James Musson

April 8, 2021

Rose Tinted

This post has been in draft for almost a week. Some days I don’t feel like writing anything, or expressing much at all. I’d rather stay under the covers, blinking, perhaps, and gazing out of the window, watching the rest of the world live while I stand still. But life doesn’t give such options. The hours still pass, the sun still moves...
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March 25, 2021

Objective Free

The marvel of our technological age is that almost anything we can imagine can be created. Basically speaking. A website starts as a blank white page. Add a few tags of HTML: <!DOCTYPE html> <h1>Hello, World</h1> Now there's a page with content, communication potential at maximum! What's next? As the saying goes, ideas are cheap but it...
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March 19, 2021

Blue Sky Thinking

I don't remember where I read this, and I'm not entirely sure I haven't made it up. But it rings true. The combination of blue and green that greets us on a sunny day on a walk in a grassy field makes our brains feel happy. That's probably not the full explanation of the neurology. But, still, in my experience it makes me feel better a...
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March 14, 2021

Taking Responsibility

Why are you apologising? For a number of reasons, this week has taken an emotional toll on me. Part of this is because of my job, in which I work shifts including nights. But part of this is because the events of this week in the UK have hit me hard. People who know me well will know that I apologise a lot. Even when something has noth...
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March 11, 2021

Trains of Thought

Every contact leaves a trace. This is Locard's exchange principle, from which evolved forensic science. In that context, it is understood that any person at the scene of a crime will have brought something with them and will take something away with them. Thus if there is a trace of a certain person in an incriminating context, it buil...
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March 10, 2021

Anger Management

I've been reading a fair amount of material about stress recently. I don't think it's by accident. A key theme is the toxic effects of stress on our bodies. Essentially, we have one response to stress, whether it's from a predator bearing down on us in the street, an email which is attacking us (perceived or actual), or the long-term s...
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March 9, 2021

Apostrophe Catastrophe

I wrote the contents of this post a few years ago to help me understand when apostrophes should and shouldn't be used. I offer it in case it's of help to others. Let's start by forgetting any notion that the presence of the letter "s" automatically attracts an apostrophe. There are lots of cases where the "s" is fine without an apostro...
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March 8, 2021

Covid Rules

Today, 8th March, marks the first day of easing of the lockdown rules in England and Wales. It's not a dramatic change. Primary schools are open again for all pupils, and (let celebrations commence) I can now exercise with one other person outside and do something recreational with that person. Like a picnic. (We have to wait until 29t...
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March 7, 2021

Follow the Leader

One day you may wake up and find you’re a leader. Or, more accurately, you will realise that you already are a leader and decide to lead more consciously. When this happens, your values come into focus. I find myself drawn to task-focused completion: finishing the work is key. But when I’m faced with a good opportunity, the finish line...
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March 6, 2021

Knowledge Check

Yesterday I was treated to a morning of online training while working from home. This consisted of the standard training day fayre: a slideshow, a presenter reading from that slideshow, then a quiz to check I’d been paying attention. That quiz bore the euphemistic title of a "Knowledge Check". 10 questions, fairly detailed, to check if...
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March 4, 2021

Critical Writing

We like to think there's such a think as critical thinking. But the reality is, until it's expressed in writing, it's really critical circling. The brain plays marvellous tricks through our thoughts. The deceptive feeling of certainty that comes from a thought doing its rounds of the brain. The fleeting visual images that make those th...
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