Caught in the Crossfire of a pointless fight to the death


Anyone who thinks globalist monopolism (aka neoliberalism, neoconservatism, Friedmanite economics etc etc) is merely an economic model doesn’t go online enough, The Slog suggests.

For the fourth time in three years (five pcs later) I have had to bring in an expert, wipe everything off my two main laptops, go back to Windows 7 and install the things I want myself. In doing this I have of course lost all my settings, and have just spent the last 48 hours rejoining, reidentifying, reconfiguring and generally rebuilding. And it cost me €80 to get my own machines back doing what I want as opposed to what the software industry wants.

The difference this time is that I now have a gizmo that refuses to install any updates automatically. It is the very latest thing. It will probably work OK for a few months until the hobgoblins find a way through it, then I will have to get the next gizmo.

Let me just give you the highlights;

  • It took the expert four hours to talk Windows 10 and Lenovo into allowing the reinstallation of Windows 7: a grand total of some 17 obstcacles, circles, dead ends and lies. This is indeed choice – fascist forced choice
  • Already, Chrome has installed itself on both machines, causing the older one to crash. I’ve had to restart it in safe mode and uninstall Chrome. The first couple of times, it just reinstalled again.
  • Every vehicle I’ve used in the rebuild tried to sneak in a useless search engine ‘free’.
  • The antivirus I’ve installed on both machines was first of all deemed ‘malicious’ by Microsoft, and then once I’d downloaded it they tried to overule its activity….this is how the problems started last time. So I’ve uninstalled their protection completely. Now it tells me three times a day that the pcs are unprotected.

Now before another bonehead who can’t read threads ‘Get a Mac’, I’d just like to say something to him or her: this site is not about I’m alright Jack f**k you. OK? The average useful Mac costs five times what a pc does, and if you’re on the side of only the élite having access to contemporary life’s soi-disant advantages, then this is not the site for you. Follow Jeremy Hunt or Katie Hopkins….they’re much more your speed.

The best way to think about how dictatorially dishonest this mode of business can be is to imagine the old traditional forms of physical shopping. You walk into a shop with something you want to fit to your favourite gadget, and the first sales assistant you show it to drops it on the floor before treading on it. If you’ve been in this shop before (there are no alternatives) you keep a firm grip on your gadget and ask for a recommendation. He only offers you the shop’s own label version, so you say no, what I want is Grapple or nothing. The assistant pulls a gun, puts it against your forehead and asks, “Are you sure about that?” You turn away and try to serve yourself from the open shelves: when you pick up the Grapple pack and walk towards the till, alarms go off and the police arrive to accuse you of shoplifting. So for a quiet life you buy the own label product, and when you get home and fit it into the slot provided, it starts bombing your machine’s main cog and killing all the little people inside who make it work.

The chap who did the wipe-and-refit basics was only a young bloke. I was relieved to hear someone from that generation agreeing that the internet is a den of thieves above the law, thanks to a vicious concoction of lobbying and security services relationship. He came to France from Blackpool seven years ago, his French is fluent, and he works at least ten hours a day seven days a week providing service to not rich people who have had junk and/or inappropriate software forced on them by globalists who care about three things only: volume, profit, and the share price.

I asked him why Lenovo pcs now have the battery as integral rather than easily removable. I knew the answer, so I was pleased by his:

“Simple,” he said, “to replace the battery will now require a complete strip down of the pc, the cost of which will be not a lot less than buying their new model.”

If ever one needed confirmation that real consumer protection is now dead and buried in the West, then that example – for me – is it.

As he was about to leave, I asked him the age of his mother. “Sixty” he answered. I told him about the WASPI campaign. His mum didn’t seem to know anything about it.

After he’d left, I put on the fire in the gite, and watched ITV briefly. At the first commerical break, an ad for a new weight-loss pill came up. I’ve heard about it from American friends: apparently you can more or less eat what you want, and this new Max Strength variant will still make you lose weight. The next commercial was for McDonalds. I can’t believe that was a coincidence. Clever media aperture-buying, but about as sociopathically anti-social as it’s possible to be.

I flicked channels over to PBS, the European version of this oustanding US channel. I sat gripped for fifty minutes watching a documentary about how incredible NASA ingenuity first of all created a cockup with the newly-launched Hubble telescope, and then fixed it thanks to the bravery of several astronauts. Their fix has, in just a few short years, revolutionised our thinking about the cosmos – for example, I was always taught that the expansion of the Universe is slowing down. We now know it’s accelerating. This is (at last) causing some doubts about why a bang that happened 7.3 billion years ago created debris that doesn’t behave as it should. If, of course, there was a bang in the first place.

However, thanks to budget cuts in the US caused by the cost of debt maintenance, banking sector bailouts, global economic slump and increased defence spending, flights to update the Hubble have been discontinued.

You see, neoliberals aren’t interested in the voyager gene or new knowledge: that’s the last thing they want. All they want is power over munneeee. For them, stagnant is good – let’s not get beyond oil or design a better car engine or invest in our civilisation or move science forward or develop the Arts: progress and culture? That’s for wimps, right?

Enjoy your Sunday lunch.

This weekend at The Slog: The nastiness of Jeremy Hunt goes on and on

41 thoughts on “Caught in the Crossfire of a pointless fight to the death

  1. I guess somewhere in the back of your mind is a bomb awaiting a sarky comment before detonating. Step back people its dangerous in here…


  2. Ironically the EU introduced legislation that stated any device that used a battery that was rechargeable, that battery must be able to be replaced by the consumer.
    Yeah, right they ignored that ruling eh?
    There is also the 2 yr guarantee period which, manufacturers ignore completely and insist it’s only 1 yr.
    There is unfortunately, nothing to choose between any of them these days.


  3. Hi JW.
    I have a small bacolite bush valve radio that I brought at an auction 15 years ago. The reason for buying it, was my dad had one in 1954′ we used to listen the billy cotton band show “Wakey Wakey” and Journey into Space.
    I took this jem home plugged it in and turned it on nothing happened. 2 minutes later it came to life. And it still going strong today. But no, light programme,radio Luxembourg. “Happy Days”
    Don’t make things like that these day.


  4. Hi John, the only anti-virus you need, quick simple effective, recommended by my Iranian Microsoft engineer friend, I have used it for 3 years with no problems. hope this helps.


  5. The people who recommend a non Microsoft Windows operating system are not being smug and elitist. They are pointing out that there are alternative operating systems that are not as expensive as an Apple machine (e.g. installing Linux) which will allow you to free yourself from the cycle of the MS Windows hell that you seem to go through on a regular basis.

    I understand that you are using this experience to point out the m.o. of the globalist monopolist and to show the complete lack of empathy with the consumer of their products. I agree with what you are saying but do you really want to go through the same hoops in another few months when your newly installed protection becomes obsolete.

    Your analogy with a physical shop is apt but it does strike me as strange that you still continue to frequent this shop despite its history of coercion and greed. Most people would have given it a wide berth a long time ago.


  6. @sevco2012…. those of us who have been here a while, long ago realised that this particular horse can be shown the clean fresh water, but cannot be persuaded to drink. You are wasting your breath on this one believe me, it’s best to just grit your teeth and let John get just on with bashing his head against his favourite wall. Throw an SEP field around it and just read his more interesting stuff.


  7. If the expansion of the universe is accelerating that would suggest some other unknown repulsive force pushing matter and the fabric of spacetime apart. Perhaps the Neoliberals are channeling the dark side of this force and directing it at our state institutions like the NHS. I can see Cameldung as Daft Vader and Jeremy Rhyming-Slang as Greedo quite easily.


  8. John, I know ‘mine enemy’ better than you could ever imagine… I’ve worked as a sysadmin with every system going for many many years. You just don’t realise how intractable your ‘Microsoft’ problem really is, that’s all.
    But hey, good luck with it anyway.


  9. >>The average useful Mac costs five times what a pc does<< No it doesn't and even if it did, you'd only be paying out once, when you bought it, instead of throwing good money after bad all the time. What's the adage about knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing? PS: I am not a bonehead even though I am sometimes unable to resist reading your stuff.


  10. SEPs are a mindsaver and a great way to squeeze the last drop out of your old torch batteries. I upgraded my VMMPs and have never looked back – at least, I have but I couldn’t see anything.


  11. Doesn’t sound like a cheaper option to me John.
    Not if it takes such huge amount of time, effort, HBP and cash to keep your systems going.
    I am NOT going to mention that well know cider-source – that mention which is so strictly interdit – but my only sreious irritation in the last 8 years has been finding that there arre no modern printers that still run on my old OS.
    Bought a new HP and had to upgrade through about 8 new OS to find that I had to buy, beg, borrow a whole new suite of programmes (programmes NOT apps) to work with the new OS.
    I NOW find that silly people like Adobe have been going backwards.
    Things look neat on the page but inside their systems they just don’t work.
    It’s fine having an art director designing tho outside of your car.
    But for Ch****sake don’t let him/her touch anything under the bonnet.
    Which is obviouslt what’s going on there.


  12. What Roland (Bravely/foolishly) said. E Type body & running gear on a Trabant chassis. Based on a shared idea by Bill & somebody much brighter who persuaded it to work. Disappeared way into the background when IBM spotted the wonga potential, subsequently to be built & designed by mediocre inelegance, aspergic wage slaves. IMO.

    I’m a nicotine addict, but at least I make the effort to find & smoke what I enjoy


  13. @ Billy Gruff – a veritable Trabant, one that not only has huge holes in it, but also comes with an interminable and egregious ‘hire purchase agreement’.


  14. Microshaft are running out of feet to shoot themselves in. They missed the smartphone revolution so their strategy has been to take ever more control over what happens on PCs running Windows. This has reached sinister behaviour with Windows 10 which is basically a spyware/trojan combo. If there was any doubt about just how much they pry they inadvertently just proved it by releasing statistics for what people are doing on their PCs (eg ); they should not have access to this sort of information. I agree with those who suggest more of us start moving to a non proprietary operating system; personally i have installed Linux Mint as a dual boot and am gradually spending ever more time using that rather than Windows.

    I’m not sure why there’s often a rather sarcastic undertone on science in these essays. As a physicist I would point out all science is simply about a species of ape proposing various theories ie ideas/principles that seem rational to our ape-like minds which explain behaviour and patterns we observe. Different theories are then interlinked to try and provide us with an ever more widespread and detailed explanation of our reality. However it is always understood that if evidence emerges that something is wrong with the grand scheme of our understanding then either some bits of theory have to be amended or even completely rejected. So the big bang is currently the best explanation to fit with all the evidence we have but any true scientist will agree that they would be prepared to change that view if appropriate. Incidently the current estimate is that it happened 13.8 billion years ago not 7.3 as in the article. There are plenty of other pseudo/soft sciencies, particularly socieology or economics whose proponents tend not to describe their field as a collection of theories or models but rather regard them as fundamental truths – that is a different matter and they do deserve to be pilloried.


  15. Good idea going back to W7 and switching off all updates.
    Get your new BFF (the young techy) to redo your PC but get him to set up all your software/antivir, settings and accounts so the PC is working how you want it to.
    Take an image of your whole system and burn it to disk.
    Use your computer as normal but make daily/weekly backups of all your data (usb stick will do)
    Over time the performance of your PC will degrade and the chances of a catastropic crash increases.
    When the machine becomes insufferable, re-image with your system disk and copy your data back.
    (couple of hours every few of months)

    A Windows PC is more complex than a boiler or a car and needs servicing by a pet techy at least biannually


  16. John ,love the blog but have to agree with some of the posters. Reminds me of those cheap implants you bought. Get an apple . Buy cheap ,buy twice :-)


  17. There’s a whole bunch of people, mainly engineers/electro-mechanical engineers/plasma physicists who think the big bang is tosh, based on their practical understanding of electricity/plasma. They reckon you’d have to be an aspergers suffering, theoretical mathematician nut job to believe such nonsense. Rabbit hole- -make up your own mind.
    I almost liked 7 not 8 though and I detest 10 MS never again.


  18. Top post, John.
    I have real problems with the Big Bang theory, which posits that all matter materialised at a single micromoment in time, 13.8 billion years ago, from a microscopically small volume of space.
    What awful power contained all matter & energy till that moment? And how?
    The biblical version makes more sense, & I don’t believe that either.

    Piers Corbyn, Jeremy’s astrophysicist brother, gets better weather predictions than our multi-£million overfunded MET office, positing a plasma or electric Universe. He knows also what nonsense the Warming/Climate scam is.

    John Doran.


  19. You’ll need to be of a certain age to remember television sets with a tube. You’ll need to be of an even more specific age to remember when the TV tube picture used to flicker, go wide, go narrow, until your dad as a ‘skilled TV engineer’ would rise from his armchair, go towards the ‘TV Set’, and slap it hard on top.
    Seven times out of ten, it would fix the problem, until one day it didn’t.
    Such it is with the world and its problems.
    1. There are people who think they can fix things.
    2. There are people who believe that it can be fixed, by others more skilled.
    3. There are people who believe any fix, is temporary.
    4. There are people who believe it simply cannot be fixed and is on borrowed time.
    5. There are people who are so despairing of any possible fix arriving like Godot, that they just want to dance as they enjoy watching the world burn.
    I suspect JW is at (2.), whereas I’m at (4.), and growing impatient at the subtle tempting pleasures that might be derived by (5.)
    FWIW,..I’m not proud of myself.


  20. Nobby, entirely innocently no doubt, refers to an early plastic ‘bacolite’ (Bakelite). I would ask everyone to refer to this by it’s correct name in future to avoid confusion: polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride. It just takes a bit of practice, honest. Unless you are one of those people who knew this instinctively, it’s probably best to steer well clear of Windows anything with the possible exception of 7 which is a straightforward See Red Delicious (Unix) clone. Windows 10 is pure spyware, as pointed out by Redshift (no relation).

    Ambulance for Hieronimusb.


  21. Hoppity Skip questions :
    “This is why the years seem to go faster as we age”
    I’ve often wondered at this perception too. My take is that for a 5 year old boy, one more year is 20% of everything he has ever known. Whereas for a 50 year old man, one more year is 2% of everything he has ever known.
    Thus imagine a thought experiment.? Suppose a man could live to 600,000 years old. Each new year would arrive and disappear (perceptively to him), at the speed of the second hand on a watch?
    The greater issue, is that for the man of 600,000 years old, is an erection simply out of the question ?


  22. I understand that there are between 170 – 200 Billion galaxies in the visible universe. Given those numbers what’s the odds that somewhere in one of those galaxies there’s an entrepreneur named Bill Widows who’s company has produced an operating software called Microsod Gates 10…….I leave the rest to your imagination……

    PS for Any Apple owners don’t be tempted to install the Yosemite OS. It won’t recognise any of your photos and the software fix doesn’t. Fortunately Shutdown Restart Alt R and time-machine with full back up will restore things to a couple of days ago. In short you can spend 6 hours to travel two days back in time…….


  23. Thanks for the heads up about OSX 10.10, Stephen, it seems our preferred brand is also getting fruitier; I hear OSX 10.11 (Sodomite) has been painstakingly designed to bugger up your computer altogether.


  24. Servco2012 is right but so is Roland Bonlett so I am just biting my tongue until it bleeds.

    As regards cosmology, we used to have a theory of the “Ether or Aether” a mysterious substance which permeated everything in the univers and through which all electomagnetic waves where propagated. This theory is now not widely supported and elactromagnetic waves can propagate through nothing. But wait we are now searching for “Dark Matter” a mysterious substance which make up 95% of the mass of the universe but which we can neither see or measure.

    That would be a great pitch for a snake oil saleseman no. Here take this glass of miracle cure, it contains 5% water and 95% of a substance we can neither see nor measure.

    Only joking I am for hard science but I believe there is an awful lot that we do ot know and sometimes cosmology asks us to swallow stuff which is no more likely than that propounded by many religions.


  25. Pull the power cord with no battery sure kills things dead and with a login instant lockdown. I do it all the time besides using pgp4win software to encrypt data.

    So not surprised they want you to leave your battery in.


  26. “I’m not sure why there’s often a rather sarcastic undertone on science in these essays.”

    Maybe it’s scepticism Redshift? Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to see people being inquisitive & all that & being told they have found wonderful things, that will be of great benefit to all in a greater “Going forward”. But most are more, & rightly so in my opinion, interested in the “All in it together”.

    I assure you it is not malicious, well in my case anyhow. It probably looks a lot different for you from the inside, than the us on the outside.


  27. @Redshift
    Perhaps the ‘sarcastic undertone on science’ is due to a healthy scepticism as Billy suggests above. The problem is that as science becomes more complicated its practitioners become more priest-like, and their pronouncements become immune to challenge by the uninitiated. This is dangerous as it is open to abuse by insiders. Although I believe Popper put forward a model of ‘ideal’ science, it would seem that scientific progress is modelled more closely by Thomas Kuhn’s ideas. Scientific careers can only progress when operating within current paradigms. As you are a physicist, I would love if you have an opinion on why the speed of light in a vacuum has changed more than the claimed uncertainties since 1920. If true, surely this experimental evidence would challenge one of the central precepts of Special Relativity, yet strangely, no one is investigating it. It smacks of the perihelion of Mercury.


