028 :: A strange sort of collapse

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila

Narrative

I walk from Bank down Bishopsgate.

A man shouts ‘Standard’ over and over. I wonder if he’s an NPC: street dressing in the simulation.

Though the new Spitalfields, past chain stores and expensive second hand furniture stores.

Cut across Brick Lane to the Co-working space.

So fancy, but at the same time just shabby enough to raise the rent. Dosa World next door seems utopian in comparison. We talk about designing Blockchain protocols as the sun goes down.

It’s all End of Empires stuff.

The background societal ennui comes from our cultures core problems. Ignore the buzzing, stick to the mission: Escape from Prison, Save the world.

-0-

Another freezing cold morning.

I follow an hour behind Eves commute. We met for a quick kiss at 3pm.

The building is next door to the Red Cross Office. Co-located but different views of the city and the world.

Blockchain talk again.

Nearly 6 hours of technical presentations. ZK-Snarks are discussed, the speaker assumed that audience knows WTF they are.

The MC is obsessed with alt coins. I shout out a fake ‘ASS coin’ and people around me nod and write it down.

A UK lawyer speaks: TLDR if you are in the UK and want to start a blockchain biz: Don’t bother.

I sat with someone from a Slack I’m in. I enjoyed his company.

The sun went down.

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I decide to drink way too much free Prosecco and watched the sunset to cope. Later, I wound up in full rant mode to a stranger about how despite everything we’re all fucked. “Gallows are platforms too”.

Inspired, I drunk call one of my oldest friends and demand he drinks with me in Moorgate after work.

He obliges.

Turns out he’s working out his notice.

Stress levels at the biotech startup he works at was getting to him. I told him he had a nice haircut – that made him happy.

I get back to the HQ in Zone 6 and drink even more with a different friend. We talk about his recent job interview and the state of high end electronics market in retail.

-0-

Skype call with a total stranger.

He tells me he liked my short fiction I sent him. “Don’t edit it down into a short story. Make it 3 times as long.”

We discuss grass roots democracy in the US. Watershed management in Arizona.

We discuss the merits of Cooking vs Polyphony as appropriate metaphors for ways of navigating online spaces.

We talk about intellectual pursuits and how some cultural figures preoccupations aren’t the ones I always want to be devoting my intellectual and moral energies to sorting out.

-0-

On a back channel I talk at length about Curation Markets and Token inflation curves with people who are inveting the stuff.

-0-

I remember that it’s always the End of Empires. And for now I’ll keep buying out of season fruit whilst it lasts.

Dipping the stacks

  • #Theassistance
  • Doesn’t matter what the hell you say there’s still 21 trillion dollars missing
  • I forget what we are arguing about but i’m going to argue anyway
  • Youtube launched a patreon thingy
  • Anthems good, Cops good (Apparently)

The Ministry

See the above Narrative. It’s been a weird week.

My new accountants terrified me by sending me a pdf of my old companies accountancy firm’s HMRC case from last year.  “Within the law, but not its spirit”. I might end up owing hella taxes. But hey ho, thats life I suppose, It’ll impact people in their early 20’s far more than it will impact me if it comes down to that. I’m holding on to my butt.

I wrote an essay for myself. Kinda like it.

I sent of nearly 1k words of critique to a blockchain startup on their go to market strategy having read their white paper and watched a few live Q&As with their founder they were super receptive which was really cool

I haven’t finished anything substantial that I thought I would do this week but there is always the weekend.

Reading

I put down 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos for now and decided to re-read the Papyrus of Ani instead.

Ma’at is good and its worth is lasting.It has not been disturbed since the day of its creator,whereas he who transgresses its ordinances is punished.It lies as a path in front even of him who knows nothing.Wrongdoing has never yet brought its venture to port.It is true that evil may gain wealth but the strength of truth is that it lasts;a man can say: “It was the property of my father.

The 6 virtues of Maat 

Truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice.

The 42 laws of Maat

I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not committed adultery.
I have made none to weep.
I have not eaten the heart [i.e., I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse].
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have slandered [no man].
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man.
I have not debauched the wife of [any] man. (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).
I have not polluted myself.
I have terrorized none.
I have not transgressed [the Law].
I have not been wroth.
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.
I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

Music

Queen of K-pop BoA released a new single this week. Its the title track from the new EP of the same name. Its a reminder to everyone why she’s the queen. I think she’s in the 18th year of her career or something. Her 2003 album Valenti used to be on repeat in my kitchen at university. My housemate at the time Mari was obsessed with it, and we all loved it for its Britney vibes.

Remember kids:

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027 :: Eternity can be found in the minuscule…

….in the place where earthworms, along with billions of unseen soil-dwelling microorganisms, engage in a complex and little-understood dance with the tangle of plant roots that make up their gardens, their cities.”
― Amy Stewart, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

Narrative

Despite all the stuff I’ve been up to so far this year, I still feel that I’m suffering from an inability to be motivated and fully align my life with the direction it needs to head in. There are important things that have been sitting on the todoist for weeks, and other trivial / inconsequential things that get done immediately.

