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1 + 2 is 75 in Lucy land

It may seem like I am singling out Labour women; not so. I don’t listen to much politics these days, but I happened to see Lucy Powell being killed by Brillo on the internet.
He starts asking her about the deficit and she starts mouthing the line to take, tax rises for the rich, spending cuts and an increased tax base because zero hour contracts will be abolished. In Lucy-world this accounts for £75B.

Brillo asked deeper questions “What tax rises?” “We will reverse tory tax cuts for millionaires by increasing the top rate for people on over £150,000” (Apparently if you gross £150K and net about a hundred, you are automatically a millionaire – in some way). How much will that raise Brillo wondered, Lucy didn’t have the figures. Brillo unhelpfully did. Between zero and £2B. What else he wondered. “Well we’ve identified spending cuts; we’ll freeze ministerial salaries and stuff. Another billion, tops.

Brillo was unimpressed, Lucy looked flustered. “We will increase the tax base by abolishing zero hour contracts” It did not seem to occur to Lucy that this could actually kill some jobs and if you take more from the employer, he’ll pay less tax. Brillo said this would affect about 300,000 people and the IFS reckoned the accounted for £2-3B. “What about the other £72B is you want to tackle the deficit?” he wondered.

She got stroppy (sic). I invite you to watch the video if you can stand it on Guido.
With the fastest growing economy in Europe, it’s a curiously modest ambition to want to borrow a bit less. So even if these Neverland figures added up (and they don’t by a country mile), the best they aspire to do, is to put your kids in still more debt, a bit slower? Desperate, clueless stuff.

The Case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra – for which the World is not ready…

Yes it is one of the tantalizing cases Dr John Watson alludes to.

The World may still not be ready for that but from Norway we have probably the strangest crime of the century. Yup, the beard hair-piece of Norway.

Man faces jail after gluing his beard to someone else’s head to create a toupée

Not only am I a bit vague as precisely what law was violated here, neither it would appear is the Norwegian prosecutor. There seems no real hint this was an assault. It is was, I’d guess, drunken idiocy between two idiots. And if that was it then the very naming and shaming of this bizarre merkin-making duo is punishment enough. More to the point if getting pissed and doing something stupid was against the law then half the population would be in The Clink. I’d be picking oakem in Strangeways – the most awesomely terrifying building I know although they now call it HMP Manchester. Still Strangeways. There are worse prisons in England such as the dungeon at Wakefield where they keep a bloke who killed two fellow inmates and attempted to eat the second one’s brain with a spoon in much the same manner a normal person would eat a boiled egg. Anyway he is in a plexiglass cage in the manner of Hannibal Lecter. Forever.

My point being there is a difference. Now I think Norway has a much more “liberal” criminal justice system than the UK so why jail this fairly harmless nutter? Especially when nobody can really figure out exactly what law he transgressed.

I think we have too many laws anyway. Why do many countries make FGM specifically illegal and then do nowt about it? It would appear to me to be a fairly covered by GBH if not attempted murder.

But what law is someone who glues their beard to another fellow’s bonce breaking.

Now on the other side of the World we have more idiocy. In Xinjiang, China they have jailed a bloke for 6 years for growing a beard. Apparently the Chinese authorities are promising cash to those who ‘fess up on their neighbours for this heinous sin.

The planet is insane and if it is insane in a little long-standing liberal and democratic country and a massive authoritarian state half a World away then this is more viral than 1D losing Zayn. This a global pandemic of idiocy.

Jail folk for murder, rape, theft and such but what one chooses to do with one’s facial hair is hardly a matter for the courts and anyone who thinks it is is insane, evil or both.

I mean for God’s sake shouldn’t a prosecutor in a C21st European State have bigger fish to fry than an improvised beard rug? And Satan alone knows what the Chinese are playing at.

Obama’s lack of thought for the day

The man who depicted himself as a transcendent figure on history’s stage, who described his foreign policy vision at the Temple of Hercules has been out-thought, out-generaled and completely outclassed by men with far fewer resources, but a great deal more ability than himself.

We now know what the early stages of a post American world looks like.

