SYSTEMIC STUFF ( + occasional nonsense ) IN THE NEWS . . . .
DECONSTRUCTED FOR POSSIBLE MUTUAL BENEFIT
Today I would like to draw attentions to the unpleasant and very unethical practice of using food products for transporting fuels.
As many have said, how can it be right to use a food grain or bean to make bio-diesel ? And yet that is what is being done now. At this time, around 30% of the sweet corns in the US are being put into motors !
This should � but will not - stop.
The oil companies are keen to ' Greenwash ' themselves, and own most of the bio-diesel firms � and also the governments are insisting on it because they want the public to think they are Green and Responsible ( but we note that they are not making any efforts at all to curb the sales of vehicles ! )
I propose then a way to turn the tables and to reduce world food shortages and beat Big Oil at its own game in one foul swoop. How can this be done ? It is straightforward my friends. We must develop as soon as possible a range of food products made from oil !
This may sound like pure craziness � but many of you have probably already been eating such products without knowing about it. For example, many of the food colorings, flavorings, and mineral additives are oil-derived.
And, if you like to sprinkle vinegar on your potato chips you may like to know that there is a very good chance it has been made form oil !
But we must pursue this much further. Crude oil is a rather complex ' organic ' carbon-based product, and within it has all the raw chemical ingredients to make sugars, carbohydrates, and such.
In fact, so high is the level of expertise of current industrial chemists, that I confidently suggest that it is easily possible to create amino acids � and thus proteins � as well !
Although ( given current crude-costs ) an oil-burger could be a pricey affair, I suggest that it may be, and even must be, a way of the future. Not oil from food � food from oil.
As Einstein himself once said “ If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research would it ? “
And before long, the new nuclear accelerator ring at CERN will be running.
Now, several concerned scientists have claimed that colliding atomic particles together at nearly twice the speed of light ( there are two opposing beams, each running at almost light-speed ) might be risky.
And yes, it might. There is a very small but finite chance that so-called ‘ Mini Black Holes ‘ (MBHs) might be created. And indeed my own calculations have confirmed that this is possible.
Some have pointed out that the MBHs could be stable entities which could gradually ‘ aggregate ‘ material from their surroundings – growing ever larger and more dense in the process. It may take some time, but eventually the CERN ring could be devoured, followed by Geneva, then Switzerland, then Europe, and finally the whole planet.
Far-fetched as that all may seem, in fact the DoomsDay-ists do not have much imagination. For, instead of wringing their hands, they could be thinking ‘ How can we make use of such an entity ? ‘
I will now explain how to control and tame the MBHs – and put them to work.
As I have mentioned, in their early stages, the MBHs will not be at all dangerous – just inconvenient. Many people assume that they will have astronomically strong gravitational pull ( like a ‘ normal ‘ black hole ). They will not. Like everything else, they will have a gravitational pull proportional to their mass. Even if an MBH had grown so that it had the mass of say, Mt. Everest, it would still not be at all dangerous.
Visitors to Nepal do not find themselves glued inexorably to Mt. Everest ( as many mountaineers have found to their cost ). The reason is that gravity is a very, very weak force.
So no, the MBHs will not ‘ pull in ‘ surrounding matter to any great degree - though they might well absorb any matter that they happen to ‘ bump into ‘. And keeping one ‘ bottled up ‘ so-to-speak would be somewhat tricky, since the MBH would eventually absorb the walls of any container it was put in.
Here’s how it can be done. We ‘ feed ‘ any MBH we come across with a large quantity of iron – the more the better. Then we magnetize it. Now we enclose the iron-laden MBH in an electronically controlled ‘ magnetic bottle ‘. The magnets are arranged in such a way that the MBH ‘ floats ‘ in the centre of the bottle, and never touches the walls of the container at all. Now, providing that the bottle is kept pumped-out to high vacuum, there will be no ( or very few ) atoms for the MBH to ‘ bump into ‘.
Voila ! The MBH is permanently tamed and contained.
Now the next question is, how we can put is to work ?
A number of applications spring to mind – all making use of the fact that an extraordinarily dense mass is packed in a very very small space.
The MBHs could be used for example for ship’s ballast – freeing up valuable cargo space. They might find applications too in road-leveling equipment, or demolition-balls.
Or, they could even be placed in cashpoint machines so that thieves cannot steal them.
And it may also be possible to use them as über-efficient, yet miniature, energy storage devices - like flywheels - by spinning them at very high velocity - and extracting the energy as and when required.
In short, we are not to be afraid of MBHs – they shall work for us.
[ Update : late June 2008. CERN says don't worry ]
Much attention has been held recently in the press regarding flying in aeroplanes. There is also substance to the claims that it is far from ideal carbon-wise, and, sadly now of course it is also vulnerable to threats of terrorism.
I propose a very simple solution which, if not removing all the problems entirely, will clear up them considerably. It is such an obvious step that I am very surprised that no-one has suggested it yet before.
Air passenger transport must be containerized.
Here is how it will work – an example. Mr. Smith decides that he must undertake a business flight, and he books it naturally via the internet. On the morning of the trip a special carrying vehicle with driver and attendants turns up at his house. After a short preparation, passport & ID check etc, he is administered with a tranquilizer* and then is strapped comfortably into his Personal Air Transport Support Box. (PATSB).
The attendants transfer the box into the vehicle and drives Mr. Smith ( now sounded asleep in his PATSB ) to the airport where it is collated with all the other boxes on the same flight ( it is barcoded with the destination ) and loaded onboard the aeroplane.
After landing at the destination airport his box is unloaded and driven in a similar special purpose vehicle to his hotel – where he is unpacked and placed in his room.
He awakes a couple or two of hours later safe well and rested in his hotel bed ! What could be more pleasant ? Now, let me list some of the many advantages of this new system.
From the passengers point of view, all the stresses of waiting, queuing and eating revolting airport food have been removed. If Mr. Smith happens to be very afraid of flying – that is taken care of too ! ( actually, a fear of flying is irrational – non-flying is what we should be concerned with ! ha ha. )
Now, from the airline’s point of view : Faster loading times. Reduced staff overheads. No on-board catering. No stewards having to look after complaining cramped-up passengers. Hardly no possibility of terrorist attacks. And because the boxes neatly stack on top of each other, by my calculations roughly twice or even three times as many people can be accommodated on the plane ! All of which shouts loudly to me - increased profits !
Now, also, that number doubling tells us that the carbon footprints of each passenger is at least roughly halved as well !
So to say, everybody wins out do they not ?
I admit it is true that some of the fine details in my scheme need to be ironed out still, but I am convinced that the basis of the idea is very sound – just look at the way goods containerization has transformed the world of shipping’s commerce !
Why can we not fly in a box too ?
Let us first understand something very clearly. Energy supply is big business. Bigger than many of the governments of the world in fact.
If you would like to continue bolstering the power of such energy-organizations and buying their products, polluting the planet, even destabilizing entire states, then go ahead – but do not expect me to sit in your passengers seat.
There are however luckily alternative approaches. Not only which will allow you to bypass the dangerous and monopolizing huge companies, but which will also vastly cut down your contribution to climate warming.
( Of course there is already available in many countries so-called bio-fuels like biodiesel and ethanol. But I do not believe that it will have escaped your notice that by-and-large the suppliers are the very same ones who sell you your conventional fuels ! )
Let me concentrate on one method – the use of sugarcane to produce ethanol for vehicles. This is already very big business in some countries – the sugar from the cane is extracted and fermented to make alcohol – and its potential has not escaped the notice of quite a few enormously rich businesses which are right now forming a queue to pour cash into this as investors.
But do not mistake : They will want their money back.
So would you like to pay them ? Or cut out the middle-man and get the energy cheaper for yourself ? While you help to save the planet at the same time.
Here is how to do it. We must urgently work on building vehicles which do not rely on liquid fuel but which can take in the fuel as a solid – and process it locally ( inside the vehicle ) instead of in a huge centralized monopoly factory.
This, my friends, is not nearly as difficult and impractical as it sounds. And there is even no need to use sugar cane ( which only grows in the tropics ). I can reveal in fact that there are several other grasses ( for sugar cane is just a type of large grass ) which contain just as much sugar per kilo, and which can grow very well in temperate climates without any human attention whatever !
You will probably have not heard about them – you are not supposed to !
Now, imagine a vehicle which could take in this special grass, which would be fermented in an on-board fermenter and then be distilled into pure alcohol, which is stored in a tank, and later used for combustion to drive the engine.
My initial calculations show me that this is entirely feasible, practical and affordable.
Do you think the big corporations will like this idea - that you could own a vehicle which could harvest a zero-maintenance, ultra-low-cost material from almost anywhere and use it as a fuel ? But, more still, this will be a carbon-neutral fuel ! As green ( in any senses of the words ! ) as you can get !
This is the transportation way of the future I am quite convinced of it.
