Everything Is Awesome

I’m not sure what comes after awesome.

Sometimes it appears that Everything Is Awesome

My glass is typically half full (hooray!) and half empty (let’s fill the rest up, and order a bigger glass while we are about it).  I always think it a bit of a false choice.

As to what this glass is half full of, it is a mix of:

  • Ok
  • Nice
  • Good
  • Splendid
  • Fabulous
  • Fantastic
  • Brilliant
  • Marvellous
  • Wonderful
  • and a very small amount of very precious, Awesome.

In the last few days I have heard both a plate of biscuits (cookies) and a budget review described, without irony, as awesome.

Recently, I stood and watched (and felt) Niagara Falls, for several hours.

Earlier in the year I gasped when I first saw The Grand Canyon.

Last year I found myself in the middle of nowhere at 2am and saw the Milky Way properly for the first time. I had to sit down.

Each of these experiences inspired what I think may have been awe.

It’s quite hard to describe. It comes with a feeling of heightened sensation, a delicious sense of personal irrelevance, the inability to speak properly (if at all) and an unbearable dose of happiness. You don’t forget it.

The biscuits and budget really didn’t make this grade.

As a general rule, if you are experiencing awe, you won’t be able to say a word as long as awesome until much later.

Shall we limit the use of the word awesome to things that actually inspire awe?

I know, there are more important things to worry about.


Mindful Vinyl



I dare say that vinyl is warmer, it’s analogue, it’s real sound. I know.
As far as I can tell, the primary advantage is really that it’s on the other side of the room and there isn’t a remote control.
Consequently I’ve just listened to the whole of The Dark Side Of The Moon and then Wish You Were Here.
I had to get up four times to put on and turn over discs.
Other than that I sat and listened.
I thought a lot (I do that) but a lot less chaotically than normal. I didn’t think about work.
I wrote several letters, they went by email, but they were letters.
I watched no tv, I missed the news (that never happens).
I may have ordered a few pretentious jazz albums. Ok, I did.
From my long time dormant, Tyranny of Choice theme.
(Picture from New Yorker, one of my favourites)

May Seriously Diminish Your Empathy

Having deleted my Facebook account earlier this year, I also deleted my Twitter account last week.

That first step was a long time intent, I had grudgingly kept FB for a year while I was involved in my cycling adventure last year. The Cambridge Analytica story gave me a reminder and my FB account was promptly deleted. I’ve not missed it.

I’ve watched the divisive and abusive fallout from Trump and Brexit on Twitter. That division was to some extent sown and those results influenced by the effects social media have on us. They are far from the sole cause, but in tight results, decisive ones.

Then I finally read Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier which has been on my silly pile of unread books for a few months.

It could be shorter, some elements are sloppy, but overall it is devastating.

To summarise, it is the objective of the business model to change our behaviour, as a by product we become irrational, isolated, rude and otherwise a lot less well connected, empathetic and human.

Social media are causing us to do stupid things and making us unhappy.

There are some positives, I have learned a lot and made a few new friends.

On balance there is no contest.

Hence I deleted my Twitter account. I am already more happy and suddenly my diary is full of social meetings with people I’d not quite got round to seeing for a few years.

Funny that.

Anyway, a reprise from early ramblings on this :

Joining The Dots

I mostly shut up about my thoughts on the internet a while ago.  In part because the idea that not all was well had gone main stream and in part because I began to bore myself!

For the nth time I should point out that I work in technology and consider the internet to be both wonderful but also something we need to look very hard at to ensure it serves us for good.

Our history is littered with our obsessions with new and interesting things which, encouraged by well meaning marketing people, we thought terribly cool, but which turned out to be rather bad for us.  When we look back it is easy to ridicule our forebears for embracing cigarettes, radium toothpaste, soda with cocaine in it and my favourite, radium cigarettes.


My favourite which I stumbled on while writing this and simply could not believe:


Then there is this.  Shouldn’t…

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World Wide Weapons

2F1016B7-5F49-4133-9BF3-7C4A0065E91C.jpegSo the USA wrangles with whether they should allow the publication of blueprints for printable 3D gun templates.
We roll our eyes.
We remember how last time we were in a US Walmart we could buy ammunition with our groceries.
We forget what the first two Ws in www actually stand for.
I despair.

Social Media Nonsense

Social Media companies claim not to be responsible for the content posted through their services.
Here is a thing I learned from the outsourcing phase of my career:
You can outsource anything except accountability.
Not that you should. Just that you can. With that one exception.
If a newspaper outsourced everything (writing, printing, distribution, billing etc etc etc) it would still be accountable for the content.
The argument that social media companies offer a platform and can’t be held to account for content is invalid.
The fact that social media platforms outsourced content production from the outset does not alter their accountability for it.


There are a million reasons why the EU is awful.
There are a million reason why it is useful.
There is one reason it is essential, one so important all the other flim flam is irrelevant.
Peace in Europe.  It is what the EU is for.  It has been a success.
We take it for granted.  We will regret doing so.