Tag Archives: Law

Frankenstein and AI


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

Yet more A. P. Herbert!


This week on Facebook: I have loved reading A. P. Herbert’s parodies of the law in Misleading Cases. Having followed the legal escapades of Albert Haddock on television, although the series was not entirely true to the storyline. However, my favourite A. P. Herbert character from the books is Sir Ethelred Rutt, used last week as the model for the protagonist in my story ‘Men in Black’. Herbert didn’t always use the same characters in his stories and I’m sure that he would disparage the world in which we now live. In the last story, I’m sure that the abilities involved in the letters that Mr Sleep wrote are now superseded by in the inabilities of those writing ubiquitous emails. Read more of this post

Short Stories


This week on Facebook: I have decided to have a lazy December, which turned out to be not as lazy as I had assumed. Nevertheless: December 2018 is going to feature reprises from Aasof’s Reflections beginning with some short stories that I have enjoyed writing. Clearly my first love is web research and I have enjoyed writing and researching material for all of my short stories. The following (in chronological order) are a selection of those that I enjoyed writing and researching the most.


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The UK Welfare State


This week on Facebook: The UK 2010 State of the nation¹ reported on poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency in the UK that: “Over the past 13 years we have seen more and more money spent on the benefits system in an attempt to move people from below the 60% poverty threshold to above it. Expenditure on child-related benefits alone has almost doubled. Yet despite this expenditure, the figures in this document show that this approach is failing.

Income inequality is at its highest since records began; millions of people are simply parked on benefits with little hope of ever progressing into work; there are 800,000 more working age adults in poverty than in 1998/99; and high levels of family breakdown, educational failure, addiction and health inequality are having a severe impact on outcomes for both adults and children.” [sic] Read more of this post

Aasof on Freedom of Expression (Speech)


This week on Facebook: In the 10th edition of their Democracy Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently reported the worst performance in global democracy since 2010-11 in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. A special focus of this year’s report is the state of media freedom around the world and the challenges facing freedom of speech. The report aims to give a snapshot of democracy worldwide and includes 165 independent states and two territories which cover almost the entire world population.

Five categories are used to score each country: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Based on around 60 indicators each country is placed into one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” or “authoritarian regime”. The Democracy Index regards freedom of expression as essential for democracy to take root and flourish. The quality of democracy in any country may in large measure be gauged by the degree to which freedom of speech prevails. Societies that do not tolerate dissent, heresy and the questioning of conventional wisdom cannot be “full democracies”. Read more of this post

Aasof on Democracy!


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

A law to cure!


Sunday on Facebook: My wife’s paper has just arrived with the self congratulatory front page headline of, New Law To Tackle Moped Muggers. I wasn’t aware that we needed a new law, I thought that such people were already breaking the law. The problem seems to be in apprehending those responsible for breaking the law. Making new laws brings no comfort to my wife who now imagines a mugger being every moped rider and is now pressurising me to install more home security.

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Democracy in Crisis?


This week on Facebook: I returned to the subject of democracy, my earliest post on this being in 2009 (No to Democracy), continued in 2011 with (Democracy ‚ Do we really have it) and Democracy in 2016. What follows is new material and while I have written a number of articles on democracy, those of 2009, 2011, 2016 and now this one are — to my mind — the essentials. This post’s title ‘Democracy in Crisis‘ is taken from the 2018 updated link in the image below from Freedom HouseRead more of this post

A Nanny State?


Next week on Facebook I intend to write about the Nanny State and while use of the term ‘Nanny State’ may be new in 1898 Woodrow Wilson was to write in his book The State; Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, No student of history can wisely censure those who protest against state paternalism.

Next Wednesday’s article is an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Three Cheers for the Nanny State”, that dismisses principled concerns about paternalism and presents arguments in favour of it¹. Read more of this post

Vulpes alopex — Christmas 2017


Today on Facebook:

Some years ago Charles posted  ‘The Boxing Day Hunt – Perfect Entertainment after Christmas Bingeing’ it looked to be an interesting post on a one time favourite rural pastime. I have no idea if fox hunting per se is still a rural pastime, but I do remember ‘the hunt’ and the following story makes a good Christmas Day homage to A. P. Herbert and Norman Thelwell. Read more of this post

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...

The Real Economy

Blogs and stuff from Ed Conway

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

Bleda

Am I my Brothers keeper?

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...

The Real Economy

Blogs and stuff from Ed Conway

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

Bleda

Am I my Brothers keeper?

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