( by the way, I have recently realized that the excess waste material which is generated by such vehicles can be re-applied to the land to help as mulch and fertilizer for growing the new crops – further enhancing the efficiency and carbon recycling ! )
[ Congratulations Dr. N, I think you may have just invented the horse . Ed. ]
It is always good to find a new useful word, and just not long ago I was introduced to the word ‘ commodification ‘.
Now I know that it means ‘ to commodify ‘ - or, to turn something into a commodity – to be bought and sold.
And I have just read an article with an example of something which had recently been commodified ( though I suspect that the practice is as old as the hills - and has just been described by a trendy new name ! )
I am referring to unhappiness.
It's true, is it not, that for a very long time, fortune-tellers, soothsayers and astronomers [ surely that should be astrologers ? Ed. ] have been making money out of unhappy people. But now things are done on a far much bigger scale. Several millions of individuals at a time in fact.
Of course I am talking about drugs sold to people to ( hopefully ) make them less depressed. This is become a yearly multi-billion dollar industry – and let us remember that the more people who can be persuaded that they are depressed, the more money that the Big Pharma can make !
And now I would like to ask a serious question about the commodification of unhappiness. Would it not be to the interests of the manufacturers to encourage people to be depressed ?
But how would they possibly do this ? Why, through the mass media of course !
And that would be truly scandalous indeed would it not !
A university study group must immediately be assigned to discover any financial links between Big Pharma and the news agencies – which pump out depressing factoids at us at every moment of the day and night.
Perhaps you think I am wrongly imagining this ? We shall see.
( Unfortunately, I believe that when we do finally find out the truths – they too will be depressing ! )
In any event, while we wait for the results of uncovering the roots of the commodification of unhappiness I strongly encourage you this :
Do not pay any more for your unhappiness than you have to.
Just now there has been much talk about ‘rights for robots’.
In fact, certain countries in the Korean peninsula are giving serious thought to making laws which will protect the machines from moral and physical abuseage.
Which is of course wrong.
It is my personal humble opinion that history demonstrates to us the alarming fact that humans like very little more than having something or someone to abuse. The widespread bad treatment of slaves and animals has been very evident, not just in the ancient past but right up until the last century and this one as well.
Now I must ask, what could be better for humanity than an opportunity to get rid of these abuses for once and all ? By use of what the psychologists will call ‘diversion’. [ I think you might mean ‘sublimation’ ? Ed. ]
So, could we not make robots with the specific use of being abused ? They are simply man-made-machines are they not ? Now, does your car have feelings ? Your lawnmower ? Perhaps your bottle opener ? I think very much not, and neither do robots.
We, however, do - and for wrong or for right, it has been shown many times ( not just by psychological experiments but by the abhorrent behavior of whole nations ) that humans can make themselves feel much better by abusing others.
Now would it not be preferable then to maltreat a dumb-lifeless-machine than a fellow human being ?
Though I do not particularly like having the idea, perhaps robots should be purposefully constructed with a view to be humiliated and abused ? ( Some would say - at their current stage of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ which the experts can show us - that some are certainly ripe candidates already ! )
There could even be rental companies which hire-out robots to be mistreated ( and later picked up and refurbished ). There are after all already some Japanese firms which already have something similar, though less sophisticated, provided for the relief of their staff !
It might even be possible to extra enhance the level of psychological benefit by having masochistically progammed entities which actually crave unnecessary punishment. To my knowledge no such a thing has ever been available before ( outside [deleted ] ! )
Of course I must put in here the proviso that if at some time in the future robots somehow become ‘conscious ‘ , then we would immediately have to stop it all at once straight away. But there is no sign of this so far. None at all whatever. I suggest we proceed then.
You should understand please that I propose all this not on my own behalf – I have no psychological need of a robot to abuse. Of course not, I have my [ deleted ] !
Recently in the news there has been a great deal of noise regarding the ‘shooting down of a satellite’. I have just one word to say about it ‘ So-what ? ’ [2 words. Ed.]
Now, even the humblest yak-herder on the plains of Tibet probably knows that there are many hundreds of satellites up there watching, listening - and I must say ‘aiming’ - at just about anywhere on the face of Earth.
But actually, from a strategic military point of view, they are more than rather weak. I explain.
The higher-up ones, like those which give GPS data ( all designed to guide bombs ) are very hard to reach – but their weak signals can very easily be ‘jammed’. Any country which has the technology to, say, build a TV station can easily build too a big jammer which would block the signals over a very wide area.
The second types though are much lower down. Like the photographic ‘spy’ satellites which can quite easily see and track something the size of a car ( e.g. a [ deleted ] one ! ) for targeting purposes. I must tell you that these are ducks sitting waiting. As has been shown recently. They are only a few tens of kilometers up, and any half-baked roughly-guided firework-rocket can easily smash them to pieces. As has been shown recently.
None of these facts which I present will come as a big surprise to the commanders who put all these ‘birds’ up there ! They know perfectly very well that their devices are vulnerable, and can be disabled, at any time, by any other reasonably developed ‘hostile’ country. But they very probably will not be ! Each country knows that if they were to start a satellite shooting spree, their own ‘birds’ would very soon be next shot from their perches.
And now to my main point my friends. These satellite systems, like the old WWII ‘tanks’ which you see trundling around city streets occasionally – are of no use anymore to the big powers in a fight against each other – they are only of use against those who cannot do anything about them – in other words, little countries, ‘rogue’ groups, and even individuals (!), who are not going to have the way and means to shoot down satellites for some years to come ( though they will probably eventually be able to of course ! ).
That is how I know that the big-country kerfuffle of the past few weeks is [ deleted ] – purely and simple.
It is just a diversion for the grey politicians ( who understand less about
technology than the average ten year old from a trailer parking place ) ,
and the main streams news media - (ditto ).
Today I would like to talk about radiation – which is in the news quite a lot at the moment - and I can tell you will be more in the news soon.
Of course radiation in large amounts is a very dangerous thing ( believe me, I personally know very well that it is ! ) But in small amounts ? Is there perhaps a dose below which it has no damaging effects to life forms ? I think strongly that is the case.
Because the world is indeed full of low-level but dangerous ionising radiation - naturally produced that is – not manmade. For example, many people live nearby granite rocks, which are constantly leaking radon gas upwards into their houses. Also, gamma rays from space arrive at our planetary doorstep every second.
Should we be worried then ? In general no my friends - instead we should celebrate – because without natural radiation we would not be here !
I will explain what I mean.
In order for life to evolve there has to be evolution ! And one of the main ways that this happens is by chance mutations of DNA. Most are very damaging, but some turn out ( by chance again ) to be rather beneficial for the species in question - and so get copied-on to the next generations. It is true to say that if DNA was to copy 100% perfectly on every occasion evolution would grind to an almost standstill !
It happens that low level radiation is the perfect spice to encourage a little amount of mutations. In short my friends, I repeat we would not be here if our planet did not have some radiation about it ! We would still probably be amoebas or some such slime creatures.
Now, of course too much radiation is a very bad thing, and would undo all the good work that low levels can produce. I think I can say then that our planet ( up until the time that man-made radiation appeared ) had ‘ Goldilocks ‘ radiation levels – it was ‘just right’ !
Now I must tell readers that I am not in any way inclined to religious matters, and so have very little belief that this excellent level which we had was ‘designed’ especially for us. It is simply probably more likely to be the case that because the levels are about right, I and you are here – if they were wrong we would not be - and so I could not be telling all this !
What I will say though is that if I was in charge of terraforming – that is introducing life – to a new planet, then I would most certainly spice things up with a little radiation to get things going at a reasonable rate !
But now that brings me to my main point. The levels we have now, are, by definition about right. The last thing we should do is to pussyfoot about with them. I expect you know already that we are – on ever-larger scales.
As I say, that is the last thing we should, or perhaps will, do.
Computerised global climate models try to imitate a ‘ complex balanced system ‘ – and balancing a lot of things is, as we know, usually somewhere between very difficult and very almost impossible.
For example, when things hot up, the polar ice-cover ( which is white ) melts, and so of course less of the warming light is reflected back into space. Which makes the climate hotter yet still. But when the world gets hotter, more water evaporates from the oceans – and more clouds form – blocking out the sun more too. At the same time, plants tend to grow much faster when it’s warmer - so they’ll soak up more CO2 – and reducing the greenhouse effect. On the other hand, any melting of permafrost in the far North and far South releases colossal amounts of methane, substantially increasing the greenhouse effect. Not forgetting that ocean currents – which have an immense effect on the weather - are driven by temperature differences. If the sea temperatures change, so will the currents. And then there’s the winds. And convection currents. And so on and so on and so on and so on.
Perplexed enough yet ? I know I am !
So how on earth do the modelers possibly work with all this complex and conflicting confusion ? I will explain.
