The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

Tech, People, Suicide, Support, Self-care and More

With Julian Carver's suicide after years of battling depression and alcoholism there has been much talk amongst many of us that suffer from "lack dog" about what can be done. In many circumstances, nothing could be done at that moment and the stark truth is the person intent upon killing themself is likely to do just that no matter what support or love is surrounding them - I have seen it too often, especially here in New Zealand.

As Ben Kepes says in his article, Some open question about support within the technology industry…., written after Juian's death:
There have been, of course, social media outpourings of grief about his passing and assertions that we will all, collectively and individually, do better to support each other.

While these are laudable statements, the reality is that outside of a few notable exceptions, our industry (and I write here about the tech industry in New Zealand specifically. But more generally it applies to the tech industry globally) is one in which exclusion of all but a select few insiders, expectations of greatness at all times, and dismissal of anyone not up to scratch is the norm. 
Ben's argument is that the industry itself is set up to place undue pressure upon those within it, especially those trying to "lead" or be an "entrepreneur" which is proclaimed by many as the pinnacle of achievement.

My question is, is this a tech / computer industry thing> Are those that suffer from "black dog" (like myself) more likely to end up in tech or does this happen across all of society? Maybe I see this in tech more as I am a loud mouth online and attract those that are willing and able to talk about it with me. ANd maybe, just maybe, there is an equivalent in accounting, building, civil service, teaching, police and just about any other area of life you can thing of ... is there?

And so, we all say reach out, check in with your fellow travellers, those you suspect might be having a hard time (best indication is silence and/or short sharp answers to the question, "How are you?").
And this is definitely the number one thing we can all do, everyday! But here's a technique I know works, makes a difference to the listener AND gets past the gruff responses.

  1. Pick three people
    1. Someone who would like to hear from you
    2. Someone you would like to hear from
    3. Someone who might be surprised to hear from you
  2. Choose your quest level, easy, medium or hard:
    1. Easy: means you're going to send a message to the first person on your list
    2. Medium: means you're going to message the first and second person on your list
    3. Hard: means you're going to message all three
  3. Ask each of the three people, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how's is your day going?"
  4. Wait, and if they message back a number reply, "Is there anything I could do to help move it from a 6 to a 7?" (or .. from a 3 to a 4, or from a 10 to 11 - you get the idea)

I got this amazingly simple yet totally effective technique from Jane McGonigal's most excellent book, SuperBetter which I can't recommend highly enough!

And maybe that's it, that's all we need to do ... but maybe not?

I am very conscious of the "Engineers problem" with this and the most excellent thinkings of Auryn Shaw as outlined in her trilogy of Access Granted "engineers disease" podcasts. No, seriously, this isn't just a push for the podcast, her thoughts and challenges are TOTALLY relevant to this on-going discussion!

Listen to "Ep 97 The culture of tech with Aurynn Shaw" on Spreaker.

Listen to "Ep 98 Engineers disease with Aurynn Shaw" on Spreaker.

Listen to "Ep 102 The constellation of development with Aurynn Shaw" on Spreaker.

And that's where I am today ... oh, and this from Ben Foley is well worth a read, Suicide, Entrepreneurship, and The Road Home (The 9 Steps I took to get my life back — without drugs or therapy)


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