Sunday, December 20, 2015


I think, anxiety from “fear of failure” must be embedded in our DNA like every other animal species.

Little has changed since our ancestors walked across the savannah under scourging heat, searching for food and threatened by wild animals.

Today everything from our education systems to business systems leverage the same anxiety.

At school we are constantly exposed to tests utilising our primordial fear. Success is cherished, failure is demonised. Obedient individuals are programmed to contribute to the overall success of the larger group they belong to.

It is only until recently with the rise of startup culture, failure was made welcoming and become important part of development process; the idea is to learn from mistakes in organised fashion. Alas this is an illusion.

At the end of several fail-improve cycles, the business may come to an abrupt end when it runs out of fuel. Some say 90% of tech start-ups doom to fail.

In other words, it is important to differentiate failure as a useful business process, as opposed to failure as business, the latter is unfortunately akin to returning empty handed from hunting.

So where does this leave us at?

As we get older we begin to realise other important facts of life; time is getting scarcer, we are not getting any healthier, and our hormones (including the ones that drive anxiety) get weaker.

With anti-anxiety, anti-cholesterol, and anti-high blood pressure pills on the table, suddenly it may occur to us “what the hell have I been doing to myself all this time? Fuck success!”, and this is, dear friends, my definition of “maturity”.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Art is an individual journey. Like every journey it has a beginning, a flow, and an end. If there is no journey there is no Art.

Each piece in your Art should tell a story stitched to a different piece. Each piece should be meaningful in its own as well as when stitched together.


It is what we eliminate makes Art, not what we add.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Purpose

Finding Purpose in a purposeless Universe
(a frequently asked question to Atheists)

It is a beautiful thing, purposeless Universe. Looking at workings of my hand, rivers of blue veins on its surface, decorated by sun spots, fearlessly dancing on my laptop computer, and knowing there is no need to be any purpose whatsoever behind why I am here and why I am capable of constructing complex sequences of information using another machine.

I am here and I am capable as such, because I am a biological machine that its clockworks survived a mindless process called Evolution by Natural Selection, a process which has absolutely no intelligence, no purposeful rules whatsoever.

It is not just beautiful, it is startlingly beautiful, an insight only few of us can have.

Beautiful, because it is so simple.

All you require is to apply laws of Physics and conditions sufficient to construct things at any moment in time, say now. Extrapolate and test the same laws under different conditions back in time, supported by evidence such as fossils and strata, until you reach to a point where you find a single cell organism that could make copies of itself.

Not knowing how the first single cell organism came about does not prove there was a purpose then, as we know so little about the conditions that led to it. So rather than embracing an implausible exception to a theory that worked so well for so long, we can safely assume that there was a point in time when conditions were sufficient for the first single cell organism to come about using the same laws of Physics.

Purpose implies subjective intent, a human construct. There is not a single Physics law in this Universe that implies intent. It is pointless to search for a grand purpose beyond the realm of human intent. It is also pointless to talk about ordinary, personal purposes such as finishing university, or winning an Olympic medal, as clearly this is not meant by the original question.

Atheism is not an ideological stance, but rather a natural conclusion derived from humble recognition of a purposeless Universe.

There is nothing I feel obliged to explain the state of my thoughts ideologically. Atheism argument is not even strictly necessary, other than making it easier for Theists to begin their argumentation process, which I don’t mind aiding.

I am happy and content as I could fully focus on living my life, a fluke in the sea of destiny, devoid of any philosophical baggage let alone a grand purpose.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Team Branding

Since the dawn of Humanity tribes used the contemporary concept of “branding”. The tribe had its own dress-code, totems, songs, dances, icons and signs. Branding allowed them to claim their territory and enjoy a secure sense of belonging. It led to stronger tribal bonding that increased their chance of survival in the wild.

Nothing much changed in modern corporates. Same concept. The modern businesses use branding to secure their competitive position.

But why stop there?

Agile teams around the globe perhaps instinctively employ similar tools in order to strengthen member bonding and team presence. The coffee meeting surely is a tribal meeting, so as having a geeky team name and logo.

One aspect of team branding however may not be so obvious and that is its effect on Engagement. I strongly feel the security provided by tribal bonding has a big effect on Engagement.

