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Eddie Mair | 16:51 UK time, Tuesday, 26 June 2007

You know what to do...


  1. At 04:59 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    pip... pip... piiiiiiiiiip!

    Cue, Eric!


  2. At 05:01 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Quentin Davies: a friend of mine, living just over the county border from me in Mr D's constituency, reacted thus:

    "Then I shall demand that he, as my elected CONSERVATIVE mp, stand down immediately and instigate a by-election. He was elected to represent the conservative party for this constituency...

    "Watch this space. What's the betting he says "no"?"

    Good point!


  3. At 05:05 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Is it expected that someone or some institution will actually PAY for the services of Busted-Flush in the middle-east?

    Perhaps if they wait until he has become a Roman Catholic, the job could be assigned as a penance, and done for nothing.


  4. At 05:07 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Is it expected that someone or some institution will actually PAY for the services of Busted-Flush in the middle-east?

    Perhaps if they wait until he has become a Roman Catholic, the job could be assigned as a penance, and done for nothing.


  5. At 05:13 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I've just been looking at the webcam (as you do) and am puzzled to see somebody sitting in Eddie's chair who looks decidedly like he is sporting a beard.

    What do other froggers think? Is it my eyes, or has Brian Perkins taken over the PM chair?

  6. At 05:15 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Update! Update!

    The man with a beard in Eddie's chair has morphed into a beardless Eddie. Phew!

    I know Eddie's worrying about his hair these days, but growing excess chin hair wasn't the right solution .....

  7. At 05:20 PM on 26 Jun 2007, RS wrote:

    I think I just heard an academic sort refer to an 'exceptional precipitation event'. He meant, I assume, a lot of rain. Listening to such joyless jargonising is even more depressing than the weather.

  8. At 05:31 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Big Sister: man with beard has moved across to his rightful place at Eric's left hand.

    Perhaps he was just keeping the seat warm for him?


  9. At 05:49 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Thank Heavens y'all got Clare Short in! It's about time somebody punctured this silly balloon.

    I have a suggestion for a game: Let's try and suggest candidates for the Quartet Envoy who are LESS suitable than our EX-PM:

    I'll start: Cheney


  10. At 06:06 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Eric, in the spirit of the Glass Box ... why were you so gentle with Quentin Davies?

    'I've been elected so that's that' is not an adequate answer, from a man who was elected as a Tory and expects now to continue standing for the (supposedly) opposite party.

    I quite like QD as an MP: he's not normally pompous or evasive, and as far as I can see has been a fairly effective constituency MP for Stamford.

    But it's undemocratic that the people who elected him don't get the chance to say whether they'd rather keep QD the man, or have AN Other the Tory.


  11. At 06:33 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    I'm sure the surviviors and families of the Kurds who were poisoned by Sadam Hussein do not share Clare Short's views. Not to mention all the people he had murdered and of course not lets forget the ones he murdered himself in cold blood. I believe Saddam coined a phrase "people are trouble, no people no trouble". Makes sense I suppose if you're a psychopathic, murdering dictator with designs on invading the your neighbouring Arab countries then destroying Isarel.

    I have a very well educated Muslim female ex-friend who thinks that Saddam was just simply misunderstood. When I pointed out that wanted to exterminate the Kurds she said "Ahhcc, but, they're just mountain people".

  12. At 07:11 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    1. Dick Cheney
    2. David Irving
    3. Meyer Kahane

  13. At 08:31 PM on 26 Jun 2007, tony ferney wrote:

    I found the relentless questioning of the victims of flood damage unnecessary and distasteful. It was as if the interviewer was taking some kind of voyeuristic-cum-sadistic pleasure in dwelling on the details of these people's misfortunes.

    Definitely sub-standard in my book.

  14. At 08:59 PM on 26 Jun 2007, b carbery wrote:

    Totally agree with you Tony F.Turned off Radio 5 live earlier in the day for same kind of interview. How do we stand on some kind of relief fund?

  15. At 10:37 PM on 26 Jun 2007, admin annie wrote:

    while I agree with your friend Fifi that QD should stand in a by-election, he should realise that QD was not elected to 'represent the conservative party in that constituency' but to represent the peole of the constituency whatever their political views.

    as for TB riding off into the sunset to save the middle east - oh please!

    have just watched News at 10 on BBC1 which had a piece from the photographer Nick Danziger. Apparently our Tone got ND to come in and take photos of him all through the Iraq war. There has to be a word for this sort of vainglorious arrogance but I haven't quite found it yet.

  16. At 10:43 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Nigel N wrote:

    As Fifi remarks, rather generous on QD. I would have liked something about which Labour policies he so likes -- after all, GBrown has not been very forthcoming on that question.

  17. At 12:00 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Ruth and Tony: But don't we need reminding, here in the drier places (so far), that those who've been flooded out are suffering more than just soggy carpets and inconveniently inaccessible drinks cupboards?

    The woman who sobbed on Radio 4 was distressing ... but she reminded me how distressed I'll feel if it comes to me to wonder how I'll manage my late mother-out-law's upright piano upstairs.

    I think the sooner we start talking about Global Wetting, rather than 'warming', the better prepared we'll be to deal with the consequences.

    Anyone who doubts what I'm considering should read a short John Wyndham novel called The Kraken Wakes ... salutory and all too believable.d


  18. At 12:00 AM on 27 Jun 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Don't know Quentin Davies?, but heard the programme - and it did seem, as Fifi pointed out, that you were, for want of a better word, 'lenient' ?

    However - I did educate myself - and the time in a hot bath flew by.

    I've been shocked and surprised by the fact that so few people seem to have taken out 'contents insurance' in the Sheffield area floodings?


  19. At 12:46 AM on 27 Jun 2007, David Faulkner wrote:

    Princley emmissions are down by 9%
    He admitts to being very green
    Because he does not burn fuel like us
    he gets the nearest reduduntant chip fat stuff
    and pollutes our countryside with it
    this I am sure will not sustain the idiot

    David Faulkner

  20. At 12:59 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Annie (15) : There's only one way to find out whether people want to keep on QD the Man, or AN Other the Tory .. and that's a by-election.

    To say: 'No, no, the people elected me,' without even emphasising the ME in that statement, is as weasley as anything our Tone has slimed out of since the 45 minutes fiasco (which fooled me at the time, and I've been annoyed* about it ever since).

    * there is no Fifi Rhymng Slang for what I wanted to say here really!


  21. At 07:05 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Paul wrote:


    I would say that not confronting misinformation on potential "psychopathic, murdering dictators" with expantionist gaols is as important as the effect of global warming and global wetting on this planet.

    In my opinion encouraging people not to pave every bit of garden which surrounds their homes is a good place to start.

    It is the rich of the world who have caused most climate change, even the rich of poor countries. Let's try to talk them into taking more responsibility, hmmnnn

  22. At 09:23 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    re QD: I doubt that the majority of people who vote actually vote for the person rather than the party. If that were the case, then there would be far fewer "safe seats", and election literature/appearances/hustings would be far more based on "What I can do for the constituency" rather than the current emphasis on the Party allegiance and manifesto. So, that being the situation, I think it only fair to QDs constituents that a By-Election take place. After all, if he is confident that he has the support of the constituents, what's he got to lose?

  23. At 09:36 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Fifi (17) - so glad to find another fan of John Wyndham. His portraits of what might happen in major catastrophes, although in the novels triggered by 'fantastic' events, are very plausible. Plots still being re-worked by others e.g. Day of the Triffids/28 Days later .

    Difficult to get interviews with flood victims right. I think it is worth highlighting insurance issues 'no-one thinks it will ever happen to them' etc and our increased vulnerabilities due to building in inappropriate places, covering the world in roofs and tarmac, destroying greenery etc. Also the contents of our houses and the materials used in construction don't stand wetting.

    A friend of my daughter lived in a house on the Severn that had been flooded regularly for hundreds of years. The floors were stone, the building timber framed and when flood came they simply hung the furniture on hooks in the beams and moved upstairs. If you must live in a flood plain this seems about the only sensible way to do it.

  24. At 10:21 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    We've just been discussing the QD interview. You may well be right that it was lenient. My intention was to be gentle and teasing rather than forensic. It clearly didn't work to many people's ears. Had he been a more senior or front bench Tory figure I might have chucked a few old quotes at him and "had a go" but to me that seemed a bit obvious. And of course I am never that. Ahem. Anyway - sorry it wasn't up to the standard you wanted!

  25. At 10:49 AM on 27 Jun 2007, RJD wrote:

    Sorry guys, this talk of Quentin Davies and whether he should stand in a by-election is just so much nonsense. Every party over the years has had defections from and to it - usually there is no by-election.

    When someone enters the ballot box they put a tick against a person's name not against a political party. Yes, in most cases the person will be associated with a party but it is the person that is elected in a constituency, not the party. If voting were for a party and people then appointed, I could see the call for a by-election being justified.

    Look at the wide divergence of views of individuals within say, the Labour Party. There are MPs elected because of who and what they are and not because they are in any way slavishly adherent to the Party line. Ditto for the Conservatives and Lib Dems.

    Also remember that a Member of Parliament is not sent to Westminster to represent his party, he is sent to represent his constituents – all of them!

    I’m afraid Quentin Davies’s constituents will have to wait until the next election – and quite right too!

  26. At 10:50 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Thanks Eddie. I'm in general agreement on the probable balance of 'ordinary folk' voting for party rather than person, and that's how the parties like it. I deprecate the practice as my namelink will indicate.

    A by-election is definitely called for, and it was suggested on Newsnight that QD should stand for Sedgefield.

    Also on NN, an excellent and amusing comparison of the accessibility of our new PM Vs the Tory Pretender. Worth a 'watchagain'.

    As to Wyndham, I remember a BBC dramatisation of "The Chrysalids" - excellent.

    Jeffrey Archer
    George Wallace


  27. At 10:52 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Response to first (and second) attempt to post a message: xx- ed

    Can't load error template; got error 'Loading template 'error.tmpl' failed: HTML::Template->new() : Cannot open included file error.tmpl : file not found. at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/extlib/HTML/Template.pm line 1500 HTML::Template::_init_template('HTML::Template=HASH(0x118b7c5a0)') called at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/extlib/HTML/Template.pm line 1105 HTML::Template::_init('HTML::Template=HASH(0x118b7c5a0)') called at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/extlib/HTML/Template.pm line 999 HTML::Template::new('HTML::Template', 'type', 'filename', 'source', 'error.tmpl', 'path', 'ARRAY(0x1131c8330)', 'search_path_on_include', ...) called at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/lib/MT/App.pm line 736 eval {...} called at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/lib/MT/App.pm line 735 MT::App::load_tmpl('MT::App::Comments=HASH(0x101168e10)', 'error.tmpl') called at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/lib/MT/App.pm line 534 MT::App::show_error('MT::App::Comments=HASH(0x101168e10)', '') called at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/lib/MT/App.pm line 621 MT::App::run('MT::App::Comments=HASH(0x101168e10)') called at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/mt-comments.cgi line 80 Apache::ROOT::cgi_2dperl::mt::mt_2dcomments_2ecgi::handler('Apache=SCALAR(0x111dfe7c0)') called at /usr/local/perl/lib/site_perl/5.6.1/sun4-solaris/Apache/Registry.pm line 149 eval {...} called at /usr/local/perl/lib/site_perl/5.6.1/sun4-solaris/Apache/Registry.pm line 149 Apache::Registry::handler('Apache=SCALAR(0x111dfe7c0)') called at /dev/null line 0 eval {...} called at /dev/null line 0 '. Giving up. Original error was

    No ObjectDriver defined at /home/system/cgi-perl/mt/lib/MT/Object.pm line 144.

  28. At 10:59 AM on 27 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    It occurs to me that it may not be all that easy to get contents insurance if one's house is on a flood plain.

    I have a feeling that I heard or read a story a couple of years or so back that indicated that the big insurance companies were no longer prepared to insure people against flooding if their house had flooded before -- mean of them, but understandable.

    Perhaps PM might do a piece covering that, and finding out about the insurance situation for eg people who buy the projected new houses in the Lee Valley in London (the land that belongs to the rate-payers, is being stolen from them for the Olympics and then sold for speculative building instead of being given back to the people it belongs to) or anyone in new houses on flood plains, even if those houses haven't *yet* flooded.

    Is it just that the premiums are astronomical, or is it that the insurers won't touch such houses at all? That sort of question might be worth finding out about, to sound an allarm for anyone thinking of buying their first home and could be left with nothing if it floods.

  29. At 11:02 AM on 27 Jun 2007, RJD wrote:

    Ed I (27) - Have you tried cleaning away the fluff that gathers around the air inlet to the fan?

  30. At 11:03 AM on 27 Jun 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Re: QD

    I think there should definitely be a by election; in the latest local election my voting decision was very much influenced by the what party the prospective bod was 'attached' to. Yes, their personality and achievemnets had a lot to do with it but if I voted for someone who stood for Lib Dem and then defected to the BNP mide term I'd be mortified!

    As FF said if he is so confident why not chance it?

  31. At 11:12 AM on 27 Jun 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Chris -
    It really does depend on what kind of exposure the Insurers have had in the past. Some bump up the premiums, some put on a high flood excess, some won't touch an area at all.

  32. At 12:36 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    witchiwoman @31, Thanks! (Living near the top of a hill, I hadn't really given much thought to flooding until I watched the road outside my house turn into a sudden river the other afternoon...) In that case it definitely might be worth having a report about it just to draw attention to these nasty facts: it could be a shock after buying a house to find that one can't get insurance for its contents.

    In fact it would be useful requirement for inclusion in those compulsory home information pack thingies we were discussing a couple of weeks ago. Was there any mention of 'can this house be insured' as a question they ought to provide an answer for, I wonder?

  33. At 12:53 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    So Chris,

    We both appear to be 'fools' on the hill!

    With long familiarity I've become quite an appreciator of the paths water takes over landscapes. It's yet another way into an appreciation of the natural world and reading the history of its development from the clues visible in the present.

    It's also worth noting that the archetypal 'prime' homesite is on a bluff overlooking a broad valley, as described by E.O. Wilson (yet another male - and a misogynist to boot) in his Biodiversity tome.


  34. At 01:26 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    On QD: He was elected to represent ALL his constituents. I have never been able to make up my mind whether it is better to have an MP who is in Government or Opposition. If the former, (s)he may have more clout but that's of no use if you are not in agreement with Govt. policy; if the latter they may make more fuss but probably be impotent. Since "Defectors" have not previously had to face by-elections, I think they should let him carry on in the New Labour party, which is hardly any different from the Tories anyway.

    On floods: I thought the interview with a victim was moving and sensitive. Stop reminding me about taking out trees, though. We spent much of Saturday trying to do something to counteract the eco-vandalism perpetrated by our next door neighbour. As for global wetting, are we back with Crossing Continents?

    Ed I (3) Very amusing and apt. Worth posting twice.

  35. At 01:40 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Ed I @27

    I don't think I ought to post the 1700+ error messages I get told about when I go to the Beach! Even at a single line each, they'd take up rather a lot of the Frog. Do you suppose there is any point in mentioning them to Marc when he gets back?

    I ought to emphasise that these ubiquitous error messages (involving a red button turning up on the screen, a very slow response to anything, and what it calls "stalled" at regular intervals, this last meaning "forget it, close the browser, turn off the machine and start again, it's your only hope") did not appear ten days ago, and that (not being one who fixes things when they are working) I haven't been fiddling with this computer: it was set up for me by someone who knew what he was doing, and I have left it as it was when he gave it to me. So it seems likely that what has changed might just be something at the BBC rather than something at this end.

    Oh, and that's iCab; Netscape on the other machine doesn't offer me error messages apart from the cryptic "an error has occured", it simply falls over at regular intervals, freezes the machine and requires a restart; this usually happens when I have tried to open the "comments" bit of entries.

  36. At 02:00 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    On iCab, Wikipaedia:
    iCab attracts criticism for:

    * Worse performance than the Gecko- and WebCore-based browsers.[citation needed]
    * Instability, relative to its competitors (but the current final version seems to be more stable than the beta versions).[citation needed]
    * A perceived lack of interface polish, or overcrowding of features.[citation needed]
    * Insufficient compatibility with more intricate JavaScript-powered web sites.[citation needed]

    And Praise (?)
    One interesting feature of iCab is the iCab-Smiley. Depending on the validity of the HTML of the web site currently viewed, it will smile or look grim. Clicking on the smiley will bring up a list of any errors on the page, while shift-clicking it will activate an Easter egg.


  37. At 02:16 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    David Faulkner (19)

    Preenz Chawles runs his vehicles on used chip fat. What a good thing we peasants keep eating fish & chips, otherwise he'd run out.

