St Francis and the Tattooist

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“Author, artist, connoisseur, madman, thug, pirate, villain, Buddha, sage, Satan, gypsy and most solid of brothers” so said Johnny Depp about Jonathan Shaw. For those that don’t know Shaw, he’s a famed New York tattooist and mythic figure in underground circles and is profiled in the excellent Huck magazine. Here are some of his words of wisdom: Continue reading “St Francis and the Tattooist”

No Place Like Utopia

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Doomer, prepper, primitivist, romantic, survivalist, millennialist, catastrophist* : these are all types of people that believe one way or another that civilisation as we know it is coming to an end. Many take the next step and join or set up communities that would survive such an outcome. Dylan Evans was one such person. In 2006, he quit his job as an academic and sold his house to fund the “Utopia Experiment” – a post-apocalyptic styled community in the Highlands of Scotland. Continue reading “No Place Like Utopia”

What I’ll Be Reading/Listening/Watching On My Summer Holiday

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I’m about to take time out for my summer holidays. I like to fantasize about what I’ll get up to; that is, before reality hits and I end up doing admin, some DIY and vegging around. Here’s what would be on my fantasy list: Continue reading “What I’ll Be Reading/Listening/Watching On My Summer Holiday”

The Transformational Power of Trauma

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This notion that it is only through trauma that we can truly change is not an outlandish idea. Indeed, it is the common understanding throughout cultures and throughout time. Take the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, that Christians Jews, Muslims and theatre musical lovers are well versed in. Joseph/Yosef/Yusuf,  was the favoured son of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. His brothers were terribly jealous of him, though. They threw him a well and allowed him to be taken as a slave by some passing travellers, whilst telling their father he had been killed. Continue reading “The Transformational Power of Trauma”

Imprisoned By Economic Theory, Liberated By Big Bang Theory

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My blog on an alternative view of economic theory turned out to be very popular. So here’s another one in a similar vein, this time it was a speech given to academics and central bankers last summer. It’s a 7 minute read: Continue reading “Imprisoned By Economic Theory, Liberated By Big Bang Theory”

You Are Being Watched

BigBrother

In an earlier blog, I wrote about the impact of social media and smartphones on children, but it also has a deeper impact on us all. Indeed, it could mark the beginning of the  “Age of Transparency”. Everything we do, say or think can now be tracked. I include thinking, because any thought you have often leads to you quickly checking it on your smart phone. All of this is recorded somewhere. On top of that, we know from spy agency revelations that our cameras on our phones, computers and TVs can be accessed and so we can be watched at home [1]. We know that our smartphone microphone can be remotely accessed. Any websites we visit, most our purchases and what we are reading (e-books) are all tracked. Continue reading “You Are Being Watched”

Ready For Change?

Each of us look at the same world in very different ways. The same can be said of change, some loathe it, some embrace it.

Lao-Tzu, the founder of Taoism, who lived 2,500 years ago said:

“life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like”

and

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve”.

This is echoed by a more contemporary sage, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is quoted as saying

“strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength”.

He also had more mundane wisdom such as

“It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat”.

Bilal

How Not To Be Evil Working For A Big Company

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Global corporations get a bad rep. They are easily derided as sinister, sometimes even called psychopathic. It follows that those that work for them share similar characteristics. But is it possible to imagine an alternative? Below is an excerpt from a speech I gave to newly hired graduates in a global corporation which tries to do just that: Continue reading “How Not To Be Evil Working For A Big Company”