Day 4: The Future is Here and Unevenly Distributed
The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed – William Gibson
I’m writing this up from my hotel room. I haven’t left it yet, despite plans for the morning, I was reminded I was going to be part of a Twitter chat. So here I am, in a London hotel room, chatting with Australian speech therapy researchers about various topics and things of note. At one stage in the conversation, I managed to get a sequence of retweets and replies that made the phone hum a little tune for a few seconds. It was adorable.
It’s also proof that future is unevenly distributed. I’m ina tiny bedsit flat in London, with vastly superior internet access than I’ve had at any hotel in Australia. We got to fix that bandwidth problem sooner rather than legislature.
Granted, there’s 8.63 million (2015) in a surface area of 1,572 km² and Brisbane is 2.2 million for 1,367 km² of CBD, and 5,950 km² if we’re being reasonable about the spacing. Sure, economy of scale. That said, with a peak load of 4x as many people needing to draw on 3G, internet and cell data, London is producing pretty solid internet access. My 3G pay-as-you go unlimited data sim card was £20 for a month (Thank you 3 Mobile.). I get roughly 3 gig for my Australian phone for much more than that on a monthly basis.
The future is here, and this is the uneven end of the distribution.
I’ve acquired a central preferred location in London. Queensway, Porchester Gardens and surrounds of the Paddington Station district (https://goo.gl/maps/gksTP). From that base camp, I tend to stray towards Oxford and Regent for my travels. Day 4 saw a new tack – prowling out to the Westfield London as a research jaunt.
First, this tour is interesting because a combination of living in Canberra within walking distance of work, and my Queensland mindset that anywhere short of 5 hours drive can be consider a day roundtrip, meant that I looked at a 10km roundtrip walk and went for it. If nothing else, I can say I’m getting my money’s worth out of my converse boots
Multisite Data Collection
Westfield London is a huge cathedral style shopping mega plex. I walked about 3km within the complex, and by rough calculation, was at one point crossing multiple post codes just circling the perimeter. There’s two different bus and tube stops on either side of the complex, so you could potentially catch a train from side to the other. As for a shopping megaplex, it’s a Westfield hive mind design. There’s shoutouts and call outs to every other Westfield I’ve seen in Australia, and a sense of Chermside that meant for the odd bit of dislocation.
Within the shop-fest was a chance to try out the Foodhalls of Marks and Spencers and Waitrose. Food Halls are thing that Australian CBD stores need to get into, and get into big time. When you can pick off a prepacked meal for $5, and it’s decent quality, you’re going to sell food at a large volume and high turn over, so it’s going to work. Plus these pick component parts for n-price deals are great ways to sell good food at pace to a willing population. I should start capping and annotating these options.
That said, single serve pre-sealed wine glasses are strange things.
Measuring the Temple of Boom
This was a field test of the lux data collection, where I’m using the Pocket Light Meter app to tag and bag light readings. It’s an experiment to see if data can be used to describe subjective shifts in mood lighting. If I can master this to a documentable point, it’s another methods paper to produce later.
It’s never a perfect world. Today’s effort was hampered by running out of battery power on the phone while carrying two spare batteries and no charger cord. Since the only cable for sale I could find was a 25 pound ($50) apple exclusive, I cut my losses and ended the field capture.
Thankfully I had the iPad mini with me for the 90 minute wander home.
Secondary Data Grab
- Instagram streams for Hamleys, Hamleys DK and John Lewis.
- So many pictographs to code, such little time.
Primary Data Grab
- Photo data from the roadsides of the traffic light conundrums.
- Westfield London store data, externals, internals, and lux readings
- Porchestor Note to Self: Saturday’s destination
Soundtrack for the day