2013 — 30 October: Wednesday

The perversity of human nature1 is the only explanation I have for a thoroughly broken night's sleep despite being so tired last night that I was actually in bed before 23:00 and (initially) asleep very shortly thereafter.

I suspect...

... the real danger of the revelations about huge-scale "secret spying" on various hapless chunks of citizenry around the globe (being so vigorously defended in Washington) is far less than stated to "National Security" and far more than will ever be admitted to the paranoid spooks and ghouls drawn to the "National Security" industry. Absent telepathy, the problem of false positives will always be with us. See above, re the perversity of human nature.

The more interesting question, as ever, remains that intractable conundrum "quis custodes custodiet?" in light of Acton's always-true dictum about the corrupting tendency of power.

Acton on power

Neatly put, I (still) think. And well worth repeating. Oh well, time for breakfast.

Rather than...

... contemplating the apparent need for a new code of ethics to ban undercover police from having sex with people they are spying on. When did distinguishing right from wrong get so difficult? I must have missed that memo. (Link.)

Steve Bell's cartoon on immigration and national infrastructure (here) has yet to make it as far as the wonderful archive (here).

You may recall...

... the fun I had tracking down a Haldane quotation a little over five years ago...

Easily-overlooked little green BEM

Well, I am myself inordinately fond of reading other peoples' letters — the more intelligent, the better. So I'm drooling (slightly) over Mr Postie's delivery today:

Letters of Ted Hughes

Often more revealing than their diaries, I like to think.

I wonder...

... if the boy Dave is upset at dropping to #11 in the Forbes list of most powerful, splendid chaps on the planet? After all, that does place him below the boss of a gigantic supermarket chain! Who knows? Perhaps (like me) he regards it as all rather silly. (Link.)

Virtual Austen?

No thanks, just shoot me now! They are attempting to kickstart the funding for a virtual Regency England multi-person rôle-playing game, and are using one of my relatively recent acquisitions as a guidebook to some of the likely strategies needed for "success".



1  On all the evidence available to me this sunny morning, at least.