Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Muslim Danger and Folk Devils.

Sadly and perhaps ironically considering another post I have made I feel the need to speak on some news I recently read on the internet. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22633375. Needless to say what follows may be distributing for some. It is also very much a rant as I am struggling for time right now.

So here we have it a according to reports Muslim attacker. The victim potentially a British solider and or with links to help for heroes. It’s not fun, it’s not nice and it is something that as a society we should find abhorrent.

Backlash is another thing we should find abhorrent. We all all around the world backlash to groups after events like these be it in Asia or towards Muslims and Sikths for some reason after 9/11. Still the social media response has been… a little silly.

Image screenshotted from Ban Islam page on facebook to use as an example.

In previous posts I have talked slightly about the idea of there being a folk devil in part of a moral panic. In that there is a situation in which a group of people are targeted due to an attack. This is less the actions of a minority and more a case of the actions of a ‘nutter’. As one my friends  put quite rightly “It’s only going to cause more drama”. Which can potentially cause those in this group to feel further connected from society making extremism something easier to push. So I would make the argument that you could potentially charge all of this sword rousing as making the situation worse.

I feel this links into a lot of my previous posts but also for the need of education. When a ‘black’ person stabs somebody while yelling Allah Akbar. Does not mean it is reasonable to make the jump to ‘Lets deport all these paki muslims”. Considering the accent of one of the attackers it’s even sillier.
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22633269)

Sadly this is reflected in groups such as the BNP (previously talked about) and the English Defence League who take this and run with it. It takes advantage of those who are angry, ill informed and upset and just creates more hate. As Ghandi once brilliantly put. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. In this case it is very much true.

Sadly hate leads to more hate and this attack and the social media reaction is a brilliant example of such. Memes of this sort can easily be spread  though hateful, ill informed and ignorant people it’s going to cause massive issues in the long run. Reading that we should ban an intolerant religion because we don’t like it seems stupefying to me. The ‘we should see all people like this hung vote’ is a bit of an issue I feel. I do partly blame tabloid paper mentality for this but surely out education system needs to leave people in a better position to think complicated issues out? Vile responses like this fail to allow us to make anything productive out of situations like this. It’s a shame and a travesty. Kids are prone to jumping to extreme ideas they are simpler but we as a species need to grow out of ideas such as “it’s simple lets hang them all”.

“From one facebook user: Big paki bastard wants fucking is head cut of the mug they all want sending back were they are from”

Ideas such as the above are worse than counter productive as is the far right making one religion something to fear and hate. As a tangential point this is the nature of religion sadly but people also hijack religion in order to justify what they wish.

So to conclude we should be shocked by these sorts of attacks and aim to prevent them. The same should also be said of such ill responses to these sorts of events. I now have to put up with an EDL rally in my home town soon. A bunch of ill educated or pseudo-intellectual hate mongers who want to prevent a religion they see as of hate? Oh if humans could see the hypocrisy more.

Advertisements

There’s a reason they say that ignorance is bliss.

The above title is taken from a comment on a Youtube video that I watched just before writing this post. It will be linked at the bottom but the part I took from it is that the creator of the video was finding more enjoyment from keeping less plugged into the political and news world.

My first experience of this outside of being a child was on a trip to London in which for a few days I ignored any news. Now it is of course important to be aware of the world around you as it is important to be well informed on topics. It is important for social advancement for people to be aware of what is going on in the world just as much as it is to be aware of the history. Tricks of politicians being an example as with media moral panics.

“why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars. Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” –  Hermann Göring

I am unsure as to if this quote is real but it does spring to mind in regards to Iraq war, a media storm followed by a moral panic which still clearly exists most notably in the U.S.A. So perhaps being well informed is a very important and good thing but does this come at a cost?

Being humans we seem to have two traits in my mind. The first one relates to gossiping and the juicer or more outrageous or negative the better. The media likes the focus on sad stories and I personally see this for three reasons.

  1. They tend to be important stories with great significance
  2. If something potentially or actually effects us we take more of an interest in it.
  3. Feel good stories do not fulfil this as much being more of a novel story unless based on some miracle of heroic act. ‘The micracle plane landing on the Hudson River’ springs to mind.

A recent story that has been in metal-head circles tossed around a lot relates to the proposed picketing by the Westboro Baptist Church of a rather prominent musical figure. As more widely known as the church that picketed military servicemen’s funerals. The topic is more or less the same although the significance is of course subjective. In both cases it is upsetting and it is also rather controversial effecting not us directly but effecting us all on an emotional or personal level. Be that of a person who has died for their country or somebody who has had an impact on others in some other way.

Jeff Hanneman – Slayer.

Rather than looking at the need to have knowledge, or to know what is going on in the world I wonder what this does to us on a personal level. A constant bombardment of negative news with a few ‘sob stories’ often of a motivational nature. Perhaps this contributes to a degree in the need of a person to look at videos of a cat do something cute or humorous.

We all at times need to have a little personal time and for a lot of us a part of that will involve surfing the internet with a lot of information at our fingertips and in many cases a bombardment from news. If not from an RSS feed of the news it will be from Facebook or some other form of media. An interconnected world is hard to switch off for a few hours.

Of course this presents a catch22 position of the benefit of being informed and the benefit from taking a break from all of this. I would argue that it is vital that a person is informed on a wide variety of topics in addition to being able to take a mental break. Being wrapped away from the world is not healthy nor useful but clearly we should also peruse a level of happiness.

Looking towards my own personal example I found I was calmer rather than wondering what will be happening in whatever part of the world or being mildly upset at various stories. A sense of moral indignation also arises and I am sure any reader of this post could sympathise. Although there remains the desire to know and learn more about the world, burying ones head in the sand is not a good idea.

We instead should take a middle ground approach. We should put what we read into perspective not only generally but in our own lives. We also need time reflect on the things that we read in the news in addition to our escapes. This is perhaps why to use video games as an example Call of Duty with it’s Hollywood depiction and ease of play is a successful brand wherein the game Spec Ops: The Line which left a clear lasting impression on me is a rare example in the media form.

So perhaps it is not correct to say that ignorance is bliss but it is also perhaps not far off the mark of what is true. I would assert that it is also true that just because something gives us a sense of ‘bliss’ is not always a good thing. What we don’t know does hurt us and we can’t simply escape the reality of the world we live in. Rather than escaping from the news reading it in chunks on-line and the single block that is the morning newspaper beats the constant barrage that we otherwise subject ourselves to. A middle ground between the extremes of avoidance and news sponge has to be the way forward.

Still in an increasingly integrated world is this simply just something we all need to get used to?

Youtube video which lead to the motivation to post this:

Is Competition Important?

Is competition vital to advancement despite the drawbacks and backsteps it can cause?

This is my question in the general sense, even when working together is it a good thing to want to be the ‘winner’?  In a larger sense is having a sense of competition better than having a global community spirit, of course we should seek to have a little bit of both. 

I once heard somebody describe the moon lands as something along the lines of fuck you, look what we can do. I think this does have a sense of being true. The need for weapons in nations and the need to do better than other schools. The need to be above something or somebody else in some regard seems pretty strong in human nature.

While it’s true that we have great examples of behaving good there is an argument that can be made that these are something along the lines of a scratch my back and I will scratch yours mentality. Something that has some credence in the ideas of a stable strategy. A developmental situation wherein something is done to give a reaction that benefits us in some way. This can be looked on a far grander scale in the idea of an evolutionarily stable strategy. So while it may be true we do things to be nice why that is the case could be a little more complicated than that.

I put forward the assertion that competition is a similar thing. It’s no question that sometimes a little friendly competition is a good thing but even if to the detriment of the team spirit somebody racing a head can lead to mixed results but they do stand out and gain an advantage.

I think this is something that nations also do linking to my Ego Of Nations post. The creation of the Warsaw Pact as a response to NATO was clearly a good idea from a defence perspective. It also has the benefit of prolong an arms race but what it also does is provide a sense of community and contribution which is greater than what individual members could do on this scale. I do think it is also about having a sense of a club and pride.

After the First World War the Treaty Of Versailles  did have an element of blaming Germany for the first world war. This provides nothing more than a dig at a country which is often here at least described as a proud nation. A proud nation of course being a compliment.

It is perhaps important that nations have developed a sense of pride and identity for the reason of advancement. A Swiss watchmaker has a reputation to live up to and this is given in the Chronometer stamp. This of course extends to individuals the pursuance of fame being a good example.

To want to do better is the easiest way to achieve being better. In previous posts I have discussed that the Cold War lead to many advancements because of competition I do however wish to pose a question. If rather than a Cold War we had a ‘lets all get together for the sake of mankind’ party what would be the outlook of the world? We do live in a world where others are a threat but in the media it seems more of a hopeless cause than a rallying cry to do better generally.

I think we while would have lived in a more peaceful world may not have advanced as much. The space race was a race for a reason. It was a battle of advancement and ego the ending of the Cold War seemed to make this sort of thing less important.


I think Kennedy here was right. We do the things because they are hard, because we want to be the best. I also think this is an appeal many far right parties go for one example being the EU. Yes there is a lot to say on the advantages and disadvantages and the need for sovereignty but I do think a small part does come down to the fact we as a nation want to feel that we are not subject to anybody. I imagine a reader thinking that of course they would not want their country subject to political or military rule by another and I would agree but why do we?

The French and the English is a good example. There is a national rivalry to an extent between these two nations. One of the reasons for this is the Hundred Years War. It these days is a little tongue in cheek but it is true that as with a football teams derby or competing in the Olympics in your own country has an effect. While war is not a positive the lasting impact of the French – English connection I feel is a good thing.

Good for business? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Agincourt)

To conclude to keep this short and simple I feel that competition is something that is vital and something that is important be it in the school or on a national international level. The push to be better than you currently are and to do better than those around us while not feeling weak or vulnerable. Perhaps the reason that we have an ego of nations is because simply put those with the ambition did better. While this can be applied to economics don’t think I am putting this as a universal true. It is however imperative that we exploit and create harmless competition but to also work together. As humans we work better in a society than as ourselves but it seems more of a carrot to do it to be better than that society down the street or because we could than to say we did this for advancement.

Still I invite comments on this. I have made this more of an argument than previous posts. Do you think that we work better trying to reach the top than to rise to the top with a sense of comradeship?

“It’s the taking part that is important but the only important thing is winning”

The importance of scientific education.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22382756

The issues relating to a psudo-scientific nonsense interrfering with vaccines is still striking hard. There are anti vaccine groups for example most well known in the United States. While this has real demonstrable damage and it is quite clear looking at the rush for MMR vaccines in Wales that it can swing from one panic with a proposed Autism link to a panic about the diseases these vaccines were meant to combat.

This boils down to two things, firstly there is anti scientific thought. This is the most dangerous in my opinion as it forms a anti science viewpoint. While it is easy to wonder what harm this really takes thinking of a person sitting at a computer ironically wondering what has science ever done for me. My argument against this is two fold.

Firstly this breeds an anti scientific atmosphere which allows impressionable people or those who have not been informed otherwise to rely on the nonsense being put out.

Secondly this can lead to extreme examples in where people die from very easily preventable issues such as diabetes. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/02/us-daughter-pray-death.

Now the issue also expands to other things a good example being the ‘anti climate’ lobby. A delay in how serious we take climate change and the political power these ideas have is very dangerous. We live in a world where the country to first reach the moon in some states has issues with the teaching of ‘evilution’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District.

Now I’m sure you may be thinking that as a general person what does this have to do with you? Politicians make the political decisions right? Well yes and no. There needs to be a need to teach children better skills of comparing information as well as knowledge of the scientific process.

This ties into perhaps the most important thing media responsibility. There will always be those on internet forums who take an anti/apathetic to scientific advancement view. There will always be those who can benefit from any anti scientific feeling in the public but the media is in the important position to be trusted and able to inform the public. The daily mail being a massive offender in anti-scientific nonsense there is also the issue of the need to create sensualist stories rather than accurately reporting.

‘The need for balance’ is also an issue. The idea that if an opposing view simply exists it should have an equal view in many media debates. This of course is nonsense when it comes to issues of hard facts. But in addition to this the knowledge that correlation does not equal causation should be something we are all engrained with.

 Look at the chart. It’s all chartlike it must therefore be true!

This of course leads to other issues with the media normally relating to X causes violence because of a one off event or stretched connection the blame usually in these cases falling on extreme music or video games. It seems to be a sad consequence of the human nature of being scared of what we cannot properly understand.

Of course they are some that can gain from the lack of scientific understanding, we also can’t rely on politicians and education to give us all the information we need. People should always be somewhat self informed. I am not proposing that children need to know the finer points of biochemistry but rather they know how science works. Technological advancement can bring great economic rewards to a country and also provide a benefit to humanity as a whole.

I can understand why somebody might think that this post is pedantic and seems to be missing the point. With all the important things going on in the world how much of an issue is this really? Well my answer to this hypothetical point is that well a lot of the damage here is far easier avoidable. Refrigeration, packaging and improvements to food production have a clear advantage and general scepticism over GM foods is an issue but to sum it up perhaps more eloquently. What is the price that we can put on the advancement of the human race?

Encouraging Learning

A common theme in my most recent posts has been relating to human advancement. While I would like to later talk more about history this topic is something I want to go into right now. Advancement is a difficult concept to talk about in full as it relates to many things. The purpose of this blog is to talk about what I think is the best way to create learning be it that of a child, an adult or in general.

Rather than an effort to make learning simply making learning ‘cool’ or fun a person also needs to want to learn to get the best effect. I will be looking at this from a few perspectives.

Education

Education of course being a rather obvious way in which somebody learns. The role of education though needs to focus on general learning in the UK. While examinable information is very important making a space in which a child can and wants to learn is more important. Teaching how to compare and contrast differing ideas by looking at potential bias or inaccuracies is something first taught to me formally at GCSE (ages 14-16) History. This is frankly too late. We have issues of teachers before this forcing pseudo-scientific ideals down children before this. While public (private) schools don’t have to follow the national curriculum some basic guidelines should be enforced I feel. In science classes I would love to see children being shown a video by for example Carl Sagan. Putting the wonder of the world back into the classes to give a sense of perspective. This is why I really do support out of classroom trips give the children passion and they will teach themselves I think.

English: Cropped from ‘Pale Blue Dot’, see bel...

‘Pale Blue Dot’,  (Wikipedia). Seeing our place in the universe. Should it not simply fill us with wonder and joy rather than the insignificance that many see?

Games

Now gamification is something that is worth looking into. Put simply this is learning by games or making menial tasks more fun. Often by giving a levelling system to provide some feedback to help motivate I want to focus on something different.

I enjoy more complex computer games and some of them are based in real settings. With this often is a wiki of sorts attached.

As a small child my first book was called something along the lines of ‘a prehistoric atlas’. I loved dinosaurs and my farther just bought books from bookshops on the topic. Many of them were far beyond what I could read but illustrations and diagrams helped. Age of empires though gave me a basic understanding of history. I could take charge of famous events and it was where I learnt the most about Joan of Arc. It helped me with the film have a basic understanding of the campaign of William Wallace and gave me an interest in learning more than I did though game play and in depth game files.

Total War games are another example if not for Shogun 1 and 2 I’d know far less about the history of Japan. Perhaps this is the reason it took me till I was 20 and making my own fictional work to gain a proper appreciation for fiction. Because a game helped me learn about the Meiji Restoration (as seen in the film The Last Samurai). You tell a child a tale of samurai warriors charging men with guns with honour and glory. You then tell the child that this actually happened and well it blew my little mind. Or about a rough idea relating to the sengoku jidai era?

Even games like the civilisation series while being very sandbox in nature and open ended gave some appreciation for me as a child. The English have some units better at times in history for example the redcoats. The civopedia tells me that the Redcoats were blah blah. Total War games also have brilliant in depth information about units. This gives a stage pad in which a person can learn a little bit and opens the doors to so much more.

Music/films/TV

On the 6th June, on the shores of western Europe, 1944 D Day upon us! – Sabaton – Primo Victoria

Music and films also add another brilliant example though little things taught by actual histories or played around a bit. It allows a user of this media to get a feel for the Era as fiction does. Films about historical events or mythologies can stick in the mind and allow one to look further into it.

My examples are more music based as well I love music as a media more. Amon Amarth lead to me learning more about Norse Mythology. Sabaton about history. The film 300 is another brilliant example King Leonidas I as he made his last stand at thermopylae. Yes it actually happened! Even the cheesy lines!

