Tag Archive: RATE

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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Awful BBC, Xenophobic Road Accident Reporting

Students die in India as bus plunges into river

Indian police officers look down from a bridge at the wreckage of a bus after an accident in Sawai Madhopur district, nearly 185 kilometres west of Jaipur, India, Monday, March 15, 2010. (AP / Rajasthan Patrika)

Indian police officers look down from a bridge at the wreckage of a bus after an accident in Sawai Madhopur district, nearly 185 kilometres west of Jaipur, India, Monday, March 15, 2010. (AP / Rajasthan Patrika)

The above headline is awful enough for the people involved, but in reality, it’s subject, a road crash, is common enough in my own country, the UK.

What is really bad is how the BBC is reporting this.  They should know better but essentially, they’ve reported verbatim the same “superiority complex” story being bandied about the globe in a “mass denigration” of India, (see here and here for instance), originally sourced from AP and which includes the objectionable phrase,

Road accidents claim hundreds of Indian lives every year. Most are blamed on bad driving or poor roads and vehicles.

There are two things wrong with this:

ONE:  The statistics are incorrect and they imply that somehow India is much worse than anywhere else.

TWO: The causes of accidents are reported as if they are specific to India, e.g. bad driving, vehicles, roads.  This is obviously wrong – my personal experience and the accounts of countless others tell me so….

Statistics

People are killed on the roads in far greater numbers than “hundreds” as the BBC and everyone else is saying.  Not only that, India’s figures are in the thousands, not hundreds, the same as every other country on the planet!…

You see,  ~4,000 are killed in the UK and ten times that, ~40,000 are killed in the USA!    Every year.

In the USA it’s so bad now that the main cause of death for people aged from 5 to 27 is on the road! (source)

Bad Driving? Bad Writing? Bad Editing?

So is it okay to compare bald figures?  What are they?

Of course, the statistics for India are hard to come by.  But this website for 1998 gives road deaths figures for India, North America and Europe as:

  • India:               217k
  • N. America:     49k
  • Europe:             66k

From Wikipedia, these are the (2008) figures for population of the three areas:

  • India:               1,150M
  • N. America:     528M
  • Europe:             830M

So from these figures, road traffic deaths per 100,000 persons are:

  • India:               18.8
  • N. America:     9.3
  • Europe:             8.0

So India is about twice as bad as the two major OECD areas in the world, for road deaths as a percentage of population size….  Not that we can all sit easy in our Western smugness….  there are still 10 people dying every day in the UK, on the road.

(I know the above calculations are back-of-fag-packet stuff and the data doesn’t line up correctly, date-wise.  As I said, Indian data is hard to come by. This document makes plain that the OECD median is 7.8 for 2007, which is close to my calculations, and my calculation uses figures from the same year for each geographical zone down a given metric.)

USA Paradox?

But what about the distance travelled?  Surely Americans drive more and thus crash more compared to their fellow Europeans which will lower their rates?

This document again makes plain that the above supposition is false!  When allowance is made for distance travelled, the USA fares only slightly worse than the UK for deaths per 100 million vehicle kilometres; 0.8 compared to 0.6

But this “slightly worse”, in percentage terms, is about the same as the whole variation across all OECD countries, N. America and Europe as seen above.  This means, that Americans DO drive farther, but they still crash at their same higher rate compared to Europeans.

Conclusion

Wolseley StreetWhere does this leave India?  As I said, the data is hard to come by.  But that’s not the point, is it?

The point is that the reporting of this bridge crash is being done in a mocking, superior way, and we have nothing at all to be smug about in the arena of road deaths.

NOTHING.

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What’s So Special About July 16th?

Crikey! I Never Realised!

Maybe certain days have relevance above their station and mere numerical nomenclature?  Who knows.  So read on.  See what happened today!

622 AD  – The Hijra of Muhammad

The Name Muhammad written in Classic Calligraphy

The Name Muhammad written in Classic Calligraphy

Muhammad runs away from Mecca to escape persecution.  From this point forward, huge swathes of the globe took up Islam, Islamic empires spread across, Africa, Asia and half of Europe; the legacy of which self-evidently exists today.  Okay, there’s huge argument about this, but some people take this as the day.  Personally, I don’t know enough about it, but I need something to match the post’s title, and other writers do take this as the day.  Wikipedia says this, and who am I to argue?

