The Coming Creative Revolution and the Teacherless School

New opportunities for content creators, the teacherless coding school and more in this week’s #BrainBoost. Links to each story below!

Creators Get Paid
The founder of Patreon, Jack Conte, talks about the new digital infrastructure helping creators get paid. See the new TED Talk at http://bit.ly/2gzuV5l

Authenticity Everywhere
When Netflix’s lawyer writes such an approachable, common-sense cease and desist letter you know the world’s getting better. See what I mean at: http://bit.ly/2zjiJNK

Awesome Explainer of the Google / Uber Driverless Car Lawsuit
See how one innovator–Anthony Levandowski–is at the center of this massive battle between Uber and Google. See awesome video created by VICE Media the video at http://bit.ly/2kKwIsM

The Teacherless Coding School
Change is the ONLY constant. See how Ecole 42, the French coding school created by Xavier Niel has… no teachers. It’s amazing. Read the piece at http://bit.ly/2wR3dXM

Marriage Revolution
MIT Technology Review has a fascinating new report about how online dating is revolutionizing society. Read about this huge shift at http://bit.ly/2ykk6gW .

 

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What is Neuroplasticity? (+ Free Neuroplasticity Handbook)

“The only constant is change itself” – Heraclitus of Ephesus ca. 500BC

Because we don’t see or touch our brain it’s easy to forget that–like any other part of our body–our brain changes over time. Specifically, neural pathways, our synapses, and individual neurons evolve in parallel with our habits, with the types of information that we consume, and with our life experiences.

The concept of neuroplasticity really began to take shape in the mid-20th century as psychologists and neuroscientists learned more about our brains, how they adapt, and how the physical “brain folds” that we observe are connected to how we think.

Specifically, neuroplasticity describes the physical and cognitive evolution of your brain that results from your habits, life experiences, and choices.

Here are links to some of the research we used in the making of this video:
• Human Echolocation Study- http://bit.ly/2wnCGRQ
• Neuroplasticity and Meditation- http://bit.ly/2yw7iBh
• Cognitive Development and Neuroplasticity- http://bit.ly/2fTM2hV

Here’s a link to the free handbook created by Eazl Well-being Researcher Ludell Jones related to neuroplasticity.

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Why You Should Start Talking to Your Devices

 

If you haven’t already started, it’s a good idea to start getting used to interacting with your hardware with voice commands. As Bose releases the Bose QC35 headphones with native Google voice assistant, it’s clear that almost all personal computing hardware is moving towards voice command.

Two other stories we’re paying attention to this week:

• Ethereum is Getting Bigger and Bigger: Recently, the founder of Ethereum said that he believes that the Ethereum network will facilitate around the same number of transactions as Visa, the global credit card processor, by 2020. You can watch a great interview with him to learn more about Ethereum and the future of this arena with AngelList founder Neval Ravikant at http://bit.ly/decentralizeeverything

• Visualizing Google Data: The Google News Lab has just finished a massive collaboration with some of the world’s most creative data visualization artists to come up with beautiful new ways of visualizing data related to culture, news, and sports data and it’s amazing! One Spanish team used data from Google Translate to show the most commonly-translated words from different countries. Worldwide, the most translated word is “beautiful.” That’s rad. You can see the whole collection at http://bit.ly/visualizebygoogle

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Bitcoin: Made in China

The $320,000/day Chinese Bitcoin Mine
Inner Mongolia is now home to the bitcoin mine that produces 5% of the world’s bitcoin supply (the equivalent of around $320k of bitcoin per day). It’s in a region that used to be known for coal mining, but now massive server buildings are filled with computers built by the “bitmine’s” parent company, Bitmain. The machines solely exist to perform the complex math that it takes to create or “mine” bitcoin. There are also huge water tanks and fans that run 24/7 to prevent the computers from bursting into flames. Read more at http://nyti.ms/2y9u56u (via the New York Times).

Tesla to Produce the World’s 1st Electric Big Rig
Tesla has announced that it will produce the world’s first electric-powered big rig. The trucks are expected to cost ~$100k, have autopilot features similar to passenger Tesla models, and be able to travel around 300 miles on a charge while towing a full payload. Most big rigs can now travel around 1,000 before refuelling and Tesla is looking to create a series of battery swap stations to enable the big rigs to stay on the road without much downtime.

Major Step in the Fight Against Cancer
Carol Bertozzi’s team at Stanford has discovered a new way to detect and treat cancer. It turns out that sugars on the surface of cancerous cells (called Sialic Acids) deceive the immune systems of cancer patients and prevent their bodies from attacking the cancer cells. Ms. Bertozzi’s just-released TED Talk shares these details and how this line of development helped former US President Jimmy Carter beat cancer that had spread to his brain, something that was unheard of only a few years ago.

You can watch the TED Talk at http://bit.ly/2h5y9gk and read more about these therapies at http://bit.ly/2vXb9GJ.

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Feedback is Even More Important for Freelancers

Freelancers and freelancing is often misunderstood.

For example, “freelancers do it so that they can wake up at noon” and “freelancing is just like being in a bigger company, only solo.” …and one of the biggest misconceptions that freelancers themselves make is that, now that we’re our own bosses, we’re done getting performance reviews. Not exactly.

In this Brain Boost, we’re going to look at the changing world of feedback and performance improvement. It’s changing in larger organizations as the good ones abandon aging practices like performance reviews in favor of people analytics and continuous improvement practices. It’s also changing in the broader workforce as many of us become remote workers, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and contract workers.

In a work environment where you have few colleagues you also have relatively few opportunities to receive feedback. This makes people who work in these situations weaker because they have fewer opportunities to improve.

Now that I have been collaborating with people and working in distributed workforce situations for a while, I realize how important feedback is.

At minimum, after each project or freelance engagement you should proactively exchange feedback with your counterparts on three things:

1) What could be better about the workflow?
2) Were the communication channels, were the timing of the communications, and was the nature of the communications done well?
3) What could have been better about the work product?

Remember my freelancer, entrepreneur, and contract worker friends–feedback makes us stronger and, when we’re working in small teams, it’s up to us to manage our own improvement!

If you’re interested in getting better at exchanging feedback, here’s a link to Eazl’s award-winning Feedback course.

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Ludell Jones on Finding Your Philosophy

“Rules are not necessarily sacred. Principles are.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

As the world around us changes at an increasingly rapid clip, we need to compliment learning and working with philosophical study. Operating from a solid set of principles leads us to make better decisions and to be stronger and more resilient.

Operating from principle tends to ground us when there is uncertainty.

Here’s how Elon Musk writes about principles: “I tend to approach things from a physics framework. And physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy.” (Find his 2012 interview in WIRED Magazine.)

What are some of your principles?

You might also enjoy reading Ludell’s long-form blog post on the EazlBlog about keeping control of your own definition of success.

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Giving and Receiving Feedback at Work: Davis-Hans Feedback Session

Watch our live feedback session this Thursday at 4pm Eastern time. Click here to set a reminder so you don’t miss it!

💪🏽 LIVE: Watch Davis and Hans Exchange Feedback after a Freelance Collaboration 💪🏽

Receiving feedback is something that I used to be really bad at.

As more of us become responsible for our own performance improvement, start working as freelancers or independent contractors, or launch our own businesses, we need to remember something about feedback: it’s powerful. It’s how we get stronger, more resilient, and ultimately, more capable and LIBERATED.

Here’s what happened: Hans Jonassen, a member of the Eazl community, hired me to help him write his resume and, while I was doing it, I learned that Hans is a kick-ass copywriter. So I hired him to work on some of Eazl’s projects.

At the end of our work together, I reached out to Hans so that I could give him feedback on his work and so that he could give me feedback on my participation in the project.

In this livestream, we’re going to have a candid conversation about what each of us could have done better.

Use this conversation as a learning tool for how you can exchange feedback with your fellow collaborators or peers and share your feedback with us. We rise together.

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Certificates, Nanodegrees, and the Future of Work

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume.

How will certificates, nanodegrees, and badges fit in to the #FutureOfWork? 🤔

Thought Point #1: Decentralized Authority
Everything is trending towards decentralization. We’re seeing small-scale, decentralized energy production, cryptocurrencies and blockchain are decentralizing finance, and globally distributed and globally connected workforces are an example of decentralized production.

Similarly, authority is now becoming decentralized. Here’s an example: today, one of the most respected degrees in artificial intelligence is the Udacity Nanodegree and Udacity is an organization that was launched 5 years ago.

As technology continues to disrupt and force people to re-learn skills, new kinds of educational credits are emerging because we need them. They are certificates, nanodegrees, and badges.

Thought Point #2: The Decline of Loyalty at Companies
Research shows that companies are increasingly disloyal to their employees and that employees are increasingly disengaged from the companies they work for. (For example, see Harvard’s http://hbs.me/2xwSUIC)

In his 2017 book “The End of Loyalty,” Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Rick Wartzman shows that, starting in the 1980s, companies that were already healthy started using layoffs to increase shareholder profits, causing a total destruction of trust between shareholders and the C-suite and employees. (See http://whr.tn/2w1m0Si)

Instead, we’re seeing an overwhelming preference for people to earn their wages from freelance, consulting, and small team arrangements rather than working for large organizations (see Eazl’s recent update on freelancing in the US at http://bit.ly/2w2nQ5p).

In arrangements like this, there is usually no internal training staff, so you have to bring your own skills to work.

What’s New? Eazl Certificates
Enter certificates, badges, and nanodegrees. While they probably won’t replace a traditional bachelor’s degree any time soon, they’re going to play a more important role in demonstrating to clients and partners that you are capable of something.

Recently, Eazl published the Facebook Ads Certification Course and the certificate we’ve designed is meant to give you a tool that you can use to close more deals, demonstrate your skills, and increase the attractiveness of your LinkedIn profile and resume because we’re here to be your partner in success. You can see John’s Facebook Ads certificate at http://bit.ly/johncert.

If you’ve completed 100% of our Facebook Ads Certification Course (see http://bit.ly/fbads10) or or Essentials of Feedback and Performance Management (see http://bit.ly/youtubefb5) course, you can request your certificate at http://bit.ly/eazlcertified and we’ll make one just like John’s for you.

Onward… to the future!

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The End of Jobs and Bosses

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume. After watching this video, you should be thinking about ways to display and prove your skills as the world of work changes.

No “jobs.” No bosses. I think the future of work is going to be decentralized, “bring your own skills to work,” about shared ownership, and will favor people who can effectively self-manage… themselves.

The “Pop Up Organization”
The future will probably involve fewer bosses. Recently, a group of American freelancers got together to create True Story (a card game and mobile app) and there’s one striking thing about the company. It isn’t a company. There are no bosses, no managers, and no official titles. It was a collaboration between a group of freelancers who met, created, signed revenue sharing agreements, and walked away. See http://nyti.ms/2v613SJ.

This is becoming an important way of working — and not just for bands of freelancers. Jody Miller, the founder of the Business Talent Group (see http://bit.ly/2x97CFq), makes a living assembling teams of freelancers for short-term projects for Fortune 500 companies.

Algorithmic Managers
Increasingly, software algorithms are being used to allocate, optimize, and evaluate human workers and business processes. Sound familiar? That’s what managers used to do. At companies like Uber and Lyft, there are 500 and even sometimes 1000 drivers for every 1 person who does traditional “management” functions.

The new conversation being had by next-generation management scientists isn’t how humans can be better managers, it’s how algorithms can be better human managers. For example, see the paper “Working with Machines” at http://bit.ly/2i9oclV. For more information about the DAO see http://bit.ly/25RWicG.

Also, watch Senator Ben Sasse being interviewed about the future of work at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. I believe he’s correct about much of his view on the future of work (and he’s definitely going to run for President, so he’s worth learning about). Here’s the link with the timecode embedded: http://bit.ly/2uV835l

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Self Discipline is Underrated

📿 How are you challenging yourself to be more disciplined? 📿

Could self-discipline hold the key to a healthier, happier, more successful future?

The Books Mentioned in this Video:
• Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – http://amzn.to/2u3P48y
• Hooked by Nir Eyal – http://bit.ly/2fbUmw2
• Nudge by Richard Thaler – http://amzn.to/2v2txhO

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