There you were, sitting down and minding your own business, when someone stole your dream partner. This opened a door, and in came Jealousy to visit you.   Jealousy had big thirsty eyes and was wearing too many clothes (none of which they owned, all of which they’d borrowed). And around Jealousy you always envied what others had, and always thought everything you did have was bland and boring.   So you asked Jealousy, ‘Jealousy, what should I do about this jealous feeling I have?’   And Jealousy said, ‘Go out, get more money! Become more successful! Become happier, and then so-and-so whatever his/her name was,’

  A group of people saw a boulder at the bottom of a great hill. They tried one by one to push it up, but none of them could.   They went away to lift small boulders, building up their strength, but when they came back to the big boulder still none could push it up the hill.     A skinny man with a big head, and his friend who was called ‘the Idiot’, watched them.   ‘I bet I can get that boulder up the hill!’ said the Skinny Man, and the Idiot said, ‘I don’t know about that, but don’t worry, I don’t know much.’   The

  It scares them. The thought of other people gaining Awareness of themselves scares them.   They think it’s dangerous if people think freely. They see this as a bad thing for society. They are afraid that unchained minds and unchained souls will topple the structures of stability.   To them we say, ‘Don’t worry my friends — when the guard tower falls and the cell doors open, when the young people walk free from the penitentiary of stability, there will be nothing forcing you to follow…’   ‘You can stay in your cell if you so wish

  Paul (Rowse) puts it perfectly.   When people say it’s not about something, then that’s what it’s about. That’s how you know what it’s about Joe.   Well. That’s a good frickin’ point.   When they say ‘I’m not in it for money,’ you can be sure they’re in it for money.   And if they say, ‘look, I’m not making any money out of this, it’s not about the money,’ then what it’s about is showing off that they’re not doing it for money. Which might be worse, because it’s more confusing.   ‘I’m not looking for attention,’ means, ‘I really want attention.’   ‘I don’t mean to offend you,’ means,

  Joe, if it’s not simple, it’s suspicious — Gilly   And it was Gilly who invited me and some friends to speak on a Zoom Event last year. We were sharing our personal religious and spiritual journeys for a group called SIP, which stands for ‘Spirituality in the Pub.’   All these SIP members listening in were middle-aged and elderly — most of them had some sort of Christian background, yet the conversations they have are totally open and very often multi-faith. They’re not conservative, they’re real, and this struck me from the outset.   So the three of us told our stories, openly, holding nothing

  So after reflecting on a lot of Nassim Taleb ideas, and a fair bit of my own philosophy, I’ve arrived at this general U-Curve of Certainty Theory.   The hope is that it helps us find the truth when speaking about complex systems (What’s a complex system? See my definition here) and avoid ‘The Weatherman Phenomenon — how smart people become dumber, while looking smarter.’   The idea in a nutshell is this — I can be very certain about things that are Micro (smaller in scope), specific/individualised and imminent, and also about things which are very Macro, general and long-term, but not much

This is part one of a series of posts around the ‘U-Curve of Certainty’ Theory, which is intended to help people navigate complex systems.   Today I will do my best to explain complex systems, and how they interact with simple systems, without boring you half to death.   What’s a complex system?   A complex system is ‘a system composed of many components which may interact with each other’ (thank you Wikipedia).   Examples include climate, human beings and markets… at the end of this post, I list even more.   You cannot control or predict exactly what sort of person your child will be in the future, nor

  Is there a bigger fraudster in society than he who presumes to predict the weather? Let's unpack that today, building on what we first discussed with the U-Curve of Certainty Theory and complex systems.   An angry rant about Weathermen (or Weather People, to be more PC).   It was New Year’s Eve. I can’t remember the year, what I can remember is the weather forecast — the weatherman said there was a ‘0% chance of rain.’   Not 2%, not 1%, but 0%. You can probably see where this is going.   Come New Year’s Eve, it rained.   What a bizarre profession, where you can get away with

Dearest brother Mitchell.   I mean to tell you that your selfishness and stupidity knows no bounds. Here’s a picture of us when we were young — who’d have thought one of us would grow up to be such a narcissist, such a self-serving twat. What do you mean ‘who?’   Fine then, I’ll spell it out for you. Where will I begin? At the start then, because I don’t know how much you don’t know, and I can only hope that I get something very important through to you with this letter.   So let’s see… the start. Oh yes. Well, you are second born

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