Category Archives: Blog Housekeeping

Q3 Roundup

Note:  Blogging May Be Thin This Summer

This quarter marks just under 2400 days in a row of daily blog posts!

This record may not continue.  Due to pressing personal affairs, I may have to suspend regular blogging this summer, effective some time in July.

I will try to continue to blog, but we’ll have to see what happens.  If there is an interruption I will try to return to blogging in the fall.

The Usual Stuff…

This quarter, blog posts discussed many topics of interest to me, including multiple posts about the cryosphere, robots, blockchains, and bees.  And dinosaurs.

Etc.

As usual, I reviewed books every week, six non-fiction and 16 fiction books this quarter.

 

Books Reviewed

Fiction

88 Names  by Matt Ruff
Providence  by Max Barry
Shakespeare for Squirrels  by Christopher Moore
All Adults Here  by Emma Straub
Afterlife  by Julia Alvarez
Wake, Siren  by Nina MacLaughlin
How Much of These Hills is Gold  by C Pam Zhang
The Automatic Detective  by A. Lee Martinez
Tyll  by Daniel Kahlmann
The City We Became  by N. K. Jemisin
Little Fires Everywhere  by Celeste Ng
Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine
Arabella the Traitor of Mars by David D. Levine
The Orphan’s Tales, Vol 1.: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente
The Orphan’s Tales: Vol 2.: In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne M. Valente

 Non Fiction

Istanbul  by Bettany Hughes
Tacky’s Revolt  by Vincent Brown
The Library Book  by Susan Orlean
The Lives of Bees  by Thomas D. Seeley
Unworthy Republic  by Claudio Saunt
How to Hide an Empire  by Daniel Immerwahr

 

Band Names

Here are some Dave Barry inspired names for bands—all taken from the text of real science papers!

Bottlebrush block copolymer photonic crystals
Antarctic Frogs
First Fossil Frog
Eocene High Latitude
Gondwanan Cosmopolitinism
Tape-spool boom extraction system
Flux Lobe Elongation
Magnetic Pole Acceleration
Towards Siberia
Possible common capture events
Radially Symmetric Fertile Parts
Pendicle Bending

Blog Round Up, First Quarter 2020

This quarter has seen the whole world shelter in place.  This enforced isolation up ends decades of advocacy for more human contact.

In recent years,  I have written a lot (a whole book) about Coworking as “a respite from our isolation”  (Klaas, 2014) [1].

This is still true, but coworking is out for now–don’t do it.  Stay home, no matter how unpleasant, until it is safe to meet again.  Community will be back.

Lot’s of other people’s wisdom has to be put on hold for the duration as well.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (unknown, attr. to Edmund Burke)

must now be:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of COVID-19 is for good men and women to not do nothing.”

The Art of Gathering” (Parker, 2018)  must now be the art of NOT gathering.  We’re all still trying to figure how to be artful about it.

How to do Nothing”  (Odell, 2019)  All the more important, while we must all find the strength to do very little.

“Alone Together” (Turkle, 2011) [2]  We have to be alone.  Let’s try to be together about it.


The Usual Blog Fodder Interesting Topics

I seem to never get tired of some things.

Blockchain mania, the melting cryosphere, robots, dinosaurs, solar energy.

Some Ideas for Band Names

…torn from the pages of real scientific papers

Wing Heart
Scent Pads
Failed Squid Meal

Prey Seizure

Books Reviewed

As ususal, weekly book reviews.  12 fiction, 7 non-fiction.

Fiction

Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Trace Elements by Donna Leon
Processed Cheese by Stephen Wright
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Highfire by Eoin Colfer
The Feral Detective by Jonathan Letham
Hi Five by Joe Ide
Agency by William Gibson
Zed by Joanna Kavenna
Naked Came The Florida Man by Tim Dorsey
A Small Town by Thomas Perry
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Non Fiction

The Shadow of Vesuvius by Daisy Dunn
Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Imagined Life by James Trefil and Michael Summers
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan
Island People by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
The Accursed Tower by Roger Crowley


  1. Zachary R. Klaas, Coworking & Connectivity in Berlin. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2014. https://www.academia.edu/11486279/Coworking_Connectivity
  2. Sherry Turkle, Alone Together, New York, BAsic Books, 2011.

