Friday, January 19, 2018

A winter wonderland

Having been terrorised, terrorised a few nights ago by 70 mph winds (in the morning the bird bath had blown away .. ending up under the car .. imagine!) - this morning saw us whitened by hail.

The back garden

The front drive

Surely we must blame climate change.

We were up at 7.30 am because the local furniture shop, Haskins, had given us a window (8am - 1pm) for the delivery of our new sideboard. Clare was so looking forward to it.

I think it would have been about half past ten when the two burly delivery men drew up in their large van. I didn't envy their porterage of such a heavy piece of furniture up our steep drive (this was thankfully just before the hail storm hit).

We had speculated whether delivery people these days stay for coffee and biscuits, or just do the job and depart on some insane schedule. But that's just Amazon. We tried the experiment and treated the men to Waitrose-sourced coffee bags and shortbreads. They were very grateful and one of them was even somewhat conversational.


Clare is delighted with the new sideboard

The cutlery, plates and sundries have now migrated: I find it confusing. Apparently it takes two days to rewire the brain. At least that's what Nick Harkaway claims in the excellent and deeply weird "Gnomon" (of which more shortly).

Amazon link - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I haven't quite finished his novel but I'm meditating on authors who are: off-the-scale Intuitive, who fail to find an editor to complement their insane research-depth and hyper-associative writing, who seem to have uncritically internalised hyper-liberalism, who are plainly very, very smart but still don't delve beneath the linguistic category of 'totalitarian surveillance'.

Mr Harkaway is by turns intriguing and infuriating.

But ultimately quite thought-provoking, this AI-powered panopticon of total automation. There's more to it than who gets to decide the boundary conditions and classification rules.

Here's the Kirkus review (no spoilers).

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