Category Archives: Internet

What to do if the internet dies

Many of us rely on the internet. Sometimes we even do something useful with it, like sharing cupcake recipes and telling strangers why their opinions about Brexit and Trump are stupid. 

But have you thought what you’d do if the internet died? 

There are various technical things that could go wrong with the internet. These are too technical for this article. And some outside scientific events could also cause a catastrophic breakdown of the internet. Again you’ll have to take my word for this. 

Here, instead, are five tips to survive the death of the internet. 

1. Panic. This could take the form of screaming, scrunching yourself into a ball or shaking uncontrollably. 

2. Get a paintball gun or water pistol. This will help you to rob necessities without murder complicating things. 

3. Stock up on necessities like Flakes and Quavers. 

4. Have a plan. For example – how are you going to share inspiring advice or updates on your weight? Round robin letter? Phone calls? Radio phone-ins? 

5. Wait. Someone is bound to invent a new internet at some point. 

I hope you’ve found this article useful. If not, I have other advice on what to do if you find a frog in your garden and how to decide between chips and mashed potatoes. 

Do the British really care about Brexit? Yawns speak louder than abusive tweets

Leave supporters are threatening to kill, rape and castrate anyone they accuse of trying to stop Brexit. (I made the castrate bit up on the grounds that Twitter users should be less sexist.)

But is this sort of thing really British?Do the British really care about leaving or staying in the EU? And does anyone understand – or even want to understand – what’s going on? 

The British are supposed to embody the virtues of tolerance, fair play and respect for the other side. But that’s wrong – the myth was made up in the 18th and 19th centuries as a cover for racist imperialism.

Actually, the virtues of the average Briton are inertia, ignorance and apathy.

The British have better things to do than trying to understand complicated issues – preferring instead to watch Strictly, beg on the streets or write racist and homophobic tweets, depending on their socio-economic status, attitude to ballroom dancing and levels of bigotry.

Because of this horror of anything complicated or nuanced, their opinions are created by the ‘newspaper’ they read. Here are some examples:

Express readers obsess about the weather, Princess Diana and wanting to get their country back. 

Daily Mail readers are disgusted by sodomy, immigrants living in lavish houses and the arrogance of gay high court judges who dare to uphold the principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. 

Sun readers are experts on breasts, the sex lives of the stars and foreigners coming over here, taking our jobs and raping our women. 

Except the British aren’t actually that bothered about any of these ‘issues’. Not really. Not if you asked them to be honest – except for the breasts. Sun readers love page three.

So what do the British really care about?

Smartphones

Dogs and cats

Football

Cars – especially Clarkson

Hair styles and dyes 

Beauty – especially nails and eyebrows

Christmas

Sleep

Rollercoasters

Tattoos

House prices

Having sex in budget hotels

The bloody weather

Shopping

Celebrities shagging each other

EastEnders and Corrie

Greggs

Strictly Come Dancing

Bank holidays – wanting more

Traffic jams – wanting fewer

Celebrity paedophiles

Holidays in the sun

Getting pissed 

Debt

Jacuzzis 

Speed cameras

Facial hair

Weed

Sexy fancy dress

Writing abusive tweets or facebook posts – threatening to kill, rape (or, hopefully in a less sexist future, castrate) people they don’t like.

‘Political issues’ – and the EU is one of the more arcane – come about 158th on this list of priorities for the British, just behind ‘creosoting the fence’ and just above ‘the Royal Family’.

I’m off for a nap. 

The truth about a Digital Detox

At the start of the year, I decided I should make a new year’s resolution.

I’d already stopped drinking lager in vast quantities and smoking my beloved Marlboro reds years before – and I was getting twitchy.

I like giving things up, you see. Especially ones that kill you.

Having said that, there’s no way I’m ever giving up Tramadol, fizzy Ribena or Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.

So it seemed obvious to go cold turkey on some other serious addictions – social media and reading the news.

I’ve been obsessed with the news for over 30 years – ever since the nightly reports on the BBC from the Arbitration and Conciliation Service, ACAS. I was even a journalist for a while.

And I’m a nosy swine who likes reading about other people’s misery. And I’m a sucker for a glib, shallow inspirational quote.

Three months without my regular digital updates, am I really still alive and compos mentis (Latin for sane)?

Well yes – and no. But that’s a different blog.

So what happened?

On the positive side:

I feel less twitchy about the imminent threat of being shot dead or blown up by ISIS, or whatever the media calls them now.

I feel less angry that we have a government full of the highest class of twat imaginable.

I haven’t missed the inspirational quotes at all. Strange, that.

On the negative side:

I don’t know what several acquaintances have been eating at each meal – and in between each meal.

I’ve started obsessively looking at my bank balance, the weather forecast for 20+ locations and I’m addicted to Wikipedia’s random page generator.

I haven’t seen Donald Trump’s picture all year.

As is usual with experiments of this kind, then, a mixed bag of results. I may return to my former addictions – or I may not.

But one thing is certain: the phrase ‘digital detox’ is really annoying.

Inspirational fail: Stop posting internet memes telling me how to live

by Simon Henry @simlington

You can’t move on the internet for ‘inspirational’ quote memes telling us how to live our lives.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Lennon, Einstein and Dr Seuss telling us what to do.

They were all pretty decent coves weren’t they?

They had dreams, they actually achieved things, they wrote really funny and inspiring books and songs.

But it’s not just inspirational geniuses being quoted now.

‘Spiritual gurus’, religious nutters and even normal people armed with apps that create these memes easily and quickly have got in on the act.

You can’t move for this sort of inane crap from Deepak Chopra.

I know life is hard at times - and at least it doesn't mention God or Christ - but I still want to choke the person who produced this meme.

At least it doesn’t mention God or Christ – but I still want to choke the person who produced this meme.

He’s really really annoying – not least because he makes absolutely loads of money from this drivel.

But in his defence at least he doesn’t mention the dreaded …

God

This isn't the most sickly of religious inspirational memes, but it's still quite poor.

This isn’t the most sickly of religious inspirational memes, but it’s still really depressing.

As an atheist, I feel a very queasy about the Christian obsession with a half-naked men on a cross.

And it’s not enough for him to be crucified – Christians also have to drink his blood and and eat his body too. Poor Jesus.

Still, each to his or her own.

Then there’s the DIY stuff, made possible by the ubiquity of smartphones and their pesky apps.

These are usually produced by people who’ve obviously just had a relationship and/or emotional breakdown and are trying to convince themselves and the world that they’re okay.

Here’s an example.

Oh Christ you can feel the anger and pain can't you?

Oh Christ you can feel the anger and pain can’t you?

This stuff is pretty addictive. Let’s move on before we get stuck

So here’s an attempt to redress the balance.

I hope the examples I’ve created below provide a reminder to switch your brain off if you ever see these memes on your screen.

This is scientifically verifiable.

This is scientifically verifiable.

Failure is good. It means someone else gets to win. Don't worry about it. We're all dust anyway.

Failure is good. It means someone else gets to win. Don’t worry about it. We’re all dust anyway.

I don't even want to go there.

I don’t even want to go there.

Seems like pretty fair comment.

Seems like pretty fair comment.

Ah that’s better.

And just to get the message across, here’s a little friend I’ve made.

Get the idea?

I hope you like him – he may make another appearance soon.


 

If you enjoyed this, you may like a recent post, How Mindfulness can make us all a bit happier

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Copyright Simon Henry @simlington 2014