Noble Lies

Please forgive me – I was wrong to suggest that post truth, alternative facts and all that stuff was outrageous. It seems that it was all my fault for not believing.

Post-truth resides not in the realm of the production, but in the realm of reception.  Lies, dissembling, spinning, propaganda and the creation of bullshit have always been part and parcel of politics; what has changed is how publics respond to them.

Facts are social constructions. We construct facts to convey information about the world. They are always relative to the overarching paradigm: facts in one paradigm are not recognised as facts by adherents of alternative paradigms.

Obviously the sin lies in our gullibility.  Being gullible means:

easily persuaded to believe something;  credulous, over-trusting, over-trustful; trustful, easily deceived/led, easily taken in, exploitable, dupable, deceivable, impressionable, unsuspecting, unsuspicious, unwary, unguarded, unsceptical, ingenuous, naive, innocent, simple, inexperienced, unworldly, green, as green as grass, childlike, ignorant; naive, foolish; unsophisticated; unsuspecting; wide-eyed; being a sucker; believing; easily taken in; easy mark; falling hook line and sinker; green;  kidding oneself; mark; silly;  sucker; susceptible; swallowing whole; taken in; taking the bait;  tumbling for; unskeptical….

Perhaps innocent would be an appropriate summary. then shit happened

Hmmm! Obviously no longer a virtue!

This is an edited version of a longer article by Colin Wright in ‘The Conversation’ 

It seems that the action comics of our youth about Social Justice Warriors (SJW) were wrong too. These days according to Wikipedia, SJW is “a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics. The accusation of being an SJW carries implications of pursuing personal validation rather than any deep-seated conviction and being engaged in disingenuous social justice arguments or activism to raise personal reputation, also known as virtue signalling.”

new look for sjw.jpg

We must have shifted into a new paradigm without realising it! That explains Trump, Brexit and Zuma!

 

Advertisements

Blockchain? Bitcoin?

Lawks! It’s 6a.m. on Friday and I haven’t written a word!

The Youf of today!

They have no dithipline..!

Hold on while I put my teeth in… but… I’m not anymore a youf!

Yeah! … but I got no dithipline either!!

blockand tackle

What has been buzzing about in my head is blockchain. The name evokes in me an image of a block and tackle, which is a marvelous system giving great strength to allow the lifting of heavy weights.

Well, there is no system heavier than our economic and financial systems which seem to cater well for only 4% of the world, the rest of the world bends and buckles and starves…

Spurred on by the financial calamities and failures of corrupt financial institutions bitcoinin 2008, Sakoshi Nakamoto devised the bitcoin and the blockchain system to enable its implementation.

 

 

Trying to understand all this stuff nearly blew my few remaining fuses, but I think it is important stuff to know, so here is a YouTube explanation which may help.

Essentially bitcoin is digital currency with a limited number, which is digitally protected from double use and the blockchain system verifies it.

The blockchain is a totally secure public record or ledger of verified transactions which cannot be changed or altered.

What it does (You have to watch the video a couple of times) is create complete trust in the system. The implications are huge and will see banks shrink and many accountants fade away – the system will become a totally accurate bean-counter, which can tell you in real time how and when every bean was utilised. Because individuals can use the system, handling fees disappear, time delays are no more, records become totally reliable…

In early 2017, the Harvard Business Review suggested that blockchain is a foundational technology and thus “has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems.”

Well, that seems to be a step above fake news to me…

The use of blockchains promises to bring significant efficiencies to global supply chains, financial transactions, asset ledgers and decentralized social networking (Wikipedia). The blockchain is being used for identity and voting systems, real estate and insurance, payment systems and crowdfunding… all because it creates TRUST and reliability. Banks are scrambling to assess its impact on them and how they can adapt or they know they will die.

A bitcoin’s price at the moment is $7738(US$, I assume). An article in Forbes 2 days ago says:  Before the average Bitcoin investor sells … Bitcoin prices could reach very high, $196,165 per coin – roughly 30x the digital currency’s current value.

I think I am going to buy a bitcoin….

Sorry to complicate your day … but I think it is important to know about this stuff.

I hope my accountant daughter and Nat who is a new age logistics wizard read this!

A mutter of discomfort?

‘British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned from the government on Wednesday. Fallon has become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that is washing over Britain’s government. Fallon admitted to and apologised for placing his hand on the knee of journalist Julie Hartley-Brewer in 2002’

Just a murmur of discontent, an expression of discomfort … no disrespect intended – do forgive any perceived insult… (it’s called a disclaimer grovel).

Yeah, right! I feel like screaming over the inanity of our current First World cultural approbation of incidents involving people who raise a hullabaloo over uninvited sexual overtures a long time before. Nothing more than overtures.

They were too timid or intimidated or ignorant to raise a hue and cry until motivated years later by the possibility of media celebrity – I mean they are far too principled to do it for the money, I am sure!

In this age,  there is a media hunger for any salacious event involving people which may invoke the interest of the hoi-polloi, the bourgeoisie or even the upper crust.

There is a scale of demand:

  • If the event is very salacious, the participants need not be famous or prominent in society.
  • The inverse applies: if you’re a big wig, a fart becomes very smelly.

While courage, charitable acts and intellectual achievements are important, they do not beat salaciousness for current media value. The appetite for impropriety is insatiable: there seems to be an irresistible need for people to be able to indulge in a superior tsk! tsk!; a holier than thou moment. As we have seen lately, there has been a rash of terrible people outed for uninvited sexual overtures.

Where does the fault lie? The Media moguls will say: “we are just giving our consumers what they want” or “our viewers have a right to know”.

I say the media must be compelled to take responsibility and beware of the likely impact of the diet they feed consumers. Every diet must be reasonable to avoid gluttony and obesity. Editors and publishers control the media fare. “They want …” is not justification.

prudence opposite

One of the cardinal virtues is prudence and that should be required of those who control media content.

As well as those making amorous advances.

How many of us have been tantalised by an attractive person and in hope, made an advance and failed?

How many have spurned unwanted advances and been castigated for it?

How many have wanted to make advances or wanted advances made, to no avail? – Certainly a lot fewer these days, when such incidents may cost a dollar or two in the future!

While my irk is about the hyperinflation of amorous advances in Western society, the extremes of female subjugation, genital mutilation and sexual slavery practiced by a far greater number of people, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East is horrifying and a most appropriate target for our outrage.

We need strong media attention aimed at preventing those cultural practices flourishing in our squeaky clean Western societies.

 

 

 

African Odyssey

 

We took off from Perth at 20 to midnight and landed in Joburg at 10 to five – but flew for 11 hours overnight, during which sleep was elusive.

Immigration was quick and impassive, baggage delivery slow but effective: all there and undamaged. Customs alert and easy going. Friends beaming at the gate – AT 5H30 ON SUNDAY MORNING!! Such love!

Car hire…eish! system is down… but sorted and 4 suitcases, 4 hand luggage squeezed in and away we go. At garage exit, we are stopped by a slovenly policeman. (Rat smell!) – kept cool and stared him down, he checked driver’s licence and let us go: Welcome to Africa!

Things have changed and we got lost in Boksburg North and stopped to listen to hadedas and then arrived at Bridie’s. Last home of Mum and Dad, with same furniture, curtains, vases. Watched the rugby test, specially recorded: boring draw! Grand breakfast.

Little snooze and in walk Jeff and Gail, besties from the ou dae! Beer and braai and a bietjie wyn! Heart full as I thought we might miss them.

Early bed – to awaken at 2am – ain’t jet lag grand!

Lingering, languid lunch with Jen and Rich – awake at 2 am again! Aaarghh!

 

It was about here that I realised this could turn into an epic requiring undue perseverance by my faithful few readers, so ……. I wrote a sort of travelogue poem, condensing our trip while trying to cover itinerary, cast list and feelings about what we saw and did.

Here is a link to the poem, which I called Second generation Souties