Almost Inconceivable

Partially because of a dream and partially because of an interaction I am going to delve into this a little today.

I’ll start with something of a hypothesis.

“If someone changes radically in their orientation towards life it is very difficult for others to accept or believe in that degree of change.”

I base this on my own personal experience, people tend to see one through the old lens which they have constructed for you and through the lens of their group-mind imagining that one shares a considerable fraction of that group mind. Perhaps they find it difficult to conceive that one does not share similar motives and motivations.

To give a simple example, back when I first started doing deep voice chanting, my family rather than inquiring as to what was going on preferred to write it off as me simply being weird. They sought to treat me as the piss-artist rugby player of old rather than countenance that I was changing radically.

If my former career, gaining large amounts of research grant funding, publishing articles is high impact factor journals, getting invites to conferences, getting a tenured chair at a prestigious university and maybe finally becoming a fellow of the royal society, were all symbols of success and kudos. It is almost inconceivable that someone from such a go-getter background as this would resign a job willingly and go into what was tantamount to unemployment. It is a DNC, a does not compute.

The whole basis of promotion in such a system is based around some “agreed” goals, targets and milestones. People therein are goal oriented. It is almost inconceivable for a goal-oriented person that anyone might not be goal oriented in any way whatsoever.

For people who are materialistic a decent salary is a target, a measure of success. And in the UK the housing ladder is an obsession. To only want enough to get by, is an anathema.

Way back I genuinely was involved in some very high technology stuff, fancy femtosecond lasers, semiconductor clean rooms and ultra-high vacuum, I even did some ab inito quantum chemical calculations. It is hard, almost inconceivable, that someone with near a decade left on the clock, so to speak, would swap that life for gardening, DIY and cooking in a very rural location. It would be difficult for people to get their head around. There might be some weird idea that I would return from gardening leave to the fold like some prodigal. It is possible that people might imagine that I am running in submarine mode.

Someone suggested that I might like to be on an advisory board, I said that this wasn’t necessary they could ask me anything they want or send me stuff to comment on for free. I said that I do not like contracts and would much rather do things informally. In one world people are expected to pay for things and  recompense is seen as a motivator. But if I say I will do it for free, I mean exactly that. It is almost inconceivable in our grasping world. I expect nothing in return.

If people are attached say to money, family, house, car and job, the notion on non-attachment is beyond comprehension. There are degrees of non-attachment or rather weaking levels of attachment. To be completely non-attached is beyond mind, for the vast majority of people. I phrased this deliberately in this manner. The tendency would be to think, “he says he is not attached but what he really means is he is not strongly attached”. The mind cannot or will not accept the concept of non-attachment as a conceivable reality, so it fudges it.

If you like attention, respect, power and kudos it is difficult to adopt the mindset of a quasi-hermit. People cannot live like that, surely.  Especially if previously, they had some respect, a little power and a degree of kudos. Luckily here nobody knows anything much of my background we are just les anglais.

The simple fact that I do not have a personal mobile ‘phone, in this day and age, is hard to believe on one level and more than a little eccentric on another. You should see the reaction of the, often young, salespeople when they are trying to sell you a ‘phone when one informs them of how few calls and how little data one uses. There is no plan available which goes low enough to match. The mobile ‘phone companies cannot conceive of such low usage.

I have changed my orientation towards life radically…I know this but only I am fully aware of the extent of that change.

I’ll wager for a whole bunch of people it is a DNC.

Here is an interesting question:

What for you is almost inconceivable?

Assumed Understanding

I suspect that in many cases people assume that they understand a whole bunch of stuff way better than they actually do. People imagine that they can read others and predict to an extent what they will do under a given circumstance. I can think of several {many} occasions where people have behaved in a particular way towards me and then have been mightily surprised when I have not done what they anticipated. They assumed that they knew and that they knew me.

As a thought experiment if someone presented as a go-getting high tech. entrepreneur what would you expect them to do? How would you expect them to behave? What ethos would they hold and practise?

I’ll wager that in ~99.7% of people, there is no way that people would guess that someone presenting as a high tech. entrepreneur would be an adherent to the twelve principles of Buddhism, which I put up yesterday. It simply would not compute. There are many of these things which I call DNCs, Does Not Compute.

Assumed understanding has these massive DNC shaped black spots, blind spots.

I am a living example of what for many was/is a DNC.

Why would someone who had a tenured relatively well-paid job at a world top ten university resign without another relatively well-paid tenured job to go to?

DNC, DNC…Imagine a Dalek saying DNC, DNC in order to get my drift.


It is related to an HTTP error code.

403 Forbidden

The request contained valid data and was understood by the server, but the server is refusing action. This may be due to the user not having the necessary permissions for a resource or needing an account of some sort, or attempting a prohibited action (e.g., creating a duplicate record where only one is allowed). This code is also typically used if the request provided authentication by answering the WWW-Authenticate header field challenge, but the server did not accept that authentication. The request should not be repeated.

405 Method Not Allowed

A request method is not supported for the requested resource; for example, a GET request on a form that requires data to be presented via POST, or a PUT request on a read-only resource.

406 Not Acceptable

The requested resource is capable of generating only content not acceptable according to the Accept headers sent in the request.

417 Expectation Failed.

The server cannot meet the requirements of the Expect request-header field.

418 I’m a teapot (RFC 2324, RFC 7168)

This code was defined in 1998 as one of the traditional IETF April Fools’ jokes, in RFC 2324, Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol, and is not expected to be implemented by actual HTTP servers. The RFC specifies this code should be returned by teapots requested to brew coffee. This HTTP status is used as an Easter egg in some websites, such as’s I’m a teapot easter egg.


I twigged a while back, that because I had renounced something which many people spend a great deal of effort pursuing and is in a highly competitive arena, I am/was suspect. Nobody was willing to believe that I did it of my own free will. People assumed that there was some scandal or that I had been asked to fall on my sword, or that I had been pushed onto it. It is easier for the conspiracy addicted human mind to fabricate some salacious reasons, rather than accept that a being would do this, jack it all in.

We have a DNC here in the garage. It is a right-hand drive Peugeot 207 with 22 Bretagne plates. On numerous occasions people look at me in the passenger seat and without a steering wheel. DNC! It is the combination of a French car, with French number plates and UK steering wheel which is the DNC.

It does not take much to make a DNC for most people.

As a little experiment:

How many DNCs have you got?

In what way might they impinge on your assumed understanding about a whole bunch of stuff?