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Dr Robert N. Winter

Pseudo-Profound Bullshit

In this context, we do well to reject the bullshitters of this world, but we do our understanding a disservice if we are sceptical to a fault.

They Are Teachable

One of History's lessons is that once a group is deemed unteachable they will be placed in the category of an ever present threat to the preferred social order.

Hugo: Or, There and Back Again

Time again at a premium, I mused on my latest quest for minimalism. In doing so I realised that I was creating as many problems as I was solving.

Response — Sitting with Ambiguity

Sit with ambiguity, but be aware of when a seemingly circular conversation is enhancing a definitional understanding and when it is just a group of individuals unable to comprehend ambiguity hoping that a drawn out conversation will nail down the problem.

Zettelkasten Method

From time to time, I contemplate how I publish. Mostly because I like 'the elegance of a refined workflow'.

Teflon Leadership

Those who rise to the top jobs, do so not because they are better leaders or have fewer blots on their copybook — it is because they are better able to shrug off criticism and weather the blistering attacks that are directed at all holders of public office.

Moxie and the Server

To determine if the statement is 'true', we don't need to poll everyone — only to understand the category of the statement.

The Linux Paradigm

In science, a paradigm is a model or pattern — a typical instance or exemplar. But in rhetoric, my chosen field, it is an example or guide as to how one should behave.

Santa Fe Emergent Engineering 2021: Niall Ferguson

Freeman Dyson famously wrote that “A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.”

Polywork, A New Professional Network

I have often thought that an individual is far more than their job title or pay scale. Which means that even in a professional networking context, your portfolio of experience should also include your experiences.

My Copy of The Times

When we cut each other off from access to knowledge, we may preserve our copyright, but we run the risk of endangering our copy's posterity.

Life is Long, Access is Short

If not accidentally lost, your data can vanish in other ways: the community project shutters, a company goes under, or the subset of services you use are axed.

A Peer’s Tube

Winter Ink PeerTube will allow for the documenting and preservation of videos to which I can link in my ongoing speculations about life and art. Links, and the content they reference, which are permanent and will always work. A necessity to promote the adoption of individually-owned and controlled sovereign spaces which enable an open and healthy web.

Intellectual Warehouse

While access to information is now relatively more widespread than in the past, the modern paywall can often prove to be as much of a hurdle to access as the price of manuscripts was in yesteryear.

The New Cathedral Door

Does it truly safeguard that which is dangerous and true while restricting that which is dangerous and false, and does it arrive at this determination through a process of deliberation; or, does it merely replace one arbitrary determination for another about that which is dangerous.

Jotting – Protect Duty

While I am not keen on the idea of self-policing, lest we go the way of some American states, I do wonder if society may not be better able to protect its citizens if its citizens were more involved in that self-same protection. Be it physical, intellectual or cyber.

Scribble, Scribble, Scribble

I think it was the George III who is reputed to have said to the great historian Edward Gibbon: “Another damned, thick, square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr. Gibbon?” Apocryphal or not, the sentiment is the apologetic title…

Jotting – WHO

Lightblub Moment ON FRIDAY, APRIL 30, the WHO quietly updated a page on its website. In a section on how the coronavirus gets transmitted, the text now states that the virus can spread via aerosols as well as larger droplets.…

Hail, Lobster!

The moment when left leaning popular culture overreached itself and instead of fascist shaming a once obscure academic into silence, brought back into popular use what had long been taboo and empowered the very thing they thought they were destroying.

Bitcoin’s Dirty Little Secrets – Political

In praxis, the result for Bitcoin is that the ideological claims for a decentralised, government free, anonymous currency has given way to the ‘worse-is-better’ ideology of why most people seem to be dumping cash into crypto: to get rich and live the capitalist high life.

Tool Time

Consider that a UI should assume the user doesn’t have a high level of software experience, nor is willing to learn how to use the command line to undertake some level of personalisation.

Bitcoin’s Dirty Little Secrets – Environmental

I have long been concerned with the negative human impact on our environment and while I am some way off from thinking the world is on fire, it is clear that business as usual is going to leave a decidedly lessened planet for our children. Thus my spotlight on the ecological effects of our choices is slowly widening and most recently has taken in cryptocurrency.

A Mastodon To Call My Own

Mastodon allows you to run your own server which means you have "absolute control over your own voice on the web, not subject to anyone else's rules or whims. Your server is your property, with your rules."

100 Days of Muse & Reason

Well, I have reached the end of the 100daystooffload.com challenge and the numbers are as follows: 100 posts in 100 Days 44,752 words 15 Major Topics Most prolific topics were: Technology (22 posts) Social Comment (22 posts) History (19 posts)…

Contribution Manifesto

In the spirit of a benign dictatorship, my determination of quality contributions will be both objective and subjective. No offence is intended, but as offence is a social construct, taking it is at your discretion.

Copying Old Masters

For the better part of 400 years, the production of art in France was largely controlled by artistic academies. With the first official academy being the Académie Française (“French Academy”), founded in 1634 by Cardinal Richelieu. A key element of…

Virus From Below

The history of the world, for a long time, was the history of great people. Mostly great men. It focused on singular individuals and seldom mentioned common people. Preferring to recount historical events from the perspective of leaders.

I Saw The World End

I went up to the hillside and took a panorama view of the city and found the whole city on fire. - Kiyoshi Tanimoto,

Serialisation

Whether pre-prepared or thought out during serialisation, it provides for a short or medium content format which addresses a long form topic.

The Ability To Ignore

Since the earliest days of our evolution on the savanna, our visual and aural senses have been attuned to ignore content.

Late Abroad Again

As the contagion bit hard, Pepys chronicled the flight from the city, mostly of doctors, lawyers and merchants. Then as now, only those with the financial means to do so can seek refuge in seclusion.

Art as Background

Turner was something of a privacy advocate. In the 1841 census he rowed a boat into the Thames so he could not be counted as being present at any property

Self-Gaze

It is possible to find a subjectivity and objectivity of the written word and know I am on the right track, even if my work is temporarily out of fashion.

Wedding Feast

In the tradition of my family, and the civilised everywhere, I will be planning the meal starting with dessert, working through the main to the entree.

Finding Confidence

While the fool is wise who opens not his mouth, the quiescence of the thoughtful is a loss for society. This is particularly the case when it comes to social media and blogging.

Armada

The history of the Spanish Armada is a call to take care on our journey home. Although we may feel mauled by the day, we can salvage most of what we have.

Finding Time

Find a trigger which helps you to get in the frame for writing, leverage the power of habit and set your inner candidate to the task.

The Case for Listenership

In some senses this is very apt, as on social media we are too often prisoners in a system providing emotional support to other prisoners.

Beware Generalisation

A writer can fall into the trap of imagining because 67% of respondents to a survey support X, there is genuinely wide spread support for the proposition..

Supporting Evidence

My weekends are usually spent cloistered away in my study, working on one project or another. My fiancée laments I spend too much time tinkering with my blog, time that could be better spent ploughing through more of my PhD…

Tranquility Reflected

Day 83 of the 100 day challenge and I have drawn a total blank. I have faced writers block before, but often this has been a catalyst to a post as it has caused me to muse on mental indigestion,…

Nibbled By System

I am a simple man who fears being nibbled by system. I like things I can see and touch. In the technological realm, I like things I can see and organise. This is perhaps why I am happier with knobs,…

Easy To Use

I learn today that Jules-Albert de Dion took the chequed flag in the world’s first motor race, the Paris–Rouen in 1894. Sadly for Jules-Albert, he was not declared the winner as his steam-powered car was against the rules (that a…

Emotional Contagion

Emotional Contagion is the phenomenon of feeling what it appears someone else is experiencing. Art abounds with examples of this, where a painting, sculpture or film elicits a sensation in us of what we imagine the character we are viewing…

The Giant’s Causeway

James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck, lived in an age in which titles were grand and letters and diaries were even grander. In a time of conspicuous literary splendour, Boswell wrote perhaps the greatest biography in the English language of…

To CDN Or Not To CDN

As the great bard made a Prince of Denmark once say: To be, or not to be, that is the question:Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take Arms against a Sea…

And I’m Feeling Good

Today was a day of relaxing. Well, it started in mild dismay looking at the stock markets, descended into a frustrating morning fighting the dragon of a site with less byte, and resolved into a walk through the local markets.

Site With Less Byte

This has started me on my own quest for a lighter footprint in my publishing platform. To that end, there is much tinkering to do.

The Shape Of Things That Are

Though conclusions drawn from data may be offensive, we should be slow to take offence at data. Even if it contradicts our deeply held beliefs.

Shape of Things to Come

A striking feature of Wells' book is the way in which he prefigured 'cancel culture' in the thinking of his fictional social scientist.

Fête Nationale

I could not let July 14 pass without a nod to that most French of occasions: Bastille Day. A celebration which marks both the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 and the Fête de la…

Five Stages of Autonomy

At this stage, employees, whether remote or in an office, enjoy true autonomy. The Nirvana Mullenweg and Co. are in search of for their businesses.

Gothic Reprieve

Musing on how the building I passed was the very antithesis of the Gothic, I found myself recalling some of the majestic architecture of the past.

Spot the Gorilla

For me, this can become frankly as depressing as, to quote Blackadder: getting an arrow through the neck and discovering there's a gas bill tied to it.

Skepticism and Wonder

In the vast ignorance of a society absent of sceptical enquiry, evil festers and spreads, like the coming of night, and all foul things come forth.

Doomsday Clock

The concept of a clock was chosen because it implies that unless we stop the seconds from ticking down, the hands will inevitably reach midnight.

To Federate, But How?

It also raises questions about cross posting to other platforms, such as Medium, which are the natural hunting ground of avid readers.

Losing Readers?

While I am not a popularity junkie, it is more gratifying to know one is writing for a large than a small audience as I write to try and assist others.

Cartographic Escapism

Hogwarts was not only the best but, if you didn't read the text carefully and skipped whole sections of Goblet of Fire, the only wizarding school.

A Change Management Primer

Knowing this only shifts the problem from 'how' to 'when'. In other words, at what speed should the change management take place?

A Land of Chilly Riverways

To a man weened on 'beautiful one day, perfect the next' descriptions of his adoptive land, it comes as a shock to find it so chilly a dull earache begins.

Ode to a Yoghurt Pot

Bellowing preconceived ideas with ever increasing volume is seldom a path to organisational success and Vedic happiness.

Lacklustre

Today… what can I say about today… it was nothing out of the ordinary, very lacklustre indeed. Neither terrifying nor exhilarating, sad nor happy, downcast nor uplifting.

How I Publish — Version 3.0

Avid readers, and those who accidentally stumbled in searching for something else, will have seen deliberations on whether or not to switch platforms.

Finding Flow – Basics

Musing the topic, three ideas immediately spring to mind, which is a suitable number for the 100 Days challenge.

Time Capsule I

The novelist saw more clearly the differences between fact and fiction. That notions of a 'better world' tomorrow is a fallacy of the doctrine of progress.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Not a nice, cosy little hole, you understand. Rather a long and seemingly unending one. After you've fallen down it, you never know where you will come out.

Leading From The Front

Plato wrote of cardinal virtues and their importance in the character of a good city. It is tempting to pickup this theme in regards to leadership.

Red Tape Is Fun

As a child, the sense of being tested vexed me much. This persisted into early adulthood, as I steadfastly continued to avoided administration.

A Novel Approach to Music

I share Gilmour's puzzlement that more authors don't team up with musicians to add another dimension to their audiobooks.

The Base Camp of Everest

I have to stand on the shoulders of giants or, more specifically, tinker with the work of others to accomplish the end result desired.

Circular Conversations

I seem to recall a time when life was filled with good conversation. The kind of talks in which minutes melted into hours.

Labours of Love

As the saying goes, 'God is in the detail' and only by finessing the little things does the overall project take on a majestic form.

Point Of No Return

Ever a man to love a bit of tinkering, the blogging process has also proved to be as much a technical as a mental exercise.

Confessions of a Platform Junkie

Having perused and discarded a number of options (Medium, Tumblr, Squarespace and Jekyll), I am now caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The Problem of Over Correction

While many will cheer and even demand over correction, given the 'historical injustice,' many questions remain unanswered.

The Struggle is Topic

There is no dearth of ideas, but each was pondered and rejected in turn as the research involved exceeds the allotted time for this daily challenge.

The Void

I love to give back to those who give so much to me, but sometimes this sucks all my powers of concentration. This is the height of mental indigestion.

The Over Consumption of Doubt

For the ancients, doubting was the end of a lifelong quest for truth. For moderns, it has become the beginning rather than end of speculation.

Peasants’ Revolt

Much the same could be said for the current protests. Eventually the people will leave the streets and things will largely go back to how they were.

Letterheady

One superb example of the genre is the business letterhead of Nikola Tesla - after whom the car company is named. Stunning share by Letterheady.

