Sunday, 30 September 2007

Burma - Freedom, Power and Gullibility

Image credits BBC and Getty Images

The crisis in Burma is a stage for the enactment of Gullibility. The bravery of the Burmese people today however is a lesson for us all to remain vigiliant for the slightest stirrings of the abuse of power at any time. The time leading up the general's coup in 1962 must have been a 'gullible context' where people believed that 'such a thing could never happen'.

It is now the turn of the Generals to be gullible. Gullible in their astrological beliefs, gullible in their belief of eternal tenure, gullible in the belief that abuse and expression of military of power will preserve their position, and gullible in the belief that the world and their own people will allow them to behave with impunity.

The interesting thing about gullibility is that people at some time 'wise up' and, in proportion to the 'gulling' they assert revenge. There is a positive correlation between the abuse of belief and the severity of retribution.

Already the Generals will have consulted their mystics and oracles about the visit of the UN envoy, and they will have presumed his gullibility and their untouchability. In doing so they are exhibiting the 'gullibility paradox' - assuming gullibility in others shows the gullibility in me.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Stop Abuse!

Abuse of awareness, abuse of understanding, and abuse of human potential might not catch the attention and make the headlines in the same way as 'child battering, 'animal cruelty' and 'work-place' bullying' do.

Their damage and long-term consequences for individuals and society are, nevertheless as profound as they are subtle. Abusers recognise (instinctively or overtly) that they can exploit the habit of humans for trying to make sense of their worlds and making the best of themselves with the capabilities.

Abusers 'know' what they are doing when they 'seal' others away from knowing about different ways of doing things, from being aware of alterantives and choices, and they supress information that carries consequences for the future well being of the individual they are abusing by denying the right of choice through restriction. Where is the difference between a 'cult', faith, government, family, work group,or a commercial organisation, in this regard?

Abusers who fear the capabilities of others, contain those that threaten them through destruction of reputation, insinuations of poor judgement, the limits of their own imagination, and denial of opportunity. These people are spending, without right, the 'life-span' of others for their own ends. Where is the similarity between a dictator, a boss, a faith leader, or a spouse in this regard?

In short people who abuse Truth and Talent are committing a crime of humanity.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

You're Gullible if you don't know what you eat!

A Postivist approach to cooking relies on peeling back the onion, and finely dicing the data.

By rolling back the frontiers of cooking we can digest the reasons for the precise time when a boiled egg becomes hard boiled, and why a souffle collapses. This is the realm of natural science, and ideal for those of you with a taste for chemistry and physics. So this Stumble will provide the Engineers amongst you with the ideal cookery resource Cooking For Engineers I feel a neo-logism coming on - how about Gastroneers?

It is a 'truth of fact' that:

200ml/7¼fl oz double cream
2 tbsp honey
few drops of vanilla essence
55g/2oz Hobnobs or similar biscuits, crushed
55g/2oz raspberries, crushed
For the coulis
85g/3oz raspberries
1-2 tbsp icing sugar
½ lime, juice only

will get you in a Mess

However it is a 'truth of meaning' if you think its the best pudding ever or simply life threatening.

Monday, 24 September 2007


Scott Macarthur author of MaCarthurs Rant is drumming up support for a charity blogathon which I'm sure you won't mind helping out with. Details can also be found via The Work Clinic This only costs a bit of your time and because its for a good cause you'll get lots of 'brownie points'

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Tom Cruise Belief, Religion, Church, Cult - where's the difference?

The controversy in Germany over whether Tom Cruise should be allowed to play Claus von Stauffenberg one the key conspirators in 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler in his new film is an interesting twist on how we make distinctions between different types of belief.

The business of classification (as any biologist knows) relies on making judgements about similarities and differences the philosophical and logical nuts and bolts of which are explored by Bertrand_Russel and A.N.Whitehead and the Theory of Logical Types

The German authorities originally claimed that Cruise should be barred from filming the role in Germany because he was an adherent to Scientology which they described as..."a cult that masquerades as a church to make money" (yahoo news)

Now, how many of you reading this (regardless of your views pro/against) find the distinction interesting, as there seems to be an implied acceptance that if I categorise 'my belief system, religion' as OK and it collects money then 'that's fine' whereas if I classify 'your belief system, religion' to be not even a 'cult' (which would be bad enough) but a money making corporation then that is totally unacceptable.

