- I’ve been out of London again this week staying in Devon with my parents. Lots of walking1 and big skies2 and stuff like that.
- On sunday before heading I went to the firework display3 in Victoria Park. The display is one of my favourite things about living in east london — still impresses me that they put on such a good display4 for free in such a poor area, while the richer neighbourhoods on charge money to see theirs.
- Normally I’m chill with people photographing things, but I had to try to really hard to stay cool with all the camera phone flashes this year. The absolute worst were the social media people in front attempting to photograph a challenger bank credit card5 with fireworks in the background (no idea who the bank is?) but honestly anyone using a flash during a dark event is a dickhead.
- Why do phones default to using flash in the dark? The only valid reason for using a flash is taking a photo of you or your mates looking hot in the club. They really don’t work for anything else.
- OK maybe proper flashes are useful for other stuff, but not the LED torches that phones come with.
- Why don’t phone manufacturers use their face detection stuff to only activate the flash when they can tell you’re photographing someone’s face? And just keep it disabled otherwise?
- This is google glass stuff. Sometimes your user isn’t the only person affected by your product.
- On that subject — the new John Le Carre!
- Fucking hell though the new John Le Carre!
- Inspiring to know that you can be that old, that many decades into your career and still understand the world so incisively.
I'm not writing about the secret services — I'm writing about England and Britain now, and the problems in Europe. People like spy stories, I like writing spy stories [as] a vehicle, a stage, a theater, that I use to express other things.
...If we can only shake off the rhetoric that drives us, and the lies that drive us, and we can address things like the ecology, things like the inequity of reward, the unfairness of the distribution of wealth at the most elementary levels. If we can make people feel that the social contract is back in place and they're part of it, then possibly we have a future. But if we just go on cascading into expansion, blind expansion, if we go on believing that there is unlimited expansion in a limited globe, I think we are heading for destruction. The globe will survive but mankind won't.
John Le Carre on NPR
I think my own ties to England were hugely loosened over the last few years. And it’s a kind of liberation.
John Le Carre in the Guardian
- Anyway that’ll do for this week. Be nice and look after yourselves during the election hellscape x