Modern Times

Chaos In Italy!

You’ll have seen it in the headlines – today’s Guardian newspaper speaks of “As one EU headache subsides in Germany, another starts in Italy.

So far so good.

If you’re a Brit, that is. Because in Britain, elections are – or at least should be – clear cut affairs with a clear cut result. The reasoning is simple: you get the most votes, you get the seat. You get the most seats you get the power. But then, this has serious disadvantages if you happen to be on the loony left or the nutty right. Or the centre party, the Liberal Democrats joined at the hip after a split in the 1980s that decimated both parties’ representation in the House of Commons. Even in the last election in 2017, they received 7.4% of the vote and got 1.8% of the seats. The system only makes any sense if you’re powerful. Continue reading “Chaos In Italy!”

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Economics

Playing Chicken With Brexit

Who Will Blink First: Britain Or The EU?

There was a rather inflammatory article in today’s Guardian newspaper that suggested that the EU and Britain were playing chicken with Brexit.

There were several issues that the author didn’t mention, one being the thorny issue of a legally binding settlement. From the British, that is. Now to be fair, there have been murmurings that the British were actually going to produce something. However, thus far, the British have been very good at suggesting something might happen, in the way David Davis didn’t even think to write his impact report. In a democracy, this would have been enough to bring a government down: he had been ordered by the Speaker to present the report on the given date. All he could do was to turn out his pockets and say that the Russians had eaten it.

Or something like that, I can’t remember his exact words.

Continue reading “Playing Chicken With Brexit”

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”

Continue reading “An Interview With My Laptop.”

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.

Continue reading “Reverse Engineering 80/20.”

Hitting The Wall · Modern Times

What Lives In Man?

Bullshitters, The Fraudsters Who Live From Them, And Health.

Rudolf Steiner speaks about Socrates, and the way this philosopher worked:

“When he was talking with his pupils Socrates did not wish to transmit anything at all of himself into their souls. He wished to leave it to them to draw out from themselves what they already possessed.”

Lecture, 12th September 1912 on the Gospel according to Mark.

If you use Socrates’ method of examination, and examination it is, you will be in for a disappointment. In our day and age if you are stupid enough to ask questions of others, you can expect some rough treatment.

After all, we live in times where it is polite to ask nothing. Nothing at all. Should you be asked a question that asks nothing, it is polite to respond by saying nothing at all. I mean, things will be said, it is more that the things that are said have no content, no meaning. That way, nothing is said.

Continue reading “What Lives In Man?”