BMNB quote of the day: Tim Newman on feminism

Yes, Tim Newman:

As I’m fond of saying, modern feminism is largely about encouraging women to adopt the worst behaviours of men.

Tim Newman’s blog, White Sun of the Desert, is not in the list of OTHER PLACES I OFTEN GO TO, at the bottom of the blue permanent information bit on the left of this blog. But these days, I find myself going there often.

The decision to mend my Old Blog, so to speak, by setting up this new version of it, amounted to a vote of confidence in blogging generally. Two friends have currently been making noises about starting new blogs. I’m looking forward to reading those blogs regularly, if they happen.

More generally, it feels like a good time to find my way to other new blogs, that I find that I like, but don’t now know about. I recently made a start by discovering this blog (already mentioned here in this posting).

Pakistan parallels

Incoming from Michael J:

This is amusing.

Backing England in this World Cup, as I am, being English, I must get my World Cup entertainment where I can.

Pakistan are playing NZ today, and they made a great start, getting four early wickets, and then the key wicket of Kane Williamson, making it NZ 83-5. So, Pakistan are on course to win this World Cup. But NZ are now 150-5 and by no means out of it just yet.

I often like to do my sport blogging during games and during tournaments rather than when everything has finished, because it’s the middles of games and the middles of tournaments that you tend to forget. Yet they are fascinating at the time. Or in the case of England just now, excruciating.

LATER: And the parallels continue parallel. “?” turns to “WON”. The “Pakistan are playing NZ today” link (see above) turns to “Pakistan beat NZ”.

Things to break you

One of my favourite silly websites used to be This is why I’m broke, and yes, there seems to be a particular UK version of this now. But it’s been ages since I’ve been there.

This evening I corrected this, and here are some toys that, for this or that reason, I found amusing and/or diverting.

This at home 3D printer amused me because the useless objects it is shown as having just printed tell us, yet again, that these devices are pointless. The only reason to have a “domestic” 3D printer is to learn about 3D printing. But the same applies to something like a domestic staple gun or a domestic welding kit. Either do it for a living, or steer clear, would be my advice.

These something something skates interest me, because all forms of power-assisted “pedestrian” transport interest me, and this one would appear also to be power-assisted. More and more of the future of cities is going to be made of personal transport gizmotics of this sort, I think.

The world’s best travel pillow is something I’d like, next time I’m in a train or plane. Provided that’s what it really is.

I wouldn’t, on the other hand, want a screenholder shower curtain, but for those who never wash because it means being separated from their various screens, it could be just the thing.

Now would I want this inflatable pull-out couch. But for people who want a big pull-out couch, but who are constantly moving, again this might be just the ticket.

Like so much of This Is Why I’m Broke stuff, this roll-up keyboard is a nice idea, but in truth, although I might carry it around with me, I probably wouldn’t actually use it. Laptops are ubiquitous for good, if somewhat complicated, reasons.

And this remote control mini-drone looks great. But, what on earth is it for?

How Twitter works

Or maybe that should be: How Twitter rots the brain.

Instapundit is a daily destination for me, and yesterday, there’s a posting about a piece at Quillette by Cathy Young about Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

So I read that, and am impressed. Solzhenitsyn was a hero of mine when I was at school and university, and like Young, I was puzzled by his subsequent opposition to Western liberalism and fondness for Russian nationalism, along with all the nasty baggage that is liable to bring with it, like anti-Semitism.

At the bottom of the Cathy Young article is the suggestion that I should consider following Cathy Young at Twitter. I do so. I scroll down, and soon find myself smiling at otter jokes, all the otter jokes being based on the fact that “otter” is only one letter away from “other”. Significant otters. In otter news. (Yes, Happy New Year again.)

And: Why did the otters cross the road? To get to the otter side.

This didn’t take long at all.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

I’ve kept it going at Samizdata – so far – just

So now, it’s five Samizdata postings by me in the last five days. And the last two (this one and, posted moments ago, this one) were done the following morning. Hurrah for backdating.

And hurrah for me backdating this one also.

The way I see it, the day ends when I go to bed.

I note that the Radio Times, one of my favourite publications, follows the same rule.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

But will I be able to keep it up?

Well how about that!?!? You wait months for a Brian Micklethwait posting on Samizdata, and then two come along. This one, and this one, in the space of two days!!

The theme of the most recent posting, today’s, is that when it comes to architecture, I like both the modern style and the fake-antique style, and especially when they sit right next to each other.

Like this, for instance:

That was taken in the vicinity of Victoria Station.

The reason I bang on more about architectural modernity here is that I know more about it, and it keeps changing so very interestingly, and for all sorts of other reasons I am too tired to remember just now. But I like antiquity also, even if it is being faked.

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

“Attention” that isn’t

This morning, I was half attending to the Test Match. And I was switching back and forth between the Cricinfo page that showed the latest few deliveries with written ball-by-ball commentary (“live”), and the version that showed the complete England scorecard (“scorecard”). I was doing this because I was trying to track how the England stand in progress, being accomplished by Jos Buttler and Stuart Broad, compared to other stands in the innings, and also how Buttler’s personal score compared to other personal scores in the England innings. In the end, the Buttler/Broad stand was the biggest in the England innings, and Buttler was the top individual England scorer. Following a terrible evening yesterday, England had a very good morning this morning.

But this is not a posting only about cricket, it is mostly a posting about internet advertising, and about what I suspect is deliberate deception in the matter of how effective internet advertising actually is.

I know, I know, if I’m not paying, I’m not watching the product; I am the product. But I suspect that I, the product, am being lied about.

Every time I performed one of the above switches, from the “live” version of the Cricinfo test match page to the “scorecard” version, a noisy video advert cranked itself up at my new destination. Silencing such video adverts can be difficult. You tell them to shut up but they just ignore you and carry on shouting, like they own the site, which they sort of do. However, I have discovered a way to silence these adverts. Click on them, and immediately close the window that this click opens. The advert feels that its job is done, and it stops shouting. Its job is to get “clicks” to whatever the hell it was advertising.

But what were my clicks? Were they attempts to learn more about the product in question. No. They were simply me getting the advert to shut the hell up. I paid no attention to the adverts.

How many others have discovered this trick? I can’t be the only one. So, you stick your annoying advert on a popular website. People click on the advert, close the window as soon as it opens, but the people who placed this advert assure the purveyor of the product that the advert got “attention”, from me and all the others who clicked purely to shut the advert up. Because, look how many people clicked on the noisy bloody advert! I did it half a dozen times for several different adverts, every time I switched from one version of that Cricinfo page to the other, which I did a lot. That’s a lot of attention!

No it isn’t. It is a small amount of contempt, for bad-mannered tradesmen shouting at me in my kitchen.

What’s that you say? I’m a libertarian? Yes I am. So, why am I complaining about capitalism?

Try reading my piece for Samizdata entitled “The overheating Samsung S24F356 – and thoughts about why there are so many complaints about capitalism“.

That link there hasn’t been shouting at you all the time you’ve been reading this posting. This is a link with manners. You can follow this link, in silence. Or you can ignore it, in silence. You are welcome.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog