What Matters About How We Count
We tend to get what we measure, so we should measure what we want. It's a bit of a strange feeling, but one I think I need to do more often - reading, and reading that challenges, or at least makes me more cautious about, the things that I'm more sure of. Counting: How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters, is one of these such books. Deborah Stone shines a harsh light on one of the key assumptions in modern life: feelings aren't facts, numbers are. As a Data Analyst, I use numbers - a lot. ...
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2020 in review
Hoo boy. 2020. What a year. To think that in 2019, the worst I was worried about was the smoke from apocalyptic bushfires. That I was going to try to escape it by travelling abroad, returning to Europe for a bit. It's been a testing year, to be sure, but there's a few things that I think I can be grateful for. Working from home Yeah, I like this. Controversial for some, but as a single guy with no children (or really, any responsibilities at all), working from home has really given me back ...
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Free speech, social networks, and misinformation
This is slavery, not to speak one's thought. It's basically a cliché these days, but if you're not paying, you're not the customer, you're the product. But what happens when the service which sells your attention is something that you find that you need to use to remain connected to a community, to friends, to family? What happens when you reach a critical mass of people and coordination and consensus are too elusive for you all to collectively decide that enough is enough, and it's now time...
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10: Double digits!
When the facts change, I change my mind. Some time ago, a friend - well, I don't know if she'd call me a friend, but I'd definitely say that she was one of the kindest and most intelligent people I knew, or know - wrote a book, and I didn't think much of it. It was about sexual assault, why it's so rarely reported, and what happens because of systems of invisible - or at least, not openly comprehended or spoken of - bias. No, let's call it what it is, sexism. As an attempt to preserve some a...
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9: Certainty
Uncertain times, the new normal, dealing with it all. It's easier for some than others, and if you've lived your entire life without being worried about where the next meal is going to come from, or how you'll get to work, then you're lucky. You shouldn't be, of course. But I suspect it's a feeling that many more people will have to come to terms with. How do you prepare for the unknown? Planning for it. You can't, of course, plan for all unknowns, but there are known unknowns that you can in...
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8: SovCitiots
A friend of mine alerted me to the existence of this right to know request. I'm not the biggest fan of bureaucracy, but very little compels me to sympathise with them faster than Sovereign Citizens, free-men, or whatever else we want to call them Under normal circumstances, they're an annoyance and should be dealt with expeditiously and with no nonsense (aside from the nonsense inherent in claiming to be sovereign citizens). During a pandemic, they should probably be restricted in movement, sp...
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7: Figuring things out
The problem with definitions is that you don't know what you don't know. Maybe not definitions, but expectations, certain There are few things as frustrating in life as wasted time; all the money in the world never bought a second of time. And then, you learn and do it again. And you swear to yourself that you won't make the same mistake again, but the truth is, we make this mistake all the time. We have trouble assuming that we're not really knowledgeable about things. We forget to question ...
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6: Just do the right thing
Okay, I'm not a fan of handing over my rights or freedoms. I get the instinct to curl up and protect them, and you might get high-minded about dying for your freedom. You might be in ordinary circumstances, and have no reason to read on. You might be reading this later, when things are more normal. But right now, there are some restrictions in place around the world - it might be that you're to stay home, or wear a mask, or limit the size of gatherings. And you might be happy to die for your ...
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5: Some things you plan, others you just do
So I guess if you don't plan things, you end up just reacting to them. And for the longest time, I punished myself because I didn't plan things enough - I thought that I found myself reacting to things so much because it wasn't something I'd accounted for, in my plans. A lot of it was to do with my financial security - there was a period where I was making decent money, but failed to plan for the future, because I thought it would never end. Then, when it did, I was totally unprepared, and the...
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4: Palm Springs
Palm Springs perfectly encapsulates so many of the feelings that characterises 2020 for so many of us. A feeling of isolation, of nihilism. That you're doing the same thing over and over and over again. Andy Samberg's character, Nyles, comments that we don't really have a choice in whether we live life, or not. You might be trapped in an endless cycle that feels just... pointless, but you don't really have a choice. At least you have each other. Nothing worse than going through this shit alo...
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3: Reflecting on Coronavirus
I managed to have a brief catch up with people I know today, in Europe. Things there are... not great. I wonder though, whether the ability to travel in Europe will ultimately see a stronger recovery there. Moreover, I wonder whether Australia's relative success thus far in keeping cases and deaths down has worked against us. Here's the thinking: In Australia, we have managed to keep deaths low such that we can identify those who die due to COVID-19 by age: a 60-year old, a 50 year-old, and s...
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2: Why Standard Notes?
... and general thoughts on paying for things. In a lot of ways, the internet is to blame for many problems. This might be vague, bordering on pointless, but it's true. Talking specifics, it's the promise, and delivery, of "free" content, which has resulted in the erosion of wuakity journalism, diverse and broad voices in media (though, the internet has also provided a platform for voices thst would otherwise be unheard; it's unclear whether that's a good thing, overall, or not). For the long...
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1: Private browsing and how easy it can be
Let's see how many days in a row I can write things. Why here and not on Twitter? This is... text. Just writing. And a bit more reflective, I think, for that reason. I use an Android device, and for a very long time, I've touted Firefox Focus for how easy it makes private browsing. Set it as your default browser and your browsing is incognito by default. Firefox Beta (and maybe stable?) lets you open links in private browsing tabs, though, which is just a bit easier and better, in my view. W...
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