Monday, 29 November 2010

Who will guard the guards themselves?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase from the Roman poet Juvenal, which is literally translated as "Who will guard the guards themselves?" Also sometimes rendered as "Who watches the watchmen?", the phrase has other idiomatic translations and adaptations such as "Who will guard the guards?".

In the Perseus System the Guards (Administrators) and Protectors (Teachers and Counsellors) are different. And the Priests and Managers will also be different.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010



[< Anglo-Norman nacion, nacioun, naciun, nation, natiun, etc., and Middle French nacion, nation (early 12th cent. in Old French in plural as naciuns denoting gentiles; late 12th cent. in senses ‘birth’, ‘a people united by common language and culture’, and ‘family, lineage’; early 13th cent. in sense ‘descendants’, early 14th cent. in sense ‘innate character’; late 14th cent. in sense ‘the native population of a town’; late 15th cent. denoting a division of the university of Paris; 1505 in the passage translated in quot. 15231 at sense 7b in sense ‘native population of a town’; 1668 in French in sense ‘species of animal’; 1765 in sense ‘territorial division of the Maltese Order’) < classical Latin ntin-, nti birth, race, nation, class of person, in post-classical Latin also (in plural, nationes) denoting gentiles (Vetus Latina: the Vulgate has gens), (in singular) the animal kingdom (Vulgate), Irish clan (1336, 1566 in Irish sources), division of university students (mid 13th cent. with reference to the university of Paris, a1350 with reference to the university of Oxford, 15th cent. with reference to Scottish universities) < nt-, past participial stem of nsc to be born (see NASCENT adj.) + -i -ION suffix1.
Compare Italian nazione (1294), Spanish nación (1444), Portuguese naçao (1691; 14th cent. in forms naçõ, nasçião), and also German Nation (14th cent.).]

I. A people or group of peoples; a political state.

1. a. A large aggregate of communities and individuals united by factors such as common descent, language, culture, history, or occupation of the same territory, so as to form a distinct people. Now also: such a people forming a political state; a political state. (In early use also in pl.: a country.)



Ambiguity in usage
In the strict sense, terms such as "nation," "ethnos," and "people" (as in "the Danish people") denote a group of human beings. The concepts of nation and nationality have much in common with ethnic group and ethnicity, but have a more political connotation, since they imply the possibility of a nation-state.

Country denominates a geographical territory,[3] whereas state expresses a legitimized administrative and decision-making institution. Confusingly, the terms national and international are used as technical terms applying to states. International law, for instance, applies to relations between states, and occasionally between states on the one side, and individuals or legal persons on the other. Likewise, the United Nations represents selected sovereign states, while nations that are free, per se, are not admitted as members.

A Sovereign state is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, independence from other states and powers, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states.It is also normally understood to be a state which is not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. While in abstract terms a sovereign state can exist without being recognised by other sovereign states, unrecognised states will often find it hard to exercise full treaty-making powers and engage in diplomatic relations with other sovereign states.


al·ter·na·tive   /ɔlˈtɜrnətɪv, æl-/ Show Spelled
[awl-tur-nuh-tiv, al-] Show IPA

1. a choice limited to one of two or more possibilities, as of things, propositions, or courses of action, the selection of which precludes any other possibility: You have the alternative of riding or walking.
2. one of the things, propositions, or courses of action that can be chosen: The alternative to riding is walking.
3. a possible or remaining course or choice: There was no alternative but to walk.
4. affording a choice of two or more things, propositions, or courses of action.
5. (of two things, propositions, or courses) mutually exclusive so that if one is chosen the other must be rejected: The alternative possibilities are neutrality and war.
6. employing or following nontraditional or unconventional ideas, methods, etc.; existing outside the establishment: an alternative newspaper; alternative lifestyles.
7. Logic . (of a proposition) asserting two or more choices, at least one of which is true.


[ad. L. alternãti-us pa. pple. of alternã-re to do one thing after the other; f. altern-us ever the other, every second; f. alter the other of two, the second.]


[ad. med.L. alternãtîvus, f. L. alternãt- ppl. stem of alternãre: see ALTERNATE a. and -IVE.]


[a. 14th c. Fr. altére-r (Pr. or It. alterar) ad. med.L. alter-re, f. alter other.]

native n

[< post-classical Latin nativus a person born in bondage (frequently in British sources from the late 12th cent.), a person born in a specified place (late 14th cent. in a British source), use as noun of classical Latin ntvus NATIVE adj. In later use sometimes directly from the Latin adjective. Compare Middle French, French natif (mid 16th cent.), Italian nativo (16th cent.), both in sense 3a.]

native adj

[< Middle French, French natif belonging to the origin of an object (late 14th cent.), born in a particular place (early 15th cent.), (of metal) occurring naturally (1762; early 12th cent. in Old French (in a Franco-Occitan context) in form natiz in sense ‘originating (from a place)’) and its etymon classical Latin ntvus having a birth or origin (see note), innate, natural, naturally occurring, (of words) used with their natural meaning, in post-classical Latin also born in a particular place (9th cent.; late 12th cent. in a British source), that is the place of a person's birth (from the second half of the 11th cent. in British sources), holding a certain position by right of birth (late 11th cent. in a British source), born in bondage, and spoken in a person's place of birth (both from 12th cent. in British sources), < nt-, past participial stem of nsc to be born (see NASCENT adj.) + -vus -IVE suffix. Compare NAIVE adj.
Compare Old Occitan, Occitan nadiu (c1200; also in Occitan as natiu), Spanish nativo (1424), Italian nativo (1532; early 14th cent. as natio), Portuguese nativo (16th cent.), Catalan natiu (1805; 1120 as nadiu).
In sense 8 after classical Latin ntvus in Cicero De Natura Deorum 1. 10. 25.]



1580s, "offering one or the other of two," from M.L. alternativus, from L. alternatus, pp. of alternare (see alternate). Sense of "the other of two which may be chosen" is recorded from 1838. Adj. use, "purporting to be a superior choice to what is in general use" was current by 1970 (earliest ref. is to the media); e.g. alternative energy (1975).


< Medieval Latin alternativus < Latin alternare (“to do by turns”), past participle alternatus; see alternate.

Alternative culture
From Wikipedia,

Alternative culture is a type of culture that exists outside or on the fringes of mainstream or popular culture, usually under the domain of one or more subcultures. These subcultures may have little or nothing in common besides their relative obscurity, but cultural studies uses this common basis of obscurity to classify them as alternative cultures, or, taken as a whole, the alternative culture. Compare with the more politically charged term, counterculture.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

De-escalation and interpersonal/communication skills

De-escalation and interpersonal/communication skills

Staff employ communication and de-escalation skills to manage aggression and prevent violence from escalating as far as possible.

Dialogue from the Owler

The Crackpots

Murder by Poison followed by Suicide

Many people psychiatry as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? The murders changed all that. Revealed psychiatry is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives the Psi Cops unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it teaches their disciples to others label people by nasty disorders. Let's now stop being so damned respectful to those bastards!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

For Whom the Bell Tolls

John Donne (1572-1631), Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII: Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris:

"Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.

Workplace Bullying Gossip: What Can You Do?

Workplace Bullying Gossip: What Can You Do?

Gossip. We've all heard about it. We've all 'done it'. We've all been on the receiving end of it too. No one is immune. Yes, some are addicted to it and use it as a means of connecting with others. Bullies thrive on the usage of gossip. It takes a true leader to not participate in gossip. Furthermore, it takes a true leader to stop it. So now what?

They say if you really want to know what people think about you, go to the washroom at work and wait to hear what others say! Well, even if you've never done that or won't do that, know that gossip is happening everywhere. The question is, do you have a personal policy with regard to not spreading gossip? Do you have an organizational policy? What can you do if you are on the receiving end? What is gossip anyway?

What is Gossip?
Gossip can be explained as: Rumor or discussion of a personal or sensational tone.

Why Do People Gossip?
Gossip is a way of avoiding responsibility for one's feelings, and it can be used by someone with a lower self-image as a way to connect with others and feel better about oneself, but at the expense of another.

Gossip acts as an external substitute to filling one's own needs without having to face anything that is going on inside such as rejection, fear, etc. Know this: it is hard to truly connect with others when you are disconnected from yourself. This won't change until you are willing to practice staying mindful with your own feelings and take responsibility for them rather than avoiding them with gossip. Bullies choose gossip as a tactic many times. Why? It's so much easier than facing their own lack. People gossip out of lack.

Why Does a Bully Use Gossip?
Gossip fits well into the bully's plan. The bully can stretch or bend the truth or make up a lie about a target and not confront the target directly. Remember, gossip is indirect, passive behavior that the target is not usually included in directly. The bully uses gossip, the most powerful form of control in an organization, in order to discredit an individual. If the target is discredited, the bully gets a 'rush' to feel their addiction of needing power over.

Why Do People Enjoy Hearing Gossip?
Gossip is almost always something personal toward the target where the target is being presented as 'less than'. When we hear of someone as 'less than', we do not have to do the work to be more ourselves. Competitiveness is king in this equation. Anyone addicted to competitiveness and envy will surely have to discipline themselves to not gossip.

So, What's The Answer?
Decide to stop participating in gossip.
When you hear gossip, resist the temptation to contribute.
Advanced leadership: confront the person gossiping by changing the subject if someone seems to be a good person and just got off track.
Advanced leadership: confront the person gossiping by talking to them after privately if you feel they could 'hear you' and not become defensive.
Advanced leadership: confront the person within the group publically right away to help the target save face if the person gossiping is really running the target down.
If gossip is a problem in your organization, share with your manager that you'd like to see a policy in place to ward off gossip. Remember, a policy about anything must be clear as to what it is and what the consequences are if it happens.
If you are a target and you find out after the fact, continue to log your issues and have a collective case to go to a higher authority. Resist the need to defend yourself right away. Plan your move.
Remember, the truth rises to the top. Most people hearing gossip don't usually feel good about the person gossiping even though you can be under the illusion they are 'getting along so well'.
Become the change you want to see in the world, says Gandhi and stay positive by your example.
Become more and more rooted into who you are and why you are here. Great leaders who have had to fend off gossip often say 'the vision leads the leader' even though there may be muddy waters...and there are muddy waters for us all.

Here's to a week of support, kindness, gentleness, patience and hope.

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to

You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system. We ask you not to edit the content and that you leave the links and resource box intact. © Bully Free at Work.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Jobsite: Profiling Theory

The Theory Bit
You're probably wondering where this all came from. Well, it started from within the company: 2005 saw us celebrate our 10th birthday, and like all great milestone ages in your life it gets you thinking. We realised how much we've changed as a company and how much we have changed as individuals over the last 10 years. We realised that different people want different things from their work life, will need different management and will be attracted by completely different things. We also realised if the individual doesn't match the company culture - it is a lose-lose situation for both parties.

Friday, 12 November 2010


toady (td)
n. pl. toad·ies
A person who flatters or defers to others for self-serving reasons; a sycophant.
tr. & intr.v. toad·ied, toad·y·ing, toad·ies
To be a toady to or behave like a toady. See Synonyms at fawn1.


[From toad.]
Word History: The earliest recorded sense (around 1690) of toady is "a little or young toad," but this has nothing to do with the modern usage of the word. The modern sense has rather to do with the practice of certain quacks or charlatans who claimed that they could draw out poisons. Toads were thought to be poisonous, so these charlatans would have an attendant eat or pretend to eat a toad and then claim to extract the poison from the attendant. Since eating a toad is an unpleasant job, these attendants came to epitomize the type of person who would do anything for a superior, and toadeater (first recorded 1629) became the name for a flattering, fawning parasite. Toadeater and the verb derived from it, toadeat, influenced the sense of the noun and verb toad and the noun toady, so that both nouns could mean "sycophant" and the verb toady could mean "to act like a toady to someone."

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Wind Troll

Ysätters-Kajsa was a wind-troll, not a dark and gloomy troll, but a happy and playful one. What she liked most, was a real gale ....

Friday, 5 November 2010

Grammar: Art & Science


[ad. OF. gramaire (F. grammaire), an irregular semipopular adoption (for the form of which cf. OF. mire repr. L. medicum, artimaire repr. L. artem magicam or mathematicam) of L. grammatica, ad. Gr. (scil. art), fem. of adj., of or pertaining to letters or literature, f. letters, literature, pl. of letter, written mark, f. root of to write. Cf. Pr. gramaira (prob. from Fr.). Old Fr. had also a learned adoption of the L. word, gramatique, parallel with Sp. gramática, Pg., It. grammatica, G. grammatik, Welsh gramadeg.

In classical Gr. and L. the word denoted the methodical study of literature (= ‘philology’ in the widest modern sense, including textual and æsthetic criticism, investigation of literary history and antiquities, explanation of allusions, etc., besides the study of the Greek and Latin languages. Post-classically, grammatica came to be restricted to the linguistic portion of this discipline, and eventually to ‘grammar’ in the mod. sense. In the Middle Ages, grammatica and its Rom. forms chiefly meant the knowledge or study of Latin, and were hence often used as synonymous with learning in general, the knowledge peculiar to the learned class. As this was popularly supposed to include magic and astrology, the OF. gramaire was sometimes used as a name for these occult sciences. In these applications it still survives in certain corrupt forms, F. grimoire, Eng. GLAMOUR, GRAMARYE.]

1. a. That department of the study of a language which deals with its inflexional forms or other means of indicating the relations of words in the sentence, and with the rules for employing these in accordance with established usage; usually including also the department which deals with the phonetic system of the language and the principles of its representation in writing. Often preceded by an adj. designating the language referred to, as in Latin, English, French grammar.
In early Eng. use grammar meant only Latin grammar, as Latin was the only language that was taught grammatically. In the 16th c. there are some traces of a perception that the word might have an extended application to other languages (cf. quot. 1530 under GRAMMATICAL 1); but it was not before the 17th c. that it became so completely a generic term that there was any need to speak explicitly of ‘Latin grammar’. Ben Jonson's book, written c1600, was app. the first to treat of ‘English grammar’ under that name.
As above defined, grammar is a body of statements of facta ‘science’; but a large portion of it may be viewed as consisting of rules for practice, and so as forming an ‘art’. The old-fashioned definition of grammar as ‘the art of speaking and writing a language correctly’ is from the modern point of view in one respect too narrow, because it applies only to a portion of this branch of study; in another respect, it is too wide, and was so even from the older point of view, because many questions of ‘correctness’ in language were recognized as outside the province of grammar: e.g. the use of a word in a wrong sense, or a bad pronunciation or spelling, would not have been called a grammatical mistake. At the same time, it was and is customary, on grounds of convenience, for books professedly treating of grammar to include more or less information on points not strictly belonging to the subject.
Until a not very distant date, Grammar was divided by Eng. writers (following the precedent of Latin grammarians) into Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody, to which Orthoëpy was added by some authors. All these terms (except Syntax) were used more or less inaccurately (see the several words). The division now usual is that into Phonology, treating of the sounds used in the language, Accidence, of the inflexional forms or equivalent combinations, and Syntax, of the structure of sentences; the branch of grammar dealing with the functions of the alphabetic letters is usually treated along with the phonology.



1. An air of compelling charm, romance, and excitement, especially when delusively alluring.
2. Archaic A magic spell; enchantment.


[Scots, magic spell, alteration of grammar (from the association of learning with magic).]
Usage Note: Many words, such as honor, vapor, and labor, are usually spelled with an -or ending in American English but with an -our ending in British English. The preferred spelling of glamour, however, is -our, making it an exception to the usual American practice. The adjective is more often spelled glamorous in both American and British usage.

1. Magic, enchantment, spell; esp. in the phrase to cast the glamour over one (see quot. 1721).

?17.. Johnny Faa in Ritson Sc. Songs (1794) II. 177 As soon as they saw her well far'd face, They coost the glamer o'er her. 1720 RAMSAY Rise & Fall Stocks 152 Like Belzie when he nicks a witch, He..Casts o'er her een his cheating glamour. 1721 Gloss. to Poems s.v., When devils, wizards or jugglers deceive the sight, they are said to cast glamour o'er the eyes of the spectator. 1789 BURNS Capt. Grose's Peregrin. iv, Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamor, And you deep read in hell's black grammar, Warlocks and witches. 1830 SCOTT Demonol. iii, This species of Witchcraft is well known in Scotland as the glamour, or deceptio visus, and was supposed to be a special attribute of the race of Gipsies. 1859 TENNYSON Enid 743 That maiden in the tale, Whom Gwydion made by glamour out of flowers. 1860 READE Cloister & H. I. 98 He knows father and daughter both. They cast their glamour on him. 1894 D. C. MURRAY Making of Novelist 199 The man had a glamour for me and drew me with the attraction of a magnet.
2. a. A magical or fictitious beauty attaching to any person or object; a delusive or alluring charm.

1840 HOOD Kilmansegg, Fancy Ball xxxvi, For to paint that scene of glamour It would need the Great Enchanter's charm. 1863 OUIDA Held in Bondage 97, I know how quickly the glamour fades in the test of constant intercourse. 1874 GREEN Short Hist. v. §1. 213 A sudden burst of military glory threw its glamour over the age of Cressy and Poitiers.
b. Charm; attractiveness; physical allure, esp. feminine beauty; freq. attrib. (see sense 3). colloq. (orig. U.S.).


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Value of Diamonds

The value of the Emperor's diamond, like that of most other diamonds, depends heavily on the perception of the buyer. If it is accepted as a unique gem and a crown jewel, it could be auctioned off for a million dollars. If, on the other hand, it is seen as a piece of industrial boart, it will be sold for $140 and used as grinding powder. It is, as Jolis observed, "a two-tier market."

Most jewelers would prefer not make a customer an offer that not only might be deemed insulting but would also undercut the widely-held notion that diamonds hold their value.

"We usually can't pay more than 60 percent of the current wholesale price," Jack Braud, the president of Empire Diamonds, explained. "In most cases, we have to pay less since the setting has to be discarded and we have to leave a margin for error in our evaluation [especially if the diamond is mounted in a setting]." Empire removes the diamonds from their settings, which are sold as scrap, and resells them to wholesalers. Because of the steep markup on diamonds between the wholesale and retail levels, individuals who buy retail and, ;n effect, sell wholesale often suffer enormous losses on the transaction. For example, Braud estimated that a half-carat diamond ring that might cost $2,000 at a retail jewelry store could only be sold for $600 at Empire.

Personality Types and their Career Choices

Personality Types and their Career Choices

The relevance of the MBTI for career planning has been questioned, with reservations about the relevance of type to job performance or satisfaction, and concerns about the potential misuse of the instrument in labeling individuals. In her original research, Isabel Myers found that the proportion of different personality types varied by choice of career or course of study.[1]:40-51[14] However, some other researchers examining the proportions of each type within varying professions report that the proportion of MBTI types within each occupation is close to that within a random sample of the population.

Studies suggest that the MBTI is not a useful predictor of job performance. In 1991 three scholars at the University of Western Ontario analyzed the results of 97 independent studies that evaluated the effectiveness of personality tests in predicting job success and job satisfaction ("Personnel Psychology," winter 1991). The results of the nationwide study found that the MBTI was not an effective tool in predicting individual performance or satisfaction in a corporate setting: "The validity coefficient for personality tests in predicting job success was found to average 0.29 (on a scale of 0 to 1). The corresponding average validity for the MBTI, however, was a weak 0.12. In fact, each study that examined the MBTI found its validity to be below acceptable levels of statistical significance." [44] As noted above under Precepts and ethics, the MBTI measures preference, not ability. The use of the MBTI as a predictor of job success is expressly discouraged in the Manual.It is not designed for this purpose.

Extract cut from the Wicker Man

Postman: It's for his nibs - postmarked Summerisle. Got a bit of skirt over there, has he?

McTaggart: What him? The only woman he's interested in is the Virgin Mary.

Postman: Oh? I thought he was going steady with Mary Bannock?

McTaggart: Steady's the word. In two years he hasn't so much as tickled her fancy. He's keeping himself pure for the wedding day!

(They laugh. Outside, Howie is just arriving for work)