I swiftly added Kazuo Ishiguro’s new book The Buried Giant to my Amazon wishlist (my consumerist bucket list). Ten years since his last book Never Let Me Go (I think I read whilst completing my doctorate), his latest is an entry into fantasy. To be specific this book is set during the times of King Arthur. Other characters include knights, both young and old. Knights to be, mysterious boat men, witches(or did I misread), ogres and, yes, dragons too.

The writing style is classic Ishigurio - calmly paced, this is not your heady Frodo journey with galloping knights slaying their obstacles. It is a journey undertaken by an adorable elderly couple still very much in love, in search of their son. In his calm, and unhurried writing style, the author tells us that a mist of forgetfulness has surrounded the country and people don’t quite remember things. It transpires that a dragon lies in a hill somewhere and has caused a mist to lay over old England causing everyone to forget their past. The wife is eager to remember their shared memories and part of this journey is to rid the country of the dragon and his mean breath. But they are the not only one! A knight is on his way to kill the dragon (using the practical sword as opposed to the couples’ poisoned goat). We find out that the there has been much savage warring in the past and the often we asked if ridding this miasma to regain our memories is worth the subsequent bloodshed of the war that will begin again.

K.I. talks about memories in the personal. How her husband asks her to not forget the good times they have, should the memories of the past be ugly (and indeed we find out the past was ugly). In his characters, we see how important memories our to shared existence - take them way and we have nothing to look back upon and all the bonds that bind would have to remade.

Memories are crucial to the perpetuation of violence. If memories of brutal bloodshed between warring factions were taken away, would we not be able to live in peace? But our determined knight mentioned: what justice would there be? Do we have the right to forget? If we did indeed forget, one could argue that no act of injustice was committed and hence the question of justice is less urgent … If history belongs to the victor, what does an unwritten history leave us with?

I took the following photos with the XPAN using the 90mm lens. That lens is amazingly sharp. And the colors are amazing. I scanned these using the Pakon using TLX. My approach is to scan the entire whole and then crop in Photoshop. This is quite free of bother. But point to note, if the negs are scanned, each frame, separatly, the exposure levels change. Clearly this means the Pakon uses surrounding information. And clearly this means I’ll need to scan both ways (just in case).

Which brings me to “Calm Technology”, a term introduced to me by Wacom in one of their product promotions. A “calm technology” (a term from Xerox PARC Labs) is a piece of technology that does something specific, does it well, gets out of way and doesn’t demand attention (e.g. to monitor it, to fix it etc). For example, consider the electric kettle. It boils water, rapidly, whistles when done and turns of automatically. The problem of boiling water , being informed of its readiness and tending to it has been solved.

Garmin’s Vivoactive HR was an example of Anxiety Ridden Technology. I’m not about to review this, but it’s swim lap counter was borderline useless. After a 500m swim, it showed 150m. Laps would be skipped and i’d always be checking to see if laps had been recorded. The Garmin swim, worked near flawlessly. So rarely did it miss, i stopped checking it.

Clearly not happy with tech that works yet not new, i purchased the 735XT. Swim, bike and jog, the trifecta i’m trying to improve. This watch is one and half times costlier and measures swim laps perfectly. I don’t think i’ll worry about this tech anymore and with it I am calm. Obviously they use a combination of different hardware and algorithms in the Vivoactive and 735XT.