A shibboleth for idiots

(Prompted by the following extremely insightful comment on the Guardian website: “Corybn who is the Tories’ poodle on Brexshit. Yeah, he’s great.”)

Like a lot of people (I suspect), I have a very hard time getting my own beliefs about speech norms on the internet in order. Whenever I have pinned down a behaviour that I think is always bad, somebody else can come up with a persuasive argument that in this case it is not only acceptable but right. On the whole I’m in favour of civility, but there’s no denying that incivility can be effective and is sometimes justified.

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I’m doing a lot of travel for work this Summer, mainly to nice places that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. First up was Iceland, which has been absolutely top of the list for years and I was very very lucky to finally have an opportunity to go without bankrupting myself. So while usually I stay a day or two extra after work to look around, for this one I stayed a whole extra week for my Summer holiday.

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busy busy busy

No posts here lately, I’ve been rather busy. A lot of time has gone into planning my combined work trip/hiking holiday to Iceland, which finally begins in two days. You can expect a report on that when I return, hopefully with lots of nice pictures if the weather holds.

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Alien: Covenant

In the summer of 2012 my friends and I spent a few weeks re-watching and talking about the Alien series, in anticipation of Ridley Scott’s much hyped prequel Prometheus. When we did get around to going to the cinema for the new release, after our Alien revision, we all found Prometheus disappointing. But afterwards we went to a pub and talked about exactly why it was disappointing for several hours. Whenever I talk about the Alien series with somebody now, I usually cast myself as a Prometheus apologist: not because I think it’s very good, but because it fails while trying to do something interesting and because the failure itself is interesting.1

  1. As Phil Sandifer says, “I’ve always preferred a noble failure to a cheap success”. ↩︎

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Five books

If you aren’t familiar with the website Five Books, I can highly recommend it. Twice a week, an interviewee selects five books on a theme (usually in their area of expertise) and explains their choices. It’s a great place to get new reading ideas. Their archive has 1000 interviews; it’s likely somebody you admire has had an interview there.

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© Tom Harris 2015–2017.

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