Stephen's blog

10 Arrogance Traps For Entrepreneurs (Forbes)

An excellent article by Peter Zwilling (Forbes): a no-holds-barred list of how entrepreneurs delude themselves, by avoiding the realities of life.

1. "Business plans are for dummies. Think business plans are just for investors? Wrong. Those plans are primarily for you."

2. "This is so cool! Just because you think your new mousetrap is extraordinary doesn't mean the whole world will agree." (picture: Segway)

3. "If we build it, they will come. The hot term these days is 'viral marketing'. Reality: Viral marketing only takes off after you prime the pump with real marketing."

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What Jesus said about capitalism (Gittins - SMH)

"The name sabbath (the seventh day) is a reference to the biblical injunction - mainly honoured in the breach - that the Jews practice ''jubilee''. Every 50th year (the year following the passing of seven times seven years), slaves were to be freed, people were to be released from their debts and land returned to its original owners.

So sabbath economics involves an ''ethic of regular and systematic wealth and power redistribution''. You can see why this is an uncomfortable topic (for me as much as anyone else).

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Play. Adapt. Create. (Inventive Links)

Maya Mathias's experience and insights revealing the fluid-artistic nature of the creative process,

"Months into my improv studies, it struck me that this mimicked much of my career in the marketing and communications industry....

Real life in advertising/branding/marketing is anything but predictable...

Both improv artists and marketers must adapt and co-create – their respective success depends on it.  Having lived in both worlds, though, I see where branding/marketing/advertising teams can take a lesson or two from the improv principles she highlights:

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An elegant life

I recently chimed into a forum discussing the subject of quantum physics, and the implications thereof.

Out of which came some ways of explaining my views in a more 'elegant' manner.

Following are my edited excerpts of my final few posts to this forum:

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Years ago, when in a self-development course, the teacher said "you're 100% responsible for your reality" ... me, in response "nah, that can't be true" (in class), He, "it's 100%". Me, "Nah, it can't be because ... yadda yadda". Class now cranky with me, an upstart who won't sit quietly and obediently listen.

Long story short. It is a literal 100%. I've done a lot of work over the years to nail the mechanics of how that can occur.

But here's the thing. If not 100%, then what figure is it? 100% has a certain 'purity' to it that I found compelling.

Science can't get near that 100%, blaming chance, or randomness or god knows what else. That's inelegant.

100% is elegant.

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Little white lies found to be a health hazard

Just read an interesting (though unsurprising) report on how being honest is the best medicine for good health and wellbeing.

"We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health."

Who would have thought.

A while back I finally figured out that rather than ignoring reality, or sneaking around, being upfront and open is the easiest way to be. It takes far less energy to simply be honest. I've found that it sort of "innoculates" me against other people's negative opinions, for a number of reasons. It's like honesty create this invisible 'shield' that is impervious to onslaught.

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Small right, not quite there

A recent article in the SMH was headlined "Scientists find secret of why women live longer"

in which it is claimed

''This difference is not caused by hormonal differences between the sexes, such as testosterone in males, or to risk-taking behaviour. It's genetic.''

That only partly "explains" the difference -- as is now well established, psycho-social factors are by far the most important determinant in how well and long we live.

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Points about points

I was recently contacted regarding my work -- primarily concerning materials on the Belief Institute website.

The person (supportive of my work) sent me a list of 'points' by another critic who argues good articles, or beliefs should comply to various conditions:

Here's my reply to those 'points'.

  1. should not contain tautologies;

    English is a rich language, and while tautologies are a useful concept, the fact that one can frame an idea or concept (there's one now) differently using different words/approaches, reveals greater nuance to the concept or idea. Pun intended. So I wouldn't get too concerned about grammatical correctness.

  2. should not contain notion-metaphor transmutations (e.g., "power" it is a concept in Physics, but being used in Psychology, say, as "power of imagination", it becomes a metaphor);

    Well, this is a poor point. We don't know what causes 'power' in physics.

    We know now with around 30 years of research data from Princeton's PEAR that our minds have the power (physical) to move objects.

    "The enormous databases produced by PEAR provide clear evidence that human thought and emotion can produce measureable influences on physical reality. The researchers have also developed several theoretical models that attempt to accommodate the empirical results, which cannot be explained by any currently recognized scientific model."

    So psychological power is related to physical power. To say otherwise would require certain (incorrect) assumptions to be correct. Which they aren't. E.g. the power to collapse the wave-function.

    Better that you don't get me started on this one ... :)

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Most superstitious era in history?

In view of my awkward question concerning the deeper nature of physical movement, in various forums I've received what appears to be unanimous negative responses. Some quite vitriolic and abusive.

It seems then that there is an argument to be made that we're living through one of, or perhaps THE most superstitious era in history.

Many scientists often lambaste the church for what they did to Galileo, and prior to him Giordano Bruno. Many argue the demonstrated 'closed-mindedness' of the church held back scientific advancement to a considerable degree.

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Leading God: Raw Individuality

At a dinner party recently I explained that "genuine creativity leads God", in that everyone else (including God1) is genuinely, gob-smackingly surprised by our raw originality.

One woman was deeply shocked and horrified by the idea. She said she completely "shut down" with regards to anything else I had to say. Golly.

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