Well, I tried setting up the deli.icio.us cross poster (again), but it keeps crashing on me, so here's my linkspam of the last day or so redone with stripped html—sorry about some of the weirdness.

New Statesman - Richard Reeves

Wrote the bio of JS Mill I'm currently reading, which means I like him already. Very interesting set of columns, well worth looking over, even if they are in Staggers.

Edible Dirt,—Easter Sunday, Jesus wakes up

Not original, probably offensive to those that care, rather funny

10 Unfortunate Facts of Life | f*cking c*nts

This amused, it's about time I cleared it from my linklog and actually posted it somewhere

to funny life sex ...

theweaselking: Abortion discussion

Key quote from comments: "It's a hard enough choice without having to make it in an alley. I'll always be pro choice, period."

Why I am an abortion doctor

Read this: 'I can take a woman, in the biggest trouble she has ever experienced in her life, and by performing a five-minute operation, in comfort and dignity, I can give her back her life' Safe, legal, rare, why is there still a controversy?

How to Pack Up & Leave LiveJournal (A Tutorial) (://URLFAN)

Not a bad little how-to. Not how I'd do it specifically, I've already backed up everything including comments to a Wordpress install, but still not bad.

drjon: The LJ Strike (which is today)

Containts a nice little history of previous fusses on the site, with a balanced overview and points out that, well, we've won already

Pharyngula: EXPELLED!

Creationists premiere dodgy movie near home of famous science blogger, specifically ban him from viewing, but not his family or his guest. This is a really dumb move...

It's Just a Game... - Review: The Bible

Funny: "Summary: A confused film, half effects laden, no-brain blockbuster, half cinema-verite talking-heads, lacking a conclusion or climax to justify the budget. Poor plotting and characterisation lead the audience to sympathise with the villains rather

FT.com | The Undercover Economist | Dear Economist: How can I create an incentive scheme to keep our house clean?

Sounds familiar: "My fiancee is moving in with me. We’ve lived together before, and we hate housework. Before, we didn’t do work in retaliation for housework not done by the other." Good to know that even economics doesn't have all the answers

Bah, I see it's getting close to That time of year again. You know the one, the traditional pagan/secular festival that got hijacked by some Roman religion, and people are complaining about attacks on a misperceived majority faith that this poll showed us you lot don't really believe much either. But it did show that most of us are "culturally Christian" even if we don't believe. Hmm, seems we're in good company:
"This is historically a Christian country. I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims. So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history. If there's any threat these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists."

~~Professor Richard Dawkins, author of the God Delusion
Although I dispute his "everyone else" bit—I never did, carols are mostly godawful songs—it's nice to know that he's got a sense of perspective. (thanks Richard).

But, y'know, for the record, I'll update my contact details post at some point, but I still don't plan on sending any cards out, and share with Jennie a fair distaste for receiving them, so if you were planning to, do something a bit more useful with the cash, [livejournal.com profile] strictlytrue has the right idea.

Bah Humbug to the lot of you ;-)
BBC - Radio 4 - Word of Mouth

Talking about the origins and usage of memes.

ETA:It's finished, he was on for about 5 minutes at the beginning, and it's available on listen again. He got the word from the Greek word mymeme(sp?) apparently, and seemingly approves of the usage in quiz memes—it's become a meme in its own right, but thinks it might be a misuse. He even referred to the meme pool, but not seriously.

Apparently blue tits pecking milk bottles was a meme as well, how cool is that? The whole country was covered by this memetic epidemic...
Charlie Brooker in Saturday's Guardian:
"Spirituality" is what cretins have in place of imagination. If you've ever described yourself as "quite spiritual", do civilisation a favour and punch yourself in the throat until you're incapable of speaking aloud ever again. Why should your outmoded codswallop be treated with anything other than the contemptuous mockery it deserves?

Maybe you've put your faith in spiritual claptrap because our random, narrative-free universe terrifies you. But that's no solution. If you want comforting, suck your thumb.
Gotta admit he's got a point there; I fundamentally respect your right to hold whatever belief you wish to hold. I also respect your right to either persuade me I'm wrong and/or that I'm going to burn in hell for being the atheist I am.

What I can't, and won't, do is respect the belief itself. Sky fairies don't exist, there are no gods, we have no immortal souls and there are no fairies at the bottom of the garden (well, except in the only good Torchwood episode, anyway). These delusions do nothing but placate fears or dislike for the world the way it is, they're a paliative. Get out there and do something with your life, make something of yourself--this is all there is, make the best of it.

Advantage of staying up North for a week[1]? [livejournal.com profile] televisionfree me gets to watch the one or two interesting TV shows that multichannel world throws at you per week. Richard Dawkins, 8pm Channel 4, Monday night; The Enemies of Reason. Good good.

[1] It's an advantage. It's nowhere close to the main advantage, I would in fact put it very low the list of them; spending loads of time with ones new fiancee may be right at the top methinks. Did I mention we got engaged? I did? Ah well, I might repeat it again a few times just for good measure. Time to turn in--g'night all
Reasons to love Boris pt xvii:
What would you do if you were God for a day? CHRIS LANDONIS, Hackney

I think I would try a bit harder to prove My existence to Richard Dawkins.
Actually, that's not why I love this article. It's this:
Are education standards slipping in Britain? RICHARD MORRIS, Luton

Slipping! How could you even suggest it? Every year, comrades, our children are getting better and better at passing exams! Every year we produce more A*-C grade tractors from the Red Star plant! This year an amazing 43.5 per cent of candidates got an A at maths A-level, and guess what the proportion was 40 years ago, when far fewer people took maths A-level? It was only 7 per cent! Now you do the maths. Oh, all right, I'll do it for you. That is a staggering 620 per cent improvement by our young geniuses. Let me enter the usual political guff about how hard everyone has worked, and let me congratulate them on their grades. But if too many CVs read like a man falling off a building then the A is useless as a tool of differentiation, and that is why some universities are calling for a pre-U exam to replace A-levels, and that is why there is increasing interest in the IB. We have all connived in the fiction that our kids are getting brighter, because that conceals the growing gulf in attainment between much of the maintained sector and the grammar schools/ independent schools. The result is that the market has, inevitably, asserted itself, and in a way that is socially regressive. Which schools, after all, are going to have the resources to prepare their pupils for these new specialised university entrance exams?
My CV does not read like a man falling off a building. This is partially because I was a lazy git at school (plus ca change), and partially because they do seem to be making things easier. Teaching to the test, rising tuition standards, lowering exam standards? Bit of all three?

David Cameron is a Whig, and Boris is a LibDem in disguise. Albeit a LibDem Capitalist on the David Laws wing, but still, I like the bloke.

Now, I had a plan for the evening. What was it? Oh yeah, install Wordpress for my replacement journal home. Write up the review of the Doctor Who DVDs involving both Andy Hamilton and Jason Connery (nope, he still couldn't act)? Nah, Trevor's World of Sport is on...
I've been tagged, twice, to do a meme. I'm in a meh mood, and my anarchist tendencies are objecting to be told what to do, which is daft, as I normally just get on with them.

So rather than doing the meme now, I thought I'd ask your general opinion by polling it good. ) And for those not local to Exeter, someone else can explain the Guido option...

ETA: As [livejournal.com profile] mooism points out, the Dawkins/definition thing should be a check button poll, must've hit the wrong thing. D'oh!
Dawkins, who coined the word, said:
Examples of memes are tunes, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.
It doesn't have to be an online quiz, it doesn't need to be a set of questions, it's an idea, a saying, that is passed on, person to person, until everyone has heard it or read it. I have a new one. Well, sort of:
"I would so love to be quoted, one day, by someone."
-[livejournal.com profile] kasku
Via [livejournal.com profile] missedith01. Pass it on ;-)
My friends, a momentous occasion has come upon us. It is time, my friends, to join a new religion. I find this great new scheme has already been found in the mass media, and in this glorious interview he reveals himself:
Our pub quiz team is named The Church of Richard Dawkins. At a recent Oxford quiz night, we were told to change our name in case it was deemed offensive to any churchgoers present. Have you any suggestions for a " less offensive" name? RICHARD O SMITH, Oxford

And they call me intolerant! I am shocked that this happened in Oxford, of all places. I hope you win the tournament so resoundingly that you can dictate terms and call yourselves whatever you like. "Offensive" my foot.
I particularly also liked
Are people who advocate intelligent design stupid, and do you think natural selection will operate to remove them from future generations? ADAM KHAN, The Hague, Netherlands

The majority are ignorant, which is not the same thing as stupid. Natural selection will not remove ignorance from future generations. Education may, and that is the hope to which we must cling.
but the whole thing is definately worth a read. I shall forthwith petition to have this great man added to the list as our only living saint.

/silliness. And I am so glad the Independent has dumped that stupid subscription scheme that was never going to make them any money, it means I can link/exerpt rather than nick the whole thing wholesale...

And this was going to be cross posted but I'll have to do that later, seems I'm not actually a member of a few of the comms I want to send it to, and I'm due out in a bit...
OK, in my bio, the bit that says I don't need broadband? I stand by it, I don't. But, well, staying at [livejournal.com profile] nadriel's does have one advantage, we've netweorked up and he has a 7.5 Mbs connection. I mean, the exchange in Paignton can only manage 2.5Mbs for our business line, he has 3 times that all to himself.

So, what do you do with sucha fast connection? Porn? Don't be silly, Mike wouldn't approve (and there's only so much I can be bothered to look for anyway). YouTube. I've heard so much about the place, now I can see it in all its glory. For example:

Paxman interviews Dawkins about The God Delusion. Dawkins namechecks the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Now, Dawkins can, at times, be difficult, obnoxious and intemperate. He says he's an agnostic not an atheist because you can't disprove God (this is also Scalzi's position). I say I'm an atheist because I believe there is no god, and assert it's as valid a belief as any other. The line between our views is semantics. But his point is sound. YouTube rocks.
There's nothing wrong witht he code that caused the last post to mess up completely, at least not that I can see. Ah well, deleted the offending meme.

Meh, on the subject, the show-off intellectual in me wants to know, without looking it up, how many people actually know
a) what a meme actually is
b) who created the term.

PaulJ and I used to talk about the theory incessently while we lived in Exeter, now everyone's using the word and I'm curious. Did oyu know the theory before you started using it in LJ, do you know it now, is meme just another cool word you ue without knowledge?

None of this matters, of course, but, y'know...
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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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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