Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The more I think about these computerised brains the more odious the whole concept becomes. It’s all very well to talk about growing old and the body becoming frail but what about the millions who die young, even in infancy? And, unless the coming of death is obvious, such as in a terminal illness, how do you actually tell the moment when someone is going to die? But, supposing, on the point of death your brain is entered into the computer, it goes in with all your bad memories as well as your good ones and you now have absolutely no control over it. What if you want to end it? There is no way you can do that now. It is a form of eternal imprisonment in a mental straight jacket and others have you under their control, not always I am sure with the best of intentions. For the religious who believe in the kingdom of God and life after death the whole idea must seem blasphemous and for those who like me do not believe there is any life after death, thank you very much, let me sleep in peace. How long can these mad boffins interfere with nature before disaster strikes? Leave it please to science-fiction, B-movies, and action comics. No Doctor Sandberg, it may be just a theory now but please keep it that way. Nuff said.
Yet another travel firm in the UK bites the dust. This makes thirteen in all and in the height of the school holidays. Evidently it is due to the recession, holiday makers staying at home, and the ash cloud from the Finnish volcano that caused so much disruption. Greek tourism is down ten percent.
According to a survey, smoking among teenagers has been reduced by raising the legal age to buy cigarettes from sixteen to eighteen. The lovely Diane has finally quit. At the end of all previous holidays she went back home with a suitcase full of cigarettes, enough to last her a year, all quite legitimate, duty paid, and the savings compared to UK prices virtually paid for her flight to Crete. This year the cigarettes were for a friend. She has not smoked since February but is occasionally using an electric cigarette that gives off a vapour which evidently lessens the craving for nicotine. After many failed attempts I finally gave up about seven years ago. One day without any conscious effort it just happened, I stopped; no struggle, no craving, no desire any more to smoke. Do I feel any better for it? I don’t know. I’ve always had chest problems ever since being an asthmatic child but, even so, a terrific financial saving if nothing else. Not that you would notice.
And talking of finance, evidently bankrupt North Korea has offered to pay off some of its dept to Czechoslovakia with ginseng, ten millions dollars worth which means, if they accept it, a lot of healthy Czechs, and that is if ginseng is all it’s cracked up to be. Of course they could re-export it and get back some of their cash. Doesn’t sound too bad an idea.

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