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Archive for the category “Cynicism”

Just Over The Horizon

ScroogeThe Festering Season is coming.

How can I tell? (Other than the simple method of ‘look at the bloody calendar’) It really is quite simple…

  1. The bloody X-Factor has started
  2. There’s already a load of TV ads for Perfume, new console Games and shitty music compilations
  3. There’s also adverts from Park for “an Affordable christmas” for Christmas 2015, for fuck’s sorry sake.
  4. Supermarkets, not content with having chocolate selection boxes etc. out are now starting to put decorations and cards on the shelves too. (And yes, it’s still only mid-October, I know)

I’m just wondering now how long it’ll be ’til I hear the first bloody carol somewhere

 

Statistics

On the news last night, there was a story about how rural roads are more dangerous/deadly than motorways (which just makes sense to me – of which more in a minute) and one of their illustrations of this was this road sign

road_statsThis is supposedly a sign from “one of the more dangerous roads” – but 43 injuries in 3 years equates to 14 (point 3-recurring) deaths a year. That’s just over one a month. Not quite such a scary figure…  The same goes with 4 deaths in three years – just over 1 a year.

I don’t know if my viewpoint is a rarity, but I look at a statistic like that, and tend to think “I’ll go with those odds”.

And now, about those stats in the first place…

The stats in the story are :

  • 3 people a day die on rural roads
  • That’s 11 times more deaths than on motorways

To me, that all makes sense, for a number of reasons – including…

  • On motorways, people drive faster – but (in general) pay more attention when doing so. Sure, there’s still idiots – there’s idiots everywhere – but in general people are paying a bit more attention on motorways.
  • People definitely pay less attention – and drive worse – on non-motorway roads.
  • But also – on motorways, everyone’s going in the same direction. It’s *far* harder to have a head-on collision at speed on a motorway.
  • The speeds are higher, but with everyone going in the same direction, it also reduces the relevant impact speed. A head-on is the sum of the two impact speeds – so two cars hitting head-on at 60mph is an impact speed of 120mph. Even if you’ve got someone at 70 on a motorway hitting a stationary vehicle, that’s an impact speed of 70.
  • It’s not the same factor if you were to crash into someone ahead of you (for example) because they’re still going forward at 60-70mph anyway, so – as I understand it – if you’re going 70mph, and hit someone going at 60mph, the *impact* speed is 10mph – the difference, rather than the sum.

The other key factor is that I’m willing to bet that there’s one hell of a lot more miles of rural road in the UK than Motorway. In 2005, the DfT’s report said that the UK has 2,202 miles (3,523 km) of motorways.  According to this document, the UK’s motorways account for 1% – ONE PERCENT – of the total road space/distance.  So again, 11 times more deaths on roads that account for 99 times the road mileage.

All told, it’s just bad stats and shitty journalism

 

Publicity

Over the last few weeks, there’s been a whole load of stuff talked about IS (AKA Islamic State, Isal, or ISIS) – both stuff about hostages held by IS (and the killing thereof) as well as politicians saying how people who go to fight for IS in Syria and the like are just Wrong.

Maybe I’m missing something, but surely if you don’t want people to go and fight for IS etc., there’s a few things that could be done ?

  1. Don’t keep feeding them the oxygen of publicity. The more they’re mentioned, the more they’re talked about and covered in the media, the more they’ll be seen as an attractive option by those of a certain persuasion / defective nature.
  2. If you feel they have to be publicised, you do the same as happened to the IRA, where no spokesman was allowed to be broadcast, any statement was done by an actor’s voice, so on and so forth.
  3. And make sure you don’t show anything but disgust for them. Fuck impartiality, allow presenters etc. to show what they think. Make it clear, say “The terrorist organisation IS has done this, but that’s the most we’ll say about it”.

If you take away the glamour of the organisation, stop feeding them airtime and headlines, they’ll stop being popular.

Of course, the other thing that can be done is to stop focussing on, and alienating, those sectors of the populace, making them feel that the country is against them.

