We live in a culture that increasingly embraces connectivity. The melding of outward disconnection with a simultaneous 24/7 digital conversation is both ironic and mildly disconcerting to those of us not permanently attached to this digital umbilical chord.
Social niceties and courtesies are becoming severely diluted. I recently navigated the labyrinth that is Victoria Station and found myself marveling at the mass commuter hive of activity and yet clinically barren of human interaction.
Each earnest participant on this treadmill journey seemed to be lost almost trance-like in some parallel universe, having engaged some sort of automatic homing device to skilfully navigate the human traffic. Ipods at full volume, newspaper in one hand, steaming coffee in the other and midst this madding crowd a complete absence of eye contact.
In this new world it would seem arcane and redundant to distract the herd by smiling, excusing yourself or being so bold as to offer some poor lost soul assistanc…
The tone of this post is wry and gently provocative and not a rallying to call to quit your job, divorce, burn your friendships, or change one iota of your current status quo - not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that! “We are the champions"– so sang Freddie Mercury an eternity ago and the song echoes throughout the great sporting stadiums of the world. It’s rousing and evocative. Evocative of shared triumph – and epitomizing a truly tribal sense of belonging. There’s a primeval urge that is felt by all reasonably socialized individuals to fit. As rebellious youth we are defiant in our rejection of stereotype. It’s all about the individual, and expressing that unique albeit pompous voice that contradicts the old fashioned social mores and yet….. With an uncanny predictability, each generation ever so subtly morphs into a diluted version of their parents. 100 years ago The Who proclaimed, “I hope I die before I grow old ” and with an irony that is breathtaking, sold t…
This is a confronting and provocative question. It presumes there’s a gap in your life and that you are in some way failing, falling short of your own expectations.
If The Law of Attraction does indeed work, how then do we explain how bad things happen to good people? How can we explain how the worst of criminals can win the Lottery? Indeed we can question whether this much-quoted Law is in fact a myth.
The point of this article is not to ponder the riddle of this apparent phenomenon or get bogged down in the mire of attempting to define the intangible. Rather I would like to posit the following commentary.
Let’s twist the above question. Imagine that despite your initial reaction to the topic, that you are indeed living the dream, but have failed to realize this fact. Perhaps your appreciation lens is clouded. Perhaps you are with your ideal life partner but are blinded to this fact by virtue of your incessant fantasizing of some parallel universe where some Goddess or G…
Despite the long winded title, there are a few morsels of insight that encompass the importance of mindset and perspective in determining the direction of our passions. Passion, focus and determination may bring accolades in the short term but they are often in hindsight proven to be utterly wrong!
Hope you enjoy'
You may never have heard of Paul Ehlrich or Thomas Malthus unless you have an interest in the economic principles of scarcity. That being the case I'm surprised to find you here reading this irreverent scribble! In fact Malhus died back in 1834. His Principle the Malthusian Catastrophe however lives on.
Mr Ehlrich published a couple of best selling books between 1968 and 1971, including ‘Population Explosion”, ‘Eco-Catastrophe-, (that word again!), and ‘the End of Affluence’. At the time they were the best selling environmental b…
Without some context words such as persistence, patience, endeavor and dedication suggest a noble attitude to life matters. They symbolize ‘the stiff upper lip’ attitude to struggle. "Never ever give up"; to paraphrase Churchill goes to the heart of most self-help and personal development philosophy. The danger of blindly following this type of perseverance without considering its context is that more often than not, triumph does not overcome adversity, at the first attempt. There is a massive industry peddling personal development material. Books, Seminars, Webinars and all manner of strategies that range from useful and inspiring to borderline extortion. Harsh comment? I don’t think so. We live in a society that reveres its celebrities regardless of their substance. The personal development industry has its share of super rich ‘leaders’ who have attained a status within their tribe equivalent to religious pontiffs. Some of these leaders are ch…
My Blogging serves many purposes including a de-cluttering of the mind to see if the translation of my random streams of subconscious thought have a coherent value, in other words to see what pops out.
