Thursday, June 19, 2008

unsearch engine

so i'd like a search engine that ooks for the web pages
least relevant to my query
for a change

for fun...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Memorial to Suicide Bombers - victims of the God Delusion

I think it is time we had a memorial to Suicide Bombers- probably without listing their names- just their victims, but they are victims too.

As the UN unveils a memorial to reporters killed in the line of work (I won't say duty, but at least they were trying to inform the world, not destroy it), it is time we had a way to record the numbers of people that die because of a sickness in the head. It is clear when you look at many (not all, but many) suicide bombers that they are targeted by people more ruthless and selfish, and less courageous (and dim) than themselves, and then programmed to blow themselves up in some greater cause. How many times have suicide bombers done other than prolong the misery of their own side, let alone have a significant impact on the outcome of a war or action? I can't find one in history. From Kamikaze pilots, to Iraq, it seems like it is now part of the wallpaper of modern life. The impact on the victims is not a lot different if the perpetrator dies in the doing, than if it was a bomb from 10000 meters.

No-one is impressed any more. especially since the bombers usually come from a society where life is "cheap". It isn't as if there aren't peopel that blow things up and walk away to fight again.

No. we need a memorial to remind everyone of how many victims there are of the bastards who pull the strings and push the buttons on naive, usually young, almost always male, deluded,sad and confused weapons of mass destruction, for no useful end whatsoever.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I wish someone would silence that T

so reading the story about the mad 16yr old who wants to sail around the world, I cannot help but notice the use of the phrase "treacherous cape" when talking about the famous two southern tips of continents he has to negotiate.

Why "treacherous"? since everyone knows they are bloody dangerous, what is wrong with just saying "dangerous"? It's not like he wasn't forwarned...

Same goes for "tragic" - tragedy (whether ancient greek or shakespearean or modern) refers to a subtle concept irony - irony refers to the dissonance (actually, lets not be poncy- it refers to superiority of knowledge by one group over another - e.g. audience (and author:) over character, or in ancient classical Greece, Gods over mortals). When a family burn to death, this is NOT tragic. It is bloody awful, but it isn't tragic - actually, this topic was covered superbly by ed byrne (see Ed Byrne's hysterical routineon how Alannis Morissette misunderstands the word Ironic (probably proxying for a lot of americans, oh ok, she's canadian - well THATs ironic:)

Terrorism:- um, don't get me started on the abuse of the word.
"We won't negotiate with terrorism" is basically a substitute
for "We won't negotiate with you, coz you're winning and we need to stop
making it clear in the news" so then the only difference between a tterorist and an enemy combatant is negotiation. Now, lets speak plainly here.
Saying "We wont negotiate with them" on TV is a negotiating position for god's sakes.
Like putting your hands over your ears and saying to someone "I'm not talking to you", it is a communication of a kind. obviously.

and another STUPID phrase that drips from journalists pens like it was nectar, but is basically pooh: "now we are at the crossroads" - so after the Irish voted against the euro-constitution a BBC wit used this gem. we were at the crossroads BEFORE ireland voted - now they've made a decision noone else had the gumption to make, we have gone down a particular road (to use another cliche) - we aren't at crossroads any more



Friday, June 13, 2008

A sharp wit that is wafer thin

paper cuts - painful, but harmless

like political humour - requires sharp wits, but no depth.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

fire women and dangerous things

men: when they are born, women chase after them to save them from dangerous things

as they reach adolescence and buy fast cars, they chase after women in dangerous things

when they get older, they just want to sit by the fire and have women bring them a cup of tea and talk about when they were young and dangerous

george lakoff clearly didn't understand what this was all about. :-)

Friday, June 06, 2008

accelerando europe

i've been living and traveling in contintal europe the last 8 months and fascinating it is (earlier this week, I was on a train between two london airports and there thinkly disguised was Cate Blanchett -my ability to recognize faces is (for some weird reason) completely useless, but when she got off, a couple of people sitting next to me said "wow, what's she doing on the gatwick train getting off at East Croydon?")

Anyhow, what is interesting is, coming from the UK where post thatcher, we have now been the subject of around 25 years of free market everything, and anyone active (i.e from just voting first time, to near retirement age) has spent alnmost the bulk of their existence in a world where the varieity of models for markets (whether utilities, retail/wholesale shops, online goods and services, financial services) is second nature, I see countries like france and spain only slowly stsarting to understand the rhetoric, let alone the realities. fasciniating

Accelerando is an "extreme" sci fi book where the far future is predicated on humans being better and creating new market models faster than alients - if those humans are from the UK, this is probably assured. if the future is franco-hispanic, don't bet on us beating the borg at all:)