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March 30, 2020

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JuliaM

This morning, the 'Guardian' prints an article on Stephen King that I swear was meant for April 1st:

"It has been four decades since Stephen King wrote The Stand, his acclaimed novel about a deadly influenza pandemic wiping out most of human civilization.

So the bestselling contemporary horror novelist has difficulty understanding why authorities did not see the coronavirus crisis coming, or take the necessary precautionary steps."

And now I want to see the authorities' plans for precautionary steps against self-driving homicidal vehicles and supernatural killer clowns in the drainage system...

David

So many heroes and role models.

[+]

So many heroes and role models.

LOL Woke heroes.

David

LOL Woke heroes.

I’m not sure we need The Waltons In Space, you understand. But when you’re watching a supposedly progressive and inspirational space drama that, according to its star, its writers and its producer, is about “compassion” and “being better,” and “caring for the good of other people,” and yet the result is essentially joyless and morally bewildering, with almost every major character being angry or bitter, or grossly dysfunctional, or chronically homicidal (seemingly with impunity)… well, a raised eyebrow seems in order.

Actually, now that I say it out loud, The Waltons In Space...

[ Stares into middle distance, rubs chin.]

JuliaM

Aw, c’mon! Who didn’t cheer when Riker arrived to shoo off the Romulus fleet? A classic Trek moment.

Just me, then...?

David

Old Holborn invites us to peer into the future.

David

Just me, then...?

I blame it on her superhuman levels of gin consumption.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

Everybody on our street likes the killer clown in the sewer. No more phony roofers in spring. No more pushy Mary Kay ladies. No more petitions. I have nothing against petitions in general, but we are only 7 miles from a very snooty and very expensive college so you can imagine the kind of petitions we get asked to sign. Example: their agriculture department was raising chickens 🐓. Some of the chickens are starting to poop out. There’s a petition going around not to cook them.

MC

In response to Old Holborn's question What do you think will change when this is all over? what I think will happen:

The state will use COVID-19 as an excuse to grab more power and squeeze more money out of the populace, 'for their own good'. The pandemic models will be declared correct. The difference between the catastrophic fatality numbers predicted and the actual numbers will be declared to be a consequence of the brave decision to shut down and wreck the economy. This logic will then be applied to the green scam. Expect governments to double down on expensive bullshit.

The only positives:

More people will realise that being suspicious of and hostile to fascist China is very sensible indeed.
Respect for the mainstream media will plummet. Ideally, this will result in someone punching Piers Moron in the throat.

MC

Britain in a year's time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnd1jKcfBRE

sH2

Old Holborn invites us to peer into the future.

More working from home.
If we've any sense we'll stop outsourcing our medical supply chains to China.
Taxes will go up.

David

For reasons that escape me, and despite my efforts to correct, the spam filter is mightily vexed by Julia and MC. If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me (top left) and I’ll apply generous amounts of lubricant.

Lancastrian Oik

The state will use COVID-19 as an excuse to grab more power and squeeze more money out of the populace, 'for their own good'.

Cheshire-Plod

Cheshire Constabulary, from my neck of the woods. This popped up on my FB feed earlier today; from what I can glean from the legislation, under Schedules 20 and 21 to the Coronavirus Act 2020, the police do not have any powers to issue interdictions such as "you should not be driving to a location away from your home to carry this out".

A moment's thought would expose this mindset for the charlatanry which it is; Britain is not currently under total lockdown and we are still able to, for instance, drive to the supermarket to do food shopping. Despite all the "two metre" hazard warning tape and "one in/one out" marshalling, you are probably far more likely to either pass on or contract the virus in Waitrose/Sainsbury's/wherever than you are in a small car park on the edge of a 1,000 acre forest wilderness. This is 21st century Dibble for you.

Even more dispiriting are the comments, both on social media and BTL in most online newspapers to the likes of this kind of overreach by "the authorities". I am utterly dispirited by the prod-nosed, sanctimonious and downright nasty attitudes of far too many of my fellow Brits. Once upon a time I fondly imagined that "The Lives Of Others" could never be played out in real life in this country because, well, "we just aren't like that".

Unfortunately, we are. I believe MC is correct in his predictions and the really sickening thing is that far too many of our fellow citizens will lap this up, especially if it means protecting "muh NHS" (and no, neither Mrs. Oik nor I joined in with that fatuous clapping thing. It was all a bit too North Korean for our liking).

Horace Dunn

Cheshire Constabulary, from my neck of the woods.

Who would have thought that the government enacting legislation to give additional powers to the police would result in this sort of behaviour?

We’re always bleating on in this country (i.e. the UK) about how everything we’ve done is the envy of the world etc. etc. Most of this stuff is untrue, but in the case of the British police force, other countries genuinely did look to the UK with envy (or at least the citizens of other countries, if not their governments).

Alas, in my lifetime, the police force has transformed into an army of squat, resentful bullies and spiteful Guardian-reading half-wits. The only sensible thing to do is to limit their powers as much as possible, but somehow I don’t see a back-lash against authoritarianism as a likely outcome of the current situation.

Jen

Via Julia, a lockdown mystery.

This is how we'll communicate in the future. :-)

David

This is how we’ll communicate in the future. :-)

Well, so far - and so far as I can tell - people have been a little friendlier than usual. I seem to have registered more smiles and general forbearance. How long this will last, I couldn’t say.

David

Ooh, the plot thickens.

Liz

I seem to have registered more smiles and general forbearance.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I think I shall join Spongebob out and about.

David

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Yes, I suspect this is a honeymoon period. There’s a certain novelty. But I’ve decided to go with the air of bonhomie, however temporary. A visit to the local M&S Food Hall proved remarkably civilised. No queue, and it was fairly well stocked, barring items with antibacterial content. A very nice woman greeted me and, after some spraying, handed me a freshly disinfected basket.

When this is over, I may not want to go back to undisinfected shopping baskets. Like some peasant.

Penseivat

Day 13 of a 14 day self isolation. Thought I was doing ok till I happened to watch an episode of Loose Women and realised I was having erotic thoughts about Janet Street Porter! Come, corona, come take me now!!

David

realised I was having erotic thoughts about Janet Street Porter

[ Reaches for spray bottle of hamster urine. ]

MC

the spam filter is mightily vexed by Julia and MC

It's never liked me.

Oswald Thake

'Ere, landlord! That stuff yer sprayin' is out of the same tap as this 'alf yer just pulled me!'

David

‘Ere, landlord! That stuff yer sprayin’ is out of the same tap as this ‘alf yer just pulled me!’

[ Summons henchlesbians. A struggle ensues. ]

David

In entirely unrelated news, I’m now offering patrons the chance to buy our home-made hand-sanitiser.

I can’t vouch for the fragrance. Oh, and it’s probably best not get it in your eyes.

Or on fabrics.

Jonathan

He does This better than you do...

David
Only 41 percent of graduate students tested in 2003 could be classified as “proficient” in prose—reading and understanding information in short texts—down 10 percentage points since 1992. Of college graduates, only 31 percent were classified as proficient—compared with 40 percent in 1992. “It’s appalling—it’s really astounding,” said Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association and a librarian at California State University at Fresno. “Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That’s not saying much for the remainder.” […]

The period from 1992 to 2003 was the crucial time when the politicization of the nation’s college and university faculties suddenly gained enormous momentum, resulting in an already pronounced tilt to the left, which quickly turned into the virtually one-party campus. Can it really be a coincidence that the literacy of college graduates plunged disastrously at the same time?

On leftist academia and its standards.

David

Heh.

Via Dicentra.

Burnsie

And via the Beagle, today’s word is improvisation.

Sigh. You could duct tape a paper towel to your face and save some shred of dignity, rather than this.

This is not the answer, people!

Richard Cranium

The Cheshire Constabulary wrote "[...] or to walk you dog."

I'm not sure how to parse that one.

Governor Squid

On leftist academia and its standards.

The bachelor's degree used to be shorthand for "this candidate has intellect and perseverance." Now it means very little, apart from some tribal affiliation between those who cheer for the same team.

In my current practice, the marker is calculus. If a candidate can recognize and understand something like the exponential survival function in the context of equipment reliability, then we figure they're worth taking a closer look at.

Advertising one's pronouns has much the opposite effect.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

Easy. “Or to walk, you dog.”

Fred the Fourth

Almost, Lady CK.
It's "Or to walk, you dog IYKWIMAITYD."

Fred the Fourth

leftist academia

Way back in 1974 when I first went to UC Berkeley, 40% of the incoming class were ineligible for "English 1A", one of the required humanities courses for all freshmen. A new class, "English Prep" had been invented to try to bring them up to the level where they could start actual university work. God only knows what their typical math, science, or history skills were.

This problem was even then blamed on the university itself for some unfathomable reason (though UC begging for funding was no doubt at the root). It had been clear to me for years, just from observing my own peers at one of the best public high schools in the US, that maybe 20% were barely literate, and the school was not really interested in dealing with that issue. Better to graduate them and make them someone else's problem.

Squires

When “everyone should go to college” is the accepted maxim colleges become competitors in a market of barrel-bottom scraping.

Nikw211

“Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That’s not saying much for the remainder.”

Almost as if on cue ...

    [L]ate capitalism has always been a death cult. The tiny-minded incompetents in charge cannot handle a problem that can’t be fixed simply by sacrificing poor, vulnerable, and otherwise expendable individuals. Faced with a crisis they can’t solve with violence, they dithered and whined and wasted time that can and will be counted in corpses. There has been no vision, because these men never imagined the future beyond the image of themselves on top of the human heap, cast in gold [ ... ] To the rich and stupid, many of the economic measures necessary to stop this virus are so unthinkable that it would be preferable for millions to die.

And that's only a touch over 100 words.

The whole thing is just over 1,000.

Imagine that.

Jim

leftist academia

In the late 1970s I studied at two US universities. I had been teaching in Australian schools for 5 years previously, including teaching English Expression. I found that many [undergraduate] US students considered writing an essay longer than one page a terrifying challenge. Most were used to multiple 'guess' testing, whereas writing long essays was the norm for me as a student and I loved writing.

Jim

Daniel Ream

I’ll apply generous amounts of lubricant.

But what about the spam filter?

Richard Cranium

"But what about the spam filter?"

Given that your last name is "Ream", I'm not surprised by that response. :)

BrassG

Ideally, this will result in someone punching Piers Moron in the throat.

My wife ridicules me for carrying around brass knuckles, but you never know when such a wonderful opportunity might arise.

Daniel Ream

Given that your last name is "Ream", I'm not surprised by that response.

I'm descended from a long line of copy paper barons.

pst314

Given that your last name is "Ream", I'm not surprised by that response.

"Dibbler" would be less triggering. [Checks Google Maps for location of nearest Safe Space]

Richard Cranium

"I'm descended from a long line of copy paper barons."

snerk Well played.

Anon a mouse

erotic thoughts about Janet Street Porter

Hmm. That kinda sorta might sound like a microbrewery product...

Or not.

Felicity

Don't know what to think of all of this but I am disturbed by how meekly people have acquiesced to what is effectively marshal law in much of the world.

Here in WA, confirmed cases 650, population 2.5 million over a vast area; population Perth is 2 million of those - mostly in suburban areas, comparatively little high density housing. All playgrounds in this sunny part of the world have been closed - thank god I don't have young children.

We are moving to online learning in schools for the foreseeable future. What I do know is that educational disadvantage is going to be exacerbated. Where I work 25% of our students don't have access to computers and/or internet, we will send them home with 'work packages' to complete and no access to any resources - all of the libraries are closed.

I also worry about my mum living in a 4th floor flat in Melbourne. I was going to go in the holidays to make sure she is ok - but we are effectively banned - would need to quarantine in Melbourne for two weeks and then two week here when I got back. Would do it but because it is non-essential travel I would lose two weeks pay that I can't afford. I don't worry about her getting the virus but her mental health. She can't even go to mass (very important to her) and cannot access online services (she doesn't even use ATM's).

I also have friends, supporting families and paying mortgages, who work in retail now unemployed and not sure what the future holds.

