Wednesday 5 October, 2022

Chateau Naughton 2022

We have an amazing elderly vine which runs the entire front of the house. And every year, without fail, it produces a rich harvest of grapes, which we eat and make delicious grape juice from. One year, long ago, I toyed wit

h the idea of learning to make wine from them, but having done the research, assessed the expenditure on kit and the steepness of the learning curve I decided that it would be cheaper and easier to go out and buy a few bottles of Chateau Lafite! And ever since, I’ve been content to be a mere fruit-juice manufacturer.

Quote of the Day

”Take most people, they’re crazy about cars. I’d rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God’s sake.”

  • J.D. Salinger, in The Catcher in the Rye, 1951.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Mozart | Die Zauberflöte, ’O Isis und Osiris’ | Kurt Moll


One of my favourite arias.

Long Read of the Day

 The Thorny Problem of Keeping the Internet’s Time

Fascinating New Yorker essay by Nate Hopper on the genius who, many years ago, created the arcane software system that synchronises the network’s clocks. The question for now: who will keep the system running?

Many thanks to James Miller for alerting me to it.

Dave Winer and Doc Quixote

Dave Winer and Doc Searls are two of the Elders of the Net. Among many other achievements they both played a role in composing the Cluetrain Manifesto. They are also old friends, so sometimes it’s nice to be able to eavesdrop on their conversations. Dave had a nice blog post about such an exchange the other day.

I had a longish phone talk with Doc Searls a couple of days ago. Then he wrote a post about a series of photos he took over 17 years, on airplanes approaching LAX, of a famous horse track as it changed over the years, and eventually was torn down and a football stadium was built in its place.

I’ve known Doc for a long time, and I’ve seen at least two sides of the man. On one side is Doc Quixote who is ranting about windmills. He’s great with words so he comes up with memorable ways of expressing the ideas. And Doc is the most affable person I’ve ever known, so they love him as he rants at them. And the things Doc rants about are what we need to do now to start to be free. In other words he’s right. But as we’ve grown old as friends I’m pretty certain that Doc will not live to see his ideas become reality. And nor will I, for my dream. I spent great time, energy and money, over many years to create the writing and programming environment I wanted to use and I wanted my peers to use, so we could work together to create species-saving communication tools, and just beauty — nothing wrong with that.

My commonplace booklet

Andrew Curry on the damage inflicted on roads by different kinds of vehicle.

This from yesterday’s edition of his Substack blog.

When I wrote about cars on Saturday, I underestimated the impact of the weight of a vehicle on the road surface. It’s the fourth power of the weight, not the cube. Memo to self: don’t write quickly late in the evening, even when sober, since your memory plays tricks on you.

Harry Rutter at Bath University kindly put me right, even sending me a spreadsheet comparing the impact of a bicycle with a Ford Focus and with a truck. The green cells show the ratio of damage between each of the pairs of vehicles…

If you’re interested, follow the link to see the table. It’s sobering. And also confirms that the most ecologically-responsible form of transport is the bicycle, closely followed by the electric bike!

This Blog is also available as a daily email. If you think that might suit you better, why not subscribe? One email a day, Monday through Friday, delivered to your inbox. It’s free, and you can always unsubscribe if you conclude your inbox is full enough already!