Photos: How the World Has Changed

I used to love taking photos.  My house is covered with pictures I took that people admire.  But digital cameras and now smart phones have changed all that.  I’ve upgraded to an iPhone 7 with its ‘great’ camera and abandoned my digital SLR,  but still, I no longer love the pictures I take.  Anyone can be a great photographer…and the value of photography and photos has plummeted.  Can photos recover?  What should I do?Read More »

THE PORT OF MELBOURNE: WHEN IS A ‘SALE’ NOT A SALE…AND DOES IT MATTER?

The saga of the ‘sale’ or not of the Port of Melbourne has been going on now for some years. Valued at around $5-10bn, the transaction will make a difference to the state government’s cash flow when the transaction goes through, as now seems likely.  But much of the argument misses a key point – the ‘sale’ will not actually be a sale at all!  And it does matter.  Let me explain.Read More »

FOOD NARCISSISM: WE’VE LOST THE PLOT

 

Looked through the guide to good restaurants the other day to find a place with food I’d like to eat. Randomly, I found gremolata-speckled turnip ribbons, fried caciocavallo and pickled eggplant, tarragon-flecked Parisienne gnocchi with salt-baked celeriac, sweet buns with tom crab and Thai basil mayo and much more!  In fact there was hardly any dish that was recognisable.  It’s clear that, to succeed, restaurants have to offer outlandish ‘innovative’ food that, frankly, you really never wanted to eat!  And you’ll pay $35 or more for a main, which probably needs sides to be added to constitute a balanced dish.  What’s happening, people?  Our society has lost the plot on food.Read More »

THE ADVENTURES OF DICK (NO. 1): DICK STOPS WORK

My friend Dick decided to stop work last week. He simply decided to stop producing for his owner, even though his owner desperately needed him.  Dick has been less effective as he has grown older.  His best days are past.  But he is the only worker of his type which his owner employs and it is very difficult to replace him.  He has specific skills that every human organisation needs.  His main job is to get rid of the light rubbish for the organisation, as required, 24/7.  He also provides pleasure to the organisation and is capable of producing a new product on rare occasions, but this skill declines rapidly over time and Dick hasn’t been able to do that for many years.  Nevertheless, his owner greatly values the other two skills he has.Read More »

HAPPINESS IS (MOSTLY) FREE!

It’s Christmas time and most people are out shopping hard, spending furiously, hoping to bring happiness to others. The more they spend, they greater the happiness they hope to bring.  But – really – happiness is mostly free!  So many wonderful experiences cost nothing, but create great value, bring great happiness.  Happiness is (mostly) free!  Let me explain.Read More »

VOLUNTEERING: EXTRA WORK IS GOOD FOR YOU!

I’m too busy’, most people say.

Yet the saying goes, ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person. It is generally busy people who say ‘Yes’ when you ask for help, or when new ideas, or groups or tasks come along, needing resources to make them happen.

Why do people volunteer?

Why would a busy person – indeed, any person – ‘volunteer’ to undertake an unpaid task, such as president, secretary, treasurer or other responsible position of a sports club, neighbourhood association, culture or interest group?

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WHAT VALUE DO MEN HAVE FOR WOMEN?

Recently I went on a travelling and walking trip in the country with 4 very close women friends for 6 days.  We all got on very well and it was a great trip.  However, I realised after a couple of days how unusual it was for me to be the only one of my gender in a group.  What I noticed was how well they got on together in conversation without me being involved, even though they were from three different countries and were not friends themselves (they were all my friends).

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WHAT IS ‘VALUE’?: A NOBEL PRIZE AWAITS

What does ‘value’ mean to you? Why is it that we say ‘Oh, this hotel only costs $20 more’ and then find ourselves rejecting a tin of tomatoes in the supermarket, because it costs 10 cents more for the can?  This is the first in a series of blogs around the concept of ‘value’ and how we should think about value, not just cost.

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