Archive for the ‘Dark Mountain’ Category

Mark Zuckerberg leave our kids alone

May 5, 2021

Not satisfied with being complicit in teen and pre-teen self-harm and suicides reinforcing narcissistic syndrome with selfies, Zuckerberg now plans to launch Instagram for Kids, aimed at pre-teens.

Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get worse, could not sink any lower, it invents a fresh kind of hell — Instagram for Kids.

Leaked documents show Facebook is developing a photo-sharing app for under-13s — hoping to get them hooked early on likes and comments about their appearance, and harvest their data for profit.

There is growing opposition to expansion of the evil that is Instagram and Facebook.

Reasons not to use Instagram:

  • owned by facebook
  • theft and abuse of personal data
  • claim ownership rights over images posted
  • images do not appear on twitter
  • complicit in teen and pre-teen self-harm and suicide
  • reinforces narcissistic syndrome through encouragement to post selfie

Instagram is already a nightmare for children, with teenagers getting harassed and abused on a constant basis — 59% of teens have been bullied online, and surveys show Instagram is the worst offender.

Talking to Primary schoolchildren, they tell me of bullying at a Secondary school, to which the school turns a blind eye, of a rape culture, of their friend who jumped to her death off a bridge in front of a train.

This is the world that Facebook has created.

Psychologists say it would be even more harmful for younger children, who are at a crucial stage of development and  cannot cope with the relentless pressure of social media.

Facebook claims it’s doing this to make kids safer — because it can’t keep them off Instagram. But that’s like saying let’s promote child porn to keep kids away from adult porn.

Since when has Facebook cared about the harm it causes?

Please sign and share the petition calling on Zuckerberg to Leave Our Kids Alone.

Big Tech must be broken up. Facebook must be broken up, stripped of WhatsApp and Instagram.

Big Tech must be hit with a windfall tax and a revenue tax,

Amazon under threat in Brazil

April 15, 2021

The Indigenous People of the Amazon are under attack.

President of Brazil Bolsonaro wants to open up some of the most fragile rainforest to predatory mining companies.

Bolsonaro says it’s his ‘dream’ to open up the Amazon rainforest for mining but for the Indigenous People who call it their home, it’s a nightmare.

Ripping up the land to mine for gold and diamonds will devastate the precious ecosystems and the Indigenous communities who have protected these sacred lands for years.

Thirty years ago Brazil’s constitution put these Indigenous lands out of bounds.

But ever since Bolsonaro came to power, mining giants and small-time prospectors have been clamouring to get their hands on the Amazon’s treasures. Unless we stand-up and stop Bolsonaro’s plan, this could be their golden ticket.

This attack on these Indigenous Peoples’ lands is an attack on all of us. Our survival depends on the Amazon rainforest, and the Indigenous People that nurture it.

Now those fighting on the frontlines, like our allies at the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil and the Pariri Indigenous Association need our help. Let’s stand with them in their hour of need.

Please sign the SumofUs petition calling on Members of the Chamber of Deputies to stop this destruction of the Amazon.

We call on you to vote against Bill 191/2020 and continue to uphold the ban on mining and water companies accessing constitutionally-protected Indigenous lands.

Contrast Brazil with Peru. In Peru, cooperation with indigenous communities, growing of coffee in the shade under the canopy of the trees is helping to protect the Amazon.

Cressida Dicks should be fired

March 15, 2021

As a former Police Minister and notwithstanding the lockdown and pandemic, this has got to be the most absurd, stupid and often brutal police response to a peaceful vigil. Hobnail booted, thick response when smart, risk assessed, intelligence-led policing was demanded. Sad night. — Tony McNulty

The Met’s overnight statement is an exercise in passing blame downwards. A princess was there: you think there were no political decisions made? Or public order plans set? Even if it was only the unit concerned out of control, who created the culture? — Paul Mason

 

Appalling scenes Saturday night, Met Police manhandling women at a peaceful vigil. A vigil for a Sarah Everard, a serving member of the Met Police charged with her kidnap and murder.

Sickening the statements from the Met Police the following day, we had to act the vigil was not safe.

Was it made safer, Met Police in the face of those at the vigil, pinning women to the ground, adding to the numbers present?