The Muslim dates are in the Islamic calendar extended back in time. The Western dates are in the Julian calendar. The lunar year is about 300/309 solar year. The Hijra is celebrated annually on 8 Rabi’ I, about 66 days after 1 Muharram, the first day of the Muslim year. Many writers confuse the first day of the year of the Hijra with the Hijra itself, erroneously stating that the Hijra occurred on 1 Muharram AH 1 or 16 July 622.

All dates given above may have occurred about 89 days (three lunar months) earlier. The Muslim dates may be those recorded in the original Arabic calendar and their month names may not have been changed to account for the (probably three) intercalary months inserted during the next nine years until intercalary months were prohibited during the year of Muhammad’s last Hajj (AH 10).

1260 AD – Nichiren Expounds “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”

Nichiren statue in Japan

Nichiren statue in Japan

Speaking to 13th century feudal Japan, Nichiren the monk said that the calamities and disasters befalling the people were all due to incorrect lifestyles.  He insisted that all people were equal and free, that they should pay heed to people who were obviously skilled in their chosen field, and that they should do their best in the limited lifetime available.

Largely, he was ignored, and so half the country starved because of self-interest and malice.

And this is exactly the place where we find ourselves now across the globe.  We live on a world of limited resource, where many people choose to live their life by stealing from others, either as individuals or nations.  Nichiren’s words have as much relevance now as they ever did.  Here’s part of the writing:

I have pondered the matter carefully with what limited resources I possess, and have looked a little at the scriptures for an answer. The people of today all turn their backs upon what is right; to a person, they give their allegiance to evil. This is the reason that the benevolent deities have abandoned the nation and departed together, that sages leave and do not return. And in their stead devils and demons come, and disasters and calamities occur. I cannot keep silent on this matter. I cannot suppress my fears. – WND, page 7, “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”

Daisaku Ikeda has some similar words about today;  he says:

The powerful may appear great, but in reality they are not.  Greatest of all are the ordinary people.  If those in power lead lives of idle luxury it is because the people are silent.  We have to speak out.  With impassioned words, we need to resolutely attack abuses of power that cause people suffering.  This is fighting on the side of justice.  It is wrong to remain silent when  confronting injustice.  Doing so is tantamount to supporting and condoning evil.

I’ve quoted the above as a direct statement to those companies like Pacific Webworks, people like Jesse Willms and the misguided people of Utah who have misinterpreted their US constitution of freedom and capitalism as a freedom to steal from the needy as a means of amassing capital, all hiding under the umbrella “that it’s god’s work”.  If capitalism doesn’t serve the people, then it has no purpose.

Nichiren’s Buddhism is now growing at a phenomenal rate.  The time of change is now.

1918 AD –  Tzar Nicholas II of Russia and his family are killed by a Bolshevik firing squad at Ekaterinburg, Siberia.

Tsar Nicholas II and Family

Tsar Nicholas II and Family

One of the final acts of the Russian revolution occurred with the attempted elimination of all of the monarchy and any aspirants thereto.  This act changed history for the 20th century, it’s consequences evident even now by a powerful Russian people, proud of their history, somewhat ambivalent about the exact direction that leadership and authority should take.

On the night of 16/17 July 1918, the royal family was awakened around 2:00 am, told to dress, and led down into a half-basement room at the back of the Ipatiev house; the pretext for this move was the family’s safety – that anti-Bolshevik forces were approaching Ekaterinberg, and the house might be fired upon.

The executioners drew revolvers and the shooting began. Nicholas was the first to die; Yurovsky shot him multiple times in the head and chest. Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga, and Maria survived the first hail of bullets; the sisters were wearing over 1.3 kilograms of diamonds and precious gems sewn into their clothing, which provided some initial protection from the bullets and bayonets. They were stabbed with bayonets and then shot at close range in the head.

1945 AD – The world’s first atomic weapon is Exploded

Trinity Goes Boom

Trinity Goes Boom

Trinity, the first bomb is tested by the US at Alamogordo Air Base in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  Within a month, two more bombs had been dropped on Japan, effectively ending World War 2.  We, especially in the West, are living this legacy still.  It can be argued that the threat of total devastation (the theory of MAD) has made nations with the bomb more proactive in reasoned discussion and less likely to take arms against each other.  The converse is that the weapons will one day be used again and it’ll be the end of the world as we know it…

Tyger, tyger, burning bright

Tyger, tyger, burning bright

Unlike Oppenheimer, who had his own bit of Indian prose in mind, whenever I see the Trinity picture I hear William Blake.  It’s a beautiful picture, just as the bomb goes off.  What fearful symmetry?  In that split second, we see all that was and all that will be.

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

1969 AD – Man on The Moon

Apollo11 Launch

Apollo11 Launch

On this day, mankind set off to stand on a different celestial body.  Four days later, we’d done it.

Less than four centuries earlier, over much of our planet, you could be burned or stoned to death for even suggesting that the possibility existed that a “creation of god” could be imperfect or blemished, like the moon is.

Such is the progress we’ve made, yet even now, such events are like a dream within a dream.   The misogynist, nationalist, creationist forces are at work, attempting to roll back the clock to a time when they ruled the roost, and their hypocritical word was god .

But for now, we can say that men bravely stood on the Moon.

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Prime Minister and Expenses

Too Little, Too Late, Gordon Brown

This morning, PM Gordon Brown told Andrew Marr that he wants to ‘clean up’ parliament.
He wants a ‘code of conduct’ for MPs to follow.
The thing is, there’s already a code of conduct – it’s called the law!

All we,  ‘the people’ want, is to have reasonable laws and for people to follow them, equally.

Special Privileges

Gordon BrownMembers of Parliament are special. They have special responsibilities. In a nutshell, they represent us in the speaking house, the parler-a-ment. This simple fact makes them special. Within the speaking house they are allowed to say quite derogatory things about each other which in the outside world could be libellous. But this is the nature of the game. This is the special status that exists in Parliament for our representatives so that they can speak without fear or hindrance.

This simple freedom seems to have been forgotten.

Maelstrom

Maelstrom

Now they must all watch what they say, toe the party line, think of the future and their reputations…… Big Brother watches everything.

Now they think that they need extra-special status and self-justifiably grab whatever beneifits and remunerations they ‘think’ they are due.

This is the show we have now stumbled upon; evading tax, feathered nests and the nepotic practices of a third rate African despot, that is.

Greed

From left to right of the ruling classes, they’re greedily identical. Depending on how much wealth they currently have, their aspirations to further wealth naturally vary – but the greed in their minds is the same.

Shocked

The PM Gordon Brown has said he’s appalled and shocked by the revelations – despite being one of the ringleaders during the information-blocking process!   Now, in a further devious twist, in the interview, he’s not-so-subtly trying to shift the focus away from MPs again!

He just can’t stop it, can he?   He’s in total denial and his brain is in action debt!  Fiddle, fiddle,  fiddle.  Hide, hide, hide.

So yet another ‘code of conduct’ is supposed to be the panacea!   It’s just staggering ineptitude and a total denial of the events in recent financial history where our money systems, all obeying a ‘code of conduct’, all visibly folded. And he wants more of the same?

He says that he,

“…wants a clean-up of all public institutions – such as the NHS and the BBC”

This is the “smoke and mirrors” distraction, which could be all well and good, especially in the champagne-bottle-strewn corridors of the BBC.  Unfortunately for Brown, these institutions are already ‘code of conduct’-ed to the gunwales!

We need a Code of Conduct Czar we’ve got so many!  Call it OfCodeOfConduct!  OfCon for short, with the emphasis on Con.

NHS?

All changes since 1997 have been a Brown/Blair initiative. This means it’s their idea and their fault.  He can’t pass the buck!

Like MPs expenses, the power for change is as directly in his hands now as it always has been, and it’s disingenuous to shift blame again. He’s Prime Minister for fuck’s sake! If he can’t do it, what’s he for?

In fact, it reveals the depths of psychotic deception to which our leader, Gordon Brown, will plummet in a vain quest to change Britain (to what?) before the axe falls on him. He’s frantically grasping at straws, trying to stay afloat in the maelstrom of his own creation and management.

This psychosis means that all his good works (and to be fair, there have been many); minimum wage, better family allowances, better health service, 12 week operation wait, new hospitals, better child care, rail electrification etcthey are all as nought.

  • They’ve been completely cancelled out by the institutionalised corrupt practices at all levels of society under his watch.
  • Most will inevitably be rolled back by some future government, disguised as part of a ‘wider process of reform’, as they’ll say.

And if this future government is a bunch of Nazis then we’re in big do-dos.

Because the bad things that Brown & Blair have started – e.g.

  • the police state
  • surveillance everywhere
  • shoot to kill
  • war on terror
  • arrest and detention without trial for indefinite periods
  • torture
  • kidnapping
  • lies to further a war
  • massive reliance on databases and their subsequent loss!

…many of these won’t be rolled back. It’s that chip-chip away at freedom. Eventually when it’s all gone, then there’ll be a realisation. And if we don’t fall into the Maelstrom, there’ll be a bloodbath in it’s place…

What Must be Done?

Simple really.

  • Sack people who are incompetent with minimum compensation.    This means No Payment For Failure.  Make sure that this applies to politicians and all hitherto cushioned leaders, business or otherwise.  It’s what 99% of the population have to endure.  Enforce this by passage of a “Corrupt Payments and Bonus Law”.
  • Pass a law to retrospectively get money off the corrupt and incompetant bankers.  This is what we’d do in the fight against organised crime.  It’s what we do against dole-scroungers who’ve abused the system.   This is what we do against tax-evaders.   It’s the same thing – Just do it!
  • No more Codes of Conduct.  Make proper, morally clear, enforceable law.
  • An end to all priviledge.  Equal treatment under the law and one law for everyone.
  • Use the army to get our money back from Tax Havens.  Give them something useful to do instead of propping up heroin production in Afghanistan…  It’s our money that’s been siphoned off – go and get it.   We won’t need an ‘International Banking Code of Conduct’ for the future.  I mean, what would little Cayman, Bermuda and Lichenstein really do if a troop from Norton Manor Camp pull up at the front door of the ****** Bank Of ***** and ask for all our money back?  If the army can’t do that and protect the wealth of our nation, then retire them.

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Welcome to a Brave New World

Strangely post on May 31st, 2009
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome to the World of Outdoor Ceiling Fans

This morning I trapped some pingback comment spam.  “Nothing unusual in that for a WordPress junkie” you’ll be thinking.  And you’re right!

What is unusual is the irony of the targeted post and the  subject matter of the pinging website!

The comment targeted this post:  http://str…combatting-wordpress-trackback-comment-spam, and that’s the irony.  It’s the actual content and source that has changed my life…

Because I’ve now entered a windless, decadent realm, about which I’ve had no prior knowledge.  The realm of the:

Outdoor Ceiling Fan

I truly have never heard of such a thing.

  • My first thought, of course, was “where do you hang one, if you are outdoors?” – the moon?
  • My second thought is that if I’m outdoors, why would I need one?  Surely there’s enough wind?

outdoor ceiling fanChecking up on ye olde internete,  there are indeed such things.  It’s a sorry state of affairs when the natural world needs augmenting with such monstrosities.

The naffest thing is that it’s the definition of ‘outdoors’ that seems to have changed.  All the examples I’ve found (e.g. this one here), are actually indoors, but they’ve left the door open!  So in a world where millions die from food shortages and malaria, we simultaneously have consumer driven business for a need that does not exist.  Some sites even rate these things with ‘value for money’ scores!

Finale

I’ve let the pingback through but taken out it’s SEO URL.  It was at outdoorceilingfansite.info, an obfuscated domain.  This wonderful place had content scraped websites (mine being one) onto 2205 pages with 8 websites per page, in two minutes! My place in the hierarchy was 16562.

Somehow, it had acquired 9 ‘votes’ in these two minutes.  Other scrapes had similar random votes.  In fact, everyone had some votes!!!  Ha Ha.  There were no cheap ads and no redirects.  It’s just weird – a waste of everything from any viewpoint to choose.

Now where’s the moon lotion? (I don’t want to get burnt by the moon’s rays, do I?)

Postscript

A couple of hours later I got another one!  This time I’m ID 34198.  It’s as if the whole thing has been run again.  I wonder what their game is…?

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