Review of 2011: Favourite Posts

And here’s the second post in my review of 2011. This is a list of my favourite posts from the year. In 2010 I said it was harder to choose posts from that year as I had blogged less than in previous years. Well, I actually blogged even less in 2011 so it was even harder this year.

As usual I’ve tried to pick one post from each month, but because of the scarcity of posts I’ve had to bend the rules at times. Usually I don’t include posts that have already been mentioned in the list of most popular posts, but that has proved impossible this year so there is a small amount of repetition.

  • Boothill Foot-Tappers. The Boothill Foot-Tappers were one of my favourite band from twenty-five years ago. I thought I’d never see them play again, so it was great that they got together for a one-off reunion gig.
  • Leaving LoveFilm. I cancelled my LoveFilm subscription early in the year. This post explained why.
  • Genealogy Primer. A friend on Facebook asked for help starting his family tree. I wrote a quick braindump in reply. Later I thought that other people might find it useful so I turned it into a blog post.
  • Daily Mail on Google and Adele. One of the most ridiculous articles ever from the Daily Mail, debunked easily with the aid of Google.
  • Watching the Press – Notes. In May I gave a talk at Opentech about the nonsense published by the British tabloid press and how a group of us try to bring this to the public’s attention by blogging about it. This post contains the notes from that talk.
  • Free Web Advice: TalkTalk. TalkTalk really annoyed me by phoning me despite my phone number being registered with the TPS. They then annoyed me even more by making it next to impossible to discuss the matter with them. This post enumerated the many ways that their web site made this hard. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I finally just gave up.
  • Reading the News. A post about how I read the news these days and why a Kindle subscription to a newspaper doesn’t really fit into my life.
  • Hating Gnome 3. My favourite Linux distribution switched its default interface to Gnome 3. This made me very sad.
  • The Birth of a Meme. Some people writing in the Daily Mail claimed that the BBC had banned the use of the terms BC and AD and had forced broadcasters into using BCE and CE instead. This was completely untrue but that didn’t stop it repeated all over the media. Even now I suspect that a large proportion of the public think that it’s true.
  • Dorries on Humanism. Nadine Dorries was nominated for the New Humanist’s annual Bad Faith Award. She responded with a trademark closely-argued explanation of why Humanism is an extreme belief that no-one should admit to holding. Her reasoning obviously impressed New Humanist’s readers as she went on to win by a huge majority.
  • Winterval. More nonsense from the Daily Mail. But this time they’re admitting that it’s nonsense. When they started to publish a “Corrections and Clarifications” column I don’t think that anyone would have predicted that it would be used to undermine their core beliefs so quickly.
  • The War on Christmas Cards. Another Mail article to close with. They claimed that there was an atheist plot to keep religious Christmas cards out of the shops. They also complained about the increased numbers of “obscene” cards – whilst, in another article, praising the work of Donald Gill from a hundred years ago.

It was only while writing this review that I noticed that four of these twelve articles are about the Daily Mail. Looks like the blog might, finally, be developing a theme.

Last year was my lightest year for blogging. In fact every year has seen fewer post since I joined Twitter. Tweets are, of course, far less effort than blog posts. But nevertheless I shall, once again, endeavour to blog more often in 2012.

Thanks for reading in 2011.


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