D4D

Don't get mad - get a shotgun.

Archive for the category “Thoughts”

Credo

From this week’s New Statesman, guest-edited by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer (and read out by Neil at their event on Thursday, which I went to)

I believe that it is difficult to kill an idea, because ideas are invisible and contagious, and they move fast.

I believe that you can set your own ideas against ideas you dislike. That you should be free to argue, explain, clarify, debate, offend, insult, rage, mock, sing, dramatise and deny.

I do not believe that burning, murdering, exploding people, smashing their heads with rocks (to let the bad ideas out), drowning them or even defeating them will work to contain ideas you do not like. Ideas spring up where you do not expect them, like weeds, and are as difficult to control.

I believe that repressing ideas spreads ideas.

I believe that people and books and newspapers are containers for ideas, but that burning the people will be as unsuccessful as firebombing the newspaper archives. It is already too late. It is always too late. The ideas are out, hiding behind people’s eyes, waiting in their thoughts. They can be whispered. They can be written on walls in the dead of night. They can be drawn.

I believe that ideas do not have to be right to exist.

I believe you have every right to be perfectly certain that images of god or prophet or man are sacred and undefilable, just as I have the right to be certain of the sacredness of speech, of the sanctity of the right to mock, comment, to argue and to utter.

I believe I have the right to think and say the wrong things. I believe your remedy for that should be to argue with me or to ignore me, and that I should have the same remedy for the wrong things that you think.

I believe that you have the absolute right to think things that I find offensive, stupid, preposterous or dangerous, and that you have the right to speak, write, or distribute these things, and that I do not have the right to kill you, maim you, hurt you, or take away your liberty or property because I find your ideas threatening or insulting or downright disgusting. You probably think my ideas are pretty vile, too.

I believe that in the battle between guns and ideas, ideas will, eventually, win.

Because the ideas are invisible, and they linger, and, sometimes, they are even true.

Eppur si muove: and yet it moves.

©Neil Gaiman / New Statesman 2015

Says it all far better than I can.  Stored here for posterity, and further referencing as time goes on.

Changing Terms

Last week, Milton Keynes suddenly changed their parking rates. Not by a lot, all things considered – it costs me about 20p a day more now – but it didn’t seem to have been very well publicised.

(Disclaimer : There may have been notices in local papers or whatever, but I don’t get those, so didn’t see anything. But there was nothing I saw on parking meters etc., so regardless of how much it was discussed/publicised beforehand, I hadn’t seen anything. And I’m sure I can’t be the only one)

One of the other changes, though, was that now you have to pay on Bank Holidays as well. That’s not been the case up ’til this week – it’s always been free – and it’s all just a bit sneaky.

Because it’s only happened for the second bank holiday weekend in May. So anyone who’s known it was free from the first weekend would be quite within their rights to assume it would be the same this weekend.

There’s more information about that change – they’ve put stickers on the parking meters etc. – but if someone had seen three weeks ago that they didn’t need to pay, would they even go near the parking meter this time?

I don’t know – but there’s definitely a lot of parking tickets been issued today on the bit outside my office building. Which indicates that my theory may be correct on this one…

Rationalising Things

Over the years, I’ve had a number of random ideas, and then bought up the relevant domain names.  I’ve done the same with business concepts, and also several writing ideas and the like.

When all’s said and done, that means I’m left with a whole bundle of websites and domains I don’t use – or (worse) that I don’t update, becoming the ‘net equivalent of ghost towns and cemeteries. They’re all started with good intentions, of course – but spreading myself over that many sites just isn’t going to happen.  I feel stupidly guilty when I remember one of them, and realise it hasn’t been updated in a year or more.

So over the rest of this year, I’m going to give up some of them completely, merge others, and really just rationalise things into a shape and state I can manage and maintain. Hopefully that’ll then give me some of the headspace I need – or at least reduce the guilt levels a bit – and I’ll see what progress can then be made.

D4D™ will, of course, survive the cull – as will the sites for my writing, and company.   Other than that, there’s a couple I’ll keep because I use them for other things, but over the next year there’s definitely going to be a reduction in the sites and domains I own and maintain.

Self-Inflicted Damage

[Note : As always, I don’t actually give a shit about sport/cricket – I’m more interested in the mindset beneath it in this case]

Over the last couple of days, the news has been full of bloody Kevin Pietersen throwing a strop about not being allowed – yet – back into playing cricket for England.

Apparently a while back it was…

suggest[ed he] could add to his 104 England caps if he joined a county and scored enough runs to merit a recall.

(Quote from the BBC story)

Pietersen did this, and fair play to him.  Earlier this week, he scored a personal best innings, something like 350 not out.  So he’s assumed that on that one showing, he should be allowed back into the England team.

He met Andrew Strauss – the new ‘director of cricket’, apparently – who said there was no chance this summer, and that some people didn’t trust Pietersen.  Which is also fair – Pietersen’s always been an asshat.

But now he’s thrown his toys out the pram about it, and has written about how he feels ‘deceived’ and so on in his column in the Telegraph.

Really, all it seems like is a whining brat. Yes, he’s done what was asked, and had one excellent innings. But that doesn’t make a team player, and doesn’t mean he has to be immediately accepted as part of the England team.

Indeed, if anything is now going to make sure he doesn’t get back in, I’d say it’s his own behaviour in this. (Of course, he won’t see it like that, because he’s perfect and no-one else is. Rah rah rah. Standard asshat behaviour)  I would’ve said he might have a chance if he continues to excel at county level – the same criteria as could be applied to any other up-and-coming player.

But really, how can you trust anyone who throws their toys out like this at any opportunity? When they decide to destroy their own chances and credibility, in a fit that looks more like the act of a stropping toddler kicking their feet and screaming in a supermarket than one of someone wanting to play for – and thus represent – a country’s cricket team?

Electioneering

I will be really glad to see the end of this week, with the General Election being completed and a result being in.

The biggest challenge this year has been in finding someone – anyone – that I actually want to vote for, and wouldn’t want to punch myself repeatedly in the face if they got in.

I suspect today’s election will end up being another coalition and a parliament built on compromise and cobblers, but I still hope that all the punditry and bullshit will be confounded by one party winning enough votes to have overall power.

But that’s it, and I’ll just really be glad when it’s over.  And from there, a new idea/phase/plan can kick in a bit, and see how things go. Another five-year project/plan, shall we say?

Three Years In One Place

It’s now three years since I moved into the current house – which also means I’ve been single that long.  How time flies, and all that rot.

I’m definitely still here for another six months (that’s when the current tenancy expires) and I’m still undecided on what I do from there.

I suspect I’ll stick with it for another year’s tenancy, to be honest – unless anything in life changes radically in that period.  That’s quite scary in some ways, it’s almost like I’m feeling more settled and (almost) putting down some roots.

That’s not the case though – the current place isn’t where I want to stay longer-term, but at the moment it’s just convenient, and – as I’ve said before – makes travelling easy to just about anywhere else.

Creatively Becalmed

This year so far – and probably for a bit longer than that, if I’m honest – I’ve not been getting all that much done on a creative front, and I don’t really know why.  It’s more a feeling of being bogged down, uninspired, and just not in the mood.

Writing is going better than anything else – lots of ideas, but nothing is particularly gelling at the moment. I’ve got a couple of things started, but it’s still bogging down, and not flowing.

Photography-wise, I haven’t even taken my camera out in ages. Really it’s been since I did the NCFE course, which is a bloody long time now. I don’t know why that seemed to flick the ‘can’t be arsed’ switch, but it has.  I’ve tried a few things and ideas, but it’s just all a bit “meh”, with no real desire to take the photos.

In some ways, the day-trips over the last few months have helped on that – I’ve taken photos, even if ‘only’ with the phone (although that’s a surprise, considering how good they’ve come out) but still can’t really bring myself to take the actual camera out for a day. A lot of that is also because I can’t be arsed with lugging it around and faffing about, but mainly it’s just the faff of it all at the moment.

I’m sure things will change again – I certainly hope so – and that the changes will be positive for once. The rest of this year to date has been positive, so I’m hoping that once I have some headspace and time, I’ll be more prompted.

(And I’m sure I’ve written about this a couple of times this year already, so forgive the repetition. It’s just something that’s bugging me at the moment)

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