Friday, March 31, 2006

no posting recently

I know, I know, it's very shameful, and I deeply apologise- unfortunately it shall probably continue for a little while, at least until the Easter holidays begin properly. I've just been rather busy, with birthday celebrations and recently going bowling, laser questing, and film watching in one day (I did very well in the first two, by the way. The third doesn't really have a quality rating....).

Anyways, watch this space.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Die Hard:the silent movie

This spoils Die Hard if for some reason you have not watched it yet.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Recently been going to, a website that collects irc conversations (it's a chat system for the uninitiated). Theres some pretty funny ones there...

"#244321 +(14061)- [X]

hey, if you type in your pw, it will show as stars
********* see!
doesnt look like stars to me
thats what I see
oh, really?
you can go hunter2 my hunter2-ing hunter2
haha, does that look funny to you?
lol, yes. See, when YOU type hunter2, it shows to us as *******
thats neat, I didnt know IRC did that
yep, no matter how many times you type hunter2, it will show to us as *******
wait, how do you know my pw?
er, I just copy pasted YOUR ******'s and it appears to YOU as hunter2 cause its your pw
oh, ok."

" d-_-b
how u make that inverted b?
never mind"

On Rape

This will be the last post I make on this issue, as I suspect Rich and I have some unconsolable differences he, the most important one being that he regards drunken consent as consent (see his comments).

Still, I will attempt to argue even with this position. I am fairly certain that I would not have sex with any drunken girl who propositioned me (unless perhaps I was dating her at the time, or was rather drunk myself). The important thing here to establish, of course, is intent. The reason I set very clear circumstances is that for something like this to be rape, there has to be knowledge on the part of the guilty party. He/she must KNOW that that the other party is not in adequate control of their facilities, there must be the intent to take advantage of the other person (which is also why a stranger was specified). This is a very specific instance, I admit, and possibly difficult to prove in court, but that is fine: the very fact of this offence being created would, I suspect, affect peoples actions, and possibly even lead to a cultural change. There certainly needs to be a challenge to the laddish idea of "getting someone drunk", an abominable notion.

On responsibility. I misspoke before. Of course one takes responsibility for what one does on a night. One always takes risks, and, to take Rich's simple example, one might well vomit. That doesn't mean that it's right that these things happen to you, and you are perfectly entitled to pursue legal action if someone, for example, cons you out of money while you are drunk. So, if you agree that it is immoral to take advantage of someone who is drunk in a sexual manner, then I think it follows that you are perfectly entitled to take someone to court for it. So Rich, while obviously your argument about the wallet theft is true, if there IS evidence of misdoing, then the judge would pursue it. If, instead, the drunk had given their wallet to someone while drunk, and they now refused to give it back, claiming that the person had given it to them of their own free will, I am fairly sure the judge would order the person in question to return the wallet.

If we agree that it is immoral to have sex wth someone who is too drunk to make an informed decision, then we move on to legality. I admit this is far more difficult, because the burden of evidence is difficult, but I think it is possible to build a case, from witnesses at the scene- again, as I stated, the burden of evidence would be suitably high.

Ultimately it comes down to whether you think that taking advantage of someone who is drunk is immoral- I would be inclined to say it is, you are of course entitled to think otherwise.

[on a side note, to address your point about the low conviction rate. This is true- they may well have all been innocent, but you do have to weigh this against much higher conviction rates in other nations (also, a completely invalid "common sense" argument would point out that it seems unlikely that that many women/man would falsly accuse people of doing that. However, common sense is not necesssarily correct)]

Finally, I'd like to say I enjoyed this argument, and perhaps we could repeat it on other issues in the future?

On Iraq

I just want to say a few things about Iraq before I respond to Rich's post, which I intend to do in a short while (in fact, if you come here within about half an hour of me posting this, you'll probably read this second).

First of all- we are asked to believe that Tony Blair honestly believed that Iraq was a real threat to us. To back this up, many conservatives and democrats from the UK and the US respectively have come forward and said they were "duped". Huh. How come I wasn't duped? I suppose I am a trusting sort who likes to believe Saddam Hussein played with kittens all the time, which is probably why I was fooled. But what about Kuwait? I mean, it was claimed that Iraq could attack Europe... so why wasn't Kuwait calling for help? It's right next to Iraq, and has been invaded once before. Essentially, the way I see it, Tony Blair either lied on an issue he used to take us to war, or is a blithering idiot.

Finally, the people who say the war in Iraq is going well, and don't have a direct vested interest, like Mr Bush... are they, in fact, on prozak? Or perhaps they are merely blind and deaf. Daily attacks on the population for 3 freaking years... I wouldn't call that progress. Amusingly the defenders of the war, having run out of positive things to say, point out that people voted in the election. Wow! They MUST be content with the current situation, because of course low voter turnout at the elections in Europe have been a sign of brewing civil war? All voting is is enlightened self interest, it does not prove in any way shape or form that the voters are happy with the current situation. Often quite the contrary.

I'm still not sure of my solution to this situation, but I do know that a lot of people should be being held accountable for getting us into this mess, and they are not.

Friday, March 17, 2006

right to response

Rich has responded to me here. I shall respond to him soon enough, but not this weekend...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

on rape and drunken consent

Theres been a bit in the news about rape recently, the bit that has interested me most is the government's idea that juries could decide if a woman was too drunk to give consent

Recently, on a night out with a friend of mine, Rich, we were discussing this specifically- the idea that drunken consent is consent. The fact that he held several ideas that I totally disagree with interests me, and I'm going to attempt to respond to his arguments here, now I am a little more sober than I was when we were arguing.

First of all, I do believe that in the case of one heavily drunk partner, and one relatively sober partner, consent cannot be truly given by the drunken partner. The fact is that your judgement is deeply impaired when you are drunk. I understand that certain people like the idea of getting someone drunk to lower their resistances... well sorry, but that practice is deeply immoral, and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

Note I do not specify exact parameters here, that would be for someone more expert than myself to estimate, but we all know when someone is pretty much sober, and very drunk. Also, I am talking about strangers here, as with acquantinces the lines are of course blurred.

Rich argued initially this means men (and indeed women, I have no problem with this law being applied equally) would have to be extremely cautious when out. So? I'm sorry, but I'd prefer to make casual sex a bit more difficult than allow people to be taken advantage of. And bear in mind this is only when the accused partner is pretty much sober, so is of clear judgment themselves.

Also, he argued, rather surprisingly to me, that if one gets drunk, then one accepts that one might wake up in a strange bed. I certainly don't. I have gone out and got extremely drunk, and not expected to be taken advantage of. I am a man, of course, hardly pulling in armies of women, but that should make no difference.

The point he made was that when one is drunk one takes responsibility for one's actions- that is if you do criminal acts while inebriated, you are considered responsible for actions. This is true, and initially striking as an action, until you realise, if you agree that drunken consent is not really consent, then what you are taking responsibility for is to have a crime committed on you. If a drunken person wonders into someones home and begs them to kill them... is it legal to do? If they are extremely offensive, is it legal to punch their lights out? Yes, you take responsibility for any crimes you might commit, but not crimes commited to you. That's the state's responsibility. I really don't find the argument that women can't get drunk without accepting that someone might take advantage of them and get away with it.

There is also, incidentally, a problem of proving this, and of course the burden of evidence must still be upon the accusor. I don't hold with what some argue, that the accused should prove their innocence in the case of rape. That is a dangerous, and unacceptable commitment to law. What I am saying is the law should be very clear that for a sober person to take advange of a very drunk one is a crime, and should be treated thusly.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

On adverts and racial slurs

I really quite like the new lynx ads (thats axe, for you yanks and canucks). It's the same kind of idea as the normal ads- Ben Affleck goes around with people giving him looks, and clicks every time he notices a woman, or, in once case, a man, giving him a look. At the end of the advert, he shows off his figure of several hundred to the liftman, who has several thousand. You see... he used lynx.

What I like about it, is that while it still has the same basic premise, "this product will make women be attracted to you", it has stopped implying it's some kind of magical date rape drug that will force women upon you. Instead it's kind of clever. Also, I'm probably the only person in the world who still kind of likes Ben Affleck. I'm not entirely sure why, I guess I just thought he was funny in the Kevin Smith films and also the commentary.

Earlier, I mentioned yanks and canucks, random bits of racial shortenings. As far as I know, yank is not offensive. Or at least intended to be offensive anyways- in the US itself it refers to the more northern states, I believe, but here it just means an American. Canuck is slang I read somewhere, and I suspect it doesn't actually refer to canadians. I'm not sure there is offensive slang directed at canadians, because let's face it, who hates canada? I might even go as far to say that it's probably one of the nicest nations around. Apart from the whole seal pup slaughtering thing. Whats up with that Canada? Do you not want to be thought of as nice anymore? I have a suspicion that meanwhile America is probably the most hated nation, which is no mean feat, although probably a rather unfair one for all that I might disagree with US foreign policy. I guess the Iranians aren't high up on many people's lists right now, but Russia and China still seem to think Iran is A-okay, so they've got a wide range of holiday options. Well... two. But those are damn big countries.

