Ancient trees and the value of telling the truth

Who is it that drafts the spectacularly tone-deaf responses for the UK Government? Whenever a sentence begins “a spokesperson from X Dept/project/official body said”, you can guarantee the coming response will deliberately miss the point, and instead offer a mealy-mouthed platitude.

My most recent favourite is the one given to the BBC about the ancient woodland being felled for the development of HS2. Here it is:

“Seven million new trees and shrubs will be planted as part of the HS2 programme. The new native woodland will cover over 9 sq km of land.”

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Real life Lord of the Flies

It’s easy to imagine that William Golding’s Lord of the Flies speaks to what really lies at the heart of the human temperament, and that really, all of us are a single disaster away from becoming animals again. It’s certainly what motives lots of the prepper mindset, and I should think, lots of capitalist thinking. Rutger Bergman says that might not be the case. He went on the hunt for a real life Lord of the Flies, and found one.

I’m fascinated by this kind of thing; you only have to look at human history to see that we’re capable of truly horrifying things. There are also examples of the opposite; I haven’t done any serious research, but it’s an interesting question. Is there a definable ‘human nature’ we can pin down, and if there is, is it good or bad? Or is that far too simplifying, and in reality, depending on the conditions humans have the potential to be either? I’m curious.

The Markup – a new media outlet focusing on Big Tech

I discovered The Markup earlier today. They’re a thoughtful, ethical journalism non-profit, reporting on “how powerful institutions are using technology to change our society.”

Not only does The Markup promise not to expose you to third-party trackers, it also tries to collect as little personal information as possible and commits to never monetising the data they do collect. Points from me.

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The Joy of Farming & Creative Writing Streams

The stream was a blast, and I’ll be doing it again, on Thursday. I’ll be streaming Resident Evil 2 from seven. Something terrifying for Halloween.

It was shockingly easy to do and I’d recommend it.

The next step, I think is to come up with a format that would work for creative writing streams – I want to start doing streams about writing fiction and workshops, that sort of thing, but I need to do more background work first. Maybe if I get to the point where there’s a little community, even open mic night streams – y’know, bring a piece of poetry or short fiction and air it on stream for the crowd. If that’s something that interests you; let me know, I might be way out on a limb here.

Anyway. Scares. Zombies. Madcap commentary. Thursday, seven o’clock.