Warfare redefined

We have lots of people fighting for something all around the world. I was thinking about this for a while now I’ve arrived on my own position about this. That’s a hypothesis based on a few axioms I’ll be verifying in the nearest future.

My axioms

  1. I fight for the future of all the people(call that humanity?), not ordinary structures(e.g. America, Iraq, Russia, Novorussia, Ukraine, whatever)
  2. I can be influenced by propaganda, thus relying even on my perceptions of the situation is not something wise
  3. Winning is a consequence of long term strategic thinking, not a matter of tactical advantage
  4. Killing people is not an efficient long term strategy for me, converting people is

killconverted Just imagine the difference between dealing with N more pissed people rather than with N more(even partially) converted ones.


Step 1: Boost learning by being open 

Iterative methodologies proved their worth in modern world. Scrum and kanban are taking over even the most conservative parts of the companies life – finance planning. Building an agile feedback loop is important to react quickly to the changing world, but it’s even more important to speedup the learning which leads to strategic advantages.

Openness has been one of my core values for a long. I guess consciously I arrived by that somewhere in 2012. Since that time I realized that apart from being a thing I just like, it’s an awesome way to get feedback on my thoughts quicker.

Note: I still don’t think that sharing my dietary habits on e.g. Instagram has good signal-to-noise ratio, so this should be applied consciously.


More feedback –> better learning –> improved strategies.

Step 2: Transform the battlefield by sharing stuff

head attackHead-full attacks do not work well. Storming a fortification requires 3 to 5 times more resources than defending that.

Plus, it’s always tricky to understand if we’re storming/defending the right fortification in the information space. And what to storm in your mind if you’re not defending a thing? : )

Sharing stuff you like works differently. In places where there’s a need for it, it will be accepted without any battles.

Basically, propaganda works like this: “You’re different”. Now we have induced differences and the whole information front separating us.

  • Saying ‘I agree’ with it means you’re on ‘positive’ side of the induced effect
  • Saying ‘I disagree’ means you’re on ‘negative side of the induced effect and you still support the whole machine
  • Not minding it and working on your own strategy is the thing which kinda works to your own advantage and moves you closer to the bright future you imagine

Unity is my future. What do you imagine?

Implementation details

I’m buying portable projector and will be sharing the awesome ideas I’ve seen. And let the people choose what they’d like to see around.

II Pause. Get more by doing less

I’m not exactly sure why it works this way, but sometimes the easiest way to achieve something is to stop moving towards that and just wait for a while.

A few examples from my life include:

  • When having a seemingly intractable problem 3 to 6 month after quitting a relationship for me is just enough time to figure out how to adapt myself to the thing
  • A few tricky programming problems were resolved when I’ve returned to them by accident in a month
  • Convincing people about their model not matching the situation by letting them surface the problems seemingly obvious to me

Let got of whatever you’re struggling with right now and have a nice pause, it’s weekend after all :)


A few picies from Berlin

Now that I’ve spent almost 2 weeks in Berlin(mostly western), I can try to summarize my observations.

I think I can do that with a few titles: history, planned chaos, immigrants. See some photos(clickable) and notes below.





Berlin has lots of these old-fashioned water sources, mostly capable of giving you some drinkable water.



IMG_20140731_160739 IMG_20140731_165625 IMG_20140731_165912 IMG_20140801_145926


100th and 200th bus routes starting by the Berlin Zoo being filled with doubledeckers provide an excellent site seeing opportunity at low cost.

I’d say it’s better to do that early in the mornings when the frontal places have more changes to be free of other curious people.




Being an airport for a while, Tempelhof was turned into a huge park.





Stolpersteins(“stumbling blocks”) – most of the historical buildings have those brass plates commemorating victims of Holocaust

Planned chaos recreation



Bright colored asymmetry all around. Unusual color patterns and unexpected bumps reach a few sensory systems one by one and I’m excited by the effect.





Some of the bike parking places embrace the chaos too.





Subway(U-Bahn here) stations are not afraid to look not serious and funny.





A few pieces of virtually anything, some love and bright colors – voila, we’ve got a yet another installation for a playground.




IMG_20140731_151028  IMG_20140802_111307 IMG_20140801_151542 IMG_20140801_151546 IMG_20140802_205130 IMG_20140803_133243 IMG_20140803_151957 IMG_20140803_163040




Ukrainian car owners I chatted with occasionally call cyclists something like ‘crunchies’ or ‘crispies’, because better shield people from the outside. Here it is not a problem, cyclists are just that important too.