They build their software model, taking into account of as many interacting variables as they possibly can do. Then they set it to run.
So they make adjustments here and there, and try again.
It crashes again.
The tiniest of maladjustment can soon build up dramatically and fatally when everything interacts with everything else !
But, if the scientists have enough time - and very ample supplies of money - then, by adjusting a little bit here, and a little bit there, and by tweaking and polishing and with great deals of patience – they can eventually get it to balance – as our weather itself does.
In any event, after many years of trying, the building of many gigantic computers, and many hundreds of millions of dollars being spent – climate computer-models in various countries are now behaving tolerably well.
So it is quite a pity they are all wrong.
It has recently been discovered that ‘cosmic rays’ affect our weather. Cosmic rays ( mostly protons ) in incalculable numbers every day crash into the Earth’s atmosphere from who knows where at very high speeds. When they do, they ionise the air, and that provokes cloud droplets to form. In this way, it is likely that they ‘ seed ’ the clouds. It is probably a very significant effect indeed.
Because the flow of comic rays can change over time ( when the Sun gets excited or even when we pass near a spiral arm of the Milky Way ! ) it means that the weather will change ( a lot ) as a result.
Unfortunately, the climate scientists’ computer models take no account of this – as the effect was only discovered a few months ago.
Also discovered this year in Germany was that most plants produce large quantities of methane ! ( a very much potent greenhouse gas ! ) It is very extraordinary to say the least, but no-one had noticed it before ! Plants soak up CO2 as they grow – but they produce methane at the same time ! I expect that you can guess that the computer models as yet take no notice of it – though the total plant cover throughout the world is just vast.
Revelations of these huge new effects are as welcome to the modelers as perhaps it would be to an architect who has just finished building an accurate scale replica of the Eiffel tower by balancing miniature playing cards - and then someone says :
‘ Pretty good, but now we need a couple more stories at the bottom please . . . ‘
The truth is my friends that our models are hundreds of orders of magnitude
too crude to be completely accurate. We have not much clue over what will
happen to the weather in the medium term – we had just better have
all our fingers and toes very well and truly crossed that it does not ‘crash’.
Much talk has been made recently about the possibilities offered by Biofuels. I am sure that you will have heard about all the various ones - making something like diesel fuel from maize, sugar cane and others.
I would like to ask firmly, ‘ Is it a good idea ? ’
I shall answer myself in these ways. Firstly, the amount of liquid fuels used by vehicles and industry every day is quite enormously staggering. Has anyone sat down and worked out how much of land would be needed to grow all the plants necessary to provide the required volume of biofuel ?
And I can tell you that there is not enough fertile land on Earth to grow it all ! At least, there might be, but only if we were to release farmland by stopping growing plants for food !
Which brings me to my second point. Maize ( a.k.a. corn ) and sugar cane is rather good and useful to eat is it not ? If we grow them for fuel generation we shall end up burning them rather than eating them – is that clever ?
There is however an alternative. And that alternative is in the sea.
It is not all that well known that there are several types of seaweed which are very oily in nature. ( Perhaps they need the oil to maintain themselves waterproof down in the sea depths ! ). I have performed my own experiments, and this oil is readily extractable and can be made into first rate diesel - which can run a bus very well.
There is an almost unlimited untapped supply of the weeds, and we do not eat them ( no, they are not the same ones which make the Nori for your TekaMaki rolls ). Work must begin immediately on large scale harvesting methods – though I should like to say most earnestly that we must not plunder the weed resource.
Humanity has made the same mistake too many times by using up valuable resources nilly willy and then complaining and whining when they run out. The new seaweed industry which I predict must farm the weeds – not just harvest them.
That means planting, maintaining, and looking after the huge new global algal resource industry which will soon I feel be emerging from the deeps.
I should like to say too that this new venture is far too important to be left to individual governments and companies. There must be set up an agreed transnational non-profit consortium to do all the work which will be needed.
And it must be done yesterday.
Today I would like to talk about the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Much has been said recently on the subject, but I would like, if I am permitted, to underline some details - by the use of some truisms of which I am somewhat fond.
Firstly, the technology for such things is now almost as old as I am ! and we should remember that :
‘ It is very difficult to put a cat back into a bag after it has escaped ’
And, as the saying goes ‘ A little of knowledge is a dangerous thing ‘
Worse still ‘ Absolutely power corrupts absolutely ‘
So now is the time perhaps that ‘ The chickens are coming back home for roosting ‘ ?
To the so-called ‘rogue states’ some claim we should remind them that ‘ It is not good to upset an apple cart ‘ and ‘ If wishes were horses then beggars would ride them ‘ and most certainly ‘ Do not covet your neighbour’s arse ‘ [ That should be Ass - Ed. ]
But would this not be highly hypocritical of those states which already have such devices and now demand that others do not get them ?
Maybe ‘ Those who live in houses made of glass should not be throwing stones ‘ ?
Would it not be better to remember that ‘ You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar ‘ ?
To sum up, I think it would not be a big exaggeration to say that the situation is at present ‘ As clear as mud is ‘ ?
And where my friends will it all end ?
‘ A dog which has been bitten by a snake will be also afraid of sausages.’
It is now very obvious to most of us that we have a global energy crisis. If it is not blatant to you, then I must say to you that you have not been fully paying attention to what is going on in the world !
If we do not want our grandchildren to roast, then burning fossil fuels is not an option. And nuclear power produces so much toxic waste that will last for millennia, and is also highly unstabilising for governments. Wind power is a good idea, but in order to provide enough energy, we would have to cover everywhere in windmills !
So I would like to propose another and much better option. It is a radical idea, and no-one as far as I know has even begun to tackle it – so there is much to be done. I can explain it in this way.
All life on Earth depends on photosynthesis. [ except the life based around deep sea hydrothermal vents. Ed. ] It is photons of light hitting the leaves which makes the process work. But how does it work ? My friends, believe it or not, no-one knows exactly – but what we do know is that the photons must cause electrons in the leaves to jump energy levels – and this drives the chemical changes in the leaf.
It is indeed a chemical process yes, but at its heart it is really an electrical process ! We must get at this electricity !
Imagine that we modify the genetics of a plant so that a little of this electrical energy is diverted away from the usual chemical processes – and instead remains as free energised electrons. All we have to do is to ‘capture’ these electrons in a network of ‘wires’ within the plant’s structure.
It sound too difficult I know – but, my friends, these ‘wires’ already exist !
They are the tubes which supply water and move nutrient chemicals around the leaves and stems. All neatly ‘wired’ for us in what is literally a ‘tree’ structure ! The tiny tubes are all connected into bigger ones, and those into bigger ones still etc etc. They are just waiting for us to turn these electrolyte-filled tubes into carriers of current !
Now consider a large tree modified in this fashion ! Remember that even in temperate zones, hundreds of watts of solar power fall onto each square metre of leaves. Imagine all the energy which could be harvested ! It is fanciful, but you can almost see in your mind’s eye I’m sure a regulator and plug socket at the base of the trunk ! Now think of a forest of such trees ! My friends, we are on the eve of a notional enormous green energy revolution.
Forest farms which produce megawatts of electricity for us – and grow bigger all the while too without our assistance ! Not only that, but they will also be absorbing all the excess carbon dioxide we have mistakenly filled our atmosphere with !
As with my other project ideas, there is no time whatever to lose. I most strongly urge that the work should and must begin immediately.
Note : The project must of course be done with evergreen trees, not deciduous ones – or we will have the power cutting off every winter !
[ That's called a ' brownout ' isn't it ? . . . Ed. ]
Why do the [ deleted ] think they are [ deleted ] ? And why do the [ deleted ] believe that they are [ deleted ] ?
Yes, everyone likes to think they are special and different. But the truth is, my friends, that we are all only people - me and you and all of us are.
As Professor Jones has told us, if you group together 200 chimps, they will have more genetic variation between them than the entire humans race has !
I do not wish to disappoint the reader, and I do not want to sound like some silly preaching old hippy-type, but the biological facts are that, genes-wise, we are so nearly indentical that we may as well all be brothers and sisters ! That is what the DNA shows beyond any doubt.
But it has become clear, has it not, that something is very wrong.
It is time high for something to be done to eradicate this faulty and very stupid brain-wiring which we seem to have inherited from somewhere – causing people to wrongly believe and feel that, as a group, they are special and different - and which is causing great suffering, wars, and misery to very many peoples of the world, now as I write.
And so I propose a rather radical solution. It is not altogether pleasant, and may have some side effects, but I see no other choice. ( Remember, my friends, we have been looking to resolve such problems for thousands of years now, and no one has managed it yet ).
Do not be too shocked, but what we need, and must begin urgently constructing, my friends, is a Mass Amnesia Device . A worldwide mental reboot.
The ‘gizmo’ as I will call it, must act as a global Ctrl-Alt-Delete of the mind - for everyone on the Earth . . .
