David Coveney

A little change on this website

In the past, this website was sort of my place to keep family and friends in touch. I first set it up in 2005, just before going away to Peru on travels. It was a great. Facebook had been invented but wasn’t generally available or popular yet, other platforms weren’t well thought through or scattered, Twitter didn’t exist. But installing WordPress on my cheap Yahoo web hosting turned out to be one of the easiest ways to publish content and share it with the world.

But then the day came when I upset some far right people, and I realised some content had to go away. My trust in the world diminished. A man shouted abuse aimed at me at our house one night. Nobody else in the family witnessed this, incredibly – the kids were asleep, my wife was brushing her teeth with an electric toothbrush, and all I did was simply close the bedroom window and ignore the man. No point feeding a fire.

That was the moment when I realised that being hyper online, sharing everything, and also trying to fight to protect people from the malevolent sides of society came at a cost. Before that I’d been campaigning against Brexit, and continued to do so.

A year after that abusive night – I had a heart attack. I document some of that here, and here. I don’t recommend it, but I did realise that for most of my life I lived under a constant strain. As a kid I attended seven or eight (I actually lost count!) schools before I was twelve. I’d lived in multiple countries, and most of that with an abusive, violent and frequently drunk father. Each school was a new challenge – standing out, but then also being reasonably bright, and a bit weird was tough. But I learned about people, what makes them tick, and also that the only thing that really worked once a bully had decided you were a victim was to fight back. You could win a battle with words, or you could win it physically. It worked.

It always worked.

And it has to stop. I’m too old, too tired, too spread thin to fight and, more importantly, to take the damage. Obviously I haven’t been in a physical fight in a very very long time, but verbal fights? Arguments? Online battles with the world? Plenty. And I see many people just quietly standing at the side. They might agree, but they’re not going to fight that battle.

I disagree with ignoring injustice, but I’m also at that stage where I think that fighting small battles is pointless when there’s a broader war going on. So instead, from today, I’m turning my mind to making this blog about the intersections between design, technology, publishing and ethics.

Why? Because this is the stuff I know about these days. That’s all. And I hope I can make it interesting and useful to others.

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