Category Archives: Technology
This week on Facebook: Are articles on the UK and nuclear energy, mainly as a response to my post in 2016 with title Points about Hinkley. The articles, apart from that at (5), all come from Carbon Brief, which describes itself as a UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. It claims to specialise in clear, data-driven articles and graphics to help improve the understanding of climate change, both in terms of the science and the policy response. Publishing a wide range of content, including science explainers, interviews, analysis and factcheck, as well as daily and weekly email summaries of newspaper and online coverage. Read more of this post
Next week on Facebook: I am going to add articles on the UK and nuclear energy as a response to my post in 2016 with title Points about Hinkley. UK Government policy is to have a wide mix of energy supplies, so we use nuclear alongside other energy sources, such as gas and solar. Today, nuclear energy generates around one fifth of the country’s electricity, and under current government proposals that include Hinkley Point C, some of our power will come from nuclear sources in the future. Read more of this post
This Week on Facebook: In last week’s post I included a comment by John Redwood with the title, Would you invest your money in HS2 that was (in general terms) opposed to its development. This week I am including some alternative responses to the HS2. Although in general terms the cost of HS2 generates more article against the scheme than for it. The article associated with the image below gives the impression that the responses of the disgruntled, are not just those of the nimby. The case for or against HS2, is given in the included articles below and the references¹⋅²⋅³.
ICT solutions such as video and teleconferencing solutions have become an integral way to conduct business, but as we can see from the increasing demand for passenger journey, travel is still very important. Developing efficient transport links is important for economic growth, but of course HS2 is not the only solution to support this. (3)
1. HS2 — 12 arguments for and against: The first phase between London and Birmingham will open in 2026. A V-shaped second section will be added in 2033, going to Manchester and Leeds. The government says it expects 70% of jobs created to be outside London. A government-commissioned report by accountants KPMG suggests that the Midlands and north will benefit more than the capital.
2. HS2 to boost UK economy ‘by £15bn a year’ says report: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised the scheme, saying: “So far, the Department [of Transport] has made decisions based on fragile numbers, out-of-date data and assumptions which do not reflect real life.” The committee also said there was no evidence the line would help the growth of regional cities and would instead draw even more business to London. KPMG’s report to the department was commissioned by HS2 Ltd, which is a non-departmental public body wholly owned by the Department for Transport.
3. HS2 — can the technology meet expectations? The UK’s railway system is the oldest in the world and was established about 180 years ago. It is a mixed usage system, which means the track needs to serve three major purposes; long haul intercity journeys, short haul commuting journeys and freight. Intercity connections are very important, which is one reason the government chose to prioritise the service, but that squeezed the capacity around larger cities like London and Manchester.
4. Transport experts call for independent review of HS2 options: Alternatives to HS2 should be reconsidered, a group of travel experts have warned in a report saying the high-speed rail line could be five times as expensive as an equivalent railway in France.
5. Unlocking the benefits of HS2: Government policy is to build HS2, both phases one and two, and to improve regional rail connectivity through schemes like Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Connect. To do one without the other is a foolhardy choice and does a great disservice to the country. Nowhere would feel the full benefits of HS2 if we see it as a binary choice between HS2 and other programmes to better connect our regions. The great towns and cities across the North and Midlands, from Bradford to Birmingham, need both.
Referenced Articles Books & Definitions:
- A bold text subscript above and preceding a title below (¹·²·³), refers to a book, pdf, podcast, video, slide show and a download url that is usually free.
- Brackets containing a number e.g. (1) reference a particular included article (1-5).
- A link (url), which usually includes the title, are to an included source.
- The intended context of words, idioms, phrases, have their links in italics.
- A long read url* (when used below) is followed by a superscript asterisk.
- Occasionally Open University (OU) free courses are cited.
- JSTOR lets you set up a free account allowing you to have 6 (interchangeable) books stored that you can read online.
¹HS2 Phase Two—Economic case advice for the Department for Transport (pdf): Risk analysis shows that the case for the Phase 2a increment is robust to a variety of potential changes to both scheme and cost assumptions. The majority of the sensitivities tested — including variations in construction costs, fares and GDP — provide over a two-thirds chance of the scheme providing medium, or higher, value for money.
