Didn’t Last Long

My New Year’s resolution  only lasted a couple of days; leopards and spots and all that.

Last night I started reading The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen by Brian Cox and Jeff Forman. Even considering the title for a while is enough to blow my New Year intentions (see last post) right into a parallel universe.

The realm of the very small seems to be mindblowingly bizarre, requiring a certain leap of faith in order to even partially understand the activities of  subatomic particles. I am, I think, pretty sceptical by nature, never having fallen for the enticing simplicity of religious faith.

I read the Bible and the Koran a few years ago, and as far as my limited intellect would allow me, came to the conclusion that both books showed no sign of  divine other worldliness but much evidence of human expedience.

Now I am fully aware that it would take a better mind than mine, and a lifetime of devoted study to even get close to fully understanding and interpreting these texts. For this reason, I have to make a desision as to what I believe based on my own incomplete research and crucially the word of an Expert who has possibly understood and certainly  formed his own view of the truth based on I don’t know what competing influences.

So in a democracy we make big decisions based largely on secondhand knowledge from sources that we can’t be sure aren’t just pedalling propaganda for their own ends.

The world was after all, for many years flat and Iraq definitely had WMDs. Depending on which expert you listen to it will be a disaster for Britan if we stay in the EU and a disaster if we leave.

So whether it’s Brian Cox, David Cameron or my local vicar I am asked to believe in, a very large pinch of salt is needed.

And that’s about all I believe we can believe in with any conviction.

It must be delightfully blissful to have faith whatever it’s in.

Self Help Guide to a Happy New Year

I, in common with millions of people the world over, am in search of meaning, truth and contentment.  Christmas has never been a great help to me in this quest.

You see, on the one hand it gives me time to think and on the other it gives me  time to think! At least I think that’s what it does.

Too much thinking is obviously a very dangerous thing. If you should doubt the validity of this sweeping claim then just listen to some of the things that come out of think tanks, opposition politicians and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Not to mention the number of great thinkers throughout history who have come to sticky ends. Thinking, regardless of its quality is obviously detrimental to the well being of the thinker! and often a great many innocent bystanders.

Add to this the FACT that the most contented, and therefore least dangerous people I know, are the very ones that spend the least time thinking, and I think (there I go again) we have established conclusively and without doubt, that thinking is at the root of all evil.

My New Year’s resolution will therefore be, to achieve contentedness through the supreme power of thoughtlessness.

Happy (thoughtless) New Year

David Cameron’s £40 Million Ego Trip

So we are all in it together are we?

I don’t think so.

Not when our PM thinks it’s acceptable to double the budget for something that we don’t need at the same time as reducing the living standards of the most vunerable in society.

At a time when we are getting used to the fact that those in the public sector will have to work longer for less pension and many in the private sector won’t ever be able to retire, Mr Cameron thinks it’s OK to double the Olympic opening ceremony budget.

I know the argument he will use: that it’s not new money, it’s from within the overall budget for the games. 

I say he should be aiming to bring the games in under budget and then consider what might be a good use for the surplus. Most of us wouldn’t have too much trouble identifying a couple of dozen worthy recipients.

All this just adds to the feeling that Mr Cameron and his cabinet of multi-millionaires are  not just from another world but inhabit a parallel universe.

 One in which top executives pay increases exponentially with no regard to the success or failure of the economy and it’s OK to tax the poor in order to subsidise the rich.

Where it’s morally acceptable for old people to die from hypothermia and the disabled to lose benefits whilst the goverment’s ego is  massaged by a grotesquely extravagant Olympic fireworks display.

We should, I believe, be taking the opportunity of the Olympics to tell the world that we have nothing to prove. That Britain  has grown out of that adolescent stage where insecure cultures and countries need to show off to the world how big and grown up they are now. Just because their corrupt leaders have managed to amass enough dirty money to bribe the governing bodies of world sport.

The biggest and best thing we can offer to the world is just within our reach if we choose to grasp it.

We can, just by not trying too hard, show the world a better way.

So please Dave, put your ego away, save us a few quid and show the world what’s really important.

Jeremy Clarkson and ORD

Please take a moment to consider the following:

When asked a question relating to an event you haven’t witnessed, should you

1) Give an opinion expressing your shock, horror and disgust?

2) Decline to comment until you have acquainted yourself with the relevant information?

Well, from where I sit it looks like you have a 50/50 chance of making the right call. How come then that so many supposedly  intelligent people got it so wrong last week when they expressed their shock, horror and disgust with Jeremy Clarkson’s comments on the One Show.

Any argument about the content of his comments paled into insignificance compared with the ridiculously unintelligent and ill informed  comments of trade unionists and others suggesting that Mr Clarkson should be sacked by the BBC.

Anyone who did bother to watch the programme and listen to the supposedly shocking comments will know that it was, when taken in context, an intelligently crafted joke about the BBC’s polices regarding  journalistic balance. It was obvious to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear that the public sector strike wasn’t even the primary target.

I conclude that this seems to be another manifestation of what could be called ORD: Outrage Readiness Disorder. A very sad condition that seems to be spreading rapidly from its origins in the Tunbridge Wells area.

The only way I can see of avoiding a mass cull is the possible development of a vaccine. However, it may already be too late in which case the Clarkson hypothesis will have to be followed. All sufferers of ORD should  be taken….  Well you know the rest!

Chaos, Fate and None So Blind

 I have of late been considering the idea of fate. It started quite unexpectedly a few months ago. Out of the blue I had an idea for an art installation. It seemed at the time to be concerned with Chaos Theory and intelligent design. What has subsequently become clear, or at least less unclear, is that it was or is about fate.

Not, I hasten to add, the  it’s all written in the stars rubbish. No, I am talking about everything that happens being a consequence of something else and thus our own human actions are not as we like to imagine within our power to dictate.

Given a certain set of circumstances, combination of genes and experiences, we can only react in one way. So uncomfortable a notion is this for us to consider that most people refuse point blank to even think about it. Thus it seems to be true. There are none so blind as those who will not see.