Lots of greens and parks make Berlin greener city than Kiev(which was always praised for being a park city).

Blue(and pink) temporary water pipes for construction sites all over the city make it look like Dnipropetrovsk in a way, but pipes there transfer gas and are permanent solution :)



Most of the people I’ve met here playing frisbee or being introduced by my friends were immigrants(wikipedia says it’s like a third part of the population). What’s cool about that is being new to a country you always need to achieve something and I love such people : )

Also compared to Ukraine(wink) I’ve never had a problem using English. And shawarma was generally better : )

Facebook: How to @mention people by their first names

Mentioning people by names is closer to the natural language the way I use it, also I don’t like feeling useless barriers in my communication. Once upon a times Facebook showed me a dialog asking if I’d like to use only first names when @mentioning people, I picked “Surely, I do” option and it never happened. Though, I knew the function exists somewhere. A few days ago I’ve discovered how to do that.

1. As usual everything starts with typing ‘@’ and a few characters from the name

2. After clicking on the right person, I’ve got a full name highlighted by Facebook

Screenshot 2014-07-22 10.33.16



3. Then I put the cursor after the name and press Backspace (Delete on Mac)

Screenshot 2014-07-22 10.33.20



4. Profit!

Don’t confuse me with an optimist

Recently I was judged to be an optimist, which is not quite the case. Let’s find out what the difference is and try to get a feel of that.

Optimism is a mental attitude or world view that interprets situations and events as being best (optimized), meaning that in some way for factors that may not be fully comprehended, the present moment is in an optimum state. The concept is typically extended to include the attitude of hope for future conditions unfolding as optimal as well.

Case 1.
Person: we’ve screwed the search puzzle by picking the wrong route
Me: I feel like I understand the logic better now

Case 2.
Person: I hate playing without a navigator person
Me: I’ll fill in the gap next time

I don’t hope for the better future here, neither do I speculate about the universe(factors that may not be fully comprehended). I only have me, myself and I playing with my words and thoughts, putting them in a way which makes the experience actionable and empowering.


If you’d like to get a feel of that try this:knuckles

1. Get yourself a timer
2. Pick a challenging pose
3. Measure your time and notice all the thoughts in your head, in my case I always end up with something like “Oh, I’m tired”, “It hurts”, “It’s raining”, “I’ll do my best next time” — this will be specific to you, but I’m including a good set of excuses as a youtube video[1]
4. take some rest
5. try once again but closer to the end nurse a different set of thoughts, I’m particularly excited by “This current moment represents my whole life, following the wuss route now, I’m accepting that for all”, also having a beautiful girl nearby helps :)

I bet you’ll be better at p5 than at p3.


Now that you noticed how your thoughts can kneecap you or support your goals achievement. Whichever you choose?

[1] Nike ‘No excuses’ commericial

Sleeping pod types

One of the things I continuously miss is a place to have a nap. Polyspastic sleep cycle is a fun thing, but missing a single nap in time can quickly break me apart. With this post I’m starting my journey towards increasing the number of spots anyone can have a nap at :)

Although, a yoga carpet can be a good start, my construction itch requires a fancier target. A few picies below suggest what can it look like:

Screenshot 2014-06-05 16.50.12 Screenshot 2014-06-05 16.50.02 box1 box2 box3 box4 box5

  • Legs being above the head level is something I liked in past(like in pics 3 and 6)
  • Protection from the light and sound is also something cool(1)
  • It’s super cool to support the awakening with the automatic posture change(6)
  • Cardboard  can be used as a cheap prototyping material(7)

I’ll start the construction early next week in our HackLab - stay tuned!

Knowledge sharing is the key

Of the ideas I’ve grasped from the economics of personality cycle was the one that after reaching some point of decency in your life it makes sense to make sure that people around you live good too as at some point all of your descendants will share a lot.

In a shorter term making ten people around me earn an additional grand per year each makes me richer too. I don’t mean all of the additional resources will be at my full control, it’s just me being ‘happier’ because people around are. I think there’s some financial way to express this by means of investing into shared infrastructure or something.

And it bugs me a lot. The only way of earning resources I know of is to earn more of them to someone else and get a share of that. Which requires a decent amount of knowledge itself, which requires a time investment.

