Saturday , June 23 2018
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Society

The view through a dark mirror

Princip

Even historians stare with blank faces when asked who Voja Tankosic and Dragutin Dimitrijvic were.  The names are largely unknown today.  And yet, insofar as individuals can ever affect the course of history, they did more than most to shape the modern world. Let me try another name on you: …

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For BBC, read Pravda

BBC Propaganda

Whenever the threat of war arises, some retired sandpit general will be wheeled out to pontificate on matters of strategy and tactics.  For the most part these turn out to be wrong simply because said general is out of the loop.  Nevertheless, the way such people are treated speaks volumes …

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Thinking the unthinkable

Nuclear War

From the 1962 Cuban missile crisis to the 1983 deployment of intermediate range missiles in Europe, there remained one single constant: nuclear war was “unthinkable.”  The existence on both sides of the Iron Curtain of stocks of nuclear warheads capable of destroying both sides in a matter of hours created …

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Blair’s bastard

Blair Worboys

Few tears will be shed over the decision not to release rapist John Worboys.  It is thought that Worboys may have raped and sexually assaulted more than 100 women during his reign of terror between 2002 and 2008.  But here’s the first important fact you need to know about the …

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Big data BS

Big Data

We are currently living through an even bigger tech bubble than the DotCom boom in the late 1990s.  Now as then, investors have quite literally gone insane – throwing cash at companies that have never made a cent and look for all the world like they will never make a …

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US finds its smoking gun… and it makes no difference

Big Data - Cambridge Analytica

In mid-February, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 individuals who had worked for the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency of interfering with the 2016 US presidential election.  But for all the “we told you so’s” of the corporate media, the indictment proved to be a damp squib.  Most of the …

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Of potholes, disasters and collapse

Pot holes

One benefit of cycling (rather than driving) along public roads is that I have had a much better view of the slow degeneration of the road surface.  As a regular cyclist, I have been aware for more than a year that my local roads had deteriorated to the point that …

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Energy and the Enlightenment

Sugar - the fuel of the Enlightenment

With Steven Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now currently making the headlines, it is worth, perhaps, visiting two of the least asked questions about the European Enlightenment – why did it happen where and when it did? The mainstream answer – one that underlay the European racism and nationalism of the …

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P.T. Barnum does it again

Money in space

If you are in the business of getting people to pay you to (fail to) do the impossible, you must dress up the possible every now and then and put on a show.  Our modern day P.T. Barnum does this with sickening regularity, and, like any good magician or con …

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Suing oil companies as futile as boycotting them

Law

Last year we learned that more than half of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions could be traced back to the activities of just 25 corporations; including the oil companies.  Cue ill-conceived social media posts demanding an immediate boycott. Even environmental NGOs like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth were obliged to …

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