Skip to main content
Return of The Kings

I never thought I would see the day when I agreed with Tony Benn MP. Can we have our democracy back please Mr Blair, because you stole it away from right under our noses.

While Turkey is offered $21 billion to let American troops use it as a staging post for an invasion and several African ‘Presidents’ are bribed beyond their wildest dreams to support America in the United Nations, one has to ask what Britain will receive in return for its support. The answer is of course moral superiority, because as Tony insists, we’re doing the right thing against a vicious tyrant who might or might not have weapons of mass destruction.



In fact, the US government doesn’t need our forces other than to prove the existence of a coalition. I used to be a sort of soldier a very long time ago and my own opinion is that our boys will simply get in the way as they did last time. The Americans fight at night, have sophisticated digital communications systems and with the best will in the world, we have a useless personal weapons system, the SA80, tanks and helicopters that can’t cope with desert conditions. What's more we’re even struggling to achieve toilet paper superiority over the Iraqis. There’s little point in joining in the American rush to Baghdad, we’ll get shot at by the wrong side all over again.

The good news of course is that this is to be the first ‘pay-per-view’ war which is one of the reasons we are involved in the first place. Sky and the BBC are reportedly teaming-up with UK Online for the rights to provide minute by minute coverage of the action. This in turn should drive record traffic through the government Web site as the population pays to receive ‘The Desert Duel Channel’ over the Sky and BBC digital networks. It’s a master-stroke of planning and reflects a change in warfare, from being an extension of foreign policy in the 20th century to an interactive entertainment medium in the 21st century.

Already, teams of graphics developers and artists from Sony and Microsoft are in Iraq scanning Baghdad and its suburbs. This is so that accurate 'before and after' images can be included in new interactive PlayStation and X-Box games that will reproduce the most exciting actions of the war in time for Xmas. George Clooney, it's rumoured, has already started filming ‘Three Kings’ the sequel; 'Return of The Kings'.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Civilisational Data Mining

It’s a new expression I haven’t heard before. ‘Civilisational data mining.’

Let me start by putting it in some context. Every character, you or I have typed into the Google search engine or Facebook over the last decade, means something, to someone or perhaps ‘something,’ if it’s an algorithm.


In May 2014, journalists revealed that the United States National Security Agency, the NSA, was recording and archiving every single cell-phone conversation that took place in the Bahamas. In the process they managed to transform a significant proportion of a society’s day to day interactions into unstructured data; valuable information which can of course be analysed, correlated and transformed for whatever purpose the intelligence agency deems fit.

And today, I read that a GOP-hired data company in the United States has ‘leaked’ personal information, preferences and voting intentions on… wait for it… 198 million US citizens.

Within another decade or so, the cost of sequencing the human genome …

The Nature of Nurture?

Recently, I found myself in a fascinating four-way Twitter exchange, with Professor Adam Rutherford and two other science-minded friends The subject, frequently regarded as a delicate one, genetics and whether there could exist an unknown but contributory genetic factor(s) or influences in determining what we broadly understand or misunderstand as human intelligence.

I won’t discuss this subject in any great detail here, being completely unqualified to do so, but I’ll point you at the document we were discussing, and Rutherford’s excellent new book, ‘A Brief History of Everyone.”

What had sparked my own interest was the story of my own grandfather, Edmond Greville; unless you are an expert on the history of French cinema, you are unlikely to have ever hear of him but he still enjoys an almost cult-like following for his work, half a century after his death.

I've been enjoying the series "Genius" on National Geographic about the life of Albert Einstein. The four of us ha…
The Mandate of Heaven

eGov Monitor Version

“Parliament”, said my distinguished friend “has always leaked like a sieve”.

I’m researching the thorny issue of ‘Confidence in Public Sector Computing’ and we were discussing the dangers presented by the Internet. In his opinion, information security is an oxymoron, which has no place being discussed in a Parliament built upon the uninterrupted flow of information of every kind, from the politically sensitive to the most salacious and mundane.

With the threat of war hanging over us, I asked if MPs should be more aware of the risks that surround this new communications medium? More importantly, shouldn’t the same policies and precautions that any business might use to protect itself and its staff, be available to MPs?

What concerns me is that my well-respected friend mostly considers security in terms of guns, gates and guards. He now uses the Internet almost as much as he uses the telephone and the Fax machine and yet the growing collective t…