November 11th, 2010

Reflections On The Battle Of Millbank

1. David Cameron wasn't even in the country. And, really, no-one would have paid any attention to the student protest if things hadn't turned a little rough. Good-natured demonstrations achieve nothing. If you want government- any government- to sit up and take notice you've got to scare the bastards.

2. I would prefer to live in a society where it wasn't necessary to storm buildings and throw fire extinguishers at the police, but it wasn't the marchers who started this war. This government has chosen to deal with the woeful financial situation by taking money mainly from the weak. They could have gone after the bankers and the corporations; they could- for instance- have required Vodaphone to pay its taxes- but they chose the line of least resistance.  Maybe they thought it would be the line of no resistance at all. If so they have discovered their mistake.

3. Target the rich and they'll withdraw their donations and the support of their newspapers; target the poor and they'll kick your windows in. 

The Electricians: Day 8

Two of the team were off sick. One with the flu, the other with an asthma attack- brought on I suppose by all the dust.  At the end of the day we still have no lights downstairs and no sockets upstairs.

God Does Not Play Dice

 "God does not play dice" is quotable Einstein's most quotable quote. People of a religious cast of mind admire it because- divorced from context- it seems like an affirmation of faith; and so it is, but not so much in God as in Newtonian physics.  Einstein was a pioneer of quantum mechanics but came to hate how it tore up the Newtonian rulebook and allowed for certain things to happen by chance. His belief in the fundamental orderliness of the universe was, however, fundamentally unscientific- based on nothing better than a hunch, a feeling, an aesthetic preference, an assumption- and it led him to spend the latter part of his career chasing rainbows. "God does not play dice" is not the statement of a scientist at the top of his game but of a man obstinately setting his face against the most advanced science of his day- and those who bandy it about and wear it on their tee shirts should be advised that, according to all the best and most up to the minute information we possess, it is absolutely wrong.