“FairCoop: Virus of Cooperation Infects a New economy”

In a world changing as rapidly as ours, where disruptive technologies are aggregating and creating an unprecedented multiplier effect, the way we can become as successful as possible is by also aggregating simultaneously, coming up with new and better ideas day by day, building our knowledge and experiences in our own FairCoop ecosystem.

“We do not destroy the system by attacking it with our wooden spears. We are creating a valid alternative, and have started developing it. FairCoop aims to provide new, free, collaborative economic, social and technological tools for everyone, and will try to make sure they are used in a cooperative way for the creation and expansion of the commons worldwide. An Earth cooperative to build the fair world of the future.

“We can all help to make this happen. You can learn about the different ways to get involved here.”

Sho-shin: rediscover beginner’s mind

Given that most self improvement stuff is pompous bollocks, here’s some that isn’t (link at the bottom)

It’s mainly really readable and about as cliché-free as this stuff gets, apart from the bloody bamboo photo.
I would add, because my ego wants me to, that if you are really good at your job (which you are, obviously) then you need this all the more.

If you have the choice of attending a meeting and either:

  •  knowing stuff that would be useful, or
  • not knowing stuff that would be useful

 to the people at the meeting, I would go with the not-knowing one.



___________ afterthought______

On the other hand, if you actually are a beginner, you need to work hard to get out of beginners mind as soon as you can, otherwise you’ll be really good at not actually doing anything.

Grisly truth about a system


“When I tried to sort this out by phone I was passed between offices, each denying it was its responsibility. Hours of hold music, occasionally being cut off – until eventually I was told there had been a computer error and I should visit my local Jobcentre Plus with evidence of my brother’s status.

“When I got there, I was told I needed to go to a different branch because of my postcode. When I pleaded with the staff member simply to stamp my letter rather than send me to the other office to get it stamped there, I was told: “If I do it for you I have to do it for everyone.”

“I looked around the empty office and said that there was no one else, but she refused. I repeated – calmly I might add – that this was for my brother, who was severely disabled. But then a security guard came over and shouted at me to remain behind the line. I asked: “What line?” – there was no line. He shouted that I wasn’t allowed to pass the edge of the desk that separated the staff member from me.

“If this had not been for my brother, at this point I would have been in tears. As I looked around, I thought how my university degrees, my 20 years working as a professional and my supposedly good people skills were all completely useless here. I felt humiliated. I wondered how this experience would make people feel who have to come to Jobcentre Plus and are vulnerable and in need: motivated, or to want to just give up?”

Read the full thing here:


Read, and weep.

This is people behaving like machines. It may well be cheaper, especially given government’s track record with IT, to train humans to act like machines than to train machines to act human.

Nailing the managerialist lie: management is not generic

“In the 1960s, an interesting series of experiments was done on air-traffic controllers’ mental capacities. Researchers wanted to explore if they had a general enhanced ability to ‘keep track of a number of things at once’ and whether that skill could be applied to other situations. After observing them at their work, researchers gave the air-traffic controllers a set of generic memory-based tasks with shapes and colours. The extraordinary thing was that, when tested on these skills outside their own area of expertise, the air-traffic controllers did no better than anyone else. Their remarkably sophisticated cognitive abilities did not translate beyond their professional area.” 


 Alistair Crowley’s Organisational Pentacle

The notion that there are general thinking skills is closely allied to the managerialist notion of the the generic manager, moving effortlessly from managing a supermarket to managing an opera house or a hospital. From Barclays to the BBC.

I have an equation I like to share at this point:

P+A ≠ M+T

That is to say that the model of professionals supported by administrators is not replaceable by the model of managers directing technicians.

When was the last time you heard the term ‘managerial judgement’?


Computer says no? It’s not me! Wrong! Godin says: don’t blame the algorithm nor the company policy…


I should say more but not just now, maybe later. Go read it.

(insert thing here) will transform… 

No, it won’t. “Transforming” isn’t.

The only things that transform are loads of comic book characters like poor benighted Doctor Bruce Banner. When he gets Ang Lee*, he turns into a big green monster dubbed The Hulk. There’s another big monster in the Fantastic Four, only he’s orange and called The Thing.


“A new artistic approach to virtual reality: as artists blur the boundaries between real and virtual, the way we create and consume art will be transformed.”


Oooh, sounds really innovative. No it doesn’t, and no, it won’t.**

In the art world, it means some uninteresting combination of old hat and new hat, desperate to be noticed.

Thing is, virtual reality has been The Next Big Thing for the last 25 years. That’s a whole bloody human generation. Maybe that’s how long it actually takes, a point which both anticipates one major implication of my punchline below, and won’t be explored here, though it should be. From memory, I think I have mentioned Permaculture before. And Beth Chatto. Google both and then imagine what I would’ve said in the blog you aren’t reading.

In government, transforming always means making cuts (disagree, I dare you).

NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans, I rest my case.

I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to come up with more examples from other fields of human endeavour.

That S-word. The everyday meaning of ‘sustainable’ is something like ‘reliably keeping going’. Is this sustainable? Can we keep it up (Ooer, modern matron), can we keep it going? Another word for it, in the context of systems labeled ‘human’ (as opposed to systems labeled ‘biological’) would be maintainable, as in ‘maintenance’.

A small number of pundits, including myself, some blokes on the internet and Ben Taylor of RedQuadrant, a bijoux public sector consultancy here in the UK***, have become disenchanted with the whole notion of innovation. We’re more interested in keeping things going and not chucking them out or smashing them up. Maintenance. Bo-ring.

Innovation is sexy and cool, we are told. But would you want to marry one? Here’s hoping innovation stops being cool in 2017. The signs are good. Google iPhone 7 launch parody. Ooh, it’s slightly faster.

Ted Gioia has a book called The Birth (and Death) of the Cool. I’ve ordered it. When it arrives I’ll quite probably blog about it. Let’s kill cool! Does that sound cool? Drat, it does. Boring is the new cool. What.Ev.Er.

Let’s make 2017 The Year Of Maintenance. 

I’ve ordered my brown coat and flat cap. 

* “You wouldn’t like me if I’m Ang Lee”. Lee, Stuart that is, made Lee (Ang), the director of the first Hulk movie, the butt of one of his unfunny jokes that are supposed to be funny if he goes on about it long enough. I thought it was, in this case.

**Well, it is panto season. Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is… Enough.

***Disclosure: they employ me to do a bit of maintenance now and then.