… september 2019 to november 2021 …



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The rule of thrids, not to get yourself or your camera tangled up in stuff, is very useful. It’s no good chasing the perfect photo if you keep tripping up and breaking stuff. I learnt this the hard way: by the time I’d sorted myself out, the cliff had run out of lemmings. If only, I thought to myself afterwards, if only I’d remembered the rule of thrids, I’d have got the perfect downpour photo.


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Petitions are an instrument of democracy… we are past this now and need civil disobedience and maybe a few broken windows in Downing Street!

from texture

On one level I agree with you. The Extinction Rebellion people have got some effective tactics, although they are entirely peaceful, but they should be understood. The Hong Kong protesters have developed interesting tactics, a mixture of peacefulness and more than broken windows. Perhaps they should be studied & copied.

The one big problem is that, in the current situation, if one side starts escalating demonstrations into civil disobedience and civil strife, so will the other. Thus any activitiy will have to be very carefully planned and organised by people who know what they’re doing in such matters, so it can be limited to broken windows and never become broken necks. That’s definitely not me. The risk is escalations get out of control, and real fighting might start.

I remember talking with a Serb about the Yugoslav civil wars. No one there expected it. Some small local violence in one corner of the country got out of control, and developed and expanded, and civil leaders could not stop it (the Slovenians have a very different memory). If the UK gets to the state where civil disobedience cannot be kept under control, then I fear the worst. Many civil wars start unexpectedly and accidentally.

If there is a switch to violence, it will have to be very carefully organised and managed. That’s why I won’t support it, I don’t think the control will happen, there's too much anger.


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I want to reset my newsfeed, which I understand is determined by the things I’ve “liked”. Thus I need to delete all my “likes”. Underneath it all, I don’t think you guys understand the difference between like and enjoy. For example, I don’t like cold rain, but I enjoy its bracing vigour. I didn’t like my old girlfriend, but I really did … well, I’m not going to continue with that example, but you get the drift.


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When I lived in the UK, I had a bread maker. It allowed me decent bread, which is difficult to find there. You can make you own mixes, or buy pre–mixed packets. I did the latter. Experiment with mixes; different suppliers’ mixes work better with different machines. Expect some disappointments in the early days, but persevere to get a good loaf. The best for my machine was a Tesco mix.



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Faceboot, like goggle, make an absolute fortune by piracy of personal information; I spent my life creating information about my life, and they make money off it and pay me no royalties beyond addiction, presuming addiction can be regarded as a reward. Facebook also ensure there is no alternative service I can use; check their treatment of prospective competitors. IMHO the fix is to drop the exclusion of personal information from copyright laws


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from texture

TV buffs, a question. I’m not into shooting gift horses. I’ve received a year of Apple TV for free (don't ask). However, I’m a telly curmudgeon. I chucked my one and only TV two decades ago and have not regretted it. I have caught snatches of popular shows (mi’lord) in the meantime, such as The Game of Thrones, and have been seriously unimpressed: a plot that would hardly challenge a five year old juiced up with sex to make it appear grown up, emotional manipulation by sledgehammer music, etc.. I would try the BBC’s adaption of The City & The City, because I love the book and I’d like to see how the cities were realised, but Apple doesn’t have that. I thought about requesting suggestions here, but I expect every answer would irritate me, because I’m like that. So, instead, where should I shoot the horse?

What I know I don’t like, which doesn’t help. I do remember liking some stuff when seriously drunk, but that’s neither a recommendation for the programs nor the booze. Films I liked when sober, enough to remember their names, include Ran (Kurosawa) & Solaris (Tarkovsky). I enjoyed 2001 AS(B)O when I was a teenager, mostly because it introduced me to Ligeti. Does that help? :-)

I took that view with detective fiction, and then read Raymond Chandler. Since then, every whodunnit I’ve come across has seemed flat, even the stuff I liked before — except for outliers like Meiville (The City & The City). I’d like to find the TV equivalent of Chandler, and not bother everything else, if that were possible. On the other hand, what you do with TV is what I do with poetry, the latter having the fundamental advantage IMHO of being deeply individual, with all that means. The worst is far worse than anything on TV, indeed the worst art of any kind I’ve ever encountered, but the best is similarly better than anything I’ve come across in any other art form. Admittedly, I am slightly biased!. Poetry has the great advantage, to me, of not driven by a stultifying need to empty wallets, whether consumers’ or grant authority’s. I find that reduces quality to the common norm, which is not where I am, I don’t think. My publisher is grant funded, just to prove what a hypocrite I am.


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I’m lucky to live in a country with a solid and effective pandemic policy. Everyone has been tested at least once, residents and foreign workers alike. From that, the testing procedures were refined. The government knows exactly where the disease is & how it’s behaving, and adapts policies accordingly. They were prepared when the pandemic got here, and have been on the ball ever since. In consequence, Luxembourg has an apparently high rate of covid–19, but pretty low hospitalisation and mortality figures. Still, what else should one expect from a Liberal led government?! (yeah, yeah, that’s a cheap shot, for example Labour in NZ are doing well too, & the German Tories ain’t so bad either, but I just look at the UK government incompetence and sigh).


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I understand why companies make fake meat products, but I wish they’d properly promote straight out veggie/vegan stuff too. Veggie/Vegan food is not a second rate alternative to meat (how else can meat eaters see fake meat), but a rich and developed cuising with one of a lot of good stuff waiting to be discovered and enjoyed for its own sake. I’ll reconsider when butchers start promoting beef as carnivore carrot.


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I may have had it at the beginning; I had something that involved body ache, deep lung infection (it felt like asthma) and maybe a temperature (either I woke up in the night with a temperature, or I dreamt I did), but it was mild, and went away after a couple of days. I didn’t report it because I didn’t cough; it was only later that it became clear that one could have it without coughing, and that there was a strong risk infecting others without having symptoms yourself. I’ve not taken an antibody test, they’re not considered reliable.


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I find the whole question very complicated, without any easy solutions.

from texture

As someone who has no direct experience in this conflict, from one side or another, I can only imagine what is happening, I can’t feel it. In consequence, what I say is probably more than a little na├»ve.

On the one hand, people born with the brain of one gender and the body of another are at risk of self harm, indeed suicide, and are rightfully entitled to have their medical problem addressed. Since the neurology cannot be changed, then there is little medical choice but to fix the plumbing.

On the other hand, many women unfortunately have good reason to fear men. This is unfortunately a nasty part of the human condition. In consequence, many women will autonomically see trans–women as men; I gather the adam’s apple is a common trigger.

Both groups have right on their side, for very good, and very different, reasons.

I have come to the conclusion that every conflict between the trans– and the born– must be addressed in its own context, and has to be addressed sensitively and compassionately. For example, women who fear those they react to as men, must places where they can feel safe, and those women born with the wrong plumbing must have the chance to live their lives as women. So long as neither side understands and allows for the needs of the other, this problem cannot be resolved.

As a silly example, in a large building the women could agree amongst themselves that one particular ladies’ toilet is out of bounds for trans–women, thus allowing the victims of violence a place where they can always feel safe. In the case of committees, perhaps what’s needed is an oversight mechanism that ensures no committee is either under the control of, or ignoring, a minority. Equally, no one should presume a member of another group will automatically react against them. In all cases, it really has to be something the women, among themselves, resolve. It really won’t work if an outsider tells them what to do, unless they ask for a suggested resolution from that outsider.

The root cause is the human condition. An exacerbating factor is violence against women, which gives women strong reason to fear men. To me, this conflict emphasises the vital importance of ending violence against women. While any woman has an autonomic fear reaction at the sight of someone she unconsciously sees as a man, this conflict between trans– and born– women will not end.


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If mass conspiracy theories were plausible, many a cat would die in many a bag.


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Apologies: this is the back of an A3 postcard!

Perhaps you might find Quora interesting, although they’re diving deeper and deeper into the dark side. It’s full of artificial arguments and intentional conflict creation, but in amongst such childish marketing idiocy are some genuine thoughts and conversation.

The contemporary alternatives seem to me to be worthy but lacking in that essential thing, numbers of users (my impression of Mastodon). Some appear to have addressed this by becoming propeller–head central (my impression of Diaspora; I regret looking into it). CIX survived by going paywall. Boards.ie is still around.

IMHO, faceboot won because, at least for me, the service(s) I use are those my family, friends and contacts use; I had little choice but to follow them here. I use the slightly less dire linked in for similar reasons. My family, at least, have shifted to faceboot’s whatsapp now. I really regret the loss of the social web ecosystem, there was some great stuff about.

There are other ways to address the personal information theft (IMHO reflecting a failure in copyright law, in that you can’t copyright your personal information and/or life's activities, even though I put far more time into creating that than I do in creating poetry). For example, I run faceboot in a VM (Virtual Machine) which I only use for faceboot. I’ve set up other VMs for other information theft sites. This way the sites can’t work out what else I'm doing, what else I'm interesting in, because they can’t see it.

Where I can, I tell browsers to prevent as much of the information theft as possible. I tell browsers to suppress ads, and refuse to visit sites that insist I disable that suppression. I avoid as much as possible Google Chrome, indeed any and all Google services & products, and if I do have to use it, well, it has its own VM. etc..

Obviously, the information thieves will still get information from and about me, so I poison the well with false information to create contradictions to, hopefully, mess up their connecting the dots code. For example, my date of birth appears to be April 1st in 1941, 1951, 1961, 1971 and even 2001, depending on where you look for it. I have lots and lots of middle names, it seems. My poisoning is thoroughly amateur compared to people who really know what they’re doing (like my spelling), but it seems to be enough, judging by the lack of adverts I get related to what I’m doing online.


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This is a difficult one, because paintings should generally be hung for the painter, not the subject. For example, I don’t like Wagner’s politics at all, but one cannot simply ignore his impact on music (one? I’m speaking too much French at the moment!). I don’t know anything about this painting, and regret that the BBC doesn’t mention the artist, but I suggest it would have been a better idea to label the painting appropriately rather than hide it, presuming it was removed for the reasons stated. The museum’s decision to commission other work in this context is to be applauded. To illustrate my point, I support the removal of statues of shameful people from places of public pride, because they should never be a source of public pride, so long as they can still be viewed by the public, in, say, the local museum’s room of shame, so the shame, & the reasons for it, is understood, not forgotten (see this news story).