Wednesday 14 December, 2022

A leaf in Winter

Sometimes, the joy of photography comes not from seeing what’s around you, but from noticing what’s under your feet.

Quote of the Day

”I have learned two very important lessons in my life. I don’t remember the first, but the second is to write things down.”

  • Groucho Marx

Me too.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Brahms | Alto Rhapsody | Kathleen Ferrier


This is an old recording and the audio quality isn’t great, but I prefer it to modern versions. And I love Ferrier’s voice.

Long Read of the Day 

Your platform is not an ecosystem

A terrific assault on corporate cant by Maria Farrell (Whom God Preserve) against the way tech companies’ try to sanctify closed tech platforms by claiming that they are ‘ecosystems’.

An ecosystem is a set of unbidden organisms and the physical environment with and in which they interact. It’s constantly evolving, and the real interest, value and drive for change all come from the emergent properties of the relations between its many parts. An ecosystem is not the plaything of a pampered princeling, like Meta, but a set of living, striving things, both competitive and cooperative, and the place they live. The two kinds of system are almost impossibly different. One is biological, the other technological. One is complex and adaptive, the other only pretends to be.

Why are the maddening, built environments that certain investors and their pet CEOs want us to spend our lives inside called ecosystems, when they’re the very opposite of anything truly alive?

Vintage Maria. And beautifully eloquent. Worth your time.

Dorothy Parker

I’m a sucker for Parker stories. This one comes from a letter by Jason Lindley to The Independent on 27 July, 1993.

When Parker married her second husband, Alan Campbell, they both received permission to take a week off work from the film studio for a honeymoon at Lake Arrowhead. Three weeks later they had not returned, so the studio boss’s secretary rang the couple and said, “He wants to know why you haven’t come back to work.” Parker replied: “Tell him that I’ve been too fucking busy and vice versa.”

My commonplace booklet

A long-term analysis of bike lane safety in seven American cities between 2000 and 2012 looked at 17,000 fatalities and 77,000 serious crashes involving cyclists over the period. It found that protected bike lanes increase road safety for everyone (not just the cyclists); coloured lanes on the road surface have no effect either way; and painting bike signs on the road surface actually makes things worse for cyclists.

I’ve often wondered about those painted bike-signs.

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