Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Why doesn't Bob Crow try solidarity with London?

On the ITV news just a few minutes ago one of my least favourite people in the world appeared wearing this polo shirt.

"So what?" you may ask, "Do you think that self-serving greedy train union representatives have to wear a different shirt for each public appearance?"

No. I just think instead of showing solidarity with Cuba he should show solidarity with Londoners. Everyone has to make sacrifices in an economic downturn - if he accepted the offer on the table then he wouldn't be second to Nick Griffin on the list of evil Britons, and people could go to work to help fix the economy. Sadly he has turned tube drivers, his union, and himself into objects of hate and disgust.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Grammar Fail. Tube fail. Link?

I can barely contain my anger at the RMT, and, more importantly, Bob Crow. Mention either of them around me for the next few days and be prepared for a long diatribe. Imagine how my rage nearly boiled over when reading the below:

"dan i bet you look great in your brown shirt, these people are only acting on there legal right when faced with huge job loses, which also effect family's as well, i have a crazy idea, how about keeping people in there jobs, so they can pay taxies to the country, its an idea maggie never had"

david, San Diego, U S A

Originally posted here.

Where do people learn that kind of grammar? I know I make mistakes (often kindly pointed out to me), but this is crazy. Rightly, or, more likely, wrongly, I find it almost impossible to respect this persons opinion, solely on the basis of this. Let's take a look.....

"Dan I bet you look great in your brown shirt, these people are only acting on their legal right when faced with huge job losses, which also effect families as well. I have a crazy idea, how about keeping people in their jobs, so they can pay taxes to the country? It's an idea Maggie never had."

David, San Diego, U S A

It's still not perfect - but it's better. Am I wrong? Can you take this man seriously? Maybe I'm just semi-consciously linking this guy's lack of grammatical ability with my disgust at the tube strike? Let me know...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


Part of the eBiosphere conference involved several break-out sessions, one of them being on cybertaxonomy. Within minutes of the session starting we ran into the first problem: what is cybertaxonomy?

This is bound to be fairly contentious. Many of the people who were there are involved in projects that involve taxonomy and the internet, and would like to define cybertaxonomy in a way that their project lies slap-bang in the middle of the definition. In the end I think that Vince Smith's definition is perhaps the most useful, given the breadth of ideas and projects that should fall under the cybertaxonomy umbrella. (Incidentally Vince is the world's first (and only?) official Cybertaxonomist.)

"Cybertaxonomy is using computers and/or networks for doing taxonomy."

Then the thing took a bit of a nose-dive as people tried to list ideas and projects that they thought were related to a (somewhat vague) definition of cybertaxonomy. This was (for me at least) rather tedious - most of the projects I knew about already (as did most people I think) and I'd have rather spent the time learning something new, or at least making use of the fact that all of these people were together in the same room at the same time.

The discussion then covered a few of the community's favourite 'hot topics'. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) being one that has been mentioned many times before. Personally I doubt that publishers will freely give up their exclusive rights to content for nothing - they will need incentives. Whether the incentive is a carrot or a stick is a matter for debate.

Randy Pausch Time Management Lecture

A few people I know could do well studying this!