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life gets drained out of things

It is easily observed that the more something is repeated the more 'life' gets drained out of it. The energy and fun goes. So we hunt for new forms to provide a better vehicle for 'life'. Often we put the cart before the horse and think anything new guarantees more 'life'. But even a conversation can be a new form, or, rather, by being aware of life the new forms suggest themselves. I wonder if one looks for these manifestations they are potentially everywhere.

Of course a lot of the 'sparkle' of new encounters, of doing things for the first time is that the attention you get is better. The more a thing is repeated the less attention it usually provides. And 'lower quality' ie. less attractive attention.

By looking below the pleasant buzz of good quality attention, or looking around it, one can exert that special effort to inject 'life' into living. I'm going to try it anyway.


how to weigh your flight luggage at home

How many times have I set out for the airport thinking I may be over the weight limit? Just about every flight. Shouldn't I get special luggage scales- well maybe but then I'd have to fly with them and they'd be just...extra weight. Then my friend Mike Ivey suggested a brilliant idea that is stunning in its simplicity. Instead of trying to balance your sagging bag on a pair of domestic scales simply get on the scales HOLDING the bag. Then weigh yourself without the bag. Do the easy subtraction. So simple it's genius.


how do you think positively?

Negative or positive thinking really boils down to what we choose to dwell on. When I was doing a year long martial arts course during which I knew I would be sorely tempted to give up, whenever the hypothetical thought arose 'what about giving up', I squashed it immediately, knowing that even a little time spent dwelling there would be highly dangerous.

When the stakes are high we find we can police our thoughts pretty easily. But when life itself is a bit easy, with downtime and time spent accomodating the plans of others it may not appear so necessary. Then suddenly you find that you are dwelling long and often on very negative areas of thought. The injunction to think positive doesn't work really. It is too general. Rather it is more functionally effective to focus on the parts of anything that are positive and light filled. Become a guided missile seeking the positive in anything and just blasting past and never alighting on 'what is wrong with the world'. Most terrible are all the problems of nations and tribes- they will suck you in for years. If you can find something in all that mess that is positive go for it but be warned. Aim your positive seeking attennae at all the sources of positive 'nutrition' out there. How about feeding on, and giving away, laughter and light?


how we think about the future

Depending on state of mind we visualise the position of the future differently. For example, in a panic, we may see ourselves facing the past as it rushes away as we reverse into the future with who knows what shocks coming to hit us on the back of the head. Or, when mellow, we could see the future someway off to the right with the past off to the left as we proceed along the broad front of the present. Or maybe sometimes we see ourselves eyes wide open steaming face first into the future leaving the past well behind. I wonder if there is a benefit in trying to shift from one mode to another?



For those careless or foolish enough to be involved in twitter I have started a new thing called furturetweet. the idea is to make some prediction about the future and tweet it out into the twitterverse. I've just made four which you can find at the twitter address roberttwigger. My first was- Futuretweet: in the future most books will be available as a 99 cent download. Another was- Futuretweet: in the future pensioner bodybuilding contests will be primetime viewing. You get the idea. I hope that more and more people will start futuretweeting on twitter, because everyone has one good prediction at least inside them.


richard feynman's pick-up technique

The late Professor Richard Feynman was a very clever man. Though he couldn’t speak until he was three years old he quickly made up for it. At 21 he was the youngest person to work on the Manhattan bomb project. He won the Nobel prize for discovering better ways of calaculating quantum electrodynamic forces. He invented the concept of nanotechnology in his 1959 lecture “There’s plenty of room at the bottom”. He figured out why the space shuttle Challenger blew up and proved NASA wrong. He could play the bongos, paint and his textbooks have sold millions of copies. Strangely he only had an ‘averagely high IQ’ of 123, but then tests aren’t everything.

He also enjoyed in his spare time picking up women in bars. Feynman was a scientist to his very core. When something didn’t work he wanted to know why. And that included picking up women. He used to go regularly to a sleazy bar in New Mexico and though he chatted to lots of girls he never once scored. And every time he ended up paying the bill. Finally a pair of friends- the MC who compered the entertainment at the bar and his attractive wife told him he had everything the wrong way round. They gave him three rules for success with women. These rules were based on the premise that women in know that men want to appear a gentleman and not a tightwad. They exploit this to get what they want. When they are focused on getting what they want you never get what you want.

So Rule One is: Disrespect women. Never be a gentleman. Rule Two: never pay for anything. Rule Three: Never pay for anything unless they have agreed to go to bed with you and you know they aren’t lying.

The friends added that it would work for all women, not just women in a bar seeking a good time.

As a scientist Feynman felt duty bound to test these unlikely propositions. He spent the evening working himself up into a fervour of disrespectful thoughts aimed at women in general. Instead of projecting his usual considerate and likeable demeanor he focused on the show and didn’t even glance at any lovelies who manoeuvred themselves into his line of vision. When one asked if she could sit next to him he muttered ‘suit yourself’. The technique worked. He got into a conversation, bought no drinks and found himself walking the girl to her hotel. But then, in a moment of weakness he bought her a coffee and a sandwich on the way. Suddenly she changed her tune and announced she’d got a date with someone else. Enraged, Feynman demanded the money back for her coffee. He returned to the bar disconsolate but his friends congratulated him on being so tough. He thought he’d failed but they told him to wait. Sure enough at 2am the women popped her head back into the bar and told him to come up to her room.

Anxious to increase the statistical sample Feynman attempted the same trick on a girl he met at a dance at Cornell university. She was the sister of a fellow grad student. They went to the bar and ordered drinks and she waited for him to pay. Feynman said, “Before I pay I just want to know will you sleep with me?”


And she kept her word.

QED as the scientists say.

There is more of this kind of thing in the book 'Real Men Eat Pufferfish' by Robert Twigger


looking for things

Apparently, the average person spends 23 years asleep and two years looking for things...