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Tuesday 16th January 2007

Lots of emails about PCs versus Apple Macs, mainly favouring the latter, but with some strong arguments against. Ian Apple has not yet been in touch offering me free stuff, so there is still a chance for another manufacturer to beat him to it - though Simon Vaio (the only company director in the world not to be called Ian - apart from Richard Branston) need not apply. All that can be agreed is that Vaios must never be purchased by any of you again. In fact Vaios are so crap that they don't even have a self destruct programme inside them to stop people writing bad stuff about them and putting that stuff up on the internet. And if any laptop needs a programme like that, then it is surely the unreliable and rubbish Vaio.
Let the discussion continue because at the moment I don't have the funds to buy a new computer, so am just praying my crappy Vaio can stay alive and unfrozen until I get paid for one of my scripts. And what if it dies before I can email the scripts off? Again, that's what I'd do if I was a Vaio computer, but it's too shitty to be able to be that shitty.

A deadline for the next draft of the script is fast approaching, so of course I managed the best day of work of the year. It's far from finished, but it's definitely moving in the right direction.
I was still working at midnight and by after so many hours of work it's hard to tell whether the idea you've come up with is a good one.
I was writing a bit about the character I am playing, Ian (of course), feeling that he has had so many failed relationships that he fears for him that love is broken.
His sister tells him it is impossible to break love and that love is like one of those Shatterproof rulers that you used to have at school.
Ian questions this analogy, pointing out that it was actually quite easy to break Shatterproof rulers. You could snap them in two if you bent them enough, especially if you put them in a vice, they just wouldn't shatter. In fact, I continued writing, that is what made the manufacturers of Shatterproof rulers into millionaires. Kids would buy Shatterproof rulers solely so they could attempt to shatter them and prove the measuring device was a liar, then they would snap them in two and thus have to buy another Shatterproof ruler, which again they would try to break. Any normal ruler would probably last a person their entire life, but thanks to the Shatterproof ruler, children were getting through eight or nine rulers a year. Suddenly it was boom time for ruler manufacturers.
At the time this digression seemed like a good idea, though in the cold light of day it is hard to imagine that it will make it into the final script (in fact I have just replaced it with a joke about love being unbreakable like the robot in Terminator 2 - which to be honest will probably be thrown in the bin itself before filming continues).
But reminding myself of Shatterproof rulers and the human need to test such claims even if it can ever only be a Pyrrhic victory, meant I went to bed thinking of my school-days and as I tried to sleep with my unfinished script on my rubbish computer, hoping it wasn't going to get wiped, I began thinking about "IDT".
"IDT" is what was written on a notebook or a wall next to a piece of salacious slander. For example, it might read "Geoff Quigley is gay. IDT."
IDT means "If destroy true", the implication being that if the awful information is scrubbed or crossed out by the accused person that this will merely confirm the awful truth. It's a Catch 22 situation. But it was a powerful group of three letters as it did stop most kids from destroying the statement.
But some libellers were not satisfied with the power of IDT. They (and Phil Fry's face pops into my head as I remembered this, so he might have been the instigator) would not only write "IDT" but also put "INDT" - "if NOT destroyed true". Now you were definitely screwed. The statement was as true as anything could possibly ever be. It was bullet-proof. "Geoff Quigley is gay IDT INDT" was as good as finding Geoff Quigley kissing Brian Bancroft in the playground. No way out!
Yet as I tried to sleep something struck me about this for the first time. The INDT addition was actually a huge tactical error. Because if the statement was true whether destroyed or not destroyed then the accused person might as well destroy it and then at least spare himself the shame of people reading this unarguable truth.
Yet it's taken me over 30 years to realise this. At school I thought IDNT just doubled the power. If only I had been as clever then as I am now. All the slurs about me that were written all over Fairlands Middle School could have been destroyed. I pass this information on to any 8 year olds who read my blog. INDT puts the ball back in your court. Don't be intimidated by it.
But if it's only IDT you will have to leave it, or be damned by your own hand.

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