Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Free range blogging...

The first person raise a topic gets to own the comment thread.

What are you waiting for?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do not go gentle...

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

(Brownie, thanks for reminding me. I'm trying. Really, I am... ;-)


I'm reading William L. Shirer's biography "Gandhi - a Memoir".

Explaining why he was on the train to Delhi, Shirer said "It would be best to see Gandhi first, to try to grasp the nature of his genius [...], to get from the master himself an understanding of his unique contribution to the revolutionary politics of the twentieth century, Satyagraha, a word he had coined from his native Gujarati and which, I suspected, meant much more, at least in the Hindu consciousness, than civil disobedience, passive resistance, non-cooperation, and non-violence, though it encompassed all of these."

Any Gujarati-speaking Hindus reading this? I'd like to know more.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The joys of privatisation

So they've privatised water and electricity. And now people are screaming that their bills have skyrocketed. What a coincidence...

Do they not understand how it works?

Do I have to explain it?

[sigh] OK. It works like this:

Now you have your water and electricity run by corporations which have a legal obligation to provide a good return (profit) for their shareholders (or the shareholders will run away to where better profits can be had and the corporation goes bust.)

With me so far? Good.

Now, let's say a good return is 10%. So now you have the monopoly corporation's bean counters setting up a price structure to suit.

one year out = 110%
two years out = 121%
three years out = 132%
four years out = 145%
five years out = 160%

That's just to keep the share holders happy in a zero inflation game and without factoring in any costs of infrastructure increase or upgrade.

And these corporations aren't silly - they will do only the minimum maintenance. They know that when the system gets to breaking point the government must bail them out to the tune of the required upgrade because by then the government will be entirely dependent on the corporation. So then massive taxpayer slugs will be required on top of the already exorbitant usage charges.

Keep voting for the Lib-Labs, guys...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A man sees what he wants to see...

..and disregards the rest.

Paul Simon knew.

Today, reading the SMH, I came across the headline "Slice of silicon valley as social media moves in". I had not started reading the article when my gaze was snared by an insert positioned in the centre of the piece which said "Business Day: Fears of Geek debt default. Page 1."

Well, it actually said "Greek", but I didn't realise that for a few seconds...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Armchair warriors

ICBMs. Cruise missiles. Predator and Reaper drones. Military robots.

War by remote control or computer-based logic.

Armchair warriors.

Will those "doing the fighting" be called heroes?

Will these armchair warriors be deemed to have displayed great bravery and courage under fire?

Will they be awarded medals and honours?

What will their citations say?

"...sat in his armchair, and without giving any thought to his pizza going cold, he tracked them, and when too much excitement became barely enough, he pressed the trigger, and bravely murdered a dozen suspected freedom fighters walking with their families to a wedding."

Will they be marching in veterans' parades?

Will the spectators cheer?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Pure evil...


Is there such a thing? (Lynda La Plante thinks so.)

If you think evil exists, how do you define it?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Hit me with your rhythm stick...

In the deserts of Sudan and the gardens of Japan
From Milan to Yucatan, ev'ry woman, ev'ry man
In the wilds of Borneo and the vineyards of Bordeaux
Eskimo, Arapaho, move their body to and fro
In the dock of Tiger Bay, on the road to Mandalay
From Bombay to Santa Fé, o'er the hills and far away
Hit me with your rhythm stick...

And from elsewhere on the Interweb...

Diogenes wanted to study under Antisthenes, who was the leader of the Cynics. But Antisthenes at first refused to admit him into his house and even struck him with a stick.

Diogenes calmly bore the rebuke and said, "hit me with your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me, Antisthenes, but you will never find a stick sufficiently hard to remove me from your presence, while you speak anything worth hearing."

The philosopher was so delighted with this reply that he at once admitted Diogenes into his group of scholars. [Source]

Ahhh... they don't make 'em like they used to...