My new years resolutions for 2023

Mixing live in the EMFCamp null sector
Mixing live in the EMFCamp null sector

What a year, although I’m a little less positive about 2023 in the UK.

Following my review of last year… here’s my New Years Resolutions for 2023 which follows on from 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 ones.

  1. Combining a number of the previous digital nomad things
    I really need to understand the tax side of a digital nomad from the business point of view as an employee of a large company not a freelancer. With this knowledge I can build the solid business case for being a digital nomad for a year.
    The problem currently is most of the digital nomad community are freelancers, where everything is clearer. If anyone can help with this I need to find them and part of that is really getting deep into the nomad communities..
  2. Finish my dating book
    The book is being worked on and some are suggest I’m a lot closer than I think . The book has structure, being edited, I have illustrations and even decided to use mid-journey for the cover. After reaching out to many agents and publishers with not much success I decided self-publishing is the way to go. I’m setting myself 2023 as the year to finally do this.
  3. Head even further a field with the scooter
    2022 I didn’t go as far as 2021 but, I am up for driving on the scooter either up through Scotland or finally Netherlands and Belgium. 2023 has to be the year.
  4. Learn to drive a car
    Its also time, I’m not ever going to buy a car but being able to rent one for trips to IKEA and for longer journeys when the weather isn’t great makes sense. Its super clear the weather is going to get more extreme and being able to rent a car is more sensible. The other side of this is I can actually drive a car and passed my theory test with flying colours a long time ago (of course I need to do it again)..
  5. Listen to a Audiobook at least once a month.
    This worked out so well last year and to be fair I want to keep it going. Especially if I start using the gym too, although I’m thinking music is better for repetitive exercises. I also think I should write a some short reviews for them as some are excellent.
  6. Go to a new country
    I missed this over the last few years and really like to get back into the flow of this. South Korea is certainly of interest along with a few of the European countries I have missed like Norway and the Czech republic.
  7. Go to a new Rollercoaster park
    This is a repeat of last year but I really want to go to some of the European parks which I hear a lot about but never actually been. There are so many including Europapark in Germany, Efteling & Walibi in the Netherlands and Energylandia, Poland. Heck I have overlooked Flamingo Land in Yorkshire, forever!
  8. Take the Diabolo skills up another level
    I started undoing the bad habits but its time for the endless suicide and some vertex genocides. Really need to find some groups again, as learn so much quicker when I can see it in front of me.
  9. Start a new type of meetup
    Manchester Futurists stopped a while ago and of course London geekdinners ended for me since 2008. Recently I have been thinking about the public service internet a lot and how there is a real lack of support for public entities (dare I mention the strikes in the UK in the public services). So I’m thinking in typical form, find the others. Bring together people around different aspects of public service, looking towards the future.
    On top of this, I realised there is so much scope here and theres some great public spaces which could host the meetups. I’d really like to do something which is easily hybrid too.
  10. Do more self-hosting
    The selfhost train has really been moving over the last few years and I’m finding managing it a lot less stressful than it use to be. Yunohost has been a real joy and auto-update is great. Ideally a multiple domains would be really useful but cubicgarden.info is my playground.
  11. Be more selective about the subscriptions (podcasts, blogs, feeds, followers, etc).
    I am pretty good about this but I noticed there is quite a lot of legacy stuff which I should have removed a while back.
  12. Even better wellbeing
    I’m not doing too bad but there is room of improvement, for example my sleep has taken a drop and I’m less active when not playing volleyball or summer. I need remind myself my spa also includes a gym which I should take advantage of more. Wellbeing also includes my digital wellbeing with not enough blogging and my gratitude diary has gone to pot. Next year I got to do something about this too.

There is the 12 for 2023. Covid19 is still going to have a effect on most of them but who knows.

Have a good new year all!

A review of my 2022 resolutions

Ian and Alison together in the sun
Me and my partner at EMF Camp

2022 has been another interesting year. The notion of a United Kingdom has become a total joke to me after the 3rd prime-minister in a year. UK Politics right now is on a knife edge with so many strikes due to the government and the cost of living crisis effecting too many people.

Finally getting Covid for the first time after 2 years was quite something. Not just Covid but Covid-Toe! That was bloody painful!

From a Quantified Self data point of view 2022 looked like this.

