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David Amerland
Author, Speaker, Analyst.
Author, Speaker, Analyst.


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No Time for Tears

I am really sad as this space is winding down and I want to be angry. Yet this is the reality: it's a journey. It transformed us (me at least). I am glad I was here (still am). What happens next will be better because of all this.

I value you all, more than I can say.

Nostalgia Update: Just to see how much things changed over the last few years check out this post from just two years after G+ was formed (courtesy of +Grizwald Grim who revived it) -
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In “The Tribe That Discovered Trust” ( inadvertently I touched upon tribe dynamics and tribal relationships ( The connections we form as people and the physical laws that govern them ( is something that is of direct interest to me. Not only does it help inform some of my work (and thinking) but it also enables me to see the touchpoints between human laws and physical laws, human behavior and the limitations imposed by physics and biology.

The reason behind this is that as the digital medium expands we invest more and more of our work into behaviors that express our humanity in this more nuanced, intentional domain. ( Because everything we do in the digital landscape is by design, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the mechanisms behind it and the way these mechanisms drive our digital development.

Digital tribalism ( is governed by the same need for connectivity and knowledge, cooperation and comprehension that drives its non-digital counterpart. We use the digital medium to find out who we are and what we are supposed to do the same way we have used the real world to try and understand the answer to the basic question: why are we? -

In this, we seek a purpose ( that’s bigger than us and a mission that can help us make sense of our activities ( Psychologists identity mental health as a by-product of being social and connected ( and sociologists cite homophily ( as the means through which we connect and stay connected (

We look to marketing (and marketers) to help us make sense of tribalism ( in the hope that by understanding the small, we can get our head around the bigger issues involved. (

Tribalism, we believe, is part of the problem not the solution, certainly in politics and its post-truth landscape: But that is not entirely true. For every problem we create through generally thoughtless behavior, there is a studied, intentional solution we can apply ( Our brain may not be able to adapt naturally to the demands and complexities of 21st century living ( but it is nevertheless quite capable of helping us find the solutions we seek (

The “brave new world” we find ourselves in now demands more of us, faster than ever before. The answer to most of our questions and the solution to most of our problems can be found through collective, organized, structured activity – tribal dynamics in other words. But for that to happen we need to rethink the scale, make up and even reason behind the tribes we form (

We are changing. The world is making us change because itself it is undergoing change. Traditionally we do not handle change well ( Here’s the rub, none of the things we need to do moving forward and none of the solutions we need to apply, are going to be easy or come naturally.

We are the architects of our own future. We need to truly start acting like it. We can no longer behave like children, pass on responsibility and hope that things, somehow, will work out. In taking responsibility for ourselves ( we also take responsibility for each other as our actions impact upon those around us ( Growing up is a hard thing to do. But the days when this was a choice we could choose not to make just yet, are now behind us.

I know you’ve done the grown-up, responsible thing here. You have coffee. You have donuts. You have croissants. There is chocolate cake. There are cookies. Have an awesome Sunday, wherever you are.
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Today's Mood

It's Friday. Make it awesome. :)
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Psst! A Question

If I were to tell you that post G+ I could give some of you, at least an environment where you could still interact, comment, exchange ideas and opinions, share content, create Collections, upload pictures and generally interact the same way you do here in a slightly more limited way (and it'll be free), how likely are you to take me up on that offer? Be honest.
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No more communities, thank you!
I would seriously consider it.
I'd thought you'd never ask!
No more communities, thank you!
I would seriously consider it.
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Things Are Changing

Relevance is now making everything feel different again. And social media networks are not what they used to be or, at least, our perception of them has changed.
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I discovered pain on a hot Summer’s day when there was not much else to do. I was 14 and running on my own through an uneven wooded trail (now marked as Gertrude Petty Pl Track on the map - and there was a part of it about 250 meters long that would take me to the top of the Mt Gravatt lookout so I could then drop down the other side and follow it all the way back, completing a 5km uneven climb run. The part I was looking at has a 10% incline. So for every ten meters forward I climbed one. An incline like that takes the elasticity out of your leg muscles and then, as you dig in and tackle it, it works on your lungs until every step you try and run sucks out the oxygen from you. You get blackspots dancing in front of your eyes around the halfway mark. You have two choices then: stop and walk. Keep running and feel the pain, every single step of the way to the top.