I quite like America, from my one time visit there, although I'm not a big fan of US custons. I mean, I feel guilty at most customs (and actively scared at some european ones, where the assault rifle wielding police wave their weapons around with gay abandon), but the American customs? Jesus! I'm probably spoilt by being a citizen of the commenwealth and the EU, giving me relative ease of travel, but is there such a big problem of British people immigrating to the US? The amount of forms, you'd think there was a regular goddamn exodus of British people just trying to spend the rest of their lives in the US, while pretending they were on holiday. Maybe they do, and it's a big problem, it just seems a little unlikely to me.

On a random anecdotal note, on that holiday we stayed most of the time in cottage in conneticut, which had it's own pool. It was quite deep, so you couldn't really touch the bottom, and had to tread water or stay at the sides when not swimming. Along the bottom of the pool there were lots of twigs fallen from the tree.

On the very last day, I realised that these weren't twigs at all. They were dead worms....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hehe, funny

If you've ever played Wow, you might well appreciate this. If not... you probably won't.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Often films, television, and books prize the rebel. The one who doesn't play by the rules but gets results. A notable example is Mr Jack Bauer, he of the unspellable last name, and penchant for breaking every single rule one can think of.

In the very first episode of 24 he shoots the regional director in the thigh with a tranquilizer dart, then blackmails him, because he thinks "he is holding something back". JESUS. You would not want to cross this guy.

Consider James Bond, everyone's favourite hero. In Goldeneye he drives through a city in a TANK, killing countless police men (the ignoring the costs thing is prevelant in many films. In speed they get out of the bus only for it to hit a plane, causing it to explode!).

Ultimately, these people are not heroes at all- and yet they are idolised by all. Their methods are disgusting, and it's only because they actually succeed (usually through luck rather than diligence) that they are considered to be so worthy of respect. I guess I don't have a big point here, but I guess it's interesting how many of our so called heroes would probably be in jail, or at least out of a job, in the real world.

Happy birthday

To my mother. Thanks for putting up with me for 20 whole years.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Some of the stuff they were doing wasn't even legal

I've often heard that said, to suggest that sex is hot, and raunchy, and never really thought about it. Thing is, we live in a reasonably liberal society (and by we, I mean people in a reasonably liberal society here). We can have sex in a variety of ways, and generally we won't be stopped. So what exactly IS illegal, and related to sex.


I dunno about you guys, but none of those sound like a party of erotic fun to me- I prefer to keep all 5 of the things relating to the list out of the bedroom, and I rather hope most of you feel the same way.

In conclusion, if anyone says this to you... give them a very odd look.

Monday, March 06, 2006

on lack of basic knowledge

So a weekend of no blogging. What on earth was our favouritist blogger in the whole wide web you might ask.... well you might anyway. Was he off visiting his lovely girlfriend, or perhaps involved campaigning for human rights? Well... no. Not quite. This weekend I mostly played on Empire at War.... A star wars game in which you wage war across the galaxy.... what can I say, they needed me to help them!

I was of course doing other important things, so important that I can't possibly tell you what they are.

Anyway, I want to talk about things we want to, but are afraid to ask. I think this is a problem that affects everyone, in every walk of life, on every subject. There are always subjects that, for one reason or another, we are entirely clueless on....and yet everyone assumes we know. This can be the most basic things- I'm not sure of the wiring of a plug, to be honest, because I've only seen it done once. I don't know how to iron... at least not very well anyway, mostly because I've managed to avoid doing it for most of my life. On cleaning the toilet, I know full well that I'm meant to clean the toilet with the toilet brush... but am not completely sure where I'm meant to clean the toilet brush. I mean, cleaning it in the sink seems kind of nasty- I improvise, certainly, but I imagine there is a best way of doing these things.

Cooking is one of the worst disciplines for this, because language is so assumed- my favourite type of measurment involves a cup, a ludicrously vague measurement. Or, indeed, even microwaving, the simplest thing in the world, almost always includes the instruction "check that the food is piping hot throughout." Huh? Piping hot? How hot is piping hot? Really hot, I imagine, but I've touched many cold, or indeed luke warm pipes in my time. I imagine there is some kind of industry standard on piping hot, but it remains a mystery to me.

There are other things that still confuse me despite going over them several times. The inner workings of a fridge, for example, are rather complex, simply because it's very easy to heat something... but another thing entirely to cool it, because what you are doing is removing heat.

For ages I did not understand vectors, thanks to an uncanny ability to be ill during those lessons, leaving me baffled to their applications and meaning. Luckily I've got to grasps with them nowadays, as otherwise I might be in a little bit of trouble... pretty much all of my courses.

I'm sure I could go on, but I might get more embarrased. Are there any basic areas where you find yourselves lacking?

Thursday, March 02, 2006


There is something I hate so much. People who claim "they don't trust statistics." Generally people who do this use it mid argument so that their unsubstantiated claims can continue existing. In other words, they distrust statistics that disagree with them.

Actually, a healthy distrust of statistics is reasonable- if someone quotes you a statistic, without telling you where he/she read it, then it is perfectly reasonable to discount it, although it really does depend who you are arguing with- if with a friend you can probably a bit more loose than a formal argument.

The problem is the person who just categorically says statistics are wrong. And they do exist. This if, of course, ridiculous. While a single statistic, quoted out of context, is close to meaningless (yet dos pollute political debate), a paper using statistical methods is clearly much better. Statistics is how medicine works, for example. Every single drug is tested randomly on a sample to make sure it works and does not have major side effects. Without statistics we simply would not have the healthcare system that currently exists. Yes, mistakes are made using this method, but you really can't argue with results- less people die from diseases every year thanks to this research.

Statistical research is very useful. Ultimately you cannot claim to know peoples opinions without statistics- otherwise you are really just guessing. That's what political polls try to do, although they are flawed, thanks to a reasonable proportion of people you ask to survey refusing to participate, creating a non-random survey (all statistical results are created from the assumption of randomness), so errors are made. Still, a survey taken of 1000 people selected at random is far more likely to be more accurate than someone saying "well I just know it's so." People make the mistake of assuming that just because something is sometimes wrong (as stastics can, and will be), they are therefore more accurate. It's similar to the creationists fallacy that, if they disprove the theory of evolution, therefore creationism is true, while clearly this is not true.

(to see why, consider this statement. This cat is not black. Therefore it is white)

Cow abduction!

Cows have been abducted! Read the truth!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

guest blogging

I've started guest blogging at a friend's blog... thats a lot of blogs for one sentence. Well 2. Anyways, check it out, I intend to be writing some fictional stuff there.

the sad truth of Iraq

It's impressive how long leaders of today can last when they make such collosal mistakes as Iraq. It's even more impressive that even now some people will claim that going into Iraq was the right choice. But we're all intelligent people here, I think it's pretty obvious that Iraq is a disaster. Maybe it's been distorted by the daily reports of attacks and deaths, the lack of water and electricity, and there is progress. If so, it is incredibly slow, and also remarkably stealthy.

Everyone is looking for a solution to Iraq- a way to solve everything before it gets too bad. Well I suspect it's too late. The mistake has already been made, and whatever we do, we are not going to end with a good situation- perhaps with Iraq even fragmenting into seperate countries. We failed to learn from countless historical lessons that when we meddle in a country's destiny, we leave it in shreds. I have no doubt that the world is a more dangerous one than it was before Iraq, that we have only helped terrorists. I can't see a happy ending solution to Iraq- even if a proper democratic system was to be imposed, there would still be the wide spread fighting there is right now.

[on a related note, I'd like to point out that Bush's policy of respecting democracy has been given the lie by their refusal to support Hamas. We support democracy... but only when it gives results we like?]

So what's the best thing we can do right now? I don't know- I don't know if removing our troops would lead to an even worse situation, or it would take a lot of force out of the insurgency. I honestly haven't a clue. I do know we need an honest and informed debate on it, and we need one soon.

random emails

On my way to get access to many and sundry websites along the years, I have given many a fake email address. Often it will be something entirely made up, like, but every now and then you will get a smart email checker which will need a valid ending. So I end up using such addresses as,, whatever strikes my fancy. The point is is that someone probably actually uses that address. I'm surely not the only person who uses this technique, so in other words they must be getting hundreds of spam emails. It's got to be pretty damn depressing to get emails not just from your own silly mistakes but from other people's too.

I mention this because I was just reading a site called "underground hypnosis" about the ability to hypnotise anyone I like. It's absolute rubbish, but the writing is so hysterical (in the alarmed sense), that it makes for mildly entertaining reading.