Just got back from Jamaica last night. I will write a more thorough write-up in a bit here. I am playing catch up at the moment…lots and lots of business to catch up on as computer access was very limited. The trip was amazing, one of the most fun trips I have ever been on…the trails were ridiculous. Sooooo good. Can’t wait for you guys to see all the photos that come out of it.
So for the most part on this thing I try and keep my mouth shut about politics and controversial issues. I have actually written a number of blogs that I have never posted because I am not here to tell people what to think or how to think…instead, I want to tell people TO think. Get out there, surround yourself with people, ideas, sights, sounds…that challenge you. Don’t take everything you hear literally, ask questions. The point I am trying to make here is that it doesn’t matter if you are on your bike or wherever doing whatever, when you surround yourself with things that make you uncomfortable, you begin to push your physical and mental capabilities…
On Sunday I went to go see the movie Transcendent Man. If you haven’t heard of Ray Kurzweil, I am sure that you will hear more of him in the near future, he is on the cover of next weeks Time Magazine and he has been stirring things up a lot recently. His ideas make a lot of people uncomfortable, myself included but I think that he has a lot of valid points. It was pretty cool to be surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds in the tech industry as the movie/talk was located in the heart of Silicon Valley and it attracted quite a few!
My dad has been telling me about this kind of stuff since I was young but I had a hard time knocking the images in my head of AI from the movies. Well lets just say my opinion has now changed, whether or not Kurzweil is right, Technology is headed for some big things. You can think what you want about all of this because right now it is all a bunch of theories and hypothesis and we will never really know until it happens but I was pretty impressed. I am pretty critical about this kind of thing as I have seen language and numbers create very convincing arguments that I know make no sense…
This would turn into an essay if I tried to explain all of Kurzweil theories so to keep it simple I included a couple of videos and some links. The base of the argument is that technology develops exponentially not linearly. This is best illustrated in the idea that a computer once took half a building, that same computer can now fit in our pocket and that same computer will in the near future be the size of a blood cell. Sounds pretty crazy eh? That’s what I thought but listen to arguments and have a read over the related information, its pretty interesting. I think that foreseeing the future and all the prophetic stuff is a little crazy as is the pill popping stuff but I also think that the guys is pretty freaking intelligent and has some very valid points.
Here is a video from TED…if you haven’t checked out this website its worth a look, it is one of my favorite apps on my iPad…they have short lectures from all sorts of influential people in society from all subjects.
Also, Watson, IBM’s supercomputer is on Jeopardy tonight. If you have time, check it out. Everyones first impression to the fact that a computer is on Jeopardy is ‘of course it will win, it can Google anything’. Well it is a bit more complicated than that and it is quite a large achievement. To do well at Jeopardy yes you have got to be pretty smart but you also need an understanding of society and is relationships and the intricacies of the Engligh language.
I just wanted to give a shout out to Bike Shop Santos. Bike Shop Santos is a new shop based in Santos, Brazil run by a bunch of rad guys..they carry road and mountain bikes, they also have loads of tri stuff! When I arrived in Brazil they suprised me and built my bikes for me!! Pretty cool. Thanks guys!!
Brazil. What can I say, this place is awesome.. A couple of weeks ago I got invited to Descida Das Escadas De Santos as the Pan Am Champ …bikes + brazil, yes please. Urban races are pretty gnarly. Stairs. Hucks to flat. Concrete and square edges. The only soft thing was the dog shit. Its not exactly a World Cup but is a totally cool experience in its own right. Pretty short a bit over a minute…I think the top guys time was 1:00 flat and the top ladies time was 1:09. I don’t have my new Demo built up quite yet as it is early in the year and I am waiting on all of my components so I brought my SX Slalom. A lot of people said not to bring it because it would be too small but I thought that I would be fine (and I didn’t have another option) because I ride the hell out of it on everything n the bike park and feel super confident on it. But, they were right. It was sketch. To be competitive in an urban race you have gotta pin the stairs and do a lot of hucking to flat…being an urban DH virgin, I totally underestimated it. The compressions at the bottoms of the stairs and on the flat landings were a bit too much for my little bike. I rode pretty smooth and the sounds were still horrible. Not really worth the risk to be honest. The format was timed practice runs and the fastest runs move on the final…5 girls, 10 guys. Right off the bat, I knew that I would not be able to go fast enough on the little bike to make it into the 5, let alone win so I was not about to lay it all out. Gotta swallow the ego sometimes and makes sensible choices. :) Once I figured that out I just chilled out.
The event company really put on a great event. Tons of spectators, media, dogs, beers. The course went right through a neighborhood, literally. Anyway, I guess here in Brazil the event was broadcasted in prime time…there was a helicopter filming from the top, heart rate montors with live numbers on the riders…pretty cool. A couple days before the race we also went over to the Santos soccer stadium for a little media event. Apparently a lot of talent comes out of the Santos team, the most notable being Pele. We met the capitan and another player and the guys rode down the stadium stairs. Pretty cool. I made a goal. :)
Anyway, Luana Olievra (Brazil) won it for the ladies and Mario Jarrin (Ecuador) brought it home for the guys. The finals were a bit of a shit show for the guys as bikes were litterly falling apart…wheels, shocks, flats…only a couple actually made it down in once piece. It was actually a shit show for the bikes all week but it seems like they all decided to hold up just until the finals. I do have to say though, on the women’s side there is some talent in the form of Bruna and Luana. Both mega rippers.
Another cool thing about this trip was getting to know a whole new crew of people. I mean I knew almost everyone but haven’t really spent much time with a lot of them. A lot of times at races people are off with thier teams at dinner or doing this or that so you get to know some people and others not so much. Here we all stayed in the same hotel, hung out, ate and partied..so much fun!! There were lots of laughs. We got put up in a pretty posh hotel right on the beach…which made it even sweeter. I am actually writing this right now in my swimsuit on the 14th floor overlooking the beach and the pool. I like.