Polywork, A New Professional Network

In a recent ambling along the Fediverse road, I discovered a new professional networking initiative called Polywork. The premise of its creators is fairly simple: We just thought it was high time a professional network existed that let you represent all the wonderful things you actually do as a professional…we want to build a network that empowers you and gives you control over your identity and your future opportunities....

October 31, 2021 · 4 min read · 655 words

My Copy of The Times

In days or yore, I would have spoken of ‘my copy of The Times.’ After all, it is a hard copy, I paid for it and I can port it around. It is, for all intents and purposes ‘mine’. But in the digital age it isn’t ‘my copy,’ rather it is my temporary access so long as the subscription lasts. Of course, in the era of ‘my copy’ there was not assertion to a copy(right), much less copy(left), over the printed work....

August 27, 2021 · 3 min read · 454 words

Life is Long, Access is Short

In a recent exchange on the Fediverse, I was put in mind of trust relationships. Do you trust your government? In these unmannerly times, do you even acknowledge that the government of your country is your government? Do you trust your doctor? Do you trust your police force? Do you trust your digital service provider? The last enquiry is my muse this day. An enquiry which is redolent with both aspects of trust: the ethical and the technical....

August 2, 2021 · 4 min read · 778 words

A Peer's Tube

In a recent article, I waxed lyrical about expanding my self-hosted services into the realm of the media social with a Mastodon to call my own. The driver is not that I abhor commerce, that would be biting the hand that feeds me after all. Nor that my world view is so fragile it can’t abide contradiction, far from it. The cut and thrust of debate is largely what gets me up in the morning....

July 19, 2021 · 6 min read · 1241 words

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 of another great historian’s book: Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writings on Ice Cream, Obama, Churchill & My Mother by Simon Schama. It is a glorious read that, like all of his work, lives up to John Clive’s assertion: ‘historical wisdom only deserve[s] to endure if it ha[s] a proper quotient of wit, force and literary power’....

May 17, 2021 · 3 min read · 516 words

How I Publish — Back to the Future

In How I Publish – Version 3.0, I gave a short sketch of my online publishing efforts. In a nutshell, I started my blogging life on WordPress. When I embarked on the 100daystooffload challenge I used WriteAs. When seeking a more feature rich platform I tried GhostPro. But today is back to the future as I return to WordPress. Why The Platform Hopping? Part of the reason, as I outlined in Confessions of a Platform Junkie is that I love technology....

August 12, 2020 · 3 min read · 628 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

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

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