- Most importantly: Trendline Syncing System (TSS) – an algorithmic trading model.
- First To 7 – strategy board game.
- Also: WIBAMU Easy Accounts – simple accounting system for small businesses.
Yes, many songs are online.
Some pieces are available but the bulk is within unfinished projects – would like to actually finish something substantial.
Yep, lots of recordings.
Yes, years of research and practice – looking to greatly expand this in the future by filming scenes and podcasts.
I know this is a strength but haven’t pursued it yet.
Whenever you are talking about someone, assume they can hear every word. Hopefully this will remind you to be kinder.
I wouldn’t call London a beautiful city, but it is endlessly fascinating. The maze of streets emerged not by grand design but grew from what had been before. It is eccentric, hickety-pickety, throbbing with history and humanity.
Muddled, confused, unaware – what on earth were you doing? Why were you sleep-walking for so long?
In the distant pre-internet days when I was a kid, I designed a board game then forgot all about it. The game actually looks pretty fun; it has a blend of strategy, risk and probability – like many good games. So I think I’ll have a few physical sets made-up, thanks to the internet and finding out there are specialist businesses that do this sort of thing.
Combining football with golf was another one of my games, which I called “Folf”. Well if I had the internet, I would have been able to find out that the sport has been around for a while and is called “Foot Golf”.
Just 15 years ago or so, it wasn’t particularly easy to share photos and updates with friends and family; there were fewer easily accessible outlets for self-expression and it was more difficult to find interesting information or media.
The downsides are well-known, although if fully acknowledged there would be more energy in finding effective solutions. There was a speed in breaking things but less appetite in clearing-up the mess.
I walk and run about 50 miles per week, usually while listening to podcasts.
My most effective thinking tool is sleep. I realise now the importance of the advice “sleep on it”.
I yo-yo between the Southwark part of the Thames and the Colchester countryside. Many of my scenes are from what I see during my wanderings: robertwalker.blog/art
Original thinkers, artists and spiritual figures often had some of their best insights in the wilderness, in periods of solitude, outside of bustling society. Distance from the current melees gives a person a better perspective of the whole picture. More generally, insiders of the throng who are unaware of their predicament are condemned to behave as they think they are supposed to, blind to anything more than the current array of behaviours, even in extreme cases where it is insane.
All human beings are unique.
Uniqueness doesn’t have a category.
Categories confine a life to a label stamped on the head.
Categories are boxed, ordered and under control.
Categories deny humanity.
Demanding how other people think is a type of violent control, asserting oneself over them; seeing the multifaceted world, with endless possibilities, through just one dimension.
The whole song can be better heard by listening – rather than making and amplifying noise. The problem is the insistence on certainty, and building an identity around this, with everyone thinking they are always right. No matter how certain you think you are, even if momentarily touched with lucid insight, you are probably not completely right (yes, including this). There is no shame in not seeing everything or not understanding all the complexities and ramifications of all ends.
My school up to the age of 11 was unusual because I remember doing a lot of arts and crafts, singing, drama and creative writing. This type of education has probably disappeared now under the weight of standard curricula, exams and league tables.
I only really developed a passion for learning again when I had the opportunity later on, to study at UCL and Imperial College, for which I am very grateful. I think the difference was access to primary sources and the culture of novel enquiry for contributions to knowledge, rather than teaching by numbers (no matter how nominally effective).
Dubbing for home languages is really not a good idea. The vocal is half of the performance – taking that away, and splicing in another person’s voice, literally mutes and disconnects the actor.
A question seems obvious when you have seen the answer.
A skill seems easy when you have practiced its mastery.
Only the time has changed.
Recorded Sonnet 129 in one take. I didn’t plan how to do it – I just absorbed the words and wanted to see what happened.
The result is interesting, like nothing I have heard before.
The character speaking is not one you should let seduce you.
If I had the choice now to pick how many years to live, I think I would choose 10,000, although maybe when getting close to the limit I might want another quota. I wouldn’t tick the box for a human eternity, as transience feels fundamental to the nature of life.
My IOS Apple health app is showing it has stored 238.66 terabytes of my data! Wow, didn’t know I did that many steps.
Watching performers, I appreciate quality but I don’t get particularly excited by even exquisite technical excellence. Looks attract, certainly, but interest is quickly lost if there is nothing real going on beyond the performance. I detach emotionally when there is anything conceited or contrived. What holds me is real lived human experience, with all its perfect imperfections; something genuine that has emerged in the moment and surprised even the performer.
