I am a big fan of a book by a guy called Dave Allen called “Getting Things Done.”
There are heaps of useful concepts (well, a whole system) on productivity. I have so far only adopted little bits of it – more fool me.
It occurs to me though that there’s another (spoof) book to be done called Getting Things Wrong.
Not that any of us need any help in screwing things up, it being the human condition and all.
Still, it would be funny. Shall Add to The List…
I wrote this below today. Then checked out the DT archives. I published something very similar on September 18th 2010. Dog, vomit, return.
Why? Because I have ‘access’ at the moment. And need to remind myself not to be bovvered one way or the other.
You can have access to decision-makers without having any influence on them.
You can have influence on decision-makers without having any access to them.
Forced to choose between the two, NGOs and pressure groups usually go for the former. And once they have access, they want to defend it. They self-censor, scale back demands etc etc.
Liberals need to believe that our lords and masters are reasonable, ethical Enlightenment beings.
And they need to keep the direct debits flowing from their (liberal) subscribers.
They can’t afford – psychologically or financially – to understand what is actually going on. And they allow themselves to be used as a figleaf, a stab vest etc. And if you point out that their access didn’t buy them any influence at certain key points, they get a bit confused, at best…
The game’s the game.
It wasn’t the axle. I didn’t know enough to do a proper differential diagnosis. It was the bearings. Unsurprising, given my size and the punishment that gets dished out to the lovely bike.
There was something early on in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” about people who want to learn how to do maintenance and those who think it’s “more efficient” to subcontract it out, rather than learn those skills. I have been, too long, in the latter group. But you can’t change the past, and beating yourself up about the past is mere narcissism. It’s time to get out of the comfort zone and become an aspirant to the former category…
Watch this space…
I have a friend who I really admire (I shan’t gush too much – he’s probably reading this).
And he’s also a member of a certain (mainstream) political party.
And when we were talking on the weekend about a project I am involved in that involves political action/education/lobbying etc he really struggled to understand – or maybe I am being unfair? – the why and how of someone being intensely “political”/activist-y without being in one of the tribes.
It’s not an unusual thing. If you are not a joiner, you make people nervous. They assume that you are bidding your time before you do, finally, succumb to the cloying embrace of Discipline, Loyalty and Visible Party Lines.(1) They assume that if you criticise Eurasia, you must be an agent of Oceania. Or Eastasia – whoever the official enemy is these days…
I understand it, and the only way, I suspect, to have them grudgingly admit it is to spend years (decades?!) beavering away unaffiliated.
(1) I hasten to add, though, that admired friend is a truly independent thinker!!
From the Telegraph;
The Iran nuclear deal could have been done eight years ago, if Bush and Blair hadn’t blocked it…
“President Rouhani was then the chief Iranian negotiator and John Sawers (now head of MI6) was the chief British negotiator. At a meeting on 23rd March 2005 at the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, Mohammed Zarif, now Iranian foreign minister, offered to put limits on Iranian enrichment, renounce nuclear weapons and allow round-the-clock IAEA inspection at its enrichment plants in return for Iranian development of centrifuge enrichment technology.
“It was an incredibly generous offer. But when Sawers took it back to London it was blocked by Tony Blair, acting on the orders of George W Bush. At that time, the US wouldn’t tolerate the operation of even one centrifuge in Iran. Now, when around 19,000 centrifuges have been installed, the US has bowed to the inevitable.
“In other words, all the pain and agony of the last eight years could have been avoided if only the Iranian offer had not been blocked by Britain and the United States.”
Yep. So typical of the West. This is a story that has been repeated on so many occasions – the Horrible Vicious Enemy wants to do a deal, but our Responsible and Glorious Leaders say “no” thinking that the willingness to do a deal shows weakness and that more concessions can therefore be extorted. Thousands – hundreds of thousands – of people die because of sanctions/wars, and in the West kidney machines are replaced by rockets and guns. Following the exhaustion of the West’s power/credibility there is the same deal done that was available many corpses before. Idiot hacks spill oceans of ink telling lies about the Triumph of Western Firmness, clever diplomacy by the Europeans/Americans.
Brilliant, imho. From the New Left Project
If you’re hoping to rebrand feminism, in the hope working class women wake up and embrace liberation, you may need a wake up call. You don’t have to go as far back as the matchgirls strike to find examples of working class women’s standing up for their rights. Women Against Pit Closures were a formidable and unabashedly feminist force in the 1980s. Every grassroots community campaign group or organising event I visit now has far more women leading and in attendance than any middle class media panel or event. There’s a proud autodidact tradition amongst working class folk (my grandfather, who left school aged ten, read more Dickens than I’ve ever managed), and claiming politics and feminism needs to be dumbed down to appeal to us is tedious and offensive.
Ultimately, in every movement, self-criticism and self-analysis is intrinsic. No one decides to campaign or care about an issue in possession of all the facts. And the landscape of politics linked as it is to the world, keeps changing and shifting. Arguing that feminists should be exempt from criticism, especially when they’ve built a platform claiming to represents feminists and women, is ludicrous. At this point, we’re entering an argument that advocates a depoliticised and fluffy feminism The Onion beautifully parodied with their article “Women Now Empowered By Everything A Woman Does“. Pointless vacillation on the purported impenetrably of a single word is facile, and ignores the crux of the issue – conflict in feminism when a campaign for a marginalised group marginalises or silences people within our ranks. And if feminism wants a better society, starting with a better self is a good start.
If I am going to watch a very long car chase, then I need to care who “wins.” And in this wretched film, I didn’t. I didn’t care during the drone attack, the wolf attack the this attack and the that attack.
Tony Gilroy has found out what happens when he makes a Bourne film without a) Paul Greengrass [whom he apparently loathes] and without, um, b) Matt Damon. What happens? Not much. And not much that is good and original (the good bits are not very good, and also are not original. The original bits – with the exception of the attempted murder/rescue at the house – are not very good.
There are plot holes you could drive any number of hi-jacked police cars through. In the first films there are plot holes too, but the makers of those earnt a pass through deft characterisation, directing and writing. Not here.
The thing that drove the first three films – Bourne’s quest for not just his identity but redemption – is missing here. Bourne does things in the films (and in the first book) that are “stupid” in terms of survival/escape because he has other more important things than his mere survival on his mind (no spoilers, but the penultimate scene of Bourne Supremacy still brings tears to my eyes, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.)
The cute bit – that Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) joined the Programme to get smart – is not enough to humanise him. Neither he nor Rachel Weisz’s scientist character seem at all bothered that they’ve been doing lots of wetwork. And if they’re not going to have even qualms, let alone empathy, for the people on the receiving end of the Empire, why am I supposed to care whether they themselves get waxed? I’ll watch a redemption play. I won’t watch an escapade.