Last year was a really big one for me - I changed jobs and institutions just before the end of 2022, and was lucky enough to become a group lead in the new team in May. It's been challenging but really exciting, I feel like I'm getting a lot more out of my working life, and I'm looking forward to getting back into it at the end of January.

The last month or so has been a bit overshadowed for me by social media events. The influx of new users coming onto Mastodon made me start interacting with that platform the way I used to interact with Twitter: compulsively, and with bad effects on my mood and my ability to be fully present. I was reminded that for me at least, it's not the content of social medial that makes it bad, it's that it encourages a sort of absent-mindedness, where I'm always thinking about the current discourse or trying to think of things to post, which is not good for me. I used Darius' tool to make an archive of FSVO, a sort of weird science twitter account which I'm still proud of despite it never having more than 70-odd followers, and then wondered where the archive of my main Twitter account had gone, as I had a vague memory of downloading it before I deleted it in 2020. When I found one (from about 2016) it was in an older format, so I couldn't run the archive tool on it, but when I poked around in it I was relieved, it felt a bit embarrassing. The project I found it in was an attempt to train an RNN on my tweets, and the result was an AI which continually posted about Tony Abbott, which was also embarrassing and why I never launched it as a bot.

There's more links to old FSVO content here if you're interested.

Anyway, I've stopped checking Mastodon on my phone and have put content filters in place on my web browser to reduce the amount of time I spend on it on the web. I'm not making a new years' resolution about it but the break is a good opportunity to reset habits.

Next week we're going to the south coast with my family for the first time since 2018 and I'm really looking forward to it.