Archive for Chains Blog

How the Internet has changed

So I consider myself to be very lucky in that I have seen some of the rise in digital communications, once they reached a point that was accessible for many anyway.

My adventures started with the Commodore 64 computer and Compunet in the UK, not to be confused with the CompuServe that came sometime after the collapse of Compunet.

So at first we were stuck with 1200/300 speeds that bits per second folks so 1200bps download and 300bps upload and yes I suspect some of you in the middle of nowhere are still stuck that on ADSL 😛

My first dealings gave me a feeling of power at my finger tips and the ability to download software was quite frankly amazing for 1986-1989 when I was mainly active.

It would be at least 8-9 more years before the early dial-up companies started to offer these services to a wider audience though AOL and who can forget who kicked it all off in 1999 with their free dial-up access in the evenings and weekends.

Anyway I digress somewhat my main point was at the beginning everything was for the greater good, as with the advent of the Personal Computer in the 70’s and 80’s though the big businesses started to take notice and slowly our freedoms were eroded and replaced by consumer demand. Some even hailed it a great thing as surely more choice is always a good thing.

And yes to a certain extent they were right but slowly the big businesses started to see the opportunities, along with the threats, building their models on human nature and harnessing maybe our weakest point.. Human nature has us looking for more, more of everything and those of use coming from the 70’s and 80’s were struck by the shiny stuff and flashing lights this digital age were offering and signed up with glee to free or limited time offers for gadgets and access to cool sites..

..Step forward 10 years and things have started to show how the internet is now not about freedom but control. No longer can a person look up details on a subject and be sure they are reading fact and not some amazing video put out by a large business to shape our values, fears and ultimately decisions removing our conceived control one tiny step at a time.

So here we all stand with people clearly controlling the narrative and yet they have worked the magic so well people feel it’s ok to check for the facts on something of arsebook or titter. We have as a society slowly, through our own hubris, allowed ourselves to become a slave to the technology that was about to set us free in the 80’s and 90’s.

I weep for the day the printing presses stop and we all use a Kindle with it’s auto update so those with the keys to power can rewrite history in real-time with updates.

How long before this blog is considered illegal for not following the herd and/or political lies.

So.. in closing.. Buy a book look into things before agreeing with your favourite person and have a good hard look at yourself in the mirror.. It’s “ok” to disagree with people, that’s how we as a society have evolved.

I just hope we can break these chains that now bind us to technology and turn it around before it’s too late.

Welcome to the Pandemic

So did I ever think we would have this sort of world and how comfortable am I right now?

To be honest I haven’t really got a massive issue with the stuck inside as many who know me will attest to I will happily sit on my fat arse all day and watch TV or surf the web. However my job has meant I have continued to work, more so than before as everyone else is available 24/7 because they’re working remote. It came to a head last week when I felt burnt out and just wanted to hide in a dark room 🙁

And no I never thought or would have wanted to be like this, feeling hunted if I go shopping and looking over my shoulder as I stick some chocolate eggs and biscuits in the trolley in case the thought police seize me for non-essential trips out shopping. Delivery of stuff means that technology hasn’t really changed for me, although I’m seeing delays on launching products (a laptop I ordered has been delayed from April until June now.. rather annoy after paying for it mid March).

Reminds me I need to order up some micro-SD cards.. wanders off to amazon and orders a bunch… £15.98 for 5 16GB cards.. crazy prices.. Oh course when I look back it this, in say 5 years, I will shudder paying that much 😉

I’m going to try updating this one every couple of days for awhile, more to get stuff off my mind than anything, move along nothing to see!

A couple of days without a phone

Strange title for a post but it does have a reason behind it.. 

So my current contract is full on and doesn’t stop either day or night. As a phone these days is connected either to a mobile network or Wifi access point it is pretty hard to turn it off, what with WhatsApp and Telegram being used for work to communicate progress it means that just turning off the Sim for some peace doesn’t work. Which means I have to turn my whole phone off… As everyone on the project knows my phone number I can’t even move to another phone with the Sim card. And of course it also means I can’t just setup another phone and carry on as WhatsApp and Telegram are linked to my Google account.

Yes I could just uninstall the apps or not install them on a new phone, ignore calls etc.. but ultimately as I have been getting more and more stressed out with the role I decided to turn off my phone until the New Year.

The surreal thing about this is going out and having a coffee I can see things I never noticed before as I don’t have my head buried in the phone.

I’ve also realised I use the phone to hide and escape, it’s almost as though you can turn on an invisibility cloak when you pull a phone and start scrolling through it. Yes I know you are still there and everyone can see you, but something about our society means you ignore people staring into their phones.

So what would I like to mention today to get you all thinking?

The internet.. Do you remember when everyday something new could be discovered and it wasn’t a platform for hate and control? I miss the simple nature of IRC and Talkers (thanks for introducing me Froodle), Then we had ICQ (remember that), Trillian.. Now everyone is on a platform, Facebook, MeWe, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.. It seems most people have forgotten that the internet is more than a series of platforms and as has been shown in China and recently Russia it’s easy to turn platforms off or control them. The internet was built to be a resilient communications platform. Instead we now have a large online advertising platform with fluff.. The more I observe the way things are progressing the more I see it twisted for everyone elses purposes.

I just hope the next big thing gives back control the us the people to continue to innovate and move technology and society forward. here;’s to taking back control of our destiny in 2020!

To the end of 2019

So as the year draws to a close what has happened?

Well the country managed to elect a bunch of lying toffs and we’re all heading towards a mirror of the US.. I wonder if we’ll be building a wall?

In other news still working and still on the verge of chucking it all in, even if I’m on variation order 5… Everything is starting to get to me 🙁

So in closing I’m looking forward to the complete Armageddon that IR35 will be bringing next year.

Hope everyone has a great Xmas and New year.

I’ll raise a glass of Dr pepper to you all ?

Getting colder!

Still hard working away in the background, no real progress on any projects of late, some small fiddling bits with the 3D Printers but nothing major. I really haven’t had any spare time to do that sort of thing if I’m honest.

Been finding myself on a flight either to London or Europe a lot of late although I think that should calm down a little now, this traveling just doesn’t agree with me.

So we are coming to the cold part of the year, I have one more week of work then a week off, just as things start to get *interesting*, but I have been told to start farming out my work to someone else. Even though I’m not very confident this other person will work in the company or projects favour I have to start accepting I can not do everything and I need to look at the work/life balance.

Strangely working from home I would have expected a better balance, but that does not seem to have been the case, I’m constantly on the go either working online, in meetings or taking calls….

So now that’s my moaning out of the way what else?

No an awful lot! How are you all doing in the land of the real?