Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Technophobia 9

Downside to aging: people sometimes imagine I am a little old lady who has just got her first tablet. I've been using social media since before you were born, dear!

I’ve heard the urban legends but it finally happened; my grandmother printed and mailed me a Facebook post. (@_carolinebones)

My son once bought me a Kindle; I didn't even know how to turn it on! (via FB)

It’s 2021 and...

We’ve been Zooming for over a year, but people are still using a tablet, and laying it down on a table so that all we can see of them is their double chins.

Someone just thanked me for telling her she could open two Word docs and position them side-by-side. (Some people don’t know you can resize them, either.)

People are complaining that they lose their place on Twitter because it keeps “refreshing”. Go to the top, click on the star, and switch to “Latest Tweets”. Keep your eye on it, because Twitter keeps switching you back “Home”.

In the early to mid-80s I realised I could earn £2,000 a year more “operating a word processor” instead of pounding a typewriter at a book publisher, as nice young girls were expected to do. I didn’t care where I worked or for whom, but I did a week's course, almost immediately landed a word-processing job at the Financial Times, and never looked back.

It was sheer snobbery – people thought computers were beneath them, and the people who operated them were lower down the food chain. I was the only posh bird doing that job – and was probably hired for that reason. Well, never mind.

In the 80s, I read the technology pages in the Guardian, looking for the next thing and working out how it was going to affect our working lives. Also I was fascinated – technology was going to make everything easier and simpler. People complained about a new terminology of "bits and bytes". I bought a dictionary of computing. But most office workers back then took no notice of technology at all. Computers or electronic typewriters were introduced at their place of work, they had some brief training, they whinged about it, and then they used the technology to do only what they’d been shown. The revolution happened, the devices converged, the internet and wifi and satellites put us all in touch with each other. But now there’s a weird backlash, and technology is talked of as if it was somehow contaminating.

Facebook and Twitter are part of our lives, as is buying and looking up stuff online, but the old Puritan ethic means we have to claim we “take breaks” from it all. (Remember those 15-minute, hourly screen breaks that were going to preserve our health?)

“I only use FB over my wife’s shoulder.”

“I don’t normally do Twitter, but...” before reposting something. (Also “Perhaps I should get an Instagram”, as if they were going to buy a hoover.)

"I try and take FB breaks so I can retain a sense of normality." (Via FB.)

People are still recommending taking a “two-day break” from Twitter. Someone on Facebook still calling it “Twatter”.

Ask yourself:
Could this meeting be a Zoom?
Could this Zoom be a phone call?
Could this phone call be an email?
Could this email be a text?
Could this text be unsent?
Could we in silence retreat to the forest?
Could we, by game trails and forgotten paths, vanish into the trees?
(But would it buy the baby a new bonnet? And what are you going to do when you get there?)

I have no desire to write in haiku sentences, really! (CM on FB)

My partner has no social media accounts, except for an Insta where she posts one single photo a year. (@trillingual)

More here, and links to the rest.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Euphemisms about Racism and Politics in Quotes

Naga Munchetty

Just in case anyone hadn't clocked that "metropolitan elite" just means "non-Tory voters". (@GarethDennis. Guardian hed reads: BBC warned against pandering to Manchester’s “metropolitan elite”.)

No we don't want to elect moderates. "Moderate" is code for "capitulate to evil". (@CarlaSchroder)

Management held “info meetings” for all ancillary staff (ie, anti-union propaganda). (askamanager.org)

Reliable rule: "moral victory" always translates as "galling defeat". (@DavidBennun)

I often wonder what some politicians mean when they say “we need to balance the needs of all road users”, usually after vetoing cycling schemes. (@adamtranter)

In a discussion of men’s lockdown hair: What definition of "long" are we using here? Is this the same usage of words as "Tories aren't giving handouts to their friends" and "the sun is black" type of definition? (AC)

Talk in Whitehall that the UK govt is planning a “reorganisation” of Civil servants in the Northern Ireland Office as too many are perceived as too “neutralist”. (@nicktolhurst)
Uh oh. "Too neutral", how is that even possible? Sounds like obvious doublespeak for "not extremist enough, for our extreme policy". (@2ears2wheels)
Robert Jenrick says “retain and explain” policy will save monuments from “baying mobs” backed by “town hall worthies and woke militants”. (Boo!)


Naga Munchetty – I really wish they would axe her. She is so false. She hasn’t got a nice or watchable bone in her body. She is so annoying I have to switch off @BBCBreakfast. (Sovereign Brexit & UK Unity @brexitisus. Translation: She’s black. And if you wondered what Brexit was all about this may give you a clue.)

Latest guidelines for school (Sept 2020) forbid the following: promoting divisive or victim narratives that are harmful to British society.

It’s not racist to say victim mentality helps no one...
(Thanks, @TRAPTOFFICIAL, now we know what that means.)

When the media starts talking about urban and rural, they are using keywords for black/minority and white. (@_Yellow_Kid_)

I wonder if all the people in my timeline saying: ‘We live in a democracy. If you don’t like it then leave!’ realise that’s not exactly how democracies work. What they are expressing support for is totalitarianism. (James Wong)

We should be proud of our history and our country, above all proud to be British. People that don't like our country, our religion, our ways should leave. (@Bluelad67672753)

Rich white people use ethnic as a synonym for poor non Anglo-Saxon people.
(@loose_shorts. On the question, discussed by the BBC, of whether Jews – an ethnic group which is in the minority in the UK – count as an ethnic minority. Rich white people use “minority” in the same way.)

"Healing" is also the language of white supremacy. This country doesn't need to heal. It needs to change. (@alwaystheself)
"Healing" is code for "stop raising a fuss and be quiet now". (@walruslifestyle)

One slide in her training session sent to Coca-Cola employees outlined that "to be less white" is to be less "arrogant", "certain" and "defensive". (Independent)

More here, and links to the rest.