Family life

This day is the Sunday. Sunday the 15th, whereas for a number of years now the 15th has always brought with it some amount of joy and promise, it no longer does so what so ever. I was born on the 15th of August, and some years ago now my parents decided to set up an allowance system (makes up for the years of lacking in pocket money, 10p per year old per week, so when I was 10 I got myself £52 for the entire year). And so ever since having some feasible amount of money enter my bank account every 15th was a privilege that I did not take for granted.

Now however, the whole thing seems somewhat tainted, as if it were charity.

Let me start by examining the latest and perhaps work backwards to what might be a cause. Having spent Easter in Norfolk my parents knew that I had to back in Nottingham but seemingly had forgotten this small technicality. Upon reminding them on the Friday night and again Saturday morning, I offered my mum the choice of dropping me back on Saturday or Sunday. Her response was that she didnt know, as she has a job interview this week she needs all the time she can get to prepare, and so to ask my father when the most appropriate time to be run was.

I never got to ask him. I was informed by my mum that we were to be heading to Nottingham that afternoon so I had better get packed. Fortunately almost everything had already been packed, but I still had one or two things to tidy up. Approximately 10 minutes later when my packing was complete I return downstairs to find that both my parents are not anywhere to find. I ask James where they’ve gone and he can tell me that they’ve gone to the rubbish tip. So I wait. I load the car by myself. The whole family gets in the car. Mum, James and father driving. Hmm…so much for being too busy preparing for an interview, but either way I’m glad that they’re there because it means that I’m not alone in a car with my father for two and a half hours.

After a frightfully slow drive to Nottingham we arrive at about quarter to 6. I took them past the house that I’ll be living at next year, they couldn’t care less. Me and James unloaded the car. Mum and dad had a cup of tea. I assumed that the least they would do is stay for dinner before another long drive home. Unusual in itself because I’ve always had help unloading the car, but it was clear that my father was obviously pissed off with something. Hell he didn’t even finish his cup of tea before he was on the road again. When they got back to Norfolk, I got a short but sweet message off my mum “Back home had t. Ma.” About as warm as an ice pick, so I thought I’d better say thank you for the lift. To which I got a reply “U r welcome. Will ring you later. Ma.” Still waiting on that call.

So, what pisses me off more. The fact that my mum is being a bit sh*t or the fact that my father seems to try to ignore my existence. Last summer, in a fairly drunken state I confronted him about the weirdness between us and explained to him even then that I knew that James was his favourite. He didn’t take to kindly to it and tried a feeble attempt at no of course not, I love my sons equally thing.

I guess that really bugged me this weekend was that upon coming home early from the pub on Friday night all that my father could say was that I was a party­pooper, no interest as to where I’d been, or my reasons for reason. Just that I must have been a bad friend to want to have left so early, ie. before 10.

And truth is I’d rather spend a week in Nottingham by myself than spend a week in the company of my father in Norfolk. Which also leads me to the interesting question of what exactly do I do about the summer. I know that I have an invitation to stay in Gloucestershire with the girlfriend and I think that is what would make me happiest. But maybe that would just infuriate him further cos after all she’s a “selfish bitch that’s no good for [me]”.

Its now to the point where I barely speak to my father, in fact he is no longer dad to me. He is a source of financial security that I do not like to have hanging above my head because he leaves me feeling in some way dependant on him and as such with some obligation to make an effort with him when the feeling is only returned by the fact that he spawned me.

Older post

Over, now it is

What distinguishes you from other developers?

I've built data pipelines across 3 continents at petabyte scales, for over 15 years. But the data doesn't matter if we don't solve the human problems first - an AI solution that nobody uses is worthless.

Are the robots going to kill us all?

Not any time soon. At least not in the way that you've got imagined thanks to the Terminator movies. Sure somebody with a DARPA grant is always going to strap a knife/gun/flamethrower on the side of a robot - but just like in Dr.Who - right now, that robot will struggle to even get out of the room, let alone up some stairs.

But AI is going to steal my job, right?

A year ago, the whole world was convinced that AI was going to steal their job. Now, the reality is that most people are thinking 'I wish this POC at work would go a bit faster to scan these PDFs'.

When am I going to get my self-driving car?

Humans are complicated. If we invented driving today - there's NO WAY IN HELL we'd let humans do it. They get distracted. They text their friends. They drink. They make mistakes. But the reality is, all of our streets, cities (and even legal systems) have been built around these limitations. It would be surprisingly easy to build self-driving cars if there were no humans on the road. But today no one wants to take liability. If a self-driving company kills someone, who's responsible? The manufacturer? The insurance company? The software developer?