Who we are
Our website address is: www.ianchadwick.com/machiavelli (add https:// in front of it for the secure site). You probably knew that already because you’re here now. We’re not a company, or even a bunch of people; we’re just an individual, somewhat cranky, but since the template came with it, we like using the Royal We to refer to ourselves. Did you know Queen Victoria never actually said “We are not amused”? Too bad, because it’s such a great line. We think we’ll keep using it anyway. Shall we proceed?
What personal data we collect and why we collect it
When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. This sounds pretty ominous, but it’s not actually done by people lurking in some backroom watching over the server to steal your data. We don’t even really know what a browser user agent string is, but it sounds pretty weird and We’re not sure what anyone would want it for. Something Dr. Who-ish?
If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS if you know what that is) included. Nefarious visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website. Assuming you know how to extract that data from your media, that is. We sure don’t. We’re not sure why the media library manager here doesn’t just strip that stuff out when it’s being uploaded. We’ll have to talk to someone about that.
If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. Not oatmeal raisin or peanut butter, mind you. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year. No, they aren’t THAT sort of cookie. You cannot eat them, and besides, in a year they’d be past their best-before date anyway. No, we don’t know what they’re called cookies, either. You can read more about them here.
If you have an account (and you don’t, since I won’t allow it) and you log in to this site (which you can’t since… see previous aside), we will set a temporary non-edible cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies (which pretty much every one has done since about 2000). This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser. How these machines talk to one another and decide what to keep and what to throw away is beyond us. They’re way smarter than we are. We think they’re planning to take us over.
When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks, which seems bizarrely arbitrary. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed and not even crumbs will remain. This is longer than some relationships we’ve had, but at least we won’t offer to still be friends when we throw your data away.
If you edit or publish an article (which you can’t, see above…), an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day. But have no fear, the admin has no intention of letting anyone else edit or publish here. You want to write something? Start your own blog!
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. We have no control over what they do elsewhere, but we try very hard to avoid borrowing content from bad sites. We don’t embed articles and never thought of doing that. Does that mean we don’t have to write all this stuff ourselves? Isn’t that cheating?
Who we share your data with
No one. Seriously. We don’t do anything with it. It just lies there in a heap on the server until some digital cleaning service sweeps it all away. And we’re not sure how that happens, either. We don’t even collect it deliberately; it’s done automatically by these little electronic gremlins that skulk inside the WordPress or server code outside of our control. We don’t have ads or sell stuff here, and you won’t get any emails from us unless you subscribe to see new posts or comments. But if you really want to give us money, get in touch. Please.
How long we retain your data
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue, once the moderator lets go of his steely grip on them, that is. And I have a very tight grip on comments, let me tell you.
For users who register on our blog (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile (which you I won’t let… ah, you know this one already). All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username but that’s a moot point, isn’t it?). Website administrators can also see and edit that information (translation: I can do this). But unless you ask for him to do that for you, he really doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about it and will leave it alone.
What rights you have over your data
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes. We’ll just have to hope the admin is smart enough to figure out how to do any of this. Be patient: he’s not as good at this stuff as when he was younger. Besides, he’s probably off baking bread or playing his ukulele.
Where we send your data
Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service operating somewhere in virtual space. Or maybe on Mars. One never knows these days. Those distant, digital gremlins check to see if you’re trying to sell something, redirect viewers to some malware or clickbait site, or are operating from some known hacker site full of characters with malicious intent. If so, they pounce on it and stuff the comment into the spam folder where it languishes unit the admin gets around to flushing them into the trash. Aside from that, these gremlins really don’t care what you say, so they put the rest of the comments into the moderation queue for the admin to get around to approving.
Aside from that, we don’t send your data anywhere that we know of.
Happy now? Good. Please go back to reading all those posts. Those long, windy posts the author doesn’t seem to be able to write in nice, short, punchy pieces that someone might actually read. I mean, really, who reads a 1,500-word post these days? And some here are even longer! We wouldn’t be surprised if people just gave up after the first 500 words or so. We really need to have a talk with him about his wordiness.
- Machiavelli and Sejanus - October 14, 2022
- A Meeting of the Minds? - July 3, 2021
- Machiavelli’s Prince as satire - June 8, 2017