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This is the Hello Hackney drop-in blog

This is your new drop-in blog — a place for your suggestions, brainwaves, photos, recipes — anything you would like to share or show.

The blog posts are all on this page — to see them, scroll down as far as you can. Then, if you see a button labelled ‘OLDER POSTS’, click on it, and you will get some more.

To contribute (and see all the private posts) all you have to do is log in — if you are not sure how to do that, please ask a helper to explain — it’s really very easy. Everybody who wants a login gets one. Just ask Rick or Tom to set you up — it’s a one-minute task.

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What’s on today? Recommended blog posts 50 things to do The podcast

What we did – 14 November 2018

42 people!

Special thanks to volunteers Arani, Cherrieann, Joanna, Sekinat, Tolulope and Yvonne from Boden via Benefacto – plus regular volunteers Derek, Margaret, Michael and Tom.

Dealing with distraction

In an age of constant information and infinite distractions what can we do to pay more attention and engage, online and in real life?

TEDx video talk in the library – Thursday 15 November, 2 to 4 pm

Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci says ‘We’re building a building a dystopia just to make people click on ads’. Jaron Lanier has a solution to this in his talk ‘How we need to remake the internet’. ‘What exactly is attention and how do we reclaim it?’ asks neuroscientist Amishi Jha in ‘How to tame your wandering mind’ and maybe there’s a simple antidote to all of this as Kio Stark explores in ‘Why you should talk to strangers’.

Where and when

More information, booking your free ticket

  • Eventbrite site
  • Do it the easy way — just tell Rick you want to be there.

The 15 November TEDx videos

We’re building a building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

We’re building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren’t even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us — and what we can do in response.


How we need to remake the Internet

In the early days of digital culture, Jaron Lanier helped craft a vision for the internet as public commons where humanity could share its knowledge — but even then, this vision was haunted by the dark side of how it could turn out: with personal devices that control our lives, monitor our data and feed us stimuli. (Sound familiar?) In this visionary talk, Lanier reflects on a “globally tragic, astoundingly ridiculous mistake” companies like Google and Facebook made at the foundation of digital culture — and how we can undo it. “We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them,” he says.


How to tame your wandering mind

Amishi Jha studies how we pay attention: the process by which our brain decides what’s important out of the constant stream of information it receives. Both external distractions (like stress) and internal ones (like mind-wandering) diminish our attention’s power, Jha says — but some simple techniques can boost it. “Pay attention to your attention,” Jha says.


Why you should talk to strangers

“When you talk to strangers, you’re making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs,” says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

What we did – June to October 2018

We have been busy!

We have had 30 to 40 people, sometimes more, every Wednesday morning. So posting on this blog has not been top priority. And we don’t do as much photography as we used to, mainly because of the extra admin load dealing with the consent forms, and general GDPR-related uncertainty.

But we have remembered to acknowledge all the volunteers from Benefacto — the list is on the Benefacto volunteers page.

Hackney and TFL want to change Stoke Newington High Street

Hackney and TFL want to change Stoke Newington High Street, to make it both ways working including two cycle lanes. It would also make Rectory Road and Manse Road both way working including the 67 Bus route down these roads.

This will effect ALL the bus routes and car, lorry etc transport to and from Dalston, KIngsland Road etc.

There is a meeting today at the Methodist Church at 3pm on Stoke Newington High Street to discuss the plan with residents, but it does not seem to have been well published.

As the High Street is part of the A10 in and out of the City of London.

There is also three road closures and changes to the direction of traffic flows in the local streets which might create rat-runs.

Please attend, even if it is only to get information on the proposed changes!

A silver lining, ageing in the 21st century

Are attitudes to ageing keeping up with growing life expectancy?

TEDx video talk in the library – Thursday 8 November, 6 to 8 pm

We take a proper look at what it means to grow older today and how we can make ageing more fulfilling.

In her talk Ashton Applewhite states ‘Let’s end ageism’, Paul Tasner explains ‘How I became an entrepreneur at 66’, Laura Cartensen argues that ‘Older people are happier’, and Susan Pinker suggests that ‘The secret to living longer may be our social life’.

Local initiative Hello Hackney has been introducing seniors to technology as well as providing a social hub. Rick Crust joins us to explain how it works. Sarah Douglas and Hector Dyer from Liminal Space will introduce their research-based project about ageing ‘Unclaimed’ in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust.

Where and when

More information, booking your free ticket

  • Eventbrite site
  • Or you can do it the easy way — just tell Rick you want to be there.

The 8 November TEDx videos

Let’s end ageism

It’s not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It’s ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves — and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. “Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,” she says. “It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.”


How I became an entrepreneur at 66

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Take it from Paul Tasner — after working continuously for other people for 40 years, he founded his own start-up at age 66, pairing his idea for a business with his experience and passion. And he’s not alone. As he shares in this short, funny and inspirational talk, seniors are increasingly indulging their entrepreneurial instincts — and seeing great success.


Older people are happier

In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.


The secret to living longer may be our social life

The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to psychologist Susan Pinker, it’s not a sunny disposition or a low-fat, gluten-free diet that keeps the islanders healthy — it’s their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions. Learn more about super longevity as Pinker explains what it takes to live to 100 and beyond.

Can the government end loneliness with postmen?

On the day that Tracey Crouch announces the UK government strategy to combat loneliness, Hackney elders discuss their own understanding and experiences of loneliness and isolation.

The voices belong to: Andreas, Marylin, Mimi and Sallie.

Recorded 15 October 2018 in the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, London E8 3DF.