasn't received much hype, is the revised To-Do/Notes system. To-Dos are now fully shared between Mail and iCal, and the functionality has been beefed up in many small ways that make it easier to follow some of Allen's top list management tips. The UI is imperfect, but it's still a big leap forward.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The carbon footprint of the multiplex

A UCLA study has concluded that the entertainment industry is Southern California's second biggest polluter, after the oil industry. Clearly, this is an industry that is ripe for reinvention:

"No amount of public service announcements or celebrities driving hybrid cars can mask the fact that movie and TV production is a gritty industrial operation, consuming enormous amounts of energy to power bright lights, run sophisticated cameras, and feed a cast of thousands."

Still, there are some bright spots of innovation. In addition to switching to renewables and offsetting emissions, I especially liked the following:

"Pieces built for the 2001 film Ocean's 11 now sit in the Santa Monica offices of the National Resources Defense Council. Sets from this year's sequel Ocean's 13 were donated to decorate the halls of local community colleges." (Associated Press)

"Good things happen in the dark"

On Saturday night October 20th, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Building, and dozens of local homes and businesses will turn off their lights for one hour. It's all part of Lights Out San Francisco, a local grassroots organization I'm excited to be involved with.

Events like these have more than just symbolic value... They bind neighborhoods together, and remind people of their individual and collective power to take on climate change. LOSF will publish the energy-saving results on its website, and the organization is also distributing thousands of free CFL light bulbs, which will help cut down on San Franciscans' carbon emissions and energy bills long after the event itself.

So treat yourself to a candelit dinner, and encourage your local businesses participate. San Francisco is just the start: the event is going national with Lights Out America on March 29, 2008.