This is an amalgam of correspondence received (hopefully not sent!) over the years, it is highly satirical and in parts fictional, but some of these gems, or similar ones, do make it into correspondence. We all make mistakes from time to time but there is no excuse for not doing the work by which silly mistakes can be avoided — don’t be that lawyer!

I invite you, whether you be lawyer or lay person, to participate in the challenge:

1) Identify as many issues as you can in the below correspondence; and

2) Explain the issue or propose a more…

These are the confessions of a recidivist bibliophile. I confess that at university I made many regrettable errors, but perhaps the worst error of all was to study accounting, which was a good, practical, vocational subject. My heart was set on the liberal arts, it was completely ignored. Later I began to read law, which was another good and practical, vocational subject. The knowledge of accounting and law have admittedly proven useful in life, but their study was a dry and dreary experience. …

Coming soon to a street near you?

Elon Musk’s documentary Do You Trust This Computer is well worth watching; it was free to stream over this weekend. I can’t say that the majority of the ideas put forward were new to me, there was however one idea, right at the end, that I must admit I had not considered before.

If you have not watched the documentary, here is my recollection of the main points, this is not verbatim as I was not taking notes as I watched it. My own observations are preceded by [HJ] to distinguish my thoughts from what the documentary presented.

  • Technological development…

The Stories

I published my first story on Medium on 12 March 2018. It is a short non-fiction piece, set in Xi’an, China, about one man’s feelings of entitlement which lead him to commit acts of sexual violence until finally he is confronted. Unfortunately, in all this the female victims are all but forgotten.

My second story, was a short fiction piece, set in Hong Kong’s red light district, about the Chinese elite playing Texas Hold’em Poker against a world champion poker player. …

Screenshots of DingTalk app as used by a Shanghai employee, April 2018.

This is about DingTalk and what it feels like to be an employee forced to use this app. Is this article biased? Damn right it is, this is a polemic. I have experienced DingTalk and I feel sorry for the millions of people whose lives are a misery because of it. In addition to sharing my own experience, I interviewed a Chinese employee working in Shanghai and heard a story familiar to anyone living in China today.

What is DingDing or DingTalk?

In China DingTalk is called DingDing. It’s DingDing because this is the default notification sound the app makes, a double bell clap, a…

Crow pose / baksana. Source: Yogapedia

Let me start by saying that I am an absolute novice in yoga. I took up yoga about three months ago because I felt my body was literally breaking down and falling apart. My knees hurt when running, my back hurt when sitting at a desk, both my elbows had developed tendinitis from weight lifting and from doing too many sets of pull ups, and to top it all off I had managed to strain my groin and injure my knee competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In short, my body was making me pay the price for a life time…

I have successfully raised capital from individual Chinese angel investors numerous times over the last 15 years. You can do it too. Here are some practical hints and tips based on my own experience.

Entrepreneurs that understand the motivations and expectations of these Chinese angel investors can benefit from the opportunities that their investing appetites present.

According to the Hurun Report, there are over 2.7 million high net worth individuals in China although I suspect the figure is higher than that. Many of these people have already made or will make investments in private companies overseas.

1. Chinese angel investors are excited about the opportunity to invest in good private businesses abroad

I would say that…

I will always remember the day I saw the Bushmen. It was late afternoon; the sun was already sinking in the sky. We were jogging along a dirt road, our runners covered in dust. From time to time we stopped to watch black dung beetles roll their huge dung balls along. The bush was alive around us, we heard a donkey bray far away, scores of birds flew about and whistled their songs. There was the odd rustling in the grass. Occasionally, a bakkie would drive past and seeing us, would slow, so as not to cover us in dust…

I was 18, I was finally an adult, I had some goals, but I didn’t have the means. I remember taking a piece of paper and writing down my goals. They were to save a thousand dollars and to get my driver’s licence. Pretty humble goals, but they loomed large at the time. My family had just migrated to New Zealand and I didn’t know a single soul there, there was a whole new world for me to explore, but first, I needed some dough.

The internet was still young in those days and one printed paper, the New Zealand…

Cartoon by Mike Lynch

Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest. — Sri Chinmoy

There are people in my life, that have a smile on their face, or if not on their face at that moment, then that smile is close to the surface, no matter what. I really mean, no matter what. It is easy to be friends with them, to hang out, to have fun together. These are positive people. On the other hand, there are people that I would love to have more of in my life, but instead I…

Hypp Johnstone

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