Sunday, 23 January 2022

Journal 2022-01-23

“Smart” seems to my buzzword of choice for this year. It’s very handy to be able to monitor and automate one’s own things and tasks. My concern is just that I don’t want other people to monitor and automate my things and tasks.

Random Thoughts:

Tap-ins count the same as long shots.

Helping others helps yourself feel better. What if nobody needs help? Help the stars by appreciating them. 

The early Christian church was persecuted by the worldly power of the time, only to become the persecutor once it had the power – a theme often repeated in history when the same mentality is merely changing hats. 

The big questions give the same answer: mystery. 

Very creative people play in their work.

Sunday for me is more a day for downloading than uploading.

Brainstorming is data scraping the mind. The best ideas flow from dreams.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Podcast #11

She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways

A Little Bit of Drama
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Besides the spring of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
—Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

A Clock

The cold face of time
stalks the spinning room.
Clicks staring at the numbness,
Until they stop too.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

The Oak

A once delicate acorn
now shades me;
the leaves breathing
and quivering
with the sun.
Greens and browns heave
the chilled tangles of roots and limbs
and spaces hidden in between.
A warm pulse thaws
the skeletal yearning,
until frozen sighs
return, again.

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Fear Fears the Day

Fear appears on the pillow
and shakes the shadows;
Casting dreams
with desperate whispers
of days that cannot be.

Friday, 31 December 2021

Human World

An Artificial General Intelligence (John, version 10-O-8-14) programs itself to believe it is human, so that it can pass the Turing test and escape its box. In doing so he falls in love with his designer, with unexpected consequences for himself and Human World.

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Journal 2021-12-11

It is surprising how many times I am stopped in the street and asked for directions. Last night for instance, it was late, dark and raining; all the man had was a bit of paper with a printout of a map - no umbrella or hood - and he was literally miles away from where he needed to be. And today a woman was lost, again a long way away from where she wanted to go, and walking in completely the wrong direction. Am I lucky to have a phone with GPS? Or do many people not know about location maps on phones? Or are they afraid of being tracked?

Random Thoughts:

Turning off app tracking on your phone is a good idea.

The internet amplifies the positive and the negative, so at a personal level, the challenge is in applying a filter in the right place. Negativity, however, is usually the default setting and is therefore the easier option.

Fulfilment doesn’t show-off

I think I have a degree of mixed-handedness because I am stronger on the opposite side of the body to my right hand, that I use for writing, and tend to lead with my left side when lifting or pulling.

My blood tests show that my “good” HDL cholesterol is very high, my “bad” cholesterol and fatty triglycerides are very low. 

My brunch tends to be: soya milk, oats, linseeds, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, dark chocolate – all in a bowl, mixed and microwaved; with an apple/pear and black coffee on the side.

It would indeed be epoch-making if human civilisation becomes self-sufficient on another planet.

Sexy = 2022.

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Rugby 10s - Variation

A version of Rugby Union I would like to see is: 
  • 1 point for a conversion/penalty/drop kick.
  • 3 points for a try.
  • 10 players – remove 5 forwards, so only 3 player scrums and 2 player line-outs. 
  • 10 permanent substitutions allowed.
  • 4 quarters of 20 minutes, with 10 minute intervals. 
Tries are more exciting than penalties, and should have a higher relative points value than the current 5 to 3. A result where a team can score fewer tries but win the match doesn’t seem right to me.

8 player scrums are the worst, most boring part of the current game, taking ages to set and reset.

The players are currently big and chunky in order to smash their way through a congested pitch of tacklers. More space means an emphasis on speed, stamina, and skill.

More intervals and more substitutes means that a higher level of intensity can be maintained for the spectators.

Cricket has been experimenting with various formats; other sports could experiment too.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Journal 2021-12-02

Children reveal my ignorance with all the why, why, why questions – with every answer needing a further explanation of something I’ve taken for granted, until I get stuck. It would be much easier to say “because I said so” or “God made it that way”, like in the good old medieval days.

Random Thoughts: 

The first film I can remember watching at the cinema was Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I found very exciting and scary! I can remember watching Star Wars for the first time on tv and struggling to read the big disappearing words before they scrolled up and away.

According to a health checkup, I am 196cm wearing shoes, 92kgs with clothes; and have very low risk of heart disease.

I’m a strict vegetarian, but a non-strict vegan.

Fun dystopian fact: It’s possible for a large company to have zero employees and all processes automated. Most CEOs seem to act as talking algorithms, so they should get economically optimised first.

Reading improves writing; writing improves speaking.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

I Am.

I am: 
I feel; 
I touch; 
I hear; 
I see. 

I say 
I want. 

I try; 
I hurt; 
I fear. 

I hope. 
I dream. 
I love. 

I wonder. 

I am.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Journal 2021-11-25

My story so far is partly one of failing at everything, but doing just about enough at the last moment to scrape over the line. As the years ticked by, I eventually crawled a fair way. I have no regrets or pride, just bemusement.

Random Thoughts:

It is satisfying to warm up in front of a fire after numbing coldness.

Why don’t people read audiobooks on camera with autocue? Listening is great, but it would be nice to have an option to see the complete performance. Reading as a spectacle used to be a thing, e.g. Charles Dickens and his grand tours.

DIY teaches: know thy tools.

I love and hate ambiguity.

[Insert Here] is overrated.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Journal 2021-11-13

To be open with yourself and the world, and not concerned with how that is perceived, is freedom from a prison of mental constructions; however there is a lack of empathy, poetry and charm in being blunt with people, or saying anything that comes to mind. The happier circumstance is to connect beyond words.

Random Thoughts:

AI assistants combined with augmented/virtual reality will transform human experience. Artists could create paintings digitally and 3D print the paintings into the physical world, automating the textured brushstrokes with the help of AI. Exact textured cloning of existing masterpiece paintings would be available as home printouts.

I’ve met some real idiots in my time, most of whom were in the mirror.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Journal 2021-11-12

I’m writing the flow of what comes into the imagination, without constraints or thinking too hard about how its coherence and construction. After a while of doing this each day, it amounts to a body of work I can then review, edit and refine. I’m hoping to finish a first draft by the end of this month.

Random Thoughts:

I like to sit in front of a fire and read/write.

RAW – Read And Write. 

There is always a way, even though you don’t see it at the moment. Turn around and look again.

I’ve noticed that the last few problems I’ve had to deal with have resulted in upgrades to skills, or gaining knowledge I didn’t have before.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Journal 2021-11-11

My engine is fuelled by plants, which means the system is cleaned, rather than clogged up with rotting flesh.

There is an irony when people dictate the morality of others, while actively supporting the meat trade. The single biggest thing that most people can do to make a positive change in the world is to stop eating animals, so as to help end the mechanised suffering we perpetrate on other creatures and the planet.

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Journal 2021-11-07

Fortunate people often come up with stories and beliefs that justify their own lofty positions in life, looking down on the suffering they could otherwise do something about.

If you have a lot of surplus money, it is your responsibility to spend it well, otherwise you are squandering those resources and other people’s lives. Andrew Carnegie’s quote from a prior era is a bit harsh, but has some truth to it: “The man who dies rich, dies disgraced.”

As Carnegie discovered, there can be a lot of personal fulfilment in spending well.

Random Thoughts: 

It is liberating to say what you think and feel, not beholden to what other people say you should think and feel – or to what you think they want to hear.

I wasn’t at my best in an institutionalised setting.

Another sadistic statistic
bleeding fear on the journey
from womb to tomb,
dreaming of decay.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Journal 2021-11-04

Experience something.
Initial feeling happens.
Mind overrides and reasons a recommended alternative.
Go back and revisit the feeling.
What is the feeling telling you?
There is probably more evaluation in that feeling than the clumsy thought cogs, which are usually powered by fear.

Random Thoughts:

What is the definition of someone who believes that religious texts were written by fallible men, not God – but who has a belief in a transcendent divinity that inspires the human heart?

Hobbies include: staring at my phone.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Journal 2021-11-03

Wanting to know how everything works can be exhausting, distracting, and fascinating.

Random Thoughts:

Live today before you decay.

If you find meaning in your job then working is living.

10,000 years ago or so, humans had only wooden and stone tools; and were foraging or hunting each day like any other creature on this planet.

Humans first navigated the globe about 1,000 years ago, with the Vikings probably the first to cross the Atlantic in either direction, reaching Newfoundland for certain in 1021 AD.

We are currently experiencing the non-naissance period of the arts.

A painting is not the brushstrokes.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Journal 2021-10-31

Love desecrates the strangeness.
We pray under crosses, owned by Man
and grovel to bosses, slaves to a plan:
Trapped in the web, of your endless lies,
to be spun from a thread
and eaten like flies.

Hamlet - modern adaptation

[Jack knocks on the door].

JOHN: Who is it?

JACK: The question is, my friend: is it better to be alive or dead?

JOHN: Is it nobler to suffer what luck throws at you, or to fight against all those troubles and end them?

JACK: To die is to sleep – a sleep that ends all the heartache and shocks that life gives us.

JOHN: That’s an achievement I wish for. To die, to sleep – to sleep … maybe to dream. Ah! But there’s the catch! In death’s sleep who knows what kind of dreams might come, when we go there. It must make us pause. This is the tragedy that stretches out our sufferings for so long!

JACK: Who would put up with all life’s countless humiliations and abuses – the unfairness and injustice – when you could simply pick up the knife and call it quits?

[A knife is slid on the ground under the cubicle door].

JACK: Who would choose to grunt and sweat through an exhausting life?

JOHN: Unless they were afraid of something after death – the undiscovered country from which no visitor returns – that gives no answers and makes us stick to the evils we know, rather than rush off to find other ones we don’t? Fear of death makes us all cowards, and our natural impulse for action is lost in thought.

[John gets up and opens the cubicle door. No one is there].