Sunday, December 04, 2016

The internet is new... But so are nation states

This piece on the Internet and Nation States is essential reading, even if only because it represents a starting point to understanding the confused centralised/decentralised/globalised/local system we find ourselves entering into.

I've been pondering the essence of the 'nation state' for a while now (since getting into Bitcoin, probably which, for better or worse, at least forces the debate through an attack on traditional currency). It's fascinating to think of the idea of citizenship and statehood as tied to the principle and technology of printing - the 'canonical' proof mirroring the canonical state, the Constitution or the books of laws as absolute realities. The history of language as an elite communion, defined in parallel with borders, both fought over with sailing ships and sanctions.

Back in the day, 'glocal' was one of the first attempts to bring together the ideals of a global internet with local communities. We should have seen then that the middle man, the nation state, was being hollowed out further, even just from its absence in a single term. We should have seen then the backlash coming, the fight for this proxy of power. Now we bounce about, struggling not to set the borders between states, but between the different layers of governance. I am a man of the world and a Brit and a local. A tourist and a dependent. A citizen of everywhere and nowhere.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Two Perspectives on Trump and Brexit

Woke up. Checked news. Felt oddly sanguine. First Brexit, now Trump, tied together through global movements like storm systems through the air. 

Settling into two perspectives - the modern, and the historical. 

1. The  Modern

The Net changes everything. Information has failed to scale, and civilisation is now under a deluge of media content. Soundbites proliferate at the expense of richer discourse. Lies hold more power than truth because fact-checking is slower than what people want to believe. The chaos of the network has won out - the ability for info to survive like cockroaches is complete. How are we supposed to run a democracy in this dank, dark future? 

Time is the main resource in this world - time to investigate, learn, draw conclusions. But time is scarce and its use is an art - it is not for the general population. All these skills speak only to the individual as a loosely-connected actor.

Self-reliance leaves us as detached as everyone else, but at least it's by choice. 

2. The Historical

The rise of global trade and worldwide capitalist motives has thrived since the second world war and corresponding cold war. The urgent need for profits has divided production and consumption into distinct geographical hemispheres - distance is a capitalist differential. The rise of the right wing in the West is a vote for remaining dependent on the system that bred it - the disempowered had their jobs stripped by the natural flow to undeveloped countries, but somehow want the system that made them "rich"  over 50 years to keep them rich. There is a civil war within those "empowered" by capitalism, and those who really profited. Brexit and Trump are just votes to maintain a status quo. 

Even the left has been destroyed by this shift. Labour is pointless, politically and geographically. The only modern counterparty would be one founded on information, not labour. 

But nobody dares ask the question "how much are you willing to pay to make your country profitable?" 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Brexit Trojan Horse of Opportunism

"The populist surge in the UK is dangerous beyond belief" - @Frances_Coppola looks at the future of Carney & the BoE

There seems to be a very real bunch of opportunists getting in on Brexit as the chance in a lifetime to seize power. They're powerful, well organised, very well resourced, and most excellent at using blame and hatred to direct other people's power in advantageous ways.

The Left is bollocksed and the fight back is crippled. Democracy is in the process of being disrupted. We're about to live in dangerous times.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Brighton Museum Pottery

Discovering more pottery in Brighton Museum.

"Signor Gruntinelli Playing on a new instrument Call'd a Swinetta."

Background: Bear jug with detachable head cup. 
Foreground: Three drinkers

The internet allows the symbols to travel freely is a look at public grieving and the signs/symbols appropriated by memetic movements. I particularly like it's run-down of different ways in which symbols can propagate - in memetic terms, there is something magical about the idea of "nomadic signs" - concepts which themselves travel from place to place (/person to person) and become "real" not by what they represent, but purely by the fact of being the constant unit among a changing landscape of attention-givers.

In this sense, memetic symbols take on the same aura as tourist attractions, of course. One object, seen and interpreted by many different people. As a tourist, we move from being a "unique" thing (with body, face, name, passport) to a diluted medium, a channel through which experience and the place around us passes. By moving and migrating, we (no, I) become emptier, filled with the seven wonders of the world, until only the world is left, seen through whatever medium the person-as-medium decides to feed back to.

Taken to an extreme, "I" exist as both medium and as symbol - the "tourist" role is inherently split and subjective, depending on whether it is I-observing-world, or others-observing-me-as-tourist.

The inside of a pot is useful for holding water. Can the same be said about the outside of the pot?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Has Graham stopped blogging?

