Category Archives: Not What You Think


Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.

Devour films, music, books, paintings, poems, photographs, conversations, dreams, trees, architecture, street signs, clouds, light and shadows.

Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.

Authenticity is invaluable.

Originality is non-existent.

Don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it.

Remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

I stole this from Paul Arden (although he stole it from Jim Jarmusch first)

It’s Time to Throw in the Tau

I generally keep this to myself, but I’m actually a bit of a maths geek at heart… Hey, where are you going? come back here… don’t worry I’m not about to bore you with loads of maths I promise.

Today is Tau day, 28th June, although you have to use that weird back to front American way of writing the date to see what I mean, it’s 6.28, get it?

No? mmmmm… would it help if I said March 14th is Pi day? (3.14)

OK if you still haven’t got it, Tau = 2x Pi or to put it another way 2 x 3.14 = 6.28 tadah!

anyway doesn’t matter, what does matter is the video below.

A talented musician named Michael John Blake composed a piece of music that transposes the numbers from Tau to 126 decimal places onto the musical scale… and for those math-muso geeks out there, it’s set to 125.6 BPM = 6.28 x 20.

But forget the geekness that lies beneath this composition, just listen to it, it’s wonderful. By the way, Michael also created a composition based on Pi, but had to remove it off the net due to a copyright infringement claim? yep can you believe it, another composer claimed he’d thought of the idea first and composed a piece of music on Pi… what’s next the Fibonacci Sequence!?!?

Oh and for an explanation of Tau, I can’t think of a better way than this very informative and amusing video by Vi Hart

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A Walk on the Wild Side

Seth Godin posted an interesting graphic yesterday that caught my eye, a perfect example of data mining (sorry couldn’t resist that one)

Original Source and Seth’s Post

It’s not that surprising when you think about it, but let’s look at another example, Death Rate by Mode of Transport in the UK… (NB: Flying doesn’t appear, as it’s so low, less than 0.02%). Motorcycles are the unsurprising leader, although the gap between Cars and Motorcycles is frightening! We’re constantly reminded to wear cycle helmets when we’re riding, yet you’re more likely to get killed when walking than when riding a bike! It would be interesting to add Skiing & Snowboarding to this list, but I’ve not been able to find any data on that yet, but I’m looking, if you find anything, let me know. In the meantime, my advice, no more texting or using your mobile while walking, it’s dangerous out there!

Motorcycle: 88.8 / Walking: 30.9 / Bicycle: 24.2 / Car: 1.9 / Van: 0.5 / Bus or coach: 0.1 / Rail: 0.3 / Water: 0.9

original source

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Bailout Karma

It is a slow day in a little Irish town, the rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs…

The hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.
The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.
The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub.
The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him ”services” on credit.
The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.
The hotelier then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how a bailout package works!

It’s an Illusion – Meet Your Strawman

I can’t remember how I stumbled across a presentation entitled It’s an Illusion by John Harris a couple of months ago, but I’m very glad I did, as it was a real eye opener. It’s 50mins long in total, but it’s time well invested I assure you.

It’s an Illusion on or YouTube

“John Harris gives us his perspective on what’s going on. He describes how we are economic slaves to a debt dependant system, notably achieved through the deception of the birth certificate and the creation of a legal fiction known as your ‘PERSON’. It is this PERSON that the government then wields it’s control upon. Although John points out that this arrangement only works when we consent.

Unfortunately inaction is taken as consent, hence we have unwittingly surrendered our inalienable rights through identifying with the PERSON. Remember you are a human being with god given rights, all you have to do is claim them.

Filmed at the The British Constitution Group Lawful Rebellion Conference in Stoke-on-Trent on the 24th January 2009.”

More info on The People’s United Community

For a quick summary, you can watch Meet Your Strawman below by Infomatic Films (I stumbled across this on Lster921′s blog just now)

Another good site that explains this is Freedom Rebels, I recommend reading What’s a Freeman?

A Balancing Act

Too many ideas, too little time!

That may sound a little arrogant, but it’s actually a genuine problem, and I’m not the only one. Some may say it’s a good problem, but I’m not so sure.

It’s frustrating as hell to have an idea or a solution, that you know you have to let go or forget about, as you have 20 more waiting in the wings to be fulfilled. And if that’s not frustrating enough,  when I pass on and explain a really good idea to someone else, someone that I know could do great things with my concept, they unfortunately, are too short sighted to see the full potential to do anything with it! So at the end of the day, I simply have to do it myself.

As Friedrich Engels said, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory”

A few months ago I decided I’m going to change the world… well I never said my ideas were small, or easy… if they were, I guess anyone would take up the task and do it… but they’re not, so I might as well do them myself. I’ve set a time frame of ten years… that may seem like a long time, but it’s not really, as when you think about it, the world’s a pretty big place!

The 80% Rule

Working flat out? Have too much to do? What can you do about it? Put your prices up, because you’re under charging!

You’ll probably lose some clients, but with the extra capacity you’ll be able to deliver higher quality solutions, thus better value for the clients you retain. A good balance is 80% capacity, but you decide. You’ll have the same overall profit, your clients will benefit from you doing this and so will you!

I Say Potato, You Say Potarto

How most entrepreneurs initially present their idea to a Venture Capitalist.

Me Me Me!
2 mins
Introduction: why they’re amazing
5 mins
The Problem: why everyone else is wrong (why they’re amazing)
15 mins
My Solution: passionately explaining their solution in depth (why they’re amazing)
5 mins
Capital Expenditure: whiz through what they will spend the money on
2 mins
The Plan: Blue sky 5 year plan on how the business will grow exponentially

Then they wonder why it didn’t work. The ask, “is it because they didn’t explain their vision clearly enough? mmmm, surely not… it must be because the VC is short sighted and doesn’t like or understand their idea?” So, the entrepreneur asks how can they get the VC to be as passionate about their idea, as once they do, surely they’ll invest?

It won’t work and they won’t (except in rare occasions), they’re only investing with the entrepreneur for one reason, to make money! They’re not interested in the problem, or the solution, or what the entrepreneur does, so the entrepreneur shouldn’t waste their time and effort trying to get the VC interested. The entrepreneur has to think like the VC! so if you’re presenting to a VC here’s the way to do it.

Show Me The Money!
5 mins
ROI: What is their return and when will they receive it
10 mins
Capital Expenditure: How much investment you need, time frame, phases and why
10 mins
Risk Assessment: Company structure, detailing assets, IP, tangibles etc
2 mins
The Idea: The product
2 mins
You: Your background and history, contact details

This doesn’t only work on VC’s, try this approach with your next client presentation, get all the guess work, the money & nitty gritty details out of the way at the beginning, then show them where there money is being invested, that way you’ll know right from the start whether you’re wasting your time or not, and if they’re really interested they’ll extend the meeting to talk through your ideas.

A Very British Contract

I always believed and pushed for a flat hierarchy in my business structure… and yes I realise that a flat hierarchy is an oxymoron, but it’s a great way to express my approach to organising my business structure, as the entire thing is built upon respect & trust and not meaningless job titles! (a pet peeve of mine!)

We had a very British contract for all staff including myself, it contained the sentence, “Everyone Makes The Tea” what that meant, was everyone within the business was an equal, anyone & everyone was free to suggest & implement new ways of doing things, but on the flip side they were expected to perform the most mundane tasks, if they saw something was amiss, it was up to them to deal with it, not simply pass it on to someone else, it was all about being pro-active and not re-active.

We started off with a policies & procedures document, but we got rid of it in the end, as it was simply full of rules, thus limitations. I’d sooner have a frame work that everyone can work within, than hard and fast rules of what must and must not be done.

There are the nay sayers, those that say this approach never works, that you will simply end up in chaos (Anarchy is a great thing until you need a plumber!), but I disagree, allowing autonomy to flourish instills a culture of respect for those working with you (not for you), it’s highly rewarding, and you might be surprised with the outcomes!

Organic Fusion Engineer

I dislike job titles (especially inflated ones), I never use one myself, your actions define what you do for a living, not your business card.

If you excel at your work, you won’t require a job title, you probably won’t need business cards either, as everyone will already know what you do & who you are, as you’ll be the person they’re talking about & respect, the person they go to when they need things done really well.

There are times you can put an inflated job title to good use, when you want something to talk about or set yourself apart from the rest of your field, Organic Fusion Engineer is a fun job title I saw on a carpenters business card, I used him because he was recommended, and I’ll always remember the work he did, but I’ll never forget his job title!

You Lucky Bastard!

Next time you think someone’s lucky, remember there’s no such thing as luck, it doesn’t exist.

Of course there are those that are born into wealth, survive death defying accidents, born with good health etc, but that isn’t luck, that’s good fortune.

If an opportunity arises and you take advantage of it, some will see that as luck, you were in the right place at the right time, but you know that you’ve likely worked very hard to be prepared & be in a position to take advantage of the opportunity when it arose.

So luck is being prepared & being in a position to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself, it’s that simple.

I’ve never made a mistake in my life!

I was watching a film the other day and it had the following line…

“A man learns nothing from winning, but the act of losing elicits great wisdom, not least of which is how much more enjoyable it is to win… it’s inevitable that you will lose from time to time, the trick is not to make a habit of it”

I’ve often said that I’ve never made a mistake in my life! OK I admit, that may sound a bit pompous… sure I’ve made errors, big ones! but I’ve always learnt from them, so I don’t see them as mistakes, but as learning experiences.

The day I stop learning from them, is the day I start making mistakes!