State Of The Connection

I neither like nor trust Facebook, but I’m using it again, partly to examine it once more, partly because I think they’ve probably won the current cycle of net-based communications. Most of my other messaging apps have become wastelands. Whether they call it a necessity or an addiction, 99% of people operate a FB account on some level. And now I do too.

Tried a new app the other day. It doesn’t work outside America, even if, like me, you have a US number that can receive the entry code as a text.

That US number I have, through an app called Holonumber, will stop working soon, as Holonumber is apparently no longer supported outside the US – can’t buy more credit.

Snapchat is irrelevant now, will be broken in a year and gone in three.

I’m back to using just one Slack channel, with six other people.

Signal has gone out of fashion (again), WhatsApp is basically the Facebook Phone Company, Instagram killed a bunch of things, Facebook is making a home videophone because that’s where we are again. Slack just went down, my local train service to London is going to stop working at 930pm every night til May and Joe Arpaio is running for US Senate.

Thanks for coming to my fucking TED talk

PS. Tinyletter is apparently going to be fine until 2019 earliest. And people are trying again to talk me into hosting a monthly event in London. I suspect I’m not quite in the mood in 2018.

BLACK EDGE

BLACK EDGE, by Sheelah Kolhatkar, is the story of Steve Cohen, financial wizard and insider-trading pirate, his weird life and the strange, damaged people who fell into his wake because of the riches he brought with him.  And the fucked-up financial policing system in America.

Ever watch that show BILLIONS?  You know, the one which opened with Paul Giamatti being pissed on by his dominatrix?  This is the real story.  It is both less lurid – no obvious piss play — and more fucked up.  Yes, it’s fun to see Paul Giamatti looking for new things to shout at while Damien Lewis smiles his weird little smile, but there is nothing in that show like the howling human void that is trader Matthew Martoma, whose story becomes the centre stone of this carefully assembled liar’s house.

With clear explanations of the financial shenanigans for people like me who are all but mathematically bind, and exquisite pen-portraits of all the characters involved  – the brief sketch of the demented informant known as “Winnie The Pooh” was an especial favourite — BLACK EDGE manages to be entertaining as well as rich and, of course, quite chilling. Totally recommended.

BLACK EDGE, Sheelah Kolhatkar  (UK) (US)

Fifty

Yeah, I turned fifty last week. Might as well memorialize it here in my journal. Below is the photo I took that day as I walked into town for a glass of wine and a stop at the food hall. Which, I guess, looks as bleak as most of the photos I take. But the air was crisp and clean, and the sky was nigh cloudless and the sun was bright and hard. Reminded of that line (and many others) from Cohen’s “Tower Of Song” – standing by the window, where the light is strong. It’s a song I identify with more and more as I age. Or, at least, understand more.

Fifty doesn’t feel too bad. Although I feel compelled to mention the extremely mild barely-there recurring headache I’ve had for a couple of weeks, to strike that doomy foreshadowing note if it turns out to be a brain tumour.

See? I can still make jokes. Not dead yet.

Or, as the other guy said “Well… yes, and here we go again.”