Tag Archives: democracy

Aasof on the problem with TED!


This week on Facebook: In compiling this post it occurred to me that online information has made us all instant experts on any topic, non more so that those who go to TED talks or use TEDx from YouTube. TED’s slogan shouldn’t be ‘Ideas worth spreading’, it should be: ‘Ego worth paying for’, or as Sunday’s post suggest, instead of the mnemonic  ‘Technology, Entertainment, Design’, TED should renamed to the mnemonic to MMI: Middlebrow Megachurch Infotainment. Ultimately, the TED phenomenon only makes sense when you realise that it’s all about the audience. TED Talks are designed to make people feel good about themselves; to flatter them and make them feel clever and knowledgeable; to give them the impression that they are part of an elite group making the world a better place. Read more of this post

Aasof on democratic government


This week on Facebook: I thought that I might find an answer to why governments don’t behave democratically! The somewhat obvious answer I arrive at is the possession of wealth, but this is not the primary factor according to the Pew Research Centre. In a democracy, which I post a lot about, you would expect the democratic process involve the electorate who vote politicians into office and in one sense it does. However the electorate is made up of voters who each have their own (usually selfish) reasons¹ for voting in the way that they do. Whether they hold capitalist or socialist views², these selfish reasons are usually a share in (however small) political views³ guaranteed in any political system and access to the political power held.

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Aasof on the Elites


This week on Facebook: Perhaps the first question raised is, Who are the elites? They have always been a feature of all societies and have always been instrumental in suppressing the will of the people for a universal franchise¹. If Arrow’s impossibility theorem is correct in that it is generally impossible to assess the validity of a common good, then a social elite theory is also valid. But who are these elites² in a secular, urban and industrial modern society?

Although political science borrows heavily from the other social sciences, it is distinguished from them by its focus on power—defined as the ability of one political actor to get another actor to do what it wants—at the international, national, and local levels. Political Science

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Aasof on a dark system?


This week on Facebook: All of the articles this week are taken from Speigel Online and gave me a number of problems, the primary one being the veracity of the stories. The common factor in all the accounts (including the video posted on China’s failed experiment with democracy) is their political context and it is perhaps this, which to my mind, makes the accounts truthful. The Laogai System¹ may be prevalent in China and seems to be acceptable by Chinese scholar Zhang Weiweiwho clearly supports the Chinese meritocratic system of government. Authoritarianism² is on the increase globally, perhaps driven by The China Model, which appeals all political classes who kowtow to it and all politicians opposed to democracy.

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Aasof on the deep reading brain


This week on Facebook: I have to go away and think about how we will develop as a species when global digitisation become prevalent. Does the book Fahrenheit 451 become a reality? Is there to be a new global history in which a new enlightenment, or age of reason, becomes a prominent feature of global digitisation? Perhaps, as the article posted last Sunday suggests, the effects of this new global digitised society will be profound¹. The two remaining  references suggest that deep reading²­·³ has become the necessary adjunct to an education that has changed since I was at school and deep reading was taken for granted. Read more of this post

Aasof on Fat Cats


This week on Facebook: The collapse of the company Thomas Cook raised the spectre of fat-cats¹. Government folly in its fiscal policy matters has always served the interests of the Fat Cats and which, despite any disingenuous political protests², results in yet another burden on the taxpayer. The collapse of Thomas Cook led to its staff, based in the UK, losing their jobs with the troubled operator. Read more of this post

Aasof on Global Government


Writing The Thunberg Effect prompted next week’s post on Global Government, something that I fear Greta Thunberg and her fanatical supporters would advocate to save the world. Being a fan of sic-fi films, which are mostly dystopian, like Greta Thunberg I hold a pessimistic view on the future of humankind. However, I’m sure that I hold different views on global government than Thunberg.

The reason: Global warming is not about science, but about politics — that is, about expanding the power of elites using the coercive instruments of government to control the lives of people everywhere.  Just as the governing class embraces ineffective Keynesian stimulus spending to justify expansion of government, they now extol AGW as the basis for increasing their power to rule over the rest of us. The Goal Is Power: The Global Warming Conspiracy

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The Thunberg Effect


This week on Facebook: The suggestion that Greta Thunberg may not know of The Milankovitch Cycles and their effect on climate change, may be a good introduction to Milankovitch Cycles (given Thunberg’s popularity on the social-media). However, there are many others (including myself and probably Greta Thunberg) who had never heard of Milankovitch Cycles. An introduction to them led me to post on yet another issue related to climate change with the title  ‘The Thunberg Effect’. The subject of climate change is not something that I have paid a great deal of attention to, having always thought that politicians used the notion of climate change to promote political opportunism including their plans for economic growth.  An example of this is the carbon tax accounting, introduced by political public administration in a global scramble for economic growth.

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Nuclear Energy a solution or a problem?


This week on Facebook: Following last week’s post on Hinkley C, prompted me to ask if nuclear energy was a solution or a problem? What is nuclear energy? Is the energy sources of a State separated from its political system? The supply of nuclear energy has led to contentions between the State and its energy suppliers, particularly those involving the cost of nuclear energy. The State relies on electricity for much of its commercial energy and even more so for its supply of domestic energy. Electricity is now a source of global energy for any developed and developing State, both domestically and commercially. Nuclear energy supply¹ and the storage of nuclear waste², already electoral issues in the western world, are increasingly global political issues. Read more of this post

Influence — maybe?


On looking at some of my ‘drafts posts’ I came across one that included the case for HS2 and decided to post it this week. I am reminded of an article that I read some time ago when an Englishman was bemoaning the fact it took so long (with the appeals procedures) to get things ‘done’ in England. He was engaged in a conversation with a Frenchwoman on train journey through France, in which the Frenchwoman said, “Monsieur, in France, when we want to drain a swamp, we don’t tell the frogs what we intend to do.” I’m not sure if the remark was true, or the Frenchwoman was simply poking fun at the Englishman. Either way, I thought the Frenchwoman’s remark quite funny and recounted it to my colleague when we met for our monthly ‘pie and a pint’.

The subject came up when I asked him about HS2. He is a model rail enthusiast and knows far more about trains than I do, so I assumed that he would know about the HS2. It apparently is not a subject that appears great deal in model railway magazines and my colleague knew less about the HS2 than me. We did however end up discussing high speed rail in the word today (which he knew a lot about), and specifically in relation to the notion of comparative advantage (which I knew a lot about). Incidentally, I did remember an article that I had read on Japanese Bullet Train — probably attracted to it by its reference to the kingfisher.

Kingfisher perched on a branch — click image

 

On Friday morning I sat at my computer (unable to sleep) and searched for articles that may support the case for HS2. Clearly I am influenced by my own views, an Independent newspaper article appealed to me claiming that HS2 won’t improve Government’s poor record on infrastructure. Although I’m not quite sure if this is not simply a left wing newspaper popping at an austere  right wing government, or if it is seriously intended to address the lack of rail infrastructure in the UK.

The Independent article fails to mention that in practice that any UK government always spends more money than it receives as revenue and mentioned a report that predicted and expected economic growth in 2025. Economic growth? I live in a State dependent on deficit financing in which the public administration must raise the necessary finance. I have to wonder just how much I am influenced by what I choose to read on social-media.

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Martin Widlake's Yet Another Oracle Blog

Oracle performance, Oracle statistics and VLDBs

The Land Is Ours

a Landrights campaign for Britain

The Bulletin

This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

TCWG Short Stories

Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

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