Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Wednesday, June 9, 2004day link 

 Do what you want
picture Via and from Dave Pollard. This week's That's Awfully Personal question:
Q: You wake up in a strange new world where everyone gets paid the same salary no matter what they do for a living, even if there's no obvious 'market' for it, and no matter how many hours a week they work at it. And everything costs 'whatever you can afford'. What would you do for a living? Is this something you're already good at, or something you'd like to *become* good at? What kind of people would you like to work with, or would you prefer to work alone? And what would you do with your new-found leisure time?
Absolutely fabulous question. Here's Dave's answer:
A: For a living, I'd study and report on the languages of other animals, so that ultimately we could learn to talk to them, and learn from them (more than we do already). I have some skills that would help: Strong analystical and problem-solving ability, creativity and communication skills. But I'd need to study linguistics, to be a better listener, and to pay more attention to detail. I'd like the project to be self-managed, and the team working on it to be self-selected (that means we would pick each other, not that I would pick the team). My spare time would still be spent as it is now -- writing -- though I would probably also spend more time talking with, perhaps in a teaching/coaching (but not lecturing) capacity, young people.
Now my turn. Hm, what would I want to do for a living? I'm not sure I'd consider it something to do for a living if I would be paid the same no matter what. I'd no longer do it for something, at least in the sense of buying myself something in exchange. I'd maybe do it towards something. But basically it would be doing what I want. And I happen to like things that have some kind of point to it, even if convoluted and complex.

So, honestly, what would I do .... hm ... I'd take my time first of all. I'd spend a few months reading. I'm way behind on studying things I don't know. I could have a much better foundation for doing something useful if I were better prepared rather than mostly winging it.

Then I'd pick some new fields to learn. Japanese sword fighting, maybe. What has worked well for me in the past is to learn new fields, particularly in areas where I was a bit uncomfortable or clumsy. Public speaking, acting, singing. So I'll find some new areas of learning that I maybe wouldn't even have thought of. Exploring caves, dancing. I always draw good energy and inspiration from covering previously unknown ground, which transfers to everything else I do.

I would write more, and spend more time thinking about things. And, for sure, inspirations will come up for something I just have to do. Something I see that needs doing, and that I'm burning to do something about. It works best for me when it is as non-planned as possible. I.e. I haven't promised anybody I would do it, and I haven't committed to any kind of schedule. Preferably I just start spending my evenings doing something that nobody expects. I can thus concentrate on doing it as well as necessary, however long it takes, without worrying whether anybody's happy with my performance or not.

I'd want to spend more time in conversations as well. Dialogues. Exploration of what is there to talk about, wherever it leads. I'll avoid the temptation to too quickly commit to action. But when it is really obvious that action needs to be taken, and the right people are there, I'll enjoy the freedom to get to work right away.

The things I'd probably want to do are likely to have something to do with personal or group organization, collaboration, communication, evolution of wisdom, or with mental/emotional/metaphysical tools for better living. But I'd hope to avoid having very many pre-conceived ideas about what it should be, and rather be ready to discover it when it emerges.
[ | 2004-06-09 05:18 | 23 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Inter-multi-national trade
Rebecca Blood mentions an article in the Economist. It is about governments trying to tax corporate profits, and multi-national companies cleverly avoiding it, by switching things around between countries. There is this little tidbit of information:
60% of all international trade is between subsidiaries of the same company.
Seems shocking somehow. Big companies just moving things around between different parts of themselves. I can guess that most of them are equally good at moving their profits around, until there's just a sufficiantly miniscule amount left to show, in a jurisdiction where corporations already pays little or no taxes.
[ | 2004-06-09 05:40 | 13 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Da Vinci blogs
picture Via Julian Elve, the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Seems to be a successive series of notes he had made, which were translated into English at some point, and annotated by various scholars. And it is turned into an online book at Project Gutenberg. And the new thing is then that somebody turned it into an RSS feed, providing one piece per day. What I find interesting about that is that Leonardo's multi-talented renaissance genius is in many ways similar to what many bloggers are doing nowadays. You're interested in Many Things and feel free to jump around and study one thing or another. Thoughts, designs, personal explorations, poetry, or whatever. Here's Leonardo's post for today:
How by a certain machine many may stay some time under water. And how and wherefore I do not describe my method of remaining under water and how long I can remain without eating. And I do not publish nor divulge these, by reason of the evil nature of men, who would use them for assassinations at the bottom of the sea by destroying ships, and sinking them, together with the men in them. Nevertheless I will impart others, which are not dangerous because the mouth of the tube through which you breathe is above the water, supported on air sacks or cork.
After the information overload has made us all drown in information, forced to specialize in very narrow fields, blogging is an example of a trend that appears to allow us again to act like renaissance people, having something to say about any subject.
[ | 2004-06-09 06:00 | 16 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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