Common sense analysis of this, that and the other

Archive for December 2008


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…let this happen – ever!

In a remarkable quote that makes points covered by some of my prior writings, this says it all:

“The tendency of the state to seek ever more powers of surveillance over its citizens may be driven by protective zeal. But the notion of total security is a paranoid fantasy which would destroy everything that makes living worthwhile. We must avoid surrendering our freedom as autonomous human beings to such an ugly future. We should make judgments that are compatible with our status as free people.”

– Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions (UK)

© The Guardian, 31st December 2008

Fight back club: Just don’t let it happen. It really is that simple.

Update: This lot agree too.


Written by Oflife

December 31, 2008 at 8:12 am

Alex’s invention of the year award 2008 goes too…

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Written by Oflife

December 30, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Fun, Gigglespace

The UK’s privacy invading money grabbing fascist dictat continues..

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(Filed under Towards distopia of course.)

As usual, most will read this (and this) and get on with their day to day work / play / Xmas preparations (last minute shopping?), but those who really know what is going on will hopefully sit up, take notice and finally begin to make preparations to fight back with all the force available to stop this goverment in their tracks before it is too late. I never for one second ever believed that I would devote time from my career in product design / business to comment on such matters, but I suppose one of the genetic traits of being a visionary is that you can foresee the consequence(s) of situations and actions ahead of time – whether the results are sweet or sour.

Meanwhile, people are robbed and stabbed, the country collapses in a pile of confused ethics, but all the government can do is think of more ways to punish it’s OWN people for ‘offenses’ that pail in comparison to more pertinent matters. And is it no wonder people don’t have any money to spend as they are fined and taxed into bankruptcy!

So, who of the unemployed masses will signup to sit at a CCTV console and look for couples arguing en route? And how much money will it take to turn you into such a person?

Fight back club: In the event the above madness comes to fruition, harness the due process of law to sue for undue stress, loss of time and infringement of privacy – and of course, avoid parting with any money until any legal action has been concluded. For all you know, your case may become a test case. Alternatively, as per Thompson Travel’s pertinent advertising from a while back, consider that it may be “Time to leave the country”. Thing is, where? If there’s money in it, ‘it’ will be adopted by other nations who begin to lose their way too when it comes to abandoning common sense and trust for a for profit based system of state control. Lord ‘elp us all…

Written by Oflife

December 24, 2008 at 4:59 am


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Written by Oflife

December 19, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Gigglespace

Towards a cold humorless distopia

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Ever since taking an interest in technology in the 1970s, I have been concerned that one day it would evolve beyond just providing convenience and occasional entertainment and into something slightly more sinister. Namely, increasingly complex devices would begin to act as a substitute for natural human to human and human to animal relationships. I felt that once that time arrived, my interest and desire to be involved with technology would come to an end. I would want no part of it. As this article highlights, with an increasing number of people becoming a ‘burden’ on society (I use that term uncomfortably), some are considering abandoning their responsibilities as humans, leaving the unwanted in the ‘care’ of flawless, heartless steal and plastic.

Hang on, we’re not there yet
© 2001 DreamWorks

Fight back club: We need to think before substituting the warmth, trust and comfort of nearby love with distant machinery. Granny flat anyone?

Written by Oflife

December 19, 2008 at 3:27 am

Posted in Dystopia, Technology

More credit crunch sense

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Not normally one to agree with the Arch Bish of C, but he is spot on here. Britain has sold off most of its industries leaving the country to trade in intangibles. And are those not just lies dressed as hope?

Fight back club: Pay for stuff with cash, learn about science not celebs and go make long lasting things that people need – but take the sustainable route.

As a general comment on the credit crunch, walking around some of our major towns and cities (including London), people appear to be out shopping and look no more glum than prior to the ‘downturn’. And this just in from the Beeb echoes such an observation. While it may be a little premature, this all proves that capitalism works as long as cash remains fluid. It is when everyone stops spending that things get really icky. Thing is, as per Fight back club, it is unwise to borrow – except for business, where chances are you are creating something that will eventually be worth more than it cost to create. Borrowing for something that loses it’s worth immediately after ‘purchase’ is madness. Save up and then buy! It feels better too.

Written by Oflife

December 18, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Capitalism, Economy, Finance

Thought for the day

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“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” 

Thomas Jefferson, 1802

Fight back club: Invest in tangibles

Written by Oflife

December 14, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

BBC continues it’s slide towards meaninglessness

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Read this and weep. As one of the last bastions of intelligent debate in the UK disintegrates,  one has to ask, why doesn’t the BBC just merge with GMTV and create The SDBN? (The Super Dumb Broadcasting Network.) That way, like one of those exceptionally visionary SciFi stories of the past, Britain will become a true distopia, where there are no professional individuals of quality to look up to any more – just ‘Dear leaders’.

Fight back club: Start your own broadcasting network backed up with intelligent ego free journalism, common sense values and an online presence that doesn’t capitulate to our enemies.

Written by Oflife

December 14, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Dumbing Down, Dystopia

PLEASE, people…

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…stop this madness!

Fight back club: Sing the originals loud and clear!

Written by Oflife

December 13, 2008 at 2:20 am

Re-introducing the subject of endocrine disrupters

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As a primer, read this top to bottom. (© The Independent, Sunday 7th December 2008)

gender_female_lrg favs_lrg gender_female_lrg

While out in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, I often tuned into two talk radio stations, KCBS and KGO 810. I cannot recall which one it was, but there was (and maybe still is) a very clued up host who would dwell on all manner of interesting or pertinent subjects. One day she discussed how much of what we pop in our mouths and/or down the drain ends up not just back in our bodies (even if unwanted), but in remote locations such as the arctic and antarctic. PCBs were mentioned a lot, in particular how they effect the sexual orientation of animals, including a certain dubious species of biped.

Of all the threats to life on Earth, it became obvious that endocrine disruptors was one of the greatest. Worryingly, because this issue lacks the shock and awe of threats such as asteroid impact, nuclear war and more, it has gone unnoticed and undiscussed for a decade or so since the radio broadcasts and low level media coverage of the 1990s. The disruption of the natural order of things is exceptionally dangerous.

This deceptively benign threat brings to mind the scenario featured in HG Well’s War Of The Worlds where the huge walking cyborgs were impervious to an array of military firepower, yet a subtle virus managed to kill them off – to the surprise of all.

Fight back club: Do you really need any of those ‘cleaning’ fluids, powders, chemicals and bleaches whose bottles clog up your kitchen and bathroom cupboards? A little warm or hot water and sunshine can do the job with no environmental impact And do you really need all those pills? Remember folks, most of what we buy was conceived as a way to earn a living for the seller or make life easier for the buyer. However, through no fault of our own, until recently we have failed to consider the future impact of our creations or purchases thanks to the laws of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ensuring that more pertinent issues grabbed our attention.

It is probably high time we research and think very carefully about the consequences of what we make, buy and do – with an aggression, focus and sincerity unknown to date. No pussy footing around the issue any more.

Written by Oflife

December 7, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Most excellent news

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Exhibits ABCD. Says it all. Without any doubt, this matter is more important than any other and it will be interesting to see how the UK Government reacts long term. Ironic, tonight, I’m attending a talk on privacy in Oxford.

© BBC, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian. More to follow, I am late for a meeting!

Fight back club: No matter your opinion on the matter, take it from me, my family tree and what happened in India recently, you don’t want people to be able to identify you without your express permission.

Oh, and madam Home Sec, if you want to cut down on crime & terror, then get the media to raise the bar in their publishing and broadcasting, make parents directly responsible for the actions of their children and put some real meat and bone walking, talking, running* policemen on the street.

*Because CCTV cameras cannot chase criminals or protect victims before the event.

Written by Oflife

December 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm

While in the USA…

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…after a few years of starting to discover what most of you already knew, I concluded that the superficial joyous nature of some Americans (in particular the West Coast) was hiding a combination of loneliness and insecurity – even if they were/are unsure of this. After all, it is hard to be aware of your station unless you have known different. This explains in part the huge amount of money spent that side of the Atlantic on ‘shrinks’, prescription drugs and pointless material possessions – such as those stackable transparent plastic boxes to store excess excess possessions in. An alternative would be to talk to grandma, your best friend, Bob at the hardware store etc etc.

As usual, not one to leave a mystery unsolved, I researched, observed and concluded (again, what most of you will already have known) that this was caused by one or more of the following:

  1. Young people often travel far to study at University – several thousand miles in fact. This breaks that priceless bond with trusted friends and family who they grew up with.
  2. The obsession with consumerism over the true meaning of family get togethers (the continuous trashy effort that is Halloween > Thanksgiving > Christmas an example that drove me nuts while out there), although to be fair, Thanksgiving is a more sincere occasion
  3. Overly optimistic Hollywood endings to just about every movie or television program ever made – leading to some disappointment with real life, as opposed to the depressing semi realism of the BBC’s East Enders. In the movies Bruce Willis would have steered the 2nd airplane away from the intact WTC tower. The reality was far different.
  4. A culture based on community fear, thanks to end to end day time made for TV movies normally featuring a female victim who is being hounded and/or murdered by someone living nearby (Don’t believe me? Tune in to daytime TV states side and between the soaps, you’ll catch the movies.)
  5. Similar to item 4, almost every movie made gives the impression that the outside world is dangerous, whether it is the world outside your home or other nation states. The recent Hostel movies are good examples, where the people of a specific Eastern European country are characterised as murdering psychos (the star in the movie is your standard preppy jock)
  6. Left wing values are destroying the concept of the family unit

Which leads to the sad reality that we here in formerly psychologically and socially secure Britain are becoming the same way. The British are still cynical enough to know how to differenciate between fiction and reality, but if we’re smothered by influencial programming, media and concepts, we’ll eventually break. And being it is all about the bottom line, this tacky scenario will be pushed across the globe as electronic empires spread their wings.

Fight back club: Go away and party when you’re young and single, but keep family and real friends close when you’re ready to settle. And restrict the media you let into your life.

Written by Oflife

December 2, 2008 at 12:12 am

Posted in Ethics, Society, USA

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