All I can say is, it's a good job Mr Cruise doesn't work for a bank...which despite worshipping the cult of cash, they even worse, masquerade as 'service organisations' to make money...

This leaves me puzzling over where the difference lies between a Religion and a Cult, and Belief and Knowledge... perhaps it's all in our heads?

If only the McCanns had been told this!

10 things to remember when confronted by the police

As Elias Canetti said "the ultimate freedom is not having to give an answer"

Friday, 21 September 2007

Connections and Gullibility

dot image from

Gregory Bateson talked about how we notice the pattern that connects and how this important skill enables us to makes sense of information and invent new concepts.

Nevertheless this skill also has a 'dark-side' in that it can cause us to make connections that aren't valid. Advertisers rely on us making 'leaps of faith' between the information they present to us and how it connects to us through the process of association We do this all the time when we 'jump to conclusions'

Just how easily we 'connect' to things that have no real connection has just happened to me when picking a news item from Yahoo about about a shooting in Sheffield UK. (you could, of course argue that because a connection is made that particular is real in itself!)

A teenage boy was undergoing an operation to remove a bullet from his arm after an apparent drive-by shooting.

The 16-year-old was taken to hospital after he was shot from a vehicle on Carlisle Street in Sheffield at about 9.30pm on Thursday, a South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said.

The boy was expected to have surgery to remove the bullet but the injury was not thought to be life-threatening.

Some connections...

i) I do work in Sheffield
ii) I was born in Carlisle
iii) I have a teenage son
iv) My son was 'shot' by a neighbour with a pellet gun once

It's interesting that these things give us a sense of 'proximity' where non actually exists.

Are you a Genius?

You might like to nip over to this post become a critical thinker because it gives a neat explanation of key characteristics.

We Stand they don't Deliver

photo credited to The BBC

The example in the previous post of Arriva trains in the UK is a classic case of corporate social irresponsibility that is discussed in a really interesting article titled The Joys of a Crushed Commuter by Mark Steel who describes the reality of so called 'service' provision that is typical of poorly led organisations that find themselves in a quasi-monopolistic situations.

I wonder if the obviously 'techno-financial' mindset of the Arriva management team recognises the irony of their behaviour in the notion of customer journey and the way they think about their business? Clearly 'we' the paying passengers, are, in their eyes are merely 'items' that need to be logistcially shunted (sic) around the railnetwork (should that be notwork?) according to some operational research algorithm. Whereas a marketing orientated senior management team would be driven by offering value (profitably, of course) by a deep understanding of the customer journey. How gullible are the inept Arriva management team to think that avoiding the provision of good customer service will secure their tenure of the rail franchise. Clearly they are in it for the short -term, as evidenced by their short-term thinking.

Customers might be 'dependent' on the service but they are not Gullible, and to underestimate the critical-thinking of your customers will become an increasingly critical :) issue for companies in the 21st century. Smooth words about service commitment will not be believed without evidence and un-questioning acceptance of supposedly 'authoratative' statements from so called business leaders will be ridiculed.

A £20 penalty fare is simply the tip of a huge ice-berg that is in the path of any fat, arrogant, complacent organisation.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Arriva Trains become 21st century Highway Men

In a staggering piece of customer care avoidance which makes most other forms of train service ineptitude pale into insignificance, it has been announced that Arriva trains are going to Penalise, yes, Penalise bona fide passengers not just fare dodgers.

read more | digg story

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Rock Steady?

There is an interesting relationship between the 'truth' of situation and what people really believe. The recent run on the Northern Rock bank also illustrates how, in moments of crisis people will decide to make sense of situations themselves rather than accept statements from people supposedly in authority.

