My favourite podcast, a guaranteed pick-me up at all times:
PARKER PALMER + COURTNEY MARTIN
The history of rebellion is rife with excess and burnout. But new generations have a distinctive commitment to be reflective and activist at once, to be in service as much as in charge, and to learn from history while bringing very new realities into being. Quaker wise man Parker Palmer and journalist and entrepreneur Courtney Martin come together for a cross-generational conversation about the inner work of sustainable, resilient social change.
Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin — The Inner Life of Rebellion
This is what has to happen next. And then stick around. And best to mention it at the start, right?
At the CSL.org.au course last night a young woman from Westpac held a talk about “shared values”, and Corporate Australia. In her talk, social and environmental considerations were ‘external factors’, which could be put into the equation because that would lead to higher economic returns.
At question time I tried to explain my take on ecological economics, sustainability and triple bottom lines, whereby the economy sits as a subsection within the greater context of the natural world, the environment and the social component.
She did not follow my train of thought. She continued describing how Westpac will replace ‘a shitload of jobs’ (her words) with automation, but that Westpac would be all CSR and train 400 people up for other jobs. I mentioned the EU is considering a robot tax.
She then tilted her head and shot off a preconceived comment (seemingly a trained reflex-reply when the word ‘tax’ appears), questioning how that would “stifle innovation”. I did not reply, but the answer would have been:
If innovation only means to produce stuff cheaper, so to gain higher profit margins, then hell yeah let’s stifle that.
I think, while social media is all nice and good, it has the potential to lure you into a false sense of connectedness. On the most basic human level, social interaction is much more than exchanging information, words. It is a person’s body language, their presence, that nourishes the soul. You can’t get that through a screen. But as you wilt away, starving yourself from that oldest of human needs, you don’t know why you get sick… you only know that something’s not right… and if you’re a sucker for that, you will most likely blame yourself for being unwell, for not performing.
Just can’t stop laughing about how much the truth hurts 😀
AlainDeBotton.com‘s Critique of Romanticism
A few snippets:
Instilled emotions propel us into Romanticism.
Romanticism tells us we’re quite good and pure and perfect, very optimistic, we’re all like children.
This attitude makes you self-righteous.
Bluntly: affected thru childhood and adulthood, we are all demented in slightly different ways. we’re all just holding it together somehow (13:00)
No one can be bothered to tell you your obvious craziness which they know about after 30 mins of meeting you, unlike you who still doesn’t know after 40 years.
And yes spot on about instincts. Cos while once healthy, they’re now totally screwed, and off cue!
The cult of the instinct – we’re looking for forms of torture 😉
Relationships – not about love, but about honesty!
Love is about admiration of what is good and accomplished in another person.
(53:00) But also about being pupil and teacher at the same time, pointing out stuff that sucks about the other so they get a chance to become the best possible version of themselves.
Love is connecting up with teaching. But you have to be relaxed, jovial, slightly lighthearted.
Melancholy is sadness worn with dignity. Sometimes you have to call on that emotion too.
My personal mantra echoed: Life is all about forgiveness. And so is love 🙂 just use your ethical imagination (not your ego).
Be a loveable idiot, and learn to love another idiot.
What defines a generation? Born in the same time bracket? But what if your parents got you really young, but your friend’s parents got their kids late? So you & your mate might be 15 years apart, but you were both raised by people from the same generation/same time bracket/same historic background…so you are both confronted with same influences, but have different timelines and subliminal hums in your background…
So, what makes the fine grain? There are generations between generations, and types between categories, yet where does natural empathy and true understanding end?
“She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.”
Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It
About Ayn Rand
While in high school, she determined that she was an atheist and that she valued reason above any other human virtue.
Ayn called her philosophy “Objectivism”, describing its essence as “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” She considered Objectivism a systematic philosophy and laid out positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and aesthetics.
What an utterly inspiring woman.
You have 4 weeks to check out the fab ‘Abbottsolutely hopeless’ poster by @magzarian – up in 64 Regent St Chippendale until end of March
It is imperative that you read this!
Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs – everyone who’s employed should read carefully…
“… a corporate lawyer working in a prominent New York firm [sic] was the first to admit that his job was utterly meaningless, contributed nothing to the world, and, in his own estimation, should not really exist.
There’s a lot of questions one could ask here, starting with, what does it say about our society that it seems to generate an extremely limited demand for talented poet-musicians, but an apparently infinite demand for specialists in corporate law? (Answer: if 1% of the population controls most of the disposable wealth, what we call “the market” reflects what they think is useful or important, not anybody else.) But even more, it shows that most people in these jobs are ultimately aware of it. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a corporate lawyer who didn’t think their job was bullshit. The same goes for almost all the new industries…”
read the entire article here strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs
just stuffed up a database… hate when I do that… hate it.
have to ask my work mate whether he thinks it can be fixed… or he might just hear me swearing from the office next door and come over… he then -more often than not- knows how to fix it, but never without giving me an earful about how not to never do whatever it was that I did… I’m never looking forward to that…
imagine you just decorated an entire palace with precious ornament and pleasure and gold… took you forever…
on the way out you stumble over one cable and the entire hall falls over, leaving only rubble.
I would have to start from scratch and stick the rubble back together.
he, my work mate, he knows how to shuffle the cable back to where it was, and thereby pumps the entire room back up to its previous glory.
not keen on the earful…
but very ambivalent situation simply because I learn so much every single time it happens…
code is poetry WP says…
life is too ,)
Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine.
Oscar Wilde “The Soul of Man under Socialism”
… we’re always picked on 🙁 that’s not fair… without us the (cyber)world would be a dark sad place without proper padding or fitting margins, all written in neon-green on black…
Watching my fellow humans dawdling away on all their electronic devices and doohickeys whilst developing the attention span of a fruit fly, I already had the vague feeling that us humans we’re not spinning upwards anymore… well now here’s an article by Tia Ghose @ LiveScience who had the same feeling, and investigated it…
Humans may be gradually losing intelligence, according to a new study.
The study, published in the journal Trends in Genetics, argues that humans lost the evolutionary pressure to be smart once we started living in dense agricultural settlements several thousand years ago.
“The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples [living] before our ancestors emerged from Africa,” said study author Gerald Crabtree, a researcher at Stanford University, in a statement.
Since then it’s all been downhill, Crabtree contends…
Read the whole article here http://www.livescience.com/24713-humans-losing-intelligence.html
:: 2013 update – http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/latest/dont-believe-hype-robin-hood-tax-alive-and-kicking ::
A rockin good idea. Sure not easy to roll out, and in danger of being ‘hijacked’ at some point, or see inflated overheads, but still a beautiful (and just) idea.
Go and vote YES 🙂
Because the time is right.
From 2007 to present the world is suffering the greatest recession since World War I that is caused by a crash in the financial system. There is global agreement that we need to regulate finance so it cannot crash in the same way again, even if there are different views about how to do this. But the finance sector can – and should – make a proper tax contribution towards putting right the damage it caused and making the world a better, fairer, more sustainable place.
Computerisation of the finance sector has made a tax like this easy to implement. What’s more, it’s made it necessary – the very speed of today’s financial systems is a direct contributor to the surge in global trading. Nowadays, too much trading is done to make a quick profit, and not to serve the real economy. This high frequency trading has brought instability.
read more here http://robinhoodtax.org.au
A little story for them who haven’t yet grasped the actual meaning of Schadenfreude:
I’m a Sydney based web producer. Last week I was told that a former client got a “great cheap website deal from overseas.” I was not impressed.
But now this client’s website is down ever since the ‘great deal’ eventuated. Their website is now down for more than a week [update: 2 weeks now].
Schadenfreude is the word that describes best my current state of mind about the whole situation – I just can’t help it.
As you know, there is a saying about how to secure quality services for your business…
The most important subject taught to school children is rapidly becoming computer science and applications: How to use machines instead of brains, programs instead of knowledge.
Ray Kurzweil – THE AGE OF INTELLIGENT MACHINES | The Age of Intelligent People
What will that do to our N-Geners? Will it impact their capacity for empathy and compassion?
September 30 2012 – by Annabel Crabb | smh opinion
Brilliant write this 🙂
… Freedom of speech – it’s simple in theory, but endlessly complicated and distorted by a million other factors of politics, circumstance, or the belief that you’re restricting it for the best possible reasons.
In the end, freedom of speech is like democracy: the worst possible system, except for all the others.
Attempts to curb freedom of speech for entirely excellent reasons are the most tempting of all: the shutting down of hate speech, for example, or the protection of society from extremes.
Human nature is to insulate ourselves against nasty shocks. That’s why we invented insurance. But you can’t insure against genuinely irrational human evil, any more than you can against stupidity or malice.
Which is why the bottom line on freedom of speech must always be: sometimes you just have to suck it up.
Read the whole thing here: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-worst-possible-option-except…
Annabel Crabb writes for ABC Online’s The Drum. She tweets as @annabelcrabb.
He outlined three main myths propagated by the banking lobby. The first was that reform, principally the demand for larger loss-absorbing capital buffers, was a choice “between safety and growth”. “The banking lobby would have us believe that higher capital requirements and lower leverage will damage economic growth and retard the recovery,” he said. “Bankers have exploited this fear.”
Mr Jenkins claimed that the argument was false because more capital would not limit the amount of lending a bank could do, but would make it safer and therefore lowered its funding costs. Banks have claimed the opposite was the case due to their adherence to “return on equity” (RoE) targets, which ignore risk.
The second myth was that unless RoE was high, shareholders would not invest and capital could not be raised. Mr Jenkins dismissed the claim, saying: “The prospective investor is no longer interested in promises of short-term RoE, he is interested in achieving attractive risk-adjusted returns.”
The third myth was that governments cannot afford to over-regulate for the risk of losing financial centres. However, he said: “In a world of increased risk awareness, letting your banks off the capital hook will likely damage not enhance their ability to compete.”
Mr Jenkins also suggested that banks should be subjected to far higher capital and leverage ratios but fewer complicated rules in return.
… and why I suck at them.
All what is happening around us, the digitisation of our world and the ever-connectedness that comes with it, to me this is all just an awe-inspiring invigorating enlivening exhilarating over the moon one great fucking huge adventure, with software sprouting everywhere only to be consumed brainfinger-lickingly, and with layers that are going down deeper and deeper and everything being close-looped and crossed over, all that just absolutely blows my mind, every single day, again and again. That what is ahead of us, the breadth of the tech horizon of which we’ve only just seen a fraction so far (its maybe 5:45am on a winter morning), is just so gobsmackingly fabulous and exiting and inspiring right down to the tiniest braincell (and heart.bit), its the best reason to get out of bed every morning to see where we’ve gotten to today. At least that’s what I kinda think and feel about the whole thing.
But – when at a job interview I find it simply impossible to even begin to give a proper answer to questions like “where do you see personal enhancement opportunities” or “can you describe a situation past with communication gone wrong” or “would you see yourself rather-than-as?”