Monday, 14 June 2021
Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Friday, 2 April 2021
BY BOBBY WALKER
Dead shadows dance in the night
yearning for the dawn.
Cold and forgotten walking scars,
drained by decay,
wasted by time,
hungered and blurred,
to a spark ignited,
rising from the ground.
From the dark depths,
rays of hope entwine in the sky,
kissing the hills;
breathing new life
and wonders layered in light.
Naked with joy, a new day, a new world is born.
Sunday, 21 March 2021
Sunday, 28 February 2021
I remember as a young kid once being reprimanded by a stranger in a shop because I said that I didn’t like some latest fad with clothes (bizarrely at the time there was a short-lived fashion of wearing patches of cartoon pictures on denim). The explanation given was that it is popular, so I am wrong for not liking it too. The fashion changed a few months later and no doubt she changed to what she was supposed to like - to behave how she was supposed to behave and to insist on others behaving that way too.
Wednesday, 17 February 2021
What would have happened if Gandalf had accepted Frodo’s offer of the One Ring?
Gandalf freezes, the shadow of the ring draws his hand nearer; and as the fire skips a beat, the ring falls into Gandalf’s pocket. “I shall keep the ring safe and unused. However if there is just cause to use it, I shall become the guarantor of peace”, announces Gandalf solemnly.
As night draws in, Gandalf looks back over the hills at the tiny flickering lights of the Shire. The Wizard whispers to himself: “There is much to do. Much to do.” He notices the weight of his robes and the precious Ring within.
Gandalf wanders, ruminating intensely upon the weaknesses of Elves and Men. He reasons that Elves are incapable of comprehending the true power of the Ring, and would foolishly wish to destroy the golden future of Middle-earth. He knows that mere Men are too easily corrupted by its power. Gandalf is absolutely resolved: he must keep the Master Ring his own secret, at all costs.
Gandalf sits on the crest of Weathertop. The days pass, the rain falls but Gandalf does not notice; he is lost in matters of deepest consequence. Then out of every corner of the darkness come the cries of The Nine: “The Ring. The Ring!”. Gandalf raises his staff and proclaims: “I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor, your master, the Lord of the Ring!”. “The Ring. The Ring!”, chant The Nine. As the Ring slides onto Gandalf’s finger, the sky erupts with lightning. “I am the bringer of light”, exclaims Gandalf in triumph.
Gandalf of Many Colours imprisons Saruman the Traitor and unifies Elves and Men against Sauron, destroying the Dark Lord and his Dark Tower of Mordor. Much rejoicing is had by all. Gandalf announces that there is much more to do - to the consternation of Aragorn, who is executed for treason; with all his followers, kinsfolk and other suspected spies of Elrond.
Gandalf later wears an imperial gown of black and proclaims himself the Lord High God of all Middle-earth. He anoints his Ringwraiths Lords of Middle-earth, as a temporary edict to ensure order while the new Great Age of Wisdom is being forged. He puts his vast prison camps of heretics and traitors to work, building a bigger more magnificent tower on the ruins of the Dark Tower, called The Great Tower of Unity - as a example of beauty and perfection to all. Gandalf sits at the top of the tower in his golden throne room and ever-watches, ensuring his subjects are forever obeying his great will.
Gandalf is regularly overcome with anger at the disloyalty and ingratitude of his subjects, which necessitates public demonstrations of his great power, much to the amusement of the Uruk-hai. Transgressors of the laws of Gandalf are sent to Mordor to learn more of The Way of Gandalf – they are not seen again.
One day, as the Lord High God of all Middle-earth is amusing himself with the antics of his Hobbit court jesters, he sips from a chalice of poisoned wine carefully prepared by his servant Grima Wormtongue; he takes his last gasp as the Ring slips from his withered finger on to the finger of his murderer. The Great Tower of Unity is renamed The Dark Tower.
But Gandalf had foreseen and refused this fate, placing his hope instead on the unnoticed deeds of Hobbits. “Will you not take the Ring?”, says Frodo. “No!” cried Gandalf, springing to his feet. “With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly.” His eyes flashed and his face was lit as by a fire within. “Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me!”
Saturday, 13 February 2021
I haven’t been able to do much aerobic exercise this week because of the snow and the Covid-shut gyms. One thing I have noticed is that I can suddenly lift much more because of the inactivity. It just goes to show why ultra-strong athletes have to sacrifice aerobic fitness in order to optimise their strength training.
Friday, 12 February 2021
Imagine if each of your waking thoughts were logged and at the end of the day you read them back.
It would be line after line of the same thoughts pointlessly repeated.
Imagine if this were a person hanging around saying this monologue to you.
Would you be wanting more or trying to get some peace and quiet?
Wednesday, 10 February 2021
It seems that in the not too distant future a person can have a digital avatar that is convincingly human. So in effect people can design or choose how they want to look online; or at least greatly augment their appearance.
People could look like anything and any age, in real-time video, using widespread technology!
Tuesday, 9 February 2021
Galaxies are micro specks in the universe, yet the nearest galaxy to Earth is tens of thousands of light years away. This should make the ego feel silly, and the heart in awe at the unimaginable immensity of it all.
There are five stages in the human expansion story:
Physically visiting a planet at the intergalactic stage might be entirely irrelevant to any intelligent species that evolves to such a level to circumvent the speed of light – they may discover something fundamental to the nature of the universe that is completely incomprehensible to us, in our rudimentary stage of development.
Sunday, 7 February 2021
Where would I live if I could live anywhere? I am British, I owe my freedoms and opportunities in life to this country and I would never give-up British citizenship; however, if I could live anywhere in the world, would I choose here? I think, yes, but only for the summer months. London is a magnificent city steeped in multifaceted layers of history, a true world hub for almost any interest or activity; the countryside and coasts can be beautiful, relaxing and even inspiring when in the mood – but it is undoubtedly the months of perpetual darkness and dreariness that dampen its desirability. I like sunlight and sea; rivers and lakes; mountains and forests, with access to community and civilisation. I am not partial to extremes of hot and cold, or lawlessness and iniquity - or wild-fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. I think I will explore northeast Florida with my fantasy checklist when life eventually becomes more normal.
Saturday, 6 February 2021
Sunday, 24 January 2021
Saturday, 23 January 2021
Sunday, 17 January 2021
Job: employed at a financial markets brokerage firm.
Side-project: writing an algorithmic trading terminal. This may sound like a huge project but I have actually already written all the back-end code - it’s just a case of placing a GUI on top. I will gradually iterate to a stand-alone FinTech App for people to optimise and automate their finances.
Music: recording a cappella versions of powerful old songs. Also putting lyrics to classical music then singing a cappella.
Filming: have added some poems to the list of scenes I am shooting.
Saturday, 16 January 2021
First To 8 is played on the same 8 by 8 standard board used for Chess or Checkers.
The aim of the game is to be the first player to get 8 pieces to the other side of the board.
It is arguably at a level of strategy difficulty between Checkers (the easiest) and Chess (the hardest).
Both players have 24 regular pieces, one player has one colour and the other player another colour.
Each player places their pieces on all the squares of the first three rows nearest to them.
The players decide who has the first move of the game. Each player then takes turns to move one of their pieces.
Any piece can move to 1 of 3 different squares if available: Forwards Diagonal Left, Forwards Vertically, or Forwards Diagonal Right.
“Forwards” is moving towards the opponent’s side of the board.
A movement is completed when the player removes their hand from the piece.
Only one piece can occupy any square of the board.
If before moving, a player’s piece is Diagonally Forwards adjacent to an opponent’s piece and there is an empty square in the same direction behind the opponent’s piece, the player’s piece must move to the empty square and remove the opponent’s piece from the board.
If after taking, there is a new opportunity to “take”, then the player must take again in the same move until no longer applicable – this is known as a “multi-take” and can take up to 3 of the opponent’s pieces.
A player can not take Vertically Forwards.
The player must take if the taking opportunity is noticed by the opponent.
If there is more than one opportunity to take then the player has the option to choose which piece to use for the taking move.
The other side of the board is the first row of squares nearest to the opponent.
A piece can not move when it has reached the other side of the board.
The end of the game is when one player has a piece on all 8 squares of the other side of the board – they are the First to 8 – or the end of the game is when one player can no longer move.
The winner is the player at the end of the game with the most pieces on the other side of the board.
The differences with Checkers are:
- The aim is to move quickly to the the other side of the board – not like in Checkers which is to take all the opponent’s pieces.
- Pieces can move vertically forwards as well as diagonally forwards.
- Pieces can move on both square colours.
- There are 24 pieces per player instead of 12.
- A piece can not move when it has reached the other side of the board – there are no Kings like in Checkers.
All these differences require the players to adopt different tactics from Checkers.
Have a go and find out.
Saturday, 2 January 2021
I describe creative activities by five broad categories: music, performance art, visual art, writing, ideas.
At present my paid activities can often be included in ideas.
I would include any type of personal presentation as the acting form of performance art.
Thursday, 31 December 2020
I intend to make some interesting videos and films next year with my own green screen studio. With filmmaking I can write and perform the music and songs; write the screenplays; perform as an actor; and design the visual art and cinematography. Technology is continuously providing new amazing tools to play with, so the future seems very exciting creatively!
Wednesday, 30 December 2020
Tuesday, 29 December 2020
Science fiction presents some baffling themes around causality; for example, the future is the past because events are synchronous in all places at the same time. The current everyday understanding of causality is equally bizarre, however, since a causal chain of events cannot lead back forever without having a prime initiating point that is outside of these rules.
The art of any performance is truthfully interacting with the situation that is arising.
If all the world is a stage, then not knowing the future - or the fact that you are acting - helps create a great performance.
Monday, 28 December 2020
A fear of loneliness leads to desperate actions initiating pain. Enjoying the peace of solitude is breaking free from this chronic condition; and provides the realisation that if you are already complete in yourself then there is more love in you to share.
Sunday, 13 December 2020
Monday, 7 December 2020
Driving in London last night, I witnessed three separate angry outbursts in the space of five minutes by people on the roads. I always notice that the “crazy level” goes up a few notches when driving inside the M25, but that condensed series of events was the worst I’ve seen.
Saturday, 5 December 2020
Dead shadows dance in the night
yearning for the dawn.
Cold and forgotten walking scars,
drained by decay,
wasted by time,
hungered and blurred,
to a spark ignited,
rising from the ground.
From the dark depths,
rays of hope entwine in the sky,
kissing the hills;
breathing new life
and wonders layered in light.
Naked with joy, a new day, a new world is born.
Tuesday, 1 December 2020
The first stage of learning is being unconsciously incompetent: you don’t know what you’re not good at because you don’t know what you don’t know. Well-being skills can be learnt. One typical motif is that how you look at anything changes your experience; for example: anxiety can feel like pleasurable excitement, as the body in both mental modes vibrates in a similar state of high energy; or a difficult situation is your challenge to evolve and an opportunity for personal discovery; or peace of mind is your inner state of being, not the possession of external conditions. And so on, all empirically true but under-practiced.
Sunday, 29 November 2020
Saturday, 28 November 2020
If you behave outside of current norms, people will often interpret this as either the high status of trendsetting and being above what is usually expected, or low status not fitting in.
Status sensitivity is social madness because every single person is in fact unusual.
Friday, 27 November 2020
Any person is much more than even a diverse array of influences.
So I’m really not into social twittery on twit-twat and faceblobber; my summary identity is a tortoise in hare’s clothing etc etc Twitter Twiddle Twaddle blah blah rhubarb. I am not a number, I am a blancmange, or something…
A satisfying aspect of being a monarch would have been to have resources instantly directed to your ideas whenever you wanted. Unfortunately it seems in all societies all around the world, these ideas were focused on who they were going to invade next.
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Sunday, 22 November 2020
Anger. What a silly thing.
Is it of any use? Nope, it unbalances you.
The Orcs in the Lord of the Rings are driven by fury and are utterly useless at combat.
Energy from anger is polluted, destructive, counter-productive.
It can be used to instil fear, to incite others and to self-aggrandise - which is why it has been the emotion of choice by demagogues and sociopaths.
It is often learned as the default response to any frustration.
There is often anger at other people for not behaving as it is believed they should.
The reality however is that you have no real idea what has and is happening in the other person’s life you are judging.
The fact is you only ever see a tiny aspect of all the moving parts.
Saturday, 21 November 2020
In the world of work, a meeting without creating an output of value is a drain on energy and time. Incessant thinking is the perpetual meeting in the head - if it is just going over and over the same issues without providing constructive insight, then it is pointless at best, destructive at worst. Outside this room of perpetual thinking is the freedom to notice and enjoy what is happening, instead of what you are imagining.
Friday, 20 November 2020
Never ever put yourself down.
- Some people will revel in doing it for you. For their sake as much as yours, don’t make the conditions easy for them.
- Don’t diminish life; whoever you are, you are amazing and unique.
- Faux modesty is dishonesty.
- Don’t insult other people’s good opinions.
- Be strong for others.
Some personal pep talk points:
- Be in a position to help.
- Your growth should enable others to grow too.
- This isn’t a zero-sum game.
- Relative measurements are irrelevant.
- Have fun!
Thursday, 19 November 2020
A little target I’ve set myself is to make it to 100. Yes I know, quality is more important than quantity, and yes many of the factors are out of my control. I don’t take it too seriously but I like having something to aim towards.
The best way to be in good health is to be grateful for each day and appreciate the moments I am living – ironically this is a lot easier when in good health.
Sunday, 15 November 2020
Saturday, 14 November 2020
Friday, 13 November 2020
Thursday, 12 November 2020
Cats and dogs are similar, only in that they both like living with you. Cats are beautiful, elegant, magical; it feels like you are honoured if they grace you with their attention. Dogs love you - all they want is to run and play, sniff things, eat food, and most importantly: your affection.
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
I add to a file any interesting little phrases that occur to me, removing them later on if used in a song or other writing; for example, I just added: “A lived life transcends its genre.”
In retrospect similar phrases may grate on the ear with cheesiness, but if I like the sentiment at the time, then it goes in.
The content is currently about 8,000 words.
Monday, 9 November 2020
Sunday, 8 November 2020
I seem to get satisfaction out of pushing myself physically – maybe because in my mind I am subscribing to the motto “no pain, no gain”. A variation on the theme is that anything initially perceived as negative can be viewed as part of a greater improvement process.
Saturday, 7 November 2020
- Most importantly: Trendline Syncing System (TSS) – an algorithmic trading model.
- First To 7 – strategy board game.
- Also: WIBAMU Easy Accounts – simple accounting system for small businesses.
Yes, many songs are online.
Some pieces are available but the bulk is within unfinished projects – would like to actually finish something substantial.
Yep, lots of recordings.
Yes, years of research and practice – looking to greatly expand this in the future by filming scenes and podcasts.
I know this is a strength but haven’t pursued it yet.
The old line with IT is that if you want a problem fixed “turn it off then on again”. The reason is that resetting can untangle mixed-up memory and processes.
The mind if not switched-off will often relentlessly loop on the same set of thoughts, gradually wearing you down, sometimes with its own errors and fictions.
There are exercises that help you apply the IT solution, and they’ve worked for thousands of years.
Friday, 6 November 2020
Thursday, 5 November 2020
I wouldn’t call London a beautiful city, but it is endlessly fascinating. The maze of streets emerged not by grand design but grew from what had been before. It is eccentric, hickety-pickety, throbbing with history and humanity.
Wednesday, 4 November 2020
Tuesday, 3 November 2020
In the distant pre-internet days when I was a kid, I designed a board game then forgot all about it. The game actually looks pretty fun; it has a blend of strategy, risk and probability - like many good games. So I think I’ll have a few physical sets made-up, thanks to the internet and finding out there are specialist businesses that do this sort of thing.
Combining football with golf was another one of my games, which I called “Folf”. Well if I had the internet, I would have been able to find out that the sport has been around for a while and is called “Foot Golf”.
Monday, 2 November 2020
Just 15 years ago or so, it wasn’t particularly easy to share photos and updates with friends and family; there were fewer easily accessible outlets for self-expression and it was more difficult to find interesting information or media.
The downsides are well-known, although if fully acknowledged there would be more energy in finding effective solutions. There was a speed in breaking things but less appetite in clearing-up the mess.
Sunday, 1 November 2020
Saturday, 31 October 2020
Friday, 30 October 2020
In history there are countless examples where twisted interpretations of beliefs lead to the justification, or even glorification, of murderous and sadistic tendencies. Such beliefs give a person an identity in opposition to and superiority over other people, who can be condemned and abused from a position of personal righteousness.
In a conscious state of love and kindness, the causing of suffering could not be enacted. True compassion always serves as a natural safety valve, for the question is always: are you alleviating suffering or causing it?
Interesting to read that the Chief Economist of the Bank of England thinks creativity will be impaired if people do not work in an office. My prediction would be that creativity has more chance away from the noise and haste - based on the familiar theme that original thinkers, artists and spiritual figures often had some of their best insights in the wilderness, in periods of solitude, outside of bustling society.
The observation is that distance from the current melees gives a person a better perspective of the whole picture. More generally, insiders of the throng who are unaware of their predicament, are condemned to behave as they think they are supposed to, blind to anything more than the current array of behaviours, even in extreme cases where it is insane.
Thursday, 29 October 2020
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
The whole song can be better heard by listening - rather than making and amplifying noise.
The problem is the insistence on certainty, and building an identity around this, with everyone thinking they are always right.
No matter how certain you think you are, even if momentarily touched with lucid insight, you are probably not completely right (yes, including this).
There is no shame in not seeing everything or not understanding all the complexities and ramifications of all ends.
Sunday, 25 October 2020
My school up to the age of 11 was unusual because I remember doing a lot of arts and crafts, singing, drama and creative writing. This type of education has probably disappeared now under the weight of standard curricula, exams and league tables.
I only really developed a passion for learning again when I had the opportunity later on, to study at UCL and Imperial College, for which I am very grateful. I think the difference was access to primary sources and the culture of novel enquiry for contributions to knowledge, rather than teaching by numbers (no matter how nominally effective).
Saturday, 24 October 2020
A few years ago, out of curiosity and in the hope of encountering some benevolent souls, I went to a Buddhist centre in London. I could see the practical benefit in the exercises being taught and listened to some wisdom words, but was far less impressed with the paradigm of shared beliefs being advocated. There were several comments that jarred me, such as hero-worshipping and speculating in earnest as to who was the greatest recent guru; or the retelling of fantastical cosmologies as a matter of fact. My mind was truly decided, however, when music and singing was attempted: No doubt the purpose was to emote joy, but the result was a blank for me. Nothing close to truth would create art – the expression of the soul – that uninspiring.
On leaving, the assembly exited the front door past two Buddhist religioners standing on either side, giving their goodbyes. The first person was everything I hoped to find there - she clearly just radiated a sense of peace, compassion, joy and love. The second, who from the literature seemed to be the leader of the place, did not have the same effect on me. I had a feeling of disquiet and, to be honest, slight revulsion.
I never went back. I think the religion is great if it can help a person grow into the state of consciousness of the woman I encountered. More importantly though, the experience lasts in my memory because of the contrast presented to me between the two people: Do I want to be more like the one or the other?
Thursday, 22 October 2020
What to do when you have everything?
Invent more problems.
Feel unsatisfied, waiting for an event in the future that never comes.
Fill the void with distractions and medications.
Become increasingly selfish, shallow and self-obsessed.
Worry about losing what you have.
Want what you have to be acknowledged as better than others.
(unless you can break this loop).
Sunday, 18 October 2020
"Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame"
- SONNET 129 BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
Saturday, 10 October 2020
Sunday, 4 October 2020
Recorded Sonnet 129 in one take. I didn’t plan how to do it - I just absorbed the words and wanted to see what happened.
The result is interesting, like nothing I have heard before.
The character speaking is not one you should let seduce you.
Saturday, 3 October 2020
If I had the choice now to pick how many years to live, I think I would choose 10,000, although maybe when getting close to the limit I might want another quota. I wouldn’t tick the box for a human eternity, as transience feels fundamental to the nature of life.
Sunday, 27 September 2020
Friday, 18 September 2020
Watching performers, I appreciate quality but I don’t get particularly excited by even exquisite technical excellence. Looks attract, certainly, but interest is quickly lost if there is nothing real going on beyond the performance. I detach emotionally when there is anything conceited or contrived. What holds me is real lived human experience, with all its perfect imperfections; something genuine that has emerged in the moment and surprised even the performer.
Thursday, 10 September 2020
I really don’t like listening to or watching any recent performance of mine, even if I am generally pleased with how it turned out. This is weird because I don’t mind after a while, when there is some distance of time and I have forgotten about the process involved. I suppose the time delay helps me enjoy as an audience member, rather than identifying so firmly as the performer.
"When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes"
- Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Wednesday, 2 September 2020
I listened on YouTube to various attempts at turning Shakespeare’s sonnets into songs, but I don’t think these straight translations work very well. However Shakespeare is so clever that if you read the lines of his sonnets out of sequence as rhyming couplets - e.g. line 1 then 3 then 2 then 4 etc. - the sonnets usually still work well, without losing the meaning. So I picked up a guitar, strummed some rhythms and improvised some vocal melodies to the rejigged lines, and it all works great!
A key for translating Shakespeare’s sonnets into a standard song format:
Monday, 31 August 2020
A lot of what I know is the product of age and curiosity, and although broad is often just familiarity with the basics. But I do also feel something expanding within me lately and I’m not sure of the cause, like energy ignited from a switch that has been flicked on.
Saturday, 29 August 2020
It is so important with the poetic flow of Shakespeare that every word means something real to the actor, otherwise the viewer will get lost in the density of content coming at them. Watching performances of Shakespeare, it is so obvious when an actor is merely ploughing through the rhythms in a conventional Shakespearean style, rather than really living the powerful words given to them. Thankfully there are lots of good actors and performances out there.
Friday, 21 August 2020
The dictionary definition of “Atheist”, as a non-believer in God or Gods, isn’t accurate because anecdotally there seems to be many people who think the doctrinal teachings of religious institutions are cultural-based anachronisms - and so would be labelled “atheist” for not adhering to definitive religious beliefs about deities - yet believe in some higher spiritual power that they cannot define. This type of thought is different from believing that the universe’s purpose and function is completely explicable in terms contained within itself by matter and its interactions.
There are a lot of belief jumps in this sentence: The universe is a purposeless collection of matter that mindlessly configured itself by chance out of nothing, existing in time with causes and effects that had no beginning. A reasonable-minded adherent might be aware of the glaring uncertainties in this position, but state it is more parsimonious to adopt a materialistic concept of reality, than implant a God belief system as an additional layer in the theory. Yet the certainty with which many proponents preach this position as absolute truth, suggests a type of commitment witnessed in religious belief.
An Agnostic would state that the ultimate “why” questions are unanswerable, so from a practical perspective we should just be concerned with the “how” questions. The materialist’s objections to Agnosticism - based on the burden of proof for God being on the proponent - misses the point to an Agnostic who has already ruled-out religious explanations of God, but not higher meaning and purpose to reality. A particularly zealous materialist might overplay the remit of verifiable facts by stating that opinions about ultimate meaning are irrelevant if they are not scientifically falsifiable - ignoring the fact that their own conceptual model for reality contains unfalsifiable conjecture.
My own instinctive opinion is that I believe religions share the same spiritual root, although the core message was often corrupted by the doctrines and institutions that arose. This is my personal version of “spiritual but not particularly religious”. As I am most familiar with Christianity I can be labelled Christian; however I do adopt a filter and select only what resonates with me, mindful that the scriptures were written and edited by early practitioners of the religion; and that the Biblical canon was decided upon by the politics of powerful men in ecumenical councils, rather than being the unadulterated teachings of Christ. Looking back in history, the cruelties that have been perpetrated by professed followers of the religion, represent the antithesis of the message of Christ; for real spirituality - the root of Christianity - is always inspired by love, joy, harmony, peace and reconciliation.
Sunday, 16 August 2020
The Sentiment Ratio indicator gauges current market sentiment between -100% and 100%, where lower than -40% is Bearish and higher than 40% is Bullish. The channel between the two is considered Neutral.
The indicator has been particularly effective on H4 charts when used to confirm the direction of potential trading signals. On shorter term charts, when the indicator crosses -40 or 40 back to Neutral, it can be effective when indicating potential swings; for example, a sell signal when the indicator crosses below 40 and a buy signal when the indicator crosses above -40.
The Multi Trendlines indicator automatically draws the dominant trendlines on the current chart.
The indicator looks for the 5 best Up trends and the 5 best Down trends as at the current price, drawing each trendline if filter conditions are met.
The price relative to the trendline values can be incorporated into automated trading strategies or used as a tool for manual trading.
Algorithmic trading of the currency markets using the proprietary Trendline Syncing System (TSS).
Positions are based on the best entry and exit points in the rhythmic movements of trending markets, evaluated across multiple timeframes, applying aggregated Analyst pull ratios, Sentiment Ratio analysis, and economic news event actuals versus forecasts.
The Foreign Exchange Market is the optimum asset class in which to balance a healthy risk/reward ratio in all economic and political conditions. Trading by investors adds to market depth and decreases the costs of businesses, pension funds and consumers to exchange money. In normal circumstances, market currency price adjustments are a natural and necessary safety valve to an economy. Ethically (and also from a risk management perspective) we do not trade non-stable currencies.
