The Blog






Way back in 2005, I wrote a little piece about my search for Turkish rolling tobacco[1]. Today, Adsense noticed that it links to somebody who sells tobacco. Which of course is a heinous sin and violates their programme policies! We can't be selling advertising on a web page that links to a tobacco salesman. So I get a warning and rap over the knuckles. I've now deleted the blog entry which should keep them quiet.

I ran into this once before over alcohol where I'd posted one of my "Friday Night Cocktail" recipes with a link to a specific brand website on G+. Another heinous sin because I'd neglected to specify my posts as being for over 18s and we can't be linking to a website that might sell or promote alcohol.

On the plus side, I re-found another wonderful blog entry in the same vein and from the same time. https://voidstar.com/node.php?id=2161

At least this time I didn't get the "You did something really bad and we might block and delete your account, but we won't tell you what it was" routine.

[1] 6 years now since I gave up. I don't miss the smoking but I do still occasionally miss the process of smoking.
[from: Google+ Posts]

The Labour party membership renewal team are phoning me about once a week at the moment. I'm having to explain why I won't be renewing every time so they've asked me to email labourmembership@labour.org.uk and fill in the contact form with an explanation. https://action.labour.org.uk/page/s/membership-contact-form

This is what I sent:-

While I broadly support the Labour Party and it's principles, I will not be renewing my membership until the Labour Party formally commits to stopping Brexit and cancelling Article 50.
[from: Google+ Posts]








In the last couple of years, the Poly-Named-One posted a comment on the Charles Stross Blog (http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/) explaining it's categorising levels of Meta from M1-M5. I've been completely unable to find this again. Google and the Blog's search engine are failing to track it down, or my search-Fu is hopeless. Anyone remember this and can help me find it?

Is there a place to have the kind of meta-discussions about the blog that would rightly be blocked by the moderators within a specific blog-comments thread? I was kind of expecting a sub-Reddit but can't see one.

And the reason for looking is James Bridle has recently posted a long and important essay about algorithmically generated kid's videos on Youtube. Here. https://medium.com/@jamesbridle/something-is-wrong-on-the-internet-c39c471271d2
This demands a Wild Hunt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Hunt) because they're stealing our kids. But it's symptomatic and just one example of a much bigger problem. And it felt right up the PolyNamedOne's street. There are layers and layers of Meta here.

And incidentally, there's a discussion to be had about appropriate places in 2018 for posting personal long form text. People rightly hate Medium. And self hosted blogs-RSS are a bit out of favour these days. Blogspot-Wordpress style insta-blogs always run the risk of censorship or simply going out of business. The Social Media platforms have similar censorship issues and are generally hopeless for long form text. I've even seen https://txt.fyi/ suggested. It may work, but it feels like a toy.
[from: Google+ Posts]






https://www.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/celebrating-800th-anniversary-charter-forest/

Quoting:

The Charter of the Forest is among the first ecological charters in history and among the first to assert the rights of the common man and woman.

As it coincided with the first feminist advance, in a modified Article 7 of the Magna Carta, which could have been in the Forest Charter, it could also be called a first feminist charter.

The Charter has the distinction of being the most durable piece of legislation in British history, having only been superseded in 1971, with the Wild Creatures and Forest Laws Act, by when most of its principles had been embedded in other legislation, including the Commons Act of 1876, which ruled that enclosure should be allowed only if there were public benefit, and by the establishment of the Forestry Commission in 1919.
 Celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest »
This year is the 800th anniversary of a founding document of the British constitution, and of other constitutions as well. Issued in the name of a ten-year-old King Henry III alongside the modified Charter of Liberties that had been sealed by King John and the barons at Runnymede on June 15, 2015 th...

[from: Google+ Posts]








Ok. This is genius. Got a couple of hours?

"Paperclip Maximiser"

Yonatan Zunger originally shared this post:
A few weeks ago, I posted an article about the Parable of the Paperclip Maximizer — just what happens when an AI has clear goals and no sense of balance about achieving them. But this parable has just been utterly perfected by Frank Lantz of the NYU Game Center, who has built a game all about it. It's a browser game, it's free to play, it can be played end-to-end in about a day, and it is unreasonably satisfying and fun. And addictive.

It is, in fact, a Cow Clicker about Paperclip Maximizing.

At first, I was making paperclips – first bending them by hand, then buying machines, managing market prices, buying wire when the market is favorable. An hour and a half in, I was mostly focused on getting better at game theory tournaments so that I could improve the AI I was using to cure cancer, solve climate change, and bring about world peace on the one hand (and so build public trust in my paperclip company) and manipulate financial markets on the other hand (so that I would have enough money to bribe officials into trusting me with the HypnoDrones).

Suffice it to say that the game gets even more interesting from there.

Something I really love about it is how many different games it really is: every time you get good at something, not only do new mechanics show up, but radically new mechanics show up, so that it feels like you just played a dozen games in rapid succession. And the ending (at least, the ending I got to) is smooth, perfect, and deeply satisfying.

