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You become what you are

I stumbled upon news a mere two hours old, now this is nothing special, but the content was. It came from Reuters and even though I cannot tell who the writer was, it is not about the writer. For the most it is an account of details that had passed, it is the accumulation of acts by people so intensely short minded, that is what baffled me. As such you become what you are, you become dead as your brain was dead. 

In the first we see Stephanie Simpson, no idea who that is, or who she thinks she is, yet the situation is given that she is from Essex. This is not against her, she might be an expert in the hiking field and for those feeling frisky and having an attempt at hiking in the  Mount Aspiring national park I have one small advice, I have never been there, but hiking, climbing, diving and a few other options, YOU NEVER EVER DO THAT ALONE!

Nature does not budge, it does not give in and it does not compromise, the smallest kindness shown by nature could be the start of its next serious attack on your body and senses. This is not negativity, this is reality. Even when it is a fluke event like “Flash floods and incessant torrential rains hit New Zealand’s South Island last week leaving several hundred tourists stranded for days and forced many residents to evacuate their homes“, in these matters the expression changes, it becomes pain shared is optionally pain avoided. In natural places like New Zealand, that is very much the centre of the hurricane.

I even have some issues with the statement “In 2016, a Czech women spent nearly a month alone in a warden’s hut on a remote hiking trail on South Island after her male partner was killed in a fall“, I am not denying this, yet the larger truth is ‘How many deaths did this Czech women avoid whilst her husband was alive?

I got it, she made it and I am happy for her and sad because she lost her husband, yet as they were together, how often was stated ‘Watch out, that looks lose!‘, or ‘That road seems dodgy, let’s take the other direction?‘ for the simple reason that 4 eyes see more than two, gender was not part of this equation, nature does not care about gender, in its eyes both genders are equally worthless.

So even as we see: “Thousands of hikers visit New Zealand each year to explore its mountains and wildlife“, in this we do not get to see the parts that matter, even as there are dozens of pages with ‘Hiking Solo‘ some giving us their goods with “Adventure, depending on your taste in activities, is supposed to be exciting and fun! It should get you out of your comfort zone, get the blood flowing, the adrenaline pumping, and maybe if it’s really scary, make your heart pound and your stomach jump into your throat. Adventurous activities are not usually for the faint of heart. But they also aren’t just for a certain group of hardy people either. Everyone can be adventurous. It just takes the right people connecting, an open mind, an adventurous attitude, and responsible planning! Anything is possible when you make up your mind!“, we also need to realise ‘It just takes the right people connecting‘ which infers that they get their solo and hooked up, which makes perfect sense. Other places give us “Saying that, hurting yourself, getting lost and getting caught out by the weather can happen, so you still need to take proper safety precautions when hiking, especially if you are going it alone“, and when you go this trail, ‘take proper safety precautions‘ will be everything. 

You see, we seem to forget that New Zealand is not rugged, it is not unexpected, it is sturdy as a rock, the weather breaks its back on New Zealand and with that crushing anything in its way as well. We oversimplify matters too often, we think of an earthquake and firmly believe that it does not hit us, yet in New Zealand the Alpine Fault is a geological fault that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s South Island, and we know that the last 7.8 was in 2016 and at that time “the recent massive earthquake pushed a chunk of coast several feet up“, yet a much smaller one (like a 4) could loosen a rock that shatters your leg, or if you are lucky your skull. Now, this is not some scary story telling, it needs to be firm that there is an important reason to be aware, nature will not give in. Consider “Every year GNS Science locates over 15,000 earthquakes in New Zealand. About 100 – 150 of these quakes are large enough to be felt“, a rock needs not feel, it merely needs to move, at times merely an inch. Still, from all pictures and accounts, New Zealand is more than just beautiful and the appeal to go there is there, I feel it too, but I feel that something like that is never ever to be done alone, it does not matter if you hook up with a team there, or if you follow a group, even a small tour, just do not do that alone. I also need to be clear, I am not talking about hiking tracks like the Queen Charlotte Track, or the Routeburn Track. They are hikes, yet it is different when you are alone, one of 10-20 alone on a clear given track, in the unspoiled terrains it is a different setting, the hiking places where others do not go. I get it, it is like skiing on fresh snow, not a piste, it is for many an overwhelming desire to do so, but at that point it is you alone and in nature, a little snow can become a blizzard, some rain becomes a flood or a flash flood, nature simply does not budge.

I have an additional feeling, the idea that an entire rescue team needs to become active for one useless person (me), offends me too and I used to be a rescue worker when I was younger. I have seen the impact of the sea and the ocean. You see on a large cruiser it seems harmless, on a fishing boat the ocean is something else. I personally still believe that of the three gods, Poseidon got the best deal of all three and I respect the ocean, it is not my element, as such one could argue that  have no business being near it, but the call to the sea is strong.

I write this with a special view on the last part of the article, which was “a 22-year-old British backpacker was murdered by a man she met on dating app Tinder. A jury convicted the man in November and he is to be sentenced on 21 February“, which is (as I personaly see it) a different level of stupid. As such we need to realise that New Zealand is a safe place, it has been and optionally always will be, at times people are not safe and the weather is never ever safe. As such look at Australia, first that island scorches through the kind assistance of the sun and 11 million hectares was burned, including 23 people and over 2,000 houses, then the rain helped out flooding thousands (me included), and left 100,000 houses without power. I had rain damage, but not as bad as some who had to throw out the bulk of their living room, my landlord found a new way to live green, he ended up with a tree in his living room. 

So lets realise that nature will NOT compromise and if it is devastating in a city like Melbourne, how bad can it get in rural conditions? Yet I still stand still with the Tinder girl, it is my personal believe that Kiwi’s (New Zealand natives) are not homicidal, they have been around a long time and tend to be friendly and at times direct and even now, this act stands out, it stands out a lot more than the people trying to hike in Australia (the movie Wolf Creek is based on it), to see such an event in NZ is weirdly uncanny to say the least. 

So no matter if you agree and how you feel, remember that when you are alone, it is the weather you must fear and the moment you take your eyes of it, it swamps you. It stands out against something that happened a year ago “both men were experienced climbers, active in the Canberra Climbers’ Association. They were attempting a challenging route across the top of the Remarkables mountain range” this is not the same as hiking and we can speculate on the exact issues as much as we want, in these places we are out in the open, we are where we do not belong and nature does not believe in capturing or taking a prisoner, it merely kills you or it optionally makes you stronger. It has nothing to do with gender and nothing to do with expertise, in a match between you and nature, you will always lose, that is the reality of it all and whilst New Zealand has the most beautiful sites any place on earth offers, being overwhelmed by it is a dangerous stage to be in. My point of view was partially seen last September “Two tourists ignored advice against hiking the Routeburn Track in winter, and went out under-prepared for the conditions they faced, a Coroner’s report has found“, I see it as a double whammie, overestimating your own abilities and forgetting the power of nature, oh and there is also the stupid factor as ‘ignored advice‘ is part of all this, and they went to see the Department of Conservation (DOC) centre in Queenstown to get information before they went. As they were told “not to go because it was winter and there would be winter conditions“, so how high does ‘giving it a go‘ rank in stupid levels? As I said Nature will not care, it will simply carelessly kill you. Even as Stephanie Simpson took all the precautions, did everything right, she was seemingly alone and there was no one to raise the alert, give a hand if she slipped on wet rocks or chase her if the water caught her, all speculated options in what might never be known, my personal view is never go alone, even if it is just you and the guide, he/she can still take pics of you for you to show off when you get home.

I do feel sorry for Stephanie Simpson, it doesn’t matter who she is, her age, her interests, getting stuck alone in nature is perhaps the harshest death there is (apart from a rock pushing you in a crevice instantly killing you), being helpless and crushed by nature is something overwhelming, because you tend to have no hope at all to survive that.

Consider that the Czech republic has quality snow, harsh ice and real winter conditions to read “they had underestimated the snow conditions” is simply a new level of stupid (like flying from the UK to NZ to meet a tinder guy). And my view is not the only one, the SCMP (South China Morning Post) gives us “A growing number of tourists are getting into trouble while hiking in New Zealand. Local knowledge could help prevent these incidents” anyone needing a travel guide? We also see the Kiwi preemptive stage of “New Zealanders are being called on to talk to tourists in hotels, pubs and shops to educate them about the dangers of the nation’s countryside, after a spate of emergency rescues and fatalities“, which is awesome, it might not save the stupid ones who are willing to ‘give it a go‘ but those with genuine self interest (on living) might take notice that New Zealand nature is like a Cobra, it looks amazing in many ways, yet too close and it can turn deadly in seconds. Remember that nature never cared about you in the first place, so accept that there are no dangerous snakes and spiders in New Zealand (unlike in Australia), in New Zealand nature and its weather is a much larger danger and those unprepared pay the price with their soul, so never ever go it alone, even if the second person can only call for help, you could not move as you slipped on a wet moss covered rock and fell the wrong way. Yes you might walk alone on certain trails, but that is because there are well over a dozen on that trail and you will most likely be spotted, hopefully in time.

Even as we are given “the second preventable death“, it was not the fault of any Kiwi, it was the fault of the tourist not comprehending just how dangerous nature is and how deadly the weather can become in seconds.

That is how I see it!

My bucket list still has the need to visit Antarctica, its unreaped snow fields, the azure freshwater lakes and the direct view on a complet nature and weather setting has its appeal (and the appeal to photograph it), but I too know that it could kill me when I am alone. So just me and a local guide it will be, I prefer to be around one day later, that’s how I roll.

 

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Inspirational creativity

Today it is not the news that got me active; it was a TED video (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYemnKEKx0c). It was inspirational for a few reasons. In the first, I have had my exposure to Mental Health Law at UTS, best elective subject ever!

Anyway, the video gives an interesting view on the properties of Mental Health. Whether we look at this from the comedy perspective; whether we see it as an assessment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it does not actually matter. We can take it into several directions, the problem is the approach towards statistics and how we see people.

Jon Ronson gives an interesting view, but the issue behind this all is that we have pushed ourselves onto the list of being a member of at least one of the stated diagnosis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Is that not interesting? Consider that close to 80% of the people optionally have mental disorders, 85% if you are in the UK.

How did I get there?

First we get to the group of people who are a sociopath, that group is well over 30%, one in three is a sociopath, I know, because I basically am one (of we accept the evidence).

Let’s go over the rules:

  • Doesn’t respect social norms or laws. Most gamers seemingly disrespect social norms, gamers are a separate group of people and they are often in niche places that are based on what games they play. In addition, workaholics ignore the social norms of a family life.
  • Lies, deceives others, uses false identities or nicknames, and uses others. Gamers are often deceptive, yet we need to see levels of deception, gamers use other players to gain a tactical advantage. Workaholics use nick names all the time to alleviate stress, often these nicknames are not disrespectful or intended to be disrespectful.
  • Doesn’t make any long-term plans. Workaholics live from deadline to deadline; as such gamers often do too, from gaming season to gaming season, as well as release dates to upgrade the pool of games they live by.
  • Shows aggressive or aggravated behaviour. OK, in this, virtual violence (NHL, Fortnite, Overwatch) does not count.
  • Doesn’t consider their own safety or the safety of others. A lot of workaholics are chasing deadlines and meetings; they always overbook their schedule and in addition to that, leave too late for every appointment trying to balance that by speeding and being a menace on the road. Oh and they always call their next appointment that they are stuck in traffic and they will be there in 5 minutes (whilst they are still 15 minutes away).
  • Doesn’t follow up on personal or professional responsibilities. Most workaholics ignore or pushes against personal responsibilities, even as they do whatever they can to meet and follow up on professional responsibilities, with a schedule that is overburdened by well over 15%, they fail there too with some regularity.
  • Doesn’t feel guilt or remorse. It is all about the job, there is no remorse when a target is to be met, there is no guilt when it is met and often thee is a lack of guilt when it is not met either.

