Monday, 31 March 2008

Park Your Brain

In a classic case of Euphemism addiction some 'genius' who is being paid out of our taxes has decided to change the name of Parking Attendants to Civil Enforcement Officers

...and yes I have checked today is March 31st

Sunday, 30 March 2008

This Blog Caught My Eye and That's No Lie

I was browsing through Mybloglog when I came across this fascinating site called Eyes For Lies Billed as The Human Lie Detector you will find some interesting 'takes' on current people and events and wether Eyes For Lies can tell if they have been fibbing...Honestly...I really mean've gotta believe me...seriously...I was at my mother's all night...The blonde hair? Oh that...I was jumped by an albino Alsation dog in the hotel lobby...

Heathrow T5 to be re-named Dunning-Kruger Hub

image credit via Frank Schilling

One of the classic features of Gulliblity is the percieved gap between somebody's ambition and their capability.

Hot on the heels of the Heathrow Terminal 5 fiasco an emergency Bill is being rushed before parliament to be signed this coming Tuesday re-naming Heathrow's Terminal 5 The Dunning-Kruger Hub.

In a smooth PR move Heathrow management have issued a press release saying that the name change is to... quote... "Ensure customer loyalty during moments of truth. The 'DKNY' campaign will emphasise and strengthen air-relations with US customers"...presumably pasengers are being given complimentary extra dark sunglasses so that they won't be able to see the fiasco in operation!

Friday, 28 March 2008

How To Sniff Out Gullibility

How do you know if you are on the receiving end of somebody who is trying to dupe you? How do we get to the truth of the matter? Well as social animals most of us have a 'nose' for it, which regrettably becomes dulled because of three key factors:

i) cultural norms which lead us to think that asking direct questions are impolite

ii) undue deference to people who hold 'labels' of authority

iii) lazy thinking which causes us to accept things as 'givens'

So...imagine a situation you are familiar with, it might be a friend excusing themselves from a social event, someone close who doesn't fill in the details of a story, or perhaps someone who uses words and language that misdirect you.

A common tactic will be the use of Euphemism in order to avoid referring directly to the subject under discussion. With its close cousin Jargon I'm sure we all know of instances where the utterances simply obscure rather than clarify. If someone is obscuring the situation then its a sure-fire bet they are hiding something.

This fascinating article by the BBC Does 'misspeak' mean lying? gives some recent examples.

If you want to get really heavy you can dip into things like Language Truth and Logic I suppose this demonstrates the operate in the social world we have to make compromises and this means sometimes accepting at face value what we are told...can you imagine how you might end up with no Friends if you brought out your Truth Table in an attempt to verify everything that was said!

You can take the above post as true If and Only If The Post is True :)

Thursday, 27 March 2008

25 Reasons You Might Be a Deluded Blogger

image taken from Colinski

With each post you might just be putting your head deeper into the sand. Judging by what it takes to get into Top 25 Blogs It seems that in pursuit of the dream millions of us are deluding ourselves with grandeur:

Some symptoms you might recognise...

Blogging Finger (digital medii nervosa)
Visitor Numbers Anxiety Syndrome
Blog Blank
Creative Hypertension
Traumatic Post Stress
Tag listlessness
Cranial Stumbles
Community Fever
Delusions of Authority
Aching Mind
Friendly Feed Fire (superficial burnerfeed)
Inspirational Rejection Psychosis
Memetic unspiralling
Rank Rancour
Network Notwork
Anti-Social Socialising a form of STD (socially transmitted diatribe)
Verbal Blockage
Obsessional Affiliation Psychosis
Analytical Analitis
Blog Thrush
Specific Topic Myopia
Stretched Metaphor Syndrome
Delusional Uniqueitis
Observational Quirkyspondylitis

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Are British School Children Cannon Fodder?

The British Army is coming under fire from some teachers in the UK because of the sophisticated recruitment methods that are being used to target school pupils.

The age at which organisations should ethically 'target' people they wish to attract is always a source of controversy. The armed forces clearly have a particular challenge, and I doubt that any of the teachers at the N.U.T. conference would deny that the British armed forces are to be admired and thanked for the dangerous and important work that they do.

Sadly too in times of extreme danger to kin and country young people are the one's who are put in the firing line and there are many examples of this such as The Folorn Hope a junior officer role prevalent in the Napoleonic wars..this wikipedia entry states that the French version were known as 'The Lost Children'. More recent examples would include the Hitler Youth, the child soldiers of Africa and so on. What seems to happening in schools is that recruiters are going after people much younger than N,N,N,Nineteen

What is interesting however is that the army 'sales effort'(due to the obvious personal implications) needs to appeal to other motivators such as Duty, Service, Action, Adventure, Team Spirit, Winning and even as Sean O'Casey explored in his plays Glory...although some of his characters hankered after this at a safe distance. Beck and Cowan in Spiral Dynamics would recognise this as tapping into very strong red and blue Value Memes or world views.

In terms of personal development some young people are naturally more likely to be un-critcial, less concerned with distant implications, have a naive sense of invulnerability and are essentially...
Gung Ho. They are therefore as a result somewhat gullible, and in line with a common thread throughout this blog I don't feel it is right to exploit the gullible as by definition they are placing trust in you. As a personal example of this naivite in action, my 17 year old son was discussing his 'life plan' which was a simple as...

Join the Royal Marines...Capture Osama Bin Laden...Retire from army and open a restaurant with the bounty money and live happily ever after!!

I am not against army recruitment of young people per se. The world is often a dangerous place and rights need defending, and to deny a human being their right of choice is not good in my book. I am against methods that are economical with information about implications and consequences. Denying people informed choice is the unethical bit. This means that that the full facts should be shared even it means that 'sales' might go down a bit.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Mystical Book Meme

The nearest book to me is Organizations in Depth by Yiannis Gabriel, concerning the application of psychoanalysis to organisations, and as such is key element of any approach to understanding people and organisations from a Critical Theory perspective. OOHHHHHHHHHHH the crowd roars as RR dives to his left and plucks the volume of his bookshelf and zooms straight to page 123

I was tagged by Daisy Puddock

The rules are:

1. Look up page 123 in the book nearest to you right now.

2. Find the fifth sentence and write it down.

3. Tag some other folk.

here goes...

"Questions of Constitutionality and determinations of entrapment by law enforcement personnel were outside the bounds of the Judges instructions to us"

Following Daisy here are couple more:

The Amber Spyglass

"The party from the road slowed to a halt, and Mary clambered stiffly down, knowing that she would ache later on"

Sophies World

"I think has something to do with the brass mirror" Sophie jumped again

I herebye tag


Friday, 21 March 2008

Go Smell The Flowers Award

I've just been given this new award from the guys at Go Smell The Flowers and I'm chuffed to bits. I really recommend that you drop over and see them, and, of course try these other Flower Smellers too!

Offended Blogger
Mr Grudge

No Doubt ...You're Gullible?

I can't imagine Doubting Thomas ever being duped by 'get rich schemes', Snake Oil, a promise that the 'cheque is in the post, or explanations for being 'late home from the office'.

What you may not know is that Carravgios painting has the sub-title "If you look closer you can see the film set they used for the Fantastic Voyage "

So it seems that Thomas had all of the right qualities to prevent him from being gullible.

One thing got me wondering though, and that is...if, with Easter in mind Doubt is something you shouldn't have, how come in lots of instances 'having doubt' can protect us from bad things?

In Thomas's case doubt is clearly regarded as something you shouldn't have, but why have one rule for the use of doubt in one case and a different rule in another?. If God created everything (prior assumption alert!) then he must have created Doubt too. So what was his point? Is it a case of demonstrating what something is by emphasising what it is not? I doubt there is an easy answer!...

...So here is a question - "What is Doubt"?

Thursday, 20 March 2008

So You Think You Can Predict The Future?

We all know that a key aspect of being human is our need to anticipate and predict the actions of others. (Of course you knew I'd say that) In fact some of our most respected behaviours such as leadership display the knack of giving -sense to the uncertain and apparently un-predictable.

Like most of our abilities however there are good and bad sides to it. Our urge to know what is around the corner can soon disintegrate into Gullibility which leaves us prey to people who claim to have all the answers. Nobody is immune to the lure of future insights claimed by a whole range of people from astrologers to marketing mystics.

So, just how good are you? I stumbled across which will track how accurate your predictions are, there's also a nice little community developing if you are into the social networking side of things

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Heather Mills the Definition of Gullibility

Lack of self awareness, lack of critical faculty...

Mr Justice Bennett said the former Beatle was "consistent, accurate and honest."

He added: "I regret to have to say I cannot say the same about the wife's evidence.

"...I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid.

"Overall she was a less than impressive witness."

He said her claims that she was wealthy and independent by the time she met Sir Paul in 1999 were "wholly exaggerated".

I'd Like You To Agree To Change The Way You Read This Blog...pretty please

Now, how did you feel reading that blog headline? What do you think the prospects are of me getting you to change your reading habits? Why do you think that is?

It's for precisely those reasons that I believe that there is something intrinsically naive about governmental (big and small) policies for behaviour change and the prospects for sustained, deep and lasting personal change.

As you will know, any policy or intervention is based on a set of prior assumptions about how people learn and change. The social policy agenda has been so dominated by a pampered form of liberal intellectualism it is often completely removed from the practicalities of the issues that it is dealing with. It has become so pervasive over the last 50 years that we hardly even notice it.

The approaches suggested pay scant regard to the 'level of consciousness' of the individual the policy makers wish to change. The 'Don't Spit-esque Orders' of the bureaucratically minded don't work and the fluffy notion of 'learning contracts' won't work either. These behaviourist approaches to learning and changing which are predicated on a form of simplistic stimulus and response psychology are incapable of penetrating the inner psyches of the 'Am I Bovvered' brigade.

I see no initiatives that pay any attention to the deep and profound mind-sets of the people we would like to change. If the mind-set of the badly behaved individual is at level of consciousness that only responds to harsh physical measures then that should be a tool in the tool bag. If they are capable of intrinsic motivation then approaches should be used in that context.To presume that the 'higher' level of awareness will be understood and aspired to by all is gullible and naive.

Hang on a moment I hear you say, how can YOU decide what is is acceptable and what is not? Well that just proves my point. The relativist agenda has emasculated the discussion about standards, and that is a pity. Working out standards is actually intellectual 'hard work' anybody can simply 'deconstruct' and 'relativise' The little dears' that plague our streets, open spaces, and malls, that are in the habit of shooting each other, that think they are entitled to 'bling' and a Mercedes just because they want one don't need to be 'understood' and 'related too' they need to be told what society's standards are and what happens if they cross the line.

And so, you might be asking where's the evidence for this? Well look around you its all over the's just one the less socially disruptive context of a university you will find students that conform to appropriate, justified standards and are self organised and motivated...they will respond to 'instructions' in module booklets and forms of assessment such as 'peer group' and 'learning contracts'..there are others that 'don't read the signs'...and despite forms of 'social assessment' free load and play the system. Pampering the latter with 'supportive' explanations, and exhortations to do things differently often doesn't work...quite often being confronted with the plain consequences of their behaviour (you have failed, this is inadequate, the responsibility for failure and the financial cost is yours) does.

ASBO fodder doesn't need support it needs telling.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

I ra Q Test - can you predict where the missing piece should go?

If you were able to solve the puzzle why not apply to the government as a scenario planner?

I can completely understand that once you are in a war that things become frenetic unpredictable and confusing...I'm sure we've all heard of the Fog Of War

What seems a little less comprehensible is the fact that the best brains who should have been applying the best scenario planning and contingency methods PRIOR to embarking on the IRAQ are now admitting Lack of any one with a modicum of IQ will realise 'failure of implementation is always a failure of formulation'..or in more military vernacular 'Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance'

For a senior government official to glibly admit this is incredible in the light of the numbers of maimed and killed. Surely with centuries of diplomatic experience to draw from, lack of anticipation of the toxic fallout from the invasion is probably one of the biggest gaffs of geo-political strategy ever encountered?

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Hunches, Evidence and Red Herrings

As we know significant events in the social world have us all grasping for meaning. The tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Manchester Chief Constable Michael Todd are clear evidence of that. How many speculative explanations have been put forward already, each one forming and disolving as information about circumstances and context emerge. Patience it seems is not a virtue we have much of when we thirst for answers.

What events like this show is the vulnerability of the human condition.Sadly there is a certain level of Hubris that seems to come with positions of high merit, authority and capability, such that successful people often make a misleading connection between their ability to ‘explain and control’ their job and the prospect of doing the same for themselves…a sort of “I’m used to the world going my way because I have the intellect, power and authority to make it that way…I am omnipotent, I am omniscient, I am infallible”

The traits, style and art involved in becoming a great leader always carry the seeds of potential downfall. When a person realises that they have been gullible in that regard tragic outcomes often result.

Gullibility is merely an act of being human.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall

I'd never say that Egg PLC Boss Ian Kerr was gullible, not expecting to resign (sorry, of course I mean pursue interests elsewhere) when it came to rubbishing 160,000 customers, and I'd also never say that it was mis-marketing through being 'economical truth'. Such is the behaviour that we often associate with executives from financial service insitutions...well, never mind Ian, as they say you have to break a few eggs to make an omlette...

The 'narrow' marketing philosophy that underpins and drives the leadership thinking of such organisations is becoming passe. Holding a Friedman-esque view of the organisation and its customers requires a more integral and sustainable sense of business that suits the 21st century...

Synchronicity strikes...Fried-man?!!!...Mr Kerr certainly has been

Does an Education Make You Gullible?

I spotted this interesting post about the value of a college degree. I can only presume that the author has benefited from their education as this has enabled them to write a critically reflective post on the by the back door...GOTCHA!

Monday, 10 March 2008

21 Things I've Learned About Blogging


is compulsive
it takes time
is not everyone's cup of tea
requires a steady stream of inspiration
is a never-ending quest for that 'magic-post'
teaches you how to be a discerning reader
shows you how many people in the world think differently to you
makes you realise you are not as funny as you thought
makes you realise you are not as popular as you'd hoped
shows you how un-original you can be
puts you in touch with some fascinating people
reminds you that world is full of charlatans and spivs
reminds you that the world is full of interesting and amazing people
shows that tagging Britney, Barak Obama, American Idol increases traffic
overwhelms you with more information than you can shake a stick at
shows you that everyone in the world is a philosopher
shows you that everyone in the world is a business guru
shows you that everyone in the world has got their take on what good marketing is
shows you that everyone has experiences and opinions they'd like to share
suggests that there aren't many truly original thinkers in the world
makes you do random posts like this when celebrities and politicians keep a low profile

Sunday, 9 March 2008

I Can Fly Higher Than A Seagull

I've just picked up a message from Mary Ann giving me 'Friend' banner, how cool is that! Now I know there are a few cynics out there who bemoan the idea of 'friends' in the land of blogs and on-line community, and I have to say that my experience since I began posting almost a year ago has been the better because of my electronic friends like Mary Ann! Tips, insights, inspiration have all come from getting to know people 'on-line' and all that with the Atlantic ocean in between.

So, getting this banner was really cool and It got me thinking...

My first thought was that Bet Midler song 'Wind Beneath My Wings' but no sooner had I dreamt up a decent headline and found a picture than I remembered "it's eagle dummy". maybe she'll release a new version?

My second thought was about friendship and gullibility and it seems clear to me that a true friend makes gullibility redundant. This is because a true friend never takes advantage of the trust you place in them. Giving over your trust places us all in a position of vulnerability which the unscrupulous can exploit , and we all do this at some time or other in our lives. If we've ever been made to feel stupid then that's OK, because the problem is really with other person, and if they are like that they're probably someone you don't want to spend much time on the planet with anyway. There are plenty of true friends to be found in the world.

Check out some friends of mine:

Lilly Mouse
Daisy Puddock
Go Smell the Flowers

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Friday, 7 March 2008

Lack of Uniformity? - No Wonder We're Wittering!

credit BBC

And so, a few more post-modern relativist pigeons come home to roost. The positive aspects of Baby Boomer mentality that permitted diversity and justified criticism of authority are beginning to run their course and loose their helpfulness in contemporary society. Can you believe this!

