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War – What Is It Good For?

Absolutely Nothing! Say it again.

Simon Sinek talking about what game theory teaches us about war.

Maybe why we no longer win wars?
People First
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American Business

It's an old one that I rediscovered in the archives. Time to publish.

Killing Them Softly: America is not a country, it's just a Business

It just seemed right, timely and very 'People Firsty'.

People First
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What Are We Going To Do About The Rich?

I came across the Pet Shop Boys track 'What Are We Going To Do About The Rich? It seemed to be very People Firsty in nature.

Apart from the recurring refrain "What are we gonna do about the rich?" we do have other words;

They say democracy is simply very bad for business
While deploring student protests in the middle of Hong Kong
They insist that people have to work on zero contracts everywhere
So profit margins grow and shares are very strong
But one group that they never take to task
And one question that they never seem to ask

They're buyin' football clubs today with absolute impunity
And so much of the media to give themselves the power
To destroy the very notion and the feeling of community
While poisoning the public discourse hour by hour
But although it never seems to make it into Hansard
The question at some point must still be answered

They're avoiding paying taxes
While the welfare state collapses
Their extravagance and arrogance
Their lack of tact to balance this
Their lawyers and their attitude
The scale of their ingratitude
They only give to charity
For maximum publicity

Pet Shop Boys

Data Is Being Used To Screw Us

This popped into a thread that I am part of ...

Yeshimabeit Milner

A thread that caused 'Friend of People First' - Adrian Gropper to write;

A talk that argues that most of the big data is being used to screw us and mentions data trusts as a possible solution. Data trusts are an immature concept but worth considering because it's one approach to decentralizing governance. Until we figure out data governance principles that are transparent and contextual to specific communities we should limit data aggregation by default and focus on personal agents and other fiduciaries.

Adrian Gropper

It is interesting because on that very same day I received these words from another 'Friend of People First' and occasional colleague Daniel Szuc after he received my newsletter declaring Data is Energy.

Energy is energy.
Climate is a result of energy misused.
Environment is the outcome.
What are the impacts on our environment today, inside people and in the outside environment people live in?
What contributes to the health or toxicity of the environment?
Data, understood deeply, should be used to contribute to the healthy environment ... yet ... how is it being used today?

Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong

The answer, of course, is exactly what Adrian expressed above.

It is being used to screw us.

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Ian Grigg On Identity

I think that is the opportunity and in five years time we'll know whether we got the mega-corporations holding my identity or whether we managed to take it back.

Ian Grigg - October 2015.

The five years are just about up and I think if the 'megacorps' have not won - they are about to. Is it too late?

Three years ago he wrote: Identity is an edge protocol, and not a nodal protocol. (pdf)

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How Do We Find Dignity At Work?

Roy Bahat and Bryn Freedman

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Write Content

I have had versions of this article on a number of different blogs and publications for years. The time has come to formalize it, since content, its ownership and how we think about it, is central to the principles of People First.

A recent question from someone in one of my many groups ...

"Why is it so difficult to find a freelance writing gig?

My reply ...

Because the people who pay for writing have no clue of the value, which is why they call it ‘content’ which we know has no value and is homogenous ‘filler’ that can be swapped out at a moments notice.

My Content Rule ...

'Don't Call It Content'

.... book, novel, short story, article, white paper, promotional piece, advert, painting, sculpture, song, opera, photograph, image, graphic art, poster, fine art … anything … anything but ‘content’.

If you want a general catchall phrase, how about material? It's the words that creative used to use - it meant something. Stood for something. It had value.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


Because as long as ‘we the creators’ fall into the trap of using low cost, homogenous, non-descript words like 'content' to describe our work, our soul, our passion, our beliefs then our work will continue to be viewed as ’free - to - cheap - to - low - cost’, as ‘homogenized, non differentiated, interchangeable fodder’. Moreover, we then only have ourselves to blame and the resultant payment for your art, your thinking, your ideas, will continue to race to the bottom.

It is not in the interests of any creator to allow that, so why allow their interests to define how we think?

Content is a horrible, generic, cheap, 'anything will do' kind of word. Which is why 'content' has no value. It is also important to know that it is in the best interests of the buyers of our sweat, labour, thought and time to keep their price down. But our costs are not kept down. So our net earnings suffer. And they are suffering badly.

And it has to start with you - the creator, because it isn’t in the interests of buyers to change their behaviour and vocabulary - 'they' want great work at no cost.

From a while back now - but well worth repeating ....


It's the amateurs who make it tough for the professionals

💬 Harlan Ellison

I wonder if that is how this kind of thinking comes about? As I wrote when I first saw this ...

For all those of us attempting to get paid for value by people who wouldn’t get value if it smacked them between the eyes.

💬 John Philpin

Content is a horrible, generic, cheap, ‘anything will do’ kind of word. Which is why ’content’ has no value.

“I draw and paint on paper using pen, ink, and watercolor. I then scan and publish my work on this web site. People then visit and read this graphic novel, or if you prefer, webcomic. Occasionally, I write a blog post like this one. There is art and there is commentary, but there is no content and there are certainly no consumers.”

💬 Don Macdonald - August 24th, 2011

All Creators Should

STOP using THEIR words to describe OUR work. OUR soul. OUR passion. OUR beliefs.


START using OUR words to describe OUR work. OUR soul. OUR passion. OUR beliefs.

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It’s 5 0’Clock

Nobody told The Vogues to retire.

Up every morning just to keep a job,

I gotta fight my way through the hustling mob,

Sounds of the city pounding in my brain,

While another day goes down the drain (Yeah, yeah, yeah).

but it's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows,

No-one owns a piece of my time,

And there's a five o'clock me inside my clothes,

Thinking that the world looks fine, yeah,

People First
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In This Cold Place

Moby and The Void Pacific Choir - 'In This Cold Place - With animation by Steve Cutts.

ReleasedJune 19, 2017

A second video that hits you to the bone.

People First
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Are You Lost In The World Like Me?

Moby and The Void Pacific Choir - 'Are You Lost In The World Like Me'? With animation by Steve Cutts.

ReleasedOctober 18, 2016

Its a couple of years since this was released - but still relevant today - and definitely relevant to People First, so capturing it in the archives.