On using a variety of information services

In the last couple of weeks I’ve: Deactivated my Facebook account. Logged out of Twitter on my desktop. Stopped using Google Contacts, Calendar and Photos I’m not really sure why, but there it is, I have. I think over the last five years in excitement at the good user experience and high user adoption, I […]

A thousand times an ant colony of fifty times a cat

Culture is important. Particularly, it’s important for technology which is about how we as humans talk to one another. Telephones, computers, mobile phones, internet… They’re all about how our particular species of primate communicates. And now they’re becoming one powerful industry newly reformed. We’re each a neural network, thrown abruptly into a chaotic world, which […]

A fugue on authoritarian high modernism

He listened. The speaker started with a natural forest. A gorgeous, maddening, complex, survived-of-the-fittest, multi-species, layered, organic feedback pathways, mycella-ridden delightful speckled sunlight happy, violent/eating/parasiting/singing insects/birds/people, robust kind of a forest. They followed with a timber forest. A straight-laced, single specied, splatted down, polygonally-bounded-tree-age-contoured, money spinning, automation hugging, zen simple, database-like, timber-producing, silent, vulnerable all-lined-up-in-rows […]

The peace to know what you don’t know

I avoided statistics at school like a rash – filled myself up with super powered double A-levels in Maths And Mechanics instead. I’m not sure why, as it turns out statistics is vital to the good functioning of our world in 2017. We have plenty of computers and plenty of data, and plenty of willingness […]

Email review #1: FastMail

I’m personally still frustrated with the email services I know about. I’m going to start by reviewing what I use now, which is FastMail. This is for my personal email, which I use for identity on many web services, for notifications and for writing letters to people. I’m working for myself at the moment too, […]

A short walk around Vote Leave’s software VICS

The campaign which won last year’s referendum for the UK to leave the European Union immediately dissolved, and in the process kindly open sourced some of its innovative canvassing software VICS – blog post, github repository. This afternoon, prompted by a chat with Incubator of Change (a Liverpool based think tank working on new ideas […]

Hindu holy mountain #2: Arunachala

In the late 1890s – the story goes – an ordinary boy in southern India heard an uncle mention the name of this holy mountain. Arunchala! Just this, just the name, started pulling him to it. The mountain is meant to be, literally, an incarnation of the deity Shiva. Then, a while later, for no […]

Rant on the failure of news media

Last night I watched Charlie Brooker’s news recap of the year. As I watched, the humour leavened things and left me entertained. But in my sleep, my mind has realised it had made me pretty angry. So a brief change in tone for this blog – a rant! Charlie – both you personally, and you […]

Notes on a meditation

I went on a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation course in the Goenka school, at Bodhgaya in Bihar province in north India.  It was a complex event – my emotions and thoughts about it have often changed dramatically in a day. This blog post is more in note form than a cohesive, final account. 1. Silence For […]