• War Stories

    by  • August 31, 2014 • 0 Comments

    While there aren't many family stories about the First World War to compete with, the stories about my great-grandfather Reginald are the best. Doubtless the legend of him as a proto-Flashheart is exaggerated (that said when he met his wife "she was 18 and he was 24 and had been engaged twice before")  but he did discover a...

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    What is 'excessive detail' in suicide coverage?

    by  • August 12, 2014 • 0 Comments

    This is an excerpt from a much longer piece on the history of suicide and journalism.  It contains description of suicide methods only in so far as they are required to demonstrate the point being made. On these disclaimers – I think something key that's usually missed is making people aware of the wider community...

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    Blog round-up for 2012

    by  • January 6, 2013 • 0 Comments

    Bit late to get around to this, but here's a quick round-up of everything I wrote on the blog last year (in vague theme groupings): There have been posts about the history of chicken suits in politics and how Facebook is trying to make us more legible. I went to a talk on the boundary reviews, and in a...

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    London and Gaza: Can democratic citizens be held responsible for their governments?

    by  • November 24, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Gilad Sharon's "Flatten Gaza" article in the Jerusalem Post has been rightly widely condemned as being a pretty horrible thing for a mainstream newspaper to publish (even bearing in mind the Jerusalem Post also published a "he went too far, but is he wrong?" article after Brievik), one part especially jumped out at me: THE DESIRE to prevent harm to innocent...

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    The Long Earth

    by  • November 22, 2012 • 0 Comments

    After reading this great interview with Terry Pratchett I decided to go back and finish this post I was writing about The Long Earth, Pratchett's recent collaboration with Stephen Baxter. Obviously, spoilers spoilers. Basic setting summary: In The Long Earth, someone releases schematics on the internet for an easy to build box with a switch. When...

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    MPs, Haircuts and Debt

    by  • November 20, 2012 • 0 Comments

    The other month someone posted this classic 'politicians are awful' viral story on Facebook,  I was reading David Graeber's Debt at the same time and it occurred to me what a wonderful summation this story is of a certain kind of debt morality: One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut,...

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    Ethics and Consequences in The Walking Dead game

    by  • October 28, 2012 • 0 Comments

    I've been a fan of Telltale since the Sam & Max games and in recent games started to notice a trend towards games that had some consideration of ethical issues. In their Jurassic Park game characters have a lengthy debate about the morality of the lysine contingency, and in their Back to the Future game...

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    Designated campaigns for an independence referendum

    by  • October 15, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Something caught my eye in the draft section 30 order to empower the Scottish Parliament to pass legislation on an independence referendum: In those provisions as applied by this article, references, however expressed, to a person or body designated under section 108  are to be read as references to a...

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