SAT Bottom Girls

This is pathetic:

It is a gross insult to female engineers to lower entry standards in order to accommodate them. As I’ve written before, the women who go into engineering are on average as good as the men and in individual cases often better. Sure, there’s some useless female engineers out there, but if I were to write about the useless male engineers I’ve come across in my career I’d need to call up my new webhosts and order more server space.

What this will do is cast doubt on the capabilities of any woman graduating from this university with an engineering degree, which means any female engineer worth her salt will give it a wide berth and go to study in an institution which believes she’s as capable as the men. The irony is the idiots discussing this in the clip don’t seem to have realised this, and they’re only interested in boosting the number of women studying engineering, for demented reasons of social justice that dictate women should be represented in any given profession to the same proportion they exist in society. Unless, of course, the job involves working outside, at night, under machinery, on the slippery deck of pitching boat, underground, or halfway up a telecoms mast. Oddly, you don’t hear much about the lack of gender diversity in a fishing fleet.

They begin cretinously by saying that women are put off studying engineering because it’s a male-dominated environment. I have yet to hear a prospective female engineer actually say this, nor any actual female engineers. Indeed, quite a few seem to like that the field is male dominated. As one Russian told me, she prefers working with men because “they are simpler”. The only women I hear making this assertion are those whose mental facilites stretched only so far as to allow them to take courses in gender studies or some other useless branch of the social sciences. They’ve probably never even met a decent female engineer, let alone got to know one.

It also overlooks the fact that lots of women study chemical engineering, quite a few study civil engineering and industrial engineering, a handful study mechanical engineering, and almost none electrical engineering. If women are put off studying engineering due to the presence of too many men, they’d have to know the gender breakdown of each discipline before they even set foot in the class. Which they don’t, and even the morons who make a living out of complaining about it don’t.

What we’re seeing here is the result of women’s choice, freely made with all the information at their fingertips. For whatever reason, women choose to study biology, chemistry, medicine, law, and psychology rather than engineering, maths, and physics. Modern feminists are attempting to address this by insulting their smarter sisters, coming on television to say they ought to be responsible for designing the women’s toilets in airports. The people at the university behind this decision ought to resign and look for a job they might be good at, perhaps on a sewage farm in the outback somewhere.


The End of the Oilfield Expat

Okay, I’m back. Sorry for leaving you all in the dark over the last few days, but I’ve been busy.

Last week I was back in the UK, mainly for a job interview. I never intended to come back to Britain, but always said I would for the right job, and now the right one seems to have presented itself. I will be leaving the oil and gas industry, moving into energy technologies, which I’m glad about because it looks like a far more dynamic environment. The oil industry moves at the pace of a snail.

Now maybe some of you are asking why I didn’t pursue my intention of being a freelance consultant or interim manager as I explained back in June. Well, I tried. What I quickly learned was:

1) Nobody will hire you as a consultant unless you have lots of consultancy experience or a big name consultancy on your CV. Simply knowing a lot about a particular industry and having general competence is not enough.

2) Industry experience is everything. Unless you have all the keywords related to a particular industry on your CV, forget it. A construction consultancy would rather hire a janitor who worked on a building site than an engineer who worked in oil and gas.

Now I didn’t put 100% effort in – and I thank everyone who helped me or made themselves available – because my oil and gas CV started working for me on its own. When I started getting calls about jobs which aligned with my CV out of the blue, I started to wonder if it was worth killing myself for 2-3 years building a reputation and network from scratch. And in the end I found a job which looks to be very interesting and pays well, so it became a no-brainer. It is very much an engineering-related position, and although I’ll not be using my HR knowledge directly, there will be ample scope to use it indirectly. So apologies to everyone who put themselves out to help me with my freelance plans; it was not my intention to mess you about. If you feel that aggrieved, I’ll buy you a beer.

I was initially sad I’ll no longer be able to blog about my experiences in dangerous foreign lands filled with strange-looking people with odd customs and a scant grasp of the English language, but the feeling vanished when I realised I’m probably going to be living in London. The other option is Cambridge, but I think London suits me better. I’ve been away for over 16 years and the UK has changed in that time, and so have I. I’m actually looking forward to it.



I’m going to be migrating the blog over to a new hosting service over the next few days, so if you see the site has disappeared, don’t start panicking.


Well, I would have migrated the site if my new hosts weren’t taking the best part of a week to process the order. Harrumph.


The migration is complete. It took longer than it should have mainly because I was being dumb.


