Common sense analysis of this, that and the other

Archive for April 2013


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Just returned from seeing Oblivion, a visually utopian movie that has a very original plot, even if the multiple references to other movies shows lack of imagination, unless done out of respect? Anyway…

<Minor conceptual spoiler within>

…the movie (or is it film?), is, like most of the apocalyptic dystopian efforts of this forthcoming summer, one of those that makes you think about what it is like to be human and question our potential future.

</end spoiler alert>

Oblivion is very relevant to goings on in the world today, and one of those things that has since the mid 1990s (when I woke up) made me wonder if Hollywood is either very visionary or in cahoots with the powers that be to prepare us for our inevitable future, from the exaggerated (but accurate to date) effects of climate change in The Day After Tomorrow to the guilty until proven innocent reversal of non French law in Minority Report.

  1. The Boston bombs and more recent but nipped in the bud just in time potential attack on a train from Canada to New York bring up the issue of increased surveillance – with one senator calling for armed drones in (US) cities. #omg #yikes #wrongtarget
  2. Advances in health and biotech makes it possible for parents to have babies at increasingly older age(s), not to mention flawless designer babies – a legal non repressive alternative to the ideals of Nazi Germany.
  3. Increasingly effective artificial intelligence and data mining technology (related!) mean that our gadgets know more about us than we do and can deliver pre-emptive information before we seek it. But to whom?
  4. Many other similar or related issues that like the above have already been discussed around the world.

Traffic warden - or eliminator of traffic wardens, you choose!

You dropped a cigarette – Prepare to die!

So, Dear sentient human, do we take the above concepts to their inevitable conclusion – because we can – or like when offered a line of Charlie by a controlling manipulative fiscally motivated ‘friend’, calmly depart the room head held high and continue as we are, relieved at having walked away from a potentially regretful uncertain future?

Fight back club: Wisely choose, human.

P.S. I went into Oblivion having for the first time ever in my movie viewing history accidentally known about a major plot ‘twist’ in advance. That thanks to clicking a link in a gadget blog comment without noticing a not very clear “Spoiler alert” warning. Fortunately, this didn’t ruin the movie that much because it had enough going for it anyway unless you don’t like TC.

P.P.S. In 1993, whilst living in the US, I started to write a short story predicting the misuse of drones. Work meant I didn’t complete it, but I think you’ll get the idea from the completed text.


Written by Oflife

April 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Protected: East beats West

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Written by Oflife

April 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Posted in Politics, Society

Tagged with ,


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Yesterday I took time out to ‘attend’ Lady Thatcher’s funeral. When I say, attend, I mean mingle with the crowd and pay my respects to a woman who finally, people are realising was misunderstood. This for reasons that explain a lot about what causes conflict in the first place – too little information or poor communication.

The whole day was fantastic, starting with a train journey that I had planned to spend working on my laptop. I was sitting opposite two nice and interesting people, one from Vodafone and the other Microsoft, (with my Apple and Android machinery copiously spread over the table!), so the whole journey was spent discussing all manner of things Apple Microsoft Google, with me making the case that solutions are what people want, not just sparkle.

Headed to St. Paul’s and after using the articulating display on my camera to watch the arrival of the coffin (that other shorter people behind me found invaluable too!) and do some people watching, went to mingle and people watch outside the front of the cathedral – just as I did last year or so at the (equally dignified) Occupy (London) protest. Surprisingly there were very few protestors and only one person with a megaphone who had strategically positioned himself near the BBC outside broadcast unit to ensure his message (that we are all sheep) was heard. He did have a point – more on that another day!


© 2013 Taikitso

As the news media have already mentioned, a huge majority of people (probably 1000:1) were pro Thatcher and very dignified. I think they embarrassed and surprised the ‘opposition’ whose arguments just didn’t wash in today’s modern, clean, fairly democratic social entrepreneur world free of union thugs unreliable cars and frequent power cuts. What was uplifting was the healthy debates going on amongst groups of 3 or 4 people, some of which I recorded in full HD and will be posting on my YouTube channel, having already received permission from the participants. There was no violence at all (just a few tempers slightly frayed, but soon tempered by the crowd) and the sunshine made it all the merrier, if that is the correct term! The intellectual debate and respect shown by most renewed my own faith in society and the future.

Mrs T would have approved.

If only those protesting or feeling aggravated would turn their attention to matters of the day: Sustainable clean energy (and fight fracking), thuggish wardens, national infrastructure – then their lot will get better, employment included.

Incidentally, this was a photographer’s heaven and there were a lot of them, from all over the world. Most pros with their huge heavy DSLRs and me with my equally capable more agile Sony NEX. Yes, that is a Canon AL-1 35mm film camera in the lady’s hand (above)! Her digital had run out of memory. #backup


Quiz: What is this? Taken after the event whilst walking from St. Pauls to Charring Cross Station
© 2013 Taikitso

Written by Oflife

April 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Wanted: Paid researcher for this blog

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With so many issues to be dealt with, and me tied up with work and family etc, it is time to delegate.

