Tag Archives: society

Dan meets Kate in The Circle - screenshot from All 4

When the catfish wins, everyone loses

I’m so gutted for Dan! He seemed like the one straight-up, trustworthy guy on Channel 4’s new reality show, The Circle (screenshot above). But Dan got nothing but public humiliation while his fellow contestant, Alex (aka “Kate”) walked off with the £75,000 prize.

In case you missed the show, which ended last night on Channel 4, here’s a summary: 8 contestants are holed up in an apartment block for 3 weeks, only able to communicate with each other via social media (using a specially made platform called The Circle). Every day they “rate” each other: the highest rated contestants become “influencers” and choose another contestant to “block” – or expel.

Fatal attraction

Dan and Kate quickly became friends, but Dan is being fooled. Kate is a catfish: she’s not a girl with a sweet face at all, she’s a “social media comedian” called Alex. At the end of 3 weeks, the highest-rated person wins. That person ended up being “Kate” (in part thanks to Dan’s consistently high ratings).

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Bowie tribute in Brixton

Rebel Rebel: 5 cool things David Bowie said about the Internet (nearly 20 years ago)

I was never that into David Bowie while he was alive. His music was okay, but then so was that of The Bee Gees and Sister Sledge and a lot of other people. Bowie dressed flamboyantly, but then wasn’t that what all glam rockers did in the 1970s? He sometimes did duets with other middle-aged pop stars. In the nineties he married a supermodel and moved to New York. To be honest, he seemed a set part of the Establishment.

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Mad dogs and teleworkers

Walking my dogs
A policeman took my name and address last Wednesday – my dog was barking at his horse, and I was on the phone. Usually I avoid calls when I’m walking the dog, precisely because you can’t concentrate on two things at once, but this was a work-related call, and I’d been trying to get hold of the person concerned, and I just thought I’d take two minutes “out” to deal with it.

So I was sat on a bench, engrossed in my call. I didn’t notice the crowd that had gathered round my formerly “cute” dog. An old lady, a couple of mums with buggies, a few toddlers and children – and the policeman on his horse. My small dog was in the middle, terrified – barking blue murder at the lot of them.

A few years ago I saw a woman in a business suit crossing a tricky road while talking loudly on the phone. She had two small children with her, on scooters – also trying to cross the road. The combination of work + busy road + toddlers wasn’t good – but then she probably didn’t plan it that way.

We have the technology to work where we like – and that flexibility makes work a lot easier. But work and the “real” world don’t necessarily mix – all too often, unconsciously, we rely on strangers to look out for us.

After a while, my policeman softened. There’s been an increase in complaints about the behaviour of dogs in this area, he said – and a lot of dog owners are constantly on their phones. The situation is “out of control”, he said. He seemed genuinely despairing.

As businesses downsize and remote working becomes the norm, who’s really picking up the tab?

Photo: This Year’s Love