If a pronoun is used in the forest….

…will someone still take offence on the social mejias?

I can’t be bothered to post links to the latest pronoun fuckwittery, you can find your own examples anyway. There’s a new one every day, “large organisation mandates pronoun declarations from employees: ridicule ensues”.

A bank in the UK, a civil service department in Sydney. Rinse and repeat.

It’s all red meat for whichever team you support. If you’ve got a libertarian streak, it’s yet another imposition by the wifi password people. If you think the Guardian reports news, it’s a litmus test to flush out the bigots and all the xPhobe Nazis.

The question we never hear asked is, when was the last time you used someone’s pronoun in their presence?

He/him, she/her/ zhe/zim, etc., are words we’d mainly use about someone when they aren’t there.

In fact, many people consider it rude to use pronouns when the subject is in the room. When I was a child, if I said to my father, “she”, about my mother whilst in her presence, she’d angrily ask, “who’s she; the cat’s mother?”.

No, I’ve no idea what that meant either but I bloody well knew I was in trouble.

Now we have the internet I have learned it was/is a very common saying. Basically, use their damn name you rude bugger:

A mild reproof, especially to a child, for impolite use of the pronoun she when a person’s name would have been more well mannered.

Bill’s Opinion

I’d like to think I was brought up well. I try to be polite to strangers unless they’ve done something to deserve otherwise.

If you give me your name on a phone call or if it’s on a badge on your jacket, I will try to use it whenever appropriate. Your pronouns seem somewhat irrelevant to me, therefore.

In fact, if I were to talk about you to your colleague in a subsequent interaction, I’d also use your name. If I couldn’t remember it, I’d say “your colleague”.

It feels like a backward and irrelevant step to spend so much time talking about pronouns, given I and many others would be very unlikely to have ever needed them.

What people should remember however, is the same people who were taught these manners are also from the same stock who are the world’s politest people until the precise moment they become the opposite. Maybe keep that in mind when making demands on our language, they.

The global IQ tests continue to be set

How did you do with this week’s IQ test? Pass or fail?

You may have failed if you’ve recently started a post on social media with the words, “As a <insert inherent characteristic you have no control over> person, my opinion on the overturning of Roe vs Wade is….”, or words of a similar sentiment.

Newsflash: nobody gives a fuck what you think, especially if you haven’t actually read the Supreme Court ruling and are opining on the newspaper reports of it instead.

Yes, I am aware of the irony of that statement on a blog post about it but, in my defence, people come here by choice for my opinions.

I’ve written about abortion twice before here. First time about an individual, second time specifically about New South Wales. My opinion hasn’t changed; I’d prefer to live in a world where abortion didn’t happen for factors of convenience but only for safety reasons.

Many of those who loudly champion abortion on demand leverage that last reason, stating the mental healths risks to the mother, inferring the risk of suicide. But that same logic has resulting in several thousand teenage breasts being sliced off in the last decade and, frankly, piss off with that as a justification.

If your best argument for taking a physical action with extreme consequences is a possible risk of suicide, perhaps you might want to investigate psychiatry and the possibility of dedicated round the clock nursing care.

But I digress.

Despite what the public statements of organisations such as Dick’s Sporting Goods or Atlassian might suggest, abortion is still legal in the USA, it’s just been downgraded from a Federal right enshrined in the Constitution, to a matter each State’s legislative body can write laws about. If you think this means California is about to ban or limit abortion next week, you’ve not been paying much attention to the changes in political mood of that State since Ronald Reagan was Governor.

But think about this for a moment; those who are wailing about the end of the world following this ruling are questioning that it should be a democratically-decided matter.

How confident must one be of the moral certainty of your position if you’d prefer it if your fellow citizens weren’t given a choice?

As for the front page coverage of the lesbian Wendyball player, Megan Rapainoe’s rambling and incoherent unsolicited Zoom broadcast (sorry, “press conference”); we’ve truly gone down the rabbithole. What next, A ten minute monologue from Elton John on his favourite brand of tampon?

Bill’s Opinion

Cool yer jets, everyone.

Abortion has not been made illegal in the USA. It may, in future, become so in a couple of states. If so, it adds yet another to our list of choices for those who are “pro-choice”:

  1. Abstain from having sex.
  2. Abstain from having sex with someone you know you don’t want to be be with for the rest of your life.
  3. Use contraception, but be aware this carries a residual risk.
  4. If an “accident” happens, carry the baby to term and decide whether you can cope with parenthood after it’s born.
  5. Offer the child up for adoption to one of the desperate couples who can’t conceive naturally.
  6. Drive across the border.
  7. Kill the damn thing like a virus.

My car’s preferred pronoun is “Semolina”

No it isn’t, but you started it first:

On a similar theme; remember how Charlize Theron’s thee year old is transgender?

Bill’s Opinion

It is long past the time for us to stop playing let’s pretend.

Dogs are not vegan, three year old children are not transgender, my car doesn’t have a preference to be addressed as if it were a durum wheat-based pasta ingredient and we should treat anyone who asserts the opposite with the same seriousness we would a small child.

Or worse, perhaps they are seeking to exercise power over us by fooling us into using such illogical language, despite our sub-conscious rejecting the concept?

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Goodwin’s Law

Anyone with more than 5,000 followers on Creepbook for Business is most likely to be a purveyor of vacuous bollocks.

Followers, rather than connections. And there’s a clue in that adjective; these charlatans rely on the ovine nature of many users of the networking site electronic Rolodex of people you met at work.

Obviously, Goodwin’s Law is not to be confused with Godwin’s Law, which states:

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches”. That is, if an online discussion goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds, the point at which effectively the discussion or thread ends.

Goodwin’s Law is, instead, named after this prolific onanist, Tom Goodwin. As well as posting his utter shite on Creepbook for Business, he liberally sprays his brain diarrhoea on Twitter, here.

From what one can gather by a quick MBA at the University of Duck Duck Go, he’s a British expat living in the Miami area.

As an aside, speaking as someone who also has an English accent and has spent time working in the USA, it isn’t hard to understand the reason behind an element of his success: many Americans, bless ’em, seem to assume a magical extra 20 IQ points just because someone sounds a bit like Hugh Grant. Fair enough if he’s leveraging that advantage.

What type of bollocks does Tom Goodwin spout?

Well, there’s this drivel, replete with supernumerary apostrophes:

Sometimes he comes up with insightful business ideas like these two niche opportunities which might be already be filled by things called “hotels”, “taxis“, Airbnb and Zip Car:

Sometimes, after a few glasses of Paul Masson rosé, we are lucky enough to gain an insight in to The Tao of Tom, such as this deep enquiry into the human psyche:

Bill’s Opinion

When somebody posts this type of tosspottery into your LI timeline, do yourself a favour; click the three little dots to the side of their name and select, “unfollow but stay connected“.

Repeat until the pollution ceases.

If Tom Goodwin (or Brigette and Oleg) can make a coin from this nebulous wankery, best of luck to him. After all, the effort and cost is minimal, it only requires suspension of the duty of care for his soul.

Everyone back in the trees!

Observed evidence suggests a possible hypothesis; in some pockets of the human species, evolution has stopped and has gone in to reverse.

The human species has reached a level of such great technological advance, the resulting inventions and indeed much of everyday life contains too much detail for the vast majority of people to fully comprehend. For many, it could be indistinguishable from witchcraft, to borrow a theme by Arthur C. Clarke.

This idea is neatly demonstrated by the excellent book and subsequent short animated video, “I, Pencil“. Although we take a pencil for granted, no one individual is capable of making one or even has the complete knowledge of how to make one.

Many of us are able to understand the principles behind much of the process though.

William of Ockham’s evolution in reverse hypothesis suggests we’ve left some people behind in this ability to understand complexity at a high level.

Today, I will offer two items of evidence for this but there will no doubt be plenty more over the coming weeks and months. Once seen, this phenomenon becomes visible everywhere.

Item 1: A CEO, whose entire business model is to offer sage advice to other organisations, couldn’t predict there would be any significant problems with paying exactly the same wage to every employee, regardless of age, skill level and skill value. In fact, the poor love seemed almost childlike in his wonder when he discovered a web developer in central London won’t work for the same wage as the office receptionist.

His brain hasn’t quite made the leap to the realisation other humans might have agency and will make choices that best suit their personal circumstances. Imagine reaching adulthood and not being even vaguely aware of that?

Item 2. A Senator of 14 years longevity in the Federal Parliament, who has spent her entire career sitting in vehement opposition to the government on the often inferred basis that it is a combination of corrupt, incompetent or even evil, believes a Government-developed internet search engine would be a useful project for taxpayer dollars.

This, despite the not entirely irrelevant facts there are already a dozen alternative free search engines which, between them, spend perhaps more than $3bn every year on research and development.

Yet she still believes we should trust the bureaucracy that brought you the NBN, CovidSafe App, expensive national firewalls to block websites such as PirateBay without understanding what a VPN is and countless examples of IT procurement and development with quadrupled budgets and minuscule realised benefits. This time they’ll get it right though, surely?

Bill’s Opinion

That they walk amongst us without their jaws wide open in amazement at the miracle of electric light bulbs, coffee machines, bicycles and adhesive stamps on envelopes, says much about these people’s lack of imagination or introspection.

Without getting all eugenics on the subject, it’s a bit of a worry for the species these genes are still washing around the system.

Somewhere in the world there is a tree working really hard. I think Calvin Benton and Sarah Two Dads owe it an apology.