It's weird thinking that this blog has been around for over 13 years now. By my reckoning I must have started it just after starting a new job, and just after meeting my now-wife. I don't remember setting up the blog, but do remember the early days of writing feverishly, plucking ideas out of the street on the walk to work, posting links to new posts around the Internet. Before Twitter, that was. Not much before, though.

I wonder what I'm doing with it now. A lot of people move on from blogging because another social tool is launched and the crowds flock like pollen. I'm guilty of this too. But I've also noticed over the years how my attitude to content and publishing has changed with it. Less fever. More... Something else. Curation, perhaps. Style?

But these changes have gone hand-in-hand with the delivery medium. Between blogging, Twitter, TinyLetter, Flickr, handmade paper zines and just life itself, it's fair to say that I feel fragmented. I like blogging but I hate writing on a phone or tablet. I like experimenting but hate thinking about eventual audiences. I like everything but hate haphazardness. All of it feels random still. Or - like it's some kind of training. Constant etudes, workouts, practice without closure.

I guess I've stopped blogging so much because it's harder to run that kind of "curated experiment" so quickly. There's no real locus of this blog. No raison d'etre. It's what's left over, perhaps.

Publishing is the showcasing of ideas, and the refinement of those ideas is a valuable process, even if nobody is reading. I do, I admit, have the same problem with my photography - I know the basics. But to carry on, I need to face up to the more fundamental question of why I'm doing it. Maybe it's a midlife crisis in the digital era. Life stage 2.0. Learning via machine interaction. Rapid failure.

It's sunny outside and autumn is coming and I kind of just enjoy relaxing these days, into the days, and I don't get enough time to do that as it is. Maybe that's some kind of path in itself. I doubt I'll put down the blog, just as I won't put down a camera. But they might point in a different direction.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Zika vs Bees

Sort of just depressing all round really. Caught between plague and famine.
“It’s a matter of weighing the benefits versus the risks,” he added, noting the critical place of bees, especially, in keeping crops growing.
“If you have to make a decision on whether it protects, say, your pregnant wife from being exposed versus killing a few butterflies, I suspect in most people’s minds it’s probably worth the risk.”
US beekeepers fear for livelihoods as anti-Zika toxin kills 2.5m bees

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The content is moving like Death Valley rocks

Oh yeah, previously mentioned Cloudland Postcards has now, in true nomad/transient identity form, relocated itself to Disposable Evidence. Same options around subscribing via email or RSS as before, but I've also rolled out into the RSS feed for almost-everything I publish. Might do the same for grey pebbles one day, but it feels slightly separate for now.

Project-wise, things are slowly ticking over. Son 1 and 2 are each a project in their own right, and the hour or two a day I have left are mostly split between relaxing and relaxing. I'm starting to get some ideas and to repopulate my Etsy shop with some new paper-based things, so head over and have a look.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

*-free zones

Zef Hemel,  car-free zones: 

What about freedom from other things? Cities like IRC, a hundred different channels, each with their own focus, and their own acceptances.

We already have alcohol-controlled zones (anti-social-free zones?) so keep going. A politic-free zone. an electronic-free zone. an emotion-free zone. a music-free zone.

Of course, freedom from one thing implies freedom to enjoy something else. By banning cars/alcohol/politics/music/etc,  what are we really designing our zones to give us?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mandatory EU referendum post

For anyone thinking of voting tomorrow, it's really important to cut through the rhetoric of whatever filters through the media hyperbole, and realise exactly what impact the vote might have on the country.

This FT article is a great look at some of the main arguments and evidence (yes, actual data) being put forward.

For further reading, is a great resource for digging into issues more as well.

Obviously everyone needs to make their own mind up, but more information is always better. (Personally, I've concluded that leaving the EU would be national suicide.) Feel free to share the links above with anyone you agree or disagree with, or who would just like to find out more.

The 6000-year rise of cities

I think this visualisation of the emergence of cities over time is possibly one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a while:

In particular, it really shows off the longitudinal line of early development north of the equator, and the part where everything explodes around 1900 is like a firework display.

Via - click for background and more info about data used.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Announcing: Postcards from Cloud Land

Rapid chain of thoughts. Semantic settling. Code hack. Command lines all round. Androids in the palm of the hand.

New project, new feed: Postcards from Cloud Land. Irregular images, chunks of text mauled from the world around me. Post-postal electronic postcards, following a delivery-only model that rallies against the open archive, the static webpage. Subscribe-heavy, opt-in via email or RSS only. More info at the link.

Sibling feed of the pebbles newsletter. Will convert this to the same model. No homepage, only delivery. No traces except the arrival. Stop leaving things lying around.

Is it a good idea? It's an idea. Subscribe or be damned. Let me know?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Believe nothing?

Crazy video showing CGI these days.

If we can't trust what we see any more in our media streams, then what do we do?

Option 1 is to turn sceptical detective. Always check provenance, sources, authenticity. What's the link between "reality" and what you're seeing now? Can you digitally sign an authentic capture? Verify against multiple sources. Validate those sources. Run cluster analysis on them for network heterogeneity checks.

It's a lot of work.

Option 2 is to believe nothing. Accept that authentic data capture was a fad, permitted only by a lack of technical progress, and that golden era of "default to real" is gone. "Default to fiction" - everything. News outlets join the ranks of sci-fi writers and surrealist artists. Citizen journalism as collective hallucination.

I'm tempted by this option. Our info feeds are tainted to the point of entropy. What does it mean though? Is it a form of reclusiveness, or of rebirth?

Monday, May 30, 2016

On haiku: When 5-7-5 probably isn't, and how I count my own tongue

I think I may have written about haiku and syllables before, but it’s always worth returning to. Why? Because language and rhythm are what make us. Because every movement your tongue makes tells us something of who you are. The skill of silkenness is not to be overlooked. Rhythm can hypnotise your listener. Or shock them.

Every time I write a haiku, I end up doing some kind of rhythm/syllable check. Note I end up doing it, not start with it. The wrong way of writing a haiku is to start with a structure of "5-7-5 syllables” and try to fill it in like a crossword puzzle. Only the ugly can come about, forced into mouthboxes like eggs being sorted. No, the words must flow, and they must do so in order to carry ideas on them, like tiny paper boats.

Based on this, there is nothing to say that a ‘heavy’ 5-7-5 "Western syllable” style is wrong (or right). It’s just that it’s easier to get something that is wrong in many ways once you take this as your starting point. English is a crazy language: brutal like a mattock in some places, whispering like ice in others, and convoluted to the point of lengthiness elsewhere. It is the city of languages, hybrid and evolved, an amalgamation and a series of opportunities.

Japanese, on the other hand, knows it is Japanese. The basic vowel or consonant-vowel pattern means only the Japanese could have come up with such a regulated structure across its culture so easily. Here’s a classic Basho poem, in the original Japanese for example:

Furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

The monophthongic nature tugs at a simplicity Westerners can only dream of. Perhaps our dreams are tangled and confused because our tongue is. How can we attain something close to zen if we can’t even use our language to begin to describe it?

Anyway, to return to the path. For me, one of the best ways to learn to write haiku is to read the Japanese original (for me - transcribed, but not translated, as above), and contemplate the flow of mora. By understanding and practising the original rhythm of haiku, I think it gets a lot easier to let ideas flow into words which are nearer the end goal, than to labouriously count out words until you have the right number.

These mora are closer to heartbeats than Western syllables. Take this section from wikipedia, for instance, which describes place names:

"the Japanese name for "Japan", 日本, has two different pronunciations, one with three morae (Nihon) and one with four (Nippon). In the hiragana spelling, the three morae of Ni-ho-n are represented by three characters (にほん), and the four morae of Ni-p-po-n need four characters to be written out as にっぽん.

"Similarly, the names Tōkyō (to-u-kyo-u とうきょう), Ōsaka (o-o-sa-ka おおさか), and Nagasaki (na-ga-sa-ki ながさき) all have four morae, even though, on this analysis, they can be said to have two, three and four syllables, respectively."

Bearing that in mind, my own haiku can often end up fairly short. In English, 5 mora doesn’t give you much space to play. On the flip side, the constraint does force a more truncated snapshot, a clearer sense of the haiku moment and the idea of “a single breath”. Sometimes you can say too much in 17 syllables.

Here’s an example of something that ran through my head the other morning, using Western syllables:

the early shadows 
releasing the little mouse
one step at a time 

With space to add syllables, I often find myself using longer words, adding in adjectives like “little”, or more “filler” like the word “the”. 

In contrast, here’s a version cut down to a mora-style count:

early shadows 
releasing a mouse 
step by step 

This to me feels lighter, and more elusive as a result. it plays on the winds, and flits around like a butterfly more. There is an airy space that invites the viewer to reflect instead of read. Hopefully that gets closer to the heart of what haiku set out to do - put us back in touch with both ourselves and the world around us.

(Sometimes I do fall back to a Western style syllable count, if I think it’s still an interesting output.)

For reference, my own mora-style count tries to follow something fairly Japanese, and basically takes any jump from one “heavy” consonant to another as a new mora, including consonants at the end of a word. So “barren” would be 3 mora but “barrow” I would probably count as 2 and “bear” as 1. Sometimes that means one word can “bleed" into another, eg. “a part of” would be counted as “a-par-to-f”. If I’m not sure, I’ll refer back to the question of whether it flows as I want it to or not - or use another word.

Hopefully this explains a bit why my haiku are not always what most people consider “5-7-5”. This is actually the least interesting aspect of haiku, and I hope to never write about it ever again. For more interesting stuff, have a look on the web. Here’s a good starter.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meanwhile, returning to the garden

Fresh buds appearing on the apple tree we stuck in the ground in Autumn
Red from winter, yellow from spring
Black fly on the rose

Spring is back in its patchy way, and I've been finding the odd hour to get back out in the garden. I'm making more effort at the moment to observe and document a bit more, so some pics attached. It's nice to not feel like I have to do anything, but just wander round and see what things are up to when left to their own trajectory. There are spiders and bumblebees too.

And is anyone still out there? I've been thinking of posting more sketches too, but can't decide whether to set up a new feed for them, or just post them here...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Church of Siuchiance past

I entered the square of Siuchiance and looked up to see an old church. The entirety of the outside of the church had been painted white, everything from the man-high foundation stones, up to the stone braids and wooden panels of the giant wooden door, and on to the gargoyles faces and the stubby, finger-like spire housing the now-quiet bells.

Only one patch remained unpainted. A rough scrawl of morning-blue in an upper corner of the facade, daring the brilliant white emulsion to challenge it. At once both forgotten and impetuous, this absurd piece of leftover sky sat about a foot square, miniscule against the volume of the church against the horizon, and yet so clearly apparent like a thorn in an elephant's heel. Standing there, gazing up, I wondered if a smaller patch would have been even more arrogant, or whether the scar before me was just the right size to cause maximal offence.

Walking through the sleepy town slowly revealed a similar ambivalence. The town itself had enough trade and gossip to sustain itself in both economic and entertainment terms, yet with almost regular irregularity, this tiny square of blue was alluded to, hinted at, even overtly highlighted, all with seemingly questioning intent, yet failing to raise any eyebrows. One day I was browsing for souvenirs and came quite randomly across a shop named (after translation) "the cyan chapel". The shop itself sold nothing special - a few shells, trash magazines, sticky sweets, etcetera. Elsewhere, a tiny side road leading off the quiet beach professed to being "unpainted avenue", which I would have taken to be some kind of clue had the lane itself not been such a mundane non-collection of modern-built apartments. A half-heard conversation in a corner cafe seemed to be talking about it - my famed inability at foreign languages prevented me discerning any detail, but the tone of the speakers implied nothing special, was closer to the stoic practicalism of a tradesman merely being paid to do the work -  to have the conversation, and move on.

Returning to the church the day before I left, I noticed that the paint lower down the wall, at street level, appeared to be older. The upper layer looked almost fresh, a clear split in aging marks and general wear-and-tear as one looked further upwards. The blue patch stood as defiant as ever, almost indiscernible now that the sun had dropped behind cloud and only grey light remained. It stood out merely by looking old. Or fresh. It was hard to tell.

Years later, after the war and so much politics, I passed through Siuchiance again. The bus didn't stop, but as we drove the square I wiped the grubby window clean with a sleeve and looked out. The church had been destroyed, and its rubble remnants hidden behind metal railings and plastic sheetings. Brilliant white paint still poked out on crumbled brick spreading under the fences. It felt to me like it had been the only building in the whole town which had suffered any damage.

I asked the bus driver briefly about the church as I stepped down off the bus in the next town. He raised his hairy eyebrows and gave a shrug with the sides of his mouth. Nearby, a shopkeeper looked away at its mention, but she did she knew nothing of it. There were no postcards of Siuchiance, although I spotted "the cyan chapel" in the background of one of the photos in a generic "ancient town squares of the region" card. I almost bought it, but the shop was closing. I didn't stay to argue.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Beyond Go: Instances of Intelligence

The AI term is banded around like coffee at a dev morning these days. It feels ironic that we, as a thinking species, have stopped thinking or debating what "intelligence" means though, and restrict it now to single domains. DeepMind is intelligent so long as you're only doing one thing - playing Go.

Proposal for definitions of "intelligence" to include more linkage. Has probably been done a thousand times before.

1. Empathy. Is "an intelligence" linked to others? Can it teach someone with understanding?

2. Transferable skills. Can "an intelligence" apply abstract concepts to other domains?

This is especially relevant to game-playing intelligence as games are inherently a mental training ground. Chess teaches strategy. Poker teaches empathy and bluff. Go teaches empty space and the flow of yin and yang. What does "an intelligence" learn about anything else?

3. Mindfulness. Does "an intelligence" gain an understanding of itself? Could it teach itself to learn better? Why is DeepMind called DeepMind if not?

As it stands, humanity is falling into the standard modern productivity trap of assuming intelligence is good for doing a single task well, and all society requires is to do those tasks better.

Playing Go is not a job.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Dangerous Writing

(The result of discovering Rudigraph and The Most Dangerous Writing App in the same week.)

a new writing app / a new writing style / it turns out rudigraph is the worst thing you can do on a phone / all that autocorrelation / the embarkation of thought not quite matched by the fiddle of tiny keyboards which are neither keys nor boards / going to have to turn autocorrelation off in some form or another / i want my keys back

now i am just making sentences happen for the hell of it / there are words somewhere behind these eyes which i want to tap into but cannot / flow of the fingers vs flow of the mind / i am being torn in two directions at once

the fingers are turning into a buffer / they continue while something tries to coalesce / i want to write about tuesday as a practice day / i want to write about the rawness of rudigraph / the simplicity of removing everything until nothing is left / only the essentials

somebody behind me makes a mistake and something falls over / they cry out the word socks like it is the worst word / the end of the world word

it is difficult to talk about what people say without quote marks / i wonder what other punctuation marks let us do / there is a new world here

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Moments from a weekend commute

Saturday, I head up to a conference that's not a conference. I get the 7am train from Seaford but the train line, like my head, is blocked by fog and engineering and coaches wait to carry us on.

There are people here but everyone's going to different places and it's cold and not worth talking let alone breathing properly.

Eventually. LONDON slides into view, a city beyond cities, a web being prepared over centuries for a spider who may or may not exist. Dirty progress acts as a billboard for the future. It is vaccinating, and fascinating.

The next morning, everything returns to normal.

"We are better placed to decide how our money should be spent than governments"

Liking FT's "letter to an ungrateful world from Google, Apple, Facebook et al" so much and am so tired that I'm going to put it in a blogpost-shaped parcel and hit Publish.

Also, when did Cmd-K become the default shortcut for "insert link"? I like that too.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Personal future trends 2016

No promises, just directions for the year ahead. Lots to visit in this land. Some of it will be destroyed by the slow trample of year tourists, but gaps will survive.

1. More sketching

Turns out a lot of my thinking is structural and then structured, and 1 dimensional text strings are the worst form of structure. Want to ramp up a two-dimensional flow this year, and have resurrected my use of notebooks (more on this soon!) and bought a new digitally biased pen (more on this soon!) - diagrams are the future. Expect more paper of some kind or another. Why isn't this blog post a sketch? Aha, here we go.

2. Tai Chi and the solidity of change

Having been out of class for a few years,  I'm now trying out an online tai chi course. Practising after some time off is always productive - the mind is fresh and newly experienced, and in that perfect limbo between thought and memory, logic and habit. I am breathing. Mixed with haiku and a renewed sense of nomadicism, it is a good time to be alive (inasmuch as any time). Meet strength with weakness, weakness with strength, and gain from both.

3. Less chasing, more style

I want to spend more time doing the slightly hard stuff - for me, that's reading books and writing (or sketching) content I'm proud of. Blogs, photos, haiku are all part of a way of exploring the road, and feels like they should have a life of their own, not so tightly coupled to their origins. A vase should be appreciated in and of itself, as well as where it was made,  where it sits, and what it holds. I need more time and energy to work on this.

Oh, glorious year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This City is only alive when you are

A city has its own symbols like a castle has its own water supply. The symbols resist the outside world like office lighting resists the night and the winter. The symbols are created by the city until the symbols are themselves their own layer, a ghost infrastructure, a palimpsest that can only be felt.