Letting the team continuously maintain and strengthen their branding can be a smart win for the organisation. Let them have a newsletter, let them have a billboard, let them have t-shirts with team logos, let them organise meet-ups, hackathons and watch how heavily they will be engaged.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A tribute to my father


From a continent far away, I see your feeble smile. As  you sit solemnly in your armchair, with your memory thorn into pieces, I know one of those pieces must have me and you hang on to it.

Today is Father’s Day, a tribute to fatherhood, a title I will never bear. Yet I do appreciate what it means for you.

When you took me to school for the first time there was a drawing in our book which fascinated me. ‘A family, the unit of society.’ or so the title said. A father still wearing his office suit, reading his newspaper in an armchair, smiling and puffing his pipe. A daughter and a son playing on the carpet, smiling. A mother making the dinner table, smiling. A grandma in her rocking chair, knitting and smiling. A cat next to a fireplace, having a nap.

This was the picture in my mind that laid out the grand plan for my life. Yet the life had its own agenda. The children were drifted to different parts of the world. We never had a grandpa or grandma around us, regrettably I have never owned a cat.

However I don’t think we have ever stopped being a family. On the dusty shelves of our minds we still cherish the days we spent together. That family picture is somehow engraved in our minds albeit in different forms, happy moments stitched one another. This is of course an enormous privilege in this strange random world.

I could never remember I thanked you enough. For taking me to that soccer game when I was six. For making a perfect paper kite in that freezing Spring day. For sharing every fun occasion with your children, taking us to picnics, to summer holidays, telling us funny stories making me giggle for days. For not taking life too seriously. For not lecturing us. For letting me smoke sitting next to you. For being momentarily upset but not angry even when I crushed your car bought with your life savings. For saving me from trouble whenever I needed you, especially that horrible day when a bomb exploded killing one during a protest and the Army circled our Uni’s dormitory. For letting us read anything, study anything we want. For not brainwashing us with bullshit. For letting us have inquisitive minds. For letting me be me. Thank you my good man.  I don’t think I could ever be half of the man you were. I love you Dad.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A pile of bones

Native Greek children standing by the bones of deceased soldiers who died during the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign they have collected on Hill 60, Anzac Cove in 1919.

I was born in Turkey and I now hold dual citizenship of Australian and Turkish.

Back in Turkey I was raised up at school and at home with stories of our ancestors’ heroism.

Gallipoli War was a decisive Turkish victory no one could take away, a war thorn nation’s determination against aggressors, despite being defeated in other fronts. It is also our D-day for the coming Republic, birth of a magnificent leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and a test that checked our confidence to challenge the World, a world determined to see us as “sick man of the Europe”. In Gallipoli a nation was born.

Settling in Australia made me realise to see the other side of the coin. There were similarities. The official history and stories spoken at home. Gallipoli had been a defeat in military terms but out of ashes a new identity, an independent sense of belonging emerged among ordinary Australians. In Gallipoli a nation was born.

During the Gallipoli campaign Ottoman Empire had 174,828, British Empire 187,969 casualties including dead, wounded, missing, not including illness.

The question remains for us, why do we glorify wars?

Is it simply out of respect to dead, or soothing our sense of guilt? We are the lucky ones born in the right time after all.

Is it the primal instinct of close kinship our genes instruct?

Or is it really an absurd arithmetic equation?

Two nations equal to a pile of bones.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Minimalism at Workplace

Minimalism is simple, reduce your stressors by eliminating them. Minimalism will relax you, it will allow you to focus on the essentials.

- Clean your desk.
- When conveying your ideas do not exceed a single A4 page.
- Never organise a meeting longer than one hour. If you think one hour is enough, ask yourself why not half-an-hour?
- Never spend more than 15 minutes to draw a design diagram.
- Never spend more than 30 minutes on a new design wiki page.
- Favour talk to IM, IM to email.
- If you have to, never write long emails, not longer than three paragraphs.
- In your written communications use short sentences;
  • Avoid jargon.
  • At most two sentences per paragraph.
  • Leave an empty line between paragraphs.
  • Follow the two-phase structure:
  • Background
  •   Question or Solution
- Never broadcast emails to unrelated employees.
- Never Reply All to an email.
- Let your actions make you, not your talk.
- Talk less, tell more, listen more.
- Treat everybody equal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


I have a little trade secret to share with you. Whenever I need to communicate my ideas on a printed medium, I use a single sheet of A4 page, and only on one side.

