I blog only from a position of stability. I do admire those who can document their transitions in real time, but uncertainty leaves me tongue tied. So I’ve been a bit quiet of late.
And this week a new chapter opens. I have an employer again! It’s only part time (I hasten to add in case any of my publishing clients are reading this). Details are on my software engineering CV page.
The job seems to be a very good fit. I know the people—I worked with them before, back when we were all at ARM—and I like them; I can see why they need me, and how I can make a worthwhile contribution to what they are doing; and it looks as though it is going to be fun. I think I’ve made the right move.
This website had fallen into disrepair. All the action (such as there was) was going on elsewhere.
This week I have taken a deep breath, installed WordPress, learned how to customize it (it wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d expected), imported everything from my old blog, and created new (back-dated) pages and postings as homes for all the odd pages and other bits of material I had elsewhere.
It will take a bit of getting used to, but I think I like this. It seems more in tune with reality. Everything you write is out of date as soon as it’s published. So why not admit it? Put a date on it, and let it recede into the past. The perfect definitive ‘finished’ site is never going to happen.
Had a lovely ride through woods & bridleways near Chichester, thoroughly enjoyed despite (or even because of?) pony taking off with me across a ploughed field. Updated Facebook while waiting for train at very rural station, watching lovely effects of sun & wind. Couldn’t be better, really 🙂
Andrew met me at Victoria; to the East End to see the Cable Street mural (imagine a Stanley Spencer Cookham painting, but set in London and featuring politics rather than religion); early Karahi at Mirch Masala in the Commercial Road (light and fantastic); brisk trundle through the city, admiring the Gherkin, the Shard and St Botolph-without-Aldgate, to the Barbican; and then the best bit: Nigel Kennedy doing his brand new Four Elements/Four Seasons rewrite – warm, rich, jovial and quite mesmerising. And then we managed to catch the 23:15 from King’s Cross! Not good for much today beyond dozing on the sofa, mind.
Andrew: … the weird thing, when you go to visit and actually look at what they are saying, is how moderate and reasonable the Occupy people seem to be. Most of them are only saying the same sort of things as most of the other people you hear. [As he talks he is approaching the wall with a new photo off the big printer, this one cropped to a tall portrait format.]
I: [looking critically at the new print] Why such huge margins?
Jón: [without missing a beat] Yes, that’s the kind of question they’re asking.
It’s this sort of thing that makes me glad I live in Cambridge, despite the drizzle.
… so said the weather report on the radio. And it was.
But it could have been worse. And at least now there is something definite to do: we have a referendum to win. I know it’s only for AV, but still it must be won.
AV does at least solve some of the problems with the current system: it removes the need for tactical voting—you give your first preference to the one you really want, and your second preference to the one you would have picked as the safe tactical choice—and it has the potential to lay to rest all those tedious arguments about how the voters would have supported a party if only it had been either more or less extreme in its policies: you can test the theory by putting up candidates of both flavours and seeing which of them the voters actually prefer.
And an AV system can be modified later into a true PR system. Once people have got used to the idea of preference voting, perhaps expanding the size of constituencies (so that it becomes STV) or adding top-up members (so that it becomes AV+) would seem like less of a leap into the unknown.
The next five years, or however long this coalition lasts, are going to be grim for the country, though. I haven’t forgotten the 1980s. And I went to Cambridge, and I met a lot of people like that Cameron chap, and I know how obnoxious they are when they aren’t trying to sound nice.
I find that taking part in a demonstration is not compatible with photography. This is the only usable still photo I got. I made a little video, too, where you can hear the shouting.
I’m off to London this afternoon to join in the shouting outside the Lib Dem meeting. Meanwhile I have set up a Facebook group in an attempt to get a critical mass of supporters for a protest event here in Cambridge. There are events being organized for this coming Saturday (the 15th) in several other places, so I hope we might manage one here, too.