How the rest of us sleep

Sleeping person
Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

In the previous post I mentioned sleep… Its something which is so important and since I’ve been tracking my sleep for many years. I have noticed how much better my sleep has been in relative times compared to before Covid19. Its strange but I’m getting about 8-9hrs a night and its good quality sleep.

Except when I eat silly things, my sleep quality is up by half a point across the board in the last 90 days.

I was reminded of Matthew Walker on rethinking sleep a part of BBC’s Rethink series. Matthew proposes a radical rediscovery of how, when and why we sleep during the pandemic of covid19.

Our sleep does seem to have changed during the pandemic there’s some emerging data from some sleep tracking companies that suggests people are going to bed at different times than they were before but also typically on average waking up a little bit later. Now for some people overall that means that they are getting actually more sleep. I think what we’ll find is that when we look at the data that’s probably at least two clouds of results. There are some people during the pandemic who will have been struggling with sleep and being getting less and it’s more difficult. Then others who are actually getting more, but I think what we’re really seeing in this data is that people are starting to sleep more in harmony with what we call your chronotype. In other words, are you an evening person are you a morning person or are you somewhere in between?

I’m certainly a evening person, I say typing this at 2am. I am also getting more sleep than I use to generally. I know its massively unfair but its what it is. The other night I took part in 3 podcasts and the last one ended at 1230am BST, and I felt great. Went to sleep a hour later and woke up 7.5 hrs later no problem.

The moon
Photo by 🇻🇪 Jose G. Ortega Castro 🇲🇽 on Unsplash

It turns out that you don’t really get a choice in that as it’s largely genetically determined, so it’s hardwired but what does this mean for the future then or what could it mean for the future in terms of sleeping well. Perhaps when people return to work, what if we asked everyone to fill out a very brief set of questions and we asked them about their preferred sleep times. When they would prefer to wake up when they prefer to go to bed. Companies can then start to try and accommodate as much as they can people’s individual work schedules?

I think this would be a fantastic idea. No harm in asking, you don’t have to fill it in but for evening people this could be a massive change. I’m currently working 11-7pm.

The notion of working 9-5pm fills me with fear to be honest, but I also know people who are doing 7-3pm and 8-4pm. Hence it would be useful in the other direction too.

That way they allow the employee to start sleeping in a much more compatible way with their biology rather than in conflict which is what many of us seem to do in this modern world society is really designed to bias and favor these morning types, but there’s a great big range and as a consequence we could have better rested employees and better rested leaders. We know that more sleep does equal more productivity. It’s not true that less sleep makes us more productive.

I think thats the main point, its biology not lazyness or all the other things people say. If you want the best out of employees, now is a perfect time understand what naturally works for them. Larks or owls its worth understanding from a business point of view.

Sleep on a clift
Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

I’d love to get an idea of the percentages of the population would naturally go for later (owl) and would go for earlier (larks), if they were not on mass socially engineered into the 9-5pm?

Part of the reason I don’t watch much TV news

While major news networks have struggled to figure out the right way to cover the Trump administration, political satirists like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers have demonstrated why comedy can be such a powerful antidote to bullshit.

I was thinking the other day, I don’t really watch much TV news. Ok I don’t watch any live TV anyway but News would be very low in that tiny percentage.

However I do watch a lot of Comedy news from last week tonight, the daily show, realtime with bill maher, etc. That backed with reading news from credible news sites makes up most of my news. News sources which take a longer view on things, rather than whats happening right now.

Boris Brexit Bus
I will never forget the Boris Brexit Bus

The nonsense from our politicians is alarming and theres only a certain amount I can personally take. The only way to cope is to laugh at how stupid the whole system is and not breath in too much of it.

I guess because of this I sleep pretty well at night (especially with my new hours) I certainly don’t do the  doom scroll thing, worrying about what I saw on the news.

The story behind the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute

John Carlos and Tommie Smith made headlines across the world when they raised the black power salute on the podium after winning in the 1968 Olympics. That protest brought them death threats, and they were expelled from the games.

Vox is on fire recently. The story behind the 1968 Olympics black power salute is something worth watching.

The incredible story of Freedom house ambulance service

I learned today about the incredible story of Freedom house ambulance service thanks to 99 percent invisible. Generally the story goes that back in the 70’s in Pittsburgh, if you call for help in getting to a hospital, a hurst driver or the police would throw you in the back and take you to hospital.

A man called Peter Safar from Europe, proposed that together they could train lay people to be medical professionals and  start providing ER quality treatment right away, before the patient arrived at the hospital.

After designing advanced ambulances and putting people through a  intense 300-hour course. They had their first comprehensively trained first responders. They were all black people and operated in black parts of Pittsburgh where taxi driver, hurst drivers and the police were not reliable or wanted to go.

Its was a massive success and became the start of the profession we know as paramedics.

Group photo of Freedom House attendants and the Pitt physicians who
trained them. At front row, center, is Nancy Caroline, M.D., who developed national standards for emergency medical technicians. At far left, in white lab coat, is Peter Safar, M.D., known around the world
as the “Father of CPR.” Photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh

However!

Freedom House’s five ambulances were running nearly 6,000 calls a year. And not only were they getting to the patients faster than the police, but they were also providing demonstrably better care. At a city council meeting, Safar presented data showing that as many as 1,200 people a year had been dying needlessly while in the care of other emergency services. Freedom House paramedics, by contrast, had saved 200 lives in the first year alone. Doctors and medical directors from around the country flocked to Pittsburgh. Freedom House medics were invited to conferences as far away as Germany. Everyone wanted to see what they were doing and learn how they could copy it.

Photo credit: University of Pittsburgh; Freedom House paramedics with ambulance.

But in spite of its growing fame, Freedom House would eventually become a victim of its own success. Other neighborhoods were wondering why this predominantly Black community was receiving better care than theirs.

Of course there is more to the story but I was struck with the similarity to something Douglas Ruskoff talked about in his most recent monologue.

How Centuries of Black Strength Created a Blueprint for Economic Recovery – Black communities have for centuries harboured a spirit of support and mutual aid. It’s time the rest of the country followed their lead. However In the monologue there is something oddly similar to the Freedom House story.

Economic success in Black communities inevitably leads to white jealousy, which in turn inspires more oppression, pogroms, and murder.

And there you have it… How many other stories from the past have this same pattern. How many of these stories are happening today?

I haven’t had a chance to check out the book Douglas mentions, A history of African-American cooperative economic, but he’s right its well circulated. Here is a interview with the author Jessica Gordon Nembhard.

The great white lie?

This is something which really got me thinking. All that white marble really has changed the way we think about the past. The lack of colour I always thought was a cost and material thing but to know it was originally there but removed is … lets say almost sinister?

Seeing all that white marble does have an effect on the way we see the past.

Another aspect of systematic racism

I have talked about the system of racism over the last few weeks, but I didn’t even think about this aspect. (although its an American view, I wouldn’t be surprised if similar policies existed in the UK)

In US news and current events today, Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law author, continues his lifelong mission to debunk the myth of de facto segregation and explain how modern day segregation is enforced by US law and policy. Insidious tactics like redlining have contributed to modern day segregation, and it leads to modern school segregation, modern housing segregation and housing discrimination, and so much more. De jure discrimination didn’t end with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, it simply became more insidious and baked into the housing, lending and education systems that have prevented Black Americans from earning and keeping wealth. Modern segregation is no less immoral and unjust than explicit segregation, and the entire system needs an overhaul if we are ever to reach true equality and assert that Black lives matter.

I’m giving web monetization a try

Recently I gave the web monetization a try thanks to the amazing CyberDees.

I was aware of the web monetisation project after reading about the amazing grant for the web. But generally I don’t really think about monetizing my blog because its generally a hassle, I can’t stand the ad tracking and I worry about random stuff which I don’t agree with in my space.

Currently I get about 8-10 emails a day asking to replace links with their own. I generally ignore them now but they never stop and they always ask if they could guest write a blog for me. So I’ve been thinking maybe I should find a way where I stay in control of everything?

Hence the interest in web monetisation and tipjars. Actually one of the first things I looked at was flattr a while ago. Theres a good comparison of the two here.

Setting it up was quite easy with some direction from Cyberdees.

The process involving signing up to Coil, installing a wordpress extension and then somewhere to store/exchange money (ILP-enabled digital wallet) which was Upheld.

Once its all setup, I just need to turn it on. This is where I am…

I could turn it on and block all access to my blog unless you have a web monetisation plugin. But thats not what I want to do. I noticed in the editor theres the options per post or page.

Web monitization

  • Monetized and Public (default) – Allow all visitors to see the content, get paid when your visitor is a Coil Member
  • Coil Members Only – Only allow Coil Members to see the content
  • No Monetization – Allow all visitors to see the content, don’t get paid when your visitor is a Coil Member

So I was considering maybe making certain posts monetised, for example I could make all the public service internet notes pay to read? Maybe I could write some exclusive posts even?

But right now, I’m going to turn on monetized and public for my blog as a kind of tip jar type of thing. I’ll do it for a bit and see how things turn out. I’m not looking to make a boat of money, if its enough to cover a year of a domain name that would be cool.

Think of it as a beta test… I’ll review in a couple of months if I don’t forget that its turned on. Do let me know if theres any problems accessing the site. I also guess the RSS will stay as it is right now, but there is people looking at how to add web monetization to rss/xml/atom feeds. One thing I’d like to see is something of a timer on the montisation, so it could switch on or off after a certain amount of hours/days/weeks.

What have you actually done for #blacklivesmatter?

Black lives matter brand responses from twitter

Been looking at ways to keep an eye on what all these companies who claim to be antiracist and support . I found this piece from wired.

Its good but what we really need is a collaborative database like airtable, of all the pledges of support.

Black lives matter brand responses from airbnb

The best I have found is this slide deck from Lexie Pérez, Julian Cole, Stephanie Vitacca and Davis Ballard.

As protests and unrest have taken over the U.S. and other parts of the world –  brands rushed to speak out and align themselves with anti-racism.

We’ve gathered 100 + examples of brands responding to the Black Lives Matter movement. We’ve highlighted their responses, their actions and some reactions.

Black lives matter brand responses from linkedin

Its huge with about 130 companies covered from  Fashion, Retail Luxury, Technology, Sports & Fitness, Finance, Food & Restaurants, Entertainment & Media, B2B, Gaming, Advertising, Agencies, and Beauty & Health.

There’s some really shocking insights in there including these

Black lives matter brand responses from MarvelOdd one because Disney pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP. You would have thought Marvel would echo this?

Black lives matter brand responses from BeatsNow this lack of action was a surprise….!

Black lives matter brand responses from Facebook

This reaction was not!

Sure there must be some way to turn this great store of information into something we can use to keep the companies accountable in 3/6/12/18 months time? The data is there and I’m sure the authors won’t mind if its used for accountability…

Rattlesnakes by Julius Amedume

I recently watched Rattlesnakes by Julius Amedume. I was very impressed at every aspect of it. Of course I don’t want to spoil this great film, so here’s a reasonably spoiler-free review by dgarcia-15120

Jimmy Jean-Louis McQueen was superb! The final scene gave me the goosebumps! People, this is a psychological thriller! Brother in law, coworker, friend, battered wife, obsessed woman (kind of “Fatal-attraction”). You need to analyze each character and their motivations, relationships, and backgrounds to finally be hit with the brilliant final scene. Julius Amedume added a new dimension to the already fascinating Farrow’s characters making them even more believable. The atmosphere, the acting, the locations, everything was well staged. If you are looking for a fast paced, light entertainment movie, this may be not your movie, and you may find it “slow”. But, if you like to be psychologically trilled, immersed, amazed, and be astonished by an unexpected ending, then you shouldn’t miss this one.

Normally I would hold out for one of my film you might have missed (not to say it won’t be in the next one). But as the talented director/writer Julius is the person who wrote and directed BBC Visual Perceptive dramathe break up. Julius I first met while at University and he was talented even back then.

You can easily imagine him being the next Christopher Nolan?

Of course I’m not the only one who thinks this is a great film.

Rattlesnakes is available on Amazon prime and can be found elsewhere. If you are into tense thrillers, you will love it along with many others.

 

 

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (July 2020)

Hackers hoodwink facial recognition software with masks

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed considering the new normal for cybersecurity or uber’s underhanded approach to get its Jump bikes back.

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You are seeing aspects of this happening with projects to finally make clear IOT devices more legible and the EU putting weight behind Free and Open software.


The world we want post Covid19

Ian thinks: I have read a lot of post covid19 predictions, even started writing my own. But this one really felt more like a manifesto for where to go next.

Technology which perpetuates racism

Ian thinks: Good look at tech policy decisions which directly affect people of colour.

Beyond the tweets of support, where’s your tech being used?

Ian thinks: There is a real murky history of tech companies helping to arm law enforcement with stronger and ways to enforce without real regulation or legal oversight.

How do you defend against an opaque system of surveillance?

Ian thinks: Terrifying story of a man wrongly accused by an algorithm. He’s not the first and won’t be the last, the call for transparency, legibility and legal oversight is ever so strong.

How Taiwan used digital tools, to solve the Covid19 pandemic

Ian thinks: Taiwan mainly avoided the Covid19 lockdown. Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister, shares how tools/techniques like crowdsourcing, a transparent supplies system and the use of humor on social media have resulted in less than 500 confirmed cases.

Is anonymous or actually hacktivism which is back?

Ian thinks: Theres been an uptake in techniques similar to anonymous & occupy in the wake of . Its a mistake they are back when this simply the future of protests?

Why is the police body camera a false hope?

Ian thinks: Its all American body cameras in the studies, however there are similar aspects in the UK which are starting to stir.

Different ways to defeating facial recognition

Ian thinks: Great summary of techniques to defeat facial recognition complete with demos. Take your pick which most suits your style.

A comprehensive guide book to manifesting reality

Ian thinks: I know a lot people prefer paper to digital, and the node zine is a great e/book covering a lot of the digital technologies I cover in the public service internet newsletters. You can download if for free or order a nice print copy.

The future of work post covid19?

Ian thinks: There’s a lot debate over the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Each case is different but I found this economist video had all the points nicely wrapped up in short video. Lots to think about as the world starts to open again.


Find the archive here

Officer there is a black man…!

I mentioned a while ago how upset I was when watching the Amy Cooper video in central park. It became plain and clear if you call the cops and say the words “black person is doing X

Heck who could forget the guys sitting in Starbucks?

Heck when I was working in Starbucks (yes it happened believe it or not) there was a older white woman who came every day to read the free paper and rearrange her baggage, using the toilet and all while pouring free milk for herself. Did we ever call the police? Nope, never!

Trevor Noah covers a lot of cases, but he’s got zero on on the hashtag #Airbnbwhileblack. Although Airbnb has made changes, its not enough in a system of racism.

Estonia to implement a digital nomad Visa

My Estonian e-residency ID

How on earth did i miss this!?

The Estonian parliament on 3 June adopted amendments to the current laws to create a digital nomad visa that would allow people to come to Estonia as a tourist and at the same time continue working for a foreign employer or as a freelancer independent of location.

This is the step I’ve been dreaming about… Digital ID becomes useful for physical ID

Would I work in another country while doing my current job? You darn right I would. The last few months have made it super clear that I could work completely remotely quite well. A tourist visa is about 90 days within a 6 month period, I just spent 3 months mainly in my flat!

This is very doable and heck if I can also wonder across into other parts of Europe?! Now that would be incredible..!

 

It started with a subscription and a email…

I started subscribing to the Dyslexic Advantage, as I have gotten much benefit from the book and decided it would be good to digest much more.

