September 25 - October 01: Lots of moving parts

I had a busy week with many moving parts that required a little patience and organisation. As someone who struggles with personal organisation and procrastination at the best of times, I was quite surprised with my ability to successfully organise and execute all the required bits within the constraints that were self-imposed. If you know, you know.

Next week looks to be no less busy, and I’m going to be going between many projects over the week.

I started my participation in the ARIN Fellowship with the first meeting, and we’ll meet again this week. I’m looking forward to my participation and feel that it is something I can develop over the coming years.

I managed to keep up with the UNCTAD training I’m currently doing, a course on international trade statistics on services. Clearly, I’m interested in digital services statistics and how they are captured in official statistics systems. The course is really interesting, but very dense and quite dry. A challenge. So far, my results have been good, and I’m over the average score at the moment. I have three more modules to complete the course, taking the next three weeks. I’ll need some good planning to keep studying during a busy period.


I finished iRobot reasonably quickly, and I quite enjoyed it. I haven’t purchased the second book in the series yet, but I think I’ll do it soon. I’ve tried to keep to a routine of non-fiction and factual texts in the morning and during the day and novels in the evening. I have an anthology of Coupland books to read, but I haven’t got into it yet.

I find that with a lot of books, particularly novels, I get frustrated at the start, then suddenly I’m all in on the story and can’t stop reading it. There are only a few novels that I haven’t had this feeling with. The moral of the tale is to stick with it until you get over the edge. I rarely give up on a book, although it has happened.

Of note

I’m thinking a lot about three subjects at the moment for professional and personal reasons: colonialism, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

I’m not someone who is binary in my thoughts. I find things are always much more nuanced than most would think. Not only that, there are contradictory positions that we as humans are capable of holding in our heads simultaneously. For example, I don’t think Sam Altman is a particularly trustworthy or benevolent person he presents himself as. But, ChatGPT, when used correctly, can bring useful benefits.

Over the coming weeks, there is plenty of time to think deeply about this and other subjects.

Have a great week.

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen