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2010 Current Affairs

Remember

Same thing as 2008, although the number of survivors of WW1 has shrunk to four.

In World War One

  • Forty two million people were mobilised for the Allies
  • There were twenty two million casualties on the Allied side.

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

In World War Two

  • Over 10% of the 1939 population of Germany were killed. 16% of Poland.
  • The soviet union suffered 10,700,000 military deaths.
  • The UK lost 382,600.
  • One of these was John Brunt

The point of Remembrance day is not war. It’s not really peace, either, and anyone using it to push any political agenda is doing the Service a disservice. It’s the unspoken social contract between those who go to fight the powers that would attack our country and those who survive: That if you go and fight, and do not return, we will remember them.

You may disagree with the current war, where the direct threat to our lands is diffuse and not really counterable – and possibly enhanced – by direct action in the lands of others, but this war is not all wars, and these reasons are not all reasons, and those that die of these decisions did not make them.

And so we remember them.

Poppies

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Imported From Epistula

Tuesday, 11th September 2001

I had come back from a weekend in Cambridge, where I had had a lot of fun.

I was working my way up to the decision to drop out of university before the new term started because I didn’t like it very much and thought someone might accidentally kill me.

I was in a kick of titling my entries with computer game titles.

So I was on IRC while the towers were falling

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Current Affairs Imported From Epistula

Blitz

It’s been brought to my attention that people may not be aware that I no longer work in London.

I no longer work in London, at a place just outside Kings Cross.

I no longer have a 90% chance of being in a train, just before 9am today, that was around the Kings Cross area.

I have never been so glad of that fact than I was today. Everyone I know of in London has been accounted for as safe, for which I am grateful. I remember the days of the IRA bombings, when each bombing meant a fear that something near my dad’s office had happened.

Today is a bad day to be in London. Today is a good day to do exactly what you were going to do anyway. Sit back, enjoy where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing. Living, if nothing else. Many people today aren’t.

This is not a cause to unite under. We don’t need another one. This is a cause to ignore. We couldn’t have stopped this without losing too much. I can say this from my happy glass house of not having anything terrible happen to someone I know over today’s tragedy – You’d be amazed how many people turn into rabid right-wing reactionaries in the aftermath of a crisis – but terror was their intent. Here they won’t get the people, after the IRA and such we don’t respond well to threats of violence, I’m just hoping out glorious leaders don’t do anything stupid right now.

Oh, and Tony Blair got the reaction right. It’s mildly unfair to critise the man on everything he does wrong without occasionally noting that he isn’t a complete muppet.

Talking of which, tonight I intend to get LoneCat to watch Smiletime.

Categories
Imported From Epistula Politics

Absolutly Nothing

Stephen Fry:

Bertrand Russell, the great philosopher and mathematician, got into terrible trouble by writing quite fearsome articles against the first World War when it began. He got all these letters from people who said, My child is prepared to lay down their life for their country. Dont you think that sacrifice demands some respect?
He wrote this extraordinary essay in which he said, Dont you understand? The sacrifice were asking of our young is not that they die for their country, but that they kill for their country. Thats the sacrifice. To ask a child to kill someone else, whom youve never met. Thats a moral choice, pulling a trigger. Having a bullet hit you is not a moral choice. You dont decide to be killed. Its a terrible thing that happens to you. But killing something is something you do and thats a desperate sacrifice. And were seeing that in the Iraq war. Thats what this poor Lynndie England did, this tragic soldier who was shot smugly smiling next to naked Arab prisoners. Thats the chickens coming home to roost. Its not Americans being asked to die by President Bush. Its Americans being asked to kill and to torture. Not necessarily by name. He doesnt say, I want you to kill this or that one. Of course, politics isnt that simple. Essentially that is what society does. It asks its young to kill, and thats what we all have to live with.

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Imported From Epistula

Darkness

Sometimes, the darkness is because there is no light.

Sometimes, the darkness is because the lights are off.

Sometimes, the darkness is because you have your eyes closed.

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Current Affairs Imported From Epistula

Room in the handbasket

So, We have on the one hand Oh My God as Blanket calmly ignores the desires of thousands of citizens and moves the ID cards in under a new name and department, that of immigration control.

I’m agreeing with Stuart on this one, they did the consultation, and they ignored us. In fact, even if it was merely a “What sort of things should we consider?” as Nick suggests in the comments, then they have ignored it. They have, as far as I have seen, completely failed to address most of the points brought up by the opponants of such a scheme.

Nick’s counterargument that the government are not obligied to listen to us is well noted, and whilst I agree with the points, I don’t like them. In fact, I really don’t like the idea that any government can produce ideals to make us vote for them, and the only thing we have to hold them to it is four years later. I realise that not all the election promises can suceed, real life gets in the way. And the fact that most of the country will still vote for this particuler set of clowns because they won’t even consider the other options.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, The US Government has found a loophole allowing them to build a floating death-camp with execution, and no appeal or jury. I think I’ll go back to watching West Wing DVDs, then I can live in a happy world where the people in charge of a country actually give a flying fuck about the opinions of everyone.

Categories
Imported From Epistula intertwingularity webRPG

Please stop hanging around

So this is what we find.

In the last days of March 2003, nobody could have imagined that forces beyond the imagination of average were conspiring to make Aquarion Kael D’Blue’s life more complicated than necessary. Necessary, in this case, being… well, at all would be nice.

The house hasn’t happened. I’m still homeless, still staying with Pol & Supermouse in the wilds of Aylesbury, still trying to get back the deposit for the old place, still recovering the extra rent they took by accident, still trying to resolve the new flat before I wear out my welcome here.

I hate, with a passion unholy, this, because I should have moved in last week, I should have sorted my life out, and even with the crap at the end of last month, I should have moved in by last weekend. To be fair, this isn’t all my fault, but it’s still annoying.

The results of this are severalfold. Not only has it resulted in the creation of Point First d4, quick and painful replacement for the dead 2d10 site – in three days flat, but also a number of minor (mostly internal) additions to Forever (Including the RSS feed, and the ability to add new users, which has apparently been dead since December) but also a bug & suggestion tracking system (Not written, but installed, in the form of Anthill, a PHP Bugzilla-like) for all the various Aquarionic systems (Epistula, Afphrid, Aqcom & PFd4) and I’ve also started on a redesign (You can act all suprised now) which, whatever it ends up being, will be less orange than Simon’s.

In less technological news, I’ve been helping Pol & Supermouse do such things as put up fencing, trellising and posts. Also clearning out server rooms, putting things into lofts, and watching copious amounts of really, really bad TV curtosy of my first detailed exploration of the anchient art of having hundreds of channels of bad TV at my summoning.

In conclusion, Samuri Jack is quite good, but most of them should have been shot at birth. Oh, and Graham Norton is So Very Annoying. Conclusion ends.

Oh, and we appear to have succeeded in invading Iraq, leading to lots of incredibly cinematic pictures of US Troops – ably assisted by grateful residents – destroying statues. I mean, you couldn’t arrange for such cinematic footage. Sorry, I’m being cynical again.

Does that mean we can get back to the important things, like new XML specs, Grad school, Personality Defects and the value of scemantic markup? apart, of course, from those who never left it. I tell you what, I’ve got this great idea for how to communicate between weblogs, and it involves carrier pigeons with the evil bit set

Categories
Imported From Epistula

Us Congress On Expectoration Of Vocal Inhibitors

Show the flag and pass the ketchup was the order of the day in House cafeterias Tuesday. Lawmakers struck a lunchtime blow against the French and put “freedom fries” on the menu.

And for breakfast they’ll now have “freedom toast.”

The name changes follow similar actions by restaurants around the country protesting French opposition to the administration’s Iraq war plans.
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aqcom epistula Gaming Imported From Epistula Metablog Projects

Ketchup

Various things have happened to me, and to Epistula, while I’ve been away. Also to the blogroll. So once more, it’s time for:

While You Were Out

  • Epistula got Textiled so I can write all my entries in english and the computer does the hard part. Yay.
  • Aqcom got a new Projects section. It’s currently a flat HTML thing mainly as a list (As much for my benifit as yours) as to what I’m working on. Eventually it’ll become fully Epistulated.
  • I got a new project, or more accuratly a reactivation of an older idea. It’s a full Geek Thing review system, which I’m building as generic as I can, and exploring all the things I learnt while doing Epistula. Plus the kind of detailed cookie-based login system I haven’t done since StoryVille (Ex fiction project. Died of code-deletion). Interesting thing about it right now is that users select a licence for user-submitted reviews & comments to be released under. This allows – for example – someone to licence all their reviews under a CC(Creative Commons) thing. The two things I would like to happen to this idea would be for reviews to be editable based on licence (So if someone releases a GDL review, someone else can edit it), but that could get too complicated, and also lead to the possibility of someone going though and replacing all GPL‘d reviews with a string of spaces. So, Freedom of Information verses Fuckwittery Of Idiots. Round one, ding ding.
  • Funcom have announced a sequel to the game I was raving about last month: The Longest Journey
  • I applied for jobs. I got phone calls from recruiters, I still haven’t had a single interview. I wait patiently.
  • And then there is the World of Ends stuff. My response is somewhat like Stavros wrote, only less amusing. The internet is* complicated. Not in spite of, but because the idea is so simple. ”[T]he Internet was designed to hold smaller networks together, turning them into one big network” lies up there with “They’re only words written down, how much damage can they do?” in tales of “Points, Missing thereof”. The thing isn’t that the idea of The Internet is complicated, it’s that the consequences are quite so far-reaching. The document appears to be doing the classic thing of arguing about what it originally was, as opposed to what it means now. Because the internet *isn’t the simple network of networks that once it was, not in the public mindset. It’s the far more complicated idea of the people using the network of networks. From granny on AOL though to Luke The L33t Hacksaw burning though a 1024 bit/sec connection. We need a new name either for this new thing, or for the old one. Then we can have this discussion without terminology getting in the way.
  • Cam returned with a well formed rant about Americanism. The US Administration still scares me, even more so now it appears to be running England as well. Blessings of any deities listening to anyone caught up in this fucking mess. That’s all of us, by the way.
  • Still not king yet.
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Imported From Epistula

Make Tea, Not War

Today there was the march in London to attempt to stop us doing something silly, like war. Vaughan marched, Meg marched, Mouse was marching, and many other people I know also marched.

I didn’t. Partly because I think that if anything was going to stop this, the weapons inspectors’ report would stop it (Iraq, as Nick so elequontly put it appears to have a tin opener.), and partly because I was due to spend the evening in a pub in Cambridge, taking salt and speaking of affairs with people.

That is, the ‘speaking of affairs’ was with people, the speaking was not of ‘affairs with people’. The problem with floridless is ease of misunderstanding

I agree with Tom in part, in that my main objection to this whole event is not that we appear to be fighting against Iraq (Though the lack of expressed logical reason – or evidence for given logical reasons – is a major factor) it’s more that we appear to be riding rough-shod over sixty-odd years of established procedure to do so. I don’t trust Bush to do anything more than protect his interests, and I don’t trust Blair at all. In fact, the only thing I think would stop Blair supporting this action would be for him to think it would damage his chances of re-election beyond repair.

Then there is the Oh, when we said Never Again, we only really meant Never Again against Japan, who are our friends at the moment. We have toys that go Boom, you expect us not to use them? thing, which is just too scary for me to even consider. (Both links via Nick)