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Choices

On Balance

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The idea that life should be one third learn, one third earn, one third return is attractive, even if not necessarily complete (where is the time for playing, for reflecting, for relaxing etc?), and provides a neat encapsulation of Charles Handy's advice that we should carefully "chunk" our time in order to lead a "portfolio life". 

Others are trying to scale this idea to the societal level, advocating living in intentional communities.

On "Favourite" Songs

Many evenings of my youth were spent listening to Radio Caroline's "Personal Top 30s", from 6-9pm and 9pm-midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. My friends and I would write down, swap, be inspired by and gently criticise each others' choices, but none of us ever got round to posting ours in, and our chance vanished into the North Sea with the Mi Amigo in March 1980.

However, since 2008 I have listened almost constantly to Caroline, which plays "Personal Top 15s" every weekday at 10am CET, but again, I've not summoned the nerve to send mine in.

On Jean-Paul Sartre

Are we "condemned" to be free, as Sartre would seem at first glance to have it, or is such freedom more, as he would perhaps really contend, an opportunity staring us in the face if only we'd pay attention?

On Jane Goodall

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it" - Robert Heinlein

Jane Goodall's Chimp Greeting from The Jane Goodall Institute on Vimeo.

As one of reportedly fewer than 10 people ever to be invited to study for a PhD at Cambridge without a prior undergraduate degree, Jane Goodall was promptly told by "experts" there that all her field work on chimpanzee behaviour was wrong, and that she should not anthropomorphise them with names, still less assign them thoughts, personalities and emotions.

Today, we know that she was right and they were wrong.

On Alcohol

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"You had been the cause of my problems, not the solution you pretended to be, and now you were banned from the kitchen. Banished from my life. I delighted in our family glow, the result of my efforts bringing happiness to us all. I have not forgotten how you tricked me in the past. I have taken you back many times before, but not now. I can remember how much better everything was when I had the courage to leave you, and now I know the truth. You are not fun. You were never fun. You spoil everything.I am no longer listening. - Rachel Black (a pseudonym.

Impact of change in business

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"The 20th Century was about dozens of markets of millions of consumers. The 21st Century is about millions of markets of dozens of consumers" - Joe Kraus, dotcom pioneer

Peter Day argues convincingly that during the past 25 years, the world of manufacture and trade has been turned upside down. We've gone from mass production for mass markets to a world of customised trading for individuals.

This has largely been caused by the internet, which, Day believes, is revolutionising the world in a way that's as profound as that caused by the advent of printing 500 years ago.

As mass-customisation guru Joe Pine, put it, "consumers don't want choice, they just want exactly what they want".

Quote 2194

The hand you are dealt is determinism- the way you play it is free will - Jawaharlal Nehru

Quote 2199

Whenever you are faced with a choice between liberty and security, choose liberty - Benjamin Franklin