Mar 142014

For just over seven years, I wrote this blog quite blindly.  I was reactive, puzzled, thrashing about where many (most) had already thrashed.  I sometimes wondered if it was infirmity which drove me on.  But in just over seven years, I was incapable of ever writing down – in a minute or two – the common denominators that drove me in so many of my posts.

Today, on the occasion of Tony Benn’s sad death, Brian Moylan sent my way this video.  In less than two minutes, it encapsulates everything (I now realise) that made me write for seven quite helter-skelter years.  Watch it – and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

No.  I’m not unmothballing this blog quite yet.  I’m writing over at and quite happily right now – the former with relative interest from my readers, the latter with very little interest for anyone except me.


But hey-ho, that’s the life on the open seas.

And with that celebration of a life sincerely lived, I burrow my way back into the anonymity from which I have temporarily emerged.


How corporate capitalism is making us all promiscuous

I’ve been having a few problems recently.  Mainly as a result of my off-and-on relationship with technology.  I’ve documented them here and here, so if you want to bring yourself up to speed you might want to read these posts before we continue. You can understand that I felt aggrieved enough with Carphone Warehouse and [...]

If Russell Brand is a proto-fascist, maybe I am too …

This, from Notes from a Broken Society, came my way via Facebook today.  Without having read Russell Brand’s piece, I can see what NBS’s Neil is getting at.  Which then led me on to actually consider reading Brand’s piece, quite despite myself.  So I did. In a way, I realise now what my own readers [...]

When we agree there must be no difference

Chris, who I have occasion to read more often than I read mainstream content, says this today on a blogger’s favourite subject (the bold is mine): [...] Stephen says that “if you want your blog to get noticed now, best to develop a niche.” But the thing is that the MSM has left a lot [...]

Redrawing the state: self-taught self-help socialism, anyone?

I suppose, in the end, we have to recognise Blair was right about one thing: we have to win enough votes to win an election before we aim to do anything else.  And in a world such as ours, to draft our appeal in terms of socialism, whilst guaranteeing a certain weight and moral validity, [...]

Progress is broken (and anyone who says otherwise is lying through their cogwheels)

A Twitter friend of mine suggests I read an article about how the evil of big government be abolished.  I am sympathetic to elements of this thesis, as long as we define “government” as either public- or private-sector concentrations of power – concentrations which will inevitably impact on our day-to-day existences in a significant way. [...]

As people live longer, their gadgets live shorter – ever asked yourself why?

There’s a great article out there all about Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.  Or perhaps we should really say: Jeff Bezos’ Amazon. In it we learn how the creator of the web’s most iconic tech-driven shop has supposedly prohibited the use of PowerPoint presentations in the company.  Instead, six-page articles must be written by disconcerted employees to [...]

On furniture (that is to say, its using and abusing)

I was living in the halls of residence depicted below when John Lennon died a violent death, though it was a couple of months after the taking of the picture that it happened. I can, of course, remember what I was doing: I was ironing clothes.  It must’ve been towards the very end of my [...]

When is a two-year warranty not a two-year warranty? When Blackberry and CPW are counting!

I’m conscious that the nuclear option – pressing the red social-networked shit-everywhere button – is not the kindest, nor perhaps the most productive, way of proceeding in these matters.  So I’ll try to be even-handed. Less than two years ago (well within the standard warranty period I was later to discover), we bought our daughter [...]

A privileged society of the rankly inefficient: the evidence against

Being creative is important.  A student of mine sent me a link to a 2011 Scientific American commentary the other day, and the blogpost it links to shows us exactly how important creative mindsets really are.  The post in question suggests we can actually improve our cognitive performance: essentially, improve where why we find ourselves [...]

Corporate blackmail, energy blackouts and private suffering

I tweeted this idly yesterday: So what’s the punishment for corporate blackmail? Or is it simply not illegal, like so much out there? #EnergyPriceFreeze #BlackoutThreat Essentially it would seem that, as a first horrible step, some of the energy companies themselves, and now their political nominees the Tories, are doing for the energy industry what [...]

An end of times ain’t necessarily a time to end

Evgeny Morozov wrote this recently: To say that “the Internet” is our “sharknado” is to accept that the current configuration of practices, services, and conversations – the Internet discourse – already structures how we talk,  what we say and what we do after all the talking is done. It’s not that the current crop of [...]

The BBC vs Twitter – which is the broadcaster a 21st century public needs?

Compare and contrast.  Read this first (I’ve linked to it before) from Open Democracy on how the BBC – the British public service broadcasting organisation paid for by every TV owner in the country through a licence fee – has consistently ignored the ramifications and reality of a stealthy privatisation of the National Health Service [...]

A cold turkey never so easy, a Hobson’s choice never so grand

This is how John Lennon saw it. This is how I’m seeing it: Hello #Twitter. Was in virtual world, training people to communicate this morn; in outside world, helping wife to disconnect esta tarde. Good to take a break and re-evaluate. And stepping back is fine (as long as you don’t step back into [...]

On remembering, reminding myself of and recovering a sense of privacy

I’ve started working recently with a Windows 8 computer.  It has a touchscreen, which makes more sense, but Luddite that I am, I’ve installed Classic Shell to turn it back into the Vista/Windows 7 I was far more used to.  Though to be honest, with its wider screen and the resulting taskbar moved to the [...]