Why do we leave the lights on all night?

Why do we leave lights on at night? I understand the concept of lights very well. You turn them on for a time to drive away the darkness that scared our ancestors. Fire brought safety as few large animals would approach a roaring fire. The natural instinct of animals is to run away from fire. My dogs being companions love fire, but that is a thousands of years of humans changing the evolutionary path of what is now the dog.

So why do we leave them on, lights, when we are asleep?

What predators other than other humans do we fear now? Fire was our advantage once as we struggled up right and realizing that tools were our only skill began evolving towards a dominate predator. A dominant predator of the early days of man, realized there was more scraps with the human pack than an entire dog pack hunting. Fire was the first weapon and tool humans mastered that made them formidable. Certainly we were good hunters before fire, but fire gave us a safe base. Fire let us expand the pack safely.

I guess the answer to my question lies within the fire itself. We made fire, we brought fire into our homes and over time we simply left fire on. Certainly we evolved fire to include different colors and types. Fire moved further and further into the darkness we created and drove that darkness out. We were venerable in the darkness but with the light we were powerful.

We sent astronauts in a lighted space capsule to the moon. For the majority of the journey they could have been in darkness, it wouldn’t have mattered. But we lit the capsule. Space is dark. It is huge and vast and extends beyond our understanding. But we in venturing just a little tiny way into the inky blackness lit our way.

Fire is the power we humans have harnessed. We brought a piece of the sun into our world. In harnessing that power we became safe and by extension more powerful. No longer did we sleep with one eye open, the other animals had to.

I guess to answer my initial question we leave the lights on because of thousands of years of conditioning. The fire burning keeps away the other predators. Although now I suspect the walls of our houses and the fear of humans keeps most predators away. There are still a few desperate predators that will seek humans as food. But they are quickly dispatched after their 12 minutes of fame on television. Shark kills man off North Carolina Coast. Lion kills man in Kenya. There are thousands if not millions of sharks in the ocean and few shark deaths world wide. Although interestingly fire does not work in water.

We leave the lights on to drive way the things that we are scared of. But after thousands of years they are more scared of us than we are of them. Now the thing we should be afraid of walks and talks just like us. We have in leaving some darkness allowed our greatest enemy to exist in and out of the light.


Family Historian

Excuse me sir can you stop talking and just like my content on Facebook?

The conversation ebbs and flows around me. I listen to the people walking by and I hear pieces of conversations. I wonder as we head into the age of social media in fact those pieces will slip away. That we won’t have walking conversations as often. I posted that last week on my Facebook or on my LinkedIn. I put that on Tumbler.

The amount of information you can share now is amazing. What gets shared is a little concerning. I am on vacation (which you should probably just put a large Neon sign in front of your house, no one home help yourself). But there are also the moments people share. What is the value of a friendship and beyond that a relationship with your family?

Often it is the little things that make families. The moments that only the family knew of.  When Uncle Tim fell of the ladder doing Christmas lights and landed on the pile of leaves that everyone else had raked. The leaves going everywhere and Uncle Tim coming out of the pile looking chagrined. Those are the moments that make up families.

Now those moments become posts on Facebook. Sometimes creative people setting them to music. Uncle Tim falling into the leaves over and over again. Funny, hugely funny and something that creates a moment for 100’s. 1000’s even in some rate cases millions of people. But I wonder if this steals a moment from families. Steals a bond that once was only for the family.

I’ve said I see the business conversation of the future being an exchange  A world less of conversation and more of social communication. Where the concept of meetings will morph into the concept of liking content. Did you see the presentation done on our new product line? Yes and I liked it on Linked in and shared it on Twitter.

A brave new world of communication and wonder.

With human beings slumped over their screens wondering around. The more I think  about it, driverless cars better come soon. Otherwise more and more drivers will be more and more aggressive because they lose out on hours of screen time while commuting.


Someone that tries not to hunch while watching my cell phone

Sometimes the questions are more than questions. Sometimes it is just a leaky bag of rice…

Time is an interesting problem. You never have enough time. It is like the bag of rice carried from the store to your home, but the bag has a hole. On your journey you feed a lot of birds. But upon arriving home have only a handful of rice to eat. That in the end is time. Not some grand huge picture in front of you that has doors and hallways. Time is a bag of rice with a hole in it.

Slipping away from you as fast as the rice can leave the bag.

