Gordon McLean has written an excellent post on his blog, entitled Why blogging is good, pointing to some of the conversation around the recent blog post from Clay Shirky claiming arrogance and lying can be useful traits. There are links to the discussion over on Gordon's post, so you should go and read them first because (1) they're good, and (2) I'm going to assume that you have for the rest of this post :-)
I was just going to comment on Gordon's post, but decided I should celebrate the fact that I've got a blog (even if I don't post to it as often as I'd like) and write my comment here.
Gordon says: "As for the issue being discussed in these posts I have to agree with Tom, particularly when he talks about how arrogance and confidence have a place in your â€śpersonality toolboxâ€?, but the person who only has those tools is all the poorer for it. Unfortunately society, and certainly the workplace, still seem to favour people with confidence when what we should be doing is cutting through the noise to see what substance lies underneath."
I agree, but I also think that we should all strive to reach into our "personality toolboxes" for our arrogance and confidence in order to call "Bullshit" to dampen the "noise" when we can.
"I am also unable to carry my Snapper card and my university access card in the same wallet because it breaks the system and I get a fail warning. This reminds me that I don't think it will be very long before I have several RFID cards that will apparently require several different wallets - and that will enable me to move as gracefully as a crash of rhinos."
On New Year's Day I wanted to get out of the house for a bit and went for a walk. As is often the case in such time, I found myself drawn down to the river. As I neared the Pier Head, I passed this poster, stuck up by the North-West Development Agency (the regional regeneration quango) to help hide an ugly old concrete building awaiting demolition and remind us of the good work they're doing. (Just as an aside, the much more attractive stripey building to the left of the picture is the old offices of White Star Lines, owners of The Titanic).
I've seen it before, but this time it struck me that the choice of language sums up what irks me about the whole regeneration question.
We make big things happen.
People of Liverpool rejoice. The NWDA is sorting everything out for us. At best, this sends the message that the inhabitants themselves don't need to do anything because the NWDA is taking care of it all. That's lovely, but what happens if the government decide to scrap the RDAs?
At worst, it steals the credit for any improvements from the people responsible and presents it all as the work of the NWDA.
This is one of the classic signs of a bad manager or a bad leader, and it's particularly disappointing for a regeneration agency to fall into the trap. Surely the ultimate sign of success for a regeneration quango is to make itself obsolete? And to do that it needs to empower and lead the people to where they realise they can do it themselves - not to hoard any scraps of success under its own flag.
Yesterday evening I discovered that quite a few pages on this website were infected with the JS/Redirector trojan, which was trying to infect any visitors with some form of nastiness.
I've been through and removed the infection from the site, but if you visited yesterday between 2pm (when the attack happened) and midnight (when I'd finished unpicking it all) then you should check that your machine hasn't picked up any sort of virus.
UPDATE: It seems the site might have been infected for longer than just a day, possibly a week or two. The times that seemed to indicate when it was hacked might just have been the most recent changes to it. Whichever, I'll be keeping an eye on things for any recurrence.