So You Want to be an Artist: when social scientists don the beret

“Arts-based research methods are a qualitative interpretative approach used by researchers working in a wide array of disciplines including education, anthropology, health and nursing, psychology, cultural theory, urban studies, geography, sociology, and when researching youth (Barone, 2006; Beck et”

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Soldier charged after ‘going rogue’ during computer game on virtual battlefield

“The Edinburgh-based Army rifleman is believed to be the first soldier to be punished under UK military law for offences in a virtual scenario rather than in real life. He is said to have been fed-up with being stuck at a computer rather than training outside.

This is interesting in that the person is seen as a risk due to behaviour in online space, ie a simulation.

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The Attention Economy

“Feeling the need to check your smartphone, like or post on social media? Then you’re part of the attention economy. David Grossman discovers why it’s so hard to resist the billion-dollar industry of digital distraction.”

Radio 4 radio show, The New Age of Capitalism

How our economy works is changing through the internet. It is like trading can now take place in a new place with new rules and new risks and new benefits. Another view is of the Surveillance Capitalism.

David Richardson talks to Tim Wu, author of ‘The Attention Merchants, The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads’ and former Google executive James Williams, author of ‘Stand Out of Our Light, Freedom and Persuasion in the Attention Economy’.

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Praise You

This is a link to a radio programme here about Bertholt Brecht, activist and theatre practitioner.

It is about his poem Vergnügungen.

One of the contributers talked about how the poem, just 16 lines, came out of an adventure journey he took, fleeing the Nazi party. She relates how he moved to Denmark, then Sweden, then Finland and on each move discarded more and more of the things and people he knew. In the end all he had was what was before him. Hence the poem.

It was in equal measure inpiring and interesting and set me off on my own adventure journey.


Der erste Blick aus dem Fenster am Morgen 
Das wiedergefundene Buch 
Begeisterte Gesichter 
Schnee, der Wechsel der Jahreszeiten 
Die Zeitung 
Der Hund 
Die Dialektik 
Duschen, Schwimmen 
Alte Musik 
Bequeme Schuhe 
Neue Musik 
Schreiben, Pflanzen 
Freundlich sein


First look from morning’s window
The rediscovered book
Fascinated faces
Snow, the change of the seasons
The newspaper
The dog
Showering, swimming
Old music
Comfortable shoes
New music
Writing, planting
Being friendly

The idea of journey or adventure struck me as a form of moving meditation, that whilst journey being a moving thing, it always brings you to the ever present here and now. To the simple pleasures.

There is a quote from Renny and Terry Russell in ‘On The Loose’ that goes

‘Hot fudge meets deep needs’.

Renny and Terry Russell

I always thought ot it when I got to a campsite, wet and cold, and put up the tent and put on my dry clothes, and had a hot drink. Deep needs were met.

In Germany Vergnügungen is a standard text, and another contributor talked about how it is used to invite students to write their own version of Vergnügungen. Their list their own ‘hot fudge’ things.

I listened whislt looking through my own ‘morning’s window’ to my back yard and the scrub beyond. It is a sea of green, the cow parsley is as high as an elephants eye, the fledglings have fledged. we have a pond full of froglets. Simple things. Pleasure.

The poem is about simple praise of simple things.

My mind went to ‘Praise You’ by Fat Boy Slim.

Praise You

It is a deeply wonderful video. A simple pleasure. Insane.

Now… Should you find yourself out somewhere and available to do some insane wonderful thing, here’s what you could do.

Look and list the things you can see that bring you pleasure and praise them. Or plant a single foot and gimbal around it, and reach and touch all the touchable things that give you pleasure and praise them. And, if there is a bunch of you, or just the one of you, go somewhere nobody can see you and dance, or if you are brave enough, do your own flashmob in the street and scare the neighbours.

Simple pleasures.