THE BEADY EYE ASK’S. WHO IS MAKING HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES IN SUPPLYING ARMS TO THE UKRIAN?

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( Fifteen minute read)

The human being is apparently the most aggressive and cruel species that has ever inhabited the Earth: There is no other animal that kills members of its own species in such a systematic way as man does (Sangrador, 1982).

So it is not surprising that the current Ukraine war raises difficult political and ethical questions, because these day with technology we fail to see systematic polarisation, because we all assume good and bad are equally distributed among us, but that is just an abstract idea, far from the reality.

If western leaders think that their arms-length encouragement of Ukraine will bring about a Ukrainian military victory, then they are fatally misreading Putin’s intentions and resolve.

Russia’s progress may be slowed, but it’s highly unlikely to be stopped, far less pushed out of Ukraine, and in the meantime the grinding destruction and hideous war crimes continue.

The west’s current approach of supporting Ukraine’s war aim of defeating the aggressor, and providing arms for that purpose while pointedly avoiding direct military intervention, is guaranteed to prolong the war and it is not at all clear that the kind of support we are giving (and not giving) is the right way to go about preserving the Ukrainian nation.

One thing is certain it is that Putin will never accept defeat.

He is already too deeply invested in this war to back off with nothing to show for it.

If Russia’s aim was to exterminate the Ukrainian nation, then the west’s approach is helping to do just that. Encouraging the Ukrainians to continue, however just their cause, is merely making their country uninhabitable.

Of course as with any war the problem is how what and where should support be given but in the background of any war there are those supplying ammunition and arms to both the aggressor and the opposition.

Large defence companies are already seeing their share prices go up as investors anticipate the impact of the war on profits.

Thales shares have risen by 35% since the invasion, while BAE Systems shares are up 32%. Lockheed Martin has seen an increase of 14% and Aero Vironment 63%.

Supplying weapons offers no effective means of reducing violence.

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In wars there is a profound failure to mourn loose of life, because there is nothing good enough to allow the process to begin, leads to an enactment where loss is transferred usually bodily into another.

We accept that no one has the right to take another’s life, however, justified their grievances.

It is true that some people can feel that their own identity, country, belief system, are so under threat that the annihilation of the other, to preserve their own belief systems, is sometimes justified. The aggressive attacker has forfeited their rights and therefore it’s okay to attack them, to kill them, or to hurt them.

In the case of wars people are violent because it feels like the right thing to do.

It follows that supporting Ukraine is the right thing to do, with Britain and Poland now suppling Tanks.

So where are we with the War?

I think when we look at the state of the world we have two conflicting regimes at war with each other: We tend to think that the seed of violence is outside of us and we are exempt from it but ” violence begets violence ” laying the seed for future clashes.

Religious fundamentalism in the form of a particularly virulent form of Islam, which most Muslims do not of course adhere to.

The other is an unfettered fundamentalism, a form of Neo-liberal secular market economics, that promulgates a vicious form of Social Darwinism. “We are all revolutionary in our shopping habits now,” that most of us don’t want to adhere to this idea – but unwittingly play a part in it – and until we realise the damage to climate change and the plight of refugees.

We are actually in a period of profound economic crisis where the human industrial system could threaten to destroy all traces of tradition, certainty and belief.

It is possible that no other currency of communication can be imagined other than death to the enemy. Hence, the dynamic can be perpetuated down the generations. The desire for vengeance and the righting of wrongs can shape an entire life.

Instead of listening to the grievances arising from the Middle East, we in the West continue to employ professional soldiers to perform what might seem acts of state-sanctioned terrorism in the name of foreign policy such as the invasion of Iraq, still a highly peculiar response to the 9/11 attacks.

Can there ever be just wars?

The answer to that question (in a democratic society) is almost always going to be “no” because the test of “Is it a last resort” which is one of the tests for a just war, is never going to be reached, because there is always in a democratic society, an alternative way of reaching your goal, which is to pursue things through the normal political process.

Is this true?

Some violence is more rational or ethically justifiable than others, such as surgical strikes, or limited warfare, the use of things like drones has become very common. The remote drone operator carrying out clean surgical hits allegedly in our name. The pleasure of an Isis general being blown to pieces.

But the question remains. Can there ever be a just war?

How many of us for instance would think it was worthwhile for anyone’s sons or daughters to die in the service of keeping the Falklands Islands British, or during the invasion of Iraq, whether this action is seen as an atrocity or ‘liberation’.

Nelson Mandela was deemed a terrorist, not a rebel with great cause, he remained on the US terrorism list most of his life. Reagan and Thatcher both viewed Mandela as a threat. Indeed, he was at first involved in necessary violent guerrilla actions against the apartheid state.

You can’t defeat an ideology, when it feels based on a justified grievance that belief systems are under threat from the modern world and a wish to regress from the advances of modernity, which seems to lack all spiritual awareness except that of materialism.

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Can violence be fought with violence?   Of course it can.

The paradox of fighting violence with violence is within psychology two opposing concepts, one called “compassion fatigue” and the opposite “substitution trauma.” Both associated with chronic stress and its effect on ceasing to feel empathy for others or feeling sympathetic to others..

Currently, because we are shown violent images daily on Television stations and social media it make’s us reflect on the consequences suffered by victims of aggression as well as the different types of aggression that are shown, making many of these scenes appear as “happy violence.”

However, luckily it is still very rare that you’ll see anybody claim that hurting someone else is an inherently moral thing to do.

Unfortunately morality as understood and practiced by real-world human beings, doesn’t always prohibit violence. In fact they make the case that most violence is motivated by morality.

An emotional abduction (Goleman, 2012) can trigger our violence: a lack of self-control, an unexpected event, the protection of a loved one, defence against an out-of-control animal, or even an attack of zeal, can trigger our most heinous thoughts.

Social interaction influences the brain and the brain influences social interaction.

Social behaviour is learned mainly by observing and imitating the actions of others, and secondly, by being directly rewarded and punished for our own actions. In this regard Putin points to the extermination of the native Indians in West (The Establishment Americas, war list is endless ) as defence of his actions.

The best way to change someone’s behaviour is to understand what motivated that behaviour in the first place.

Political leaders are right to condemn terrorist attacks – we do not have to accept the moral codes of others in order to acknowledge that they exist. However, long-term solutions to terrorist atrocities, as well as many other forms of violence such as wars in our society, might benefit from a taking a perspective that the perpetrators believe that what they are doing is good, just, and right.

Russia’s age-old security concerns, perhaps even the very logic of basing today’s international frontiers in that part of Europe on what were internal borders in the USSR, drawn up by communist leaders precisely to prevent Soviet republics and regions from being viable independent states.

“People are only as mad as the other people are deaf” – Adam Philips.

The greatest acts of violence in the last century have in fact been perpetrated by western colonialism and economic expansionism, we are now arguably reaping the backlash of those policies. The exploitation of the poor by the neoliberal economy is one huge factor in social and state violence, which leads to wars and militarism.

So to create a violent attack firstly ignore the underlying factors, poverty inequality and western exploitation, the severe effects of climate change, global warming, arguably caused by unscrupulous western economic policies.

No day goes past without some senior western politician proclaiming that Ukraine will be “successful” and that Russia is “failing” which is clearly nonsense. The risk involved in this – of a third world war – is obvious, and it’s why the west refuses to intervene directly.

Can violence be fought with violence?

Like all wars, Russia’s barbaric attack on Ukraine will finish at some point. How it ends will determine whether Europe is destined to live with a festering sore of bitterness and division at its heart.

How will the war end?

First, there is outright victory by one side or the other. Second, there is a negotiated ceasefire leading to a peace settlement of some kind. Third, an inconclusive outcome, with the fighting gradually subsiding leaving a stalemate or frozen conflict.

The most pressing question is how do we prevent a repeat of the most violent conflict that humanity has ever seen, the second world war.

Remember that world war two didn’t come out of nothing its starting fuse was the peace agreement of world war one.

Outright victory with unconditional surrender by the losing side is rare and military victory frequently led to a much more ambiguous political outcome sowing the seeds of future conflict.

The third way conflicts end is in a stalemate, with no clear winner and no peace agreement, but a gradual ebbing away of the fighting, leaving a more or less chaotic and unstable situation.

None of these analogies will apply precisely.

How will Putin’s latest Ukraine war end?

Outright victory by one side looks the least likely. Even if Russia managed to topple the Zelensky government and install a puppet regime, subjugating the whole country would require a massive army of occupation, far larger than Moscow can muster.

Moscow and Kyiv have set out their opening positions. But these are light-years apart.

Any amputation of Ukraine’s territory will result in a hostile stand-off, with regular upsurges of fighting along a line of separation. Another words back to a full-scale Cold War with Russia.

If NATO were to actively enter the war and make a quick, massive and decisive strike to cripple Russia’s invasion forces it would be the demise of the EU catapulting it back to a situation of the 1930s where there were individual states in Europe pitted against each other.

In the end there will be no classless society or reign of the Just. It will just carry on in the same kind of way. Meanwhile, all we have is the means. The means is how we will be judged.

As some put it: Peace only be achieved without weapons.

We create refugees with our economics and then blame them for wanting a better life.

Tell them (they have names)

and when they turn the bodies over

To count the number of closed eyes. And they tell you 800’000: you say no. that was my uncle. He wore bright coloured shirts and pointy shoes.

2 million: you say no. that was my aunty.

her laughter could sweep you up like

The wind to leaves on the ground.

6 million: you say no. that was my mother.

her arms. the only place I have ever

Not known fear.

3 million: you say no. that was my love.

We used to dance. Oh, how we used to dance.

Or 147: you say no. that was our hope. Our future. The brains of the family.

And when they tell you that you come from war: you say no. I come from hands held in prayer before we eat together.

When they tell you that you come from conflict: you say no. I come from sweat. On skin. glistening. From shining sun.

When they tell you that you come from genocide: you say no. I come from the first smile of a new born child. tiny hands.

When they tell you that you come from rape: you say no. and you tell them about every time you have ever loved.

Tell them that you are from mother carrying you on her back. until you could walk. until you could run. until you could fly.

Tell them that you are from father holding you up to the night sky. full of stars. and saying look, child.

this is what you are made of. From long summers. full moons. flowing rivers. sand dunes.

you tell them that you are an ocean that no cup could ever hold.

JJ Bola | poet

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In a world where there are disadvantages, neglect and unfairness, there will always be collective and individual activity to reverse the inferior position, by finding other bodies and minds to carry it.

The thing is, no one would ever engage in something that serves the purpose of one’s species’ survival unless one found some pleasure in it.

But does this concept imply while making the revolution enjoying the violence in the process is okay?

Is there really such a convenient separation between a revolution (or rebellion or civil war) and everyday life violence?

If so, one has to use a different register for judgement.

People could receive reinforcement or rewards for their aggressive behaviour in different ways: directly or indirectly.

Every act of violence can feel justified with the currency of communication is the exchange of pain.

It is clear that such questions can and must be discussed.

You can’t defeat an ideology, when it feels based on a justified grievance that belief systems are under threat from the modern world and a wish to regress from the advances of modernity, which seems to lack all spiritual awareness except that of materialism.

When the state is violent, is violence justifiable?

What happens when we tolerate the intolerant? And when we spare the life of a killer? Do we become their enablers?

Is assassination a more justifiable form of political violence than war?

The ethics of selective assassination as a tactic in warfare has not really been given much of consideration until the invention of drones, and with their appears, the acceptance, increasingly that you can execute people before you have tried them.

Freedom is a form of human flourishing that we can only develop or aspire to acquire in relationships with other people.

Violence is destructive of the great fabric of human association that I need in order to develop as a free person.

For example, the Taliban was supposed to be crushed by the invasion of Afghanistan; a very similar kind of organisation to ISIS or ISIL. In the end, as John Alderdice has said, they have to be talked to.

To the Russian President: Vladimir Putin.

Your time will end.

Please end your invasion of the Ukraine . It’s not working. Whatever your reason was for the invasion is no longer valid. You are only hurting your own people. The scansions are incredible and direct and hurtful for your people. It’s not working and it’s not worth destroying both the Ukraine and Russia. However, if you insist on being closed minded an ignorant the please go about it. You will only end up destroying yourself. What you are doing is crazy and stupid.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com

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THE BEADY EYE ASK’S. IS 2023 GOING TO BE THE YEAR THAT HUMANITY FINDS OUT THAT IT IS NOT THE DOMINANT FORCE OF CHANGE ON PLANET EARTH?

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( Three minute read)

What can be achieved in this decade to put the world on a path to a more sustainable, more prosperous future for all of humanity?

Temptation is to say, that you may rest assured that it will be another year of unadulterated verbal dioramas diarrhoea.

With humanity waging war on nature the risks we are taking are astounding.

What did Earth look like from space in 2022?

It looked beautiful, it looked dangerous. It looked small and inconsequential, it looked incredible.iss066e109851

Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury.

About 96% of all mammals by weight are now humans and our livestock, like cattle, sheep and pigs. Just 4% are wild mammals like elephants, buffalo or dolphins. Seventy-five percent of Earth’s ice-free land is directly altered as a result of human activity, with nearly 90% of terrestrial net primary production and 80% of global tree cover under direct human influence.

We have grossly simplified the biosphere, a system of interactions between lifeforms and Earth that has evolved over 3.8 billion years. As the pressure of human activities accelerates on Earth, so, too, does the hope that technologies such as artificial intelligence will be able to help us deal with dangerous climate and environmental change. That will only happen, however, if we act forcefully in ways that redirects the direction of technological change towards planetary stewardship and responsible innovation.2022-05_geocolor_20220505180018_logos-1

Rising greenhouse gas emissions means that “within the coming 50 years, one to 3 billion people are projected to experience living conditions that are outside of the climate conditions that have served civilizations well over the past 6,000 years.

In this decade we must bend the curves of greenhouse gas emissions and shocking biodiversity loss. This means transforming what we eat and how we farm it, among many other transformations.

Nature has now become for us a kind of glossy cardboard, digitized and virtualized, increasingly distant from our lives.

The recent Covid-19 global pandemic is an Anthropocene phenomena. It has been caused by our intertwined relationship with nature and our hyper-connectivity. ( We order Pizza by sending messages into space.)

However our actions are making the biosphere more fragile, less resilient and more prone to shocks than before.

Humans use the majority of natural geo-resources, like minerals, rocks, soil and water.

Two of the biggest barriers are unsustainable levels of inequality and technology that undermines societal goals.

Inequality and environmental challenges are deeply linked. Reducing inequality will increase trust within societies.

It is time to flick the “green switch.   We have a chance to not simply reset the world economy but to transform it.

It is time to integrate the goal of carbon neutrality into all economic and fiscal policies and decisions. And to make climate-related financial risk disclosures mandatory.

It is time to transform humankind’s relationship with the natural world – and with each other. And we must do so together.

It’s is time to get off your smart phone and start to demand transparency of Algorithms that are plundering the world for profit. .

The state of the planet is much worse than most people understand and that humans face a grim.

Because as of yet there is no political or economic system, or leadership, is prepared to handle the predicted disasters, or even capable of such action

The problem is compounded by ignorance and short-term self-interest, with the pursuit of wealth and political interests stymying the action that is crucial for survival.

Most economies operate on the basis that counteraction now is too costly to be politically palatable. Combined with disinformation campaigns to protect short-term profits it is doubtful that the scale of changes we need will be made in time.

We need to be candid, accurate, and honest if humanity is to understand the enormity of the challenges we face in creating a sustainable future.

Without political will backed by tangible action that scales to the enormity of the problems facing us, the added stresses to human health, wealth, and well-being will perversely diminish our political capacity to mitigate the erosion of the Earth’s life-support system upon which we all depend.

Without fully appreciating and broadcasting the scale of the problems and the enormity of the solutions required, society will fail to achieve even modest sustainability goals, and catastrophe will surely follow.

So the Beady Eye wishes all a Happy New Year with the near certainty that the abovementioned problems will worsen over the coming decades, with negative impacts for centuries to come, if we dont now get our fingers out of where the sun does not shine.

No one has a right to pollute the air or the water, which are the common inheritance of all.

We have not inherited the Earth from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children.

The time has come to re-educate to nature and contact with it as a lever to ensure collective well-being, physical and mental; to restore beauty, kindness, ecosystem thinking, emotional intelligence and a formation of values, heritage inherited from the wisdom of the past but negligently neglected.

After all, this is what ecology is all about: looking at reality as it is, understanding its connections, accepting its complexity, and striving for harmony between all parts.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com

THE BEADY EYE SAY’S: THE NEW TYPE OF NON- CONSCIOUS INTELLIGENCE DRIVEN BY NON-CONSCIOUS ALGORITHMS IS GOING TO DESTROY WHAT IS LEFT OF DECENCY IN THE WORLD. (Guest post an unknown source.)

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( A six-minute read)

The idea that humans will always have a unique ability beyond the reach of non-conscious algorithms is just wishful thinking.

The fact is, as time goes by it will be easier and easier to replace humans with computer algorithms, not because they are getting smarter and smarter but because humans are professionalising.

One would have to say are we all such naive bonkers that we are going to allow algorithms dictate our lives.Résultat de recherche d'images pour "pictures of algorithms"

The answer so far appears to be yes. We are going to become militarily and economically useless.

Technical difficulties or political objections might slow down the algorithmic invasion of the job market but while the systems might need humans, it will not need individuals.

These systems will make most of the important decisions depriving individuals of their authority and freedom.

They are already assembling humans into dividuals ie. humans are becoming an assemblage of many different algorithms lacking a single inner voice or a single self.

Its time we realized that if we continue down this path allowing large corporations platforms to introduce algorithms willy nilly with no overall vetting as to whether they comply with our values we will be replacing the voter, the consumer, and the beholder.

The Al algorithm will know best, will always be right, and beauty will be in the calculation of the algorithm. Individualism will collapse and authority will shift from individual humans to autonomous networks.

People will not see themselves as individuals but as collections of biochemical mechanisms that are constantly monitored and guided by a network of electronic algorithms.

We are already crossing the line. Most of us use Apps without any thought whatsoever.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "pictures of algorithms"

You might say that every age has its organizing principles.

The nineteenth century had the novel, and the twentieth had TV; in our more modern times, they come and go more quickly than ever—on Web 1.0 it was the website, for example, and a few years later, for 2.0, it was the app.

And now, another shift is underway:

Today’s organizing principle is the algorithm. (Though you could productively argue that our new lingua franca will either be artificial intelligence or virtual reality.)

Algorithms rule the modern world, silent workhorses aligning data sets and systematizing the world. They’re everywhere, in everything, and you wouldn’t know unless you looked. For some of the most powerful companies in the world—Google, Facebook, etc.—they’re also closely held secrets, the most valuable intellectual property a company owns. 

Perhaps it is naïve to believe algorithms should be neutral? but it’s also deceptive to advance the illusion that Facebook and the algorithms that power it are bias-free.

They are not neutral.

Facebook is intended to be the home of what the world is talking about. Their business model depends on it, even if that’s an impossible goal. As such, with now well over a billion users, and still growing, it’s worth asking:

What role should Facebook play in shaping public discourse? And just how transparent should it be?

After all, Facebook is mind-boggling massive.

It accounts for a huge portion of traffic directed to news sites; small tweaks in its own feed algorithm can have serious consequences for media companies’ bottom lines.

What can be done? ( See previous posts)

Evolution will continue and will need to do so if we humans are to exist.

We therefore should welcome all technology that enhances our chances of this existence in as far that it equates to human values.

All Algorithms that violate these values for the sake of profit or power should be destroyed.

After all if humans have no soul and if thoughts, emotions, and sensations are just biochemical algorithms why can’t biology account for all the vagaries of human societies.?

If Donald Trump is the best that twitter Algorithms can produce it appears to me that there is a long way to go and it’s not too late to change course.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "pictures of the beauty of the earth"

All human comments appreciated. All like algorithms clicks chucked in the bin.

 

CAPITALISM CONTINUES TO PRIVATIZE THE PLANET.

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This is the first post to this blog .

 The purpose of this blog is to start a world mobile phone movement to effect change by Uniting the combined Communication Powers of us all into one world voice that will have to be listened to by World Organizations  and World Corporations.

These days we are  served up doom and gloom daily with the last decade leading us down the path to disillusionment. 

DEMOCRACY ERODED, LIVELIHOODS DESTROYED.  WITH GOVERNMENTS EVERYWHERE BETRAYING THE MANDATES THAT BROUGHT THEM INTO POWER.

September 11 tragedy now turned into a convenient Excuse for any anti-people legislation denying civil liberties worldwide. The Arab Spring is a quagmire>The Euro a nightmare >The Afghan War a needless lost of life>The Israel Palestine Question a dark cul-de-sac>NATO a war machine>The United Nations a gum shield between the west and the rest>China a supermarket>Climate change a trading commodity>Football a religion>Austerity a goal>Economic Growth an aspiration that no one seems to know how to achieve.

IF WE ARE ALL HONEST WITH OURSELVES THE WORLD IS GOING WRONG:

By the year 2030 there will be 50% more of us-6 million a month.

Humanity will have to put aside the deep divisions it has maintained for thousands of years.

Find a new spirit of human co- operation. Stop spending trillions on arms. One-fifth of the world’s present days population live in the “rich world” consuming 86% of the world’s goods. While over half the people on Earth live on 2$ a day with the absolute  poor on a !$ making up billions. Where is the justice that the gross domestic product of the poorest 48 Nations is less than the wealth of the World’s three riches people.

You don’t have to look far to see why we have Terrorism. Poverty and lack of Education spawns it.

While we turn back the evolutionary clock pumping 8 billion tons of Carbon into the Atmosphere each year wiping out 50,000 species a year in collective denial.

There can be no trade-off between economic development and the protection of the Environment Even if it is possible looking back from the Moon and see no trace of human activities that show up.

Our Democracies seem unable to achieve any progress such as mitigating climate change, better managing ecosystems, creating a fair global trading system. However we have the knowledge, the data and the technologies to do all of these things.

The question is not so much ” How could we have learned so little in all these years after two World Wars? But ” How could we have learned so much and done so little?

So it’s time to stop supporting large World Corporations and the like that don’t show a corporate social responsibility and use the power of getting Smart with our smart phones.

Any comments, suggestions, are welcome.  My next blog posting will out line a plan to create a World Aid Tax to be applied on all World stock Exchanges.

THE BEADY EYE ASK’S. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT WHEN CULTURES COLLIDE?

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( Ten minute read)

It is not my intention with this post to examine the history of countries but to look at what we might perceive is the culture of a people of a country as we might see it to day.

LET’S START WITH THE RUSSIA CULTURES.

Russians have always fascinated the West, and countless stereotypes exist about Russia and Russian people.

While some are not too far from the truth, others have no grounding in reality.

The vast majority of us have never visited Russia or for that matter never meet a Russian.

Most of us perceive its culture through the medium of cinema, Doctor Zhivago, War & Peace (1968), Stalingrad etc.

( Here a few other, those highlighted the best of the crop)

Nicholas and Alexandra,  BrotherBrat (1997)  Brat 2(2000)  The Dawns Here Are Quiet, Arrhythmia, 12, Leviathan, Irony of Fate, Man with a Movie Camera (1929) Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures (1965) Andrei Rublev (1966) The Mirror (1975) Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears (1979) Hipsters (2008) Battleship Potemkin (1925) Storm Over Asia (1928) Outskirts (1933) The Cranes are Flying (1957) Night Watch (2004), Aimez-ous- les- uns- autres, Hedgehog in the Fog – Yuri Norstein, (1975) The last of the Czars ( 1920)

Most depict a ruthless culture, as the basic traits of the Russian character, which were visible hundreds of years before Lenin and Karl Marx – Communist, – Ivan the Terrible – out of which at the same time we had Tshaikowski, Peter the Great, Rachmaninov, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoievski, Sakharov, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn.

The Russian character has been determined to some extent by unrelenting autocratic and governance over many centuries.

However the two main factors in the formation of Russia to day, are it’s vastness and harsh climate, which bread a sense of vulnerability, remoteness, that contribute to is hostility to outsiders.

This vastness has being exploited by not just Tsars, but the Orthodox church producing people like Rasputin who symbolised everything that was wrong with imperial government.

But the culture of the country itself, came from a complicated interplay of native Slavic cultural material and borrowings from a wide kaleidoscope of foreign cultures.  All of which exploited the pathetic backward peasants with indoctrinations, deception, bulling, and taxes.

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A vast country.

Russia has been the biggest country in the world since the 16th century when Russian Cossacks conquered lands on the other side of the Ural Mountains in Siberia and the Far East. These regions account for 77 percent of Russia’s total area.

With 17,125,191 km2, it borders more countries than any other country in the world. It can accommodate India five times, France – 26 times, Germany – 47 times, England – 70 times.  1.7 times bigger than United States.

With a  population of over 150m, it is thought that over 81% speak the official language of Russian as their first and only language but there are over 100 minority languages spoken in Russia today.

It can boast a long tradition of excellence in every aspect of the arts and sciences.

Once the preeminent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.; commonly known as the Soviet Union), Russia became an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. (During the Soviet era most customs and traditions of Russia’s imperial past were suppressed.)

Although a majority of Russians are nonbelievers, religious institutions have filled the vacuum created by the downfall of communist ideology.

While Russians and Americans are destined by history and location to see the world in a very different manner, I believe that before the current war in the Ukraine there were sufficient commonality of thinking to provide a basis for fruitful cooperation, before the cold war and the birth of NATO.

Russian values are essentially human, with their hero’s universally authentic, their manifestations and symbols richly artistic and aesthetic.

I believe to succeed with Russia one must maintain theses qualities in clear focus, as opposed to paying to much attention to the enigmatic and often paradoxical aspects of their behaviour and current attitudes.

Although many people related Russia with vodka, it is not only about that. This country has too much history, and it is reflected until now.

Understandably, there’s a widening cultural gap between the older folk in Russia who lived through the Soviet era and the younger generation who’ve embraced the new, cosmopolitan Russia.

No matter how ethnically or religiously heterogeneous some countries might be, they invariably define themselves as ‘nations’ and consider their states ‘national’ or ‘nation states.’

People’ and ‘nation’ are synonyms here, and it is these two categories that impart primordial legitimacy to a modern state.

What does a Russian look like?

The stereotype view:

Bald headed –  Military belt – Bribery  – Vodka swilling –  comrade ‘Russkii’ called Ivan (with over 22 million people (about 15 percent of the total population living below the poverty level.) The word ‘Russkii’ referred more to local customs and culture, while the word ‘Rossiyan’ referred to the whole nation.

Ask yourself this question.

Today’s independent Russia is a country that has risen anew. It has been obliged to solve, practically from scratch, the question of its place in the world — what unites the people who inhabit it, what kind of relationship these people have with the state and what they expect from it.

Russia is always choosing its own “third way.”

While it is a well-known fact that Vladimir Putin worked as a Soviet spy in former East Germany.

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Putin has made a huge impact on his country and the world.

Under Putin, the Anglo-Russian relationship has turned into a paradox:

With its Oligarchs Russia has failed to shake off accusations of being fundamentally dishonest.

Those who were surprised by Putin’s annexation of Crimea and the subsequent Russian-fuelled conflict in eastern Ukraine should have remembered: six years earlier he set the mould for the “Putin doctrine” in Georgia.

Increasingly hemmed in by NATO’s advance. Russia would use troops to protect its interests in a sphere of influence out side its frontiers.

The Ukrainian conflict has ruptured relations between Russia and the west over the past year, but in fact it is merely the latest example of Putin asserting Russia’s “rights” in its former backyard, known in Russia as “the near abroad”.

Putin’s position has huge backing in Russia – and plenty of support from those in the west who believe that NATO only exists to deal with the insecurities that its existence creates.

The charitable view of Putin’s foreign policy is that he stands up to western hegemony and, with China, acts as a balance to the overweening military and political power of the US/NATO.

He can plausibly claim to have history on his side in opposing Washington over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but  his stance on Syria and unwavering support for Bashar al-Assad has been open to greater criticism.

Under Yeltsin, Russian pursued a policy of grudging cooperation with NATO.

All that changed under Putin. Since his first interview with the BBC, Putin has insisted that NATO’s eastward expansion represents a threat to his country.

I understand that history is about politics. Since war is a continuation of politics by other means there is something in Russian culture today making most Russians—even highly educated people—incapable of simple manifestations of human solidarity..

Russians remain largely a community of subjects with low public trust and solidarity. If they lack these when it comes to their own relations, why should they show solidarity with their neighbours?

Russian oppositionists believe that the essence of Russia does not lie in its “brainless leaders” but in Bulgakov, Akhmatova, Mandelshtam, Brodsky and other geniuses of Russian culture. Their legacy is everlasting, and in a way, they are the real Russia.

In the minds of many Russians, Russia is not just another country. It is a country with a great mission—namely, to save the world from the corrupting influence of the spoiled West. For this reason, all things Russian must be great: its territory, its army, even its language has to be (as one Russian genius put it) “great and mighty.” Neighbouring nations who reject this great mission are, at best, silly children in need of education, at worst, scoundrels and traitors who must be decimated, deported, and so on.

That might be so.

In either case, they cannot be left to their own devices to sort out their own happiness.

Accordingly, many Russians are prepared to suffer privations themselves or inflict equal suffering on their neighbours, if it proves Russia’s greatness to the world.

Cultures colloid and people die. Moreover, Putin is not just collective—he is repetitive. In other words, behind the real Vladimir Putin stands the collective Putin of the Russian people. Until this changes unfortunately it will remain a percolating philistine, separate civilization, vindicated by NATO to which “Western rules” do not therefore apply.

Russia now needs to review its ideological and doctrinal documents underpinning the ongoing effort to achieve civic solidarity and national identity.

It’s just that it doesn’t make much of a difference for Ukrainians, not then and especially not today.

The third-largest ethnic group in Russia, are Ukrainians making up about 2% of the population – around 1.9 million.

Your and our silence on the war is pitiable.Ukraine Live

Aa a result of the supply of Western advanced weapons to Ukraine, we know that  Russia will be “moved from a concept of special operation to a concept now of a war against NATO and the West.

Davay!” (Let’s do it), “Poekhali!” (Let’s roll), or even the Soviet-era, “Vzdrognem!” (literally “Let’s shudder,”)

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Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com

people.https://youtu.be/1z9zZOUlPuw

THE BEADY EYE SAY’S: THE UKRAINE WAR IS NOW A WAR WHERE THERE CAN BE NO WINNERS. HERE ARE SOME ENTRENCHED TRUTHS.

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( Six minute read) 

The war is now in its ninth month and has a long way to go, it isn’t remotely over.

In other words, the beginning of 2023 in the Ukraine looks a lot like 2022.

It has triggered a global energy crisis and supply chain problems that have halted post-pandemic recovery in many poorer countries.

The war has evolved into one of attrition, grinding on with no end on the immediate horizon.

Putin’s idea that was, the Ukrainian population would either accept their fate as a Russian colony or perhaps even welcome it, is a farcical as Hitlerism vision of a fatherland.

The fighting in Ukraine is effectively now divided into two theatres:

The Donbas region in the east, much of which Russia has captured, where Ukrainian forces are seeking to slow Russia’s advance, and the south, where Ukrainian forces are preparing to launch a counteroffensive to recapture lost territory, with a possible renewed Russian offensive in the east.

At the moment, though, that path seems firmly closed off with the arrival of German manufactured tanks, and American tanks promised if they are supplied in the near future.  

If the Ukrainian counteroffensive succeeds, Putin could come to deem the cost of victory in the east too high. 

If the counteroffensive fails.

A failed offensive that ends in a retreat would be disaster for Ukraine, leaving it militarily weaker and more diplomatically isolated come spring.

Alternatively, Ukraine could become a victim of its own success.

If its forces encroach too far on what Russia may soon officially designate its own territory in the Donbas, Putin could retaliate by using low-yield nuclear weapons, which are designed to be used on the battlefield.

So should a Ukrainian offensive roll over this new self-declared border, the use of nuclear weapons to break up the attack will be on the table. This is not unthinkable — it is only unpalatable.

The Kremlin’s possession of nuclear arsenal means no one can force it to stand down without total annihilation Nuclear explosion

If anything we are closer to the war spreading.

Short of  annihilation this is no longer just a question of who beats whom. 

 

The war asks, how much are we willing to tolerate the unchecked and aggressive use of force, particularly across national boundaries by bigger powers.

However reconsidering the West role in the democratic world after its messy and chaotic exit from Afghanistan.

Inevitably this will mean serious reflection at its (ongoing) history of propping up dictators and turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in the name of diplomacy.

For the war to truly end and for peace to be stable, there has to be some change in Moscow.

The quickest and least bloody path to ending the conflict runs through a settlement negotiated by both sides.

At some point the supply of Western weaponry will dwindle.

Putin’s willingness to escalate and target civilian infrastructure, shows that his all or nothing attitude has not abated.

Remember that he has other, less risky means of terrifying Ukraine and intimidating the West. Chemical weapons.

Putin has made it clear that Russia has no intention of retreating. 

Someone is dreaming or receiving the wrong message that events suggest the war is over. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that any administration has any war termination policies other than the problem is that much of the discussion has relied on a series of unstated and unexamined assumptions about war termination and escalation.

Scrutinizing these assumptions, however, reveals two conclusions.

First, Russia does have a plausible path to victory in the conflict, and will likely prevail absent a significant increase in Western military assistance. Second, the Russians do not have an effective counter to increased Western aid to Ukraine.

If we accept this line of argument, it seems clear that absent a significant increase in outside support for Ukraine—minimally, a dramatic increase in supply of military equipment, but more likely some sort of direct intervention in the form of a peacekeeping mission or imposition of a no-fly zone—Russia will ultimately prevail.

The challenge, however, is to control escalation to avoid the possibility of, in the worst case, a general nuclear exchange. The fear i seems to be that Russia will escalate the conflict, either in intensity or geographic scope in response to an increase in aid or direct intervention.

But why do we think this would be the likely Russian response? 

Russia could escalate to nuclear weapons, of course. But to what end? Can Russia win a nuclear exchange?

It is difficult to construct a plausible argument regarding that.

There is no nuclear option, whether tactical or general, that provides Russia with a war-winning solution, except in the case that a Russian use of nuclear weapons induces the rest of the world to surrender to Russia’s demands.

The issue of escalation has to be placed in the context of strategic logic.

Escalation is a danger particularly when one side or the other possesses some degree of escalation dominance—that is, that escalation changes the conflict in a way that benefits one side or another. There is no evidence, however, that Russia possesses any degree of escalation dominance at present.

On the contrary, in the current situation, Russia benefits to the extent the conflict remains Russia against Ukraine.

Let us make no mistake.

Russia is currently on a path to victory because its strategy is now grounded in a logic of terror and brutalization. Every day that Russia is able to strike Ukrainian civilians with near impunity pushes Ukraine’s leadership closer to the need to surrender in order to prevent a virtual, or literal, genocide. The only way to reverse this is a dramatic increase in outside assistance to Ukraine.

The Russians may be brutal, but they are not irrational.

As stretched as they already are, the last thing they need or can sustain is a wider conflict. Escalation dominance rests with NATO and the West. We should take advantage of it. We just aren’t being helpful in terms of encouraging an end to hostilities.

And there’s a lot we could be doing to spur negotiations along.

In any case, there is no reason to assume that irrationality or a desire to die a martyr’s death animates Putin.

Wars often continue beyond the point at which, with hindsight, they might in terms of rational strategy have been better stopped. the ending of wars is often associated with some form of regime change.

For Putin, whatever his original goals for the war, the continuation in fighting is now essentially about regime survival. Even if the costs of the war continue to grow, and even if some kind of political settlement could be reached, Putin is likely to continue to fight in the hope of obtaining a settlement that can plausibly be portrayed as a victory, because without this his political position may be fatally weakened.

In ending the fighting between Russia and Ukraine, traditional structural obstacles to conflict termination are likely to create major challenges, irrespective of the mounting costs for both sides.

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THE BEADY EYE: HIGHLIGHTS ANOTHER KILLER OF THE PLANET – MOBILE PHONES.

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( Four minute read)

I realize that restricting technology might be an unrealistic demand to impose on the up and coming generation but Smartphones are killing the planet faster than anyone expected.

Electronic waste is a huge problem around the globe.

The worst-case scenario is that electronic trash winds up in unregulated or mismanaged heaps, slowly leaking corrosive chemicals into the soil and water table.How much gold is in your phone? (Credit: Getty Images)

All phones require 16 of the 17 rare-earth metals.

This is more than just an amusing detail about the device that never leaves your side.

Suddenly your smartphone is looking a lot more valuable than you might think. Pocket-sized vaults of precious metals and rare earths.

A typical iPhone is estimated to house around 0.034g of gold, 0.34g of silver, 0.015g of palladium and less than one-thousandth of a gram of platinum. It also contains the less valuable but still significant aluminium (25g) and copper (around 15g).

One tonne of iPhones would deliver 300 times more gold than a tonne of gold ore and 6.5 times more silver than a tonne of silver ore.

One million mobile phones could deliver nearly 16 tonnes of copper, 350kg of silver, 34kg of gold and 15kg of palladium.

And that’s just the start.

Smartphones also contain a range of rare earth elements – elements that are actually plentiful in the Earth’s crust but extremely difficult to mine and extract economically – including yttrium, lanthanum, terbium, neodymium, gadolinium and praseodymium.

Despite the recycling programs run by Apple and others, currently less than 1% of smartphones are being recycled.

With an estimated of 3.6 billion using smartphones tech’s carbon footprint is beyond what any one designer, one company, or even one government regulator can contain. Those 3.6 billion smartphone users upgrade to a new phone roughly every 11 months.

That’s because every Google search, every Facebook refresh, and every dumb Tweet we post requires a computer somewhere to calculate it all in the cloud.

Smartphone consumes as much energy as using an existing phone for an entire decade. That means buying one new phone takes as much energy as recharging and operating a smartphone for an entire decade.

But that is not the main problem. It is the building a new smartphone–and specifically, mining the rare materials inside them–represents 85% to 95% of the device’s total CO2 emissions for two years.

Even as the world shifts away from giant tower PCs toward tiny, energy-sipping phones, the overall environmental impact of technology is only getting worse. They’re more or less disposable.

Whereas ICT represented 1% of the carbon footprint in 2007, it’s already about tripled, and is on its way to exceed 14% by 2040.

That’s half as large as the carbon impact of the entire transportation industry.

The list of ICT components is exhaustive, and it continues to grow. ICT’s importance to economic development and business growth has been so monumental, in fact, that it’s credited with ushering in what many have labelled the Fourth Industrial Revolution.Components of ICT

The overall largest culprit with regards to CO2 emissions belongs to servers and data centres themselves, which will represent 45% of ICT emissions by 2020. Although there is no single, universal definition of ICT, the term is generally accepted to mean all devices, networking components, applications and systems that combined allow people and organizations (i.e., businesses, non-profit agencies, governments and criminal enterprises) to interact in the digital world.

Mobile apps actually reinforce our need for these 24/7 servers in a self-perpetuating energy-hogging cycle. More phones require more servers. And with all this wireless information in the cloud, of course we’re going to buy more phones capable of running even better apps.

The future will only get more dire if the internet of things takes off and many more devices are hitting up the cloud for data.

Wearable devices, to home appliances, and even cars, trucks and airplanes. If this trend continues . . . one can only wonder on the additional load these devices will have on the networking and data centre infrastructures, in addition to the incremental energy consumption incurred by their production.

The average teen spends about two and a half hours a day on electronic devices.

What can be done?

Recognising that changing consumer behaviour is probably the least viable option, we need to come up with something better.

Governments should pass a law that requires all companies manufacturing these deceives to make a cash refund payment to encourage the return of the devices for recycling.  which could make it the ultimate cottage industry,

The internet is omniscient, our phones omnipotent, and together they demand and are destroying our values however there is life beyond the phone, but experiencing its richness requires mindfulness and discipline.

All human comments appreciate. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com

THE BEADY EYE SAY’S: SOONER RATHER THAN LATER THERE WLL BE NO REAL INDEPENDENT SELF LEFT. JUST A DOWN LOAD OF ONESELF.

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 ( Seventeen minute read) 

We know that we are living through a climate crisis, a mass extinction and an era of normalised pollution that harms our health, but we are also confronting with an age of technology with algorithms (APPS) that are changing society to benefit of a few while exploiting the many.

There are many examples of algorithms making big decisions about our lives, without us necessarily knowing how or when they do it.

Every “like”, watch, click is stored. Extreme content simply does better than nuance on social media. And algorithms know that.

Algorithms are a black box of living. 

We can see them at work in the world. We know they’re shaping outcomes all around us. But most of us have no idea what they are — or how we’re being influenced by them.

Algorithms are making hugely consequential decisions in our society on everything from medicine to transportation to welfare, benefits to criminal justice and beyond. Yet the general public knows almost nothing about them, and even less about the engineers and coders who are creating them behind the scenes.

Algorithms are quietly changing the rules of human life and whether the benefits of algorithms ultimately outweigh the costs remains a question.

Are we making a mistake by handing over so much decision-making authority to these programs?

Will we blindly follow them wherever they lead us?

Algorithms can produce unexpected outcomes, especially machine-learning algorithms that can program themselves.

Since it’s impossible for us to anticipate all of these scenarios, can’t we say that some algorithms are bad, even if they weren’t designed to be?

Every social media platform, every algorithm that becomes part of our lives, is part of this massive unfolding social experiment.

Billions of people around the world are interacting with these technologies, which is why the tiniest changes can have such a gigantic impact on all of humanity.

I think the right attitude is somewhere in the middle:

We shouldn’t blindly trust algorithms, but we also shouldn’t dismiss them altogether. The problem is that algorithms don’t understand context or nuance. They don’t understand emotion and empathy in the way that humans do they are eroding our ability to think and decide for ourselves.

This is clearly happening, where the role of humans has been side-lined and that’s a really dangerous thing to allow to happen.

Artificial algorithms will eventually combine in ways that blur the distinction between the place of where life is imitating tech. 

Who knows where the symbiotic relationship will end?

Fortunately we’re galaxies away from simulating more complex animals, and even further away from replicating humans.

Unfortunately we’re living in the technological Wild West, where you can collect private data on people without their permission and sell it to advertisers. We’re turning people into products, and they don’t even realize it. And people can make any claims they want about what their algorithm can or can’t do, even if it’s absolute nonsense, and no one can really stop them from doing it.

There is no one assessing whether or not they are providing a net benefit or cost to society.

There’s nobody doing any of those checks except your Supermarket loyalty card.

These reveals consumer patterns previously unseen and answers important questions. How will the average age of customers vary? How many will come with families? What are the mobility patterns influencing store visit patterns? How many will take public transportation? Should a store open for extended hours on certain days?  

Algorithms are being used to help prevent crimes and help doctors get more accurate cancer diagnoses, and in countless other ways.  All of these things are really, really positive steps forward for humanity we just have to be careful in the way that we employ them.

We can’t do it recklessly. We can’t just move fast, and we can’t break things.

                                                             _________________________________

Sites such as YouTube and Facebook have their own rules about what is unacceptable and the way that users are expected to behave towards one another.

The EU introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which set rules on how companies, including social media platforms, store and use people’s data.

How data was collected from a third party app on Facebook called “thisisyourdigitallife”  Facebook recently confirmed that information relating to up to 87 million people was captured by the app, with approximately 1 million of these people being UK citizens.

It is very important to note that deleting/removing one of these apps, or deleting your Facebook account, does
not automatically delete any data held on the app. Specific steps need to be taken within each app to request the deletion of any personal information it may hold.

If illegal content, such as “revenge pornography” or extremist material, is posted on a social media site, it has previously been the person who posted it, rather than the social media companies, who was most at risk of prosecution.

The urgent question is now: 

What do we do about all these unregulated apps?

There’s an app for that”, has become both an offer of help and a joke.

Schoolchildren are writing the apps:

A successful app can now be the difference between complete anonymity and global digital fame.

A malicious app could bring down whole networks. 

Google’s Android operating system is coming up on the rails: despite launching nearly two years later, it has more than 400,000 apps, and in December 2011 passed the 10bn downloads mark. 

With the iPod and iPhone.  31bn apps were downloaded to mobile devices in 2011, and predicts that by 2016 mobile apps will generate $52bn of revenues – 75% from smartphones and 25% from tablets.

Apps have also been important for streaming TV and film services such as Netflix and Hulu, as well as for the BBC’s iPlayer and BSkyB’s Sky Go – the latter now attracts 1.5 million unique users a month.

Apps will steal data or send pricey text messages.

Entire businesses are evolving around them. 

They are the new frontier in war’s instructing drones.

No one can fearlessly chase the truth and report it with integrity.

They are shaping our lives in ways never imagined before.

Today there is an app for everything you can think of.

In a short run, Apple and Google have done what nobody ever dreamed about fucked us.

Thanks to the gigantic rise of mobile app development technology, you can now choose digitally feasible ways of not knowing yourself.

The era of digitally smart and interactive virtual assistants has begun and will not cease.

Machines can control your home, your car, your health, your privacy, your lifestyle, your life, maybe not quite yet your mother.  You leaving behind gargantuan amount of infinite data for company owners.

It goes without saying that mobile apps have almost taken over the entire world.

Mobile apps have undoubtedly come a long way, giving us a whole new perspective in life: 

Living digital. 

Yes there are countries trying to pass laws to place controls on platforms that are, supposed to make the companies protect users from content involving things like violence, terrorism, cyber-bullying and child abuse, but not on profit seeking apps, trading apps ( Wall street is 70% governed by trading apps), spying apps, truth distorting apps destroying what left of Democracy. 

A democracy is a form of government that empowers the people to exercise political control, limits the power of the head of state, provides for the separation of powers between governmental entities, and ensures the protection of natural rights and civil liberties.

Meaning “rule by the people,” but people no longer apply when solutions to problems are decided by Algorithms.  

Are algorithms a threat to democracy?

It’s not a simple question to answer – because digitisation has brought benefits, as well as harm, to democracy. 

History has shown that democracy is a particularly fragile institution. In fact, of the 120 new democracies that have emerged around the world since 1960, nearly half have resulted in failed states or have been replaced by other, typically more authoritarian forms of government. It is therefore essential that democracies be designed to respond quickly and appropriately to the internal and external factors that will inevitably threaten them.

How likely is it that a majority of the people will continue to believe that democracy is the best form of government for them?

Digitisation brings all of us together – citizens and politicians – in a continuous conversation.

Our digital public spaces give citizens the chance to get their views across to their leaders, not just at election time, but every day of the year.

Is this true?

With so many voices, all speaking at once, creating a cacophony that’s not humanly possible for us to make sense of, such a vast amount of information.  And that, of course, is where the platforms come in.

Algorithms aren’t neutral.

Such allure of Dataism and Algorithmic decisions forms the foundation of the now-cliched Silicon Valley motto of “making the world a better place.”

Dataism is especially appealing because it is so all-encompassing.

With Datasim and algorithmic thinking, knowledge across subjects becomes truly interdisciplinary under the conceptual metaphor of “everything as algorithms,” which means learnings from one domain could theoretically be applied to another, thus accelerating scientific and technological advances for the betterment of our world.

These algorithms are the secret of success for these huge platforms. But they can also have serious effects on the health of our democracy, by influencing how we see the world around us.

When choices are made by algorithms, it can be hard to understand how they’ve made their decisions – and to judge whether they’re giving us an accurate picture of the world. It’s easy to assume that they’re doing what they claim to do – finding the most relevant information for us. But in fact, those results might be manipulated by so-called “bot farms”, to make content look more popular than it really is. Or the things that we see might not really be the most useful news stories, but the ones that are likely to get a response – and earn more advertising. 

The lack of shared reality is now a serious challenge for our democracy and algorithmically determined communications are playing a major role in it. In the current moment of democratic upheaval, the role of technology has been gaining increasing space in the democratic debate due to its role both in facilitating political debates, as well as how users’ data is gathered and used.

Democracy is at a turning point.

With the invisible hand of technology increasingly revealing itself, citizenship itself is at a crossroads. Manipulated masterfully by data-driven tactics, citizens find themselves increasingly slotted into the respective sides of an ever growing and unforgiving ideology divide.

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Algorithm see, algorithm do.

Policymaking must move from being reactive to actively future-proofing democracy against the autocratic tendencies and function creep of datafication and algorithmic governance.

Why?

Because today, a few big platforms are increasingly important as the place where we go for news and information, the place where we carry on our political debates. They define our public space – and the choices they make affect the way our democracy works. They affect the ideas and arguments we hear – and the political choices we believe we can make. They can undermine our shared understanding of what’s true and what isn’t – which makes it hard to engage in those public debates that are every bit as important, for a healthy democracy, as voting itself.

Digital intelligence and algorithmic assemblages can surveil, disenfranchise or discriminate, not because of objective metrics, but because they have not been subject to the necessary institutional oversight that underpins the realisation of socio-cultural ideals in contemporary democracies. The innovations of the future can foster equity and social justice only if the policies of today shape a mandate for digital systems that centres citizen agency and democratic accountability.

Algorithms Will Rule The World

A troubling trend in our increasingly digital, algorithm-driven world — the tendency to treat consumers as mere data entry points to be collected, analysed, and fed back into the marketing machine.

It is a symptom of an algorithm-oriented way of thinking that is quickly spreading throughout all fields of natural and social sciences and percolating into every aspect of our everyday life. And it will have an enormous impact on culture and society’s behaviour, for which we are not prepared.

In a way, the takeover of algorithms can be seen as a natural progression from the quantified self movement that has been infiltrating our culture for over a decade, as more and more wearable devices and digital services become available to log every little thing we do and turn them into data points to be fed to algorithms in exchange for better self-knowledge and, perhaps, an easier path towards self-actualization.

Algorithms are great for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning, which makes them a super valuable tool in today’s data-driven world. Everything that we do, from eating to sleeping, can now be tracked digitally and generate data, and algorithms are the tools to organize this unstructured data and whip it into shape, preferably that of discernible patterns from which actionable insights can be drawn.

Without the algorithms, data is just data, and human brains are comparatively ill-equipped to deal with large amounts of it. All of which will have profound impact on our overall quality of life, for better and worse. There is even a religion that treats A.I. as its God and advocates for algorithms to literally rule the world.

This future is inevitable, as AI is beginning to disrupt every conceivable industry whether we like it or not—so we’re better off getting on board now.

As autonomous weapons play a crucial role on the battlefield, so-called ‘killer robots’ loom on the horizon. 

Fully autonomous weapons exists.

We’re living in a world designed for – and increasingly controlled by – algorithms that are writing code we can’t understand, with implications we can’t control.

It takes you 500,000 microseconds just to click a mouse.

A lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.

Algorithm-driven systems typically carry an alluringly utopian promise of delivering objective and optimized results free of human folly and bias. When everything is based on data — and numbers don’t lie, as the proverb goes — everything should come out fair and square. As a result of this takeover of algorithms in all domains of our everyday life, non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms may soon know us better than we know ourselves, therefore luring us in an algorithmic trap that presents the most common-denominator, homogenized experience as the best option to everyone.

In the internet age, feedback loops move quickly between the real world.

The rapid spread of algorithmic decision-making across domains has profound real-world consequences on our culture and consumer behaviour, which are exacerbated by the fact that algorithms often work in ways that no one fully understands.

For example, the use of algorithms in financial trading is also called black-box trading for a reason.

Those characteristics of unknowability and, sometimes, intentional opacity also point to a simple yet crucial fact in our increasingly algorithmic world — the one that designs and owns the algorithms controls how data is interpreted and presented, often in self-serving ways

.In reaction to that unknowability, humans often start to behave in rather unpredictable ways, which lead to some unintended consequences. Ultimately, the most profound impact of the spread of Dadaism and algorithmic decision-making is also the most obvious one: It is starting to deprive us of our own agency, of the chance to make our own choices and forge our own narratives.

The more trusting we grow of algorithms and their interpretation of the data collected on us, the less likely we will question the decisions it automated on our behalf.

Lastly, it is crucial to bring a human element back into your decision making.

Making sure that platforms are transparent about the way these algorithms work – and make those platforms more accountable for the decisions they make.

This however I believe this is no longer feasible, because it can be especially difficult when those algorithms rely on artificial intelligence that making up the rules on there own accord. 

The ability to forge a cohesive, meaningful narrative out of chaos is still a distinct part of human creativity that no algorithm today can successfully imitate.

In order to create an AI ecosystem of trust, not to undermine the great benefits we get from platforms.

WE DON’T HAVE TO CREATE A WORLD IN WHICH MACHINES ARE TELLING US WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO THINK, ALTHOUGH WE MAY VERY WELL END UP IN A WORLD LIKE THAT.

To make sure that we, as a society, are in control

If people from different communities do not, or cannot, integrate with one another they may feel excluded and isolated.

In every society, with no exception, it exists a what we could call a ”behaviour diagram of the collective life with social control been the form society preserves itself from various internal threats.  China a prime example. 

Algorithms for profit, surveillance, rewards, power, etc, are undermining what’s felt of our values, chancing the relationship of authority and the negation of hierarchies and the authority of the law.

Hypothetical reasoning forward allows us to reason backwards to solve problems.  Process is all we have control over, not results.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com 

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20120528-how-algorithms-shape-our-world

THE BEADY EYE ASK’S. WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT FOR HUMANS TO ACCEPT THE TRUTH. IF WE DON’T THE TRUTH WILL BE CONSTRUCT BY ALGORITHMS AND DATA.

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( FIFTEEN MINUTE READ)

Human brains are the product of blind and unguided evolution, therefore one day hit a hard limit – and may already have done so.

So a population of human brains is much smarter than any individual brain in isolation.

But does this argument really hold up?

Can our puny brains really answer all conceivable questions and understand all problems?

What made our species unique, is that we were capable of culture, in particular cumulative cultural knowledge. With the arrival of Artificial Intelligence this applies as we now have Apps that select what we hear, see and believe to be true.

Considering that human brains did not evolve to discover their own origins either, and yet somehow we managed to do just that. Perhaps the pessimists are missing something.

It is right that our brains are simply not equipped to solve certain problems, there is no point in even trying, as they will continue to baffle and bewilder us. Assuming we could even agree on a definition of “truth,” the list of reasons we can’t or don’t wish to know the truth would be quite long and well beyond the scope of this blog post.

We all know that we are destroying the planet we all live on. One of the reasons that we have difficulties with perceiving this truth, is with seeing reality, has to do with the purpose of truth.

The purpose of truth is rooted in the purpose of life itself. Truth isn’t desirous for its own sake, it serves a higher master than AI.

Our minds evolved by natural selection to solve problems that were life and death matters to our ancestors, not to commune with correctness.

Our ancestors needed to be able to discriminate friend from foe, healthy from unhealthy, and safe from dangerous (e.g., “It is good to eat this and bad to eat that.”).

Within an evolutionary framework, ignorance of what is true or real could be dangerous or deadly.

In order to survive, it was critical for our ancestors to learn to make predictions based on available information. It motivates them to move from a state of not knowing to knowing.

Thus, our ancestors didn’t need to see the world for what it really was. They just needed to know enough to help them survive. For example, the world looks flat. It looks like the sun rises in the sky and is a relatively small object. Our eyes (or our brains) deceive us though. The Earth, as well as other planets, are roughly spherical in shape. A million Earths could fit inside the Sun, and it is 93,000,000 miles away from us.

If our ancestors had no need to understand the wider cosmos in order to spread their genes, why would natural selection have given us the brainpower to do so?

At some point, human inquiry will suddenly slam into a metaphorical brick wall, after which we will be forever condemned to stare in blank incomprehension.

We will never find the true scientific theory of some aspect of reality, or alternatively, that we may well find this theory but will never truly comprehend it?

No one has a clue what this means.

To day, why is it that some cannot accept the Truth?

Truth is something we have to face now or after some time..

I think its mostly because of the fear of having to accept it, face it and deal with it, even though it may contradict what one might already believe.

A person’s belief system is built on a foundation. If the facts are outside of the foundation and cannot be supported by it, the person may not believe it, or remain very sceptical about it.

Lets take a few examples.

The past:

The Holocaust:87b84f9d 6d7f 48fe 8c90 530d980936bc

While no master list of those who perished in the Holocaust exists anywhere in the world. The shelves of the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem contain four million pages of testimony in which survivors and families have contributed information, but for those who were never known, there can be no record.

Towards the end of the war thousands of Hungarians Jews could have being saved if the the railways were bomb.

They were not because the reports of what was happing were not believed.

The Future.

An Asteroid or Meteorite heading towards earth.  Most of us would have no comprehension of such an event and would probably not believe it to be true.

The present:

This talk about man-made climate change.

People have been predicting catastrophic events for the last hundred years or so. None of them have happened, so people have a hard time believing new predictions.

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Today, fewer and fewer people understand what is going on at the cutting edge of theoretical physics – even physicists.

The unification of quantum mechanics and relativity theory will undoubtedly be exceptionally daunting, or else scientists would have nailed it long ago already.

The same is true for our understanding of how the human brain gives rise to consciousness, meaning and intentionality.

But is there any good reason to suppose that these problems will forever remain out of reach? Or that our sense of bafflement when thinking of them will never diminish?

Who knows what other mind-extending devices we will hit upon to overcome our biological limitations?  Biology is not destiny.

As soon as you frame a question that you claim we will never be able to answer, you set in motion the very process that might well prove you wrong: you raise a topic of investigation.

With all the data that is at our disposal theses days, Truth is analysed by Algorithms and self learning software programs.

The data-driven revolution is prefaced upon the idea that data and algorithms can lead us away from biased human judgement towards pristine mathematical perfection that captures the world as it is rather than the world biased humans would like.

Truths that do not always align with our values. “Truth” told by data with the preordained outcome they desire.

Getty Images

Algorithms And Data Construct ‘Truth,’ Not Discover It.

There is no such thing as perfect data or perfect algorithms.

All datasets and the tools used to examine them represent trade-offs. Each dataset represents a constructed reality of the phenomena it is intended to measure. In turn, the algorithms used to analyse it construct yet more realities.

In short, a data scientist can arrive at any desired conclusion simply by selecting the dataset, algorithm, filters and settings to match.(filistimlyanin/iStock.com)

It is more imperative than ever, that society recognizes that data does not equate to truth.

The same dataset fed into the same algorithm can yield polar opposite results depending on the data filters and algorithmic settings chosen.

But the important thing to note about these unknown unknowns is that nothing can be said about them.

The basic premise of the data-driven revolution in bringing quantitative certainty to decision-making is a false narrative.

To presume from the outset that some unknown unknowns will always remain unknown, is not modesty – it’s arrogance.

There’s always a human strategy behind using algorithms.

The exact details of how they works are often incomprehensible. Is this what we really want?

I think we need more transparency about how algorithms work, and how owns and operated them.

The problem with this is that demanding full transparency will have an adverse effect on the self-learning capacity of the algorithm. This is something that needs to be weighed up very carefully indeed.

There are certainly causes for concern but the need for regulations as profit seeking algorithms are plundering what is left of our values.  

If not regulated, I think that we’ll also see lots more legal constructions determining what we can and cannot do with algorithms.

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Algorithms are aimed at optimizing everything.

They can save lives, make things easier and conquer chaos.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is naught but algorithms.

The material people see on social media is brought to them by algorithms.

In fact, everything people see and do on the web is a product of algorithms. Every time someone sorts a column in a spreadsheet, algorithms are at play, and most financial transactions today are accomplished by algorithms. Algorithms help gadgets respond to voice commands, recognize faces, sort photos and build and drive cars. Hacking, cyberattacks and cryptographic code-breaking exploit algorithms.

They are mostly invisible aids, augmenting human lives in increasingly incredible ways. However, sometimes the application of algorithms created with good intentions leads to unintended consequences.

We have already turned our world over to machine learning and algorithms.

Algorithms will continue to spread everywhere becoming  the new arbiters of human decision-making.

The question now is, how to better understand and manage what we have done?

The main negative changes come down to a simple but now quite difficult question:

How are we thinking and what does it mean to think through algorithms to mediate our world?

How can we see, and fully understand the implications of, the algorithms programmed into everyday actions and decisions?

The rub is this: Whose intelligence is it, anyway?

By expanding collection and analysis of data and the resulting application of this information, a layer of intelligence or thinking manipulation is added to processes and objects that previously did not have that layer.

So prediction possibilities follow us around like a pet.

The result: As information tools and predictive dynamics are more widely adopted, our lives will be increasingly affected by their inherent conclusions and the narratives they spawn.

Our algorithms are now redefining what we think, how we think and what we know. We need to ask them to think about their thinking – to look out for pitfalls and inherent biases before those are baked in and harder to remove.

Advances in algorithms are allowing technology corporations and governments to gather, store, sort and analyse massive data sets.

This is creating a flawed, logic-driven society and that as the process evolves – that is, as algorithms begin to write the algorithms – humans may get left out of the loop, letting “the robots decide.”

Dehumanization has now spread to our, our economic systems, our  health care and social services.

We simply can’t capture every data element that represents the vastness of a person and that person’s needs, wants, hopes, desires.

Who is collecting what data points?

Do the human beings the data points reflect even know or did they just agree to the terms of service because they had no real choice?

Who is making money from the data?

How is anyone to know how his/her data is being massaged and for what purposes to justify what ends?

There is no transparency, and oversight is a farce. It’s all hidden from view.

I will always remain convinced the data will be used to enrich and/or protect others and not the individual. It’s the basic nature of the economic system in which we live.

It will take us some time to develop the wisdom and the ethics to understand and direct this power. In the meantime, we honestly don’t know how well or safely it is being applied.

The first and most important step is to develop better social awareness of who, how, and where it is being applied.”

If we use machine learning models rigorously, they will make things better; if we use them to paper over injustice with the veneer of machine empiricism, it will be worse.

The danger in increased reliance on algorithms is that is that the decision-making process becomes oracular: opaque yet unarguable.

If we are to protect the TRUTH. Giving more control to the user seems highly advisable.

When you remove the humanity from a system where people are included, they become victims.

Advances in quantum computing and the rapid evolution of AI and AI agents embedded in systems and devices in the Internet of Things will lead to hyper-stalking, influencing and shaping of voters, and hyper-personalized ads, and will create new ways to misrepresent reality and perpetuate falsehoods to the point of no return.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com

THE BEADY EYE ASKS: SHOULD WE BE ABLE TO SELF IDENTIFY WHEN IT COMES TO GENDER.

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( Six minute read) 

Pause and think about the above statement. Even to discuss its implications is fraught with dangers.

So at the outset to this post let me state that I have little appreciation of  what it is like to live in a body that does not recognise its gender. 

Are you a man or a woman?

To answer this question you would have been able to give a definite answer one way or the other, and would probably have appealed to your body type and biology to explain it.

Until recently, most people would have found that a simple question. 

However it is turning into a highly fraught and emotive debate, due to certain chromosomal or hormonal conditions, not all individuals can be easily categorised as biologically male or female.

Why does a man feeling like a woman or visa versa mean that transitioning is a medical necessity, but feeling and defining yourself as black is shrouded in layers of deception?

The real rationale for questioning our traditional understandings of men and women has little to do with the existence of intersex people and more to do with the recent increase in the number of people who are biologically unambiguously of one sex, but identify as the opposite.

How do you decide which feelings are legitimate—and should be acted on—and which are not?

The resulting minefield of human-rights ambiguities, and questions over who is allowed to say what is bewildering.

                                                                 ——————————-

When we reject our birth definition of who we are, life becomes complicated.

In our current cultural moment, one person is affirmed for defining themselves by how they feel, but another is told that how they feel is irrelevant.  So which is it?

Is the proposed movement to self-declaration of gender making a mockery of the structure of society.?

(There’s also the question of what happens when the freedom for some to self-create comes into conflict with the right of protection for others.) 

The proposal is that, rather than continue the current system, where someone requires a medical diagnosis and a two-year period of living in their acquired identity before they can legally change gender, those seeking to transition should simply be allowed to self-declare, meaning that someone born a man could declare himself to be a woman and immediately have the right to enter spaces reserved for women.  

How would you like being sexually assaulted by “women with penises” or a man with a vulva, must give us pause for thought about whether this is wise. 

Not to mention  sport . “You can’t just proclaim yourself female and then compete against women.

There must be some standards.

People insist that self identifying is ok for some protected characteristics but not for others.

Well, that seems arbitrary.

Some of us will know and agree with people who want to redefine their “assigned” gender, or we may feel that way ourselves; yet

we don’t automatically agree that people should be able to redefine their race. Perhaps it’s vice versa.

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The issue of what it means to be a human is confused.

Reality is being obscured so that race, gender, and age are all coming to be described as fluid.

Self-worship rapidly leaves us empty, so it is an error to think that gender identity—or any other identity for that matter—as

something that can be completely determined by one’s self.

In an individualist society, we prize the values of freedom, autonomy, equality and self-determination.

  

We believe that people should be free to pursue their own agendas, to become whomever they wish to become, provided that they

do not hurt others along the way. From this view, it is easy to see how we might want to sanction the idea that gender—one’s

experience of self as man or woman, masculine or feminine, as non-binary, or even non-sexed—as something that a person

defines for oneself.

But this is neither true of transgender identities nor of any other type of psychological or social identity. 

I cannot establish an identity by myself; it must be negotiated with and validated in my relations with others.

This does not mean that I have no role in establishing my identity—it simply means that I cannot and do not do so by myself.

The point here is not that one’s personal experience is irrelevant to one’s identity—it is indeed foundational.

The point is that it is simply not sufficient. We need more than what someone says in order to establish and verify an identity.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t believe transgender people when they claim an identity. It is simply to say that the

everyday idea that our identities are established solely through self-identification is a flawed one.

This is also not to say that transgender people have to prove themselves to others.

It is simply to say that the everyday way we verify any given claim to an identity relies not on a mere verbal statement, but also

what a person naturally and spontaneously does in everyday interaction.

Identity formation is a social and not simply an individual process.

The problem arises when we come to think that social gender replaces the category of biological sex. It doesn’t.

Gender simply refers to something different from (if not fully independent of) biological sex.

If we are going to embrace the concept of gender, we are going to have to come to terms with the fact that gender doesn’t trump

sex. And, of course, the opposite is also true: sex doesn’t trump gender.

Each has their place in the vagaries of social life, and we must work together to find out when they are relevant and when they are

not.

But the identities that we are free to construct are our social identities.

The moment we distinguish gender from sex, we have two parallel concepts where there was once one.

To say that gender is malleable means that people can create social identities along the full range of the gender spectrum.

This use of the term “gender” should be an acceptable one.

The problem comes when people use the category of gender as a replacement for sex. When this happens, the concept of gender is

extended beyond its appropriate limits—that is, to one’s experience of ” who I am” in relation to others.

Transgender people need and deserve compassion.

They deserve the right to define themselves in terms of their experienced genders. A person who experiences discordance between

their assigned sex and their social and relational sense of gender is likely to experience suffering from that fact alone.

Such suffering is amplified by the many indignities and humiliations that such individuals face in a society that finds it difficult to

understand and accept people with transgender identities.

The result of all of this would be a radical redefinition of our words “man” and “woman”, and of the political entities those words

describe.

Rather than referring to members of biological classes, who can generally speaking be distinguished from one another by sight, the

words will now refer to subjective mental states, feelings in a person’s head, indistinguishable from one another except by self-

declaration.

The current discourse which insists that a person becomes a woman the moment they declare themselves to be one.

A legal redefinition of our existing gender categories so that they reflect gender identity, instead of biological sex, would have the

consequence of overriding existing legal protections against discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex.

We don’t know to what extent anyone would seek to exploit legislation designed to allow people to self-identify as women. 

The categories of “man” and “woman” effectively become meaningless.

This is not a satisfactory outcome, especially for those who strongly feel that they identify as one particular gender. 

Shifting our definition of what it means to be a woman so that it no longer has any grounding in the material or social reality of

what it means to be a woman helps no one.

Should parents who allow their children to choose their own gender be considered irresponsible … or enlightened?

Should robots be allocated a gender?

All human comments appreciated no matter what gender. All like click and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com

THE BEADY EYE SAYS: WE ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH POLLUTING THE EARTH , CONTAMATING OUR ATHOMPSHIRE AND OCEANS. WE ARE NOW POLLOUTING SPACE.

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( Four minute read)

With all the problems in the world one would think that we would be avoiding adding to them.

We ignored environmental violations. As a result, we have killed thousands of species, but what might be worse is that we are likely going to kill ourselves. This doesn’t mean we would have all-out nuclear war, but our tendencies to pollute and not care are going to cause harm. This is the issue with pollution out in space.

It’s a serious issue.

We have oceans and rivers, and we pollute them until they become almost unusable. We’ve done exactly the same with space.

The atmosphere is polluted with thousands of objects, no different than all the pollutants dumped in our oceans.

On Earth, natural processes disintegrate or just moves our trash out of sight — everything in space stays there unless we bring it back down.  (Left to gravity alone, satellites can take decades to re-enter the atmosphere and combust.)

From the first launch in 1957, humanity has been launching thousands of projectiles into space and everything we have sent up is still there.

Though nobody gave a shit in the early days of space exploration, we were dumping as much as we want with no concern for the consequences.

We have made the space pollution problem and now we are forced to fix it.

All the debris that is now floating in space is like when ancient bugs become fossilized in amber — it’s a complete untarnished record of sixty years of carelessness.

Yet even our actions in the atmosphere still have an impact on us — no different than the harms of deforestation and marine pollution. Space is an environment that is as sacred as the terrestrial mountains and streams.

Countries also add to the space trash by blowing up satellites. This has been done by the U.S, Russia, India, and China, but in-particular, India has been testing their anti-satellite missiles.

Nass is able to track about 23,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball — however there are an estimated half a million pieces the size of a marble that are much more difficult to track and an inconceivable amount of microparticles smaller than a fingernail that are virtually impossible to detect.

Even tiny pieces of metal and paint flecks fly around the Earth at the speed of orbit — about 17,500 miles per hour. On Earth this is the equivalent of a 550 pound object going 60 miles per hour, which would smash right through a car. Even microparticles can cause tremendous damage — spacecraft can be carved with deep gouges on the exterior and bear cracked glass.

The prospect of a clean-up is massive and currently there is no realistic solution.

Every collision is generating more debris and shrapnel as pieces flew apart on impact. This debris then collide with other debris and spacecraft, creating even more shrapnel. Eventually space will become impenetrable due to the unstoppable cascade of colliding debris.

If we, as a species, want to explore the universe, we first must perfect our abilities here at home. If this involves cleaning up after our previous messes, then the future of space travel will be as secure as ever. Therefore, for the betterment of humanity, space debris must be cleaned up, or else, in the long-run, it will have devastating impacts on our exploration and daily lives.

Humans have been polluting the Earth for centuries before any laws came into force.

Space has no laws, country governing it use. Private companies are free to do or launch as many satellites as they wish.

I say that is time we that when an orbital mission is planned, it must include a legal binding strategy to remove the spacecraft from the orbit within 25 years.

I would also argue that space is a culturally valuable environment because the manmade objects up there are a record of the development of technology and of contemporary telecommunication. There is a huge number of really interesting abandoned and non-functional satellites and spacecraft that tell the story of the space age and how the humans engage with a very challenging space environment.

We need to make some serious progress in the next decade, 20 years tops, if we are going to prevent disaster.

A space environmental management plan to preserve significant technology and satellites that may have played an important part in history, and does not want to see space junk mindlessly destroyed.

A binding international agreement on how to deal with this stuff.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail,com

THE BEADY EYE ASK’S: IS IT NOT TRAGIC TO SEE WHAT BRITIAN IS DOING TO ITS SELF?  

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( Six minute read)

Six hundred MPs and seven hundred and fifty one members of the house of lords, the crew of the Titanic Brexit Britain.

We literally have no comparisons for the sheer scale of what is happening in Britain there is simply no reference point for it whatsoever.

To call it a statistical outlier would be making a mockery of statistics.

More than 100,000 excess deaths that are on track to happen by the end of this year.

What else killed 100,000 people?  Well, the bomb that fell on Hiroshima did. The only other comparison of death at this scale that can really be offered is Covid deaths, during the pandemic’s absolute peak. But then? Societies were in a completely different place. Locked down. At a standstill. Those are the only events in contemporary history, outside war, which produce….absolutely shocking numbers…like this.  Perhaps the best way to understand what’s happening to Britain is that it appears to be a society at war. With itself.

This was a choice, and the only one of those that’s a choice falls into the category of war.

Britain appears to be experiencing something so extreme that it can only really be likened to a war by any other name.

This is the kind of calamity that’s needed to contextualize, properly, what Britain’s done to itself.

Britain’s economy is about to be 11% smaller than it would’ve been if Brexit hadn’t happened. 

The only point of comparison, really, is the Great Depression.

Consider, let’s say, Russia. Guess how much its economy shrank last year — as the entire world ostracized it, banned it, shut down its access to financial networks, sanctioned it. 8.5% — Less than Britain’s will, thanks to Brexit.

What’s the point, even, of telling you all this, you might be wondering, a little angrily, especially if you’re British?

The point is very simple. These are the facts. And you should know them. If you’re British, something historically singular is happening to your history, and your society made it happen.

If you’re not British, the reason for telling you all this is even simpler. You had better learn something. 

Brits wanted to backwards, in time, to an imaginary nostalgic, driven into a nationalistic frenzy which soon became ugly xenophobia and hate — the kind that’s still keeping the left, LOL, the left, from hiring doctors and nurses to save those future tens of thousands of dead Brits.

You had better learn something. This is where it ends. The road of nationalism, hubris, Big Lies, the ones the lunatics around the world now tell — Brittania Uber Alles, Sweden for the Swedes, Make America Great Again, whatever flavour they come in.

Just a decade ago, Britain was still the envy of the world.

And today?

It is something history books will teach — as an example of how fast even a developed, wealthy, secure, stable country can not just lose it all, but how much there is to really lose, and how hard it is, then, to teach what has been lost at all, because by then, all that’s left is the lie, sneering at truth, stamping like a boot on the face of history.

Watching Britain turn into what it is now — the first rich European country to become a failed state, which in itself is mind-boggling — is to witness something historic.

“Fear” “danger” “panic” “double panic”. These are the kinds of words we often hear when we talk to people about the economy. The economy is described as “a giant blob” that is “vast and never ending”, “one big circle”, even “a monster”.

So what exactly is the economy?

Where is it?  And who controls it?

The economy is nothing but the cumulative result of the way you live your life, and the way everyone around you lives theirs. It’s how we make the things we want and decide who gets what.

Trying to draw hard boundaries around the edges of the economy is a fool’s errand. It doesn’t take much to link almost everything in our world to the system of making and using things. But claiming that anything and everything has to do with economics is a step too far when there’s so many other things that shape our lives.

Economics is just seven billion stories, experiences, and choices. This morning, you decided what time to get up, whether or not to go to work, what eat, and whether to go for a jog or laze on the sofa. Each of those decisions affected the economy in some way, and each were economics.

Many millions of words have been written about what has happened since, but three clear facts stand out from this lost decade.
The first is that people who did not cause the crisis and who had no say in the risks taken in financial markets on their behalf have paid the highest price. Taxpayers’ money bailed out the banks; that was unavoidable.

For the first time in modern records, ‘economic growth’ – a hollow and moribund concept – has ceased to deliver pay rises for many.

There is a growing sense that the economy is not something that should be done to people, but rather with and by them.
Add to this the constantly accelerating pace of digital innovation – both a profound threat and a real opportunity
– and the outline of a world in which policymaking and economics is never going to be the same again is discernible

Here is what is needed to be done. Truly radical thinking for truly radical times.

To realize that you live on an island and the markets that  you sell into controls the economy.

To build a purposeful economy. Doing economics as if people and planet mattered – and fashioning the economy to serve the people and the thriving and healthy natural world on which we all depend – is now the most important project of our time.

It is beyond comprehension not to build a green economy self sufficient in green energy, creating millions of jobs and revenue.

A guarantee of basic goods and services for all, in which a basic income and universal public services, such as childcare, health, and social care, are combined with common or co-operative ownership of essentials like energy, water and transport to
ensure a decent quality of life.

Investment in a massive, genuinely affordable, green social housebuilding programme, with local development dictated by
community need.

Create a Working Hours Commission, alongside the Low Pay Commission, to set out a framework for achieving shorter
and more flexible hours of paid work for all.

Not building two new aircraft, a high-speed worthless railway, quantitative easing, not deporting badly needed immigrants that can and will contribute to supporting an aging population, not building new nuclear plants, not sending the young into the world  with crippling educational debts, not allowing London to suck the life out of the country for the sake of profit.

Renewed prioritisation and a focus on fewer projects might lead government teams to be able to deliver projects to the best of their ability – doing ‘fewer things really well, rather than trying to do everything in a less successful way.’

In 2020, 11 projects in the GMPP (9%) were considered to be ‘unfeasible’ in their delivery. The ICT and digital transformation category had the highest proportion of projects rated ‘unfeasible’ or ‘in doubt’ (53%) which is a record high – no ICT projects were rated ‘highly likely’, which is a drop from 7% in 2019.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com

THE BEADY EYE ASKS: WHY IS THERE PAIN AND SUFFERING IN LIFE?

( Nine minute read)

At some point, most people will ask this question.

It’s one of the “big questions” about life that truly matter, influencing our fundamental approach to life.

Pain-beauty relationship is a paradox and not a contradiction. The concepts of pain and suffering therefore share negative emotion as a common ground.

When pain intensifies and generalizes over time, it becomes suffering.

  •                                                                 —————————–

The question is as old as humanity, and since the beginning of time philosophers have tried to answer it, however unsuccessfully.

Simply put, because it seems to be beyond the human capacity to grasp.

We’ll always feel pain and hurt, frustration and loss in life, but pain and suffering are necessary for a beautiful world because complacent pleasure is not satisfying.

” For Roald Hoffmann, beauty is found in moments of tension: “Beauty…is to be found, precarious, at some tense edge where…order and chaos contend.”

Even a less abstract examination of beauty and of our perceptions of beauty is impossible without discussing pain. Beautification, for example, is too frequently painful or unpleasant to ignore the possibility that pain and beauty are related.

The inherent ugliness or worth of pain must be established.

A discussion of the effect pain has on the afflicted, on the perceiver of suffering, and on society helps to resolve the philosophical and practical questions about pain’s inherent beauty or ugliness, to discern the relationship between aesthetics and suffering, and to weigh the significant consequences of both.

C.S. Lewis, a 20th century Christian writer, recognizes that pain is an “unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt. ” Nevertheless, he also makes a convincing argument that pain is a lesser evil: “Of all evils, pain only is sterilised or disinfected evil. Intellectual evil…may recur because the cause of the first error…continues to operate…Pain…may of course recur…but pain has no tendency, in its own right, to proliferate.

When it is over, it is over, and the natural sequence is joy. ” Anyone in chronic pain may scoff at Lewis’ flippant dismissal of pain as transient, but his point that pain does not have the tendency to cause more pain sets suffering apart from other evil, which does tend to perpetuate itself.

Pain is unique because although we strive to get rid of it, suffering is capable of something benign or even good: pain forces change in order to cope with it and results in spiritual, physical, and emotional strength. In pain, people are torn from whatever life they have constructed for themselves and from whatever complacency mars their appreciation for life and the gifts that they have.

The “raw” experience of life that may have been smothered by comfort is inflamed.

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I’m not going to get into religious answers to the above question other than to say if there were a loving God, why would this Source of Life allow so much suffering and pain?

I would also like to emphasize that I don’t want to deal in these paragraphs with truisms, such as the pain and suffering inflicted by some people on other people. They are well known. The lunacy of such groups as the Nazis, the Ku-Klux-Klan, ISIS, the Red Khmers, obviously was the cause of so much pain experienced by millions of peoples.

We should accept that we obviously are part of the problem and that the problems will not be eradicated, because after thousands of years we still did not grab the opportunity offered by Lady Fate to live humbly and trust in her teachings.

It is impossible to keep our peace of mind while understanding how tragic life is.

It seems to be impossible to find a rational answer to this question for a perfect world – but a world could not be perfect if it would have suffered.

However, take into account that we are living in an imperfect world, and, worse than that, seemingly under a high degree of control of dark forces dealing with suffering is impossible without empathy, feeling deep in our hearts the pain of our friends, neighbours, family.

So suffering in yourself is a starting point for the possibility of true compassion when you realize that someone other that yourself can also suffer. Without pain and suffering people would go out of control.

I don’t think a beautiful experience is possible whenever one person inflicts pain on another person.

In order to have a better understanding of pain and suffering, we need to remind ourselves that we are living in an imperfect world, inhabited with imperfect people, who can take imperfect decisions, which can affect the lives of the others.

In other words, in an imperfect world like ours, suffering has an educational and also a prophylactic role.

Without having suffered any pain, you would have no depth.

If you suffered enough pain from the loss, you’ll have the motivation and fire to transform yourself.

Not only that, but how would empathy or compassion for the suffering of other humans, animals or even nature arise without having suffered yourself?

Pain can result in beauty, by transforming people into stronger individuals, but we strive to eliminate most of the suffering in the world. The more pain and conflict we eliminate from our own personal experience, the more potential beauty that could result from suffering is lost.

We become more and more unable to relate to the sufferers of pain because we lose their aesthetic perspective.

When things don’t go the way our ego wants, we suffer in some way. You cannot get rid of ego so don’t bother trying. Without ego, you wouldn’t even be able to function on a basic level in the world. It seems to be beyond your control.

The mind is basically a problem solving machine. It’s designed to try to codify and understand the parts that make up the whole.

You’d have no access to the vertical axis – the now moment. You would be 100% stuck on the horizontal surface level of life chasing after happiness and trying to avoid pain.

 Indeed the lack of success is probably due to the fact that we do not know everything about (our) life. We do not know all the details, all the actors, all the reasons, all the plans… But we can guess a few things about the sources of pain and suffering. Mainly by the glimpse, we can glean from the manly legends and novels of humanity the inherent goodness that is Life that is “hiding” behind the noise of the mind is revealed.

The question why pain and suffering exist, from an ancient point of view, can come only from an emasculated society: by bravely enduring it. Unfortunately, it is easier to speak about suffering than about bearing it. “No pain, No gain”.

Self-inflicting pain can create a kind of localized and transient cultural beauty, yet to inflict pain on others is not beautiful.

We are doomed to inflict all the pain that our ancestors produced, and what they would teach us, because of their experience, to avoid.

In this life, we are not better than others, and it is an honourable attitude to face it aware of the potential of its pains and sufferings.

Living in an imperfect world, we put our trust in a future perfect world, where there will be no pain and suffering.

The impact of an era of “a pill for every pain” is already taking shape.

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Equally true, however, that a world that is finished, ended, would have no traits of suspense and crisis, and would offer no opportunity for resolution. Where everything is complete, there is no fulfilment. Humans begin life endowed only with impulses as motor sources of activity.

It is possible and necessary to embrace suffering in our personal lives and find beauty and dignity by doing so, while also working to relieve the suffering of others .“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

There are no fixed ends or moral rules that could be adequate in a world of constant change and plural and conflicting values. The value of acts can be reduced to the quantity of pleasure and pain they produce.

Moral insights come from the demands of others, not from any individual’s isolated reflections.

There is no joy unmixed with sorrow in this world for people who care about others.” “Sorrowful yet always rejoicing.” Life is not simple. There is pleasure and there is pain. There is sweetness and there is suffering. There is joy and there is misery. There is life and health, and there is disease and death.

Every society must devise means for the satisfaction of basic human needs for food, shelter, clothing, and affiliation, for coping with interpersonal conflict within the group and treatment of outsiders, for dealing with critical events such as birth, coming of age, and death. We lack a complete conception of our end until we have a complete grasp of the course of action that will take us there.

The challenge of every true seeker of beauty is to be accepting of their own pain, but uncomfortable with the pain of others.

It should be a pain all to see (never mind tolerating), the suffering of Famines, an outstretched hand on the street, a foodbank, a boat full of immigrants, a child with a cleft palate, the suffering of inequality that robs the future of so many.

In a world of mere flux, change would not be cumulative; it would not move toward a close. Stability and rest would have no being.

Life and the search for beauty are constant battles to find the right balance between two worlds is what Dewey describes:

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