Sonos Portable Speaker?

Wow! It appears that Sonos may be launching some additional speaker products later this year. One notable product appears to be a portable speaker that has both a Wifi speaker mode (connecting normally to a Sonos system) and a Bluetooth mode (for direct connection to any mobile device). The only product that I’ve seen close to this is a Libratone ZIPP 2 Speaker. That Sonos themselves are creating something similar is pretty amazing.

Update: The Sonos Move speaker has been released. Sounds great but for $499 in Canada, which is basically the same price as a Sonos Beam speaker, that’s way too expensive. I’d rather spend the money on another Sonos Beam, as they sound amazing.


Automattic Acquires Tumblr

WPTavern is reporting that Automattic has acquired Tumblr.

To say this is surprising is an understatement. The question of “Why?” comes up next. It seems obvious that Automattic is not doing this as a money making venture but more about trying to keep a passionate community alive, as the fans of Tumblr are definitely that.

The next thing that seems surprising is that Automattic will rebuild the backend using WordPress but maintain the front end functionality and appearance of it. While you’re at Automattic, why not bring the same microblogging functionality over to WordPress itself? This is something I’ve been wanting for a long time, basically the best aspects of both platforms combined together.

Post Formats, created long ago, were supposed to provide this but never took off. Many people said they didn’t see the need for them but obviously there is a huge user base out there who do love their simple functionality for microblogging. Still people today say we don’t need them because we have Gutenberg Blocks now but blocks don’t restyle the entire post to match the context of it (ie micropost vs long form post).

Article Embedding is another thing that Tumblr has that WordPress needs desperately across its entire platform to enable true microblogging. While WordPress does allow for the “embedding” of articles using the Embed Block, it is severely limited and doesn’t working universally with any site URL, which makes it pointless to even use. WordPress needs true article embedding built in its core, like what larger social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter have, to seriously compete with them and make WordPress more than just a long form platform.


Beyond Working & Learning: Peter Gray on Play

“Play, by definition, is self-controlled and self-directed, it is the self-directed aspect of play that gives it its educative power.”

In an ever increasingly and rapidly changing world, more and more of us are feeling like we have lost a sense of control of our lives. Peter Gray’s 2014 TED Talk reveals how children today are feeling the same way, primarily because of The Decline of Play. By reintegrating play back into our daily lives though, not only can children benefit from this, but I believe we all can. We just need to redefine play in a much bigger context, just as we are redefining working and learning within a larger context as well.

Peter begins by recognizing the fundamental nature of play and how integral it is to our lives.

From a religious perspective, we might say that play is God’s gift that makes life on Earth worthwhile.

Now, here’s the sad news, here’s really what I am here to talk about. Over the last 50 to 60 years, we have been gradually taking that gift away. Over this period of time, there has been a continuous erosion in children’s freedom and opportunity to play, to really play, to play freely.

And he reveals how an essential aspect of play for learning is its self-directed nature, which mirrors how autonomy is seen as an essential aspect of The Future of Work.

Play, by definition, is self-controlled and self-directed, it’s the self-directed aspect of play that gives it its educative power.

More importantly though, Peter reveals how critical this is in creating a sense of control of one’s life, rather than feeling tossed around uncontrollably by circumstances which can often lead to anxiety and depression.

We’ve also seen a decline of the young people’s sense that they have control over their own lives. There is a questionnaire called the internal-external locus of control scale. There is a version of this for children, as well as for adults. It’s been given since about 1960. Ever since it’s been given, we have seen a decline, a continuous decline, in children’s and young adults’ sense that they have control over their own lives. They have more and more of a sense that their lives are controlled by fate, by circumstance, by other people’s decisions.

Now this is significant in terms of the relationship between anxiety and depression because one thing clinical psychologists know very well is that not having an internal sense of control sets you up for anxiety and depression.

