Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
:sunglasses: 63 % ❤ 4.3 % :thumbsup: 2.2 % 😯 4.3 % :grinning: 17.4 % 😟 4.3 % :cry: 4.3 %
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
 
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
#597456
I'm not for one second suggesting that technology hasn't made our lives much easier in many ways. Simply that the smarter the tech gets, the stupider we humans seem to become. I don't see how anyone could consider that progress.

But that just isn't true, is it? I know there's the cliched argument about "snowflakes with their heads in their phones like zombies" but I feel much of the time that criticism is coming from middle aged journalists/politicians that hate the fact these uppity young kids can instantly call out their bullshit now.

This isn't really about smart motorways. That's just been seized on and turned into an all-encompassing, "technology these days, eh?, pfffft, didn't need it back in my day" argument we see so often from these people.





SARAH VINE: Smart motorways, smart phones, smart homes... why are they all so dumb?
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... -dumb.html

We live in the age of smart things. Smartphones, smart motorways, smart homes, smart meters, 'smart' cars, smart TVs. And yet, have you noticed how almost anything that carries the prefix 'smart' somehow ends up being anything but?

Take so-called smart motorways. Stupidest idea since diet water. Quite where it came from is unclear, but the fact remains that a few years ago all the motorways that used to work perfectly OK — give or take the odd traffic jam — started becoming nigh on impassable.

With no discernible warning or obvious justification, some satanic sub-department of Highways England decided that all our dim-witted old motorways had to be upgraded to shiny new 'smart' ones. Meaning that all of a sudden a journey that might have taken an hour took at least twice that because of all the roadworks.

And when they were finished, the new smart motorways had no hard shoulders, meaning broken-down cars had nowhere safe to wait; 38 people have been killed on smart motorways in the past five years.

No one bothered to ask us, the motorists, what we thought of this idea, probably because it would have been met with a resounding boot.

But dumb motorways are typical of all this new smartness that seems to be coming our way. Typical in that they render a tried-and-tested system stupidly complex for no other purpose than to make the lives of nosy government departments and big business easier.

In the case of the poor beleaguered motorist, the long-term strategy behind smart motorways is to facilitate the introduction of driverless — or, you guessed it, smart — cars whose every move will be tracked by a central database.

Ostensibly, this will lead to fewer accidents and safer, more fuel-efficient travelling.

But you and I know it will just mean even more delay and frustration. In the meantime, the authorities will be able to track where we go, while the big data firms will be able to harvest even more details about our lives to use for whatever nefarious means they see fit. Ditto smartphones. So clever, in fact, that they make us do stupid things like step out in front of a car while texting, or walk into a lamppost while chatting on FaceTime.

Only this week, researchers in Canada published a study identifying texting or browsing while walking as a leading cause of injury among young people.

Before all this smart tech entered our lives, before we allowed our fridges to tell us what to eat and our radios what to listen to and our TVs what to watch; before we surrendered all autonomy to the gods of 'smart' things, human beings were already pretty damn smart.

We wrote books and poetry, created breathtaking works of art, built palaces and temples that still stand to this day, sailed oceans and conquered space.

I'm not for one second suggesting that technology hasn't made our lives much easier in many ways. Simply that the smarter the tech gets, the stupider we humans seem to become. I don't see how anyone could consider that progress.







Prince William's boost in popularity (aided by hating Harry) has not lasted long. He mentioned the 'd' word and has come under attack from all the usual suspects:

Please, not Prince William, too. We've only just got rid of hand-wringing Harry, and now his brother's at it, railing about the lack of diversity at the Baftas.

Yes, of course it's important. Yes, of course Something Must Be Done. But is this really William's job?

I mean, it's not as though the issue hasn't had enough coverage, what with every luvvie from here to Tinseltown vying to out-woke one another. Why can't the royals just turn up and smile and wave like they used to?

Still, one thing we should be grateful for: at least when Kate and William do the Baftas, passing studio execs don't have to worry about him pitching for his wife to do a voiceover.
 
By Boiler
Posts
#597460
The trouble with "smart" motorways are the idiots driving on them - who seem to think it's perfectly okay to go past a fucking giant red 'X' overhead because they can't see anything immediately in front of it.

As I've said before, the standard of road craft in this country is shit. Maybe it should be a condition that you can only renew your photo driving licence by sitting a driving test again.
Bones McCoy liked this
By karlt
Membership Days
#597499
Yeah, when they said that they were "confusing for drivers", my reaction was "only the ones with a single fucking digit IQ. You don't use lanes with red Xs on them. You stick to the speed limits on the overhead gantry." How fucking hard is that? What's the confusing bit?
 
