Update and Twelve Month Plan

Hello! Ages since we posted on The Machine Zone. We have been very busy with two projects under our banner. One is gamblingwatchscotland.org.uk which is a developing site looking at gambling in Scotland and beyond.

The other is our film, ‘One Last Spin’ which should be finished in November and premiered in December. The interviews dor the film were completed a long time ago but lockdown brought further work to a halt. We’re back shooting again, this time drama sequences to complement the interviews. Check onelastspin.vision for latest and some screenshots.

The Machine Zone has been running for five years come next February. It’s been very much a labour of passion and determination, and involved thousands of hours of voluntary work. Martin and Adrian have had to put in a lot of money to keep it going. This year we have a new director, Chris Lee who’s based in Edinburgh and runs a peer support service at chatter.org.

We received a £3,000 award from Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS to deliver anti-stigma work, The money has helped build the website and some of it towards the film (which is set to cost in the many thousands for production), and rolling future costs for screening the film at community events initially in Glasgow through 2022.

The next year will continue to be occupied by these projects. However, where time allows we are keen to get going on exploring the digital environment generally, beginning with that slippery term ‘digital health’. In some quarters everything digital, new and shiny sends people weak at the knees with adoration. We’re not so sure. Our work on gambling harms, for instance, shows how quickly digital technologies have been taken up to cause tremendous harms to many.

We’ll look at what may be meant by ‘digital health’ (which is a very confused, and confusing, area) and try to place it in a broader context of the digital environment as a whole. Every new technology causes tremendous social upheaval, the good and the bad. It’s easier to see this looking back to the advent of machinery at the start of the Industrial Revolution, motor transport, mass media, and so on. Not so easy to see how each of us is affected by the digital revolution. Certainly we can identify obvious things such as new jobs and the internet. But there does seem a very strong case for considering whether our deep psyches are affected, our relationships, our well being.

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