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Openness

On Freedom

Customer
Freedom

The Wikileaks saga presented a dilemma around freedom and transparency vs. security. I was initially rather gung ho in supporting the march towards transparency, even signing an Avaaz online petition in defending Wikileaks, which I promptly withdrew from my Facebook profile after being flamed by someone whom I had no wish to upset, nor to engage with in a debate about the the finer points of freedom as they might look to people outside e.g. the U.S. In any case, as time has gone on I've become increasingly convinced that this is a very nuanced debate. For example, the "Open Source revolution" is led by an ex-CIA agent who trained more than 66 countries in open source methods and who calls for re-invention of intelligence.

 

What's Happening? - Change

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In Mind Set!, futurist John Naisbitt (author of Megatrends), advocates 11 mindsets, the first of which seems to give the lie to the hoary, ancient aphorism (pace Heraclitus), trotted out by the unthinking on a regular basis, that "change is the only constant".

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Mindset 1. While many things remain change, most things remain constant

Key ideas:

  • Home, family and work are - for many - great constants.

On Secrets

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You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspired by others' little secret acts of kindness, PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.

On Thinking

Customer

 Wnm

According to Daniel Pink in A Whole New Mind, logical, linear "left-brain" thinking dominated the Industrial Age, but relationship-oriented "right-brain" thinking will shape the "Conceptual Age". Pink believes in "symphonic thinking".

Inspired by a dying man's legacy to the young

Customer

In the last months of his life, a physically weakened Christopher Hitchens travelled to the Texas Freethought Convention and while there, an eight-year-old girl asked Hitchens what books she should consider reading. Intrigued, Hitchens spent 15 minutes chatting with the youngster and sketching out a reading list (below). His last words to her? "Lots of love...remember the love bit..."

On Colin Wilson

Customer
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Sad to read of the passing of Colin Wilson, a truly open-minded polymath, whose books, exhaustive range of interests, freedom of expression and seemingly boundless productivity I long found inspiring.

See also:

Quote 2687

Customer

We are predisposed to find evidence that confirms our existing beliefs. That leads some people to become obsessed by narratives that offer theories of everything: communism, libertarianism, religious and environmental fundamentalism- more mundane fantasies such as the inevitability of house price appreciation- or the magical properties of securitisation - John Kay http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bc86b5dc-dfcb-11e1-9bb7-00144feab49a.html#axz…

Quote 2689

Customer

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind - Timothy Leary