Saturday, June 1, 2013


So, the other day I thought I would record my thoughts. This was while going on a train journey into the city for a conference, and I had quite a bit of time to think and observe as it started at 10am. I stopped and got some breakfast along the way - eggs benedict with smoked salmon, yummmm.

Anyway, I am going to list these thoughts here with the minimum possible explanation of what I mean by them. Actually, I'll write what I wrote my notebook (paper one) in bold, then any further explanation in plain text.

  • High tech nose pick. In the train I was impressed by almost every traveller having a laptop, tablet or smartphone. I was thinking how as a species we were quite advanced, then I saw a guy pick his nose and eat it (in a way that he thought nobody would see) and my pride in us all was instantly deflated.
  • Balls Head, Waverton. I saw this sign at Waverton station that said this, and I have seen this sign before, but had no idea what it was - a pub, a building? So I looked it up using Google on my phone. Its a park, quite a nice one apparently.
  • iPhone Chinese text entry. I was sitting behind a chinese lady who was having an SMS conversation and I got to see how she did her text entry, which was somewhat curious if you have never seen it before (as I hadn't until then). Basically she typed using english keybard a few letters then picked a Chinese character from a few above the keyboard as suggestions. It looked quite slow, and I wondered how a speed race of english vs chinese typists would go.
  • Year Pause. You know you are losing it when you write the date and pause on the year part - and think to yourself "fuck! really?"
  • Change can suck. Or at least, it can seem that way at first. I had decided to get my breakfast at a little cafe I used to haunt when I had a job briefly in the city. However, when I got there it was closed permanently and was now a miniature convenience store. I was seriously dissapointed, but walked not more than 20m down the road and found an alternative, which in many ways was better.
  • No-newspaper. The cafe had a newspaper for the patrons. I read it in about 5 minutes, and it had zero of interest in it for me. No news. I get all my news from the internet these days.
  • #1 at No. 1 Espresso bar. The cafe was called No. 1 Espresso bar. When I ordered, the table number I was given was no 1. I know it's only a small thing, but it seemed like a was a winner in a little way.
  • Ghost of Steve. It took me a while to recall what I meant by this. What it was was the realization that Steve Jobs still lives amongst us -- I kept seeing people using phones and tablets and computers that he had a part in creating.
  • Logo on breast. This is an old thought that keeps coming back to me every now and then. Many women wear work-shirts with a logo on them, which is located on their breast. So, it gives you a free ticket to look there, right? I read slowly, sometimes.
  • Served by machine @ supermarket -> 1 less interaction. A supermarket I visit occasionally has changed the express lane to be based on self serve checkout machines. I don't particularly like them. Actually, I particularly don't like them. And further to this observation of "progress" is that human to human interaction is being eliminated where possible (eg automated phone answering services).
  • Modern day class : Cafe in city - people serving vs people served. Usually we think we are in a classless society, but I think there are some if you look.
  • Most people seem addicted to coffee. And phones. Self explainatory, this one, but it really hit me as I watched people going about their day.
  • Style from Laziness. The sign in the cafe was missing the center of the letters that were cut out. Was this "hip" or just being lazy?
  • Stats above head idea. This thought is again an old one that pops into my head occasionally. The idea is to imagine if only you could see certain things about people written in glowing text above their heads - for example, how long since they last had an sex. Or how long they have left to live.
  • Telepathy - phones. It occurred to me that the telephone is in effect a telepathic device. We can via a phone call project a thought to someone any distance away. The internet is too, I suppose.
  • Telepathy - for real, how would we have to change? If we could read each others thoughts directly, what would our society be like? Private thoughts are good, a lot of the time, especially for men!
So that is a stream of random thoughts I had in around an hours time. I like observing the world in a random way and thinking about the people I see and the secret (to me) lives they have. In the city everyone seems so busy and self-concerned. I don't know if I am alone in taking pleasure in observing people. I also enjoyed having my headphones on and listening to my own music, so it had a soundtrack too.