Just finished The Player of Games (Iain M Banks) – also really enjoyable. Less cinematic than Consider Phlebas (though still nicely paced), and a bit more to chew on philosophically. The contrast of the hierarchical Azadian empire and the egalitarian Culture is interesting. Gurgeh, the main character, from the Culture, finds some appeal in the way things work in Azad. Azad feels like a caricature of Western society as it is today – superficially advanced and urbane, but with some real darkness hidden away, out of sight.
Looking forward to it.
We’ve been campaigning for the past three months on crucial “Right to repair” measures at the European level. The early draft of regulations truly promised to revolutionise repairs of key appliances, offering guaranteed access to spare parts and repair information for all, and design for disassembly. In November, we were alarmed to see that lobbyists had successfully undermined these, adding numerous catches and caveats.
Can’t make it this time unfortunately – our Winter Party has landed on the same day.
A while ago Peter wrote about energy security and how having a less reliable grid may actually be useful to energy security. This the difference between having tightly coupled systems and loosely coupled systems. Loosely coupled systems can show more robustness because having failing parts will not ...
Did a djembe drumming class yesterday – holy moly it was fun. We did five songs. Such rhythm. So drum. I used to play a kit and this is a lot simpler, but it’s way more fun when there’s twenty of you doing it together.
Really enjoyed Consider Phlebas (Iain M. Banks). It was a rip-roaring read. Very visual and cinematic, I can still conjure up a picture of a lot of the scenes in my head. Enjoyed the brief intro it gives to the Culture, too – the post-scarcity socialist society that are featured in a lot more books in the Culture series. Interested to see how that’s explored further. I’ve just started reading the next in the series, The Player of Games.
After this I think I’ll try some Kim Stanley Robinson – more speculative socialist futures as far as I understand.
leafletjs is amazing – I used it on our Repair Day map and it worked like a charm.
I used to have an interactive map that I maintained listing the countries I had visited.
BBC had loads of coverage on the right to repair and the Ecodesign Directive today. We were busy!
HWC London tomorrow – first one of 2019!
Join us and spend a bit of time creating, updating or experimenting on your personal website – or maybe get started on one for the New Year!
by Justin Reynolds // Like his former teacher Ursula Le Guin, Robinson has never lost faith in our capacity to use our collective intelligence and technological prowess to transcend limiting orthodoxies.
2018 review https://calumryan.com/blog/end-of-year-review-2018/
Also with Brutaldon I like the fact you can’t see how many favourites or boosts a toot has gotten.
I feel like, I don’t really want to know how popular something is, I just want to read it.
I’ve been using it a couple of weeks and I’m liking the Brutaldon interface for Mastodon a lot.
The slower pace works much better for me. I recommend trying it if you’re like me and your attention and time is easily stolen by automatic updates and infinite scrolls. I feel like my toot perusing is a lot more chilled out and intentional now.
I’m very happy to have discovered org-super-agenda, lets you group things in logical ways in your agenda.
Definitely recommend checking it out if you use org-mode.
– 42% of the population live in council housing
– Right to buy scheme introduced
– Less than 8% of the population live in council housing
– 40% of ex-council flats sold via Right to Buy are now rented out more expensively by private landlords
Wow, rough day for St. George.
– St George is put in Prison
– St George is Tortured on a Table
– St George is Tortured in a Cauldron
– St George is Tortured Tied to a Cross
– St George Survives Poison
– St George is Tortured Between Two Wheels
– St George is Tied between Two Posts and Sawn in Half
– St George is Dragged by Horses
– St George is Beheaded
Damn. Gotta work hard to be a megalo-martyr.
(I think the beheading is kind of redundant after the sawing in half thing, but hats off to the Romans for thoroughness.)
(This is from the altarpiece of St George at the V&A Museum in London.)
There’s a nice mini-exhibition on some social housing projects in the UK at the V&A Museum at the moment.
This fact is pretty amazing: “In the mid-1970s nearly half the population of England and Wales lived in council houses”
But as we know… “with the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 the housing sector underwent rapid privitisation. Local authority architects’ departments were disbanded, public land was sold off, and millions of council homes were bought[…]”.
Happy New Year from that funny small island next to Europe 🎉Here's my end of 2018 review and hopes for 2019 post https://calumryan.com/blog/end-of-year-review-2018/
This also looks nice.
“Walden, a game is an exploratory narrative and open world simulation of the life of American philosopher Henry David Thoreau during his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. […] players are surrounded by the beauty of the woods and the Pond, which hold a promise of a sublime life beyond these basic needs.”