The less you know about me the more I reveal. #100days
29,628 words

UL: 2020-05-13 Wake up and smell the coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee.

As I sit here at 07.54 drinking my morning coffee it is apparent that this is the new normal. There is no going back.

  • Furlough until October
  • Country bankrupted
  • Empty office buildings
  • No return to travel

Resistance is futile. People really don't give a shit that this is happening. Rather the fear has made them embrace it.

I've given up worrying about it now. I've come to realise most people in this country wont bother reading documents, or doing any research into "the science" - meme's are about as far as they'll get. Plus then for having an a view on things you get labelled a nutter.

Sadly it's also become politically incorrect (and likely career suicide) to publicly challenge the governments' narrative that follows "The Science". That with mass censorship and being labelled "misinformation".

We are witnessing the largest power grab and reboot of capitalism unfolding before our very eyes. It's incredible to watch the experiment progress (except most of us are viewing it as the lab rats).

I plan over the next few months to return to a simpler way of life. I wrote about digital minimalism recently and avoiding the news. I now need to find a way to stop either:

  1. Become more vocal and preach to try and convert people.
  2. Forget about it and just get on with my life.

I'm not very good at doing the preachy thing, so I think I'll just go with the flow. Keep writing in my journal and try to simplify my life. Minimise the clutter and focus on what's important.

So maybe, let's all just wake up and smell the coffee.

UL: 2020-05-13 Love is all you need

Just a random write today. It's been a while since I've composed anything. Today is a new day and I'm just going to write. I don't know what I 'm going to write about, but here are some words:

Gratitude

Don't be afraid, everything is going to be alright. The world is turning to shit. I am one of the people who thinks the government is out to screw us all. But so what I guess. Does it really matter in time? Will I really care? I maybe need to start a gratitude diary. You know what I will. Right now:

  • I'm grateful for the freedoms I have today despite them being eroded.
  • I'm grateful I'm not alone and have people who care for me and me for them.
  • I'm grateful for the past freedoms I had - no-one can take those memories from me.

The Real London bloke is a boss. His philosophy is all about love. How can you be against that. How can anyone be against that? Over the next few weeks I'm going to philosophise more about that. What does he mean by this. How can I bring this more into my life. I know it sounds odd, almost cult like, maybe even 'gay', but maybe love is the answer to fighting the evil that we see in the world today. Everyone is so divided. Love should unite us for the good of mankind.

The News

I'm fully consumed by the news at the moment. It is starting to do my head in. I have no way of switching off. But I love it. I have predicted this kind of authoritarian regime for some time. I didn't realise it was going to happen so fast. This is just the beginning. I need to learn to let go and just role with it. It's like a fascinating experiment except the experiment is on me. Just roll with it and let it all unfold. I have pretty much everything I need in life. As long as they don't start to take my property and land plus the things I've worked hard for I will be cool with it. I fee sad for the younger people. Those just embarking on their life. They had so much to look forward to, now it's being swiped from them. The new normal is not a place I would like to be emerging from Uni too. Humanity has to go on though. It will just be a very different place to what we have seen in the past. So be-it. Enjoy the ride.

Motivation

I have lost my mojo. I really have. I am slowly getting ground down with the current situation. I loved my old job. That job is now dead for the foreseeable future. There is zero travel allowed. I used to love going into London just to feel the buzz. I loved meeting up with colleagues and partners. I used to love heading off to trade shows and networking events. Lunches, dinners, parties. Work hard Play Hard - that was my motto, and it worked. I had a lot of success and it kept me going. Right now I'm struggling. I'm seeing EVERYTHING move to digital. My job in marketing in the future will all be digital. That bores me. Worse than that AI will probably take over any role a human has for digital marketing. Frankly with deep fakes webinars could be run by computers to provide the optimal viewing experience. We are heading to strange times.

That was a random chat for today.

On to tomorrow.

-Winston

UPLINK: 2020-04-30 How a ten year old laptop liberated me

I bought a 2010 11 inch MacBook Air. It's old and it's slow, but I love it. Here's why:

It's tiny

The 11 inch MacBook is perfect for my needs. It's totally portable. Not much bigger than a large tablet. I can take it pretty much anywhere. I can travel. I'm a nomad and this form factor is perfect for me. I thought I'd struggle with the smaller screen compared to my 13inch work MacBook. Not so. I love the tiny screen, which forces me to run apps in full screen and focus on the task at hand.

It's functional

The keyboard is great to type on. The trackpad works beautifully. The battery is replaced and hold it's charge. The aluminium is tough and rugged. Even the massive bezel and thickness of the device make it feel less fragile. It has old school USB ports and a headphone jack, both of which I'm fans of.

It's slow

This thing is slow compared to modern machines. It struggles to multitask and some web pages are slow to load. It's not very good at multi-tasking, both because the screen is small, but also because it's slow. I like that. I'm not distracted. I focus on writing, reading or watching. I slow down, I what I'm doing more, how I'm valuing my time.

It's private

Until I bought this machine I was using my work machine for home use. Crazy thing to do. "I have nothing to hide" right? I've been using my work machines for personal use for 15 years and never had a single problem. No I see the error of those ways, especially during these times when everyone is working from home and there will be more scrutiny of what employees are doing. That is mainly why I bought this machine, but the privacy has given me so much more freedom to express myself into notes, research websites, and securely message. All of my notes are stored either in Standard notes or an encrypted disk image - lovely. Signal is installed for secure messaging and all of my browsing history is private from my employer. This is liberation.

It's minimal

There is something nice about everything being stripped back to the basics. I loved the 1990s-2000s. Life was in many ways more minimal. I also love (loved) my holidays where I would travel light with the bare essentials. A camera, a phone, a small laptop. I would journal and live a simple life on the move. None of the extra paraphernalia that modern life required. Right now I'm just typing this whole journal entry up on this 10 year old machine in a simple notepad. No fancy app, no cloud storage, just a plain text file stored on a hard drive. I love that simplicity and minimality that you can't get from complex machines.

To summarise, in an increasing era of mass surveillance, complex machines and the crazy pace of change, I'm loving taking a step back and looking for a simpler life and more private life. My technology is becoming increasingly slower paced and offline and private.

-Winston

UPLINK: 2020-05-07 I am a futurist

I am a futurist.

Here's the definition of from wikipedia:

Futurists are people whose specialty or interest is futurology or the attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on Earth in general.

I had the moment of enlightenment that I'm a futurist over the past few weeks. I noticed a few of my friends and family have been calling me a conspiracy theorist. Yep, you heard that right, they think I have views of the future that don't fit the mainstream, or sound so ridiculous they are conspiracies. I've been debating why this is. I don't think I'm a nutcase. Most of my views are merely my understanding of the facts presented to me today and extrapolating them out into various long term scenarios over say 5-10 years. Doing some impact analysis of some of the motivations for decisions that are being made and what that will mean for humanity into the future (kinda deep stuff huh). That's when I looked up the term futurist and I thought bingo! that's me.

I'm fascinated with technology. Here's a few topics that really interest me to the point where I read books (yes those things) and regularly capture my thoughts in to private journals.

  • Biotech
  • Nanotechnology
  • 3D printing
  • Cryptocurrency and blockchain
  • AI and automation
  • Quantum computing
  • Worldwide gigabit connectivity
  • Robotics
  • Big data
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
  • Sensors and IoT

Equally, it's now being understood that it is the convergence of these technologies that will give us a new "Law of Accelerating Returns" Forget Moore's Law, which has stood for over 50 years, that will look like snail's pace soon. As someone who has a pretty deep level of understanding of those technologies (alright I'm a bit fuzzy on blockchain) and I understand the power of convergence I can start to map some very interesting (and very possible) scenarios in the next 5 to 10 years. That makes me a futurist.

In terms of mapping out those scenarios I try apply critical thinking on how future technology will affect:

  • Privacy
  • Freedom of speech
  • Health
  • The economy
  • Geopolitics
  • Society
  • The human condition

Some of these future scenarios I and other futurists consider are highly likely (and are playing out right now), some scenarios are probable, but some possible. But sadly it seems today to think critically and have an alternative view gets one labelled as a conspiracy theorist. I don't get it. All through my life, as Bachelor of Science, in my working career, or looking at major life decisions - I've been taught gather information, build knowledge, to hypothesise and debate, then draw a conclusion. It seems to me critical thinking is too much effort for people now. It's easier to follow the narrative, get told what to do, call someone a name or dig out a meme. That's just lazy.

