Rioters and the ending of the Lockdown

Scott Adams:

Serious question: Did any Republican lose a business to rioters?

I began thinking of my answer, but the first tweet-in-response said it for me:

I bet some future Republicans did.

I’ve been suspecting for some time now that Antifa – or “Fa”, as I prefer to think of them – could be a project put together by Trumpsters to ensure his re-election. I mean, if they really were that, what would they be doing differently? (Take a gander at this bit of video, to see what I mean.)

On a more serious note, all these demos will speed up the process of discovering if ending Lockdown makes sense. I already think it does make sense. If, as I am now betting, no Coronoavirus spike now materialises among the demonstrating classes, others will likewise be convinced.

Meanwhile, a huge chunk of people are now behaving as if the only thing they’re scared of is dirty looks from other people. They aren’t scared of The Bug itself anymore. Lockdown is ending. You can feel it. You can see it, for real and on the news and social media. Two months ago, no matter who had done what, there’d have been no demos about it because almost everyone was truly scared of The Bug. Now, The Bug is right down there with car accidents and getting struck by lightning.

It’s almost as if no government action was required, either to make Lockdown start when that made sense, or now, to make it stop.

See also what Johnathan Pearce, has to say about these US rioters. JP links to all these videos, which I am now about to sample.

Quota photo of the BT Tower advertising Follicular Lymphoma

Haven’t had many quota photos here lately, have I? But I am now about to go on what could be a long photo-walk, and don’t want to be worrying about not yet having stuck anything up here.

So:

Photoed from the top of my block of flats, last November. Ah, those were the days, when people worried about lots of diseases instead of just the one.

What is Follicular Lymphoma?

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a slow-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It develops when B-cells (also called B-lymphocytes) become abnormal. B-cells are white blood cells that fight infection.

The abnormal B-cells (lymphoma cells) usually build up in lymph nodes, but they can affect other parts of the body.

Have a nice day. I intend to.

Cover his face

The previous posting being about photoing facial features in a way that’s clear, this posting is about how sometimes, what with the Plague we’re having, that can’t be done:

Those photos were photoed on March 31st, with MI6 and related edifices to be seen on the opposite side of the River there, across Vauxhall Bridge. A lot of their jobs just got harder.

So, this Lockdown thing has actually been going on for quite a while now, around two months. And it’s been time to unlock it for quite a while now. Trouble is, most people are so thoroughly scared now, if not of the Plague itself then of being thought indifferent to it. And, keeping Lockdown actually seems to feel good to many. It’s a chance to show one cares by just doing nothing. It won’t feel so good when, for those not already fretting about such things, all the bills come due.

Get back to work, world. And please world, keep the public spending splurges to the minimum. It was the New Deal which put the Great in the Great Depression.

Another Twitter dump

I had a Twitter dump earlier. It feels so good to be getting this stuff out of my system, so here’s another. Again, in no particular order, and not chosen for bang-up-to-dateness, just funness and interestingness.

It maybe makes things a bit clearer if I indent the tweet references, and then unindent at the end, at which point I’ll be having a bit more to say:

What concrete blocks are made of in China.

Ghostbusters.

The Battle of France in 44 seconds.

This family built a hug guard.

Baihe reservoir (白河水庫) in Tainan county is at once both shockingly ugly and stunningly beautiful.

BBC’s Jeremy Bowen says there haven’t been all that many terrorist attacks in Israel.

Everyone who was worrying he was a fascist now worrying he’s not fascist enough.

150-foot iceberg passes through Iceberg Alley.

My boyfriend cheated on me, but, I love him. What should I do? A Georgist: Implement a land value tax.

James Burke had only one chance to film this scene, and the result is possibly the best timed shot in television history.

Jeremy Corbin won the argument.

The lockdown is ending because the American people say it’s ending.

I miss those carefree pre-coronavirus days when nobody died at all.

In each of the above cases, you get most of the tweet, and sometimes all of it. So, if all you want to know is what the tweet said, no need to click. But if you want to know who else besides me thought the tweets in question to be funny or interesting, click away.

And that has actually done the trick. To my great surprise I have actually cleared out all this tweetery from my hard disc and from now on my computer will surely be functioning better, until such time as I need another similar dump. There remain only a few animal-related tweets which are already scheduled to appear this coming Friday.

When the only choice is between different risks

Alice Smith:

The opposite of risk isn’t safety.

The opposite of risk is another type of risk.

I don’t think “opposite” is quite the right word here. The truth is more that sometimes there’s a choice between risk and possible reward on the one hand, and not risk and not reward. However, there is often, as now, a choice between risks, as above. The reward of taking the right risk is that you get to avoid an even bigger disaster, and maybe also get rewarded, but maybe no disaster or not such bad disaster is your only reward.

(Think 1940. For Britain then, there was no safe or painless alternative. Both alternatives, war or surrender, were horrifying.)

But I know exactly what Alice Smith means. People often speak about health risks as if skill in avoiding a list of only the more obvious ones will confer immortality.

To talk, during a crisis, such as the one now winding down, as if the choice is between big risk and no risk is, as Alice Smith is surely saying, foolishness. If that was the choice, there would be no crisis. The definition of crisis is that there are no risk-free alternatives. Whatever gets done will have been a big risk.

I now favour the risk of ending Lockdown. But, it is a risk. I just think that keeping it going is a bigger risk.

To put it in Twitter speak, the argument is not about whether to kill your granny, but how.

Martin Cook photographs creatures

I follow Martin Cook on Twitter. His day job is medical, which must be interesting just now. But he’s also a Real Photographer. Here we see him lining up a swan with Salisbury Cathedral:

Also, that tree on the left looks like it’s had a big old dose of pollarding done to it, a process that has long intrigued me.

See also: a deer; a rabbit; another deer; a monochrome deer; the same deer (?) in colour; a bee; … You get the pictures.

Masks in London in June 2015

At the time I photoed these twelve photos, I picked them out and put them in a special directory, but then it went no further. Here they are:

Not bad, but you’ve seen it all before. Photoers photoing, with their faces unrecognisable, a BMNB staple.

But consider that last photo, of the lady whose face would appear to have been covered by her scarf blowing over it, or maybe being placed over it. I included that photo for future display, but for some reason I didn’t consider any of these four photos as interesting:

At least I thought them interesting enough to actually photo them. Maybe the idea was to do a special posting about mask photos. If so, here is that posting. Which must also include one or all of these photos, of her friend, doing the same thing:

History doesn’t just make you experience the present differently. It also makes you look back at the past with new eyes.

Another perceptual flip to add to the collection – and why I find such things to be interesting

Yes, I do like these optical tricks that computer graphics makes it so easy for computer graphicists to play on the world.

Says Steve Stewart-Williams of his latest discovery in this genre:

If you cover the bottom of the ring, the top is closest to you; if you cover the top, it flips around.

Indeed. I clocked what was going on simply by scrolling, which I did because I wanted to see the whole thing, not because I had read what SS-W had said about it yet. But instead of seeing it all, I stopped seeing only the top and started seeing only the bottom, and … what he said.

A big part of the core curriculum of this blog, and of its predecessor, was and is something like: “How I see things and how other people seem to see things”. What do I particularly notice? What do you notice? Do you ignore what I notice?

Sculpture draws elaborate attention to itself. So does advertising. I notice both. Roof clutter and cranes don’t care how I or anyone thinks they look. They are just getting on with their jobs. Millions do not notice roof clutter and cranes, but I do, partly because of their unselfconsciously sculptural qualities. Do you ignore or notice some or all of such things? Chances are you do notice and enjoy noticing several if not all of these things, or you’d not be bothering with this blog. But if you ignore, I’m not complaining, just noticing. People vary, a lot.

See also, which is a generalised version of the above paragraph: Art.

But optical illusions are interesting, because, aside from being interesting for the usual fun reasons that people like them, we most of us tend to experience them in the exact same way. It would, for instance, be bizarre if you looked at the above-linked snatch of video and then wondered what the hell SS-W and I were both talking about. Sharing the same sorts of brains, I see most optical illusions in just the same way you see them. Assuming you share my interest in them at all and you see them at all.

Optical illusions thus celebrate what we all have in common. (Except those of us who don’t. Guess: Optical illusions, in addition to being fun, are also a tool to identify people with brain oddities or brain damage. ?)

Here is the previous one of these things that SS-W pointed me to.

Taxis with adverts – July to December 2019

I know I know. There’s only one person in the whole world who likes clicking through huge collections of photos of London taxis with adverts on them. Me. But such galleries of persuasive transport are now easy for me to put up here, and have always been easy for you to ignore, so here’s another, consisting of fifty-four taxis-with-adverts photoed by me in the latter half of last year:

Photo 49, bottom row, number four, features Ms Calzedonia, a shapely lady with writing on her legs. But even my original 4000×3000 photo did not enable me to discern what this writing says and my googling also proved insufficient. Anyone?

Also puzzling, merely from my photo number 40, is “Duolingo”, but this was easy to learn about, and pretty easy to guess. It’s for learning a new language.