Matt Marshall

Matt Marshall's personal blog

Hello, I’m Matt! If you want to learn about me in 10 seconds, read the now section. If you’d like to get in touch, you can see how in the contact section. The rest is all details.

Now (2021-05-05)

This is in response to the now page movement. Right now:

  • I’ve just bought a flat in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK which I’ll be slowly decorating.
  • I continue to work at Open Data Services Co-operative and thoroughly enjoy my work there.
  • I submitted my Phd Thesis looking at Digital Technologies, Charities, and Accountability. All being well, I will be defending it in June.
  • 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 standing two candidates for the local elections in the UK so I’ve been doing some work around that.
  • I’m grieving (healthily) about the premature death of my father due to COVID-19.
  • I’m reading through The Dark Tower by Stephen King in my downtime.

Philosophy

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

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 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)

  • Camping cutlery set and steel lunchbox.
  • 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.
  • Bluetooth headphones. Noise cancelling with a built-in mic for work.
  • 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.
  • A 13” laptop running Xubuntu 18.04.

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.

Contact Me

Inspired by @rhiaro. Here’s how you may get in touch with me should you feel the need

Instant Messaging

This is my preferred method of getting in touch. 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

Email

Email is also a fantastic way to get in touch with me. 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

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.

Social Media

I output to my Mastodon and Twitter accounts. I do not log in or otherwise check them. I do not have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or LinkedIn accounts

  • Will I see it? Probably not
  • Will I reply? No