The promise of better transport spring eternal but never seems to manifest.
I had imagined that autonomous vehicles would be the norm by 2020. But, like Crossrail, they remain an enigmatic unicorn.
Sorting out transport in the U.K. really isn’t complex.
First of all, we need a two person pod, which can be expanded by adding additional pods. These would undertake short range journeys and be available on demand. For longer distance journeys they could be loaded onto rail carriages.
Moir rail network needs to be able to support trains that can travel at the very least at 500mph, perhaps using maglev technology.
Urban areas should be tunnelled. Britain pioneered the underground and it remains suitable particularly to bridge river estuaries.
Russia does not operate by the rules of any other nation. Since its foundation by Norse invaders (Russ = red)., the nation has never been occupied or conquered. Mongols may have taken the steppes but they never really took the heartland of Moscow, St Petersburg and Kviv.
It is the world’s largest nation, but that isn’t enough, as the USSR it colonised more than a dozen other nations with only plucky Finland escaping their vast imperialistic grasp. And Afghanistan, time and again.
In reality the whole of the Eastern Bloc and the ’Stans’ were Russian colonies.
The problem is, Russia still think they are.
What has been more complex is the transition from communism to outright facism. An ultra right wing dictator has usurped the country’s constitution.
Russia even managed to place their puppet in the White House. Whether motivated by blackmail, greed or just outright stupidity, the US’ greatest nemesis somehow became the poster kids of the ultra right Republican Party.
Meanwhile, the one person capable of standing up to the Uber bully Putin retired.
It is no coincidence, in my view, that Angela Merckle’s stepping down saw Putin escalate his ambitions.
Energy security has always been a poor priority for most European nations, with the Green morons exacerbating the situation with their tin brained ideas.
Germany shut off a full ten per cent of its energy capacity at the end of 2021 thanks to its idiotic anti nuclear power stance. A country of genius engineers should by now have exported thorium and fusion energy plants to the world instead of lying about the damage their diesel cars cause. But that’s another rant.
So Russia has seen its opportunity. The West is dependent on its energy supplies. Gas in particular. And the Nord 2 pipeline would keep this dependency live for at least another two decades.
Russia annexed the Crimea with no consequences, just like the Anschluss. They could easily take the Ukraine. But I believe that Putin doesn’t necessarily want the Ukraine. He wants Nord 2.
With Metckle gone there is no Western lease of any stature to stand up to him, and he know it. The bully rules the school yard.
The only solution for a Western alliance to invade Russia, occupy and normalise energy supplies. The alternative is this nutter becomes the next Kaiser or Hitler.
Special People are allowed to park in disabled or child parking spaces despite neither being disabled nor having children.
They are allowed to drive at 60mph in the outside lane on motorways.
They are allowed to not wear masks nor be vaccinated, because they do not understand the difference between a 1 in a million chance of dying against a 1 in 10,000 chance of dying. Their idea of investment is a bet at Ladbrookes… Or crypto.
Of course, they are allowed to hold parties and flout all the Covid rules they created.
They are able to litter since no rules apply to them. Only their world view, carefully honed from experts on Facebook.
Obviously, Special People care about no one else. They are the chosen ones. They get to go to Oxford and told they are the best of the best, and their followers, who can barely read or write, are also special. Because they were chosen. by themselves and are clever enough to follow the select breed of Oxons.
What a lovely world ! With so many Special People!
Wow, all I can say is that there is peril all around and everyone seems sanguine.
China has the collapse of its biggest property company, Evergrande and will need a distraction from the recession that this and other supply chain issues will cause. Their escape valve is to invade Taiwan.
Meanwhile, if anything, more worryingly is that Russia knows that their era of control over the West through gas supply is coming to an end as alternative energy sources come online, so they know they have this one chance to put back together their ’empire’ by invading the Ukraine, part of which they have already annexed with no consequences. Putin in 2021 was Hitler in 1938.
Meanwhile, a fascist, possibly Russian puppet, has and is trying to effect a coup d’etat in the United States, a country paralysed by its divisions, having caused extensive damage to the benefit of Putin’s Russia as President of the USA. Russia has used the naivety of social media to control a vast swathe of the American population and turn them agains their own constitution. Not surprising for a country where mumbo jumbo faiths such as Christianity, Mormonism, Christian Science and Scientology were able to take hold.
And let’s analyse this further. The definition of faith is believing in things that cannot be proven, ie lies or bullshit. The USA was set up as a haven for bullshitters and they managed to take over the country, and remain a menace to people living peacefully, freely and believing in truth, lies, facts and other determinants, not fantasy, fancy and wishful thinking.
I have no facts nor statistics, but I feel that an awful amount of conflict in the world is triggered where majorities are set to become minorities. In the US the racists are finally loosing their grip constitutionally and no degree of gerrymandering will resolve their problems. Instead of embracing new and different constituents, they re-trench and make themselves the victims, the minority.
Imagine a child, petulantly crying after a friend stole their crayon. Except they didn’t.
The terrifying thing, as we move into 2022, is that this is the behaviour of the USA, Russia and China.
People of privilege believe that they are special and chosen. They follow various idols – a religion or money or their own self image.
People of privilege see others as beneath them: they are immigrants, or foreigners or socialists or scum. They are, worst of all, different.
They see themselves in the castle on the hill, not the poor ghetto they exist in. They see themselves as gods, not humans. They see themselves as protectors of the past, not the inventors of the future.
Because tomorrow they will leave their trailers or two up two down and become as rich as Donald Trump or Putin or those other guys that people of privilege vote for, just as the turkeys welcome Christmas.
A watch is an interesting edifice. It’s basically a handcuff to time.
But people collect them and invest in them and you can buy one for a couple of quid or for millions.
Time has a fascinating history, and the ability to enchain it in a device was a true indicator of mechanical and industrial progress.
Its relationship to navigation was even more profound.
However, I have never worn a watch – well not since I lost the very expensive Omega that my parents bought me for my eighteenth birthday. I think it lasted two years before being left in a campsite washroom.
Recently I took to wearing the Apple Watch 4 that I bought and inherited from my mum as she became frail and kept on falling at home.
I have a bad heart and it is genuinely good at helping me monitor this. But it has loads of useless functions too. Almost nothing works unless you have an iPhone within ten feet.
There’s no wrist iConferencing, you can’t even play spotify without a phone. It’s a £800 conceit, which is still more functional and far more sensible than a £10k Patek Pilippe.
The point is that we are all handcuffed to capitalism, to stupid conceits.
You need to spend £2.5m on a petrol car that will get you from 0-60 in around 2 seconds. An EV will dot his for £150k. But who, and why would you, want to go from 0-60 in 2 secs in the real world ?
Utility and value have long been disconnected, and this is where the theses of our great capitalist writers fall down.
The rich gather more, pointlessly, and the poor suffer more, tragically.
All that online anger and vitriol is spilling over into the real world and we are abusing each other like never before.
Let’s face it, we are animals, and animals are creatures who live according to primordial instincts. We win by, at the very least, belittling others. In reality we win by killing them.
Facebook is no different to Rome or a Stone Age Cave.
The only objective is to win, to come out ahead. Or, as we call it these days, to be an Influencer.
There was a period at the end of the last century and the beginning of the current one where I had some hope for the age I lived in, but we have since had Trump and Johnson and Putin and Erdogan.
We still have the ridiculous edifice of religion and all its dogma.
How can you have Truth when you have Faith, ie a belief in the supernatural ?
Trump could espouse anything that entered his weak mind because his constituency already believed in utter bollocks, and then betrayed that rubbish by following him (how many of the Ten Commandments has this man broken ?).
We now make up reality and beliefs on the fly.
So, when truth, reality and facts are relative concepts, what is the point of education ?
As China is now proving, there is nothing but control. The ‘communist’ nation that is totally built on capitalism.
Politics is a mode of control, as is religion.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that people are no longer nice to each other, when you need to prove that you have eaten your neighbour online to get kudos online.
There surely cannot be a single company that has got away with its anti-social practices more than the Danish company, Lego.
Modern times and global warming, as well as many other things, have caught up with diesel cars and oil companies, with earbuds and straws and plastic bottles.
Yet, all those people who diligently separate their recycling and worry about the environment give their little innoe=cent children these awful plastic edifices.
There is little doubt that an archaeologist digging up our era a thousand years or more from now will use their robots to vaccum dust earth off tiny and large bits of never destructible plastic, shaking their heads at our use of a material that destroyed us, chuckling to themselves about our sheer primitiveness.