Archive for February 2013
In business, smart companies know when their core market is threatened and act accordingly. Some of the world’s best known brands started out producing things that have little to do with their current product portfolio. For example, Nokia started out in rubber. Rank made movies, but eventually diversified into bread! Hence, Rank Hovis McDougal! There are many other examples of this, including to a less extreme extent, Apple, who saw the end of the PC era (error?) and invested in the iPhone and latterly, the iPad. They win, we win.
What a contrast to big energy. It is 2013 (the future!) and today, we are not surprised to hear, that energy prices are going to rocket over the coming years because we failed to invest in alternatives.
I sit here watching Arsenal get thrashed by Bayern Munich and the very first sponsor logo to appear before the game was Gazprom. Yes, we won the cold war, but now the West has been pawned by the very countries we clandestinely fought for over 40 years because they have their hands on our balls.
If we had done what smart business does, we would have taken our oil war chest and invested it on a Manhattan Project scale in sustainable energy technologies. Initially, this blog praised (having suggested it a while back) the UK Government recent investment in graphene, but when you think about it, the amount provided is a drop in the ocean to that invested in a single fracking test drill and many other short termist (more harmful) concepts. Solar panels made from graphene could be mounted on all large buildings to provide a large enough percentage of our energy to make up for the rising costs associated with our migration to foreign owned gas.
Yes, the green movement (of which this blogger is part of) killed off nuclear energy with a little help from Chernobyl and Fukushima, (the one carbon free source that could keep prices down), but that is no surprise, – nuclear also killed itself by failing to invest in safer cleaner alternative (nuclear) technologies, always choosing the least expensive at the start path.
So why didn’t we invest in sustainable energy when we could? Because even allowing for the failure of nuclear, the people who own our energy are so wealthy, even a quadrupling of prices would make no difference to their lives. And the politicians are in bed with the same people so you know that nothing will happen, unless you do something about it.
My employers forthcoming (albiet delayed) venture, lifemachine.com (@lifemachine) will suggest a robust but gentle path to a sustainable way of life and business, because you have always been free to harness that great big ball of fire up there.
Fight back club: Why wait? Mount your own solar panels and gradually get more and more of your household and business electrical and electronic items off the grid. Even if the initial investment hurts, you will be independent of price rises and so can at least plan your cashflow. And best of all, solar panels last a long time, so you’ll be able to rely upon them for decades.
I don’t mention wind farms, because there are so many issues with wind turbines, although new bird friendly designs positioned off shore – as the UK government has proposed to their credit, are a viable option too.
My previous post co-incidentally coincided with yet further revelations that the food we take for granted is not always what it appears. At the end of the post, I hinted at the monopoly that is the global credit industry. But that pales into insignificance when it comes to the huge corporations that produce (and that is the word) our food. Have a read of this from The Guardian, including the comments below, and then return here.
As you read this, growth driven companies like Monsanto and Nestlé are about to do all they can to get the Chinese and other to date, healthy cultures, hooked on the processed garbage that is in part responsible for the huge increase in diabetes in the West, and of course, interference in the way farmers farm. Yes, using GM foods to bypass pesticides is the lesser of two evils, but the issue is that much of what we produce is not even necessary for humans to live, and a tad worse for us than horse meat, that is in fact healthier than beef. Most of the corn is used to produce corn syrup and other high carb glycemic ‘foodstuffs’ that have been the bastion of the awful American diet for the last half century. Hence their weight problems, and later in life, various related ailments that are costing the country a fortune, making it one of the unhealthiest nations on Earth. Their reliance on popping pills for every mental and physical ailment is a sure indicator of so many problems, it is impossible to know where to start. The structure of society has a lot to do with the former.
The solution to all these issues is simple, don’t live a lifestyle that profits these companies or the ‘values’ they attempt to pursue through political manipulation. On the financial side, as I learned yesterday, this is difficult. There is no alternative to paying for online services and products using anything other than a credit or debit card, owned by the oligopoly that is the two major brands. Diet wise, the vegetarians and ‘cave man’ diet fans (this blogger included for the latter) have been right all along. Buy your meat, fruit and veg locally, ensuring you know where it came from (unless your supermarket can prove where it sources its produce – Waitrose do this), and of course, for your good health and longevity, stick to unprocessed foods, such as nuts, rye bread, open seas caught fish etc. Eating less for increased mental clarity is quite enlightening, something I experimented with in California to great success. #thezone
Fight back club: As above! Don’t forget, if we don’t act now, we cannot complain when in a decade or so, if not sooner, this whole planet is one automated dystopian hell that differs little from that foreseen in several visionary science fiction movies.
*Thanks to Daniel Lewis for introducing me to the word that is the title of this post.
A while back, whilst still residing in the US, I penned a short, (incomplete) satire on the ridiculous politically correct nature of Northern California culture. The laws and attitudes were (are!?) so embarrassing and lacking in common sense, it drove some of us bonkers. (It was one of the reasons I left.) Of course, this has been happening here in the UK over the last decade or so, where trash TV and other programming focused entirely on humiliating people en masse (The Hunger Games was spot on) is fine, but anything with a religious or ethical bent is frowned upon.
This is a reminder of the fact this all started in the US, and appears to be spreading beyond selfish ‘distant*’ California to the rest of the country. (*Many of my European and Asian colleagues commented on the fact that Californians appeared distant. IE, they were/are so involved in their careers and lives that whilst outwardly friendly at the start, they then withdraw. I am wondering if there is a connection?)
I would rather have Jesus on my wall than Simon C on my TV.
No, this one is not about the councils, but a subject to be covered in my large WW4/2+2=5 page that deals with the untruths that make up Western society. A less serious but just as annoying matter related to Unsubscribing from email newsletters and other communications, whether or not you requested them in the first place. On countless occasions I have ‘Unsubscribed’ from mailings, with any one or more of the following responses:
- Sorry to see you go
- Unsubscribe requested
- We will remove you from our mailing list within 10 days
- Can you let us know why you are unsubscribing?
Often, more spam (that is what it is once it has been Unsubscribed) continues to arrive. One tries again,sometimes to no avail. In some cases of course, in particular with spam that always was spam, simply by replying to Unsubscribe you are acknowledging you are a real person and inviting more – hence it is best to ignore those and try to get Gmail or other mail client to filter them out, but newsletters are often let through.
The B.S. component of this relate to item 3, above. As an engineer, I can warrant that unless something is done by hand, a database is updated in a matter of milliseconds. I just cannot believe how so many entities today exist with one goal only, to screw the consumer or stress them out!
Here’s to my forthcoming ‘Liberty’ post that will knock the overcomplexity of contemporary Western society, from spending a good portion of your lifetime on hold (at YOUR expense!) to call centres, to the difficulty of finding a no fee parking spot in your local town centre so you can relax, shop, network or socialise for as long as you want without the council or state timing and charging you for the privilege whilst at the same time taxing us left, right and liberal.
Update – 7 Feb 2013: On the subject of B.S., looks like there’s more of it in the food industry, although in this case, it’s H.S. not B.S.!
Beyond the ‘fine’ (more like, theft) in this situation, what is of concern is that the council people were out spying on us, the tax paying citizens of this democracy. Who is keeping an eye on YOU as you go about your hard working life? Yes, you, in your car/van/truck/lorry? Keeping an eye out for dangerous drivers is one thing, but a man in a van? What a gross invasion of privacy and freedom! It is no wonder that despite the horrific massacres of the last few years that Americans still wish to hold on to their guns. They learn from history.
For those wondering how this happens, and as I believe I have explained elsewhere, when the ‘footsoldiers’ of the state, who are often people with extremely little self esteem, get into positions of power (even at grassroots level), they impose their personal insecurities and prejudices on others, with compassion, common sense, fairness and ethics left out of the equation. This is extremely dangerous if it becomes the unchallenged norm.
Fight back club: Don’t look the other way.
I know, I should be out, it’s Saturday evening, but I feel people like this need to be given support by at the very least drawing attention to their experience. Since learning during my youth of far more troubling repression in other European nations, it has been a strong belief of mine that no one should party whilst others are persecuted, in particular if one is in the position to do something about it. It is very very upsetting and frightening to be persecuted as an individual by people working for the state when you know in your heart you’re a good person and your intentions are honorable. As I think I have mentioned many years ago on Vision Aforethought, my first ever experience of being persecuted by the ‘authorities’ was whilst taking casual photographs of fine architecture on London’s King’s Road on a lovely summer’s day – in a public space. Two jobsworths (foreign too!) approached me from either side requesting I erase my photos. Shocked and disgusted, I refused and fast walked off, bemused family member in tow. Since this happened, I never turn my eye away from a news story about people who whilst not suffering the kind of repression that goes on in dictatorships, do feel threatened by the state over matters that are quite simply irrelevant. G-d help the North Koreans, imagine what they go through. If only they had liberation oil.