Life hacks for Amos Yee

This post is for Amos, since I notice he is wasting his time with a bunch of social enquirers and not applying himself to actually learning anything.  Moral relativism is a fucking bore.

 

Here are some free philosophy books.  I recommend at your age, that you skim through these fast, but get a broad understanding.  You will be able to find most of Plato free online, I recommend you start with this as he is a very clear and simple philosopher.  Once the pegs are in place, it is far easier to hang the other philosophers on the pegs.  Go to Aristotle next, then Hobbes and Locke.  After this, do what you like.  I recommend that you read at least two History of Philosophy titles to get a broad overview of where you want to go from there.  There are a variety of options, from what you are saying you are most interested in moral philosophy and basic political philosophy.

 

Gutenberg free philosophy

 

Open Culture free philosophy

 

28 Sites With Countless of Free Philosophy Ebooks

 

After this, get a basic understanding of the the three greats, Durkheim, Marx and Weber, but do not waste a lot of time on sociology as it is for pussies.

 

Free Sociology books

 

More Free Sociology books

 

You seem to be reasonably bright, so from here go for an introduction to economics.  A-level will do for starters, again there are plenty of free texts online.

 

Apart from this, you actually need to earn a living, and my feeling is that you would like to do this by expressing yourself.  Bullshit Performance Art is not going to cut it, so you will want to write a book, or improve your scatty blog at some point – I recommend, given your age and capacity for sponging up information, that you immerse yourself in programming languages, graphics and 3d modelling and shoot for making your first game in four years or so.  This will be a far more effective way of getting your point across to a far greater number of people, and as you are likely to need to hide given your location, should enable you to make a living from anywhere with a fairly low profile.  Again, you can get started on this free of charge.  Start with Javascript and C# and work from there.  There are plenty of free tools if you look for them, so do not be tempted to throw money at it.

 

Do not waste your time discussing alternative forms of government year after year as it is really not useful to you.  Far better to explore the world as it is, armed with useful tools for labelling and looking at it.

 

Apart from that, well done, your videos are not boring, however you will want to grow out of that shit relatively soon.

 

Ina

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Posh White Trash

Those who have been reading the blog for a while, may have picked up that I am a bit posh.  Not champagne-drinking, Puccini-listening, bun-throwing posh, but certainly on the posher side.  My parents weren’t all that posh, and my siblings, although they like to think they are posh, are a rather grubby, dishonest, grasping type of posh that the world could really do without.

I, on the other hand, am more of your oh-so-worthy worried scruffy noble posh.  The kind of posh that nobody really wants to employ, because we value honesty and integrity over money, which makes us rather unpredictable and a bit too competent at times.  There is nothing worse than trying to pull a fast one and having your underling/colleague point at you and tell you you just aren’t good enough.

This means that I am very helpful if you happen to be nearby and require some help with anything, or if you want anything organised before you get rid of me in case I show any sign of independent thought or action.  This is not particularly convenient for me, but immensely helpful if you have more Machiavellian tendencies.  What I really need is to be around somebody a lot more savvy and mercenary, who smiles at my attempts at worthiness and simplistic view of the world in terms of thinking that we should make some efforts to actually do the right thing, now and again.

Having said all this, a junkie in Govan once attempted to mug me at a bus stop, and I was able to talk her out of it by pointing out that she had children, a house, a nice watch, a nice phone which she was using so much I can only assume she had plenty of money for her contract, and really had no business attacking me as I was returning to my mother’s house after another miserable day in a call-centre because nobody actually wants a smartass posh graduate in Glasgow.

Even the museums refuse to take you unless you have been unemployed for some considerable time.  I am not the only person who has been extremely frustrated by this, and the attitude that people like me do not need to work, just like everybody else. It is testament to my bloody-mindedness that I managed to keep myself in multiple jobs until my mother needed me, despite this.

Anyway, having given you some insight into my odd political mix in terms of the parental revolutionary communist/conservative gene mix, I have some concerns about the mess that is the DWP at present.  We spend a lot of money with private companies repeatedly hammering the poor, when far more money could be gained by employing a great number of accountants to retrieve the uncollected taxes we are owed.  These taxes to which I refer are owed by individuals and smaller businesses, since I believe the larger companies negotiate their enormous amounts of relief, and frankly, if they didn’t, they would simply find a way to pay their tax to somebody else.

https://speye.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/no-job-no-house-begins-7-november/

Please take the time to look at the table at the beginning of the above blog post, and ask yourself whether the government have prepared for taking an extra half million children into care due to homelessness?  Conservative and Labour alike, if under Smith, are willing to follow this plan.  I can only assume we will be getting articles about breeding scroungers to prepare us for the vans turning up to evict and split families, since the only way some of these people are going to be employed, is if the government shells out yet more money forcing employers like Poundland to make them work for nothing.

Iain Duncan Smith, and his half thought out, poorly planned and semi executed plans for welfare should really be prosecuted for what he has done to the disabled, welfare claimants and now families in the course of his celebration of the Conservative love of societal inequity.  God Bless him, we all know he was sparing with the truth on his CV and is not terribly bright.  Further, it is probable that an even nastier character stood at his shoulder egging him on as he laid waste to people that need opportunities and hope rather than eternal damnation. How clever of him to resign on the basis that he no longer agreed with his own poorly made plans!  I worked in Easterhouse in the nineties, and again in the noughties, and the Easterhouse he saw was vastly improved.  I wonder how he would have responded had he been hunted by a pack of dogs, as I was in the nineties? Security was tight back then.

I have seen some evidence this week, that the Conservatives are quietly trying to tidy up this mess.  Labour, of course, are in no position to challenge them on anything,  because they are still trying to kill Jeremy Corbyn in case something awful happens, like being voted into power.  I sincerely hope, for the sake of all these children, that the Conservatives take action quickly.

May I ask why it makes sense to channel people in poorly paid work back into the welfare system to do the same job for no money?  I presume it benefits the companies willing to make people work this way, but do you really think this provides people with opportunity, social mobility or a sense of optimism?  Is crushing the spirit, and lowering the birth rate via housing benefit policy really good for productivity in the workplace?  Perhaps people would be more motivated if instead you offered them hope, and sufficient to eat, instead of contempt and ever more punishment.

Malnutrition hospital admissions in England and Wales

This is not to say that I do not agree with anything that the Conservatives do on principle.  I have far more loathing for New Labour.  They have a far more sordid, unoriginal and dishonest approach to producing the same results.  What does concern me however, is that a love of your country should involve pride in the inhabitants and a noble wish to provide a basic level of decent care, nutrition and health, and I do not see this at present.

There are ways of elevating the whole economy, which seem to be regarded as rather quaint and old fashioned and which our current crop of politicians appear to have no knowledge of.  I am losing my patience awaiting some sign of awareness.  Is it that they do not know how to do it, or is it that most of the population want to see people suffer and die for their own amusement?  If the latter is the case, then evidently I am out of step.

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Climbing Trump Tower

I happened to tune in just before Steve, from Virginia, an ‘independent researcher with an important message for Donald Trump,’ was yanked to safety by an impatient and very strong policeman.  He looked about nineteen, and very confident that he would not get a hearing any other way.

 

Since Ina Disguise exists for exactly the same reason, I am thankful that I do not live in America, and that I did not know that wealth imparts such power in the USA.  In the UK, if you have something to say, then a PA checks it and passes it on if it seems useful. In America, you are supposed to accept that your bank account dictates your worth, and nothing that you have to say matters unless it is wrapped in dollar bills or accompanied by a spectacle of some kind.

 

The reactions online were interesting.  Would he have been shot down if he was black?  Was he crazy?  Would they let him complete the climb?  His video, which clearly stated that he did not think that he would get a hearing otherwise, indicates that he is a shy geeky guy that likes climbing, and feels that he has something important to say to Donald Trump.  Since it is likely that he is considerably more intelligent than Donald Trump, I doubt that Donald Trump will understand what he has to say, which is a shame.

 

The most shocking part, was the men who complained that he looked like a girl, and that they would like to see footage of the beating he would get from the police once he was in the building.  He apparently left the building in a stretcher, so either he was extremely tired, or he cannot walk at present.

 

After seeing scenes of evident brutality in Turkey recently, this is of some concern.  Are we so overcrowded, as a planet, that seeing people get beaten is simply entertainment, and is it so impossible that a young man has something relevant to contribute to an arrogant and extremely spoilt man’s publicity campaign in the form of running for President?

 

Why on earth would a country be so deluded as to assume that a man who has struggled for nothing in his life, who evidently despises women and people of other races in equal measure, be competent for a role which has become pivotal to the rest of the world?  With power comes responsibility.  Should the rest of the world be forced to allow an ill-educated, vicious, and evidently thoughtless nation pick the person in effective control of the balance of global power?

 

In the course of watching this, I discovered facebook live, and have been watching people all over the world discussing health, talking about themselves, partying, having sex and generally sharing even more information about themselves. Most of it is not very interesting, progressive, or useful.  Just lonely people trying, like my cat, to reassure themselves that they exist at all.

 

Poor Steve from Virginia is now being sent for psychiatric evaluation as a result of his stunt.  Having been in much the same situation of not being listened to, and feeling forced into the public eye in order to exist at all, apparently, I completely understand why he felt he needed to pull a stunt.  Presumably climbing is his thing.  I hope that he gets to submit whatever he has to say, at least.

 

It has been suggested that Trump is actually paying him to do this, since he got into a spot of bother with his second amendment suggestion for Clinton yesterday.  If this is the American idea of diplomacy, then we have a lot to fear in the near future.  Neither candidate is good for the rest of the planet.

 

If it was up to me, and it is not, I would get as far away from the special relationship with America as possible.  I noted in a recent poll that I am not the only person who feels this way.  Putin has never been so popular in Europe.

 

As it is unlikely that America will make any significant changes, we can look forward to more input from China and Russia within our lifetimes, and a war will probably be invoked to take care of our current over-population problem.

 

Such is the illusion of choice.  You can see clearly what is going to happen, and since nobody listens, there is little you can do about it.  Might as well climb Trump Tower, create an alias, or go off on some other tangent.  Brutality, cheap manners and lack of taste wins, because America decides who gets the guns.  This is not the world I choose to live in.  With role models like this, forget America as a worthwhile ally and think again.

 

 

 

Note for regular readers – I had yet another massive laptop disaster, and Best Adventure Ever has been lost for the fifth or sixth time.  Lucifer Ogilvie is also gone, but it was a minor loss in comparison.  This is another new computer, and I will be rebuilding the old one, since evidently it is my lot in life to spend several months building the equipment I need as I am not particularly wealthy.  There will be a short delay as a result.  Anyone would think that somebody does not want me to complete the Wolfe projects.  Tough tittie, I will be doing it anyway, since I am too shy to go climbing any towers.

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Drunken Buffoonery – Wolfe’s Birthday

Here, I am, in probably my favourite place in the world, my mother’s house, on my own.  What joy!

 

Twisty is here, and is very kindly looking after mother, whilst I have a moment of utter selfishness, taking stock over the last nine years.

 

Nine years ago, almost to the day, my mother had a stroke whilst her other two daughters sat and watched it happen.

 

Nine years ago, the day before, the Banking Consultancy job ended because the banks went to the High Court to prevent them having to give people like you money because they had not done business properly.  I laughed as a room full of people wept over their lost mortgage payments, since they had given up their normal jobs on the basis of getting twice or three times the money they normally get.  Yes the class renegade was right, as usual. The world is a muddy, murky place.

 

The night following this, my sister called me to tell me that a random blood clot coming adrift was my fault, and that she was entitled to my home.  Apparently this is acceptable behaviour in my family.

 

The day after that, the other sister was let into the house to await news, and used the time to get keys cut to my home so that she could go through my belongings, threaten me and invent spurious stories to back up their claim to my mother’s money. You would think there was lots of it.  There isn’t.

 

Four years later, after a corporate scandal in which I earned my brother quite a bit of money by being honest, he ‘took control’ in order to attempt to take all the family money.  I was to live in a rented flat. My family are poison, and they tried to use me to rob their own parents.  I was so ashamed. You cannot really invite a gentleman to share a life like this.

 

I like to attribute my 160lb weight loss to David Wolfe, because by some irrational quirk of fate, I loved him, despite his many obvious failings.  I regarded him as someone who lacked, and needed the very thing he was trying to avoid.  I had no other reason to want to go on living, after finding that my family, who had never been very great shakes, were utterly worthless, self- obsessed and inadequate people who would cheerfully kill me for a tenner.

 

The reality was somewhat different.  I had a great deal of knowledge, gained over a lifetime, and I just happened to like him for a variety of deeply emotional reasons.  There was something about the pain that he inadvertently expresses that I plugged into very readily. My relationship with Twisty is along similar lines.  We share pain, and we share tolerance of things that most people cannot even touch in the course of their relationships. It does not always go well, but altogether it is a very healing and healthy relationship.

 

It is a strange thing, to pick your knight in shining armour on the basis of their ability to deal with pain, but life gets complicated as you get older, and you are fortunate if you can find someone as special as David or Twisty. One has been blamed for nothing at all, on the basis of spite, and the other has been blamed for the state of the world, on the basis of plain, old-fashioned motivation. Life is always chaotic, because it is life , and chaos is the nature of life.

 

My current focus is on Boris, because Boris has gone as far as he can go without me. Boris will be shocked, but Boris will not be hurt, because hurt is not the nature of my work. I have enough love to give Boris, because Wolfe does not understand what I do, and neither does Twisty.

 

To clarify this rather abstract concept, I am positing myself as a kind of wireless extender.

 

I love, therefore so can you.  Go forth and love.

 

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Fakery and Modern Marketing

I see so much fakery online, particularly since I started on the Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing Project.  People talk about authenticity, but when authenticity includes Rihanna explaining why she did not bother to design her own shoe collection, you realise that people basically jump on linguistic bandwagons without considering what the words they use actually mean, never mind whether it means anything to anyone.  I seriously offended a few Rihanna fans, when I pointed this out at the time.

 

Last week, I happened upon a ‘social media guru’ advising his apparently adoring fans on how to achieve – wait for it – 125 hits on your blog using twitter.  He wrote an entire post on it, with largely useless and irrelevant advice, so that you too could achieve a small fraction of what I achieve with every single post, and I do that without an subscriber list or tremendous amount of effort.  I am sorry to say that this guy has evidently missed the entire point of Twitter.

 

Likewise, people like David Wolfe put a tremendous amount of time and money into achieving massive follower lists, by hook or by crook, as investors and media alike like to be validated by looking at largely fake numbers on Twitter and Facebook.  I think I have about 50 likes on the Ina Disguise page on Facebook, and I have 25,000 regular readers, and another 16,000 or so who find me in the bookshops rather than on the website.

 

You could say that I am stupid for not taking all the conventional advice on offer, for not bothering with vanity advertising on facebook or google, for not bothering with heavy marketing budgets or promotion, but the reality is that fake followers are worthless, that your regular readers like to dip in and out of your topics, depending on what they are, and that they do not want to commit to hanging on your every word without you providing something unique and special.

 

What is important is getting your work into the right hands, very easy for somebody well connected such as Nigella Lawson,  who did not even have to know anything about cooking, but extremely difficult for everybody else. Matt Haig was lucky enough to be circulated amongst the ‘right people’ for his book on depression, and now he gets media coverage before he even writes the book.  As he is on my friends list on facebook, I have a peep now and again, and he is an extremely unassuming guy.  One of the writers on the Hunger Games also friended me for a while, and he was also very dull.

 

Really what I am trying to say is – you will not get your follower number on your gravestone, and it is entirely meaningless in terms of being picked up by someone who matters.  It just isn’t how social media works.  Spending your time and money inflating your numbers, is time and money you would be far better to invest on producing better work and thinking of ways of getting it to the right people.

 

The only people impressed by huge numbers, are people who seek to leech from you as much as provide you with opportunities.  It is a marketing con, designed to promote flotsam over serious content, and unless you plan to produce endless flotsam at a rapid rate, it is not much use to you.

 

For Wolfe, I can understand it.  He is interested in ignorance. Ignorance pays the bills.  Ignorance lasts for a year or so, and ignorance makes money when people want a fast solution rather than acquiring any knowledge.  Wolfe is in the ignorance business.  He has taught me an awful lot about the difference between depth and distribution, and he is right about many things.  He is right, and he is wealthy, at the expense of being respected or particularly liked long term.

 

Especially for writers, there is a wealth of useless vanity advertising that you could indulge yourself with, but it will not get you into the hands that help.  Spending your time oiling up a crew of equally vacuous authors and hangers-on on facebook may sell a few books, but it does not demonstrate love of your craft or a development of your skill. It is up to you which you prefer, but as with most things, success does not correlate with talent or skill.

 

On the first day of my author’s page on facebook, I was attacked by a gaggle of genre writers who refused to believe that anybody could write in several genres for the same series, which was essential for the Best Ever and Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing series to attract people to David Wolfe.  This was considered rookie madness.  It has, as any raw foodist will tell you, been a very successful strategy rather than churning out yet more tiresome raw recipe books that only raw foodies will read in terms of numbers.

 

At the same time, another writer complained that nobody should put out free work.  A year later she complained that she could only dream of the numbers I had reached, with minimal effort.  She is still churning out the same Agatha Christie rip-offs and her sales number in the hundreds.

 

My journalist friend asked with considerable disinterest how I was doing, as she is in this ‘no free work’ school of thought.  My view is – get over yourself – your first two books will be worthless, your third might be OK, and why on earth should anyone want to pay for an unknown author, any more than they would pay to hear a pop song for the first time?  You have to establish yourself.  Yes, an email subscription might be a good idea, but it is probably  better for you, and better for your readers, if you spend your first few years establishing your name, learning your craft by putting out some free work and seeing what works for you.  There is a host of options for doing this, some are covered in previous posts (see Shameless self-promotion)

 

Look a bit more closely at the big names you admire.  Are they really any good?  Rather than matching up to the numbers, look at actually being better than they are, regardless of the financial benefits.  You will be a lot happier with lower financial, and higher personal expectations.

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Boris Exhaustion

So, I now have three Boris related books on the way from ebay – I was very picky, there are a few more that I didn’t bother with, I have several lengthy videos on youtube to sit through, and I dabbled with a few family ones, since that is the point I am at with the book.  I am already suffering from Boris exhaustion.  There is an awful lot of material and associated reading to do.

 

On the plus side, I see that my approach is totally radical, and may make readers weep a bit.  Presumably this is a good thing.

 

It has been incredibly difficult to get the feeling of the thing across to Twisty, who knows my work and knows me extremely well.  He is making a lovely job of the cover, but it is not easy to convey the flavour of the thing even to a friend who knows exactly what I am up to.

 

The first idea was a very strong yellow, black and white newsprinty type cover.  I have seen a few union jack type renderings of Boris, and whilst they are very nice and have that 1960s Carnaby Street optimism that we like from Boris, this is absolutely not what is going on in the book.

 

I suggested a pale primrose was nearer the mark, and we now have a slightly satirical cartoon with more delicate colouration, which again is very nice, but still not quite there.  Lucifer Ogilvie is not exactly Boris, he is just built from similar bones.  Who knows where I shall drag him eventually?

 

Generally speaking, I prefer to binge read before deciding on a project, so this is all out of order for me.  It is the equivalent of catching someone’s eye at a party, and then suddenly spending a month with them and nobody else.  A little bit awkward, with flashes of sort-of-ok.

 

My academic reading is happening, slowly, but there is an awful lot of pop-conservative crap out there, which is no use at all for this.  I kind of know what I am going to end up saying anyway.  My weird brand of conservative communism runs pretty deep, having listened to fairly strong and dearly held opinions from ma and pa.

 

Still sewing like mad, and, family rows permitting, we should have some new art material shortly.  Still no emotional visions on Boris – maybe there won’t be any, who knows? Maybe this is a brief aberration, just for fun?

 

My Slovenian friend, a political journalist I have done some creative stuff with in the past, is delighted at the new project, so perhaps we can fire a few in that direction once done.

 

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Writing Update

Writing Update

Sadly, I was unable to attend the March for Indy today in Glasgow, as I was taking care of mother and entertaining Twisty.  I hear seven thousand or so people attended, which is pleasing, and that everyone had a good time networking and hoping for a forthcoming yes result.

 

Wonders will never cease, I have actually started work on Lucifer Ogilvie.  I had vaguely decided on an inquisition into conservative policy in the form of a charming story.  Then I researched Boris a bit more attentively and found that I would have to make some serious decisions along this route.  So now I think we will cling a tad harder to the meandering world of Boris, with our inquisition taking a more entertaining second place.  I have come up with some policy solutions to the current predicament, but as this seems to be turning into an epic task, this will certainly not be immediate.

 

Best Adventure Ever will probably emerge shortly after this, although I am working on both.  Fool’s Mandala will be ready in around a month, going by current thoughtful progress.  It is the first actual carpet I have made for a long time, and since it is a Wolfe product, it will be the usual blaze of colour.

 

Going by the response to the music playlists (see below) I created on Youtube, Boris is around twenty times more popular than Wolfe.  I am not sure if there are hundreds of commuters building up their happiness bar before going to work, or whether it is just curiosity as to the tone of my work this time, but it is certainly educational.  I have no art visuals on Boris as yet, beyond the cover of Lucifer Ogilvie, but from the level of writing, I can say with some confidence that there will be significantly more finesse with Boris related work. My head is somewhat buzzing with the juicier writing project, balancing the needs of the muse with the narrative requirement etc.  My work, as always, targets one person, and entertains everybody else.  Time will tell what my hands tell me to do this time.

 

Hopefully I will have more news shortly. In the meantime – busy, busy, busy.

 

 

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Killing your Mojo

Killing your Mojo

So, we are about halfway through the Fool’s Mandala, I have Best Adventure Ever open on the lower tab, Lucifer Ogilvie is now hanging about the desktop, and I have acquired twelve or so history and philosophy of the Conservative Party books from the University Library, so I am all set.

 A lot of what you do as a creative person involves fantasy.  Making the transition from a life held down by  poor self image/fear of insanity/lack of encouragement for many people involves Dutch courage, a helpful friend, or a mammoth ego.  It was particularly difficult for me as an artist’s daughter, since he advised me at a very early age to do anything but art.

 His reasoning, as a former school truant who used to jump on the bin lorries, destined for Troon, to get to the harbour to draw the boats, was that if you wanted to make art your career you are better in a fine art situation, or some alternative means of actually expressing yourself.  He loved working, but much of his career was spent doing things he did not want to do (like hand drawn whisky labels and engineering drawings) rather than loosening up emotionally and artistically to do something more fun.  The grandson of a (quite literally) revolutionary communist, he had already rebelled by falling in love with a militarist Conservative. Hence, my father was constantly hiding, hiding his emotions, hiding his background, hiding from his horrible children.

 Lucifer Ogilvie is the best idea I have ever had.  At long last I have randomly selected a means of actually using my education.  Thank heavens for Wolfe, or I would not have the confidence or the ‘moxie’ to just go ahead and do it, and to hell with the consequences.

 Chatting with Twisty today, he again attempted to re-orientate me to the reality of being a nothing.  I don’t feel like being a nothing.  Nobody should decide to be a nothing, no matter how bleak one’s future looks.  “Man must strive” as my grandmother used to say, as she brought up two children as a single parent whilst feeding the poor people down the hall.  She worked day and night, as did my father, as did I, in the course of considering my mother and her charmed yet lazy life.

 Depending on your methodology, writing can be a bit like method acting.  The Boris experience project is very different from the Sheep in Wolf’s clothing project, because I understand the process far better this time.  Clearly, I like thinking about boys.  Preferably naughty, well developed characters.  I have no problem with this, although I am well aware that people of both genders, particularly those bound by the constraints of a ‘free’ life, will have.

 There are limitations to this curious method of working, however.  Good sketches take a long view, and it is important to omit as many details as you include for the purposes of your narrative. What you leave out or distort for your creative purposes is as important as what you choose to include.  Style has to be considered.  My American readers, for example, could not understand that my gentle and flattering satire on the life of Wolfe was not, in fact, a savage attack.

 This rather touching difference in communication, divided by a common language, may well suppress the growth of my American market, but my British readers complained that I had not been savage enough!  Poor Wolfe has slaved away for all these years without considering that communication is vastly different between our nations.  He probably wonders to this day why I laughingly compared him to Liberace.

 So, then, if you are friends with a writer, an actor, an artist or even someone with a keen sense of whimsy who has not discovered their particular spark, do not discourage them.  Eventually a bud will peep forth, followed by a flower.  It’s all good.

 

 

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The Cyber and Media War against Scotland

Yet more evidence of the cyber and media war being waged against the Yes movement.

 

A few months ago, a contact in alternative health warned me that posting about alternative health was likely to attract trolls.  Paid trolls, who in the case of alternative health are paid per tweet to dispute anything you say.

 

I doubted this very much.  Pharmaceutical companies make an awful lot more money than alternative health practitioners, I reasoned, and there is little reason for them to be spending money on banks of people to dispute you if you happen to enjoy a bit of acupuncture or whatever.  I was wrong.

 

One afternoon, in particular, I spent several hours chatting (not even about health) with a person with such a superficial knowledge of health that I could not understand why he was continuing to even talk about it.  Fortunately, my American friend messaged me to say that he was a known paid troll, being paid by the tweet.  I just changed the subject and earned him a few dollars, since apart from his insistence on commercial medicine, he seemed reasonably pleasant.

 

Since we have an open admission of this practice being employed by rUK, I would caution my enthusiastic friends in the SNP and Yes movement to avoid lengthy conversations with planted individuals, obvious trolls.  I got one at the referendum with no content whatsoever, who bored on about nothing for an entire day, and one more recently who wanted to exploit my apparent ‘confusion’ with the announcement of the ‘Boris Experience’ project.

 

To digress slightly from today’s topic – the ‘Boris Experience’ project is nothing to do with my views on Scottish independence.  I saw an unhappy person being exploited, and I didn’t like it, any more than I like seeing Scotland being exploited.  Boris may, in may respects, be a natural enemy, but it does not mean I cannot show a bit of kindness when someone has taken advantage of him.

 

I am sure many in the Yes movement will recognise this.  We do not hate the English, we do not necessarily hate the UK establishment, we hate the exploitation and misinformation. Crushing it out of us just won’t work.  We are well aware that Scotland would clearly benefit from removal from the UK.  What concerns me at this point, having had a brief flush of sympathy for a kindred observant spirit, is that the UK cannot afford to lose Scotland, and they will continue with paranoid and frankly ridiculous attacks, designed to appeal to people’s feelings of anxiety, complacency, or more general lack of confidence.

 

If you happen to be English and reading this.  Scottish people are not stupid.  We have had a steep learning curve, and we are not likely to respond well to yet more misinformation and poor treatment.

 

If Westminster is desperate to keep us, they really need to come up with a better strategy.  Even the English are starting to complain about the quality of BBC reporting, for example.  Personally, if I was the SNP, I would be seriously considering putting MPs forward in England, but then, like Boris, I have big visions.

 

I am preparing a piece of work designed to present a potential solution, in the form of the usual cute series of riddles concealed within a deceptively simple story.  It will take a little while.

 

In the meantime, try not to engage with trolls, and think about ways of reaching the No voters that do not involve argument.  We got this.

 

 

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The Joy of Responsibility

The Joy of Responsibility
The people’s representatives will reach their destination, invested with the highest confidence and unlimited power. They will show great character. They must consider that great responsibility follows inseparably from great power. To their energy, to their courage, and above all to their prudence, they shall owe their success and their glory.
May 8, 1793 in a collection of the decrees made by the French National Convention.

There is quite a variety of sources for that particular quote, but I am rolling with this one because it makes me sound suitably artsy.
The Fool’s Mandala is going very nicely indeed, and Lucifer Ogilvie, the hero of the Boris Experience, was born today.
Responsibility is the reason that your seemingly mediocre manager gets more money than you do.  Responsibility is often weighty, but the fun thing about responsibility is that you get a lot of power as a sort of side order. Sometimes it takes people a day or two to catch up with all these new toys.
Your perceived ability to handle responsibility is as much about your ability to handle stress as your ability to apply pressure when needed to hit whatever deadline you are set.  It is yet another feature of your life that depends upon your level of confidence.
Confidence in yourself, confidence in your ability to prioritise, confidence in your ability to lead.  I previously went into confidence and class in a previous post or two Confrontation, Confidence and Class and The British Class system is unemployed.
I have wondered of late, whether the Great British machine will ever work properly again.  I am hoping to be able to shed some light on this in the course of the Boris experience. I appreciate that many of my more serious readers will wonder why I am blessing Boris with all this attention, but I suspect that the answer will become clearer in the course of the adventures of Lucifer Ogilvie.
It is an interesting paradox, that someone who makes life look so easy that he appears to be playing at it, also attracts other people’s confidence to the extent that we do not doubt our belief that he will ultimately be the individual that finally does the right thing, and understands his capabilities to the point that he can ‘play’ with them.
Having skipped through many different lives, I can verify that it is only those at the very bottom and the very top that are capable of truly understanding how society works.  Everyone else is lost in the race to ‘get theirs.’  One of the most knowledgeable interviewees I encountered was a hopeless junkie who had to be tucked into bed by his mother every night. Confused by this, I asked my comparatively easy-life brother (he poses no challenge to anyone, whereas I appear to challenge everyone without doing anything at all) why this would be so?  Similarly, the beggars that lined the streets in Bath advised me not to give them any more money as they had far more than I did when I lived there.  ‘We can tell because you give us so much.’
My brother’s response, fascinating from someone who has had every advantage from his mediocre existence, was that better paid people were not ‘stupid, but thoughtless.’  Millions of people, then, reject information that they do not want to hear in favour of an extra half percent on their savings rates.  Lalala I can’t hear you, in case it costs me any money.
As someone who has seen times of horrific poverty and times of relative plenty, there does not seem to me to be an excuse for feigned ignorance of the facts when it comes to whether your nation actually works or not.  Can you really enjoy a fifty pound bottle of wine as you read about people starving to death?  Does it make the wine taste any better?  Apparently, to some people, including some within my own family who should know better, it does. My father would spin in his grave, if only he were surprised.
What implications does this culture of selfishness have, apart from for the broken base of the pyramid?
It affects voting habits, it affects the response to the hate campaigns we have seen over the last decade or two – hate the smoker, hate the fat, hate the immigrants, hate the disabled etc etc, it affects policing, it certainly destroyed Cameron’s plans for ‘Big Society.’  Ultimately, it affects the way we are seen by the rest of the world.  Just as we express dismay at the events in Kabul and the USA, we should express dismay that we allowed things to get so bad that we stocked food banks and advised people to buy cup a soup to save people the electricity money.
I put it to you that patriotism, cooperation and national pride begins with the premise that you are going to make things better, not worse.  Empires do not emerge from slums, they emerge from a sense of being able to do things better than anyone else.  It is not all that difficult to come up with ways of mending the foundations on the British pyramid, that will not significantly erode the savings of the wine drinkers.  It is imperative, however, that you reseed the garden whilst you trim the trees, or there will be no harvest to look forward to.
(I could have made a list and saved myself all that prose, but that is no fun at all.)
Ina

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