    The hidden face of "Sustainability".

  38. At 02:29 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:


    At the risk of complicating things - have you tried Opera? (www.opera.com). I used to run it on Windoze 95 with 16 MB of memory, and it wasn't bad. It's supposed to be light on memory requirement, though I don't know how the latest version compares with current Netscape.

    Best wishes,
    Vainly here.

  39. At 02:43 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Jan wrote:

    Ruth (11)

    Strong argument especially when mixed with fact don't go down well in this setting. I think the word "ASS" probably reflects the individual who wrote it. All 'cliques' behave the same.

    For me, plain argument often conveys more than reams and reams of blah-d-blah.

  40. At 02:59 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Chris - I hope you won't mind, but I copied your story suggestion re insurance into an email and popped it off to PM.

    With your name firmly attached, I hasten to add!

    I've already had one story idea accepted, so I'm hopeful that your excellent idea will find favour too.


  41. At 03:22 PM on 27 Jun 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Fifi - good plan! I was surprised my first one to Chris got through as was malicioused (and then my second one disappeared!)

    I did go on to say that when the original Boscastle flood occurred the general line form the Industry was 'freak accident, won't effect premiums/excesses' etc. Come renewal some companies renewed as before, some didn't, some declined to invite renewal. Even now a lot of companies even refuse to quote and I can't help but think that recent events won't have helped much either.

    Unfortunately Insurers, as a body, don't often have a cohesive approach to things, take for example Driving Other Cars extensions on motor policies; some companies still offer it, some don't (my advice is take nothing for granted!)

    Granted my experience in the trade is a little limited (4 years) but I have found that just because one Insurer says no it doesn't follow that the others will.

    Sorry - v boring I know (and I do this for a living!)

  42. At 04:10 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Witchi - you bore for a living?

    In the words of Saint Victor de Meldrew: 'I don't believe it!'

    Fifi ;o)

  43. At 04:11 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Fifi @ 40, of course I don't mind! It didn't occur to me to do it, but if it's a good idea, then what does it matter who suggests it? And thank you for thinking it worth passing on...

    witchiwoman @ 41, even limited experience of the Insurance Biz is a lot more than I have, so I was very grateful to have information coming from a more informed source.

    You're not alone in the 'malicious' post-losing business: I have had that twice for something just now, and have no idea whether it won't appear at all, will appear once, or will appear twice. Discomwobblous, *I* call it. (Dons the hat of a Humpty Dumpty and wanders away pondering on the unlikelihood of being part of a 'clique' for the first time in my life: I don't know whether to laugh at the absurdity of the suggestion or weep for the folly of it. Either way, if replying about something one agrees with, or alternatively disagrees with, makes one so, I suppose I could be thus accused, or honoured, or whatever one is deemed to be at that point... But if one is in agreement with different people on two different topics, is one then part of two different cliques, or is it all the same clique, and if the people one agrees with on one subject, one disagrees with on another, how can one be in a clique with all of them? It's all very puzzling. Maybe it helps to be simple-minded and have a black-and-white view on everything, of the 'if you don't agree with me slavishly about everything you're against me' school. Or of the 'if you criticise anything I say then you are EVIL and probably part of an AXIS' breed, maybe. Fish look silly in hats anyway.)

  44. At 04:25 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    VH @ 38, no Windoze here, it's a Macintosh Quadra 650, and I shall ask the bloke who gave it to me whether he thinks it is capable of running Opera. Thank you for the suggestion. But I bet it will still quail when faced with the Beach! :-)

  45. At 04:55 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Vyle should know. He does Fortran!

  46. At 07:41 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    (As mentioned @43, it looks as if this has vanished forever, so I'll try reposting it. After which of course the previous two attempts will immediately unstick, so if they do I apologise for repeating myself.)

    Fifi @ 20, the only reason I didn't give the 45 minute thing credence was that I was in a position to ask someone who probably knew what he was talking about, and was told that *we* almost certainly wouldn't get anything launched within 45 minutes from scratch, as it was being claimed Iraq could do -- and we weren't keeping our nukes so well hidden that they defied discovery, so presumably would be able to get them going faster because we wouldn’t have to travel to wherever they were before starting the launch programme.

    Ed @33, It seemed a little strange for you to be accused (on no evidence at all) of hating women, so I went to have a check in the dictionary, and found that if one looks in Chambers or the S.O.D, where all the "miso" boo-words get lumped together, the two words "misogyny" and "misology", could look (to someone unfamiliar with either) as if they both meant "hatred of reason, reasoning or knowledge", the definition that is immediately after both. I think that may have been the intended gibe, though of course one can never be sure. :-)

    For those who are uncertain about long words, Collins and Webster's are safer to consult because they give each different word an entry of its own, which makes it more difficult to get confused.

    As for iCab, thanks for the info, but it still doesn't explain why it has started hating the Frog's html all-of-a-sudden, and nowhere else's anything like as much. :-( (though it claims it can find five html errors in your site, tut, tut.)

  47. At 08:09 PM on 27 Jun 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Fifi, what was your story suggestion? Please let us know......has it been used yet or is that pleasure yet to come?

  48. At 12:55 AM on 29 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chris (46),

    1. Misanthropy, perhaps, but neither of the others. I'm a philogynist and a philologist, in fact. ;-)

    2. Are we sure it was me being accused of misogyny? It might have been you.

    3. Only five errors?


  49. At 11:50 AM on 29 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Ed @ 48

    1. I suspect that 'awkward cuss' covers that! Definitely, in the case of being a misanthrope, and probably, in the case of being a philogynist and a philologist simultaneously, for surely one must be redundant at any given moment?

    2. We can't really be sure who is being accused of what when the attempted insults fly so free, but I *think* it was you under fire there, because it was a follow-up at whoever had said she choked on her toast when it was suggested that you were a troll, and it appeared before my post on trolls and their habits.

    3. It told me about only five errors when I went to one of your links. There might be more on the rest of your site, I suppose. I'm not going to go looking.

    The real drawback to the frog, as opposed to a newsgroup, is that one can't easily employ the killfile with a loud cry of *plonk*. I expect that's why so many born trollish plonkees end up in LiveJournal and the blogosphere, two places where they hope it will be hard to ignore them. The rule for newsgroups used to be that if the number in the killfile exceeded the number of active posters, it was time to leave that group and find somewhere less infested.

  50. At 01:14 PM on 29 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chris (49),

    "in the case of being a philogynist and a philologist simultaneously, for surely one must be redundant at any given moment?"

    Does that count as a misogynist remark?

    I think it probably was me, and the accusation was probably due to: 1) He doesn't like me. 2) I'm a woman. 3) Therefore, he doesn't like women.

    I bow to your obviously greater experience of news/discussion groups. I have only attended the BBC sites and sometimes ecopolitics, climate. Gaian, places. Never heard of a 'killfile'.


    P.S. I did want to compliment you on winning the contest to find someone truly less suitable as a peace ennvoy to the M-E - Sir Salman!

  51. At 05:30 PM on 29 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Ed @ 50,

    "in the case of being a philogynist and a philologist simultaneously, for surely one must be redundant at any given moment?"
    'Does that count as a misogynist remark?'

    My quip was unreasonable, because although reading might be frowned upon by a lady in some circumstances (or worse than merely frowned upon) it might be ok to read to one's beloved on other occasions or to read a book that she had written, though perhaps not quite at *any* time.

    Sometimes though I have a terrible urge to recapitulate the phylogeny of certain individuals, with amendment to it at some point in say the Pleistocene. That way they might have evolved into something more sensible.

    'I think it probably was me, and the accusation was probably due to: 1) He doesn't like me. 2) I'm a woman. 3) Therefore, he doesn't like women.'

    Ah, I see: one of those alogical propositions, marginally less easy to unravel than the merely illogical. Thank you.

    A killfile is an instruction to your machine to treat any incoming mail or posts from a given email address as spam and send it straight to the trash-file unopened. It can be a positive step towards ignoring trolls.

    For your notebook: I can't find an attribution, but roughly it goes

    He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool: shun him.
    He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, lacks instruction: teach him.
    He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep: wake him.
    He who knows, and knows that he knows, is a wise man: follow him.

    The first category covers the troll, who never sleeps; the second fails to reach those who sleep in class or in public; the third includes many, many people who bitterly resent being woken before the alarm goes off. :-)

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