Nigel Farage: The Media’s Self-Fulfilling Prophecy – Alex Andreou on how the media are now congratulating themselves for creating the rise of Farage and UKIP.
Tied hand and foot: the sad and sorry saga of the rise of Britain’s giant ‘pubcos’ – Interesting background on how the old system of tied pubs became the modern pubcos.
The Uberfication of knowledge – What will the life of a writer be, when the whole world’s a potential content farm?
On nerd entitlement – Laurie Penny on why white male nerds really shouldn’t claim that they don’t benefit from privilege.
Hell Yes, I’m a Feminist – John Scalzi is (and so am I) and explains why feminist men need to be clear about it, but also not to try and ‘white knight’ it to make it all about us.
American police are more trigger happy than British criminals – “Americans are three times more likely to be killed by a police officer with a gun than someone in Britain is by a criminal with one.”
‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative – An essay from the Hugo-winning writer Kameron Hurley. “Half the world is full of women, but it’s rare to hear a narrative that doesn’t speak of women as the people who have things done to them instead of the people who do things. More often, women are talked about as a man’s daughter. A man’s wife.”
Ferguson: A String of Betrayals – Interesting background on how Ferguson, Missouri got to be the way it was before Michael Brown’s shooting, and how that drove the protests afterwards.
Whatever happened to the big issues? – asks David Boyle
Everything you know about Hamas is wrong – Tim Holmes looks beyond the media simplifications.
Oh look it’s a new year, so I must be trying to blog more and not leave this site fallow. Here’s some interesting things I’ve read recently:
Where will we live? – A long but fascinating and informative article on Britain’s housing issues from James Meek in the London Review of Books.
Seeming Female: Gender In Digital Spaces – Some interesting data on how men react to female characters in online gaming, regardless of whether or not their players are women.
Reds Under The Archive Table – “Charitably, the article can be put down to youthful hubris. But it is also complete bollocks.” Academic history is not a conspiracy of leftists, despite what certain Tory activists think.
Dear James Delingpole: You Are The Problem – I’m pretty sure we all knew that already, but this Foz Meadows piece shows why.
Sorry, I actually don’t want a “digital firepower onslaught”. I’d prefer better politics. – A short, but accurate, piece from Jon Worth on how doing more online isn’t changing politics.
And only taken me a month to gather these…
I was reminded about this by a Twitter conversation this morning, and realised that I hadn’t updated my spreadsheet about the gender of guests on Have I Got News For You since the last series ended. That the last series was pretty underwhelming may have had something to do with it, but if you’re the sort of person who wants to see a lot of statistics about how many men and women have been on the show in its 46(!) seasons, then you can find it by clicking here.
The main points (I hesitate to use ‘highlights’) are:
We still have to look back to 1997 for the last time all the guests on a show were women.
There have now been 181 times during the show’s history where all the guests (and hence, everyone on screen) was a man.
The last series managed to have 30% of women hosts and guests, which meant there was a very slight upturn in the overall percentages of both – 23.27% (guests) and 23.72% (hosts).
And it’s very depressing to compile these figures and see that there’s been basically no change since 1990.
And after a few years of link collection, we get to the first major milestone:
Marches of Folly – Paul Krugman on how groupthink helped make the case for war in Iraq, and is doing the same for austerity.
How We Learned to Set Aside Our Moral Qualms and Love the Bomb – Some frankly frightening research from the US on how willing people are to use nuclear weapons.
7 Reasons Why You Should Stop Bitching About People On Benefits – Perfectly explained.
CHRONICLES OF MANSPLAINING: Professor Feminism and the Deleted Comments of Doom – It’s somewhat amusing to see how idiotic some men can get, but also depressingly sad to realise that we live in a society that encourages this. (And as a request, if I’m ever mansplaining something to you, please point it out to me)
Twenty-one tips to make your book better, for new writers – Advice from Sophia McDougall
It seems the internet wrote many good things while I was away on holiday:
Dudes, Relax: The Rise Of Women Does Not Mean the Fall of Men – Jezebel’s Lindy West dissects a piece of male whining.
How To Get Doping Out Of Sports – A very frank piece from Jonathan Vaughters, boss of the Garmin cycling team, on his own doping experience and what needs to be done to end it.
Democracy Creates Assholes – Another honest opinion from Jason O’Mahony.
Rape: Or why I am now a feminist – George Potter writes down a lot of the thoughts that were in my head for the last week or so but couldn’t get written down as I was away from a keyboard.
A piece of advice to my fellow men (warning – potentially triggering) – ‘The ONLY way you should ever end a sentence that starts “It’s not rape if…” is with “all parties involved consent.”’