I was stuck on a train the other day and I added up all the total hours of productive work that I have done since Jan, and quite frankly it adds up to fuck all. EVEN if I have pushed a lot of projects forward in various areas. It makes me feel bad.

Im not sure how others manage it, but for lent I have kinda decided to give up procrastination, and biscuits. I’m not sure which one of those two things is going to be harder to stick too. Im hoping that 40days concerted effort on projects will claw back the dawning sense that I’m wasting my life. Having the freedom to work on independent self directed projects (that tbh aren’t bringing any cash in right now but will over the long term) is a once in a life time opportunity. So quite frankly..

…I really need to pull my finger out. .

That said the objective isn’t making money. Its aligning my life towards a future that i want for my self, my friends and family and ultimately the kind of future I want to live in so it’s also about urgent perspective.

Dipping the stacks

  • Black Panther seems cool (I haven’t seen it)
  • UK media seems to be loosing its collective minds about the popularity of labour
  • Hardcore remainers seem to be loosing its collective minds in general
  • Strikes work
  • The Lympics is on – who knew!?
  • I saw the words “internet is a giant deception machine” – who knew!?

The Ministry

I signed some NDAs this week so maybe I will be making some money soon but who knows. It’s a short (10 days worth of work) project that I think should be quite fulfilling and offer me an ‘In’ to a company I really want to work with/alongside.

Tickets to Berlin are booked for March. There are about 15 weirdos flying in like its some kind of fucking crypto Davos. Looking forward to that immensely. I suppose news about this in Q2 once everything is sorted.

I had a 3 hour call with a sci-fi literature academic that has decided to write a book about Solarpunk & energy futures the other day. Really fascinating conversation, wide raging too. I pulled up an old PDF from wired shit con 2012 to read them some quotes from it. Early doors stuff. That left them a little startled to be quite honest.

I met up with Olivia Rosane yesterday for a few coffees and a sunny but chilly walk round Bloomsbury she is the creator of Canary Island Commons. I haven’t seen her since TTW14 in NYC. That conversation was also excellent, wide ranging about the possibilities of narrative and imaginary. Hoping to see her again next week to get an interview with her for the podcast project. Plus she’ll be dog sitting.

Oh and i already filled in a fucking shit load of forms that produced even that need filling in.

Reading

Im still reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos. 

I suppose I’m about half way though. Its very interesting so far and im enjoying it. Some of the biological determinism makes me squirm a little but his core message so far seems to be grow the fuck up, be nice to your children and your parents. Stand up straight. Find your purpose.. It’s like all the advice my Nana used to give.

I still stand by my comment from last week “I suspect his popularity is due to the massive amount of people who need therapy in our society.”

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms arrived this week in hardback. I read it last year on kindle. its that good that I thought I should probably own it. 60p +PP on amazon. Bargain.

Music

Tune-Yards: I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life came out in January and I only just got round to listening to it this week. To be quite honest its ok. If you like Tune-Yards its more Tune-Yards.

The track thats been on heavy rotation this week has been Mouse on Mars — Dimensional People Part III. The track features Bon Iver. So you should kinda know what you are getting in to.

 

Remember Kids:

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026 :: Every mile is two in winter

“Good words are worth much, and cost little.”  ― George Herbert

Narrative

I think I’m going to move my post day to Saturday. Fridays is getting busier as the day I have to go in to London. It’s also the reason I’ve spent most of today hung over. I’ve spent the week grazing on the poetry of George Herbert. Its been nice.

So GameSpot Universe said ‘Altered Carbon Is Sci-Fi’s Game Of Thrones Moment”. If they mean high production values with sweeping changes to the source material then ok. But the source material changes did made for a better TV show at the end of the day, and I did really like the whole show though. The concerns I had were addressed well (I think) – but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise. Im hoping another series gets green lit, the next book is Indiana Jones in space, there is a lot that could be done with that.

Two further thoughts:

1. I thought the show missed an opportunity with its soundtrack, Vangelis defined the sound of the future with the Blade Runner. They could have looked to ITAL TEK or NKISI or a similar artist and blown everyone away

2. There are lots more strong women in the TV show vs the novel and this was an extremely good change for the better.

3. Bonus third thought: The sex scenes were actually ‘sexy’ unlike in the novel.

I have actually spent a lot of my week AFK I feel much better for it. Not sure I have all that much to say this week.

Dipping the stacks

  • Quote tweets are just disingenuity all the way down
  • The art world is producing a new genre of discourse; the fractal rant
  • Snowflakes are composed of fractals – Coincidence?????
  • The Masons?
  • Team follow back is the most annoying new twitter tribe

The Ministry

This week I had another late Sunday night call working on a codenamed project – which is moving along at a very fast pace. I think there’ll be trip to Berlin on the cards soon as a result. I met my accountant on Wednesday and ended up following up on a lot of his advice immediately which pushed a lot of my planned self directed work out the window into next week unfortunately. For good reason – but I never thought good news would be so stressful on the day to day. It’s a weird life/world, learning a lot though.

Had a three hour meeting on the subject of how organisations actually work which part way devolved into a huge mutual rant about Blockchain Men & 21 year olds who think they can re-invent the way organisations work with story points and Kanban boards. Just awful stuff. I Can’t talk about it much more but I think the research project should have some cool outcomes, in the mean time i think the first proper workday/brain storming session will be in an Airbnb somewhere super sick in London.

Had a call with the good Tim Hwang about the Awesome Foundation, the call was brief but very interesting. Im hoping to catch up with him whilst he is in the UK.

The Organisation I’m coaching are making lots of progress on their internal processes its really nice to see.

Lastly I have seen A LOT of my old colleagues from the company that broke me last year. Its super weird that almost no one works there anymore they went though a lot after I left thats for sure. Speaking to / seeing them is a bit like a big group therapy session.

Reading

I read Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis  by George Monbiot this week.

In the spirt of polyphony, I’ve ceased to bother quibbling about things within/on topics that I’m largely in agreement with. Its a good book, I’ve recommended it to the young solarpunks in the discord group.

I’ve just started reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos. Too early to report back just yet. But I already suspect his popularity is simply due to the amount of people who need therapy in our society.

Music

French Pop Goddess Mai Lan released her newest album last month “Autopilote’ and I just got round to listening to it. Most people only really know Yelle when it comes to French Pop but Pop Up will be 10 years old this year so might be time for a new touch stone.

The lead single Vampire came out over a year ago but it captures the feel of the whole album perfectly. Think it’ll be on rotation this spring as the sun wakes up.

Remember Kids:

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025 :: EndSerenading

Recovery from last week continues. A birthday and building of flatpack furniture.

Narrative

Been a good week. Partly a long term recovery from the darkest moments of last week and also a celebration. It was Eves birthday at the top end of the week and we celebrated by hanging out with various parts of her family. My present to her was a voucher for the vegan tasing menu and wine flight at Gauthier Soho. I’m looking forward to it as much as she is I think.

WOOO

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In the spirit of our recovery Eve and I ended up doing a lot of spring clean-y type jobs in the flat this week including sorting out the dreaded cupboard under the stairs. We slung a bunch of shit in it when we moved in, and there it stayed until this week. I have found that there is a psychic tension that is released when you sort out an area of your house something like this. you find that there was a background pressure in the psychogeography of your personal space that you didn’t know was there until its gone. Similarly a second bookshelf arrived this week enabling us to pick all the books up off the floor in the bedroom and living room AND it means that we could also unpack the last of the boxes of books we had remaining from when we moved in.

Also, a consequence of the aforementioned birthday is that we welcome two new friends into our lives: a lovely Prayer Plant and a Bromeliad (Names TBD). Both these plants are welcome additions to our living room and do not seem to be minding our bright but north facing bay window.

Dipping the stacks

  • There is a certain thrashing that culture is doing: like it is unwilling (or unable) to look clearly at the problem – of its own devising
  • Internet friends reaching out and doing well
  • Some pretty big actors have started to see crypto currencies as a threat
  • The royal mint is launching a gold backed CC
  • Why don’t others just block people if they are annoyed by them?

The Ministry

I really only had one piece of ‘work work’ to do this week which was attend a meeting at the organisation i am coaching. I used it as an oppertunity to set a much wider more significat piece of work that they need to do across their organisation in motion. So despition busting my ass to get across london for the meeting im glad that worked out well.

As part of the birthday celebrations I spoke with Mega Game creator Jim Wallman in the pub and the conversation I had with him about his company, practice and work has sent a piece of research I have been working on for a while in a new and interesting direction this week – more on this eventually I suppose.

I sent off my manuscript ‘On Meditation’ to my editor. I actually finished it a while ago but have sat on it as I’m not happy with some of the stuff I wrote in it. But i didn’t care enough to go back and re-write it at this point. Lets see where I stand when it comes back. The re-write might be bigger than expected

Reading

After all the grand plans to read whatever, the illness last week and general busy week this week meant that LMAO I only read The Little Book Of Calm which to be honest is kind of an I Ching for early 90’s meditators full of nice short pithy aphorisms. I picked it up in a charity shop as Paul Wilson’s The Calm Technique is the best beginners book i’ve read.

 

I did listen to the new hardcore history on ‘Painfotainment‘ which is Four and a half hours of dan carlin talking on public executions and hangings and the types of people and by extension societies that allow them to take place, opening with the roman colosseum and closing with lynchings of the 1930s America and the rise of the internet. Its a great blitz episode and obviously was created to scratch and itch that Dan Carlin had been experiencing for a while.

Music

Half my life ago EndSerenading the second and final full-length album by Mineral changed the direction of my life. Everything about the album was just incredible to me back in 2000ish and is one of the greatest albums of all time.

My 1998 Crank! CD of it crapped out sometime after university so it was MP3 based for for a long time. But in 2014 I bought the Deluxe LP x2 at their final ever gig in Camden Underworld. It is now one of my favourite/most treasured vinyls.

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Lil Peep (RIP) caused some controversy at the time, but i’m really glad this exists.

Remember Kids:

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