Five pendulums getting into step

Or should it be “pendula”? Probably not, because that sound vaguely sexual in a rather creepy way.

I am now assuming that this video is showing the same phenomenon as the wobbling of the Millennium Bridge when it first opened.

Tweet-commenter Alma Cook also mentions how periods in groups of women get synchronised.

And yes, I found what I was looking for. Tweet-commenter Morris Jasper says:

This is essentially what happened with the ‘wobbly’ Millennial Bridge.

But as several tweet-commenters say, it’s not right to call any of this “spontaneous”, if by that you mean happening for no reason. The pendulums are all resting on the same oscillating platform. Just as all those people on the Millennium Bridge were walking on the same wobbling bridge.

Talking of pendulums, I am fond of György Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique For 100 Metronomes. They don’t synchronise themselves, because the structure they rest on is not wobbling. They just stop. One by one. It takes just over eight minutes for this to happen. (I also like Ligeti’s piano music. (But now I really digress.))

Julia Hartley-Brewer on ducking auto-editing on her ducking iPhone

Indeed:

Why does my iPhone always think I’m trying to type “ducking” when I’m actually trying to type “ducking” and no matter how many times I type “ducking” it still auto-edits it to “ducking” every ducking time? Is there any way of stopping this?

I didn’t LOL, but I did smile.

I don’t suffer from this ducking problem here.

LATER: I’d never watched this before. Ducking good.

Fucking amazing rant by Scott Adams

Yes, this is fucking amazing:

For about ten minutes I thought: this isn’t a “rant”. It’s a calmly but firmly made argument. But then, the argument having been made, it suddenly turns into the fucking rantiest fucking rant fucking ever.

I have long been hoping – really fucking hoping – that Trump doesn’t just defeat Biden, but absolutely fucking crushes him and everything he fucking stands for and is standing next to, by the proverbial fucking landslide.

It is my clear understanding that this Scott Adams rant makes this distinctly more fucking likely. I mean, everyone’s going to want to fucking see this. Fucking everyone.

The “Mainstream Media” of the USA have not been the actual mainstream media for nearly two decades now, ever since the Internet got into its stride. This piece of fucking video fucking is going to prove that more fucking completely than anything else I have ever fucking seen.

I mean, quite aside from anything else, the old ex- “Mainstream Media” would never have fucking allowed anyone to fucking say “fucking” so many fucking times, without pulling the fucking plug on him. But now fucking Scott Adams can fucking do it. And I can sit, on the other side of a fucking great ocean, and I can fucking do it in this little fucking blog posting. And nobody is going to fucking stop either of us from fucking doing it.

Roll on that fucking landslide.

Mayfair Tanning & Waxing

You see weird things in London. Well, I do:

For years and years, this sort of car decorating was impossible. Now: everywhere. But not usually as artfully as in the above.

Photoed by me, in Oxford Street, three years ago today.

When you type in the website on that midget car, you discover that this enterprise now calls itself Mayfair Aesthetics & Beauty. Which is not so weird. Which would be why they changed it.

Why I disagree with Alice Smith about “the BLM movement”

Alice Smith tweets:

“The BLM movement is totally different from the BLM organisation.”

Yes, just the same way that the Marxist movement is different from Marxist organisations.

And your point is?

Setting aside that bit of snark at the end, which I only include for completeness (that is the whole tweet), I think Alice Smith is wrong about this. I often do agree with her, which is why I follow her on Twitter, but on this, not.

I think that the “Marxist movement” is a lot more similar to “Marxist organisations” than the “BLM movement” is to BLM.

For instance, before they embark upon a test match, England’s cricketers and their test match opponents this summer have together been “taking the knee”. That makes them, in their way, part of the “Black Lives Matter movement”. I know why they’ve been doing this. They’re saying that back lives matter. They are saying that, what with cricket being very multi-racial and multi-cultural, everyone should be treated with respect, there should be no racial insults, etc. etc. And the world in general ought be like that too. It may be a bit virtue-signally, but they really are signalling actual virtues by doing this. Which is why I do not object.

If, on the other hand, I thought that by kneeling thus, these cricketers had been signalling their approval for the demolition of Western Civilisation and its replacement by tyrannical barbarism, which is what BLM, the organisation, believes in and is doing everything it can to bring about, I’d be angry. But if these cricketers thought that that was what taking the knee actually meant, or what the rest of us watching this on our televisions also thought it meant, they’d not be doing it.

Insofar as the BLM organisation actually succeeds in convincing us all that taking the knee does indeed mean favouring the destruction of Western Civilisation, then the practise will become confined to those groups of people who actually believe in the destruction of Western Civilisation. My understanding is that this is happening, somewhat, in America, which is why taking the knee is now losing some of its appeal. But it is not happening, or has not yet happened very much, in Britain.

I like Trump because of his vices

This guy, Shmuel Klatzkin, almost says why I so like the Trump Presidency:

But I think it will become clearer that the only antidote to the clever dishonesty of the Obama years was the blunt, bulldozing, free-talking, bragging Trump. For all his many faults, he has kept the most basic faith between the electorate and an elected leader — he tells the people what he means to do, and then he does it.

The point is that only blunt bulldozing would have sufficed. Where it says “for all his many faults”, it should have said something more like “because of his virtues and because of his faults …”. Trump is operating at a time when “virtue” would have rendered him utterly ineffective. Trump would either come out swinging and yelling and bragging. Or, he’d fail. Klatzkin said all that, but then, when it came to summarising his piece, he missed the nail and hit timber.

I recall writing a piece for Samizdata not long after Trump was elected, in which I expressed the hope that he would not stop tweeting. I hoped he would not turn over a new leaf and become “Presidential”. He has not turned over that new leaf. Good. It was essential that he did not.

Quotulated on the subject of responsibility

It’s always a pleasure to be Quotulated. That particular Quotulation being from a posting I did for Samizdata entitled Jordan Peterson on responsibility – and on why it is important that he is not a politician.

Here’s another bit from that Samizdata piece that was not Quotulated, but which gives you a flavour of it:

But getting back to what Peterson says about “responsibility”, the deeply refreshing thing about how he uses this word is that, because he is not a politician, he separates the benefits to me of me choosing to live responsibly from the idea of him deciding what he thinks these responsibilities of mine should be, and then compelling me to accept them whether I judge them to be wise or appropriate or meaningful for me or not. The process he wants to set in motion in my mind is of me thinking about what my responsibilities should be. He is arguing that I should choose my own cross, as best I can, and then carry it as best I can, because this is what will be best for me. He is not telling me which cross it should be, in a way that he calculates will be advantageous for him.

Because this Samizdata piece was done quite a while back, I began reading the bit of it that the Quotulatiousness guy Quotulated from it knowing only that it was a Quotulatiousness QotD, by somebody or other, and that it concerned Responsibility. I began reading it, and thought: This is not bad. I like this. I do like it when I read something I like, and then find out that I wrote it myself.

It doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes you read something you know you wrote, because your own name at the top was the first thing you clocked, and then you think: This is bollocks. (In this paragraph, for “you” read “I” throughout.)

Poetry on the South Bank

Last summer, when wandering about where those Modified Social Benches are to be found, in the vicinity of the Royal Festival Hall, I happened to look downwards and I encountered, beneath my feet, this snatch of poetry:

When, more recently, I wondered what this poetry was, I was of course quickly able to identify the entire poem, hunting quotations down, even quite obscure ones, having now become so very easy.

I am sure that the off-puttingly antiquated language that I see in this poem is at least metaphorically speaking present, for many, in the classical music that I so love to listen to. These things are all a matter of personal taste. An insuperable barrier to one potential receiver of Art is no barrier at all to another. But for me, this sort of poetry is such that I hear only those barriers, rather than what is behind those barriers.

“O Thames!” … “Bards” … “fair River! … “fair Stream! … “Thy quiet soul on all bestowing” … “Vain thought!” … “thou art” … “ditty” … “the dashing oar” … “By virtue’s holiest Powers attended”. I just can’t get past such verbiage. If you can, I’m delighted for you, but I just can’t. This is close enough to the language I know and love for me to get straight away most of what is being said, but for that very reason, the fact that I and my contemporaries just wouldn’t say it like that also cannot be got around.

And, for me, the poetic momentum acquired by poetry when it really had a public impact, when people were spoken to strongly by words and phrases like those I have picked out from this Wordsworth poem, seems to weigh down even much contemporary poetry with its antiquated habits.

It’s not just the antiquated words. The very habit of “poetic” contemplation now seems to me more a suitable object for comedy than a real way to communicate. This much repeated bit of Rik Mayall stand-up seems to me to skewer the whole idea of being a poet, now. The puns that aren’t funny and aren’t even meant to be. The knowing proclamation of banalities, or just nonsenses, in a manner that implies deep wisdom. The deep suspicion verging on outright hostility that the Poet now has towards his potential audience, knowing that we think he’s rather laughable, in a bad way. The feeling that this character is a Poet, because he’s not up to being anything else of greater impact in the world as it now is.

I repeat. If you like poetry of the sort that poets do now, great. I am trying to describe how I feel, not making any sort of argument about what you should feel. I know I’m missing out on a lot of good things because of the above.

Here is something else I encountered, earlier on the same South Bank photo-walk in which I photoed that bit of Wordsworth.

A poet:

Yep. Definitely a poet. A poet is exactly the sort of person I’d expect still to be using a typewriter, and to ply his trade without drawing anyone’s attention to a website or social media presence. This is an exercise in self-conscious anachronism and, if this chap is silly enough to take what he’s doing seriously, almost inevitable downward social mobility.

Unless of course, he’s gathering material for his stand-up comedy act. That would make sense.

Plague column

When you live in times which are described with unfamiliar words, you learn about unfamiliar things:

That’s the Plague Column in Vienna, built with great and greatly prolonged effort to commemorate a plague that struck in 1679. It was finally inaugurated in 1694.

Those of us who are using the word “plague” to describe what’s happening now are being blackly humorous. There’s the definite suggestion of irony quotes. What sort of plague is it that seems to kill less than one percent of those who get it? They weren’t being ironic about plague back then.

Poetic perfection in a reopening pub

Rebecca Day tweets:

I’ve spoken to regulars Chris and Jimmy. Jimmy hasn’t gone to bed after his night shift tarmacking the roads. He had a shower and came straight here. He described the taste of his first Carling as being like an ‘angel pissing on the tip of my tongue’.

In her original tweet, Rebecca Day put “p***ing” and “his” tongue, so I’ve restored what Jimmy said to its original state of perfection. You’re welcome.

One of the services this blog supplies to its regular readers is to pluck occasional pearls of perfection like that (or that (or that)) from the torrent of swine shit that is Twitter, or at any rate what Twitter seems to turn into for many people.