Unbelievable arrogance Cressida Dicks, unfit to hold office and should be fired.

What is equally of concern, today the government will try to force measures through Parliament, draconian measures, increased Police powers, to stop the right to demonstrate.

We have the right to peaceful assembly, to demonstrate.

The tweets speak for themselves.

 

 

Energy from waste incineration is not green energy

March 13, 2021

An excellent Channel 4 Dispatches programme The Dirty Truth About Your Rubbish only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Gordon Brown had a wheeze of off balance sheet accounting, the PFI scam. It made public spending look low, a prudent Chancellor. Infrastructure, hospitals, schools, incinerators, built by the private sector, leased by the public sector, for which the tax payer is paying ten times the original cost.

Incinerators have to be fed. Local authorities sign contract for minimum waste. If fall below, they pay penalties. There is thus a disincentive to reduce waste.

Government needs to step in and annul these contracts.

Incinerators emit CO2. They should be forced to buy carbon credits for their emissions, and be hit with a carbon tax.

Incinerators emit carcinogens and other toxins.

Mass is not created or destroyed by incinerators. What is left residual waste, plus what goes up the chimney.

The residual waste is heavily contaminated with heavy metals.

A scandal several years ago, residual waste spread on an allotment in the North East, the Byker ash scandal in Newcastle – in which the city council was prosecuted after 2,000 tonnes of ash from the old Byker incinerator was found to contain potentially cancer-causing dioxins.

Incineration is not green energy, it is dirty energy. It is also destroying valuable resources which should be recycled, or placed in an industrial biodegrader.

All these measures in place, many incinerators would no longer be viable, and those in the planning stage shelved.

The figures published by local councils for recycling, are for that collected, it does not mean that collected is recycled. it is going to incineration.

Local councils need to do more to encourage recycling, some do, most do not.

We all should do our part, reduce, recycle, reuse.

We should also tackle the worst offenders, Waitrose and M&S obscene levels of plastic packaging. Is it really necessary bananas in a plastic bag, a coconut shell hacked off, then wrapped in plastic shrink wrap?

Mindful Chef, owned by Nestle, deliver recipe boxes, overpackaging, obscene use of plastic. Their frozen food boxes, a card sleeve, plastic film over what appears to be a paper tray, a plastic-lined paper tray.

Waste does not exist in the natural world either in time or space, the output of one process is the input to another, a closed loop system. We should emulate the natural world.

In Lincolnshire, the official green agenda carbon neutral by 2050, two decades too late, opposition to on-shore wind turbines, support for oil and gas exploration.

Facebook declares war on Australia

February 18, 2021

Intimidation of Australia a small insignificant country by Facebook not acceptable.

This is Big Tech colonisation

Australians awoke to find their news sources cut off, government information, fire service, information on coronavirus, charities, but left untouched fake news. From outside Australia it was not possible to access Australian news sources.

Facebook is a cesspit of fake news. Facebook enabled Trump, enabled the storming of Capital Hill on 6 January 2020.

Facebook is a parasite on the work of creators. The content of facebook is not created by facebook, it is created by its users, by hard working journalists, by news organisations, by musicians, artists, friends sharing pictures. None of this information has been created by faceboook but facebook profits from all these content creators.

Facebooks claims ownership of our data, of the data trails we leave behind.

Facebook is controlling the flow of information.

Marc Zuckerberg a thug.

Facebook must be broken up, stripped of WhatsApp and Instagram.

When G7 meets, must agree a revenue tax on Big Tech, levied where the revenue is generated. But G7 needs to go much further, there has to be international regulation of Big Tech.

We can all act.

  • do not use instagram or whatsapp
  • overwrite and delete all personal data
  • never tag friends
  • never quiz game survey

Facebook is a threat to democracy.

Were Facebook a state, Facebook would be seen to have declared war on Australia. And that is how it should be viewed, an act of aggression by facebook against a sovereign democratic state.It does not matter what we think of Australia, Australians or the government of Australia, this is an attack on democracy. Australia today, which country next?

A better fake milk?

January 11, 2021

Eating avocados on toast and drinking almond milk won’t save the world. — Glen Burrows

Plant-based food. The latest Big Business con, peddling ultra-processed crap at massive profit, putting family farms out of business.

Do not take my word for it, take a long hard look at the long list of ingredients.

Occasionally I try. I tried fake-meat cocktail sausages from M&S, only because reduced. They were disgusting, one bite was enough to turn stomach over. Thrown out for the wildlife. Even after days of hard frost, food scarce, remained untouched.

Food scientists devise novel ways of peddling cheap ingredients laced with additives.

We are into second week of the gimmick of Veganuary. Always hyped how many signed up, rarely mentioned the numbers that drop out. And it is neither healthy nor good for the planet.

Vegetarian even vegan, can be healthy, delicious, it does not have to be over-processed meat imitations, unhealthy alternatives.

For many years I used to eat in Food For Thought in Covent Garden, excellent food, sadly no more, forced out of business by greedy landlords.

Fake milks cause environmental damage. Soy destruction of rainforests, almonds grown in California drain the water table, then consider the pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilisers, water run off, flash floods.

Fake milk makes disgusting coffee. Of all the fake milks, oat-based marginally better, Minor Figures cheap and nasty. When seen in a coffee shop is because they are not willing to spend the money on a superior alternative. Oatly marginally better, the best of a bad lot, but now owned by Vulture Capitalists and thus not an ethical choice. None of these fake milks will make a decent cappuccino. The best that can be done blend the milk in with the coffee to make a muddy brown singularly unappealing coffee.

Somewhat ironic, lesswastelaura, posts her ethical concerns on Instagram.

If do not wish for milk, real milk, for whatever reason in your coffee, ethical, lactose intolerant, then drink V60 pour over in a speciality coffee shop.

Support regenerative agriculture, agroforestry. Grass-fed cows, the grass is a carbon sink, improves soil structure, good for wildlife, reduces runoff and flash flooding. Contrast with rows of monoculture crops, poor soil structure, runoff and flash floods, bad for wildlife, no carbon capture. The artificial fertilizers, which run off into our rivers, are manufactured from fossil fuels.

Replacing factory-farmed meat with processed vegan food, is not solving a problem, it’s shifting it somewhere else.

If like me, enjoy a cappuccino, then maybe, and it is a Big if, I have yet to try, then maybe Rebel Kitchen Mylk for Baristas.

Rebel Kitchen claim a better fake milk for baristas. Is it? Is it good for the environment?

Rebel Kitchen do at least appear to be making an effort to be environmentally sustainable. It was also interesting to hear an explanation and rationale for each of their ingredients. How many food scientists would have the honesty and integrity to offer an explanation for each of their ingredients?

Nothing beats raw unpasteurised milk off a farmers market added to muesli in the morning.

Dump WhatsApp

January 10, 2021

Time to ditch WhatsApp if you were foolish enough to use.

Yet another reason NOT to use WhatsApp. Data will be shared with Facebook.

WhatsApp and Instagram are owned by Facebook, the businesses model steal and abuse personal data, harvesting of data to manipulate people.

Trump did not happen by accident or in a vacuum. Trump was enabled by Facebook.

There is no excuse for using WhatsApp or Instagram when alternatives exist, Signal, Telegram, Skype, Twitter.

Telegram has the advantage of being open source.

Before you migrate, tell all your contacts where you have migrated to.

With Instagram, a link in your biography direct to twitter.

WhatsApp gives a take it or leave it.

Uninstall now, once you have warned all your contacts and told them where to find you.

Never direct into facebook, always direct out.

Facebook must be broken up, stripped of WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook and all Big Tech must be taxed at 5% of revenue where that revenue is generated.

The algorithms used by Big Tech must be open and transparent, subject to open peer review.

Mob storms Capitol Building

January 7, 2021

We just had a violent mob assault the US capitol … No question the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame. — Liz Cheney

Yesterday afternoon, a formality to certify Presidential Election results, astonishing scenes as a mob stormed the Capitol Building. A mob incited by President Trump.  

This was not a coup. But why was it allowed to happen?

It was known a mob was descending, egged on by Trump.

Why was the building not guarded?

Contrast with the unknown para-militaries on the streets for Black Lives Matter protest.

Or treatment of disabled protesters.

Or treatment of anti-Trump protesters four years ago during the Trump Inauguration. 

We have two weeks of Trump in power.

When Trump leaves office there must be an investigation of Trump, his family, his cronies, those who funded, and Facebook that enabled.

Those who stormed the building genuinely believed the election had been stolen even though no evidence to support their delusions. Why therefore do they labour under these delusions? Delusions spread and regurgitated on Facebook.

Republicans who tried to block certification of election result should be expelled. They are unfit to hold public office. They have failed their sacred oath to uphold the Constitution.

What we saw, was not a coup, not domestic terrorism. But what it shows is how fragile democracy. Never to be taken for granted.

Earlier, Trump standing behind a glass bullet proof screen urged his supporters to march on the US Capitol.

Trump incited a mob.

Twitter has suspended Trump for twelve house with the threat of permanent suspension.

The twitter account of Trump should be suspend until he leaves office.

The only modern parallel to what has happened was when the Spanish Parliament was stormed by fascists.

More recent past, storming of German Parliament by fascists, the Kapp Putsch in 1920.  It was defeated by a general strike.

To call the last four years Trumpism is wrong. It implies a philosophy. There was no philosophy other than Brand Trump, insatiable greed of Trump and his cronies. 

Now the Russian dirty money will dry up, what will Trump do as he will be of no further use.?

Let Trump set up a TV channel, and organise a boycott of every businesses that advertise on the channel. 

We must now act against the enablers, especially facebook. 

If we fail to act, where it ends is Auschwitz. 

The Sound of Silence

December 31, 2020

To end the year.

This could have been any city during lockdown.

It could have been Athens during lockdown when not a soul around.

Please do not take reusable coffee cups to a coffee shop during coronavirus pandemic

December 23, 2020

Reusable coffee cups address symptoms takeaway cups not the underlying problem of grab it and go wanton consumerism.

Would treat a good red wine this way, then why coffee?

The only way to enjoy coffee is to slow down, sit and relax in a coffee shop drinking coffee served in glass or ceramic, coffee brewed by a skilled barista.

The world has been turned upside down by coronavirus, drinking in a coffee shop no longer possible, where open, often takeaway only, and if can find open, takeaway cups to reduce cross infection.

During coronavirus pandemic using a reusable coffee cup is an absolute no no. It is to introduce an unnecessary disease vector putting staff and clientele at risk.

No reputable coffee shop should be accepting reusable cups.

Takeaway cappuccino from Coffee Aroma. A model of how it should be. Only one person allowed into the coffee shop at a time, contactless payment only, takeaway cups a necessary evil, no reusable cups. No reusable cups accepted, anyone who tries will not be served and if persist will be asked to leave.

At the other end of the spectrum,. Brian of Brian’s Coffee Spot going around coffee shops insisting they take his coffee cups, in one coffee shop he handed over two different coffee cups, then bragging on social media his cups accepted and encouraging others to do the same. Highly irresponsible behaviour.

Thermal efficiency irrelevant. If I order a coffee, it is to drink, not save for some time in the future.

If I were to use a reusable cup it would be a glass KeepCup or Huskee cup. The glass KeepCup has the bad habit of smashing to smithereens if dropped. Huskee cup is a well designed cup, the lid an optional extra.

Huskee cup is an iconic design, with eco credentials of finding a use for the discarded husks from coffee beans, but and it is a very big but, it combines the husk which can be composted with plastic which can possibly be recycled and turns into a product which can be neither composted nor recycled and will at the end of its life end up in landfill or incineration.

I have never understood why anyone wishes to drink through a hole in a lid.

Not addressed, reusable cups must be barista friendly, that is clean and not too tall will not fit the espresso machine.

If we wish to reduce the number of throwaway takeaway cups the answer is simple, sit in a coffee shop and relax with a cup of coffee, but whilst that is not possible during coronavirus pandemic, please do not take your reusable coffee cup to a coffee shop and introduce an unnecessary disease vector.

If wish to take ones own cup to a coffee shop to drink out of, then take an enamel mug.


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