Ruckusmaker Day

In honor of the 60th birthday of Steve Jobs on February 24th we celebrate what Seth Godin calls #RuckusmakerDay. That means you should do something out of the ordinary. Connect with someone, share your thoughts in a blog. Don’t just share a story. Make a story worth sharing. What Navid Modiri calls #storydoers. Here in Varberg we want to make change with #VarbergCalling for peace with Empathy, Creativity and Innovation. On 24th February I will hold a quick workshop in how to make change using Social Media in Varberg during Open Call. And I will attend an Entrepreneur meet-up to help other entrepreneurs to get up to speed with the connection economy. Steve_Crazy

Make a Ruckus!

Commit to articulating your point of view on one relevant issue, one news story, one personnel issue. Every day. Online or off, doesn’t matter. Share your taste and your perspective with someone who needs to hear it. Speak up. Not just tomorrow, but every day. — Seth Godin

So what does it mean to make a Ruckus? Seth Godin explains it well in his talk at 99u. Making a ruckus means to do something that stands out. Something that might not work and that isn’t for everyone. To make something that would be missed if you didn’t. You do this by surrounding yourself with people who will challenge and inspire you to take your work, your art to the next level. To do something that builds connection so that someone else can use it to tell a story about themselves and the tribe they live in.

On Ruckusmaker Day you are encouraged to speak up, to have an opinion on something you care about. Too often we fall back on other people’s views and actions, we retweet their words and their thoughts – we feel safer riding on someone else’s shoulders.

Why is suddenly okay to do this work, that has never been done before in history? Because now it’s free to fail. With the power of the networked society we can no try something out and iterate or do something new until we succeed. In this paradigm shift to the Connection Economy we can suddenly dance with our fears. Because we are not alone anymore. We can now find our tribe and help each other out. If we make something that someone don’t like we can now say: It’s not for you.

If we are trying to please everyone, we will end up pleasing no one — Seth Godin 

Be incredibly generous and connected to a community that will help all of us, to do more and better art.

Go make a Ruckus! Be a Ruckusmaker!

Screenshot 2015-02-24 10.51.04

Go make a Ruckus!

Go make a Ruckus!

 

Here you can listen to my thoughts on the subject in my 8 minute pod:

Ruckusmaker

https://audioboom.com/boos/2923129-ruckusmaker-day-feb-24th

LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

[Update]
Here you can see my presentation in Swedish

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The Storytelling Animal [Tell Your Story]

Have you ever come out of the movies like me, filled with excitement and felling totally exalted? Like your brain is on fire? Well Congratulations. You have just given your brain what it desires most in the world. An Awesome Story. Or have you skunked down in the sofa to see some brain-dead action in the hopes of turning your brain off? Not so. It can’t be done. In fact it is when you are in this state that your brains is the most perceptible to hidden messages and meaning in the story. Your brain never switches off. Think off what messages you are receiving when trying not to. Even when you are sleeping your brain is doing what it likes the most. It is making up its own stories drawing from your vast library of stored stories. And why is your dreams is so often filled unrealistic and magical events? Because your brain can’t tell the diffidence. That’s why your dreams all seem so plausible when you are in them. So Dream on …

This is your story

As you read this your brain is telling a story for you. Namely your story about you. If your brain is a healthy one you are the protagonist in this story. Your own personal hero. What if you can help your hero on the way? Let’s find out how you can help your hero along and use storytelling power to change the world.

Exit light, Enter night, Take my hand, We’re off to never never land

Many believe the brain separates fiction from reality. In “reality” the brains stores everything as stories. Humans are creatures of Neverland. We live in Neverland because we can’t not live in Neverland.

It’s best put into a story by Terry Pratchett in thees words by DEATH when he talks to his granddaughter in the novel Hogfather or as dramatized below:

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

Storytelling is the heart and the soul of human nature. I have recently been reading “The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human” by Jonathan Gottschall. And it has been a 10 year-long wait to read anything inspirational about storytelling since I read “The Science of Discworld II: The Globe“. To say the least, it’s a must read! Or listen to in this excellent audio book 🙂

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? — DEATH

Why does we like storytelling so much? It’s because our brain runs on stories. Our brain is basically a pattern recognition machine. It likes patterns. And stories are just very big complex meta patterns that our brain can identify and relate to. Our universe does not contain any Narrativium like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld but we humans acts as if it does all the time. That everything that happens for a reason and everything has a purpose and a destiny. This is what makes us humans so special and this is something we should treasure.

It is always the present

The Past like the future does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The Future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our minds in order to help shape the world we want to live in.
The Past unlike The Future has actually happened. The Past, as represented in our mind, is a mental simulation too. Our memories are not precise records of what actually happened. They are reconstructions of what happened — Jonathan Gottschall from The Storytelling Animal

Most of us believe our memory is filled with reliable info we can access at will. Not so. But memory isn’t an outright fiction. It is merely a fictionalization of what took place. Memory is an unreliable self-serving historian. It’s there to help us make decisions that help us along for the bumpy ride that reality is.

Perceptions

Here is favorite quote from Emily Thorne in the Revenge tv-show. From the episode “Perceptions” of season 1:

“Years ago, I met a boy who introduced me to a book, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In it, William Blake writes, ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as infinite.’ But in reality our perception is often clouded by expectations. By experiences. As of late I find my perception is blinded by only one thing. — Revenge”

“Truth is a battle of perceptions. People only see what they’re prepared to confront. It’s not what you look at that matters but what you see. And when different perceptions battle against one another, the truth has a way of getting lost. And the monsters find a way of getting out.”

This captures in a great way how our brain works and how we live our life inside our own little Matrix. Experiences and expectations are all part of our perception of the past and the future. Our place in the story we are telling about our self.

Pan Narrans

Storytelling has been around for as long as we have been humans. And it’s the storytelling itself that first made us into the storytelling chimpanzee we are today. You must embrace fiction. It will make you more empathetic and more able to navigate life’s problems and dilemmas.

Fiction pulls us together and unites us with common values. It’s the core that makes us into a groupish vehicle for our genes to pass down to our offspring as I discussed in my previous blog The Duality of Man [Can we work together?]. We use them to set a shared Moral Matrix for the group.

Epilogue

As result of how successful stories have made us, we are also slaves under them. And they can easily be used to manipulate and mold us. If you want to burrow a message into a human mind. Work it into a story. But if we use the power of story for good, we can use it to change the world to the better.

But you must also use caution when confronted with stories and the “Truth” that many will want to tell you. As you know by now, the truth can never be told but a mere “Truthy Tale” of what happened in the past. Many will believe that their opinions are facts, when they are just that: Opinions.

This also means that we should be tolerant of the myths of all the cultures in the worlds as the bearers of these myths, are most certainly under the spell. Be vary of conspiracy theories as they are often the fiction of a storytelling mind who find patterns all to easily.

The truth is depressing: We are going to die. We are tiny insignificant dots on a tiny planet in a tiny galaxy. We need self-deception to keep depression at bay.
We are Figments of our own imagination. Until the day we die we are living the story of our lives. This story is constantly changing and evolving. It’s being edited and rewritten by an unreliable narrator and this story are more truthy than true.

Enjoy it while it last and make it a good one!

The power of Storytelling

“With great power comes great responsibility” — Stan Lee

Now that you know more of the power of storytelling, will you stop loving stories so much? No, on the contrary, you will be able see life for what it is and enjoy good storytelling even more.

Day dream often! You and I are going to tell a greater story together how life on planet Earth will be in the Future!

/LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Transformium [The Blockbuster Myth]

Trans … Wait for it … form.
If we experiment with the thought that we can play the present in either Slow-motion or in Fast-forward. We can then see the future being created in a comprehensible speed. To see Time Transforming the world around us at various rates. If reality is a movie, then we understand that for every new frame to come, we set the stage in the current frame, for the transformation to take shape. I will now give you my thoughts on how a crappy movie has my mind spinning and why we need to make better more thoughtful movies. They are never ever just dumb entertainment. Especially not the big blockbuster action flicks that so many of us, pass of as pure brain-dead entertainment. This is the ones to look out for. They go right into our emotional core.

If you want to burrow a message into a human mind. Work it into a story — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

Science Fiction Storytelling [The Blockbuster Myth]

Transformers … I know what you think. It’s the brain-dead action movie by Michael Bay with giant robots from outer space. Well I went to see it tonight. Because it has giant robots. And it’s a Sci-Fi movie where the future of humankind on Planet Earth is at stake. Was it a mistake? Or did I have free will in making the choose to see it? Find out below.

If you read my thoughts from last summer about what I think of blockbuster sci-fi action you know what I think of Transformers: Age of Extinction. To sum it for you here it is:

What we can Imagine –> We can Build

We must use Storytelling and Science Fiction to envision a new Future. And to raise important question for an ongoing dialog about the future and where we are going. We should draw parallels to our past and present to give us better picture of who we are and how we build our society. Why do we go forward? If we want to change the present into a better world tomorrow, then Epic Storytelling is the Ultimate tool to communicate a common vision of that future. Things we must invent and obstacles we must overcome. Everything is made up and we make up the future, together.

So what is Good Epic Blockbuster Movies to me? Here are some of my favourites: The Matrix, Avatar, Avengers, Cloud Atlas, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Transformers

Transformers – Age of Extinction

Transformium [Way Shap:ier Than Adamantium]

With that in mind. What did I think of Transformers? It’s a mess of illogical storytelling with very little insight why we should care about the future of the human race. The main characters are constantly concerned with each others wellbeing and maintaining silly Movie-American family values. All the while countless human lives are lost without a single though or comment.

And “The Age of Extinction“? What’s up with that? Yes the threat to humanity is very real, as in so many movies before this one. And yet most people doesn’t seem to get it. They do very little to act on it. If your going to die, doing anything else than prevent it from happening seems a little bit out of character. Well maybe it’s just really they way we treat Earth today in the real world. Nobody can grasp how bad we are treating it and we always think that someone else is doing something about it.

Can we use movies like this, to get us aware of the fact that we need to do something to save our “World” together?

Then there is the magical metal Transformium. Sci-Fi movies should stay away from trying to explain what is clearly magic by trying to explain it as science. (I’m locking at you Midi-chlorians). Some things we humans can just accept as a magical setting for raising some interesting philosophical questions. It’s what Sci-Fi does best. Stop trying to explain things like the Metal Transformium by making it a metal that flies around as little cubes just to form a robot. If this was the case they could just dissolve when ever they were hit or shot at. Just like the liquid Metal Demon in T2. If they where a calculating machine and where to use this power to the extent of their abilities it wouldn’t be a match at all. Make better technical plots where it fills a purpose to the story and the core of the message. Otherwise leave it be. On a second note. The name Transformium is used as a joke in the movie and it called this with full intent of irony.

Cade Yeager: [to Joshua] You’re an inventor like me, so I know you have a conscience. Don’t let your creation take control.
Joshua Joyce: I created Galvatron, I control him!
Cade Yeager: No, he’s been controlling you!

