Not happy with your Zoom performance? Here are some tips to deliver better.

We’re now all in week two plus of our self isolation and working from home. Meetings are quickly shifting to online and from home and that’s not something we’ve had to do before. Here are some tips to stage a better personal Zoom studio.

  1. Dedicate some space to your Zoom studio. Keep it small and off of your home office work space. A Zoom studio doesn’t need to be more than a 4 ft x 4ft corner. The work-space is shared but the background is dedicated for your studio. The corner of a room behind your desk works very well.
  2. Cover up those bare walls with something interesting but not distracting. A inexpensive way to do this is to go to your local thrift store and buy used full length curtains. Curtains have simple interesting patterns and add depth to your studio in a simple and cost effective way. If the thrift stores are still closed, visit Walmart. Walmart is a great place to get curtain rods as well. When your studio is facing a corner and one wall has curtains. Place a simple book case in the other. Books are a colorful way to make an interesting background but you can also use colorful knick knacks and plants. Remember this is a studio and so this is not a place to store papers and other things. Walmart is a great place for simple book cases and shelves.
  3. Invest in a dedicated web cam and stick it on a camera tripod. Every laptop has a web cam and it will get you by. The camera angle is far from optimal and the quality is borders on acceptable. I recommend the Logitech Brio web cam. It has a tripod mount so you can get an optimal angle. Its a 4K camera but I reduce it to the minimum resolution. Because its a 4K camera, it has better optics and better low light sensitivity which makes a big difference even at a lower resolution.
  4. A better microphone will significantly improve your presentation. I often use a bluetooth headset for my smartphone, paired to my laptop. A wired usb headset is often less trouble. I recommend the Yealink UH33 for its quality and price point. A wired lavalier mic works very well as well.

The world has changed and Zoom calls will become a regular part of what we do. A investment into a studio today will allow you to deliver more professionally in the months and years ahead where we continue to self isolate and work remotely.

The Great Firewall of Canada is finally being built!

Since the launch of the information super highway, highwaymen have roamed free with little restriction of their movement. In 2020, these highwaymen control the botnet networks that control crypto-virus extortion schemes still with little potential of policing or prosecution.

The internet had been envisioned as a unrestricted pool of human knowledge available to citizens of the post-national states and therefore border-less. In the real world, jurisdictions need borders to enforce legislation and protect its citizenry and this has been largely missing from the internet.

A few jurisdictions made an early start of partitioning the internet for their own purposes most infamously, China. They’ve been able to control content to protect their citizenry from things they consider social evils and illegal activities. The likes of Jordan B Peterson has made the concept of these restrictions more palatable but on a smaller scales when he reminds us that we put locks on our home for a reason – not everyone is welcome.

CIRA, the Canadian internet body is finally taking strong steps to provide jurisdictional borders on our Canadian internet by cleansing DNS records. DNS is like the “White pages” of the internet and critically looks up internet content dozens of times each time you visit a web page. Locking down DNS gives the ability to lock down content deemed high risk , illegal or beyond jurisdictional review. All in all its a good thing. If you’d rather have everything – go browse the dark web. For the average Canadian, this is safer better and faster.

The implementation is easy. Just update the DNS records in your Shaw / Telus router with the custom DNS servers provided by CIRA. All content is then looked-up in the CIRA DNS servers and questionable content is simply not returned.

There are three filtering levels available: Private, Protected, and Family.

Private: DNS resolution service that keeps your DNS data private from third-parties. Use DNS Servers: 149.112.121.10 and 149.112.122.10

Protected: Includes Private features and adds malware and phishing blocking. Use DNS Servers 149.112.121.20 and 149.112.122.20

Family: Includes Protected and Private features and blocks pornographic content. Use DNS Servers: 149.112.121.30 and 149.112.122.30

Good job to the folks at CIRA and taking some bold steps to provide internet borders for Canadians.

For more information on CIRA’s Canadian Shield visit: https://www.cira.ca/cybersecurity-services/canadian-shield

An Experiment with Time JW Dunn 1927 – Introduction

Introduction to the Third Edition

An Experiment with Time was published first in March of 1927. It has passed through two editions and a reprint without any substantial alteration. For this (third) edition I have thought it advisable to overhaul the book from the beginning to end. I have inserted about eighty pages of new matter (including a new chapter, IOa), and I have done my best to simplify still further the arguments in the analytical chapters. The most important addition however, is Appendix III, which deals with a new method of assessing the value of the evidence obtained. This amounts in affect, to a new experiment of very great potency.

The general reader will find that the book demands from him no previous knowedge of science, mathematics, philosophy, or psychology. It is considerably easier to understand than are, say, the rules of Contract Bridge. The exception is the remainder of this Introduction. That hs been written entirely for specialists, and is in no way a sample fo what is to come.

Multidimentional worlds of the kind beloved by mystics, and dating back to the days of the Indian philosopher Patanjali, have never appealed to me. To introduce a new dimention as a mere hypothesis (i.e., without logical compulsion ) is the most extravagant proceeding possible. It could be justified only by the necessity of explaining some insistent fact which would apear, on any other hypothesis, miraculous. And a new and still more marvellous miracle would need to be discovered before we could venture to consider the possibility of yet another dimension. Even then the major difficulty would remain to be overcom. For why should the, say, five-dimensional observer of a five-dimensional world perceive that world as extended in only three dimensions.

The universe which develops as a consequence of what is know to philophers as the ‘Infinite Regress’ is entirely free from the forgoing objections.

This ‘Infintite Regress’, I may explain to the uninitiated, is a curious logical development which appears immediately one begins to study ‘self-consciousness’ or ‘will’ or ‘time’. A self-conscious person is one ‘who knows that he knows’; a willer is one who, after all the motives which determine choice have been taken into account, can choose between those moives; and the time is — but this book is about that.

The usual philosophic method of dealthing with any regress is to dismiss it, with the utmost promptitude, as something ‘full of contradictions and obsurities’. Now, at the outset of my own perplexing experiences, I suppose that this attitude was justified. But the glaring regress in the notion of ‘time’ was a thing which had intrigued me since I was achild of nine (I had asked my nurse about it) The problem had recurred to me at intervals a I grew older. I had troubles enough without this one, and I wanted it out of the way. Finally, I set to work to discove what were the contradictions and where were the obscurities. I spent two years hunting for the supposed fallacy. None, I think, can have subjected this regress to a fiercer, more varied or more persistent attack. These assaults, to my grea surprise, failed. Slowly and reluctantly I acknowledged defeat. And, at the end, I found myself confronted with the astonishing facts that the regressions of ‘consciousness’, ‘will’ and ‘time’ were perfectly logical, perfectly valid, and the true foundations of all epistemology. It was not, however, until years later that it downed upon me wherein lay the full significance of any regress. A regress is merely a mathematical series. And that is merly the expression of some relation. But the relation thus expressed is one which does not become apparent until one has studied the second term of the series concerned. Now, the second term of the regress of time brings to light relations of considerable importance to mankind. It is the existence of these relations that the regress asserts. But the information thus disguised is entirely lost if we confine our study o the opening term alone. Yet that is what mankind has been doing.

As soon as I realized this I sat down and wrote the book. It contains the first analysis of the Time Regress ever completed. Incidentally, it contains the first scientific argument for human immortality. This, I may say, was entirely unexpected. Indeed, for a large part of the time that I was working, I believed that I was taking away man’s last hope of survival in a greater world.

J.W.Dunne March 15th, 1934

Extract from a Note on the Second Edition

It has been rather surprising to discover how many persons there are who, while willing to concede that we habitually observe events before they occur, suppose that such prevision may be treated as a minor logical difficulty, to be met by some trifling readjustment in one or another of our scieces or by the addition of a dash of transendentalism to our metaphysics. It may wee be emphasized that no tinkering or doctoring of that kind could avail in the smallest degree. If prevision be a fact, it is a fact which destroys absolutely the entire basis of all our past opinions of the univers. Bear in mind, for example, that the forseen event may be avoided. What, then, is its structure?

I would suggest that we are lucky , on thewhole, to be able to replace, our vanished foundations by a system so simple as the ‘serialism’ described in this book.

Anywon who hopes to discover an explanation even simpler would be well advised to examine his own statement of the difficulty to be faced – viz., that we ‘observe events before they occur’. Let him ask himself to what time-order does that work ‘before’ refer. Certainly not to the primary time-order in which the occurring events are arranged! He may see then that his statement (and every expression of his problem must bear that same general form) is in itself a direct assertion that Time is serial.

If Time be serial, the universe as described in terms of Time must be serial, and the descriptions, to be accurate, must be similarly serial – as suggested in Chapter XXV. If that be the case, the sooner we begin to recast physics and psycology on such lines, the sooner we may hope to reckon with our present discontinuities and set out upon a new and sounder pathway to knowledge.

J.W. dunn