Forgetting the Internet

“But fuck it, I made my choice. I chose what they said would be freedom, protecting the privacy I so closely coveted and cherished. I got what I wanted. I tried to stave off the threats to my digital reputation long enough; I defended my relevance at all cost. But said cost turned into debt, and those debts are all that has been remembered. It’s not that I lost myself, but rather, I lost my representation. I wouldn’t let them shape me into a body of data and traffic. I thought I had more to offer. Now, in retrospect, I see the glaring disparity between what I thought was relevant and what they did. Once, I suppose, the tension of that disparity is what made me an individual. But what was once taut has now gone slack.”

Short story by Nicholas O’Brien over on Rhizome in reaction to Google announcement stating they will be “forgetting” things in Europe.

15

07 2014

Recently reading

Yep

The power of habits and how to turn an everyday annoyance into something positive? How a password changed my life. Potato salad and people on the internet Pledging even $3 gets you a bite of the potato salad mailed to you and he’ll say your name out loud while he makes it. Hours spent researching parenthood for work and coming across new perspectives in unexpected places.“That thing happened,” Vida says, “where you become pregnant and you’re suddenly aware of this whole other world that was going on parallel to the one you were living in.” The Glastonbury magic “Glastonbury is a rabid, filthy, depraved hypercapitalist clusterfuck – and an absolutely staggering achievement” Meryl Streep on Beauty, Rejection and her Drug. And the power of photography ahead of the Science Museum’s upcoming exhibition Stranger than Fiction “reality doesn’t exist before our experience. Photography is one of the tools that helps us construct reality. It is not an innocent medium.” And finally a film that visulises the way our brain might look the moment we wake up and click: #asif

09

07 2014

Book soundtracks

Sometimes when I read a book i’ll start listening to a certain album which then becomes the only album I can listen to until I finish the book. This means that the next time I hear one of those songs i’m taken straight back to the books characters and the mood I was in at that time. Whenever I hear Inner Life Let’s Go Another Round I think of Katniss Everdeen kicking ass in The Hunger Games.

Most recently I read Americanah with Chili Gonzales Solo Piano on repeat. Whenever I hear Kenaston i am instantly back on the train in the sunshine inside Ifemela’s story. This book has been one of the best I have read in such a long time and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has opened my eyes to an ignorance I was completely unaware of and now everytime I hear time Solo Piano will remind me of that anytime i begin to slip into ignorant bliss again.

I would love to know which albums people can’t hear without thinking about a book or character.

25

06 2014

Recently, randomly

You looking fine KX
New job. New hangouts.

Naughty Stella
Fleeting visits. Stella still the same.

Sunday flat
Flat tyres in Essex.

Countryside riding
Back on track

FINISHED. Blown away
Transporting.

Nike Lab Launch
Tequila and Ting

David Robilliard: The Yes No Quality of Dreams
David Robilliard. ICA.

World Cup
Football.

Post ride reward
Three hours sleep. Four hour ride. Seaside.

These guys
More football. We lost.

Deviation strings
Deviation strings. Southbank

Cherry pie
Sweet cherry pie.

Scorcher
Hackney Half. Sunstroke.

25

06 2014

Recently, randomly


Sunshine. beers. Somerset House.


A duck made out of apple.


Birthday girl.


Countryside running. Lost.


24 hours with these babes.


Rick Ross.


Hangovers.


Rowans. More hangovers.


Hungover miles. Epping


Tilly. Crate.


OFFICE DOGS


FIREWORK


More miles.


And hills.


Back on foot.


Birthdays.

02

06 2014

We own the night

A few weeks ago I ran my first 10k since I started long distance running. As soon as the race started I felt quite stressed, like I needed to chase the front and I never got into a rhythm which was the vast difference to when running a marathon. But despite that I am super happy with my time of 43.40 and getting an Alex Monroe necklace instead of a medal. Thanks Nike.

Next race is the Hackney Half, my training hasn’t been quite on track, but we have had a million bank holidays but the sun has been shining. Everything in moderation.

02

06 2014

Recently reading

“Big data’ has this intoxicating effect. We start collecting it out of fear, but then it seduces us into thinking that it will give us power. In the end, it’s just a mirror, reflecting whatever assumptions we approach it with.”

This is one of the best things I have read about the future of the internet and ‘big data’ in a long time. The idea that data is used to tell stories is so central to data visualisation, journalism and any planning and strategy department that it seems worrying that we have been led down this path that data is better and will make all of our lives easier. But in fact even simple ad targeting still gets it wrong all the time.

I wonder how this will manifest itself over time. I love data and I love finding the insight, the story that you can take and how it can support an idea but Im starting to question how objective data can ever be. Artists, bankers and advertisers all take the bits they want and tweak, fiddle and exploit it for their own gain. We are being told big data will make our lives better but actually it is just another tool for people to use to project whatever it is they need to.

Also last week, Oliver Burkeman sums up life in one amazing/depressing/funny sentence Everyone is totally just winging it, all the time Stats and how the Radio One playlist works, becoming entrenched in the crazy online beauty world (woah). But mostly last week was about Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman.

01

06 2014

Recently, randomly


My first run 6 days after the marathon in the countryside with Stella


Looking up


More countryside running


Whippet life


Local arts. Nottingham Contemporary


Training for Hackney Half


Jaques Greene at St John’s Church. <3


Dean Blunt. ICA


Post hill sprints. Springfield park


Fatima. Yellow Memories.

12

05 2014

The food of Italy

12

05 2014

London // 3.30

Last Sunday I ran my third marathon and second time in London, unlike the first time I ran in London, this year I was starting in the good for your age start line which meant getting over the line in less than two minutes and having a lot less people to run around and avoid. This advantage provides the opportunity to set a pace from the outset and focus on settling into a long 26 miles rhythm, although I want to be clear it was still quite a stressful experience with so many people around you all the time and I did find it a little aggressive. But I think this in large part was due to me staying with a 3.30 pacemaker and being around lots of other determined people.

So I was feeling good and determined to pace at 8minute miles and not shoot off to fast, I wanted to run under 3.35 because that is the Boston qualifier time, but my snowboarding holiday three weeks before the race had started to feel like a bad idea. I had gone away when I was at the peek of my fitness and come home to start the taper. I felt both physically and mentally like achieving under 3.35 was unrealistic. Despite this though I thought sticking with the 3.30 pacer at the beginning would force me to start on 8minute miles instead of 7.30 (which my long training splits seemed to be) and it would at least give me a chance to finish sub 3.40.

It was hot from the outset which was a little worrying but I knew I just needed to keep my fluids up, run in the shade when possible and not stress out about the heat (and choosing to wear all black). The first three miles went so fast and we were joining the other runners in no time, it sounds silly to write this as we know exactly how quickly the time went but for me but the first 14 miles seemed to fly by. It was a beautiful day, the crowds were amazing as always and I was anticipating the high of Tower Bridge and the hope of seeing friends at mile 13.

Despite missing my friends at mile 13 I was still feeling good, the noise at tower bridge is deafening and you feel like a superstar for 5 seconds as you run across, sun blaring and strangers shouting your name. As we settled into the highway the realisation that i was already halfway made me so happy, i had one headphone in up to this point and my phone was beeping as friends in my whatsapp group were arranging cheering spots, I decided to send them an update letting them know i was coming up to mile 14 and snap a quick selfie. I put my phone away and then came an almighty roar and I turned to my left in time to see Mo Farah flying past.

As mile 14 approached I still felt pretty strong, I was running alongside the pacemaker, drinking water and had my first gel. It was only after finishing my gel as mile 15 approached that it hit me how far there still was to go, despite it feeling like time was going fast the ability to actually clock the miles felt impossible. I tried not to think about the number 26 and focus on the number 16 – I was determined to try and stay at 8 minute miles.

From mile 19 I knew I had to concentrate on my race and not keep thinking about running with the 3.30 team I had surrounded myself with. It was becoming more stressful to run together as we moved around people. I put both my headphones and decided to focus on me. I had my watch and I knew that I was doing well, I just needed to stay focused. I was excited about seeing friends at mile 22 and mile 23 and knew exactly where to look. I set those as my goals, never the full 26 – that seemed to far.

As I went past mile 22 I didn’t see my friends, the pacemaker I had been running with was long gone, my iphone overheated so my music had gone and my mouth was clammy from gels. I wanted water but there wasn’t a stand for a while and I knew my next opportunity for a drink would be lucozade before the underpass which would only make me crave cold water more. But just as I thought my chance of sub 3.35 was over and I was losing my focus I saw my friends – that lift it gives you is beyond special and hard to explain. It just makes you so happy and as I turned back to the road after waving determined to see Pippa at mile 23 I also found a different 3.30 pacemaker.

I was hoping that he was a little further back because of the staggered pens and figured if I could do my last three miles with him I might still come in under 3.35. My watch had messed up a bit from the tunnel at mile 15 so was out my a few minutes so didn’t want to rely to heavily on this. I saw my running partner Pippa at mile 23 and despite being in so much pain i was determined and so happy I had seen everyone. Next it’s embankment, the thames, London eye and for the first time I thought about the number 26 and how close it was. As soon as I saw the 800 metre sign I knew I had made it, I just needed that last kick. I went for it, in my head I was sprinting, or at least giving it everything I had left.

I crossed the line and my watch said 3.32. I was so happy, I had beaten my Paris time, it was over and I ran a consistent race. My legs hurt like they had never hurt before – I had never ran that hard consistently before and my quads were feeling it. I hobbled through the finishers section trying to eat the apple from our bags, I knew I hadn’t eaten enough before the race and that it was important to eat now despite having no appetite. My phone was still overheated and not working but I could hear all my texts coming in and people trying to call but I couldn’t answer. I finally made it to my meeting point G just as my phone started working. My brother had been watching my race at home and text me to ask me if i was happy with my time. At this point I didn’t realise there was a tracker and so it was my brothers text that alerted me to my actual time of 3.30.46 !! I couldn’t believe I had done it. I had ran 3.30 and knocked 7 minutes off my last PB.

Next my long term sights are on Boston and short term Nikes We Own the Night, i’ve not ran a 10k for years so i’m keen to see what my time in a race is now. I also have the Hackney Half and I am looking to do a triathlon. At mile 22 I swore to myself never again and in terms of times i’m not sure what my goal is, I thought 3.30 was a long way off so now I am happy to set some faster half marathon times, and run some more races all around the world.

21

04 2014