The Late United States

My thoughts today are with friends in America, some of whom I’ve known since I was twelve, none of whom will have wanted this. I hope you get through it. I hope we all do.

20 January 2017 · Comment · Events

Honey Disconnect the Phone

Why limit the gloom to Britain, when it’s the last day of a sane American administration for who knows how long?

How kompromat works. Trump was bailed out of bankruptcy by Russian crime bosses. Trump’s longstanding mob connections. A message to the American media. Trump’s attack on a reporter’s disability versus reality.

Tales from the frontlines of viral photography. Trump’s ridiculous inauguration poem. I started to write a spoof of that, but rapidly lost the will to live. Instead, here’s Mark Hamill reading Trump’s tweets as the Joker.

Russia: the threat, the international order, and the way forward, by the outgoing US Ambassador to the UN. Comey refuses to discuss a possible Trump-Russia investigation because he only does that with Hillary Clinton.

A guide to joining Twitter now it’s an unremittingly bleak document of how awful everything is.

19 January 2017 · Comment · Politics

Standing in the English Rain

Owen Jones and Nick Clegg discuss Brexit. Nationalism and Brexit. A full English Brexit is on the menu. Whether you’re leave or remain, Theresa May just betrayed you. We clearly don’t understand sovereignty. Brexiters are destroying this country.

As an Australian who’s lived in Britain for over fifteen years, I’ve naturally kept an eye on GBP-AUD exchange rates. Here’s the rate on this day in 2007: £1 = A$2.48. In 2011 it was A$1.60. In 2016, after clawing back from the credit crunch: A$2.07. Today it’s back at A$1.63.

Tell me again, o Leavers and media, how the referendum result has had no economic impact. (And I wish everyone would stop saying that Brexit has had no impact. Brexit still hasn’t happened yet. Heaven help us if it does.) Here’s something I wrote in October, which remains (ha) bitterly relevant.

Apparently, Brexit means Brexit:
For Prime Minister May, Britain’s exit
From Europe is certain.
May May end up hurtin’
Our future? I reckon this wrecks it.

19 January 2017 · Comment · Politics


How the gains we make in AI could ultimately destroy us.

Limmy’s techno version of an old Fry’s Turkish Delight ad.

The archaeology of Rogue One.

The linguistic evolution of “like”.

Roadie wrap.

Redaction art.

The parts of a good apology and a bad one.

Scots have more words for rain than the Inuit have for snow.

The Gulf Stream is unstable.

Why are Dutch children the happiest in the world? We’re really good at judging parents.

Minesweeper tumbleweed.

Thanks to my blogless mate Paul for some of the above.

19 January 2017 · Comment · Weblog

I hadn’t posted anything new to Found in five years, but the findings kept on coming—albeit at a much slower rate than they once did—so yesterday I added this (and these and these and this).

19 January 2017 · Comment · Site News

An English Summer

Here’s another gallery for Detail, based on a folder of holiday snaps I’ve been meaning to turn into one for years: a few days of an English summer in Yorkshire and Lincoln.

17 January 2017 · Comment · Site News

Panoramas III

Time to start adding galleries again to Detail, with a third collection of panoramas from the past few years of camping trips, mini-breaks and outings around Scotland. I have some international ones in the wings as well.

16 January 2017 · Comment · Site News

In With the New

And so we collapse into 2017, waiting to see just how dire the Trump administration will be, whether Brexit really will mean Brexit, and who next among the West’s democracies will follow Britain and the US down the road to nowhere. It’s enough to take the wind out of any little-read blog’s sails. I do have a few ideas about more substantial projects for coming months, but for the moment only a few links.

Read More · 10 January 2017 · Comment · Weblog

Out With the Old

What music lessons do to children.

Why time management is ruining our lives.

Warm ocean water is melting the biggest glacier in East Antarctica.

The holes left in cities by income inequality.

Finding Bana.

Truth is a lost game in Turkey.

The murder that killed free media in Russia.

The year Facebook became the bad guy. Stop blaming Facebook for Trump.

Trump’s threat to the Constitution.

When tyranny takes hold.

The birth pangs of a Third Reconstruction.

My very own pinecone.

31 December 2016 · Comment · Weblog


A small selection of dozens of bookmarks from the past month. The one you should really be reading on all of this is Sarah Kendzior.

The Republican machine. The election was rigged. Everything mattered. Something is deeply broken. We all have plenty to fear. Is this how democracy ends? Is progress history? Trump’s looming mass criminalization. “These people.” The lessons of Berlusconi. Take danger at face value.

19 December 2016 · Comment · Politics

Fake News

Fake news and the internet shell game. A case study.

“We’re the new yellow journalists.” “I have a beautiful family, a beautiful life.” “I never thought he’d actually get elected.”

The fake news conspiracy theory that led from rumor, to hashtag, to gunfire in D.C.

What Gamergate should have taught us. Had we taken it seriously, Pizzagate might never have happened.

Students can’t tell fake news from real.

The first president of our post-literate age.

The age of outrage.

The fake war on fake news.

It’s up to all of us to stop it.

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search. It’s like the fascists saw John Perry Barlow’s Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace and thought “Lebensraum!”

19 December 2016 · Comment · Politics

It’s All Going Swimmingly

Brexit has already cost UK households US$1.5 trillion. Who voted for it?

A Devon village unleashes its anger toward Syrian arrivals by donating jumpers to them.

The Department for Education agreed to share pupil nationality data with the Home Office. What could possibly go wrong.

The snooper’s charter threatens academic freedom.

Website blocking in the Digital Economy Bill.

Turkey doubles down on censorship. Iran uses fake news as an excuse for widespread censorship.

Reducing your cyber-footprint. The 25-minute crypto shopping list.

18 December 2016 · Comment · Politics

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