Wanna Know Which World Capital Has the Most NLP Charlatans Per Square Mile? Let’s Check In with My “Alpha Geek” Contact on River Skerne.

One of my favorite, self-admitted “Alpha Geeks” lives and works in Darlington, a small city of about 100,000 that Wikipedia describes variously as 1) in the north-east of England, 2) on the river Skerne 3) known for its association with the birth of railroads 4) home of the Darlington F.C., currently playing in Football League Two and 5) where on Sept. 14-17 this year, the annual Rhythm’n'Brews festival will be held and drank.

I’ll keep his identify cloaked, not because he asked me to, but because I think he’ll continue to speak to me more freely than if you know who he is. And who is he? A very interesting guy, I think, for a geek, alpha or otherwise. I really enjoy my correspondence with him. Here’s some of his opinions (of which he has many) of late:

On the state of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and/or personal coaching in England: “Richard Bandler and John Grinder do lots of seminars in London, which has more NLP charlatans in per square mile than anywhere else in the world. I just think there’s so many companies in London, it’s like a global trading center. So there’s a lot of managers looking to get up the ladder all in one place, so it’s an ideal place to be a personal coach, etc. There’s a booming market.”

On how technology can make you feel like a younger person at age 36: I mean no one told me as you got older, your brain didn’t. People condition themselves to act like adults I suppose, because they look like adults. I really do feel like I’m 20 or something. One thing I’ve noticed the rat race holds people down, people really should live a little. In some ways I’m disappointed that the Internet took off in my late 20s, I can vividly remember the excitement I felt for it all. I recall selling websites to people having absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. Telling me they’d never ever need e-mail or a website. Strangely I still have the same problem. Now I approach people, and tell them the things that are possible now, and it’s like I’m from a different planet.”

On the impact of changing vocabularies over the generations: I am fascinated by new words. I went to a lecture once on the English language in college. It completely changed my life. (There were only six people in the lecture!) It showed how if I met someone say from 1880, we wouldn’t be able to communicate, we wouldn’t even be able to even read each other’s writing. Indeed, I found it extremely difficult to read a local manuscript written in 1880. The reason is people don’t realise English is constantly evolving every day, and morphing into an entirely new thing. Language actually evolves. Hence I’m truly amused that a teacher is in despair then when a teenager writes textspeak in their work, and complains to the media, something like “I got dis 4 U”. To the teenager, it’s perfectly natural to shorten words and change language. There are lots of fascinating and new shortening words, using words in other words. “Blog” was originally “Internet Web Log,” then “web log,” then “blog”. It looks like a wonderful new word, but to me it instantly means “internet web log”, or a website set up like a diary. I can see how a gap of even 10 years can cause communication issues! I follow buzzwords closely. I do get worried though I still know a lot of teenagers who don’t know what blogs are and are fearful of buzzwords.”

On the emerging phenomenon of people collaborating on creative writing: Fun concept I’ve always thought, the idea of collaboration in writing. It’s going to play a big part in business, the idea of group collaboration over the Internet. I don’t knew whether you know about, things like puzzles being solved instantly by group/crowd power of many people on the Internet. Murder cases being solved, missing people being found, etc. Recently, people writing novels in blogs and releasing them chapter by chapter, then it getting picked up by a publisher, or even paid for directly by readers contributions. Some amazing things going on right now. People are beginning to realise they don’t need publishers, they can reach people directly. If I were a publisher, I’d be getting my brands and developing digital networks in this area. We are truly living in an information age!”

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