Sunday, 24 May 2015

Failed Entrepreneur Achieves Financial Independence

PERTH, WA – Stating that his financial affairs had never been so uncomplicated and streamlined, local failed entrepreneur, Joe Bradley, says he could never have achieved total financial independence without his steely determination and sense of optimism, which ultimately ensured his complete financial ruin.

“Some people just aren’t prepared to go the whole nine yards and commit 100% to their passion,” the thirty-two year old destitute man said from the doorstep of his recently foreclosed home.  “Some people pull the plug on their dreams before losing all their assets and live to regret it.  Well not me!  I just didn’t want to be one of those people.”

Having sold all of his possessions and borrowed money from his close relatives to keep his ailing small business running for a few more miserable weeks of inevitable losses in the hope of a miraculous turnaround, Mr Bradley says he is relishing his newfound independence.

“I’m my own man now.  No boss telling me what to do.  No peak-hour commute.  No complicated tax problems – heck - no tax at all!  No reason to get up in the morning...  And I get to make my own hours!”

Free, and totally unconstrained by the burdens of success, or a loving family and friends, the recently divorced Joe says his newfound situation has given him the leisure time to appreciate the little things in life, with the clarity that only a man who has lost absolutely everything he once valued can attain.

“Because if you’re not doing it for the little things, then what are you doing it for?” he said.  “Now, where am I going to sleep tonight?”

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Do Future-You a Favour

Upon being handed yet another under-loved and long overdue task the other day, The Spear’s Spidey Sense began to tingle.  He was sure he had been served a similar shit-sandwich several years ago, and began searching his files for anything of use.  Thankfully, among his gigabytes of reference material, a single 4Kb file containing a few words was all that The Spear needed to save hours of work.  And who was it that The Spear had to thank for this felicitous file?  None other than The Spear, circa 2010.  What a guy.

Investing in Future-You is a pretty sound concept, although not one that many seem to take seriously.  The past Spear (once again, what a great guy) has previously written about the discounting of future events and the inability of some people to help themselves.  Basically, the problem with Future-You is they are rather soft-spoken as a result of their uncertain nature, leading some people to virtually abandon their future selves via a path of least resistance of immediate ease.

It is worthwhile to reassess your situation every now and then by asking yourself: am I doing what I am doing because it is the easiest thing to do right now?  If the answer is ‘yes’, you should probably stop and take just one moment to think of Future You and how you could do them a favour by expending a little extra effort for no immediate return right now.  They will thank you for it many times over!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Bill Shorten Speak

1.       Misdirect, misdirect, misdirect.
2.       Reframe every question in terms of Tony Abbott.
3.       Frame your answer in terms of ‘what the Australian people want’.
4.       Answer every question with at least three rhetorical questions.
5.       Ignore the question and instead use it as an excuse to talk about your own platform.
6.       Insert ‘Australians’, ‘future’, ‘vision’ and ‘positive’ into self-referencing sentences.
7.       Insert ‘mean’ and ‘unfair’ into every sentence regarding Tony Abbott.
8.       Conclude with a meaningless motherhood statement such as, “We’re not a divided society, but we’re a united society.”
9.       Take up at least 30 seconds of air time no matter how simple the question.
10.   Whatever you do, don’t actually say anything!  That would be too risky this far out from an election. 


What would you like for lunch?

That’s a good question, and one that I think all Australian’s have been waiting a long time for Tony Abbott to answer.  What I - unlike Tony Abbott - promise Australians, is that Labor, now and in the future, will start the positive process of talking about what the future alternatives of lunch look like, now, and in the future.  What do Australian’s want for lunch?  Where is the lunch of the future coming from?  Are we doing everything we can to create a sustainable lunch for our children?  But the point that I’d like to make is, unlike the Government, whose mean lunch options have been judged as unfair by the Australian people, Labor knows the difference between right and wrong, and Australian’s expect to be treated with the fairness they deserve, in matters of lunch or otherwise.

Tony Abbott bad.  Labor good.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Troll Repression

Trolling: Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and, hey, you can.
The Spear read an article recently about a soon-to-be website called ‘Karma’, which basically allows users to leave reviews and ratings of other people.  Apparently there will be some inbuilt safeguards against people leaving unwarranted negative reviews of other people, such as forms of identity verification.  However, seeing as you DO NOT need to be signed up to the site in order to be reviewed, and there are ways of fooling automatic identity verification, The Spear can’t help but think:

It is apparent when looking at the comments section of any YouTube clip or news article that a little anonymity goes a long way.  While psychologists have now dubbed it an Online Disinhibition Effect, The Spear would argue that the Trolls have been at work long before the internet came of age. 

Where now they comment on an article or a video online, trolls were once limited to those most public of private spaces - toilet cubicles, study desks and the like – which were (and still are) routinely smattered with such classics as “Mandy is a Slut”, “For a good time call XXX”, “Bobby has a small penis”, “Mrs xxx is a bitch” etc, etc. The only difference between now and then is that the same faceless slurs and attacks now have the ability to reach far more people than ever before, and offer more chance for interaction (although let’s be honest, some of those toilet cubicle debates were already pretty darn interactive).

The truth is the Trolls have always been among us; are still amongst us.  The internet hasn’t created Trolls, it has simply given them a space to voice what social convention by-and-large keeps repressed: the cruel, loud idiot within who gets to say exactly what they are thinking without fear of reprisal - brute consciousness in its most primal, pure essence.

Some people really are just monsters.  For them, it is the every-day social interaction which is the act, not the trolling.  The Troll is what who they chose to be in their free time when nobody else is looking, when they are alone with their thoughts and can be most themselves, albeit with access to a worldwide audience.

The irony of a being a pseudonymous blogger writing about the disinhibiting power of anonymity is not lost on The Spear.  However, he hopes readers would agree he has not used his anonymity to troll anybody, except perhaps the entire Australian Labor Party and CFMEU, just a little.

As bad as Trolls are, the growing number of sites like Karma aren’t all bad news though.  The same technology also has the power to enhance positive applications of anonymity, such as increased transparency of corruption and incompetence without fear of reprisal.  Perhaps a little trolling is the price that must be paid to cross the bridge into the land of transparency.  Or perhaps sites like Karma, if properly designed, could help to expose the trolls to the very societal pressures they are seeking to avoid.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Study Finds Best Time to Buy House is 20 Years Ago

SYDNEY, NSW - The Australian Institute of Real Estate Research (AIRER) today released a report analysing the best time for new property buyers to enter the market.  The detailed report, which studies the impact of seasonal trends and macroeconomic factors on the market, concludes that best time for first-time buyers to enter the market is precisely twenty years ago.

“The mid nineties are a solid time to buy – much better than today,” said AIRER President Mr Vouchsafe, at a specially held press conference today.  “Our study clearly shows that the best path of action for new homebuyers is to set up a high interest savings account, cut back their expenses, and purchase in the year 1995.”

“And the results aren’t time specific either,” Mr Vouchsafe continued. “No matter what stage of life you’re in, no matter when you are thinking to buy, the study shows you would be much better purchasing the same property some 7300 days previously.”

“It’s that simple.”

In what Mr Vouchsafe said was somewhat of a surprise to researchers, the findings are also believed to have applications outside of the real estate sector.  

“We also found that two decades ago would be the perfect time to start up that business venture you’ve always been considering, as well as the ideal time to embark on that dream career,” he stated.  “We think the study’s results have a wide range of applications, from getting your foot into the property market, to averting the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre.”

“The Australian dream is well and truly alive and within the reach of all.”