This blog was originally born out of an intention to tweak some pervasive ‘truths’ and offer an alternate perspective of this transient essence we call life, and was never intended to pontificate as to how anyone else chooses to frame their life.
Enough of the verbal gymnastics. I’ve just completed the first draft (who knows, it may be the last!) of my eBook- a collation of scribbles and insights from the archives of this Blog.
For those of my visitors who appreciate the slightly warped tone and content of my ramblings I offer you a complimentary download. It needs some editing and polishing, and maybe something as fancy as an eBook cover but in the meantime my celebrity dog-Zola- who makes a few appearances on my sites, including Youtube will have to suffice as the point of click.
"When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all."
— Lewis Carroll -Through The Looking Glass
Do you have a favourite word? I quite like the word oxymoron. Maybe it’s a Bart Simpson puerile thing, you know, an adult word that finishes in moron must be laugh worthy.
What I like about the oxymoron is how unpretentious a word it actually is. Once the terrain of stand up comedians, the oxymoron seems to have become the default of political obfuscation. Not coincidentally, perhaps my second favourite word.
Very good, you picked the irony (hint: second favourite!) As an aside the reason I like the word obfuscation is not because it sounds so pompous, and indeed is most used by pompous types but because it is so apt. The very pronunciation…
This is a slightly different theme to my usual Blogs and a little less tongue in cheek. One of the most baffling contradictions I see in life is the prevalence of unhappy joyless people surrounded by an environment of milk and honey and more choices to do, have and experience than ever in the history of the world. Are we pre- programmed to be cynical or just blind to the 'miracle' of existence, or is it a mal-adjustment of our perspective lens? You be the judge
Excitement, anticipation, aspiration or however you want to label the charge that gets you up in the morning is probably almost completely aligned with you happiness quotient.
Some of the most cranky, uninspiring people I’ve ever crossed paths with have invariably shared a couple of personality traits. One is ambivalence, that devil may care attitude, that on the surface presents as cool and unruffled, but upon closer examination manifests its true essence, that of disenchantment.
I have way too many Twitter connections. Let’s not delude ourselves that they are Followers-that’s a misnomer if ever there was one. Yep that’s the price you pay for accepting every request. What you say! How can you have too many? Isn’t the goal to have an infinite number of Tweeters in your tribe? Those with the most followers win-surely.
Ok perhaps I’m being overly wry. But have you considered the downside to building a large Twitter base?
Too many tweets from anonymous twits create a din, not an orchestra. The tweets that you actually see are completely random and virtually impossible to engage. Too many ‘followers’ assume that they now have an intimate relationship with you that justifies them sending you automated direct messages-that under any other circumstances would be considered spam. Why bother then? Well of course it’s not ALL bad! A few minutes browsing especially following the retweets (those are usually the interesting ones) can be very illuminating, diversionary and lead…
“I read the news today, oh boy” The Beatles lyrics echo like a broken record in my head. If you’re under 30 I’ve probably lost you with the insect and antique references! As an avid scanner of newspapers, another soon to be outmoded medium, I’ve been wondering lately if there is any correlation between media exposure to ignorance or wisdom. In Ireland there is an idiom, ‘cop on to yourself’, meaning to get a life and not to be so stupid. It’s one of those neat rebukes that is rarely taken offensively, but serves to highlight and dismiss pretentiousness and stupidity. Which I would argue are one and the same anyway. I would also argue that the degree to which we are exposed to the latest media expose is actually more likely to delude us into believing we are savvy, attuned and wise. If you didn’t tune in to the latest current affairs show, read the newspapers or even listen to the radio, what would happen? No doubt the world would continue to unfold on a daily basis. However your prejudic…
The following Blog is written with intention of providing a wry observation on Life Matters and I am flattered if it encourages commentary-however no offense is intended to those, celebrity or otherwise who are under the curse of depression and a link* is provided below to some resources that may prove useful.
In a celebrity obsessed modern culture which parades the foibles, inadequacies and fallibilities of these tabloid icons on the red carpet of our social consciousness, I ask the question: When did it become quaint to embrace serious malaise as trendy?
