Thursday, June 1, 2023

Synthetic storytelling, the end of shared stories?

This text leads into an observation about synthetic storytelling, how synthetic storytelling may be defined and what synthetic storytelling might lead to. To get to that point I put forward a storyline, a story told to prepare you and align our contexts, so please “keep reading”.

(And no, this text is not a synthetic story, according to the definition I bring forward further down in the text)


One of the records (as in 33 rpm vinyl LP) that I frequently listened to before the digital era (pre-internet..) contained these text lines in one of the songs:

"If you'd come today you could have reached the whole nation/Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication"

This phrase stuck in my mind, and I can still relate to it when I think of storytelling and communication.

Fast forward to the last decade. I read Sapiens by Yuval Harari. It is a great story about the evolution of humanity and society. (I use the word “story”...) To me the book outlines some possible ways the growth and evolution of the world we know can be explained. The big picture explanations are to some extent perhaps over-simplified, but also very useful as a way to frame the broad dynamics.

Harari ties together a number of emergent innovations (that sometimes can be attributed to a single individual, but often are made possible by the context, and not seldom the same “innovation” occurs in many places independently).

One of the broad stories centers on the emergence of cities. A number of innovations,  emerging collective knowledge and behaviors, was needed for cities to spring into existence. Agriculture made production of food efficient enough to supply cities with food. However food is produced outside cities, and needs infrastructure and transportation. Hence roads, both on land and sea roads, are a needed condition for cities to be possible. For the same reason vehicles to transport the food are needed. Once cities emerged another problem needed a solution, humanity has evolved in a context where strangers can be a danger. Dunbar's number is an indication of how large a community we can have a relation across, and a city has more inhabitants than that number (150). In order to hack this limitation religion, more specific one-God religions, evolved. We are less suspicious to friends of friends than to a complete stranger, and as everyone within the same religion has a relationship with God we are all only two relationships away from each other. Religion is an innovation that enables trust between strangers. (Religion also enables other capabilities and behaviors, and not all are as positive as “trust”.) A religion is a joint story, a joint belief, that glues society together. A religion is an intersubjective reality.

Another storyline follows the role of language, and some evolutionary steps in how we use language, and related tooling. Language, or rather the storytelling language enables, has been an evolutionary advantage for humanity. It has propelled the advancement of society over time. Language is the enabler and engine for other major evolutions. Language enables joint stories. Language is an enabler for us to make sense out of reality, which applies to all types of realities including  intersubjective realities.

One of the first evolutionary steps of language was the evolution of spoken language. Sometime way back in our history we started to evolve a spoken language. Spoken language was, and still is, a very effective way to evolve joint stories. Joint stories, told by older generations at the campfire, creates a joint context which bonds a tribe together, and the stories told also transfers knowledge between individuals and generations. Spoken language makes it easier for us to learn from others, and relieves us from some of the burden to learn from our own mistakes, compared to the pre-language era.

Spoken language next evolves into written language. This evolves the stories to reach longer, both in spread and in time. A written story remains after the storyteller is gone, and is told over and over again to the reader, without any new effort from the storyteller. The storage of  stories and knowledge is no longer dependent on the memory inside our brains, we can hoard knowledge in collections of written stories. And of course the written word does not replace the spoken storytelling, the spoken word also evolves.

A next evolutionary step is the printed word, the innovation of the printing press. Over time this enabled mass-distribution of the printed word. More copies of every story written, more reach. More collections of knowledge (libraries). Shorter time to publish, and the emergence of newspapers with fresh stories at scale. And one important indirect impact was that “print” enabled a broader base of reading and writing ability.

We then see the emergence of broadcast media. Radio, movies, records, television. The possibility of storytelling at scale, with other media than the written/printed word. ("If you'd come today you could have reached the whole nation/Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication".)

The next era in storytelling evolution is the era of the Internet. Suddenly the spread of stories, both written and told using other media, is instant. The Internet era also brings two other components to the mix.

  • The distribution of stories starts to get influenced by other mechanisms than the earlier dominated “market forces”. Internet enables bespoke content streams, tailored to individuals and groups of individuals. Algorithms enter at scale, and machine learning (ML, sort of “AI”) begins to shape the algorithms.

