Linkblogging For 29/05/11 (warning, contains rant including very offensive swear word)

Firstly, and most importantly… to those of you who wonder why I have such an active hatred for organisations like Racist UKIP, this is why. The Home Office is planning to deport a quadriplegic, partially-sighted five-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, heart problems and epilepsy to Algeria – where she will die – rather than letting her stay with the uncle and aunt who want to adopt her and who are the only family she’s ever known.

This is happening because organisations like Racist UKIP have so poisoned debate in this country that it’s become commonly accepted that we ‘need to get tough on immigration’ and ‘we have no control over our borders’. Well, congratulations. Because of you, a scared little girl is going to be bundled onto a plane on her own, and sent to live with strangers for a very short time before she dies. I hope you’re proud of yourselves, you unutterably evil cunts. Still, I suppose you don’t mind – she does have brown skin, after all.

(I don’t normally use language like that, but in this case it’s deserved and more so.)

There *is* a debate to be had on immigration, but it should start from the idea that people should be allowed free movement, and should be centred on helping immigrants integrate and helping communities cope with the changes that result, not on keeping people out of a country whose people aren’t even reproducing at replacement rate and which *needs* immigrants to avoid a total demographic collapse. We should be spending money on ESOL lessons and community-building projects, not on deporting five-year-olds.

If you’re as sickened by this as I am, please, please sign the petition. It’ll have very little effect, I’m sure, but there’s little else that can be done, and if nothing else it will show that you aren’t giving your consent for this kind of sickening behaviour.

Anyway, onto much less angering/upsetting topics:

I agree entirely with Jennie’s assessment of last night’s utter travesty of a ‘Doctor Who’ episode. I’ll try not to ‘spoil’ it, insofar as something so wretched *can* be ‘spoiled’, but the Doctor’s behaviour at the climax was utterly, abhorrently, *EVIL* and totally unjustifiable given the rest of the episode. I’ve said before that while Moffat is great at plot and OK at dialogue, his major failing as a writer is his utter amorality. This proved it (and it was a ‘story arc’ plot point, so Moffat rather than Graham is to blame).

Debi reviews an exhibition about the world’s largest dinosaurs. There’s also a guest post on this at SV-POW.

Measure of Doubt on Bayes’ theorem and ‘thinking in grayscale‘.

How to make money in microseconds

I knew going to work was bad for you…

Computer scientists build cellular automaton supercollider

Alex Wilcock on The Avengers – Game

The Aporetic on the alleged efficiencies of the private sector

And the Torygraph, of all papers, say Chris Huhne has achieved more in a year than most top politicians achieve in a lifetime.

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13 Responses to Linkblogging For 29/05/11 (warning, contains rant including very offensive swear word)

  1. “This is happening because organisations like Racist UKIP have so poisoned debate in this country..”

    Past correspondence shows that I have about the same contempt for UKIP as you. But this seems to me to shift the blame in an unwarranted way. If the Home Office are doing this, then the Home Office are culpable. UKIP are quite possibly akin to someone who eggs someone else on to commit a crime, but it is obvious who is actually committing a crime.

    In my opinion UKIP and the BNP serve a useful purpose for the ‘mainstream’ parties, in making their (often literally) murderous actions look somehow moderate by comparison. Sometimes politicians will even say things like “better we do this than the BNP.” If the action is the same, then what does it matter who does it?

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Oh, absolutely. But I think that everyone who says things like “we have no control over our borders” is partially culpable, and this is a consequence of policies those people called for. That’s not to take away, in any way, the culpability of whichever politician set these rules, whichever bureaucrats are enforcing them, and the Home Secretary if she chooses not to reverse the decision.

  2. Luca Lagomarsino says:

    Why do you think the Doctor’s beaviour was evil? Flesh-Amy wasn’t a person on his own right like the ones the episode centered about (wich gained self-awareness through lighting, er, solar flare), but sort of a projection of the real one. Given the need to “cut the signal”, doing so without before destroing the duplicate would have caused the flesh to melt in a formless pain.
    Given what we have learned about the flesh duplicates and assuming that returning Amy’s consciousness to her body was inevitable for some reason we still don’t know, this was the most human thing the Doctor could do.
    Saving the goat and the cabbage, as we say in Italy…

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      It was made clear in the episode that *all* the Flesh is both sentient and sapient, that it feels pain and suffers after the controlling mind is cut off. That’s why the Doctor said he was going to do it as humanely as possible – otherwise it wouldn’t have mattered.

      • Thomas says:

        I didn’t get that the Flesh on its own was sapient*. Sentient, yes, but not sapient. The only confirmed sapience in the Ganger Amy was Amy.

        *Partly this is because I don’t think Matthew Graham had really thought about what the Flesh was – for some reason Jen can remember all the deaths of her predecessors but none of the others can except the Doctor, who has the excuse of being telepathic; the Flesh is unstable without an operator or solar tsunami interference unless it’s in the form of accusing eyes; Gangers are generated from the harnesses except when the Doctor touches it…

  3. K says:

    Who was it on Mindless Ones who was going on about Momentism- plotting by coming up with scenes that’ll get posted on the “fuck yeah moments” bit of tvtropes then building the plot around them. Cos Moffat’s Who is the biggest proponent of Momentism on tv, and RTD’s was a close second. And the reveal in this episode was pure momentism stomping all over the framework the episode’s author had built up. I shudder to think what the plotting on that show would be like if he had to deal with commercial breaks. Though admittedly- I’ve been catching up on some classic Who serials lately, and they often suffer from Goosebump chapter cliffhanger syndrome, so this isn’t very useful as grognardy material.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I think you’re talking about some stuff from the Hurting a few years back. And yeah, RTD and Moffat both suffer from Mark Millarism – see also this post from Lawrence Miles which makes pretty much the same point.

      (Be warned, Miles more than any other blogger divides fandom. You may well come away from that hating him, and hating me for linking to him.)

      And yeah, Proper Who was never perfect, of course. But the difference is there you’d have the rat in Talons Of Weng-Chiang or the monster in Caves Of Androzani almost as an afterthought – what mattered (in the best stories) was the plot and characterisation. Here the plot and characterisation are just things to hang monsters on.

      • Jim says:

        Yeah, Miles is basically the figurehead of everyone on the internet who informs people that they’re not allowed to like New Who. Good for him, I guess.

        • Andrew Hickey says:

          Except that he doesn’t. He just says why *he* doesn’t like it.

          • Jim says:

            OK, I overreacted on that. Should just say I’m not a fan of his blogging and leave it at that.

            Which is not to disagree with your overall point: the ending to that episode didn’t make sense when considering the Doctor’s actions throughout the last two episodes. So much so that I wondered if it was just plain bad writing or a pre-existing script being forced into Moffat’s mega-arc. I suppose it could work if it were revealed that Fake Amy was a sleeper agent programmed to harm them (like the Cylons on Ron Moore’s BSG) but sadly no. And to be honest, if you have to fanfic up alternate endings, that’s a sure sign that the story didn’t do its job.

  4. Jim says:

    Do you have a link to a credible news site for the deportation story? I can only find it on lots of blogs and a very brief blurb on an ITV site.

    • It was originally reported in their local paper. It hasn’t made the national papers yet (and I don’t expect it to – this kind of immigration story never does).

      BTW for others’ reference, this Jim is the Jim who comments here sometimes who is a colleague of mine, and is not the same Jim who commented above about Doctor Who.

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