This tech policy debate seems ongoing but it’s not getting anywhere near as much traction or engagement as it did 10 years ago. People are tired, there is too much chaos.

Surreal going in to my office at the uni today and seeing thousands of students milling around on campus—only a small number wearing masks. Brings home how extremely fortunate and privileged we are here. Don’t want to take it for granted.

Many of the people in NZ waxing lyrical about the indispensability and importance of adversarial conflict in politics are PR and comms professionals for whom the conflict is a business model.

Just solved an API/code problem that has been bugging me for over a year. Struggling with motivation/confidence/facing the hellscape at the moment so this is ok I guess.

I would love to start a website/blog discussing this stuff and interviewing people doing interesting reforestation and ecosystem work, but yeah, can my brain handle yet another project right now?

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Apparently we cannot have a discussion of trees and wildlife corridors in urban and suburban areas without getting dragged into questions of reforestation at a large scale. Why not both?

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I get the importance of thinking about big picture land use, but it’s quite dispiriting to be told that smaller—and much more politically and socially achievable—ideas are not important.

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Posted one little thing about native forests on $BIRDSITE and now have a unexpected flood of ranting, links to academic papers, arguments, in my mentions.

Feeling so scatterbrained at the moment. Also there’s this massive glowing thing in the sky today, quite disorienting.

I’ve had a concept for a creative writing/narrative design app for a few years but haven’t had time or headspace to get very far with it. I keep putting it off, avoiding it, starting other projects, but it doesn’t go away. Am starting to wonder if this is really what I should be working on and how I could make it work. Maybe I just have to work through the anxiety of committing to one thing and take the risk that it might fail.

Got through all of Dark S3 over the weekend. Head is still spinning.

Midway through felt like one of the most complex plots of any TV show I’d ever seen, with the sheer number of intersecting timelines, alternate realities and bootstrap paradoxes, but it all folded down to a conclusion so symmetric it was almost like a geometric theorem.

I was worried when I was asked to come in to run the practical part of this course as a non-academic outsider. I had heard stories from last year of toxic emails and backstabbing, complaints and personal attacks. We spent a lot of time in workshops talking about kindness and psychological safety and practicing skills to ensure everyone’s voices are heard on a project and it was all good in the end.

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Finally finished all my marking for the term, thankfully. Am in awe and so proud of what the students achieved during lockdown and how they stuck together and supported one another.

One of my Pakeha students innocently but also hamfistedly and unthinkingly handed in a design document for an Assassin’s Creed style game set in Taranaki 1860s and it was extremely, violently wrong, despite ticking most of the boxes for the assignment. This is why we need NZ history taught in schools.

I know I’m procrastinating when I look up and find myself working on procedurally generating SVG backgrounds instead of writing the content that’s supposed to be in the foreground.

If anyone is interested in getting involved with a couple of creative Ruby open source projects (in this case: writing docs, building examples, or working on API improvements), Ruby NZ has just announced a funding grant for NZ-based projects. I’m happy to talk through a couple of opportunities I have and would be happy to put together an application for you to get some funding to work on it.

I knew when I started a teaching fellowship role focused on product design/game design that there’d be weird pedagogical dysfunctions but I wasn’t expecting the extent of dogmatic fixations on Agile and Scrum across multiple departments from people who have zero experience delivering (or failing to deliver) software products and games using those models.

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