Week 53 - 23 August 2022

Just got back from a road trip with my project group from uni. We saw one of the 'three views' of Japan and one of the 'hundred most beautiful waterfalls' - Japanese people seem to love putting things in lists. I also thought I was going to get to eat 'blowfish' but it turns out Ryota was just saying 'raw fish' because he didn't think we'd know what sushi is. I showed them photos of Tesco's meal deal sushi.

Over lunch we talked about the things we were going to miss from Japan, which means I now can't stop noticing things. Our time here has really rumbled through. Of course.

We've started thinking about our final year projects, and as part of that have been sent some reading on infrastructuring our projects. Practically it involves thinking about the people, places, things that'll be involved and working out how they fit together, but as usual our reading was a pretty high level, philosophical take on it all. Which made me laugh, even as I enjoyed chewing through it.

A book I've been reading off the back of it is called 'Aramis, or the love of technology' by Bruno Latour. It's the story of a failed personal transit system in France in the 80s. It's a project that had a bunch of conditions that seemed to work on paper - actually, add up to a utopian transportation system - but when they were translated into reality, one condition would break another, and so conditions are adjusted. Like dominoes each altered condition alters another, until everyone has lost sight of what the point of the project as in the first place.

It's an exploration of failure that is generous and kind. Human and non-human actors are given autonomy and desire, and it reminds us that any completed project is a miracle.

Between freelancing, and skirting around Japan ahead of our departure in 2 weeks, I've started a website that'll (hopefully!) offer a service. Well, re-started. Threw everything I'd done before in the bin and started again sort of re-starting. It's an idea I've talked about before - allowing people to create an order of service from a template online, to print at home. It comes from the experience I had myself of cobbling together an order of service and secretly printing copies at work (ty Beeb). It's definitely a niche - most people will have these printed for them by their funeral director. But there's enough people buying these on Etsy and searching for it on Google to convince me there's a latent market. One of the first things I've done is to publish a v1 guide on how to create an order of service. Hoping to make this more genuinely useful soon.

It's not revolutionary - no web3 here - but I think it'll solve a small, but real, problem for people better than anything out there at the moment. So far it's a semi-working, highly unpolished prototype, which I'm hoping to test with some people soon. Of course, if you are reading this and have any feedback let me know!

Last update: 2022-08-23 09:19