Task list

This week I must carry out at least three items from this list.

  1. Discourage all traces of shame. 
  2. Bear no cross. 
  3. Extend all boundaries. 
  4. Blush perpetually in gaping innocence. 
  5. Burrow beneath the subconscious. 
  6. Pass from one world to another in carefree devotion. 
  7. Exhaust the primitive. 
  8. Generate the free brain. 
  9. Forego no succulent filth. 
  10. Verify the irrational. 
  11. Acquire a sublime reputation. 
  12. Make one monster at least. 
  13. Multiply all opinions. 
  14. Inhabit everyone.

Task list

This week I must carry out at least three items from this list.

  1. Discourage all traces of shame. 
  2. Bear no cross. 
  3. Extend all boundaries. 
  4. Blush perpetually in gaping innocence. 
  5. Burrow beneath the subconscious. 
  6. Pass from one world to another in carefree devotion. 
  7. Exhaust the primitive. 
  8. Generate the free brain. 
  9. Forego no succulent filth. 
  10. Verify the irrational. 
  11. Acquire a sublime reputation. 
  12. Make one monster at least. 
  13. Multiply all opinions. 
  14. Inhabit everyone.

The Starry Wisdom, Redux

From the 20th of July:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I think it would be healthy for you to wander out to a frontier and explore a boundary. You might even want to re-examine a taboo you haven’t questioned in a while and tinker with a formula you thought you’d never change. I suspect that you would also learn a lot from gently pushing against a limit you’ve come to believe is permanent. Having said all that, I’m cautious about advising you to go further. If you get urges to actually transgress the boundary and break the taboo and smash through the limit, please do lots of due diligence.  Know exactly what you’re getting into and what the consequences might be.



What to do with this, exactly, that was my problem.  Which envelope to push, which questions to ask.  As with all of Rob’s guidance, this was about recognising and taking chances.

The Starry Wisdom, Redux

From the 20th of July:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I think it would be healthy for you to wander out to a frontier and explore a boundary. You might even want to re-examine a taboo you haven’t questioned in a while and tinker with a formula you thought you’d never change. I suspect that you would also learn a lot from gently pushing against a limit you’ve come to believe is permanent. Having said all that, I’m cautious about advising you to go further. If you get urges to actually transgress the boundary and break the taboo and smash through the limit, please do lots of due diligence.  Know exactly what you’re getting into and what the consequences might be.



What to do with this, exactly, that was my problem.  Which envelope to push, which questions to ask.  As with all of Rob’s guidance, this was about recognising and taking chances.

In the spams tonight.

Recently I’ve received a number of spam emails entitled “Will Facebook kill the high-school reunion?”
I believe that high-school reunions are a very American notion, much like the high-school prom, and as such are fairly alien to cultures outside the US and an adopted “tradition” that has crossed the Atlantic within living memory.

Now I could go off on an ill-informed diatribe about such invented traditions, where people in English-speaking Europe assume US traditions as their own under the full belief that these traditions exist in their own cultures thanks to a smorgasbord of US film and TV providing rich historical and social details about these traditions viewed through the eyes of the participants as a backdrop rather than in analysis.  But I won’t.  My point is somewhat different.

Facebook will never kill the high-school reunion because Facebook does not serve beer.

In the spams tonight.

Recently I’ve received a number of spam emails entitled “Will Facebook kill the high-school reunion?”
I believe that high-school reunions are a very American notion, much like the high-school prom, and as such are fairly alien to cultures outside the US and an adopted “tradition” that has crossed the Atlantic within living memory.

Now I could go off on an ill-informed diatribe about such invented traditions, where people in English-speaking Europe assume US traditions as their own under the full belief that these traditions exist in their own cultures thanks to a smorgasbord of US film and TV providing rich historical and social details about these traditions viewed through the eyes of the participants as a backdrop rather than in analysis.  But I won’t.  My point is somewhat different.

Facebook will never kill the high-school reunion because Facebook does not serve beer.

Airline passenger conversations to be monitored under EU project – Telegraph

So Brussels is finally bending their knee to the USA in this too.
Flying is by a huge percentage less dangerous than twenty years ago, which was in turn a huge percentage less dangerous than twenty years before that, yet the culture of fear and dependence that the US Government, closely aped by the major EU powers, is insisting we live in would have us see the world in a state of deadly terror under constant but non-specific threat of annihilation.

“We are encouraging the world of social and behavioural science to share their ideas and expertise with us to do this. Academia and industry may be able to provide invaluable assistance and advice in helping to prevent terrorist attacks.”

We must learn from the software industry that this kind of knee-jerk, cure-all, attack-the-symptoms thinking simply forces those few would-be wrong-doers into more and more devious exploits, much like the ever-narrowing gaps between new anti-piracy measures being launched and cracked versions of new software appearing on torrent sites.
It’s like MRSA – hyperfocus on wiping out a threat and the threat develops immunity and becomes stronger.

Why don’t authorities see that dealing with terrorism effectively means dealing with root causes, like disaffection, isolation and demonisation?
Are there no obvious lessons to be learned from, for example, Northern Ireland? Is Politics so concerned with saving face that it cannot acknowledge that the foreign and domestic policies of sovereign governments can cause adverse reactions both within and outwith that country and that addressing this can only start with both admitting and ceasing to make mistakes?