ALSO -The Last Furlong Blog

Friday, 28 July 2017

Free speech against IDEAS

Are we getting confused about free speech?

Yes evidently - this video takes the banning of Richard Dawkins for hate speech against Islam and asks the question - can you use hate speech against an IDEA?


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Suggested food possibilities for the Western World

Now, there are some times when logic should be used. Here is a link to a fascinating article to add to my alien planet archive. It's a 'keep'!

Should meat eaters in the West, eat insects instead?

Modern farming methods of animals in the West are absolutely terrible - torture for sentient animals. Mass torture in fact. Factory farming. A crime against animals.

Eating insects has become quite fashionable instead - healthy, natural, insects freshly harvested direct from forests and fields.

The logical thought is that several species of insects will become rapidly extinct if we do that of course - and will have to be factory farmed as well as cows, pigs and chickens too.

But what if insects are sentient as well?


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Free speech on an alien planet

I have never liked Richard Dawkins disdain of spirituality/religion. Though both are not the same thing of course. Richard Dawkins has neither.

He has been offensive to millions of believers of all kinds. He has bred a sort of insane 'Atheism' that is arrid, anal and produces cold, hard people that this planet could well do without. In that way, Dawkins has promoted Scientism rather than science.

He's charming. But not.

He is logical. But not.

Science is his rod and staff. And he has lived in the 'old world' like me. In the 'old world', there were certain rules.

The right to hold your own ideas.
Listening to others with opinions not your own.
The right to stand on your soap box if yoy want.
Challenging those with whom you disagree.
Grammar, education and cultural knowledge.
Family, marraige, morals, virtue.

Those were only some.

But does he realise as I do, that we are living on an alien planet now?

The new planet is ruled by Neoliberalism - the philosophy of marketing/money/greed being the God that we should follow. And the accolites need the creed -  me, me, me ME! to give offerings to the Gods of Greed. The new generations have been infected too by Postmodernism.

 Neoliberals advocate de-regulation in economic life while postmodernists advocate de-regulation in the cultural sphere. The new relativism of postmodernism matches with the laissez-faire attitude of neoliberals. Both currents of thought place the isolated individual in the centre of attention. Everybody has his/her own culture. The ‘I’ is liberated from the ‘we’. Both deny the possibility of steering or planning social developments, but proclaim the ability of individuals to re-create themselves.  Link
So now, the rules are different - young people have 'rights'. The right -

To material possesions
To university education.
To protection from pain and hard work.
To protection from challenge.
To protection from unsettling ideas.
To protection from grammar, old cultural influences of european westernism.
To protection from constraining morals, family, marraige, virtue.
To protection from the discomfort of frugality.
To protection from MEN.

In fact - the Snowflake generation is that which inhabits university campases mainly.

Richard Dawkins is obviously too challenging for them. And that IS a pity.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Reducing disabilities

Scientists are testing artificial wombs.

I think that's a good thing that might reduce the enormous amount of babies set to exist rather than live a proper life. On this alien planet there are more and more humans, not living, but just surviving.

Scientists Create Artificial Womb That Could Help Prematurely Born Babies
A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. A human device would be designed for those born 23 or 24 weeks into pregnancy.
Only about half of such babies survive and, of those that do, about 90 percent suffer severe complications, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, blindness and deafness, Flake says.
About 30,000 babies are born earlier than 26 weeks into pregnancy each year in the United States, according to the researchers.
But, it's not that simple.
Davis worries that the device is not necessarily a good solution for human fetuses.
"If it's a difference between a baby dying rather peacefully and a baby dying under conditions of great stress and discomfort then, no, I don't think it's better," Davis says.
"If it's a question of a baby dying versus a baby being born who then needs to live its entire life in an institution, then I don't think that's better. Some parents might think that's better, but many would not," she says.
And even if it works, Davis also worries about whether this could blur the line between a fetus and a baby.
"Up to now, we've been either born or not born. This would be halfway born, or something like that. Think about that in terms of our abortion politics," she says.
And, it could get worse!
There's also a danger such devices might be used coercively. States could theoretically require women getting abortions to put their fetuses into artificial wombs, says Scott Gelfand, a bioethicist at Oklahoma State University. 
Employers could also require female employees to use artificial wombs to avoid maternity leave, he says. Insurers could require use of the device to avoid costly complicated pregnancies and deliveries.
"The ethical implications are just so far-reaching," Gelfand says.
In the UK, we have torn each other apart with the Charlie Gard case.  Charlie Gard would not have been helped by gestating full term in an artificial womb, but he would be condemned to just 'being' rather than living. 

For mitochondria mis-spellings in families there is a technique that could assist the Gard's to have a healthy little brother/sister for Charlie. 

First 'three person baby' born using new method

So medical technology is both wonderful and terrible. Reducing disability, not simply extending 'existing' would improve this place that we call our home. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

LBGTQ, gender and sex - and animal rights

There is something strange afoot on this planet.  And we are getting caught in the currents of a new insanity. It's new, because, in the course of history, there has never been any question about some established facts of nature.

Baby things are usually either male or female. When they mature, they make further male or female babies. It's called reproduction. Sometimes, as in certain fishes, and snails  males can change to female or self fertilise. Like plants. That doesn't work in complex animals.

Male and female animals are stuck with what their chromosomes gave them.'Feelings' didn't used to change their sex.

But now, its all different. Feelings are facts and facts are not facts.Sex is not gender and gender can be chosen if you feel like it. 

How alien can this place be? There is no observable reality anymore. You can be anything you want to be by 'feeling' it and legally too. And others must conform with your perception of you.

Today researchers and activists in London released a ‘transfesto’, calling for greater awareness of issues faced by transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming people after they die.The manifesto calls on the funeral industry to develop more trans-friendly practices and for official death-related paperwork to be more trans-inclusive. It also outlines plans to make trans-specific legal information more easily accessible. >>>“Trans people must constantly self-advocate in life — for those of us with the privilege to plan for our futures instead of just our immediate survival, there is always a worry for us that our corpses will not be respected in death,” says Morgan Potts, a member of the Dysphoria Collective, who participated in the research. Concerns include ensuring that their chosen gender, pronoun and name is used both on official documents and in memorial ceremonies regardless of the body’s appearance.


Not only do such concerns about death feel strange on the planet I inherited/remembered, but animals have become so clever they can sue you!  Taking a selfie is pretty cute - but suing you for the copyright to it, is mind-bogglingly intelligent.

What HAS happenned to animals? Do you think threy are just 'feeling' like humans?

Image result for monkey selfie

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Is Neoliberalism - the alien part of my planet?

I think everyone has a sort of bullshit periscope in their brains. When bullshit enters their ears, the periscope looks about to see where it's coming from. 

My bullshit periscope oscillates all the time trying to fathom out what is wrong with the planet as I find it now. There is something seriously wrong with society. It's insane. It's daft.

I cannot put my finger on it.

My bullshit periscope reads a lot. It watches videos. It computes, weighs up, sums up and descerns. At night it drops down into its storage department in my head, refreshing for the next day.

Everyone has such descernment. It's not just me that thinks society has gone to hell in a handcart. On this blog, I'm going to complain. But I want to complain intelligently. 'Neoliberalism' is a new word for me..

Here is George Monbiot, whose writing I enjoy - but not always agree with, on Neoliberalism in an article from the Guardian  last year -

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin’s theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power.
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.
Among the results, as Paul Verhaeghe documents in his book What About Me? are epidemics of self-harm, eating disorders, depression, loneliness, performance anxiety and social phobia. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that Britain, in which neoliberal ideology has been most rigorously applied, is the loneliness capital of Europe. We are all neoliberals now.

This whole article is well worth reading - do it first - because TODAY he has published another interesting article called The Missing Link  which dovetails nicely.

It’s the missing chapter: a key to understanding the politics of the past half century. To read Nancy MacLean’s new book Democracy in Chains: the deep history of the radical right’s stealth plan for America is to see what was previously invisible.

The history professor’s work on the subject began by accident. In 2013 she stumbled across a deserted clapboard house on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia. It was stuffed with the unsorted archives of a man who had died that year, whose name is probably unfamiliar to you: James McGill Buchanan. She writes that the first thing she picked up was a stack of confidential letters concerning millions of dollars transferred to the university by the billionaire Charles Koch.
Her discoveries in that house of horrors reveal how Buchanan, in collaboration with business tycoons and the institutes they founded, developed a hidden programme for suppressing democracy on behalf of the very rich. The programme is now reshaping politics, and not just in the US.
Buchanan was strongly influenced by both the neoliberalism of Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises and the property supremacism of John C Calhoun, who argued, in the first half of the 19th century, that freedom consists of the absolute right to use your property – including your slaves – however you may wish. Any institution that impinges on this right is an agent of oppression, exploiting men of property on behalf of the undeserving masses.
James Buchanan brought these influences together to create what he called “public choice theory”. He argued that a society could not be considered free unless every citizen has the right to veto its decisions. What he meant by this was that no one should be taxed against their will. But the rich were being exploited by people who use their votes to demand money that others have earned, through involuntary taxes to support public spending and welfare. Allowing workers to form trade unions and imposing graduated income taxes are forms of “differential or discriminatory legislation” against the owners of capital.
Any clash between what he called “freedom” (allowing the rich to do as they wished) and democracy should be resolved in favour of freedom. In his book The Limits of Liberty, he noted that “despotism may be the only organisational alternative to the political structure that we observe.” Despotism in defence of freedom.
Do read the whole article - it's illuminating!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Roger Scruton: Moral Relativism Will Be the Death Knell of Western Civil...


I discovered Roger Scruton - well Sir Roger Scruton - SIR.

Never heard of him before.

He looks like he just got out of bed. He'd look like that, I'm sure, in a suit or pyjamas.

I love the way he talks - like Alan Watts. Relaxed, off the cuff sort of thing.

And I enjoy what he says. I LIKE it. Now that means that somewhere inside of me, I have found ideas that I feel are right.

He's been a naughty boy in the eyes of the world by taking money for writing articles in praise of smoking.

He smokes? Or smoked? That makes me immediately warm to him. He's MY age. He says things I can understand, and that feel right and wise to me.

He's a Conservative. Very.

I don't know what I am. I'm 72. I don't like this strange planet I find myself on. It is so changed that I don't feel at home on it anymore. Maybe I'm a Conservative?

I listened to this video. I'm archiving it here. I might want to watch it again to retrieve the thoughts I had today. It made me feel that my Alien Planet, might, in good time, become HOME again.