Message of hope

Message of hope

There is a book that contains a message of hope. It says that if you live your life a certain way then good things will come to you. All that you have to do is believe in the message.

Many people have read this book and gained faith. They live their lives according to the message and they are happy. Good things happen to them and their happiness is contagious.

In the usual nature of things every now and again a person reads the book and finds a different message. They understand the way to live but they cannot find happiness. They do not see why everyone is not living this certain way and it begins to upset them greatly. Soon their dislike for all other ways of living turns them sour. Now they hate everyone not like them, sometimes even those who are living according to the message and are happy.

Hate is a powerful emotion that is hard to shake. It festers as prejudice and explodes as anger. Occasionally such hateful people are so angry they resort to violence to calm their senses and their faith justifies any action as just.

Time passes and people all over the world read the book with its well-written message of hope. Millions of readers adopt the certain way but there are a few who misunderstand and let hate develop and take root. As the message spreads about one third of all inhabitants at any one time are living this message of hope.

Now suppose that when the book was written there were only 100 million people around to read it and perhaps only a few hundred individuals who misinterpreted the message and became convinced that all non-believers deserved to die. These troubled souls were spread far and wide; they did not speak to each other and felt isolated and alone.

Today there are 7,520,642,839 people in the world. There are tens of thousands of misreads when readership is in the billions. More than enough people to talk amongst themselves and get organized.

They decide to convert everyone to their interpretation of the message. For them purity is important and there can be no other interpretation than the one they have. Of course very few people listen because the certain way has made them happy and there is no room in it for hatred.

The misreaders become more and more agitated. They plan actions that will make everyone listen and they embark on a crusade, a trek to the place where the message began to make people listen, with force if necessary. As they gather to demonstrate they clash with police. Many are injured and some killed from both sides of the readership. It is not long before the violence has escalated into a all out war that the misreaders have no hope of winning being small in number and lacking resources compared to the majority.

The misreader leaders are captured and put on trial where the majority convicts them of crimes against humanity. It is messy and levels of happiness decline.

In a substantive way the book and its message are depleted. The book is still read and the message of hope heralded but every now and again a misread still happens. The accumulated history of misreads have asked a question that some among the faithfull find disturbing. It takes only a little while for a new generation of misunderstanding to emerge and organize around a hatred for the certain way and a cycle is born.

Game theory explains it and a human tragedy is created by it.

And just to trick your brain out of its innate prejudice, remember that the book is the bible.

Another take on the quiet carriage

Another take on the quiet carriage

The quiet carriage is a relatively new and popular phenomenon on the commuter trains of Sydney. Half the carriages are designated as places where noise is supposed to be muffled on pain of public outrage and abuse.

Today I travelled on a noisy carriage. It did not have the quiet designation so the hubbub, chitchat and eardrum bending headphones were free to decibel away without fear of retribution.

No matter. The carriage choice was mine. I could have taken a few extra steps to enter a quiet one.

The thing is that hearing is but one of the senses.

All was well for nearly an hour. There are few travellers in mid-afternoon and my tip tapping was only occasionally distracted by a cough or a ringtone.

The train stopped at Parramatta. Several passengers entered the carriage and a young woman sat across the aisle from me. In her hand was a Styrofoam box.

At first, nothing happened. She made a call and spoke briefly in modest tones that she might even have got away with in the quiet carriage. Then she settled forward, put her phone away and stared at the box.

She opened it.

There is a brief moment when a cat is let out of a bag. You can see the cat, it is going to leap away to freedom and nothing will be fast or agile enough to stop it. Only for a moment, it is just there, a cat frozen in time on the edge of an open bag.

This cat was a burger and chips.

It stared then slithered out of the box without a sound. Once into the air, it permeated with a predators intent eyeing unwary nostrils.

Reaching mine it pounced.

Acridity of vegetable oil heated and reheated more often than is natural, but pungent as though the oil was still warm from the vat.

It was intense.

The assailant was as devastating as a lorry in a library. Any tranquillity from regular smells slapped away into next week.

It was a rare stink.

Now I suspect that the success of the quiet carriage is unlikely to transfer to smell free carriages. After all, who can decide if the smell of burger and chips at three in the afternoon or an over application of Delta by Delta at seven in the morning should be restricted to the smelly carriage? And indeed who would enter a carriage not designated as smell less?

There would be a rush on the odourless zones.

So there we have it. The ears have protection but I fear that the nose will be hit hard by whatever is let out of the box.

As for the eyes, best we not go there.

What went wrong?

I was just browsing through a few stats for this blog. Pretty depressing really.

Take a look at annual viewing numbers.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 10.18.59 AM

Nice slow but steady growth in views and visitors, until a cliff.

Admittedly I took a breather and failed to post anything through most of 2016 but numbers were already on the rocks by then.

There is a similar problem with my LinkedIn articles.

Clearly, if you want people to read your ideas you need to do a lot more than write them down.

Any suggestions?

When in doubt start a new business

When in doubt start a new business

What I learned lately about… risk

I have made a career out of avoiding the safe options in favour of not knowing where the next contract will come from. On and off for over a decade I have worked for myself.

It means being your own boss and that is supposed to be good. But it also means you are your own marketing director, project manager, sales staff and tea lady.

There are times when so many hats sit real heavy on your head and you sag. It all gets too much.

The thing is the risk is addictive, probably in the same destructive way that gambling can be. So when doubt mushrooms out of the compost the solution is to take on more risk and start another company.

Here is the website.




What I learned lately about… profit

Profit is still the bottom, and only line

You know the old saying ‘if push came to shove’ means when things get nasty and extremis arrives this is what you would do.

Well, where the corporate world is concerned, any shoving results in action to protect profit. There is, of course, pampering to other values, but the law compels directors and trustees to build shareholder value. And this sets in stone a quest for profit.


Dancing in the living room has its risks

Dancing in the living room has its risks

What I learned lately about… dancing

It was 1979 when the 2-Tone bands appeared on the UK music scene and reinvented skanking; a lost art of bouncing around to ska music looking like a complete dork.

I passed many a happy hour at Madness, The Specials, The Beat and The Selecter gigs catching the energy and sympathising with the anti-racism messages to Rudi.

So no surprise at joy remembered when ‘On my radio’ by the Selecter came up on iTunes radio after 30 odd years.

Blasting the sound in the living room and attempts at basic skanking dance moves ended in a busted Achilles tendon and six months of healing and rehab.

Funny enough it was almost worth it.

And we’re back

And we’re back

As you know Alloporus has been down for a few months, mentally and electronically. Now, suitably rested, ‘ideas for healthy thinking’ is back.

I’m not sure what will come up in this reboot because during the break some competition for the ideas bandwidth has emerged.

Over at afterbefore we have an updated site that includes a new blog with thoughts on the future of agriculture. Feel free to add comments on our 10 big things we need for global food security.

Alloporus environmental is also getting a new site that will feature posts on natural resources and evidence. More on that one soon

Explanations of how to use evidence have continued on LinkedIn with a series of posts for the professional audience.

I’m guessing that this blog will become more commentary than content and maybe a little clogged with cross-postings.

If you get bored, there is always the archive or a binge watch on Netflix.

May the thoughts be with you