Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Colour Palette

There is this photo that I took with my iPhone. And the reason I took it is that the colour palette of the painting, the frame, the wall, the floor, and the woman' s clothing all went together in harmony

Man in the Gallery in New York

Monday, December 23, 2019

Gambling Harm Unawareness Weeks

I passed a betting shop a few weeks ago and saw a notice that said it was Gambling Harm Awareness Week. I just googled it and it says "The week is designed to encourage community discussions about why gambling harm matters. Harm from gambling isn't just about losing money."

All well and good, but Gambling Harm Awareness Week suggests that there are 51 unawareness weeks in the year where a gambler can do what he or she wants in blissful ignorance.

Maybe that is a bit harsh, but a betting shop advertising to be aware of the damage that gambling can cause? Come on!

Meanwhile, my bank interleaved a little graphic on my phone app to warn me about gambling. I don't gamble, but logic says there must be a lot of bank customers who gamble or the bank would not put out such a warning.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Choosing a company

Choosing a company to work in is fraught with problems for some people and as easy as falling off a log for others. So for those who have trouble falling off logs, here is the definitive guide to which company to choose.

Choose the one with people you like to work with. Of course you will be pulled towards working with the company that has the best career advancement opportunities, or the best health-care or pension plan, and they are important, but the most important thing - the one that will stand the test of time - is to choose to work with people you like to work with.

I don't recommend that you try to characterize these people. I don't think it pays to say to yourself that you want to work with nice people, or kind people, or honest people, though these might be exactly the qualities you find in the people you like to work with.

And I don't think it pays to want to work with fast people, or racy people, or people who are 'going somewhere', because you've got to work with them - and if you don't like working with them you are going to spend a lot of energy compensating for that fact.

And when all the reasons for you becoming an engineer rather than a painter or a chef have faded into the distance, you will still be working, then that is the time know - on your mid-morning walk from your desk or bench to the coffee machine - that you like to work with these people.

Why the economic downturn is good for the environment

In conversation with friends recently I've been saying that the economic downturn could be the best thing that has happened for the chance to stop the destruction of the environment.

I want to take a moment to say that there is a tremendous danger in arguing that the reason to stop polluting the Earth is to prevent the kinds of catastrophe that global warming is likely to bring about. Of course that is a very potent reason.

But let us suppose that someone came up with a sky-scrubber that sat ten miles up in the atmosphere and pulled all the hydrocarbons and excess CO2 out of the system. Let us suppose it was up there, chugging away and cleaning up the mess. Would that be a reason to treat the Earth like a toilet and keep on pumping rubbish into it?

No it wouldn't.

Treating the Earth with respect requires no more reason than a tree needs a reason to be there and to go on growing.

Having got that out of the way, I have been arguing that the economic downturn (a phrase I prefer to 'going off a cliff') presents the best opportunity we could hope for in order that responsible government would have the power to force big business to clean up its act.

And big business is more likely to be in a frame of mind to listen, quite apart from being weak and having to listen.

Psychologically, when you are running at 100 miles per hour, making money and the world is full of smiles, you are least likely to listen to that still small voice inside telling you that you are destroying everything around you.

But when things turn bad, you are more likely to listen.

Which brings me to the report by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal where President Obama is said to require the automakers to build a ‘company of the future' with clean and energy-efficient vehicles as a condition of giving financial aid.

The political administration would have had a much harder time bringing this about if everything business was doing well.

And this carries into every other field where government is strong. This decade could be just what is needed for the tipping point to tip the right way.