June 23, 2019


I'm much enjoying the recently-launched Liverpool Long-reads blog. The latest article digs into the state of the city's theatres, which made me ponder why I don't go to the theatre more often.

Living in the Georgian Quarter, I walk past most of them pretty often, but I think the last time I ventured inside was in early 2017.

I think the main problem is that I don't know what's on. I seem to manage to generally hear a bit about all of the exhibitions in the various galleries around the city, but I'm not hooked into the theatre scene in the same way. I'm also not as sure of what I might like, or what I should avoid, than I am with art. I suppose it's harder to bail on some theatre production that's not of interest than it is to just cut a gallery visit short.

All that said, the last time I went to the theatre was to one of the Everyman's Scratch Studio mornings. That was a thoroughly enjoyable sampling-menu sort of event, where we got to watch a single scene of a range of different in-development pieces.

I'd never have signed up for a play which (if memory serves) showed a dystopian future where the population was a cult trapped on an island by its religious beliefs, all played out (including the waves of the sea) by interpretive dance, but it was really engaging. I'm not sure I'd sign up for an entire play of that just yet, but it opened my mind to experiencing more of it.

There were some other pieces that I would have happily gone to see in full, but I didn't. Partly because I don't know if they made it to production. There's maybe a loop there for the team at the Everyman to look at closing.

All that said, that article prompted this blog post which prompted me to dig out a link to the Scratch Studio programme which made me realise that it's still running. So I'm going to go along again. Anyone fancy joining me?

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June 17, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: June 17th 2019

  • Uber’s Path of Destruction. In-depth dismantling of Uber as a company of any value. I disagree that they haven't managed any useful innovation, they did bring a nice user-experience to smartphone-owners-who-want-a-cab, but some service design for a cab firm would've found that sooner or later. Sadly their big innovation is in persuading VCs and the press that they're a tech firm rather than a taxi firm that gets digital; WeWork is doing the same for real estate, and we'll have similar problems to cope with when it becomes apparent that they aren't going to generate the same multiple returns for its investors.
  • Stock and flow. Just a lovely explanation of how to manage step 1 (stock) and step 2 (flow). I also think about opportunity cost a lot, but hadn't made the connection back to my D-grade A-level economics until just now.
  • Sidewalk Toronto: The Recklessness of Novelty. The recklessness of novelty is a wonderful phrase, and sadly it's everywhere. 'There is a local approach to Quayside supportive of global innovation and respectful of Toronto knowledge. And, most importantly, as Shannon Mattern writes, about maintenance over disruption, the work of already here places and people. In her words, “What we really need to study is how the world gets put back together.”'
  • Five Lessons from History. An interesting oblique look at some history that we all know.

Inspired by Giles' recent promotion of RSS and the fact that I've just added two new RSS feeds to my RSS reader, I figured it might be interesting to surface that information here. It's kind of like when Twitter start showing you tweets that your friend's next-door neighbour's cat's distant uncle liked. Only hopefully not quite as annoying. And it's at the end of the blog post, so it's easy to skip. I don't know if it'll become a regular fixture, I guess we'll see.

This week's RSS additions:

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June 03, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: June 3rd 2019

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