032 :: Permanently Moved

Certainly there had been trouble coming. Anyone who had had any experience of wars would have seen it coming long before the afternoon that Mack ran down Morris the Florist.” 

Chapter 4, The Summer Before the War, The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

Narrative

Well, it’s been a cool week. I’ve seen a bunch of friends I haven’t seen in a while.

I’ve also been super productive with writing and working on various projects. The reason I went to Berlin is chooching along too.

On Thursday I went for walk/dinner/drinks with Mr Stephen Fortune I had a great time catching up with him. We talked about: his QS work and the closing months of his PHD ahead, web3 technologies, the crypto bourgeoisie, our respective Crohn’s Disease and health, meditation / fasting, regnerative ag, warring AI’s betting on prediction markets over their climate change models. Land as Platform and the spirit world and rehaunting the west via Christianity. All in a days work to be honest with you. Fun times.

We also went for Japanese food and drank hibiscus cocktails

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Had a bit of a black mirror moment at the end of our meal when our waitress asked us to rate and review her personally on tripadvisor mentioning her by name. Immediately after that, the PDQ Terminal asked me a NPS question – Totally surreal.

The other thing that happened this week:

Warren posted The Short Things over on Morning.Computer . I thought about it over breakfast and decided “challenge excepted”.

So I give you the experiment:

Screen Shot 2018-03-24 at 15.34.00

A podcast in 301 seconds.

I want to get a few more episodes/shows under my belt before I submit the feed to all the podcatchers etc. But the direct RSS can be grabbed here.

Please send feedback though either via DMs or email. I’ve already been told to go in the direction of ‘Crypto-agri Joe Frank’

I think that instead of starting one podcast (solarpunks) why not start two?

Dipping the stacks

  • People are mad at surveillance capitalism
  • Russia is still the boogie man
  • Idiot wing of the tory party made fools of themselves on a fishing boat

The Ministry

I threw for some futures earlier in the year when the space weather was good for me. One of those requests to the universe was to do more live speaking.

I thought I’d hit the Jackpot when I got asked in a back channel to speak at Re:Publica Berlin 18 well after the submission deadline had closed. This week I found out it wasn’t accepted but you can read that talk submission over on tumblr here.

I was pretty down about not being accepted to be honest with you, but within an hour of receiving the bad news the following happened.

I’d been asked to speak at peer to peer web berlin  in May the same weekend that Re:Publica is on, AND received and email to speak at/attend a 2 day workshop in Rotterdam (also) in May.

So yeah, thats how the universe works I suppose.

Reading

I ain’t read shit, don’t @ me.

Music

The new Titus Andronicus album A Productive Cough is absolutely awful. Don’t even bother with it.

What you should bother yourself with however is that Sevdaliza has a new single out called Human Nature I really like it

Her album ISON was a fav from last year. And the video for the single HUMAN is absolutely incredible

Remember kids:

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031 :: He escapes into absurdity

 

The battle for freedom is not fought alone on the great fronts. It is fought in every home, in every community, in every state in the world. it is fought in the mind and heart of every man.

Jack Whiteside Parsons – Freedom is a Two-edged Sword

Narrative

Returned from Berlin invigorated and renewed with a sense of purpose. I must admit that its a nice change. Before I left I’d somehow gotten myself stuck in my living room, becoming increasingly anxious about leaving the house – some kind of prison of inaction. I’ve decided to make some changes and build out more of a routine to ensure it doesn’t happen again… you know… like committing to leaving the house for at least an hour a day lol. I have too much to do this year to let being a Sad Boi get in the way.

SO much has happened to me since I left my job in September, on top of that I wouldn’t say it was hyperbole to say that I’m just coming out of a PTSD like situation from my old job. I’d really like to go for dinner with my old boss (who quit before me) to close out that period of my life. Not that I want sympathy or I’m telling a sob story or anything but the last 6/7 months really have been a real struggle for me.

Work meetings aside, the main thing that I got from the Berlin trip was seeing friends and talking frankly over dinner with people I really admire about their strategies for managing their daily lives. Keeping up with the self motivation, goal setting etc. I’m grateful for that discussion. I’ve taken a lot home with me.

Dipping the stacks

  • I see that the elite’s are going to get their war with Russia after all
  • Half of all the democrats running in the mid terms are connected to the US security apparatus in some way
  • Im thinking about unfollowing at least 200+ people on twitter but not quite sure yet

The Ministry

Since I last blogged (a few days ago) I’ve basically been getting my ducks in a row ready for a busy next week. I’m also in the middle of trying to tidy my desk/working space and creating a better environment for myself. Not that it wasn’t organised (HAHAHA- Eve) it was just er…. visually messy…. who am i kidding. It’s sometimes so messy Eve puts up a screen in front of it when people come over.

I heard back from Re:Publica Berlin about my talk proposal on Solarpunk. They said in the email that I’d hear something in the next 2 weeks or so. Time is moving along and out though, so they need to get on that I have other shit in my life to organise.

Frank Landis wrote a fantastic pice on solarpunk over on Antipope.org which was super cool.

Reading

I’m 2/3 of the way though Metro 2035 (Метро #3) by Dmitry Glukhovsky

I think the first book was probably the best one in the trilogy as it was new and an exciting premise in the genre, plus my head was full of it on my first trip to Moscow just as Roadside Picnic and the game Stalker was in my head when I visited Chernobyl. I have a massive soft spot for post apocalyptic fiction since I was a teenager. I just can’t help myself.

It’s interesting listening to my inner thoughts/reaction to the world of the novel having been so deep in the solarpunk community recently. The first great solarpunk novel is still to be written but the focus on the hope amongst climate and environmental tragedy is much more my jam. Post apocalyptic solarpunk written by teenagers paints a more interesting and complex world than nuclear grimdark.

I have David Holmgren’s newest book Retrosuburbia on order I’m super excited about it.

Music

Since I got back I’ve had the Superorganisim, S/T album on repeat. It’s a real strong debut album.  Something for your M.I.N.D is one of my favourite singles from last year and the album builds and iterates on it.

I’m really glad that I got to see them at their first ever show last year at Village Underground. I’ve just looked and they are hitting the festival circuit hard in 2018.

Rollingstone have a cool article on them called: Superorganism: How an Internet-Addled Commune Made a Warped Psych-Pop Gem – I’d agree. If you like quirky psych pop, this might already be shaping up to be the album of the summer for you.

In other music news, I picked up Toto Coelo – I Eat Cannibals 12″ single for 50p MINT in Oxfam yesterday and it’s made me so so happy.

Remember kids:

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030 :: “New Nerds”

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress – Gandhi

Narrative

I am/I’ve been in Berlin for a while. Right now I am typing this from Trust one of the many Blockchain Co-Working spaces that are in Berlin.

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Photo from Saturday Night. Thanks Cory!

So… I blew passed my self imposed Saturday blog posting deadline. I don’t really have an excuse to be honest. I’ve either been really busy all day or sleeping for nearly a week.

I must admit, Berlin is not my favourite city. It has a grey spirit. It’s not hostile but I have never found it particularly receptive to approaches. The Spree was completely frozen when I arrived (Tits where indeed frozen). It’s been days of grey Clouds. Wind, Rain (as I type this), But Sunday it was 17 degrees with blue sky sunshine. We ate dinner outside in the evening. Since then it has been Raining. Really strange weather.

I’m staying at a ‘Scandi’ Hotel. It’s trying to be international chic in an Airspace kinda way. If you have ever been in someones flat that is 100% Ikea furniture you can get the picture of what the hotel is like. Nice and practical on the surface but when you look more closely everything is slightly broken, chipped or delaminating.

Continuing with my airspace existence, I met up with Johannes in an airspace coffeeshop called westberlin on Saturday. We could have been anywhere but thats the point I suppose. I have data here: The whole city opens up as a strange techno airspace-dream. Get out of the airport, call a Mytaxi via app, pay for the U bahn with its app. Pay for shit in the hotel with my contactless online bank that isn’t charging me a fee for spending Euro. All good.

I went to see the The Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum yesterday. It was colossal

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Dipping the stacks

I must admit I haven’t really been online. Its been nice. Might keep it that way

The Ministry

I’m in Berlin both for work and for a (previously mentioned) conspiratorial reason. The weekend was spent at a facilitated meeting with a bunch of awesome people. We filled a huge whiteboard with notes and planning.

Solarpunk was written about in the LARB this week by Rhys who I had a call with a few weeks ago. We met at a sci-fi convention back in September, He including a link to the reference guide which was nice of him. It’s weird that different websites that I thought would have had a much lower profile than the LARB have driven more traffic.

I met up with Terra0 whilst I was here. they are building a forrest that owns itself.

Had some beers withJulian Oliver who I have known for a while now, since the early days of the #stacktivism project. That was nice.

My good friend Alex also happens to be in Berlin and we grabbed dinner.

I’m kinda blockchained out. TBH

Reading

Even though I have like 101 books on the go at the moment, I started and finished reading Skin In the Game by Taleb this week. Its such an important concept. One of my favourite quotes is:

 

“Bureaucracy is a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of his or her actions.”

