Friday 26 August, 2022

Fully knitted-out

Seen in a lovely wool shop in Riga.

Quote of the Day

“In so far as the family as an institution turns women into darling little slaves and men into their chief providers and unweaned dependents, the problem of a satisfactory marriage remains incapable of a purely private solution.”

  • C. Wright Mills in The Sociological Imagination, one of my favourite books.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Mark Knopfler & James Taylor | Sailing to Philadelphia


Thanks to Kai Green for the suggestion.

Long Read of the Day

Half a Billion in Bitcoin, Lost in the Dump

Terrific New Yorker story by D. T. Max about how to lose half a billion dollars.

In a cluttered desk drawer, he found two small hard drives. One, he knew, was blank. The other held files from an old Dell gaming laptop, including e-mails, music that he’d downloaded, and duplicates of family photographs. He’d removed the drive a few years earlier, after he’d spilled lemonade on the computer’s keyboard. Howells grabbed the unwanted hard drive and threw it into a black garbage bag.

Later, when the couple slid into bed, Howells asked Hafina, who dropped off their kids at day care each morning, if she would mind taking the trash to the dump also. He remembers her declining, saying, “It’s not my fucking job—it’s your job.” Howells conceded the point. As his head hit the pillow, he recalls, he made a mental note to remove the hard drive from the bag. “I’m a systems engineer,” he said. “I’ve never thrown a hard drive in the bin. It’s just a bad idea.”

The next day, Hafina got up early and took the garbage to the landfill after all. Howells remembers waking upon her return, at around nine. “Ah, did you take the bag to the tip?” he asked. He told himself, “Oh, fuck—she’s chucked it,” but he was still groggy, and he soon fell back asleep….

Read on and wonder…

Britain sets out roadmap for self driving vehicle usage by 2025

From Reuters

LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it wanted a widespread rollout of self-driving vehicles on roads by 2025, announcing plans for new laws and 100 million pounds ($119.09 million) of funding.

The government said it wanted to take advantage of the emerging market for autonomous vehicles, which it valued at 42 billion pounds and estimated could create 38,000 new jobs.

”We want the UK to be at the forefront of developing and using this fantastic technology, and that is why we are investing millions in vital research into safety and setting the legislation to ensure we gain the full benefits that this technology promises,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said…

This from the government of a country which is unable to fix the potholes in its roads.

I’ve filed it under Magical Thinking.

My commonplace booklet

“The country’s agents stamped on the backside will carry the honour of the guarantee in their country.”

  • Akai tape-recorder guarantee


  • Bar notice on a ferry in Finland

(Both from Derek Winston’s French Widow in Every Room, published by Unwin in 1987 and a constant source of joy for this blogger.)

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