Friday, 31 October 2008

Point - Counter point

I am going to say nothing, other than I only agree with one of the two following "reckonings" by the British public on a recent "news" story. I will leave you to guess which one I think is spot on, and which needs to be recruited by the TRS:

What I reckon #1
Quite simply, if the BBC will do nothing it is time viewers and listeners did.

Time to turn off our televisions and radios when these two are on air, or at least watch/listen to another channel. I'd rather watch car insurance adverts for an hour instead of Ross, or listen to a tap drip perhaps?
SH, Hampshire,

What I reckon #2
War, corruption, global poverty, prank phone calls ... if only the indignant moral rage of the British public could be used to slightly greater effect than getting that 'rude man off the telly!' suspended. The phone call was tasteless and offensive, but some perspective might be nice, thanks.
Jane Douglas, Cambridge,

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Why we're so very alone.

Let's just relax and let the mind wander for a bit. If I were a flower, I'd grow into the word help, twisting and contorting my leaves and stem to form the well placed, but unnervingly accurate word within the gardening store.

People would come from miles around to work out why a plant would produce such a specific and to them, a fluke shape. Unfortunately it would be very difficult for me to reply to their questions, as answering anything would take months of growth. In fact I don't think that even the most cognitive, fast growing and capable plant would ever be able to communicate with people. I find that a very sad thought.

Anything that even has a massive, billion to one leap in capabilities would still not be known to humans as such. I could be the sun, a massive ball of energy that is suddenly self aware, but any motions I make to say hello would be mis-construed as a solar flare, sun spot or apocalyptic fireball that wipes out the earth. Most things fall in to this similar category of communications through extinction.

And similarly anything that is too small wouldn't be significant enough to be watched long enough. A single bacterium pulsing sos in Morse code would not be noticed in its 20 second life span to be of consequence.

And perhaps that's where humanity sit. Either so inconsequential to the rest of the universe that we are just a small discolouration on a single spec of dust on the arm of a cosmos, or alternatively the large eared beings that could have been our gods and saviours were obliterated the nanosecond that we opened our mouths.

If you think about it, it's unlikely that we will ever meet anything in the middle ground. Something small enough to care, but big enough to matter.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

"Individuals" please take note

...that when you're trying to do something "different", "new" or "revolutionary" it's important to remember that it hasn't been done before for a bloody good reason.

Sometimes its because the opportunity has never been there until now. See the moon landings, cold fusion experiments or the skiffle revolution in the UK for good examples.

But far more often these days people will simply make an attempt at something that hasn't been done before because they feel they need to. And while this is an important part of our progress as humans to be constantly finding out "what happens when I do this", it is also important to make sure that you have a reason for doing other than "I don't want to do what someone's done before".

For an example of this latter form, please see the god awful scultpure of the parapalegic woman that someone paid for, and someone spent their time making. I rather feel that the reason was more in the "because I don't want it to be like..." rather than "because I want it to be...". The statue says nothing about anything, and no amount of wine sipping, verbose, gibbering intellectuals will be able to shoehorn in one iota of meaning.