Archive for October 2008
Often in today’s UK, when something outrageous occurs, there is the profit motive. Here we have a business using scare tactics to introduce a technology that by default assumes anyone entering the specified (surprise, corporate) nursery to be of nefarious motive. Even if someone with dubious intent did enter the premises (find one example in the past), the parents and/or staff would be on hand to deal with the matter. We really are headed towards the dystopian future so accurately envisioned in books and films of past. Think about it, where will we be a decade from now? Even five years? What about today?
As per yet another focused section of Vision Aforethought (to appear in the right column links), society is becoming so inhuman and in such contrast to the natural world, we are dooming ourselves to a cold stark mechanised future that will become harder to ‘undo’ as more and more government and corporate automatons supplant reason.
Fight back club: You know the rules by now, avoid supporting an entity your gut feeling tells you is just plain wrong. Why not open your own open school or nursery, where trust is default and hope the government begin to respond to crime the New York City way? That’s freedom.
By the way, I risk the wrath of the liberalati, but from a personal angle, I would never send my children to a nursery. (Exhibit A.) That is what ones biological partner is for! And if there is enough money in the kitty to afford the ‘luxury’ of a nursery, then surely there is enough for said partner to quit whatever he/she is doing during the day and tend child. I was stunned when in California ‘parents’ would drop their kids off all day – no wonder they grow up so insecure and unloved, seeking solace in simple carbs and twinkly objects. Ooh, bet that pushed some buttons! (What does makes sense is a company creché. Then parent can be on hand to apply love and attention in an emergency.)
Isn’t it incredible how accidental discovery can be perfectly timed? This wet British Sunday morning I happened to be trying out the (almost perfect) Stanza ebook reader on our iPod Touch. A complete copy of The Time Machine is included as an example. Despite having read the book and seen the film many years ago, today I browsed randomly through the pages and ended up re-reading the end of Chapter 3 and all of Chapter 4.
If you have yet to read this remarkable and visionary book, or not read it for a while, then considering the decisions humanity faces today, a read or re-read may prove enlightening.
The post by ‘Darkgenius’ here on the Amazon customer reviews page sums up how uncannily appropriate HG Wells message is this late October 2008.
A crisp apple hangs enticingly from a tree. Oh, what to do…
From my calculations (no blackboard required), we have 30 years max* if this trend** continues.
Isn’t it ironic how undiscussed and unpredicted events can suddenly alter how we perceive our destiny?
*Things may start to get unpleasant sooner if the protective shield continues to weaken over time. I always wondered why the contemporary governments of the world were not really taking climate change and other threats to our existence that seriously. It may not matter! We may be able to stop 2000SG344, but what can we do about heliosphere shrinkage, other than escape Terra firma or live like moles? This reminds me of an inginious episode of The Outer Limits, where a teenager receives from an alien race an apocolyptic warning of imminent lethal solar activity in the form of addictive and hypnotic audio signals that he had unintentionally recorded off the radio. A very well executed story that has to be seen to be appreciated.
As a footnote, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone were some of the most thought provoking and intelligent television ever broadcast.
**© The Daily Telegraph, 19th October 2008.
Fight back club: Dig (deep) hole or build (large) space ship.
On the same day that The Times of London discusses an issue I’ve been mulling over for years (see previous posting), The New York Times touches on something that I uncovered within months of arriving in Northern California in 1991 at a meeting with a retired executive of a pharmacuticals company. What occured back then was a fairly momentus turning point in my perception of reality – almost like discovering that there was intelligent life on the moon. The precise and appalling details are still in my old blog and will be imported into a forthcoming new section of Vision Aforethought.
It is interesting to study how in the past when there were important (almost humanity saving) medical discoveries or advances, they were often achieved by lone individuals motivated by the urge to do good, rather than exploit and/or profit from another persons misfortune.
Fight back club: Keep in good health (see Life Tips section of this blog), live sensibly and avoid any form of drugs – unless in situations where your life is on the line or you are genetically predisposed to fall apart without them! Do not, I repeat, do not spend money with entities that do not have your best intentions at heart!
Many years ago I read a science fiction book whose name and author I cannot recall at this moment. The story was not that original, but full of surprises. It began aboard a huge space ship that had been despatched from Earth many years ago. The book dwelled on life aboard and the relationship between the thousands of passengers and crew as they dealt with being so far from home – some children having never lived on Earth at all.
