I’m writing this post on my phone from Istanbul. Ok.. I must admit Guttenburg style block interface is very good on this small screen.
Still tho.. doesn’t excuse the awfulness of the UX on desktop.
Right now I am in Istanbul with Eve. Yesterday night was Benedict and Mina’s wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and pretty magical. The venue was right next to The Bosphorus and they kissed and said nice things to each other during golden hour as the sun went down.
Also there’s a lot of familier faces from all over the place. It’s been a blast seeing everyone for a few days here.
Tomorrow is sightseeing day. Can’t wait.
The Reverend George Harvest – Rector of Thames Ditton
Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo
Really happy with this weeks episode. Please share it if you like it too, its a fun topic. I also used to live and work in Thames Ditton for like 6 years and still live just 20mins away. I’m going to attempt to find his gravestone soon.
All the text is sorted for my first PDF. I also ended up editing and tightening up the first 27 pages of my book on meditation as someone wanted to read it.
Looks like my panel at Sonar +D is going to be moderated by Ash Sarker. I haven’t seen her properly IRL in about 2 years as I’m ALWAYS busy on Novara party days. I’m looking forward to it – A Lot
I read Mechanicum in the Warhammer series last week. It’s not “Bolter Porn-ey” as other books in the series but massively pushes the lore forward and drops a few hits for the current setting 10k years later
I am beginning to hate twitter threads with a passion. My pinboard bookmarks are full of them and its a little confusing despite diligent tagging. Why can’t folks just have a blog? I always think to myself, scrolling though an epic 50 post thread on a super interesting topic.
The question is rhetorical however as the answer is that the logics of Twitter demand that attention be kept inside the high walls of the network – but still. There are so many places on the internet to hangout.
I keep wondering if RSS readers are too much effort in 2019? or is that there are no decent free options? Rolling your own culture/internet is what it has always been here for …
Anyways I posted this list to Tumblr the other night. I had forgotten how rich Tumblr looks compared to Twitter. Despite being a heavy tumblr being an admin on solarpunks.net.
WordPress is obviously still the least worst option. But I like that I can just embed the whole post below. Perhaps I’m warming to Gutenberg … Perhaps.
I have always been a ‘notebook guy’ – since I was about 16 . I carry one and a parker jotter pen literally everywhere. Perhaps it started as an emo diaries thing or just an affectation that I thought would look ‘cool’. But the thing, there is a natural law which going something like ‘If you carry a note book and a pen you will end up using it’.
I’ve had a lot of types of notebooks over the years and switched over to Moleskines variants in 2013. Since then they have all developed a fairly consistent aesthetic too.
So this week for the first time (perhaps) this year I wrote a list of 21 things to do this week and when I hit post on this blogpost I will have done 18 of them.
Thats not a bad score for the first week back in to giving a shit mode.
I’ve archived over 10k emails in gmail this week, everything is tagged and filed. SO SO GOOD!
I’ve always run my life from lists. My general policy when I’m in a workplace is ‘if you didn’t see me write it down then it is not going to happen’. This has been an extremely useful rule at several startups i’ve worked in. To the point where close colleagues will say ‘write that down’ to me.
Sometimes, people who are younger than me (an occurrence that is increasingly more and more common to me much to my creeping horror – I was always the youngest person in the room since going right the way back to helping run the Geekscene DIY collective in margate at 15ish) laugh at me about that rule. But they quickly understand that I’m not joking – I’m a week late on something, they chase me and I say “Argh I didn’t write it down”.
Indeed Alex from Common Knowledge chased me up this week for a testimonial and I realised I hadn’t written it down as he asked me in the Dark Forest whilst I was away in the Netherlands last week.
I started writing lists properly very soon after getting my first proper job out of uni. Before then I’d only worked in retail and many of the tasks daily/weekly were routine and could be held in your head, scribbled in the shop diary the day before by another supervisor. I found very quickly in the office environment that I just couldn’t keep all the things i needed to do in my head, and getting in trouble for not doing something sucked.
Eventually when I was a team leader in the shared service centre I worked in. My todo list would be written out every morning, and I’d carry over about 1 column of a 2 column A4 page every day. By the end of the day I’d have filled the whole page and marked off a lot. A running list of 100 things to do however is an endless task and not very psychologically healthy.
I should also note: There is absolutely no point in staying late or working yourself to the bone in a start up environment – Especially if you are in the senior layer but you actually have very little influence over anything super important. Don’t get manipulated to finish one more thing before you leave – The endless list of things to do will still be endless the following morning.
I sometimes wonder what sort of person I would have been if I’d found the secret of lists before I was an ‘proper’ adult. At school or university even. My life could have been very different.
I reckon if I was growing up now, I’d be extremely into bullet journaling (my notebook kinda looks like one anyway see below)
I can see how/way I got in to project management and implementation consulting and eventually operations management. It’s a natural progression from being a ‘list guy’. Offloading your tasks one layer of abstraction higher into a project plan is obvious in a techno social institution like a company. AND as a result of being ‘The keeper of the list” you get to tell other people when and what they need to do as well.
But this week I’ve surprised myself by how easy it is to return to the feeling of having wrestled back some control just by having a list of things to do.
I have been running the last 18months with a daily chore list – meditate, write diary, write LAP or some fiction, Make my podcast on a Friday etc but doing that means you feel satisfied having done the bare minimum. As i understand it daily habit building is supposed to build on everything else you do daily so you can do more – not the bare minimum.
The running list in physical pen and paper zeros/zooms in on immediate priorities.
I did a GTD course years ago as a project manager and it changed my life. I am not naturally an organised person at all but GTD combined with project management training were vital skills that I took on board and it changed my day to day. However I very rarely apply them outside of the work environment to my own life. With the exception of all my bills and utility filing system.
Seeing as I’ve been freelance for 18months now perhaps i should … Anyway this is a long way about saying that i feel good about the last week and want to carry the momentum into next week – buy writing another magic list.
Catching up the last two weeks. I cover some of what I said at Bordersessions festival in The Hague.
Yeah fuck loads of stuff got done this week. The first of the samizdat PDFs coming soon. By encouragement from m1k3y
I re-red dark night of the soul by John of the Cross this week. Its full amazing lines.
Silence is God’s first language.
Is one of the truest lines i’ve ever read and makes me belive that my meditation practice is actually getting somewhere. As i know this to be true.
Louis Center returned to twitter this week. But in the Dark Forest he sent me a link to this track. Its amazing if you are in need of a dose of Super Sweet Glitchy Chiptune in your life right now.
I’ve been listening to it non stop this week. Even going as far as making it my alarm clock music. (RIP rollin’ by limp bizkit)
I also bought a USB to 3/4 inch jack cable this week. For the first time ever I can plug a guitar into my laptop with no external device. I’m not really sure about the build quality of the cable but for 11 quid on amazon its already been worth the money. I might do a proper review of it at some point.
I had barely recovered from last weeks unexplained lurgy and then headed off to the Netherlands once again to The Hague to give a talk – this time at bordersessions. Here’s my Trip Report:
First observation, despite public transporting being incredible over there. The Hague is just that bit further away from everything. Previously it has seemed trivial to just hop cities whilst i’ve been staying. But hoping from The Hague to Rotterdam or up to Amsterdam for dinner etc is a bit more of a mission. I should also note that its more a little more of a mission to get to the airport if you miss the fast train. (Not that I wan’t to relive the trauma of my return journey which included nearly missing my flight on the pages of this blog)
Anyways. I’d never been to The Hague before. I learnt that like 60% of the people who live and work there work for the government. Like a souped up company town I suppose. It does have a lot of church bells, and thats lovely.
The first night of the festival was speakers drinks and the headlining interview with Paul Mason. He was talking about his newest book Clear Bright Future.
During the day the next day I attended the workshop ‘How to measure the ecological development of a zoöp?’ at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. the emerging project continuing from the Terrafictionworkshops I took part in last year.
In the zoöp concept: an important role is played by the zoönomic instrument that helps indicate the ecological development of the collective body of nonhumans within the zoöp.
I didn’t take any pictures during the workshop but I did tweet this:
It was good to see other folks there. Sjef, Klass, Theun, Ian etc. Also the folks who have commitments to start a zoöp. Let me tell you, wild speculative ecological conversations in Holland are a decade ahead of where they are in the UK.
I’ve spoken to Sjef and Theun about it a few times now. I suppose its partly around the Netherlands being a totally human managed environment. Landscape engineering is Just what you do with a decade. I dearly hope that when the opportunity arrises, I can some how be the conduit to segue all this important work and thinking into the UK.
Anyway, that evening I spoke on Solarpunk And The Great Unfolding: Building Keystones Of Continuity at the main festival night. The talk was quite well attended and I had some really interesting conversations afterwards at the bar.
I also saw some other fantastic talks, one about the burgeoning Kite energy sector, and another panel on the Zoop, which was all on more than human personhood. Many assumptions at the beginning of the panel, the audience nodded along with zero pushback – wouldn’t of happened in the UK for sure.
Friday, I had the day to myself. I was thinking about attending some of the other workshops as part of the festival but my social battery was below absolute zero so I took myself off to see James Turrell’s celestial vault and ‘The Sand Engine’. Took a fun long assed bus ride though the outskirts of The Hague to the coast.
I got to the coast and set about hiking to the vault. You crest a big hill and are greeted with the crater
You then enter via a tunnel wall and see the alter:
I spent about an hour in the vault. Laying on the alter looking up at the sky. Seeing the first sunshine that had been in the sky since arriving 2 days before hand, the sideways rain had stopped whilst I was on the bus there. It was an amazing experience to have such a long private time with the art work.
I went to see Hollands ‘Sand Engine’ that was further down the coast.
The sand engine (also called Sand Motor) is an experiment in the management of dynamic coastline. The first one was run off South Holland in the Netherlands. A sandcastle-shaped peninsula was created by humans; the surface is about 1 km². It is expected that this sand is then moved over the years by the action of waves, wind and currents along the coast. To protect the West of the Netherlands against the sea,
At this point. I was 90mins from the bus stop and about 2.5 hours from my hotel. I was also burning a little bit. Ill prepared for 23 degree heat with a rain coat stuffed into my travel pack.
In the evening i went for dinner with Theun Karelse and Ian Ingram in Amsterdam and I enjoyed their company a lot.
The hour that I spent ‘charging up’ on the Alter was very impactful to me. I let my mind wander in a way that I only really do when doing Journeying practice outside of meditaiton.
Laying on the alter in the sun looking up at the sky i felt gears shift and engage, like a complicated pocket watch ticking back to life. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I am doing with my life, and experiencing a humbling.
Indeed, having a lot of free time to myself in a foreign country outside of festival commitments gave me a lot of opportunity to just consider.
Routes though and ways forward. Self reflection, hubris and resolve.
Still smashing though Warhammer books i’m afraid. Im sure you are not interested but I read 2 books last week. Vengeful Spirit + The Silent War.
I was listening to a lot of Sun 0)))s life metal album. Thats about it.
Im sick. Sorry this whole weekly blog things is become lame and predictable with very little content. My life is going to get super crazy later this year, so stick around
I had to go to bed at lunchtime yesterday and didn’t get up again until this morning. I feel a bit better today but still groggy and under the weather. At least I’m not having hot/cold shivers any more.
Eve and I went for dinner earlier in the week and we had a really nice time. the sun was gorgeous and it was still light and about 20 degrees when we walked back along the thames about 9pm. Wonderful.
In my fevered state yesterday i had a good chat with Mat Dryhurst on twitter. Click though to see it.
No Podcast this week due to being ill. I might try and do one early next week to bridge the gap as i’ll be in the Netherlands at bordersessions next Friday. It makes me feel tired already thinking about it.
I wanted to have my talk for bordersessions done already. Im plugging away at it today but because i still feel under the weather I literally manage to review or make one slide then i have to walk round the flat for a bit and force myself to get back to it.
This is the first time i’ve left something so last min. usually my talks are done the week before. Hopefully i’ll finish it because it will be majorly embarrassing if i didn’t. A disappointment to myself and all the people that paid money to see me. Im sure i’ll get it done tho.
MOAR WARHAMMER 40k. its absolutely fantastic. I’m going to recommend the series to anyone that askes about scifi series. There’s like 50 books and its like watching the mythology of your childhood unfold in front of your eyes.
OMG Diplo Charlie XCX and Herve Pagez have a spice girls mashup single out. It’s wild. The mining of the past to create present popular culture continues apace.
The main thing i’d like to point your attention towards this week is the new track from Poppy and Fever 333. Watch the whole video and listen to the whole track. Instead of mining the past like the Diplo track above. The insane fusion of genres this track goes with should be the template for the future. Or listen to the intro, the first 20 secs or so and then skip forward to 2.44. The final riff drives, like wading though thick mud.
I was away back in Jan when the track Voicemail came out. Its a fucking cracker. The distorted kick drum sound is perfect. *chefs kiss* This track is like the inside of my brain at a blockchain conference.
I have just updated the ‘Works’ page on my personal website with all the upcoming speaking events I have this year. I want to rebuild the site at some point but I hate wordpress more than I hate how the website looks right now so it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list.
I thought I would post an update outside of my regular weekly rhythm to include some of the confirmed highlights for me in the year ahead. I hope the 50ish of you that find me interesting enough to follow this blog find the information all in one place interesting.
Also.. I just posted something similar to LinkedIn so I just copy and pasted it here.
They are Europe
Various opportunities have presented themselves this year including inclusion in We are Europe’s – They Are Europe Program
We are Europe is the association of 8 major European events joining forces to promote, create and produce innovative cultural practices, defined by creative diversity and exchanges.
64 People are chosen every season and this year I was honoured to be included as one of them. As a result in part I now find myself on the professional speaking circuit:
Upcoming Talks (Confirmed)
Jun 19 – Solarpunk And The Great Unfolding: Building Keystones Of Continuity@Border Sessions – The Hague
Jul 19 – New Internet (Panel Discusion) @Sonar-D – Barcelona
Oct 19 – Solarpunk: Life in the future beyond the rusted chrome of yestermorrow @Unsound Festival – Krakow
I am also available for operational and strategy work assisting organisations, projects, & people navigate complex, high growth environments. I’ve worked extensively in blockhain & adjacent tech worlds with a focus on building and scaling sustainable and regenerative cultures, that focus on employee agency & innovate company forms.
A full week this week. I had to have a small day surgery operation on Tuesday which required me to take an inordinate amount of laxatives over the bank holiday weekend last weekend. I can’t say I enjoyed the whole experience but I’m glad its over. The knock on effect is I may be able to come of some of the medication I’ve been taking since I was 17 so thats a massive win.
I spent the day with my brother who is back from halfway around the world for 10days. I wont see him again till Christmas. We went for a long walk along the Thames. Caught up and hung out.
Yesterday I hung out with Mr vickers. We had brunch in soho and then walked though a bustling Regent’s park and chatted about how the universe works.
After that I jumped on the train and went to my old housemates birthday there were many dogs. All attempts at ballgames were swiftly abandond.
I talk about what ‘The Mainstream’ means for me with regard to the Dark Forest Internet.
“Friends shouldn’t let friends go into the woods alone”
Note: I overwrote the script a little bit and had to cut about 5 seconds worth of pauses and breaths out of this episode so the delivery is a little manic. (Soz)