The most frequently used paper size is A4 measuring 210 by 297 millimetres.

The significant advantage of A system is its scaling: Folded brochures of any size can be made by using sheets of the next larger size, e.g. A4 sheets are folded to make A5 brochures.

But there is something else in A4.

A4 is a meme, it simply evolved with modern human.

In addition to scaling advantages I think A4 evolved to be the most frequently used paper size, because a single sheet of it is the most efficient medium to convey ideas.

Not too big, not too small, elegantly scaled.

Next time you have an idea, try fitting it into an A4 sheet, and I guarantee you it will be read by majority of people.

Exceed an A4 page by one line, or use a different paper size, you will have less people reading it.

I call it Natural Selection.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Managing work schedules is a crucial element of a modern workplace. For most, work days are fragmented in hourly, sometimes half-hourly time slots.

We use tools such as Outlook to book meetings and events. These tools are great, however they have some limitations. They lack intelligence and flexibility to help us fill gaps with sensible choices, and they don’t work well with our private activities outside work.

What if we have a smart app on our phone, that will merge Outlook calendar with our private organiser, and help us forming habits, manage our to do lists, and other events effortlessly, in addition to syncing with work schedules.

I give you Timeful, a smart time management app that does all that.

Timeful has AI (Artificial Intelligence) engine to track your habits. Its brilliance comes from the fact that it learns to work with you and your roughly defined schedules.

Say you want to form a new habit. Lets say you want to do Yoga, 3 times a week, mostly in the evenings, and at noon. Timeful is OK with rough schedules, it understands habit forming is hard, therefore it gives you flexibility to fit them into your existing schedule. When its sees a fit Timeful fills it with an activity you nominated. You either go for it, defer it or move it to another time slot with a simple gesture.

Timeful has a seamless, simple and a very easy to use interface. Adding a new to do item, a new habit, or scheduling an event is a breeze. Moving an item into a different time slot or deferring  is equally easy.

As time slots are fragmented, we ended up having diverse activities in shorter attention spans. This is a fact of 21st  century. Good or bad we have to live with it and we need ways to deal with it. Timeful comes handy with its AI, and friendly manners to help us go through our busy life style. It turns hectic into sensible.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

The power of Active Listening

In your professional and personal lives there is one indispensable personal improvement item you should constantly nurture, and that is Active Listening. Everything else is secondary. Improve Active Listening and you will have ample time and energy for improving other things.

Active Listening is spending conscious effort to listen to, understand and connect with the speaker.

There are plenty of free resources for Active Listening available on the Web, I will disclose a few at the end of this post.

I would now like to share my first hand experience and present  benefits of Active Listening from a different angle, my own my personal experience.

Personal Value
The quality of communication you establish with others will encourage them to value you. By feeling you valued them they immediately return a value on you. The effects of such recognition will grow around you and soon include others into the same circle of connectedness.

Quality of Thinking
By genuinely focusing on the speaker’s point of view, you will avoid negative emotions that may come into your way. You may be under the influence of a toxic environment or your own prejudice. By focusing solely on the speaker, and looking at events from his perspective, will make you eliminate such distractions. Active Listening will save you time and energy, it will improve quality of your judgement, and allow you to understand facts better. It will also prevent you from entering into a wrong thought process that may needlessly increase your anxiety.

Probably the biggest advantage of all is health benefits. By focusing on Active Listening, your brain plasticity will flex more. Your brain  will build and engrave paths that otherwise you would have left idle, you will probably become a smarter person with improved short memory. Being in a positive environment where people actively listen to and value each other, you will eliminate worries, your stress levels will be less, your energy level will increase, in general you will spend the day as a happy person.

I became aware of Active Speaking via a conversation with my colleague and Team Leader Chris Dorrington a few years ago. Thank you Chris! This talk was a turning point in my career. At the time I did not realise its power. But as I took it seriously and work on it I began to see its benefits. You need to be patient though. You will not see an overnight improvement. It needs relentless practice and monitoring your own performance. Good luck.