  • Not only does the distribution of stories meet a significant lower marginal cost. Also the supply side of stories finds a lower barrier of entry, and a lower marginal cost. Internet has made it easier to contribute with stories to the storytelling arena. The emergence of user generated content and how it evolved into social media are effects of this. On one hand democratizing storytelling, which is not bad. On the other hand this abundance of stories has mixed with recommendation and filtering algorithms in a way that seems to create bubbles and polarization.

In the story on language I leave out the small scale, peer to peer, interaction. Individual interactions are coupled with the storytelling and knowledge exchange capabilities, but I want to put the spotlight on the collective characteristics of storytelling and knowledge collection.

I think the next major step in the storytelling story is what we see today. The past has evolved the way stories have been distributed, the story diffusion. The distribution channels for stories have become more and more efficient.  The supply side of stories has all the time been an artisan work, each story needed to be told and developed by someone. Now this is about to change.

You have probably heard of, and even played with, chatGPT. Perhaps you have dug even deeper in the landscape of generative AI. As the term, “generative”, implies it can generate content. It can generate stories. Easily, at scale, with low marginal cost.

Let’s frame this as synthetic storytelling. Stories that are generated in a synthetic way.

Some might argue that “we control and direct the storytelling, with the prompts, the instructions we give the generative AI”. Look closer. In most cases the prompts a short, and the output the stories are long. Synthetically generated.

This change in dynamics has several likely implications on our storytelling evolution:

  • We will be able to generate personal stories. Stories that are tailored to individual readers, either by the sender, but also increasingly by the reader herself. Bespoke stories. The only one that will read the story is you. End of shared stories.

  • There will also be an abundance of stories. The floodgates of storytelling just opened. How will we be able to filter out the good stories, the useful stories?

  • The corollary to the “abundance of stories”-situation is likely that most stories will not be consumed by humans. The stories will be primarily read by another AI, which in “best case” makes a summary for a human. Most stories will perhaps not be read at all, not even by an AI.

The last two scenarios merge together into one, where an abundance of stories are produced and consumed, with no human interaction.

The first scenario is however the most worrying to me. Up to now stories have been a shared experience for humanity. Not only “a shared experience”, but “the shared experience”. Joint stories are an integral part of the history and evolution of humanity and society. Shared stories fuels innovation. Shared stories are the glue that keeps societies together. Within and across generations we have joint stories we can jointly relate to. Over history these stories have propagated around campfires, via oral storytelling, in written text and printed books.

Now we might enter the era of bespoke stories, An era without shared stories.

Every story you read is only read by you. Every book you read is only read by you. Every picture you see is only viewed by you. Every movie you see is only seen by you.

This is the reality of bespoke stories. A scenario generated by the availability of synthetic storytelling.

Of course this is not an “either-or” scenario, or rather - it does not need to be an either-or-scenario. Will synthetic stories blend with shared stories? I do believe that the attention-market dynamics will favor synthetic stories and push away shared stories. We need to actively find a balance, and find mechanisms that ensure a balance.

What is a good balance? In one way it is of course a personal preference, and it needs to be. But it is also a joint preference, as in “what type of society might have good enough chances to continue to thrive”.

But that’s another story. And let’s make that a shared story!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Continuous corporate course corrections

You have seen The Epic Split, haven’t you?

As a marketing video it was a great success. It went viral. Countless parodies were made (including one from Höganäs kommun).

What captures your attention in the video? The split as such? The celebrity? The music? The sunset? Or the combination of it all? Watch it again.

Did you notice that the trucks are going backwards?

Everyone who has driven a car with a trailer, and tried to maneuver while reversing, will know the challenge. Which way should you turn the steering wheel to make the trailer move to the right? And why is it so hard to simply reverse in a straight line? When you drive a trailer forward you have a stable system. When you drive in reverse you have an unstable system. The approach is not as simple as “turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction compared to where you’d like the trailer to go”. You actually will find yourself doing constant small adjustments in both directions in order to balance the “unstable system”. 

Still, when you read about the Epic Split video a majority of the writeup is about the “viral video”-aspect, not about the “driving backwards” aspect. However, the video is after all a commercial for “Volvo Dynamic Steering”, which supports the drivers in the steering. Although I have been told it is easier with a semi-trailer, it is still an achievement to drive the two vehicles in the video backwards, at 25 km/h, while the stunt is performed.

A vehicle with a trailer usually travels forward, as a stable system, and has one degree of freedom (left/right). When occasionally maneuvered backwards it is a challenge to manage this unstable system.

What about a vehicle that is designed to travel in the unstable direction, at high speeds (higher than highway speed), and with more than one degree of freedom to balance (besides left/right also up/down)? Sort of like driving your car with a trailer, backwards, on a highway - but even worse.

One such vehicle is the JAS39 Gripen aircraft. It is designed to have “negative inherent stability in the longitudinal axes for improved performance”.

Not an easy stunt to pull off. You might remember what happened during one of the early flights, or at a public air show..?

Now, what does a pair of trucks and a fighter jet have to do with companies and “continuous corporate course corrections”?

In all three cases they are systems where you cannot simply “decide where to go, and then point the steering wheel in that direction”. You need to do continuous course corrections. Small deviations from the optimal course at every moment tend to self-enforce and throw you further off-track. In order to do continuous course corrections you need continuous feedback data. Feedback data fed and processed with minimum delay. If you correct today's course based on feedback from yesterday you are probably doing the wrong course correction.

The three systems and not exactly the same system, perhaps not even the same category of systems, but they share this joint overall characteristic. In the JAS 39 case there is a processing system that uses the feedback data to aid the pilot. In the Epic Split case it is the drivers that process the feedback data (the dynamic steering system supports in a different way). You can find many articles on how to process feedback data to drive a truck backwards.

What about companies? One of the main methodology areas that are relevant in this context is the area of management systems. A management system is “the way in which an organization manages the interrelated parts of its business in order to achieve its objectives” (which is applicable also to the other two system types). However, a corporate management system is often less “continuous”, and feedback loops often have long delays between the actual event that is measured and the analysis and decision. I argue that a big, and often neglected, part of the popular activity of “digital transformation” is to design a management system that is more natively built upon feedback loops and continuous course corrections than the management system frameworks that are used in a majority of today's organizations.

There are of course exemptions, and some operational frameworks have characteristics of this kind. One such thing is the whole area of “agile”, which is centered around “continuous course corrections”. However, the agile frameworks are struggling to find a scalable approach that enables this across large organizations, without negative side effects.

Once we accept that an organization, and its operations and its business is a complex system we can start to build upon the insights from other similar systems when we evolve the principles of a management system. 

What does a management system that natively has these properties look like? How can such a management system be constructed? What existing management system frameworks that fits this description exist? Any ideas? Drop a comment! 

(Going back to the start of this post, the Epic Split video is part of a series of promotional videos called “Live Test”. While the Epic Split was the one that went truly viral and the one that made suitable intro to the reasoning in this blog post, I think this one, The Technician, is also worth a look. And perhaps a separate blog post.)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Greetings from 2030 - a time when the oxymoron of ‘sustainable growth’ is, finally, gone

Dear 2020,

Reading this hopefully gives you hope and trust in the future. There is one! What it looks like we decide, every day. Sometimes it seems to need some magic, but remember that “magic is making the seemingly impossible possible”. There’s a big difference between “seemingly impossible” and “impossible”.

I remember that I watched the advent calendar on the Swedish television back in 2020. Something I hadn’t done for many years. I recall it was an effect of being mainly at home, every day, the full year. You can probably relate to that, even if it feels like a long time ago this shift happened.

The television advent calendar the year of 2020 was a story that included back holes, time travel and sending messages through time. Sending messages ahead in time, into the future. This is something that has been possible from the dawn of humanity.

Sending messages backwards in time is a bit trickier. When did we learn that? Well, “future will tell” :-)

Black holes was also the subject of the Nobel prize in physics back in 2020. (One of the laureates was Roger Penrose, who to me was more known for the Penrose tiling and other less galactic topics.)

2020 was the year when you could more clearly see that we were at the inflection point. A bit clearer than when I last wrote about it. The inflection point is rather an inflection period, a period of time when we shift from one era to another. A period of time during which our actions have a very high impact on the future.

Be aware of this. Also be aware that the inflection period is not over, it continues in 2021 and beyond. But proactive actions are best taken early in the inflection phase. Of course, the uncertainty is even higher in the early phases, so your actions must be guided on principles that embrace the unknown, and the actions must be designed to cater for the unknown. 

Giving guidance on how to get to the future, from the future, is very tricky. One reason is that the past, present and future are different reference frames. It’s a bit like telling someone to “turn right”, and getting the opposite result (“they turn left”) because their left is your right. I will however offer you two beliefs of the future that might guide you:

First, “you will get there”, regardless of if you’d like it or not. It is not about “how to get there”, it is about what it looks like. And the future depends on the past, and hence you impact the future with every action you take, collectively.

Second,, a more specific hint: “Rethink growth”. I remember that “sustainable growth” used to be a very popular term, which drove humanity into the inflection period. “Growth” as it used to be defined was a very effective engine to power humanity ahead. All the way into the inflection period. But growth the way we used to think about it is simply not sustainable. All resources on a planet, both the renewable and the non-renewable, are limited. “Sustainable growth” is an oxymoron. Sooner or later a system of growth reaches the limits and the laws of growth starts to break down. This leads to a bifurcation point which decides the future state of the system. Our system, the system of earth and the ecosystem of earth, including humanity. Are we going to “level up” for yet another era, or are we going to be a victim of the great filter in the Fermi paradox (an unimaginable future!)? A key aspect to nudge our path into the wanted future is to redefine “growth” and find a growth metric that guides us into the next era.

A few complementary thoughts:

  • “Digital assets and digital value creation” are not disconnected from the physical world. In the 2020 era value created on the digital side of the equation still impacts the (unsustainable) utilization of physical resources. 

  • “Technology” is important, but not the key ingredient of a sustainable future. We are leaving the industrial era, in which technology in the 2020 meaning was a central driver. Technology will still be a key part of our lives, just as grain and other agriculture products will be, and is, even after the agricultural era.

And in case you are looking beyond our planet. Yes, there are other planets within reach, and they are richer of resources than we might think. But all other planets within reach lack the most valuable and necessary resource! An ecosystem to be part of. To build up a complete, self-sustaining, ecosystem is a grand challenge that we still do not know if it is an “impossible” or just “seemingly impossible” quest for humanity. And before we know we only have one ecosystem, our planet.

We shape our joint future step by step, day by day and action by action. A learning from the 2020 advent calendar is in its title, Mirakel. Not in its literal meaning (miracle), but it is made up as a synthesis of the past and the present, of the present and the future. The protagonists in the Mirakel story are called Mira and Rakel, and Mirakel is a synthesis. Literally.

The protagonists in our narrative of the future are you, me and everyone else. “Act now”!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Herd Humanity (Flockhumanitet)

I read the news today, oh boy”. Flipping through the newspaper is an exploration journey, and weekend mornings are one of the good times for such excursions.
This weekend I found a nugget. Embedded in yesterday paper was an opinion piece, and in the opinion piece this nugget was present two times.
Herd humanity. Flockhumanitet in Swedish.
Let’s carefully detach this little nugget, and bring it into the light for a closer look.
Before we look at the term as such, let us briefly look at the context in which is was found. The opinion piece. The text brings forward the situation of the elderly in the corona context, how 70+ year old individuals in a higher-than-usual-rate are dying in caretaker homes. And are in no or little contact with relatives. A very urgent topic, with no simple solution. (and — this is also the topic for an article in today’s paper).

The opinion piece approached the topic from the role of the Church of Sweden. Also “relevant”, but perhaps not the most useful viewpoint for untangling the underlying wicked problem. (Or actually “system of interlinked wicked problems”, I think.)
Possibly with the exception of “herd humanity”.

I got the feeling that this simple term might open up for a new view on the “wicked problems” and help us find an “even better” approach. Almost like a “silver bullet”, but not in the Mencken way, but simple as in the “simple rulez” way.

Now, let’s have a closer look at “herd humanity” as a term.

It is obvious that “herd humanity” relates to “herd immunity”, which is an often used, and also (likely) an often misused, term in these times.

Incidentally, besides the term “herd humanity” yesterday’s paper also had a good example of “misuse of herd immunity”. In an article an individual states himself to be “herd immune” on his own (“Jag är redan flockimmun”).

I do believe that “herd immunity” is a collective state, not an individual state. Furthermore, it is not a “final state”, but a state you can enter and leave as a collective depending on a number of factors. If there’s any formal definition of herd immunity I think it starts from looking at the measured R of the disease. R is a metric that relates to the spread, not as in “spread speed”, but perhaps like in “spread width”. It can be partly understood as “the number of individuals each person that carries the virus transmits it to” and “R being sustainable below one” might be an approximation of a definition of “herd immunity”. Also part of the scope is that “R” can be different in different clusters.

This is a very rough starting point for the explanation and I will not even try that here… However, I do not think “herd immunity” is in any way an individual state. (Also, “herd immunity” is not a “strategy” in itself — but that’s a parallel potential post.)

This is the context the term herd humanity (flockimmunitet) should be explored. So, here, comes my take:

  • Herd humanity is a collective state of mind. A complex behavior of a network of humans.
  • Herd humanity is an emergent characteristic, and cannot be “decided” or “created”.
  • Herd humanity has not “one single definition”.
  • I frame herd humanity as a positive thing.
  • Herd humanity can be observed. Some metrics can likely also be defined and observed. The usable metrics are likely possible both on “herd humanity” as such, and potentially on activities that can increase “herd humanity”.
One such potential metric might be derived from the “pay it forward”-type of behavior. Like “if someone do you a favor, to who many do you pay it forward”. A measurement of reciprocity. The similarity to the R number is somewhat striking. However, in the “herd humanity” case you want an R above 1, while in the “herd immunity” case you want the R to be below 1.

Along this line of thought it might be that “herd humanity” is one potential outcome of the golden rule. And hence, the nugget discovered in the opinion piece might be a “golden nugget”.

Anyway, this is what I read into the term spontaneously. I am probably wrong, especially as in “not the only possible way of framing herd humanity”.

But the term struck a chord with me.

What about you? Any thoughts or ideas?

See the worst thing about doing this
Doing something like this
Is I think that at first people sort of are a bit suspicious
‘You know, come on, what are you up to?’”

When doing some due diligence research on the term I found nothing except references to the opinion piece when searching for flockhumanitet. When searching for herd humanity there’s some reference to the work of Nietzsche, who seems to view the term as not so positive in his book “Human, All Too Human”. I also found a number of cases where herd humanity was apparently mistakenly used instead of herd immunity. Finally, I also realized that “herd” in “herd humanity” can also be a verb.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Urban legends on Neuralink, a must Musk read

AI (Artificial Intelligence. But I assume you are aware of this meaning) is a big thing. A mega-big thing. A "we ain't seen nothing yet"-mega big thing. Something that is not easy to wrap your head around.

We have all seen and used AI and related things like ML (Machine Learning). Likely you have also seen and heard about possibilities just around the corner.

But perhaps "we ain't seen nothing yet". We might be at a stage of insight that compares to the future of "AI" the way the first pre-wheel, rolling log, make-it-easier-to-move-stuff, implementation compares to the worldwide systems of logistics of today.

The short version seems to be that AI will happen and will change everything, big time. Hopefully in a good way but the risks are not the usual ones. And if that is the case, what shall (and can) we do to increase the likleyhood that the outcome is "positive"?

A man, a plan, a canal - but not Panama

Enter Elon Musk, who is behind both Tesla and SpaceX. Elon Musk has raised concerns around the AI evolution, and also eg  sponsored OpenAI.

The man has a plan. He also has a canal, or rather channel, for the initial announcement and outline of the new venture Neuralink. He chose a blog and a blogger.

Perhaps an unusal channel for an introduction (and, sure, I would not be surprised if more traditional channels was used as well - but I am not aware of any and most coverage refers to the WaitButWhy blog post).

And, make no mistake, this is not a usual blog, nor a usual blog post. It's long. It's good. It's a must read. And again long. It was posted just over a week ago, and it took me five days to get through it. (OK, it is not that long. I did other things as well during these days.)

If you have read earlier posts on the choice by Elon Musk might not be all that surprising. Tim Urban (the blogger at WaitButWhy) already wrote a number of posts on Elon Musk and his earlier ventures, on a direct request from Elon Musk (start here), as well as a two piece blog post on AI which is another great read.

But if you only read one of the posts - read the post on Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future. It will help you wrap your head around AI and one approach that might prevent a singularity type existential risk.

The Musk Business Canvas

During your reading journey you will come across this image, the Elon Musk Company Formula according to Tim Urban.

Image from by Tim Urban. Used with permission.

You will find the canvas in the fourth chapter of the rad blog post, where this canvas is populated with both the Tesla and the SpaceX rationale.

If you have ever thought about the drivers of Elon Musk, or the concept of Massive Transformative Purposes, you will see how this canvas fits into the puzzle.

