18 posts • joined Wednesday 5th March 2008 11:26 GMT
magic nonsense ( a rebuttal)
Magic and religion are not the same thing. They have related elements of ritualisation.
Unicorns and other fabulous beasts have very little discussion in any modern day discussion of magic. Although it seems more and more likely that even the most fantastic creations of man may have had a precedent in reality (witness Lakshmi the Indian girl).
As Arthur C Clarke said, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. JG Frazer in the Golden Bough describes science as next of kin to magic. Those who cling to the utter and blinkered belief in science may like to consider the idea of Solomon the wise, of Roger Bacon and Isaac Newton, all as famed for their science as their magic. The circulation of the blood was 'discovered' not 400 years ago. In the nineteenth century, the discoveries of Darwin, and the curious 'fossils' which began turning up in railway sidings prompted scientists to ponder the idea that if God did make us, he probably didn't do it quite as it says in the first Genesis creation tale. We are getting up to speed, but as someone said, you are shining a light in the darkness and not everything is known yet.
As for so-called ley-lines, it seems almost certain that they are based on some kind of electro-magnetism. It also seems obvious that humans (and probably all life) are sensitive to electro magnetism. Whilst some claim (and I wouldn't like to disagree with them) that they are affected by Wi-Fi, most people are probably not - we are as used to it as we are to refined sugar or estrogen in the water supply. Some people are affected strongly by things which other people never even notice.
Those who actually have any scientific interest in the possibilities of what is currently called 'magic' (which includes, by all accounts, the US and UK militaries, who are not fools enough to lose wars for neglecting to explore possibilities) read with interest of unexplained facts and events, correlations between the various anecdotal evidence which has been amassed. Those people are not looking to 'disprove' science, only to stop being so bloody pig-headed about what is 'possible' and what is 'impossible', what merits scientific thought and what is dismissed summarily, out of hand, just because it seems wacky to a bunch of nerds.
the name says it all
Magic Alex, eh? George Martin described him as a provider of gadgets to the always novelty hungry Lennon, and the remaining Beatles describe on the Anthology the vast problems that they had with his designs.
The idea that this guy is bringing a defamation suit in the UK against the NYT is simply ludicrous - maybe the judge just has ants in his pantz cos the NYT c**ps all over UK equivalents.
When someone is a notable nommer in the existing public record, how rude does one have to be before they are taken to court for 'telling the truth' or, at the very least, providing an expurgated opinion?
a screenshot is required
"Two interesting features of this new law arise in respect of potential defences. The first is where the material in question is a BBFC classified film, that should be an absolute defence. However, if you extract images or sequences from that film, your defence may fall."
Damn, there goes our collection of screenshots from movies - most 'extreme' porn is so dreadfuly dull (like the Satanic Sluts image from a previous report) or looks like the person is not actually enjoying themselves (like the slightly weird performance artists who stick skewers through their own tits and stuff). At least movie depictions of gore have acting and budget.
I gotta be honest with you, there's some pretty revolting stuff out there, even if it is consensual, but I'm not worried about people viewing it and getting hard, I'm worried about them. I know a lot of fetish performers and it seems like a majority of them have some form of dysmorphia. No real effort seems to have been put into the discussion of this as a psychological problem.
Saying that, I also choose to be pierced and tattooed and 'live an alternative lifestyle' (as it were), so any help which would be offered to those who I perceive as being a bit fucked up better be voluntary, non-aggressive, compassionate and generally right on the money, since they might get round to applying it to me, too. Judging by the standards of current medical and psychological practice, we maybe better skip that idea just now.
This idea of banning books and publications is so seventeenth century. I'm sick of this new Puritanism making me feel uneasy about my personal security. Someone on here yesterday commented that David Walliams said 'shag' on the radio and there was an apology - is sex that filthy, dirty and disgusting that you can never mention it at all? Anyone who talks in any non scientific way about 'sexual intercourse' is a weirdo. 'Darling, would you like to have intercourse?' It's just such utter bullshit, like the Daily Mail calling a reefer a 'marijuana 'spliff' '. The concurrent acceptance of massive levels of violence in mainstream culture merely underlines this hypocrisy.
As a collector of erotica, I have at least one item which is illegal in my house. As a matter of fact, I find it distasteful, but since it was acquired on a trip to Japan, where the particular 'kink' is particularly accepted, and it is in a manga that I got from a vending machine for 250 yen, I consider it simply a souvenir of my trip and it is placed with my other books on erotic art and sexuality.
