Friday, 14 March 2014

The Stream

The flow of people from the station I see every day is unknowable and chaotic; I call it the stream. It ebbs and flows and pulses with time, and at some point in its strength you can only attack the problem with statistics. The mathematics can represent the total of the crowd, the vector of its travel and intent, but that becomes zero-sum as the stream moves on, disseminating into Westminster, and later - back. Unless, of course,  you see something that you recognise; maybe the cut of a coat, a specific pair of boots or a primary display of hair. Then, the eye is caught and greater analysis can be performed.

The stream changes morning to morning, day to day before reversing later in the day like the tidal Thames, and I think about how it could be used to tell a fortune. Fluomancy; seeing the future in the whorls, eddies and tides of moving water as the particles flow out from the station and into the city, passing around obstacles both structural and human, with those that fight the stream doomed to drown unless they are the strongest of swimmers.

The motion is framed by contra-flows and whirlpools like the jet streams of Jupiter, and this is where the commerce occurs, giving freedom for those trying to beat the flow and direction. And that commerce is life and choice and exchange and freedom.

Let the maths yield the shape of the future, as the fluid flows. Trust the numbers. Trust in the stream.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Bookmarks for 20140313

Thursday is an exciting day. I'll tell you all why soon. Work is busy, things are progressing and I saw a cracking gig last night - Hollie McNish supported by Sabrina Mahfouz - awesome awesome awesome spoken-word poetry at Bush Hall. After the gig I popped in for a quick beer at my neighbouring bar and ended up on a call to technical support for half an hour to try and fix their card machine, which didn't get fixed but at least I got a free beer out of it. I then woke up with a headache this morning and I'm blaming the card machine.

Good article on thinking about appropriate data structures in Redis.

StreamTools by the New York Times R&D Lab.

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! A Fighting Fantasy RPG brought to Android and iOS. However, I'm biased so here's just the Android link:

I've been on a massive reading binge recently, here's a couple of highlights:

Red Phone Box: A Darkly Magical Story Cycle, by Salomé Jones, Warren Ellis, et al. This was quite a ride through London... Every London.

Gun Machine, by Warren Ellis. This is the detective novel I've been waiting for. Also some of my favourite writing I've come across for a while. An unsettling case that spreads across 20 years and all of Manhattan.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bar cycle 1 of x

And there's a girl on a Mac Air, wearing some kind of jacket that seems to mostly consist of feathers, and she's studying pictures of men with immaculately clipped beards who are drinking beer and playing croquet.

She drinks tea in the middle of the bar and restaurant.  Tea, because she can't concentrate on the beards or the croquet with a head full of beer or wine. Or maybe she is so loaded on heroin and etsy-as-a-positive-career-move that anything else doesn't have that zing apart from the morning ritual of the triple espresso assfuck. Rich kids aren't what they used to be.

What led her to this, I wonder? In what channel of the screaming great Pantheon of choices in life do you wind up eschewing alcohol and looking at hipsters being ultra-gentrified; instead of a baseball bat they are hefting a mallet. You poor, sick, lost schmuck.