Liked https://asuo-images.streamlit.app/ (asuo-images.streamlit.app)

Enhance the accessibility of your course images with our intuitive tool. Designed to effortlessly generate alt text and detailed descriptions, as well as extract text from slides and images that are not accessible, our tool simplifies the creation of inclusive content. Just upload your image and hit ‘Create Image Details.’ Within seconds, you’ll see the generated content appear on the right side of the screen. Need to tailor the descriptions further? Easily add more specifics with the ‘Add Details’ option and generate updated descriptions to perfectly meet your needs.

Source: Image Accessibility Creator

“Doug Belshaw” in How to easily generate image descriptions and alt text | Thought Shrapnel ()

Bookmarked Steve Albini, an alternative rock pioneer and legendary producer for Nirvana and the Pixies, dies at 61 by ABC News (ABC News)

The legendary producer who recorded music for bands including Nirvana, the Pixies, and PJ Harvey dies after a heart attack.

Steve Albini, music engineer at Electrical Audio Recording, died of a heart attack. In honour, Austin Kleon shared the following quote:

“I’ve lived my whole life without having goals, and I think that’s very valuable, because then I never am in a state of anxiety or dissatisfaction. I never feel I haven’t achieved something. I never feel there is something yet to be accomplished. I feel like goals are quite counterproductive. They give you a target, and until the moment you reach that target, you are stressed and unsatisfied, and at the moment you reach that specific target you are aimless and have lost the lodestar of your existence. I’ve always tried to see everything as a process. I want to do things in a certain way that I can be proud of that is sustainable and is fair and equitable to everybody that I interact with. If I can do that, then that’s a success, and success means that I get to do it again tomorrow.”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/2021/9/7/22625278/steve-albini-big-black-sound-engineer-producer-nirvana-success-retirement-hearing

Here is a link to the ‘Steve Albini’ sound. Interestingly, Annie Clark spoke about going to record at Electrical Audio for All Born Screaming.

Liked https://www.pewresearch.org/data-labs/2024/05/17/when-online-content-disappears/ (pewresearch.org)

38% of webpages that existed in 2013 are no longer accessible a decade later

When Online Content Disappears
by Athena Chapekis, Samuel Bestvater, Emma Remy and Gonzalo Rivero

“Cory Doctorow” in Pluralistic: Linkrot (21 May 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow ()

Liked https://wiobyrne.com/turning-towards-each-other/ (wiobyrne.com)
  • Cultivate Empathy: Empathy is the cornerstone of turning towards each other. It allows us to understand the feelings and experiences of others without judgment or defensiveness. To cultivate empathy, we must be willing to sit with discomfort and open ourselves up to the experiences of others.
  • Practice Active Listening: Active listening involves fully focusing on, understanding, responding to, and then remembering what is being said by another person. This means putting aside our own agendas or preconceived notions in order to truly hear what someone else is saying.
  • Embrace Vulnerability: Vulnerability can be scary because it involves exposing parts of ourselves that we often hide for fear of rejection or judgment. However, it’s through vulnerability that we create genuine connections with others.
  • Acknowledge and Validate Feelings: Validating someone’s feelings doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with them. It simply means acknowledging their feelings and letting them know that their feelings make sense.
  • Prioritize Connection Over Being Right: One of the key elements of turning towards each other is choosing connection over being right. This entails putting aside our need to win arguments or prove points, and instead focus on understanding the other person’s perspective.
  • Transitioning from Turning on Each Other to Turning Towards Each Other by Ian O’Byrne

    Bookmarked How I Made Google’s “Web” View My Default Search (Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.)

    Forget AI. Google just created a version of its search engine free of all the extra junk it has added over the past decade-plus. All you have to do is add “udm=14” to the search URL.

    Source: How I Made Google’s “Web” View My Default Search by Ernie Smith


    In response to the news that Google is adding “AI overviews” to its searches, Ernie Smith discusses a simple hack shared by Danny Sullivan where you add “udm=14” to the search in order to get a web view. Alan Levine discusses how he implemented this solution by adding a shortcut in the browser, including Google Chrome.

    Bookmarked https://blog.ayjay.org/advancing/ (blog.ayjay.org)
    Alan Jacobs extends upon Elle Griffin’s discussion around the hard-truths associated with publishing and getting an advance:

    Anyway, let’s imagine that I receive a $100,000 advance for a future book. Not impossible by any means. The thing is, and this is the point I think Griffin should lean on more heavily: “advance” is a misleading term. Advances don’t come all at once, they come in stages, either three or four of them, for instance:

    • $25,000 at contract signing;
    • $25,000 at submission of an acceptable (but still to be edited) manuscript;
    • $25,000 at publication of the hardcover;
    • $25,000 at publication of the paperback, or, if the publisher chooses not to make a paperback, one year after the publication of the hardcover.

    (Sometimes the unit payments vary: for instance, for Breaking Bread with the Dead my agent negotiated bigger payouts for the first and third stages, smaller ones for the other two.) In a typical situation, after you sign the contract you might need two years to write the book. Supposing that your manuscript is pretty good and just needs editing, that process can take several months, and then getting the book ready for publication can take several more months. And the final payout will come a year after that initial publication. So while a $100,000 advance sounds like a lot of money, it often ends up being $25,000 a year; not nearly enough to live on. 

    Advancing by Alan Jacobs

    The more I read books about the music industry or interviews with artists, I feel like being a rock star or an author is not always as glamorous as it is sometimes portrayed as?

    Listened Breaking With the Speed of the Internet by Written By Team Human from teamhuman.fm

    Rushkoff discusses why he’s breaking from the preferred publishing schedules of advertisers and algorithms in favor of a more considerate approach.
    🌍 You can support Team Human on Patreon to unlock access to a number of great perks including ad-free episodes of Team Human, access to the Team Hu…

    Coming at the problem of social media, algorithms and the internet from the perspective of the creator, Douglas Rushkoff worries about the ever increasing speed and pressures placed by platforms that is creating a “perspective abundance.” He wonders if one of the challenges we face in being more “disciplined” is in choosing not to add our perspective to the mix.

    Most ironically, perhaps, the more content we churn out for all of these platforms, the less valuable all of our content becomes. There’s simply too much stuff. The problem isn’t information overload so much as “perspective abundance.” We may need to redefine “discipline” from the ability to write and publish something every day to the ability hold back. What if people started to produce content when they had actually something to say, rather than coming up with something to say in order to fill another slot?

    Source: Breaking from the Pace of the Net by Douglas Rushkoff

    To me, this touches on Dave White’s idea of “elegant lurking”

    The Elegant Lurker can be much more engaged than the noisy contributor and not being visible doesn’t mean you aren’t present.

    Source: Elegant Lurking by Dave White

    Continuing with his reflection on the challenges of creating, Rushkoff discusses using AI to help him with the creation of a story and wonders if AI is actually taking all the fun stuff?

    I was becoming the servant to the AI and the AI was doing the most fun part of the whole process, the actual coming up with the stuff.

    Source: Breaking from the Speed of the Net by Douglas Rushkoff

    This is something that Scott Stephens and Waleed Aly discuss on The Mindfield podcast, with Stephens worried about what is lost when we no longer spend the time.

    Rushkoff then discusses the realisation that maybe the best use of AI is to use the feedback to know where not to write, to know where you have sunk into cliche:

    The real value is to use what the AI produced to know how not to write.

     

    Liked Pluralistic: You were promised a jetpack by liars (17 May 2024) by Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow (pluralistic.net)

    As a society, we have vested an alarming amount of power in the hands of tech billionaires who profess to be embittered science fiction fans who merely want to realize the “promises” of our Golden Age stfnal dreams. These bros insist that they can overcome both the technical hurdles and the absolutely insurmountable privation involved in space colonization:

    https://pluralistic.net/2024/01/09/astrobezzle/#send-robots-instead

    They have somehow mistaken Neal Stephenson’s dystopian satirical “metaverse” for a roadmap:

    https://pluralistic.net/2022/12/18/metaverse-means-pivot-to-video/

    As Charlie Stross writes, it’s not just that these weirdos can’t tell the difference between imaginative parables about the future and predictions about the future – it’s also that they keep mistaking dystopias for business plans:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tech-billionaires-need-to-stop-trying-to-make-the-science-fiction-they-grew-up-on-real/

    Cyberpunk was a warning, not a suggestion. Please, I beg you, stop building the fucking torment nexus:

    https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/torment-nexus

    Pluralistic: You were promised a jetpack by liars (17 May 2024) by Cory Doctorow

    Liked https://blog.ayjay.org/accountability/ (blog.ayjay.org)

    You can assign reading to students; but if you don’t develop strategies for holding them accountable, then it doesn’t really matter what you assign. They’re Self-Deceived Rational Utility Maximizers after all, and if there’s one thing you can never change about them it’s that. 

    https://blog.ayjay.org/accountability/

    Liked My own little patch (Rach Smith’s digital garden)

    If the web is now a metaphorical barren wasteland, pillaged by commercial interests and growth-at-all-costs management consultants, then I’m all the more motivated to keep my little patch of land lush, and green, and filled with rainbow flowers.

    So, feel free to stop by any time and stay as long as you like. I won’t track you, make you look at ads, ask you to download my app, harass you with popups, suggest you sign up for my newsletter or push you through a sales funnel. Enjoy the garden, and the peace 💐.

    Rach Smith https://rachsmith.com/my-own-little-patch/

    Bookmarked Moving beyond ‘solving’ problems as meaningful learning- a conference #ShrugCon by dave dave (davecormier.com)

    A conference about uncertainty which might also be about the left-overs after problem-solving.

    Dave Cormier describes how, according to Herbert Simon, there are well-structured problems and the rest that is left over. Cormier explians why he prefers to focus on the “left overs”.

    A well-structured problem almost never happens to me in real life. At work, as a parent, as a partner, as a citizen I am almost never in a position where I’m given a clear question that isn’t messy in some way, a process that I can follow, and a way for someone to say ‘yeah, you did that exactly right’. And when I am, I can mostly just use a GenAI tool to get there.

    The things that are meaningful, to me, are about real life. They aren’t about chess, they aren’t about puzzles, they are about how each of us faces the uncertainty around us. With all these GenAI discussions swirling around I’m even more interested in how we learn when things are uncertain.

    Moving beyond ‘solving’ problems as meaningful learning- a conference #ShrugCon by Dave Cormier

    For me, this touches on Dan Meyer’s comments about ChatGPT-4o and mathematics:

    This looks like success to many. To me it looks like someone has successfully diced an onion without understanding why we’re hosting the dinner party, what we hope our guests experience, or how we’re going to structure the evening.

    We can focus students on larger ideas by asking other questions.

    What is the question asking you to do?

    What do you know about that?

    What is special about this triangle?

    What do you know about sine?

    Source: ChatGPT-4o Will Be Great for Certain Math, Certain Thinking, and Certain Kids by Dan Meyer

    Bookmarked Most Big Ideas Have Loud Critics by wiobyrne (digitallyliterate.net)

    Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #395. Your go-to source for insightful content on education, technology, and the digital landscape.

    In Digitally Literate newsletter 395, Ian O’Byrne reflects upon the promotion of AI platforms being ‘open-sourced’ even when they are keeping some parts for themselves:

    “Open source” is supposed to mean that everyone can see and use all the parts of the AI model, just like sharing games where everyone can see, use, and understand all its parts. But some companies say their AI models are open-source even when they aren’t sharing everything. This continues to confuse, dislocate, and disrupt individuals.

