Little to say for myself

Thursday, September 04, 2003


Does anyone remember that series on the Beeb many years ago, fronted by smarmy erstwhile Tomorrow's World presenter James Burke, where he explained the mechanism for technological progress in terms of a contrived series of links between contemporaneous but completely independent discoveries? You don't? Well, whatever - I've just made one of those connections myself.

Consecutive items on Today this morning got me thinking (yes, I know I said I'd stop listening, but I haven't yet). The first item was their usual fractal analysis of the Hutton inquiry - no surprises there. But it was followed by a piece which plumbed new depths in terms of vital current affairs coverage, investigating the lack of Government funding for research into complementary medicine. They broadcast a piece from some new-age trade fair in Warwick dedicated to such medical wonders as Tibetan Bell-ringing ([paraphrasing] "there - did you notice that the second ring sounded louder and clearer than the first? It sounded like some form of resonance. That's because the first one cleared the space in the room...."), and our old friend Homeopathy. A homeopathic practitioner said that, when considering how homeopathic medicines work, it was wrong to think of the extreme dilutions in terms of chemical engineering - it was more to do with physics. I'm glad they cleared that one up for me.

Aaanyway, at lunchtime today I made a connection between the two. I realised that Tony Blair, in his constant attempts to woo the populace, is striving to combine his pledge of Honesty and Openness in Government with trendy, new-age homeopathic principles. He's taken the truth, and by a process of diluting and diluting and diluting it, flooding it with inert data from all the different arms of the secret services, the MoD, and the communications directorate re-shuffle, he's hoping that we'll really begin to feel the truth working through our entire beings, suffusing us with a sense of wonder and spiritual health and convincing us that we are all of one energy, one light.

Or something like that.

posted by Plig | 14:25 |

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Forget the sentimental notion that foreign policy is a struggle between virtue and vice, with virtue bound to win.
Forget the utopian notion that a brave new world without power politics will follow the unconditional surrender of wicked nations.
Forget the crusading notion that any nation, however virtuous and powerful, can have the mission to make the world in its own image.
Remember that diplomacy without power is feeble, and power without diplomacy is destructive and blind.
Remember that no nation's power is without limits, and hence that its policies must respect the power and interests of others.
Hans Morgenthau

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts
Bertrand Russell

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one
Albert Einstein

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative
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Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man
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