–  Skin In the Game Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Music

I’ve barely had the chance to listen to anything in the last week or so. The only music I have on my phone is a collection of Lightnin’ Hopkins MP3s so I’ve been listing to that tbh.

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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023 :: A rich palette of ecosystems

It’s frustrating that it costs you well over £10 to step out your front door in London. Hashtag 2018 I suppose.

Narrative

(Solarpunk) attempts to foster a socio-cultural environment which emphasises individual autonomy, consent, unity-in-diversity, with the free egalitarian distribution of power. It creates a multitude of spaces for indigenous sovereignties, reproductive justice, and radical queer politics.

Of course with these principles comes polyphony, one cannot speak for other solarpunks, only be in dialogue and occasional chorus with them.

– “Dirt Behind Our Ears” : On Solarpunk and the Need for New Futures

The metaphor of polyphony has come up a lot recently. Its a key theme in The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Tsing and also frequently used by another anthropologist Tim Ingold (Warning I’m a major fanboy). I’ve become more and more mindful of the need for less oppositional life ways in the last few months, and I think this is my refrain for the year.

This 2015 talk by Ingold on ‘The Correspondence of Lives’ is worth watching in full.

On this same note..

A friend asked on Tiny Twitter the other day:

1. Is the culture all wrong to start blogging again? Is it too experimental or contingent a form for career to survive intact?
2. Do I have a coherent enough perspective to bring to regular blogging above anger and reaction?
3. What would be the best platform to use

1. No. The culture is not wrong at all. 2. Yes everyone has interests. 3. WordPress obviously.

I think the resistance others feel to (re)starting a blog during the encouraging conversations I’ve been having is around fear of the Instant Rage Machine – Twitter. But things move slower in the blogosphere. True, you might say something that stir up the hornets nest and you get linked to and chewed out in 240chars. But really the only appropriate place for any criticism to come from and be responded to is in the long form. From/to other blog posts – healthy discussion.

As usual here’s my impression of the world from dipping the stacks this week:

  • Cryptocurrency markets collapsed. I wonder idly how many of the people who were cheering along will be doing the same during the upcoming currency crisis expected during 2018.
  • One of the Royals got a much better hair cut.
  • A newspaper I stopped reading ages ago has rebranded with lots of strange lines and UX choices.
  • The sexual lives of public figures is still being used as an attempt at control. Maybe they have *affects french accent*  an arrangement , they are both adults it’s none of our business.
  • Fed up with drug companies, hospitals in the USA have decided to start their own – this is extremely good.

The Ministry

I have been rushed off my feet this week which is a weird thing to say for someone without a full time job. I’ve lots of calls with various individuals around the world some at odd hours just for 30mins of someones time: but that is what “Real” social networking is all about I suppose. Every single person I have spoken to however has been so nice and kind.

This week I spent nearly three days helping an organisation hire a new technical person. It’s one of their first major hires. I find it gratifying to be able to step people through unfamiliar territory and offer help and support when people are unsure (the point person had never run an interview process before). Though at the same time always being mindful that it’s not my decision – it’s theirs.

I also had an expert interview for a strategy company on HR Tech and emerging trends in the sector. Which involved me going on a long rant about the surveillance workplace, data passporting, and the realities and dangers of relying too heavily on APIS linking software purchased to meet immediate business needs in startups. I also had an absolutely amazing long conversation with Ruth from Furtherfield.org in Carnaby Street.

I also submitted at the last minute talk about Solarpunk to a major conference in Berlin – see the quote above.

Reading

I finished both The Hidden Half of Nature and A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind this week.

I have now read all of David Montgomery’s books with the completion of this one. And quite frankly recommend all of them. The Hidden Half of Nature is also co-authored by his wife Anne Biklé, a biologist and environmental planner.

Its a fascinating romp tough soil science, the history of microbiological studies and then smoothly segues in to gut bacteria and the human microbiome and takes a brief look at the discoveries this century could possibly bring now that the ‘Kill them all’ knee jerk reaction of antibiotic use is being reassessed. The sections on Crohn’s Disease and inflammation was of great interest to me (obviously). If you have read and enjoyed I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong then this is a must read as its a gateway book to soil science.

A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind is a delightful short book (I read it over two evenings) full of pithy zen sayings and practical advice. I’ve taken two things away from the book. The first i’ve instituted a ‘conscious’ face washing ritual every morning (even if I immediately get in the shower) and i’m already finding the mental space that it opens up is providing returns. The other is that I looked up in my flat.. and we really need to dust/clean the light fixtures.

I’ve started reading Altered Carbon (again) perhaps for the 5th? time in my life. I’d like to get though it before the TV show starts on Netflix in Febuary. I’m also finishing up a book called The Margate Tales which has been half read on my night stand now for ages. It’s a well researched collection that attempts to cover all the references to Margate in print pre-railway age. There are some fantastic quotes!

A friend pressed Star Ark: A Living, Self-Sustaining Spaceship by Rachel Armstrong into my hands last night – so i think that’ll be up next. But Hyperion by Dan Simmons also arrived in my life second hand for 50p this week. We’ll see.

Music

Not much time for new tunes this week. But we’ve been listening to an old household favourite, it hasn’t left the turntable in a week.

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Remember kids:

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022 :: Minister of My Own Labor

It’s been a strange week thats for sure but I’m not going to talk about that here.

Narrative

I’m now twelve days into my new social media diet. The essay “Avoid News, Towards a Healthy News Diet” by Rolf Dobelli has been a big influence on me since I read it back in 2012/13 ish.

We are so well informed and yet we know so little. Why?

We are in this sad condition because 200 years ago we invented a toxic form of knowledge called news. The time has come to recognize the detrimental effects that news has on individuals and societies, and to take the necessary steps to shield us from its dangers.

“Avoid News, Towards a Healthy News Diet” – Dobelli

I return to it every now and again when everything is getting a bit much on the socials. So much so, that when I was sorting out the huge pile of papers on / under / around my desk before Christmas I found THREE copies of it printed out in various stacks & states of decay. I suppose that says it all.

In experiments in disconnecting last year, I spent two separate months ‘Off’ social media, cold turkey. The main problem i experienced was I missed too many DM’s and notifications about people being in town etc. Not being on Facebook or Whatsapp (and I jealously guard my phone number / personal email) these people and some friends were just ignored – So that didn’t work out. This month i’ve been checking my DM’s and notifications 2-3 times a day and just do an in-depth read in the mornings before I get up (but i may replace this with reading). It’s been working well so far for me and I feel a lot better for it.

Some bullet points on observations from me feed this week

  • Remainers have literally invented team follow back 10 years after it turned out to be a disastrous echo chamber the first time around – it’s an echo chamber they are after I suppose.
  • The royals slow manoeuvrings continue  – its so interesting to watch
  • The US is going quiet on Russia hacking and swivel eyed collusion finger pointing over the election – I suspect because it’s run out of steam
  • The US still has bad book cover design
  • “Doing a journalist” is something that happens to people I suppose.

The Ministry

I’ve been working on a lot of work related things this week tying to get myself in a position to earn some income this year – mostly websites.

I haven’t touched any kind of self hosted WordPress system in at least 7 years and this week I have been working on three simultaneously. I’m about 1/3 thought the total amount of work i need to get done so far and next week should be a big sprint. But webdesign even within WordPress has moved on a lot since I last dusted off nascent web design skills and the learning curve has been quite steep. It also occurs to me that I should finish reading the book recommended to me by Sjef – The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane before I write any copy for the bigger websites. I’ll post a review when I’m done reading it, but I’m thinking i might need to engage/pay a copy editor to help me out once the first draft is written.

I did finish one website this week though.

After Flavours.me died during the summer last year, my personal website had been a 404 (which Is the perfect metaphor for last year in general). So in an effort to decentralise, I now have a quick single page with minimal information about me up and running. I cant imagine it’ll change anytime soon unless I get some new headshots in the spring and then I’ll change the GIF – I might randomise it.

Another web related task this week was updating the solarpunks tumblr to become solarpunks.net ‘all very simple’ I hear you say, *unless* you also want to host wordpress on a subdomain. It took me nearly two days of on and off DNS fuckery to sort it out, with a lot of help from my hosting provider. I’m modifying a custom theme next week probably . It’ll be the first theme update since the tumblr started in 2012.

Reading

In addition to the content book, I started reading The Hidden Half of Nature which continues my Soil science binge from last year which I’m about 1/3 of the way though already and, I’m about 1/2 though A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind  – a book about buddhist house keeping.

Music

I’m trying to listen to more music this year too.

So I’m going to write about that it here to. Last year was full of some fantastic stuff, mostly listened to in between financial forecasting, salesforce administration, employee utilisation reporting and data pack wrangling at my former place of employment.

This week I’ve been listening to the new Charlie XCX album – Pop 2 which is really good. I mentioned to an acquaintance the other day that it’s the first PC Music produced album that seems to go beyond their typical ‘Production Shtick’. I presume this is Charlie XCX’s influence..

Have a good week and remember:

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