Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big Parsnip


Oh there are no limits to Art. The juxtaposition of a huge Parsnip, a freak, against a fatuous media headliner.

Well the Parsnip weighs 950 grams! Its diameter has a maximum of 14.4 cm, and a maximum circumference of 41cm.

It was a freak! It was hiding under the soil, looking like a modest example of its neighbours, none of which were nearly as big. It would be a showpiece except that you can see by its bruise that I have pulled it a bit late.

Global Financial Crisis? Bah, Humbug! Merry Christmas, Tiny Tim! 'Ere, have yourslef a Parsnip, if there's no goose this Xmas.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Squash Diversity


Well, isn't it the obvious title to this artistic Still Life of the autumn harvest? Contentious titles are the foundations of overblown art.

Still, this life has arisen from a few varieties of self-selected seed, and as squashes are notoriously promiscuous and do not breed true, what else would be expected? At least I have something to eat, and each experience will be a surprise. I dare you to find its like in TescoAsdaSainsburyMorrisons.

The Global Human Economic Machine: lives daily in the London Underground. The morons that ride it daily are once again within my mental grasp.

You, too,
Can be part of the
Global Human Economic Machine:
Believe in its supremacy;
Bow to its Size;
Indicate your Eagerness
To be one of its cogs
Or integrated semiconductor transistors
And you will be endowed
With a contract of sustenance
A program of self-worth
That funds your consumption.

But let me not fool you that you can live without it.
You cannot, for your ancestors have long left the wilderness
From which they evolved
And now there is no more wilderness
In Earth's whole revolve.

Busy, busy, busy, hither,thither, slog, work, volunteer, apply, attend, get around.

I almost wish for my past leisurely life.

Only almost. I might loathe materialism, but I don't enjoy starvation.

Be part of the Global Human Economic Machine
Determined to be specialized
Forever just a neuron, a blood cell,
or a crystal in a finger nail
of its Cyberborg personification.

The alternative is the alternative culture,
no, I don't like the name dropout.
Looking at it, yet feeding off it.
Is this any less perverse?
Or does morality not come into the question.
For the Global Human Economic Machine
Needs its peripheral parasites
Just as much
as its Soul-defining synapses.
It is still all just One.
One super-organism.
Unstoppable even in the throes of Global Financial Maelstrom.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Greed, Waste, and the rise of Luddite Banking

The man who came to collect the skip from the site yesterday deserves a medal. A metal medal? The first thing he did was to free the unused, new bits of stainless steel and angle iron from being buried under the other "rubbish".

I can recognize a stallion with character in less than 2 seconds, and voiced my admiration of what he was doing, "Oh, you're going to recycle it, good!".

"Otherwise it ends up in the land. I hate waste.", he said. Further conversation revealed that the stuff he has to pick up that sometimes can't be recycled, but must be sent to landfill, so assaults his abhorrence of waste that it brings a tear to his eyes.

He is a hero of our times. His principles and values have landed him in a job that intellectuals and office bound beancurds scorn. They have never seen a dump, or a landfill site, and they wouldn't even stand the smell from half a mile away, yet they dare to scorn those who deal with their waste.
In a capitalist economy, it is those who buy goods and services who are ultimately responsible for the waste arising. This is salient in a year when financial and economic waste has finally been exposed to be the planet's grim reaper, after nearly a decade of human economic development which nobody except Al Qa'aeda succeeded in stalling temporarily.

The abhorrence of waste is deep and hidden by so many of those whom have it. The Global Human Economic Machine has ruthlessly been sucking in independent individuality and assimilating only its bodies into its Borg. The war against waste so often seemed futile, yet many individuals during those years adhered steadfastly to their value of wastelessness.

Again, lone individual moral effort is heroic and sometimes the only thing that stops humanity from killing the planet overnight. The finger in the dyke. The shame is that individual moral effort seems never to be harnessed and aggregated adequately. In a largely secular society, the priests ultimately serve the God of Money. So at the BBC, much though they occasionally try to garner moral action in society, ultimately they fail, because they all are financially dependent on their jobs. Even in a religious society, priests who serve the God of their Religion are forced to be slaves to the God of Money, which they do by pandering to the whims of the rich for their living patronage, wills and legacies.

Finance and Economics this week has been laid further to waste. Luddite Banking and Investment is in steep ascendance. Hold Cash, Gold, or Government Bonds, they all think. The Derivatives market has been destroyed, and now the Equities markets are crumbling. What has not hit Britain yet has been the destruction of the Insurance business. Lloyds of London has been keeping its head down and staying quiet, but I only last year spoke to an insurance industry retiree who acknowledged that there too, the industry had become incomprehensibly complex and difficult to control.

Insurance is the primary industry that sustains socialist values, so Brits are deluded if they scorn the USA for having to bail out AIG, and care less whether Britain might stay free of this blight. I cannot imagine living in a Luddite Economy where there is no insurance industry, but for a nation that is so heavily dependent on institutionalized socialism in the State, Britain will move faster to bail out an insurance business than it will a bank.

Of greed, on the individual level, I come to my blog to remind myself of this: life has been good to me these last few weeks, but I must not overreach. While I am free from paying obeisance to someone else's god once a week, the value of regularly stopping in one's path and appreciating contentment, and even acknowledging the inevitability of future loss (age and death if nothing else), is perhaps the surest way of killing greed. Those financiers and economists that allowed monetary greed to flourish to such extremes, should be subjected to conventional religious constrictions, something Christian or Islamic for example: secularism will never be able to control mass population emotions. The mass population is more than 6,000,000,000 times your individual self.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Summer Evening in October at the End of a Week of Work

The last few days have been an Indian summer, clear sunny, warm days which we had only one of in August. This evening, while cruising through the delusional fantasies of West London, I only needed a T-shirt, while other more feeble vegetables ponced along in too many clothes of a sharp cut that made them look so obviously like foreigners.

For the areas around Gloucester Road and South Kensington are heavily inhabited now by affluent and pretentious European continentals. As I wandered along, with the 2/3 waxed moon to look at, in addition to them there were very obviously a few art lifestyle victims, and a smattering of ageing eccentrics (probably gay, because they all settled there when Earlscourt and the Coleherne were nothing but gay with a bit of Aussie).

What an amazing and educational week. I did more than a full week, and alternated between working outdoors, and working in an office job. The pay in both was crap, although the latter was slightly better. Yet what did I manage to learn from the contrast? For me, yesterday started with zest in the office, yet by the end of the day, I felt ill, and got home feeling sickly and soulless. Today, on the other hand, was all outdoors, and a bit dirty and of officially lower status. Yet I started off late, and ended the day on a blazing high. Both days were beautiful weather.

Why have I had to waste so much of my life in an office before I could learn this difference? How many fat pasty shapeless bores I have endured in offices; and they were the fun ones compared to the pretentious, gym-fit, physically constipated good-lookers.

Oh well, I am so thankful to have had these last few weeks of excitement in what has been years of drought.

In the economy this week, the stockmarket fell, and fell, and fell. Despite the fact that the Government launched its bank rescue plan, and the Sun illustrated it beautifully with Alistair Darling as a Thunderbird Puppet doing 5-4-3-2-1. According to Sterling's currency movements, the Government is not liked by overseas investors, yet they persistently seem to think that they only need to target their electorate of "ordinary families".

Gordon Brown is falling down,
Falling Down,
Falling Down.

Gordon Brown is falling down,
My fair lady.

"Ooh Parker, I do wish you wouldn't try to sing while driving FAB 1", said Lady Penelope.


It is so hilarious to hear the news commentators talk about economics and globalism as though they finally understood the Theory of Relativity. I do wish people were not so thick, so that they would not have to bore me. Curiously, the cleverest people I find to be those who are in jobs that are supposed to be for thickos. And in a year when it has become obvious that economists, including Mervyn King, deserve to be paid less than "officially unskilled labour", it reminds me that we still have to demystify the "knowledge workers" and put them in their rightful place: as parasites of a Global Human Economic Machine that is wearing out the resources of this planet.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Depeche Mode - stories of Love

Depeche Mode, afloat
Young people, who could be my children,
Cosy on a canal
So young, so in love,
from a land where
Depeche and Heavy Metal
was their Mods and Rockers
Newly Romantic, yet casting me back 25 years
I can remember the meaning of love.
The stories coming from all over the world,
of coincidences, conflict, flights and tragic ends
Of life, and shadow puppetry
Then Overground,
Life on a Sunday Night.
London is most alive
When in recession.
There is a designer thug with his chunky chic Chinese playgirl;
There is an unbelievably beautiful child,
full of bright joy,
and playful light,
and spontaneous life,
the son of unlikely parents,
Unlikely yet so deserving of respect
For the miracle that they are creating.
Eastern European.
They come from all over.
This is London today.
Where did life suddenly come from,
and why did I have to hide from what was there before?

Planetary Ecosystem Economics

I have not had one grape off my vine this year; what little crop was coming after the awful summer, has been denuded by birds in the last three weeks. The evidence of blue/purple bird shit underneath the vine is damning.

I had been wondering which birds were doing this. In past years I've seen the blackbirds go for it, but not so assiduously. So today, when in the deluge of rain we are having, my local robin popped in to perch on the grapevine, to survey the food, I was faced with the human quandary.

The robin has been a constant visitor this year, you see, and has been my confirmation that my organic garden feeds nature and wildlife, naturally.

The human quandary is based on this: how can humanity feed itself, without taking food away from other living things?

If I had to depend on that grapevine for my food, that robin would have been soup months ago. As with many nature lovers, I would rather delude myself that I am making a difference: somewhere else, a farmer is growing food chemically and mechanically on my behalf and denying it from the robins, yet I am trying to grow food and letting the robins eat my food.

Perverse? Perhaps. But then, I can console myself that most people in London are not nature lovers, and so I am creating diversity of opportunity for robins: just as some farmers will still protect their strips of nature now that set-aside payments have been withdrawn.

Nonetheless, I am peeved that I have not been left with one grape! And the lesson is this: despite the stubborn ignorance of anti-Malthusians, the fact is that a planetary ecosystem will never support an unlimited population of human beings, without substantial eradication, near-extinction, and absolute extinction of most other forms of life.

Food for humans takes away food for something else, and to allow humanity to proceed in deliberate ignorance of the value of other living things, is to be accessory to speciocide. For example, who are we to decide that a slug is an unnecesary and undesirable form of life compared to a lettuce, when in fact the slug is a juicy meal to a hedgehog, a bird, and even a fox?

Which brings me back once again to the Global Human Economic Machine, which is the Juggernaut composite of global human civilization and globalized human technology. It grows with inexorable, deliberate ignorance, and even in this era of Global Financial Collapse, there are NO economists who give any space to Planetary Ecosystem Economics.

The futulity of my endeavour to expand consideration of Planetary Ecosystem Economics, or at least to evaluate and question the Global Human Economic Machine, has landed me in despair many times this year. Despair will always be available. Let this be my record of persistence despite despair.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Geastrum Triplex and Around the Wealthy Ghettoes of London

This Geastrum was the largest of a troop and was nearly 10cm across, in a Hampstead garden. How exciting it was to see it. My Fungi book by Stefan Buczacki suggests it is a Geastrum triplex, because of the bowl, rather than a Geastrum Sessile.

Without a doubt, the wealthy ghettoes of West London are as far removed as can be from the over-globalized mish-mash that has developed elsewhere in London. I don't know which is worse: an insular ghetto resembling an expatriate compound in a despotic Arab Oil state, or the mob reality outside the compound!

Indeed, these ghettoised rich people saunter along their shopping streets, such as the slug trail that is the King's Road, apparently oblivious to what happens in the rest of London, let alone the rest of Britain. Or else they drive around in huge 4x4s, their Chelsea Tractors, and despite the size of their vehicles, their scrawny bland ugly blondness screams through the windows of their Sloane Ranger Rovers. And they aren't even menopausal yet. Perhaps they should have a few more babies, so that they might actually let the glow of motherhood fill the void of their meaningless lives.

Last week, you see, I was in Ladbroke Grove and Chelsea. Then on Monday I was in Chelsea twice and Wimbledon.

The gardens of the rich West Londoners are rather wasteful places, that still seem to pay little consideration to sustainability or organics. They bear too heavily on over-tidiness, with no space given to nature and wild-life, and either they are over-stylized sterile creations, or they are instant "I want it now" gardens that are as artificial as a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Yes, the Chelsea Flower Show. Bastion of Anally-Rich Women.

Quite frankly it is incredible that people pay nonsense money for a pokey house in Chelsea: why don't they buy an estate in the country for the same amount of money? Urbanity must be a globalist disease.

At least today in Hampstead and St John's Wood there was some tradition of English tastefulness and an emphasis on having space. And the clients have proper class, unlike the crassly rich bourgeouisie.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The failure of Central Banks to do central banking

Throughout the current turmoil over the last year in World Banking, there has been a constant reference towards the phenomenon of Banks being Afraid to Lend to Each Other.

What I fail to understand, and forgive me if I happen to have too much common sense, is:

Why weren't Central Banks borrowing money from the Banks who had surplus cash, and were hoarding it, so that they could re-lend it to the banks that lost access to direct wholesale funding?

That way, a Central Bank should have provided as much liquidity as existed before the Credit Crunch, but by acting as an intermediary between banks whom have cash, and banks whom wish to borrow it, they serve as guarantors as well as National risk managers.

As a national risk manager, the Bank of England could then have demanded tighter operation from the commercial banks, such as Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley, which would have provided the most stabilizing method of downsizing the Banking and Mortgaging industry.

Or is this Mervyn King hiding behind his piggy glasses, saying that his only job is to sit at a meeting once a month and get an interest rate decision that stopped mattering over a year ago?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

¿Looking down at Pork Sossiges?



This is my art. If you would like more, don't bother going to Sotheby's. Just contact me and I will create art in your life, and let your Russian Roubles go a lot further. Furthermore, because this is Love and the Planet, you get something of much longer lasting value that will make your life worth living. My mind!

Dear blog, how glorious it is to come to you in good times. This WAS the best week I have had so far this year. (Getting my bike stolen in mid-July was the lowest point of the year.)

Going back to work, to something I haven't done for years, getting up at 5:45 for four days last week. Meeting lots of new people who were intelligent, even though many couldn't speak English very well. Doing physical, quite arduous work outdoors even in damp dirty damp weather, and surviving it all. Getting to bed exhausted and waking up at 2.30 in the morning just because my muscles were so tired that I couldn't get back to sleep. I have averaged less than 5 hours sleep a night for the last 6 days.

Surviving it all! I feel like king of me, if not king of the planet. Even exhausted and in a state when most normal men feel as if they have been economically abused, I decided on the second day that I felt something again; I felt happy. A vital kind of happiness if not the whole package. That feeling of knowing you've done an honest day's work. Pride in yourself.

Even the sun came out. On Friday afternoon, we had one of those beautiful English afternoons when even I admitted that London was looking beautiful.

Pork Sausages were accompanied by my wonderful own-grown Sweetcorn (what little I have), which has been the most delicious thing I have grown this year. Unfortunately I ate them before I remembered to take a photo! Never mind, my stomach has a better memory than a digital camera! That sweetcorn is going to get at least 5 times the planting space next year.

Something Understood on Radio 4, which is a beacon of wise intellectual secular spirituality, has a superb program this week on Freely Giving, which investigates the tradition of the Gift Economy in civilizations (not the modern consumerist version of Christmas), as compared with the Market Economy that has continued to reel all around the world these last few weeks. That they have researched this topic from such a genius angle indicates that the Economy is on the minds of everyone who has one.

Nearly all the Investment Banks are gone, started by Bear Stearns in March, and then Lehman Brothers just two weeks ago. The last two will probably survive after serious rationalization. The USA still struggles to keep its banking system afloat by trying to get Congress to approve its £700 billion nationalization of Questionable Debt. Lloyds TSB is going to merge with HBOS. Libor Rates were 1.5% above the Bank of England rate, so the BANK of ENGLAND is lying! The Bank of England still says

The interest rate at which the Bank supplies these funds is quickly passed throughout the financial system, influencing interest rates for the whole economy.


Daydreaming monetarists will have to own up to being more ignorant than Psychologists in regard to having any tools of control, let alone tools of science! Stop lying and get out of your paid jobs. Mervyn King, you are a cad.

Today Bradford and Bingley has been nationalized by the government. Journalists are saying that Asia seems unaffected, but even economists are correcting them. Meanwhile, people like me, who take a world view, know this is not just about money. This is the modern version of a World War. One where none of the various sides, either those who own the Capital, nor those who owe it, dare to allow Armageddon, because the Global Human Economic Machine would implode and there would indeed be genuine poverty (the lack of food) experienced even in White America and Britain.

How far would I want this game to go, if I were running it? Judging from my current survey of London, one of the recent centres of globalization, the GHEM is clearly in trouble, but many of its various component cogs and transistors are still carrying on regardless, still expecting to be unaffected...a bit like a car whose engine is still running even though its gear box is broken. By my experience of psychohistory, this means our economic recession has just begun. It should indeed not bottom out for at least another year, or else it would have been ineffective. By my experience of my reckoning, as I believe in damped control systems (whereas economists seem to know nothing about damping) we are in for a long period of much deeper trouble, and the bottom is at least 3 years away.

Living in a crisis is not too bad. It is food and water that matters. Those of us who lived in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties GHEM recessions know we survived, and there was some wonderful music to remind us of it all, yet we never once starved.

The GHEM, for all its faults, must be de-commissioned gradually, and gracefully, a bit like an outdated nuclear power plant. We do not want a Chernobyl end to the life of the GHEM, for human psychohistory must grant it a noble end.

Forget my pompous fantasy. In fact, I don't believe the GHEM is dead, or dying. I think it is moulting, and it is inexorably growing, as it has done for centuries.

Friday, September 12, 2008

E On F Off, Down with Brown, Up with Green

The trouble with getting excited about the recent jury trial court victory is precisely what I blogged about 6 weeks ago.

If you're the Gordon Brown Labour government, a bunch of anarchists winning this precedent-setting case can one way or another be turned instantly to your advantage. Politics is chess, and some people can look 10 moves ahead and have a strategy. Winning a pawn is not proof you are winning the game.

Already, the media, the intellectuals, and I are all bowed towards the inevitability of nuclear power stations, simply because Britain out of national security needs to maintain its Nuclear technological base, even if it does not pursue a massive program of nuclear power generation.

Meanwhile, this week the Brown government announced a "fuel-poverty" policy that has the correct intent, but is nothing different than what existed before. Lag your loft, pump your cavity walls with insulation, but keep your Central Heating on at 21 degrees, while you sit there in front of the telly like a battery human, being fed the food produced by machines, and barely ever producing energy out of it.

Nobody in politics is re-designing cities or social groupings, let alone the national economy. 12 years of a pseudo-socialist government, and all we have is a bunch of politicians who want to carry on driving to Tesco on a wretched motorway, and sitting at home alone in 21 degrees centigrade through summer and winter, until the time comes to rot in a nursing home at £800 per week.

Christian Socialists? Are they really that stupid?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Production of a Piece of Paper

For some decades, maybe at least since the invention of the typewriter, so for 80 years, the production of a piece of paper has been the sole enterprise and ability of a huge portion of the population.

So it is today, although whether it is more so or whether it has begun to decline is debatable. The "piece of paper" is often in electronic form and never gets near the pulp of a tree.

Astounding as it seems, the rebellion in me extends even to here. Why should we have an economy that nurtures a sector of the population (piece-of-paper creators) so secluded and ignorant and uninvolved in the source of the essentials of their day to day survival, and yet so unduly proud and commanding of their share of that natural wealth?

So I face a piece of paper, and do I want to play this silly game? Or do I have to play it? Why should I have to play football if I don't like the rules, when I can make up my own?

Prove Yourself

Pioneer. Frontiersman. Adventurer.

Brave Warrior. Independent Wild Man.

Soldier who can take the shit in Iraq.

Construction Worker who can effortlessly jump girders 60 storeys high in the sky.

Marathon runner.

World Record breaker of records.

King of the Hill, Man of the Hour, Boxer with Guts of Steel.

Cyclist who can cross the continent with one pair of tires and a tireless pair of legs.

Ultimate Blog Cynic.

What is the difference between any of these?

When you have done it, and you prove to yourself that you have done it, what difference does it make on your deathbed?

Is it nobler to die with the celebrations of your peers, than without, and why is the death any more or less noble?

Is it nobler to live pursuing the celebrations of your peers? If not, why is the life any lesser?

We live in a culture where "proving yourself" is so pervasive and endemic that many people waste their lives proving themselves, and even more shockingly they pity others for wasting their lives because they rebel against this peer-pressure.

Chavs? Perhaps their quintessential feature is that they refuse to waste their lives "proving themselves". Are they any better or worse? Even those who claim they will not judge a chav on their lack of abilities and ambitions, nonetheless pity them as though they are sinners against the perpetual need that Thou Must Prove Thyself.

When did this commandment enter what was once a Christian culture?

Life does not have to prove itself. It either survives and reproduces, or it does not.

Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
Yet Man must Prove Himself?

So CERN. So Space Exploration. So Electronic Miniaturization. So Genetic Engineering. So Civil Engineering. So Architecture. So Opera.

Man is not superior to other men, or other forms of life by virtue of being able to "prove himself".

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

London Today has no English People

It was nearly 10pm.

Sitting on the bench outside the train station were two men in their late twenties, fit, healthy, having a beer and probably East European.

Standing over them, apparently trying to converse with them, was another man, notably different because he was wearing a full-length leather coat, in the style popularized by Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. He was about their age, and sufficiently tall and attractive to not have ever suffered deprivation in his adulthood.

He stood up, and appeared frustrated as he walked away. As he passed me, with his mobile phone to his ear , I heard him saying into the phone, "Fucking hell, where do these fucking foreigners come from". His accent was from London. He could have been the last English London-born Londoner left in London.

The foreigners were back to loudly chatting between themselves. Their language was undoubtedly East European.

***

People who visit London today for the first time, expecting to meet English people, might be shocked to discover none at all across vast swathes of the city. Even where they can be found, they are seldom in majority.

So riding the trains and buses of London, you will not encounter any of the stereotypes that you have in your mind, that you might have learned from a film, television, or books.

That's the way it is, today.

What turned London into this? Globalization. Who allowed Globalization to go this far? The State. Who have been the State? The Labour Party have been the State for nearly 12 years. The Conservatives were the State for 18 years before that. Who advised them in this regard? The globalist economists. What was the primary focus of the Economists? Wealth of the most material kind.

Is London alone in this? No, but it is one of the most globalized cities in the world. Perhaps Los Angeles and New York City are at the same level.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Open Source Food versus Genetically Modified Rapeseed of Monsanto

So Percy Schmeiser was the man who had to stand up alone against a Globalist Corporation.

In Britain, Rape is commonly grown as an oilseed crop. In Canada, because of prudish reactions to the other meanings of the word rape, the plant was given the name Canola long ago.

Monsanto developed a GM version of rape/canola that was resistant to their Roundup herbicide:

1. Buy the herbicide made by Monsanto
2. Buy the seed resistant to that herbicide grown by Monsanto
3. Spray the herbicide on the field several times a year to superficially keep down the other weeds and non-GM seed.
4. Pay a license for it year after year, because you never own the seed or its descendents, not unless Monsanto dies.

It sounds like Monopoly, because it is. There is one player, called Monsanto, and it owns the whole board. As if that isn't bad enough:

5. Get sued by Monsanto if their seed lands on your fields, and you don't want to grow their crap as a crop.

Quite apart from this obvious abuse of corporate power, there is a fundamental insult here to all people who believe in Open Source. The definition of a seed, or any genetic material, as intellectual property goes entirely against everything that Open Source advocates believe in.

GM = Genetically Modified = Globalist Monopoly

How many Open Source computer heads who defend GM Science ever think about this, every time they eat something? That the food they eat, which today often contains GM soya, goes against their political beliefs?

Well a Google on Open Source GM reveals that the concept of Open Source Genomics is a few years old, and the article points out that Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) biotechnology should be favoured over Transgenic GM creations.

So why, when Prince Charles spoke up last month against GM, did I not hear any of his opponents mention MAS biotechnology?

Silence is Golden for those who are protecting the Golden Eggs laid by the Transgenic GM Geese.

Open Source versus GM. I like it. I wonder where all that GM Canola Rapeseed oil goes to. How can we avoid it? Stuff it down the throats of stupid Labour Governments, maybe?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Lex - Financial Times and The Economist

I used to be impressed with the Lex column in the Financial Times, which is so well respected that their website actually charges for it. Looking at today's in the paper has incited me to launch my nuclear missiles at economists again.

Lex was literally taking quotes from Adam Smith to interpret today's global economic situation. This is akin to meteorologists who quote passages from the Bible to interpret why Hurricane Katrina would have hit New Orleans! It would also be similar to physicists who delve into Isaac Newton's tomes to interpret results when the CERN Large Hadron Collider starts up on 10 September

It shows how completely addled by Adam Smith the entire field of Economics has become. I wonder if economics was ever heading for anything more? Here we are in 2008, at a point when the Global Economy is the largest human economy that has ever existed in history, and the people who should understand it and plot its future are mired in a Flat Earth Universe.

To confirm my assessment of the stupidity of economists, I was leafing through this week's copy of The Economist, and I swear it was one of the weakest issues I have ever seen. It completely lacked any new intelligence, and in the back they still quote tables of basic, vacuous and fundamentally dubious national economic monthly statistics, which are as useful as Woolworths quoting weekly Singles Charts for pop music.

The whole scene of Economics brings to mind once again Asimov's Foundation Series. It is as though the real economists, the clever psychohistorians, have long since been secreted in a hiding place, to plot and plan the course of the Global Human Economic Machine. Meanwhile, they have left a bunch of idiots and clowns in charge of the Economist, The Financial Times, The Bank of England, The London School of Economics etcetera, so that we are distracted from discovering the real economists.

If Asimov were going to hide some clever economists today, where would he hide them? In a hedge fund company? Maybe. In the Bank of England? Maybe. In Goldman Sachs? Oh that's so obvious...... So obvious that they could really be there! Guarded by a fortress of security, untouched by the Credit Crunch, and protected by cities (London, New York, Hong Kong) of cynical spoilt-brat know-it-all wasted liberals whom crush conspiracy theories more quickly than cockroaches. But the probabilistic calculation and prediction of mass human economic behaviour is well within the reach of modern technology, and anyone incapable of appreciating that might as well keep their sunglasses on and leave their Ipod earphones switched on.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Hopes and Fears of All The Years

... Are Met in You Today.

Notion: "stilling the soothing internal voice that tells us everything will be okay" to "embrace hopelessness"

Compare with: "stilling the panicky internal voice that tells us everything is going wrong" to "embrace fearlessness".

Are these silly notions, and if they are not, could they stand improvement?

The internal voices of each individual vary not only with time, but in the frequency of occurrence. Some might have panicky voices all the time, and never the soothing voice, for example. I do not believe that many people have any awareness of their internal voices, and I propose that this is more so in our modern communication age than ever in history. Our population today is constantly surrounded by the voices from Pop songs, Radio, Television and Movies, never mind the endless buzz of the mobile phones, internet and urban crowds.

Where does an individual today get encouraged to listen to their internal voices? It used to be easier, and it used to be encouraged through religious guidance, but we all know how much of a setback religion took in Christian countries in the Sixties.

Embracing hopelessness and fearlessness? I don't think I quite agree with the choice of the word "embrace". It is not possible to embrace abstractions, let alone emotionless abstractions, except in an abstract sense. The word "embrace" invokes enquiry, but is not the most useful description of the action.

Adoption? Welcoming? Inviting?

These words point out that there is a staged process in the adoption of hopelessness and fearlessness:

1. Seeing;
2. Greeting;
3. Welcoming, embracing;
4. Inviting;
5. Entertaining;
6. Adopting

In other words, imagine Hopelessness and Fearlessness were travellers whom wandered into your neigbourhood. You would have to go through these stages of communicating with them before they became active members of your rational toolbox.

Alternatively, let us consider hopelessness and fearlessness to be nothing more than points on a line that runs from Hope to Fear. (Hope and Fear are essential tools in all living things upon which their survival and success depend). To move easily back and forth along the spectrum requires that you should be able to adopt any point on that line quickly and responsively, with rational control.

This means that you must be able to "bid goodbye" to hopelessness and fearlessness just as easily as you must embrace it.

The problem then is how to manage a world of Procrastinators (those who live in Hope and Fear without making effective actions) and Activists (those who seek change because they live in hopelessness and fearlessness).

I think that's the lot. I think I will award myself Today's Doctorate for that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chicken Licken ate Global is Good

"The Pound is Falling"
"The Pound is Falling!", Chicken Licken cries!

Surely not? London is the financial capital of a globalist world economy. If the pound is falling, then the Sky is Falling for global economics?

Oh no, don't be ridiculous. Every old person over the age of 40 still bleats to the beat of "Global is Good". Every day some professor, intellectual, politician or businessman still throws their hands up in the air, and says, "we live in a global economy, and we have to wait until it sorts itself out".

I have not heard one person, not one voice shouting against the mantras of Globalism. When I heard 8 years ago a small businessman shouting the Mantra "We must go global", I remember being dumbstruck by the significance of its pervasiveness.

Then for the last 8 years, all we have been hearing is "Global is Good. See how wealthy we are."

Now the Pound is Falling, the Pound is Falling, and Chicken Licken now says "Global is All There Is. We must sit under the Clouds and be rained on by worthless Falling Pounds."

It is fitting that Britain has endured officially the gloomiest (least sunshine) August since 1942. This is like being in World War 2. It IS World War 3. Instead of bombs and armies and submarines and destroyers, we have words, threats, gestures hissy fits, and Financial Market attacks. Just look at David Milliband and Russia. That whole Ossetia and Georgia affair has seen the Russian stockmarket collapse. I'm with Vladimir Putin on this. I admire a man with brains, and who has some shrewdness. Russia couldn't care less, and why should it? Its people will still be better off today with a collapsed stock market than 20 years ago with the rudderless Gorbachev in a collapsed Communist dream.

And isn't China finally getting revenge on Britain, more than a century after the Scots launched the Opium Wars and brought down millenia of Imperial society? When is it more fitting than when we have a Prime Minister, one Gordon Brown, who is Scottish, and the son of a sing-song preaching Minister of the Church? It is almost as though the ghosts of the mandarins of China have finally engineered the ultimate slap in the face: bringing down the British economy. Strange isn't it, that the British, whom prided themselves on being immune to occupation and revolutions ("We have never been invaded since 1066, and have a continuous monarchic and parliamentary history"), went so carelessly around the world to occupy other countries and seditiously incite revolutions.

I wonder how many Chinese people today understand where the Communists came from, and how their thinking was directed (dare I say toyed with) by European intellectuals. A whole century of occupations, revolutions and upheavals, instead of some continuity of adjustment, and now nothing but an environmental mess to clear up.

And Thaksin Shinawatra is selling Manchester City football club, even while the Thai government is trying to recover his assets. Will Britain be very popular if they give protection to rich globalists like him?

Meanwhile, in India, the floods in Bihar this past week have displaced 3 million people, and have been hugely overshadowed by the ddrama of the New Orleans hurricane panic attack. Oh yes, wasn't India part of the British Empire once? Obviously did it a lot of good, and the fact that it has a democracy is doing it just as much good. Everybody in India must surely understand by now that nobody is going to look after them in the world, but they have to look after themselves.

So "The Pound is Falling, The Pound is Falling". Why should China, India, Russia or any of the Asian countries rush to rescue "the Pound"? Britain drove Globalism and still wallows in Globalism as if it were Catholic Iconography. Gordon Brown has never bothered to understand history or Global Economics, but merely dreams of being like the U.S.A. So once again, Britain will have to be rescued by America. And nobody will ever understand any better what a mistake Globalist Economics have been.

There is only me here, writing, free of charge, unpaid, thankless. Soon I shall stop protesting against Human Globalism and start designing salvage plans for the Global Human Economic Machine... while machines are still worth a lot of money as scrap metal. So while everybody else is sitting on their bums, I shall be sitting on their faces for time immemorial?

One would think I was descended from a people who have spent thousands of years adapted to globalism. A people whom had to develop a culture that was adapted to having no homeland. Diasporas, gypsies and nomads come to mind. Maybe I am. Maybe the horrors of World War 2 are no longer able to blind people to the horrors of a future of Globalism.

No, I'm just not a brainless sheep. I might have a sheep's soul, but my brain is half wolf.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

London Greenbelt - The Ingrebourne Valley

Hello There! My name is Mr E Ed, the silent horse! Welcome to Dagenham. Thank goodness we have a glorious summer's day today, Saturday, the second last day of August. I was getting tired of chomping around out here looking at skies that were greyer than my coat.

Oh yes, of course we're still in London. Nope, you aren't in the Green Belt yet, but this is the last valley, the Beam River, before you get there. Oh I know, my parents told me that there used to be loads of other horses about, all the way into London, because even poor people used to be able to keep horses on waste land. And I won't be here for long, but here I am for now. My mane and tail might be full of burrs because I haven't had a brushing for days, but what do you think I am, some sort of spoilt rich kid's silly obese pet horse? Nope, you know the folk around here don't have money, but they still love animals and nature, even though most of them used to work at that horrible car factory founded by that damned American, what's his name? ... Something to do with river crossings. Oh yes, Ford! My great, great grandparents called him Satan, because he might as well have been eating horses, so evil was he, making all those nasty monster metal machines, that put us out of jobs, and setting the 20th Century on an irreversible course so that now YOU are just a bit of rust in the Global Human Economic Machine.

So you came along the Wantz Stream, I see? Nice bit of work they did there, didn't they? And what did you think of those gravel pit ponds and lakes in Mayesbrook and Parsloes Parks? Those ponds are the only things decent in those parks, eh? Did you see that heron drying its wings in the sun on that little island? Oh yes, that heron comes over here sometimes to visit me. I can't get over this fence, so he has to fly to me.

Well you better carry on your journey. You want to go to Hornchurch Country Park, which is in the Ingrebourne River valley. Oh they aren't big rivers, because they flow into the Thames, but they're nice. Bye! And if you see any of that Ford fella's children, kick them for me, would you?

Hornchurch Country Park - lake.



Coprinus Comatus, the Shaggy Inkcap, not uncommon, but I've never seen them in a wide open grassy field of a park before.


These mushrooms were growing amongst the needles under a young Scots Pine. The ring on the stem was very prominent, and notably was not continuous all the way around (did not join, but overlapped). The larger specimens, like this one, had 11cm diameter caps. Gills were chocolate brown,closely spaced/crowded. Agaricus Silvicola or Agaricus Abruptibulbus? I'm no expert! It probably is something totally different.

Also did the Ingrebourne Valley, Thames Chase, Dagnam Park, and then I ended up sleeping outside in a cornfield. Not very well, because it got cold and foggy, and I wasn't well prepared. (Meanwhile just imagine all those spoilt fat humans sleeping comfortably in huge suburban houses, or even small flats, whom have never experienced English condensation under the stars.) Nice to know that when the time comes, one only has to go out to a cornfield, even in August, and be killed by the elements, instead of rotting away under some pseudo-Christian palliative care regime.

I also can comment from personal experience now on the lack of invertebrate life in the soil of what must be a chemically farmed cornfield. To its credit, it did at least have a few broadleaf weeds that were a few weeks old, so the farmer was either being stingy with the herbicide, or careful about not using more than necessary.

And that was all the summer we had in August, because the fog and cloud was Sunday's weather. To Hainault Forest, where one had to thank the people in history for saving a few old trees in England (although their countrymen then had to go and chop down all the old trees everywhere else in the world where they claimed Empire). I wondered if in 50, 100, 150 years time, there will be people standing there giving thanks. Unfortunately it is a tiny woodland, and you cannot help but hear the endless jet traffic flying into Stansted Airport, (the Macrophages feeding pathogens into the lymph nodes of the Global Human Economic Machine?).

But the last thing I have is one of those symbols of hope, an example of a sustainable fusion of Man and Planetary Ecosystem. Yes, it is a picnic table, and note amongst other things how it uses natural sections of the tree trunk instead of planks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Double Fig - Siamese Syconiums

What we have here is a freak fig that was developing on my dwarf fig tree Ficus Carica that produces edible seedless figs. One fig is growing out of another fig, Or according to the website Wayne's Word, linked, one syconium is growing out of another the ostiole of another syconium.
This is intended to be a rude post, but self-penetrating figs? The things they get up to when there aren't any wasps to get up their ostioles! Nature finds its own Perversity.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Love and the Planet - the Innaturate

It is so easy for me to blog. It is easier to blog than to cook breakfast. When first I started blogging, it was a retaliation against a lifetime of one-way media.

Like everyone else I was born, went to school and was fed information from mouths, blackboards and books. Outside school, we were fed information from more books, magazines, television, newspapers, film, concerts and the stage, radio, audio and video recordings, outdoor advertisements, and then computers.

When the Internet came along, and blogging appeared, it gave people of my generation a chance to retailiate against the plethora of media that has been used since before we were born, to oppress us. Even when those media are used in helpful constructive educational ways, they oppress us through their ubiquity, omnipresence, saturation and most of all because they are uni-directional flows of information.

Yet once upon a time, not even 500 years ago, there were few blackboards or books, so there was only the sand and a Bible that you weren't allowed to even touch. Back then, there was plenty of Nature about, so it was impossible to be ignorant or innocent of nature.

A few months ago I created the word innaturate to define the ignorance and innocence of Nature and Natural History. Compare the word, innaturate, with words like illiterate and innumerate. Today there is less Nature than 500 years ago, but there are infinite Media. The percentage population who are innaturate today is as much as those who were once illiterate or innumerate. Innaturacy has replaced illiteracy and innumeracy. Nature has been replaced by all media, from books to computers.

My blog started out as Love and the City, as a challenge to the then popular television series Sex and the City, which even I enjoyed. To me it was obvious that the Western World had suffered from the demise of Love, which since the Sixties had been smothered by Sex.

Having been cultivated (I might as well have been battery farmed) in a globalist city during its period of greatest rate of increase of innaturacy, it had been obvious to me since the infantile dawnings of consciousness that there was something vital missing. By the time I started this blog, the history of humanity had obviously arrived at the stage where it was threatening the future of The Planet and all its living things.

Love and the Planet became the obvious title for my small, David versus Goliath attempt to combat this phenomenon in the history of Mankind on the planet Earth. Unfortunately, unlike in fairy tales, this David will never defeat Goliath, and knows it.

A review of postings on this blog will reveal that they have increasingly strayed from the mission of Love and the Planet. I cannot bring back Love into a civilization when I can barely survive of my own sustenance, let alone survive the onslaught of the civilization that I call the Global Human Economic Machine. I cannot protect the Planet when I am just only able to protect myself. I cannot care for the Planet when I am barely able to care for myself. I cannot nurture the Planet when I cannot nurture myself at all. For I cannot love the planet if I cannot love myself, and I cannot love myself without the love of others.

If one can resign from a blog, then this is a resignation. It is of course, a resignation from my overly noble ambitions. Like the finality of death, all resignations are a sort of failure, but they are also a release. I will probably continue to blog, but this is my formal resignation from the original mission of Love and the Planet.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Doubt

Doubt. A 5-letter emotion word, hence less significant than love, but as significant as anger. What is doubt?

The assessment of unlikelihood.
The calculation of improbability.

Or from the pocket Oxford: Consciousness of uncertainty; to disbelieve in or feel doubt or distrust

In Christianity, the emotion is criticised entirely through the parable of Doubting Thomas. It is doubtful that Doubt has any moral defenders in societies evolved from Christianity. To believe and to go about believing with a shining look in your eyes is to be committed to the social group, one more sheep in the flock who together affirm each others' belief of unerring certainty. Hence in Christian societies, doubt is anti-social, and can only arise randomly in individuals, or else enter from the assimilation of an indigenous non-Christian culture.

Tony Blair, as a leader, was a notorious example of the Believer, whose self-belief and lack of self-doubt made him the ideal leader for a nation of lost sheep who had abandoned its Christian ancestry and not even obthered to understand its legacy and influece. The fact that it was only after he left office that he could voice the strength of his belief is proof how blind the secularized British nation were to their evolved Christian need to have communal Belief.

What does this mean for the doubter in a nation of sheep who do not understand the substantial degree of influence of Christianity in their makeup?

Rationally, in a society of believers, the doubter, being the assessor of improbability, provides an essential service. In such a society, the doubter would necessarily be made a lonely person and would be compelled to overcompensate for being surrounded by unquestioning believers.

The service provided by the doubter would inevitably go unrewarded by the masses of sheep, and consequently any reward would have to be either by a gratuity from another individual , or through individual gain.

Instead of believing any of this, it is normal just to listen to Marcus Brigstock and laugh while he gets paid for doing everybody's doubting. Then revel in secularity while denying any inherited need for communal beliefs.

Finally, let the Hedge Funds develop and apply the mathematics of human market behaviour. Their mathematics, together with certain branches of economics, have the closest analogy to Asimov's science of psychohistory. They do not provide the free services of the Doubting Thomas, but prefer to play God, by calculating the likelihood of sheep-like behaviour, the likelihood of predators and weather, and securing their own rewards and wealth long before a winsome innocent boy and a sheepdog is sent as a messenger to cry "Wolf!".

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dow Agro Herbicide in Contaminated Horse Manure

Forefront, the name for Aminopyralid has caused Dow Agrosciences a lot of trouble this year.

The amazing thing is, if it weren't for organic farmers and allotment growers, the whole thing would have not come to light as quickly as it did.

Agroscience. The name is enough to bring on an attack of Global Human Economic Machinitis. What faith can one have in science, when global companies who market herbicides hide behind the name of science in their job of making a profit? Even scientists can rarely hide behind science. The true scientist must always doubt his findings and leave them open to active scrutiny. The true scientist must also alert everyone to the limitations of his findings and his knowledge.

Common sense dictates that new science is untried, untested, and hence should be the most untrustworthy, and subjected to ruthless trials. Here was just one example this year of the limitations of trialling in the agricultural environment. And there are examples every year, and there will be more examples, every year. For such is the role of the scientist in the Global Human Economic Machine (GHEM). The scientist is just a particularly insular and ignorant form of cog in the GHEM. One who performs his job without asking embarrassing questions, then conveniently dies without ever venturing beyond his field (the field in which he is only a serf, not even a tenant).

There are other cogs, who go about sabotaging websites that advertise the embarrassing truth that the scientists didn't reveal.

