* Posts by Jonathan McCulloch

38 posts • joined 2 Mar 2007

Porn doctor jailed for 33 years

Jonathan McCulloch

@Leon Prinsloo

Like most cops, ex and otherwise, you aren't very bright, Leon.

For a start, identical twins have identical DNA. Secondly, there is contamination. Thirdly, DNA matching is a statistical process. It can be wrong.

Besides, you lot already have ways of dealing with people: you just shoot them on public transport. Nice people.

-- Jon

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Lords demand DNA database deletions

Jonathan McCulloch
Boffin

@inachu

"If the criminal has been proven innocent then yes delete the innocents DNA all across the Govt DNA database where ever they may be."

You cannot prove innocence, since it's impossible to prove a negative ("prove you didn't commit the crime"). What's more, you don't have to: you are innocent until proven guilty.

What's more, criminals are what you get AFTER the trial (and a guilty verdict). Up until then, they're innocent. So, you don't prosecute criminals: you prosecute innocent people who then become criminals on conviction.

-- Jon

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Barack Obama will be president

Jonathan McCulloch

First to coin a phrase...

I hope I'm the first to describe Obama as a "president of colour".

On a serious note: amazing how the world has changed. When he was born, only honkies had the vote. At least some things have improved.

However, not much else will change. The style, maybe; but not the substance. When oh when will they have the "none of the above" vote?

-- Jon

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Dawkins' atheist ad campaign hits fundraising target

Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@HeHe

"Counter with religious propaganda for a religion who purpose is to proclaim that there is no religion? "

Atheism is not a religion.

Moreover, many atheists are atheists because they use their own powers of critical thinking. Religions, however, thrive on dogma, which is antithetical to critical thinking.

-- Jon

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Supersonic bizjets could have windowless flight decks

Jonathan McCulloch
Linux

"Insert disk 127 of 97"

I can't avoid in my mind's eye seeing the pilot staring at the Blue Screen of Death while the co-pilot feverishly searches through piles of dusty old 3 1/2 inch floppies...

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Police quiz BT on secret Phorm trials

Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

Goot love the bloodthirsty mob

"Its black and white. The law is not gray. If a crime has been committed. Some one should be prosecuted."

And other sentiments like "string 'em up" and "throw away the key".

First, they are innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law. Isn't this something people in this forum like to shout about when it suits them? You can't have it both ways.

Secondly, if they are proven guilty, what would be a suitable punishment? As a libertarian I find their intruding on people's privacy disgusting, but it's hardly something to lock (or "string") them up for, is it?

It's hardly on the same scale as murder, rape, assault, robbery, arson or other crimes. Not all crimes are equally serious and don't all deserve equal punishment.

Keep a sense of proportion, please.

-- Jon

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Actors paid to queue for Poland's iPhone launch

Jonathan McCulloch

@AC

"Well, it should be pretty clear to anyone who bothers to think about it that a product that is actually as good as it claims would not require "artificial means" to make it a success.

It's not artificial at all: it's exploiting one of the 6 fundamental modes of human persuasion: social proof. See Robert Cialidini's "Influence: the science of persuasion".

You can laugh at it all you want but it's a legitimate strategy for getting people to buy. It works. That's why marketers do it (cue the smug but ignorant outpourings by solipsistic nerds and geeks who claim they're never influenced by advertising or marketing).

Warmly,

Jon

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Google murders second Anonymous AdSense account

Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@AC

"At least the Abrahamic faiths are plausible "

Err.... no they are not. Any belief calling for unquestioning faith in a big inivisible friend in the sky and flying in the face of the observable body of evidence is implausible.

The Abrahamic faiths are just as dippy as Scientology.

-- Jon

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Ryanair cancels aggregator-booked tickets in escalating scraping war

Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@Wize

"At least Dick Turpin wore a mask so you could tell when you were being robbed."

You're not being robbed. If you book and fly with them, you do so consensually. If you don't, can't or won't read the website, then whose fault is it? At the point you put in your credit-card details, the final amounts are clearly shown.

Rather than pissing and moaning about it, don't fucking fly with them. Same goes for all of you.

The market decides.

-- Jon

P.S. I've booked using FireFox every single time I've used them (and printed out my boarding card).

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Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@Liuke

"Ryanair are a no frills airline and they don’t pretend to be anything else. You get what you pay for and with Ryanair you pay for everything; you could call it itemised billing. They have the right to offer a service at whatever price and on whatever terms they choose. We have the right to decline their offer."

At last, some bloody sense.

