I went to LRUG on Monday night, and ended up chatting in the pub until closing time. Later than I’d intended, but I had a good time.

On Wednesday, L— and I saw the On Our Doorstep documentary about the Calais “Jungle” refugee camp. This was a bit chaotic, as the cinema was suffering from a partial power cut and only had one screen available. Then the projection stopped halfway through and had to be rebooted. We did eventually see the whole thing. It’s an interesting and moving documentary, but it’s also infuriating to see so much suffering caused by the actions of states, whether that’s the borders that oblige people to take risks in crossing them, or the violent destruction of homes and communities by the police.

There was a Q&A afterwards with the director and a few others, including someone who had briefly lived in the Jungle.

Go and watch it if you can. I think it will be available to stream soon. Content warning: it features a short clip of David Cameron dehumanising people. I think I actually hissed at the sight of his glistening ham of a face spouting xenophobic poison.

I gave blood for the 39th time. The actual donation took about five minutes. I treated myself to a pizza and a bubble tea afterwards. It occurred to me only later that I should perhaps have delayed my donation until after the Dunwich Dynamo. I’ve given myself the opposite of blood doping. D’oh.

On the way home I stopped off to help set up a friend’s wifi extender, which turned out to be much harder than I expected, mainly because instead of a flaky temporary access point with a form-based interface, fashion now means that you have to use an even flakier mobile app to set it up, and nothing worked.

I eventually found that you could set it up with an access point/web form and got it working that way.

Everybody wants to force you to use a mobile app, and almost nobody is competent to make one. It’s a bad combination.

I received a bilingual email from a German company asking me to confirm my compliance with the International Labour Organization Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work because they’re using an open-source library I wrote:

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are using your libraries listed below in our product and are pleased with your provisioning.

Library(s): htmlentities.

It is very important to us as well as to our customers that the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (https://www.ilo.org/declaration/lang--en/index.htm) are met, otherwise we would not use the Library.

Please confirm your compliance with those criteria.

Thank you in advance.

I’m pleased that they’re pleased with it, but one of my fundamental principles is that I’m not going to do someone else’s compliance work for free (especially not if it requires me to evaluate my compliance with a fourteen-page document), so I said I’d be happy to, and set out my fee (in euro) for doing so.

I haven’t heard back from them.

I’m told that this is something to do with the German Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz (or Supply Chain Act), which applies to companies with over three thousand employees:

The law requires companies to carry out analyses on supply chain contracts to identify risks to human rights and requires companies to take action against identified risks. The companies will have to publish an annual report containing the analyses. Companies must also establish a complaint procedure for workers to report potential risks. The law additionally gives civil society organisations the ability to sue companies on behalf of workers over breaches of human rights in supply chains. Companies that fail to respect the terms of the law can face fines of up to two percent of the company’s annual revenues.

However, compliance with a German law sounds very much like their problem to solve, not mine. I wonder if I’ll hear any more from them.

On Saturday, we went to a very local concert of two seventeenth century comedies by Musica Antica. The first, Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo, was amusing, especially thanks to the sarcastic surtitles, and is possibly the first opera I’ve ever seen live. I know that operas have recognised that opera is seen as exclusionary and for old people, but their efforts to rectify this by providing cheap tickets to young people came too late for me, so I’ve never got into it. Maybe I should.

The musical accompaniment featured harpsichord, Baroque violin, viola da gamba, and a theorbo, two and a half metres of the ungainliest musical instrument ever devised. At least you can now get ones with carbon fibre reinforced lightweight folding necks, unlike those in the seventeenth century.

A study from Australia found that many people do not see cyclists as human, especially if they’re wearing helmets or high vis:

  • 30% of respondents (n = 563) considered cyclists less than fully human.
  • Cyclists with helmets were perceived as less human compared to those without.
  • Cyclists with safety vests and no helmets were perceived as least human.
  • Dehumanisation related more to visible safety gear than obstruction of hair/eyes.
  • Perceptions of dehumanisation varies based on respondent gender.

This does not surprise me.