Christopher Cox occasionally writes a blog post

My reading list…

Sticky Post

I gave a presentation recently that referred to three books I’ve found particularly useful – and afterwards was asked if I had a recommended reading list on my blog. Well, I didn’t until now! Here are some books that have… Continue reading →

The Thatcherite Ratchet?

Keith Joseph helped to overturn a generation of post-war so-called Keynesian consensus by inspiring Margaret Thatcher to privatise major nationalised industries and coined the phrase ‘the socialist ratchet’ to illustrate his then-radical beliefs1Rhodes Boyson had a phrase, ‘slow-quick-quick-slow foxtrot to socialism’,… Continue reading →

“Ambitions and crimes” – when Scientologists tried to overtake a mental health charity

“We are faced with the Government threat of total obliteration on the grounds of pressure from psychiatric front groups, whose ambitions and crimes are notorious, who cure nothing, who seize and kill and to whose monstrous violations of human rights… Continue reading →

Reading list: Don’t Think of an Elephant!

Don’t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate by George Lakoff My rough summary: If you’re a ‘progressive’ (American for lefty-liberal, I think…) then you need this book. In fact, the Democratic party in the U.S…. Continue reading →

Reading list: Time to Think

Time to Think by Nancy Kline My rough summary: I needed this book, and still do – in the right (or wrong) circumstances I can talk all the legs of several donkeys and tend to interrupt people when I’ve had a (supposedly) good idea! Time… Continue reading →

Reading list: The Signal and the Noise

The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction by Nate Silver My rough summary:From the man that predicted a safe win for Obama when others foretold defeat, a book that makes probability interesting and isn’t just about politics,… Continue reading →

Reading list: Story

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee My rough summary: In Hollywood Robert McKee is so famous for his crotchety screenwriting masterclasses he was portrayed in the film Adaptation. In some ways he is the… Continue reading →

Reading list: Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage My rough summary: This is an informal history of peer-to-peer communication, hypothesising that we coped just fine without mass media for about 2,000 years until industrialisation, newspapers and… Continue reading →

Why Google should fund anti-mental health discrimination campaigns… …because if they want to normalise voice recognition functionality, which means talking with no-one around, they need to tackle prejudice against voice-hearing.

Rin-Tin-Tin (34 North Road, Brighton)

One of my favourite shops in Brighton closed in December 2014 – a junk shop called Rin-Tin-Tin. Fortunately the owner allowed me to me to take some photos…

A quick aside: Do words like objectives, strategy and tactics seem hard to define sometimes? Try this – you’re on a quest. On board a vessel to a specific destination. The vessel is hit by strong tides and all sorts of… Continue reading →

What popcorn means for charities

Popcorn is a lesson in vertical integration. When film was young, the cinemas hated popcorn sellers, who were kept well outside the premises. Eventually, however….(according to The Smithsonian) “….movie theater owners realized that if they cut out the middleman, their profits would… Continue reading →

A list of non-contradictory* statements about mental health

The death of Robin Williams is making me ruminate about mental health and how charities like Mind (who I work for) communicate about it. The following is me trying to make sense of things  – it’s probably not coherent, I… Continue reading →

Getting unstuck: Douglas Adams and the judo principle

This is my favourite fable. When something seems difficult at work, I try and apply it. I have Grandpa Simpson-ishly repeated this tale over and over to younger colleagues. It’s worth repeating, it’s a brilliant way of thinking about problems. “the… Continue reading →

Storytelling is a joke

Storytelling? Storytelling is hyped-up by communicators (especially in charities and non-profits) – but it’s nothing more than a joke. And there’s fish involved too. And a goat. Who both have the same parent. And it could all have a sad… Continue reading →

6 Golden Rules for Managing Out-of-Hours Social Media

The problem with social media is it works anti-social hours… I’ve written a piece for CharityComms about managing out-of-hours social media. Go on, look at it! (Someone on Twitter actually said it was the most helpful social media article they’ve… Continue reading →

Rapoport’s Rules (Rapoport not Rappaport!)

This is half blog post, half Post-It note to myself – because I keep talking to people about Daniel Dennet’s reference to Rapoport’s Rules for argument or criticism, and forgetting what the bloody things are. Then I Google for Rappaport… Continue reading →

Charities and the genius in the crowd – Slideshare

I gave a presentation to CharityComms in early 2014 where this presentation was called ‘An amplifier not a mouthpiece’ – I thought it might be useful to upload it to Slideshare with a slight name change and some notes on the… Continue reading →

Metaphor and mental illness

A jumble of thoughts… I’ve been reading a lot of George Lakoff recently. He shows how metaphor dominates our language and behaviour. Here’s a bit of Wikipedia: Metaphor has been seen within the Western scientific tradition as purely a linguistic construction. The… Continue reading →

Me and the Asda ‘mental patient’ advert

This originally appeared on the Charity Comms blog in October 2013 when I was still working at Rethink Mental Illness as Digital Manager – I am now Digital Manager at Mind, the mental health charity. Learnings from a Twitter storm Asda’s… Continue reading →

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