Three words where you are

Just some recollections of what I was up to today and over the weekend.

There is this book so beautiful I didn’t want to finish. I only have about 50 pages less to finish. I am sitting here and I can see the tip of the bookmark protruding out of one of the pages, and it’s close to the end cover, almost embedded together. If you want to know, that’s how good A Gentleman in Moscow is. If you want to know, how it is possible to write within a confinement of a literal space (but not time) so beautifully and in a way that doesn’t make you claustrophobic, Amos Towles had done it.

It took me two weeks to write the findings for the first research question of my thesis. I am moving on to the second question today, of which I see will only take about two days. I wrote only 1002 words today, in comparison to at least 2000 words I have written over the past two weeks. A friend who was also in the midst of doing her doctoral research once posted of how she wrote at least 2000 words every day. I admitted to me at that time it sounded like a brag, because I thought I could never do it. I learned now that if you know your research, it is all entirely possible to write at least 2000 words every day. And if I can get there, she can get there, you can get there.

I found out about this app called What3words after reading this article. What3words, from its website, is referred to as a geocoding system for the communication of locations with a resolution of three metres. Born out of the frustration of the traditional postal-related problems, this is how it works: the app developers divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft) and each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address. If you get lost somewhere and you had no idea where you are and you have your phone with you, you can provide the three words from the app (for example, the door of 10 Downing Street is slurs.this.shark) and the authorities will know exactly where you are and come rescue you. It’s a totally clever and a simple solution, and it is perhaps one of the good things I heard about technology after barricading myself behind stacks of papers on how technology magnifies injustice and oppression.

A fireman trapped in a forest fire, with three words appearing above him (unit.pillow.culling) as three words to identify his location from the app What3Words

I checked my town, and the app says I am located in rust.smile.whom.

Twitter makes my shoulder heavy now too. It is not long before I disappear entirely off social media platforms, and if one were to catch up with me they’d have to pick up the phone or drive over to rust.smile.whom.

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