KE

 

There are two kinds of energies—potential and kinetic. Potential is a measure for the capacity to do work. Kinetic is energy in motion. Kinetic energy is potential energy put in action.  

Kinetic energy, abbreviated as KE, is energy in motion. 
KE = 1/2mv(^2), where m is mass, and v is speed. 
KE = energy in motion.

 

Jeffrey to ATL

 

This past weekend my not-so-little brother moved to Atlanta, to start his first full-time job. 

Today is his first day on the job and it's a little bittersweet: Jeffrey, it's going to be tough getting used to you not being around, but that is eclipsed by how proud and happy I am for you.

Good luck today and all the days following—I'll be cheering for you from the Mitten 👊🏾

 

Free Intelligent Conversation Gallery

 

Whenever sharing about Free Intelligent Conversation, particularly the part around holding signs on a sidewalk and inviting strangers to talk, the question we get asked the most is "Do people ACTUALLY stop and talk to you guys?!"

To help us answer this questions, we've recently added a gallery page to our website: www.FreeIC.org/gallery

Here we've uploaded photos of the thousands of people who were once strangers, who've stopped and shared ideas, stories, and laughs with us in various cities. 

So yesssssss—people REALLY do stop and talk with us.

They'll stop and talk to you too! Get your own sign and join the movement at www.FreeIC.org.

 

 

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Please don't let it take me, or another black person that you are comfortable with, dying before harkening and speaking up on the severity of this systemic racial conditioning, that often cost the lives of black people. 

Situations like Alston Sterlings and Philando Castile, thanks to recent technology, are the ones we are fortunate to capture on camera. 

Black communities continue to be and have been filled with these horror stories—Our barbershops, churches, and family gatherings are saturated with personal accounts of unlawful police aggression and brutality.

Please don't wait until our judicial system acknowledges and accepts fault or for all the evidence to add up before personally speaking out against this broken system. 

Not all police encounters are racially charged, not every cop is guilty for the actions of few, and there is no quick-fix, but please do your part. 

While you muster up the courage to speaks up, we muster up the courage to leave our homes. And if you're not intentional about finding this courage, by the time you do a lot of us will be dead. 

‪#‎AltonSterling‬
‪#‎PhilandoCastile‬
‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬

 

Happy 21st Birthday Jeffrey

 
image.jpg

Since we were children, Mom taught me to always keep a watchful eye on you.

What at first seemed like a chore, evolved into a duty, until I realized it had been a gift all along—because watching you, Jeffrey, has been incredible.

I'm proud of who you've become, and who you're still growing to be. Know that I'll never be too far, because I'll always be watching you, little brother.

Happy 21st Birthday.

 

Free Intelligent Conversation | TEDxAndrewsUniversity

 

Not too long ago I had the incredible opportunity to speak about Free Intelligent Conversation at a TEDx event hosted by Andrews University Students Association. 
I'm still taken back by the whole thing—I'm super grateful to even be in a position to share about something this important to me, on this stage. 
Thank you to everyone who's supported and still supporting us. We're looking forward to whatever the future has in store for FreeIC.

 

 
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
 

Eric Dees is off to the Army.

 

Eric Dees is off to the Army. 

The first friend I made when I moved to Berrien Springs, 15 years ago. One of the few people I’ve spoken to everyday, plus-or-minus, since.

Anyone will tell you that, Dees has the uncanny ability to make everyone feel welcomed and comfortable. And a miraculous type of charm, that still doesn’t make sense to me. (Seriously)

Dees, you've always been about service—Incredibly unselfish with your time. So wiling to help, that most of the time I have to make sure not to mention any problems/situations going on. 

I know you’ll be handling your business, so I’ll make sure to handle mine.

I’m not even in the slightest worried about you, I know you have what it takes to excel.

More than anything it’s just tough to see you go. 

I knew this time was coming—You’ve been talking about doing this since the 8th grade. I’ve just been spoiled and will have to adjust to not having the luxury of you always being around. 

Thank you for always being there to celebrate the highs. Thank you for just keeping me company through the lows. 

Thank you for your service.

 

Happy Birthday Jeffrey

 

Jeffrey,

Being your big brother has been both easy and difficult. 

On one hand I’ve had to do very little guidance because you're smart enough to have figured it out in your own. On the other hand, because no older brother wants to be out done by their little brother, I always have to stay at the top of my game. 

It’s been thrilling watching you play the drums and develop as a photographer. It's been inspiring to see how hard you work and your commitment to being a better person. 

Whether it was moving to Michigan, backyard basketball, eating spaghetti for what seemed like everyday in the summer, or fighting as often as we used to—we’ve been through the best and worst of times and there’s nobody else I would have rather gone through it with. 

It's a privilege and honor to share the same goal of wanting the best for Mom and trying to make her proud.

I’ve had a front row seat to the first 19 years of your remarkable life. Our best years are ahead of us and I look forward to sharing them with you. 

Know that I love you, and that you are one of the very few people I'd put my own life down for. 

Happy 20th birthday.

Your super proud older brother,
Kyle

 

Be The King

 

This is a painting by Jean-Michel Basqiat. It's my Facebook cover photo and Twitter header.

Basquait was a street artist from Brooklyn who was at a point of his life where he felt there was no hope for him.

At the time, popular culture denied Basquiat’s work as art. It was considered graffiti and not worthy of being in the MoMa.

Basquiat decided that what he was doing was art, whether anyone ever chose to acknowledge it or not.

The painting is really gritty and messy. Basquiat starts by writing some of the terrible things people were saying about him and his work. Next he begins to write his personal insecurities and self-loathing thoughts.

He then starts scratching-out some of the things he’s just written, as a way of saying to himself that those thing aren’t true and that he doesn’t have to believe them. Finally, he finishes the painting by putting a crown over everything.

What the crown represents is freedom from those thoughts. He chooses to believe that he is the king, regardless of what his situation or everyone else is telling him.

For Basquiat, being the king was a way of thinking, not a position of power—It was about how you chose to perceive yourself.

You could be homeless, abandoned, and left for dead and still wear the crown.

Because it isn't about being perfect or being liked. It's about always picking yourself up and always trying to be and do better, not just for you but for the people around you.

It's knowing that you're going to fall. It’s knowing that it's ok to experience pain and self-doubt. It’s learning to find comfort within your own insecurities.

Knowing that it’s better to move forward and grow through that pain than to just sit there.

So it doesn't matter what anyone else is saying. 
It doesn't matter if at times you feel terrible about yourself. 
It doesn't matter if you're "messing up" to everyone else's standards.

As long as you are honest with yourself and you're trying your best to grow and move forward—you are the king.

You’re going to find yourself doing things that you never thought you would and in places you never thought you’d be. The trap is thinking "I guess I'm this kind of person now.”

The temptation is to just give up and indulge in the lie you start believing about yourself. After this repeats long enough, you find yourself thinking that you are a hopeless mess.

Don't fall for that trap. Always keep fighting.

Do your best.
Be the best.
Be the king.

 

Memes

The internet has given us many things, one of those things are the little pictures you find on your Facebook timeline: Memes. You know, the pictures with text written on top of them that either make you laugh or say “wow.”

Memes are an important by-product of the internet in regards to how we relate to one another. The effect that memes have had on our culture is overlooked and underestimated. Memes do more than provide temporary nostalgia and a quick laugh. With the help of the internet, Meme’s have helped us rethink the way we interact and understand one another.

Non-verbal communication is essential, as we’ve been told, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s tough to accurately communicate to the perplexed look on your face, or the heavy-breathed sigh you just let out using only words. A meme is able to capture an entire moment/story with a picture and two lines.

Seeing that someone has made meme that you can relate to, and seeing other people like and share a meme on social media, non-verbally communicates that these things happen to others as well.

You can look at a meme, like the ones above, and say “Oh, I’m not the only person that has that problem/experience!” And suddenly “The Big Bad World” with all its “evil inhabitants” are, for a moment, not so evil. In that slight moment they too are human, and you realize that despite our differences in gender, race, social-economic status; many of us experience the same minor inconveniences and situations in our everyday lives.

When looking at a meme you are not empathizing with a specific person, but with human-beings in general. Thanks to the vast variety of memes displaying the situations many humans find themselves in, the paranoia and mystery of “other people” tones down. We are realizing that these “other people” are actually just like us. And our fears of “The Big Bad World,” are being reduced, simply because we are better able to understand and relate to each other.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

Marie Curie

The lack of understanding that we’ve had towards people stems from mystery. We don’t know what other people do or what they’re like, and that breeds anxiety and suspicion. When someone shares or likes a meme, it gives you a glimpse into that persons life that you may have not had before. It humanizes them, and the mystery and paranoia you had towards a person, or group of people begins to be neutralized.

Despite how minor it is, it is important that these baby-steps towards understanding other people happen. We fear what we don’t understand, and it is important that we find grounds to begin understanding one another, even if it’s through memes.

It is quite clear that between love and understanding there is a very close link…He who loves understands, and he who understands loves. One who feels understood feels loved, and one who feels loved feels sure of being understood.

Paul Tournier

Of course, not all memes are bringing us closer together. Some memes are just flat-out hilarious. But the next time you see a meme appreciate it for more than it’s face value. With the help of the Philosoraptor, Success kid, and Bad Luck Brian, we are learning that we are more alike than we are different.

Toast to the guy who never stops posting memes on your Facebook timeline, he gets it.

Feyoncé

 

As an assignment for Intro To Digital Media, I was required to make a movie poster that included myself. 

*SPOILER ALERT*

In this movie I play a happy young man who meets a girl named Beyoncé. She immediately falls in love with me and proposes. Despite my hesitation, I accept. Unknown to me, she is obsessed in making sure that girls run the world. During the day she is a delightful fiancé, but at night she puts me under a spell which turns me into a 3 headed ravaging monster. As a result, I go looking for male fiancés to murder every night and return to my human form at sunrise. Eventually I meet a pastor who introduces me to Jesus and I am cured.

 

Pretend Noboy's Watching

It’s easy to walk the extra mile when everybody’s watching.
Finding motivation is easy, when the majority supports your cause.
Long-drawn-out work is a breeze when you’re in the midst of compliments and congratulations.

But what about when you’re only wining moral victories?
When it feels like your efforts are all in vain?

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

Abraham Lincoln

If you’re working on a craft for the attention, I would argue you are not suited for that craft. There are more people who want to be known for working hard, than there are people actually willing to work hard. Being the kind of person who is willing to work hard for something you believe is right, regardless of the outcome, is more important than being seen as a hard working person. But that doesn’t seem to be enough for most. Humans want to reap the fruits of their labor immediately. We want to see the product of our hard work and are discouraged when we don’t.

                                                      Jack Dorsey, Twitter Founder

                                                      Jack Dorsey, Twitter Founder

Martin Luther King Jr. died unaware of what would change in America.
Nichola Tesla died thinking that nobody would properly acknowledge him for his work.
Galileo Galilei was put on house arrest until his death because at the time he was seen as a heretic. 

Short term glory feels great, but there is a deeper level of satisfaction when trying to achieve something timeless; something that is more permanent than thank-you’s and applause. It’s the reassuring thought that even if everything crashed and burned, you would still find value in what you’re doing. It’s a passion that grows outward from the depths of your soul that no person, place, or thing can take away from you.

So carry on like nobody is watching. 
Find out how much you really care, for what you claim to care about. 
Work hard for the sake of the craft and not the recognition. The unfortunate reality is that you will never know the true impact of your work. You won’t know who has been affected, what it means to humanity, or even if it really matters. But those things shouldn’t concern you. When you care for your craft, there is no such thing as working in vain. 

On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Though you may be discouraged at times, don’t let it slow you down. Work diligently because it’s what your craft deserves. I would argue that being the kind of a person who commits to what you believe to be right, is more important than whether you are actually right or not. The fact that King, Tesla, and Galileo fought to their deaths for their respected crafts is the greatest testament of their sincerity, and I’m sure they wouldn’t have had it any other way. The best part is that these guys were not trying to do anything timeless. They were just earnestly doing what they thought was right.

So whatever your craft may be, learn to tune out spectators.

                                                                       Max Lucado

                                                                       Max Lucado

The American Dream?

 

I’ve stated previously that the old ways of doing things will be forced to change due to the Internet.

As a result of watching the Internet’s role in our lives I would like to suggest that it is time for us to change the hours of when we do business.

The generation before the Internet’s rise and reign were held to a different set of social rules that no longer apply to us as the millennial generation. The Internet has given us an incredible advantage. We have been given the opportunity for a better quality of life, but we must play our cards right.

Reflect with me on a ‘Pre-Internet’ model:

After a long day of work/class one might socialize with friends, play outside, or run some errands. Knowing it would soon get dark, having grown up with the household rule: “be home before the streetlights come on”, one decides to head home. Upon reaching home you take care of various household responsibilities such as homework, house chores, etc.  After eating dinner, you may choose to watch a little television, read a book, call a friend, or whatever relaxes you. Most of your friends weren’t around and your connection to the rest of the world pretty much ended when you got home. The obvious next step was to prepare for sleep.

A lifestyle that revolved around work both inside and outside of the home as a means to achieve happiness. Enjoyment of that happiness, i.e. family/friends came first and accomplishments come secondary.

On average you would find yourself in bed by 11pm giving you plenty of time to get several hours of restful sleep. You could wake up at about 7 am (which gave you 8 hours), complete your morning rituals and still make it to work by 9am.

When we added the Internet to the equation, things got a little skewed.

Now you get out of work/class and still have the same responsibilities you would have in the ‘Pre-Internet’ model, but now you can get online and access friends, family, and entertainment at the click of a button. You can do “important” things instantly, such as checking and reading world-news, responding to email’s, video-calling a relative, shopping; the list goes on. Suddenly you realize you’ve been glued to this screen for 2 maybe even 4 hours.

It goes without saying how much of your afternoon and evening can be consumed by Internet use. Not to mention the texting you can find yourself doing while you’re laying in bed waiting for sleep to fall upon you.  Now, you fall asleep between 1 or 2 am, but still need to wake up at 7 am to complete your morning rituals. Rather than getting 8 hours of sleep, you only get 5.

In this model your connection to the outside world doesn’t end when you get home, it actually is just beginning.

A Day in the Internet

A Day in the Internet

Despite our giant strides in technology, there is something that hasn’t changed– business hours.

Some time ago, Corporate America decided to run business between the hours of 9am to 5 pm. These hours were chosen for ‘Pre-Internet’ generation. The Internet has caused an absolute paradigm shift in our lives, and the expiration date for these arbitrarily chosen hours has passed.

This shift in waking hours has caused an increase in various workloads, without an increase in the allotted time for task completion. Many workers and students are restless and stressed due to sleep deprivation. Though this great tool makes meeting vigorous deadlines and completing excessive amounts of work possible, the humans carrying out these tasks are not able to perform at optimal levels.

Most people don’t see that they have options beyond what society tells them to do. That’s the biggest problem. They honestly believe that compliance is the shortcut to success.

Seth Godin

Companies and governments have constantly tried to lord over the public, whether it has been through restriction, distractions, or being over-worked. The American dream now includes working until Corporate America has wrung out every last bit of work week it could get from you. If you’re lucky and don’t die from that, you’re rewarded a couple years of retirement with the better years of your life behind you.

But in spite of such exploitation, the Internet has been a great way to say “screw you” to the powers that be. Today’s social movements for justice and rights are more effective than ever before.

my-nigga-banksy.jpg

My suggestion?

It’s time for Corporate America to rethink the rethink the days and hours it chooses to do business.

Of course, there is a level of responsibility on the individual: you should be able to discern how much time on Facebook is reasonable. But the matter of the fact is that the Internet has proven its dominance and it isn’t going anywhere. There is too much evidence proving that human beings love to use it.

Business hours should be designed to work around humans and not the other way around.

First Alternative:

Change business hours to 11-7 or 10-6.

Same amount of time spent at work, but the day starts later. This way if you don’t find yourself asleep until 1am you can wake up at 8 and still get 7 hours of sleep.

Of course, we must consider– what repercussions changing the business hours will have on us?

What if humans just alter their sleep schedule around the new business hours, in the same way they have before and end up getting just as much sleep? These are viable concerns, unfortunately there is no way to know, and all we can do is speculate. But I think we should do what is best for us right now and cross future roads when we get there.

Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.

Timothy Ferriss

Second Alternative;

Shrink the business hours: Go from 10-5 or even 12-5.

The Internet has made it possible so that we can be more efficient than ever before. Time spent on certain tasks has decreased exponentially (communicating, market researching, advertising). Some argue that we should take advantage of this extra time and be even more productive. But where does it stop?

I would argue that instead we should allow technology to do what it was designed to do, simplify our lives. Rather than using this time to do more business, we should spend this time doing things that are actually important to us. Things like spending time with our families & friends, learning things we’ve always wanted to do, or doing things we’ve always wanted to try.

We have always wanted a true pursuit of happiness. The American Dream became more obsessed with the endless pursuit than the attainable happiness. The Internet has made this pursuit stronger and more efficient, but has inhibited the enjoyment of our happiness. We must stop throwing away what we truly consider important, and come to realize that the American hustle is overrated.

John Schmitt, Senior Economist and Co-author of the Report above claims, “The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days and paid holidays,”

John Schmitt, Senior Economist and Co-author of the Report above claims, “The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days and paid holidays,”

When Henry Ford made the assembly line production became easier, but instead of taking the opportunity to enrich our lives, we let greed set in and added more workers.

When Eli Whitney made the cotton gin it allowed for much greater productivity than manual cotton separation, but greed told us we needed more cotton than the cotton gin alone produced.

And to what avail? We are trying to be productive, only to be more productive.

By working faithfully 8 hours a day, you may eventually get to be boss and work 12 hours a day.

Robert Frost

With the Internet, work is done more efficiently, which should mean less work hours, which would lead to happier workers that are working smarter, not harder. Now that less time is needed to accomplish jobs, this should turn into more vacation time/more time at home, which leads to happier workers.

There is a reoccurring trend when it comes to new advancements in technology. Instead of using these technologies to alleviate our stresses, we have allowed corporations to take our best chances for freedom to further oppress us in this capitalistic lifestyle. At some point we have to stop chasing our tails, break the cycle, and move forward.

The Internet is providing a way out, and we should seize the moment.