Header pic by Mark Gunther
Bob’s writing showcase
Bob’s helpful psychology site
Bob’s environmental web site
Archives of Bobbing Around

Here is a pic of me making friends with a kookaburra, who was an extremely trusting person. His attention was more at the grubs exposed by the splitting of wood, but he didn’t mind a bit of a chat either.

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that’s now threatening us with extinction, and replacing a culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.

Bob and Ella 100110
Ella lived next door to me for over a year, and as you can see, adopted me as a grandfather.

So far, I have retired 5 times as:

  • Research scientist
  • Builder’s labourer
  • Nurse
  • Director of my professional association
  • Counselling psychologist

I am still going strong as a storyteller, writer and editor. To date, I have 15 published books you can inspect at http://bobswriting.com (read the first chapter of each). Five of them won awards. Also, I do professional editing, for a number of small, independent publishers and a steady stream of writers pre-submission.

What genre do I write in? Rather than a square peg in a round hole, I am a fractal-shaped peg that makes its own hole, so my writing doesn’t fit in genres. My main aim is to entertain, but as with every other writer, my belief system underlies everything I write.

What is that?

Have a read of my essay, How to change the world.

I have been publishing my newsletter Bobbing Around since mid-2000, and now I am continuing it here. The archivers of the many past issues are listed at the original Bobbing Around.

Other things worth reading here

There are pages about several of my books, with links to my web site where you can read the first chapter of each. Anyone who provides me with proof of purchase of any of my books, anywhere, in any format, has earned a second title, free.

The essay, But there is no need for despair.

A person made a comment on this essay, and I responded in some detail. You will find my answer thought-provoking and powerful.

A lady sent me a letter of despair at the way global society is committing suicide. Here is my answer to her.

The 4 Rs of sustainable use.

Cliches define a culture, a project on designing the culture we need to establish for survival. You’re encouraged to have an input, and you’ll get a free short story as a reward.

An explanation about predicting disasters.

My assessment of a Vipassana retreat that has been of major benefit to me.

Several entertaining and instructive interviews, some by me, others of me.

You can listen to a radio interview in which Diane Wing asks me about “Challenges for Humanity.”

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge


41 Responses to About

  1. Dear Dr. Bob,

    I am very proud of you. Your blog is looking great. I love the view of the mountains. Thanks for being a grandfather to our world. Congratulations on your many books.

    You are a jewel. Always remember that.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bobrich18 says:

    Thank you Joan. I am doing my best following your instruction manual on setting up a WordPress blog.


  3. Carolyn Howard-Johnson says:

    Joan and Bob. Way to go. Two of my fave, generous writers working together.


  4. Chris Gallard says:

    Excellent froth my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. davidnorman59 says:

    Well done again Bob :)


  6. I enjoy your writing and your contributions immensely. I want to be like you when I grow up!


    • bobrich18 says:

      You’re doing pretty well in your own field, Paul. And you’d make my glasses fog up if I had any.

      You must have paranormal abilities. That very phrase “I want to be like you when I grow up!” occurs in my latest book, which has not yet seen the light of day.


  7. What a lovely tribute. (I want to be like you when I grow up.) You must be an example to your grandchildren, Bob.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. bobrich18 says:

    When my son was 15, I told him he’d have to look after me when he could defeat me in rough play. He became very gentle after that. (He is an aikido exponent.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I did not know that you were a researcher and a nurse! What did you research?
    I love that you spend time with your grandchildren!
    I can imagine that some people struggled with withdrawal from electronic gadgets at the retreat. If we all purposely spent time away from them, we could be more aware, more mindful,connected to our thoughts and to relationships.

    Janis L. Silverman, author

    Liked by 1 person

    • bobrich18 says:

      Hi Janis, thank you for commenting.
      My research was on cognitive psychology: how people think; specifically how short term memory works. Later, I had a job at Australia’s government funded research organisation the CSIRO, running surveys on things like energy conservation, privacy, safety in the home etc.

      I wasn’t able to be a therapist until nursing toughened me up!

      I do love my genetically related grandchildren, but the “professional grandfather” refers to the many young people who email me out of despair, and almost always I am able to steer them toward growth, inner strength and decency. It is one of my gifts (and therefore responsibilities) in this life.

      The Vipassana retreats are brilliantly designed to maximize habit change, in the same way as boot camp in the army is. Basically, you have literally nothing to do except what you came for!

      Look after yourself,


      Liked by 1 person

  10. bobrich18 says:

    As I say in one of my projects on this blog http://wp.me/p3Xihq-8N
    “An act of kindness carries its own reward.” The more you give, the more you get.
    Incidentally, adding to my lists there earns people a free short story. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Erin Ireland says:

    I’m sure your Kookaburra and your little friend Ella Have gained much through your gentle acts of kindness. The little pleasant things in life are many times what bring us joy. .


  12. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Well, all Kookie got was a selection of grubs hiding in the wood I split. But then, birds are wise and have simple needs. Buddha and Jesus tell us that’s what we should aim for too.

    You might enjoy my bird poem at http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

    At times of great disappointment, I have been known to recite it to myself over and over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      Brian has some ideas about birds, too…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dr Bob Rich says:

        Pendantry, thank you for exploring my blog.

        You know, I’ve never seen a Monty movie. Haven’t had a TV set since 1975 (liberation!), and rarely go to the movies. I did read one of the books ages ago, but I thought I was funnier than he.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pendantry says:

        ‘Exploring’? I’ve barely skimmed the surface. But I’ll be back. Especially if you really are funnier than Monty Python.

        Wait… you’ve never seen Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’? Definitely one for the bucket list — I would advise sooner rather than later, as you’ll want as many repeats as you can manage.


  13. Dr Bob Rich says:

    The two funniest movies I’ve seen are “The gods must be crazy” and Peter Sellers’ last movie, “Dr Fu Manchu.”


  14. Dr. Bob-I’m sure you are a wonderful person but TV has much to offer since 1975 (40 years of Saturday Night Live), Monty Python,Dr.Who, John Stewart,Keith Olbermann when he was a political reporter, the Rebecca Maddow Show, Key and Peele, AND ANYTHING EVER TOUCHED BY ROBIN WILLIAMS. (Yes-even the second act of Popeye. Deal with it.) It is my only companion now that I can’t get around but when I was active I would cook all day-12 hours,listening to TV and never see the screen.There’s a lot of crap on tv and a lot of good stuff. Johnny Depp,because even his bad is good. Skip The Hunger Games. Read the series in 3 days.Enjoy and miss 2 years of hype.The books were rich.The movies were thin and I don’t know why-too little money? “The gods must be crazy” was sad.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Potato Mother? As it happens, potatoes are my second favourite vegetable. (First is chocolate, of course.)

      Certainly, everything depends on life circumstances. A person who has mobility problems, and/or is socially isolated, and perhaps also has some kind of problem with reading books, will find TV a blessing.

      However, TV can be a curse if used as a child minding device, as it often is. Same is true for computers, X-boxes and mobile phone apps, because they all replace real life, and physical activity.

      My main objection is the message under the message. The TV is the most powerful tool for brainwashing people into the myths of a crazy culture: consumerism, selfishness, tolerance for violence, focus on physical appearance over inner beauty, the romantic myth (I can only be happy when I find my soul mate, and then I’ll be happy everafter).

      If TV was not an effective brainwashing tool, then there wouldn’t be so much invested in ads. Actually, though, the messages carried by programs in between the ads are more powerful and deadly. And they are the same messages.


      • Al Harris says:

        Thanks for the introduction to your Blog Mr Rich, Bob. :-P I definitely think I need a “writing” from you. though – how have you managed to grow chocolate as a vegetable.

        I’m off now Bob. I feel the same about reading Blogs as you find about watching TV/going to movies.



      • Dr Bob Rich says:

        Thank you for visiting, Al.
        A blog is just a web site with one difference: it is 2-way. You could visit one of my other web sites, where I have lots of good stuff — but there is no convenient way for you to leave a comment.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      I forgot to respond to “Gods must be crazy.” I didn’t find it sad, but hilarious. “She has flowers on her panties!” “I collect manure.” A debate with a chimp up a tree…

      It is a completely accurate anthropological study, both of the Kalahari Little People and of white South Africans. And I love the underlying messages. :)


  15. James Choron says:

    Dr.Bob, I can’t believe that I finally found you again. I’ve been looking for months!


  16. Armiyao Harruna says:

    Dr. Bob, I’m an African writer with a self-published book since March. Initially I was not made to understand that I’d be paying some monies apart from the initial publishing fee of about £500 for the 472- page story. When it was getting to print I was requested to pay for several items like advertising, Library of Congress, you name it. I couldn’t do anything and we broke contact from that point, even though the book is being sold online at Amazons and other outlets. Nobody from the publishing house has contacted me on quantity sold so far online and print copies sold by the publishing house. What’s your opinion about this? Fact is, I’ve many books in my head and I can’t dare do anything now if my first work is thus treated. I’m elderly in age.


  17. Ray Mathway says:

    Hi Bob,
    just read your “Voting for Consensus” (speech given at Akademos) – had to laugh as it mirrors my experience in trying to set up a small “worker’s co-operative” :) Will look at more of your pages as patience allows – really hate reading off a computer screen.

    What’s the prize for winning the Rat-Race anyway ??


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      The prize? A rat of course.

      I much prefer to read onscreen than on paper, for several reasons.

      1. I can zoom. Nowadays, when I read on paper, I need to wear glasses. On my computer, I just magnify the view.

      2. Backlighting. This really reduces eye strain.

      3. Search function. In most programs, you can search for a word or phrase. This is really useful when editing. On p 287, Sue’s son is called Jim. When I return to p 1 and search, I find this is the first instance of the name. So, I search for Sue, and find that on p 32 the son was Jake. Try doing that on paper.

      4. If it’s not in my computer, it’s not real. I can’t read my own handwriting, so have learned to think on a keyboard. When I take minutes at a meeting, it’s done by the end of the meeting, only needing a bit of tidy-up.

      5. I can take as many books with me as I like, without paying excess baggage. In 1991, I went to Europe from Australia, carrying 40 books with me.

      6. Most important, electronic books don’t eat trees.

      About consensus, the trouble is that it’s foreign to European-based cultures. The only way it can work, paradoxically, if an authority figure forces people to accept relevant training, as in the Australian army.

      Anyway, I am delighted at your comment.


      • Ray Mathway says:

        As an electronics technician, I am now anti-technology – not because technology itself is a bad thing but because it is mostly badly thought through & badly designed.

        Next term I’m giving a 10 week class to Seniors on Alternative Societies (including Nil-economy & Intentional Communities) …. I expect the same lack of understanding as on Concensus so will spend the first class (or three) explaining the terms & definitions used :D


      • kartofflmuter says:

        I never sat my children in front of a TV unless I was in front of the same TV. That way I could say,”Do you understand that ? Did you laugh because they fell down or because they got hurt? That’s called slapstick.But it’s not really funny when people get hurt,is it?” Yes. I was a pill. Our first child was such an avid reader that in 2nd or 3rd grade,he invariably won the reading award each week and each month. Finally they just had the “Robi” Award and second place. He read three or four children’s books a night. By 6th grade ,his reading level was 1st year of college. They tested him and said he was nothing special.Not talented or a genius. In fact when he was a toddler,they’d suggested he was deaf or hyper active. I left him alone and brought him books from the library.Sci-fi.Heinlein. Ender’s Game. Spider Robinson. Dune. Zelazny. We had rousing discussions over dinner on the finer points of mirror worlds and time travel. I really should have been a Tiger mom and pushed all the kids but they were all so smart I didn’t see the point . Oh well.He went on to become the youngest director at Yahoo,quit,moved to Seattle and started his own company.Google has put money in it. Not deaf.Not dumb.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Yes. Technology, science are tools, which can be used for good or bad, well or badly.

    I am a member of an intentional community that has survived over 40 years. I suggest that rather than telling them definitions, do an exercise. This group has come together because they want to build a community. They have $x they can pool, and want to buy land and build houses on it. You can specify their pretend ages, say, all in their 30s and 40s, with children. They now need to design a manifesto that sets out the aims of the new community, rules for making decisions and handling conflict, how to deal with costs, etc.

    Much more fun. You can provide links to resources, e.g., http://mudsmith.net/moora.html and http://mooramoora.org.au

    There is Findhorn, Crystal Waters, Tuntable Falls and many others.


    • Ray Mathway says:

      good idea for the exercise Bob. I’ve already made a list of websites of long-term Oz & overseas communities – amazing how many there are ! I went to Tuntable Falls & Crystal Waters several times in the 80s/90s. I also plan to cover those that have failed or failed-to-launch ….. mistakes teach you things too :)


  19. Dr Bob Rich says:

    kartofflmuter, that way of using TV shows you can wring good out of anything. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. kartofflmuter says:

    Well-just about anything. We listened to Rush Limbaugh on the radio while running errands one week.For an entire 5 day period,I kept my mouth shut. This was harder than you might think if you knew me personally.I knew how to drive and had a car to drive when our second child turned 3.Robi was still in elementary school.It was the happiest time of my lfe. We were driving to Dr. appts and the grocery store. At first,he didn’t say anything either and on the third or 4th day,he said something.I remember we were at Albertson’s getting out of the car. “Feminazis”-that was is name for women he didn’t like. So my son asked why were listening to this jerk and I said that this jerk invited anyone to listen to him for a whole week to decide for themselves. So? He said he had made his decision. We put in a Hindi Cassette tape when we left and never listened to the jerk again.


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