Trump & the tablets – news for a sick Western world

antidepressant

A couple of items hit us this morning – mind you, the hit would have been more gentle if I’d been on some sort of anti-depressant (they say) – apparently many, many more of us should be popping these things.  Of course we might explore why Depression is on the increase?  But then of course we know, don’t we?  The stresses of work, of being pushed toward targets, of consumerism, of crowded, dirty, lout-ridden streets, of dark TV dramas, of our drift from nature, and from neighbourliness and quality time spent away from the modernities of life today.  The very things we crave, that were supposed to help us, have had precisely the opposite effect.

The same morning it was reported that President Trump’s answer to the latest school shoot is to arm some of the teachers – we could go on at length – but it seems to boil down to:  ‘Want less gun-crime? Then get more guns

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new notification – is . . . .

We use Office 365 at work – and the toolbar comes equipped with a little Bell thingy.

Said Bell thingy shows a ‘1’ or something or other – depending on whether or not something has occurred to demand your attention.

Here’s the toolbar
notify1

 

I got quite excited this afternoon –
because my toolbar had a ‘1’ on it!
Here’s the notification I received


notify

As God is my witness – this system is now notifying people that they have no notifications.

Christine Legarde – Brexit speech today.

The only thing I cannot understand about all this is – why the surprise?

Why is this considered “news”?

We’ve had months and months of pathetic “bulldog” style posturing by the UK, followed inevitably by climb-down after climb-down. In all cases UK Politics has got in the way of any real thought. Or anything the people of this country might use.

It was always going to be a disaster, and one day those folks who voted us out of Europe might see what they’ve done, and/or recognise the rubbish that was spun to them.

December dreaming

snow_traffic

This morning’s Radio 4 news was full of Brexit, this week’s Grenfell disaster inquiry, and snow.

The single statement that most resonated with me afterwards was “most of the rush-hour traffic has disappeared because of school shut-downs”.

Imagine a world, or just a little country, where it would be universally seen as TRULY WEIRD if a schoolchild was driven to school, and the school they went to was the nearest one to their home, regardless of OFTED reports.

True, segregated cycle-paths meandered from all points outward toward schools, colleges, high streets – as intra-town traffic filed gently past, at 20mph, on the narrowed streets.

Christmas dreams.

 

Rewards

rewards

I was sat on a bench just now, and a bus cruised past with the American Express advert across it – exclaiming about rewards.
Now I know you know this, but these rewards, they’re not are they?  You buy stuff, there’s profit involved – and some of that goes to the a C/Card company who charge you interest, and then they give you a tiny bit back, from the amount they’ve already just been paid – by the same people who you just bought the stuff off of.

Sort of mind games for idiots, to be honest. I wonder how many branding professionals could be told to fuck off if we just didn’t bother? If the circle of crap was broken, lost most of it’s spokes and the value was the price paid, full stop.

Reward. There’s a word. Reward, there it is again – the same one. Twisted into a meaning that’s meaningless. It’s the same with Loyalty cards. You get points, be it for stamps on your card in a coffee shop, or automatically for going back to the same supermarket, or visiting one of the outlets whose cartel involve themselves in the same branding program.

And here’s the odd bit – this is about Loyalty – get the poor sods into the frame of mind where they’ve built-up some perceived value (points), and now daren’t sway away too far because (ha! like saving?) they can add to and increase their future reward. They’re trapped.

Never mind if said supermarket charges 30% more than the German one down the road, never mind if the £75 you’ve saved-up in your points by Christmas could’ve been £275 LESS spent in the year running-up, if the supermarket hadn’t been involved in these shenanigans and all their attendant costs.

But it’s worse isn’t it – now they are tracking where you spend and WHAT YOU BUY, enormous chunks of your data roll around the planet – by god, if we used half this amount of ingenuity and focus on some real-world problems it would help n’cest pas?

Yet for the bigger stuff, the telecoms, the utilities, the insurance, the bankers – loyalty is precisely not going to get you any rewards is it? Deals go to new customers, advertising is pitched at new customers – we want your money, for this deal only.

One commentator even put it this way – They’re either a creepy way to monitor and exploit your habits or a desperate gambit by weak retailers to distract you from their own shortcomings. Most companies use loyalty programs as a crutch when they’re out of ideas, and, therefore, these schemes are ultimately bad for customers as well. If a cashier tries to shove a loyalty card into your hand, it’s a good indicator that you should be taking your business elsewhere.

I sort knew instinctively – all those (30-odd) years ago, that this was a distraction, somehow I wouldn’t be seeing what I needed to see and feel if I allowed myself to indulge in this crap – it never, never really pays.

Teresa May offering sweeties

composite
L/H side – Guardian 29/9/17

Oooowww . . . she husks (she’s been taught to Husk) on seeing the EU treats bag being slowly edged away from her – “if I offer them some sweeties, maybe?”

The sweetie she has in mind is “maintain security co-operation with the eu”.

She keeps just missing the target doesn’t she?  Conservatives locked in their bubble of themselves, London-centric, big-business-friendly, money, money, money – never life, life, life.

So – if the eu doesn’t feel like listening to more of the self-deluded drivel from the Conservatives, we’ll stop co-operating with security?

What! Really?