This pretty much sums up the reactions of large swathes of talking head commentators over the last week:



When I look back to what I've read about previous riots in London over the centuries, when I look at corruption scandals or financial collapses, it really does put into perspective how lucky we are and have been.

I mean, seriously, riots across all of London, no one very few killed[1] and the London murder rate actually goes down?. Total deaths nationally five, including three men run down by a car.

The bankers are finally brought down, not by deliberate deceit, not by active fraud or theft, but by incompetence and optimism.

Parliament is brought into disrepute in a corruption scandal. What over? A few grand on a duck house, a few grand over claimed on a mortgage, etc. Compare that to many other countries today? Compare that to corruption scandals in the past in the UK?

Moral decay? We've never had it so good.

Scary, isn't it?

ETA: Apparently there's been a death in Ealing that I had overlooked, the post is amended to reflect that.
K, looks like I kinda forgot to update for awhile. Oops. You know what that means right? A backlog of silly, informative, thinkworthy or merely funny links. In no particular order:

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite". Sounds fun to me. Street View solves Dutch mugging. See? Useful. Random chance, but still useful.

Next up, researchers do study that finds obvious finding. Except it's not obvious, because if it were, you wouldn't still have idiot politicians the world over trying to pretend the exact opposite is true :-( Professor Kelly Musick and Dr Ann Meier of Cornell University have carried out a study of children whose parents stay together for the sake of the kids: ( more explanation with longer quote ) What matters is the quality of the parenting and the attitude they inculcate to opportunity, not whether they pretend to be happy for the kids sake.

Neologism of the Day—Huxleyed:

To have died with a degree of fame or notoriety that would have guaranteed extensive media coverage, save for the death of someone even more famous or notorious immediately afterwards. From Aldous Huxley, who died an hour before President Kennedy was assassinated. Usage: "Farrah Fawcett was completely Huxleyed by Michael Jackson."

And on that subject, this comic is particularly apposite:
( 'A famous person has died, we go live to somewhere tangentially related' )

One of my favourite authors is, as many of you know, Charles Stross, also known as [info - personal]autopope, he's up for the Hugos, again, this year, and has been writing an auto-biographical series of blog posts for the last week or so that I've been meaning to link to as they are, frankly, quite funny, and also count as a nice little rundown of the history of how the web came to be—you can blame the need for a robots.txt file on him, and his time working for a Demon subcontractor where part of my official job description was to keep Danny the tomcat from pissing on the modem rack is also amusing.

This is really cool to know, assuming that they're on the button: All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. Unlike in many other species, we have multiple possible mutations that could make us, for example, short, and populations famous for small stature, like pygmies, simply have a large number of them instead of one specific key change. Same applies to things like the ability to tolerate cows milk.

Now, simple little question, how many colours are there in the following pattern (via):
( Spiral image pattern with clever optical illusion )
Yup, that's right, there are ( look at the image first damnit! ) colours there, funny how our mind tricks us by filling in assumed blanks, full explanation at Bad Astronomy.

Not sure about this one: science explains why Yorkshiremen like pies so much. Um, I like pies, and I only moved up here 18 months ago (SRSLY, a whole 18 months). Shame that decent non-meat pies are a pain to get hold of. Still, really happy about this one: Alastair Reynolds scores unprecedented 10-year, 10-book deal from Gollancz for his 'mean line in alien cultures and technology'. Completely different writing style to Charlie, but one I also really like, and it's nice to see grand sweeping plots with a background that seems to make sense. In 'so obvious now you think of it' mode, I concur with [livejournal.com profile] rhodri, I really hope that the designer of The folding plug makes lots and lots of money, especially the multi-plug adapter design. I wants them I does...

Slightly more seriously, [info - staff]denise got interviewed for American NPR, and it's another case of stating the obvious until people listen—social networks that try to make money from ad revenue are going to be in trouble, much better to provide a service people actually want (in DW's case, damn fine blog hosting with a good feed aggregation service bolted on) and charge users for it in some way. By the way, no link for this one, Livejournal is soon going to allow people to host their own adverts on a revenue-sharing model; I personally have less of a problem with this than the way they're plastered all over the dormant basic accounts now, but some of you might like to know...

On the subject of blogging, one of its principle strengths has always been what's called "the long tail"—( defined )this tail is getting a lot shorter. Charles Arthur at The Guardian explains why. ( I mostly agree )

Back to silliness. The US economy was too reliant on crap made by General Motors. Have a look at this: Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM. Seriously, these things sold? Ouch.

Now, it can't have escaped the notice of most of you that have met me that my wardrobe is, shall we say, a little bit monochrome. [livejournal.com profile] susannah_banana claims I'm not a goth because I'm not goth enough. She's one of the DJs at one of the top goth nights in the UK, but she's wrong, here's why: About Goth [stereo] Types - All Types. I am #19, and I claim my £5. (created by [livejournal.com profile] sinju, a now defunct journal that was very very cool while she was still documenting her time in Japan).

WANT

More sciency stuff: Flourescent lightbulbs are not the saviour they're being sold as and incandescents have still got some light in them yet. Personally, I can't stand reading by the horribly light they output (we use candles by the bed) and they set of my photic sneeze reflex something chronic.

BASTARDS

One of the best uses of animation within a webcomic I've seen, very cleverly done.

Royal British Legion to Nick Griffin MEP, leader of the BNP: Stop it, Mr Griffin. Just stop it. First rule of politics: don't piss off the veterans association.

OK, that's loads. I've cut the images and longer explanations, but left the rest open for easy clicking—if I do a post this long again is that still the best plan?
Original post on Dreamwidth, I prefer to keep all the comments there, if you have trouble using OpenID let me know, it's still in beta and subject to improvement.
K, looks like I kinda forgot to update for awhile. Oops. You know what that means right? A backlog of silly, informative, thinkworthy or merely funny links. In no particular order:

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite". Sounds fun to me. Street View solves Dutch mugging. See? Useful. Random chance, but still useful.

Next up, researchers do study that finds obvious finding. Except it's not obvious, because if it were, you wouldn't still have idiot politicians the world over trying to pretend the exact opposite is true :-( Professor Kelly Musick and Dr Ann Meier of Cornell University have carried out a study of children whose parents stay together for the sake of the kids: more explanation with longer quote ) What matters is the quality of the parenting and the attitude they inculcate to opportunity, not whether they pretend to be happy for the kids sake.

Neologism of the Day—Huxleyed:

To have died with a degree of fame or notoriety that would have guaranteed extensive media coverage, save for the death of someone even more famous or notorious immediately afterwards. From Aldous Huxley, who died an hour before President Kennedy was assassinated. Usage: "Farrah Fawcett was completely Huxleyed by Michael Jackson."

And on that subject, this comic is particularly apposite:
'A famous person has died, we go live to somewhere tangentially related' )

One of my favourite authors is, as many of you know, Charles Stross, also known as [personal profile] autopope, he's up for the Hugos, again, this year, and has been writing an auto-biographical series of blog posts for the last week or so that I've been meaning to link to as they are, frankly, quite funny, and also count as a nice little rundown of the history of how the web came to be—you can blame the need for a robots.txt file on him, and his time working for a Demon subcontractor where part of my official job description was to keep Danny the tomcat from pissing on the modem rack is also amusing.

This is really cool to know, assuming that they're on the button: All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. Unlike in many other species, we have multiple possible mutations that could make us, for example, short, and populations famous for small stature, like pygmies, simply have a large number of them instead of one specific key change. Same applies to things like the ability to tolerate cows milk.

Now, simple little question, how many colours are there in the following pattern (via):
Spiral image pattern with clever optical illusion )
Yup, that's right, there are look at the image first damnit! ) colours there, funny how our mind tricks us by filling in assumed blanks, full explanation at Bad Astronomy.

Not sure about this one: science explains why Yorkshiremen like pies so much. Um, I like pies, and I only moved up here 18 months ago (SRSLY, a whole 18 months). Shame that decent non-meat pies are a pain to get hold of. Still, really happy about this one: Alastair Reynolds scores unprecedented 10-year, 10-book deal from Gollancz for his 'mean line in alien cultures and technology'. Completely different writing style to Charlie, but one I also really like, and it's nice to see grand sweeping plots with a background that seems to make sense. In 'so obvious now you think of it' mode, I concur with [livejournal.com profile] rhodri, I really hope that the designer of The folding plug makes lots and lots of money, especially the multi-plug adapter design. I wants them I does...

Slightly more seriously, [staff profile] denise got interviewed for American NPR, and it's another case of stating the obvious until people listen—social networks that try to make money from ad revenue are going to be in trouble, much better to provide a service people actually want (in DW's case, damn fine blog hosting with a good feed aggregation service bolted on) and charge users for it in some way. By the way, no link for this one, Livejournal is soon going to allow people to host their own adverts on a revenue-sharing model; I personally have less of a problem with this than the way they're plastered all over the dormant basic accounts now, but some of you might like to know...

On the subject of blogging, one of its principle strengths has always been what's called "the long tail"—defined )this tail is getting a lot shorter. Charles Arthur at The Guardian explains why. I mostly agree )

Back to silliness. The US economy was too reliant on crap made by General Motors. Have a look at this: Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM. Seriously, these things sold? Ouch.

Now, it can't have escaped the notice of most of you that have met me that my wardrobe is, shall we say, a little bit monochrome. [livejournal.com profile] susannah_banana claims I'm not a goth because I'm not goth enough. She's one of the DJs at one of the top goth nights in the UK, but she's wrong, here's why: About Goth [stereo] Types - All Types. I am #19, and I claim my £5. (created by [livejournal.com profile] sinju, a now defunct journal that was very very cool while she was still documenting her time in Japan).

WANT

More sciency stuff: Flourescent lightbulbs are not the saviour they're being sold as and incandescents have still got some light in them yet. Personally, I can't stand reading by the horribly light they output (we use candles by the bed) and they set of my photic sneeze reflex something chronic.

BASTARDS

One of the best uses of animation within a webcomic I've seen, very cleverly done.

Royal British Legion to Nick Griffin MEP, leader of the BNP: Stop it, Mr Griffin. Just stop it. First rule of politics: don't piss off the veterans association.

OK, that's loads. I've cut the images and longer explanations, but left the rest open for easy clicking—if I do a post this long again is that still the best plan?

ETA: I'm getting a massive pile of spam comments on this specific entry, all in Japanese script from what I can see, so I've set anonymous comments to be screened and turned off notification emails, if you want my attention for this post email me directly?
Let us today celebrate the six year anniversary of Something Positive, one of the first webcomics I started reading, and one of the few I still try to keep up with. A bit behind currently but still good. Randy's comment thread is on his journal. Weirdly, and by random chance, the person who first suggested to me I read it (on the old Xnet forums) messaged me via Facebook yesterday, hadn't heard from her for years. She was also the person who got me into Jasper Fforde, of which First Among Sequels is the book I'm currently reading. Kismet?
As [info]dm_of_the_rings is wrapping up, we have what could possibly be a worthy replacement—the guy who does Irregular Webcomic will spoof Star Wars: Darths & Droids.

First one is a good start, guess we'll have to see. No feed though:-(
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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