After looking at their premium section, which has a lot of media I started thinking there is maybe too much and they are adding more to it all the time. I started thinking if they have RSS, I could subscribe and get updated media without having to go to the site to check.

Looking at their RSS it was the generic one for the blog no matter which page I went to. There was a note at the end of the podcast section saying if you have troubles or would like it another way ask.

So I did and got into a discussion with Dr. Fernette Eide and Dr. Brock Eide the researchers and writers of the dyslexic advantage. I talked about the advantage of RSS and explained you can have http authentication on RSS to keep their premium content secure.

They were using some other system which was costing them a bit and there was extra step of uploading content to the other system from their dropbox drive, which they nicely shared with me.

Dropbox drive I thought… sure I saw a service which will take a directory of files and generate a RSS feed? I remembered it was called Justcast.com

I set up a account and tried out Justcast for myself and was impressed with how easy it was to get up and running. The one thing which seemed to be missing was authentication on RSS feeds. So I ping them a support request.

Josh from Justcast wrote back pretty quickly… They were on it!

Thanks so much for your suggestion and interest on JustCast, and you know what, we are actually going to work on implementing this Authentication to the feed feature in July. I will definitely keep you in the loop on our development progress.

Following that email we went back and forth and he showed me what it would look like. Then a day ago (29th June) a email

Adding authentication to the feed feature went live. You will able to find the config under the Settings > Advanced. Please give it a try.

I did and it worked exactly how I specified previously. https://user:password@www.justcast.com/mypodcast/blah/index.rss

Perfect…  and the Justcast team have so many features, check out their blog. If I was creating podcasts not on archive.org. This would be my number one option now.

In the meanwhile I was equally impressed to see the dyslexic advantage team had taken my advice, converted their whole premium content to Justcast and were asking me to test the RSS feed.

Dyslexic advantage rss podcast with justcast

It worked perfectly, no need to have access to the dropbox anymore. I was able to subscribe to the RSS feed (theres a button called subscribe which gives you the full RSS feed link). I was able to add it the feed to my complex setup.

I was impressed with both sides and everything seems so much easier for all now. It reminded me how important it is to take advantage of those opportunities.

Justcast got a new client, dyslexic advantage cut their costs and time to upload and share new premium content. I got my RSS feed(s) with a automated drip of new content as they come.

Another nice unexpected thing came out of the whole thing. The dyslexic advantage team wanted to know my story and may turn it into a recording…!

IC3 means excessive force, seems to be the call always?

There is a trend. When IC3 (police code for black male) is mentioned, excessive force is somehow authorized.

From the Guardian

Huugo Boateng was taking part in a charity bike ride with his father along the River Lea in north London when he says he was grabbed from his bike by a plainclothes police officer, threatened with a stun gun and fell face first into thorny bushes.

The 13-year-old told the Observer: “I’d turned around to see if my dad had caught up behind me, and suddenly this man came out of nowhere. He was crazy angry and shouting. I got scared because I thought he might be mugging me or trying to give me corona so I ran, but there was nowhere to go but in the bushes.”

While he was down on the ground, the teenager says the officer pointed a Taser at him and threatened to shoot. The officer then arrested Huugo and put him in handcuffs. Further down the towpath, his father, Andrew, 43, was told to get on his knees and put his hands behind his back. Andrew was also handcuffed. The two were detained, suspected to have been involved in a stabbing in the area.

The most ironic thing about the whole incident is…

The family were visited by a community officer later that evening. “Huugo didn’t want them to come in so they stayed on the doorstep and asked if we were OK,” said Andrew, who works at City University. He is also active in local projects including coaching a youth football team and volunteering for the outreach programme Kickoff@3 , which is co-run by a black Metropolitan police officer, Michael Wallace.

“I couldn’t vouch for a more humble and more dedicated member of the community,” said Wallace. “The irony is that Kickoff@3 is about building good relationships with youth and the police, and Andy is instrumental in helping with that programme. The bike ride he was doing was organised by us – we were raising money for a homeless charity and a domestic violence one.

If there was any doubt about the UK being less racist, its simply not. The racism is different but its still there