If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick everyday.

– Leonard Cohen

Via Richard Simmons

Advertisements

Why Britain Will Leave The EU – The Vote That Changes It All

It has just been announced that Britons will go to the vote, on whether to stay in the European Union or not, on 23rd June.

My prediction is Britain will leave, that Brexit will become a reality. I know this could well be future Claim Chowder.

The Balance of Power

Europe (including Russia) has always been a group of warring and squabbling nations. To keep the peace, Britain, throughout history, has acted to keep the balance of power.

WW II inspired the creation of the European Union. Now, the contrasting opinions, beliefs, and annoyances are clogged by the molasses of EU bureaucracy. The unified identity of the EU also prevents the kind of eagerness for expansion of any one state. It this organisation that keeps peace in Europe.

But, Britain has never needed these kinds of controls. The strength of the Empire that was, and its profile, has left a mark on us. It still makes us believe we have value, and other countries look up to us, because of our power of influence. The Empire has gone, but the sense of leadership it provided has not disappeared.

It’s this lack of a need for a balancing force that allows the UK to walk away from the European Union.

Desire

The most powerful method of attracting desire is to deny access.

Will people want to stop emigrating to the UK? Will companies not want to do business inside of, or with, the UK? Will Europe not want to deal with the UK?

My prediction is that, should Britain leave, things will feel different, technocrats will be busy rebuilding treaties and ways of diplomacy, but there will not be a long-lasting slip into negativity.

People want to come to the UK. Business wants to be done in London and to spread across the rest of the UK. The world wants to listen to Britain’s input in world affairs.

We, as Britons, forget this. We have a huge amount of history. The kind of history other countries lack. People want to see it. They love the pomp and grandeur, the iconic landmarks, and the quaintness we take for granted.

People will still want to enter, even more so, should the border become that bit more difficult to enter.

A Question of Sovereignty

Brits like their opinion, their views, their morality, and they like being able to have their laws reflect those views.

But, the EU limits the kinds of laws a member state can bring into existence. This causes disgruntlement with Brussels, a power that the people of Britain have no say over.

Brits follow the rules. Have you seen us queue? For that reason, we feel the full force of this beaurocracy.

The people of the UK don’t like the fact we don’t have full say over how our country should be run.

This is the main hook of my prediction. This is why there is negativity towards the EU in the United Kingdom.

The Weapon Has Arrived

For all those people who have been frustrated by the way the EU has handcuffed the kinds of decisions the public cares about, the arrival of the EU Referendum will be very welcome.

Finally, they will have an outlet for their anger. It will be a protest vote for all the wrong that Europe has done to their opinions.

They will not be swayed by the arguments of fear-mongering the In campaign will come out with.

I can see positives to both sides of the argument. But, my decision is not yet fully made.

But, I think the people will vote Out.

Kieron Heath is a healthcare technology professional, author, podcaster, and lifestyle blogger. You can download his debut novel, The Marsh, free here.

Why 62 People Owning As Much Wealth As Half the World’s Poorest is Bad

It was recently announced that 62 people own as much wealth as half of the world’s poorest. And that’s bad for everyone.

The research, conducted by the charity Oxfam, found that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – 3.6 billion people – has fallen by 41 per cent, or a trillion US dollars, since 2010.

While this group has become poorer, the wealth of the richest 62 people on the planet has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76 trillion.

I’ll say clearly here that my views are centre-right. I tip towards Conservatism, from a moderate perspective. That means I don’t believe in stealing from the rich to feed the poor, through high taxation, centralist policy-making, and the growth of the State. I have worked within industries effected by such policies and seen nothing that proved this was a good way of doing things.

What I do believe, however, is that it is more than possible for the entire world to benefit from econonomic development.

How is this possible? Through the moral judgement of those running businesses. It is possible to pay living wages to all of your staff, to value the skills and experience of your staff, and to pay into and to support the communities around where your businesses operate.

But, this is a major step in the wrong direction. Amassing a major wealth of money, with the kind of numbers that is difficult to fathom, deprives the majority from any ability to grow within their own means.

It’s important for businesses to realise that people begin from a starting point of knowing nothing. That’s why apprenticeships, or on the job training are important. There are great, intelligent, and talented people all around us. But, recruitment has been reduced to a pseudo-scientific process that looks for people who either know the rules of the game, can complete mind-bending tests that tell little about real on-the-job performance, or who have already done the job before. The entry-level does not truly exist.

Invest in the future of your business by looking for natural talent, energy, and a willingness to learn. This should be key for the entry-level of a business. It’s then up to you to invest in and nurture your people. It’s at that point that your people will invest back into you — and you will then get the most value from your talent.

And, as a member of the senior management team of a business, it’s important to realise at what level your own earnings should be enough. And that it’s time to reinvest that surplus into your staff salaries.

But, this is a difficult problem to solve. The issue transcends multiple cultures, economies, and societies. And that means, to unlock that wealth, we need consensus. And we know that’s not going to happen.

If it’s going to be resolved, it’s going to happen in a trickle manner. One business at a time needs to adapt to investing back into those that need the wealth more.

This the key element, though. It needs to be organic. You need to allow the market and the society to accomplish this. If you try and prescribe this through taxation and regulation, there will be nothing but push-back and loop-hole seeking.

And that means it will be slow.

KG Heath is a healthcare technology professional, horror author, podcaster, and self-improvement blogger. You can get his debut novel free here.

The Future is Coming – The End of Aging, and the Hybrid Olympics

I was fortunate enough to attend an event run by the Digital and Social Media Leaders Forum, the Health Futures Event. One of the key speakers at the event was David Wood, the chair of the London Futurists.

This blog focusses on what you can do to live a life where you can reach your full potential in work, life, and relationships. But, for a moment, I want us to explore the possibilities of the future, and how different the world might look in 20 years time (that’s not that far away).

Of the many things that David Wood discussed, there were two key subjects that I wanted to explore a little further: the chance to end the effects of aging, and, what I’m calling, the Hybrid Olympics.

The End of Aging

Whilst it is not certain that we will all be so lucky to live a long life, growing old, the population is certainly getting consistently older across the world.

The highest healthcare costs we pay are for conditions caused by the effects of aging. David Wood believes that within the next 20–40 years it will be quite possible for us to stop the effects of aging completely.

Ofcourse, we will have to decide, as a society, whether we believe it will be the right thing to end aging. It’s going to be a huge ethical debate as so many people believe that aging is part of the human condition. But, should we do this, we would not be the only creatures on the planet capable of not experiencing the effects of aging. The best known example, said Wood, is the Naked Mole Rat.

Another lesson we could learn from this same animal is the fact that it never develops cancer.

So, what could we do as individuals if we never grew old and withered? What projects, work, and philanthropic endeavours could we do?

The Hybrid Olympics

The current Olympics are based on the principle of rewarding the achievements of natural, unaided talent of human athletes. Major controversies are caused by doping scandals, where athletes attempt to sneak in performance improvements through medication and supplements.

But, as science develops the technology and drugs to vastly improve our abilities, wouldn’t it be amazing to see just what is possible by hybrid athletes?

Is it not exciting to see how we can push what can be achieved by pushing athletes organic systems to their maximum?

These games would truly be something from science fiction, with men and women doing things that we could not imagine.

Though, it raises an important debate. Would these athletes be seen as ’regular’ humans, or something very different?

This divide is going to be something we have to think about in the coming decades. As healthcare technology moves from being able to repair our bodies to greatly improving them, would that still mean these individuals are the same as ’base humans’?

The future is exciting, but we’re approaching one of the biggest moments in history, one where we need to truly shape the form our race takes, and the impact this will have on our civilisation, and our cultures.

It’s going to be our next Industrial Revolution scale moment, the Evolution Revolution.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

KG Heath is a healthcare technology professional, horror author, podcaster, and self-improvement blogger. You can get his debut novel free here.

What To Do In An Active Shooter Situation / Attack

Since the events of Paris, it’s clear that investigators are busy unraveling the ISIS terrorist network. My prediction is this has caused them to step up their attacks before they lose the chance to. 

There’s also the risk, in our daily lives, that some plain old crazy guy “talking to God on a two way radio”  might decide tonight is the night (couldn’t resist a bit of George Carlin).
So, what can we do if we find ourselves suddenly thrust into the middle of a terrorist attack / active shooter scenario. 

Turns out, quite a bit. This is morbid stuff, but just thinking this stuff through and being aware can do you a bunch of good.

Over the years I’ve talked to a lot of military, tactical, and law enforcement professionals who’ve spent their careers training and dealing with violent individuals: U.S. marshals, SWAT officers, and special forces operators. And I’ve asked them all this same question: What’s an average joe civilian like me supposed to do when faced with a gunman 

Read more.

How to Enjoy Winter Like the Norwegians

With winter coming into full swing here in the Northern Hemisphere (don’t forget the buggers down-south are enjoying their summer) it’s time for some reminders of how to avoid the gloomy nights and cold days from bringing you down. 

That’s right, it doesn’t have to be all bad:

Tromsø is so far north that from late November to late January, the sun never climbs above the horizon. Leibowitz went to study the residents’ overall mental health, because rates of seasonal depression were lower than one might expect.

Read the full article.

Moving On – Facing Tragedy, Loss, and Rejection and the Wheel of Life

 As I write, this is the view that I have from our new apartment in Greenwich, London. But, recent events could have dissuaded us from moving here. It is my birthday, but before I begin to celebrate, I wanted a moment to reflect.

It is one week since the tragic ISIS attack on Paris, only weeks since the bombing of a Russian commercial airliner, and the bombing in Beirut. People have lost loved ones, people have incurred life-changing injuries, or seen sights that will stay with them forever.

Sadly, this is all part of life. There are the good times, where everything is rosey, and full of life. And there are the bad times, where darkness draws in, and we have to fight through horrors, and the loss of people and times that are important to us.

If we allow these bad times to cast a shadow over the rest of our lives, we will be doing ourselves a disservice. As an individual, we need to remember that we have the rest of our lives ahead of us.

Period of Mourning

When we lose people that are dear to us, it is right for us to mourn them. It is only natural. And mourning is a strange time, because it is a process that keeps on taking its toll on you.

The stages are roughly:

  1. Loss / Sadness
  2. Anger
  3. Guilt
  4. Depression

But the most important step that seems impossible to reach whilst you are in the other stages of mourning is:

  1. Closure

You might go through every stage, you might go through only a few of the stages. The speed at which you move through the stages is also entirely dependent on the individual.

It is easy to become lost, to be swallowed by grief. It is a process that is completely internal, and no external force can truly influence it. It is up to you as individual to reach that final step.

When you’re ready – and this might be something you have to consciously decide to do – it is time to package up that memory of mourning, of loss, the acceptance that you will never get back what you have lost. You have to decide that it is time to stop looking backward, and that is is time to start looking forward.

Looking Forwards

There is nothing wrong with living your life following a tragic event. Yes, it is right to grieve, to come to terms with what has happened, but it is also just as important, just as right, to live your own life.

Even if the events have not directly affected you, you can feel an impact on your own life. For me, the attacks on Paris were an attack on the kind of City Life that me and my wife were looking for from our move to London. I felt anger, I felt sadness, and I knew that it could easily be us. But, I realised that a life lived in fear of what could happen, is no real life.

We decided to look forwards. We decided to live life how we want to live.

The Wheel

I have this belief that life is a wheel. It is like a gameshow wheel, with sections labelled Good Times and Bad Times.

As the wheel turns, the giant arrow can point to the Good Times. Things in your life will be great, your stress will be low, and you will allow yourself to grow. But, at times in your life, the wheel will turn and the arrow will point to Bad Times, and we know how that will feel.

But, what is most important to remember, especially when we have landed on Bad Times, is that the wheel will keep on turning.

When I’m in the midst of depression, stress, anger, or loss, I remember that life is a wheel and the Good Times will come around again. This thought has gotten me through many a dark time. And, in the end, I have been right, life did progress its way out of those darker periods.

Allow yourself to look forwards, to close the dark chapters in your life, and remember that life is a wheel.