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]

Samizdata quote of the day – Jerry Seinfeld college address edition

“If I messed up a funny story around my relatives, they would go ‘That’s not how you tell that joke. The prostitute has to be behind the drapes when the wife comes in.’ You went to Duke—that is an unbelievable privilege. I now have an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Duke University. And if I can figure out a way to use that, I will. I haven’t figured anything out yet. I think it’s pretty much as useful in real life as this outfit I’m wearing. But so what? I’ll take it. My point is we’re embarrassed about things we should be proud of and proud of things we should be embarrassed about.”

Jerry Seinfeld drops some humorous truth bombs at a college speech.

I knew who Dominic Frisby was before I knew who Elon Musk was

I only really cemented in my head which of those Billionaires Having Something To Do With the Internet Elon Musk was in February 2018, when he sent his Tesla Roadster into space. I loved him for that, but fell out of love a few months later over Musk’s behaviour towards Vernon Unsworth. Since then, my regard for Mr Musk has crept up again. It’s nice having freedom of speech on the internet back. I now – and I do know how sad this is – follow him on Xitter or whatever it’s called these days.

In contrast, I have been reading about Dominic Frisby on Samizdata as an financial writer, economist, film-maker, singer and comedian since early 2014.

Elon Musk has finally caught up with us.

A New Beginning Begins Anew

This is, well, epic: Every Epic Quest.

As you know, the lore demands that every Samizdata post has a political point hidden in it somewhere.

Your quest is to find it.

Meme of the month… Gazalighting

Samizdata quote of the day – sage geopolitical wisdom edition

Why we can’t leave the Houthi’s to shoot at us in peace is completely beyond me.

– the indispensable Zarah Bukake MP echoing nice Mr. Corbyn.

I wish this Quote of the Day were less appropriate to the year just gone

“I stayed up last night… Not so much to welcome the new year, but to make sure the old one leaves…”

Ben David, in the comments to the previous post.

Still, hope springs eternal in the human breast. 2024, here we come.

I want it on record that I deplored the theft of the banner. Thanks to me it doesn’t have a single plore left.

Just Stop Oil march gets hijacked by stag-do leaving protesters furious

Video courtesy of the Daily Mail via Instapundit.

The Mail writer reveals an unexpected talent for understatement:

The demonstrators are then seen continuing their march, looking displeased.

Not a bad basis for a system of government, akchully

For those not following, the woman you saw bearing the sword in today’s proceedings is Penny Mordaunt MP, twice-failed candidate to be leader of the Conservative Party, whose previous peak as a search term on Google Images was when she did a belly flop in a TV diving contest. In 2019 she held the post of Secretary of State for Defence for 85 days. When Boris Johnson became prime minister and promptly fired her, she probably thought her days of exerting the traditional politician’s privilege of being photographed in close proximity to weaponry were over. But having landed the somewhat-ancient office of Lord President of the Council (“Unlike some of the other Great Officers of State, the office of Lord President is not very old”, sneers Wikipedia because it only dates from 1529), she got to carry the king’s sword and at least look capable of chopping off the heads of any enemies of the realm who might try to reach him via her.

Dennis the Peasant had a point. It’s all a bit daft. But I think history shows that when the illogical mess of tradition is stripped away from a people, what they find to replace it is rarely pure reason.

Samizdata quote of the day

“We are all capable of hypocrisy. When someone says at a party, `I’m a great listener,’ you just know they are going to yak on about themselves for hours.”

Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph. (£)

British political tweeting

Y’know, for a minute I hesitated to post this when I am feeling such sadness over Niall’s death. Then I thought, don’t be daft, woman, he’d have enjoyed it. In particular, as a lover of Scottish, English and British history and the complicated interactions between the three categories, he would have liked Gawain Towler’s comment to Lawrence Whittaker’s tweet: “Enough time to get married I guess.”

A helpful Finnish instructional video from 1979

Dear all,

As we wind down for Christmas, it is important to ensure that we keep ourselves safe, and I have found this wonderful but short instructional video, purportedly from Finland c. 1979, helpfully showing how to open a door correctly. I would recommend turning on the English subtitles for most of us, but other subtitles are available for those of us unable to understand the wonderful Finnish language.

I have a nagging feeling that this might have been a parody of ‘health and safety’ instructional videos, but if that was its aim, it has failed miserably to stem the tide.

Could we do this as a job share?

UK Prime Minister Recruitment Advertisement
© Larry & Paul, Recruitment Consultants

Added later: I see that Paul Marks has made a very pertinent suggestion in the comments,

“As there is no minimum time requirement for the (very large) pension a former Prime Minister gets, I propose that each of us is Prime Minister for a few minutes – and then resigns.

“Creating all the money (from nothing) to fund the pensions would be inflationary – but given the already insane level of government spending…”

Added even later: in the comments, TomJ links to this Parliamentary Briefing Paper that says that the rules on Prime Ministerial pensions were reformed in a boring direction in 2013. Right, that’s me out. I won’t do it now even if they ask nicely.