This is a story about self-awareness, managing expectations in new relationships, a tenuous Coldplay lyric, and moving on from divorce.

Consciously uncoupling my Coldplay listening habits was a different type of breakup

Live 8, 2nd July 2005, I was at a wedding. My ex wife and I were, as usual, wasted. My best mate Antony and his wife had actually got tickets in the ballot. Apparently it was amazing. Looked ace on TV, apart from the Robbie Williams medley (no I won’t let you ‘entertain’ me)

The standout of Live 8 for me was the Coldplay…


Generic stock photo showing genetically good hair and teeth. This man is a psychopath tho…

Being a single dad is a complicated, wonderful thing. Let me explain…

Like most single dads, my marriage ended in divorce. Despite our differences, we agreed to both put a ton of effort into keeping our two children informed, and gently taking them lovingly through this extremely difficult process, so as to minimise the potential damage done to their mental health. …


The OG SSRI. Prozac 20mg. The start of the journey

WARNING: this is a bunch of opinions around antidepressants. Do not take this literally or regard as any kind of ‘truth’. I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist. Any kind of ‘exit plan’ needs to be discussed with your doctor.

Introduction

Hello. My name is Mat and I have had an intimate relationship with antidepressants for over 20 years now.

About 3 months ago I decided that was it, I’m going to stop taking antidepressants. I’m going cold turkey and I’m going to tough this out.

This is an intimate reflection of my relationship with meds and my way out…


Britney (Max Martin) wasn't the first homo sapien to float the idea of loneliness literally ending a life

This is a story of loneliness.

Like most divorced, single dads, I live on my own. It sounds fucking awesome, lots of pizza, beer, videogames and movies, no-one to tell you what to do or when to stop. You can invite pretty girls round for casual sex, build huge Lego spaceships or simply walk around nude and gaze at your ‘first edition’ Star Wars poster.

Except that is good for the first few months. After that, the realisation of your existence in a humble single-dwelling will eat you alive.

Loneliness is profoundly debilitating. …


TL;DR — Dating apps are awful. There, I said it.

Savage.

Dating apps have provided a way for humans to meet others for another questionably awful attempt at meeting ‘the one’. This presents a variety of issues that highlight the problems with computers trying to be ‘human’

Humans are broken

You know that aisle in the supermarket, where all the unsold, nearly past its sell by, patently unsellable or damaged food is sitting waiting to be taken off the shelf? That’s basically a metaphor for the type of people on most basic dating apps. A Mos Eisley cantina of broken dreams. More baggage than Heathrow Arrivals.

Here’s the thing. We are all damaged. The…


Hello ladies!

‘Digital Peacocking’ and how we all prefer the simulation

According to Wikipedia, Hyperreality is an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced postmodern societies.

When the first Matrix movie came out I wanted to find out a bit more about simulation theory and philosophy, I came across an article which listed Jean Baudrillards 1981 philosophical treatise ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ as one of the stimuli given to Keanu Reeves as preparation for his iconic role.

I bought it, and not understanding a damn thing, stuck it in the toilet, along with the other tragically ironic toilet tomes (Viz, Shit towns, The Bible…


What the movie ‘Titanic’ teaches us about fantasy relationships…

All over the internets, the plot holes in the movie Titanic are a popular read. For me, one of them is an almost perfect analogy for the worst type of relationship, the ‘Fantasy relationship’.

Rose meets Jack whilst flirting with suicide (as one does), falls in love almost instantly. Fucks him in an old car, gets her own personalised ‘fallen Madonna with the big boobies’ painting and generally has an early 20th century upper class version of what most women get on holiday in Marbella, minus thrush and a questionable kebab.

At the end, after dodging bullets, freeing the grockles…


How to safely navigate the murky waters of e-commerce

I feel genuinely sorry for people who actually want to buy snake oil

So this article came up on the BBC News:

Amazon ‘flooded by fake five-star reviews’ — Which? report

It seems that fake reviews are a massive issue for Amazon

This bit caught my eye:

‘Amazon said it was using automated technology to weed out false reviews’.

Using AI to try to combat fake reviews is nifty but can present a whole new set of issues. Fake news is already being fought using Artificial Intelligence, using software like the Fandango Project. So how does this work in the real world?

AI v Fake Reviews

The method works like this: deploy natural language processing to detect…


Apples new credit card, designed to disrupt both banks and credit card companies, despite literally being the photogenic 3 parent IVF child of a bank (Goldman Sachs) a credit card company (MasterCard), and Tim Apple.

Apple recently launched Apple Card, an innovative, new kind of credit card created by Apple and designed to help customers lead a ‘healthier financial life’.

A healthier financial life (arguably acheived by NOT having a credit card, but I digress) is a very nice way of saying if you know exactly how much you are spending in Pret a Manger, you will have enough left…


Eyes down for a full house!

I have been in quite a few interviews this year, and wanted to provide a light-hearted satirical recap to explain the real meaning of some of the most prevalent questions. Is just a bit of fun so don’t @ me etc

We need you to have a chemistry meeting with (insert job title here)

The (insert job title here) is difficult to work with.

What is your process?

We want you to come up with stuff that fits into our process, but at the same time see how you do things with no preparation

Do you have experience with design systems?

We have would expect you to use our design system (inflexible pattern library with no substantive design theory, principles or rationale)

Can you do a design challenge/whiteboard session?

We want…

Mat Venn

Design Director. Dad. Cyclist. Flâneur. Piano student. Fondue enthusiast. Hopeless romantic. Not necessarily in that order. IG/Twitter: @matvenn

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