Category: Practical philosophyPage 1 of 2

Choose the productivity tool for the job you want not the one you have

The tools you use define your work. They lock in choices about what you turn your attention to, what you can do and what you can’t. Before you…

Good enough for now: the philosophy of Lego sorting

With our household suddenly in self-isolation pending results of a Covid test, my daughter and I are back playing lego together and I’m revisiting that recurring question: how…

No one else is going to tell you what to do

I am speaking to more and more people who are disillusioned with their work. Often what is in the balance is a purpose-led career versus job security and…

The power is in leaving a gap

So many things that I am working on at the moment lead me to the conclusion that there is power in the gaps. But I feel like for…

Using Zoom, Eventbrite and Facebook to promote your event

Boring post alert. Sometimes you need to be boring to be creative. This is a really boring post about something I find myself doing lots and lots: setting…

Reading Proust – volume 5 update

It wasn’t what I was expecting but volume 5 of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time ends on a cliff-hanger. It is incredible how such separate threads from…

A better-dressed version of me

I sit in my current preferred cafe bolthole and the jacket of the person opposite me catches my eye. It’s a slightly faded turquoise, not unlike a jacket…

The left-right game – experiments in navigation, embodiment and control

Yesterday my daughter and I left the house and flipped a coin. Heads for left, tails for right. Right it was, then left, then left again, et cetera….

Imprisoned with the infinite – the philosophical implications of an imaginary visit to Sweden

Yesterday our household returned home from an imaginary holiday. Despite being in lockdown, we realised that we could imagine going on a trip anywhere in the world. Our…

A click of the ratchet from physical to virtual

Across all the of the projects I’m involved with we are working out what can go ahead and what must be postponed. A significant factor in whether to…

The horizon of existence | surveillance capitalism | the return of analogue skills

It’s hard to know where to start. So much has changed in the last fortnight and there is so much that I feel compelled to write about. But…

An action learning template for reaching any goal

I met with a friend earlier in the week to talk about setting some life goals. It’s a conversation we had had five years ago and then did…

Reading fast and slow

I’m a slow reader. The problem is I can’t seem to retain things unless I write them down or sketch them out. It means that I read very…

The satisfaction of learning what the buttons can do

I am reminded this morning of much I like working out what all the buttons do on a machine. Quite often the machines we use, be they an…

#15 Show-notes – Oliver Broadbent interview by Alexie Sommer – Creativity, climate and clowning

I spend most of my time designing creativity training for engineers. In this episode we flip the format. Alexie Sommer, Independent Design and Communication Director and collaborator on…

From self-help to help me.

Readers of this blog will know I started a project a couple of years ago to write a book called ‘Analogue Skills‘, a re-examination of the pre-screen skills…

If you go down to the woods today

It will probably be very muddy. At least it was for my first visit of the year to Hazel Hill Woods. Recent rain has made the forest wetter…

Memories of seven – a diary for my daughter

My daughter is now seven. I have been trying to remember what being seven was like for me. Memories start to become more frequent around this time. Some…

Why do they say ‘sixty-ten’ in French?

This question came up on the way home this evening. On the back of the tandem, my daughter was experimenting with counting in French. Things were going fine…

Performance versus reflection

A key part of problem-based learning is reflection. But how do you get people not interested in reflection to start thinking critically about the decisions they take over…

Notes from leaving my phone at home

I’ve started experimenting with leaving the house without my phone. On purpose. Here are some things I’ve noticed. I need to get a watch. Without a watch, however,…

The experience of distance

Marseille A morning walk up the steep hill to the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Gard granted me panoramic views of the city of Marseille and the…

Microadventure #1: Garden Sleeping

For my birthday this week my partner Mary gave me Alistair Humphreys’s inspirational book  ‘Microadventures’. According to Humphreys, a microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local,…

The perils of false modesty

I just read this great paragraph on the debilitating impact of false modesty on judgement.

12 Principles for Problem-based Learning for Engineers

When you get into it, PBL is a fundamental philosophical shift in the role of the instructor, and it is that realisation that has had such a personal impac...

Alt peer-to-peer feedback

As part of my Visiting Professorship at Imperial College I have been asked to think about how peer-to-peer assessment works in group works. Here are my thoughts. One…

No dairy diary (I had un oeuf of eggs too)

In Janaury 2018 I decided I would try veganism. I have been vegetarian all my life but in recent years I have found it harder to reconcile concern…

Problem-based learning – action learning from around Europe

Today I have been reviewing the action learning diaries that half a dozen people have sent me from Greece and Cyprus. They are getting ready for training in…

Augmented reality stargazing: unintended consequences

For generations it has been a tradition on the French side of my family to spend summer evenings out in the garden looking at the stars. I happen…

Embodied perception and the Bristol Swing Festival

Bristol Swing Festival is unique among swing dancing festivals because it offers the chance to learn circus skills alongside learning to dance. One of the things that I love about…