Steve Jobs was a charismatic and many people who met him refer to what they describe as his 'reality distortion field'. From what I understand, this term, as it applied to Jobs, referred to his ability to convince people that his vision, no matter how outlandish, was possible. In this way he was able to recruit people to his vision when others would have failed.
I thought again about the 'reality distortion field' when I was watching an interview on CBSN with a 'gun expert' who was commenting on the weaponry that Stephen Paddock had assembled for his Las Vegas rampage. Referring specifically to the 'bump stock' attachment, which enables a semi-automatic weapon to fire at up to 9 rounds per second, this 'expert' described the bump-stock as a 'not very practical attachment' and went on to describe it as a 'shooting range toy'.
This is as good an illustration of the 'reality distortion field' which seems to surround many Americans when it comes to their much vaunted 'right to bear arms'. If the bump-stock attachment is 'not very practical' and a 'shooting range toy' I hate to think what Paddock would have achieved had he been serious.
PS The AR15 in the illustration is fitted with a 50 round compact magazine and you can get a 100 round magazine which, at Paddock's work rate, would last all of 11 seconds.
3 October 2017
Don't get me wrong, by juxtaposing the deranged Trump with the deranged Paddock, I'm not suggesting that they knew each other or had anything in common. But I am thinking about the disinformation that is being reported where the alt right are suggesting that Paddock was part of a Democratic conspiracy to discredit Trump. And that makes me wonder just how gullible Trump's base is if they could be convinced that a grey haired, retired accountant with an arsenal of guns might be a Democrat.
My own prejudice would propose that Paddock would be a Trump man but it may be that he was simply bonkers. Who else would take an arsenal of guns and and strafe a country music concert?
Or maybe he was a Trump man and he decided that Trump was just as full of piss and bile as we all believe him to be and therefore it was time to take the law into his own hands and 'make a difference'.
And maybe this is the problem with Tump - his language is so grandiose that he is always likely to fail in achieving his objectives or the objectives that he embraces on behalf of his base. And my guess is that his base are more likely to have a liking for automatic weapons.
PS Have a look at Neil McCabe's commentary on behalf of the American gun industry and check out Armed American Radio
Posted by niall connolly at 10:33
28 August 2017
I wouldn't be surprised if El Trumpo doesn't claim some sort of credit for the scale of the Houston floods. I did expect him to claim responsibility for America being 'the darkest ever' during the eclipse but clearly the medics are getting his meds under control.
Posted by niall connolly at 17:38
Ever since Thatcher came to power (1979) and started the attack on state funded services, housing was probably very near or at the top of her list of targets. 'Right to Buy', gerrymandering by any other name, has steadily eroded the state owned housing stock and reduced competition in the rental sector along the way. The strictures placed upon Local Authorities with regard to building 'local' or 'affordable' housing has both increased pressure on housing supply, inflating prices, and turning the majority of the housing market over to the private sector which, again, has seen house price inflation at staggering levels (neatly excluded from the inflation calculations) in pursuit of profit.
Now, although Thatcher really started this process, almost nothing has been done by successive governments of any political persuasion, to return housing to the 'utility' sector rather than being seen as an investment, whose value should rise and fall but, in reality, only ever rises. And the net result of this process - Grenfell Tower.
Whilst funding towards state owned housing has been cut and cut again, the cost of both building or renovating housing has continued to rise. State funded housing, such as Grenfell Tower, simply cannot generate or attract sufficient funds (in rents + grants) to ensure that maintenance, including refurbishment, is carried out to anything but the most basic of standards. Local Authorities have bowed to government pressure by divesting themselves of direct control of state owned housing, into organisations like the KCTMO, but again, this does not mean that more money is available.
Thus, cost cutting in Local Authority housing remains the #1 objective and I suspect that this will have played a part in the Grenfell Tower incident where a single staircase building (circa 1970) was wrapped in a combustible material to achieve thermal performance levels sought today.
The names of those who died at Grenfell Tower should be chiselled on Thatcher's headstone.
Posted by niall connolly at 17:27
30 May 2017
In Britain, today, austerity has become the norm and a conservative government will only continue this trend should Mrs Mayhem secure another term. The only answer is to vote strategically for any candidate, not a tory, who has a real (not imaginary) chance of winning.
Posted by niall connolly at 18:27
25 April 2017
So, Mrs Maybe decided to take us to the polls again and I face a dilemma, just how do I make my vote count?
I'm a committed european and, in an ideal world, would like to see the UK develop stronger ties with the European Community so a vote for Mrs Maybe isn't on my agenda. But, like many people, I live in a political setting where the urban area would vote to stay but it is set in a wider constituency where the vaguely blue, probably the largest single party, will vote to leave.
Were the other parties, the Greens, Labour and LibDems, to work together, I'm sure that they would be able to overcome the vaguely blues but, I doubt that they could so, Mrs Maybe will divide and conquer.
And I am left to consider the appalling prospect of my vote, however considered, being wasted.
Posted by niall connolly at 13:47
31 March 2017
In response to the upsurge in 'fake news' where April Fool articles inundate all forms of popular media, HM Stationery Office has announced that, from 2018, the United Kingdom will no longer have an April 1st on calendars printed in the UK. Instead, calendars will carry the new date 'April 0'. This minor change will ensure that there can no longer be any doubt about the truth of articles published on the first day of April.
Posted by niall connolly at 23:30