The Truth

It’s wrong to lie.

It’s your honour.

These are both slightly different ways of saying the same thing I think. We expect people to be honourable and largely I think that means that actions should match the words that people say. We expect people to essentially tell the truth, to speak words which are not false.

I’d considered this a lot over my life. What is “honour”? What does it mean to be honourable? How can we measure this aspect of life? I spent quite a while thinking about it from a religious point of view. People have died for what they say they believe. People have been tortured and not rescinded their stated views about which god or set of beliefs is theirs.

I don’t entirely understand that. I think that is because I have a level of un-belief beyond most. I don’t believe that god is real and therefore it doesn’t matter what you say about it. It doesn’t matter what magic spell you whisper before you go to bed, none of it will do a thing. If I was required to, I would lie about my belief to continue living, but ultimately I know that doesn’t matter. St. Peter isn’t going to be waiting for me to tell me I fucked up by lying about my belief.

However, we expect people to be honourable. We expect people to tell the truth. If we are to accept what people are then we need that level of trust that we see them how they really are. Which means the truth.

If you want to be in a relationship, whether friendship or romantic, then it’s likely there needs to be truth for the relationship to be trustworthy. For partner A to rely on B a level of trust needs to be developed, this requires actions to match up with words that are said [I think I’ve just sold the religion issue I mentioned earlier, I have to relationship with religion or god and so don’t care].

How can you trust someone who constantly lies or rebuts you with little lies?

[An aside on little lies – we all make little lies. Lying is a very early trait of humans that is learnt. People are remarkably good a lying. It’s why it’s hard to tell if someone is lying or not. NEWS ALERT – LIE DETECTORS DON’T WORK.]

So, lying. Little lies are things that make life a little more comfortable and seem to have few side effects. We use these constantly as people to make our lives a little easier each day. It’s easy. It’s learnt behaviour.

Proper lies are a different matter. How can you trust a person who lies about things that matter?

[Another aside – “things that matter” is a continuum and and the level of consequence will be different for different people.]

You can’t develop trust if someone lies about what they said or what their actions were or what happened. Without trust you don’t have a relationship. These had been my thoughts until about three years ago. I’d been bemused by the idea of honour because I thought about it mostly framed within the religion question.

So let’s talk about politicians.

We now have world leaders who lie. Blatantly.

We have always expected politicians to be slimy bastards. We have always know that politicians or other people in power are expected to do things and then try to explain what they did in the slipperiest terms so that the “spin” is that they look good. We have always expected politicians to not lie. I don’t think we expected them to tell the truth all the time but we don’t expect them to lie. We expect them to squirm their way around the issues and leave the question unanswered while they sit in the knowledge that they “got away with that one”.

We have always a vague level of honour amongst politicians that at least they wouldn’t outright lie. They might skirt the issue but, when pressed, they would be “honourable”. That’s why in the past politicians would resign straight away from their government post if they were caught lying. They would understand that the measure of trust has been reduced to zero with those lies. They would resign as a politician though, of course not, they’d still be selected by their local party because people are stupid.

Then you get tow main things in the western world.

TRUMP

BREXIT

The vote for Brexit was based on lies and influence from foreign agents. Even when caught out politicians like Gove and Johnson just carry on. They haven’t resigned. They haven’t apologised for the lies they told. They are still in their jobs and still in power. The level of trust between the public and those politicians and politicians in general has been eroded because of the lies told and still being told by the pro-Brexit groups.

Trump lies. All the time. Demonstrably. He’s also a racist, white supremacist. However, he lies. Constantly. How can there be a level of trust with this man? It doesn’t matter what he says because he’s lying or doubling down and his actions don’t match his words. There is still a massive industry of news in the USA and the world that hangs on his every word because of his position of power in the world. Yet, he lies. There can be no trust.

The way to hurt Trump the most would be to remove the press corps from him. To remove him entirely from the news cycle, except for Fox news I guess, that would hurt the narcissistic orange man-baby.

What’s worse is that his approval ratings are STILL HOVERING AT ABOUT 40%. It’s clear that some of the public don’t care about what he says or that he’s lying. They just know he’s “their man”. Fuck This Shit.

Also, those local party selection committees, for Gove and Johnson and all the others who have blatantly lied, they keep electing those lying arses to represent their constituency in parliament. Those people are selfish fuckers but I think I shall leave my derision for them for another day.

It’s only when things mess up that you realise just how good things were for you I think. I don’t think the Blair/Obama governments were perfect but it is quite clear that they were better than the world leaders we have today. Man, this world is depressing at the moment.

Sundays

I woke up this morning with a mild worry that I hadn’t added to these communications for a while. I then thought about a really easy one to write, it wouldn’t take a huge effort and required no pictures or special formatting. Then, as I approached the computer, I forgot entirely what it was I was going to write about.

Anyway, I’m missing American Football loads at the moment. Some people have talked to be about it and I suddenly realised that there hasn’t been any NFL since early February and I’m bored. I’m very much looking to August when the pre-season starts.

There was a power cut in the village and it turned out that we were being electricitised from mobile generated burning diesel fuel and being quiet but pretty loud if you lived nearby, at least the sound was a constant thrum rather than anything that swells and dips.

MEMS Power Services
MEMS Power Services

The power is back on now and I even had a text from the power company telling me there was going to be a short break in the power supply. I was out, which isn’t much use, because there are certain elements in my house that like to be powered down properly. The PS4, the NAS Drive and the PC all moaned at me about not being powered down correctly. At least the Pi seems un-bothered by it all. Also, IP acquisition from the router can be iffy sometimes on a power up, the SONOS system has issues occasionally.

I bought some Bic 4 coloured pens. I think I’ve come around to the idea that four colours in one pen is incredibly useful, especially when doing work-trips and cadet stuff. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with me spotting pilots using them while I was at RAF Wittering recently.

I bought a board game called They Come Unseen. It’s a strategy game where you either play a submarine commander or a soviet bad guy. I’ve not played it yet, but am looking froward to doing so. I’ll probably do it in a few years, it’d be quite a cool thing to do with some CCF staff on a camp, but I suspect they won’t be up for it.

The first box that came with They Come Unseen had parts missing which was quite a surprise so I let Amazon know and they posted a complete version to me the next day and it was easy to send the original one back.

I really want to go to the Royal International Air Tattoo. I’ve never been and I think it will rival an 80s Mildenhall airshow for experience.

Will I go and see End Game? That is quite a question. I find I don’t really care about the MCU but I suppose I will go and finish the story.

Words Not Justified

The normal “I’m working hard for you” leaflet came through the door yesterday from the local MP Tracey Crouch.

There are paragraphs explaining what she’s doing for “infrastructure” which largely means traffic management because that’s the sort of stuff that pisses people off on a daily basis. It’s something that is easy to do but doesn’t really solve the bigger issues. I guess there are legitimate reasons for an MP to get involved with this at a local level.

There’s a paragraph about how the MP is helping to look after the older people and this is good news as we should all learn to look after people and be nice. But the cynic in me can’t help but think that it’s old people who vote for the Tories.

I was impressed that Tracey Crouch resigned her ministerial position over her own party’s government not changing the law on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. It just about forced the government to do something but the idea that it needed a minister to resign for the Tory government to want to do something to help people shows what contempt they have for the poor.

My biggest issue is with the following text at the top of the news leaflet:

“I want to reassure residents that I am working hard to deliver a Brexit that 65% of local people voted for.

These are challenging times but I believe that Chatham & Aylesford residents voted to leave the EU full in the knowledge of all the varying pros and cons and that is what I will strive to deliver.”

These words have angered me immensely. First, I want to break down the 65% number. The records for the referendum are broken down by local council area rather than constituency area. Tracey Crouch is MP for Chatham and Aylesford which contains part of Medway and also part of Tonbridge and Malling local council areas.

Medway voted OUT at a rate of 64% of those who voted but when total electorate is taken into consideration only 46% percent of those eligible to vote voted to leave the EU. [total electorate=192524, remain=49889, leave=88997 using numbers from Electoral Commission website].

Tonbridge and Malling voted out at a rate of 55.7% of those who bothered to turn up to vote. Once again, once the total electorate is taken into consideration the rate who voted to leave the EU is 44%. [total electorate=93019, remain=32792, remain=41229].

How my local MP can claim that 65% of local people voted to leave is ridiculous. She is taking the most extreme value possible from the referendum results. As her constituency contains residents from both the local authority areas it seems extremely likely that the actual number who wanted Brexit is remarkably low. By combining both areas the overall result is 44% to leave the EU.