After it is used, we will all the next day have forgotten that we are [ deleted ] or [ deleted ] or [ deleted ] ! We will just be people !
No one will want to fight – fight for what ? A silly flag ? What ? A piece of cloth ? You will not even remember why it is the colour it is ! No one will. And you will simply be a citizen of the world – just as everyone else, and will now be free to cross any artificial ‘border’ just as a bird or beetle can !
Of course the gizmo will be very difficult to design and construct – for it must selectively erase only what I will call tribalistic ‘ beliefs ’ ' delusions ' and ' prejudices '. It must not interfere with everyday activities such as knowledge of how to grow crops and run hospitals and make railways run on time !
It may not be perfect, and I do admit that some might perhaps forget for instance where they parked their cars the day before ! - that will be a price however we must be willing to pay.
[ What about the history books ? They’ll need hiding ? + can we please drop the 'my friends' tag ? Thanks, Ed. ]
I am beginning to hear rumours that certain government environment agencies are seriously thinking about water vapour.
And they are thinking about it, my friends, because they want to re-classify it as a ‘pollutant’ !
You may laugh, as I did certainly when I heard - but this ‘rumour’ , like my favourite mineral water, comes from a trusted source !
It is true of course that water vapour is a very effective ‘greenhouse’ gas. In fact, without it, we should very soon freeze ( as well as go rather thirsty ! ). And so, adding more to the environment will certainly tend to make the global temperature rise. That is not equivocal.
And it is also very true as well that many man-made machines which are burning fuels, must produce water vapour, that will most definitely contribute to affecting the weather. And this vapour is made in truly enormous quantities. Just take a look at that long jet aircraft trail high up in the sky, and you will be looking at several tonnes of it ( albeit condensed into tiny droplets ).
The problem though, which I am sure you will have correctly guessed at by now, is that there are many non-technical, but not non-trivial, sources of the gas as well. Like for example yourself and myself. Or your dog or cat, or your garden pond. Will you then be needing a ‘pollution licence’ for them all ?
Of course I would not wish to be cynical about such as subject as global warmth, but I ask myself if some high-ups in various statute-making offices have perhaps keenly spotted a way of raising some very very very large amounts of cash.
And what will come after this ? A licence to use up oxygen perhaps ?
( By the way, if in your green efforts you are thinking of purchasing
a new hydrogen-powered car – you should perhaps now think too about
all that costly water it will be producing in its exhaust ! )
There has recently been, rightly in my view, quite a bit of fussing about the possibilities for cyber-repression and control.
On this subject, perhaps I may be permitted to remove my gloves ?
If you have a permanent internet connection, and make use of it, then your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will certainly have an extensive log of all the following information regarding you.
They will know : your name, address, credit card numbers, the websites you
like to visit, all of your e-mails content, your contact e-mail address
book, and, if you use the internet banking, all bank transactions, earnings,
balances, and accounts.
We must ask now then the following obvious question : ‘So what ?’
The answer relies, at the moment, upon the country in which you are domiciled. Absolutely no action may be taken – or you may be thrown into a jail – depending upon your country of residence.
But even in countries where no offence is considered, www users must be made aware that such valuable information may be used for all kinds of data mining activities – and in many ‘developed’ countries it is required by law to be available to government departments if required on demand - without warrant. (e.g. UK)
If all this is not of concern to you, then perhaps you can stop reading this and, if you have the chance, go and rent a DVD of Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (1965) instead.
If you are perturbed though, then perhaps I may be permitted to suggest a possible scallywag countering strategy. Most of the crucial information on yourself cannot easily be obfuscated, but when it comes to blogging and e-mails etc, then you could of course provide it – but wrongly.
I may suggest then, perhaps expanding upon the following blogging and e-mail ideas and subjects . . .
My name is John/Mary Smith. I do not challenge authority in any shape way or from. I pay all my taxes on time. I will consume avidly. I do not engage in any ( un-condoned ) superstitious activities. I will be happy to work hard until I am 68, and after that time I will expire rapidly so as not to drain valuable resources. If required by my country to fight for any cause whatsoever I will do so without question of any kind. I will not engage in the use of any substances which might adversely affect my health and work ( unless they are endorsed and taxed by the State ). I will certainly not be thinking of protesting or even less revolting.
Best luck with your future blogging
Now there has been a lot of talk in the press recently about UFO’s - or the lack of them.
All kinds of reportings about anti-gravity machines, reverse engineered from crashed alien crafts etc. It is nonsense of course. Anti gravity ? Why would any super-advanced alien civilization be wanting to foosyputs around with such a notion ?
Imagine you are an alien, and have just traveled halfway across the universe to visit another planet – are you going to be concerned about a bit of gravity ? Of course not – in fact you might be quite glad of it to help pull your vehicle into orbit - for ‘free’ so as to speak !
No my friends, you would not be concerned much with gravity – which actually is in fact a rather weak force. What you would be concerned about is mass.
Imagine for a moment what if you and your craft had very little or no mass - then you would not be affected by gravity anyway – but this is not the important point. You would also not be affected by momentum.
I am sure that I will not have to explain that accelerating any object up to the near light-speeds needed for serious space travel is a rather problematic thing – and slowing it down again the other end just as tricky !
So, as a UFO designer, your primary technical task would be to ‘disconnect’ you and your machinery from having any mass. Is this possible ? Yes, I believe that it most certainly is. All atomic particles ( and so all objects ) somehow ‘acquire’ their mass by interacting with what we now call the Higg’s field.
The so-called Higg’s Boson – which maybe shortly ‘found’ with the aid of CERN’s LHC machine - is the particle which is believed to give all things mass – Now, if there is such a particle, then why not its anti-particle ? The Anti-Higgs ?
So, let us imagine a device which could somehow generate anti-Higgs particles. These entities would, I believe, be able to endow objects with ‘negative mass’. A 1Kg weight exposed to such a field would not have a mass of 0 Kg, it would be -1Kg !
A concept which is, I do fully admit, somewhat difficult to imagine – though it has been considered for some while : as it was first thought-of in the 1950s.
In any event, being able to control your mass would enable all the ‘traditional’ attributes of UFOs – hovering, instant acceleration and changes of direction etc etc. And, if my calculations are correct ( though I am still computing these results ) I think that it may also allow faster-than-light movements.
The whole kit and kaboodles in fact ! All clear ?
It is considered by psychologists to be a ‘human given’ that we do not like to admit our mistakes, slips, errors, faults, mishaps and [ deleted ] ups.
This is wrong – that is to say, it should not be that way.
Mistakes can, and should ( under many circumstances ) be celebrated and not shunned. I will explain myself thus.
How many times have you done shopping in the supermarket and returned home to find that you have picked up and bought the wrong small item by mistake ? Do you take it back to the shop and change it ? The chances are that ( unless it is of very high value ) you will be unlikely to do so. In any case, you know that the store is certainly not obliged to give you your money back unless there is something wrong with it !
The shop has in fact made a sale that they would not have otherwise made.
Now, imagine that this is happening in every big supermarket - every single day. Then imagine the number of people it happens to, then multiply that by all the number of supermarkets in the world ! The scale of this syndrome is quite vast my friends ! It is, in fact, a multi-billion dollar global business !
Another example. A very large building project is to be constructed. The building firm start work, and after a few months they discover that there is a mistake in the plans and that a whole week’s work will have to be undone and re-built . Do they wring their hands ? No, my friends, they do not. They rejoice. For it means they will be paid for another week of work – they were simply following the plans which had a mistake in them. (As well as this, they now have a very good and believable excuse for when the work on the building is not finished in time – after all, the mistake was not theirs ! )
Construction firms rely on the fact that there will be mistakes in the plans to make their money !
I can go on to say that our inbuilt fear of making errors can also be very damaging. If you are always very worried about making a slip-up in your work, you will not – by definition - be very creative. To make innovative things, in science, technology, and the arts, you must be willing to make a mistake - even a big one - and perhaps look like a silly fool too !
Mistakes then are, I think it is clear, essential to progress – ( though I am flying to Qatar tomorrow so I hope the pilot does not read this ! )
To be serious again though, let us unbind ourselves from this silliness
of error-fear and embarrassment. If we can, progress will be faster – and
maybe more fun too perhaps !
Hardly a day goes by without stories wildly appearing about the increasing CO2 levels.
There is a general opinion, to which I now subscribe, that we have ( inadvertently ) created a crisis of our own making which can threaten the very survival of this Earth globe.
Even that [ deleted deleted deleted deleted deleted ] in the [ deleted deleted ] now admits it – though he has made himself a complete stocking laugh in the process !
So what is to be done? I propose that since humankind’s technology was largely responsible for creating the problem – then we must surely use humankind’s technology to fix it.
By what method ? I describe it below.
