#ThoughtExperiment – The Victorian Working Class Fucking For The Sake Of Their Future Descendants / 18.08.18

This is about hope.

Do you think that our ancestors,
During the grimmest times in history
Ever considered that they just had to survive
And fuck?

So that one day
Their distant descendants could enjoy living in a world of opportunity,
Free from all the drudgery and misery that typified their daily lives?

Many parents tend to think about building a better world for their children.
Maybe this, in a roundabout, drawn-out way,
Is how we got from living in caves
To having more than enough.

Photo by All made of

#Poem – Everything Will Be OK, Eventually / 15.08.18

Everything is OK.
Because,
Despite what they think
Nobody really controls anything
(…or at least not to the extent that they think they do).

And that thing that worries you now?
That will all be OK too.
One way or another.

Maybe not now
But eventually.
Which isn’t that long
In the context of a universe
That has supposedly existed
For more than 13 billion years.

And
Even if it doesn’t work out OK
And the worst happens
And you die.
Well,
Then it won’t matter
Because you’ll be dead
And the dead have no troubles
(…despite what some will tell you).

And so
It will all be OK.
All of it,
Eventually.

Everything ends.
You make your peace with that
You make your peace with everything.

Eventually.

Photo by See-ming Lee (SML)

#idea – 80% of business books that will be released in 2018 / 15.08.18

Take a point that can be made in 1-2 pages
Fluff it up to 200 pages
Fill it liberally with platitudes and anecdotal stories
(…the majority of which the reader has already read in similar books).

Optional: if you’re a coach or service provider, lots of thinly disguised sales patter about what you do.

And then the final touch:
A flat colour heavy cover and a £14.99/$19.99 price tag.
= Profit

With thanks to Aubrey Marcus.

Photo by Boztay_Akimkhan (Pixabay)

#Idea – What you can learn about society from famous people / 26.06.18

You can tell a lot about a society’s priorities by who it makes famous.

How?
Think of fame simply as a way to observe the personal interests of a large group of people within that society.
A way to gauge what people care about.

Knowing this,
It may be worth considering
What kind of people has your society (….or our society) made famous?
What (…and who) do people care about?
What does it say about the place and times you live in?

Photo by janeb13 (Pixabay)

 

#Poem – If you don’t control your attention, someone else will / 08.05.18

They call it
‘The Attention Age’.

They should have called it
‘The Attention War’.

The battlefield?
Your focus,
Or
What some people
Sitting in boardrooms
Conspiratorial,
May brazenly refer to as
Your ‘mindshare’.

This insidious term
That seems to come with the implication
That these people
Get to share some of your mind
(…with you?)

city advertising black and white photo
Photo by Phil Roeder

Your attention is a commodity
To be traded across various platforms
And it creates
An opportunity for
Conversions
And
One way commercial conversations
Monologues in which
You have no apparent choice
But to listen.

And
Lots of people
With money
Want your attention
For the sake
And for the want
Of more money.

Still,
It’s your time,
Your attention,
And you hold the real currency
(…which is time)
And so,
You must remember that
You’re the buyer
In a buyer’s market
And you get to decide
Where
(…if at all)
The coin is actually spent.

life advertising black and white photo
Photo by danijeljw

But,
Perhaps you need to be a special sort of person
To have the kind of focus to pursue something single-mindedly
And avoid all these modern distractions.
Perhaps.

Or,
Perhaps you have to make a choice
And reaffirm that choice
Every day in what you do.
And in the habits you create.
And what you choose to pay attention to,
Perhaps.

Who really cares for
‘Information management?’;
The capacity to
To defeat the algorithms they designed to addict you
To detach amygdala
From Information Firehose.
Sift signal from noise
And overcome overwhelm.

These are vital skills that I don’t think
Most people even consider to be skills.
(…let alone consider learning)
And yet
It will be harder
To navigate this
Brave new information-beset world
Without these skills.
And without them,
It will only get worse.

modern advertising black and white photo
Photo by photosteve101

Hell,
Here we are
At the point
Where people build apps
That prevent other apps from distracting you.
An arms race, if you will.

Which perhaps leads to the question,
What happens when we are distracted?
Why make the effort to resist?
To reclaim?
Why care at all?

The answer is simple;
A waste of your focus
Is
A waste of you.

That is to say
Wasted time
And wasted energy
Cumulatively,
Over the course of your life,
Are a waste of that life.

Your life.
My life.
Any life really.
An endless stream of sacrifices
Made without realisation
And for the sake of advertising.

black and white advert  photo
Photo by Nesster

Think about it…
How many people
Asleep, unprepared or endlessly embattled
Will never do the great things they might have been capable of,
Because they were never given the opportunity to even think about these things,
Let alone pursue them?

We can never know.
And we’re probably too busy to care.

Turn off the notifications.

Cover photo by mgmsaji (Pixabay)

#Idea – Nothing Can Save Humanity From Itself / 07.05.18

If we think of our current planetary situation
From a systems point of view
Economics (…like many other things)
Can be seen as a subsystem of Ecology.

And from a systems point of view
If the parent system fails (i.e. the planet),
It takes the subsystems with it.

After all, how do you propose for everybody to get rich in a world increasingly uninhabitable by humans?
Are you seriously talking about taking all of this illusory money we have made and using it to flee the planet?
Or to dig tunnels deep underground, safe from the acid rain, extremes of temperature or toxic air?
Surely not.

No, ecology on this scale is not about ‘being a tree hugger’ – it’s about fucking self preservation.

black and white tree photo
No mistake, the earth can and will go on just fine, likely for a few billion more years. It’s us who might not.

The basic premise, which is either being denied or forgotten – is that we need a planet that is actually habitable to carry out all of these important economic activities.

And perhaps,
The policymakers will start to change their tune
When they can see the flood waters from the windows of their tall buildings.

But by then it will be too late.
Perhaps.

Photo by mbching