Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.

Pope Francis is Tinker Bell for progressives

I’ve written about progressive Francis-mania before, but I worked out what it is this morning. To quote Tinker Bell from Peter Pan:

Every time someone says ‘I do not believe in fairies’, somewhere there’s a fairy that falls down dead.

It’s projection. If the media keep saying Francis is progressive, they hope he might actually become progressive.

Unfortunately, just as with faeries, the world doesn’t care what you believe.

We’ve now seen Francis supporting a campaign against gay rights in Malta, speaking out loudly against abortion and supporting an anti-abortion mass in Madrid.

Not to mention how his comments on gay people really don’t mean what the media think they mean.

But don’t let boring skeptical naysayers like me tell you that faeries don’t exist. If you keep saying that the pope is progressive, he’ll become your very own left-wing Tinker Bell. Repeat after me, journalists: “I believe in faeries!”

In Oxford Street, workers are removing and loading the Xmas decorations into pick-up trucks.

It’s most amusing to have the people who told me that I was paranoid for having a GPG key now breathlessly tell me about the problems with PRISM.

The tools to have 4,096-bit military strength encrypted email has been here since 1997. Use them or shut the fuck up.

Being part of an unelected dynasty class is now a career

I saw a piece in the Evening Standard while going home (over someone’s shoulder in the human sardine tin that was falsely advertising itself as a tube train) about the Duchess of Cambridge’s “Royal career”. A Royal career? What the hell is one of those, exactly?

It is only when you unpick the language that the absurdity of the monarchy starts becomes fully apparent. We talk about someone having a “career” in some kind of profession or occupation, usually requiring some skill—a business career or political career or even a football career.

Apparently, being married to the person in line to the throne is now a “career”. Or indeed being in line to the throne oneself. What training did this “career” take? What skills did one have to learn? Did she have to take some kind of course at a further education college, perhaps? Is it in a course catalogue in some dull Home Counties sixth form college, snuggled in between A-level Geography and a City and Guilds in car repair? Perhaps this “career” was something her Careers Advisor told her about?

What a incongruous, anti-egalitarian farce this whole unelected monarchy thing is.

When Snowden told the world about PRISM, the NSA should have defended themselves by saying they were in “stealth mode”.

Confluence took 8.36 seconds for me to start editing a page. Wikipedia took 4.96 even with all my administrator scripts turned on.

The root for “wiki” is the Hawaiian word “wiki-wiki” which means quick. Enterprise wikis are poor imitations of proper wikis.

The dishwasher tablets I use are now marketed as “quantum” for some odd reason. I guess until I open the dishwasher, it is unknown whether my dishes and glasses are clean following the thought experiment known as Schrödinger’s domestic appliances. Next time I open up the dishwasher to get a martini glass or cereal bowl, I’ll be sure to think of it as collapsing the wave function.

Thank you marketing people for increasing the amount of gibberish in the world.

The primary feature of FirefoxOS is that of people making phone operating systems, Mozilla make me gag least as an organisation. That this is now a feature we have to judge software by makes me immensely sad.

Android would be a pretty good smartphone operating system if it were straight-forward to completely rip all the Google social shit out of it and run your own open source online stack.

I say this precisely because I see so many stupid and sometimes atrocious things that Google are doing in the name of Google+ integration.

FirefoxOS could turn out to be the actually open phone OS one day. Of all the organisations who could build a reasonably good OS, I trust Mozilla to actually give a shit about privacy and user rights.

People I'm glad can't "opt-out" of their job on the grounds of made up books

I’m very glad that the safety inspectors on the London Underground don’t have “religious objections” or have to search their “conscience” before ensuring the trains I take every day don’t get derailed.

I’m very glad that the public health inspectors who check to make sure my food is safe don’t have the right to opt-out from their job on the basis of “conscience”.

I’m very glad that the people who build bridges and aeroplanes can’t opt-out on religious grounds from safety testing and basic engineering.

I’m glad the surgeon who operated on my elbow when I was a kid used X-rays rather than listened to spirits or angels or diagnosed me with crazy shit they made up and claim works because it’s “alternative”.

I’m thankful that the pilot on planes I take use observation, empiricism, rationality and technology rather than faith to get me safely to my destination.

I couldn’t give a flying fuck about your religion if your religion is an excuse to not perform essential services that you are paid for.

I didn’t watch Splash. I’m sure I can catch the highlights on Tumblr in GIF form.

If people can opt-out of providing hotel rooms to gay people or give the morning after pill, I want the right to a religious opt-out from taking a driving test.

I object to it for reasons that only make sense if you agree with my metaphysical presuppositions. And I’m not going to tell you what my metaphysical presuppositions are unless you pay me lots of money.

Now, I’m going to go and get into a car and start driving. You better not infringe on my religious freedom by requiring me to have a driving licence, you atheistic Stalinist Nazis.

“Tom Daley GIFs”. Fuck. Someone worked out how to denial-of-service attack my brain.