The carbon must somehow be taken out of the atmosphere, and ‘locked-up’ in some way. That is actually very easy. In fact, astronomical numbers of lifeforms take the CO2 out of the air everyday – they are called plants. The plants though are clearly not taking up the CO2 fast enough – if they were, then the levels would not be rising !
We could of course, without much difficulty, vastly increase the numbers of plants and trees – and harvest the locked-up carbon in the form of wood which is produced. We should soon, however, be swamped in wood. What could we do with all this wood ? There is a limit to the number of bookshelves and garden sheds we can accommodate is there not !
( A student of mine remarked at one of my lectures recently “ Why couldn’t we burn it ? ” I had to reprimand him rather severely – but I’m told by the clinic that he is making a full recovery ( just a joke ! ))
There is however a literal ‘solution’ to this conundrum. We simply use our genetic modification (GM) techniques to modify, or create, a suitable CO2-using organism ( possibly a simple alga or even an archaea ) to produce what I will call ‘liquid wood’.
It is true that we will need vast arrays of ‘farms’ with unimaginable numbers of these new organisms - all across the Earth - but I propose that we really do not have much choice.
And what will happen to all those trillions of litres of ‘liquid wood’ which will be produced ? No, we will not use it my friends.
We shall bury it - permanently.
And what better place could there be to bury it than to pump it into all those thousands of out-used oilfields which are now conveniently rather empty !
I must say that I am fairly pleased with my project idea – which not only will solve the global warming crisis but also has, if I may be permitted to say, a very nicely circular ring to it.
We must start work immediately.
The flow of water is called a science. Hydraulics. The flow of air is also a science, pneumatics, or, on a larger scale, meteorology. Therefore, why is not the flow of money a science ? I believe that it is, and I would like, my friends, to discuss the complexities and attract attention to some of the fascinating enigmas we can encounter.
Take, for example, the terrible destruction that is now taking place to the infrastructure in Iraq. There are great losses almost every day as some oil pipeline or other is destroyed by those who are called insurgents. Each time a pipeline is damaged, the financial losses run into many millions of dollars. Or do they so ?
If we analyze the situation with the scrutiny and objectiveness which we would apply to a scientific study, we may find the results are not what they at first appear.
Let us be clear. Each time a disruption occurs, the flow of oil is curtailed. Within minutes, news will have reached the stock markets, and the price of oil will increase by the amount which investors believe will balance the shortfall. Each time that the price slides upwards, the oil companies’ profits do too. Recently, scarcely a financial quarter goes by without one of the giant oil firms announces a record profit. Measured in hundreds of billions.
And what of the damaged pipeline ? Repairing it is a very dirty and dangerous undertaking. Only a few specialist ( non-Iraqi ) infrastructure firms have the know-how to do so. Their workers too, will have to be paid many times the going rate to work in what we may call a war-zone. In short, the company which will do the repairing is going to charge a small fortune ( I would guess millions ) for the work.
That is all to say that each time a pipeline is destroyed, very large sums of cash flow towards the oil and infrastructure companies. But, to further examine the question – where does the cash actually come from ? It is not manufactured. It flows, and let us not shirk from the truth, from ordinary people across the globe who will pay for it in increased gasoline prices and increased taxes.
This example is just one out of countless numbers of intriguing financial flows in which, I must say, in contrast to many other ‘scientific’ studies, a very great deal of effort often goes into hiding and obscuring the details. Should we not be examining, in a very objective way, all this interesting material out in the open ?
I believe that we should, and hasten to add as soon as possible.
Let me not be confused. It is not wrong to draw attention to things which are bad. It is not negativity for its own sake – some things are bad and should be classed as such.
But, it is also positive though to pinpoint the ‘good’ in things whenever it is possible ! Therefore, I would like to point out to the certain people who complain about ‘global warming’, that there are, are there not, benefits too ?
If the global temperature does go up – and, if we wait long enough, it most certainly will – then, will it not be possible to grow grapes in Scotland ? Scottish wine may become famous and greatly add to the economy of the country – which currently only produces chips ( silicon ones ! ).
Will it not be more pleasant in, say, Japan, where many die every winter because of the low temperatures ?
The ice on mountaintop glaciers will melt. Am I not constantly hearing about a potential lack of water in many regions ? Will not this ‘new* ’ water be of great use for irrigation ?
Will it too not be possible to have a vibrant tourism industry in Alaska or Siberia ?
I can go on.
But my point is this. When, as an example, a currency falls flat on the international money exchanges, one group of people ( that particular currency holders ) will be very unhappy, but the other group will welcome it greatly – for them, products from the unfortunate country will be much cheaper !
The same is true for warming. For some ( most perhaps ) it will certainly be a disaster – but we should not ignore the fact, there will be others for whom it may be a large ( and warm ) opportunity.
* * *
Many will be familiar with the phrase “toys for boys” – and I would like to examine, and perhaps extend, this philosophy for a moment if I may be allowed. To.
I would like to suggest that the concept of something being a ‘toy’ – or not – is not an easy one. It is true that some objects are very much un-toylike – it is hard to imagine how, for example, a garden spade could be thought of as a toy.
But what of a motorcar ? A car could be an essential tool ( say, for a commercial traveler ) but, is that red Lamborghini parked outside my hotel a ‘tool’ ? Is it not more like a ‘toy’ for the [ deleted ] [ deleted ] owner ? ( Don’t worry my friends, I know him , and I can assure you that he is indeed a [ deleted ] ! )
Therefore, it is obvious, is it not, that many products could be considered as placeable on a fuzzy continuum which has ‘toy’ at one end and ‘tool’ at the other ?
As an example, we could have the following :
Now, I would like to go a step further and ask about some more serious products. For instance, hand-guns ! Is a gun a toy ? I can assure you, my friends, that some irresponsible people think that they very much are !
Now, if you will permit, I should like to venture into territory which maybe be called reductio ad absurdia – but which nonetheless I must visit to make my point.
What about tactical nuclear missiles ? I do not wish to alarm sensitive readers, ( whom I would recommend to watch my favourite film, Kubrik’s Dr. Strangelove ) but there are people who have control of such horrors who, do, in fact, see them, to some extent at least, as toys.
You do not believe me ? You think I am exaggerating perhaps ? Sadly, my friends, I am not. The designers, operators and controllers of such devices often have the mindsets of adolescent schoolboys - and, I may say that I am in a position to know that very well indeed, I used to work for [ deleted ] !
But I digress, because I want to concentrate on more down-to-earth products - if you will forgive my word-playing !
I propose that all products are manufactured with a sticker in place which shows clearly their rating on the Nahiv Tool/Toy scale. Amply demonstrating, in effect, how much the item can be considered truly ‘serious’ or ‘frivolous’.
In the end, I am convinced that it will save us all a great dealing of trouble - and make the world a less confusing, less wasteful, and indeed, a less dangerous place.
[ Dr. N, can you make a sticker for the website please ? Ed. ]
Not many people might know that a very large company can be regarded - in law - as a ‘person’. That is the true origin of the word ‘corporation’.( From Latin corpus – a body or person ).
But many people might not know also that a government can be regarded as ‘a person’ as well.
And, being ‘a person’ can suffer the same problems that a person suffers – it can become ill, decrepit, or even as I might say in an un-PC way – mad.
The idea that an entire government can go ‘mad’ is no author’s fantasy my friends. Trust me, I know ( from the inside ), that they can, and do . . .
I could give a blatant example of the Nazis. They were a collection of mad people who happened to have gained power ( for democracy does not forbid or prevent it ).
They believed that Berlin was the centre of the universe, and even built an underground temple at what they thought was the exact hub ! At the same time, they commissioned university professors working for four years or so on the ‘ scientific proof ’ that this was the case. ( needless to say, the professors had some difficulty with the mathematics ).
So trust me, they can, they do - and some, right at this very minute my friends, are.
What is to be done ?
If a person becomes seriously insane there are various measures which can be taken. It may be very problematic and unpleasant – but sometimes essential. They may be given therapy - but also often they can be incarcerated. Removed from society. They can ( temporarily ) lose almost all of their rights.
But who is to say when a person becomes insane ? Why, the rest of society of course ! In the end, it is just a question of statistics. The collective opinion of a great number of people 'decides' that a certain person is behaving too oddly to be left to their own devices. ( If the numbers were to swing the other way of course, then the ‘sane’ ones would be declared mad ! )
You might be wondering what exactly I am arriving at ?
It is this my friends. We ( the large numbers) must take notice when a government becomes mad ! And if this is the case, we must firmly insist that they are ( temporarily at the very least ) dis-engaged from society ( for their own good of course ).
To assume that our leaders cannot be mad is a very serious error my friends. Do not make it by any means.
Only just recently I was reading a column by a very well known environmentalist. He was saying that he had decided that he would not be going to a far country, after all, to give a speech on Earth Warming.
The reason ?
