We might or might not do what you tell us

rage.jpgpic courtesy Ariba

I was at least 4 of the 300,000 or so people who downloaded Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name of” as a Christmas Number 1 in the UK to prevent it being the predicted spin off of one of Simon Cowell’s reality TV series

In case you missed the whole thing, a good summary is here

It took me a few days to crystallise my thoughts (also I was IN the UK when it happened but wrote most of this when in South Africa).

I had quite a few discussions with friends/associates and read a number of threads (not to mention #ratm4xmas) in which I came across a wide range of opinions and perspectives about the whole thing. Mine follow. Read the rest of this entry »


Human Genre project

human genre.jpg
I came across this project at Boingboing (cannot recommend it highly enough – its one of my longest standing rss feeds).

This lead to both consumption of and contribution to:

The Human Genre Project
– a very cool idea – here’s the backstory from its founder.

Nature, nurture and identity have always fascinated me.

My pieces are here and here.

I recommend that you read, bookmark and ideally contribute!

What are you doing? – Impossible is nothing…

What are you impossible?.jpg

Let’s be clear.

I do this – putting stuff in my ‘reblogitory’

I still don’t facebook.

I do twitter – a bit.

And the recent take on that is not too favourable thanks to a study by Pear Analytics:

“Twitter tweets are 40% babble” BBC

“8.7% of tweets have value to others” Marketing Vox

Perhaps put most elegantly here:


Courtesy Information is Beautiful

But it’s not really that which puts me off, its more that most of the time when I read tweets or think about filling the 91.3% of valueless content, I begin to wonder how someone like Aleksey Vayner of Impossible is nothing engages with Twitter.

His name isn’t on there.

He probably doesn’t need it as he’s capable of interviewing himself and clearly feels that 91.3% of what he does is both of value and interest to others.

‘Attending class at Harvard’
‘Running successful business’
‘Lifting 500lbs’
‘Ballroom dancing’
‘Breaking blocks with hand’
‘International skiing’
‘Teaching tennis to celebrities’

All under 140 characters…

Anyone care to retweet?

To Err is Human, To Arr is Pirate


Some thoughts – a long time coming and still with some trepidation.

Was inspired by Stephen Fry’s speech at the iTunes Festival – reported on here

I sometimes use bittorrent.

I do.

There, now the internet (which never forgets anything) as well as anyone monitoring network traffic knows it.

I also share content with others on my Usb Memory Stick as well as the occasional CD/DVD.

I never sell or benefit commercially from it.

In fact, to put the record straight, I also purchase content and am more than willing to pay a fair price.

To straighten the record to engineering tolerances I am also a great fan of the thinking shared in Matt Mason’s The Pirates Dilemma – yes you can download it for free or pay what you like or even buy the physical book.

Still, I am therefore a pirate.

And I’d like to say a big hello to anybody checking this site for references. Read the rest of this entry »

Mental Models

mental models.jpg

Complete the following by substituting for x and y:

Munger is to Buffett
as x is to y …

If you’re like me – a few months ago, that question would have created two responses – a nonplussed look and an icy recollection of aptitude or reasoning tests.

What happened to me that now means I could now complete it (Merchant is to Ivory, Allen is to Gates, Ben is to Jerry etc.) was as usual a coincidence. I had been thinking that I had too many RSS feeds – still under my psychological break point of 200 but too many. Whilst whittling them down to a respectable hundred it occurred to me that I choose to read people who largely think like me or at least have viewpoints that I share. (Yes – a blinding flash of the obvious).

Secondly, for some reason I cant even remember I was reading about Charlie Munger (the equally successful, wealthy and bufferish ‘partner’ of Warren Buffett – the incredibly rich and respected stock investor) on Wikipedia and it said:

“Munger’s worldly wisdom consists of a set of mental models framed as a latticework to help solve critical business problems. According to Munger, only 80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly-wise person.” Read the rest of this entry »

10 years asleep…

swift butter.jpg

OK – after the event but still.

Johnny Rotten selling me butter…

Iggy Pop… selling me car insurance…(ok, he’s still slightly scary but more in the ‘senior moment’ at the bus-stop rather than the chest-slashing way)

iggy car.jpg

“All the punks are pushing 30 years and are hardly feared
all the young dudes work for all the old brutes in expensive suits…”

Ten years asleep” in 1993 – guess that makes us now: “Twenty Six years couldn’t give a toss.”

Wearing tartan bondage trousers and sniffing glue through a safety pin didn’t form a great part of my adolescence but for some reason I’m happy that Punk happened. For a range of reasons, see Chapter one of “The pirate’s dilemma” by Matt Mason.

And so it seems are today’s rarer punks… Their (The King Blues) album ‘Save the World Get the Girl’ is well worth a listen – if only because you’re completing your Blahg post on the “top ten neo-punk songs with Asterix references” (‘My boulder’ btw if you want to skip actually finding out about them!)

Don’t forget though, they are after all, just a band…(Warning – if the phrase “just a band” means nothing to you, watch this first

Face Technology – the last nick…

straight polish.jpgpic courtesy druzziel

Last words…promise.

It’s now been a few months since I started using a straight razor or ‘cut-throats’ as they’re jauntily called – how we laughed on the way to casualty… actually I use it (reasonably comfortably and efficiently) every other day.

Here’s what has happened since then: Read the rest of this entry »