As long-term readers may know, I have a bit of a history of being annoyed by Google. (To be found here here here and here.) Whilst there's not much I can do about their seeming desire to take over my entire online life, I have made it something of a mission to at least keep some control over how their search results are displayed, and to keep their annoying 'helpful' features out of my face. In terms of the latter, I was doing pretty well, but it involved several different tweaks which had to be combined.
Archive for January, 2012
Here's an interesting dilemma that came up in the discussion under my piece on sin, a while back.
We'd all agree, probably, that a starving person stealing food should be punished very lightly, if at all. Most would say the same if the person stole enough money to buy that food. But what if they stole an amount large enough to buy a week's worth of food? Maybe a few less would agree, but if it were shown, on examination, that the person could reasonably expect their circumstances to remain unchanged over that week—that is, they didn't have any real hope of obtaining food or money legally—then I suspect most would still agree. After all, it's one large-ish theft instead of seven smaller ones, and it would be natural to want to take only one chance of being caught, instead of seven.
On the other hand, no one in their right mind would say that stealing enough for, say, a year would be in any way condonable.
In a recent email conversation, I mentioned a couple of songs and went off to YouTube to provide links. And, of course, I just had to play them. Thing is, they're both songs that I can't play just once. Then, watching a rerun of an old Top Of The Pops just now, I ran into two more that have the same effect.
Three posts in one day! I swear there's smoke curling up from my poor, overworked keyboard. Anyway, on'ards and up'ards…
I'm getting really sick of the sight of this Alain de Botton bloke. If you've somehow managed to miss his whimpers about how society needs a religion-like framework, here's the video that's been doing the rounds lately.
Yep, I have a Twitter account. I've never used it, but apparently my posts on WordPress get tweeted, or twitted, or whatever the verb is. And given the … vociferousness of my ramblings and/or rantings on the subject of religion, being suddenly followed by a church is somewhat dumbfounding, to say the least.
I must admit that it brought to mind visions of a large building, slowly extending its wings to tap tentatively at a keyboard. Or worse still, rising up on its footings and physically following me down the road. But then, I'm just weird that way.
The BBC has put together a list of the "major" Catholic abuse scandals. Sometimes it's easy to get bogged down in the details of this or that individual case but, with a story as wide-ranging as this, it's sometimes useful to get a thumbnail overview. If we constantly focus on just a few trees, the enormity of the forest can get forgotten.
I'm getting sick of people (usually not British, often American) throwing up the phrase 'Islam isn't a race,' as if it's a killer argument, when confronted by stories of British Muslims, or those who defend their alleged right not to be offended, playing the racist card. Not because it's wrong (it isn't), but because it fails to take reality into account and is, frankly, not fucking helping. I've seen many Brits try to explain this to Americans, and usually to no avail. Too many Yanks, even educated, progressive, liberal ones, seem to have some sort of unconscious idea that their constitution applies to the whole English-speaking world, and that all Western culture follows exactly the same rules and patterns that theirs does.