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Davie P

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Everything posted by Davie P

  1. Indeed. I've been involved in some online discussions that are basically people Googling whatever the subject is and posting links back and forth to each other without actually reading or digesting the information. When I were a lad.... books and articles were read, experienced people were listened to, thoughts were pondered and some clarity was reached before mouths were opened. Now folk seem happy to find the first article they feel backs their point up and post that saying "see..." whilst believing that to be research. I wonder if, in the age of information, we are losing our abilities to process the information in a meaningful way?
  2. Where's the line between questioning the consensus and creating a world of paranoid mistrust? The promotion of conspiracy theories and spread of misinformation is an inevitable consequence of the internet (I naively believed the internet would be a force for consensus and collective knowledge, but them human nature got in the way...), and I'm wondering if we're heading toward a future where information and evidence are of no particular value to many people, and they're just looking for a narrative that suits their world view, then creating and spreading misinformation to back their views up? Political and media spin have been with us since the dawn of politics and the media but personally I don't know why 'the person on the street' would just casually make stuff up and circulate it on the internet. I'm sure they have their motives. What do you folks think? Have we come out the other side of the age of reason and science, and into the age of perpetual misinformation?
  3. For me, Brexit was the apex because it represented a tipping point for one of the world's longest functioning democracies (a model upon which many Western democracies are based) and a failure of the classic view of the 4 Estates of Democracy. We are now in a new era in the UK where it is 'acceptable' for the government (the Executive) to ignore Parliament (the Legislature) and the courts (the Judiciary) and use the media (the 4th Estate, which has traditionally had a function to hold the other 3 to account) to manipulate voters into voting for something which would demonstrably make the majority worse off. Personally, I feel that the move from 'editorial' media to 'social' media has rendered the function of the 4th Estate, to a large degree, obsolete. Mass manipulation seems quite straightforward on Social Media (e.g. Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal). Folk will believe what they want to believe, do very little in the way of fact checking, and seem particularly susceptible to simple false equivalences (e.g. the infamous NHS Bus blaming the EU for government's underinvestment in health services, and the government blaming immigrants for their underinvestment in social services and housing in deprived areas). It all seems very plausible to many people, and Social Media provides the online echo chambers for these manipulations to take hold and become accepted as fact. All the government then has to do is present their latest legislation as the silver bullet to shoot the bogeyman they created, and call anyone who challenges them 'undemocratic' or 'unpatriotic'
  4. I agree, and there's several factors at play, some of which vex me greatly: A debasement of the media - the 4th estate of democracy - people no longer expect to pay for news, investigative journalism is on its knees, and news has been replaced by opinion-ised 'infotainment' Statistics show that attention spans are going down across the board, particularly amongst younger people (the endless scroll of social media.....) Participation in consensus politics and local democracy has been replaced by online echo-chambers and keyboard warrior-ism - everyone has the ability to share ill-informed opinions without consequence, and there seems to be more of a desire to prove everyone else wrong that to actually put our collective heads together to solve problems and build a better future Brexit was the apex of the above
  5. Are we going over this once more George? How were the "Common Market, the E.E.C, the E.C, the E.U." "inflicted" upon us, and which parts of the British democratic system do you think are undemocratic? Of all the many times you've posted the same thing over the years, I can't recall you ever backing it up.
  6. The fundamental challenge the Remain side was that their only option was to try to point out the benefits of the status quo whilst preaching caution - never the 'sexy' option - whilst the Leave had the benefit of being able to paint pictures of a multiple different futures in which everyone's lives would be better. Remain meant more of the same, whilst Leave was a hotchpotch of scenarios and promises with little detail to back any of up - Leave just had to persuade people that at least one of these competing scenarios would benefit them (from my estimation, there was at least 6 or 7 fundamentally different scenarios that came under the umbrella of 'Brexit')
  7. The 'all politicians are liars' line of discussion is quite tedious, and quite frankly nonsense. I studied politics as a student, worked alongside several politicians at various levels during my career and still take a keen interest in it. There are many politicians of great integrity, past and present, and at all levels of local and national politics, who have contributed very positively to society. However, in all the years I have followed politics I have never seen such blatant dishonesty as that which came from, in the most part, the pro-Brexit politicians and the media outlets which amplified their jingoistic nonsense and glossed over their disregard for due process. They played to the gallery, and promised things that were obviously impossible, with apparent impunity. I feel Brexit was probably the lowest point in British politics for several generations.
  8. Here's the full Retail Impact Assessment - good luck at making sense of it! https://pa.shetland.gov.uk/online-applications/files/953C3248ADDB20F61F783AA1F872D6A7/pdf/2021_106_PPF-RETAIL_IMPACT_ASSESSMENT_AND_ECONOMIC_STATEMENT-387700.pdf After a quick read, it seems that there's a subtle but very important differentiation between having no impact and having no impact on viability - the latter essentially means that the Retail Impact Assessment tries to make the case that whilst there will be an impact, the shops can still survive and remain viable. There's also some interesting statistics in there that makes a case that Shetland shops trade at higher than UK average profit (they use much more complex language, but that's the thrust), so it'll just be the local shops' profit margins that'll be impacted. Obviously, the Retail Impact Assessment has been written from a specific perspective with one aim in mind, so make of it what you will! I think that's down to the reporting of the report, rather than the content of the report
  9. Davie P

    Bitcoin

    As George alludes to, it's akin to gambling so it depends on your 'risk appetite'. There's winners and losers, but you tend to hear more about the winners. On the whole, the trend has been for the value of BitCoin to be on an upward trajectory, but it's a currency so isn't underpinned by anything 'tangible' (such as the value of a company or a commodity) so the value is based on perception. The bigger financial institutions are now trading in crypto currencies, and it's coming under increasing regulation, so I expect the heady days of early adopters getting-rich-quick are gone. It is, however, still quite volatile so can swing up and down in value dramatically, so there's still significant returns (and losses) to be made. From my understanding, you need to be either be lucky or invest a lot of time and effort into following the markets if you want to make a return on your investment. There's loads of misinformation, hype and 'info-mercials' re: cryptocurrencies on the internet, so it's best to proceed with an element of suspicion and cynicism!
  10. This is an interesting article on the royal's carbon footprint(s) https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/blog/royal-family-carbon-footprint#link-who-has-the-biggest-carbon-footprint It seems Charles is the worst offender. His mam and her business interests managed to use their privileges to avoid carbon cutting legislation too https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jul/28/queen-secretly-lobbied-scottish-ministers-climate-law-exemption
  11. I'd be interested to hear more about your research
  12. A friend used to have a breaded dragon and I believe he had a subscription with an online supplier who sent regular packages of live food. Your postie might not thank you though!
  13. I believe Leasks are selling off their buses. Could be worth a try??
  14. Davie P

    Graffiti

    The 'victims' are people who don't like seeing the town vandalised. And The War Memorial was a single location, whereas the last incident was several locations. There are arguments to be had regarding the relative symbolism and validity of the 'targets' but the scale is different. From my perspective, the "outpouring of outrage and criticism" doesn't "far exceed" the War Memorial incident (which made it to the national news), but then I don't know where you're sourcing your outrage and criticism from.
  15. Davie P

    Graffiti

    This is quite disappointing https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2021/07/20/graffiti-defaces-lerwick-town-hall-and-esplanade/ ...and it's not even amusing or thought provoking. I expect it's not only Loki who isn't happy - the SIC cleansing team will likely be a little miffed too! Hopefully the paint comes off the stonework and pointing of the Town Hall without damaging it
  16. It's getting serious! https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2021/07/02/popular-cafe-closes-after-plague-of-flies/
  17. A bit of a lazy attempt at Westminster bashing there, when actually...
  18. I don't think either of those options were seriously considered for very long by anyone with an understanding of how the virus was spreading (I assume you know that but are writing for dramatic effect). Since very early on the aim of the game was to slow the spread i.e. the 'flatten the curve' principal whilst vaccines were developed and/or herd immunity achieved. Surely there's enough evidence of health services around the world being overwhelmed for people to understand that aiming for herd immunity through the unchecked spread of the virus would have been catastrophic. It feels quite odd to be even writing such an obvious comment.
  19. A very interesting article https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/nostalgia/3115162/the-ira-plot-to-bomb-the-queen-in-shetland-following-the-death-of-bobby-sands/
  20. Depending on who you ask, and it's probably not a hugely useful comparison, but... Westminster (including the Commons, Lords and whatnot) cost £552 million in 17/18. The Scottish Parliament cost £99 million in the same year (source). So Westminster costs about 5.5 times as much as Hollyrood but has a lot more 'legislative throughput'
  21. I wonder how many people say that in public but vote for more 'selfishly' in the privacy of the voting booth. Thanks not an accusation BTW @Muckle Oxters. I'm sure you're a selfless pillar of the community!
  22. Moot point. If we stay in the UK we have a debt, if we leave we have a debt, and almost every country has debt anyway. Furthermore, it depends on how the settlement is calculated if we leave. A relatively regularly used method (for example, in the case of post Soviet or Czech and Slovak republics separations) is done per head of population, which would see Scotland come out with a considerably lower level than England. This is quite a frivolous thing to say, although I'm sure it was done for effect rather than actually believing that Scotland's economy is based on whiskey, wind turbines and tourists. However, it does get a bit wearing to read comments such as these that simplify, trivialise and talk our economy down - presumably inn an attempt to mislead people into thinking our economy is less buoyant than it actually is. For example, in 2020 Edinburgh was ranked as the 4th largest financial centre in Europe and the 13th largest financial centre internationally (source). That's quite a remarkable statistic that bodes well for an independent Scotland within a modern, global economy, if independence is the path we want to take. I'm open minded about Independence and all too often it seems to me that folk have long ago made up their minds about which 'side' they're on. Having a closed mindset like that is very unhelpful when one of the most important decisions any of us are likely to take will soon be upon us.
  23. Out of interest, which Christian values do you agree with that you feel are in opposition to the values of other religions? (from my understanding, most religions are based on very similar core values) And what is preventing you from voicing your opinion? Is that not what you're doing here?
  24. You haven't answer my question @Urabug, but is it fair to say that you believe anybody should be able to say whatever they want wherever they want to whoever they want unless it is illegal, and then it's up to an individual claimant to take legal action? And by extension, do you believe all Have Your Say websites should be completely unmoderated? I don't want to have a go at you directly, I'm just wondering if you think there's a middle ground somewhere.
  25. In theory, would you expect the moderators to 'censor' someone on Shetlink if they started spreading misinformation about you on the forums? And in principle, would you support such 'censorship' or not?
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