Anyone interested in this sort of thing should very much look at the work of Gershon Legman, a librarian with an interest in erotica and its suppression who introduced origami to the West.
Also, it is very interesting to note that the Victorian values which strove to remove the overtly sexual from art meant that the buxom naked women who adorned the walls were replaced with whimsical images of naked children, often in sexual poses. Who knows, if the social and moral values of the time had not precluded Mr Charles Dodgson from taking pictures of healthy young matrons, would Alice in Wonderland have been written by a noted paedophile?
Censorship and prohibition are not good things, and they demonstrably don't work. But as Aldous Huxley said, the most important lesson we can learn from history is the inability of humans to learn lessons from history.
Lost Data Discs
"Despite a £20, 000 reward for the child benefit discs and a 47-officer strong police investigation they were never found."
Personally, I doubt they ever existed. Two discs gone missing between one department and another? Sounds like a classic case of the old 'No, of course I didn't forget to send them! What? Do you mean to say they never showed up?'
All it takes is for it to be reported to an unusually conscientious person with any idea of the actual magnitude of this kind of loss, and what was previously a fib to get you out of a tight spot is now a major news story and police investigation.
On the positive side, this (as I believe) fake data loss story did seem to prompt other government departments to start 'fessing up to their own losses, which as we've seen are substantial.
I'd let fly about the way that the BBC have been manipulated by the Daily **** and let down their actual listenership, except, as Sir Terry Wogan said 'Why don't you all keep your gratuitous opinions to yourselves?'
If only Adam and Joe, and Chris Evans, and Danny Baker, and Terry Wogan, and Nicholas Parsons didn't work for the BBC, I'd gladly stop listening to their compromised schedule.
Adrian Edmondson (another of their staff members) wrote a very sensible article in the Independent.
Grrrr, I say.
Yo, AC (if indeed that is your real name)
"It is inevitable that some user somewhere will ill-advisedly "test the security of the system" by trying to look up a celeb's kid's details. The user's attempt will be audited, flagged-up and they will be spoken to by a supervisor. It's better that they fail and be warned/disciplined rather than succeed and be warned/disciplined."
Mmmm. Cos, as you say, it's inevitable that people would try and abuse the system. Ill advisedly of course. And you'd prefer that they couldn't get totally fatuous data about the unknown children of B list celebrities and 'politicians'. What about when these users of the database, who you admit will not be responsible with the information they can access do other things - such as look up a neighbour's child (she's thin, she's got leathery skin, she's a crack ho, she eats babies)?
Where are the Great British public when you need them? Where are the media sources and spokespeople who are willing to make a stand and be counted? Where is the Geek in the Government who can explain data systems to the computer-illiterate fools in charge, honestly, fairly without prejudice or the need to come across like Mr Magic Pants who can solve all your problems with a 'secure database' or f**kin' uploading cr***y f**kin' videos of politicians that no one could give a flying t**s about to Yout**e so we can all congratulate ourselves on how twentieth f**kin' century we are?
i won't make any jokes about special school...
"With great power (say, a weapons grade 100 kilowatt blaster cannon) comes great responsibility (a 32-page safety manual)."
I love that movie so much, and no one has ever heard of it.
"Think of the pussy, Weevil!"
venus and mars
Yo, well done david wilson.
"Of course, that does lead on to pondering whether the problem all along wasn't actually that men were in control, but that the system resulted in a particular kind of person succeeding, and that just as with women, the men who succeed aren't necessarily representative of men in general."
Ofcom Consultation Process
Find all the correct details here.
There's a somewhat hasty form letter response I made here
Also, why not write to your friendly MP about it?
As always full details are at http://www.writetothem.com/
damn this title nonsense
Reply received from Webwise website exclusion email (very promptly I must say):
Thank you for your submission to the Phorm website exclusion list. If there are no obvious grounds to doubt the legitimacy of the request the URL will be blocked as soon as possible, usually within 48 hours.
To ensure that this request is from the legitimate owner of the domain Phorm will contact the domain administrator by email for confirmation of this request. If the request is not confirmed within 10 days the url will be removed from the exclusion list and an email will be sent informing you of this decision.
Please ensure that you Administrative Contact details for this domain are up to date.If you need to update them please resubmit your request when the amended details are visible in the WhoIs database - (use a public whois service such as http://who.godaddy.com/whoischeck.aspx if you are unsure it has been updated)
Weirdly, this coincided with a whole flurry of visits to a pretty strange website which normally gets no visitors from the following:
Moscow, Moscow City, Russian Federation
Hosting Telesystems Network (22.214.171.124)
Phorm Ipv4 Assignment (126.96.36.199)
Phorm Ipv4 Assignment (188.8.131.52)
Optimum Online (cablevision Systems) (184.108.40.206)
Verizon Internet Services (220.127.116.11)
British Telecommunications (18.104.22.168)
Thought it may be of interest.
