29 March 2012
28 March 2012
I recently visited a coal mine in New South Wales. It was giant. Huge trucks. Massive infrastructure. They were even building their own railways. It was as if a kid had grown up and spent vast amounts of money on bigger versions of all his toys. It was impressive. The culture of safety, particularly.
But the thing that really dumbounded was that no-one I met talked about other forms of energy. And I thought: they are all going to be victims of a classic asset bubble.
You see: there isn't much of a future in coal.
27 March 2012
Behold the terror!
- Zuul the Scratcher of $600+ Chrome BBQs and Remote Control Daleks that are Taller than 40 cm
- Zarpatil the Taunter of Adults Who Do More than 40 Hours Finger Painting a Week
- Gorgyiu the Ancient Scourge of Wall Hangings Featuring Extinct Marsupials
- Li-gor the Destroyer of Internal Lights in Mid 1980s Japanese Made Sedans
26 March 2012
Don't know where to start? Start with the first thing that comes to mind.
If you have some choice, start with the hard thing first. That way things will get easier.
Beware the two types of procrastination.
First, there is Information Gathering procrastination. This happens when you don't have enough information to act but don't know that yet. And so you're mind is resisting action.
Second, there is Information Overload Procrastination. This happens when you resist doing something not because you don't have enough information, but because you have too much.
Knowing to act just before the first tips over into the second is something I have not mastered! :-)
Don't seek perfection, just look for something slightly better than what you already have and aim for that. And repeat.
Don't worry about what you haven't done. Just think about what you have done.
Ignore criticism unless it comes from someone who is also trying to do what you are doing.
24 March 2012
The Four Rules of Computer Programming:
- Out of simplicity, find complexity;
- From harmony find discord;
- In the middle of opportunity lies difficulty;
- Whatever you are doing now your Future Self won't understand it.
(With apologies to Einstein.)
23 March 2012
On August 23 1973 there was a bank robbery in Stockholm that turned into a siege that lasted 6 days. The captives grew emotionally attached to their captors. Once they were freed, they even defended their captors publicly.
The psychiatrist Nils Bejerot appeared on TV and referred to their behvaiour as "Stockholm Syndrome". Frank Ochberg went on to define it in more detail.
The Universe has a lot to recommend it. Beautiful scenery. The stars. Falling in love. Poetry. Music. Adventure. Or whatever things appeal to you.
But it has a lot of bad things about it, too. I won't detail them. It's too depressing.
And humans don't have much choice about it. We are born into a world over which we have little say. We are, in a way, Cosmic Captives.
But humanity spends a lot of time rationalising the quite appalling state of things to itself. Some people say you're here to learn. Some people say humans are born crooked and need to repent. And so on.
I think anybody who rationalises the situation is suffering from bad case of Cosmic Stockholm Syndrome.
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