John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 68: Just Above The Plebs

by on Apr.28, 2011, under Rum Doings, The Rest

Today, in episode 68, we are not discussing: Are the councils bowing to politically correct madness in banning bunting for health and safety craziness?

But instead we talk about an upgrade to business class, and then with exceptional timing review 2007’s Portal. At length. W inevitably move on to discussing our complete lack of interest in tomorrow’s wedding, before moving on to some questions from Twitter. The first being, what are the ladylike things we do?

There’s chat about the inappropriateness of men taking their tops off in public, a trip to the zoo, some extreme snobbishness, and education reform. Oh, and is happiness a good thing?

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18 Comments for this entry

  • Xercies

    Interesting discussion on happiness to be honest, I never really thought of it that way. But humans have basically detached Happiness from an emotion to a goal that everyone should have and if you don’t have it in a certain abundance you are wrong and should get medical help.

    Your discussion on curing certain facits of humanity that might be considered negative is also intriguing especially to me, I have aspergers and I would definitely say No to any drug that could help my aspergers because basically i would be a totally different person without it. But is that certain facet of humanity negative? In some circles it is, proper Autism is also considered negative as well…should we cure those people?

    I don’t know the answer but it kind of has fascinated me, what do we consider beneficial and what do we consider negative. Its like, are all the mentally ill people in the hospitals because they should be there or because we perceive they should be there?

  • Alex B

    Heh – Glad I could contribute, I was trying to see how many subjects I could include in the 140 character limit. And yes, I did mean torches in the ‘Battery and bulb’ sense.

  • mister k

    I’d be careful to generalise one’s personal preference on education to all children. Structured play might yield results for some, but classrom teaching might work better for others. One of the neat things about the national curriculum is that its sort of an equilizer, in that while we all have different parents, we get the same education. Hypothetically. If schools didn’t vary drastically in quality. Still, the principle itself is splendid.

    Also, the yak yeti yak is the place to go for meals in Bath. Awesome nepalese food.

  • John Walker

    In my experience, those with Asperger’s have expressed the same – that it’s a part of who they are, and no matter who they’d be without it, they would not like to lose themselves. I’d be fascinated to have a proper, frank conversation about it with some people. To break it down, and work out what’s lost and what’s gained, and whether any of it ultimately matters.

  • EthZee

    I guess that surely the desire to ‘cure’ certain mental aspects of humanity depends on your goals, as well as the goals of humanity as a whole. Depending on your viewpoint, technically there isn’t an ‘ideal’ state of a person; the only possible natural ideal would be a person that could perpetuate their genes 100% of the time.

    The recent trend of diagnosing certain behaviours as mental conditions to be treated possibly reflects on the goals of society at present; that the more people there are who can be made to act in a certain predictable manner, the easier it is for them to fit into certain productive roles.

    (Of course then you reach a point which has a risk of descending into tinfoil hatted-conspiracies and use of terms like ‘sheeple’, so I shall go no further in that direction)

    I’m glad Nick seemed to enjoy Portal. I was slightly amused that he became sick because of it, though no malice intended; I’ve always been bemused by that, never having suffered from motion sickness problems myself. It is unfortunate.

  • Colthor

    Happiness is a fun time.

    Enjoyed the episode, chaps. Ta.

  • Gassalasca

    I used to use the meshy things for making foam in my teens (I’m a guy) for maybe a year. Then got bored with it and went back to soap.
    I detest shower gels and the only time I managed to tolerate them was back then, in order to obtain all the foamy goodness.

  • MrsTrellis

    The “meshy things” are called “bath lilies” amongst other nauseating names. I find them to be very good, but they tend to come undone so they need to be replaced regularly.

  • Brendan

    panties successfully creamed

  • Jordan Rivas

    Second episode I’ve listened to. Highly amused and appreciative of a show that discusses Portal and muses on social classes in the same episode.

    Well done, sirs.

  • Daniel Rivas

    “But humans have basically detached Happiness from an emotion to a goal that everyone should have”

    I’m not sure this is true. I suspect it ought be filed next to “kids these days have no respect”. In fact, it sounds a little “kids these days don’t appreciate what they’ve got” to me.

    The scrunchy things are indeed magic.

    And who is this “Jordan Rivas”?

  • Nick Mailer

    Not only does John think hedonism is new, but he disapproves.

    Is “Rivas” Spanish’s Smith or Walker then?

  • Daniel Rivas

    As far as I know it’s quite rare all over Spain, except in Galicia. I think it’s popular in America.

  • Jambe

    I don’t know why the 3D nature of Portal would be something to criticize. The extra degree of freedom was entirely necessary for the puzzles, as John pointed out. Interesting 2D puzzles are fine, but I don’t see what that has to do with the effectiveness of 3D puzzles.

    I don’t understand “the marriage” coverage, especially here in the states (it was insane). The history of the monarchy makes me question why any Brit pays them mind as an institution any longer, let alone Americans.

    re John’s views on hedonism: really? Would you elaborate? What are your views on it? Are you a nihilist? I don’t see how one would reconcile nihilism with the implicit absolutism of hedonism or its cousins…

    Great podcast.

  • Daniel Rivas

    Jambe: The British are extremely small-c conservative and they like the queen. But for the most part they want William to succeed her instead of Charles, and seem quite offended to be told it doesn’t work like that. We’re quite attached to democracy, so some hope of their just fading away remains…

  • NM

    As Daniel says, it’s quite funny that the most avid royalists want to be able to choose William as the Head of State instead of Charles, whom they tend to dislike. There’s a word for this desire to choose the Head of State. Republicanism, I believe ;-)

    Such lovely ironies.

  • Jordan Rivas

    Rivas certainly isn’t what I would consider “popular” here in the US. I’m happy to say my Google page rank is only occasionally threatened by a MMA fighter who shares my full name. Needless to say he’d probably beat me senseless if it came down to that, but this is the internet, where my keen wit counts for something, or so I hope.

    Click my name if you’d like to know more about me. =)

  • mister k

    One thing I find hilarious about royalism is an argument I’ve genuinely heard in the past is that if we were to get rid of the monarchy then we’d have “king/president Blair”, which really demonstrates some peoples ignorance of our current constitutional realities.