The Egg by Andy Weir

My philosophy of life

Andy Weir is the author of the acclaimed book and film The Martian. Like I’m sure many authors, he has written a number of short stories. Unlike most, however, he has published them openly on his website for our appreciation.

I recommend first reading the short story The Egg, which can be found on Weir’s website here, mulling over what you understand from it, then returning to read my comments.

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Accidental Anarchist

This is a short post recommending a BBC Four documentary  – Accidental Anarchist: Life Without Government.

I agree wholeheartedly with Carne Ross’ mistrust of the state and deeply sceptical view of the structure of international relations. Unlike him, however, I’m less hopeful about of our ability to make any meaningful changes to either.

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Photographic Interlude

This month’s first photo album comes courtesy of a trip home in June. Mum’s garden is in fact in even fuller bloom now, but in the late afternoon light that day I got some nice shots. Summer really is a relentlessly green month, so I’ve been more creative with the colour correction in these to try and accentuate different shades and moods.

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Playlist: July 2017

This month, an 8 hour 24 minute work of classical music, yet more trap / melodic dubstep / future bass, and the rediscovery of some music I used to love.

Squired & Minit – Awake

This is the first release from this duo and they will definitely be an act to watch!

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Hopes and fears of an AI future

In these summer months, lunchtime walks have become a near-daily event for me. Even when it isn’t sunny it’s at least warm. While I walk I tend to listen to something stimulating – a radio 4 program or podcast – but I’m fast exhausting my familiar listening material.

This week I’m giving Sinica a go. It’s a podcast broadly about China, where the hosts invite a special guest to help them cover one specific issue each episode. Yesterday lunchtime I listened to an episode from June, Kai-Fu Lee on Artificial Intelligence in China, and I include below a ~6 minute segment from the end of the episode, which is the focus of this post.

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Stealing independence

It’s Independence Day in America. The declaration on this day, July 4th, in 1776 was the culmination of many decades of becoming a distinct nation, apart from and opposed to the British crown. But how did the America of 1776, this brand new nation out of nothing, come to be, and how did those 13 precarious colonies turn into the continental superpower of today?

In this post I’m going to look at just one specific facet of the development of the United States of America, and it’s relevance to us all and the unjust capitalist system we endure.

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The Qatar question – a primer

I don’t know an awful lot about contemporary Middle Eastern politics, but this week’s panellists on the Talking Politics podcast clearly do.

Qatar have until tomorrow to agree to all 13 of the very exacting demands set by four neighbouring Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – on June 23rd. After this time, they will face economic and political sanctions; blockades and diplomatic isolation. This is a sudden and dramatic action that wildly destabilises the Middle East, and we should be under no illusions as to its potential future impact on us all.

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