My favourite tweet today

This:

There should just be a simple checkbox in twitter for “Are words violence?” The people who say “yes” only see tweets from people who agree.

Two things I’m not clear about are: whether it’s twitter or Twitter (I say Twitter); and whether it’s tweet or Tweet (I say tweet).

My attitude to Twitter is that for as long as it exists, I will occasionally cherry pick it, and thus adorn the blogosphere. Twitter is very temporary, and will soon collapse, I think. A small group of people has the power to collapse it. Eventually they will. The blogosphere is dispersed in its management, and will endure as long as our civilisation does.

This blog may even endure for quite a while. Even my old blog endures, for the time being, and even though it doesn’t now work properly.

GD2 does a selfie session with a fan

Yesterday a big gang of friends and family, me among them, heard G(od)D(aughter)2 do her end-of-year recital, way up at the top of the Royal College of Music just near the Albert Hall. It was terrific. If they picked her up out of the rather small room she sang in and dumped her down in that same Albert Hall, and replaced the pianist and his piano with a huge symphony orchestra going full blast, GD2 would have sounded great and entirely at home and in command, and they’d have cheered like crazy. That’s how good she seemed to me.

Immediately afterwards I of course photoed photos of GD2, but these photos weren’t that good. Closer-up, she was still in performance mode, but looking tired, understandably. Worse, I wasn’t able to get a proper view of her, together with the lady who was also photoing her.

Later, when we all went to the nearby Italian restaurant, GD2 was able to relax and enjoy, and this time, my view of her was perfect. She did a selfie session with the same lady who had photoed her immediately after the recital, and whom I had sat next to for the performance. “What a voice!” said this lady, when GD2 had finished. In the restaurant, she and GD2 sat right across the table from me, and more photoing occurred. I photoed this photoing:

It’s not that I object to the face of the lady on the left, who turned out to be a friend of GD2’s mother from way back. It’s just that I don’t shove faces up here without prior approval. GD2 has already said she has no objection to her face appearing here. Lady on the left has not said this, so her face gets hidden, same as when I photo any other photoers, without their permission.

Lady on the left has, it turned out, a blog, which I have already looked through, partly to see if she has photos on it of herself, in which case I could presumably put a photo of her here without causing offence. No photos of her there, that I could see.

At her blog, she follows a completely opposite rule to the rule here. Here, I say something every day, whether I have anything sensible to say or not. She, on the other hand, seems to follow the strange rule of only saying something when she has something she considers worth saying. I know, very strange. If everyone followed that rule, hardly anything would get said at all.

But I digress. My main point here, today, is well worth saying, which is that GD2 is doing very well.

Note the electric plug sockets in all the above photos. These sockets were all over the place in the restaurant, 4×2 of them at our table alone. I assume that these sockets are for recharging mobile phones, like the one being deployed in the above photos.

Other creature news

In among all the vile bile, Twitter continues to serve up good Other Creatures news, especially in video form.

Here, for instance, is evidence that when it comes to shifting stuff around, while simultaneously showing a bit of common sense, robots would appear to have some way to go before they will be entirely replacing the working class.

Here is a delightful photo of two pigeons, who are checking out a photographer who is trying to photo a ceiling.

And, in otter news, here are otters doing something very strange, under a tree, in what turns out to be Singapore.

Meanwhile, via (the rest of) the blogosphere (David Thompson to be exact), an amplified cat and dogs who ate bees. The dogs look so happy, especially given how very unhappy they must feel.

On a more melancholy note, Mich Hartley tells of the Soviet whale “decimation” of the middle of the twentieth century. Decimation however, is surely the wrong word. It was far worse than that. The writer whom Hartley quotes seems to think that decimation means killing nine out of ten, because he talks of whale species being “driven to the edge of extintion”. But decimation wasn’t killing nine out of ten members of a Roman legion. It was killing one in every ten. It was to punish, not to extinguish, a legion. That verbal quibble aside, there can’t be too many reports of what an insanely destructive economic system the USSR imposed upon all its victims. And its victims were not only human.

Capitalism and socialism in tweets

I like both of these.

This:

Capitalism works better than it sounds. Socialism sounds better than it works.

And this:

Capitalism is the only reason socialism has any money to redistribute.

I like them, as in: I like them as pithily expressed things to think about. Not sure the first one in particular is actually true. Socialism, when you actually spell out what socialists want and what they think should be done to dissenters, turns out to be ghastly, long before it actually happens.

And if capitalism sounds worse than it is, maybe you aren’t saying it right.

Yesterday there were four postings here. Mostly small, but still, four. The above stuff is Twitter, but this blog is not Twitter. This blog leaves you time to have a little read and a life.

So, this is your lot for today.

On the other hand, if you have forty minutes to spare on subjects like the above, try listening to this. It’s the IEA’s Kristian Niemietz talking about socialism. He too thinks that capitalism is “counter-intuitive”. His manner is a lot more low-key and considered than you would expect it to be if you only followed him on Twitter.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Exit 60 coathangers

Today I continued with chucking stuff out, including these sixty or so coathangers, which have been accumulating in my clothes cupboard, for no reason other than they seemed like they might one day come in handy. For a sculpture perhaps? But I’m not a sculptor.

I say chucking out. These coathangers are still in my living room. But, they are in a black plastic bin bag and ready to go. So, nearly.

That’s it for here today. But I did manage a posting at Samizdata, after what I suspect may have been my longest gap there since I started in 2002. This posting started out as something for here, but then I thought: no, there. I really want to do more for Samizdata. I know I keep saying that, but I do. Thank goodness for Natalie Solent, who seems to be responsible for well over half the Samizdata output these days. Here’s hoping I can alter that ratio a bit.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The secret is the back wheels

A slow motion catastrophe, all the more inevitable because this is, after all the internet. But, it doesn’t happen.

This popped up on my computer screen, courtesy of Facebook. What happened was was that I activated a video a Friend had stuck up, and this was what Facebook wanted me to see next. It looked like a nice little catastrophe to pass the time with, so I activated that as well. And although that catastrophe didn’t happen, what did happen was even better.

Do the people who arrange things like this play with toys beforehand? That would make sense.

Apparently Transport Blog may be coming back to life, any month now. But, it promises nothing.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Homage to Hartley: The V&A under a very blue sky

I tried to put together a more complicated posting about, well, wait and see. But it is taking too long, so here is something simpler.

A favourite blogger of mine is Mick Hartley, who oscillates between the insanities of the anti-semites and the Islamists (heavy overlap there) and photos. Photos by himself, and by others.

The photos by others are often antique and black and white. His photos are in colour, and they are typically very colourful indeed, especially when the sky is very blue.

Colour is an obsession of Hartley’s, both when it is present, and when it is not.

Here is a photo I recently took, which is the sort of photo Mick Hartley would take, if he ever went West:

That’s the Victoria and Albert Museum, unless I am mistaken (as I might well be), photoed by me from the big old road that goes from the Albert Hall (and more to the point from the Royal College of Music, where GodDaughter 2 had been performing) down to South Kensington Tube. This I know, because of a photo I took of a street map, moments after taking my Hartleyesque photo above:

That being the relevant detail. I never regret map photos.

By the look of it, the V&A is a building I should explore. Especially its upper reaches. Maybe there are views.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

How public is Facebook?

Says my friend (also my Facebook “friend”) Antoine Clarke:

“Elites” in the USA, the UK and the EU claim that the masses who favour President Trump, Brexit, or oppose EU control of Italy’s government are “illiterates” , “uneducated” etc. So who’s been in charge of education?

Good point.

But, it’s on Facebook, and I don’t understand Facebook. I don’t believe I am betraying anything especially private here, but maybe I am. I am taking that chance.

With blogging, it’s very simple. What you see is public. You can copy anything on a blog, and paste it into your blog, for all the world to read in the unlikely event that it wants to. All that etiquette demands is that you mention the source of what you copied. But when I read something on Facebook, what can I use? I don’t know.

A friend (also FB “friend”) of mine is just now at the cinema, with his wife, according to a posting by him on Facebook. There was a picture of the two of them, with a movie star in another poster behind them. And there, you see, I may already be spilling beans. What if they told their last-minute – please please can you help us out, this once?!?! – babysitter that they had an “urgent appointment”, medical or some such thing? But really, they were just going to the cinema? If the babysitter also reads this blog, and reads this, it could take them weeks to unscramble the mess. That’s all pretty unlikely, of course. But something like that could happen, or so I fear.

Twitter, like blogging, is fairly straightforward. Anybody can read someone Twittering away, on Twitter, and everything there is accordingly public. If I can see it on Twitter, I can quote it here. Right? I could be wrong, but that’s what I now assume. But with Facebook, I don’t know where I am.

I have a friend (also FB “friend”) who sometimes tells me things in the strictest confidence, in a way which suggests to me that, really, what he wants is for me to say this to everyone I subsequently meet, but keeping his name out of it. Or something. I never really know.

I will be a blogger until I die, because with blogging, all this is straightforward and out in the open. Which means I have to get myself a new blog which goes at a proper speed, unlike this one. People do still read this blog. But the time it takes to load up introduces another version of not-very-publicness. That needs to be done away with, asap. Another friend (also “friend”) is, or so I hope, helping out with that.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

So …

So I went to Foyle’s this evening, to buy this but got there too late, and then went food shopping in order to confer meaningfulness on an otherwise meaningless expedition. So then I was tired, but managed to write a posting for here, but then it turned into a Samizdata posting, which I will post tomorrow, or maybe not, because I always sleep on Samizdata postings nowadays, because that always makes them better, or not. So now it’s tomorrow morning and I have nothing for here, so here is a photo I took through the new entrance to Tottenham Court Road tube station:

I like that time of the evening, or the early morning come to that, when natural light and artificial light are in some balance.

Centre Point has had a total makeover and been turned into posh flats. But, it looks exactly as it always did.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog