Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Halloween ID Parade

Ben Schott has created a list of the usual suspects in a fascinating review of British Superstitious Beliefs (a full pdf can be down loaded from this link)

As you will already know, 58% or Brits believe in premonition, and 38% of us believe in Ghosts, but I bet many of you will see through that.

Lucy Bannerman also covers a Halloween theme in her Times 31/10/07 article - Why the British Believe they still have a reason to thank their lucky stars.

She says "Scepticism is perhaps not as prevalent as we thought" would of course be batty if you believed that!

Wafa Sultan criticises fellow Muslims on Al Jazeera

A secular Muslim woman, called Wafa Sultan, a psychologist by profession, stands up for her own rights and the rights of religious and secular people around the world.

Video or Digg Video

The body language of the cleric is most interesting. Beck and Cowan in Spiral Dynamics (p46) characterise what is taking place in this video as a clash between what they call the Blue valueMeme and the Orange+ vMeme.

The Blue vMeme sees a world where you... Sacrifice oneself to the transcendent Cause,Truth, Right Path, The order enforces code of conduct based on eternal absolute principals, Righteous living produces stability now and guarantees future reward. Impulsivity is controlled through guilt , everybody has their proper place, Law regulations and discipline build character and moral fibre.The challenge facing a Blue vMeme is that it cannot conceive / understand vMemes beyond itself.

The Orange vMeme believes that change and advancement are inherent, progress comes from learning natures secrets, manipulate the resources of the eart for common good, optimistic, societies prosper through strategy, technology and competitiveness.

Beyond Orange are Green vMeme, feeling sensitivity, spread earth's resources, reconciliation, refresh spirituality, Yellow vMeme, life is a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies sytems and forms, flexibility, spontaneity, knowledge and competency supersede rank, power and status, differences can be integrated, Turquosie vMeme holistic intuitive thinking, everything connects to everything else, the world is a single dynamic organism...and then comes the Coral vMeme.

On page 235 of Sprial Dynamics Beck and Cowan suggest that the Blue Motto is 'who goes there, friend or foe' going on to say "people respond judgementally, not compassionately, when their BLUE is engaged understanding and tolerance are limited.And on p238 offers an explanation for what happens when blue exits to orange "The truth for BLUE/orange is what one hears from one's own respected proper authority. there is no latitude for deviation from this interpretation.." p243 exiting this phase can be turbulent and strife ridden.

So, it looks like I'm a person of the book!, I've read the text, selected some interesting passages and presented them to you, if I was BLUE I'd say you would have to read and believe, however I prefer that you make up your own mind.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Mcanns - Mis-fortunes of a Managerial Middle Class?

The tragedy of the Mcann case seems relentless, and I'm sure that there are many thousands of parents who in their quiet moments think 'there but for the grace of God go I', or in a less religious way feel 'thank goodness this isn't happening to our family'

As social animals however, we learn from the misfortune of others, and the full diversity of 'blamers', 'dis-believers', cynics and supporters are all part of the social aspects of learning process as we all try to make sense of what has happened and how we should operate in the world in future. Just 50 years ago the reach and power of the Mcann family's social network would have been much less than it is today, and so less people would have known of the incident and less of us could take any lessons from it.

One lesson in particular seems deeply profound for me. It concerns the deep rooted assumptions that the 'well-educated' and professional are trained to believe about their ability to understand, measure and control events. This almost sub-conscious approach to life pervades most of western society and education, and sets up a well educated middle class individual to believe that they are schooled in the ways of the world, to the extent that the can take 'managed' risks that will protect them from the unexpected and unforseen, and that even should things go wrong they can deploy rational, dispassionate, analytical technques to regain 'normality'. A sort of pan of society. Gerry and Kate as qualified professionals are publicly demonstrating this 'life strategy' on every public appearance.

The trouble is...the world is massively unpredictable, there are people that 'smell' opportunities that the noses of the managerial middle class are dulled to. A world where 'you'll be hearing from my solicitor' doesn't count. There is a thing called Fortune and yes it might be a meta-physical notion. Nevertheless one thing it did was sensitise people to the fact that unwanted and unexpected happen. There are some things we can't throw our qualifications and our professional standing at to put it right when it goes wrong.

The Mcanns have paid their dues to Fortuna...I thinks it's time for some good Fortune to come their way!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Royal Blackmail? Saudi king chides UK on terrorism

HRH King Abdullah exercises his right to Freedom of Speech in this report from the BBC.

Is the implication that if you don't 'try harder' to defeat the terrorists we won't buy any more planes off you, or perhaps we might just hike the price of crude up a bit.

He will know, of course, that the deaths and injuring of my countrymen and women, and their brothers and sister in arms from other nations around the world has preserved this right to speak freely. I am delighted he has had the opportunity to make this observation publicly and without censorship.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Who Are The Real Halloween Pumpkin Heads?

So the little monsters are being demonised according to this article Halloween Kids Demonised!

Surely everyone is missing the point here, and no, I'm not banging on about connections with the Dark Arts or concerns over 'normalising' what would typically be described as harrasment, begging, extortion and blackmail as 'just childish fun'

I'm talking about the total lack of critical-thinking in the way that we are duped into participating in what is nothing less than a Retail Scam. The sole and only purpose of the modern Halloween trick or treat mentatlity is to generate retail sales of cheap plastic teeth, large orange vegetables, and green face paint.

What other 'celebrations' are likely to be targets as retailers strive to avoid the cyclical (should that be sicklical?) ups and downs of their business? I'm sure they are scanning Wikipedia
as we speak.

So who are the real pumpkin heads here? Why don't we simply spend 365 days celebrating the cheeky antics of the Wallet Imp who mysteriously sneeks into our bank accounts and nicks all of our money!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Is Your Mind like Your Garage?

photo credit howard french

They say owners look like their dogs, well I wonder if you agree that garages reflect the mind of the owner!

I moved house 8 years ago and there are boxes of things that I just 'had to save and remember from the past', something to keep 'for the kids'...and do I do any of these things ...of course not. The stuff from the past is not relevant, any lessons worth keeping have been absorbed and become part of me, the junk boxes of 'perhaps's and maybe's' aren't really needed, and as for the kids...why would they want any of my old stuff? they'll want to do things their way and rightly so!

My garage sure needs are sort out, I'd like to open the door and see everything orderly and tidied away. What I need is something like these:

garage storage cabinets

The people at Car Guy have got is sussed. They know that the physical spaces we create around us probably reflect the mental spaces we have.

Time to sort out the clutter!!

How do we know what's in Montegomery's mind?

The defence lawyer in the gruesome case of Lisa Montgomery has made a diminished responsibility plea based on the claim that she is mentally ill on account of a history of child abuse. The prosecutors claim that she is making it all up.

How do we know? If you lean towards a Logical Positivist outlook then only empirical evidence can be taken as a claim to truth. The arch exponent of this line of thinking was B.F.Skinner noted for his use of behavioursim as the only way to conduct psychology. In other words he claimed that psycho-analysis was pseudo-science as it speculated on the workings of the mind rather than restricting itself to the observable.

The prosectors will be taking this line...and, unpalatable as it might seem...what if the defence are correct?

Thursday, 25 October 2007

The Path Away From or Towards Gullibility?

Well,I would believe this wouldn't I, Spooky!

Your Life Path Number is 11

Your purpose in life is to inspire others

Your amazing energy draws people to you, and you give them great insight in return.
You hold a great amount of power over others, without even trying.
You have the makings of an inventor, artist, religious leader, or prophet.

In love, you are sensitive and passionate. You connect with your partner on a very deep level.

You have great abilities, but you are often way too critical of yourself.
You don't fit in - and instead of celebrating your differences, you dwell on them.
You have high expectations of yourself. But sometimes you set them too high and don't achieve anything.

X Factor Audience Gullibility

Do me a favour! Just how gullible does the X Factor production team think we all are!
Do they really think that the 'drama' of Sharon's Walk Out was seen by the general public as nothing other than a carefully scripted event adding yet another fantasy theme to the 'meta-entertainment' exercise known as The X Factor. It's sole purpose is to offer the 'Celebophiliacs' who watch and participate in this weekly media circus a completely socially constructed world to participate in, dulled to the fact that they are all 'puppets' being danced around by the Master Puppeteer.The blurring of the imaginary and reality, the expectation and the experience is the over-arching strategy of this money making machine.

Fuse the views with the news and you get Is Sharon Back? At an entertainment level all of this is, of course, benign rollicking good fun, however everything has its dark side. When fantasy is smudged with reality the name of the game is exploitation and deliberate manipulation of the less knowing and less knowledgeable members of society.Bamby a nice cartoon? or a social meta-message about self-reliance.

Big Media and Big Money have the power and authority to shape our worlds...keep your Gullibility Helmet on and make sure they don't shape your mind as well!

WOW! another award

Another surprise in the e-mail today when Jackie who created The Painted Veil has given Gullibility a Silver Recommended Read. Judges Jackie and Zubli are fantastic community builders and faciltators and for me represent the good things about social-networking.

I find it amazing that there are still so many people that are unaware of the social-media/ networking phenomeon. I was facilitating a management development session yesterday and only 2 people out of 25 had any idea what MyBloglog, Digg, Delicious, Stumble, Technorati etc were. When we discussed the theme more the 'scales fell from their eyes' as they saw it a way to improve all sorts of information and knowledge management problems they were having that 'conevntional' methods and technologies couldn't sort out.

I'd point them to Jackie and Zubli every time as exemplars of how to create and develop vitual communities...Rock on Guys!!!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Gullible Childhood Memories

I Stumbled across an interesting link today that leads to a critical conversation concerning Freud's psycho-analytic thinking conducted by Professor Frederick Crews and Online News Hour's Susan Dentzer a few years back.

This is a good example of the need for us all to keep the critical faculty alive regardless of the 'authority' and 'reputation' an individual might have, otherwise we might gullibly tumble into a state of blind faith. This 'state' might also leave us open to being in a condition of Reification where we accept people, facts things as 'givens' and unassailable.

The Wikipedia entry also lead to this fascinating list of Fallacies which do you use?

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

A Hilarious piece by Bill Maher on gullibility

Comedian Bill Maher has a distinct talent for cutting through nonsense. Check out his latest post on gullibility in America on the It's hilarious.

read more | digg story

Monday, 22 October 2007

Management Buyouts - Gullibility Personified?

I was looking through 'incoming' on Feedburner yesterday and noticed an interesting search that was asking about the advantages and disadvantages of management buyouts.

Having had hands on experience of such an adventure I'd like to share some of the insights and experiences I had. I certainly don't intend to offer any prescriptions i.e. 'you should' or 'your must' I simply want to place these experiences before you and you can take from them what you will.

You probably know that a Management Buyout is a route by which the existing management team can buy a 'business sub-division' off a group partner or owner who has decided that the business no longer fits with it's commercial ambitions.

In the late 1980's I was part of a team of 5 who raised £32m to buy our business off its owner. We all thought this was a wonderful opportunity to make money and, following extensive due diligence, grounded strategy making, detailed commercial planning , and faith in our track record...we signed on the dotted line at 4.00a.m. at a posh solicitors in London.

Management buyouts are seen by the 'buyers' as an opportunity to fulfill their destiny, put the things right that were wrong with business, and .......crucially make an exit (trade sale or flotation) for a profit.

Having a viable 'exit' strategy is the first thing on the plan...and like the rest of plan it has to be realistic and achievable.

In our case the 'next year we'll all be millionaires' scenario didn't work out as we envisaged, and after 8 (instead of the typical 4 year) lending horizon, the lending banks got fed up and did a 'fire sale' of the business--- despite the turn over averaging £25m and net profits of £3.5m. How did this happen?

a) We overpaid for the business, desire to own the company we loved coloured our judgement. This meant that the financial covenants were always going to be demanding.

b) We got hit by 'uncontrollable, unexpected external factors (N.Rock eat your heart out). Interest rates soared to 15% and 25% of our turnover was lost as a key overseas market declared our products 'illegal'!!

c) Unable to meet covenants we re-financed which handed the banks effective control of the business, and although we were lucky they were supportive they eventually had to make commercial decision to suit themselves

d) We couldn't float as we were too no exit there

e) we weren't able to make a trade sale... our asking price was too high...and there was board disharmony regarding 'how' we should sell ourselves (deep and dark that one!) have to ask why do parents/ partners want to divest? is it because of some honourable sense that business doesn't fit the portfolio?...of course not! it's for one of two reasons...the business is a strategic problem...either unprofitable or in a strategic cul-de sac...or there is no prospect of making a trade sale other than to the management (a potentially gullible management team at that)Keep your eyes on Virgin Stores over coming months.

The allure of a management buyout, the kudos down the golf club are all tempting reasons. However I would urge caution. Often the price you pay is for the 'good-will' but think...where does this come from...if the senior team have created it and manage it then why not simply start on your own??? OK you might want the plant and I.P assets, but buy these prudently - remember you are in a negotiation not a sweet shop! What do you 'really ' need?

Another case I'm familiar with is in the Sports industry - badminton shuttlecocks - to be precise. The management team (proud of their technical capability) bought out their manufacturing business to compete in a globally competitive market place. They believed that their technical and manufacturing skill would win them business. Regrettably their cost base would never compete globally and they 'missed the point' in terms of 'need' when it came to quality. The exacting standards they produced were simply not needed by the mass market and so they priced themselves out.

The parent company had 'seen' these difficulties for the business, and decided to 'get-rid' to a willing and naive management team.

So, to contradict myself, my advice would be...take off the rose coloured spectacles, turn the chess board around and look at the position form the sellers point of view, buy cheap, and don't gullibly believe that your passion, innovativeness and dedication will win the day. There are some big hairy monsters out there!

And might do no worse than considering the following
Common Money Mistakes before you cough up the dosh for that buyout!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Through Which Lens Do You See the World?

Do like to see structure and hierarchy, order and neat systems? Is the world out there simply mirrored in your mind as it is 'out there'?

In which case you probably like to make sense of the world through a Modernist gaze

On the other hand, things might appear as they seem, we might not be able to trust our senses to report an accurate view of the world. We might even play a part in constructing the reality we perceive.

In which case a Post -Modern gaze might be for you.

Whatever the case, unless we learn that all of our theories of causal explanation and all of our theories for success are encoded with our philosophical assumptions we stand a chance of becoming very very good at being gullible.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

War on Terror - Phone In Votes Uncounted Shock!

Picking up on a post by The Consumerist about Senate approval for phone tapping got me thinking about an article I read recently by Keith Grint in the Sage Publications journal Human relations, which I'm afraid you will have to subscribe to to read in full called Problems, Problems Problems: the social construction of 'leadership'

This is a fascinating article in which Grint discusses the whole concept of The War on Terror. Significantly for The Consumerists post Grint offers an explanation for how such things as 'phone tapping' become justified.

Extending the work of Rittel and Webber, Grint suggests that leaders characterise situations for the consumption of those they wish to influence as:

Tame Problems - where the situation and solutions for dealing with them are 'tried and tested'

Wicked Problems - where the situation is ambiguous and complex and requires imaginative, non-routine solutions

Crises - where the situation is depicted as a clear and present danger that warrants sacrifices to be made in terms of due process, and legal obligations

An example of tame interpretation of the Cuban Missile affair is given in which the military saw it as a confrontation that could be solved by 'bombing the hell out of the enemy' with tried and tested means; a known problem with a known solution. The Kennedys however saw it as a wicked problem, more complex and uncertain and sought a solution outside conventional lines through a sophisticated and tough negotiation.

As for The War on Terror, Grint suggests this has been painted as a Crisis to justify the favoured course of action of the administration. Whereas, that the annual global death rates from road traffic accidents,HIV/AIDS, breathing problems, diarrhoea and smoking are 'hugely more significant than terrorist incidents (Grint 2005 quoting WHO stats)

In 2000 one million (yes one million!) people committed suicide, and such it is strange that we don't have as Grint says a Global War on Suicide, or a Global War on Diarrhoea where there are 4 billion cases per annum. (How about John tapping?)

The 'Crisis' status simply serves to endorse the reality that terrorism is an assymetric endevour in favour of the terrorist and that the political significance outweighs the empirical evidence. A 'command' style of governing is justified by this approach and any other attempt to characterise the problem as 'Wicked' requiring debate and questioning of the methods can easily be dismissed as 'weakness that won't happen on my watch'

What I'm wondering is...if the administration have got it taped (sic) as a Crisis why do they care what people might saying on the phone to each other because 'talking' about the subject is a sign of weakness!?

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

To develop critcial thinking ...first develop critical thinking

image credit
Orange Papers

An interesting post by Ben Goldacre discusses the activities of Mind Gym and the reaction he has received following a critical review that he posted.

I find it exteremely worrying that some people who have responsibility for educating young minds lack the critical thinking capability needed in themselves that is needed to develop the critical minds of others, and worse still use students as 'guinea pigs' whilst they tinker around socially experimenting with the latest 'gee whizz' idea. It seems that some educators are as gullible as some business people who fall for the charms of 'Marketing Mystics' claiming to be the sole path to powerful consumer insight.

This is simply evidence of a total lack of imagination and capability in the eduators who abdicate responsibility for their role to others, in the same way that marketing managers abdicate their role to adverstising and research agencies. These people can 'manage' a given system but lack any capability of inventing a system in the first place.

As Florence Nightingale wrote on 28th January 1856 to Colonel Lefroy about the incompetent Dr Hall who was in charge of the General Hospital in Crimea...

"Dr hall is indefatigable in detailed work, and wants only a governing system to work under. But, he is wholly incapable of orginating one" see Goldie S.M. Florence Nightingale: Letters From The Crimea

Ken Wilber talks about 'flatland' where the subjective is downplayed in favour of the objective in his four quadrants model. Sheffield Academic John Darwin has coined the phrase 'fad-land' to characterise gullible obession with supposedly rational and objective tools and techniques.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Climate Change Makes You Overweight!

CDC Foundation

Lucky readers will have picked up a free pair of 'bull-shit' deflectors and a pair of 'sanity goggles' with the last edition of Gullibility. ...just in time to save them from being duped by this latest story from the BBC entitled Obesity As Bad as Climate Change

Now, notwithstanding the personal challenges obesity might bring, and the burden on medi-care etc. I fail to see the comparison, between a situation that affects the whole planet and mankind's future existence and the potential closure of Macdonalds and Burger King.

The gravity (sic) of the problem can in no way be associated with the end of civilisation as we know it. Furthermore the systemic influence of climate change will in effect solve the problem naturally...things will get so hot that people will sweat more, and crops will die so there will be less to eat.

A classic case of the social construction of an issue into crisis. Next month burgeritis will be positioned as a terrorist threat no doubt!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Dogma, Questions and Gullibility

I had a thought this morning as I was writing a comment on a blog called Thirst For Freedom which got me thinking about the rants and rows that occur when people 'take positions' on matters of social truth. Now this might have been self-evident to you for ages, however the penny has just dropped with me!

Here's what I think:

If we are all about 'questions' we find no answers

If we are all about 'answers' we deny all questions

If anyone knows of other versions of this line of thinking from another source let me know. Why?...because I said so!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Who said the Truth is Black and White

Eight men are accused of tricking victims that chemicals could turn paper into money.

I have to admit that listening to this story initially brought a smile, and then I thought, hold on, who's to say that I wouldn't have been duped in the same way.

BBC News Money Scam

The ususal suspects of a)lack of critical thinking, b)unwarranted expectation of significant benefit, c)not probing for details, d) the slick confidence of the perpetrators, all left the victims in a state of gullibility.

And it looks like it is world wide too Nigerian Marked Currency Scam

Thursday, 11 October 2007

For the avoidance of doubt

Intrigued by the comment to the previous post, a little 'desk research' uncovered the following.

Since the start of 2007, eight young people have lost their lives in shootings - six in London, one in Manchester and now the killing of 11-year-old Rhys (J) in Liverpool.

A Times survey found that a firearms offence was committed once every five hours in Great Britain in the six days after Danielle Beccan's death.

For full details please see UK Gun Crime

One can only assume that anyone who interprets the above as a 'low frequency' of deaths from firearms is on a sales commission from the ammunition suppliers!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

SuccessTech Shootings how gullible do we have to be?

Hot on the heels of the Wisconsin shooting we have a 14 year old going on the rampage, and guess what, the 'explanation machines' are going to swing into action and the usual suspects will take up their predictable positions on the issue of whether it's guns or people that take the lives of human beings.

We could even try and get 'really' sophisticated and argue that it might even be the 'bullet' or the ammuniton manufacturer executives. We have to have our cause and our reason to blame.

What if a less obvious explanation gave an insight as to the cause? This is hinted at in a post that can be found at Blogging To Blame that suggests that the cause behind the behaviour of the perpetrator is due to the social construction of their world. In other words the cause lies in the mind of the perpetrator and the choice he took based on the 'sense' he made of his situation. What on earth do you mean by that, you might say? Surely it's as simple as guns/no guns, something wrong in his genetic make-up, or the way he was brought up. Good old nurture versus nature, NRA versus the rest of us, individual freedom versus big government.

Adolescent gun-crime keeps happening time and time again (it's even becoming frequent in the UK where guns are illegal) and none of those reasons seem to offer any real prospect of prevention. So, maybe it's time for an unconventional slant that breaks with the traditionally presented arguments. (Just as William Webb Ellis decided to stop playing by the rules of soccer to create the new sport of rugby, this explanation is breaking with traditional rules too. The elements of the argument are straightforward...

a) Contemporary society and its obsession with celebrity sets the tone for young people to take themsleves too seriously. Their behaviour is continually 'drip-fed' into the minds of adolescents through the media and entertainment industries, which in turn is reinforced by associative individual and product imagery put out by advertisers.

b) Their role models are seen to be rebels and rule breakers and celebrate an excessive right to individual expression in community settings. This 'talk to the hand' attitude whilst at one level is a natural state of rebelliousnes in the growth of a person, becomes destructive to society when it develops into 'whatever' as this reveals a total disregard for personal and community responsibility.

c)Layered onto this, SuccessTech has inadvertently created a situation wherebye the identity stakes for people who are 'excluded' clashes with a socially constructed expectation of 'high esteem', by institute reputation, and through pedadgogic philosophy of high achiever, hot-house-esque emphasis.

d)The combination of general society messages (I am free to do what I please), with micro society messages (You are an utter failure if you are excluded) creates a powder keg in the immature mind.

e)By thinking about the incident at SuccesTech in 'standard' explanatory terms alternative explanations are not 'seen' and therefore not addressed in the daily community affairs of the institution. SuccesTech has been unsuccessful in developing the non-academic context in which it's students participate.

Stop adolescent gun crime? Simple!

Start developing adolescent minds beyond academic disciplines, vocational necessities, and as proxies to show 'sucess' (sic) in the local education ratings war. This means going beyond any traditional educationalist and managerialist 'quick fixes'such as citizenship and cultural studies to the heart of their philosophical make up of their 'life-worlds'.

Monday, 8 October 2007

The Formula for Truth?

I was intrigued by a recent Stumble I made that introduced a mathematical formula that was totally beyond my comprehension. You can check it out at
Eulers Identity

Now this got me thinking...because this is a mathematical formula I'm quite happy to accept that if the people that 'know' can prove it to be true, then I'll go along with that, as I certainly can't argue either way. Does this mean that I am expressing 'faith' in science?

However, when it comes to the 'truth' of anything that happens between people (social truth) then I am reluctant to accept claims without evidence and understanding, otherwise I leave myself open to being gullible. Not only that, even if I lack expertise (will the creationists in the room, please stand, please stand up) concerning a complex explanation that I don't understand, I feel can disagree with it, simply because I have the ability to express and opinion.

This is where the fluffy weakness of post-modernism lies. In allowing the 'equi-validity' of any views that are expressed, they allow space for claims that 'science' is simply another of any number of 'expressed explanations' for how things are in the world. The reality is, some explanations are better than others, and science is one of them.

Carbon dating is not a 'point of view' it gives a time period(between parameters). Now I don't understand the details of the physics behind the process, but I'm more prepared to believe that opinion than the random pap of someone who trusts to guesswork.

Maybe 'life-events' correspond to a 'formula' that we haven't the skill to understand at the moment, and that's why the outcome of events often seem 'strange but true'

Saturday, 6 October 2007

The Gullibility of Marion Jones

image credit BBC

It seems that every aspect of human aspiration can have a dark side, which we unconsciously delete, or purposefully ignore as we strive towards its attainment. Denial of this 'dark-side' leaves us susceptible to mistakes of judgement because we are failing to consider our position holistically.

Miss Jones was seduced by the lure of success and an over-emphasis on success regardless of the cost.

A vicious circle ensued, that became self reinforcing. The greater the success, the greater the authority and voice, the greater the sense of her personal infallibility. That was...until the dissonance within her (pushed along by challenges and accusations) meant she stepped into her Gamma zone and she had to recocile the reality with the facade

The 'on the courtroom steps' speech was heavily 'therapeutic' in its tone and language. "I'm to blame, I've been stupid etc". The prospect for learning seems quite good.

And...I'm left feeling...So What, this all just 'so what'...this is what humans do, and its her turn to have a go...Do they do Gold medals in Self Deprecation these days?

Friday, 5 October 2007

Pay Per Post reduces initial sense of Gullibility

A few posts back I shared with you how I'd seen adverts on various blogs about Pay Per Post and how I had no idea about how it worked and what the implications were for my blog, its readership, or my gullibility.

I wasn't sure what the 'idea' was so I simply gave it a go, based on the promise that if my introductory post was approved I would get $20. Well I am delighted to tell you that the promise was kept and I have just received $20.Blimey! (how British LOL)

Keeping a critical eye on the process, I was wondering what the 'catch' was, when I realised that, in actual fact the whole process was very familiar to me from my commercial days. Essentially (apart from the obvious network marketing process) Pay Per Post is a way of creating a form of Advertorial where products and services are 'promoted' inside an editorial review. You get paid a scalable fee for publishing this advertorial on your blog.

The idea is to convey trust and authenticity, that is sometimes not there with standard advertising. So, in one sense it relies on the reader being a tiny bit 'gullible' concerning the true purpose of the text.

Nevertheless it does allow for a more elaborate and detailed review of the product and service, which provided the reader recognises that it is written from a 'pro' product/service perspective is fine.

Of course, you will know that there are criticisms of the Pay Per Post idea, some bloggers feel that it compromises the 'true' nature & spirit of social networking, others claim that the process for being accepted on PPP for post opportunities is a quite hit and miss. What I can say is PPP have been true to their word so far, and so let's see how it goes. I certainly won't be falling fornaive inductivism and assuming that good news will continue adinfinitum.

Any how, if the PPP idea doesn't offend your blogging values, why not give it a go? Imagine...getting $20 for doing what you are good at because its an interesting new experience.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Britney - private tragedy - public entertainment

Yet another example of the unintended side effects of fame. When you're in the entertainment business you really are 'in the entertainment business'

Now isn't that a classic case of Gullibility. Not anticipating the consequences of your decisions, assuming that, as things were in the past they will continue to be in the future, and presuming that the way the ordinary 'wrinkles' of life have previously been ironed out with your money, success, adulation and body guards, the exceptional wrinkles in life can be 'ironed' out in the same way too.

Britney, just like the rest of us is facing one of those times where her whole world is being 're-designed' around her - past certainties don't apply. Check out any reading on Transitions and the pattern that emerges is that we enter a really challenging and disorientating space before we can come out (hopefully) the other side with a new, more developed world view and identity. Beck and Cowan in Spiral Dynamics refer to this space as the Gamma Stage for example.

For most of us when a marriage or relationship breaks down this is done relatively privately, and for some, the mad drinking, reckless out on the town excursions, re-learning chat up lines, re-learning how to handle chat-up lines are all part of the process of re-framing our world view. For Britney she is doing it for millions, and at a personal cost and risk that is as un-familiar to us as was her success.

Who is advising and caring for her in this process? Sure, she may have been Bratney Spears, however she deserves the right to 'sort' this stage of her life out without being made into a side-show spectatcular. AND...if its herself that seems to insist on being that side-show then shame on the inept 'management company' for ducking out 'for professional reasons' (..they can't make money I presume?) Someone in that crappy little business should have seen a more profound and deeper solution to the problem of their client and advised accordingly.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Stumbling across the truth?

You might find the following link worth a visit Just suppose this were true…. which is posted on a really neat site called Achievement in Mind.

On thing is for sure, you'd be gullible if you didn't have at least a general awareness and understanding of NLP and as a form of applied psychology it has its afficiandos and its critics. What it's really good at is making people aware of their prior assumptions and how they guide their actions in the world. Like all 'tool's' it's worth keeping a critically open mind, however once you are aware the techniques you will notice how people use them in job interviews, selling situations, dating, advertising, and anywhere else where social influence is needed

WOW! another award

What a great suprise! Floyd Craig has just informed me that Gullibility has been given a 'peer group' award - how cool is that. You can read more through floyds secrets of the world

Floyd has a couple of blogs that really appeal to my interest in the strange and unknown, ancient mysteries and the like.