The walking dead

Without love
I am just another one of them
The walking dead

I've heard we're born alone
and we die alone.
I suggest it is a plain truth that we are more alone when we die than when we are born, if only because you cannot be born if your mother isn't there!

In between, to live alone is like being dead.

Hell of an Air Crash

“It’s horrible. Everything is burnt,” a rescue worker said. “It is the closest thing to Hell that I have ever seen. The bodies were boiling. They burnt our hands when we touched them.”


Dante's Inferno being updated to the 21st Century experience of the Global Human Economic Machine. A metal machine aeroplane failed, and the horror affects the local people around it, but not the whole machine of humanity.

Stuck in England in the cloudiest and wettest summer in my memory, with no consolation but the moral ecological position of having for so long avoided all wasteful or indulgent air travel, even I cannot help but be touched by the horror of "boiling bodies". For the local people there is horror, but it was like a paint scratch on the Global Human Economic Machine, and I would be amazed if anybody cancelled their holiday or business flights because of this.

I am so bored. Grey clouds parted for 10 minutes of sunshine this morning, and the heat of the sunshine on my skin was as strange as a Martian invasion. There is no local news, for news has long gone global. Why should the news of an air crash serve to console me? Things could be worse, true. Such is damage limitation. Yet the temptation to dream is the knowledge that things could be so much better. To be for so long a part of the GHEM, always dreaming of the wilderness and freedom, and then to be part of nothing, always fearing things could be worse: this isn't really a sign of cleverness, is it? Living in reality isn't by itself more clever than living in fantasy. So cleverness must have nothing to do with living in either fantasy or reality.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Some silly global event in Beijing

There is some silly event going on in Beijing which is one of the most global communions of Masturbation known to Mankind.

Curiously, the Three Nations at the top of the gold medals table are each the owners of the acknowledged centres of Globalization, namely New York, London, Hong Kong (NYLonKong).

Also curiously, the IOC and Seb Coe have stated that they know it will be the very last extravaganza of its kind. The 2012 version will be "sustainable".

Some people will say that they are chasing the fashion of being green. But to me it seems that the people at the top have had their fill of globalization, and know the party is over. They are pulling back, even as I am at last fully aware of what they have been doing. They will change the rules now. What will they be next, do you think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That Global Human Economic Machine

It is a juggernaut.
It is the largest thing ever to exist.
It is just one living thing.
All over the Globe
Those Humans connected
Working, producing, consuming
In a Single Economy,
A single Organism
A super-organism greater than any ever seen
Upon this Earth.

Its advocates are clear.
Its advocates are confident.
Its advocates are wealthy.
Its advocates are the high-priests
That maintain and repair the machine.

Its prey are scattered.
Its prey are confused
Its prey are poor
Its prey are consumed
To feed its growth

That Global Human Economic Machine.
The biggest thing ever made that now makes itself.
Grows inexorably to consume all before it
All the Earth before it,
While its high-priests indulge in its tawdry boudoirs,
enticed by its lurid perfumes,
Convinced that they and all before them
Are richer for it,
And there are no other types of riches,
that they have overlooked.

That Global Human Economic Machine,
Sucks you in
With a Contract
You will be fed
You will be watered
You will have the cars,
the luxury dwelling,
the bright lights,
the ease of never having to lift a finger,
not even off your mouse
the trips abroad,
the laughing of those who have plenty
about you,
the misery and confusion of all the others,
hidden away,
here on the internet.

The Global Human Economic Machine
Will run and run and run,
And they will oil it and add to it
And it will grow ever bigger,
For they learned to make machines,
And with machines they could make the biggest machine of all
The Global Human Machine.

If you can't beat them
Join them,
But then it grows bigger
If you won't join them
Avoid them
But then it swallows you up.
You can try to hide,
But even the birds have less places to hide
And so too will you,
And all the time from your hiding place
You will watch fearfully
As it the Juggernaut comes ever closer.

You can take up a Faith
And protect yourself with some Words
And believe that you are only here on Earth
To be tested
And the test will be
how easily you are assimilated
Into the One
The Only,
The Single Global Human Economic Machine.

Book Review: Survival of the Sickest by Dr Sharon Moalem


Survival of the Sickest is one of the most engaging educational books I have come across for a long time. The reason for this is that its scientific content has been woven into narrative by co-writer Jonathan Prince (a Clinton speechwriter who should know a few things about the emotional power of narrative).

First of all, the ingeniously accurate title challenges the simple-mindedness of the phrase "Survival of the Fittest". That notorious trite summary was wrongly attributed to Darwin, then over time misleadingly foisted on the masses through poor teaching and poor journalism, as an explanation of the process of evolution.

The popular misrepresentation of evolution, is that living things progress from generation to generation with randomly created mutations, but only the fittest specimens with the best mutations survive. Even with a cursory understanding of genetics, the mathematics of this made no sense to me. The chance seemed very small that a random mutation could occur in one generation that could KEEP all the best of its ancestor, while ADDING a new superior genetic feature.

For a long time I have only known one example that challenged this view of evolution as a continuous and ever-increasing upward drive toward Genetic Superiority. It was sickle-cell anaemia, where a misshapen red-blood cell that loses a lot of its oxygen-transport capacity, is nonetheless an excellent natural advantage against malaria.

Survival of the Sickest gives new genetic medical examples in Man to show how random mutations often occur causing the LOSS of one useful genetic feature, which accidentally turn out to be an advantage under certain enviromental conditions. Evolution is a constant process of change, and the loss of useful features often comes first and becomes the foundation for further additions and losses.

The first example covers haemochromatosis, a hereditary disorder whose sufferers cannot regulate their blood iron levels, which can build up and damage their organs and can cause death. The preferred treatment is periodic bloodletting (phlebotomy).
One in 200 people of Western European descent have full haemochromatosis, yet as many as one in 3 carry at least one copy of the haemochromatosis gene. How did such a genetic disorder become so widespread in the population?

Iron-locking is usually part of the immune system's acute phase response. It starves invading pathogens of iron. People with haemochromatosis have a form of iron-locking that operates continuously. Particularly their macrophages (one of the types of white blood cell) are so iron-deficient that pathogens engulfed by the macrophages are starved of iron and so prevented from multiplying into the lymphatic system. This probably was a huge advantage when the bubonic plague (yersina pestis) attacked Western Europe.

So haemochromatosis is a superb example of recent human evolution. Initially, normal iron-regulating behaviour would have been lost in a few random individuals. Before Yersina Pestis these individuals would have moaned about aches and pains and died young, while their fellow men lived long and lusty reproductive lives. When Yersina Pestis came along the tables were turned. The ones with the haemochromatosis mutation suddenly became the healthiest and fittest people left alive. They got all the women, or had all the children. Since then continuing evolution has meant that the advantages of haemochromatosis have further varied with other features and been further selected, while the disadvantages have been further dying out. To this extent one third of the population have the genetic advantage of at least one haemochromatosis gene, but only one in two hundred people (not one ninth, as you would expect) actually have it in a combination where it is by itself a disease.

The book also examines the evolutionary roles of Diabetes, high cholesterol, favism (an enzyme deficiency that makes the consumption of fava/broad beans fatal). It looks at how parasites and pathogens continually evolve with their hosts. It explores genetic redundancy and ventures also into epigenetics and has an eloquent indomitable assault on the educators who have ritually ridiculed Lamarck in the teaching of evolution. Finally it explores the evolution of ageing and age-related diseases such as cancer. I will summarize those in a second installment, when time permits.

****
Away from the book, let us revisit the scenario of how Sickle-cell anaemia's evolution may have started and how it might continue to unfold:

Sickle-cell arises randomly in one individual in the sub-Sahara. It is the loss of normal function in haemoglobin and red-blood cells. Without malaria, that individual would be disadvantaged and die out. With malaria, instead of being a disability, the sickle-cell feature actually makes the individual fitter and healthier than his neighbours. He breeds and his offspring have the same advantage. Eventually the incidence of sickle-cell rises to a level in the population where its growth levels off, say at 10%. This is because the advantage of malaria resistance does not sufficiently outweigh the disadvantage of a shorter and attack-filled lifespan, for this population to compete with the non-sickle-cell population.

The sickle-cell presence in the population stabilizes, say, for a thousand years, as being only a disabling condition that confers advantage against malaria. During this time, other random genetic mutations (for other genes, not sickle-cell) in the population continue to occur at each generation, in all sorts of combinations. None of these turn out to be particularly useful, but neither are they a disadvantage, so most changes and mixes of changes survive and are passed on at every generation.

