Remember all those years ago, when the sparkly new ultra liberal President was elected with much fanfare and ‘hope’? “Finally, someone who will deal with race issues! Represent ‘us’.” Could have fooled me! “He’ll save the environment!” Where? Whose? Which one? “He’ll bring world peace!” A Nobel Prize was awarded too – before he had even done anything! And there are even more wars now, just about everywhere. Really Mr. P?
Well, here at Vision Aforethought towers, we don’t like to dabble in politics – it’s an effective way to achieve little, slowly, but we do care for the environment, because while Presidents come and go, life full planets shouldn’t.
Over the years, having had his blinkers removed by applying research and observation to rumour and hearsay, this blogger has validated that the well known but little discussed concept that THE most powerful force on Earth is not God, nor a fully equipped American Aircraft Carrier or even the crafty security services. No, it’s the carbon fuel industry.
Everything that happens, from where ISIS try to take control, to which US States try to ban the sale of Tesla cars to where the West fights wars to who we make friends with (even if despising said friends behind their backs, deservedly so in some cases), is based on the awesome all reaching power of big oil.
I know, readers know this, but you also like a warm house – as do the Russians who have the people of Siberia to keep warm, so it DOES make sense to retain control of (current!) energy resources to a limited extent. However, for a leader to get into a position of power based on specific promises and values, and then once firmly embedded in the system but no longer able to be reelected – betray his voters and hopers by sleeping with the devil proves it was all just politics as usual. He could have taken a cleaner more visionary long term approach by forcing the industry to invest in sustainable and related technology.
Mr. President, with evidence of climate change occurring all over the world now (here in the UK too, 17 degrees last week, 1 degree this week!), you had a chance to really make a difference and stand your ground, backing up your empowering rhetoric and promises with actions.
Those of us over here on the more cynical less dupable side of the Atlantic, whilst also quite hopeful, now know our underlying feeling that you were just there to fool your gullible people and continue the status quo wasn’t just a hunch.
Fight Barack club: Support these guys via Greenpeace.
Following this story in the Guardian and elsewhere (“Google boss warns of ‘forgotten century’ with email and photos at risk”), I thought I would provide some advice on how to ensure as much of your content as possible remains accessible for as long as is practical.
I have been practicing this for quite a while now and it’s working, much to the benefit of friends, family and employer alike, because I am able to access and share ages old content, from scanned hand written letters to work photos from a while back.
The first two issues below are of course beyond your control, although if you are in a position of technical influence (such as a company CTO), it is worth keeping the industry on their toes and joining an appropriate working group and being politely shouty.
Here’s the plan:
- Industry (and popular 3rd party) standards and formats should be maintained and back supported. For example: JPEG, TIFF, MPEG (Video), PNG, PDF, PSD.
- App developers should maintain utilities for playing back (and editing if possible) content in the event they cease to develop and support a product. For example, Hypercard, an outstanding multimedia authoring system developed by Apple (and then Claris) was withdrawn after Apple moved to OS X from the previous versions of their OS. I currently have some very important Hypercard files on my MacBook but cannot access or view them in any way, despite consulting experts worldwide who have been incredibly helpful. There must be many others in a similar position.
- Ensure you keep ALL your content on one large external hard drive synced with a cloud service such as DropBox. Your backup hard drive should equal or exceed the capacity of your computer. If you’re on a Mac, use Time Machine for your local backup, it’s awesome, even offering versioning, so you can go back in time to recover files you erased in error. I suggest DropBox for the cloud because it archives your files as they are, without any lossy processing, something that services like Google+ Photos does alas. IE G+ may shrink your photos, reducing their resolution. Ok if it’s just for social sharing, but not for archiving. Further, you can of course access, view and share DropBox files from your other devices. It does not backup your actual computer operating system or apps, just the files you pop (drop!) into the DropBox folder.
- When archiving content, such as photos and video, ensure you save it in the current highest quality format. IE, maximum image quality JPEGs (.jpg), or ideally if you are a photographer, in RAW format. Video is a tougher one because there are various standards, however, it is best to do your research at the time. The key to all my advice is to keep all your content on a large hard drive – not a collection of scratchable breakable potentially unreadable after X years optical media such as DVDs.
Replace your hard drive every few years so that there is less chance of it failing and to take advantage of the latest technology – Most importantly, the ports on the back that allow you to connect it to a computer or other access device. How many of you are using Firewire drives, yet now own a Mac or PC without a Firewire port – exactly! No harm will come in buying a drive with WiFi access.
- IMPORTANT: At least every 3 months run diagnostics on your computer and backup drive(s) to repair any corrupted files. There is no excuse for not being able to be able to access content for decades if not centuries by following this, as long as the industry follow steps 1 and 2, above. It is incredibly important not to miss any corrupted files that you may end up backing up repeatedly, without realising it, so that any versioning or historical backups are themselves useless.
- Now we get to the real dystopian apocalyptic matter – What if there is a global catastrophe and you (and many if not all others) are unable to obtain power to fire up computers and other electronic devices to access content? That priceless backup drive will be an unaccessible brick, as will everything else. Short term, (IE, whilst you are still alive, and your descendants are still following your mantra or a fade proof hard copy of this blog page!) you can start by trying to live off the grid with reliable sustainable energy that won’t conk out when the planet’s infrastructure does. A tough computer and backup drive powered by solar energy charged batteries, such as are about to be released by Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors / Solar City would be a great start. There is also the possibility that priceless images could be ‘printed’ using a tough scratch, heat and waterproof medium. Already, Epson and others offer printer ink and paper that will last 100 years.
- When it comes to the written word, this is easier, because as per long lasting hard copies of images, you could look into finding guaranteed long lasting printer paper, or even hope that someone invents a way to engrave the written word at high speed on a tough material that would last centuries, like gravestones or biblical tablets!
- So, right now, before it degrades and the conversion process becomes unaffordable, get those VHS, Betamax, 8mm etc video recordings and film based photos and video out of the storage boxes, and have them converted to digital. Keep the tangible originals, you never know, they may be useful in the future – in a museum or as a family keepsake.
- Don’t forget to renew your cloud backup service – they will probably give you plenty of notice.
So the UK’s (uhm, Scotland’s?), North Sea oil production is under threat due to the falling price of crude. Good news for the consumer and businesses of course, but not for the oil rig employees who are about to be laid off, not to mention the environment as people fill up en masse at 99p a litre.
However, if like more forward looking businesses, BP (‘Beyond Petroleum’, hah, don’t make me laugh) and others had in advance used their once huge financial might to invest in practical sustainable clean energy solutions, such as…
- Tidal barriers, like the superb one proposed across the Severn Estuary
- Large scale solar fields in Saudi Arabia, Australia etc
- Next generation battery technology for efficient storage and distribution
- (Electrical) energy ‘transportation’ infrastructure and management
…then, by now, these companies would not only be able to retain their employees and contractors, but help contribute to a reduction in carbon fuel pollution.
They have had years to begin this bridge building in advance (like Rank Hovis Mcdougall: Movies > Bread), but greed and the human desire to always consume the whole bar of chocolate/apple/planetary resources rather than leave the rest ‘in the ground’, means that we’ll now go through a period of energy insecurity and unemployment. This is exceptionally dangerous with the world already in a very fragile position (yes, the terrorists attacks are related to oil – just use a map) but it’s not a surprise.
It’s controversial to say so, but as I have hinted at before on this blog, the types of people who run carbon energy companies lack the vision, imagination and pragmatic compassion essential to bring about change. Just visit a filling station, they are dirty, clunky and smelly, the only major change since the very first pump was installed being a switch from mechanical clickity whiz digital readouts to LCD. Whoopie doo!
Compare to the imaginative efforts from companies like Tesla and Gogoro.
Fight back club: Don’t put more gas in your tank just because it’s cheap – force the industry to invest in the future before it’s too late by maintaining your frugal less polluting lifestyle. Be Pushy.
Everybody’s a dreamer
And everybody’s a star
And everyone’s in movies
It doesn’t matter who you are
There are stars in every city
In every house and on every street
And if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
Their names are written in concrete
Don’t step on Greta Garbo
As you walk down the Boulevard
She looks so weak and fragile
That’s why she tried to be so hard
But they turned her into a princess
And they sat her on a throne
But she turned her back on stardom
Because she wanted to be alone
You can see all the stars
As you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
Some that you recognize
Some that you’ve hardly even heard of
People who worked
And suffered and struggled for fame
Some who succeeded
And some who suffered in vain
Looks very much alive
And he looks up ladies’ dresses
As they sadly pass him by
Avoid stepping on Bela Lugosi
‘Cause he’s liable to turn and bite
But stand close by Bette Davis
Because hers was such a lonely life
You can see all the stars
As you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
Some that you recognize
Some that you’ve hardly even heard of
People who worked
And suffered and struggled for fame
Some who succeeded
And some who suffered in vain
Everybody’s a dreamer
And everybody’s a star
And everybody’s in show biz
It doesn’t matter who you are
But those who are successful
Be always on your guard
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard
You can see all the stars
As you walk along Hollywood Boulevard
Some that you recognize
Some that you’ve hardly even heard of
People who worked and suffered
And struggled for fame
Some who succeeded and some
Who suffered in vain
I wish my life was a non-stop
Hollywood movie show
A fantasy world of celluloid
Villains and heroes
‘Cause celluloid heroes
Never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes
Never really die
Everybody’s a dreamer
And everybody’s a star
And everybody’s in movies
It doesn’t matter who you are
– Ray Davies
© Davray Music, Ltd
On October 1 1908, Ford launched the Model-T automobile, the first internal combustion engine powered vehicle designed for mass production, and therefore, mass adoption. We can debate whether the invention of a carbon fuel powered motor was a wrong turn by humanity another day, but what Ford did with Mercedes invention was give credence to a method of transport orders of magnitude more practical than it’s 4 legged predecessor. (Nay I say more on that?)
Today at CES in Las Vegas, a company has revealed a machine whose thoughtful design and execution could finally do for electric transport (and potentially sustainable energy) what the Model-T did for the internal combustion engine.
If you have not already read about it, I’m referring to a superbly designed electric scooter from a 2 year old former stealth startup called Gogoro founded by former HTC execs. They really have thought of everything! (Do watch the excellent video in The Verge article.)
Way to Gogoro!
Large cities across Asia are flooded with noisy polluting gasoline powered mopeds in dire need of obsolescence, whilst adoption in Western cities could also benefit from these cleaner quieter machines at the same time freeing up roads with a speedy mode of transport that takes up 1/4 of the space of a car.
Best of all, hopefully, if the rider can choose where the energy used to charge the batteries is sourced from, they can vote with their Gogoro’s on obtaining their energy from solar and other clean sustainables.
I have never felt so excited and confident that we may finally have a chance to supplant mass produced polluting carbon fuel powered clunky transport with a leaner cleaner greener alternative that’s fun too!
Therefore, winner of my Best of CES 2015 award. Said award to be redacted and this blog post updated with a more terse tone if anyone tries to garden wall the battery charging stations such that riders are fleeced for using ‘free’ energy, such as that from solar and other sustainable energy sources.
Finally, Vision Aforethought now has it’s own domain. Two in fact, take your pick!
or the short and sweet:
Oflife, my twitter ID, was originally conceived as a tease for a product from my employer to be entitled SPiCE. IE, Spice Of Life. However, unexpectedly, in December 2014 we discovered an indirect competitor using the same name, so had to rebrand the project. Oflife is no longer a teaser for our project, but in the interests of continuity will remain in use.
E M E R G E N C Y B L O G P O S T
Since I started this blog, I have been warning way before anyone else that all this surveillance and abuse of power by the state and it’s footsoldiers was about protecting large corporations, the non renewable energy industry in particular. Years later, we finally have vindication of this warning.
This is deeply worrying and tragic.
Fight back club: As ever, avoid purchasing energy from any entity involved in such behavior and continue to protest.
In UK, pat a lady on the bottom during a time when everyone was doing it (and the reverse), and it’s public humiliation PRIOR to a court case, and then what is equal to life in prison if you’re over 70.
In Australia, ASSAULT over 40 women (and other heinous crimes), and you remain free to terrify and kill innocents despite the authorities knowing all about you.
What the hostages went through is impossible to comprehend, and someone high up has blood and terror on their hands over in Oz. Liberals at work again or is there something more to this, like those who murdered Lee Rigby in the UK who allegedly had connections with our secret service?
The West has got its priorities wrong and lost it’s balls.
Fight back club: Grow some.
Beyond capping video camera recording limits to 30 minutes as a way of encouraging importers to pay the EU a nice little earner, this nasty little organisation has introduced yet another way to repress us long suffering people. Read this – and come back here. Think about this one, the owner of a sandwich shop has to meticulously examine the ingredients of every single item they serve, and then flag any of those items – most of which are in fact VERY good for you, way more so than sugar, chocolate, crisp, chips and other junk carbs. The harm this is going to do to small businesses everywhere is going to be huge. Not only will their staff waste much time managing all the information, their menus will be a mess of warnings, and of course, they will worry about being sued by yet another money grabbing victim Brit – who make up an increasing percentage of our weakening population.
When I was at school, there were 310 of us, and not one had an allergy. Today, you would think people are collapsing or dropping dead on a daily basis. Actually, they are not, this is just mass hysteria caused by a few news reports and the EU turning the screws bit by bit to further repress every sector of society and business. I was educated that the EU was formed to prevent another world war – by ensuring economic balance between nations – and it works, although even on that, the EU/Euro created the meltdown in Greece and Spain, and we had to save them.
And why the sudden case of youthful Brits either self harming or claiming to be allergic to things that their parents and grandparents were not allergic to? Simple, they have been brought up on a diet of junk rather than whole grain solid natural foods, so their bodies have been unable to adapt. And even if these allergies are widespread, why on Earth should restaurants and cafe’s list all these so called allergens? Yes, mention the junk additives and chemicals (as is law anyway), but it’s the responsibility of and far easier for everyone if the individual checks the menu.
(As it happens, I’m allergic to cats and the nickel coating on all Apple’s aluminium products, but I don’t blame anyone else nor seek fiscal remuneration or an article on the BBC, I put up with sniffles from cats because they are lovely, and use an external plastic keyboard and coatings when using Apple gear. No blame no shame!)
And regards the reports of increases in self harm, what do you expect with a society that mollycoddles young people, not allowing them to participate in competitive sports and instead keeps them indoors in front of a TV or tablet game? Not long ago, they would be outside building tree houses, rough and tumbling in the garden and doing other laddish things that release energy and encourage social bonding and team work. (I spent my youth building tree houses, go carts, shooting, bicycling, doing odd jobs for needy neighbours etc etc. The contrast between then and now is deeply troubling and very narcissistic and selfish.)
The enlightened of you will already know where all this headed, an increasingly dystopian nation where every single action is monitored and tracked, and if you step out of line, expect a hefty fine to fund the greedy overpaid council or EU workers.
Am an environmentalist, but the Green Party are also continuing their police state mentality, so discrediting the ecologically friendly term used in their name. I’ll be writing more about how they have ruined Brighton in a future post, including video footage of their motorist entrapping impractical 20mph speed limit along the Worthing to Brighton coastal road.
Oh and we cannot let the so called #WeatherBomb get away with it either. Media hype over an event that has yet to be anything like as problematic as previous storms, hides the fact that as it happens, this winter, so far, is as mild as the last one – and most importantly, the fact that the temperature is fluctuating all over the place. Below freezing on Nov 5 (as it should be that time of year) and then up to almost summer temperatures, causing confusion in what we humans should wear, and no doubt prematurely waking hibernating animals. This is because the jet stream way above the Earth is stuck due to climate change, but we cannot talk about that can we because the energy companies need their profits. What a muddle, eh?
Fight back club: Ignore these laws and revolt. The EU must be stopped from going beyond it’s original remit. Common sense and liberty must prevail, worldwide, before it is too late and this madness becomes world-law managed by inhuman AI CCTV and subservient individuals who know no alternative.
I bought a packet of nuts the other day – transparent too. Guess what it said on the back? “Contains nuts.”
I rest my case M’Lud.
Allegedly the UK economy is booming (although blueberries are twice the price they were a few months ago, despite a pleasant summer), but we’ll leave that one for now!
Lots of money to spend. Billions in fact. A great opportunity for Britain to lead the world again!
And it is!
- Building or enlarging more polluting motorways
- A new noisy soul destroying if you live nearby runaway at Heathrow
- Oil wars to fuel the aforementioned
- Fracking – with extra shakin‘
But not in…
- Extra railway carriages and reduced rail fares to get people off said roads
- Hydroelectric energy generation in the Severn estuary
- Solar energy
- Capacitive batteries to store & distribute said energy
So, it’s back to the dirty smelly noisy 70s. (It wasn’t very nice, believe me.)
Good stuff lads! It’s great what imagination, integrity and vision can do for the world!
Fight back(wards) club: Don’t spend money on carbon fuels. No market, no racket. Simples!
For the first time in a long time, the world has the perfect opportunity to validate if special interests, stock holder driven corporate maleficence and other unpleasantries really do govern our destiny and liberty.
Just a few days ago it was announced that there could be a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, a debilitating (& frustrating) condition that until this potential development, means a lifetime of inconvenient and costly injections.
Although it is possible to live as anyone without diabetes can (including consuming ice cream and cake), diabetes takes over the life of the sufferer and immediate family, with all the paraphanalia and procedures required for successful governance taking priority at any meal or social occasion. (And I speak from considerable experience.)
The only beneficiaries are my other favourite Earthborn entity, big pharma. In fact, having just this hour visited a McDonald’s (healthy chicken wrap) and observed once again what one can witness any Saturday, families of unhealthy parents and tragically even more unhealthy children being stuffed with heated carbs (carcinogenic), artery lining heated fats, sugary or sweet drinks, (and no government initiatives to stop this madness, that is as bad as handing your kids a cigarette), we can all agree that the industry relishes an increasingly irresponsible or clueless obese society. (The movie Wall-E tried to get this across.)
When I was a lad, we were walking or sailing in Wales every Saturday! What a contrast, eh?
As per my pre-discussed elsewhere life altering experience in Palo Alto in the early 90s, this is the actual strategy of such corporations, whose execs all play golf together, NOT the thoughts of a conspiracy theorist!
You know where I am going here..
Will big pharma use all manner of crafty influence to unjustifiably discredit this remarkable life altering development, modify it such that it’s not permanent therefore requiring a repeated dose of something, or (miracles can happen), let it be and move into another industry, such as curing Ebola?
Only time will tell!
Fight back club: Live well, so you don’t need to worry about all this anyway.
Within a year of arriving in the USA and taking an interest in writing a screen play, most of the others I met with interests in ideas for movies came up with plots that centred on guns – and drugs. And gangs. And so on. There would be a shoot out of some sort, just as there is on just about every American TV cop show. So, why is it that a harmless extremely funny cartoon that most of my generation were bought up on and loved is being censored by Amazon? Let’s look at the details shall we:
- Smoking characters – So what? What about characters that shoot? Or drop bombs? If our increasingly dystopian society (read: liberal control of everything through misdirected hypocritical righteousness) is to censor one concept, than why not go the whole
mousehog and ban any production involving the use of weapons?
- Large female black character – So what? There are plenty of large female (and male) white characters throughout entertainment, as well as skinny bestpectacled geeks who talk affeminately as if they drank out of plastic water bottles containing BPA during youth. Not to mention various other stereotypes.
NO ONE I know who was bought up on such funny and harmless programming is a smoker, racist or projects any other personal characteristic that would be deamed as being influenced by such programming. This is is yet another example of jobsworths (losers who have a chip on their shoulder) projecting their desire for an unjustified something: From attention to control to compensation to public self pity to press coverage (related) through the destruction of common sense, satire, wit and personal responsibility. A sense of entitlement through sham victimhood.
Fight back club: Keep that DVD collection of unedited Tom & Jerry cartoons locked away
In the meantime, enjoy this priceless genius from The Two Ronnie’s that extracts the wee and yet offends no one, because some know how to take a joke. And here’s my own satire penned in 2000 AD. And another that should have the feminists up in arms.. ;)
As the West prepared to invade Iraq way back, as ever, I dug deep to try to understand why, despite knowing (like you) that ‘extracting’ all propaganda, it was about oil, period. But whoever it is that controls us – (and they are not a nice lot really, else you wouldn’t have to pay to park at a hospital) – devised a superb ploy to detract us from the truth.
1. Create a direct threat to the individual, in this case, a long range missile, “capable of reaching the UK”. Even back then before the term was invented, one could respond with LOL!? I spent my youth reading books on nuclear and other missiles, and believe me, Iraq was not even close to such means, and if they were, would never attack the UK.
2. This is the clincher, it was sort of kind of accidentally on purposely ‘leaked’ that Israel would love us to invade Iraq because Saddam was providing resources to it’s enemies. This is not true, Iraq has synagogues and there has been no case of threats to Jews or other minorities in Iraq.
The scud missiles fired at Israel were done to blackmail the West from continuing it’s war. The fact they were so useless validates the case against them having any seriously harmful weaponry.
After the UK, US and other nations lost troops in combat, not to mention the thousands of Iraqis, by spreading this little lie, it created the sort of toxic backchat that it was all about Israel, further increasing hate towards the country. It was a clever ploy, and it worked – to this day.
If you are a detective (a former career consideration), you go about solving mysteries (hunch or not) by joining the dots, and when they are staring you in the face, it is a lot easier. The truth, that was freely available for anyone to discover by keeping an eye on the newspapers, was that just before the Iraq war, there was a donation to the Labor party from BP. And the second the war started, British troops raced direct to Basra to protect the oil refinery. Kuching!
The UK PM then (who came into power when I was living in the US) made the case for the Iraq war with an impatient sham innocent glee not too dissimilar to a young man asking his father if he can borrow the keys to his car, promising that “it’s all good”. Of course!!
There is no smoke without fire, and just as the press articles about Basra and BP all but confirmed our? hunches, many years later we now have this. Hands thrown up in the air in total disbelief!
This by a man who once lead a party that was (I assume) pro environment and human rights, yet has done nothing other than act as a shill for the cancerous oil industry, whilst allowing lies about Israel to persist in the ‘chattering classes’, as I think some people call wealthy gossips, many who run today’s toxic press too.
This is all completely disgusting. The weather around the world is out of control, the seas are warming up, diesel* fuel has finally been proven to cause cancer, people are in general fedup of politicians for spewing falsities & breaking promises, we have instability in the Ukraine and Muddle East – and yet we continue to focus on an economy powered by carbon fuels that beyond dirtying the planet, enriches despots, who no doubt, just as we did with Saddam (who the West put into power), we will eventually attack to get our mitts on his pipes!
It’s all about oil, period.
Fight back club: Spread the word, avoid carbon fuel based products, don’t believe your leaders, go solar etc. What else is there to do?
*Am fairly convinced it killed two healthy non smoking family members who lived in London all their lives and succumbed to cancer not long ago. Nasty stuff, hence I have always refused to own a diesel vehicle.
…when a politician is lying?
We all know the answer, when their lips move. Old joke, but never so true than today. I cannot believe the untruths being spouted by our (sponsored by big carbon) trusted authority figures.
Am so concerned about the subject of this post, I have hit PAUSE at 0:44:34 whilst watching the very first episode of Sherlock, (on Netflix via a Google Chromecast* plugged into a TV to be precise), to write this, before it is too late.
Those who support fracking state the following:
- British standards are very high, higher than the US even when it comes to such energy extraction methods and land management.
- The effects on the local community will be minimal.
- There is no evidence of toxic contamination of ground water.
- The local community will benefit financially.
- We need energy independence, in particular in view of events in the Eatern Bloc, or remanants of.
And so on. And on the other side of the more honest fence:
- Indeed, British standards are high, we do do contemporary coal mining, environmental protection and beautyspots better than most other nations, but this is different. Fracking is a technology and process that is by it’s nature, harmful, you cannot do ‘clean’ fracking today, and by the time any processes are perfected, the need for it will be obsoleted if it is indeed planned to be a short term solution as backers claim.
- If you have ever visited or lived in an English, French or Austrian country village, they are in no uncertain terms, in particular if equipped with a church, a pub, a post office, a bakery and broadband, the closest you’ll get to heaven on Earth: Quiet, pretty, friendly community spirit, relatively crime free (just look at a crime map) and the air is sweet, except on a cold winter’s evening when some fire up their coal or log fires. In the US, where Fracking is already under way (despite a so called left wing president in power), those communities that feature fracking suffer the following, as you can research yourself: a) Large trucks trundling along the local roads that in the UK will not just produce noise pollution but cause vibration damage to buildings. b) Pollution and smells from burnoff. c) Ground water contamination, that whilst not dangerous immediately, does eventually effect water that could possibly be consumed in the future. d) And there is increasing evidence that fracking causes small but frequent earthquakes as experienced in Oklahoma recently.
- There is evidence of contamination of groundwater because the chemicals used to help extract the oil or gas is toxic and by the nature of the process going to seep into any ground water! The lies when it comes to this matter are repulsive.
- …and so is this one: When I lived in the US, everywhere there was any form of energy extraction or refining, not only was the local area polluted (you could smell it in the air), but the area was poor and fairly grotty. Anyone living there when the industry builds a plant and can afford it leaves (‘white’ flight), and only the poor are left behind to suffer the ill effects. Environmental ‘racism’ or ‘prejudice’ as I call it. The financial beneficiaries are the companies that extract, process and/or sell the fuel, not the locals, beyond any hires of working class blue collar workers. And those white collar workers who really benefit live miles away from the noise and pollution. Just as will be the case in the UK. So, the lie continues.
- Actually, we don’t need energy independence, although (and this persona), it is a dream of mine for every home or community to generate it’s own energy and get right off the (national) grid. (I have ideas on this and my employer has been doing some research into the feasibility.) Anyway, if the UN stopped wasting time on same old hateful political issues and instead made the (strong, forceful) case for a global investment in and move towards sustainable energy production, we could share our clean energy with each other. Germany’s overly successful solar panel revolution means it is forced to sell excess energy abroad – what a great problem to have!
Fight frack club: a) Protest at a potential fracking location when you get a chance and b) Do not use fracking sourced energy, so ensure you find out where your home and/or business supplier sources its energy.
*Very clever bit of kit and excellent quality for the price. A glorified Internet remote control for those not in the know.
(As per prior post, VA has moved back to WordPress.)
If the Korean ferry disaster had been part of a movie plot (the Poseidon Adventure comes to mind), our hero or heroes would have used ingenuity and infinite resources to rescue a decent proportion of the passengers.
Perhaps, as I was thinking, by drilling or cutting through the upturned hull using some kind of machine. This would allow people to climb out, rather than send divers under and into the vessel, something that is dangerous and not really that helpful beyond confirming anyone is alive, and then only assuming then can reach every deck and cabin. The machine would require an air lock to prevent the release of any air trapped inside the vessel causing it to sink.
Likewise, flight MH370. With all our modern technology, that allows the NSA to do heaven’s know what to our private information, we cannot use ANY contemporary machinery to locate a missing aircraft of the size of a 777, prior to or after it went down. Fortunate it didn’t contain a wmd.
There appears a distinct lack of ‘Thunderbirds/International Rescue’ type attitude in the world today. Everyone is praising their own efforts on Twitter or promising “We’re doing all we can.”
Not really: Big problems require significant effort, technology and resources, not self hugs.
Recent events have also highlighted the dumbing down of the media and some authorities. For example, there was much hype over an oil slick – over a month after MH370 vanished. A slick would have been dispersed by the waves within days! So why raise hopes for the relatives of the missing?
It isn’t popular in certain quarters to praise America, but their record in dealing with emergencies is second to none, from rescuing stranded whales (UK failed in TWO attempts in the last year or two), to natural disasters to rescuing their own during war. Pity they are not on the case in Korea or re flight MH370, but local national pride and military security probably make such arrangements complicated.
“We’re on our way!”
© Shigeru Komatsuzaki
Flight back club: Time for a real International Rescue, and ideally, using advanced VTOL aircraft and drones fitted with extraordinary machinery, agile robots and high definition 3D cameras – all controlled by sentient humans of course.
In the interests of simplicity and efficiency, am ceasing to communicate using any other messaging services (WhatsApp messenger, Skype etc) and switching exclusively to Google Hangouts.
Despite Google’s (as yet) inexplicable decision to cease support of XMPP (messaging protocol), Hangouts is quite simply the best executed messaging system out there and comes highly recommended.
Just as when choosing a phone, laptop or car, it is wise to be ridiculously fussy about selecting products that are intelligently conceived – not just aesthetically pleasing. As with many other of their properties, Google are light years ahead of alternatives because they are staffed by some of the most intelligent humans on this planet. (I met one a few years ago outside a restaurant in Kensington after a fire broke out in the kitchen, but that’s another story!)
Hangouts value proposition
- The client runs on almost all devices, including those without phone numbers. One of the flaws of the otherwise superb WhatsApp app is that it requires a phone number (& therefore a sim card) to operate, and not just for authentication. Like Skype, Hangouts happily works on data only connections or WiFi without the need for a cellular/mobile connection in the case of the later.
- Hangouts runs in the browser within the Gmail interface, so you can continue a conversation on your desktop. But that’s not all, it gets better…
- If you fire up and login to Hangouts on multiple devices and begin to text chat with someone, you’ll notice that as you type, the text appears in real-time on each device, as does anything the other party is typing! (Very much like collaboratively editing a Google docs page or spreadsheet where you see the other parties changes appear instantly.) This means you can jump from one device to another and continue the conversation seamlessly, great if you leave your desk in a hurry mid conversation. Just grab your phone or tablet and continue chatting.
- The video conferencing is outstanding – as evidenced by the live Hangout with Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson yesterday afternoon. That said, as my team know full well, physical face to face meetings are still the only way for that sort of thing, but technically, Hangouts video conferencing is very impressive. No lag or dropouts.
Right, time to erase all chat apps except Hangouts from my devices!
Am aware that Hangouts does not run on some platforms, but truth be told, and I base this on factors beyond the scope of this post, Google will be around for a bit yet, unlike others who appear to have their head(s) buried in the sand with regards to their mortality.
Chat back club: Download, login, chinwag!
Update – Feb 2 2014: Epic fail. No one wants to use Hangouts, so stuck using inferior messaging systems. I think this is because Google’s Android Hangouts app is rubbish so it puts people off.
As predicted in this blog and in various comments I have made on the Internet over the years, the use of disproportionate thuggish repression against decent citizens by the nefarious energy industry sponsored authorities has finally begun.
Meanwhile, the headlines are about overseas repression and celebs. Hence with the exception of the aforementioned polite well educated protestors, the increasing majority has been so dumbed down by over a decade of trashy 24 hour television that they lack the enlightenment, resources and drive to even be concerned about such matters, never mind do anything about it. And that dear reader is precisely why the ‘system’ allows such abhorrent processed programming to brainwash the populace. It’s the opposite of communism. But it provides the powers that be the same control.
A few years from now, if the effects of poisoned ground water begin to take effect, and our national cancer rate ups from it’s current 40% in the areas effected, you’ll know why and who to blame. And no, it’s not an ageing population!
Which begs the question: How much money is being spent by the energy companies on using solar energy to provide power to whole buildings and communities as has been proven successful in various trials and private enterprises in the UK and abroad? Zilch. Why? Because (unless you’re a visionary social entrepreneur), it is hard to commoditise solar energy.
Fight frack club: Same as usual, don’t spend your money on energy you disapprove of. Consider supporting Greenpeace who appear to be remarkably effective at keeping the spotlight on causes green.
There will be much more on this abuse of power against decent citizens in my (massively overdue) ‘WW4′ post. We are closer to a corporate dystopia than you think. It’s just not blindingly obvious yet.
The other day, we went to see Superman – Man of Steel (excellent for multiple reasons). We intentionally arrived at the cinema late to avoid the trailers that previous experience indicates they would be full of spoilers, Alas, I was not late enough and arrived before the trailers started, so I closed my eyes and tried to block my ears (pointless, the sound was very loud) and we were shown trailers for the following new releases:
- Pacific Rim
- World’s End
- The Wolverine
- And another I cannot recall
The trailers were very long and gave away key plot points from each movie. In fact, they were so long and detailed, the trailers were more like mini movies, providing a story and entertainment in just a few minutes! All aspects of surprise or any reason to see the movie were ruined, and so whilst I cannot speak for others in the theatre, I no longer have any incentive to see any of the movies. I am also angry at having spoilers thrust in my face without prior warning, unlike say IMDB where people are thoughtful enough to display *** SPOILER ALERT *** at the top of their reviews. Yes, we could have come into the theatre even later, but it is not always clear what time the features start. The time on the timetable is when one can enter the theatre for the chosen movie, not the feature start time of course.
When I was in the US, this sort of dumbing down was common, just as in some Hollywood movies they will show a scene featuring the Eiffel Tower, and then superimpose “PARIS, FRANCE” at the bottom of the picture! If anyone in the cinema does know that the Eiffel tower is not in Paris, never mind that Paris is in France, then there is something fundamentally flawed with the American education system.. This explains why such dumbing down of the populace with extended movie trailers is necessary in the first place!
I enjoyed Superman without seeing a single trailer or preview, and it may be in part why I enjoyed it so much.
Can the movie industry start to be considerate and treat it’s audience with respect please?
Fight back club: Easy, do not pay to see a movie spoiled by trailers.
See this and then that. (Sorry, both paid links.) One refers to the ‘problems’ associated with ‘too much’ solar energy overloading the grid (#excuses), the other, that the government is to arrange power blackouts in the UK to save energy. You could not make it up!
The once cash rich energy industry has had years to invest in low maintenance, clean, sustainable energy. They have not. Why not? Because resources like shale gas (obtained through as yet unproven fracking) will make those who invest in it a fortune very quickly. So they have resorted to the oldest trick in the book, fear, to persuade (frighten?) the British public to back shale gas. No matter that with cancer effecting more and more people today already and concerns about access to clean drinking water by farmers, the energy companies (read, The Government and their paid off ministers) are more than happy to choose a path whose consequences will include both using huge quantities of potential drinking water and pollution of the ground water in the locality, rather than more ethical, viable and clean alternatives.
Here we are in 2013 (‘the future’) and we have crusty greedy visionless people running our lives in such a manner that make the clean, almost utopian (without the dystopian!) future we were promised and worked hard at engineering college to bring about far off, or even, simply doomed. It is almost as if our leaders want to keep us (who is ‘us’ is another debate!) repressed and with as little hope and freedom as possible. Reminds me of the 70s, but what makes it worse, is that today, as recent events have proven, we’re all being monitored 24/7 (both ‘on the street’ and online), so trying to protest against such policy will lead to the authorities arresting people before they even get marching. Freedom? Puh! (At least abroad they still have the freedom and passion to revolt.)
A degree in economics is not required to know that energy is what effects the price of all else, from food to clothing to building materials, not to mention your actual electricity bill. Yet the government is holding us hostage by forcing us to accept quick and dirty solutions, rather than take a more long term approach that will neither pollute or require expensive exploration.
Fight frack club: Just as you may choose not to buy your clothing from sweat shops or your bananas from a dictatorship, so, find out where your energy is sourced from, and if it isn’t clean, shop elsewhere. I’m doing my part by researching (and possibly developing) practical clean energy solutions, such as storing solar generated energy close to where it is needed, for on demand access, no grid or over fed politician required.
A quick task for you – do it right now, before it’s too late. View the home pages for all the leading British broadsheets…
- Daily Telegraph (Fairly conservative, so no surprise there)
- The Guardian (Liberal, so this is out of character)
- The Independent (Almost communist, so no idea what to expect)
- The Daily Mail (I don’t think they even care about climate change or pollution, but they do care about celebs doing cocaine deals according to their headline as I type this)
…and you won’t find a single mention of the matter covered in an email I just received from one of the most effective green organisations to exist world-wide that I may well give a lot of money to one day:
The vote was this afternoon and was amazingly close. But we lost.
MPs have just rejected a clean power future – and I thought you’d want to be the first to know.
It’s been a tense few days as we waited for MPs to vote on a clean power target in the Energy Bill, and it’s not the outcome we all wanted.
But there is a silver lining.
Thousands of us told our MPs to back clean electricity, and as a result the rebellion against George Osborne’s dirty, costly dash for gas continued to grow steadily right up to the vote.
We lost by just 23 votes. That’s the third closest vote since the election. If just 12 more MPs had switched sides, we’d have won.
Osborne may have won this round, but the Energy Bill will now go to the House of Lords. There will be another vote, which gives us another chance to secure our clean energy future.
The battle for Britain’s energy future is far from over.
Over the next few days, we’ll be thinking about where to take the campaign next. But right now we’re recruiting for our core volunteer lobbyists – the people who go and challenge their MPs face-to-face, in their constituency offices.
We need as many of these volunteers as possible to make sure we get the political impact we need. You’ll be trained for free and given all the support you need to become an effective lobbyist – for the good guys.
Let’s use today’s news to make us stronger. Volunteer for the Greenpeace lobbying network now.
P.S. In two days, 21 people will be sentenced for occupying one of George Osborne’s dirty gas power stations. Some of them are facing prison sentences. Follow No Dash for Gas’s Facebook page for updates.“
This is a disgusting move by the government, in particular George Osborne, who is an unethical hopeless chancellor so in bed with old-n-dirty energy, when I received this Greenpeace email on my phone whilst driving (automatic, voice control, hands free, Mr. Jobsworth), the despondency made my shoulders drop at the wheel, and I slowed down to sulk.
Let’s see now:
- Algae blooms are choking our oceans world-wide
- Jelly fish are doing the same and spoiling our beaches as well as killing off fish
- The ice caps are melting such that they are cooling the gulf stream hence the whacky weather
- Most importantly, quick-n-dirty fracking that is to power the US and UK economy from now on will pollute groundwater (the quakes are not worth worrying about) causing unknown illnesses in the near and distant future
- Germany has designed superb bird friendly wind turbines, yet we have chosen not to buy and install them, nor their ultra efficient next generation solar panels.
But Osborne and his minions will be so wealthy, they will, like the bad guys in most Bond movies and Ben Elton’s visionary 1989 book, Stark, be up to their bank accounts in industry backhanders, so will ‘flee to the hills’ if things get nasty, and that Dear angry frustrated disillusioned reader is why the vote went the way it did. They just don’t care.
As ABBA once said, “Money makes the world go round.” Actually, it may stop it.
Fight backhanders club: Simples, don’t buy any energy sourced from fracking.
Since starting this blog, and the evidence will show, I have never used or referenced external blogs, articles or other to source opinion or content. I was taught to “Find out for myself”. Either way, I have always taken an interest in exploration and research, or in this case, investigation – sometimes intentional, other times, by accidental discovery, as is the case today.
That said, when it comes to my core observation that Britain (and perhaps the rest of the civilised world) is slowly degrading itself in such a manner that it’s losing it’s dignity, sense of purpose, confidence and therefore, honor, I have been wondering: Is this simply because too few care or have the time to oppose it (after all, most of us have enough day to day problems to deal with than to rise up/write a letter/blog) – or is it all part of something intentional?
I learned yesterday, it may well be the latter.
The barrier to credibility within the non technical aspects of Vision Aforethought is my lack of a political education. I only took an interest in all this after being victim of or observing unacceptable behaviour by the state’s ‘workers’, or jobsworths as we call them here in middle England. Further, I also could not help watch in horror as our television and society dumbed down exceptionally quickly, with all that goes with that. However, in the last few months, I have begun to learn about specific political concepts that are intentionally used to re-engineer society, often to the benefit of just a few.
Whilst reading the comments on a newspaper website yesterday (yes, I’ve forgotten which one already), I came across this post by a blogger I’m assuming is based in the USA. What he discusses is fascinating, if not worrying, although those of you with a political education may already know of it. Draw your own conclusions, but it checks all the boxes when it comes to what’s going on today.
No wonder the British PM is on holiday, he has pressed the big red button, and is letting the virus ridden autopilot fly us to wherever…
Flight back club: Explore and you will eventually find.
How about ceasing paying benefits (a concept I was not even aware of until the press coverage recently) and instead, give those who desire to go to college or University a free education, just like it used to be. Through my work I am meeting enthusiastic young people who are unable go to college or University because they cannot afford it and/or do not want to be saddled with debt – an honorable sensible attitude that no one should attempt to alter. Most of these people intensely detest social media, reality TV and the general dumbing down of our nation, and are upset and scared that they have no career path. I don’t blame them!
From walking around our city centres, Britain appears to have created a huge underclass (not to be confused with the honorable working class!) who rather than contribute to society and our economy, suck from it, and therefore, have (in part) bankrupted the nation causing immense harm to those decent people who want to be all they can be.
Which begs the question, who created this mess, and why? (That question is a tease because this blog has been warning that dumbed down media & education, health & safety legislation, no win no fee lawyers and dystopian social engineering would lead to this mess which takes all that is worst about trash American culture and condenses it into a small overpopulated island with the result our town centres are an embarrassment. Compare to the recently discovered colour footage of London from the 1920s.)
The solution is several fold:
- Compulsory national service (I did the equivalent when young: Was in the scouts and attended various out door activity centres where we were made to do some fairly tough activities, including: Sleeping outdoors with no tent, climbing tall brick walls, crawling through muddy ditches in the rain, etc etc.)
- As initially suggested, with the exception of the elderly and real disabled (not frauds), simply switch off the benefits system and force people to work and/or club together as family units to help each other so they can gain some dignity. Elephants do it, so can humans, and we have opposable thumbs to our advantage!
- Repeal the dystopian health & safety laws that are ironically ruining children’s health and giving people excuses to be sham victims.
- This one is controversial because it may seem fascist and undemocratic, but how about banning children from using social media, watching reality TV and consuming junk food? We ban smoking so why can’t we ban those other toxic concepts? (My bro and I were banned from TV and junk food as children and are very grateful.) And if we’re prosecuting older men who have abused the young in the past, why can’t we prosecute the creators of anything that is harmful to young people and adults alike, junk food and reality/celebrity TV included? If these people are too poorly educated to know what is good for them, then selling or giving them such rubbish should be illegal, no? What am I missing here?
- Invest the money saved to provide a good education that gives people the knowledge and skills to earn a living and educate family with dignity.
It gets worse! I was just reading an article about how the underclass is wrecking the lives of young people who are born into a hellish no chance lifestyle, when up pops a 30 second video commercial for a television ‘program’ entitled ‘Honey Boo Boo’, to be shown on TLC.
And what does TLC stand for? The LEARNING Channel! Sure about that?
Fight back club: As above.
Since starting this blog, I have repeatedly hinted at examples of the significant missuse and pointlessness of CCTV, never mind it’s significant breach of personal privacy and sense of space. Those who support it have to date, completely failed to prove it has any use or that it isn’t misused.
Whilst I spend my life thinking about, designing and developing cool technology, and would prefer to spend my time on those subjects, it has been real world experiences that shocked me into writing about matters beyond my regular remit and education. The first was several years ago when I drove into Putney, London, taking a left of Putney High Street to park on a minor road. I pulled in on the left and parked in a legal spot. I then went about my business.
A few days later I received a penalty charge notice from the council to say that I had driven up a one way street. Apparently, (and a first for me), the small side road was one way, and yet I had not noticed the signs. (I drove back and they were tiny and I photographed them.) Fair enough, I had made an error, that on a main road could have been dangerous. But it wasn’t the fact I was not even being given a chance to explain (a separate issue) that stunned me into disbelief, it was the fact that to backup their claims, they presented a series of colour thumbnail photos showing my car driving up Putney High Street, PRIOR to me making the left turn.
The issue is, why was my car being photographed or video recorded prior to an offence or alleged offence?
If they had presented a photo of my car in the parking space, that would have been understandable.
This was a huge breach of privacy and made me think, how much of our vehicular travels (and even pedestian travel) is recorded?
So I began to sit up, take notice and blog accordingly.
I have mentioned this above incident before, so I’ll move onto the matter of the day…
Whilst taking a break from work just now, I read that the authorities have released CCTV footage of a little girl the day she was murdered. It shows her in a leisure centre. There is more footage of the accused too. Which begs the question, why was a leisure centre recording young children going about their day? Who watches the video? And even if it isn’t being viewed, why was it kept for so long!? To be perfectly frank, why are their cameras in leisure centres, hotels and other locations where people are going about their privacy business?
If it was because there had been a spate of thefts and they were trying to catch the thief, and the police installed a temporary camera (as they did on my father’s premises once, and caught the thief too), that is understandable – it is a limited time installatio and monitored by no one until the next crime, and then used to catch the criminal, removed and no doubt erased after prosecution.
It seems that the UK is full of creepy people, but it’s not the ones who commit the crimes that are the issue (there will always be creeps), it is the fact that we are ALL obviously being recorded – in colour – as my own Putney experience and the footage of the little girl show.
The fact is, the CCTV didn’t stop the crime, and it never will, because unless the authorities install cameras everywhere, back allys, foot paths – and even monitor the cameras connected to some contemporary TVs, the criminals will simply choose a camera free location! And if the cameras are hidden, that is even worse, because then we won’t know we’re being recorded, yet another major breach of privacy, trust and sense of space.
All said, what should be of concern is not the above, it is the total capitulation of the British public and now after the Boston bombings, the Americans too, to this dystopian behavior whose motives are sinister and worrysome.
Image credit: The Geek Hideout
I have already written about my experience in Oxford where I came across an innocent young lad laying in a pool of his own blood after being assaulted in public. A homeless man then cradled the lads head and I called 999 for an ambulance. They then put me through to the police whose response summed up just how useless this country has become. “Yeh mate, we’re watching it all on CCTV.” My mental response involved expletives, but was tempered to “Well, it may be better you get out here onto the street ASAP.” (5 minutes later the ambulance and police arrived, and I left upset and appalled.)
A few months later, I witnessed and photographed 9 police officers pulling over a significant number of cars off St. Giles for exceeding the pointless on that area of road 20mph speed limit. No police officers patrolling the heart of a city that lives on drugs and alcohol, but plenty making a nice little earner for the council from innocent hard working motorists, taxi cab full of passengers included. (The aforementioned photo is on a prior VA post.)
In other news today, UKIP have shocked the UK government and Lib Dems. I wonder why?
Because as this blog has been screaming for years, Britain has become a repulsive cowardly greedy dystopian illusion, sugar coated with vast debt and state run pomp that fools everyone into believing everything is just peachy, when it is certainly not, even if the sun is out and smartphones are amazing. Whilst I didn’t vote today because I’ve lost faith in the lot of them, this national weakness and subservience to technology, ‘health and safety’, ‘human rights’ (hah!) and for profit law and order has ruined the country and people have rightfully had enough, so are pushing the HELP! button and praying for change.
The bottom line is that all this is going to end in tears, and that is a major understatement. Hate to toot my trumpet, but the record will show that Vision Aforethought has been spot on every time, and whilst it would be great to be right when it comes to positive predictions and analysis, on this issue, I so hope for everyone’s sake I’m wrong, whether it be because those in charge undo the eradication of common sense on their own – or people revolt and rip it all out by force if necessary.
Fight back club: Looks like it’s started!
Above I refer to having photographed some police pulling over motorists in Oxford, an act itself that could be viewed as being a breach of privacy. However, a) They saw me taking the photo and did not object. b) I blurred out all faces and number plates before publishing the image. c) The original photo is secure on my hard drive and inaccessible to anyone else, and in fact, could be deleted. However, I believe what I witnessed was both morally and legally questionable and needed proof before I commented on the matter. I did not take the photo BEFORE the incident, only during!
Oh, and one more thing, why are young people who don’t know better allowed to use social media? It’s a toxic, nasty medium in the wrong or immature hands.
One of the reason’s I’m bullish on what I refer to as ‘reality optimisation’ is because it takes crusty old concepts that are poor value, unprogressive and greedy, grabs them by the ankle and smacks them on the behind. We have AIRBNB, who offer an alternative to pricey hotels, whilst filling in your unused spaces, as opposed to most online services that are purely virtual. Then there is UBER who turn any qualified driver into your own efficient on demand ‘taxi’ service. No wonder the taxi companies and some cities tried to ban them, unsuccessfully thankfully! (My experience of taxis in all nations has been unpleasant: In USA, a passing taxi driver saw me park accidentally in a poorly marked bay and called the police who took my car away, and same taxi driver then arrived back on the scene to take me to the car pound. In London, on the day of the tube bombs, my drive who I had just given £30 robbed me of my smart phone. There are those who intentionally slow down in advance of GREEN lights such by the time they arrive at the lights, they have turned the same colour as your face, red.. Let’s not talk about the taxis in Italy or Egypt, it’s way too terrifying!)
But what Google are doing is going to bring about the greatest change. Their driverless vehicle technology, that to date has never failed, the mind boggles at it’s potential. For starters, unless you don’t trust it or find automated transport creepy, it renders the taxi and even other reality optimisation services obsolete too: You’re out on the town, a little tipsy, fire up your smart phone and use the voice control* to hail your own self-driving ride or automated UBER car.
Those who dislike driving or are unable to drive can do the same, in particular the elderly who when suffering ‘moments’ may cause an accident, whilst an automated vehicle is unlikely to err. If a software bug or mechanical failure occurs backup systems will probably take over or the vehicle will be programmed to stop or pull over unti the problem is remotely diagnosed and fixed, or the repair droid arrives.
Fight back club: Reject the old way!
*That will hopefully know it’s still you, even you are slurring your speech…