Don't you think it is interesting (sic) how people decide when to trust an 'authority' and when to ignore it, such that 'I'll trust in the authority of my religious leaders about my moral and ethical conduct, however today I do not to trust the authority of financial managers' . What would it take for there to be a 'run' on Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc etc? Isn't ironic, don't you think...that the Christian Church was built on The Rock

The sometimes futile effect of 'authoritative' statements can be shown by the gap that is created between the expectation of political, religious and business leaders(sic)when faced with a crisis and the experience & beliefs of the populations they seek to influence. Meta-Physical authorities do have a 'trump' card known as 'Faith' however. Imagine...a bank excommunicating you for not having 'faith' in their pronouncements.

In the film Independence Day the President says:
So far these things have not become hostile. For the moment let's assume they won't. Connie, let's issue statements advising people not to panic, to stay home and take cover....

and in the news on the 15th September

The chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, John McFall, said Northern Rock's customers should not panic.

What is really interesting about any situation such as this is how it shows the fragility of authority. Something that is normally taken for granted suddenly evaporates in the light of a new interpretation of 'the facts'

If any of these people understood the effects of hypnotic language from writers such as Kevin Hogan and Steven Heller they would realise that the statement 'Don't Panic' is actually a command to do that very thing because many of us sub-consciously delete the word 'don't' when we hear it as a counter-reaction to authoritative statements.

You will of course know that visiting Gullibility regularly will help develop your critical thinking because you can trust it to provide you with ideas that will keep you one step ahead.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Bin Laden a Terrorist? - You Must be Joking

As you know, the funny thing about humour is the way it often contains a 'message' about the inner truth of a situation. Marina Hyde picked up on this in her recent article in Guardian Unlimited Don't Flatter Terrorists with po faced hush, mock them

Here's a snippet...

Why do wannabe terrorists bother scrambling on their tummies under all those rope nets in the shadow of the Hindu Kush? No disrespect, but all their eventual mission will involve is setting fire to their trainers in an aisle seat once the captain has switched the seat belts sign off and the crew have commenced their in-flight service. Seems an awful waste of a fortnight in Pakistan to have spent it practising for some Junior Action Man contest that will never happen.

The Brits have certainly got a reputation for creating jokes about even the most terrible of circumstances and this has been described as ranging from the outright insensitive to more profound psycho-analytical explanations of 'coping'

Something 'bad' only has to happen and seconds later the cell/mobile phone is buzzing with the latest wise crack and nothing is 'off limits'

This is nothing new - Hitler only had one ball, and the other is in the Albert Hall was sang to the tune of Colonel Bogey during WW2 and later

The reality is that 'labels' are powerful and they have a significant role to play in characterising the 'truth' of a situation. If you didn't know, this has even been given a name by folks interested in this sort thing of the Linguistic Turn inspired by the work of Wittgenstein in which the ideas is that names and labels create a social reality. Just think what comes to mind when you read... the French are great lovers, Redneck, Feminist, Star, Loser, etc. Of course, this can lead to the land of 'Political Correctness' and it's interesting that the PC brigade aren't up in arms (would they have the guts?) saying how awful it is describing OBL as a 'terrorist' as this is a disparaging social label...

The key point in this is to recognise that 'taking the mickey' is separate from any assessment of the specific consequences. This is necessary, in order for us to remember that the perpetrators are simply human beings doing bad things not some uncontrollable demon with meta-physical reach beyond our power.

So on that note...Osama is clearly the Joker in the Paki...and I bet he has only got one ball, the other is in a cave in Tora Bora...hmmm must try harder :)

Friday, 14 September 2007

Truth and Fact we can manufacture either

The thing about facts is that's exactly what they are not - neitzche

read more | digg story

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Might a Mullah call this The Wrath of God?

It is not uncommon for meta-physical explanations to be given for destructive natural events. This is especially the case if you hold a predominantly Purple value Meme From this particular 'world view', according to Beck and Cowan people are predisposed to giving non-scientific, mystical reasons for natures behaviour.

As we know, cataclysms are often cited as punishments from God for the errant behaviour of groups of people. Personally I wouldn't wish any misfortune on the people of Indonesia and it seems that they are bearing the brunt of some serious geological disturbances.

If I was to take a meta-physical line however, I notice that the population of Indonesia is 88% Muslim So what pray (sic) might a Mullah's explanation be for such unfortunate events to befall these people? what on earth have they done wrong?

Is it plausible that they are receiving punishment on account of the despicable behaviour of certain individuals who purport to follow their faith?

Surely you can't have your cake and eat it? Bad things happen to people in western society and the Mullahs say its God's wrath against a decadent society, bad things happen to Indonesians and suddenly they are geo-physicists!

Conversely this MUST also mean that if we subscribe to the 'call' from OBL to convert, then we are within our rights to claim that the Indonesian earthquakes are God's punishment for AQ's murder of innocents.

Tectonic activity seems the most probable reason...

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Osama Sticks One In His Own Net

Boring! Boring! Boring! came the chant from the crowds as OBL captain of the AQ All Stars predictably headed one into his own net today.

The ageing striker, showed that months of incomplete sleep were affecting his ball control as he tucked one effortlessly past his own keeper. The old sparkle seems to have deserted him, and he's lost his touch, everytime he runs out on the pitch the crowd know what he's going to do before he does it, an own goal just confirms this.

It was noticeable that more players on the bench were reluctant in coming forward as it began to dawn on them that playing in the match might just result in rapid end to their careers.

Recent signing Guli Al Bull was overheard in the tunnel saying "The players are the one's that seem to be making all the sacrifices out there on the pitch, and he seems to be getting all the credit. It's Ok for him to say 'the lad done well' and 'I'm over the moon' when it's not him being stretchered off...he's rapidly loosing credibility in the locker room"

It seems, said soccer pundit Al Keeder, that his net-work leaves alot to be desired.

The Twin Towers of Science and Religion?

You will know,of course, that beliefs are powerful things. I am puzzled as to how the perpetrators of 911 'believed' their mentors. Clearly a classic case of belief in the meta-physical in the absence of the empirical.

On a more 'down to earth' level I am even more puzzled by their gullibility in respect of their mentors. Imagine the conversation at AQ HQ..."here's the deal lads, and I'm sure you'll understand why I can't do it myself, I'd love to of course, because the meta-physical rewards are something you'd be mad to give up. Nevertheless in the spirit (sic) of self sacrifice I'm going to let YOU have the opportunity instead of me...Now we know that western science is a sack of potatoes and it is inextricably bound up with the decadence of western consumerism, but just for this after-noon I'd like to go along with the laws of physics because these are what will keep the planes in the air and determine the damage you cause. After that, of course you can go back to believing in the how does that sound? I only wish I was going with you but I've got a cave to re-decorate and a new bed to find..."

Monday, 10 September 2007

The McCann Case might make Turkeys of us all

One of the challenges all of us face when coming to any social judgement about the 'truth' of the desperately sad circumstances the Mcann family find themselves in is the rather disconcerting realisation that our normal use of 'common sense' in the prediction and explanation of social behaviour doesn't apply!

Common sense tell us... (and here we have 'empirical' evidence to support our view - based upon what the close family over the years and most of us over recent months have 'seen')...that the Mcann's are impeccable parents caught up in a nightmare of circumstances that none of us would ever wish to experience.

This is how we 'get by' on daily basis by working on the assumption that new situations will happen in the same way that similar situations have always operated in the past. A simple example would be, I know that if I drop a buttered knife on the floor it will get dirty, I have done this several times and it has always been the case, therefore the same will hold true for future instances that haven't happened yet.

What we are doing here is following a line of what is termed 'inductive reasoning'

We still apply these 'assumptions' to more complex human / social affairs. In the past the Mcann's have been exemplary parents, therefore they will be on all future occaisions. Confronting this line of thinking is a very hard pill to swallow.

The risk however is falling into the trap of what is known as naive inductivism which can be illustrated by the story of the turkey that gets used to the idea of being fed every day at 9 a.m. and that on each day that this occurs, it confirms and strengthens his belief that everyday at 9 a.m he will continue to be fed...until Thanksgiving or Xmas morning and his naive inductivism let's him down because he is killed for dinner!! The turkey was not justified in jumping from experience of the known to experience of the unknown.

The Portuguese investigatory process, and in particular the lack of information, confronts us with the fact that we are unable to 'confirm' anything. Because this seems to be our 'default' social expectation the absence of information causes great distress. We are unable, as we normally expect, to predict future outcomes based upon previous experience. We are... inducting naivley

Karl Popper suggested that we have to accept 'not knowing' and instead of looking to confirm our current assumptions we should explore the possibility of refuting our existing theories.

As counter-intuitve and unsympathetic as the Portuguese approach seems, maybe they are one step ahead of the rest of us Turkeys?

I have to say, that despite this 'academic' pondering, I still believe the McCann's did no harm to their daughter...I think we call it faith in human nature.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Gullibility Truth Opinion and the Mcann Family

This whole tragic affair is being played out before us...and is a current example of the different ways, and how far people feel they need to go to get to the truth.

Here we see examples of the whole range.

meta-physical - belief without emprical evidence
deducted - application of logic to create 'theories'
inducted - knowledge from empirical evidence
socially constructed - truth derived from consensus of meaning
critically assessed - skepticism prevails
truth of 'fact'- the evidence
truth of 'meaning' - sense-making of what is known

The McCann family's 'belief' in the return of their daughter - meta-physical

The McCann family's 'faith' - meta-physical

The Portugeuse crowd, who for some, the 'truth' is that Kate is a bad person - socially constructed

The public (me/you) who speculate on the cause/ effect, the rhyme and the reason - deducted

The Portuguese Police who claim 'evidence' supports their suspicions - inducted

Truth of Fact - Madeleine is Missing, there is blood in a hire car.

Truth of Meaning - Gerry and Kate are regarded as exemplary parents by those close to them, therefore they are victims not perpetrators

The public (me/you) lack clarity of the status of the term 'suspect' and what it really means. We are therefore susceptible to 'filling in the gaps' and could be wrong. In the UK for example, everyone is a suspect until they can be omitted from the enquiry, so why the 'fuss' over this notional change of status? - critically assessed

Our inner thoughts...what if! we and the family have been gulled? - critically assessed

Any social investigation of the truth confronts us with our implicit assumptions about what we think is a 'justified belief' western society we are trained to think that this is invariably based on 'evidence' or 'the facts'

However maybe we are being confronted with Neitzche's observation that:

"the thing about Facts is, that's exactly what they are not"

For me?...I believe the Mcann Family did not harm their daughter...and I believe this without any access to the evidence (meta-physical) here is a Cheer! from me in response to those utterly disgreceful boos. The truth in the end, however, may be stranger than we suspect.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Week-end Barbie-Q

Last week-end I visited Chatsworth House in Derbyshire the UK. In the grounds there signs all over saying NO BARBEQUES and I thought that's a bit O.T.T. until I realised why!

I think jessyratfink might review the business model if the idea is to take off.

Gullibility Banner

Gullibly Addicted to Blog

84%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

The truth is out! After a career in the gaming business and I should have know better. The reasons for my compulsion are very very similar to heavy gaming too.

Variable Intermittent Reinforcement The most powerful form of reinforcement all wonderfully supplied by, Google Analytics, Feeburner, and Blogger Comments. How many visitors today then ? - oh - little and often then suddenly you have a post that hits a memetic nerve and - JACKPOT - 200+ hits in one day!!!

Illusion of Control I decide how much and when I blog, and sure I can choose not to if I want...of course I can...I control IT, it doesn't control fact I can stop any time I want :)

The Legend of the Professional There's this guy I know who always wins! - every time he plays a machine, bets on a horse, plays the cards he wins. He's got inside track you know. If I copy him I'll be a winner too!

The good thing about a second life (sic) in Academia is that I can reflect on and understand the triggers and causes of my habit LOL.

On a serious note if you, or someone you know is touched by this issue in a detrimental way you might consider familiarising yourself with the work of Professor Mark Griffiths

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Combing the world for Gullibility

I suddenly had another Gullibility Flashback today when talking to a friend about making business trips in Europe.

