After 11 years and 925 posts, it feels like it’s time to stop blogging. Long past the time to stop, if I’m being completely honest. So I am going to stop. This is the last post. Probably.
I suppose there’s always a chance that I may start up again (never say never) but it feels unlikely at the moment for a variety of reasons.
Thank you to everyone who has followed my progress through two psychology degrees, a mantle cell lymphoma diagnosis and treatment, not to mention all the sundry other things that have caught my attention over the years.
Like many others, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of WordPress 5.0 and its new Gutenberg editor. The project, however, appears to have run into problems. The release date has been moved twice – it currently sits as “TBD”.
I’m hoping that the people running the project have read “The Mythical Man Month“. To get the release back on track, Brooks recommends:
“Take no small slips … allow enough time in the new schedule to ensure that the work can be carefully and thoroughly done, and that rescheduling will not have to be done again.”
“Trim the task … In practice this tends to happen anyway … only alternatives are to trim it formally and carefully, to reschedule, or to watch the task get silently trimmed by hasty design and incomplete testing.” (No-one in their right mind would want the last type of trimming to take place).
To not add more people into an already late project. “Brooks’ Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.”
I’m looking forward to seeing WordPress 5.0 in the wild, but I’m happy to wait. In the words written on the menu of the Antoine restaurant in New Orleans:
Good cooking takes time. If you are made to wait, it is to serve you better, and to please you.
I hold many grudges. Truly, I do. There’s the grudge that I hold from way back in infant school, where a teacher falsely accused me of the crime of walking on the newly planted flower beds. She moved to South Africa a few weeks after the incident. (The incident that didn’t happen, except in her mind, I hasten to add). I still held onto that grudge even as she was weeping her goodbyes at a school assembly. And guess what? I started to hold a grudge against South Africa – just because they were letting her move there. I haven’t revisited that particular grudge recently, but I suspect that it’s still there, fueled by their many recent cricketing victories over England.
I hold grudges against people who I’ve never met and don’t know. For example, there’s the one that I hold against the English O level examiner who had the temerity to ‘only’ award me a grade B. The aftermath caused me immense pain, both at school and at home. The confidence I lost in my academic abilities on that fateful winter morning as I was handed the results slip has taken me the best part of a lifetime to recover from. Well, not really, but I’m not going to let a nebulous concept like “truth” get in the way of me and my grudges.
However important these issues may have seemed to me at the time, neither could be said to have had any lasting impact on my objective well-being. Yet the hair still stands up on my neck when I think about them and the blood courses furiously in my veins.
So just imagine for a moment the strength of the grudge I hold for the dissembling politicians who lied and conned the country into supporting a vote to leave the EU. It’s almost as strong as the one that I now hold for the politicians who half-heartedly supported remaining, but who are now doing everything in their power to make sure that we leave on any terms – good or bad. However, I definitely don’t hold a grudge towards the growing number of leave voters who feel (rightly) that they were duped by these folk. I’m looking forward to seeing them punish this “elite” at the ballot box for many years to come as their lies are exposed.
But perhaps these feelings about the liars for leave aren’t really grudges. For me, a grudge that I can brood over and milk for years has to be completely irrational and relate to circumstances that I can do nothing about. A bit like the feud in Romeo and Juliet between the Montague and Capulet families perhaps. That’s a proper, irrational grudge that none of the protagonists understand the origins of or can fix unilaterally. But, I am, at last, starting to do something positive in politics again, to try to change things. It’s been a few leaflets here and there in 2016, but now the MSc is out-of-the-way and provided my health holds out, I hereby resolve to become rather more active in 2017.
1. Benchmarking the Raspberry Pi 2. <geek> Running ancient FORTRAN benchmarks on a brand new £30 computer. I haven’t yet got hold of the £5 Raspberry Pi Zero to repeat the feat, but it’s probably only a matter of time … </geek>
A Happy Christmas to all my readers. I look forward to seeing you again in 2016.
Thank you to the 40,000 or so visitors to this blog during 2015. I hope you found something that you liked in the 85,000 pages that you viewed! While statistics definitely aren’t everything, these are the 12th – 7th most popular articles that I’ve published during this year.
Teads (formerly Wikio/Ebuzzing) has been producing blog rankings for many years. Sadly, they’ve now decided to stop doing this as their business model has moved to focus purely on video advertising. The last blog rankings were compiled in September 2015, with this blog standing proudly at 98 in the ‘Other’ category (just 50 places behind a far more important and influential Tim) and at 710 in the overall UK table.
For posterity, here’s the progress of this blog over the years. Statistics aren’t everything, but sometimes they’re interesting to look at. Farewell Teads – it was fun while it lasted.
By way of an experiment, I’ve decided to turn off comments across this blog until at least the new year. I still really welcome interaction of course. The easiest way to do this is through my Twitter account or Facebook page.
With the end of the year looming, I thought I’d do what I usually do at this time of the year and see which my most read posts written during the year were. Looking back on 2014 is personally quite challenging. Five of the most read posts are about a topic that I wouldn’t have dreamed I’d be writing about this time last year – being diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma.
5. Overcoming my fear – “… if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”
6. Hello to the end of the beginning – “MCL is difficult to treat successfully. It is not considered curable.” But I’m not going to say goodbye just yet – and hopefully not for decades.
8. A change of speed? – Having prepared myself to start chemotherapy immediately, further tests showed that I was better off waiting until the lymphoma had progressed a little further … and the good news is that I’m still waiting now.
10. Uncomfortable – Certainly one way of describing a bone marrow biopsy
A couple of new Open University related posts are in 2nd and 3rd places:
I’m very pleased and surprised to have broken into the Ebuzzing top 100 ‘other’ blog rankings for the first time this month at number 94. I see that I’m in good company too, as I’m only one place behind the British Psychological Society’s excellent Research Digest blog and a mere three behind John Leech MP.
So thank you all very much for visiting and linking to me!