Jekyll Conf 2016

Today I am presenting at the online web conference, JekyllConf 2016 with a talk entitled, Jekyll For Every Case.

Jekyll is a static site generator which this blog is built with. You can find the presentation slides online and read more about using Jekyll for websites on the GridGiant blog.

JekyllConf is streamed online for free 10am - 5pm (PST), Saturday May 7th 2016.

Mortgages without Jobs

A ramble today…

Much commentary on the current housing crisis is based solely on affordability both in terms of deposit and ongoing cost. While low inflation rates aid within ongoing affordability the increase is prices caused by such rates creates a deposit problem.

However it is worth considering the housing crises in light of the changing work environment also being established. While zero hour contracts are obviously obstructive to mortgage access such casual employment models are potentially likely to see an increase in use either in zero contract employment or self employed work. Additional further automation of labour activities such as lorry driving and retail work plus a potential reduction in consumption triggered by sustainability requirements may place further pressure on future earnings.

Against this backdrop of employment the historic models of housing ownership may become increasingly obstructive and damaging to the individual and consequently society at large. A future of employment based around few, high productivity roles with geographically dynamic opportunities while require a work force capable of such physical relocation and unburdened by property ownership. It perhaps will also have to suit a reduction in hours worked as well and the realisation that earned accommodation is possibly irrelevant. Essentially how do you get mortgage if you’ll never have a job?

Of course it is my opinion that all people deserve somewhere to live and perhaps even multiple locations to support a reduced hours, high productivity, geographically dispersed work. This statement is inherently incompatible with the current housing climate.

It does not seam obvious or likely that property ownership through longer term mortgage should be the primary model. Rather, flexible reliable accommodation that can be occupied as need while providing the stability required should be sought and secured. The challenge is how to create an environment in which such housing can be made available rather than the outdated priority of property ownership.

Today I was thinking of all the things that make the internet great and here is a short list,

Turns out I like watching lots of Youtube.

After installing Cordova on Ubuntu with

npm install -g cordova

or

sudo npm install -g cordova

I sometimes get this error message

module.js:340
	throw err;
		^
	Error: Cannot find module 'bplist-parser'

It can often be fixed by installing the missing dependence manually in this case,

sudo npm install -g bplist-parser
Europe To Stay Or Go

As Boris has so must we all, its time to make a choice about the EU. In choosing I guess it depends on what concerns you feel need to be addressed and what institution you believe would do it best.

In light of the current challenges facing the UK I really don’t understand how withdrawing from the European Union is in our national benefit. In fact I would dare suggest that the solution to many of these issues is almost certainly only found while within the EU. Questions such as climate change, the refuge crisis, international tax evasion and the peril of unskilled labour are almost all regional and international questions, no longer questions for the nation state alone.

Now that is not to say that the EU is a perfect organization, in fact I would go as far as suggesting it is terrible non representative organization. On balance though I suspect that the EU has been beneficial to me individually and I suspect that deeper integration into it would actually be better still. I understand the concern over the question of national sovereignty, but what sovereignty would the UK have alone? The right to make decisions and then either be ignored or face being ostracized because of them? Better an opportunity to develop international policy and then see it adopted by the EU, across the EU. Of course such a strategy is built on the idea of a level playing field and the UK, EU relationship has always been defined by the special UK terms rather than equality.

In my opinion the real shame of EU referendum is the lack of an opportunity to support a deeper integration into the European Union experiment, for the separate nations to unite and face the world for the betterment of the individual nations, Europe and ultimately the world.