The blackness of the night sky is testament to the fact that the universe has a finite age.That age represents the maximum amount of time that light can have been traveling.

Because photons move at a definite, finite speed, that naturally means there is a limit to the distance they can have covered over the lifespan of the universe. We call this limit the particle horizon, and it marks the bounds of the observable universe.

Anything beyond the particle horizon is too far away for the photons it emits to reach us and thus can’t be seen even with the strongest telescope.

It’s not that there isn’t anything in the dark patches between the night stars: any objects that are there are just beyond the reach of our vision.

Illustration of Olbers’ Paradox (Wikimedia Common)



true:  1. in accordance with fact or reality.  
2. genuine; not spurious or counterfeit.
                             - Oxford English Dictionary

Offline or online, the world is a wide web of truths. It’s a shopping mall. A huge marketplace of all kinds of truths. Little truths. Big truths. There are many, many truths. Millions of them.

These truths (or memes) live in brains and are, literally, hopping about from brain to brain via smartphones all day long, 24/7. Yes, 365.

There are all kinds of truths that want to live in your brain. Some are true and most are untrue.

There are acquired truths and real truths. There are new truths and old truths. Unscientific and scientific. Low-probability and high-probability. Dormant and dominant. Lazy and busy. Simple truths. Complex. Vicious and virtuous truths. Dumb. Clever. Logical and lateral. Popular truths and secret ones. Fast truths and slow truths. There are convenient truths and inconvenient truths. There are half truths.

I’ve repeated the OED definition of true again at the head of this chapter because we can divide all these truths into two general categories: fake and real.

To paraphrase the OED, fake truths are spurious and counterfeit. Real truths accord with fact and reality.

There are hives of truths, megahives, There are places that host replicating truths. For example Facebook and Wikipedia and Weibo. Here there are millions of truths buzzing about from brain to brain on second-by-second transactions at the speed of light across the wired world. Some truths are better at replicating than others. Some win. Some lose.

Remember, truths always need homes to live in and these homes are human brains. The most successful truths are the ones that are good at acquiring brains. They spread, virally, from brain to brain across the web.

Other truths are less successful and some may not even survive. This is the darwinian fate of truths. Replicate or die!

Now. This is the thing. Get ready for may what come as a big shock. Because the cognitive consequences of this next insight are huuuuuuuge!

The most successful truths

are not always the real truths!

Fake truths often spread faster than real truths. Counterfeit memes are often more popular than facts. Convenient truths may acquire many more brains than inconvenient truths.

So, from now on, we are going to divide all the truths in the world into two categories: acquired and real.

Real truths are those truths that are supported by facts and most accord with reality. They have the balance of evidence on their side.

Acquired truths are those that are simply good at getting replicated into your brain but are not real truths at all.,width-400,resizemode-4/50678140.jpg

Extract from new book:

Is smartphoning the new smoking? 

Michael Hewitt-Gleeson 2016.

PRR Personal Trainer


In my business I often get asked in media interviews and seminars questions like, “What is the ultimate strategy for success?”

Everyone, understandably, wants a quick fix, a secret passage, a short-cut.

If there really is a short-cut. If there really is a secret passage. If there really is a genuine answer to such a question, I think it is what I have called – PRR which stands for Practice-Repetition-Rehearsal.

Practice-Repetition-Rehearsal x10
A pattern is something that is repeated more often than random chance. To develop new patterns of thinking your brain needs repetition to build the new pattern. Ten times the repetition. This is such an important strategy for your personal success that we will devote this whole lesson to it.

I had the pleasure of advising Jack Welch when he was Chairman of General Electric and used to say, “You’ve got to be out in front of crowds, repeating yourself over and over again, never changing your message no matter how much it bores you”.

Many people are not aware of the fact that the original concept of “self-help” and “individual personal development” was invented by the early orders of knighthood.

The Stirrup
It was the invention of the stirrup in the ninth century that led to the idea of the knight.

4wayNow a horseman was much surer in the saddle and so the cavalry charge against a wall of infantry became possible. This reduced infantry to the role of support troops and attention became focused on the horseman or cavalier or knicht (German) and his special individual training and personal development.

When one is a serious student of the history and strategies of training and personal development, one must research and analyse the concepts and strategies of everyone from Sun Tzu to the orders of chivalry.

Training + Service = Virtuosity
The ancient noble practises of thousands of hours of training and service allows the individual aspirant to attain an epic level of excellence and virtuosity.

This eliteness of training separated the orders of knighthood from their military predecessors. The notions of excellence and quality – of developing one’s ideals and physical prowess through tournaments and practice and of offering one’s service to others – became the original concepts of chivalry and knighthood.

This gave chivalry its peculiar quality which has endured for 900 years.

5361099-word-cloud-concept-illustration-of-chivalry-knighthoodThe New Age of Chivalry
All the original crusading orders of knights have been extinct for 200 years since Napoleon drove the last of them out of Malta in 1798 scattering them far and wide around Europe from London to St Petersburg in Russia. But today we see a big return to the ideals of training and service. Perhaps we are now in the New Age of Chivalry. An age of chivalry when the pen is mightier than the sword.

People around the world are attending seminars, reading books, buying tapes, attending training courses, gyms and so on at a rate that would make the ancient knights green with envy. You, yourself, doing this training, are one of them.

All of this goes to show that there is a big trend in Australia, the United States and around the world for people to help themselves and to help each other, as never before in history. And the bottom line is practice,
practice and more practice.

So, remember this: Seminars don’t work! Books don’t work on any subject unless you practise! On the other hand, practice always works. Repetition always works. Rehearsals always work.

The Ultimate Strategy is PRR!

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that the ultimate strategy for success in any area is Practice-Repetition-Rehearsal or PRR (prounounced: “pee double-are”).

Jungle Warfare
During the Vietnam era, Australia’s Jungle Training Centre at Canungra in Queensland was considered one of the best in the world. In Jungle Warfare, one of the things soldiers must learn is what to do in the event of an ambush.

Now, of course, an ambush really is the worst situation you could be in. It’s totally unexpected and the natural patterns of behaviour are not useful.

Imagine that you are going along a jungle path nearly back at base camp, tired, certain you are safe. Suddenly you run into an AMBUSH!! Suppose the ambush is on your left. They’re lucky; they have the element of surprise. You try not to get into that kind of situation, but what if you do?

Opposite Way

Well, first, what is the natural thing to do? Naturally you will tend to run the opposite way, but all that does is to keep you clearly in the line of fire. Actually, the best thing to do is to turn left to face them and walk straight into the ambush, because on the other side of the ambush, lies safety (and you even get a chance to have a go at the other guys).

So that’s what military trainers teach: when a group runs into an ambush coming from the left, the lead man is supposed to yell “AMBUSH LEFT!!” and then everyone is supposed to turn left and attack. But, in a highly emotional situation like an ambush, it’s difficult to do that just because someone yells out “AMBUSH LEFT!!”

You know you’re supposed to turn left and walk straight into it. You could probably pass a written exam in that right now! You could probably even teach it to somebody else! But to actually DO it yourself is another matter. There’s a huge difference between knowing and doing.

Royal Australian Air Force
In the early 70s, in the RAAF, I was taught to eject from a plane.

Again, you don’t want to have to eject from an airplane, but when it’s necessary there is no other choice.

There are much more modern systems now, but the way I was taught on the Maachi Jet was this: you just reach up and pull down two little yellow and black striped handles.

That’s all you have to do! Everything else happens automatically. What that does is to detonate a bomb under your seat which explodes and pushes you through the canopy of the plane. Not very pleasant.

Of course it’s the lesser of two evils. If something goes wrong and you get the command “EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!”, at that moment you simply reach up and do it. You can’t wait to think, “This couldn’t be happening to me.” You have to eject immediately! You have to go first before the front seat pilot does because if he goes first, the explosion of his seat will kill you.

No, you don’t have any time to think it over. You must know that when you get that command you ARE going to reach up and do what’s called for. Again, it’s simple to know but difficult to DO.

Knowing Versus Doing
It’s another case where there’s all the difference in the world between knowing and doing. Doing takes skill, and skill comes with training. With practise, practise, practise over and over again you can do it. Then, when something or someone triggers the pattern with the command, “EJECT!”, it will trigger your being able to actually DO it.

In a patterning system, like your biological necktop, PRR (prounounced: “pee double-are”) is the ultimate strategy for building the deep executive patterns that you choose to override the weaker ones.

“The most successful people in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion. It is the one who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider – progressively able to grasp any theme or situation – persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thoughts upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree.” – Alexander Graham Bell.


PRR is like your own personal trainer. When you use the PRR necktop software you always improve. What new insights are you developing on the subject of PRR? Do you understand the strategic relationship between PRR and skill development? Do you understand that when it comes to aquiring virtuosity in any human skill the #1 strategy is PRR?

DFQ #072:

Give an example of how you once personally benefited from PRR in the past.