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2021 (10)
  • December 26th - Things I’ve been reading: 26th December 2021
    Article 6 creates two kinds of carbon credits — what that means for businessUsing carbon credits toward corporate greenhouse gas emissions reductions has always been complex, and the passage of Article 6 during last month’s COP26 hasn’t made things any simpler.1401 wordshttps://www.greenbiz.com/article/article-6-creates-two-kinds-carbon-credits-what-means-business 24 Lessons From Jeff Bezos’ Annual Letters To ShareholdersEach year, Jeff Bezos writes
  • October 24th - Things I’ve been reading: 24th October 2021
    Designing a Collaborative Computing System between Data Science and Engineering for Indigo Carbon IndigoAg has embarked on an ambitious project that seeks to quantify the amount of carbon stored in agricultural soils and then turn those credits into financial capital.2830 wordshttps://medium.com/indigoag-eng/designing-a-collaborative-computing-system-between-data-science-and-engineering-for-indigo-carbon-6a255ba1959b How to measure the climate performance potential of startups Suddenly, everyone in VC is
  • September 19th - Things I’ve been reading: 19th September 2021
    Why Civilizations Collapse Why do civilizations collapse? This question bears not only on safeguarding our society’s future but also makes sense of our present.4396 wordshttps://thesideview.co/journal/why-civilizations-collapse/ Concrete ways to decarbonize building materials As a Carbon180 intern and recent architecture graduate, I see a crucial window of opportunity for climate policy and the building materials industry.1222 wordshttps://carbon180.medium.com/concrete-ways-to-decarbonize-building-materials-b6cb5df0e7d5
  • August 4th - Things I’ve been reading: 4th August 2021
    Silent Letters: S oh S an iSland hides a secret from us spellers;it surrounds itself with seathen parades a leafy paradise of lettersbut keeps one we cannot see in heaps of rubble and rubbish, odds and endsit is often hard to spotevery detail in the debriS, though your pen’ssure it got the lot and though
  • August 1st - Things I’ve been reading: 1st August 2021
    Juliane Koepcke Juliane Koepcke (born 10 October 1954), also known by her married name Juliane Diller, is a German Peruvian mammalogist. As a teenager in 1971, Koepcke was the sole survivor of the LANSA Flight 508 plane crash, then survived ten days alone in the Amazon rainforest.1297 wordshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliane_Koepcke A Hitman Came for Susan Kuhnhausen. He
  • July 18th - Things I’ve been reading: 18th July 2021
    How to Tell Whether You’ve Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz English has many words for the feelings that can arise when a good, hard look at the state of the world seems to reveal only negatives.716 wordshttps://www.mentalfloss.com/article/58230/how-tell-whether-youve-got-angst-ennui-or-weltschmerz Net zero emissions targets are everywhere – we need to sort the genuine from the greenwash The last
  • July 4th - Things I’ve been reading: 4th July 2021
    Study: A quarter of adults don’t want children — and they’re still happy Parenting is one of life’s greatest joys, right? Not for everyone. New research from Michigan State University psychologists examines characteristics and satisfaction of adults who don’t want children.508 wordshttps://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-06/msu-saq061521.php #162: Minimum Viable Self Two decades ago, before social media existed, Zygmunt Bauman
  • May 30th - Things I’ve been reading: 30th May 2021
    What if Britain had Lost the Battle Above its Skies in WWII? The most likely result of German victory and the success of Operation Sea Lion would have been a new government in the UK. During the Battle of Britain, the skies above the United Kingdom were the battlefield between the Royal Air Force (RAF)
  • January 17th - Things I’ve been reading: 17th January 2021
    Gulag The Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.16307 wordshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag How to Pick Your Life Partner – Part 1 Dissatisfied single people should actually consider themselves in a neutral, fairly hopeful position, compared to what their situation could be. A single person who would like to find a
  • January 3rd - Things I’ve been reading: 3rd January 2021
    Gulag The Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.16307 wordshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag How to Pick Your Life Partner – Part 1 Dissatisfied single people should actually consider themselves in a neutral, fairly hopeful position, compared to what their situation could be. A single person who would like to find a
2020 (8)
  • December 30th - Things I’ve been reading: 30th December 2020
    Gulag The Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.16248 wordshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag Tools of Titans I’ve followed Tim Ferriss’ musings on self-improvement, ‘lifestyle design’, and getting shit done for years.305 wordshttp://www.alastairhumphreys.com/tools-of-titans/ Kano model The Kano model is a theory for product development and customer satisfaction developed in the 1980s by Professor
  • December 30th - Some of the books I’ve read in 2020
    The most recommended are in bold, with some exposition on the most mentionable. Best book of the year: The Ministry for the Future History / now—ish The Pillars of the Earth The Forest Doomsday Book — I first read one of Connie Wills historical fictions which use time-travel as a device* to explore the past
  • December 27th - Things I’ve been reading: 27th December 2020
    The Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News and Analysis Ad Coronavirus An EMT pauses while loading a stretcher back into an ambulance after dropping off a patient at a coronavirus field hospital operated by Care New England in Cranston, R.I.48358 wordshttps://www.washingtonpost.com/ What are Liberating Structures? Liberating Structures are a selection of 33 alternative
  • December 20th - Things I’ve been reading: 20th December 2020
    The Power of Local Women: An Innovative Social Capital Model Addresses Rural Financial Inclusion in India During COVID-19 Editor’s note: This article is part of NextBillion’s series “Enterprise in the Time of Coronavirus,” which explores how the business and development sectors are responding to the pandemic. For news updates and analysis, virtual events, and links
  • August 16th - Things I’ve been reading: 16th August 2020
    Tracing Trump’s grievance-fueled crusade against the USPS Election 2020 Tracing Trump’s grievance-fueled crusade against the USPS His attempts to make the post office a tool in his reelection campaign by slowing service and challenging the integrity of mail-in ballots represent a culmination of his efforts against the popular public institution that date2795 wordshttps://www.washingtonpost.com What are
  • June 4th - Dowding’s Law: “The United States is such an outlier that it should not be used as a normative data-point.”
    “The United States is such an outlier that it can no longer be used as a normative data-point for Western civilisation.” America now is just weird. As such comparisons with America and the rest of the West don’t shed much light. The USA shows what happens after positive feedback loops are left unchecked, but if
  • April 7th - What open source hardware do we need next?
    Now the world’s engineers have brilliantly created thousands of designs for open source ventilators (bringing the cost down by 2 orders or magnitude), it begs the question: What machines should we tackle next? What’s important, expensive, and public good? NB before we begin the list, hat tip to the Global Village Construction Set which has
  • April 7th - Civilisation Continuity Planning
    I was thinking about how governments respond to ‘surge capacity’ issues like this.  Part of the reason they don’t drill for BIG things as well as they could is that they’re TOO complex. So rather than work out and maintain relationships with tonnes of organisations which you’re ‘very unlikely’ to  need, you create emergency laws
2019 (13)
  • August 22nd - Love: is it the absence of fear?
    I’ve struggled with the word ‘love’ since forever. A word which can describe a feeling for which you will give your all, and then describe how you feel about chocolate ice-cream is too vague to be useful. As a word is seems to exist at the far end of many continuums, and change in relation
  • August 21st - Things I’ve been reading (March 2018 – now)
    I meant to make this weekly but realised I wasn’t reading enough each week. In the August inbox cleanse, here are some of the more interesting articles I’ve read in the last 18 months. Bold = more interesting. Review of blockchain consensus mechanisms Future of HQ Trivia Relationship questions for everyone 109 Mental models for
  • June 18th - Begin.
    The bank of the far shore is beautiful, but the turbulent river hides all but a few stepping stones. Courage. More will appear as you move. Ed Dowding, 18 June 2013
  • June 11th - Another referendum on Europe won’t solve the problems we all feel. It’s time to create a better democracy.
    There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
  • June 7th - Things customer service people should never say: “I’d suggest posting this in the Ideas Forum”
    If you’re reading this there’s a strong chance you’re a customer service operative. We’ll have been speaking about how to solve a challenge I’m trying to solve with your product. During our conversation I’ll have explained my situation, and asked for your help in case I just can’t find the feature. We will have discovered
  • February 25th - I’ll make them wild.
    Maybe,Thought the CreatorWho knew everythingExcept when To use a new line –Or a capital For that matter – MaybeWe are the Mink. CondemnedOn every pathway.Worked to the bone they canCreate things of durable beauty But if free, wont to untold savagery. The Mink strives. — https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/marauding-minks/
  • February 18th - Putting the Green back in the Greenback – Evolving capitalism for the 21st century
    This is taken from a comment I posted on facebook today. It was long so saving here for posterity. Capitalism has been brilliant. It’s delivered a lot of great things and has been a useful tool for organising the distribution of resources for hundreds of years.  But like many good ideas, it has reached its
  • January 12th - 137 years of climate anomolies
    This climate visualization shows the temperature anomalies by country from 1880 through 2017, based on data from NASA. Data source: NASA GISAnimation via Washington Post
  • January 12th - Some books I’ve enjoyed
    Rather frequently people on facebook ask for book recommendations. Here are some I’ve read in the last few years which I’ve enjoyed. Matter Iain M. BanksRevolution Emmanuel Macron The Breakers Omnibus: Books and Prequel NovellaThe Power Naomi AldermanAfter On: A Novel of Silicon Valley Rob ReidThe Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam Douglas MurrayAll These
  • January 8th - Monarch butterfly numbers fell by 86% last year alone
    Monarch butterflies, whose numbers have already declined an estimated 97 percent since the 1980s, fell 86% last year alone in California. You can help butterflies by: – Don’t buy GMO food – the leading cause of their decline. (This is mainly for the Americans – there’s not a lot of GMO in use elsewhere.) Don’t
  • January 6th - The Shepard Tone Economy
    The economy depends a lot on the concept of growth. Infinite growth on a finite planet isn’t going to work. This is why humanity’s been trying to decouple growth from resource consumption. So the million-dollar question is: Can we have an economy which grows infinitely, but does so without actually expanding and consuming all the world’s
  • January 4th - Podcasts I subscribe to
    Full interactive list: https://lists.pocketcasts.com/84893224-ab54-4c7f-95b1-85116e7b638f CONTEMPORARY, WITH ANALYSIS The Economist: A word with The Economist: Editor’s Picks The Economist Radio (All audio) FT World Weekly FT News in Focus FT Big Read Common Sense with Dan Carlin The CSIS Podcast Edgelands London School of Economics: Public lectures and events The Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Podcast
  • January 4th - The lessons from suffering
    “From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time
2018 (5)
  • January 7th - Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
    “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal;nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — Thomas Jefferson
  • January 7th - Forging a sense of collective identity and finding common values is vital.
    “Mass social movements based on coalitions of a broad range of groups will be needed to drive political support as individual issue groups are not strong enough on their own. Forging a sense of collective identity and finding common values is vital.” — Zero Carbon Britain
  • January 5th - A Tragedy of the Commons
    “The fears of embracing digital democracy and how to overcome them” — or  — “How I learned to stop worrying and love democracy” “There is a mass of sense lying in a dormant state which good government should quietly harness” — Thomas Paine, 1791 What would you do if you could redesign Government for a
  • January 5th - Anybody can become angry – that is easy
    To recall before updating your status, whether IRL or in conversation: Anybody can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
  • January 3rd - Authoritarians tell the truth about the future. Authoritarians lie about the past.
    Authoritarians tell the truth about the future. They speak openly about what they are going to do. When they say things that seem absurd — we’ll build walls, ban those people, and so on — believe them. Authoritarians lie about the past. They lie about the consequences of what they have done. They lie about the magnitude and scale
2017 (17)
  • December 18th - Exponential organisations
    Here are my notes from Exponential Organisations, a book recommended to me this weekend by a VC in Paris. Have a “massively transformative purpose (MTP)”  (ie a worthwhile mission) Don’t plan more than 1 year ahead. Measure your metrics. Acronym alert: the first letters of the next 5 characteristics make up the word SCALE. Staff on
  • December 13th - This town ain’t big enough for the both of us – or .. oh. wait yes it is!
    In my silver-lining head, this is how it goes: 1. Israel and Palestine fight for decades. Nothing seems to change. 2. Trump makes a bold and antagonising move. 3. Other side realises this is the end game. 4. Some negotiations about logistics. 5. Everyone who wants Jerusalem as a capital decides to share it. 6.
  • December 2nd - Dowding’s law of services
    Dowding’s law of services: the value of advice is inversely proportional to its cost. The quality of execution of that advice is directly proportional to its cost. ie professionals will tell you the right answer for (almost) free because doing it well is the hard part.
  • December 1st - Procedural language: The importance of going through the motions.
    In the film Arrival, the aliens basically see time as another dimension – there are no surprises for them since they see it all laid out in front of them. (Kurt Vonnegut does the same thing with the Tralfamadorians in Slaughterhouse Five.) This is why they can write semasiographically because the whole idea is fully formed
  • November 5th - Capitalism analogy.
    Capitalism, like nuclear power, has been one of our most successful ideas for creating order from chaos, but left unchecked it will swiftly create chaos from order. It demands our constant vigilance in order not to fail catastrophically. It can go wrong very quickly – and costs for a fortune to clean up when it does
  • October 30th - That’ll do.
    At action, humans are satisficers.At profit, humans are optimisers.
  • October 27th - Man’s search for meaning
    After some light experiences with coaching and therapy style conversations, I have 2.5 conclusions: 1. It doesn’t matter much if you’re happy or sad, the key thing is to be doing something worthwhile. If you prioritise happiness, you’re selfish. If you prioritise money, you’re a fool. If you prioritise beneficial impact for others*, you’ll at
  • October 17th - Is the UK the best country in the world?
    15th in maths and science 33rd in life expectancy, 20th for public debt 36th for education expenditure 34th in infant mortality, 27th for renewables 2nd biggest arms exporter, including to 22 of the 30 countries on the UK Government’s human rights watch list 146th in savings 10th in press freedom 10th in purchasing power 22nd
  • September 27th - Migration policy suggestions from “The Strange Death of Europe”
    Summary of the suggestions outlined by Douglas Murray in his book “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam“: Actually try to make it nicer where they are Admit there’s nothing wrong with being proud of being European Offer temporary asylum only, where appropriate Pay for refugees to do work in Middle Eastern countries Decide
  • September 25th - SpaceTech
    SpaceTech – what humans get up to when they aren’t worrying about with which country they belong to, who technically gets to make the laws they’ll have no control over anyway, which non-existent god to bother, which bathroom to use, or what height to be at whilst a bit of music is playing. Mind you,
  • September 5th - Use primary sources
    It turns out there is little more likely to galvanise me to action than a bunch of people doing the intellectual equivalent of moaning about the long toilet queues without actually checking the cubicles. Life timestamp reminder: you’d just listened to Dangerous by Milo Y. 
  • August 21st - What rules should govern AI?
    Many people know Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics (basically humans come before robots), but as they develop more and more capabilities it’s time to look deeper at the guidance and governance which should apply to artificial intelligence (AI) to keep us safe and maximise benefits. The UN has already discussed (but not yet concluded) international
  • August 9th - The narcissism of difference
    The human condition: in which we are all dismayed by the same things at the same time, but because we’re dismayed for entirely different reasons we focus on that rather than actually addressing the problem.
  • August 9th - Please stop misusing the word ‘survivor’
    If we could please limit the use of the word ‘survivor’ to circumstances in which there was a reasonably high and realistic chance of your death, that would be great. Kthxbye.
  • August 4th - 71 words for love
    There are apparently over 71 different types of gender. Yet we still have just one word for love. I suspect we’d be considerably less confused if there were 71 words for different types of love, and we remembered there’s just one species of human.
  • July 23rd - The unbearable lightness of politics
    Politics feels like EastEnders:  hyperbolic soap-opera melodrama in which seems to be the entire world, but it just a small square in London. Football tribalism for broadsheet readers. Until you remember it’s real and creating increasingly existential threats to humanity via its actions and inactions. Arse.
  • July 18th - God helped society put its thumb on the scales
    When thinking through new ways of configuring society’s organisational models (ie how together we can work, live, trade, and agree goals and values most effectively) it’s useful to reflect on the characteristics of the most successful models humanity has used thus far. Amongst these are the village, guilds, armies, and religions. These have independently evolved
2016 (1)
  • June 1st - A Europe to die for.
    This is probably one of these posts which will get me in trouble, but cycling past the soldiers standing in the rain this morning — marking the anniversary of the Somme — I was moved to tears and anger. In that 4 month long battle 1,000,000 men died to fight for 5 miles of mud. Such huge losses for
2015 (7)
  • August 3rd - Do smart people change faster?
    Is there a correlation between the adoption curve and IQ (or whatever measure of general intelligence / compassion / connection making etc you choose to use)? If this is true, new services start and seem interesting, but for every subsequent member that joins there is a fall in average IQ for for group. Adoption curve
  • July 26th - What it means to live at the optimum
    “Life can only be lived dangerously – there is no other way to live it. It is only through danger that life attains to maturity, growth. One needs to be an adventurer, always ready to risk the known for the unknown. And once one has tasted the joys of freedom and fearlessness, one never repents
  • June 24th - Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose & Utopia
    Mandating “Good Things” = very hard and lots of fights Listing “Unacceptable Things” = really easy, lots of consensus Listing “Desirable Things” = easy, lots of consensus if not mandatory Things that make all humans happy: Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose. Allow people to work towards desirable things (purpose) without mandating them (autonomy) whilst getting better at
  • May 27th - Customer service times
    Numbers I’d like to see for every business: Live and average time to answer sales calls Live and average time to answer support calls Time between payment & service (re)activation
  • March 1st - The peace of the lobotomised or the peace of the contended?
    That we’re getting better at not killing each other because of international trade co-dependence is a double edged sword. It brings a certain type of peace, but also eg economic sanctions which keep people incompetent. Peaceful, yes. Prosperous no. Not having citizens protest in the streets because they’re resigned to its futility is peaceful, too.
  • January 29th - Value vs profit.
    An insightful and well-articulated comment.
  • January 25th - Fossil fuel vs Renewable subsidies
    I this I has time to do more research on this, but I don’t, so this will have to do. From a quick Google and news review: A crude but indicative total fossil fuel subsidy in the UK of somewhere between £9bn and £12bn per year. In 2011 just over £3bn was spent on renewable energy
2014 (33)
  • November 11th - Which fossil fuel companies are most responsible for climate change?
    This is the best thing on the internet today. Which fossil fuel companies are most responsible for climate change?. Top 90ProducersInvestorownedAlpha Natura…Fuel & cementOwn footprintMethane leaksAnadarkoFuel & cementOwn footprintMethane leaksAnglo Americ…Fuel & cementOwn footprintMethane leaksApacheFuel & cementOwn footprintMethane leaksArch CoalFuel & cementOwn footprintMethane leaksBG GroupFuel & cementOwn footprintMethane leaksBHP BillitonFuel & cementOwn footprintMethane leaksBPFuel &
  • November 6th - 10 things I’d like the Green Party to do
    I wrote this in reply to this Facebook status from a Green Party candidate: A question for all my green yet not Green friends – what might stop you voting for us? Genuinely interested as there seem to be a lot of people that I know who are working really hard to help make Bristol
  • October 4th - Purpose matters.
    Along roads I have had banyan trees planted so that they can give shade to animals and men, and I have had mango groves planted. At intervals of eight krosas, I have had wells dug, rest-houses built, and in various places, I have had watering-places made for the use of animals and men. But these
  • September 30th - What price a tree?
  • September 15th - Now for some thoughts on sheep.
    We are herd animals. We appreciate and value the safety, surplus, and sharing offered by the herd. But that can only happen if we remain as a definable flock – stray too far and we loose the benefits. When we’ve grazed all that can be grazed and some of the weaker ones are getting hungry,
  • September 11th - Guess who’s an ENTP?
    Entrepreneur Real estate developer Advertising creative director Marketing director Politician / political consultant
  • July 7th - It costs the same to solve global warming as it does to solve it.
    A research team at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, says it has studied how much it would cost for governments to stick to their worldwide global warming goal. They’ve concluded that for “a 70 per cent chance of keeping below 2 degrees Celsius, the investment will have to rise to
  • June 15th - Education is a blinder.
    More of us are sufficiently well educated to see the problem, but too well educated to see the solution.
  • June 15th - Chickens are noisy. Children are noisy. Is there a link?
    You know how chickens have been selected for those who cluck and make a hell of a noise when they lay an egg, so we know where to find it? Are children so loud for similar reasons?
  • June 8th - Game of Thrones to become daily, global, theatre
    Feel of Poppies.
