A Crime Against Humanity : The Personal Answer.

Personal disasters, economic failures, unemployment and war; govern man’s fate. The ineptitude of government to grapple with the simplest of our social problems, buying a little (political time) time in the short-term – ‘The Road to Serfdom’, F A Hayek. The rip-off Banks, and the Eurolands government’s hopelessness to tackle the problem, Euro 40% overvalued – backwardness, if not now, in pity-less poverty and squalor. Years of inequality and regressive taxation (the opposite is progressive taxation; so easy to achieve) “Many people in middle and low-income jobs have barely seen any improvement in their incomes over the past 30 years, a report from the TUC says. Low income workers have seen their pay rise by 27% in real terms over the past 30 years but rises for the top 10% of earners have been four times higher” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13663778 Ridiculous propaganda from the ‘master of (Gov UK) lies’, with threats, “Business secretary Vince Cable is to warn delegates at the GMB union’s conference that co-ordinated strike action may lead to tougher union laws. Union leaders have warned that there could be strike action taken by 750,000 public sector workers on 30 June” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13661098 And, “More than 3.5m children live below the poverty line in the UK, which has one of the worst child poverty rates in the industrialised world. Four youngsters explain what it is like growing up when a family has little money” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13632856 And, “Young workers have been hit hard by the economic downturn new research suggests, with under 30s seeing their real wages fall much faster than every other age group” http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/13604920 And, “The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the government is committing Britain to “radical, long-term policies for which no-one voted”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13706710

“We Europeans are in a mess, inside and outside what is known as Euroland … the group of 17 countries which have thrown out their own currencies and adopted the Euro instead. There is something achingly slow about the way this mess has emerged from its origin, the American subprime mortgage crisis which broke four years ago in the summer of 2007. Turned out that lots of European commercial banks had been holding the debts parcelled up by American bankers. When the credit markets froze over with fear in 2007, national governments had to step in to the rescue, propping up banks that would otherwise have failed, and taking the banking system with them. The demise of America’s fourth largest investment bank, Lehman Brothers, in 2008 was a nasty reminder of the fact that failure is possible if the authorities take against you. But meanwhile the subprime debt crisis turned into a general debt crisis, and lots of enterprises turned out to be founded on the sand of crazy lending. Many of them in several countries turned out to be property-related booms, but there were other bubbles in other parts of the economy puffed up by easy lending. In many places the credit crunch crisis turned into recession. As economies went into reverse, the spotlight switched away from commercial banks (mostly rescued) to the national debts of countries with huge borrowings and reducing tax flows. The banking crisis became a sovereign debt crisis. And now, because some of the most indebted nations were smaller Euro members such as Greece and Portugal, the sovereign debt crisis has turned into a huge crisis for a bigger than sovereign area, Euroland. Benchmark Global investors made apparently very big misjudgements when they poured billions of Euros into buying government bonds such as those of Greece and Portugal. Until three years ago the markets regarded the risks of different bonds issued by different Euroland countries as virtually alike.
No difference in risk – nor interest rates – between Greek bonds and the benchmark German Bunds, despite the very different performance of Euroland economies. The European Central Bank was standing behind all these Euro economies, wasn’t it?
Yes, so far, was (and is) the answer. But it soon became much clearer that cutting national deficits by privatisation or borrowing from official lenders such as the European standby funds of the IMF are stratagems that are unlikely to work. That is why so many people are now talking about the need for a debt default by some countries, Greece in particular. This would be a move that would cut the huge debts due for repayment from 100 percent on an agreed date to (say) 60 or 40 percent … administering what the bond markets jokingly call a “haircut” on the investors who hold the bonds in the hope of full repayment. With one bound, the debt burden would be very much reduced. But who would carry the can? The investors are banks in big countries such as Germany and France and pension funds all over Europe which thought their investments were safe as houses when they bought them. They were not. This is how the Euro crisis might soon turn into another huge banking crisis, just like the one that started all this in 2007. Protestors – The strains on the system turn out to be enormous: vast debt burdens to be repaid when the bonds become due, vast austerities to be endured by European countries as their governments grapple to reduce the level of debt. Meanwhile the second hand bonds of countries such as Greece are trading in the financial markets at price levels which put the interest rates they carry 10 or more percent above the German Bund rate. This adds another debt twist to the already tremendous spiralling burden of debt repayments … darkening the austerity outlook and bringing protestors out in the streets in Greece and Spain and Ireland and who knows where next. This puts ever intensifying strains on the Euro. What started as a great political project to bring unity and peace to a Europe twice disrupted by terrible wars in the 20th century is becoming an economic nightmare. When countries had separate currencies, those currencies could float up and down in the foreign exchange markets to reflect the differing performance of different economies. If currencies can’t do that, then something else has to give … in response to intensified social or political pressures. It is happening in Europe now. Politicians hoped that a single currency would unite disparate economies into a new Europe. Many economists had their doubts about that from the beginning, 11 years ago. Now the optimists hope that by using emergency funds to prop up some of the most indebted nations such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland, Europe can avoid triggering defaults which would start another hazardous stage of this elongated crisis. If this sort of support were to successfully buy time (goes the argument) maybe (as economies recovered) tax flows would begin to revive national finances in deeply indebted nations. Pessimists say that is merely putting off the inevitable: a debt default in Southern Europe. Either way, it’s terribly uncertain … and maybe a mess without an obvious end. This was written at noon on Tuesday 24th May. Can’t tell how long it will stay relevant … maybe days, maybe weeks … or years. Roger Bootle, Managing Director, Capital Economics. Simon Johnson, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute of International Economics. Andrew Balls, Head of European Investments, Pimco. Sushil Wadhwani, Wadhwani Asset Management. Andrew Hilton, Director, Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation. Holger Schmieding, Chief Economist, Berenberg Bank. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011cfn5

