Book 2 – How To Beat The Energy Thieves

author Jess Miller Energy Thieves seriesJess Miller has been my friend since the year 2000 when we made contact via an email discussion forum on the Internet. He’s book, HOW TO BEAT THE ENERGY THIEVES – Book 2, is a series of helpful advice you would expect from a dear friend. He’s wisdom is steeped in a deep resonance with the complexities of this world, and how to simplify it.

When I began reading this book, I found it easy and practical. There were elements which stand out like the format, which is not exactly like the chapters in other books. It is wonderful in the way it feels like a conversation from beginning to end. As a self published author I know he has experimented with different formats and layouts, and this really works.

The focus of Book 2 is emotions, food, people, major problems, traumas, how to win. The wording of the book is carefully chosen to avoid bias for or against a particular religion or belief system. It’s only the stark contrast of the words “good” and “evil” that raised my eyebrows when considering the stand point of the author.

Maybe the best part of this book is the many examples it uses to illustrate the impact of the energy thieves. A profound realisation came over me when I read the section on arguments – clearly there is wisdom when you realise both parties in an argument loose energy, and the thief in this instance is the argument itself. This is a fundamental principal of conflict resolution as I discovered in the work of Colman McCarthy, the founder for the Centre of Teaching Peace in Washington DC.

As I’ve know the author for many years now, I recognised his sense of humour. “He once told me five lies in one sentence.” he wrote in the section on Lying. In another life time Jess Miller could have made a great scriptwriter in Hollywood. Maybe not. The empathy you find in his writing pours out of every page whenever he makes a reference to helping other people.

Just recently I felt some melancholy on a daily basis. The moment I put that aside and opened myself up to helping another person in need, I felt like my system had a reboot. Towards the end of the book he provides a comprehensive list of another 50 ways to help someone.


The Surprising Truth About Sales

Bestselling author of Drive and star of the most-viewed RSA Animate, Dan Pink visits the RSA to explore the ways in which we can all improve our everyday sales skills, and identifies the personal qualities and essential skills necessary to move people.

Look up Dr John Demartini’s value system. Speak in terms of other’s people’s highest values and connect them to yours, and that’s all you need to do. He’s method is tried and tested over 30 years. This is a long winded way to do the same thing.

Listen to the podcast of the full event including audience Q&A.


Mr Happy Man – I Love You

Just when I was feeling down, the Universe send me to this video. There is something reminiscent here of the Free Hug campaign. After watching this I couldn’t help thinking of the story always shared by Dr John Demartini – he used to do seminars with Louise Hay. And in all her seminars she used to bring people onto a stage and make them say, “I love you…” while looking into a mirror. In many cases people were unable to do so, and he couldn’t believe how difficult it was. The value of telling someone “I love you” is amplified when you do not want anything in return.

Come rain or shine, 88-year-old Bermudian Johnny Barnes devotes six hours every day to an endearing traffic ritual that has made him one of the island’s most cherished citizens. He’s fondly known as Mr Happy Man by the locals for whom he blows kisses, waives, tells them he loves them as they pass by in their cars or on foot. After many years they’ve even built a statue in his honour.


Voyeurism not Vanity Drives The Internet

online voyeurismTelevision became the de-facto voyeurism tool with the arrival of “reality television” like the many incarnations of Big Brother or Survivor. The seemingly random opportunity to see naked bodies is like playing a sexually driven slot machine in the privacy of your own home. You become not only addicted to the moving images, the lights emitted from the TV set becomes like a hypnotic trance pattern. Ultimately you feel comfort by having the TV on even when you’re not watching it directly.

My best friend’s wife once told me it helped her to relax after an extremely stressful day. This is not radical by any means because you stop thinking and start receiving. When the signals are coming in the form of images into the brain it placates the imagination. In the time before the box was invented people were accustomed to radio. When listening to radio your imagination was hard at work creating images of the stories shared in the spoken word.

The current evolution of this is Youtube and similar video “tube” websites. A scary trend among men has been the sharp increase in addiction to Internet pornography from 2006 onwards. This was made possible with the wide availability of broadband “always-on” Internet connections. This has become the ultimate vanity for voyeuristic experiences.

When people upload their own videos, they can either be seen by a dozen people or billion like the worldwide hit music video Gangnam Style. One of the modern legends is that Justin Bieber was “discovered” via his Youtube videos impersonating Michael Jackson. My own Youtube channel had over 60,000 views since 2007. This does make me feel rather good about myself in a vain sort of way.

Ultimately the Internet technologies have made much, much more possible because at the very root of all of this is this innate need to see and be seen. It’s not so much voyeurism as it is validation.


Stand Up and Cheer, but Hit ‘Pause’ First

NEVER mind that the Brooklyn Nets are circling the Milwaukee Bucks down on the floor of the new Barclays Center.

Peter and Maria Hoey


In a suite overlooking the home-side backboard, Chip Foley is watching the basketball game via live video feeds on his iPhone and iPad.

Mr. Foley is the director of building technology at the Forest City Ratner Companies, the real estate firm that developed the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn and is a minority owner of the Nets. Last month, the center introduced the latest thing in virtual spectatorship: an app that streams three different high-definition video feeds for stadium visitors who want to use their smartphones and tablets to follow the game they have come to see in person.

The goal, arena executives say, is to reproduce the multiscreen experience that many fans have already adopted in the man caves of their dens or living rooms. Fans like Mr. Foley, for instance, whose home setup for events like the Super Bowl includes a 60-inch, flat-screen TV augmented by two laptops (one to follow the coaches, another for the overhead view), not to mention the iPad on which he monitors game-related Twitter posts. To compete with couch multitasking, Barclays Center has installed a high-density Wi-Fi network and multicast video technology from Cisco Systems, called StadiumVision Mobile, intended to power similarly speedy video streaming, tweeting and photo-sharing for fans at Nets games.

From instant replay technology to microphones that transmit players’ and coaches’ live comments, broadcasters have spent decades developing techniques to make fans at home feel as if they are part of the game. Now, some arenas like Barclays are adding a complementary strategy: “You are trying to replicate that experience you would have on your couch,” Mr. Foley says. Fans at Nets games, for example, can activate instant replays on the mobile feeds they are watching, a pause-and-rewind technique that mimics a remote control.

Live spectator sports involve a kind of communion — otherwise, why bother leaving the house? — that personal devices have the potential to dilute. Still, the professional sports industry may just be playing catch-up with screen-centric consumers.

After all, many fans already prefer watching magnified views on a Jumbotron to the miniature-seeming live play somewhere down below them. Likewise, some football fans now tailgate next to college bowls, bringing their own satellite dishes and TVs so they can watch the game from the parking lot instead of the stadium, says John Nauright, a professor of sports studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

And it’s not just sports. Many colleges now promote online courses over in-person lectures.

Click here to read the full article

source: The New York Times / NATASHA SINGER


Using MOOC to upgrade Education in Rural Areas

online courses MOOCUNISA has made distance learning a common practise in South Africa. It’s position is entrenched more so after the 2004 merger with Technikon RSA. The next evolution in distance learning beyond e-learning or computer-based training is Massive Open Online Courses or MOOC. This is made possible with the pervasiveness of broadband Internet. MOOC is a virtual delivery model that allows participation in learning activities at convenient places and times,rather than forcing students into set time frames; blended learning, which can facilitate widespread, often global collaboration with other students and teams of specialized instructors (Bujak,K,R, et al, 2012).

Recently we enrolled for three modules on after listing to Daphne Koller’s TED Talk. The initial appeal to using this platform was the flexible time schedules and immediate access via the Internet. We’ve already opted out of one and there was no real downside because there was no financial commitment in contrast to traditional universities.

Benefits for Teaching

E-learning has been around since the earliest stages of the Internet. It is well know the origins of this global inter-connected network began in the military and expanded quickly into academic research facilities in the US before becoming available to the general public in the 1990s. Expanding access to and the availability of e-learning programmes for students, teachers and government is an important step in furthering continental development and growth (Rupp, 2012).

Even though Rupp (2012) points out the availability of e-learning technologies provides expanded opportunities for countries in Africa to make education available to their whole population. Clearly these same information and communication technologies (ICTs) allow students from the rural or remote areas to access opportunities for scholarships to academic institutions they may not otherwise have identified.

Benefits for Learning

MOOC introduces students to a new type of experience called “Blended Learning” by Bujak,K,R, et al. (2012). It combines face-to-face interactions with communication enabled by ICTs. A key consideration is that ICTs compliment not replace traditional pedagogy. Whereas e-learning was online only experience, more blending the online and offline experience takes shape in self organised groups meeting similar to traditional self organised groups of students who attend the same campus, except this takes place even easier in the virtual world. Initial research suggests that students are not only accepting blended learning approaches, but also they are improving learning outcomes.


Two challenges reduce the adoption of MOOC. Firstly they do not lead to a widely recognized credentials and workable revenue models are not available at present (King, J.W. & Nanfito, M. 2012). Until both are addressed by institutions and investors in the platforms, MOOC, may be a blip on the radar and future of online learning solutions.

Even though MOOC have caused well established institutions from UCT in South Africa and MIT in United States to invest resources, clear impact in Africa continent remain limited. One segment that stands the most to gain, are people who do not gain entry to traditional universities for reasons financial or otherwise. Internet literacy will delay the adoption further among the rest of the population in Africa irrespective of the availability of broadband Internet. As with all technological innovations MOOC will take a number a few years before we know whether it is viable platform or not.


Bujak,K,R, Baker, P., & DeMillo, R. (2012) The University: Disruptive Change and Institutional Innovation Centre for 21st Century Universities. Paper number 22012. Available online: [03 December 2012]

Rupp, S. (2012) Technology, e-learning and education in Africa. In Consultancy Africa Intelligence. Available online [04 December 2012]

King, J.W. & Nanfito, M. (2012) To MOOC or Not to MOOC? Available online: [05 December 2012]

Koutropoulos, A. & Hogue, R.J. (2012). How to Succeed in a MOOC. Available online: [05 December 2012]