Eventually, some mixture of lost and added genes and mixing within the population spawns a new individual who still has sickle-cell, but who has also at last gotten some genetically working form of compensation for its disadvantage. This individual and its descendants thrives in the population, in malarial conditions, displacing all other people with no sickle-cell feature.

Finally a future scientist comes along to marvel at sickle cell and prononounces these people to be superior with their malarial resistance, ignoring the fact that for a thousand years, the feature was considered a sickness and disability.

So now do you understand how survival of the sickest works in evolution, and how it is more likely than survival of the fittest? The genes of the future fittest lurk amongst those who do not appear today to be the fittest.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Labour Party Oversteps the Mark on GM

This week saw Prince Charles doing his job by speaking up about the dangers of GM crop production and what do we get?

The Labour Government, full of little boys and girls who get fed fat in the House of Commons on food grown by machines and a few lonely farmers, has overstepped the mark by suffocating the debate with a feeble call for science.

Scientists whose jobs depend on Genetic Modification obviously only have one motive: the need to keep their jobs, get rich, and puff themselves up by making themselves famous.

The Labour Government, whose jobs depend on espousing humanitarianism, obviously only has one motive: appear to be directly helping human beings all over the world to live.

Both Scientists and the Labour Government will delude themselves and us with all sorts of lies to achieve these motives. Who is supposed to keep a check on them? Friends of the Earth? Greenpeace? The Press?

Obviously Prince Charles recognized that his help was needed. He has a background of wealth and privilege, and now considerable maturity, that has given him an overview of the world, and its planetary ecosystem, far above the usual self-serving ambitions of a few specialists (scientists and politicians) in the Global Human Economic Machine.

A bunch of democratically elected children prancing around the House of Commons, none of whom will every bother to look for an earthworm in an industrially farmed field of Genetically modified crops, are putting not only the planet, but democracy itself, in danger. These twits think that because they have a moral case, that they have the overview of the moral case. They will not bother to count the pitfalls of GM:

- Breeds and varieties of crops that have been developed over centuries and continue to be developed to suit local conditions, will be driven into extinction in favour of the adoption of the quick fix of a globally marketed GM variety.

- Local economies and hence cultures destroyed as they are moved from local market farming to international industrialized agriculture.

- And the worst: Vulnerability to catastrophic crop failure by using monoculture varieties of GM, which in the face of a changing climate, will be challenged by new varieties of fungi, viruses and pests. New diseases arise more quickly and in a globalized world, new diseases spread like wildfire, so there is no way that new GM varieties could be developed in sufficient time to avert unforeseen disease catastrophes.

Consider the scenario of when half the world's wheat production is grown from the same single variety of GM wheat. Suddenly a new strain of wheat rust arises and spreads within a year to half the crops in the world. There you lose instantly 25% of the crop.

On top of all this, in a changing climate, there is no ability of Genetic Modification to adapt a crop to a climate that varies wildly from one year to the next.

Even if GM food production turns out to be successful for the first ten years, there lies the danger that the global food economy will become complacent and the global human population will be allowed to multiply to yet higher levels, at which even GM food production no longer can provide any solutions.

There is only one sustainable solution to world hunger: putting a limit on the number of human beings on Earth.

China has a one-child policy, and the rest of the world should have the courage to implement its example all over the world. The one-child policy is the most moral and sustainable of humanitarian solutions.

The External World demolished to serve Global Greed



Here you see a picture from Leicester Square looking towards the North East. Notice what is missing? The Swiss Centre, in Soho, London is gone for ever. This building once had a Swiss clock with glockenspiel that amused even the most jaded of tourists in Leicester Square.

It is uncommon in England for 40 year old commercial buildings to be so unceremoniously demolished for re-development, so I was surprised. Normally buildings requiring re-development are older and have a facade worth preserving.

No they don't need terrorist attackers to demolish buildings in London. The greed of Global Economics does the work. The demise of the Swiss centre begs symbolic comparison to the Swiss banks that have also been demolished by Global Economic Greed.

London was dead today. It is becoming like Paris in August. Deserted except by those who cannot afford to go away on holiday, and with the poor weather, even they cannot be bothered to get off the sofa. Today was more than 95% cloudy.

Fortunately my favourite cheap Chinese restaurant in Chinatown has not yet been demolished, and I had a super Crispy Belly Pork and Roast Duck on Rice, which sated a very deep spiritual need, quite apart from filling my stomach.

Soho was also deserted and dead. Not even worth mentioning. A parody of its former self.

The Internal world in the External World of the Globalized Economy

Spirituality is as much of a need as sex, food, mental exercise, work and socializing. Today I caught on Radio 4 a repeat Catholic service by one John O'Donohue that was recorded in March 2001. Note that this was still at the height of the Millenium Economic Boom, just when the Dot Com crash had begun, and before the New York 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks.

There is something lost in the transcript which is conveyed in the service, but it is possible to Listen Again for up to a week on Sunday Worship

There is a sublime wildness in God that calls us to risk becoming who we dream and have long been dreamed to be. .... More often that not, the language of religion falsifies the subtlety of Divine Presence and Imagination, and labels and names mislead us into the bland territories of the obvious. Often, when you wake in the middle of the night, unprotected, uncertainty finds you. The role and name you wear during the day, the things you do, what you have achieved, who others hold you to be, all of that seems so far away now. You feel alone, a stranger in the world. Though disturbing, such moments of dangerous knowing draw us deeper into who we really are and why it is that we are here.
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We can have everything else, friends, achievements, possessions and success, but if we have closed off contact with God, something gnaws at us and the heart can find no contentment. Deep in every heart, this longing is alive. It seems that Hegel and Nietzsche were right. In our times, God has died. Churches are emptying and the public talk about God as clich├ęd, dead and deadening. There is no excitement in that kind of deity, and deftly the psychology of consumerism has stolen the garments of deity, to present products that awaken, even if only temporarily, the call of desire. We need to find a new concept of God in order to awaken our lives and impassion us again with eternal desire. We need to unearth our submerged longing for the Divine. We have allowed our desire to become cheapened through false satisfactions. We seem to have lost the practice and patience of true desire. Our surface minds are saturated with invitations that lack direction and depth. For too long, we have lingered on the chromatic surfaces, where nothing can root and where experience is reduced to a momentary gleaming. We need to reach deeper and begin to excavate our eternal desire. Without the passion of God, all the proofs and arguments of theology become dry and forced. Perhaps belief, after all, is but a helpless attraction go God, and the saints and mystics are people who simply fall head over heels in love with the divine. We have become weary of Religion telling us how to think and what to do. In a time when culture is trading soul for image, we need to retrieve again a sense of what Keats called ‘the holiness of the heart’s affections’. The deepest thing, after all, in each heart, is the imprint of the divine. The loneliness in us is a loneliness for the tenderness of God, and we should never allow any system or voice to evict us from the embrace of that tenderness.
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One of the great mysteries of the world is the mystery of difference. No two pains are ever the same. In a landscape, each stone, tree and field are different, but difference doesn’t seem to trouble nature. Each stone dwells in its own shape of stillness. Outside, millions of years pass, but can never enter or intrude on it. For humans, though, difference is always intense. No two faces are ever the same and behind each face there is a hidden world that no one else can see. Each life is a narrative that remains mostly hidden.

This is why it’s so difficult to be human. You live in two worlds, the outer world of name, family, address and role, and the inner world which is profoundly nameless, where no one else can enter, and which remains intimate, though unknown, largely to you, yet so much depends on how you see and understand this amazing, concealed world that you carry around every moment. If you live only in the outside world, your heart will wither in the famine fields of image, information and noise. You will become so weary and worn, struggling on the treadmills of competition, impression and pretence, and you will never learn to be yourself. One of the most noble duties of the human being is to learn the art of individuality.

The Irish word ‘ushla’ [?] captures this. It evokes the coherence, dignity and rhythm of being at one with your own nature. This finds classical expression, for instance, in the confessions of St. Patrick, where we see his ‘ushla anima’, his nobility of soul, a life of critical and creative presence always at the threshold of risk.

Each one of us is completely individual. No one else sees the world like you do. No one else feels pains like you do. No one else has the view from where you stand, and no other carries the memories and gifts and wounds that you do. You were sent to the Earth to learn to be yourself, to see and recognise the miracle of your own individuality. Something is coming alive in you that can be found nowhere else, and the Divine Artist exercised huge care in creating you. For thousands of years before you came here, you were prepared, you were dreamed and imagined, who you would be, when you would come here, where you would arrive, to whom, and all the drama and depth of narrative that would emerge as your life.

Immense care went into shaping all the events and experiences that unfold naturally as your daily life. Nothing is accidental and when you forget yourself, neglect or deny who you are, or desperately try to ignore your soul, you disrespect the gift that was so tenderly and lovingly prepared for you. When you negate yourself, you diminish the divine, and when you awaken your life and inhabit the sacrament of your own individuality, you enter divine presence. The mystery of your individuality was given to you not merely for yourself, but as a gift to awaken divine presence wherever you go. To be the individual that you were dreamed to be is often a hard and lonely path to travel. Though there is shelter in sameness and predictability, there is no growth or peace in a denied life.



There is a bit of genius here that rises above the mundane doctrines and machinations of the Christian Churches. Nonetheless, although he recognizes that we have to find a new concept of God, he is forced to use the word God endlessly to express his criticism of a soulless materialist life.

Note also that he also resorts to implying that an individual is on this earth by DESIGN, which is one of the ingenious psychological devices used by human beings, and taught by the Catholic Church, to insulate the internal spiritual world from the external real world. To believe that you arrived and exist by design automatically bestows upon you:

- a sense of purpose and direction
- an omnipresent sense of supervised guidance.

There is no doubt in my soul that we all need spirituality, but if we are to be individuals, then we should not want to be sheep with the wool pulled over our eyes. Specialists at the Internal World, in a Global Economy, should beware how they are used to serve the Global Human Machine.

There is at least one new concept of God, mine, or this blog would never have come into existence. It is harder to get words shorter than three letters in English, but the shortest word of all is one with no letters. When I say that there is Love and the Planet, then there is my internal world, and my external world both in the very title of this blog.

He said to His disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or about your body, what you will wear, for life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens. They neither sew nor reap. They have neither storehouse nor barn and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds, and can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?


You see that Christianity dwells on teachings from a time when Nature was so abundant that there was no prospect of Man ever dominating it as completely as today. God does not feed the ravens very much any more, for Man has been killing the Planet while also killing God. Anyone who cannot see that the Planet must be protected, must foolishly believe in Divine Providence. Divine Providence did not build the Ark that saved all living things. Divine Providence made floods, and famines. Divine Providence is an extravagant belief that can only be indulged in by well-fed poets. Spirituality does not need to be associated with such extravagance.

Nonetheless, there is a deep need for spirituality such as John O'Donohue expresses. The Churches and those who think they are Christian, should begin to update themselves so that they can address the world that exists today. They should not rely on applying their speciality for the internal world on those people who arrive at infirmity, old age, and death's door. There is a need in the vast population, and that need must be served, or its perversion will continue to destroy the whole Planet.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Swimming Outdoors

At last, a day that started off with a fully clear sky. There was mist, which was strange for August, when grass fires are the norm. But then it warmed up in the sun and the rest of the day was at least 70% blue skies.

I went swimming, and I had the company of a friend, and I had a much deserved enjoyable afternoon. How difficult it is to get just a little bit of contentment like this. One day to savour over for the next 364, so it may be, or if I'm lucky, a day like this I might get again before October? Who knows? Supposedly we live in a wealthy society, yet if contentment could be counted by Economists, I probably have been living in severe poverty for years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Primary Produce of Economists is Shit

"This is why most analysts are now suggesting that the economy will at best only manage to stagnate in the coming few quarters, and that the growth prospects through 2009 and into 2010 look no better than anaemic," Mr Lambert said.

The CBI earlier cut its forecast for growth in 2009 from 1% to 0.4%.

And last week the International Monetary Fund again revised down its forecast for UK economic growth this year and next year.

It now expects growth of 1.4% this year and 1.1% in 2009, although the government still expects the figures for both years to be 2% or above.


How many times do you see the word "growth" in the above? Well done. So if you are able to construct three sentences, each using the word "growth" and throw in a couple of unscientific and mathematically worthless percentages:

YOU TOO can be an economist! You can walk around in a suit, get paid £40000 a year, and the rest of the time you can sit around producing shit. You will be superior to "consumers", because instead of having to go to the toilet and wasting your shit into a costly sewage system, your shit will be spread all over idiots and politicians who cannot count, think logically, or have any vision.

We as a nation have allowed our government (Labour, at that too) to willfully submit our lives into the flawed model of a Global Economy. Then we believed that we were growing, when the economists were actually shitting on us. Of course, lots of us knew something was not quite right, but were completely powerless to do anything about it, other than to withdraw from that unsustainable delusion called the Economy. Such is the power of Democracy. The power to change all men to sheep, and to make believe that they are free.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Squashes


Two Carnival Squash plants, in a cloudy but warm summer. Fruit on one is 2 inches long.








I can't remember the name of this squash, but it still has a long way to go!

Self-Destructiveness as an Intended Feature of Liberalism

This is the first day since having my bike stolen where it has occurred to me that I am not being self-destructive. Well obviously that's good, and that's a relief. But as mentioned before, on Love and the Planet, we examine these things because nobody else does.

I propose that it is almost by design that in a liberal civilization, an individual is given the freedom and sometimes encouraged to engage in self-destruction. I will question why this has arisen, its benefits and costs to both the group and the individual. I will address the responsiblity of the group and the risk management that must be exercised. Most importantly I will define for the individual the needs: to be aware of this feature of living in a liberal civilization and; to know how to use it and to protect (and hence love) oneself from its dangers.


Living in a liberal civilization


The majority of people living in liberal societies have not knowingly chosen to do so. Some were born into the circumstance. Others were attracted to it without knowing what they would get into.

Amongst the many freedoms, including the freedom to leave their liberal society, is the freedom to engage in self-destructive activities. The more trite examples of these are excessive alcohol consumption, drug-taking, sexual indulgence and gluttony. Equal to these, although less acknowledged, are depression, self-harming, danger thrill chasing, over-work, emotional alienation and isolation.

In a liberal society, freedoms which are destructive but not self-directed would result in the rapid death of everyone, so it is impossible in theory for any liberal society to last long with such freedoms. Hence if everyone were allowed to use their guns to kill whomever they didn't like, everyone would soon be dead. So even in the USA, the freedom to own a gun only gives you the freedom to use it in self-defence with provocation.

Freedoms which are self-destructive, on the other hand, are allowed so that an individual can "get their kicks". (As such these freedoms are already effectively encouraged. In fact in irresponsible liberal civilizations, they are actively encouraged.) This is because in order to maintain the delusion of freedom, as many freedoms as possible must be left available. At such time when an individual wishes to exercise the right to one of the more destructive freedoms, then it is naturally imperative that it should be exercised in a self-destructive fashion.

The ideal individual in a liberal civilization is one who enjoys knowing that the destructive freedoms are available, without ever partaking of them. Conversely, the failing individual is one who so persistently indulges in the self-destructive freedoms that they begin to be destructive to others.

Next consider the economic whole of a liberal society as a large single complex Machine. The components of the Machine are individuals, each of which under the delusion of freedom, willingly conducts his/her essential function. The components that never indulge in self-destructive freedoms will need less frequent repair or replacement. The components that are persistently self-destructive are eventually not worth repairing but are removed and permanently replaced.

This seems paradoxical. A liberal society allows self-destructive freedoms, but then has no use for its self-destructive components in its economic Machine. Is there any use for a liberal society? The secret truth is that the role of self-destructive freedoms is as an evolutionary pressure on the components of its Machine. As the Machine evolves, its components are selected on suitability for the increasing size, complexity and sophistication of the Machine. Permitting self-destructive freedoms allows the Machine to evolve into being ever larger, more complex, and sophisticated, with ever more perfect ideal components.

The ultimate purpose of a liberal human society then , is to develop into a single global economic super-organism, the Machine. In the super-organism, the individuals think they can be free, and can willfully self-destruct, therefore inviting replacement with more ideal components. This is like a constantly evolving Borg, perhaps?

The Failing Individual Component

The individual who has to indulge in self-destructive freedoms is considered to be failing. Without these freedoms, the identification of components of the Machine needing improvement would be impossible, and components of the Machine could spontaneously and abruptly cause catastrophic failure of the whole Machine.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Art to Choke on

No not Tracey Emin's infantilism. This is an Artichoke in flower. In a cloudy summer.
But the Beijing Olympics have started and been a success; Georgia and Russia have started fighting over a few mountains called Ossetia, so at last there will be no more of that "Free Tibet" stuff, yippee!

Human Rights in Ossetia? Most people in Britain will never be able to spell it, so it will never take off. But Russia? Most people in Britain know just as little about Russia as they do about China, India, France or even Scotland. So everybody will be able to hate it just as much as they hate China, India, France or even Scotland.

I am having to eat cucumbers because I have grown my first ever ones successfully. But the tomatoes this year are disastrous. Lots of blight, few tomatoes. Of course, because it is a wet summer, runner beans are doing well, and because it is quite warm, cucumbers and squashes are thriving.