Wrong kind of ‘ists’

Over the past twenty or so years, we have been bombarded by apocryphal tales of the world being brought to an end by corrupt humanity because of small rises in atmospheric trace gas. Kind of “We’re all doomed, and it’s all your fault!” Especially via that paragon of virtues (Guffaw) the British Broadcasting Corporation. Despite a total lack of hard evidence, everything they seem to put out, from Eastenders to the Tellytubbies and the Weather Forecast contains the message that Carbon Dioxide will be the death of us all. Non-believers are ridiculed in BBC comedy programmes, patronised and damned with faint praise elsewhere in said organisations output.

We are informed that this is because the ‘majority of scientists’ agree on this topic. Not so. This is an overt lie. We are told that the BBC acted on the advice of ’28 scientists’ at a specific meeting. Now this assertion can be demonstrated to be an immense lake, a positive ocean, of bovine excretory splatter. These weren’t ‘Scientists’ at all. Although I will happily stand corrected if the BBC’s Head of Comedy of the time had specialist expertise in IR absorption or cloud formation and meteorology. The list, which the Beeb is reputed to have spent 100k of lawyers fees trying to keep secret, is available via this post at Wattsupwiththat. Read. Weep. Laugh. Get angry. This affair makes the allegations about pop star paedo’s look like a mere bagatelle. This is massive scale fraud. A deliberate attempt to mislead and misrepresent the public and so enrich a relatively small clique (Or are these the ‘Green jobs’ said activists tell us their enterprises will bring forth?). A flagrant ‘flipping the bird‘ at the BBC’s founding charter, and by proxy at anyone who has ever reacted to the constant doomsaying with a sceptical raised eyebrow.

Far from being overwhelmingly comprised of ‘scientists’ the list of attendees at this 2006 critical policy meeting appears to consist of Oil and Energy company executives (What! Big Oil! – Never!) and a whole bunch of eco-Activists. Barely three attendees have any credible scientific credentials, and even so these folks appear to have a built in bias. They’re just the wrong sort of ‘ist’.

Not that this should come as any surprise. The ‘science’ of Global Warming / Climate Change / Whatever has always been suspect. As even the most cursory examination of the global warming premise and its repeated failures of prediction will clearly show. It has come to the point where every time someone begins to rattle about this nonsense I automatically think ‘Piltdown Man‘. Yet we have taxes based upon this flawed premise?

Smart Meters and Saltspring Island

Recently, that most solid of strongholds against the forced installations of the much distrusted ‘Smart Meters’, Saltspring Island, has seen the beginning of a blitz by Corix installation teams. On the 22nd of October, 10 Corix installation vans were seen on the ferry to begin the three week program of installations. Whilst I cannot help but sympathise with those who have these pieces of politically expedient technology thrust upon them, my irony meter has just gone off the scale.

For a long time now, Saltspring and certain of the surrounding Gulf Islands have been undergoing a political sea change. People who dislike the ‘poisons’ of Globalism and Urban living have been migrating there, and if this Op-ed from the Victoria Times Colonist is to be believed, staged some form of takeover. According to author Elizabeth Nickson, they are the ones responsible for preventing development of Island resources via the Island Trust. Nothing must change, goes the ideology, because mankind pollutes our island Earth, and therefore anything resembling industry is very bad indeed. Learning to live without technology is thought to be the way forward. ‘Low Carbon’ is the desired state of being. The Islands even elected a Green Party MP to further this end.

Okay, fine; they choose to live on the Gulf Islands, they choose the lifestyle. No issue with that. However, what raises an ironic smile is that many of the very people pushing the Anthropogenic Global Warming Agenda are those who emphatically don’t want a technology intended to be part of the ‘solution’ to ‘Global Warming’. Shades of the biter bit, methinks.

Whatever the outcome, I do know that the new crop of ‘smart meters’ only have a projected working life of ten years, as opposed to the ‘old tech’ meter lifespan of several decades. Word is that never mind ten years, seven seems to be the median for smart meters. So a rolling replacement program will have to be implemented, and you can be damned sure that the advocates for the ‘Low carbon’ lifestyle won’t want to help pick up the tab for that.

Real life

The blog is taking fifth place to real life right now. Life analogue supersedes life digital, and at present there aren’t enough hours in the working day. Not that I’ve got anything I want to write about here at present. I’ve stopped reading and watching the news on the premise that mainstream outlets deliberately structure their content to annoy. Whatever is happening in the world will happen anyway, without any input from me.

Arbitrary rises in gas prices? Everyone is hacked off about those.
European economic collapse impending? Not surprised.
US elections? That’s down to the US electorate.
The non-existence of man made global warming? Told you so.
Riots? Not here there aren’t.
Poverty? Starvation? War? People finding excuses to be shitty to each other? Yep, plenty. But not much I can do about that. Too busy trying to keep my own head above water.

In short; I cannot be my brothers keeper because he’ll have to shift for himself like the rest of us. Not much I can do and I’m not overly inclined to do it. Tell you the truth I’ve been reading P J O’Rourke’s “All the trouble in the world” again, and nothing really changes.

Also delving into Nietzsche and Sartre for the first time in over two decades, and finding out that many people who previously derived their world view from Nietzsche have been hoodwinked. Apparently Nietzsche’s sister put all the nationalistic and anti-semitic crap into his published works after he died. So I’m giving the old boy a philosophical second reading with some of the newer translations. Starting with Safranski’s biography. This may take some time.

Ergo, I’ve cranked the outside volume down and am taking a big time out. No doubt the world will still be here when I get back. If it isn’t I will be asking serious questions. Play nice now. TTFN

BC Madness

I’ve been busy of late; too busy to even think of blogging, but the following items reinforce my long held belief that sanity is at a premium throughout humanity.

Firstly, the ongoing clashes between Provincial Premiers over the Enbridge pipeline. Alberta wants it built, but BC will not allow the building without cash up front to fritter away on the ruling parties pet projects, only to find that the cupboard is bare when ‘spill cleanup money’ is really needed. Duh. What happened to ‘the polluter pays’ for any cleanup? BC would make far more from an increased tax take from all the money and employment a new refinery would generate than simply ending up stiffed for fees if the price of oil drops due to increased availability.

Secondly, an American dumping 100 tonnes of Iron Sulphate into the Pacific near to Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands for those with old maps). Supposedly this is a ‘carbon mitigation’ project, but one that violates BC anti pollution legislation, a number of other Canadian Federal statutes, and Environmental UN mandates. Oh yes, and seeing as the person who bumped the iron sulphate is an American, the EPA may well have a say. Plankton blooms of the scale already created may well be doing serious harm because they reduce the oxygen content of the local ocean. Well silly old me for thinking that Fish need that dissolved oxygen in order to live. Far from increasing the Salmon population, the effects may well prove the opposite. Read this piece by a Salmon Farmer about Plankton blooms and the harm they can do to fish life. There are grounds for serious concern here.

iDemocracy

Have just been forwarded an email from Guido Fawkes about Douglas Carswell’s latest idea to fix Britain, and perhaps the world’s woes. Regrettably, brilliant man that Douglas is, he will be mostly ignored. His plan to fix Britain was a tour de force, but destined for the scrap heap of good ideas, not because it isn’t good, because it is; but because those in power are there, and they’re staying there, so the buggins turn of two and a bit party politics will continue.

iDemocracy is on Amazon. Worth buying and reading? Almost certainly. The ideas Douglas often espouses are generally well thought through and practical. Regrettably, the status quo of civil service and establishment will not permit such radical paradigm shifts. As for the populace? As has been mooted over at Anna Raccoons, the UK is a sick country, a welfare junkie due to go cold turkey because there has been no real money to feed their addictions for years.

Well, that’s all from me. Just thought I’d drop by and look in at the old place. TTFN

No wonder

High tide at lunchtime today, and am going down to the waters edge to play with my little friends the Smallmouth Bass. It’s a fair bargain; I give them a free feed, one or two of them get a free ride to the surface before I let them go. None of them are big enough for the pan, so why not? I use barbless hooks. Win-win.

Fishing is a more a contemplative than physical exercise anyway. It’s why people do it. The luxury of time to think without distraction. It was a zen thing before zen and all that complicated yoga twisting and bending came along.  In male terms at least, fishing is to zen what yoga is to the garden shed.  Both are designed to fulfill the same purpose, to free the mind for contemplation. Something which is in short supply nowadays.

There are far too many strident voices with agendas spouting falsehoods. From Politicians in hock to every vested interest and lobbyist under the sun to big Eco, with its original wide eyed idealism bought and sold by those with major financial interests in the currently flatlining ‘Carbon trading’ markets. Everybody is shouting, but oh so few are actually sitting back and doing some serious critical listening.   Apart from a few ‘lunatic’ bloggers.  Then again, we’re all ‘conspiracy nuts’ aren’t we? Tinfoil hats on permanent and prominent display. Candidates for the rubber room to a man. Yeah, right.

I haven’t quite got to the point where I need to fact check everything everybody else says, but it is very tempting.  Honesty and integrity have been devalued to the point where ordinary day to day folk might be active practitioners, but the higher* you go, the less these qualities seem in evidence.  An appeal to authority as a means of proof can therefore be seen to be less than adequate.  White lies were once seen as a necessary means of smoothing social intercourse, (and also as a very necessary means of smoothing the path to sexual intercourse) but now the falsehoods are so common, it’s easy to become overtly cynical in record time**.  Search engines may be the discerning readers friend here, but remember, just because it’s written down doesn’t make it true. Trust only the evidence. Which so many fail to look for.

No wonder the world’s in a mess. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Hi ho, it’s a gorgeous BC day and I’m off to enjoy it. TTFN

* Some, including myself, might posit that the adjective ‘higher’ when applied to human hierarchies should have the caveat; “The higher you seek to climb, the lower you have to sink.” firmly attached, like those interminable warning labels on half the hardware in the shops.
**Just as an aside; I wonder whether there is a ‘speed of cynicism’ like in ‘speed of light’?  Some form of self limiting factor?

What does FTW Mean?

I used an acronym in this morning’s post which I think could use a little disambiguation. That term was ‘FTW‘. In the lexicon I learned as a youth it has only ever meant one thing.

Now hands up those who thought FTW means, ‘For the win’? Really? No. I’m sorry, that is so weak it isn’t true. That is geek speak, and as such ephemeral (Not to mention teeth grindingly, embarrassingly awful).

Hands up those who think it means ‘Forever two wheels‘? Work in marketing do you? It most definitely does not carry this meaning. Never has. Knowing Biker society as I used to, if it was meant to carry that meaning it would be ‘TWF’. Karol Griffin’s quotation from ‘Skin deep’ is bullshit, crap, total bollocks, and just goes to show you shouldn’t believe all you read. ‘Real’ bikers, or at least the ones I used to know, would laugh themselves senseless if they heard anyone espouse this view. Probably uttering that expression of Interweb amused incomprehension; “WTF?”

Hands up those who think it means ‘For those wondering‘? Okay, this acronym has a little more credibility as the syntax makes reasonable grammatical sense if you’re a nerdish researcher on one of the more studied and polite Internet forums. However, it is not correct.

Hands up those who think it means ‘Fuck the world‘? Correct! Go to the top of the class, give yourself a slightly tarnished gold star. This is the meaning it had prior to the 1980’s, and the one I always use it for.

“FTW” expresses the desire for the rest of the world to stop interfering, for solitude, for surcease from the falseness and the doublespeak that perverts the course of human relationships. It means ‘I don’t care, leave me in peace’s. A meaning of honest brutality. It is the last snarl against the world on a suicide note. It means; “I am going my own way and damn the rest of you.” Usually expressed in a tattoo or graffiti. It is the frustrated roar of the underdog who has slipped his leash. It is sound and fury made flesh. It is an angry phrase made from gasoline, alloy, spilled SAE 10w40 oil, scarred fists and steel toed motorcycle boots.

I can see where the other, and much later invented meanings came from. They are the lies you tell your Mum when she finds you in hospital after a nasty crack up, undressed for the first time since you were three and sees your motley collection of skin art. The lies you tell the cute Nurse or the pretty young thing with doe eyes you’re having serious lustful thoughts about. The lies you tell your beloved on your wedding night when she asks you to tell her why you got that strange tattoo and what it means. The lies you tell your parole board or crusading prison visitor (Never done time, never want to, but some of my old close friends have). The lies you tell teacher when he / she finds the hastily written expostulation in your homework and you don’t want to fail the course. The lies you tell an employer / employee who sees you with your sleeves rolled up and doesn’t know about your previous unsavory history. The lies you tell an Officer who has the presence of mind (or not) to read squaddie tattoos. The lies told to a curious child who Daddy does most definitely not want to follow in his footsteps. A clumsy but well meaning attempt to ‘gentrify’ motorcycling from its less than respectful late 20th century outlaw roots.

All the aforementioned are reasonable excuses to dilute this most pejorative of phrases. They were invented and promoted by the kind of middle class meddlers who ‘preserve’ old folk songs but deliberately exclude the mucky (and some would say the best) bits.

“FTW” is, and to the best of my knowledge has been outlaw biker / con / squaddie speak since the 1950’s for ‘Fuck the World’. The ultimate expression of frustrated liberty. Everything else is a pallid falsehood.

It is also worth noting that Vietnam era GI’s sometimes meant it to mean “Fuck the war”, but this is probably a perversion of its original meaning.

A thunderingly good day

While the world goes to hell, the prissy ‘ban everything’ brigade continually interferes in the lives of ordinary people, politicians build follies based on flawed ideas, agents provocateurs and their proxies burn embassies and threaten others in a kind of proxy warfare (Er, how come they burned the US Embassy when the movie was made by an Egyptian?), what was I doing?

Not much.

I went fishing.

Bugger it, this world gets crazier. News of the insanity delivered by dramatically breathless news anchors in irritatingly jump cut and superficial coverage. Media coverage is increasingly like a sandwich which is all bread and no filling. All emotion and no logic. I hate it for the warped picture of the world it delivers, and don’t watch if I can help it.

Yes, I went fishing. Took some local advice and went to my favourite pile of rocks at the waters edge with a set of small hooks and spinners. Set for another three or four fruitless hours of what I’m often given to describe as ‘casting practice’. While I’m there I watch the Seals, seabirds, Blue Heron, Sea Lions, Otters, Eagles, and occasional Orca. It’s peaceful. I don’t mind not catching anything. You have time to think.

No one bothers a fisherman. An armed mob of headhunters with machetes will ignore a man intent on fishing. Well, they might stop and politely enquire if he’s caught anything yet, but then rampage on. Said putative mob might even pause to watch and cheer if the fisherman caught something while they were watching. Unless it was a mob from a bunch of animal rights hypocrites, in which case the fisherman would be first on the list.

Yesterday the fish were biting. Every cast. Every single, wonderful, mother loving cast. Only young Smallmouth Bass, but they’re spunky little fighters and fun, fun, fun. Caught a few, threw them all back. Ran out of bait with a happy heart for all the sport they gave me. As sunset was colouring the rocks of Link Island a dusky Martian pink I tipped my hat to the Water Gods in thanks and began the mile long scramble back home over logjams and rocks. I had a thundering good day.

Sometimes you have to say “FTW” (Number 3) and have what fun you can.

No I’m not telling you where it is. Because after I’ve been to the store this morning to get some fresh bait and a couple of spinners I will be back there. With a big grin on my face. Up tide and down. Yeah.

Wind turbine noise

There is lots of Interweb ‘noise’ on this subject, specifically to do with a thing called ‘infrasound’. On a casual google there are a number of fairly cursory looking studies that look like they are based on single measurements. However, I did come across this rather more in depth article from India on the physiological and psychological effects of low frequency noise. Rather than just focus on infrasound and thereby miss the point, it discusses associated phenomena such as steady tone and intermittent noise, and the evidence of ill effects. I’ve served time on noisy shop floors, and understand things like pain thresholds, and the irritability an erratic low frequency noise can engender.

I don’t normally do formal citations, as this is only a blog, but this study which is about industrial low frequency sound (As opposed to the supposedly ‘eco-friendly’ and therefore ‘harmless’ noise from Wind Turbines) but today I will;
Mahendra Prashanth KV, Venugopalachar S. The possible influence of noise frequency components on the health of exposed industrial workers – A review. Noise Health [serial online] 2011 [cited 2012 Sep 13];13:16-25. Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2011/13/50/16/73996

Also of interest:

Schust M. Effects of low frequency noise up to 100 Hz. Noise Health [serial online] 2004 [cited 2012 Sep 13];6:73-85. Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2004/6/23/73/31662

I wonder whether anyone has actually done a formal assessment to see if the noise profile of wind turbines cross correlates with the above research. From what I’ve seen so far, I think not.

Anyway. Day off from the day job, and I’m going fishing. Just me, some rocks, my road and lures, the Otters, Sea Lions, Orcas and Seals; and maybe even a fish.

Smart meter gossip

Wonder if anyone from Florida can assist on this one. One of my contacts within the local power utility was overheard saying something about ‘Smart meters’ being removed from various premises in that state. They weren’t specific on the reasons, and of course it’s purely tech gossip and therefore not to be trusted as gospel, but are there any locales where the not-so-smart meters are actually not going in due to local opposition / operational difficulties? Or even where they are being removed?

The local meter readers don’t seem to be being laid off Like they were when this whole business began, and indeed appear busier than ever.

There are all sorts of rumours flying around about the so-called ‘smart grids’ not having a snowballs chance in hell of going fully operational because important decisions have been made for political and aspirational reasons rather than technical feasibility. Unverified, but all the same…

That’s all I know for certain right now, but I am starting to hear metaphorical wheels squeaking from all the backpedaling going on in the background. Very interesting…. Pity it’s eaten up so much taxpayer subsidy in these straitened times.

Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad

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