Listened 052 | Something In The Water And The Bones – Rebel Code, Rebel Code,052 | Something In The Water And The Bones – Rebel Code, Rebel Code | People First – All Else Follows from

John Philpin unpacks the question, should everyone learn to code? His response is nuanced. He suggests that learn to code if you have a love and interest, but do not feel that it is an occupation that is guaranteed to make a lot of money. Instead, choose something that you are passionate about, understanding that appreciating how technology works is an important part of any business.

You wouldn’t think about running a business if you didn’t have the fundamental understanding of law and accounting, why would you assume that it is ok not to understand technology.

For me this comes back to Douglas Rushkoff’s message: program or be programmed.

Rushkoff’s discussion is broken down into ten modern day commandments:

  • Time and the push to be ever present.
  • Place and the disconnection with the local.
  • Choice and the pressure to forever choose.
  • Complexity and the ignorance of nuance.
  • Scale and the demand of the global spread.
  • Identity and the digital self.
  • Social and contact as king.
  • Facts and the demand to tell the truth.
  • Openness and the importance of sharing.
  • Purpose and the power of programming.

This reminds me of something I wrote a few years ago:

The challenge to me is to go beyond the question of instruction and understanding of different languages. Beyond debates about fitting it within an already crowded curriculum. Instead the focus should be on creating the conditions in which students are able to take action and create new possibilities. Maybe this involves Minecraft, Ozobot or Spheros, maybe it doesn’t. Most importantly it involves going beyond worrying about training or competency, as Ian Chunn would have it, and instead embracing the world of making by leading the learning.

Replied to (

I think I have referenced this issue before … despite Uber announcing what they have announced … the fact is if over 50% of the workforce are working pay check to pay check … are they going to stay home? Really?

This is a really good point John.💬
Liked Crisis? What Crisis? (

We might not understand why exactly smoking is bad for us, but we don’t argue. Few of us can really describe the science behind climate change, but most rational people know something is going on. The same goes for ‘fighting’ tech – and by ‘fighting tech’, I don’t mean assuming the position of Luddites. I mean pushing the industry to do what is right and return technology to being a tool of people – not of ‘controllers’.

Liked A Four Letter Word Ending In K (

‘The Future of Work’ is … nothing. There is no ‘Future of Work’. And before you get all uppity – I am not suggesting that work is just going to disappear, of course not. But I am saying that the Future of Work has nothing to do with work as we know it today. So let us plan for massive disruption – not business as usual linear thinking and look at what Income 2.0 might look like.

Liked The Gig Is Up. (

So why is so much energy pure into the idea that The Gig Economy is so wonderful?

It is not ‘The Future Of Work’, so let’s call it for what it is.

It is a way …

  • to pay (little and definitely less than the prior alternative)
  • people (without employing them and most of them have little alternative)
  • to do tasks that you don’t want to do (and right now can’t be done for less – but watch this space and watch even those people get replaced).
  • to line the pockets of the few (investors and senior management)

… because this is no sharing economy, this is the shareholding economy on steroids.

Replied to Fitting In Might Be All Bullshit (

An enlightening Ted Talk and just like Carlin before him – The American Dream is under attack. But this time there is more. This is not just about America. This is about people, individuality, questioning ‘falling into line’ and doing ‘what is expected of you’. Something that I have definitely on occasions taken to an extreme in my past.

Hell is other people or other people’s comments?
Liked Content (

As long as ‘we the creators’ fall into the trap of using low cost, homogenous, non-descript words like ‘content’ to describe our work, our soul, our beliefs our passion, our effort, then our work will continue to be viewed as ’free–to–cheap–to–low–cost’, homogenized, non-differentiated, interchangeable fodder and we will only have ourselves to blame as the payment for our art, our thinking, our ideas continues to race to the bottom.

Bookmarked John Philpin : Lifestream (

Music – Art – Thought – Books – Philosophy – Travel – Politics – Science – Film … sometimes in that order, sometimes not. And there’s more. This is a more complete list and no, you still won’t find ‘sport’ listed there

I already subscribe to John Philpin’s great newsletter People First, however I find that John shares even more in his ‘lifestream’. I am left wondering what is the difference between a ‘lifestream’ and a commonplace book?
Bookmarked 🎵 TADA 🎵 A New Look At ‘DATA’ (People First)

If you want to start at the beginning and understand why even a date is such a hot bed of debate, misunderstanding, inconsistency and irregularity, then go read D is for Dangerous. If you consider yourself to be someone who is part of the data industry, you might find this a little light .. so move on. But first .. if you think you know that Samuel Morse died on 04/02/72 … you might want to dip in and check your facts.

A is for Articulate provides a little history of how we came to understand the building blocks of the world we live in. Data is not the central theme but is a necessary part of the series because it connects to and provides some context for part 4.

Since 2006, the world has suffered (and I do mean ‘suffered’) through a series of analogies as people have attempted to describe data as the ‘new ’. T is for Terminating Analogies kills off oil, soil, water and music analogies. Data is not the new anything … it just IS, which I get to in …

Part 4 – A is for Another Way Of Looking At Data – a new way of thinking about data (no spoilers) but does start to explain why Data ‘Lakes’, ‘Warehouses’, ‘Mountains’ and ‘Farms’ are probably the wrong way of approaching the challenge, let alone the thinking!

John Philpin takes a dive into the world of data. He discusses some of the dangers associated with simplifying things, articlutes some of the hidden complexities, pushes back on various analogies, such as oil, soil, water and music, and argues that data is best understood as energy:

Imagine if every single person on the planet had their own dashboard that allowed them to indicate their needs, desires, wants and flag it so that anyone who felt that they could satisfy those needs, desires and wants could respond with an offer human-readable terms of the contract, pricing, expected timelines, etc. (Source)

This reminds me James Bridle’s discussion of metaphors in New Dark Age. This is also a topic that Kin Lane has been exploring lately, reflecting on surplus, ownership, the emotional trap and what goes unseen.

Replied to The Challenge Of Work (

ATS systems filter applications based on keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience, schools …. you name it. If you really need ‘3 years of full stack development’ for that job you are looking to fill – then the system weeds out any resume that doesn’t reveal that the candidate has a minimum of three years doing just that.

So, the winning candidate needs to be just as skilled at tuning their resume, cover letters and conversations to maximize the chance that the AI picks them … as they are at actually doing the job they are applying to fill!

John, this was an interesting read, especially in light of Malcolm Gladwell’s call to remove the name of the university from applications in a recent podcast.

From experience, when people bypass the AI or properly filtering the various applications, they fall back on who they know, which sometimes promotes certain types over others.

There has to be a better way, just not sure what it is.

Bookmarked Owning Your Content – Blottings by John Philpin (

To me, the ‘owning your own IP’ (because at the end of the day that is what it is, your Intellectual Property) is the key.

Do you own it? Is it protected? Can someone lift this entire article and post it as their own? THAT’S the ownership debate.

John Philpin reflects on content, ownership and intellectual property. It reminds me of the discussion associated with domain of one’s own from last year.