Archive for January, 2007
Awhile ago, I helped plug my friend Jeff’s wish to go to Mozambique to help build an orphanage.
Well, the votes are in, and JEFF WON!
I talked to Jeff a few minutes after the kind folks at Robin Hood Fund let him know he won. He was flabbergasted. Good times :-D
On b5′s forums, one of our bloggers asked what the meaning of life was. I said it was, quite obviously, 42. Aaron, our Tech Manager, retorted that I was wrong. That 42 was the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Hence, life’s meaning was 42/3. Or 14.
My response is below:
No, see, that would assume that life, the universe and everything had equal values. However it’s obvious that “everything” would include the universe (and may or may not include “life”, as “life” is fairly ambiguous in that it could mean life in general (which would be included in “everything”) or the value of YOUR life (which wouldn’t, as it’s a subjective value)).
Which means life is either a subset of the value of everything (ie: 42=everything(x+universe+life)) or completely separate (ie: 42=everything + universe + life).
Unless, of course, Adams meant “life, the universe and everything else that isn’t included”. My guess ishe meant “life as an objective stance” (as in Ingrid’s “what’s the meaning of life”, as opposed to “what’s the meaning of MY life”. Likewise, my guess is he meant everything as a separate entity to “life” and “the universe”. In fact, my guess is he meant “the magic of life”, “the magic of the universe” and “the magic of everything else that’s cool about everything else”.
In which case, the formula is certainly 42=life + universe + everything. However, even having deduced that (though the deduction could be wrong), it’s hard to imagine that 3 incredibly valuable things would all have the same core values in the answer of 42.
My supposition is that “the universe” is simply a function of “stuff” existing (ie: molecules collide and cool things happen). However “the universe” doesn’t necessarily result in “life”. So “life” is inherently more valuable than “the universe”. Not so much more valuable that it overshadows it – after all, life wouldn’t exist without the universe. But certainly of greater value.
How valuable, for example, is Wayne Gretsky’s father (had house with pond, taught Wayne to play, encouraged him daily, etc) to the value that is Wayne Gretsky. I’d argue that a talent like Gretsky is 10% genes, 15% upbringing, 40% perseverance, 30% training and 5% pure dumb luck. As a result, his father likely accounts for half his genes, half his upbringing and probably 10% of his training (since he was so involved early). Which really means Wayne’s father is worth at least 22.5% of Wayne Gretsky.
Wayne’s father would exist without Wayne, but Wayne wouldn’t exist without his father.
If we take the same figures and apply them to the formula, we might be getting somewhere.
In terms of “everything else that’s cool”, my guess is that that is a by-product (in a similar way to Wayne and his father) of both the universe and life.
So, in the tree of value, we have “everything”, which is 11.25% more valuable than both life and the universe, and life, which is 22.5% more valuable than just the universe.
Which means life is worth roughly 10.9466, the universe 8.936 and everything 22.119.
Even then, truth be told, that doesn’t tell us the meaning of life. Just the value of it.
So, I guess I was wrong in that I didn’t actually answer Ingrid’s question ;-)
On further reflection, I realized Adams had said 14 was the MEANING of life, the universe and everything. Hence, the meaning of life is, obviously, 10.9466, give or take a millenia or two.
I’m heading to San Francisco tonight. I’ll be effectively offline until I return Sunday, though I’m reachable on my cell for anyone in the area who wants to hook up (416 726 3602).
It’s funny, of all the things I though b5 would become known for, our workspace was never one of them. However, as part of keeping costs down, Mark and I have been spending a fair amount of time huddled together in my basement. I think people started talking about it after Mark did a presentation at the Toronto Venture Group. Since then, everyone we talk to about office space is like “oohhhh, you’re outgrowing the basement, eh?”.
Well, as of Monday, a third musketeer is joining the Toronto b5media team. And we *are* outgrowing the basement! The third musketeer? None other than Gary King!
Mark and I met Gary at mesh last year. Gary rocked his presentation, and everyone was wishing he wasn’t in school so they could snap him up. So, when Gary’s internship came up and we heard he was looking for a Web 2.0 gig where he could get really deep into the business and not just be relegated to make-work projects in some dark closet (he can’t work in our dark closet, that’s where Mark sleeps!)… Well, we jumped at the chance to have Gary join the team.
Gary just accepted our offer, which means that our little 2-person space here simply won’t work… No, we’re going to need to upgrade the facilities. We’re moving up to the b5cave. The actual physical location of the b5cave is a pretty closely guarded location (by Mark’s wife, and she plays aussie-rules hockey so you don’t want to mess with her!), but we’ll have some pictures and such once we’re all settled.
For those who’re keeping track, this brings the b5 team to 10 (Darren, Shai, Mark, Aaron, Christina, Ben, Chris, Tris, Gary and moi), 5 of whom are full time.
Crazy. We have a couple of more positions to fill, at which point we’ll work at introducing the entire team, what everyone does, etc. After all, I know the curiosity of what it takes to run a major blog network is eating away at just about everyone ;-) (I kid, I kid, the real reason is just that I’m incredibly proud of the team we have and I want to highlight how much they all rock!)
Just a reminder, on the “build an orphanage in Mozambique” post.
With the end of this round only 12 days away, and with 10,000$ going to the top 2 vote receivers, just a few more votes should allow Jeff’s wish to build an orphanage for kids in Mozambique a reality!
Again, here’s what you can do:
You can voice your support in one of three ways (or all of these 3 ways):
1. Go to the Robin Hood Fund page and vote for his wish. More votes means more of a chance he’ll get the cash from the Robin Hood Fund.
2. Blog about this.
3. Give some cash from your PayPal account, even if it’s just the “what’s left” few dollars you have there, I know Jeff will really, really appreciate it.
And that’s it!
So go vote! Vote now! 5 seconds of your time could (quite literally) impact the lives of thousands of kids in Africa.
I wouldn’t be doing this if Jeff wasn’t so close :-D (yes, I’m pumped about this!)