Here's a few other references from Wikipedia with things futurists have in common including:

Multiple perspectives are at heart of futures studies, including unconventional thinking, internal critique, and cross-cultural comparison.

Futurists are motivated by change. They are not content merely to describe or forecast. They desire an active role in world transformation.

They are hopeful for a better future

So before you label someone a conspiracy theorist, or tell them to "put on their tinfoil hat", consider for a second that they might be a futurist. Some of humanities greatest achievements have been due to people thinking differently. However, I recognise that this whole article might come across as a little pretentious, and I'm not proclaiming to be the next Da Vinci, Newton or Galilei, far from it. Equally, these great thinkers weren't always right, but that's ok too. As someone who believes free speech is fundamental to what makes us human, it is frustrating to to see more aggressive Government and Silicon Valley led censorship and propaganda that is promoting a single narrative. Did we learn nothing from the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

So there you have it, if you want to label me, you can label me a futurist.

-Winston Smith

Second Life and Carbon Credits – a modern day dystopia

Part one is a opinion piece. Part two is the start of a dystopian novel.

Part One An opinion piece on the situation today.

Questions are powerful.

We are being told not question anything (more on that for another day - misinformation is a crime). Here are some questions I had recently, the futurist that I am:

  • Is there a economic shift from the old inefficient closed loop economies of consumption to digital?
  • Is second life the new normal as we transition to a new virtual reality?
  • Are our economies being destroyed by by elites with the aim to save the planet?
  • Will future humans be allocated a set carbon footprint at birth?

Yesterday I wrote about the activists extinction rebellion and how I thought they were controlled opposition.

Today a quote on the BBC has also inspired this thinking:

Jobless people should be re-trained for work in geographically-spread labour-intensive “green” industries such as home insulation; tree-planting; and peatland restoration.

Welcome to Second Life – the new normal

If you aren’t familiar with second life, it’s been around for a while. It’s a virtual 3D world where humans are avatars and can chat, socialise and do business in a virtual world. It’s got about 1 million users who plug into this matrix.

Think about Zoom and the revolution we are seeing in the workplace. Yeah it’s a business tool and video conferencing has been used for years. But think about it in this context: We are now working in a virtual world. Email and whatsapp to communicate, video conferencing and digital transactions. CFOs everywhere are killing off face-2-face business to save costs. We now operate business in a second life scenario. I’ve even seen work colleagues changing their zoom avatars to be cartoon characters with virtual backgrounds. This virus has pushed us all into a second life of work. The same is true for every pub quiz, family get together, social gathering, even how our politics is being run. It is a low tech virtual reality, but make no mistake we are living in virtual reality right now.

The climate agenda and a shift of power

The human carbon footprint is massive and it’s growing. Many of the industries that make the most money out of us have the biggest carbon footprint. travel, eating meat, construction, all the other shit we buy from Walmart. Yet the tech companies are moving and investing in 100pc renewable energy sources. Also the old businesses are very inefficient. The supply chain is massive and everyone takes their cut. There is no closed loop in these industries only waste. This is where a virtual digital second life comes.

Why is there such a push for the climate agenda. The new normal? Look, I have no problem with avoiding waste, protecting the environment and saving our oceans. I think this is very admirable. I do wonder though if the global elites are using this environment to re-boot capitalism to allow the top 1% to have the best the world have to offer whilst the plebs of the world get restricted to the smallest carbon footprint possible. This is why I think they are decimating the airline and tourist industry. Think about it. The eltite own private jets and houses in every country they want. They have no need for commercial air travel. It is just a burden on the planet. It’s also big business, but we know the future of big business is tech. All the cash spent on experiences, $$s spent on leisure time need to be spent elsewhere. People will consumer more digital media, more adverts, more virtual experiences. VR is will get to the point where the sensory experience will be as good as the real thing. There will be new economies spring up within virtual reality. It’s already happing in Second Life. Human avatars in that world are buying virtual clothes created by other second life avatars – all taxed by the game creators. Eventually, we will be plugged into the matrix.

Part Two the start of a novel

Winston smith Jnr : Carbon balance 56.2g / Social Score 3.3 (3KG Loan outstanding)

Hi I’m Winston Smith Jnr, nice to e-meet you. A bit about me: I’m 28 years old and was born in 2024 and like everyone born in that year I was given my allocated lifetime carbon credit of 3.25 tonnes. I wish I had been born in 2023 as I would have had 3.85 tonnes of carbon, but I’m just going to have to do my best I can. I have a pretty frugal life and only went on one virtual holiday last year. I’ve heard the data centres are getting more efficient so I might have enough carbon for a short virtual weekend away later this year.

I’ve recently changed jobs, I’ve moved from planting trees to working in the Peat Bogs, this has been great as it’s giving me an extra 25g of carbon an hour. It’s still not enough to include any little luxuries in my diet. I’ve been eating nothing but 3D printed protein for months now. I’ve skipped a few meals as since the great carbon crisis of 2042 it’s never dropped below 22g of carbon just for a staple meal. I’ve also been saving my carbon for a new digital outfit. I really think you need to look the part to get a job in the Ministry of Tech. The trouble is it costs 100g just to get the interview, I’ve also heard that you need a SS (social score) of at least S5.6 I’m way down at S3.3 mainly because I went on that rant about how unfair it was that the kids of the Ministry of Tech are born with 20.5 Tonnes of carbon.

I think this was unfair as those words were written before they removed encryption, and I had no idea they would be able to go back over my old thoughts. Not only did they dock my credit score, they fined me 3kg of carbon. I had to take a loan out for that. Also, I find it strange that just before encryption was banned there were pictures (and I heard it from the elders) that there were flying machines that consumed hundreds of tonnes of carbon and took people around the world. I think this was a hoax, who could afford a lifetime’s carbon just to go somewhere? In Second Life can travel anywhere imaginable starting from 55 grams of carbon. The elders describe it as a free and different time, but I just see how it would be allowed. Anyway, since encryption was banned I haven’t seen any of those pictures of that time the call pre-corona. What was that time anyway, some talk of a human virus whatever that may mean? We all know viruses are impossible in humans since the vaccine and our daily pills. Anyway, enough of this talk, I don’t think this channel is secure now encryption is banned.

Besides I need to get back to earn some more carbon credits. I swapped my chip out last year and it’s much more efficient at tracking my body’s effort at carbon credit mining in the Peat Bogs. This almost feels like a pay rise, but some how the government are taxing me even more.

Must go, my 3D printed protein meal is ready and as you know if I let it get cold I’m fined 2g.

-Winston Smith Jnr

UPLINK: 2020-05-05 The Failure of R0

Talk about moving the goal posts. This is how the narrative went:

  1. This is no threat carry on
  2. We need herd immunity
  3. Protect the NHS by flattening the curve
  4. R0 value needs to be ?

""Keeping the R down is going to be absolutely vital to our recovery. And we can only do it by our collective discipline and working together." - Boris

What a load of tosh. They are literally just throwing new excuses to keep us locked in our homes. People are waking up to the fact that the mortality rate is just slightly higher than the Flu. So what does the government do? They pick a new metric to scare the people into consent. They even have a dumbed down video to explain the R number to the masses.

This paper highlights some of the challenges of R0

If R 0 is to be used, it must be accompanied by caveats about the method of calculation, underlying model assumptions and evidence that it is actually a threshold. Otherwise, the concept is meaningless.

Furthermore, there are many diseases that can persist with R 0 < 1, while diseases with R 0 > 1 can die out, reducing the utility of the concept as a threshold. R 0 is also used as a measure of eradication for a disease that is endemic, but issues such as backward bifurcations, stochastic effects, and networks of spatial spread mean that an invasion threshold does not necessarily coincide with a persistence threshold. This results in a reduction of the usefulness of R 0. For example, it is possible that a disease can persist in a population when already present but would not be strong enough to invade. Finally, the threshold value that is usually calculated is rarely the average number of secondary infections, diluting the usefulness of this concept even further.

UPLINK: 2020-05-03 Controlled Opposition - Extinction Rebellion

I'm calling it now. We will see controlled opposition.

Cue centre stage - extinction rebellion. These guys have been very quiet for nearly a year now. I always thought there was something inherently odd about this group. For many reasons. Firstly their founders -

Roger Hallam - researching a PHD on ways for campaigns to maximize political participation and mobilization.

Gail Bradbrook - A molecular biophysicist by training, working for Citizen Online in 2003 she deals with the charity’s industry and government partners – working in both public and private sectors as a “digital inclusion strategy specialist”, consulting “a wide range of clients such as BT EE and the Cabinet Office.

I find it odd that these two leaders both have links back to government and or academia. This screams of controlled opposition to me.

  1. The narrative will shift away from criticising (for being evil and wrecking the climate) to that of supporting the governments "new normal" and to not go back to old ways.
  2. The government will be forced to bring in more powers to prevent protest
  3. The whole message is around extinction and the planet has too many people and isn't sustainable
  4. Certain businesses will be targeted (such as airlines and oil) where as others spared.
  5. A bit extreme, but Could see a move to lab grown food rather than eating meat

The government would love a controlled protest of people saying how fantastic things are now. Rather than a genuine uprising with people firebombing cars and full on riots against the police. The protests will be a bit of fake blood or some sort of silent protest.

There protest will be very carefully managed, they will also socially distance. They will beg for more economic collapse. Beg for no-return to big oil and air travel. They will refuse to pay rents. All of this narrative is completely aligned with where how the government is operating today. There is a complete illusion of freedom fighters or activists against the government. This is a subversion tactic to beat back the true protesters that would oppose lockdown. These true protests against the government will be shut down faster than a blink of an all seeing eye. The

There are now using celebrities to endorse the whole thing: https://www.livekindly.co/emma-thompson-extinction-rebellion-climate-movie/ The production value is high and the massages are reinforcing the new normal. The whole narrative around extinction has a feel of eugenics and is predictive programming that we should no longer exist as a species.

It is all intrinsically linked to the healthcare too. There is even a site for doctors for Extinction Rebellion https://www.doctorsforxr.com again seems like controlled opposition.

-Winston

UPLINK: 2020-05-01 The Failure of R0

Talk about moving the goal posts. This is how the narrative went:

  1. This is no threat carry on
  2. We need herd immunity
  3. Protect the NHS by flattening the curve
  4. R0 value needs to be ?

""Keeping the R down is going to be absolutely vital to our recovery. And we can only do it by our collective discipline and working together." - Boris

What a load of tosh. They are literally just throwing new excuses to keep us locked in our homes. People are waking up to the fact that the mortality rate is just slightly higher than the Flu. So what does the government do? They pick a new metric to scare the people into consent. They even have a dumbed down video to explain the R number to the masses.

This paper highlights some of the challenges of R0

If R 0 is to be used, it must be accompanied by caveats about the method of calculation, underlying model assumptions and evidence that it is actually a threshold. Otherwise, the concept is meaningless.

Furthermore, there are many diseases that can persist with R 0 < 1, while diseases with R 0 > 1 can die out, reducing the utility of the concept as a threshold. R 0 is also used as a measure of eradication for a disease that is endemic, but issues such as backward bifurcations, stochastic effects, and networks of spatial spread mean that an invasion threshold does not necessarily coincide with a persistence threshold. This results in a reduction of the usefulness of R 0. For example, it is possible that a disease can persist in a population when already present but would not be strong enough to invade. Finally, the threshold value that is usually calculated is rarely the average number of secondary infections, diluting the usefulness of this concept even further.

I wish more people would do research instead of blindly follow the government.

I guarantee there will be further baffling numbers and metrics used to keep us locked down or restrict our freedoms.

-Winston

UPLINK: 2020-04-30 If not now then when?

If you feel like a minority and your voice is not being heard. If you are passionate about something you believe is wrong that is unfolding before your eyes, is that no the time to shout about it. If your views are being ridiculed and labeled conspiracies and you

If now is not the time then when?

There is a time when this blog may be subject to a fine

Think about that for a second. Here is a small piece of cyberspace with nothing but words. Words typed into a computer by a human with several decades of live on planet earth. A Human that wants to express their view and have a voice. An anonymous human as for the first time in their life is too afraid to speak out with their views as they do not go with the governments words. This will soon be a crime, and in many countries it already is.

The author lives in a democracy call the UK. Has been publicly vocal on some pretty divisive topics such as Brexit. Publicly showed dissent against the government. Not today. For fear of basic career suicide I have largely remained quiet. Yet today we are seeing a fundamental change to our freedoms, and yet the author choses to remain anonymous posting under a pseudonym.

Like all humans I'm scared right now

I'm not scared of the virus. I'm scared of society. I'm scared of my neighbour. I'm scared of the economy. I'm scared of the government. But according to most people, these are not valid fears. Their fear trumps mine. I should just fuck off with my tinfoil hat.

The author needs to do more

I don't know what that is right now. I see our freedom of speech and right to privacy eroding every day. I would in the past be happy to "insta" and share pics of my food with the world, yet something fundamentally important to me as a human is being lost and I remain quite. The big platforms are censoring. They are being pressured by governments to do more. Society welcomes this censorship.

Take a second to think.

Just stop. Put your phone down for one second and engage your brain. These are new laws passed through government. No debate.

  • Mass Surveillance
  • Detention on medical grounds
  • Mandatory vaccination
  • Re-education

I don't get why people are cheering this "New Normal". Turn away for a second and the UK has become North Korea.

Here's a scene from a Nazi rally in 1934. Why didn't anyone in the crowd question the narrative? I can't believe everyone in the crowd that day were evil, or that they would image in 1939 the world went to war to try and crush one of the most evil people the world has seen.

img

That's propaganda for you. Most people in the UK will say "Oh that could never happen in the UK we have a history of being the good guys" - "Boris would never do that I've seen him on TV he seems nice". Well I'm sure the citizens of West Germany were thinking exactly the same thing.

Well it could. It is right now. Make no mistake

Stand up. If not now, then when?

-Winston

UPLINK: 2020-04-30 Right vs Left - Divide and Conquer

Right vs Left - Divide and Conquer

Politics is the new religion of the west. It's so divisive it blows my mind. Left Vs Right. It's how many people identify their entire existence. It's how they define the enemy. It's how they call out people they hate. It's absolutely bonkers. I'm sure if someone interviewed my philosophy they would uncover many right wing views of less government control and deregulation, but paradoxically believe access to good healthcare is a fundamental right of all citizens. I support gay and minority rights, but I'm think political correctness can be bonkers. I believe the protecting the environment and conserving resources is essential for our survival as a species, but also believe the free market is important.

Stop sitting on the fence and pick a fight

Why? Why do I need to pick a side? Why should I chose between two sides who fundamentally attach each other based on some ideology. I don't identify with either of these people. I have my views and sometimes they align with the left, sometimes with the right. What does that make me? A philosopher? A Dreamer? Someone who needs a realty check?

Think of politics day - especially for the millennial. Most claim to be SJWs but they don't give a shit about the policies. They back an ideology that they are right and you are wrong, which ever side of the fence they are. This is mainly true in the US. In the UK, it's pretty much a popularity contest for which ever leader they like the most. I bet if you asked the average person under 30 in the UK what party they identify with they would say - "I dunno". Many won't even bother to vote and if they did will be based on "I like Boris" or "I can't stand Boris". I'm older than 30 but have voted for both of the main UK parties. These were based on my understanding of their main policies and how they would affect me. There is one fundamental problem with this approach now:

Politicians lie

This is an old cliche'. It used to be that politicians were caught lying and were held accountable. Now there is plenty of research that shows that politicians that lie are even more popular if it fits your world view. That's crazy - humans now prefer politicians that lie. How are we supposed to make informed decisions, when the truth is hidden.

Divide and conquer

I think this Is the tried and tested approach. Get the masses to fight amongst themselves, then take control. It's not a new approach, but it works. People are too busy mememing their opposition to see what policies are being put in place, the new laws that are being written.

I had no idea I would write on this subject this morning. It started out as something different entirely. I guess that's the free flow benefits of writing and freedom of speech. This is a pretty long streak of a week of writing every day. Several draft ideas in progress too.

-Winston

UPLINK: 2020-04-29 Dreaming of Drones

Dreaming of drones

I have fairly vivid dreams, but don't always remember them. I had a dream last night and it scared the shit out of me. The dream wasn't that scary as such, I've probably had worse nightmares. The reason the dream scared the shit out of me was because it shows how the situation is permeating into my very psyche.

A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.

I was in a garden. Not my garden, a drone started buzzing me. I didn't panic but moved back in to a house, not my house. It kept buzzing around the house. I moved upstairs and the drone kept buzzing around the window. I could then see the drone a bit clearer. It was a pretty mid sized drone. It was more shapped like a giant tortoise shell but glossy black. No obvious propellers and it just seemed to be using some sort of anti-gravity to fly.

The thing was buzzing around then totally out of the blue, slammed into the roof above my window breaking a load of roof tiles. Almost like it was trying to get at me through the roof. Then it died and rolled off the roof and landed on the lawn. I then remembered I had a drone jammer plugged into my loft.

I ran down to the lawn to examine the drone. On the underside there were labels saying "Government property tampering or opening this device will lead to prosecution". I went to work breaking open the drone, and in the few minutes before I woke up was trying to figure out how to get to and SD card to get the footage out.


Weird times, weird dreams. I think I'm losing it.

  • Winston

UPLINK: 2020-04-28 The New Normal

Dear citizen of the world this is your government speaking. Here is the new lexicon on words that shall be forever ingrained in your brain. Please pay attention!

  • Social distancing
  • Contact tracing
  • Misinformation
  • Died of
  • Furloughed
  • Lockdown
  • Community Guidelines
  • Unprecedented times
  • Non essential worker
  • National effort
  • NHS Overwhelmed
  • Flatten the curve
  • Coronavirus
  • We are all in this together

 
These are unprecedented times and only through Social Distancing can we Flatten the Curve and prevent the NHS being overwhelmed with people dying of Cornovirus. All non essential workers will be furloughed and lockdown will continue until we have contract tracing. Anyone found breaking community guidelines or sharing misinformation will be punished, we are all in this together

UPLINK: 2020-04-27 Write your own narrative

There is no other news in the world right now. What was in the news before Coronavirus? What was life like before Coronavirus? Did it all matter? When all this is over I plan to watch a lot less news. I'm currently glued to my screen, searching for bits of news, little hints of what's to come. This guessing game is not healthy. It makes you realise how unimportant the news is in "normal times". Why are people so obsessed? When you look around you at your little patch of land and you small circle of friends, what news in the past 10 years really had that much impact on your life? That's not to say you should be uninformed. But there really is something healthy about tuning out of the mainstream news, even for a day.

Politicians, scientists, police, healthcare workers and the media have never had so much attention and funding

Good for them, but the rest of us are suffering. They are making this up as they go along, they have no option for this as there is no rulebook. The politicians are writing the news and they are guided by the science. There is no such thing as "The Science" as the politicians put it. Science has many moving parts, with many unknowns, counter arguments, assumptions and is often wrong. They can also take "The Science" that best fits their agenda and runs with that particular scenario. "Guided by the science" is a very clever term by the politicians for for putting the accountability elsewhere, whilst they maintain complete control of the decision making.

Some of the greatest thinkers of all time had a different narrative

Some of the biggest leaps in humanity have come from people individuals who questioned the mainstream narrative. Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, Galilei, Dawn - all of these men wrote their own narrative. They did this in many circumstances against the standard thinking for the day. These people are now celebrated as some of the greatest thinkers of all time. Yet at the time they were ridiculed; Galilei going to trial for daring to suggest the earth circled the sun and was not the centre of the universe. Today, anyone questioning the mainstream news or narrative is given the similar treatment - tinfoil hat, conspiracy theorist, unpatriotic, or evil. Some things never change in that respect, but there is nothing wrong with holding alternate life views.

Write your own narrative

News overload is a real thing for me. That's why it's nice to take time out and share some thoughts through writing. Just spending time putting words on a page. Creating my own news, my own narrative helps me get back in control a bit. When you capture your own thoughts you can share an alternative narrative or a different perspective. You can think critically of the mainstream news and how the facts are being presented. Writing your own news doesn't need to be long high quality pieces of journalism. Small soundbites or microblogging is equally applicable. What you write doesn't need to be published, write for yourself first and foremost.

I plan to try and keep writing every day. Some days I may publish my thoughts publicly, others days perhaps not. During this time of lockdown it's natural to be more introspective and that leads me to write. More people should do this. There is something to be said for writing your own narrative. It should be embraced as something admirable, sophisticated and smart rather than ridiculed.

UPLINK 2020-05-26 What is it to be human?

That is a pretty deep question.

I think that of course humanity has changed over the millennia. We are a very different species to what we were when we were in caves, or building the pyramids, or going to war in Europe. But there are still some fundamentals that have prevailed over that time. Two that I think are essential to being human:

  • Privacy
  • Freedom of speech

Both of these are being eroded massively. On privacy, I have no doubt we will see some measure being brought in for contract tracing. We are being asked by the police to be accountable for just going about our business. Authorities are sharing our personal data with businesses. Governments want to end encryption and have access to all of our personal conversations. Citizens are being encouraged to snoop on their neighbours and report them to authorities. Biometric passports are being developed and facial recognition technology is being rolled out across cities. This is a massive power grab for information. Did we learn nothing from Snowden?

On Freedom of speech, we are seeing mass censorship, fake news and propaganda prevailing. The algorithms and the way the internet is being restructured is making it harder for the individual to have a voice. Mass gatherings are banned and so is the right to protest. It is near impossible for the individual to protest online. Twitter is not a serious platform for dissent and it's filtered and controlled my an American megacorp. Youtube has demonetised and is scrubbing content as fast as it can be added. They are controlling the narrative. Comment sections of news sites are being flooded with bots. Did we learn nothing from the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

There is no digital democracy

The internet was supposed to free us up and give anyone a voice, a place on the web, a forum. Either with an identity or anonymously. Those days are drawing to a close. The last bastions of internet anonymity and independent thinking are being eroded by the megacorps who control the platforms. They control search, they control content, they control the narrative.

To be human is to be a meme

Humour, light banter, lolz, #viral, prank. Just look at any trend on twitter, or observe any whatsapp group, look at LinkedIn, watch the nurses in hospitals. Life has become one big meme. On any serious issue of our times 90% of the discussion will be taking the piss out of it. I'm no killjoy and I love humour, but I don't know how we got to a point where humour is the overriding point to start the conversation. The governments must love it. We are all to busy pissing ourselves laughing at memes to debate or objectively criticise. Just throw in a "rolling eyes" gif and move back to our TV. This move to humour suits the governments and megorcorps of our times. I recognise that I am not immune to this. I am after all human. But with recognition comes awareness and that empowers me to be different. I think twice before that flippant comment or posting the meme.

What does the future of humanity look like? What will it mean to be human? If you take my views on the trajectory we are heading - we will be a dumb race, unable to voice an opinion other than a meme, all the while our communications are monitored and the narrative controlled.

The revolution won't be televised, it will shown in an animated gif.

UPLINK: 2020-04-25 Using Signal Messenger

Yesterday I installed Signal Messenger on my phone and I have to say I'm pretty impressed.

I would really love to get WhatsApp out of my life. I don't trust facebook at all and I'm convinced there is a backdoor to it. I've never understood how it can play youtube videos and show little previews of websites and still be encrypted. But then I just don't get the tech, there are plenty of documents that show that WhatsApp is. There are two things that are holding me back from moving. The obvious one is the lack of contacts using the app. There is so much inertia from people to move from WhatsApp. It is pretty much the only tool the western population use. That is a shame. The second was Whatsapp web. I spend a lot of time on my Macbook and love to share links, images and chat from there. But that problem is now solved - the Mac desktop app is pretty gucci and I'll use it for sure.

So now I have one friend on Signal. Hopefully this is the start of a movement. I have no idea how to convince more people to ditch whatsapp. I guess it's going to be impossible. It's just too established, plus people really don't see the point. Signal is pretty similar to Whatsapp functionality wise, but has some nice features such as disappearing messages.

With this whole corona virus thing going on, now is the time more than ever to be mindful of privacy. I'm using standard notes now to capture my thoughts and will be using Signal to share thoughts with those who share my privacy concerns. When you see articles like this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52409893 my mind races on where this is going. Being able to share private thoughts whilst in lockdown is going to be even more essential. When the day comes for the government to give me a tag to wear I want to have the tools in place to enable free thought and privacy.