Category Archives: Society

Mierenneuken writ large

The Dutch have an expression: mierenneuken. Literally, it means “ant-fucking” (the Dutch are nothing if not straightforward).  The English translate this as “nitpicking”, that is, the practice of meticulously searching for minor, even trivial errors in detail. And now, the … Continue reading

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An Offensive Clown in a Polka-dot Dress

I’ve never had time for Ann Widdicombe. Her callousness and stupidity have been self-evident for years. Now she has re-invented herself as an MEP. And she’s still spouting stupidity. She and Farage make a pretty pair. They are in Brussels … Continue reading

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

So Facebook wants us all to use their new cryptocurrency Libra? I loathe and detest Facebook enough already without this being thrust upon us. As Kenan Malik writes: Libra cryptocurrency won’t set us free, it will further enslave us to … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Society | 1 Comment

The Bigger Picture

Jonathan Cook discusses the the assault by Mark Field on a climate change activist this week, and points out the bigger picture. He states that we are in danger of getting sidetracked. Worth reading.

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All animals are equal…

But clearly, some are still more equal than others… A walk from the Westerbork Nazi transit camp to Groningen as part of the “Night of the Refugee” fundraising activities has been cancelled after the organisers faced death threats and intimidation. … Continue reading

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“A Special Place In Hell”

Donald Tusk hits the nail on the head. The Nigel Farages, Jacob Rees-Moggs and Boris Johnsons of this world deserve nothing less. It is they who have betrayed the British people, not the EU.

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“A Terrible Failure of Common Sense”

In recent years, the UK Home Office has increasingly seemed to be driven by checklists, rather than any understanding of the people they are dealing with. Here’s just the latest example in a very long list: a man, 90 years … Continue reading

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Half and Half

Someone asked me last night how long I had been living here in the Netherlands, and I replied: “35 years”. “So, for half your life?” he asked. And up until that moment I had not thought about it, but he’s … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Society | 2 Comments

Nine Lessons of Brexit

Ivan Rogers, the former UK ambassador to the EU, delivered a speech this week on the nine lessons of Brexit. The full 10,000+ words transcript is here, but if you prefer a précis, then this will do nicely. The basic … Continue reading

Posted in News and politics, Society | 3 Comments

Selfie Deaths

Selfie deaths – a report. But I disagree strongly with the conclusion. It would only serve to affect the number of Darwin Award winners in a negative fashion.

Posted in Photography, Society | 2 Comments

Here was a Plague

That’s the title of an excellent article by Tom Crewe in the London Review of Books about the history of the Aids crisis. It seems so long ago now, and I count myself amongst the lucky survivors, but we lost … Continue reading

Posted in Health and wellness, LGBT Politics, Society | 2 Comments

Typically Dutch

The Dutch have a reputation for being straightforward, bordering on rude, in their interactions with other people. I had a prime example of this in an encounter yesterday. My Lenovo wireless keyboard and mouse has been giving trouble over the … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Society | 8 Comments

Pride Badges

The LGBTQ+ Pride season is upon us. Today was the London Pride march, with 30,000 marchers. The Guardian also had a story about a treasure trove of LGBTQ+ badges being found in an attic. That reminded me that I must … Continue reading

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Jaron Lanier and Social Media

An interview of Jaron Lanier, and why he thinks that Facebook and its ilk are bad for us both as individuals and as society. He’s absolutely right, of course, but the damage has probably already been done. The one false … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Society, Television, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Sermon

So, today there was a wedding, a Royal Wedding. And while I wish Harry and Meghan to live happily ever after; I remain a republican. This Royal Wedding was unlike any I have previously seen. Today, I witnessed the sermon … Continue reading

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The Internet Apologizes…

… that’s the title of a sobering article on what has gone wrong with the internet. Well worth reading. The apology is necessary, but it’s too damn late – the damage is done. I’m not sure how it will ever … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Organizations, Society | Leave a comment

Dance or Die

A documentary about Ahmad Joudeh. Watch it

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You Are the Product

That’s the title of an article about Facebook by John Lanchester. Published back in August 2017, it is eerily prescient about the shit that has now hit Facebook’s fan. It’s a long article, but definitely worth a read. As Lanchester … Continue reading

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A Stranger in a Strange Land

Joris Luyendijk is a Dutchman who has been living in Britain for the last six years, writing articles for the Guardian. He is a writer, journalist and anthropologist, specialising in Arab and Islamic countries. He’s recently written an article in … Continue reading

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Public Service

Some officials know what public service means and fulfil their duties to the best of their abilities, serving the public good. And the people react accordingly. Eberhard van der Laan, you’ve set an example to us all.

Posted in News and politics, Society | 1 Comment