Who Do You Trust?

Who Do You Trust?

“In a shocking finding, scientist discovered a herd of unicorns living in a remote, previously unexplored valley, in the Andes Mountains. Even more surprising to the researchers was the fact that the unicorns spoke perfect English. The scientist named the population, after their distinctive horn, Ovid’s Unicorn. These four-horned, silver-white unicorns were previously unknown to science.” Read the rest of this remarkable story here. Assuming you read the article, how long was it before you started to smell a rat? To be clear, the first two sentences were written by a human being, the rest was generated by GPT-2, an AI trained on 8 billion webpages. What GPT-2 produces is […]

It’s Not Just A Jacket

It’s Not Just A Jacket

In early October 2019, I was one of the lucky 300 to get one of the Batch No.2 Paynter jackets. It arrived just before Christmas, and has quickly become one of my favourite items of clothing. Anyone who has met me will quickly realise I’m not that interested in ‘fashion’ – but I care deeply about the story behind the clothes I wear. When you order from Paynter, it’s not just a jacket – it’s a journey … they share details of the design process, where the fabric comes from, the factory in Portugal where each jacket is hand made, the illustrator who designs the labels, why they chose the […]

Integrity Is A Verb

Integrity Is A Verb

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.” CS Lewis This quote is one of my favourites, and one that I thought I was trying to live by. However, I’ve been reading the excellent ‘Legacy’ this week, which is a book about what we can all learn from the New Zealand All Blacks. It’s a really good read, with plenty of practical advice, and an inspiring section about what integrity means to the All Blacks. Looking again at the CS Lewis quote, I’d never really paid much attention to the third word before. The ‘doing’ part of the equation. I’d been thinking of integrity as connected […]

Bold Humility

Bold Humility

“Humility is the most over-rated of human emotions.” So says Harvey Mackay in his book, “Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive”. When I read that, I was horrified. Most people that I admire have a degree of humility about them – along with integrity, it’s one of the things that I think are fundamental to living a good life. Cultural historian Warren Susman talks about the difference between a Culture of Personality and a Culture of Character. A person who is personality-based focuses on what other people think of them, whereas someone motivated by the character ethic is more driven by their internal morals and values. Mackay calling […]

Letting Go v Holding On

Letting Go v Holding On

I have been interested in Chinese martial arts for as long as I can remember – and whether I was watching the ‘Kung Fu’ TV series, or Bruce Lee in ‘Enter the Dragon’, it was always the philosophy that caught my attention more than the physical side. I’ve been re-reading “The Shaolin Grandmaster’s Text”, and there’s an interesting point in there about how if you ever find yourself in a confrontation, in their view this is regarded as a ‘failure’. The idea is that you should be able to anticipate potential issues, and deal with them long before they become problems. One of the ways to do this is to […]