Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Neil's Climate Carol Book

Warm Christmas

I’m dreaming of a warm Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Until strong declining in our Sun’s shining
Brought on a time of ice and snow,

I’m dreaming of a warm Christmas
With every thought that I can form.
May you keep from cold, snow and storm!
And may all your Christmases be warm.

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful,
Greenies, leftists, journos,
O come, all believers in agendas green.
See droughts and storming?
Preach “That’s Global Warming!”
O come hide the decline,
O come hide the decline,
O come hide the decline,
God! It’s cold.

Deck the Halls

Deck the halls with lots of lolly,
Falalala la, lala la la.
‘Tis the season of green folly,
Falalala la, lala la la,
We’ve just got a fat new grant,
Lies to tell and fear to plant,
So we’re feeling rather jolly,
Falalala la for Climate Change!

Hark! The Warmist Chorus Sings

Hark! The warmist chorus sings,
Praise to Michael Mann’s tree-rings.
So they say, these demonstrate
Warming at alarming rate.
CO2 they say’s the problem,
6 degrees and more per double’em.
So we must shut down the West,
And give trillions to the Rest.
Hark! The warmist chorus sings,
“We will tax you till it stings!”

But Reality intrudes;
Slowly, slowly, babes and dudes
Come to know the warmist meme
Ain’t as truthful as may seem.
Honesty is re-asserted,
Science is no more perverted,
Human progress is resumed,
Gone’s the thinking “we’re all doomed.”
Hark! We human beings say,
We can find a better way.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Broadcast versus Internet

Like many people in the UK, I have come to despise BBC TV. The other TV channels, too.
I haven’t watched TV at home for two years. Besides which, during that time, UK TV switched to digital, and my two dinosaur TVs are 22 and 16 years old respectively. So, I recently responded to a licence demand for £145 with “I no longer watch TV at home, and I do not have at the above address any television set capable of receiving digital transmissions.”
Now, I’m not too worried about the Jimmy Savile affair; such things happen. Surely, p(a)edophiles knowingly violate the human rights of their victims, and so are criminals. But they’re not nearly as bad as, say, soldiers that murder innocent Afghans or Iraqis in aggressive war. And producers that overlook indiscretions aren’t nearly as bad as politicians that make wars, taxes or bad laws on the basis of nothing but a crock of BS.
The Lord McAlpine scandal was a little different. Lord McAlpine must have looked, at first sight, like a perfect witch-hunt victim. A stuffed-up Tory (and so a favo(u)rite target for the BBC). Turning his back on political correctness (worse). And living outside the UK, too (in tax exile? Worse still). How to “get” him? Easy; accuse him of being a p(a)edophile. The masses will believe the BBC not the facts, and will excoriate him!
But Lord McAlpine was not such an easy victim after all. Not only was he innocent of the charge laid against him, but he could prove it, too. Furthermore, he had on his side what is left of the old ruling class; so his voice was heard.
Then there is the affair called “28gate.” Now the BBC is supposed, according to its charter, to be unbiased. To follow the facts, wherever they lead.
The BBC has long peddled green propaganda. And it has claimed again and again that human activities cause potentially catastrophic global climate change. That idea is, to say the least, dubious. But the BBC moved to full bias mode after a seminar held in January 2006.
According to a 2007 audit report by the BBC Trust, the BBC “has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.” In other words, if you don’t agree with the “WE are causing catastrophic global warming” orthodoxy, your view won’t be broadcast, so won’t be listened to.
But who did most of those 28 “experts” turn out to be? Greenpeace. “Stop Climate Chaos”. Church of England. “International Institute for Environment and Development.” Tearfund. (Who are they? Ask Google). Oh yes, and BP had a representative there too. And “Npower Renewables.” There were, it is true, a few scientists included; but they were all supporters of the orthodoxy. There wasn’t a skeptic in sight.
Best? Scientific? Unbiased? Tirez l’autre.
The sting in the tail is that the BBC recently spent lots of money on lawyers to oppose a Freedom of Information request for the names of those attending that 2006 seminar. The BBC won the case, but a few days later a blogger discovered that list – and more – on the open Internet. Praise be to the Wayback Machine!
And it isn’t just the BBC whose broadcasting I have rejected. I have rejected advertising, as well.
For years, regardless of channel, I have switched off the sound when TV ad(vert)s came on. Now, I remember a long-ago time when some of them were actually fun. From my visits to the US in the ‘80s, I remember “Nothing works like a Chevy truck” and “Where’s the Beef?” I enjoyed those; though I didn’t buy. The last ad that didn’t turn me off was the Energizer Bunny of 1989. Now? Ads are mostly evasiveness and misdirection.
And I have rejected TV news. Now, I confess that I have “previous” in this area. Even in my teenage years, I would usually go out of the room when my parents put the news on. For I have always been quick to recognize bullshit and spin. And I am well aware that few, if any, of the stories on TV news are the whole truth – or even “nothing but the truth.” In the US, most news is biased according to the political beliefs of the faithful of the particular channel. Elsewhere, it is biased towards political correctness and away from facts and independent thought.
But “modern” news is even worse – it is so intrusive. For me, “breaking news” becomes broken news at the first repetition.
Things are hardly better with “entertainment.” There was a time – the ‘70s, and a little way into the ‘80s - when I found some entertainment program(me)s to be, for want of a better word, entertaining. No longer. Today’s “entertainment” seems to be no more than a series of “celebs,” most of whom I’ve never even heard of, behaving badly towards each other and the rest of us.
The one thing broadcasting does well is to relay the atmosphere of a live event – for example, a football match. But I don’t need to watch that at home – I can go to the pub, can’t I?
Reading what I have written here, you might be forgiven for thinking that I am a traditionalist conservative. But I am not that at all! If you doubt me, read my novelJ.
So then, I have given up on TV. Do I then, now live my life in isolation from other people and their ideas? Not at all. I use the Internet.
There are some very obvious advantages of the Internet over broadcasting as a source of information – and, indeed, of entertainment too. First, it’s under your control where you browse. You don’t have to accept other people’s choices or go out of the room, as I had to in my teens.
Second, you can browse when you want, without having to think ahead. Granted, since video recorders became available, you can record a broadcast for subsequent watching. But that still requires planning in advance.
Third, the Internet allows you to look back in time, to what sites looked like in the past. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Praise be to the Wayback Machine! Of course, it can be embarrassing, to those of us who run websites, to be caught “with our pants down.” But, to honest people, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.
Fourth, the Internet enables you to compare and contrast different viewpoints on an issue. You aren’t stuck with one politically correct channel, or with several views none of which you find sensible. And better, if you can read a language or two, you aren’t even restricted to sites in English!
Fifth, anyone can get in, cheaply, on the Internet publishing act. Even me!
Sixth, even the mainstream print media feel themselves forced to have an Internet presence. You can, therefore, read most of the guff produced by “the papers” – if you want to – for free.
Of course, the Internet has problems. First, there’s a lot of garbage out there, as well as the good stuff. But that, to me, is merely an incentive to sharpen my judg(e)mental skills, to improve my (already decent) BS meter.
Second, the Internet is young. It’s starting to work quite well at providing information (here, I find myself tipping my hat to Google, and ever so slightly inclining it towards Wikipedia). It’s not yet even infant at providing entertainment; though YouTube, perhaps, may grow. Facebook and Twitter, as yet, I reserve judg(e)ment on.
Third, there are those that want to destroy or control the Internet, and to censor us and restrict our freedom of speech. Some of them have vested interests in the existing political system and in the old media. Others want to rule over and to harm innocent people. You know who – and what – they are.
Anyone with even a milligram of love of freedom in their bones must reject the Internet censors and their policies. For, if their ideas were worth anything, they would simply publish them (on the Internet, indeed!), and let individual people judge them as each sees fit. Those that want to censor others’ ideas are merely showing that their own ideas are worthless. And so, that they are worthless.
Fourth, the Internet copyright situation is a mess. Unlike some of my friends, I do not subscribe to the idea that there can be no such thing as copyright. I copyright my novel, indeedJ. For an author has invested a large amount of time and effort into his saleable work. He deserves to reap the rewards from what he has sown, according to how his readers judge its worthiness. And therefore, he deserves protection from those that would rip off his work, and sell it as if it was their own.
On the other hand, the only just aim of copyright laws is to protect the reasonable interests of the author (or his heirs or assigns). Therefore, copyright can only ever be a civil-law matter, and to try to make copyright violation a criminal offen(s/c)e is wrong. My view is that something publicly available without payment cannot be copyrighted. In other words, nothing on the Internet can be copyright, unless it’s behind a paywall. The only copyright infringement possible on the Internet is to take something from behind a paywall, and then publish it on the open Internet. And the only sensible sanction is damages for loss of reasonably expected income.
All that remains is for me to wish my readers much enjoyment of this small morsel of thought, and a happy beginning to the new era beyond the Mayan calendar.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What’s a “Political?”

