No Complaints #75: Hackers, Hiding and Howards End

This week, I interviewed one of my favourite conductors and wondered if Donald Trump can be saved. My plant and I are also moving to a new desk this afternoon, so we’re feeling pretty chaotic and rootless.

(I’ll go now.) 

Things to read

“In fact, Collins only stops pursuing Elizabeth when her father puts his foot down and backs her refusal. Pride and Prejudice is a comedy, and so the tone is light on the surface, but beneath the satire is a very real, earnest desire to communicate how often women’s words – even their consent – are dismissed as fickle or inconsequential. Seeing our heroine not fleeing dramatically from a villain, but pursued by an entitled man who doesn’t take her words seriously, we feel Elizabeth’s sense of outrage and how belittling it is for Collins to act this way.”

On consent in Pride and PrejudiceEmail to Pocket.


“A van cannot easily smash through a locked gate in a chain linked fence. A hacker cannot break into the evil guys network/robot/system/whatever with a timer ticking down to conveniently let you know when the security will be breached. Computers don’t make lots of beeps and squeaks when they’re doing stuff. Taking a bullet to the shoulder requires immediate medical attention and results in lying still and moaning not performing acrobatic combat.”

A Quora thread on what Hollywood has been lying to you about. Email to Pocket.


“Unlike his younger brothers, he did not go on to Eton. He could be a belligerent child, and once pulled the ears of the 11- year-old Byron. Byron retaliated by throwing shells at him and broke a window. Even as a boy, the legendary daredevil was not to be messed about. Years later, however, Byron testified to Portsmouth’s sanity when he was put on trial – testimony that might have carried more weight had Byron himself not been widely considered to be mad.”

I love a bit of Georgian madness. Email to Pocket.


“There are other ways discrimination surfaces in public spaces. The paucity or poor design of women’s bathrooms is a constant reminder of the many ways women operate in a world literally designed for (and by) men. Old buildings may have been built at a time when their architects, designers and inhabitants were mostly male (and women’s restrooms were not an issue), but today that’s simply not true.”

It isn’t just people who discriminate – their designs carry on doing it long after the designer is gone. Email to Pocket.


“In every Forster novel, we find delightful conversations, observations, affections, intimacies that we recognise, presented in ways we haven’t quite seen elsewhere; the Merchant Ivory movies re-create them beautifully – for example, the scene in A Room with a View where Freddy Honeychurch, at the piano, sings a clanging, whimsical song (‘Strike the concertina’s melancholy string! Blow the spirit-stirring harp like anything!’), and Cecil leaves the room. Watching this, we feel like a Honeychurch in a world of Cecils.”

Every autumn, I return to E M Forster. This is a very good explanation of why. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

I’ve been listening to Hiding in the Bathroom for a while now. It’s a podcast about entrepreneurship that happens to be hosted by a woman, and mostly interviews women (there’s no “lady empowerment” chat, which would have me wrenching the headphones out of the jack faster than you could say “lean in”). The audio quality isn’t always precisely to my taste (now that I do some audio editing myself I’ve become an unbearable nitpicker about other people’s styles) but the topics it covers are absolutely on the money for me: imposter syndrome, freelancing, anxiety, and therapy, among others. The most recent episode, “Feminist Fight Club”, is a winner – highly recommend you give it a go.


Things to watch


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

What the internet will be like when I'm in charge.

The guest gif

This weekend, let’s boogie like Frida Kahlo. (Source.)

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THE END. See you next time!