The worst is yet to come – and bring it on

Most of us looking on at the ‘Euro-antics’ and OccupyX probably have some disdain for the lot if it.  How long before a police officer is badly hurt trying to do his or her best over protests that are probably necessary because our democratic centre is collapsing?  Most of us are getting round to knowing the ‘bimbo BBC‘ type of coverage offers no real analysis.  Over the last few months they have been catching on very slowly but are still trapped in the idea that this is some kind of liquidity crisis in banking.

I’m reminded of my old work in chemistry – banking looking like endothermic reactions that suck energy in, a control system that uses up all the resources with only tiny returns.  It’s as though we are watching a game of Monopoly expecting this to produce a real economy. BBC Bimboistas tell us money is being pumped into the economy, but QE and such are no such thing and build no factories and provide no cash (wages, partial debt jubilee) that might keep restaurants and pubs open.

No jobs are being created (beyond churning) and the old attitudes pervade – we talk of education and training – but seriously go to your local job centre and look what turns up on their machines – take a serious look at how limited many jobs are, requiring few skills and a decent attitude to hygiene and punctuality.  There is no structural analysis and yet there is scary talk about making sackings easier – scary not because some shirkers might get the push but because it reeks of indenture to ‘work correctness’.  Most of us know to say we are hard workers, relish challenge and so on – but the reality is something else entirely – we’re waiting to win the lottery and escape.

The further up the greasy pole I slid, the less work I found being done, and less talent.  Essentially, I hate politics and want as little of it and government as possible.  I’d say the same of economics.  I want enough of both for street protests to be marginal, not mainstream.  Our problems are that we have too much of the damned stuff and what there is works only in the interests of a tiny minority.  It’s enough to turn a non-believer like me onto the street – and this is what I think the problem will become, writ large. Newsnight’s solution tonight is eating insects.  This is the only part of the programme with any intellectual validity.  It’s about farting, with insects 8 times less flatulent than pigs.

My guess is our problems are to do with work-shyness.  We have created non-job after non-job whilst degrading the rewards of real hard graft, instead of organising worthwhile work around vast improvements in technology and productivity.  And we are about to ‘discover’ this as surely as any of the ‘economic bubbles’ that have been pricked from dotcon to ghost city building.  This is being left out of ‘analysis’ and is what will eventually spill onto our streets.  Our problem is efficiency in production and waste in neurosis all around it.  My students are always visibly shocked by real work seen and heard in factory and mine visits – and look at what happens when the BBC takes our callow youth to do work in the far east.  I feel I teach little more than how to idle in bureaucracies in my classrooms..  They are content there, knowing I have to set them something easy enough to pass.  They study so little, most don’t even realise inflation will ensure their loan repayments kick in at half the real pay they think it will.  A vague memory of phrases such as debt peonage may ring in the future we are killing off for them, keeping quiet to ensure mortgage payments.  A few – those who grasp that the single Gaussian copula isn’t a cooking implement – might get in on the right bets in what follows the shock to come.

We are close now to the shock promised in the last days of my youth – that of computerised expert knowledge catching up with other embodied knowledge in production that has robots doing what was once skilled work.  My lectures have long been obsolete, but ‘death by Powerpoint’ continues for now.  Accountants continue even though software does a better job – the ‘reason’ in both cases is fraud and being able to sign off (pass) what our VCs or CEOs want.  This is OK as long as ‘good times’ eventually roll but they look to have stopped.  There is no real market for university graduates and the times in which the off-balance-sheet could be lost in a good year are catching up on us as the ‘holes’ brim over.

The answer is to slay the Jabberwock.  Instead, politicians who would be mediocre students pretend they know what they are doing and feed our virgin daughters to it.

The Amanda Knox Witch Hunt

We have little idea whether Knox or her co-defendant did the crime.  As usual, we;d have to be on the jury to see if there is any evidence to rely on.  If the appeal fails I suspect she will try the Human Rights Act over the ‘witch’ accusations.  I think if such matters were put to me as a juror I’d just start to question everything the prosecution put forward – if they were concerned with such piss and wind I’d doubt there was any.  It’s even less relevant than the stuff dug up on the innocent Mr Jefferies by our hapless press, but this is coming out of the mouths of lawyers.  I also wonder what the general relevance of stuff on Facebook and the rest has on character – if we take this stuff as real be’d have to lock up a few million.

Newsnight produced some harpies to make out this is a feminist issue, but it’s wider than that.  Whether Knox offered it up on a plate is hardly relevant to much other than the wise man’s barge pole effect.  If she has some demonic shadows lurking you’d expect a psychologist to be explaining or an antecedent history of real events.  Otherwise I’d have put my hand up to ask the judge why he was letting us hear any of it, because if likely to be influenced by it I’d not be fit to be on a jury.

When I did jury service, we were instructed we could take notes but be careful this didn’t distract us from juror demeanor and such.  Most people are so hapless on behavioural cues they should be instructed to ignore them, especially as witnesses are coached.  The wider issue is our antiquated court systems.  It seems we can’t challenge some gold digging slapper (unless rich like DSK) as without credibility, but can appeal to crass Idols that are sexist elsewhere.  It’s embarrassing.

I wouldn’t wish mercury poisoning on them (Elected Police Commissioners)

I grow tired of the idea that electing people can do any good.    This is partly a fear that Colin Gunn might have been elected local police commissioner on the Bestway Estate, or we’d end up with Chief  Crackpipe on Gadget’s Swamp.  Reality probably isn’t much better.  Political parties will probably put candidates on the stump.  This is only likely to reinforce the unholy nexus of the one-party state and its ACPO toadies.  We need independent ‘Dirty Harrys’ who can stay honest.

I take the notion that we have a ‘one party state’ as read, given it’s obvious the political lot all sing from the same economic spreadsheet.  I wouldn’t quite wish mercury poisoning on whoever does stand in the latest waste of £130 million, put forward as a cure.  This makes some birds homosexual and depletes the population – see http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19784-mercury-poisoning-makes-male-birds-homosexual.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

Yet something like this happens to our ‘leaders’ once they are off the stump and get neutered or corrupted by our political system.  It’s as sure as eggs is unfertilised eggs.  When a Clown fish leader dies, one of the small wimpy fish grows large and takes over.  I think the change there is male to female.  It’s ritualised in humans through promises which we should know never materialise by now.

I watched Ken Clarke in prison on Newsnight.  Pity his sentence was so short.  An ex-con made some sense about sentencing people to real jobs. One of the finest human beings I ever met, a charge office sergeant coming up to retirement, said he felt as though he was coming to the end of a long prison sentence.  A prison officer noted none of the prisoners going through the pace benefited at all.  Someone was given a few seconds to say that the communities the rag-bag of borrowers-from-shops were briefly extracted from got a bit of respite.  One governor got to say she manages to get her charges working, either in her prison or outside, but would need more staff to get this up to 40 hours.  She was talked down.

The real issues are work and enough people around to discipline and educate people into it.  The rest is about stopping the continual dumping of the problem into the same communities, and the vicious circle.  We have to give people the right to earn livings and support that right.  Life has to be more than getting pissed on the drunken mile, or drugs, ‘prostitution’ and cheap booze in a crack house.  We need to leap-frog the Dutch on this.

The answer is that we need to de-criminalise our society in a manner that gives us more control over nuisance.  This has to extend from bankers to the borrowers from shops, from politicians scamming expenses to the neighbourhood fence paying out in multi-cut heroin and boiled up and crushed prescription drugs.  Our cops do so bad things from time to time and they need to recognise this.  Yet anyone saying this also needs to know we need Gadget leading the Magnificent Seven to prevent the bandits taking over; and yet we need to bear in mind our police may be being ‘armed’ for all the wrong reasons – too simply suppress whatever the right protests we need to be able to make are.  The Suffragettes were militant and succeeded through ‘violence’, lest we forget and police were instructed to intimidate them.  We also disarmed police in Northern Ireland, some dying, some surviving only because they owned shotguns.

