Malleable Musings

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day

Filed under: Blogs, Life at home — Brendan @ 9:10 pm

Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is climate change – which is something I think about frequently but only in a peripheral way.

I was first introduced to this idea at university 15 or more years ago so I spent this evening seeing if I could search out one of the old essays I wrote back then.  The specific essay I wanted was about climatic history since the arrival of homo sapiens on the planet.  I remebered that it contained some predictive data and I was interested in seeing how this data stacked up today.  I was also interested to see what my thinking back then was.  I imagine I bordered on the radical.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

These days I’ve probably become too comfortable with life’s little luxuries and I’m sure I don’t do enough personally.  I imagine that there a lot of people like me on the planet.

However changes are happening to our planet and for once I find myself agreeing with Gordo

“Like every parent, I want to leave a safe and secure world for my children. And I want to be able to look them in the eye because our generation stood up for their future.”

Although I wish it went further (in terms of an earlier peak for ommissions) I’m actually quite proud of the UK bid for Copenhagen and I pledged support online tonight.  The pledge is copied below in full.

‘I call for a global deal on climate change, and I want it to be:

  • Ambitious – no more than 2 degrees temperature rise, developed-country emissions to peak in five years; the whole world in ten
  • Effective – keep countries to their word, and let money flow to where it will make most difference
  • Fair – support the poorest countries to cut their emissions and adapt to climate change.’

May 9, 2009

Evolving consumption

Filed under: Blogs, RSS Feeds, Social Bookmarking, Twitter — Brendan @ 10:25 pm

I am a bit of an information whore. I’ve always been an avid reader but my pattern of consumption has certainly changed over the years.

Over the past few years, I’ve occasionally thought that I’ve come across a new online tool that might help me manage or sift the information better. I thought like this about digg and delicious and stumbleupon but I’ve never managed to run a social bookmarks account successfully. More recently I started to think Twitter might replace my various sources of information. It doesn’t as there are too many issues about the recall and quality of information. So today I really just dip in to Twitter every now and then. This means that what I read / respond to is often determined by recency and opportunity rather than anything else (although I’ll always respond to anything directed at me, as soon as I can).

Given this at the moment I consume news (my definition of news rather than my wife’s, who thinks I could take in news by listening to the radio or watching TV) in a way similar to the one Alicia describes on the most recent Just Another iPhone blog, i.e. via RSS, email alerts, twitter etc.

However I’m preparing myself to think about changing the way in which I consume information and ideas, and the way in which I record my thoughts and perspectives, as my lifestyle may be changing shortly (due to a new job). At the moment I use the evenings after the kids (and sometimes my wife) have gone to bed to catch up with things. Since I handed in my notice I’ve also had the luxury of using an increasing amount of my train journey to catch up with news, rather than working.

In addition I’ve started listening to more audio podcasts as well, both on the train and when I’m doing the more repetitive or manual tasks at work or at home (for example I’ll listen to a podcast while mowing the lawn).

I think my reliance on audio is only going to grow given that in the new job I’ll be driving rather than taking the train, and I’d quite like to use the 30-40 minutes productively. Tools such as tweetmic and audioboo are opening up podcasting but what isn’t there yet is the search technology to find the sort of things that I’m going to be interested in.  Adrian Graham explains this well in this audioboo.

The new job also means that I need to start tinkering with my OPML files for Google Reader and with my Friendfeed, which is the latest tool that I have high hopes for. The search is at least reliable for re-finding anything that I like/comment on/publish, but I will need to think about what tagging I need to do for audio (especially given my previous failures of using tags successfully on social bookmarking sites).

November 20, 2008

Private reflections on jumping into the blogosphere

Filed under: Blogs — Tags: — Brendan @ 7:04 pm

It’s funny – I’ve read bogs for years.  I’ve written on other people’s and run corporate and event blogs but I’ve never really been tempted to get my own thoughts into the blogosphere.

So what’s changed – I don’t know!. It’s not just a case of my memory not being as good as it used to be.  Nor is it a mid-life crisis (I think that’s still a few years away) nor is the arrival of my new i-Phone removing the barriers I had of getting time on the internet because my two kids monopolising my computer at home.

I guess it’s been a gradual process.

I suppose I should explain to you, my dear reader, who I am and what this blog is for – I’m using it as a space for me to make a note of things that I might forget and to help me refine my ideas about certain things.  In terms of what this blog might touch on I’ve got no idea but I guess it’ll cover a few different aspects from my personal life and maybe quite a few things that relate to my work.

As I’ve said this blog is for me – so if anyone else gets anything out of it that’s fantastic – if not as far as I’m concerned it’s no great loss.