Bullies in the name of love

“How does one tackle a bully who bullies others in the name of love?

It’s a worry when you can’t tell whether the person yelling at you is a 12 year old whose parents need to go take their Twitter account away, or a professor of sociology.”


Self-pity is spiritual suicide. It is an indefensible self-mutilation of the soul.
Anthon St. Maarten

Tiny Infractions

The more people there are who proclaim themselves victims over tiny
infractions, the harder it becomes to see who the real victims actually are.
Mark Manson. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.”


A purely rights-based approach to morality is an impoverished morality.
It cares only of itself, not common good. At its minimum, it offers do no harm to others.
Rights-based reasoning is endlessly ambiguous and futile. Anything can be rationalised to a viewpoint or convenience.
As is rights-based law-making.


Personally, I think you should execute the doodad on top of the brickable, then make sure you RAM it up for more compute, reduce file load so it compresses to only 7 bits. You should munge the two tables together BUT DON’T LEFT ONION THEM.


Maintaining perspective keeps you mentally fit but is hard to do on your own. It’s easier when you keep company with not-like minded friends.

Steer the ship

If the mission isn’t clear or attainable, and people aren’t united on it, then the ship will not meet its destination. It will fall apart from within or without no matter the commander.

Life goals

If I determine my life goals and actions by what I want written on my tombstone does that make me a morbid person?

Data != Good Judgement

As data practitioners, we all know that data isn’t objective. There is subjectivity and bias at every step of collection, transform, analysis, interpretation and presentation.

If the replication problems in psychological studies are anything to go by it’s not the data that matters, it’s how you use it.

And in business, what really matters is your judgement. You don’t need good data to have good judgement. Conversely, you can have good data and have bad judgement.

How many times has data been massaged to justify our preconceptions and decisions that have already been made?


Oooohhh, it’s been a long time since I’ve cracked open someone else’s Excel workbook…

Twitter is a horrible platform.

That is all.

Human contact

I remember a few weeks into the pandemic when the social distancing rules were in place, there were memes and jokes circulating about “huggers” not being ok, not being able to cope. Two years on, me, a “hugger”, try as hard as I might to stay elevated, is now feeling like parts of me are dying inside.


Appreciation of, and admiration of someone’s knowledge, talents and leadership is one thing, but to revere someone to the point of idolatry is another. I find it quite bizarre.


“When a person is at peace with themselves and expressing themselves naturally, they don’t desperately micromanage everything and everyone around them.”

Once you label me, you negate me

Once you label me, you negate me

Self-congratulatory advocacy

I appreciate men trying to lift women up in tech. I appreciate more the men that are mindful to not at the same time infantilise the women they are praising whilst patting themselves on the back for it.


Surely it is a false preconception that people that don’t work in a data culture, that do things manually and methodically can’t read a complex data viz. If they can read a schematic, ultrasound, network diagrams, automated train management system, topological maps, they can read a multi-dimensional chart. But if it’s not immediately relevant to them and their interests, they’re just not going to make the effort to read it.

Failings bring relief

Stepping outside of my comfort zone can bring a vast amount of rewards, but also failures.
With failures, a strange sense of relief.
Because, why do something I’m not comfortable with?

Standing on the shoulders of giants

We all have different learning styles. Many educators follow the philosophy of audio, visual and kinesthetic learning types. I’ve been described as a kinesthetic-visual person. And I’ll quite happily go along with that.

Kinesthetic-visual people learn through movement and doing. Much to some people’s disdain, I can’t sit still in meetings and have to get out my notepad to doodle in order to keep focused and help retain information. I feel. I talk with feeling, and have I hard time remembering facts and conversations, yet can remember how a conversation made me feel. I definately have a hard time remembering anything.

So it’s no surprise that my blog is about what I’ve learned through experimentation, trial and error. Of course I do read (visual learning), and much prefer this over audio and video blogs. I can’t create visuals in new tools by trial and error alone.

Much of my learning is self-directed and “community taught”. Thereby, standing on the shoulders of giants.

Political Neuroscience? Sounds like Psuedo-science…

Psychologists can’t yet agree on how personality relates to political values/affiliation. In fact many studies have tried to use the Big 5 personality to predict political affiliation without appreciation of the fact that assessment of political values are built into the inventory itself (the researchers believed political beliefs were an aspect of personality). It’s no wonder people high in openess are more likely to be “liberals” or that “liberals” are high in openess. It’s self-defining.

It’s also folly to reduce a vast array of political ideologies into “left and right”, “liberal and conservative” dichotomies. Then to take pictures of these two groups, to see how they are different…? What conclusions can be reliably drawn…?

One study I read, researchers set out to understand which brain areas govern the affective processes that underlie system justification. (Political psychologists having identified interindividual differences in perceptions of the social
system as a source of preferences to protect or protest the status quo). Participants underwent a neuroanatomical scan and indicated their system justifying preferences. The researchers then followed a subset of these SAME participants for 3 years and found that those that had brain areas correlated with higher system justification participated in more protests. That sounds circular to me.

Studies of personality and political values do not have high validity across cultures. We are not anywhere near ready to be trying to find biological bases of socio-political constructs.

Virtue signalling

I’d rather not contribute to the increasing political polarisation of our world. Broadcasting anti-racist, anti-sexist values online usually necessitates examples and labelling of such behaviours, and where these are nuanced, subjective interpretations, this could easily lead to poor judgement and further ostracise people. In the same vein, allegations of wrongfulness create heat and retaliation.

That person that’s always talking over the top of my colleague, how can I be 100% sure it’s because they are sexist? How can I be 100% sure it’s due to a particular cognitive bias? Perhaps it’s because of something else? If it is bothersome behaviour and going against team values, I will by all means interject – manners and inclusion are important, but I would refrain from passing moral judgement and broadcasting my actions as social justice without absolute certainty.

Virtue signalling is not virtue. People that get kudos for their virtue signalling, just or unjust, will be further encouraged. And that’s not really cool with me.

Stephen Fry quoting Bertrand Russell: “‘One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.’ Let doubt prevail”

Social Media

“Social media amplifies everything,” he said. “If you’re mildly left-wing on Twitter you’re suddenly Trotsky. If you’re mildly conservative you’re Hitler and if you’re centrist and you look at both arguments, you’re a coward and they both hate you.”


The principles of systems thinking make us aware that there are no perfect solutions; the choices we make will have an impact on other parts of the system. By anticipating the impact of each trade-off, we can minimise its severity or even use it to our own advantage.


I cannot take seriously any study or article based on a left vs right dichotomy.