Are you actually monogamish?

There’s a flaw in the way we choose our life partners. We pair up based (mostly) on preferences outside of the bedroom, and hope that what happens in the bedroom will match up. Infidelity is not the end of the world, it’s a reality of long-term relationships. We accept the good and the bad when it comes to our partner’s jobs, families, and failures, but quickly default to divorce when we yield to natural temptation.It’s time to stop fooling ourselves and accept that outdated concepts of “proper” sex are torpedoing discussions needed to reach mature sexual compromises. Many of the relationships that we think of as monogamous are actually probably ‘monogomish': mostly monogamous, but with bits on the side. If we really want to protect the sanctity of marriage, we need to make it our playground, not our prison.

From Dan Savage… also  in Urban Dictionary
A relationship that is mostly monogamous but occasionally exceptions are made for sexual play.
My boyfriend and I are monogamish, so it’s cool if you want to make out with me

Not much different from what was talked about at the event I went to in Manchester. The argument then was pretty much the same from Rosie Wilby, as she also wrote about.

Its a enlighten way of looking at relationships, certainly don’t think society can yet grapple with this as of yet. Which is not an excuse…

Why shes not a feminist

I have already posted about being a feminist and dating feminist. Interestingly Rosie posted how to find yourself a feminist partner which hopefully we will talk about on lovegrumps soon.

Recently I have butted head with different women over feminism. I don’t know what it is but so many women really hate the term and will never consider themselves feminist.

One such person is Girl Geek Upnorth, who wrote her feelings about why she doesn’t identify as a feminist. So I will reply…

  • I do not need to identify myself as a feminist to believe in equal rights and opportunities. I live in a world where I am free to make this choice, it is my right to do so, even if you don’t agree with it.

I agree, and I support her rights to make the choice not to identify as a feminist. Its ultimately up her, I just suggested she might want to consider it.

  • I do not believe that men and women are equal. I believe we should have equal rights and opportunities, but I celebrate our differences, and I can accept that these difference may lead to a divide in political, economical, cultural and social representations. This does not necessarily mean that equal rights and opportunities were not given.

Its all about equal rights and equal opportunities. Everybody is unique and different, I do celebrate this too. But they should have equal rights and opportunities.

So I think were saying the same thing pretty much, although she doesn’t use the label. However when it comes to the movement against and women against feminism, I’m less certain we agree.

It is my opinion, that in more recent times, feminism has been tainted. Something must be causing these women to feel like feminism is trying to make them feel like a victim, claim oppression, or be ashamed of wanting to be a stay at home mum instead of lawyer or doctor. These feelings don’t come from no where, and whether or not feminism represents these ideas or not, it does not make the opinions of these women any less valid. Maybe in their cases they don’t need feminism anymore because for them, the feminist movement has done its job, but I think it’s a damn shame that such an amazing movement has become so misunderstood and warped by today’s society.

I feel people are people and in groups, there will always be parasites. Or in this case people who claim to be feminist who don’t respect other peoples right to make decisions for themselves. For example when Jody wrote about her breast augmentation in the Guardian. The hateful comments from radical, self righteous, hypocritical, or even judgmental feminists was shocking.

I will admit I am finding more smart women who subscribe to the values of feminism but refuse to be called one. And its their right. I feel the word is in transition of being reclaimed, maybe in many years it won’t be a taboo to be called a feminist…. maybe?

Update… Andy Powell added his thoughts.

He asks the question about FEMINIST verses feminist. Or I you could say big F vs small f feminist. I did find the language politics highlighted by Tom Scott very interesting too. Although I can’t get behind Equalist.

…because of the attitudes of the FEMINISTS I find it difficult to claim I’m a feminist, so Im just going to go on record as saying I’m an Equalist.

Equalist for me is like when somebody says I’m  African American. I have been called it before while in America, to which I had to say I prefer Black thank you . I understand and respect why some people want to use that term but it feels like a half way house, and for what?

Feminist stirs the pot and conjures up thoughts in the people who hear it. Same as Black, same as Gay, same as Geek…

I guess at the end of the day as long as the values are equivalent it doesn’t matter what you use. Now thats something I can get respect.

Traitor to the male race, a reply from Molly

Molly drops in for lunch at Backstage

Remember the post I wrote about being told I am a traitor to the “male race” for sharing knowledge about pickup artist literary with female friends? Yes it wasn’t long ago and I’m still looking forward to bringing these guys up to Manchester to defend their position.

But I also cross posted into Google Plus, Molly responded. Unfortunately the post is not public but I asked Molly if I could repost it here, which she said happily…

I think the most important part of your personal statement to read and reread as necessary are these two words: old friends.

I do not know much about this aspect of culture as I am older and not necessarily in the game as it were. But any truly great movement has its heart and soul in the betterment of the entirety of the human, and thereby humanity at large. Not just the individual selfish end need or want.

To bring people together with the greater ideal of wanting them to have fulfilling and lasting relationships in their lives that are not abusive in any direction is to me perhaps the highest goal human could pursue!

I may just be not well informed about these issues but I cannot for the life of me in figure out how anyone could call the desire and action of helping people achieve a better way of relating a traitor to *anything*

Thanks Molly! Really nice, honest and heart felt response!

Tokyo awaits

Japanese Shopping Alley

I said in my new years resolutions I was going to Tokyo.

  • Go to a new part of the world
    I’m scoping Tokyo and think I got the flight sorted, some friends who maybe interested and I’m looking at Airbnb for somewhere to stay. My cousin has mentioned eastern europe is cool…  regardless, I got to try going somewhere new and further east

So I have looked at the best times to go and I’m the very edge of booking the flights. Found some great flights for about £500. But I’m a little stuck when it comes to the hotel/airbnb.

Its not the cost, its more if I’m going alone or with somebody else?

I have had a few offers but nothing has stuck yet,  So I guess this is a open call for anybody who would like to join me or has advice on where I should stay or go. Wikitravel and a host of recommended books have been useful.

I will visit other parts of Japan but Tokyo is my main destination, we all know how much I love cities.

I bought into the Philips Hue system but why?

Philips Hue Bridge

After my blog post asking about which smart lighting system works best for me… I choose the Philips Hue system but why?

  1. Philips made its simple REST API public! Yeh!
  2. Seen activity of people hacking around with the Philips hue lights.
  3. Replace my aging and dying Philips Light/wake-up clock.
    It keeps waking me up at the wrong time of the night and missing the alarm time! I barely use it because of this. Looking forward to combining my sleep pattern with my wake up. May even help with my alertness?
  4. Have better control over my living room lighting.
    I like warm lights at night and hate the way the lights are in my living room at the moment but don’t want to do the massive alterations to change it at the moment.
  5. I really want to experiment with XBMC and a Ambelight style setup

23and…everybody

I saw a tweet which included the unstoppable Aral about 23andMe

You may remember I wrote about my thoughts about joining up and then a follow up.

Well…. as per the tweet

Today, 23andMe announced what Forbes reports is only the first of ten deals with big biotech companies: Genentech will pay up to $60 million for access to 23andMe’s data to study Parkinson’s. You think 23andMe was about selling fun DNA spit tests for $99 a pop? Nope, it’s been about selling your data all along.

Since 23andMe started in 2006, it’s convinced 800,000 customers to hand over their DNA, one vial of spit at a time. Personal DNA reports are the consumer-facing side of the business, and that’s the one we’re most familiar with. It all seems friendly and fun with a candy-colored logo and quirky reports that include the genetic variant for asparagus pee.

Its not even shocking…

We all (well some of us) knew this was coming. It does make me wonder how far companies such as 23andme will go?

I started listening to Andrew Keen on Triangulation today before leaving for work. I only got 10-15mins through when I found myself agreeing with Andrew on something (and it really hurts me to say so).

He mentioned something about Uber and the value of these services. 23andme I imagine would be added to the example pile too.

Black Mirror White Christmas on Lovegrumps

Black mirror white christmas

The Lovegrumps, which was myself, Ryan and Tom talked about the Black Mirror Special.

Two men exchange stories on Christmas Day. These stories tell of a dark future where technology rules our lives.

Black mirror is great but this episode is extra special. Seek it out!

