Cyclists

Sometimes cyclists like to tell us that other road users are the most hazardous things on the roads. But sometimes, like today, I can give two shining examples where the opposite is true.

Although it’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen cyclists riding two abreast on a narrow shoulder on the motorway, forcing motorists to slow down dangerously, or riding on the line marking the shoulder rather than in the shoulder, today I encountered two rather special cyclists.

On my way to get my lunch today, the first was a gentleman who looked for all intents and purposes homeless or destitute. I was crossing the road, and seeing that our paths might collide if he followed his present trajectory and velocity, he decided to shout out to me, “HURRY UP YOU FAT CUNT. I HAVEN’T GOT ALL DAY. I GOT THINGS TO DO.” I wasn’t dawdling. I was crossing the road at a good road-crossing pace, and I happen to be fat. These two factors appear to have combined in his mind into something that offended him greatly.

I thought to myself, “sir, you’re just being a jolly big scunthorpe.” And a small part of me–the irrational sociopathic part that I do manage to keep in check most days–wanted to push him off his bike, smash him in the face with it, and then slowly remove each and every spoke from his wheels and insert them into random orifices of his body. Heck, while I’m being so artistic, I’d probably invent a few new orifices specially for him, or turn him into a sculpture of Pinhead, my favourite Cenobite.

But no, instead, I slowed down and walked backwards, back into the middle of the road, forcing him to slow down and curse me and my winter cake storage unit some more.

That’s fine, he probably had a bad day, or perhaps hadn’t had his coffee yet, or maybe his wife divorced him, or his dog got cancer. I won’t judge him without knowing him.

Perhaps life was being particularly horrid to cyclists today because on the way back to work, not 10 minutes later, another cyclist at the very same crossing–and one who looked decidedly more businessy than the last fellow–also decided that slowing down for pedestrians wasn’t to be a part of his destiny. He sped past me, and almost smashed into a 300 year old lady on a mobility scooter who naturally, was taking her time. It takes the oldies a while longer to scan the horizon for hazards, and it takes them longer to pick up speed and be on their way.

Just a little bit of patience surely wouldn’t go amiss. Even if you’re on your way to an emergency, slowing down for that 4.5 seconds will save you a lifetime of walking funny when the person you do cross isn’t as socially amicable as I am.

Anti Muslim Bus Ads in the U.S.

Reading this article on Al Jazeera about anti-Muslim bus ads being legally allowed by a judge, makes me wonder how long before we see anti Christian bus ads. I thought I would get the ball rolling with a few ideas.

  • Slavery is normal. It’s in the Bible.
  • Sell your daughter as a sex slave. It’s in the Bible.
  • Stone your children to death if they don’t obey you. It’s in the Bible.
  • Don’t wear clothes made of mixed materials. It’s in the Bible.
  • Women are worth less than dirt. It’s in the Bible.
  • Your God will gladly commit genocide just to prove he’s God. It’s in the Bible.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Repeat Drink Drivers

This article about a repeat drink driver struck a chord with me.

I hate it when people humanise these bastards. Oh the system failed him and didn’t help him address his alcoholism, boo fucking hoo. Some people actually just don’t fucking care, and flout the law intentionally because they know the people behind the system are such politically correct pussies, and that fuck all will happen to them.

Also, apparently he’s been to prison 33 times. I wonder if they meant jail. Maybe actually throwing him in prison would help.

Here are my ideas for repeat drink drivers.

  1. The sentence goes up exponentially with each repeat offence.
  2. Crush the vehicle they were using. OK, some might be using stolen cars, but for those who own the cars or are borrowing family vehicles, this will have a direct and immediate financial effect. Fining them won’t work because we will let them pay the fines off at $5 a week. But if their car is destroyed, and their friends and family know they are likely to lose their own vehicle, they will be less likely to loan them out to recidivists.
  3. Make them watch videos of children getting hit by cars over and over and over and over and over again.

But don’t you fucking dare humanise them. Oh, I hear you cry, but alcoholism is a sickness and they need help. Fine, go help them, but do it while they are locked up and away from society. They lost their rights to be treated like humans the second they hopped into a car and put innocent people at risk. Repeatedly.

The Internet Doesn’t Work Like That

Here’s a piece of legislation which is completely oblivious to how technology works: California is going to try to ensure that minors can delete things they said off the Internet.

This is utterly naïve. The people pushing for this really should have sought to consult with some people who know about networks and large scale site design. But perhaps they did. Would they have listened? Is this just moral crusaders pushing forward to protect their poor children from a world they themselves don’t even begin to understand?

The way sites—let’s say Facebook—work is that anything you post goes to THOUSANDS of servers simultaneously. Facebook is global. It’s not just some dude in his study running a single webserver off his ADSL. The thing you post gets pushed to thousands of caching servers all over the planet. I’ve talked about these in other posts, but they’re called CDNs, or Content Delivery Networks. Youtube use them to push videos around the planet, Facebook use them to push your posts around, Twitter does the same, you name it, that one message you post gets copied to thousands of servers. This is so that people from around the world can view the content as if it were local. This speeds things up, it saves Internet Providers money, and it spreads the load around the world.

And those thousands of servers are just the ones that are part of that service. Google and other search engines run around collecting info and caching that too, so that your search queries are fast and relevant. So add another few thousand servers that are out of the original site’s control.

And then consider bots, which are more prevalent on the likes of Twitter, that replicate content. Or even just those that read and filter content like RSS feeds (think news sites, but almost every website and many social networks can be collected and read in RSS-like ways). Everyone who subscribes to an RSS-like feed potentially stores copies of that on their own machines. And you can’t delete those.

Even if you could identify every single location something was posted or copied to, the child won’t have accounts on all those services. Some aren’t even services people log into. Some places will run you through legal hoops proving your identity before they take down content. This bill is just completely, utterly naïve. This will never work because the people behind it have a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the Internet works. Which, I suspect, is why they even drafted the bill in the first place.

So how about instead of being lazy, ineffectual meatsacks, why don’t you try being PARENTS? Educate your children. Don’t just try and hide the world from them. Before they post on the Net, you need to educate them from an early age on the do’s and don’ts.

This is your fault, not the Internet’s. Try taking responsibility for your own actions for a change. If you can’t, then please, for the sake of humanity, stop breeding.