Most importantly of all though, in learning to take control of our lives, we’re learning to be creative and innovative, not only solving our own problems but also learning to be empathetic in seeing other points of view.

Play is where children learn that they are in control of their life, it’s really the only place they are in control of their own life. When we take that away, we don’t give them the chance to learn how to control their own life.

Play is where they learn to solve their own problems and learn therefore that the world is not so scary after all. Play is where they experience joy and they learn the world is not so depressing after all.

Play is where they learn to get along with peers and see from others’ points of view, and practice empathy, and get over narcissism. Play is by definition creative and innovative.

In his closing comments, similar to how research on The Future of Work is revealing how we need to go beyond just “work, work work”, so too does Peter reveal how schooling needs to go beyond just “learning, learning, learning”, micromanaging every second of our free time towards it.

And perhaps, most of all, we need to be brave enough to stand up against the continuous clamor for more schooling. Our children don’t need more school. They need less school. Maybe they need better school, but they don’t need more school.

So it’s not so much about playing with LEGO bricks more often but rather playing, experimenting, and socialstructing our lives in a new way from the basic “building blocks” of it. In effect, we don’t have to play the existing “game”, becoming the things we’ve conventionally been told and expected to become. We can let go of these old, outdated beliefs and “play a new game”, one where we are more in direct control of our lives and our choices which resonates more clearly with our true selves, at which point our work becomes play, as Richard Barrett notes below.

You will know when you are operating from this level of consciousness because there will be nothing else to do. You will not want to “retire” because that would stop your life from having any meaning. There will be no division between work and the rest of your life. What you considered before as your work now becomes play.

Richard Barrett, Evolutionary Coaching

Featured image by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash


The Known Unknown

Letting go of the separation between the known and unknown Self.

I’ve collected a lot of articles over the years, annotated them immensely, added my own notes, and have written posts on what I’ve learnt from my research in the process.

Recently I’ve realized that I’ve collected these things as “proof”. So I can show people them and say, “See! My intuitions are real. I’m not crazy. I’m not just making stuff up. There’s something here. Don’t you see it!?”

More and more I’m beginning to see this larger pattern that is impeding both myself and others. A pattern that I’ve been seeing arising for more than five years.

It is a need to be trusted before one trusts oneself.

It is a need to be believed before one believes oneself.

Leadership isn’t about waiting for followers to trust and believe in you before you “courageously” lead them. It’s about courageously leading yourself, trusting yourself, and believing in yourself. Or put another way, it’s about “following (your) Self”, the real you deep within.

More and more I’ve read from other evolved travellers that there is no difference between this “inside & outside” of ourselves. When we align with who we truly are, this separation disappears.

More and more I’m realizing now that there is no separation between this “known & unknown” of ourselves as well. Rather there is an intentional blindness which creates this illusion of an unknown. Yet in truth we see ourselves. We always see our true selves.

I have seen my true self throughout the years. I feel I know it now. Yet my difficulty is not in finding the words, as I always believed, but in finding the courage to express my truth.

This is why I’ve had to walk around my truth peripherally, not focusing on it directly.

Photo by Philipp Pilz on Unsplash

Like a wild animal within my wilderness, I approach it calmly, peripherally, so as to not to startle it. I don’t force my way towards it directly but wander around it, letting it get comfortable with me. Letting it come to me instead. Letting its curiousity naturally pull it.

In effect, instead of closing the space to reach my True Self, I broaden the space of my Self to invite it. Like the wide, opening expanse of a whole new world for it to play within and explore freely. The space beckons it, calls to it, creating a cause to explore.

I am what I’ve always been, am, and will be, regardless of what I thought I knew and what I thought I didn’t know. I see my entire life enfolded. It is not a question of making it happen but instead a simple act of just letting it happen.

Do I have the courage to let go and step out of my own way, opening & holding space for my True Self to naturally emerge, letting my entire enfolded life unfold?

I don’t need to “do” anything. 

I just need to “be”.