  • My average sleep duration has dropped from 7hours 50mins to 7hours 30mins. Deep sleep dropped from 3.30hrs to 2.40hrs. Not great!
  • Tasks wise I switched from todolist.txt to todolist and have 148 open tasks and completed 1,919 over the year
  • Been to a few places in 2022 but no new countries. Manchester, Brussels, Lisbon, Cardiff, London, Bristol, Bath, Weston, Tetbury, Amsterdam, York, Ledbury, Birmingham, Lancaster, Durham, Bournemouth, and Paignton this year.
  • According to Trakt (which had a database problem recently), my most played show is Last week tonight with Jon Oliver. Film wise it was Everything everywhere all at once, which is also my most highest rated with 9/10. Black Panther 2 and the woman king were both 8/10. For the first time the most watched actors and actresses are Viola David and Idris Eiba (both black). Likewise the most watched director was Erin Lee Carr. Most listened to podcast is podnews.
  • I watched 151 movie and 288 hours of TV. I also read 647 articles via Wallabag.
Coffee and Dilemmas in Manchester
Coffee and Dilemmas in Manchester in April

A review of my 2021 resolutions

And the thoughts a year later

  • Live in another country for a short while
    This hasn’t happened and looks to be on this list for quite some time. The biggest blocker is understanding the cost (if any) for the company I work for. From my understanding and what I have read, there is no additional costs as taxes & insurance are paid as usual in the country (in this case the UK) with additional taxes paid on goods and services in the other country (Portugal).
    If anyone has any experience of a digital nomad as a full time member of staff in another country? Do get in touch!
  • Spend more time getting to know the tech community in Portugal
    I did spend a week in Lisbon getting to know the city as a non-tourist, looking around coffee shops, co-working spaces, etc. I also gatecrashed a Web3/crypto party along side the block crypto house.
  • Finish my dating book
    I am some way off this but I have made some progress, hiring illustrators and possibility another editor. I also considered my paths and decided Amazon self publishing is the way. I really want to get this finished by next year.
Mountain ride
The Honda Silverwing 600
  • Head even further a field with the scooter
    Not much happened this year but partly due to meeting wonderful woman who drives, meaning some of the journeys I had planned were done via car not scooter.
  • Send a email out to friends and family once or twice a year
    Another thing which didn’t happen, its still something I think about.
  • Find an alternative to the pebble watch
    This did happen, as blogged about here and here. Although I am managing with the Amazefit GTR4, I certainly would like to see something closer to the pebble’s interface.
MyPDS and Perceptive Raido
Perceptive radio in the Museum of science and industry for the BBC 100’s anniversary
  • Listen to a Audiobook every month.
    This is one I completely blew through the 12 books for the year, with 17 finished, a few started and potentially one more will be finished before the end of the year. The Bluetooth mp3 player with waterproof headphones was a great investment for the spa and gym.
  • Host more film nights and dinner parties
    From pretty much zero to 2 or 3 in a year isn’t bad but I can do much better.
  • Go to a new Rollercoaster park
    Never happened but thought about it a lot. Got a feeling next year Walibi, Efteling and Europa park are calling me.
Diabolo vertex spinning top
Diabolo vertex spinning top
  • Take the Diabolo skills up a level
    My diabolo skills has gotten really good, I undid some of the bad habits but the later part of the year not really had the chance to practice as much. This showed when I entered a contest at work and dropped the diabolo way too many times.
  • Put some attention into dating and love
    So while seeking more compatible women, I met Alison and we have been going out for 10 months now and is been a joy.
  • Seek out a better regular spa
    I looked and looked but decided having a pretty good spa within a short walk was big advantage compared to getting public transport or scooting to the spa each time. Plus now I’m mainly listening to audiobooks, I’m not listening to some of the awful conversations which happen around the spa.

Illustrations for my book: AI or not to AI?

Black man and White woman in AI drawn picture

Some of you might know I have been writing a book about my dating experiences.

Its moving along thanks to some great friends who have done such a great job editing, structuring and shaping the book. But one thing I turned my attention to a while ago, is the illustrations.

I did pay for an artist out of my own money but wasn’t quite happy with every single illustration for each chapter, so only had about half done. The rest I’m talking to another artist about but recently been quite impressed with the AI art generators like DALL-E 2, Midjourney, Nightcafe.

The generated works are strange and abstract enough to fit with what I’m looking for in the book. Not only that, the ownership and copyright seems to be working out (from what I read using DALL-E 2).

(c) Copyright. OpenAI will not assert copyright over Content generated by the API for you or your end users.

I certainly seen the AI bias in some of the images generated. For example if I don’t say what gender or race the person is, the AI defaults to male and white. Its only when I deliberately say Black male / female it then switches. I would also say the images of black women are not as fully thought out as white women. Because I’m generating pictures of dating, it always defaults to straight dating unless I add something to the query. Likewise the women are always thin never curvy unless specified. Actually a few times, I got women who were pregnant. Of course every single time I make a query, it takes credit (money) making it costly to really test its bias, sure someones already on this.

The big question I have is, if I was to use DALL-E for illustrations in my book, what would that say or mean for my stance around AI, bias and data use? To be honest, I’m actually thinking about generating the front & back covers in full colour, rather than the in book illustrations.

Maybe I should be less worried about this? Or even better I was thinking about ways to not just make clear it’s AI generated but show the process of selection or something similar?

Thoughts?

My new years resolutions for 2022

Headphones and Camera selfie
Can’t you tell how much I hate selfies?

Its been quite a year and everybody is looking for a better year in 2022

Following my review of last year… here’s my New Years Resolutions for 2022 which follows on from 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 ones.

  1. Live in another country for a short while
    I am determined to push myself out of my comfort zone and experience what its like living in a country with a different culture/language and customs. I feel I’m closer now than ever but there is a lot of work I need to do to make it so.
  2. Spend more time getting to know the tech community in Portugal
    Following from the previous one, I’m considering where the digital nomad visas are available. Estonia is the gold standard, its a great place with a lot of good things for it and tons of potential. However Estonia is a long way away. Portugal I like, the visa is good and its a lot closer for quick flights back. Germany and Spain‘s nomad visa is less great.
    With this all in mind, I’m thinking I should get to know the tech scene in Portugal if I’m serious about living there.
  3. Finish my dating book
    The book is being worked on but I feel the need to get it done, my sister suggests its in my star signs to get things done & dusted. But I do feel if I can move things forward enough, so I can spend a lot more time and energy on the first resolution. Right now its wait and see what agents and publishers say and if that goes nowhere self publish it.
    I’m also checking out platforms such as smashwords, Wattpad, etc too. Suggestions are welcomed if you know one suitable for a non-fiction, memoir with some self-help aspects?
  4. Head even further a field with the scooter
    Following my holiday around the common travel area, I am much more up for driving on the scooter either up through Scotland, down western Ireland or into the Netherlands and Belgium. Summer makes sense to do it and I feel full of confidence about going a head with it.
  5. Send a email out to friends and family once or twice a year
    Now the Volleyball teams are mainly off Facebook and Manchester Futurists is closed down. I’m spending almost zero time in Facebook and jumped on the selfhost train, so something which only invited friends & family would see. My thought dipping in and out last year is to run yet another wordpress site but with limited private access. Although I’m also considering a small microblogging system like Mastodon or a fork like smalltown.
  6. Find an alternative to the pebble watch
    As mentioned in the review of last year, I did try fixing the previous pebble smartwatches and bought the Bangle.js.2. I see the fixes might get me through another year or so depending on what the rebble community are up to. While the Bangle.js.2 could be a longer term investment as I or the community could write Javascript apps to interface with almost anything. I’m not keen on the touchscreen but without connecting it to a phone, the battery life is almost 30days at a time. Which is great.
    I am keeping an eye open on the hybrid smartwatch space but everyone is so hellbent on LCD & OLED smartwatches and the potential pixel watch, isn’t close to exciting for me.
  7. Listen to a Audiobook every month.
    I’m going to try this one again as I was so close and this time, going to start listening to Audiobooks in the Gym/Spa and when walking around Manchester. I’ll also reduce the number of podcasts to allow for more audiobook listening.
  8. Host more film nights and dinner parties
    This is a repeat of the last year but even with Covid19, I’m going to put this on the list, as I could do much better. Heck I got enough Chocolate to do a tasting night every month right now and enough spirits to put most bars to shame.
  9. Go to a new Rollercoaster park
    This one is something I have been thinking about for a long while. I really want to go to some of the European parks which I hear a lot about but never actually been. There are so many including Europapark in Germany, Efteling & Walibi in the Netherlands and Energylandia, Poland. Heck I have overlooked Flamingo Land in Yorkshire, forever!
  10. Take the Diabolo skills up a level
    Although things are massively better with the Diabolo skills, I really need to get my head around a few of the bad habits I have picked up. Such as winding the Diabolo after a whip, Vertex’s to tightly wound and I still can’t do the endless suicide which should be easy now.
  11. Put some attention into dating and love
    In 2021, I kinda stopped bothering due to the pandemic, then started again. But by late summer, decided to focus elsewhere as I am sick of sites like OkCupid. Next year, I’m going to pursue different models of dating and love. Its clear as day, my lifestyle and outlook isn’t compatible for 90% of the women I see. So its time to seek those who are much more compatible and take some bold moves again.
  12. Seek out a better regular spa
    During the summer of 2021, I joined the Bannatyne gym because they had a good deal and have 3 places complete with spa in central Manchester. This has been great but I found the closing time annoying (for example they shut at 5pm on the weekends). Now I’m willing to pay for regular spa time, its time to see what else I can get for a little bit more.

There is the 12 for 2022. Covid19 is going to have a effect on most of there but like always, some may get moved to 2023 and that is fine. I’m staying safe with vaccinations.

Have a good new year all!

A review of my 2021 resolutions

Mountain ride

2021 has been a tricky year there is has been so much going on. I was going to round it up as 2 jabs and a blood test but now that’s 3 jabs and a blood test. I’m also expecting next year it will be 2 more jabs and a blood test. I’m still not comfortable with injections and really look forward to when the world is vaccinated (yeah maybe 2024).

From a  Quantified Self data  point of view it looked like this.

  • My average sleep duration has stay consistent at 7hours 50mins.  Deep sleep dropped from 4.35hrs to 3.50hrs.
  • This year I started moving away from Gmail, so the numbers make sense. I had 32,601 conversations, have 20718 emails in my inbox and sent 7841 emails this year.
  • Have 114,564 photos and 4,269 photos albums in Google photos.
  • Tasks wise I switched from Google tasks to todolist.txt and have 148 open tasks and completed 1,919 over the year
  • Been to a few places in 2021 including Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool, London, Alton towers, Bristol, Bath, Weston, Tetbury, Sheffield, Leeds this year. This is on top of the places I went to during the common area holiday (Carlisle, Stranraer, Belfast, Derry, Ballycastle, Giants Causeway, Newcastle, Dublin, Holyhead, Chester).
  • According to Trakt, my most played show is Real time with Bill Maher and Last week tonight with Jon Oliver. Film wise it was Zack Snyder’s Justice League which surprises me. Most listened to podcast is the Daily Tech News Show again.
  • I watched 760 hours of media and added 510 items that is a lot, but understandable. I also read 647 articles via Wallabag.

Myself working in a coffee shop

Here’s my review of 2021’s resolutions.

  1. Live in another country for a short while
    Not happened yet, but who knows maybe 2022 will be the start? There was some good news that BBC employees can now finally travel abroad and can work in another country for about 2 weeks. Main objection for more seemed to be around tax. With a digital nomad visa, tax wouldn’t be such problem depending on where I go. Of course this is completely new territory for me and likely the company. It needs a lot of work to happen smoothly.
  2. Head further a field with the scooter
    Regardless of the pandemic, I actually drove to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland (Europe) and then Wales before back to England. The common travel no less. All over 4 days by scooter (and ferry of course). It was actually quite straight forward but had AA cover just in-case. I also did a new country, Northern Ireland and drove in Europe which are usually in my resolutions. It was amazing and the weather held up nicely throughout.
  3. Take better care of my skin.
    Finally switched away from Vaseline to CeraVe, and I’ll be honest my skin does feel less thirsty for moisture.
  4. Step up my gratitude’s
    I created a small wordpress site on my raspberry pi just for daily gratitudes. It works quite well, I can duplicate a entry and change the details. As its wordpress I can do it from the web or via the app on my phone. Thought about using the email to post but theres little need for it right now.
    I did notice wordpress’s jetpack started to give me rewards notifications for blogging every day. Of course I turned that crap off quickly because it felt like Snapchat streaks.
  5. Host more film nights and dinner parties
    Like last year for obvious reasons, this was still tricky but there were a few small dinners and a cocktail night. Although there was a second degree dinner of some kind recently, and no one got Covid19..
  6. Spend even more time with the Diabolo
    This has come a long massively, I even bought a fire diabolo and upped my LED kits for the firejams. When I did travel, I did pack a small diabolo and even collapsible sticks.. The fire diabolo is scary as hell but I’m tempted to upgrade to the lighter and geared version, as it would allow me to do much more tricks with fire.Diabolo spinning top
  7. Send a email out to friends and family once or twice a year
    This sits on my task list and haven’t done anything about it yet. I see emails from friends like Brian and Mark, which spurs me to have a look again.
  8. Self host and move to more decentralised/fediverse services.
    I’m quite enjoying self hosting again. Its something I did with my blog a long time ago but then updates were a pain (heck I was using Windows 2000 server!). Now with Yunohost, I have auto update on because everything is backed up regularly. As most of the services are simple, its not a big problem. I have kept public facing services on the Raspberry Pi and private ones on my NAS only accessible via VPNs. running on the NAS. The RaspberryPi with Yunohost is a great platform for self-hosting.
    Generally I am using a lot more decentralised and fediverse services daily. Be it Matrix bridges via Beeper which bridges almost everything. I mainly post to Mastdon and cross post to Twitter. My volleyball teams have finally moved away from Facebook to a app called Orfi. Meaning I’m spending even less time on Facebook and I did un-follow almost everyone and everything (not that I looked at the timeline anyway).
  9. Find an alternative to the pebble watch
    T
    wo things have happened.
    First up I tried to fix the buttons which is the biggest problem. I bought some 3D printed shapeway buttons to replace the broken ones. This worked but the 3D printed ones are so delicate, that I pretty much broke one of the two I bought. Even a friend with smaller fingers found it very difficult. So I have left it for now.
    The second thing I did was kickstarted the Bangle.js 2 smartwatch which runs completely on Javascript. I haven’t done much with it yet…
    Bangle.js smartwatch
  10. Listen to a Audiobook every month.
    I almost done this with 10 out of 12 audio books. I spent maybe too much time listening to podcasts I feel plus I started 3 other audiobooks but haven’t completed them. I don’t know if I will finish 2 of them as its not that interesting.
  11. Take a more political & strategic view on the status quo
    I have taken a more political view, especially around diversity & inclusion. Talking to many different people in real terms without jumping to conclusions is something I have done pretty well with gentle humor and  sensitivity. More for next year I think.
  12. Finish my dating book
    I have actually been working quite hard on the book. I did say something about it previously. In short Hannah who such a great writer and editor (you should really hire her!) rewrote so much, then I convinced Valeska, who came with a fresh and a different perspective to edit and restructure it. Another friend Angie offered a ton of useful information and ultimately pointed me towards the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbooks.
    Looking through the contacts in the ebook version, I picked a number of publishers, agents and publishers who could be interested in the dating book. I’m giving it a try before I go down the self publish route (which I’m edging towards as I have a lot of the skills, contacts and knowledge needed to publish it myself).

Remember those books?

Design is about removing friction?
I was reminded of a number of design books I read when in College and University. They were held up as the way to do good design. Its something I did explore at UCD gathering last year.

Remember…

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Hooked by Nir Eyal

Made to stick by Chip Heath, Dan Heath (although this isn’t what I remember it to be)

Even reading the titles now makes it very clear how much things have changed.

This is no longer, just some dating yarns

Myself working in a coffee shop
Working away in Ezra & Gil coffee shop

You might be wondering whats happened to the book I’ve been writing: The fictional dating book. You might remember in my new years resolution I had planned to get it done by next year. Of course this is an aim rather than a absolute deadline.

This is whats happened so far…

  • I wrote a bunch of interesting dates down (only the ones which were memorable because something note worth happened, this is no judgement – but we all got dates when you can’t believe that happened)
  • Hannah approached me after a presentation about the future of dating. Hannah took my very rough drafts, rewrote them and turned them into actual stories (I can’t tell you how much hard work Hannah put into this)
  • We went back and forth for a while but got to a place where it was making a really good read. Totally blew me away when I read (listened to) the whole thing in one single night.
  • We looked for someone with fresh eyes to read the book and make comments and edits. Valeska agreed and has done a great job.
  • I am currently going through Valeska’s comments and suggestions (there is a lot of them). Shes also echoed Hannah’s thoughts for more clear structure too.
  • I have also looked around for an illustrator for the chapters and sections. I may have found someone really good for this.
The current book overview
The current book overview, running from front to back cover

So that’s where we are now. 8 core sections with 2-4 stories and a introduction and conclusion for each. 34000+ words and 94 pages (if they are standard A4 and JB6 format?). Originally I was planning to self-publish through Amazon, its something I have done previously with a ebook for thinking digital as a test. but multiple people have convinced me I should share a few chapters or a section with a book publishers. Who knows what might happen? Speaking to a few printer friends and there were good offers to print off a small run of about 25 full bounded books. So who knows at the very least I will have a book and ebook.

The biggest question is what is the book, whats the elevator pitch for the book? This is a very good question and one both Hannah and Valeska have asked me over and over again.

I have described it as a modern take on Adrian Moles diary but its certainly evolved a lot and includes so much more about myself within the book. Even which category would you find the book, is a tricky question. Its mainly fiction (informed by experience), part non-fiction, slightly political and touch of self-help.

Personally I am excited but also a little concerned. Its one thing to write a blog about these things but for it be published is something else. Of course its the work of fiction, which I don’t personally read that much (last fiction book I read was a Cory Doctorow book), making things even stranger.

I’ll also be retiring datingyarns.com for now, which had a couple of my own stories on there. I won’t take them down because the ones in the book are a million times better and who knows I may use the site to promote the book in the near future. Although the book is no longer just dating yarns…

Sleep books compared

Why we sleep by Matthew Walker

I noticed there has been a lot of hype and discussion around the book why we sleep by Matthew Walker.

Neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood and energy levels, regulate hormones, prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, slow the effects of aging, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night’s sleep every night

Its a good book but I didn’t find it as in-depth and as interesting as

The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience by Dr. Guy Leschziner

The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret world of sleep by Guy Leschziner.

Dr. Guy Leschziner’s patients, there is no rest for the weary in mind and body. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, sleep apnea, and sleepwalking are just a sampling of conditions afflicting sufferers who cannot sleep–and their experiences in trying are the stuff of nightmares. Demoniac hallucinations frighten people into paralysis. Restless legs rock both the sleepless and their sleeping partners with unpredictable and uncontrollable kicking. Out-of-sync circadian rhythms confuse the natural body clock’s days and nights.

Then there are the extreme cases. A woman in a state of deep sleep who gets dressed, unlocks her car, and drives for several miles before returning to bed. The man who has spent decades cleaning out kitchens while “sleep-eating.” The teenager prone to the serious, yet unfortunately nicknamed “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome” stuck in a cycle of excessive unconsciousness, binge eating, and uncharacteristic displays of aggression and hyper-sexuality while awake.

With compassionate stories of his patients and their conditions, Dr. Leschziner illustrates the neuroscience behind our sleeping minds, revealing the many biological and psychological factors necessary in getting the rest that will not only maintain our physical and mental health, but improve our cognitive abilities and overall happiness.

I’m sure many will disagree, but I’d recommend The Nocturnal Brain over Why we sleep. Although I will admit it is a harder read, due to some of the experiences explained in some detail.

Lost connections: What the best science really says about depression

I read Lost Connections a while ago and was quite blown away by the hypothesis/result. I have recommended it many times, not just to people who have/been depressed; but generally.

Theres a lot of controversy about the book, quite a few people disagree with Johann Hari.

What ever you think, its worth reading and considering.

Not the biggest mark fan but the subtle art of not giving a fcuk is good

A long while ago someone once called the game, a self-help book for men who don’t like/will take self-help. I’m still so-so on that one but seeing Mark Manson review his own book, reminded me of the two books he wrote which I actually found pretty good. (I don’t really like the man but he writes well and his examples are always useful). Not that it changed my life or anything like that. But rather I liked the down to earth advice and there was plenty of things I heard and took on board a long time ago.

For example the fault and responsibility one.

The pandemic isn’t my fault, its also not my fault I’m terrified of medical injections. But it is my responsibility that I have my vaccine injection. In my mind its unfair but its overridden by my responsibility to myself, family, friends and society.

The questioning of death is a important one I learned 11 years ago. I said then and now, I want to push my limits but not in a jump out the plane or climb a mountain way. I’m much more interested in socially pushing myself.

So as a whole I would recommend the audio/e/books, even if you don’t like the punk rock style of Mark himself. I know lots of people love his style and the heavy swearing, I don’t care so much for it, however what comes out from his brain is a wealth of experiences and connecting it with a better way to be more human.

My dyslexic advantage audio interview

During the last few months I have recorded a number of podcasts on a number of different subjects; form Tech for good live blacklivesmatter specials, a late night conversation with Tara Hunt to a discussion with Cathy about the future.

I did also recorded one for Sam talks which will go up soon (about Adaptive podcasting).

However I was very humbled to be asked to recorded one with the fine folks at the Dyslexic Advantage. I half mentioned it previously but it went live last month under the inspirational people category. Its members only content, so I can’t send you a link, however I highly recommend being a paid member if you are dyslexic, are a partner/parent of someone with dyslexia or would like support the further research into dyslexia.

The folks behind the Dyslexic Advantage were happy for me to share this interview and I will remind people (they never asked for this). The Dyslexic Advantage is a 501(c)3 charitable organisation that needs support. Support via the Premium subscriptions and donations are welcomed.

The interview is a in-depth discussion about my dyslexic journey from an early age to where I am now. Listening back to it, it sounds like I had it all planned out but honestly I didn’t. I did have a certain amount of foresight about where I wanted to be based on my experiences. There was certainly a lot of decisions about rebelling against the status-quo and finding my own trajectory forward. If you want to see the full list of recommendations for young people its here.

Don’t forget the book is a great book to get! You can get it in ebook, audiobook and physical form.

The awful state of library books in the intenet age

Manchester Library

I recently I went to town on the ebooks ecosystem after reading this post. Then a few days ago I decided to get back into using the library book system again.

It was pretty easy, heck I didn’t really need to go into Manchester library at all (I have a library number/card already). I downloaded Borrow box put in my details and then browsed for ebooks and audiobooks – easy!

While asking in the library about borrowing ebooks.on eink kindle device, it was a shake of the head. I know in the past Amazon have tried different things in the states, but frankly the borrow box is a step in the right direction, although its not directly like a library book system!

If only Amazon Kindle ereaders, kobo, etc had a more open system, they could share in the current library borrowing system. All those people buying ebooks not able to take advantage of their citizenry rights.

Interviewed by PyDataMcr for their podcast about data in dating

Beginning XSLT with Jeni Tennison

I had the pleasure of talking to PyData Manchester better known as PydataMCR.

They post their podcasts to Anchor.fm oddly enough but post it elsewhere too, so its take your pick. There is a RSS feed too which was tricky to find at first for us old skool podcasters.

The interview was nice but if you heard me talk about online dating data before you may have heard a lot of it before. It was noticeable how things move in the dating world, should do some more research really.

At the end there is a shout out to a woman who has been an inspiration for me. Jeni Tennison the CEO of the Open Data Insitute. I wasn’t sure if Jeni was the only woman on a wrox book cover ever. Although I did notice both genders on the C# 2005 programmers reference book and Beginning XHTML. Even saw multiple races on Professional Multicore Programming: Design and Implementation. Then I finally found Beginning Java Objects: From Concepts to Code by Jacquie Barker

So I take back, although I was never so sure..

Thanks to PydataMCR for the interview and my chaotic schedule which caused many issues. Remember to subscribe to the podcast here.

Douglas Rushkoff and live team human podcast

There is a author who have been following for many years/decades. His name is Douglas Rushkoff and to be fair I have written about him a few times including the new book at the time, throwing rocks at the google bus.

It all started when I read the Ecstasy Club when I was much younger then Media Virus and Cyberia.

I had no idea about Team Human which he’s been doing for a long while but during FutureFest (blog coming soon) I got talking with Douglas and he mentioned there was a live recording for the podcast in London a few days later on Monday. I was able to juggle a few things and go along with a friend.

Team Human LIVE from Brick Lane, London

It was quite a thoughtful and intellectually stimulating night which I don’t need to describe it because the first podcast is up.

What if we stopped thinking about the future as a noun and started thinking about it as a verb? We can future together!
The second part should be with Rupert Sheldrake, whos TEDx talk was banned from TED.

I’m now subscribed to Team human and look forward to hearing how things turned out…

Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cubicgarden/41140738295/

I kickstarted Clubbed a while ago, and a few days ago I got my copy in the post. Now its got a proud spot on my bookshelf.

Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

Of course its not just about the Hacienda but lots of famous UK clubs and dance nights. Its a beautifully designed booked which reflects the graphic design of the era.

Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

Very happy to be a backer along so many others.