📅 January 15 - January 21 | Deadlines and an LP12

Deadline approaching

I had another week of lots of things running simultaneously. I spent several hours teaching during the week, but I think the highlight for me was presenting a quick overview of tech’s role in the Caribbean creative industry. I’ve become an advisor and member of a collective called the Caribbean Creative Alliance to help foster collaboration of specialisations in the orange economy through technology. I’m looking forward to providing more information over the coming months. Keep an eye out.

As I’d mentioned previously, I’ve been finalising a proposal with the Stanford Internet Observatory, where I have partnered with Michele Marius of ICT-Pulse. The proposal is pretty much done but needs a little more work to get it to the stage where we can send it. That will happen this week. Otherwise, we’ll miss the deadline! I’m going to start a blog category dedicated to the research question, blog on an ongoing basis about the work we are doing, and report on where we are in the process. I think this might be a valuable resource, in and of itself, for anyone wanting to get involved or having more than a passing interest in the results. I hope to write something up this week and blog about it when it’s done.

I’ve started to implement a (very) basic time-tracking process to get a rough overview of where I spend my time. I’ve been historically poor at remembering to start and stop the timers, so I will need to make a concerted effort to do that. I’ll see how it goes, and given that I haven’t invested much money or time into it, I think it might be helpful to me to analyse if I am wasting time on frivolous things. I feel I get distracted a lot and don’t concentrate on the necessary or required things, which is the impetus to track for a while to see if I can see anything and perhaps do something about it. If you’re interested, the categories I’m tracking are:

  • Admin
  • Blogging/Newsletter
  • Consulting
  • Consulting Research
  • Goofing off
  • Personal
  • Research
  • Self-care

Admin is self-explanatory. As is Blogging/Newsletter and Consulting. I’m guessing you’re seeing why I included a category Goofing off.😃 I separated Research and Consulting Research to distinguish between paid project work and other work that is not necessarily paid. The rest, I think, speak for themselves. I’ll report back on this over the coming months. It’ll either be great or an abject failure! 😱

Reading

I read an excellent article (paywalled) from the FT on Saturday. There is a side to the AI and tech revolution that doesn’t get discussed enough (It’s a shame that this article is paywalled). Many hundreds of people are out there, mainly in the global south, doing the dirty work for companies like OpenAI, Meta (Facebook), Google and others without proper job security, salaries, and, most importantly, mental health care. It is something we should all be mindful of and something we should pressure companies like this to be more equitable. It’s like the late 90s’ and early 2000s again, when sweatshop working practices were exposed at Nike and many other manufacturers. This time, it is much bigger and potentially more dangerous for those involved.

I’m still reading and enjoying Doppelganger, and I expect to finish it sometime soon. I don’t do book reviews as a rule, and I don’t think I’ll do one for this book. I don’t see the point of them. I either like the book or don’t. Any takeaways I keep notes on and then use them (or not) in the future.

An average week sees me reading something around two or three hundred articles, papers and briefs. I might start listing the most intriguing, entertaining, or otherwise in the future. I haven’t decided yet. If you’d like to know, let me know.

Of note

It probably doesn’t mean much to you, but I have been spending a bit of time with some of the old hi-fi kit I’ve had in storage for ages. I got my (old) turntable, a Linn Sondek LP12, out and started cleaning it up to put it into service after a long pause. I’m missing a few bits and pieces, but signs are good that I’ll have it running and sounding wonderful over the next few weeks.

I never got rid of my vinyl collection, and I’m glad I didn’t. I’m looking forward to the tea ceremony and the slowed-down way of listening to music. It came about after I realised that I was becoming less and less satisfied with listening to playlists of different songs, be they auto-generated or curated by others and even the playlists I had created. There was something odd and “off” in my brain. As a result, recently, I’ve been listening to albums end to end, and this spurred me to think about setting up what is arguably one of the best turntables in the world to listen to music how we used to. I’ve always loved vinyl but have appreciated the convenience of streaming lately. Vinyl won’t replace what I have. It is just an addition and an indulgence from time to time.

I think it looks wonderful.

Have a great week.

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen