Thursday, 3 September 2015

A post about foolishness


What is the matter with everyone? Is this the 'internet' or have people always been nuts?

The very first day on my very first Saturday job I had a man tell me that I should be wearing a lead vest. Because of all the dials on the luminous clocks in the jewelers I worked at.
 He was deadly serious. He came back the next week with some 'data' from the library. 
Being a novice, sixteen year old, and not knowing about the 10%, I did look at it. A story about the women who painted the luminous clock dials in the early part of the 20th century. Some of the clocks were Westclocks, which we were selling. 

 But when I pointed out to him that the 'RADIUM GIRLS' were actually ingesting the radium through licking their paintbrushes to shape and had 1000 times the natural level of radiation in their bodies, and had been working in the factories for years and years... he became upset. He was even more upset when the Boss came across and told him clocks hadn't been using radium for 20 years anyway.
Went away shouting that  he would inform the council and have us shut down.

Would he have been any happier if he'd been able to look up more data on 'The 'Interweb'?
I doubt it. He was very happy with his radiation poisoning theory. He was delighted to think that the radiation from a watch dial was equivalent to a teapot of polonium 210. 
He would only have been saddened to discover the radiation from the monitor he was using to look up that information was 1000 times greater than the watch face. Or the pavement he walked in on had given off 100 times the radiation of the alarm clock. But he would have been very happy if he found an obscure webpage of "THEY ARE POISONING US.COM". Very happy indeed. Worth a tweet, I'd wager.

People don't like their pet theories being challenged. Whatever the evidence.

A friend of mine, a woman with 2 kids, 2 jobs, 2 degrees just told me the Moon Landings are fake.
At first I thought she was making up some joke.  But no. She was deadly, deadly serious. She came out with some web sites. Some cold war face saving theory and some really paranoid stuff about "The gummint..they won't let you know THE TRUTH"

So, I say, yeah..I've looked at this too. And there are some really good articles about how its all fake. Its very entertaining stuff. And it does make you think...but all of these unexplained and impossible events have actually been explained on other websites. And its pretty conclusive even if you are not a scientist. And I pitched an easy one .. "The US flag blowing in the breeze when there is no wind on the moon.."
"..Yeah..well..that's because the flag has a wire frame..because there is no they had to have something to make it flag shaped to take the picture..And when they stuck the pole in the ground the flag is just moving from that inertia..because there is no resistance in near zero lunar gravity and atmosphere"
"So they SAY!"
"Well..not just say ..because ..the still photo does look like a moving flag, But the video shows exactly what happened and the flag does not move. Its  a pretty common video. The wire extractor part got stuck, see..So the flag didn't extend properly.."
"So...why did they "Fix" the lunar video, but forget about the still photos?"
"Ahh..haa..Not as clever as they think, are they..?"

So I gave up. 

What is depressing is this person had clearly been researching the moon landings and had taken note of the conspiracy side, but refused to believe any of the conspiracy answers. Just, point blank, refused. With a childish "THEY are behind it." And it was me who picked the lunar topic. She was actually talking about how ISIS are selling the west oil and the whole conflict is about cheap oil and that's why we aren't fighting there.
{Something similar in the comments on another thread is what reminded me of this}

Bogeyman are everywhere. They control the media. THEY control the money. THEY control how much we earn. THEY control the world.  And you can replace THEY with any group. Jews or Muslims or Obama  or Gays or Corporations or even Cats and it works just as well.
Its so infantile. Its so worrying. And this girl used to be so normal..?

But..wait a minute..maybe...Oh My God..I've figured it out...THEY got to her ¬!

Here is fairly good, easy to follow, conspiracy theory questions and scientific answers piece about the Apollo landing. But there are thousands more. Which is kind of depressing

The 10% - If you work in retail or hospitality, services or care and have to deal face to face with the general public; it is generally accepted that 10% are very,very strange indeed.

Is the UK media really right-wing biased; the European Migrant crisis suggests not

So yesterday the Prime Minister makes some statements about the immigration crisis. Britain can;t take too many more he said, it send sthe wrong signals, we should really be dealing with things in Syria, Shcengen is the problem, etc. etc.

All perfectly reasonable positions to take.

Same day, Labour leadership candidate, Yvette Cooper says we should take 10,000 at least - not even specifying whether that was a day, month or year. Andy Burnham makes some noises about this sort of thing too, without allowing himself actual facts to use.

And lo, today, I read wall to wall media coverage about how the UK is not doing enough, UKIP are Nazis for not wanting to take a million Syrian refugees, Cameron is awful and we should be opening up the Chunnel to every passing Syrian. Not just the BBC and Guardian, but the Telegraph, Sky says Britain is shamed.

Al in all, a classic media somthing-must-be-done-panic. But it is a left wing stance here, accepting all immigrants, not caring about our own people or our way of life and putting internationalism first. The right-wing, conservatice view is branded as uncaring (in my view, it is very caring of the people who elected the Government over others with no claim) and linked to pure evil.

I don't buy the Country is dominated by a Righ-Wing press, the media elites are all Liberal and Lefty at heart these days. As soon as the Laboru Candidate picked a side, they happily followed it agains the Government line, same day and clear for all to see.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

EU Referendum in April 2016

An interesting insight from the Spectator who have the Prime Minister's ear.

So with a Jezbollah victory for Labour and weakness perceived, the Tory leader wants to get the referendum out of the way. More cynically,  I would suggest, with immigration from Syria et al only set to grow, the need to get a vote done before public anger gets too high is becoming more pressing.

In the real world, there should be enough time to organise and get this done. What there is not is enough time to get any real concessions our of the EU leaders when they lurch from currency, Greece and immigration crisis in ever decreasing circles.

The time is perfect to leave the EU for the UK, it is weak and failing and we are better off out of it. It will be hard to convince enough people of this, but all the fundamentals are on the side of the 'leavers' at the moment so the polls will get closer.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

September - warning signs

China electricity outputAs noted last week, and indeed every year, the old adage in the City is to "sell in May and come back on St Ledger's day."

Well that is 9th September this year so we still have a week or so to go. However, today is the end of the summer holidays - the August Bank Holiday is over, school kids are going back in a few days, the commuter trains are full and the City offices filling up again. Even serial holidayer Prime Minister Cameron is back to work.

And what do they come back to, a China manufacturing PMI reading of 49.7, this is now serious stuff. It is one thing to overdo the whole China is dead meme - easy to say, less easy to prove. However, the meme is that China is slowing - whereas the data is now starting to show that China is likely to be in outright recession soon, if it is not already (after all, much of the data is rigged, so we have to look at foreign sources).

Notable is the continuing decline in power output. How much power China is using is often cited as the key metric to watch. After all, all the new factories and cities being built should significantly up power drawn down, but in recent months this has been falling - 2% in August for example. Overall for the past year it is now just 0.4% up after months of recent falls.

A true recession in China will spook Western markets further for sure and this is increasingly looking like it will be the case for Q4 2015 and Q1 2016. September and October are looking set to be bumpy months unless somehow the falls so far are deemed to be deep enough....