As you can see, I’ve moved my “blog” again. There’s not much to it - there never really is - and I’m not sure why as I tend to have quite a great deal to say about things :).

It’s powered by the HPSTR theme at the moment - I plan to bastardise it when I get a chance but it’s really an excellent place to start. All thanks to Michael Rose from MadeMistakes.com!

So what’s on my mind these days? Let me tell you…

Scottish Independence

The independence debate rages on and I am not moved by either argument. I think generally that independence would be an excellent thing for Scotland, but I don’t agree with the arguments being made in the media by the leaders of the two sides. The reasons are all important - are we really so frustrated with the economic policy of the United Kingdom that is the main discussion point? I have no trouble believing that Scotland as a nation can survive economically, so let’s move on.

Topics I’d like to discuss are…

  • What our new constitution and parliament might look like with the removal of religion from our governance.
  • The right to privacy, both online and offline - something I don’t think we’ll ever have being part of the UK and under the GCHQ.
  • Energy policy - how do we leverage the massive natural resources we have in a way that we can both benefit from cheaper energy and perhaps even export it.
  • A more simple, more transparent and fairer tax system. Let’s take the opportunity to come up with a system that can be the envy of the world, to balance the excessive tax-avoidance that is rife without strangling a company from growing and reaching out. Corporate social responsibility should be more than the odd charity fun-run, it should be intrinsic in the fabric of what we do and who we are as Scots. Get it right from the start, make the rules clear and I don’t believe for a second we’d miss any company who feels compelled by greed to jump ship.
  • Our responsibilities in Europe and in NATO. With Russia and China being increasingly aggressive, we can’t simply ignore the fact that there are global politics that we are going to be part of whether we like it or not. Where do we stand, who are our allies? What is our foreign policy as Scotland?
  • How do we deal with the rampant alcoholism, child poverty and sectarianism that blights Scotland. How will independence improve these areas? Can they? If not, why aren’t we looking into this instead of wasting time on anything else?
  • Education policy. What happened to the relationship between schools and families? “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.” said Lee Iacocca and was tweeted by @qikipedia recently. Doesn’t that make a great deal of sense? Is that happening in Scotland?

As you can see, I’ve given this quite a bit of thought. Hopefully I can go into some more detail on these areas, my findings and my opinions.

Code

I’m not sure why I don’t code at home very much any more. I’m crazy busy at work - and I love it - but I still love so many other parts of computers and science and I sometimes forget. So, a pledge now, to start putting things on GitHub and not give a damn what other people think about it. To take (constructive) criticism if anyone actually bothers to look at my code. To not get caught up in “big projects” and code and tinker and hack and try things out of an evening.

There’s also a wealth of excellent articles I’ve enjoyed reading and I hope to share some of the better ones here with my thoughts.

Finally, I’ve moved this blog to GitHub pages as my experience of the free Google App Engine hosting was disappointing - and I certainly didn’t get enough traffic to warrant paying for it. I’m looking forward to learning a bit more about Python and Ruby with Jekyll.

Exercise

Got a Garmin Forerunner 910XT for Christmas and haven’t looked back since - what a fantastic piece of kit. The running and cycling measurement are great, but the swimming measurement is the killer feature for me. Being able to track all my swimming sessions - and the improvement I’ve made - is just awesome. So I’m going to take a look at how to put this blog to good use on that side of things too.

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

I got the opportunity to attend a business lunch at [George Watsons College][gwc] this morning, something that the teachers put on in ord...… Continue reading