via Alastair Humphreys
via Alastair Humphreys
You don’t want to get the calculations on this wrong…
Put it in HD and full screen. Let it buffer a little first…
Twas not while England’s sword unsheathed
Put half a world to flight,
Nor while their new-built cities breathed
Secure behind her might
Not while she poured from Pole to Line
Treasure and ships and men –
These worshippers at Freedom’s shrine,
They did not quit her then!
Not till their foes were driven forth
By England o’er the main –
Not till the Frenchman from the North
Had gone with shattered Spain
Not till the clean-swept oceans showed
No hostile flag unrolled
Did they remember what they owed
To Freedom – and were bold!
More from the incredible Tim Minchin, well worth a listen
Each passing week proclaims it ever more clearly, we are in the shit. We’ve borrowed far more than we earn, securitized our borrowing a dozen ways so that each bad loan has incalculable effects (Warren Buffett called these derivatives ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’) and the stimulus plans seem to merely beget more stimulus plans. In the start-up world we are told to hunker down, cut everything to the bone and just try to survive until the market comes good again and we can once more spread our wings and fly towards an acquisition by (insert here). Those who have peeked out from underneath the tables have been batted down by ‘the powerpoint of death’ and other missives of doom.
We’re in the shit, and asking our most entrepreneurial minds to sit this one out. We’re in the shit, and the part of our economy best able to spur growth, create new jobs and get us out of this mess seem to be indulging in a fascinated self-castration at a time when courage, creation and competition are most needed. We’re in the shit, and crying out for the government to take bold steps, invest and rebuild the economy and yet shy away from doing the same thing ourselves.
We call ourselves entrepreneurs, let’s start acting like one. We should not be sitting around waiting for the economy to get better, there is no valley in the mountains in which we can cavort while the motor of the world grinds down. It is not enough to be willing to take risks when times are good, when a war is going badly the competent general does not hunker down and wait for it to get better, he realizes that he is the agent of change and that while the risk is greater, so is the prize. We are the agents of change in this economy, we can choose to wait it out, turning to each other and wailing ‘why doesn’t somebody do something?’ or we can act and watch as the world turns to us.
Let a thousand entrepreneurial flowers bloom in this deserted economy; no VC money? Ben and Jerry’s was started on the capital from two maxed-out credit cards. Poor market? Fix it yourself or find another one. My career has taken me from round-the world yacht-racing to international security to polar expeditions to web 2.0 and you’d be surprised how much your skills are transferable.
We’re in the shit and we are simply too damn important to sit this one out or do anything less than our most courageous, outrageous efforts. Now more than ever, what we do means more to the world than our own egomaniacal desires for greatness, this is us taking a strike to the cup and still standing at the plate spitting blood, bat raised and looking for space in the outfield. No more fear, no more caution, it’s time to step up.
McCain is right, one can’t trust a man who has been seen in the company of criminals.
We can see from this the quips vs. substance argument Biden will likely take.
Last year I wrote about my friend John Lake, who battled his way past brain tumours, depression, suicide bids and time in mental institutions to run the London Marathon and in some way find his purpose again.
John took something from that day and, to abuse a pun, he ran with it. On September 7th at 6am, John will zip up his wetsuit and enter the water for his first ironman triathlon. He will swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and then run 26.2 miles, a marathon. For someone who, two years ago, couldn’t run to the end of his block just getting to this stage is an awesome achievement. He will feel very different when he crosses the finish line.
When John ran the marathon he broke the record for money raised for the Brain Research Trust, with ten days to go he has already raised £7,300 and is aiming for £10,000. John is going to go through 13 hours of pain to show his support for people going through brain tumours, the least we can do is click on a link; please sponsor him now.
Professor Randy Pausch was three months and 12 days into his three-to-six months of good health left after Doctors diagnosed him with Pancreatic Cancer. This incredibly useful talk is made all the more poignant by the fact that this is a man who truly knows what it means to have limited time.
Footage from the yacht race I was a part of in 2000 has made its way on to youtube. Marvel at our death-defying feats, and see if you can catch the blink-and-you’ll miss it footage of me cowering below decks under my duvet with my teddybear firmly in my grip.