  • May 24th - Attention-hungry child makes up song about immigration
    You know a group of children are playing, then some new kid comes along behaving badly, but getting all the attention? And then when the other children start behaving even more badly than the new kid so they can get attention again? “I respect Nigel Farage,” says George Osborne on BBC News
  • May 24th - I believe in dog. And other correlations.
    No matter their gender or orientation, beer-lovers are 60% more likely to be okay with sleeping with someone they’ve just met. Do my date and I have long-term potential? Ask your date (and yourself!)… Do you like horror movies? Have you ever traveled around another country alone? Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all
  • April 24th - Police ask UK Muslim women to keep men at home
    A tyrant is in power killing hundreds of thousands of people. The only morally right thing for anyone who is not otherwise more productively occupied is to rush to their assistance. If I were a UK Muslim woman (or any woman, or any man) I’d find it damned hard to make the case that the willing should
  • April 23rd - Remove lead from fuel and violence declines dramatically. Imagine how much more peaceful and healthy the planet would be if we removed fossil fuels from society?
  • April 23rd - Turkeys will vote for Christmas if it’s advertised to them enough.
  • April 22nd - Disrupt manifesto
    http://disruptmgzn.com/manifesto/
  • April 19th - 90% ape, 9% human, 1% angel.
    We are 90% ape, 9% human, 1% enlightened being. Maybe. If we’re lucky. Our 1% angel conceives the wonder; our 90% monkey wonders how to make it happen. “This is no place to stop, halfway between an ape and an angel” — Benjamin Disraeli.
  • April 17th - This is a peaceful blue planet.
    This 2 minute history of the world has been doing the rounds recently. There’s an awful lot of attention paid to recent events and big wars there. HG Wells, somewhat upset by WW1, and then WW2, wrote his history of the world not to identify an record periods of way, but to identify and champion
  • April 14th - A few choice quotes found of late
    “Religion and choice of religions is unimportant. The wise will always find wisdom and solace in theirs, and fools will be fools no matter what they believe.” The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John
  • April 3rd - What is social enterprise?
    It’s about playing a smarter game, and changing the rules of existing games so that they’re more fun for more people. How about creating and trying new games? We could play “Mostly Football” where you’re allowed to use your hands as much as would allow you to do supercool moves and throw the ball at
  • March 31st - First rule of Corporate Club
    First rule of Corporate Club: If you teach a man to fish, you’ve lost a customer.
  • March 30th - Historical re-imagining
    I’ve always loved a Knight’s Tale. It’s fun and real, telling human stories. Which is where it’s at, really. And this is similarly awesome. So here’s a great video of men with cellos. Then the Knight’s Tale scene. Then a link to a post which far better articulates that which I wanted to write here
  • March 24th - The challenge of staying positive
    Here’s Stevie Wonder on the tremendous challenge of articulating a succinct and positive vision. Jump to 2m21. Epic fail. Waaaay too much to say and too little time to say it. Did you hear that bit at 2m46?! Neither did I. Anyway this morning someone said, “I don’t know how you stay so positive.” Here’s
  • March 24th - The dark side of poetics.
    “Eternal is the life of the warrior who finds beauty in their own wounds.” (apparently) Either that, or short but blissfully lacerated.
  • March 18th - The Facts In The Case Of Dr. Andrew Wakefield
    http://tallguywrites.livejournal.com/148012.html
  • March 17th - Clear message to the police
    Which side of history would you like to be on? See also this tweet from the Greater Manchester Police which seems to boast about breaking into houses and stealing things on social media.. which is rather against a) what they tell us to do, and b) the spirit of policing. We've kicked in a door
  • March 17th - EU sort of forces companies to report on social and environmental impact
    Something is better than nothing. Discuss. The EU is to force large companies to report on environmental and social impacts, but “opposition from some member states, particularly Germany, Poland and the UK, mean the requirements will not apply to the majority of large companies – according to estimates just one in seven large companies will
  • March 17th - Life is too important for obvious news
    How is the opinion of a massively biased party headline news? HS2 chair Sir David Higgins urges project speed-up  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26604074 Someone is up to something today (see previous post). NB if reading this in the future, this is as Crimea votes to join Russia, Malaysia’s jet is still missing in strange circumstances, flooding is still
  • March 16th - MH370
    I might as well get this down for the record since my blog is working again. 1. Russia is behind the missing flight, MH370. It’s there to distract people so that it can continue doing more domestic hardening without international headlines. If there were no plane it would be items one and two, whereas now
  • March 2nd - Somewhere, aliens are wincing
    A tiny handful of peaceful happy aliens are watching on and wincing as yet another civilisation stumbles at the penultimate hurdle. Every time the same story: they either fail to adapt to a post-scarcity economic model, or they use up all of the nuclear fuel before they can use it to leave their solar system
  • February 3rd - Enough is enough.
    This film is full of ridiculous utopian ideas which are completely possible and utterly workable. And even if we could do them, it would take only years to bring them into existence! Don’t waste your time.
  • February 3rd - This won’t hurt a bit, but you may feel a bit of a prick.
    If you’re the type to shut up do what you’re told, do one of the things on this page (ie complete this form) and give it to your GP. If you think you’re not the type to shut up do what you’re told, you should realise that by NOT doing what’s asked in the previous sentence, the Government
  • January 20th - WebMind’s webpage to raise funds for his mission to civilise humanity
    This is copied from WWW:Wonder because I liked the writing and have been working on something with similar ambitions:   Welcome to my website, thank you for stopping by. I’m trying to do as much as I can to help humanity, but I find myself in need of some operating funds to pay for equipment, secretarial
2013 (71)
  • December 19th - Happy Winter!
  • December 15th - I’ve decided I’m in favour of NHS privatisation.
    I’ve decided I’m in favour of NHS privatisation. Why? It seems we can’t shake the myth that public sector can not make bold or useful changes. Meantime there are lots of great, socially minded enterprises out there which are delivering a fantastic service and just solving the problem. I’ve just been in one of them (Circle
  • December 11th - Someone forgot that we’re supposed to be amazing.
    Ambition, 1961 I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space;
  • November 26th - Post-materialist delight
    I have to cut this from a presentation, but I just wanted to share it with someone before I do so that it’s not completely wasted. We live in an era of great change. The post-industrial society has spread across the world as fast as the economic globalisation which has driven it. The workers of
  • November 25th - Self-Discipline in 5 Sentences
    Have a powerful reason — when things get difficult, “because it sounds nice” or “to look good” aren’t going to cut it. Start tiny, with a simple but unbreakable promise to yourself to do one small thing every single day. Watch your urges, and learn not to act on childish whims. Listen to your self-rationalizations,
  • November 24th - Running on ice
    Imagine you’re standing on a hill near the edge of a huge frozen lake. Hundreds of people are skating on it, having a great time. As the day goes on, more families come down to the shore with flasks of hot chocolate, put on their skates, and head out onto the ice. By lunchtime, as
  • November 23rd - If we can imagine it, we can do it. Right? Right?! RIGHT!
    There must be lights burning brighter somewhere Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue If I can dream of a better land Where all my brothers walk hand in hand Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true Oh why There must be peace and understanding sometime
  • November 18th - The status update I never write
    The reason I don’t socialise much and lose myself in audiobooks, reading, exercise, and drugs is because I find it hard to spend more than an hour in the company of others without wondering why we all maintain the collective illusion that everything is OK. We live in a world beset by problems which challenge
  • November 17th - There is still time
    via Ainda dá Tempo (There is still time).
  • November 14th - The changing nature of human communication. And all the cool things which happen now.
    wThis is summary notes from an essay (“Forthcoming Major Revolution in Global Dialogue“) which goes quite deeply into the opportunities for robots / artificial intelligence to engage meaningfully with us. However in reading it, it became obvious that there was more to it than that. It is a great analysis of the modes and capabilities of
  • November 13th - What did the world do before capitalism?
    I keep feeling the urge to make this point on various networks, so I’m just going to write it here and link to it. Before capitalism we explored the world, developed philosophy, had central heating and plumbing, invented mathematics, worked out the circumference of the world, evolved democracy, started medical practises, had universal education and
  • November 11th - Reincarnation
    Ruby from Emma Allen on Vimeo. An animated self-portrait exploring the idea of rebirth and illustrating the transfer of energy from one incarnation to another. I painted this stop frame animation on myself over 5 days, using some face paints, a mirror and a camera. www.emmaallen.org twitter.com/imakefings Story & Performance – Emma Allen Photography &
  • November 11th - I love the NHS but I’m about to have a micro-rant.
    I popped my knee this summer. I went to doctor who diagnosed it. She send me for an MRI, which diagnosed it. I was referred back to doctor, who confirmed MRI diagnosis. She referred me to specialist, who confirmed the MRI findings  and the doctor’s diagnosis. He’s now referred me to another specialist to confirm the
  • November 9th - Great and glorious
    Our solar system is very big. Voyager has taken some thirty five years to reach the edge of it, travelling at 10.5 mi/s. It’s now between solar systems, and will take 10000 years to reach the next one. In our galaxy there 200 billion solar systems. But ours is just one galaxy in a much
  • November 3rd - Surviving the post-employment economy
    What do these people have in common? They are trained professionals who cannot find full-time jobs. Since 2008, they have been tenuously employed – working one-year contracts, consulting on the side, hustling to survive. Via http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/11/surviving-post-employment-economy-201311373243740811.html
  • November 2nd - Boring doesn’t have to be boring.
    I’m so glad to see that the world is increasingly realising things can be fun. I just watched the whole thing and I’m not even on a plane. Which is an odd definition of fun, I grant you. Virgin America Safety Video #VXsafetydance – YouTube.
  • November 1st - How and Why to Be a Leader (Not a Wannabe)
    We need a new generation of leaders. And we need it now. We’re in the midst of a Great Dereliction — a historic failure of leadership, precisely when we need it most. Hence it’s difficult, looking around, to even remember what leadership is. Via http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/07/how-and-why-to-be-a-leader-not/
  • October 30th - The secret truth behind environmentalists’ favourite argument
    When environmentalists argue amongst themselves, whether at some formal debate or late at night over a few drinks, I confidently predict that the argument will go like this. Via http://www.darkoptimism.org/2013/01/20/the-secret-truth-behind-environmentalists/#more-3866
  • October 29th - Call of Duty.
    Here’s fun: Open this link in Google: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=define+duty Read the first definition. Click the big grey arrow at the bottom of the box to show more detail, specifically the ‘usage over time’ graph. Reflect on that a moment.
  • October 29th - “Democracy is the best I can think of right now”
    For all his greatness, Churchill screwed up when he said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Firstly, it’s an absolute statement. Like the phrase ‘best practise’ is an absolute statement which says there is and can be no better way of doing something, so this statement about democracy doesn’t
  • October 21st - Asking the right questions
    An article at Youth Policy is saying that the age of effective mass-mobilisation is over. He has a point. It’s a lovely idea and the notion of ‘people-power’ is undoubtedly attractive, but it’s unlikely to work. It is a strategy that does not match the zeitgeist (spirit of our times) of the current age. […]
  • October 20th - Government ideologically supports nuclear power.
    If you happen to be making a list of “Milestones where people made bad decisions which held back Civilisation”, be sure to add this to it. The Government has agreed to pay twice the market rate for nuclear power to please the French builders and Chinese investors. This means that the owners of Hinkley Point
  • October 17th - This Smart Wheel Makes Cycling in the City a Breeze [VIDEO]
    As city planners and green-energy experts endeavor to find new ways to make our commutes more environmentally friendly, the popularity of bicycle-sharing has exploded in some of the world’s biggest cities. Via http://mashable.com/2013/10/16/flykly-smart-wheel-cycling/
  • October 15th - Did Madeliene McCann kill 100,00 Syrians and cover up the IPCC report?
    Excuse the contentious headline, but contentious headlines grab attention. At least that’s what the press would have us believe. After 6 years of covering Madeliene McCann, the BBC Today programme is discussing if BuzzFeed is irresponsible for distracting people from ‘real news’.
  • September 13th - Obama is Outsmarting Everyone and Winning on Syria Without Firing a Shot
    “During interviews on CNN and Fox News, President Obama’s plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons without launching a single missile became obvious, as he is outsmarting the media and his Republican critics.” Source: http://www.politicususa.com/2013/09/09/president-obama-outsmarting-winning-syria-firing-shot.html
  • September 4th - You want to ration my what?
    When Stan Cox’s Losing Our Cool questioned America’s fetish for air-conditioning in 2010, some very nasty comments reached his inbox. But Cox, an agricultural researcher at the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., is not one to back down from saying what needs to be said. Via http://grist.org/climate-energy/you-want-to-ration-my-what/
  • August 15th - Ashton Kutcher Just Told A Bunch Of Teenagers How To Be Sexy, In The Smartest Way Ever
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuBSRC1zpHw Via Upworthy
  • July 23rd - Blue sky statistics
    Since 2000 business flights by residents of the UK have fallen by 25%: a rate far beyond the general impacts of the recession. There are two likely reasons. Business travel is treated by many companies as a luxury, which is quickly cut when conditions tighten. And much of the perceived need to travel has been
  • July 15th - Excerpts from John Ashton’s Alternative Mansion House speech
    “My generation has done a terrible thing. We closed our eyes and surrendered our capacity to build the future. We surrendered it to a modern day secular cult. The cult has no single name, only labels that identify sectors within its sphere of influence.” Source: http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/excerpts-from-john-ashtons-alternative-mansion-house-speech
  • June 28th - Civilisation innovates, culture consolidates.
    To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno
  • June 22nd - Embrace Life – always wear your seat belt
    httpv://youtu.be/h-8PBx7isoM
  • June 21st - Profits Without Production
    One lesson from recent economic troubles has been the usefulness of history. Via http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/opinion/krugman-profits-without-production.html
  • June 19th - Does transparency lead to trust? Some evidence on the subject.
    As open government gains traction in the international agenda, it is increasingly common to come across statements that assume a causal relationship in which transparency leads to trust in government. But to what extent are claims that transparency leads to trust backed up by evidence? Via http://democracyspot.net/2013/06/19/does-transparency-lead-to-trust-some-evidence-on-the-subject/
  • June 19th - Zen courage.
    The banks of the far shore are beautiful, but the turbulent river hides all but a few stepping stones. Courage. More will appear as you move.
  • June 19th - With an Eye Toward Disaster, NYC Debuts Solar Charging Stations
    Nerval’s Lobster writes “When hurricane Sandy pummeled New York City last fall, it left a sizable percentage of the metropolis without electricity. Residents had trouble keeping their phones and tablets charged, and often walked across whole neighborhoods to reach zones with power. Via http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/13/06/18/1832251/with-an-eye-toward-disaster-nyc-debuts-solar-charging-stations
  • June 18th - What happened to political leadership?
    I have no idea what happened to political leadership, and in many ways I don’t much care. What is where are the politicians with vision? It used to be that the greatest minds went into politics with the sole intention of helping the citizens they cared for navigate the future successfully.  Now it would appear
  • June 15th - Ancient Roman Concrete Is About To Revolutionize Modern Architecture
    schwit1 sends this news from Businesweek: “After 2,000 years, a long-lost secret behind the creation of one of the world’s most durable man-made creations ever — Roman concrete — has finally been discovered by an international team of scientists, and it may have a significant impact on how we bu Via http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/06/15/1238226/ancient-roman-concrete-is-about-to-revolutionize-modern-architecture
  • June 14th - Do-It-Yourself Brain Stimulation Has Scientists Worried – Slashdot
    “Dave Siever always fancied himself as something of a musician, but also realized he did not necessarily sing or play in perfect key. Then he strapped on the electrodes of a device made by his Edmonton company, and zapped his brain’s auditory cortex with a mild dose of electricity. The result, he claims, was a
  • June 12th - Why doesn’t Monsanto fix energy?
    There’s a very simple way we can tell that GMO companies (a) don’t understand genetic modification very well, and (b) aren’t interested in solving humanity’s biggest challenges. Ask yourself what you would do if you ran Monsanto. If it was me, I’d look at the reasons people don’t like my work: it’s tampering with complex
  • June 11th - Superior orders
    Since we keep being asked to do immoral things by our businesses and our Governments* it’s worth remembering Rule IV of the Nuremberg principles: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible
  • June 10th - Evidence-based policies
    Let’s face it, we know a lot of stuff now. Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media
  • June 10th - A film about The Prince and Global Sustainability
    “”I have long been deeply concerned about the effect our modern, highly industrialised approach is having on nature’s capacity to sustain life on Earth.” Source: http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/news-and-diary/news-film-about-the-prince-and-global-sustainability
  • June 9th - A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales to the Future for Food Conference, Georgetown University, Washington DC
    “President de Gioia, Ladies and Gentlemen. Having such fond memories of my last visit, it is a great joy to be invited back to Georgetown to speak at this conference. It certainly makes a change from making embarrassing speeches about my eldest son during wedding receptions…!” Source: https://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/media/speeches/speech-hrh-the-prince-of-wales-the-future-food-conference-georgetown-university
  • June 9th - If Day
    “If Day (French: “Si un jour”, “If one day”[1]) was a simulated Nazi invasion of the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and surrounding areas on February 19, 1942, during the Second World War.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_Day
  • June 7th - “The Great Feast” – TEDxOxbridge
    This is the transcript from my talk at TEDxOxbridge last weekend. —————–   If you a have a phone, take it out and hold it up. This device makes us magicians: At any time, from any where, we can know almost ANYTHING that is known to mankind. Ok – hands down. But what is truly
  • June 6th - There are two kinds of failure.
    There are two kinds of failure. The failure of ambitious dreams that maybe we’ll see in China. And the never ending failure of the miserable cynical bastards in the west who never open their mouths but to whine about how terrible everything is. People so fundamentally opposed to a better world tomorrow that the highest
  • May 16th - Does your MP think a vote on Europe is the most important thing right now?
    More than 100 Tory MPs ‘express regret’ at lack of referendum bill. Well well well. Do they, now? This is what I’m expressing regret about to my MP. Hi Caroline I just wanted to say thank you so much for expressing regret about the decision to leave an EU referendum out of the Queen’s speech.
  • May 13th - The Scale of Genuine Civilisation
  • May 13th - A postcard to Michael Gove.
  • May 10th - Accept what you can not change, change what you can not accept.
    By all means, follow the advice of the Desiderata and “accept what you can not change”, but only so that you have energy and sanity left to change what you can not accept.
  • May 8th - At-a-glance: Queen’ Speech 2013
    You’re only allowed to stay if you were on the guest list we wrote 18 years ago. You are to clean up after your dog. You will work harder, longer, and when you die you’ll be able to know exactly how your privatised hospital is failing. We acknowledge that prison is a crap solution, so
  • May 8th - In historical terms, today is absolutely incredible. In terms of the world we’re going to create in your lifetime, today is rather embarrassing. Get to work.
  • May 4th - The Bottled Water Challenge – your opinions sought!
    Public opinion needed here, please help! There’s a charity water company which raises £10k/yr from bottled water sales. This funds 3 clean water projects in India. The person running this activity costs £10k/yr in salary. Externalised costs include extraction, bottling, labelling, transport, and refrigeration. Costs: £10k + externalities Yield: £10k + cascading benefits So by
  • May 3rd - Petition fatigue: in defence of clicktivism.
    Every. Single. Day. Every single day there’s another damned petition to sign. Is it about anything sensible or reasonable? No. It’s about trying to prevent only the most stupid / villainous / malicious / self-serving people from doing the most ludicrous and outrageously stupid things they could ever possibly dream up to do. It makes
  • April 19th - Playing the spoons to Faithless’ Insomnia
  • April 2nd - Pretend that you’re happy
    By Jay Foreman.
  • April 2nd - Darwin on marriage.
    On Darwin’s list of the disadvantages of being married: A married man could never go up in a balloon. On balance, probably better than having a dog.
  • March 29th - Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?
    Nope, you’ll be shredded by your own insecurities borne of your deluded values framework.
  • March 6th - Blame the poor rich.
