The Nameless Horror

Adam Curtis - What the Fluck?

Of course our time is completely different from the age of the muckrakers. There isn’t the terrible poverty - nor the violent strikes where workers were gunned down by private armies.

But in other ways there are similarities. New technologies and giant financial systems are transforming society. They bring with them great benefits and exciting new ways of living - but at the same time there have been massive increases in inequality.

I have a soft spot for Adam Curtis, and in his latest blog piece he is in excellent form.

Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel.

Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.

Charlie Stross on WWI

Dave, if you’re reading this, I’d like you to imagine the class you were a member of at age 16. This class probably had 20-25 boys in it. To put the first world war in perspective, I’d like you to line your classmates up against a notional wall. Now imagine it’s 1914, and you and your classmates are 16, and we’re going to emulate the first world war. I want you to take a revolver, load one chamber with a bullet, and play Russian Roulette with each boy in turn. One random trigger pull each, up close against their head. If the gun doesn’t go off, fine: if it blows their skull apart, reload with one round and proceed to the next boy.

(Busy so never got round to posting this on the 11th.)

Shut It Down

I haven’t emptied the database yet, but as of last night, 3NJ is officially off the air and there’s just the goodbye message up at the site. My genuine thanks to everyone who took part or supported the project; without you it would never have had a chance at all.