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) Publishing (19 posts) Philosophy (14 posts) Most popular post (So this is how privacy dies…, 2,241 views) I began the challenge hoping it would improve my journaling habits and ability to write short form pieces....

August 10, 2020 · 2 min read · 299 words

Contribution Manifesto

Second last day for the 100daystooffload.com challenge and I continue to contemplate ‘what’s next’. Which is both technical and philosophical. Time for a contribution manifesto, me thinks. I don’t currently support ‘comments’ on my blog. I have long been in two minds about the whole process. Not least because I have seen avid bloggers both enable, disable and re-enable comments. I have read their reasoning and share much of it. Particularly regarding interaction volume....

August 9, 2020 · 4 min read · 818 words

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 academy life was the copying of old masters. That is, an aspiring artist would learn the forms by copying works which were considered fine examples of the discipline. A similar method can be invaluable when seeking to improve one’s writing, though with a key difference....

August 8, 2020 · 3 min read · 529 words

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. Arguably, the First World War was the catalyst for change. Monuments sprung up to memorialise the dead, be they the lowliest soldier or greatest general. In other words, common people became more than just a statistic....

August 7, 2020 · 2 min read · 331 words

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, Japanese Methodist minister The devastation that unfolded in the seconds following the explosion in Beirut has been likened to an atomic bomb. The timing of the analogy is striking as #onthisday in 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The Imperial War Museum commissioned a piece to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: ‘I Saw The World End’....

August 6, 2020 · 1 min · 175 words

Serialisation

It’s the final count down. Five days to go and I will have completed the 100daystooffload.com challenge in 100 days. I’ll save the wrap up for day 100, but today I thought I would ruminate on ‘what’s next?’ Ending At The Beginning At the outset of the challenge, I observed that my research work had honed my long form writing, but my ability to write snappier short pieces was lacking. Perhaps the biggest challenge of the challenge has been the daily requirement to post....

August 5, 2020 · 2 min read · 374 words

The Ability To Ignore

I read Doug Belshaw’s article today on Lies and misinformation and it got me to musing on what could be termed the ‘necessary groundwork’ for people to fall prey to lies and misinformation. Namely, the ability to ignore. In a sense, the issue is hard wired into us. Since the earliest days of our evolution on the savanna, our visual and aural senses have been attuned to ignore content. Sights and sounds which don’t represent a clear and present danger to our life can be ignored, to leave space to process that which might kill us....

August 4, 2020 · 4 min read · 785 words

Late Abroad Again

August 16th 1665 It was dark before I could get home; and so land at church-yard stairs, where to my great trouble I met a dead Corps, of the plague, in the narrow ally, just bringing down a little pair of stairs - but I thank God I was not much disturbed at it. However, I shall beware of being late abroad again. - Samuel Pepys (1633 – 1703)...

August 3, 2020 · 4 min read · 668 words

Art as Background

J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) was growing up, and remains to this day, one of my favourite artists. He painted, printed and drew prodigiously, leaving to posterity a collection of more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours and 30,000 works on paper. Part of my fascination with Turner stems from my god-father, who wrote the book Angel in the Sun, about Turner’s vision of history. He sent me a copy in the late 1990s when I was in my first flush of university study, an impressionable age, and my interest in Turner’s work has blossomed ever since....

August 2, 2020 · 2 min read · 341 words

Self-Gaze

le regard [the gaze] in the philosophical sense is an individual’s awareness of ‘the other’. By ‘the other’ a myriad of concepts can be meant. It might be one’s awareness of other people, other things, even awareness of oneself. The Look Jean-Paul Sartre, in Being and Nothingness (L’Être et le néant - 1943), devoted much space to what he termed ‘the look’ and the way in which being in the gaze of someone else affects us....

August 1, 2020 · 4 min read · 642 words