Taking my brain but leaving something cleverer

I have to write a thing.

A very focussed, incisive business thing.

It has to, briefly, summarise a complex situation, it must list the alternatives for improving a critical situation, it should explore the high-level pros and cons of the alternatives, and match the organisation’s strategy with the most appropriate solution.

I like writing this kind of thing.

Constructing and then putting a well-written, soundly-argued piece of logically-driven writing in front of the highest level of a £ multi-billion organisation is to expose my writing, and the thinking behind it, to a readership of intensely critical thinkers.

Normally I rise to the challenge.

But today there is a small problem.

My brain won’t work.

I’ve been staring at the first page for half an hour.

There’s a title.

And that’s it.

The more I stare at the sheet, the more my brain refuses to cooperate.

Which is why I’m writing this piece, obv.

This is an attempt to kick-start my intelligence in to productivity.

The weird thing is not that my brain seems to have evaporated overnight.

No, the weird thing is what I see when I look at the (almost) blank piece of paper.

The number ’43’.


How can my eyes look at a blank sheet of paper, but my head chooses to register the number ’43’?

I’ve been staring at this non-existent number (if you see what I mean) for the last half-hour, trying to get going.

I’m still not hitting any kind of a ‘get going’ stride.

In racing terms, cantering swiftly out of the starting gate would be good, but right now I’d settle for leaving the paddock at a stiff walk.

*pauses for another stare at ’43’ which isn’t actually there*

This isn’t writer’s block.

This is an indication of something far more sinister.

I believe that sometime during the night I was visited by aliens.

They sneaked up to my slumbering form and, through some kind of telekinetic mind-meld thing, they extracted what little intelligence I had left.

I am hoping that writing this will get at least one cylinder firing.

But here’s something that I would like to give you.

A present.

If you have the Chrome browser, click on the link below (in Chrome, obviously) and watch the most awesome piece of design I can ever remember.

The tune’s not too shabby – have Arcade Fire ever done something not worth listening to?

But the accompanying video will knock your socks off

Trust me.



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10 Responses to Taking my brain but leaving something cleverer

  1. You must have been focussing on something to get the number 43.

    Do you know what? It is like the ‘Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy,’ except in this instance, the answer for the multi-billion dollar organisation is 43, instead of 42.

    If you are stuck, try taking the number 43 and interpolating it into smaller forms that can be written about.

    E.G. “I boffed 30 women before the age of 23.”

    Huzzar! and Good Luck matey xxxx

    • Brennig says:

      You boffed 30 women before you were 23? That’s more than I’ve ever boffed!

  2. Bulldog says:

    On the positive side, 43 is a prime number. If you were seeing 40, for example, then 2, 4, 5, 10, and 20 could be tumbling out later.

    I had a similar problem today with a hard deadline of 1330 and nothing on the screen at 1200. I thought unconventional might work, so I just started in the middle, then worked out to both ends. I’m unsure whether it was my best work, but the boss loved it.

    Not that I’m claiming it was of the magnitude of your project.

    Into the breech, B, and luck.

  3. Masher says:

    Hmmm… interesting video idea. My socks are still on though, I’m afraid.

    I often get the 43 thing. But in my case it’s not a number. Quite often, when I need to write something and I’m not sure where to start, the phrase “There’s a little yellow island to the north of Kathmandu” comes into my head and won’t go away.

    I know the phrase is a misquote, but that’s what I start thinking of as I stare at a blank screen.

    And it’s very annoying.

  4. Vicola says:

    Get pissed and then write it. It’ll be the most flowery, descriptive and beautiful piece of work you’ll ever put together. Or it’ll be total shit. Either way it’ll be written.

  5. Arctific says:

    Some times Internet searches lead to fun places. In my case, “in regione caecorum rex est luscus”, has lead me to your site.

    Why? Because I am preparing for a paid computer attack and penetration test of a client, and I would looking up one of my Cisco Expert friends and he thought the land of the blind quote applied somehow.

    So, enjoy 43, Cope with Beauty Treatments for 6 years and pay your phone bill. But, keep that one eye and try not to get cornered by a lot of angry blind people.

    Thanks for the fun blogs, I will go back to downloading the latest vulnerabilities and considering how I will I might again / regain benign computing command of an entire corporation is the most ethical and wise way.

    The string of test victories over the years has been known to steam the lead Systems Administrators. They know I am coming, they know I beat them two years in a row. I think this year is going to be tougher. Or, at least I hope so.

    Play on.