Then there is opening act with Mark Wahlberg as a broke Inventor, Maker och Tinkerer. Just like me, he has an unyielding belief that his breakthrough is just around the corner. I’m still waiting for mine as a Holistic Thinking Ninja. So this is the best part that actually resonates with me. And he is called Yeager which is an obvious flirt with the Jaeger Program in Pacific Rim which is much better movie 🙂

And what about the moral of the story?

There some few bright spots. Like when Joshua Joyce, the head of KSI, says that his intent for the company was never to be evil and he tries to make amends in the end. Otherwise there is nothing about what almost every movie now forgets to mention or portray. The move into the Network Society. They always fail to show, how we can use the internet and social media for good. With Sustainability, Collaboration, Transparency and Community at the core of global problem solving. The hero isn’t alone anymore. They have a whole team available at the tip of their fingers through a smart phone. When we will see the first Blockbuster movie to fully portray what this new paradigm shift means for The World?

Do You Have a Teflon Brain? [What Does Movies Teach You?]

Action movies are never just stupid entertainment where you turn your brain off. No can do. The brain doesn’t come with an off-switch and it are constantly affected by what it experience and the stories that it craves for so much. And everything has a message. If you can’t spot it, it’s just cleverly or unthoughtfully hidden from plain sight within the story. And the wrong message does actually affect us in the wrong way. I don’t give me any crap about that you are some kind of superhuman with a Teflon Brain. Like an On/Off switch that you can flip when you want to become invulnerable to the world around you. Your brain doesn’t work that way. Most of the cognitive work of your brain is hidden from the conscious you. The one part of your brain, that is actually a story told by your brain for you, to live through.

Engage with the stories around you on whole new conscious way and a new world will open up for you. If you want to know more check out Jonathan Gottschall’s book The Storytelling Animal.

“We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard” — Jonathan Gottschall

Should we then stop going to see stupid movies by the kinds of Michael Bay? The world surly doesn’t think so. As Transformers are breaking all kinds of records just in its first week. What should we do then to stop this madness? Voting with our dollars sure doesn’t work. Reflecting in groups? Hope for the Wachowskis to save us? Give me your thoughts in the comments below.

How can we bust the “Blockbuster Myth”, that I would like to call it?

What Can You Transform? [The World of Tomorrow]

How can I use this movie to further my own thoughts? Well Transformium is actually a good name for us to use in another context. That we create our own tomorrow by transforming our present Space-time Continuum. We have this magic super power in our hands. Just yesterday I posted some questions about how we create Tomorrow that I call The World of Tomorrow.

World of Tomorrow

By telling stories of your own tomorrow you can actually change the way you act, think and behave today. Remember that Tomorrow is just a fantasy in your mind.

“The past, like the future, does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our heads in order to help shape the world we want to live in. The past, unlike the future, has actually happened. But the past, as represented in our minds, is a mental simulation, too. Our memories are not precise records of what actually happened. They are reconstructions of what happened, and many of the details – small and large – are unreliable. Memory isn’t outright fiction; it is merely a fictionalisation” — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

Go forth and tell better stories of a Tomorrow that you want to live in!

/LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Update:
Added The Moral of the Story and my favorit Blockbuster Movies.

Overview Effect [We need more Explorers and Artist]

What can we do to make the world a better place? There is so much that we take for granted on Planet Earth. And there is so many better things that we can spend our time and resources on here. I will give you some of my perspective on what is important on Planet Earth. What we can do is: 1. Create Shared Visions. 2. Create better Stories. 3. Do more and better Science, Exploration and Art. 4. Watch the Moon together.

I think we can start from there. What are your thoughts on how to create a better future together?

Pale Blue Dot [What is our home?]

Tonight was an awesome night!

Thanks to Christer Hellberg’s blog I started the evening watching Brian Cox talking about our Why we need Explorers & our place in the Universe. He finishes of with the Pale Blue Dot picture, and then he reads this text from Carl Sagan below.

Brian Cox

Brian Cox – Why we need Explorers & our place in the Universe

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Carl Sagan

So lo and behold. What do think happens later tonight? I have just put my daughters to sleep. I’m going downstairs to make some tea for me and me girl, who are going to watch the movie Gravity together tonight. I step outside to watch the bright Full Moon that stands just under the brightest Mars we’ve had in years. I see a large shining object moving slowly east across the sky passing just above Mars, and then it fades away into the Earth-shadow. A Space Station. On this very night? What are the odds? On such a perfect viewing the very same night of Brian Cox and Gravity? But it doesn’t stop there…

“Nothing is more fatal to the progress of the human mind than to presume that our views of science are ultimate, that our triumphs are complete, that there are no mysteries in nature, and that there are no new worlds to conquer.” — Humphrey Davy

The Full Moon and Mars in view of my house with the Space Station just having passed by Mars

The Full Moon and Mars in view of my house with a Space Station just having passed by Mars

My brain can’t do anything else but apply agencies like fate and destiny to events like these. This was also the night for a Blood Moon and Lunar Eclipse viewable from North & South America. Nothing here in Sweden but just the thought if this happening on the same date as well makes it even more epic in my mind.

