03JAN15 - It's 4AM and I'm awake. There are birds singing, but I don't think it's the time for birds to sing - they were singing at midnight while I waited for the bus, too. Maybe the stray street light is confusing them, but how could that work - street lights are hardly new?
27THDEC15 - I've got a much longer spiel about Catholicism clawing at the insides of my fingertips and wanting to be written, but until then:
Nothing increases my calm when using a computer like a background picture of a beautiful scene. I assume at some point someone had the brain wave that the white or grey pixels didn't have to stay that way, why not let you load an image on there? Probably very shortly after a company man thought 'and why not make it the company logo and not let you change it, after all we paid for the computer and your time'.
Setting your own wallpaper is an important act of owning your computer environment. Even if you never learn to code or feel empowered by a cloud service - it's one thing everyone can do to reassert their control.
(My son has renamed his Recycle Bin to 'benny bin' FYI. It makes me smile every time I see it. I hope it does the same for him, too.)
20THDEC15 - I'm so unwell. I'm hot, and I can kind of see the things I need to do, but I'm struggling. I'm hot. I'm tired. I'm too stupid to give in. I hope I feel better soon. I have a new found sympathy for Helen. I hadn't updated in too long.
30THNOV15 - I've bought a lot of things from Amazon. They have a warehouse nearby and I know they have a bad reputation for how they treat people and that ordering from Amazon creates externalities - but really, the same appears to be the case for most of the competition that I would buy from.
Coming from the EU, I think that it shouldn't be down to consumers to solely drive social change - I want good conditions for the people who pick and pack (and make) the things I buy from the Internet, but it's not that reasonable to avoid Amazon / Argos / Tesco / ASDA at Christmastime.
Caring about staff shouldn't just be a selling point for brands like the Co-Op - that's what we have the government for. The invisible hand isn't optimising for workers' conditions. I don't understand why we don't have a strong labour movement in this country - their political party was in power for most of the last twenty years and ... well there's an awful lot of people working horrible contracts in menial jobs. Aren't they voting? Aren't their party pushing for change? Why do we event *have* zero hours contracts?
22NDNOV15 - ~joe laments the loss of IM. I'm a pre-IM person - IRC was my thing in the 90's. The floppy disk that Ireland' local ISP (there was just one at the time) gave out had a copy of a very simple IRC client for Windows called Globalchat. Later on they bundled Microsoft's Comic Chat. The first thing that practically everyone who joined IRC was told to do was to download mIRC, certainly the most popular and probably the best client.
mIRC was shareware, and I was a poor kid (though, you know, not so poor that we didn't have Internet, blah blah privilege - anyway - I *thought* I was poor) and I didn't register it.
I knew most of my friends as a teenager through IRC and I even met my wife on IRC. Eventually I realised I'd had my few dollars value and, as an adult, registered mIRC. It's embarassing how long it took me.
Joe reckons IRC is for nerds, and I kind of get that, but it's not *that* hard - maybe we just think that everything to do on a computer that isn't a) install an app from an app store or b) sign up to YET ANOTHER START UP'S WEB SERVICE is too hard for "normal" people.
irc.iol.ie was full of normal people. I think what's wrong with IM nowadays isn't Facebook (but Facebook is also definitely a thing) - it's that our identity and ways of meeting people online suck. IM in the 90's and early 2000's was a way to meet strangers and chat.
If I look at my IM list now: it's full of people that I know in real life. Even my Twitter follower/following list is people that I know, or know of, from the circles I move in. For the most part, these are people who are like me: white, male, Western European techies. And that sucks.
When I joined IRC in the 90's my friends online were: a local shopkeeper, a fifty year old gay man living in a tiny village in Ireland, a recently separated housewife from the UK with kids, a very depressed guy with no job prospects doing anything to get into tech, a nice boy with a Cure obsession who came out to me and sundry other people who were nothing like me.
This was the best experience and made me a better person: too many people surround themselves with people who are like them and then, when they are put in positions of power - in government, in business, in schools - they have no idea how to empathise with People of Colour, single moms and closeted men who have different priorities about privacy. They may never know what it's like to be long term unemployed (I've never been, but I at least vicariously have had friends go through it and it sucks - the poor aren't scroungers, they're trying fucking hard, leave them alone) .
TILDE TOWN is great because I don't know who you are. Colour of your skin, gender, job, background, sobriety - it's all hidden behind your ~name. Some people share more than others, that's cool too. That's earned knowledge, that's hanging out on IRC and talking to someone about why their job sucks, not reading their Bio on GitHub.
13THNOV15 - WHEN I WAS A KID, I USED TO PORE OVER COMPUTER AND ELECTRONICS MAGAZINES. I WAITED FOR NEW ONES TO COME IN - THEY WERE MY ONLY NEW 'SOURCES OF INPUT' FOR THINGS I WAS INTERESTED IN. ONCE I READ THEM, I FILED THEM AWAY, LIKE MY DAD HAD BEEN DOING WITH HIS MAGAZINES MY ENTIRE LIFE.
I WOULD REFER BACK TO THEM, AND REREAD THEM WHEN I WAS BORED, PICKING UP A NEW DETAIL THAT I HADN'T NOTICED, OR UNDERSTANDING SOMETHING BETTER NOW THAT MY EXPERIENCE HAD GROWN. IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT THAT I WAS TOO BUSY TO READ ONE OF THESE SCARCE SOURCES OF INFORMATION, I PILED IT UP FOR LATER.
THIS HABIT HAS BEEN HARD TO KICK.
LUCKILY, I DON'T NEED TO WAIT A MONTH AND PAY FOUR QUID TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW ANY MORE. BUT … I STILL ORGANISE MY INFORMATION LIKE I DO. I 'ADD TO LATER' ON YOUTUBE, OPEN TABS, SAVE NEWSLETTERS INTO A FOLDER BECAUSE I'M TOO BUSY TO READ THEM RIGHT NOW, AS IF CATCHING UP WITH THE INTERNET IS A SANE OR HEALTHY THING THAT I THINK I CAN DO.
9THNOV15 - ~JOE REMINDED ME THAT WE HAVE THESE SPACES TO MAKE THINGS.
Aug 2015 to Oct 2015 — Dec 2014 to Aug 2015