In the age of ‘Stupid’ – Deep funding cuts could put the UK’s prominence in astronomy and particle physics at risk, MPs have said. The Science and Technology Committee says astronomy funding will fall by 20% over four years – the science budget’s average real-terms cut was 14.5%. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13381294

NewScientist – Limits of knowledge (There are things we can never understand) What we’ll never never know http://www.newscientist.com/issue/2811 Michael Brooks “It’s going to be a problem we are not even aware of.”

The Crab Nebula has shocked astronomers by emitting an unprecedented blast of gamma rays, the highest-energy light in the Universe.

The cause of the 12 April gamma-ray flare, described at the Third Fermi Symposium in Rome, is a total mystery. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13362958

In More or Less this week: “Are public sector workers paid 43 per cent more than those in the private sector, as the think tank Policy Exchange claimed this week? (8% more realistic) If all over 55-year-olds were given cholesterol and blood pressure-lowering drugs – as researchers recently suggested – how many people would take those drugs unnecessarily? (98 out of 100 would take those drugs unnecessarily – side effects not really/properly known) Jonah Lehrer on the “decline effect”, the disturbing finding that many scientific results appear to fade over time. Kelly Greenhill from Tufts and Harvard universities tries to calculate the civilian death toll in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. Is modern science too complicated to be left to the scientists? Darrel Ince on a scandal in academia. And we try to patch things up with poor old Fireman Dibble.” Producer: Richard Knight. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0112df6

More ‘Stupid’ – Public Schools. Private Schools. Independent Schools Council. Independent Schools Inspectorate. UK. GB. NB “Empirically based”, or the utter nonsense – Global Gullibility Index? I fear it is the latter! Spirituality is a buzzword (selling point – aimed at the wealthy and semi-ignorant – affluent specialist, or the inexperienced {of any progressive family philosophy} gullible young parent. Spirituality has no empirical basis for an/any educational ethos, but it remains at the very forefront of moral and social education GB – UK; selling – to the potential private school parent one-upmanship; private ownership; private control of the child’s behaviour and attitude – sectarian or class divide; to that of education in the public sector. And for: the yearly inspection of those private/public schools – charlatanism = Pupils’ spiritual (seems to be cornered and wishy-washy, a dumb-downing and muddling; added to the important multi-subject matter that is mentioned below) development involves (does it, really? And, “who says”? Science has the answers, or at least goes much further, and more satisfactorily, with much less quackery, into the answers for the questions that are below. Ref, NewScientist (available at Tesco’s and many other popular shops) – Limits of knowledge. There are things we can never understand. What we’ll never never know http://www.newscientist.com/issue/2811 Michael Brooks “It’s going to be a problem we are not even aware of.” Development & Questions, Spiritual (Moral & Social) Gov UK – The growth of their sense of self (1), their unique potential (2), their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses (3), and their will to achieve (4). As their curiosity about themselves (5) and their place in the world increases (6), they try to answer for themselves some of life’s fundamental questions (7). They develop the knowledge (8), skills (9), understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to foster their own inner lives (10) and non-material wellbeing (11?)”.

So we should no more allow parents to teach their children to believe, for example, in the literal truth of the Bible, or that the planets rule their lives, than we should allow parents to knock their children’s teeth out or lock them in a dungeon.” ‘What Shall We Tell The Children?’ ‘Amnesty Lecture’ Oxford – Nicholas Humphrey  http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/humphrey/amnesty.html And http://www.mindmeister.com/13207398 “In a secular state, we cannot stand by and allow overtly religious and evangelical groups to gain disproportionate power and privileged access to vulnerable people” Ref, John Woolhouse, Treasurer, British Humanist Association, re: Free Schools teaching ‘creationism'(ist)  dogma with public money – fundamental Christian discrimination  (dogma) of all kinds, and esp: sexual orientation, sexism; Eaves Housing given up to the Salvation Army, and ‘Off the Record’ (secular, inclusive – approach) to The Catholic Children’s Society which is packed with committed Catholics.  A marked approach by Government and Big Society that religious organisations are appropriate providers of public services.

“The US space shuttle Endeavour has launched on its final mission” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13394383

“The material graphene was touted as “the next big thing” even before its pioneers were handed the Nobel Prize last year. Many believe it could spell the end for silicon and change the future of computers and other devices forever” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/9491789.stm

“To mark Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday, take a look back at his life and music with author Michael Gray – who, in 1972, wrote the first critical study of Dylan’s work, Song and Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan”  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13448274

“Why is thought, being a secretion in the brain, more wonderful than gravity and the property of matter? It is our arrogance…our admiration of ourselves” Charles Darwin (1809-1882) And about values, “What I wish to suggest is that values may be obtained from knowledge and the more comprehensive our knowledge, the more worthwhile are our values likely to be. The great Dr.Bronowski wrote, “I believe that science can create values and will create them precisely as literature does, by looking into the human personality, by discovering what divides it and what cements it”. Science is not technology. Science is a Latin word meaning knowledge. One of Bronowski’s great achievements was to show the unity of art and science” – Notes of Dad’s.

“A cataclysmic explosion of a huge star near the edge of the observable Universe may be the most distant single object yet spied by a telescope. Scientists believe the blast, which was detected by Nasa’s Swift space observatory, occurred a mere 520 million years after the Big Bang” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13539914

Very few people are hitting the spot, or even trying to – Why?, a modern approach from, ‘Living In The End Times’ Slavoj Zizek – “Religious ideologists usually claim that, whether true or not, religion can make otherwise bad people to do good things; from recent experience, we should rather stick to Steve Weinberg’s claim that while without religion good people would do good things and bad people bad things, only religion can make good people do bad things.” From a fascinating book I am in the process of reading, ‘The Natural Navigator’ Tristan Gooley, favourably reviewed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes – “Colonel Richard Dod in his 1883 book, ‘33 Years Among Our Wild Indians’, noted, in a way that might cause riots if published today, ‘I have never yet seen an Indian who had mounted the ladder of human progress sufficiently far to have observed that there is one star which never perceptibly changes its place.’ The fact that so few people today are able to point out the North Star in the night sky proves that its place in popular awareness is not dictated by a mounting of ‘the ladder of human progress’, but rather by cultural priorities and necessity.” Back to Russell, “The examination system, and the fact that instruction is treated mainly as a training for a livelihood, leads the young to regard knowledge from a purely utilitarian point of view as the road to money, not as the gateway to wisdom.” Proper (scientific) Spirituality Oscar Wilde’s ‘Wit and Wisdom’ – “ The worship of the senses has often, and with much justice, been decried, men feeling a natural instinct of terror about passions and sensations that seem stronger than themselves, and which they are conscious of sharing with the  less highly-organised  forms of existence. But it is probable the true nature of the senses has never been understood, and that they have remained savage and animal merely because the world has sought to starve them into submission or to kill them by pain instead of making them elements of a new spirituality, of which fine instinct and beauty will be the dominant characteristic.” Ref, science and art, Bronowski. And – Great Knowledge, “’Realities’ of the modern world are institutional facts – products of concepts and social relationships worked out a millennia ago in prehistoric times. Cities of Sumer or of Mesoamerica and the (compelling) belief systems of Karnac or of Teotihuacan. We should recall them, at a time when globalisation is complete, and there is *uniformity in the contemporary world“ (*‘psychic unity’ of humankind). Culture Change – ‘The Triumph of Triviality’ (Public Schools. Private Schools. Independent Schools Council. Independent Schools Inspectorate. UK. GB.  Global Gullibility Index? Spirituality is a buzzword) http://www.culturechange.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=177&Itemid=1 ”Culture change strategists all agree about the urgent need to promote “global consciousness,” or “cosmic consciousness.” What we have (not-empirical, without much science, so ‘ignorance’: of – in – and only in, an, or, the – ‘ {*psychic unity} “aura of factuality”) ”A system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating concepts of a general order of existence and clothing these concepts with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic” Clifford Geertz. “Whatever the case, it can no longer be doubted that earliest man stands closer to present-day man from the evolutionary and biological aspects animals known today (including the ‘highest apes’), and that the quality of early man’s mental accomplishments separates him from other animals and binds him fundamentally to present day humans.”  http://luckyme0.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A18BF3FCC5E126A2!1520.entry ’The Prehistoric Mind. How did Prehistoric Man Think? The Primitive Mind’. “Dwight Gilbert Jones writes that Humanism may be the only philosophy likely to be adopted by our species as a whole – it is thus incumbent on inclusive Humanists to not place unwarranted or self-interested conditions on its prospective adherents, nor associate it with religious acrimony” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism And, “These basic decisions by our species in the near-term are critical,” says Jones “and thereafter the proper study of mankind is Man. Humanism is a wonderful global philosophy, and what your neighbor thinks about religion is a personal matter.” Ref, ‘The Proper Structuralised View Of The World’ Dr Erich Fromm ‘The Fear Of Freedom’. ‘Strange separation of what man is from what man does may have some clues as to what the hell has gone wrong in the twentieth century’ Robert M.Pirsig ‘Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance’. The Modern Matrix? ‘The Making of the Human Mind’ by Colin Renfrew and the 5 sequential stages of human development, “a very persuasive one”. The first three stages are ‘unilineal’ (where the idea of memes or memetics of Dawkins is found to be a bit loose in its terminology) as in the evolution to Homo sapiens from Homo erectus. Based on ‘Origins of the Modern Mind’ Merlin Donald 1991 and refined by Colin Renfrew and later accepted by Donald. 1) Episodic Stage – Primate cognition 2) Mimetic Stage – 4 million to 400 years (peaking with Homo erectus) 3) Mythic Stage – first use of complex language – 500,000 years to the present (peaking with Homo sapiens) 4) Material Symbolic Stage. Leslie White recognised this as defining the ‘importance in human culture’  (icons of religious faith, amongst the many other symbols) 5) Theoretic Stage. Donald calls this ‘institutionalised paradigmatic thought’ (writing – ‘massive external memory storage’). A better and more detailed explanation can be found in Colin Renfrew’s  fascinating book, ‘Prehistory’ The Prehistoric Mind. How did Prehistoric Man Think? The Primitive Mind.

“A series of films about how humans have been colonised by the machines we have built. Although we don’t realise it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011k45f “A series of films exploring the idea that we have been colonised by the machines that we have built, seeing everything in the world today through the eyes of computers. This episode looks at why we humans find this machine vision so beguiling. The film argues it is because all political dreams of changing the world for the better seem to have failed – so we have retreated into machine-fantasies that say we have no control over our actions because they excuse our failure. At the heart of the film is one of the most famous scientists in the world – Bill Hamilton. He argued that human behaviour is really guided by codes buried deep within us. It was later popularised by Richard Dawkins as ‘the selfish gene’. It said that individual human beings are really just machines whose only job is to make sure the codes are passed on for eternity. The film begins in 2000 in the jungles of the Congo and Rwanda. Hamilton is there to help prove his dark theories. But all around him the Congo is being torn apart by ‘Africa’s First World War’. The film then interweaves the two stories – the strange roots of Hamilton’s theories, and the history of the West’s tortured relationship with the Congo over the past 100 years ” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011x721 Links to Bronowski, and the ‘young’ Richard Dawkins.

“Mars formed in record time, growing to its present size in a mere three million years, much quicker than scientists previously thought” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13567381 And, “Humankind’s most distant emissaries are flying through a turbulent sea of magnetism as they seek to break free of our Solar System. Nasa’s Voyager probes, which were launched in 1977, are now approaching the very edge of our Sun’s influence, more than 14 billion km from Earth; and they are still returning data” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13715764

“The internet is a tool which contributes to the “progress of humankind as a whole” and should be available to all. In the final document [PDF] presented to the Human Rights Council this week, he concluded that the removal of an individual’s internet access should only take place in “few, exceptional and limited circumstances prescribed by human rights law” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/9509215.stm

Critical – “These basic decisions by our species in the near-term are critical,” says Jones “and thereafter the proper study of mankind is Man”. “The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists. In a new report, they warn that ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13796479

About luckyme0

My First family, second marriage, bringing up my 18-year-old twins, boy, and girl. I am a third generation Humanist, who has some old handwritten information and notes; collected over many years. Someone may find the articles interesting, or helpful. They could bring back a little ‘reality’, after being ‘shocked’ and ‘brainwashed’, by some malicious group, or institution (REBT Therapy). People should know better, than to do this, to our very young, and the ‘obviously’ vulnerable! Go to easily accessible, non-superstitious knowledge that is not charlatanism! https://charleslizzy.com/2011/08/06/independent-schools-inspectorate-isi-marketing-spirituality-buzzword-or-maybe-even-for-you-to-shiver-at-the-something/ The blog has given me an incentive to order my thoughts, learn, and read up again, after a few non-thinking years of (very silly) imagination and passion. Why not, get your own key to a ‘door’, customise it to suit you, and it can be, all of your very own! Don’t believe, or be led by someone else’s; inherited, stupid, and a very likely (past, and not of today’s) ‘totally preposterous reality’s’. Only some interest in the ‘really big questions’, keeps life above the level of a farce, and very little else! KEEP THINKING! Some of the posts may need some correcting. Interests: REBT Counselling, Atheism, Secularism, Humanism, Psychology, Reading, Popular Science, School Ethos, Philosophy, History, Family, Parenting, Psychology, Horse Riding, Sailing, Rescue Boat Driver, Skiing (Teppichswinger), TV Documentaries, Motorbike Cross Country Riding, Volunteer Sports Stewarding, Writing, Primitive Man, Pre-history, Social Anthropology, British Humanist Association, BHA, Meaning of Life, The Big Questions, Where am I, What am I, Why am I, Hippie Love, Knowledge, Education, Globalisation. Favorite quote: “The world belongs to those who, at least to some degree, have figured it out.” Carl Sagan, ‘The Demon Haunted World’, ‘Contact’, and other famous books DVD ‘Cosmos’. The warning of another and horrendous, “Age of Superstition”. “Isn’t there something deeply absurd in the presumption that children ought to inherit beliefs from their parents. It can be deeply damaging, even lethally divisive. A ‘them’, with an ‘against us’, mentality” – Professor Richard Dawkins. “The will to believe is stronger than mere reason in the vast majority of people” – Dr J.Brown, Army Psychologist of the 1960′s. Humans will believe in almost anything, in fact, they seek it! Why? “98% of us, trained to be just good consumers, let’s train our children to be the 2% who have their very own creativity and discernment”; quote by a famous surreal artist. “The lack of reason brings forth monsters”. “Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religion, nationalism, racism, and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody they hate it in restrictive regimes”; from the ‘meme learning group’, Richard Brodie’s book, ‘Virus Of The Mind’ (Richard Brodie a designer for ‘Microsoft Word’). Following on, J.Bronowski, and ‘The Ascent Of Man’ TV series, and a book http://www.bbcshop.com/science+nature/the-ascent-of-man/invt/9781849901154/ with the last DVD in this series, ‘The Long Childhood’ being especially revealing. ‘Prehistory’ and the ‘Making of the Human Mind’ by Colin Renfrew, with P.Wilson’s, ‘The Domestication of the Human Species’, and Nigel Spivey’s, TV series and book, ‘How Art Made The World’, offers some further explanations. Latest reading: Jared Diamond http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Diamond
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