I’ve been exploring a bunch of stories which in some way, explore the beautiful ideas behind computer science, software engineering and even plain old programming. I want to call them “hard comp-fi”, to echo the well-established genre of hard sci-fi, which is defined by accurate, watertight science taking centre stage in the narrative. In hard … Continue reading Hard comp-fi: a new fictional niche?
Speculative fiction/fantasy. Pay no heed to the intro to software engineering hidden behind the thin disguise.
Warning: this post continues from Notation for social deduction games and will make no sense at all unless you've read that post first. So, my preferred notation for Spy Thriller games is a graph, where nodes represent players and links represent methods of introduction such as a shared password or meeting place: I'd be interested … Continue reading Notation for social deduction games (part 2)
This post focuses on the challenge of finding an abstraction that describes social deduction games in general. These games (e.g. werewolves, two rooms and a boom, spyfall) seem to require the sort of twisted thinking needed for security protocol design: a problem famously likened to programming Satan’s computer. What they tend to have in common … Continue reading Notation for social deduction games
Terry Pratchet suggested that Homo Sapiens should in fact be called Pan Narrans - the ape that tells stories. Harari's Sapiens suggests that the ability to create myths, rather than greater intelligence, is in fact what separated us from Neanderthals. Either way it's generally agreed that myth plays a huge role in our culture. Most … Continue reading The unintentional story telling comedy of an 18 month old
Vans are like boats, the sailing cruiser kind. The morning ritual of stowing everything that moves, flicking some switches on the board, culminates in firing up a cold engine to slowly move on to who knows where? I don't know yet, but usually somewhere beautiful. I love that feeling of the unknown combined with home … Continue reading Vans are like boats (Alpine road trip, 2010)
Following the Smartphones in Hills article, UKH invited me to write an opinion piece, although they published it under a slightly less contentious title - you can read it here.
In 2007 a bunch of us went to climb for two weeks on the uninhabited Scottish island of Mingulay. Click any of these pictures to enter the slideshow. This was back in the days when I lugged a film SLR up sea cliffs - apologies for the lo-fi negative scans...
It seems I’ve been reminiscing about climbing rites of passage – those events that mark a key point in a climbing career, such as first proper leads or the first alpine season. Here’s one not commonly talked about, but that really stuck in my own mind: first committing adventure as the responsible party. Alas it’s … Continue reading Climbing Rites of Passage
I have a controversial opinion: that although smartphones are not a substitute for navigation skills, they can in the right circumstances substitute a physical map and compass. Agree or disagree, if you ever use smartphones in the mountains it is important to be aware of the ways they can fail, some of which are not … Continue reading Unexpected smartphone failures in the mountains