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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Facebook Advertising: The Facebook Ads 2017 Certification Course (Trailer)

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. 

*Get a $10 discount on the course here: http://bit.ly/fbads10*

In less than 3 hours you’ll be able to use Facebook’s ad targeting features, install and use the Tracking Pixel, launch campaigns, and receive a certification.

Learning how to use Facebook Advertising isn’t just for launching Facebook ads to sell products. Instead, think of Facebook ads as a way to communicate with hyper-targeted groups of people. Facebook advertisements can be used for recruiting, for public relations, to promote events, to build communities, and, of course, for selling products and services.

Learning to use the Facebook Ads suite for business will enable you to be better at online marketing, modern digital communications, and will give you a strong background for a variety of social media and digital marketing applications. You’ll also earn your Facebook Ads 2017 certificate which you can link to on your LinkedIn® profile, resume, etc.

For more info: http://bit.ly/fbads10

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Fake News is About to Get Bigger and Faker

🎧 Listen to a great podcast on this topic via WNYC’s Radiolab 🎧

What happens when hyper-realistic fake information is easy to create, hard to detect, and can be spread across the world to billions of people within seconds via social media? We’re going to see…

Photoshop for Voices
Adobe’s VOCO software can now take a 20-minute recording of a person’s voice and then enable an editor to type any words they want–even if none of that was said ever during the 20-minute recording–and produce near-flawless audio that could fool anyone… and this tech is only going to get more accurate and harder to spot

Fake Video is Here
Now, any president, prime minister, CEO, or celebrity, can be someone’s lifelike puppet on video. Watch a video produced by a team at Stanford that shows the face of former US President George W. Bush being scarily manipulated in real time.

Questions
The implications of this technological advance are immense. In the near future, fake news–audio, video, etc.–will be incredibly pervasive on the web. What does this mean for news outlets?

Will people need to pay for quality, trusted information?

How will we identify artificially-generated videos and audio?

What’s next for truth and information online?

What business opportunities does this present?

http://futureoffakenews.com/

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Productivity: Why You Should Work in Clusters

🌞 Save Time and Be More Productive! Join Eazl’s Summer Scale Up 🌞

In the mid 1970s, two American researchers used people’s reactions to words to discover something that we can all apply to using our brains. Your brain is better when it works in clusters. See the research here.

Better Comprehension
The two researchers found that when they showed people words that had similar meanings people were able to actually read the words more quickly than if the words they were shown had no relation to each other.

The takeaway here is that we will be able to understand something and make connections on some topic if our brains are warmed up to thinking about that topic.

Our brains won’t be as capable if we use them to flip between topics every few seconds. Our brains like to think in patterns.

Better Judgement
The researchers also found that our brains can identify falsehoods better when we think in clusters. For example, if we hear a 5 sentences on the same topic, we’ll easily spot the sentence that is untrue but if we hear 5 sentences that all pertain to different topics, we’re less capable of identifying which sentence is false.

So, try to work in clusters. For example, if you need to create one piece of marketing collateral each week, next time try to create all four pieces of marketing collateral for the month on the same day. You’ll likely feel like it’s faster, easier, and more efficient.

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