Mind The Gap! · Modern Times

“Something’s Wrong With Our Bloody Ships Today”

It Wasn’t.

Something Was Wrong With Beatty’s Thinking.

Admiral David Beatty

This is war. It is the 31st of May 1916 and the Royal Navy is showing that it can match the work done by the Army in their terrible struggle against mud at Verdun. No doubt it is nagging Admiral Beatty that it is nearly four and tea hasn’t been served. Were the German ships running an hour ahead in those days too? Was it that they didn’t stop for tea at all? This was war after all. Oh, you cry! A warship stopping for tea, that is ridiculous. Well listen up! A German submarine was required under international law to stop a ship and enquire of its nationality before attempting to sink it – yet at the same time British and German land forces were bombarding each other without the slightest whisper. Let alone a letter by way of a runner.

No: this page is dedicated to thinking. It is dedicated to finding the holes in what modern Europeans assume are the facts, and putting them to rights. In war, it is either total or it isn’t war – and anything to do with civilization goes out the window before you have even smelled the enemy let alone seen them. The dead and the wounded, like the Red Cross, are an afterthought.

Continue reading ““Something’s Wrong With Our Bloody Ships Today””

Mind The Gap! · Stories

Zürich, 1985.

Brian is pursuading Dave to return to London where he is appreciated.

O 211 Zürich 1985 The Picadilly Six(their names are retained for reasons of anonymity)


Summer. The gentle lap of waves against the promenade on a warm summer evening. The sun is still up only cooler as the blue sky turns to ultramarine. Across the water lights flicker on where the moutains cast shadows. Sitting at a trottoir cafe, Brian is cross with Dave for leaving their band. Dave is a talented trumpeter and wanted to strike out elsewhere. So he is here in Switzerland with his friends. In Switzerland you can’t have a band and play unless you have a Swiss player. Steve the bass player found himself without a job.

Bernd the bass player finds himself a job, only without a band to play with.

Continue reading “Zürich, 1985.”

Mind The Gap!

Neo-Feudalism: From Another Angle.

Why Diversity In Democracy Is Important.



Charles Hugh Smith has been using this term to describe the state that America finds itself in. This with especial reference to the sullen democratic process they have to elect presidents.

Which is fair enough. After all, it is a state of affairs that affects most of the world. Only this talk of neo-feudalism begs some questions. I do not see it as something that humans have put on others, because those who force others to do their will are usually part of the problem and not the cause.

Continue reading “Neo-Feudalism: From Another Angle.”

Emotional Intelligence · Modern Times

Too Much Data!

How You Shape Your Own Data.

A recent report noted that as much data is produced in two days as had been produced up to 2003. That’s what David Kirkpatrick said in 2010, in introducing Eric Schmidt of Google.

“The real issue is user-generated content,” Schmidt said. He noted that pictures, instant messages, and tweets all add to this. Naturally, all of this information helps Google. But he cautioned that just because companies like his can do all sorts of things with this information, the more pressing question now is if they should.”

The drawer of a filing cabinet will hold 1Mb of data on paper.
4Mbs of paperwork.

Frankly, and more to the point, I wonder if they can. Now there is information on you that has been harvested by Google, email clients, phone apps, newspapers and goodness knows what else. Only do they have the time to actually read it? Do they even have time to understand the jumbles of metrics that gush out of such software systems? Just because there are mountains of data piling up doesn’t mean it’s ever looked at.

Our family business had all its details on four floppy discs – that’s around 5Mb of information. It’s the equivalent of one large filing cabinet. Today for my one business I use a little more than 2Gb: documents, spreadsheets, backups for websites, emails and allsorts. For the modern business, that’s very, very small. Even with my tiny amount of data, it’s still pretty difficult to handle.

How then do you deal with all this stuff !?

Let us cut to the core here: you have your data. It’s your data. You made it, collected it and compiled it. It’s unique to you. For one thing, it reflects how you look at the world around you. It could be music or photographs, poetry or whatever. The point is that this data is like your shadow, shows what you look like. What’s more, it will show what kind of music you like out of all the music that was ever made – or the kind of photos you like. The data you have filed won’t look like anyone else’s.

Which is where it gets interesting. No two sets of data are ever the same. Even the same systems monitoring the same machines gives different data on different days.

It’s maddening. Your data piles up. You get more. You couldn’t use it yesterday, you can’t use it today. And then you get even more data.

So take a step back. Have a look not at the data, look at yourself instead.

You have your favorite music, you will like Louis Armstrong more than you like others. You will have some musicians that you don’t like at all, yet there is just one track that you really do like. Those two kinds of tracks will be played more than the others put together.

Liking And Disliking

Now you can say that this is because you like them. That’s fine in as far as it goes. However, the point to understand is that when someone finds interest in something, that something is used more often. What’s more, your friends will have a pattern of data usage that will resemble yours to some degree. There will be something you have in common with your best clients too, otherwise you wouldn’t “click” would you?

Data Is Never Random.

Data means something, shows something, and is never without a cause. Someone somewhere has set up something to record it, however inane the results may be. That they are overwhelmed by floods of information about the paths your lorries follow in the Greater Chicago area is not my problem. That they cannot handle it isn’t either. Part of my job is to find out what your data is telling you. Because your lorries visit places more often than others, use some streets more often than others. Just like the things they deliver, it will be a response to a demand. Knowing the pattern of that demand is the key to understanding it. Patterns like these are the key to understanding 80-20. Patterns like these are key to understanding your uniqueness.

That’s why this is under the heading “Bettter Customers” – you have to find out what your customers want of you. That’s when you can find out what your best customers like about you. All that takes the kind of insight that 80-20 thinking depends on.

Emotional Intelligence

Your Brain: A Masterpiece Of Hard Wiring.

And Your Brain Wiring Can Change Like A Viral Ad.

Your Brain, A User Manual: Part 3

A hundred billion neurons, each with thirty thousand connections. That means the average brain has 500 trillion connections.

That is one hell of a big computer.

Actually this number of connections is roughly the size of the global internet. Think of it: inside your head is your own “brain the size of the planet” as Douglas Adams might have joked.

From the previous post, I trust that you’ll agree that your neurons are way more than just electric switches. Neurons are cells that can breed, and can organize themselves when called to. Continue reading “Your Brain: A Masterpiece Of Hard Wiring.”

Emotional Intelligence

What Are These Little Grey Cells?

Your Brain Is A Living Organ, Made From Living Cells.

Your Brain A User Manual: Part 2

It must be made clear that the brain is a living organ. It is part of you, relies on your body for sustenance. It will die with you too. Because the one real distinction one can make between a computer and your brain is that one is alive and the other isn’t. This may sound trivial, given that both process information.

Take a more careful look – as we will – and you will begin to see the immense power your brain has compared even to the most powerful super-computer. Yet little of what your brain does has to do with intelligence, nor does it have to do with process or information.

The real power of your brain – your thinking – has in reality, very little to do with information at all. Information is important, and there is no denying this, the real power of your brain is in handling it. This side-steps any thoughts of “intelligence” – using your brain with the care with which it was made will show you just how unimportant such thoughts about intelligence really are.

Continue reading “What Are These Little Grey Cells?”