I did this myself today. I started an email, full of agreement, with 'no'. 'No, I understand', I typed. Meaning, I guess, 'you think I don't understand, but, no, you're wrong, I do'. It's odd. I do it in conversation 'no, that's right'. 'no, yes'. I do it a lot.
It's not just me, apparently.
It's a great article, you should totally read it. No, totally.
April 28, 2015 | Permalink
I've been reading a lot of opinions about the Apple Watch. How it's just the version 1.0, how it can't do basic things yet, how people should just wait until they get it right, how it's pointless anyway, you can get already get a cheaper time-telling thing and strap it to your wrist.
I think they're right. And it's an approach that's stood me in good stead.
I, for instance, have been thinking about adopting television for a while now, but on looking at the available options I don't think it's ready yet. I've discovered that some of the screens, if the sun's shining on them, are a bit hard to see, many of them require you to wave some sort of 'remote control' at them in order to determine what pictures and sounds come out - no basic AI capabilities at all! - and many of the 'programmes' shown on television aren't of particular interest to me. That's just a content problem, but it's one they should have solved before rolling it out to a mass market.
So thanks, television, but no thanks. I don't think you're ready for prime time.
Cars too, have been touted as a possible transportation innovation I should be adoptifying but I'm not convinced that they've ironed out all the basic bugs. Many cars, for instance, demand a whole separate room attached to your house for overnight storage, most of them require regular feeding with 'fuel' and the manufacturers have clearly not found the right form-factor yet. There are very few cars big enough to accommodate the transportation needs of even a modest business or church-group and a similarly small number can be kept conveniently in a handbag or backpack. WTF!?
Cars, nice idea, but I don't think you're ready for prime time.
I've also seen a lot of people suggesting something called sarcasm as a great way of writing blog posts but I have to say, I'm not sure.
April 24, 2015 | Permalink
Listening to these fantastic programmes about code. I found myself wondering what each of these languages looked like. What is the aesthetic effect of the grammar etc - divorced from the types and eras of screens or cards or whathaveyou they might have been on?
So, to try and compare I grabbed these bits from wikipedia as images.
So, this is what Fortran looks like:
This is what COBOL looks like:
This is what BASIC looks like:
This is what Java looks like:
(Obviously, I imagine that these things look very different in different circumstances, and that this may not be typical and there are other flavours and stuff and that. I was just after a general idea. Leave me alone.)
April 23, 2015 | Permalink
Every now and then I wander into a bookshop and get annoyed by the books they put on the big table at the front. Most of them are normally about how we're living in an accelerated world and everything's speeding up and ohmygodhowcanwecope weneedtodisconnect.
And I always think well yeah, but walking a mile, or three miles or a hundred yards takes about as long as it always has. An hour is still sixty minutes. Pregnancy, no quicker. Getting furniture from a shop still takes ages, especially in the UK. Getting your horse shod - I bet that takes a lot longer these days. Getting planning permission? Has that sped up? I bet it hasn't. Getting to Grade 8 on the bassoon - no quicker these days. It takes longer to die nowadays. It takes longer to get through school. Sand trickles through a narrow gap no quicker. Beethoven symphonies are performed much slower than he wrote them. Watching a film takes longer. Reading Catch-22, still takes longer than you'd like. In fact, all books are too long. Getting to Cornwall still takes forever. And it takes me exactly the same amount of time to walk to the chip shop as it always has and the chips are never on.
April 22, 2015 | Permalink