Hitting The Wall · Modern Times

An Interview With My Laptop.

There’s a lot of talk about Artificial intelligence, only I feel that the people who are trying to forward this notion don’t really know how our brains work – and they certainly don’t know how a computer does its job. But that’s modern life for you: they are paid lots of money to make silly suggestions and I’m not.

It’s said that goldfish lead exciting lives. This is because in their small world, practically everything’s new. By the time they’ve toured their bowl, they’ve forgotten what was there, and it’s all exciting and fresh again! It must be quite wonderful to be able to spend your waking hours in the pursuit of such discoveries. The trouble is that the goldfish’s powers of retention aren’t very strong, and whilst everything’s fresh and new, that’s only because they’ve forgotten what was there fifteen seconds ago.

It was with this thought in mind that I switched on my computer this morning and I thought I would interview it, to give you an idea of the life of an ordinary, everyday Laptop.

Me: “Good morning, computer.

My Laptop: “Yer sees now: I’s gotta do all this processin’ like, just to speak to yer. Right? Coz, like I can’t do anyfin wivvout wot someone’s gone and programmed it, like, There thassanuvver billion done”

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A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

Marking Exams In Holland.

My friend Hendrik and I were chatting, and he mentioned that his university had cut the time he would have to mark his exams. He said that they were only allowing him two weeks instead of three to hand in the results.

Naturally, being me, I asked him if three years ago, they’d told him that he’d only have three weeks to mark the exams instead of four?

All Hendrik could say was “how can you know that?”

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Architecture · Mind The Gap!

A Visit To The Bathtub.

Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/SMA.jpg/640px-SMA.jpg
The new wing is the grey, um, thing and the old museum is the stripey brick building. [Source: Wikipedia].
In the Museum Quarter of Amsterdam there is the unimaginatively named ‘Museum Plein’ – the Museum Place. No surprises that you’ll find museums here. Well, that’s what it’s all about: the Dutch are straightforward people. Well, that is when they’re aware that is; when they are, things are made very easy. Unfortunately, the kind of architects this breeds are unimaginative – something that is the direct result of a lack of awareness. They’re not alone in this, most of the worlds architects are the kind of people the world would be happier without.

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A Sideways View · The Comfort Zone

A Sideways Look At Permaculture.

It would be a month or so ago that my new neighbour moved in, we shook hands and all was merry. He said how nice my garden was – which given the amount of weeds growing in it, came as something of a surprise to me. Never mind, like it he did. He then went on to mention something about the Kraaijbeekerhof estate which is run on bio-dynamic principles. Well, it’s supposed to be, at least. I asked him if he was interested in bio-dynamics and he said he didn’t know anything about it because he was more interested in permaculture.

‘Oh,’ I thought to myself at the time. ‘Oh, dear.’

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Modern Times

Slowly, Slowly, Catchee Monkey.

In the last few days, the Russians have set up so-called ‘safe zones’ in Syria. These are areas where military activity has been quelled and is unlikely to be able to form a resurgence. A question from a friend of min on Facebook asked if the Americans are likely to respect these zones, given the fact that the Americans will be denied any right to fly over them.

If the Americans intrude in one of these safe zones – and please remember they’re supporting the terrorists – then they really have no business there. The Americans aren’t bringing peace, are they? They’re nuisances and aiding other nuisances, and since there are clearly no nuisances in these safe zones, they have no need to be there.

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Economics · The Comfort Zone

Reverse Engineering 80/20.

Otherwise Known As The Pareto Principle.

When I was still active on Linkedin, I quickly learned not to use the term ‘80/20’ because too many people dismissed the thought simply because of the term. I’d always approach the problem from the direction of the issue at hand – which, since I was a marketer in those days, usually involved business communications of one form or another. And business communication means making money; a business isn’t there to lose money – and there are all too many who, in the words of Perry Marshall, “you’re taping a $20 bill to every parcel you send out.” We’ll return to that later.

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