This is a true gem among seemingly simple games.

One warning: It does not work well on mobile; you'll want a computer for this.

http://www.decisionproblem.com/paperclips

(Those of you wanting to read about paperclip maximization, or why someone would write a game about this, can start here: https://hackernoon.com/the-parable-of-the-paperclip-maximizer-3ed4cccc669a)



[from: Google+ Posts]




Whoosh! Another tool for exploring Music Genre space. It's based on Spotify's Genre tags.
http://everynoise.com/engenremap.html

Click on things to hear samples of typical artists, or dig down into lists to get Spotify playlists.
http://everynoise.com/everynoise1d.cgi?root=deep%20house&scope=all

LoFi house seems to be buried in the Deep House section.

A companion to this exploration tool.
http://www.musicroamer.com/#/search?similar_artist_limit=6&artist=mall%20grab

As far as I can tell Spotify's genre tags are curated by Spotify or one of their suppliers. And not generated by their users like last.fm So your idea of what's in uk funky or such like may not agree with their's. I've just had a quick look at Google Music again. And their Genre tagging is all over the place as well.
[from: Google+ Posts]






Admin@Mastodon.cloud said he was moving servers and updating to 1.6.1 so maybe it all went horribly wrong. Admin@Mastodon.social is the main mastodon developer which suggests the problem might be the new 1.6.1 release.

This makes me sad. Even though the Mastodon community doesn't really feel like it's really taken off just yet. We've become used to systems that just work so having two of the major instances just go off line is not good.
[from: Google+ Posts]




People of the UK, your attention please. I don't know why you're complaining that the government did a terrible job of making their plans for Brexit known. They were freely available in our offices. I know you had to go all the way to the cellar (even though the lights and the stairs were not working), and find the plans in the locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused bathroom with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard' but it's not like we didn't tell you they were available. So just to make it really quite completely clear what we're doing and our position on leaving the European Union, here's a statement of clarity that should help you understand that we have only your interests at heart as we make the UK a stronger, more stable and above all fairer, society for all.

-

Dear Citizen,

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Hold a referendum on the final Brexit deal”.

Government responded:

On 23 June 2016 the British people voted to leave the European Union. The UK Government is clear that it is now its duty to implement the will of the people and so there will be no second referendum.

The decision to hold the referendum was supported by a clear majority in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. On 23 June 2016 the British people voted to leave the European Union. The referendum was the largest democratic mandate in UK political history. In the 2017 General Election more than 85% of people voted for parties committed to respecting that result.

There must be no attempts to remain inside the European Union, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union, and it is the duty of the Government to make sure we do just that. Rather than second guess the British people’s decision to leave the European Union, the challenge now is to make a success of it - not just for those who voted leave but for every citizen of the United Kingdom, bringing together everyone in a balanced approach which respects the decision to leave the political structure of the EU but builds a strong relationship between Britain and the EU as neighbours, allies and partners.

Parliament passed an Act of Parliament with a clear majority giving the Prime Minister the power to trigger Article 50, which she did on 29 March in a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. As a matter of firm policy, our notification will not be withdrawn - for the simple reason that people voted to leave, and the Government is determined to see through that instruction.

Both Houses of Parliament will have the opportunity to vote on the final agreement reached with the EU before it is concluded. This will be a meaningful vote which will give MPs the choice to either accept the final agreement or leave the EU with no agreement.

The people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe. We want a deep and special partnership with the EU. We aim to get the right deal abroad and the right deal for people here at home. We will deliver a country that is stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before.

Department for Exiting the European Union

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200004?reveal_response=yes

This petition has over 100,000 signatures. The Petitions Committee will consider it for a debate. They can also gather further evidence and press the government for action.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

ps. Highlights are mine.

[from: Google+ Posts]




Signal Boost. And also because of the recent high profile examples of people having their YT and main Google accounts nuked due to automated systems within Google. Who are then unable to contact a real person to get it fixed. Because there is no real person.

I know the excuses and I know the scaling concerns but it’s shameful nonetheless. If I can do this much myself from the outside, surely Google has the resources to get somebody to do as much from the inside, who is actually getting paid for their efforts at public outreach and assisting these dedicated Google users?

I’m sure it’s not a matter of money for Google. They just need to truly care about their users who depend on Google just like the rest of us, but who are being rapidly left behind under the status quo.


Lauren Weinstein originally shared this post:


 The Google Account “Please Help Me!” Flood – Lauren Weinstein's Blog »
Since I again started discussing how to protect Google Accounts — e.g. very recently in “Protecting Your Google Account from Personal Catastrophes” — https://lauren.vortex.com/2017/09/07/protecting-your-google-account-from-personal-catastrophes — I've been flooded with queries by Google users ...

[from: Google+ Posts]





[from: Librarything]






Lest we forget, it's 40 years since Lewisham and the National Front March and riots. It was one of the biggest in the late 70s that inspired the Anti-Racism movement.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/13/battle-of-lewisham-national-front-1977-far-right-london-police

Mosley, NF, BNP, EDL, UKIP, Brexit. The UK's xenophobic far right takes many names but it's the same thing over and over again. It keeps re-appearing and each generation has to fight it and knock it back again.

In solidarity with Charlottesville.

[from: Google+ Posts]





https://twitter.com/MitchBenn/status/891565226688229377

#UK #Politics.

Copypasta

1. Brexiteers: your BEST prediction now is that the UK will recover economically from Brexit within 30 years. In other words…
2. … I have to suck up living in a shit country for the rest of my life just because you don't like Belgium
3. I trust you'll forgive me when I tell you to go fuck yourselves, and to KEEP fucking yourselves for the foreseeable future.
4. And re. The Will Of The People: when is someone in public life gonna have the guts to admit that The People Got It Wrong on this one?
5. Why is that such a toxic concept JUST with regard to the referendum? Surely after every election about half the country thinks that.
6. The democratic principle holds that wherever practicable the majority should prevail. NOT that the majority IS RIGHT.
7. And in this instance, I'm sorry, but it ISN'T practicable. The people were offered the impossible, they (VERY narrowly) voted for it…
8. … and now they're demanding (some of them) that they be GIVEN the impossible thing they voted for, because democracy.
9. Exiting the EU and being happier, richer and more secure as a consequence is IMPOSSIBLE. But that's what people were sold.
10. Exiting the EU and bankrupting the economy and splintering society is inevitable, but that wasn't on the ballot.
11. And no, I'm not advocating "endless referendums until you get a result you like"; I'm advocating people having an INFORMED choice.
12. The people were NOT given an informed choice last year. They were offered a fantasy, and trying to DELIVER that fantasy will doom us all

[from: Google+ Posts]




Night"?

So here's "England Lost"
https://youtu.be/98gj0z0RkXE

Pull yourself together, mate. Get a grip.


[from: Google+ Posts]

If you're pro-EU, want or wanted Remain, but are also pro-Labour and Pro-Corbyn you need to read this.

https://musealoudblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/the-corbynremain-supporter-dilemma/

Especially if you're one of the majority of new Labour members, supporters and voters who voted Remain.

Ooh, Jeremy Corbyn!

"The best and most honest judgement at this point is that Corbyn is a barrier for pro-Europeans. It is perfectly reasonable to choose Corbyn over Europe, and many have, but this should also be problematic for former remainers as they will know his hard Brexit will damage the economy and make his vision undeliverable without huge borrowing and risk. Without the promise of the vision, and without the integrity & honesty, what do you really have?

Therefore, in all conscience you cannot be simultaneously a “remainer” & a Corbyn supporter. The 2 are incompatible."

Of course that leaves you with a huge problem. Because the LibDems have imploded which leaves no viable opposition to the Tory-Brexit debacle. The best you can hope for is that the Tories will implode as well.
 The Corbyn/Remain Supporter Dilemma »
Extended version of a twitter post. I’ve potentially been a bit obsessive about Corbyn & Brexit and many have said “why attack him, he’s a decent stick, why not turn the fire …

[from: Google+ Posts]




br />
"And round we go again. The vast majority of Labour members, supporters and voters want Remain. Especially the new and young ones. So how bad does Brexit have to get and how bad does the Tory chaos have to get before Labour's stance and policies reflect that?"

So they said,

"If this is true, why did pretty much every Labour constituency outside London vote Leave?"

So compare the maps. Election vs Referendum
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2017/jun/08/live-uk-election-results-in-full-2017

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2016/jun/23/eu-referendum-live-results-and-analysis

There's a kind of truth there, particularly in the North. But there's also clearly a lot of nuance. There's quite a number of constituencies outside London that were Labour-Remain. And that's true even in areas that might be thought of as "Traditional Labour Heartland".

The Labour problem that 60% (or whatever) voters want remain, but 60% of Labour seats wanted Leave is still around. But that was then. What's important now is whether that dynamic is changing. The perception is that the proportion wanting Remain is rising. And the proportion in the marginal and balanced seats is also rising. So even though there are seats that were Labour-Leave then, on balance now they're Labour-Remain. But that's a guess. What is there to back it up?
[from: Google+ Posts]




It'll be 800 years old this year.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/celebrating-800th-anniversary-charter-forest/

Among other things, it enshrines the rights of commoners to common land for basic subsistence.

It was only fully superseded in 1971.
 Celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest »
This year is the 800th anniversary of a founding document of the British constitution, and of other constitutions as well. Issued in the name of a ten-year-old King Henry III alongside the modified Charter of Liberties that had been sealed by King John and the barons at Runnymede on June 15, 2015 th...

[from: Google+ Posts]





[from: Librarything]


[from: Librarything]

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