28 Feb

MtGox and the future of Bitcoin

The recent collapse of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange MtGox has been a tremendous loss for the Bitcoin community. The company acknowledged the losses of approximately 744,000 BTC, worth several hundreds of millions of dollars and approximately 6% of all the Bitcoins currently in existence. If stolen, the theft amounts to the second biggest financial theft in history, second only to the Bernie Madoff investment scandal.

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17 Feb

Certainty and ignorance

Statue of John Knox

Although I write about and am engaged with politics these days, I haven’t always held much in the way of political opinions.  The impetus for beginning an interest in it came from one conversation too many in which I was left silent with no opinion to give.  As it seemed to me – and which I now know to be naïve – the people whose opinions I heard tended to carry their views with a certainty and conviction I rarely had about anything.  Not knowing the details of political circumstances, I concluded these people were better informed than I was, so I generally felt no reason to interject or disagree with them.

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13 Feb

New site design

Journal of Interest now has a new site design! It’s more colourful and hopefully easier to read, as well as being easier for me to maintain and more convenient to post different kinds of post content to. The new theme should benefit both me and you, so it’s a little step forward for the site.

Hope all you readers are well. Enjoy!

12 Feb

How to stay motivated

I’ve seen that a lot of people appear to struggle with how to stay motivated.  Most people make resolutions for themselves, but more often than not the resolve to stand by those resolutions fizzles out over time.  It can be a difficult thing to decide what one should (or shouldn’t) do with themselves, but even when this has been worked out, how can a person stick by their original plans?  And how can a person account for why they were raring to go one moment, but totally apathetic the next?

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10 Feb

The budo lifestyle

Lately I’ve been thinking a number of things concerning my attitude towards life and my understanding of the ‘budo lifestyle’.  Particularly on my mind has been the nature of necessity and how it’s comforting, but ultimately disingenuous, to view things as needs when in reality they are wants.  The absence of some things can be psychologically difficult, but making life difficult is not the same as making it impossible, and that, it seems to me, is the true distinction between a want and a need.

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27 Sep

Why keep a diary?

Diary

For the last two and a half years I’ve kept a diary.  I don’t remember particularly why I started it – although luckily, my diary remembers for me.  As recorded, it was “to hold for myself a private compendium of my thoughts and feelings, highs and lows, successes and regrets, so that when I’m older I might browse through it and remind myself of what it was like to be alive five, ten, fifteen years ago.”  Reading through it, I can now recall my reasons more easily, and consequently I’m feeling a little re-invigorated about maintaining the habit.

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11 Sep

Aikido techniques

Aikido techniques

I wanted to use this post to write a little about my thoughts concerning the role of techniques in aikido and to try to tackle the question: how many techniques are there in aikido?1

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  1. I’ve since discovered an interview in which Ueshiba is quoted answering this exact question. Needless to say, my answer given in this article conflicts with his. According to Ueshiba, there are approximately 48,000 techniques in aikido.