Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Buddhism in 2050: Worldwide stagnation, booming in wealthy countries

Pew Research made a great survey on religions future.
It's a HUGE survey, a prospective one, from 2010 to 2050.
You can find it here, for free.

Who is PEW?

You don't know them?
They produce a lot of great stats and Conrad Hackett, demographer is one of my favorite Twitter following.
Here is their mission:
"We generate a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making. We are nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonadvocacy. We value independence, objectivity, accuracy, rigor, humility, transparency and innovation."

You can read this survey for many reasons:

  • check how big your religion will be in 2050,
  • check how big the booming religion of the moment, Islam, will be in 2050,
  • check which religion will select the biggest atheist population, China.
  • etc.

Why I read it: Buddhism

I read it to see the future of my favorite religion, Buddhism.
If you know me, no need to explain. I can explain you why I'm a big fan of this religion for hours.
If you don't know me, I sum up why I like this religion:

  • Not human centric: it puts human at the same level as other species and thus, lead to vegetarianism.
  • Not ego centric: Buddhism teaches that human's beliefs that they are different, that they have a mission, that they worth more than other humans are wrong. It doesn't say everybody must be equal, it just says everybody is in the same boat.
  • Great values: buddhism put kindness, happiness and compassion at the heart of its values. Our own happiness and other humans happiness doesn't make difference. Our happiness is not related by social status, possessions, etc. Life not a zero sum game.
  • No external pressure or source of solution, no dogma, nobody will save or punish you, tell you who you are of what to do, what to think, change is an inner process.
  • No proselytism: Dalai Lama advise people to think twice before moving to buddhism because changing from one religion to another is like cutting our roots. Have you ever seen an ad from a Buddhism temple or organization? No. 
  • Not political, buddhism is never recycled for political or war reasons.
  • Non violent, you already know that.
I think that this religion is just positive for the planet. Very positive. That's what I want it to succeed, not as a religion, but as a philosophy, an influence on the way humans live with each others.

Future of Buddhism: negative macro trends...

Sorry for Buddhism experts, I may be wrong or very approximative but It's my perspective.
And writing these bullet points, I realized that Pew's conclusion on Buddhism future were easy to anticipate...

One word: stagnation.

I asked Conrad why Buddhism will just stagnate from now to 2050, here is the answer:

I let you check the article above. It's pretty clear. Buddhism goes down. Macro trends like fertility, aging population explain the situation...

But, very positive signals too in Europe and in the US

Look at this one:
Buddhist Population Growth Compared With Overall Growth in Each Region, 2010 to 2050

Quote: "In North America, for example, the Buddhist population is projected to grow by more than 2 million, from 3.9 million in 2010 to nearly 6.1 million in 2050. At the same time, the Buddhist populations in Europe and the Middle East-North Africa region are expected roughly to double."

This trend amazed me!

A religion which...

  • does not really have a "cause",
  • does not have dogma or a clear clergy,
  • do not do marketing,
  • do not do do proselytism, 
  • is not backed up by powerful and rich States, 
  • is fought by one of the most popular State in the world
will boom in Europe and US. USA will be the 10th buddhist country in 2050 with more than 6 million people. Europe will have 2,5 million buddhist.
And what I like most beyond these figures is that, as Buddhism does not have dogma, influence of Buddhism will be bigger. Beyond real "Buddhists", a lot of people like me will be exposed to Buddhism philosophy, like it and follow some of its messages.
Zen, yoga, meditation have more and more adepts, that's kind of Buddhism influence too!

What about purchase power?

I like the idea that the world is shaped by what people buy.
As a result, Buddhist influence will really have an impact on the way the wold is shaped if people who have a lot of money to spend are influenced by it. I made a blog post about it.
Indeed, if millions of very low income people convert to Islam of Christianism, it's big in terms of figures and volume but not on the way the world work.

Let's check the GDP per capita forecasted by Goldman S.:

Top ten shows US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy.
Japan, Korea, big Buddhist countries are here too.

  • Among the top 10 GDP per capita in 2015, 6 will see a growing influence of Buddhism.
  • 2 are in the top 10 list of Buddhist country

Isn't it quite positive?
I think it is.
It may change the world.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

No need to speak up, spending money wisely is enough

You want to support a cause, make the world better?
No need to speak up, no need to take risk, no need to go outside and make some noise.
You have already the most powerful tool to do it: your money.

Indeed, you earn a certain amount of money per month.

The way you earn and spend it is everything

You want to limit Climate change: Spend your money accordingly. Work for a company limiting footprint.
You don't like Monsanto: Spend your money accordingly. Work for an organic food related company.
You think Tesla can change the world: work for them, buy Tesla stocks.
You think war is not good: Give money to political parties against war.

The result is enormous.
Why do you think Coca Cola created "Life"?
Because people buy less Diet Coke because they're afraid of aspartam.
Do you think supermarket sell more and more organic food because they want to change the world?
No. It's just because people want it.
Taxis in France are creating a nice mobile app to book them, they are improving the overall quality of what they propose? Because more and more people give their money to Uber.

Seems easy?
It's not.

Saying junk food is bad is not as easy as restricting food consumption to good food.
Saying Climate Change is bad is not as easy as limiting your travel to not far places and limiting meat consumption.
Saying it's a shame to see 10 years old kids producing clothes is not the same as renouncing to cheap fashion clothes.
Saying you're against GMO food is not as easy as giving $10 a month to Greenpeace to fight against it.
Saying you support Tesla revolutionary product is not the same as investing $5000 on it to support them.

So what can you do?

Be selective. Choose some "causes" and feed the happiness of spending your money for things you love.
Then extend to other causes.
Spread the word.

Easy to say. What did I do?

I nearly only buy organic food. I don't care if it's "really" better for health or tasty. I just support the cause.
I rarely east meat. I'm not against meat. I just don't like killing living beings after using so much ressources to feed them.
I refuse to have a car. I don't need to have my own 2 tons thing to move.
I buy as less stuff as possible (my flat is quite empty). Marie Kondo helped me to make it
I try to buy not too cheap clothes from brands that seems clean: Uniqlo, Muji. I know it's not perfect. I should buy "made in France" clothes but...
I give every month 10 euro to people sleeping in the street.
My savings are in a bank specialized in supporting "positive for the planet" projects.

If I'd be more courageous:
I'd buy only fair trade stuff, fly less, give more money to associations like wikipedia, reporters without borders, etc., invest I companies I believe in, stop consuming sodas, stop smoking, etc.

Wrap up

Work for companies aligned with your values.
Give your money only to companies aligned with your values.
Encourage your friends to do the same.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

6 great iOS apps I use every day and you don't even know - May 2015

English: A gray version of an emblem used by i...
I'd like to spend some time to share with you my favorite iOS Apps.
I don't use a lot if apps, I'm very selective.
I spend hours testing new ones :)
So the ones below are great ones, believe me.
I use them every day.
They are all free (freemium but you can survive with the free version).

Elevate. Train your brain 5 min a day. It's addictive, UX is awesome and... it works.

Yahoo New Digest. 8 news a 2 times a day. Nothing more. Great interface and meta data aggregation. Yes it's Yahoo but it's not bad, give it a chance.

Memrise. Learn new languages without noticing. (and choose it you want to "plant" or "water" - check the app to understand).

Feedly. Yes, RSS is still the best way to consume news. And Feedly is the best RSS reader (for me).

Pocket. Because there is a time to pin info and a time to read info. The best "read it later" app ever.

Buffer. Share on social media when people read you. Not when you share the info. (got it?)

Of course I use Snaptchat to pretend I'm still young, Facebook, Twitter, Deezer, Instagram, Linkedin, LINE, Runkeeper but EVERYBODY does so...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reading like we do will be a leisure soon. Why?

Today we read A LOT, for leisure of course, but most of the time, because we have to: we have to read contracts, news, professional documents, email, etc.

I think that very soon, we'll stop reading as we do today.

Because we are lazy (more and more).
Because we want to go fast (more and more).

Because we're lazy, we'll listen and watch more and more.

Apps like Wibbitz transform any piece of news into video summaries. A voice read the news and images plus highlights appear on the screen. Ideal for low energy consumption news picking.
Apps like Newsbeat read news from hundreds of newspaper. Ideal for hands free news picking.

Because we want to go fast, faster and faster, 

We'll stop reading pages "speaking in our head" and moving eyes from left to right at 150/200 words per minute reading speed, we'll consume words lines at 500 words per minute. With apps like Spritz or Fastr pro, you'll be able to read faster ebooks or articles. You'll be obliged to focus the time you read, a very interesting brain exercice, very immersive. Test it:

If apps read content and display text on only one line, do we still need bigger and bigger screens? Not really.
I can read a book using Spritz technologies on a Google Glass, I can listen to Newsbeat with headphones connected to a Google glass.
Same thing for an iWatch.
I don't need big screens for that.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Extrait de Après l'empire de Emmanuel Todd

English: Emmanuel Todd, between a meeting in M...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Voici quelques notes sur le génial livre Après l'Empire de Emmanuel Todd.
Ce livre, par son approche chiffrée, anthropologiste, sociologique, m'a bleufé. Il m'a donné plein de clé pour comprendre notre monde. Bravo Monsieur Todd.

"La séquence alphabétisation, révolution, baisse de la fécondité, sans être universelle, est assez classique."

"Le problème fondamental sur lequel bute la science politique orthodoxe est qu'elle ne dispose aujourd'hui d'aucune explication convaincante de la divergence idéologique dramatique des sociétés dans leur phase de modernisation."

"Nous ne savons pas encore si l'universalisation de la démocratie libérale et de la paix est un processus historique inévitable. Nous savons déjà qu'un tel monde serait une menace pour l'Amérique. Dépendante économiquement, elle a besoin d'un niveau de désordre qui justifie sa présence politico-militaire dans l'Ancien Monde."

"À chaque récession, on s'extasie sur le persistant dynamisme de la consommation américaine, qui devient la caractéristique positive fondamentale d'une économie dont on ne veut plus voir la fondamentale improductivité."

"Le redeveloppement des forces armées découle d'une prise de conscience de la vulnérabilité économique croissante des États-Unis.  Les problèmes de sécurité militaire d'une puissance qui vit de la captation sans contrepartie d'une richesse extérieure (empire) ne sont pas du même ordre que ceux des pays qui équilibrent leurs comptes."

"Les femmes du groupe dominé ne doivent pas être épousées par les hommes  du groupe dominant."

"Le taux de mortalité infantile est en fait un indicateur crucial parce qu'il révèle la situation réelle des individus. La légère augmentation de la mortalité infantile russe entre 1970 et 1974 m'avait fait comprendre dès 1976 le pourrissement de l'Union soviétique et permit de prédire l'effondrement du système."

"L'énergie qu'il s'agit de contrôler, cependant, n'est pas celle des ÉtatsUnis, c'est celle du monde, et plus spécifiquement, celle des deux pôles industriellement productifs et excédentaires de la triade, l'Europe et le Japon. Ici, l'action américaine peut effectivement apparaître comme impériale. Elle n'est pas forcément rassurante."

"On maltraite les Arabes, parce qu'ils sont militairement faibles, parce qu'ils ont du pétrole et que le mythe du pétrole permet d'oublier l'essentiel, la dépendance globale des États-Unis en approvisionnement de toutes marchandises. On maltraite aussi les Arabes parce qu'il n'y a pas de lobby arabe efficace dans le jeu politique interne des ÉtatsUnis, et parce que l'on n'est plus capable de penser de manière universaliste et égalitaire."

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 trend: drones, Internet of tomorrow!

First, drones are cool. Very cool.
And thanks to brands like Parrot, it's fully democratized.
You put a camera on it and you can shoot awesome films, you can control it with your phone or a remonte controller.

Drones are also a good PA:
Countries use it to kill supposedly dangerous people (or people celebrating a wedding) .
It become more interesting. Indeed, the machine will do something that a human should have done before.
BUT the human is still acting, behind his computer screen, like in a video game, he controls the drone with a joystick. His personal assistant, M. drone, just obeys

But here is the coolest part of the article: drones are the new Internet.
Andreas Raptopoulos and his colleagues at Matternet are attempting to create a network of drones that operate like the internet, only for tangible objects.
"The beauty of unmanned autonomous vehicles is [that there’s] no physical infrastructure. UAVs fly wherever there is air." and it's big!
Imagine a world where drones automatically deliver good everywhere.
No need for cargos, trains, trucks and humans to pilot it.
No need for roads, rails, harbor and humans to handle it.
Drones will deliver door to door or to collection points in a fully automated way.
The sky will be full of drones carrying light or heavy things.
Isn't is cool ?

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2014 trend: #Criteo or #Adroll #Retargeting is the new TV commercial. Consumers will reject it. CTR will fall.

Retargeting = displaying ads showing products recently viewed (or related products to the one recently viewed) on other visited websites through ads.
An image from AdRoll describe the process.

Criteo (a French brand, Cocorico) built a huge success on it. Congrats to them!!

I think retargeting success will kill retargeting as it is today. Why?
Because it's too much!!

If you visit an ecommerce website and see a couple of Nike shoes, then, EVERYWHERE, you'll see shoes you've checked and other ones that look like more or less the same.
Whether you buy it or not, whether you checked it for curiosity or really intent to buy, whether it's a present for your wife or your kid who use the same computer as you (argh!!), you'll see EVERYWHERE these ads: on news websites, on Facebook, soon on Twitter, on search engines, etc.

These ads are like TV commercial. They bet on repetition !
Here is the bet: If somebody checked Air Max Nike shoes, we can expect that showing to this person 100 times a day for 10 days the pair of shoes checked or related ones, the guy will finally take his credit card out of its wallet. Very simple.

But, what about the overall the experience?

If you have nobody around you that have one day criticized these retargeting ads I won't believe you.
People feel stressed by all these ads showing the same product. They feel tracked & spied, like in 1984. Indeed, they wonder how it's possible to track their web browsing behavior like that, without any explicit opt-in. They complain of not having a simple way to stop this ad bombing. And, icing on the cake, if they have bought the retargeted product, they think the brand is very stupid to promote a product they have already bought :)
But it works!

Ok it works but...
First question is: for 1 remarketing ad conversion, how many customers feel bad about it and thus trust a lot less the brand using retargeting?
I bet on "A lot" / "Far more than 1"
Second question: when will it collapse? 
When every brand will use it heavily (not just ecommerce websites, but also news websites media websites, mobile apps, etc.) people will just ignore these ads or reject it, finding ways to disable it. Second threat, it's all based on cookies, a technology more and more limited by the legislation.

So is it the end of retargeting?
As it is today, yes.
But I believe that retargeting will gain in maturity and evolve. Here are trends I see:

  • brands will learn to retarget for a shorter time or less heavily (to avoid the feeling to be carpet bombed of the same ads), 
  • they'll let people click on a "do not retarget me I'm searching a present for my wife" or "do not retarget me I don't want my kids to discover what they'll have for Xmas" buttons :) Joke. I mean brands will let people opt-in or opt-out for remarketing as they do for other marketing channels (emails, SMS, etc.)
  • A consequence of the previous point: with a clear opt-in, brands will be able to use all they know about a person to retarget them with very personal offer (and not a extract of their product catalogue). 
  • they'll not retarget loyal consumers
  • they'll not retatget people that have made a purchase on their website
  • they'll ask people feedbacks about retatgeted products after a certain number of ad display (if this product still interest you?)
  • they'll detect if people were about to buy and thus be a good target for retargeting offers OR if people were just browsing the website by curiosity and thus be a good target for more generic ad banners.

I'm sure Criteo or AdRoll will spend R&D time on these needed evolutions!

PS: My POV are my own for those who know where I work.