I spend most of my time learning. Knowledge is everywhere, and we have an unprecedented access to it. I've had the privilege to meet some really fascinating people, travel to some amazing places, and be introduced to some great philosophies. There is no such thing as an institution; just a collection of people with similar ideas. Here are some of my own, created by tying together and reflecting on what I've gathered so far.
* Feel free to remind me to upload some by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
In the meantime, some short thoughts;
Surveillance in a Democracy: 'Any government, corporation or organisation is composed of a turnover of people. People are fallible. Some people ain't no good. Surveillance increases the power that these unseen individuals have over me by increasing my visibility. Visibility is a trap, said Foucault, despite the idea that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.
I act according to what I believe to be right. But I may be penalised for actions that another individual may believe to be wrong. Were I to criticise and ridicule the idea that there is an all powerful man in the sky prolonging patriarchal prejudices and inflaming opinions, there could be a majority without access to our education that would disagree and may act against me.'
Embarrassment: 'A sense of embarrassment is linked to the instinct for self preservation. Thus, the more precarious that you feel your personal situation to be, or the more you stand to lose by alienating your particular audience, the greater the potential for embarrassment, and the more stifled you become. Those free from embarrassment then, are those with a personal security that cannot be lost to the audience they entertain. How far this goes depends upon the depths to which they are willing to sink in order to have the freedom to express themselves.'
Protection in Leadership : 'A leader is a chief. And a chief is allowed to remain in power because he protects his tribe. Therefore, a key component of leadership is that of protection for those who fit in and abide by the tribes' rules and demands, however arbitrary they may be. For a follower to feel loyalty, it must be established that the leader has the welfare and protection of his subjects front of mind, and is willing to risk his own position in pursuit of them. It should also be established that this protection is dependent upon the subject's own submission and faith in the leader to see that his best interests are served, within the boundaries set by the needs and resources of the greater tribe.'
Copywriting: 'One ball One winner. Some don't feel the need to compete. Would claim to rise above it. But spectators aren't winners.Winners are the failures who try again, win, fail, fail then win again.Winners don't overthink when the play's on. They focus on the ball. They realise that whatever the sport, whatever the challenge, there is only one true winner. And what separates them? They just happen to care enough to want to be it. And the team supports them. Yes, even the man in the scarf on the sidelines cheering half-heartedly in the cold. But we believe that winning is infectious. And we've caught it. Having been the best support team for the top athletes for forty years, winning has rubbed off on us. So much so that we feel we feel confident letting you know that this year, like the last, will be the year of the Winner.'
Castle Maintenance: 'We inherit a broken house with the debtors obscure by the empty door frame. We were born into the luxury of laziness but the money has run out, and our parents are hungover and won't be woken by the debtors call. We wished and dreamed of more than this precarious house of plastic cards - as if wishing and dreaming would work. The Oak is dead at the roots and we sweep dead leaves from chipped flagstones daily. We live In a world of furniture and no chairs. Of tiny houses with impractically low sports cars outside, all owned by the bank.'
Pause: 'Even the world has some feeling of illusion to it. No. Less than that. It just wasn't necessary. I had been groomed into goal awareness; false starts and falser finishes. Still the world persisted as a backdrop in a play performed with such evident practice that I quite suitably became just another creaking skeleton covered in flesh and thoughts that would soon wear out. I am led to believe through desperation that there is more.
But tired in the rue de pigalle and trudging up the hill, and at baliol, hesitating quickly over cobbles through bodies and smiles for a bus, driven by another who may keep his word.'
My commentary on articles is collected HERE and HERE and a collection of links and quotations that I've found interesting is HEREblog comments powered by Disqus