Talk about things you'd like to do,
10 November 2021
Talk about things you'd like to do,
26 December 2020
Transitioning seems to be something of a trend these days and I decided to explain my own transition. Yes, I’m transitioning from the MacOS environment to Linux. Its been a long time coming because, if I'm honest, I’ve been uncomfortable in my work environment for quite some time but I have never had the courage to come out and admit it, until quite recently that is.
So, what has driven me to embrace the world of Linux? Well, in part its been my growing dissatisfaction with being manipulated by Apple who are, quite clearly, determined to shackle their consumers (I almost said ‘users’) to their own, monolithic and monocultural ecosystem. This was made abundantly clear to me when I mistakenly upgraded my 2015 MacBook to Catalina. A lot of my existing software simply stopped working and ‘the Cloud’ took centre stage in setting up this new OS.
Now, call me old fashioned but I like to know where my files/documents/images are stored and I want them stored at my place. I don’t want them floating about in the ether and subject to Apple’s custodianship, something that they will, in the future seek to monetise.
So that was reason #1 for me considering my options and reason #2 was my introduction to a version of the Linux OS called Elementary OS. Some years ago, I dallied with Linux, trying out the Ubuntu version and, at that time, I overlaid Ubuntu with Macbuntu which sought to deliver a Mac-like desktop. Unfortunately it didn’t obviate the need for knowledge of .rpm and .tar files or the use of………the terminal. This last terrified me as I have absolutely no knowledge or understanding of the command line and a belief that, if I make a mistake (highly likely) whatever device I’m working on will melt. But Elementary OS has changed all of that and it has the look and feel of a mature, push-button GUI where installations happen in the background once you have clicked on ‘install’.
So, with a lot of encouragement from my brother, I now have a mini PC loaded with Elementary OS, hooked up to a 27” screen and a bluetooth keyboard, all of which work seamlessly. As a consequence, I can see a point in time, in the near future, when I might be able to sell my MacBook and maybe even my lovely 27" 2011 iMac and move to a world where subscriptions are a thing of the past and my files are mine.
Watch this space.
9 October 2020
23 March 2020
Gary Gibbon, C4's political correspondent, did his best to make something of it but, again, I was left with the feeling that I had missed something which was meant to be important, but wasn't.
Then, after a brief ad-break Jamie Oliver took over and I was captivated. He came out of the gate storming, throwing together a few tasty recipes focussing on the sort of stuff that you might have tucked away in the larder. He understood the problem that we all face - we're stuck in the house hoping to avoid the grim reaper and Jamie stepped up and tried to help. He's a fucking chef for God's sake and he left a huge impression on me, heightened by the stark contrast with the total absence of anything constructive offered by the Prime Minister.
Jamie - 10/10
Boris - report to the headmaster.
22 March 2020
What is the greatest threat to humanity? Covid-19 or Capitalism? Since the late1700s, Capitalism has turbo-charged population growth, consumption and exploitation of natural resources. Just before the advent of the Coronavirus, sections of the global population were signing up to Greta Thunberg's message which was, roughly, consumption/waste are the issues and we need to stop both. Greta isn't the first individual to propose this message but it's fair to say that she is the first to have energised a national or international movement and debate. But all of that is in the past now since Coronavirus has rewritten the front pages of every media.
Joke about loo paper.
Shopper: Oh, there's no bog paper
Me: Don't worry, get a copy of the Sun or the Mail
Shopper: Good suggestion but there's so much shit in them already!
So now, we need to consider just why Coronavirus is having such an impact. Firstly, humanity's lifestyle made it possible. Air travel spread it around the world extremely effectively. Secondly, individual governments were slow to respond, believing, I assume, that it couldn't happen here (wherever here might be). Thirdly, whilst it originated in China (an authoritarian society) it has gained a stronger grip in capitalist democracies which are less able to invest in future proofing (because there's no profit in it).
So the Coronavirus is tearing through organised societies, aided in large part by population levels and density and a cultural resistance to considering the good of wider society over the demands of the individual. And this gives me an opportunity to remind everyone that, "I blame Margaret Thatcher" and, by implication, her progeny in the Austeritory Party.
Thatcher, rather than believe in society, believed in the individual. And now we face a challenge that cannot be met by the individual and can only be faced by society as a whole. To do that we have to see ourselves firstly as a society and secondly as individuals within society. But, looking at the supermarket shelves, that is an ability that has withered in the years since Thatcher here, and Reagan in the USA, spread their poisonous, greedy and self-interested view of the world.
But don't worry, Coronavirus is proving that capitalism is no match for Mother Nature, where society might be.
17 March 2020
During today's 'Coronavirus Briefing', I watched our revered Primate, aka The Great Wanker, hosing down the various hacks with another load of bollocks about all of us being in this together. Remember that in 2010, shiney Dave Cameron was spouting exactly the same crap as he instigated the decade of austeritory where ordinary tax-payers paid for the 'risky behaviour' of the banks.
So, The Great Wanker sets off on exactly the same course and tells his tame Chancellor (ex-hedge fund manager Rishi Sunak) to introduce the programme of support for struggling businesses. Rishi does what he is told and blethers on about rates holidays and national insurance holidays and mortgage support, salary support, utility support etc etc etc ad infinitum. But in all of this twaddle the key feature of all of this support is quietly ignored and that is that all of the support is in the form of loans which will, of course, have to be repaid.
One journo, I think from the Times, did enquire as to the sense of saddling struggling businesses with more long term debt, postulating that it might make more sense for such firms to fold rather than take on yet more debt. The Great Wanker brushed this enquiry aside with more blether about us all being in it together and that its a war and that Britain's economy will recover and be better than ever, especially when we start selling Spitfires again.
Meanwhile a more limited version of 'Herd Immunity' continues with the Chief Medical Officer suggesting that keeping the death toll down to 20,000 would be a good outcome, even if a bit ugly. So, lets see how we get on over the next few months and it will be interesting too see if anyone is brave enough to work out what part of the final death toll can be attributed to 'Austeritory'.
14 March 2020
Evidently the Government's strategy regarding Corona Virus is to encourage 'herd immunity'. The idea is that if enough people (the herd) acquire the infection then the wider herd (us) will acquire immunity, if, that is, being infected and recovering does confer immunity. The figures quoted in order to acquire 'herd immunity' suggest that between 60% and 70% of the population need to become infected. Based on a UK population of 64M, that means that some 40M people need to become infected and, as a consequence, some 400,000 will die (based upon a 1% mortality rate).
This is great news for a Conservative government because, after a decade of austerity has undermined the health service, killing off 1% of the infected population will reduce the burden on our over-stretched social services. Maybe this is another example of Dominic Cummings' 'weirdos' thinking outside the box but it is definitely bad news for anyone in the 'at risk' category.