@ meh (AC)
Well said, old bean.
There's some interesting Aldous Huxley stuff on anti-snobbery in the early 20th century, the idea that universal education of a mediocre standard produced generations of people who, having awareness of cultural ideals but not knowledge and understanding of them, became mocking of these existing precepts and thus became 'anti-snobs'.
I also read an interesting book recently, or an interesting couple of chapters in quite a dull book, about Outlaws and Highwaymen, which detailed the British obsession with robbers and thieves (Robin Hood, Dick Turpin etc). It made it very clear through numerous quotations and references that there has always been an unusual fascination with the rebel and the outlaw in Britain which is not mirrored in other similar cultures or even dissimilar ones. We have always had an idea in this country for example that it is better to steal than to beg, where other peoples might believe that it is better to die than to steal.
The point about after school clubs etc is salient. I believe there are a few problems with our attitude to this. First, teachers rebel whenever they are told to do anything more, perhaps because they have too much paperwork to do now. Both of my parents were teachers before this current age of bureaucracy, and they were able to work spontaneously and take the pupils on local history walks and many other activities. Now an event like this takes months of planning and clearances. Recently, the government reminded schools of the need to teach citizenship provoking an uproar from the teachers. But these teachers are the same people who say that the parents are pointless, and so where do they expect the children to acquire these principles from?
I am particularly annoyed with the parents who move house to gain better catchment areas for their children, rather than committing to their local community. Parents too can get involved in children's education, and so can businesses, although I know that the idea is abhorrent to many.
There is a scheme in London, something to do with Breakin' Convention, which encourages street arts - graffiti, hip hop, breakdancing etc, which I think is the right way to do things. Kids have a whole load of passion and energy to bring to things if they are interested in them. Another good example would be programming/gaming. Schools should get great computing guys to inspire kids about what is going on in technology, instead they provide kids with teachers that generally know less than they do, and IT is dealt with as a kind of business studies.
nothing new under the sun
Some years ago, when my sister was involved in writing multimedia content and used to travel with CDRs, the customs at Dover would routinely confiscate her CDs on the grounds that they *must* be illegal material, since they had never seen so many cds legitimately. On one occasion, when carrying some discs with programming elements that could not be immediately opened by the fools that were employed there, with a conference to attend, she was nearly arrested for so-called piracy (and presumably her haste to try and catch the ferry she was booked on).
We can all learn a lesson from another friend, who had tax fraud charges against him eventually dropped, since all the files were on a (current) archimedes, a system which had the very 'best' men in the country stumped as to how to even boot the machine. Needless to say, he did not cooperate with their demands - 'How do I turn it on?' they asked and he laughed.
Using nonstandard OSs poses a serious problem for the plod.
Last time I visited their website, looking for guidance on what to do about a cat we suspected was in trouble, I was thrilled to see that item 3 on their 3 item FAQ was 'Bonsaikitten.com'. Responding to many concerned Daily Mail readers, the charity saw fit to explain that bonsaikitten.com was in fact a joke, albeit in extremely poor taste, and since the perps weren't actually perping anything, there was, they regretted, absolutely nothing they could do about it. Nommers.
writing to representatives
I contacted my MSP and MP about this, and received nice responses. By far the most charming came from the Earl of Northesk, who wrote to thank me for taking an interest in his work and his dedication to the rights for individuals as opposed to corporate gain.
Made me smile.
90 second porn chunks
We love 90 second porn excerpts in my house. Download all the free samplers from pay-sites, load 'em into a playlist, sit back, relax and enjoy.
Fast-moving, no plot, and without any of the boring bits. Try it, you might just like it...
AFAIR, there is no requirement for a TV license to use the BBC iplayer service, since the license only refers to broadcasts (and use of broadcast reception equipment) and not to watching tv as 'catch-ups'. Shady recollection of a BBC boffin telling us that since the proportion of people who have a 'net connection and no TV license is so small, there is no need to chase that demographic at the present time. This may undoubtedly change...
One for the Ladies
@Andy - who are you calling a pasty faced doughgirl?
I should prob'ly admit to not owning a PS3 just yet, but I got the rest of that s**t, man.*
*cos it's not cool to list your possessions, even to prove how cool you are. ;)
Paris, because ladies like to play.
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