The other day a large vehicle collided with my smaller vehicle, causing much damage to both. (FYI: Other party admitted blame.)
As a result, I have been loaned a top of the line much more recent model of my own vehicle, and it has provided a sudden unplanned opportunity to experience where automotive technology and design is going. The change in technology (a 15 year jump) is a little like my time warp jump from being an early 80s gamer to playing Battlefield 4 on our PS4. I had not gamed in between, except for a short stint on the groundbreaking PS1, so the huge improvement in technology was amazing to behold.
The vehicle I have on loan is a large 4×4 / SUV with a diesel engine, manual gearbox and loaded with technology. The most modern vehicle I have ever owned (by choice), is a 2002 plate! From my experience, the more electronics a vehicle has, the more to go wrong, and like my phone, computers and such, I have no time for anything that is unreliable because it disrupts workflow or family life.
Rather than ramble on, I’ll provide a use case of my experience with this SUV:
- To unlock vehicle, press button on ‘key’ fob. I say ‘key’ because there is no mechanical metal key at all, as in, the thing you would insert into the door and twist to unlock or lock.
- Climb in. The seats are bucket like, so you feel like you’re in a sports car. No room for movement.
- The visibility in all direction is terrible, in particular the rear, unlike my own vehicle that has a proper boxy design and large windows, so you can see out properly and stash radio controlled flying machines in the rear. This immediately makes one feel very vulnerable and concerned for anyone nearby outside. (I’m going somewhere with this.)
- To start the engine, you press the clutch with the other foot on the break and press a button on the dashboard. Nothing new there, many cars have had keyless entry and ignition for a while, but it feels odd. Apparently, the key fob uses a wireless connection to inform the vehicle that the driver is inside, so even if you leave the doors unlocked, no one else can start the car. A bit like the ‘trusted devices’ feature on some Android phones – a brilliant idea!
- Instinctively, I move my left arm to release the hand break. Eh? There is no hand break! My arm fumbles around like it does when suffering an electric shock. It doesn’t know where to go, for a lifetime of driving it has rested between passenger and driver seat lightly on the hand break if not on the steering wheel. The hand break, or ‘parking break’ as they say in the US of A and now in the U of K is automatic! There is a manual override in the form of an electronic switch in the centre console that works like that for an electric window, but no large human friendly tactile handle or such.
- I need to reverse, so instinctively look beyond (never trust your mirrors!), but the visibility is as mentioned, awful. Basically, the whole area behind and to the sides of the vehicle is a massive blind spot, unless an object is over 5 or 6 feet tall. I resort to the video screen in the console where the parking cameras have automatically activated. This innovation, invented by Nissan (who make my vehicle) is genius, or at least, I thought so when first hearing about it, but in reality, it goes against instinct, and is unsafe. (Note the number of recent examples of drivers running over kids playing in driveways, by modern gadget laden SUVs. No surprise.) It is not natural to need to look forward to ‘look’ back, if you know what I mean. The video feed from the cameras should either be displayed on the main rear view mirror OR on a wide roof mounted drop down screen in the passenger area behind. I cannot trust and do not feel comfortable looking forward and down on a small (8″?) display in order to check for any short children or poles.
- There is another major design flaw, the cup holders. On my older vehicle, they are up high on the dashboard out of the way. In this futuristic machine, they are right behind the gear stick, so if there is a tall latte or water bottle in the holder, your arm hits it when trying to change gear! Oh dear.
- Driving the vehicle is fine, (this is not a car review!), and the fact it can read road signs and display the speed limit in real time on the video display (ideal if you missed any sign) is helpful. I remember reading how some auto makers were putting cameras in their vehicles to read road signs, rather than rely solely on GPS / SatNav data that may be out of date. A cool ‘local data’ idea that works because technology that depends on constant connectivity cannot always be relied upon.
- The lights are clever, although again, move the onus away from the driver to the machine. They dim automatically when passing other vehicles or through a built up area, perhaps to avoid dazzling people walking along the roads? (Like most of you no doubt, I dim my lights anyway in such conditions, so I guess this is just one more Googlization* of my mind and soul!)
- Another interesting bit of tech that I was not aware had made it down from BMWs (who I think invented the idea) is that when you stop (say at the lights), the engine cuts out, restarting when you press the throttle again. First time, I thought the engine had stalled so pressed the start button.
- On arrival at destination, more non instinctive processes occur. Again, one reaches for the non existent parking break, hand flailing around hitting the badly positioned cup holder. Ha! I then went to twist the key to OFF. No key! Oh yes, how I remember, press down clutch, other foot on break, and press the START/STOP button.
So, mixed opinions on what is really the very beginning of autonomous driving technology, although in the above use case, I did not use cruise control (don’t like it, makes one complacent) or any other technology that automated the driving process. In fact, my rental vehicle has a manual gearbox, whilst my own is an automatic, something I prefer for ease of driving in traffic or about town. However, what this has done is introduce me to the gradual disconnect of humans from the real world.
