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Philosophy

At university, I did a load of philosophy. I wasn’t really interested – “what use is philosophy to me?” – but it was the most valuable bit of education I had. It made me a better software developer and it taught me how to write complex stuff in plain English.

But there was one thing that I never got over.

Rene Descartes’ Cartesian Doubt.

What if we’re just a brain in a jar, being our experiences by some evil demon who is hell-bent on deceiving us?

Decartes wrote a whole book musing this possibility and came to the conclusion that the only way to prove that you’re not being lied to every second of the day is by having faith in God, because God is good.

Cartesian Doubt is the reason behind science. Hypothesis, repeatable experimentation and peer-review – using consensus to prove that the evidence is real.

My favourite response was Samuel Johnson, who famously said “I refute it thus” and kicked a stone.

But, finally, I think I’ve come across my own answer.

“It doesn’t matter”.

You are you and all you can deal with is the here and now. You might deal with it by kicking a stone, trusting in God or giving in to the hallucination – but you still have to deal with it.

And there goes today’s philosophy lesson.

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Music

I went on a networking event with Simon on the Streets, a local charity that helps the homeless.

The presentation was by Tim Collins and he was speaking about the power of music – and how we don’t use it enough in business.

As a failed musician myself (I was supposed to be releasing bossa nova albums under a pseudonym whilst playing low key gigs in a thrash metal band at this point in my career) I completely agree.

Music is about communicating emotions, in a way that words alone can’t convey. And we can use that to express ourselves – especially as when you work for yourself, your business is basically an expression of you anyway.

So, as I write this, this is what’s going through my head write now. I think it’s quite apt.

“Some things you have to pay for, some things you get for free. It doesn’t cost a fortune when the fortune pays for me” – Black Limousine