There is surely no answer in giving ConDoomed or Nulabour commissars tin stars.

We can’t handle the truth, but it’s catching us up anyway

Coppers was good tonight (C4), at least showing the drunken mile well.  Most of the cops were good, though I don’t think the aggressive one much good in provoking idiots.  I preferred the guy whose description of a cold Stella was so good I went looking in the fridge.  The Chief Constable of Leicestershire predicted these scenes long ago.  I wonder just who has made money from this establishment of booze zones in our town centres, and how many clown politicians used the ‘cafe society’ line against all evidence?

Newsnight was good too; finally some admission this crisis is much worse than being stated and that inflation is the only way out of the debt, pretty much all over.  It struck me there is a lot of commonality between the financial markets hiding everything off-balance sheet (and governments) and what has been stacked up in society – crime figures always falling, yet antisocial behaviour rising faster.

Economics has long been split between the basic decision on whether to generate ‘wealth’  by encouraging money to make money, or by making things (including worthwhile services’.  Even now, this leads to trusting markets (which I doubt we can) or trusting to more power to national governments (which I’m sure is a disaster).  In the Athenian Democracy, Solon got rid of debt by administrative fiat, simply abolishing it after his mates had bought up the land.  Our equivalent now is printing money, and probably devaluations.  Portugal, Greece and Spain may get cheap again.  Deep questions remain as to whether we can work this trick without social upheaval.

In a webcast, the director of Coppers described the drunken mile as infantile, clearly borne out.  He also used the word to describe much of the policing he has witnessed making the series – much as Gadget, in that he meant the cops being forced into more and more bureaucratic action by ever changing regulation and management speak – being made infantile through this rather than able to act in discretion and decent common sense.  We talk of a benefits culture, but we are, in fact, perpetuating childhood all over.

Around here, the BB gun is in vogue.  One of my grandson’s mates is ‘carrying one for protection’.  My lad wants one as a kind of follow-on to Black Ops.  I don’t think I’m getting through on it being illegal to carry one, or possess one off my property etc.  I’ve seen groups of idiots posing like gangsters with them, and they are firing the plastic bullets in the street.  On the Internet, you can see videos of clown kids shooting up old windows with machine gun versions.  You need to be 18 to get one, but it’s obvious kids are getting them.  A twit across the road shot his sister with one a week or so back, and my lad was hit in the mouth by a ricochet yesterday.  Wander 100 yards away and I could start pointing to houses where older, criminal clowns could be locked up at will.  By then you’re on the Everglades.  I’ve seen estates like this for more than 40 years.

I suspect the massive difference over the 40 years is the reduction of manufacturing jobs from 8 million to 3 million.  For work discipline to work, it needs to be a discipline of available work sows’ ears can get without being made into silk purses.  We need to look at this and don’t.

If I could do ‘Secret Millionaire’, I’d have IG and his people up here anytime to show GMP what to do – but as he makes clear, it’s revolving door stuff – we don’t have a post-arrest  system in place worth spit.

We are as far from social answers on crime as we are from economic healing – the two are linked.  Even pensioners are becoming more criminal, even in Japan.  I despair, yet Germany and Japan rose from literal ashes.  As MrG points out there has been a good blame game around for donkeys’ years.  We have known the danger of money making money since Aristotle.  Some of the creeps our local Bobby hauls off are as old as me, but with the same language and attitudes I can place amongst our worst 13 year-olds, and much the same bullying and violence, upped with adult strength.  Much colludes, from street crime to the money markets, against us even describing the truth of what is going on, less ‘confidence’ collapse.

I can’t think of much other than spending more time abroad.  It’s not that I don’t think there are solutions.  I could go ‘learned’ on them.No money in that, I’ve banged my head against enough walls and it’s time to take my family away.  It’s easier to live as an alien outside your own country.  Portugal is impossible to do business in, but the fishing is good, crime is low and I’m exchanging my flat for a bungalow after they devalue.  Two more years in Broken Britain to go.

Logic veering towards a science of society

Most people can’t do logic, or even its dumbed down version, critical thinking.  A lot of this ‘most’, when I tell them this, think I mean I can, and am therefore smart and think they are dumb.  This only goes to demonstrate most people can’t do logic!  I’m in the ‘most’ on logic, though not bad on critical thinking on the odd occasions I’m bothered to engage my brain’s clutch.  I’m no good at video games now, compared with my grandson, though still much better at fixing the machines he plays on.  I’ve never thought whatever I could do with frequency distributions and varieties of Gaussian copula is any more impressive than carpentry, or vastly better than me at snooker. Many, of course, think their ability to keep their bodies reasonably trim and wear middle class clothes, makes them better than carpenters, or scruffy, fat oiks like me – watch any Newsnight.

Two very English philosophers tried to burn themselves out doing logic about 100 years ago.  Russell and Whitehead’s volumes are more or less unreadable to the rest of us.  I found some kind of quest for basic building blocks I felt doomed to failure, though I can’t work out why I felt that.  I know I was looking because I find human relationships unrewarding and trivial, perhaps meaningless and often revolting.  This is anarchist in a sense, wondering if there is something ‘real’ we could experience if ‘society’ could be swept away.  Romeo and Juliet is not a love story for me, but the converse – a ghastly soap opera about adolescent traps.  I like the idea of ensuring our young get childhood, but detest the persistent demand to be trapped in it and the libidinous economy needed to perpetuate childhood.

The logic of R & W leads to certain farce.  Essentially, they have not done enough over three volumes to get essential definitions right.  They bring a meaning of the term ‘implies’ to algebra that lacks context.  Think of a great night out, wonderful sex, you happy on a plane out and her left with an unwanted pregnancy.  Define ‘happiness’ in this.  Not easy without ‘context’.  One way out in logic is to go modal.  Modal logic can be viewed broadly as the logic of different sorts of modalities, or modes of truth: alethic (“necessarily”), epistemic (“it is known that”), deontic (“it ought to be the case that”), or temporal (“it has been the case that”) among others.  In a sense, in logic, one should (another mode) wonder who has been left holding the baby.  Godel produced a famous statement of this we are still unsure of in terms of what he meant to actually express and whether various versions we come up with are right.  Essentially, we can’t come up with even a simple arithmetic system that doesn’t have internal inconsistencies or the baby we have left someone else holding.

I wanted to find something that would let us work out complex human interactions logically with a pencil and paper.  Sad puppy!  I had probably been conned by stories of the Holy Grail.  If I was still doing chemistry, I’d probably be locked into obsession with making super-solids, which become liquid at low temperatures but retain the solid lattice.  A Russian lad who knocks down a few beers from time to time got a Nobel for peeling pencil-lead down to one atom thick graphene with Selotape recently.  You may not be impressed, yet graphene at super-low temperatures may help knock down Relativity – which will be a magnificent use of pencils.  It’s about different thinking on gravity and maybe that Lorentz transformations are just what we ‘see’ now and were not forever.  Theory of everything stuff – Horizon might get to it if it stops regurgitating old dross from the 70s.

I don’t teach logic – I’m no good at it.  I just know enough to know this.  What I have become sure of is that another field, that of evidence, is something we need to be a bigger part of our education.  Something shields most of us from evidence, as surely as we are shielded from the bent evidence given by bent cops, prosecution and forensic scientists to dull, jobsworth judges, defence briefs and gullible juries in cases like Nico Bento.  Newsnight were good on this, but as usual there has been no follow up.  There is good philosophy, social science, excellent potential in real science and such practical fuck-ups for us to get better at evidence-based reasoning and its logic and what stops us basing society more on evidence and logic.  For now, I’d just say why would anyone want to stop this?  I expect Galileo knew when they showed him the instruments of torture – what are the modern day equivalents of these?  Science is held (too strongly) by some as a history of mistakes – our worthies have certainly found ways to cover theirs up, which may be why we have no science of society.