Monthly Archives: October 2011

→ Do people care for an EU referendum?

Cathy Newman writes:

When pushed, 67 per cent of those polled by YouGov last month said they would rather have a referendum on Britain’s EU membership than not. But they had to be pushed – because actually, they don’t really care.

In my eighteen years in Cambridgeshire, membership to the European Union was never an issue raised. Not that it couldn’t be raised but that it wasn’t at all important. We had the guided busway and bin collections to concern our political lobes with.

I would be deeply saddened to see the United Kingdom withdraw from the EU but, if the Daily Express wants the country to commit economic suicide with its largest trading partner and force me against my will to return to my homeland, that’s the public’s decision; and, to be honest, I hated them beforehand anyway.

→ Blackfriars new design

David Hembrow writes:

The LCC’s proposal looks not entirely different to how some Dutch provision might have looked 30 years ago. There was a lot to like about 30 year old Dutch cycling infrastructure, so this isn’t entirely a bad thing. However, in the second decade of the 21st century, I really think that London should be copying 21st century solutions and not looking quite so far backward.

I haven’t been keeping up with the Blackfriars Bridge news as of late. It seems to have all quietened down in my Google Reader. But I’ve just had a late look at the London Cycling Campaign’s proposals and by god: they almost look European.

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Commence the reblogging

This isn’t a real blog. While I don’t really want to think of it as such, this is more of a grand memory dump – something which I’ll explain here because there’s no point writing the same thing twice. To cut a long story short, I’ve rewritten my own policy (if one’s allowed to do that) and I’ve decided that content is probably the best way to go, and I’ve taken the decision to reblog more. And I’ll start with…

Memory and where I dump mine

While doing twenty things at once this afternoon, I realised just how many of my hundreds of ideas a day don’t make it to paper or a keyboard before they disappear. My memory is like a sieve and I require not one but (and I’ve counted them) eight services to hold everything that spews out of my brain somewhere until I can deal with it. I haven’t included Google Calendar or my HTC’s Voice Memos application in that magic figure: Google Calendar is, organisationally, something slightly different; and I’ve begun to use Voice Memos less and less, since the transcription was beginning to piss me off.

Of course, no two ideas are the same; but my ideas tend to be more suited to a specific one of these eight applications or services over all the others. I’m going to show you two of the eight that I use most regularly, Instapaper and Remember the Milk.

Instapaper is something that I abuse constantly. Instapaper is supposed to be about finding an article or post on the Internet but because you don’t have the time there and then to read it, you ‘save it for later’. It’s an amazing service but it comes with one downside: it’s too convenient. While I do use it in its indented fashion 75% of the time, I also use it as a place to store YouTube videos; as a wishlist; or as a list of Wikipedia articles which I’ve found typos on (I really don’t have the less-than-fifteen seconds it takes to click ‘Edit’ and correct the typo; I’m that busy). And so, to Marco Arment, I apologise: this behaviour will stop.

Remember the Milk is a truly awesome task management site. Tasks are, again, a different kind of idea: they don’t require too much work in themselves but everyone needs a reminder now and then. I can input a task in RTM and forget about it; then, every morning, I receive an email (I used to also receive direct messages via Twitter) giving me an overview of what needs to be done. The one problem I have with these emails is that they don’t include overdue tasks.

But even adding tasks can be a task in itself. Because I work a lot in the shell, I don’t just want the ability to type something like:

kevin@computer:~$ rtm "Figure out which of these Smart Add characters need to be escaped ^today !1 #rtm #investigate"

to add a task to Remember the Milk (which can be done by adding this function to your .bashrc); but I want a proper manager for my tasks. If I could get RTM and something like Taskwarrior to communicate, for instance, I'd be a happy happy man.

On the more irritating side of the argument of the existence of God

There are two problems I have with people of a religious nature. The most offensive is that these people are intent on forcing their particular beliefs and delusions upon you, but that’s not the problem I’m going to talk about today. The second and slightly more irritating problem is that religious people just don’t give up; they are, without a doubt, the absolute worst people to begin an argument with. No matter how illogical their views are, they just will not admit defeat. Logic is the science of reasoning and is fundamental in helping us understand what is true and false; what seems correct. A magic wizard of no origin who has limitless benevolence (but who is also responsible for tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes and the such) and who also knows everything and anything (even what’s going to happen in the future, despite self-determination) doesn’t seem plausible.

Now, in my opinion, if neither party of an argument can present any evidence to support their claims, the claim that seems the most logical wins; but of course the religious movement believes that such reasoning can be overruled by shouting for longer than the other party. The most frustrating argument I have with these prickwits – “is there a God?” – will usually come down to the irritating statement “prove there isn’t a God then”, something I can’t actually do but I can prove something else.

You tell me that you have little men inside your head to whom you have long and winding conversations, sometimes with the little men telling you to hate or kill certain people – just generally be a massive bellend. I can’t prove you don’t have little men inside your head; I can’t read your thoughts to say which ones were sourced from reality and which you’ve imagined, and I can’t tell what your imagination is saying to you. All I can say with certainty is that you’re mentally deranged. But because I can’t prove the men don’t exist, you’ll most probably have a flash of argumentum ad ignorantiam and say that if I can’t prove they don’t, they must – which is the wrong angle to take with arguments like this.

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