- 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.”
- How I Publish – Back to the Future
A few months back I gave a short sketch of how I publish online. But today is back to the future as I return to WordPress.
- 100 Days of Muse & Reason
Sprint research as I like to call it. If my critics’ reviews are anything to go by, my short and crunchy prose is better for the process.
- Contribution Manifesto
In a bygone age of ink, pen, paper and a stamp, there was a barrier to entry. Today, there are querulous readers and trolling bots.
- Copying Old Masters
The copying of old masters requires skill. In which context, the mere repetition of copying helps to improve an existing ability.
- 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,
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
People thinking of their impact on others, maintaining the known health authority guidance and looking out for others as they look out for themselves.
- 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
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
This gives you the space to post, find your voice and hopefully in time make a meaningful contribution to the world of letters as your readership grows.
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 or even writing a cogent article for here (Muse & Reason).
- 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, the void and how these help me to overcome the struggle with topic.
- 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, levers and buttons than I am with touchscreens and complex scripts I can’t understand. To take a line from the book of Potter: Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- 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 car should be ‘easy to use’). This was because his vehicle required a stoker to keep it going.
- 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 is feeling.
- 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 one of the English language’s greatest biographers: Dr Johnson.
- 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 of troubles,And by opposing end them Or in the case of my journey to an more optimised site would have it: to CDN or not to CDN, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to let your webhost suffer the traffic and attacks of an outraged internet, or to use a CDN in a web of trouble, and in load … Read more
- 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 Fédération of 14 July 1790.
- 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
Kknowing 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.
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.
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 writing discipline, it creates challenges when life is provoking thoughts which are deep, need tremendous research to present a nuanced argument and time is short after a long and tiring day.
- 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 that had fought world war II. The civil rights generation that had the courage to sit at the lunch counter and brave fire houses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedoms cause. Everything contemporary seemed infused by history to reach out and back to History for a sense of its own future purpose. Simon Schama
- 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 at times hard to navigate. While there is much merit in Robert Frost’s notion of the road not taken, at times I love it when things just work. For that, some brave soul needs to have trodden the road first.
- 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.
- Proportionality in Pursuit of Justice
Specifically put, proportionality isn’t a one way street in which the power of the state is neutered to the benefit of an individual.
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.
- Centralising the Decentralised
The only prevention is to discourage the banning of alternative views and instead engagement in rational discourse.
- 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
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!’
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.