15. Knowing

Knowing: we have to know everything. Everything must be known. If something is known then something else is waiting to be known. The chase of knowing is relentless. If it is not space it is the oceans that must be known. knowing Nothing can be left unexplored.

Behind this thinking of knowing everything, is a mentality so pervasive that to think anything else seems ignorant and stupid. Knowing is an unstoppable juggernaut. It mows down any alternative in its way. Reason is unassailable. Why would you not want to advance medical knowledge? Why would you not want to know the world is round rather than flat? To think otherwise creates prejudice and hatred.

People 100 years ago would marvel at the improvment of medical science. Longevity of life, quickness to heal, and the alleviation of pain. We feel sorry for those people 100 years ago who had to suffer so much. Presumably in a 100 years time medicine will be vastly different. We would marvel at the advances. Those people living in the 22nd Century will look back at us and feel sorry for us that we didn’t have the advances that they have.

We live longer but for what? Our bodies and minds have become stretched out to accomodate the extra years medical advances have allowed us to live. Is this better? Is the quality of our lives better? Are our bodies and minds upto the job of living another 20 years?  A lot of us are still dying naturally in out 40s, 50s, and 60s. Some bodies are good, but the mind has gone and vice versa. To look at the beauty of a flower in the moment is not good enough. Its origins and how it works must be known. It has to photographed and recorded.

For a moment imagine a world where knowing is stopped for a year. It is almost impossible to think of. A world where nothing more was recorded, nothing more researched, nothing more investigated, nothing more known. There would be so much more time! More time to think. More time to consolidate. More time to reflect. More time to spend in the moment. More time to look around and see where we are. More time to see where we could go.

A balance between knowing and being in the moment of not knowing is a lofty ambition.
Maybe one day we might have the time to consider it?

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14. Crash & Byrne

Tommy Byrne was as good a race driver as Aryton Senna. It was really unusual to have two such extreme talents Crash & Byrneto come along at the same time racing against each other. This was in the days where you had to buy yourself a drive with a professional team. Senna son of a millionaire, Byrne not a penny to his name. Tommy begged borrowed and stealed to race. The film Crash and Burn depicts his life. He was a whisker away from a £100 million fortune.
Crash & Byrne

At the petrol station where he worked as a youngster in Dundalk Ireland, the customers wondered if they would ever see him again. Speed would kill him. He talked fast, walked fast, drove fast. His life was fast. There are two schools of thought. Tommy screwed it up for himself, or the Grand Prix racing car culture didn’t accept him. Tommy was cocky, confident and full of self belief. He could not be told. He was not going to play the game of being diplomatic, or changing himself to suit anyone else.

From a poor working class background Tommy was seen as chippy and rebellious against the conservative business culture of the Formula racing car scene. And why not. Oppression and poverty is a deadly cocktail. Most have no way of escaping poverty and being able to compare to a wealthier background. Tommy’s incredible speed talent catapulted him into a world of miliionaires where he had nothing.

As ever – anyone else from a similar background following the same route into the same sport has little sympathy for him. Tommy messed up. He didn’t make up for his weaknesses. He was inflexible and not able to adapt to another culture. It is common for us to defend against where we might have failed but have succeeded. It wasn’t luck but our own hard work and talent. It is too painful to think it is not us, our own talent, and personality.

With the booze, drugs and women and millions to spend on these habits: his failure to enter the big league might have saved his life. But Tommy like us all was a product of his beginning, except most of us do not have such a singular talent. Like athletes in any sport with huge talent to come from poverty to potential or actual wealth they are thrown back on themselves and early building blocks.
The other example of a boozing womanising racing driver was James Hunt. A hellraiser with a prodigious talent. Except he was posh.
Crash & Byrne

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Crash & Byrne



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13. Just Britain

After Article 50 is triggered to start the process of the UK to leave the European Union –  Great Britain will be down graded to Just Britain

The events over the last few days when the British Government has agreed to the UK leaving the EU gives the Just Britain prime minister a mandate to trigger Article 50. This has the possible impact of ratings agencies of reassessing Great Britian rendering the Great worthless. 

Spokesperson Kimberly Goff from Broody’s rating agency said there had been a lot of thought and soul searching on the subject. But added that because of the economic and social repercussions on the UK – they could no longer see Great Britain as entitled to the “Great” status.

She was keen to point out that this was no reflection on the inhabitants of Great Britain, but the country’s status would not be as high, if the UK had remained in the European Union.

There is an irony in this. The Brexit vote is streotypically seen as patriotic and pro Great Britain – so being called Just Britain will be a step too far. It is again an irony that areas in the UK which received grants of millions of pounds of European Union money voted to leave the Union. Believing in the assumption that it would never happen they voted against the establishment only to undermine thier own lives and welfare. The lesson is if you rebel against the status quo you will be punished.

Broody’s also earlier in the year revoked the title ‘Leader of the Free World’ from America, say these decisions and assessments are never taken lightly.
Just Britain

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12. Interesting

Interesting is a word that has lost its meaning. The word is all over the place. On the radio, television and in the press. It is a word that is only used to attract attention. In this article the author thinks it should really be used when the speaker means entertaining. Social media in the digital age means there is more and more information out there and it has to be sold to us. It must be short and attractive.
Entertainment over substance?

The word is used to convey importance. But it really doesn’t mean anything. Like the word ‘nice’. It needs more detail and context to explain it. The argument is that in the advance for science if the idea isn’t interesting it doesn’t encourage replication. But science needs to be repeated so that ideas can be tested.

There is a universality about the word Interesting. The speaker uses it as though everyone should find it interesting. You don’t hear I find that interesting. But it is interesting. Why should it be interesting to anyone but the speaker? Mental Health has always been linked to level of interest. If there is little interest in life we think the person might be depressed.

But maybe it has always been this way. The new way of communicating is always thought of being less worthy. Book reading to TV watching to recorded programmes, to the latest way of watching tv watching  in your own time not the time it was aired. Now we talk in clips and bites of information. If it doesnt interest you click and move on.

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11. Anthony Lago

Anthony Lago was a chancer and a character. He was an Italian businessman born in Venice in 1893 who kept the French Talbot car marque alive against ridiculous odds. Lago Talbot cars are the one of the most desirable and expensive in the world especially the ‘Teardrop’ model. He was a devout Catholic who was one of the founders of Italy’s Fascist Movement.

After the war he had a change of heart and criticised the Fascist regime forcing him to leave Italy under death threats. He bought the rights to the Wilson pre-selecting gearbox, and then heard of the ailing Talbot car company in Suresnes Paris. An ideal venue to manufacture gearboxes. He assessed the company as bankrupt and offered to turn it around with an option to buy at a low price.

The factory started to produce cars and established a reputation for racing. This racing prestige enhanced national French honour. In reward the Automobile de France financed Anthony Lago to develop a racing engine. Instead he used the money to re-equip the factory to produce Anthony LagoPratt & Whitney aero engines under contract. It caused a scandal. But he managed to gain lucrative contracts from the Allied Forces. After the war the cars were fantastic but heavily taxed and in 1951 he was declared insolvent again. The Vatican’s Internal bank extened him a loan with the kindness of Pope John XXIII. Sold to Simca in 1958. He died in 1960 with little to show for his tenacity and verve.

Would he be the Car Industry’s Philip Green today? His life sounds glamourous but for the end? 
Yet he leaves a legacy of beautiful cars.

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10. Trump Chrissie Hynde

Trump is a champion for forgotten millions. But everyone else doesn’t understand. Trump supporters voted for the rough diamond who is not seen as part of the Liberal Elite. Except the Liberal movement either forgot or chose to Trump Chrissie Hyndeignore the plight of the Mid West of the US. Obama was voted in on the hope that he would stand up for the have nots, and the left behinds. Hilary was voted out on the back of being perceived as elitist and corrupt. Trump for years has played both sides of the political divide supporting Hilary Clinton’s campaign.

This divide of opinion acrossd the US and Europe has been going on for years. The urban centres have thrived in property and finance while the suburbs and countryside’s traditonal industries have become a wasteland.
The city in the Mid West of America given as an example in the Trump is a champion artcile is Akron. Its old industry of tyre making has long been exported abroad. Its population is in decline and it has a heroin problem to numb the hopelessness and despair. Heroin cut with poison killed hundreds of Akron’s inhabitants.

Trump is standing up for the city of Akron also where Chrissie Hynde, rock chick and lead singer of the Pretenders lived as a child. In this mournful bbc documentary Chrissie goes back to the Akron suburbs where she was brought up. She walks through woods near the house where she lived, in a wistful mood telling how she loved nature and found peace there. Akron must have been thriving when she was young. Though for the young old industrial centres were places to run from. Claustrophoibc and with no other employment, Chrissie escaped to New York and London. Ironically both Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, and bassist Pete Farndon died of heroin.
Divides are not what they seem. We are all connected.

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9. Failed Experts

The Follies of Experts makes the point that our reliance on experts is misguided. Experts not only don’t predict whats going to happen, but actually think it’s not even a possibility. Events are not miscalculated, but are not even Failed Expertsincluded. The breakdown of the Soviet Union, and the rise of Putin was seen to most academics studying Sovietology as impossible. How could they think the theory possible that would dis-invest them of their subject?
Failed Experts

The idea that Western Liberalism and the Free Market would not sweep across the world uninterrupted and without resistance was always toted as unreasonable and impossible. Events of the last year have proven otherwise. Much to our surprise.

History cannot be predicted by a set of rules. Experts and academics have been consistently wrong.
To move the conversation on it seems what is predictable is that we invest in failed experts and academics, whether they  turn out to be right or wrong. In fact we consistently invest in unreliable sources hoping that they will be right. But they never are.

It is a surprise to us that others so not want to do what we do, or like what we like. If we like it, why wouldn’t they? Smaller stuff like taste in foods etc is acceptable. But the bigger you get – like life style or politics it becomes more impossible to imagine why others would not want to live like us. Why doesn’t the world not want freedom, or a free market?

Perhaps if everyone liked and wanted the same things that we wanted, life would be more predictable. It makes us feel safe to think or hope that others are the same as us. To temper our fear we try to feel safe by creating tiny, smaller, and bigger worlds where we are all the same. Our family, our friends, our neighbourhoods, our countries, are all our worlds. We want these groups to support us and make us feel safe. When they don’t we feel threatened. We look inward. Our position becomes more entrenched, and then others have to fit in even more to what we like or want.

You could say the European Union (EU) is like this. Formed from a good intention of not wanting to be at war: it has become a collection of like minded countries who cannot understand why others don’t want to join them. Perhaps this fear alone can predict the end of the Union based on its present values. The EU values don’t suit or benefit everybody. The EU didn’t predict this.
The EU elite missed the fact that just because they benefit from the EU, others do not.
Failed Experts

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8. Broken Liberalism

John Gray states the Liberal West finds itself in a quandary. Unable to take responsibility for the rise in power of anti liberal Broken Liberalismmovements, Liberals have to disconnect. To connect would mean they destroy themselves and their view of the world. The Liberal Ideology is slowly but surely unravelling.

The idea of freedom being what people want as a natural human need is a falsity. Difficult to see because it has been peddled & propaganda’d for so long. People want security, for their families, their way of life, and their employment. Choosing between freedom and a tyrant’s security they often choose tyranny. Freedom of choice is meaningless in war and poverty.

The West has focused on trying to establish Liberal views and freedoms on countries which have failed. These countries have become failed states creating terrorism and immigration. The people in their own countries have been ignored. The failure of institutions to tackle these problems have forced the populace to reject mainstream politics.

The ideology that once humans are free from tyranny they can just return to their normal condition is anti human behaviour. Freedom is not a natural characteristic. It is artificial and takes time and practice. Tolerance unlike kindness is not a natural human condition. Tolerance is the habit of restraint and takes years to learn. Years of security and wealth. The Global market and Immigration impacting on a forgotten impoverished community creates an environment of intolerance and protectionism. Or Brexit and Trump.

The Liberals see no connection between their high minded ideals of freedom and equality and the rise of people wanting any other alternative. The Wests’s devotion to a Liberal Ideology ignoring basic human behaviour puts the West in danger. The West and Liberalism is in decline.

Liberalism’s arrogance has been to assume that Liberalism is essential for humans to live a meaningful life. We live like this so you must too. The combination of Ideology and Power creates a counter weight of resistance. Ideologies, like religions if rigidly imposed create a fearful backlash. This cannot be denied just because the ideology cannot admit its own failings.

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7. Mudrooms

Mudrooms are places in the house where you take off your dirty boots and enter the house cleanly. Apparently mudrooms people in the US renovating their homes create mudrooms along party lines. Republicans have more mudrooms in their houses than Democrats. Republican couples are more likely to have separate sinks, and the man is more likely to be in charge of the project.
Got to stop that mud contaminating the house.

This highlights a division between the liberal and conservative mind set.
Conservatives see the world as a threat. They are aggressive towards it, or defend against it. Being pro gun, Religious, and Family orientated these values keep them safe. These beliefs protect them from the threat of the outside world. The other – immigrants, different classes are seen as a threat to their life style. Success is admired in terms of money. Self sufficiency is king/queen. By earning money you are seen as having lots of something to protect you and your family with.

Liberals feel the world is less of a threatening place. They do not need religion and family to protect them from a harsh world. The world is kinder. Money is less important, and people should be protected not aggressed. Happy to pay taxes to help others, Liberals use education and science to solve problems.

This divide starts early in families. The level of fear and mistrust in the household creates an atmosphere where mind sets are created. Domestic violence can be seen as the threat of an outside world replaying itself inside the family. Protectionism in a family forms a protectionist view of the world. Everything is unsafe. Defend yourself.
Got to build more mudrooms.

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6. States of Confusion

States of Confusion
Will Self
 argues that to fully engage with the weird mystery of being is preferable to moaning about your feelings.   States of ConfusionWhy are you here? Anything versus nothing? What is true? To take to the helm of your own ship, even though you are on automatic pilot of your own perceptions, is to directly try to understand your confusion.

The argument is that the unease of being is falsely satisfied by looking back into your childhood, and family relationships to understand what brought you here. The unconscious mind is a dump where all those traumas go, that cannot be dealt with in consciousness. The fascination of psychoanalysis to examine the unconscious is to miss the mystery and unease of the conscious self. Psychoanalysis is therapeutic but doesn’t really address the problem of why you are here? States of Confusion.

This person hood we live through cannot operate without perception. Existence in its very nature is about perception less about reality. The fact that the self maybe a fiction is far more disturbing than any trauma we might have suffered. The world of time and money obsessed with sex and status is a drug to avoid the conscious self. We are obsessed with death, yet life is fearful and confusing but most of us still don’t want it to end. Yet living is hard and frightening To be human is to want it to end, or to feel in low periods of our lives that suicide is an option. The future is unknowable and out of our control. Yet we do our best to control anything.

Perhaps no human act can be excluded from an act of avoiding the self. The futility and preposterous nature of the self and the life it is offered is wonderful and hateful. To be consumed by futility entices us to consume.
Why are we here? Being sceptical about the question you might ask what is the message of the question? A lack of acceptance that you are here? The task of being here is not possible. I want help to be.

To sit with the answer that there is no answer to the question of why we are here is what humanity avoids. It is meant to be futile and without meaning. The blank canvas, the block of stone, the chunk of metal. It is meaningless. Even when touched by the human hand. Even when something is created it is still meaningless. To live with futility and meaningless is the meaning of life.
The more technological and sophisticated we become the less futility and meaningless can be entertained.
States of Confusion.

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