Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday. He touched many lives through his writing and his ideas had an impact on me at an early age with short stories like “The Nine Billion Names of God” and movies based on his books like 2010 (which I saw in the theater) and later 2001 (which I saw as a young man). His novel Rendezvous with Rama is being made into a movie and IMDB is quoting 2009 as the release date. I thought it was interesting to find out he had been living in Sri Lanka for some time.
I visited my family in Ohio this past weekend and my uncle made a few interesting points. He’s an old-school spring engineer, meaning he learned coming up through the trade rather than by going to school, and he supervises a number of employees at a relatively small spring company. My grandfather used to own a spring company called, shockingly enough, Adams & Sons Spring Co. That was later bought out and a number of the employees were moved to a different plant, including my dad and uncle. So anyhow, my uncle was telling me a story, which I won’t go into, but the heart of it is that you should not wait for people to hand you “what you deserve.” If you are a leader, regardless of your job title, then lead. If you see someone who needs help, don’t wait for them to ask you. Help. Show that you have the initiative. That’s probably fairly obvious, I mean we’ve all heard it before, but it came at a particularly important time for me.
I’ve been on twitter for a while now, though I don’t update it super-regularly like some people. It’s fun and I hope more of my friends start using it, but I’ve noticed an interesting trend. Just about anything is open to potential spam. Friendster is sick with it. MySpace is abominable. LinkedIn seems fairly immune and I’ve gotten very few spam friend requests from Facebook. Twitter has so far been very good about it, but there is a new trend that I’ve found interesting. You can follow people and people can follow you on twitter. So your status updates are public and potentially seen by thousands of people. How do you increase the number of people who follow you? Follow them, of course! I’m having random people follow me left and right. It only helps me, since I don’t follow them back, but it’s interesting to note.