Had something of an epiphany recently, while writing a leader column on crypto-currencies for the magazine eForex.
I've written on this subject before (and intend to do so again), and I'm used to seeing Bitcoin discussed in terms of: whether a currency is viable without a central bank behind it; whether criminal usage invalidates a currency; whether upward volatility presages downward volatility. What I haven't done is move away from the financial community, which is looking at crypto-currencies exclusively as a potential trading pair with the US dollar, and visit the development community.
It's not that there are exchanges, but that there are people discussing crypto-currencies purely in terms of their day-to-day utility. I think it's interesting, as we all drone on about the financial recovery, austerity, blah, blah, that there are people who have given up on waiting for the patient to recover. They're the young-ish people building the modern world, the IT and the infrastructure and the social media and all the rest of it, and they're working out their own methods of paying each other.
When the (un)employment statistics come out, particularly youth unemployment, I like to glance across at the numbers of young people setting up their own businesses. They're not waiting for us to help them. As the grown-ups drone on about problems that never seem to get solved, the next generation is shedding all that stuff like a snake sheds a skin.
Employers, politicians, bankers and other would-be authority figures don't have the role that they think they have in the next generation's lives.
Way back in the stone age, somebody noticed that lists work on magazine covers. Then everybody went online, and now we're all trying to catch each other's attention. With lists.
To celebrate the arrival in my inbox of <Steve Jobs's 7 Rules for Working the Media> (Google it, why don't you?), I offer this personal list of lists you can safely ignore.
1. Any list that isn't limited to 3, 7 or 10 items. 5 is sort of okay, but any other number is just silly.
2. Any list that tells you how to behave on social media. If you haven't got that by now, it's too late. The evidence is out there.
3. Any list of obscure foods that will make you fatter, thinner, healthier, more beautiful. Don't eat rubbish, do take exercise. That's it.
4. Any list that makes you feel bad about anything you do. You're human. Treat others the way you'd like them to treat you. Treat yourself with the same respect. That's it.
5. Any list that's all about "should" and never about "could". It's your life. Live it your way.
6. Any list with a celebrity name on it. They didn't succeed that way; they just want you to think they had a plan. It's always luck, talent and persistence. Three things.
7. Any list that doesn't make you smile.
8. You guessed it. This list.
What happens here
This site is updated weekly, usually on a Friday although I might change that (again). I write it because (1) I like writing it and (2) I like having a deadline. More often than not, it works out as a commentary on the week just passed*.
There are no ads, no pop-ups and no tricky business with cookies. I don't take money for my own opinions. [Except when they come out in book form.] I write this for myself, without a set agenda, on any subject that catches my attention. If you're interested enough, it's not hard to work out my interests. Not impossible, anyway.
*Although I seem to have gone away from that recently. Normal service may or may not be resumed.
No data is kept on this website overnight. Blog posts are usually shared to my Facebook page. We can discuss them there if you feel so inclined.
Where are we now? We're hurtling round the sun, held to the ground by a weak force that we don’t begin to understand, arguing about trade deals between the land masses on a planet mostly covered by water.
The dolphins must think us ridiculous. No wonder they only come to the shallow water to play with us, not to signal their most complex philosophies. More.
Riddle. It takes two to make me, but when I'm made, I'm only a memory. What am I? Scroll down to find out.
Is that a catastrophe I see before me? Could be. There was a clear sky earlier, but now clouds are encroaching from the North. We could be in for a storm. More.
You found me!
Welcome. Thank you for coming. But am I the right
William Essex? Click here
to meet some more.
Read My Shorts?
Here is yet another page of old blog posts and other writings. Sorry, but I need my metaphorical sock drawer for metaphorical socks. The link to the page is right at the end of the paragraph here.
Roads without end
Here is a passage from a review of the book The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart. I haven't read the book (yet), but the collected reviews would make a worthwhile set of political arguments in their own right. More.
State of the Union
Several commentators today saying that they've lost confidence in the US. Making their point by talking up the glories of the past. After two weeks of this administration, they're not going back.
Were they wrong, and they've seen the light? Or has the US changed? I guess the latter is the intended meaning. But we should at least acknowledge the possibility... More.