Unfriendly

I haven't properly "blogged" here in so very long. With so many other social sites around like the Facebloops and the whatnots, it's seemed a little pointless putting anything up here where no one would read it. I could post a pic of my kids on that site that everyone has an account for and get a bunch of interactions there instead, so putting the effort into this site seemed pointless.

The sheer lazyness of it is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg is counting on. Posting on Facebook takes no effort, it's simple, and your pictures and rants and low effort posting gets seen and liked and commented on, and no one ever wants to leave, unless they held out for years and never joined in the first place. And if you want to chat to your mum, or your wife through anything other than SMS, are you really going to make them install something else like Telegram instead of just using Messenger?

But I can't be lazy any more. I quit Twitter years ago (and finally deleted it a week ago), and this week I'm quitting Facebook. All the cool kids are doing it, but none of the cool kids I know do, so I'm the dumbass who has to look like a hipster wannabe rebel and close down my account. So I'm not "closing" it - I've simply deleted most of what information there was about me, unfriended everyone, and left a public message that people should email me or visit my site here from now on. I hope people don't get too offended. I've already been told off my my wife for removing the fact that we're married from her profile... I probably didn't think through some of the side effects here.

I'm really sorry everyone

I'm holding out for something new and federated. Something where I can own my data, but still share it in a way that's easy and lets old friends and family I never get to see know I'm alive. There are promising beginnings out there, but they all suffer from not being easy to set up, or not having enough people, or just plain not being what I'm really looking for. And no, Slack isn't it - it's just as closed and proprietary as Facebook.

If you've come here from Facebook to see what I'm doing or get in touch, you can email me. My personal email is Josh (my name) at demands.coffee - I know it doesn't look like an email address, but trust me it is. And if you want to instant message me, download and add me on Telegram - it's the closest thing to Facebook Messenger I've found that actually cares about privacy, security of your messages, and is just plain useful. And if you're really paranoid, I've got a Wickr account too.

The Christmas Playlist That Doesn’t Suck (2017)

Space santa

I've scoured Soundcloud to find the best Christmas music I could find. It's chock full of Christmas favourites that are guaranteed to:

  1. Bring Christmas cheer
  2. Not suck

This years playlist includes:

Jingle Bells, Ding Dong Merrily on High, The First Noel, the only version of Jingle Bell Rock that doesn't make me want to cancel Christmas, Silent Night, and sixteen more classics reimagined in ways that don't suck.

The whole Christmas Playlist That Doesn't Suck (2017) is up on Soundcloud right now, go have a listen!

Thank you to all the artists who have shared their Christmas songs on SoundCloud for the rest of us!

The Christmas Playlist That Doesn’t Suck (2016)

Christmas on Skaro

I've scoured Soundcloud to find the best Christmas music I could find. It's chock full of Christmas favourites (and a few new ones) that are guaranteed to:

  1. Bring Christmas cheer
  2. Not suck

This years playlist includes:

We Wish You A Merry Christmas, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, Joy To The World, Santa Clause Is Coming To Town, Mele Kalikimaka, Wonderful Christmastime, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, We Three Kings, Drummer Boy, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Home Alone Theme, Marshmallow World, White Christmas, Away In A Manger, Always In The Season, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, The Grinch, Let It Snow, Sleigh Ride, O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Noel, Jingle Bells, as well as four originals.

The whole Christmas Playlist That Doesn't Suck (2016) is up on Soundcloud right now, go have a listen!

Thank you to all the artists who have shared their Christmas songs on SoundCloud for the rest of us!

This Life

Six years ago I wrote a post sitting in a park watching my daughter play. I called it "The Life" and the feelings in it spring from what seem to be an eternal longing inside me to live other people's more "glamorous" lives. For instance, I listen to a lot of different podcasts and I find myself wishing I could "do that". Whatever that might be.

For instance, if I'm listening to an adventure drama, I'll wish I could write something as engaging as The Red Panda and capture people's imaginations.

Or if I'm listening to two guys chatting I start imagining what interesting conversations I could have with my favourite people to share with the world.

If I'm listening to a something educational, I'll try and figure out what subject I know enough about (or could learn enough about) to be as engaging as Hardcore History.

Ultimately though, what they all share in common is the underlying model of making cool stuff and being your own boss. I don't know why this appeals to me so much, but it does, and always has. I don't really know where I acquired this romantic notion that self-employment in some creative endevour is what would make me happiest, because frankly the idea of putting myself in charge of anything sounds like a terrifyingly stupid idea.

There are a couple of things I spelled out in that post six years ago that I thought would make me happier:

to pad aactually the original post had a pun that I won't reward by making twice out my digital lifestyle with all the trimmings

I'm pretty content with my trimmings right now. I have enough disposable income to get "stuff" that makes my inner geek/child happy, and to get some fun stuff for my own kids that my own parents could never afford for me.

sit in a park and read and write

I still sit at a desk.

never fix another jammed printer or reset another password

I hear talk of mythical beings who enjoy their day jobs

This I've achieved! This is where I have to point out how fortunate I've been to get to a point in my career where I absolutely thoroughly love what I do. I used to weigh up taking a day off almost daily in previous roles and jobs, but where I am right now it never occurs to me. That isn't something I take lightly, and I am grateful to everyone who has helped push me into this position.

just make giant run-on sentences that would make Zombie_Plan and Rubenerd proud.

Not run on sentences, but I'm pretty proud of the size of some of my SQL queries.

Asides   [ + ]

a. actually the original post had a pun that I won't reward by making twice

[Podcast] Edict Zero – FIS

I'm not sure how many of my friends are in the market for good podcasts, but one of my favourites has just returned from a lengthy hiatus.

edict-zero

This is a superb treat for your ears. No other podcast I listen to sounds quite so epic and intimate at the same time. The voice acting is sublime and draws you in to the intricately created world of the Edicts.

Now is a great time to listen from the beginning and catch up for the second half of season 3. Immerse yourself in the world of Agent Nick Garrett of the F.I.S investigating reports of strange phenomena that threaten to undermine his understanding of the very nature of the world.

It's atmospheric and creepy with incredible sound design. I really can't recommend it enough.

Edict Zero - FIS

Mandatory Detention of Asylum Seeker Children

I'm livid lately at the state of this country's politics, and the reason is this government's absolutely disgraceful reaction to the Human Rights Commission report into the children in detention.

Tony Abbott is a fool and an incompetent, but the vast majority of the front bench are much much worse. Not because they are idiots, but because they have proven themselves to be heartless pieces of filth.

If you haven't already, take the time to read just the findings of the report. It's a small list, but it cuts to the heart of the problems with keeping kids in detention.

"The overarching finding of the Inquiry is that the prolonged, mandatory detention of asylum seeker children causes them significant mental and physical illness and developmental delays, in breach of Australia’s international obligations.

The following is a snapshot of the findings:

  • Children in immigration detention have significantly higher rates of mental health disorders than children in the Australian community.
  • Both the former and current Ministers for Immigration agreed that holding children for prolonged periods in remote detention centres, does not deter people smugglers or asylum seekers. There appears to be no rational explanation for the prolonged detention of children.
  • The right of all children to education was denied for over a year to those held on Christmas Island.
  • The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, as the guardian of unaccompanied children, has failed in his responsibility to act in their best interests.
  • The Commonwealth’s decision to use force to transfer children on Christmas Island to a different centre breached their human rights.
  • The numerous reported incidents of assaults, sexual assaults and self-harm involving children indicate the danger of the detention environment.
  • At least 12 children born in immigration detention are stateless, and may be denied their right to nationality and protection.
  • Dozens of children with physical and mental disabilities are detained for prolonged periods.
  • Some children of parents assessed as security risks have been detained for over two years without hope of release.
  • Children detained indefinitely on Nauru are suffering from extreme levels of physical, emotional, psychological and developmental distress."

The findings damn both this government AND the previous one, and make some serious recommendations for improving the situation. That this government has chosen to attack rather than listen has removed the last rational hope that we aren't being led by heartless disgusting monsters. Abbott shooting his mouth off is the least of the problems.

Scott Morrison has failed these children, and we're told he should be thanked! They accuse a respected Human Rights lawyer of partisan bias intending to occlude any introspection, while admitting that they haven't bothered to read it! They offer her a new job just weeks before the release of the report, and they smirk about it while testifying that she wanted it. I'm angry that all I can do is write on Facebook. I'm angry that people who voted for Abbott think that he's the main problem. Or Peta Credlin, Or partisan politics.

The problem is that discourse in this country is games and intrigue instead of vision and accountability. No one is doing it right, and Australia's soul is turning black while kids suffer and their parents face bleak hopeless futures. And none of my friends are to blame. None of you wanted this either. What do you do about it that I should be doing? Where do we go from here instead of impotently raging online? I needed to get this off my chest, and I do so knowing that I'm not helping, and I'm not improving the level of discourse by blaming Liberal voters. I'm sorry if I've offended.

I want to know that other people are thinking about this too, and I want people to know the facts, not the nonsense that our politicians want people to believe.

The Christmas Playlist That Doesn’t Suck (2014)

Christmas 2010

I've scoured Soundcloud to find the best Christmas music I could find. It's chock full of Christmas favourites (and a few new ones) that are guaranteed to:

  1. Bring Christmas cheer
  2. Not suck

Thank you to all the artists who have shared their Christmas songs on SoundCloud for the rest of us!

The Christmas Playlist That Doesn't Suck (2014)

NOTE: I posted this in 2015, backdated to 2013 when I created it because I wanted an archive of each year.

The Christmas Playlist That Doesn’t Suck (2013)

robot christmas

I've scoured Soundcloud to find the best Christmas music I could find. It's chock full of Christmas favourites (and a few new ones) that are guaranteed to:
1) Bring Christmas cheer
2) Not suck

25+ tracks from great musicians with a unique sound to bring to your Christmas celebrations. Including favourites like "Away in a Manger", "Carol of the Bells", and even a special rendition of an old favourite from a much beloved Star Wars character!

Thank you to all the artists who have shared their Christmas songs on SoundCloud for the rest of us!

The Christmas Playlist That Doesn't Suck (2013)

NOTE: I posted this in 2015, backdated to 2013 when I created it because I wanted an archive of each year.