It's a brand new year and the sun is high, so in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I shall herein list the various cyberlocations at which I am active online.
Blog: hie ye to Dreamwidth, where I am gominokouhai. Those of you without a Dreamwidth account can log in with any OpenID (including an LJ login). If, for reasons I cannot fathom, you still prefer Livejournal, everything that does not directly involve stuff I don't want the Russian Mafia to read is cross-posted to LJ, where I am also gominokouhai. If you don't have either, the blog has a handy RSS feed which you may plug into your favourite reader.
Blogging has been light in 2011 because I've had a shitty year. I hope for this to improve and for my output to return to something like normal. Expect a mix of personal stuff (with any luck, only the vaguely interesting bits), spittle-flecked political ranting, and occasionally creative sentence constructions. And probably a lot about Doctor Who.
Google Plus: I'm on it, but I haven't worked out yet what I'm going to use it for.
The Facebook: I am on it, but I never use it. I hate the bloody thing with the passion of a thousand suns, and so should you. The vast majority of notification emails from Facebook go into my spamtrap. If you're trying to invite me to something, I won't see it: have the courtesy to email.
Professionally: this is what Linkedin is for.
Delicious or Del.icio.us or whateverthefuck it's called now: I post links here. If all goes according to plan, they shall be daily autoblogged to DW, courtesy of andrewducker's remarkable Feedthistothat.
Erm: That's it.
I would love to know more cool people on any of the above sites (excepting the Facebook), so get in touch. Those of you in my DW circle can find the more mundane, meatspace coordinates here.
While we're on the subject, people have been asking what
gomi no kouhai means. In response I shall give you this excerpt from William Gibson's short The Winter Market:
Rubin, in some way that no one quite understands, is a master, a teacher, what the Japanese call a sensei. What he's the master of, really, is garbage, kipple, refuse, the sea of cast-off goods our century floats upon. Gomi no sensei. Master of junk.
The opposite of a sensei is a kouhai, a student. I love cyberpunk; I wish there had been more of it. I still find it mildly amusing that I have a username which I selected back when Japanese stuff was cool and which is now, I hope, charmingly retro. Let it be known that I'm only being a weeaboo ironically.
Livejournal doesn't give a shit about you and Dreamwidth does. It's exactly the same except it works better, it's less ugly, and the people who run it give a damn.
And DW doesn't get DDOSed every time the Russians have an election.
If you have friends on LJ and you're considering switching, chances are that those friends aren't going to be on LJ for long, either. Someone has to be first.
The vast majority of paid features on LJ are available with the free Dreamwidth account. You can import your posts and cross-post to LJ and set up RSS feeds for other people's LJ posts. Commenters can use OpenID to leave comments with their LJ login if they must. Nothing has to change except that you'll be somewhere where people like you.
Join us. We have cookies.
Those of you not on my Dreamwidth access list are missing some fairly important personal stuff. I'm not crossposting everything to LJ at the moment.
If you're on my LJ friends list, or think you should be, then you might want to have a look at my DW account if you have a login over there. If anyone wants a Dreamwidth account of their own, I have a stack of invite codes going spare.
It's come to my attention that I should probably make the following clear: I was not actually present at the demo/riot in Parliament Square on Thursday. Somehow in my blog post I managed to neglect any mention of the words
BBC News live stream, which might have made the whole thing significantly more clear.
It might also have been more clear for those of you who read me on the Twitters, on which I made comments like
@gominokouhai I got no work done today and BBC News is burned-in to the company monitor. Thanks for the economic stimulus, fuckos.However for those of you who only read the blog post I may have given the wrong impression.
I don't have the money to go down to That London for a demo. I went to That London for a holiday. I came back, and as soon as I'd done so, I watched the place burn on live TV. The content of the post is still 100% accurate: I saw all of those things happen, I just saw them happen through a browser window.
What's interesting, though, is the distinction between the live news stream and what was later shown, after editing, on the 8 o'clock news. I suppose that's why they call it a news
story. The BBC have a duty to provide balanced coverage, but sometimes I wonder if they take that duty too seriously: there's a difference between balanced and insipid. It's blatantly obvious from the raw footage that the Met instigated the violence. The march was peaceful and good-natured, and was proceeding along the agreed route until the demonstrators saw a kettle being formed ahead. We've all seen what happens in kettles, and it's entirely understandable that they might want to avoid it.
@PennyRed To avoid kettling, bits of the march are splitting off down sidestreets then rejoining. Benny Hill again!
I read another blog post (can't find the link right now, will edit if I see it again) that suggested that the agreed route was cordoned off. The marchers had nowhere else to go, so kept walking, and found themselves in Parliament Square. They weren't supposed to be there, but they hadn't been given a choice. The Met subsequently used the fact that they'd deviated from the agreed route as the sole justification for everything that followed.
Once inside the kettle, the police continued to deny that it was a kettle. Protestors who wanted to get out were sent to the opposite side of the square, where they were told they could exit; once there, they were sent back to the other side again. I watched Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry claim that no containment was taking place. At the same time I could watch the crowd trapped in the Square and read their Twitter streams: it must have felt very different to the demonstrators on the ground.
When you get 20,000 people in a small space, there is inevitably going to be some pushing and shoving. I watched it on the live stream. It looks like nothing more than a quiet crowd of people confined in a small area. Certainly there was nothing going on that warranted this mounted charge.
A lot has been made of the fact that a police officer was pulled off his horse and injured. We've got the footage of that too. There are no protestors anywhere near him; it looks like the horse gets spooked and he falls off because he's a crap rider. The BBC report suggested that the horse bolted because of a firecracker; not a very good police horse either if it can't deal with loud noises (Note: see expert commentary below), and besides this is a world away from
being dragged off police horses and beaten. Furthermore, behind the guy falling off his horse you can see two young women being whacked with a baton for no reason whatsoever. So the violence had already begun by this point, and it wasn't the students perpetrating it.
Newsnight last night was a fifteen-minute condemnation of the fact that some protestors brought snooker balls with them. The NUS spokeswoman, who hadn't brought snooker balls with her, spent the whole time being asked why she might have brought snooker balls with her. We have one single report of a snooker ball being thrown (and one of a golf ball), which rapidly snowballed into Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry announcing that her officers were
under constant attack with snooker balls. I would expect a senior police officer to at least be able to count to three, let alone one; it's the number of
'ellos they're supposed to say.
While we're at it, let's look at Charlie Gilmour. The kid's a prick, no question. What's important is that there was one of him, and let's be generous and say ten idiots who'd brought snooker balls. That leaves 19,989 people in the kettle who were not utter tosspots and who had no reason to be contained.
In any gathering of 100 people I fully expect 90 or 95 of them to be fucking morons. That's simple statistical expectation. The fact that we can only talk about two or three idiots in a throng of twenty thousand says a great deal about the majority who were there for peaceful reasons and who remained peaceful throughout, even while the batons rained down indiscriminately. The police, on the other hand, went to Whitehall spoiling for a fight. Not finding one, they created one to suit their purposes. While they did so, Julia Pendry was lying on national TV about
methods of last resort.
And now: linkdump! Here's just a selection of eyewitness reports.
- Laurie Penny's excellent piece: Inside the Parliament Square kettle
- This is what democracy smells like
- Jody McIntyre was dragged from his wheelchair and beaten; police later set about beating up the empty wheelchair
- Police claim they
showed restraintat student demo
- Here is a photo of a police officer laughing while hitting a 15 year old girl
- Lies, damned lies, and crowd control
While I'm here, this is an excellent summary of the reasons underlying the protests, and why it affects more than just students: What we're arguing against and what we're fighting for
LJ's most recent fuckup has Internet up in arms. It doesn't affect me much, since I have comments disabled on LJ already. Nonetheless it's indicative of an attitude the LJ management have towards the users that's only been getting worse.
For reference, here are the rules:
- Comment as much as you like, link to comments, pingback, whatever you like. Particularly feel free to link to comments in places where Respected Newspaper Editors might see them and think that that nice young man might want a job.
- Do it with an access-restricted post and I will hunt you the fuck down. There will be fire.
I remember being the sole voice of reason during Nipplegate, but the situation has deteriorated since then. A lot of people seem to be resisting Dreamwidth on the basis that it's full of self-important whiners and fandoms. I'm not sure these people have looked at Livejournal recently, or indeed ever. Both sites have their fair share of thirteen-year-old slashers and Twitards. It's what internet is for.
Personally, I find that Dreamwidth is a nicer site, with a (much) nicer interface, and a richer featureset in terms of options that are actually useful. The colours are nicer (I turned off that pink shit). The staff are much nicer. So far, nobody there has tried to use free pictures of kittens to mollify an outraged userbase. They listen to their users in a way that LJ doesn't. And I'm not giving my money to the Russian Mafia.
Also: ew, Facebook.
In the vain hope that it will be useful, here's what I do to combine usage of the two sites:
- Use the automated import tool to scarf all of my original content from its previous LJ home.
- Automatically crosspost entries from DW to LJ.
- Deactivate comments on the crosspost, so I can keep the discussion in one place.
- LJ users can comment via LJ OpenID, or anonymously, or with another OpenID, however they wish.
- Get on with my life, secure in the knowledge that stupid shit doesn't, currently, occur in this region of Internet.
- Use LJ solely to read those people who are still there.
Easy. It's not perfect, but it works. When they get cross-site reading sorted out, it will be even awesomer.
I should mention I have DW invite codes for them as wants them.
I'm at work so I've not seen it yet. I shall be watching it through entirely legitimate, legal means when I get home tonight.
I do, however, notice that the most recent edit to the TV Tropes wiki at time of writing is to the Crowning Moment of Awesome page for Doctor Who. This implies that somebody has probably, just now, seen something on TV that constitutes a Crowning Moment.
It's fairly normal to look forward to home time, I know. But I suspect I'm going to enjoy this evening. No spoilers.
After last week I've decided that speculation on the series arc is going to have to wait until the series is done. There's not a lot of point in reviewing elements of the show if we don't get to see the payoff for another handful of weeks: I won't know what works and what doesn't until the end of June.
Other than that, is anyone still interested in these reviews?
This, along with this, pretty much exactly encapsulates my FriendFace experience. Except for that one time when it was quite useful, what the fuck is a FriendFace for? All I seem to get is invitations to birthday parties 250 miles away from people I vaguely remember and other people trying to give my personal details to data-harvesting software.
Aside from reserving my name so that no other bastard has it, which has been the plan thus far, maybe I should get the damn thing to work for me for a change. Are there any particular reasons—other than all of the CamelCase—why I shouldn't use NetworkedBlogs and the Flickr import tool to provide some content to the FriendFace? Not having to log in to the FriendFace would be an added bonus.
My LJ paid account has expired. In accordance with the plan, I think what I'mma do now is get a DW paid account instead, so I can read my LJ flist from there (which is apparently possible now) and those of you slowpokes still clinging to LJ can still read me, should you so wish, via cross-posting. And yet I hesitate, for two main reasons:
- I know they have their reasons for it, but DW don't seem to be going out of their way to accept payment in any practical form;
- Cross-site reading is bloody poorly explained. Everyone seems to assume that it works on LJ posts, although that's never been claimed by any DW staff to my knowledge; but what about Blogger? Wordpress? What about all my RSS feeds? Is it even operational yet, or are they still talking about what they will do?
Help? The internets are confusing me.
The actual exodus to Dreamwidth seems to have begun. I've had a play around on the site, and it looks pretty reasonable; it already does several things significantly better than LJ. And it could be a lot worse. It could be
spudtater's post here (which is the same as spudtater's post here, I think) contains some pretty good suggestions on how to handle the transition. If I'm doing this right, you should be able to read this post on LJ, just like we all did in the old days, when the internet was built out of tin cans and string, and before LJ sold us all to the Russian Mafia, or whatever it was that they did.
Dreamwidth posts from yr. corresp. are syndicated at gominokouhai_fd for those who want to continue reading me on LJ, although I'm not sure how well that will handle friends-locking. Let's find out.
The entire blogosphere has erupted into a frenzy of adoration for Stanislav Petrov, who stopped the nukes form flying twenty-five years ago. Had he not done as he did, I would have grown up in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, eventually growing to become the leader of a mighty tribe. As it is, Western civilization was preserved, so what I get to do instead is sit around and make blog posts that nobody reads.
Oh well. Petrov never got any credit for saving the planet. I suppose I should learn when to cut my losses.
I never really understood the Higgs Boson. It's supposed to give mass to other particles by dint of its very proximity, in the same manner, it was explained to me once, as you get a cluster of people surrounding Maggie Thatcher at a cocktail party. But if the Higgs Boson is a boson, then it's a particle with mass, and nobody could ever explain to me where it gets its mass.
(Another thing I never got was the Hubble Constant. Galaxies are expanding faster the farther away from us they are, it is true, but due to the distances involved we're seeing those galaxies farther back in the past. So all it shows you is that the rate of expansion of the Universe is slowing, as one might expect. If anything, it should be called the Hubble Variable.)
Nonetheless, reports are pouring in from all corners of the Empire about the weird alternate universe in which we now live. clanwilliam turned into a beard-toting evil mastermind, but perhaps fortunately, one who couldn't get out of bed; and verdandiweaves missed Christmas.
For myself, the landlord turned up today and actually fixed things. Apparently the long-running problem we'd been having with the plumbing was the result of cast-iron pipes, which had filled with a hundred years of rust. That's why I've had no hot water for the last year. Who has cast-iron pipes? What's the one material most likely to cause problems on contact with water?
In further news: after a shaky start, work is actually going well, I've fixed all the problems, and
$BOSS_1 seems quite calm. I think this new universe and I are going to get on well.
That said, when I get home tonight I'm firing up Rome: Total War and crushing the Gauls under my iron sandal. They've earned it.
 Presumably, these days it's a crowd of people saying very loud and slowly,
Would you like another blanket? No, I'm not your son.
 Francium, theoretically, but I don't think they make pipes out of that. The half-life would be an issue. That said, the half-life of a water pipe made of cast iron isn't particularly high, either.
...include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The title of the episode.
- Your opinion of the episode.
- Apparently, Rusty (OBE) wrote the episode.
I appreciate that we're mired in an illegal war, and the Government are turning into jackbooted thugs, and I had to walk two miles tonight with an exhausted cripple because the taxis are fucking useless, but did you all really want to add this extra little piece of irritation to my evening?
PUT IT BEHIND A FUCKING CUT.
Right, so. Let me see if I've got this right.
It's not okay to touch people's boobs at a comic-con. This is fine, I can understand that.
Dear Feminists: kindly fuck off.
I really thought that we were finally getting somewhere. I thought that some of us had penises and some of us had vaginas, but that we looked at each other and we saw people. The rest was details. But no, everything has to be Us vs. Them and everybody has to be categorized into tiny little exclusive boxes. And specifically, all men fall into one of the two categories of Threat or Menace.
This should be a better world,a friend of mine said.A more honest one, where sex isn't shameful or degrading. I wish this was the kind of world where [one could] say,Wow, I'd like to touch your breasts,and people would understand that it's not a way of reducing you to a set of nipples and ignoring the rest of you, but rather a way of saying that I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful.
Nice idea. Then they made the mistake of trying it, which was pretty stupid. Then they made the further mistake of writing about it on the Internet.
About three hundred comments later, it all went horribly wrong.
I was particularly amused by the handful of people who, after two hundred comments all saying
I wish I'd been there, piped up to post
this is completely reprehensible and under no circumstances could anyone ever think it was remotely appropriate. And then, when I had the gall to ask a simple question like what distinguishes this from other forms of social interaction, or what's so different about boobs, all I get—from otherwise highly intelligent people whose thoughts I am honoured and privileged to read—is argument by repeated assertion and a whole lot of
well if you don't understand, then I'm certainly not going to tell you.
You ever wonder why we filthy men spent centuries thinking you were all stupider than we are? It's because of shit like this. You won't talk to us.
I don't have boobs. I don't know what it's like. This is the Internet. We are having a discussion.
TALK TO US.
feministsf. How's that exactly? By stifling debate and restoring the status quo? By screeching the loudest until everyone else backs down?
Now we're back to the 1970s again—in which I'm scared to approach anybody in case they turn into a spitting harpy who tears my groin off when I offer them a compliment; in which men are from Mars and women are from Venus and this is apparently okay because acting like we are members of the same species is apparently beyond people; in which I can't have sex with anyone at all because even if they say
yes they're probably just a brainwashed agent of the Patriarchy.
Now we live in a world where no-one is allowed to even think about questioning ingrained social mores, in case people shout at them on the Internet.
Thanks, feminists. I expect you think you've made progress.
Comments are disabled because when I say
talk to us I mean
us in general. Don't talk to me. I am tired of dealing with this bullshit and you've all depressed the hell out of me. I'll come back and play when you're capable of treating people as people.
I get home from work at about 11.30pm, or 23:30:00 in your newfangled Internet words.
ETA: Firefox now autocompletes the
Tags field on the LJ update page with
random, personal life, self-indulgent drunken wankery. Thanks a lot, Firefox.
Ping is an irregular verb as any fule kno, and
pung is the widely-accepted past tense construction thereof. I cite common usage.
Yesterday I managed to put my finger on the reason behind my psychological compunction to fix everything. Naturally, it's Doctor Who.
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on Ace, we've got work to do.
Perhaps surprisingly, or perhaps not, I am absolutely fine with this, because my father-figure can talk a Dalek to death.
On the subject of Doctor Who: linkspam!
Quite interesting argument about the deficiencies in the new series. Contains spoilers for, well, pretty much everything really, but specifically for Last of the Time Lords, so Jehane's not allowed to watch it. Also: it's ten minutes long, but worth it. (Thanks to bibliophile1887 via snapesbabe.)
Some people say that Ghost Light is difficult to understand. These people, clearly, are errant fools. For their benefit, however, the demigodlike ionlylurkhere has produced Ghost Light in the form of lolcats, which is all kinds of awesome. Contains spoilers for Ghost Light obviously, and more incredibly obscure references than you'll find in a week's worth of posts by me.
It is the policy of gominokouhai dot livejournal dot come to correct errors as soon as is practicable, unless doing so would be really, really embarrassing, in which case the policy is to claim that the fault lies with reality's noncompliance with the facts as stated herein.
Okay people, Blog Like It's The End Of The World Day was the 13th June. You can all stop now.
I didn't participate, and for this reason: when the real Zombie Apocalypse comes, we're all going to waste the first half hour Googling to find out if it's all some sort of hilarious meme. When the mushroom clouds light up the midnight sky, even as our eyeballs turn to ashes we'll be wondering if it's a new form of advertising. And Rage-infested monkeys are just viral marketing with the dial turned up to 11, right?
Rage-infested Monkeys wbaenfarb.)
A million years from now, when alien prospectors land on our planet and survey the ruined wastelands of our once-great civilization, they'll find six billion charred skeletons all sat in front of Windows Messenger. Coda to Aristotle, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Amis, the last words ever inscribed by humanity will be
HEY YOU GUYZ IS THIS 4 REAL?!!?
You can all stop pretending to be Bruce Campbell now. Some of us did this when we were eight.
Oh, all right then. You can continue saying
Groovy for the next couple of days.
And the cricket bats are okay too.
ION: The Shuttle Atlantis delivers a package of new solar panels to the International Space Station. While it's there, a computer systems crash knocks out the guidance and navigation systems. Presumably the solar panels needed Service Pack 1 or something. In any case, Atlantis is required to stay docked to provide the Station with attitude control.
Meanwhile, they have to perform a spacewalk to repair the Shuttle's thermal blankie with a medical stapler borrowed from the first-aid kit and some surgical-steel fishhooks. NASA officials have as yet remained silent on the inclusion of duct tape and string on the Shuttle's standard equipment list, or whether Richard Dean Anderson has been conscripted into astronaut training.
Meanwhile, a woman in Palatine, Illinois, picks up NASA transmissions on her son's baby monitor. Real Life apparently isn't just a bad sitcom, it's a bad sitcom IN SPACE. We've already got nappy-wearing astronauts on improbable road trips to resolve bizarre love triangles. All we need now is for somebody to step on a rake and for two guy astronauts to leave someone's baby on a passing flying saucer, and I think we have a ratings winner.
B Minus, f-list, Must Try Harder.
I got the gig (as I believe the kids are saying these days): I go down tomorrow to do some preliminary recording. Fortunately the guy lives just down the road from me. Since this is now officially Work (my first paying gig at that, woo), any subsequent posts on the subject will go under a friends-lock and a dooce tag.
May it suffice to say that I'm currently listening to Tom Baker Commercial Outtakes and the Orson Welles Frozen Pea Ad on a loop, for moral support.
(There's a little Tom Bakaraoke in there as well, for variety.)
I no longer have the Watch! theme tune in my head, and this is the reason why not: the bridge bit that comes after the cheery piccolo bit—done on another one of those 1970s acoustic guitars, as you will recall—was directly ripped off by The Proclaimers for the chorus of `Letter From America'.
And they thought we wouldn't notice.
The blogosphere will be the end of us all.
( Bear with me )
(The word blogocube is already listed 831 times on Google, but that won't stop me trying to sequester it for my own purposes: at least until somebody teaches me enough graph theory for me to use the appropriate information-theoretic terms.)