Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The London Riots

Having lived in Lewisham, worked in Croydon and been beaten with a gun in Dulwich, the riots and mass looting come as no surprise to me.
London is a very unequal city where people who are rich by global standards live a few miles from people who are poor, at least by European standards. 
The task ahead is not just to provide education,  jobs and good housing, but to start a shift in moral values away from materialism, selfishness and the widespread rejection of rules that exists in society.
This can only be achieved when the establishment and ordinary people unite in a moral consensus.
This must include living modestly, regardless of your wealth. Rejecting drugs and other self destructive habits. Dedicating our lives to learning, self improvement, hard work fairly rewarded and bringing up children to value these things too. This could be part of a religious or secular life.
Things will only get better when people's values change. This applies to everyone from the MP putting luxuries on expenses to the looter putting stolen goods into his stolen car.  

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Life after Facebook.

I've read several articles recently predicting that Facebook will start to shrink as the novelty wears off and people seek more specialist social networking sites. My favourite is www.librarything.com  where you list the books you own, write reviews and connect with others who enjoy the same books as you. Another much more general site is www.experienceproject.com. On this site you can write about specific experiences and join groups that relate to your beliefs, nationality, or just something about you like "I am single" or "I am an uncle". I love the way this site covers absolutely anybody, but quickly defines people. By joining 10 or 15 groups you can identify yourself and sift through potentially millions of people to connect with "your sort of people", whoever they might be. Another attraction of experience project is the interesting stories. Like a compilation of all the best bits of many biographies. As with most things in life it's the obscurities that are the most interesting. I've only found these websites by spending hours sifting  through rubbish. Remember when they used to publish guidebooks to the internet that listed interesting websites? These books seem to clog up the charity shops now. They already appear so dated. Some of them mention social networking as the latest thing!
Idea of the week: There are magazines devoted to computer games, but what about a magazine devoted to social networking? Surely more people use social networks than play computer games?

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Here's an idea.

You may be able to do this and it's just my lack of  IT knowledge holding me back, but why can't you browse other people's blogs by category? So you could join groups like you can on Librarything.com.
That website's worth a look if you're a dedicated bookworm like myself. It's a bit fiction dominated though. I find these days I can only manage short stories. Biographies and non fiction, even travel books just seem to be so much better written than the average novel.

A good read.

I bought an interesting little book today. Buddhism, A Very Short Introduction by Damien Keown.
It's published by The Oxford University Press www.oup.com. I was very impressed. I've read countless books on Buddhism in the past, but this one gives you all the basics, plus a very interesting final chapter on Buddhism in the West. It's also less than 1cm thick, so I finished it and still had time for an afternoon snooze.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

It's come to this.

So after staggering from one financial crisis to the next I decided that something had to go and that something was the television. In the uk we are charged £150 per year just to watch television. Well, they have to get Jonathan Ross's 4 million from somewhere don't they? A classic example of trickle up economics where the poor support the rich. Enough ranting for now. So what's this all about? Well, I decided to improve my typing skills,  improve my writing skills and fill the gaps in my free time by writing a blog. It will be about everything and anything my restless mind contemplates. It will be a self indulgent diary. It will also be a chance for me to ask the world questions like: does anyone know who designed the houses in Greenwich Close Maidstone and why don't we have more really cool houses in this country? I may put some pictures up if I can work out a way to do it. I've come to IT very late in life, so some things that are easy for many are a mystery to me. Thanks for reading. I now have to think up some interesting things to say, won't be easy.......