On the Fourth of July I was at an America Australia celebration event. Over a glass of wine a friendly discussion arose at our table about the relative merits of our two constitutions. I said if you move from theory to actual product then I believe Australia wins. I argued that …
The American Constitution delivered the Trumps to Americans. The Australian Constitution delivered the Windsors to Australians. Compare the constitutions!
So, the evidence shows that the Australian Constitution provides a better product than the American Constitution. QED.
We all laughed, poured another glass of wine and agreed, however, that none of this trivia makes any difference to the excellence of the Australia America alliance over the last century.
34 years ago I joined the internet on getting my first Mac in 1984. The first app I started using was email and that has remained my number one preferred app ever since.
WordPress is my second favourite. I use others like google, wikipedia, and youtube.
After discovering the hyperlink (which I think is one of the greatest ever education inventions in history) I immediately began teaching lateral thinking on the net by email.
In 1995 we launched the first SOT website (there were 10,000 sites then) and we later won the “Top 5% of the Web” award. Since 1979 SOT has disseminated over a half billion thinking lessons globally.
That first decade was the mid-80s to mid-90s when the net was a great hope and filled us with energy and optimism about the future and the coming millenium in 2000.
The culture of the net (or cyberia as it was often called then) was freedom. The internet wanted to be free. It was full of academics, engineers, entrepreneurs, scientists and seekers and there was the School of Thinking.
The net was faster than anything before but nothing like as fast as today and it would crash from time to time and you’d have to resort to the fax machine.
Still, at that time, there was no spam, no pop-ups, no physhing, no trolls, no bullies, no rage-fests, no mud-slinging, no death-threats, no paranoia. There was, however, lots of trust and boundless generosity.
In 2018 the internet still has the School of Thinking but the net has also evolved into a dark age, a crackling chaos, a 24/7/365 whirling, howling, cacophonous wilderness of the greedy grasping global marketplace with its siren songs, ferocious fads, toxic wastes and vicious moods, its callous explosions, its viral plagues and epidemics and cruel and sudden extinctions.
It is rife everywhere (literally globally) with hidden minefields of traps and secret predators, spammers, snake-oil merchants, the pornerati, political apparatchiks and paranoid conspirators draining us all down into a whirlpool of a future dark web WWIII cyberwar. Is optimism being overtaken by pessimism?
As the famous inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has recently observed,
The Web failed instead of served humanity, as it was supposed to have done, and failed in many places. The increasing centralization of the Web has ended up producing—with no deliberate action of the people who designed the platform—a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.
In our own brain, we are also our own thought-leaders.
Because, if we don’t do our own thought-leadership for ourselves then someone else may do it for us and there’s no guarantee that they will do it well, or even in our own interests.
Thought experiment: What if you could sit down and have a conversation with your 9-year-old self?
Yes, that’s right. You, as you are today, with your hard-earned insights, skin-in-the-game experience and current state of wisdom. What if you could hang out with you when you were 9?
(In fact, of course, in your triune brain, you can do this.)
The Question: What would you say to your 9yo self?
Here’s one crack at it …
“Danny don’t you know that you are cool as f*ck on the inside. You’re just going through an awkward phase from 12 to 29.”