Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How to survive without Twitter (SPOILER: pretty easily)

This is NOT an article on why I've decided to quit Twitter, there's too many of those and it really wouldn't be that interesting to people. Suffice to say I have.


But last time I quit, I found it much harder, but now I think there are many alternatives - a lot of news sites have "Twitterish" aspects now and it works quite well.


Also, if someone links to a tweet, it's entirely possible to follow the tweet even when you don't have an account, which was one of my main concerns.


Take today, the day of the Autumn Statement, a day I thought would be very difficult without twitter. But the BBC had a live blog and also linked to the website with all the documents available which gave me a MORE in-depth view than I would have had from all the two-bit analysts on Twitter. It was helpful as well to make my own mind up rather than be swamped with the feed as well.


Most of the people I talk to regularly online talk over Facebook or WhatsApp, so that's not a concern either, so I'm pretty much sitting pretty. Anyway, that's Day 1 over, wonder what the rest will be like?

P.S. I am considering going back to auto-tweet my blog posts only but will give it a week or so to bed in first.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Women's Hat Etiquette

Occasionally I don't talk about politics on this blog, and this is one of those days. I was going to write about Jeremy Corbyn, but that's a bit pointless, and besides my adoring public apparently wants to hear about women's hat etiquette. So this is what I know....
Women don't have to take their hat off as much as a man would do, unless it's a hat that a man would wear as well - such as baseball hat, or beanie. It seems the etiquette follows the style of hat rather than the gender of the person who is wearing it.

However, if a woman is wearing a more typically female style of hat, like those that you would wear to Ascot, for instance, then you have different rules.

Male "style" hats e.g. baseball hats, beanies

Remove these when indoors in most cases
Remove at religious ceremonies (unless head covering required)
Remove those when wanting to show respect i.e. when being introduced
Remove at work (unless hat is required)
Remove in the presence of ladies
Remove when in someone else's home
Remove at home (but you'd probably do that anyway, right?)

"Female style" hats

These are accorded different rules as they are considered to be part of a woman's "ensemble"

No need to remove in a restaurant
No need to remove at religious ceremonies
Remove when at work (unless hat is required)
Remove when it might block someone's view
Don't wear them on the dancefloor (more for practical reasons than anything else)

"Female style" Wedding hats

Many people don't wear them now.
Mother of the groom should have either the same brim size or smaller brim size than the mother of the bride
If you have worn a hat and so has the mother of the bride, you should wait till she takes hers off before you take yours off

A note on brims

Large is good  (but not required) in the sun and during the day, as it's required for keeping the sun off, but can look like you are trying to attract attention (vulgar) later in the day - try and reduce brim size as you move towards the evening (tho not on the same hat - although perhaps there could be a Kickstarter in that idea!)

P.S. Never point out if someone has messed up with these rules. That's rude and thus vulgar and thus not to be done!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Safe spaces, dinner parties, freedom of association and virtue signalling.......

Right wing journalism doesn't annoy me half as much, as a centrist, as it does some of my left wing friends.

However, some trends and buzzwords have developed recently and I'm not sure people are really thinking them through.

Safe spaces seem to have evolved into a put down by people who consider that folk are "insulating themselves from argument" when some people declare an area for discussion as a "safe space".

But it isn't - most of the communities we circulate in are free and areas where free speech is tolerated and arguments engaged in. Twitter is one such area, for instance.

However, if you are exploring ideas, most of us would like to do that with similar minded folk - sometimes.  It is sometimes helpful for me as a feminist not to have to argue back against people with differing views. I'm different from some people in that I enjoy a good argument and seek to learn from it - but I'm not always in the mood, and like to exercise my right to freedom of association to associate with whom I darn well please.

This is a good blog on the subject that it helps everyone sometimes to associate with others of like mind - from Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex - hat tip to new follow/follower @declamere for the link.

Some right wing journalists who are devoted to free speech above all, seem to get rather annoyed at "left wing dinner parties", which just leaves me wondering if they never get invited to any dinner parties.... What they are really telling us is they don't like left wing groups meeting and discussing their ideas without balance or bias....... but that's something the left wing go on about too!!

Freedom of association is important. It's important to associate with people you like! If you favour it you can learn a lot from disagreeing, discussing and yes, arguing with those you don't have a lot in common with. But you don't have to.

I'm also going weary of people dismissing ideas as "virtue signalling" - again this seems to be shorthand for putting down left wing groups and freedom of association - right wing groupings do this too! They volunteer for charities, Parent Teacher associations, they join clubs, they do all sorts of things to indicate that THEY fit into their chosen social milieu. We all do these things all the time, it's called human nature.

If people want to call others out on behaviours that they believe are wrong when it's on the other side of the social tracks to where they stand, fine. But don't expect me to think that's very rational.