throwing toys

16 August 2006

Some entertaining examples of rather po-faced throwing of toys out of prams can be found in Nick Carr’s baleful post about how no one’s listening and Michael Arrington’s rather abusive response.

It seems astonishing to me that, just because the blogosphere and associated media are full of blog-hype, there appear to be lots of people out there who are surprised and upset that they aren’t transformed into an A-lister by virtue of making a few or a lot of posts. A particularly naive post from Seth Finkelstein is cited by Carr:

1) I was suckered into the idea that blogs were a way to “route around” media power, and to be HEARD.

Suckered is the word, and quite easily by all accounts.

4) It’s painful to admit that you’ve wasted so much time and effort and pretty much nobody is listening.

Surely only wasted if you went into it expecting to come out with a Pulitzer? Was there nothing of personal value to the process? If not, then one should probably not be ‘wasting’ so much time.

Via Techmeme


surely some mistake?

16 August 2006

The spellchecker doesn’t recognise the word “blog”, suggesting instead bog, log, blag and a number of other non blogging related words. manages a few references, why not our host?

worlds collide

16 August 2006

It’s not often that the worlds of geopolitics and geekery collide as in the comment thread following Robert Scoble’s post on Mahmoud Ahmadenijad’s blog.  There’s something touchingly naive about the tone of the original post and simplistic about the resulting comments.  Though I guess this is not necessarily a reflection on geekery itself, the quality of debate on sites such as the Guardian’s comment is free often leaves me cold.


16 August 2006

So, Ivan and Gayle got married on Saturday. This is a shot of them facing each other during the ceremony at Petersfield Register Office. It was a great day, they survived the emotional rollercoaster, I survived delivering my third Best Man’s speech and setting off bucket loads of fireworks, it didn’t rain.

On returning to London I discovered that that my Lumix FX9 has given up the ghost. When I switch it on the lens just cycles in and out three times, then it switches itself off. I’m trying to be brave about it, but once I’ve processed pictures from the weekend there won’t be anything new for a while.

how do I get down?

7 August 2006

In preparation for his forthcoming marriage to Gayle, Ivan decided to risk serious injury by climbing up this thoroughly unstable stack on the beach at Newgale Sands, Pembrokeshire. Thankfully he failed in his attempt, though had to be helped down by Leo when he realised he couldn’t find a secure footing under the overhanging and crumbling edge. Being a physical coward, I couldn’t bring myself to watch this inevitable display of near-deathery, so wandered off to inspect the sea (thus the angle of this photograph). Perhaps as Best Man I should have been more on hand to phone the air ambulance. I’ll try and make it up to him in my speech next week.

world’s least useful car parking space

18 July 2006

Absolutely brilliant.

Better Brother

10 July 2006

Forget Big Brother, NASA TV coverage of the current Shuttle/ISS mission is strangely compelling. It’s something about the huge team of people sitting in front of that big screen focussing all their attention on every action of Earth’s most vulnerable people. Combine that with the very intimate dialogue between the astronauts and ground crew, often quite tender (first thing the morning, last thing at night), but always couched in this strange space-speak, stripped of all ambiguity in a situation where you really don’t want any misunderstandings (“Oh THAT button…”).  But also mundane, like requests from the ground to “power cycle the colour printer” (that’s “switch it off and on again” for those of us unlucky enough to have an IT helpdesk at work) as it “keeps dropping off the network”.  They’re floating around in a tin can, doing office admin.

the butcher’s knife

10 July 2006

It has begun, in earnest. Simon and I spent last weekend getting things in order, righting some wrongs I’d committed with the Jetsam script (one bit of beach looks very much like another to a city boy! as for what order they should go in…) and discussing the feel that we’re after. I’d already started the pruning process (it’s got to come down from two hours to more like 90 minutes) when Simon’s notes arrived today. Suffice it to say there is blood on the cutting room floor.

I’ve always been terrible at editing my writing. At university I read, read, read and read some more; took pages of notes, ordered them and wrote my essays longhand in one go (pre-word processing for the masses, we’re talking 1990-93). Absolutely no editing whatsoever; once the words were on the paper that was it, I couldn’t see any other way that they could be ordered. So being forced to reevaluate my work, rethink the instinctive decisions I took the first time is really challenging and enjoyable.

Now, where did I put my cleaver…?

camp piano playing geekery

30 June 2006

David Pogue is the New York Times’ personal tech columnist and gives an entertaining keynote at this year’s TED (new to me), particuarly if Microsoft Word is a major part of your life.

Via Valleywag.

scenes from a conference

30 June 2006

The train tilts, from Euston to Coventry and I’m back in Warwickshire, at the University of Warwick for the National Housing Federation’s Development, Regeneration & Maintenance conference.  A function of the spectrum of activity represented by the D, R and M is an interesting mix of people settling down to enjoy the opening plenary session, that included Kevin McCloud enthusing about expensive timber buildings.  Plenty of burley maintenance surveyors in garish polo shirts gently snoring through the riveting tour of government development policy by a teenager, sorry, Senior Policy Advisor from Cabe.

Being back on campus is fun as well.  The undergraduates have all gone home to mum’s overstocked fridge and washing machine, but there are enough postgrads lounging around in the sunshine banging on about Heidegger and Marx (no, really, complete with 5-o-clock shadow and Converse) to remind me why I’m probably better off having left it all behind, despite the occasional yearning for an afternoon in the library searching through social policy journals.

Then there are the conference herds, distinguishable by size/shape/colour of the oversized badges we all have to wear and cheap branded bags.  This year the NHF is clearly feeling the pinch and has splashed out on nasty drawstring-rucksack-type-things whilst another professional body disseminating the latest policy thinking to its people has kitted them out with natty red shoulder things.

Another bonus of attending a university campus conference is the spectacle of purple clad students scowling at silent microphones in their attempts at impersonating AV technicians.

And the conference?  Less said the better.