Our investment approach is to execute strategy plans formulated by specific configurations of the TSS model, which creates automated algorithmic trades and ensures positions are implemented accurately in the currency markets 24 hours a day.
Saturday, 15 August 2020
Random thought, slipping into British mode…
Despite its reputation, England can be a nice place for the weather. We have about six months when it can be very pleasant to be here, say from about mid-April to mid-October. The dark, cold and damp months of December to February take some extra effort to appreciate.
I prefer long sunny days in the low to mid 20Cs (70Fs).
Friday, 14 August 2020
Thursday, 13 August 2020
Hello and welcome.
Excerpts (in order of appearance):
- Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare.
- Hamlet in Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
- Antony in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.
- Iago in Othello by William Shakespeare.
- Mike in West by Steven Berkoff.
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
I appreciate the story-telling of real human experience, truthfully expressing core feelings that are shared by people across cultures and time. Very generally, I tend to turn to Shakespeare for plays and poetry; and Dostoevsky for deep psychological novels. Some other great writers I like to read are Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Thomas Hardy, James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy and Victor Hugo.
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
It’s been done millions of times, but my instinctive interpretation of Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” soliloquy is a bit different from the many performances I have seen. In fact it may be unhelpful seeing other people’s performances because the blueprints distract from my own relationship with the words.
Every single person has both uniqueness and a shared oneness with everybody else. What is interesting is finding the individuality and playing with it, rather than blandly mimicking other people or current socialised expectations.
Sunday, 9 August 2020
“I HATE THE MOOR”
– IAGO IN OTHELLO BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ACT 1, SCENE 3)
Iago is such a terrifying character because he revels in what he is doing. The motivating reasons can be analysed: broken pride, a sense of betrayal, jealousy, ambition, desire for power over others - or even unrequited love turned sour, if you want to read it that way. It’s true that villains often fool themselves into believing their actions are justified, or the fault of fate or caused by others; but the main factor with Iago is that he knows he is the villain and sadistically enjoys the suffering he causes. His motivation is the full embracing of enmity.
I hate the Moor:
And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if’t be true;
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;
The better shall my purpose work on him.
Cassio’s a proper man: let me see now:
To get his place and to plume up my will
In double knavery—How, how? Let’s see:—
After some time, to abuse Othello’s ear
That he is too familiar with his wife.
He hath a person and a smooth dispose
To be suspected, framed to make women false.
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.
I have’t. It is engender’d. Hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.
“FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN”
– ANTONY IN JULIUS CAESAR BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ACT 3, SCENE 2)
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
Given how technology is moving, all the functions of your phone will be migrated directly into your brain. The “screen” will be projected into your vision and options chosen by thoughts.
All vision, sound, thoughts and feelings could be recorded. You could download and replay any recording from your experiences, or indeed from any experience of anyone else. Communication by mindscapes could replace the spoken and written word.
Your mind could operate any physical body.
Your perception of reality could be changed. Undesired emotions or detrimental thought patterns could be switched-off.
You could instantly download data and skills; and have immensely augmented cognitive processing speeds.
Your thoughts could interact with an artificial intelligence that could calculate the most efficient algorithm for any process you wish to undertake.
This isn’t fanciful thinking; it’s the implied current direction for the future. The awkward question is to what extent is this really desirable?
Of course any totalitarian regime could easily control their population by these means. An empowered sadist could run amok in all the enslaved minds.
Philosophically it makes me wonder what it is to be a human being; but in the realm of practicalities, it makes me certain: humans have to become worthy of the knowledge we are gaining.
Thursday, 6 August 2020
I think I will set-up my own green screen film studio and have some fun making videos. I want to shoot dramatic monologues and music performances — and also maybe some presentations if I’m feeling boring.
Thursday, 30 July 2020
Wasn’t Shakespeare amazing. It would be so interesting to find out how his genius developed - what he saw and experienced in his life that helped him write such beautiful words and comprehend so deeply the human condition in all its different aspects. I can think of other notable geniuses in history - Mozart in music, Newton in science etc. - but Shakespeare is a sort of mythical other, shrouded in mystery, whose breadth of insight has the greatest impact on me.
Sunday, 19 July 2020
I think I’ve found a new thing. I’m really enjoying putting a podcast together on drama - and am working out how best to film some of the recordings. It will include some of my music as well.
Sunday, 12 July 2020
I’m interested in performing great monologues from literature - it seems easy to upload audio as a podcast and filmed versions for a YouTube channel.
I’ve been looking for a podcast where I can listen to dramatic performances of literature, but am finding mostly dry monotone readings of poetry. Monologues on YouTube seem to be mostly non-realistic anger and angst.
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 2020
An obvious point is that there is greater chance of releasing the magic if not consumed by self-aggrandizement or conforming to other people’s expectations, especially if the current norms are harmful and wrong. Success in transcendent goals is not the same as success in negotiating positions of status in the current society, which of course will change with the relentless passage of time. It just so happens, however, that those people who were motivated mainly by intrinsic value, rather than their individual psychological desires, produced the best long-lasting examples of beauty and creative human potential.
Sunday, 5 July 2020
Reading about Dostoevsky. There is certainly a trend in history that the most interesting thinkers and artists tended to be outsiders for defining periods; and sometimes the untamed spark that made them great was dampened when invited in from the wilderness. Dostoevsky’s spark seemed to ignite after the more eventful stages of his life - in particular after a death sentence for sedition was commuted at the last minute to hard labour in a Siberian gulag, writing four classic novels after this period.
Saturday, 4 July 2020
The internet and smartphones have been transformative for me.
I have instant access to knowledge in my pocket. At any time I can find brilliance and beauty at my fingertips. I can learn from top minds and see the most incredible examples of what humans can do.
If I am unfamiliar with a word, I look up its definition; if I don’t understand a reference, I read about it from credible sources. When I want to learn anything, all the instructions and guidance are there.
When I need to be inspired, I can find it there.
Friday, 3 July 2020
In computer programming, effort goes into creating reusable building blocks of code that can be implemented in multiple transferable processes. Much like the exponential growth of knowledge, the components can be included as foundations in larger and larger frameworks.
Thursday, 2 July 2020
The Romans viewed the Colosseum as the zenith of civilisation, representing the natural order playing out, in glory of the Gods. In the arena was unadulterated murder and torture for the entertainment of the baying crowds.
People 2,000 years ago are us, just brought-up differently with different beliefs and living under different conditions.
Humanity has mostly now progressed to recognise the depraved evils that were socially accepted in previous times - yet a person of the time would have gone along with the accepted norm, assuming it was right because everyone else said it was right. They were wrong.
Unless you think we are currently at the zenith of civilisation, what are the great injustices of our time that are socially conditioned and accepted as normal justifiable behaviour?
Wednesday, 1 July 2020
200,000 years ago, anatomically modern humans in the world.
5,500 years ago, the written word begins.
475 years ago, the Scientific Revolution.
250 years ago, the Industrial Revolution.
150 years ago, the Technological Revolution.
70 years ago, digital electronic computers.
29 years ago, the Internet.
13 years ago, Smartphones & Social Media.
Another big changer due (or has already happened).
What will be the timeline in 1 billion years? The future could be completely incomprehensible from where we are now.
I couldn’t do as many lifting reps with less food - there may be a psychological factor involved, as this was what I had expected. Strength athletes tend to eat at regular short intervals, and deliberately overeat during the course of a day, to make sure that they have the optimum amount of calories and nutrients to build muscle - they later undertake a cutting phase to lose the fat.
Runners need to be sparrow-like, as light as possible to optimise the power-to-weight ratio. Carrying excess muscle around is not optimal.
I want to be both agile and strong, rather than ideally adapted for one function.
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Monday, 29 June 2020
Sunday, 28 June 2020
Thursday, 25 June 2020
Having a proper look around Twitter.
It’s a good way to get updates and information on interesting topics.
The massive downside is the angry political gunge seeping through it. I generally move on when people start writing in terms like “us and them” or left and right, this tribe or that tribe. Twitter seems to inflame that partisan ugly polarisation.
The gaming aspects of Twitter, such as gaining likes and follows, encourages people (irrespective of political compass) to clamour for attention, often leading to the normalisation of all sorts of distorting and destructive behaviour.
But to be honest, it is morbidly fascinating to look at all the crazy. It’s like picking a scab though, no good for me at all.
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
5 creative outlets for me:
- Playing music - vocals, instrumentals, producing;
- Performing - singing, acting, public speaking;
- Writing - music, lyrics, poetry, drama, prose;
- Visual art and design;
- Computer programming.
I’m not interested in comparing levels of ability to others, that’s not the point.
The more these areas cross-over the better.
The more I enjoy doing them, the better.
Monday, 22 June 2020
Over the past year I have experimented with three different methods of trading in the currency markets: computer automated algorithmic trading, human manual trading, and semi-automated algorithmic trading.
Purely automated trading - using pattern recognition and data mining - has proven to be very unsuccessful, which is is to be expected, as it is highly unlikely that there exists a magic formula for technical analysis that can be applied at all times. If such a thing existed, the designer of the magic money box would quickly become the richest person in history, given the trillions of dollars that pass through the financial markets every day. Successful automated algorithms in the markets compete on speed of response to price imperfections, and to variances between market expectations and economic data announcements.
Manual trading has had variable returns, yielding a slight net gain, but this is no guarantee of future performance due to the lack of a reusable fully codified strategy.
The most successful method is the hybrid combination of a human and a machine working together in real-time, which has performed very well over the testing time period. The human (me) innovates and modifies ideas from large volumes of data processed by the algorithm, as directed by me. The semi-automated algorithm then dispassionately executes the trading plan in the lifespan of the strategy, instantly and precisely processing every market tick, every moment of every day.
Sunday, 21 June 2020
I believe that there are different modes of awareness. When I am inclined towards mystical impulses, I subscribe to something along the lines that: form ends on death, but time is just a perspective from one vantage point because the past, present and future are really one; all things are really a part of each other, connected and strands in the great tapestry of life; and maybe we have one foot in this life and one in other dimensions of reality. Maybe there are incalculable vantage points.
There is a part of me that is uncomfortable with uncertainty, but even my purely rationalistic inclination finds a materialist concept of reality difficult to accept, given the absurdity of a microorganism thinking the explanations of how and why reside in the realms of the observable petri dish.