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
#597500
Is that really what the whole furore is about?! I hadn't been following the whole "Smart motorways" story and just assumed there must be some genuine issue with them. If it really is about people getting confused by the X's and speed limits displayed on the gantries then I really am not learning my lesson and still putting too much faith in the intelligence of the general population.
 
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#597502
Used to take ages to drive the M6 through Birmingham or the M60 around Manchester, stop start at every junction. Now you cruise through at a steady 60 or so. I can live with that.

And no Sarah, "we" did not build cathedrals and go to the moon. Some very clever people did.
By karlt
Membership Days
#597504
Safe_Timber_Man wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:10 pm
Is that really what the whole furore is about?! I hadn't been following the whole "Smart motorways" story and just assumed there must be some genuine issue with them. If it really is about people getting confused by the X's and speed limits displayed on the gantries then I really am not learning my lesson and still putting too much faith in the intelligence of the general population.
It's not the whole story - there is also the lack of a hard shoulder coupled with the ability of drivers to plough straight into unexpected vehicles rather than driving in such a way as to be able to stop in the space they can see to be clear. However confusion has also been mentioned.

Of course, because drivers can't even be trusted to actually drive in the driving lanes, even hard shoulders are very dangerous places, which confuses the issue a bit.
 
By Boiler
Posts
#597508
Yes, bit like the cunt in an Audi A6 I encountered on the A1(M) yesterday who decided the hard shoulder was there for him to jump the queueing traffic towards junction 7. People have also been hit from behind when they've broken down in a lane and the controllers have been too slow to react to it.
 
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
#598602
"Nothing to do with us, guv"

Over the past few years these multi-million-pound businesses have made no effort to curb the tens of millions of offensive and illegal posts that populate their platforms.

Thanks to them, we live in a world spittle-flicked with bile, where armies of the professionally offended march at the merest of slights, where gossip and speculation is passed off as truth, where the slightest error of judgment is amplified to destruction and where a person’s reputation can be stripped bare in seconds by a bloodthirsty, rapacious mob from whom there is simply no legitimate protection.

She's a cretin but she isn't thick enough to be oblivious to the fact this very much applies to her own employer.



Beautiful, talented Caroline Flack was tried and convicted by the merciless court of social media, says SARAH VINE
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... -VINE.html

The death of Caroline Flack is truly a tragedy. A beautiful, talented, successful young woman who nevertheless felt so worthless and unloved, so scared and hopeless, she decided to take her own life.

Someone who, despite the care and support of friends and family — and of the boyfriend she was banned from seeing — ultimately could not see a way through for herself.

My heart goes out to all who knew and loved her, in particular the friend who was staying with her at the time of her death.

For them her passing is a deep personal sadness. But for the rest of us, for those who never met or knew her save as a charismatic on-screen presence, it also hits hard.

Because there is something about the nature and circumstances of her death that speaks of a deeper, darker truth about the world we live in, and about the kind of culture we have become.

For there is no doubt in my mind that whatever issues Flack may have been facing, she is as much a victim of her own demons as of social media and its insidious influence on the human psyche — and on society in general.

At the time of her arrest for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, last December, I already felt a sense of foreboding.

It seemed to me that, whatever the circumstances of the incident, there was simply no way this woman could ever receive a fair hearing, especially after her previous boyfriend, Andrew Brady, posted screenshots of a heavily redacted non-disclosure agreement preventing him from discussing a relationship on social media, along with the message ‘abuse has no gender’.

The entire world, it seemed, piled in online, making her decision to step down from ITV’s Love Island inevitable. Within hours her reputation had been destroyed, despite protestations from the alleged victim, who described her as ‘the most lovely girlfriend’.

By this point, it seemed to me, it wouldn’t matter what transpired during the course of any legal process: she had been tried and convicted in the court of social media.

Under the circumstances, even the most robust of individuals, even the most glass-half-full person, would feel utterly atomised.

Having been on the sharp end of such things a few times myself, I have an inkling of how it feels. The wave of negativity hits you with a force that is impossible to describe.

It sweeps you off your feet, carries you away to far-flung shores of self-doubt and loathing, leaving you shipwrecked in the darkest recesses of your mind.

Friends and family can offer support — but ultimately they are not the ones whose very essence is being shattered into a million pieces, each one a tiny shard of loathing that strikes straight to the heart.

And it doesn’t stop there. Where once organisations and institutions could be relied upon to act as a brake on the madness, to exercise a certain restraint in cases such as Flack’s, now they seem to capitulate at the slightest hint of trouble.

In the case of ITV, a number of Flack’s close friends have expressed concern that the broadcaster didn’t do enough to protect its star.

In much the same way that it recently treated Alastair Stewart, an ITV employee of some 40 years’ standing, over a stupid Twitter spat about a Shakespeare quotation, when Flack stepped down ITV accepted it and moved on as fast as it could, more concerned about its precious ratings than the wellbeing of this young woman.

As for the CPS, its decision to continue with the prosecution — of which she had learned shortly before she took her own life — seems to the layman utterly baffling.

Certainly on the surface of things it is hard to see what possible purpose it might have served, given that Burton clearly had no wish to press charges.

Nor was Flack in any obvious way a danger to the public — this was very clearly a domestic dispute, although the full details of exactly what happened that night are still unclear.

The only explanation I can surmise is that its eagerness to prosecute had something to do with the Government’s new focus on cases of domestic violence, as laid out in the recently published Domestic Abuse Bill, which aims, in particular, ‘to address coercive control’ and ‘transform the response in the justice system’.

Heralded as a major breakthrough by women’s groups and campaigners, the Bill places the emphasis on safeguarding victims, in particular cases where perpetrators intimidate their victims into dropping charges. (Note that Flack and Burton were prohibited by a court order from contacting each other.)

Either way, what bitter irony that a principle introduced to protect the vulnerable might have inadvertently led — as Flack’s friends and supporters strongly believe — to her death.

Of course there’s no question that something did happen between Flack and Burton that night; yet we don’t know whether it was simply a row that got a bit out of hand or a symptom of something more systematic and sinister.

But what I do know is this: without social media it would never have spiralled so wildly out of control.

Because for all the tabloids that love a celebrity scandal, the fact remains that even the most salacious elements of the Press are obliged to operate according to strict guidelines which, if breached, can and do lead to serious repercussions.

The same is simply not true of social media. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which play host to torrents of abuse of the vilest kind, are not defined as publishers and are therefore not accountable to the rules of the game.

Nor do the laws of libel and slander rigorously apply, meaning that anyone can more or less say anything they like about anyone — and even more so if the person happens to be high-profile or successful, as was the case with Flack. In fact, the taller the poppy, the more they will try to tear it down.

However stupidly Flack may have behaved, whatever mistakes she may have made, she did not deserve to pay for them with her life.

That is why the Government’s decision, announced last week, to introduce proposals to regulate platforms that host user-generated content is so timely. While free speech campaigners are rightly concerned about its remit, the call for regulation is certainly borne out of good intentions.

Over the past few years these multi-million-pound businesses have made no effort to curb the tens of millions of offensive and illegal posts that populate their platforms.

Thanks to them, we live in a world spittle-flicked with bile, where armies of the professionally offended march at the merest of slights, where gossip and speculation is passed off as truth, where the slightest error of judgment is amplified to destruction and where a person’s reputation can be stripped bare in seconds by a bloodthirsty, rapacious mob from whom there is simply no legitimate protection.

Social media companies have had ample opportunity to police themselves, and yet they have not done so. As a result, countless vulnerable individuals, famous or otherwise, have suffered, and far too many have paid with their lives.

The time has come to drain the swamp — and to hold those ultimately responsible for the death of Caroline Flack finally to account.
 
By MisterMuncher
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#598659
Ms. Vine reminds me of that old git in the corner of the pub who could have told you exactly which horse would win each race, as long as it had already happened.

She never feels compelled to share these premonitions of disaster before the event, does she?
 
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#598665
Just relax. You'll never be invited to one of their parties and draw her car keys from the fruit bowl.

And. Breathe...
 
By davidjay
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#598672
I know it's not strictly relevant on this thread but criticism of the CPS annoys me greatly.

Tomorrow, and every day, there will be domestic violence cases tried in magistrates courts. In some of them the victim will refuse to give evidence. Because they've been intimidated, because they're scared, because "(S)he loves me really and swears it won't happen again". The CPS will often continue with the case but more often than not the defendant will be acquitted because even though they're clearly an abuser there isn't enough evidence to convict. Sometimes, though, the bad guy doesn't win.

And that's why the CPS continued with this prosecution. We'll never know whether Caroline Flack was guilty or not, but it was owed to every domestic violence victim that this case was taken seriously and every opportunity taken to ensure that justice was done.
Last edited by davidjay on Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Samanfur liked this
  • 1
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 70
Poppy Day bingo

Taking an early lead... https://twitter.com/Robin[…]

Labour, Generally.

A lot of "Other" there. Labour losing a […]

Whatever gave the government that idea about the T[…]

Angela Rayner

Don't read the Mail comments. I do however think […]