Sir Tim, world peace -good piece!!

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, has told The Drum that he hopes a more peaceful society will be the lasting legacy of his invention.

In a wide-ranging interview, the British-born computer scientist opened up about his aspirations for the web and his thoughts on its progress so far ahead of his induction into the UK Digital Hall of Fame at ad:tech in London next week.

Speaking from his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sir Tim said: “Hopefully [the web] will make the human race work more efficiently in many, many ways: we’ve already seen acceleration of commerce, and the acceleration of learning.

“The big question is can we use it to accelerate peace? One of the worrying things when people go online is that they tend to interact with their own kind: race, colour, creed, sexual preference and so on.

“People tend to stick to their own on the web. So the big thing is to get people to connect across cultural borders.

“If you’ve just been in conversation with somebody, or somebody’s parents about some common interest – whether it’s bird watching or global warming – you are less likely to shoot them.”

Sir Tim said the growing availability of mobile phones would help realise this ambition of a more connected world.

“The web going mobile will bring the people using the web from 25% to 80%,” he said.

“I think people in the developing world will start with phones then may want to move to cheap tablet PCs. The price of devices is generally falling.

“It has always been a mantra of mine that when you make a website you should make no assumptions of what sort of devices people will be using.”

You can read the full interview with Sir Tim in the latest edition of The Drum magazine, which is published today.

Read more at http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/09/14/sir-tim-berners-lee-hopes-peace-will-be-lasting-legacy-world-wide-web#pQy4xM6iWAeI6zVD.99

Bob, Bill and the global village

In case you missed it:

Evening Standard 27 June 2012.

“We are living in the most interdependent time in history. The evidence is all around us. Wealth and talent now cross borders that are more like nets than walls but so do less positive forces. The financial crisis that started in the United States and swept the globe proved just how deeply our social and economic fates are intertwined – we can’t escape each other any more.
The good news is that we have more power than ever to build a world of shared values and shared opportunities- and nowhere is this clearer than in Africa.” President Bill Clinton (the one that cleared the deficit!)

“Of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, most are African. The IMF predicts the continent’s economy will expand by more than five percent this year……That’s just the start. Africa is young-half the population is under 16. Within a few years, it will have the worlds youngest, most energetic workforce. And they will be living increasingly in Africa’s great cities. It already has more cities of more than one million than China and India.”
Don’t they know it’s Christmas? Thanks, Sir Bob – it looks like it’s coming!

Relevant, to Village People

Relevant to village people.
The knowledge revolution claims more victims and wins stunning victories by the day.
The 3m plus views of a Scottish school girls meals was seen around the world, in spite of the local councils effort to ban her innocent record of the dinners they served. The dinners have, of course, improved immediately!
The puzzle of the internet causes much disturbance in the ether. All the Internet does is enable human beings, with their hundreds of years of behavioural development, to do what is ‘only human’ but in a greater number, faster than ever before. What they use to do it, twitter, Facebook, google +, etc are merely tools we use……not unlike savannah mans club or zettabyte mans iPad, or the new nexus 7.
But what the Internet cannot do is ignore the basic human rights of individuals laid out, after much thought, in the US constitution, the UN charter of Human Rights, or heaven forbid, the mighty tome of the European version! The Internet is our Internet, and subject to the rule of law, our freedom of speech. So what? The massive power vested in the new hi-tech companies are struggling to balance justification for staggering valuations with these basics. Neither the ‘government’ or ‘corporate’ bodies quite knows how sure they are of their positions. All the while millions of us mere mortals click our way in a microsecond to that which satisfies our needs. See the Wikileaks dilemma and the desire to see and know everything we do on the Internet ‘in our interests’. What is demonstrably true is that when we instinctively feel we cannot TRUST our favourite app we consign it to the ‘old app bin’ How many apps have you got on your kit that you no longer use but hesitate to delete?
On Exmoor there are the remains of once thriving iron ore mines and their villages. Once upon a time the Phoenicians came to the West Country for our ores and minerals. Nowadays we take it for granted that they come from somewhere else. We farm sheep now, but we did export them to Australia and New Zealand and we now get it back frozen in the supermarket. Imagine the locals gossip while this decline went on, when someone suggested taking sheep to the other side of the world! They don’t talk about it here now but they do in the global village. China is spending trillions opening up mineral rich Africa – and not at Exmoor or Australian standards. See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100167865/gina-rinehart-saves-the-world/.
There are more cities of over a million in Africa than in China. There are enormous populations, in India, China, Indonesia and all over the Far East who are grabbing the knowledge revolution with open arms and their mobile devices. Nowadays Exmoor deals direct with the world – unthinkable only a few years ago. The problem is the urban mind set. ‘everyone I talk to says the same’ – yes,in a city but now they have the Internet in common. The extraordinary rise of single issue political sites such as the Pirate Party are shaking the solid beliefs of politicians all around the world. Suddenly it does not matter what the people of Athens, Rome,Moscow, Sydney,or London think – it’s what a large numbers of ‘followers’ think – the global village. But it was ever thus. Jaw, jaw is better than war, war; even if what the latest feed from iPhones in Syria shows us is horrible. But we see it, we feel it, as if it was in our village and the world has had enough. The greater good of the greater, Internet connected world will reach new levels of human achievement – see Aristotle blog previously ! Go well!

Monday Muse

The Jubilee break is over. I am reminded by the scene of 1.5million happy,loyal,faces marching up the Mall of the comment of our Internet politico hero, William Hague, who was heard to mention to the visiting heads of state being entertained by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: ‘Look, 1,000,000 people marching on the Palace – and all with peaceful intent, smiling happy and cheering their ruler”. So, we leave Gloriana to return to shells and bodies in Syria while the world looks on. And, it does look on because of the Internet. How many social networks have that sort of instant ‘hit’ power?
The population of the Internet is now over a third of the planet, and we have only reached the foothills. I was asked by a friend recently; ‘where is all this Facebook, Twitter and email going? He proceeded to add all the usual and ‘only human’ concerns. My reply, in the vein of Savannah Man to Zettabyte Man ( see previous), was to take him back to Dulverton,Exmoor in the 15th century. There was a thriving village culture; families, business, law and order but also ‘only human’ culture. Charlatans were readily identified, gossips ‘ducked’ and all enjoyed the pleasures and discomforts of Shakespearean England! Twitter is no different – you don’t have to follow people you are not interested in, but you can follow the ones you are. You may feel a small fish in a big pond but you are important and have your rights . Martin Ivens (Sunday Times 10/6/12) “Long to reign Over Us :the super-rich” quotes Tyler Cowen on the uber rich : “ Yet we don’t really resent the super-rich because we don’t want to work as hard as them ….Envy is directed at the guy down the hall who has got a bigger raise…it’s directed at the husband of your wife’s sister, because the brand of beer he stocks costs $3 a case more than yours” He goes on to quote Gore Vidal: ‘Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies’. Only Human!
The internet is our internet, our input is our internet.

Facebook and others of that ilk should re think their core values. Truth and integrity are timeless values and you mess with them at your peril. The bungled flotation of Facebook is a lesson as is their attitude to our data -see recent twitter/posts. We the people own the content. We grant you rights to use it when in our
interest. Break the trust and integrity barrier and we will simply withdraw. Googles ‘Do no evil’ is a tough call so, good luck guys! Must hide there’s a drone overhead!
You will wake up one morning and we’ve gone, we vote with our clicks – so don’t be a social nitwit!

The Anglo-sphere (See Dan Hannan review @DanHannanMEP : Winston Churchill: the father of the Anglosphere). “The Anglosphere peoples believed, because their institutions had taught them to believe, that individual liberty, limited government and the rule of law were worth preserving – with force of arms if necessary”

Rule one of the Internet – if you tell lies you will be found out. So to my friend I would say; you have choices; Ignore it and enjoy the peace and beauty of Exmoor (www.marinerslodge.info !), join in and enjoy it – but, above all make sure its true and has integrity or you will be found out. If you care about you or your tribes (companies, groups) identities promote yourself! But don’t bullshit.
“The internet gives politics the opportunity to return to the village hustings” W Hague. Watch the extraordinary progress of the Pirate Party in Germany. We don’t cheer or throw rotten cabbages today; we blog, tweet or email. Following twitter over Levison reached a new height that encapsulates all the above. Who told the truth? Murdoch or Brown? This will run and run,- or run out because the suns come out at last!

Warren Buffet is bucking the trend again by buying up regional Newspapers…does this recognise the very same ‘village gossip’ above?

Its all back to RELEVANT (see Taxi – are you relevant? previous). We must be getting near the ‘silly season’ as Martin Amis talking from the Hay festival was musing on age; when you get to your late fifties the only certain thing is death so you better not waste these years as you may have your youth’ Ah Ha!

Taxi! Are you RELEVANT?

If you are walking down the street and you need a Taxi your senses are finely tuned to spot that little light in the midst of all the traffic, noise and other people. It’s a bit like trying to attract attention on the Internet. Understanding what the brain is doing in this situation gives us clear guidance as to the answer. The brain is receiving masses of signals up your spinal column all the time – try stroking the hairs on your arm. See! You feel them immediately….but, why haven’t you been feeling them since you woke up this morning? The answer is in your ‘Headware’ . Your brain filters out ALL that is not RELEVANT. Years of evolution have fine tuned us to spot danger and opportunity to survive. It’s a very strong effective  ‘headware package’ that’s running  –  it’s very effective at getting your taxi – but it excludes everything else!

So, before you post your message you must know what’s relevant in any given set of circumstances. All sites, Google, wordpress, are looking automatically, like you for KEY WORDS. Look to your right…. The system has picked out key words that it thinks are RELEVANT.

Let’s look at Your Company and see what’s relevant to you and your customers.

How relevant is the finance function of the business to your job? How relevant is their knowledge about the importance of the efficient monitoring and recording of all financial aspect to your job Is  it as RELEVANT to each of the people you are responsible for as you?

How relevant is your effectiveness to your business plan and your financial health? Ask yourself the questions. Is what you are doing, and see as relevant, as relevant to the people you are employing?

Start noting key words not sentences.

How relevant is everything you do to your clients? If they were to be asked the same question, would the answers match? Look at what you present to the world, whether it is written, an email, or on your website. Is it RELEVANT Are you relevant or are you irrelevant? When you and your actions become relevant to your client they will ask you to provide goods and services. It is relevant to them…..what is irrelevant to them?

Ask yourself the question: how relevant is what you are currently offering to all of your clients? How relevant is what you think (as the manager) you are offering to your clients, to each of the people you employ? Is it ‘just making the grade’ or is it the most relevant thing they have during their working time?

How relevant is the administration of your business to the overall effectiveness of your team plan? Where does it become irrelevant? What are the consequences of it being irrelevant? How relevant are the goals of your team to the goals of the administration team? Are you just the ‘ bloody nuisance down the corridor’ or do they see it as a most important part of their job to keep you being as effective as possible? How relevant are all the people who interact with you and your department to them and their department?

Note the key words

The Management function

Whether it’s a board of directors, or the managers the shareholders expect them to produce the best. The level of performance poses a question -what level of performance is relevant? – you know perfectly well what happens if it becomes irrelevant because – You are not fulfilling your targets, you are not up to the grade. Then it becomes very relevant to you personally. It used to be ‘ if at first you don’t succeed try, try, again……’- It isn’t in today’s world, it’s ‘if at first you don’t succeed – fix the blame fast! Well, ‘fixing the blame fast’ is one way of doing things but it does tend to focus the minds of the people on the relevance of ‘how to avoid a crisis” as opposed to anticipating events before they become a crisis.

So, in conclusion, look at your work, look at your family, look at yourself – you know who all the relevant people in your tribe Work out your RELEVANT key words.

What’s is their relevance? If you are not getting 100% relevance in all the areas that count, with all the people that count, then you will become an outcast in the ‘village’. You won’t see it to begin with, but people just stop asking you around, they stop asking your opinion, they don’t return calls or emails, and that fantastic brain of theirs starts to use ‘creative avoidance’ in order to minimise your irrelevance.

Now TAXI! -Or call us…

Aristotle Epicurus and the Internet debate Join in!

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In ancient Greece you would have found yourself without wi-fi – and a lot else, but you would have been able to sit at the feet of two great and influential figures, Aristotle and Epicurus.
Aristotle believed we, living beings, special function was to reason. Used properly leisure enabled people to realise human nature at its best. The exercise of reason for its own sake – intellectual reflection practised by excellent people (like us today, of course!)

Epicurus, had a different view: we are a random collection of atoms, which desire pleasure. Leisure is a means to find pleasure- a sanctuary from the hassles of public life.Simple pleasures produce a healthy body and a tranquil mind best appreciated by his followers, children and animals.(like? fill in the blank……)
What would the two have made of the Internet? Aristotle would have surely eulogised about the potential for all to use the universally available knowledge to realise human nature at its best. But, what would Epicurus have said? ‘stick to Facebook, Twitter and angry birds for innocent amusement only?’ Discuss.

Any similarities to present day circumstances are purely coincidental.
Or, nothing really ever changes….what do you think?
Post your thoughts below:

Why Boris won?

First I should admit bias, the Johnson’s are also an Exmoor family. As I write, about  Savannah man to Zettabyte man, I elude to ancient British sites on Exmoor, as opposed to the hi- tech Knowledge Revolutionaries in the Capital.

There’s an echo of ‘the rumble in the jungle’ about Boris. The Knowledge Cloud is focussed on constantly asking ‘what is RELEVANT – to you, your job and your family and vice versa; why? Because to the rest of the world it is irrelevant, ‘Twas ever thus, from Exmoor to City Hall. Voters vote at polling stations today,they gave up the bludgeons of their forebears long ago (no lifts in those days!), to settle their differences!

Our long developed instincts do shed a view on the contest. In a tribe, we all circle around the potential leaders. Ken is associated with his newts – perhaps newts if they talked, would sound like him. He’s keen on protecting his bit of the river bank and his supply of worms, he’s quite happy to share your worms, but not his own! Whereas, Boris could only be a ‘big beast’! Do we instinctively like the leonine mane, the roars, the disdain for the others in the jungle – with a kind heart not unlike the lion in The Wizard of Oz?

London is the pre-eminent financial centre of the world and produces £1 in every £5 of UK tax revenue. The big beasts meet around the City watering hole. Alpha males and predatory instincts abound.

The other ‘Big Beasts’ instinctively ‘felt he understood the drivers of commerce and the need for wealth creation …  others for more prosaic reasons…changing mayors would be unsettling’. James Ashton, City Editor, Evening Standard. Timeless judgements, but with no disrespect to the other candidates, the others were like hyenas at the heels of the Lion and the Newt.

Boris also exhibits other ‘real’ or ‘perceived’ characteristics:  most people would find it hard to be the character he is – Boris doesn’t know he is…..it’s instinctive! In the genes, sorry, Stanley! He appears somewhat bemused by the observations of the media jackals. However, since none of us can tell our Peloponnesos from our Peloponnesus, he does not feel the need to explain!

Just ‘keep on runnin’ Boris! Let’s ensure London is the finest city in the world – and learn to be proud of it, even if you come from Exmoor!

The Knowledge Revolution

The French Revolution – Bastille Day July 14th 1749

How do you know that you are in a Revolution?
All around you,you can hear shouts, explosions, emotions are running high. Fear, confusion, anger, frustration has boiled over.
People are risking their lives.
How do you behave rationally?
How do you know which side you should be on?
Get it wrong and you might get hurt or die.
Get it right and you might be on the senate……and have your head chopped off six months later!

We are in the first stages of the Knowledge Revolution. For the first time in the history -48,000 years in the UK- of homo sapiens everyone has access to knowledge.

‘Knowledge ‘ = “ resources,treasure,means,wealth,power, substance and might”, OED

The wireless Internet world has reduced us to a global village. That cliché holds a hidden strength – your have thousands of years of hard-wired DNA based experience: fear, greed, fight, flight- that’s why we are here and Neanderthals aren’t. But sometimes we behave like them. Everyone is getting used to instant information. President Mubarak woke one morning to coffee served in his bedroom, yet days later he was in a prison cell.

In this year of the Olympics we see the highest degree of physical fitness. But, more than ever, coaches focus as much on the mental fitness of the athlete. It used to be enough to lecture on ‘grit and determination’ – it still is! But modern technology has also given us more knowledge of that most mysterious of organs – our brains. More importantly, the instructions we give our brains – see my review of Dr Steve Peters -the Chimp Paradox.  Peters coaches Sir Chris Hoy whose recent sprint from fourth to first was described as ‘miraculous’. Was it?

Following the success of the human genome project, scientists are now attempting to reproduce the ‘ I’m only human’ brain. The disturbing facts that are arising are both challenging and puzzling. The brain cell – a neuron- is ‘as powerful as your lap top’. Fine, but you and everyone you pay to run your business has 10 billion of them. Each would ‘cost £700,000 of electricity’ to run annually. What’s your real IT spend?

Twitter, Facebook, and websites are exploding at a rate that is ‘unreal’. The global village is communicating with itself just as a medieval or more ancient village did. But, by how much and what does it mean to you? Advertising spend on Google is now larger than on all traditional news in the US! Apple downloaded 24 billion apps to March 2012.

So what? A single YouTube clip of your company, your product can go viral and be seen by millions in a matter of hours. See examples on YouTube : ‘the cat and the printer’ has had 7.5m viewers to date!

So, know very clearly, where you are, where you are going and how each of your team can be a ‘Chris Hoy’ and make ‘miraculous’ an every day event – before some one else does. Life’s changing as you watch……Now where’s my Blackberry! Your fax machine and your……????…. sorry too busy! Too busy, we are all too busy, until we have a crisis. Back to the Bastille!

We don’t have to make this up, read, listen, – it’s all around you.

What’s being tweeted by the people in your business, and outside your business?

Careless talk costs lives. It can also save lives. This can damage your health and wealth or do the opposite. Can you take a chance?

The Knowledge Cloud is a focus for how to empower you and your team to keep ahead of the game! No time like the present….When shall we meet?

Knowledge Cloud

Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just as grooves in a record, and they never get out of them.’’ Apple PR

“I do not want to discuss evolution in such depth, however, only touch on it from my own perspective: from the moment when I stood on the Serengeti plains holding the fossilised bones of ancient creatures in my hands to the moment when, staring into the eyes of a chimpanzee, I saw thinking, reasoning personality looking back. You may not believe in evolution, and that is all right. How we humans came to be the way we are is far less important than how we should act now to get out of the mess we have made for ourselves.”  Dame Joan Goodall anthropologist famed for her work with chimps

The Chimp Paradox Dr Steve Peters  (2011 Ebury publishing, Random House Group)

Dr Steve Peters is a Consultant Psychiatrist who specialises in optimising the functioning of the mind. He is Undergraduate Dean at  Sheffield University Medical School and the resident psychiatrist with the British Cycling and Sky Pro-cycling. He is credited for much of the success of our current British cycling team.

“The mind program that helped me win my Olympic golds” Sir Chris Hoy. What about that last sprint from 4th to first ! “Badly boxed in with less than 80 metres to go, Hoy sensed the vaguest hint of a gap opening up on his inside and seized it with relish. In a flash he swooped down the banking and lasered through the gap, miraculously avoiding contact with an opponent. “it’s just a reminder that you never say die….you never stop riding because strange things happen”
Sir Chris Hoy Daily Telegraph 9/4/12

This book draws upon his knowledge of the way our brains work and the study of his fellow humans beings, whether ordinary folk or Olympic athletes. He takes apart  the most mysterious organ in the body and gives us glimpses inside. What are we to make of this?

‘The Chimp Paradox’ is so named as he has split the brain into three distinct portions. The ‘Chimp’ brain, the ‘Adult’ brain and the ‘Computer’ brain. There are many books written about the physical, philosophical and  psychiatric nature of our brains and thinking process. The chimp is our nearest living relative. We, Homo sapiens, have evolved over the last 48,000 years also to be ‘I’m only human after all’. We’re fascinated by such films as Planet of the Apes and Avatar. It is as if we, subconsciously, dig into our pre-primeval brain and use these films as a mirror. Our experience of chimps is mainly gained from watching television documentaries or Typhoo tea adverts. The lightning pace of development, from a cup of tea to apple at Cupertino, is both exciting and frightening.

What does Peters mean by this and why is this book a manual for how modern man needs to be thinking in a fast moving ‘Knowledge World’? How do you use these techniques to come from fourth to first and astound all?

He describes this book as one which has ‘helped many people understand themselves and learn how to work with their emotions’. He starts with an oxymoron – ‘the human brain simplified’. He first describes the Chimp brain: an emotional response. The chimp is your emotional side, given to you at birth, and it lives in your limbic system. The human ‘Adult’ brain is how you live, and is in your frontal lobe. Thirdly, the psychological mind is described as a storage area for thoughts and behaviours called the ‘Computer’ which is spread throughout the brain. This is the storage area or memory for reference. We have trouble with our simple lap tops and tv’s, so, that’s easy to deal with then! He describes the two methods of thinking. The ‘human’ brain takes a factual truth,applies logical thinking, and derives a plan of action. The ‘chimp’ brain starts with feelings and impressions, immerses it emotional thinking which results in a plan of action. Each has consequences.

Peters now analyses each of these in turn. The chimp, or emotional thinking brain, includes the following traits: jumps to an opinion, thinks in black-and-white, is paranoid, catastrophic, is irrational, and results in ‘omitted judgements’. Most easily, it jumps to an opinion. Hence, that well-known instruction ‘engage brain before opening mouth’. Like all truisms they are often quoted but seldom acted upon.

The logical,thinking Adult brain is different. It is evidence-based, rational thinking. It is constantly putting life in context with perspective, and understands the different shades of grey to form a balanced judgement.

This book is easy to understand and Peters next leads us to the way our two brains naturally progress following an event. Interpretation is common to both but then the paths diverge. The chimp will analyse the situation based upon feelings and impressions,resulting in emotional thinking and a plan of action.

The Adult interprets and analyses the facts and the ‘truth’. The application of logical thinking results in a plan of action.

YouTube is full of clips of chimps in Attenborough style nature programmes normally set in their natural environment –the  jungle. We civilised educated and highly evolved Homo sapiens, of course, do not live in a jungle! We have our own agenda, we respect societies agendas, and hopefully work to carefully thought through plans. The chimp, in his clearing, acts on instincts, drives, typically takes a vulnerable stance. Male and female chimps have different roles and think differently – they are all acutely aware of body language. One program is set in a jungle clearing. The chimps are chattering happily to each other grooming and going about their normal business. The skin of a leopard on a bamboo frame is introduced into the clearing through the bushes. The reaction is predictable – fight, flight, and freeze! As with us ‘only humans’ these instincts are deeply wired into our DNA.

A recent Spectator article describes the plethora of books at an airport or railway station written by our fellow humans to share their experiences of fight,flight,and freeze – fear and greed. ‘How to’ build a business, run a family, or achieve success. The airport is a very good environment in which to study the behaviour of our fellow humans. Just like the chimp in the clearing, the environment is strange, it’s threatening, it causes anxiety and you can watch people fighting, fleeing, or freezing. Once on the plane there are plenty of examples of, evolved, ‘up-to-date’ chimp thinking and behaviour! As Peters says ‘nature throws in anxiety as a means of forcing the chimp to make a decision’. Chimps normally live in troops and their drives include ‘food ,power, sex, parenting,industry ,security,inquisitiveness,territory acquisition and dominance. Traits management courses described by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Interestingly, Peters believes that male and female humans think the same way. Moving swiftly forward from that contentious statement we can be satisfied that he states ‘male and female chimps are very different emotional machines’. A paradox indeed.

The human ‘operational features’ include honesty and compassion, a conscious law-abiding nature, self-control, a sense of purpose, the need for achievement and satisfaction.

Peters then examines the really useful part of our brain – the computer. ‘We can think of the computers running at a speed around four times that of the ‘chimp brain’ and 20 times that of the ‘human’. Therefore, if the computer is operating as programmed, it can execute commands at amazing speed with complete accuracy before the chimp or human has a chance to finish ‘thinking’. See Hoys amazing sprint to victory! A way of understanding this section or nature of the brain is to examine your daily travel to work. Humans like to ‘get used to’ things. We get used to each other, our behaviours, our work; we get used to our environment, used to what we eat and drink, and any change causes anxiety. The computer removes the day-to-day boring functions that we don’t really want to think about. We don’t think about breathing until we go on holiday and try and dive to the bottom of the pool to see how long we can stay under. The strain of holding one’s breath is not so much the self-imposed inhibiting of the muscles, but the fight with our brains message ‘start breathing again or you’ll die!’ Your morning drive or commute to work involves a complex number of interactions and journey planning. Yet, quite easily, we forget what it was like when we first undertook our daily journey. Now the computer brain does it for us, leaving our highly evolved ‘only human brain’ to listen to our iPod or whatever else is hissing in the ears of your fellow passengers. We use this time daydreaming, thinking,planning and evaluating,(or sleeping!) and we are to great extent oblivious to what is going on around us until something unusual happens. Then the computer is instantly taken over by the chimp and the human brain and you go into corrective action, for good or ill.

The computer is receiving information from two different worlds: The fast moving human world, where we live, in a society with society rules and we look for ‘quality-of-life’ and ‘respect for humanity’. The other input comes from the chimp world, your jungle, where jungle rules (Homs?) and it’s survival of the fittest combined with the satisfaction of our primitive drives. The recent headline ‘final disgrace of the rutting chimpanzee’ was an interesting way for us ‘only humans’ to describe the behaviour of the former head of the IMF.

The book shows how by understanding the different portions of our brain and controlling our reactions we will, with practice and development, turn our moments of stress and anxiety from the primeval to the computer so that ‘the autopilot is the way to manage sudden stress’. That would apply as much as to the closing microseconds of an Olympic cycle race to the excitements generated by ‘office politics’ and ‘happy families’.

The chimp paradox extends these different sections and behaviour’s of the brain and applies it to a number of areas only too familiar to every ‘only human’ . The  book ends on the difference between the human and chimp headed ‘the human misleads the chimp!’ The human brain thinks ‘everyone is a friend’ whilst the chimp thinks ‘there are enemies everywhere’. A constant challenge both politically and Politically.

It would be impossible to summarise the gamut of human relationships and experiences in a small book but you will end up with a much more finely tuned ‘biological laptop’ in your head. You may choose to apply these techniques to win an Olympic gold medal, or, just enjoy achieving your goals with contentment. You will also find yourself a compulsive chimp spotter and have hours of endless enjoyment! Come on the seminar……….