I believe that to thrive at being a good human being is the purpose - and in doing so is helping the macrocosm of the universe to unfold as it should.
Saturday, 20 June 2020
Any person has a wide range of emotions and impulses running through them, to lesser or greater degrees. Sometimes, given the right circumstances, grace can be found in the most surprising places; and sometimes ugliness is expressed where beauty usually resides.
Mindfulness is an awareness that enables greater choice over the energies that move you.
Friday, 19 June 2020
Acting is an exercise in empathy: the actor tries to understand the thought processes and emotional life of the person being portrayed. I first look into the world from the point of view of a human being, then try on some different clothes.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Tuesday, 16 June 2020
A pollyanna vision of the arc of technology is that if robots can do all the work at higher levels of productivity than people, then in theory everyone could be wealthy, enjoying the fruits of automated labour. People are then liberated from economic and social necessity to fully explore life; to hopefully find true beauty, love and self-actualization - instead of struggling, worrying and fighting over limited resources to survive.
Looking through the attic I came across something I wrote a while back, that was a little less pollyanna:
"School is typically a training in becoming a drone, with extra badges and gold stars for conformity to the set standards of assimilation into the machinery. The next life stage is to be oiled-up with the particular drugs of choice, to desensitize and negotiate the drone bot through the system, for the waiting skip at the end (unless not already fallen off into insanity)."
Made me laugh. Maybe I had watched too much Star Trek.
One of the effects of the worldwide shut-down has been to hasten the widespread transition from offline real life to an online virtual life.
The analogue world often has more reverence, albeit less sheer efficiency than the online version; for instance finding a seminal work in the labyrinth of a dusty old library feels like discovering a bit of history, rather than scrolling past disposable data on a screen.
Saturday, 13 June 2020
A: Angry humans of the twentieth century came to the brink of self-destruction, inflicting unbelievable suffering in the process. Hating the hatred helps it grow, even though it may change its face.
B: That’s just an empty platitude. If you don’t fight the malevolent, you are complicit by allowing it to continue.
A: You always become the result of the energy that moves you. Not for no reason has it been so often said that you become the thing you hate.
B: I have every right to hate. There should be justice! People sitting on mountain tops don’t have to deal with the realities of this world. If people didn’t fight for what is right, evil would walk over everything, including you and me.
A: You deserve not to be contaminated by this energy. You have a chance to be better, to make a better world. You can feel what is right and act intensely, but it is your anger that unbalances you.
B: Some people are evil, I have no intention of being kind to them, they deserve everything coming to them.
A: The world will only heal with kindness. If humanity can find its light there can be no darkness. You can help make that possible, right now.
B: Anything I do will not change the world.
A: Give your love and the world will be relieved. Give your anger and the world will be wounded yet again. That’s how important you are. That’s how important every single person is.
What would have happened if the US was not the first country to develop the nuclear bomb? What would have happened if the Nazis, Stalin, Mao or the Imperial Japanese Empire had the bomb first? No doubt after numerous live demonstrations on target cities, the world would have been subjugated to the particular brand of sadistic totalitarian control.
As technology progresses, additional existential threats to humanity will happen more regularly - the most frequently noted in biological engineering, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology. Technology is also making it ever easier to centrally track and control people’s behaviour, enabling the ideal conditions for any strain of despotic regime to thrive.
The pressure to evolve to survive is growing for humanity; given the stakes and the alternatives, we have to get better.
Monday, 1 June 2020
I sometimes experience Hypnagogia, having vivid hallucinations in my mind’s eye, in the period between wakefulness to sleep - particularly when I am very tired. I have no conscious influence over the arising images; I am just an interested viewer, with no mental presence internally voicing opinions or conclusions.
I also have experienced (although more rarely), a Hypnopompic state of mind between sleep to wakefulness, where I briefly have no memory of my life or where I am - I am just there. That sounds scary in the default settings of everyday life, to lose identity and a life story, but my overriding sense is feeling at peace, just before my thoughts come flooding in and layering everything on top.
Saturday, 23 May 2020
Like a virus, negativity will attack you in the world and attempt to feed on your energy. A thick skin is some defence, but is fragile and needs constant fierce protecting, in a battle that will be eventually lost. Rather that becoming one of the infected, with it eating away at you from the inside and spreading or intensifying the infection of others, it is better to be immune.
When you don’t need validation by someone else’s good opinion, you have gained your freedom to be who you are. People have every right to have an opinion about you, but good or bad, it doesn’t make it true. You know what is true, it may be buried under heavy ancient layers but you are the one to know.
Enjoy and accept the positive when someone has sensed something in you that resonates in them. The truth is that you become immune when it is no longer about you.
Saturday, 9 May 2020
Thursday, 7 May 2020
I have a recurring dream where I am walking down a forest path. Through the overhead swaying leaves I can see flickering beams of sunlight. Suddenly I hear the most beautiful music I have ever heard. I know I am dreaming and tell myself to remember. I wake up and can’t remember a note.
If I can’t remember, was the music really happening? My memory is that I thought I was experiencing something.
Wednesday, 6 May 2020
WIBAMU Easy Accounts is an Accounting software that interfaces with Microsoft Excel, enabling automation and easy control of your accounts.
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