    Most Big Ideas Have Loud Critics by Ian O’Byrne

    This reminds me in part about Google and Android. Maybe it is all a part of the same story.

    Checked into https://www.katemillerheidke.com/events/2024-05-11-nunawading-the-round

    Kate will be playing her greatest hits and most beloved pop songs, as well as performing tracks from her original musicals Muriel’s Wedding the Musical and the new Bananaland, some unexpected covers, taking requests, and telling stories from across her varied career. Excitingly, she’ll also be debuting new material from her forthcoming 6th studio album, which will dive deep into the genre of ‘gothic folk’.

    This is a special opportunity to see Kate in intimate, stripped-back mode, accompanied by her long-term collaborator Keir Nuttall on guitar.

    Source: KATE MILLER-HEIDKE: Catching Diamonds Tour 2024 | The Round

    I feel like there are artists that you think you know, but never get beyond a superficial listen. I am not sure if it is because of the sources of music, such as radio, or something else, but I feel like I always appreciated Kate Miller-Heidke’s unique talent, but never dived in much further. I think that this changed after seeing her perform ‘Wuthering Heights’ as a part of the ABC New Years Eve concert, streaming music and Child in Reverse with its minimal production.

    Although I listen to a lot of music, not much passes across the generations, Kate Miller-Heidke seems to be that exception. After missing out on Taylor Swift tickets, I bought tickets to see Kate Miller-Heidke for my daughter’s birthday, her first live concert. In part, this was because for the Catching Diamonds tour, Miller-Heidke was performing a cut-back show at theatres in the suburbs and in the country, meaning that it was all ages. I actually did not know what to expect from The Round. My wife suggested it might be a bit more dressy. There were definitely no band t-shirts. It felt more like the theatre.

    It was also good to discover another great support act, Georgia Mooney.

    Mooney’s music exists beyond the bounds of time and space. An avowed Star Wars nerd who presents as a 40s movie star – she seems both from a long time ago and a galaxy far away, while speaking directly to the present. Influences from every member of the Wainwright family, Joni Mitchell, the sophistication of the Great American Songbook and even classical composers sift through her songs seamlessly, alongside fuzzed out guitars and production that evoke the unsettling genius of Kate Bush – both her idiosyncratic wall of sound instrumentation and unexpected turns of chords and melodies.

    Source: Georgia Mooney

    I had never heard her music before and never seen a dulcimer played. This was also made more interesting listening to her album, Full of Moon, afterwards.

    With the sound stripped-back, I wondered what impact that might have on the sound? Interestingly, aided by an array of effects pedals, Keir Nuttall on acoustic often managed to fill the sound of a whole band. While with the support from Kate Miller-Heidke on piano and guitar, I was left wondering if a full band was even needed? Even with her tracks from Child in Reverse, with their programmed loops, I feel that these would have been the same with or without the band, especially as she was supported vocally for these tracks by Georgia Mooney. I actually feel that the stripped-back sound allowed more flexibility to improvise. This all then served as the perfect foundation for Kate Miller-Heidke’s voice.

    My (poor) memory of the setlist

    • Fire and iron
    • O Vertigo
    • Sarah
    • The Tiger Inside Will Eat the Child
    • Humiliation
    • Caught in the Crowd
    • A Simon and Garfunkel track
    • Last Day on Earth
    • Hectic Glitter
    • You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore
    • Simpatico
    • Zero Gravity
    • Words / Paint It Black
    • Psycho Killer
    Listened All Born Screaming, by st. vincent from st. vincent

    10 track album

    “You’re either alive or you’re dead,” she tells Double J. “And if you’re alive you better live life to the fullest.”

    Source: St. Vincent – All Born Screaming) by Al Newstead


    I remember when Daddy’s Home was released reading a passing comment from St. Vincent about nearly making a Tool-inspired album, but instead going all 70’s.

    Appearing on Radio.com’s New Arrivals show (via Uproxx), St. Vincent explained that she was “dead set” on creating a “heavy record” as the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Masseduction’). “Like just heavy the whole time – like, ‘Hey kids, you like Tool? Well, you’ll love the St. Vincent record’, you know?” she said.

    Source: St. Vincent reveals she almost made a “heavy” Tool-inspired album)

    I was intrigued what that would actually sound like. When I heard the first few singles, ‘Broken Man’ and ‘Flea’ I was a bit taken back. It was dark and brooding, but not the Tool-inspired album I expected. I was therefore unsure in listening to the album. I felt a bit lost.

    I listened to a couple of interviews, one with Zane Lowe) and the other as a part of the Tape Notes podcast. Both spoke about the beginnings in playing industrial dance music, but this foundation was brought to the fore with Tape Notes, especially when she started remixing her tracks on the fly. After this I felt that Tool may have been a distraction in part and that the electrical modular underpinnings is what makes this album.

    I was reading a BBC article) about the return of the album over singles. In it, there was a quote from Billie Eilish about why she is against singles:

    “I don’t like singles from albums,” she admits. “Every single time an artist I love puts out a single without the context of the album, I’m just already prone to hating on it. I really don’t like when things are out of context. This album is like a family: I don’t want one little kid to be in the middle of the room alone.”

    Source: Billie Eilish Would Like to Reintroduce Herself) by Angie Martoccio

    I was left wondering if the initial singles associated with All Born Screaming where a help or a hindrance? I feel that this albums is definitely better as a whole.

    Much like the album’s artwork, it’s a dark, fiery listening experience that will win you over with its sonic surprises and sense of raw urgency.

    Source: Best new music to hear from St. Vincent, Ngaiire, Kamasi Washington and more) by Al Newstead

    In an interview with Karen Leng, St Vincent talks about inventing an alphabet around electricity and chaos, with a balance between the raw and the perfect. I think that like all languages, St Vincent borrows from many places to make her own. Zooming into the different parts on the Tape It podcast, these influences are made clear, whether it be Massive Attack or Tool, however as a whole the album is definitely St Vincent.

    All Born Screaming certainly lives up to that philosophy. It’s the sound of an artist rediscovering the most vital parts of themselves, a musical chameleon forging renewed purpose from primal instincts.

    Source: St. Vincent – All Born Screaming) by Al Newstead

    Also, a part of this new alphabet is an element of urgency.

    Grief shaped much of the album, says the notoriously private Clark, who was rattled by an unspecified personal loss during the album’s making. But All Born Screaming is animated by a sense of urgency, not melancholy.

    Source: St. Vincent – All Born Screaming) by Al Newstead

    Read For Whom the Bell Tolls

    For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American volunteer attached to a Republican “Republican faction (Spanish Civil War)”) guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As a dynamiter, he is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia.

    It was published just after the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), whose general lines were well known at the time. It assumes the reader knows that the war was between the government of the Second Spanish Republic, which many foreigners went to Spain to help and which was supported by the Communist Soviet Union, and the Nationalist faction “Nationalist faction (Spanish Civil War)”), which was supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy “Fascist Italy (1922–1943)”). In 1940, the year the book was published, the United States had not yet entered World War II, which began on September 1, 1939, with Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland.[1]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ForWhomtheBellTolls


    I decided to read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway after my grandfather said that he was interested in the audiobook when I was helping him search for books to listen to. There are many authors I feel I know about, but have not actually read. I was not exactly sure what to expect with this novel. I did not really do any pre-reading.

    I found that it was one of those novels that percolates long afterwards. It would be easy to summarise it as a novel about “blowing up a bridge”, which it literally is. However, that takes away from the real point, the thoughts of a soldier in preparing to blow a bridge, ‘grace under fire’.

    Turn off the thinking now, old timer, old comrade. You’re a bridge-blower now. Not a thinker. Man, I’m hungry, he thought. I hope Pablo eats well.

