CategoryWider world

Survive the AI Revolution


Are you ready for the flood of AI-produced content? It will come in the guise of reputable companies, politicians and influencers. It will come in the form of SEO content for YouTube and TikTok. There will be entire courses taught by AI-generated tutors. There will be viral flashpoints designed to stoke outrage in which every ‘person’ involved is AI. There will be substack newsletters...

The Long Road Down: Planning for an uncertain future


I recently stumbled on a link to this article: The Long Road Down: Decline and the Deindustrial Future and it was sobering but oddly hopeful read. Like a lot of people, I struggle with climate doomism, and a vague feeling of powerless bewilderment. I wrote about How to Deal with Climate Change (Without Getting Overwhelmed) back in 2019, and then again in 2020 when I wrote This is the Way the...

Why are websites getting harder to use?


Two decades or so ago, I decided to sell some used books. At the time there was a small online book retailer called Amazon. You may have heard of it. It was a useful place where you could buy books, but also where you could easily list used books for sale just by logging in and entering the ISBN of the book you wanted to sell. At the time I remember being delighted with making a few quid from...

Who is Green Party Women for?


Recently, a friend of mine linked the responses to questions at a Hustings for the GPW (Green Party Women) which sadly reflected a wider conflict that is tearing apart plenty of purportedly feminist groups. This conflict centres on the question what is a woman? It sounds like a simple question but like all deceptively simple questions about identity it contains a wealth of complicating and...

The Convenience Factor


I am getting my booster shot today. In my previous city, I only had to walk 15 minutes or so down the road to reach the vaccination site. In my new city, I have to travel for around an hour. A lot of scratching my head over Google Maps eventually yielded a 20 minute walk, a train journey, and another 30 minute walk as being the most efficient route. I did briefly flirt with the idea of using an...

The physicality of virtual space


Since moving, we have had some issues with the internet. Every now and then our connection would drop for seemingly no reason. Speeds were slow. And our phone line (yes, we have a landline phone) would sound full of static and crackle. We called our ISP and they took us through a rigmarole of diagnostics; unplugging the router and plugging it back in, connecting to the test socket, using a...

Review of The Lonely Century by Noreena Hertz


The Lonely Century is a book that argues we are living in an age of extreme loneliness. Noreena Hertz has done her research. She points to colleges that are needing to teach students how to interact with other people face-to-face. Elderly Japanese women who are committing petty crimes in order to be sent to prison, in order to alleviate their loneliness. And single people who eat their meals...

This is the way the world ends (the world will be just fine)


I recently read N.K. Jemsin’s Broken Earth trilogy*. An epic sci-fi/fantasy, it was gripping and fantastical. One of the points she makes is that apocalypses are happening all the time, somewhere. We talk about climate change (nuclear winter, over-population, etc.) as being the end of the world, but what we really mean is that it will be the end of us. It will, of course, be a shame if...

How to respond to the climate crisis (without getting overwhelmed)


If you’re anything like me, all the bad news about how terrible things are for the environment has you panicked and overwhelmed with despair. Unfortunately, despair is not a sensible response to the news. Rather, we need to respond to the climate crisis by taking focused and high-impact actions. Otherwise the world will end. Okay, okay, that wasn’t in keeping with the ‘without...

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