039 :: Unspool

Wizard Prang was threatened by toast. He knew that he was supposed to eat breakfast. It was good for him. But eating was exactly what he did not want to do early in the morning.

Chronicles of Wizard Prang by Stafford Beer

Narrative

This post is three days late. It did briefly cross my mind about 8am on Saturday that I needed to post something but i was A. too tired (no one seems to sleep in berlin?) B. too busy and had to run out the door for a breakfast engagement, followed by brunch, then get to Trust for my p2pWeb talk, then after that was drinks, dinner, then more drinks.

So in short it was kinda busy.

I’m frantically preparing for my next round of being away from home due in Rotterdam on Thursday. Conversations I took away with me from Berlin have caused it to pivot some what a a major re-write is in process.

It is now Tuesday and it’s nearly 30 degrees so i don’t want to spend all day inside either.

Permanently Moved

Episode 7: Eugh what a drag to get this done today! Thanks for listening everyone! Please stick with me, really not feeling this one today.

Dipping the stacks

I don’t want to talk about it.

The Ministry

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Reading

I finished invention of nature.

Music

TarLung had an album out last year and i missed it. Sludgy Doom FTW

Remember Kids:

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038 :: The Dithering

Narrative

Been a good week since list time we spoke. Got most of my veggies out in the garden last weekend and i’m about to go outside and get a bunch of salad seeds in trays.

Seen a bunch of friends including Alex Fradera (who has just compiled the last decades of blogs into one place and started blogging again), had a few beers with Mr Benedict Singleton, and also local friends yesterday and I’m a bit fluffy today.

I also had a bunch of calls with people catching up. Its so much nicer to speak to someone on video chat you haven’t spoke with in a long time for 20mins than spend a couple of hours chatting to them over text.

So today we found out ABBA are back together. This is awful news.

Can you imagine the world being over joyed in 1972 that a band from 1926 had got back together? No I cant either. Fuck Abba. The best wedding reception I’ve ever been to was the one where it played drum and bass all night.

The ABBA news further strengthens my opinions about the stagnation of popular culture around us. Im not sure historians will look back and call this era ‘The Long Emergency’ it’s probably more like ‘The Dithering”. Maybe Fukuyama was right. Even Black Panther is from 1966. Anyway its 2018, K-pop is reaching the cultural zenith of perfected pop. Who needs ABBA when you’ve got Red Velvet ? I also BET that K-pop bands will still put up bigger numbers on their newest MVs than ABBA will.

I’m also secretly hoping that the new ABBA will be only slightly better than shit, and boomers will have a Ghostbusters/Starwars “you’ve ruined my childhood” backlash moment.

Permanently Moved

Episode 6. A quick chat about how I’ve been making this thing, My up coming talks in Berlin May 5 and Rotterdam May 10-11 , GoogleDocs Dictation Feature and thats about it.

There’s about 50 people listening to it now which is a reall nice surprise thank for you listening if you are.

My close friends think I’m mad and haven’t listen to it but hey they speak to me IRL all the time.

Dipping the stacks

KANYE 2024

The Ministry

peer to peer web Berlin walk is done, i just have to make a few slides better but i’m happy with it and i suppose i should practice it.

Rotterdam talk is about half done i know where its going but i think i’ve pulled to much material from the Uber deck/book plan to fit into 25 mins so i need to rethink that.

Got a few work calls next week before I head off, and also need to catch up on a few things that I’ve let drop off the radar.

Work wise things really are getting more tangible in terms of what I want to do this year and routes to getting it done. Which is good because we are 1/3 of the way though. I’ve also been throwing the dice on the medium term in my mind a lot this week as a result. I wonder how its all going to work out.

Im thinking of getting a rescue time app as i’m still wasting way to much time on youtube and its depressing.

Reading

Still reading Retrosuburbia its massive.

Music

Not new, but new to me:

Twice have catchy new single out, if your following along with the K-POP thing. The video is full of easter eggs for the TWICE fandom.