The poor visibility (that I see as a genuine safety issue) and reliance entirely on a small poorly positioned video display is a little like virtual reality, but without the full immersive experience. I felt a total loss of control and trust in technology whose flaws in execution could lead to a tragic accident. (As it happens, I always get out of my car when unsure of my surroundings.) Then there is the issue of the badly positioned cup holders. Both of these examples show why much use case testing should occur before any vehicle is released.
The unfortunate thing is that automotive design, like most other things, is trend based. One company will launch a product with a brave new design theme – and the rest follow. In this case, the theme is a vehicle that was originally designed to perform utilitarian tasks, such as carrying things or animals, to simply being a lifestyle product, where functional design takes second place over looking funky. All the recent SUVs follow this trend, except the Landrover Discovery, that retains it’s boxy look which is (to me) not only more attractive, but practical, you can get large square items, dogs, boxes and more into the back, something you cannot do with curvy backed vehicles like the Nissan X-Trail, Honda CRV and others.
Food for thought anyway, as you prepare for Uberville where one day, you won’t even have a steering wheel!
Fight back club: Keep your spacious vehicle with excellent visibility and driver ergonomics until automotive manufacturers realise that intelligent design counts.
*Googlization, Googleisation, Googleization, Googalization? Take your pick!
I’ll come back to this post later, but it is a commentary on how contemporary capitalism and local councils have enslaved us all, at least here in the UK.
Another War Of The Worlds issue. (Spoiler alert if you have not read the book, listened to the superb! album, or seen either of the movies.) That is, a catastrophe occurring that was not predicted. In the aforementioned case, despite surviving our own mechanical defences, the Martian invaders are wiped out by Earth’s bacteria that neither their technology or immune system could cope with.
We ourselves worry about asteroid impact, terrorism, nuclear war, viruses and other threats, but it is our slow poisoning of our superbly effective ecosystem and the nitrogen cycle that is already killing us off, albeit very slowly and painfully. Hence the significant increase in incidences of cancer and other odd conditions that did not exist at all not long ago, or were less common.
Today I wanted to throw the radio across the room as I listened to an industry shill (paid for lies) suggest the government let his paymasters regulate their own industry, rather than accept a full on ban of microbeads by the UK government.
On my twitter account, and now here, I have suggested that those responsible for what is in effect environmental and/or planetary destruction, are charged and punished with the same gusto as a murderer and have their earnings taken and donated to environmental clean up operations. And if that means selling their lovely home in the Cotswolds, so be it.
The mass population today are so dumb and poorly educated (more interested in screaming “I’m offended” or discussing matters of the bedroom such as ‘transgender toilets’ – really? WTF???) that there are no longer mass protests against really important issues. No matter your politics, in the 1960s, people had their priorities right, got up and protested en mass against serious goings on that they saw as morally wrong, whether it was the Vietnam war or other.
Today, whilst we can easily – lazily? – click a link to support Greenpeace or other charity (guilty as charged), there is no full on physical response by the masses against direct threats to our well being as a species and life on Earth in general.
Microbeads are poisoning one of our major sources of food – fish, and already turning up in areas as far away as the arctic. This is VERY serious folks! Worse than any other threat.
Fight back club: Stop buying products containing microbeads. If you don’t know, don’t buy any body cleansers and stick to naturally produced soap. And if you have time, organise a mass protest outside a pharmaceutical company and block the entrance, I’ll go!
Temporarily reactivating my blog to post this because I’m seething with seeth, or whatever mysterious compound that fills one’s blood when sensing something bad is about to happen. (Oooh, this new WordPress in browser editor is lovely. Typical, they implement it just when I’m winding down my blogging after so many years!)
Before I ramble on (and I do), bare in mind that despite my interest in technology and design as a career, the issue of common sense based freedom (the opposite of dystopia) is my NUMBER ONE cause! The NUMBER ONE reason this blog exists! We must not become a soulless humorless politically correct robotic automated inhuman society. Never!
Got that? Then I’ll continue…
I find the UK councils a bit like the EU themselves, a mix of good intentions and often catastrophic execution that makes life hell for us everyday folk.
Late last year someone posted a link to some fascinating archive film footage from the early 1900s. A mix of London streets and rural towns, most shot from atop buses. Our streets were tidy, pretty and people dressed significantly smarter than we do today. Whilst the latter is less of a matter of personal choice, what the councils have done to our neighborhoods today is becoming increasingly unpleasant.
Once pretty country roads and town streets are blighted with plastic ‘recycling’ bins, up to 6 per household in some cases! Not only are these ugly and a nuisance to manage being there is no consistency in what you put in which bin depending on where you live, but they are made from plastic, that itself is toxic. The irony is the councils that tend to promote this ‘recycling’ are often so called Green councils. They have, to put it bluntly, made life hell. I cannot speak for everyone (alas, the British still put up with crap without protesting, hence our sorry country), but I for one do not have time or the physical capability to stress about whether I can put a yoghurt pot into the green or the blue bin, and whether it’s Wednesday or Thursday every other week when living in Warwick or Tuesday if in Streatham. And never mind the elderly or multi-occupancy households where students come and go from different areas of the country or overflow bins designed to hold the output of 3-4 people, not 5-6.
How about returning to the weekly collected single dalek style aluminium dustbin that one put all ones trash in, and have council staff or even robots sort the recyclable items?
The councils say they want people to recycle. Well, actually, the issue is the supermarkets! If they produce less packaging we’ll have less to discard! Why are the public punished?
And this brings me onto a related matter. The EU are discussing ‘punishing polluters’ by introducing congestion charging to more towns and cities. First of all, if I need to drive into town, I wish to retain that right. I may wish to pick up some items, spend a few hours meeting someone or walking around, and then go shop elsewhere. Not something one can do with a bus or other form of transport. More importantly, congestion charging involves tracking motorists and means one has to pre-prepare ones travel, rather than simply crack on.
We are not the polluters, the automotive and carbon fuel industry is! They have the power and financial might to invest in clean energy, but won’t, because it’s against their interests.
The (UK) councils are greedy visionless control freaks who treat the everyday person with contempt, and the EU now wishes to further turn the screws, with the profits of all this maleficence ending up elsewhere.
The EU would be better off investing their righteousness in what the organisation was founded to do, namely ensure political and financial stability. A great idea, that has already proven to prevent serious social unrest, and therefore war. Likewise, the councils should focus on parks and other social amenities. The lovely parks in Oxford are an example of this.
This is all about money. The councils, who are on the receiving end of EU dictat, make a killing from us folk, as do the remote dystopian private companies that they outsource all the monitoring and legal action to. They are on the whole undemocratic and the staff are overpaid. I have had the misfortune of meeting one or two such people, and their single mindedness and total lack of vision, compassion and respect for the public was quite shocking!
It is time for all this to stop, and until it does, I’m hoping the UK leaves the EU and returns to a more relaxed naturally pleasing way of life. Yes, it really was better in the past.
Those nations that offer common sense freedom have the best economies. Germany for example, with no speed limits, produces the world’s best cars, best beer and yet has a fair and just society. An example is rent control in Berlin, and so on.
- Supposed to retain stability between nations
- Strict on environmental regulations
- Encouraging mobile phone networks to reduce roaming charges
- Forcing electronics manufacturers to adopt microUSB (and hopefully USB-C)
- Very aggressive ‘leaders’ who no matter the talk are almost dictatorial in their behavior
- Import tariff on video cameras limits recording time to 30 minutes
- Complicated recycling laws
Fight Back Club: Say NO to Eww – unless they change their ways!
Being very busy with both business and family, and with most of the analysis and predictions made on this here blog having come true, I won’t be posting here as much. Further, there are some (alas) who may perceive me as being somewhat crazy, which could harm my career and therefore others who are reliant on my efforts for their income. This is a sad reality of today’s Britain (and already in America), where truth is banned and self serving (very selfish harmful) viewpoints are given way too much airtime and anyone who does not agree is insulted or worse. It isn’t a left wing right wing issue, it is about control, insecurity and greed.
Effectively, my blog will soon go behind a password, and if you want access, you’ll need to contact me and I’ll have to know you too, in particular because it’s become very risky to express certain opinions in public.
As part of this change and to divert more of my time towards business, I’m not renewing the visionaforethought.org and oflife.org domains. Just don’t have the time to manage them.
I have two major posts to publish, both years overdue, ‘The Big C’, about cancer and the corrupt pointless nature of the ‘industry’ (superbly portrayed in Breaking Bad) and the other, ‘Napalm’, that discusses repression and the pure terror and heartbreak (if that is the right word) of being abused by people in positions of authority. As mentioned before on VA, the trigger point for me was an incident at Reading Station (UK) a few years ago, that was a life changing event and influences much of what I write here regarding a dystopian society and my empathy towards the mistreatment of good people. Your greatest enemy is not asteroids, ebola or climate change, it is the jobsworth. A person who brings little to the table, is morally inept, has a false sense of entitlement and authority – and takes out his or her personal insecurities on the innocent, either through official ‘due process‘ or physical action.
When time allows, I’ll write and publish these two final posts that will mark a transition to a full on focus on my business, which itself intends to continue to be a force for good by liberating people in a manner the very opposite of a dystopia.
Better to walk the walk eh?
It’s happened. After over a decade of warning and tracking changes to our society on this blog, the nightmare scenario of a dystopian Europe is now a tangible reality. Although I’ll move this to the dedicated Vision Aforethought Dystopia page in due course, here’s a check list:
- Police to introduce airborne drones to (amongst other things) replace police on foot. If you have lived in a city (such as London or Oxford) and lay awake stressing as a helicopter hovers above, this is your worst nightmare, because other than the total detachment between one human and another, the noise will be unbearable, day or night. Never mind the privacy implications. (I build and fly electric aircraft and drones – they are very noisy.)
- Ultra aggressive left wingers have made it impossible for anyone who opposes their views to say anything without public vilification.
- Light hearted harmless banter and humour, that has been the bedrock of UK society for ages is now fought with the risk of fines, banns, arrest and so forth. All despite the fact that Internet forums are awash with all manner of hate and lies against good people.
- Politicians who have the wealth to ‘run to the hills’ are totally out of touch with the average person, such as those victims of the recent floods. Said floods were predicted decades ago if we continued to use carbon base fuels to power our society and industry. And what do we do in return? Reduce the price of fuel so much (99p a litre today) that cleaner sustainable alternatives are threatened.
- Rather than evict evil hateful people from our nations, we allow them to settle here, and instead, use advanced surveillance techniques to monitor and record ALL our communications with the hope that this blanket monitoring will catch someone. And then when there is a possible threat, decades if not centuries old customs, such as public fireworks displays are cancelled. Pure capitulation to the forces of hate and dishonesty, with the public too weakened to speak out and protest. And if they do protest, aforementioned drones will be used no doubt to monitor them.
- Major threats to the environment are hushed up and swept under the carpet. For example, the huge sink holes that appeared in Siberia a few years ago and the other melting permafrost in Canada and Alaska, all of which mean huge amounts of methane is being released into the atmosphere that will in turn speed up climate change with catastrophic consequences for predictable weather forecasting and farming.
- This will probably raise a giggle, but bare in mind that in my eyes, Dystopia is about a less human centric society, no matter where you go in the UK today (I cannot speak for abroad), there are no longer any public toilets, so you are forced to find a John Lewis and then work your way up the floors to the loo. The public toilets were removed from town and cities over the last few decades to stop people doing drugs or engaging in gay sexy in them. So the majority are being made to suffer? How about more imaginative solutions, using technology?
- Poor quality houses being rushed into construction that will make life for the residents pitiful and also harm the environment due to the concreting over of fields that otherwise absorb the sun’s rays. This is dystopian because it socially engineers people into living a lower quality of life without them realising how much better things could be if more imaginative designs were conceived.
- The authorities are making it harder for us to save money and live a responsible lifestyle. For example, whilst vaping cigarettes have been allowed to flood our shops without any lessons learned of the effects of tobacco (IE, test the ingredients for long term toxicity effects), they are about to make it impossible for us to be fiscally responsible and use large refills. IE, buy in bulk. (The fact the government is now to impose other regulations that will include testing the ingredients is good news.)
- To make it less likely that the masses realise the aforementioned issues are so important, people are bombarded with tittle tattle, a sudden onslaught of gender issues and dumbed down television programming (BBC 3 an example of how low the BBC has sunk) so they are too stupid to engineer themselves out of all this. (‘Bread and Circuses is the correct term.)
- New is increasingly automated and lacks any form of journalistic integrity or due process, with little link between truth and reality, or a reliance on unverified social media feeds. This article from The (once respected) Independent is factually inaccurate and makes a big issue out of a non event. (See comments below the article for what I am referring to. Just one of thousands of articles across the UK media that are junk advertising filler news.) The Daily Telegraph had a story on the 5cm (oh, we’re all doomed) snow that was 50% twitter feeds, again, no verification of the facts through journalistic follow through. ‘On scene’ social media reporting can be useful to bypass censorship, but only if verified.
- Ah we have an new one (Jan 8 2016), a single individual has suddenly realised that alcohol, even in small quantities, is bad for us and updating the government guidelines and suggesting we drink tea instead of a glass of red wine after work. This is in fact worse because non herbal tea contains stimulants that will keep one awake, and lack of sleep is far worse than the odd tipple. This sudden clamp down on even a minor relaxing drink could be part of a swing to an all out ban to appease those who are infiltrating our nation. I think those of you clued up know what I am saying here.
Am very busy, but will add more to this in due course.
The irony of all this is that it is not due to any specific political ideology or party. Everyone is in on it because they are too weak or fiscally influenced to care or do anything about it. Life is going to become more and more cold, humourless and difficult to appease thanks to a mix of big business, left wing Mafia and hateful people with more oil than us, something I for one, and those close enlightened colleagues of mine are deeply concerned about.
My politics? Leaning towards Libertarian, the most ethical and responsible concept, but I have more research to do first to weigh up the pros and cons.
Fight back club: Working on some ideas. BRB…
See what I did there?
That’s the catch phrase I have been using for ages now when mentoring wannabe entrepreneurs or those complaining about something, such as their council, badly run transport infrastructure or other matter.
In a nutshell, if you don’t do anything, nothing happens.
Which leads me to the outcome of the useless time wasting Climate Change Jolly* in Paris, #COP21. No doubt short for Cop Out No. 21.
So lets see now, to keep global temperature rises at no more than 2 degrees:
- Encourage carbon capture
- Focus on nuclear energy
Both of these technologies are sweeping a problem under the carpet for future generations to deal with, the former longer into the future than the latter.
Carbon Capture is tantamount to admitting that we have failed, so we’ll bung all the excess CO2 into a cave, seal it tight, and pretend it isn’t there. Which begs the question, what happens when it begins to seep out again, or it is accidentally released by future generations unaware of it’s existence or a natural disaster?
Next up we have nuclear energy. Agreed, it is the most effective alternative to carbon fuels, in particular if safer next generation reactors are used, (which they are not unfortunately). However, Chernobyl, and in particular Fukushima, have proven that unpredictable incidents and the one thing that worries me, entropy, can lead to catastrophe. And the latter is THE biggest threat to the use of nuclear energy, even fusion.
