robaston

New logo for 2019+

I recently produced several variants of the Zoom-Out logo. Different sized eyes, black text on white, white text on black, etc.  A good friend of mine offered to get feedback from her UX design colleagues and they recommended simplifying the logo to be more like an icon and also to move away from the eye…

Karl Marx Epitaph

This morning was a fresh and sunny end of March day and I am privileged enough to live very close to Highgate Cemetary in London. Walking around a cemetery is a powerful way to Zoom-Out (in the Life & Death dimensions). This is a large and beautiful cemetery and the resting place of some famous…

Zin & Zoot Evolved

Zin and Zoot are our friends from Planet Zoom. Or put another way, visual metaphors with anthropomorphic features that represent our Zoom-In and Zoom-Out abilities. If you were to take an analogue camera, a couple of humans and an alien from the farthest reaches of the universe, place them into a quantum splicing machine (available now…

Right View

In Zoomology and as Zoomologists we speak of finding the most helpful perspective. Of seeking out the most helpful perspective in any given situation.  This is underpinned by the Zoom-Out principle: “All perspectives are wrong but some are helpful” The Buddhist philosophy has a powerful resonance with such Zoom-Out principles. One aspect of the Buddhist philosophy,…

HEAVY PERSPECTIVES

Some perspectives are really heavy. The more we attach to them, the more they weigh us down and hold us back. They pull us off course, often without us being consciously aware. We are no longer heading in our preferred direction. No longer cultivating our better self. They stop us from being nimble and agile.…

HAPPINESS FORMULA

Do you have a formula for happiness?  Last night someone suggested one to myself and around 500 other people. The suggestion came from a wise 82-year-old man. So you sit up and listen. What’s more, he’s a former monk. So you sit up even more and listen. The occasion is an Action for Happiness event and…

Einstein Zoom-Out

One of the things I really enjoy about exploring and researching Zoom-Out is how it crosses multiple schools of thought – spans multiple genres (it’s a real “genre spanner“ in Mighty Boosh speak). I was looking for sources regarding the nature of human emotion and came across a paper entitled: “The theory of constructed emotion: an active…

SLEEP WELL

It’s well established and well documented that one of the key wellbeing and performance boosting activities is… Sleep zzzzzzz It’s also a powerful Zoom-Out enabler in that it takes a cognitive effort to Zoom-Out and if you are tired, then your ability to do this is diminished. Sleep could also be a “keystone habit” because when…

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from the Zoom-Out team! We hope you and your family have a wonderful break! It doesn’t look like we will be seeing much sunshine this Easter and some parts of the UK are expecting snow! So here is a little sunshine from us.

Read Obituaries

When I was young and living at home with my parents, we had the local newspaper delivered every day. I was once a “Paper Boy” myself to earn some extra pocket money – it was also a rite of passage in my school days. The daily ritual of reading the paper would invariably end up with…

Steve Jobs as Zoomologist

Steve jobs as Zoomologist… Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only…

About

Zoomologist.com is brought to you by Zoom-Out Ltd and is the companion site to Zoom-Out.org Zoomologist builds upon, expands and explores the core Zoom-Out Principles and Dimensions from Zoom-Out.org Herein lies the path of the Zoomologist Optimise your reality To Zoom-Out, is to see beyond your current ‘reality’, to many potentially more helpful perspectives. Zoom-Out…

Attention Bubble [Tool]

UNFINISHED Life often demands that we give our attention to unpleasant things. Like smoke that contaminates the air we breathe, sometimes the best strategy, when we can’t avoid it, is to contain it. WHY do it? When we need to deal with a prolonged and potentially unpleasant matter, the extent to which this triggers negative emotions…

Dead Cactus

Metaphors help us to make sense of the world. Metaphors are also useful thinking and communication tools which we can use in business as well as our personal lives. However, metaphors can also form very potent and sticky “perspective traps”. Consider the scenario described to me by Gary during a coaching session after attending a…

Martian Postcard

A writer friend of mine recently gave me a sheet of A4 paper and said, “Here, read this martian poem”.  I expected to see some script in an alien dialect with undecipherable characters. What was written on the paper was the brilliant poem by Craig Raine quoted below. This turns out to be one example of…

Pale Blue Dot

The greatest selfie ever taken? From a Zoom-Out perspective, certainly. Also the greatest distance – you’d need a very long selfie-stick indeed to beat this one. Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometres…

The Blue Marble

This image literally caused the whole world to Zoom-Out. The Blue Marble is an image of the Earth made on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft travelling toward the moon. The photograph was taken at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 miles) from the Earth’s surface. It is one…

Out of Time

A Zoomologists tale… From up here, Jim could see for miles. In fact, as the cliche goes, he could exclaim, “I can see my house from here!”. Well actually, he could see every house he’d ever lived in. The terraced home in London that he lived in until the age of eight when his dad…

This Is Water

“This Is Water” is pure Zoom-Out. It is the title given to a commencement speech (and later a derived written publication) given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College on May 21, 2005. Wallace was described as the most influential American author of his generation. His works included the classic Infinite Jest.  This is also the only…

Art as Zoom-Out

Maria Popova (Brain Pickings) on art as Zoom-Out: “[Art] unsettles us awake, disrupts our deadening routines, enlarges our reservoir of hope by enlarging our perspective, our grasp of truth, our capacity for beauty.” Source  

Sandsend

Sandsend Oceans new beat oceans past. Across the seas of moments lost. Walk with me in the here and now. Discover the golden life in the cold rock. Cliffs above us at once may fall. The ground beneath our feet. Will beat a hasty retreat. But this day will last forever. Lovers transcend the sands…

The Perfect Map

‘The Perfect Map’ – A Zoom-Out Fable Once upon a time there was a king who lived in a beautiful palace filled with treasures. In his early years, he would run around his palace, his heart filled with joy and delight at his surroundings. His favourite sight was the ceiling of the great hall which…

Bill Hicks Zoom-Out – It’s Just a Ride

I was recommending some comedians to a friend the other day. As well as being entertaining, comedians are natural perspective-shifters – they show us funny ways to look at the world. I’m particularly drawn to those comedians, often self-deprecating, that poke fun at the less glamorous or darker aspects of human existence, so recommended George Carlin, Marc Maron, Louis CK.

It was then I remembered Bill Hicks. A friend introduced me to Bill Hicks the best part of 20 years ago and I’d not watched any of his material for a long time. This prompted me to jump on YouTube and watch Revelations again. His seminal performance at the Dominion Theatre in London 1993. Who can forget “Goat Boy”?

I watched it for pure entertainment value.

And then, as he dons his dark coat and hat to close the show he asks:

“Is there a point to my act? I would say there is. I have to.”

His answer is his famous “It’s just a ride” monologue – full transcript below – but don’t just read it, hear it from the man himself – it’s beautifully Zoom-Out-esque. See how many Zoom-Out Principles you recognise.  Bill Hicks is a honourary Zoomologist for sure.

Full transcript – Bill Hicks “It’s just a ride”

You’ve been fantastic, and I hope you enjoyed it.  There is a point.  Is there a point to all of this?  Let’s find a point.

Is there a point to my act?  I would say there is.  I have to.

The world is like a ride, in an amusement park.  And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real, because that’s how powerful our minds are.  And the ride goes up and down, and round and round.  It has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly coloured, and it’s very loud and it’s fun.  For a while.

Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: “Is this real, or is this just a ride?”

And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, and they say, “Hey, don’t worry.  Don’t be afraid, ever.  Because this is just a ride.”

And we . . . kill those people.  Ha-ha!

“Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.”

It’s just a ride.  But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that?  And we let the demons run amok.

But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride, and we can change it any time we want.  It’s only a choice.  No effort.  No worry.  No job.  No savings and money.

[It’s] a choice, right now, between fear and love.  The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off.  The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one.

Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, into a better ride:  Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defense each year and, instead, spend it feeding, clothing, and educating the poor of the world – which it would do many times over, not one human being excluded.  And we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever.  In peace.

Thank you very much, you’ve been great.  I’ve hoped you enjoyed it.  You’re fantastic!  Thank you!  Thank you very much.

OMENS

This was the sight that greeted me each morning as I emerged from Waterloo Station, London, during 2016 when I was working with one client. I fancifully took this as an omen of Zoom-Out due to the green eye resemblance to the Zoom-Out Logo:  Whether is was an accurate perspective – truly an omen – or not,…

SELF PITY

Self-Pity I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. – D H Lawrence  (1885 – 1930) Words can be powerful tools for helping us gain a perspective on our perspectives. A perspective on our feelings. Words can help…

The Doors of Perspective

The Doors of Perception is a philosophical essay, released as a book, by Aldous Huxley. First published in 1954, it details his experiences when taking mescaline. The book takes the form of Huxley’s recollection of a mescaline trip that took place over the course of an afternoon in May 1953. The book takes its title from…

Fish head

An amusing photo, capturing an instant in time, where the environment, a person and the viewer combine in a very particular way. How many times does this happen day to day? You observe a person in a time, place and environment under unique conditions and, based on a single ‘snapshot’, form an entire perspective on…

What do you see?

What do you see in this painting of a rhino painting? One interpretation is that the rhino doesn’t realise that the horn is not a part of the world out there but a part of its own being It’s a great metaphor for nudging us to be constantly vigilant when interpreting the world around us…

Fear of Falling

  Ever had an overwhelming feeling of falling or a fear of falling? Later, looking back, realising it was just an illusion. A very powerful one but a sub-optimisation of your reality none the less.    

Zoomologist – Definition

zoomologist [zoom-ol-uh-jist] noun (short) A practitioner and student of helpful Zoom-Outs and Zoom-Ins (long) A person dedicated to the study and practice of recognising when a person is Zoomed-In on something unhelpful and identifying ways to Zoom-Out (and optionally Zoom-In again) on something more helpful . A person dedicated to the art and science of encouraging…

The Time Machine

The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 and written as a frame narrative. The work is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposely and selectively forwards or backwards in time. The term “time machine”, coined by Wells, is now…

Solomon Grundy

Solomon Grundy Solomon Grundy, Born on a Monday, Christened on Tuesday, Married on Wednesday, Took ill on Thursday, Grew worse on Friday, Died on Saturday, Buried on Sunday, That was the end, Of Solomon Grundy. – Anon, English nursery rhyme