A not so scary view of the future

In which the future is like now, but with more crazy.

The future is a scary place full of strange unknowns. If history is the study of the past to stop the same mistakes happening then maybe it’s a failure, not only do the same mistake keep recurring but we manage to find new and amazing ways to mess everything up.

What if you could travel to the future? What would you be able to do? Everytime you thought you had changed something for the better there  would be unseen consequences that managed to speed up the hell-bound cart.

Still maybe I could try and predict the future, what harm can it do? In the last year the President of the United States said the ‘n’ word, rainbow flags were raised as others came down, and Donald Trump decided he wanted to build a wall round Mexico.

How could I predict anything crazier? Continue reading “A not so scary view of the future”

5 things that make Britain awesome

In which I turn up the volume to Rule Britannia and make a cup of tea.

I’ve  had a number of discussions recently about Britain and what Britishness is. The current issue is what makes a Brit a Brit, and whether or not it is compatible with being English or European. Mrs G (an American) is also having to teach British Values (democracy, freedom of speech, respect for the rule of law) that are not unique to this island.

Other friends have commented on certain aspects of British life, is it that all our food is bland and boiled (both of which I refute, it’s hearty and fried)? What about the way we look at class, or is it the fact that as a nation we are able to laugh at ourselves (a trait that only seems to be shared by Canadians, Australians or New Zealanders – perhaps having the Queen as Head of State gives oneself a good dose of self-deprecation).

What better way to look at it than with a list of things that seem to be Britannic specialties. So grab your warm beer and Union Jack bowler for, in no particular jingoistic order, my list of what I consider to be our most famous institutions:

Continue reading “5 things that make Britain awesome”

The meaning of friends

In which it is easy to define friendship.

I have few friends. Before you go all “oh that’s so sad/funny” let me add a caveat. I know a lot of people, and have known a lot of people. It’s just that I don’t class many of them as friends. Acquaintances, colleagues, contacts, companions, yes. There is nothing wrong with being one of them. What makes a friend though? What has to happen to push through simply knowing someone to it being a friendship?

Sam never left Frodo, even when he was cast away.

A real friendship is one where you are completely honest and truthful. You have complete trust in the other person. You would do anything for them without expecting any reward or praise in return. Cicero thought that as well, and he was one of the greatest philosophers.

Continue reading “The meaning of friends”

Presenting like a ringmaster

In which I assure the public
my production will be second to none.

Perhaps the greatest exponent of the “Wow” moment was Steve Jobs, it could be announcing the iPhone or pulling a MacBook Air from an envelope or maybe even the classic “One more thing…” showstopper. Even now, years after his passing, the WWDC conference (which is happening today) is seen as a classic example of delivering jaw dropping moments. It will be the focus of huge amounts of press coverage, with weeks of analysis and clips everywhere.

The success of the Apple presentations are all about ’emotion’, their products are not for the masses but for the ‘creators’. Like the famous 1984 ad it is about thinking differently and letting the product speak for itself. Apple don’t like to talk about specs, they like to talk about what using the product feels like.

I wish I could do presentations like this, but the sad reality is that most of the presentations we will do are more jaw-drooping than jaw dropping.

Continue reading “Presenting like a ringmaster”

Epitomising good/bad teachers

In which I do my homework but cut class.

Student’s can be right pains in the proverbial, I was one of those awkward children that I’m sure teacher’s would get frustrated with. I could be very well behaved and eager to learn but then I was one of those mischievous souls that would get easily distracted. Something I am sure my managers at work would also probably agree with.

It wasn’t just my fault. As much as we complain that there are a minority of children that spoil it for the rest of the cohort there should also be the acknowledgement that, while the vast majority are excellent, there are also less than stellar educators in our midst. I had my fair share when I was at school but thankfully I also had some teachers who more than made up for it.

Scenes of my greatest crime, my GCSE Art grade

This is a post about them. It is my way of giving a belated thanks to all those who put up with me, and helped mould me into a useful member of society.
Continue reading “Epitomising good/bad teachers”

Dreaming of doors

In which I close my eyes and sleep a dreamless sleep.

Dreams are not my thing. Not the awake kind of dreams, where I imagine myself winning the Ashes or being Prime Minister, I still have those. I’m talking about the kind you have when you sleep. I know plenty of people who are able to recall their dreams but I never seem to wake feeling like I’ve been on adventure in bed.

It is like I wake as soon as I fall asleep, with no feeling that I have been anything in between. Perchance to dream, that would be something to be. Or not to be ready for what dreams may come because my memories of them have shuffled my my mortal mind.

Yet should I slumber what might I dream of? Let’s start with a door.

Continue reading “Dreaming of doors”

It’s only natural to give up

Being a great writer was never going to be possible, my life has been too stress-free. Songwriter, artist, these were also out of the question. How could I achieve greatness in these fields if I had nothing to rebel or get angry at. Nobody ever created great art when content and happy.

Nobody.
This is why the idea of “no pain, no gain” is so interesting to me. It suggests that the only way to obtain anything of worth is to suffer or struggle beforehand, it is not the destination but it is the journey. That just seems a bit too much…well effort.

Being a great writer was never going to be possible, my life has been too stress-free. Songwriter, artist, these were also out of the question. How could I achieve greatness in these fields if I had nothing to rebel or get angry at. Nobody ever created great art when content and happy.

Nobody.

This is why the idea of “no pain, no gain” is so interesting to me. It suggests that the only way to obtain anything of worth is to suffer or struggle beforehand, it is not the destination but it is the journey. That just seems a bit too much…well effort.

Continue reading “It’s only natural to give up”

Underestimating fate

In which I over-estimate the power of destiny and leave life to fate.

I really hate the idea of destiny, whenever I’m playing a game and my character’s destiny is mentioned it annoys me. It means that my path to the end has already been written, I’m basically taking a train ride and occasionally get to look out the left or right window but know it won’t matter as to my end destination.

As with computer games so with life, I don’t believe that my ending has already been jotted down in some celestial notebook. More than that i don’t want to believe it, otherwise how am anymore than another NPC in a universe wide version of The Sims?

I much prefer the idea that I am master of my own fate and therefore my life’s events will be (mostly of my own doing).

Continue reading “Underestimating fate”

A little bit of hope

In which I hope I can rhyme a few lines.

I was tempted to begin by deliberately antagonizing the nerdosphere and wishing them all “live long and prosper”. Today though is a day to rival even Darth Khaaaaaaan and not even James T. Skywalker could save use, even with the Millennium Enterprise.

To try and cheer myself up I can only hope that things will only get better so I thought it best to write down what I am hoping for.

In fact I’m going for the style of writing I have the most problem with. Poetry. Well actually what I have wrote is a semi-poem, although it fails on the main criteria of not rhyming. And if I know anything about poetry it’s that:

If it don’t homonym

It’s not a poem-a-nim.

Anyways, let’s talk about Hope.
Continue reading “A little bit of hope”

Abandoning your friends

In which I appear to have muted rather than unfriended.

My closest friend is myself. I have few friends. Before you go all “oh that’s so sad/funny” let me add a caveat. I know a lot of people, and have known a lot of people. It’s just that I don’t class many of them as friends. Acquaintances, colleagues, contacts, companions, yes. There is nothing wrong with being one of them. What makes a friend though? What has to happen to push through simply knowing someone to it being a friendship?

A real friendship is one where you are completely honest and truthful. You have complete trust in the other person. You would do anything for them without expecting any reward or praise in return. Cicero thought that as well, and he was one of the greatest philosophers. A friend knows when things are wrong, and knows when and how to ask what it is. A friend doesn’t just say “what’s up?”
Continue reading “Abandoning your friends”