The landline

When you’ve forgotten your door keys, and the batteries in the doorbell are flat, and your teenage son can’t hear the door knocker, and he keeps his mobile on silent when he’s asleep, then a good, old-fashioned, landline phone is essential.   Photo on Foter.com

A dictionary to go – Cultural Offering

I’m indebted, once again, to Kurt at Cultural Offering for this image and the steer towards the Oxford English Dictionary’s phone app. The splendidly bearded fellow above is James Murray, first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. My own copy – of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary – was and still is an incredibly useful […]

Sad news: John Perry Barlow

Awoke today to read that John Perry Barlow has died. He was remarkable Renaissance Man: a cattle rancher, song-writing partner of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and a pioneer of the internet, co-founding the Electronic Frontier Foundation. See the BBC’s obituary, here. And, the EFF’s announcement, here. Here’s Barlow talking about one of his Barlow-Weir […]

Text and messaging apps – asynchronous or synchronous?

… and the anxiety of expectation. Here’s a great piece from Julie Beck on TheAtlantic.com: How It Became Normal to Ignore Texts and Emails. People don’t need fancy technology to ignore each other, of course: It takes just as little effort to avoid responding to a letter, or a voicemail, or not to answer the door […]

The Economist on translators – #writing

Having touched on translations the other day, I’ve just read a piece in this week’s Economist; Why Translators Have The Blues. It discusses the challenges facing the profession from machine-learning and globalisation. Lessons here for writers, too.  

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green – @mattwridley

Some powerful data on the wrongheadedness of the pursuit of wind power: “…we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, … world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years… If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth […]

Science isn’t something to believe or not believe. It’s something to do – @thisisseth

Another from Seth Godin: “Science is a process. It’s not pretending it has the right answer, it merely has the best process to get closer to that right answer. Science is an ongoing argument, one where you show your work and make a prediction about what’s going to happen next.” We desperately need more science, […]

burning pine - planner

Slice Planner: a daily planner that merges paper and digital

Via The Cramped, is news of a fantastic concept currently on Kickstarter. It’s a diary / planning solution that combines the visceral delight of real paper and pencil with the sheer and shareable convenience of digital. What a great idea! You can plan your day on paper, then use your phone’s camera to synch it […]

Social media, politics and narrative – @roughtype

Here’s a great essay from Nicholas Carr on social media’s effect on the US presidential campaign, and much more.  It explores how social media is different from previous media – not necessarily better or worse, but different – and how that requires a different approach: “The message, as always, has to fit the medium.” Reflecting […]

The power of proper paper #writing

Messy, unwieldy, noisy, and yet … Kurt Harden hits on the unique delight in reading an actual, paper, newspaper. I love reading the Economist or (London) Times on my iPad, but real paper is different. You see different things, the format allows for greater serendipity.  It’s more tactile, too. And, of course, paper is lower […]

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