My subject for today – illustrated by two examples – is the vexed one of how the human race copes with life on a planet with finite resources on the one hand and apparently infinite complications upon the other.
I grant you that’s a hell of an opening statement but there’s no particular irony in it.
The human condition has always been roughly similar, which is why history down the ages is so fascinating and to an extent can teach us plenty, but then again mankind’s relentless quest to “push the envelope” of its boundaries – cue a reference here to Henry Ford I’s dismissal “History is bunk” – is not only a constant driver of new technological and scientific development and exploration of every aspect of the universe but an essential part of what makes us who we are.
As someone once quipped in a statement both profound and “bleedin’ obvious”: “To achieve your dream, first you have to have one …”
The philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), the founder of Utilitarianism, whose embalmed body (as per his wish) is still on public display in the entrance of the student Centre at the University College London, first hatched the theory that humanity’s guiding principle was – or ought to be – the pursuit of the greater happiness for the greatest number.
Where that sits today – amidst the subsequent mayhem of socialism, communism, Western-style democracy, totalitarianism and indeed all the other crackpot life-schemes devised by loonies that appear daily on upon the world-wide web of the internet and are then believed by hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of those variously vulnerable, confused, ill-educated, ill-informed, educationally sub-normal and (most of all) impressionable – is a matter for discussion and possibly review.
After all, one man’s meat is another’s poison.
Winston Churchill is often quoted as having said “Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all the others …” [actually I’ve just looked it up and in fact his actual words – in a speech to the House of Commons on 11th November 1947 was “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time …”] but arguably even this notion is “up for grabs” at times of acute national crisis, e.g. in Churchill’s personal experience the Second World War, when the urgent need for concerted, dynamic and sometimes unpopular decisions and actions outweigh(ed) any nods to “government by consent of the people” as tends to hold sway in fond times of milk, honey and the sunny uplands of quiet and peaceful contentment for all.
When the going gets tough, the tough have to get going.
In many respects it all comes back to perceptions and individual subjectivity. And indeed “fake news” and how those with sufficiently strong motivations – whether political or commercial, noble or quite the opposite – can influence and/or manipulate the minds and actions of the masses.
When half the world believes one thing – and the other half believes something quite different and indeed completely incompatible – there begins the types of insurmountable problem that can threaten us all.
That somewhat muddled and simplistic summation is where I reached this morning upon spotting a couple of reports on the news websites.
Well, to be precise, just two of many of questionable veracity and the ever-snowballing effect of social media speculation and rumour posing as fact.
COVID-19 VACCINATIONS AND BLOOD CLOTS
On the vexed question of the safety of the Covid-19 worldwide vaccination roll-out as it applies to specific brands of vaccine and the side effects of specific medical issues or symptoms that accompany them – not least instances of blood clots generally (or is it of only a certain type of blood clot that affects the brain?).
It’s a big issue because, of course, there are cultural communities and groups of vaccine-sceptics who – either as a matter of principle or as the product of worries about “fake news” claims such as that various Governments are using vaccinations as a means by which to “control” their populations – are refusing “the jab”.
All of the above is complete nonsense as far as I am concerned.
In which regard, I present to Rusters today an image that I “captured” from the UK’s Guido Fawkes political commentary website – largely, as I see it, an apparently right-of-centre organisation.
If true – as I believe it is – it starkly destroys the claims that “blood clot issues” justify a large number of anti-vaccinators (including the EU and all its constituent parts) criticising and/or abandoning the use of products from certain vaccine manufacturers.
[For those who may have trouble reading it, the message is that the risk of getting severe blood clots from Covid-19 is eight times greater than getting it from the much-attacked AstraZeneca vaccine!]
Some human beings really do need “to get a life” and/or “smell the coffee”.
CRICKET BATSMAN “KILLS” THE BOWLER
Mid-afternoon yesterday, on the website of the Daily Mail, I came across a report upon a cricket match at the VVIP Cricket Academy in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh in India in which a disturbing accident occurred – a full-bloodied swing from a batsman had instantly killed the bowler.
It included a 15-second video of the incident which – de facto, whether by design (out of respect and/or as a matter of public interest) or accident – stopped short of showing the impact. I know because I watched it.
Imagine my surprise to find in the wee hours of this morning that said report had since been revised.
See here – as appears the website of the – DAILY MAIL
It just goes to show that you cannot believe everything you see on or in the media …