Feb 092013

An engineer’s observation:

All humans make errors; all human processes sometimes result in errors.

Guns amplify human errors.

This was triggered [sic] by this news article:

There were (at least) two very different sorts of error:

  1. The decision to shoot was wrong
  2. The shooting itself was poor quality

When someone says “guns don’t kill people, people kill people“, is that supposed to make me feel better?

No! If people can amplify their errors with guns this scares the shit out of me!

Jan 192013

I’ve just finished watching the 3 Swedish-made movies in the Stieg Larsson “Millenium Trilogy“: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Girl Who Played with Fire The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest I was gripped by the character of Lisbeth Salander, and not only because of the mesmerising acting by Noomi Rapace. I couldn’t help wondering what her Myers-Briggs Type Indicator would be. And I suspect INTP. Others think INTJ. But INTJs “tend to plan their activities and make decisions early; they derive a sense of control through predictability”. Yet I think she “tends to withhold judgment and delay . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 042013
Why are people born 1945-1965 called baby boomers?

In the UK there wasn’t a baby boom that started about 1945 and ended about 1965. Yet the belief that there was is embedded so deep in the nation’s psyche that people casually assume it in conversation without needing to justify it. The people they are talking to probably also believe it. (If you also believe it, have a look at “Further reading” at the end of this article. The evidence to the contrary from credible sources such as the Office of National Statistics is overwhelming. And I am not the only person to have pointed out this error). These . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 032013
In praise of "NIMBY"!

I haven’t previously thought much about the attitude of NIMBY (“not in my back yard“), except to recognise the term as pejorative. I’m not currently threatened by developments close to my house. (Even the nearby  A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road proposals which I’ve studied and responded to). Then I saw this on Twitter: What a nasty attitude! There is nothing hypocritical about defending your own property from deterioration and devaluation. (And I’m sure James O’Shaughnessy would defend his own lifestyle against deterioration; his job once didn’t exist, so is that a reason why young people can take over some . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 142012

It wasn’t until I read the following editorial in the Independent that I thought much about the PCC election tomorrow: Editorial: Police commissioners are worth voting for Here are my options for the Greater Manchester police force area. Should the candidate be independent of any political party? If so, why? One candidate thinks so: Roy Warren, Independent But the argument for a PCC who is independent of a political party is not made by this candidate. He clearly believes it, but didn’t explain what’s in it for me. Perhaps he is right, but if so the only way to find . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 102012
Welcome proposals for householder defence against intruders

There were welcome new proposals at the Conservative Party Conference: Tory conference: Burglary ‘over-reaction’ to be allowed Conservative Party conference 2012: new right to attack burglars Tories go back to basics on burglars Homeowners Get New Rights To Attack Burglars I’m 5ft 4in tall. If the intruder in my home is 6ft, then ‘disproportionate’ is my only hope There have been many responses to these proposals saying that the law is OK as it stands. But that is nonsense, and lawyers are the wrong people to make the judgment! The current law is confusing and is of no use when . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 022012

From yesterday it is a criminal offense to squat in a residential property, hence my house. Good, and about time! This is a complicated matter, and there are claims from lawyers and people representing squatters that the change to the law is unnecessary because there were already remedies. I said why this was false in my post of nearly a year ago The law on squatting in my house in England. That post also linked to the response I sent to the Government’s 2011 “Squatting Consultation”. Here are comments from 3 points of view: real home owners; empty house owners; . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 282012

In order to demonstrate how little I understand national and international economical affairs, here is my view of a multi-stage approach to solving Greece’s problems in the Eurozone! Rather than lead up to it with waffle, here is the summary: 1. Help Greece exit from the Eurozone under control, but stay in the EU. 2. Implement something like a Marshall Plan to help Greece become more viable. 3. Allow Greece back in to the Eurozone when it has properly met the criteria. It is pretty obvious that one of the most serious problems for Greece at the moment is that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 092012

I have sometimes been critical of “multiculturalism“. But it is clear that I use the word in a different way from many other people, and I have probably anyway been muddled about what I mean by the word. So I’ll try to clarify how I use the word, and what my opinions are about multiculturalism. Culture and multiculture Start with “culture“. I’ll go with Wiktionary, at least for the time being: “The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation”. “The beliefs, values, behaviour and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life”. The single most . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]