This is in response to the now page movement. Right now:
- I continue to work at Open Data Services Co-operative and thoroughly enjoy my work there.
- I successfully defended my Phd Thesis in June 2021, subject to some minor revisions. So I’ll be making those changes across the summer.
- The charity that I’m a trustee of, The Patchwork Project, continues to do amazing work and I am very proud of everyone there.
- My branch of the Communist Party of Britain is meeting regularly to coordinate activity, but I’m not taking to the streets just yet.
- I’m making plans for decorating the office room of my flat in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
- I’m learning Esperanto for fun and usefulness. I’m using some common apps, writing with a penpal, and (less often) reading articles and stories. I’m not currently attending to my speaking and listening, but this will change in time. Eventually I may get examined by the Esperanto Asocio de Britio, and land around B1 level in a few years.
- I’m binging some TV and reading through The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, although I’m finding Wizard and Glass a little bit of a slog for no discernible reason.
A person’s philosophy 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):
- 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 support harm reduction for Sex Workers under capitalism by decriminalisation
- 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 tendencies. I use it as a tool to evaluate how my own desires have been hijacked by consumer capitalism, and quieten my brain which can get distracted very easily
- Stoicism, as described in this book. Stoicism and Minimalism go hand-in-hand in driving what most would call my self-care, and small-scale mundane interactions. Stoicism offers me a practical set of tools to maintain good mental health and tranquility during class struggle
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 and since gluten-free bread products are super expensive I tend to just eat more vegetables. My main sources of carbohydrates are rice and starchy vegetables. I’m still naughty and have bread occasionally but I treat it the same way one might treat drinking alcohol or smoking. I usually budget for having one planned and one unplanned gluten intake per week.
My favourite foods shift around a bit but at the moment I look forward to eating:
- Spicy Noodle Soup
- Salad with spinach, fish, tomatoes, and beetroot fun spicy or pickled things
- Sushi with salmon and tuna
- Chickpea curry
- Anything pickled or with beetroot in it
- Pizza. I sometimes am good and make gluten-free pizza dough. Most of the time I’m not
Favourite stuff (/using)
- Android Smartphone. It’s neat, has a decent camera for a non-camera person and I run it with LineageOS without the Google Services Framework installed on it. I actually don’t carry it all the time and often leave it at home.
- Backpack; an old french army bag I’ve had for over 13 years. I don’t know the model but it looks like this only much more beaten up.
- Front door and bike keys; carried on a black paracord lanyard I made myself.
- Also on the lanyard; a small multitool
- Palestinian Keffiyeh; good for heat, good for cold.
- If it’s rain-season I carry a pack-down waterproof jacket and trousers.
- Thin metal wallet; I think they’re trendy atm, which is neat. I like it because it doesn’t have a large profile in my pocket.
- Dot-paper Notebook and pen; I like dot-paper because it’s flexible. I don’t bullet-journal. My pen is a fountain pen with a refillable cartridge to try reduce plastic. I use a blue-black colour ink.
- A 13” laptop running Xubuntu 20.04.
Trivia and Hobbies
- 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 love tea, particularly loose-leaf tea. I store three jars of loose tea at home, which I sometimes combine with spices.
- Sometimes I climb mountains.
- I’m surprisingly passionate about simplicity in life and try my best to use plaintext files or markdown wherever possible.
- I’m trying to reduce my waste little by little. I am skeptical of Zero Waste as presented because it lacks a Class Analysis and often focuses on individual achievement rather than the core reason we have so much plastic in the first place – capitalism.
- I love the sea and have a boat that I’m currently neglecting. The plan is to eventually take her out on adventures.
Inspired by @rhiaro. Here’s how you may get in touch with me should you feel the need
Email is my preferred method of getting in touch. I have a few identities with email mostly based around the work I do at either Open Data Services Co-operative or as a PhD candidate. Use those appropriately if you’ve got questions about Open Data stuff or my research. Otherwise I have two personal email addresses. One of them I don’t share publically to minimise spam; that means anything that comes in there will be personal and nice to read (or important). If you don’t know that one you can get me at
communications [care of]
mrshll.uk. Here’s my PGP Key if you’re into that.
- Will I see it? Probably
- Will I reply? Most likely
You can also send me an IM. I use both Signal and Telegram. I am aware of the multiple problems with each (problems with Signal | problems with Telegram), but this is the best we’ve got. I’ve got each of them on both my phone and laptop. I will mostly see messages on my laptop when it’s open (office hours + weekends, mostly). If you don’t know me already please contact me via Telegram rather than Signal. I have never used Whatsapp and I will try my utmost to avoid it forever.
- Will I see it? Almost certainly
- Will I reply? Probably
Phone call and SMS
I store my phone at home in a box unless I need it for 2-factor auth or for travel. Expect long replies for SMS. All unknown numbers are routed to voicemail automatically, so leave a message.
- Will I see it? Eventually
- Will I reply? If I know you, yes. Otherwise definitely not.
- Will I see it? Probably not
- Will I reply? No