Our addiction to “Weary Rationale” @FrankieBoyle

Hat tip to @SamiraShackle for drawing my attention to @FrankieBoyle’s Comment is Free piece in the Grauniad. The theme and conclusion is telegraphed in the title, but the content is explicitly about the seemingly deranged rationale of supporting vaguely motivated bombing in Syria but resisting direct support for Syrian refugees. It’s a very intelligent read, … Continue reading “Our addiction to “Weary Rationale” @FrankieBoyle”


“Dysmemics – Bad Ideas that Reproduce Furiously” caught my eye in the profile header of Paula Wright on Twitter / X. I’ve been using “the memetic problem” for the idea that “bad ideas win over good ideas” in the battle for attention and adoption for at least two decades. Even the sciences themselves suffer from … Continue reading “Dysmemics”

Calling Out Celebrity Supporters of Gender Self-ID

[This piece extended in many footnotes below the line since original publication.] The cast of blue-tick players is: @glinner – Graham Linehan (since banned from Twitter) – vs – @frankieboyle – Frankie Boyle @billybragg – Billy Bragg @OwenJones84 – Owen Jones The recent round started with this Tweet, for which Glinner has got a fair … Continue reading “Calling Out Celebrity Supporters of Gender Self-ID”

The Problem is the Unmoderated Pace of Social Media

There are lots of problems with social media, blamed for so much fake news and the like, undermining everyday politics one way or another. I’ve been warning about parts of the problem for almost two decades, as a memetic phenomenon, and in the last couple of years – aside from the explicitly political commentaries – … Continue reading “The Problem is the Unmoderated Pace of Social Media”

The Boris Burqa Brouhaha

I feel the need to comment on the recent Boris bollox since it conflates several topics I’ve written about at length before. This tweet from @Whoozley sets the agenda fair enough: 1 Banning niqab/burqa or attacking people who wear it is wrong 2 Everyone has right to wear what they choose 3 …”choose” in context … Continue reading “The Boris Burqa Brouhaha”

The Court Jester in Real Life

There are many posts here describing the idea of “The Court Jester” in the context of potentially offensive humour. There are some basic rules of thumb on the rhetorical use of humour here, but reality is invariably more complex when free speech meets the concepts of offensive humour and hate-speech. Charlie Hebdo was probably the … Continue reading “The Court Jester in Real Life”

Context for Humour – The Memes Matter

I have a string to my agenda I call “The Court Jester“. It’s not just about our “freedom” to mock, but also about how it is an essential part of progressive dialogue – dialogue towards human progress that is. Once we understand the limits to logically objective argumentation in human decision-making, proper dialogue is all … Continue reading “Context for Humour – The Memes Matter”

The Baying Mob

Apart from passing references, I’ve never made this the focal issue of any post or tweet, but it is a pet hate of mine in the way Twitter works. The baying mob is easy to see in the trolls that inhabit comment threads of pretty much all on-line content these days, so much so that … Continue reading “The Baying Mob”