It wasn’t the first time I’d run the track. Being part of the High School training curriculum I started every day of the year with a run on the track. But that summer the 45-degree Centigrade heat, the fatigue and the track combined to reach a new peak of physical demand and as I the wall of fatigue hit me, I looked down on the sharply inclined ground, pumped my arms and grimly forced my legs to work.

Pain is an emotion. ( It’s the way the brain interprets sensory signals supplied by the body which is why pain is a subjective experience of an objective neural signal. This makes it unique to each individual and, sometimes, each moment with each individual with some mindfulness practitioners, having greater tolerance to pain - (

When it comes to pain tolerance the popular notion that biology has equipped women to bear more of it better is actually not true at all. This is reflected in the way men and women handle chronic as well as temporary pain and the coping strategies they are advised to develop to deal with it better - Chronic pain is a little bit of a mystery ( but as begin to understand it better we also begin to see just how complex our cultural awareness of pain actually is:

Not only does culture play a role in how we define pain, so does, apparently, memory with women, maybe, better at forgetting painful experiences ( than men (which helps explain why we are not all the sole offspring of our mother).

Not all pain is physical. ( The neural circuits ( that process pain are always the same however. Psychologists suggest we should embrace pain ( instead of seeking to avoid it (

From experience we can all agree that pain, whether physical, psychological or emotional is very much part of life, or at the very least, our interpretation of some of the sensory signals we receive from the world and which directly impact upon us. How intense it is and how well we cope may well depend upon how afraid we are of it in the first instance ( and how well prepared we are to deal with pain’s inherent uncertainty ( Memory (again), clearly plays a part -

There is another aspect here. Of all the emotions we can feel, pain can help us define ourselves ( It helps us feel the boundaries of our existence and the realness of our situation. The pain we experience helps make us unique in ways we can both directly feel and understand ( As the choice faced in Star Trek explains: should you be given the chance to have your pain taken away, would you agree? (

Does pain anchor us in the world the way nothing else does? Does it make us face our limitations as the Bene Gesserit posit in the fictional Dune universe? - Would we, without any adequate experience of pain, be lesser human beings, incapable of true change and growth?

I don’t know. These are questions that are at the very root of our neurobiology. Just like ageing and death. I suspect changing them, change us. Fundamentally. From that early day back in Brisbane, I’ve, in a sense, learned to measure my own development through my capacity to accept and then overcome pain. We could argue that in the absence of pain I would have found some other measure; some other means to explore what I can and cannot do.

The argument is moot. I am still a biological being and pain is real enough. There’s no way not to feel it. We are as united by this as separated by our own very individual sense of the intensity of what it is we are actually feeling. And that makes the journey of our humanity both instructive and exciting.

I know there was no pain involved in your decision to get plenty of coffee, some cookies, chocolate cake, croissants and maybe some donuts. Have an awesome Sunday, wherever you are.
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Meaning, Context and Connection

+Teodora Petkova has a beautiful mind. Her questions are actually pretty hard and in the interests of spontaneity I had deliberately refused to entertain them beforehand. We went pretty deep there and yours truly was still struggling with a damn cough that threatened to break out at the most inopportune times.
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I haven't been in a video interview with +Mark Traphagen since the days when HOAs were the thing in G+ and we were freely exchanging ideas and information on semantic search. Since then Mark has become Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital and spends more time in the air than on the ground. This will be awesome!
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Everything Means Something

To understand what means what exactly and when exactly requires insight and a grasp of fundamental basics. +Teodora Petkova is amazing. Join us!
In about three hours I will be talking to
+David Amerland about digital communication, content writing, textuality and the power of linked words, thoughts, people and data. Join us! (link: Or leave questions in the live chat. :)
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I am Back! -ish

My apologies for no Sunday Read and my total absence on everything. It would appear that while I don't often catch serious bugs when I travel, when I do catch them, I aim to catch only the toughest ones! Been a little under the weather since midnight Sunday while my system is fighting off a heck of a strong bug that's completely put me out of commission. There are usually only one of two ways these things go: the bug triumphs or the human does. :) You will be pleased to hear that I can report with some reliability that the latter is happening here. Still feel kinda brain dead but at least I can function to some extent again so the evil thing is being routed and I just feel bad because of the aftermath. Much to make up for in terms of time so stay tuned. This bug messed with the wrong immune system! :D
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