PC322 In London Hitching, lectures, museums ..Pictures reveal more text

Hitching Down -
Quite easy 4 hours, 3 rides. Except the last drivers sat nav went wrong and sent us back over Thames crossing 3 times.

In London
Sat- arrive, Greenwich hostel Olympia - Piccadilly

Sun- Imperial War Museum- counter shows 107 million war dead since 1945 war ended

, South Bank...

London Eye and Big Ben
London Eye and Big Ben
Mon - Gresham College lecture about cleaning up Thames. Mostly OK, but these days more heavy rain which causes storm water to overflow sending sewage into Thames. - Museum of London
- friends of Le Monde Lecture : Land Value Tax with Dave Wetzel- very interesting idea : an alternative to rates. http://www.labourland.org/The problem is if you build a new tube line property owners get a windfall gain. 
Also if you base rates on property then there's no incentive to develop your building. 
In LVT you pay only tax based on the rental value of your land. 
If council causes you a problem like noise of new trains  then the value goes down. 

People can value their own land, and there is an incentive to be accurate, if they undervalue it the the council can buy it at the low price.  So far I haven't seen any big problems  for the idea. 

You have incentive not to leave your buildings empty cos you still have to pay tax. 

If I build a 80 story skyscraper with 800 people living in it, whilst my neighbour has one family house on the same size plot   I would be using a lot of council resources   compared to my neighbour surely you have to have some kind of Poll Tax as well ?

Tues-

Tues- BAC Bow church debate - good had 2 opposing speakers ..what"s difference between immigration from Jersey and abroad ?
Guildhall
- lecture about Hume Livejournal.com/users/presentvisions at Conway Hall - bit boring and confused 
Conway House is supposed to be the home of Freethinkers and Enlightenment, a place of enlightened debate. But what a disappointment everytime I go the place is full of nutters and people who have realised there are important issues, but have muddled thoughts. 
Once the nutters and the muddled become so vocal, it spoils the whole atmosphere and the debate.I can understand why people go away to the Brights etc.

It was pretty awful - A coherent debate not 
- boring waffling  then into Hume

Wednesday

-Kensington Museums OK fo free- Barbarian Invasions . An arrogant womanising father is dying of cancer. The hard nosed businessman son wants to throw money . But after the intervention of the mother he agrees that the father can be taken care of on his own terms.
-Film at Two Chairmen, 39 Dartmouth St 7pm $2 St James park 18 Oct

Thursday - Bloomsbury Festival
video of abseil ballet down side of shopping centre

Thu- Lecture at Goodenough College- conspiracy theories give us an excuse to abidicate responsibility to fix problems. We criticise instead of act. Durodie.net - bloomsbury festival

Fri- debate about GOSH museum, festival of lights walk

Sat 21 does charity work ? Taxation vs Charity 
The 2 presenters seemed confused seemingly getting bogged down in the philosophy of whether it was more dmeaning to receive from Government or charity or indeed to be a giver 

I say : Of course taxation is better than charity as charity is inherently, unfair and undemocratic as there is no system to allocate resources to which area has needs. So you end up with RNLI with 3.4 billion in the bank whilst other charities lack funds. Inefficiencies in government need to be addressed.

More Debate
One thing when checking up on Claire Fox I found this Strange Living Marxist Conspiracy All these people in rational science lobbies seem to be ex-Marxists weird yet the science is sound

- Debate : Foreign Aid is a waste of time  
- He has a strong argument, with graphs which at first glance seem OK, but at 2nd glance one can see a lot of weakness in the statistics.
- economic freedom brings development.

Says business is easier in west  - what about informal trade ? Corruption 

- Says Aid happens in country at same time as growth falls 8million dead of course growth reduced.

I say : Foreign aid - can keep people alive - brings another generation to feed 

I say : Improvement dependent on a complicated chain - ie low corruption, sharing, land reform, no war. 

- foreign aid encourages government to be unaccountable.

Bloomsbury Festival Photos : Dickens, Dorothy L Sayers, Florence Nightingale, Founder of the Foundling Hospital etc etc
bloomsbury festival characters
bloomsbury festival characters
bloomsbury festival characters
bloomsbury festival characters

Sun - rain walk, Dickens Museum - comedy mostly crap

Mon -

monday 5.30 hk theater Port Alegre LSE Brights
- trying to get ticket, but sold out. British Museum.
Porto Alegre local democracy lecture by Brazil City Mayor Porto Alegre
Participatory governance
21 programmes
Very structured seems bureaucratic 

Idea comes  from Lages en Santa Catarina
- 1000 people participate in each of 17 areas.
- I say :Are the 1000 people representative or could I pack it ? 
- How chosen PA has 4-14m population

Brights meeting,
Bought flights £280 to Australia so cheap but the long way I couldn't get a cheap flight to Bangkok so i went onto the website of the new cheapairline to Hong Kong www.oasishongkong.com
So I got a flight from Gatwick to H Kong £141 on Sunday night, one day then Tues 31st to Singapore £68, then wednesday 1st Nov night to darwin £140 roundtrip), then Monday night to Adelaide. £80 not bad I suppose, I'm not stuck with a ticket back from HK to UK, but maybe prices will go up.

In London

Tues - internet/washing /supermarket referendum lecture (fell asleep), Play - Canít standup for Falling Down - boring, wish had male characters.

Wed- waste time, Reuters exhibition, internet, Caribbean lecture- Institute of Commonwealth Studies : John La Rosa - DVD problems. Comedy club crap

Thu- internet : Wellcome Exhibition, British Museum,

Skeptics in the pub web

richardwiseman.com OK Entertaining. I would have preferred more serious scientific discussion. - Takeaway the Card trick
- French drop- Circle dots
- Spot difference 
- 60ft Fire walking 
- Dark seance
- Luck factor - book plug
Why some people are unlucky ignore opportunities 
Newspaper - can't spot ad, NBC
- With Singh guy Soho thatre show
- pop singer changing lyrics.
- Dating etc
- diet coke and Mentoes
It was a pretty good show

- Basically a biography of his work. He warmed up with a few magic tricks to show us the psychology of how we are deceived etc Discussed the problem of skepticism, that it's perceived as negative cos it takes away peoples covenient beliefs; he couldn't sell his book ideas. Tried to come up with practical positive applications  by using skepticism to disprove negative ideas. 'luck is fate'
Did the experiment showing unlucky people were ignoring opportunities. So popular book. 
Went on to talk about science shows getting people to overcome 'science is difficult', thought. - Q&A - There were the normal idiot questions with people trying to bang on about their agenda.

Some people were concerned about dumbing down on TV. 
I wanted to ask him about Braniac, cos of the lying. 
I expected him to stand up for scientific standards and credibility, but he took a very pragmatic view : Programme makers want certainties and will edit out qualifications like 'there is a margin of error of.. '. 
He was more interested in seeing more people -turned-onto- science after being turned-off by bad experiences at school. It's television and television always lies.

What concerns me about Braniac is the general tone : it trivialises science. It turns people onto science, but the danger is by over hyping the 'whizz bang aspect', trivialising the qualifications and the lying stunts when people realise the truth the credibility of science will be damaged. 
People will be turned off science thinking it's just as fake as other things and that they should only give it equal value to other sources ( like .. Some new age guru) When  Proper Science is the one certain  reliable thing we have.

The place was packed : more than 100 people a normal crowd. Read - state of fear Uncertainty is Great

The important thing is the uncertainty principle opens the door to better solutions. We could have stuck to the old solutions that worked partially 400 years ago, but we didn't we improved on them. Science moves forward, but dogma stays stuck. It's important for the public to know that even though we like -certain facts-, it's an principle of science that things are not concrete and are open to question. It is not difficult for people to understand : they can operate complex cell phones so to suggest that they can't understand this simple principle of things not always being certain  seems ridiculous. They are already operating at such a high level, it's just a case of removing mental blocks.

Most people know the simple principle not believe everything they read in  newspaper stories. So when they read a science story they should be able to  understand the simple principle there are a few scientific facts, but the rest are good hypotheses and think 'that's the best explanation so far, but another explanation might come in a few years time'

We are at war with junk science and it holds us back from progress as people and resources get sidetracked onto  the junk science road.
It's also important for us to accept the principle to be able to say 'we don't know', in response to many questions.
Science is the one certain reliable base for better solutions  we have.
checked viewing figures ..news posting 
Good Talk by Richard Wiseman ... of course 
I was a bit disappointed that he didn't stick up for proper science on TV against Junk science, but I guess they are his paymasters. (sometimes) 

He was quite excited there are many more science programmmes. 
There are, but it doesn't seem anyone is watching them according the official viewing figures. 

Animal planets top show is 60,000 people 
Braniac doesn't figure in Sky1's top 10 so it must pull in less that 500,000 
The first episode of Horizon I noticed got 3 million. 

(the figures appear to be the peak audience at a particular time, it doesn't say anything about being cumulative, so i guess you could get higher figures if you add up all of the repeats maybe, if it is reapeated) 

http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/weekreports.cfm?report=weeklytop30&requesttimeout=500 

So I hope it's true that the competition from the satellite channels motivates Terresterial channels to produce more science ... and not dumb down to be popularist. 

I thinks it's important that the public get the right ideas about science not an idea that it all about simple experiments with certain answers 

end of rant .. bye 

PS do his books bear close skeptical analysis ..now there's another thing !

Friday - Crap Lecture

Fri- Radio , went to the most stupid lecture at the Royal Philosophical society. May Might could etc in philosophy. The guy kept going on about how to interpret might etc. When it's clear to me the problem is English language limitations in meeting logic. Once you express your arguments in terms of another language like mathematical symbols you can be precise about their meaning. problem solved

London Links


- londonfreelist.com
- http://www.timeout.com/london

Lectures at
- Gresham College
- LSE
- SOAS
- Mary Ward Centre
- Bow Church behind St Pauls
- The British Museum
- Goodenough College
- RSA www.thersa.org/events
- Conway Hall
- Skeptics in the Pub
- Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique
- London Skeptics events : http://www.aske
- skeptics.org.uk/EventsList.htm
- The Royal Institution of Great Britain http://www.rigb.org
- http://www.rosl.org.uk/rosl/pages/rosl_eventsprog.php
- The BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) www.the-ba.net
- http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/events/ art stuff
- http://www.raeng.org.uk/
- inholborn.com
- Imperial War Museum
- bl.uk British Library
- Kants Cave 1st Wednesday
- Somerset House
- National Army Museum Thu lunch 1pm
- brights.meetup.com
- Royal Institue of Philosophy maybe crap

Theatre
- Cochrane Theatre has read throughs sometimes on First Sunday
- Rada sometimes has read throughs in the bar
- Arcola - Tuesday pay what you can

bookmarks at www.stewgreen.com/bookmark.htm

 <p>Fri- Radio - Internet preparation for travel. boring lecture. Somehow I forgot about the GBS lecture. Walked to Leicster Square, Trafalgar Square

where there was a film show for the film festival .. Wasted time ..

Saturday - bank stuff, Half Price ticket booth nothing interesting, Eid festival in Trafalgar Square, decided to go to Greenwich, didn't get there till 5pm. Couldn't think of anywhere to go

Sun - Petticoat Lane - fairly boring, not so busy, mostly clothes.

- Spitalfields - getting bigger mostly art and craphts... Poncy

- Down to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre  for the October Plenty mini-festival by Lions Part - they did a procession with the greenman and a huge corn man. Surprisingly they led us into the Globe for a small free show.. Then a procession to Borough (yuppie) food market. They did songs and games.

VIDEOS : singing Gaudy day, The Jumping Knight, singing at Borough Market, Throwing vegetables into the crowd as the harvest man is ritually torn apart

Next they did the play Syr John Falstaffe in Love. The characters were exremely well acted and the costumes were great. Maybe the weak part was the story.. A fat knight decides to woo 2 married women at the same time and eveyone gets to know about it. The women deceive him with a plot in which he gets thrown in a sewer. In a subplot a French doctor and Welsh priest are to fight a duel, but the people not wanting either harmed send them to different places.

October Plenty
October Plenty
October Plenty 3
October Plenty
October Plenty 4
October Plenty 4
October Plenty 5
October Plenty 5
October Plenty 6
October Plenty 6

8/10. Seems a good company to check out www.thelionspart.co.uk

throw vegetable video, throw vegetable video

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