He was concerned that his aeroplane trip would contribute 2.7 Tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere – a polluting price which he was not willing to pay.
But I should like to point out the following : his absence from the conference might well have been more costly ! He was not able to speak and give his valuable opinions. ( I am assuming that he did have something important to say of course ! )
Perhaps the professor in question was forgetful that every action is costly. Every time he opens his mouth to speak ( and tells his opinion ) he also produces CO2 to add to the atmosphere !
While I type this piece, the muscles which I am using to hit the keyboard are ‘burning’ oxygen, and producing carbon dioxide are they not ? Thus I conject, insist even, that any action – even the transfer of information – incurs an environmental cost of some sort.
We must bear in mind, therefore, not just the pollution which accompanies an action – but we must weigh it up to see whether it is worth the pollution it produces !
In his case, I believe that his polluting action would certainly have been advantageous to the rest of humanity !
[ less ‘!’s please. Ed. ]
I can assure readers that it is really all too very easy to make substances which can be used for the nefarious purposes of explosions. Believe it or not, one can still purchase the requisite chemical precursors at the local pharmacy, auto store, and even the grocery shop !
Take for instance [deleted]. It can be very easily manufactured by [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] with [deleted] [deleted] .
If that does not worry you sufficiently, what about [deleted] ? It is a simple job to [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] in less than one half an hour !
We cannot stop the availability of information on the subject. It is already, as the saying runs, ‘out there’. Therefore I suggest that we must completely restrict supplies of all possible substances which could conceivably be used for such purposes.
Unfortunately, that must include [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted] and even perhaps Vaseline ™.
It is a price we must pay for increased security. Can you not live without
a little [deleted] ? Or, more correctly, can
we afford to live with it ?
There has been some controversy recently about whether it is really good to use alcohol in powering cars.
In the 1980’s most of the companies which opened in the US to make alcohol for cars went bankrupt. ( But that does not stop new ones from sprouting up to have a new try ! ) They like to use corn ( maize ) for reasons that I am not at all sure of. They ferment the corn, and yeast turns the sugars in the grains into ethanol ( and other alcohols as well).
The alcohol is refined, and then gets burnt in car’s engines. It is not a surprise perhaps, that some people have complained that they are encouraging the burning of food !
I would like to suggest strongly that they do not use corn !
They should use sugar cane ( or sugar beet ) instead ! Those two plants contain far more raw sugar than corn does. And the technology of production is already proved. In Brazil now, nearly 50% of the cars run on alcohol - made completely from sugar cane !
That way, the companies involved will no longer be accused of ‘food burning’ – and if they are, they can simply say “Yes, but think of all the obese [ deleted deleted ] we will be preventing from drinking those [ deleted deleted ] sugary drinks ! “
I know some Brazilians might gripe - ‘We could have used that sugar to make aguardente de cana ! ( sugar cane rum ) ‘ – and, I must say, I could agree with them ! – for I do not have a car !
And a Caipirinha is
perhaps better than a Carpirinha ! Ha ! Ha !
[ can you cut down on the exclamation marks please ? Thanks, Ed.]
You, like I, may have noticed a certain bad-press recently for the idea of clones.
I would like to strongly defend their position.
Firstly, let us dispel the myth that clones are a new thing. They are not. The bananas which you eat for breakfast are clones. Those satsumas in your lunchbox are clones. The yeast which is used to brew your favourite beers and wines for the evenings is cloned. Even most of the lovely roses in your garden are clones ! – And so are the aphids which feed on them !
A clone is simply any organism which has identical genetic material to another one - and any living thing which is bred by ‘propagation’ is a clone.
But I can go further and reveal to you that I – yes I my friends – am a clone. I was one of nearly identical twins, although I was separated at birth from my sister [ surely you mean brother ? Ed. ] – not by the surgeon’s knife but by political circumstances. [ less of the pathos please. Ed. ]
In any event, all human beings are so very identical genetically ( we share 99.9% of our DNA with every other ) that we might as well say we are all clones ! Just think how difficult it is to tell apart the [ deleted ] they all look the same ! That is because they are the same ! We all are !
No my friends, we need not, and should not, fear clones of any kind. Even the ones in Knightsbridge and Sloane Square !
[ Note for non UK readers – the author is
referring to some of the urban tribes of London who, in his opinion, all
look the same - allegedly . Ed.]
We all know that guns are a big problem in the wrong hands. For instance, in the United States there are now as many guns held by the population as there are persons ! In several countries, death by shooting is now the commonest form of demise in young people !
What can be done ? Of course the governments cannot pass laws to ban guns. People like them so much that any government which made such a law would not get through the next election !
So here is my idea – which as usual I give for free.
I would like to point out that a gun without ammunition is just a lump of metal for use as a hammer or a doorstop. It is not the guns which we need to target ( ha ! ha ! ) , but the ammo !
We can disable it – all of it – with a simple biotech fix.
We GM a virulent bacteria to eat explosives. Specifically the type used in small-arm ammunition. The bug will then be ‘accidentally’ allowed to escape from the research lab. With a little ‘help’ it could be around the globe in a few weeks.
The bug will eventually seek out and eat the propellant in every bullet in the entire world.
I know what you are thinking ! The military would never allow the creation of such an organism . . . But, my friends, they will be secretly be provided with an antibiotic ( created to exactly target the GM bug ) which they will use to ‘immunize’ all their own ammo ! ( Of course, this chemical would have to be very closely guarded and made secret so that the general public could not get supplies of it. )
That is it. The finish of the problem ! The governments would ‘publicly sympathise’ - and hold up their hands and say it was not their fault – so they cannot be blamed by the electorate !
I think we can safely say that very many thousands of lives will be saved by this simple method.
[ Isn't there a danger that such a bug would, itself, be used as a weapon ? Ed. ]
We recently have heard a lot about the possible problems which may be caused by our creations of nanotechnology. I would like to say that the word is not good. For some people it implies that we have invented the idea ourselves. We have not. Nanotechnology has been around for millions of years in fact. What are viruses if they are not nanotech ?
Are they alive ? No they are not my friends. They are very tiny machines, that is all. It so happens that these machines have found a niche where they can hi-jack living cells, and multiply. But they are completely dead just like your motorcycle is.
( Why would a machine want to reproduce ? We do not know. Perhaps they do not want to. In any case, how can something which is not alive ‘want’ anything ? )
No, my friends, we are far behind nature when it comes to nanotech, which is why we must continue with all efforts to research and build more and more. But what about the ‘grey goo’ scares you pessimists may ask ? Well, there is no goo, and if there was it would not be grey. [ possibly - possibly not - Ed. ] We will always be in control of any little machines which we create ( providing we do not also make seriously idiotic mistakes of course ).
It is true that perhaps a few here and there will go wrong and take on a life of their own – like viruses do. So what would we do ? We would immunise ourselves, and find cures against them of course ! Just as we do with nature’s viruses. What is the problem ?
Are we going to refrain from vital research which may benefit industry just because some little machines might escape and cause a bit of trouble in the drains now and again ? ( It is really not a big challenge anyway – if there is an escape, we simply build some ‘hunter’ nanobots to go after them. )
No, our tiny research must not remain shackled and slowed down any longer
by doubters. Do you think nature stands still for one moment ?
That of course is depending on your viewpoint ! But I would like to call attention to one apparent waste in particular.
It is a scourge which I have noticed is currently gaining hold in many countries. It has severe symptoms, which are that the person concerned will simply sit almost motionless for hours upon hours. Saying nothing, maybe eating nothing, and performing no actions other than the occasional fidget.
They simply stare at the ‘device’ ( which I shall reveal in one moment ) as if hypnotized by some powerful force. If any other mammal were to behave in such a way we should certainly come to the conclusion that it has some kind of severe mental disturbance ( unless it was hibernating of course ).
The affliction affects almost all ages, and can often get more pronounced as the years go by. It can be seen as an addiction perhaps ?
What is this great scourge ? Reading books my friends !
When the book was first invented in printed form, can you imagine all the complaints that people must have had ? This new fanged invention was causing people to ‘waste time’ on a scale which had never been seen before. People used to be physically active – now they just sit like couched potatoes looking at a wad of paper for hours at a time !
Do not get the impression that I am against books though ! I am just using this silly exaggeration to show the point that today, we have whiners complaining that people just sit about staring at their computers the whole day or night ! Is it not the very same ? The detractors must learn that as long as it advances knowledge it can only and must be a good thing !
Let us not forget our history my friends, when we remember that certain very powerful ‘organisations’ ( some are still in existence today ! ) tried very hard to ban the printed books when they were first invented ! They did not want the big-unwashed to become educated – and start causing them problems !
Of course, we should not listen to those who today whine and complain that home computers are now causing people to become fat and lethargic !
Ignorance, my friends, is far more dangerous than over fatness . . .