To see the effects of entropy, (the way chaos springs from order once there is loss of control), either visit (do don your pritective garb Bond!) the uninhabited town of Chernobyl** or watch the movie, “I am Legend” and other post apocalyptic films where mankind has been wiped out, letting nature and chaos take over. Once tough concrete and brick buildings crack and crumble thanks to a mix of weather and intruding vines.
My banner at the climate march in London Nov 29 2015 – Geddit?
Likewise, over time, nuclear reactors and their associated components require maintenance, and once in a while there is catastrophic failure. And that is without human error or natural disaster as was the case with Fukushima. Even ignoring entropy, there is what to do with nuclear waste, the real elephant in the room. As you read this, we have only been using nuclear energy for about 40-50 years, so the problem is still something for future generations to deal with. Beyond the risk of the stuff being used in a terror attack, (dirty bomb), as per carbon capture, if we don’t use nuclear by-products to produce nuclear weapons, we have to store it somewhere! And then what? What if entropy takes over in 100 or more years?
Few other potential sustainable energy sources suffer this issue. Solar, hydro and wind (in particular the former) are based on none destructive ‘clean’ technologies. Yes, batteries require polluting materials to manufacture, but they can be recycled safely, and already are, meaning there is no risk of landfill being polluted.
The You factor
We all know in our hearts that the solution to the frustration at these useless self serving conferences is the private sector. Tesla have just opened showrooms in London and Scotland, some smaller nations are now almost running 100% on solar energy, and that’s thanks to a mix of government funding of entrepreneur ‘powered’ innovative companies run by people with a conscience and compassion, rather than an interest in protecting their stockholders. As Apple and Tesla have proven, a company that is run that way will attract customers over a competing company with similar products but little concern for the environment. The public prefer clean products if given a choice, but if not, they will have no option but to take the dirtier path. (Hence most of us still drive gasoline powered vehicles because an affordable practical cleaner alternative does not yet exist, other than the bicycle.)
Your job is to start your own business offering people a 100% sustainable product, from biodegradable children’s toys (#SayNoToPlastic) to solar panel installation. Or how about personal mobile wind turbines that keep your gadgets topped up as you go, without any need to connect to the polluting grid? When you plug your laptop/phone/tablet into that socket in Starbucks, you have no idea where the electricity is generated!
I took this shot at the Climate Change march. (It’s blurry because it was SO windy that day, I could not hold my phone still. Ironic, all that wasted energy!) There were several people with these spinning turbines strapped to their backs, but they were not generating power, which gave me an idea...
The more we/you! do to get off the grid, the less there will be a need for carbon capture, nuclear energy and anything else you feel uncomfortable with unintentionally supporting.
Fight Slack Club: Just do it.
*Sorry. Damned autocorrect!, that should have read ‘Conference’.
Oh one more thing: When I was a lad, we were taught that a rise of even 2 degrees would be catastrophic, leading to unpredictable weather amongst other threats to the status quo. Well, our weather has become that way already, and we have not even got to 2 degrees yet.
One of the frustrating things about the West is that it’s pretty much controlled by large corporations or organisations with ‘interests’ to defend. Therefore, it cannot stand firm on principles that are grounded in verifiable scientific fact, it tends to go wobbly.
Today, the WHO (World Health Organisation) told us what we have known for years that processed (and cooked) meat is a major cause of cancer. However, watching the talking heads on the tellybox today, most are telling pork(ies) to defend special interests. ‘Hmm, it’s not conclusive.” “I eat sausages every day.” “Easy now!” and so on. The bottom line is that multicellular organisms, of which we and African Tigers are a prime example, get cancer when the body is unable to deal with a foreign entity it has not evolved to process. This is simple common sense. So, if food factories use nitrates and other nasties to preserve or we over cook meat, and we consume it, our bodies will react accordingly leading to cell mutation. (You can do your research on this elsewhere.)
When you deal with an alcoholic, the rules are simple. ALL OR NOTHING! No compromise! Either continue drinking yourself (and others) to an early grave, or stop altogether. “Barman? Mine’s a soda water, neat!”
Likewise, the authorities should stop letting industry influence their communications on this matter and state outright that preserved and overcooked meat is carcinogenic and here are accurate guidelines obtained from X(X) years of research by, and include a list of organisations/Universities. Further, such foods should be banned from children altogether because they are too young to make an informed choice.
We are the first and second generation of humans bought up on such an unhealthy diet. From WW2 and back, people world-wide ate ‘off the land’, meat and veg, no horrible plastics (and other byproducts of oil), no sedentary lifestyle – and so on. Anyway, this is a matter for a forthcoming overdue blog entry related to this one, entitled ‘The Big C’. It will discuss how the amount of money being spent on trying to ‘cure’ cancer and all the associated charitable efforts is a huge waste of time, and we’ll be better off avoiding lifestyles that cause it. I have lost a number of relatively young family members to cancer and entirely blame contemporary lifestyles and diesel pollution for this, so it’s deeply personal.
Fight back club: Ignore special interests, live your life based on science, because it’s the only truth.
