Author Archive

Sacred cows and calls for censorship

“Don’t mention the war” — Basil, Fawlty Towers I took some interest in a recent comment on a discussion forum which attacked a journalist for reporting bankruptcy proceedings being undertaken against a failed property developer — accusing the journalist of improper motives for the story. The critic himself has a somewhat unfortunate track record in business […]

Wow, BRILLIANT writing!

Petulance and the Prize By Garrison Keillor New York Times October 14, 2009 – NYTimes.com Evidently some people were disappointed that Dick Cheney didn’t receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and believe me, I sympathize — I thought Philip Roth should’ve gotten the literature prize instead of that grumpy Romanian lady with the severe hair — […]

Exodus?

I’ve always thought when facebook and twitter got mainstream the kids would leave for somewhere ‘cooler’… as happened to MySpace. Now Miley Cyrus (1.1 million followers) has [reportedly] bailed on twitter… too trivial, too intrusive, too demanding, too ADHD-inspiring would be my guess. Watch her rap yourself, and observe her own entertaining ‘explanation’… Twitter followers […]

Ripples flow from this brave woman’s stand

There’s a good article on The Independent website about the Liskula Cohen/NYC model case, which I mentioned earlier. The more I read about this gutsy woman and what she’s standing up for the more I like. Having been victimised by someone lobbing slimeballs at her from behind a mask of anonymity, she pursued Google to […]

Domain renewal skulduggery? Or scam?

I got an email out of the blue yesterday reminding me that a domain name we maintain for one of my authors Olly Newland was due to expire and needed renewing. The email looked like this: Note the expiry date: 2009-10-04. Following the conveniently-provided link (“If you wish to continue using your domain name please […]

How to protect yourself from extortion: Er, live a ‘clean’ life

David Letterman Reveals Extortion Attempt Over His Affairs – NYTimes.com By Bill Carter October 1, 2009 David Letterman, the late night talk show host, said on his show on Thursday that he had been the victim of an extortion attempt over charges of sexual affairs with staff members, claims that he conceded were true. Mr. […]

Today’s ‘Word of mouth’

Credibility, celebrity and their effects… Stephen Fry, whose Twitter followers now number 770,000, recently spiked sales in a book he liked… A book of short stories has leaped up Amazon’s book charts to become second only to Dan Brown after Stephen Fry endorsed it on his Twitter feed. Early today (10th September), the actor told […]

OK, now this is getting silly …

Blogger told to stop advising on immigration A blogger who came to New Zealand from Britain has been warned to stop giving immigration advice on her blog – or face prosecution under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act. The Immigration Advisers Authority says Helen Winterbottom was breaking the law by posting on avalonsguide.com, and has told […]

Q: Where does conflict come from?

A: Our innate Superiority complex It is strangely easy for us as human beings to see ourselves as separate from others … or in an ‘us’ while ‘the others’ consist of a ‘them’ — and, naturally, we regard ‘them’ as inferior to ‘us’ in every measure that matters. In the same way that herd animals […]

Handling the truth… and a parable

Col. Jessep: You want answers? Kaffee: I think I’m entitled. Col. Jessep: You want answers? Kaffee: I want the truth! Col. Jessep: You can’t HANDLE the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? I have a […]

Pushing the boundaries

Now these guys are just playing with us. It works, though. Good for them, no comment about the product.

Potshots from behind a mask of anonymity are, by definition, cheap

I wholeheartedly agree with the court decision to order Google to identify the blogger who [allegedly] defamed this NY model. My view: People need to be accountable for their public statements. Anonymous log-ins tend — in some — to breed a recklessness and nasty damaging discourtesy. And they shouldn’t get away with it. (I still […]

Am I a luddite? Neh!

… [T]he project of digitising the information held in the world’s printed books is too important to be dealt with purely as a commercial venture between rights holders and a potential supplier of services. …. If we let Google have its settlement we will all be the poorer. Not for a while, perhaps, but one […]

Merlin Mann on the internet

The internet is becoming this thing where it’s just people trying to become successful on the internet by showing other people how to become successful on the internet. It’s this unbelievably fractal ponzi scheme. It’s very Escher. Boy, it’s a terrible terrible ghetto of information out there. It’s like a snake masturbating its own tail. […]

A loss of moral authority

There is added moral authority when someone who hasn’t had to struggle sounds a call to help those less privileged. Beyond mere noblesse-oblige, Teddy Kennedy became a leading voice of ‘liberal’ ideology, with an emphasis on equality and innate justice best expressed in the civil rights movement of the 1960s — but applied far wider […]