In my book, I often use the word “politicals” to characterize those that want to stop us humans gaining the freedom, justice, peace and prosperity we deserve.

A few months ago, I discussed on this blog the question “who are the politicals?” The answer I gave then was a little long-winded. I am happy to say that I have now found a better answer, one which is both brief and in rhyme. Enjoy!

What’s a “Political?”

By The Darn-Poor Rhymer

(hat tip to Ebenezer Elliott, the “Corn Law Rhymer”)

What’s a “political?” One that has yearnings
To wipe out your wealth and to steal all your earnings,
While spouting deceptions and lies fear-instilling,
And trashing your rights, spying on you, and killing.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Review!

A friend of a friend (screen name "Seneca") has kindly written a review of my book. I reproduce it here with permission. The review is in Dutch, so I have made the best shot I can at translating it into English. This was not an easy task, since my Dutch is both rusty and 30 years out of date!

Going galactic
Review by Seneca at

Neil Humphrey schreef met Going galactic een libertarische sci-fi roman. De wereld wordt gedomineerd door politiek, overheden, bureaucratie en corruptie. De buitenaardse Company for Galactic Advancement besluit om de ontwikkeling van de aarde een zet in de goede richting te geven. Daartoe start men een project op met mensen van verschillende nationaliteiten. Hoofdpersoon Neil uit Engeland zet zich met zijn teamgenoten aan deze Herculestaak.

Na hun opleiding en diverse bezoekjes aan de meest merkwaardige creaturen als 6 meter lange slangen, kerstbomen en eekhoorns wordt de oude Aarde gerevitaliseerd. Via een push & pull systeem worden mensen verplaatst naar een trainingfaciliteit (beam me up Scotty !), opgeleid en weer teruggestraald. Dan worden de bad guys opgepakt als dictators, oorloghitsers, machthebbers en bureaucraten. De wereld koerst naar meer vrijheid, welvaart, recht en vrede.

Going Galactic valt op door de vlotte stijl en positieve aanpak. Al wordt er hier en daar wat veel vergaderd en blijkt hiĆ«rarchie helaas ook galactisch te zijn. Het boek heeft ook een Nederlandse touch. In het team treffen we Cees uit Amsterdam die de projectgroep onder andere voorziet van bier en dames uit het Red Light district.

Er wordt teruggegrepen op religie, mythes en sagen in een moderne setting. Het rapturethema  doemt bijvoorbeeld op bij het laten verdwijnen van mensen. De situatiebeschrijvingen doen af en toe denken aan Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code) maar grondig is het wel.

Al met al een prettig leesbaar, humorvolle en creatieve toekomstroman waarin dit keer – voor de verandering – het Goede het Kwade overwint !

Going Galactic is verkrijgbaar in het Engels via o.a. Amazon en Blackwell’s.

English translation by Neil:

With Going Galactic, Neil Humphrey has written a libertarian science-fiction novel. The world is dominated by politics, governments, bureaucracy and corruption. The Company for Galactic Advancement decides to give Earthly development a push in the right direction. To this end, they set up a project with people from many countries. The team leader, Neil from England, and his team set about this Herculean task.

After their preparation, and encounters with notable creatures – such as 6 metre long snakes, Christmas trees and squirrels – the Earth is re-vitalized. Via Pushing and Pulling (beam me up, Scotty!), people are brought to a place of education, trained and sent back. Then the bad guys – like dictators, warmongers, rulers and bureaucrats – are arrested. The world moves towards more freedom, wealth, justice and peace.

Going Galactic, in a smooth style, takes a positive approach. Though here and there, unfortunately, there do appear to be hierarchies in the Galaxy. The book also has Dutch interest. In the team we find Cees from Amsterdam, who, among much else, brings to the project beer and ladies from the red-light district.

There are backward looks to religion, myths and sagas in a modern setting. The “rapture” theme is present, for example in the disappearance of people who are Pulled. The narrative now and then makes you think of Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code); but this book is radical.

All in all, a pleasant read, and a humorous and creative first novel, in which – for a change! – good wins over evil.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Global Warming – A Modest Proposal

Note: This has little to do with my book, but it's one of my more amusing essays. N..

Look, warmists, you’ve put yourselves – and everyone else, too - in a pretty pickle.

You have made accusations against human civilization – and, by implication, against all of us in it. You accuse us of causing, through emissions of greenhouse gases and in particular carbon dioxide, a catastrophic, irreversible change in the global climate, both presently and in the future. You make out that our civilization and our economy are not sustainable. And, presuming us guilty without trial, you promote harsh political action to stop our use of fossil fuels, and to curb our freedoms both personal and economic.

We realists, on the other hand, look at the facts. That is what realists do. We do not see anything out of the ordinary in recent global climate. We do not know of any hard evidence that raising carbon dioxide to even, say, twice its present level would, overall, damage the planet – in fact, we suspect the opposite may be true. But we do see evidence that if honest, productive people everywhere in the world are to have the chance to lift themselves out of poverty and up to the standard of living they deserve, wise use of fossil fuels will be essential.

The way you warmists have behaved also irks us realists. “Scientists” on your side have been dishonest. You have told us “the science is settled,” when it wasn’t and it isn’t. You have spouted propaganda and scares for over 20 years – yet the scares haven’t actually come to pass. You have called us nasty names like “deniers,” and have suggested that we are mentally ill. You have perverted the true precautionary principle – “look before you leap” – into bureaucratic gobbledygook, whose effect is completely the opposite. You have presumed us and our civilization guilty, without allowing us a fair and public trial. You have done your best to suppress the voices of those experts who are able to speak up for us.

You are hypocrites, too. Al Gore warns of huge sea level rises, but buys beachfront property. You tell us that driving in cars and flying in planes are bad for the planet; but you don’t stop doing these things yourselves. Indeed, warmist politicians, bureaucrats and academics fly, at our expense, to places like Copenhagen, Cancun, and Durban, where they enjoy jolly gabfests about “saving the planet.”

The dispute between warmists and realists seems to be at an impasse. So, in the same spirit as Jonathan Swift, I offer this modest proposal to help resolve the problem. I propose that we do some science – some real science. I propose that we do an experiment.

My experiment aims to answer two key questions in the global warming dispute:

(1) Does more carbon dioxide actually cause significant global warming – not in theory, not in models, but in the real world?

(2) Is a green economy without fossil fuels, as touted by the warmists, actually sustainable?

Here's my proposed experiment. We will divide the world into two zones, the Realist Zone and the Warmist Zone. The zones will be sealed off from each other with borders which no-one can cross, to ensure that the two economies are independent.

In the Realist Zone, there will be no restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. In the Warmist Zone, there will be zero-net-emissions restrictions. The experiment will measure temperatures over - say - forty years. It will also measure the economic success of each zone.

Once we know the boundaries of each zone, we will be able, before the experiment begins, to predict its climatic outcome. For if – say – half the world population were in each zone, that would mean an immediate, sizeable reduction in emissions when the experiment begins. Then, if climate scientists actually know how the climate works, they can estimate how much cooling (or warming) should take place, both (a) if more carbon dioxide actually does cause significant warming in the real world, and (b) if it doesn’t. With luck, they might even reach “consensus” on the two estimates.

We will also, of course, be able to predict the economic outcome of the experiment. And it could be amusing, too. For all their talk about sustainability, one thing the warmists haven't proved is that a green economy actually is sustainable in the real world. In other words, that an economy restricted by bureaucratic and anti-fossil-fuel regulations doesn't inexorably slide down into poverty and starvation. Well, this is their chance!

How could we divide the world into these two zones, without violating the rights of innocent people? That, I think, is easy. Let the inhabitants of each country decide, in their own way, which zone they want to be part of. In democratic countries, that will be by referendum. In absolute monarchies and dictatorships, by edict of the king or dictator. In each place, by whatever means they find appropriate. Then, for a period of - say – five years, open all borders. Let those in countries which go Warmist, who don't believe the warmist hype, leave for the Realist Zone. And let those in realist countries, who support the global warming agenda, move to the Warmist Zone.