 

Year End Roundup for 2019

This New Years marks close to six years of blogging every day.  I write ‘em, a few of you click on ‘em.

The Traffic Stats Were Weird

The total hits on this blog increased again, up more than 10% from 2018.  As before, there is a huge amount of “long tail” in this traffic, with hits spread widely over the thousands of posts from the last 8 years.

But it isn’t clear exactly how many people actually look at this blog.  The stats I get are defaults from wordpress, so I don’t really know much about them.

This year saw a couple of mysterious blips.  I don’t know how much of this is real traffic, and how much of it is artifacts of the data collection.

Early in the year, the daily hits dropped dramatically.  This approximately corresponds to the European data privacy requirements, and the dearth of hits from that region suggest that the blog is either not available to some people (not being compliant in some way I don’t know about) or accesses are not reported (not having permission to collect that data).   I dunno.

But then, around August, traffic picked up.  Really picked up, to 100 hits per day.  During this burst, it tended to be bursty, with a few days of high traffic, as much a 300 hits per day, and then several days of low traffic.  From the imperfect information I can see, the bursts might be from Hong Kong (perhaps scraping the internet to make a copy to be used inside China?)

Then, around November, traffic dropped off again and has stayed low.  This drop approximately coincides with the increasing troubles in HK, so perhaps this reflects a cut off of Internet access there.

I really don’t know.

The Usual Stuff

The blog continued to cover the usual stuff.

Cryptocurrencies, the Future of Work (and Coworking), Dinosaurs, Birds, Robots, the Ice Is Melting, Renewable Energy.

I blog about anything that interests me and is worth the trouble.  I try to have something useful to say, though sometimes it’s mainly a link with “this is cool”

Many of the things I discuss are from current academic papers, which I cite and generally try to read at least the abstract and always point to the original sources.

“Coworking – The Book” and other Writing

My 2018 book “What is Coworking?” continues to sell like hot cakes–if nobody had ever heard of hot cakes.  I think it sold a couple dozen copies.  My plans for a new villa are on hold…. : – )

Writing is hard.  Selling books is even harder.

Speaking of writing, I also contributed an article to a local free paper, which I really like the title to:

  1. Robert E. McGrath, Think Heliocentrically, Act Locally, in The Public I: A Paper of the People. 2019. http://publici.ucimc.org/2019/04/think-heliocentrically-act-locally/

I archived a report on the 2013 Alma Mater project.  Versions of this report was rejected by several conferences and journals.  A problem with working outside the box is that the journals of boxology won’t publish your results.

  1. Robert E. McGrath, A Digital Rescue for a Graduation Ritual. Urbana, Illinois, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105503

Onward

This blog will continue in the same vein, and daily posts will continue at least for now.


Band Names

In a continuing homage to Dave Berry, I have identified a bunch of phrases that would make great names for a band.  In general, these phrases are taken from actual, real scientific and technical papers.  So I am not making them up—just repurposing them.

Here is this year’s crop.

gerbil’s casket
Preen Oil
Carolina Preen Oil

Carolina Junco
Dark eyed Junco
Arctic Albedo

Mean Surface Albedo
Arctic Amplification
Amplified Arctic Warming
Surface Air Temperature
Snow Cover Fraction
Buckypaper
Pacific Pumice Raft
Sichuan Mudslides
  (also a great name for cocktail)
Soft Exo Suits

The Weddell Gyre
Giant Miocene Parrots
Eocene Whale
Chicxulub ejecta
Perching Drones

Perch And Stare Mission
Due to a lack of sunlight in Scotland

Blogging Birds Of Scotland
Huddle Pod
Cuddle Pod
Giant Hopping Tree Rats
Kangaroo Ancestors
Prehistoric kangaroos

Tiny Pronking Robots
Computational Periscopy


Books

As always, I have continued the weekly review of one or more books that I read this year. This year I wrote about a total of 73 books, 24 non-fiction, 49 fiction.

Some Favorite Books of the Year

Fiction:

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Angels of Music by Kim Newman

Non-Fiction

Breaking and Entering by Jeremey N. Smith
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer
You Look Like A Thing And I Love You by Janelle Shane

All the books reviewed (in no particular order)

Fiction

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear
Grand Union by Zadie Smith
Equoid (2013) by Charles Stross
Toast (2002) by Charles Stross
Speak Easy (2015) by Catherynne M. Valente
Six Gun Snow White (2016) by Catherynne M. Valente
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré
Anno Dracula 1999 Daikaiju by Kim Newman
The Princess Beard by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Grave Importance by Vivian Shaw
The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
Amnesty by Lara Elena
Outside Looking In by T. C. Boyle
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Noir Fatale ed. by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell
Inland by Téa Obreht
The Origins of Sense by Adam Erlich Sachs
Fall by Neal Stephenson
Gather The Fortunes by Bryan Camp
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
The Future is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente
No Country For Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Early Riser by Jasper Fforde
European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald
Revolutionaries by Joshua Furst
Someone Who Will Love You in all Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
Unto Us A Son Is Given by Donna Leon
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Angels of Music by Kim Newman
The Burglar by Thomas Perry
Grim Expectations by K. W. Jeter
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
Macbeth by Jo Nesbø
No Sunscreen for the Dead by Tim Dorsey
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Infernal Devices  by K. W. Jeter
Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter

Non Fiction

Lakota America by Pekka Hämäläinen
The Laundromat by Jake Bernstein
You Look Like A Thing And I Love You by Janelle Shane
They Will Have To Die Now by James Verini
Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik
Proof!  By Amir Alexander
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone
The Next Billion Users by Payal Arora
How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
Places and Names by Elliot Ackerman
Eyes in the Sky by Arthur Holland Michel
American Carnage by Tim Alberta
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
The Ice At The End Of The World by Jon Gertner
Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton
Devices and Desires by Kate Hubbard
Stony The Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The Rise and Fall of Alexandria by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
Breaking and Entering by Jeremey N. Smith
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee” by David Treuer
Brilliant Green by Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben
Before and After Alexander by Richard A. Billows

 

Housekeeping: Q3 2019 Summary

This quarter the blog embarked on the third thousand days, with continuing attention to dinosaurs, robots, solar energy, and Nakamotoan cryptocurrencies and more. <<links>>

There have been regular posts about The New Way of Work, generally appearing in the “What is Coworking? The Book” blog, and then reposted to this blog.

And I continue to look at the actual science documenting the beginning of the Anthropocene, especially the end of the ice.  Glub.

And, of course, weekly book reviews (see below).


 Great Names for a Band

In my continuing tribute to Dave Barry, I suggest great names for bands, usually based on actual scientific literature.  This quarter’s entries are:

Pacific Pumice Raft
Sichuan Mudslides (would also be a great name for cocktail)
Soft Exo Suits
The Weddell Gyre
Giant Miocene Parrots


Books Reviewed

For your convenience, here is a list of the books reviewed this quarter, 8 non-fiction and 11 fiction.  If you read only one of these, I’d recommend  This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Non Fiction

Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone
The Next Billion Users by Payal Arora
How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
Places and Names by Elliot Ackerman
Eyes in the Sky by Arthur Holland Michel
American Carnage by Tim Alberta
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
The Ice At The End Of The World by Jon Gertner

Fiction

The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
Amnesty by Lara Elena
Outside Looking In by T. C. Boyle
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Noir Fatale ed. by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell
Inland by Téa Obreht
The Origins of Sense by Adam Erlich Sachs
Fall by Neal Stephenson


Stay tuned for more!

More dinosaurs, robots, photovoltaic, Anthropocene.  More Future of Work.  More books.

And everyone wants to know,

Who will win the not-at-all-coveted Crypto Tulip of the Year Award for 2019?

Q2 2019 roundup

This quarter marked the milestone: 2K days in a row!

This quarter also saw a dramatic drop in hits reported in the stats.  (I have states only about hits.)  The drop seems to coincide with the shutdown of Google+ on April 1.  I had been automatically posting every blog article to Google+, so maybe that was getting them more visible in Google searches. I dunno.

The Usual Suspects

This quarter saw lots of posts about the usual suspects: The Cryosphere, Solar power, as well as the usual Cryptocurrency Thursdays and Robot Wednesdays and so on.

A couple of great names for band:

Eocene Whale
Chicxulub ejecta

Books Reviewed This Quarter

Weekly book reviews continued every Sunday.  Here is a list (in no particular order).

