Up very early this morning, Rain in the wind. Not good. A coffee and toast and a brief glance at Al Jazeera. More of the same. Killings, bombing, lies.
It takes a lot to shock me but I never realised how in debt we all are as a country. This arrived in my morning mail i.e. overnight. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt
How can long this system survive without collapse. By the way, if you are new to my diary you need to know my style. I do not hide anything or widow-dress. If something happens of significance then I will record it. That is what Samuel Pepys did. This privacy stuff is an illusion of vanity. We are all in the same boat and all within the same ‘consciousness bubble’ though it may not seem like it.
The pain of algorithms and roboticism.
My mailing client, MailPoet, has stopped sending daily reminders because there are an unusually high number of rejects. I can only assume they are writing to me because I recently cleared out my list and everything is in order. The trouble is, you cannot argue with a machine or even a machine based organization because they come too rely on it instead of thinking and treating each person as an individual. I agree this costs time and money but I prefer it any day of the week.
If we ever have digital wallets it will be 100 times worse because if some anonymous AI entity decides that we have used our carbon allowance, misbehaved in some way our payments will be rejected and on the spot there is nothing we can do. China today, us tomorrow. I hate to be so dystopian on a rainy Tuesday morning, or indeed any morning come to that, but we have to face this as a scenario that will affect all our lives and our freedoms.
A visit to see a friend and colleague
– face to face vs. ZOOM
Francoise and I met with a friend for a long overdue rendez vous at the Fiddleford Inn, Sturminster Newton. For non Brits, this is a village in Dorset, a county in the south of England. Due to its history particularly being off the main trade routes, many villages give the impression of not having been touched by 20th century civilization or de-civilization depending on your point of view and the journey was a pleasure.
It was slightly mitigated by lashings of rain, massive spray thrown up by commercial lorries, endless roadworks with traffic lights, but the whole journey is only one and a half hours in duration so one can put up with most things in that time frame.
Interestingly, my friend and ourselves arrived at the pub within seconds of each other. I thought that was great synchronicity and we both joked about it.
My colleague supplies me with information for my various websites. Both she and I are dedicated to sniffing out the real news, what is going on, not to mention the gossip. Things are never as they seen particularly with political campaigns. Participants can present a unified front and yet have great disagreements behind the scenes.
We arrived at the pub at 12 midday thinking that it would open only then but we discovered that the doors had been open ‘informally’. We found a number of locals drinking their early pints and enjoying themselves. My colleague is somewhat deaf so we asked if we could have a place a little bit out of the main thoroughfare and she took us round the back in a corner which was satisfactory. People who are hard of hearing tend to speak a bit louder so we had to ask her to speak more softly but she took it in good spirit.
I don’t know how many hours I have spent at ZOOM meetings. They achieve a certain purpose and they can bring people together who would not normally have the chance to meet each other, with some semblance of personal contact, but when faced with the real thing I much prefer a face-to-face meeting. I could describe it technically as having more bandwidth. When you say something and the person is right in front of you they might show a small change in facial expression that you would miss if you were looking at them and 16 other people on a screen at the same time.
On a Zoom call, you cannot chink your glasses for a toast, you cannot offer someone some crisps, you cannot give a little squeeze of your hand to your partner, you cannot see someone coming in the room and greet them and bring up an extra chair. These type of caring actions keep us human and my goodness this is a full-time job these days.
We discussed if our information that we try to communicate to people makes any difference and I said that we could never tell the effect except if we watch the same person in real like change or modify their attitudes over a period of time. For example, if I give someone a lecture on the necessity of keeping themselves clean and I see that over a period of weeks or months they take better care of themselves and look more presentable, then that would tell me that I’m using the right methods and have an attitude that they find acceptable. This brings it’s own reward.
However, when I say something on the internet or indeed at a meeting with someone on the street I have no means of judging, at least so far as my five senses are concerned, the effect I have had on them if indeed I had any effect at all.
British people suffer from self-depreciation and standoffishness and this lengthens the time that it takes to reach out to people with either something that is interesting, or a personal need. Some people would rather bite their tongues off than say what their soul is dying to share, that for example they need some help or they feel lonely.
I think we all need to get over this, wise up and become more assertive or even aggressive. At the meeting last night someone wanted discuss people who filled a room with their presence. I wanted to say that I have noticed that Caribbean and Jamaican people ‘enter’ the room before their body does. You need three things: love for everybody, absence of fear, and enthusiasm for some project or another. Enthusiasm is catching, people want more of it without knowing why.
I am very interested in the way that information is transmitted from person to a greater audience. We are aware of the role played by the old fashioned newspapers and books which have now been partly replaced by social media in all its forms. The ability to publish electronically means a huge saving in time and money; people can instantly inform others of latest events whether it be trivial or grave.
My colleague circulates about 35 people with the latest and greatest stories in the chosen subject. She does this through email. I read all her stuff every time because that is what I do, but if I had three children to look after, a part-time job and a husband coming back from work I would probably not have time to do more than glance at the emails and perhaps read one or two of them if I was interested.
It’s no good just staring at the words, we must get ourselves into the mindset where we can focus on what are frequently matters of importance. Generally, we are overloaded with information and the same time as being under nurtured..
Because my head is so buzzing with information I really have to discipline myself to read an article from beginning to an end. For example at the moment I need to re-read an article about the significance of the forthcoming rules and regulations of the World Health Organization and their implications on our freedom and behavior. Try focusing and see how well you do.
I have to be very specific about how I store information in my head. The problem is that if I take notes, I can miss the next few points and also my writing is so bad I can scarcely read it so the only answer is to wait for a transcription of the talk or simply record it on my mobile phone.
Reference a recent day conference in Milton Keynes which was packed full of information from various people and I found that through effort I could not recall more than a certain small percentage of what had been said. I think this is because I pick out the new and important things, and ignore the rest which I already know, or consider it beside the point for my researches.
Back to face-to-face. I think physical proximity increases the amount of quantum entanglement at all levels. Being aware that you are next to a living breathing a person with feelings, and with a heart, you would possibly say confidential things to them that you would not say to them even on the telephone. I know that people on service duty and overseas assignments can often have a very limited time to talk with their beloved ones and it must be torture to have just a few minutes to truncate, without much success, the sort of loving talk and exchange that should not be bounded by time. I suppose E-mails help a little.
Face to face is also more appropriate for sensitive issues where emotional release maybe involved. If I wanted to say that someone said something hurtful it may be that a heartfelt apology followed by a hug would do a better job than making hand signals over the ZOOM
I would definitely say things to a person that I would not say on the phone or by email even, just because they are there in front of me and I can gauge their reaction on a second by second basis and if I am mis-speaking then I can change my tack instantly.
Back to lunch – So the three of us sat and had lunch which consisted of 3 x one main course and a sweet course. Now I am a custard person so demanded a lot of extra custard with my sticky pudding asked in a very nice way of course. We had a bottle of Pino gringo between the three of us which was a little bland and warm but pleasant enough. The bill was £89. Our lunch took us Just over two hours after which we left for our various homes.
The reason for the meeting was to catch up with news but I actually saw it as a bonding experience for people who are on the same wavelength and goodness knows there are few enough of them. We both discussed when we spoke the truth about certain topics, people unfriended us when we had done nothing but ask questions and showing concern for their welfare. I do not think society can exist without trust, this cannot be built and sustained, people cannot trade or barter, people cannot hold a positive view towards for example governments or indeed local councillors if there is no trust.
Trust, like reputation, takes time to achieve and can be destroyed in an instant. The most extreme example of this is an act of sexual betrayal within a marriage relationship. There are some things you cannot undo and there will always be a doubt, a hurt, a stain that may never disappear.
So, I therefore propose a toast to friendship, face to face meetings, building trust, increasing understanding of the other party, drawing more and more people into groups for community purposes and listening to whoever wants to unburden themselves.
Whatever madness goes on in the world we can always strive to do this