If everything is about Work then what is Life?

Originally published 26/11/2018 I have helped to run a few amateur drama groups in different towns over the years and they are now strangely skewed in their membership. They’re full of old members (over 65) and young members (under 20) – the middle is missing. The middle is missing because people are at work and […]

On systems thinking and election behaviours

Just on Systems Thinking, there is quite a lot of criticism of the Labour victory in the UK General Election based on ‘% of vote’ statistics. This is not helpful or meaningful tho. The UK has a First Past The Post (FPTP) system of elections not a Proportional Representation (PR) system. ‘% of vote’ is […]

2 workshops for the European Accessibility Act

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) comes into force at the end of June 2025. What I hope for is that it does not get trapped by the idea that accessibility in design, products and service is about standards that can be managed thru checklists. This trap has led to many years of ‘technically’ accessible but […]

Telling stories, backwards and forwards

This is a post created by serendipity of encountering two new pieces of media at the same time. I finished reading Annalee Newitz’s Stories Are Weapons and watched the latest episode of Disney+ Star Wars series The Acolyte last night. This post is simply about reacting to the content of both and how they crossover […]

Energy and Intensity Cards – how to speak openly of (dis)comfort yet maintain privacy & autonomy?

I’ve been working on Cognitive Accessibility projects over the last couple of years and how to enable open conversations about personal capacity without losing personal autonomy keeps coming up. Asking people to talk of their own capabilities and how the environment around them (both architectural and social) affects them is hard. It exists on a […]

Google (and Apple) are lost and need to stop

When the most powerful man at the most powerful data company says he has no solution to AI problems? In this Futurism article, Sundar Pichai of Google says they cannot prevent their Artificial Intelligence systems from fabricating answers. <edit June 2024> When the most powerful man at the most powerful hardware/software company says he has […]

Fighting fascism with shifting roles in life

Text quite from boo that 'Delmer subverts any solid notion of what you are, always showing how any role you play in life quickly tips into the ridiculous

Just finished Peter Pomerantsev’s ‘How to Win an Information War: The Propagandist Who Outwitted Hitler’ and one of the points made in final chapter is not just about the narratives and communities we share but the identities we hold.

What authoritarians often offer is a stability of role or identity when life seems to be changing too much or too fast. This is comforting and confidence building for people who feel lost when they thought they would be powerful.

What Sefton Delmer (in charge of deceptive propaganda radio stations) was interested in was enabling identities and roles to become exaggerated and ridiculous. To show we choose our personal identities and individual autonomy can be in shifting identities. This relates to modern research, by Shoda, on contextual identities and how people shift and switch dependent on where they are, who they are with and what they are doing.

We help people by showing the roles and categories they are allocated or forced to choose are not all they are. Autonomy and anti-authoritarianism is in playing different roles and recognising those deliberate shifts.