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Here’s my latest posts to the free fediverse, some rambling, some ranting, mostly just commenting on stuff I’ve read lately. Some of it gets syndicated to Twitter but mostly not. The best of it reaches my monthly digest email.

Sun, 14 Jul 2024 16:56:16 +0000

political violence imaginary voxpops

"We must never use political violence", the boarder guard said, "now shut up and get on with pushing these refugees back into the sea".


"oh no, political violence is just wrong" says the policeman, "so stop thinking and help me mace these protestors"


"Political violence? Oh no, we should never use political violence" says the bailiff as he sets is dogs on the squatters, "Political violence is a step too far."


"My subjects should never use political violence" says the king. "It's morally wrong, now leave me alone to write my bill giving more of the people's health systems to private capital"


"Political assassination is very bad when other people do it" says the drone-salesman, "now are you going to buy these flying murderbots or not?"


Sun, 14 Jul 2024 14:53:21 +0000

re: uspol failed Trump assassination

LauraK at Normal Island News is on fire:

Israel just attempted a targeted assassination of a Hamas leader near Khan Younis, and blew up a few hundred civilians in a refugee camp. If one of the victims owned Trump Towers, this would have been a crime against humanity, but thankfully, the victims were living in tents so it’s no biggie. We totally have our priorities in order.

One prominent US commentator broke down when she heard of the injury to Trump’s ear and wailed: “This is not the American way!” and “What are we, Hamas?” because America, the country that has carried out targeted assassinations in Japan, Vietnam, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, China, and Afghanistan, among others, is totally above this kind of behaviour, as is Israel, the country which has 292 assassination attempts listed on Wikipedia.


Sun, 14 Jul 2024 12:31:53 +0000

re: uspol failed Trump assassination

I liked how Farage reacted all like, "You know a very similar thing happened to me once when someone threw a milkshake at me that time"


And the cops saying they have no idea what the motivation can be. Can't think of any reason at all someone would want to shoot him. It's most mysterious.

Sun, 14 Jul 2024 11:37:20 +0000

re: uspol failed Trump assassination

If that image does win the election it's notable that the American flag is upside down. 🇺🇸

Seems like the security are only halfheartedly trying to cover his body. Can't decide if they'd really take a bullet for this dude or not.

Sun, 14 Jul 2024 10:20:15 +0000

uspol failed Trump assassination

Doesn't seem to be that much consensus in the preexisting literature on whether an assassination attempt affects a political candidate's chances. Very hard to run any randomized controlled studies of course and nobody knows what happened in the control country where nobody got shot.

I don't really think it'll make much difference to his election chances, but then I already figured he was gonna win when they were scolding and arresting genocide-protestors, before it even became obvious Biden has pudding for brains now.

One thing that does increase in frequency is all the talking heads saying "There is no place for violence", even the ones who have been doing terrible violence to refugees and foreigners and minorities for years.

Real guns on film sound like pathetic little clicks rather than the powerful bass booms in the movies.

That image of his raised fist with his face with blood splatters from his newly bullet-pierced ear is an instant classic though. Defiance. His supporters will love that.

Sat, 13 Jul 2024 11:20:54 +0000

I looked at Librewolf and it seemed like it'd be perfect. Was still able to send tabs around from machine to machine and sync bookmarks and stuff, which is the thing I suspected wouldn't work. All worked okay, was just firefox without the bullshit they do these days.

Until it just threw javascript errors on my TTRSS install and I couldn't read my newsreader.

Only on my desktop machine mind, it was fine on the laptop.

Maybe I should try harder. Perhaps it was just a fleeting thing that would be fixed next version.

Sat, 13 Jul 2024 10:51:43 +0000

So I turned off the new Firefox advertiser-friendly stuff.

But somehow I feel this isn't enough. I want to do more than just turn the feature off, I would prefer to submit poisoned and false data to it continually.

Anyone know a plugin that will flood this bullshit system with fake AI lies or anything like that?

In the page explaining why they silently forced this bullshit on me they say "Attribution is very important to advertisers"

Fuck advertisers. Fuck them. You get that Firefox? It is not your job to be kind to advertisers, it is your job to fuck them on my behalf.

Thu, 11 Jul 2024 19:53:08 +0000

Arranged three meetings to quote the work.

One that went okay, then a second one which I thought seemed to understand the problems a bit better. He pointed out that the ex-hot-water-tank-cupboard being dismantled would probably involve asbestos-containment hazmat-suited operations.

So minus-points on guy number one for not pointing that out. Unless it's in the quote I guess. I won't look at them till the weekend.

Third guy messed me around a bit with arranging times, then never showed up on the agreed one two hours ago.

While he was messing around (and I was frankly busy anyway) the two quotes from the others have arrived.

I will look at them at the weekend.

I'm likely to go with the more competent-seeming guy if the prices aren't wildly different, even though he probably won't actually do the work himself, or even supervise, and is probably just the company job-assessor/salesman.

Possibly the job-assessing is the most important part?

Makes a hell of a difference in my more digital trade. for sure.

He probably tells that story about how lots of people tile the shower in the wrong order to everyone. It's a good line.

I usually am looking for cheap coz I don't care much. But here I much prefer someone who understands the complexities of dealing with the freeholder, and that I'm not looking for a patch-up job, I'm looking to secure the thing for the next 40 years.

Wed, 10 Jul 2024 13:48:13 +0000

When you're an adult the tooth fairy demands hundreds of pounds in payment for services rendered instead of leaving you a quid under the pillow 🙁

Wed, 10 Jul 2024 13:45:08 +0000

Dentist wants to remove my old rotten infected tooth. Probably for the best. That'll be two missing teeth then. 🙁

At this rate I'll be down to no teeth at all by the time I'm 750 years old.

Mon, 08 Jul 2024 18:09:16 +0000

re: UKPol - Labour's First Moves

If you wanna run a government department now there's no need to run an election campaign or stand to represent some constituency.

Just make an application through the old boys network, if the plan is good they can ennoble you and you get get on with the work by the end of the weekend.

Mon, 08 Jul 2024 18:06:17 +0000

UKPol - Labour's First Moves

I don't really understand how Labour can remove a ban on on-shore wind farms without any bills or parliament sessions. I guess it must have never been a proper ban in the first place. Seems an unarguably good easy win.

James Timpson seems like he's been doing genuinely good things on prisoner rehabilitation for ages and making him head of prisons is maybe a good move too.

Or would be, if, you know, he was an MP. Dunno about this practice where they're just picking people who aren't elected and making them lords so they can do government minister jobs though. And the others they've done that for do very much seem like jobs for the old boys network rather than picking an expert.

They're making moves towards building some houses, but refusing to let the government own or control the process insisting private enterprise will do it all if they just let them build on the farms.

They have continued to insist they will bully migrants too.

So, mixed bag. No real sign of a mask being ripped off and the real government stepping forward.

Mon, 08 Jul 2024 11:32:24 +0000

Right. Well. That sort of works now.

I've successfully replaced the hose, and showered. But the mix-taps work different and it was too hot or too cold with no goldilox zone.

Apparently the temperature control on the boiler has become non-functional at some point, presumably unrelated. That's booked for service in a couple of weeks anyway.

The bathroom is is held together with gaffer tape and plastic sheets but ought to work for a few weeks before I can have the whole room refitted.

Sun, 07 Jul 2024 17:42:06 +0000

The culprit. This is the little bit of infrastructure that failed and sprayed hot water all over the bathroom.

It goes go easier trying to detach it when you twist the spanner the right way. I can never figure out which way to turn even when I'm not trying to decide when upside down tangled between the bath and toilet.

Turns out there exists a pipe quite like this only smaller and that's the type I bought to replace it 🙄

Oh well. Take this one to a hardware shop tomorrow. I need something like this, only without a hole in the middle.

Sat, 06 Jul 2024 22:58:04 +0000

This is my barber.

Death to all hair that can't either be shaved to a grade once a month or grown indefinitely.

Sat, 06 Jul 2024 22:23:37 +0000

Is there a bathroom wi-fi standard or anything I should know about?

My current mirror-cabinet-on-the-wall has been too low for 25 years. I have to couch to shave.

I pull out one of it's mirror-doors to rest on my shoulder so I can see behind my head to cut my hair. Envisioning disaster when I drop it every time.

Is there some better high tech-modern way to see behind my head which doesn't involve video-feed my bathroom to India on a camera?

Sat, 06 Jul 2024 21:51:07 +0000

The ritual developed because if when standing in the shower, you feel too hot and turn the temperature down, sometimes the hot pressure gives and and goes throb-throb-throb and then it's oh-fuck-stand-back as the shower does a pulse-weapon of hot and cold water at you.

So I turned the hot down to the minimum before stepping in, knowing I should only turn it up from there.

And every time since, rub rub rubbing my way to a worn pipe and a flooded bathroom.

I guess none of this will matter in a new modern professional bathroom that isn't gerry-rigged together from flexy-pipe.

Sat, 06 Jul 2024 21:46:24 +0000

Hey science nerds: How much is my dehumidifier actually helping if it's outlet just runs into the far end of the bath?

That trail of water does end up in the drain, but presumably it's an evaporation-path along the way.

I should buy a longer tube I guess.

Sat, 06 Jul 2024 21:39:15 +0000

Ohh... I just had a thought.

When I turn on the shower I turn on the hot-tap to max, wait for it to warm up, and then pull back the pressure until it goes throb-throb-throb. Then back up a tiny notch before maxing out the cold.

I never really understood where the throb-throb-throb sputtering comes from. I considered phoning into James O Brien's mystery hour to ask many times as I stood in that shower. But now I bet it's that flexy-cable that feeds the hot-tap, squeezing or bending or compressing or something.

Stress-stress-stressing every time I turn on the shower so that I can use the ritual I've designed to ensure it's the proper temperature before I step in.

Until it weakens enough to break, just as the rest of the UK infrastructure breaks as Starmer takes over to get the blame.

Thanks Starmer.


I'll stop doing that if it gets repaired.

Sat, 06 Jul 2024 21:27:53 +0000

I doubt my dad will ever visit, but if you don't die before you need it you'll need a wheelchair accessible washroom one day.

So was thinking about that.

Mortgage is basically paid, I have no wonder lust really. So there is a good chance I will live here until I die.

A 40-year bathroom that will still work for an old disabled man in his 90s at the end of those 40 years is what I'm aiming for I guess?

Probably really I'd move out or die before it became actually necessary, but the disabled-access on the rest of the estate is well woke, and this is a ground floor flat. It is suitable for a wheelchair user other than the current bathroom I think.

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A list of the last few things I’ve enjoyed reading/watching or sometimes bookmarked to read later. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed here or follow the little robot on the fediverse that toots them out as I bookmark them.

Political violence against rich white Americans is never okay

LauraK on Normal Island news is on fire: "Israel just attempted a targeted assassination of a Hamas leader near Khan Younis, and blew up a few hundred civilians in a refugee camp. If one of the victims owned Trump Towers, this would have been a crime against humanity, but thankfully, the victims were living in tents so it’s no biggie. We totally have our priorities in order.One prominent US commentator broke down when she heard of the injury to Trump’s ear and wailed: “This is not the American way!” and “What are we, Hamas?” because America, the country that has carried out targeted assassinations in Japan, Vietnam, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, China, and Afghanistan, among others, is totally above this kind of behaviour, as is Israel, the country which has 292 assassination attempts listed on Wikipedia."

Why the news media's job is to groom us - Jonathan Cook

Johnathan Cook explains how the media isn't here to inform but to groom and manipulate: "The news media have been fantastically successful at making a system of suicidal resource extraction designed to enrich a tiny number of billionaires seem entirely normal to their audiences. Which is why those same billionaires are as keen to own the news media as they are to own politicians. In fact, gain ownership of the media and you own the political class too. It is the ultimate two-for-one offer."

Lifeboat Games And Backscratchers Clubs

Scott has a metaphor from cannibalism and back-scratching clubs for modern society.

‘Straight As A Die’ – Giving Starmer A Free Pass – Media Lens

Media Lens look at how Starmer was treated in the media during the election: "There were no ‘Gotchas’, because the propaganda arm of state-corporate power was not trying to get Starmer. The Guardian, for example, has long featured a sub-section of its archive, titled: ‘Starmer’s Path To Power’."

Peter Oborne: Exposing media smears against Jeremy Corbyn

Peter Oborne details some of the many lies in the press about Corbyn: "Collectively they show that everything written in the papers about Jeremy Corbyn should be assumed false unless proved otherwise. It’s the wild west out there for the former Labour leader: any smear will do, however false and malicious, and Britain’s mainstream media is often ready to leap to attention"

UK Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - YouTube

John Oliver on the UK election, he wants us to wash the tories away.

Two shades of "more of the same" - Another Angry Voice

AAV summarizes the political satiation:  "Keir Starmer is just as committed to maintaining the rotten status quo as Rishi Sunak, even after 14 years of economic stagnation, failing public services, soaring rates of poverty and inequality, and egregious profiteering by privatisation parasites."

The Issue I've Been Avoiding - YouTube

Gary talks about Immigration: It's a wedge-issue that divides the working class and it's a lie that immigrants are why you can't get a job or a house. But Gary doesn't know how to stop people believing it, and then Labour failing to fix inequality meaning they don't fix the problem and the hard-right win next time there's a global economic crisis they can blame the government form

Is the Intelligence-Explosion Near? A Reality Check. - YouTube

Sabine thinks he's right about all the fooms, except for he hasn't accounted for a lack of power and a lack of data.She reckons won't have the power to run the chips to train a super intelligence. Phew.

Magpies who are 'victims of bullying' are more intelligent than their aggressors, researchers say - ABC News

Researchers suggest that in some flocks of Australian magpies, the jocks bully the nerds. So it goes. They further suggest:"Aggression is a predictor of your intelligence [...] Aggressive magpies are not picking up on social cues around them, whereas the less aggressive ones – the ones actually receiving aggression – were more intelligent [...] They need to find alternative ways to access food resources when the bullies are there, and they need to innovate, they need to be aware of social cues and avoid those that are going to pick on them."The presence of bullies produces nerds? Creatures only become nerds to escape bullies, and if we eliminated bullies we would have a population with no innovation?  Oh noes.

2024 Election Specials: 1.The economy - YouTube

Johnathan Pie's election rant #1. There's no money left.


Bob Mortimer on Richard Herring's podcast, coz they're funny together. Bob is funny with anyone though really.

The Physics of Portals (Made With Love) - YouTube

Sabine describing the physics of portal. Which is to say made-up physics that isn't real. I have some water-pistols like her props, but nothing like that skin-suit.  👀

Pluralistic: Even if you think AI search could be good, it won’t be good (15 May 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Copy on AI 'search': "When you trust someone to summarize the truth for you, you become terribly vulnerable to their self-serving lies. In an ideal world, these intermediaries would be "fiduciaries," with a solemn (and legally binding) duty to put your interests ahead of their own...But Google is clear that its first duty is to its shareholders: not to publishers, not to searchers, not to "partners" or employees.....That's why, even if you're willing to believe that Google could make a great AI-based search, we can nevertheless be certain that they won't."

Israel’s Willing Executioners - The Chris Hedges Report

Chris Hedge's lament as Rafah is ordered to be evacuated: "Run, the Israelis demand, run for your lives. Run from Rafah the way you ran from Gaza City, the way you ran from Jabalia, the way you ran from Deir al-Balah, the way you ran from Beit Hanoun, the way you ran from Bani Suheila, the way you ran from Khan Yunis. Run or we will kill you. We will drop 2,000-pound bunker buster bombs on your tent encampments. We will spray you with bullets from our machine-gun-equipped drones. We will pound you with artillery and tank shells. We will shoot you down with snipers. We will decimate your tents, your refugee camps, your cities and towns, your homes, your schools, your hospitals and your water purification plants. We will rain death from the sky."

Lyn Alden: How Money & Banking Work (& why they're broken today) - YouTube

The 30 minute animated and illustrated abridged version of Lyn Alden's "Broken Money". I'm reading the book so slowly I'm barely half way through chapter two. Five minutes in here. Good summary of what's up with the money, though the suggested solution remains very unproven.

Why are your wages falling so fast? - YouTube

Gary does have a way of stating the problem simply, explaining how inequality has been breaking the country for decades as the rich capture all the wealth and the consequences of that.

Villains assemble: Tories forced to reveal links with election dark ops firms - Good Law Project

"To top it all off, the Tories have shared information about me with a rogues’ gallery of rightwing media companies, including the Sun, the Express, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and Guido Fawkes. We’ve long suspected close links between the Tories and their client journalists in the gutter press: this appears to confirm it. As the Tories gather an election unit to smear, misinform and muckrake, Good Law Project will be working to stop political parties illegally gathering data and targeting voters, particularly in key marginal seats, with bespoke misinformation."

A tentacle themed attire for the gig