Ming the Mechanic:
What am I doing?

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 What am I doing?2006-03-14 01:33
24 comments
by Flemming Funch

I usually am not very good in marketing myself. Well, I'm not quite sure what exactly I'm marketing either. Once in a while I get into a bit of a crisis where I remember that I haven't quite decided what I'm going to be when I grow up. And, well, I'm probably a bit overdue at deciding that.

I'm talking about what I'm doing as a job. I find it surprisingly easy to forget, but on this planet one seems to be expected to have a job or a business, and pay one's rent and plan for one's retirement. I find it mysteriously unimportant, but there seems to be no good way around it. Sure, one can maybe do one grand brilliant business venture, and live from that the rest of one's life, and just pretend that one philosophically has transcended the need to work. But that too requires the execution of some plan. I.e. one knows exactly what one is doing, and one goes and does it.

At times when somebody gives me some job to do I might forget about it for years, and just pretend that I know exactly what I'm doing. But at other times circumstances force me to realize that I never made a plan B and I don't even know what to say that I'm doing.

In some periods of time I get by on providing some mysterious and intriguing job title, and I enjoy when people are puzzled by how I can make a living doing that. "Connecting the people who change the world" it said on my business cards for a few years. Of course I didn't make a living doing that, but theoretically I could, and it is a nice idea.

Now I'm in France. I usually say that I work at home and I have clients in the U.S. and I develop software. That's not untrue. But what I have of clients is completely random, as I do nothing to promote myself, and I don't really know what my product is, and I'm not even properly organized as a business. And why the hell am I am in France then? Oh, it is nice to live here. But I'm feeling a bit of pressure to establish myself properly here.

The French system pushes for that as well. In France one has to fit cleanly in some category. I can't just get some clients and sort it out with my accountant and the tax department later. One needs to choose. I can be unemployed, or I can have a job, or I can be freelance, or I can have a company, and there are different rules for each, and one can't just mix that up at will very well. And one has to choose the exact category of activity, and do the proper paperwork.

Now, I hate the idea of having a job and going to work every day. Plus jobs in this area pay badly compared with what I'd consider my minimum. You know, 3000 euro a month would be a typical manager job for somebody with solid qualifications and degrees and experience.

So, ok, I can just be independent. But one pays a lot of social contributions in France. Roughly the same amount per person one pays as salary. Meaning, I'd need to make twice as much money as I'd like to be paid, if I were just myself. Before we're even talking taxes. Hm, that's a puzzle.

Wouldn't really be a problem if I actually knew what I wanted to do, and I worked methodically towards that.

That I don't know what to do is a secret of course, so please don't tell anybody.

Really, I'm very qualified at what I'm doing. I have a lot of experience in a variety of settings. I've accomplished some things that have scored a lot of points along the way. I'm creative, a good communicator, I tend to transform activities I get in contact with. Sometimes it helps to hear other people tell me what a great guy I am. Mostly it doesn't, because the world has moved on, and I haven't done anything great recently.

Enough self-pity. I need to know what to tell people that I'm doing, so help me out a bit. I don't just want to be some guy who does websites. So, if we say I'm a consultant, and I have something to offer companies, what is it?

I'd like to believe I know something about online communities and social networking. I'd like to think I'm somewhat plugged into something that is emerging in the world, and which organizations of various kinds probably need to pay attention to. Self-organizing, open source, cluetrain kind of stuff. How networking is better than hierarchy, how cooperation is better than coercion, how good informations freely shared can be better than advertising, how invited voluntary participation can be better than mindless 9-5 work. Cool contageous ideas can be more effective than mediocre ideas that are just pushed hard. Open is more fun than closed.

Who gets paid for talking about cool new ways of doing things?

OK, I can make up half of the answers myself. Somebody who's very known for talking about these things. Duh. So, somebody who has written books, who writes articles, who speaks at conferences, and who seem to know what they're talking about. That wouldn't be the only way of course, but that would be one.