OurBrain

Our brains perceive the world on a Human Scale, and interpret those perceptions in terms of what is – or sometimes was – important to us — Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen & Terry Pratchett, The Science of Discworld IV

The Overview Effect [The Earth is our only home]

“The actual experience exceeds all expectations and is something that’s hard to put to words… It sort of reduces things to a size that you think everything is manageable…. All these things that may seem big and impossible … We can do this. Peace on Earth – No problem. It gives people that type of energy … that type of power, and I have experienced that.” — Anousheh Ansari, Space Tourist

Have you ever been into space? Probably not. Only well-trained mission specialist and some Space Tourists has gone up so far. And what they all do, for hours and hours up there at the time, is Earth Gazing. When they watch down on our blue round spaceship orbiting our star, they all get a profound feeling of the importance, that we do right by our only home in the Galaxy. It is still the only place, where all the life we know off in the universe can survive. And we human are in no way separated from life on Earth. We are part of a system we cannot survive without. This feeling they get, it’s a kind of Awe of Nature only bigger and more profound. It’s called The Overview Effect. This feeling of pure beauty is hard to describe if not experienced first hand by our human sensory system. We can get a glimpse of it through movies like Gravity on a big screen but nothing like the real deal.

Some say the best thing about going to the moon was getting a picture and view of Earth from the moon.

If all humans experience this effect, we should have a different view of how we treat each other and how we treat the system of life around us. This is of course not doable in near foreseeable future. Maybe in the future we are able to get to a place where we can build large Space Elevators that can take us there. And here is a bit of a paradox. In order we to get to that place we all need the feeling that place will give us.

“There was a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I had been taught… I not only saw the connectedness, I felt it.… I was overwhelmed with the sensation of physically and mentally extending out into the cosmos. I realized that this was a biological response of my brain attempting to reorganize and give meaning to information about the wonderful and awesome processes that I was privileged to view.” — Edgar Mitchell, Sixth Man on the Moon

There is still hope though. Very soon some very rich people are going to be able to on space tourism. They will all be able to experience this feeling first hand. And this elite of superrich people also has som real power to make change in the world. Our hope here is that when they get this feeling they will start using their power and resources to make change for the better of Life on Earth.

The Human Tribe(s) [What can we do?]

What can we mere mortals do here down on Earth then? Well I think there some core things that we can do. I have talked about most of them before. Here will try to sum them up.

Shared Visions

We need shared Visions for the Future that we all can pursue together. We must all have our own personal vision of the future in order to walk on a path with meaning and purpose. When we then sum up these visions they add upp to mush larger vision that is bigger than all of us. We just need a real leader how put forth the agenda for us. So that we all can connect ot it on a personal level. That’s how you put a Man on the Moon or build a Stonehenge.

A Shared Vision is an ongoing conversation between people.
It’s not what the Vision is. It’s what the Vision does. — Peter Senge

Sci-fi & Storytelling

Sci_Fi_City

We all enjoy a good story. Our brain is literally a storytelling machine. It stores and communicates everything in patterns. These patterns are then put together in larger Meta-patterns that we call stories. Most things we put into our story we buy wholehearted without questioning. Sure it’s only fiction you may say. The fact is that to our brain everything his fiction. It’s only our small conscious part of our brain that pretends it can tell the difference. To the rest of the brain it’s all stories and emotions.

So is this a bad thing then? No, on the contrary. If we want to change the world and build a better society Storytelling and Science-fiction is the ultimate tool to implant new ideas and visions of a future we want to have. we are just nut using it to its full potential. What if the makers of big blockbuster Sci-Fi movies realised and took their responsibility and made epic stories with meaning and visions we could use? I discuss this more in: Elysium [What we can Imagine –> We can Build] and Pacific Grim [A Rim Vision of the Future].


More and Better Science and Art

We need to commit more of our time and resources to science. It’s a primary goal of the Human race. To know more about ourself and the Universe. With science we don’t change the world. We only change how we perceive the world and think about it. As new facts become known or old one becomes obsolete we will ever so slightly change our ability to perceive the world. There will never be complete consensus on how we or the universe tics. There will however be a pretty good picture if it. We can all help in painting this picture. Many more of us can become Scientist, Explorers and Artist. Let’s do more and better Science, Exploration and Art.

”The cosmos is also within us, We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” — Carl Sagan


#MoonWatch and #Stargaze

BloodMoon

As tonight was the night of the Blood Moon it’s only fitting that we talk about the effect that watching the moon together has on us. For all my life I’ve gone out to watch the moon at night. Mostly the when it’s a full moon or those nice new moon dusk evenings when the moon is just a sliver of its true self and you can see its whole round form barely visible. Most of these times I have been alone. Not by choice. Mostly out of no-one else seeing the fascination as I do. So when I finally found lots of other people doing all aver the world via Twitter, I did feel that there was hope for humanity after all. So does so few people do it? Most of us has just forgotten why we should. Because it has big effects on us when we MoonWatch together. What if there is no moon then? Just going out into the wild away from the city lights and watching the stars is a great thing to do. Just stand there and ponder how small we are and how short our time here on planet earth is together. Hug someone and tell them what is really important in life.

“When you look at the Moon, you think, ‘I’m really small. What are my problems?’ It sets things into perspective. We should all look at the Moon a bit more often.” — Alain de Botton

So if you ever get the chance again, see a Lunar Eclipse with someone you love or new friend. On larger scale we should all go see a Solar Eclipse together, like the one in 2017. I’m already planing a trip to the US with my friends to see the big one in 2017. It’s just a week before Burning Man, I think. So it’s going to be an epic trip.

Will you join me?

Watching celestial objects and events gives us a much-needed perspective on life on Planet Earth. For things we take for granted and for things we should be amazed at.

Hug someone and tell them what is really important in life.

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja

What Is Love? [Her the Movie] #Blogg100

Why does Movies affect us more than we know? They can enlighten the way we think about ourselves and our future. What many of us know about love and how we should live together we get from Movies and TV-Series. So finally we get a movie like Her, who takes responsibility in awaken our thoughts on the matter. What can it teach us about love and how we should live together in the future? Find out below as my mind wanders on the subject 🙂

Do You Feel Alone? [Is More Love and Companionship the Answer?]

Her the Movie

Her the Movie – The heart is not like a box that gets filled up – It expands in size the more you love

We humans are social creatures by nature. It’s what makes us human. We are made for living together sharing food and stories with each others. Modern brain science shows that it’s hardwired into our brains. It’s makes us feel good when help others. Most of us don’t like being alone and yet our modern world seems designed in many ways to keep us apart. Especially the notion that we should live only with our significant other and maybe some children. Or just alone by ourselves, like how many people do in our big modern cities. And yet, we are designed to live in a small or a large Tribe in so many ways.

Some of us has made it work, to live together with others. Many of rest of us feel very alone in our lives and in our decisions. This become very apparent during Christmas. The guilt and the loneliness we try to smother by consuming ever more stuff. Many of us tries to drown our Social Pain in Alcohol or Drugs. The Mental Care institutes are ever so crowded around the holidays, filled with human tragedy. And it’s going in the wrong direction. We now know that Social Pain is as real to the brain as physical pain. The old myth that we can just shake it of, is no longer valid and truly busted. Thanks to modern science and MRI scans we now know that large parts of our brain are wired to keep us in the social game. So what is the opposite of Social Pain and being alone? Is it Love and Companionship? What can we do to get better at this Social Game?

What do you think?

Decisions, Decisions [Why are we so bad at them?]

Human are also especially bad at making crucial decisions alone. We all need help. The Brain is very prone to make irrational emotional decisions and make up a logical rational explanation long after the decision is made. Sometimes we only have an explanation when we get asked about why we did what we did. We also hold things sacred. And around things we hold sacred, we are especially bad at making informed decisions. Here we all need help. Preferable from people that do think alike to avoid group thinking. This also a reason why we should spend more time together. So that we can be there for each other.

So ask for help the next time you are making a tough decision.

Are you Her? [The past is just a story we tell ourselves] 

The movie HER by Spike Jonze is a very fascinating story about love and loneliness. The setting is near future where living together or alone is just as complex or even more so than today. Check out some of the background to the movie here: Spike Jonze Imagines the Future of Intelligence, Mobile Design, Love and Pants in “HER” and The Past is Just a Story We Tell Ourselves. There are many questions that pop into my head during this move. And non get any real answer. They are just for us the Audience to ponder on. The questions I ponder on are:

1. Are we okay with living on our own? [Does just intellectual companionship suffice?]

Yes. We probably are. Intellectual stimuli are something most of us get to little of. It’s something many of us crave more of. Even though some parts of the brain is lazy, other parts can’t resist excitement if feels when getting a proper intellectual dialog going.

Her

No. She is a fictional construct, whereas I am a virtual entity. But we can still be friends.

Theodore in Her thinks he has found a perfect relationship with the AI called Samantha in the beginning. It’s just a little awkward when he should tell others about it, that might not understand. It’s like Raj in the episode The Beta Test Initiation of Big Bang Theory season 5. Raj has extreme trouble talking to women. So he finds true excitement when he gets an iPhone 5 with Siri and starts a relationship with her. So long as he is alone with Siri it’s fine but it becomes social awkward when they should socialize with other people.

Theodore on the other hand finds out everyone else is doing it too, having a virtual relationship with their AI. I think it could be an interesting companionship for everyone. Especially with those who has trouble forming real world relationships. But her lies also the real danger. Maybe now they have no reason at all to meet real people. With the right mindset it can probably be give us better social skills. And we all need that. Can it be Empathy training for those who need it the most? Yes, as long as it doesn’t replaces all other real world relationships. We need those too. It doesn’t replace them. It just complements them, I think.

We need the physical touch too, that generates oxytocin in our bodies. The brain is to hardwired for interaction with other humans or even other mammals for us to ignore the positive effects of living together. Sharing life and touching each other. So could we live in mental companionship with AI or a true online relationship while getting other social stimuli from other real persons? Like a mix? Probably, but it would be very hard balancing act to conduct. So is it worth giving a try? If we do nothing to conduct our future, we will probably get there soon. Should we?

2. How should we then design tomorrows cities and societies? [Are we ready for the cramming?]

Her The Movie - Designing our future cities for a better social life

Her The Movie – Designing our future cities for a better social life

We just love living in social tribes. That why so many of us move to, or live in cities. We are just not very good at designing these lives in the city. Up until know most of our living has been without any design thinking. Many of us end up alone in the cities. The “Free Market” takes non of this into consideration when cramming us so close together, yet so separated by walls. And it’s not sustainable either. With every one of us having so many recourses by ourselves, without sharing them.

Let’s design our future cities so that they enables a better social life with more love & empathy and give room for a health life — Michael Sillion

And it’s now a theory, that even the very first cities from ten thousand years ago where only able to survive and flourish, thanks to the invention of beer. With so many people living together without a plan or oversight we are just hellbent on getting in each other’s faces. Alcohol solved some part of that problem by making us more social and tolerant of each other.

Now we know better what makes us tic and what makes us sting each other. It’s a very interesting and social science will continue to evolve us into insights, about how we should live together. With so many of us bunching up, shouldn’t we use our new knowledge to design better ways of living together? I defiantly think we should. We can’t leave it just to chance and the economic forces of a market economy. The life and the future is not about profit. We need to take charge, like some cities all over the world has already done.