Things we assume to be permanent in the end are not permanent. All things succumb to time. Time waits for no person, ever. So we hold on to our time jealously. We answer requests with “just a second,” “I will get to that in a second.” Pausing before speaking to add effect. We are wound around the time we guard. Even that guarded time like the rice leaves the bag.

Sandler Boggs once wrote “regrets fill paper bags” not with rice I would tell him. That we self-medicate to forget or dull the pain. The pain that the moment we held so tightly like the rice is now gone. A handful of rice makes one meal. What then would we have with that one meal of rice. What can we make that brings back all the things we lost and forgot?

It in the end is not the rice’s fault. It did not pour itself in our bag with a hole. There is no fault or blame here. Merely time that is lost. Grains of rice alone on a piece of concrete baking in the sun. Hopefully no birds see it and swoop down. Raw rice is bad for birds. Expanding and causing them problems as they digest their ill gotten meal.

Does the hole get bigger the further on life’s path you walk?

The longest trails of rice heading away from the store lead off into the beyond. Beyond simply that they leave the parking lot and can’t be seen. What of the one’s that end in the parking lot? Did they realize their rice leaking and find a way to for a time patch the bag? Or stepping into a vehicle laid the rice down upon the hole so gravity that cruel mistress could not steal from them?

Or does that merely delay the inevitable.

How much rice is left in my bag?


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow?

Shameless review–connected medical devices

I am a connected person. I like to have information about my health and current health conditions available for me to review. I recently got three distinct devices that are incredible tools for monitoring your health.

  1. The first is the Omron wrist blood pressure cuff
  2. The second is the Withings connected Bluetooth blood pressure cuff
  3. The third device is the Kinsa smart/connected thermometer

All three devices work quickly out of the box. The Omron just needs batteries and your wrist and it can quickly take your blood pressue. It is rated the most accurate of the wrist based units.

What I love all three

  • Portable – easy to carry with you
  • two of them have very nice applications (Withings and Kinsa)
  • All three a easy to use
  • All three clearly notify of errors and let you know what to do to avoid errors the next time
  • All three are specialized and provide specific inputs and outputs.

What I don’t like

  • Actually there isn’t much – battery life is really my only complaint.

As these devices evolve there will need to be a device that acts as a home hub that can share that information with medical professionals for them to evaluate. But for now each of these connected devices is a great healthcare aid. Easy to use, easy to understand and they publish information about trends as well. You can see where you are over time as well as where you are right now.

Today there are any number of devise in the medical information field. That is only going to expand as the IoT moves into the medical world. Eventually the expanding capabilities will need that device hub in the home. I have a few ideas about that and will share those as I flesh them out.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Looking for a sharp dressed man!

My Amazon author page!!!!


Dad spent some time working in Saudi Arabia helping them set-up and advance their science education programs in the schools. Mostly dad would work with University programs that would generate the science teachers of tomorrow. Sorry for the damage to the slide itself. There was a box of slides that had been stored since mom and dad moved off the mini-farm and back into Bloomington. They moved while Barb and I were in Cincinnati Ohio. Jakki spent her first Christmas at the farm but that was the last Christmas there.

I did have to share dad rocking the blue suit. I feel like the ZZ Top song sharp dressed man should be playing with the picture.

I also traveled a lot early in my career. I think the travel was hard on dad in the end. When I traveled the worst case scenario was I could call home once or twice a day using the cellular technology. When we lived in Thailand we sent recordings to my grandparents so they could hear our voices. But dad traveled in a time when cellular phones weren’t available. They were available but they Cardboard033cost a ton to use. So dad didn’t get to call home. He would write letters but for the most part when he would do these teaching projects he would be gone for two or three months at a time.

I remember these as being on campus somewhere, the statues in this picture. I couldn’t for the life of me remember they are on campus. I haven’t really been into the heart of IU’s campus in more than 20 years. When I lived in Bloomington (growing up and going to college) I knew the campus like the back of my hand.

Now the people are still there in my memories but the places are fading.

I struggled from about age 13 to about age 28. It was a tough time for me as a person and for my parents and sisters. I didn’t adjust and fit into the world I saw. It took me a long time to find the place where I could be what I wanted to be. Years that had to be hard for everyone else.

I was a slow learner and it took me a lot more time to adjust that most people. I guess in the end the demons I wrestled with were greater than I was for many years.


That struggle is what makes us people. It is incredibly hard for those around you as you struggle to be what you were meant to be.

I wandered through being a writer for more than 1/s those years. I was a school teacher during a portion of my struggles. I married someone during that period that well I wasn’t the person they needed and in the end they weren’t the person I needed. We struggled together for a time. I dated people after my divorce moving closer to where in the end I needed to be. But like I said that inner battle raged for 15 years. Honestly I think it impacted my mother more than anyone but I know it impacted dad a lot as well. I think it impacted dad less because he himself had the same struggle trying to fit into the world he saw. Ultimately I think he knew I would come out the other side a better person and ready for what was next.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Questions, books I am reading and OODA loops….

My Amazon author page!!!!

I love when its cool enough to leave the windows open at night and not run the air conditioning. Using the exceptionally cool NetAtmo product I can actually track my inside the house CO2 presence. During the summer and winter months it averages around 800 ppm to around 1000 ppm. When the windows are open it averages 400 ppm (which is roughly the atmospheric average).

A few questions:

  • I want to designate my office as a lair. How do I go about doing that?
  • I realize my idea for paint gunning bad drivers cars wouldn’t work. Bad drivers would just install 360 degree paint guns and in the end get everyone. But with all the cameras we have looking at traffic surely we can we can write an algorithm that simply states the following: weaving = 2 points, pull in front and other driver is forced to hit brake = 3 points, pulling into merge lane to move ahead of where you are by x cars = 1 point per car. If you get 10 points in any one trip then you get a ticket in the mail.
  • Seriously Maryland/Virginia if you have an HOV lane you have to enforce it. Just mount a freaking camera in the HOV lanes and snap a picture of the oncoming car’s front seat. If there aren’t two people send them a freaking ticket. Come on man!
  • Why does it make me feel better to slowly creep up next to a Porsche when I am in traffic?
  • Not driving the Dulles Expressway everyday saves me 25 minutes on my commute. Even though my commute is 5 miles longer. How does that work?
  • What would SETI do with an Earth based computer AI?
  • Why do I not see the fascination with vampires and werewolves

Potential answer to the last question: My favorite werewolf/vampire movies involved Abbot and Costello.

No answers just questions today. Most of them revolving around traffic. I have a new found respect for the job police officers have to do. I have always been a supporter and believed in a system that enforces the laws equally. 9/11 proved that police officers (and fire professionals) were heroes. But to manage enforcing traffic laws in and around DC – they deserve a huge tip of the cap.

Just catch a few more people whose aggressive driving makes it unsafe for the rest of us, please.

I’ve been reading two John Boyd books off-line (actual books). I have been so Kindlized (is that a verb?) that I don’t remember the last time I read an actual book except for the one my friend Chris loaned me (The Uncivil War).

“A vision so noble” by Daniel Ford

“Certain to win” by Chet Richard’s

Yes both are John Boy books. Yes I am an addict. What I find interesting now is that I believe my father would have loved OODA loops. Much of the model he built around teaching and expanding science skills actually focused on Observation and Orientation.


OODA loops are rapid or quick decision making processes. In this system my father designed and lectured on we begin an examination of the concept of orientation.

His orientation focused on clearly understanding the directions given i.e. what is the orientation that in the end procudds the decision (fast-good).


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

One Day…

My Amazon author page!!!!

One day.

14 to 16 waking hours.

(depends on how many meetings of course as to the waking status)

One day.

A slice between darkness.

What in the end is one day? Each one day slogging together to produce 7 one days that we call now a week. 365 one days slogged together to produce what we call a year. One revolution around sol. Well almost, still have to turn .25 one day. Then it is one full revolution around sol.

One day.

In one day the world can change.

I wonder sometimes. Sitting in traffic or here writing this blog if the day that past was/is/will be as good as the day to come or worse. Each day of a week sometimes blurring into unforgettable pudding or possibly breakfast oatmeal congealed in a bowl. Will today be better? Is today the day? Or is today like all the other yesterday’s just another tick in a leather belt, another fallen gunperson?

The day a slower draw than yesterday or a fast draw than tomorrow until there is only memories of what was. There in a question in and of itself was yesterday the better day?

I ask myself that often.

Do all your yesterday’s equal one tomorrow? or 1000?

What in a life of days stretched behind you is the point of known return? Or is it rather that it is the days ahead that we should turn to? We should close the door on yesterday and see only tomorrow?

One day.

A wise man once said “he crumples a bag around his yesterday’s so that he can silently drink them in quiet peace. There no more tomorrows for him.”


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.