Don’t Tell Me As I’m Immune To This.

Switch off or take no notice.

That’s my attitude to most advertising,
and here is the reason why.

Most advertisements make a presumption about both ones
lifestyle,
and  those social values which do not apply to me.

I also know just which lines tend to show that I’m about to be
conned out of my money.

So – Here is a check-list of those words  or expression which will
never work on me: –

– Mortgage.

– Credit card(s).

– Take away food menu(s).

– Cable Television.

– Mobile phone.

– Retirement & funeral plans.

– Loan offers.

– Celebs.

– ‘ As seen on TV ’.

– Branded goods.

– Christmas.

– Sports sponsorship.

– Corporate sponsorship.

– The Olympics and all that goes with it.

– The internal combustion engine.

– Offers for two.

– Anything which says ‘family friendly’.

– Upgrade(s).

– New  or Exciting.

&

– Special offer.

Now I could write something about those words and expressions
which might work on me,
but I just don’t want to deal with yet more spam or junk mail.

No thank you very much.

On Record keeping & Getting Older.

Some times I thinks about people that I once knew.

It’s just like keeping a  scrapbook that’s full of obituaries,
or having a notebook full of information about missing people.

You may have them in your possession,
but fewer & fewer people you know will of meet the individuals
who are listed in them.

During this year this observation has really come home to me.

First of all I got a confirmation about someone I used to know
having died a few years back.

Then over the last month or so I have been trying to contact
someone who I last saw over a quarter of a century go.

I still can not trace her,
& I’ve tryed ever route which I know.

Over the 60 years that I have been alive we’ve moved on from
Paper & Card records, to Microfilm & Micrcofiche, and then to
electronic dates bases.

Yet just as we have moved on from mainframe to PC to laptop to
netbook, w e have & are constantly changing the software which
holds these records.

I just wish that some of the people who work on computer
software would keep in mind the old saying:-
If it ain’t bust then don’t fix it.

Yet with all of these moves of records have come losses of
information,
& the increasing presumption that ‘it’s all on the computer.’

Not so.

What makes it really difficult in tracing people is that they
might have common names,
or be know just by their nickname(s),
or changed their surname,
and now be living on the side of the world.

While the phone book, and  other directories, give just an initial
& surname on the basis that you will already know just where
they live.

Ever wondered just why the police are always so keen to know
peoples date of birth?

If more directories included this piece of information then it
would be so much easier to trace ones old friends.

In the meanwhile I’m left looking for other peoples scrapbook
which will supplement my own.

One World or Just One Long List.

I’ve noted on a lot of websites that people have a habit of
producing long lists of places they have travelled too.

We can all do the same I guess,
but I came up with the following list while thinking of
something else than just lists:-

The number of Embassies or National tourist offices I’ve
demonstrated outside of over the years.

This list includes such places as :-

Austria.
Australia.
China.
Czechoslovakia.
Denmark.
France.
Germany.
India.
Korea  ( South ).
Norway.
Portugal.
Russia.
South Africa.
Soviet Union.
Spain.
Turkey.
&
the USA.

I mention them all to illustrate my one world view of politics.

Whether it be Nukiller Power,
Militarism,
or
any form of exploitation:
the issues are always the same.

It matters not in which countries these problems occur.

All that matters is that they happen,
and that some of us are willing to do something about it.

Stand Back , or Some Thoughts Upon Pacifism and Nonviolence.

Reconciliation or social revolution ?

I’ve always been somewhat reluctant to write a long and
philosophical article upon Pacifism and Nonviolence,
as most of what I would like to say has been written about
before now.

Yet I still find myself reading a lot of works that confuses
Nonviolent principles with those ideas which exclude any
references to humanitarian social justice. Continue reading Stand Back , or Some Thoughts Upon Pacifism and Nonviolence.

Design It Yourself.

I’m constantly amazed at just how bad design information can
make life really difficult for us all.

Here are just a few example which illustrate the point.

– That one constantly sees posters about the dangers of
running up & down escalates.

Yet if I ever have to use a stationary escalator then I get
vertigo.

I’m still waiting to see a sign that says
Danger! Stationary Escalator.

– That self checkout machines in supermarkets are never
designed so for those of us who want to use our own
backpack?

I’ve still got to come across one that is designed by someone
who uses ergonomic principles.

– That there is never any thought given to the needs of
pedestrians waiting for traffic lights to change.

I’ve always thought that they should include a rain shelter as
one can sometimes take an age to wait for the pedestrian light
to change green.

It would also be better if it there was some indication as to
just how long one would have to wait before crossing over to
the other opposite pedestrian way.

These lights do already operate in the Netherlands, and so
what about bring them in to use in the rest of the world?

– That those who set the standards on VDU use have never
worked out that they do not march up with the very different
distance requirements of those of us who use verifocals.

Perhaps they should try setting up a working group of those
who use verifocals in order to produce a new set of real
world VDU user standards.

– That more medications do not have a brail label as a part of
the design upon the packaging.

It’s not that difficult to do so with modern packaging
technology.

Hum – Maybe I should set myself up as a design consultant.

I couldn’t produce worse results that what some of the
current designers have left us with   – – –   Could I ?

Ely Cathedral

I recently paid a visit to Ely.

In the 22 years since I last paid a visit to the city it was
changed a lot for the better.

A major restoration of the cathedral has left it looking like
the magnificent building it is,
rather that the rather neglected place which I remember it as
being.

There is also a stained glass museum within the cathedral
which I would highly recommend anyone to visit.

What I found of particular interest is to be found within the
Lady Chapel,
which is a very fine example of Gothic architecture.

At one stage the windows of this chapel was servery damaged
and there are now just plain glass windows where formally
there would of been magnificent stained glass windows.

Should you visit the Lady Chapel then you might notice
something else which is not ‘bog standard’ in most cathedral
buildings,
for etched in to the bottom of each window is listed one of the
bodies which has help to restore the cathedral,
with with the organisonal symbol or crest placed next to
their name.

The first one of these I noted was that of
Tescos PLC.

I jest not.

The other names include:

– The Marshall of Cambridge.

– The Mercers Company.

– The Kings School.

– British Railway Board.

plus

Barclays, Midland, Lloyds, and Trustee savings banks.

Just how one can justify the inclusion of any references to these corporate bodies as a
part of such an important historical building still needs to be seen.

Cambridge Electronic Instutries also have their own window
within the lady Chapel.

Cambridge Electronic Industries
manufactures electronic interconnection items.

It is owned by Wilson-Mottaz Ltd.

I’d be interested to learn just which companies their products are sold to?

Percentage Figures and Gross Effects.

Last week I saw an advertisement which claims that one in
eight of the people who use the tube are victims of identity
theft.

I just sat there and thought that equates to12.5% of the
population,
which must also mean that 87.5% of the population do not
suffer from any form of identify theft.

The interesting difference between saying 1 in 8
and 87.5%
is that one of them sounds alarmingly high number,
while the other sounds like  a reasonably low percentage.

Perhaps that’s why I always like to see the raw statistics,
rather than any one else’s interpretation of just what they
might mean.

When it comes to any fiscal or population figures then it
makes a lot of sense to do so.

For even 1% of a population can equate to many thousands of
people, which in turn will equate to many thousands of
individual tragedies.

When it comes to percentage cuts in public finances it is not a
question of looking at the figures,
but just what this means to individuals,
and the social impact it will have upon the population as a
whole.

There is a very good argument that all social services should
be protected.

On the other hand there is a conservative argument that
people should not be encouraged to stay within a benefits
reliant culture,
but do something in order to help themselves.

The problem with this comes with a belief that this can be
solved with a totally unrealistic and totally unatonable
‘enterprise culture’.

There is an old socialist saying:
‘ From each according to his abilities
From each according to his means.’

I would agree with the conservatives that we do need to get
away from a benefit reliant culture,
but that must mean setting up more self help projects,
while also establishing more workers & consumer
co-operatives.

Perhaps it is time to look at the figures again,
and see just what will work of the benefit of all.

Talk of cutting public expenditure by 25% may sound very
draconian,
but cutting military expenditure be 100% would be most
welcome indeed.

It might also be worth while if we could all start to think of
public expenditure in terms of encouraging social cooperatives.

If cuts are on the way, then we are going to really need to
money in to those  projects which would benefits us all,
rather than just keep paying out money to the individual.

Failure to do so will mean a lot more poverty stricken
individuals that will need some sort of fiscal help.

It’s not the percentage figures which matter,
but just what those figures mean within the real world.

More Cuts For Older People in the UK?

Having a nasty mind might is one thing,
but some times what one might be able to predict as a result of
having a nasty mind can be very dangerous.

Take for example some of the kind of underhand social cuts
which might be undertaken by the UK government as budget
savings,
but which are such that they just look like changes in the
dates of various eligibility rulings.

This is already happening from this year in terms of the
Freedom Pass,
which will be now kept in line with that of the new state
pension dates for women.

During the next 10 years the state retirement for women is
gradually being increased from 60 to that of men at 65.

My suspicion is that the next move will be a similar change in
the winter fuel allowance,
so that it also gradually moves to being the same as the state
retirement age for women.

Given that there are moves to change the state retirement
year to 67,
then such a change in all the allowances which now kick in a
60 could amount to a major cost saving for the British
Government,
and very few people would work out just what they have done.

Now if such savings might be redirected in to higher pensions,
or an increase in the winter fuel savings,
then great!

Such an increase might help to alleviate the problem of Fuel
poverty which many pensions suffer from.

Yet I doubt if this is currently on the political agenda.

If we didn’t all have to bail out the bankers,
and if military expenditure were to be slashed,
then there would be no fuel poverty,
but good pensions for us all.

It’s all a question of the right kind of spending.

The Season of Gloom and Despondency.

I think that in most ways I’m a happy bunny,
but……….

If there is one thing which really leaves me feeling very
depressed, then it is everything which surrounds the xmas
period.

This is in part because of the way in which the jesus myth is
propagandised,
and in part because of the way in which the unbridled feast of
consumerism is celebrated.

What makes this even worse is to see those who can least
afford it go on an xmas spending spree, and then find that they
land up with enormous personal debts.

What people need to remember is that there is a major
difference between I need and I want.

If I want to give my friends presents,
then I’ll do it when I want to do so though out the year.
and not just because we have reached some speculative
anniversary date.

It’s all about wanting to do something,
rather that feeling a social pressure to do so.

The other thing which gets me is the way in which a lot of
public transport services close down for anything up to 56
hours.

Like great !

– Here we are forced to take some time off work,
and we can not get away from our homes.

– So much for the excuse that we are all having time off work
in order to see ones family and friends.

If only …….. !

The only good thing about the whole situation is that it gives
me some time to catch up with my various projects,
and do some spring cleaning at home.

Oh happy days!

We talk about living within a 24/7 society,
but this only extends to 365 days minus one week in the year.

I look forward to the time when the whole xmas holiday
season is something which is confined to the history books.

Roll on !