Warning! If you have not seen the Black mirror special, do not listen to this episode of Lovegrumps! You have been warned… Massive spoilers!

Which smart light technology works for me

I have been watching the Home automation market for a long while now and with all the security problems, have decided its time to get involved. Lights seem to be alright when it comes to security risk.

Checking out Amazon reviews, theres quite a bit of criticism about the Belkin Wemo compared to the Philips HueSam suggests LiFX as another option but I never heard of them.

So what am I after?

  • A range of LED bulbs and lights (bayonet and edison screw)
  • Support for Android at the minimum, IFTTT, Web and Linux would be great.
  • The ability to join my network either via Zigbee or something else.
  • Colour

After my brief twitter chat with Sam and Tony, I now know Philips Hue Lux is out, Wemo also maybe out due to the colour.  LiFX looks interesting but the lack of a wireless bridge worries me with bigger install plans. Plus I think there is a benefit to a bridge to connect other zigbee devices which are coming on to the market. Originally I was thinking about getting a almond plus router but then picked up the TPlink Archer D7 over the holidays at a good price.

It looks like the Philips Hue Lux is the best option to get started. With those I can hook it up to my Sleep as Android app, recreating my very old Philips wake up light.

I can then add a light to my living room for use while chilling out and watching films on xbmc/kodi.

A traitor to the male race?

According to some old friends, I am a traitor to the male (race)* their words not mine.

Why?

Because I actively introduce my female friends (and male friends to be fair) to the game. I explored this live in Lovegrumps 2 recently.

Yes…! Who would have thought it?!

This kind of backwards thinking deeply worries me and puts us all back in the dark ages. Traitor is a harsh word and I kept checking with them, to be clear they understand the use of the words they have chosen.

If this is true, then Neil Stratus is the biggest traitor of all once he wrote the book the game and shone a light on the seduction societies. What about the many RealSocialDynamics videos on youtube. Don’t even get me started on Mystery and the VH1’s pickup artist.

I would argue this type of flawed logic from a two pickup artists (they like think of themselves as more than that) is exactly the trick of mind they attempt to pull over women. They call it a reframe.

Its exactly this type of brainwashing nonsense which leads to wider (as Ryan mentions in the lovegrumps podcast) dumping in the sea or poisoning  the well) and even deeper routed damage. Ryan is also right its not a zero-sum game!

The fact is these pickup artists are the people holding back the mankind full stop. (I won’t even touch on the new world manifesto stuff... Yes even talked about the media, religion, Scientology and Mr lizardman) Not only that, they are the same people who claim women don’t know what they want and men only want to sleep with as many women as possible. Through-out the discussion I kept mentioning, its a spectrum and the simplistic approach they have to the complexity of relationships and peoples wants and desires.

Frankly I called bollox on their statement!

Luckily the pickup artists (remember they class themselves as something more) have agreed to one day do a discussion about it. I asked if they would come on the Lovegrumps but they said they prefer in real life. So look out for a live lovegrumps one day soon maybe? Maybe the Manchester Flirting weekend will come back in some form or another?

New years resolutions 2015

Ian Forrester

Still can’t remember what prompted me to start blogging my new years resolutions but its become a good habit (as far I’m concerned) and I’ve always got friends, family and followers to keep on reminding me.

Following my review of last year… here’s my New Years Resolutions for 2015 which follows on from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. 2009, 2008 ones.

  1. Go to a new part of the world
    I’m scoping Tokyo and think I got the flight sorted, some friends who maybe interested and I’m looking at Airbnb for somewhere to stay. My cousin has mentioned eastern europe is cool…  regardless, I got to try going somewhere new and further east
  2. Improve my circus skills
    I have completely neglected  my circus skills last year. This year I’m aiming to be able to perform a basic vertex. This will mean going to down to Quirkus or seeking out the Circus House. I’ll also be watching and practice in front of Youtube (i mean tricks like the vertax gunslinger have got to be tried)
  3. Scooter into another country or new area
    Last years trip down to Bristol via Snowdonia was amazing and I got to go do it again but go further a field. The issue really is weather but I think early summer in Ireland or up through Scotland could be fun. I’ve also been thinking about how I have never been to East Anglia (except Kings Lynn), so maybe its time on the scooter?
  4. Explore my sapiosexual and datasexual sides
    I like new ideas and also like data, its time to explore how far this can go, with a linked up approach to my self-directed career.  This links up my thoughts about surrounding myself with smarter media/people, with my aspirations linking up my career.
  5. Quantify more and make better use of my data exports
    Off the back of the last one…I collect quite a bit of data but its still in a lot of silos. When I was doing the metadating, it became clear how distributed it all is. So I’m going to do something about it. Maybe aggregate it all together under my own control. Also I’m going to sort out the Manchester Quantified Self meetup.
  6. Do something for other dyslexics
    Another connection to number 4? I manage my dyslexia in a not bad way, yes there are better ways but everywhere I look there are still stories of people struggling to manage. Somebody once suggested I would be a great mentor and to be fair I have done a little ad-hoc mentoring. I’m not sure exactly what yet, but something.
  7. Improve my health and alertness
    2015 is 5 years after my brush with death. I’m forever thankful for the chance to change things and live the life I want. I’m not doing too bad, consistently at my lowest weight and feeling quite active. Of course I can always do better and that is happening. But I’ve been wondering about my alertness. I use to be quick and I’m seeing signs that its coming back. So I’m going to make 2015 about alertness. This may include the flu jab and better sleeping patterns.
  8. Hire somebody to ironing my clothes
    I have a cleaner because although I do clean my own flat, there are things which I don’t have time for or simply forget. Likewise I usually keep my clothes in a reasonable state by shaking them and hanging them up when out of the washing machine. But I have a lot of cotton now and it just gets wrinkled and there is little you can do. I bloody hate ironing, so its time to just hire someone. Looking at you hassle.com
  9. Try dating younger (and progressive) but central located women
    Recently I seem to be going out with women my age who live further a field and seem less progressive about their thinking. Its time to try something different, theres lots of single women in Manchester. I hadn’t really considered younger (don’t know why really), although most men do. My parents have a large age between each other and it works ok, maybe it could work for me?
  10. Decorate the flat
    When I first moved into my own flat in Manchester, I was told by the estate agent, the furniture would be easier for them to leave it there. Of course this was a lie and I had to run around in my recovery period getting furniture from IKEA. My parents and good friends (sheila/glyn) helped me put everything together. And the lovely Jane, rearranged my living room a while ago. I always said I would replace things like the sofas, but 4 years later its pretty much the same as most other apartments. Time for a new look, touches and some new furniture.
  11. Read more
    I still tend to read non-fiction type things but recently my instapaper and greader is getting quite busy as I’m certainly not finding the time to just sit and read. Thats going to change in 2015.
  12. Discover more music via Djs and Podcasts
    Chris tweeted following my review of 2014 about my top music listening from Last.fm. I have to admit my music discovery last year was a little crap. I don’t listen to music radio or go out to clubs where trance or serious house is played, so don’t really get a chance to discovery new stuff.  In the past I use to listen to Armin van buuren and gareth emery’s podcast because I use to walking alot. However I walk less now due to the scooter (can’t quite get headphones under the helmet yet). So you know what I’ll be listening to while working. Be interesting to see the difference next year.

A review of my 2014 resolutions

Its been quite a year for me, the odd google plus video above is just a tiny slice of my hectic but great year.

This year I thought I would do  something a little different following metadating and another year of the quantified self. Following a bit of a twitter chat with Herb and Zoe, I thought I’d give Stephen Wolfram a run for his money (not!) Here’s some of what happened this year.

I  spent 6 days, 10 hours, 50 minutes watching 213 episodes over the past year.

I spent 1 week, 2 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes watching 111 movies over the past year.

Top 10 artists I listen to this year…

  1. Digital Italic
  2. Twit.tv
  3. Mauro Picotto
  4. Placebo
  5. Marco V
  6. Simon Patterson
  7. Gaia
  8. 2 Many DJ’s
  9. Sander Van Doorn
  10. Ferry Corsten

So how did I do on last years resolutions?

Baking a cake

  1. Go to a new part of the world
    Yeah this didn’t happen unless you count north Wales as a different part of the world. Unfortunately the holiday to Jamaica didn’t happen when my parents moved house. I’m already looking at Tokyo prices for 2015.
  2. Use my Task list more
    Success, I certainly used it a lot more but I could still do with better ways to do offline tasks. I am intrigued about the differences between using task to remember stuff and tasks to refer to stuff.
  3. Bake a bloody cake
    Ahhhh! The cake is not a lie… Well Sarah’s Banana bread/loaf suggestion may did happen while I was down in Bristol with my parents. Yes its easier but frankly it removes the temptation to bake Victoria sponge’s all the time. Following instructions or a recipe is something I always found painful. However I’m finally going to remove it from my list! Not to say I won’t ever make one again.
  4. Ride the bloody Smiler
    Not only have I rode the smiler this year, I think in total I have done 16+ times (sorry I lost count of how many times now, should be quantifying my rides) and boy oh boy have I loved it. The longest wait must be 1 hour 20mins in the single riders queue. Next year I’m considering get another yearly pass because its been great fun riding in Alton Towers and Thorpe Park when it was April and May.
  5. Improve my circus skills
    This year was ideal for circus skills but I rarely went out and did any. I did make it to the Cholton Circus house event once and its in my calendar now at least. Maybe next year?
  6. Move away from GoDaddy
    I’m fully away from Godaddy. Moved my blog, emails and domain to hover and WPengine. Another one marked off the list.
  7. Surround myself in higher thinking
    This is certainly happening, I generally don’t watch much live transmitted TV anyway but this year I’m watching far far less. Generally I’m watching either on-demand TV shows or something educational from Youtube. The chromecast has helped with this I have to say, Xbmc is cool but the chromecast has made the process super simple. My podcast listening has increased too with things like Freakonomics. I also messed with my twitter followers a little, so generally I’m getting higher thinking stuff. My ianforrester account follows all my friends instead.
  8. Scooter into another country
    So May/June was amazing. I did the simple option of driving through Wales, although the mountains were incredible. but I clocked up 403 miles during that trip alone. Myself and Oli Wood are talking about doing something next year, so expect to hear more soon.
  9. Use social media to stay in touch with friends
    I started off well but then kind of lost my way in the middle of the year. I guess removing Facebook from my phone was always going to cause a issues and not enough friends use other platforms daily. I did do a little social experiment to see what I should do next year, around a Christmas card on G+ and FB.
  10. Pick up the family genealogy
    With the help of Sarah, my insane family tree is on genealogy.co.uk. I can’t believe how much they charge but we have identified quite a few of the family who are already using it and could take it onwards.
  11. Live the life I choose
    Dave commented on my thoughts about the hyperconnected world we are heading into.

    As I believe in the hyper-connected world we’re moving into. My bets are against hierarchy and traditional. Maybe there is a word which sums this up?

    My assumption would be something like dynamic linking. However Dave suggests that word I’m looking for is Heterarchy.
    …enough i hear you cry, how did it go this year?

    So this year I stuck to my principles and I believe are seeing signs which are fruitful. I reached out for better advice to better manage and use my dyslexia to further my own career. Also next year will be the 5 year anniversary of mybrushwithdeath.

  12. Sort out my love life and finish the book
    Been put myself out there and attended many weird and wonderful events. I also started dating different women again, hey you never know (opposites attract?) The book is still being written (slowly) but its more difficult as the dates I been on in 2014 have not been anywhere as bad, I’m also trying to remember some of the older dates. I could make up drama but everything to date has been written on top of the truth.

Banana bread

Software ahead of the curve: Virtual Turntables

VTT virtualturntables

I was reflecting on my move to digital music after the on the beat conference. I’m sure I mentioned it elsewhere before.

The speed and progress of digital djing has been reasonable but frankly it could be better. Yes its the perfect setup for a DJ Hackday, but regardless. I was talking to somebody about the Pacemaker device and started to reminisce about Digital Djing. Now I know I’m going to sound like grandad but I think its interesting to remember where we came from.

I was saying I remember VTT (Virtual TurnTables) which from my memory was the first commercially available Dj software I was aware of. I had a copy and installed it on my 200 MMX desktop computer. It ran ok but frankly it was super basic, no auto BPM, very laggy pitch control and the cross-fader slow to react.

However I have to say it did support multiple sound cards and configurations which would make it actually usable in a real DJ environment. It would play Mp3’s, Wav’s and Aiff’s. Unlimited playback (which on a 200MMX is about 2 songs max). Special effects, very basic sampling and looping.

The thing to remember is this is about 1997, this is 2 years before the height of Napster. The advancement in Digital Djing was CDj’s at the time. For Carrot Innovations to rock up with a DJ application so early and for it to look like something the Djs was use to was mind blowing. Heck Mp3’s wasn’t even legally available outside the darknets! So we had to rip CDs using one of the darknet dodge tools. It was only recently you could do it legally in the UK.

Crazy times…! But thank you Carrot Innovation for creating VTT.

QS Metadating in Newcastle

Metadating

A few weeks ago I was accepted for Newcastle Culture Lab’s Metadating research trail.

The research was more about our attitudes to sharing personal data than dating. However they did invite singles and included a number of events which included speed dating. I guess also meta-dating would be factually correct as we were talking about dating while dating.

Metadating

There was homework which had to be done on the run up to the event. You were given a booklet which you could fill in as much as you were comfortable with. On top of that was some blank generic graphs which could be filled in with our own data. When I say our data, it could be any Quantified Self data, from how many coffee’s you had over the week to you’re more intimate data like you’re sleep cycle daily. Everything was up to you to declare, which gets around the problem of using Quantified Self data in research. But it also makes it difficult to compare. Luckily this wasn’t about the data metrics.

Once at the event (I rolled it into a wider visit to Newcastle’s Culture lab where I talked about ethics of data, a visit to Newcastle’s Makerspace and Campus North. Didn’t make it to the beach however). I was one of the  first to turn up as I was heading home to Manchester on the last train. It became clear the problems I had with thestarter, were pretty much reversed as very few women turned up. (this is a issue I’d love to spend some time sorting out one day)

The PhD students lead by Christopher had bought some nibbles (olives, cheese sticks, etc) and lots of Cava. By the time we done the icebreaker it was down to the group discussions about our data with a Cava in full swing.

Metadating

We were split into two groups and we started critiquing the anonymously data sheets. It was fascinating to hear other peoples views on data points, dread to think what people said about my sleep cycle and steps per day. It also became clear the data may have been fudged in parts by others. To be fair I did use real data but choose to leave off some of the measurements. Everything was recorded by camera and audio dictation, which I bet made for some very interesting insight into data sharing.

By the second half, the cava was certainly having a bit of an effect and peoples lips loosened. Just in time for the speed dating portion. Now to be fair Chris and the other students had never been speed dating, so it was a little odd but the imbalance in men, meant we had to do it in two parts. On the speed dating, we discussed each others data sheets and more (ooeerr!) We were given the opportunity to write something to each person later.

Metadating

Another eye opener for me was at the very end when we constructed the perfect and worst dating profile for set people from data we made up. The eye opener for me was building a dating profile for a women who was career driven. All the guys around me seemed to not like her, while I was asking if she was real and where can I meet her? (Cava had certainly kicked in by then)

The event ended about 8:45pm so quite a bit over time but as people started shifting to the local pub, I had enough time to quickly have a drink then head to Newcastle Station for my long train ride home.

The metadating event was fun and to be honest the culture lab students may have gained a ton of insight from the frank and slightly loose lipped participations on the night. I imagine the Cava was bought expecting the full board of people but with the smaller number and the stand ins, there was plenty to go around.

I am surprise I didn’t fall a sleep on the train. However to be honest it was so busy down to York, theres no way I could fall a sleep. I’ll save my journey for another day…

The metadating event was great fun and from a research point of view I’m very interested in what comes out of it. Its a shame a bunch of women didn’t turn up but the students did a good job thinking on their feet and making it work. I suggested to Chris and Bettina that if they did it in Manchester or London it would be packed out, and I would certainly support them in the research.

Thoughts and ideas of a dyslexic designer/developer