  28. First of all let me state I have no connection with Apple – I’m a retired ex-railway employee. My own Mac is almost 7 years old, bought second-hand, remains trouble-free and happily runs all the latest software. I’m not smug, I just like having a system which I can basically take for granted.

    Regarding cost – five times the cost of a PC is more than a tad exaggerated.

    Mac Mini 1.4GHz i5 CPU, 500GB Hard Drive, 4GB RAM @£399 sterling. €549 in La Belle France
    Mac Mini 2.6GHz i5 CPU, 1000GB Hard Drive, 8GB RAM @£569 sterling. €799 in La Belle France

    The above prices are from Apple’s UK site and also from Apple’s French site. Independent dealers often – in the UK at least – offer anything from 5% – 10% lower prices. Not huge discounts, but it all helps.

    Screen? – Use the existing one you have.

    Ditto mouse & Keyboard although I will say using an Apple keyboard is somewhat better as certain keys (Control, alt, etc.) are not exactly where they are on a Windows keyboard. These Apple keyboards are also cheap & plentiful on eBay.
    The OS makes it so much easier to add accents, cedillas, umlauts and so on – useful, I would have thought, living on the continent.

    Unless you’re going to do high-end graphics, or play intensive video games, the mini will do everything you need – although I would recommend that 8GB RAM is much better with today’s operating system(s), allowing you to have lots of browser tabs and/or windows open whilst you’re simultaneously doing other things.


    DTP/Word Processing which can open MS Word files and save stuff in Word format

    Spreadsheet which can open Excel files and save stuff in Excel format

    Presentation which can open Powerpoint files and save stuff in Powerpoint format

    If you find you don’t like these, there ares always the free ‘Open Office’ or ‘Office Libre’ or ‘NeoOffice’ readily available from the interwebs so you can leave Microsoft alone totally.

    Overall, bearing in mind the old adage “Buy cheap, buy twice”, I think you would find at least exploring this avenue worthwhile.




  29. 2> Canexpat

    I to some degree concur with the religious comparison, but would hold that it’s the co-connection of the major societal power broker & the major belief system that is the prime reason for prompting a “We’ve been here before” unease.

    As a very rough attempt at an unprofessional historicist-social example, Christianity was little more than a disparate collections of annoying & troublesome cults before it’s adoption by the Roman state. The adaptation made to cohabit were predominantly a renegotiation of each parties ethics. It’s interesting that the Church still continues to today but the mutual relationship profoundly altered it’s interpretation of Christian teaching. To my eyes the basic tenets got traded of as it become, through it’s continuing connection to subsequent incarnations of State, more of a control & thus power structure. You only have to look what happened to Galileo over heliocentrism to see how new thinking is treated by a predominant power structure acting as a Belief System.

    I’m not sure others would see it in any detail, but there is enough unconscious cognition in the background to cause unease when similar historical types of connections occur in the present. The sponsoring of pure Science through the State in the guise of Education & Big Business through funding for scientific input for the practical uses in technology, would seem to trigger this subconscious comparator, in those of a healthy, sceptical disposition. Who’s controlling what & who, question, from my perspective anyhow. I’m afraid, the closer the connections, the closer the assessment of comparative ethics. Science is being judged by the company it is forced to keep.

    “It smacks of the perihelion of Mercury” Indeed Canexpat.

    I share in your unease too. Albert hinted that he was not completely content with the Scientific establishment, I would sugest possibly questioning it’s ethos & internal hierarchical structure,for similar reasons to above. lt is interesting that his most remembered works were formulated in complete detachment from it. Having lived in the time he did & through so much conflict, I tend to wonder if he held back a little. Maybe he thought it best left at a level that a reductive &, at this time especially, antithetically influenced mind set might safely handle. As it stands, it still resulted in Hiroshima & Nagasaki, followed by the MAD world we live in now. Big Bangs seem redolent & bound in mind to that time too.

    I rather prefer a quantum mechanics driven perspective myself, with matter condensing out of a low energy perturbation in the pervading Energy Field. Analogues to clouds condensing out as air is robed of heat. A beautiful mind image of a universe blooming out of unseen, energy. Completely wrong of course, because it was invisible for a long time before even the first fiso-fushion reactor reached critical mass & sparked up.

    Wonderful & endlessly enjoyable tools are minds. Fun & stimulating to share too.

    I too would relish your input Redshift, even if it’s to say how wrong I am.


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