Category Archives: waffling

Books I definitely did not buy today

Down to Withington to

  1. get anti-worming stuff from the vet for the stripey monster (and tell captive audience a terrible joke)
  2. get someone to succeed in shutting my “talking shoe” up
  3. buy new (second-hand) jeans.

As Mr. Loaf sings, two outa three ain’t bad.  And I absotively posilutely did not buy four books for the grand total of one quid.  And these books were in no way the following

  • Christopher Isherwood The Memorial
  • Christopher Isherwood Down There on a Visit
  • Andrew Sean Greer Less
  • Charles Shield And So it goes. Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.

Meanwhile, had a fab greasy spoon veggie breakfast and going through all the job applications (Sheffield, Canberra, East Anglia, Stockholm) that I have to apply for in the next few weeks. And Manchester too, for that matter…

 

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More apocalyptic word salad

 

A species corsuscating on thin ice,
Snap, crackle, pop.
Faster faster (or else), kill (the) pussycat.
How I wonder what you’re at.

Kill them all
Let the gods we kept creating in our own image sort them out.
A fetish for fish, a fetish
For bondage, human bondage.

Ah, a sondage would show -has shown –
What is to be done
but we
have telescopic philanthropy, telescopic misanthropy and
the triumph of the wilful blindness –

Our lovely brains caught in a
Half-Nelson of our own devising, of our
Own devices.

Left to them.  We will, briefly,
be left to them.
In a billionaire’s bug out bunker far Down Under (and then second star on the left).

And the loneliness will eat our souls
After the fear has done the first digesting.
No-one, no thing left to mourn us in the
Morning.

“Depends on what I was taking” – of coherence, ambiguity, classic works of art

So, writing something I shouldn’t (I will retrolink to it), I stumble on this, about one of my favourite songs, ‘After the Gold Rush‘ by Neil Young.

Dolly Parton once commented about the making of her version of the song: “When we were doing the Trio album, I asked Linda and Emmy what it meant, and they didn’t know. So we called Neil Young, and he didn’t know. We asked him, flat out, what it meant, and he said, ‘Hell, I don’t know. I just wrote it. It just depends on what I was taking at the time. I guess every verse has something different I’d taken.'”

ROFLMAO.

The song means a hell of a lot to me, as does ‘Grey Seal’ sung by Elton John and written by Bernie Taupin, who also says he doesn’t know what it means (fwiw, here’s my take).

But the Parton anecdote put me in mind of this, from ‘The Big Sleep‘ and who killed the chauffeur.  I heard (a seemingly apocryphal) story that Bogart turned up one morning on set asking that question, but it seems that the script monkeys got there first.  Anyway, Raymond Chandler, author of the source novel was phoned up, and he didn’t know…

And here are the two songs mentioned above

and

 

Maunderings and meanderings (Thesis) #Window #Metaphors #sense-making

Maundering #1

One of the key techniques for defensive institutional work is to make nonsense; to destroy or at the very least degrade the sense-making capacity of your opponents.

Disorientate your enemy, deprive them of the ability to figure out – (quick enough – these are OODA loops, don’t forget), what is going on.

Screw with the sense-making capacity that people and organisations have, hack it, simplify it in directions that are useful to you. i.e  successfully creating the ‘common sense’ that the budget of a country’s government is the same as the budget of a house, with a need to always balance the budgets in the short term etc etc.  A master frame that disables other frames….  See also “Corporations are wealth creators, governments and states are dinosaurs and parasites…”

See also-

agnotology

‘Window’/chaff – make it hard for the radar to see what is going on  [devised by Joan Curran, who seems to have been a very kick-arse scientist]

Take away the road signs in case of invasion etc etc

Maundering #2

Every metaphor/analogy comes with costs, no?  It shapes or at least strongly suggests possible paths, taken or not.  Signposts that lead the unwary or unreflective, scared or busy (and we’re all way too busy) traveller down one route rather than another.  A touch of Frost and all that.

Phantastic objects and concept fetishism

What are phantastic objects? This

phantastic objects are subjectively very attractive “objects” (people, ideas or things) which people find highly exciting and idealise. They engage core biological and psychological processes of human attachment and falling in love so that people seek to attach themselves to them because they imagine (feel rather than think) they can satisfy the deepest desires, the deeper meaning of which they are only partially aware.

Reminds me of my recent concept of concept fetishism….

Without getting all relativist on yo ass, it’s all flows and impermanence,  smudges and kludges innit?  Palimpsest schmalimpsest, throw in some undigested Heisenberg and quantums of solace.  The Buddhists may have got some of this stuff right…

 

Thrashing thrashing

Ah, we have so many ways of distracting ourselves. Most of us do, anyway.
I quite like this (though a brain is not a computer!)

It is the same with a computer cache: there will be a hierarchy – from super-fast memory in the microprocessor itself all the way down to a hard drive (slow) and offsite backup (very slow). To speed things up, the computer will copy the data it needs for the current task into a fast cache. If the task needs to be switched too often, the machine will spend all its time copying data for one task into the cache, only to switch tasks, wipe the cache and fill it with something new. At the limit, nothing will be achieved. [Peter] Denning described this regrettable state of affairs as “thrashing.”

Harford, T. 2016. An algorithm for getting through your to-do list. Financial Times Magazine, August 6/7, p.45.

In other word, what we all know – one thing at a fucking time, if you can, room of one’s own etc.

 

Glossaries and my undiagnosed CDO

CDO?  That’s OCD, in the correct alphabetical order, dammit.

So, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks.  Quite stressful.  And one of the ways I cope with stress (a displacement activity, perhaps) is to try to categorise information. It somehow soothes me.  Go figure.

Here are five glossaries that I’ve worked on (some I started quite a while ago), alongside the reading about Corporate Political Activity/Corporate Social Responsibility.

They are, in, cough,  alphabetical order

Australia (that’s my PhD, after all) – it’s the glossary which is least advanced, but will end up being the biggest.  You can also see my attempt at a very brief outline history of the crucial period 2008-2012.

Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model – the model that puts together innovation literatures and issue lifecycle literatures…

Innovation Terminology (I am, after all, part of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research)

Public Policy Terms

Social Movements

They are basically places I (and others) can go to for quotes, references, further reading etc.  I intend to keep expanding the glossaries, adding data to the individual pages, but only after I have written the relevant paragraphs of my thesis that go with that “snippet” (or part of the fabric!). Comments welcome.