Thursday, February 14, 2008
THEY were the futuristic gadgets which were supposed to revolutionise our lives...
Instead, these innovations, held up half a century ago as visions of the future have today been branded as among the worst of the last 50 years.
Archives from the 1956 Ideal Home Exhibition have revealed how developers building the first "home of the future" came up with some bizarre ideas which they believed would enhance people's lives in the 21st century...
1 Gamma rays will bombard meats, fish and dairy, killing germs and doing away with refrigeration.
2 Electric saucepans will cook food on any surface, replacing hobs.
3 Electric tables will rise from the floor and can be set to dining or coffee level.
4 Roofs will be covered with aluminium foil to deflect the sun's rays.
5 Front doors will all be electric and folding.
6 Houses will consist of a series of plastic pods.
7 Showers will dispense both water and hot air to wash and dry you.
8 Baths will be self-cleaning with built-in rinsing system.
9 Nylon is the material of choice – we will all be wearing drip-dry nylon clothes and sleeping in nylon sheets.
10 Men fashions will be inspired by Superman and the space age.
The reason I am mentioning this is not because the predictions are either good or bad but the way the reporting of them reflects on our present society. All of them are feasible now & some analogs of these have been done. The real point is that this has been reported by the Scotsman, the Metro, the Record, & etc in suich a heavily negative way. They (& this presumably includes the writer of the original press release on which all these reports are so visibly based, virtually verbatim) could have equally well based the report on what was correctly predicted. As indeed the Metro does at the end.
However, our friends from 1956 did get some things right. For example, they foresaw microwave ovens, remote control handsets and entry phones.Which was pretty good thinking in 1956.
Apart from showing, yet again, how monolithic our media are with little real variety in viewpoints it shows how depressingly miserabilist about progress they all are. There is nothing inevitable about Western society now being anti-progress - it is a direct result of decades of spin by our monolithic media. Say what you like of the press (& socialists) under Stalin but at least then they had a vision of a better future.
To barely digress - a few weeks ago Alex Salmond in Parliament told Annabel Goldie that he opposed nuclear power because the industry had failed to produce the electricity "to cheap to meter" he remembers they promised when he was young. In fact he seems to be suffering from False Memory Syndrom - the industry never promised any such thing. One individual predicted it in 1954 as part of a series of predictions for an unspecified but clearly considerable distance in the future, most of which have come spectacularly partly true.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Forth crossing http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland/Ministers-admit-bridge-target-is.3675940.jp#2378385http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/letters/display.var.1968081.0.Scotland_should_concentrate_on_renewables.php no comment
British Council in Russia - It seems the Russians have had the cheek to suggest this is a political rather than economic & cultural organisation. What a disgraceful claim when their office is run by Mr Kinnock Jnr whose undoubted expertise is all in the economic & cultural area & could never be accused of having got the job purely because of his political connections.
Britain will never have any problems so long as we can produce families of such amazing talent as to be able to fill so very many extremely well paid jobs as the Kinnocks. It was good to see on TV last night what a fine upper class accent the young representative has developed. It seems the Russians have had the cheek to suggest this is a political rather than economic & cultural organisation. What a disgraceful claim when their office is run by Mr Kinnock Jnr whose undoubted expertise is all in the economic & cultural area & could never be accused of having got the job purely because of his political connections.
"...what has gone wrong with modern government. A large number of people drawing generous salaries from the state sit round endless discussing a problem which has obvious solutions" John Redwood
"Ethical foreign policy" http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2008/01/18/mr-brown-should-curb-public-spending-not-go-begging-for-cash-from-sovereign-welath-funds/#comments
"Non-traditional" housing means you can't get a mortgage http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/3500-flat-goes-on-sale.3691661.jp
Glasgow crossrail price out of control too http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.1979705.0.0.php
Anti-EU "extremists" http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters/If-the-EU-is-so.3695554.jp
Accepting bad government http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters/Having-a-say-on-trams.3695558.jp
Northen Rock should be an 'orrible warning not a precedent for helping the next overextended bank http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2008/01/21/bbc-misreads-the-rock-crisis/#comments
EU referendum http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/comment/Burning-issue-Should-Britain-hold.3699572.jp
Squinty Bridge collapse - Clearly the workmanship has been shoddy - bridges like this do not immediately collapse in any part of the world not run by what is known as crony capitalism . For the same company to be involved in 2 major recent Scots construction failures is disgraceful.
I have expressed dismay before that the new Forth crossing is going to cost 13 times, after inflation, what the last one did & 100 times what a tunnel should cost. It seems that we are not only paying fa above the ods for construction but are getting jerry building for it.
May I also express dismay at the failure of the Scottish media to report on the incompetence/corruption we all know has been endemic in Scottish politics for generations?. Where are the journalists who think their job is something more than rewriting press releases?
Windmill farm on Lewis rejected hhttp://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.1996516.0.An_island_divided_the_battle_over_plans_to_build_a_giant_wind_farm.php http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters/Wind-farm-offers-hope.3714008.jp
We did claim to PROVE in the Nuremburg trials that planning an unprovoked aggreesive war was a war crime - we certainly proved that the British state accepts it as such. This means, as a matter of law, one of 2 things: that those who engaged in such war crimes are guilty of criminal activity & will be prosecuted or else that the British judicial system is wholly corrupt.
The Kosovo war was not supported by the UN - this is a simple statement of fact. I suggest you check & then withdraw. The fact is that Kosovo has been "cleansed" 350,000 humans under NATO rule. Under direct British authority at least 210 people were deliberately murdered in the Dargodan Massacre & numerous other smaller instances of genocide occurred. The war was carried out, quite deliberately, to support a KLA organisation known to be engaged in genoocide . This again is a matter of record. Genocide on a, probabnly, greater extent occurred in the "cleansing" of Krajina by the Croatian Nazis, carried out under NATO officers & with NATO military support.
"Lets put things in perspective" - can you seriously suggest that anyhting done by our al Quaeda ex-friends on 9/11 was remotely as murderous as the various things the NATO leaders have done over the years in Yugoslavia?
Nuclear decommissioning http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2003619.0.0.php
John Redwood on a modern rail systyem http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2008/01/30/can-anyone-make-the-train-take-the-strain/#comment-16856
Tories going for Redwood's economic reforms http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2008/02/03/time-to-cut-taxes-and-spending/#comment-16911
Kosovo - new EU Occuption Force readying for "independence" http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/world/EU-clears-way-for-Kosovo.3742531.jphttp://thescotsman.scotsman.com/world/Independence--move--brings.3757942.jp
Eigg "renewables" costings given http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters/Costly-electrification.3746656.jphttp:http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/letters/display.var.2021367.0.0.php http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters/Island39s-power-of-good.3746672.jp
Game theory, politics & the FTPTP 2 party system http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/comment/Cooperation-or-betrayal-It39s-not.3746882.jp#2450866
When somebody says they have a wonderful profit making investment opportunity it is wise to be cautious. When they say they have a wonderful profit making opportunity that they need the taxpayer to subsidise because no real investor is interested .... run. Though to be fair I want government to fund X-prizes
Warming & those who dare to lecture alarmist experts http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters/Keeping-quiet-on-climate.3752245.jp#2457131
Automated rail http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/comment/Rail-link-will-do-more.3757978.jp#2460078
Kosovo (excluding 1 Albanian everybody is pretty much of the same view) http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/world/Independence--move--brings.3757942.jp
Leading Scottish economist speaks out on how to improve our economy & a lot of it is similar to what I said