Today I would like to talk about ‘dirty data’. No, this is not some kind of film from Hollywood, or [deleted] info on a [deleted] site ! It is simply data which is collected from webusers and is wrong.
Many large websites are suffering from this as because they insist that users and visitors enter their data before they can proceed. Of course they soon find that a great number of their subscribers are named Michael Mouse and live in Cuckooland.
What can be done about it ?
The answer is simple my friends, and I will explain it here. If I was not financially stable already I would make this the subject of a patent – but I am willing to give the idea for free to anyone because I think it is good and important.
It is obvious that what is lacking is feedback. If the webuser enters a real data or nonsense, what is the difference to him ? [ or her Ed. ] They are not rewarded with good data nor punished if it is bad !
Therefore I propose a Pavlov-Mouse – see diag.
What could be easier ? The computer already has a source of electricity and the mouse is connected ( most often at least ) with a wire ! In that case, all that is needed is the correct circuitry and a couple of electrodes on the mouse ‘back’.
Then, software at the website simply checks to see if the data is obviously false – if so a ‘reminder’ is sent directly to the browser’s hand ! I think you will find the data will soon be free of Mickey Mouses !
( By the way, this same system could also be employed to help get around the growing problems of internet bankings fraud – and also to teach people to type better and not make mistakes with their p4ssw0rds etc ! )
No more data dirt !
In this case you can see I give my advice for free in order to advance humanity.
I do not own a car. Actually, it is only because of bureaucratic restrictions that I am not permitted to have one. But if I did have one it would not be electric. What is the point of an electric car ? Do the owners think that the electricity is clean ? It may be clean at the car end of things my friends, but where it is generated – back at the big smoky power station – it is I can assure you, very filthy !
All they are doing is moving the smoke to some other place not near them ! Is that correct ? Why do they not have the courage to pump out the smoke underneath their own noses ?
But I would like to make a point which is wider.
What is wrong with little smoke anyway ? Are we all ninby pambies ? Did not our ancestors live in environments that were polluted by heavy smoke all around ? What about the peas soup in London ? But they all survived ! Every single one of your ancestors survived my friends – long enough to have children at least. They were tough biscuits.
And, as the saying goes - they did not bring us to where we are today by sitting about all day eating candy !
So why can’t we put up with a little smoke ? Just look at the countries where today the people have growth of double digits ! It is a little more hazy during hot weather it is true – but, marking my words, they are going to overtake us ! ( in their cars which are not green probably ! Ha Ha !)
Smoke, my friends, means progress.
It is now agreed that the earth is hotting up. Why ? We are not sure. It may be greenhouse gas we are producing – or it may just be the sun. We do not yet know. So why then are the complainers so happy to jump to the idea that it is all caused by carbon dioxide – produced by industry ?
It is true that industry produces the gas, and that it can fashion a type of atmospheric greenhouse – but there is another gas – much stronger, which we do not hear carpings about.
The gas is methane . CH4. Produced in vast amounts by farmers all over the earth. [ we presume you mean by the farmer’s animals ? Ed. ] Belchings and fartings on a global scale no less. CH4 is much better for building a greenhouse - twenty times more effective at this than the carbon dioxide everyone is jumping to blame.
What can be done about it ? There is no mystery. It must be collected and used ! This is a very useful inflammable gas, making 891 kJ per mole when burnt ! Quite a bit of heat no ? Heat which can be used by industry ! What could be simpler ?
The farmers never stop telling us how they are broke – so sell it ! What is the problem ? – help to save the planet and make some cash at the same time ! Start collecting methane today !
( I am sure there are some imaginative inventor-types out there who can suggest how to do it to the farmers ?)
Recently I have returned from visiting central London. There, I was most dismayed and concerned at a lack of security. I refer to the central zone where is the House of Parliament. On the day when I visited there were many dozens of people outside the house. They had cameras and were taking photographs in all directions. Have the security force in England become stark staring unbalanced ? Do not they have any idea of the implications of such uncontrolled photo snapping ? Any one or more of those ‘tourists’ could instead be a ‘terrorist’ ! Taking valuable covert planning photos for a possible encounter !
It is undoubtedly time for the government’s protective forces to come out of their convenient sleep ! These photograph-takers must not be allowed anywhere near the vital strategy places of state control ! It is true that probably most of them are innocent tourists, but what if one or more was not ? No, my friends, the age of casual photo snapping is gone. Or that is to say it should be. Especially now that digital motors can send the images worldwide in a second – even from a mobile cellular phone !
It is obvious that there is no choice but that all photographing of any kind in the outdoors must be made illegal. ( though what you take indoors is still your business of course ! )
[ Bearing in mind some recent developments, perhaps we shouldn’t worry too much – any ‘terrists’ will probably send their films into Boots for printing, and will promptly be turned in to the authorities. Ed.]
The rate which companies are selling mobile telephones in China is now measured in 5 millions per month ! No other ‘market’ in the world can manage that kind of figures. Also, demand for steel is so high for new buildings and machines that it has made the global price go up two times in one year ! [ i.e. double. Ed. ]
The expansion in every directions is enormous. But I would like to say that it is simply not just the Western countries who are pushing and fueling this very rapid growing. No ! The truth is that the Chinese people themselves have a much more clear and faster way of dealing with things than the slow-wits of the West !
A week ago I visited a Chinese restaurant in [deleted] . I was only seated down for ten seconds before the waiter gave to me the menu. Fifty six seconds later ( I happen always to carry a stopwatch at all times ) he returned and wanted to know what I would eat ! I confessed to him that I had not yet chanced to make up my mind on the dishes – and his reply was “ Why that ? You stupid or something ? Hurry fast ! “ . . .
You see ? That drive for efficient working and lack of messing around is evident even in the humble restaurant ! It was I, dithering and fumbling to decide on a simple thing, who was at fault !
If only the slow and feeble Westerners would take some notice at last that that is the way to do things ! Why waste time with polite ‘How do you do’s’ and ‘meetings’ and pathetic ‘whiteboard presentations’ ! Ha ! If the West would like to catch up with China they had better learn to start to jump and move fast - or they will just soon become little corny pieces floating in the Chinese soup of the New Global Economy !
This week will see the outcome of an ‘important’ election. Many are saying that it is the most important election for many years. I am not so sure my friends. What democracy is giving you is just the choice to decide which big monkey sits on your back the whole day shoving [ deleted Ed.] up [ deleted Ed.] . If you look just backwards a short time through history you will see that every so called ‘leader’ was just the same [ deleted Ed.] that we always get.
Corruption and bad management is everywhere in all directions. It is true that the first attempt at Communism failed very badly also. What we need, my friends, is a benevolent dictatorship. But who will be this brilliant and fair dictator who knows what to do in all senses and situations ? He [ or she Ed. ] has never existed as yet. Never in all history of humanity. That is why we can now be sure that no person is ever going to be good enough for the job.
I know certainly that the idea is not new. But not all old ideas are bad ideas. It is just that we have not managed to build it yet. Build what ! I hear readers ask. The computer my friends ! The only possibility for a governor without ambition, greed and stupidity.
Perhaps it will build itself – but I am doubting this at the moment. That is like saying ‘ Throw all these wheels and cogs and parts into a bag and shake it long enough out will come a Swiss Watch ’ . No, my friends, that will not happen.
We must build it ourselves by determined international effort. And then hand over power to the machine. It is the only way that we will get rid of these [ deleted Ed.] who couldn’t even drive a train if we asked them to.
I think you will find that a computer can drive a train without problems.
[ can we drop the ‘my friends’ tag please
? Ed. ]
Today I would like to talk about space travel. It has been a while now since when we have been properly exploring space. Up until now, all we have done is to go to the moon. ( Even that is not sure as the ‘conspiring theorists’ are always telling us ) It is true that recently there has been many new space probing devices – like the ones now roaming on the surface of Mars. But they are just crawling robots ! Where are the men ? [ and women . Ed. ]
What is the use of sending robots ? If the Portuguese or British or Spanish or whoever it was had only sent ‘robots’ to explore the seas – they would never have set up their colonies ! Then where would we be ? When those men [ and women, Ed. ] set off across the oceans they did not have any idea of where they were going – or even if they would come back at all ! They did not concern themselves with such worries !
We seem to have lost that bravery and proper lusting for adventure that our ancestors had. Did they have committees worrying over tiny details about whether they would survive the journey ? Hah ! Of course not. They were explorers doing what explorers are supposed to do – Explore !
Let us remember too our ninby pamby politicians who hold the purse strings for such ventures. When did you last see a politician who was an explorer ? Where do they go ? To the office and back, or maybe to a five star hotel by jet and Mercedes.
We must recapture our lost spirit of adventuring and demand that the politicians raise the taxes to pay the bills for this highly necessary work ! Who was it who said ‘Space – The Final Frontier’ ? Well, it is better than that my readers, because space is infinite, [ possibly , Ed. ] and you cannot have a ‘frontier’ on an infinite thing !
I would volunteer myself to go, but I am color blind, and I might miss
the Red Planet !
The saying is that money talks. So, this time I would like to talk about money ! In fact the very sums involved with global industry. These days we hear much complaint about ‘capitalism’ and ‘globalization’ - what are they complaining at ? Why are they demonstrating about things which are working well ? Here is what I know about it.
Let me say first that the flow of money is science – it is not art. Do you think those bankers in Walls St. sit about all day looking at their crystal balls ? No they do not. They look at their computer screens my friends. And they see the movements of money. The flow of money is essential to our lives like the flow of water out of your bath faucet.
Without globalization, how do you think you would get a bottle of mineral water in your hotel suite in Riyadh ? How would you fill your off-roading vehicle in Kenya ? How could you eat chocolate in Alaska ? Aha ! not so easy to explain is it !
If capitalism did not exist, do you think those people in Walls St. would bother to turn up for work ? To do what ? To maybe dig the ground for potatoes in the farmland that still would be Manhattan ? Perhaps that is what the protestors want ? to live like peasants again ? By the way, there is nothing wrong with being a peasant, my own grandfather was a [ contents deleted Ed. ] before he was [ contents deleted Ed. ] and sent to [ contents deleted Ed. ] by the [ contents deleted Ed. ]
It is just that most people I think do not want to progress backwards. And so they must take advantage. Take advantage of the system, their friends and neighbours, everything. What is wrong with that ? Nature is cruel. We are natural are we not ?
This week in the news there has being a lot of questions about face transplants. We must ask I think not why it is causing so much talk in the media – but why it has not been done before ?
Where I come from, research is performed according to this algorithm :
1) get the money
I also think that there are some people who should certainly undergo such treatment – not for their benefit – but for ours ! Like [ deleted. Ed.] and [ deleted. Ed.]. Ha !
But, if I am permitted to say so, things must go much further than this. Perhaps some readers will not know, but I can mention as example Dr. Robert White , who has being doing head transplants for over thirty years now. He has performed the operations with dogs and monkeys, and of course his special machinery and techniques can also be used on humans.
The technique for putting on the new head is somewhat simple, almost a plumbing job ! No more difficult than transplant of say a liver, which is now a routine thing. It is true that re-connecting the nerves to the rest of the body is a stumble-block at the moment – but this will soon change with new re-generation tissue growing methods already in development. Also the drugs which now are used to prevent rejection are very good. Why are we waiting ?
I know several ex-colleagues who would be willing to have a new head ( not a new body of course ! ) and could then perhaps escape a rather awkward situation.
Meanwhile, here's an audio clip from Young Frankenstein
When some people hear the word ’Military Industrial Complex’ they are tending to think it is a bad thing. Now I must explain that many good things have come from the money which your government(s) are always spending on the armed force.
For instance, we would not have many products without the ‘trickling down effect’ as it is called. Many technological items are made by research into weapons which later end up on the kitchen table. I can mention for instance non-sticky fryingpans, which came from the Manhattan Project – and also carbon-fibre fishing rods which came from ballistic protection materials.
So you see that all the money which is spent is necessary to give us very good things ! Also, if the military spending is cut, very many people will lose their jobs and become unrestful. Perhaps many tens of thousands would be made out of work if your government did like Iceland does, and not have an army. Then you would have to pay your taxes to keep them [______contents deleted, Ed._________] all day instead ! Not so pretty eh ?
No my friends, we must spend more, not less ! Who knows what non-sticky pan of the future is waiting to be invented by our imaginative and hard working military scientists ? Even the greatest inventor of all times, Leonard Da Vinci, was most of the time working on important military things – not silly items like today’s Pod-i’s and ' virtual pets '.
Who was it who said it is good to make bombs into ploughs? The imbecile
! Without the bombs you would have no land to plough anyway ! The [____contents
deleted Ed._____] would have taken it from you long ago !
Some people are getting tired and sick of GM. Every day we are hearing in the news that GM is no good. Because of editorial pressure I am not allowed to give the truth about this [ nonsense, Ed. ] – but I will offer a solution to the industry to solve the problem so that we can all enjoy the benefits of the new technology.
At this time, farmers do not buy GM seeds from the factory. They rent them. The GM companies do not sell the seeds, they give a license to the farmer to use them ( he can even plant them if he likes ! ). That way the GM company always remains the owner of the seed - so that the farmer has no rights over them. This is the same as when you buy a piece of software for your computer. You cannot complain about it if it is no good because you have not bought it ! You have only bought a leash [ s/b lease Ed. ] to use it.
So here is my proposal to the GM companies which will save them from ruin I think ! You should keep control of ownership the whole way – not just with the farmer. That is to say, you must make the farmer sign an agreement that he will only ‘rent’ his produce to the wholesaler. When they take his produce, the agreement carries on so that the wholesaler ‘rents’ to the supermarket – then the supermarket ‘rents’ the product to the customer !
When you go to the supermarket to get your potatoes, you will no longer buy them. You will get a license from the supermarket to do what you want with them – you can even eat them ! The price will be the same, the potatoes will be the same ( except they will be better, with more vitamins, and will last for 10 months out of the refrigerator ).
But the ‘ownership’ of the potatoes will still be with the GM company – the have not sold them at all ! So they are not bound by the rules of sales ! No more silly regulations messing up their ideas ! End of problem.
Thank you for your attention. I am now going out to ‘rent’ a
beef sandwich ! [ no more ‘jokes’ please Ed. ]
We are nearing the time when we will be able to build computers which are
like our own brains. Now in the news is a company which is making an attempt
at such a machine. Their ‘creature’, which I will call it, because
it is a giant neural network composed of about one tenth as many neurons
as the human brain !
Now we must ask – will this large thought-machine be conscious ? Will it know it is there ? – as I know ‘I am there’ when I wake in the morning ? Perhaps so, perhaps not. But before long it seems, some individual or company or government will build a machine which does achieve wakefulness.
Now, my point is this. If the new machine will become conscious – then how will it feel ? How would you feel if you woke up tomorrow just as a MIND ? No body, no organs – just a mind – with some other creatures intellectually interacting with you via your interfaces ? Not so pretty eh ? So, we now must have reached the time when we must devise laws to protect against such cruelty !
Thousands of years ago, animals were pulled to pieces without anyone caring about it - now we have laws to protect against cruelty to animals ! And now, us humans too have laws to protect us ! International laws too ! Even in our cruelest wars we have laws on how to behave, like the Geneva Convention, which every single country in the world respects ! [ err . . not quite Ed. ]
The time has come then, for ‘Rights for Machines’. Oh yes, you may find this funny, but it will be necessary my friends. We cannot create such conscious beings without giving them rights like you and me and even my cat has ?
No, we must act now, or the machines themselves, and our own race in the future – looking back at our time through history - will see us as a stocking laugh ! [ that s/b ‘laughing stock’ Ed. ]
The recent upward trend in the price of oil has shown the world that the time has come to find other sources of energy. It’s been estimated, that, even today, if all the people in China turned on their toasters at the same time, the entire electricity grid system for the whole planet would melt ! Something has to be done, and, luckily, we do have the solution at hand.
We must go back to the concept that nuclear power is the ‘energy source for the future’.
It’s plainly no good relying on the ‘Greens’ to come up with anything which wiil work. All we have from them so far is hordes of ugly wind generators which are known to kill sparrows, probably accounting for their rapid decline in numbers. [ s/b possibly, not probably, Ed.] No, we should, we must, go back to the tried and tested methods.
The critics of nuclear power carp and harp on and on about the issues of waste disposal and safety, but I suspect that they would change their tune rather quickly if all those Chinese toasters were switched on ! The waste is carefully stored in secure locations, and we are working very hard to find ways of disposing of it permanently one day. It’s just a question of economics and bright ideas.
For instance, the island nation of Nauru ( well away from just around everywhere) is now in serious financial difficulty since its supplies of guano ( which is used for fertilisers ) have dried up. Perhaps they would like now to change their business strategy, and store the toxic waste for the West ? Surely it is no worse than guano ?
As for the scaremonger stories about radiation and such, we should remember that exposure to electromagnetic radiation can be a good thing ! Take sunlight for instance ! Gamma rays are, after all, just rather energetic light !
One of the big stumbling block to the re-generation of the industry is the insurance business does not want to provide cover for the power plants – but that’s simply because they don’t understand it ! Would a nuclear physicist understand the first thing about double indemnity offset loss-adjusted risk assessings ? I think of course not !
So, there we have it, the nuclear future is bright – very very very bright.
The personal opinions of individual columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of Really Magazine Magazine.
"the world's best anti-torture org.
"the world's best plum protection"
"the world's best microphones"
"the world's best department store"
BBC Radio 4
"the world's best radio station"