Journal 2021-09-05

I would gladly undertake all computer activities on my phone wherever I happen to be, if functionality were comparable. Wearing special sunglasses that project personal holographic images of keyboards and screen displays would be fine, but I would not fancy wearing anything that plonks on my head and prevents my vision beyond its pixels.

Journal 2021-08-28

Wandering around, passing people engrossed in a myriad of stories and situations, one line leapt out: “If we get rid of Bruno that actually frees up money for the London office.” What they were drinking would have probably cost Bruno’s wages for a week. They were smiling in satisfaction with the idea, not talking with solemnity about the gravity of the consequences; not in cold calculated indifference or even in vengeful triumph – no it was a base self-satisfied broadcasting of how they were in a position of power over another.

Journal 2021-08-01

It is possible to define much that is essential to humanity’s flourishing with an inverse reading of this passage from Orwell’s 1984:

“There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

Journal 2021-07-10

Confirmation bias afflicts even the most objective thinkers. I am generally sceptical that people, especially in our current febrile state, have the wise nuanced answers to the big questions of society, philosophy and the human condition. I think we are usually wrong, despite the confidence and self-certainty of the protagonists, who are wrapped-up in the self-constructed “isms” and other ideological belief identities into which life is forced. But things always change. We are improving. It is better to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t know who I am” and to experience where reality turns on the journey.

Journal 2021-02-28

I remember as a young kid once being reprimanded by a stranger in a shop because I said that I didn’t like some latest fad with clothes (bizarrely at the time there was a short-lived fashion of wearing patches of cartoon pictures on denim). The explanation given was that it is popular, so I am wrong for not liking it too. The fashion changed a few months later and no doubt she changed to what she was supposed to like – to behave how she was supposed to behave and to insist on others behaving that way too.

Journal 2021-02-07

Where would I live if I could live anywhere? I am British; I owe my freedoms and opportunities in life to this country and I would never give up British citizenship; however, if I could live anywhere in the world, would I choose here? I think, yes, but only for the summer months. London is a magnificent city steeped in multifaceted layers of history, a true world hub for almost any interest or activity; the countryside and coasts can be beautiful, relaxing and even inspiring – but it is undoubtedly the months of perpetual darkness and dreariness that dampen its desirability.

Journal 2021-01-17

Job: employed at a financial markets brokerage firm.

Side-project: writing an algorithmic trading terminal. This may sound like a huge project but I have actually already written the back-end code – it’s just a case of placing a GUI on top. I will gradually iterate to a stand-alone FinTech App for people to optimise and automate their finances.

Music: recording a cappella versions of powerful old songs. Also putting lyrics to classical music.

Filming: have added some poems to the list of scenes I will be shooting.

Journal 2020-11-20

Never ever put yourself down. 

Reasons:

  1. Some people will revel in doing it for you. For their sake as much as yours, don’t make the conditions easy for them.
  2. Don’t diminish life; whoever you are, you are amazing and unique.
  3. Faux modesty is dishonesty.
  4. Don’t insult other people’s good opinions.
  5. Be strong for others. 

 Some personal pep talk points:

  1. Be in a position to help.
  2. Your growth should enable others to grow too. 
  3. This isn’t a zero-sum game.
  4. Relative measurements are irrelevant.
  5. Have fun!

Journal 2020-11-19

A little target I’ve set myself is to make it to 100. Yes I know, quality is more important than quantity, and yes many of the factors are out of my control. I don’t take it too seriously but I like having something to aim towards.

The best way to be in good health is to be grateful for each day and appreciate the moments I am living – ironically this is a lot easier when in good health.

Journal 2020-11-03

In the distant pre-internet days when I was a kid, I designed a board game then forgot all about it. The game actually looks pretty fun; it has a blend of strategy, risk and probability – like many good games. So I think I’ll have a few physical sets made-up, thanks to the internet and finding out there are specialist businesses that do this sort of thing.

Combining football with golf was another one of my games, which I called “Folf”. Well if I had the internet, I would have been able to find out that the sport has been around for a while and is called “Foot Golf”.

Journal 2020-11-02

Just 15 years ago or so, it wasn’t particularly easy to share photos and updates with friends and family; there were fewer easily accessible outlets for self-expression and it was more difficult to find interesting information or media.

The downsides are well-known, although if fully acknowledged there would be more energy in finding effective solutions. There was a speed in breaking things but less appetite in clearing-up the mess.

Journal 2020-10-30

Original thinkers, artists and spiritual figures often had some of their best insights in the wilderness, in periods of solitude, outside of bustling society. Distance from the current melees gives a person a better perspective of the whole picture. More generally, insiders of the throng who are unaware of their predicament are condemned to behave as they think they are supposed to, blind to anything more than the current array of behaviours, even in extreme cases where it is insane.