All of a sudden the ship received a transmission from Earth indicating that due to a global catastrophe (a major nuclear war or similar), life back home had pretty much come to an end, or was about to.
The story changed as the population of the ship realised they were now the only remanent of humanity. There was a terrible feeling of loss and loneliness. While I cannot remember the details, the book wasn’t that special, what was stunning was the surprise discovery near the end that the whole ship was populated by Asians – Chinese if believe. I had assumed all along that it was your typical crew of Western and/or mixed race explorers – first names were used throughout.
With that on your mind, this is an interesting read. One should never take ones destiny for granted. I will be writing more about this subject in a dedicated section of this here blog.
© The Daily Mail 2008. Thanks to Mat for the link.
My view on all this is that the only way for mankind to survive is for us to take the American approach. Base society on a constitution that we all follow and modify through a combination of democracy and common sense. If each nation and/or ideology claims its own territory, then we really will end up self-destructing as soon as said nation desires expansion. If within the next 25 to 50 years we do begin an exodus from Earth, which values will we want to spread beyond Terra? We will need to define and defend this pretty soon – time is short.
The increasingly desperate UK government are now considering revamping (commercialising!) public libraries – in a manner that defeats the object of a library in the first place – a venue of total silence where one can focus on work or studies. The government lacks the funds to avoid this crassness – yet they do have the money to further track and entrap the innocent motorist – at great expense. With regards to libraries, if one wants to ‘study’ in a more social environment, then why not simply go to a coffee shop? This and other blogs discuss the traffic camera issue elsewhere, so I won’t cover that here. (Both these items will of course be featured in the Towards Dystopia section of Vision Aforethought.)
© The Independent and The Times 2008.
Fight back club: I have no idea what to suggest on this one. But any action that threatens the ability for children and others to seek enlightenment should be repelled.
One has to wonder whether these ongoing announcements by our increasingly dangerous government are designed to squeeze the concerned of us out of the wood work for an eventual crack down on the thinking classes. This has happened before I believe. Maybe we should all just shut up and accept our fate?
About time someone said this and in such a sensible eloquent yet hard hitting manner.
Today I was browsing the web when I did something rare, I clicked, or to be more precise, ‘rolled over’ an ad that caught my eye. Intrigued, I clicked. The ad took me to a website for the world famous Battersea Dogs Home. There were two surprises, one sweet, one sour:
- Discovered that the excellently designed website was developed by a top company who I admire for their talent and general wonderfulness. This has no connection with the main reason for this post…
- I was horrified to discover the ad was promoting a service whereby animal lovers can call a phone number to report lost or found pets. The catch? 60p a minute – from a land line! Imagine the cost from a mobile! Why isn’t the call standard rate or even free – after all, this is a charity – funded by donations. One can always donate later if willing. What about the poor? And what if someone doesn’t have any money?
As per a forthcoming separate posting, the way consumers are being ripped off – even if knowingly – by their banks and other entities is one of the reasons for the so called ‘credit’ crunch. That popular term really masks many more greed related issues that are responsible for the crash in our quality of life. People are being queezed dry left right and centre, whether for doing 5mph over the 30mph limit or calling company X for help. In this case, it is an outrage that a good cause has now resorted to such tactics. Pure exploitation.
Fight back club: This is a tough one, as it is a charity. I suppose writing to them may help. Of course, don’t pickup the phone – use their web form or a first class letter for the equivalent of 30 seconds of phone time.
In case you are wondering why in a world where more serious matters should be highlighted I in fact blog about these ‘lesser’ issues, it is because they are related. The more we’re controlled, fined, bankrupted, threatened, queezed, monitored and stressed by greed and the complexities of life, the harder it is to devote a proportion of ones life to creative and/or charitable pastimes. One really needs mental, physical and financial security and stability in order to devote time to creative and charitable endeavours. The liberated Americans and French are the most generous people in the world. Why? Because they are, in their own way, free. This is no co-incidence.
Today, a member of the public (not a trained authenticated journalist) posted a rumor on a certain global news website that the CEO of a top high technology company had become seriously ill. The rumor is apparently untrue. While the genuine media will occasionally make such an error, surely it is time for a law to be introduced that makes it illegal for anyone to report a news story without a license and for that license to be attached to laws that protect the privacy and dignity of the individual while at the same time detering fraud and stock manipulation.