I am anxious - but my anxiety is not related to contracting the virus, it is about how we came to a place where we are prepared to live in a police state with no end in sight, kids losing access to their education and many, many people losing their livelihoods

On the bright side my knitting project is progressing at the rate of knots, we have toilet paper and they haven't banned alcohol yet. The only thing I have felt the need to start hoarding is cases of plonk - I am not risking being locked up and having to be sober.

Felicity

FFS now this: https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-world-live-updates/live-coverage/e1b671dad7fbefca160fff0a69e30a87
Way to start a another round of panic buying - idiots.

David

Almost as if on cue...

Even given Laurie’s usual reliance on unearned assertion and florid non sequitur, all piled high, that’s quite a wreck.

Was Wired always this bad?

TimT

Bloody hell, Mitchell and Webb are looking more and more prophetic by the day!

https://youtu.be/4jJ203Q-lyk

sk60

Almost as if on cue...

"[L]ate capitalism has always been a death cult… Capitalism cannot imagine a future beyond itself that isn't utter butchery."

Wut?

David

Wut?

It’s florid, hyperbolic, and largely unsubstantiated. It just sort of hangs there, waiting for applause. I think you generally have to approach Laurie’s outpourings as a kind of emotional fog, rather than something with discernible structure. Any connection with logic and reality - something one might verify rather than take on trust - seems at best intermittent, and often entirely absent.

Let’s not forget Laurie’s belief that businesses don’t need to be competitive or economically viable and that therefore it’s “not that hard” for any business to pay its employees whatever sum she, our enlightened radical, deems a “decent” salary. Hence, presumably, the invitation to Harvard, free of charge, to become a “leader in journalism.” And also – yes, also - an expert in “economic justice.”

How dare we question her.

Nikw211

I think you generally have to approach Laurie’s outpourings as a kind of emotional fog, rather than something with discernible structure

That kind of trademark blizzard of hyperbole might have seemed cute about 10 years ago.

Back then, in 2010, she was a 23 year-old Oxford graduate and Left wing firebrand so to a certain kind of person - Kirsty Wark, the editors of Woman's Hour and Channel 4 News - she must have seemed like a flattering image of what they imagined to be the legacy of their own activism and reporting.

A decade on she's 33 and, as she lately never tires of telling people, is a screen writer based in Los Angeles.

So if it's all starting to ring just that little bit hollow now, goodness knows what it'll look like if she's still trying to write like that at 40.

PiperPaul

"is a screen writer based in Los Angeles"

Wait - did she work on Picard? Because that could explain some stuff.

David

That kind of trademark blizzard of hyperbole might have seemed cute about 10 years ago.

I imagine that’s enough for her supposedly educated readership – students, non-specific “activists,” and people who declare their pronouns - who appear happy to retweet and gush with approval despite the obvious shortcomings. Apparently, there’s a demographic – again, supposedly educated - that isn’t troubled by the lurid overstatement, the gaps and contradictions, the endless begged questions and leaps of leftist faith. As long as the preferred emotional conclusion is arrived at and affirmed, little else matters, it seems.

Burnsie

"is a screen writer based in Los Angeles"

Screen credits or it ain't so.

She seems to be building quite a career of non-accomplishments accompanied by breathless Twitter announcements at every stage. What has she really done, besides blathering on?

Lancastrian Oik

Given that Picard seems to be in bad odour generally, can I add The English Game to the *ahem* "shit list"?

It's terribly clunky, being basically Trouble At T'Mill with a bit of Downton-esque intrigue plus the occasional Old Etonian Toffs vs. Shithole United game of footy. During said games, the protagonists are all sporting extravagant facial hair, scoop-neck henleys, braces, corduroy breeches and hobnail boots- it's like watching the staff from your local barbers', craft brewery and vinyl record shop having a lunchtime kickabout. Avoid.

Do, however, have a look at Netflix' latest true-crime saga, Tiger King. It resembles nothing so much as three mid-period Elmore Leonard novels happening simultaneously and yet the whole ghastly spectacle actually happened. I would advise putting a cushion on the floor in front of your favourite TV chair before you begin to watch. That way, when your jaw does hit the deck, which will happen several times during each episode, you reduce the risk of doing yourself a serious injury.

TG

WTP

Was Wired always this bad?

I hadn't read it in years, probably decades, when a couple years ago during a period of project paralysis, I picked a copy up off my OT director/project lead's (it was a small startup company) desk. Don't recall exactly what the article was about. Something technical of course, but The Narrative manner in which even something that technical was written...well, SMDH. It did help me understand why we were stuck and why I couldn't get through his thick know-it-all head. Not that Wired, as I recall, was ever a serious technical rag, but I didn't recall it being as bad as that. Almost like someone did a Mad Libs effort using a People magazine article for a template and giving it to a techy guy. Yes, I exaggerate. But I understand that's all the rage now and why should I always be the unfashionable one?

WTP

IT director, not OT director...though now that I think of it...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...and now for something completely different, Iowahawk invites us to learn our quarantine names, if you scroll down* to Montana and laugh, you are a very bad person.


*(twitter, being an illogically laid out and designed POS, you have to scroll down to "Replies", then hit "View more replies", then scroll up to the original twit, then down...only a Silicon Valley millennial would think that makes sense)

David

twitter, being an illogically laid out and designed POS

They do seem determined to make it counter-intuitive, with the thread you’re trying to follow being needlessly interrupted with random shite.

David

twitter, being an illogically laid out and designed POS

It’s not unlike the approach taken by any number of websites, where, before you can get more than a couple of sentences into an article of possible interest, you’re being barraged with distracting and unwanted toss: HI, THERE! WOULD YOU LIKE TO ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS? Er, no, thanks, I haven’t even begun to read the thing I came here to… OOH, HERE’S A MODAL WINDOW WITH SOMETHING ENTIRELY UNRELATED! WATCH IT SLIDE IN AND OBSCURE WHATEVER IT IS YOU ACTUALLY WANTED TO READ! This is all a bit premature. I just... HERE’S A VIDEO YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR AND DON’T CARE ABOUT. But I was trying to rea… NO, YOU CAN’T CLICK IT AWAY AND YES, IT WILL FOLLOW YOU DOWN THE PAGE. ISN’T IT SHINY AND DISTRACTING? Look, I just want to read the fu

And so forth.

The desperation and gun-jumping is quite repellent.

Xas7wcrg9e

Happy International Transgender Day of Visibility David!

Xas7wcrg9e
you’re being barraged with distracting and unwanted toss

Have fun: https://2018.bloomca.me/en

David

Have fun

Exactly. Only it’s sometimes, quite often, worse than that. A while ago, I was trying to read one barely-interesting article on the website of a local newspaper and it was like the scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture where Spock is having to answer a barrage of near-simultaneous questions about philosophy, history and higher-dimensional geometries.

It was so badly designed, so user-hostile, it was almost funny.

Adam

The eternal question "Why are you here today?" has been asked by legions of college students in late night hookah binges. Now those philosophical depths are being tested by the storied Cheshire Constabulary. In their case, however, there is a correct answer. It is "I will just go on back home now, Officer. Thanks for the warning."

Adam

...a screenwriter based in Los Angeles....

Er, what exactly are the qualifications for licensing in that profession, or is this something that anyone can be simply by saying it?

In that case, I am a screenwriter based in rural Mississippi. My screenplay "The Boy Who Grew An Apple Tree in his Stomach Because He Listened to Jake" is currently in the concept stage... and has been so for two years. So far, I have the working title firmed up: "Apple Boy" for brevity.

Adam

...There has been no vision, because these men never imagined the future beyond the image of themselves on top...

I'll ignore the obvious sexual reference in the last phrase, but here comes Mike Lindell, noted Start-up entrepreneur, Capitalist Oppressor and Religious Nutcase with his obviously phony actions to retool 75% of his production to medical garments and make 50,000 a week.

Kerr

Apparently, there’s a demographic – again, supposedly educated - that isn’t troubled by the lurid overstatement, the gaps and contradictions, the endless begged questions and leaps of leftist faith.

Stella Gibbons' 1949 novel The Matchmaker has a lovely sketch of the intellectual mis-education of one of the characters, a Land Girl from a leftist family, who's spirited and opinionated but has no discipline and no attention span, needing issues to be presented in terms of "the acerbities and generalisations of the Brains Trust". Acerbities and generalisations - an apt summary (if perhaps a bit acerbic and generalised) of the stock in trade of BBC panel shows.

Another thing that hasn't changed much is the wallowing in popular culture and celebrity watching under the pretext of anthropological data-gathering: "A fascinated scorn of the film stars drew the Scorbys [the girl's family] three times a week or so to the pictures"... A caste who perceive themselves as possessing a more subtle imagination than the man in the street, but who are so possessed by grand narratives that it's made their imagination crude and vulgar, and made them blind to individuality and diversity...

... She preferred American films, because their pace was faster, their violence more blasting, their morals and contrasts easier and sharper, than those in British ones. Such films as The Rake’s Progress, This Happy Breed, I Know Where I’m Going, took a story from everyday life and touched it with poetry, and the Scorbys did not notice everyday life; they were too bemused with words and drama and half-baked theories. In these films the soul of England shone tenderly; and the Scorbys did not know about tenderness; they were too busy, poor little things, trying to be tough.

Daniel Ream

you’re being barraged with distracting and unwanted toss:

About 50% of the blame rests on fairly idiotic "privacy" regulations, and the other 50% on the utter failure of ad-supported content.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

In that case, I am a screenwriter based in rural Mississippi.

Which reminds me, as I recently passed through Columbus, of the eternal mystery why a guy born there, raised in Missouri, and who lived in New Orleans and New York, chose to call himself "Tennessee".

David

About 50% of the blame rests on fairly idiotic “privacy” regulations, and the other 50% on the utter failure of ad-supported content.

It increasingly strikes me as a hopeless model, at least for a huge swathe of sites. Very few articles are worth the interruptions, distractions, bad scrolling and general aggravation. Even the demand that I disable my adblocker now feels like a significant test of how much, or little, I want to read something linked by someone else.

And hence, hereabouts, the quarterly fundraisers.

Anon a mouse

Which reminds me, as I recently passed through Columbus, of the eternal mystery why a guy born there, raised in Missouri, and who lived in New Orleans and New York, chose to call himself "Tennessee".

Lanier, cut that out!

pst314

The eternal question "Why are you here today?" has been asked by legions of college students in late night hookah binges.

Also by an elderly friend: "Why am I here? I walked into this room for a reason but now I cannot remember."

Squires

[L]ate capitalism has...

I got precisely this far before thinking, “Gee that sounds like the fatally predictable-in-disorder Dreadful Penny, but why would even so pretentious and lightweight a technical rag as Wired ever let her on its pages?”

Maybe they take her claim of being a cyborg more seriously than they ought to.

...learn our quarantine names...

Homemade Taco Pioneer it is then.

...barraged with distracting and unwanted toss...

I’ve worked at the blue collar end of an ad-supported industry (outside broadcasting) and as a copywriter/editor for a successful niche business. What you see in online advertising today is the unholy union of desperation and utter ignorance of what makes for successful attention-getting. Result: websites with little to offer in content, desperate for ad money, letting incompetent advertisers centered on what THEY, not their potential customers, want, splatter the World Wide Web with history’s most-ignored bukkake.

Stella Gibbons' 1949 novel The Matchmaker has a lovely sketch of the intellectual mis-education...

This had me thinking of the 90s sci-fi novel The Bellwether (though for some reason I remembered it as a short story or novella). One of the most important aspects of fads, as understood by the protagonist, is a low bar for entry in terms of required physical skill, mental capability, or depth of understanding.

David

What you see in online advertising today is the unholy union of desperation and utter ignorance of what makes for successful attention-getting.

Online advertising is particularly unpopular, much more so than print or even TV, because it feels more like clutter, an obstruction. I suppose we’re also generally more territorial about our phones and laptops, and so more sensitive to intrusion. As you say, online ads are so often badly done and actively hostile to the audience. The users of those modal ads that slide across to obscure whatever you’re trying to read should be hunted down with nail guns.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

What you see in online advertising today is the unholy union of desperation and utter ignorance of what makes for successful attention-getting.

For the reasons, I have Google Alerts for a number of authors. "Sherlock Holmes" regularly returns the latest breathless news about story and cast changes for both the BBC show and the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle, neither of which are anywhere near production.

These sites ape Western news sites in format like Screen Rants but whose writers evade the stereotype of "wow, you write English better than your original language."

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

PST314, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter. I go into a room and then I wonder what I’m here after.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

Is that what those slide-across ads are called, modal ads? That’s nothing like the name I use for them.

Fred the Fourth

Apparently, there's a known phenomenon where passing through a doorway can cause you to forget why you went into a room. This happens to me frequently, especially as I continue to saunter down my world-line, unless I remind myself not to let it happen.
My own theory, unsupported by anything so crass as research or even a cursory web search, is that it's a survival trait. You are entering a new environment - it's important to have "checking for threats" at the front of your attention. Hence you forget the previous "front of attention" thing. Perhaps the depth of my memory stack has decreased as I aged, and things now get irretrievably pushed off the bottom of that stack.

Governor Squid

...learn our quarantine names...

Clementine Brave. Holy crap -- I think I'm halfway to a YA bestseller already! Also, I remember enjoying Bellwether, but I can't remember the details of it to save my life. Is it worth picking up again?

WTP

there's a known phenomenon where passing through a doorway can cause you to forget why you went into a room

My dad used to say that there's three stages of that:

Stage 1: You walk into a room and you forget why you went in there.
Stage 2: You walk into a room and you forget why you went in there, and that room is the bathroom.
Stage 3: You walk into a room and you forget why you went in there, that room is the bathroom, and it really doesn't matter anymore.

Daniel Ream

letting incompetent advertisers centered on what THEY, not their potential customers, want

If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer - you're the product.

That's what people who rant about online ads tend to forget: you're not the customer. The advertisers, who give the site the money, are. If you want to be the customer you have to give them money.

Oh, ding, by the way.

TimT

‘Late capitalism’ is one of those go-to cliches the left seems to rely on - some of whom, like Penny here, can pad out an entire article with such cliches. And it’s long struck me as being a particularly wistful cliche: the imminent demise of the economic system, as predicted by Marx, is going to happen any day now!

They’ve been repeating this cliche since at least the ‘60s!

Squires

Is it worth picking up again?

Probably? I read it as a teenager. Mostly I remember the big plot twist, and the bread pudding scene.

The advertisers, who give the site the money, are.

And the advertisers, who are either creating the ads in house or paying for and signing off on the work of a third party, are doing it wrong. The sites that have turned into obnoxious advertisement clusterfucks, too, are doing it wrong. It is a synergy of errors.

pst314

Is that what those slide-across ads are called, modal ads? That’s nothing like the name I use for them.

It's a programming term. To quote Microsoft:
Modal dialog boxes: require the user to respond before continuing the program
Modeless dialog boxes: stay on the screen and are available for use at any time but permit other user activities

Steve E

I go into a room and then I wonder what I’m here after.

I call that sometimers, as opposed to alzheimers, because sometimes I forget stuff I shouldn't forget.

I have a theory about that too. By the time you reach the age of 45 or 50, your memory has absorbed about all it's capable of absorbing. At that point, in order to remember something new, your brain has to throw out something old. Unfortunately, you have no control over what gets thrown out and it may be totally out of balance with what you keep. So you could throw out your understanding of quantum physics to remember where you put your car keys. Worse, you could recite string theory and end up taking the bus.

Daniel Ream

are doing it wrong

Depends on what your definition of "right" is. Remember that ad-supported web sites get paid per "impression", which simply means the ad is loaded by your browser. As long as the page loads, the site owner gets paid. It doesn't matter what the viewer does (although actually clicking on the ads usually brings the site more money).

That's why those slide-in modal windows exist, by the way; they're there to prevent the user from leaving the site long enough for the rest of the page ads to load in the background.

Richard

"The desperation and gun-jumping is quite repellent." I send them email. "Your efforts to be noticed have worked. I wrote down your product and company name and consider it my sacred duty to never buy your product. Ever."

By the way, is it Dreadful Penny or Penny Dreadful?

Hal

...a screenwriter based in Los Angeles....

Er, what exactly are the qualifications for licensing in that profession, or is this something that anyone can be simply by saying it?

Exactly.

Or, better yet, for certainty, a successful screenwriter is one who has actually written a screenplay. Which is apparently rather a quantity of the Los York/New Angeles metroplex.

And, in turn, does getting a script written mean that the material will wind up on screen?

Maybe.

---With internet access and ease of recording video becoming more and more accessible, at this point in time, all sorts of concepts can wind up on screen . . . . . . the screen may never get larger than a cell phone screen, and the platform never more than a very obscure corner of Youtube, But . . . . .

Now, rather most importantly, does such capability translate to getting handed large quantities of cash?

Only if one can successfully get it to.

In turn, for commentary on and by an actual regularly paid screenwriter, Quite Highly Recommended.

David

If you want to be the customer you have to give them money. Oh, ding, by the way.

Bless you, sir. May all of those unwanted ‘media relations’ emails invariably include an ‘unsubscribe’ option. After all, anything else would just be rude.

David

That’s why those slide-in modal windows exist, by the way; they’re there to prevent the user from leaving the site long enough for the rest of the page ads to load in the background.

When you visit a site casually, with no particular interest, and within seconds you notice that your adblocker has blocked over a hundred ads, on one page alone, this doesn’t generally result in a positive view of the site in question. Likewise, if you disable your adblocker and immediately find that said site has become slow, jerky and all but unusable, with the actual written content an obviously low priority and repeatedly obscured, and endless crap actively thwarting your attempts to read…

Well, this too seems unlikely to inspire warm feelings.

Darleen

in order to remember something new, your brain has to throw out something old.

Ah! Kelly Bundy syndrome.

PiperPaul

Homer: But every time I learn something new, it pushes out something old. Remember that time I took a home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?
Marge: That's because you were drunk.
Homer: And how!

=======

I wonder what long term impact the use of computers will result in, seeing that temporary memory seems to be used more often than in the past. In the past you'd learn a skill and it would stay with you for decades but now software tools are constantly changing (although a part of that is just GUI modifications and shuffling program commands around to make you buy the new release improve the software).

Time spent learning / re-learning a new or updated software tool is time not spent doing the actual thing the software is helping you to do.

Nikw211

Wut?

Barkeep!

A drink to soothe this guy's troubled brow.

Apparently, there’s a demographic – again, supposedly educated - that isn’t troubled by the lurid overstatement, the gaps and contradictions, the endless begged questions and leaps of leftist faith. As long as the preferred emotional conclusion is arrived at and affirmed, little else matters, it seems.

That.

Keep the change and have one for yourself and the upkeep of this ... [[ wipes what suspiciously looks like dried hamster urine from counter top ]] ... fine establishment.

Screen credits or it ain't so.

From IMDb

    The Nevers Series 1 Episode 9

    Writers: Laurie Penny, Joss Whedon (created by)
    Stars: Ahmed Bakare, Elizabeth Berrington, Ben Chaplin

From her current Twitter her profile:

    Author, journalist, feminist, nerd, ‘extremely powerful witch.’ Screenwriter: The Nevers, The Haunting, etc. Latest book: 'Bitch Doctrine'. Patreon below!

    London/Los Angeles


David

Keep the change and have one for yourself

Bless you, sir. May your regular supermarket be one in which, while people are every bit as clumsy and spatially oblivious as they are anywhere else, they’re at least awfully polite and apologetic about it afterwards.

pst314

in order to remember something new, your brain has to throw out something old.

The Sherlock Holmes theory of memory:

"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that this little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it, there comes a time when for any addition of knowledge, you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones."

"But the Solar System!" I protested.

"What the deuce is it to me?" he interrupted impatiently; "you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work."

Steve E

The Sherlock Holmes theory of memory

That's probably where I got it from. I've read "A Study in Scarlet" at least a dozen times. I received the two volume "The Annotated Sherlock Holmes" for my 18th birthday.

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