The New Cathedral Door

The Infant Hercules and the Standard Oil serpents

In taking up the keyboard again, since I finished 100DaysToOffload last year, 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 epidemic grew into a global pandemic. On April 22, 2020, Twitter announced it was broadening it’s guidance on unverified claims about Covid-19. In the announcement tweet, … Read more

Hail, Lobster!

Burried as I am in books and journal articles, and abjuring the more mass apeal 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 menaingul tends to endure, and generally adopt a wait and see attitude to modern culture. Generally preferring to look forward to hearing the latest music and reading the trendy books in about fifty years once Clio has cast her inevitable judgement.  But one piece of the … Read more

Bitcoin’s Dirty Little Secrets – Environmental

AIRS 2011 annual mean carbon dioxide concentration in the free troposphere

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. Thus my spotlight on the ecological effects of our choices is slowly widening and most recently has taken in cryptocurrency. 

In part thanks to Tesla investing an aggregate $1.5 billion in bitcoin, short sellers and ‘people who refuse to buy into the Elon Musk hype‘ more broadly have gone into overdrive. First surfacing the myriad financial issues, now ecowarriors are piling in to use the high profile platform as an opportunity to callout the environmental harm of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency generally.

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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.”

Late Abroad Again

A short letter from Samuel Pepys to John Evelyn

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)

And ‘late abroad again’ it seems the people of Melbourne can’t be for some time. The Premier of Victoria introduced stage four lock-down restrictions last night. Residents will be subject to a curfew for the next six weeks. Banned from travelling more than 5km (3 miles) from their home.

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Wedding Feast

Flemish Wedding 17th Century

Tonight I contemplate marriage. Or rather, I am contemplating what I will eat after I am married: the wedding feast. For this evening sees a sampling of what could be on offer for my intended’s and my special day.

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The Shape Of Things That Are

Steven Pinker by Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times

Reading the popular press these days, I thought I had long gone past the point at which an article would surprise me. In an age in which E=mc2 has been argued to be a sexed equation because ‘it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us,’ no gymnastics should seem out of place. Yet today, an article in The New York Times managed the seemingly unmanageable.

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