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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: Links

Saturday September 08 2018

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.

Tuesday May 01 2018

... but something there.

Monday April 16 2018

Twitter is causing ever more interesting things to pile up on my computer screen, and slow everything down.  (I know, “bookmarks”.  Hate them.) So, here is a blog posting consisting of such links.  Which I can come back to and follow through on but probably never will, but possibly just might.

Eyebrows - we all have them, but what are they actually for?

The Kremlin has a Reckless Self-Image Problem.

Via 6k, how to take bizarre photos by stuffing wire wool into a egg whisk, setting the wire wool on fire, and swinging all that around on a rope.  Do not try this at home, unless you want to burn down your home.

Next, a Twitter posting about cactus patterns:

So frustrating! My cactus patterns are going viral on FB, but the person who posted the photo of them a) didn’t credit me and b) deletes any comments I write responding to people asking for the patterns.

But what if she made that up? As a ruse to get the world to pay attention to her cactus patterns?  Or, what if she hired, in good faith, some sleazy “internet marketer” who deliberately posted her photos on some faked-up Facebook site, minus any credit, told her about it, and then blocked her complaints?  The sleazy internet marketer then advised her to complain about this to all and sundry, knowing that all and sundry would sympathise.  She seems like an honest person, doing honest business, which is why I pass this on.  But a decade of internetting has made me cynical.

Next, a Spectator piece about someone called Scaramucci, who is writing a book about Trump.  The piece says more about Scaramucci than it does about Trump, but his book sounds like it will be quite good.  Scaramucci sounds like he has his head screwed on right, unlike a lot of the people who write Trump books.

Also in the Spectator, Toby Young realises that his wife is smarter than he is.  And she chose to stay at home and raise their kids because that’s what she wanted to do.  You can feel the tectonic plates of Western Civilisation shifting back towards stay-at-home mumhood, even as mere policy continues to discourage it.  Jordan Peterson, take a bow.  That man is already raising the birth rate in rich countries, by encouraging both fatherhood and motherhood.  The only question is: By how much?  Trivially, or significantly?  My bet, with the passing of a bit of time: significantly.

George Bernard Shaw tells it like it was and is about Islam.  I lost track of how I chanced upon that, but there it is.  These days, GBS would probably get a talking-to from the Thought Police, a talking-to which might well include the words: “We’re not the Thought Police”.  If the Thought Police were to have a go at her, they just might get an earful themselves.

Mike Fagan liked this photo of Mont Saint Michel with sheep in the foreground.  I can’t any longer find when he liked it, but he did.  Reminds me of this Millau Viaduct photo, also with sheep in the foreground.

Boaty McBoatface got turned into David bloody Attenborough, but Trainy McTrainface proudly rides the railway lines of Sweden.  As usual, You Had One Job supplied no link (so no link to them), but here’s the story.

Thank you Paul Marks for telling me about someone telling me about Napoleon’s greatest foe.  His name?  Smith.

The sun is now spotless, or it was on April 11th.

David Baddiel has doubts about the bloke who said “gas the Jews” rather a lot, to a dog.  As do I.  It should be legal, but don’t expect me to laugh.

Tim Worstall:

All of which leads to the correct Brexit stance to be taking. No deal. We’ll go to unilateral free trade and the rest of you can go boil your heads. We’ll give it a couple of decades and we’ll see who is richer, OK?

Quillette: The China Model Is Failing

The three temporarily separate Elizabeth lines.

Wisdom.

Anton Howes on Sustained Economic Growth.

John Arnold made a fortune at Enron.  He is now spending some of it on criticising bad science.

Human genes reveal history.  This book is number (about) twenty on my to-read list.

Philip Vander Elst on How Communism Survived Thanks to Capitalist Technology.

And finally, Bryan Caplan still thinks this is pretty good.

I now feel much better.  And more to the point, my computer seems a lot sprightlier than it was.  This has been the computerised equivalent of cleaning my room.  The job is not done, but I have taken a chunk bite out of it.

Thursday April 05 2018

Twitter is getting seriously addictive for me these days.  What will stop that is that it is getting a bit samey, as the same people keep on saying the same things.

Kristian Niemietz spends most of his Twitter time shouting at Corbynistas.  So I was rather delighted to see this:

image

Miemietz supplies no link, which I hate.  This hatred reminds me of the time when I used to rain curses down upon would be Libertarian Alliance authors who did not supply proper footnotes, in that now long gone era when there were no links.  Just footnotes.  I know, weird.

To quote myself (who else will?):

If you submit something to the LA for publication, your manuscript must be legible, and it must be complete. If we publish it exactly as you have submitted it, you should be content. On the other hand, if we are unable to publish it as it stands, either because we can’t read it, or because it lacks vital details, we will not be at all content.

We do not favour the “people generally, are, in a general way, inclined to think approximately such and such” style of writing. Who thinks it? Exactly what do they think? Where’s the proof that this is what they think? You should supply chapter and verse. If you are depending upon or taking issue with some written point of view or other, it is essential that you should enable your readers to acquaint themselves at first hand with what you are praising or criticising. They must be able to satisfy themselves that your criticisms are fair. They must, if encouraged by your praise of something, be able to explore further. The LA would be a waste of everyone’s time if all that happened was that a whole bunch of people read everything published by the LA, but read - or wrote - nothing else.

Accordingly, you must supply complete and accurate footnotes. ...

Ah, those were the days.  It’s a wondrous exercise in invective, though I say it myself.

Although, I note that I broke my own rule.  Who actually said: “no one says that”?

But however much those days were the days, I still prefer these days, when you just shove in a link.  Much easier.

Like this link, to the actual story about the missing cat that no longer was missing.

Later: Also this.

Monday February 26 2018

By which I mean me on these two things, yes (although I’ve not posted anything on either so far), but also me writing at Samizdata about me being on them.

At the moment, I greatly prefer Twitter.  If you’ve been following recent links from here, you’ll probably already have guessed that.

Sunday December 31 2017

And something quite substantial, by which I mean quite long, there.  But nothing, other that that link, here.  Have a very good evening, celebrating the rest of this year and the beginning of the next, if you are doing that.

Wednesday November 08 2017

In the summer of 2007 I was wandering along the south bank of the Thames with my Canon S2 IS, and came across this statue, outside a pub in Greenwich, called the Trafalgar Tavern:

image

I only got around to posting that photo at this blog in 2016, such time lags being frequent here.  It often takes me a while to appreciate how nice I think a certain photo is.

But 2016 proved soon enough for the lady who did this sculpture of Lord Nelson, for her new website was only then in the process of being put together.  An email arrived early this year asking me if I would mind any of my photos being used for this website, and if I was agreeable to this (which I was), could I supply original full-sized versions of all the decent photos I had taken of His Lordship?  Which I did.  I also asked, more in hope than expectation, to be informed if and when any use was made of any of my photos, and I then forgot the matter.

But then, a week ago, another email arrived saying that the photo above of Nelson was to be seen at the website, now up and running, of Lesley Pover, at the page where it says Nelson returns to Greenwich.  I even got a name check with a link back to here, at the bottom of that page.

All of which is most gratifying.  Ms Pover and her website maker have said their thanks to me.  I in my turn am grateful to be associated, if only in a very small way, with such an accomplished artist, and to have made a contribution to such a fine looking website.

Thursday August 24 2017

For quite a while now, I have had links open to two short stories that I wrote in the nineties.  These were my attempts at “Libertarian Fictions”.  I was prodded into reading them again by the experience of writing a summary of a Marc Sidwell talk, in favour of us creating more libertarian fictions.

I called my two stories Those Who Can Do, and The Lion’s Share.

These were, I now realise, very bad titles, especially in the age of the internet, then still in the future of course.  Google either of those titles, without my name, and those stories will be totally buried under a ton of other irrelevance, including, I dare say, quite a few other short stories with identical titles, chosen by other equally inexperienced short story writers.

In contrast, last night I went to a show written and acted by a friend of mine.  This was called Madam Bovary’s Communist After-Party.  Never mind if this was a good show.  It was and is, very, but that’s not my point here.  Nor is it relevant to the point of this posting that if you follow that link, you will get to an amazingly good photo of my friend, done by a young Real Photographer lady who is on the up-and-uo, which I may have sold quite a few extra tickets.  No, my point here is: that’s a very good title.  Google “Madam Bovary’s Communist After-Party”, with those exact words in that exact order, and all hits will be relevant.

So, my stories needed – and now need – to be called things more like The Public Goodness of a Struggling Writer, and How Starshine McKane Tried to Kill Everyone.