As a dedicated workaholic (since 1979) I pass every test but one on the sociopath list, from all this we can state that EVERY workaholic is a sociopath. This is the first issue where we see that the balance of work and life styles is so thin, that line will get crossed on a daily basis. This economy and the work life style that some companies claim (and then set the stage that it can be met when all tasks have been completed) is a stage that warps, instigates and promotes mental health issues.

The plot thickens

You see, there is another revelation; it comes to us when we consider the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath. “There’s no clinical difference between a sociopath and a psychopath. These terms are both used to refer to people with ASPD. They’re often used interchangeably” and now we have created a stage of mayhem!

You see antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is as I personally see it outdates issue, we see the setting “People with ASPD can’t understand others’ feelings” I do not disagree with the stage, I merely see that stage as a convoluted, overrated and optionally outdated one, social media is part of the live of almost all and it influences all our actions inside and outside the social media. How many people have been willing to ‘understand the feelings of a gamer‘, I have been a gamer since the very early 80’s (1983) and I never stopped being one, yet for decades (until late 90’s) women would ‘yuck’ at those who loved video games, these people were not cool, they were nerds and no one wanted to understand them, because cool people rub off on them making those socially cool people optionally no longer cool.

It was only after the PS2 and the Xbox that gamers were more and more accepted in the world. Now we see the issue when we consider a workaholic that is also a gamer (that still includes me), for us time is a precious commodity, for the social types, time is a measure of procrastination, you merely have to see Facebook, Snapchat and optionally Tinder to see where their priorities lie, and self-esteem with a dose of Ego feeding is more often than not the ingredients of their need.

Those people fill another void of the DSM, the Narcissistic personality disorder.

When we look at the elements we get:

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration.
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favours and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

Here the colours change, the blue is directly seen in Facebook exchanges that a lot make, the problem here is that they are intent on feeding the urge to respond, feeding the interaction that are part of the Rules towards Social Media engagement. the greens are sometimes part of Facebook, yet too often these elements are merely trolling and cyber bullying issues, they are however optionally still part of the Narcissistic personality disorder, Red is a different issue, at times it is not an issue. It can be the sociopathic side in them waking up; it can also be due to unclear communication in social media. When the one word response ‘fine’ comes through, it could be positive, or perhaps sarcastic oppositional negativity, the problem is that this carries in the voice and not on the keyboard. To quote Big Bang theory, Dr Sheldon: “How can I be conceited when you cannot understand what I say?” He is true and he is truth, communication and comprehension requires a third step, the feedback of comprehension, that part where the bringer of the message sees that you comprehended the message; a step that is left null and void in the bulk of all social media used.

In all this there is also the issue with the DSM, 5th edition. I believe that people have evolved to some degree (whether positive or negative cannot be said), the stage of corporatocracy where it is all about the deadline, all about the next spreadsheet for commission and the next quarter. A created workforce of workaholics in an age where we see ‘work life balance‘ given out as a ‘mandate’ for a happy future, whilst the work pressures have not been dealt with, it is an unbalanced stage where people are more and more in doubt of what to do and in my experience the first group getting hit on that part are the families that these people are part of.

In an age where jobs become an issue, where job security is out of the window almost 24:7 in present day and as these issues become more and more visible, we see the added levels of depression added to the mix.

In all this, I mentioned ‘people have evolved to some degree‘ is the previous paragraph, well here it is, even as some claim to be social companies and socially responsible companies, their shareholders and board of directors are all about the bottom dollar, an environment that becomes corporatocratical more and more, the social markers are diminishing. they claim to have their ‘Friday afternoon drinks‘ or their social events once a month, yet these events are more and more about ‘heralding’ successes as a light on all others to become more successful. That is not some social event that is a directed pep talk to give the people something to think about on the weekend that precedes next Monday. It happens more and more and it is there that I invented the joke (which I love to tell every Friday afternoon): “Don’t worry, only another 62 hours and it will be Monday morning again!“, most people shiver, they get how short a weekend is, they merely never understood why they shivered, it was not about Monday morning, it was about the lack of true social family time that has gone more and more into the mists of forgetfulness and it saddens them to the core.

I believe that we will see more and more technological jumps which gives light to more commerce, more goals, more metrics and further isolation of individuals, as they are pushed and pushed into a stage of performance, making the bulk of your workforce an optional mental health case. Even as the Irish Times seemingly hides behind the quote ‘Employers are recognising the importance of supporting employees’ mental health‘, the underlying question is whether this is about work force retention, or actual mental health wellbeing in the workplace. For Europe this is to address “This is because right now almost one third of senior leaders cite finding talent as their most significant challenge” when you cannot find people hanging onto the ones you have is essential, yet the foundation of all this is not the workforce, not the pressures, as I see it the entire quality of life balance has been unhinged for the longest time of a decade and until that is addressed the issue that comes with ‘Why do I bother‘ cannot be maintained and these people are looking for every workaholic they can, those people go on regardless and that is fine with the talent seekers to a much larger degree.

There is no real short term solution and until the metrics reflect diminished work pressures, the situation merely escalated that part we see when HR presentations are set to a stage that no longer includes certain metrics.

When we see:

  1. Revenue per Employee.
  2. Cost per Hire.
  3. Employee Turnover.
  4. Overtime Percentage.
  5. Length of Service.
  6. Job Satisfaction Rate.

We see a problem that does not go away, even as we understand ‘Revenue per employee‘, there are scores where it was all about the team, where the first person properly informs a person and another sells the product as the person comes back gives a lack of understanding of the ‘browsing around’ customer, in a larger corporation there is a lack of comprehension where services and support are reasons why customers remain and buy again, not the salesperson, not even when he or she is selling in the nude. It is the services department that retains the customer and the business they bring. For the largest degree I have seen a lack of comprehension of that in senior management. As long as that issue remains there will be no resolution, especially when the sales people go to suave places for long weekends of training and booze and diners whilst services keep the business clear as they are away.

And in all of these stages, there has been an almost evangelistic absenteeism of the marketing department and their approach to ‘Inspirational creativity‘. For me it was the poster and the advertisement of Macquarie University, as they gave us all: ‘You to the power of us!

Did you ever realise just how brilliant that approach was? It is about inclusion where the approached person is at the centre of it all, how many advertisers were able to inspire you? You might not realise it but inspiration and enlightenment is the first sign that there is no mental health issue, because it is them driving you and it is you who engages that drive to a higher degree, we balance ourselves when someone else becomes the inspiration of us, not the work we need to do, but for us to excel what we were doing all along, at that point when we are there we retain ourselves and we contain ourselves to what we can inspire ourselves. I wonder how many companies have figured that out. I know that Google has been on the right track, but behind that metric is still the need to become accomplished as an increase, not as a state of awareness towards something better and in the second degree that is the track where the true innovations are found. It gave me 7 pieces of IP for 5G, two video games, one movie and an optional TV series (still working that out in my mind).

We can all be creative, yet to be inspirational requires something special and too many have not been able to push that, this is one of the reasons why Huawei is ruling the path of 5G and not anyone else. They all forgot to become inspirational creating their share of workaholics, psychopaths/sociopaths and narcissists, to them: “Welcome to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition”, did you have time to find on which page you belong?

 

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