Active Listening, The University of Adelaide

Active Listening, Skills You Need

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How to make a toast

How to make a toast by Ergun Coruh

The Talk

In his inspiring TED talk, innovator Tom Wujec talks about power of collaborative visualisation.

A group of people is asked to draw “how to make a toast”. This sounds simple, until someone asks to draw the process step by step. The exercise is repeated, individually and in group mode using moveable stickies on a white board.

Collaborative visualisation is a powerful tool.

Firstly, it engages everyone in the design process, by empowering individuals, by giving them equal opportunity to contribute their ideas. This leads to a more fulfilling, happier employee engagement. Secondly, in group mode, it allows the team to understand the problem and facilitates reaching a consensus, a faithful agreement on design.


Not everyone is good at drawing. Even people who are good at drawing may not articulate ideas equally well. Would that be a problem? Do we need a visual language?

It is important to realise that equal engagement is primary value in Collaborative Visualisation. Everybody should be encouraged to draw regardless of their talent, it should be a fun process, a celebration of bringing together ideas.

There are simple techniques I discovered that everyone can take advantage of when drawing ideas. I believe everyone can learn them and gradually become better as they draw more.

Take a look at my drawing of “how to make a toast”.

Keep it simple

Remember this is not a drawing contest. We need to reflect ideas in the simplest possible way so that everyone can quickly understand concepts.

Draw thick

Thick lines encourage to draw simple figures. Simple figures are easier to understand, they don’t clutter ideas. It is important to pick the right sized pen, for a given medium (white board or stickies).

Avoid 3D

Stick with 2D drawings, they are easier to draw. 3D drawings tend to clutter the design. Take a look at my 2D toaster.

Dots, lines and curves

These are the only primitives you would need to draw a shape. Take a look at my toaster drawing again. It has simple visual cues to make it look like a toaster. The curvy edges on top, the switch on the left, a thick base, are common elements to most toasters. Coupled with a slice of bread that looks like a bread, it is impossible to miss it.

Avoid perfectionism 

Do not get carried away by drawing a perfect something, a perfect toaster for instance. It is more important for people to understand you drew a toaster, as opposed to a perfect slab that does not look like a toaster.

Shades and animation

Since we opted for using thick lines, how would we articulate a brown toast?

Use parallel lines to darken the surface of bread slice. You should use this technique judiciously though, overdoing it will clutter the drawing. Don’t forget the idea is to draw a brown toast everybody can understand, not a perfect brown toast.

Simple animation showing spatial motions using cartoon style hyphens have enormous power in articulating complex ideas. Nothing can demonstrate a toast being chaotically thrown into air at the end of a toasting process better than a skewed, brown bread with hyphens showing a movement from bottom to top.

Nodes, arrows and areas

Nodes are group of objects representing a stage in your design process. Arrows let you articulate how you connect nodes and build up your design. Pay attention to area alignment. Make sure you sufficiently separate nodes from each other, you leave enough space between them, so that they don’t appear on top of each other.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Locke, Empiricism and Scottish Enlightenment

English philosopher John Locke was the father of British Empiricism. Locke  greatly influced the works of Scottish Enligtenment philosophers who succeeded him, David Hume, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and Francis Hutcheson.

Empiricism is a theory which state that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience. Undoubtedly the idea of Empiricism was revolutionary at the time of Locke.

Empiricism is the central tool of Enlightenment. David Hume was a staunch proponent of Empiricism and Skepticism.


John Locke (Wikipedia)

David Hume (Wikipedia)

Empiricism (Wikipedia)

Scottish Enlightenment (Wikipedia)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Deal

I have the right to disrespect your religion, just as you have the right to disrespect my conviction of not believing supernatural. I have the right to mock your religion, just as the right you have to mock Science and Atheism. Drawing Charles Darwin as a Chimpanzee, or mocking Richard Dawkins as a pig do not offend me at all, I expect drawing your prophet in funny ways should not offend you either. In your case I know you are not trying to offend me personally, in my case you should know I don’t intend to offend you personally. Regardless of your faith I may like or dislike you for the things you do as a human, similarly you should judge me for the things I do as a human. I think this is a fair deal.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Stick

Tolerance is a stick with two ends

Majority of population in Western countries are disillusioned by the fact that Muslim population living in their country are mostly secular, peaceful people who do not harm others. Being a minority minding their business, they gain natural sympathy of the majority. This is acceptable and nothing is wrong with that, however it reflects a partial truth.

When numbers are reversed, and muslims become majority, they become part of political power granted by their religion. One good example to support this argument is Turkey. In the past decade or so the Islamist political party in power started to challenge and erode secularism, established a police state with biased judiciary and began to jail or intimidate seculars. Islam is a political ideology as well as a religion, therefore this shouldn't surprise us.

However this view also explains why non-religious populations, who were trapped in those countries are worried. Lets be clear, we cannot call this Islamophobia, as this is not an irrational fear we can mock.

If you are a non-religious person, living in a religious country is demoralising and degrading to say the least, because you will be oppressed one way or another if you choose to express yourself.

If you express your disinterest in religion and don’t abide by its restrictions in ways to draw attention, you can be intimidated or punished by mobs, you could even be prosecuted for that. This is true for countries such as Sauidi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. Penalties are different but principles are the same.

Majority in religious countries show less tolerance to you than we show to them in the West where they are in minority. Numbers matter.

Ultimately this is the bit Western liberals are missing, they have partial perspective because either they don't have first hand experience of living in a religious society or they lack deeper knowledge on history and on the nature of religions, or they don't push their intellectual capacity hard enough to see the big picture, because they focus on their lives in the West.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


REFA - Reforastation of Australian Continent
The Author: Ergun Çoruh, 10 January 2015

The Problem
We crossed the critical threshold of 350 ppm CO2 concentration in the Earth atmosphere around 1990s. We are now at 400 ppm and it gets worse every year. Beyond this threshold global temperature will continue to grow. Science predicted (1), transforming all of the energy production companies to use zero-emission technologies would not be sufficient to save the planet. We need to discover ways to reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, and return it below 350 ppm, in addition to migrating energy production to zero emission technologies. This may only be possible by sucking CO2 from the atmosphere and storing the carbon away. One of proposed methods is to use re-forestation as a carbon sink.

Author’s Note
The author sees himself as an amateur futurist, he is not an expert in any of the fields that might be relevant for this concept. He likes daydreaming, stirring ideas, asking odd questions, and getting people solve problems rather than himself solving them. Thankfully he does not claim he is right all the time. In fact most often than not he wishes to be wrong to learn the truth. It is evolving ideas, human creativity and learning excite him most. Hence the author’s elaboration of the idea shall be limited by his imagination, and he happily accepts it.

The Idea
This paper discusses the possibility of re-forestation in the Australian continent as a carbon sink to reduce C02 concentration in the atmosphere.

This idea needs calculations and a goal on how much sinking effect should be aimed. My wild question is, with deployment strategy that spans 50 years, can this solution alone reduce the CO2 concentration by 10 ppm by the year 2150? We can play with numbers, but my gut feeling is, this solution alone may not be enough to go below 350 ppm. We would need more disruptive technologies, and other ideas to contribute to the global aim of going below 350 ppm. In other words we don’t have a magic bullet, we probably shouldn’t seek one.

Australia is a vast continent (7,686,850 km2) with unique geography, climate, and ecology.  It has low population density of 3 people per square kilometre. Its desert areas constitute 35% of total land area. That is a lot of empty area, with enormous potential to help us solve the climate problem.

