• "I was no boy naturalist, unlike Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri – whose collecting habits earned him the nickname Dr Bug among friends. And yet I vividly remember catching my first tadpole in a Golden Wonder crisp packet, then cradling this sloppy pouch all the way home to a sluiced-out jam jar. When you know Tajiri wanted to make a game to communicate his joy in catching insects as a boy, and look at Pokémon, it is impossible not to feel how powerfully he succeeded." A really lovely piece of games writing, about breeding and trafficking Pokémon as an adult – but, secretly, about the appeal of the series to players of all ages.
  • "…the 808 is such a storied instrument in electronics. It casts a large shadow. There's whole genres based on just the kick or the snare or the cowbell sound. As soon as you turn it on and start working, you hear every single gesture that's happened in electronic music since its advent. It's this crazy machine of history, and it's really hard not to be beholden to it in that way." Daedalus on the history embedded in instruments, as part of an interview about his use of technology for Resident Advisor.
  • This is a great piece of writing from Frank Chimero, if only because the thing it emphasises is not a brutal the-work-above-all-else approach, but a gentle talk on the same idea. And the thing I'm slowly shifting towards in the manner of my work (if not always the practice of it) is a particular kind of quiet gentleness: be kind; work hard; keep going. Gentle is underrated, and gentle is not the same as easy or soft-touch. It has value for all involved. Also: I loved the point where he wrote "you have to earn those words". Yes.
  • This is a great piece of writing from Frank Chimero, if only because the thing it emphasises is not a brutal the-work-above-all-else approach, but a gentle talk on the same idea. And the thing I'm slowly shifting towards in the manner of my work (if not always the practice of it) is a particular kind of quiet gentleness: be kind; work hard; keep going. Gentle is underrated, and gentle is not the same as easy or soft-touch. It has value for all involved. Also: I loved the point where he wrote "you have to earn those words". Yes.
  • "Modli warned his listeners to be ready with their cassette recorders, then waited to see the response after he played the screeching and wailing tape into the ether. Soon he began receiving excited calls from his audience, who said they'd been able to load the program – a routine called 'Paginator' – onto their computers. But not everyone was impressed, notably the station heads. "They thought it was a scandalous event!" says Modli. "I had a big problem explaining to them that it was a revolution in radio and they should be proud."" Lovely piece of reporting, with some great tidbits, about Yugoslavia's own little z80 kit-computer from the early 80s.

A few weeks ago I took part in a recording of Radio 4’s Four Thought. My episode of Four Thought will be broadcast on Radio 4 next Wednesday – the 26th December at 20:45pm. It’ll also be on iPlayer for the rest of the year, so if you don’t fancy interrupting Boxing Day for it, you can catch up later. I’ll probably link to it once it’s up on iPlayer.

What’s it about? It’s about technology education – from the “learning-to-code” meme that permeated 2012, through “computer science in schools”, and into what the real values of teaching technology are, and how you might go about that. Matt Jones’ post about a new age of STEAM was very timely, and suitably poetic; I’m only sad I didn’t talk a bit more about the value of the arts in my talk, though I hinted at it a bit.

So, if that sounds up your street, do tune in or catch up later.

  • "Popular media plays an important part in how technology is understood and how it is expected to be. Which, I would argue, also could mean that these understandings can be challenged through stirring popular imagination. And using media and communication as a tool." Einar's talk from Playful was a real favourite, and I'm glad he's put the whole thing online now. Completely worth a read.