Matt Marshall

About

Hello, I'm Marshall! If you want to learn about me in 10 seconds, read the now section. If you want to take a little longer, read the rest of the page :-)

Now (/now)

This is in response to the now page movement. It's not on its own url because I don't think it's big enough for it! Right now I am:

  • Finishing off my Phd Thesis looking at Digital Technologies, Charities, and Accountability.
  • Slowly doing up my boat, The Morning Star ready for sailing.
  • I am a trustee of a small Youth Work charity, The Patchwork Project in the west end of Newcastle, having worked alongside them during my PhD.
  • I have just accepted a position of Open Data Publisher Support at the Open Data Services.
  • Deciding whether I want to move back to the coast of Northumberland for the next few years or sail off to the Mediterranean. Both are ideal.

Philosophy

A person's philsophy drives how they approach things and interact with others. As such you can sum up my philosophy as being heavily influenced by the following (listed alphabetically rather than in order of prevalence as that is impossible tell):

  • Communism, especially Marxism-Leninism. Basically, I think the planet and human rights are pretty neat and that Communist-Utopia is possible through organisation and hard work.
  • Feminism, especially Marxist-Feminists such as Silvia Federici but although I have a Marxy critique of Identity Politics, I support some of the goals of Intersectionality and am staunchly Pro-Trans rights and Pro-Sex Worker rights.
  • Minimalism, especially when presented as thinking about the most "simple" or "straightforward" way of accomplishing tasks and reducing clutter. The design of this site was influenced by my minimalist tendancies. I use it as a tool to evaluate how my own desires have been hijacked by consumer capitalism, and quiten my brain which can get distracted very easily.
  • Satanism, although not LaVeyan Satanism as they're a bunch of fascist nutters (seriously though). Not The Satanic Temple either, although I do enjoy what they're doing. I still resonate with Satanic imagery and the original purpose of setting up an organised Satanic group -- namely challenging power structures. For me, Capitalism and Patriarchy are the dominant and oppressive power structures and they've always intersected in top-down, undemocratic, organised religion. I think Satanism gives us an evocative set of symbols to challenge this.
  • Stoicism, especially as espoused in this book. Stoicism and Minimalism go hand-in-hand in driving what most would call my self-care, and small-scale mundane interactions. A practicioner of Stoicism seeks tranquility, which is my goal, and offers a practical set of tools to achieve it.

Diet

I try to maintain a simple and sustainable diet. Although I'm sometimes a bit naughty. Broadly, I would describe myself as practicing pescetarian diet as I exclude meat 99% of the time. This is for ethical/sustainability reasons, as well as for bodily health. I've also been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, meaning I react pretty nastily to things containing gluten. I therefore don't feature bread prominently. As Gluten-Free Bread products are super expensive, I tend to just eat more vegetables. My main sources of carbohydrates are beans, and rice. I'm still naughty and have bread occasionally, but I treat it the same way as drinking alcohol or smoking. I've been limiting sugar for some time now, but occasionally treat myself to a chocolate bar.

My 'favourite' dishes often shift around but I generally most look forward to eating:

  • Bean chili packed with veg (usually my workday lunch)
  • Sushi
  • Spicy East-Asian food, usually with prawns or mushrooms as the focal point
  • Fish and Chips
  • Salad with fish and plenty black pepper
  • Curries, usually with chickpeas

My favourite spices are black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika (smoked if I can get it).

Things I carry every day (at the moment):

  • Backpack. Old Miltec thing I've carried for years that I don't know the model.
  • Camping cutlery set. There's generally a lack of cutlery in my office.
  • Lunchbox. Plastic. Got it at a supermarket.
  • Front door key. I only carry keys that I need at the time. My back door and boat keys live at home in a box until I need them.
  • Pack-down waterproof jacket and trousers. Not heavy-duty but I hate umbrellas.
  • Metal wallet, since it's not bulky. I mostly pay for things with card. The wallet has a money clip for cash when I remember that cash is wonderful and anonymous and more ethical. For coinage, it stays in my pocket (so that it irritates me) until I see someone who needs it and then it goes to them. Usually a rough sleeper or a colleague.
  • Bluetooth earphones. I stayed off bluetooth for ages because I didn't want to keep charging them, but I broke down when my wired ones kept breaking weeks after buying them. These have done me proud for a good 18 months or so now.
  • Pocket Notebook. Sometimes handmade when I'm feeling creative urges, but I'm unopposed to just buying one if it's not too expensive.
  • Minimal pencil case. It's one of those little slim hard plastic things that holds a teeny ruler and a pen and a pencil. I love it.

Trivia

  • I really enjoy strength training, particularly bodyweight strength. My preferred system is a variation of Convict Conditioning, and I like to train first thing in the morning because I'm usually exhausted the evenings from work and I want to ensure that I still train.
  • I dislike harsh electric light, as it makes my skin itch. I like 'warm' LED lights, and if possible I prefer not to use ceiling bulbs (floor and desk lamps are good). I feel most comfortable in natural sunlight (morning / evening especially) or at night.
  • I adore tea. My favourite 'genres' of tea are Rooibos (not technically tea I know), White tea, and Black tea.
  • Whilst I adore lots of tea and have favourite blends, I'm a bit of a minimalist so instead of having a cupboard filled with different specific teas, I stock three base teas at a given time and then blend in my own fruit and spices at compile time like a good programmer.
  • On the minimalism note; all of my regular clothes fit into one drawer. I have a second drawer that contains my training gear in addition to some grooming things.
  • I really like plain block colours on most things. My clothes are generally unbranded (at least visibly) and unpatterned, with the exception of a few shirts with stripes.
  • I started wearing bracers (suspenders for US-English speakers) because I read they're healthier and I hate feeling pressure around my gut. Now I actually quite enjoy how they look as well as how they feel.
  • I love the sea and own a boat called The Morning Star, it's currently docked in a posh middle-class marina where people live-aboard. It needs a little bit of work with things rigging here and there, and the plan is to move into the boat soon to live; eventually I want to take it away and work remotely from somewhere with a nice calm coastline.

More soon. Probably. Maybe.