s2e05: Unblocking 

by danhon

0.0 Sitrep

9:39am on Tuesday July 21. There’s a draft in here that was started on 6 July. Since then I managed to get hospitalised for viral meningitis (if you’re going to get meningitis, get this kind – it’s the kind that won’t kill you within about 48 hours) thanks to, we think, my son explosively vomiting all over me at a July 4 party. Anyway. Today’s another day, then, and another chance to get back to writing every day.

1.0 Unblocking

An assortment of things that have accumulated in my head over the past couple of months, in no particular order, that will probably provoke some sort of thought, opinion, reckon,  supposition, search engine optimisation keyword:

– Gopro Cinema | booktwo.org  – James Bridle on non-humans looking at other non-humans, where we’re not even in part of the picture. Both literally and metaphorically speaking. I remember him mentioning this a while back, so it’s good to see that he’s written it down to explore it further.

– How to publish on GOV.UK – Guidance – GOV.UK – because I’ve been thinking quite a bit about websites. Long story. Not really a long story. Websites! They’re kind of everywhere. How do you do good ones?!

– Possible Problems of Persona Politeness — Ben Hammersley – this is a really good one from Ben because it gets into a whole bunch of things I’ve been interested in over the past few years: non-human agents, personalities, robots, conversational user interfaces, empathy, little-d-or-big-d-Design and, of course, what you notice when you’ve got a baby in the house.

– The ticking time-bomb at the heart of our big banks’ computer systems (From Herald Scotland) – another one for my law-of-mediocrity file, this one via Russell Davies who, I think, ended up quoting most of the article. It’s a good article. “Legacy” bank mainframe systems are fucked, they’ve built up too much technical debt as a result of not knowing how to approach risk and keep iterating, instead hiding their heads in the sand. If you have to deal with governments that completely believe that they’re unique in having fucked-up IT, then this is the perfect kind of example to use to say: no, you’re not. Lots of organizations are.

– Television Is No Longer the Screen of Choice for Kids | Media – Advertising Age – this is not a surprise, but it will continue to surprise (some) people for at least the next 10-15 years until it does that cognitive flip into Being Really Obvious For Everyone.

– Is innovation faltering – or is GDP? | StatsLife – one for the “if we define the economy to exclude certain things then we won’t measure them and then what we mean when we say economy might not mean what we need it to mean anymore” file

– 3 Big Takeaways From Portland’s Data On Uber And Taxis . News | OPB – Portland let in Lyft and Uber and one of the conditions was that the city got access to data to make decisions about transport as a whole. I think.

–  A Thrive/Survive Theory Of The Political Spectrum | Slate Star Codex – I’ve been slowly working my way through a backlog of Scott Alexander’s posts at Slate Star Codex, which is pretty much my deepest engagement yet with the whole rationalism/LessWrong/EthicalAltruism movement. I’m already pretty tentative about exposing myself to this stuff in least because it means I’m closer to the Eliezer Yudkowsky memeplex. BUT! This seems like a reasonable interpretation of the differences and possible reasons for left-leaning and right-leaning ideologies.

– The end of capitalism has begun | Books | The Guardian – Paul Mason’s forthcoming treatise on what might come after capitalism. Compare and contrast with Tim O’Reilly’s The WTF Economy and – from what I managed to get out of Mason’s piece in the Guardian – you have people like Mason trying to figure out the implications of a networked, information society that’s passed a certain phase-change/tipping point. And, um, maybe, how we get to a utopian Culture.

9:56am. Bit a of a linkdump, this one. Still, better than nothing, I think.

Right – to work.

Best,

Dan