Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for August 2022

My T Shirt Collection

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Inspired by a Tweet from the New Yorker

“Haruki Murakami bought a Ramones shirt from a secondhand store in Kyoto, but he can’t bring himself to wear it outside. “There are some limits when you’re over 70,” he writes.”

He also owns a T shirt from Heinz that says “I put ketchup on my ketchup”

I don’t recognise more limits on what I wear now that I’m over 70

Most of these have a story behind them, but one I did not photograph – because it is plain white – isn’t mine. It was one my son left behind after a visit when Air Canada lost his bag and gave him a tee shirt and other overnight essentials. Then they found the bag, and none of essentials were used or returned.

Mona Beana

Souvenir from our 2015 transpacific cruise

There are lots of pictures of the cruise on Flickr

A movie I helped crowdfund

https://www.bewareofimages.com/

Back when I started blogging – this was conference swag

The back of the shirt above lists the sponsors, most of whom are still in business.

Fused Network

May 15, 2018  Vancouver-based technology accelerator Wavefront has ceased operations”

BCTIA now known as BC Tech

Agentic Humans Online seems to be defunct

2Paths Absolute Software Work[at]Play all extant

Sept 5, 2020 — The BC-based mobile commerce platform, Mobify, announced on Friday that it would be acquired by Salesforce

I can’t find kontent creative group, but Incentive Access Group still appears to be active in Surrey, as does TopProducer (real estate software)

But on Sept 4, 2019  FCV Technologies, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based information and technology company, filed for bankruptcy 

Appnovation technologies is still active Backbone Systems now seems to be http://www.cyclonesystems.ca/

https://www.discoveryparks.com/

An unsuccessful environmentalist campaign
A gift from my sister
The front is very plain but the back is what I like
The beer was pretty good too

Aug 14, 2018 Durango Brewing Co. abruptly closed its taproom in Durango

An Ontario craft brewery that did not survive. I think this shirt came free with a twofour
I would like to think that I bought this there but I suspect it was a later purchase

I don’t have one for the University of Nottingham (HINT!)

I have yet to do this
Nicely understated – no prizes for guessing right

Though I think it is worth noting here that while I admire the long and gloried history of the Irish brewer’s advertising campaigns, there are a lot more and better stouts these days.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 7, 2022 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: “Everything for Everyone”

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An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052–2072 by M. E. O’Brien and Eman Abdelhadi

Published by Common Notions 2022

ISBN: 978-1-94217-358-8

There are times now when I feel that humanity – indeed all life on this planet – does not have much of a future. We have been lurching into a climate crisis, preferring the lies of the fossil fuel industry and their tame politicians over what scientists have been trying to tell us. At the same time our political systems seem to be visibly collapsing, with voters preferring to elect posturing fools and other populists over people who are at least in some contact with reality. We may not even live long enough to witness the end of the climate crisis as nuclear war – which once seemed to have been contained as an unthinkable option – now seems to be distinctly possible.

This book sets out an alternative possibility and is written in the past tense about what could happen in the near future. I was born in 1949 and I have already outlived my parents and my older brother, and do not expect to be around for any of these events, if I am lucky. And I cannot say that the possible future described here will be free of pain, and distress and quite a lot of death and destruction before things start getting sorted out. The future envisaged here does not include money. It also gets rid, mostly, of fascists and demagogues – and the exceedingly wealthy. Space travel is recovered from the billionaires and will become just another available service to the people once they have finished building the space elevator. Lots of species – and entire ecosystems – have been destroyed but efforts are underway if not at restoration at least in re-creation of new ones. Most people will live in communes, sharing everything including childcare and working only a few hours here and there on housekeeping and counselling and other essentials. Food is mostly eaten communally too, though a few eccentrics are able to live alone. There are lots of meetings and discussions. There are also many more genders than two. Or if you prefer, none at all. Religion, it seems, continues. People remain attached if they want to but it does not seem that religionists are allowed to make decisions for everyone any more.

There are descriptions over how these changes came about which seem to point to the inevitability of wars and other conflicts but not, apparently the mutually assured destruction that nuclear deterrence has been based on. And, this being America there are an awful lot of guns out there now which we can’t just magic away.

The fact that I won’t be here for most of this actually isn’t much of a comfort, because I have children and an extended family. Of course I am concerned about them – and their offspring. I have done my planning and made my preferences clear – but once I am gone even that is now beyond my control. There is a lot here, in this book, that makes me very uncomfortable and nervous, since in my experience sensible collective decision making seems to be one of the most difficult things we have to do – and there are many decisions which I have seen made which were, to say the least, suboptimal. So while I hope they are right and the will of the people turns out to be a better path, I still fear that the rich and powerful are not going to give up easily. Any more than the people who harbour dangerous delusions and misapprehensions will relinquish them readily.

So while the overall tone of the book is positive I have to say that it is also made very clear that this is not a foregone conclusion and the predicted outcome depends on a large number of unpredictable factors. On the other hand it is very readable and it did not take a great deal of effort to get through. There are other books that I have requested to review where I didn’t get beyond the first chapter, so I think it is fair to say that I do recommend that if you share anxieties about pandemics, and climate change, and international tensions, this will provide food for thought. A better future is possible, just – I am afraid – not very likely if present trends continue. And living through upheavals isn’t going to be all fun and frolics either.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 5, 2022 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized