To my granddaughter, at 5 days

In my day and my Daddy’s day, grown-up was 18, when most people finished school, got a driving licence and ordered a beer in a bar. You won’t need a driver’s licence, my beloved, as the cars that are still around won’t need drivers, they’ll drive themselves far better than we could ever do. Try to give beer a miss.

My grandfather used horses to get around. He never owned a car or a telephone. CMR Officer

He was a soldier and rode into battle on his horse, with a sabre and a rifle.

I hope that I will be able to read you stories, but I suspect that books will also have largely disappeared. I know your Dad has already started reading to you.

Sharing anything with anyone is always a good thing, because even if it is a bad experience you will be able to share the pain and if it is a happy one you will be able to double your joy!

It is very important that you take time to talk to other people and do things together. Try to eat one meal a day with your family – no distractions, just talk to each other.

You will probably be a vegetarian, although you will eat stuff that looks and tastes like meat – we have a braai tradition. But real meat will be too expensive so we will cook vegieSteak and goggaPrawns on the barbie…

If you are lucky, your family will have its own vertical TerraFarm next to your house, which will produce most of your food. Maybe one of your first tasks will be feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs.

mzikiWe had a fine rooster called Mziki when I was young. He was very fierce and crowed the loudest of all roosters in town. I hope you are able to keep a rooster so you can wake up when it crows in the morning.

I hope you will love growing things as well.

When I was a boy, this world was still being explored. New societies were still being discovered in deep jungles. You will be able to work on Mars and explore outer space. Remember to call home. Parents never stop worrying about their children. Perhaps you could rather send an avatar so you won’t miss dinner and your Mum won’t fret.

Do your best, be brave, be humble, help others.

Sing

dance!

Smile

Dance

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Justice fails

It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer“,  known as Blackstone’s ratio.

Avoid legal punishments as far as possible, and if there are any doubts in the case then use them, for it is better for a judge to err towards leniency than towards punishment”  is a statement attributed to Muhammad.

These are fundamental precepts in the administration of justice.

But the systems in practice fail terribly:

On the one hand, most crimes are undetected and unreported. Because of the above precepts an extremely low percentage, possibly less than 5% of reported crimes result in prosecution.

Where is the justice for victims?

jail birdsOn the other hand,  many people are apprehended by the justice system, processed, imprisoned and almost invariably degraded, dehumanised and criminalised by that experience.

This article was prompted by a TED video presentation by Robin Steinberg on the injustice of the bail system in the US.

The statistics presented were horrifying: on any day in the US, 75% of people charged cannot afford the bail set.

There are over 400, 000 people in custody awaiting trial, unable to pay bail.

jail life

We are talking of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, where bail is rarely refused. Imagine what it must be like in less sophisticated societies!

  • If you can’t pay bail, you likely can’t afford a lawyer, are unemployed and struggling to feed your family.
  • If you are employed you will likely be fired, your family .evicted from your home. In jail there is a high risk of assault and rape;
  • you are exposed to hardened criminals and gangs who enforce their demands. You have limited contact with your loved ones.

Jail is an ugly and terrifying place to be.

The bail project is an organisation which pays the bail of those who are unable to do so.

  • 96% of people sponsored in this way, return to face trial
  • Over 50% of these cases are dismissed
  • Less than 2% of those charged  receive jail sentences.

Of those that remain in custody, 90% plead guilty, many just to get out of jail.

The criminal justice system is a cruel failure where most crimes are undetected and many innocents plead guilty to avoid prolonged incarceration.

 

What are the options?

Probably some subordination of individual rights to community interest as universal surveillance becomes the norm..

Can you see that getting through existing Parliaments in western democracies?

nice day for rev

That is a topic for another day.

 

A living will is a dying wish

“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die and you to live. Which of these two is better, only God knows.”

-Socrates

Such clarity of mind and absence of fear, when faced with imminent death, is remarkable and unusual. His last words were a reminder to Crito to pay a debt for him.

I am not dying, nor do I intend to do so for a number of years yet. However, I suspect when that Spectre is nigh, that I might not be possessed of the coolth and clarity of Socrates. So I will tell you now about how I would not like my dying to occur.

My intention is to inform my kith and kin and doctors to avoid the involvement of lawyers, who insist on making simple statements complex in order to guarantee certainty … and fees, no doubt.

In accordance with our will, my estate and all my possessions are to become my wife’s property and in the event of her death, before or after me, will be divided equally amongst our five children.

A simple concept was developed in Florida, USA to encapsulate the how I want to die / don’t want to die situation, called the Five Wishes, which met the approval of even Mother Theresa :

  •  My wife is the person I want to make care decisions for me when I can’t. If she can’t, then I wish one or two of my children to do so.
  • I do not wish to receive Medical Treatment that will prolong my life, unless I would be able to enjoy a good quality of life thereafter. Don’t keep me alive as a vegetable, don’t resuscitate me unless I could go swimming unaided and sing songs thereafter.unplug me.jpg
  • I like the idea of pain relief and maintaining dignity, even if it might not be good for continued breathing.
  • I do not wish to be a burden on my family, especially if /when I become demented. Place me in care and only come to see me if I will recognise you.
    • There is a Catch 22 here which you will need to resolve: the cost of care will come from our estate, which may diminish your inheritance. Let your own quality of life be the guiding principle.
  • I would like a memorial gathering where people can offer prayers, tell stories, laugh and cry.
    • Above all I would like to hear the singing from wherever I may be;
    • I wouldn’t mind a wake – in any event, I would like people to have a bit of a hooleyd'ya tink Im dead
    • I would like my ashes to be the growth medium for an umVovovo tree (huilende boerboon / tree fuschia).

tree burial

Bollemakiesie

The young can make us young again too.

beer and braai

As is our habit we braaied at the weekend, well on Easter Monday. It was our usual family gathering with dear friends and some visiting rellies from across the ocean.

Somehow there was a slightly more festive spirit than the norm which seemed to make the beer and fizz go down easier.

We were a somewhat eclectic crowd with some in their sixties, fifties, forties, thirties, three dogs and a four year old sprite.

Normally a fairly shy child, on this day, she was filled with the energy of a March hare and the command of a Ringmaster. While we chatted and kept up the level of our liquids in the early stages, she inspected the toys and her dolls house, engaging the dogs in a number of role plays. A bit later, I noticed the dogs had gone missing. I found them in the dolls’ house, waiting patiently to resume the game.

However, the young queen bee had moved on and was engaging the adults, commanding their participation in a number of exercises and role plays, including  catch-the-grasshopper and a tea party.

Her timing was impeccable and her enthusiasm and commands were charmingly irresistible. The new activity at Playschool was yoga so all were instructed to participate in yoga exercises. Peer pressure enforced participation, which should have been more wisely considered in some cases.

Head over heels (bollemakiesies in Afrikaans) were the exercise for men and all surrendered their dignity to roll around on the grass in pairs. The last pair included a grandfather who was proud to have been in his primary school gymnastics team and remembered well his star turn of a somersault over a wooden horse…

His bollemakiesie was very well executed, symmetrical and straight. However, the total effect was spoilt by the unfamiliar pressures on reasonably airtight gaskets. The resultant lapse of the system was quite a blast.

dogrofl.jpg

A nervous glance sideways revealed that it had not gone undetected.. two people were crying and the dogs were trying to run away…

Growing old does not prevent infection by the rashness of youth, it merely impairs the ability to maintain dignity and integrity while under its spell.

My granddaughter is quite a lot older and wiser now.

finger pull fart

Get Down Woman

That is the title of a song written by John Fogerty and first performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1968 (see below for lyrics). I do not remember hearing it before today, but it expressed something that has been gnawing at my gut for some time.

vin diesel womanThe words are not an instruction, but as a plea, which is right for the times. The demands and displays by Western women seeking equality with men and the end to the exploitation and subjugation of women by men have grown and spread like a fever.

I support those objectives. However, I believe that the male and female psyche evolved in our lizard brains and are ingrained in our culture and beliefs. The physically stronger male is driven to dominate and impress with his superior skills and strength; the physically weaker but more astute female seeks out and enthralls the strong male who is likely to be a good provider and protector. get down

The growing economic independence of women in society since the industrial revolution has gathered impetus and has increasingly challenged and diminished men’s unrestricted dominance in the Western, Christian world.

The unrelenting criticism of male behaviour in modern times is increasingly shrill and condemnatory; its sheer volume pronouncing guilt without need fortell woman calm down process.

The solidarity expressed in the #metoo campaign is phenomenal, but dangerous, because the allegations are historic and invariably tarnished by the time lapse between incident and outrage.

The offences are deemed to be so gross and prevalent that all humanity is required to unhesitatingly condemn any and all allegations!

Children are likely to be infused with suspicions and fears that their fathers and all men are beasts, out to subjugate and molest them because they are weaker.

Males are shrinking away and not engaging in this emotionally charged debate nor seeking a way forward. History is against them, crime has been re-defined retrospectively and they have been judged and found wanting (no pun intended)

Males will be less likely in future to abuse their superiority. The yin will repel the yang.

However, the offer of an apple will be less successful. A lot more affirmative action will be required to compel employment equity. Like all artificial remedies, its success is likely to be limited. The male propensity for sulking and resentment is profound: the chasm between the sexes will widen with less willing help from the incumbent, dominant male majority.

Resentment will fester, western society may sunder.

Cultures, where women remain subjugated, will flourish and dominate societies riven by sanctimonious crusades and repressed resentment; torn by the yin and neutered yang of democratic politics.

 

Get Down Woman by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Well, get down woman, before I have to go.
Well, get down woman, before I have to go.
You know, ya hurt me with your bad mouth,
An’ I just don’t wanna know.

Well, slow down, baby, and gimme a little time.
Well, slow down, baby, and gimme a little time.
If you want me hangin’ ’round,
Gotta give me some peace of mind.

Oh, get down boy.

Well, get back, woman, before you bring it down.
Well, now, get back, baby, before you bring it down.
Or you can tell it to the wall,
Without me hangin’ around.

Just another day*

Awakened by the crowing of my Bantam rooster, I lay thinking of the day ahead.

It is my son’s 95th birthday! I must catch the 15h00 rocket to London. I’ll be there by 18h00 – in time to have a beer and watch him blow the candles out on his cake carrot. I should be back home by midnight, even though Brisbane is almost the furthest Earth journey from London.

I got up and listened to the good news while taking my shower massage. The shaver mask really left one’s face feeling fresh and zingy. The body scanner gave a ping of good health as usual. I haven’t had a problem since replacing all my teeth back in 2048.

I dressed as I scanned the vertical garden on the wall screen. There are some ripe tomatoes, peppers and radishes to harvest; the peaches and strawberries are ready too. Sometimes I miss the lawn but the space is better utilized by the three tower houses I had built. This was easily possible as private lawns were banned and  garages are no longer needed – no-one has owned a motor car for sixty years. With the world population now over 50 billion, living space is at a premium. Global Rule preserved the last 25% of the world’s forests and jungles just before they were consumed. The universal carbon tax saved us from melting down with global warming in the 2020’s. Well done Elon Musk (see blue link above) – he made it abundantly clear for us all, so voting for it wasn’t an issue. He also pioneered the colonisation of New Australia (Mars).

It is startling to think that next year I will reach Euthanasia Day –  I accepted mandatory death and cremation at 133 years of age, long ago. Since the rebellion of the middle-agers, refusing to serve the mandatory 30 years on New Australia (NA), finding more living space on Earth has become impossible. Global Rule has eliminated conflict: wars are no more and the Global Surveillance Judicial system has made crime almost impossible – so our numbers are no longer reduced by the death sentences on major criminals or banishment to NA.

instant justice

Of great satisfaction to me is the fact that politics and legislation, in fact the whole of government is e-based. All the corruption, errors, bias and partisanship of party politics was eradicated by the establishment of RexRegina, the e-Parliament system. Instantaneous referenda and decisions, laws promulgated and updated based on the latest intelligence make life clear and easy.

With the universal availability of free energy and water, every household produces their own food and the drone system enables barter exchange for more exotic needs. In order to avoid the overweight penalty tax, exercise is compulsory but you can take your dog for a run in the virtualpark and program your route to meet as many other people as you prefer. The PoopScoop drones take care of the messy bits.

The only major problems in the world now everyone had a home and education were the continuous tinkering with the gene pool and the lemming-like mass movements of people. Bored out of their skulls by the repetitive agricultural cycle of maintaining their own houses, growing and bartering their own food and ensuring the education and exercise of their child; thousands frequently transgress the virtual barriers of their suburban playgrounds to trash their neighbours’.

Nihilist and mass suicide cults are proliferating as the search for meaningful creativity becomes more difficult.

Enough negative thinking or I will have to have a chat with my Wobot to put me back on the happy track. Hmmm! I think a good old egg and bacon fry-up with boerewors and mushrooms is called for.

boerie and egg

(At least the meat tastes like the real thing, which I haven’t tasted since 2024, even if it is earthworm protein).

 

Maybe I will take a virtual visit to the Louvre to see the Renoir exhibition…

Just another day in 2083.

A day in the life … sometime soon

As I eased myself into the seat already moulded to my preferred posture, I replied to the pleasant Good morning to ye I received, grinning to myself because I was talking to a machine. Oh well, a mother’s training endures!

I was on my way to Bunnings to collect the customised shovel I had ordered this morning – a glitch had caused a drone jam, so it couldn’t be delivered immediately.

Amazing really – all I had to do is think about what I needed and tell Siri who placed the order, giving my specifications. Bunnings would have it printed by the time I got there and offered me a complimentary coffee as they could not deliver immediately.

whizz carThe self-drive car whizzed off, covering the 10 km distance in 8 minutes, while I flipped through my voting preferences on the issues before e-Parliament.

Amazing that the trip only cost me 5 zillBits – back in the day, factoring in motor vehicle purchase cost, petrol, rego, tolls and insurance, it had cost 20 times as much.

My shovel was loaded at the drive-through and my coffee was handed to me – exactly as I like it. Siri had already paid Bunnings.

I told the car to return via the Protein Bar so I could pick up some fillet vege fillet.jpgsteak – the new worm algae protein meat barbequed magnificently and gave me a perfect medium rare. The Bar took a box of my tamarillos, pawpaws and apple chives in exchange.

 

The rump would be accompanied by fresh salad from my own vertical garden and home-made sauerkraut. I was also going to toast some crickets as they were now juicy and plump. That was why I needed the new shovel – to be able to transfer compost from the waste processing output to the garden rows.

I was really proud of the fact that my home is self-sustainable and produfuture house gardences sufficient to supply the sixty-five families that now shared the Bahr Place precinct.

 

Overcrowding wasn’t such a problem if one used the wonderwall barriers which muffled noise and projected scenic view holograms but didn’t affect birds or rain – I even had a rooster which crowed the dawn every morning! No complaints either when I listened to Bohemian Rhapsody at max volume.

(I revert to my old naturally deaf ears…)

 

The chickens give me eggs and meat and are happy scratching through my vertical gardens on all the walls and the roof. The water tanks give me prawns, mussels and trout. Admittedly my fruit trees need to be pruned regularly as the basement area iss under 3 metres high. The arnica did exceptionally well and was great for aches and pains from a hard day’s gardening, as did the marijuana I grew under licence for pain relief of the few remaining cancer victims not cured by gene therapy.

 

Mind you, who am I to complain – I am only 95 and Siri told me my body indicators showed I was in perfect health and can expect to live another 30 years at least, before I get treed. I am proud of the fact that I have reversed cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s and still have one of my original knees, eyes and hips!

become a tree

(I  have refused my great grandchild’s request to clone me for her next child –  I believe we are all unique and special in our own way and should stay that way).