-isms, part 1: the ‘whoever your favourite human being is’ paradox

There’s been some (but not enough) talking in Italy, in the last week, because not one, not two, but three different shows on national television (Rai) were based on the trope ‘sexual assault that was faked by the victim’. Many associations complained, but the conversation never really broke through to the really ‘decisional’ areas of politics (say, the parliament, or any of the major parties). But it’s always the woman’s fault isn’t it. She was wearing a tight skirt, is the point. She was drunk, is relevant.

One of the reasons why I left the country in the first place is the somewhat backward culture when it comes to inclusion: diversity is still not seen as a resource. Of course, I reckon that the cultural and historical factors change immensely between English-speaking countries, and Italy. I mean, we did try colonialism in the last century, but slavery was a major factor only millennia ago (this might be superficial, I reckon, if we consider the internal slavery systems present in Capitalism, which rely on enslaving based on class, rather than other -isms. However, this is not a topic I’d wish to explore now). This could probably be a reason why the convo re: skin colour is not really felt in Italy: we are indeed prone to evaluate one’s worth from the colour of their skin, but that’s not even the real problem-the real problem is that we barely talk about it. Blackface is not really a thing, in Italy-we don’t see the problem with it. I did not myself. It’s much more heartfelt here, for historical reasons. Don’t get me wrong, racism indeed exists in the UK, but it’s fiercely contrasted by the media, for instance. It’s part of the conversation. People of all walks of life supposedly are allowed any jobs. It’s not the same in my hometown.

The same goes for sexism: I can see sexism here, and I could see it back in Italy too. The difference is, over there it’s not even part of the conversation. The numbers are incredible, like everywhere else for that matter: 21% of women have been harrassed in some form *. Like, I’ve had 5 girlfriends in my lifetime, at least one of them has been harrassed sooner of later: quite cringy uh.

So I thought I’d start writing something about the topic. As ever, this is more to track moments in time, for myself, than for an actual audience.

My starting point about all -isms is what I call the Leonardo da Vinci Paradox (or the ‘[insert your favourite incredible human being here] paradox’, whatever): Leonardo lived during the Renaissance, let’s say around 1,500. In that period, the access to advanced studies, a meal to go back home to so that you didn’t have to gather or hunt it yourself, freedom, rights, contacts, and what we now consider basic privileges, were only granted if you were:

  • Man
  • Cristian
  • European
  • White
  • Adult
  • Cis
  • Hetero
  • Landowner/rich
  • I might be forgetting points but you get the gist

This would ridiculously diminish the possibility of someone finding themselves in the condition to skill up so much that they’d paint the Ultima cena, or anticipate flying objects by centuries, or advance anatomical knowledge, etc. Now let’s assume that there are as many women as there are men, in the world (it’s actually more than that). Let’s say 50/50%. Were women allowed the same life as men, we’d have had not one but TWO Leonardo’s; TWO Einstein’s; TWO Newton’s; TWO Laplace’s. Can you imagine where we humans would be in that scenario?

And what if we also included non-white people? LGBTQ+? What if we did not value one religion as a necessity to study at our schools (and this is still the case in many countries, including Italy, including the kindergartens (!!))?

So this is to say: the idea that women having more rights will hurt men, is laughable: not only will it not hurt men, but it’ll be actually beneficial. Working towards respecting other people no matter what, is more important than we realise.

Imagine the wonderful things we could do, if we could all study, and travel, and work, and do with our bodies as we please.

BTW, if you know the Italian language, or are learning it, Il Post is THE ONE AND ONLY online resource you should read: many mainstream newspapers are bog roll at best


Heard this on the Panpsycast, can’t quite get it out of my head

“All my life, I have been fed apples from that tree. I was told it was the only tree worth eating from. Every day, whether it was in school or in the church, someone would arrive with a basket, and I would take what they offered. Today a similar basket lays in front of me, full of apples I’ve been saving so to take a closer inspection.

Check those apples for me would you? Why so worried? Surely if they are good, there is nothing to worry about. You’ve heard of the Italian who was punished for checking, you say? I understand. I will do it myself.

There are too many in there to check one by one. I shall take them all out and only place back in the basket the ones that are certifiably good! I think the Italian might have been onto something, they all look rotten! I must check closer. I refuse to accept that they are all bad!

Ah, there is one. That will do. Perhaps the seeds can be used to grow more good apples…”

Here, and specifically here (on Descartes).

Some food for thought really:

Beh, è passato un bel po’ di tempo…

…dall’ultima volta che ho parlato di SEO in Italiano. Ed eccola qua, l’occasione:

Il mio speech al Web Marketing Festival 2020, col solito titolo rilassato e per niente borioso

Programma della sala seo al Web Marketing Festival 2020.

Sabato 21 Novembre parlerò al Web Marketing Festival, e sarà più che un appuntamento di lavoro per me. Da un lato, conosco personalmente alcuni dei ragazzi che organizzano questo (e altri) eventi in tutta Italia, da anni: Cosmano, Angelo, Vito, Giorgio, e gentaglia del genere. Ma principalmente, ciò che genera emozione è il pensiero che è proprio qui che, anni fa (2012, tipo), appena tornato in Italia, giovane (…’somma) SEO pieno di speranze, cominciavo a frequentare il mondo dei convegni di settore, conoscendo esperti e amici, e imparando a parlare di quello che mi piace fare davanti ad altri. Ho visto JoMu himself, Fiorelli, Quadrella, il rapper, Monari, un sacco di gente interessantissima e da cui ho appreso un sacco.

Nel corso degli anni, ho seguito 3 o 4 eventi GT tra Rimini, Milano, e Roma. Che bello, adesso, pensare che magari qualcuno sentirà me e penserà “ah beh, se è così allora magari ce la posso fare anch’io!”.

Insomma, sono felicissimo di partecipare, e condividerò il mio pensiero a proposito del collegamento tra Post-strutturalismo e gerarchia dei siti web, passando per IA e funzionamento del cervello umano. Spero di riuscire a farlo al meglio, in una lingua diversa dall’inglese (ormai mi sono abituato, che ci posso fare). Ad ogni modo, sono sicuro che ci metterò tutto quello che ho.

Non ho ancora un orario definitivo, ma vedremo. A presto! <3

It’s been a long time (since I rock n rolled)


Also, it’s been a long time since I spoke at an SEO event!

Last time I got the opportunity to show how much I love what I do by talking about SEO in front of strangers, I did it in Italian. A lifetime ago.

Apparently someone didn’t know any better than inviting me to talk at the biggest free SEO event in London. Just to make it exciting for everyone else as it’s going to be for me, I had to come up with a cryptic title for my speech:

Post-Aristosomething representation of reality, and websites

There’ll be beer and pizza (yeah, really) and some amazing speakers like Victoria Olsina and others for which I am under a severe NDA. What happened is Obama was to be there, but he was intimidated by the two names already out and will skip this one: therefore, the next two speakers will be announced later in February.

The topic of my speech stems from my interest in AI, in how the brain works, and some other unexpected (I hope) fields of knowledge.

Quite excited and looking for a way to keep my knees steady like for every other speech I, and I guess everyone else, ever gave. As far as I am concerned, though, this one will be special: it’s the first time I come up with such a very personal idea, and get to talk about it in front of a bunch of people. It’s a theory I’ve been brewing for years, strolling about with Gabriele and Nico by W’s pool, or discussing with the BA gang.

I love how it makes sense in my brain: hope it will for other people, too. I will publish an article to sum it up on this blog, and will develop it in due time. So it’s not a speech like any other speech I could give, because it’s very personal and I love it. See you there!

Soundtrack: Stranger Heads Prevail by Thank you Scientist

Hi, my name is Enrico and I’m a musicaholic

This year I didn’t beat my 2018 record (damn JOB! 😀 ).

Still, I got to listen to some good new stuff. OK so this is something I’ve been wanting to say for ages:

Thank You Spotify

everyone, yrstruly included

There I said it, put me on r/hailcorporate idc. There, get your link too, Spotify.

It’s not easy for someone like me to find new music, and I thought I’d NEVER again find new, cool music. Until 2013.

Oh and also: when f***in Sony or f***in Justin Taylor Swiftotune Trap complain about Spotify, it feels even better. The more they complain, the more money I wish I could pay to Spotify.

Yeah I’m aware of all the low-shares-for-small-bands thing: I don’t care. I think you are wrong. In fact, I personally listen to bands whose fandom is absolutely MILES away from me, and it’s a lot of the music I listen to, and I’d never even know they existed if it wasn’t for Spotify. So yeah I love it.

For instance, I’d never know BtBaM. Love it \m/

Artist of the decade. In fact, they were my top of the year both in 2015 (Coma Ecliptic) and in 2018 (Automata I and II)

These are my top artists of 2019:

Not a bad year re: new stuff: Tool for one, with all the stuff finally online and Fear Inoculum. New good stuff by Opeth, the best they’ve made in years Good enough by Soen (but I expected more honestly). Dream Theater is now the musical equivalent of your grandpa who kicked ass when you were a kid, but now you feel ashamed for him when he drools while asleep at the Christmas dinner table. Just go home guys. Periphery. Devin Townsend. Rendevous point. Disappointing Hemina. Baroness did their thing, which I love, but played it safe. Bent Knee, Uneven Structure: let’s see them next time.

Nothing outworldly though, now that I think about it. Maybe Leprous did the best. But the latest released album that changed my life is Pain of Salvation, 2017. No one got quite there, since.

There it is, waiting for 2020: Pitfalls, by Leprous