Richard Murgatroyd

A web site for the baffled

I'm always here and it's always now

So here I go.  This Blog title reflects my trademark vagueness and the lack of importance I usually attach to place and time.  But it's also an important point about me-centricity.  When you read this, you're here, and it's now.  This may be something to do with the block universe but then I only studied physics as far as A-level.

It seems there's a Blog function in my web hosting software (I use, by the way) but I'm too much of a cheapskate to pay for the full version that has it.

Maybe I'll start writing up some ideas around some of the topics that roll around my head such as:

  • Portrayal of pharmaceutical development and companies in popular culture.  A rich vein of hilariously ill-informed content.
  • Brexit (don't laugh) and the collapse of trust in democracy - a comparison between British chaos and Swiss glacial consensus.  Thus (from my extensive list of Things That Are Obvious to me), the need for constitutional reform in the UK.  But consider this: the British (non-) constitution is a perfectly self-sustaining system: its very nature resists any change to itself.  The type of people who are able to gain power from it don't see any reason to change it, and there's no democratic mechanism for popular change.  So unless there's a war and/or a revolution, we're stuck with it.
  • Motorcycles: are they really dangerous, and more dangerous than, say, horses or the sides or slopes of mountains?  Why do so many miss out on trying the sheer joy of riding a fast motorcycle around a twisting road (or track) because they think only of the risk?  Without naming names, I now now of two acquaintances who've had severe injuries falling off bicycles, when of course they wouldn't be wearing armoured protective clothing as I generally do on a mortocycle.
  • Uncertainty in forecasting: you can't make them any more accurate, so don't worry about it and concentrate instead on deriving plans to deal with likely scenarios.
  • God: the obvious non-existence of, and effect that the delusion and resulting religious observance have on human development.  OK I may not be the first one to think of tackling that.  Esther Rantzen said on the radio (R4, of course) "If I were God, I'd ban religion".
  • Incentives: developing the previous atheism theme, I came across this article in the New York Times from a Julia Scheeres, who clearly shares my Weltanschaung.  It occurred to me that the religious concept of sin is as useless (at least for me) as a monetary incentive is to ensure I do a good job.  In both cases, I - and I would hope most of educated humanity - can depend on an obvious sense of right and wrong rather than monetary carrots or religious sticks.
  • Lit Crit.  Something I've always disdained as a serious profession, although I do occasionally derive amusement from it.  This is mainly from Private Eye; the latest corker - sadly not on their web site - is a review of Paul Morley's biography of Michael Jackson, An Awfully Big Adventure.  I urge you to read it - the review that is, not the book

More later folks.