Miscellaneous

On The Internet No One Can Hear You Scream (Because You Don’t Have A Mouth)

Harlan Ellison’s 1967 work “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” looms large on the internet. The Hugo award winning short story tells the tale of the only five people left alive after civilisation has been wiped out by a supercomputer called “AM”. Initially a weapons system in an escalated cold war (“Allied Mastercomputer”), AM becomes self aware (and namewise moves…

Beam Me Up Softlord

I live in a flatshare. Late one evening a few months back, we needed some emergency maintenance done – needing a fix sharpish, we called someone out and paid upfront. The next day we asked our landlord to reimburse us for the cost of this maintenance; he replied with a text saying that he was unwilling to cough up because the tone…

Politics and Dreams

I really have trouble understanding people who think of politics as a dry topic, or who view it as all wonkery and triangulation. Politics is completely insane and weirdly emotional (did you know Peter Mandelson once phoned Gordon Brown to tell him, “I love you, but I can destroy you”?) and it leaches into the lives of activists on all fronts. It’s…

Faith and the Left in the 21st Century

    A few months ago, I found myself debating with some politically like-minded friends whether or not religion could be ‘compatible’ with socialism.  The broad consensus went something like this: individual religious belief is fine, provided it’s confined to the private sphere, some of the great socialists of history were also people of deep faith, but ‘Organised Religion’ –– like, say,…