The Power of the Snub

Declines in sexual activity seem to owe more to 'the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the global recession of 2008' than fear of contracting Aids.

Competing Thoughts

Today was a day in which, if you’ll forgive this writer a reification, my thoughts have been battling in my mind. The main cause is that while the 100 days challenge is a great way to force a level of…

Damnatio Memoriae

Memory is more than the activity of an individual. It is an object, in so much as a statue or inscription reminds passers by of a person or event.

Media Archipelago

Pushing back on unorthodox views has given rise to 'wrongspeak,' 'the things we believe to be true but cannot say,' creating a Media Archipelago.

The Better Part of Valour

Obama made sure to bring together the past with the present. Memory stalking the impatiently advancing future. Into the party marched the honour ghosts, the generation of the revolution. A band of colonists rising up against an empire. The generation…

Cold Calling Students

While the line between a Socratic acceptance of the limits of our knowledge and genuine ignorance is blurred, academia's financial rapacity knows no bounds.

Modern Pocket Boroughs

Yet for all the antics, there was a certain honesty about such naked corruption. Votes were sold and it was clear who was buying them.

Into the Jaws of Death

One of the most memorable photographs of D-Day was taken by Chief Photographer's Mate Robert F. Sargent and aptly titled 'Into the Jaws of Death.'

Updating My Plank

As a man who loves his technology, one thing I enjoy reading about is how others use theirs. There is a small degree of voyeurism in this, but mostly it is because the digital world is deep and wide and…

The Case of the Dangling Toad

Combining powdered toad with the excretions and serum made into lozenges and worn about the affected area, drove away the contagion and drew out the poison.

Take Notes, No One Is Watching

End to End Privacy requires providing users with encryption everywhere they don't control. This is a promise a platform needs to uphold.

Letters of Note

Today I pay homage to one brilliantly penned piece by WSC, from an age when they both inked and blotted.

Mental Indigestion

Much as I wallowed in the majestic minimalism of how I publish, I now find myself revelling in a new minimalism of how I read.

Parliamentary Privilege

Sidestepping Trump's wounded pose and Twitter's egregious claim of the moral high ground and an interesting question about politics and speech emerges.

Distributism

To replace a People's Republic network with a Democratic Club network isn't necessarily an improvement because it only prefences one centralised solution over another.

The New Commons

As our forebears strove for the aspiration to vote, the mortgaging of our data for access to services requires us to strive for the aspiration to privacy.

Grey Eminence

Sadly, for our attempts to hold power to account, the 'what' is lost to the political 'how,' with which side wins becoming the benchmark for 'account.'

Contemplating Content

Though a visual man, I have grown tired of the flickering images of social media where unlimited filters and effects cannot cover the dearth of thought.

So I Could See Further

In the main, scholars, developers and researchers cite those who have gone before, without whose work their own product would be much reduced.

A Day of Rest

If I seek a day in which I am not on duty, and politicians are merely flesh and blood, should they too not be allowed a moments reprieve?

Airbrushing Memory

With digital services often serving as our memory, to remove content from personal drives is to airbrush our memory.

Please keep scrolling

Perhaps this is the heart of my distaste for much social media: it is designed to halt my thinking and focus my attention, not impell me to think on.

A Marvellous Idea for a Blog

I didn't have the time to write you a short blog about historical analogies, so I wrote about something else.

Dead Certainties

The key is to avoid reading events falsely, which inevitably leads to politics shaping what we think is true.

Code is Speech?

A point to remember when next your private moments are leveraged to improve a marketing algorithm. The unintended consequence of code is speech.

Language Defect: Privacy

The issue is not can they keep my data safe from an unauthorised third party, but can they keep my data safe from their algorithms.

Marshal Your Argument

Like a genre in publishing, a work forms part of an existing discourse and this creates certain ground rules for how words will be read and ideas conveyed.

How I Write – Technology

At first, my thinking rebels against the act of concentration. A day spent being pulled in a myriad of directions does not for a focused mind make.

How I Publish — Version 2.0

My quest for a publishing platform which was both elegant, unencumbered by endless plug-ins and left me alone with my text, brought me to write.as.

The Cloud of Unknowing

The question today, for whom do you write? Perhaps to improve your scribblings; perhaps to attract a general audience; or perhaps it is for posterity?

‘Good night, and good luck.’

This causes something of a paradox. I thought I would have to take a leave pass to not write today, yet pondering this has caused me to write today.

So this is how privacy dies…

To be a part of a society which doesn't take these choices means the most meaningful solution is to look at ambient as well as personal privacy.

Gakyō Rōjin

A compelling aspect is the way in which Hokusai's work burgeoned as he aged. An unconscious reaction to feeling we are yet to realise our potential.

Endurance Through Renewal

I came across a stone bench that appeared to be very old. Carved into an ancient looking wall, dappled in moss, thick creepers wound across its surface.

The Pied Piper of Zoom

In a sense, our online privacy is much like a child, vulnerable to the world and easily spirited away by a platform which offers ease of connection.

The Perfect Moment

Though it is not clear if this is the poet or the urn speaking, what is clear is that the passage seeks to transcend visual value.

‘Oh, the humanity!’

The past, which comes flooding in, transports us to a moment which is both frozen in time and animated by our thinking. 'Oh, the humanity!'

Catharsis

At times, writing alone is not action enough to free my thinking from its melancholy trends. In such times I turn to that most lyric of the muses, Euterpe.

May the Third be with you

It is fitting these memorial days are side by side because a central theme in the Star Wars saga was the freedom of peoples to live according to their need.

One Hundred Days…

My writing efforts are usually months in gestation. Thus I am out of the habit of a daily journal. #100DaysToOffload should fix that.

‘I’ and ‘Me’

The notion that the 'significant symbols,' found in the harmony between the projected and received understanding of the gesture which transports meaning between employee and manager, are not fixed, but are subject to continual recreation allowing infinite flexibility when assessing project planning.

No One Is To Blame For Misbehaviour

Variability in people leads to variability in the anticipated behaviour. In this context there is always a degree of unpredictability in behaviour.

Leadership: A Human Encounter

In the postmodern age, we are surrounded by more heroes than in a Homeric epic, with football players, life guards and even movie stars being thrown into the mix.

The City of Love

One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist. Stephen Hawking There is an old adage, the more we have the more we can give. This is true of temporal things as…

Alexander’s Invasion of Persia

“It is one of the paradoxes of history (and of historiography) that this king… should have been handed down finally in history as an enigma.” “Indeed, there is no figure about whom more writers are more at variance.” Yet what…

World View – A Graph

As I often get quizzed about different world views, one rainy day I threw this together. While I acknowledge any attempt to encompass the myriad of world views in a single graph is fraught with problems, it is still a…

‘God is Dead’

I know I know… you don’t need to shout it I am not so superannuated that I am deaf to your cries. Months I can hear you say, without so much as a drunken ramble or intellectual fart on this…

Age, Evil And A Better World

Age hit me the other day. To be precise it hit my right hamstring. It was cold and I got up too quickly. These were the words of old men, who I have mocked remorselessly over the years, coming from…

Is this what Warhol meant?

In 1968 the doyen of pop art, Andy Warhol, said: ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.’ Broadly speaking there are two ways this statement can be read. That fame is fleeting or that everyone will get…

Company Men

In Calcutta a statue was erected to Lord Bentinck, Governor-General of India. Its inscription bears citing at length as it is testament to the moral zeitgeist with which the British believed their empire to be infused: [To]William Cavendish Bentinck, who…

Madmen Raging Against the Sacred

The Fourth Crusade veered from its original aim, the reconquest Jerusalem, and ended in the sack of Constantinople; earning for itself the ignominious title of the crusade against fellow-Christians.

Truth and Beauty

Never before in the history of the world has so much information been so easily accessible. Name virtually any topic and a quick Googie or Wickle search will yield pages and pages of information, or bytes and bytes for those…

Old Soldiers Never Die

Peter de Noronha wrote ‘Old Soldiers never die, they only fade away, which has now been commuted to, they never die but only get slightly out of focus’. Can as much be said of Michael Schumacher’s return to F1?

Climate Change, Political Stagnation

The satirical ‘Yes Prime Minister’ quipped about international organizations: Hacker: But surely we’re all committed to the European ideal?Sir Humphrey: [chuckles] Really, Minister.Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?Sir Humphrey: Well, for the same…

Life of a Whirlwind

This oft quoted phrase has gone from the everyday, through the forests of cliche and emerged in the sun lit uplands of meaningless twaddle.

The Lions Roar

After entering a score of passwords, and wrapping tinfoil around my head to ensure the CIA were not tracking me...

What’s so interesting…

If the good Lord was not disposed to prevent this scene in the first instance, he was unlikely to extricate me in the second.