How To Manage Your Digital Afterlife

Manage Your Digital AfterlifeIf the psychologist Carl Jung was alive today, he may have said, your digital world is your shadow. In many ways it’s the best representation of your personality and your aspirations because of its interactive nature. When you misrepresent yourself, you’re bound to receive feedback pointing this out.

Twitter streams are like a public journals of your daily activities, for others it’s a place to share inspiration quotes or topics you are passionate about. With the large-scale adoption of Smartphones many pieces of information about your life are automatically added to your digital persona.

In 2011, Adam Ostrow delivered a TED Talk about how to manage your digital afterlife. He posits that our lives will live on indefinitely in the Cloud. There is an increasing number of services to manage your profiles after you die. Google is one of the leaders because of the sheer scope of their reach from email to Youtube, to the forthcoming Google Glass project.

In the final solution we determine what memories we leave behind are important, because those are the ones we’ve chosen to share. Videos and photos may leave a bigger legacy than your blog because. It is through pictures our senses leap into action, remembering the sound of a voice, how they smelled or how it felt when they gave you a hug.

In April 2013, my friend, Andre August, passed away. Just last year I helped him setup his Gmail and Facebook accounts, so he can get in touch with old friends. When I received the devastating news of his heart attack, I resolved to turn his Facebook profile into a tribute. First I posted an announcement of his death and messages flooded in. A few days later I posted the funeral information and people responded. In all the years I used social media, nothing was as gratifying as when printed messages posted on his Facebook, and gave it to his 81-year-old mother.

When we die, we leave behind people, we leave behind memories. People rarely print out photos like they used to because everyone just keeps them on digital devices. Cloud storage of these digital memories will become more valuable as people are afraid to lose them. In a world filled with smart technologies where your data is automatically synced between phone, tablet, laptop or the Cloud, you have nothing to worry about; except maybe a little bit of your privacy.

In the future there will be the equivalent of the digital undertaker whose job is to clean up your profiles and preserve it for posterity. Holograms of the late rapper Tupac “resurrected” in 2012 leads to interesting alternatives to reincarnation. It is conceivable with the sophisticated artificial intelligence emerging, that can process the billions of tweets, status updates, blog posts, accurate psycho-graphic profiles of people may be developed. Using well established techniques of psychological profiling to identifying serial killers and other groups, your digital personality may one day amuse your great-great-grandchildren like Harry Seldon in the Isaac Asimov novel, Foundation.




Share books with a child on World Book Day

World Book Day South AfricaThis World Book Day SA, try these tips to get your children reading at home – a great way to influence your child’s educational success!

Get reading with your children this World Book Day SA

“Read this to me, please!” are the words we all love to hear from our children because they mean that they are interested in stories and books, and are on their way to becoming independent readers. But do you often wonder whether there are ways that you could improve your reading-to times with your children? There are no correct or incorrect ways to share books with a child, but here are some ideas you might like to try from the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign:

Choosing books. If you have lots of books to choose from or are at the library, let your children choose which books they want you to read. If you are helping them to choose books, suggest ones that suit their interests.

Timing is everything. Find a time when your children find it easy to settle. This might be after bath time or just before they go to sleep at nap time and/or at night.

Read together in bite-size chunks. Younger children find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time or when they are tired. If your children become restless or lose interest, stop reading and try again later or the next day. Remember you want to encourage them to develop an interest in stories and books, so don’t make it a chore!

Babies and books. Children under a year old explore their environment using their senses. They will enjoy story times where they are give opportunities to touch the pages of the book, watch you point to specific things in the simple pictures, hear you sing or say rhymes… and even pat and chew the book a bit!

Don’t skip the cover. Read the title of the book and the name of the author and illustrator each time you read a book to your children. This helps them to realise that real people create stories. If it is the first time you are reading the book with your children, ask them if they can guess what it might be about from listening to the title and looking at the illustration on the cover.

Ask questions. As you read the story, ask your children questions about it. ‘What do you think will happen next?’ is a great question to develop children’s prediction skills, which are very important literacy skills. After you have read each page, ask your child to find different things in the picture.

Read it again! If your children ask you to read a story again… and again and again, do it! This shows them that you respect the choices they make for themselves and it allows them to discover new things about the story each time you read it.

Reading the words together. As your children become more familiar with a story or as older children are learning to read, ask them to help you read the story. Younger children are often able to recite parts of familiar stories – especially if the words rhyme or a phrase is repeated. Let them do this while you point to the words. Read along with older children as they attempt to read the words on the page with you, pointing to the words as you go.

Reading together is for older children too. Once children can read, don’t stop reading to them! Choose books that are more difficult than the ones your children can read on their own. Or, ask your child what has happened in the book she is reading at the moment and then take turns in reading a chapter to each other.

For more reading and storytelling tips, plus free stories to share with your children, visit or

source: Sowetan


SA Government Announces New Climate Watch System

South African energy crisesThe South African government has announced it intends to set up a new ‘climate watch system’ to monitor environmental change and help overcome regional environmental challenges.

According to Deputy Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the new framework will improve environmental outcomes through making it easier to pinpoint irregularities in climate patterns.

“A climate watch system for this sub-region will ensure that the necessary actions can be taken to mitigate the effects of significant climate anomalies that can cause extremes such as droughts, floods and heat-waves.”

The climate watch system will be set up with the vision of combining longer-term forecasting with community planning, to help reduce the impact of future extreme weather patterns. It is hoped the new scheme will help officials identify, monitor and militate against pending environmental events.

It is hoped the climate watch system will be able to reduce the impact of climate change on indigenous populations in SA – a population group that has already learned to live with the diverse seasonal weather patterns in this part of the world.

The South African climate is subtropical, but typically warm and dry for most of the year. This has a particular propensity to cause drought – a climate event that could be much more readily forecast through climate watch systems and other forecasting technologies.

Daniel Yergin, author of several notable energy books, suggested that climate watch measures like the South African model could in future provide governments with the insights they need to tackle climate change more effectively.

“With the effects of climate change already being felt globally, climate watch systems can provide authorities with early indications of extreme weather problems in the short-term. Long-term, systems like these can identify ways of reducing human impact on the environment, to help meet the energy and environmental challenges anticipated over the coming decades.”

While the proposals are being welcomed by environmental campaigners, some are still insisting SA needs to go further in its attempts to reduce emissions. The target of a 9% reduction in emissions by 2030 is regarded by some as a less onerous objective for the government to meet.

In comparison with other major global economies, the South African measures are still much less ambitious, and some are calling for the government to go further on their commitment to emissions reductions. The UK has set an emissions reduction target of 80% from 1990 levels to 2050, while the US is targeting a 50% reduction to 2030.

Despite criticism, some are suggesting that the move sets a positive example for other countries in the southern African region – many of which take little or no measures to tackle their emissions and environmental impact.

It is thought that the climate watch system would see findings shared with neighboring governments, in an attempt to reduce the humanitarian impact of extreme weather patterns on local populations.

Climate watch systems combine the latest in weather modeling with long-range forecasting methods to give authorities advance warning of weather conditions that could cause difficulties for local communities.

This early warning gives authorities more time to prepare and plan for the eventuality, while highlighting ways for overcoming energy challenges in the long term.


Evaluating Telecommuting over Flexi Working Hours

Recently I was asked about the latest trends in mobile working also known as telecommuting. Some of my reflections are inspired by the outrage from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting. In most cases people were ranting and raving that her move was a throw back to the stone age. In most of the online comments I did not read much substance or in fact research in support or against telecommuting.

Flexible working hours have come about more out of necessity given the demands on people, especially parents. The 21st century’s increased tension, placed work-life balance at the centre of many relationships challenges. Working mothers have to consciously make arrangements with management when their children get sick or otherwise. So they may make up for it by doing some of their work from home. Small business owners often have meetings at a coffee shops instead of their home-office. One reason may be to avoid embarrassment or simply convenience in terms of travel distance in a big city like Johannesburg. With the advent of broadband (ADSL/3G) in the last 10 years it is much more practical to work from home and stay connected to the corporate network.

Email is the oldest technology available for telecommuting and basic project management. Skype is the preferred way to conduct remote interviews or meetings now, especially because of the video call works so seamlessly. The real technology that transformed remote working is wireless Internet hotspots. Without this, it will not be possible to do as much work from your local McDonalds as you now can.

In 1999 when I worked for Deloitte as a Senior Consultant, about 75% of my time was outside the office. One day a week was scheduled for completing time sheets (normally a Friday). This was a very effective system, which I believe is overlooked completely in a Web-based / Social media driven environments we now have. At the end of the day, measurement is the key to tracking progress for all employees. Time sheets is one effective way to account for tasks completed and outstanding. With your sales team it’s reaching sales targets, with accountants it’s completing and submitting tax returns and financial requirements.

When moving from Flexi hours to Telecommuting, Management must agree before hand how they will measure performance. Email is no good enough measuring stick. It is often used to delay the completion of tasks. People often email their supervisors or managers trivial questions. When no responses were received, they use that in the staff meetings as excuses for not performing. Management is the key to creating a culture that respects the need for telecommuting over flexi hours.


CyberBullying – What Parents Can Do To Help Children

Cyberbullying cellphones statistics gautengWhen you’re being bullied, the mindset is “I’m the victim” so replace that with “they’re just teasing me” and learn to ignore them. Everyone has teased someone else in their life. We’ve all thought bad thoughts about ourselves and other people. Sometimes in a fit of anger we’re so insecure, filled with fear, we want something bad to happen to a loved one.

Recently I realised how important it is to encourage mature thinking. When I’m in argument with my partner, my child, my friend. We both are loosing out because maybe we’re too immature to recognise what’s really going on. The argument is the energy thief not me and them.

In the same way with Cyberbullying, the language we now use is blowing it out of proportion. Statistics confirms very high incidences taking places worldwide. The UNISA study released in 2012 confirmed 34% of children grade 8-12 surveyed were bullied, while 23% admitted to having bullied another. The same study found over 55% have experienced emotional or traditional bullying.

In adults we call this harassment. When an adult harassment gets out of hand we approach the SAPS for assistance. They can warn the person, however, in most cases they will suggest you get a protection order from a court. Children cannot do this. Children may feel helpless because of the constant barrage of attacks, often from anonymous sources.

The National Crime Prevention Council’s tips emphasize common themes:

  1. Do not respond to cyberbullying messages.
  2. Block communication with cyberbullies.
  3. Keep the messages and report cyberbullying to a trusted adult.
  4. Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages about others.
  5. Stand up and tell friends to stop cyberbullying.
  6. Encourage your school to conduct cyberbullying prevention education.

Many news articles have created a great fear among the parents and children on this issue of cyberbullying. To this extent people feel overwhelmed. With the barrage of stories increasing in the media, there is a learned helplessness that emerges over time. Nobody takes any real action because posting a comment or liking the status is deemed action.


Not All Thieves Are Stupid

Ramon Thomas Motivational Speaker South AfricaThis gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.


A couple of weeks ago a friend told me that someone she knew had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.

When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.

Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it.. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.


I never thought of this…….

This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet… Etc…was stolen.

20 minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says ‘I received your text asking about our Pin number and I’ve replied a little while ago.’ When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text ‘hubby’ in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral of the Story

  • Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list.
  • Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc….
  • And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back
  • Also, when you’re being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet ‘family and friends’ who text you.

Mind Control Technology Dangers – Jon Rappoport

The fields of neuroscience and technology are merging in amazing ways. But there is also a dark side to new research into how human thoughts can control machines and computers. Journalist Jon Rappoport has written extensively on the subject of mind control. GaiamTV interviews him in this segment below.


Conflict Resolution in Nine Easy Steps

Colman McCarthy Centre for Teaching Peace DC

  • Define the conflict

    If defined objectively, rather than subjectively, which is how most of us do it, conflict means only this: We need a new way of doing things, the old way has failed. If two sides can define what they are fighting about, the chances increase that misperceptions will he clarified.

  • It is not you against me; it is you and me against the problem.

    The problem is the problem. In a battle, even if one side does win, the first reaction of the loser is, I want a rematch: I will come back with meaner words, harder fists and bigger bombs. Then the enemy will learn, then they will be good and then we will have peace forever. This is an illusion, hut few can give it up. By focusing on the problem, and not the person with the problem, a climate of cooperation, not competition, is enhanced.

  • List the relationship’s many shared concerns and needs, as against one shared separation.

    In Ernest Hemingway’s novel, “A farewell to Arms,” a character is described in a hauntingly beautiful phrase, “He was strong in the broken places.” All of us have been, are being or will be broken by life. If we are strong in the broken places, chances for mending increase. They will increase if the strengths of the relationship — the shared concerns and needs — are given more attention than the lone unshared separation.

  • When people have fought, do not ask what happened.

    This is an irrelevant question. They will answer with their version of what happened, almost always self-justifying. The better question is, “What did you do?” This elicits facts, not opinions. Misperceptions are clarified, not prolonged.

  • Work on active listening, not passive hearing.

    Conflicts escalate when partners try to talk more than listen and then only listen as a time-out for verbal rearming. Listening well is an act of caring. If you are a good listener, you have many friends. If you are a poor listener, you have many acquaintances.

  • Choose a place to resolve the conflict, not the battleground itself.

    Armies tend to sign peace treaties far from war zones. Too many emotions are there. In some schools around the country, peace rooms are in place. Anyone who was fighting — in the schoolyard, the halls, the bus — automatically knows to go to the peace room at the time set. Who will be there? Mediators: classmates who have been trained in nonviolent conflict resolution. Principals and psychologists in schools that have peace rooms see the results in lower rates of violence.

  • Start with what’s doable.

    Restoration of peace cannot be done quickly. If it took a long time for the dispute to begin, it will take time to end it. Work, on one small doable rather than many large undoables. Almost always, it is a laughably small wound that causes the first hurt in relationship. But then, ignoring the smallness lakes on a size of its own. Ignoring the problem becomes larger than the original problem.

  • Develop forgiveness skills.

    Many people of large minds are willing to say after the conflict, “I’m going to bury the hatchet.” To themselves, they – add: “But I’m going to mark exactly where I bury it, just in case I need to dig it up for the next fight.” Forgiveness looks forward, vengeance looks backward. Again, it’s anatomy: we have eyes in the front of our heads, not the back.

  • Purify our hearts.

    This is merely an elegant way of telling ourselves, “I need to get my own messy life in order before I can instruct others how to live.” Do these nine steps of nonviolent conflict resolution always work? No. Sometimes the conflict partners are so emotionally wounded or ideologically hidebound, that nothing con stop the violence. But large numbers of conflicts can be resolved without killing or wounding the other side, provided the strategies for peacemaking are known.

Source: Abstracted from Colman McCarthy’s various essays and Class of Nonviolence