I love Ryanair. I fly with them often and can't fault them -- I get exactly what I pay for and they do exactly what it says on the tin.

-- Jon

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US judge says University can ignore Christian course credits

Jonathan McCulloch
Thumb Up

At last! Some sign of sanity

I was most pleased to read this. It's good to see even in the teeth of sweeping fundamentalism the courts can at least act rationally.

-- Jon

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HP Labs ponders grabbing attention in the age of social computing

Jonathan McCulloch
Paris Hilton

@P. Kelsay

"I was wondering this morning what sort of marketing brain came up with a billboard for a Honda SUV where the largest word on the sign was 'bloated'.."

Probably someone from a big agency droid with a big car, small cock and no clue. If you look into this, you'll see the incestuous procession of big companies doing the rounds of big agencies, impotently dumping their financial loads into the coffers of one before moving on to the next (hence Paris)

The ads produced in the process delight the bigwigs (because the agencies pander to their egos), win loads of awards... but rarely make much money.

Account execs suspect the truth but can never be sure because the ads can't be tracked and tested like they should be (one reason I NEVER work with big companies and don't even work with small ones where I'm not talking immediately with the owner or the guy who makes the decisions -- and I'm in that relationship as the EXPERT not the hired help. Several times before now I've given clients their money back in the middle of a project because they won't do as I tell 'em).

If you want to see some great advertising, look in the inflight magazines (Ryanair has some great ones in the stapled-in thing at the moment, and the one from Continental when I flew to North Carolina in May was outstanding).

Also, look at the classifieds in the Mail on Sunday. Some great small ads in their (they're good by definition because they're making money).

Sorry... you've got me started now.

-- Jon

P.S. I meant "And those $97 ebooks... well... all the others don't but I've discovered the insider SECRETS to an overnight Internet fortune... on AUTOPILOT!

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Jonathan McCulloch
Paris Hilton

@Mike

New and shiny: I'd be amazed if you didn't have some niche quirk you'll pay anything to indulge. Most of us has. Mine is books. I am the world's easiest person to sell a book to and I rarely care how much I pay.

Yet anyone trying to sell me, say, a home homeopathy kit won't have a chance (because it's bullshit).

My point here is anyone trying to sell anyone anything they're not predisposed to buying is wasting time and money. Unfortunately, most of the marketing you see (and hate) is trying to sell arbitrary shit to everyone. Try to be all things to all men, and you end up being nuffink to no one.

I bet a well-crafted ad for something akin to Douglas Adams's dark glasses which would prevent you seeing any advert anywhere would catch your attention, right?

Doing your background research is good, and you're wise to be sceptical of "official" channels -- which is why creating a good product is indeed good marketing. In my own business, the only marketing I do is delighting my clients and informing my target audience (with a newsletter and a monthly column in a local rag). That's it.

Then, because I do a great job, I get referred to others all the time.

And those $97 ebooks... well... all the others don't but I've discovered the insider to an overnight Internet fortune... on AUTOPILOT!

It's here: www.IfItSoundsTooGoodToBeTrueYouCanGuessTheRest.com

Interestingly I wrote an 80+page ebook myself pointing out why these ebooks don't work but seem to ("survivor fallacy", etc).

Paris because she's been about a bit and probably has more testimonials and referrals than I have.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch

@AC

"Although intrusive flash ads tend to have people reaching for noscript regardless..."

Yes. And I'm one of them. I do the same with pop-ups, too.

However, the irritating truth is pop-ups DO increase sign-up for things like newsletters and ezines. I have no idea how well Flash ads works, but if they don't work it's not the tech: it's the targeting.

Personally I don't use them because I'm not a fan of the "quick win" or indeed one of the Success Peddlers selling you a $97 ebook promising to give you the secrets to Life, the Universe and Everything so you can make a gazillion quid and retire to the Caribbean and sip pina-colada by the pool while some infeasibly large-breasted totty rubs her tits in your face.

Tangentially, it's interesting to see how a lot of these people are really suffering in the downturn because their businesses were built on throughput and turnover rather than relationship equity.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Boffin

@ MIke

I have people say this to me all the time, and I believe you and they are telling the truth as you see it. And you may well be right. For me to argue would be pointless because it's an unfalsifiable hypothesis and so invalid.

However, I'd be surprised if you or anyone else save a genuine psychopath is immune from all advertising and marketing. You'll see why in a moment.

But let's say you're right. It doesn't make any difference.

Here are some observations:

1. Most of the advertising you describe is shit. I'm not surprised it turns you off. It turns most people off -- and it doesn't work. A "good" ad is one making the advertiser money. The ads you see on the box and in the paper, etc. are usually put together by Brylcreemed BMW drivers with red braces and over-large expense accounts. They know very little about marketing at all.

2. You say you'd research the stuff you want to buy. Good. Thing is, Mike, good marketers provide just the information you're looking for. Good marketers rarely try and sell anyrthing. I don't, for example. I offer information and service and when people are ready to buy... I'm the guy they think of. A savvy firm selling computers will stop worrying about the event of selling computers and start concentrating on the process of building relationships with their ideal clients. I define marketing as anything anyone perceives about your business. In the case where Mike is doing research, marketing to Mike means providing quality information and making it easily and obviously available. It means serving Mike without expectation of making a sale, but rather of giving him the means to make his own mind up. Are you really telling me you'd be immune to this kind of "wow" treatment if a firm truly bent over backwards to make your research easy?

3. Advertising/marketing is a numbers game. A good mail to a responsive list will typically pull between 5% and 10% response. A cold list, maybe 1%. A really HOT list, 60%, 70% and more (my personal best is 56% on a £6,000 item). But this still means in the main 90% of people or more DON'T buy. People like you, Mike. But -- here's the thing -- we don't care about you. I'm not being rude here, just realistic. As a marketer, the only people whose opinions count are the ones giving me money. Why would I care about anyone not interested in what I have to sell?

As I said: most commentary about marketing on forums like this (and slashdot) is made by people who really don't know what they're talking about.

I don't mean that to be insulting, and I'm not directing it at you specifically. It's just the way things are.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

Web 2.0, making money and social immune systems

Chaps,

I suspect you have this all wrong. I'm a marketing fellow, albeit less conventional than most, and I know something about the subject.

First, Web 2.0: people are making money out of Web 2.0 and social websites, but it's much less obvious than the examples you're seeking, perhaps. There are reasons I think most of their business models suck the big one, but that's another story.

The reason most advertising on social network sites (probably) flops has nothing to do with the sites or the concept and everything to do with the fuckwits in charge of running the ads. Look in your local Yellow Pages and you'll see literally thousands of flopping ads (because they all look the same and talk in terms of services rather than what it does for the buyer).

A counter-example: the Snorg-Tee ads on FaceBook. Exceptionally well targeted and, I suspect, very effective.

Advertising and marketing as a virus. Maybe. Like Dawkins's memes, perhaps. But advertising and marketing is much maligned and usually by people who really don't know what they're talking about.

The substance of marketing is the same everywhere: emotional connection. Science has pretty much proven what we marketers have known empirically for a long time: we decide emotionally and justify after the fact with logic. It works the same in all industries.

People aren't so much resistant to the form of marketing as they are unseeing of the message because a winning formula is mercilessly copied and done to death. Do your research and you'll see the marketing doing best is nothing more than recycled strategies and techniques from 1937 or so. There IS nothing new, not really, and there are reasons for that.

Please don't pretend your IT businesses are any different, because they're not. To stroke the emotions of an IT geek is an easier job than you might think (I was one once). You might laugh and pretend superiority over Paris and her, um, "high society" foibles, but the same emotions are at work in YOU when you get all hard and sweaty over the 500TB drive with automatic scrotal-massage you can slip into your pocket.

Same emotions... different triggers is all.

The reason it's all the same is the emotional connection, and that's buried in the limbic system and we share it with all the mammals.

You can believe me or not, but I actually study this stuff (because it's my business) rather than assume a position of snobbish superiority.

-- Jon

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Inquirer celebrates spammer murder-suicide

Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@GROWLAW

"Only in the US will the lunatics argue that weapons make us safer"

No. I'm a Brit, now living in Ireland, and I think a society where citizens are armed, educated and trained in using weapons is safer. If you look at the stats fopr the places where gun control has been relaxed in the US and you'll see more people are being shot. Look a bit deeper and you'll see the people BEING shot are most often would-be perpetrators of crime.

If his wife had been armed, trained and educated, would he have been able to perpetrate this crime, I wonder? Maybe, maybe not.

But as it seems she wasn't, she didn't get the chance to prove otherwise.

Your fear of weapons is no reason to disarm the rest of us.

-- Jon

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Airbus A380-800: an airborne treat for gadget fans

Jonathan McCulloch

@kenBW2

"Well, beats impacting at 300mph and burning to death..."

I suspect if you impact at 300mph you're long dead before the flames get anywhere near you.