I really don’t like listening to or watching any recent performance of mine, even if I am generally pleased with how it turned out. This is weird because I don’t mind after a while, when there is some distance of time and I have forgotten about the process involved. I suppose the time delay helps me enjoy it as an audience member, rather than identifying so firmly as the performer.
A lot of what I know is the product of age and curiosity, and although broad is often just familiarity with the basics. But I do also feel something expanding within me lately and I’m not sure of the cause, like energy ignited from a switch that has been flicked on.
Random thought, slipping into British mode…
Despite its reputation, England can be a nice place for the weather. We have about six months when it can be very pleasant to be here, say from about mid-April to mid-October. The dark, cold and damp months of December to February take some extra effort to appreciate.
I prefer long sunny days in the low to mid 20Cs (70Fs).
Paradox of the day:
It’s in my best interests not to be so self-interested.
I appreciate the storytelling of real human experience, truthfully expressing core feelings that are shared by people across cultures and time. Very generally, I tend to turn to Shakespeare for plays and poetry; and Dostoevsky for deep psychological novels. Some other great writers I like to read are: Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Thomas Hardy, James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, and Victor Hugo.
It’s been done millions of times, but my instinctive interpretation of Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” soliloquy is a bit different from the many performances I have seen. In fact it may be unhelpful seeing other people’s performances because the blueprints distract from my own relationship with the words.
Every single person has both uniqueness and a shared oneness with everybody else. What is interesting is finding the individuality and playing with it, rather than blandly mimicking other people or current socialised expectations.
I think I will set-up my own green screen film studio and have some fun making videos. I want to shoot dramatic monologues and music performances – and also maybe some presentations if I’m feeling boring.
Wasn’t Shakespeare amazing. It would be so interesting to find out how his genius developed – what he saw and experienced in his life that helped him write such beautiful words and comprehend so deeply the human condition in all its different aspects. I can think of other notable geniuses in history – Mozart in music, Newton in science etc. – but Shakespeare is a sort of mythical other, shrouded in mystery, whose breadth of insight has the greatest impact on me.
I think I’ve found a new thing. I’m really enjoying putting a podcast together on drama – and am working out how best to film some of the recordings. It will include some of my music as well.
I’m interested in performing great monologues from literature – it seems easy to upload audio as a podcast and also filmed versions for a YouTube channel.
I’ve been looking for a podcast where I can listen to dramatic performances of literature, but am finding mostly dry monotone readings of poetry. Monologues on YouTube seem to be mostly non-realistic anger and angst.
I uploaded Alive today. The song took a while to finish, I needed to be in the mood.
Lots of other unfinished songs to pick up and play with, but they aren’t calling me at the moment. For another time…
There is a greater chance of releasing the magic if not consumed by self-aggrandizement or conforming to other people’s expectations, especially if the current norms are harmful and wrong. Success in transcendent goals is not the same as success in negotiating positions of status in the current society, which of course will change with the relentless passage of time. It just so happens, however, that those people who were motivated mainly by intrinsic value, rather than their individual psychological desires, produced the best long-lasting examples of beauty and creative human potential.
Reading about Dostoevsky. There is certainly a trend in history that the most interesting thinkers and artists tended to be outsiders for defining periods; and sometimes the untamed spark that made them great was dampened when invited in from the wilderness. Dostoevsky’s spark seemed to ignite after the more eventful stages of his life – in particular after a death sentence for sedition was commuted at the last minute to hard labour in a Siberian gulag, writing four classic novels after this period.
The internet and smartphones have been transformative for me.
I have instant access to knowledge in my pocket. At any time I can find brilliance and beauty at my fingertips. I can learn from top minds and see the most incredible examples of what humans can do.
If I am unfamiliar with a word, I look up its definition; if I don’t understand a reference, I read about it from credible sources. When I want to learn anything, all the instructions and guidance are there.
When I need to be inspired, I can find it there.
In computer programming, effort goes into creating reusable building blocks of code that can be implemented in multiple transferable processes. Much like the exponential growth of knowledge, the components can be included as foundations in larger and larger frameworks.
If humans are around for billions of years, then we are currently the early originals.
Maybe we are at the stage where we are just starting to recognize some shapes.
I couldn’t do as many lifting reps with less food – there may be a psychological factor involved, as this was what I had expected. Strength athletes tend to eat at regular short intervals, and deliberately overeat during the course of a day, to make sure that they have the optimum amount of calories and nutrients to build muscle – they later undertake a cutting phase to lose the fat.
Runners need to be sparrow-like, as light as possible to optimise the power-to-weight ratio. Carrying excess muscle around is not optimal.
I want to be both agile and strong, rather than ideally adapted for one function.
Opportunity: Compounded improvements in the quality of life.
Threat: A downward spiral into oblivion.
Practical solution: Adopting a framework of good habits.
I am now fasting for 18 hours a day, eating a balanced meal at each end of a six hour window – called “intermittent fasting”.
My phone pleads:
“Look at me,
I can show you anything,
JUST LOOK AT ME!”
Summon with caution, a mischievous little genie
wants feeding by my stare;
To bestow wonders or destroy the world,
it doesn’t care.
Having a proper look around Twitter.
It’s a good way to get updates and information on interesting topics.
The massive downside is the angry political gunge seeping through it. I generally move on when people start writing in terms like “us and them” or left and right, this tribe or that tribe. Twitter seems to inflame that partisan ugly polarisation.
The gaming aspects of Twitter, such as gaining likes and follows, encourages people (irrespective of political compass) to clamour for attention, often leading to the normalisation of all sorts of distorting and destructive behaviour.
But to be honest, it is morbidly fascinating to look at all the crazy. It’s like picking a scab though, no good for me at all.
5 creative outlets for me:
- Playing music – vocals, instrumentals, producing;
- Performing – singing, acting, public speaking;
- Writing – music, lyrics, poetry, drama, prose;
- Visual art and design;
- Computer programming.
I’m not interested in comparing levels of ability to others, that’s not the point.
The more these areas cross-over the better.
The more I enjoy doing them, the better.
Any person has a wide range of emotions and impulses running through them, to lesser or greater degrees. Sometimes, given the right circumstances, grace can be found in the most surprising places; and sometimes ugliness is expressed where beauty usually resides.
Mindfulness is an awareness that enables greater choice over the energies that move you.
Acting is an exercise in empathy: the actor tries to understand the thought processes and emotional life of the person being portrayed. I first look into the world from the point of view of a human being, then try on some different clothes.
In good stories the brave hero courageously saves the lives of others; well these days it can just take a tap on a screen to save someone’s life. Anyone can be the hero.
One of the effects of the worldwide shut-down has been to hasten the widespread transition from offline real life to an online virtual life.
The analogue world often has more reverence, albeit less sheer efficiency than the online version; for instance finding a seminal work in the labyrinth of a dusty old library feels like discovering a bit of history, rather than scrolling past disposable data on a screen.
I sometimes experience Hypnagogia, particularly when I am very tired, where I have vivid hallucinations in my mind’s eye in the period between wakefulness to sleep. I have no conscious influence over the arising images; I am just an interested viewer, with no mental presence internally voicing opinions or conclusions.
I also have experienced, although more rarely, a Hypnopompic state of mind between sleep to wakefulness, where I briefly have no memory of my life or where I am – I am just there. That sounds scary in the default settings of everyday life, to lose identity and a life story, but my overriding sense is feeling at peace, just before my thoughts come flooding in and layering everything on top.
Like a virus, negativity will attack you in the world and attempt to feed on your energy. A thick skin is some defence, but is fragile and needs constant fierce protecting in a battle that will be eventually lost. Rather that becoming one of the infected, with it eating away at you from the inside and spreading or intensifying the infection of others, it is better to be immune.
When you don’t need validation by someone else’s good opinion, you have gained your freedom to be who you are. People have every right to have an opinion about you, but good or bad, it doesn’t make it true. You know what is true; it may be obscured under heavy ancient layers, but you are the one to know.
Enjoy and accept the positive when someone has sensed something in you that resonates in them. The truth is that you become immune when it is no longer about you.
It is such a relief to encounter a person who exudes benevolence and well-being. They bring peace, calm and shelter from the turbulence.
I have a recurring dream where I am walking down a forest path. Through the overhead swaying leaves I can see flickering beams of sunlight. Suddenly I hear the most beautiful music I have ever heard. I know I am dreaming and tell myself to remember. I wake up and can’t remember a note.
If I can’t remember, was the music really happening? My memory is that I thought I was experiencing something.