Now we have people in the UK who don't care about service and duty to others. Our under-educated underclass, self-obsessed, celebophile kyle-esque culture contains a swathe of ignorance that lacks any concept or understanding of the global political issues involved and the daily dangers required to protect our freedoms. The RAF staff at Wittering deserve our thanks and respect. The problem with boomeritis is that it denies standards (expect the standard that it its own way of looking at the world is the best and right one)

It was said of the 'Tommies' in WW1 that they were 'lions led by donkeys'it now seems that the 'Donkeys' are back in the streets of Peterborough.

RR Says:
The Peterborough decision is philosophy in action. It demonstrates where our multi-cultural, multi-faceted society has been heading. Peterborough is an example of the post modern ‘privatisation’ of belief, and our society's slide into ‘relativism’, a place where my truth and your truth are merely ornaments which ‘serve fine if they are to your tastes or mine’ and worryingly leads to a drift onwards into ‘nihilism’ where nothing matters at all, (Simon Blackburn Why Truth matters 2006:9)

Blackburn (2006: xv) is forthright with his description of the relativists position that seems to take the questioning of ‘dogma’ as permission to believe whatever you like and do whatever you want to do.

Not that our armed forces would ask...but maybe these people would be willing to publicly forgo their right to defence by our by our military as willingly as they publicly pull them down?

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Clinton's Win Shows the Gullibility of Speculation

So Hillary's done it! two posts ago I described a scenario that was merely speculation. Whatever I had imagined in my mind was not borne out in reality.

How often do we spend our time 'in the future' as if it was really true. The only truth it seems is now.

It ain't over until Hillary sings!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Terrorists Gullibly Underestimate British Bulldog

credit the BBC

Three Cheers for John Smeaton an ordinary guy stepping up to the plate to do an extraordinary thing.

The Fifth Columnists in Great Britain really have missed the point about the core characteristics of British Society. John Smeaton is evidence of that. Do they sincerely think that they are displaying moral and intellectual incisiveness when they point out the everyday challenges a free western society faces?

The very society they accuse of being decadent (and yes there are examples of extremes that are not to everyone's taste) is one that is founded on principles of fairness, resiliance, doing the right thing not just dogamtically doing things right, and standing up to injustice and underhand behaviour.

Actions speak louder than sort of man skulks in the shadows,bites the hand that feeds it and picks of vulnerable 'soft targets' in an indiscriminate manner...the other sort of man is brave, unassuming, protects the vulnnreable and does his bit without regard for himself. paint balling campers what sort of men are you?

The Moment of Truth for Hillary Clinton?

Will Texas and Ohio be the moment of truth for Hillary and what will that 'truth' really be?

At one level it will be simply the fact that she 'didn't win', but moments of truth are ususally deeper than that. She will have to face a knock to her identity and her world view. Whatever has been constructed in her aspirations and imaginings will come crumbling down as 'the truth' really dawns.

RR says:
Kirkham (1995) likens the problem of defining Truth to “one of those Magic Sphere puzzles in which several odd pieces of wood must be fitted together”. This is because it is not just the layman that is prone to operating from assumptions when addressing questions of Truth, professional philosophers do too. In what he describes as a ‘Four Dimensional Confusion’ (Kirkham 1995:1) he explains that “very few writers on truth show any awareness that the philosophers with whom they disagree may have had a different conception of the philosophical problem of truth”. (My emphasis). This is particularly significant because it means that the question ‘what is truth’ is not only contested (i.e. different people hold competing opinions of what it takes for something to be true) it is also such an ambiguous question that it allows for very different interpretations of what is actually being asked!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Two Quality Blogs

Hi Folks I recommend dropping by these blogs when you get a mo', I just got introduced to Grillman and Luna and Grillman put me onto Existentialist Cowboy Quality!

Prisoner's Dilemma?

I don't know about you, but whenever I have more space I always end up filling it. I can only assume that The More Prison Spaces initiative will operate to the same universal law.

Does this mean that we will be incentivising crime to ensure there is efficient space utilisation? After all we don't have visionary politcial leaders anymore now that we have a bunch of elected 'middle managers' who specialise in doing things right rather than doing the right thing.