This Is Not My Beautiful House

I love this brilliant little sketch from my talented daughter, makes me smile every time I look at it.

Notes – a Life Story, a Love Story

Wonderfully analogue – surprisingly moving.

Via — The Cramped

Power = Knowledge

I am what is known as a “knowledge worker”. I don’t make or create anything tangible; in the old days I might have been called a “paper pusher”, these days “pixel pusher” is more accurate.

I’m employed for my expertise and experience, and for my leadership and management skills – all rather cerebral and intangible.

Today I am working from home as we are having a smart meter fitted, which means no electricity and therefore no internet connection1.

The removal of power and connectivity suggests that rather than knowledge being power, power is in fact knowledge (work).

Modern (knowledge) working is absolutely dependent upon computers and the internet and therefore electricity.

Electricity is the new steam in the post-Industrial Revolution world of work.

  1. I may live on the edge of the most modern city in the UK, but we’re still waiting for the mobile networks to install masts within a workable distance. So we have a mobile signal that is sufficiently weak enough to be worse than no signal at all. One of those signals that lulls into thinking you might possibly be able to use it, only to snatch away the connection at the last minute.

Distraction Sickness – Part Two

Earlier this year I took my daughter to the National Gallery in London, which houses one the most amazing collections of pre-Twentieth Century art in the world.

Surrounded by incredible art from Van Gogh, Turner, Monet, Matisse, Cezanne, Vermeer to name just a few favourites an inexplicable number of visitors seemed more intent on the virtual world of their smartphones…

people looking at mobile phones in an art gallery

But there was an even more peculiar behaviour that my daughter and I christened Pokéart.

Time and again we’d see a visitor walk up to a work of art, take a picture on their phone and walk off; spending no time looking at the painting with their own eyes.

I didn’t ‘get’ Van Gogh until I saw his paintings at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The contours, ridges, swirls and sheer depth in the paint applied by Van Gogh has to be seen to be truly appreciated. Seeing them in two dimensions on a print or a screen does not do them justice, and yet here were dozens of people happy to catch great works of art like Pokémon.

Pokéart – gotta catch em all.

Distraction Sickness

“Just look around you — at the people crouched over their phones as they walk the streets, or drive their cars, or walk their dogs, or play with their children. Observe yourself in line for coffee, or in a quick work break, or driving, or even just going to the bathroom. Visit an airport and see the sea of craned necks and dead eyes. We have gone from looking up and around to constantly looking down.”

– Andrew Sullivan – My Distraction Sickness and Yours

The Spy Who Loved Me Opening Sequence

When I was seven my Mum and I spent a weekend with my Aunt and Uncle at their flat in Harrow. My Uncle was evidently tasked with entertaining me whilst my Mum caught up with her sister and he wisely decided upon the cinema.

We were queueing to buy our tickets for a long forgotten Disney film which may explain the look of palpable relief on my Uncle’s face when I pointed to the The Spy Who Loved Me poster and said “I want to see that!”. Tickets were  bought, and back we went that evening to join a queue that wrapped right around the cinema.

This was the first Bond film I saw on the big screen, I remember a fabulous building with a screen twice the size of our local cinemas. But my strongest and fondest memory is of the now famous opening sequence, and a riotous round of applause and cheers from the audience as Bond’s parachute unfurled to reveal the Union Jack.

Now that’s how cinema should be.