Politicians deliver Brazilian whacks after outrage at burning bush

The last 48 hours have seen my social media feeds inundated with hysterical stories over fires in the Brazilian rainforest, reposted by well-meaning but dunderheaded acquaintances. Scanning the news sites, I see the Brazilian rainforest fires are making headline news.

So what’s going on here? Well, we can be sure that with this amount of media coverage it doesn’t have much to do with fires in the Brazilian rainforest. I don’t know how bad the fires are or whether it’s anything unusual, but I’d put a tenner on there having been hundreds of similar fires in the past few years that haven’t generated this much attention. Hell, the world can lose the entire Aral Sea and nobody says anything. The first thing that springs to mind is the global elites detest Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro because he’s – gasp! – right wing and too much like Trump for their liking. So if they want to weaken his position, what better method than saying he’s upsetting the Earth Goddess and encouraging the faithful to unite in his denunciation? This article sheds further light on matters:

France will block an EU trade deal with Brazil and its neighbours over the country’s handling of fires in the Amazon rainforest, a spokesperson for Emmanuel Macron has said.

Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has been criticised around the world for his response to the fires, which scientists say are man-made and campaigners have linked to businesses looking to exploit the land.

“The president can only conclude President Bolsonaro lied to him at the Osaka summit,” a spokesperson for the Elysee told the Reuters news agency.


Conservationists say Mr Bolsonaro, who was elected on a pro-business platform, has encouraged the setting of fires as part of his pro-business programme. Brazil’s space research centre, Inpe, has detected 72,843 fires in the Amazon so far this year – an 84 per cent rise compared to 2018, when Mr Bolsonaro was elected. The president has said his country cannot fight the fires.

Is Macron really interested in fires in a country which apparently is used to tens of thousands of them, or is he seeking to protect French farmers from South American beef imports?

Earlier today Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, also indicated that Ireland could try and block the EU trade deal.

“There is no way that Ireland will vote for the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement if Brazil does not honor its environmental commitments,” Mr Varadkar said.

Yes, when I’m told “the lungs of the planet” are on fire, my first reaction is to threaten to yank a free trade deal. How’s Ireland’s beef industry looking after 31st October, by the way?

Mr Macron on Thursday called for the issue to be discussed at the G7 summit, branding it an international emergency.

I suppose international grandstanding is easier than dealing with the riots outside the windows of his own office, isn’t it?

Indigenous groups living within the Amazon have tried desperately to save the land. Many blame illegal ranchers for setting the fires and conservation groups believe the crisis is man made. They also believe the Bolsonaro government has tacitly encouraged people to set the fires in order to clear the land for economic development.

I very much doubt much has changed on the ground since Bolsonaro took office. What we’re seeing here is an international effort to undermine and ultimately unseat a popular president who is not on board with the globalist agenda. If he’d been a good lefty globalist, we’d not have heard a peep about these fires and my Facebook page would still be filled with middle class mothers bleating about plastic in the ocean.



I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, a widow in her early forties. She said she’d tried online dating but found it a complete sewer, and the men either looked as though they ought to be on Crimewatch, or they looked half-normal but sent her photos of their dicks. She said the biggest problem was she had no idea who the people were she was chatting to, and when she met one or two of them they turned out to be completely different.

I could sympathise. I’ve met at least two women online who for the first month or so offered up Version 1: pleasant, mature, intelligent, and serious about a relationship. Suddenly Version 1 was replaced with Version 2: unpleasant, immature, dumb, and showing no sign they were even capable of having a proper relationship. I was left wondering what the hell happened to Version 1.

When I was in Florida having my recent bout of troubles, my sister made a good point. She said when she was single she wanted to see potential partners in the context of their everyday lives, i.e. with friends, family, and colleagues. For instance, if a man says he’s divorced, does he say the same thing in front of his friends? Then you’ll see who they really are. The problem with online dating is it allows people to play-act, detached from the realities of their everyday life (which is a problem with the internet and social media in general). This doesn’t mean everyone on there is play-acting, but if they are it’s hard to figure out.

It also means the medium attracts those who play-act in real life, and there are reasons people do this. For example, if a foreign woman in her twenties marries a westerner in his forties for the chance of a nice life abroad, and then later becomes self-sufficient, I can imagine the knowledge that she sold her body for a passport weighs heavily upon her. In ten or fifteen years she might have learned English, earned a degree, and got a half-decent job but she won’t ever be able to forget how all this was made possible – especially when she meets other women who didn’t take that shortcut. I can imagine it’s a bit like an athlete who’s used steroids or someone who cheated on an exam: they’ll be living with that decision their whole lives. So they make up a story: I did it for love, despite knowing him for a week and only being able to communicate using an electronic translator. He was very handsome and didn’t look his age, only please don’t make that face when I show you the photos. He was very charming, at least up until the wedding day. I never wanted to leave my country, but somehow my profile ended up on a dating site aimed at foreigners. I’ve heard them all.

If you tell the lie often enough you’ll start to believe it, and eventually you’ll forget it was ever a lie. The problem is, you’ll then use this technique to deal with all the inconvenient facts of your life and before you know it your default setting is to play-act. And if that’s who you are, then online dating sites hold an obvious attraction. You can enjoy being the person you pretend to be until you get found out, then you block the person and move on to the next. My guess is the online dating sites are absolutely chock-full of people like this, both men and women, who don’t know truth from fiction, who the hell they really are, or what they want. I suspect a lot of these also don’t have a whole lot of friends in real life, and if they do they keep their online partners well away from them.

Ultimately, only time will tell you who someone really is. That might take months or years, but the chancers on the internet seem to get found out in a matter of weeks, generating an enormous churn (which is good for the site owners). Given online dating is the way most people meet each other these days, it makes the whole process of finding someone absolutely exhausting. I expect people are already starting to regret the MeToo movement banned people chatting each other up at work. They might even regret that they stopped going to church.


La Tournette

The reason I didn’t post anything today was because I hiked up La Tournette, a 2,351m mountain which is the highest in the area around Annecy. It took me 3 hours and 50 minutes to get to the top from the village of Montmin, and another 2 hours and 30 minutes to get back down. According to the guidebook, it represents an altitude gain of 1,024m and it felt like it. Two hours in and I was on a grassy slope looking up at this towering wall of rock and I felt like turning back. If I’d known what was to come I would have, but if you live in Annecy and you tell people you go hiking then you pretty much have to go up La Tournette. Also, I didn’t want to be looking at it in future thinking “yeah, I almost got up there but wrapped my tits in”, so I kept going. I’m reasonably fit thanks to going to the gym and skiing, but I wasn’t hiking fit: the last serious hike I did was up Le Parmelan 3 years ago. By the time I got back to the car I could barely stand up. It didn’t help matters than an hour from the end half the sole came off my walking boot, and I did the rest with it flapping about underneath. They were very good boots, made by the Italian company Zamberlan, but in fairness I bought them in 1997 and have battered them since, so I probably shouldn’t ring them up and complain.

Anyway, here’s me at the top.

I’ve posted some other pictures here.


Jet Dough

From The Times, August 2nd:

The Duke of Sussex has given a barefoot address about the need to save the environment at the star-studded Google Camp being held on Sicily, it has been reported.

The duke is said to have given an impassioned lecture at the three-day event hosted by the internet giant and which has a climate change theme, according to the Page Six gossip column of the New York Post.

Harry reportedly covered much of the same ground that he did in his interview with British Vogue’s September issue, which was guest-edited by his wife.

The duke told the magazine the couple would not have more than two children, and spoke about “terrifying” effects of climate change.

From the BBC, August 19th:

Sir Elton John has defended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s use of private jets

The royal couple have faced criticism after newspapers claimed they took four private jet journeys in 11 days, including to Sir Elton’s home in Nice.

From Elton John himself:

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“[An indulgence is] a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and all of the saints”

In other words, you can reduce the time spent in purgatory for your earthly sins by coughing up some cash for the church:

Trading in indulgences was big business before the Reformation. Buying indulgences was expensive and thus reserved for the rich, who had the money to buy them or to go on a pilgrimage to Rome or Santiago del Compostela.

Environmentalism really is a new religion, isn’t it?


Unprincipled Agent Problem

This is causing somewhat of a stir but it’s mostly meaningless guff:

Nearly 200 chief executives, including the leaders of Apple, Pepsi and Walmart, tried on Monday to redefine the role of business in society — and how companies are perceived by an increasingly skeptical public.

Breaking with decades of long-held corporate orthodoxy, the Business Roundtable issued a statement on “the purpose of a corporation,” arguing that companies should no longer advance only the interests of shareholders. Instead, the group said, they must also invest in their employees, protect the environment and deal fairly and ethically with their suppliers.

This is nothing new. The idea that there is any major western corporation which thinks shareholder value is not maximised by showing a degree of consideration towards employees, the environment, and suppliers is laughable. From the statement above, one would think modern corporations are operating like a mining company in 1890s West Virginia, paying workers in scrip exchangeable only at the company store and if one gets killed they send the widow a ham.

They might have a point about the treatment of suppliers, but I suspect it’s not the one they’re making. When people think of the poor treatment of suppliers by large corporations they conjure up images of grubby children in Bangladeshi sweatshops, sleep-deprived Chinese launching themselves from windows, and Africans hacking at a piece of concrete-like soil with a hoe designed in Roman times. Executives will fall over themselves to stamp this out because to the degree it happens and is under their control it’s an easy promise to make. Similarly, I would be quick to make a promise not to double-park my Ferraris. What they’ll be less keen on rectifying is the utterly unethical practice of allowing suppliers to go bankrupt because they’ve simply not bothered paying invoices that are months overdue.

“While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders,” the group, a lobbying organization that represents many of America’s largest companies, said in a statement. “We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.”

Again, this is nothing new. The realisation that companies operate best in a stable, functioning society took place at least a hundred years ago, which is why a lot of early industrialists engaged in philanthropy.

The shift comes at a moment of increasing distress in corporate America, as big companies face mounting global discontent over income inequality, harmful products and poor working conditions.

I’d believe this if the source of discontent were impoverished labourers with callouses on their hands instead of pudgy middle class westerners who wouldn’t know a rake from a wheelbarrow. To the extent a shift has occurred, it is that much of the left no longer see corporations as a problem but as a power to be harnessed in order to bring about their desired political goals, bypassing the political process that has thwarted their ambitions for so long.

What these CEOs are doing is signalling to the American left that they are open to doing their bidding provided they get left alone financially: we’ll sign up to Pride Month and let our HR department fire anyone who posts wrongthink on social media, just don’t look too closely at our lobbying efforts regarding NAFTA and our tax exemptions. As I’ve said before, we might even have reached the point where the senior executives of major corporations actually believe their job is to act as moral guardians of the nation, rather than just pay lip service to the latest woke fad in order to placate the SJW hordes and hoodwink the dim. In that case, what we might be seeing is an attempt to justify progressive CEOs virtue-signalling at the expense of the shareholders. For example:

The CEO of Gillette said he does not regret his company’s controversial marketing campaign inspired by the #MeToo movement, despite losing some loyal customers over it.

Gary Coombe called the loss of revenue from those customers a “price worth paying” in a Monday interview with Marketing Week. Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Gillette, announced Tuesday they had taken over $5 billion in losses for the quarter, after Gillette had an $8 billion noncash writedown after its market share for razors fell over the last three years.

In other words it’s a principal-agent problem, which is nothing new either.


Failure Spots

In April last year I wrote this:

The thing that always enrages me about governments is they are doubly shit at performing vital state functions: murdering scumbags go free and innocent people get banged up; police harass citizens over trivial matters while serious crime remains a problem; jihadists are let into the country to carry out terrorist attacks but Canadian right-wing journalists are turned back at the airport and banned for life.


I  may have said this before, but the reason nobody minds draconian laws and policing in Singapore is because it works: the city is clean, safe, and orderly. What Britain (and a lot of other places) has managed is to have all the drawbacks of an overbearing state but none of the advantages. What appalls people so much about the latest case of people who’ve lived peacefully in the UK for decades being deported is not simply the injustice, which is bad enough. It’s that at the same time we cannot deport lunatic hate preachers from the Middle East with a hook in place of a right hand because it’s against their human rights. Oh, and we need to pay for his four wives and eighteen children, too. I exaggerate, but not by much. If the state is not going to do any good, they at least ought not to do harm.

When you live in the developing world you learn not to expect much from the state institutions. After all, they are often hopelessly corrupt and the people working in them unmotivated, untrained, and poorly paid. But a feature of the decline of western civilisation is government institutions (and companies: see my posts on Boeing, for example) losing their core competence while remaining ruthlessly effective when it comes to irrelevant nonsense. Here’s a great example:

As the name suggests, Public Health England is the government body charged with overseeing public health in England and Wales. As Chris Snowdon has documented, they have been instrumental in lobbying for legislation as to how much sugar, salt, and fat should be in every item of food, how large restaurant portions should be, and how supermarkets should arrange their shelves. Yet they’ve presided over a situation where people’s distrust of vaccines and government authorities has led to an increase in measles outbreaks. As Snowdon says, you had one job.


Standards Slipping and Sliding

I’ve written before about the inability of modern actors to enunciate their words when speaking quickly, or even slowly, especially in comparison to greats such as Humphrey Bogart. Yesterday someone posted this Two Ronnies sketch on Twitter:

It’s nothing short of incredible that these two remembered their lines, let alone delivered them clearly without getting tongue-tied while acting at the same time. Now I’m sure it took many takes and the footage is spliced but still, it’s hard to imagine a contemporary actor or comedian managing just twenty seconds of this.