This week on Facebook: The media celebrated the 25th anniversary of the world wide web this year, reserving a special accolade for its instigator — British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee. History may judge the last 25 years to be the time when, in one sense at least, the internet really did make the world a global village. A village where nothing, or very little, remains hidden from those who live in it. Global village neighbours expose themselves — in every sense of the word — both literally and figuratively on social media. A media that enables global neighbours to express opinions and views, within or without laws that may govern another neighbour’s behaviour. Politicians use their public administration to propagandise policy influencing public opinion and in many cases censoring public access to the internet. Read more of this post
Having set the theme for this month I was surprised by the diversity of its interpretation (perhaps the intentional use of ‘time displacement’ replacing ‘time travel’ to encourage non sci-fi writer actually worked). I’m especially grateful to Capucin for dissecting the theme so skilfully and incorporating it into a non sci-fi story and Seadams who, with ExpatAngie, Colmore and others, added very non sci-fi themes. It seems that all is fair in love and fiction. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: My innate cynicism tells me that that this exercise in flagellation by the International Money Fund (IMF) issuing their critical report¹, is not a pursuit of penance but rather a manipulation of the media. The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on:… and so does the IMF. The media criticism of the IMF’s handling of crises mentioned in the report, especially the crisis in Greece and that of the Eurozone, will soon be forgotten as the media also moves on. The IMF will be left to continue dispensing its euphemistic aid regardless of its efficacy to those in receipt of it. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: The media are full of self-righteous indiction about Sir Philip Green and the BHS scandal, particularly when taking some moral high ground on the issue. Successive governments have always use other people’s money to fund their fiscal profligacy be it financiers or taxpayers, while those in government remain financially immune from their own ineptitude. Their financial consequences are avoided by governments, their financial advisors and bankers placing an ever increasing burden on the taxpayer. Governments run budget deficits that can never be large enough to repay the national debt but large enough to cover interest payments on monies borrowed (at least at the moment — countries do default). This borrowing includes the issue of gilts, the government’s legal Ponzi scheme, where future interest is guaranteed by yet another burden on the taxpayer. Read more of this post
“Dammit!” He whispered, quiet enough for the in-car mobile not to pick it up — or so he thought. “What the hell does Beccy want.”
“Sorry to interrupt your musical interlude Edward but will you pick up some demerara sugar on your way home, I need some for the desert.”
“Light or dark?”
He abruptly cut her off, annoyed that she had interrupted the performance of Parsifal that he was listening to on Radio Three. Read more of this post
“An opinion, in and of itself, cannot be criminal. Ever. Just as the law should not attack thought, it should also be slow to proscribe speech or expression simply because it is capable of causing offence. If you want to be able to say things that others don’t like or find challenging, you need to be willing to hear things that you don’t like”.
This week on Facebook: My attention was drawn to the death of Michael Cimino who died early this month, remembered more for his epic disaster in directing the film Heaven’s Gate than his cinematic successes that led him to it. I am an aficionado of western movies and despite its critics Heavens Gate was no exception. I saw the demise of the Great Plains as being implicit to Cimino’s theme of the Johnson County war. Hollywood has exploited the origins of this despoliation of the Great Plains in films such as Dances With Wolves and Cimino’s Heavens Gate. His allusions in Heaven’s Gate are still valid in the history of the Great Plains which, in less than 200 years, the intervention of man — unwitting or not — has endangered its environmental stability and continues to do so. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I have a grandson given to conspiracy theories, he might reasonably have concluded that to hold the Brexit referendum and the release of The Chilcot Report so close together was a deliberate political conspiracy. If it were, any ideas that that they would bury each other in a media feeding frenzy that would quickly be forgotten were completely misplaced. Neither is going away soon and the only certainty here may be that The Chilcot Report will become a document that future historians will continually pour over while the Brexit referendum may simply become a footnote in English history. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: The Brexit referendum led me to research the impact 18-34 year old voters could have had on the outcome and why they didn’t. In a nutshell it’s very simple, they either didn’t vote in large enough numbers or had not registered to vote in the first place¹. To quote Ralph Nader —
We have the most prolonged adolescence in the history of mankind.
This week on Facebook: Not a believer in referendums — at least not those in the UK that turn a simple democracy into a mobile vulgus ochlocracy. I didn’t vote in the one last week on Brexit but in terms of UK democracy, last week’s Brexit referendum vote was as democratic as any electoral or parliamentary vote and more democratic — in terms of the popular vote turnout — than any other post war referendum. Read more of this post