While I do not tend to make resolutions (and certainly have never successfully kept any) I do use the start of a New Year to launch projects and start new ideas.

2017 sees the start of a number of new projects, a commitment to try and maintain others and of course the refusal to accept that some projects have finished.

Intended 2017 Projects

WebDigest

This year sees the launch of a new personal website project entitled the WebDigest. The WebDigest is three daily links; one which is fun, one which is an extended examination of a topic and the final link, a news item from the previous day. The purpose of the site is to help me expand my news reading beyond the echo chamber of my own social media feeds as I seek to include links from a deliberately wide range of sites. You may find it useful as well and I am looking for recommendation for more unusual news sources.

For those interested in such things, WebDigest.co.uk is a Jekyll static site sourcing data from a custom RSS feed being generated from a TinyRssReader install.

BoardGame Project

Inspired by a recent game of Dead of Winter I have started developing an expansion series for other popular modern board games. The expansions seek to expand replay-ability of games by adding a narrative element and temporarily adjust the turn of an individual player based on chance and causality. I am looking for a few alpha testers for an expansion to Carcassonne, let me know if your interested.

Writing

I have a number of text book writing projects underway regarding audio production which I also intend to complete this year. Ideally they will all get finished and be realised as a series though I am not certain this will be possible. Having explored a variety of options I am opting to self publish via print on demand and ePub. Though I am currently exploring the iBook format options as well. I plan to offer these texts with Creative Commons licenses and pay as you wish models.

Ongoing Project Status

The following projects continue on in various forms.

Ableton Human Drummer

The Ableton Human Drummer project continues exploring ways of creating contemporary drum patterns within Ableton housed systems. Early experiment outcomes are online on YouTube.

Dialling in a Dial Project

The Max 4 Live device project, Dialling in a Dial should also see further development and should see a first release later this year. A little silly considering this project was first presented early in 2016 Dialling in A Dial - more than just a’round @ Interactions 2016 but I must confessed that I just got a little bored of working on it so I just stopped.

The Podcasts

I am not willing to accept that my personal podcast and the AudioPodcast are dead, you can judge for yourself how much life is still in them. The Music Tech Chronicle (http://musictechchronicle.co.uk) still sees updates and I hope to have time to prepare the site for public contributions in the near future.

Christmas Movie Reviews

Friday Night Films became the Christmas Movie Review at the end of 2016 and had a successful festive season. This project in now back burned until August 2017.

Dead Projects

The following URLs were cancelled and projects declared dead.

  • experimentallaptoporchestra.co.uk
  • creativereport.co.uk
  • theimprovsession.co.uk
  • laptopprom.co.uk
  • classicportrait.co.uk

These are listed here as an acknowledgement that I once owned them.

Inclusive Improv Special Mention

The 4th of August this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Inclusive Improv. Perhaps that might be marked more significantly.

Merry Christmas One and All

Merry Christmas One and All

A playlist of YouTube Hiking Documentaries.

Makes we want to go outdoors.

When Housing Fails

Currently (in 2016) rarely a day goes by without the continued coverage of the U.K. housing crisis and the ongoing failure of politics to address the problem. As the ongoing boom continues essentially unabated from the early 1990s, the chronic lack of housing combined with regressive property taxation has resulted in a systematic failure to provide accommodation where and when required. In this, the ineffective nature of capitalist resource distribution sees it natural course run. The continued profitability of low risk, high profit mortgage backed products is supported through both the reduction in supply and the granting of few, low risk high value, profitable mortgages.

Perhaps the most significant feature that has allowed the situation to continue has been central government policy which has supported this. Essentially the levers of government have been used to ensure an evening increasing property wealth regardless of the potential dangers. However this has been done with the complicity of the electorate which has elected governments to deliver prosperity built upon rising asset prices and debt accessed purchasing wealth combined with low interest rates and controlled inflation.

The situation perhaps is this, the housing supply cannot be allowed to increase significantly through either building or reuse as to do so will deflate prices. This risk placing government backed debit within negative equity and also many house holds within negativity equity.

This risk of a devaluation is enhanced as property ownership is concentrated and risks is more focused. If such a property devaluation occurred a significant contagion of rapid selling buy to let property may accelerate any devaluation significantly.

However while the danger and risk of a devaluation are massive it has to be considered in the light of the ongoing housing crisis. There is a clear lack of cheap, high quality housing, the only course of action is to increase supply. Yes, there is a risk that an increase in supply will result in devaluation of property but the alternative is to increase homelessness and that is in my opinion unacceptable.

A while ago I made a throw away reply to a tweet.

On Sunday afternoon I was interested to see a follow up post to the original tweet on theCultureVulture.

I felt inclined to respond.

The article ponders if eventually food banks will cease to exist due to a decision by supermarkets to use of out of date food as the ultimate loss leader for supermarket food sales. Rather than donate non saleable food, the food would be available for free, direct from the supermarket to anyone.

While the idea offers significant beneficial efficiencies by identifying and potential removing costs I would contend that it fails to deal with the most significant, perhaps fundamental, construct of the food market.

Some must starve so others will pay.

This core construct of the current global food systems informs its operation. In the proposed system described in the article, the smartest consumer response is to stop purchasing food and wait for it to be free. Undeniably many consumers may act in sub optimal way, either purchasing in respect to ‘tiers of status’ or perhaps just because their hungry!

Of course the article contends it is unlikely that a complete meal will be available through only the free food and that the free food will actual function as a loss leader. I suspect this would work and would perhaps even offer the ability to direct sales through correctly straggered distribution. Once can imagine a situation were a significant supply of free sausages is partnered with a promotion on, for purchase, Yorkshire puddings and mash.

However, such a change in distribution is likely to refocus suppliers as well. Under the current model over supply does not canabalise future sales. However, under the proposed model it would. (I think it is safe to assume products would only be purchased once the free supply is exhausted.) Consequently, I suspect that some manufactures would seek to reduce the supply of goods rather than risk this canablisiation effect. This could lead to a reduction in overall supply and a corresponding reduction in food waste (good) but at the cost of a reduce supply to food banks (bad).

Evidence of this kind of effect is perhaps forthcomming in other aspects of our present economy. One of the effects of income inequality is the creation of a small number of hyper-able consumers, rather than the broader base consumer market of the recent past.

There is significant value in imagining productivity ways to cut down on food waste. Either by increasing the efficiency of food use and/or facilitating access to adequate food for all. I fear that placing it on the good will of retailers is unlikely to work as there primary responsibility is still to make profit, not feed people.

The urgency of such discussions has perhaps never been greater. The possible near future of post work may create a majority who can’t pay who, under the present system, should starve. A future of mass starvation is not acceptable to me.