Have You Seen Ghost


Have you seen Ghost, guvnor? Sweet little publishing platform it is, and to you – cheap at twice the price.

The photo is of a man who was advertising a performance during the Fringe Festival here in Edinburgh last summer. And it seemed kind of appropriate as an intro to this post, given that I am recommending a non-WordPress publishing platform named Ghost.

I started a Ghost blog as an experiment because I wanted to see what I thought of being able to see the front-end finished page as I wrote. I didn’t expect much, but I find to my surprise that I like it a lot.

I could have started the blog on Ghost’s own servers, but the cost is quite high ($19/month) for the cheapest option – and that’s for a blog that is half serious and half an experiment.

Running a site on Ghost’s servers gets you one site, 25,000 page-views per month, unlimited transfer and storage, Automatic updates and backups, Upload any theme or app, Worldwide CDN & security protection, and SSL Support.

So if you have a high-traffic site that is built around text, then it might be a solution for someone.

There are other ways to get a site up and running. You can download the source code and run it on a VPN. It is unlikely you could run it on most shared servers because of the way Ghost is built.

If I had the skills and energy to do it, I could start one on Digital Ocean for a very small monthly cost. But in the end I took the easy and cheap option – £29.00/year for a blog on TSOHost.

Here’s the link to my blog on Ghost: Marginal Seat and here is a link to the About page where I talk about the experience of writing with Ghost.

How Sanguine We Can Be From A Distance


Photography is creative. During the past couple of days I have had a small uptick in my desire to photograph. I think I am reacting to the impotence I feel over what seems to sweeping across the world.

This is a panoramic shot of a building that fronts onto the Links, a grassy area in Edinburgh near where we live. I like the way that sweeping panoramic shots bulge out the flat fronts of buildings and create an image that is not like the scene looks in reality.

It reminds me of perspective techniques in painting where the painter will alter reality to more closely accord with the psychological vision.

In the USA, protesters are out on the streets saying that Trump is not their President. They oppose his racism, his misogyny, his isolationism.

I think Trump may be racist, maybe not. It is hard to tell what he is. He has a general disdain for everyone.

But the racism in the country exists and at this time in history in this election it is in part a simple reaction to the difficulty that some people had in accepting that there was an intelligent and caring black man in the White House.

They just had to vote for someone who would extinguish that truth and the President’s legacy.

On NewsNight last night, the historian Simon Schama said the result was a calamity for democracy and would increase racism and anti-semitism.

He was agitated in a way I have never seen before and rarely see in any public figure.

I couldn’t help but think of people smuggling information out of Germany to tell the world about the holocaust, and shouting into the wind.

And I am thinking that there are checks and balances to prevent a slide to a nastier USA. But with the Republicans controlling all three branches of power, how strong are those checks?

Economy First

Trump says he wants to lower taxes and invest in infrastructure to increase wealth across the nation.

Those proposals are not that radical. Lowering taxes and spending on infrastructure can increase the flow of money and stimulate an economy.

And although people might disagree over how to achieve it, there is consensus in that almost everybody wants increased wealth.

So on the economy, you’ve got a united country.

The challenges are over things he has said where the country is not united, and particularly on abortion and Roe v Wade. And the test of that will be decided on the composition of the Supreme Court.

So my guess is that Trump will be slow to appoint a new judge.

He will push to get some consensus about his presidency by increasing or giving the prospect of increasing wealth across the board. Then he can turn to the thornier questions.

Really though, no one believes his position on very much at all except to look after America and let the rest of the world go hang. So I wouldn’t be surprised if his choice of judge is more liberal than people expect.

Sanguine From A Distance

See how sanguine I am from a distance?

See by contrast how opposed I am to Brexit and how much I want the decision to leave Europe overturned?

Or maybe it is that I just don’t see a way back from four years of a Trump presidency, whereas there are routes back to the EU?

Lessons From History

I have always said that when people look back and say of the dark times in Europe that it could never happen again, they are blind.

It was ‘now’ when those things were happening, and people rarely see the speed with which the wildfire of racism can spread.

I have believed for years that the USA is a beacon to the world. Oh sure, it’s an imperfect beacon. But it has saved Europe from itself more than once.

What now? We’ve known for years that there are two Americas that eye each other warily. Whither now, America?

I published this article earlier today on NoMorePencils