artist state of mind beats state of the art tools

As seen at Frankfurt Airport. Books that help you learn a foreign language by turning the learning into a “Who-done-it” novel. Best bit of gamification I’ve come across in a long time.

Yes new tools (slowly) change cultural practices of people. Yes we should be aware of the new. No, we should not jump on all bandwagons that come along.

In times of increasing technological development, decreasing time to explore its uses and potential, and evergrowing fear by people (both in business and just as citizens) of missing out on the latest trend, we should not forget that looking at what is already in use with a fresh pair of eyes can be just as effective (even more so if all the others are not doing anything with it)…

No obstacle but love Part 3: Be like water

Here’s a joke for you:

Man walks in the local Chamber of Commerce and says he wants to register his new business. A shop. He proceeds to tell that some bank has given him a loan and the lease on the space had been signed.

The Chamber of Commerce person contratulates the man and then proceed to register his new business. “What is the nature of your business” the employee asks, as he sits ready to type in whatever the man tells.

“What would you suggest is a good business to start”, replies the man. The CoC employee laughs, readjusts himself, waiting for the punchline the man is about to deliver by telling him the nature of his business.

Yet the man doesn’t. All he does is look at the CoC employee with sincere expectations that he will be told what business best to open. Ha fucking ha.

In case you thought this was a reall bad joke. Think again. This is an actual experience an employee from the Chamber of Commerce.

This is photo of a shop that sells 10 DVD’s for 10,- EUR. 10 DVD’s for 10 EUR. And this shop makes gross margin on this transaction how?

If he does, I’d put money on it being pirated DVD’s, downloaded and sold in blank holders. If he doesn’t make a profit well there is an obvious explanation for this sales tactic: He values turnover over profit.

Well no he perse, but the bank does. As long as there is turnover, they and the landlord can collect on a “first comes us, first serve us” base.

And as long as there is turnover the state is happy, because they can keep this man out of the unemployemt figures. Though he is and the bank, the landlord and the local gov know it.

The most obvious way he still is able to stay open is due to extremely low labour costs (due to having family members work for ‘free’ ) and possible specialists sales like clothing for special occasions.

But nowhere did anybody say to this fella, “hold on there bub, do you really think opening a store that basically sells anything that you can source cheaply, with some added ethnic products (that many of your ethnic competitors also sell), is gonna be a flourishing business? ” Well the answer is in the picture..

Now I am not saying this man should be stopped from starting his own business. What I am saying is that entrepreneurship is not the answer to all our economic, or social problems. However much we wish to believe it with collaborative initiatives, web 2.0 and the like..

It is a simplistic answer to a very complex question of creating economic and social equality and ecosystems for people to thrive.

It is up there with cities saying ” let’s have us our own Soho district” or “get some money in and let’s start our own version of Silicon Valley”. It don’t work like that.

Fostering the entrepreneurial mindset (in my own simplistic view on the matter), just might be. Allow me to put forth the obvious answer to all our problems: Be like water.

Looking around me and in the mirror, I see potential blinded by human nature. People living with frames of refference from a different temporal and cultural contex, reinforced by local settings in current circumstances.

I hear them talking about “honour” “pride”, about how “that’s just the way they are” when dealing with certain situations in life.

Now all in all it is not bad to that having pride and conviction and stuff. What I am saying is that, the stuff that should follow those lessons learned is often neglected: as long as it serves you and yours in getting a step closer to your goal(s).

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Viktor Frankl

The ability to spot flaws and opportunities, to course correct midway or to stick with it dispite (peer/social) pressure, to be like water, that is the big opportunity and problem of our (all) time(s).

How to let your ego work for you, instead of against you? How to play different social roles, without losing that what makes you…you.

I once proposed that schools use white collar criminals as part of their re-entry in society. But that is the same reason I recommended highscoolers do stand up, or improv. To learn how to be you, but the you that best connects with whomever you are interacting at that specific time.

Not all of us will lead multinational businesses, or even start one. Some are happy to work for others, or to not want to work in the commercial sphere.

But we all could benefit from some learned and internalized tools and skills that allow us to asses our situation and to spot ways to maximize our current circumstances to benefit us, wihout always resorting to zero-sums games.

A cabdriver might spot that becoming a manager is better for him, because it allows him steadier hours so he can be with family. A nurse might see a way to improve procedures, because it helps her and the doctors who might dismiss it.

And yes some of us might spot a marketable gap and be our own boss.. Though that saying is part of the problem. We are our own boss, already.

Yes we are social creatures, yes we copy and relent from time to time to peer pressure. But being aware of it, is key. Being aware of it allows us to hack it, to play with it and see where it might lead us.

Now from a practical point of view it means one thing: changing educational practices. Easy to write, difficult to implement, given the things like points of view, values,, ideologies.

But we can all do our small part. Be it as a teacher, employer, employee, consultant, or just human being, now that we are aware of what could help us help the future.

Be like water. I’ve heard worse mantra’s..



To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. Now, it is very difficult to do. It has always been very easy for me to put on a show and be cocky, and be flooded with a cocky feeling and feel pretty cool and all that. I can make all kinds of phoney things. Blinded by it.

Or I can show some really fancy movement. But to experience oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly, now that is very hard to do.

Bruce Lee

Only deception can stop segregation caused by the Age of Social

A couple of things have been popping up on my radar interesting, or I think interesting, enough to warrant a hypothesis about business, communications, people and politics.

First there is:
This story. An entertainment channel for the conservative American.

What makes them interesting is the fact they seem to be focused on spreading content, the way the audience wants it (bypassing possible censorship) and they get that entertainment is still the biggest gateway towards culture shaping, because it allows them to say more under a veil of deceptive winking and smiling..

