Saturday, 17 November 2012

Time passes

I've been busy with work and other things for a month or two, and haven't written much. I have a piece on the curious "mortar-round execution" story from North Korea, ready to go out, and a bit about the drugs debate I attended between Peter Hitchens and Brian Paddick, which might be done soon. Both of those have rather lost their topicality since I started writing them, but I don't think that matters much.

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections were this week; I might get something written about those, but there isn't much to say beyond the obvious: that if you hold an election and nobody comes, there is clearly something wrong with the political theory that ascribes tremendous importance to elections, regardless of quibbling about levels of official publicity.

The US elections came and went, but I don't have much to say about them.  I had a bit of fun with the twitter account @gladiohydrocrat , which I created to retweet any favourable mentions of the concept of strange women lying in ponds distributing swords as the basis of a system of government. A handful of twitterers were induced by the pre-election televised debates to give that idea another thought.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Links and Tweets


A whole lot of links.  Many of these I posted on twitter, but they could do with being categorised and indexed.

UK as potential tax haven: Mail

Putinism:
"Putinism has both systemic and structural characteristics, but it is also a system of personal rule."

Free Northerner - the collapse: brief look at forms of collapse

Wealth and trustworthiness -

Kevin Drum - trustworthiness as key employee characteristic

Helen Rittlemeyer - Smash the Meritocracy

Definition of old democracy - Jeffery Hart 1973 via Helen Rittlemeyer

Inter-service rivalry in The Empire

Problems in the courts

One of the normally most open-minded and cautious of liberal writers decides that free speech must just be an absolute good for no reason at all


Long article on "Liberal arts"  - mostly drivel but what struck me was the line :
 Everyone who has ever worked on a newspaper knows that what one learns in four years in journalism school can be acquired in less than two months working on a newspaper. But as journalism schools spread, it slowly became necessary to go through one in order to get a job on a large metropolitan daily. Going to “journ” school became a form of pledging the fraternity.

A tweet: @umairh @Phillip_Blond In Netherlands, CW [Conventional Wisdom] is that landowners hated serfdom; 19th-C serfs had good deal (rents flat for 200+ yrs)

Discussion of monarchy and aristocracy  links I think to the "Egalitarian Monarchism" Medaille idea I blogged about in 2010
Lots on aristocracy - I've emphasised absolute centralised monarchy, but recent posts have seen the idea of aristocracy forcing its way in, so I can't ignore on that basis. Good links in there.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Programming for All

There's been a bit of a debate in tech circles about the idea that everyone should learn to program.

It's of particular interest to me, because I have two home-schooled children, and while my wife does the rest of the teaching, it's up to me to teach them computer stuff.

I want them to understand computers and what they do.  I won't be teaching them to write software beyond one or two sessions to get an idea of how it all works.  I started a few months ago, working up from transistors to logic gates to microprocessors, and I have a syllabus sketched out that goes on to networks and the web and so on.  Currently we're on compilers and interpreters and virtual machines.

One thing that became very obvious is that those of us who were really into computers as children in the 1980s spent enormous amounts of time learning about them -- probably more than I spent on the whole of my formal education, in my case.  There's no possibility of teaching what I learned in a scheduled classroom setting, unless the children were to show the same fanaticism.

Bloody Tanistry

If North Korea is a monarchy, it is not one with primogeniture.  It is more like Tanistry (which I never heard of but found on Wikipedia).  The Wikipedia article also mentions "Blood Tanistry", where the possible heirs basically fight it out among themselves. 

This is not a good thing.  Googling around suggests that "Blood Tanistry" is a bowdlerisation by one writer of what was originally termed "Bloody Tanistry".

Blood tanistry is the principle that “the most talented male member of the royal dynasty should inherit the throne, commonly by murder and war”.[4] It is used to describe the practical ramifications of the Turco-Mongol, as well as other Central Asian steppe nomad, principles of inheritance and succession. Because all male members of the royal clan are considered to have equally legitimate claims on power, the ruler is the individual who eliminates competitors and re-subjugates the rest of the state formation. The structure may be determined by bonds of personal loyalty to the ruler, which are considered to be dissolved on the ruler's death.
So, there's another problem with North Korea. 

Great Coates parish council abolition petition

Here's something I've been sitting on for a few weeks:

http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/Great-Coates-residents-want-parish-council/story-15655508-detail/story.html

(source: http://nannyknowsbest.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/councils-are-enemies-of-people-great.html )

A kind of miniature blueprint of how and why to ditch a democratic institution.  Moldbug's "true election" (which I never really liked, but still), on a Passport-to-Pimlico scale


Rough notes

Anomaly UK is supposed to be more-or-less finished pieces.  The trouble is, I don't have time to write proper articles on many of the things I'd like to.  As an experiment, I've created a separate blog for the rough notes -- things that might get properly written up if I have time, or might be left messy and unfinished.

The idea is that most Anomaly UK readers won't be interested in the in-progress stuff, but a few might be prepared to wade into it.

The policy of commenters should match the blog -- throw anything in here, with less restraint than on the front page.  If Anomaly UK is the public meeting, Anomaly UK Realtime is the chat in the pub or cafe after the meeting.