As an example of that, I’ve a colleague who happens to have the surname Ahmed. He flies a lot for the company at the moment, and has been told – in no uncertain terms – “Oh, your name makes sure you’ll never be on the accelerated access programme to get back into the UK”.  That’s a completely law-abiding, tax-paying, UK-resident, UK-born person, who now feels more victimised than he has any right to.

But of course as a nation, we’re not letting terrorists win.  Riiiight.

Scottish Independence

In a few day’s time, Scotland will be voting on whether they should become independent from the United Kingdom.

Personally, I don’t give much of a damn either way on this one, if I’m honest.

However, I do think it would be a more interesting referendum if it had been a UK-wide question, rather than asked just to the Scots.

Anyway – regardless of the outcome, what I hope is that there is a clear and large margin between the Yes and No votes.  I don’t want to see it being 49 to 51 or whatever – because then it’ll just end up with more fighting, that the people who are in that ‘minority’ (that’s still just under half, and thus makes for one heck of a lot of people) feel they’re being forced by the other half to do what they don’t want to.

If it’s a 75 to 25 in either direction – maybe even a 60/40 split then it’s harder to argue the toss at all.

Mind you, the cynic in me really wants to see it split 50/50, and see what happens then.

A Process of Re-assessment

This year has been absolute garbage on the job front. While I’ve never been out of work, I’ve had quite the selection of shitty employers, contracts and workplaces.

I don’t know if this is a developing theme in general, or if my quality control is currently shot to shit, but either way, it’s been making me think and reassess about whether I even truly want to stay in this industry of mine.

I’m not decided yet. Leaping out of this and into something else right now would probably be one of my dafter moves, and I know that. So I’m not going to bail overnight or anything like that.  (Although that doesn’t stop me from thinking about other roles, easier jobs – or at least jobs I perceive as easier – and wondering about whether those changes would result in less stress or more)

I don’t know. I hope it’s ‘just’ been a shit year, and that whatever comes next will be something where I just enjoy it again.

Mind you, that was the plan/hope with this one – the stuff at interview made it sound really interesting and positive, things that were up my street and really positive.  In fairness, the work itself *is* interesting, challenging, and new/fun. It’s just that the owner of the company in question is a lying, double-dealing ‘last minute dot com’ dick – which affects everything else.

Onwards and upwards, and we’ll see what comes next.

August

The last month has been a tough one – workwise at least.

There’s been a lot of stuff going on, new bits of the core business as well as ongoing new developments, and it’s been pretty fraught.  Learning a new system, figuring out what the original idea was, and finding umpteen issues with the entire thing. With all that going on – as well as some mistakes on my own part – it’s meant I’ve done one hell of a lot of hours, including a 36-hour working day this week when things went spectacularly wrong one evening.  I’ve had very little time off, been working weekends and so on. And while that’s kind-of been my choice, I’ve also been given the firm impression that it’s also expected.

The downside of it all has been a feeling that it’s all been taken for granted, that this is how things will be in this job. I’m hoping that’s not the case.

At the moment I’ve got my reservations about the whole thing. I don’t want it to be this way, but the impression I get is that it’s all about “we want this right now, and the hell with any plans you might have had”.  And that’s not an attitude that sits well with me, as we all know.

Things should calm down this month – that’s the hope, anyway – but it’s very much going through a review process in my head at the moment.

We’ll see. I’ll know more by the end of September, and just go from there.

Signage

At the moment I seem to spend far too much of my available non-work time on the road, so I notice stuff around me.

Over the last couple of weeks one of the motorway gantries on my route (the ones with speed cameras on) has been out of action, so there’s been a small – but noticeable if you pay attention – yellow sign saying

Camera not in use

Today though, I noticed that it has changed, and now says

Camera now in use

And lo, there we go, seeing it flash on speeders.

It just struck me as interesting, the simple alteration of one letter that means so much, and changes the whole thing – and I wonder how many people notice/realise.

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