John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 187: What Do You Call A Circle?

by on Apr.27, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 187th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, is it now time to electrify the Mediterranean?

No, don’t panic, you haven’t missed episode 186. Well, you have, but it’s not yet released. It rather went wrong, but I think there’s stuff to be rescued from it. In the meantime, we ponder if the young people still use Facebook, Nick’s new nephew, and the continuing idiocy of copyright.

Then we set up the ultimate competition: Siri vs. Google Now. This decided, we talk about the election, and especially the role the SNP could play. There’s worry over mirrors and babies, an acknowledgement of the existence of 70s pedos, and then the usual discussion of Justin Bieber.

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15 Comments for this entry

  • Rum Doings Episode 187 Quality Rating


  • TH

    Nick, you’re a jackass if you’re seriously suggesting we build over everything because you assume it’s all just “fairly sterile” fields. It almost sounds like you’re in favour of mass property development for the sake of housing a few more people. In fact from your tone it sounds as if you have no concept of conservation or ecology whatsoever.

  • Nick M

    I can’t imagine what would happen if houses replaced some of the barren, top-soil eroded, tree-felled, pesticide-filled, monoculture agra-industrial fields I drive past. It would be an ecological holocaust.

  • TH

    Aside from this, good episode.

  • scotchmi_st

    Ask Google Now “What is a google?”

  • Alec

    Oh, the wonders of a minority, non-coalition government. In Canada, our Liberals, New Democrats and Bloquistes signed an agreement to form a coalition government. The Prime Minister immediately asked the Governor General to prorogue parliament to avoid the no-confidence vote and launched a massive PR campaign to demonize a potential government that relied on a scary nationalist/separatist party.

    In the mean time the Liberals chose a new leader, Michael Ignatieff, who decided that a “coalition of the losers” was terrible and that it was better to work with the Conservatives, after all. The informal deal gave his party no seats in cabinet- he claimed that he was merely putting the Tories “on probation.”

    The Liberals continued to snipe at and complain about government policy, but always made sure that enough of their MPs were away during confidence motions to guarantee the government could stand. This went on for more than two years. By the time they gained the courage to topple the government, they’d become so unpopular that they lost two thirds of their seats in the ensuing election.

  • Alec

    Here’s a preview of the language Cameron is likely to use if he gains a plurality of seats:

  • TH

    Nick, there’s more than one option. You’re essentially saying “this is an industrial wasteland, so let’s build some houses on it”. I’d simply argue that we should be fixing those improved, barren monocultural ecosytems instead of housing a few more people. Nothing more to say really. You view housing as the priority, whereas I see it as just adding to the population crisis.

  • Nick M

    So, TH, what do you suggest instead of building more houses to deal with the (non-existent) population crisis? Your four options are:

    1) Incredibly dense slum dwellings in existing fabric.
    2) Mass homelessness.
    3) Mass deportations.
    4) Genocide.

    Make your selection!

  • TH

    According to you, Nick, there is no population problem, so why would we need to build more houses anyway? You’re suggesting mass homelessness is likely to occur, but shouldn’t there be enough housing for everyone if this little Island is apparently not filled to the brim already? Genuinely not sure whether you’re in favour of mass development or not. You seem to be saying two different things.

  • Nick M

    There is no inherent population crisis based on absolute capacity or resource availability. Any “crisis” there has been artificially created by false scarcity.

    I’m not suggesting bulldozing the green-belt (unlike many rapacious developers); however, there is plenty of sterile, banal, uninteresting land which could easily be used to found several new towns. We could build these town imaginatively, to be powered completely by renewable or nuclear energy, with excellent transport links from the beginning, and new-urbanist walkable neighbourhoods. I would suggest that for every new town that gets built, a mirror area of land be converted to native woodland.


  • scotchmi_st

    It’s probably worth noting since it didn’t come up that online version of high street clothes shops exist, where you can discover whether a shop has a men’s section, and also often if the branch near you has a men’s section. Personally I tend to do most of my clothes browsing online, then buy the clothes in person in a surgical strike with perfect efficiency, although it should be pointed out that unless you are a Catholic priest from Ireland, it’s not the end of the world if you wander into the bras section of a shop. (The same mostly goes for finding out if a hair dressers does boys as well).

  • Evert

    I will probably never get tired of complaining about copyright. (That it is a regular thorn in my side professionally is perhaps the reason for this.) So I enjoyed the retread here.

    I enjoyed watching the pearl-clutching from the trendy types who burnish their progressive credentials by supporting libraries. Property is theft, except when the property is ineffable, imaginary and backed by state-sanctioned monopoly

    What I do find frustrating though is either the dishonesty or ignorance that presents a false dilemma. Where one either supports copyright or is an implacable pirate who seeks to steal food from the mouths of ‘creatives’. Sometimes I think that this is caused by ignorance (the idea of a ‘public domain’ is confused for piracy). Often times this is rank dishonesty. Black becomes white, and all of a sudden opponents are casted as stooges of big business, copyright somehow increases access, it is something that has a *clear line*. Things that are patently nonsense to anyone who deals with copyright regularly.

    This was one of the most irritating articles I noticed:

  • Xercies

    I believe the other thing which society has been brainwashed about and cannot conceive of anything other then what we are doing now are drugs. It really is weird about how some intelligent people can still be so “it will ruin everything” if we legalized some drugs…

  • Callan

    Did the two of you catch Ed Miliband saying he was a fan of The Larry Sanders Show? It seems preposterous as an exercise in signalling (unlike Dave with the footers) and did have some of the Victoria Wood effect on me.