Searching for a new job

Here’s a random thought. I tend to live in the clouds. My dreams and aspirations are just much bigger than the average person’s vision. Ever since I was about 20 years old I have been desiring something greater than the corporate job path. It’s actually much bigger than the self-dependent business owner path also. I have always dreamed of living a life where I can wake up when my body says it is time to get up and going to sleep when my eyes and brain are ready to relax. To some this may sound like the life of a lazy person, but to me it sounds like the life of someone who is uniquely gifted to the see opportunity of every moment.

I’ll set the record straight by saying that I do not have a problem with my current career choice. I think that there are definitely some cool jobs in the marketplace and I have one of them. I guess the bigger idea for me to try and convey is that I believe that everyone has a calling in life. Sometimes our calling is for a season and sometimes our calling is for a lifetime. I believe that our jobs are directly related to our calling in life. I believe that my calling in life is much bigger than any of the jobs that I have previously done. However, every past job has prepared me for the next role that I must take on.

The reason why I am writing my expressions on my word press is because I want this post to be marked as evidence that I was always a believer. I have notes that date back to the early 2000s, but it has been years since I’ve made a mention of anything concerning this topic. Recently, my mind has began to wander beyond the realms of my current role and I am wondering what is next. Like I said, some jobs are just for a season. It is possible that my season is not over yet, but some day it shall come to pass. I want to be ready for that day.

The secondary reason why I am sharing this note is because I want to inspire others. My progression from an unskilled, uneducated, entry-level employee into a mid-level manager is nothing but miraculous. And let me also clarify that I use the title “mid-level manager” loosely because I cannot begin to explain what my job is really about. I did not do this myself; many people have inspired me to take a leap of faith and just do what my spirit says is the right thing. For some time I was concerned that if I pursued my current career then I would be ignoring my calling, but it turns out that my career has helped me respond to my calling. I guess the wisdom of this paragraph is that you have to keep your eyes open and be willing to accept new horizons before you will ever find yourself in a new place.

So to end this post let me clarify the meaning of the title. People sometimes say that they are looking for a new job, but if they stick with the notion that each person has calling then the truth is this: One does not search for a new job. A new job searches for he or she who chooses to be found.

How’s that for philosophical thinking?

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Most genuine love song of the year

Valentines day has come and gone already, but there is no reason why love has to end there. In October of 2011, Hands On released an album titled Love Letters to my Wife. The first single from that album was called, “Loving You.” The theme of the song was simple: love. The hook is catchy and the lyrics are poetic. You do not have to be in love to fall in love with this song because it is genuine. Actually, “Loving You” by Hands On may be one of the most genuine love songs of the year because it takes a non-capitalistic apporach to explaining what love is. Sometimes love just needs a little break from all of the material hype and commercialism that comes along with territory. And why does love always have to be pink and red with artistic hearts and flashy jewelry. What color is love to you? Is it blue from the computer screen haze because skype is the only physical connection you have? Is love the empty gas tank that you must fill up multiple times per week because you travel daily to see someone you miss? Is love a waiting game that you must sit through in the lobby as your best friend fights against cancer with chemotherapy treatments? Let’s be honest. A song cannot explicitly define love and what it feels like, but it can help people become inspired to feel love. Check out, “Loving You” by Hands On and share what love is to you.

If you must quote me on anything about this song, please, quote me on this: My hope is that my song will be so genuine that it inspires many more genuine love songs.

By the way, “Loving You” does not have to be your most genuine love song of the year. There are probably thousands of other genuine love songs on the market, but take a moment to play this song and add it to your collection of hopeful love songs.

Please, feel free to share some of your favorite love songs in the comments section.

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Let’s pick an Anniversary date

At this point in my life, I am becoming more concerned with marriage. My girlfriend, Kelsey, and I have been dating for over a year and we are ready to say our vows at the altar. We are slowly figuring out what kind of engagement ring would be best for Kelsey (size, style, etc.), but once she finds her favorite ring she is going to leave the next step for me to figure out. You know. The whole, “Will you marry me?” experience. After that, it is time for us to figure out a wedding date and ceremony. Making decisions about the wedding ceremony are not as easy as it seems. There are so many odd details to figure out and people to consider. I think that we’ll put more thought and consideration into what other people think then what we really care about in the end. The highlight of that wedding day is going to be when we both have an opportunity to speak our vows and say “I do.”

Don’t get me wrong, I truly do want to make sure that we pick a date, time, and ceremony that everyone enjoys, but at the end of the day and for years to come it’s really all about what Kelsey and I want to remember. I think we will most likely keep things simple and try to focus on family, love, and good times; we’re going to make our wedding a day worth remembering for the rest of our lives.

What do you think about picking an anniversary date? There are so many choices and ways to get married, what is the best strategy?

