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A week when several things happened

And so time ticks on. Days march past. Does anything happen..?

Over the weekend – not so much. As per usual. Lots of sleeping. The week however, since the Fun With Power Cuts incident on Monday, was actually pretty full.

Tuesday; Southend Philosophy Club. I set this up because a surprising amount of people are keen to meet with strangers (friends you haven’t yet met?) over a glass of wine to talk about stuff that makes your brain itch. Having recently been getting to know Nietzsche (some great articles in last month’s Philosophy Now, which you might still find in the shops) I decided to throw my curious friends the topic “Humans version 2.0” – inspired by Nietzsche’s posturings about Ubermensche. We know Nietzsche certainly didn’t mean a Nazi style master race. No no no. But, it is intriguing to consider how humans could become more than they are, what that might look like and how it could affect society. Our conversation meandered around cyborgs, immortality, the characteristics of our heroes and ended with the value of joy. And dogs. There’s always a dog in there somewhere. I make sure of that. In fact I could rename the group: Philosophy, with Dogs.

Wednesday; Council Scrutiny meeting. This was an interesting one. Something I’m seeking to earn a living from is Appreciative Inquiry: a way of thinking and approaching the world that always seeks the positive aspect. My interest tonight was how to apply AI to scrutiny. For those who are unfamiliar; scrutiny is about holding local councils (and health services) to account. It can be adversarial in nature – focusing on failure and finding who’s to blame. My challenge is to find a way for scrutiny to do its job in a more positive way. For example, instead of asking “and how are you dealing with all the risks inherent in treating people in the community?” one might ask “and how are you keeping people safe in the community?” A subtle shift that leads one away from failures and towards outcomes. In short – the second evening in a row that left my brain itching.

Thursday; More AI stuff. (Appreciative Inquiry. Certainly not – as has been assumed – Artificial Insemination.)  I spent a joyful day in London teaching a small band of people about the virtues of the AI Way – especially in terms of how it can help us work with communities to improve prosperity and, ultimately, happiness. These sessions are much fun and tend to involve glitter.

Friday; Dog training! Haven’t done this for a while. It’s something I love, but classes can be a bother to set up and market. In a one-to-one session I met a beautiful boy with a turbulent past; now in a loving family who are a tad exasperated. This was no text book case. Imagine a three year old with a bad case of ADHD, a head the size of a bear, and very pointy teeth. A bit of work to do with this one yet. I’ll let you know how it goes.

So I suppose I shouldn’t feel too bad that the weekend has been a mix of sleeping, reading and dog walking. The bike should have had a dusting off this morning. But, a tiny patter of rain convinced me it would be better to lie-in. Great for the soul: not so for the saggy bum. And given that another highlight of this week was booking my birthday party venue – a party for which I’ll be wearing lycra – I think the bum’s going to be needing a fair bit of attention.


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