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

The New Cathedral Door

In thinking it was time to start writing for my blog again, I have been digging through my thoughts folder, if you will permit a reification, and came across some musings from last year when I was listening to the Big Brother Watch podcasts. One episode in particular, Social Media Censorship and the Impact on Free Speech, presented some chilling changes which happened when we began our first spate of lockdowns as the Covid pandemic picked up in intensity....

May 22, 2021 · 7 min read · 1333 words

Jotting — Protect Duty

Lightbulb Moment The Government is committed to improving the safety and security of public venues, as outlined in its 2019 manifesto. This consultation considers how we can work together to develop proportionate security measures to improve public security. It also considers how those responsible for publicly accessible locations are ready and prepared to take appropriate action, were a terrorist attack to happen. Analysis As a historian I am deeply conscious of the inertia that government has exerted over the past half millennia....

May 18, 2021 · 2 min read · 240 words

Hail, Lobster!

Buried as I am in books and journal articles, and abjuring the more mass appeal social networks as I do, much in popular culture passes me by. I don’t confess this with any sorrow, nor even much pride, it is just the case, to adopt that hideous phrase: ‘it is what it is’. As a rule, I find that which is meaningful tends to endure, and generally adopt a wait and see attitude to modern culture....

April 16, 2021 · 5 min read · 957 words

Bitcoin's Dirty Little Secrets: Environmental

It is with no small degree of interest that I have been watching Doug Belshaw’s latest side project unfold, extinction.fyi. 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. For our children’s children, we may even bequeath an uninhabitable planet....

March 29, 2021 · 4 min read · 793 words

A Mastodon To Call My Own

I’ve been thinking for a while about my online services. It started, as so many of my recent online adventures have, with a post from Kev Quirk alerting me to his latest initiative: the 512k club. I have been interested in a greener and lighter world wide web for sometime, and have written about my attempts to improve the weight of this site. This initiative was right up my alley. But it also got me thinking about my online identities and where my services are hosted....

March 6, 2021 · 4 min read · 756 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

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