Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Too cheap to meter?

Nuclear fusion has been fifty years away for the last twenty or so years, to my recollection. Well, now the scientists are talking of the culmination of 50 years work with the potential arrival of a proof of concept laser ignition fusion reaction. If this works, as we'll apparently know if the next couple of years, after that, it's all detail, and we're on our way to limitless clean energy.

Then all the futurologists and tech heads can go around laughing at the greens. The implications are vast - energy free of geography, and without limit - plus a helium by product: "Airships!" Fusion + robots = socialism. Now, as Doktor Sleepless asks, where's my jet-pack?

On a similar theme, young Master Stross has declared his near future book Halting State to be already obsolete - things are moving, kids.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Back to the Rugby: Skolars v. Rams.

I didn't blog about the first match of the season I managed to attend, mainly because the composition in my head was a snarky demolition of the Skolars for their apparent inability to hold onto the ball and not give away soft penalties.

Their match with Dewsbury Rams, yesterday, was a transformation. Sure, they lost. That's what I expect. But I expect them to lose excellently, with passion, skill and energy, vibrantly fighting against men twice their size and speed with the skills and tactics of experienced players recently demoted from a higher division. That's what I saw against the West Yorkshire side.

OK, so the visitors scored a try on their first set. That's alright. That that team cut through the Skolars like a whatsits through summat, no problem. That the Londoners could make metres when they had the ball, and the whole game was practically fought in their own half, fine, fine.

15 minutes at the start of the second half, despite wave after wave of Dewsbury using their 900 stone No. 33 like a battering ram, they did not pass. that was worth the admission. To see Skolars breifly snatching the ball, and playing through the Rams' lines, that was worth the price of admission.

The score in the end was both truthful and a deceit, the Rams scored fairly and freely, but the Skolars' fight nearly, just nearly, might have been a better match, with some cannier play, maybe.

London Skolars 14 - 42 Dewsbury Rams

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

PFI - the truth is out there.

Well, the Government are going to bail out the PFI companies. The crisis has made the inevitable happen sooner. After all, the point of running critical services is that they must be run, and can't be allowed to fail, transferring control to another firm or organisation costs money and causes disruption - the risk of PFI has always been mitigated.

The only reason, aside from bunkum about risk and private sector innovation and management, is that it creates legally different employers within the public sector, i.e. it is about breaking the unions, and using laws against solidarity striking to undermine union solidarity and national pay bargaining.

All the tosh talked by Unison and the labour left about public sector borrowing, etc. was exploded by the RMT, who managed to co-ordinate strikes against the fragmented companies, thus undermining the manoeuvre by effective solidarity. If we want to combat PFI and workforce fragmentation, we need co-ordinated targetted strike action,not pleadings to Government or campaigns to "keep it public" - it is purely a union matter.

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