Remember Kids:

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037 :: Who Else Wants To Enjoy The Sunshine?

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Narrative

Been the best weather ever this week. Been on some mega long walks with with friend Ben who’s also funemployed. I’ve basically spent four days outside away from the computer and today will also be no exception.

Eve went to Scotland and back this week and mentioned to me this morning that she’s spent over 24 hours on trains in the last week which is a lot.

I’m typing this out quickly as possible as I want to get out in the garden before the sun moves round the trees and makes it to hot to shift all the ivy/crap I cut down out there that was coming though from next door.

Permanently Moved

This weeks episode is me being super honest about how I experience the world. I try but sometimes find it really had to talk to people at this deep integrative/experiential level. An ex colleague messaged me to say “I should probably go see a neurologist”. LOL

In Episode 5 I talk about my experience of the world. I hope you find it interesting. It was my first attempt at drafting a script before recording which meant I was only left with about 20 mins to read and record what I wrote down. I’m not sure if I like it. It sound better towards the end but the opening few minutes just sound flat to my ear, and not what I’m going for. You live and learn I suppose.

Website permanentlymoved.online
Subscribe on itunes: itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/perma…ved/id1370546022

Dipping the stacks

  • There’s a palpable sense of an oncoming storm here in the UK.
  • Everyone’s on edge but can’t explain why
  • Its amazing that May is still in office

The Ministry

I wrote almost all of my peer to peer web Berlin talk in my head this week whilst walking along with Ben not saying anything to each other (we’ve been friends for longer than a decade so long silences are totally expected and normal and he’s not exactly chatty at the best of times)  pleased about that. should have the slides done by Tuesday.

Offer to write for a magazine about stacktivism and smart cities. I accepted.

I (re)wrote about 3k of a solarpunk novella over the mornings this week and i’m feeling pretty good about it.

I’m thinking of writing a separate talk once the two I’m working on are finished to explain why I hate the term The Anthropocene beyond it being a fractal rant of a discourse in the humanities with seeming no objective beyond critique for critique’s sake.

Reading

It’s a tome. The Goetia of Holmgren now Mollisons passed. It’s VERY good, but super pricy to get shipped from AUS but what you gonna do.. borrow mine I suppose?

Music

Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois – Mag11 P82

Just perfect.

So is this… Summer – The Blow from their new album Brand New Abyss

Remember Kids:

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029 :: Stella Maris

Narrative

The Shrine of Our Ladye Star of the Sea was an old chapel on the cliffs at Broadstairs. Dating back at least to the 1350s. However, it’s said that the Shrine and its Chapel were known to have existed prior to the year 1070, as it was in that year that the old Saxon Church of St. Peter’s (Where four generations of my family are buried), was rebuilt with stone and flint.

St-marys-chapel-broadstairs

The original building contained the famous shrine of “Our Ladye of Bradstowe”, a statue of the Virgin Mary, mounted on a tall column, positioned so that she faced seaward. It stood outside in the Chapel garden at the cliffs edge. The Chapel was a gathering place for the maritime community.

The tradition maintained by the Royal Navy of “showing the flag” at seaside towns to uphold the morale of the Navy is said to have its origins in a service held at the Bradstowe Chapel in 1514 with the crew of the Henry Grace a Dieu in attendance, whilst the largest and latest addition to the King’s Fleet was moored nearby.

It is known that coastal towns and village’s displayed some kind of beacon on the high points of their coastline as a warning against the potential hazard’s locally known to shipping, thus in medieval times the Chapel of St. Mary was known as “The Chapel of Blue Light”, for its light was given out into the dark seas through a blue glass lantern.

During the 1520s a severe storm that lasted several days swept into Viking Bay with a storm surge and destroyed the Shrine, badly damaging the Chapel. The chapel was rebuilt in 1601

The shrine was at some point – probably after 1601 – placed inside the Chapel. She was no longer facing her sea. Thereafter local seamen came to refer to her as “The Weeping Virgin”. (Hot weather is said to have caused humidity and thus condensation in the Chapel and caused the figure to appear in the countenance of the Virgin, weeping.)

This portent indicated a bad omen as a storm would often follow, atmospheric changes indicated in the Chapel were thus a good rough guide to those who would face the perils of the sea.

The shrine of Our Lady of Bradstowe now resides in Holy Trinity church Broadstairs, 30 seconds from the old chapel building. In the church I was confirmed.

This is not the end of the story though. As you can see in the picture above it was in recent years a bookshop. The Albion Bookshop.

Old Yelp photo

Old Yelp Photo

As you can imagine…. I went to this bookshop all the time when I was a kid. As a teenager almost every week.

It was here I discovered books about: The hollow earth, Alien encounters, NDE books the blew my mind, Crowley, 1960’s LSD trip report zines, Roman history books, Plays, Poetry, Comic Trades, and Star Wars Books. Lots and lots of Star Wars Books.

I am grateful to the spirit of St Mary’s Chapel for the guidance and serendipity the space provided me as young man I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. Both as Star of The Sea. but also As Sophia.

Like most second hand bookshops in the age of Amazon and airplane hanger sized wear houses the bookshop is now closed. But all is not lost. It has gone though one of though better kinds of re-gentrification and it’s now a busy ale pub. Its a place that has created even more strong memories, every Christmas Eve since it (re)opened.

The Moon my Father,

My Mother the Sea,

To thy shelter take us,

Chaste and gentle make us.

The opening of a landscape prayer my Nana used to say.

Dipping the stacks

  • Masons G.Beck routine was extremely good
  • Less impressed with ‘cancel culture’
  • The UK Gov is absolutely petrified of the internet
  • The Bank of England is absolutely petrified of the internet and its money
  • Russia is behind the Anti GMO movement now I understand

The Ministry

I received the notes back on the meditation manuscript I have a lot to do.

Depression and Stress over the little things in life. (But it might be related tot he fact i have barely left the house for a week)

Im a week behind booking flights and an Air B&B in Berlin.

Blame no-one but oneself

Reading

Im about 2/3 of the way through Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide it’s from 2014 and the Forward is by a pre-Project Drawdown Paul Hawken.

I like it because the permaculture framing is a bit more Holmgren than Mollison. Some of the projects mentioned I have not come across before it’s Really impressive stuff. I just wish all these projects had time/energy for social media.

Each project/chapter is based around The Permaculture Flower it’s a great way to structure the information. The whole book back to back full colour spreads featuring wonderful photography – tho its hard not to take bad photos of some paradises I guess.

 Music

I picked up Mellow Waves by Cornelius on vinyl last weekend it came out in the summer of 2017. I’ve literally only been listening to that when I’ve had the chance to get on our turntable. (please assume the default soundtrack to my/our lives in the flat i Django or Lightning Hopkins)

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Its very chilled, with some fantastic production and synth sounds with a hint of 80’s Prince. It sounds fantastic with headphones.

If you are a fan of Japanese electronica or have listened to Cornelius at any point before in the 20 years or so since Point came out, this album represents a musician thats confident in their craft and knows it.

Remember kids:

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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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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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024 :: Well, fuck them. Make it personal

Oh so sick, just mark the middle of our door with a red cross a foot long. I’m writing this with an extremely light head.

Narrative

Jay Springett, uno de los principales paladines del solarpunk como movimiento, el objetivo es responder a la gran pregunta: “¿qué aspecto tiene una civilización sostenible y cómo podemos llegar a ella?”

– ‘Solarpunk’: así es la ciencia ficción optimista que contrasta con ‘Black Mirror’

I said last week that I wanted to re-read Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan before the beginning of February and I have. The title of this blog post is a quip from one the main characters. In my mind Altered Carbon is probably the best cyberpunk novel ever written – I really do love it. The dramatic rights to the book were optioned pretty much from day one and I’ve always been optimistic about an adaption – until said adaption is upon me.

The plot (in short) is about Takeshi Kovacs, an off world super soldier ‘Envoy’ who by the technology of cortical stacks – the digitisation of personality, memories and consciousness – is ‘re-sleeved’ in a new body back on earth 250 years since he was last animate:  “Pull on the new flesh like borrowed gloves and burn your fingers once again”.

With the technology to transport consciousness from body to body, death has become less existential as part of the the day to day of human culture but real death the destruction of the stack/chip that sits in ones spine is feared beyond all measure. The main plot is driven by an impossibly rich and essentially immortal ‘Meth’ who’s backed up consciousness (in his replacement cloned body) can’t remember the last 48 hours of his life and refuses to believe the police ruling of death by suicide – Kovacs is sent to investigate.

The novel is somewhat of a meditation on samsara which brings me to my concerns about the Netflix series:

The noir element of the novel is its central conceit. I’d estimate that 3/4 of the novel takes place inside the main characters head – as monologue. The novel is tight with tensions around ‘otherness’. The character you are spending time with is culturally Japanese. An Envoy super soldier who before doing his duty in the human space empire grew up amongst Yakuza on a planet built by Eastern European labour, and politically leans towards neo-maoism (Quelleism). His character is completely defined by his conciseness. It’s all he has.

He is not a the middle aged white man’s body he is currently ‘sleeved’ into – who it’s clear from the trailer you will be seeing on screen for the majority of the show with the exception of flashback(?) scenes. I hope all this addressed in a creative way in the series. Because if not, then it results in another Hollywood white washing. Plus what the fuck is with all the explosions? I can’t say I have high hopes.

I must admit as a 32 cis white male who has a tattered copy of the first edition paperback, the books complicated relationship with race (and it’s treatment of women) is something that I have become more and more aware of as I have grown as a person, and as the novel has come along with me during that time. In 2003 whilst at university (I must be honest) I’m not sure I would have any concerns around a white guy playing the main character. However all these years years on (despite the major outrageous storyline changes evident even from the trailer – which are also terrible) the main character being played by a good looking white guy seems really wrong. I’m not even going to ‘wait and see on this’ and gonna call it now: I think its going to be a fantastic tv series but a terrible adaption from the source material. Seriously just read the book.

[UPDATE] Go read  Nerds of Color – Netflix’s Altered Carbon and Asian Consciousness in White Bodies from 2016

Dipping the stacks

  • There seems to be a lot less back slapping at Davos this year.
  • The death of Le Guin resonated across my feed far more deeply but with far less pubic mourning than other celebrity deaths.
  • My belief that ‘Media’ is a huge distraction machine continues to solidify.
  • Screw London snark.
  • #TheAssistance continues to go unchallenged I see.

The Ministry

I had an excellent call Sunday evening exposing exciting medium to long term possibilities.

The week started off well, with news reaching me that an organisation I have been coaching – their top candidate accepted the post. Tuesday, I had an excellent cocktail fuelled late lunch, followed by a beer filled evening with an old friend who now has a good job at a major tech company in Berlin – opportunities opening. Also I was also quoted in a major Spanish media outlets article on Solarpunk.

I also received a three pass editorial manuscript back from an editor who took a long look at a short piece of fiction I wrote last year. It was extremely helpful – it seems having an editor is just as important as having a good idea in the first place. I think working with them is going to make me a much better writer.

I was looking forward to attending DAOWO – Doing Good on the Blockchain at the Goethe Institut in London. …. But was struck down by dizzyness, headaches and wooziness. Mysteriously I have not developed the sore throat and full blown cold my partner Eve has – she is about two days a head of me – and I have literally done nothing this week except read Altered Carbon, Sleep and put about 15 more hours in to Zelda on the switch. Such is life.

Reading

See top of this blog post. No other reading. I am Dead.

Music

Yuri from The K-Pop band girls generation released this future bass genre banger this week:

I listened to a few times around the time I was having an intense lucid dream about being a Private Investigator who had “Cyber Professional” on my business card. I think maybe my life is a little bit too cyberpunk rn.

RIP Mark E Smith