Tag Archive: Petrol

Robots and Fuel Strikes – What Are People Supposed to Do?

The Role of Work – What Is It?

  • Robot waiters in China

    Robot waiters in China

    The role of work is at the heart of many societal norms, take the so-called “protestant work ethic”.

  • The current strikes in France, inspired by the fuel tanker driver strike, will have many of a “work ethic” mindset secretly envious but openly tut-tutting.
    •  http://www.thelocal.fr/20160526/french-fuel-crisis-4600-petrol-stations-run-dry
  • China, despite its vast available workforce, is expanding the world of robotics at a rate of 40% annually.
    • https://www.therobotreport.com/news/40-annual-growth-forecast-for-chinese-robotics

But what’s it about?

France

At the heart of the French issue is the unilateral imposition, without a vote, by the apparently socialist (but in reality just as no-liberal as the rest of the West) French government.  This imposes a relaxing of the 35 hour weekly work-time rule.

This is said to be good for employers.

China

Foxconn, one of the world’s largest computer & electronic equipment makers is ditching 60, 000 people, for robots!

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36376966

This is said to be good for…. erm….

Not Only That, But Also

Well, Big Mcdonald’s in the USA may be ditching workers for robots

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2016/05/24/fmr-mcdonalds-usa-ceo-35k-robots-cheaper-than-hiring-at-15-per-hour.html

Munch & Sleep

We all have to eat and in The West we use money to pay for it all.  We also pay for our dwellings and all the knick-knacks that make our lives what they are (studies thumb while blundering down high street with little box in hand).

The role of money in our lives and how we get it is paramount.

Now let’s consider those workers striking to keep their hours down, their money up and the role of robots in all of this, because it affects us all.

Sooner or later, most of us will have to consider our place in this robotic world.  Really.  What will you do?

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

French petrol staion queues, 2016

Workers Going Nowhere in France

  • Work is NOT the be-all and end-all of everything.
  • Happiness is the be-all and end-all of everything.  (n.b. not the pursuit of happiness, just your average, every day happiness.  Goddit?)

So if:

  • McDonald’s and other fast food outlets ditch real human workers for robots (maybe just a food window like on the Star Trek Enterprise?),
  • waiters are replaced by robots,
  • computer makers ditch real people for robots,
  • doctors and even surgeons are replaced by robots,
  • trains, planes, buses and cars are all driven by robots…

…then we will all have much more free time.

BUT, and it is a big but,

  • How will we pay for our free time?

And for all those tut-tutting about the French workers on strike and jealous of a fully paid 35-hour working week

  • Where will your job be?
  • Where will you get your money?
  • Where’s your protestant work ethic now?

How will universal happiness be attained?

Because:

  • Not everyone is blessed with the muses.
  • Not everyone can be a politician.
  • Not everyone can run quaint tea shops and sell tat to tourists.
  • Not everyone can be a plumber.

Don’t start the argument that people will be needed to fix the machines, the phones, the computers.  Electronic devices are consumables now and do not need fixing.  They just get replaced. The people that currently devise new machines have been redundant for many years.

In fact, most new computer circuitry is designed…by computer!

Terminated

…and with robots creating robots that do all the work, what place for people?  With decision-making robots, maybe the Terminator series are closer than we think?

Terminated

Terminated

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Use Loads of Water – Ignore Hosepipe Ban

Pre-Emptive rationing Behaviour

Cars Queue Needlessly for Fuel

Cars Queue Needlessly for Fuel

In the spirit of the recent government diktat from dorky Francis Maude  for all motorists to get into their cars, then queue for hours to buy up all available petrol, I’ve decided to jump the gun on the water shortage!

I’ve now run round the house turning all the taps on and put the lawn sprinklers on full blast because I’m just outside the hosepipe ban area.

Hosepipe Ban

Hosepipe Ban

Five Baths!

Five Baths!

My partner plans to have five baths today as well.

This will ensure that all the water is gone before the ban starts!

Punch And Judy

That’s the way to do it!

That’s the way to do it!

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Climate Change and Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper

I remember an old  Tommy Cooper gag that went something like this;

I went to the doctor and said,  “Doctor, doctor.  It hurts when I do this”  (Cooper raises his knee upwards to demonstrate)

The doctor said, “Well don’t do it, then

The point is that it’s exactly like our prolific consumption of carbon-based fuels, but even worse,  the now openly thought assumption that Global Climate Engineering is an antidote to global warming. An Elastoplast for the weather!  Ha Ha.

Because of the world’s dependence on burning carbon, no-one wants to stop doing it.  Economic growth, health, prosperity, comfort and status.   We can’t afford to.  No-one can.

A few days without petrol in 2000 in the UK demonstrated that admirably.

Why, oh why, didn´t I take the blue pill ?

Why, oh why, didn´t I take the blue pill ?

So instead of reducing consumption, all the mad-cap ideas ever invented are now being loudly mooted which will put it into people’s heads that not only are they possible, but also that they will happen People will think that climate change is like an illness, and can be treated with an aspirin.

But it’s not.

The trouble is, that all the ideas are possible, but the consequences have never been tested.  Because it’s the climate on the world we inhabit, there is no dummy test run for any of these plans.  And because the Thermo-haline Circulation (THC) in the oceans takes ~1000 years to complete it’s full circuit, and because the THC is a major component of the Earth’s climate (because water and salt are such good heat stores), any changes we make now and have made in the past, will take centuries to smooth out.  In short…..

We’ve got one shot at it.

Royal Society afforability and effectivness graph

Royal Society afforability and effectivness graph

There are host of ideas; wave-powered pumps to speed up ocean circulation; salt crystals in the sky to increase planetary albedo; space mirror to reflect sunlight;  grind up scrap cars for ocean fertilisation to increase algal growth; artificial trees (to replace the ones we’ve chopped down?) – in short, heaps of them.

But none have been tested and none can ever, ever, be tested.  There is no sandbox area.  No roll-back facility.  No system restore.  No Backup.  That’s it.  It’s all or nothing.

Q. Why?  A. Because the climate is a very complex thing and errors done at the macroscopic level will take millennia to work out of the system, if at all.  Remember, the climate doesn’t smoothly vary. It swings wildly between two or more stable states, currently “Ice Age” and “Not quite Ice Age“.

The simplest way to reduce global warming, and at the same time make our nations less strategically dependant on others, and without all the problems of over-compensation, is just as Tommy Cooper’s doctor said,

Don’t Do It!

Don’t burn so much, don’t consume so much.

The tipping point, from the guys at the Royal Society and James Lovelock, will be when I’m about 75.  Reduced pensions in my old age will be the least of my worries!

desolation-wilderness

Further Reading

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Henry Vacuum Cleaner and Powered Flight

Well I Never!

Numatic HVR200-22 Henry..should be the title of this post.  Having lived in the South-West for nearly quarter of a century, it’s come as a complete shock to me to discover that my favourite vacuum cleaner (if there is such a thing, I’m now defining it here!) is little old Henry, and it’s made about 20 miles from here in Bridgwater!

Henry Mk 1 (or 2 possibly)

I first bought one in 1986 when the babies started arriving.  It lasted, and lasted and lasted.  It had a 1kW motor, little dinky wheels and a smile.  It could suck the carpet off the floor.  Below, is a really daft video of someone vacuuming with one from that era.. ?? (youtube never ceases to amaze me)

Dyson Animal

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John Stringfellow's Flying Machines

When the motor & fan finally packed in by wearing so much that there was hardly any suck, we got a Dyson Animal.  What a mistake that was.  No suck and yes, there was a filter that needed cleaning perpetually under a running tap and then took ages to dry…  When it worked, it didn’t lose suction, just like the advert said –  but there again, it never had much in the first place!

The Henry lasted over 15 years – the Dyson we left out on the pavement after 18 months in the hope that someone would swipe it – which they did.  I expect they thought they were getting a bargain.

Miele 600

In 2003 I got  a little yellow Miele which worked very well for me but was chucked out by Jillian as she didn’t like it, after a year or so.  However, the benefit was that she walked in with a…

Henry HVR200-22

This has worked fine for 3 years but now needs a replacement head.  Fortunately, this is no problem as the factory, I’ve just found out, is down the road in Chard.

Chard – the Birthplace of Powered Flight

You see, all I thought Chard was famous for was it’s lace and for being the site of the world’s first powered, man-carrying aeroplane flight…

Yes it was!  Over half a century before the Wright Brothers at Kittihawk.  see link at Chard Museum.

I Love Chard Decorated Mouse PadIt was steam powered(!!) and launched inside a disused lace mill down a guide wire.  This was remarkably similar to the Wright’s Flyer which was launched down a guide rail to get up speed in a similar way.

The museum’s article has different information to mine which I’ve got from various sources.  My take is that it wasn’t Stringfellow who did the flight, but his manservant!

Upon landing, his manservant refused to go in the machine again, even when offered a five pound note – a lot of money in 1848!

Vacuum Cleaner beyond Excellence!

Numatic HVR200M-22 Henry Micro Vacuum Cleaner, Microtex Filtration System, 1200WWell now I’ve found that Chard is famous for something much more practical than a history lesson, and it’s a real innovative success story (see company history here) employing 700 local people.

And now, I’ve had a bizarre request from my daughter to get her a Henry for her birthday present.  Women are weird.  But I’m considering it because of her asthma. ;-)

Bad Joke Alert

Back in 1987, the Piper Alpha oil platform exploded in the North Sea, killing many men, mostly in horrible ways.  In the office where I worked, the black humour started up immediately.  There are two endings to the question;

Q.  Where do oil rig workers go on holiday?

A.  Burnham on Sea

or…

A.  Chard

Sorry about that.  Fortunately, my mind has forgotten the even worse jokes surrounding the Lockerbie bombing only six months later.  That was one bad office.

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Blog Stats and Sex Machines

Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews (Hardcover)Website blog stats can be very revealing. Someone in Australia recently did a search to find this website and another good return was this book on the Amazon website.

If there’s ever one word or subject that attracts the eye is the word SEX.  Attach it to MACHINE and then  make it into a DIY book and you’re flying!  Such was the genesis of the Crawling Chaos track “Sex Machine”, although to be truthful, there’s more to it than just plain sex as I remarked on this earlier posting.

Costume of Penises

Costume of Penises

The fact that the machine depicted on the book’s cover is based on a petrol driven garden strimmer would, I would have thought, make anyone think twice about about shoving such a thing inside their body cavities – but what do I know?

And finally, please have another titter at the man in the knob-suit.

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