Coming up in 2018!

Just a brief sketch of my plans for the year:

First and foremost, and most obviously, I’ve just launched my first ever podcast, Set This House In Order (click on the green and gold square on the right for more details). One week in, and feeling pretty good so far.

I’m also in the process of remodelling my other website, The Centre Cannot Hold, and making it less of a blog, more of a traditional site. It’s slow going (there’s more than 3000 posts and pages to sort through), but it is coming along. (Click on the blue jigsaw piece design on the right to go there.)

Work continues on my other other site, Reading Orders, because the real difficulty with creating reading orders for pop culture is that people don’t stop making it. (Click on the purple square to the right to go there.)

My next big project is going to be another podcast, called Look Back In Wonder, in which I plan to interview people about their favourite David Bowie songs. If that’s something you’d be interested in, drop me a line – I’m happy to interview just about anyone for this.

There will probably be some other projects along the way, but that’s definitely enough to keep me going for now 🙂

Set This House In Order: Episode Zero

I’m so excited!

The preview episode for my first podcast just dropped.

This podcast:
Set This House In Order

Set This House In Order is a podcast in which I attempt to find ways to make our political system better. Minor tweaks or major reforms that make politics fairer, or smarter, or less corrupt. Most of them are little things – slight revisions or re-orientations that make things incrementally better rather than blowing up the whole thing and starting over. Because what we have is actually pretty good – but it can always be better.

You can find it here, and I’ll be adding it to all the usual places over the next few days. Let me know if there’s an app or service you particularly want to see it on – I have a list, but I’m sure I missed somewhere.

Why a “No” vote isn’t even a “No” vote

I understand that you might want to vote No in Australia’s rapidly-approaching postal survey about whether or not we should stop treating our gay and lesbian fellows as second-class citizens. I disagree with you, but it’s your right to do it. I won’t stop you.

I will, however, point out that your No vote isn’t really a No vote.

It won’t settle this issue once and for all, and if you believe it will, you’ve read too much propaganda about the namby-pamby Lefties. If the result of this vote in No, it won’t change a thing for the Left. We won’t stop fighting until we win this fight, and a decade after we’ve won, even you will wonder what all the fuss was about. The fuss you made – but I digress.

This survey is not really a question of if. It’s a question of when.

Your No vote is, at most, a Not Yet vote. That’s all.

That’s as much as you can hope to achieve by voting No.

Not an end to homosexuality, not a guarantee of the primacy of the Christian churches, not an end to the ever-growing societal acceptance of homosexuality – simply a delay in the recognition that we are all human and all deserve the same rights. Just a delay.

The ALP is already on record as saying that they will legislate for Marriage Equality in the first hundred days after they’re elected, and you know that the Greens will vote with them on this, so it will sail through both houses – which means that, at most, it’s about two years away (unless the LNP starts to perform markedly better than they have since winning office in 2013, and really, what are the chances of that?).

You can delay it, but you can’t stop it. And really, what does the additional delay gain you? Seriously. I want to know. What measurable, concrete benefit do you derive from it? Because I can’t think of anything, and I’ve tried. I’ve also read a lot of the No side’s arguments, and it’s pretty obvious that no one much on that side can list any either.

So vote Yes. Vote to bring the future into the present. Vote to recognise and celebrate our common humanity:

Vote Yes

Why is your crap in “My Documents”?

I’ve just been trying to get my documents folder organised. I have a bad habit of just dumping things in there – little snippets of txt files, longer doc files, even the odd spreadsheet or presentation – at the topmost level and not giving them another thought. Which is fine and dandy, until the volume of stuff gets too high to easily find things.

So I start creating directories to put things in, and before long, there’s a hierarchical tree structure that makes some sort of sense, at least to me.

But there’s also a bunch of random crap also sitting there, in smug little directories of its own, jostling for position and serving as an unnecessary distraction. You know the kind of things I mean. The folder labelled “Custom Office Templates” that Windows puts there, despite the fact that the standard templates are stored with the Office apps that use them. The “Saved Games” folders that Steam and GOG and apparently every game designer thinks are better placed in the Documents folder than stored under their applications – which also tends to mean that they don’t get deleted if you uninstall the game, just to really rub it in.

Coders, programmers, console cowboys, keyboard jockeys, whatever the hell you’re calling yourselves this week, I would like to make a request of you. I want you, before you set a default saving location, to ask yourself one simple question:

Is the file I intend to have saved here actually any sort of Document?

Because if not, it doesn’t belong in the My Documents folder. It’s really not that hard.

And don’t weasel – you know what a document is in this context, and if you’re honest, you find this just as annoying as the rest of us. Although perhaps not quite as annoying as this guy or this other guy do.

Hell, at this point, it’s such a rare thing to do that you could probably advertise it as a selling point of whatever it is you’re selling. At very least, it’d be a feature, not the bug we currently have.