My family

family

My family

I Love my family

But in my family

Too many people aren’t talking to each other

My eldest sister is not talking to me

Because of issues she has with our mother??

My younger sister isn’t talking to my oldest sister

Because big sister is not talking to me??

My niece

The one from big sister

She’s not talking to me

Because of issues her mother has with her grandmother

My mother.  😐

She’s not even talking to her half-brothers

Because of issues she has with someone

That side of her family…??

Then we have my youngest sister

She too is not talking to me

Because of issues she has with her husband

– the one I’ve not yet met.

My youngest brother

He’s not talking to me

Because of issues he has with his ex-wife!

She complained to me about him

Before they split

But now, somehow

I’m the one to blame!???

My family

I love my family

But in my family

Too many people aren’t talking to each other

My cousin

A female one

She’s not talking to my niece

Because of issues she has with her.

They had a quarrel

Over two years ago

Former best friends

Who don’t talk anymore.

Another cousin

– a male one this time

He’s not talking to me!

Doesn’t return the phone calls

Doesn’t return the texts

Even the message I left with his wife the other day

Went unanswered

Because he has issues with me.

A third cousin

Has a wife

Who I wrongly thought was sensible

But now she doesn’t talk to me

She too has issues with me!

My family

I like my family

But in my family

Too many people aren’t talking to each other.

Speed Cameras vs Surveillance

SpeedCameras

Despite what some petrolheads would have you believe, speed cameras are useful things.

I know this because studies that have researched their efficacy say so. 🙂

Actually, let me correct that last sentence. One study from 2005 which I have read, which references to several other studies, and uses them as a basis to come to what I think is a sensible conclusion says so.

A bit of a mouthful, I know, but there you have it.

Since most people won’t be interested to read the study which I am refering to, nor will they browse through any similar research report, like this one here, then I think there’s one important bit from the 2005 study which would be worth remembering:

All studies reported a reduction in road traffic collisions and casualties. The reduction in adverse outcomes in the immediate vicinity of camera sites varied considerably across studies, with ranges of 5-69% for collisions, 12-65% for injuries, and 17-71% for deaths at camera sites. Smaller reductions in adverse outcomes were seen over a wider area.
Oh, one other thing. And this is mainly for those of you who need some perspective to this. An extra bite, the thought  in your  subconscious that quietly says “this research was conducted by human beings, and humans are not perfect, so this imperfect research must have some kind of limitation”. It has :-
Published research consistently shows the effectiveness of speed cameras in preventing road traffic collisions
and injuries. However, the level of evidence is relatively poor, and better data need to be collected to improve the evidence base.
 The researchers of the 2005 study are saying that the reason for better data is to improve the evidence base. They are not saying they need more data to disprove the fact that speed cameras are necessary. Why should they say that when most of us agree that speed cameras are essential for a safer society?
What most of us do not agree about is whether the mass surveillance that was recently ruled unlawful in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (a legal body tasked to look at the surveillance of British agencies) is essential for a safer society. I certainly think its the greatest lie ever washed upon mankind. It’s about control and power, and not about safety or security.
Now, we can argue till the cows come home about the extent, methods, level of, acceptable targets, ethics, regulation and other intricacies of mass surveillance. And frankly those kind of debates are tedious.
But I’ll make it easy for you with something a little bit more interesting.
Imagine if we all lived in glass houses where anyone could see through everyone’s house. No one was allowed to hide anything. No curtains, no blinds, no privacy, nothing. Why? Because of Security. If we can all see what everyone is doing, everywhere, at all times, then we’ll all be safe – says groupthink.
So, you’ve just walked into your bedroom, and looking straight through the glass wall you can see in your neighbour’s living room, his wife and kids watching television. At the time, he is in the shower on the first floor. You look up, and from a patch of clearing in the steam covered glass wall of his shower, his soapy face is staring straight down at you. With a massive grin that said:
“Hie there, I see you’ve just had breakfast. Instead of the original Kellogs Special K, you’ve gone for some cheap  German knock off from Aldi. Earlier today I also saw that after you took a shit, you forgot to dry your hands before opening your fridge with wet hands, then after aimlessly walking around your kitchen, you are now standing in your bedroom looking at my wife. I’m watching you”
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(***does the two finger and eyes I’m watching you sign***)
Would that be a kind of world you’d want to live in?
mass-surveillance - Copy

5 tech advancements I look forward to (if I live long enough)

I doubt I’m the only person to think this way. I couldn’t possibly be. People rarely think of something that’s never been thought of before.

So, what are the 5 most exciting things you look forward to in terms of advancements in technology?

First a disclaimer: Like most normal people on the planet are bound to feel, it would be great if a cure for Cancer was found. It would be absolutely wonderful if a cure for H.I.V was discovered, if Dementia was defeated and Alzheimer obliterated.

But I’m not really referring to that kind of thing.

I’m also not referring to utopian sentiments of a world devoid of trouble.

No disagreements, no confrontation, no fights – everyone be nice.

It would be wonderful if the dynamics that prevent trouble could be found within mankind, for all of mankind,  and the world would undoubtedly be a much better place to live. But irrespective of whether such harmony is achievable or not, that’s not really what I’m referring to.

What I mean is what things, tangible gadgets, innovations you will be able to buy in a shop,  have you thought of  (or can you think of) which we could see in the near future or which scientists have the potential (outside sci-fi) to bring to the real world, and which are terribly exciting stuff as far as you are concerned?

Without this question sounding like a call for speculative ridiculous contraptions, for me the 5 that top the list, and which would smash my appreciation of technology are as follows:-

1. Driverless Cars . Forget Google glass, imagine getting into your car, typing a postcode (e.g.  HP22 5BG), and <–| Enter, then sitting down to watch your favourite movie, show, to reply to emails , or more importantly, to catch up with some sleep. Several hours later, an alarm alerts you that you have arrived in Aylesbury, your destination.

It would save me tons of time, my efficiency would shoot up overnight.

What if it runs out of fuel?

Well, it should be smart enough to refuel itself? You’d kind of expect that from a thing that can drive itself.

It would do more. The 15 minute morning commute to the office would be a time to have a cup of tea, and read a newspaper. I’d be able to spend more time with my family while we are on the move (and we’re always on the move). Traffic jams would be tolerable as your mind would be distracted, watching TV, your favourite drama or sleeping.

2. Mind Reader: Just so we are absolutely clear, I’m talking a device, not a person. Whatever form this gadget will take, tech doesn’t get better than this. Epic in every meaning of the word. Point ‘the sensor’ of the device not to your wife, but towards that politician who seems to smile all the times … what’s beneath that smile? Going to meet your banker? Well, take this along, and before you sign that document, listen to his mind for a few seconds…just in case someone isn’t thinking you are making a huge mistake.

3. the D.I.A.D.T: your average general practitioner or doctor is probably overworked, overpaid, has a massive ego, a pseudo-salesman for some large pharmaceutical giant, is possibly on the payroll of some insurance company/ lobbyist group and probably thinks he / she is God.

Not to worry, the D.I.A.D.T (Disease or Infection Automatic Diagnosis and Treatment) will put him/ her in their place. Picture this:- Imagine walking into a state of the art medical centre, your body ridden full of disease, nasty microbes and illness, and being directed into a gadget chamber by a friendly medical practitioner, a chamber in which some routine medical tests are to be undertaken: Urinate here, Spit there, drink this – it’ll get rid of the usual suspects, dab that under your armpit, it’ll analyse your sweat, oh and attach these tiny electrodes to your head and wrists for a few seconds, we need to check your neural oscillations, heart rate and several other tests. Suspecting a broken rib? Right, stand here, and press that for the X-ray…

None of that invasive and archaic blood sample collection nonsense that can delay treatment (and cause unnecessary pain). No nasty moody nurses to argue with. No NHS Bureaucracy obsessed with gagging orders and secrecy to worry about. No time wasted in waiting rooms that have dodgy deathly odours.

No MRSA.

Minutes later, some clever analysis informs you exactly what is wrong with you, prints out a prescription and recommends a further meeting that same day, or  several weeks later, to monitor your progress. If additional tests are required, the machine immediately informs you and alerts nearby medical staff, who then quickly come to your assistance. Guess what, it can even make appointments on your behalf, it can call the mobile or landline phone number you provide, to remind you of your appointment (or in the event that you miss an appointment, to re-book one). It’s a friendly and generally helpful robot-doctor, than can perform some clever tests but also thoroughly disinfects itself – ready for the next chap.

How awesome would that be? The convenience, the efficiency. How many hours of valuable medical staff would it save? We could place some of these gadgets inside supermarkets or within shopping malls so that the location of your medical examination / appointment can be anywhere in the country, not just at your GP clinic’s physical location? Surely we could do that?

4. Sea Explorer: Remember how they say aeroplanes opened up world travel to the masses? Well, imagine what kind of device would open up sea travel to the masses? Considering land is only 30% of the earth.

I’d like to swim side by side with Orcas, hear the echoes and songs as they swim the vast oceans. I’d like to mingle with dolphins, swim and race along with them as they play. I’d like to whisper to sea turtles, to the great Leatherback and rare Hawksbill.

5. P. S.A. Projectile Shield Armour.  So, an electromagnetic field can do fancy things with electricity right? And your platoon has these tough armoured trucks which are heavy, safe and functional for the battlefield? Well, what about when you are on foot, and a  concealed sniper from the terrorists’ camp decides to shoot in your face? Aha!

Imagine a ‘field’ (it may not be electric or magnetic in nature) that can divert or repel things thrown or shot at you? No need for bullet proof or Helmets that cover your face (and make you appear unfriendly to the children of the locals)

Maybe I watch too much Tv (btw I don’t own a television set), but how many people who are sent into war, and who don’t make it back alive, could that device save – had it been in use?