Archive for category Simplicity

Education, education, Education – he had that part right…

… pity he didn’t follow it up.

Pity nobody has followed it up, both before him, and afterwards.

The girl in this video probably went to a private school. The video is all about changing outcomes from using the right words.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this is not necessarily true if the words are chosen by a poet or educated person.

Enjoy the video, but do reflect on the message right at the end…



What Unions in schools is about

But, relax, this isn’t about Britain. It is about America.

I mean, surely it can’t apply here… can it?


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by Anton Howes

We’re all now familiar with the way the online exchange market eBay works. However, it should also be seen as an example of how unregulated free markets can work. In 2010, 90 million people from across the world, often unable to speak the same language, and totally unknown to each other due to adopted pseudonyms traded $2000-worth of goods every single second.

Without any government input when it came to advertising standards or fair trading, or any of the usual regulations we see with conventional off-line markets, a whopping 98% of trades managed to get a positive rating. This shows that trust can be built between and amongst people who will never meet, and may even conceal their identities.

You may argue that this is simply because of the rating system, something put in place by the eBay designers, and that this provides a justification for a similar government scheme. But then eBay, like all other markets is entirely voluntary – we buy at our own risk but try to reduce it. Even if eBay had not built in its own ratings system and provided free Buyer Protection, the huge demand for these services would have prompted someone to design them in any case.

Whilst government may wish to get involved, the chances are it would be a waste of taxpayer money, and would displace both consumer wariness and voluntary approaches more open to innovation. Furthermore, regulations always respond to the last disaster. But consumer ratings are likely to be more immediate and effective, whilst also changing seller behaviour without the need for intrusive or expensive top-down rules governing everyone else too.

Read the full article at The Adam Smith Institute

My own monika is “ampers” on eBay and I have traded 158 times with a perfect 100% record.

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Telephones just matured

There are some interesting videos describing the new Google offering at:

It is quite an amazing system but, alas, is not yet available in the United Kingdom. There are, no doubt, expensive costs and regulations to master before they can roll this out to other countries. I, personally, am hoping they roll this out to the UK as soon as possible.

It can do a number of things, but here are the things that will be useful to me. First of all, I would get my phone number from Google, an 020 number, although I would be able to get any exchange number in the UK.

Then I could direct all calls at certain times to either my home number, my work number or my cellphone at no cost.

If a message is left on the voicemail of any of the three numbers it would be sent to me as an email, which could be forwarded to my cellphone if I so wished.

I could leave different voicemail messages to different groups on my GMail contacts. So a worklike message could be given to my work contacts, and a relaxed message to my friends. I could leave a separate voicemail message to a single person. Imagine Jennifers face when she calls and hears: “Hi Jennifer, how are you?” a short gap and then “I’m not available right now but if you leave a message I promise I will ring you as soon as possible”.

SMS messages could be sent to me by email, I could reply on the email and the reply part would be sent back, also as an SMS messages at no charge.

Conference calls can easily be made, and it is a doddle to block callers!

Anyway, go watch the videos yourself and be patient.


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What a novel idea

This contract with the public in the Cambridge constituency has been signed fby an independent candidate. Would any reader please copy it and broadcast it on your blogs and send it to any political or press contacts. It deserves a full airing.


Constituents Contract

I, Old Holborn, as candidate in the General Election 2010 hereby agree to the following contract with my constituents:

• I will remain a fiercely loyal representative for my constituents. I will not put any party or other interest, before my constituents. If I do, I will resign.

• I will work with any organisation in Scotland, the UK or Europe if it will help the people of my constituency.

• I will never promise what I know I cannot deliver.

• I will endeavour to acknowledge all letters from constituents within 24 hours between Monday and Friday.

• I will endeavour to acknowledge all emails from constituents within 24 hours between Monday and Friday but hopefully sooner.

• I will attend regular advice/consultation sessions which will be widely advertised in the constituency. I will arrange home visits for the elderly, disabled and carers.

• I will never knowingly claim credit for something when the credit is not mine.

• I will tell people my real views, even when I know they will disagree with me.

• I will do my best to keep my website updated every day. I will blog regularly.

• My calendar will be published on my website and kept up to date daily from Monday to Friday.

• I will not claim one penny in expenses that is not absolutely required for me to carry out my job as an MP. If I do not keep this pledge, I will resign.

• I will publish my expenses (if any), in full, monthly or possibly weekly on my website. If I do not keep this pledge, I will resign.

• I will not use any taxpayer funded equipment or office for any other reason that to carry out my duties of MP. If I do not keep this pledge, I will resign.

• I will be a whistleblower against anyone. In this, I will not be anonymous and I will use the press. If I am caught knowing about illegality or sleaze and not whistle blowing, I will resign.

• I will be a full time MP with no jobs outside politics nor will I take any money from anyone for access. If I do work for anyone, it will be in a voluntary capacity which will not infringe on my time as an MP.

Signed Old Holborn 27.4.2010

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Shall I or shan’t I… vote?

“No, they are all as bad as each other, I’ll not bother!”

Well, dear reader, you are right in your first assumption but, as to your second, I have a better way.

But, first of all, highlight the next paragraph as we will return to it later:

If 1.8 million voters vote and the winning party receive 1,000,000 of the votes cast, it can claim it has a mandate for running the country.

Now, supposing you, dear reader, decide to go and vote for an independent or one of the minor parties, together with eight million other non-voters. What would be the benefits?

  • 1. Getting 10 times the number of votes than expected, even though they don’t get an MP elected would give the somewhat jaded enthusiasts a new lease of life to try harder next time
  • 2. Might get some parties one or two MPs, or three at the most. This could give them a little clout if there is a hung parliament.
  • 3. Make a real difference to the party claiming a moral mandate.
  • Let me explain the third point. Refer back to the paragraph I asked you to highlight and bear it in mind when you read the following.

    If a party wins the election with a total of one million votes, and ten million votes were cast, there is no way that party can claim a moral victory. Signals will be sent to the electorate that there is something very wrong if a party can run our lives with only 10% of the total votes cast.

    So I implore you, rather than stay away, come along and protect your right to vote before the powers that be decided to take this right away from you.


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    Keep it simple, stupid (K.I.S.S.)

    I want to tell you a story about Network Marketing. It is not really what this blog is about, but it helps to illustrate the point I will be making afterwards. First of all, I will tell you that I am not involved in any way with Network Marketing and wouldn’t be in any way!

    Network Marketing originated in Japan and I believe became successful enough to have people selling cars this way. The Americans took it to heart but they had good sense in that they understood the principles behind it. Something the Brits never did.

    The Americans would come in at the lowest level and be happy being an agent for their distributor. They would potter around at weekends making the odd sale here and there. As their reputation spread and their friends introduced our agent to others, he made more contacts, made more friends and sold more products. After a year or so, he would ask if some of his customers would be interested in doing the same. He would keep everything simple, and after a while would have four or five people working for him. His sales would increase and he would become a distributor. It would have cost him nothing, and he would not have ended up with a garage of unsold, and more important, unsaleable stock.

    In Britain, we did things differently. We didn’t want others to make money out of us (a British trait) so bought a garage full of stock so we could be a boss all at once. Selling to householders was beneath us, so we told tall stories of how much we were earning, to get others to buy in as distributors, thus pushing us up the line. We also made the whole routine more complex as our egos wouldn’t allow us to be in something so simple.

    So Network Marketing got, in this country, a justifiably bad name. And the unfair claim that it was immoral. The top man sold his stock to a middleman, who sold the stock to a distributor, who sold the stock to a dealer. That’s how business works, dammit! In the ordinary business world, the manufacturer sells his stock to a distributor, who sells it down to the wholesaler, who then sells it to the shop. If there is a difference here, I must be missing something.

    Meanwhile, back to the Americans. Yes, Network Marketing is still alive and well in the USA and I personally know two families involved with it. One whose father started it when he was 25, left work and made it full time at 33 and by the time he was in his early forties he retired, and he and his wife moved to the west coast and left his children running the show. He is in his seventies now and still gets a share of commission from the huge business he built up.

    The other is in his sixties, but loved his work so ran this as a sideline for most of his life, but has never wanted for anything although he is nowhere as rich as the first guy.

    But we can’t do this in the UK so don’t try!

    Long intro, short theme…

    My beef here is, why do we British try and make sure we make things so difficult. Take Income Tax. If we abolished it and put the money on purchases, what would happen. We would get rid of thousands of government employees and force them out into the real world at a stroke. Save a fortunate on their index linked pensions, wipe out the black market and tax evasion, and people would end up saving more which – in the longer term – would benefit our country more. Simple, but too simple, we must complicate the system or we can’t justify our massive egos.

    If I said to you, pay me £50 a week and I will protect your home from vandals. You would go screaming to the police. But why? What am I doing that the government is doing to you through Income Tax? If you don’t pay me I will smash your windows. If you don’t pay the government you will go to prison. If there is a difference here once again, I must be missing something!

    But I am just giving an example here. I am not necessarily advocating abolishing Income Tax. What I am saying is, let’s remember the old Marketing saying, K.I.S.S. And use it more often in all walks of life. K.I.S.S. Stands for “Keep it simple, stupid”. The stupid is you for making life so complicated.

    Use this word. Every time you are arranging something, say to yourself three times “Kiss, kiss, kiss” and try and do whatever you are doing in a more simple way.

    Life will become much easier for you.


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