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Saturday, August 1st, 2015 10:46 am
I've always heard that the idea of "privation of good" was something Augustine came up with. (Summary: evil is not a thing in itself, but only the absence of good-- like how darkness is the absence of light.) But 300 years earlier, Epictetus was saying:

"As a mark is not set up for the sake of missing the aim, so neither does the nature of evil exist in the world." (Enchiridion, 27)

Isn't that the same idea?
Friday, July 31st, 2015 06:33 pm
I don't give a damn whether Labour is electable under Corbyn-- the next election's too far off to worry about. What I *do* care about is having an effective Opposition, and that's something I'm certain he can provide. Six PM's questions a week, the chance to choose who's on the front benches, and a guaranteed place in almost every political TV show-- given a year or two, he'll move the Overton window enough that today's estimations of who's electable will be irrelevant.

I don't believe for a moment that Labour can't gain power with Corbyn as leader-- we can't know, because there hasn't been a Labour Party that was much distinguishable from the Tories since the nineties.

No, I don't think Corbyn is the second coming of Marx. I don't think the Labour party is going to do a great deal of good for ordinary people any time soon. I don't believe electoral politics will deliver enough change to fix the system. But I do believe that the parliamentary Labour Party can do more good in the world than they're doing right now.
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Friday, July 31st, 2015 06:23 pm
2015 is, apparently, the year my hayfever makes its comeback. While I am not sneezing, my eyes are swollen and hurt and itch. Bah. I just bought some loratadine, hoping it won't make me too tired.

In better news, 10 months after leaving my previous glasses on the plane, I finally got myself new ones. It's weird at the moment, but it's also nice to finally be able to see details again. My sight isn't too bad, so I really only need glasses for seeing things in the distance when driving and it wasn't unsafe without them or anything, but having the option to use them is good.

And now I am off work for two weeks. Yay!
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Thursday, July 30th, 2015 08:00 pm
I feel like the only person on my reading list who didn't have some kind of revelation when reading that recent Metafilter discussion on Emotional Labor

http://the-toast.net/2015/07/13/emotional-labor/view-all/
http://www.metafilter.com/151267/Wheres-My-Cut-On-Unpaid-Emotional-Labor

I guess it's a combination of already having read about all the concepts behind it and also it not being all that applicable to my life. A lot of these things, I just don't do - I am not managing our relationship with my husband's family, or reminding him of birthdays, I am not doing some kind of therapy replacement for friends, or get people to be nice towards each other at work. My husband gets just as annoyed as I do when other men talk about "babysitting" their own children or need their female partners to remind them to buy Christmas presents.

There are obviously trade offs in my life, and not everything is smelling of roses, not even in my marriage, but emotional labor investment just isn't really one of those areas.

Important article and discussion, just not a very personal thing for me, I guess.
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Sunday, July 26th, 2015 10:38 am
1. Twice this week I have read arguments against "they" as a gender neutral third person singular that amounted to "but using a plural verb form for a singular pronoun is wrong and confusing!"

My first impulse was replying just with "you are wrong".

If that didn't help, maybe "you *are* wrong"

I am not sure that would have helped, though...

(German, by the way, has "sie" as third person singular female used with singular verb forms, "Sie" as formal second person singular with plural verb forms, and "sie" as third person plural with plural verb forms. Sure it can be ambiguous, but people do manage)

2. The German generic masculine sucks and is anything but generic. Please stop telling me I should be okay with it because it's gender neutral when every study finds that when people say "Lehrer" (teacher) or "Polizist" (cop) the vast majority of people picture a man. Even if they are the kind of people who argue again and again that the masculine form of those nouns encompasses men and women. Only when you say "Lehrerin" or "Polizistin" do people start thinking of women.

(This rant was brought to you by the very same people in my office who tell me that "Softwareentwickler" is neutral correcting me when I joked that I could always become an "Arzt". Because surly it should be "Ärztin". Gah.)
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Friday, July 24th, 2015 09:13 pm
Manager of engineering to someone just before I left work: "Go home, it's Friday!"

My team lead on Yammer as I was cooking dinner: "What are you all still doing online! Stop working it's the weekend"

(I'm pretty sure *they're* both still going to work though :p)

(I am rather liking this place though. It's just been a week so who knows, but I am tentatively happy.)
Friday, July 24th, 2015 04:29 pm
HORNE: Well, you might have noticed that round-the-horne dot com is looking a bit drab these days. So I decided to hire a website consultant, and the first one I tried was called "Information Bona Highway".

(FX: shop bell)

JULIAN: Oh, hello! I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy.
HORNE: I need some help with my website. I found you online...
SANDY: He's been googling us, Jules.
JULIAN: We get so much trade that way, Mr Horne.
HORNE: Do you have much experience in site design?
JULIAN: Oh, we've been at it for years. Back with Geocities and Myspace.
SANDY: Yes. Everyone wanted a bit of Myspace. They were positively queueing up for my top eight.
JULIAN: Tom-- you remember Tom? He was my top.
HORNE: I want my site to look a little less...
SANDY: Nineties?
JULIAN: Passé. That's your actual French.
HORNE: Yes. Would you be available to update it?
SANDY: Oh, you'll be wanting my help, Mr Horne. I'm positively a tiger of web design.
JULIAN: A tiger in the stylesheets.
SANDY: I do everything that's handled by the client. Everything responsive. If you want a nice double-column layout, I'm your man.
JULIAN: He just tweaks his padding-bottom and we're away.
HORNE: I see. Are you both client-side?
JULIAN: No, I concentrate on the back end. Django, mainly.
SANDY: Django! His Python is a sight to behold.
HORNE: Can I run it on Windows?
JULIAN: Oh, no, I swear by Debian.
SANDY: Swears by it.
JULIAN: Nothing else manages my packages so well.
HORNE: And it's more secure, I take it?
SANDY: Well, I must be frank, Mr Horne. Julian's never been much of a dab hand at intrusion detection.
JULIAN: Traitor!
SANDY: Well, it's true.
JULIAN: I can guarantee, guarantee that someone will be probing my ports this evening.
SANDY: Will you excuse us, Mr Horne? I really must go and check his log.
Friday, July 24th, 2015 06:31 am
One week since I filed a bug report with HabitRPG because one of the features of the app completely broke with the last update, still no response at all. Not even that the ticket has been verified or whatever their process is.

And don't get me started on needing your user to register at Github so they can report issues. That's a really high barrier right there, I almost didn't feel like even reporting that problem and I already had a Github account...

Grumpy customer is grumpy.
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