    As Mark Cirino touches on:

    Mark Cirino: So Hemingway once said, “The worst thing that a soldier can have is imagination, but it’s the most important thing that a writer must have.”

    Source: Podcast #922: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Brett & Kate McKay

    Overall, Cirino provides a good discussion of the book on the Art of Manliness podcast. For Cirino, the novel represents Hemingway’s concerted effort to present a picture of humanity from both sides, observing life through the good things and bad. For example, he does not hide from violence perpetuated by either side of the conflict. This focus on humanity is framed from the beginning through the reference to John Donne’s poem:

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself;
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.

    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less,
    As well as if a promontory were:
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were.

    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind.
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    Source: No Man Is an Island by John Donne

    The story revolves around Robert Jordan, a character with many similarities to Hemingway. He is cramming life and love into three days. It uses free indirect style to cycle the god’s eye view through the mind of the protagonist.

    After reading the novel and recently reading All Quiet on the Western Front I was left wondering if it is easier to know history as a series of dates, numbers and characters, but harder to appreciate what it all actually means in the moment?

    Continue reading “📚 For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)”

    Bookmarked Copying all Pocket highlights with a bookmarklet (philnewton.net)
    I do not use Highlights with Pocket as I was not sure how they would fit with my workflow. However, after finding this bookmarklet from Phil Newton, I am thinking that maybe I could.

    to_clipboard = "#+TITLE: " + document.getElementsByTagName('h1')[0].innerHTML + "\n\n";
    all_highlights = document.getElementsByClassName('highlight');
    for (highlight in all_highlights) {
    highlight_text = all_highlights[highlight].innerHTML;
    if (typeof highlight_text !== 'undefined' && highlight_text.trim() != '') {
    to_clipboard += "#+begin_quote\n";
    to_clipboard += highlight_text.trim() + "\n";
    to_clipboard += "#+end_quote\n\n";
    }
    }
    to_clipboard += "*Source*: " + document.getElementById('reader.external-link.view-original').href;
    navigator.clipboard.writeText(to_clipboard);

    I worked with CoPilot to change the structure to how I wanted it:

    javascript:(function(){
    for(i in o="",h=document.getElementsByClassName("highlight"),h){
    t=h[i].innerHTML,
    "undefined"!=typeof t&&""!=t.trim()&&(o+="> "+t.trim().replace(/\n/g, "\n> ")+"\n\n");
    }
    var url = document.getElementById("reader.external-link.view-original").href;
    url = url.replace("?utm_source=pocket_saves", "");
    o+="Source: ["+document.getElementsByTagName("h1")[0].innerHTML+"]("+url+")"
    +document.getElementsByClassName("css-1ba1zfw")[0].innerText;
    navigator.clipboard.writeText(o);
    })()

    It was an interesting process where I tried some things and was corrected. This was much quicker than learning it from scratch.

    Watched
    This video is being promoted as OpenAI’s first officially commissioned Sora collaboration with a musician as well as a filmmaker. Beyond the uncanny nature of the video, I found it strangely off putting the speed in which everything moved. It was interesting to compare this with something like Michel Gondry’s work with The Chemical Brothers.
    Checked into
    A recent staff seminar day ended with a presentation by Dr. Adam Fraser. Here are my notes.


    Dr. Adam Fraser. is involved in work around topic of wellbeing.

    Dr Adam Fraser is a peak performance researcher who helps people strive to achieve better performance in everything they do. In his time he has worked with elite athletes and sporting teams, special forces soldiers and business leaders.

    Source: About Research Based Wellbeing Keynote Speaker — Dr Adam Fraser

    In regards to education, he has developed The Flourish Movement program:

    The Flourish Movement program, which began in 2016, is an internationally award-winning program, designed with and for school leaders. Driven by data and grounded in research, Flourish offers practical strategies aimed at helping school leaders develop sustainable leadership practices by improving both their effectiveness and overall wellbeing.

    Source: The Flourish Movement™

    The focus of the program is to:

    • Build recovery
    • Prevent burnout
    • Manage emotions
    • Improve leadership and culture

    Through his work he has found that he gets different results based on methodology. In particular, his work often focuses on action research. For example, rather than getting participants to complete a single survey capturing a single point in time, he gets them to complete a ten day survey.

    With a lot of change occurring at the moment, his particular focus was on disruption and how we can be manage this. After reflecting on what we thought were our biggest challenges at the moment (missing functionality? clean data?) he shared end-of-life research which suggests that at the end of their life, we regret not being more courageous. Associated with this, the things that we are proud of (excluding raising children) is often based on the hardest thing we’ve done.

    Extending on from the ‘hardest thing’, he explains that ‘happiness’ is a challenge just outside our reach, it is learning something new, where we have to grow and evolve to achieve it. The opposite of ‘happiness’ is chronic boredom. Bored employees are dangerous! In the end, growth comes from those who can sit with the discomfort. Often sitting with such discomfort comes from culture.

    For Fraser, culture is “how we do stuff around here.” He the example of George Mohler’s work around predicting crime and the problem associated with cultural bias of police officers to elaborate on this ‘stuff’. At the heart of it, our behaviour and mood are contagious. The question is whether our mood worth catching? (According to Fraser, the poorest work habit is contempt and lack of respect. We need to be very careful of this.) Small behaviours lead to big outcomes. To demonstrate this, Fraser argued that one of the biggest developments in medicine was nurses being able to question doctors.

    As an extension of this, Fraser argued that there is no such thing as a trivial behavior. He used a survey of American schools in which the most common item to be raised in staff meetings were the dirty cups left in the sink as lack of respect and humility. Another example was two small actions that Craig Bellamy made that has changed the culture at Melbourne Storm, that is, to socialise with/as a family and get a job in the off-season.

    Like many players before them, 13 of our new boys ventured into the world of full-time, labour-intensive work alongside their pre-season training duties as a part of the New Recruit Work Program.

    Started 18-years ago by our very own head coach, Craig Bellamy, the program sees new Storm recruits – regardless of reputation or experience – take on two 40-hour work weeks.

    The goal? Teach them about hard-work and gratitude.

    Source: Gratitude, Humility & Hard Work – Our Work Program by Melbourne Storm

    Every person impacts culture.

    One of the problem, Fraser stated, with culture as “the way we do things around here” is that it works like an immune system. When new people and ideas come in from the outside and try to change things, the system fights them off. The only way to change culture is to get a ground swell. Too often their is a lack of alignment between behaviour and values. The danger is trivial things that go unquestioned or unnoticed can often set things back. We will forgive a lot, but what we do not forgive is a lack of alignment, that is where trust dies.

    Associated with our behaviours is the challenge of our emotions. We have a big brain hardwired towards pessimism. In addition to the positive and negative ripples that we create, we need to consider how we respond. Fraser referred to Shelly Gable’s four responses to good news to explain this.

    Let’s imagine you have just told a colleague that you’ve been promoted. Here are Gable’s four possible responses:

    1. Active-constructive: the responder is enthusiastic, interested and supportive. They might say, “That’s brilliant news! I’m so pleased for you. Can I help you prepare?”
    2. Passive-constructive: they seem positive but their response is muted and with no enquiry. They say, “That’s nice,” with no real interest or enthusiasm.
    3. Active-destructive: in this scenario, they energetically belittle or reinterpret your good news, focusing on any negative implications. They might say, “Seriously? It looks like more work for not much money, and the people there are boring. It doesn’t sound that great to me.”
    4. Passive-destructive: they barely acknowledge your announcement or changes the subject. A typical response might be, “I see. Anyway, guess who I saw on my way in?”

    Source: Gable’s Four Responses to Good News by Mind Tools

    The question that we were left with is what small things we are going to do to help support change?