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Personal interests

I am British-born of German parents and consider myself a European, although I spent my formative years in Australia and studied for my Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University.

Writing and book publishing runs in my family. My grandfather, father, uncle and cousin have all published books. I picked up my grandfather's book the other day, a German academic book on the philosophy of knowledge. It struck me that his book addresses the very same theme that I am writing about, namely the forward march of technology and culture in crisis. My grandfather was part of a resistance network in World War II, something which makes me feel very proud.

I speak German and French, and enjoy travelling. In 2016, I had the privilege to travel to a number of central European, former Soviet States, such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and in 2017, Albania. It is fascinating to witness the democratic transformation of these countries, and to see the enthusiasm and warmth of the people.

I've had to work hard on my personal fitness. Being a writer means I spend a lot of time sitting down at the computer, which is really bad for your back, and I do my best to keep flexible and mobile. Unfortunately, in 2011, I suffered a back injury that was mis-handled and mis-diagnosed by the so-called professionals and it is made me very sceptical about the quality of medial care for people with back problems. It turned out to be a facet joint sprain, which is notoriously difficult to heal and it got worse, indeed, very bad, due to the mis-handling. It is only thanks to my own determination that I would like to be fit to work, and to finding a specialist in pilates rehabilitation, that I have recovered. I still have to be careful and can feel the injured joint, but am able to enjoy normal life again. Even so, I did not waste 2011, and took advantage of the enforced lack of mobility to write my new book which was published by Zed Books in August 2013.

Since then, I place a priority on fitness and health, and never more so than since the advent of Covid-19. Every day, I go for a walk and I am lucky enough to have an Nature Reserve nearby where I can take many different routes and enjoy being outdoors despite the awful situation of the pandemic. Before this all happened, I used to go to the gym, for pilates and Body Balance. I still have to keep that going, retaining flexibility and strength. I used to enjoy horse-riding. I rode at a stables near Windsor, and helped out at dressage events, but the back injury has called a halt to riding that.

I was a long-standing member of Maidenhead Speakers Club, which is a Toastmasters International club for public speaking. In 2020, I achieved the award of Distinguished Toastmaster. In 2016-17, I was Area Director for Toastmasters in and around Windsor and Maidenhead. In 2015-16, , I was Club President of Maidenhead Speakers. It was a great honour indeed to be President of such an established and distinguished club. One speech that got particularly positive feedback was 'how to buy designer clothes on ebay'!

I like good food and am a keen cook, and a total fan of organics.

I enjoy going to the theatre, and especially like the National Theatre in London. Plays I've seen include The Captain from Koepenick, a British adaptation of the German play Der Hauptmann von Koepenick, and This House - a play about vote manipulation in the Westminster Parliament, as well as the stage play of Yes, Prime Minister ( if I'm honest, not as sharp as the original television series). Shakespeare's Globe is also good. I've seen The Taming of the Shrew and Anthony and Cleopatra.

Musically, I like anything (almost) with a guitar -these days, I mainly listen to American country. There is whole raft of country singers that I really like who are in my Spotify playlist - a few I could mention are Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Shania Twain and Lucinda Williams.

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

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