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Q&A with Duncan Geere

Freelance journalist: science, technology and culture

My name is Duncan Geere, I'm a freelance journalist. I write about science, technology and culture for publications like Wired, Technology Review, The Verge, Popular Science, Techradar and T3. I also run a collection on Medium about the sky and space, which is called Looking Up. I live in Gothenburg in Sweden, and alongside my writing I'm also studying a masters' degree in Environmental Science.

Software / hardware

My three favourite bits of technology are my Macbook Pro (mid-2012, gloriously non-retina), my Nexus 4, and my Canon 60D. I used to be a huge Windows fan, as I have roots in PC gaming, but nowadays the Macbook is simply a better choice for almost everything I want to accomplish - Chrome for browsing, Steam for games, Sparrow for email, iAWriter for writing, Aperture for photo editing and Spotify for music.

On my Android phone, I love Themer as a homescreen replacement, Spotify again for music, Telegram for IM, Baconreader for Reddit, Uniqlo's amazing WAKE UP app as an alarm clock and most of the defaults for everything else. I get my Android notifications on my desktop with Pushbullet, and play loads of Pixel Dungeon on the tram. I use a pair of AKG415s or my Thinksound ms01s when I need to shut the world out.

Ideal work environment

I set up a standing desk when I first moved to Gothenburg 18 months ago, and then only used it for videogames and spent most of my time on the couch. That wasn't ideal, so I've gone back to a sitting arrangement with a secondary monitor (a Dell Ultrasharp 2312HM) and a bright orange IKEA MARKUS chair. I use a Bluetooth Apple keyboard to type on, but I don't love it and I'm thinking of upgrading. I've got an Apple magic mouse for most work, and a Razer Deathadder for games.

My ideal work environment is quiet, preferably on the dry side of a rainy window. I'll usually have some ambient music on, but if I'm working to a deadline then I'll listen to something faster - almost always without lyrics. I've got a couple of Spotify playlists that do the job nicely.

Work inspiration

The internet and the world around me. Reddit, Wikipedia and Twitter mostly, though once in a blue moon an RSS feed or an email someone sends me will be interesting. If I see something that sparks my interest, I'll dig into it a bit more and see if anyone major has written about it. If not, I'll pitch it someone. It's not too difficult, but I spend a lot of time carefully curating the places that I get my information from - weeding out the dead wood and trying new things. I also try to travel as much as I possibly can - I think it's really important to get out of your comfort zone regularly and see something new.

People you admire most

It's one of my rules that I try not to be in awe of too many people and I try not to write too many people off either. Nonetheless, there are loads of incredible people out there that I have a tremendous amount of respect for.

One is James Murphy - he's managed to build a career doing exactly what he loves and not compromising under any circumstances. I think he's one of the finest "artists" around. Another is Michael Palin, who managed to turn a job making jokes about parrots into one that involves him seeing some of the most amazing places on Earth. Both are a real inspiration to me.