This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
I must applaud the restraint shown by our bending author in his comments on the current government of the UK.
There is a lot more that could be said but in the police state that is now the UK sooner or later someone will be taking copious notes of who said what and when and we'll be hauled off for interrogation and our fear sweated underwear taken away and kept in jars for later use by tracker dogs; a technique popular in East Germany I'm told, a place where informers were rife.
Informers? Oh yes, we are called upon to be informers as and when we encounter tradesmen taking cash instead of cheques.
It's funny how the EU and the UK, the more totalitarian they get the more fond they are of informers and whistle blowers - except of course for anyone who informs on them.
I don't know about our bending author but as an old fart who remembers the days when the police served the citizens and not the state and when democracy was still popular, I find it increasingly difficult to stay out of trouble. OK, so maybe a couple of parking tickets and an invitation to a speed awareness course isn't yet that much and I am being only lightly fleeced but as I age I will become more and more vulnerable.
Sad to note the death of Eric Sykes this month for it was he who summed it up precisely. In a sketch where he was the motorist and Deryk Guyler as a traffic warden (Civil Enforcement Officer in today's parlance) he said "Give them a peaked cap and they think they're Hitler." which kind of sums up the problems we face today at all levels of government from the traffic warden to the PM.
The peaked cap syndrome sufferer should not be confused with the Jobsworth.
The PCS sufferer has an inordinate sense of power beyond the pettiness of his station and he doesn't refuse to use sense or discretion because "its more than his jobsworth" but he chooses not to so as to enforce the law as rigorously as possible. And if the law doesn't quite cover the situation, no worry, he can make it up on the hoof and enforce it with all the false authority at his commend.
Zero tolerance isn't in it.
And that is the situation with our government. The lack of a mandate doesn't see to bother them because they never cared what the people wanted in the first place. SO why should making a strong stable coalition worry them....In my view, when you get a "none of the above" result coalitions or minority governments are meant to be fragile transient things which last just long enough for the MPs to reconnect with the electorate but by some clever coalition agreements they have managed to parley this into a strong stable government which means they can ignore us till the last two weeks in 2015 before the next election.
So while our bending author assigns numbers to the month, and reacts with admirable restraint, I am proposing Erik Sykes as our obituary of the month and the "Peaked Cap Syndrome" as his memorial.
I do not wish to defend the PCS sufferers, but they are beaten with virtual sticks daily. Everything has been reduced to protocols and procedures. FOLLOW THEM or be sacked. After you see enough people sacked for stupid things, you ask yourself "Do I go against the grain or keep putting food on the table!"
Food on the table wins more often than not. I understand this. High principles are things that people with lots of hidden money with no debt can have.
There is a story circulating of a SWAT team being called in to remove a 12 year old girl from her home because the mother refused to give her child an Anti-Psychotic.
I hoopla filmed by the media I am sure is directly caused by procedures and policies put in place by people trying to cover all eventualities and forcing their people to follow procedure. If you don't follow procedure, prepare to be sacked. If you follow procedure, you can blame the procedure.
They brought in a tank to help with the extraction.
Without wishing to be disrespectful to our host, I would like to point out that Richard Muller, is not now and never has been a sceptic of the CAGW cult.
Thanks for the avoidance of disrespect, but I was not aware that I had made such a claim.
I duly apologise for putting someone else's words in your mouth.
Sorry, Brad, no mercy. The "Nuremburg Defence" didn't even work at Nuremburg.
As for being beaten with virtual sticks, I'd find it marginally more acceptable were they beaten with real ones, or preferably thrashed with barbed wire weighted with metal plate. For tax officials, something less lenient is called for, but my stomach rebels at the task of thinking up something suitable.
Personally, I look froward to the day when tax officials are seen, flatulent with terror, fleeing down the street barely ahead of a mob with pitchforks and flaring torches, lit by the glare of blazing government offices.
Oh well, one can dream.
Our Bending author has added to the number of the month a list of some of the subjects now available at University.
Absent from the list appears to be "The Eurovision Song Contest". Anyone who watched this comedy turn this year will have seen the BEEB included someone with a Doctorate in Eurovision Song Contests as a commentator. He didn't seem to have much to add that was funny or enlightening.
Also absent is "Alternative Science"; the scientific equivalent to alternative medicine where quack nostrums are foisted on the world e.g. AGW/Abrupt Climate change etc
What is included is "Play leadership". This, I presume, was Cameron's major.
Cheer up,Brignell,these courses are "still available". The kids seem to be getting wise.
I second Hugh's comments and think they are worth expanding on in two directions.
Firstly, if you want to take up science it is harder than ever to reach the cutting edge. Arguably at the moment, that cutting edge is also getting further away faster than you can learn your way towards it. Every new Nobel-worthy discovery of some fundamental, mechanistic thing, renders the work of 49 other labs just so much stamp-collecting, that can be sneered at and then de-funded.
There is no longer the near-assurance that scientists had in our bending author's day, of there being plenty of low-hanging fruit still around that someone else wasn't going to get to first. That's not to diminish the achievement. So why study science when your chances of making a contribution to it will be no greater once you have finished your degree than before you started it?
Secondly, the fact that people have the time and money to study trivia is evidence of our society's great wealth at present. Or its terminal decadence, if you prefer.