Don't get fooled by the lower left blue circle with the words "Starting Point". It is not the starting point. The canvas work starts in the upper right corner. The starting point for the canvas work in the Neuralink case is the "increased chance for a good future" in the context of AI.

In order to find the answers to the "how", "why" and other questions, go ahead and read. The reading will take you through the background and the population of the boxes in the canvas. You will read that "democracy is like escaping from a monster by hiding in a sewer", an you will learn things you didn't know. But take your time, you will need it.

And the ending is an interesting way of viewing AI: "in a future world made up of AI and everyone else, he  [Elon Musk] thinks we have only one good option: To be AI."

(The short version of this blog post: Read the post on Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future. Why? Read this blog post.)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lost and found

Most of us have spent time looking for something we needed to locate. Be it the car keys, that important paper or something else we urgently need.

Sooner or later that lost thing often turns up. With a bit of luck before the opportunity where the thing that is lost is needed.

In order to find the lost item fast enough most of us applies some kind of search, be it structured or more unstructured.

And everytime we search that lost thing is located in the last place we would search.

Naturally it is. Why would we look any further once we found what we are looking for? That wouldn't be rational.

We stop looking when we find the solution to the problem. That is the rational thing to do. But it is also a problem. Sometimes it is even "the problem". It might even be an irrational thing to do.

If you have a problem that needs a solution, it is very easy to stop looking when you find the solution. But likely you haven't found the solution, just a solution.

How do you know that there's a better solution, if you just keep looking? The problem is that you don't, so it wouldn't be rational to continue looking. But think again, compare with your experience from the past. How many times have you, sooner or later, identified a better solution after a while?

So how long should you then keep looking?

In the case of a simple problem like the car keys, the answer is obvious (or at least seems obvious). But there might be an other type of answer, and in order to identify that we return to the time before you found the car keys, or a solution to whatever type of problem you try to solve.

What thoughts went through your mind at that point in time?  Perhaps thoughts like "where did I (mis)place the keys?", "when did I see them last?" or even "who took my keys!?".

Or did you search for the solution (sorry, the car keys) while at the same time looking for an alternative solution? "If I do not find the car keys I need to take the bus, and in that case I need to stop searching in 45 mins and instead walks to the bus station." Or "if I do not find the car keys I can call my friend and ask for a ride".

If you continiously look for altetrnative solutions some magic starts to happen.
  • You will likely find an alternative solution before you find the car keys.
  • When you have a backup, alternative solution, you are not as stressed for finding the expected solution (the car keys).
  • And, in the general case, you realize that the expected solution is just one alternative solution among others, some of which known now, some of which will emerge in the future.
This is a liberating experience. And mind-blowing. It's the solution to all problems ;-)

(Some might draw the parallel to "parallel computing", or even with phenomena like quantum physics and Schroedinger's cat - but that's up to you. Just be careful, it might lead into a parallel universe or a higher dimension!)

So, next time you found what you where looking for, keep looking. You should constantly look for things. And at the same time you always will have an alternative solution ready.

Now, where are those car keys..?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cleese on Creativity

Serendipity is a great thing. Tomorrow I will be in the audience when John Cleese is on stage, and when I mentioned that at the lunch table today I was recommended to look for an old video where John Cleese talked about creativity.

Which I did. And I found several.

Two of the videos caught my attention, One shorter (approx 10 mins) and a longer one (more than 30 mins). Both are highly recommended, and I suggest that you enjoy them in this order. (Both videos are embeded at the end of this post.)

Cleese elaborates around two modes; open and closed  - and that creativity mood only can appear in the open mode.Suggestions on how to enter the open mode and unlock the creativity are given, and complemented with the note that actual creative insights sometimes (often) appears after the visit in the "tortois enclosure".

The shorter video is not dated, but might be from 2010. The longer video seems to be from 1991. It is fascinating to compare the overall messages and note how similar the stories are, but still performed differently - not only in the length of the talks.

There's a lot of take-aways from these talks, and I am sure you will both recognize some aspects, get ideas on how to move into the mood of creativity found in the open mode and - above all - enjoy the talks as such.

So - enjoy the videos, I did. And I will enjoy John Cleese live tomorrow, regardless if any lightbulb jokes are included. I am sure it will be a creative performance by a very creative comedian and public speaker.