Friday, September 19, 2014

Kingdom Remains United, But Alas Still A Kingdom

The votes are in, and Scottish independence is officially Not A Thing.

I approve of the country staying intact, for what little my approval means. It's the "Kingdom" part that bugs me, not the "United."

The notion of privilege - a material or social advantage over others that a person receives by virtue of birth alone - is backwards and primitive and inherently anathema to a free society. Racism and sexism (both still very rampant) create privilege by bestowing an advantage on the members of one group (white, male) at the expense of other people. Hereditary wealth of any sort creates privilege by giving an obvious advantage to the born-rich over the born-poor. However, privilege truly comes to a head (of state) where monarchs are concerned.

Yes, I know, tradition and all that. I'm not opposed to the idea of a truly ceremonial monarch. The problem is that a truly ceremonial monarch must be stripped of absolute power and the fruits of the past exercise thereof. Her Frownyface, Queen Lizzie may not wield absolute (or any) power herself, but she retains control of property and wealth inherited from ancestors who did— Buckingham Palace is the product of an absolute monarch's power and allowing any control or possession of it (no matter how limited) to any monarch (no matter how impotent) perpetuates primitive notions of blood superiority and legitimises the idea that it's fair and natural for people to have "economic success" or "economic failure" written on their birth certificates.

Every one of us would understand that "you are among the richest people on the planet because you are an absolute dictator" is inherently unjust. "You are among the richest people on the planet because you are the child of an absolute dictator" is not an improvement. Why, then, can a society that calls itself free believe exactly that by simply switching "child" for "descendent?" Does the passage of time make the taint of absolute monarchy fade?

Why should anybody receive £40 million annually simply by virtue of being born? I was born, where's my 40 million quid? Sure, I can't claim that my great-great-great-etc grandfather was an absolute monarch and tyrant but I don't see why that should matter. We've moved beyond holding people responsible for their ancestors' crimes, haven't we?

I want to see a vote to bring Britain into the 21st century as the United Republic. Or at minimum, tell the queen that the end of absolute monarchy is now retroactive and she'll have to find a nice cottage somewhere like an ordinary pensioner.

If you agree that no one should be handed unearned riches by the accident of their birth, and that government should be by the people, not by the people on behalf of a symbolic dictator who is parasitical upon society, consider supporting Republic.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Out Of Gas

The gas line in my flat has been shut off. Accordingly, I must eat cold foods.

I've got cute little sandwiches all arranged in a circle for immediate consumption. I would post a picture, but then I would be That Guy who takes pictures of his food. I already am, but there's no need to prove it.

Alas, with the inability to enhotten* anything, I am unable to make tea to accompany the sandwiches. Which is a pity, because my internal clock is telling me that it's teatime and has very little regard for what all the real clocks and/or the sun have to say on the subject.

*Totally a real word, guys.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Survey Update

I am taking a survey that presents a list of fast food and junk snacks I would never buy or consume, and asking me to select which I am "most likely to buy" and which I am "least likely to buy." For many different lists and permutations.

Just to reiterate— I would never buy any of this shite ever, and I told them as much up front, but it didn't seem to register. Possibly because I told them I bought it "less than once a year;" as "never" wasn't actually an option.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fuck You, Safari

This is basically an addendum to my last "Little Things That Bug Me" post because I made a horrible oversight in failing to include it.

In addition to the usual instabilities and bugs (and the fact that it has just disabled Flash Player with no way to reactivate it), I've discovered a problem I find remarkably annoying: Every now and then, I'll try to open a page and Safari will pop up a box saying, essentially, "There was a problem loading new pages. You have to reload every page in every tab you currently have open." Agreeing to this results in a long annoying delay as Safari strains itself trying to reload the twenty-odd pages I had open; refusing to agree renders Safari completely nonfunctional, as attempting to load any page in any tab ever will simply result in the message reappearing.

Seriously, even Internet Exploder doesn't do that (as far as I know). Apple really sucks.

Addendum: Some research has turned up the cause of this annoyance. Apparently, it finally occurred to Apple that Safari tends to crash on ordinary web content. The masterful designers in Cupertino attempted to rectify this problem by splitting Safari into two independent processes— one to manage the application's inner workings and another to handle the web content. The "you must reload all tabs" message appears whenever the "Safari Web Content" process crashes.

So basically, Apple "fixed" the problem of Safari crashing a lot by isolating the part that crashes so that it merely gives an annoying error upon crashing rather than taking down the entire application, and saving me the trouble of having to click once to reload the program before waiting for all of my tabs to come back. Not, you know, by making it not crash simply by trying to display ordinary web content. I stand by my previous snark— somehow, Internet Exploder manages to load web pages without crashing.

At least I got Flash working again.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I Have Outwitted Google.

I checked, and it turns out that Google simply has nothing to say (ie, it returns no search results) if I ask it something absurdly specific. I discovered this when I searched for something I always wanted to know, namely:
What is the sound of a woman in the 95th percentile for lung capacity using a vuvuzela to blow bubbles in a vat of turpentine while traveling at 25 kilometers per hour on the roof of a Ukrainian locomotive in the rain on a Tuesday?
Of course now that I made this blog post, it'll get incorporated into Google's search algorithms and start returning this post to anyone who searches that query. You know, in case anybody else has weird and very specific auditory curiosities.