The Captain Of My Ship, The Master Of My Soul's Journal
20 most recent entries

Date:2014-04-12 11:28

For the last two nights I've dreamt about somebody called Boredom Zaam. And I have absolutely no idea who/what this is. Zero context.

The subconscious is weird sometimes.

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Date:2014-04-11 14:25

Errornomics. J.T. Hallinan.

Chapter 10. We all think we're above average.

Not long ago a Princeton University research team asked people to estimate how susceptible they and 'the average person' were to a long list of judgmental biases. Most of the people claimed to be less biased than most people. Which should come as no surprise, most of us hate to think of ourselves as average - or, god forbid, below average. So we walk around with the private conceit that we are above average, and in that conceit lies the seed of many mistakes.

"Overconfidence is, we think, a very general feature of human psychology," says Stefano DellaVigna, a professor of economics at the University of California. He has studied the ways overconfidence induces us to commit everyday errors, from signing up for gym memberships we won't use, to buying timeshares in a condo (which we also won't use, at least as much as we think we will), to falling for teaser-rate offers on credit cards (which we will use far too much). And his research has led him to a general conclusion: "Almost everyone is over-confident - except the people who are depressed, and they tend to be realists."

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Date:2014-04-09 13:52

Channel 4 news did a piece on the birthday of photographer Jane Bown last night.

And at one point she was talking about doing a portrait of Tony Blair, oh, actually I can just post a link to the video interview:


She has caught every Prime minister since Winston Churchill. I ask her about a particularly happy one of Gordon Brown. “Oh he was lovely,” she says.

And Tony Blair, I ask? “Oh he was difficult,” she says, “I just could not get him.” I ask her why not. “I’m not sure there was anything there,” she says with a giggle.


And it was interesting because the two photographs really showed this contrast. The Brown shot was lovely, he was smiling, a warm pleasant man. But the Blair shot? That was genuinely quite chilling.

And the way she delivered her line, describing it as a 'giggle' is slightly off, she paused when she was asked the question, then responded about not being sure there was anything there, and I thought it was more of a slightly nervous laugh.

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Date:2014-04-08 17:52

In order to test what might happen in Ukraine again, I've been watching some more of the RT network, the Russian Propaganda 'news' channel.

Their focus has shifted away from evil EU plots to take over Ukraine with fascists, and now its all about the evils of NATO.

Nato spends more on offensive military spending than the rest of the world combined.
Nato is part of Europes evil plan to take over the world.
Nato is how the USA completely controls the EU, turning Europe into a puppet state.

And perhaps most chillingly:

Nato is building up a military force along the Russian border in order to invade. With subtext, therefore Russia has to attack first.

Watching the RT network has left me with the disquieting feeling that they're laying the ground work for something increasingly ugly.

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Date:2014-04-07 13:54
Subject:A letter from my MP.

Dear Mr Field,

I am writing with regards to the issue of lobbying and the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill which was recently passed in Parliament.

I know from the large number of letters and e-mails I have received that there is very serious concern about the impact this legislation will have on charities and civil society.

I share the widespread concern that it could stop charities and campaigners from campaigning and I agree that the legislation is both badly drafted and partisan. In addition, it will only capture a tiny minority of the lobbying industry and will not stop commercial lobbyists influencing Government policy.

I can assure you that I voted against the Bill on a number of occasions and repeatedly supported amendments which would have mitigated the impact of the proposals. Unfortunately the Government rejected all opposition and the Bill has now been passed into law.

I am, however, pleased to be able to tell you that Labour will repeal this law should we win the next general election.

We will instead legislate for the real reform our politics needs and will introduce a universal register of all professional lobbyists backed by a code of conduct and sanctions. We will also consult with charities and campaigners about the reform we need to both ensure transparency in our elections and protect freedom of speech.

This decisive action will not only protect the campaigning rights of charities and campaigners, but will stop commercial lobbyists from unfairly influencing government policy.

I can assure you that we will pursue this issue vigorously between now and the general election.

Thank you for your correspondence and for sharing your views on this important matter.

Best Wishes,

Gordon Banks.

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Date:2014-04-03 11:57
Subject:Cold War A-Go-Go.

So. The Russians are complaining that NATO has sent 10 fighter jets to Eastern Europe in a threatening escalation of tensions.

Eastern European members of NATO are continuing to complain that with the massive build-up of Russian forces across their borders, that NATO aren't doing enough.

Meanwhile for the last 3 or 4 months the Russians have been flying a *lot* of fighter ops in and around Eastern European NATO airspace, practically begging for there to be an escalation.

And rumours have sprung up about all of the Baltic states that Russia wants to re-annex.

I can't really see NATO having any response to this other than by substantially increasing their military presence in Eastern Europe. Putin will react with outrage, and substantially increase his military presence too. And I honestly can't see any other outcome to this than a re-ignition of the Cold War.

And lets not forget at a time of heightened crisis and tension a few weeks ago, Putin decided to test launch an ICBM.

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Date:2014-04-01 17:55

Still having problems accessing Steam. That's about 3 weeks now I've only had very intermittent access. Anybody heard what the problems are?

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Date:2014-03-27 14:01

Another day, another apocalyptic report on what is happening to the environment.

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Date:2014-03-27 12:37

So apparently Microsoft have announced a serious problem with .rtf format files, that if you open a malicious one in Word your computer can be instantly hacked and taken over:

I find it absolutely baffling that Microsoft have made word processors so unbelievably complex that they can contain code that will execute and make it possible for a remote attacker to take over your system.

It's a fricking word processor, it shouldn't even have that capability should it? Though I suppose the NSA and MI5 still need to have their access, don't they.

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Date:2014-03-27 00:38

Gosh, the IMF have forced Ukraine to stop subsiding gas prices for the Ukrainian people as a pre-requisite of giving them a bail-out.

So the people will be facing gas price increases of 40-50%.

Are they actively *trying* to drive more parts of the country to defect to Russia?

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Date:2014-03-24 19:12

1) Hrmpf, seems Labour have responded to the Condems decision to commence the destruction of the BBC by jumping up and down and shouting US TOO! WE APPROVE! WE WANT IN ON THIS! Idiots. They're single handedly continuing to make themselves completely unelectable.

2) I'm not sure my sulphur candles are doing anything, the Greenhouse totally does not have any sulphur smells going on. Presumably burning sulphur powder is supposed to give off a smell? Next effort will be to try and just ignore a pile of powder with the blow-torch and see what happens.

3) Speaking of Labour being idiots, they continue to try and maintain they did absolutely nothing wrong in their management of the economy. This one issue, and their failure to admit they did anything wrong, will probably hand the next election to the ConUKIP coalition. I think Milliband's greatest error so far has been in keeping Balls on. Mind you, Milliband has made a series of pretty spectacular errors.

4) Look who came back!


With a broken feather. I wonder if Darcy maybe headed down river to look for a spot to try and take off, but wasn't quite up to it yet.

5) Moulting season is apparently not kind to Squirrels.


But still cute. I have imaginatively named this squirrel 'Patch'.

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Date:2014-03-22 17:44

This quote amused me:

"There is a new definition of the word scaremongering - asking Alex Salmond a question he cannot answer."

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Date:2014-03-21 00:47

1) Not been feeling very well this last week or so, been getting pretty bad headaches. Hoping it's just mild eyestrain, so been trying to limit time at the computer. Falling behind on email as a result though. Apologies.

2) Watched Byzantium last night, was pretty good, Neil Jordan vampire movie. Nice new play on an old story. Gemma Arterton is so pretty. Nice turn by Jonny Lee Miller as the depraved captain Ruthven. Nowhere near as good as Company of Wolves though.

3) Conservative MP on Question Time tonight being asked about whether the BBC should continue to be funded by the licence fee. Of course not, comes the answer, it's far too expensive for what it is, and almost everything the BBC provides should be provided by commercial broadcasters. *cough* Murdoch *cough* Was pointed out to her that the BBC is actually unbelievably cheap compared to a Sky subscription.

And her response to this perfectly illustrates I think Tory thinking. 'That just proves my point,' she said, 'If the BBC was operating commercially, it would be able to charge consumers a great deal more than it currently does.'

Screw the consumer. Maximise profits. Let Murdoch rule everything.

4) I've made another new friend this week. I'm very happy about this.

5) Why are the media so obsessed about this missing plane? I really don't get it.

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Date:2014-03-20 15:03
Subject:The innovation of loneliness.

Interesting short video about social networks.

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Date:2014-03-19 11:05

Oh, that's lovely. Itunes has suddenly decided my computer is no longer authorised to play my music.

Though just stuff I'd bought from iTunes. Things I ripped or downloaded myself are fine.

And amusingly it won't let me reset the password. So... I think I'm permanently locked out of iTunes.

Fuck you very much Apple. You see, this sort of bullshit is exactly why people prefer illegal downloads.

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Date:2014-03-18 21:34

Bobby lost 250 of his sheep today.

50 turned up in their garden. The other 200 were spotted on the golf course.

For some reason this story amuses me.

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Date:2014-03-18 12:23

Headline on the BBC news website today:

Severed penis victim 'distraught'.

... one cannot help but think, no shit, Sherlock.

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Date:2014-03-17 23:29

Now with added freckles.

It's entirely possible nobody will see the slightest difference between this and the last non-freckles version. But I do!

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... assuming I just uploaded the right image...


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Date:2014-03-16 23:59

I just saw an advert for a product I've never heard of before. Beard moisturiser.

It leaves no residue!

... beard moisturiser. I've never heard of anything so ridiculous. If a guy moisturises his beard, then I officially revoke his membership card from the Men With Beards club.

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Date:2014-03-16 22:46
Subject:Battlestar Galactica.

I can't remember if I posted the finished pictures of my Galactica model..

 photo bsg01_zps70a2358e.jpg

 photo bsg02_zps4d6b04c6.jpg

 photo bsg04_zps5c15887b.jpg

 photo bsg08_zpsbef90768.jpg

 photo bsg05_zps0edcd481.jpg

It's now for sale, but I have no idea what it might or might not go for.

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