09 June 2015

MindBullets: New Chill Pill To Fix Society (1 June 2021)

Had to post this MindBullet. Firstly, because I can easily see this scenario occurring. Call it media overload, sensory overload - or just the fact that we experience 1000x more bad news than 20 years ago... Something has to give!

But secondly (and almost more importantly) because it allows me to quickly get in a recommendation for probably my favourite book ever. If you haven't read Neal Stephenson's Anathem by now - you've been living outside of under the Geek Rock. Get back!

The core premises of the book is an alternate future where humanity has been rendered docile, almost giving up on intelligence for the sake of a more comfortable, less stressful existence. The clever few are separated at birth and placed in the future-equivalent of monasteries. And then the grandest story of all begins...

It's a cracker read - especially since we're all starting to notice how futuristic technology is becoming. It's a great time to be alive. But with great Moore's Law comes great responsibility.

And hey, I'm all for alternative crime solutions. Drugging criminals might be going a bit far - but a square cell doesn't really seem to be doing the trick either.


Dopamine hailed as the new weapon in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour

Dateline: 1 June 2021

In 2019, Lyla Roberts was assaulted at a bus stop in London. A bystander recorded the incident and posted it online, instead of intervening. The title of the post: "5 star entertainment! Who needs the movies!?" Roberts spent four months in a coma before being declared brain dead. It shocked the world, but has also inspired a pharmaceutical breakthrough.

The newly released drug is called Lyla and is grounded in years of research which also produced an oxytocin-inducing nasal spray. Lyla works by increasing dopamine in the brain and results in people becoming more compassionate and fair-minded. They also feel a lot happier.

Indian correctional facilities will pioneer a cognitive rehabilitation approach by prescribing Lyla to criminals. According to the Health Minister, the drug will help to create better citizens. "It comes down to social education. We'll be 'teaching' criminals appropriate conduct by altering their brain chemistry. Besides, it's for the common good of everybody; it's not like we're lacing the water supply with drugs to keep an oppressive regime in power," he said.

Lyla looks like the wonder drug that will save the pharma industry itself. For many years, the use of LED light pulses to awaken people's happiness genes was a big blow to medicine-makers, but not anymore. Lyla has proven to be three times more effective than light therapy.

As for the gangsters and the disturbed onlooker who didn't try to help Lyla - they're being sentenced today. Word on the street is that they too will soon be drinking a certain pill a day, in order to keep the bad behaviour away.

Published 4 June 2015

Read the original story including research links and commentary on FutureWorld MindBullets

11 May 2015

My first BPL experience (and why people choose the football teams they do)...

BPL. It's a funny game. How people from all over the world can go dilly supporting a soccer club from a quaint little village in England is sometimes beyond me. But I don't question it - football is the world's greatest soap opera, so sometimes it's just fun to go along for the ride.

ABSA are starting to leverage their BPL sponsorship by running some content and some giveaways and they're encouraging people to talk about the experience of watching their first BPL game. I'm giving away some funky Manchester United swag (which is going to make the YNWA'ers so pissed!). Read more at the bottom of the post!

I could tell the story of my first live BPL game many years ago in the UK. Seeing how 2 teams had to leave the stadium through separate doors. Seeing the jaw-dropping pint consumption rate during half time. Manchester City (before all the cash) vs Reading. It was awesome.

But I'd rather tell the story of my very first BPL experience... And for this we have to go all the way back to SABC 1, 2, 3 and ETV. Terrestrial TV my brothers and sisters.

I was 18 I think. Got my first TV. A 54cm CRT (that's a glass screen tube TV vibe for the Millennials here). And Bunny Ears.

Yes. Bunny Ears. We had to use this odd contraption to pick up TV. Now get off my lawn, I'm getting old.

Here was the problem though, growing up in Newlands down in Cape Town, we didn't always get the best reception. So my humble Bunny Ears would only pick up ETV. That was good for 2 things back in those days. Late night "romance" movies and the BPL.

One more problem. They're only showed Manchester United games. That's how it all started. The Red Team was the only team I could watch, so I watched it.

It's not the greatest origin story in the world - and I'm not going to lie - I get kinda jealous with most South African's origin stories about their BPL teams. Their Dad supported City. Their grandfather once visited the Chelsea stadium and now they bleed more blue than Bulls. They tear up with a little #YNWA.

Being in a social circle of more Liverpool fans than anything else, I'm not going to lie that it was entertaining watching the 2014 season. More melodrama than Beverly Hills 90210 (and that's another direct reference to the Bunny Ears - and Radio 2000 for those wanting a trip down simulcast memory lane). I might have even cried at some of those moments leading up to the bus, the Chelsea game and the season that should have been.


Anyway, Liverpool fans keep calling United supports Manks (which sounds rude, especially when you here what people do to "Manks" - or even what "Manks" do to themselves when biding away their time at the pub). I might not have a Liverpool origin story, but sometimes I wish I did. The win will be so much sweeter because of all of the pain.


Origin stories have always fascinated me. We have so much emotionally invested in soccer clubs from another country.

Time to talk!

What was your first BPL experience? What is your team origin story? 

Go to Twitter and share YOUR story, like I have, and make sure to tag @Absa and use the hashtag: #MyFirstGame

Competition Time!

OK Man U fans. Here's your chance to get some swag. iPad Covers, Cufflinks and Wallet/Pen sets. Boom. All you have to do is tweet me and I'll choose the best reason why you deserve the swag. 

Yo @andyhadfield @absa, I want some ManU swag because _______ #MyFirstGame

Yo @andyhadfield @absa my ManU origin story is ________ #MyFirstGame


Want to go see a BPL game live? Here's what ABSA's up to. Pretty cool content.

NOTE: This post was paid for. But as usual, my promise to you, dear Reader - is that I'll only ever write about stuff that actually interests me. Stuff where I actually have something to say. Read the disclaimer - copy it if you like

28 April 2015

ZA Tech Show. Caveman. [PODCAST]

Andy Hadfield returns from a cave (Son Doong - only the biggest cave in the world Brett) in the far East for a chat with Brettski about new smartphones, new wearables and the future of web advertising. Topics under discussion include:

  • The Samsung S6 and S6 Edge;
  • The Hisense Infinity H6;
  • The HTC One M9;
  • The negative Apple Watch reviews;
  • Game of Thrones being downloaded  1.5m times; and
  • The rise of native advertising.

Brettski also gives a listener a quick lesson in podcasting, before picks of the week, which are:

  • Andy picks-on Google Chrome; and picks ‘View Tweet Activity’ on mobile; and
  • Brettski Picks the Garmin VivoActive

26 March 2015

A case study in team culture. #SAvNZ, World Cup 2015.

Obviously I'm gutted. There were tears. There were heart palpitations. There were screams of joy. There were also screams of pain. That New Zealand vs South Africa semi final was one of the best cricket games I've had the honour of watching. You can "if and but" this all you like - we were outplayed. Just.

What makes me a little sad, is that if this Protea team had gone on to win the World Cup, there would have been books and case studies written on what an amazing job they've done with building team culture. Now that they lost in the semi, the truly remarkable side of that unit will probably not be talked about.

You can see how tight that team is. You've been able to see it for years now. Michael Hussey even commented on it when he was doing is consulting stint. No ego. Team centric. Respectful. It's not only on the field, but in how they talk to the media. Always taking accountability, always praising the bowler before or the batsmen before.

Selfless media behaviour isn't something you see a lot of these days.

To take all those different cultures, religions, skills, personalities and to mould them into such a tight, functional unit is incredible. I hope someone talks about this factor a bit more - because I'd love to know how they did it.

In celebration of that team, I've just joined the Official Proteas Supporters Club. Silver membership. Having regrets now as the "kids coaching clinic with the players" sounds like something I should have done. Might upgrade. Wrote about the Supporters Club before if you're interested.

Well played boys. You did us proud. England are F#$!@* when they come here in December.

Now have a little drizz with this "thank you" video.

12 March 2015

ZA Tech Show. We’re baaaaaaack… [PODCAST]

After too long off the mic and several false starts, the ZA Tech Show resumes this week (this week being a little while ago, but hey - AH).

Brett Haggard and Andy Hadfield (who’s now plying his entrepreneurial prowess at forgood) talk about why there’s been a delay in the show coming out and where you can now find it.

More importantly, they dive into a discussion about:

  • Fibre in Parkhurst;
  • Toby Kurien’s uber-smart R1200, solar-powered, load-shedding solution;
  • Andy’s involvement in forgood; and
  • The Greek finance minister (he used to work at Valve Software).

Our technology picks of the week are:

  • Andy picks #rak15 and News24’s ‘grid-watch’ web-app;
  • Brett picks OpenEmu and Beersmith 2