Saturday, 12 December 2009

Tiger Woods Fallen Angel or Willy Loman

The announcement today that Tiger Woods is going to take an indefinite leave from golf appears to confirm his status as a Fallen Angel. He has lost his heavenly status in Brand Heaven, and what we are witnessing is really the
Death of a Saleman Just like Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's novel Tiger appears to have arrogantly believed that he is better than he really is. I don't mean this in terms of sporting prowess, which is of course, self evident, I mean it in terms of navigating a course through life.

Tiger Woods seems to exhibit many of the characteristics of Hubris This idea from ancient Greek culture is popularly associated with phrase 'pride comes before a fall'. Something that seems to dog the rich and famous unless they are careful and grounded.

Wikipedia define hubris as:
"...pride, haughtiness, or arrogance, often resulting in fatal retribution or Nemesis...actions which, intentionally or not, shamed and humiliated the victim, and frequently the perpetrator as well. It was most evident in the public and private actions of the powerful and rich."

Success, power and wealth are very beguiling. They have a curious effect on people. Frequent and consistent success lead the successful to believe that they have a special 'gift' or have even been chosen to be successful. Everything they have done has been a success therefore everything they will do in future will be a success too. Nothing can ever go wrong. This is also known as Victory Disease

Power and wealth can lead people to believe that the normal rules of nature and society don't apply to them. Doors have always opened and always will, people have always hung on their every word and always will, transgressions and and behaviour have always been overlooked and always will. They are in control of events not at the affect of them.

Psychologists talk of the Hubris Syndrome Here's a taste of some of the characteristics of someone suffering from it:

a narcissistic propensity to see the world as an arena in which they can exercise poor and seek glory.

restlessness, recklessness and impulsiveness.

excessive confidence in their own judgement and contempt for the advice or criticism of others.

exaggerated self belief, bordering on a sense of omnipotence, in what they personally can achieve.

loss of contact with reality, often associated with progressive isolation.

We see this alot and it touches all aspects of life:

So, will Tiger Woods return to golf? can he return to his former glory? or has he fallen from grace for ever? I suspect the Hubris industry will swing into action now with a series of books and programmes about this fallen angel. Let Willy Loman have the last word:

"Before it's all over we're gonna get a little place out in the country, and I'll raise some vegetables, a couple of chickens…"
Death of a Salesman
Willy Loman, to his wife Linda, Act 2

Saturday, 5 December 2009

How Do You Know If You Are In Love?

Love is a curious thing that has had poets and philosophers pondering over its nature for thousands of years. As Satine and Christian say in Baz Lurhmann's film Moulin Rouge:
Satine: Besides, I can't fall in love with anyone
Christian: Can't... fall... in love? But, a life without love, that's... terrible...
Satine: No, being on the street, that's terrible.
Christian: No! Love is like oxygen!
Satine: What?
Christian: Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!"

The crucial thing for scholars of Gullibilty is that often love is blind. That's why we frequently ask the question 'How Do You Know If You Are In Love?' We have to perform a sanity check at the very moment of sanity. This suggests that deep down we know we are at risk of being duped.

My guess is that the very fact you ask the question 'how do you know if you are in love' indicates that you are in love! Which really means that the real question is how do I know if a guy likes you or how do you know if a girl likes you. And isn't that the thrill? The risk involved in trying to find out. The chance of utter elation or crushing disappointment. The prospect of looking and feeling great or looking and feeling stupid.

What matters is how to tell if the other person is love with you not if you love the other person. So how do you make sure you aren't being gullible? Well the answer has to be try and avoid assumptions. Assuming how the other person feels is like trying to mind read so the best thing to do is gather evidence. Now evidenceisn't the assumption and speculation of your best friend. Its clear evidence of intent. A spoken commitment or a gesture from the other party. Even then though how do know that it isn't a trick?

Well the human race hasn't got round that one. We are designed to deceive Simply asking 'do you love me' won't work either because there are so many types of love that can be answered in the affirmitive. The ancient Greeks for example identified 5 types of love. Agape the true form of love, Eros physical attraction, Philia loyalty to friends, Storge natural affection for family, Xenia hospitality.

So if someone 'fancies' you is it just Eros at work or something more profound, if they say they 'like' you do they simply mean Philia is driving things, or perhaps 'it would be great to go out for lunch shows Xenia in operation!

Here's a sure fire tip. When the person you are thinking about is sitting down. Go and sit close next to them. Watch their reaction. Do they run a mile? do they become stand-offish? do their eyes light up? do they move closer to you? This is real evidence. Act on it!

Still not sure? Check out Am I In Love

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Let The Bankers Blow Their Brains Out

So the Royal Bank Of Scotland Board are threatening to resign if they don't get their bonuses. Go ahead guys!

I think what we see here are people behaving to type. Self interested, self serving and self agrandizing. People who regard themselves as so important and smart that they are indispensible. Well gentlemen. Nobody is indispensible so I suggest you leave.

They seem to have mistaken the good fortune of working in a large institution, navigating head hunting and interview processes for creative talent!

Just make sure there are six bullets in the chambers! Being bankers I'm sure the maths won't be too challenging.

Averting Your Eyes From Tiger Woods

As we know the social media and networking is a very public space. Worse still for major celebrities like Tiger Woods whose lives are always under the spotlight. It seems that we lack a moral code for how to behave in new social media spaces believing that because things can be easily placed in the public domain we have the right to pore over every detail.

Maybe we should practice the etiquette of 'averting our eyes' something common in Asian cultures. In crowded spaces this is often the only way to give somebody the privacy they need.

Tiger Woods seems to be going through a very normal difficulty in his marriage and quite frankly its none of our business. The press should 'butt out' and we should only show interest in his sporting activities. In that situation he has committed to a public life and his marital affairs should remain private.