Turn on the TV let it drip right down in your eye

As people keep asking me off-line, here is the definition of the HDTV standard:

1280x720 OR 1920x1080 native resolution in square pixels
HDMI interface OR DVI with didgital audio interface
HDCP compatable

If your TV does not have this, it cannot play true HDTV.

The 'HD-Ready' sticked does not guarentee the above specs! Be sure to ask a service monkey when buying your TV.

Vilipend and amend the sins you condign

There has, of late, been a LOT of fuss over what political parties, and what they do or do not stand for.

Now, there is a debate to be had about of the grass-roots supporters, party membership, party leadership, or party representatives are best to judge what the party stands for as a whole.

However, let's face it, when deciding who to vote for, you really have to look at the candidates you are voting for first, then the manifesto. So, while I accept that UKIP may not be a bigoted party, their candidates certainly make enough bigoted statements to make voting for them problematic.

I can accept that many of the grass-roots support UKIP in order to deliver higher minimum wages, more protections for workers, more exports and fewer imports, etc. However, the party manifesto, statements by candidates, and votes made by candidates historically, point to a party who will remove minimum wage, gut human rights, - including protections for workers, and only object to international trade when it is against the interests of big businesses, not as a means to encourage domestic growth through subsidiary production.

In fact, if you look at what the UKIP grass-roots seem to want, then they are euro-sceptic Green Party supporters. Meanwhile, the UKIP leadership and candidates are more like Tories who find the modern Tory Party lacking in bigotry and movement towards classical fascism.

Now, UKIP supporters are not alone in this: Labour's grass roots, and, to a lesser-degree, Party membership, are much closer to the 1970's Labour Party than the "New-Labour" crowd, who are 1970's Tories, for example. However, in those cases, the gulf is not so large. Tee ethos of the party candidates is not such a polar opposite of the grass-roots.

All-in-all then, UKIP, as a party, may not be a group of bigoted classical fascists that their candidates are. However, next week, we're not voting for the party-as-a-whole; we're voting for the candidates. If the grass-roots have a problem with that, purge your ranks of these ne'er-do-wells and we'll talk.

(no subject)

In this post, I’m trying to clean up my own thoughts on a subject…

I’ve recently seen a lot of people use morality to argue against things they don’t like. Typical this is claimed to an argument for Moral Absolutism (sometimes combined with Moral Universalism), and against what they term “Moral Relativity”.

It should be noted that this “Moral Relativity” typically contrasts Moral Authority, while Moral Absolutism contrasts Moral Conseqentialism). This then seems strange.

However, as we will see, these arguments are actually for moral Authority, and they only claim Moral Absolutism to lend credence to the authority of the proponent to force their morality on others.

Moral absolutism argues that only an act itself can be moral/immoral, and that the context of the act (the circumstances surrounding the committing of the act, the intent of the action, the outcome of the action, etc) are irrelevant. As a result, an act is either moral or immoral (or possibly neutral).

In this case, if stealing is immoral, then it doesn’t matter if you are a poor man stealing bread to feed his starving family, or a rich man stealing bread from the starving poor out of malice, both are equally immoral an act of stealing.

In these arguments then, the proponent is usually arguing that their morality is correct and is an absolute. However, almost every time some keyboard warrior on the internet argues the case for behavioural restriction from Moral Absolutism, it includes some form of situational caveat that makes the argument non-absolute. Most people making these arguments are doing so to back up some form of bigotry and as a result, include within the arguments a contextual factor.

As an example, a common argument of this type is that “consensual homosexual intercourse” is immoral, but “consensual heterosexual intercourse” is not. In this case, we have two acts, “Consent” and “intercourse”.

The sexuality of the participants (or similarly, their relationship status), in a Moral Absolutism argument, is a circumstance, and other factors (level of romantic involvement, intent with regard to child bearing, etc) should not be relevant. If they where relevant, that would be a case of Moral Conseqentialism. The argument in Moral Absolutism is whether the “act” portion of the deed; “consent” and/or “intercourse”, is moral or immoral in ALL cases.