(Sorry, another post with an exclamation mark at the end of the title, pure co-incidence, really!)😉
Anyway, we have some good news, although it has not got much publicity. Shell have aborted their planned drilling of the arctic. According to them, this is for two reasons: It didn’t appear to be as practical as they hoped, (good!) and Shell were surprised at the level of the public backlash. Eh?
Whilst we should celebrate the power of public opinion to influence a large corporation, what is worrying is how Shell could be unaware of it! Gulf of Mexico spill, various oil tanker caused disasters along coast and so on.
Having met (and got into a bar fight with) staff from Shell, thinking about it, such a disconnect does not surprise me. They are paid so much, they don’t care anyway and are able to live away from where most of the output of their product (pollution) collects, such as valleys, or less well manicured coastal communities. Oh, and the arctic, and at the bottom of the ocean.
Kudos to Greenpeace for leading the way on this. Disclosure: They are the only charity I donate to and have almost no issue with. They are not political, very dedicated and use superb marketing to highlight their causes. True Earth savers! We plan to share profits from my business with Greenpeace and when I pop my clogs shall leave them some dosh if there is any left.
Fight back club: Go tell ’em
Ah ha, so people are up in arms about the government’s changes to tax credits. Conceptually, in view of the sort of people they effect (working people who are trying their best), perhaps rightly so, am not sure, as I don’t quite know what they are. However, and please, correct me if I am wrong, every single person the media has interviewed (inc the lady on Panorama) has been a woman – and more importantly, a ‘single mother’. Often a recipe for disaster, despite all the Hollywood propaganda that would have you think otherwise.
It’s interesting to note that all those families I know of out in reality land, not TV, movies or self serving idealism, where there is a man in the family, out earning his keep, yes, there is struggle, there are problems, there are disputes – but there is a modicum of stability and a lot less blaming someone else for any ills.
Yet women are moaning about tax credits! What hypocrisy! Feminists and some on the left have been bashing men and the concept of the family unit for the last however long, and now it’s come home to roost – as some of us foresaw when all these harmful ideologies began to become mainstream.
Do the math, if a man is bringing in the dough, mum can look after the kids (and do some work too if practical) – and things work out much nicer. It’s called teamwork, and it works.
Fight back club: Reject Hollywood propaganda
I have to stop work to state that if this is what the BBC truly believe, then our future is NOT looking good. If people today are so clueless (am going to say it, thickl!) to not realise how this programming is all about schadenfreude and has no moral, artistic, cultural or other benefit, then it is no wonder that as the climate and pollution spiral out of control people no longer protest like they did in the 60s. The public reaction to the (justified but way too lenient) 5p plastic bag charge in the UK is evidence of how disconnected and selfish some are today. And it’s all down to insipid television programming. Bread and circuses indeed!
Fight back club: Terraform Mars and send the TV producers there and let us have our smart pretty planet back. And can we put scientists and engineers in charge of our nations and planet?
It must be at least 10 years since I watched Casualty on the BBC. Caught it this evening and oh what an example of just how dumbed down everything has become over the last decade or two. What was once, (like Holby City), gripping medical drama is now like an episode of Eastenders, but set in a hospital. Lots of not very nice people all bitching and conspiring with or against each other. No humor (why?), no science, no mature responsible respectable mentor like senior Doctors. Mindless nothing wrapped up in contemporary disjointed convoluted social melodrama.
Well, if that’s how today’s script writers portray people who have been through 7 years of medical school, Lord help us.
Who writes this stuff? How were they educated at school? Which social engineering concepts were used during their education?
What a contrast to the brilliantly researched prog The Unsinkable Titanic on some other channel, but to find that, you had to surf through masses of mindless tat electronically transmitted in glorious HD.
Which begs the question, if this is what we’re watching today where the intellectual content of our programming is inversely proportional to the resolution of the broadcast signal, how will we be doing when 8K is everywhere? Will our brains fall out of our ears like President Reagan’s did in Spitting Image whilst he slept?
Fight back club: HBO? Netflix? Off switch? A book! Ah ha, cracked it!
When in the US, I recall being horrified (if that is the right word) at how people regarded any form of accident as an opportunity to make money, reducing friendships and random meetings to a very shallow and insincere arrangement.
This all started during my first few years in Palo Alto. I was with a friend enjoying a coffee in or outside a cafe on University Avenue. We witnessed a pickup truck full of friendly Californian surfer types accidentally very slowly reverse into a BMW behind them with almost no impact and definitely no damage to either vehicle. (I cannot recall why they were reversing, but probably to park.) Either way, the driver of the BMW, rather than walk up to them and say “No worries.” and so on, remained in his (convertible) car and called his lawyer. We could clearly her him discussing the situation and already using words like ‘whiplash’ and ‘claim’ and others, all within seconds of the incident! (This was decades before such a culture arrived on these shores.) I was disgusted. He didn’t even ask the young lads how they were, despite the fact they were trying to talk to him. My friend (who was a fan of UK culture at the time) and I were appalled and using words not fit for publication to describe the BMW driver.
XX years later, this sort of thing is now commonplace here in the UK, and we get the same immoral injury lawyers advertising on TV here as plaster the US networks.
*** HOWEVER! *** (In flashing orange 1993 web html.)
Today someone drove right into my car whilst I was sitting in it parked in a car park talking on my phone. The driver continued to bump into me multiple times for reasons I cannot disclose, but he was not someone I know, so it wasn’t anything personal, he had simply lost control. Anyway, despite the fact the accident was entirely his fault (or not my fault), the issue was, the driver showed NO remorse or concern for my wellbeing, despite creating 1 foot long 6″ deep scratches on part of my car, pushing the whole vehicle forward 6 inches and causing my head to be rocked back and forth several times with unknown to either party medical consequences.
Beyond the whole situation being a huge inconvenience during a period when I am exceptionally busy (understatement), what is concerning is that society here is now the same in the US. For starters, he probably showed no remorse or concern in order not to implicate himself – despite the fact I was stationary in a parking space with the engine off, so it was clear cut. Secondly, I may have whiplash injury and have already been invited to claim for damages by a law firm associated with our insurer, yet we all know, within a week, I will be fine. But the money could tempt a person who did not question such things or care for the consequences of legal action against someone who had an accident, even if their behaviour was not remorseful.
Further, another moral issue, the whole thing was caught on CCTV* (a concept I oppose and always will), and for reasons I again choose not to disclose, the driver is not fit to be driving a vehicle, so I could report him to the police and they would probably ban him for driving on viewing the footage. So, he could not only face a lawsuit, but have his life thrown into chaos by losing that freedom driving gives you. On the other hand, I may save someone’s life, perhaps his own too?
This is a dilemma that has been created by contemporary society. In a previous age, the following would have occurred, and this is not ‘grass is greener’ wishful thinking, it is how things were:
1. The driver would have been apologetic.
2. He would have asked how I was – just as I showed concern for his well being.
3. He would have probably offered to pay for the damage there and then and omit all the complications of insurance and/or legal action.
4. I would have come to some arrangement too, pending having my car seen to in case there is damage to the gearbox, chassis etc.
(Remember, this was not a major accident involving loss of life or massive damage to either vehicle.)
Alas today, life takes even minor incidents and turns them into an opportunity to either deny one’s responsibility or make a profit. Even I am forced to consider action that creates a moral dilemma.
Again I ask, what have we done? And how mechanised and distant will society be in 2025?
Fight back club: Handle situations and relationships with pragmatism and common sense. Trying my best!😛
*For reasons discussed all over this blog, I oppose ALL uses of CCTV except at traffic lights, preferring a naturally disciplined society, but here it may well help act as a witness! Oh what a quandary.
Read the paper
Whatta you see
War in Asia
Hunger and greed
Murder in the Bronx
Rape in the park
Pollution in the city
Tomorrow looks so dark.
Everybody join hands with your fellow man
And work together to save our land
Take a look around
Take a look inside
Oh can’t you see we gotta turn the tide.
Man in the prison calling out to me
Needs another chance
Wants to be free
And in a way like that man
We’re just as guilty if we don’t lend a hand.
Everybody join hands . . .
If things go on like this much further
We’re gonna be guilty of murder
So let’s start thinking ’bout tomorrow
Today – please don’t – delay.
Start to love
Stop this hate
Change the world
It’s not too late
Work for freedom work for peace
And try to make this madness cease.
Everybody join hands…
– Giorgio Moroder
This week there was some good news during a period when most news has been bad, from horrific terrorist attacks to acceptance that the 6th Extinction is no longer theory, but underway. No surprise there, and yes there is a connection between the two.
The good news is that an application to frack was unexpectedly rejected by a council despite said council being almost ‘threatened’ to vote in favor. (And the frackers have not given up yet!) We are all in agreement that an alternative to oil and coal is vital if we are to reduce pollution and extract our soldiers from nations that provide us oil but where there are cultural differences.
However, taking a harmful short-termism path is typical of an industry that would rather consume the whole bar of chocolate than avoid greed and temptation by putting it back in the cupboard. Effectively, the carbon fuel industry would rather suck the Earth dry at any cost than invest their billions in a whole new ecosystem of technologies and subsequent business opportunities – including building huge solar farms in Australia, a Western nation that will not require a military presence.
When visiting the US, where there is a lot more space, anywhere there is a carbon fuel extraction or processing plant is polluted, noisy and unpleasant to live around. A while back I remember driving past a plant not far from San Francisco and feeling immensely sorry for the poor people (mainly Mexicans) living near the refinery. Their standard of living and health is horrible. Environmental prejudice comes to mind.
Having lived in and travelled to many of the UK’s village communities, it is an almost idyllic existence. Quiet, clean and almost crime free. Never mind the ground water pollution and risk of small quakes, having large tanker trucks and associated paraphernalia passing through our communities is just not worth it.
As some communities around Oxford have done, way better to invest in solar farms and Tesla household battery packs and get our villages off the grid altogether bit by bit. The reduction in consumer demand for electricity sourced from carbon and nuclear power stations will free up energy resources for heavy industry that will continue to require carbon and nuclear energy until solar and other clean low accident risk sources can generate enough kilowatts.
As this blog has stated before, a Manhattan Project / Apollo Space Program level investment in clean sustainable non nuclear energy is the way forward, not harmful controversial short term solutions that are little more than shoving the problem under the carpet for another day.
Fight frack club: Done! (I know, I have used that pun before.)
Congrats on your win.
Thinking about it, it was inevitable, because under all the superficial news and opinion of the somewhat biased media, an underlying majority of good people were fed-up of all manner of threats to our freedoms, dignity and a value system based on personal responsibility and focused compassion.
However, the justified popularity of UKIP, whose leader was a decent person opposed to threats to the aforementioned issues cannot be ignored. In fact, you won because when it came to putting an X in the box, people realised that a vote for UKIP would let the other side in, so they voted for the next best thing. (Or worst thing for those on the other side of the house!)
When Lady Thatcher was in power, she became unpopular over time (and more recently with some unjustified bile from those who have no idea of her true character), not because of her policies – that have subsequently been proven to be good for the country – but because those around her were not as upstanding as she was. “With friends like these.” Etc. Hangers on comes to mind!
The bankers exploited her trust in their new found freedoms, that we paid for in 2008. Other aspects of capitalism lost their sense of honour too, something that has also continued to this day.
So Mr. C, if you are to represent the majority of the populace, then you should honour the desires of those who empathised with UKIP and other parties who feel ‘something’ is wrong, even if many of these things are not discussed much in the media, beyond articles in the Daily Mail or on the other side of the spectrum, The Guardian:
- Eliminate hospital parking charges by the end of this year – the most unethical aspect of UK society today, and something UKIP were due to repeal.
- Make it illegal for landlords and estate agents to charge fees for background checks, beyond a total of £20. (They can pay an intern £10 an hour to do the work – as we do – and cover their genuine costs with the balance.) On a personal note, I am no fan of landlords or estate agents, many unpleasant words come to mind, but we’ll leave that for now.
- Impose stricter regulations on pay day loan companies who, like bookies, exploit those down on their luck – and sometimes only make things worse.
- Ban car and other insurance companies for charging fees (often as much as £25) to update a policy. For example, a customer address or driving situation. To charge for making a quick update to a database, a process that takes seconds yet costs the customer money in telephone call costs is unethical and like many of the other issues on this list, quite simply didn’t happen not long ago.
- With relation to 4, above, rein in the unjustified fees that ladies have to pay for car insurance despite having a far lower risk of accident. The fees were raised due to the selfish behavor of feminists (don’t get me started) who wanted equality. Well, they have been hoisted by their own petard, financially crippling many safe driving young women everywhere. Can you believe that most young people today pay more for their car insurance than for their car? Totally unjustified, even for young men. Cars today are far safer, speed limits and drink driving laws etc are stricter. So there is no need for it.
- Ensure that mobile phone airtime providers do not block customers with Pay As You Go calling plans from calling customer services when they run out of credit. What are they supposed to do if they cannot get through to query something or seek help? Do you know what it is like to be in a situation like that? I imagine not. (And that’s one of the flaws of Conservatives, some have never known what it is like to live on the edge.)
- Do as America and Australia do, and only allow people into this country who are not going to be ward of state, agree to our system of democracy and as Gordon Brown was hoping to encourage, take an oath of allegiance. Some of us find it reprehensible that decent people are sometimes forbidden from entering this country, whilst those who come from countries where we source our blood oil are allowed in for geopolitical reasons. In return, they kindly spew their hate by exploiting our freedom of speech laws. And by doing that, actually encourage the easily brainwashed to commit terror on our streets that in turn leads to unjustified intrusions into our privacy through monitoring of our communications. Cure the disease, and you won’t need a morally dubious cure!
- Honour your pre-2010 election pledge to be a green PM. Did you kbow that GOP supporting farmers in middle America are panicking because the unpredictable weather is leaving their crops decimated? Yes, ‘redneck’ types who once thought #climatechange was a load of hooey, now know it is real and not a UN new world order conspiracy. This ONE example of the dangerous effects of climate change has not been reported, but threats to our food supply are a lot more serious than inconveniences such as flooding and the odd out of place tornado. (One touched down in Germany the other day causing much damage, but people won’t starve and they will rebuild.) How about scrapping HS2 (that will be obsolete by the time it’s finished due to the advent of autonomous airborne delivery and transport services – quote me on it) and instead invest in next generation solar and other sustainable energy technologies. To kick things off and inspire people, how about committing to making the Houses of Parliament run off 100% solar/tidal energy, just like the lovely National Trust HQ in Swindon that runs on solar. Your chancellor and fellow Bullingdon Boy started with the welcome investment in graphene, so keep up the momentum – Elon Musk cannot do it all on his own! Britain has some great University talent, so harness it. Have you ever experienced the enthusiasm of an idealistic student before he or she is sucked by an attractive graduate salary into the humdrum never changing monotony of dull 8:30-5:30 career?
If I think of anything else, I’ll update this list. Need to check my notes, but in the mean time, don’t forget how and why you got here, beyond the hard work of you and your team of course.
Words fail me
Great Britain. Really?
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.