Wars and land grabs in Europe, the collapse of the Middle East and a militarisation of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, alliances between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and , um, Israel – that is a good outcome, at least.

Chinese dominance over SE Asia, confrontation between China and Japan, Chinese control over the core sea trade routes as it enfolds the South China Sea into its arms.

Is Russia arming Argentina as a means of directing British attention away from Eastern Europe? If Britain is drawn into an Eastern European conflict is there an agreement that Argentina will act? Or at least rattle some sabres?

All Australia’s, and Europe’s, trade with Japan goes through waters claimed by half a dozen separate countries, one of them China, and that China is now starting to militarise.

We are disarmed, we are broke, and the big boy on the block has picked up his ball and gone home.

We are still, nonetheless, the ugliest and toughest hombres left out there, if only we start remembering that truth.

We can protect ourselves, and our interests, but only if we can be bothered.

I suspect that when it comes to national interest and foreign policy the next generation of European leaders will look more like their 19thC forbears than their 21stC fathers. If they don’t, we got problems.

Why the BBC is both right and wrong

Hall and Jezza

“For me a line has been crossed. There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations.”

However, he added: “This decision should in no way detract from the extraordinary contribution that Jeremy Clarkson has made to the BBC. I have always personally been a great fan of his work and Top Gear.”

Jeremy Clarkson dropped from Top Gear, BBC confirms

As I may have mentioned previously, while I find some BBC content to be very good (mainly history and science not contaminated with Warble Gloaming), I find the vast majority of BBC output tainted by left-wing bias and in some areas propaganda. This is the consequences of having 1930′s style state broadcasting in the 21st century.

That having been said, the BBC’s Director General Tony Hall was quite right to sack an employee when said employee has been given numerous warnings about unacceptable behaviour and then launches a drunken, verbal and physical assault on another employee.

If you take their money, you also take their rules – don’t like it? you’re always free to quit.

Many have argued that Jeremy Clarkson is the core talent of Top Gear and brings in millions in global revenues to the BBC and all of that is true, but notwithstanding. If he had been a Sky presenter, Rupert Murdoch would have fired him too.

But this is where the public and private sector diverge, because Rupert Murdoch would have sacked Clarkson, using pretty much the same rationale as Hall or any decent CEO, but then licensed Top Gear to an independent production company while retaining editorial control. Net result, Top Gear would still be on TV, millions would still be happy and revenues would still be earned.

However, the BBC can’t easily do that and as a consequence the Top Gear brand and the massive global revenue that it brings in is threatened.

Time for the BBC to be broken down into its constituent components and the vast majority (probably news, politics and children programming excepted) privatized.

I knew I was a quimboid… but…

And if you are wondering what one of those is then look no further

I answered the questions here Honest Indjun… I pitched-up as Slytherin… I just knew I would.

Your house is…Slytherin! Well done? Um, you’re clever, cunning and very good at looking after yourself. You’ll take after…Draco Malfoy and…Voldemort himself. Well done…and please don’t kill us…

I think my “fail” was over being thieved from by a poor person. Which I think I was supposed to forgive and give the miscreant a twenty. You don’t nick from Nick and if I know you will get a hoicking up the genitals and indeed elsewise if I grok you. It will not be over quickly and you will not enjoy it.

“Quimboid” is apparently (though I kinda knew this – Viz etc) is a semi-polite version of “cunt”. I mean if you can’t swear properly why bother? It is from a Guardian article that debates at some length the usability of the phrase “camel toe” to no discernible end.

Now I can swear. I am foul, inventive and invective. You should hear some of the things I have said about Nick Clegg. Cameron or Milliband just don’t get my dander up like that. Clegg does. He is a veritable prince of the quimboids.

Mathilda Jansson is not the only Swedish Model

smug-fridge

A sex worker is using European human rights legislation to try to overturn a new law in Northern Ireland that makes it illegal to pay for prostitutes.

Dublin-born law graduate Laura Lee is launching an unprecedented legal challenge that could go all the way to Strasbourg, against a human trafficking bill which includes banning the payment for sex among consenting adults.

The region is the only part of the UK where people can be convicted of paying for sex. The law, which was championed by Democratic Unionist peer and Stormont assembly member Lord Morrow, comes into effect on 1 June.

Lee told the Guardian she will launch her case at the high court in Belfast in the same month as the law comes into effect.

Sex worker to launch legal challenge against NI prostitution ban + (hat tip to Perry at Samizdata)

The problems of the “Swedish Model” is not the diary of the love-life of a Premiership football player, but rather an attempt by the radical Feminists to protect the women (or perhaps womyn) in the worlds oldest profession, while persecuting the men (radical Feminism =/= misandry? Yeah Right!)

(more…)

God alive

Guido featured this one. It’s quite amazing. I don’t expect much from thoughtless modern politicos, but this maybe a new low. No it’s not child rape, or expenses fiddling, or perverting the course of justice, or starting pointless wars, or taking bribes, or lying (so far as I can tell), this one seems to actually believe this.

I refer of course to that paragon of intellectual rigor, Rachel Reeves. You may recall Labour’s work and pension spokesman couldn’t actually say what the pension level was and she seemed unclear on how it was actually made up. In any other walk of life, not having the most basic command of your brief gets you fired. Not so modern politics.

But today she seemed to surpass even that low point. Rachel it seems, wants to abolish the so-called bedroom tax. What this actually means is that if you live in a house where the government (i.e. the rest of us) pay your rent and you under occupy it, you have a choice. Move to a smaller house appropriate to your needs (and keep getting it free) or pay the extra costs for the extra space. For some reason which escapes me, Labour seems to regard this as the moral equivalent of jailing Nelson Mandela.

Anyway, Rachel wants to abolish this and “with the money saved” spend £175M on Scottish poverty (You will recall how the Scots are diabolically underpaid by the Barnett formula and this is in no way a bribe to the possible SNP voters). Only there’s a tiny problem.

By not asking people to pay extra for houses that are too big for them, government revenue drops. (you see how that works, government gets less money, so it has…less money, not more).

I’m almost embarrassed for the woman. This is presumably Labour policy. Is there any kind of audit going on at all? Do the shadow cabinet just say stuff and it is sacrosanct and unchallengeable? Do doubters of the final victory face a Utah firing squad? No. It’s simply group think and a refusal to think counter-revolutionary thoughts. And she is allegedly some kid of economist.

She could very soon end up around the cabinet table in number 10. Incitatus would do less damage.

Cartoon of the Week.

Matt cartoon, March 25

Not even the day after tomorrow redux

I suspect that Emma Hall may well end up back home with her parents after university as I doubt there will be any other “safe space” for her.”

JG, no. I suspect you are wrong. This may be the case for those poor saps who are suckered into following this sort of thing, but the leaders, the instigators behind it all, are hard as nails control freaks.

Ms Hall will end up joining some Soros or Rockefeller funded hard left hate group, something with a name like Mothers for a Kinder and Gentler Society, or Fluffy Bunnies for a Clean Environment, and spend most of the rest of her career trying to destroy those with whom she disagrees, before finally being given a State Department appointment to the UN Human Rights Council, providing aid and comfort to whichever genocidal totalitarian theocratic movement is currently squealing loudest about being offended.

Not even the day after tomorrow

22shulevitz-blog427Julie looked at Johnny with horror, her fingers over her mouth, and put her other hand up, stretching it as high as she could reach and waving madly.

“Miss”, she called out, “MISS. Johnny said a bad word”.

Miss looked over and, worried by the look on Julies face, asked Johnny “What did you say?”.

“Nothing Miss”, Johnny replied, “or, nothing bad anyway. My dad said it last night. He was reading the newspaper and he said it out loud. He says it all the time, so I thought I could say it.”

“There’s nothing wrong with it Miss. Is there?”

“What word did you say Johnny?” Miss Tress asked sternly. “What did you say that upset Julie so much?”

Johnny’s eyes started to glisten, and he looked down at his shoes and mumbled something.

“JOHNNY. Look at me. What word did you say?” demanded Miss.

With tears starting to run down his face, Johnny looked at her and said: “I said ‘liberty’ Miss. That’s all I said. Truly, I didn’t know it was a bad word.”

Miss sighed, stood and looked up at Johnny’s tear streaked face with concern. “Ok, don’t worry. Apologise to Julie and I will talk to your father. This is supposed to be a safe place. We can’t have people using words like that around twenty year old university students. ”

If Mr John Stuart Mill was really the heart of Victorian British liberalism – no wonder it collapsed.

An “Old Whig” in politics and student of the Austrian School in economics like me, would not be expected to like the economics of Mr J.S. Mill – his Labour Theory of Value (from his father James Mill and family friend David Ricardo), and his arrogant statement that the “theory of value is settled” (“Principles of Political Economy”) refusing to even mention that dissent existed – even British dissenters such as Richard Whately and Samuel Bailey are ignored (shoved down the Memory Hole), or his Ricardian view of land and rent – refuted some years after the death of Mr Mill, by Frank Fetter (who put the absurd idea of the “Land Question”, which led to Henry George and co, to bed).

However, it is not as a economist that Mr Mill is remembered (which is just as well – when one thinks of his ideas on worker coops or musings that the problems of “production” had been worked out, but not the problems of “distribution”).

Nor is it even as a general philosopher that he is remembered – so the fact that his attacks on Hamilton and so on are pushed by academics, but philosophical attacks upon Mr Mill himself (such as the defence of “self evident truths” by the head of what is now Princeton, James McCosh – 1811 to 1894) have been shoved down the Memory Hole, does not matter too much (other than to grumpy people like me). As for utilitarianism – well even J.S. Mill had problems with the idea that good and evil are just pleasure and pain (as his father James Mill and family friend Jeremy Bentham, the man who wanted 13 Departments of State to control virtually every aspect of human life, maintained) – as if one decided whether, for example, rape is good or evil by trying to measure the pain of the rape victim against the pleasure of the rapist or rapists (to confuse good and evil, right and wrong, with pleasure and pain is a crass “category mistake”).

Did J.S. Mill even believe in agency (free will) – the capacity for real moral choice? Or did he deny it – as David Hume seems to deny it (Hume may be just testing people), and Thomas Hobbes certainly did deny the existence of the human person. To Hobbes humans are just flesh robots and their “freedom” has no more moral content that the “freedom” of water after a dam has been blown up – there is no real moral choice (no agency) in Hobbes. Yet far from rejecting Thomas Hobbes with disgust and contempt as the Old Whigs had, the “Westminster Review” “Radicals” (James Mill and co) held up Hobbes, the arch defender of tyranny, as some sort of guide to be followed. How can one have political libertarianism, if one has rejected philosophical libertarianism – the very existence of human persons, agency (moral choice – real choice) itself? Of course one can NOT – but…….

It is as a political philosopher that Mr Mill is mainly remembered, not as an economist or general philosopher, – mostly for one short book “On Liberty”.

Stop obsessing over the supposed errors of John Stuart Mill in economics and in general philosophy, Paul Marks – behold the wonder that is “On Liberty”.

But is it really wonderful? Consider the following……

“Again trade is a social act. Whoever undertakes to sell any description of goods to the public does what affects the interest of other persons, and of society in general; and thus his conduct, in principle, comes within the jurisdiction of society”.

No it does not – and stop calling the state “society”, you son-of-a-bitch (and as your father was James Mill this vulgar language is close enough). It is bad enough that you also seem to think, like some admirer of Frederick the Great and other Prussians, that the term “the state” is a positive (something good) and not a negative one.

“the restraints in question in question [price controls or whatever] affect only that part of conduct which society [you are doing it again Mr Mill - I told you not to misuse language that way] is competent to restrain”.

Certainly Mr Mill admits in the same pages of “On Liberty” (pages 164-5 of the Penguin edition in front of me) that government interventions, such as price controls, do not achieve their objectives – but there is no problem, in PRINCIPLE, with using the threat of violence (the state) to get producers and traders to do what you want them to do, and to stop them doing peaceful things that you do not want them to do – “As the principle of individual liberty is not involved in the doctrine of free trade” (oh just jump in the nearest lake and drown yourself).

