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Everyone Dies Twice 
Greetings from the shed...
There is so much to be thankful for.
I morned a friend this week. I wonder how he’d feel about that. He might be quietly flattered. But I think he’d also take the piss and tell me to cheer up.
I then busied myself contemplating how to save his podcast archive and get it back online. Thankfully James Rickards has started the ball rolling with at least 30 past episodes saved. There are well over 100 still out there.
His URL BritishMac.com appears to have been grabbed and put up for offer but there are other BritishMac options out there. I don’t mind chipping in towards the minimum bid of £199 if a collective can rebuild and host Will’s work.
It would be nice if a part of him could continue to exist online.
There is a quote often attributed to Hemingway or Banksy but it looks like it might be an old Jewish tradition that states…
Everyone dies twice. The first time when the heart stops beating, and the synapses in the brain shut down, like a city during a blackout. The second time, when the dead person's name is uttered, read or thought of for the last time, after fifty or hundred or four hundred years.
Or perhaps if we could find all of his old episodes, we could host them on Archive.org.
I then got to wondering how long it will be till gravestones have an AI version of the deceased embedded within them. I had contemplated interactive gravestones in 2003 when I found out my Grandad’s green burial site had an RFID tag. Then in 2008 I used Gowalla to attach some audio of him singing to the location. It wasn’t until 2012 when we started to see more mainstream networking of memorial stones and final resting places.
I wonder if Will ever talked about this kind of thing in an old podcast or post. He made a lot of recordings and covered a many topics. What if he gave permission to be cloned as with AI? So a virtual version of him might continue to read Apple news after he’s gone.
It’s easy to do this now. With the assistance of tools like Replica and Eleven Labs, all we would need is a sample of Will’s voice and then get another tool to summarise a month of tech news into a script in the style of Will Green. And Will really did have his own style. Here is a clip from 2009.
Obviously cloning a persons voice for this purpose conjures up all kinds of ethical concerns. That is why it’s better to have consent. In conversations with me he didn’t want the virtual worlds to overtake the physical one. But I can’t help think that with his fascination with ghosts and the afterlife he’d want to come back if he could. Both to make us smile, think and possibly freak us out.
Stunning work from Channel 4.
This video on how plants cool the planet is one of the best explanations I have seen.
Randomly watched the documentary The Pez Outlaw and quite enjoyed it. It’s about a lot more than just Pez. And cleverly done.
Also this dispatch is late because I popped out to watch the new Indy film but missed it. So watched Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Pt1 instead. Review below.
When I wrote this (not great) review on Letterboxd and hit enter, the screen went black and it looked like the computer had been compromised telling me that my review would self destruct in 5 seconds. Ethan hunt apparently then intervened and let it post.
At that moment I pictured that every mediocre review the film gets is sent directly to Tom Cruise’s phone and no matter where he is, or what he's doing, he lets out an anguished scream. He then points to two Scientology heavies, who run off knowing what to do. I’m expecting them at the door any moment now.
Weirdly I felt there were far too many five star reviews of this film than there should have been. Maybe someone got to them.
Like many. The moment I saw the OP-1 Field portable sampler/synth I wanted one. It really is a thing of beauty and although I came very close to picking up the original OP-1 for £500 in Australia. I regretted grabbing one before the prices shot up. Well I’ve missed out again because the field is priced at a whopping £1900 and at that price I really have to ask myself why I really need it. Thankfully, after watching the following video I realised I wanted it because it looked cool. Because if I was really after a portable solution for music generation in the same style, then a laptop, GarageBand and a bunch of free plug-ins will do the same job. And I can get all that together without spending a penny. Phew.
If I ever get the chance I’m definitely taking one of these back in time.
I think the 1500’s would really get a kick out of seeing this.
Picked up some lovely beer this week but i’m told I have run out of space for more images so here is a link to breakfast… And where I bought said beers. Here is a cucumber I picked half an hour ago and here is what i’m drinking right now.
[Get ready for a few Amazon affiliate links. While I know some of you support this email monthly or yearly (thankyou!) all the rest are freeloaders ;-) and can at least allow me a few pennies should they choose to buy something via an amazon link.]
I got two books in the post. The one on the left in the image The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World was a gift from Caroline Phillips and I bought the book on the right at Thinking Digital. ‘Incredible edible, seeds to solutions, the power of small actions’. It’s signed by Pam Warhurst. The founder of the movement.
I’ve started with the field guide and from the moment I opened it up I was in tears of laughter. A fantastically rude parody bird guide. Such a great idea for a book.
I have a new router/modem, the GL-X3000 Spitz AX. It works with a 5G SIM.
It’s in the shed delivering five times the internet connection I was getting when running off the household router. It’s not been easy getting it up and running. It should have been as the web interface is the best I have ever seen on a router. But the one I ordered had a fault and despite roping in a friend to assist in flashing the modem firmware, it kept dropping out. Thanks to the swift customer service from the company though, a new one arrived soon after that and was up and working in moments. So many features. It will take two separate sim cards if need be, but my plan is to get a decent external antenna on the roof of the shed.
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Don’t ask dumb robots whether AI will destroy humanity.
Apple says it will pull services including FaceTime and iMessage in the UK if plans to amend surveillance legislation.
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One more reason to carry a reusable bottle of water around.
Dance away your tears at a grief rave.
I’ll be around next week and at Wills funeral on the 1st of August in Shrewsbury. That night i’ll be stopping over in Ironbridge to have a drink in his honour. Possibly a curry at his favourite place as well. No idea if anyone else will be around but if you are near or passing, stop by, I’ll buy you a drink.
Right now I raise a glass in your direction. Have a great weekend. Cin-cin!
“We achieve immortality not through ambrosia and ichor but through history and reputation. Through statues and epic song.” ~ stephen fry
Tales must be told, and retold or the stories slowly die.
See you out there.