Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

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BIG OR SMALL

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don’t necessarily have to contain anything. Anything tangible …

As in the imagery below. So responding a second time to this week’s friendly Challenge

and moving on

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 18.52.33We’ll take a quick look at the New Zealand national flag, which as the embodiment of patriotism and rah-rah stuff is meant to embody (okay, to contain) the aspirations of the nation etc etc waffle waffle waffle …

To me a flag is all very well and good, and as a colourful cloth it serves its purpose; but essentially once it’s done its dash it is nothing more than just another rag. Useful for polishing the car and that’s that—no cloth contains intrinsic virtue and/or merit; to say otherwise is to declare idolatory. No?

SO WHAT DOES A STATUE CONTAIN  Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 18.19.51

if not fond memories of departed heroes, and their cause? This sad and weary soul is atop the Invercargill War Memorial to the Southern dead of the so-called ‘Boer War’. Thousands of young adventurers flocked to the colours to defend the flag of Mother Britain against fellow colonials very much like themselves (except that most of them were just a wee but too Dutch) but who these days remembers, or really gives a damn? Even the living ones are now long dead and gone, all that’s left to contain their hopes and fears and boyish enthusiasm is this chap on his perch.

BUT WHILE WE

are on the subject of containers, his rifle magazine probably contained five rounds.

Each brass cartridge case contained enough oomph to accelerate its leaden bullet to supersonic speed and carry it a fair distance with reliable accuracy. Each bullet that hit home contained enough grief to ruin the happiness and well being of disproportionate numbers of people over and above the poor sod it smacked into. But the great prayers for the Empire, the rah-rah flag wavings and the speeches of the rabble-rousing patriotic stay-at-home politicians never contain such thoughts. Can a prayer contain anything other than mere words and desperation—?

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 18.23.05SO ON THE TOPIC

this plinth contains at its base the actual wee memorial to those dear departed (long since history, now) and it’s quite possible the more pragmatic of the local Council members probably use it to store their gardening and road sweeping tools.

As for the departed—a major source of interest, puzzlement and discussion around wee campfires under the African stars was the CRACK of a Boer bullet en passant. Why, they asked in absolute bewilderment, at even great ranges when one can hardly hear the bang that ejected the bullet does it pass overhead, by, or through, with the crack of doom?

One World War 1 aviator I read mentioned in passing that he thought the bang of a bullet was the sound of the shot itself being dragged along behind it. Of course we today are much better educated and have such knowledge built into us from the cradle. But are we clever enough to insist that any politician wanting a war go out to fight it himself/herself in person?

SO HAVE WE

taken note of any message contained in war memorials or do we still respond like Pavlov’s pups to the sound of drums? (I had to ask drums ‘cos I don’t think anyone down here can play a real bugle these days—at all our ANZAC dawn parades and stuff all we get is blasted trumpets and cornets and things)(not that the average dewy-eyed punter would ever notice the difference. Thank Veles.)

TRUTH

they say, “will out”. Nice, sweet, and inspiring of the warm fuzzies. But so what? What’s the use of yesterday’s Truths today, even the greatest of them? If Truth is to be of any use to We The Great Unwashed … it must be timely.

AND FOR A FINAL THOUGHT

we won’t find real or relevant Truth contained in any government communique. Quite the opposite. No?

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KISMET

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ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

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RIGHT?

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SO BE VERY CAREFUL HOW

you answer the above question. I’m going, my cherubs, to provide a dual-function basic lesson here, in Sciencophosy. Make of it what you will—and yes, I am:

  • a cynic
  • a sarcastic bastard
  • a thinker of sorts
  • not easily convinced

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WHO DISLIKES*

  • people who ‘know’
  • people who claim to know but speak with forked tongue
  • people who think they know but actually only believe
  • people who make money out of delivering what the weak uncritically pay for
  • people like me, too dumb to make money milking others (so we get jealous instead)

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PROVOKED IN THIS INSTANCE BY

this item I blitzed tonight. Admittedly the website may not be all that high-class (as in boney fido sciencely qualified)(it means an ‘authority’) but I visit all sorts in the course of the wwweb. Trust me, I’m a card-carrying Eclectic. Now take a beak at this gem—

“Inflation holds that in the instant after the big bang, the universe expanded rapidly – so rapidly that an area of space once a nanometer square ended up more than a quarter-billion light years across in just a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. It’s an amazing idea, but it would explain some otherwise puzzling astrophysical observations”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-universe.html 

 

HELL, I DON’T EVEN

go along with the original Big Bang theory—which as it was explained to me in its early days: “Everything that is, ever was, ever will be—including all matter and all energy in the universe, i.e. everything (R) everything existed once in a tiny wee titchy little space so infinitely small it took up no room whatsoever. It was also timeless (for obvious reasons) … when  suddenly it went POP and exploded, spitting out the universe as we now know it” … okay, a wee bit of paraphrasing there but you hopefully get what I got. Nauseous.

MAY I OFFER AN ALTERNATIVE THEORY?

Or not, I shall anyway. It may make you a bit nauseous but we suffer for our causes …

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light”

—and there we have it. Exactly the same thing but with a much greater economy of words (and a lot more poetic).

But wait, it gets even more better, I’ve not long (a couple of hours ago now but my head is still spinning) ploughed through some waffle about “other universes out there”.

Oh goody, I love other universes and multiverses and dimensions and stuff. Hell, I even cried for the little boy and girl at the end of the Philip Pullman epic (book. The movie couldn’t do it justice)(loved them bears, though).

BOTH OF THOSE THEORIES

above seem offered in good faith and with the arguably the best of intentions. But let’s never lose track of the fact that they are theories (I’d dearly love to see either of them proven). Given that my own capacity for nausea is near infinite I can do the ol’ “Live, and let live” thing with both of them. Would that their (often rabid) proponents could do the same.

And when it comes to funding, let them fund themselves, please—by donation, bequest, selling of literature/little statues (with or without the wee man on them); but please never with taxpayer-funded funds.

SO BACK TO SQUARE ONE

if we are to keep open minds our starting point seems to be:

“Anything is possible”

And there we have it. So we can accept that the Pyramids Of Giza really were built by little green men from Alpha Dragoonis, that the Bismarck they found was a cardboard replica dollied up to make it look as if the shellfire from KGV really didn’t dent it, Hitler was last seen in Argentina in the sixties (having stopped off for a bit in Spain, as a monk), Elvis lives, somewhere out there is a young female of our species who wasn’t sexually fiddled with by a movie/TV celebrity, God created Man and Man returned the compliment …

Naaaah. Dammit, I’m still looking for a straight banana … perhaps science may one day explain their eternal curves?

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KISMET

*  A lot~!!

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CYBERNETIC GOVERNMENT

any good reason

WHY NOT CYBERNETIC?

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 SO GATHER YE ROUND

my cherubs, and ol’ Uncle Argie will bore you silly with a totally irrelevant lecture on why we need robotise our ‘democratic’ form of government. Before you tune out and drift off, have a quick gander at the first diagram below, of an ‘uncontrolled’—

open loop

—which you can apply to just about anything that serves a purpose, useful or official. Especially governments. No?

But what does it mean? I’ll answer that after we take one pace (okay, a giant leap) forward to this next diagram—

CLOSED LOOP (simplest of)

—of a ‘controlled’; which should be the basic diagram for any and all forms of government. Complicated, isn’t it? Waaaay too complex to apply to a simple little thing like a country’s government?

(Oops … belay that, I meant the other way round, of course: Government is waaaay too complex to be reduced to a simple commonsense piccie.) (Oops again: not.)

A CLUE

Please consider ‘We The People’ as being the Error Measuring Device and our beloved Government(s) as Actuators (you know, the bit that does things).

Let’s take a simple analogy here (it’s appropriate too, given the topic): consider the need to flush a toilet.

In our upper diagram—the uncontrolled—imagine that we flush by turning on a spigot and walking away to more important things. What, o’ clever reader, do you think will happen?

The loo will flush, of course (sheesh). No argument there. But that damned dumb dunny will flush and flush and flush and flush and never ever stop flushing until the world cometh to an end. No? ‘Cos it’s an ‘open loop’ system.

THAT’S WHY

brilliant folks invented the ballcock and cistern method of flushology. The spigot is left permanently turned on, much as in example one above … but the water flows first into a cistern where it is trapped by an exit valve so that the water level rises. And in so rising it carries a float (the ball) up with it. The ball is stuck at one end of an arm that is connected to the water’s entry valve. When the ball floats high enough this entry valve is shut off and water stops flowing into the cistern, which from that point on sits silently brooding— awaiting a touch upon the key to open the exit valve, allow the water out to flush the loo, and start the whole darned cycle all over again.

SO HOW DOES THIS APPLY

to governments? Well then—the difference between our uncontrolled and controlled systems is the EMD. The EMD, as mechanical as it may be, is nonetheless the ‘intelligence’ of the operation. By shape and function it is effectively programmed to compare ‘what we have got‘ with ‘what we need/want‘ and cause the actuator to act to bring the two into line. Happens everywhere all the time … you’re driving along in your car when your eyes relay to your brain that you are drifting towards the centreline. Not good. Brain as EMD generates signals to make you twist the steering wheel and drift back away from the centreline … which is good.

IN A THEORETICAL DEMOCRACY

the people know what they want and need, and act as the EMD for the systems of government. That’s the theory—in theory the theoretical good government acts to reduce the difference between what the people want/need and what they’ve got. Yeah … right.

Moving on:

IN PRACTISE

governments totally ignore the meaningless inputs of their EMDs and act as they alone see best. Not good. When a system ignores its EMDs and runs out of control it is referred to as ‘out of control’ or sometimes as ‘running amok’.

Governments run amok. Out of control. The tail wags the dog. Not good.

WE NEED

everywhere to take back control, to get the governments doing what is needed rather than (by them) wanted.

We (the People) want to prosper, it’s that simple; and good.

They want to stay in government—to remain as Top Dog, to hold high-status office and to score all the perks and power, to fit all their cronies into the gravy boat too; not good. (Very not good, in Orwell’s words: double-plus ungood.)

IN SHORT

We need Cybernetic Government in which We The People are functioning EMDs. We don’t want democratic systems whereby we elect despots to control us. We want (we need) to be in control. Of our own destiny, which means of our own governments. Yes, it genuinely is an ‘either/or’ with no partials. It’s us or them.

 FINALLY

Electing your medicine from a compelled choice of just three deadly poisons isn’t going to cure anybody, no matter how democratically you get to choose which from those offerings.

Sadly, if you want change you are going to have to not vote but act …

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KISMET

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TE REO like a bro, bro—

OR ELSE~!

The ‘else’ here being Government edict (backed up by force).

I don’t understand what is the driving motivation behind the current wave of soggy New Age wishful ‘thinking’ in New Zealand. God’s Own Country, we called ourselves once, and for a brief while there it looked almost true. Now the stage is being set by well meaning(?) folks pushing pathetic putrid propaganda down the throats of the naive and innocent; being set for violence (but don’t just take my word for it. Watch and see).

I STAND

unequivocally for the Brotherhood of Man and for Universal (it means colour-blind, race-blind) rights to Justice. For all. And for Truth. Oh yes, as Willie Spokeshave said in Hamlet “This above all—to thine own self be true” which is good enough by itself, but for heaven’s sake please complete that pithy statement to get to where I’m presently standing and coming from. Google it if you have to.

History cannot be put right. Can’t be done, but we can learn from it; a line can be drawn in the sand beyond which the old no longer applies—the precedent was set when the Maori conceded sovereignty to the British government of 1840. British law wasn’t imposed by conquest but at the request of war-weary Maori leaders who feared for the future once their savages got hold of significant quantities of the white man’s weapons.

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THE BACKGROUND

In a nutshell when the white man arrived here NZ was already inhabited, by a brown skinned warlike race (of Polynesian descent) called the ‘Maori’.

The Maori was a curious mix of virtues and vices—as are we all—but the one defining and undeniable quality is best summed up in the word ‘savage’. The savage tribes were forever embroiled in savage wars and held in thrall to savage customs. Not content with killing and enslaving each other, they ate each other. The Maori was, quite simply, a cannibal.

TODAY

Most Maoris live with the mod cons and they do very well in a modern world when they apply themselves. Some of them. Others are happy to not apply themselves but to live off the taxpayers’ backs by government largesse. Still others dream of and yearn towards the never extant utopian past and seek ‘independence’.

Within these shores as things stand at present such a dream can never be realised unless—by force—a substantially large enough viable area be cleared of all ‘foreigners’, declared to be a separate sovereign Maori country, and handed over to the indigenes. Such indigenes as can be found: my understanding is that without a Nazi-style breeding-back programme no full-blooded native Maoris do or will exist in NZ.

YET SUCH IS

the current state of NZ politics that the Maori vote need be courted at any cost. Here (as in almost all western democracies) we have just two viable political parties and a swathe of wannabe hangers on. So the biggies make mad rapturous promises to gain the Maori vote, and the whole of NZ (of which the Maori ‘nation’ counts as around fifteen people in every hundred) must subsequently pay the price. The Maori tail wags the whole dog. Not good. Such, then,  is the background to this article in this morning’s New Zealand Herald—

Labour tight-lipped about long-term plans for te reo in schools

All New Zealand schoolchildren would learn Maori under Labour’s long-term plan for te reo, but it appears the party is loath to give the policy a high profile.

Labour Maori affairs spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta and education spokesman Chris Hipkins indicated Labour had an “aspirational” target for Maori to be taught in all schools after the Maori Party’s Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Te Hira Paenga, claimed Labour had endorsed his party’s policy for compulsory te reo in schools.

“We are glad to see Labour at last getting the message that our reo is something that we all, as New Zealanders, should embrace,” Mr Paenga said …

However, Ms Mahuta was far more direct in a debate held in Gisborne earlier this month when she said: “We’ve made a clear commitment that te reo Maori will be compulsory in our schools.”

She later said the comment was made in the context of the recognition “that there are some real challenges in our school system to build the capacity of our teaching workforce who are able to teach te reo Maori” …

“I would certainly like to make sure all kids have the option and there is availability of te reo Maori in all schools. Whether in fact that was compulsory, that’s a discussion for another day.

“Frankly, we’re just not at the point where we could have that discussion. For a start off we don’t have enough te reo Maori teachers to be able to even contemplate that at the moment.”

He said there was already unmet demand for Maori language teachers.

NZ Herald

 

IN VAIN I SEARCH FOR LOGIC

and find only the ‘logic’ of unabashed self interest—

  • on the part of politicians pushing this dreamer rubbish
  • on the part of Maori, for whom it is a major win
  • on the part of the manipulators
  • on the part of the Establishment catering to the easily led

—and find major losses for all—

  • for teachers trying to teach meaningful subjects
  • for educators, who further down the line will cop the flak
  • for the businesses on which our prosperity is actually based
  • for thinkers who can see beyond the rosy facades
  • for Maoris themselves, believing false promises
  • for anyone trying to make his/her own way in life

EDUCATION

and schools (terms now rapidly becoming divergent) should be aimed entirely at inculcating in the young the desires for knowledge and the skills to manipulate such for improvement of their (own) lot.

In short and being a bit pragmatic:  I’d much rather be shipwrecked on a desert isle with the world’s best boat builder & navigator than any several dozen PhDs in Maori language and customs.

IF HIRING

I’d choose applicants who can do sums and with at least a modicum of general knowledge. A PhD in Maori would very quickly be shown the door (now ask me why). I’d divide my hiring requirements into ‘need to know‘ and ‘nice to know‘ and ‘ye gods! You wasted your years on this? Get outa here!

CLUE: would you rather the specialist setting your fractured frapazoid was expert in medicine or Te Reo? ‘Nuff said …

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GOVERNMENTS

are in it for the short term. They only have to win once, twice at the most, before being tossed out on their ear in favour of the nice folks that likewise got tossed out a term or two back. It’s an endless cycle and we call it ‘democracy’ (a misnomer, but that’s for other posts).

Taxpayers, who by definition and lack of alternatives are in for the very long haul have short memories and as voters are stuck for choice. There isn’t any. Such is the nature of the Beast, as I’ve said often before there’s just two viable parties—cyanide or arsenic, eat up!

OOPS — that’s a lot of words, so thank you for your time. I imagine that wherever you are in the world your elections are fought on real issues. Lucky you …

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KISMET

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SOMETIMES I

happen across what has to be a kindred soul—

RUN YOUR EYES OVER

Old Glory

the below quote—

Several weeks prior to the trial, Latham – his demeanor utterly devoid of anything resembling a human quality – ruled that MacKenzie “may not comment on his condition … and may not testify to the medical use of marijuana” during the trial. Because Latham decreed that the motive of the alleged criminal was “not relevant to the facts of this case,” the defendant was explicitly forbidden to tell the “whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

to read more: click here 

now try to tell me that any country wherein such can happen isn’t sick to the core. No, don’t judge by that one catchy little red snippet above—go there and read the whole damned item. Is the referenced article the ravings of a demented Conspiracist or does he make a modicum of sense?

IF YOU

can’t feel the empathy, the sympathy (dammit: the pain) in that guy’s writings* you’d enjoy the movie about The Boy In Striped Pyjamas (great ending, if you’re that way inclined) and you possibly think that the very anti-social Anne Frank (Amsterdam) (yes, that one) got what she well and truly deserved.

OG 2

Panem et circenses … all a question of priorities, really

Dehumanised a bit, are we?

Impotent anyway, quite powerless; but the Proud Inheritors of a Great Tradition** I have no doubt.

But never fear—the bastard was probably a Terrorist anyway … all junkies and druggies are, no? So you’re by default righteously on the side of angels (and thus off the hook).

Go then and sleep well tonight, Ol’ Glory is still flying high for Peace, Honor, Truth, Justice and Freedom. Pigs fly, too …

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KISMET

*   disgust and possibly (?) contempt too.

** SFX:  insert Rah Rah Rah here, please (Loud and riotously enthusiastic)

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The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown …

—SHAKESPEARE  (‘The Merchant of Venice’)

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