I do love to have a couple of beers and talk up a storm. In normal times it’s often available seven days a week at gigs or the studio (a music-oriented LGBTQ friendly all-ages ‘safe space’ venue full of interesting people). Alas it’s become rather complicated in the last year.
The best research I’ve found says that being thirteen feet apart outdoors or in a ventilated space should be safe. It fits with Ontario’s new rules and Europe’s direction. By coincidence, that’s the same length as the bar in the main room. So in theory, it’s a go. Two people, one at either end and keep the music low so you don’t have to shout.
I’ll run it by a local doctor I’ve been chatting with.
He gives me homework.
A article in The Guardian this morning tweaked a bit of a Kraftwerk binge. Revival of Trans Europe Express ‘key to EU’s carbon neutrality also reminded me of past train trips. Mostly in Europe but also a memorable one from Thunder Bay to Calgary after a stint of tree planting. There were half a dozen of us, many engaged in crafts or reading. I spent a lot of my time with a mutual crush (alas we both had a partner back home). It was really rather romantic.
Also in the news were a few articles relating the (welcome) news that various governments policies towards the pandemic are finally beginning to relate to the actual science. A spring 2020 article on particle transmission stated “safe social distancing” should be thirteen feet. Indeed “twelve feet” is finally a guideline in the province of Ontario and is now being put forward in France. The article also reminds us that good “home made non-medical” masks are only about 70% effective (properly fitted medical up to 95%). So distancing of six feet should be mandatory unless medical masks are worn. As they already should be in workplaces where staff cannot maintain distancing.
Two incident over the last month have reinforced my views on free speech, end-to-end encrypted private messaging and hatred of bullies. Growing up as foreign-accented mouthy kid in prairie Canada, I saw a lot of the latter first-hand.
The first incident was in a coffee shop just before Christmas. A staff member seemingly wanted to talk to a customer but was literally shouted down by another employee. The offender let off a endless verbal barrage intended to purge the room of any other speech. I can’t imagine what they thought justified the behaviour or the motivations behind it but reactions in the room varied from uncomfortable to outright horrified.
The second was a article released today by The Guardian: Woman jailed for record 43 years for insulting Thai monarchy. I thought I misread the headline at first. It’s sad to think governments are so repressive (and “the west” is not immune. Business use SLAPP tactics to silence criticism, governments give themselves permission to assassinate their own citizens and reporters are routinely murdered worldwide.)
While the scales are vastly different, both of the examples above were intended to end discourse.
To prevent constructive (edit: changed from “free” in light of recent events) speech and suppress any further attempts.
Objecting to something on legitimate grounds is something to be encouraged. To discuss an issue in an open and fair manner. The matter may never result in agreement, but to prevent the conversation in the first place is:
Listening to: Tom Tom Club - Genius of Live Photo: Home on a Sunny Day (built around 1913)
The CBC has an opinion piece posted “Digital privacy law is being updated for the first time in decades, and it’s imperative we get it right” about the upcoming digital privacy bill C-11. It’s important.
People’s lives are their own and they should have control on who has access to the details of it. Let’s not let the corporate mono/duopolyies decide.
Listening to: Kyla La Grange - Vampire Smile (video)
Christmas Eve I made some changes to my life. Which under the pandemic rules here meant that I was “stateless”. Living solo and able to attach to another household. It’s not only permitted but seemingly encouraged as this all drags on. The risk from a “singleton” has been gauged negligible and the mental health benefits for all parties far outweigh any minor quibbles. That I also work alone, avoid the bus and changed my habits so I don’t frequent any busy/unsafe establishments means the risk to others is even lower.
And I can tell you, after enduring two weeks of household quarantine, they’re not wrong. Being solo all the time is not only a drag, but starts to stress you out. Seeing as long term stress can lead to health complications, the whole policy starts making sense.
I’ve been given (or researched) some additional guidelines. Pandemic “safe” dating, distanced walks or other such activities are all good. If it steps over the line, even something as simple as having dinner or visiting somebody’s house, that means you’ve “attached” yourself to the person/household. Which is also OK. If whatever you’ve mixed yourself up in ends… it’s back to another two weeks of being
driven insane conversing with your cat solo before you can “try again” with another person/household.
note: What’s official online is a rather vague and lacking in specifics, so all this has been gleaned from multiple science-based sources.
Excited and apprehensive at the same time. I’m not on social media and don’t really want to agree to the terms of service for a dating site, so it’s going to be down to… bravery?
Listening to: Lisa Mitchell - Coin Laundry (Video).
One week until Facebook (finally) deletes my account. It’s only been used once or twice during the last year so there is no need to keep a big database of personal information online. Instagram has been deleted for awhile as have many other commercial services. Google is mostly detached, I just need to transfer some final online account contacts to my personal e-mail first (which is hosted by Protonmail).
Instead, a few of us are talking about starting our own local social network, probably something based on Mastodon. The intent is to provide a private place for marginalised local communities to communicate safely. DIY bands could promote without the platform artificially restricting their audience (because $$). Conversations about what kind of privacy model to use are ongoing but the tech groundwork has started. I posted before about Fosstodon’s Code of Conduct being a good model, and perhaps it’s one to adopt. There’s also talk of our own video streaming server. That’d be fun. Anything to do with encoders and codecs makes makes me wiggly (hey, judge not lest ye be…).
First up on my personal list is a Matrix instance to use for messaging. Given the recent news that WhatsApp is forcing users to quit or have their data sent to parent Facebook,
I suspect most won’t care some local folks may want a privacy-respecting alternative. Especially those in marginalised communities. It’s super easy to use with apps for every platform.
There is an argument to be made that some of this comes off a little paranoid. Perhaps. But it also means I get to do a lot of learning while regaining control over aspects of my life. In a increasingly globalised world
that seems to be spiralling out of control, one could argue it’s may even be good for one’s mental health.
Naw, it’s about the dorking.
Listening to: XTC - Drums and Wireless - BBC Radio Sessions 77-89
It started four or five years ago. I’d been having increasing problems with much of mainstream society, especially some forms of accepted behaviour. From trolling on the internet to some really shitty people ruining what were otherwise awesome occasions (dance night, parties, gigs, workplaces etc). Their behaviour was often normalised and very difficult to do anything about. But leave.
Alternatives were found. I started going back to my roots and hanging out in the DIY music scene. Ya, this unit was a bit older, but there were a few others of similar vintage about and after a bit of time, enough people warmed up that it became “home”. I eventually ended up joining a collective and it’s been a great experience with some wonderful people from every walk of life. Not that it wasn’t without challenges, I had some of my preconceptions blown away and bad habits are still being corrected. A constant learning process.
Common social media was eventually dumped. Other options were also found here. The main one being Fosstodon. A respectful, privacy-centric non-profit community of like-minded souls. While not a free speech platform, there is little censorship, relying on the community to make any needed corrections, hopefully before the admins need to get involved. From the ever present “caterday” pics to conversations with paleobiologists about their work. It’s been awesome.
Which brings us to a direct comparison of the two groups mentioned above. Their “Codes of Conduct”. While the application is different, the two documents are remarkably similar in tone. Red Gate’s is pictured, while Fosstodon’s is here. I just wish the rest of the world worked this way.
Listening to: Nouvelle Vague - Dancing With Myself (cover)
Starting to live by myself during a global pandemic is forcing some decisions. Like what to do on New Years Eve? Stay home smothered in cat like every other night? Probably not good for the mental health, it’s hard enough to fly solo on a day-to-day basis.
I can’t remember a New Years without dancing. Be it in a house party’s kitchen or out at a venue, there has always been a
series of odd contortions vaguely aligned to music bit of dancing.
So I went down to a local venue, turned on the PA’s and had nice spin about the floor. Beer in hand. After all, who was I going to spill on? There was even a glass of champagne at midnight from a like minded (socially distanced) soul. For the first time in awhile, I got a wee bit tipsy.
Listening to: SBDC - Bad At Sex
We (Stanley and I) were to depart this summer for a long awaited trip across Canada.
When he first came home I promised him the best life ever and, for the most part, it’s been a promise upheld. Travel, love and adventure. Snowshoeing on Seymour, swimming in Lynn Creek, Sunday morning “pizza crust hunting” on Commercial Drive, lots of friends and even a few concerts. He once expressed a desire to pee on Newfoundland. I’m not sure he entirely understands WHAT the maritime provinces are. PEI may indeed be a form of cookie. None the less, a plan was made.
The vehicle in question was a cheaply obtained 1987 G20 ‘Get-Away Van’ in need of repair. Even after finished those, the mechanic who inspected it gave us “at least a 50-50” chance of making it. With these odds are adventures made.
“The Thing” scuttled all those plans and will likely do so for next year as well. I hope Stanley lives long enough to pee across Canada see the other side of the country, he’s getting to be an old dog these days.
Ugg. Fuck 2020.
Who reads those massive license agreements you click “OK” to when signing up for a site? The documents which end with “reserve the right to change terms at any time without notice”, making the entire previous ten pages moot. Not me either, and I’m a bit of a masochist when it comes to that kind of thing, life’s just too short.
tosdr.org aims to change that for you. It rates the various agreements with standard A-E grading and provides some details as to what each demands of you and your personal information. Spoiler: It’s all rather horrifying.
ps. That’s an old photo I took of real Canadian mud (as in “clear as”). If you watch Stargate you’ll see Teal’c lying in it at one point. You’re welcome.