In ---, tourists are more than welcome - they are in fact necessary. Here, the symbolic layer has developed to feed off novelty. Novelty brings attention, focus, observation, awareness - and above all else, presence. Without tourism, the symbols would fade into the grey light of normalness, and quickly dissolve like drops of paint in the river. Here, the symbols feed off the tourists as much as the tourists feed off the symbols. The symbols would not exist without attention, and the city would not exist without its symbols.

Ushered in like a theatre audience, the tourists are primed specifically for nothing except memories. There is a fine balance to be upheld - too much pre-advertisement and the casual visitor will know too much and pay too little attention. Not enough priming and the visitor will be overwhelmed, have no frame of reference, no feeling of familiarity. The priming operation is above all else a combination of burlesque teasing and future memories; to reveal enough that nothing is a surprise when - if - the symbol finally appears in 'reality'. The shapes that trigger emotions. The unknown contours that feed off collective culture. Dream-like visions of a creature that has emerged from the sea, made of fishermen's tales and hedonism. An escape with fangs and hooks. This is what is promised to you.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Reflecting on the '15

Apparently winter solstice isn't enough to get people thinking ahead, and a whole abstract numerical increase is required to push everyone into timely reflection and goal planning. Including me, I guess. The daffodils bloom at the same time as each other, is there ever one which appears before the rest?

Last year, I picked 4 broad themes I wanted to focus around: 

1. Openness
2. Detachment
3. Personal Infrastructure
4. Learn Chinese

Spoiler: #4 didn't happen.

To catch up a little first, 2015 has been a long-and-winding year. Nothing prepares you for being legally responsible guardian for 2 immature lifeforms hellbent on destroying themselves and/or the refined world of culture and materia that encircles them. 90% of my waking year (and a good amount of my sleeping one) has been picking things up, while trying to work out how life can be organised in a way that causes least pain. We finally left Brighton, moved house, and smooth talked our way into school like a cuckoo with a tux. Work has expanded, and my role and responsibilities with it. Other stuff happened which is either too personal or boring to share, but some people were lost and some were found, including bits of myself. Overall It's been a good year.

Looking back, much of what I've done though has fallen 'under' one of the areas above, like a dormouse 'under' the wheels of an Ice Road Trucker. Moving to the hills of East Sussex was a form of detachment, in a sense. I'm still active on Twitter, but have noticed a definite move away from news sites and Facebook, which I notice all the more when/if I do check them. One of the biggest detachments I've noticed is through not watching live TV for 8 months (aerial don't work) and living off downloads and catch-up TV - it's really weird seeing actual real-world TV adverts now. Or watching people talk about Christmas adverts. The broader question remains though - detachment from what?

I had small victories around being more open - working out loud at work a few times, but generally often preparing things for transparency, rather than actually opening them up. I'll point to them in raw form soon I think, but I started researching milk supply chains, cataloguing my tech device longevity, and taking writing about tao more seriously. We had one good open data meet up in Brighton instigated by James, Joshua and myself, but organising another has been admittedly low on my list. I've enjoyed *potential* openness as a way of just structuring thoughts - a driver to self-document, even if wider engagement hasn't happened. There's a strange fluidity this brings, but I'm not sure if that's from the transparency or the documentation. 

Lastly (as I really haven't managed to do any Chinese this year), personal infrastructure has been ... Hanging together. I have a Pi running a TTRSS server for feed reading and minidlna for internal media stuff, plus have been developing a little site to (hopefully, one day soon) make shopping easier. The Pi suffered a bit of downtime but was recoverable, minidlna still needs tweaking, but overall it's working OK - I miss TTRSS the most when the box goes down, and feeds are my favourite thing to check for stuff to read these days. Everyone really needs to write more (small) blogs. 

I've also been trying out Linux on a really cheap netbook this year, as well as just upgraded to a new digital pen. Both of these need their own post some time, but aren't too exciting, yet. Oh yeah, and I finally paid for Evernote, started playing with VMs, and have even been having new ideas on how to use notebooks...

So much other stuff happened I really wouldn't know where to begin, but highlights: becoming responsible for people's lives, at home and at work; gaining a garden; writing more haiku; general symbolic occultism; generally some amazing people, really.

So, on average, 2015 has been hard work, somewhat progressive, a lot of fun, and pretty long. I feel very different.

Stay tuned for where I'm thinking of taking it in '16...