Aug ‘17 OSB11: Bad titles and a good title
Aug ‘17 OSB8: More tech
Aug ‘17 OSB7: 3D Printing is non-disruptive
August 2017 Old School Blogging (5): Ex-Googler James Damore
August 2017 Old School Blogging (1): The Plan
The same piece quotulated twice
A new British canal
Me elsewhere (on targetted advertising)
Scott Adams tries to outwit the shadow banners with kitten-tweets
Punched in the face by comedy
Softening the brutalities of brutalism with colour
Men on Gherkin
Something there
A piece about people who are F4BF 4 Samizdata
Nothing (apart from this) here today
Some more lighthouses for 6k
Snake on a car
Coastline politics at Samizdata
How Brexit has unified the Conservative Party
Two bits for Samizdata and a weird bridge in Poole
Ambtious plans for driverless flying cars
Memo to self about not letting blog postings get out of hand inside my head …
Snohetta does zig zag roofs for competitive cities
Why I am a point-and-shoot photographer rather than a Real Photographer
Something at Samizdata
The River Thames carpet
Guardian online is a group blog that trolls its own readers
Art has its uses – but where did it have its uses this time – and what is it?
“In order to comply with Google’s regulations …”
A quota post (with a quota link to a post about a post about a quota photo) and another quota photo
When you are old you tend to assume that confusion is your fault even if actually it is not
Happy Old Year
Sperm Bike
The Heron Tower restaurant
I’ve just been quotulated
You can achieve everything you want if you’re unambitious enough
Emmanuel Todd links
Better a year late than never
On how being linked to enables you to tell your story as you wish and why long titles are good
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom has been seen elsewhere!
Dream and reality in Mumbai
Beware the Men In Orange!
Lighter blogging here but not none
Freedom Tower and Gary Johnson at Samizdata
Big Things and small things
Less (here) is more (at Samizdata)
How to immobilise a cat
Natalie Solent at Biased BBC
A Good Old Day at Samizdata
Friday link dump
Ireland beating England in Dublin
On the rise of Bishop Hill
Emmanuel Todd quoted and Instalanched
Transport redirect
Yet more redirection
More redirection
Mmmmmm … Asian skyscrapers!
Another link enema
A blog posting linking to a science article
St Matthew reinterpreted
Links to this and that
Ten thoughts about the Pakistan cricket corruption story
Farnborough redirect
Natalie links back
Making those Big Statements one slice at a time
Cats and bridges on Pixdaus
Climategate and a blurry and artificially lit roundabout
Four recent bits by me at Samizdata
A great Johnathan Pearce Britain-can-dump-the-EU blog posting - and the value of informative titles
Link to a list of peer-reviewed papers supporting skepticism of “man-made” global warming
Climbing aboard Samizdata
Antoine Clarke talks about Facebook and Twitter – Guido and … Ian Geldard?
Environmental
Two Samizdata pieces
Quota posting
UK libertarian bloggers 2.0
Spelling Micklethwait wrong and Googling for Brian Micklethwaite
Hail Guido
At Samizdata: cricket - crime - Kevin Dowd quote
James Tyler’s speech at Policy Exchange
A question about double inverted commas in OpenOffice.org Writer
Unamazing photo of amazing road
TARP stuff - and a trip to Sheffield
Billion Monkeys liked photoing the nastiest poster!
Link to Samizdata piece about arguments from incredulity
More random links
Nothing today but link to Samizdata
Random links
Samizdata piece about caring for Mum
New addition to blogroll
Blogging elsewhere and talks elsewhere
Redirect to a piece on Samizdata about a camera
Will Wilkinson
Strange weather
I’m not nearly grand enough to ignore this
Linkable Lefever
Today I have been blogging elsewhere and also doing other things
Me elsewhere
Educating Small Boy and Smart Boy
Posting with Jesus at the far end of the Kings Road
The space between the buildings
I listened to both of them at the same time!
Links to me elsewhere – and a photo of Marc-Henri Glendening
Che Guevara was a murderer and your T-Shirt is not cool
An education link
A squinting cat and a master ephemerist
Links and guns
Further pictorial shallowness
At the dogs
Splog is the new splig
Lots of links
The double thank-you moment
White Man’s Poison?
“What you like learning about is probably what you like to do”
Cricket blogging by me elsewhere
Tall chess men and tall buildings in the evening
It’s only a Billion Monkeys if you count mobile phones (and then it’s far more)
Svensmark – for and against
Norman interested – Harry has some wildness in his genealogy
New York Times links - owned genes
Dissenting Muslims
Everyone in the world is not like me
Two photos elsewhere
Links I like
When everything is copyable
Samizdata cranks it out
Greatest hits – good idea
Foreigners on film
Classical music Natalie
Namesake
Chinamen playing cricket
Banana phone
Another Natalie
Car wreck Natalie
How links have weakened the mainstream media
Reading and writing for the www are the same
What is a squarry?
Housekeeping
A little networking
Links