I've used this browser for roughly 12 years, about the same length of time I used Photobucket before deciding I'll have to dump it, too (only halfway through that process; I've already deleted one account - though after the two day wait they impose to delete it, they still haven't, so I'll probably have to slug that out with them sometime soon - but haven't worked with already-downloaded pictures yet from the other).
But between Firefox turning into Chrome, Photobucket turning into an elite art gallery and LJ turning into a Soviet spy weapon (that I was never going back to anyway, but forgive me while I indulge my sentimentality) and all the sites I've used or hung out at that either morphed into some alien form or went down or out of business over the years the web as I once knew it increasingly no longer exists. I mean, I hate Wordpress, so that doesn't even count (but another 12 years, intermittently, wasted using it.)
But Firefox above all else is killlllling me. The other night I said WP's "PHP-from-hell backend" slowed Firefox to a crawl? Until it was like steering an 18 wheeler uphill with no automatic transmission in the snow for seven hours (my arms actually hurt from this when it was all said and done; even my stomach muscles got a workout): I couldn't scroll without pulling and pulling down, couldn't copy and paste without waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for each tiny operation to complete, and I'm making hundreds of them as I'm working with literally hundreds of pictures and it's not even occurring to me to switch to another browser because I automatically blame Wordpress. Because Wordpress.
If the world ended tomorrow? Wordpress. And it actually is the only site I'm on that changes Firefox from merely "slow and dodgy, uncooperative, stubborn, too difficult to use" into "just impossible, this is ridiculous".
So I got on tonight and Firefox was acting the same way while loading up and then while using Google and then while checking my email as it was on Wordpress and I'm like, wait a second...it's not Wordpress, I'm not even logged in, their page is not even open in my browser, so it must be fucking Firefox. I check my add-ons and had five "not compatible with multiprocess" messages when my browser won't even run e10s because Mozilla's disabled it. Fucking hell.
So I flat out removed two of them which lost me one of my favorite add-ons - DT Whois - and MeasureIt, which stopped working when e10s rolled out about a month ago, so that was no loss because Firefox has already killed it. I restarted Firefox and while it still feels slow by say, Chromium standards, which are insane (as is my connection, but that's impossible to tell if my browser isn't fast enough) I'm using it. And not being tormented by it. Yet.
But I had to be tormented in using Wordpress for hours the other night over another site ransoming my images. Then it turned out the site I was being tormented on was not at fault, it was Firefox, and the reason Firefox was tormenting me was over add-ons incompatible with e10s, when my browser doesn't even support e10s, which has already led to the untimely death of one of my favorite add-ons because Firefox is killing compatibility on purpose in order to turn itself into Google Chrome. Does that even make any sense? Yet that's how it all went down. It's just...
I was not prepared to make the rant above until I actually did but the whole reason I even opened this window was to post this image with the comment that Firefox has literally thrown itself at Google's feet in making the switch from their own style of browser to the competition's:
The full text of the web dialog box I got at The Add-On Bar Restored (another incompatible add-on) with emphasis mine:
Some add-ons ask for permission to perform certain functions. Since you’re in control of your Firefox, the choice to grant or deny these requests is yours.
Please note this add-on uses legacy technology, which gives it access to all browser functions and data without requesting your permission.
No, motherfuckers, you've got that all wrong, so let me fix it for you: It uses your technology which you never coded to ask permission, which you then chose to abandon instead of improving it - and in doing so abandoned us as well - for the great white locked-down Google way.
No, really, if you return to me a copy-edited article for my attention, and mention that you have made changes to the text (as well as changing the title to one that I think is misleading), please to be sending it to me with your changes tracked and marked up.
For if you are going to insult my ability to write English prose, I think I should be able to see how you have 'improved' my text without having to compare it line by line with the text I sent you.
I may possibly have dumped my bibliography on this editor's head...
While I was away I noticed on, I think, Twitter, which I was scrolling through while waiting at a bus stop/train station/whatever, somebody getting into a froth over somebody deleting their tweets upon
mature reflection, and how this was The Death of History.
To which my own reactions were:
a) Archivists have been thinking about the problems posed by the fragility of the digital record for a good couple of decades plus, this is not something no-one has noticed before. (Wasn't the Library of Congress archiving Twitter, and presumably there are some measures against tampering, if so? - hah, I see that there have been problems of processing and it's not actually accessible, or wasn't as at last year.)
b) Quite apart from the dangers of fire, flood and insect or animal depredation to which records in the more traditional forms have been exposed, there has been a fair amount of deliberate curating of the record over the centuries, by deliberate destruction or just careful concealment (whether it's the Foreign Office secret archive or the concealment of Turner's erotic drawings under a misleading file title).
c) While you can delete or destroy a particular record, you cannot always get rid of the information that it did exist - presumably it was other people commenting on the now-deleted tweets or retweeting them that led to the decision to delete them, but that doesn't eradicate the fact of their existence. This may even draw attention to the deleted record: this is why when I was still being an archivist we used to persuade donors not to ask for closures apart from those mandated by Data Protection, because the idea that something is *CLOSED* causes some people's ears to prick up in a supposition that there will be *HIDDEN SECRETS* (this was very, very, seldom the case).
I might also invoke the case that came up in Prince of Tricksters, where Netley Lucas under one of his identities was communicating with different officials and departments, possibly, it is suggested, as a means to confuse his trail: but, due to the growth of bureaucracy, as well as the social networks they belonged to, could also communicate among one another to discover that this was all the same guy.
There is also the phenomenon that I have mentioned to researchers, that yes [organisations of a certain ideological bent] have been very coy about placing their archives anywhere where people might do research in them; BUT the organisations and people they were against kept tabs on their activities, collected their literature, etc.
Also that if person/organisation's own papers do not survive, you can find out a good deal from the surviving records of those they interacted with.
What I read
A novella by Heather Rose Jones, Three Nights at the Opera (2014), prequel to Daughter of Mystery.
There was indeed a new Catherine Fox, Realms of Glory, delivered to my Kobo well in time to beguile my journeyings. Very good.
Alex Hall, Glitterland (2013): m/m contemporary romance, which was an absolute page-turner and I will even give it a degree of pass on the phonetic rendering of Estuarine speech, on the grounds that this might be down to the first-person narrator's attempt to depict Difference.
Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky (2016): I had a bit of a problem with the rather gender-stereotypical allocation of science vs magic, and also with the way that both of them, in particular Patricia, are shown as coming to their powers as a result of familial dysfunction and school bullying (are US high schools really quite so generally toxic as literature would have me believe?), which is not that dissimilar in its rather Spartan overtones to the ethos of the military school to which Laurence is briefly sent. But I read on.
Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Djinni (2013) - there were parts where I thought this was a bit slow, and possibly about showing off the author's research, but then it all came together with all the threads meshing at the end.
On the go
The end is almost in sight with Prince of Tricksters. Also continuing with Rejected Essays and Buried Thoughts, as and when.
Well, I have lately had delivered to my Kobo Kate Elliott's Buried Heart (2017), conclusion (?) to the Court of Fives series. But I've also, finally, received Monica Ferris's cozy mystery, Knit Your Own Murder (2016), at last a) out in paperback and b) actually in the mailer received from the seller.
I noticed - flitting past me on Twitter the other day - somebody eyerolling at, if not codfishing, some bloke's plaint that watching Dunkirk had made him realise that The Modern Man does not have these Manly Challenges To Rise To -
And being a historian, I thought that, actually, there have been long generations, at least in my country, where most men were not being called upon to take arms and fight, and the general attitude to the soldiery was summed up by Kipling in Tommy.
And that thing about Challenges to Rise To always tends to be seen in a context which leads to e.g. the Battle of the Somme, rather than to being a despised Conscientious Objector, a decision which history may read entirely differently -
Which possibly links on to that thing I also saw flit past me on Twitter apropos of alt-history narratives which allow the viewer to believe that they would be The Resistance, which reminded me of that nasty piece of work Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger going 'where are the good brave causes?', and really, one can think of a few relevant to the 1950s, not to mention, we do not, ourselves, envisage J Porter going off to Spain in the 30s.
And the whole notion of Heroic Actions and somehow, not here, not now.
And I thought, did not my beloved Dame Rebecca say somewhat to this point in Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, and while this has the rhetorical universalisation and generalisation to which she was (alas) prone, it does seem relevant to this notion of some kind of masculine Rite de Passage:
All men believe that some day they will do something supremely disagreeable, and that afterwards life will move on so exalted a plane that all considerations of the agreeable and disagreeable will prove petty and superfluous.
As opposed to, persistently beavering away at the moderately disagreeable in the hopes that it might become a little more agreeable.
This involved a certain amount of faff and hassle about making sure we were buying the right kind of ticket for the train which would also give us free rides on public transport, ascertaining which platform the train in the right direction left from, etc etc. And then when we arrived a) finding the right stop for the tram b) missing the stop we wanted and being carried on to a point we didn't want.
Except it turned out to be right around the corner from Hundertwasser's Waldspirale apartment block, which was on the list of things to see.
After which we wandered down in the direction of the Schloss (which can only be seen by way of guided tours, we passed) and had what was a rather more leisurely lunch than we had intended at the Altes Rathaus before going to the Hessische Landesmuseum, based on the collections of the Grand Dukes, which has some nice stuff.
We then went out to Mathildenhöhe, which was where the artists of the Jugendstil Art Nouveau movement hung out. This includes a Russian Orthodox Church (not particularly Art Nouveau) and the Hochzeitsturm, Marriage Tower, which looks as if it might be the HQ of one of those somewhat spooky early C20th New Agey cults that crop up in mysteries of the period, and a rather small museum (but I think part of it was closed) of furniture and objects created by the artists of the colony.
And then back to Frankfurt, whence we flew home today.
And in other news, spotted this in today's Guardian: the strange world of book thefts:
“We caught a gent last Christmas with £400-worth of stolen books in his trousers and elsewhere.... As we showed him the door he told us: ‘I hope you’ll consider this in the Žižekian spirit, as a radical reappropriation of knowledge.’”As an anarchist friend of a friend remarked when his car was nicked, 'Property is theft: but so is theft theft'.
Last night's was something small. I don't even recall it clearly, now.
Notes for the world: when the cashier is looking closely at the produce, there is a good chance she's checking for a sticker for organic vs non, as well as the produce code. Yes, I know those are radishes. The variety of apple is only helpful if I have the code memorized, btw, but thanks. Also, don't lie to me about how much something costs, because I can tell you are lying, and after we all wait for a price check, we will all know you are an ass.