²The Economics of High Speed 2 (pdf): Before spending more taxpayers’ money on this project, we believe that Government should answer the questions raised in this report. It needs to demonstrate that HS2 is the most effective way of achieving the declared objectives of the project and, if it is not, then the plan needs to change. The lengthy passage of the enabling legislation for the first phase of the construction provides an opportunity to examine the case for HS2. There should be no embarrassment in being prepared to revise the project: the objectives and cost are too important.
³Economic evaluation of the High Speed Rail (pdf): All over the world, governments of different political orientation are investing in high speed rail (HSR) infrastructure. In some countries the enthusiasm is more intense than in others. There is no a single pattern. UK and the US are now closer to building HSR infrastructure but until now they have been reluctant to give the definitive approval, and the money allocated to HSR has not gone beyond financing the cost of the evaluation of its economic and financial viability. Other countries, like France and Spain, have been keener on HSR than other European countries like Norway or Sweden, for example, whose governments are still studying whether this type of investment is socially worthy. Spain is a unique case because with much less traffic density than other countries (and much less congestion) in the conventional rail network, it is going to very soon be one of the first countries in the world measured in HSR kilometers.
This week on Facebook: A video that I posted two week ago ended with the question, “What would you do if you never had to die?“. As someone who is going to be an octogenarian this year the question was an initial no-brainer, I would leap at the chance (especially if it repaired my short term memory failings at the same time). Then I began to think about what being human meant and the more I thought about it, the more my initial reaction began to change. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Sometime in the early 90s I remarked to my European colleagues that supermarkets were turning us all into ‘battery hens’, in that we were all (however unwittingly) in thrall to the power of ‘marketers’ who exerted influence over our buying habits. I had no thoughts at the time that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would make my remark in the early 90s prescient and how the ‘battery hen’ analogy, when applied to AI, would have an increasing impact on all aspects of our lives.
It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another. Our lives will not be happy, but they will be harmless and free from the misery I now feel. Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
This week on Facebook: Last Sunday I posted a video that is linked to the following videos on Artificial Intelligence (AI). I started delving deeper into the nature of AI although in the past I have written a lot about AI, with my 2012 post ‘Is it bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a bid!’ concluding by asking if artificial intelligence (AI) had finally opened Pandora’s Box leaving hope locked inside? Read more of this post
This Sunday on Facebook: If you think that you are nontechnical, think again, the mere fact that have ended up on this page places you amongst an ever growing family of ‘AI nerds‘ however nontechnical you deem yourself to be. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Last week was not referring to the digital dark age but rather to the coming dark age predicted, in my mind, in a very large part to the philosophies of Thomas Malthus and Professor Albert Bartlett. I wrote about Thomas Malthus in Malthus and Growth and mentioning both Malthus and Bartlett in Cassandra & Growth, both of which were posted early last year. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Following my reading of the articles in Bloomberg’s Weekend Edition (This Week was China Week), it’s apparent that we are committed to ideologies, politicians in particular — in my view — being particularly committed to the authoritarian ideology of China’s master plan, which I posted this month. However, in whatever form they may come in, the adherence to a particular ideology produces its own zealots. Comments on the social media confirm this view, but what about the many more who do not involve themselves in ideological discussions! Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: The subject of global inequality is clearly one that presents a global dilemma in the search for a rational between the inequalities that economic growth has introduced with the advances in technology¹. The latter being this week’s subject as the harbinger of global inequality that is now being experienced by the developed world. Would that it were that simple, but many more factors are involved and while a scapegoat for global economic woes may be desirable, its use is only papering over the cracks that are now being revealed.
A.P. Herbert AI Albert Haddock Banks blog book books budget budget deficit C.S. Lewis censorship China Civil Service constitution Crime CRT cryptocurrency CWG debt deficit democracy economics economy education ethics EU euro fiat money Film France freedom of expression gdp government history human-rights inequality internet J M Keynes language Law Ludwig Von Mises Margaret Thatcher Matt morality music Musical national debt New Labour NHS opinion parody PFI poetry police Police & Crime Commissioners politics Quantitative Easing research school Screwtape Sir Ethelred Rutt K.C. social-media Social Media Social Welfare statistics T.E. Utley taxation terrorism Thatcher UK Unemployment USA Victor Hugo war war on terror
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