If you have two extra minutes, read this article about Will Smith’s advice to DJ Jazzy Jeff about getting married.

I’m sure this will not be my last post about “the big day” because I many answers to very few questions that I need to figure out.

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Intellectual property in the digital age

Have you ever considered how simple it is to share media content using the Internet? It seems that everything exist in the cloud or even in some sort of non-tangible digital form. Consider this blog post; it’s available for you when you browse your way to the website address, but once you click away from the site it is “out of mind and out of sight.” I have very little control over who can access my writings once I publish them online; not to mention that there are ways to access this post off-line.

Intellectual property and copyright protection is highly important to me, as I am a copyright holder with multiple songs available on the internet. However, most of listen to music online, read e-books, and engage in media using the internet so this topic is one that affects all of us. Let’s dive into this discussion a little bit deeper, and we’ll start with robbery in the digital age.

Digital Theft

One of the many benefits of a computer and digital data is that it increases productivity with tools like select, highlight, cut, copy, and paste. In other words, if you like the words that someone else used all you have to do is highlight, copy and paste. Within seconds, you can share these words with your social circle, and those people can do the same thing. Did you intentionally steal those words from someone else? Probably not, but that is exactly what happened. This is a common occurrence on the internet, especially with social networking sites. Most internet authors probably expect and appreciate when their work is shared, as long as they receive appropriate credit. But what happens when you share e-books, mp3s, and other digital media? Is this considered theft or is it totally legal? Are you just letting someone borrow your mp3 files, or are you illegally distributing copyrighted material to friends and family for free? What separates you from a bootlegger? These are all questions to consider while sharing and accessing digital content.

Open Source Movement and Creative Commons

Before you begin to paint yourself as a digital thief you should consider some of the content that is available in the marketplace. Have you ever heard of a creative commons (CC) license? Well, in short, CC is a license that creators use to allow public use of content they create. It is a little more detailed than this, but you should visit the creative commons website for more information. A CC license is similar to open access software. Open access software allows software developers to access source code for use and/or modification from the original program. According to Carillo and Okoli (2009), the open access software community is important to the public as they provide answers to major consumer problems that the commercial world has yet to resolve. Open access software and CC communities use the internet as a means of communication to create, develop, and maintain software and other intellectual properties.

If the content that you are accessing and sharing on the web is open source or covered by a CC license then you are off the hook, but let me emphasize that not all media is created equal. Many intellectual property owners are gleaning for an opportunity to put digital thieves behind bars. “Within the open access context, debate focuses on whether an article is ‘open’ when it…is freely accesbile over the Internet but still subject to the standard restrictions imposed by copyright law” (Carillo & J.D., 2013, p. 789). In other words, some people assume that everything on the internet is open source, and this is not true. We should probably discuss some of the security and surveillance features that protect copyright owners.

Copyright Protection

Before I share some thoughts about how copyright owners are protecting their intellectual property, let me share why copyrights are important to the creative process. I mean, a good song is only good if people hear it so why would anyone be upset if people are distributing music via the internet for free? Maybe that is a silly question, but many people make that same argument in their minds right before they transfer their digital music collection over to a friend’s jump drive. Let’s imagine that a song is like a car. It moves people. I helps people get where they need to be. Now let’s imagine the keys to car are like the provisions of copyright law. The person who owns car has the sole right to lend the car to whomever he or she desires because, after all, the car belongs to the owner. The car owner can make copies of the keys and distribute them to whomever he or she desires. What if someone who borrowed the car made a copy of the keys and began sharing the car with other people? Well, more people would be able to drive the car, but what if the owner of the car did not want everyone to drive his car? What if you were the owner of the car? Can you imagine finding your car in a stranger’s driveway? And, what would happen when you wanted to sell your used car, but a stranger had already sold it without your consent? Do you think that a stolen vehicle retains its value as well as a vehicle that has never been stolen?

In my example, the song is the car and the copyright is the key that operates the car. A copyright owner has the right to share and distribute his songs to whomever he pleases, but those people do not have the right to do the same unless he gives them permission. Similar to automobiles, copyrights do not hold their value once they have been compromised or stolen. I hope you understand why copyright law is important to intellectual property owners. Now we are ready to discuss the provisions of security and surveillance.

Digital surveillance and privacy invasion

I think the easiest way for copyright owners to manage their digital property is to monitor distribution. In theory, it seems simple and logistic, but in reality it is more like an invasion of property. Should media producers have access to personal files or even have the ability to track how consumers are using digital products on their personal computers? How about in a professional environment? Do corporations and business owners have the right to monitor computer usage?

People create technology to fill specific needs and desires. And technology is regulated, or not, as people and society see fit. Few engineers set out to build systems designed to crush privacy and autonomy, and few businesses or consumers would willingly use or purchase these systems if they understood the consequences. (Bucy, 2005, p. 324)

Unlike security cameras in a store, office, or other public place digital surveillance probes beyond the capitalistic nature of business and consumer relations. Digital surveillance probes into the personal lives of computer users; every key stroke and mouse swoop can be traced. Perhaps digital surveillance not only prevents or discourages criminal activity, but it nurtures related criminal activity or encourages unethical business practices, like identity theft, and workplace harassment.

Finding a balance

Under current laws, the consumer is not given fair treatment in regards to copyright protection and digital surveillance. As Bucy (2005) explained, technology is not an excuse for privacy invasion. Technology is also not an excuse for criminal activity. John Morton, previous director of US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, stated in 2012 that public awareness and education are important in the effort to combat criminal activity (Kravets, 2012). What is the government doing to increase awareness of copyright protection and the harm it does to the United States economy? How is the government regulating, and enforcing laws that protect the privacy of consumers? I am sure that there is an ethical way to strike balance between copyright protection and digital surveillance, but the United States government is slow to find a role in this battle.

Today, technology is killing one of our most cherished freedoms. Whether you call this freedom the right to digital self-determination, the right to informational autonomy, or simply the right to privacy, the shape of our future will be determined in large part by how we understand, and ultimately how we control or regulate, the threats to this freedom that we face today. (Bucy, 2005, p. 326).

I asked a lot of questions in this post. Feel free to answer some of them in the comments below.

References:

Bucy, E. P. (2005). Living in the information age: A new media reader (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Carillo, K., & Okoli, C. (2009). THE OPEN SOURCE MOVEMENT: A REVOLUTION IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT. The Journal of Computer Information Systems, 49(2), 1-9. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/232574057?accountid=35812

Carroll, M. W., J.D. (2013). Creative commons and the openness of open access. The New England Journal of Medicine, 368(9), 789-91. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1313533846?accountid=35812

Kravets, D. (2012, March 8). Pirates beware: DVD anti-piracy warning now twice as fierce. Wired. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/anti-piracy-warning-updated/

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Speak no evil against anyone: Look for the good in everyone

I used to think I would make a pretty nice white guy until I realized that I am a decent black guy. Now I believe that I am truly an awesome guy. It took me over 20 years to realize that my identity is not determined by the color of my skin. However, I cannot deny the fact that the color of a person’s skin can have a major influence on his or her life experiences. A part of me wonders if maybe God gave me dark-colored skin because he knew that my heart was big enough to make a difference in the world. And maybe he gave another person light-colored skin because he or she has the guts to stand up for other’s.

Yes, we are all different. Some of those differences are skin deep, but we have to do our best to look deeper than the skin into the inner workings of a man (or woman). My point is that the world has much to learn, and few people to teach. We should not become distracted by what our eyes see, and many times we have to pay close attention to what our ears hear. Rumors, lies, and gossip. Evil people talk even though they have nothing valuable to say. The words are only as valuable as the soul they came from. How tainted is your soul that it speaks such filthy things?

Learn to speak good and only good. Remove all wrongdoing and evil from your heart. Find a reason to speak well unto others. And only speak evil of evil when necessary, but followed by a prayer for forgiveness. Stay humble and generous.

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Is it worth it?

Have you ever become so excited about a hobby that you spent hours upon hours working on it without any regard for time? And then eventually you stopped to wonder if any of your toil was really worth it?

This is my issue right now. I am more than a hobbyist though. I have been planning my next album release for 2015 and recently I have been able to invest large amounts of money into my project studio. As I sit back and consider my next steps, I am now wondering if it is truly worth it. I mean, I am sure that I am enjoying myself, but I wonder if my choices are adversely going to affect any of my friends or family members. Like, do I spend too much time doing this or should I spend less money on it?

My final conclusion lies on this statement, “If I had bought a new HD flat screen LED TV, people would not second guess my purchase. But because my purchases are intended for activities that require skill, patience, talent, and motivation my integrity is questioned.” Perhaps it is not me who needs to reconsider whether my purchases are worth it. I would rather spend my money on a hobby that results in no profit than spend my money on an oversized electronic device that contributes to mindless activities and also produces no profit.

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Organizing and Cleaning Up

I have been blessed with a creativity, which means that I am usually not very good at organizing my working space. The fun thing about creativity is that I can turn ideas into creatiions using abstract, or even chaotic, elements. My lack of organization lends itself to the process of creating new things and coming up with alternative solutions. Unfortunately, sometimes my papers, projects, etc. become so unorganized that not even I can interpret the meaning of it. Ironically, working in a clean and well-organized environment also contributes to my efficiency and abilities. So over the years, I have been teaching myself to find a balance between the two extremes that fits the situation.

The difficult part for me is that I wear multiple different hats for all of the responsibilities that I have. For example, I have my occupation, home and personal stuff, and music business. That’s 3 totally different areas of my life that I have to control, organize, and keep clean. As much as I don’t want to limit myself to a box, I have finally decided to purchase a filing cabinet to store my life in. Like I said, it’s all about striking a balance between the different extremes. Additionally, it’s about keeping loved ones happy with all of my extra baggage.

I guess the phrase that I am looking for is, “Out of sight. Out of mind,” at least for my fellow home dwellers.

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Happy New Year

Well, I have been off of the word press since November 17, 2013. I consider that it is good to disengage from media every once in a while to do other things. I guess that I am learning a little something from my current class at University of Phoenix “Media and Society.” Although my leave of absence was not intended to last this long, I did enjoy the little break. The time away from typing on the laptop has opened my thoughts up to more topics, which actually include media, society, and over-saturation of media. We’ll see what the future brings forth. I guess it’s like Doc from “Back to the Future” says in the final film of the trilogy, no one’s future is written. We are all subject to strange occurrences, changes of plans, and unforeseen circumstances. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 King James Bible).

Here’s to a new day, and new year!

Aaron

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Time and Technology

Image

In my opinion, time is relative. Perhaps I say this because of the culture that I grew up in. Or perhaps it is just the way that I think. I also think that technology skews time sort of like the refraction of light through a prism. As technology improves, time also shifts and appears to move at a faster pace. My argument includes two different aspects: child’s play and digital versus analog.

Child’s Play

Children in the United States of America have very few responsibilities. Parents, family members, and other adults in the community take care of all of the child’s needs. Children have very little concern for the passing of time. Time in the mind of a child is based off of events like summer break, play time, school day, seasons, holidays, etc. There is nothing exact about these events. They are all relatively placed in an ongoing timeline. If you ask a child how much longer until play time is over, they may give you a response like, “as soon as the lights go out.” All of this only changes as the child gains more access to technology. Once a child can read the time on a clock they are able to create and meet deadlines as their responsibilities increase.

Digital Versus Analog

The text-book definition of digital may differ from y definition, but I think it fits the discussion about the relativity of time and technology. My definition of digital is the ability of a device to take specific measurements. This is different from analog technology that enables a device to take relative measurements. An example of a digital device would be cell phone with GPS capabilities and an example of an analog device would be a compass. A clock with automatic time synchronization, similar to the clock on your cell phone would be considered digital by my definition, unlike a clock with manual settings that must be adjusted by the user.

Closing Thoughts

I believe that there is an inverse relationship between time and technology. As technology shifts more into the digital realm with precise measurements and automatic updating, time seems to decrease. Maybe it is because people are becoming more efficient in their workdays; we are able to cram more activities into the day because we carry devices that keep track of precise times and deadlines. For the working business person technology offers great advantages. But what of everyone else? What does technology do for the children and retired senior citizens? Are we speeding time up so fast they that are not able to enjoy the capstones of life? Do grandma and grandpa really want to spend their last days counting down the exact seconds in every day? Do toddlers really care to calculate the number of hours and days until the first day of school? Or do parents really want to defend their case that bed time is not an exact time, but rather it is when mom and dad say so? I’m not against technology. I enjoy the benefits of digital technology, but I do not want to lose access to the good ‘ol methods of analog technology.

I like to wake up when the sun starts peeking through my bedroom window. I take an afternoon break when the sun is at its highest and I start heading home when the sky has an orange-yellow tint. I know that fall is coming when the wind gets strong and the atmosphere feels cool and breezy. I don’t need a smart phone to tell me when the first day of spring is or what time I should go to sleep. Most new products are being describes as having “smart” capabilities, but I don’t think there is anything dumb about a paper-back calendar and notebook. I prefer the more relative lifestyle that places an emphasis on human interaction with nature over technology. Perhaps this is the reason why I decided that “postaday” doesn’t actually equal one post per day.

 

 

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Helping or Hoarding?

This may be one of my top picks for November 2013.

TheWannabeSaint.com

milestone

One of the most difficult parts of my calling is also one its greatest blessings. From births to deaths, in sickness and recovery, I have the privilege to be with people in the most difficult and joyous parts of their journey, to share these milestones on the path of life.

ibd-group450wEarly this cold November morning, I made my way to the hospital to spend time with a dear man who was undergoing  surgery. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania is a beautiful facility complete with an inspiring kid’s wing, state-of-the-art surgical unit and a brand-new rehab center. It is clean, bright, and what a hospital should be.

The surgery went well, my friend is in recovery and I am very thankful for excellent doctors, and cutting edge medicine. On the way out, gazing at the huge Nittany Lion in the center of this massive complex, the thought struck me, when all…

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