What are you doing? 10 years of continuous partial attention

https://twitter.com/mattedgar/status/75309 Today, for me, marks a decade of 140 character updates, 10 years of paying continuous partial attention to hundreds of wonderful people around the world. So I downloaded my Twitter archive and munged it in an Excel pivot table. Here's what I learned... 2006-2008: what are you doing? Following just a handful of people, I … Continue reading What are you doing? 10 years of continuous partial attention

Real work only begins when we break out of our bubble

"Boy in the bubble" David Vetter passed his life in a sterile enclosure breathing purified air and touched only with plastic gloves. While his parents and doctors attempted to make his life as normal as possible, they lived in fear of the tiniest exposure to common impurities and infections. He died aged 12 in 1984, after a bone marrow transplant given in … Continue reading Real work only begins when we break out of our bubble

All brands must die (after a long and happy life)

A few days ago I ran a critical index finger down my Twitter “friends” list, unfollowing a few dozen accounts that did not belong to real people. I still wanted to hear from these unnatural persons, so I moved them into a list instead. I’m delighted with the results: my Twitter feed suddenly feels so … Continue reading All brands must die (after a long and happy life)

If the dust doesn’t settle: Gin, Jetplanes and Transitive Surplus

More than 150 years ago John Ruskin imagined the experience of flight. Now, thanks to Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, we can begin to imagine the possibilities without it. Robert Paterson provocatively suggests in Volcano & Air Travel - A Black Swan? What might happen: At the moment we are all treating this event as a temporary inconvenience. But … Continue reading If the dust doesn’t settle: Gin, Jetplanes and Transitive Surplus

One & Other in a roundabout way

This is a photo of the screen of a computer, displaying a webcam that's trained on a plinth. Not just any plinth, The Plinth. On the webcam is a whiteboard that carries a message, a message that's saying hello to my sons. They were very impressed. Lorinda (who I've never met) wrote the message. Lorinda … Continue reading One & Other in a roundabout way

Ten years on, can we stop worrying now?

Ten years ago this month the Sunday Times published an article by Douglas Adams called "How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet". You can read it here. Some starting observations: It's a tragedy that Adams died, aged 49, in 2001, depriving us of more great literature in the vein of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, … Continue reading Ten years on, can we stop worrying now?

Note to future historians: We know it doesn’t look good, but we weren’t really shallow time-wasters in the Noughties

Greetings from 2008! I'm really pleased you've picked the Early 21st Century Social History module this term. You're going to love it. But before you dive into the wealth of primary evidence we've left on the net, there's something we need you to understand. We know it doesn't look good, but we weren't really shallow … Continue reading Note to future historians: We know it doesn’t look good, but we weren’t really shallow time-wasters in the Noughties