The fallacy of permanence 
Greetings from a chilly shed in the rain...
I’m Christian Payne, and if I was to summarise this dispatch in one word it would be ‘Exploration’.
Allowed more words, I’d add that while I might examine how social trends shape the way people interact, connect, and share stories. I am also interested in exploring how personal identity is shaped by new and unconventional ideas.
So while there might be science, technology, art, and culture, there will also be some self-reflection, as I strive to find happiness and pleasure in the simple things.
I feel I must mark the fact that this is my 400th consecutive dispatch. If you fancy a flashback I’ve unlocked a couple from the archive. At some point I still have to dig out and add issues 0-30.
Issue 100, almost 6 years ago, was the end of my newsletter being called OurManInside. Issue 200, 3 years ago, and I’d just become a licensed amateur radio operator. Finally Issue 300 2 years ago sees me trying out the chat feature with a weird I-may-have-been-drinking kind of intro.
I really did not expect to have kept this up. So I dedicate this issue to those of you who have shown interest. Especially those who read to the bottom. ;-)
Despite Substack never directly plugging, recommending or funding this dispatch, [I’m not bitter] ‘Notes’ from Substack has played a serious part in aiding the discovery of my work. It’s been a long slog up until now. I’m hoping it’s not just a one-off spike.
But Substack is just a vehicle getting this from my desk to your inbox. There are other ways to do that, and the community can live here just as much as there. The reason I say this is that unless Substack can get its moderation sorted in Notes, [TikTok link for context] forward thinking people might decide not to invest their time or money in the platform. Here’s hoping this is just a blip on a long and successful road. I’ve added more on this in the audio section below.
My switch from photos to digital collages at the top of my dispatch has been well received. When I remember, I’ll add more details in the alt text of the images as to how they were made. The one above took me about three hours.
That doesn’t mean the selfies shot where I write will end. I’ll just be more selective as I think you’ve seen more than enough of me in my shed for the moment.
I’m watching very little TV but I’m well into The Mandalorian. This is the slowest of all three seasons but still enjoyable. Weird to see Jack Black pop up.
A couple of months ago I wrote about how a recipe I’d been on the lookout for for almost 25 years turned up in my local community phone box/library.
I love these little treasure troves where people offer their pre-loved books for others to enjoy. Flaunting copyright (if it’s applicable) at the same time as embracing a shared culture and a culture of sharing. No idea when this all started but the National Literary Trust have a guide should you want to start your own.
I’ll admit to slamming on the breaks if I spot one when passing through a new village. You never know what you might find.
The pop-up library/book swap might not be a new idea, but Z-Points are. The book torrent site Z-Library wants to create a global market with dedicated pick-up points for user-donated books. A bit like we already have, but networked.
Ten years ago, I’d to ask a new social platform how long they intended to host my content for. Will they be switching off the servers any time soon? Are they going to look after our stories and if so, how long can they promise to keep them online? So many fell by the wayside and stories were lost.
Ten years later — all a platform needs to do is last as long as Facebook and it’ll carry my content close to the length of the average male lifespan. It’s a sobering thought.
Obviously I’d rather earn immortality for my digital footprint. But I don’t hold much hope. I worry less now about how long the servers will keep whirring. I’m resigned to the fact that they most likely won’t. Despite platforms like Permanent (who might), I’m now resigned to a fundamental truth. The only permanence is impermanence. All we have is this moment.
That TikTok clip above was short and sharp and it’s always worth painting as big a picture as possible. I hope the full podcast from The Verge does this for you.
I feel a smidge better after listening to it. But only a bit. It’s still painful listening in places. Especially as I have invested so much time here. The platform is changing and with those changes there is a coming together that in my opinion demands more stringent moderation. When Chris Best says “We don’t have all the answers of how things will work…” it gives me a little hope that this start-up is still finding it’s way and real values plus a concrete definition of ‘Freedom of speech’ will soon be clarified.
In better news Digital Planet may be no more, but fear not… The Garath and BillCast is now here.
How nice to be able to take three months off and then get right back into it. DarkNet Diaries is back after a three month break. Ever wondered what it takes to be a vendor on the dark net and not get caught? Not me. I get my drugs from Boots.
I got this from RotatingSandwiches.com
Teabags have shot up in price in the last couple of years and yesterday I was asked to pay £2.50 for a cup of tea when last month it was a quid cheaper. I asked how much a cup of boiling water was and the man on the till said free. It’s probably not going to stay that way but I now have a solution. A 2p teabag and a travel cup.
Over on birdsite this week, people were raving about an ‘AI’ enabled cooker that recognises what you put in it. It’s called June.
It says it serves those looking for convenience, speed, and precision. But in my opinion it’s at the expense of flexibility, creativity, personalisation, learning and better health.
Cooking and enjoying food is a wonderfully accessibly experience. It satisfies our physical and emotional needs, teaches us things, allows us to express our creativity, and helps us connect with different cultures.
Of course my opinion on many things is always in flux but if I’m ever too busy to cook, I’m too busy to live.
This was ChatGPT responding to the question “Do you dream of electric sheep?”
But I think Bard wins this round.
My lad now has a GoHenry card. It’s a kids’ debit card + learning app that teaches him how to spend, save and earn. It’s really working for him and worth the small subscription. If you think this is something your kid might need I have a referral link with a free month and £10 pocket money.
Thank you, new subscribers for clicking the red button. And those paying supporters who keep me going while getting all the content I share into this feed. I’d also like to thank the visitor from Notes who became a founding subscriber. I dropped you an email. Let me know if you’d like a mention/plug/link or hug.
I’m excited to be supporting, attending and immersed in this years Thinking Digital over the 5th and 6th of July in Gateshead, UK. Might I see you there?
A computer generated swatting service on Telegram is causing havoc
Lots of new pins on the Documentally community map. Welcome. It’s easier for me to see pins left blue when you add yourself & then I tend to switch colour when I stop by. I appreciate you assisting in this virtual world domination. And hello Leuven in Belgium.
Hands-free driving now allowed UK motorways if you drive certain Fords.
A 70 mile dirt ride on a Titanium Brompton. Plus a top eBikes list.
This is the science of how trees improve our health.
Some of my other places include Flickr, Strava, Untappd, Vivino, YouTube, Mastodon (search Documentally@octodon.social), Birdsite if you must, a ham radio newsletter called 73 from G5DOC or search ‘Documentally’ on Wire.
Thanks for reading. Next week I’ll be in Kent at a private event and I’m looking forward to talking alongside people from Formula One, MSF and the Parachute regiment.
“Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.” ~ Roy T. Bennett
See you out there.