Saturday, 24 October 2015

Autumn Message – The Truly Noxious Public Environment

The post-industrial nations of today are rightly very concerned about the public good regards the cleanliness of the air for all. CO2 and the various harmful trace elements within 'Nox' have - even with the EA 189 engine VW scandal – been radically reduced by car-makers from even 10 years ago.

Here then at least the world is on a road to an improved future.

However, whilst technology can help better our lives, 'progress' is not all good, nor to the public good. Especially so when deployed for harmful ends in society.

The mobile phone and smart phone has brought a new world of communications, information and entertainment possibility. Yet with it also, via inbuilt capabilities and the plethora of applications, opportunities for social good and social harm.

Whilst smart phone video has gone far beyond the its initial jokey uses amongst families and friends, it seems that the sound recording function is being put to ever more pernicious use.

Such technology is, as well known, almost the everyday preserve of the young who have grown up with it, and view it as literally 'second nature', so unfortunately its pernicious use seems especially prevalent amongst that demographic; so 'natural' that it is used in such a way as part of the everyday.

Yesterday, on a suburban (329) London bus (at about 4.00pm), two older female teenagers (17/18) used one of their phones to record the real-time short phone conversation of a separate lone school-girl (15/16) sat opposite them. Then so as to intimidate or provoke, the offender played it back to the schoolgirl.

So as not to be intimidated, she got up and sat next to them, and played with the screen of her phone to demonstrate that she would not be belittled and could easily do the same. Thereafter their ordinary conversation stopped entirely.

“Good for you” young lady!

This is Britain and elsewhere today, wherein it seems that the disdainful behaviour of some in childhood is further enabled by forms of technology and taken far too normally into supposed adulthood; the ease of the process itself and increased social normality degrading the very public space we inhabit.

For those who have had to endure such subtle but powerful bullying, the public space becomes a weary realm. And obviously, if endured over years, it becomes a distrusted sphere.

Indeed (as said here for some years) invention of the smart-phone, together with increased awareness of the mind's psychological constructs, means that the tactics of old Eastern Europe's Stasi have been put into the hands of those who themselves appear to be the modern-day equals to Victorian London's “Fagin Gang”.

As seen by the rapid rise in psychologically damaged teenagers, bullying has become far too prolific, with the focus cyber-space seemingly taking precedence over the far harsher effects of everyday physical space.

It is perhaps a truism that the moral youth of today, forced to mix with the repugnant, will maintain a desire for their own private transport.

The city car as we know it is ripe for revolutionary re-invention, the Japanese Kei car regulations setting the template, Daimler having led the way in the west, and with Gordon Murray's T-series expanding the proposition.

The car is reportedly dead.... “ long live the 'people's car' ”