Connected

For someone who can often openly describe himself as happily anti-social, it makes for the perfect foil when I find myself the loudest in the room, or leading a training session, or even craving social interaction.

At the same time, I tire of social settings as quickly as I adjust to them, when I thrust myself (or am thrust) into them.

For a long time, I felt bad wanting to be the first to leave, or wanting to leave “just when the parties getting started”, or wanting to eat my lunch alone, in a solitary crevice of the office. But it’s a recent area of change for me, the comfort in doing me. The comfort in knowing myself better than I ever have, and the strength to do what makes me happy and comfortable. Not in any sort of selfish way, by all means, if the occasion calls for it, I’ll suck it up, throw myself back into the midst of it all, and do what’s best in the situation.

So I guess the point of this musing is small and simple, and that is that it’s okay to not be what everybody wants you to be all of the time, but there is definitely value in allowing yourself to be in unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or just irregular situations. Sometimes it’s where we have the most fun. But we can do it with balance, knowing our limits, and being flexible.

Guise.

Small Talk

Something that I’m definitely not good at is small talk. It makes me uncomfortable, feel stupid, and offers a hollow feeling in pretending to connect with someone. It’s safe to say, I do not like small talk.

There is, however, a form of conversation that I enjoy even less than that, and that is gossip. As soon as my brain registers that we the conversation has transitioned to gossip, I’m checked out. My consciousness goes to a subconscious place, hiding itself from the incoming discord of rumour, innuendo, unsubstantiated assumptions, and biased conceptions of past experiences.

Quite simply, I’m aware of the benefits of this primal form of human collaboration. A primordial connection to others through the discussion of a third party and their habits and idiosyncrasies. I understand that everyone of us use it to build relationships, and that it is a safe ground away from the taboo topics of small talk, but I am curious where my instinctual aversion of the topic has developed.

And I wonder, knowing that this form of communication and social bonding is important to us, why do we spend so much more time on this, than we do on the discussion of ideas, thoughts, opinions and innovations. Why are we happy to accept that the dealings of the Kardashians can make the nightly news, reaching a mass audience in an instant, but in order to hear the discussion of real world people’s ideologies and challenges, we have to resort to the niche corners of Reddit and the rest of the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that we have this ability to connect and share with other individuals in the same mindset as myself, but for how long. With the looming threat towards net neutrality in the United States, do not be fooled to think that won’t affect the rest of the globe.

So the question I leave you with today is, what have you done this week to discuss something bigger? What information have you absorbed from sources other than your mainstream news organisations, Facebook feeds, and radio advertisements.

If we hope for a population of individuals, thinking for themselves, challenging the decisions of our leaders constructively, and pressuring the major news articles to raise the quality of reporting and removal of bias, then that starts with each of us.

Guise.

City Street

You lay beneath the feet of man,

The condescending  hierarchy.

Imposed as though inadequacy.

To be so boldly vilified, 

And publicised, 

In view of many stoney eyes.

Know not what brought you to this point,

There is no room for simple thought, 

And so I stand and condescend, 

I have no choice my Stoney friend. 

Visions seen before my time,

Too great for one within the hour.

I am but man. 


Guise. 

Unicorns 

You can’t cage a unicorn. 

A very wise man once told me, everyone that comes into our lives is a challenge, one with learning to come from it. This stuck with me from that moment, because it rung true with what I had believed about people in my life for a long time. 

It was 7 months ago when I made a decision in my life which was not about money, but about acknowledging that as eager as I was (am), I wasn’t ready for what I wanted to be ready for. I rejected an opportunity to be someone bigger, someone more important. 

At the time I thought I had made the decision to allow myself to grow in a professional sense, I didn’t know that what I was looking for was personal guidance and growth. Demons I had hidden and thought to forget, conversations I refused to have with myself and loved ones. 

It was that decision which led me to find a unicorn. One of those overachieving,over-the-top, good at everything they do, destined for greatness kinds of people. A unicorn. One who with unruly persistence, human understanding and fortitude to bring it to the forefront, helped me find that personal growth I needed. 

But unfortunately, you can’t cage a unicorn. If you meet one, you have to know that they are fleeting, can’t be tied down, always on to the next thing. And for all the good they can do for you,you have to accept that for them, they need to move.

 So thank you. For everything. You’ll always have my gratitude, and my friendship. 
Good luck. 

Guise. 

Why Guise? 

Since putting myself a bit more out there in the last few months, I’ve been asked the same question a lot. Why Guise? (Which has been pronounced “Goy-se” “Gwe-se” amongst others, innocently). 

I guess it’s a good question. A questions which sparks many others. Why hide behind a pseudonym? Why do I feel the need to disassociate myself from my work? 

To be honest, it started off just as a gimmick, a character that I could bring to life and bring meaning to later. It evolved from that, though, because I soon developed a great insecurity about the quality of my writing, and the topics that hit close to loved ones. So it soon stopped being a character, and started being my shield. Guise had become a representation of objectivity, free from prejudice with which people may associate with my true being. 

Now, Guise doesn’t hold such a grim definition for me. This moniker of an “appearance other than me” is no longer a shackle to my work, but for me, it is becoming that character that I hoped it could be. The question is, how much longer do I need it. Time will tell, and I will grow, and needs will change. Until then, you can call me Guise. 

For the record, it’s pronounced “Guys”. 

Conquering the Uncomfortable 

There’s growing up, and then there’s growing. As we approach adulthood, and then well into this state of responsibility and obligations, we become so consumed in all the changes that are forced upon us, that some of us forget to change on our own terms. 

We don’t celebrate this enough. We don’t appreciate the times that make those little wins enough. It’s either that we find ourselves comparing to others, becoming drowned the magnitude of the greater goal we want, or are riddled with doubt that we are capable of doing good things. 

And then, we are taken by surprise, because someone tells us they are proud of us. For something simple. For stepping outside the comfort zone. 

I’ve seen this ALOT in the past week, with myself and with others. I don’t feel like I have grown for my experience, but that recognition reinforces what I haven’t appreciated in myself. And that is what will set me up to grow in the near future. 

In the cases with others, I’ve watched that growth and sense of self-belief radiate from their smile. 

I guess the lesson is to appreciate our actions, and the actions of others, for what they are. Not being disappointed because it didn’t change the world, but enjoying that you decided that the regular, and the comfortable, was not enough. And you survived it. 

Guise. 

The Death of Opinion

With Google’s DeepMind and IBM’s Watson only a couple of the major Artificial Intelligence systems currently growing and changing, we need to recognise that it is only a matter of time before these systems learn and absorb facts and data at such an exponential rate that humanity is launched into a renaissance of knowledge. 

While the reality of the machine uprising and termination of human life is a possible consequence of this development, I’m interested in another great loss. When these systems absorb all of the world’s truth, all that we will deal with is fact. Speculation and opinion will cease to be relevant. 

So then, what does a human existence without opinion look like? For starter, we can do away with politicians, because when interpretation of best interests is trumped by pure output of facts by AI, we will not need elected representatives spinning words for meaning. Each meaning will be but simple truth. 

Working life will change also, in that, there would likely be little purpose for human workers, as the AI will have the capacity to think,  solve complex problems and adapt to the most efficient and effective form of conduct possible. 

Where does that leave currency? Without a workforce, the purpose of currency will be rendered useless, effectively wiping the class systems in the majority of countries in the world. 

It will be the end of civil and religious wars. The end of true privacy. The end of human life as we know it, but maybe not altogether. 

A world where science fiction meets reality. 

I welcome it. At the end of the day, we just as likely to head towards our own destruction at the will of man anyway. If we’re going to do it, we might aswell do it right. 

Guise.