Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Early Purple Orchid - Many Thanks To You All

Early Purple Orchid (photographed today: 6th March, 2017)

This was posted by The Boiling Frog over at concerning Dr Helen Szamuely:-

On 24/06/2016: Well I was wrong ....
"Yesterday I was thinking about my first meeting with Alan Sked in 1991 at the house of Eva Taylor, widow of A. J. P. Taylor, our common supervisor and what came out of that. What a long way we have come. I claim some credit."
It was The Boiling Frog blog that led me to and the variety of useful influences and help in attempting to further expand the scope and improve the quality of political discussion and debate in the UK concerning this subject. I think I came across the blog sometime in early 2013 or perhaps just before. Pete North Politics Blog: Helen Szamuely:
"Helen was a massively influential part of the early eurosceptic movement long before Ukip became a household name. One of the original Brexiteers. She was a hugely respected thinker on the right and a well known voice in conservative circles."

I had not heard of this lady but it brings to mind the many many people who started this movement far beyond my reckoning(some as far back as the late 1960's in the Campaign for an Independent Britain CIB group) and contributed in the right way to it who are not well known but who need to be thanked for their early and essential actions.

On that note, this blog (finally) ends. I aim to start a new a new website and continue what others started:-

John Ashworth has produced another excellent Fisheries booklet... "Seizing The Moment: The Opportunities For UK Fisheries After Brexit" while Scribblings From Seaham has started another website for Real Democracy: Direct Democracy 4 UK "Moving Forward – A Public Consultation." and Lost Leonardo has murmings of starting blogging again...

For current Brexit Research from Dr. RAE North, don't forget to keep checking and reading (and re-reading) The Brexit Monographs at as well as the daily blogging.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The Spectre Of (Real) Democracy

One of the most persistent considerations of Brexit has been:-


I noticed this common and recurring theme in Pete North's blogs and his considerations and general feeling about Brexit post Referendum.

Yes, Brexit is a mess. So what?

"Just this morning I noted Theresa May announcing that the Swansea Bay tidal barrage "is part of our plan to deliver an economy that works for everyone and will mean £1.3bn of investment and 9,000 jobs". They haven't learned anything.

We are not a country that can piss money away on eco-vanity projects any more. We stopped being that country in 2008. The politics of binge and splurge to keep the plebs in make-work jobs is dead in the water. We want the fundamentals addressed."
"With Hinkley Point, the eye watering strike price is much the same as the Renewable Obligation Certificate scheme. An incentive to make a bad idea attractive to business. Rather than being direct taxation it effectively grants corporates a licence to raid our wallets through our energy bills.

Politicians love it because it notionally creates jobs - but that is a result of government spending, not foreign investment."
"And who does this keep in jobs exactly? Middle class engineering graduates. People who vote Tory/Blair. Effectively, since 1997 the UK national grid has been an elaborate corporate welfare scheme whereby the mug punters are obliged to fund the vanity schemes of politicians peddling their eco credentials." 
"Finally I would add how little I care. When I look at Nissan and Airbus I mainly see massive job creation schemes which have a history of taking big government money - largely as part of an industrial strategy to keep jobs in the regions. Though valuable they are a sticking plaster masking a more deep rooted economic decay."
"For a while I have has the impression that we are in a period of stagnation. For all the government's boasting of boosted numbers in jobs, there is an air of unreality to it all as people are shunted into insecure work and increasingly pushed into "self-employment". The fundamentals are not sound. The middle class is being propped up by massive government spending on defence and energy and soon HS2."

Considering I've only just tipped over 200 blogs, whereas this blogger has blasted past a huge number, it's one way to consider things from someone who has honestly put a lot of their energy, attention and time forming their work in this subject. Not only that, the great meme of the Remain campaign was for so long based on "3 million jobs!" (which itself has an interesting and mutating history).

Sorry Civitas, it's not ok to walk away

"We anticipated the usual remainer lie that three million jobs would be lost should we leave the EU. Our argument was that these jobs depended on trade, not political union. It was therefore necessary to show that we could end political union while maintaining favourable trading conditions."

One of the core arguments in FLEXCIT was to anticipate the counter-argument based on FUD: Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt. A spectre of dread to so many people. Strangely enough this spectre looms over all the news broadcasts and all the agitation of people anxious about the outcome of the withdrawal process. Why?

Dr. RAE North's latest blog points out a summary of why: Brexit: back to darkness

"This (albeit limited) intelligence comes in a briefing from Alex Pienaar, head of EU exit policy for HMRC. He says that, "any form of customs controls will increase the costs to businesses and consumers of imported and exported products", adding that these costs "can be both financial and measured in time/delays".

What we have here is the first official acknowledgement of problems to come. And, in a separate piece, we also see recognition that: "the situation would be particularly onerous for those exporting food and other agricultural products into the EU with delays of up to a week for meat tested at official laboratories".
"As its worst, a botched Brexit could rival the Great Depression in its effects on the UK economy, returning darkness to the land. At its height, the 1929 depression cost the US some 30 percent of its GDP.

Destroying our external trade is as good a way as any to trigger an economic depression. Our Brexiteers seem determined that we should have one. Our government seems happy to give them one.

In FLEXCIT, this is precisely the scenario stipulated as first of all avoiding in our planning and secondly in our communication of such planning to people to vote upon.

To vote upon, via our politics. We've come full circle, in effect from prediction to fulfillment. All the while talking about the effect of our decisions on our jobs. A quick summary of the various sectors Dr. RAE North has been writing about tirelessly and assiduously demonstrates the shattering detail of this statement:-
  • Customs
  • WTO
  • Formula 1
  • Global Fraud
  • CETA & Meat
  • Duration of Trade Negotiations
  • Automotive Sector
  • Cosmetics & Standards
  • Border Inspection
  • Maritime Surveilance
  • Tariffs, REACH & NTBs/TBT
  • Elevator Business
  • Geographical Indications Standards (GI)
  • Digital Single Market
  • Medicines & pharmaceuticals 
  • Fishing Policy
  • Hazard Equipment Market
  • ........... [ list continues counting] ............................................
To quote the last listed bullet point:-

"At that point, he [David Davies] said, they were looking in detail at over 50 sectors and cross-cutting regulatory issues, a statement he was to modify on 2 February this year, when he claimed that the number of sectors covered had grown to 58.

On this blog, though, we've recently looked at 20 sectors and can see hundreds more that need to be considered, if the department for the UK's exit from the EU is only covering 58, then we're in serious trouble. One of those sectors which Secretary of State might have missed is the growing market for the very specialist equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres, the so-called "hazardous area equipment" market."

There's in reality a lot of jobs involved by a lot of people within all these sectors. But what dominates so many people/voters attention is:-

It doesn't matter who wins the US election. The decadent West is in terminal decline ~ Christopher Booker

However, this spectre is an image, with a human semblance only seemingly ushering in to millions tremulous emotions. Much much more terrible in it's "titanic" true form in it's irresistible and implacable force and almost impossible to understand effect on turning people into "tiny cogs within a huge machine" (Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand" in other words) and where people spend so much of their lives' finite time: Fuelling our economies:-

One of the very interesting things right at the start of FLEXCIT:-

Our vision: The Harrogate Agenda

"Our vision is of a self-governing United Kingdom, a self-confident, free-trading nation  state,  releasing  the  potential  of  its  citizens  through  direct  democratic control of both national and local government and providing maximum freedom and responsibility for its people."

Isn't that what our economies were supposed to yield unto us? Progress, GDP, Consumer Goods, Trade?

Monday, 20 March 2017

Adventures into the depths of "Irrational Brexit"

 ISO 216: Paper Sides Length : Width aspect ratio (1: 1.4...)

ISO 216 specifies international standard (ISO) paper sizes used in most countries in the world today, although not in Canada or the United States. The standard defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size. Two supplementary standards, ISO 217 and ISO 269, define related paper sizes; the ISO 269 "C" series is commonly listed alongside the A and B sizes.
All ISO 216, ISO 217 and ISO 269 paper sizes (except some envelopes) have the same aspect ratio, 1:2, at least to within the rounding to whole numbers of millimetres. This ratio has the unique property that when cut or folded in half widthwise, the halves also have the same aspect ratio. Each ISO paper size is one half of the area of the next larger size.
"The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations.
Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and as of March 2017 works in 162 countries."

 A size illustration2.svg

One of the biggest mistakes I know I've made concerning the EU Referendum Campaign was insisting that people could argue more successfully if they acquaint themselves with the arguments more rigorously (so to speak). An ideal situation for arguments to flourish. Whereas I know from my own experience of making mistakes, I have to make almost "all the mistakes in the book", before I then feel like I have really learnt whatever it is that I was attempting to learn. I'm sure there are people who do learn more effectively by doing what is required right away and being more methodical and logical in their approach: I'm not one of them though and perhaps most people are not, also?

Worse, not only the poor learning efficiency of most people (including myself), but the profusion of invalid arguments and numerous false conclusions built from a majority of false information and some true information mixed together aka "Both Sides Have 'Good' Arguments For Remain or Leave" or "People want to hear the truth but the truth depends on how you interpret the arguments" (more or less one answer on BBC's Question Time from a canny woman MP on the panel: In effect feathering the political nest for future boom in business!). The Norway "All The Rules And No Say" very bad argument in particular, carried on in zombie fashion in the legacy news-media time and time again after it had died a horrible and deserved death (from a translation error mostly); given "un-life" by the prestige of various high society rhetorical salesmen.

I noticed a comment on recently that caught my notice, as it paralleled this long held "if only things were different!" useless response I've stubbornly held onto (having a desire to promote such a high quality work as FLEXCIT through good arguments to more people - with limited success) to the observation people can be provided with FLEXCIT :-

"Certainly, nothing has changed – for years. We have long since known that neither the so-called WTO option nor the free trade option were viable." ~ Dr. RAE North

FLEXCIT - Full Paper
FLEXCIT - Booklet
FLEXCIT - Speech ("The Movie")
FLEXCIT - Monographs post Flexcit
FLEXCIT - Mind Map (conceptual picture)

[Note: These links are just to establish clearly how available this strong argument has been to anyone, anytime: before, during and after the Referendum - of note in the lead up to Article 50 being triggered]

Richard North, 15/03/2017

"When in October 2013 I began the process of writing what was to become Flexcit, I quickly concluded that the so-called "WTO option" was a non-starter.

In my submission for the Brexit prize, I thus dismissed the idea, stating that a strategy based on an expectation that Britain can rely solely on WTO agreements, without securing direct agreements with the EU, would not be well-founded. Britain, I wrote, would struggle to maintain its current levels of external trade.

Of my various objections to the option, I specifically pointed out that the major problem was the proliferation of non-tariff barriers. As time has progressed, I have been writing more and in greater detail about the flaws in the option, to such an extent that you would think there was nothing left to say.

That was three years ago and so transparently obvious are the drawbacks that, had there been even a halfway intelligent debate, the WTO option would no longer be an issue. It would have been ruled out of the political discourse as too hazardous and damaging. The discussion would have moved on to more profitable and realistic areas.

But, not only has the matter not been settled, we have to suffer the low drone of ill-informed commentators such as Matt Ridley adding their ignorance to collective. Now we have a further offering, this one from Douglas Carswell
or other really strong arguments (true or false being another question entirely) but make little use of such attempts at strong arguments to promote successful political decision-making. And everyone wonders "why do things tend to go wrong?" in politics?

What I have so far tried to briefly demonstrate, using the WTO Undead Option, is that the arguments have been not towards proving a workable Brexit. The insistence on curious mixtures of persuasion and rhetoric camouflaging bad arguments or invalid arguments and/or "not viable" even if they are valid (because they their premises are so weak), takes precedence in our politics.

Isn't this irrational? Isn't it irrational when you have John Major and Tony Blair babbling away in Babel-17 (Decrypting: What is Babel-17?)on Brexit?

Brexit: all the wrong people

Dr. RAE North writes:-
It is even worse when they are ostensibly talking sense, as with Blair who told Andrew Marr yesterday:
one of the things I’ve done in the last few months is talked to a range of people and if it's permissible still to talk to experts, a range of experts particularly on the trade issue, I didn't understand how complicated this is going to be. If they're going to try and deliver exactly the same benefits as we have now in the single market and customs union, this is an endeavour of unparalleled complexity and what people explain to me is that normally in trade negotiations you're talking about how you liberalise trade, right. This is about how you de-liberalise over 40 years of complex trading arrangements.
 [Red Cliffs note: Red = Persuasive style of Blair (his actual arguments about complexity are valid arguments: See FLEXCIT), his signature delivery style that I detest so much because it sounds like thousands of slithering snakes and apparently for a long time was so effective on so many people...]

Then we have John Major who offers this unarguable if unpalatable observation:
The 48 percent who voted Remain have as big a stake in our future as the 52 percent who voted Leave: they, and especially parliamentarians, have a right – indeed a duty – to express their views. No one can, or should, be silenced. That being so, it is time for the minority of "Ultra Brexiteers" – those who believe in a complete break from Europe – to stop shouting down anyone with an opposing view. It is not only unattractive but profoundly undemocratic and totally un-British. What is most striking is that, amid all the noise they make, they comprehensively fail to address any argument put to them.
[Red Cliffs note: Blue = Highly Ethical point: To argue successfully requires both sides to be permissible participants for their side of the argument and the other side of the argument, in promoting strong arguments and identifying strong arguments: On both sides to draw closer to what we consider to be what is the state of things as they are, with which we then choose our decisions] The Ultras don't qualify as participants of arguments is a very important label correctly applied to them by Major (even though he too abuses his own delivery with his own style of rhetoric and persuasion).]

"All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Brexit together again."


That Humpty saying about "being on a wall" then "falling off the wall" seems appropriate for the mess on display! How to make any sense of it all? Well coming back to that long held feeling I've had about the effective use of arguments: It seems if you hold the premise that Britain should remove itself from the EU (Read The Great Deception for "Why?" questions and FLEXCIT for "How?" questions and browse for your self "What?" questions (eg Europe, the UK, Globalization etc) you would naturally try to prove this argument to other people.

And yet the opposite process is evident as I've tried to demonstrate in this blog above: The irrationality of Brexit reigns supreme "above the surface". I came across a name for this type of argument actually which is a very clever approach to arguments themselves. I don't comment on whether there is any consciousness in how things have panned out or whether it's a natural manifestation but what we're witnessing is the argument and the truth of the argument expressing itself one way or another (it will have it's say):-

There's a type of clever argument I only just came across and registered fully; which goes about using "Proof By Contradiction" and this is very applicable to our new friend (2 = "Brexit Ultras"/ Remoaners) as per the standard used in the dimensions of paper (above):

Proof By Contradiction method on The Square Root of 2

proof by contradiction is a form of proof, and more specifically a form of indirect proof, that establishes the truth or validity of a proposition. It starts by assuming that the opposite proposition is true, and then shows that such an assumption leads to a contradiction. 

We're assuming that The WTO Option or The Free Trade Option are true and then putting them to the test against the actual conditions to produce a contradiction: Article 50 for one glaring example. It might NOW be questioned if this is such a good idea to "play with fire", but we're past that point now, given May's declaration to invoke Article 50 and start the count-down on Brexit.

It seems as with mathematics, so with politics, the best way to deal with Irrationality (of numbers of people) is to use Contradiction. I think this is something I will have to remember when dealing with people who don't wish to argue fairly: By their nature eg  2 ( 1 trillion = 1012 = 1,000,000,000,000 ) decimal places and counting, they behave irrationally and can continue providing irrational reasons forever and ever!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Brexit: Once again the animals were conscious of a vague uneasiness

 Halnaker Windmill - West Sussex: Ref:

"A windmill is a mill that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Centuries ago, windmills usually were used to mill grain, pump water, or both. Thus they often were gristmills, windpumps, or both. The majority of modern windmills take the form of wind turbines used to generate electricity, or windpumps used to pump water, either for land drainage or to extract groundwater."

I remember in the book Animal Farm, that one of the symbols of the new future for the Animals apart from changing the name from Manor to Animal Farm, was the construction of the Windmill. A device to reduce the labour required of the animals in running the farm. This became a powerful symbol of the fruits of fighting for their freedom and aligning with the new ideology of "Animalism" and the principles they had all agreed to live by and hence prosper altogether by: In fact without the "corruption" of old regime under Jones, and in combination with the combined energy of all the community of Animals who lived in Animal Farm, this "one for all, and all for one" Spirit of The Windmill would seem to set a future course towards progress. So where and how did it go wrong?

Obviously this "Big Project" ended up becoming over time less and less a function of investment of the useful work of the Animals who constructed it (towards theirs and their offspring's future) and more and more a political device in the hands of the supervisor Pigs. It does not matter which politician you pick at random, they all sound like Squealer, particularly the tone of voice they use, the actor's mashing up of semantics with expressive undulations of subtle and shifting inferences in the art of delivery. Likewise the training of the sheep to bleet out "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad!" or the "growling of the dogs" again on cue, doesn't sound too different to the persistent bleeting of mantras of Brexit such as, "We Sell More To Them Than They Sell To Us!" or "Control Of Our Borders!" growling. Or "Long Live Animal Farm!" / No Deal Is Better Than A Bad Deal!".

Once Again The Animals Were Conscious Of A Vague Uneasiness.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Politics: The Tedium Of Burning Off Nervous Energy

Gas Flare on Oil Rig

As per wikipedia:

"Gas flaring at many oil and gas production sites protects against the dangers of over-pressuring industrial plant equipment. When petroleum crude oil is extracted and produced from onshore or offshore oil wells, raw natural gas associated with the oil is brought to the surface as well... vast amounts of such associated gas are commonly flared as waste or unusable gas."

Each and every day I tend to find that underneath the surface of my daily routine, I'm a bag of nervous nerves jumbling together and managing to coordinate the day by ensuring these nerves are managed at the same time as working on the aspects that are directly relevant to performing my various tasks and duties according to external criteria and the measurement of success that connects to objectively.

I'd guess with Brexit, it's analogous? There's too many people with so much nervous energy, that is not very usable and hence over time as with the gas flare above the excess needs to be burnt off gradually, at the same time as extracting the useful or usable energy?

Pointing this out, is not really changing anything, but it is contrasting with what is always pointed out with little actual productive response from people interested in politics; which is:-
  1. Deliver the arguments to people
  2. It's just a question of how much exposure needed to get the message through. 
  3. Apparently this is what politicians do for us. Except they don't and can't.

In fact because this is what people believe IS politics, because what politicians do and say is for "everybody, everywhere and all of the time," reported through the news-media and then imitated by people: The result is this burning off/of nervous energy has become the full extent of public actual participation in the decision-making machinery of the nation (UK): Our politics.

It's interesting but listening to the student speeches for their GCSE English Language "persuasive speaking" module, they have in the high marking ones perfectly parroted this process from politicians to news-media to people in the arguments presented.

Here apparently the facts are laid out in pro vs con style and various arguments are compared and "scientifically measured" against each other, and along with news-media, applauded for doing so skillfully. Yet, what I would argue is actually going on here, is the "Gas Flare" component of politics. For what the students are really doing is fitting the arguments to the marking criteria of their speeches and what the politicians are doing equally when exposed to their source of information on the EU is fitting that to the rhetorical devices they use as their own marking criteria - which is the popularity they seek to gain from the morons who vote such a bunch of charlatans into their offices be it geographic constituency or sector of the economy.

Taking the analogy further, what then describes the actual useful energy component extracted as it were in our politics? Equally valid to ask: Can people be usefully involved in politics at this scale of millions of voters, so called "democracy"?

A lot of people would have chosen to vote Remain for selfish reasons: They don't want their house to go down in value or their business to lose money due to currency or export changes or rule changes and so on and so forth. Equally a lot of people would have voted for Leave based on nervous energy as well without really understanding the implications and scope of what Brexit necessitates; such as being sick of the lies of politicians and being excluded from politics or simply being malcontents or indeed gaining an idea that the EU is not all it's cracked up to be and that somewhere in the future there really will need to be a major decision to make: So why not make it now and force the issue?

In all these cases people choose the criteria that befits them: They don't choose the criteria very often that fits the actuals state of knowledge of the subject eg How little attention was focused on FLEXCIT in the YEARS before the EU Referendum decision as one if not an special one of the Brexit papers published and freely available to people to consult.

Because of this absolutely huge mismatch, we're probably going to experience the long tedium of burning off nervous energy around Brexit for years to come let alone the actual productive negotiations extracted finally.

I doubt many who voted in the EU Referendum will see or understand much of the effective energy extracted out of this political process: All they'll be left with is looking at the slightly attractive gas flare given off 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in the news-media and by politicians and by people who perfectly parrot this process believing it to be something useful that it is not. By the time the UK doesbecome noticeably distinct within or without the EU, people will then be considering the even worse tedium of bureaucracy of standardization that awaits once they can get over their state of nerves! But at least with this there is the case to be made that people could be contributing and acting usefully in their participation of politics according to their knowledge in their area of life and how these rules and regulations affect them?

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Brexit: The British Disease

It's worth listening to the Select Committees: Exiting The EU Committee with Sir Ivan Rogers. It's not worth listening to the shit-for-brains Politicians asking the questions however, which I've tried to capture in the cartoon above. In the EU the phrase "The British Disease" if I remember correctly refers to the idea of British euroscepticism being a possible contagion (attitude or belief) concerning the EU idea or ideology of Supranationalism which so dominates European politics in our current present.

However, in this blog "The British Disease" does not mean that: It means this:-
  1. Identify Change
  2. Establish Problems
  3. Moan about why the change happened and allow that to inform on reactions chosen - not work effectively on solutions.

In actual fact, the major problem of Brexit is the former EU perception of Brexit. Sir Ivan Rogers points out that the EU is based on a "Legal Order not Common Sense" and hence behaves as such. Also the problem with it's own "lack of solidarity" under conditions of change. Whereas our British Disease is summed up by a Scottish MP/SMP or whatever the hell it matters quoting Theresa May, our present Prime Minister: "No deal is better than a bad deal".

Sir Ivan Rogers also points out the perils of nomenclature clouding discussing Migration, which only echoes the larger battle in Maastricht concerning Major requesting the removal of "Federal" from that Treaty: In fact this divergence of conception of what is the EU is raised concerning the Cameron negotiations, itself harking back to the early 1970's...

In all that time the real British Disease has not been a predetermined genetic aversion towards Europe or Globalisation, as if some kind of assumed given order of nature, but this failure to understand change, to accept change for what it really is and work on effective solutions and hence appropriate responses and communication.

As for the EU, The Great Deception really does name their major problem with their chosen disease. I wonder how many people in European nations suffer this misconception, huge numbers; cue the EU budget... just like in Britain.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Brexit: Mission To Mars!

A bit more Victorian "spunk" should see us safely through.

I've been enjoying reading around/about Mars in various ways recently, such as enjoying The Martian film of the The Martian book by Andy Weir (what a hell-hole!). I've also read a number of other scifi books that relate to Mars variously too, such as The Sirens Of Titan and Man Plus. And most recently there's an interesting boardgame that I may decide to get my hands on called "Terraforming Mars":-

The goal is simple (!!!): make Mars habitable. Forget Matt Damon as the primitive first "Martian"; Terraforming Mars takes place much further in the future and unfolds over centuries, ending with a green and blue map of a Red Planet covered with cities, vegetation, and oceans.
In fact I looked into the scientific investigation of this subject briefly and it's very interesting looking at how damn difficult and how long in scale any such attempt would be to Terraform Mars into a "Living Planet" such as Earth.

If you look at the above TIME magazine you'll note it accurately points out the relevance of the science AND politics of our attempts and interest in The Red Planet (as opposed to our Blue Planet). Considering what a complete headache it would be to make Mars habitable in an ecological sense, is quite useful: Our ambitions reach their limits and we may decide that working on what we already have in front of us, is probably a more efficient option? But for that to happen, we have to have a huge political change in the world's ability to organize as per the wishes of the population and their mentality or world view. Here the "Mission To Mars" does seem to provide a politically useful and tangibly real tool to achieve this mental change at the scale of millions and perhaps billions? In fact all the above scifi books are excellent in identifying this in their various enthralling and insightful ways.

But it's interesting that the initial conception of "Mission To Mars" probably has to start with the explicit will to "go further into the unknown" and "break our limits of knowledge" and perhaps find that miracle that immediately solves all our world's ills, all in one go; that's invariably over the next horizon as opposed to right in front of us??! NASA provides various reasons for the missions to mars:-
  • Finding traces of Life (despite there being so much to study and understand already on Earth!)
  • Sending the first people to Mars (after the "lowly" robots!)
  • There's analogies to the Age of Discovery and not being "left behind" by other Space Agencies in developing "future tech" (that empowers future "PRAW-gress"!)
I'm not against it, despite the displays of irony above; it's quite exciting and one of life's deepest drives. But these ostensible reasons seem more like "cooked up" reasons to match what is already ambitiously and symbolically decided.

The other thing to note is that as a thought exercise, I don't have to think about a quick trip down to the shops. It's fairly easy to pack my bags for a trip across country to stay with friends and family. Some more planning for a holiday trip abroad and then again more planning and preparation for moving to live and work somewhere far away from where one presently lives. Perhaps if one is drafted into the military the preparation for extreme environments is much higher? Now imagine a full manned-mission to mars and the exacting conditions involved in that?!

That's well beyond me (though the military environment I have some understanding of what that entails and the commitment and sacrifice) and besides I'm more than happy living in the lush Earth ecosystems right here, particularly with Spring around the corner, too!

As a taster of one small part of making the journey to Mars for a probe:-

From: Orbital Transfers between Planetary Orbits: An Example

There's some really interesting mathematics in evidence here and it shows that even the basic or theoretical conception is a level above of planning the journey than a quick walk down the shops or grabbing an cross-country train ticket from National Rail Enquires... .

The point of pointing this out is to provide a concrete contrast to people making comments about Brexit plans to which it is the equivalent of a loud-mouthed and gobby idiot calling up NASA and blasting them for not following the faxed instructions written on the back of a beer mat to "Get Their Asses To Mars Already!" The other point of contention is to point out that the more complex the journey, and the more outside of our daily experiences, the more rigorous we need to adhere to knowledge domains and the preceding knowledge of what we can rely on in those fields compared to the risk of what can go wrong and what we do not know or cannot account for or can only account for in a limited fashion given our knowledge, experience and current state of competence. Not so long ago, with "Scott Of The Antarctic" being a saying highly relevant in my own father's lifetime.

In my next blog and aimed at a new website platform, I'll choose an area from the dozens of areas that suggests we ARE going to have to rely on what we already know, what we already have got up and running to make an effective and successful Brexit journey in terms of time and space and information change both objective and through politics the subjective transformation of peoples' attitudes: How about making use of what's already in front of us, before planning "day trips" to our neighbouring galaxy, Andromeda?

Then and again, perhaps I've missed the entire point of all this "sharing and caring" in the public discourse, the Brexit discussion in the media with the public and politicians and pundits is exactly the same drama as "football phone-ins" where "Chris or Chad or Chuck calls in putting the two teams to rights by shouting out the riot act!"??

I hope not:- EUREFERENDUM.COM by Dr. RAE North. I've had to reread these several times and often not even looking further at the various links within each. But if you want to have a go at actually "doing the math" as per the math-ed link above in calculating the orbital transfers on paper needed to send a probe to mars... here you go (!), fill your boots:-

Booker: shut outside the EU fortress19/02/2017
Brexit: heavy lifting18/02/2017
Brexit: geographical indications17/02/2017
Brexit: breaking up is hard to do16/02/2017
Brexit: a potentially explosive issue15/02/2017
Brexit: fraud-busting could slow the pace14/02/2017
Brexit: losing control13/02/2017
Booker: chaos at our ports12/02/2017
Brexit: journey into the unknown11/02/2017
Brexit: more equals less10/02/2017
Brexit: a temple of ignorance09/02/2017
Brexit: the politics of contempt08/02/2017
Brexit: Operation Stack here we come07/02/2017
Brexit: Britannia cannot waive the rules06/02/2017
Booker: a catastrophic act of national self harm05/02/2017
Brexit: the bottomless pit04/02/2017
Brexit: we only do aspiration03/02/2017
Brexit: White Paper - an act of delusion03/02/2017
Brexit: the Digital Single Market02/02/2017
Brexit: horsing around01/02/2017
Brexit: prepare to meat thy doom31/01/2017
Brexit: medicines for all30/01/2017
Brexit: taking to the air29/01/2017
Brexit: high stakes on REACH28/01/2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bercow's Law: Deus Ex Politics?

Lost Leonardo raises a very very interesting observation in his latest blog: Not Whether, But How:-
"What can one say when confronted with this level of wilful self-delusion? Europe is not the EU. I will keep saying that because it is true and because anybody who attempts to muddy the water on that particular issue is either being manipulative or is so stupid as to warrant no further attention. Many of the people who refer to the EU as Europe are both.

These are not knowledgeable people. These are people who have not troubled to learn anything new since the vote. Their arguments, if one can call them that, are stuck in the past, wishing after a referendum outcome that the British people declined to deliver."

What is an Argument?

An ARGUMENT is a sequence of statements of which one is intended as a CONCLUSION and the others, the PREMISES, are intended to prove or at least provide some evidence for the conclusion (using declarative sentences).

Though the premises of an argument must be intended to prove or provide evidence for the conclusion, they need not actually do so. There are bad arguments as well as good ones.

Building chains of premises based on midpoints being both premises to forward conclusions and such conclusions acting as premises subsequently are non-basic arguments or complex arguments. Those premises and assumptions which form the foundation of such arguments are BASIC PREMISES or ASSUMPTIONS.

If we are careful we define our premises. For example using the above diagram:-
  • Environment = European Continent
  • Economics = Customs Union, European Economic Area + Single Market, EFTA, UNECE and more.
  • Society = Various European Nations (see venn diagram of variable relationships) including a European Union.
  • Politics = Variable national demos as well as international and supranational and intergovernmental and global institutions.
To add to Lost Leonardo's examples is Speaker John Bercow: I voted to remain in EU recent statements or "argument" for voting to Remain as he freely communicates:-

  1. "Personally I voted To Remain" (CONCLUSION 2)
  2. "I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not." (NON-BASIC PREMISE or INTERMEDIATE CONCLUSION).
  3. "Partly for economic reasons, being part of a big trade block." (PREMISE).
  4. "And partly because we're in a world of power-blocs." (BASIC PREMISE or ASSUMPTION).
  5. "And I think for all the weaknesses and deficiencies of the European Union, it's better to be part of that big power-bloc, in the world. (CONCLUSION 1).
That is the order of his argument as it is said. To rearrange into the correct argument order:-

  1.  "And partly because we're in a world of power-blocs." (BASIC PREMISE or ASSUMPTION).
  2.  "Partly for economic reasons, being part of a big trade block." (PREMISE).
  3. "I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not." (NON-BASIC PREMISE or INTERMEDIATE CONCLUSION).
  4. "And I think for all the weaknesses and deficiencies of the European Union, it's better to be part of that big power-bloc, in the world. (CONCLUSION 1).
  5. "Personally I voted To Remain" (CONCLUSION 2).
It's worth noting that the visible majority of coverage of Bercow has been on point 5 his final conclusion in context to his SOCIAL ROLE IN OUR SOCIETY.

However it's worth a lot more to note his "basic premise" or assumption and what this foundation to his subsequent argument and conclusion and hence decision and hence information value input into this subject; is worth or worthless:-

Let's repeat it:-
  • "And partly because we're in a world of power-blocs."
  1.  IF we are in a world of power-blocs then as a single nation we must be part of one of those power blocs.
  2. IF 1 is true and observable THEN which power-bloc derives?
  3. IF we are in EUROPE (which is self-evident) then the only legitimate/sensible power-bloc or powerful or relevant power-bloc or best power-bloc is the EU.
Here Bercow has defined the model of our reality, our environment through IMPLICIT ASSUMPTIONS within his basic premise or 1st assumption of his argument. From this defintion of reality he then creates a model or concept of what this means in his next PREMISE:-

  •  "Partly for economic reasons, being part of a big trade block."
  1. Not only are 1-3 unquestioned and untested, but his economic concept of the EU as a "big trade block" is a bad argument. It firstly appears to define the EU as predominantly economics derived from our environment and not from our politics which it always was. You might mistake world wars as environment-driven conflict between European nations... but Anthony Scolefield's comment at - Journey Into The Unknown is powerful counterbalance to this view in mere representation of a huge other argument that exists but which is not propounded here (see below):-
  2. Secondly it also excludes the exploration of economic and trade relations with Europe and the EU and the rest of the world without EU Membership or assumes that such is so deleterious to our economy as to be a void choice even if categorical in possibility. Thirdly that such a decision being void now must always be void or void as long as is invalid and/or not viable either.
  3. Fourthly it assumes that the EU "trade bloc" not being a political creation (see point 1) is a successful "economic" or "big trade bloc".
"The terms of the Armistice of 11th November are quite interesting.One historian put it very well

'The Allied statesmen were faced with a problem:so far they had considered the 'fourteen commandments'(Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points) as a piece of clever and effective American propaganda,designed primarily to undermine the fighting spirit of the Central Powers,and to bolster the morale of the lesser Allies.

Now, suddenly, the whole peace structure was supposed to be built up on that set of 'vague principles', most of which seemed to them thoroughly unrealistic,and some of which,if they were to be seriously applied,were simply unacceptable'.
So in a few days punitive armistice demands were cobbled together which laid the basis for another war."
  • "I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not." (NON-BASIC PREMISE or INTERMEDIATE CONCLUSION).
  1. (continuing from the basic premise) Fifthly it assumes that the UK could not have been successful outside of this from the start (remaining in EFTA(-EEA) as a non-viable powerbloc) or that sixth a transition depending on time-frame may be more successful eventually. Here the definition or bad argument reaches it's final crystallization: For economic reasons Bercow prefers Remain. This statement does fit the apparent stupidity of May's White Paper and hence his comments gain political intra-logical coherence thus appearing deceptively self-evident and/or correct. But that is a product of the assumptions behind his initial basic premise.
Following this chain of logic and concluding that John Bercow has made a bad argument may have appeared laborious at this point. But the core concept of this blog is arrived at and named

Bercow's Law

The use of political argument to appear to be environmental or "reality" informing our context or conceptual understanding which surrounds future arguments in the political arena or argumentation. In fact his argument is a DEUS EX MACHINA argument of Politics and politicians manipulating and controlling the level they abstract (derive) from: SOCIETY:-
"Nietzsche argued that the deus ex machina creates a false sense of consolation that ought not to be sought in phenomena."
THAT IS THEIR RELATIONSHIP to which they are obsessed and driven concerning. Effectively once this is repeatedly done and becomes orthodoxy of political belief-systems; it's self-reinforcing: Hermetically sealing off data and research which in turn drives logical relationships which in turn should drive arguments which in turn should drive societies choices through political engagement.

Let's alight from such lofty heights for a moment and come back down to earth with a personal anecdote: I had opportunity to assist some students with their English learning as they had to make speeches. I noticed that curiously they tended to pick subjects such as gender politics or racism and other such moral Aesop bolted on one-liner style topics. It took some persuasion to ask the students to consider speeches on: One something they know a lot about and perhaps are skillful at carrying out (!) and Two something they find genuinely interesting to themselves which they personally picked as individuals (!) - not apparently important as per what they can always without fail find to watch on the news shows daily... . My final thoughts from the English lesson were that young students when learning English Language seem to imitate their proximate authorities (schools themselves suffering the moral hazard of education by law and thus by force of either threat of sanction/fine or imprisonment) as opposed to learn their actual relationship with the world through the relations which we discover when learning from Logic used in argument?

Monday, 6 February 2017

ABC Learning: The Politics of Brexit

Weblink To The Above Source of Information from Ivan Rogers:-

Subject: EU-UK relations in preparation for Brexit: Witnesses: Sir Ivan Rogers KCMG, former Permanent Representative of the UK to the European Union

This is a short blog.

The purpose of this blog is a task completion: "Find the most relevant political information from the preceding week on the subject of Brexit which provides the most helpful overview to people who are interested in understanding the politics of Brexit at the present moment in time."

Assumption: To provide a source of information which is helpful to the above task completion to people who still consider themselves as learning more about this subject but suspect that most sources of information are either inadequate or error prone to the extent of ostensibly appearing to be sources of information but in fact are some form of social activity for example propaganda being one category amongst many.


  • Learning involves the skill of filtering relevant information from irrelevant and erroneous information to increase focus and reduce distraction.
  • Learning involves increasing the "stamina" of the above activity in progress to be able to deal with lots of new information which may often be unfamiliar in form and structure and content.
  • Learning increases in effectiveness when the ability to spot errors in the above filtering is developed further: This provides sources of questions.
  • Often learning only starts with finding the sources that fit the first criteria most reliably. For example in the case of Brexit.
  • Efficiency of learning develops when automation of the above as a process is created or stored: To speed up the actual focusing on the actual relevant information.
  • From this each individual will develop their own particular skills to understand the information.
  • A framework of conception of the subject starts to develop.
  • A lot of repetition and study is required for the full learning process.
The above is a rough account of my own learning about the politics of Brexit, so it's far from a formal set of principles but perhaps a few helpful pointers for others interested in how people might learn more more effectively here.
Some of the problems, learners will have to contend with in the above talk with Ivan Rogers:-

  1. The questioners in the committee appear to me to not have a conceptual framework: Namely the people asking questions appear not be fully functional learners of the subject they think they have the competence to pose questions about (see the 3rd point about learning). I believe this as I find their questions hard to establish a connection with what Ivan Rogers is saying (who himself does skillfully manage to make connections from the obscure questioning) as I cannot easily work out their context in relation to the subject. Compared to this, I find I easily do understand the multiple dimensions of context Sir Ivan Rogers involves in his answers.
  2. For people totally used to the news-media format, the above will test their stamina of understanding probably exactingly. The density of information will be challenging to parse, to pattern, to arrange in mental conceptions in relation to further contexts, it will remain a very dense lump of heavy substance to use a word picture and effect of exhaustion on comprehension.
  3. The more familiar with the actual subject the more usefully one can filter out the "hackneyed" redundancies in language ie phrases and such like that are empty of information value and reflect much more the struggle of the people attempting to communicate ideas with each other; often through mixed and confused motivations; around a subject they don't have a strong grasp of (instead of through it).
  4. The motivations of people mix the real ABC's of this learning exercise. Let's use some examples in the talk: On one side you have Kinnock making value-laden conclusions about the risks of Brexit not "being worth it" and on the other side you have Bill Cash acting as the high priest of "the people have spoken and will not be deterred from their absolute right to sovereignty" as based upon the Referendum result. Before stating what "ABC" means, which should be familiar to everyone in a different form, to investigate not the A as here, but the C as per this week's
In the EU Referendum Campaign there were two notoriously full of BS flags held aloft by each side the Remain and Leave official campaigns:-

  • "£350m to spend on the NHS saved from wasting/thieving on the EU."
  • "The demons of FUD will get you! if the UK leaves the EU."
If we all assume most of the time that all of the adults voting in politics are mostly rational, why do we allow such BS to to be the flags around which each group rallies around and fights these political battles?

To communicate to millions of people, in films there's a device known as "Anvilicious"; helpfully provided from TVTROPES (everyone should be so familiar with by now):-

"A portmanteau of anvil and delicious (or possibly vicious), anvilicious describes a writer's and/or director's use of an artistic element, be it line of dialogue, visual motif, or plot point, to so obviously or unsubtly convey a particular message that they may as well etch it onto an anvil and drop it on your head. Frequently, the element becomes anvilicious through unnecessary repetition, but true masters can achieve anviliciousness with a single stroke.
Heavy-handed for the new millennium. Extreme polar opposite of subtle.

Most people as Dominic Cummings rightly points out in his long blog post on the subject make value-laden decisions, often resorting to their tribal chieftan or other (anthropolitically-the-same-thing) "belief leaders" (be they politicians or celebrities)."

Most people don't learn, they believe instead. And that means believing what your mother-surogate or dominant-group-father-figure tells you is good for you. It may or it may not be but if you don't know, you rely on those who you often fall back on to rely on, trusting they're looking after you as "one of their own" and visa versa.

As it stands at the present, this is the past description of domination of the argument as value-laden "so-called democracy". The present "negotiations" or phony war as Sir Ivan Rogers calls it, can be characterized by another heavy object: Anchoring:-

Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the "anchor") when making decisions. During decision making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgements. Once an anchor is set, other judgements are made by adjusting away from that anchor, and there is a bias toward interpreting other information around the anchor. For example, the initial price offered for a used car sets the standard for the rest of the negotiations, so that prices lower than the initial price seem more reasonable even if they are still higher than s what the car is really worth

Cash and Kinnock hold arguments that only fall into the above behaviour in evidence, by the way. Hence so much of the talking of Brexit is at this Behavioural level only stems from dictating each groups' own particular brand of gospel ie coded language singing  to the belief systems of large groups (hence why each side cannot fathom the other's strange and WRONG! tribal customs and beliefs), leading to very little explanation - merely consternation at bizarre behaviour of people interacting with each other that seems to so obsess so many people unproductively (another example the incessant obsession in the news-media with anything related to Trump; amusingly Robert Harris in the Evening Standard suffars from this without seeming to have seen it in Blair or Mandelson during their particular political hay-day). We have moved on from the A at the start considering people's value-laden basis A For Attitude to decision-making roots, to the behavioural descriptions operating, the B For Behaviour. Lastly the C:

As above EUReferendum has been providing these:-


Brexit: the Digital Single Market02/02/2017
Brexit: horsing around01/02/2017
Brexit: prepare to meat thy doom31/01/2017
Brexit: medicines for all30/01/2017
Brexit: taking to the air29/01/2017
Brexit: high stakes on REACH28/01/2017

Brexit: fishing for policies26/01/2017

Brexit: of customs, chickens and roosts24/01/2017

I've removed the other blog posts which point out the aberrant behaviour level and left the Cognitive areas that are supremely useful if we can avoid distractions and not be beguiled by our more innate habitual biases...

These to use a picture are the SECTORS of our economy and society and state and the mix between all these - where for people we have strange organic patterns as of a surreal dream, for this we have some more neat and tidy engineering systems little circuits buzzing like so much plumbing, for illustration purposes and visual representation only (not accurate due to time requirements):-

Each slice is a "SECTOR" and within each "sector" there is numerous legislation for repatriation, and from that each "bit" of legislation has sub-divisions that need analysis. Not only that but each "bit" itself links to other "bits". For example:-

Brexit: fishing for policies

Obviously, with some regulations, there will be no problems. For example, we have Commission Regulation (EU) No 1129/2011, "amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council by establishing a Union list of food additives". This is a straightforward technical regulation and as long as we keep it in force, our trade with the EU will not be interrupted by virtue of disparities in rules on food additives.

On the other hand, there are the more complex laws that cover policy issues related to economic activity, and include the regulation and coordination of the actions of Member States and the Commission – plus other EU bodies. These might be considerably harder to integrate into UK law without, at the very least, substantial amendment. 

One such example might be Regulation 1380/2013
 which sets out the current parameters for the Common Fisheries Policy. If Ministers think they can simply re-enact this at a UK level, they may be rather disappointed.

 Brexit: medicines for all

The crucial point about medicines for human use is that their manufacturing, distribution and sale is currently an EU competence, and heavily regulated by a considerable number of legal instruments, many of great length and complexity. 

Even with the best will in the world, full separation from the EU, and restoration of independent control over medicines is not going to be easy, although there are elements that could make returning UK control easier than in some other sectors. 

In this short piece, though – continuing a theme introduced in several earlier posts – we look at the post-Brexit supply of medicines in the context of the UK Brexit strategy which is largely reliant in the short- to medium-term on the Great Repeal Bill, repatriating EU law and applying it as UK law. 

The idea generally is that we can simply pluck EU law out of its context and re-apply it with a UK label but, as we saw with fishing and other sectors, this may not be as straightforward as is imagined. 

This is just a sample of the productive level of learning and understanding once the barriers below this level have been removed, which are so innate:-

Ape tantrums: Chimps and bonobos emotional about choice

And perception of fairness on those Brexit negotiations:-

That all said, for people, the layer below behaviour which animals exhibit is based on our formation of our values and hence our attitude which informs are basic behaviour - BEFORE - we even begin the more challenging task of learning and growing our knowledge through more cognitive means. Eg as per Dr. North at considering the legislation as one form of measurement of scope for action in a very complex and very large operation in scale (time and space).

But even the above animals exhibit some basics here eg Fairness. I think the more people can learn about the subject, the more they will be persuaded to think in terms of fairness as being the most practical method of how to work Brexit successfully, be that for London, Scotland, Ireland, any of the European countries, whichever of the plus 30 sectors which are integrated into the Single Market and so on.

I looked at the usual offerings: The newspapers, the tv and the sheer quantity of this material which mixes up the ABC's of Brexit constantly only reinforces the idea that for people politics is some sort of specialist activity for experts, when so much of it is based at such low levels of behaviour masquerading as intelligent and rational decision-making. To begin learning it, separate these layers and focus on the Cognitive sources and raise the value and input of the national conversation on our politics.

Even Sir Ivan Rogers, who knows a lot about the EU and Brexit makes an error in saying that the EU was more of a market and now is more of a political thing. Yes it's true in one sense, but he fails to point out the origins of the EU idea were always of a Supranational Institution and this purpose seeking an audience to subdue instead of serve by means of gaining power in Europe. See Christopher Booker and Richard North's The Great Deception history. As Dr. North points out: Curiously those who supported this narrative now attack the narrative of FLEXCIT, their values at odds with their cognitive understanding dictating their monkey like reactions (see above).

What next? D For Deadlock?