Week notes

This week, I have dealt with a backlog of emails. By “dealt with”, I sometimes mean “deleted” or “archived”, not “replied to”. I didn’t use to understand the plight of people who get lots of emails, but now I do. I don’t even get that many emails, but, now that the novelty of getting emails has worn off, it’s so easy to let the backlog pile up.

For various reasons, some of the emails are like, “What times are the buses on Easter Sunday?” Over the years, I’ve tried to refine the main source of emails to discourage certain kinds of email I usually can’t answer satisfactorily, but not enough to discourage some. Now, I don’t hold much truck with the idea of a “guilty pleasure” – stop being guilty about what gives you pleasure! – but realising “oh dear, I didn’t reply to this email in time” and binning it is some arsehole behaviour I’m guilty of.

Meanwhile, I have sent some emails to some people, and I’m slightly agitated that I haven’t had a reply yet.

Some people have observed something about YouTube’s “recommendations” feature: “How YouTube Built a Radicalization Machine for the Far-Right”, “YouTube Is Full of Easy-to-Find Neo-Nazi Propaganda”, “However extreme your views, you’re never hardcore enough for YouTube”. I, too, found that after I watched a wholesome and right-on video, something of the ilk of a the constipated lobster guy would auto-play afterwards.

Then I discovered a slightly hidden button labelled “Not interested”.

The eagle eyed will notice that the “Not interested” button there is attached to a lovely compilation of Bob Mortimer’s appearances on the televised parlour game Would I Lie To You?, in which I am not not interested. I couldn’t find any examples of actual Nazis for the screenshot, because one small nudge was all it took for the mighty algorithm to buck its ideas up and stop trying to radicalise me.

Now some of the recommended videos now have titles conforming to an irritating formula, like “David Mitchell HATES the Fondue!!”. Still, it’s all very jolly, and I didn’t even get to the bit with David Mitchell or the fondue.