Puree comes to mind.

-- Jon

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BAA 'invented green superjumbo' to OK Heathrow plans

Jonathan McCulloch
Coat

@AC

"Actually, correct that, there are less tits in The Sport."

Actually, correct that: *fewer* tits in The Sport.

-- Jon

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YouTube rant missus hauled into court

Jonathan McCulloch
Paris Hilton

Unconsumated marriages

Is it just me or is there some arcane twist of law wot says if you haven't had sex (as she claims) the marriage is not consumated?

Paris because she's probably done lots of consumation without the marriage bit first.

-- Jon

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Malware not man blamed in child abuse download case

Jonathan McCulloch
Flame

@nematodirus

"I wish them both well. And his friends who assumed the worst of him ? Better off without them."

Amen to that.

Some 4 or 5 years ago one of my friends was caught up in Operation Ore and not many people stood by him (I'm pleased to say I was one of them. When he told me he'd been charged, I asked him if he was guilty, he said "NO!",and that was good enough for me).

Then some 18 months after his initial arrrest, after telling him it would be "easier" for him to admit it, Plod and the CPS waltz into court to plead "no evidence". Plod, the CPS, and Yea the givernment are not your friend and they're not here to help.

This guy's runs his own business -- but almost lost everything after regularly seeing his name in the local rag with all the accusations. He's STILL recovering from it.

Mr Riot -- I really hope nothing like that happens to you.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Pirate

@RickyTheRiot

"All I am saying is I would like to see that evidence for myself before believing it was a virus targeting this person specifically."

Who mentioned it being targeted at him specifically?

The law is quite specific (and sometimes this is actually the way it pans out): you're innocent until found guilty beyond *reasonable doubt*. The presence of the malware was confirmed by at least two computer forensics experts (copy implies it was possibly three) *including* those hired by the prosecution, and they all concluded the same.

That's about as far beyond mere "reasonable doubt" as you can get.

-- Jon

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Son of 419 victim contacts El Reg

Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@Spleen

You said "That 419s, unlike gambling and self-help books, are not merely a tax on the greedy and stupid. Numerous people have been killed by 419 scammers. Financial losses you can at least recover from, death you can't."

You reckon "self-help" can't be fatal? I'll raise you one "alternative medicine" and a "faith healer", and throw in a homeopath for good measure.

People have died earlier than they needed to because they have gone for quack remedies in self-help books. Not every self-help book, guru, programme and seminar is some fairly harmless wanker like the idiots who came out with The Secret.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Paris Hilton

You can't cheat an honest man

There's a lot to be said for this maxim. I'm in marketing (spare me the vitriol, please), and I'm heartily sick of the "Success Peddlers" and their wares. You know the stuff I mean -- buy this $97 downloadable ebook and you can make millions practically overnight, live in some exotic location in a mansion, drive fast cars and have pina-colada served to you poolside by even faster women who have improbably large breasts and flexible legs, to boot.

What's the difference?

Nada.

In both cases you've got someone wanting to make something for nothing.

What they're both selling is hope -- and it's hope sold by appealing to greed.

Paris? Because she lives the lifestyle the Success Peddlers promise.

-- Jon

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Big Climate's strange 'science'

Jonathan McCulloch
Coat

Climate change is a myth

Climate change is a big money-spinner for the vested interests... and it's balls.

All the evidence is against global warming - not least because I ran out of heating oil in January and the house got really cold before the man arrived with the tanker.

-- Jon

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Dallas man accidentally shoots self in head

Jonathan McCulloch
Happy

Corollary to Paul F;s comment

I rather like the maxim, "there is NO such thing as an unloaded gun"

-- Jon

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UK gov sets rules for hacker tool ban

Jonathan McCulloch
Coat

@supermeerkat

One presumes "facist" is someone who discriminates against those with faces.

-- Jon

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Brit workers: The Xmas skive starts today

Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

You all have my sympathy

I work for myself so if my boss gives a shit if i come in late or not at all, then I have only myself to blame.

I work when and only if I want to. My "commute" is down the stairs and a sharp left into my office. I don't answer my phone except by appointment -- if my bloody clients want me urgently, they can fax me and wait for a response.

I step out of my back door, walk up the lane, and look across the rolling green fields of West Cork fading down towards the sea.

Best of all... I love my work so much it's not even like work (and if it was, I'd do something else).

Life does NOT get better than this.

Happy Christmas, everyone.

-- Jon

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Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's

Jonathan McCulloch
Alert

@Danni

Thank you, Danni. My own thoughts are it would be rather more useful to leave nice comments than nasty ones, although I don't recall anyone saying anything nasty about Terry or his disease.

In any case, with the proviso this is the Reg's private property, I'm most definitely in Voltaire's camp: "Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

About "[I] need to stop thinking logically about this, and start thinking humanely and emotionally".

Um. No. I'll pass on that, thank you. First, thinking "humanely" is not mutually exclusive with thinking logically. In fact, there are times when I reckon thinking logically is more likely to lead to a humane result: for example in deciding to end the life of a much-loved pet which is suffering. In my experience, "emotionally thinking" people tend to keep it alive (and suffering) longer because of their own selfish emotional attachment.

Secondly, I'd take the Objectivist line on this and say "emotional thinking" isn't really "thinking" at all. It's "feeling"; and while "feeling" is certainly pleasant at times and reminds us we're human, allowing it to control your actions is by definition irrational.

Logical thinking has brought us science and modern technology and all that goes with it. Mathematics, hygiene, computers, aeroplanes, modern medicine, the very monitor you're reading this on.

On the other hand, emotional thinking tends to lead to book burnings, people-burnings, murder, rape, crusades against homosexuals, ethnic minorities, and historians who wish to utter words some people don't want to hear, lynchings, all manner of strange religions, and, the to my mind peculiar, woman who "KNOWS" she is the reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti and is having endless plastic surgery to "prove" it.

Thanks for your concern, although I really do not have any desire or need for "emotional thinking" in my life. Feelings are great and I do have them, you know; I just don't base important decisions on them.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@Mark

Errr... what? Can you write that again in English?

I have never said anything about Pratchett's books. Not once. Nor have I said anything about not liking "it" if it was me or my family (and I'm not even sure what the "it" is here. If "it" is Alzheimer's, then you're damned right I wouldn't like it, but I also wouldn't give two hoots what people said about it, either). So I'm not quite sure what nerve you think you've hit, Mark, but whatever keeps you happy, mate. Personally, I get the feeling you make this shit up.

See, if you actually *read* what I did write, you'll realise what I'm doing is a. being objective and b. tangentially defending free speech (OK, it's not strictly "free" because the good people at the Reg own the site and ultimately they have the final say what goes up here, and that's entirely right and proper).

As for Terry and his friends reading this and not liking it: so what? That's unfortunate, but neither I nor anyone else can help that since we're all responsible for our own feelings. More to the point, freedom of speech is about defending the right of people to say the unpleasant and unsavoury things, not the nice ones. I've not once bashed Terry here. Nowhere. Not him, not his books. Not a thing. Nor have I made light of his situation.

Yet, even those who have: it's not mutually exclusive to wish to express one's sorrow and regret at Pratchett's situation yet also to say you think his books are illiterate bilge. If you thought his books were crap last Saturday it's not the case his statement revealing his Alzheimer's suddenly changes your opinion as if by magic.

If you're really suggesting you can't post anything here unless you're both saying how awful it is and how brilliant his books are you're potentially depriving Terry of some considerable emotional support for his plight (because of all the people who might want to say "Gee, Terry, I didn't like your books much, although I feel for you and your family and I wish you the very best in the difficult times ahead").

Anyone who'd want to stop people posting those sentiments -- and I'm not saying you do, necessarily -- must actually be Satan made flesh. Watch when they step out of the shower: they'll be steaming AND leaving hoof-prints.

Probably.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@Mark (twice).

1. I never said I didn't like his books. If you can show otherwise, I'll pay £1000 to a charity of your choice.

2. I never "took him down a peg". If you can show otherwise, I'll pay another £1000 to a charity of your choice. Whoever it was up above had it right when he said most of the comments here are selfishly couched in terms of "oh my... what am I going to read NOW?!".

3. Terry Pratchett is not your mother. If you can show otherwise, I'll pay £1000,000 to a charity of your choice, and dig out both my kidneys with a rusty spoon and post the video on YouTube. Plus I'll re-enact those 2GirlsOneCup things with my dog.

4. My mother is dead. We've already had her funeral, so you're a bit late.

5. Your posts are subjective and emotional. Mine are rather more objective. Nothing "makes" it sad for you, and nothing "makes" you unhappy. You're a big boy. Take a bit of responsibility for yourself and your feelings, there's a good chap. You sound like a girl. Or a leftie.

6. How would his choice of sexual partner give us "more leeway" to insult his books than the manner of his dying? More to the point, I think I missed the bit where you were voted Grand Poobah and we had to get your permission and seek "leeway" to express our opinions.

7. Who said I've ever uttered the words ""you'll be sadly missed"? You know absolutely nothing about how I feel or think about my death or anyone else's. You're projecting your own feelings onto others and inventing all sorts of complex-equivalences. Are you sure you're not a girl or a leftie?

Pratchett having Alzheimer's is a shit and really isn't fair. Then, it's not "fair" my son has cerebral palsy. It's not "fair" I'm, 42 years old and 5'5'' instead of 22, 6''2' and helpless sex-slave to a rich, 16-year-old bisexual pneumatic-blonde nymphomaniac Danish supermodel.

It's not "fair" it's not Fair it's not FAIR!

But that's the way the universe works. We can play only the hand we're dealt, Mark. And, Pratchett getting Alzheimer's is objectively no better and no worse than anyone else getting it. Subjectively, for whoever gets it, it's no party.

And let's face it: they're the ones who really count in all this. I'm fairly confident the people actually going through it as sufferers and carers really get the shitty end of the stick. I only ever met one person who was looking forward to dying, and she was a nun. With exquisite irony, she recovered from her near-fatal illness and is still alive and really pissed off about it.

So in the midst of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth on here and the self-pitying, just stop and think who this really affects: Pratchett himself and his family. They're the embuggered one here, and kudos to him for taking it as well as he seems to have.

I'm not sure I would have such fortitude.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Pirate

@Danny

"Common decency would say that this comment page should be left to those who wish him well."

Wishing him well has nothing to do with saying good -- or bad -- things about his books. Terry getting Alzheimer's is no more or less awful than it is for anyone else whose kind and decent (and if you think it's somehow worse because he's intelligent, then that says more about you than you perhaps would like to reveal).

I wish him well. Why would I not?

I might be a tit, but I'm my own tit.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Stop

@Danny

"This is for people who want to wish him well and thank him for the entertainment he has provided them over the years."

No, this is a place for making *comments*. That you don't approve of some of them is neither here nor there.

Just for the record, I have no opinions about anyone's comments, including my own. Not even this one.

-- Jon

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Jonathan McCulloch
Pirate

life is like a gorilla’s left hand...

>why does this always happen to the talented people who are genuinely nice?

It doesn't. We just tend to hear about it more when it's someone famous than we do when it's some anonymous street-sweeper from Nottingham.

Yet it’s a typically human trait to feel the tragedy of talent struck down in its prime is somehow worse than the tragedy striking the ordinary man or woman. Somehow we feel it’s worse if someone born disabled is also born beautiful. We feel more comfortable if they’re ugly. It fits our image of how things “should” be so much more closely.

But to the individual concerned it's no worse. Anyone with Alzheimer's is in for a rough time of things, and from their individual perspective it's probably no different if they're Terry Pratchett or the abovementioned anonymous street-sweeper from Nottingham.

Life is like a gorilla’s left hand: it’s neither fair nor right. Shit happens. Not a lot we can do about it save take it philosophically. As Pratchett himself puts it, “I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else”; more often than not, we don’t know when this is going to be and there’s bugger all we can do about it.

An “embuggerance” indeed.

Since there’s nothing we can do about the ultimate destination, the only choice we have is how we make the journey.

What I really want to know is who nabbed embuggerance.com yesterday.

-- Jon

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Police want DNA collection superpowers

Jonathan McCulloch

This Is Why I Moved To Ireland

I've been warning Britain was turning into a police state for over 20 years.

Eventually, I'd had enough... and just over a week ago, I moved to the ROI.

Funny thing is, no one ever wonders WHY!

-- Jon

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Cat senses impending death

Jonathan McCulloch

Cause and Effect

What they also appear to have missed is the self-fulfilling prophesy.

People can attribute cause and effect where there is none, maybe owing to a couple of coincidences, and then when the cat then goes to sit near a wrinkly, the wrinkly believes his or her time is up, and duly obliges, thus strengthening the myth.

Jon

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Paris Hilton dereassigned back to jail

Jonathan McCulloch

It begs the question? I think not.

heystoopid wrote:

"This begs the question , when is she to be sent off to rehab,

to join her former party animal mate Nicole Ritchie?"

No, it doesn't beg the question at all. It merely *raises* it.

When you "beg the question", you assume the answer, which then begs the question that would elicit that answer.

--

Jon

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Wanted: social workers (Klansmen preferred)

Jonathan McCulloch

Beautiful...

As a copywriter myself, I find this fuckup a thing of great beauty...

-- Jon

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