Archive for April 2009
Although there are lots of us who write about the surveillance state, this in The Guardian by Henry Porter makes some very accurate points that are the heart of why we need to de-construct this out of control system before it is too late.
Don’t forget, this is all about your right to communicate and say what you like without anyone recording who, what or where you say it without your express written permission. Honor and dignity are priceless. And don’t forget that.
Fight back club: Write to your MP. That is the democratic way.
For those wondering what is going on, it is simple. We are engaged in a battle for the last of the world’s non renewable resources in the heart of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It just so happens that Islam is the religion of choice in some of these regions and being they don’t like our way of life (not surprising really), they don’t really want us or the Russians in their land. So, to stop those who dislike the West punishing us for our indiscretions, the (UK) government needs to track everybody and every byte. But all of this is uneccessary. Instead of burning coal, drilling for oil and other dirty industrial age fuels, we can invest oil profits in solar energy and practical energy storage technology – and purchase our oil from Norway and other democracies until everything is up and running. And when it comes to our right to privacy, we should retain our innocent until proven guilty laws that mean recording our movements, electronic or physical are only done after we’re suspected of a crime. Else, what are we defending exactly?
One more thing: The government wants to track our movements when LEAVING the UK too – proving that there is a lot more to this than we are being lead to believe. Most concerning, don’t you think?
Coming soon – and a concept I’ve been mulling for decades, but only now is the world ready to hear it. (Isn’t it funny how some ideas are crazy until in demand?)
Spend a few minutes with this and then think about its applications, beyond those shown on their amazing website. As someone who spent a few years in the image processing industry (testing and coding), I can validate that this is not just ground breaking, but a very impressive demonstration of the technology. (This is significantly more advanced than those unreliable and therefore useless face recognition features built into some modern consumer cameras, phones and web/desktop applications.)
Fight back club: Consider that not long from now (if not already), it will be possible for those sitting at the great big control panel in the sky to locate any individual(s) on demand by performing a face search across the planet via networked CCTV cameras. So behave yourself! 😉
While talentless or overhyped individuals continue to receive overnight fame and (mis) fortune through crass and embarrassing broadcasting – real talents who achieve greatness the hard way and should be heroes and (one day) mentors, are treated like this. (More here.) In the United States, this young man would be an inspiration. But in starving for oxygen UK, we prefer to worship semi-fabricated false idols. (And that is not a royal ‘we’.) How long before our Dear Leader comes to the defense of this chap? Probably never, for like his subservients, he is surely glued to celeb TV, while his motley comrads fund their Dachas by taxing the sensible respectable into bankrupcty. Way to go.
Fight back club: See earlier postings. (Summary: Rise!)
UK Government to introduce (and/or encourage) 20 mph speed limits and (as this blog has been predicting and highlighting for a while now), remove even more of our civil liberties and ability to apply common sense along the way. Although some of this is covered in the public comments below the aforementioned Times story, here is my take:
- Driving at 20 mph in any production car requires a very low gear and a lot of concentration. It does not come naturally due to the way cars are engineered – except in situations when such a speed is obviously required or intuitive, such as on a very narrow city street, in a car park, outside a school etc.
- Driving below 50 mph down a hill on an A road requires constant braking or use of the gears. This in turn causes wear and tear on car parts, not to mention brake dust that in itself is a pollutant probably responsible for more cancer and respiratory deaths than low speed car accidents. (Hence you can smell brake dust on any hilly road where drivers are forced to decelerate for whatever reason.)
- As the news media has covered over the last few months (links to each crash news story coming soon), the majority of road deaths are caused by cars full of drunk or criminal drivers ploughing into trees, walls, other cars or ditches after losing control of ‘their’ vehicle. Such people are not concerned at the speed limit in their state of mind. However, a human policeman in a patrol car or speed trap will be able to stop such drivers before they kill themselves and their passengers. Cameras cannot prevent such carnage.
- While many other issues face the people of this country, increasing road deaths is not one of them.
- Cars are not efficient at such low speeds and will therefore use up more fuel – a direct contradiction of the governments alleged green credentials, that I am sceptical of anyway – as are others. As a matter of scientific interest, the optimum speed for maximum fuel efficiency is 55mph, as the Americans discovered during the 1970s oil crisis. Why don’t they enforce that as a recommended speed on all our B roads? That will avoid any confusion. Ah, but they cannot do that, because entrapment is the only path to prosecuting the driver of his/her hard earned money.
- Having local councils decide on whether or not they should introduce such limits means that drivers will continue to be confused about which speed to drive as they visit different areas, and therefore, break the speed limit, further crippling their finances. £60 is the food budget for a lot of people for a week or two. This is entrapment, and it is despicable.
- As the commentators below The Times story (and no doubt elsewhere) have thankfully pointed out, this is really all about more revenue from the already long suffering (mainly middle class) public and of course, increased electronic surveilance. To monitor the many miles of road covered by these new speed limits will require the installation of thousands more ‘speed’ cameras that will no doubt be linked to a database so they will be able to track you just about anywhere. How about using the money for something more constructive, such as installing solar panels on government buildings or improving our decrepid railway stations to make life more bearable for those who choose not to use cars?
“It’s all so perfect – but…“
Those who lack confidence and a sense of worth or achievement will attempt to move the spotlight from themselves or genuinely pertinent issues by tarnishing, controlling or punishing innocent others. This occurs in dictatorships around the world.
Fight back club: Simple! Contest any fines you know in your heart are unjustified and don’t do the British thing of just paying up. Objective? Cost the government or your local council more than they will gain through their fiscally and paranoia motivated micromanagement of your life. Oh, and drive sensibly, as you have always done. It’s all about common sense really.
You may be asking why this blogger is concerned at what seems like a good idea – raise money by encouraging (forcing!) people to be careful. Because that is not what this is all about. This is about creating a completely subservient nation to be milked and manipulated at will over the coming decades – along with the far more serious issue of your life being recorded – with or without your concent – and that Dear reader, is what a large portion of this blog is concerned with. And there are those of us who would rather it didn’t happen – ever, come hell or high water.
UPDATE: (Un?)believable, they have introduced 20MPH limits in my home town! That’s New Labour!
…some people I know visited Romania – a country known then for KGB style behavior towards its people and tourists. One of the aforementioned visitors was taking photos of a building and was approached by the military police who asked him to destroy his camera film. When he told me this on his return to England, I was stunned. I found it hard to believe there could be a place on Earth where such behavior existed in the modern world. As I matured and learned more about Soviet style nations of the 70s and 80s I remained grateful to be born in a free country and felt sorry for those living under the constant fear and subservience of such dictatorships. Little did I know that one day, my country would slowly become like the nations we once fought wars against.
Incidentally, I have also been challenged when taking photos of innocent subjects. On one occasion, I was earning my living, the other, on a nice sunny day with the family on King’s Road in London. What really disgusted me was that the people who approached me on King’s Road were dressed in bright orange overcoats as if they were official, when they are nothing more than for hire security people. Ironically, they were foreign (yet challenging me in my own country!) and claimed to be working for a private entity of some sort. In a public space! Huh?
Fight back club: If this happens to you, yes, show the photos, but refuse to stop taking any more and do not hand over your memory card and/or film. I resisted and still have the photos that I will post here in due course. Don’t let these jobsworths who think they are important get away with echoing the behavior of the footsoldiers in fascist nations of the past or present. And no, it’s not (just) about terrorism. As mentioned elsewhere on these pages, we have a government who are so terrified of their people that they are gradually micro managing more and more aspects of our lives until we are totally subservient and monitored 24/7. Next they will be introducing a 20mph speed limit and using that as a way to install even more cameras, track even more of us and fool even more middle class motorists into accidentally going 5mph over the limit in return for a £30 fine to make up for loss of tax revenue since the indoor smoking ban. You think the banks are corrupt? Wait until the government has you wrapped in it’s embrace a few years from now. All powered by cold heartless efficient technology.
For more worrying tidbits, visit the Towards Dystopia section of this blog.
It is people like this who should be running the industries of the future, not the dumb stiffs of yesteryear who have so failed to invest in the future, it is a wonder how they have kept their jobs.
Watch the video.
Fight back club: If you can afford it, buy an electric car. Not because at this stage such a purchase will be practical (unless you have a backup gasoline powered vehicle for long journeys), but you will be punishing those companies whose shortsightedness is stunting progress. At this point, purchasing a Tesla or other electric car is no different than being an early adopter in any other market, you will pay top dollar but with further development and mass production, longer ranges and lower prices will come. That’s the way it works.
Of all the concepts presented for future transport, there are several reasons why the P.U.M.A. offers a practical solution:
- Combines the benefits of a motorbike without the safety and license issues
- It is exceptionally maneuverable, even turning within it’s own ‘footprint’
- Nippy, great for getting about a larger town
- Safe (Yes, colliding with a larger vehicle will hurt, but that applies to any compact transportation. It is tall enough to be visible.)
- Hard to fall off
- Not fast enough to do too much harm in an accident
- Assuming the energy SOURCE is clean, P.U.M.A. is environmentally tops too
- Would make an ideal taxi
- Ideal for the elderly who find underground trains exhausting and are fed-up of noisy boring buses. They can live a little, again.
- A clean quiet alternative to the noisy polluting taxis in many Asian cities
- Perfect for summer tourists in major cities and towns – complements rickshaws too!
- Great view thanks to the transparent canopy
- Backed by a large firm (GM) who will hopefully not sit on it this time, but mass produce the P.U.M.A. A.S.A.P. while building a global charging network
The only con is the lack of storage space for shopping and other items – something that will only be an issue with a passenger aboard, else you can put your stuff on the spare seat.
I would buy one of these today if it was available. Would you?
Idea: Why not have P.U.M.A. self charge when going down hill? Or perhaps it does?
Fight back club: Write to GM & Segway and offer to put down a deposit. Remember, the best way to bring about revolution is to vote with your wallet. Let GM smell the money.
Of this(1). As with previously published stories on similar subjects, a number of concerned individuals write eloquently below the aforementioned article. Alas, like other breaches of our privacy and dignity, those who sit back and allow it to continue will reap what they sow through such innaction in the future. Just use your imagination. Isn’t it great to know that government and large business (such as the heneous ‘Phorm’) are so powerful we are unable to stop them – except by ceasing to ‘exist’.
Fight back club: Simple really, don’t communicate electronically. There will be nothing more effective than to deprive those who monitor our every breath of the oxygen that feeds their paranoia, advertising dollar or voyeuristic pleasure.
It is unbelievable that this is actually happening in the ‘modern’ world – and here on this island! Many brave souls gave their lives in the past to ensure such an existence never came to be. But with modern technology, it is so easy to be heneous, everyone’s doing it. The fact a whole generation (including some in positions of extreme power) were bought up with celebrity obsessed voyeuristic media, they don’t even comprehend the ethic of their station.
I came very very close to embedding in this posting images of a swastika and communist red star, but cannot bring myself to do it – yet.
(1) Link © 2009 The Independent.