2020 was a transformative year for many. For my family, the lockdown was comfortable. We have a finished garden now and we can walk down to the local Waitrose supermarket to get our provisions. Food delivery has worked and we went to Sanjunana a few times when that was allowed, to see Goda and enjoy wonderful, varied dinners which Edgar gobbled at speed, not his normal home-slow… I went to The Groucho a few times when I could, saw a few friends and luckily could travel to Norway to spend some time with my mother when that was possible, with Edgar and Emily once and again this time, for Christmas. We spent a few days at Milde and now we are up at Geilo in the mountains, with Henning and Jose. It’s a winter wonderland.
Last time Edgar was here, he was one and a half years old and a beautiful toddler. Now he is three and a half and a beautiful, active, clever and nice young man. We bring him up with the philosophy that above all, he needs to feel that he has agency–an effect–on the world. He likes to be helpful and we expect him to be helpful. Plates to the sink and so forth. He must apologise when he does something wrong, so that he understands that his actions matter. His current fascination is with Spiderman and we went to a ‘covid secure’ local circus this summer where he saw a Spiderman character jump about and strike poses and he has memorised much of this, and he loves to give performances. The first time he did, I felt a sense of peace and security about his future which is hard to describe. It almost made me calm down from the worry about my close and old friend who is undergoing medical treatment at the moment. (BTW, yes, the first picture of Edgar is from January and the second one is from today, at Cafe Mocca, where I took a picture of him 2 years ago.)
PhD wise I have submitted my Upgrade Paper after some solid detailed help from Dave earlier and Les last week. It’s missing a few formatting things, like a table of contents, since Author does not support that yet, but even though it’s stressful when I get told that I can’t use Author for my final thesis because of these issues, it’s also a rocket of focus for Jacob and me to make sure they are indeed included in Author soon, so that Author can be used for my own final work, and for anyone who buys Author for their own work. There are a few niggles at the moment, but I am also very happy with the general use of Author now, such as the way I can highlight text with cmd-shift-h and that text then appears when I fold the document, making it easier for me to see what sections of the document are left to work on, instead of putting xxxx where the document needed attention and then forgetting to search for xxxx.
Visual-Meta has its own web page http://visual-meta.info now and I have implemented it in robust ways in Author and Reader: https://www.augmentedtext.info/52nd-anniversary-demo
It was most recently presented in a Panel Discussion with Vint Cerf and Ismail Serageldin at the Summit Of The Book: https://www.wbimlc.org/videos
I think we’ll make headway if we just keep pushing it by demonstrating its utility.
2020 was a transformative year for my Future of Text effort, with the publication of The Future of Text book, with contributions from 180 brilliant minds. A good number of downloads, a good amount of dialogue (and ignoring a few horrible typos which crept in for the earliest prints–I blame Adobe InDesign!), it’s had a good launch and we are now working on the second edition, which will focus on trying to expand the range of viewpoints: https://futuretextpublishing.com
Art wise, I re-started my video art in a small way, on https://fleetingmoment.org and hope to start filming more moving stills next year. I have printed a few Blurb books with photographs of family moments, which has been lovely to see filling up our, and family libraries.
20201 will be, for me, about prompting the Augmented Text Software of Author, Reader and Liquid, as well as Visual-Meta and, of course, completing my PhD. I hope. I will continue working with Valentina to really focus on promoting the software to universities.
The Economist points to the fact that the roaring (19)20s came in response to the war and the pandemic so hopefully we will have a powerfully loud and creative roaring (20)20s this time around. I think the planet needs it. A roaring time where we really celebrate life, the planet, and each other. That would be a thing.