Digital human, Shardlake and Dubai

Out on my bike last week, I listened to a new BBC Radio series The Digital Human – a title which should engender discussion on its own. Is there such a thing as a digital human? Many of us now lead lives which involves using digital media for different parts of our lives e.g. education, research, music, fiction, sport and online buying. So, a catchy but inherently meaningless title. The content however, may be of interest. I listened to Episode 3 which was about threats to privacy and what counts as privacy in different cultures. I found most of it interesting although some of the people interviewed were very much involved in the web as a source of employment/income, so not your ordinary web users. It’s worth a listen although it may not be to everyone’s taste. It’s probably worth alerting older students in schools to the programme – which is available around the world on the BBC IPlayer, whereas BBC TV is not available outside the UK – as it may well interest them.

I’ve started to read another of C J Samson’s series, set in England at the time of Henry VIII and featuring the lawyer Shardlake and his assistant Barak. The new novel is Heartstone in which Shardlake is asked to investigate a case for the Queen. Sansom’s books are full of intricate historical detail and you do get a feel for London at this time. He also provides a background of politics e.g. Henry’s abortive invasion of France, and the rivalries between different court factions. There’s also a good plot in all the books with some murder and mayhem thrown in. The books are easy to read and while they are not just holiday reads, they are not likely to be on the Booker Prize list.

Back in Dubai for just under a week to see our son, daughter in law and twin granddaughters. It is hot! The temperature guage at the back door today has a reading of 41 degrees. Walking round the lake this morning at 36 degrees was tolerable but when it gets to 40 degrees, it just gets intolerable. When I lived in Wagga Wagga, the temperature did get into the 40s at times during the summer but only for short periods. Here in Dubai, you are literally in the middle of the desert, so temperatures will go even higher over the next two months. The photos below are from a previous visit and show a bird’s eye view from the 126th floor of the Burj Khalifa. This was on a clear day. Yesterday, there was sand in the air you would not have seen very much at all.

View from Burj Khalifa

View from Burj Khalifa




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