Spiral Dynamics

Interesting site by Keith Rice detailing some work based on Spiral Dynamics and NLP dealing with real-life problems in Humberside.

Back to Win Wenger Again

In his longer article You Are Brighter Than You Think he notes the “first law of psychology”

Each time you notice something which others likely have not, even if seemingly trivial, like the play of shadows on the wall or the way So-and-So came into the room–and you don’t express or record that bit of observation, you are reinforcing the behavior of being unobservant. Each time you do express or record such an observation, you are not only reinforcing that perception a la the Principle of Description, but you are reinforcing the behavior of being perceptive and observant.

This is the principle behind his well-known Image Streaming technique for creative problem solving.

I was struck by the parallel with something Rebecca Blood wrote in weblogs: a history and perspective:

Shortly after I began producing Rebecca’s Pocket I noticed two side effects I had not expected. First, I discovered my own interests. I thought I knew what I was interested in, but after linking stories for a few months I could see that I was much more interested in science, archaeology, and issues of injustice than I had realized. More importantly, I began to value more highly my own point of view. In composing my link text every day I carefully considered my own opinions and ideas, and I began to feel that my perspective was unique and important.

More fun at work…

In “Fourteen Forms of Fun” Pierre-Alexandre Garneau lists the broad categories of entertaining activities, in the context of better computer games design. Co-Working News suggest that these are also fundamental to the design of an effctive co-working experience too. They are:

  • Beauty
  • Immersion
  • Intellectual Problem Solving
  • Competition
  • Social Interaction
  • Comedy
  • Thrill of Danger
  • Physical Activity
  • Love
  • Creation
  • Power
  • Discovery
  • Advancement and Completion
  • Application of an Ability

Something to think about next time you are trying to fill that job vacancy!

A Useful Contemplation?

In his October Winsights column Win Wenger encourages us to think of ourselves

as a rather complex swirl of confluent possibilities, interacting with other streams of possibility amidst larger overall flow.

Win has some fascinating ideas, and I find it intriguing how his scientific approach to stretching the human mind seems to have so much in common with certain ancient teachings.
While you’re “over that way” why not check out his May 2001 article “What Does It Mean to be You?” where he asks

“Is it significant to be who you are and to do what you are doing? […] How much of what I am today is me and how much is chance? […] IF we do proceed on the presently questionable assumptions that we ARE individually unique and that our choices and actions DO have significant meaning, we have at least a somewhat better chance of meaningful achievements than if we don’t thus proceed. Given those alternatives, the presumption seems justified on the grounds that, as of yet in this snapshot moment of unfolding civilization and history, we have yet to unfold the right questions, much less the right answers. […] There are things your eyes have seen that no other human eyes have seen � thoughts you’ve thought (consciously or no), insights and appreciations you’ve arrived at. […] I don’t think that I am cultivating illusion by holding open richer possibilities rather than prematurely precluding them. […]Along the way, though, I do have to wonder at our system of justice and of judicial punishment[…]it’s clear that the system’s operation as a deterrence to crime leaves something to be desired[…] [also] I see three sectors of boundless opportunity which we are woefully underplaying:

  • the raising and educating of our children.
  • The rapid development of space, in the solar system and possibly beyond.
  • Human life-extension.”

And while I was catching up on Win’s site this caught my eye.

“I fully intend to be around for many afternoons to come, but were I to die this afternoon, this is one thing I will want to have gotten said:

‘Hear one another out. Draw each other out. And when it’s your turn to be speaking, pay far more attention to what you are actually perceiving than to what you know. And don’t repeat yourself much. The universe is infinite: by attending your own perceptions, you are infinite. And so also is that person you are drawing out. Even the least of us is a window on God, whatever your definition.’ “

Father’s Day?

Excellent article in the Observer about the problems divorced and seperated fathers have in getting time with their children, and the way the UK courts seem institutionally biased against fathers.

In defence of freedom?

In The New McCarthyism George Monbiot says:

The charge of “anti-Americanism” is itself profoundly anti-American. If the United States does not stand for freedom of thought and speech, for diversity and dissent, then we have been deceived as to the nature of the national project. Were the founding fathers to congregate today to discuss the principles enshrined in their declaration of independence, they would be denounced as “anti-American” and investigated as potential terrorists. Anti-American means today precisely what un-American meant in the 1950s. It is an instrument of dismissal, a means of excluding your critics from rational discourse.


If we are to preserve the progress, pluralism, tolerance and freedom which President Bush claims to be defending, then we must question everything we see and hear. Though we know that governments lie to us in wartime, most people seem to believe that this universal rule applies to every conflict except the current one.


Democracy is sustained not by public trust but by public scepticism. Unless we are prepared to question, to expose, to challenge and to dissent, we conspire in the demise of the system for which our governments are supposed to be fighting.

Fun and science combined

HowGoodInBed.com: is a web front end to a neural network. Every piece of data you add trains the network a little bit more.
So what does it do? It tries to correlate externally observable factors (such as age, height, build, hair, skin colouring, social behaviour, chattiness, happiness, physical activity level and intelligence) with sexual attributes (such as viviaciousness, willingness, location, adventurousness and skill).
You can enter the network either way – by describing someone you know to get an estimate of their bedroom rating, or vice versa – by describing what you want it will tell you the sort of person to look for. And of course there is a section to input your rating of real people you know to train the network a bit more. Try it and see!

All we needed was…

“Men Are Back” says Peggy Noonan. If she is right might this be the hidden benefit in all that is happening right now? Many writers have attributed a lot of the current ills in society to a world in which men, especially young under-educated men, have low self-esteem constantly reinforced by the messages they receive. So I join with Ms Noonan in extolling the virtues of the manly men who are putting New York back together. But towards the end of the article she then goes on to imagine John Wayne in Afghanistan swaggering around saying “Yer in a whole lotta trouble now, Osama-boy.”. Shades here I think of the Roman matrons who told their sons to come back with their shield or on it – let’s not let this newly rediscovered manhood be distorted by the proxy war-hunger of yet another female in power….
(with thanks to Dave Winer)