Red's True BBQ/Togo

Well, I thought I'd try booking extra early for next month, in order to ensure getting a place.

I got a place.

But to confirm it, I was confronted with a 25kB, 4500 word, 51 paragraph "Terms of Use" with 33 sections, of which section 13 - "Privacy Policy" is, in its entirety, "Togo is committed to helping you safeguard your privacy online." It doesn't even attempt to claim that it won't pass personal details onto anyone else, or in fact do anything proactive themselves to protect the User's privacy - only that it will help (or is at least "committed to help") Users safeguard their own.

Section 14 "Your Account" requires that "When registering for an Account, you must provide true, accurate, current, and complete data about yourself on the Togo registration form (“Registration Data”). You also agree to promptly update the Registration Data to keep it true, accurate, current, and complete."

Sorry, I can't in good faith guarantee that whenever I next move house, or change my phone number, I'm going to be able to remember to go to the website of a restaurant I once made a reservation with to update my personal details.

Finally, section 20 - "Use Restrictions" - "You agree not to (and not to allow any third party to): (1) use any robot, spider, scraper, or other automatic or manual device, process, or means to access the Services or copy any Togo Content, except as expressly authorised by Togo;"

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that that language includes "web browsers", and I can't find any express authorisation specifically allowing them. So I'm agreeing to not use the site?

On top of that, the notion of needing to agreeing to a "Terms of Use" contract in order to simply book a table at a bloody restaurant offends me. So, unless someone else wants to book instead, we'll not be going there anytime soon.

July lard + evil book cult.

Well, Red's BBQ is still booked up days in advance, so we'll have to put that off again. Instead, for our meat-based needs, let's give The 8oz Burger Co a try (despite their non-metric ways) meeting in The Museum.

In book cult news, the next book will be The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

May lard - UPDATED!

In a changereversion to the tentative plan, this week we'll be at Red's True BBQ on Eccy Road. Meet in the Nursery Tavern beforehand.The Mediterranean, not too far from Eccy Road. Meet in the Porter Brook beforehand.

Places for future consideration:

Tapas Revolution, Meadowhall (yes, really)
Satay Yo! Beer, London Road
Aagrah Kashmiri, Leopold Square
Red's True BBQ, Eccleshall Road
Vera Gusto, Norfolk Row

Post any other suggestions down below, so I can keep all the future options together.

April Lard

Will be in the Prince of Wales pub, on the junction of Eccleshall Road and Carter Knowle Road. (Car park entrance is on Carter Knowle Road)

Doing things alone, together

I've run this past a few people recently, and got some good perspectives which have allowed me to think about it a bit more, so it's probably time to post this here.

When I see a bunch of people sitting around together reading books, to me, that implies a closeness between those people. Conversely, when I see a bunch of people sitting around together doing stuff on their smartphones, it looks like there's a distance between them.

Despite the fact that both of these attitues involve people sitting near each other, but not paying attention to each other, I interpret the situation differently.

The most obvious explanation here is that I'm just old, and don't get the smartphone generation, or the appeal of smartphones. (What would I understand about sitting near a bunch of people you know, but staring at a screen, having low-bandwidth textual conversations with people who might be thousands of miles away, or even having those conversations with someone in the same room rather than talking to them face-to-face?)

Some people have said that spending time on your phone is different, because it signals to the people around you that you'd rather be spending time with other people than with them. I think that gets close to the reason, but it's not entirely there, because for those people reading books, aren't they signalling that they'd rather be spending time with a bunch of imaginary people that with those around them?

I think the real reason has to do with intentionality.

When people take books somewhere, it because they intend to read that specific book. That's a thought-out plan of (sedentary) action. When multiple people take books somewhere, to read together, that implies a certain level of co-ordinated planning. It implies those people have agreed that reading is something they all want to do, and they'd rather do it near each other than alone, in spite of the fact that books can be read perfectly fine alone, and doing any co-ordination is harder than doing none at all.

Whereas people take their smartphones everywhere. There's no plan there. Playing on a phone is a distraction of last resort. People play on their phones when they have literally nothing else to do. OK, that's a half-truth - people also sometimes play on their phones when they do have some other things they could be doing instead. But still, playing on your phone can be a signal that you didn't plan for the current moment, and you cannot think of a single other thing to do. So a bunch of people sitting around together, but playing on their phones, can suggest that they're only doing so because they see zero value in interacting with each other. They believe they have nothing to say to each other, and nothing to gain from listening to what they might have to say.

Of course, that's not always going to actually be the case. But it's one of the possibilities in the solution-space to the question of "What relationship do those people have to each other?" that one ponders when seeing such a group.

Do you think that's it? Is it a lack of intentionality to the action that I see creating a distance between people using their phones, that makes it different from those people reading books?

Or should I go back to my first hypothesis, and attribute my perception of a lack of intentionality to these people's actions as a result of being old?