I'm Stephen Winter. I am a writer and graphic artist. This is my website consisting mainly of analytic essays, sociological and cultural criticism, occasionally mixed with some diary-like thoughts (and with graphics of course).
In the headline I call the site a 'blog' to make clear, the posts are thoughts of one person. – But actually this isn't a blog (there is no specific target audience, there are no recurring publication dates and no comments).
A few essays are scientifically quite substantial but this About page is more like personal small talk.
Everyone knows it. Doing a job for money means being forced (to a greater or lesser extent) to do wrong things. Acquiring skills to deal with these challenges is the admission card into professional life.
In my case it actually meant trifles – something like: supporting wrong technologies or wrong political power, destroying environment, waste of public funds, being forced to lie, establishing things that were in my view crime against aesthetics etc..
Nothing big, boring. But I did never manage to deal with it.
Before I restricted myself to doing graphics only (+ to do it on my own) I worked in many lines of business. I was technical editor of an architecture magazine (for three years), assembly-line worker, faculty member in teaching computer graphics at a university (for eight years), labourer on building sites, web designer, freelancer for animated 3D visualizations...
At one point a bright sentence came across:
No more rulership of the wrong thing!
Of course this is not about "enlightenment" or "freeing". It was not even a decision. It is the loss of mental strength to appreciate middle-class life (which is in fact an absurd life). – It is resignation.
For more than 10 years I used the TLD '.co.uk' for my website (I'm actually not British). – I thought it's cool. (To combine the name hashsign with a non-english TDL would sound stupid.) Moreover Germany is a dependent and occupied country - to use .de is no fun. -- When I wanted to read news I read the guardian.co.uk . I liked to listen to Radio 4. - Why not co.uk.
When I decided in 2005 to use the TLD I didn't know there is somthing that is called the Five Eyes Empire (the dark force hovering above the whole world).
Today '.co.uk' looks to me too empire-related (dark-force-related). – After the Brexit and after GoDaddy bought Host Europe I migrated.
I chose 'hashsign' as the domain name of my website before the 'hashtag' was coined by Twitter – today it's a bold word. I wish I could be as productive to justify the naming.
In very early days (1989) I used the hash sign in some drawings as a sign for barred windows.
Today I sign sometimes my digital graphic prints with [#]. (At the beginning of the digital age I planned it as a signal for 'being digital' in techniques of art – quite obsolete, ridiculous by now.)
The other part of my interpretation of #SIGN is: It's about signs (hashtagged), about evidence we can see or miss.
.. The big sign – that is the eye inside the triangle standing for capitalism and its successful struggle against running a sustainable circular economy. (The well known issue, death to be exact, a bit boring ... )
.. The other big sign is the eye inside the triangle standing for the surveillance camera of the big system, the transformation of civilisation into the NSA /Killer Drone System.  The transformation will take I guess another decade to complete - but the point of no return for us all (the sign) was indeed the year 2013 ... (Even more apocalyptic – and even more boring for the I've-Nothing-to-Hide society.  )
Truth is not placeable. An example is the Symbol for Mankind ruled by the Surveillance State I designed. It depicts a pendant for the necklace of the Goddess Kali – one copy of that pendant for each human soul. Kali stands for the 5-Eyes Empire and the eye in the pendant stands for the loss of privacy and human dignity.
The problem with the symbol is: I as well as the viewer can't agree to it – for opposite reasons. I can't agree because it is obscene in my view to mind mainly the perfect harmony of circles, to mind traditional esthetics, with something that is the symbol for the biggest and final crime against humanity ( – to think about esthetics here is sick). – The viewer of the symbol on the other hand can't agree to it because in his view it is 'obscene in general' and to express that truth (esthetically or not) is not appropriate.
About the site's subtitle
'..on signs of intended ruin'
'Signs' means mainly political signs and 'ruin' means mainly ruin of humanity. More specifically, it's about trade wars and sabotage against an undivided continent Europe and about interference to stir up conflicts in Middle East.
About the website (how it works)
In older parts of the website a Python script generates pages dynamically from SQLite.
I generated the older bookmarks pages of mine with Pelican, a static blog software based on Python.
(Thanks to ALEX METAIREAU and A. RONACHER ). I tweaked it's template for my needs and disabled comments.
I was fascinated by Mou / Markdown and by clever designed templating engines, frameworks or databases which offer only functionality that you really need. – But in the end Pelican and DocPad helped me to overcome in general the idea I would need frameworks.
The central part –my #SIGN posts– doesn't make use of any framework, Markdown or db. – I structure it in five subject categories:
The #SIGN posts are optimized for mobile devices and the use of Twitter – although my own use of Twitter is hardly appealing. The topics of my tweets are confusingly diverse (and of course my tweets are without any sense of humour), my stance is seemingly singular (eccentric), rarely someone wants to know what its good for.
At the beginning my website was not made to spread helpful informations.
I built it
- to get myself more structured
- to get myself clear about my opinion on a subject,
just like others recommend it: [a] [b] [c] [d]
About selling my graphic works
Maybe I can name here one day an art gallery.
 What will killer drones in 2023, 10 years from now, look like? – They will be armed rather with technologies of specific poisoning (polonium/ plutonium perhaps). They will cause no collateral damage, will be strictly ID-related and not noisy. In the final stage they should be not larger than fruit flies and affordable with quantities >10K.
 Boring when they are asked to think about consequences. – By contrast the pure images when watching live killings are always welcome.
 My dewy-eyed admiration of the British press (you know: "its atmosphere of constructive debate"..) disappeared overnight. The Guardian headlined "Pro-Russia comments is trolling" during the Ukraine crisis (in May 2014). My comment was this:
> chriselliott You consider broken English and opinions of some of your readers suspicious. – I would consider commanding British officers in Kiev suspicious (addition: finally they took Kiev 9 months after I wrote this) or GCHQ facilities. Don't you think Russian speaking Ukrainians have a right to mother tongue in Ukraine and a right to federal home rule?
I'm not fussed if NATO commits offences somewhere. But when the press tries to make me an accessory or takes me for a fool I don't like it.
To enlighten you: it's too late for 'separatists'. Already in Nov. 2013 the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement was submitted in which (§ 7) cooperation with the NATO was stipulated (in other words Ukraine's separation into parts or complete suppression of Russians in Ukraine).
To blame half a year later the regular guy on Main Street (that one with the Kalashnikov in Sloviansk) to be a 'separatist' is a cheap joke you try to apply here.
Fuck British press.