Or maybe I should become a forest ranger, or a lighthouse attendant. Or a contortionist. I'm getting too old to be a computer programmer.

Actually I dislike categories, and I dislike having to settle down on what exactly I am doing. I just want to be a secret agent who sometimes will take on interesting and impossible missions. I'd rather BE something than promise what I'm doing. I want to be inventor of the positronic ray, the author of "world peace for dummies", or the holder of the world record in holding my breath.

I've noticed a long time ago that on the internet things often happen simply by putting a stake in the ground or putting up a sign. The magical soup stone principle. You establish a certain vibe, plant a seed, and everything else that is needed sort of starts assembling in the space created. The more clear the seed is, the more likely it is that the result will be useful. OK, I'm mixing the metaphors terribly, but you get the point.

If the purpose is clear, the means can manifest much more easily.

I know I have to come up with it myself. But give me a few hints.


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24 comments

14 Mar 2006 @ 02:19 by swanny : A Handytech
I had a similar dilemna...
I done so many different things
I'd just like to be a handyman
but that doesn't cut it no more
so I thought well how about a Handytechnician
And that was okay but Handytech is better .
And I think I'm pretty good sort of well kind of

well sometimes

its better than autistic savant

hee hee

ed  



14 Mar 2006 @ 06:25 by bushman : Hmm
It seems alot of the time, that the wrong people are indipendently wealthy, lol. Is the same for me, I can do all sorts of stuff, but I have to accually do phyisical work to make money. Time is running out on that kind of work, desk jobs are in. A body can only work so hard for so long and thats that. Cant make much raking leafs. How to make decent income sitting on our butts, thats a good one, lol. Old money begets new money? And what of ethics? Hmm, so what do we have that old money wants to buy? Anyway, when the moneies big,... big like 300 million, I play the lotto,... try that? :}  


14 Mar 2006 @ 06:28 by Ge Zi @24.126.93.187 : warm fuzzy feeling
Flemming, your words give me the warm fuzzy feeling of not being alone. One job that I had been thinking about was hitman. Maybe a bit higher job risk but the hours are good and the pay as well. And it would handle the problem that you don't want to be a computer programmer any more.
Speaking of not wanting to be a programmer any more - I think getting older this is actually not really a choice but a neccessity. I haven't really done any hard core programming any more in three years and I get the feeling that I might be loosing it, and these young kits the seem to be able to think and learn faster. Maybe this is why we are supposed to become managers as we progress on the time track. And where we also understand why these young kids think (and have to) that all managers are jerks and don't get it.

So what will it be - hitman or manager?  



14 Mar 2006 @ 07:15 by Tim @80.1.224.4 : Similar thoughts
I've been having similar thoughts recently. Mainly to do with being an 'eclecticist'. I hate being pigeonholed. Most of the work I do comes under the label of 'healing' or 'clearing' but I often get strange, intuitive signals regarding clients which seem to be quite off the wall - like giving them odd homework assignments.

I also find it hard to answer when people ask "What do you do?" because I want to tell them the nature of what I do, not give them a label like 'healer' or 'process worker' or whatever. To remedy that, I've been trying to formulate a succinct sentence that sums up the without sounding corny.  



14 Mar 2006 @ 12:00 by Benoit Couture @68.149.93.182 : Free from the old witth renewal
I am here with 2 examples to make a case for stay-at-home-dads who are working to turn the tide around from home to the rest of the world.
When you think of it, stay-at-home-dads are the ultimate antidote to humanity's history of "go-to-war-dads! Such historic societal innovation allows us all the opportunity to raise motherhood and apple pie to a new level, offering the cultural fabric a new horizon for humanity to reach the shores of a home to home justice that produces peace and gradually as we cultivate this new asset along with the teachers and all tax-paid institutions, serenity grows from the contact coming from each one's inner peace into the decision-making of what we do with our taxes. I am so glad when I have the opportunity to get to know another family involved in our evolutional ground breaking initiative. The proper light needs to be shed to celebrate and to support this renewed model that can cultivate the socio-econo-cultural vision of a peace and freedom community of global proportion. I know that it sounds somewhat insane; so instead of preaching, here is how I seek to ignite such vision from personal to communal and from local to global with elements of our current history that is just waiting and begging to be learned from. [link]

Dear mentors and all who care to care,

This is a letter that will serve as a report from me to an old friend with whom I's maintain a long distance-seldom contact. The 2 of us are chronic, lifetime welfare recipients, who have worked all their lives to solve the human identity crisis, starting from their own personal such crisis. A rough profile on this relationship shows that the 2 come from the same hometown. He is 3 or 4 years older than Benoit and both were successful hockey players at the junior level. Both somewhat "fell from grace" with the local public because of... well, that's what got us to eventually meet 2500 miles away from our home town, in Edmonton Alberta, in 1979. He went back to our home town in Quebec. He left after trying really hard and honestly to make a go in the Alberta business sector. He tried again in Quebec but after a while, he decided to retrieve to look after his aging mother along with their humongous house and to pursue his
personal research and project toward a better life and a better world. The
never ending tension that goes on and that we share is that we live at the
expense of the public purse and we both insist that we are serving society
better by doing what we do than by holding a job where we would pay taxes.
Are we parasites or are we contributors who's work is to resist the stress
produced by mass indifference and ignorance and that history itself cannot
find a way to teach its makers on how to apply the correctional measures?  



14 Mar 2006 @ 12:36 by Lionel @82.227.198.101 : Your profile

Hi, Flemming :-)
Once you need some profile characterization, just tell me, ok?
See you soon - Take care,

Lionel
__

PS - Building, promoting new participative communication systems could be a good start, couldn't it?  



14 Mar 2006 @ 12:40 by swanny : Parasites
I think to some degree we are all parasites on this grand planet...
Some realize it and ...?? well act accordingly.
What is a parasite to do?
Be grateful for one I suppose.
To whom?
The host!
And one thus realizes that they should try not to destroy the host cause
in so doing one is thusly destroying themselves no?
But then again some seem to possess a "death or suicide" wish which
the host or planet itself I think has or is overcoming. Such parasites are problematic as they exist perhaps to destroy the planet and themselves and ...
well enough said. Try to ....???
But I suppose if one has carved out a little niche for themselves
comfortable or not, they can thus share such "truths?" with others. Others
who perhaps do not accept or acknowledge their parasisity. The truth thus
would seem to be that: "We go by the grace of God, the planet and the Holy Spirit. It is complex perhaps then. Life... Desiderata still sums it up
quite nicely.

Interesting touch of "honesty" or something there Benoit...
I'm not clear on the nature or intent of it but I suppose I accept it
as hmmmmm??? a "revelation" of sorts but I don't think "revalation" is necessary... I suppose theres an overkill of that in the old media and it sensationalism to boot. In Natural Theology well there is less need or emphasis on revelation and more on perhaps...???

Define:
Natural theology (or natural religion) is theology based on reason and ordinary experience. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology (or revealed religion) which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds; and also from transcendental theology, theology from a priori reasoning (see Immanuel Kant et alia).

Not to say it is without faith too though...

ed  



14 Mar 2006 @ 18:05 by ming : What we do
It is hard to say who're the parasites. Are you adding more into the world than you're taking out of it? I guess that's the test. There are many successful people who probably have left a negative footprint on the world when all is accounted for. And there might be chronic welfare recipients who add great value to the world. Seems like we often don't really get paid for doing what our real value is. It is perfect when we are, but often it is more pragmatic to get money where money comes from, and deliver your value where you find it to be most needed.

Ultimately I'd think it is about doing what we're here to do, no matter what. Probably one can do it more effectively if one can make it a job or a business activity, so it becomes more sustainable. Most people don't seem to be quite so lucky, or clever.  



14 Mar 2006 @ 18:07 by ming : Job
An agent for building and promoting new participatory communication systems sounds pretty damn good to me, though.  


14 Mar 2006 @ 18:13 by b : b says
:)  


14 Mar 2006 @ 18:14 by ming : Hit Man
Yeah, maybe a hit man is the thing. Nah, then maybe a manager would be better. But I like the idea of being a highly qualified professional who once in a while gets called in to fix things like nobody else can. Like Mr.Wolf from Pulp Fiction. Hanging around in a tuxedo at a cocktail party, and once in a while there's a big problem, and somebody calls Mr.Wolf, and he jumps into his Porsche, races across town, analyzes the situation and just fixes it. Dead guy in the backseat, your wife will be home in 1/2 hour, ok, this is what we'll have to do...  


14 Mar 2006 @ 19:46 by Lionel @82.227.198.101 : An agent for building and promoting...
...new participatory communication systems.

Cool :-)  



14 Mar 2006 @ 21:29 by Ed Dawson @66.245.205.35 : Hey Flemming, look at this:
It's off the subject, but look at what your material is fetching as a "used" book:

[link]

cheers
Ed  



14 Mar 2006 @ 22:42 by jstarrs : Ming?
I have a job for you in which you'll get lots of, duh, positive merits and it doesn't involve a dead wife.
Are you interested?
;0)
(talk to you later...)  



14 Mar 2006 @ 23:42 by ming : Book
Ed, OMG, that's hillarious. $100 for a used book of mine! I'm never even mentioning it any more, for, well, various reasons, and I haven't printed any of them for more than 10 years. A collectors item alright. But that's some kind of sign. Of what I'm not exactly sure.  


14 Mar 2006 @ 23:44 by ming : Job
Jeff, positive merits is a big draw, and the absence of dead people it always a plus, so I'm interested!  


15 Mar 2006 @ 00:10 by Ed Dawson @66.245.206.193 : :)
Flemming,

I thought you might get a chuckle out of that! :)))
cheers
Ed  



15 Mar 2006 @ 00:55 by Andrius Kulikauskas @193.219.5.34 : Intelligence Through Diversity
Flemming, it's wonderful to see you think out loud. You once expressed for me your key concept in life: Creative Intelligence Through Synergetic Diversity. (We have a list at: [link] And your investigatory question: What are the generative patterns that would allow the global brain to wire itself? [link] ) Perhaps they are relevant?  


15 Mar 2006 @ 01:22 by ming : Creative Intelligence
Creative Intelligence Through Synergetic Diversity. Ah, thank you, Andrius, for reminding me when I'm forgetting. Who needs a mind when one has friends, and one's thoughts get organized on the web! Yes, certainly that is still relevant. Generative patterns is what I'm after. For self-organization, for participation, collaboration. Thanks again for the conversation where we established that! That gives me a bit of fuel here.  


24 Mar 2006 @ 01:22 by Bob Hiltner @63.68.217.100 : "Creative Integrative Generalist"
Flemming, long past due for us to touch base again. It would be good to bounce some ideas around again one of these days soon.

Interesting paradox -- so much in terms of capability and experience, and yet so hard to make the resume express those sorts of things. We usually call those people "consultants" There's also the new "Life Coach" thing happening here in the U.S.--this is something that you probably both could use and are. ;-) Sometimes it's good just to have a reflective outlet to sort through these things. I could use a bit of that myself right about now.

It'd be good to chat.
-Bob  



25 Mar 2006 @ 18:25 by ming : Creative Integrative Generalist
That's great. That's the kind of thing I'd prefer to call myself. But also hard to put on a business card, and expect to get clients. Yes, one calls people like that consultants. And, well, one doesn't get consulting clients either, just by putting that on one's business card. "Consultant" in itself doesn't say anything. If I'm a "plumber", I can get customers just by telling a lot of people that I'm one of those. But a "consultant", not really. I have to have other mechanisms in place for getting people to know exactly what kind and what to expect.

Hi Bob, great to hear from you. And great that you tend to show up when I ask that kind of question. Yes, let's chat.