This is something that is seen over and over, the situational context, supposedly irrelevant in Moral Absolutism, is an integral part of the definitions of the Morality they are arguing for. They are not arguing for Moral Absolutism, but rather seeking to appeal to Moral Authority.

However, in order to argue Moral Authority, they need to have authority. As they do not have this, they are seeking to borrow the authority of Moral Absolutism to convince others of their rightness, since a pure argument from Moral Authority is easily ignored. This is then typically then intertwined with a condemnation of a miss-statement of Moral Relativity as some form of Moral Conseqentialism which is itself miss-stated, in order to reduce it’s appeal by associating it with immoral acts.

Can't we make then leave their hate behind?

Some quick thoughts on marriage equality.

Opponents of marriage equality keep getting upset when we call them “bigots”. Of course, as with many words, it has several possible meanings, the one in use here best being expressed as “those who negatively discriminate against others based on their involuntary membership of an arbitrary group, especially in matters unrelated to that group”.

So, when the HSE sets the maximum safe unassisted lift limit for women 5kg less than that for men, this is not bigotry as women are demonstrably less suited for lifting than men. On the other hand, banning women from manual handling for this same reason would be bigotry.

Normal human sexuality is scientifically defined as the that where sexual attraction to is limited to the post-pubescent sexual characteristics of some sub-group of humans. Thus heterosexuality is normal and natural. Has been shown to be innate and not a choice.

The best way to define rules and not have any bigotry is to define them in as broad a term as possible, without reference to irrelevant sub-categories. If you can define the rules in terms of “people” alone, there can be no bigotry. Note that actions and decisions are allowed.

Thus, those supporting marriage equality support the notion that “It should be legal for two consenting adults to marry”.

If opponents of marriage equality can come up with a similar statement that does not mention irrelevant arbitrary divides such as sexuality or gender, but forbids homosexuals from marrying, without invalidating any heterosexual union, I’d be interested to hear it.

Until they can make that argument, they’re bigots.

(And no, as we have freedom of conscience, your religion, which you get to decide on yourself, doesn’t count. If you don’t agree with your religion’s stance on homosexuality, there will be a variant of it that believes otherwise. Join that religion instead. Otherwise you’re just choosing a religion that agrees with your bigotry.)


Others have different points ofview

Home alone due to my body rebelling, so a cheery subject no doubt...

There’s a lot of talk about abortion and rape recently, mostly due to the idiots who compose the extreme right of politics in the USA.

Part of the problem then, is the terms used in the discussion, reducing all points to a matter of “pro choice” and “pro life”.

In the case of “pro choice”, a number of different reasoning lead to the exact same results. This is less problematic.

In the case of the pro life groups, a number of differing ideologies and principals lead to subtly different positions. The result of this is an apparent alliance between different groups with radically different goals and methods, owing to them all bearing the “pro-life” label. This then leads to undue support being attributed to a proposition, owing to its pro life branding.

So, the actual positions (not exhaustive no doubt), with accurately descriptive names that can be reasonable used in a discussion:

Pro Choice

This group believes for a number of reasons that the  rights of the mother outweigh the right of the club of cells she carries. Abortion is still undesirable though, a last resort, and so pro-choice people support comprehensive sex education and easy access to family planning.

Pro Life

This group believes that human life is sacrosanct and that the clump of cell she carries is a human life, and thus that the rights of the mother are outweighed by the right of the rights of the child. They will allow abortion in cases of non-viable pregnancy and the life of the mother. They further recognise that simply banning abortion will lead to back-street abortions and thus want to reduce the necessity for it, and thus support comprehensive sex education and easy access to family planning. It should also be noted that as a result of their support for all Human life, they would be against the death penalty and war, and for social safety net programs for the poor and needy.


This group believes that sex is only for the purposes of reproduction. They thus ban all contraception (since it isn’t needed, as you only have sex if you want to get pregnant), and all sex that can’t lead to pregnancy. They will allow abortion only in cases of rape (since it wasn’t the woman’s choice), non-viable pregnancies, the life of the mother, etc. They also support abstinence-only sex education.

Some also believe the pro-life argument about human life being sacred and thus they ban all abortion, save for the life of the mother

Some further support the pro-choice principal on the sanctity of all Human life, they would be against the death penalty and war, and for social safety net programs for the poor and needy.


This group believes that sex is only for the purposes of reproduction, and that it is dirty and shameful. They thus ban all contraception (since it isn’t needed, as you only have sex if you want to get pregnant), and all sex that can’t lead to pregnancy. They will not allow any abortion, since the after effects are the woman’s punishment for having sex. They also support abstinence-only sex education. Note that they justify the banning of rape-related abortion on the grounds that rape is the victim’s fault in some way (likely as a result of what they deem to be shameful behaviour).

It is also worth mentioning that some people subscribe to the non-scientific notion of life starting at fertilisation, rather than implantation, and thus consider certain contraceptive methods to effectively be abortions. This confuses the problem a lot.

Now, you might note that the group I labelled Pro-Life has most in common with the aims of the pro-choice movement. Indeed, studies have shown that those given comprehensive sex education have the highest incidences of both abstinence and contraceptive use, and the lowest incidences of STIs, un-planned pregnancy and abortion, and that pro-life-styled social programs lower the incidences of abortion. Since these two groups combined make a majority in most places, the argument should be about what programs work best to reduce the amount of abortion.

If people want to hold reproductionist view-points, fine, but their position is not the same as those who are pro-life. Repodcutionists must first successfully argue that sex is ONLY for reproduction before they can logically make their arguments about contraception and abortion.

The pro-shame groups also need to make further arguments to support their even more extreme positions.


Now the hour of my return is drawing near

Well, here I am, finished work for a week off :D

Alas, it will mostly consist of sorting out the house. Hopefully this will be the end of it until we're ready to re-fit and re-decorate.
Further, today it is fourteen years to the day that I left home for uni. A lot has changed in teh meantime of coure, but life is, in general, awesome.

Also, for those who've missed it, there's a BBQ at my place tomorrow evening (turning into a partay of we're rained out).
  • Current Music
    Iron Savior - Dragon's Rising

Bind all of us together, Ablaze with hope and free

So, much ado today about a minority fringe of Christianity's  disproportionally vocal extremist fringe proclaiming the discriminant Rapture.

And of course, a lot of people miss-interpreting this as typical of Christianity, ignoring the silent Christian majority who usually don't give theese guys validation by arguing with them.

However, some points to consider on the Rapture:

Theoretically, if God can do ANYTHING, and proof in the existence of God denies the faith in God Christianity as a whole insists is so important, would God not rapture people in such as way that there was no evidence they ever existed, thus... leaving no evidence of the rapture?

On the other hand, would it not be true that evidence of the Rapture in preventing faith would undermine the underlying tenants of Christianity, and hence disprove it as a religion?

Further, in the Bible it states that no mortal, angel, and not even Jesus knows when things will end, only God does. Thus if this IS in the bible as the claimants insist, does that mean they  then acknowledge the bible is flawed since it would be a direct contradiction? Either way, the "imminent" Rapture is not certain, since either interpretation could be equally wrong.

Further to all of this, Rapture eschatology originate with a Jesuit re-interpretation of the Revelation to John, which biblical scholars insist is a coded diatribe against the Roman Empire. This was reinterpreted to refute protestant claims about the Pope being the Antichrist. It is now used by the Pentecostal movement (who believe Catholicism isn't really Christianity) almost exclusively. Contradiction much?
  • Current Music
    The Prophecy - Rivers

A penny won't do

For those who don't know I've hurt my knee, very badly.

I am resultantly forced to sell my ticket for Rush in Manchester this Thursday , all reasonable offers considered.

I am, of course, gutted by this. The sawbones still don't know what I've done to my knee, but I've been given a three week sick note and strict instructions not to go anywhere unless absolutely necessary. I'll tell the full story later when my head clears from the painkillers they've had me on.

Get me down the rock club pretty damn quick

So, getting on for a year ago, Rockworld failed, and a slew of other nights sprung up to fill the void. Most of those nights died pretty quickly, and many others (some of which pre-dated Rockworld's demise) have folded too.

Now, there is no single reason all these clubs/nights failed. In most cases, it's a combination of several underlying reasons.

The first is due to how people deal with music. Most people don't actually like music as an art-form, rather they treat it as something in the background and something to dance to. These people learn to like specific songs that remind them of good times, and can hence be sold to.
The minority who like music though, really love music, and while they might like a few tracks on the same basis as the majority (typically where a person likes only one or two tracks by an artist), they otherwise tend to be fans of bands or at least albums. However, genres like we're discussing, counter-intuitively, have people who don't like music who consider themselves fans. As teenagers they find the sub-cultures attached to these genres attractive to and accepting of them, and grow to like certain popular tracks as a result*.

Thus a club night needs to cater to two diverse groups, the first who want the same narrow-selection of well-known tracks each week, and those who don't understand why you're playing such a boringly limited selection each week. You see, to the latter, if, say, Iron Maiden are popular, there's no reason not to play stuff like Out of the Silent Planet, Twilight Zone or The Black Bart Blues. They miss the former group not being familiar with this stuff. The former though aren't fans of Iron Maiden, the band isn't as popular as certain of their tracks. Each group cannot understand the other fully, the best we can hope for is to learn to understand the difference.

Alas, with alternative music, neither group usually has the numbers to make a regular night successful on their own.

The second problem is in how people access music. Go back fifteen years, and the record companies and mass-media still acted as gate-keepers to music. Resultantly, we had a (comparatively) narrow range of very popular acts. As the record companies have effectively abandoned alternative music over the last fifteen years though, and as the internet has taken their place, there are no gate-keepers. Any band can become well-known, and if you like a specific sub-genre, you can find bands easily. This leads to a (comparatively) wide range of fairly popular bands.

The result for clubs is that there is far less of a "mainstream" for most of the alternative genres. This means that it's harder to have dance-floor fillers, harder to find tracks with broad popularity amongst your customer base, and thus harder to play the kinds of music your clientèle enjoy. This is also why nights which are both occasional and specialist do so well.

As I mentioned previously, there are plenty of punters to be had, the clubs just haven't been delivering what people want, largely due to a lack of consensus amongst the customers as to what that is. Further, while the puk and goth scenes still seems to be in a determinant slow decline due to a lack of fresh blood**, occasional specialist nights still draw a crowd (just look how many goths travel significant distance to attend the Wendy House over in Leeds).

So, these two problems in consort make it very difficult for DJs to play to any given crowd successfully. Looking at rockworld it had four fairly big rooms. What it needed though was five or six smaller rooms to account for the ever diverging tastes.that's just to continue to support it's traditional crowd, not to start catering to the emos, nu-metallers, gothlings, new-wave-pop-rockers (or indie-rockers as they're perversely known), etc, etc.

Further to all this is a problem introduced with the move to twenty-four-hour licensing. Previously, people who wanted to continue boozing past eleven would be forced to accompany their mates to the club. This means that those wanting to booze and those wanting to dance would stay together.

Now however, the boozers can stay boozing on the cheap, which leaves the dancers the choice of abandoning their mates or abandoning what they want to do.

Further, the clubs are now in semi-direct competition with the bars for the business of these boozers, but are still pricing themselves as if they where not. Don't get me wrong that a small mark-up in a club is acceptable, but the large difference caused by the old pricing structure is detrimental.

*Incidentally, when these people join the work force and stop needing the sub-culture, their love of "our" music falls by the way-side, leading to the mistaken belief that music is for teenagers.
**I mentioned here how the scenes in Manchester are composed mostly of Students, the rock societies these days have only a very tiny number of goths/punks these days.  The reduced number of younger goths/punks leads to fewer younger kids being exposed to the music in a vicious cycle, causing those genres to "grey".