I also strongly believe that by changing the information available to people, we can fix the issues I’d like to:

  • Unscientific shares(e.g. a recent one whereby rice in Crimea was all gone due to problems with water, so the post suggested that rice is not Slavic enough)
  • Hatred speeches(e.g. Americans are stupid, while Slavic culture is superior)
  • Harmful ways to earn money(e.g. guys selling drugs in my neighborhood)
  • Harmful ways to recreate(e.g. alcohol, drugs)

In my world the answer to all this is to share: to teach people, tell them stories, show them pictures, so that their broadened view will contain a few decent lifestyle choices to pick from.

And for that I need to do something useful on my own too :) That’s my fairytale to get a particular thing done, yay sleeping pods!

Fairytales in getting things done

While doing my weekly retrospective, I was a bit disturbed by the fact that I’ve adjusted my goals slightly to make them reachable. While discussing that all out load and with a person, I’ve came up with another approach which I’d like to share.

In my universe reaching a goal always boils down to allocating a necessary(usually unknown) amount of resources. The amount required becomes clear during the execution stage and when it appears that I lack those, I try to fix that via one of the methods I’m used to:

1. Give up on it totally and use the resources for the world — e.g. don’t buy no cars(and horses)
2. Try to find some immediate use to the others and pool our resources together — e.g. rent a car to travel
3. Reduce the amount of resources required — e.g. buy a toy car

All of those don’t work in terms of not bringing me the result I wanted initially. P1 is loser way by definition. P2 does not work as I’m not good at thinking in urgent mode, so I usually I abandon this option in favor of other ones in a matter of minutes. P3 as my house building exercise shows, makes the goal not tasty enough and I resort to P1, which has proven ‘efficiency’ :)

4. Relax, use your imagination and build a LARGER vision — e.g. I was about to give up on building a sleeping pod, but by accident I came up with the following: a) it’s built somehow b) it’s installed in one of the IT companies offices c) competitors catch up –> voila, it’s commonly accepted thing now! I’m excited with the leverage: I do a small thing vs the world changes and that motivates me a lot.

TL;DR: So, if you’re reluctant to do something, try to come up with a fairytale – that helps : )

Willpower no more! – an alternative approach to achieving stuff

I did a great job with planning and after a few sparks of execution decided to ‘adjust my priorities’(f*ck up the execution) again. Usually I suffered because of this but recently I’ve formalized an efficient way(when applied to myself) to live with that – see if you can borrow from me and make yourself happier too :)

One of the things I learned from a human potential training I participated in last year(kind of a clone of the Lifespring) was to be anxious about the result – pushing super hard to get something done and feeling real bad if commitment was not met. It’s a cool way to remind yourself that you have some willpower to spend, but it’s dead inefficient compared to other stuff.


Let’s start from the basics. To achieve something I need two things: 1) to make a decision 2) execute it for a while. Obviously, in some cases I had problems with the second one. Analyzing why was never simpler: I was dragged away by the stuff I’m used to!

For example, years ago I let myself be dragged by my work from my university friends. Later I followed a girl drag, thus abandoning the work. [ Hope you have better life balance?:) ]


Anyway. The issue is resolved by the same thing it’s caused by – the trick is to get dragged. By all the winds: family, career, health, whatever, so you’ll have all the things you want at once. Consciously this time.


The process:

  1. Get yourself a spare Sunday
  2. List the roles you’d like to play/areas of life(e.g. colleague, son, friend, father, neighbor, athlete, …)
  3. For each of these get a simple todo item ideally:
    • Exposing you to a longterm changes
    • Involving other people
    • You never had done before
    • Involving no decision taking: call, chat, …
  4. Execute!
  5. Next Sunday review the results and repeat


  1. Give priority to the list, urgent routine stuff will fit around that nicely anyway ;)
  2. Don’t expect something HUGE to be done – the trick is not to nail something, but to get yourself dragged by a flow where something cool will be done for you naturally sometimes with your own hands - that's still a valid option:) ]
  3. If you wish to be energy efficient – accept all the results and try to get caught by a different dragging force next time, bitching about stuff is useless : )
  4. It’s always too early to give up!

Frequently asked question: how do I get to a billion dollars figure on my bank account?
Frequently returned answer: which role do you thing will bring you that?

[ As I've started living through this, I never thought of the money goal again: I strive to be a kind son, good colleague, motivating neighbor, excited traveler, ... Where is the money? ]