Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

When I attended the recent Domain Conference in Florida I had a few copies of my science fiction book, Battleframe, to hand out as giveaways. It provoked a lot of discussion about scifi and one of the members of the Godaddy team ended up telling me about a book called “Read Player One”.

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Ready Player OneBy the time I’d finally returned to Australia I’d completely forgotten the conversation until I received an Amazon delivery with a copy of the book inside. For a start the cover intrigued me, it had a picture of a young man climbing a stack of caravans……so I thought I’d give the book a shot and started reading.

What surprised me was the fact that the central theme running the whole way through “Ready Player One” was everything about the eighties. Computers, board games, computer games and music were all fodder for creating elaborate puzzle clues that the protagonist had to solve.

To be quite honest with you I cared less about the plot (which was a little simplistic) and more for the fact that it was a personal journey through time. Trash 80 computers with 16K or RAM, cassette loaders and Atari 2600 game consoles were carefully weaved into the overall story. I loved it!

My first computer was a Trash 80 clone and it sites under the stair in its box to this day! My second computer was a Commodore 64 and the games the characters played were straight from my childhood. Including Joust, Zaxxon, Defender (I loved that game) and the D&D (Dungeons and Dragons for the uninitiated) module “Tomb of Horrors”. I’d played and loved them all!

In fact, at one point I was desperately hoping the author would actually mention some of the games that I programmed…..but sadly no. The original “Lord of the Rings” and “Mugsy’s Revenge” weren’t mentioned. Maybe in book two JI can only hope!

Was it the best thing I’ve ever read? No. Was it just good mindless fun? Heck yeah! It managed to keep me up to the small hours of the morning which is all you can really ask from a book.

I would like to thank the entire Godaddy team for inspiring me to read “Ready Player One” and to the particular team member that sent me a copy of the book. I’ve already passed it onto my closest friend who is also one of the characters in Battleframe (Bosk).

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg & Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - I've Crossed A Line

Saturday Musings - I've Crossed A Line

Yesterday, I crossed the line of no return. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I could somehow undo what happened but then, with a smile on my face I really don't want to. You see, yesterday was the day when our youngest daughter turned eighteen and in Australia, became an adult.

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I remember like it was only yesterday when I held her in my arms for the very first time. The wonder in her eyes as she looked around the hospital delivery room and then she finally fixed on my own.

We both soaked in each others features, I her father and she my daughter. So yesterday I looked at not a little baby but a beautiful grown women, full of life and excitement for the years ahead. An almost mystical spark of love sprang between us.

When I look at her today, she seems to continue to look innocently around at the world in wonder....and then our eyes meet. Like eighteen years earlier, the bond of love between us is as strong as ever. I'm her father and she's my daughter.

But I’ve crossed a line. I no longer have children who are children but children who are now adults. Somehow, though all of our life’s ups and downs my wife and I have watched as three babies transformed into adulthood…..and now our last is no longer a child.

I'm so proud of each of my children, for the adventures they're going on, devouring life with a ferocious appetite. If life is a theme park, each of them are definitely riding the rollercoaster rather than playing it safe on the merry-go-round. You only get one shot at life, so you may as well enjoy it.

So when I looked at Elise yesterday, I found I had conflicting emotions. Happy for her but sad that those childhood years are now behind us. So rather dwell overly long in the past I begin to think of the future and the possibilities it will bring. Grandchildren! It was then that a smile spread across my face…..the cycle of life continues…..so maybe there was no line after all.

Have a great weekend!

PS. I should mention, that my wife Roselyn and our two daughters will be at NamesCon in January…..we look forward to see you all then!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - What Does it Mean to do Good?

Saturday Musings - What Does it Mean to do Good?

So many of us in the western world believe that if we do “good” then things will be all right now and hopefully in the afterlife. I’ve been contemplating this concept of doing good and to be quite honest with you I’m a little confused.

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The problem I’m having is that “good” is a subjective term and something that is good for one person may not be for another. Each one of us views the world from our own perspective and cultural background and this taints our perception of what is good.

An extreme example of this is ISIS. They believe they are doing good by blowing up archaeological sites, beheading infidels and bringing their own unique brand of Sharia law to the masses. It’s clear that many people agree with their position and are even willing to put their lives on the line….but does this make ISIS good?

Maybe if you reach a critical mass of individuals that believe as you do, then could you regard what you’re doing as good? If that was the case, then Stalin, Hitler and Mao Zedong would be regarded as saints as they had millions of people following them while they slaughtered millions themselves. I’ve concluded that doing “good” isn’t at all about populist opinion but something else entirely.

Over the last few months I’ve been watching the presidential election unfold in a most astounding manner. Each candidate firmly believes they are the one that will do the most “good” for their country…..this is despite the fact they seem to be trying to prove the other candidate is evil. So maybe a person can be defined as being good by doing less evil? Now we have the conundrum of defining what is evil…..so essentially the flip side of the coin for “what is good”.

Then we have terms such as; “you’re a goody two-shoes” and you’re just “holier than thou” as vain attempts by one individual to try and redefine a person’s personal view of what is good through ridicule. There is essentially a clash of values that has denigrated the conversation to low levels of disrespect….just like in the presidential debates.

There is a liberal way of thinking that has encroached into society that says, “I don’t care what you do as long as it doesn’t impact me.”

It’s an isolationist view of society that builds gated communities, high walls around houses and neighbours who are strangers. At its heart, people who subscribe to this world view have relinquished their right to define what is good and bad until it directly impacts them. Society can be in complete anarchy as long as their walls are high enough and if they are encroached these people will typically define good at the end of a gun.

The problem I see with people defining their own view of “goodness” is that it will vary from one individual to another. Some people will believe its fine to prop up the stats of a domain name with purchased traffic prior to selling it while others believe it’s fraud. Who’s right and who’s wrong in this situation? This forced me to look to the law for some sort of definition of proper behaviour and hopefully “goodness”.

Sadly, the law spends a lot of time defining bad behaviour but not good….in fact, it is largely silent on what’s good. If a person robs a bank, then that is regarded as bad but if you help an elderly person across the road you don’t get some sort of reward from the government.

There is some hope in the law. The mere fact that the law is defining what is bad would suggest that it has some basis in what is good….even if it is silent. Where did the law get its views of right and wrong? This is where I’m forced to acknowledge the fact that the western law (and many laws around the world) largely have their roots in a faith or faiths. In the case of the west, it’s the Judaeo Christian world view.

Whether you are a person of faith or not, one of the fundamental structures of our society has its roots in faith……the reason for this is because it was through faith that our forefathers defined “good”. This means that each day we are all acknowledging there is an external authority that defines good and has defined goodness for each an everyone of us…..WOW, now my heads spinning!

I’m also faced with the fact that most of us seem to be able ascertain what is good through our conscience. Forgetting the outliers in the statistical distribution (eg. ISIS etc.) we seem to know what is good when we see it. But how did this happen and where did our conscience come from? Did it, like our laws, come from a divine authority? I will leave that for you to dig into in your own times of contemplation.

What the basis in the law and our conscience have in common is a bedrock of perceived “goodness” that is not defined by individuals who have differing world views. Goodness is locked down by a spiritual perspective on a common definition of good. This is a great comfort as it means when I’m doing some business with a person there is a clear way we should conduct ourselves. In fact, in business there is a term, “bad faith”. This is when a person is not behaving in a “good” manner to increase their own personal advantage.

I know for certain that I will be thinking a lot more on the topic of “What does it mean to do good?” I hope you also feel challenged in reading this article on your own personal views.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

 

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Saturday Musings - When Someone Spoils Your Week...

Saturday Musings - When Someone Spoils Your Week...

This past week has been incredible…..so much happening and so quickly that it makes my head spin. I just love it when it’s like this. Development is going full steam ahead, had some great client meetings and the team is working on a couple of ground breaking ideas. Amongst all of this excitement there is always someone or something that rains on your parade….in my case it was Pepper.

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For those of you that don’t know, Pepper is my cat. She’s been a part of the family for over fifteen years and we all absolutely love her.

Whenever I go away she comes and sits in my study and stares out the window waiting for me to come back from my travels. When Roselyn and I sit on the couch to watch television she inevitably climbs up between us and demands a scratch under the chin. Well, this was her behaviour until last week….

About a week ago Roselyn decided that it was time for Pepper to have some worming medicine and after a bit of a fight (which involved a few scratches) she gave up. As far as our cat was concerned we’d crossed the line. No more sitting next to me as I worked or snuggling up on the couch together. She almost stopped eating, banished herself outside and meows pitifully if we come near.

Like I said, there’s always someone that spoils your week. Sometimes it’s because in your wild enthusiasm you just trod on a few toes or forgot to do something you committed yourself to. In these cases, maybe it’s time for some apologies to get things back on track.

I’ve always been amazed at people that won’t apologise. The person that is strong in themselves doesn’t view saying sorry as a weakness but rather as a strength. So who is stronger, the one that apologises or the one that digs their heels in?

So I’m apologising to Pepper. This has involved debasing myself to moving the food to where she is resting rather than in the normal spot. Ensuring that she has premium irresistible quality, full of flavour and goodness rather than cheap dry stuff. I’ve even coaxed her inside with a few scratches behind the ears…..and slowly but surely she is responding.

So if you’ve ever had someone spoil your awesome week then take them out for a really good dinner followed by a massage….you’ll win every time.

Have a great weekend!

Michael

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Saturday Musings - Why Domains Are Like the “One Ring”

Saturday Musings - Why Domains Are Like the “One Ring”

Author, JRR Tolkien, suggested in “The Lord of the Rings”, that the one ring allowed wearers to rule but each time they put it on they tended to spiral down into deprivation and psychosis. The character of Frodo did his best to resist the rings temptations but sometimes he just couldn’t help it. I sometimes wonder whether domains are a lot like this.

Gollum - have you bought the .comRemember when you bought your first domain name? The nervousness of the purchase followed by the terror of what the heck are nameservers and EPP codes. But you were hooked. The desire to buy or sell just one more domain each day becomes an irresistible allure that you just can’t seem to deny. If you don’t believe me then consider the following….

What’ the first thing you do each day? Is it check your domain stats to see whether they are up or down? How about jump onto Afternic or Sedo to check out any domain offers?

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed? My wife used to ask me whether I’d tucked my computer in as yet….which is a euphemism for have I checked my domain stats?

When you really consider it the last thing we needed was the monetisation providers, registrars and marketplaces to develop apps and responsive websites. This then meant we could feed our addiction to domains during the day while we were catching a train, in a staff meeting or having a coffee with our loved ones.

Of course we could disguise our domain addiction by mumbling something about checking up on an important client email, but between you and me, we know the truth. You’re a domain addict.

I bought a domainSo what is it that is so mesmerising about something you can’t touch, talk to and is full of technical mumbo jumbo? I think I have the answer to that question. Domains are all about power. We may be embarrassed to admit it, but any domain addict worth their salt loves the fact that they own and control something that can impact the world, is unique and, well, hmmmm…..precious.

So deep down inside we are all “Lord of the Rings” Gollum’s coveting our preciouses. Let’s look at the similarities. The one ring impacted the world, so do domains. Tick! There was only one “One ring” and there is only one of each domain. Another tick! The one ring was precious and so are domains. Let’s face it, most of our domains have little stories about how we acquired them and we recount other addicts all about them over drinks at conference bars.

I could carry the analogy further by saying that we, domain owners, stare at computer screens in the dark…..Gollum stared at silver fishes in the dark. He was addicted to the ring….we are to domains. The list goes on and on….which leads me to one conclusion…..the size of eyes of some NamesCon attendees seems to be getting larger each year……oh dear, they may be on their way to “Gollumhood”.

What’s also interesting about domains is the social structure they have developed. Consider for a second who has a more important social standing. The domain investor that owns download.com or joes-pizza-shop-around-the-corner-is-open-now.com?

The domain is locked precious!So like the “One ring” domains do imbue a kind of power! I’m either a somebody or a nobody because of my domains. So when you look at the flood of investors into the new gTLDs it’s all about their quest for controlling something that is powerful.

What many don’t realise is there’s “one .COM to rule them all and in the darkness bind them”. This is a fancy way of saying that you may own an amazing new gTLD but ultimately you will bend your knee to the .COM. It makes me wonder how long it will be until there is a rebellion……

I don’t know about you but right now I’m feeling an incredible urge to go an register just one more precious....I mean domain…..and then it will be mine! All MINE!

Have a great weekend.

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