John Bull Profile picture
Historian. Streamer. Tech Strategist. Editor of @lonrec. Servant of Napoleon. Orient fan. Business: 🇺🇦 🇪🇺 🇮🇱 🇵🇸 #FBPE Profile picture otaria123 Profile picture Jay Jernigan Profile picture Aquarion/Nicholas❎ Profile picture Peter Durbin Profile picture 32 subscribed
Aug 11, 2023 26 tweets 7 min read
My favourite IRL Dannatt fact:

In 1999 Major-General Dannatt was CRITICAL to stopping Wes Clark from turning the Kosovo peacekeeping into a hot war with Russia/Serbia.

As he knew when and how he was allowed to reject an order. And his commander, Gen Mike Jackson knew it. /1 🧵 It's June 1999 and a NATO peacekeeping force (KFOR) enters Kosovo under a fragile peace, brokered to end the brutal Balkans wars.

When the first recon elements reach Pristina, though, they find that a small Russian force has also crossed the border and seized the airport.
Aug 2, 2023 8 tweets 2 min read
I'll NEVER tire of the fact that Uber were so desperate to avoid giving drivers sick days in the UK that they accidentally convinced a tribunal they were a cab firm.

That made them VAT liable.

Wrote back in 2019 that HMRC would nail them to the wall:…
Uber remains the textbook case of a tech unicorn assuming American corporate law, lobbying and culture can just apply everywhere.

And thus getting UTTERLY undone by not making even the tiniest changes to adapt to a local political and legal market.
Jul 29, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Obscure autobiography arrived yesterday. Been trying to hunt down a copy of for years.

Tiny volume. Person who thinks he's unimportant. Arguably helped save thousands of Jews in WW2.

As is always the case, doesn't credit himself. Blames himself for not somehow saving more. Flicking through it now and it's heartbreaking. As with Smallbones' papers or Mary Burchill's writings, just good people who stood up, but then cannot forever escape the guilt of thinking they could have done more than they did.

Even as they were doing more than anyone else.
Jul 25, 2023 31 tweets 6 min read
To understand Musk's renewed obsession with X and focus on financial services, you REALLY need to understand the X/Confinity merger that became PayPal.

And, particularly, the Peter Thiel-led coup that kicked Musk out as CEO/Chief Strategist.

Here's how that happened. 1/🧵 In early 2000, X hits the news for a vulnerability that allows money to be moved between accounts with just account details. This is fixed, but spooks investors.

Elon agrees with investor Mike Moritz from Sequoia to become CTO while Bill Harris (ex-Intuit) becomes CEO.
Jul 24, 2023 17 tweets 4 min read
Thread on history of X dot com and Melon Husk will have to wait until tomorrow as need to stream.

But in the meantime here is a quick story called:

That Time Elon Totalled his McLaren F1 While Trying to Show Off in Front of Peter Thiel 🧵/1 a very totalled mclaren F1 Year 2000. X and PayPal are fighting over the pay-by-email market. Both are burning cash so fast that a merger becomes inevitable (I'll cover all this in tomorrow's thread).

Musk (X) is REALLY not happy about this. He wants to WIN. Thiel (PayPal) is happy. He HAS won.
Jul 9, 2023 15 tweets 3 min read
I'm old enough to remember when the Rail Delivery Group insisted that Oyster Cards were the spawn of Satan.

They've never deliberately made one pro-passenger ticketing decision in their ENTIRE existence.

Best to assume, with ticket office closures, that this is still true. If you're wondering why the RDG (or ATOC as it was then. They rebrand whenever the brand becomes toxic for being anti-pax) hated Oyster, it was because IT HELPED PEOPLE PAY THE RIGHT FARE.

The operators make a fortune, every year, from people overpaying for tickets.
Jun 30, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
COLUMBO: This is a magnificent place, what did you say you did again?
BRO: Crypto, Lieutenant.
COLUMBO: Is that ghosts?
BRO: Crypto currency, Columbo! Digital wealth.
COLUMBO: Can I buy burgers with it?
BRO: No, but you can speculate and invest!
COLUMBO: But not in burgers. /1 COLUMBO: Well it all sounds very impressive, sir.
BRO: It is, Columbo. Invest wisely and one day you can run a Crypto bank like me!
COLUMBO: But still never spend it on burgers.
BRO: Are you hungry, Lieutenant?
COLUMBO: A little bit sir. I skipped breakfast.
May 25, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
If you're a writer who thinks sensitivity readers limit your creativity then you're profoundly misunderstanding what they're for.

We all have wired-in biases and false perceptions. Getting help spotting them grants the freedom to be MORE creative, not less. I had a pass done on The Brexit Tapes, and it picked up a few things that - once pointed out - I thought:

"Oh. Yeah, I can see that now."

Know what I did?


Shocking. How can creativity survive such an act?!
May 16, 2023 8 tweets 2 min read
Y'all know the reason NatCon is putting out all these handy little FashToks is so you'll quote tweet them, right? Because it's vid so nobody shares screenshots instead.

It's about ensuring reach. Hell, caught myself doing it on day one. Then my Social Media Manager brain have me a swift kick and told me to stop.
May 15, 2023 8 tweets 2 min read
Opportunity for my favourite Edward G Robinson story.

Involves the gentle but firm schooling of Charlton Heston.

So picture in your minds the set of Soylent Green. It is a bit of a painful shoot. Lots of delays.

Which leads to lots of sitting around on set... /1 Charlton Heston, by his own admission, was getting frequently frustrated at all the sitting around.

He's moaning about it to all the other cast members, who are nodding in agreement. They're all getting frustrated.

Except Edward G Robinson, who is sat there with his eyes closed
May 13, 2023 123 tweets 8 min read



This will be it. My Eurovision thoughts thread. I have seen nothing. I am going in unaware of the entrants. Let's do this. fresh from the frontlines in those ghili suits

oh fuck off lloyd webber Ukraine has suffered enough
May 11, 2023 25 tweets 5 min read
This day in 1812 Spencer Perceval became the only Prime Minister to be assassinated. It's the LEAST interesting thing about him.

With his frenemy James Stephen he engineered one of the first bans on slavery in British territory. And he did it WITHOUT parliamentary approval /1 🧵 man with pulled back, neat ... Welcome to 1800s Britain. Opinion has slowly begun to shift on banning slavery. The movement to end it has become more organised.

But slavery is a HUGE industry. Think Big Tobacco and Pharma combined. And if you're rich or important, you're probably benefitting from it.
May 9, 2023 8 tweets 2 min read
Something I find myself CONSISTENTLY moaning about wrt graduates is that courses focus on teaching them to write shiny new code from scratch, which is a false expectation. Especially in most entry-level jobs.

You're going to be maintaining hacked-together, imperfect old code One thing I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see universities doing is a sort of coding Kobayashi Maru module on their 3rd year tech students.

Give them a shitty, cobbled together codebase, roleplay an over-demanding client, and an unrealistic deadline.
May 6, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
You'd have to be a brave Tory to stand against Mordaunt in a leadership election after today.

If she made it to the member vote you'd be fucked.

Plus she has a sword now. Visual/name recognition is a big thing and:

"I was that lady who wielded TWO swords, in sparkly heels, at the coronation"

is gonna play pretty strong with her in the key demographics.
Apr 5, 2023 11 tweets 3 min read
There is LITERALLY a wine reception happening outside my room.

Someone on this overnight ferry is getting murdered and I'm going to have to Benoit Blanc this shit.

I can just tell. I have changed out of my macho man randy savage t-shirt. It's probably for the best.

Unless I just tell them I work in AI or something.
Apr 5, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
ME: Hello! I need to check in. Do you need my name?
STENA REP: Don't worry, I think I know. Can I have your passport please?
ME: Huh. How do you know my name already?!
STENA REP: We only have one Englishman on the passenger list today sir and your accent is quite distinctive... Image Apparently not many English people go to Gothenburg via Kiel. 😆
Apr 4, 2023 19 tweets 3 min read
Guess what I found on the hotel TV... Flat screen playing Wrath o... FUN HALF-REMEMBERED STAR TREK FACT:

Both Sulu AND Scotty technically passed the Kobyashi Maru.

Sulu by not entering the neutral zone at all, Scotty by blowing up the Klingon ships using a modelling flaw in the simulation vs real physics (earning a transfer to Engineering)
Apr 4, 2023 12 tweets 2 min read
So I have gambled and got on a train that WASN'T on the boards but says on the front it's going to Kiel.

Convo between me and the passengers already on it:

"Sorry, but is this train going to Kiel?"

"Maybe. Hopefully. Nobody knows."

German rail travel is... Interesting. THE TRAIN IS NOT GOING TO KIEL.

Everyone groans.

Apparently this is a FLENSBURG train.
Mar 29, 2023 15 tweets 3 min read
NICOLA: Well done team!
TUCKER <entering>: What we celebrating?
NICOLA: Our new Asylum detention-
OLLIE: Processing
NICOLA: Centre. Well done Glenn on the site!
GLENN: Group effort. To Scampton!
TUCKER: The Dam Busters base?
GLENN: What?
TUCKER: The FUCKING Dam Buster's base?! NICOLA: What are you talking about Malcolm?
TUCKER: I need you lot to put the cheap prosecco-
TUCKER: Sorry Terry but it is. I need you to put it gently down, then fucking tell me again where this detention-
OLLIE: Processing
TUCKER: Center is
GLENN: Scampton
Mar 29, 2023 9 tweets 2 min read
1987. The Met Police are waging an intimidation campaign against London's gay community.

Wearing rubber gloves to "protect from AIDS" they raid the Royal Vauxhall Tavern

"Well well," says Lily Savage (Paul O'Grady) on stage. "It looks like we’ve got help with the washing up" /1 The raid was one of a number carried out by the police, using obscure laws as justification for their intimidation.

In this instance, the excuse was "reports of drunkenness on premises"

With Lily continuing to mock the police, she was handcuffed and arrested with others.
Mar 28, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
You can see the massively flawed logic behind Melon Husk's plan. He's trying to drive Brand subs (the $1k) ones to Blue. He thinks they'll pay for reach.

Remember: Melon didn't make PayPal a success. He pulled shit like this until the board booted him out and Thiel made it big. Essentially the idea that Husk has genius ideas has only ever been true in his head, and the myth he's paid others to build and feed back to him on an endless loop.

It just used to be that all this bollocks behaviour tended to get managed out by smarter people around him.