Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

Click on "contact", won't you, and wave right back at me?


Self is not one thing, but a coalition of different things. Different components may dominate at different times; for instance if I am tired, inspired, upset, or in a state of flow.

I can choose to act from different parts of myself, and to nurture particular parts.

It's not great policy to apply weed-killer to the nasty bits. They fight back. Weeds can be given space to exist. At best they'll flower (oh what an extended metaphor) and at worst at least they'll be integrated rather than pulling the strings from behind my back. 

Self isn't even inside my physical body.

My mind loops out via symbolic technologies, or simply my audible voice. What I mean is: I can relate to my own thoughts in certain ways via symbolic representation that are impossible without them. I write down some thoughts on a page, draw arrows, mash things up, reorder them. The page is part of my brain. I'm a cyborg.

Social roles mean my self isn't even separate from other people's selves. Mirror neurons inside of me fire equally when I observe another's actions as when I perform the same action myself. And who would I be without anybody, except a nobody?

My DNA is 99.9% the same as other people. On what basis am I not them and they are not me? On close observation they seem to tick very similarly to the way I tick.

It's clever how we have collective nouns for this sort of thing. Not me, the person, but us, the family, community, nation, species.

I can differentiate myself from other people, but whether I conform, or rebel, or act mad-capped, or commit acts of violence, or whatever I do, I'll still be very similar to what countless others have done. I can be any note on the piano I want to be, but whatever note that is, it's going to be on the piano. 


See 'complicity'.

Layers of agendas, some conscious, some unconscious, some in-between. Get into a debate and end up stubbornly sticking up for an opinion that in hindsight I realise I never even held. This is a dramatic example of a dynamic that is constantly at play in subtle ways.

Where is my energy going? What am I pursuing. What aspects of my environment do I attend to? What gets blocked out due to irrelevance? (Irrelevance to what?

So, I walk into a room, I want to know: what are the agendas here? Whose attention is going where? 

People direct their energy to their agendas. Where agendas overlap, or are reciprocal, there is complicity.


Caring, being invested in, heart is on the line. It matters if it fails. Worth pushing for.

We become complicit in mutual projects.

We become complicit in other people's lives. 

Until there is complicity, you might as well pack up, go home, and watch TV. I can become complicit in someone else's agenda, or invite them to become complicit in mine. Or, we can find some shared territory, or invent it, and become complicit in that.

Je ne suis pour toi qu’un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m’apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l’un de l’autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde.”
— Chapitre XXI, le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry