Friday's Week 4


Tamuna is offline. She's disconnected. She cannot login. Will she crash?

The day started as it ended. Darling the web has dropped. 24 hours later not only has it dropped it died. It's frustrating! I have a client (sorry Sion) who is waiting for a letter from me. This gets worse. I decided to update my desktop Mac as it was telling me an upgrade to El Capitan was waiting for me. So being an early adopter I did as all good robots do an updated. Once the update was done I then went to open a letter I'd almost finished. I open Word only to be met by pages of what looked like computer language. Sion is still waiting! I couldn't get online so finally checked on my iPhone to see what the problem was. In apples own. forum they are talking about the latest word problem since the upgrade. Here's what happens. If you open a word document it looks fine. Once you hit save it turns into a language no one can read. Next step head for Apple E.R. I have to wait for an Microsoft update, fix, patch, download or God only knows what it's called. Sion is still waiting. I recover an early version of the letter that has almost zero if the last version. Crap Sion is still waiting! The next day arrives. Dad we are offline shouts my 6’4” son. Darling we are offline shouts my beautiful wife. Everyone we are offline! Guess what? The web is still down. BT is useless, we are still offline and Sion still waits for his letter. I miss the days when I'd write a letter, put it on a floppy drive and mail it to my client! The disconnection has created disconnected humanity! Tamuna heads to yoga. I head to the gym. It's frustrating but a good lesson is over dependency on the web.

Kids in the cafe

When I was a kid cafes hadn't been invented. When my kids were kids we had roadside cafes that made terrible tea. A scone and jam were optional with cheap margarine on a cracked plate. At Starbucks when they had their big idea they mention in their book that they wanted to create a third place. That's a place that felt like home but wasn't home. We like to start our day in the coffee shop. Today like everyday the coffee shop has an endless stream of kids coming for tea, coffee, and drinks of flaparappcino or some other exciting flavor devised in a laboratory somewhere. That is when marketing creates and then has to feed the desires and needs created. Apart from kids there is also a huge amount of babies, mothers groups and expecting mothers at our coffee shop. I love it, I love the idea and the created 3rd place that created a whole new habit whilst making people happier at the same time. If you are a teenager the last place you want to take your date is to your parents but the 3rd place is cool. Families, meet-ups, babies and mothers, hanging out… the 3rd place is a cool idea that has worked and worked amazingly well. It teaches us that life moves forward and changes. Some don’t like the idea of cage culture but I love it. One thing I love in Tbilisi when we go home to our other place everything is café culture. It’s perfect, it’s informal and it breaks down barriers for conversation. I think kids will have an even better experience maybe even in a 4th place that hasn’t been created yet.

Cars and ghosts

We have a friend. She says her house has ghosts. Maybe it has. My daughter lily says she heard voices in her house. Her friend says she has felt hands touching her and voices. Here's what's weird. Once I picked up our friend. She got in the car and the car wouldn't start. I had to call the Automobile Association. It cost me £300 to get fixed and home. It happened another two times with this friend. Last week I picked her up with my daughter lily in Manchester. We drove all the way back until we got to our friends house. She climbed out the car and guess what? My gearbox started to fail. I stopped the car around 5 miles away. The car restarted but was then fine. The next time we drive there I'll let you know if the ghost returns!

Smart phones make dumb people

The other day we walked over to the cinema around a mile away. It was dark so in the distance I saw a bright light shining onto someone's face. As he got closer I noticed he was staring at a mini iPad at the maps. Not once did he look up he stared and stared at the glass so he could watch the arrow on the map moving slowly as he walked forward. Now this isn't uncommon now. People of all ages faced, staring into a small screen either being entertained or awaiting their next instruction.

The media endlessly talk about fear of Artificial Intelligence and how it might take over mankind. Actually it's already happened in a way so subtle so brilliant that no one even realised. Really Alan? Yes really. Who asks anyone for directions when you can Google it? Yet the reality Googling anything is asking A.I. to give you the answer. Strange when you realise that A.I. has just a tiny capacity of a real brain. Technology has its place. I buy from a global village now and sell to a global marketplace but it is creating a truly stupid human being? Yet when you see groups of people sitting around a table all texting or doing whatever they are endlessly doing on their dumb-phones surely they are taking more of us than we should give? Time is life and life is time. If we spend four hours a day on Facebook that is a huge chunk of life thrown away after all what have you ever seen on Facebook that urgently needs your time, attention and brain space?

Transcendental Meditation

I’m always interested in getting more edge and have always been drawn to the ‘out there’ side of life. Enter Transcendental Meditation. There are times when I feel overloaded with nothing. My work involves a lot of thinking for clients and their businesses or my own writings. I read a lot and feel like when I overload my thinking I slow down. I like speed and I like getting to where I want to go fast. So I came across a video of filmmaker David Lynch and how he cannot take a day without Transcendental Meditation. One link lead to another so when I see multiples of super-successful people doing something that has worked I want to know what that thing is. It’s a bit like Scientology Yes it has a bad name but who gives it a bad name? The media and the media like you and myself to stay dumb yet look at the huge amount of ultra-high achievers it endlessly produces. Actually I spent time over the years looking into that and it isn’t the religion they talk about quite the opposite but maybe that is another conversation.

So this week I have been doing as much Transcendental Meditation as I have remembered to do. The results in a week are pretty astonishing I have to say but then again the result from a single meditation is pretty amazing! The lesson is huge. TV used to be a killer of the mind but now it’s the endless feed of useless information going through your eyes and into your mind via tablets, iPad iPhones and iEverything. It just reminds me who is controlling whom here? More soon.

David Bowie had a Mentor

Interesting right? He really started the David Bowie thing in 1968 yet didn’t get a hit until 1972. He had of course been doing the music gig way before 1968. His first wife Angie arrived as a 17 year old punk. Her mentor had pulled her away from college and stuck her in the music business. He told her to stick with him close for 8 weeks and he will show her everything. After 8 weeks Angie’s mentor then told her he had a new act she could practice with and try make him a star. She told Bowie he was crap and looked terrible. She guided Bowie into dressing up like a woman, creating the Spiders from Mars, writing a song called ‘five years’ that became his live anthem and then re-releasing Space Oddity and taking it to a number one hit! Would she have been able to do that with her mentor? Would Bowie have been able to do that without Angie? I doubt it is the answer on both that’s for sure.

It’s been an interesting week that’s for sure.

Until next week

Your haunted and meditated MENTOR

Alan forrest Smith

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