We are an odd species at the best of times, but I’m beginning to wonder – if the next bit of evolution does ever kick in, which I doubt – whether it’ll be progress or a regression. My reasons for thinking this are myriad, but most of them are surprisingly obvious. Or perhaps that should read ‘dangerously obvious’.

Take the fact that, over the last thirty years, we have handed over virtually every technological function to the computer and the internet….what young people in my country call “digi-ull”. These two forms of ‘progress’ now run everything – and are in such an advanced state of perfection, on the odd (daily) occasion when things go wrong, the usual advice is “have you tried switching it off and then on again?”. Digital mobile telephones, for example, are amazing. I mean they must be right, because, because we’re up to G4 and counting, and G is for good. Listen to a mobile conversation however, and it will consist of “say again/you’re breaking up/the reception’s terrible here/call me back on the land line”.

We have digital satellite television. Wow. Digi-ull and space: the final frontier, the future has arrived. And to accommodate it, we’ve turned off analogue. You remember analogue: that was the TV with 625 lines so you didn’t have half your wall taken up with the screen; but come clouds, trees, bugs, thunderstorms and boil-plagues, it worked. All the time, non-stop. And the programmes were worth watching. Instead of Small Drama and Documentary, we now have Big Shit and topless darts. Quite a trade, that one.

I won’t go into the 24/7 lying, privacy invasion, job-losses and general surveillance that came with the internet: that’s another essay for another day. I’ll just stay with the Snafu theme. Skype is a genius real-time plus visual contact system that works brilliantly…if you turn the camera off. You can talk to people anywhere in the world, if you’re fascinated by disjointed lip-sync and hearing your own echo. And you can make as many calls as you want for next to nothing…which you have to do, because Skype drops about 2 in 3 of them.

Most of the little things that cause the yelling and tonsorial tugging of users are made in China. And here again, the inexplicable behaviour of Homo sapiens stands out for all to see, in that we’ve bought so much of the crap they produce, they’re the biggest creditor nation in the world – and we all owe them trillions of dollars. We have paid good money to watch OK software screwed up by hardware of dire quality….thus winding up frustrated, broke, and shuffling about on our knees every time a Chinese delegation hits town.

The best scam of all to come out of the PRC is the solar garden light – which remains, fifteen years on, heavily demanded despite the fact that it is the only form of lighting in the world that you can see, but it doesn’t actually throw light, as such: it sits there in the ground and just is. You can see there’s a light, because it’s atop the stalk. Everything else remains unchanged. So if you’ve a mind to land a plane on your lawn, then you have a complete set of solar runway lights for a mere £50. Chinese garden lights are not suitable for any other purpose.

Half of all Chinese pens don’t write. Most break within a week. I bought a Chinese bin-liner last year, and when I pulled it from the bin, lo, the bag was empty: conjuring at its best. The garbage was, unfortunately, still in the bin, minus only the liner.

But only the British government is prepared to go that extra mile to prove a sort of desperately deranged mindset. For we, in our wisdom, have decided to give the People’s Republic of China the right to be involved (and invest heavily) the UK’s Nuclear plant renewal programme.

Now fine, there’s Christmas tree lights, and there’s nuclear power. When the lights don’t work (or get stuck on the entertainingly flashing program 5) the kids will yell and Dad will swear, but nobody dies. Usually. But nuclear power: that’s a whole different kettle of fish, some of which have seven eyes.

So in the light of that reality, I want to pose a few questions for HMG re this involvement by Beijing:

1. Are the batteries included?

2. Once they’re installed, will I light up in the dark?

3. Given that Britain is not unlike Japan (small, overcrowded and never far from the sea) have the words Fukushima, poor build quality, meltdown and fish destruction been brought up as issues in the corridors of power?

4. Does cross-referencing the new sites with let’s-get-fracking areas produce any correlation? Only, if it’s above 10%, we could be cooking meltdown stew on gas. The upside would be enough energy generated slowly to last the UK 23,000 years. The downside would be releasing it all in 0.000563% of a millisecond.

5. Are we doing any active research into new solar breakthroughs in the energy space, or is the plan to install non-lithium atom bombs (supplied by a totalitarian crap-factory) it?

6. Do we have a means of escape when it all goes belly up? If not, I know a very good rocket scientist in North Korea, and he says….

Yesterday at The Slogolopoulus: Telegraph & Guardian join hands in lalaland


  1. Could it be that the people of Somerset will interbreed and become chinese variant species by the end of the century?


  2. I’ve just installed a new Whirlpool dishwasher to replace our nine year old AEG one which sadly died to a point that even I couldn’t repair. This was a pretty decent machine that did exactly what it said on the tin and without fuss or drama. The new Whirpool offering was duly installed and with a great hurrah set about it’s business on a full cycle for testing purposes. On the final ‘it’s finished’ beep I opened the door to find lovely clean dishes which, although being nice and sparkly, were pretty well soaking wet (as was cutlery etc). Thinking I had maybe chosen a cycle that didn’t have a proper drying process I chose another… then another and then another… to find that not one actually fully dries your crockery/cutlery – always leaving drops all over the place and the inside of the machine pretty damn wet. Thinking the damn thing must be DOA, I call AO (Appliances on-line) where they were actually pretty helpful and agreed that a passing engineer would come by and check that I asn’t going mad. He then went to tell me that they get this all the time and that because of the EEC rulings on energy use etc that the way dishwashers now cool is by using the ambient heat stored from the washing process to dry the dishes! The old method circulated the air in the machine through a top vent and condensed out the moisture in a ‘maze’ through wich the moist air passes. I can confirm that this is indeed the case by looking at the old machine. There is no such ‘method’ in the new machine, evidenced by a complete lack of any venting. Hence all is trapped in a sealed space…. how’s that going to work? I was then told by the same chap that the way to help get around this is to cr
    ack open the door when the cycle has ended just to vent the steam. And that this applies to just about every machine now made (I checked the NEW version of our AEG and this is indeed true. Sooo….. basically… in order to meet targets dreamt up by bureaucrats with nothing better to do, and with presumably large salaries to justify… we have to put up with dysfunctional substandard badly engineered crap that is basically unfit for purpose. See also FIAT 500 car that can’t get up hills even in first gear. Seriously, I despair of what’s going on.


  3. God, if that wasn’t the most boring comment ever I don’t know what is! I’ll do one on bleeding radiators tomorrow lol


  4. Given that the Sellafield site isn’t going to be fully cleaned up until 2130 (if then) at a cost of billions, can anyone explain why nuclear energy is deemed to be an asset, rather than a liability?
    I am unconvinced that any nuclear plant has generated more energy than the amount of energy needed to build, run and then decommission said plant.
    This is what happens when economists are allowed to ignore externalities. Pretending externalities such as pollution don’t exist doesn’t make them vanish, and someone still has to pay to clean up.
    Incidentally, does anyone else think it bizarre that the costs of decommissioning etc. ADD to GDP? Nothing is being produced, and the net result is LESS infrastructure!
    The full costs of decommissioning should be built into the selling price of the energy produced; but then, of course, we wouldn’t be able to afford it…


  5. Lockheed Martin have promised a ‘truck-sized’ fusion reactor within five years. Nuclear waste used to be dumped in that mid-Atlantic trench to be locked into a geological subduction process for tens of thousands of years, and then the people responsible for useless dishwashers took over worldwide.

    I kind of despair…


  6. One of my part time jobs is to drive to the back of my local greengrocer friend’s place, fill up my trailer with their cardboard and plastic boxes and cart it to the recycling centre. I do this twice a week. I am addicted to the fun stuff people throw away in the electric bin – today three laptops one with some Apple logo on it. I got two pristine mobile phones for my kids a while back – plastic wrapping – only needed to buy sim cards. Found a 22″ flatscreen TV last week – along with an old sat dish that’s our caravan telly sorted out. If all electric stuff only lasts 3 years or so we’re on Christmas 2011 if you see what I mean.

    If the idea of “growth” means more electric shit thrown in this bin we have problems.


  7. When it all goes tits up there will be multiple WTF moments.
    WTF no. 1. You fooking what! Most of our soil used to grow food is technically devoid of anything life giving and the PR that is fertiliser, a product from Natural Gas gives the great unwashed the illusionary perception that all is well in the National Security stakes with regards to the country being able to feed its people.

    MLK gave an inkling to the peoples true voting power. The Ocupy movement and 38 Degrees are just another example of groups who missed his mesage.


  8. Microsoft word has long since had the ability to track changes. How about it gives a monetary value for all the time wasted in creating documents with it at work.

    You know all those changes you, collaborators, interested parties and your superiors foister on the masterpiece before its deemed worthy to reach a wider audience.

    You know the thing, the minutes of that meeting you had which lasted for 2 hours, included 30 people all wittering about bugger all where the only sensible thing said was ‘meeting over’.


  9. Throw nothing away.Mend it. Nearly everything electrical and computerised produced in the last ten years is sh..t quality.
    The reason, I think, that there has been a dramatic rise in the price of ‘old cars’ is because one can get the spanners out and fix them. Try this with even the most basic ‘modern model’ and not only will you need specialised tools but also a degree in computerised engine remapping ! All change is definitely not progress. Even modern taps made in Britain to a proper BS were good quality brass..last for years…but this modern shit is so high in zinc it self destructs in months. The thought of what this great country has been reduced to in the post war period always makes me want to reach for the bottle.


  10. Look at today’s FTSE, mix in the Euro collapse, add sterling/ dollar weakness, blend with a falling oil price, and garnish with a housing bubble burst.


    It appears that as the banksters are so heavily invested in oil power, nuclear is demonised.
    Fukushima was a Westinghouse design, built without full Westinghouse safety features, & despite that, the outcome of the earthquake & tsunami disasters has been minimal.
    cfact is one of the sites trying to bring to public awareness the matrix of deceit which is the global warming/climate change scare scam.


  12. Maybe I’m getting all my sums wrong but shouldn’t a fall in value of the Euro equate into all those EU produced goods becoming much cheaper?

    I don’t see my local BMW dealer offering such bargains.


  13. Pingback: John Ward – Given Our Track-Record, The Human Race’s Faith In Techno-Futures Is Not So Much Quaint As Crackers – 10 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  14. Congrats JW for bringing up the business of ‘planned obsolescence’, and for Whoflungdung’s video.
    I too am fed up of purchasing badly built Chinese stuff, but not only theirs, many Western made products are poorly built also.
    As Max the Impaler suggests, to try to repair stuff, though not all folk have the ability to do that.


  15. This time last year a E30,000 BMW cost a UK buyer £25.000 or a US one $41,500

    This time this year the same E30,000 BMW would cost someone in the UK £21,750 whilst in the US it would now be a bargain bucket $33,000

    Yanks will be buying all the Beemers, Brits will be left with the Yugos (we’ll be getting them from Lidl)

    The thing is that all these companies sell loans not cars (GMAC is bigger than GM), in order to grow the company (increase the size of the loan book) they will have to sell disproportionately more cars at ever cheaper prices.

    The headlines will read ‘Car Sales Outperform’.

    There comes a point when they sell cars at below cost.

    The loan book will still expand but at a slowing rate, the day the loan book doesn’t expand the business collapses and this time there is no one left to bail them out.

    Now look at China, they were selling us loans not ‘stuff’, the ‘stuff’ gets ever cheaper to keep us buying the loans…..


  16. On the progress of technology:

    “As roughly a third of all marriages now originate from online dating, doesn’t that mean that computer algorithms have already started to breed humans?”


  17. And of course technology has now just given us a watch that needs to charged up nearly every day!!!
    My Citizen Ecodrive NEVER need a battery.
    Progress eh?


  18. No Skirm
    because when euro holders have to buy raw materials elsewhere, their euro goes half as far. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Unless you’re a central banker.



    Tell that to Peter Moores


  20. Pingback: John Ward – Analysis : Why Troika2 Would Have You Believe Greece Is Running Out Of Time And Money – 11 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  21. No, I thought that was really quite interesting – very close to my own experiences! I’m looking forward to the bleeding radiators!


  22. Jeepers TFS,
    I wish you hadn’t sent this comment. My stomach aches with laughing. It has now been circulated round the councillors at our local authority. No doubt they will identify that it will hit the funny bone with most of them.


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