On this occaison I was visiting Cannes in France (Can there be another somewhere else?) and my luggage got lost. This meant having to buy a full set of clothes and personal bits and bobs, one of which was...A Comb...

Not alot could go wrong buying a comb you might think. I'd got high school French, but had underestimated how bad I was at mental arithmetic.

Imagine this...RR wanders into posh shop in Cannes to buy a comb..."Bonjour, je voudrais une peigne" (this would, of course be in Franglais and sound like ''zhuh voodray oon pain') Now this isn't half bad for a bloke who learnt French via Tavorville a tape and cartoon system whose most memorable phrase was "je suis le phantom de la maison onze cent onze" - now telling someone you are a ghost when you are trying to buy a comb is clearly very very useful - (thankyou the British Education System)

Anyhow...I got my comb, walked back to the hotel and then did the 'exchange rate bit' ...(a bit late) ---- and...10 effing quid!!- ouch..The most expensive comb in the universe.

So, to avoid Gullibility when being a tourist, brush up your mental arithemtic, knowledge of exchange rates, don't rely on rusty language skills, and don't believe that just because we are in the EU - native shop keepers won't have an eye for the main chance...

Brain Food

Well, what surprise! a link has been found between Food and Hyperactivity So which bit of 'artifical chemicals in my food will affect my brain' did we not 'get'?

Time for an M&M moment I think 'yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagghhhhh'

Gullibility and Maryannaville Recommend

Here are a sample of some Recommended Reads that we feel represent 'quality' blogging.
Thanks to Saboma for being my jury partner and nudging along the Recommend awards started by Jackie and Zubli

Wicked Thoughts
What Makes Narcissists tick
Totally Useless
Ride It Like You Stole It
Not Quite Black and white
Mcarthurs Rant
The healing power of Laughter

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

This is Amazing!!

Thanks to Jackie at the brilliant Painted Veil and zublihost of a collection of fine blogs for this most unexpected award. How cool is this!!

It's absolutely fantastic to check your mail and find out that your work is appreciated!!


How cool is this! Thanks to Saboma for this auspicious award.

Visit her blog to view other winners and you just got to listen to the You Tube she posted featuring George Carlin. She is definitely a:

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Do Adverts make you Gullible?

Alice in Blogland has raised a really fascinating topic.

I suppose the common thread through many of my posts is the call to action for 'critical thinking' in order to defend your ability to make choices on your own terms and not those who wish to take advantage of you, and I totally recognise the concerns that Alice has regarding the detrimental effects advertising might have on people's health and by implication perception of 'blog quality'

I also sense an implied assumption, that there are those of us who feel that 'blogs' are social dialogue vehicles and not commercial vehicles and 'ner the twain shall meet'. I think forcing a polarity here is worth thinking about maybe...My friend likes gardening and she sells surplus tomatoes.

Of course, advertisers deploy the techniques of applied psychology in the hope of creating a competitive and commercial advantage, and you only have to browse through any of Kevin Hogan's books to glimpse how we can be influenced and persuaded when our guard is down. After all advertisers are tapping into our basic needs for food, safety, advantage and pro-creation. Surely however there is the potential (and personal responsibility?) to become more aware of the influence others can have on us. Blindly accepting, for instance, that a person in a white coat is 'authority' and 'scientific' when in actual fact they are an actor is exactly what toothpaste manufacturers want us to believe.

I have some sympathy with argument that adverts might be bad for your health. (although this is quite a generalisation as some adverts provide un-biased information, choice and have altrusitic motives) I nevertheless agree with those who point out that the continuous drip -feeding of messages into our sub-conscious can affect us (why else would they do it?) What the reinforcing impacts must be on 'day -time' TV addicts of images of people in financial difficulty I don't know. Consumerism is founded upon creating a dissonance between your present 'state' and a desired 'state' and implying through advertising that you are 'unattractive - unless..', and 'poor parent - unless..' etc etc. In some cases this must be detrimental to mental well-being as living in a permanent state of 'believed' inadequacy must surely lead to depression?

So should blogs be 'ad free' and 'why'? What are the fundamental assumptions we are making upon which our position is based? What are the qualities of a 'good' blog in this regard?

Are Social Networking sites the 21st Century equivalent of TV's ersthwhile role as the 'Idiots Lantern'or might we able to develop our critical faculties to such an extent that we can actually 'choose' to click on a link or not.

If you are interested in exploring more on the where the 'blame' might lie for determining the quality of a good or bad blog why not check out Blogging To Blame...oops that was an advert :)

Overcoming Gullibility


This is a leap into the unknown for me because I've decided to see what all the buzz is about regarding Pay per Post. I've seen the link panels around for sometime and a couple of says ago I signed up not really knowing what to expect.

With anything new and on-line I suppose it's understandable that the skepticism gene trips in, however as you might have read me saying on previous posting, 'you never know until you try' In actual fact this was probably better expressed by Sophocles in 415 BC when he is reputed to have said "One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try"

So here goes, an intial post, a paypal account, and checking in to see if there are things that I'm able to blog about that people are interested to hear. It certainly isn't a 'free meal' promise, so its definitely got that in it's favour as I guess the rewards will be proportional to the effort. If anyone else has joined the programme perhaps you could let me know your thoughts too?

I'm really looking forward to exploring this intriguing way of earning an extra few 'bob' (that's shillings for those of you outside the UK, and it's old money £Sd too LOL)

If you fancy giving it a go you might consider clicking through this link. Yes, it is a form of network marketing and a small commission goes to the poster :)

Monday, 3 September 2007

Body Pop

Now you tell me, what happened when it came to 'it's your round mate' in this amazing tale from South Africa

They'd have had some wonderful choice in Cocktails of course < Make mine a Dead Man Walking!

My Gullibility Award goes to the bloke who lost the hearse...

Graph of Gullibility

(c) RR 2007

Do you agree that all healthy relationships (home and work) require an optimum (for the parties concerned ) amount of conferral? Something I noticed as a commercial manager was a 'honey-moon' period where a 'newbie' would depend quite heavily on me for cultural cues, guidance of expectations (must do's, don't dos' and degrees of freedom) and feedback on good/bad performance.

For the relationship to remain healthy the interplay between the parties needs to ebb and flow such that 'newbie' increasingly acts independently where appropriate yet engages in 'co-thinking' with the manager concerning sense -making and future strategies.

The picture above attempts to model what can happen when one of the partners ceases to confer or co-think (blue line) and what happens during a balanced relationship. We could call this the Gullibility Slide and it is something that we sense long before the situation slips beyond our ability to successfully redeem the situation. The start of the slide should not be ignored.

I was very gullible in early management life when I mistakenly supported 'newbies' in their desire to become autonomous. To the extent that occaisonally they associated 'freedom to operate' with 'freedom to ignore' and 'freedom to make independent commercial judgements'. This had the debilitating effect of me getting increasingly out of touch on the one hand, and on the other any subsequent 'interest' by me being seen as interference and even suffocating!

I was told a great story about how to 'get the balance right' - think of inter-relationships like holding a butterfly - grasp too tight and you crush it to death, hold too loose and it flies away.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Betting You're Gullible

The UK has announced new Gambling Laws

As someone who spent a career learning to understand gambling and risk taking behavour in order to guide the development of games I can assure you that the only sustainable commercial winner is the industry. The industry relies on gullible players making erroneus judgements about their win chances, their ability to objectively track their financial gains and losses, and their ability to control outcomes.

I believe that the gaming industry is vibrant, creative and exciting and provides fantastic opportunities for leisure choice and fiscal income streams. Nevertheless it would be gullible to think that 'fun-washing'(the gaming equivalent of green-washing) the activity is a necessarily transparent and un-biased presentation of how the business works.

Of course, the industry makes efforts to mitigate excessive gambling and addiction through its work with Gamcare. However, for any individual, the surest way to enjoy the pastime is to take a very objective and critical view of what is involved. Studying gambling psychology before you gamble is a good idea, otherwise you will be susceptible to such things as The Gamblers Fallacy The Illusion of Control and Gamblers Ruin