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airship
22nd Nov 2007, 16:05
Background...

I have a written employer's reference somewhere which dates back to the early '80s and goes "**** possesses an intelligent and inquiring mind...". The company owner/directors were both ex. WWII veterans and the general manager was ex. RAF though the company itself was eventually liquidated in the early '90s.

So I always knew I was intelligent-like. And asked questions.

For a very long time now, I've also known that I've had what might be best described as perhaps a special capacity for empathy. Tinged with an overdose of compassion. Which has caused me great heartaches over the years. And why whenever I read the news each day, I risk going into "overload" and basically having to shut-down for awhile. There is so much to be depressed about everyday life today that I'm surprised (and even more dismayed) that the phenomena of depression is nowadays classed as an illness, to be treated with pills and psychiatry, as if that should miraculously make the ills more manageable or simply disappear.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who doesn't already earn twice or above average wages, is a house-owner with 50% equity and has a privately-funded pension plan has valid reasons to be worried. Leaving aside for a moment the general state of the planet, global warming, globalisation or just how many tigers remain alive in the wild today...?!

Conspiracies...

I used to feel just empathy and compassion. Nowadays, everytime I read about any event, I also find myself asking who stands to benefit...?! And whether it might involve a conspiracy (http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c103.htm).

Anyone here must admit that at least where businesses are concerned, conspiracies are not just limited to theory, but are real-world everyday practices. A prime example would be British Airways' fuel-surcharge price-fixing (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6925397.stm).

Unfortunetly (and what worries me even more) are similarly blatant recent examples involving democratically-elected governments, where the gains are not measured in Dollars/€uros/Yen, but otherwise...

Anyone keeping abreast of the current industrial unrest that France has been experiencing recently over pension reforms etc. will have noticed that events seemingly took a turn for the worse yesterday. When union militants were blamed for sabotaging the country's TGV rail network (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7106419.stm). Entirely plausible one might say. Until that is, you recall that back in 1999 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/334507.stm), it was in fact a special unit of the French gendarmes that were going about committing arson in an attempt to discredit certain Corsican movements...?!

Added to which, I recently watched a rerun of the movie "Conspiracy Theory" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118883/) starring Mel Gibson. You're almost obliged to empathise with someone like Jerry Fletcher in the objective of discovering all of Julia Robert's secret places! And admit that governments might have priorities.

To what extent have we today, the ordinary citizens of 1st World democracies become the involuntary subject of conspiracies - because we may be considered ungovernable or incapable of facing hard or unpalatable truths about ourselves or our enemies? That our governments need to resort to various subterfuges (to put it politely) in order to continue our way of life?!

Here are some of my more wayward thoughts:

The 9/11 attacks: Something that was literally allowed to happen in order to distract public attention from the imminent demise of Western hegemony of the world economy. The losses on the NASDAQ in 2000 were easily comparable to those of the 1929 Wall St. crash. People were jumping out of windows in both cases. Since then, we've had the Afghanistan / Iraqi invasions accompanied by an unprecedented ascendence of private-equity funds in world markets (some of which directly profited from these wars in a big way). The battle continues to this day, except it's more clear who calls the shots.

The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster: Earthquakes happen, unexpectedly usually. Post 9/11, some astute NSA specialist asked what might happen should a terrorist detonate a nuclear device directly overhead a known geological fault in the USA. So it was done in the Indian Ocean...?!

The upcoming bird-flu outbreak: It was announced today that HM Government is doubling its' stock of vaccine (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7107097.stm). The question that immediately sprung to mind was what do they know that everyone else is ignoring?! And then I thought, well, if bird-flu is going to hit, then the most-prepared will suffer the least casualties. If (or when) it does hit, it'll probably be those developing countries that are hardest hit. And the ones who pose the most significant threat to our way of life here, what with their cheap exports, demand for basic resources and complete disregard for intellectual property etc. So I asked myself (what with all our previous experience of developing chemical and biological weapons), just how difficult it would be for our scientists to help nature develop (to our timescales) the mutations required to transform bird-flu into the killer it could become for populations insufficiently-protected.

Has anyone here yet given a thought for all the Bengal tigers remaining in the Sundarbans and how they're faring after the last cyclone that hit Bangladesh? Well, I reckon that those which survived might even now, as we speak, be developing a taste for human flesh (preying on the human remains of those that lost their lives there). As Jim Corbett might have said, once a predator has acquired a taste for human flesh, the only option is to exterminate them, preferably rapidly and painlessly. So even fewer tigers to look forwards to after this latest, mostly human catastrophe.

PS. Does this break the record for the longest new thread post yet...?! :uhoh:

gingernut
22nd Nov 2007, 16:15
Are you sick? probably not.

Sounds like you may be an experienced optimist.

Windy Militant
22nd Nov 2007, 17:02
Arthur Dent: You know, this explains a lot. Because all my life, I've had this unaccountable feeling in my bones that something sinister was happening in the universe and that no one would tell me what it was.
Slartibartfast: Oh, no. That's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe has that.

Douglas Adams, may he always know where his towel is. ;)

Parapunter
22nd Nov 2007, 17:07
The Doctor prescribes a nice glass of wine, a sit down & no newspapers for a few days. You'll be alright & this dirty old world will keep turning.:ok:

Fitter2
22nd Nov 2007, 17:19
Broadly speaking there are two explanations of the general state of things - conspiracy and cockup. Given the lack of ability of anyone I know to keep a secret (except me, its just the people I tell the secret to that cause the trouble), compared to the ubiquitous cockup ability of evryone, especially politicians, cockup wins the Occam's Razor test by a country mile.

GearDown&Locked
22nd Nov 2007, 17:20
That doctor is no good. My doctor prescribes sex, at will. You'll be alright & who da f:mad:k cares about the world. :E

bnt
22nd Nov 2007, 17:41
If there is/was a 9/11 conspiracy, where is the evidence that would stand up in court? Selectively-interpreted circumstantial evidence is not going to do it: if there was usable evidence, there are plenty of rich lawyers in the USA, or even members of Congress, who would use it to assault the Bush administration: the idea that everyone could be in on it doesn't sound remotely plausible.

I think it's fun to speculate, but in the absence of evidence, where does it lead? We only hear about some conspiracies, namely the ones that are uncovered i.e. the not-so-smart ones. You could say the Corsican gendarmerie were not the best conspirators, because they were rumbled.

In other words, if there are really good conspiracies in the world, ones that will remain secret and effective, what will you hope to gain by worrying about them? You'll just get frustrated at your inability to prove them, never mind do anything about them. That way madness lies: in Conspiracy Theory, that was Jerry's problem, and he was all the better for being able to do something about one (fictional) conspiracy; getting the girl helped too, of course.

That's not the same as burying your head in the sand, and ignoring known problems. My point is that you should pick your targets, and think in terms of what you can do legally: don't agonize over things you can't do, or questions you can't answer. You can't take legal action without evidence, and there's a reason for that. Anyone can say anything about anyone, and spin theories out of little or nothing. If you think it's OK to slander or attack someone, on the basis of a conspiracy theory with no solid evidence behind it, imagine if the roles were reversed, and it was OK for someone to do that to you? Conspirators are people too... :=

frostbite
22nd Nov 2007, 17:50
It's human flu they're doubling the vaccine stocks of.

Do continue.....

airship
22nd Nov 2007, 18:24
I've just spent the last hour or so clearing up after an unfortunate accident.

Just after logging off from PPRuNe after posting in this thread, I picked up one of my pudicats Grey for a cuddle. At some stage during this delirious interlude, I lost my balance, and ended up with my ass crashing through the glass-topped table in the living-room. Tomorrow, the dustbin collectors will be picking up a suitably-marked cardboard carton containing multiple shards of evil-looking glass-daggers measuring upto 10" long, any of which could have (but didn't) transpire my frail body and pudicat. Both pudicats are now safely back inside after having fled (quite rightly) the loud crashing noises and swearing. The swearing was not because of the glass breakage, but that the €500 Polti Lecospira vacuum cleaner I was using to clear up the debris with and it's cheap plastic extension tubes kept coming loose. Resulting in my losing control and hitting hard stone floor with same. And probably having to spend a couple of €100 on new parts for it.

I've had this glass-topped table for over 16 years. Yet, in the space of of less than 12 months, this will be the second time I've had to replace the glass-top. Coincidence, or just a gentle reminder that glass-topped furniture can be the death of you, from "you know who"...?! :{

tony draper
22nd Nov 2007, 18:39
Thought those glass topped coffee tables had special glass in em? ie glass that does not break easily(polycrbonate?)
Lost a work mate about twenty year ago by similar accident,he was gardening, tripped up and fell through his cucumber frame,long shard of glass went through his heart.
Dangerous stuff glass.:(

Dea Certe
22nd Nov 2007, 20:04
Lost a glass-topped coffee table when the bookcases tumbled on it during the big earthquake of '94. Lost all my dishes, stemware, perfume bottles, nick-nacks and pretty much everything glass. Seemed like I was vacuuming up glass bits for weeks after!
Dea

edited to add: Was it a conspiracy? Or just a sad confluence of cosmic disharmony? This was in California, where we are way cosmic!

Crosshair
22nd Nov 2007, 20:17
Maybe. Schizophrenics often have paranoid delusions involving national security and that kind of thing.

Try this fun checklist, kids!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia#Schneiderian_classification

Selfloading
23rd Nov 2007, 09:17
No you are not sick, the government are using an experimental mind control machine on you. :}

Windy Militant
23rd Nov 2007, 09:44
Mr Airship when you replace the table top make sure you get Tempered safety glass. It's tougher than normal glass, but if you do manage to smash it, it crumbles like the old Triplex windscreens, so no nasty daggers. Mind you it's a bugger to clean up afterwards.

A thought regarding your question. Apparently people with stressful occupations can develop an unhealthy cynicism, a case of kick the dog often enough and it always expects to be kicked. Similarly with people, if you're surrounded by maleficence then your outlook can likewise become Jaundiced.
Maybe you can hang with the Hippies for a while to brighten your outlook.;)

ORAC
23rd Nov 2007, 09:52
“Hello, and welcome to the mental health hotline.

- If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

- If you are co-dependent, ask someone to press 2 for you.

- If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

- If you are paranoid, we know what you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.

- If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.

- If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press.

- If you are a depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press, no one will answer.

- If you are dyslexic, press 6969696969696969.

- If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the pound key until a representative comes on the line.

- If you have amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, and your mother's maiden name.

- If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, s-l-o-w-l-y & c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y press 0 0 0.

- If you have bi-polar disorder, please leave a message after the beep or before the beep or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.

- If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

- If you have low self-esteem, please hang up. All operators are too busy to talk to you.

- If you are menopausal, hang up, turn on the fan, lie down & cry. You won't be crazy forever.

- If you are a blonde, don't press any buttons - you'll just mess it up.”

Two's in
23rd Nov 2007, 14:58
ORAC - Wonderful.

Airship - With my extensive medical training (Boy Scout Heart By-Pass Badge) I can confidently diagnose your condition - Amnesia.

Your forget who pays those who edit the newspapers. You forget who gives knighthoods and awards to those who own the media outlets. You forget that Government news is "happy" news, unless it attacks any threat to them, in which case it is "serious" news. You forget that frightened voters are pliable voters. You forget that in any catastrophe, somebody stands to benefit from the misery of others. You forget that all Governements are "owned" by large Corporations in terms of funding and support, so Government policy is Corporate policy. You forget that happy people don't respond well to non-existent threats about their futures.

George Orwell undestood all of this very well.

See, it's not you, it's just your memory you need to improve.

gingernut
23rd Nov 2007, 15:27
Could be that the rest of the worlds sick, and your just normal.....

MagnusP
23rd Nov 2007, 15:36
airship wrote: Earthquakes happen, unexpectedly usually. Post 9/11, some astute NSA specialist asked what might happen should a terrorist detonate a nuclear device directly overhead a known geological fault in the USA. So it was done in the Indian Ocean...?!

An idea explored in a great book "Not the End of the World" by Christopher Brookmyre.

Magnus

Tigs2
23rd Nov 2007, 17:26
Earthquakes happen, unexpectedly usually. Post 9/11, some astute NSA specialist asked what might happen should a terrorist detonate a nuclear device directly overhead a known geological fault in the USA. So it was done in the Indian Ocean...?!


What would have been the motivation??

Lamenting Navigator
23rd Nov 2007, 17:43
Stop reading the newspapers and put the internet away for a bit. Sit down, pour a drink, relax and stop over-analysing!!

gingernut
23rd Nov 2007, 17:44
Do you own a shed?

Load Toad
23rd Nov 2007, 21:58
Of course there are conspiracies. Was there a 9-11 conspiracy? Yes - the f'kin' terrorists conspired to kill innocent people. Was there an Iraq war conspiracy? Yes - to fight terrorism some supposedly clever people decided to invade Iraq and they did so without thinking through the consequences of their actions. Was it really all about oil? Well I'm sure it was a consideration.

And so it goes.

Some people like the idea of conspiracies because it makes things that are hard to understand and hard to accept far easier to grasp. It gives a reason where there appears to be none.

Sad and pathetic really.

arcniz
23rd Nov 2007, 22:18
Corruption and conspiracy, in government and by private gangs and individuals, are as old as civilisation itself. Some of your ideas about these may hold water, but the 'coccup' theory is more common, by far. Certainly many wannabe criminals are hard at work each day to devise swindles, scams and simple robberies on small scale and large.

Bnt's advice - 'do what you can, don't worry about the rest' is eminently practical and probably the best any of us can do.

As for your personal inclination to fret over these grand phenomena to a point where it pains you - simple help may be readily available to you. From sharing the pain of a close relation with such problems, one knows of a simple, inexpensive, seemingly healthy, and non-hazardous herbal resource that helps to allay such problems with no evident side-effects. The herb is "St Johns Wort" also called "hypericum". One knows it to be readily available as scientifically controlled processed capsules or as simple ground up herb over-the-counter in the US, Germany, Switz., most of Asia and scattered other countries, but cannot advise re France. It is a mild herb, is considered safe by many authorities, and has the principal effect of reducing anxiety - but not altering judgment, wakefulness, clarity, motor skills, etc. For reference, it seems to behave like an herbal SSRI. In essence, a little bit of it somehow alters the behavior of a nanogramme's worth of stuff in your hypothalamus- deep inside your noggin, and suddenly, for a day or so, life seems much more agreeable.

Hypericum is cheap, plentiful and not generally considered hazardous... might be worth a try to help you enjoy life a bit more. The aided focus might help you actually DO something about specific problems that attract your attention.

GrumpyOldFart
24th Nov 2007, 00:54
airship:

It's probably best if you don't mention Bilderberg, or the Men In Black might come and take you aw....................................................

devlin1
26th Nov 2007, 17:24
Just after logging off from PPRuNe after posting in this thread, I picked up one of my pudicats Grey for a cuddle.
This statement has discredited you.