Fiction

Gather The Fortunes by Bryan Camp
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
The Future is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente
No Country For Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Early Riser by Jasper Fforde
European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald
Revolutionaries by Joshua Furst
Someone Who Will Love You in all Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

Non Fiction

Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton
Devices and Desires by Kate Hubbard
Stony The Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The Rise and Fall of Alexandria by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid

 

Two thousand Days In a Row!

According to my calculations, today (or maybe yesterday) marks 2,000 days in a row of blog posts!  (At roughly 300 words per post, that’s over 6 megawords, probably approaching 10 megawords.)

“It may not be good, but its consistent!”

My grizzled veteran keyboard is worn out from blogging….

I’ll take this opportunity to muse a bit.

What Do I think I’m Doing

Why am I doing it?  Not for profit—I receive no money for it.  Not for glory—readership is probably in the tens, although most of the response is from robots, so who knows?  I must say that the rare positive feedback is very, very appreciated.  It’s quite a trip to emit this stuff into the empty ether, and every once in a while hear that somebody actually read and appreciated it!  Thanks, folks.

My original purpose was to keep in practice and maybe improve my writing.  Upon retirement, it is important to exercise, including my brain.  And as I discovered, posting even a short piece every day is a lot of work.  I could not have done it if I had to show up for a job.

One of the things I do with the blog is write short comments on things I read.  This has forced me to read more carefully, and think at least a little about what I read.  I’m sure it’s good for me.

With weekly book reviews, I’ve had to read more that 50 books a year—which is my wheelhouse, but is also really good for me.  I read a lot, but this makes me keep moving, and also write up short essays on what I read.

I also wanted to use the blog to develop long form topics for further work, such as articles or books.  Initially, I was thinking of a book about cryptocurrency, about which I post regularly.  But I also wrote quite a bit about the “Future of Work”, especially Freelancing and Coworking Spaces. The latter turned into a self-published book project.

So that worked.  (And I have a couple of other potential book ideas lurking in there, if I could find the energy.)

What Have I Learned

I was interested in experiencing how the web works these days, in a sort of participant observation research way.  Blogging with WordPress has proved to be as simple as I always hoped things could be.  (I have endured a lot of awful software in my life, so I know what I’m talknig about. Well done, Automatic.

I also found that eschewing Facebook means that I’m basically off the air, non-existent, talking to noone.  Traffic is very low, but it has been very noticeable when someone reposts a blog entry to FB—visitors jump dramatically.

I have also seen that the much-maligned Google+ seems to have driven traffic to my site, perhaps through Google searches. And I have little evidence that cross posting to LinkedIn does very much.  But who knows?

Oh, and I have definitely seen the “long tail” effect that we all read about.  Posting thousands of different items gives me hits not just on recent posts, but all the way back.  It’s weird, but true.

Self-publishing was another exploration of contemporary technology that grew out of my blogging.  Writing a book is hard work.  Publishing is much easier than it used to be.  I found Lulu to be astonishingly easy to use.  The workflow isn’t too hard to use, and they have all the steps broken down into menu sized choices.  Well done, Lulu.

Of course, I discovered that selling a book is just as hard or harder than ever.  (Lulu and other people will help you, for a fee.)  Simply having a book available in Amazon, etc., has not resulted in any particular notice or sales.  I even broke down and joined Twitter to promote the book.  I suspect that eschewing FB probably is fatal to any hopes of book sales.

So, I’ve learned a few things.

What’s Next?

I do not know how long I will be able to continue daily posts.  We’ll have to see.  Life may intervene.

Supposing I do want or need to reduce or end the posts, what is a good protocol?  I’ve never looked to see if there is advice on this.  (Most advice is about how to grow and how to monetize—two things I really don’t want to do.)

Is there a way to gracefully shutdown or throttle back a blog?   Should there be posts saying “there are no posts”?  How long should the long tail be left around?  How do you leave something out there without actively maintaining it?

Feel free to contact me with suggestions.

And Onward….

But for now, posts continue.

Read on, if you dare.

 

Round Up For Q1 2019

This quarter started the sixth year of daily blogging!  “It may not be good, but it sure is persistent.”

Coworking Reposts

During the quarter there were weekly posts about coworking and freelancing in the “What is Coworking? The Book” blog.  Some of these were reposted in this main blog, which has higher traffic.  Check out the blog and the book!

Whatever is Interesting

As usual, I continue to blog about whatever is interesting including dinosaurs, robots, birds, bees, and, of course cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

On the latter front, the second annual Crypto Tulip of the Year Award was announced.  Congratulations to “The ICO“!

“Congratulations to ICO technology for setting a new standard for Tuipi-ness!”

Band Names

As usual, I occasionally suggest good names for a band.  These are taken from or adapter from actual titles and phrases in readings and articles.  This quarter ‘s bands are:

Perching Drones
Perch And Stare Mission
Due to a lack of sunlight in Scotland”
Blogging Birds Of Scotland
Huddle Pod (or how about Cuddle pod?)
Giant Hopping Tree Rats
Kangaroo Ancestors
Prehistoric kangaroos
(Pretty much anything with “kangaroo” in it!)
Tiny Pronking Robots
Computational Periscopy

Books, Books, Books

And last but not least, I continue to read and review books.  Here is the list of the 19 books covered this quarter for this quarter.

Fiction

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
Unto Us A Son Is Given by Donna Leon
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Angels of Music by Kim Newman
The Burglar by Thomas Perry
Grim Expectations by K. W. Jeter
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
Macbeth by Jo Nesbø
No Sunscreen for the Dead by Tim Dorsey
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Infernal Devices  by K. W. Jeter
Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter

Non Fiction

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
Breaking and Entering by Jeremey N. Smith
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee”by David Treuer
Brilliant Green by Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben
Before and After Alexander by Richard A. Billows

 

Five Years!!

Today marks the beginning of the sixth year of daily blogging here!

(The Internet tells me that the fifth anniversary is “wood”.)

Established in 2011, blogging began n 2012.  On January 5 2014 I began blogging every day.  That first post was a batch of short book reviews, which have continued (now every Sunday).

The overall goal of the project has been to keep writing and reading. I don’t know if my writing has improved, per se, but blogging certainly has made me read many things  and write about what I read, which is surely good for me (if not the world).

Is anybody reading it?  As far as I know, every once in a while, a few people do read it.

I generally avoid click bait and troll fodder, so I don’t get many flames.  (WordPress does a good job of filtering spam, a lot of which comes from idiot robots.)

One possible side effect of blogging has been to accumulate significant masses of notes on various topics, especially cryptocurrency technology and coworking.  The former has never gelled into anything more, the latter was turned into a book.

What next?

For now, the blog will continue daily, book reports on Sunday.  Shall I shoot for ten years?

Stay tuned.

2018 Round Up: Stuff I Published in 2018

It’s one thing to write for your own blog, it’s another thing entirely to get someone else to publish what you write!

2018 saw several publications worth noting.

The big one was the self-published book, “What is Coworking?” [4] (with its own blog here).  This sprang from dozens of blog postings over several years, encompassing a lot of research and thought.  See the blog for more info.

To publicize the book, I did a Pecha Kucha talk in October [2]. (More info here. This short talk (available on YouTube) sketches one of the more interesting ideas in the book.

On another topic, I contributed an article to the American Solar Energy Association’s Tiny Watts Blog  [1]. The piece combines my long time interest in community maker spaces with my really, really long time interest in solar energy.

I also contributed an article to the local monthly paper, The Public-I [3].  The article discusses the Clean Energy Credit Union, which I learned about at the ASES conference in August.  A longer version with an interview with the cofounder can be found here.


I also had one rejection which is memorable because the conference went totally insane after not accepting my submission. The paper in question is being revised and will be submitted to a real journal or conference in 2019.


So that’s the high points.  See you in print!


(For the record, Most of my publications, projects, and presentations are listed here.)

  1. Robert McGrath, Tiny Watts – Solar Power For Everyone, in Tiny Watts Blog. 2018. https://www.ases.org/tiny-watts-solar-power-for-everyone/
  2. Robert McGrath, What is Coworking? Is It Participatory Theater?, in Champaign Urbana PechaKucha Night. 2018. https://youtu.be/CTFrYzzCOj8
  3. Robert E. McGrath, A New Option to Finance A Clean Energy Future for Everyone, in The Public I: A Paper of the People. 2018. http://publici.ucimc.org/2018/12/a-new-option-to-finance-a-clean-energy-future-for-everyone/
  4. Robert E. McGrath, What is Coworking? A look at the multifaceted places where the gig economy happens and workers are happy to find community. 2018, Robert E. McGrath: Urbana. https://whatiscoworkingthebook.com/

Blog Roundup 2018

Five Years!

The end of this year (actually on January 5 2019) marks FIVE YEARS of daily blogging. (I’m told that this would be the “wood” anniversary, so send lumber and firewood!)

This means that I have posted to this every single day since 5 January 2014!

The Motto of This Blog Is:

“It may not be good, but it is consistent”

Total traffic to the bog was up 45%(according to the highly imperfect statistics I get.  What I see is a very definite case of a “long tail”—many, many different posts each getting a few hits, adding up to quite a few.  In fact, there seems to be little pattern other than this, at least in the stats reported to me.

So, consistency pays off!

I also noticed some weirdness in the reporting after the EU privacy rules kicked in.  Reported traffic from Europe dropped to almost zero, which I attribute to a combination of unavailability and suppression of trackers

Overall traffic has been quite variable since, with huge bursts and surges over 4-5 days.  Furthermore, the bursts are associated with traffic from China and HK which looks a like it might a bot sweeping through and caching copies of hundreds of pages.  I don’t have enough information to explore these suggestive patterns.


The New Book!

Even bigger news this year!  My new book was published in April!  (There is a blog to go with the book.)

  1. Robert E. McGrath, What is Coworking? A look at the multifaceted places where the gig economy happens and workers are happy to find community, Urbana, Robert E. McGrath, 2018.

This book represents the fruit of several years of research and writing (and rewriting).

The perfect gift for all ages!

And if you are a glutton for punishment, there is a video of a Pecha Kucha talk from the book.


Whatever Interests Me

As usual, I continue to blog about whatever the heck interests me enough to blog about it.

This year there has been lot’s on:

Dinosaurs, Robots, and The Cyryosphere, Oh My!

Quantum Computing and Solar Energy, and, of course, The New Way of Work


Crypto Tulip of the Year

The second annual Crypto Tulip of the Year will be announced in early January. <<links>>  For more info see last year’s winner, and the new “what it takes” page.

A Crypto Tulip Song

It’s the best year ever!
Getcher Crypto Tulips Here!

Fraud, fraud, fraud, is leapin’
Bugs, bugs, bugs, are swamin’
Regulators are regulatin’
Lawyers are lawyerin’
Centralized services are thrivin’
Coins still don’t scale up
Smart contracts are neither
And there is no consensus in the consensuss

But it’s the best year, best year ever!
Getcher Crypto Tulips Here!


Great Names for Bands

The ongoing list of great names for a band continues, inspired by Sensei Dave Barry. Here are a bunch, mostly taken from real scientific or technical papers.

“Putative sauropod footprints”
“Pterosaur Fur!” (or “Pterosaur Pfur!”)
“Large floating spawn catchers”  (should be said with Aussie accent):
“Solar powered floating larval incubation pools”
“Fossil blubber”
“Jurassic ichthyosaur”
“Leonardo’s Petalos”
“Drawmaton”
“Leonardo’s Lost Robots”
“The CryptoTulips”*
“Irrationally Exuberant Technophilic Mania”*
  (my own coinages)
“crating the swarms of microbots”
“Quantum Rods”
“Photocatalysis”
“Flow Batteries”
“The Blue-throated Hillstars”
“Bison Calves of Banff”
“Flugroboter!”
  (pron.: Floog-robotah)
“Density Cusps”
“The Fungi Under The Woods”

“Force Jacket” (or maybe “FORCE JACKET”)
“Frog Fungus Catastrophe”
“The Adversarial Patches”

“Psychedelic toasters
(this one has probably has already been used)
“Judicious Design of Nanofins (or perhaps, “Righteous Design of Nanofins” or just “Nanofins”)
“Rapid genome downsizing”
“Diffusivity of Water in Air”
“The Gymnosperms”
“SETI-XNAV”
“Pulsar Positioning System”
“Galactic Positioning System”
“Mushroom Body”
“A Spritz of Octopamine”
“Hebbian Learning” (almost certainly has been used)
“Neuromodulator”
“The Possible Ecologies of Mars”
“Ornament Evolution”

Books, Books, Books:

I reviewed 76 books this year.  See the roundup here: