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[sticky post] 55 Simple Rules for Debate in the Modern World

It’s my own fault really. Because I like to see different sides to an argument before making up my own mind (see Rule 9 below) then I am unfortunately exposed to comments from people whose opinions are badly argued, uninformed, prejudiced, immature and just plain stupid. And this does annoy me at times.

I like to think that the 55 rules below are ones that I at least try to stick to when commenting online. I wish other people would too, even though a few of my ‘rules’ are actually opinions. Some of the rules are not so much rules for debate, more rules you should live by if you want me to value your opinion. Put it this way, the more of my rules that you break, the less highly will I rate your opinion.


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Phligm Phlagm 2

You don't need this laptop.

Trying to understand the EU's actions against Apple and the Republic of Ireland.

It's not shocking that professional employers judge applicants for client-facing roles partly on their appearance and their dress. What is shocking is that not only do state schools not teach this stuff, they sometimes don’t like it when employers try to do it instead.

Useful smartphone test. When I last bought a smartphone, I read lots of reviews, but one question that was never asked was “How good is it at making and receiving calls?”, that is “How good is it at actually being a phone”"?”

According to the latest Rowntree Foundation definition, someone in the top 0.32% of global incomes is now "in poverty". Muppets.

British WW2 propaganda posters.

Think you're good at Lego building? This guy is better.

If you were an American games company raising funds on Kickstarter for a new family card game "that combines speed, hilarious gestures, and your silly side for 2-6 players, ages 6+", and you weren't that familiar with politically incorrect British playground slang, what's the worst name you could come up with...?

"Nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM" …but maybe in this case, someone should have been.

When I was an auditor, this sort of clever statistical analysis was called a logic check. This is a good logic check on why American police might treat certain groups differently. (Hat tip to ford_prefect42.)

Archaeological evidence of a major bronze age battle in northern Germany c.1250 BC.

'The Louisiana Gator Boys' being...

B. B. King, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Gary U.S. Bonds, Eric Clapton, Clarence Clemons, Jack DeJohnette, Bo Diddley, Jon Faddis, Isaac Hayes, Dr. John, Tommy "Pipes" McDonnell, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Preston, Lou Rawls, Joshua Redman, Paul Shaffer, Koko Taylor, Travis Tritt, Jimmie Vaughan, Grover Washington Jr., Willie Weeks, Steve Winwood...

and a few more.


Blues Brothers 2000 (sequel to the original film) is a largely terrible film almost saved by a great soundtrack. This is the best song.




And if you'd prefer the clip from the film that includes the song, you can watch this video. I warn you though, it's not a good film. (Of course the original is a classic. The best musical of all time, in my opinion.)

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A different kind of PC

I came across a new politically-correct term this morning. Apparently now, if you wish to refer to a lady who is not white, you should refer to her as a "woman of color". (American spelling because obviously this sort of thing usually comes from the US, or at least, certain parts of the US.) You can abbreviate this term to its acronym, "woc".

I am amused to see that referring to someone as a "colored woman" is horrendously racist and evil, but referring to the same person as a "woman of color" is entirely acceptable.

I am similarly amused to see that referring to someone as a "woc" is politically correct, but referring to the same person as a "wog" would be horrendously racist and evil. I genuinely look forward to seeing some earnest social justice type trying to be PC and saying "woc" being misheard as saying "wog" and subsequently being ostracised.



I can never decide if the people who make these rules are stupid or evil. Maybe some are stupid, some are evil. Maybe some are both.

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Time for a new PC...

My main gaming PC ('Khamul') died this week. It was pretty old for a gaming PC - I'd been starting to think about upgrading when I was made redundant in 2013. In fact, it dates back to 2011 - five years old is pretty geriatric for a gaming PC, but it was a high end gaming PC when I built it and that accounts for its longevity.

When I opened it up, a chief suspect in its demise was immediately apparent:


(I bet you're wondering what those are, aren't you?)

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Booky booky meme from eledonecirrhosa

1. What fiction book are you reading now?
Memories of Ice, by Steven Erikson. Third in the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series.

2. What non-fiction book are you reading now?
I'm not.

3. What were your favourite books as a child?
The Railway Series (aka Thomas the Tank Engine) and the Target Doctor Who novelisations.

4. What’s the earliest book you remember reading?
Something about a lion in the garden. I can picture it, but I've forgotten the title. If anyone can enlighten me, feel free to.

5. Were you given annuals at Christmas as a child?
Yes, although for the most part, they were a bit crap. The Terry Nation Dalek Annuals were the exception.

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