It’s Dying

We all need distractions I guess and maybe laughing at the poor on the Jeremy Kyle show was one of those. It was a way to feel better about ourselves, a way of looking at people who suffer and try but ultimately are just a passing fad for those of us who are OK at the moment, thank you very much.

Perhaps that’s why people watch bollocks like Eastenders and other soap operas where everything happens to everyone because if everyone tried to get along and be nice to each other it wouldn’t be worth watching and it wouldn’t provide escapism.

I’m certainly clear in my head about why I like science fiction. It’s nerdy and requires a little science knowledge but space type stuff often provides a glorious distraction to the mundane. It gives me the chance to live elsewhere and think about the implications of travel and technology that won’t happen in my lifetime.

In reality it’s all fucked isn’t it? Brexit, politics, the planet, it’s fucked. It’s dying. The single GREATEST threat to the human population wherever you live at the moment is the fact that the world is on fire. It’s really depressing. I’m hoping I’m dead before the Water Wars start. They are going to be terrible.

All those politicians worried about maintaining power and trying to get your vote using short-term gains and short-term give-aways. Not one of them is standing up for the planet. We need RADICAL change to society and how everything works. We need to save this planet. I’m not normally pessimistic about things but the planet is dying through human abuse and it’s going to kick us the fuck back and quite rightly too.

I’m scared for the future of my children and the fears that they will face as they get older. I’m scared for my unborn descendants because it’s all going to be shit. Take a look around the world and see where the action is to provide a future for people on this planet. It’s not there. Consumption-capitalism is driving this world to ruin while at the same time killing those who are poor and have little. It’s disgusting. We should be promoting a social-environmental-capitalism. Governments need to incentivise social and environmental good-doing.

It’s not like this is new. We’ve known about climate change and carbon emissions for over forty years. NOT a thing has been done in my life time that will drastically alter the way the planet is going to react. It’s all a nightmare. I’m not sure humans are mature enough to do anything about it either. I’m hoping that the generation after me, once they assume power when the baby boomers and generation X die off can cope and end up being nice to each other and working to create an Earth for the future.

I see the newer generation of politicians kicking back against the obscene capitalism of the last one hundred years and are now talking about social responsibilities and they seem to be speaking a more gentle kind of politics trying to go after the aging fuckers who have taken everything they can and created personal wealth beyond necessity. Here’s hoping that people like AOC can start to change the world to actual care about each other.

In the mean time the Daily Mail and other institutions that gain their power from the want and blinkered view of the older generations print articles implying that solar farms are wrong and will ruin your view.

A "News" Article
A “News” Article

The headline should have been “locals fight planet saving solar farm (stupid cunts)”. But then the exact people fighting this farm and the ones who read the Mail because they are all old and white. Fuck the Mail.

More amusingly, in thirty years the Hardy countryside won’t look like that at all because the climate will have changed so much it’ll be barren and all the locals will have died of malaria.

HHOM

Just got back from a lovely weekend being trained in quite specific skills to do with a particular system. I was billeted at Halton House Officers’ Mess and I am glad the course changed from RAF Wittering to RAF Halton. I hadn’t stayed or seen Halton House before Friday and I was slightly worried I’d never get to see it as Halton might be shutting down.

Halton House Officers' Mess
Halton House Officers’ Mess

The light was pretty good when I arrived and you can see that in the picture. I try not to use filters as I think that’s cheating, unless there is a very specific effect you are going for. The above picture is filter-less, just aperture adjustments. I was given Room 8. This looked out over the main balcony.

The Salon
The Salon

The Salon, above, is the main hall but we don’t call halls halls anymore. In this particular picture my room was in the top right hand part of the balcony. It was such an amazing place to stay and I took photographs of every room.

The Staircase
The Staircase

The staircase has one of the best rise/step ratios I have seen and it is perfect for people in flowing dresses. I should have taken one with me and glided down this artifact. The house was bought by the air ministry after one of the Rothschilds didn’t want it and sold it at auction. It’s a lovely place and one I can tick off my list of great places to visit that are quite difficult as a member of the public.

The house has been used in numerous films, even a Bond film, and you can see a list on Wikipedia.

My Window
My Window is one of these

K Qual

I just spent a weekend of good fun at a training camp near Folkestone. I was on my K qualification it involved spending some time at the Hythe Ranges run by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and they are part of the Defence Training Estate. According to the DTE website:

An area of low lying, slightly undulating land adjoining the foreshore. Hythe Ranges is one of the oldest ranges in the country and has been used for live firing for nearly 200 years. The whole area is steeped in military history. There are two Martello Towers on Hythe Ranges, and a “Grand Redoubt” fortification at Dymchurch. These were built in the early 1800s to resist potential invasion by Napoleon.

On the Saturday there the weather was somewhat changeable! We had moments of delightfully warm sunshine and a few minutes later we were in a hail storm. We had to do our job in all weathers because there’s only so much time you can be booked onto the range.

Hythe Ranges
Hythe Ranges

I love the clouds and colours in this picture, the light was stunning. In this picture you can see the bullet catcher, one of the Napoleonic Martello Towers and in the bottom left there is part of a Hythe Frame. The Hythe Frame is used to raise and lower targets on the shooting range. It is a manual device and I really enjoyed using it although the sound of bullets passing overhead was a little disconcerting.

Avengers: End Game

I went to see End Game. At Rochester. The tide was middling and I don’t know whether it was ebbing or flooding. At the time I was more concerned with trying to get through the whole three hours of movie that I was feeling quite “meh” about.

Here’s the “view” from where I parked my car.

Three Medway Bridges
Three Medway Bridges

I rated the film on IMDB and there’s a communication here that explains the scoring system. I then shared my score through Twitter. That private platform that allows a worldwide voice to everyone, even racists and Nazis.

So, what did I think? Mostly I thought it was fine. It wasn’t a terrible movie and it wasn’t good. It was middling. A perfectly acceptable film.

The movie goes DEPRESSED MOODY, CLEVER MOODY, SUCCESS MOODY and finally AHHH THAT’S NICE MOODY.

I didn’t think it was brilliant and I didn’t think it was shit. It was OK.

There are going to be spoilers ahead so take care here:

Thanos is right. The universe’s population should be cut to save the world from human consumption. I’m a dedicated follower of Malthus on this matter. The problem is that Thanos doesn’t understand exponential growth. Halving the population doesn’t stop the inevitable over-population from happening. It just delays it for a while.

In 1968 the Earth’s population was 3.5 billion. In 2011 it was 7 billion. It took just 33 years for the human population to double. Thanos gained Earth thirty seven years, that doesn’t seem a huge gain for all the effort he took. I reject the proposition. The previous doubling took about sixty years, Thanos is stupid [or has poor advisors].

I don’t like the way that Super Heroes use their fists to solve all problems. I get it, I honestly do, superheroes are there to push the American dream and hope. They are there to show that you can have these things if you work hard and use your fists to solve problems. There wasn’t a montage of people talking in committee trying to solve stuff or using the brains of clever people to solve stuff.

Yes, there is Tony Stark but he’s an egotist and uses his computer to model the time travel thing. An “inverse mobius strip” ha fucking ha. Sciencey words to make us seem cool. If there are so many issues surrounding time travel then I don’t think you would be able to solve it in the dining room of your house. What shit.

Why didn’t someone take the Infinity Gauntlet at the end and wish for Stark and Natasha to come back to life? Why didn’t they cure pain and suffering? Why didn’t they fix EVERYTHING?

There were too many characters at times, especially towards the end, for me to keep track. I didn’t mind so much, they all turned up and I suppose you have to have that.

I DID like all the women turning up at the end to protect the gauntlet. Strong women doing good things. There needs to be more of that in cinema. We can change the world for the better with positive roles for women and the oppressed. I’m very much looking forward to a black Captain America, this is how things should be. Those commies and pinkos in Hollywood telling the world how society should be. Women empowered and minorities treated with respect.

Look, this film was fine.

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.

Missing Link

This morning I took a trip to the Cineworld cinema at Rochester. The tide was waning. It was mid-morning and so the perfect time to go see a film. The cinema was pretty busy as End Game is just out and people are trying to get their viewings in. When shall I go?

I rated Missing Link on IMDB as is customary, there’s a communication here which explains the scoring system.

My main thought while watching this film was:

The water looks amazing.

Every scene with animated water was just beautiful. The complex movements in the water was amazing and seriously well done.

Overall, this film was really good fun. There were plenty of points to laugh out loud, even for grown ups, and overall the message was lovely.

I enjoyed it. I wonder if I’ll write that about End Game?

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.

Being Dutiful

A short while back I finished watching the television series called “Tour Of Duty“. There were three seasons and I enjoyed all of them. I thought it was well acted and well written. It was a good series to watch. It also reminded me of watching it while I was at university but I doubt I watched the whole series back then.

I really did spend some time worrying about what to watch next. It seems weird to settle down in front of the television and not know what to watch and as I have got rid of all live decoding equipment I must have something that I intend to watch, I can’t just scan through the channels until I find something to numb the mind. I would probably find this an annoying waste. I try to make sure that my time is employed productively and staring at something I don’t care about would bug me.

I’ve got Brooklyn 99 on the go as a kind of filler, it’s about 25 minutes and so is easy to watch now and then when I want to fill some time. But I needed something serious to watch as well. I spent two years watching Babylon 5 and enjoyed it all. I’m kinda watching Star Trek Voyager on Netflix but only now and then when I want something else to watch. I might spend the next few years working through all of the Star Trek stuff, that should be fun.

While I was out for a run about a week ago I listened to Skeptics With A K, a Merseyside based podcast about science and skepticism, and Marsh mentioned the early 2000s series Farscape as an alternative to watch while Dr Who was off the air. Some other shows were mentioned but that struck a chord with me and I was desperate to remember that series to search for it once I got home.

Farscape reminds me of watching the television when I lived in Brentwood. I shared a house with some other reprobates and I think we got a digital TV box which was quite exciting back in the day. The actual house was horrible, there was a split down the entire front centre of the house and the windows in my bedroom didn’t shut properly which is fine in the summer but I had two duvets and extra blankets over me in the winter. I think I lived there just over a year before I moved back to Kent.

Anyway, when I remember Farscape I remember the lounge in that house and the people I lived with. Well, I can remember two of them particularly but some others I can’t even remember faces. I worked not far away in Brentwood at the time and our immediate neighbour was a pupil of mine.

Anyway, I have found Farscape on Amazon Prime and have started to work my way through that television series. I am enjoying it so far. When it premiered I remember it being hailed as an Australian series with Jim Henson puppets and the market was definitely there.

There are four seasons and a spin-off series I think. Let’s see how long it takes me to get through this!

Our Lady

So a church caught fire and burnt.

I have to say I watched and listened quite unpassionately. It seemed slightly sad that such a building could burn but then that is a risk with everything the human race has built. Fire is one of the greatest everyday risks to human life and property. It’s why we buy fire alarms. It’s where the poor go to live and then get caught up in greed:

I’m sickened by the speed at which there has been a rush to donate and offer help to a building built to honour a god that doesn’t exist when compared to the problems faced by poor scum and black people who lived and died in the tower at Grenfell.

The systematic oppression of people in this country is so advanced that we/they don’t even notice it. All through history the poor and workers have been abused by those with money to increase the amount of money the wealthy have. It’s such a process of oppression that we even love TV shows and films which reinforce the idea of status and place in society. If you aren’t angered by the donations to a fucking church then you lack empathy.

My current thesis about British society is that those who lack empathy tend to be tories and end up in power largely because they don’t care and can’t care about others because they lack empathy. You would think it’s not that hard to want to care for others and want to help those who are less fortunate than yourself but just look at the state of UK politics over the last thousand years. The people have fought for everything they have got and yet there is still so far to go.

The Vote. Workers’ rights. National minimum wage. Guaranteed holidays. Health care. Food.

All of these things were fought for. They weren’t given to the people. Those in charge don’t “give” things to us. We have to fight for them.

I am convinced it’s time for a new revolution. A new form of government to do the best for people. A new form of responsible capitalism that doesn’t ruin the planet and force mass consumerism. We are killing this planet and killing ourselves. They don’t care about the rest of us, they care about themselves.

I don’t care about the church. It’s fucked over so many people for its entire existence. I care about the people and looking after each other. Let’s put the money where it should be.

War Machinery

Took a few hours out of the busy schedule the other day to visit the Historic Dockyard at Chatham. This is one of the places this country built and serviced warships for over four hundred years. I found the positive spin put on it all in the introduction video to be full of cognitive dissonance but I guess that’s how it goes. It was rather “Great Britain ruled the seas and controlled the world” it was kinda a Brexiteer’s wet dream with promises of glory and power. It completely ignored the human aspects and damage this country has done around the world. Anyway, enough from this old lefty, let’s have some pictures.

Smithery No. 1
Smithery No. 1

I like the way the light enters this room. It’s part of a building that contained the first smithery. There were a few buildings like this where all the metal work was completed. It’s quite impressive.

Ocelot
Ocelot

HMS Ocelot is a spy submarine and the last Royal Navy ship to be built at Chatham [they built more afterwards, but for other countries’ navies]. It’s quite impressive being given a tour around this beast. I think I’d love to see a more modern submarine, the whole concept of living under the sea is rather freaky.

Cavalier
Cavalier

HMS Cavalier is a destroyer now permanently moored in wet-dock at Chatham. I would have liked to have seen the engine rooms and murkier areas of the ship, but that would probably need specialised tour guides and so this one is a self tour.

It’s a great place to visit and I have been here a few times in the past. I’m not sure if I’ve written about it before though. I’ll go and have a look! well, my cursory search has highlighted no references within this website to the dockyard, that seems strange but there you go. This is the first. It’s a lovely day out.