International Women Containers

Happy International Women’s Day.

‘Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth’.

“I know I have been guilty of that myself”

Said any man not a total git


Expand your mental containers!

Smaller Mirrors: shrinking containers, the senescence phase

trader culture in politics. Jane Jacobs

Adjacent possibles, brittleness fitness landscape. Stuart Kauffman

Life cycles

Evolution only goes forward, like politicians

All things pass gas (apologies to George Harrison)

Why Is There a Bucatini Shortage in America?

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, journalist Rachel Handler began to notice she couldn’t find bucatini — a thick spaghetti with a hole in the middle — in her grocery store. It turns out the mystery went far deeper than she could have imagined.
— Read on

Actual Mafia family mentioned.

Big Pasta mentioned

File under: investigatitativeive journalism.

Nearly half of the children of the greatest nation on earth live in poverty.

Dear Santa, I want one thing. (sic) I been a good girl and I want to ask you if you please get me a power wheelchair. My wheelchair is very old and it does not want to work. I am very sad. Please Santa, bring me a power wheelchair. I don’t want nothing else.

Dear Santa … My wish is money for my (sic) perents. $100 dollars would help us a lot. They are having a rough time with the bills.” 

Dear Santa, how are you and your reindeer? It must be cool riding a sled in the sky…. this year for Christmas I would really like a couch that is also a bed. The reason I would like a couch with a bed is because I have a[n] apartment that only has one room. My parents sleep in the living room on the couch and they always wake up with back pain. My dad works a lot, so his back pain stresses him out.” 

Even prior to the pandemic, the United States lagged other developed nations in child poverty levels. More than one out of every five American children lives in poverty, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data. As the pandemic continues to exacerbate the underlying crisis of American poverty, 45 percent of all children now live in households that have recently struggled with routine expenses, according to a report out this month from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP. Black and Latino households have been especially impacted by the economic starvation that the mishandling of this pandemic has wrought, and these populations were already disproportionately likely to grow up poor.

I like to think that never tell you what a great coffee I had in the Algarve…

But apparently people do. They call it journalling. It’s a way of inflicting your interesting thoughts about coffee or your new t-shirt.


“If journaling is on your 2021 goals list, then Day One needs to live on your macOS dock. It’s the best tool for journaling on the Appel (sic) platform with built-in sync from Mac to iPhone/iPad. Day One makes it easy to document the funny things your kids say, great school projects, or the best cup of coffee you had on an overseas trip.”

Kill me now.

Cake in the rain

A friend is at home wishing she could attend her friend’s father’s funeral but she can’t because of lockdown, immediate family only. She could drive to Barnard Castle though. If she had a car. And knew how to drive.

It’s raining here. Good for the garden and the crops. I like it when it rains, it means I’m not pining to go out.

Not that i like the sun, it’s too hot. My favourite thing was sitting under an umbrella outside a pavement cafe, nursing a coffee or a tiny foreign beer, on a sunny day in Lisbon, watching people.

I like the idea of the sun more than the greasy sun cream, sand and flies, gusts of wind blowing my newspaper about, reality of it.

Rain is British. Once we are out of the EU with no deal it will rain incessantly and all the brown and black people will dissolve; there’ll just be muddy water stains on pavements and a faint smell of curry.

The NHS will dissolve as well, melting in the dark, like a cake in the rain.

Fire all the teachers

 “…fire all the teachers and replace them with cooks and gardeners and artists and woodworkers and scientists, all pursuing their interests in the company of the neighborhood kids who would spend their days pursuing their own.”

Another superb blog from the man in the superhero suit:

blind men and elephants, naah… it’s worse 

blind men and elephants, naah… it’s worse
it’s more like people living at the bottom of their own private mineshaft,
gazing up at the flickers of light far above them,
like victorian families viewing daguerreotypes
projected by candle flame via an epidiascope.
Like this herbert…

​who obviously hasn’t read this ‘product’..​.

The Origins of Order – Stuart A. Kauffman – Oxford University … › product › the-origins-of-order-9780195079517

​or maybe he has, but he certainly hasn’t read …
Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics (1992) ISBN 0-679-74816-4

The Nature of Economies (2000) New York: Random House, The Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-60340-9

…or maybe he has, and does not acknowledge it. Aeon should be ashamed to publish essays without references.

Another mineshaft dweller

 in his own little academic bubble, 

lord of his tiny intellectual domain. 

Another seeker of the one system, 

the one theory, 

the one ring, 

the theory of everything. 

There are a hundred theories of everything 

and they all hold fragments of the true cross, 

and they are all right in some ways

 and sooo wrong in others.

What is it useful to believe right now, grasshopper? 

Does that make you happy?

​Still, you gorra larf innit?​

Local authorities dwelling sightless in Plato’s cave

ADSS get really grumpy…

“Councils are unwittingly acting as “recruiting sergeants” for drug gangs by sending vulnerable children to care homes miles away from where they live, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

“Thousands of young people who are sent to children’s homes up to 100 miles (161km) from their homes are becoming magnets for paedophiles and gangs who use children to traffic drugs from inner-city areas to provincial towns, according to evidence sent to the all-party parliamentary group for runaway and missing children and adults.

“More than 70% of the 41 police forces that responded to the inquiry said placing children out of area increased their risk of exploitation, often resulting in them being coerced into going missing.”

ADSS spokesdroid grumpily hinted at ‘having words with’…

Rachel Dickinson, the president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said: “The suggestion in this report that local authorities are acting as ‘recruiting sergeants’ is wholly inappropriate and we are in dialogue with the report authors directly.”

Social workers would be struck dumb if they couldn’t use ‘inappwopwiate’ and ‘dialogue’ going forward…

If the ADSS had any understanding of networks, predator- prey interactions and autopoiesis, and

If they had any youth workers, and

If they listened to their youth workers

They could easily have seen this coming…

If you contract out your service delivery, you contract out your sensory apparatus.

You might think that monitoring is your sensory apparatus, but it don’ work like dat. Blakemore’s infamous experiments on blinded kittens (I know, don’t tell me, tell him) demonstrate that the visual system remains unformed if it isn’t able to autopoietically and cybernetically interact with the locomotor system. You can’t separate learning from doing as I said in 1995 in my Manifesto for Learning.

A kid hits another kid…obvious, yes?

Kevin Johnson, a friend of mine, a parent and ex-playworker in the UK’s West Midlands, asked a deceptively SIMPLE question which turned out to be more COMPLICATED than at first sight. A lot of playwork is like that. It appears CHAOTIC, you wish there was more ORDER and you’ll fail if you can’t get your thinking gear around the nature of COMPLEXITY, so have a read of this stuff, that might:
  1. help
  2. do your head in.
Kevin asked:

“Let’s say you witnessed a kid hitting another kid or something to that effect deliberately. Would you make the kid apologise?”

Depends, depends, context, etcetera.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way to decide what to do? Well, there isn’t. But there is a complicated, if not actually complex, ‘sense-making’ model that can help.

Complex is not just a posh way of saying complicated – you need to grasp that firmly. Have a read-up…

These items seem reasonably helpful and not too misleading…

Anyway, that model. It’s the Cynefin framework from David Snowden, who, like the mountain, is Welsh. It’s pronounced Kunevin, roughly. Here are two diagrams which give you a hint of what it’s about. It’s a business model, developed to support leaders and strategists making decisions in complexificatified situations, so it’s a bit of a stretch to apply it to playwork, yet that’s what I do. The keyword in all of this is SENSE-MAKING.

A lot of the time the sense we make is nonsense or worse. ‘Common sense’ hmmm, as my gran woodov said, it’s ‘common’  as in there’s a lot of it about and it’s not very good.

Wrap your visual acquisition system round these, and note that, to confuse the English, he changes the labels now and then. The one on the left is the latest labelling, the content, like the song, remains mainly the same…

cynefin diagrams

These links might help you think it through…—————————/

Oh, and please, don’t complain about the military/battle/war/death/killing/not nice aspects of these applications of his model. It’s a tool, like that hammer you just used to repair that dangerous platform on your playground. Hammers can kill or mend. “Tools don’t kill people, people kill people” to misquote that git, Charlton Heston. If the war stuff winds you up you’ll love this:

Leader's_Framework_for_Policing_Protest.gifBy Maxgeron – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

So, back to Kevin’s question, let’s try to make some sense of it. Is his situation… complex, complicated, chaotic or obvious?

Clue – it’s not obvious, sorry.

About the only thing in playwork that is obvious is locking the office when there’s nobody in it and turning off the lights when you go home.

Have fun, and if you get stuck, my easy-to-read cult classic,  ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’ is still available secondhand. Go to, not Amazon.

I’d be fascinated to hear from anyone if they find any of this stuff useful…




#mumtoodadtoo school girls against boyswillbeboys

“Yasmin Behbehani had just walked into her third-period health class when her friend asked her if she had seen the list.

““There’s a list of the girls’ names,” her friend Nicky Schmidt, a fellow senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland, said. “And we’re ranked.” 

“Behbehani didn’t want to see the list, or know whether she was on it. She had spent the past four years recovering from an eating disorder, working hard to avoid comparing herself with others, she said. But by her sixth-period class on that Monday earlier this month, a text message appeared on her phone with a screenshot of the list, typed out on the iPhone Notes app.

“It included the names of 18 girls in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, ranked and rated on the basis of their looks, from 5.5 to 9.4, with decimal points to the hundredth place. There, with a number beside it, was Behbehani’s name.

“A group of male students in their program created the list more than a year ago, but it resurfaced earlier this month, through text messages and whispers during class. One male classmate, seeing the name of his good friend Nicky Schmidt on the list, told her about it, and within 24 hours, dozens of girls had heard about the list.

“Lists like this one had silently circulated among teen boys for generations, and it has happened in more recent years at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, too, the students said. But it was happening now, in the era of the #MeToo movement. Women had been standing up to harassment in workplaces and on college campuses and the high school girls, who had been witnessing this empowerment, decided they weren’t going to let the issue slide.”


Superb fight back.

I’m increasingly of the belief that all presidents should be replaced by three 8 year old girls.

If anyone’s interested, I can say why in some detail.

Yaw rite?

Kids who have never picked blackberries in Durham. Tragic.

Are you alright?


Yes he is. More than you are ever likely to be.

Interesting this are you alright? shit.

If you say yes they ignore you. If you say no they’ll “help”.

If I’m asked i say no actually I’m not my budgie is intensive care I’ve lost my winning lottery ticket and a bunch of posh E30C7CAF-3F06-4FFA-95EF-F916939B1F35.jpegscumbags are destroying the country and the world, how are you, are you alright?