2x14: Continuous Partial Affection

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we do not have “excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance”, we mention that Oggcamp is coming up in the UK and you should volunteer to be on the crew, nobody buys any illegally traded goods, and:

  • [00:02:00] The news... Adobe kill Flash and Stuart defends it (up is down, down is up)... the police cooperate internationally to shut down two major darkweb markets in order to deny our previous assertions that the rozzers know nothing about technology... Microsoft kill MS Paint, internet erupts with sadness, Microsoft wire the corpse to the mains, er, grant a stay of execution and put it in the Windows Store, which is not quite the same thing as death...
  • [00:15:15] Is there too much screen time in our lives? Are we spending too much time looking at things on screen and not in reality, or is this merely more old man yelling at cloud? And are we seeing some more long-term psychological effects -- narcissism, shallowness of affect, shortness of attention span -- which have come about because our relationships are now mediated in 140-character bursts? It's a worry. Or maybe it isn't. We have... many thoughts.

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The argument about the phone screen time reminded me of this :slight_smile:

As for “vaguebooking” someone brutally called my wife out for it several years ago. The reason why she did is she wanted a cathartic release but couldn’t give specifics for legal reasons. Sometimes you need an outlet for the shit going on with life and this is better than some.

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I’d be interested in seeing the study Jeremy mentions about social media use increasing narcissism. My experience is more like everyone being somewhere on the narcissistic spectrum and social media use being more prevalent in those who are higher on that spectrum[1]

On the subject of “vaguebooking”, I found that posting this kind of stuff as a private messages to a friend - or writing it in a journal is actually more therapeutic than casting it into some social media platform

[1] I am not a Sociologist, this is not sociology advice


As a child, at family functions, I would bring a pad of paper or magazines with me and I would be off in a corner dreaming of playing with my Commodore 64 while at family functions. Perhaps the difference is, I had to learn patience.

What a great discussion on the topic of narcissism. I am not sure where the line is between healthy self love and an unhealthy one. I do totally agree that you have to be present in the moment with friends & family. I have personal rules that in social settings, I keep my phone put away because I can engage my e-friends anytime but REAL friends with which I only have a window of time. At the same time, I do have times when I have no social energy, I fall back to a book, my phone or maybe my Kindle.

I think there is a healthy balance between e-friends and real friends in life and it is best to put more emphasis on the real friends, always.

On the discussion of Adobe Flash, I have had a great experience with Flash and I agree with Stuart that those games or videos should not be lost. I know so many people jump up and down to say Flash is bad but I agree that I would like to see the tech be opened up. Since Adobe is announcing it to be discontinued by 2020, what would it hurt to just open it up, maybe bits at a time as to reduce exposing all the exploits.

Thanks for your show!


Links to the Pursuit Podcast mention in the show: https://pursuit.podiant.co/

Also link to The UX of Text: Stuart Langridge Youtube Video


Thanks for sharing these. :slight_smile:

With @sil mentioning how he enjoyed the craftsmanship of the lens discussed in the other thread.I was thinking of the interest that is being shown in reviving penmanship. My boss makes and sells ink. Here are some inkwells that I make from brass and stainless steel.


I wonder if it could be fun to kick off a new thread where people can post pictures of beautiful mechanical or physical engineering such as this?


Screen time discussion is interesting, I get the impression its not taken very seriously by the tech/geeky community. Yes, whenever new things come out - historically people have often over-reacted. OTOH I think its a bit of a cop-out, the combination of movies, games, social media is orders of magnitude or addictive/engaging, compared to books.

A while back I went to an 18th where a good portion of the time many people were sitting around a dinner table on their phones, apparently they had a good time, … If it was my party I’d have been disappointed!

I limit my screen time to a desktop computer, otherwise don’t use a phone/laptop/TV much.
It’s nice to have a break from it all when away from the desk.

Long term (50+ years) I expect society to adjust, but that doesn’t mean current generations wont be impacted negatively.


I reduced my screen time dramatically a few years back. I only use tmux now.
Ba-dum Tish!


Regarding Flash, I feel it gets a bit unfairly bashed - It was really nice for fast loading vector animations and games in the mid 90’s, don’t forget it was used by a lot of non-programmers (or people who could only do basic scripting) too - to make interactive web content.

The only reason it got used for videos is the browser developers couldn’t get their act together with codec support (which was an absolute nightmare!).

Anyway, its time for it to go, it won’t take too long before someone to create a dosbox equivalent for Flash - with access to archives of flash content. Nevertheless that does increase the barrier of entry quite a bit (so it gets used by the kinds of people who already use dosbox, but regular people might not end up having such easy access as they do now).

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hey[quote=“ralight, post:10, topic:11232”]
I only use tmux now.

heh, I came to reply with a link to joke.popey.com but you had anticipated that :slight_smile:

I dread to think what the referrer logs for joke.popey.com look like :slight_smile:

Just a heads up:
If anyone is interested in some more on the screen time/technology effects subject, tonights Coast should be interesting:

First Half: Pulitzer prize winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel, known for his explorations on how technology use impacts human behavior, will discuss the extraordinary and insidious way in which everyday interaction with devices is changing you, your relationships, your habits, and maybe your brain.

If you don’t get Coast to Coast AM where you are, a lot of their affiliate stations offer streams (my local here in Toronto is AM640 (1am -5am est) and isn’t linked to iheart radio or any of that crap) Just click a province or state, then the station on the list and see if you can stream it, note what time zone they’re in, and enjoy tonight :slight_smile: Also, the international call in lines might be handy too.

As a kid I’d always be encouraged to bring a book to family functions and the like as I was younger than everyone else by quite a margin. Further down the line I’d have a smartphone with me most of the time (Running Symbian Series 60 - showing my age a bit here).

However as I’ve got older I’ve been less engrossed by smartphones and the like. It’s like I’ve had sufficient time to do what I wanted and now that box has been ticked. I spend a fair bit of time on social media but mostly for work and even then I’m mostly only pushing content upstream, not consuming it. If I’m out and about the main time I’m on my phone is when waiting for someone in the same spot.

It might interest you guys to know that I’m a tad too young to have experienced the “arguing over trivia in the pub” thing. By the time I was sitting in pubs chatting rather than playing drinking games smartphones were fully entrenched. I’ve not felt like the conversations we’ve had were diminished by being able to look something up. If anything it sometimes stimulates them.

“Wait, what? He was in that too? No way! Who did he play?”

Followed by a conversation about some other film or whatever.

Then again I’ve only experienced the “totally absorbed by a smart device” thing with one person. It’s the reason I didn’t finish watching Casablanca. Why bother if the other person is fixated on their phone?
Then again that was in 2008 or so when the iPhone 3G was new and owning one was a big deal. Are there still people that enamoured with their devices in 2017?


It doesn’t appear to be on Google Play yet. Bummer.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to suggest or manually add a podcast to Google Play either.

I’m not convinced that anything bad is happening because of too much screen time. I think the difference is just in the way people express dissatisfaction/detachment with things that are happening around them, or their lack of appropriate social skills.

In the past, you couldn’t stick your face in your smartphone so you pretended to listen to someone preaching about whatever they found absolutely fascinating, or you had to turn your head away from the bum sitting on the pavement asking money for whiskey. Nowadays, you can just use your phone as a deus ex machina to avoid your surroundings or silently protest about the topic of the conversation in a pub.

At the same time, I think it has become even more socially unacceptable among the younger to use your phone for no apparent reason while having a conversation with someone. So all in all, nothing has changed really, but if you can’t read social cues then you might be in a bit of a trouble.

This is indeed the argument I was making; that pre-smartphone people who today would be on their phones were ostensibly in the moment but actually were bored; that they’re today on their phones doesn’t mean they’re less interested, they’ve just got something to do to express their disinterest. :slight_smile:

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These people could take matters into their own hands too: if they were board with a conversation they could try move it in a direction they find more interesting.

Your point makes the assumption they’ve been making some effort, then lost interest and moved to their phone. Which does for sure happen - they might also have a low attention span, and/or under developed social skills, so they prefer to stay in their comfort zone and not make the effort to get to know people, strike up a conversation, which can be awkward or even intimidating.

Of course this depends a lot on the context, its not as if people should be obliged to be social - am just saying having a phone makes it very easy to be socially lazy.


I have seen this happen. And I would think how, before smart phones, there was plenty of rudeness in the world. With this behavior, rudeness has only increased.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.