I spent this week in Madrid, presenting at the BIM Programming conference and teaching the subsequent two-day workshop on the Revit API and Connecting the desktop and the cloud.
- BIM Programming mainstage presentation
- The Spanish nature of connectivity
- AlphaGo, machine learning and intuition
BIM Programming Mainstage Presentation
My mainstage presentation addressed the following topics:
- The future of making things, IoT, Forge
- WebGL and the View and Data API
- BIM Programming
- Connecting the desktop and the cloud
- 2D cloud-based Revit room editor
- FireRating in the cloud
Everything went very well indeed, with a rather Spanish schedule meaning late hours, so I ended up eating dinner between ten o'clock in the evening and midnight, and falling into bed between one and two in the morning every night.
I am exhausted!
The Spanish Nature of Connectivity
So it turned out to be a pretty crazy week with very late hours compared to my usual habits, little sleep, and many exciting technical discussions.
I probably talked more here in the last few days than I have in the entire last few months back in Switzerland, at least as far as programming is concerned.
Connecting the desktop and the cloud is so utterly easy!
The BIM and developer community here is Spain is incredibly enthusiastic about the possibilities this offers.
It has been a great pleasure and honour to work together so closely and intensively with Alberto Arteaga Garcia and above all Jose Ignacio Montes of Avatar BIM.
In the past days, Jose and I implemented FireRatingClient, a new stand-alone fireratingdb client, a Revit-independent Windows forms-based sibling of the FireRatingCloud Revit add-in.
You can check it out right away. The GitHub readme tells you all you need to know to understand it.
You can also check out the to-do list to get an idea of the direction we are headed.
Furthermore, we are working on improvements to the RoomEditorApp, which we intend to migrate from CouchDB to node.js and mongodb.
On my last night here, Alberto took us to La Castafiore (twitter).
A nice dinner accompanied by opera arias and ending in a rather unusual yet also very Spanish manner:
This coming Sunday morning, I will be leading a short Zazen meditation session, so here are some notes by Thích Nhất Hạnh on how to sit:
- Set aside a room or corner or a cushion that you use just for sitting.
- The sound of a bell is a wonderful way to begin sitting meditation. If you don’t have a bell you can download a recording of the sound of a bell onto your phone or computer.
- When you sit, keep your spinal column quite straight, while allowing your body to be relaxed. Relax every muscle in your body, including the muscles in your face. Consider smiling slightly, a natural smile. Your smile relaxes all your facial muscles.
- Notice your breathing. As you breathe in, be aware that you are breathing in. As you breathe out, notice that you are breathing out. As soon as we pay attention to our breath, body, breath and mind come together. Every in-breath can bring joy; every out-breath can bring calm and relaxation. This is a good enough reason to sit.
- When you breathe in mindfully and joyfully, don’t worry about what your sitting looks like from the outside. Sit in such a way that you feel you have already arrived.
- It’s wonderful to have a quiet place to sit in your home or workplace. If you are able to find a cushion that fits your body well, you can sit for a long time without feeling tired. But you can practice mindful sitting wherever you are. If you ride the bus or the train to work, use your time to nourish and heal yourself.
- If you sit regularly, it will become a habit. Even the Buddha still practiced sitting every day after his enlightenment. Consider daily sitting practice to be a kind of spiritual food. Don’t deprive yourself and the world of it.
To end the sitting, I plan to read this nice morning poem by the late John O'Donohue together:
I arise today
In the name of Silence
Womb of the Word,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of the Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.
I arise today
Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
May I live this day
Compassionate of heart,
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.
It is especially nice in German, or maybe I am just more used to that version nowadays:
ich erhebe mich heute
im namen des schweigens – schoss des wortes
im namen der stille – heim des zugehörens
im namen der einsamkeit – der seele und der erde
ich erhebe mich heute
gesegnet von jeglichem ding
schwingen des atems
wonne der augen
staunen des flüsterns
nähe der berührung
dringlichkeit des gedankens
wunder der gesundheit
möge ich verleben diesen tag als mensch
AlphaGo, Machine Learning, Machine Intuition?
Talking about Japanese culture, the AlphaGo Go computer program has now beaten a grand master of Go.
Machine learning is gradually conquering areas that cannot be cracked by pure combinatorial analysis, like chess, but require learning and something akin to intuition to solve.