A sobering yet splendid write up of the current state of affairs
Meanjin.com.au/essays/unearthed by @cityoftongues
“We buy cheap clothes without letting ourselves think too much about the manner of their production, eat meat without thinking too much about where it comes from, catch planes without thinking too hard about the impact of them, or of the materials that went into building the plane, or the road, or of making the power that runs the lights. For those of us in the first world, any reckoning with these questions is likely to be particularly painful, demanding we learn to see the invisible legacies and ongoing trauma of colonialism and exploitation, dispossession and destruction that surround and enmesh us. Seen like this our resistance looks less like moral cupidity or wickedness than self-preservation. As T.S. Eliot recognised almost a century ago, there is only so much reality most of us can bear.
As a result we inhabit a weird duality, a world in which we know but do not know, and where these mechanisms of evasion and denial allow us to avoid staring into the eye of what is coming.
Five million Syrian refugees deranged Europe, a fraction of that has dramatically affected the dynamic of Australian society. What happens when tens of millions head north and south from Indonesia and equatorial or sub-Saharan Africa? When Central America or parts of India become uninhabitable? When Bangladesh and Myanmar flood? What happens when that occurs at the same time food grows scarce, water resources dry up and economic activity contracts to less than nothing as global commerce collapses?
When sea-level rise has swallowed the Sundarbans and made cities such as Kolkata, New York and Bangkok uninhabitable, when readers and museum-goers turn to the art and literature of our time, will they not look, first and most urgently, for traces and portents of the altered world of their inheritance? And when they fail to find them, what can they do other than to conclude that ours was a time when most forms of art and literature were drawn into the modes of concealment that prevented people from recognising the realities of their plight?”
Starting in a new team tomorrow. All the panicky bells and whistles going, the familiar anxiety combo. But age & experience have their advantage in that it’s all not so overwhelming anymore. Instead the pressure’s rather distilling. Boiling the essence out of my ingredients. I have learnt that my main USP is persistence. I tend to not give up. I might not be as diplomatic or graceful as others, but I do make things work.
The thrust for that I get from a vast word-zoo in my head. Words are my shtick. In my mind, thoughts are roaming the wild like a bunch of liberated serengetians. For me, doing work and giving structure to a project is the side-noise that keeps me sane… and lets me ponder in the background.
Just bumping this, as it is truer than ever <3
Brain science tells us there are three kinds of intuition: ordinary, expert, and strategic.
Ordinary intuition is just a feeling, a gut instinct.
Expert intuition is snap judgments, when you instantly recognize something familiar, the way a tennis pro knows where the ball will go from the arc and speed of the opponent’s racket.
Strategic intuition is a clear thought. It’s not a vague feeling, like ordinary intuition. And it’s not fast like expert intuition. It’s slow. That epiphany of insight you had last night might solve a problem that’s been on your mind for a month. And it doesn’t happen in familiar situations, like a tennis match. Strategic intuition works in new situations. That’s when you need it most.
This third kind of intuition is what I go by whenever I can. Strategic intuition is what guides the majority of my decision making. And while it is unpopular these days to request time for thinking, you have to take your stand and do it anyway, and allow for proper time to reflect. I have a 24 hrs ‘sleep it over’ rule.
Which compliments my other approach to life and everything, something that’s called the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide and act). This ‘rapid evaluation routine’ keeps running permanently on the back of my mind (or wherever my intuition-o-meter sits). Originally the OODA method was derived by pilots who apply the loop to make fast decisions and review them in a constant cognitive circle.
You have to swim fast when the water is cold…
Starting a new job on Monday. A reminder to self what matters…
From the Ethics Centre: A quick review of the topic of Universal Basic Income (UBI) – the idea of a regular and liveable payment with no strings attached – no exchange of labour or goods.
The idea of a UBI has deep historical roots. In Thomas More’s Utopia, published in 1516, he writes that instead of punishing a poor person who steals bread, “it would be far more to the point to provide everyone with some means of livelihood, so that nobody’s under the frightful necessity of becoming, first a thief, and then a corpse”.
Over three hundred years later, John Stuart Mill also supported the concept in Principles of Political Economy, arguing that “a certain minimum [income] assigned for subsistence of every member of the community, whether capable of labour or not” would give the poor an opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.
In the 20th century, the UBI gained support from a diverse array of thinkers for very different reasons. Martin Luther King, for instance, saw a guaranteed payment as a way to uphold human rights in the face of poverty, while Milton Friedman understood it as a viable economic alternative to state welfare.
Would a UBI encourage laziness?
Read the answer here: Ethics.org.au/on-ethics/blog/may-2018/ethics-explainer-universal-basic-income
Reading about human relationships, and the essence required to push through. According to psychological research, the greatest emotional need is security. Yet, trying to live in alignment with your goals and values often conflicts with the complexities of reality.
Wanting approval is a normal thing, but needing approval is very different. A need for approval leads to working on projects one is not excited about. Leads to eating unhealthy foods one doesn’t want to eat. Leads to ruminating and obsessing about problems and regrets one could easily remove or fix. A quest for perfectionism actually creates procrastination. Perfectionism is about an unhealthy need for approval. It’s about a fear of failure and looking incompetent. It’s the opposite of courage. And it’s the opposite of mastery.
Jody Williamson and Stephen Covey say “an abundance mentality springs from internal security, not from external rankings, comparisons, opinions, possessions, or associations.You must believe you are independently wealthy, and that you don’t NEED a particular prospect. When you truly believe and know you are fine and secure without THIS relationship or THIS opportunity, then you can act honestly and genuinely.”
I am in the process of establishing just that. Independence, and inner wealth. Freedom, from the need of approval.
I so hope I have don’t cut all ties to achieve this.
Wish me luck.
Declarative vs Procedural
– Declarative learning is acquiring information that one can speak about. The capital of a state is a declarative piece of information, while knowing how to ride a bike is not. Episodic memory and semantic memory are a further division of declarative information.
There are two ways to learn a telephone number: memorise it using your declarative memory, or use it many times to create a habit. Habit learning is called procedural memory
Declarative memory uses your medial temporal lobe and enables you to recall the telephone number at will. Procedural memory activates the telephone number only when you are at the telephone, and uses your right-hemisphere’s skill, pattern recognition.
Research indicates declarative and habit memory compete with each other during distraction. When in doubt, the brain chooses habit memory because it is automatic. –
That is what my brain currently does: It runs on autopilot to deal with tasks at work. The burnout does not allow for constructive creativity and forward thinking. The lack of love only allows for getting through the day on autopilot.
“Brevity is the soul of wit. But not in so many words.”
There are two sides to Comms. One where big words induce calculated sentiment, to impact feelings and steer behaviour. The other where the lot is synthesised into a clear succinct message. I’m with the latter. No one has time anymore. Make it brief, try not to waffle. People will thank you for it.
Greetings from the cusp of IT & Communications where ambiguity severs outcomes every single day.
End of year situations tend to make one reflect… so this morning I sat with my coffee and spent some time pondering over the past year, and came to the conclusion that, all in all, I am living my best life. I am doing alright. I was helpful to people, and tried not to hurt anyone. I looked after myself and others. I am able to forgive myself, and hold no grudges against anyone.
I am doing alright. Thanks world.
In its most basic term, blockchain is a database of transactions that can be arranged and added to in “blocks”. Each block represents and identifies previous transactions using cryptographic functions, to create an unbroken chain of custody for goods or services that, importantly, cannot be modified.
Acting as a digital ledger, blockchain creates a verifiable audit trail that can be used for any transaction, and this is where its impact on sustainability begins to take shape. Blockchain can be implemented – and in some cases, is already used – across numerous sectors, from forestry and fisheries to carbon accounting and energy.
It is a self-governing, online database owned by no one and usable by everyone. Because the “chain” can’t be modified* it can immediately provide proof of purchase for any transaction, whether that be procurement of sustainable materials to purchasing renewable energy.
(*before Quantum computing that is)
Read more about blockchain here.
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
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.
[nb: it’s the curse of philosophy to have more questions than answers…]
This month it’s been 5 years that I was on Twitter. Twitter is the only social platform I frequent; I find it already hard to keep one running while still meeting actual real people in the other actual real life.
People spend a lot of time looking at their phones. Even the word phone has entirely morphed from one thing to something completely different now.
I’m taking a break from Twitter. And it feels kinda odd. While I’ve already got more done in just one day than I probably would’ve in three, I miss the voices and the laughter. (no I’m not hearing voices) I was never one for herd mentality. Twitter lets you forget that not all is good only because the loudest says so. The integrity of a writer is not manifested in the amount of followers they have. In this short-attention-span world of ours, every single bit of critical thinking is important for sanity and goodness to prevail (hopefully, after all, fingers crossed), so don’t let anyone shout you out.
Anyway, end of rant. Nothing really matters. As you were.
Also, today turned out bearable after all.
Be the third donkey you want to see in the world.