  • March 5th - Flexible Work Arrangements and 21st Century Worker’s Guilds
    “Overall, we believe the guild concept can alleviate some of the challenges connected with the rise of non-traditional employment arrangements, and it may help create valuable new kinds of communities. It is not, however, a panacea for addressing the problems of the working poor.” http://ccs.mit.edu/21C/21CWP004.html
  • March 1st - Market folly
    Just to be clear, these markets which are 4 years late in realising the obvious are the same ones the incumbent powers trust to determine our lives. ” Groupon’s shares have lost 77% of their value since the firm was floated on the Nasdaq in November 2011, as investors fear its business model offering bulk
  • February 24th - 14 big trends to watch in 2013
    http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/12/14-trends-for-2013.html
  • February 12th - The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains
    http://lifehacker.com/5965703/the-science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-most-powerful-way-to-activate-our-brains
  • January 16th - 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
    http://theweek.com/article/index/238751/14-wonderful-words-with-no-english-equivalent
  • January 15th - The 32 most alarming charts from the government’s climate change report | Grist
    Oh Jesus.. There is nothing to see here. Move along. Everything will be fine. Keep flying, buying stuff you don’t keep, and eating meat at least 5 times per week. I SAID MOVE ALONG: NOTHING TO SEE HERE. The 32 most alarming charts from the government’s climate change report | Grist.
  • January 10th - The world is on track for disaster. Who wants to buy a farm?
    Written by MIT researchers for an international think tank, the Club of Rome, the study used computers to model several possible future scenarios. The business-as-usual scenario estimated that if human beings continued to consume more than nature was capable of providing, global economic collapse and precipitous population decline could occur by 2030. However, the study
  • January 10th - The four ages of sand
    http://www.douglasadams.se/stuff/sand.html
  • January 6th - The Generals by Shel Silverstein
    Said General Clay to General Gore, “Oh must we fight this silly war? To kill and die is such a bore.” “I quite agree,” said General Gore. Said General Gore to General Clay, “We could go to the beach today And have some ice cream on the way.” “A grand idea,” said General Clay. Said
  • January 6th - The social tipping point is 8%
    Someone told me recently that the tipping point for lasting social change is 8%. I don’t know where they got that number from but it seems believable. Especially if there’s no reason to resist the change. (A quick google turned up affirmation, so let’s go with it.) So if it’s true, this report from Germany
  • January 6th - Manifestos for life
    Posters in the Hub Westminster with typographical design by Robert Reed. Source: This is Reed
  • January 5th - The Mountain & the Sky
    Beautiful. The Mountain on Vimeo.
2012 (47)
  • December 28th - Should I be afraid of the future?
  • December 28th - Simple Critical Infrastructure Maps
    Simple Critical Infrastructure Maps
  • December 28th - Is global warming real?
    I don’t think you’ll have any doubt, dear reader, but just in case you know friends or relatives who do:
  • December 27th - Building on allotments
    @SaveFarmTerrace tweeted me yesterday: @eddowding Our mayor wants to sell our fab beautiful allotments in Watford UK to developers to build more houses on. Pls follow and rt us! — Sara jane trebar (@SaveFarmTerrace) December 26, 2012 So I’ve written a letter to the Mayor. Right now the comment is held in moderation so I’m
  • December 27th - The Quantity Theory of Insanity.
    The commuter traffic jam is the peak of man’s unhappiness. It’s a situation outside of your control, probably on the way to a location you don’t want to be at, at a time you didn’t choose. It is noisy, shamefully inefficient, encourages mis-directed frustration at one’s fellows, and you have absolutely zero ability to remove
  • December 24th - Hashtag
    I love the grammatical convenience of a hash tag. Language lacked its facility before. I consider it a useful and significant improvement, albeit ill-fitting and poorly rendered at this stage of its life.
  • December 24th - The power of pure imagination
    If you want to view paradise Simply look around and view it Anything you want to, do it Wanta change the world? There’s nothing To it From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • December 20th - Apologising to Wonga
    For the ‘personal growth’ diaries: —- Dear xxxx I was having a chat with xxxx today who brought it to my attention that I’d been a little rude to you during the mentors evening, ripping on you as hard as I did about your decision to work with Wonga. I apologise unreservedly for making you
  • December 18th - Dark Skies
    This is cool. I didn’t know this even existed! Exmoor National Park has been designated the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe! A view of the stars is a view of our natural heritage and a spectacular quality of Exmoor’s night time landscape. Dark night skies are a declining resource, threatened by development and
  • December 14th - Debt forgiveness. For everyone. For ever.
    Still no idea why this wouldn’t work if you think big enough. One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined. The conjuring trick is to replace
  • December 13th - The Righteous Mind
    I’m currently listening to The Righteous Mind by by Jonathan Haidt whilst on a long car journey from Salisbury to La Plagne and back in 4 days. It kept me captivated for 8 solid hours yesterday, which is pretty darned impressive, but also par for the course since his last book, The Happiness Hypothesis did the same, twice. I’ve
  • December 9th - Please watch these two films.
    Overview OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo. http://www.overviewthemovie.com/ Chasing Ice This is the trailer – there are UK screenings happening now. http://www.chasingice.co.uk
  • December 2nd - I hope the Mayans were right. The “end of the world as we know it” seems like a bloody good idea.
    PS. I’m not proud of the tone of voice this is written in, and really I should have waited a few days, edited, and posted up a version which speaks to love and beauty and connections. But this blog serves a number of purposes: it’s a place to share thoughts, it’s a personal diary of
  • November 30th - Staples To Offer 3D Printing Services
    This is a big (albeit totally expected) deal. Sit up and pay attention if you aren’t already. As Chris Anderson (Mr TED talks / Wired) recently said: 3D printing is going to be bigger than the internet. Mcor and Staples announced today a deal in which Mcor will supply their paper-based 3D printers to Staples
  • November 14th - Humanity has never faced such a bigger series of challenges….Just start
    On Global Entrepreneurship Week: A bit about Ed and Sustaination He likes to solve problems and finds the 21st century a very exciting time to be alive since there are lots of big problems to solve. Food is the biggest which joins all the others together, and that’s why he started Sustaination. Before this he co-created the
  • November 11th - The value in being together
    I’ve got issues. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. Why? The gist of it is that I’m rather disappointed by humanity’s reluctance to improve upon our collective situation. But recently I’ve had a few realisations which are helping me make peace with this which I’d like to share. They’re important, so I’m going
  • November 8th - “Why Socialism” by Albert Einstein
    The time—which, looking back, seems so idyllic—is gone forever when individuals or relatively small groups could be completely self-sufficient. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that mankind constitutes even now a planetary community of production and consumption. http://pocket.co/sd_Yq
  • November 4th - “Somebody thought of it, and someone believed it” – a generation steps forward at London Sustainability Jam
    The room is dark. About fifty people sit with silent and energetic expectation. The screen shows a sky full of bright stars. A couple walk arm in arm, and as their faces are lit by the projected starlight, a voice comes through the darkness: “Imagine it’s 2015, and you’re taking an evening stroll down a
  • October 21st - PoW: Philosophy on Second Life
    http://pocket.co/sdtCN
  • October 21st - Why climate change doesn’t spark moral outrage, and how it could
    http://pocket.co/sdtCQ
  • October 20th - Visualising cyber attacks
    HoneyMap is a map on cyber attacks, as they happen.
  • October 7th - The Heretic – LSD research
    http://pocket.co/sIKyD
  • October 7th - Debt: The first five thousand years
    http://pocket.co/sIKUZ Quite interesting bits of history but skips over important points.
  • October 5th - What resources do we have left? (A: not many)
      Source: http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/archive/2605/26051202.jpg
  • October 5th - Have you quit your stupid job yet?
    This is a copy of a letter I’ve just written to a chap who works as a “Finance Analyst – Environmental” for BP. I post it here for reference. — Hi James I promised to send you some bits and pieces about how there *is* a real alternative to the tiresomely immoral, impractical, unnecessary, well-paid
  • September 11th - To Capitalist Folly, Town in Spain Offers Reply
    http://pocket.co/sIQyR
  • August 7th - Flying windturbines
    The higher up you go, the stronger the wind. So if you fly a wind turbine at 400m it should generate a lot of energy, right? Right.
  • August 7th - And this is only talking about cars
    Watch from the 30 minute marker for about 10 minutes. The average American car uses 100 times its weight in ancient plants (converted to oil). 7/8th of the energy never gets to the weheel is lost in engine, idling, driveline, etc 1/2 of the remaining 1/8th heats tyres, road, air Only 1/20th of the mass
  • June 3rd - Europe: from 1000AD to today
    An animated map of Europe over the last 1012 years. Includes epic music. via Historic Atlas
  • June 3rd - The safety of an abusive relationship
    “To break a law which conscience tells you is unjust is, in reality, to express the highest respect for the law. Speaking out against injustice is a profoundly political act. The best people in history put themselves on the line.”
  • June 3rd - 15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently
    1. Love Vs. Fear. 2. Acceptance Vs. Resistance. 3. Forgiveness Vs. Unforgiveness. 4. Trust Vs. Doubt. 5. Meaning Vs. Ambition. 6. Praising Vs. Criticizing. 7. Challenges Vs. Problems. 8. Selflessness Vs. Selfishness. 9. Abundance Vs. Lack/poverty. 10. Dreaming Big Vs. Being Realistic. 11. Kindness Vs. Cruelty. 12. Gratitude Vs. Ingratitude. 13. Presence/ Engagement Vs. Disengagement.
  • May 13th - It’s ok to do the right thing.
    It’s ok to do the right thing, even if it’s not the most profitable thing. Still shocking news for many, alas
  • May 2nd - Maslow was so right.
    1. Get house2. Get wife3. Change world 
  • April 30th - Let the river run
    We’re coming to the edge,Running on the water,Coming through the fog,Your sons and daughters. Let the river run,Let all the dreamersWake the nation.Come, the New Jerusalem. Silver cities rise,The morning lightsThe streets that meet them,And sirens call them onWith a song. It’s asking for the taking.Trembling, shaking.Oh, my heart is aching. We’re coming to the
  • April 22nd - Faults
    From a memorial plaque in Bath Abbey today: “His faults were but as transient shades of his many and brilliant virtues.” Please put this on my epitaph, please!
  • April 22nd - Energy trends per country
        http://energy.publicdata.eu/ee/vis.html
  • March 24th - Views are my own
    Twitter profiles saying “views are my own” disturb me. It implies at least one of these: You’re prone to parroting shit you don’t believe You work for a tyrant who is uncomfortable with you speaking your mind You’re scared of lawyers Which also implies, therefore, that the rest of what you say is likely to
  • March 23rd - I live in fear / anticipation of this conversation.
    And for Rock Hard Cop fans: “I don’t get it.. aliens?”
  • March 19th - Leaving behind earthly feelings
    It was there that in the purity of the air around me I truly began to unravel the real reason for the change in my mood, and the return to that inner peace which I had lost for such a long time. Indeed, it is a general impression…that on high mountains, where the air is
  • March 14th - The Most Astounding Fact
    via Agamemnon Otero, Dude.
  • March 9th - 21 hour work week
    It just makes a lot of sense, k? via Permaculture Magazine
  • February 1st - Sustainable shipping
    Beautiful. \ Beautiful design, inspirational engineering, powerful performance, technically and commercially viable 100% renewable powered 3000dwt sailing cargo ships. Created from proven, off-the-shelf technology B9 Ships are ready-to-go. B9 Ships showcase the economic opportunities arising from the need to transition to a circular low carbon economy. Their construction creates manufacturing jobs and their operation reduces
  • January 18th - Public spending by UK government department
    Open this one – the embed below is too small, sorry. Public spending by UK government department: an interactive guide
  • January 14th -
    “In these days, a man who says a thing cannot be done is quite apt to be interrupted by some idiot doing it.” — Elbert Hubbard
  • January 13th - Where does money come from?
  • January 11th - Breathless with love for life.
    The world, my friends, is such a beautiful, beautiful thing. It is an honour to be alive on it, and a delight which today made me breathless with admiration and love. If you have the means (Spotify), please play this track, then read on: Noah And The Whale – Instrumental I There was a near
  • January 4th - Declaration of the 99%
    Stupid hippies out there protesting don’t know what they want and I’m not sure how sleeping in a tent does anything anyway I mean that’s basically camping isn’t it? No, you’ve just got to go with the flow and look after number one, that’s what I say. I mean just look at this summary list
2011 (74)
  • December 30th - Networked intelligence
  • December 30th - Two more quotes from Forty days of Rain
    It takes no great skill to decode the world system today. A tiny percentage of the population is immensely wealthy, some are well off, a lot are just getting by, a lot more are suffering. We call it capitalism, but within it lies buried residual patterns of feudalism and older hierarchies, basic injustices framing the
  • December 29th - You can not EARN more than about £1m / year. Tops.
    Another great chunk from Forty Signs of Rain, by Kim Stanley Robinson. “The average surplus value created by American workers is thirty-three dollars an hour.” Anna said, “I wonder how they define surplus value.” “Profit,” Frank said. Edgardo shook his head. “You can cook the books and get rid of profit, but the surplus value,
  • December 29th - A contract with our children.
    99% of what follows is from Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson. It is a great book, much like all his others. I have only edited it in places to make it easier to read out of context. I think it makes a magnificent start.   If the scientific community were to propose a
  • December 17th - Euro, systems, design..
    Design to an ideology and it will fail. Design for people and it will thrive.
  • November 29th - Permaculture principles
    It seems this list can bring wisdom and insight to pretty much everything we do. Apart from the more specific ones (like ‘keep water high on the land’, but maybe just try to metaphor these as taoist haikus to trigger bewildering insights.) Relative Location Components placed in a system are viewed relatively, not in isolation.
  • November 26th - Toy Story
  • November 22nd - Real democracy is rising on the horizon
    The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.What is needed is a democratic alternative to the political-state system. This alternative must be built by people’s assemblies across the country, to facilitate a new constitution guaranteeing: full social and political participation a new and
  • November 15th - Top 5 reasons NOT to buy organic
    1. It’s too expensive (and I’ve got a family to feed.) There are two separate issues here: Is it too expensive – or does your regular shop charge too much for it? Is it too expensive – or is the other food too cheap? (Or more to the point: are you just paying the extra
  • November 15th - How we feed ourselves
    You may have seen a recent report saying that going meat free one day per week saves more greenhouse gas emissions than eating a fully local diet. It seems kind of dubious, doesn’t it? You’re telling me that shipping grains and fruit half way around the world has less environmental impact than raising it locally?
  • October 26th - Amon Tobin visual
    I would love to see this. UNfortunately it’s sold out.
  • October 22nd - A 10% strike by the 99%?
    This is a work in progress. I first wrote it after Copenhagen failed to agree anything, and am in the process of updating and amending for the Occupy movement. Please get in touch if interested. Problem Sigh. Where to begin? Broadly speaking, however.. Most of our critical anatomy was never designed for the world we
  • October 1st - How to make legal documents interesting
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk Ok.. maybe it’s not interesting, but it’s certainly a big step towards better.
  • September 30th -
    I love the Soil Association, I really do – you will rarely meet a finer bunch of sensible, noble, inspired, and passionate people than at a Soil Association conference. But boy-oh-boy has the organisation been holding them back! The Soil Association’s position and principles have been well intentioned, but the way they’ve gone about their
  • September 25th - WeFirst Manifesto – Ten Core Beliefs
    An inter-dependent, global community requires an expanded definition of self-interest. The future of profit is purpose. Technology is teaching us to be human again. Consumers want a better world, not just better widgets. Brands must become architects of community. Brands must become day traders in social emotion. The evolution of revolution is contribution. We cannot
  • September 24th - Give And Take: a proposal for ad-hoc micro-volunteering
    This was my hastily written (5 min) idea suggestion to www.seedhack.com last night: Just come from a meeting with many amazing businesses, most of whom have small tasks which they’d like completing. And they have supporters who really want to give them help. But managing the relationship takes time end effort. Maybe we can help
  • September 18th - The Food Movement: getting better or worse?
    Both. As food growers, sellers and eaters, we’re moving in two directions at once. The number of hungry people has soared to nearly 1 billion, despite strong global harvests. And for even more people, sustenance has become a health hazard—with the US diet implicated in four out of our top ten deadly diseases. Power over
  • September 16th - UK’s first local electronic currency
    This is a MAJOR step in the 21st century! The Brixton Pound was London’s first ever local currency. Now it is set to be the UK’s first independent e-currency. Visitors to independent shops will soon be able to “Pay-by-Text” using their mobile bones. thanks to a new electronic payment system called Monea. The new system,
  • September 15th - (e) book publishing tools
    FastPencilL Self-publish and sell your book or ebook with just a few clicks Lulu.com: now doing ebooks as well as printed ones.
  • September 15th - Amen
    The most rational way to feed ourselves is as locally as possible. This means fresh, nutritious, sustainably-produced food. Such a food system also creates jobs, livelihoods, and a strong local economy; more people know each other, education and health standards rise, crime falls, wildlife flourishes, and people are more fulfilled. Not A Supermarket
  • September 13th - How to run a Responsible Society
    Ricardo Semler on How to run a Responsible Society
  • September 13th - Shades of green: should there be more organic licencing options?
    Organic food shoots itself in the foot with its elitist principles, say a recent article in Farmers’ Weekly. Organic isn’t yet what one might call ‘mainstream’, so they may have a point. For too many of us, being organic comes at too high a cost: at the till, in labour costs, paperwork, effort, and time.
  • August 24th - What motivates consumers to make ethically conscious decisions?
    Only 47% of UK adults believe that individual efforts to limit their own impact on climate change are worthwhile, although this rises to 70% of readers and users of the Guardian and Observer, who tend to be more eco-conscious. The research further shows that 40% of UK adults think that pollution from other countries makes
  • August 20th - UnLtd Futures
    I’m lucky enough to have been accepted onto a social entrepreneurship mentor programme with the marvellous UnLtd. It’s called UnLtd Futures, which, though slightly hyperbolic, is deliciously optimistic. Our first session took place at NESTA a few weeks ago. It’s an odd course in as much as none of us – including the mentors –
  • August 20th - Visualising an economy of plenty
    New Dream Mini-Views: Visualizing a Plenitude Economy from Center for a New American Dream on Vimeo. via Visualizing a Plenitude Economy on Vimeo.
  • August 18th - American spending, in perspective
    The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling – James Fallows – The Atlantic.
  • August 9th - Let them yearn for tat.
    We have a political system divided between ‘let them work for tat’ (the right) and ‘let them buy tat’ (the left). The result is a deep and valueless materialism that allows hundreds of young people across London to go on violent and thieving rampages simply because they can get away with it. We have a
  • August 5th - The glorious future belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up.
    Schulz: Speak – it is our only hope. The Jewish Barber (Charlie Chaplin’s character): Hope… I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor – that’s not my business – I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want
  • July 26th - Federated networks of food providers
    Music to my ears: It was always felt by the group that technology might exist (or be developed cost‐effectively) that could allow individual group members to place orders directly with suppliers whilst consolidating these orders and providing the supplier and the distribution company with consolidated bulk orders for ease of transport. Joining the Dots, Sustain
  • July 24th - How algorithms shape our world
    Kevin Slavin argues that we’re living in a world designed for — and increasingly controlled by — algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can’t understand, with implications we can’t
  • July 21st - The world’s most incredible photo
    Just look at this: And still we fart around with insignificant nonsense. What greater reminder do you need that we’re floating on a ball in space, and the world can be whatever we want it to be? BBC News – Space shuttle Atlantis makes final landing.
  • July 19th - Link round up
    Find out what the soil is like in your area using the soil database from the National Environmental Research Council Did you know that Henry Ford encouraged soldiers to strike during WW1? He took a ship full of peace protesters to Europe on the Ford peace ship to appeal to the “good sense of the lads” to
  • June 28th - 3D printing using nothing but solar power and sand.
    Watch the video. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow! Enough said.
  • June 27th - Great data, beautifully used – Snake oil?
    People doing wonderful things with data always gives me a little excitement. The Snake Oil? graphic from Information is Beautiful made me very happy indeed. Useful and beautiful.
  • June 17th - Solar is Ready Now
    Notes from a great article at ThinkProgress: Solar is Ready Now: ‘Ferocious Cost Reductions’ Make Solar PV Competitive. The 17 GW which was installed in 2010 is the equivalent of 17 nuclear power plants – manufactured, shipped and installed in one year. Manufacturing costs have come down from $60 a watt in the mid-1970’s to
  • June 13th - 100 years of unsustaintable fishing
    Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jun/03/fish-stocks-information-beautiful
  • May 30th - Economic development not economic growth.
    People who should know better are forever banging on about ‘economic growth’ as being something which we should make a priority. Really? How’s that going to work? We keep on doing more stuff, which begets more stuff, which begets more stuff… so… you really don’t need to be more than about four years old to
  • May 23rd - Live a good life.
    I remember clearly the deaths of three men. One was the richest man of the century, who, having clawed his way to wealth through the souls and bodies of men, spent many years trying to buy back the love he had forfeited and by that process performed great service to the world and, perhaps, had
  • May 20th - Can you feed a family on fifty quid a week?
    Sainsbury’s believes you can but when Alex Renton took up the challenge, he found his household had serious misgivings. He writes: “Most supermarket sales campaigns are about “value”, which means “lower prices”, though those are not the same thing at all. In pursuit of what would seem impossible, greater earnings with ever-lower prices, the big
  • April 18th - Dollar dumped
    I’m very pleased to see that the BRIC have agreed to use their own currencies for trade, rather than pushing everything via the dollar. More competition, less hegemony, more resilience. Marvellous.
  • March 20th - Radiation Dosage Chart
  • March 17th - Country Man
  • March 16th - It only takes a generation to redefine normal.
    Bullshit doesn’t get much more insidious than this: Today the first ID cards that include iris and fingerprint biometric information were registered and issued in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.   The juicier part of the story is that for now, only children will be enrolled in this national biometric database. It is intended that
  • March 12th - Link round-up
    £3m Community energy fund divesting funds British Gas is committed to distributing £3m via the energyshare fund to community renewable projects over the next 3 years. energyshare really wants to hear from all types of communities across Britain. A registered community group can apply for up to £100,000, and all they ask is that projects:
  • March 11th - My MP strives for growth
    My MP strives for growth, quite possibly by selling your medical data to the pharmaceutical industry: The Department of Health should examine how to unlock the value of the UK’s goldmine of patient data – the holy grail of modern biomedical research worth billions to the Pharma industry. He’s also keen to invest in road
  • March 11th - Tidy your room planet or else there will be no pudding Maldives.
    A great piece from David Mitchell on the messaging around climate change. Why can’t we just dispense with all the talk about how wonderful it’s going to be and the opportunities for fun which await and say: Look I like driving cars and taking planes and eating strawberries at Christmas, but we’re can’t do it
  • March 9th - Skipping dinner
    I went skip raiding last night around the back of Waitrose with a friend who lives locally.We thought we’d go see what’s thrown away and liberate some meals from the tragedy of landfill. It’s illegal, but as an imaginary legal team suggested, “being immoral is clearly worse than being illegal.” We parked around the corner
  • March 5th - Masters of the Universe
    and a bonus one, because it’s an interesting thought:
  • February 28th - Eat smart.
    If a healthy school meal service, linked to good food education, can help reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes by just 1% then it will more than pay for itself in savings on diabetes costs alone. via The Soil Association
  • February 22nd - 66 things to grow in any house
    From the marvellous Planet Green comes a list of 66 Things You Can Grow At Home – in containers, without a garden Tree fruits – including apples 1. Apples 2. Kumquats 3. Avocados (plenty of extra tips online if you search) 4. Blackberries 5. Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online) 6. Pomegranate 7. Cherries
  • February 20th - With great power doesn’t come great responsibility.
    I believe that this is an act of premeditated genetic pollution of the gene pool of alfalfa and related plants by Monsanto. They know exactly what they’re doing. What they understand is that if you pollute enough alfalfa across the country to where it becomes impossible to grow organic alfalfa that isn’t contaminated, perhaps then
  • February 20th - Almost enough to make one optimistic
    Egypt demands better governance, and lots of countries follow suit. MPs do a semi-u-turn and decide not to sell of forests Caroline Spelman issued an extraordinary apology yesterday as she scrapped plans to sell off England’s forests, telling MPs: “I’m sorry, we got this one wrong.” The Environment Secretary’s act of public contrition helped to
  • February 20th - Job vacancy: Are you passionate about rural communities?
    Communities Assistant Salary: £19,000 – £21,500 Location: Woodstock, Oxfordshire The Plunkett Foundation has been changing lives in rural communities since 1919. We work as strategic partners with numerous government departments, funders and support organisations. We are the only national organisation providing dedicated support and expertise to rural communities who wish to set-up and run a
  • February 20th - How to get petrol for 32p per litre.
    Use Liftshare or one of the many others
  • February 11th - Kings Lynn incinerator & Zero Waste
    Today’s letter to my MP, George Freeman, PPS for Climate Science. George I know this lies slightly outside your realm, but the arguments in favour of the Kings Lynn incinerator seem to be quite simplistic. I fully understand the need to handle out waste, but burning it seems only to remove useful and hard-won resources
  • February 10th - Organic is the only game in town. Get playing. Now.
    The facts are these: Resources key to non-organic food production are either running out or becoming priced beyond viability. GM’s advantages come mainly from their convenience, but that convenience is only accessed through intense use of fossil fuels, for which, see (1). Food for 9bn people needs to focus on nutrition. Organic delivers this. (See
  • February 10th - What’s stopping progress?
    This afternoon, Monty Don headed up an excellent panel in a session entitled “What’s stopping progress?” “The evidence for changing everything is overwhelming,” says Prof Tim Lang (Food Policy at City University, London). “The good news is that the process of articulating the necessity has begun. The bad news is that we don’t have the
  • February 10th - The nature of human change and the change of human nature.
    What a day! There’s been quite a lot of discussion around grand systemic change – the idea that we’re on the edge of something big and exciting and a little scary. But as with most situations when the world changes, there is some debate, uncertainty, and fear about what’s going to happen. The lack of
  • February 9th - What is the Future of Food?
    The first session of the Soil Association conference has kicked off with a simple question: What is the future of food? Caroline Spelman was not present to give the keynote speech, but recorded a disappointingly political video. “The Foresight Report points to the vital role of organics in future food provision in the UK… we
  • February 7th - Nothing Is As Powerful As An Idea Whose Time Has Come.
    For the first time in history the mind of man was really attempting to control his destiny. Hitherto usage, tradition, external necessity, accident had furnished the unchallenged framework within which he had devised his explanations and his consolations. He had resisted any clear knowledge of his own nature and romanced about his destiny. He had
  • February 6th - Blogging from the Soil Association conference
    I’m going to be blogging from the Soil Association Annual Conference on Wednesday and Thursday this week. This years theme is Food and the Big Society (pun quite possibly intended, I’m not sure), addressing the vital role that food can play in making us healthier, more connected to our communities, reducing our carbon footprint, and
  • February 4th - What’s in a name?
    What’s in a name? Hopefully quite a lot, because I just stumbled across this, and I like the sound of it. DOWDING: The given name is a derivative of the Olde English verb “dugan”, to be of use, avail, and was developed from an earlier byname or nickname, such as “the useful or helpful one”.
  • February 3rd - It’s spring. Plant something. Feel good.
    Two lovely services I’ve written about before in various places, but mainly here. Click the images for their links.
  • February 3rd - When is food security going to become an issue for you, too?
    A polar bear swam continuously for over nine days, covering 426 miles, animal researchers were astonished to discover. And the scientists studying bears around the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska and Canada, claim this endurance feat could be a result of climate change. “This bear swam continuously for 232 hours and 687 km and through
  • February 1st - Pay more for your food
    I suspect a few people reading this may have seen a new series about farming which started on BBC2 today, which is about making a successful business from a smallholding. Over the next few weeks I’m going to write about what this means, and why so many good, organic farmers find it such a struggle
  • January 30th - How to make your savings work harder
    We’re all looking for ways to “do our bit” with less effort, hence the popularity of such simple actions like taking your own bags, buying organic, eating less meat, cycling more and so on. If you have any financial savings, here’s a few simple things you can do which only take 20 minutes to do
  • January 24th - Fish, Forests, and the 21st Century commons
    An extract from a letter I’ve just written to my MP, George Freeman, the PPS to Gregory Barker as Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change. In the meantime I wonder if I might press home one or two contemporary issues? Firstly you are no doubt aware of the “Hugh’s Fish Fight” campaign.
  • January 23rd - Superstruct future forecasting game
    I can’t believe I’ve only just heard of this. Superstruct is a forecasting game designed to anticipate new ways of being / doing this human being thing on planet Earth. It was massively multiplayer and played by more than 7000 people from September – November, 2008. The Institute for the Future published the results. Some
  • January 23rd - Gaming for a better world.
    It’s all just a game, really, this whole life business. We’re in it for a good time, to be fulfilled, amused, creative, challenged, active, careful, and much more. In games we often perform better if the pressure is off. So too in life. Relaxing into it and knowing that one way or another it’s pretty
  • January 23rd - Reasons to be cheerful: Peak Phosphorous
    Graphs like this make me very happy because they hint that thing might all work out OK. via Peak Phosphorus: the sequel to Peak Oil. I’m sure you know that phosphorous is one of the critical components to the most abundantly used fertilisers. I’m sure you’ll also know that it’s what causing algal blooms, feeding
  • January 18th - Give me half a chance and I’d be taking off my clothes and living in the jungle
    In man’s evolution he has created the cities and the motor traffic rumble, but give me half a chance and I’d be taking off my clothes and living in the jungle. Quite a fun little thing from the Darwin pages at the Open University which allows you to take a photo and see yourself as
  • January 13th - Time to use those ‘insurance files’ on Rupert Murdoch?
    Julian Assange Says He Has ‘Insurance Files’ on Rupert Murdoch. If he does, now seems like a good time to use them: The BBC have just revealed that Ofcom thinks there are big problems with Murdoch’s BSkyB power grab. Their report says the Competition Commission needs to be involved. But Jeremy Hunt is refusing to
  • January 10th - Today's hero: Mark Kennedy
    The trial of six green campaigners has collapsed after an undercover policeman who had infiltrated their group offered to give evidence on their behalf. via BBC News – Trial collapses after undercover officer changes sides. What a dude! Goes in to find out if anything bad is going on, does his job, a few protests
  • January 8th - EU organic food push
    The European Union (EU) is co-funding a $2.8m (£1.8m) publicity campaign to convince UK residents that organic food is good. According to the industry body, the Organic Trade Board (OTB), the aim is to democratise organic foods and make people aware of their benefits. In other words, the OTB wants people to buy more organic
2010 (166)
  • December 28th - First petrol, then energy – now food prices skyrocket
    Growing populations, rising affluence in Brazil, Russia, India and China, and crop failures caused by extreme weather have pushed up the prices of wheat, sugar, cotton and many other household staples. So far, bread, breakfast cereals and clothing have become more expensive – but the full effects of the cost of raw materials have not
  • December 23rd - Twixtmas
    Twixtmas is a brilliant opportunity. A significant part of the population is on holiday and has free quality time to do something. Twixtmas.
  • December 20th - The Search for Meaning: Part XIVC
    Here’s some fun data from the NEF to play with. We should just move to Norway, Switzerland, or Ireland, really. It just goes to show that mountains and space (not lebensraum) are what a body needs.
  • December 20th - Dan & Dan’s Festive WikiLeaks Song
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWlxfxWicm8&feature=player_embedded Dan and Dan » Blog Archive » Dan & Dan’s Festive WikiLeaks Song.
  • December 19th - Round of good things this week
    A rather lovely looking place called Old Hall Community which is looking for residents and volunteers, and a sustainability centre based at Llanfyllin Workhouse. A few interesting things in citizen reporting and community action: Help Me Investigate is a place where you can collaborate with other people to investigate things. Who’s Lobbying answers questions for
  • December 19th - Human Culture through language
    A team from Harvard has been studying Google Book’s record of human culture, spanning six centuries and seven languages. It shows vocabularies expanding and grammar evolving. It contains stories about our adoption of technology, our quest for fame, and our battle for equality. And it hides the traces of tragedy, including traces of political suppression,
  • December 19th - Hi, my name's Ed, and I'm an ENTP
    ENTP Credo: “No, let me explain…” ENTP Keywords: Frank, Challenging, Original, Creative, Complex, Expedient, Analytical, Rule-breaker, Questioning, Theoretical, Adventurous, Unconstrained, Intellectually promiscuous via Prelude Consulting via Happy Works
  • December 19th - OneUpMe.com – Fun with Wordplay
    OneUpMe.com is a daily wordplay game of analogies that fosters abstract and creative thought. And funny as hell, to boot.
  • December 19th - I don't do memory, I do action
    I don’t do memory, I do action. So whatever I did, I’ve done, but I’m fucked if I know what it was.
  • December 16th - Five Ways to Well-being
    Five Ways to Well-being | the new economics foundation.
  • December 5th - The Good Gym
    The Good Gym pairs runners with isolated less-mobile people in their area. Runners jog to their house, deliver something nice, have a brief chat and are on their way again. It helps people get fit by providing a good reason to go for a run and it helps the person being visited by providing them
  • December 5th - Wikileaks: Website of the knowledge of good and evil
    I wonder if this is going to play out as it does in the Bible, wherein power-hungry incumbent with delusions of grandeur (and a penchant for voyeurism) shows true colours, and banishes us from every getting near such founts of knowledge again? Paypal and Amazon have already removed their support for WikiLeaks. God directly forbade
  • December 5th - I Wish This Was
    New Orleans is full of vacant storefronts and people who need things. These stickers are an easy tool to voice what you want where you want it. Fill them out and put them on abandoned buildings and beyond. These stickers are custom vinyl and can be easily removed without damaging property. They’re free and can
  • December 4th - Neo-Classical elements: Time, money, energy, politics
    The world used to be (perceived to be) made up of four elements: Earth, air, fire, and water. A few years back Ollie and I figured all the problems in the world would go away if only we could sort out the energy thing. Not least because if we really nailed it we could just
  • December 4th - Appropedia: the WikiLeaks of good knowledge
    Appropedia: We provide the living resource library of individuals and organizations working towards a sustainable, healthier future, so that efforts can be spent evolving instead of duplicating past efforts.
  • December 1st - Merchant Bank that threatened to leave UK ‘just went round corner and waited’ | NewsBiscuit
    Merchant Bank that threatened to leave UK ‘just went round corner and waited’ A bank that had insisted it would quit the country over reforms to the financial sector, was found this afternoon, safe and well outside Canon Street Tube Station. Passer-by, Sarah Evans, noticed the bank hovering around the entrance to the District Line,
  • November 30th - Working hours? They are just so last season. | Forum For The Future
    Do we need to be in the office nine ’til five? Or at all for that matter? It’s this sort of questioning that brought success to the Brazilian company Semco, whose CEO Ricardo Semler cut out offices, management, job titles and business plans altogether, in favour of the employee’s freedom to do their job on
  • November 28th - The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life
    The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. Euripides
  • November 27th - Convenience will kill you.
    YouTube – PLASTIC STATE OF MIND – Black Friday Parody.
  • November 27th - Vision 2050. From here to there.
    Zoom.it – Image foTF.
  • November 22nd - Why are you here?
  • November 21st - FARM:shop
    A wonderful approach to urban farming as Something & Son ask the question, “How much food can we grow in this shop?” Quite a lot it turns out. – ‘Aquaponic’ micro fish farming – High tech Indoor allotment – Rooftop chicken coop – Polytunnel It all looks rather cool. I must go visit. If you
  • November 21st - Eric Cantona joins in calling for economic change
    The clever chap has pointed out that taking to the streets is a less effective means of protest than just triggering a run on the banks, which will highlight the systemic flaws in the financial model. Now there’s the argument to be made that this is a bit irresponsible, but when facing down a far
  • November 16th - Funniest ever 'Lost' sign
    Lost Sign Of The Day | someecards.com.
  • November 12th - Self-Repair Manifesto
    Self-Repair Manifesto – iFixit.
  • November 11th - Is this evidence that we can see the future?
    Extraordinary claims don’t come much more extraordinary than this: events that haven’t yet happened can influence our behaviour. It describes a series of experiments involving more than 1000 student volunteers. In most of the tests, Bem took well-studied psychological phenomena and simply reversed the sequence, so that the event generally interpreted via Is this evidence
  • November 11th - Contentious post about tuition fees
    Are people being denied loans to pay for tuition feed? Is it actually IMPOSSIBLE for people to go to university, or just expensive for them to? When I went to university I found many people who didn’t really want to be there, gained little from the experience, were only really doing it because it was
  • November 11th - 'Global Warming' may still be a problem
    “I was a bit surprised by our findings, because I, along with the rest of my colleagues, thought that the process of fixing climate change ended soon after [2007 rock concert] Live Earth,” CGD assistant director George Oliver told reporters. “But it turns out that the things needed to stop it, like substantive energy legislation,
  • November 9th - Wealth creators, or concentrations of power?
    A few highlights from an article about reclaiming the commons: In practice it is impossible for the modern state to maintain an independent control over the decisions of big business. When the state extends its control over big business, big business moves in to control the state. It is vital here to distinguish between capitalist
  • November 9th - Facebook relationship data
    Neat graph. Facebook shows why you might get dumped before Xmas | Technically Incorrect – CNET News.
  • November 6th - YouTube – RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
    It’s just occurred to me that people may not have seen this. Remedy that right now, please. RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.
  • November 6th - Transparent, conductive, energy-generating plastic film
    UPTON, NY — Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory have fabricated transparent thin films capable of absorbing light and generating electric charge over a relatively large area. The material, described in the journal Chemistry of Materials, could be used to develop transparent solar panels or
  • November 5th - How do we get the right answer?
    Are there any models of deliberative democracy which mandate required goals? Eg “Here are some scientific parameters we need to operate in. Coming up with a solution which puts us outside these parameters at any time in the future is an unacceptable answer.” Is there a model which supports this ‘undemocratic’ democacy?
  • November 5th - 8 rules or managing the commons
    Clearly defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external unentitled parties); Rules regarding the appropriation and provision of common resources are adapted to local conditions; Collective-choice arrangements allow most resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process; Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators; There is a scale of graduated sanctions
  • November 1st - One final paragraph of advice.
    One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While
  • November 1st - What’s Mine is Yours – Collaborative consumption
    Collaborative Consumption describes the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping redefined through technology and peer communities. What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers charts this movement. WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS
  • October 29th - Nature's gift: How much is the ecosystem worth?
    A great series of articles from the BBC. 1. The full impact of the degradation of the natural world on the global economy – both on business and consumers. 2. The direct costs to businesses, both large and small. 3. The economic benefits of preserving the natural world.
  • October 28th - The Future of Money
    Key quote? Allow different types of money to compete in the same way that markets compete, to open up new ways of doing business. The Future of Money on Vimeo
  • October 27th - What is ZCB30?
  • October 25th - 3 minute spelt bread
  • October 25th - Finite and Infinite Games
    Life is an infinite game. We should stop playing it like a finite one. The rules of the finite game may not change; the rules of an infinite game must change. Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries. Finite players are serious; infinite games are playful. A finite player plays to be
  • October 25th - Is there a word for things which are brilliant exemplars of themselves?
    Whatever it is, I’ll bet it will start with id__
  • October 24th - How to make a fast buck in the green economy
    If you’re involved in one of the below, you’re going to make money in the next 20 years. Anyone care to go on an INSULATE BRITAIN! road trip around the UK? Renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, marine including wave, biogas, and fuel cell) Green buildings (green retrofits for energy and water efficiency, residential and commercial
  • October 24th - Top Ten Constituents of New Commons Economy
    I’ve just come across a fantastic list at the Steady State Revolution blog. I’ve reproduced it in its entirety here since I know lots of people get this feed in RSS readers and email and don’t click links, and because it’s useful for my reference. This would break most copyright laws, were it not very
  • October 24th - vlogbrothers
    It seems I’m rather late to finding this channel, which I’m really enjoying. I like the format. It’s simple, effective, and makes me want a brother. A geek brother. I also like the idea of a catchy song to disseminate an idea… *mulls* [UPDATE: The player below doesn’t work for some reason so try http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers#p/u/1/U0kXkWXSXRA]
  • October 23rd - Turn over a New Leaf
  • October 20th - Stuxnet
    A great story, but more importantly a really interesting one.. Stuxnet is a worm (computer virus) which has been designed – by a very good team for about 6 months – to do a very specific job. But what is that job?
  • October 19th - Open-Access Public Workshops
    OH. MY. WORD! THIS IS BRILLANT! TechShop San Francisco is 15,500 square feet and includes a private parking lot. It will feature all the tools and equipment that members enjoy at other TechShop locations, including: Epilog Helix 60-Watt Laser Cutters Tormach CNC Milling Machines 3D Printer NextEngine 3D Scanner Formech 600 24″ x 24″ Vacuum Forming System
  • October 19th - Supporting the vitality of the Commons
    I mentioned I’m doing a course on the Commons who yesterday asked the question: How can we live and work in a way that supports the vitality of the commons? (It’s only week one, give us a break!) Here’s my reply: I couldn’t agree more with Mary Beth that “as long as we all live under
  • October 19th - Help fund the Do Lectures by designing a poster
    The Do Lectures is here to give talks away *Free to the world. To inspire. To share ideas. To see if there’s a better way of doing stuff. But *Free costs. That’s why we sell tickets to the event, Do an auction and yes, sell posters. The feel for the poster should be: Positive, Inspiring, Uplifting. Message:
  • October 19th - Change the System, Not the Climate
    I came across a marvellous speech as part of a course I’m doing on the Commons. Every now and then in history, the human race takes a collective step forward in its evolution. Such a time is upon us now. […] From the perspective of the environmental movement, I see two problems that hinder us in
  • October 19th - Invest in green energy
    Key facts: 1) You’re doing something brilliant, 2) It’s 7.5% return, 3) You’re locked in for 4 years. EcoBonds from Ecotricity.
  • October 19th - Walking across America
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzRKEv6cHuk&feature=player_embedded
  • October 19th - Make money from your car when you're not using it
    Hire Cars on WhipCar – Local Car Rental, Put Your Car to Work | WhipCar.
  • October 16th - Good Guide
    GoodGuide is in business to provide authoritative information about the health, environmental and social performance of products and companies. We believe that better information can transform the marketplace: as more consumers buy better products, retailers and manufacturers face compelling incentives to make products that are safe, environmentally sustainable and produced using ethical sourcing of raw
  • October 16th - Copy and clone
    Copy and clone on Vimeo Thanks to DEFRA’s own Lucy Gilliam for putting me on to this.
  • October 12th - I Love Charts
    Two excellent charts, one hilarious, the other depressingly obvious: I Love Charts – Bohemian Rhapsody. Also from I Love Charts via Mr Robert Loch.
  • October 6th - Urban Farming
    I’ve just started listening to Stewart Brand’s new book, An Ecopragmatist Manifesto (audio version | book version) whilst I was out getting the very last of the blackberries and doing some planting, weeding, apple picking, peeling, and making crab apple jelly. (It’s astonishing what one can get done in two hours.) So far, it’s brilliant.
  • October 6th - Economic reality check
    I’ve written quite a lot about money, and plan to write a lot more. In the meantime Tim Jackson’s economic reality check video at TED summarises a great deal of it rather nicely.
  • October 6th - Change your search engine, save the world
    You’re still using Google, but results are piped via Ecosia, who use the money from the adverts (same amount as Google) to fund rainforest protection. Brilliant, easy, simple. Takes about 2 minutes to make it your default search engine. “Each web search saves about 2 m² of rainforest for free. We already protected 186,443,380 m².” Take
  • October 5th - Prince Charles' new film, Harmony
    HRH (who I’d LOVE to work with, if anyone knows anyone) has a new book & film coming out. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWJtS2VpYm0
  • October 5th - World greenhouse gas emissions
    Please note that deforestation accounts for TWICE AS MUCH greenhouse gas as all road transport. I think 10:10 would approve of getting people who like hunting, flying them to areas where illegal logging is taking place, and declaring fair game on all illegal loggers. I’d suspect that a few weeks in Indonesia or Brazil for
  • October 5th - 9 things I'd do if I were in government right now
    Remember that reducing use is easier and more effective than increasing supply to meet ‘demand’. Invest in research (especially algae and solar). Invest in infrastructure, especially electricity grid, rail, and electric car stations. Do not build more roads. We have plenty, and cars are getting smaller anyway. Remove VAT from renovation works. Add VAT to
  • October 5th - How did it come to this?
    Considerably better lyrics than I had ever expected from Take That: Just the other day somebody Said to me, hey maybe you’re slightly schizophrenic And a little out of reach my friend. I said, yes that?s partly true, But jokes aside, I can explain, It?s just my way of keep in track with Living on
  • October 2nd - Bamboo water bottle
    Nice design. Bamboo Bottle Company.
  • October 2nd - Solitude
    Happy the man, whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air In his own ground. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire; Whose trees in summer yield shade, In winter, fire. Blest, who can unconcern’dly find Hours, days, and years, slide
  • September 23rd - Turn off your unused mobile phone charger and save equivalent energy for 3 weeks of TV.
    Charging a mobile for 1 hour uses 2 watts. Leaving the mobile connected to the charger after the battery is full for 7 hours uses 14 watts. Leaving the charger plugged in and turned on, but not connected to the mobile for 16 hours uses 24 watts. Over 1 year you use 14.6KWh. Turning the
  • September 21st - Google Transparency Report
    Like other technology and communications companies, we regularly receive requests from government agencies around the world to remove content from our services, or provide information about users of our services and products. This map shows the number of requests that we received in six-month blocks Google Transparency Report: Government Requests.
  • September 20th - Money says 'no'. Money is broken. Keeps saying 'no' to everything sensible, and 'yes' to lots of stupid things.
    There are 2,470,000 people unemployed in the UK. There is an energy supply crisis. We know how to insulate houses, make solar panels, wind farms, community heating systems, and so on. So on the one hand we have a major problem, and on the other we have a major solution. And yet we have an
  • September 10th - Thank you, Waitrose! Free, expensive, friendly, and ethical.
    Not only have Waitrose just topped the list of most ethical supermarkets but they’ve also just called me up to give me a bunch of free wood. I was there the other day filling up with petrol, and they had something sitting in a huge wooden crate next to the car wash, so I asked if
  • August 29th - Year 34: we have sighted land
    I think it’s safe to tell you what’s going on, now. Enough of the elements are firmly in place. We’re setting up a small-holding in West Lexham, Norfolk, on 2 acres of land. We will be suppling food to, and helping out with the development of, the new sustainability centre which is being developed there,
  • August 20th - Boomerang trade
    The UK currently exports 131,000 tonnes of chewing gum to Spain, only to import 125,000 tonnes back again. We send 3,300 tonnes of cuddly toys to New Zealand, only to bring another 2,400 tonnes back again. One person in the US will, by 4am in the morning of 2nd January, have been responsible for the
  • August 20th - 4 steps to handling emotional or conflict conversations
    The four steps, when used in “self-expression” mode, work like this: To observe without evaluation, judgment, or analysis, To express feelings which these observations evoke, To express needs connected with these feelings, (optional) To make a specific request of another person to help meet an unmet need, and to enrich life of everyone involved. Essential
  • August 11th - The TED Commandments – rules every speaker needs to know
    Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion Thou Shalt Tell a Story Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the
  • August 10th - Problems with paradigm change
    If changes tend to happen as large paradigm shifts, then does trying to transition simply slow things down? When jumping to a new paradigm, does the new model have to be widely known before the jump, or simply known by enough people? If the existence of the old model – one which has proven to
  • August 7th - Mottainai
    Mottainai  is a Japanese term meaning “a sense of regret concerning waste when the intrinsic value of an object or resource is not properly utilized.” The expression “Mottainai!” can be uttered alone as an exclamation when something useful, such as food or time, is wasted. In addition to its primary sense of “wasteful,” the word
  • July 30th - The one that got away
    There have been lots of coincidences, serendipity, and small-world moments during these last few weeks. Exactly a week, almost to the hour, after the end of our experience chez Jimmy’s Farm, I was helping a farmer friend with a little challenge: There is a field with some cows in it. We have some hurdles. We
  • July 25th - Bottled water is the answer to global warming
    The world is melting. Guess what you need: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z2z2k4LoYQ The only words I can think of which would fully express my disappointment would be a hex to melt all consumers of bottled water within 2 miles of a tap. Alas, I don’t know any. Maybe the benzene will get them.
  • July 1st - Art of the Start
    The Art of Starting Make meaning Ask women Get going The Art of Positioning Seize the high ground Make it personal Niche thyself The Art of Pitching Explain in the first minute Answer the little man 10 slides Title Problem Solution Business model Underlying magic Marketing and sales Competition Team Projections Status and timeline 20
  • July 1st - EDF – Environmentally Destructive Fuckers
    EDF is not green, it’s not British.  And it spends £20m on marketing Green Britain day which is more than its annual spend on investing in new green energy (source). It operates 8 nuclear power stations in the UK It is the world’s largest corporate producer of toxic nuclear waste behind the US and Canada
  • June 30th - More of the most amazing thing you might see this week
    Well it seems I spoke slightly too soon, since Babs has sent me some videos from The Darkroom Start with the  Darkroom event reel, and be sure, too, to check out their Projections at Kimberley.
  • June 30th - Don't do anything that isn't play
    “For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much – the wheel, New York, wars and so on – whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had
  • June 28th - Probably the most awesome thing you will see this week
    We were fortunate enough to welcome Nell and Robin to stay with us for a few days whilst they were down in the Pyrenees a few weeks back. Robin creates some of the most awesome visual I’ve ever seen. Check these out, and then if you have the means, hire them. Epic. Battle of Branchage
  • June 28th - A formula for co-operation
    Coop = S x (M+C) Cooperation = Shared Commitment  x  (Mutual trust + Common interest) via  New Start
  • June 27th - 20 get rich quick schemes
    Whilst I love seeing headlines like this Leaders at the G20 summit in Canada agree the richest members will halve their budget deficits within three years.  (BBC News) They beg the questions Where is all that money coming from (or not going to)? Are they going to be creating wealth and making savings (“G20 stop
  • June 21st - Happy Monkeys
    Pretty much everyone wise who has picked up a pen for the topic of happiness seems to agree that it lies in the simplest of pleasures, mostly coalescing around the contentment of our animal selves.
  • June 15th - Two great new London Maps
    TFL have eventually decided to release their data. (We were trying to get them to do this five years ago…) Already there are a few great examples of what this data can do: Stefan Wehrmeyer (who is looking for a job, if you have one going) has made a few great examples showing CCTV footage
  • June 14th - The surprising truth about what motivates us
    YouTube – RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.
  • June 11th - Dunning Kruger effect
    I fully expect to be demonstrating the Dunning-Kruger effect sometime in the next 10 months.
  • June 7th - It's all too beautiful
    It’s so damned lovely here. The last few nights we’ve slept upstairs on the open deck so see stars above us, hear the river below us, and the birdsong and chirping crickets all around. It is serene, and it is beautiful. In the mornings the dawn chorus is simply huge. It’s like being awakened by
  • June 4th - It's not BP's fault, it's yours
    I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone (especially in the USA) that it is our sociopathic craving for oil which is driving this, and scape-goating BP merely displaces the responsibility from those who demand the lowest cost oil (at all costs), and the governments who allow it. BP were just unlucky to be
  • June 3rd - 3 neat business ideas
    British high-end chocolate maker and retailer Hotel Chocolat, wants to expand even further. But rather than turning to banks or big investors for money, they’re inviting customer to buy bonds. Bonds that will pay chocolate returns.  Two values of Chocolate Bond will be issued: both with the return paid in monthly Tasting Boxes. Holders of a
  • June 3rd - A Brief List of Epiphanies
    A great list at Amazon:  “A Brief List of Epiphanies”
  • June 1st - Tired of ISMs?
    YouTube – ISM Inspired by Slow Money.
  • June 1st - Vatican reaches out to atheists
    The Vatican is planning a new initiative to reach out to atheists and agnostics in an attempt to improve the church's relationship with non-believers. Pope Benedict XVI has ordered officials to create a new foundation where atheists will be encouraged to meet and debate with some of the Catholic Church's top theologians. via Vatican reaches
  • May 30th - Is there a useful time to have money?
    I rail against money quite a bit, since the facts suggest that as it is currently structured it has ceased to be the servant of humanity’s needs. So consequently I’m not that fussed about having a lot of it, since why would I want to be part of the problem? But within this reasoning there
  • May 28th - iPad = Tom Cruise
    The iPad is the Tom Cruise of technology. It looks good, does some things well, but is overpriced, unnecessary, and tries to lock you in to an unbelievably crass belief system.
  • May 27th - Memento Mori
    The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions. Ellen Glasgow PS. You’re going to die one day, soon. Bummer, eh?
  • May 27th - Kurt Vonnegut
    New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become. I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. All those who
  • May 23rd - French farmers turn Champs-Elysees into huge farm
    The Champs-Elysees, has been covered in earth and turned into a huge green space in an event staged by young French farmers. Plants, trees and flowers were brought in by lorry overnight to transform the avenue into a long green strip. More than a million people are expected to visit over the next two days.
  • May 21st - 10 Things I Learned From Meditation
    Because I find myself coming back to this question from time to time, here’s a list I came across at Fresh Creation. Thoughts are not reality Focus is important Media influence your view on the world People are good Positive thinking is very powerful Mistakes are good There’s too much stuff Listen to your body Helping
  • May 20th - Man invents life
    One hell of a headline.
  • May 17th - The Afghan Conflict – A Map of Possible Scenarios
    Wonderful infographic on the future of the Afghan conflict. Have a look at the fullscreen version on their website. The Afghan Conflict – A Map of Possible Scenarios.
  • May 17th - How to Grow More Vegetables (than you ever thought possible on less land that you can imagine)
    Notes from the book, taken 10-12 Feb 2010. Bed Preparation Good structure and balanced / plentiful nutrients allow for uninterrupted growth First year you do it, allow 1 hour per 1m2 Second year onwards, allow 30 mins per 1m2 Ongoing maintenance is about 1.5 mins per 1m2 Initial Preparation Perform a soil test Soak with
  • May 16th - Is permaculture economically viable?
    There are approx 2.2 million people in Havana and 85% of all food comes from within the city grown on plots, roofs and in community spaces. via Is permaculture economically viable?
  • May 15th - Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull
    Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull – May 1st and 2nd, 2010
  • May 15th - World War III – And so it begins…
    I remember my geography teacher saying that the next world war would be about water. There have been a few issues already, but as Egypt rejects Nile water agreement I think we can probably see this a key moment in history. Switzerland, which has the largest reserves of fresh water, must be getting nervous. And it
  • May 12th - Status Anxiety
    (recreated from Alain de Botton’s book of the same name)
  • May 12th - Earning vs making
    Just to be very clear to anyone who makes a lot of money: there is a BIG difference between making money and earning money. There’s nothing wrong with earning lots of money, of course. Just be sure you spend it wisely. Tip: If you get more than £200,000 per year you could probably be running
  • May 12th - BBC News – New government: Reaction in quotes
    Hooray! Listen – you’ve heard my comment, which is one word. It’s the first time you’ve had a one word statement and it is, hooray. And I’ll repeat it. Paddy Ashdown BBC News – New government: Reaction in quotes.
  • May 7th - How fast is Google Chrome? (Includes explosions)
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCgQDjiotG0
  • May 7th - Entrepreneurs
    Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6MhAwQ64c0
  • April 28th - Every single day is a decision you make
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU-6r4zznp4 This is where I just had a melon and kiwi breakfast. Every single day we make a choice how we want to live. Every. Single. Day. We have spare beds and open arms.
  • April 27th - Farm life
    I’ve just applied to go on a programme called “Farm Life”. I figured the answers were quite interesting (especially if contrasted with Ali’s). EXPLAIN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CO-APPLICANT. Ali and I have been going out for about a year now. She’s lovely. Such a great friend and ally to have in this adventure. We compliment
  • April 23rd - "We are now a 3 party country"
    We are now a 3 party country John Humphries, Today, Radio 4 We have been a 3 party country all my life. More than that, in fact. The media has failed to represent this truth fairly and is now acting surprised like it’s not their fault that the LibDems haven’t been taken seriously. When people
  • April 18th - Notes from the Pyrenees
    A first tentative vodcast… Music muchos gracias to the overwhelmingly talented Nathaniel Slade (Licence)
  • April 18th - Temporary Autonomous Zone
    A TAZ is the socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control – the best way to create a non-hierarchical system of social relationships is to concentrate on the present and on releasing one’s own mind from the controlling mechanisms that have been imposed on it. Temporary Autonomous Zone, by Hakim
  • April 17th - Growth or no-growth?
    Economic growth or no economic growth? Which way is best? As with most questions with only two allowed answers, the real answer is “almost certainly both, and neither.” We have plenty of resources, if only we were to use them properly. Whichever model we choose we have to start from where we are right now
  • April 17th - John Maynard Keynes
    Capitalism is “the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.” via John Maynard Keynes – Wikiquote.
  • April 17th - Travel Forever and Live Rent Free
    http://www.camelotproperty.com Home http://www.mindmyhouse.com 8 Tools to Help You Travel Forever and Live Rent Free
  • April 17th - Fact about bottle water
    Via Webecoist
  • April 17th - FarmSubsidy.org
    Interesting little site. See who near you is getting big old farm subsidies from Europe: FarmSubsidy.org Note, of course, that this does not mean they’re minted, just that they get some money from them. See also: http://www.followthemoney.eu/
  • April 16th - Principle of double effect
    The principle of double effect is a set of ethical criteria for evaluating the permissibility of acting when one’s otherwise legitimate act (for example, relieving a terminally ill patient’s pain) will also cause an effect one would normally be obliged to avoid (for example, the patient’s death.) The act itself must be good The bad
  • April 14th - Design for America – govt. of/by/for the people
    It’s stuff like this which gives civilisation a hope: Our goal is simple and straightforward — to make government data more accessible and comprehensible to the American public. We hope to enliven and engage new communities as partners and participants in making government information more engaging to the American public. Redesign of a Government Form:
  • April 12th - Clear skies
    Ah, summer!
  • April 12th - God is a stress reaction
    An interesting article in the WSJ today about how belief in God is not innate. Because humans are hard-wired for religion, it must be reformed rather than refuted to better fit the modern world. People are genetically preprogrammed to be pious because it confers a selective advantage that enhances reproductive success. If it were so
  • April 7th - Looking for a happy, well paid job? Become a gardener
    1 acre of land = £43,000 income per year for about 30 days work.. Every time they harvested anything from their modest 1600 square foot (150 square metre) garden, they recorded it and compiled these figures into a spreadsheet and came up with an amazing 834 lb (380kg) of total harvest. From this they computed
  • April 7th - Kim Stanley Robinson on BldgBlog
    It seems Kim Stanley Robinson and I are in accord. The more we can live in keeping with our evolutionary history, the happier we are likely to be. Simple pleasures which put us in “the zone”, mind and body working in harmony, within our comfort zone, but occasionally brushing up against the edges to keep
  • April 6th - AC Grayling
    I love  AC Grayling’s incredibly clear articulation. Try to create meaning and purpose in one’s individual existance, always remembering that that are as many individual meanings and purposes as there are people who pursue them. Try to life a life of flourishing and achievement and learning and good relationships. It’s not complex stuff, I’m sure
  • April 5th - Efficient & Affordable Wood House Made From Shipping Pallets
    via http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/04/02/pallet-haus-an-efficient-affordable-modular-house/
  • April 5th - Turn an old plastic bottle into a 50W lightbulb
    Fill a plastic bottle with water, add a small amount of bleach to keep it clean, stick a film canister over the cap to stop it corroding in the UV, stick it in your roof, and hey presto an everlasting prismatic 50W lightbulb! httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zMAWztZ6TI via http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/04/02/sundolier-robot-pumps-sunlight-indoors-for-powerful-daylighting/ and Slashdot
  • April 5th - Shel Silverstein
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TZCP6OqRlE
  • March 19th - 10 steps to ideas that win
    MAKE IT RELEVANT. Identify a broad social trend that aligns with your core competencies and the values of your culture. MAKE IT STICK. With that trend, identify your customer and find something that they really need and can become integrated into their lifestyle. MAKE IT WASY TO ADOPT. Enhance an existing behvaiour rather than try
  • March 7th - The UK's renewable energy is a national shame
    Here’s some figures for renewable power generation in 2006: 62.9% – Austria 48.7% – Sweden 29.9% – Portugal 17.1% – Slovak Republic 19.2% – Romania 17% – Denmark 12.4% – France 4.6% – UK In November 2009, Spain generated 53% of its demand from wind alone last week (it was a bit windy). So if
  • March 3rd - James Murdoch vs Reason
    Murdoch is like a redneck with an AK-47 shooting wildly into a herd of BBC elephants. “These slow good for nothing beasts! Stomp all the grass for my cattle! HAHAHA!! BANG! BANG!! Take that, Dumbo!” But that’s all just opinions and metaphor. Numbers, let’s look at numbers. These put some perspective to Murdoch’s power grab.
  • February 28th - How Different Groups Spend Their Day
    How Different Groups Spend Their Day – Interactive Graphic – NYTimes.com. Source: http://blog.alexkelleher.com/2009/08/10/an-average-day/
  • February 25th - You have such freedoms! Exercise them!
  • February 25th - Lexicon of cooperation
    I’ve just been revising a contract we use for websites we build and so having to deal with one of my pet annoyances. I don’t like contracts. They’re boring, stop me doing the fun stuff of work, and seem to spend more time building walls than bridges. The point is that you’re working together, surely?
  • February 25th - Green Revolution in India Wilts as Subsidies Backfire
    In the 1970s, India dramatically increased food production, finally allowing this giant country to feed itself. But government efforts to continue that miracle by encouraging farmers to use fertilizers have backfired, forcing the country to expand its reliance on imported food. India has been providing farmers with heavily subsidized fertilizer for more than three decades.
  • February 23rd - Ethical bottled water is an oxymoron
    ‘How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be?’ 30 Million People Wonder All agreed that disposing of what would eventually amount to 50 tons of thermoplastic polymer resin wasn’t the end of the world. “It’s not like I don’t care, because I do, and most of the time I don’t even
  • February 23rd - A farm for the future
    I finally got around to watching A Farm for the Future (available on Google Video) a few nights ago, and found it to be a great introduction to the concepts of permaculture. Key things to realise (some not from the programme): Current methods of farming will not continue to feed you during your lifetime. We
  • February 22nd - Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion
    If only… As news of the nation’s collectively held delusion spread, the economy ground to a halt, with dumbfounded citizens everywhere walking out on their jobs as they contemplated the little green drawings of buildings and dead white men they once used to measure their adequacy and importance as human beings. Care of The Onion
  • February 18th - What do we call ourselves?
    A question from The Blended Lifestyle if we move away from a materialistic life, what is the name for the kind of life we enter into? I don’t like ‘de-materialised’ (so what is it then?), ‘simple’ (it’s not simple), or ‘spiritual’ (problematic term). So I am missing a word. Do you have any ideas? There’s
  • February 17th - Do you have unused land in London? Get free money!
    A share of £75,000 is now up for grabs for London’s green-fingered community groups. The cash is available as part of the Capital Growth scheme, supported by the Mayor of London and managed by London Food Link, which encourages Londoners to grow their own food in under-used areas of the capital. People can apply online
  • February 9th - Extra Ethical
    via United Diversity
  • February 8th - Two ideas for storing soup
    When you make a big vat of soup – and with root veg being so cheap at this time of year you’d be crazy not to – you can freeze the remainder so you’re not eating leek and potato or carrot and parsnip every day. It makes sense to freeze in one- or two-person portions,
  • February 7th - Hubris and humus – Lessons from the garden
    After a day and a half of driving rain, which seemed very befitting once the mountains and forests were made dark by the thick cloud cover, the weather cleared up on Sunday afternoon so we went out to the garden to do some pruning, since it is the season. We read up about it in
  • February 2nd - Gardening is great
    We’ve just been working in the garden for a bit of post-lunch constitutional. It’s been blue sky all day, lovely and warm in the sun. The first compost bin I’ve built is a third full from last year’s banana tree growth. Ali has cleared one of the vegetable patches, Lola has been digging for mice
  • February 2nd - Our first few days at Coueillas
    Time flies, it really does. Today is Saturday. We arrived here on Wednesday night. And this is the first time I’ve had my computer out to write something. In part, this is because we don’t have internet yet, despite our best attempts. And in many ways, what a relief. It has allowed us to get
  • January 19th - Haiti is no big deal.
    Latest estimates suggest that 200,000 people died in the Haiti earthquake, 7 days ago. The world population increases by 200,000 people in just 1 day. So on the plus side, we’re still up 1,200,000 people in the past week. On the downside, of those newcomers 200,000 will be malnourished 400,000 won’t have access to a
  • January 19th - Desire influences visual perception
    Yeah like we didn’t know that already! Any man in the world will confirm that. But it’s even more quantifiable than you might think. We’re talking about actual distances to objects here. Sexy girls may be further away than they appear. The participants who had been given pretzels to eat during the experiment reported feeling
  • January 18th - Are you looking at my RSS?
    Just in case you’re subscribed to my RSS feed for this site, it’s about to change to http://feeds.feedburner.com/EdDowding — please update your doohickeys accordingly.
  • January 17th - Hierarchy of needs
    I’m reminded by a conversation that I’ve just had that the Hierarchy of Needs is about as succint and powerful and true and psychological models get.
  • January 17th - 2010: The year we make compost.
    It’s probably time for an update on the details. So often the day to day things change and we forget to mention them. Or for various reasons we don’t mention them until they’ve become an ingrained part of our lives, so we forget to relay them as news, and civility / humility / fear of
  • January 16th - Borders are bad, mmkay
    Imagine how different the world would be if we didn’t have geographic allegiance, and just social / ideological allegiance instead. Oh.. wait.. that’s right – that’s how it is. Well.. imagine how different it would be if the geographic borders aligned with the ideological ones. I’ll bet we could have some really really HUGE wars
  • January 16th - Sell the Vatican, feed the world
  • January 14th - Good.is' most popular infographics of 2009
    http://www.good.is/post/transparency-good-s-most-popular-infographics-of-2009/
  • January 11th - Free documentaries
    Does what it says on the can: http://freedocumentaries.org/
  • January 10th - Go out and look at the stars tonight
  • January 9th - Middle class virtue
    I love this graph. WOT = Well Off, Thoughtful LIL = Low Income Lifestyle Basically it says “Yes, you may recycle and think you’re green and lovely and one of the people who should survive The Great Reckoning, but actually you’re about 3 times more environmentally impactful than that fat TV watching pikey you feel
  • January 9th - Web of mistrust
    China pays 280,000 commentators to skew online conversations. Their activities were described by Chinese President Hu Jintao as “a new pattern of public-opinion guidance”.
  • January 9th - What happened to the Biosphere?
    This is what happened to the Biosphere. A great metaphor (is it a metaphor if it’s so literal?) of what happens to a neglected Earth.
  • January 9th - The Postcode Paper – welcome to your neighbourhood
    What a great idea, and fantastic use of liberated data: [The Postcode Paper] gathers information about your area, such as local services, environmental information and crime statistics. It’s a prototype of a service for people moving into a new area. In our exercise we imagined you might receive it after paying your council tax for
  • January 9th - Quantitive psychology
    I’m so glad we live in an age where people are doing large scale psychology studies, trying to discern the facts about our behaviour which our perceptions mask. This has fed into the mainstream thanks to books like Nudge and Freakonomics, and is being used politically to great effect (viz Obama). (There are fears that
  • January 8th - What do we do now?
    I’ve been thinking for a while what we do when Copenhagen fails. And then I waited to see if it actually did. And it did, so no surprise there. But no points for calling it correctly, either. I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to get involved in, and here’s my criteria: It must amplify
  • January 6th - Act now – or I will
2009 (115)
  • December 22nd - Supermarkets are still totally gay
    I don’t think anyone really needs much convincing over the unintended consequences of supermarkets (inner city decline, fewer jobs in retailing, etc), but they aren’t delivering the savings we think they do, either. The EC is currently investigating the failure of supermarkets to pass price cuts on to shoppers. The cost of butter has fallen
  • December 22nd - Shiply
    Shiply – matches you with rated delivery firms “going there anyway”
  • December 17th - Israeli organ donors to get transplant priority
    Israel is to become the first country to give donor card carriers a legal right to priority treatment if they should require an organ transplant. Israeli organ donors to get transplant priority, BBC News Now if they’d make it opt-out, too, they’d have the best system in the world.
  • December 17th - John Macnab
    An awful joy fell upon Sir Archie’s soul. He realised anew the unplumbed preposterousness of life. John Macnab, by John Buchan
  • December 14th - Despair – Herman Hesse
    Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to go through life with virtue, justice, and understanding, and to fulfil their requirements. Herman Hesse, Journey to the East
  • December 14th - Link roundup
    Dougald Hine, cofounder of School of Everything, tries to reconcile modern life and parenthood How to persuade people with a few magic words: because, now, imagine, please and thank you, the person’s name, ‘control’ words which suggest you know what’s going on A frustrated Alex Steffen of World Changing points out that the revolution needs
  • December 14th - How valuable are you?
    I really love the work of the New Economics Foundation. It’s clear that the amount we pay people does not correspond with the amount we value them (contrast teachers with stock traders, farmers with ad. execs). The NEF has gone on to calculate the real value of different professions. The report goes on to challenge
  • December 13th - They said I was mad, I said they were mad, but they out-numbered me, dammit
    I’m not sure who said it, but I like it. They said I was mad, I said they were mad, but they out-numbered me, dammit
  • December 11th - Royal Mail strikes – a postie's perspective
    Edited highlights from an LRB article: ‘Figures are down,’ we chortle mirthlessly, as we load the third batch of door-to-door catalogues onto our frames, adding yet more weight to our bags, and more minutes of unpaid overtime to our clock. We get paid 1.67 pence per item of unaddressed mail, an amount that hasn’t changed
  • December 4th - X Factor
    X factor is wrestling for people who don’t like wrestling. The bright lights, the fake rivalry, and most disturbingly, complete audience ‘boo ahh hiss’ control.
  • December 4th - Link round-up
    New music service, Mog: http://mog.com Danish Island Declares Energy Independence, Becomes Self Sufficient This is not a green party voting, hippy commune, but an island of normal farmers convinced by a green-energy guru to give energy independence a try. He saw the closure of one of the island’s main businesses — a slaughterhouse employing 100
  • December 3rd - Swiss minarets – a defence, not an attack
    So the Swiss have voted to ban building of minarets. This is not an architectural decision. They have planning laws and have already used them, which is why there only 4 minarets in Switzerland at the time of writing. Neither is this intrinsically about racism or anti Islam. The religion is perfectly well protected and
  • November 24th - How not to sell permaculture
    …we will be co-creating a warm, nurturing heartspace to explore the personal and social aspects of permaculture…
  • November 23rd - Peak Everything
  • November 20th - Things are looking good for GoodBreaks
    Adventure Travel Trade Association tour operators, which together serve roughly two million customers annually,  reported that travelers are showing increased interest in the following: Custom itineraries: 84% (i.e., 84% of operators reported an increased interest) Shorter duration trips: 73% Closer-to-home, shorter haul trips: 55% Activity based adventures: 79% Cultural-interaction adventures: 70% Volunteering within travel: 40%
  • November 20th - Luxury hotels get into voluntourism
    Since the [Ritz-Carlton] launched its “Give Back Getaways” in April 2008, more than 2,000 vacationers have signed up in dozens of locations around the globe. Sue Stephenson, vice president of the company’s “Community Footprints” initiative, says the half-day programs range from assisting local food banks to participating in music therapy for disabled kids. Source: Time
  • September 24th - Economist “Did you know?” 2009
    YouTube – Economist “Did you know?”.
  • September 17th - Heidi's Bar
    An Easily Understandable Explanation of Derivative Markets Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit . She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to
  • August 9th - 'Unforgeable' ID cards
    New ID cards are supposed to be ‘unforgeable’ – but it took our expert 12 minutes to clone one, and programme it with false data
  • July 18th - Dissolution of the Long Parliament
    It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like
  • July 6th - Scrubs (TV series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I’ve just finished watching the finale season of Scrubs. It’s been nice being the same as as them as they grow. Wonderful. Sigh.
  • July 5th - Biological lego
    Thanks to Martin Anazco for linking to this video about creating custom DNA which led me to this: The Registry is a collection of ~3200 genetic parts that can be mixed and matched to build synthetic biology devices and systems. Founded in 2003 at MIT, the Registry is part of the Synthetic Biology community’s efforts
  • June 30th - Divorce Rates
    Proof that older = wiser: Age at marriage for those who divorce in America: Age Women Men Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7% 20 to 24 years old 36.6% 38.8% 25 to 29 years old 16.4% 22.3% 30 to 34 years old 8.5% 11.6% 35 to 39 years old 5.1% 6.5% However, proof that we
  • June 28th - The World According to Monsanto
    I’ve just been watching ‘The World According to Monsanto’. It’s pretty compelling stuff. As one of the contributors says, “Seed is more powerful than bombs, more powerful than guns” and given that, you’d have thought that we’d be a little more careful about what we do it. 70% of the food in the USA contains
  • June 28th - Going from good to bad.. shouldn't that be the other way around?
    Have you noticed how if the Government is thinking of doing something, it leaks the idea into the papers, see how it goes down, and then a few days later we get a policy statement? Were you ever told by your driving instructor that if you’re heading towards a crash, look for the gap between
  • June 28th - Perception of time
    How we consider our position in time effects our outlook on life. Much like our use of language, really. More confirmation that the world is what we perceive it to be, and very little else. As Hamlet says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Source: http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_prescribes_a_healthy_take_on_time.html
  • June 26th - Horror of Kenya's 'witch' lynchings
    Why it’s not OK to promote the belief in mystic forces which go against all available evidence: I can’t see clearly what is going on, but heavy smoke is rising from the ground and a horrible stench fills the air […] Suddenly an old woman breaks from the crowd, screaming for mercy. Three or four
  • June 26th - WWIII Propaganda
    WWIII Propaganda
  • June 21st - Quantum Biofeedback – giving Reiki scientific credibility
    A company in Ontario has developed an Electro Physiological Frequency Xrroid (EPFX) which aims to.. well, they put it best, so: Simply put, the EPFX / SCIO is a high-tech complementary biofeedback device that assists health practitioners find stress and energetic imbalances occurring within humans and animals. […] During testing, the EPFX device resonates with
  • June 21st - Ways of considering society
    Power distance – The degree to which a society expects there to be differences in the levels of power. A high score suggests that there is an expectation that some individuals wield larger amounts of power than others. A low score reflects the view that all people should have equal rights. Uncertainty avoidance – reflects
  • June 21st - I have nothing to fear from a DNA database
    It’s tempting to think that DNA databases are OK, because it’s just a way of uniquely identifying someone, just like a long number which no one else has, which is intrinsically linked to you. If you believe that, I can see why you think you may have nothing to worry about. But the problem is
  • June 21st - The Bible as a word cloud
    One would have thought a book on how to live a better life would be more focused on words like ‘enjoyment, love, sharing, empathy, compassion, care, reciprocity, imagination, play, Eden, Heaven on Earth, nature, wisdom, knowledge, respect, responsibility’… Instead this suggests that the Bible is not much more than a history of a bunch of
  • June 19th - Money is getting in the way of progress
    It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. Henry Ford (1863-1947), Founder of Ford Motors via Thomas Seidler
  • June 19th - What are desirable net gains?
    What are the things we want more of, net, on this planet? Happiness? Power? Wealth? Beauty? People? Suggestions have included Peace, Chocolate Hob Nobs, Technological Advances, Individual freedom (since from that all others follow). What would you have?
  • June 19th - Albert Schweitzer Quotes
    “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” And the no less brilliant: “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” Albert Schweitzer – Wikipedia
  • June 19th - Housing on mars
    Let’s say you’re in charge of designing the cities for the later colonies on Mars. Terraforming is all taken care of, and resources are, whilst limited, easily found and used, just.. you know.. it’s Mars.. we shouldn’t go squandering stuff. You have plenty of machines to do the work, but they do have a running
  • June 19th - Mass dolphin stranding linked to navy exercises
    An investigation into the UK’s largest ever mass stranding of common dolphins has identified military activity as the most probable cause – although no single activity can be definitively linked to the stranding. via  New Scientist.
  • June 18th - Tip of the day
    Don’t believe your own hype. Don’t generate your own hype about yourself. It makes you sound like a dick. Try to sound like someone who isn’t a dick by talking exclusively about the ideas, or the engagement of those ideas. Because right now I’m close to vomiting having read a blog which is SO bad
  • June 17th - How to be Good
    Almost 40% of young people today grow up without their biological father present in their home. For African-Americans in the US, two thirds grow up without their biological father. This often affects young people’s moral and emotional development very negatively. A 2005 study of 3,400 middle schoolers in the US, for exmple, indicated that not
  • June 14th - Why are women injured in cycling accidents more than men?
    Why are women injured in cycling accidents more than men? A suppressed TfL report gives us a clue: Women cyclists are far more likely to be killed by a lorry because, unlike men, they tend to obey red lights and wait at junctions in the driver’s blind spot, according to a study. via po-ru.com: Avoid
  • June 14th - Free Reiki Attunement
    After a week doing a yoga and climbing course, where I was introduced to Reiki, I would like to give you the gift of a free Reiki attunement. Namaste, everyone.
  • June 14th - Hammer Pants flash mob
    YouTube – Hammer Pants Dance (HD).
  • June 8th - The perception that something ought to be done
    In England we have come to rely upon a comfortable time-lag of fifty years or a century intervening between the perception that something ought to be done and a serious attempt to do it. H. G. Wells
  • June 6th - Validation
    I can’t remember if I’ve already posted this, but just in case if haven’t, here it is. Enjoy & be happy!
  • June 4th - What Would Jesus Buy
  • June 4th - YouTube – Sony's New Fucking Piece of Shit that doesn't do the God Damned thing its supposed to! by the Onion
    YouTube – Sony’s New Fucking Piece of Shit that doesn’t do the God Damned thing its supposed to! by the Onion.
  • June 3rd - Investing In Lawsuits Beats the Street
    There’s a company investing law suits and getting at 20% return. Whilst that’s quite a good idea in a way (it allows people to fight against those with bigger budgets) it’s also a sure sign that the system is broken. Here’s a proposed solution from a reader on Slashdot: Abolish legally binding precedent. The accepted
  • June 3rd - What now for Ed Dowding, not MEP?
    Hello, Democracy Fans! Tomorrow (Thursday 4th) is voting day, so be sure to find your local polling station and get out there and vote! Because this year there are A LOT of muppets running. (If only.. that would actually quite fun…) UKIP and BNP are going to do very well in these elections as the
  • May 27th - Repurposing bikes
    We recycle used bicycles to build pedal-powered machines, bicimáquinas, which support and help facilitate the work of small-scale, self-sustainable projects. Through this work we hope to contribute to the conservation of the environment, the health or the Guatemalan people, and the productivity of the local economy. MAYAPEDAL. Via @Al_Humphreys
  • May 24th - This and that
    A few notes from various bits of paper lying around the place: — More people are being more productive that ever, and we still have trouble making ends meet. Something is fucked here, Dude. — “Eat only parents.” This was my conclusion about the ethics of eating meat. Basically once they’ve fulfilled Biological Imperative #1
  • May 23rd - Another reason not to buy plastic bottled water, or plastic bottled anything for that matter.
    Plastic bottles leech chemicals which cause cancer and / or mimic oestrogen. WTF?! WHY DAMMIT?! WHY WOULD YOU MAKE SOMETHING LIKE THIS?!?!! And if you knew you were, wouldn’t you stop? Reusing Plastic Bottles Can Pose Serious Health Hazards Refilling and reusing plastic bottles can release toxic cancer-causing chemicals http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/plastic_bottles.htm > Popular plastic baby bottles
  • May 22nd -
    Alas, the only thing that prevents me from going mad from a corrosive combination of hatred and fear of the unknown is the thought that I would not have been able to become so blasphemously rich were it not for one simple truth: the peoples of the world will always believe whatever preposterous hateful bull-shit
  • May 22nd - In Transition
  • May 22nd - Wind powered car
    The founder of Ecotricity is building a wind powered (well, electricity powered) car. Read about it as his blog, Zerocarbonista.
  • May 22nd - Orwell on Spring
    Certainly we ought to be discontented, we ought not simply to find out ways of making the best of a bad job, and yet if we kill all pleasure in the actual process of life, what sort of future are we preparing for ourselves? If a man cannot enjoy the return of spring, why should
  • May 22nd - GiveWell
    This page logs mistakes we’ve made, strategies we should have planned and executed differently, and lessons we’ve learned. Because we are a startup organization working in areas we have little experience with, it is particularly important that we constantly recognize and learn from our shortcomings. We make this log public so as to be up
  • May 22nd - Spotify media pack / ad rates
    Spotify Media Pack is quite interesting and gives some indication of where they’re going with it all.
  • May 21st - Link roundup
    Belgian city plans ‘veggie’ days Just Add Spice – Spice is a social enterprise that develops credit systems for engaging people in communities and public services. Spice’s community credit systems have been tried and tested and are uniquely successful in dramatically increasing participation of community members in public services and in achieving community transformation. Spice
  • May 18th - Make it important
    “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” Pablo Picasso
  • May 18th - Database of all children launched
    I’m not against having a database of all children, but I am against databases of citizens, per se. It just doesn’t seem to be necessary, and is a can of worms waiting to be opened.
  • May 6th - Link Round up
    Rethinking the food system – aka Food Security, with Tim Lang About 95% of people do not want ID cards Bolivia’s Chacaltaya glacier is completely melted What can we learn from the 1918 flu pandemic? Prince Charles’ Rainforest Charity – RainforestSOS.org Delivering medicines and information via Coke crates in Africa
  • April 30th - Time & Space
    Time and space stretch out before you And the universe implores you To take your place Amongst all things And to see what the morning brings To your own self be true There’s nothing more to do You are young and the world is open So many words you’ve never spoken Don’t be afraid to
  • April 29th - Ed Dowding, Independent MEP candidate
  • April 26th - Who should you vote for in the EU elections
    Here’s a handy 30 question survey which will tell you which of the main parties you are most allied to: http://euprofiler.eu
  • April 26th - EBookers redefines "total"
    The total price is £102.13. But if you want to pay the total price, you have to use a card. All cards carry a fee of £8.09. So.. that’s not really the total fee then, is it?
  • April 25th - Pipped at the post to be an independent MEP … this time
    At midnight last night, the voting closed on my – our – 14 day long bid to make me your independent MEP for the South West. We made it to second place on the ballot, with some 460 votes (in the fury of urgent texting I forgot the actual number, but will find out on
  • April 24th - ElectEd.in introductory speech
    The transcript of the introductory video at www.elected.in, as requested by a few folks: Hello. My name’s Ed Dowding and I’m running to be an independent MEP, because I’m bored of politics. I’m bored of the short term thinking, I’m bored of the arguments about people and not about issues, and I’m bored by the
  • April 24th - TED is coming local!
    It you don’t already know the amazing phenomenon that is the TED event (Technology, Education, Design) you’re in for a two treats. Firstly TED ranks up there with Skype as one of the best things to happen for communication of ideas across the world. Secondly, it’s supporting local events, too. What happens at a TEDx
  • April 21st - 6 Reasons never to give up your biometric data or DNA
    1. It permits lazy policing If you have someone’s record on file, you’re more likely to assume he’s a criminal. And if that DNA matches a sample which has been discovered during the investigation… well it’s jolly tempting to think that you might have your man. A connected spate of lazy policing happened recently. Having
  • April 21st - Susan Boyle: the organic carrot of entertainment
    A friend was recently saying he was “puzzled by this Susan Boyle thing. Why all the hoo ha? She can sing but is not young and attractive? It’s just patronising.” On the one hand it is patronising. The look on Piers Morgans face had prejudiced moron written all over it. And what he said at
  • April 21st - "Own it!!" day — make this YOUR cause
    Only THREE days left to vote! After about a week of your support, we’re currently 8th in the whole of the UK! If I was standing in most of the rest of the country we’d be winning by a long way. But in the South West, we’re currently 3rd. Bronze? BRONZE?! No! You deserve GOLD,
  • April 17th - DNA databases require so much regulation that abuse is inevitable.
    Anyone who studied a little genetics in high school has heard of adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine – the A,T,G and C that make up the DNA code. But those are not the whole story. The rise of epigenetics in the past decade has drawn attention to a fifth nucleotide, […]. And now there’s a
  • April 17th - At last, Europe has become interesting
    We are at one of those moments in history when the challenges are international and the only means of dealing with them is at least on a regional level. […] [R]egions can and must supply the answers to all sorts of issues from the environment to the economy. If the world is to recover, then
  • April 16th - We are six years away from an energy crisis
    The good news for Britain’s energy supply is that the sheer scale of the recession has cut our electricity demand and carbon emissions. An impending energy security crunch has been postponed.The bad news is that the recession will almost certainly delay investment in Britain’s energy infrastructure and encourage complacency. […] For the past two decades
  • April 16th - Sacrifices on the alter of efficiency
    “I discovered a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works. ” Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, 23 October 2008 I do love that quote. It’s to brilliantly demonstrative of the problem: “I thought the world worked like this. I was
  • April 14th - Better models: cars
    There are a lot of curious inefficiencies in modern life. We end up owning an awful lot of things which we don’t use very much, but we have them because when we want when we really want them. Lawnmowers, tools for small jobs around the house, washing machines, and cars are just a few things
  • April 14th - We're small, lost, and could use some cheering up.
    Some links for you to put your worries in perspective, give you hope, and brighten up your day. Via @olibarret, @alices, and a reminder from James G.
  • April 13th - For everyone reading this by RSS
    I am currently running to be an MEP candidate. Please take a few moments to read more at www.ElectEd.in, and text EDDOW01 to 86837 to vote for me! Voting closes in 10 days! Anyone can vote, so please encourage everyone with you now and later today to do the same! Write ‘EDDOW01 to 86837’ on
  • April 11th - Einstein
    “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
  • April 11th - Disraeli
    “This is no place to stop – half way between ape and angel” Benjamin Disraeli.
  • April 11th - China suggests a new currency
    Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank, has suggested creating a “super-sovereign reserve currency” to replace the dollar over the long run. […] These are the first big proposals for international monetary reform from China or indeed any emerging market economy and deserve to be taken seriously for that reason alone. Several other Asian countries,
  • April 11th - 10 tips to bring economic life closer to our biological environment
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a comment piece in the FT outlining 10 principles that might bring ‘economic life closer to our biological environment: smaller companies, richer ecology, no leverage. A world in which entrepreneurs, not bankers, take the risks and companies are born and die every day without making the news.’ 1. What is fragile
  • April 11th - Links for the week
    Where you consume water in your daily life http://www.good.is/post/transparency-how-much-water-do-you-use/ Training the young to fix our problems http://www.yesworld.org/ and http://www.csl.org.au/ The gift economy in Mali http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ELNsQdSMOc Twitter users skew towards the older crowd http://www.inquisitr.com/21484/twitter-userbase-skews-toward-older-crowd-data-suggests/ (I’m beginning to think I might have to add yet another Twitter post qualifying previous posts.) Facebook unlikely to release currency http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2009/04/07/facebook-unlikely-to-launch-universal-virtual-currency-anytime-soon/
  • April 10th - How we measure progress and development
    Economics has a great deal to answer for. A short while ago some people tried to work out what should be done with the economy. They wanted to formalise it and build in growth and progress as a goal. All very noble and worthwhile, and really very effective when you look at where we are
  • April 10th - I think I'm pretty funny
    I’ve just been reminded of something I wrote on a art gallery style label on a wall in my flat back in 2000. It seems to have made it into the annals of history, which is good, because I was particular content with the humour at the time. Capturing the barren gestait of the early
  • April 6th - Do we have enough rage?
    [shouting] You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and
  • April 6th - Journalism, not newspapers
    I’ve written about the quality of journalism before (and I thought I’d had a specific post about free newspapers, too, but I can’t seem to find it*), but much of it is summed up in this article by Clay Shirky (via Richard Livsey): Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. Too right. He
  • April 4th - Twitter will not grow much larger than it is now
    Why do ideas flourish? What is it about them that makes some great ideas flop, and some bad ideas survive? And vice versa? In very large part the adoption of technology comes down to the ability of the product to capture the interest of the visionaries (early adopters) and pragmatists (early majority). The rest of
  • April 4th - Market failures: bridges vs tunnels
    There are some areas of major importance to human beings: air & water, food, security, shelter, energy, ethics, and economy. In all except shelter, and that one is debatable, there are huge market failures. The economic models that we use do not satisfactorily regulate supply and demand for these good. Take a moment to think
  • April 4th - The old models don't work
    I’m cracking into a great book called “The Age of the Unthinkable”. It seems that the longer I wait before writing the book I want to write, the more other people are likely to do it in my place. The fundamental points in this one are thoughts I’ve been thinking since I was about 14.
  • April 3rd - So much for the green economy…
    As the Governmner cancels solar panel grants: Renewable energy companies have accused the government of undermining its own “green” industrial strategy by ending subsidies for solar energy under the low carbon buildings programme (LCBP). The Renewable Energy Association (REA) said it was “astonishing” and worrying that solar grants had been frozen since 26 February although
  • April 2nd - What cost the bailouts?
    With reference to this conversation on facebook, wherein Crispin was suggesting that 5,000 days of lost workforce productivity (on account of the G20 demonstrations) could have been better spent, I was compelled to work out the following. —- Well if it’s maths that worries you… Total spend on bailout so far: £1,200,000,000,000 (1.2 trillion) But
  • March 30th - How to make things better
    Government will almost always lag behind business, because it is too slow moving. Government will almost always lag behind the will of the more progressive population, because it doesn’t want to lose votes from the ones with inertia, or a vested interested in the status quo. (This used to be OK: having government trundle slowly
  • March 27th - An enormous civilisation discovered in the Amazon
    I watched a great documentary last night about hunting for El Dorado. (Actually more like ‘El Dorado II’, because the main El Dorado story comes from a place called Muiscas in modern day Colombia, courtesy of conquistador ‘Jimmy the Cheese’, aka Jiménez de Quesada, in 1537). But this story is about another chap, Francisco Orellana,
  • March 17th - There's AT BEST an 80% chance that humanity will see the next century
    Did you know of the major studies in the last few years, none of them give us a greater than 80% chance of surviving the next century? Watch the whole thing, or jump to 3m50s in Nick Bostrom’s TED talk
  • March 15th - Animal Planet for the deaf
    I love Adam Buxton.
  • March 14th - Religion is like a large dog
    Religion is like a huge dog. When it’s yours it seems comforting and friendly, but if it’s not it’s scary, and the least you can do is keep it away from children. From the Now Show, Radio 4
  • March 9th - Gordon Brown Finally Speaks The Truth
  • February 19th - Don't breed. Especially if you're stupid.
    “For most women the environment doesn’t figure at all. I was making programmes about global warming when I became pregnant with my first son, who is now 20, and it didn’t enter my head,” she says, although she can understand why Mr Porritt feels justified in raising the issue. “Benefit of a large family is
  • February 17th - Cambridge, Mass. City Council has voted 9-0 to remove security camera
    Citing privacy concerns, the Cambridge, Mass. City Council has voted 9-0 to remove security cameras scattered throughout the city. ‘Because of the slow erosion of our civil liberties since 9/11, it is important to raise questions regarding these cameras,’ said Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge city councilor. Rather than citing privacy, WCBVTV is running the story
  • February 16th - A paradox involving trees
    “Can’t see the wood for the trees” is a common phrase used as shorthand for a common problem: if we’re too close to something, it’s hard to see it in context. Thus we’re unable to see solutions which are obvious, or to think strategically since we lack a bigger-picture overview. There is no one we’re
  • February 14th - I might have called this all wrong
    I’ve just woken from a dream wherein technology saves mankind. But, like Africans and AIDS drugs, I can’t afford it; because I’ve chosen the subsistence solution.
  • February 12th - Great posters
    http://readymade.com/article/poster_children/
  • February 5th - How the mighty are fallen
  • February 2nd - Hydrate the world
    “A solution to world dehydration? http://tinyurl.com/apr7” (via Hermione Way) I’d have made it inflatable with a drain hole myself. Brilliant idea though.
  • January 28th - Going into politics
    “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” Edmund Burke
  • January 24th - Should I be an MP?
    I was told by 3 people in the last week that I should be an MP. Do you think that’s a good idea? Why? Why not? Can you help?
  • January 20th - Obama on #MPExpenses
    And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/obama_inauguration/7840646.stm
  • January 19th - The Buckminster Fuller Challenge
    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller The Buckminster Fuller Institute is awarding a $100,000 prize each year for comprehensive solutions that radically advance human well-being and ecosystem health.
  • January 17th - Best playlists eva!
    I’m trying to compile the best playlists on Spotify (www.spotify.com). Can you help? Sitting around talking: Dancy party: Dinner party: @Hglass.co.uk – this is especially directed at you. @Anyone – if you don’t have spotity and need an invite, let me know.
  • January 15th - Tied up in knots
    1. Heathrow runway ‘approval is due’ The government is expected to confirm approval for a third runway at Heathrow Airport later, the BBC understands. (http://is.gd/fVkJ) Your government doesn’t care about your long term future, so please take responsibility for it yourself. Only fly when you HAVE to. If you want to get away that much,
  • January 13th - STILL not going to America
    Visitors To US Now Required To Register Online Starting today, visitors to the US from 35 visa-waiver countries will be required to register online with the Department of Homeland Security in advance. The DHS is asking people to go online for the ESTA program 72 hours before traveling, but they can register any amount of
  • January 13th - Knitting night
    Tonight is the first knitting night. I never knew knitting was so cool! http://www.threadbanger.com/
  • January 13th - Relationships, made code
    START; $SELF = ~1; $PARTNER = ~1; FIND PARTNER; IF ( $SELF + $PARTNER < 2 ) {GO TO START} ELSE {END};
  • January 9th - Biggest news of the decade: Body repair 'could be ramped up'
    Quite amazing. “A combination of drugs could trick the body into sending its repair mechanisms into overdrive, say scientists. The technique could be used to speed the healing of heart or bone damage, they claim. The bone marrow of treated mice released 100 times as many stem cells – which help to regenerate tissue. ”
2008 (96)
  • December 28th - LoveNinjas
    From last.fm: Loveninjas are four or five Swedish boys in their mid 20’s with dirty hair and black clothes. They are determined to make love with Japanese girls and then write songs about it. Loveninjas’ songs sound like classic schlagers that have been forced through a dirty indie filter and then had its lyrics replaced
  • December 28th - "Recession is a test of character" — Gordon Brown
    I beg your pardon? What? “Recession is a test of character” I’m sorry WHAT? “Recession is a test of character” Jesus H. Christ, you prick. You get us into this mess by deliberately sinking inflation in house prices to keep the recorded levels low, in order to generate an artificial feeling of economic prosperity; you
  • December 21st - It's all fucking fucked
    As the chaps at Global Dashboard point out, this graph really does not require much comment. It sure as hell requires an explanation though. It’s really enough to make me cry and be thoroughly depressed. The positive side is that we have proved we can get it together to act fast and spend lots of
  • December 19th - Recession
    I’ve said for a while now that a lot of graphs have been going exponential for the last 50 years, and we ignore these slow trends at our peril. http://jenslapinski.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/being-a-tech-start-up-in-2009/ is a dramatically well illustrated example of how messy things have become.
  • December 15th - Damn their twitchy noses!
    http://fuckyoupenguin.blogspot.com/
  • December 4th - DNA / Europe rocks the free world!
    DNA database ‘breach of rights’ — Two British men should not have had their DNA and fingerprints retained by police, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7764069.stm
  • December 2nd - Monbiot has the answer.
    Seriously everyone, what’s stopping this? Are we worried that the implications of destroying the entire world aren’t really large enough to make it worth it? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/02/climate-change-lord-turner
  • December 2nd - Peace breaks out
    I watched a very good Horizon from 1986 a few nights ago which, whilst not saying anything particularly new (not least because it’s 22 years old..), was a good reminder and layered on one or two details, about cooperation and its biological imperatives. I knew, for example, that tit-for-tat is always the best strategy for
  • December 1st - Darwin spins again
    Life seems to keep favouring everyone who is silly or unlucky, and I’m getting quite upset about it, because I’m smart and lucky and so not getting anything. I deliberately didn’t invest in property because I saw the evident bubble. I sold all my shares in January because this was clearly unsustainable. But it turns
  • December 1st - If Adam Buxton had written Obama's acceptance speech
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y39vdTFQLos 2 mins. Funny.
  • November 24th - I'm stunned, or 'Why I'm outta here #874'
    It’s tough to know how to react to the two headlines which appeared adjacent on the BBC News website today. Downs’ Syndrome screening seems to be a technology which has backfired. The well meaning people who developed it thought that people would see the quality of life experienced by those with Downs’ Syndrome vs those
  • November 23rd - Happy people dont watch TV
    “We looked at 8 to 10 activities that happy people engage in, and for each one, the people who did the activities more — visiting others, going to church, all those things — were more happy,” Dr. Robinson said. “TV was the one activity that showed a negative relationship. Unhappy people did it more, and
  • November 23rd - The slippery slope of evil
    7 social processes that great the slippery slope of evil: 1. Mindlessly taking the first small step. 2. Dehumanisation of others. 3. De-individualisation of self (anonymity / being part of a crowd). 4. Diffusion of personal responsibility. 5. Blind obedience to authority. 6. Uncritical conformity to group norms. 7. Passive tolerance of evil through inaction,
  • November 22nd - Left, right, and centering
    We have two hemispheres to our brain, and they seem to be quite independent people. Your right brain is a parallel processing device which deals in imagery, the here and now, and the connectedness with all things. The left hemisphere is serial and concerned with the creation of and preservation of identity, placing us within
  • November 22nd - Make/Shift Shelving System
    Via MoreInspiration comes this rather brilliant shelving system: The shelving system is ideal for awkward sized spaces where you want to add shelves without doing custom work. The Make/Shift Shelving system is made of a flexible foam-like material, that you wedge together and squeeze into place. Nice.
  • November 22nd - Abandoned towns
    Hmmm maybe we should go claim one? 22 Global Tales of Ghost Towns and Abandoned Cities
  • November 19th - No free papers
    A small victory for audiobooks and podcasts, and against free papers: http://www.pledgebank.com/no2freepapers
  • November 13th - Your life
    “This is your life, it doesn’t get any better than this. This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” Fight Club.
  • November 13th - London is Free
    http://www.londonisfree.com/
  • November 12th - If only…
    Here’s a spoof NY Times that was distributed around NYC today… http://www.nytimes-se.com/2009/07/04/todays-paper/ A) Fantastic B) If only!
  • November 11th - Economic Reform
    Another good article from the NEF (www.neweconomics.org), this time on practical, simple, realistic steps we can take towards economic reform to create a fairer, more stable system. It breaks down into issues of scale, distance, stability, diversity, value, and participation. Amongst the nice ideas in here is a sliding scale of regulation so “the smallest
  • November 8th - This is Now
    http://now.sprint.com/widget/
  • November 6th - Vicarious fame
    http://someoneoncetoldme.com/gallery/06112008
  • October 30th - Things to do with my life
    In no particular order: Get a base with space. Be fit & healhty. Read more. Paraglide more. Get married, have children. Make the world better. Save the environment. Write a book on better business models. Prepare for Armageddon. Work out how the Californians are so bouncy. Culture the meme that >2 children is socially unacceptable.
  • October 29th - Nudge: Rational man
    I’ve been reading Nudge of late. It’s a book about rational man (doesn’t really exist) vs irrational man (does exist, is us). To demonstrate these points it presents a few examples and mental exercises to show how we should behave vs how we do behave. And in each of these I choose the rational answer. Which is odd,
  • October 29th - Let's work together for change
    A great video from Avaaz about helping America be mindful of its unique and hard-won position in the world: http://www.avaaz.org/en/for_all_of_us/?cl=139960524&v=2321
  • October 25th - Happiness Hypothesis
    I guess it’s not illegal to link to this if someone else is hosting it: http://pathfindercoaching.org/Documents/happiness_hypothesis_haidt_e.pdf I’ve recommended this book before, and will do again, so take the opportunity to grab the summary whilst you can.
  • October 23rd - World military spending
    http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending Wow. That’s bad. The UN has only 2% of the budget of global military expenditure. And that’s the WHOLE UN, not just the peacekeeping part. Now wonder it has a hard time doing its job.
  • October 22nd - The third way
    In addition to a photo of this alarming and somehow still legal poster, there’s a jolly good lecture about capitalism and communism over at Leninology (via Sophie). The lecture is given by Richard Wolff, the Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, so he makes a well reasoned and very self-aware argument. I
  • October 21st - ID cards
    Hopefully the billions pumped into those arseholes banks will make spending billions more on the military industrial complex those other arseholes who are going to make lots of money from ID cards can be curtailed. But just in case you thought the whole ID card card debate had gone quiet, read on at the BBC,
  • October 16th - Some offers for y'all
    Pizza Express – 2for1 on main meals – Click ‘n’ print an online voucher Get 2for1 on main courses at Pizza Express by clicking ‘n’ printing this voucher. Just fill in a few details and then print the voucher that pops up in the next window. It’s valid Sundays to Thursdays, until 19 October 08.
  • October 16th - uhoh.. at last.fm has some com…
    uhoh.. at last.fm has some competition – spotify is looking pretty cool.
  • October 16th - Only 4 rabbits, but still that…
    Only 4 rabbits, but still that’s 8 meals for standing around in the sun all day looking at the view. And one snared rat when we got home too
  • October 14th - If banks can get billions for …
    If banks can get billions for screwing up, I feel I deserve to be awarded a few hundred thousand for behaving myself.
  • October 5th - Interactive marketing
    I met a chap called Tom Sacchi, a partner at www.unit9.com, at a party last night. He has an embossed fucshia business card which brings out the American Psycho in me. I was checking out their website this morning and they’ve done some very neat stuff, and have a great artistic style. I suggest you
  • October 3rd - Damn you all to hell!
    Astonishing that in the Financial Crash of 2008, the $700bn = $104 for EVERYONE on the planet. Damn you, unbridled capitalism and dumb systems.
  • October 3rd - 98 months
    Only 98 months to go until we’re reach the fork in the road which gives climate change the positive feedback it needs to kills billions of people! 1. Sign this: http://www.timetolead.eu/ 2. Watch this: http://wakeupfreakout.org/film/tipping.html
  • October 2nd - Tropic Thunder
    is hilarious!
  • September 29th - Artemis Quadrathlon
    Here’s the BBC Adventure Show take on the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon I competed in earlier this year. There’s a hukka from yours truly at about 1m30s, and a few other clips here and there. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00dsr32/
  • September 27th - Ad for a funeral company
    This is a great ad for a funeral arrangements company!
  • September 27th - Blogging
    I need to blog more. Or less. Maybe just better quality.
  • September 6th - The modern shape of Universities
    A thought provoking comment from the Slashsot comments: “Google started off running on Stanford equipment, and was spun off, as happens frequently at Stanford. Sun and Cisco also started with Stanford people and equipment. Stanford has become a real estate company and a venture capital firm that runs a university on the side for the
  • September 5th - There's going to be a bloody revolution
    “The decree says the aim is to centralize and analyze data on people aged 13 or above who are active in politics or labor unions, who play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role, or who are “likely to breach public order.” The information that can be collected includes addresses, phone numbers, email addresses,
  • September 2nd - Democracy becomes a plebocratic
    “OhBoyObama! is a new website that allows you to submit your ideas for the campaign and vote on ideas submitted by other Obama supporters. It’s like Digg for campaign strategy – the best ideas get voted to the top. Just go to http://www.OhBoyObama.com , register as a new user, and start voting or submit your
  • August 26th - Go Michelle!
    This is a WONDERFUL speech by Michelle Obama: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7581511.stm
  • August 25th - 30% of the workforce will retire in 10 years.
    As the baby boomers shuffle along the mortal coil, and the Polish trot home having turned lead (Pb) into gold, the workforce is going to diminish by 30% in the next 10 years. The question is, does this mean we have a skills shortage, an environmentally and economically healthy drop in demand and supply across
  • August 25th - Driving abroad
    Did you know that many insurers will automatically downgrade your insurance if you take your car over to Europe? If you didn’t, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Recent research from moneysupermarket.com found that 39% of drivers weren’t aware of this. Regulations state that insurers must provide the minimum level of third party cover in all
  • August 20th - Funny as hell. Wait until the end!
    Here’s a chap driving on Salvia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp2V6NXCkE0
  • August 20th - Welcome the new robot overlords
    Neat. http://www.image-metrics.com/
  • August 17th - What is my role?
    Ollie and I were talking a while back about how good it would be if we told each other more how we really perceive each other. But sometimes we find it hard, for all sorts of reasons. There’s an related post to be written about tarot cards, but, until then, I happened upon this way
  • August 16th - We just have to change the game
    http://seantevis.com/kansas/3000/running-for-office-xkcd-style/
  • August 15th - Last FM
    Last FM (www.last.fm) is awesome, and has been for years. I was just considering how MuxTape (www.muxtape.com) integrates with it, and if it would do anything cool with my Loved Tracks. But looking around I see they’ve gone one better / in a different direction. They now offer podcasts! How completely awesome is that?!? So
  • August 7th - 1.3m seconds to live
    http://www.deathclock.com/dw.cfm?Day=22&Month=7&Year=1977&Sex=Male&Mode=Normal&bmi=-25&smoker=0 Bugger.
  • August 7th - Effective States
    I heard Ashraf Ghani yesterday on the Global Business podcast from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/worldbiz/). There’s an interesting conversation about mobile phones and micro-funding in Afghanistan, amongst others. He has a kind of Yunis approach to the Economic Hitman problem, and has set up the Institute for State Effectiveness (http://www.effectivestates.org), which in turn has some good
  • August 7th - Oxytocin news
    Telling people about oxytocin is a particular favourite of mine, since I think we should all be aware of the factors influencing our feelings, especially if we’re about to make life decisions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin An interesting update to this was sent to me today, about a study in rats: “… these results suggest that oxytocin release,
  • August 6th - Internet timeline
    http://www.dipity.com/user/tatercakes/timeline/Internet_Memes/embed_tl?fs=1
  • July 31st - 10 skills to succeed at almost anything
    http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-skills-you-need-to-succeed-at-almost-anything.html Very useful. Via The Daily Networker http://www.dailynetworker.co.uk/
  • July 30th - Daft Hands
  • July 23rd - Best chat up line ever
    “We’re probably not going to make love tonight.” It plants seeds, and hits every trigger for an indignant pursuit of that which is denied. UPDATE 7th August 2008: Someone pointed out that “Come on, let’s go and have a naughty evening” is probably far better, since it’s more positive, playful, and loaded with opportunity.
  • July 21st - Important post-apocalypse skills #35
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanning
  • July 7th - Another good you tube moment
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=k6YkmQaJvas
  • July 4th - Just don't.
    …turns out it’s not such a good phrase after all: http://nsgcd.org/resources/factsheets/fs007.pdf
  • July 2nd - Everyone’s a VIP to someone
    I had just finished swimming back and forth across the lake yesterdayand was back on my bike, drying off in the hot wind, cycling along abeautiful road with sparse woodland on one side and a strip of marshthen willows on the other. I had the Go Team tune ‘Everyone’s a VIP to someone’ in my
  • June 29th - Book, er, prize?
    Here are the books I’ve read in the last few years which have changed my outlook on the world and deepened my emotional capacity: Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card Taught empathy and emotional articulation. The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt An historically mindful, scientific and socio-psyhcological review of the information relating to happiness: what
  • June 28th - Sandra Jordan
    Sandra Jordon, the reporter in the Dispatches: Killing Fields documentary (see last post) is my new heroine. http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/sandrajordan
  • June 28th - Bloody hell, Israel
    I’m a little late watching this, since it’s two years old, but it still applies. Dispatches: The Killing Zone — http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5RAxay3jg8 I strongly recommend you watch it, and then do all you can to restrain yourself sufficiently to direct you anger wisely. I’m… well.. fucking hell. I’m close to Godwin-ing.
  • June 27th - Summit findings
    After the inaugural Bowel Movement Alpine Summit it was concluded that 1) “Just do it” is about as good as it gets as a motto. (Well done Nike.) 2) That after that, very little needed saying.
  • June 27th - Life is great. It really is.
    These just bought a tear to my eye. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3578168772014330138 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6309668192149177108 @Jules: “Good old Yellow Pages” – right?
  • June 22nd - "Look how much bad shit there is going on."
    I think the media have a great deal to answer for. Let me explain. There is a great deal of bad news to be reported, that is true. But there always has been, it’s just that we were not aware of it before. We can let the woes of the world hang heavy, or we
  • June 20th - Read regularly and often
    If you’re not subscribed to both of these, you really should be: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/analysis/default.stm http://www.globaldashboard.org
  • June 12th - Solar power
    Enough solar energy falls on the UK in 45 minutes to power its needs for a whole year.
  • June 11th - debate
    I’ve just listened to 4h of “42 days” debate courtesy of the marvellous BBC. Never truer has the statement been, “Everything has already been said, but not everyone has said it yet.” No one is changing their minds, because the proposers are not open to reason; instead they seem to be solely intent on absolving
  • May 22nd - Umbrella
    It’s interesting to realise that neither of our two words for umbrella (umbrella and parasol) indicate that they’re actually to prevent a soaking from the rain. Umbra = shade in Latin so an umbrella is to provide shade. Similarly para (against) sol (sun). It’s only the french parapluie which reveals its true intent.
  • May 20th - It's in the mix
    Thomas Malthus predicted that we’ve have the fourt horsemen of the Apocalypse on our doorstep due to geometric rise in population levels, but arithmetic rise in our capacity to support ourselves. This has not yet come to pass. Why not? Some say that the more people you have the more ideas there will be, and
  • May 6th - CCTV does not work
    Well duh. CCTV boom ‘failing to cut crime’ Huge investment in closed-circuit TV technology has failed to cut UK crime, a senior police officer has warned. BBC News
  • April 16th - Motto
    Use it up, wear it out, Make it do, or do without Orson Scott-Card
  • April 16th - People in Bars
    Here’s a problem. The most interesting people are the ones with interesting thoughts. Those thoughts probably keep them entertained, and so they don’t chat as much to strangers in bars. Which means that the majority* of people who DO talk with strangers in bars are the ones who bore easily. * because even smart people
  • March 24th - "It's time growth was dethroned as a goal for this country"
    Too damned right. Have a listen to Marcus Brigstocke on Post Offices. In comedia veritas.
  • March 24th - Marcus Brigstocke on Religion
    Just in case you’ve not seen it yet
  • March 24th - A more perfect union
    More inspirational and wise words from the only politician of my lifetime who I believe in.
  • March 21st - I'll bet we won't all get a phone call from Condi
    I think you can probably bet your bank details that the following would not happen if your details were breached on the forthcoming UK ID card US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has said her passport file was improperly accessed by officials at the state department. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice contacted Mrs Clinton about
  • March 17th - UK's MI5 Wants Oyster Card Travel Data
    Well, well, well… guess what? UK’s MI5 Wants Oyster Card Travel Data
  • March 11th - Weather forecasts
    I realised today that I doubt the good forecasts but believe the bad ones. That possibly says deep things about my personality.
  • March 11th - Allegience to the Queen
    Sigh. Another folly masquerading as change. People just do not respond well to being pushed. We take pride in our (country’s) actions where they are noble, moral, well thought through, and demonstrably good. It is the quality of our (government’s / organisations’) daily actions which has the ability to nurture pride within us. This, it
  • March 9th - How to prepare children for the future?
    My answer to this question: The best article I’ve seen on this is http://www.changethis.com/38.03.EdInnovation, followed closely by another from the IEA arguing for the economic liberatlisation of education and removing it from Government control / state monopoly. It certainly seems very true that innovation in education will come from countries like India and China who
  • March 6th - Bring about Utopia, by Bertrand Russell
    “Our dealings with those whom we love may be safely left to instinct; it is our dealings with those whom we hate that ought to be brought under the dominion of reason. In the modern world, those whom we effevtively hate are distant groups, especially foreign nations. We conceive them abstractly, and deceive ourselves into
  • March 4th - How to sound more important
    When you talk, there are times when you might raise the pitch of your voice to give the word emphasis. Instead, you can sound like an important person in a suit by simply lowering it on the same word. Try it: “I don’t *really* think that’s a good idea” vs “I don’t _really_ think that’s
  • March 3rd - Links for today
    http://thingsihavelearnedinmylife.com/ http://kluster.com/ http://podiobooks.com/
  • February 23rd - Life is better shared
    Life is better shared. Rather, my life is so good it’s worth sharing. I’m not sure I want to share anyone else’s unless it’s at least as good.
  • February 23rd - We are the drones
    An interesting Matrix-style thought experiment is presented in (yet another) great TED talk: what if we serve the plants? How does the world look then? The second part of the 17m speech talks about the virtues of Polyface farming. There are some incredible yields possible.
  • February 22nd - Sand beasts
    Where art and engineering meet.
  • February 21st - The Ancient Greek economy
    On the other hand, ancient Greek values held in low esteem economic activities that were not subordinated to the traditional activities of managing the family farm and obtaining goods for necessary consumption. So-called banausic work, which included manufacturing, business, and trade (which were not tied to the land and the family farm), and what we
  • February 21st - Love
    Do you find conversations and thoughts about love are difficult? It’s often hard to work out exactly what we think about someone, and even harder to tell them. Much of this is down to the very limited vocabulary we use when talking about love. Any word that can apply to “chocolate mousse” and “the person
  • January 6th - US Elections
    Just in case you were wondering, the 2008 US Elections aren’t until 4th November 2008, so we’ve got a whole year of this shit left. Go Obama!
  • January 3rd - Great video and song – Dan le Sac
  • January 1st - Media-crat-y
    Ok so we have bureaucracy, democracy, aristocracy… but what do you call the upper echelons of the media? A mediacracy. Personally, I find that funny.
2007 (48)
  • December 15th - Forgotten a tune?
    Just sing it to your computer and it will match it. http://www.midomi.com
  • December 15th - Innovation at its very best
    Every cell phone user has done it: forgot to lock their phone’s keypad and accidentally called the first person in the contact list. Usually some unlucky person by the name of Aaron or Abigail. Belgian ad agency Duval Guillaume came up with a clever campaign that turns accidental calls into accidental donations to the Belgian
  • December 1st - My teddy bear is called Jesus
    Sigh. More stupidity as the world keeps turning. I don’t mean to be intolerant, but I am, so given that there are too many people anyway can we just take a leaf out of the Sudanese book and get genocidal on these people and save waiting for (the cultural r)evolution to kick in? Actually let’s
  • November 27th - Symbols
    It had never occurred to me before how mathematical symbols are more iconographic than symbolic. Take for example the symbol for ‘more or less’. When representing this by hand, you waggle your outstretched fingers from side to side. Expressed over time, this is exactly the same as the symbol ‘ ~ ‘. The divide symbol
  • November 20th - Planks and specks
    Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 600 employees and has the following statistics? 29 have been accused of spouse abuse 7 have been arrested for fraud 19 have been accused of writing bad cheques 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses 3 have done time
  • November 10th - You cant win if you do / dont play by the rules
    http://cectic.com/comics/069.png
  • October 30th - Ask 500 people
    Nice idea. I might have to borrow this one day..  www.ask500people.com
  • October 19th - How to get things done
    Get a wife Get a house Until you have these two things sorted, your focus will be on these and no other major goals. Probably something to do with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  • September 30th - New iPod video / Fiest
    It’s by Fiest, and it’s brilliant http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1156010133/bclid756025629/bctid751384420
  • September 27th - Down the tubes
    If you are a tube worker: DO YOUR JOB OR QUIT YOUR JOB. Don’t dick around with the rest of us.
  • September 24th - Comedowns
    Come downs. Fuck. I have to do this crap for the next 20 years? FUCK THIS SHIT. For the LOVE OF GOD / ME will SOMEONE please give me something worthwhile and FUN to do. Is that too much to ask?
  • September 11th - Meaning of life
    http://www.freshminds.com/animation/alan_watts_life.html
  • September 6th - Acupuncture
    I was lucky enough to have some acupuncture treatment form a friend a few nights ago. I had an unbelievably knotted muscle that was in permanent pain and incapacitating movement. 15 mins after sticking some needles in, and re-pushing them in since the muscle was forcing them out, the difference was amazing. During the process
  • August 28th - Gang membership
    Someone should put out some psyops about how being in gangs is totally gay and an expression of latent homoerotic desires. That’d put an end to it quite quickly, I suspect. Mind you with those bandanas they’d probably be glad to be summoned from the closet…
  • August 28th - Talking
    “Why is it always the people who want to talk about it who win?” Peep Show, Series 3.
  • August 27th - Happiness
    Here’s a thought: Misery is always visceral, whereas happiness can take (at least) 2 forms: the visceral (the funktionslust of mind and body working in invigorating and focused harmony), and the intellectual. It’s a bit annoying to realise that the intellectual form is both the most common for most of us, and can be swept
  • August 19th - Democrat vs Republican ad
    Very nice variation on a very good theme
  • August 17th - Nothing is the new something
    A great polemic from a great show. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2007/1854261.htm
  • July 19th - Police given access to c-charge cameras
    And they promised it would never happen. Damn you all to hell. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6902543.stm
  • June 24th - Sensible arab woman
    http://www.break.com/index/arab-woman-takes-on-muslim-cleric2.html
  • June 10th - mindolympics
    idea to cash in on olympics & save world mindolympics.com / org pick 10 key problems that need solving in the world. not mathematical theorems etc, but daily problems. Like environment, perception of terrorism, war, population control, ill-informed electorates, etc. invite submissions from every country(‘s top universities / etc) solution must – solve problem –
  • June 4th - How to tell if something is a good idea
    1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition) 2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market) 3. How big is the opportunity? (market size) 4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape) 5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator) 6. Why now? (market window) 7. How will we
  • May 28th - The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
    I didn’t know this. This is quite a big theme for me at the moment, because I’ve realised that we should be finding ways of reducing the walls between us, both literally and metaphorically. Obviously this is not a new realisation by any means, but it has been driven home by a brief dabble with
  • May 18th - Friends will be the death of you
    Those who eat with one other person consume about 35 per cent more than when they are alone; members of a group of four eat about 75 per cent more; those in groups of seven or more eat 96 per cent more. So says the New Republic on 22nd March 2007.
  • May 17th - Going Commando
    http://www.bumrapeisland.co.uk/browse.php
  • May 16th - Another fantastic TED lecture
    David Deutsch talking about fixing problems. “The limiting factor is not resource, it is knowledge.”
  • May 12th - Advice in 7 words or less
    Want affection? Offer genuine attention and appreciation. To persuade someone, tell a compelling story. For unqualified love, adopt a shelter animal. Don’t try to do anything important alone. First, understand why it is that way. Do one or two things really well. Find a need and fill it. Know what problem you’re solving. Never be
  • May 11th - Sapid
    sapid \SAP-id\, adjective: 1. Having taste or flavor, especially having a strong pleasant flavor. 2. Agreeable to the mind; to one’s liking.
  • May 9th - Coffee
    The amount that coffee makes one void oneself I’m surprised that coffee is not the most abundant, well irrigated, and most fertilised plant on the planet.
  • May 8th - Hammertime
  • May 8th - Marijuana Trumps Blackberries for Productivity
    In 2005, a psychiatrist at King=92s College in London administered IQ tests to three groups: the first did nothing but perform the IQ test, the second was distracted by e-mail and ringing phones, and the third was stoned on marijuana. Not surprisingly, the first group did better than the other two by an average of
  • May 5th - The wisdom of the Irish
    What a great use of language: “…fan the flames of desire with the bellows of indifference…”
  • May 5th - Draw a pig
    Try drawing a pig. It’s supposed to tell you lots about your personality. Here’s mine.
  • May 5th - I want to be able to do this
    I think I’ve posted this before somewhere, however somethings are WELL worth repeating. This is one of them – some ubercool dancing from someone I wish I was.
  • May 4th - Hypnotism and health
    On a similar sort of vein as the placebo post, it’d be neat if you could hypnotise health, or health resilience.
  • May 4th - Termagant
    termagant \TUR-muh-guhnt\, noun: 1. A scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman; a shrew. 2. Overbearing; shrewish; scolding.
  • May 4th - Smallpox is too small and poxy.
    I can only think of one predator that cities have, and that’s  contagious disease. Which is great, because I don’t like cities, and  people bother me quite a lot – especially in cities where they tow your car even when it’s parked right outside your house so they can dig up the road to fix
  • May 4th - Placebo
    Here’s fun. You know the placebo effect? Give some people sugar pills and they get better all on their own. But there are a bunch of people for whom this does not work, and they need the actual bona fide drugs to get better. Now here’s the neat bit: if you take this second group
  • May 4th - TED talks
    This is neat stuff. TED also has a video podcast which is well worth it, too.
  • May 4th - David Hockney
    Have you seen David Hockney’s art? It’s no wonder everyone thinks they can be famous these days when you look at that stuff. Here’s a lesson: Lack of talent + persistence DOES NOT create talent.
  • May 2nd - 100 mile diet
    http://100milediet.org/
  • May 1st - Great music
    I like Solid Steel podcasts: http://www.ninjatune.net/solidsteel/
  • March 17th - What would someone clever do?
    You know those bracelets that people wear saying “what would Jesus do?” – I think they’re actually quite a good idea. Though being me I’d have to replace it with something like “What would someone brilliant do?” or “What would Ender Wiggin do?”
  • March 17th - Hear the summer
    The sound of the summer – a beautiful advert from Mercedes Benz.
  • March 8th - If beauty's skin deep, she's beautiful all the way through
  • March 5th - Londonistan
    This lecture was delivered yesterday in Sydney by Melanie Phillips who is a British journo. Quadrant dinner, Sydney, Australia, 1 March 2007 Londonistan was a term of abuse coined by the French for a Britain that had allowed itself to become the European hub of al Qaeda. To me it’s also a state of mind,
  • March 4th - If it's not an American flag, it's probably a bomb.
  • March 3rd - Original, updated
    This is quite an old one, but it’s still great. Not that old though, come to think of it. I’d love to be able to move like that, but I really don’t think it’s ever going to happen. Mind you moving like that does only have a limited number of uses. You’d be able to