A solution to the “Baby It’s Cold” problem

This is the question that is dominating social media right now. Should it be banned? But that’s censorship! And then the usual free-speech babble is combined with terrible in depth, word by word analyses of the lyrics to show the interpretation is malleable, depending on the views of the analyzer. I hate it all. I hate the song.

The only fair thing to do is ban all Christmas carols. Use objective methods to measure the frequency of play of certain songs, and if they show an unusual annual peak, no matter when, they are clearly not good enough to be enjoyed except in very narrow contexts, and therefore are abominations that should be prohibited. If you don’t want to hear it in July, why do radio stations think it’s desirable to inflict them on us in December? Just kill all the mediocre music.

I’m also considering a prohibition on all media that has “cold” in the title, which seems to be a cause of serious conflict. This would have the benefit of also abolishing all those endless arguments about Tom Godwin’s “The Cold Equations”, which used to take over certain nerd conversations, once upon a time.

I thought I was in hell, but it’s only purgatory

I’m in an airport. I’ve been in an airport all afternoon. Airports are terrible places, vacant and uninteresting, where people only go to get out of them as soon as they possibly can, and the height of misery is being compelled to stay in one longer than planned. But I find a moment of grimdark happiness in reading an article by Laurie Penny, in which she is trapped in an even worse place: a cruise ship. And just to double-down…a cruise ship full of cryptocurrency fanatics.

On this half-empty passenger ship with its swirling ’80s carpets right out of The Shining, there is very little sober talk of blockchain’s obstacles or limitations. Nobody mentions how wildly ecologically unsound the whole project is—some estimates have bitcoin burning as much energy as the entire nation of Ireland for a relatively small pool of users. Instead, the core and only existential question is which of the various coins and ICOs (initial coin offerings) will make you the richest the fastest before dawn.

Freedom here means freedom of money, and only freedom of money—and what freedom of money means is the freedom to amass great stocks of it without being taxed or traced. Occasionally, people even talk about this on panels, though nobody is really here for the conference part of the conference.

At least nobody in this airport is talking incessantly about money…or rather, there are such people, but they roam the place like Martians, easily avoided because they wear bluetooth ear-pieces and their mouths constantly move as they prowl about, focused entirely on the conversation they find so important. Nobody talks to much of anyone here. They move. They squat next to precious electrical outlets. They hover morosely over luggage they’ve been warned will be confiscated if they leave it untended.

Another thing we lack, mostly, in airports is women in obvious bondage.

One of the ways men bond is by demonstrating collective power over women. This is why business deals are still done in strip clubs, even in Silicon Valley, and why tech conferences are famous for their “booth babes.” It creates an atmosphere of complicity and privilege. It makes rich men partners in crime. This is useful if you plan to get ethically imaginative with your investments. Hence the half-naked models, who are all working a lot harder than any of the guys in shirtsleeves.

The cruise’s panelists all tout decentralization’s promises of shared responsibility, community, and freedom, but the version I see here means that nobody knows precisely who is responsible for all of this. It’s nobody’s specific fault that we’re trapped on a floating live-action walkthrough of how un-trammelled free-market capitalism can be bad for women, given that money and power are things women tend to have less of.

See? It could be worse, I tell myself, while checking the clock again for that moment of transition when I get to leave the land of dull carpet and interminable chairs to be confined in a tube with virtually no freedom to move for 3 hours.

48 minutes to boarding, O Blessed Sweet Relief from Waiting.

No, I don’t want a lecture from John McAfee to ease the boredom.

Never admire anyone, ever

I’m looking forward to this new Aquaman movie with Jason Mamoa. It’s about time someone did that story right.

But then I read this anecdote from Amber Heard, his co-star. She liked to read between takes.

“He adopted this method of ripping out the pages of my book so I would pay attention to him,” she said on Good Morning America. “It would drive me crazy because I’d have 30 pages left and it would be gone.”

I literally gasped in horror. Defacing books is an extreme, radical act, not to be done lightly. He was doing it just to get attention, and he was doing it to someone else’s books.

I hope Heard has a big part in the movie, because I’m going to watch it as if her character is the true protagonist, and Mamoa is the nasty big lunk she’s got to work around.

I’m either going to get flagged for porn or disappoint a lot of new readers

Gaze on this erotic image.

The current state of computer detection of pornography is a bit primitive: it keeps mistaking desert photos for images of naked people. If I stare hard at it for a while, I guess I can sort of see it — it’s all those reclining curves, I think.

From this we learn that AI is not only unable to distinguish people from bags of sand, but also that it’s more than a little racist.

Holy crap — I almost feel sorry for Milo Yiannopoulos

Almost. He had his 15 minutes, and then he was supposed to just fade away, but apparently his disappearance from public life is going to be preceded by setting himself on fire and taking a swan dive into a giant pool of explosive sewage. His self-indulgent lifestyle is about to implode.

The scale of Milo Yiannopoulos’s financial problems have been laid bare in an extensive tranche of documents seen today by HOPE not hate. The financial documents reveal that the once-darling of the Alt-Lite has racked up personal debts to the tune of $496,000, a figure that has included $47,499.63 owed on his credit card and $20,000 to the jewellers Cartier.

However, Yiannopoulos’ financial problems could be far worse, with one document suggesting he owes $1,600,000 to Milo Inc. alone. On top of this is $400,000 owed to his former partners the Mercer Family and $153,215 to the law firm Meister Seelig & Fein for charges related to his now dropped legal case against the publisher Simon and Schuster.

I’m kind of impressed, actually. He believed his own hype and just went nuts, and now it’s time to pay the piper, which he can’t, because he has no talent or skills.

One can only hope that all the narcissistic alt-righters and Intellectual Dark Web preeners meet a similar fate, although I doubt any of the others were quite so extravagantly profligate.