Of course the larger interesting question is the robustness of the hunger for segregrated media (loaded term perhaps, but BET did make billionairs out of the owners) that is still so strong in the USA (perhaps anglo/american cultural sphere in total). It seems something the vast majority of 2.0 land is not to keen on looking in to.

Secondly there is this:
http://www.mousemail.com/

MouseMail -> protect your kids -> advisor on board = Frank Luntz (GOP strategist) -> Bill Bennett = advisor (Form Bush/reagan administrator)

It seem that doing stuff instead of just rethoric seems to be finding it’s way more and more in the political arena. Is this the future of political campaiging?

Political branded utility and co-creation, while making money and creating voters out of consumers and consumers out of voters?

Looks the ultimate campaign moneymaker, bypassing any possible lobbylaws as the line blurs between voter and consumer and producer..

Thirdly there was this:

http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/egypt.html

Seems like a action guided by the State Department more than some internal mantra. Now if Google start doing stuff like this in countries like USA to give a voice to police brutality and other stuff, I will eat my words.

But they won’t..This flip flop picking of sides all the time is what politicians and celebs do. And it is gonna cost Google at some point. Net neutrality does not mean that the net is a-political.

On the contrary. Just like the web is one massive confession, it is also one massive vote based on values.

Google does Data, not social and all the human stuff that comes with it. They should not start now, or their Switzerland position (we just create good search results) is done and then all gloves will come off.

Things are gonna get interesting now that the business of social/and co-creation is demanding a show of (political) colour, which leads to the hypothesis about business, communications and politics for the coming decade:

Increased segregation under the veil of curation based on preference. Which will only be overcome by fooling people.

We are going to have to start bullshitting (again), to get passed the bullshit, if we want to get things done.

How Societies Fail-And Sometimes Succeed-

Amongst the many things identified by Diamond, again we see the use of wrong analogies that frame our actions and perceptions of success, or lack thereof. The fact the talk is four years old, yet not dated, adds to its urgency, to me at least.

Howerever you like your tea, this talk should touch some of your interests/concerns. Again, it runs a bit long, but contains enough gems to keep you watching..

furhter observations on false positives

Sitting in the subway two teenagers were talking about their weight. After some talk they spotted the reason why they, in their eyes, were gaining weight. Eating in the evening. So they agree to stop eating after 22:00. That’s all. Both seemed pretty pleased with this action.

This offers a glimpse in their world and wonderfull opportunities to intervene, while not forcefeeding entirely new habits and thoughts…

false positive and false negative stories

Trend: Methaphors were/are/will be the triggers that enable primed systems/segments/societies to collectively move at an accelerated pace in the direction they were moving already unconciously.

The above talk with George Soros also bring to light something obvious, yet very interesting. The fact that false positive stories (ineffective stories – who for whatever reason, be it through distribution, interpretation take on different meaning- measured against the goal the story was suppose the help pave action and thinking) can actually succeeded, and become triggers for unintented action.

Worse even is the fact that false positive stories, also increase ‘false negative’ stories. Stories that showed promise of becoming internalized in the intended manner, but who get ignored, or stopped, due to the force of action the more succesfull false positives take up.

Am even inclined to call the end of marketing and advertising that does. Meta strategy (getting the thought right, that sparked a thousand thoughts that drive actions to flow from them) is (again, nothing new to it, really) where it will be at, in an world of oversupply of solutions, initiatives and people wanting to act (as seen in the rise of impact philanthropy.

Think Slow Food or transition towns as it begets entire markets, social, commercial, academic, practical, instead of Make.Believe.

Even recent event is Tunisia are an example of how trigger stories (in this case combined) can become an infrastructure for an primed system to break out..combine documents, with food prices, faulty self amplifiyng stories that the system wants to hear and decades old year systems breaks.

Though just to play devil’s advocate to all this abstraction, the Ipad Youtube and Twitter seem like the first in what is likely to be very disprutive inverse antropomorphic tools.

Tools (though the name tool does not quite fit as a tool implies a preset function, perhaps object comes closer) that create infrastructures out of thoughts so that primed systems can achieve enough leverage to break through the robustness of said system. Be it a business like Flipboard or a social change as discribed above.

Sidenote: This could be the achilles heel of Facebook. It is to defined, to controlled, to arrogantly unaware of its coming demise, to survive. It can’t be rewritten so it will stop being read at some point?

The issue of control (and implicit responsability for how it is used ), which these tools still (need to) have will be an interesting point of future friction between users and provider, just as humans struggle with their own mortality and morality, whether it be man against Maker or man against nature.

The increasing power of frames is something I touched upon here a bit, but did not push the thought to its most logical concuslusion: becoming compost. At ease with being disbanded when it has served own needs, so it can become the catalyst for more, different ideas. This seems like the minimum on which we must judge the potential of an idea, both for good and bad outcomes.

Spotting actual and mood movement of people so that false negative stories don’t die and false postive frames don’t get a chance in ever anger primed societal systems is going to be the next thing for strategist, and researchers, because in our urge for ever faster and ever tranparenter collective actions, time for thought is decreasing.

All in all the above is nowhere near a finished thought..just wanted it written to get back to as it seems fertile ground for thought as we enter a period of volitile complex (not complicated) times with a growing need for resilience and patience .

The darkside of co-anything

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Current trend:Co-anything..

People want more involvement. No. They demand it. Remember though what you corporate/government partners are thinking: rights granted, will become obligations enforced.

So while we might now with great energy jump into home education, civil crime patrols, people supermarkets and other initiatives, there may come a day when we will yearn for times we changed stuff just by ballot boxes, our wallets, taxes and a few good men.

Not saying back in the day was picture perfect, just saying lemmings act collectively as well.