Depression seems to have taken over the mantle from suicide as the new chic of uber-modern social currency. How so?
I don’t expect delinquent athletes, supermodels or rock stars to provide a moral compass or embrace the mantle of role models. And yet by virtue of the sheer visibility of their every stumble and muttered obscenity, they do indeed have a profound influence on the malleable mind.
Why Are You So Stupid? If you have even a mild reaction to that greeting then you’re in good company. Call me any number of names and direct unsolicited vitriol in my direction and unless your opinion actually matters to me I guess I’ll continue on my merry way. Or not. How many of us are that grounded and rational? 'Why are you so stupid?' is a question that reads differently depending on the word emphasized. There’s also a presumption you are in fact stupid. Fully-grown and productive members of society often revert to the emotional state of a three year old when criticized, particularly if name-calling is involved. This is most in evidence on the anonymous highways of our urban jungle. Placid librarians morph into frenzied psychotic gesticulators and incoherent expletive rendering ranters at the merest of accepted traffic etiquette being breached. In the cold light of day and reasoned contemplation it would appear to be evidence of global lunacy. Let’s assume that all things do a…
‘You can’t always get what you want, but you know sometimes you get what you need.’ Inspiring words from Mick and Keith.
I have an irrational lack of appetite for shows that purport to be Current Affairs. Not for any compelling reason other than the fact that they gnaw on my soul when I inadvertently wander into the sphere of their influence.
Not unlike the sound of long nails clawing across a windowpane or a Celine Dion record for that matter, the irritation is palpable.
Like fodder to sheep or lambs to the slaughter, to prolong the metaphor, the overt manipulation of salacious and highly edited ‘news’ into a neat advertising friendly package, is acutely self serving. So what you may ask?
I have no particular opinion on tabloid journalism. In fact the more outrageous the headlines, the more entertaining and by extension, the less seriously we accept the message. Current affairs shows however, masquerade as arbiters of right and wrong, providing the moral compass for society. The real age…
Certain phrases and labels mysteriously appear in the everyday lexicon and virally spread. Before long Four Wheel Drive vehicles are the quaint labels used by absent-minded old codgers to describe SUV’s. Portfolios used to refer to man-purses carried by toffs. All day has morphed in to 24/7 and social networking has erupted from the realm of Church tea and scone get togethers in to the ubiquitous tweeting of mass popular culture. A few years back it seemed like all change was described as a paradigm shift. More recently the term ‘Tipping Point” has made its entrance. Unlike the word paradigm, which is a non-descriptive word without soul and colour, favoured by Lawyers and politicians for the obvious reason that they facilitate obfuscation, I quite like this new player. You can mentally shift gears when imagining a tipping point. With the warp speed evolution of ideas into things and an apparent unquenchable appetite for the novel and uber cool latest technology; tipping points become r…
As a preface to this scribble I'd like to reiterate that this Blog does not represent a philosophy or point of view I believe anyone else should adhere to. As the Header indicates, this is merely a wry commentary picking at the scab of human observation, in the hope of eliciting an occasional pause for thought and confronting some of the irony in life's journey. All hugely positive comments endorsing the the Blog are welcomed in the spirit of my own delusion.
I like the provocative statement; hope is not a strategy. The use of words such as wish, hope and turn of phrases for instance; 'if only..', are usually the precursors to paralysis. When we have delusional excuses to fall back on, it's easy to abdicate personal responsibility.
I wish i could speak fluent Japanese, bench press 150k, date a super-model(not really!) play jazz piano with ease and own a football team, ...if only.. There's the rub. 'If only' just doesn't cut it.
Pondering the absurdity of quantifying meaning in an infinite and intangible universe- I am compiling a collection of recent Blogs into an E-Book. As a thank you to my social networking connections I will be offering 50 Free downloads to those who register interest.
I get a buzz out of those rare moments when my certainties are confronted. Recently a quote permeated that part of my brain that has nothing better to do than ponder and elicit some profound meaning.
