September 2010 Archives

When I was in my teens, around the turn of the 1990s, my dad went to work in the Gulf. Staying in touch was a fairly simple decision. You could have instant, expensive communication (phone calls cost the best part of a 1990-era pound a minute) or cheap, slow communication (write a letter). What this generally meant was a steady flow of flimsy blue aerogrammes supplemented with the odd phone call. If the far-flung family outpost in the UAE wanted anything that wasn't locally available, pretty much the only option was to wait until a trip home (one or two a year at most) or get a visitor to bring it out.

Fast forward a mere twenty years - just over half my lifetime. I'm an expatriate myself, living in Switzerland. If I need a book or whatever that's not in the shops locally a quick Amazon order will make it turn up on the doorstep in a week or so. When I was in California a couple of weeks ago and wanted to talk to the wife back in Z├╝rich I could just pull my phone out of my pocket and set up a video chat in a few seconds. Instant communication is ubiquitous to the extent that people feel at a loss if their cellphone has coverage problems.

Amazing how the future snuck up on us when we weren't looking, eh?

Radio Silence

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It's been terribly quiet over the last few months. This has mainly been due to being terribly busy both at work and outside it, but there seems to be something more to it too.

I am, it is sometimes claimed, terribly opinionated. I have lots of things that I want to write down and inflict on the Internet. Most of these things never make it into actual written words, though.

There's certainly a lack of direction. It's actually pretty hard to write stuff for a blog regularly if the general field of interest one writes about it "whatever comes to mind". It takes amazing self-discipline and the ability to force oneself to stare at an empty screen for hours willing the words to come to make that work. It takes far more to make it work to the extent that it's anything anyone is interested in reading.

Maybe I should specialise.

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