This site is English – get used to it…

Social Networking

Social Networking: Learning from the past.


“In the United Kingdom, the network exists primarily within alumni of the Eton Group and the Rugby Group public schools, as well as having affiliation with Oxford University and/or Cambridge University, is colloquially known as “The Old Boys’ Network”. Such a network is often blamed for an apparent high proportion of former pupils of these schools and graduates of these universities in high status positions in government, business, and the professions.

I copied and pasted that quote from Wikipedia and the “Old Boy’s Network” is the oldest form of social networking and the most elitist. My old headmaster was part of that network being Oxbridge educated. Oxbridge means Oxford, Cambridge or both;  being the oldest and most prestigious universities in England. My headmaster insisted that alumni of the school be called ‘old boys’ and couldn’t understand why we objected to that. It was because we detested his “Old Boy’s Network” that discriminated cruelly and all it stood for. It can be a mistake to appear too elitist when engaging in social networking; inverted snobbery criticising people who are doing well just for the sake of it is to be avoided too.

I read the latest column from the young Cambridge graduate journalist this morning. His latest idea is we have some GPS device in our cars and let insurance companies ‘spy’ on us and we get cheaper premiums if we don’t drive in the early hours of the morning and stuff. We would no doubt risk a higher premium if we went over the speed limit and could even provide evidence through GPS technology of wrong doing. He got that job through the “Old boy’s network” or perhaps the “The Old girl’s network”? His article was pathetic but not the worse one I have read this morning. The worst one came from that websites nemesis; their arch rivals.  I was thinking of writing for this site; but not if they accept from morons! Anyway, this guy goes on about “welfare claimants” and supports government cuts with some odd statistics. He doesn’t appear to understand that most of that spending is on benefits supported by national insurance and people have a right to claim and if the government doesn’t pay out they are cheating the people. He also says people on welfare need to work because ‘foreign workers’ are taking their jobs. Yes, give the jobs only to people with good English names, no Patel’s, Singh’s and all that. What was the journalist’s name? Milano, give the kid a job that’s good English name…

I have had to warn my Chinese students about racists and bigots before they come to England to do their Masters degrees. They will borrow money and get grants from the Chinese lottery to come here at a cost that is 17 times that of a Chinese university. That is money pouring into Britain from China; we take tens of thousands of Chinese students but there will be bigots that don’t understand. They will say they are immigrants taking their jobs, not that most of them have a job of course.  A big danger to the students coming here are Chinese though and Triads; they fled China for Hong Kong and then fled Hong Kong for the UK when the Chinese took over. They are mostly active in the Chinese community and in China town so at least they can avoid them.

There is no room for racism in social networking either and colour is just colour; culture can be difficult but you just have to try to understand different cultures and beliefs. We even have to accept the elitist racists and are nice to them; never descend to the level of people in the gutter.

This is serious stuff today; I’ll get back to the dreamless ones tomorrow. I’m still dreaming, weird dreams. Life is so complex, it’s not surprising. My neighbour is shopping; she asked if there was anything I wanted. I need stain remover, she just phoned. Do I want the 500 gram one; they are 2 for £5 or the 1.5 Kg one that is £10 but is on offer and half price? You can’t make this stuff up can you? Why write fiction when life is stranger than fiction? What next?

I just had a break, made tea; looked out of the window. I heard shovelling when I got up and it was cold. I thought it hasn’t snowed has it? I looked out and four guys were shovelling leaves and dirt.  I remembered the election leaflet for the local council election; this is the ‘deep street clean’. They are still at it but down to two guys now, one shovelling and one smoking a cigarette watching him shovelling. They look like a prison work party. The truck must have cost a few quid to hire; they are really cutting back! I wonder what that guy is doing with is cigarette ash; I hope it’s not going on my ‘deep cleaned’ street…

Every cloud has a silver lining. One government department sends out bad news in manila envelopes and I coined the phrase ‘manila envelope syndrome’ to describe the feeling of dread when you get one. I had the dreaded manila envelope this week; they are giving me money! Don’t tell anyone!!! 🙂

My car goes for a Ministry of Transport Test on Thursday and they will service and try to fix it while it’s in the garage. It will be weird being without a car for a day. I shall get a craving for something and not be able to go and buy it. I shall have a think and make sure I have everything I need for the day including any mysterious cravings. I have scotch, beer, drugs, cider, sweets, tea and chips; that should do it. I can’t imagine craving anything else except cigarettes and I even have those; I definitely won’t succumb to that craving if it rears its ugly head. I hope they fix my reserving lights, that is about all that needs fixing and the engine needs an oil change and stuff.

I don’t like travelling; it is a remnant of my years of being very ill. I am getting better, I travel more and one day I will try driving down the motorway to the English countryside. I keep checking Google maps planning my escape to the country to take photographs. I could be driving past Anne Hathaway’s cottage in an hour if I get a move on! Did you know that Shakespeare left Anne Hathaway his ‘best bed’ in his will? I know lots of useless things. 🙂



3 responses

  1. Pingback: Social media and democracy « Mike10613's Blog

  2. “…There is no room for racism in social networking…”

    And I can think of nothing more succinct to say than that.

    30, May 2011 at 4:45 pm

  3. Thanks for the comment. It’s interesting to look back 6 months at a blog. My font was smaller then and it’s much clearer now. I think I was funnier then though, perhaps it was because I wasn’t posting so many blogs on a lot of different subjects. I was writing a guest blog daily for Shari though. I need more inspiration! 🙂

    30, May 2011 at 4:55 pm

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