Simple Truths

Simple “truths” which turn out not to be so simple once we figure out that Santa Claus lived actually on the south pole :-)

There are no good or bad people.

There are people who sometimes act bad, and sometimes they act good. We all have done it; we are all guilty of it. Accept it and live with it. Go and figure out a way to do more good than evil. When your favorite guru/leader starts using excessively labels such as “good” and “bad” watch out – odds are, you are taken for a ride – good, wild ride. Wake up and smell the coffee. You are not 12 anymore. Use your head and start asking questions.

There is no such thing as healthy food.

I am tired of seeing labels as “healthy” this, “healthy” that. Everyone is a health expert these days. Truth is, food does not make you healthy. Food cannot make you healthy. What food does is to provide your body with energy. Food is the fuel. The most “healthy” food taken in excessive quantity will make you sick. Limit yourself to only the most “healthy” food, you will get sick. Truth is, each food has toxins – even the most “organic” one. There are many reasons for the toxins – including the built in “survival instinct”. No plant wants to be eaten; no animal wants to be killed. The organic matter wants to live. And please don’t try to convince me that plants “want” to be eaten. Or if you do, please provide some solid arguments.
You can eat, however, healthy – or more precisely less unhealthy. It’s all question of balance. Food kind, toxins, quantity, variety, allergies, environment, preparation – these are all part of the equation health. Focusing conveniently on only one of the components more often than not serves commercial and/or ideological interests. Wake up and start eating healthy.
Making complex things look simple are part of the manipulator toolbox. Generalization, simplification, categorization are all part of it. There are times that these serve you well, and there are times to run away. The trick is to know the difference…

How to Export Kindle Highlights and Notes to WordPress

In this tutorial I will demonstrate to you how to export your Kindle highlights and notes to a CMS system such as WordPress. For simplicity I will break the process into three main steps:

  1. Convert the Kindle highlights to an Xml file.
  2. Install Import Plugin in WordPress.
  3. Import the converted Xml data to WordPress.
Last optional step is selecting and customizing a WordPress theme which we are not going to cover here but may do in a future tutorial.
The instructions in this tutorial are for Windows users but they are mostly identical for other systems as well.

What You Need:

  1. Your Kindle device;
  2. USB cable that comes with the Kindle;
  3. Windows PC or Mac;
  4. WordPress blog site installed;
  5. Your favorite browser. We will use a free online conversion tool on Toolboxy.com to do the conversion process.

This tutorial assumes that you are comfortable with WordPress. I that’s not the case you can get familiar with it first here.

1. Convert Kindle Highlights to WordPress File:

  1. Connect your Kindle device to a PC using the Kindle USB cable.
  2. Open Windows Explorer and locate the Kindle drive.
  3. If drive D: is the drive where your Kindle device was recognized, find file called D:\documents\My Clippings.txt
  4. Open file My Clippings.txt with a text editor such as Notepad.
  5. Copy the content of the whole  file to Windows Clipboard. You can use the following key combinations Ctrl+A, and then Ctrl+C.
  6. Open your browser and navigate to http://www.toolboxy.com/KindleNotesConverter.aspx. On that page there is a FREE online tool which will convert your notes into a file format that WordPress can understand.
  7. In the empty text field paste the content of your Clipboard. You can use Ctrl+V to accomplish that.
  8. Hit the “Convert” button. That will generate a new file in Xml format which we will import later in WordPress.
  9. Select the whole content of the field (Ctrl+A), open a new Notepad session and paste (Ctrl+V) the content of the new Xml file.
  10. Save the file to your hard drive and name it My Clippings.xml

2. Install Import Plugin in WordPress:

This step is optional if you have already the WordPress Importer plugin installed. To install it follow these steps:
  1. Login to your WordPress site as Administrator and navigate to the Dashboard.
  2. Select Tools, then Import.
  3. You would be presented with a list of several importers. You need to select the WordPress importer.
  4. Click “Install Now” button.
  5. Finally click “Activate Plugin & Run Importer” button.
  6. The importer is installed. Proceed to next step.

3. Import the Converted Xml File to WordPress:

  1. Login to your WordPress site as Administrator and navigate to the Dashboard.
  2. Select Tools, then Import.
  3. You would be presented with a list of several importers. You need to select the WordPress importer.
  4. Click “Choose File“, locate and select file My Clippings.xml which you created earlier.
  5. Click “Upload file and import“.
  6. On the next screen select an import author or create a new one.
  7. Click “Submit“.
  8. Finally your highlights are imported.

Final Notes:

The highlights and notes are imported as private posts. All information is imported but not all may be displayed based on your installed theme. You may want to experiment with different themes and if you are really into it go even further and customize the theme to fit your liking.

The power of visualization and how I quit smoking

I don’t remember exactly how many times I tried quitting smoking but after practicing this bad habit for over 20 years, I was able to finally call it quits. That was back in 2006.

What was different that time to make it successful? I believe it was that I could visualize myself not having a smoke with the morning coffee. I could actually see myself having a nice cup of warm coffee, and there would be no cigarette in sight to be found. In previous attempts my internal voice would ask “But how are you going to drink you coffee without a cigarette?”. And then, since I didn’t have a good answer to that question, I would be back doing it again.

Interestingly enough, Dave Winer talks about an experience he had using the power of visualization:

“Later, when it did work, I realized that moment, while locking the front door that night, was when the company turned around. When we went from being in crisis mode to being a winner, for one very simple reason. I tried to visualize failure, and couldn’t do it.”

Read the whole piece here.

Embrace the Change

Hello, hello, anybody home? Are you paying attention? Enabled by Internet we are going through a massive change right now and yet few people realize the magnitude of it. Old dogmas are rejected, established practices are questioned, a new world is coming to life.

Like it or not, the days of the industrial revolution are close to being over. What used to work before may no longer work, what they taught you at school may no longer be true.

Are you ready for the change? Your parents talk about it? Or in class?

This blog is about THAT change. The one that I call the Digital Revival.

Welcome to the big UNKNOWN. Are you ready to embrace the change?