New Year’s resolutions 2017

Here are my resolutions for 2017:

1. Complete The Lords of Midnight.

God damn it, I’m going to do this.

2. Use DuckDuckGo at all times.

I’ve already switched from using Google search to DuckDuckGo, the privacy-oriented search engine which doesn’t track your searches. But DuckDuckGo is still developing, and its search results often aren’t as good, so I find myself drifting back to Google.

Everything is a trade-off. If I value privacy, if I don’t want to be monitored, tracked and analysed, then I have to put in the extra effort – which isn’t even very much – to spend more time looking through search results to find what I want.

And perhaps the serendipity of scrolling through more results, and finding things I wasn’t looking for or didn’t expect, will be a reward in itself.

3. Switch to a non-free private email provider.

If I’m avoiding Google for search, why the hell am I still letting them handle – and thereby read, monitor and analyse – all of my most private communications?

2017 is the year in which I put a value on my own privacy, by switching to a non-free email provider. One which, because I’m the paying customer, doesn’t treat me as the product.

4. Switch to safety razors, shaving soap and brush.

This continues the theme of switching to a superior tool despite the initial effort/cost hurdle. I’m going to abandon the ongoing scam of expensive disposable razors with ever more numerous blades, and switch to traditional safety razors. Out too goes the foam in a can, to be replaced by shaving cream, applied with a badger-hair brush.

5. Switch to a better solution than takeaway coffee cups.

Maybe I’ll buy a reusable cup. I’m not committing to the detail of the solution yet.

3 thoughts on “New Year’s resolutions 2017

  1. RE: #2, another option is to simply search Google for lots of random stuff; thus getting privacy by increasing the noise-to-signal ratio.

    The following PowerShell would do the trick (though it’s MS, you can run on other platforms: http://www.howtogeek.com/267858/how-to-install-microsoft-powershell-on-linux-or-os-x/):

    1..1000 | %{start-process “https://www.google.co.uk/?#q=$((invoke-webrequest -Uri ‘http://www.urbandictionary.com/random.php’).ParsedHtml.title -replace ‘.+: (.+)’,’$1′)”}

    To help ensure your real searches don’t stand out from the fake ones, you’d be best initiating them in the same way (i.e. going straight to the search results, rather than via an initial page), which you could also script if the mood took you:

    $searchTerm=”boardgames”
    start-process “https://www.google.co.uk/?#q=$searchTerm”

      • A similar more optimal solution to the coffee cup problem is to never buy takeaway coffee. It’s also cheaper. Plus you get to enjoy the vegetarian privilege of refusing things on principle. (I assume you already never buy bottled water by the way).

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