In fact, we must go further than that. If any promoter, supporter or enforcer of the global warming agenda refuses to go to the Warmist Zone, that means they wanted to impose on others policies which they aren't willing to have imposed on themselves. Such hypocrites cannot be tolerated in civilized society. “Scientists” that faked data or methodology to try to promote warmism; warmist propagandists and campaigners; politicians that bought into the warmist agenda (and, in Europe at least, that is almost all of them); bureaucrats that wanted to use the agenda to increase their power. If they won't go voluntarily, all must be expelled from the Realist Zone.

The warmists, of course, will have the same right, to expel from their zone those who don't support the global warming agenda. But I don't think there will be many – honest, productive human beings won't want to be trapped in the Warmist Zone, so they will have left already.

Then we seal the borders of the Warmist enclaves, and start the experiment. It will run for forty years. But if one molecule more of carbon dioxide comes out of the Warmist Zone than goes in, the forty-year period re-starts right there.

It's fun to speculate which parts of the world might actually go Warmist. I can't imagine the Canadians or the Russians, both of whom would benefit significantly from a warmer world if it did happen, going anything but Realist. Nor the Indians nor the Chinese, neither. Nor can I imagine the Middle Eastern oil producers wanting to give up selling their black gold. Nor most Americans wanting to give up their cars and their air-conditioning. In fact, I don't think there are too many honest people, even in Europe, who if they found themselves actually having to decide between Realist and Warmist zones, would pick the Warmist.

It’s even possible that not a single country in the world would go Warmist. I do like to think, however, that North Korea might go Warmist, particularly if we grease their palms to do so. Wouldn’t it be fun, packing off the politicians to Pyongyang? Failing that, our best bet would probably be to move the Greenlanders – there are less than 60,000 of them – and let the warmists have Greenland. They like cold, don’t they?

It's also fun to speculate about the economy in the Warmist Zone. I personally doubt that a warmist economy could last five years, let alone forty. An economy composed of politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and other politicized no-goods won't be very dynamic or productive, will it? Not having affordable energy won’t help them, either.

And where will the entrepreneurs be? The engineers? The creative, productive brain-workers? The honest, non-subsidy-craving farmers? The dynamic, honest working people? You've guessed it - all these people will be plying their trades in the Realist Zone.

And we in the Realist Zone won't do anything to help the warmists. It's entirely their own fault. If they wanted us to feel any concern for them, they shouldn't have supported political policies designed to harm us.

Of course, if the warmists do survive their forty years in the wilderness, or if bad things befall the planet in the meantime, we may need to re-integrate them. Well, that’s something I’m happy to leave to future generations.

There is an additional benefit to my proposal. The five years without borders will, I hope, help to counter nationalism and all the stupid politics and wars that flow from it. As well as encouraging peaceful contact between people of different races, cultures and religions. Once liberated from borders and politics, I don’t think people in the Realist Zone will want to go back to them.

And unlike Jonathan Swift, I don’t propose to harm Irish children. Unless, of course, the Irish go Warmist! But judging by the Irish people I have known, I think that unlikely.

Well, there’s my modest, realist proposal. Is it a deal, warmists?

Monday, 20 August 2012

What is Right, and What is Wrong?

On a train journey home after an evening in London, I fell (as one does) to contemplating morality. What is right, I asked myself, and what is wrong? And I conceived several answers to these questions, from differing viewpoints, and all in rhyme. So here they are.
(1)  The Autocrat
What is right, and what is wrong?
Might is right. Bow down, O throng!
What I tell you, you’ll obey.
If not, you’ll get put away.

(2)  The American conservative
What is right, and what is wrong?
GAHD is right, and he’s so strong,
If ya disbelieve GAHD made ya,
U.S. troops will come invade ya.

(3)  The Academic Philosopher
What is right, and what is wrong?
I am right, and you are wrong.
I’m the one who gets the laurels,
‘Cos I always win the quarrels.

(4)  The Tippling Philosopher
What is right, and what is wrong?
Oh, that’s difficult and long.
Now I’ve told you, I do think
I will have another drink.


(5)  The Climate Alarmist
What is right, and what is wrong?
We’re all DOOMED! Just hear that gong!
Gotta stop that GHG!
But, of course, you’ll pay, not me.

(6)  The Moral Relativist
What is right, and what is wrong?
What is scent, and what is pong?
I will say – not being two-faced –
Right and wrong are merely taste.

(7)  The Politician
What is right, and what is wrong?
Vote for me! Ker-chink! Ding-dong!
I’ll thank you, then I’ll legislate
What’s bad for you, good for the state.

(8)  The Australian
What is right, and what is wrong?
Right means a full billabong.
G’day, I’m Bruce, and I’ve no doubt,
Right is floods, mate - wrong is drought.

(9)  The Confused
What is right, and what is wrong?
Is wrong right, or is right wrong?
One’s good, one’s bad, that’s plain as day,
But which is which, I cannot say.

(10)                  The Writer
What is right, and what is wrong?
Are my rites too short, too long?
Maybe this wright will make more money
If he writes verses deep and funny?

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Who Are the "Politicals?"

A former teacher of mine made a comment about my novel “Going Galactic,” which I think deserves a response. He felt that I had over-simplified my case, by laying too much of the blame for all that is wrong on the politicians. And he gave two good, specific examples, the media and the bankers, of others deserving blame.

This criticism is justified. Re-reading chapter 1 of the book, I find that my coily friend Professor Bart Vorsprong did indeed make himself less clear in this matter than he usually is. He was clear, indeed, about what he meant by the “political model” (p.2):

“The political model involves the acquisition, by a relative few, of power over the many, and its maintenance by means of violence, fear and deceit.”

He also used the terms “political sub-species” and “politicals”. By these, he meant “users of the political model.” But he was not entirely clear which kinds of individuals he included under those terms.

I have pointed out to the good Professor his small omission. And, should there be an electronic edition of my novel, he has undertaken to provide for it an expanded section of his report, which will rectify the fault.

In the meantime, I will try to clarify here just what I mean by “politicals.”

My use of this term has its roots in an idea of the German thinker Franz Oppenheimer. In his book The State, first published in 1908, he said:

“I propose in the following discussion to call one's own labor and the equivalent exchange of one's own labor for the labor of others, the ‘economic means’ for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the ‘political means.’“

I make a similar distinction between politics and economics in my novel (p. 254):

“At a higher level of thinking, people began to see politics for what it was – an outdated way of dealing with others, based on nothing better than violence, dishonesty and intimidation. They came to compare and contrast it with the way of dealing with others, which is natural to human beings – economics. A way based on being a value to others, and trading with them in an environment of peace, honesty and justice.”

So, who (or what) are the politicals? Simply put, they are those that use Oppenheimer’s “political means” in their behaviour towards others, rather than the “economic means.” In other words, they take wealth from people who earn it, without offering anything those people want in return. And many of them use the proceeds to damage the lives of their victims, not just in terms of money, but by damaging rights and freedoms as well.

There’s a very obvious class of politicals, which my former teacher rightly pointed out – the bankers. For decades, the bankers have gambled with our money. As long as they won, they pocketed the profits. But as soon as they lost, they sucked up to the politicians to make us pay to bail them out. I did call the bankers out in my book as being “politically rich” (p. 242), but I think I was unduly kind.

Some other politicals are in it mostly for the money, too. Many bureaucrats, for example. Or the landowners that take subsidies for wind farms, which (as is well known to those who have looked at the practicalities of wind power) can never work as a primary power source.

Any subsidy-craving “business,” indeed, is not a true business, but a political sham. The same applies to “businesses” that go running to the politicians to get themselves lucrative monopolies, or to disadvantage their competitors.

Many politicals, though, want more than just money. They want power. They want to be able to impose their particular world-view (deep environmentalism, for example) on others. To this end, they love to spread fear and false guilt. The media, many academics and some teachers fall into this category.

But some go further yet. They actively want to hurt the people they don’t like. And they want to be able to get away with their crimes. In short, these politicals set themselves up, without any moral justification, as if they were superior to ordinary people.

All that being said, however, the politicians do deserve a lot of the blame. For they are the ones that make the unnecessary and immoral wars, the arbitrary and crippling taxes, the oppressive and unjust laws. They are the ones that publicly and persistently pollute our environment with lies and hypocrisy. They are the visible tip of the political iceberg. It’s true, of course, that not all individual politicians are actively evil; but, considered as a group, they might as well be.

Now, consider the distinction Oppenheimer made. Think about the difference between the political and economic ways of doing things. It should quickly become clear that the politicals are not at all superior to the good, ordinary people who live by the economic means.

Indeed, those that use the political means are morally far inferior to peaceful, honest, productive people. They are worse than mere criminals. They do not deserve any respect or sympathy; rather, what they deserve is contempt and loathing.

I hope that I have now clarified what I mean by “politicals,” and given a sense of why we human beings should reject them. That sense – part of what I call in the novel “the Personal Transition”- is, I think, beginning to spread through the population now, as the politicals find it harder and harder to disguise what they are.

So, I will end with a quote from my novel (p. 255), on how we will deal with the politicals when the tipping point comes:

“And there grew in the minds of good people a demand to bring the politicals to justice. All those that had taken an active part in politics deserved to be thoroughly investigated, scrutinized and judged as individuals. And those – whether politicians, lobbyists, bullying bureaucrats or officials, media, corrupt corporate bosses or other vested interests – that were found to have used political ruses to harm good people, or to profit at the expense of good people, deserved to be made to compensate their victims, and to be treated as the criminals they were. It was now their turn to feel fear and guilt.”

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Would an Encounter with Galactic Technology be a Good Thing?

I recently came across an article by John Goodman (http://healthblog.ncpa.org/could-classical-liberalism-survive-an-encounter-with-an-e-t/) putting the case that an encounter with Galactics and their technology might be a bad thing rather than a good thing for human beings.

His first concern is that some individuals – those who receive and master the technology first – would get big gains as a result, while others would face big losses. And that who won and who lost would be all but random.

His second concern is that any use of such technology, however good the motive, would be likely to have unintended consequences, at least as likely bad as good.

I find that I can’t agree with him. Of course, I have to make some assumptions. Firstly, that the Galactics are benevolent, and that the technology in question is beneficent. If what was on offer was merely a more effective way of killing people, for example, then John Goodman’s first concern would be spot on. Warmongers and warriors would win, and peaceful human beings would lose. The consequences would be all too predictable; although they would be hardly unintended by the warmongers, because that’s what warmongers do.

Also, I don’t think that the results of adopting a new Galactic technology would appear as quickly as John Goodman suggests. For most technology depends on other technology. A tractor, for example, requires fuel to support its continued running. Maybe a tractor sent back to the 18th century would have an initial impact, but once its tank ran dry...

Unless the Galactics supplied, not only one specific technology, but all the lower-level technologies required to support it, I think that changes would not be quick. Perhaps the most beneficial result of receiving a piece of Galactic technology might be identifying the technologies it depends on, and starting towards human development of equivalents.

Secondly, I assume that the Galactics are sufficiently socially advanced to have concern for the individual. I can’t imagine that species could evolve to the level where they can gallivant around the Galaxy, without also evolving social systems far superior to the outdated, corrupt, violent, unjust, anti-human and anti-individual politics we suffer today. Some kind of liberal individualism, I believe, is necessary if a species is to advance much further – or, indeed, any further - than where humans are today.

Therefore I assume that the Galactics have a strong sense of individual justice, and so are concerned about the issues John Goodman raises. They would, I think, be relaxed about inequalities which arise out of differing levels of merit, but they would strongly wish to avoid creating injustices. So, they wouldn’t randomly give their technology to some and not to others. Even if – and, perhaps, particularly if - it was only one step above current human technologies. I expect they would probably be very careful about choosing who deserves to be allowed access to their technology.

As to unintended consequences, I expect that a mature social system would hold the Galactics responsible for the consequences of any misuse of their technology by a “junior” species like humans. I doubt that they would just chuck us some technology and leave us to play with it. I expect that some of them, after “first contact,” would stay on to train people, to help with the supporting technologies, and just to check that all is well.

So, I think that an encounter with Galactics and their technology would likely be a good thing for the human race. An encounter with their, presumably advanced, social systems could be even better.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Welcome to Going Galactic

I have created this site to tell you about my new novel “Going Galactic,” and to get your feedback and ideas.

This site is a work in progress. I do plan, eventually, to write a sequel to “Going Galactic” – but don’t hold your breath! And I may also put some of my more “serious” writings online here.

I will try to publish and to respond to all polite and relevant questions or suggestions. But again, please don’t hold your breath, as I only plan to moderate (at most) once a day.