December 14th, 2011



The engineer is coming between 8 and 12, but is thankfully phoning to give half-an-hours notice, so the daily routine of Family Guy and tea could continue.

Of course, the boiler has decided not to lose pressure overnight for the first time in a week (the pressure actually went _up_ which makes me think something else weird is going on). But hopefully it can be fixed easily enough.

Tonight I'm off to see Hugo momentsmusicaux. I'm fascinated to see what Martin Scorcese has done with 3D, and the reviews have been glowing, so I'm feeling pretty confident about it.

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Interesting Links for 14-12-2011


Reaping what you sow, EU edition

There's a thing that political theorists refer to as "The Overton Window" - the range of acceptable opinions in the whole set of possible opinions. Politicians mostly propose opinions within that window, because they want to be re-elected, but by talking ideas further towards their side of it they can either widen the window or shift it in their direction.

And this is a problem that's happened to the left all over the place - they've allowed the window to be dragged in a rightwards direction through being afraid of a media that's largely owned by right-wing billionaires. It's taken things like the Occupy movement to get people talking about more left-wing ideas, and move that window a few millimetres leftwards.

And in a similar vein I blame Labour for the current situation where vetoing our way towards the exit door of Europe has actually improved the popularity of the Conservatives. Because when one side makes it a popular selling point that "Europe is bad for Britain, with their silly regulations and impositions." you have two choices - you can either come out and say that Europe is actively good for us (and then sell that with positive stories), or you can say "Yes, we agree that Europe has all sorts of negatives, but we're fighting to make it suck a little less." - and by going with the latter they yielded control of the conversation to the Conservatives. You're saying that basically they're right, but you aren't willing to do what's necessary to stick up for yourselves.*

Part of the problem being that it's been very handy for the UK to sign up for things and then blame the EU for forcing us to do the very things we agreed to. It allows politicians to do the right, but unpopular, thing while avoiding responsibility for it in the eyes of the public. But there's only so long you can play that game before you alienate everyone, which is the situation we're now finding ourselves in.

What I'd like to see is a cogent case put forward _for_ our membership of the EU. The kind of thing which a referendum would force people into. but I doubt I'm going to get that.

*It's been a pattern for New Labour - to avoid fighting the tabloid newpapers by standing up for things that they believe in (like, for instance the welfare system, where they joined in the bashing of "the workshy", while effectively doing covert good work on the side).

A collection of pretty things #4999

TimeScapes 4K from Tom Lowe on Vimeo.

I can't remember who I got this from, but crank it up to full-screen and the highest resolution and prepare to say "Oooooh" a lot.

A cube made of gears:

Courtesy of BoingBoing

My favourite response to Rick Perry's video:

via d_c_m

I'm off to see the very-pretty-looking Hugo in an hour. Rather looking forward to it, particularly after recommendations from heyokish and poisonduk.

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livejournal blackout

It's been 10 years...

Today is the 10 year anniversary of me creating my livejournal, after broin told me how awesome this new "Live Journal" thing was. You needed an invite to get in then, and I paid for a month's membership in order to bypass that. 10 years on, I'm still paying for my account, and very happy to do so.

It's also my 10,000th post. Which is a mindboggling number to me. Admittedly, a chunk of those were automated, but I've only been doing that since 26th September 2008, so it would be 8,800 posts even without that, which is 2.4 posts per day. For ten fucking years. Wow.

I've met a lot of interesting people through LJ, kept in touch with a few people that I might not have otherwise managed to, read a huuuuuge amount of awesome things, engaged in far too many arguments, and documented far too many things that would ridiculously embarass me.

I am still happy to be here, even if LJ is no more reliable now than it was back then, and still seems to be run by idiots far too much of the time. I won't be leaving until the last person on my flist stops posting here. You're a great bunch, and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and your awesome comments.

Will I be here in 10 more years? I guess that's up to LJ, and you lot. I'll definitely be posting somewhere, and I hope to see you all there!

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