The almost imperceptible buzzing on the edge of my sub conscious related to a comment by a certain Clay Shirkey (I’d never heard of him either!) To paraphrase; how can we waste our time watching TV when there are so many other options?
I found myself pondering this question from the high ground of the devils advocate. What makes watching TV inferior to any other number of past times? There are a myriad of reasons to flop down on the couch and bond with family and pets, disengaging the brain and recharging our flow.
How can you actually waste time anyway? Surely the absolute incomprehensible magic of inhaling breath and functioning as a self-actualized bundle of cells, constituting me and you is of itself breathtaking.
I pondered the relative merits of this apparent inane burning of precious…
Obscure title I know-but here’s a long dormant thought for you to contemplate. Last year it occurred to me that there was an inverse relationship between the volume of Twitter ‘followers’ I had accumulated and the quality of the relationships. This started to become apparent when my ‘following’ reached over the 100 mark, and has been reinforced as the numbers passed 2000. It seemed popular particularly, thought not exclusively among online marketers to chase the numbers. There would be self-congratulatory tweets exclaiming joy at hitting 1000, 2000 or even 10000 ‘followers’ as if it actually meant anything. E-books were compiled to educate the ignorant on how to amass tens of thousands of ‘followers’. To what purpose, a few may ask? You’ve no doubt noted the inverted commas. I use the term ‘followers’ very loosely. This is undoubtedly a misnomer. If you are tweeting regularly on topics of inane pointlessness for periodic relief of boredom-then that’s certainly your prerogative, however …
As part of a fundraiser for Strike a Chord for Cancer I had the opportunity to glean first hand some insight into the philosophy of Sir Richard Branson. Without eulogizing over the status that this king of branding has attained and the unusually high personal popularity rating his entrepreneurial endeavours have garnered, I’ll cut straight to the content.
A series of questions were posed, crossing a wide spectrum inclusive, business, environment, education and space travel. Despite the diversity of topics some consistent messages emerged.
A core strength of his myriad of businesses is the empowerment of the people. Selecting those with exceptional communication skills seems to be a pre requisite in the hiring process.
Instilling the mindset of his team to not only identify problems but to also take immediate action to rectify.
Focus on the goal rather than the monetary outcome. Encourage creative thinking in the education process. Encourage continual feedback from the customer in order to r…
The Wisdom of Parents: ‘eat everything on your plate and be grateful you’re not one of the starving millions’ a rallying cry and first seed of an obesity epidemic is born.
Governor Arnie chastises his children for leaving too many lights on in the house, the environmental cost presumably equates to a punctuation mark in his litany of mind-blowing special effects, and Hummer driven excesses.
Global warming is a hysterical theatrical issue that we are cajoled into feeling guilty about in a manner reminiscent of teenage catholic boys reaching an age of carnal curiosity. How exactly is a perpetually drenched and windswept Celt worse off by this advent of clement weather? Perhaps the historically far more prevalent global freezing is the greater grim reaper.
Today’s hero invariably morphs in to tomorrow’s villain. Our sporting idols fall, we mimic the outrage of the tabloids until we adapt to their integration as mere mortals amongst us, and then rehabilitate them as rebels incarnate to be …
What a boring bland world this would be in the absence of mass irrational obssessiveness. There would be NO wonders of the world. Forget about the Guinness Book of Records or in fact any significant historical achievement. Why would anyone in their right mind set sail in a barely sea worthy vessel in the direction of the horizon with no reasonable expectation of navigating anywhere but over the edge of the world? We could argue that the Pyramids and ancient Aztec monuments were a response not to obsession but rather to a spiritual impulse. The appeasing of the gods as it were. Let’s not however meander in to that quicksand of philosophy. It would be all too easy to polarize most readers of this brief scribble by even hinting that Religion is an obsession. It’s hard not to be fascinated by the apparent crazy impulsive behavior of many collectors. I’m not referring to those with an eye on turning over a dollar, but rather those whose lives seemed consumed in a never ending search for some …