Blighty

My phone is out of space so I’m browsing my photo gallery to find some room, and I found a photo of our old place on Colebrook Row.

colebrook-row.jpg

We’ve come a long way since then, but thinking about this tiny apartment at the top of four cramped flights makes it feel like we only just left.

What the hell’s the presidency for?

This passage from Gary Younge, writing in The Guardian, is worth keeping in mind whenever we have the opportunity to do great things and are instead steered towards ‘realistic’ things.

* * *

A few days after John F Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson sat in his kitchen with his key advisers working his first speech to Congress. It was the evening of Kennedy’s funeral – Johnson was now president. The nation was still in grief and Johnson, writes Robert Caro in The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, was not yet able to move into the White House because Kennedy’s effects were still there.

He had been a hapless vice-president; now he had to both personify and project the transition from bereavement to business as usual. In the midst of the cold war, with Vietnam brewing, the Kennedy administration had been trying to get civil rights legislation and tax cuts through Congress. There was plenty of business to attend to. Johnson’s advisers were keen that he introduced himself to the nation as a president who could get things done.

For that reason, writes Caro, they implored him not to push for civil rights in this first speech, since it had no chance of passing. “The presidency has only a certain amount of coinage to expend, and you oughtn’t to expend it on this,” said “one of the wise, practical people around the table”. Johnson, who sat in silence at the table as his aides debated, interjected:

“Well, what the hell’s the presidency for.”

British Library on Flickr

Image taken from page 239 of 'Lover or Friend?'

The British Library have, at last count, uploaded over 1 million scanned images from their collection onto Flickr.com.

This is an incredible resource of copyright-free designs, maps, portraits, cartoons, architectural drawings, and far more. Even the titles of the images are enjoyable, like “A Winter in Corsica: with the journey there and back. With frontispiece and map. By two Ladies”.

Image taken from page 365 of 'A Winter in Corsica: with the journey there and back. With frontispiece and map. By two Ladies'
Image taken from page 229 of 'The Heart of Jane Warner. A novel'
Image taken from page 569 of 'Great Explorers of Africa. With illustrations and map'
Image taken from page 77 of 'Villes d'entre Loire et Gironde. Par René Crozet ... Ouvrage publié avec le concours du Centre national de la recherche scientifique. [With maps.]'

Just.Delete.Me

Thanks to the dark patterns and opaque data governance policies of major web companies, some of whom make it actually impossible to have your data deleted from their systems, and others for whom deletion is a transient concept, there’s a need for a company by company playbook on how to engineer the deletion of your account and data from their servers.

Visit just delete me to find out how to delete your account and data, and let’s hope that as cloud services and privacy continues to mature, so to do our regulations and rights to have control over the data we provide, knowingly or otherwise.

Of course, this doesn’t help us where they’ve shared our data with third parties.