Vision Aforethought needs someone to do very part time research and if you have the skills (WordPress, css, html, php etc), assist with the actual blog design/code too.

For example, two pertinent matters:

  1. Research the complete cost of installing and maintaining all the equipment (barriers, ticket machines, cameras etc) associated with fee based parking at hospitals in the UK, and of course, any salary/bonuses paid to wardens/for hire parking attendants.
  2. Find out why the </ol> tag on this post keeps vanishing  causing the numbers on the news feeds to turn into un-numbered bullet points after item 1.

Your reward will be a small payment per task – probably not more than three or four per month. This is not going to make you rich, but may be suited to a conscientious student or professional who shares the values that this blog highlights or anyone else interested in old school respect based liberty and new school social entrepreneurship related technology.

How to apply

Comment below or considering there may not be a way to make contact privately using the WordPress commenting system, try (temporarily?) following my moans, groans, raves and giggles @oflife and perhaps we can DM?

Legal stuff

You will not be responsible for the actual content of this blog and consequences thereof.


“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

– Teddy Roosevelt, 1910.

Written by Oflife

April 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Idealog: News By Importance

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For over 15 years, been keen to suggest to another entrepreneur or have my company develop a service that displayed the news in such a way that each story was ordered and scored by importance. With few exceptions, the media tend to headline based on the immediacy, voyeuristic or short term ‘shock and awe’ value of a story, rather than it’s long term threats to a significant portion of the population and/or social stability. So, whilst in full on creative/achievement mode both on a personal and professional level, here’s a sample mockup feed based on the news TODAY only:

A few name ideas

  1. PNN – Priority News Network
  2. NBP  – News by Priority
  3. NBI – News by Importance
  4. NBT – News by Threat
  5. Etc! Any ideas?

Mockup example news feed

As of Friday 12 April 2013 – 23:21 GMT only

  1. Deaths by Bird Flu in China (NBC News)
    • 5/90 – Seriousness based on the Spanish Flu outbreak over 80 years ago. Positive contribution, population reduction = more parking spaces down town. (Humor.) If this was a real feed, NBI would need to seek multiple sources of educated opinion as to whether the threat was genuine rather than scare mongering. Slow incubating viruses are the most dangerous.

#birdflu #virus #h7n9 #h5n1 #flu #medicine #contagious #outbreak #apocalypse

  • Funeral of Lady Thatcher (BBC)
    • 50/60 – Could re-ignite class based civil unrest, initially in the UK, then abroad. Benefit, provides release to some, posthumous positive role model for others.

#politics #society #margaretthatcher

  • North Korea may launch missile to avoid losing face (BBC)
    • 30/40  Little danger unless of an accident and the missile hits a built up area triggering a conflict. Benefit, may force the world/USA to resolve the North Korea issue once and for all, to the benefit of all sides.

#politics #war #northkorea #nuclearweapons

  • Bionic hands (CNN)
    • 75/5 – A positive development that could improve the quality of life for those who have lost the use of one or more limbs or appendages. Only threat, misuse as a weapon – strangulation etc in the event of stronger than nature technology.

#medicine #medical #technology #robotics #cyber

  • Celebs engage in activities (Daily Mail)
    • 1/100 – Positives, increase sales of the same newspaper that focuses on some issues close to this blogger’s heart. (Not kidding!) Negatives, provides ongoing reasons for women to gossip, embarasses the people mentioned, further reduces the intellectual capacity of those addicted to such stories such that they fail to grasp the importance of those higher up the NBI feed.

#society #celebrities #schadenfreude #voyeurism

Of course, if there is an Earthquake or other disaster, this would immediately appear at the top along with any government advice/contact numbers etc, something that occurs in the regular news media anyway, so on that count, there is little need for change. Further, in a real feed, those tags below each story would act as hyperlinked filters.

Sorry! WordPress is breaking my html, each story is supposed to be numbered, from 1 to X, where X is the number of stories. The last </ol> tag keeps vanishing! Why? So annoying! #halp #html #wordpress

Written by Oflife

April 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Idealog, Journalism, The media

Tagged with , , ,


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No, not on the level of a true despotic state, but thought I would bring the following to your attention:

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting a top class individual for a business meeting. We got talking about the incredible behaviour of some people after the death of Mrs Thatcher. Before he knew anything about my own causes or this blog, he mentioned that the other day he was in the car park of a well known middle class supermarket that until this moment, I held in high regard. He was surprised to discover they had recently introduced fees for parking. The on the spot fine for staying longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes was £60. So the days of having a friendly chat in the supermarket café are over unless you want to pay to pay – if you get my meaning. Anyway, my colleague had recently seen a pensioner struggling with his bags as he put them into his car at the aforementioned supermarket. A traffic warden (I like to call them, thugs for hire), came up to the old man. Rather than assist him, the warden issued the elderly man with an on the spot penalty charge. No questions asked.

For what you may ask? Spending more than 90 minutes shopping for free? Shop lifting?

No. Because his car was slightly over the white line dividing up the parking spaces.

No doubt a mix of a basic accident – he is a human – and perhaps, age.

My colleague who was witness to this was disgusted and begged the thug, sorry, warden, to leave the man alone, but of course, £60 to the VERY nasty companies slowly buying up our land for parking spaces is quite a nice little earner, so the thug refused to walk away.

Not long ago, assuming one had to pay to park to shop, (which one didn’t in most locations), a warden or policeman would simply politely inform the motorist of their offense and allow them to be ‘on their way’. As my own experiences since returning from the US validate, these people are quite simply after money. The law, ethics, fairness, common sense do not come into play. It is a cold hard fascist behaviour that is traumatising and financially crippling people who are already vulnerable. And that is before we even discuss clamping companies and their dubious ethics and intentionally small signage and hidden cameras.

From what I understand, my colleague has kept the contact details of the pensioner so we may try to help him fight the fight, and I for one, will try to setup a section on this here blog to document countless examples of this behaviour (and name names if legally ok)  of which I have been slowly building up a library based on newspaper articles and listening to others who I either overhear (happens quite often) or who contact me. Some of what has been going on is abhorrent.

Fight back club: Fight back and refuse to pay

This fee based parking has already taken over our hospitals and is the sort of thing that those idiots dancing in the street the other day aught to be protesting against. It is not capitalism, or socialism, it is pure evil and greed. Note that for my part I refuse to pay to park at hospitals or supermarkets and always look for a free space nearby if a hospital, and in the case of a supermarket, will will not longer offer them my custom. I want the right to shop for as long as I like, without stressing about over staying my parking. I know full well that if I leave my car there all day, it will probably get damaged or vandalised, so I don’t need a greedy self serving dystopian entity telling me to pay to pay or pay to offer support at a hospital. (Much more on the latter in due course – the lie I was told by the hospital I questioned on this was laughable.)

Written by Oflife

April 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm

With friends like these

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Oh dear, the (far) left wing have done themselves well over the last few days and shown their true colours in their appalling response to the passing of a woman whose ethics, character and purpose were way above that of her detractors.

Written by Oflife

April 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,

Lady Thatcher

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RIP. Sadly, due to some appalling misinformation put out by the toxic left over the last decade or so, this remarkable woman’s achievements have been swept under the carpet, and the few issues that did tarnish her reputation (taking away school milk, poll tax) were not as they appeared – something I only discovered after doing my own research.

I have planned for a while to publish a dedicated ‘Vision Aforethought > On’ page about Mrs. Thatcher, to inform younger people why she was so important (for women’s lib as much as any ‘right wing’ values) and why she should be a hero and mentor to those out there today who wish to achieve great things in a considerate manner, as opposed to the (innocent) no hopers that now populate our city centres thanks to a generation of liberal values driving our society. Very sad that she will not get to read my page.

How many people are aware Mrs. Thatcher introduced a number of green policies, not a very popular concept back then?

Am proud to have lead the mock elections at school, where my “Jim didn’t fix it, Maggie will!” campaign saw her win our mock election prior to winning the real election. She then turned this country around from a grey, strike ridden ‘damp’ mess, to an industrious nation (I am talking the 80s here) that saw the British personal computer revolution amongst other things create a whole generation of skilled IT workers and world class businesses. She also closed down old school dirty industries (coal, unreliable engineering plants) and whilst this was unpopular at the time, it was visionary, because she saw the flaws in our country that were holding us back. If she had not done what she did then, things would be FAR worse today.

Mrs Thatcher was very trusting and well meaning. Therefore the ventures of hers that failed (IE, Delorean) were no different than a parent trusting a child with too much pocket money and reaping the consequences. This is one of the most significant problems with being in a position of leadership, you may mean well, but your underlings/trustees/backers/partners/associates/fans/HANGERS ON and/or enemies will often exploit you or pull the rug from under your feet for any number of reasons (politics/greed/ego/envy), whilst others will simply screw up – as is human nature, in turn causing the leader’s reputation to be sullied.

Pity that many in the IT/Geek community don’t appreciate Lady Thatcher or (common sense based) conservative values, but once I get my page up, (no propaganda, just the facts, Maam!), hopefully some will feel enlightened. Note that products like the superb Raspberry Pi, BBC Micro, Sinclair etc are all brainchilds of her ideology.

A very sad day, and if the BBC or other leftist publications try to discredit Lady Thatcher, they will receive hell and damnation from this blogger and no doubt others who understand her importance to this world, including the down trodden and repressed. Oh, and she was uncorrupt too, unlike so many today who have their fingers in various jars.

Right back club: Read. Write. (= Research prior to forming opinion.)

Note that most experienced entrepreneurs I know are big fans of Lady Thatcher and were inspired by her, as I was.

BTW, my politics are all over the place. Each party has pros and cons.

Written by Oflife

April 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

40 years ago today

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Dr. Marty Cooper of Motorola made the world’s first mobile phone call on April 3 1973. The concept of a portable communications device that relieved people of the shackles of wired technology is significant in how it has altered society as much as it has business.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was another revolution in communications that took things to the next level?


Written by Oflife

April 3, 2013 at 10:55 am

Posted in Technology

Tagged with ,

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