Even outright bans on things, such as booze, are only “infringements on the liberty of…… the buyer” NOT on “the producer or seller” – if one is Mr John Stuart Mill who does not appear to believe that “the producer or seller” has any rights at all. Because selling something is “other regarding”, but buying something is “self regarding” (and other drivel).

We even get old lines about how sellers will adulterate goods – as if losing REPUTATION is no harm in business, as if Adam Smith (and so on) had never written a word and it is in the interests of butchers (and so on) to poison their customers. Real “who protects the consumer?” rubbish – a question rightly mocked (along with “who protects the worker?”) in Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” (such questions are no better coming from a “great man” such as Mr Mill than they are coming from envy driven rabble rouser).

As for “public sanitation” and so on – only the state can provide anything (we are back to the world of Principles of Political Economy – where “everyone agrees” with what Mr Mill wants them to, because he shoves down the Memory Hole anyone who does not agree that local government should do X, Y, Z).

At least in this “On Liberty” we do not get Mr Mill’s wonderful idea that people who do not have the income to bring up a family should not be allowed to marry (as if forbidding people marrying will stop them breeding), but …….

But it is CRAP – the “harm principle”, as if anything that “affects the interests of other persons” is O.K. for state intervention (as long as the statists rig the economic argument in their favour) – crime is not about “harm” it is about aggression – violation.

If I charge lower prices or provide better quality goods (or both) than someone else , and he goes bankrupt and kills himself I have certainly “harmed” him (or her) – but that is NOT a crime.

The Common Law idea of crime is based on the nonaggression principle, not on a “harm” principle.

Otherwise we are into such absurdities as Anti Trust “law”.

In his “classic” judgement against ALCOA (the standard “boo-hiss” big business operation – this time in the aluminum trade) American Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand said the following……

It was not inevitable that it [ALCOA] should always anticipate increases in demand for ingot and be prepared to supply them. Nothing compelled it to keep doubling and redoubling its capacity before others entered the field. It insists that it never excluded competitors: but we can think of no more effective exclusion than progressively to embrace each new opportunity as it opened, and to face every newcomer with new capacity already geared into a great organisation, having the advantage of experience, trade connections and the elite of personal.

Now this evil (and “evil” is the correct word) judgement has been rightly attacked by many people – from Thomas Woods and Dominick Armentano in our own day, to the late Murray Rothbard (yes his political history is often terrible – but his economics and grasp of natural justice were sound), to Milton Friedman – and, most strongly of all, by the late Ayn Rand. It takes virtues (hard work and innovation) and pretends they are crimes – it shows a vision of “law” that is utterly devoid of any conception of natural justice (of the basic principles of jurisprudence in Common Law), any of the Founders of the United States (or the Old Whig tradition they came from) would have a taken a horsewhip to “Justice” Learned Hand. Edmund Burke would denounced not just the ignorance but also the sheer vileness (moral evil) of the man.

It also shows (as do so many other cases) that government regulation is NOT “for the benefit of big business” – as the “libertarian left” claim.

But how could Mr John Stuart Mill attack the judgement? All he could say is that “Justice Learned Hand” got his economics wrong. Businessmen have no rights according to Mr Mill – ordering them about with threats of violence does not violate natural justice (which he does not seem to believe even exists) – Dr Bonham’s case (of which I have written on this site before) of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke would mean nothing to Mr Mill, and nor would the judgements of that classic Old Whig Chief Justice Sir John Holt.

To Mr J.S. Mill (as to Blackstone – but without the natural law writings of Blackstone) Parliament (or the American government – or any government) can do anything it likes in these sordid commercial matters, only the freedom of thinkers like Mr Mill matters – the freedom of “producers and traders” does not matter. Thus we see the rebirth of Plato’s children – the snob “intellectual” (the modern “liberal”) who despises the freedom of anyone who is not like them. Who denies that such things are “really” about liberty at all.

Short version?

The late Ayn Rand was more right than wrong about Mr Mill and his “On Liberty”. And the lady was not complementary……

Who remembers the hundreds of thousands of Christian civilians murdered by the “Young Turks”?

When asked if the German National Socialist movement would get away with killing the Jews, Mr Hitler is supposed to have replied – “who remembers the Armenians”.

In the First World War the Turkish regime (originally nicknamed the “Young Turks” when they came to power, by a coup, in 1908) slaughtered vast numbers of Christians civilians – men, woman and children. Christians generally (not “just” Armenians) were thought to be disloyal to the regime – and they were also presented as evil businessmen and greedy farmers, “exploiting” their Muslim neighbours. Muslims generally, not just ethnic Turks, were encouraged to rise up and “punish” their “exploiters”.

To a far more limited extent same was done to those Jews who had tried to settle in their historic home. As with so many other times over the centuries (check the history, over centuries, of virtually any town in the Holy Land – it is always the same “Jewish community set up at X date, attacked on Y date”) with Jews trying to make a home in the Holy Land, the communities were attacked. However, for the first time since the period of the Ancient Romans, Jews fought back – hence the “Jewish Legion” that fought with the British Army in the First World War.

But it must not be thought the Young Turks were a reactionary regime – on the contrary they prided themselves in being “Modernist” and “Progressive”, this is what attracted them to the alliance with Imperial Germany – which was also considered “Modern” and “Progressive”, especially in its “advanced” statism.

Yes the Young Turks had elections (in the spaces between their 1908 coup and the First World War – a period in which there were at least three wars), but had the Parliament tried to veto their policies (for example had they said that the expansion of state education was too expensive – or would lead to political indoctrination), the difference between real and pretend “Constitutional rule” would have become obvious.

To those who get their history from Rothbardians (who, in turn get their history from socialists and other “Progressives” – check who the late Dr Rothbard cited in his “historical” writings) all the above is “reactionary British propaganda” about the First World War – as is the idea that Imperial Germany had no intention of letting countries (Belgium – or anywhere else) go free after the war. That the academic and political elite of Imperial Germany (closer in Germany than any other country) were determined to bring both Europe and the world (including the United States) under German domination, is also dismissed – although the writings of the German elite are hardly a secret.

Fair enough my dears. Pretend that the killing of hundreds of thousands of Christian civilians in the First World War is just “reactionary British propaganda” (“the British blockade against Germany is the real killing of civilians” – yes stopping ships is much worse than shooting and stabbing people, raping and murdering women, and killing children or selling them into slavery), and that the German Declaration of War upon France (which has the French bombing Bavaria and so on) was not a pack of lies (which it was – as the President of France said in his reply, the German Declaration of War was much more than a Declaration of War upon France, it was a Declaration of War against the “universal principles of reason and justice” themselves – as the German academic elite, historicist-relativist, denied such universal principles even existed), and that the Germans intended to allow countries to go free at the end of the war (which they did not), and that they had no designs upon the world – even though they did.

As with their view of so much else – from Ulster to the Middle East, from the American Civil War, to the Soviet invasion of Finland, to the Korean War, I have grown used to the folly and absurdity of those of our libertarian brothers and sisters who get their history from the late Dr Rothbard – and the legion of socialist and other “Progressive” historians he relied upon.

Chuckles – the gift that keeps on taking…

So, Prince Charles has been to Washington DC (as have I) but whilst I flew steerage in an American Airlines A330 (and had to change at Philly – the most confusing airport this side of Mars) he went in style. He went on a chartered A320 configured as a private jet that costs GBP250,000 a hop. Or approx. 800 times what I paid (hard to say exactly – there were several hops on that hoilday which included Key West). Well, I guess it evens out because he got to meet Obama and I trogged the Smithsonians until my feet hurt – badly. He got a gong for his tireless crusades (or whatever) on the environment. He almost certainly clocked more CO2 than I can manage in a fecking lifetime. And then he delivers a lecture on the environment… Because the A320 normally carries just over about 160 passengers and not just a dickhead and his moll.

But that’s OK because it is only the little people who deserve to be taxed out of the air and not the nobs and he is a nob in every sense.

The Overhead.

I will remember to the end of my life the way that his reserve cracked a little when I gave him his “hacker” ribbon at Penguicon 2003 – how the child who’d been told he couldn’t be a programmer because he was “no good at maths” felt on finally knowing, all the way down, that we accepted him as one of our own.

Because Terry loved us. He loved everybody, most of the time, but he loved the people of the clacks especially. We were one of his roads not taken, and he (rightly!) saw himself in our earnestness and intelligence and introversion and determined naivete and skewed sense of humor and urge to tinker. It mattered to him that we loved him, and in the unlikely event there’s an afterlife it will matter to him still.

Our own Sam quoting on my post about the death of Terry Pratchett. I get it and so, very clearly, did Sir Terry – the sheer exaltation of coding. I think, perhaps, Pratchett felt it when on a roll writing. You do feel like a Small God doing something to the porpoise at a keyboard. You get the same with pencil and paper mathematics. Perhaps more so for me. You simply don’t know where you end. It is sober intoxication (although I have to admit to doing pissed physics on occasion). I have had it with things like fluid mechanics and electromagnetism. It’s a rush and you have to be careful because your mind can just and skip to the step after next quicker than your hand can scribble it and it can turn into utter gibberish. You can do the same with a keyboard. Maybe one of the reasons I always use Thinkpads is that the Trackpoint ties you into the system more tightly. It’s like HOTAS on an F-16. You might think it is merely more convenient or whatever but it is about a merging of systems. It is transcendental (and that is not an expensive trip to the dentist). It is a rush. It is almost mystical. It is being wired on your own skill. A narrow technical skill no doubt but in the academic-ish setting I’d rather take the cocaine of that than the valerian of poring over dusty tomes and producing something “scholarly”. It is Yeat’s “Lonely Impulse of Delight” rather than flying an A320 from Manchester to Paris and back again. It is moments worth years.

Sir Terry grokked this. I bet he felt it when he got the mot just.

So, it is with that lonely impulse of delight that a truly great memorial is to be erected to Sir Terry that shall last until the last disk spins down unlike the statue near the Whitehall piggery of a skinny borderline peado commie in a nappy that was recently erected. They have form on that score. Why do they have a fine equestrian statue of Richard I when he spent bugger all time in England, didn’t speak English and ultimately almost bankrupted the country largely due to a fit of pique.

This is a truly fitting tribute to Sir Terry and it shall last whilst information exists. It is The Overhead. It is everything. It is the it from bit.

Tech-savvy admirers of the late Terry Pratchett have hit upon an idea for a particularly appropriate memorial. It will be everywhere and nowhere, hiding in the code of the internet.

Pratchett’s 33rd Discworld novel, Going Postal, tells of the creation of an internet-like system of communication towers called “the clacks”. When John Dearheart, the son of its inventor, is murdered, a piece of code is written called “GNU John Dearheart” to echo his name up and down the lines. “G” means that the message must be passed on, “N” means “not logged”, and “U” means the message should be turned around at the end of a line. (This was also a real world tech joke: GNU is a free operating system, and its name stands, with recursive geek humour, for “GNU’s not Unix”). The code causes Dearheart’s name to be repeated indefinitely throughout the system, because: “A man is not dead while his name is still spoken.”

Exactly.

We shall all live forever in the overhead. That is perhaps a scary thought but not all scary thoughts are bad. Sir Terry in the ether for all eternity or at least whilst there are still ones and zeroes is something I just love.

The End of Days… Salmond’s Revenge.

Have Scottish mutant ginger rats made it across the border? Sixty huge rodents seen scurrying down street in Newcastle.

Get the shotgun and start stock-piling tinned food.

A plague of mutant ginger rats first spotted in Scotland are feared to have made their way south of the border, it was revealed last night.

A shocking video taken by two revellers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne shows 60 large rodents scurrying down the street in a popular area of the city on Saturday.

Now, there are claims the rats could be the same giant ginger species recently spotted 60 miles away in Hawick in the Scottish borders – which were feared to be moving south.

Marc Donaghey, 22, and his girlfriend Brooke Salkeld, 21, captured the footage of around 20 rats – but said in total there were at least 50 or 60 of them running around the street.

Right… Well, “revellers” in tabloid-speak means “pissed” and the numbers seem somewhat fluid but certainly don’t constitute a plague as such.

But on a serious note the council has tried to palm the blame for the infestation on poor waste management of the local businesses but look at the dumpsters…

You wonder what Geordies (or any of us) pay their council tax for…

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