Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Today is the 2nd anniversary of my marriage to Mrs A.

To say that I love her more than ever would be a bit obvious, a bit twee and frankly a bit mushy.

But I do.

Thank you Mrs A for the two years so far, you've made me happy beyond words and everything is better with you next to me. Even the cloudy days.

Not a long post I'll grant you, but from the heart nonetheless.


Monday, 22 December 2014

The Black Space Behind the Eyes

There's a passage in a book by one of my favourite authors that deals with the human condition as it relates to interacting with others. The book itself isn't very highbrow at all but it had a beautiful phrase in it that really resonated with me - "the only place that anyone is ever truly alone, ever has true privacy, is in the black space behind the eyes".

But I think that concept has had its day. Sure, up until fairly recently we were exposed to a thousand social transactions a day, but these were by and large with other human beings who were in the main barely interested in the stuff coming out of your mouth, let alone the thoughts behind it.

Save for a few loved ones and the occasional skilled negotiator no-one would give two hoots what was going on in my head. But then came big data and now every time I pick up my phone I leave a digital trail that Google and their ilk use to understand not what I might say, but what I'm truly interested in.

My phone knows what I'm doing and where I'm going and makes helpful suggestions. It knows when I'm likely to be leaving the office, what the traffic is like and will suggest the best route home. It knows what music I'm likely to want to listen to at a particular time of day and will magically generate playlists to suit.

Of course I know that the reason that big companies pour so much resource into this is so that they can sell me more crap that I don't need more effectively and up until a few years ago the AI was so poor, the suggestions so inaccurate, that I was quite happy to just turn it all off and keep my thoughts to myself.

The problem is now that it's so damn good its actually become useful.

It's probably even written my next post for me already.


Friday, 19 December 2014


Tonight I was trying to explain the difference between conscious and subconscious actions. It's surprisingly difficult to articulate whilst also driving along country roads in the dark.

After a couple of stabs at examples I came to rest on the act of driving being part conscious, part subconscious.

The Boy Wonder is now under the impression that automatic gearboxes employ some kind of subconscious technology. I think I'll leave that with him for a while.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Merry Go Round

This is Liuetenant Murtagh. He appears in the Lethal Weapon series of films with Riggs (AKA Mel Gibson) which was current when I was susceptible to such tosh in the late eighties..

Murtagh was the old-school cop who had done his time with the LAPD at the sharp end and was hoping for a nice steady run up to retirement.

Anyway, I am relating more and more to Murtagh as time goes on. On a regular basis whilst leaping around from one panic to the next at work like a flea on a hotplate I think those very words. Quite often with vim and vigour.

Although the place I earn a crust at the moment is truly fascinating from an engineering point of view, it is unfortunately equally fascinating for its entropic approach to management. It often feels that the decision making process may well be based to some degree on dice or possibly chicken bones and some low quality hoodoo. We have recently had an unannounced rejig in structure that eventually filtered out to those involved, resulting in a new official boss based in Singapore for me and 5 unofficial ones in the UK that turn up at my desk one after another with their own particular bucketful of mayhem.

The delightful Mrs A is getting bored senseless by the ongoing tales of lunacy and is telling me to chuck it in. It's a tempting thought for sure but I'm currently determined to stick it out to the bitter end in March. This point of view is subject to change on almost a daily basis.

So for the next few months I will try to keep my eye on the finish line and do my absolute very best to keep the voices in my head inside my head. After all, it all worked out OK for Murtagh in the end.