My next problem with the few words the MP wrote in the leaflet is that she believes residents voted to leave the EU full in the knowledge of all the varying pros and cons. I disagree with this statement in its entirety. From polling we know that many people have differing views on what they were voting for. For some it was to end immigration, for others it was to stop those bloody Europeans interfering in our laws and so on. I suspect that all of those who voted to leave would explain what they wanted differently. The national debate was framed poorly and used fear of immigration to push a point while not explaining that we aren’t part of Schengen and so have control anyway.

If we had told people that their phone roaming charge would probably come back once we leave the EU I think some would have changed their mind. If the electorate had understood that to sell things to the EU we would have to maintain their current standards for manufacturing and all future standards without any say in those regulations I thin they would have changed their votes.

If people had a multitude of things explained to them then they may have voted differently. Obviously you are going to have those people whose views can’t be persuaded by facts or those who are just racist but I’m sure plenty would have voted differently if the benefits of being in the EU had been stated more clearly and if people had understood how the EU works.

The whole process of the referendum was driven by hate and fear and pushed by the right wing press. People didn’t understand what they were voting for and they all had different ideas of what the result would be.

So, the numbers don’t really stack up to support the MP’s view of how to approach all the decisions she needs to make during this period of debate on leaving the EU in parliament. I honestly believe that an MP should always do what is best for the future of the people in their constituency even if that means fucking them over and getting voted out because the people didn’t like it. We all like eating sugary desserts while fully in the knowledge that we will develop type 2 diabetes. The people don’t always know what is best for them.

Also, the concept that people understood what they were voting for two years ago is plainly ridiculous. Even if you asked people now I don’ t think they can agree on what “leaving the EU ” really means.

This whole thing is tearing this country apart and while we are doing this we are ignoring the general causes of the decision by not giving a shit about the chronic under investment in everything over the last ten years. We should be spending money to look after people and invest for the future. Instead we are slowly creating and economic and social collapse to suit the vagaries of personality in the tory party.

Midnight

I’ve been thinking about time. Well, let’s face it I think about lots of things all the time but time is problematic. I was mostly thinking about this at the turn of the year, when 2018 magically turned into 2019 or the start of the nth journey around the sun when starting from an arbitrary point. I mean starting the new year on the day after the shortest day for the northern hemisphere would be more sensible but I guess we could have a war with the southern hemisphere about that.

Midnight is the first moment of the next day. When the clock hits 00:00 that is the start of the next day. The previous day ends at a moment which is the limit of all time before 00:00. Twelve AM is the beginning of that day. Such is the definition.

Now, here’s the problem and it involves language and colloquialisms as is often the case with problems about definitions. Within mathematics there are plenty of words which have specific definitions in the subject and different meanings in casual language, I mean that was designed that way originally to exclude the masses from education.

So, if I said to you I will meet you “at midnight on Thursday” then it is likely that we would be talking about meeting at the boundary between Thursday and Friday. But, if I said I’d meet you at 12am on Thursday that would probably mean we were still meeting at the boundary between Thursday and Friday but in reality that time is the boundary between Wednesday and Thursday.

Thinking about this now I think it would be only me having problems with a meeting time of “midnight on Thursday” and in a group discussion I would be the one asking for clarification whereas everyone else would be perfectly happy with the understanding of the meeting time. Oh how I hate language sometimes.

My Voice Is My Passport

This calendar year my passport runs out, during July. I want to get out of this place in August and so I need a new passport.

So, I looked online and found the information about how far in advance I can apply, what documentation I need and how much it costs to get free passage across non-existent lines between countries.

I had to do the following:

  • Fill in the online form
  • Pay £75 or so
  • Take a new photo
  • Send old passport back
  • Wait

I have to say the whole experience was really good. I could use my phone to take a new picture and upload that via the website. Then the money thing was easy also. Lastly I had to send my old passport back via the standard post.

Within two days of posting I had a text message telling me they had my old passport and that the forms and pictures had checked out and I should await my new passport. I do think this is impressive service for a government department. One more day passes and I am told the new passport is posted and should be with me shortly.

It turned up and was shortly followed by my old passport with the corner cut out.

You’ll be pleased to know that I still look like a thug.

Well, That Was Just Weird

There have been PYO Pumpkin signs around this way for a few weeks and I thought it would be something quite fun to do. Whenever I run the route by the Malta Inn I pass the field and so I knew where it was.

When I arrived the car park was half full with around 100 vehicles. There were many people working there and it was just the most bizarre site. Over in the far corner was a burger bar and drinks van! The whole field looked mostly empty with pumpkins and squash laying everywhere. There was some maize on the eastern flank.

Harvest
Harvest

It was like a battle field with dead men and the detritus of war littered over the field. But it was monetised. Many people were on hand to help and make sure you spent lots. All the pumpkins were ready cut and so there was a lot of time and effort that had gone into this enterprise.

The Result
The Result

Fixed – Hopefully

There haven’t been any new communications in a while because I have been going through about sixty of them to sort out embedded picture links. I wrote about this here, where I explained that some of my OneDrive pictures weren’t really working within my website.

I could see them, but I think that was because my computer was logged into OneDrive or at least had cookies saying it was logged in. When I checked in an “incognito” window the pictures didn’t show.

The main aim of this embedding was to save space on my server and use the space on my OneDrive allowance as I keep pictures there anyway. I’ve just checked my web server space and I have 100GB, I’m currently at I-Don’t-Know! The web managing tool doesn’t seem to have me down as using any space. Strange! I’ll have another look another time.

Anyway, all communications should have pictures that work! If they don’t work then let me know, my units of readers.

Pictures Of Things

My recent review of the Emoji Movie was going to include some stuff about me, but I decided to give more words to another communication.

People I chat to are largely around my age. Which is pretty much old. I’m more than likely in the second half of my life.

I have ways of communicating with these friends which could be proper phonecalls, twitter, text, this website and Whatsapp. Different friends use different communication methods. That’s just how it is. I don’t really have rules about things but I can tell you this:

I Don’t Use Emojis.

I can sometimes stretch to an emoticon. I reckon this is mostly to do with the fact that I don’t understand what the emojis mean. They are too small and I can’t be bothered to learn. Therefore I don’t use them.

If I do use an emoji then it’s normally a wink or smile. Many of the others are useless for my conversation. Grumpy and old, that’s me.

 

 

[I lied, I have many many rules]

Blue Birds And All That

No, I don’t mean Bluebirds of the Clan Campbell variety, they are entirely different and not covered in this communication. This communication deals with the rare communication device of the Second World War where the country listened to a female sing propaganda about the White Cliffs. This is the sort of jingoistic bullshit we see our country faced with at the moment. All this Brexit shit. Anyway, here are some photographs of a recent trip to Dover to see the port.

Handbrake Turn
Handbrake Turn

It was foggy and so a wonderfully bad day to visit the cliffs. I was hoping to see France but, at times, I couldn’t see my hand!

HM Coastguard
HM Coastguard

Now for a view of some calcium carbonate.

White Cliffs
White Cliffs

While in the area I also went to see the Louis Blériot Memorial. I didn’t get a photo of it, but I did take this one of the castle in the mist.

Dover Castle and Bora Horza Gobuchul
Dover Castle and Bora Horza Gobuchul

Finally, here’s a photo of some collected chalk pieces. It’s quite a satisfying photo but I am unsure why.

Chalk
Chalk

Carbon Footprint

I recently ordered a day-sack cover from a company using Amazon. It arrived and I was somewhat shocked.

Packaging!
Packaging!

The rest of the box had that paper-stuff in it to hold the rain cover in place. I have written about this before in this communication.

While this sort of packaging excess does seem a waste I’ve got some other ideas. Fuel use for transporting goods is largely dependent on the mass of the object. So although the box added something to the mass it was still reasonably light and so not a huge carbon drain. If the box is recycled then it doesn’t really matter about how much cardboard there was. There’s probably more carbon used in making the plastic wrapper of the item than in the box, as long as the box comes from a sustainable source.

So, upon reflection this excessive packaging may not be as bad a first thought.

I do think that eventually everything will be labelled with a “carbon factor” to make people aware of just how much carbon they emit and how well we are fucking the planet. Because we are. It is fucked. Utterly fucked. I am glad I will be dead in one hundred years. There are going to be wars over water, food and power. I am just very sorry that my children, or potential grandchildren, will be involved in that and the people to blame will all be dead. My parents’ generation and mine have screwed this planet over.

I could be calmed, I guess, by fluffy cat or dog pictures. But they don’t distract me from the bullshit. They reinforce our collective ability to ignore all that is going on.