The idea involves several components:
  • Research
    — Identify potential areas of reforestation. Not all areas would be suitable.
    — Observe water from space and identify reservoirs.
    — Analyse and aggregate geographic, ecological and climate data including sporadic bushfire patterns.
    — Analyse and re-assess the project’s goal.
  • Technology
    — Invent re-use a plant type, use genetic engineering as required.
    — The plant should not have detrimental impact on continental flora and fauna.
    — The plant should grow slowly (1–3 years), should have high longevity, its dead-form should have properties for becoming a versatile re-cycle material.
    — The plant should be durable against bushfires.
    — Plantations should be controllable, i.e. the plant should not be a macro “weed”.
    — The plant in its dead form should have economic and scalable properties, such as elasticity, strength and weight that would allow it to be harvested and easily transported to become raw material for 3D printers, structures or buildings.
    — A plant that can replace plastic in many areas would be the holly-grail technology.
    — Desirable: A plant with reflective leaves can produce green energy. This is a crazy idea we can at least talk about.
  • Deployment
    — Survey vast areas using spontenous wi-fi technology and drones before, during and after deployment. Spontenous wi-fi using multi-hop routing would allow drone squadrons to travel and cover vast areas of land in close proximity for surveying and controlling things like water dispatching and distribution. Also make drones to use solar energy. Deploy and distribute solar energy sub-stations for drones to land and re-charge their batteries.
    — Use self assembled 3D printing to assemble small water pipes. They will weave themselves like spider webs, they will form large lattices. Harness water reservoirs identified during initial survey or even use seawater as water source.
  • Economy
    — Get Energy Companies to invest initially 10% of their time on this, make them shareholders. The raw output (the plant’s trunk), the technologies invented and its side industries will be their return on investment, through direct ownership or partnership. There is no reason for Energy Companies not to diversify their portfolio with high tech innovations such as spontenous drone squadrons, self assembling pipes and so on. In the end They may start calling themselves as “Carbon Sink” companies as well as Energy Producers.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Liberty In The Age of Terror

In his book, Liberty In the Age of Terror, “Our societies are under attack”, says A.C. Grayling, “not only from the threat of terrorism, but also from our governments’ attempts to fight that threat by reducing freedom in our own societies- think the 42-day detention controversy, CCTV surveillance, increasing invasion of privacy, ID Cards, …”

Freedom to criticise or ridicule religions remains in governments’ or media’s watch list.
In the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo massacre, many news outlets shy away from publishing the controversial images of the paper’s satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Joining the bandwagon, we see progressive apologists, some of them being non-religious, claiming religion based terror is nothing to do with religions, but caused by “environment”, “discrimination” or “mind loss” therefore we should continue to respect religions.

Any criticism against religions, particularly Islam, is sneered upon with “Islamophobia” or “hate speech” suspicion. The issue has almost become a taboo, and the architect of this taboo is nobody but us.

We became victims of our own fears, in the end we let hard-won liberties our ancestors built with centuries long struggle demolished. Is this really who we are?

I hope Humanity regains its sanity and remembers the idea that matters most, freedom of expression. Loosing that would mean loosing everything.

Now grab your pen, and show the world, people who sacrificed their lives for Liberty mattered.

Je Suis Charlie

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Bad News

Sometimes despite our effort to curb unpleasant news, we cannot avoid them entirely. Recently I came across this dreadful news of a couple were said to have had sex, went shopping and ate pizza as their 3 year old toddler Scott McMillan lay dying on 4 November after alleged incidents of escalating violence by the pair including, it is claimed, beating him with a frying pan and hanging him upside down by his feet.

Regardless of statistical rarity of such incidents we, great majority, are all deeply distressed by such news.

On the one hand as a society we should know about bad news, knowing is the only way to start thinking about what went wrong and accordingly develop ways to start improving.

On the other hand media outlets love breaking bad news, simply because it is the cheapest way for them to increase their circulation.

I think avoiding media, not watching TV, not following media outlets on the Internet is not the solution.

We need a balanced approach.

Sure we want to have a pleasant weekend, with family spending the afternoon in a grand park, strolling and enjoying a cone of ice-cream, followed by a visit to a nearby museum. We want nothing to ruin such experience. We know, our remembering self will give precedence to bad experiences, they are the ones in our memories persist into the future.

But life comes as a package, there can be perfect moments and we should seize them. But life itself in its entirety, is far from being perfect. Hence looking at a compromise, and developing a wisdom to balance bad news with positive approaches seems to be a good strategy.

We cannot do anything for the poor boy. Capital punishment of his parents may provide temporary relief, our primordial instincts will come into play, however it won’t let the problem go away.

A meaningful discussion on how we can be aware of psychotic individuals in our communities, what services should be improved for prevention of abuse is a good start. Then as responsible fellow human beings we should look into ways to contribute to such solutions with our participation. By being mere observers we cannot cause change. We need to articulate change and participate to it.


Whitsunday Coast Guardian Article:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mario's Sicilian Sauce

Disclaimer: This writing is purely Art, it does not necessarily reflect my own view. The protagonist is portrayed as a male character who swears a lot. Some readers may be offended by the language, if so they can stop reading it now. Reading is entirely voluntary.

Mario's Sicilian Sauce

Mario, a friend of mine, a true Sicilian, a painter, a natural born alchemist to the bone, once taught me how to cook the best pasta sauce.

- 10+ big Fresh juicy Roma Tomatoes (very ripe Truss tomatoes will do as well)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Chillies to taste (cut fresh or dry)
- Handful of Fresh basils from the garden if possible or else from the supermarket
- Two cloves of fresh juicy garlic.
- Good olive oil to cover the base of pan up to 3-5 mm high.

Put olive oil into the pan, and start with high heat, don’t burn it, just break the lazy bone of oil. In the mean time fucking crush tomatoes in a blender, chuck them into the pan, add salt, black pepper, and chillies, crushed garlic, and basil, still high heat, lid open, wait until boiled.

Put the damn lid on. Reduce heat to mid, but let the thing to boil like crazy inside. Keep the man-made hell inside the pan intact for about an hour.

Then open the lid carefully. The water cumulated on the inner lid will come out, don’t burn yourself, will you? The idea is to steam cook tomatoes, with flavour trapped, in decent fire (my fucking idea, you like it fine, you don’t, I don’t give a shit).

Yeah, open the lid, stir and look. You should see oil escaped towards the inner wall of the pan. Leave the lid open for the rest of cooking.

Reduce heat. Just imagine you are a newly attended Devil in Hell and you have soft spot for people like Putin, Erdogan, or Murdoch. So you want them cooked very gently and slowly. Reduce the damn heat as such. Fucking lid is still open.

Go back to your Facebook, and Like shitty photos of friends. Every now and then, move your fucking ass, get up, check out the pan, stir Erdogan, Putin, and Murdoch mixture gently. Remember you are the good-hearted Devil. Do this shit for about an hour at least.

The sauce will burp every now and then during this time. The colour should kind of turn into Burgundy. The oil should have moved away totally to the edge.

Turn off the heat, chill out, put the lid back on, let it rest, sizzle off.

Your god damn Sicilian sauce is ready. No I don’t know how the hell you want to cook your damn pasta. Just mix it slowly and thoroughly with the sauce with respect. Open up a red with your loved one, and enjoy the meal.

Creativity and Divergence

In his article “Why Creative People Seem To Have The Messiest Minds”, published on Business Insider, Dec 29 2014 (1), Scott Barry Kaufman, talks about a new paper offering clues on how creative minds might work.

"Bringing together lots of different research threads over the years, they identified three "super-factors" of personality that predict creativity: Plasticity, Divergence, and Convergence."
This is a compelling theory, as I see evidence to support it in my own creative thinking.

I found Divergence a particularly interesting concept, ability to challenge the status quo, a burning desire to explore the truth, at the expense of being massively unpopular. Conformance kills creativity.

"Divergence consists of non-conformity, impulsivity, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness. People high in divergence may seem like jerks, but they are often just very independent thinkers." 

In this Longreads article (2), Brian Eno, Musician and Composer says:

"'I think negative ambition is a big part of what motivates artists,' Eno told me. 'It’s the thing you’re pushing against. When I was a kid, my negative ambition was that I didn’t want to get a job.'"

Creative ambition brings great deal of risk-taking, at times a blind dive into big unknowns. You need to break your protective shell to find out your artistic truth, at the same time making yourself vulnerable to greater pain of being marginalised, the less you worry about such pains, the more likely you’ll reach your artistic identity.


(1) Business Insider Article:
Why Creative People Seem To Have The Messiest Minds
Read more:

(2) Longreads Article:
Brian Eno and the Power of Negative Ambition

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Desiring change

In my previous philosophical quest I asked:

”Why do we celebrate the New Year?”

I think I have an answer for that, today, on the 1st day of the year 2015.

We do need to celebrate the New Year.

We know the New Year will not be perfect, the misery, wars, injustice, poverty around the world will continue. We know we or our beloved ones can be struck by disease, or worst we may lost someone we love in the coming year.

But what we celebrate is marking the beginning of change. We simply celebrate fulfilling a unique quality of being human, ability to change for the better, for a better world, a better humanity.

We should never stop desiring change.

Happy New Year!