Maybe we all need our little cave where we can be alone for a while. But we also need new and better campfires where we can huddle up, share a meal and a conversation. Watch the stars and the moon. Engulf in fantasies about the past and the future together, using our favorite storytelling. And in all the excitement we can play great games and sports together. Sharpening both mind and body. We should even engulf in spiritual and energetic dance together. Thus turning on the Hive-Switch in our minds, binding us ever closer together.

3. What is Love? [Baby don’t hurt me, Baby don’t hurt me, No more]

Peter Sage on Love – Being someones significant other.

Yes, what is love? Peter Sage gives a great definition on London Real

Love is being someones significant other — Peter Sage

The definition of significant being: Separate from. Different too. Unique.
So total focused unconditional presence is what you should have in mind. Not two half circles that complete each other. It is two whole circles that are attracted to each other. Before you can truly love someone else, you must first find and complete yourself. And it’s also a paradox. As no one is never complete. The journey never ends. So is true love impossible or just slightly improbable? I think it’s something you should always strive towards and never reach.

Don’t be a boat that tries to carry someone. Be a lighthouse and harbour to light their path and provide comfort and understanding.

What we can do to make any relationship better is to make it Active Constructive. When someone close to you give you good news you can choose to respond in enthusiastic positive way. You also should try to keep a positive Losada Ration. More than not you should have positive conversations with your partner.

4. What can we do to change all this? [Let’s get social]

We are now entering a new era of a Social Society. We are just seeing the seeds of this thanks to the Internet and Social Media. This new Society will not come automatically. We need to help creating it, for it to become true. I can easily go in the wrong direction or go away entirely if we are not careful. Indeed some parts of society already are. It’s very interesting to listen to the thoughts of Matthew Liberman, Dov Siedman, Brené Brown and Daniel Goleman all from the RSA podcast. They all have different things to say about Era of Social and Empathy. And yet you can connect the dots between them. It all combines well with what Peter Sage says above about moving into a creative entrepreneurial future together. Go ahead and give one of them a listen 🙂

Her the Movie - Let's hack the Future

Her the Movie – Let’s hack the Future

Hack the Source Code [Create the Future]

We can’t just redo our lives over and over again until we get it right like in movies like Goundhog Day and Source Code. We have to make up for our mistakes along their way. But if we are smart about or actions and learn quickly from our own and others mistakes, we can Hack Life to the better. Listen to what other wise people have to say and hack out our own path through the wilderness. Bring along their tools, and use them in your own way.

So don’t hasten to judge someone else. Try to listen to them and understand them instead.

The best quote from Her the Movie is:

The past is just a Story we tell ourselves — Samantha

Don’t dwell and focus on the past. No good will come from it. Forgive and move on. Because: The Future is also a Story we tell ourselves. It shapes the Path we set out to travel on. Surround yourself with people who are on the same journey and you will be much more likely to get there. We create our own future. If we want more Love in this world we just have to Hack it in a smart way to get it.

Lets hack life for more Love & Empathy!

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja

[Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures]

The Hunt Is On [Here be Pirates] #Blogg100

Here be Pirates! It’s time raise the sails and cast away on a new 100 day journey. This journey takes place in our minds as we travel ever deeper into our minds using the technique called journaling. As I have given the Ninja side of my much love lately it’s now time to give the pirate side some love! I’ve been seeing some the new pirate series Black Sails and I just love the Pirate Myth. We are can all be Pirates and Ninjas and go hunting for a new society together. Find out more by reading below and follow with me on this 100 day journey.

Avast, me hearties! [Let’s go hunting]

#Blogg100 Challenge

#Blogg100 Challenge

It’s that time of year again. Last year we boarded our vessel on January 23 to go on a 100 day journey. This year it’s the March 1. The Vessel I’m referring to is not a physical one, but the mind. And The Journey we are embarking on is the #Blogg100 Challenge.

Why go on a Journey in your mind? By doing journaling in the form of a private diary or a public blog is very helpful for the mind if it’s done in an analytical way. When putting words on your thoughts, you greatly help your brain sorting and evolving them. So while embarking on this Journey my mind also immediately draws on to another adventure …

Black Sails [“Yo ho ho, and a bottle of… rum!”]

As you may already have figured I love Ninjas. I also like the Mythical Pirates from the movies. The whole Ninjas vs. Pirates Meme can be found throughout my blog. So it’s about time that the pirate side got some love as well. My favourite movie as a child was Crimson Pirate with Burt Lancaster. It was the first movie my uncle had taped on his first VHS player back in the eighties and me and my brother watched it countless times together with Star Wars. It was with great anticipation that watched the first episode of HBO’s new series Black Sails. And it did not disappoint. I just love the beautiful setting of Nassau in the Caribbean and mix between fictional and historical narration. It sets me head cap’n spinnin’! And have gotten me playing Gangplank allot more in League of Legends 😉

It may not be the deepest of shows but it has its moments, like the one below. For me personally it’s about what life and ambitions was like back then. How is that different from, how many men in power today, just want to rob the world? Mankind haven’t changed a lot in the last 50 000 years. We are still capable of so much greed and cruelty. This is something we should think about on a daily basis.

– The emperor writes: How should you be?

You should be like a rocky promontory against which the restless surf continuously pounds. It stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet.

I hear you say – “How unlucky that this should happen to me”. But not at all. Perhaps say instead how lucky I am that I am not broken by what has happened, and I am not afraid of what is about to happen. For the same blow might have stricken any one, but not many who would have absorbed it without capitulation and complaint. — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations read in Black Sails

Nassau - Kingdom of Pirates

Nassau – Kingdom of Pirates – Black Sails

Hunting your own Destiny [“I won’t rest till I see ye hangin’ from the yardarm!”]

What Captain Flint wants in Black Sails, is to hunt down his Destiny as King of Thieves. It maybe isn’t the noblest of quests but it is also about being rid of the of Imperial Leaders of the Greedy Olden World. Nothing is ever that simple.

It’s also about the journey to get there. This is how I intend to use my focus when doing my blogging. Hunting down my Destiny and recording my Journey on the way. Thus reflecting on my motives to get there. What actions is worthy raising me sails for? Who will I want as “me hands” to get there. And what price does me hunting’ come by? So the Pirate Meme is comes to mind after all 🙂

Will you set out on a great adventurous journey with me hunting down our destinies? Life is about the Journey. Let’s make it a good one that may be worthy of a song!

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Smaug the Grandmaster [Sherlock the Maestro]

What are your expert skills? Now and in the future? What will you spend your days on mastering? As you can see, this is an area that I’m very interested in. I will now give you a run-through about how you can become a Master of your own life, skills and passions. What insights can Sherlock Holmes, Smaug and Tauriel give us on the quest of living? — Life can be made more social. We can have more intent in our thoughts and actions. The Brain is the most astonishing invention of the Universe. Start treating it with the Awe it inspires and it will start giving back to you. Life is about making a flourishing society here on Planet Earth and we can become skilled experts in helping it along. Below I will give my thoughts on the subject. Do share your thoughts too below, in the comments or find me at my next social event and discuss it. 

Here be Dragons!

Becoming a Master Expert [Skill Up Your Life]

Smaug the Grandmaster

Smaug the Grandmaster – Greed-King Unparalleled and Death-Dealer Extraordinaire 

We all now that it takes time to master a skill. And Malcolm Gladwell’s 10.000 hour rule is jet an arbitrary number for becoming an Expert. Some take less and some take more. I went and saw The Grandmaster last year and it certainly takes more than 10.000 hours of training to become a Grandmaster let alone a Master in Kung Fu. Yet if you break down any skill in small pieces you can become a novice in every skill-piece in just 20 hours according to Josh Kaufman.

So I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug or as I will call it The Hobbit: Grandmagistra Tauriel & Grandmaster Smaug. What did I think of the Movie? On a personal level this an awesome movie. The best Visual Movie I’ve seen. The fairy tale feeling is nothing short of a masterpiece. You are actually there with them in Midgard. Witch brings me to my first observation:

The Master Team [Together We Can Build Everything Ever]

To make a movie like this and the first trilogy you not only need a super team of experts and masters in each and every skill required. When you put them all together in the right teams you create something more than the sum of the whole. The emerging outputs of such a creative teams is just amazing. No-one can argue against that. In-movie wise we have the Dwarfs. What they have created in Erebor is also a fictional masterpiece of engineering. When lead by a strong vision where everyone has put their heart into their own master craft, there is no limit to what we can create together.

That’s why I’m advocating using storytelling so much to help shape the future into what we want it to be. Soap Operas and Reality TV maybe great ways to stimulate our unquenchable thirst of our social brains to get more social stimuli? But when it comes to building common visions for our future, not so much. Then we need stories with allot more philosophical thoughts going into them.

Then we have the fictional Master teams as well. From Tauriel and Legolas in the The Hobbit to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in Sherlock. Both connected through Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

“When your art fails, make better art”
“It’s never too late to redefine self-control, to change long-ingrained habits, and to do the work you’re capable of”
Seth Godin

So why does it take more than just the 10 000 hours, to become great at something? If it was easy everyone would make Masterpieces like this. And even this movie I find too lacking in its philosophical parts. How should we all get better in our trades? If we are to make better art like Seth Godin says we better get good at it. I will try to find out how.

Tauriel the Champion [What Is Time Well Spent?]

Tauriel

Grandmagistra Tauriel – Wicked Bow-Woman and World-Thinker Fantastique 

The stunts that Tauriel and Legolas pulls when fighting the Orcs in The Hobbit is very spectacular indeed. But when you think about it, what a human grandmaster learns in 40 years of training, is nothing compared to how much training a 600 year old Elf must have. Lets say 4 hours a day and it will be something around 200 000 hours. Then you’re expected to be able to do the stunts they are doing without even blinking twice. They are able to become true champions of any craft or art of their choosing. And who wouldn’t want that? Do you?

What about Phil in Groundhog Day? How long does it take him to master all the skills in the end? Harold Ramis responds to a calculation by saying he spends at least 30 to 40 years in the Groundhog-verse.

Rita: It would take a year to get good at this.
Phil: No. Six months. Four to five hours a day and you’d be an expert.
Rita: Is this what you do with eternity? – Groundhog Day

So what is time well spent? Who are to judge what skills are worth spending a lifetime on nourishing. What are the jury saying about becoming an expert in anything other than a traditional craft? And what skills should you devote an entire lifetime on to become a master and eventually a Grandmaster [Grandmagistra]?

Mad Passions [Sample Your Skills]

Just practicing a skill over and over ain’t gonna cut it either. Yes for you to master a skill you will need to have a passion for it or develop a passion for it along the way. And passion alone is not going to cut it either. Cal Newport gives a great speech about it here: “Follow Your Passion” Is Bad Advice. He is just putting a spin on it. Of course it’s great to have one or many passions. But in order for you to become an expert you need to have the knack for it as well or you will be fighting a very uphill battle.

So how does this help you and me? For one thing if we are to become masters of our craft and art we there is probably not too many shortcuts around the hours put in. Practice makes perfect, and perfect practice makes you even more perfect. Then it becomes even more important what you pick to master. No, the agony. What should I master? Here trying many small skills and learning them in just 20 hours can come very handy. You need to sample many skills and passions to find some that fits in both camps. Either a passion that you may seem yo have the knack for or a talent that you can begin to love.

You should try to sample many skills. It’s very helping and insightful and it gives you a better perspective on the whole spectrum of human endeavor. On the road to mastery do explore many branches in your skill tree. Should you find yourself on a dead-end you can easily go back and follow another branch.

Does that mean that there is both a long and a shorter road to mastery? It probably does. With the right focus and learning-techniques you can learn a skill or a craft much faster. Leaving room over for other skills to learn as well or becoming even better at something. Also worth taking into considerations when learning something is this pillars I will talk about in a coming blog-post: Mental Condition, Technique, Motivation, Social Setting and Fun.

Some people will always need help. That doesn’t mean they are not worth helping – Meera Reed, Game of Thrones

But don’t be afraid of cultivating some mad passions that you posses. As long as they are not to harmful they may do you and society some good. We are in such of dire need of more originals in the world. Serendipity may take you a long way. Just try to be mindful of what you are doing and keep and open dialogue about it with yourself and maybe a mentor or two.

Take deep breath and take a sip of your favourite beverage.
Look yourself in the mirror…
Then comment and narrate your own thoughts and actions out loud. — Lord Sillion

Because most of us should not be left alone to our own devices going blind into the future. We are all in dire need of social coaching within our various tribes that we belong to. Try asking for help when choosing what path you should trod down and what skills and passions you should follow. And DO sidestep your predestined track. At least ask yourself when staring into the mirror: “Who am I and what am I doing?“. We can all use a little more self narration in our lives 🙂

How Do You Get A Rock’n’Roll Mind? [Start Rockin’ And Rolling It!]

Mad Genius Sherlock

Maestro Sherlock Holmes – Deduction Superhero and Self-Narrator Spectacular — John Watson – Friend Supreme

Dr. John Watson: Am I pretty?
Sherlock Holmes: Beauty is a construct based on childhood impressions, influences, and role models.

The great team behind Smaug and Bilbo fittingly began their Team building carer in Sherlock. The breathtaking series from BBC about a modern Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock also being a kind of Master. From the evil mind of Smaug to the Master thinker Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch transforms them both into the pure essence of Storytelling Master Art. He also gives being smart a new rock’n’roll face. In episode 3 of season 3: His Last Vow we are even giving a wink of the connection between Sherlock and Smaug:

Sherlock: A dragon slayer. Is that what you think of me?
Mycroft: No. It’s what you think of yourself.

Mycroft: MI6. They want to place you back into Eastern Europe. An undercover assignment that will prove fatal to you in, I think, about six months.
Sherlock: Then why don’t you want me to take it?
Mycroft: It’s tempting. But on balance, you have more utility closer to home.
Sherlock: Utility. How do I have utility?
Mycroft: Here there be dragons.

Here be Dragons is the reference to go on an unexplored quest into an unknown future. An endeavor for the whole of the human race to embark upon. Killing myths and superstition with science and knowledge. Who will join me in the this quest to be Dragon slayers?

So how do you get a Rock’n’Roll mind?

When we then think about Robert Kegan’s thoughts about the Self-Transforming Mind. Then it becomes hard to grasp to what insights, an old Elf or an even older Dragon like Smaug, has to come to. Because a mind needs constant stimuli the become smarter. So what has all the slumbering done to Smaug? Not to mention that he spends his time in solitude. Maybe only Madness lies there. Is it no wonder that he likes the mind game with Bilbo so much?

I am almost tempted to let you take it, if only to watch Oakenshield suffer. Watch it destroy him, watch it corrupt his heart and drive him mad… But I think not. I think our little game ends here. So tell me, Thief, how do you choose to die? — Smaug

Elf and Dragon brains may also be different from our human brains. Then it’s easier for us to grasp “a mere mortal” like Sherlock Holmes. Although a little far-fetched we all find the mind of Sherlock Holmes very fascinating. He is a master in some areas but a novice in others. But he is still a human we can relate to despite of being a highly functional sociopath. That’s why he is the star and not his even smarter brother Mycroft. Par that with the humorous and thought-provoking story of Sherlock and it’s now wonder the series is such a hit. This is fiction at it’s best. It makes us feel, laugh and most importantly think about the world.

Mycroft Holmes

Mycroft Holmes – Political Master-Genius and Puppeteer Exquisitness

On top of all I discussed above we all also need intellectual stimulation, rest, exercise and a safe social environment to make our brains smarter. I will go into that in a coming post. To give you a heads up here is a teaser with Dan Hurley, in which he talks about: Can You Make Yourself Smarter?

Well it turns out you can in so many ways 🙂

Start Rocking and Rolling your mind. Give it a shake now and then. Change perspective to get another view of the world and yourself. And get your heart pumping and your blood rushing. It turns out your brain runs on blood filled with sugar and oxygen. Give someone a hug to get the Oxytocin flowing. Stare someone in the eye and give them praise. Connect socially with everyone around you.

Let us all challenge our minds and bodies to become smarter, better versions of ourselves!
Get a great coach or mentor. Narrate your own story out loud to yourself.
We can all become Grand Maestros of Life!

Here be Dragons

Here be Dragons

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja