Thursday, 28 June 2007

Predictable Paris

Just how predictable is all if this? There seems to be a direct correlation between air-time and air-head

Sheffield Floods aspects of Gullibility?

It's been a couple of days now since I was caught up (not seriously) in the floods that hit Sheffield. My day started early and the train journey North hit trouble as we entered Derbyshire with a felled tree and a flooded tunnel. As the day went on the rain was ceaseless and at 4.30 it was clear that things were pretty bad, so I headed for the station and that's when I really began to see how serious things were because all tranins were cancelled and it was evacuated. Thinking back on this I find my reaction interesting. I really didn't have any sense of real concern just a sense of 'hassle' about how I was going to get home, last resort being stop over at the office. So - checking ticket availibility for buses I met up with 2 strangers - Simon a Grenadier Guard wanting to get to Derby and Colina wanting to get back to Notts. The whole situation then took a surreal turn, it was as if we were extras in a disaster movie, we managed to get tickets for a bus that was expected to be 4 hours late so we agreed a plan and went to the cinema to watch the Fantastic 4, we then grabbed something to eat and headed back to the Bus Station. By now the RAF helicopters were buzzing over head, and I had a call from home where my partner filled us in with Sky News coverage. That's when we realised not 1000 meters away the real trouble had hit Brightside. My partner's offices were there and whilst she was away working from home, they were all trapped.

The picture above is the junction where I ususally get dropped off if we travel by car and I walk up the hill into the city centre.

Looking back I find it really curious how 'laid back' my response to the situation, OK so no immediate danger, but I sort of indulged in the 'buzz' and trying to make sense of things. Is this a form of 'gullibility? By which I mean I took it for granted I'd be OK.

In fact the whole episode seems to be charactersied by 'nests' of gullibility. One of these was brilliantly summed upon the BBC website by a Prof of Environment etc who said, the problem was compounded by the fact that we are builiding on flood plains (mainly because its cheap and easy) and the reason flood plains are called flood plains is because...they flood!. Another nest is the general sense in which we conduct our daily lives by expecting, train services, electricity, water, a bed to sleep in, people to come home safe. We become lulled by normality and I think this dulls our ability to think in terms of 'contingency' and to recognise dangers when they confront us.

Take anything for granted and you leave yourself prone to gullibility. As my mate's father once said 'we are all just once power cut away from the stone-age'

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Gullibility Flashback

I was just musing over past events through my career in the leisure industry when I had this really powerful 'gullibility flashback' I was zapped straight back some 15 years when I was the new marketing manager of our company on a routine customer visit.

For some months previous to the visit I had been doing some work on the area of gambling psychology with a view to uncovering insights into ways that we could make our products more 'appealing' to players, and also stucturing the thinking of the games designers who were prone to lurching from one 'gee whizz' idea to next in the search for products with the most 'player appeal'. The outcome of this exercise meant I was able to identify a range of psychological phenomena and link them to specific game design elements. These insights enabled us to explain why some products had done better in the past and also acted as springboard for future design activities.

At the same time, our recent sales successes based on these findings were taking the company out of a 10 year lull in performance and turning us into a company that customers didn't feel embarassed to talk to again. This was also coupled to a change in the supply chain where major licensed retailers (brewers/ pub owners to you and I) were employing 'slot executives' whose role was to professionalise the selection and placement of gaming products in their 'estates of pubs'. These guys were becoming powerful influencers in the industry and it was a necessity to keep close to them.

So, that's why, as part of our plan to keep close to these people I was making this customer visit. I thought I needed to impress the guy over the table from me, and so I presented in depth the work I had done assuming that it would simply increase his confidence in our ability and therefore work more closely with us in future.

You can imagine how flattered I was when he asked me if he could have a copy of the work I had done. Guess what... yes, I gave him the 'family silver'. Now here is the real 'toe curler' Un-beknown to 'mr wet behind the ears me' this guy was already planning to take a position up with one of our main competitors - OUCH! and surprise surprise this company suddenly leapt from nearly going out of business to an overnight 40% market share shortly after his joining.

The double whammy was that 5 years further on this 'intellectual power house of plagiarism' set up a 'knocking campaign' in the industry as I refused to become part of his red-wine swilling, golf jaunt, mutual back slapping clique. A choice that really did me no favours as his best mate was the guy that was to become a future owner of our business when he bought the company back off us following an 'interesting' management buyout episode I was part of.

Lessons? Be circumspect with what you know, realise the true value of ideas and insights that make sense of things that others have been wrestling with, always check for the hidden agenda, play the game and don't become a martyr for principles unless you have the power to survive the consequences.

Perhaps you see more lessons from this tale than me and I'd be delighted to hear them...

Friday, 22 June 2007

Are there Angles in heaven?

Check out this story on yahoo news
Is there an afterlife?

Now for me there is a pretty fire sure way of sorting this out...

You just nip over there and kill yourself, next, you meet me for a beer down the pub and tell me all about it, bringing a few friends with you such as Newton, Galileo, UGG from 250,000 BC and my Grandma. A couple of photo souvenirs would be cool too. How does that sound?

Humans can justify almost anything

Now thinking about why friends take advantage of us, this article Toothless is beautiful happy birthday cognitive dissonance might give some clues about the way in which we allow them to do it. Given this theory it seems that we try and 'reduce' dissonance to start with by trying to justify the normality of the situation . Thinking like ' well s/he would never be trying to stich me up', then as the dissonace becomes too great we reach a 'crunch point' and we realise that 'yes' they would and 'yes' they have. The next phase is reflecting on the realisation and retrospectively 'making sense' of all the things that have happened in light of our new found viewpoint. With luck - we learn and change. Cognitive Dissonance is the extreme emotional discomfort we feel when important beliefs, attitudes or perceptions collide. Humans cannot tolerate dissonance for long, so they ease the tension by making a change in belief or attitude—and justifying the change.

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Super-massive star ready to fry Earth... or miss

Eta CarinaeI going to blow!, Now, how do we know this? it's certainly worth knowing if its true. My suggestion? RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(don't ask me which way though)

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Monday, 18 June 2007

Am I Gullible?

I've devised this simple 'sanity -check' (Gulli-Grid tm) – as way of judging how gullible you might be:

For each statement decide Always, Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Never to describe your typical reaction. If you predmoninantly answer Always, Often; then you approach situations uncritically, if Rarely, Never; then you are less likely to being duped. If you answer 'Never' to most it is likely that people will regard you as cynical, and you drink alot of beer on your own.

The other party knows more about this subject than me
I place total trust in what the other party tells me
I have to take the word of the other party
I have no independent proof of claims
I believe vague promises about future events
I am restricted from discussing matters with others
My other sources are ‘put down’ or ‘smeared’
I never ask probing questions
I feel frustrated when asking questions
What I’m told doesn’t stack up with what I see
I believe that the other person(s) are open & honest
I think that people have hidden agenda's
I believe it when people say their plans will benefit me
I seek out a ‘hidden agenda’
I think that if someone has been truthful before they will be truthful in future
I think Sales and marketing people have my interests in mind
I conduct research prior to getting involved in anything
I seek out a second, or third opinions on information that is presented to me
I get references or endorsements on people I don't know well
I depend on the other people for reward & esteem

Thursday, 14 June 2007

5 Reasons why I Blog

Why I Blog! A curious mixture of reasons.

1. Original inspiration, my mate Andrew and I share a bottle of red (or two - hic) most Friday evenings and 3 years ago this led to us having a laugh at ourselves over the times we'd been really Gullible. So...we hit on the idea of writing a book called Gullibles Travels only to find out that we'd been beaten to the draw by at least seven other authors. The full story can be found in post 1 of the Gullibility Blog. Nevertheless we committed a few things to paper and they stayed in the hardrive unloved until April this year.

2. Now me, RR I work in Higher Education in a UK uni' in the faculty of Organisation & Management - Marketing subject Group, after many years working in the gambling industry (hey folks visit the Liberty Bell Restaurant in Reno its run by the grandchildren of Charles Fey who invented the very first slot machine and they do a great steak!) Well academic interest got me wanting to know more about this 'blogging lark' and dipping in to find out more 'the scales fell from my eyes' The whole web 2.0 thing was something that business academics were sort of oblivious too. In order to find out more I thought the only way to do was to get your 'laptop wet' and dive in.

3. A happy coincidence, and a hardrive of material I hit on the idea of the Gullibility blog which meant that Andy and I could publish without trying to win a publishing deal and I could learn about, widgets, monetizing, chickletizing, tagging, social networking, bottom up marketing, SEO's, etc etc etc. Then guess what - I got hooked - and just like my days in the gaming industry I'm checking the daily stats for hits and popularity ratings. A new flag on Feedburner and I'm down the pub!

4. The whole blogging thing is fascinating to me, the diversity, the ideas, the communications. And the big AND for me from an academic perspective (stop yawning at the back!) is the whole notion of 'authority' or 'authenticity' - how do we judge to good stuff from the bad? we don't need 'reputable' journals and filtered publications anymore.. so what is the truth?

5. This whole 'discern -ability' thing is what I'm following in blogging and curious to know exactly how we do this.
Move over 'because I said so', and hello 'listen to this as a possibility'

Happy Blogging Folks RR

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Hawaiian Philosophy

photo by Ron Dahlquist

photos by Kirk Lee Aeder

Check out the following site Aim for Awesome for some really interesting insights into Hawaiian philosophy. Particularly interesting are persepctives on living in the now, how we create limitations, and version of the sub(un)conscious mind to name just three. A really well put together site!

Cat Stevens and the path to Individuation?

Post inspired by Saboma's recent excellent choice of a Tom Rush post on her blog Maryannaville

lines from the song with Gullibility relevance:

"take your time ...think alot..."

"I was ordered to listen"

You will no doubt connect with others.

Jail term was a message from God, says Paris Hilton

And so it begins...Divinely inspired money making scheme! if this news article is anything to go by Yahoo News

This fascinating case continues to demonstrate her 'external' orientation. She has to get a message to change from someone else instead of taking personal responsibility!.

Being so 'extrinsically' motivated I'm staggered how come she's overlooked the Judges role in sending her the message to change? Oh - of course he isn't an 'A' lister like the big guy! Doh! C'mon Paris this is just Old Whine in a New Bottle.

Long WAY TO GO - perhaps you should change your name to Paris Dakar long, tedious, and hard work.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Might George Clooney be just 50% correct?

According to Yahoo news today George Clooney alledgedly states that he thinks that Paris Bawlalot is cheap and talentless. Well that might only be 50% of the story. In actual fact she is very talented at being 'cheap and talentless'. This phenomenon is well known to us all, we see in the work place, with the boss who is 'exceptional at being an ass' or at home with the friend who is 'supreme at taking advantage of us' Basically whatever ever we do alot we become really good at. For a dip into a deeper discussion on this check out Chris Argyris in his book On Organizational Learning. Go straight to article link paragraph 22 for the key point.

The more we persist in regular habits the more they become ingrained, and the more we develop what is known as 'unconscious competence' (ever driven to work and wondered how you got there?)

So Bastille Baby will have just the amount of time to learn how to become a talented inmate, although as Moondanzer says - she won't become good enough to become a gifted felon.

Sunday, 10 June 2007


Someone was quick out the starting blocks. This is hilarious

Best line of any song for years "I don't mind ...being confined" I actually thought it WAS her to start with - how gullible is that!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Myths in Science

Check out this interesting list and check out what you believe.

20 Science Myths

Paris Hilton 45 day course in Critical Thinking

Now then Paris, stop bawling and do something useful, you've got 45 days to change your life so why not learn how to plug in a PC and visit Austhink There is, of course, the argument of punishment and learning to be had when any of us have committed misdemenours,and if 'learning' is to be part of the process for her then in my book the learning has to be demonstrated and enacted genuinely moving forward.

So I think she might benefit from some serious no holds barred (sic) educational experience, the sort where not everything comes easily and where the answers aren't given on a plate. She should be encouraged to reflect authentically on her identity; values, morals, impacts on others etc etc and explain what she has learned and how this has changed her. Good evidence for me would be not making a cent from a public appearance out of the 'time served' and also she should choose to avoid self righteous tours of the TV stations to explain 'what a salutary experience it has all been', how 'sorry' she is, and no publisher should promote her ‘book’ that splurges out her ‘cele-philosophical clap trap’

She did something wrong, she's getting the legal punishment, deal with it Paris! Of course its not nice going to jail, who said it was ? And you're only going through the same feelings as every one else who has been 'banged up'. Removal of freedom - is exactly what it means you dim bimbo! We could no doubt share similar stories.

My son had a rub with law last year, we went to court and I uncomfortably stood before the judge and said I was completely in support of any punishment they wished to hand out, and my son said he would take what was coming too as he realized he had stepped over the line. But hey, I'm not rich, famous, or can be of benefit to her so why would my story count. Oh yes and I forgot she is 'special' and different to the rest of us isn't she and therefore doesn't deserve the disorientation, and humiliation she's brought on herself.

In another life she would be living on some sink estate educated to the same level she is now and facing more than just one trip to the prison.

Friday, 8 June 2007

And on the 8th day God created Gullibility

I guess we would all agree that Gullibility is about 'being in the dark'. However it seems there is a difference between 'Being' in the dark and 'being in the dark', according to this video by Ricky Gervais :) Does this mean that Gullibility is a fundamental state necessary for creation?


pic source: Learning and Teaching Scotland

Now is it only me that has picked up on the irony of Creationists using Dinosaurs to exemplify their beliefs? The previous link gives the argument for why they are mistaken.

Fancy choosing an animal that was claimed to slow, ponderous, lacking in intelligence, and incapable of changing and adapting to new situations as the intellectual (sic) battleground to float your dogma! cue Homerus Simpsonitis.>

If you would like more science than 'dinotribe' (can this go into the Fictionary attributed to me?)why not visit Lyme Regis (UK)

I suppose we could go along with the notion that the Supreme Being might have created them, its just that it took a bit longer than ordering a happy meal.

What is True?

1. Not a lie
2. A Spandau Ballet song
3. Straight
4. What I believe
5. What we believe
6. What I am told
7. Whatever you think
8. The same for a molecule and me
9. A label
10.A nomilisation of a process
12 Vrai
13.A constant
14.A variable
15.Something unknowable
16.A temporary thing
17.A fixed thing
18.This list
19.I was in Prague in 1968 the night the Soviets invaded
20.We will only live for a finite period
21.Your bum does look big in that dress
22.There are 8 planets in our solar system
23.I am rich
24.I am poor
25.Your God is better than my God
26.A search objective

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Web 2.0 Like taking a drink from a hosepipe?

I was chatting with a friend today about the mass of information we can access and share, and got into debate about how we can judge the authenticity of information now that conventional sources can be bypassed. He said that managing information in the Web 2.0 world was liking trying to take a drink from a hosepipe.

Well I stumbled on Life 2.0 and it pointed me to this great site popurls and it looks like a really neat way to avoid 'infochoke' (can I claim this folks!)

What have The Academics ever done for us?

Ok so, What have The Academics ever done for us?

I have noticed several web searches that have led to this blog about everday things such as, how to stop friends take advantage of you, or how can tell if someone is lying to you. These are clearly issues of practical importance.

The world of academic / management theory it would seem, is a totally separate space that is incapable of shedding any insights on such problems. Is this really the case? What if we can 'lift' ideas and concepts from one area and make use of them in plain language in another. Surely this must be a useful aim for any form of inspiration and education.

Here are three examples:

Prof. Tudor Rickards has a blog called Leaders We Deserve The very fact that he has created this thought provoking title could cause us to think of 'friends we deserve' or 'spouses we deserve' couldn't it? This line of thinking invites us to consider what it is we do that reinforces the relationship. Just because we 'follow' sometimes doesn't necessarily mean we are sub-ordinate.

Bob Garratt talks of directors who think that learning and changing applies to everyone else but themselves, after all now that they have 'made it' why do they need to learn anything new. A vicar I knew used the metaphor of a garden to describe a marriage. It needed tending everyday in order to stop the weeds taking over.

Organisational Learning theory, such Peter's and Watermans's 7 S framework suggests that to be successful managers need to value 'soft skills' and not just think about hard outputs such as number of cars produced, market shares, employee turnover, number of patents secured. This suggests that intentional personal effort in 'soft skills' development might be an essential precursor for any of us to make the changes we want.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Whoppee my Blog did less time than Paris

I'm free. Blogger 'bots' have let me go. Just in time to share a line from the amazing Dr Carl Sagan.

Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Roaches can't bleed to death

Are you sure you know everything about these little blighters?

read more | digg story

Human Gullibility

Off-beat-news article about the creator of a fake drug and a fake illness made into a media campaign that people accept as genuine, even though the name of the supposed illness is obviously satirical: Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD)

read more | digg story