We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

They don’t make ’em like that any more

“NYC Under Water from Climate Change By June 2015!”

As a bonus, the first talking head on the 2008 video clip is Peter Gleick, a liar.

On the other hand, you can be a liar without being wrong and wrong without being a liar. Prediction is tricky. I am still three-quarters half willing to be convinced that significant, although not catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming is happening. But supporters of this hypothesis have to explain why we should believe them this time when they were so confidently wrong last time.

Samizdata quote of the day

Barry’s sin was to misgender Caitlyn – misgendering being secular societies’ equivalent of blasphemy – and to ask why a one-time athlete’s decision to have a sex change, or whatever it’s called these days, has become such massive international news. ‘FFS’, he tweeted. ‘Why in heaven’s name is he such big news?’ In those nine little words, Barry committed two great crimes. First, he referred to Caitlyn/Bruce as ‘he’, which confirms that he is in thrall to the insane idea that people who have penises are men. And secondly, he dared to ask why a man having breast implants and a makeover for the cover of Vanity Fair made waves worldwide, hitting the headlines everywhere and causing Twitter to go into meltdown.

Brendan O’Neill writing about what happened when someone admits he is puzzled, as I am, about the bizarre amount of international media coverage over some Yank I had never heard of until recently getting his bits snipped off or whatever he did to warrant calling himself ‘Caitlyn’. Yeah whatever… but it appears applause is mandatory.

The Beautiful Game

IMDb. The Daily Mail. The Daily Mirror. The Guardian. The Hollywood Reporter. The Guardian again (“pure cinematic excrement”). United passions, indeed.

Added later: The Guardian yet again. Marina Hyde calls for a new Oscar for Best Instance of Professional Adequacy in Extremely Unsatisfactory Circumstances and reminds us of a “positively legendary” quote from Michael Caine regarding his presence in Jaws 4,

“I have never seen it,” Caine told an interviewer, “but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”

I also liked this from Chris Tilly writing for entertainment website IGN: The 19 Most Ridiculous Moments in FIFA Movie United Passions.

Later still: I wish I had the strength to stop this. Here’s What I Learned Watching FIFA’s Incredible Propaganda Movie. Can’t – make – myself – stop – googling… Best Unintentional Comedy of 2015

I am not really a football person, though I did once understood the offside rule for about ten minutes. Who would have guessed what enjoyment a film about FIFA could bring me and so many others? The only thing that could have made this masterpiece better would have been to have Sepp Blatter play himself. After all, Montgomery Burns managed it.

So… people’s “wellbeing” is better in Albania than the UK or France?

When I read ‘studies’ like this one, I just marvel at what loaded assumption they must be using.

The Boston Consulting Group has just released its assessment on sustainable economic development, which gives each country in Europe a figure (it calls it a “growth-to-wellbeing coefficient”) based on how much residents feel the benefits of an expanding economy. The better it is at converting growth into wellbeing, the higher the number.

At the very top of the list is Poland with a coefficient of 1.55, with many of the other Eastern European countries dominating the top of the list, such as Croatia, Bosnia, Albania and Ukraine. Germany comes in fifth place with a coefficient of 1.34.

I wonder if they check their assumptions by taking a random sample of one hundred random people in (say) Birmingham and Tirana, or Lyon and Odessa and offering them the opportunity to swap places? What do you think the result of that might be, eh?

Who are you and what have you done with the real Guardianista?

“Bring back self-defence classes for women – it’s the feminist thing to do”, writes Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett in the Guardian. That’s right, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, more typically to be found writing such gloriously quotable effusions as “Why it’s OK to cry about this election”, is writing kick-ass pieces about kicking ass in the Guardian. This is strange but good.

A giant step forward for women’s right in the Middle East!

I would not have expected such enlightened thinking from the Daesh Islamic State, but they have now ruled that women may now take jobs without the permission of their husbands!

ISIS doc says women can become suicide bombers without husbands’ permission

Way to go, guys!

Dear God that is harsh

cityreg

As seen in the Sydney Morning Herald, reported on Twitter by Antony Green

The Guardian seeks to take market share from The Onion

Ok, this is awesome. I mean seriously, who knew those funsters at the Grauniad had such a self-depreciating sense of humour?

How can our future Mars colonies be free of sexism and racism?

Firstly, destiny is rarely great for the people already at the destination. When Africans moved north to colonise Europe they obliterated the Neanderthals. When Europeans seized the New World, its cultures were virtually extinguished. Luckily the only population on Mars that we know of is a handful of rovers, but no doubt we’ll start a war anyway, before dragging them into some form of slavery or oppression. It’s just what we do.
Computer rendering of the Curiosity Rover.

Second, whose destiny is it anyway? Who gets to go? D N Lee wrote a fascinating deconstruction of this in Scientific American where she makes a number of interesting points. Not least, how little attention this question has been given in the rather white and male race to conquer Mars.

The last thing we need is to wake up in 50 years and find that a bunch of #gamergate nobheads are running Mars.

I mean read this whole article, then I defy you to look me in the eye and tell me they are not taking the piss out of themselves.

Damn! Who says the work ethic is dead?

Whatever they are paying this guy, it is not enough:

A Louisville pizza delivery driver who was carjacked, robbed and stabbed still managed to make his delivery, which happened to be at a local emergency room. […] The pizza store’s regional manager says Lewis made the delivery, which was addressed to the Norton Hospital emergency room, before he collapsed.

Hardcore. Presumably “Hi! Here’s your pizza, I tried not to bleed on it. I’m going to keel over now.”

Because today I just cannot bring myself to write anything profound…

… so here is a cautionary tale. Continuing the topic of interspecies communication, when you see a monkey just sitting there minding his own damn business (note there are two people quite calmly sitting next to him), it is most unwise to get in his face and then impolitely flip him off.

The US Navy is celebrating Earth Day… is this some kind of joke?

The US Navy, who job it is to, well you know, kill people when directed to, it proudly celebrating Earth Day.

No doubt this is a strategy to cause the ships of the Chinese Navy to collide, their captains unable to issue orders due to tears of mirth and uncontrollable fits of laughter.

If anyone doubted the western world’s political class and their retainers have been utterly debased … well, here we have proof positive… I can only hope we snap out of it collectively, before it is too late and the congruent cultural decline leaves us with the future prospects of Carthage. And no, I do not accept that it is already too late, and will ignore the usual wailing suicide note comments that suggest otherwise ;-)

A political challenge

From the Daily Mail:

Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a DUEL with swords over Ukip slurs on immigrants

And why not? Resort to the field of honour would be in accordance with prime ministerial precedent. Those were the days. The Sussex Advertiser of 23rd March 1829 blandly recorded, “His Grace was seen riding through the Horse-Guards at six o’clock on Saturday morning, and returned to Downing-street at eight.”