The Digital Village

Michael Bywater

Consulting Chaos Engineer

Michael has been involved in the Starship Titanic project longer than anyone else. Since 1989 (the Summer of Synchronised Shouting And Weeping) in Juan-les-Pins, actually, when Douglas Adams first explained the idea and he said it sounded fine but hadn't a hope in hell of actually happening.

He was the original Script Editor on the project. It was a silly job-title, really. What it meant was spending the spring of 1996 sitting with Douglas on The Digital Village's agreeable sun-deck overlooking London, shouting and weeping. This was known as "the creative process" and involved making remarks like "I'll tell you a really good way to puree the flock of starlings," and "Why don't we just make them tear his head off?" and "What bloody parrot? You never mentioned a parrot," and "So, hang on, what's the objective of the game?"

He also wrote the Starship Titanic website which is very exciting if confusing and inconclusive.

He does other things, too. Well, you'd have to, really. He's a columnist for the London Independent on Sunday and The Observer; writes about high-tech stuff for the Daily Telegraph; is cultural critic for the New Statesman; and keeps claiming to have finished a book about flying around the Australian Outback in a ricketty old Cessna 182, which will be out this winter ha ha ha.

He is a pilot, harpsichordist, snappy dresser, part-time consulting physician, red-hot lover and self-deluding old goat, but what he's proudest of is playing the organ part in "A Whiter Shade of Pale" alongside Gary Brooker, who wrote the song.

Michael Bywater lives in a disintegrating 18th-century apartment in central London with a bad yellow-eyed woman, 86 pairs of spectacles and a wardrobe of fine Savile Row suits, several of which are paid for. He owns a pair of crocodile shoes and you would know him if you saw him.


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