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Attention Conservation Notice

It's morning here. I'm about to get on a train with no wifi and crap phone service and go visit elderly relatives for a couple of days. Your chances of getting me to rise to the bait are thereby diminished.

When I get back I have a bunch more blog postings queued up. They include:

* I hate (c)rap music

* Michael Jackson: dead white guy?

* Capitalism sucks: Communism will save us


* Yes, your ass looks fat in that. (And you need to shower more often.)

Live long and prosper.



Lol. Mind the gaps. And the trolls.


You forgot "I Killed Heinlein's Chocolate Cats."


LOL -- now you're just asking for trouble! :)

BTW, I read an article around the time of the death of Jackson that postulated that he was one of the first Transhumans....

I think this is it:


Oh man, you're in a boatload of trouble now! LOL!


The United States lost the War of 1812/bullshit, it was a draw. My preferred computer hardware rules, and your preferred computer hardware sucks. Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist. Say we've got this airplane on a treadmill. Gun control. Derek Smart. Meow meow Henrietta Pussycat meow meow meow The Presidents of the United States of America meow Kitty? Pedophilia. Libertarianism is a crock/Ayn Rand is God. Prussian Blue. Nikolai Tesla. Let's rmgroup *.net, *.fa and *.mod. Macedonia. Turkey. Armenia. The concept of college fraternities and sororities sucks/no it doesn't. You have hard the message Pink Floyd has delivered, but have you listened? My homebrew physics theories are true, dammit, and NASA must listen to me so that we can colonize Pluto! Should you switch doors after Monty Hall opens the third door? We request that you remove the alt.religion.s#ient#logy newsgroup from your site


(have I left out any of the big ones?)


@5 dennis:
chemtrails? various other conspiracy stuff?

plus of course the favourites from the cycling NGs:
cycling paths kill cyclists/no they don't
helmets are completely useless at best if not dangerous/no they're not


That would be: "Live long and prosper -- Merry Christmas". From a tree ornament available from your finer greeting card stores about 10 years ago. (The punchline is, at the risk of possibly lethal digression, It's a Star Trek themed Xmas tree ornament)


oh, and how could I forget the only one that really matters, the mother of all the other ones:
Emacs vs VI(M)


Global Warming is a Russian plot for a warm water port.
^My favorite conspiracy.




As a Caucasian male named Michael Jackson I can only hope that reports of my death remain exaggerated for some time to come. :)


Does the National Express train from Edinburgh to Leeds not have free wifi. It does when you travel south from Leeds to London.


I see no reason for Charlie to write his blogs: all his headings are clearly and demonstrably true. Why wait? Let's have a heated debate!


Brian: Virgin, not National Express. The ECML doesn't stop in Leeds, you have to change at York -- but the weird-ass diesel-powered Inverness-to-Penzance cross country service basically goes door to door. (NatEx lost the franchise, anyway.)


Well if you fancy a coffee on friday night / saturday morning I'm visiting my folks - they have the number


Brian, I don't have your number. (Drop me an email?)


Maybe some cats are evil, but they don't chew up your shoes!


I wouldn't be surprised if Jacko would have been diagnosed as an autistic savant.


> Yes, your ass looks fat in that.

Wow, brave man. Personally I go for the positive approach (too much exposure to sports psychologists in my life) and focus on alternatives:

"Not really your colouring - you're a winter, not a spring" (thankyou, Mum, for leaving "Colour me Beautiful" next to a bored teenager, I've been bluffing for years on half an hour's reading)

"I prefer this one - it's got a better drape to it"...

"It's a bit 1980s - why not try that one, you'd look good in it"


* Yes, your ass looks fat in that.

My donkey is just big-boned, thank you.

Who are you, and what have you done with the real Charlie Stross? He's English, I believe...


I'm a somewhat young black/brown person who hates (c)rap music, so you can imagine how culturally isolated I am. There is some good rap, but there is so much of it that is offensive and awful it's not worth crawling through to get to the few good nuggets. And communism may save us all, if we ever figure out that pesky problem of limited resources.


Coltrane @21
check out Sage Francis.


I seem to have forgotten:

0.9999 equals one/the hell it does. Monty Python quotes. I know that I was taught in school not to divide by zero, but look at all the cool stuff I can do if you would just let me. Fish puns. Does anybody know what "govende" means? I think I've figured out a way that the Germans could have made Operation Sealion work. My preferred operating system/text editor/gaming console rules, and your preferred operating system/text editor/gaming console sucks. Certain abilities correlate with certain racial categories. Kevin Smith. Balrogs have wings/the hell they do. Here's my theory of what was in the "Pulp Fiction" suitcase.

And to close this list, I'd like to make a gratituous comparison to Hitler and/or the Nazis.



And capitalism is going to save us all if we figure out that pesky problem of abundant resources.

Economics 101: If something is not scarce, it has no price. Markets only deal with limited resources and utterly fail in dealing with abundance.


Dennis Brennan @ #5

You left out:

Edmond Wollmann and alt.astrology
Frea Speach
The Usenet Cabal
The Lumber Cartel

HTH, have a chocolate truffle.
(FX: offers box around)



Cool ... can I play?

(C)rap Music:
I mustard mitt (why? I dunno I just did it and there it is! Deal with it) I'm not a fan either, but I found a guy who raps in Maori and it's kinda cool, esp. as he's originally from Croydon! Someone shout if they'd like a link - I'm not sure if we're aloud (there it is again! Won't somebody stop me!) to post links so I won't ... but do ask if anyone's interested!

I have a bottom arse scale that perhaps deserves an outing at this point. Pert bottom at one end and fat arse at the other ... but don't forget fabularse somewhere up the arse end!

@Dennis re Monty Hall:
This would appear to be the odd one out as it seems to be the only one with a right or wrong answer: Yes. Swap.
(others may also have right/wrong answers but I don't get all the references)

@Michael re Emacs vs Vi:
Too easy! Vi every time.

@Vic re Cats:
The thing about cats you need to understand is that if they were big enough they'd kill you and eat you.

There ... that wasn't so hard now was it.

Next week I'll be building a box girder bridge and curing the world of all known ills.


It's not really my favorite music genre (more into alt/punk), but not all Rap is crap. It's not all misogynistic gangsta crud. There are plenty of fairly intelligent and amusing alternative hiphop groups out there, De La Soul and various Nerdcore for example.

However there is also dreadful stuff like:
which, I think, cover the 1st and last items.


Coltrane: actually I kind of like De La Soul and Consolidated and a couple-of-others-I-forget ... but Sturgeon's law definitely applies. (And gangsta rap? Nope, not my aspirational lifestyle of choice, thankee very much. BLAM.)

Andy: re cats ... yes, they would.


Andy#26 & Charlie I'd like to think as long as I could work the can opener I'd be OK! Although, the little white one does likes to gnaw on my hand :-\


@26: Andy, your allergies are acting up again, right? I mean, look at what happened to Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy....


If we had some Trotskyists and Anarchists, we could put them in a big jar, and shake it until they 'debate' the Kronstadt uprising. . .


So instead of worrying that I wasn't there, Tabitha was waiting for lunch to walk back into the house?

Either you lot have some weird cats, or Tabitha was very unusual. I'm still missing her.


Dr. X, which particular sort of Anarchist are you considering for the cage-match?

See Sgt. Alberto Gonzales if you want to lay bets. He'll give you good odds for Airborne in the Derby.


I was thinking proper old-school leftie anarchists, not the silly fools who call themselves 'libertarians' today.


The author of Principles of Program Design is dead? That would be a serious loss to the world.


I think the Anarchists could be a viable 3rd party (USA) but they can't seem to get organised ;>


"re cats ... yes, they would [eat you if they could]."

Meat is murder, and that's one of the things they like about it. We have a lot in common; our friendship includes an element of professional courtesy. I'm told it has, on occasion, been established that we are the top predator.

(How fire can be domesticated)


Rap? Generally not a fan, but you must try 'dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip', favourite track 'Letter from God to Man'...


It isn't "Blam." It's "Slam." Onyx are poets. And then there is Cube. Must not dis the Cube. And Snoop, he is excellent, as is the work of his great admirer and everyone's favorite pimp, Kid Rock, at least in his marvellous collaborations on the Cocky album.

And was LL gangsta when he threatened you with maternal fisticuffs? It is unclear, but I would say yes indeed. What about Boogie Down Productions? Must again say yes. Of course, the Wu-Tang qualifies, as does Method Man, if in a somewhat low-key slightly-inebriated sort of way.

Therefore, since everyone likes classic gangsta, I have no doubt that all comments to the contrary were intended as irony.

The chicken tastes like wood.


Noel, I don't think I've heard anything by any of the artists you mention.

(Mind you, part of what messes me up with rap is the accent and language. It's impenetrable; for an equivalent experience, try coping with Glaswegian. Similar experience, actually -- if you can understand it, it's menacing and sufficiently scatalogical that every second word would be bleeped on US network TV.)


Though I don't listen to much rap, I must admit to rather enjoying Cypress Hill, who were (are?) as misogynistic and violence-glorifying as they come, but are also very funny and know it. Ditto Wu-Tang once they get going with the pop-culture riffs. Also, the Fugees album, The Score, is pretty damn amazing though I suppose that's more hip-hop.


re: capitalism, have been re-grokking Marx's Alienation of Labor, and just started watching Slavoj Zizek's Ecology as Opium for the Masses[1] today. Good stuff.

Happy birthday Charlie!



Of course Michael Jackson is a dead white guy. I have one of his fine books on beer and am sorry I'll never meet him now.

I wouldn't be surprised if Jacko would have been diagnosed as an autistic savant.

Don't get me started on the subjunctive mood.


No, Michael Jackson's still alive.


Charlie @40
If I might recommend some decent hip hop of the more cerebral, non-gangsta variety

-Sage Francis
-Non-Prophets (Sage Francis side project)
-Buck 65 (Canadian fellow)


OK ... others have been naming names in the hip-hop/rap world and I alluded to a Croydon born (... New Zeeland made, One part geezer, Nine parts 'bay') mate of mine who raps in Maori (though not all the time).
If yer of a mind, do go check him out - he has been nominated twice for the Silver Palm award for Native Language songs in NZ, which is no mean achievement in and of itself for a Sarf Lundoner!

Do tell him I say "hi" ...


@23 "I think I've figured out a way that the Germans could have made Operation Sealion work."


Could the Luftwaffe have won the Battle of Britain? [guaranteed to cause a chorus of exasperated sighs in any history forum or even better, a collection of facepalms - use Seelöwe rather than Sealion for the best nazi fanboy impersonation]



I had to plan and conduct an infantry training exercise on the south coast of England a couple of years ago. When writing the exercise scenario, I will admit to using SEALION and CROMWELL as an inspiration...

...yes, the exercising troops were beating the Opposing Forces back towards the Channel (I'm not _that_ revisionist).



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