Review: Shock the System Debate

Has the very notion of privacy now become synonymous with the more ominous notion of secrecy and, if so, will those wishing to maintain their privacy be increasingly viewed with suspicion…after all, if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear, right?

I recently wrote a review of a debate dealing with this very issue which was held at the London Transport Museum. It can be found here: http://blog.ltmuseum.co.uk/2012/debate-shock-the-system-%E2%80%93-between-public-and-private/

Hello world!

Ok, so most people delete the default ‘Hello world!’ post on their blog so as not to be identified as a beginner and/ or an amateur. But in many ways I am simultaneously both and neither – so I’ve decided to keep it. This is because it has a special significance for a pseudo-geek like me. It is, after all, the first thing that budding web developers learn to write in HTML (Does anyone learn HTML anymore?). And although it probably shouldn’t be, it’s actually quite exciting! The web is a massive virtual sprawl of information and in that one little sentence you have contributed your own building block.

Yes – ‘Hello world!’ – resolved in black Times New Roman font on that pristine white background (almost surely destined to be plastered with a tiled or animated .gif later down the line) was my entry into digital media over a decade ago.

And after many false starts I have now attempted to launch a blog. I decided that ‘now’ was the time because, as a Digital Media Manager, I felt I really should have one. I give people advice on blogging but didn’t quite have the wherewithal to start my own. I felt a fraud and ashamed – like the proverbial preacher who delivers Sunday service while secretly drinking behind the pulpit. However, where do I find the time? Although I have just recently finished my PhD, which has freed up a significant amount of the stuff, I still feel overwhelmed. Not only am I a Digital Media Manager, but after dark I am also a wife, the designer (and cleaner) of a home, a ‘cook’ with a penchant for pastries and sweet things, an artist with a developing portfolio or paintings and drawings, a writer with a developing folder of half-finished and abandoned synopses and the ‘mother’ of two large beasts that some may identify as ‘domestic dogs’. With such a list or activities and responsibilities I remain unconvinced that I actually have the time to develop a blog.

This lack of conviction is due, in part, to my own expectations of what a blog is, or should be. After all, a blog is public and as such should be read by more than just the writer. This gives me stage fright. By clicking on the ‘publish’ button I am indirectly stating that whatever I have written is worthy of such an act…and of the readers time. But what do I have to say that other people are interested in? How can I appear more witty, charismatic and intelligent than I am? How can I impress others with my expansive subject knowledge and provocative rhetoric? How can I possibly write anything without having hours of spare time in which to read, research and edit? The answer is that I can’t. So unless I am willing to forego the entire undertaking, I have to be prepared to sacrifice perfection (which is completely relative and subjective in any case!). The lesson is of course that perfectionism, in blogging at least, leads to procrastination and the attitude that if it can’t be perfect, then it won’t ‘be’ at all.

So this is it. If I’m successful in juggling yet another task in my life then you will hear from me again. If not, then it is not so much ‘Hello world!’ as it is ‘Goodbye!’