"Life Coach" is more tangible, and, yes, maybe I should emphasize that more. I could use some more of that myself. Funny how one sometimes really needs something that one can supply very well, but not to oneself. But actually I'm getting a bit of coaching at the moment, which is in part why I feel a bit of urgency to re-clarify what I do.  



29 Mar 2006 @ 20:08 by jobrown : What a beutiful tapestry
of "Heart-Confessions" Insights and "Cosmic Life-Ponderings" you guys have woven here! Who in their right Mind couldn't relate to what you say, each and everyone contributing with your own little thread! Just lovely!
I would like to add a few "fringes" to the bottom of this weave: I believe, we are so deep into TRANSITION TIMES; away from one mode of "doing buisness", the old model dependent and supportive of the (Patriarchal) Banksters -as Vaxen calls them- that we all feel lost and have real difficulites in making ends meet, coz we can't commit 100% of ourselves anylonger to the Old mode and a NEW Monetary System has yet been quite put in place/full action; it's a Work-In-Progress, but maybe we all feel it needs be based on our WORK-contribution value instead of "Wall Street -fiat/phoney/ Funny Money"- =ORCHESTRATED value, orchestrated via lies and WAR and destruction, rape, torture, coersion, murder, slavery and at its very base on the belief that "in-order-for-ME-to-have,-I-have-to-take/steal-it-from-you"- thinking; the idea saturated with beliefs in LACK/ POVERTY/necessity of STRUGGLE etc etc.
This new -next- Model would be yet another transition mode; the Bridge that takes us from this destruction side of living our life, to Life's side , the side where we all know that Life is ever abundant and Intrisically nothing but GOOD! ONCE Humakind is FULLY ON THAT SIDE, we will do things because they need to be done, ONLY WHEN they need to be done!....NO MONEY circulating at all!

Transition is always difficult and requires a lot of courage and demanding from us to find a co-creative footing where we put forth our talents, gifts and work efforts for the benefit of ALL life!... while at the same time CHANGE our pre-concieved ideas of "How a good life" looks and contains by following our Inner Promptings as they "show up"!... while at the same time not get destroyed by the Big Guns!....

Guys, we are in a cosmic crunch moment right now, as I see it!
The last five years I have been seriously looking into WHAT has been the curse under which Humankind have struggled for so long. I found so many dark truths/facts how we 've been bamboozled -and secondarily by whom/what groups of people and also why they did what they did -and still do! I did this as I saw this comparative to learn to navigate through Waters with rocks and such, hidden under the surface and if I wanted to stear my ship back out to the open waters of Life -as it were- I had to avoid to run into these same ol' underwater obstacles!

For every passing day I now see less and less need to continue doing THAT... I now know most of the scam!... so, my approach now is to envision A Better Way, with more Justice and Fairness to All.
Since I am not a money system guy, like ie Bernard Lietaer (Look up Amazon: The Future of Money : Creating New Wealth, Work and a Wiser World -- by Bernard Lietaer; Paperback )Also check out: [link] Nations like China, Japan, Germany, France have all seen it important to learn from the little town of Itacha, New York, sending in-official-Governm. delegations there to study!.... That tells me what the Transition money will be looking like!... : )

There are more and more Towns/Communities even here in the US, converting to the Itacha mode!.... I know of such towns!... if anybody is interested; write to me : astrid@astridware.com
Thanks again guys, for talking from the Heart!

BTW, I just found this yesterday. I think this can be a real blessing for many! I myself will try it: [link]  



13 Jun 2006 @ 08:57 by Stan Versilov @195.128.144.70 : The School of Your Business
You could try this ([link]), though it's in russian. The guys
teach you how to create your business from zero (i.e. investing no money
in it, just your efforts), develop to good profit level and spend just
several hours a week to support it, in order to get spare time for self
improvement. You will have to figure out your business by your self, but
their ideas work in any area. That's not a business school in it's traditional meaning. The result of study is not certificate, but really working and profitable business.  



5 Sep 2006 @ 18:45 by bobby joe bill @64.66.99.69 : nipples
have a bad day, my friend is grabbing my nipples as i type this message :)  


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