Sabaton gave me another example one I had not heard of the battle of Winza during the second World War. The song is called 40:1 and I was always curious as to what it was about so I looked it up. Let me leave you with something from the Wikipedia page on the issue.

“The Battle of Wizna was fought between September 7 and September 10, 1939, between the forces of Poland and Germany during the initial stages of Invasion of Poland. It was arguably the most heroic battle in the campaign, in which according to latest sources under 720 Poles defended a fortified line for three days against more than 40,000 Germans”

All I can say is that well it’s an epic tale. Sabaton’s most recent album relates to the Swedish Empire which I only knew ever existed prior to this because of the game Cossacks. I looked it up from the battle of Prague to the crashing defeat that was Poltava.

If we want people to learn for interest and fun lets show them how amazing and odd the world can be. Music can also take the form of beautiful poetry. I hated it in school but then I realised how much of my music was nothing more than poetry. From the epic tales of power metal to the sad tales waved by Woods of Ypres and Katatonia.

Internet

Cracked.com is a good example of this. Often informative to a degree but always with interesting topics. The internet of course is the great facilitator of these things. I like to think my blog posts leave a small launch pad for the reader to look more in depth as to my chosen topic.

The internet allows all of us to look up details of these sorts of things one example of this in practise is Schrödinger’s Cat which is often explained on Youtube in simple terms. Or the newsfeed of newscientist or the I fucking Love Science facebook channel. Most of my friends know of this cat from a show called ‘The Big Bang Theory’. What a brilliant way of teaching people!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOYyCHGWJq4  – Minute science, Schrödinger’s Cat

We live in a world where the understanding that previously would require further education or browsing a book shop can be sought by anybody with an internet connection. I feel education should make a better use of these sorts of things. I had a science teacher that used to make us try and find out the answer to teach ourselves before he taught us the answer and we saw if and why our understanding was flawed. As much as it wound me up at the time it as a brilliant idea.

We need the tools to be able to learn in addition to the knowledge we learn. I am thankful to be doing a degree that while is very intensive on cramming and learning set rules is also very much about learning how to learn. How to find information and how to work out which information is correct.

I am a person who has a lot of ‘pointless’ knowledge and very few who share my love of certain topics but enough to keep me more than content and to always have something in depth to talk about should I wish. Yes exams are important but should this come at a cost of wanting to learn more about things in general?

Yes it is important to know basic geography and science but surely it is more important to know how to read a map and the scientific method? It reminds me of the ‘give a man a fish’ analogy.

Give a person a book and he may learn what it contains. Give a person wonder and he will read a thousand books.

The effect of novel ideas.

Novelty is something that is hard to pin down, something that is not always easy to create or find. It can be artistic or it can be quirky sometimes both. It can create a great achievement like Minecraft or it can help you view the world in a way that had never previously occurred to you.

The issue I have is that there is a relentless seeking for the novel. Sometimes this can be a good and brilliant thing. Something original or different but in the ADD click and share culture of the internet it bumps into memes and a relentless search for more like some crazed addiction to cat videos.

I guess my argument really is invalid

Have we become a species that seeks out novelty so much that we ignore more productive or less original things? It’s hard to believe as with in gaming for each original piece is a brown first person shooter. Something that was parodied in an original and provocative way in Spec Ops: The line. Minecraft being a good example I urge those to look at this cracked video below. Hilarious but also makes a very good point.

http://www.cracked.com/video_18573_the-3-hardest-things-to-explain-about-minecraft.htmlWhile it is far from true that things should follow a set pattern or route. It was genius for Skyclad to combine folk and metal. Mayhem’s push for something more extreme and serious than Venom lead to a great albeit controversial form of music. The issue arises in the instant gratification culture of the internet. While I have to admit I enjoy things like adsfmovie. I feel in the long run the effects of this will be more apparent but are we breeding a form of Virtual add in which things must be odd, or flashy, or different even if that simply amounts to yelling potato?

This links into memes as this gives a massive overload of this sort of thing as anybody with a facebook page can probably agree with. I would offer some condolences and cake but frankly that would be a lie. Or was GLADOS wrong and the cake is a spy?
The truth.

A meme is best described by the founder of the meme that is a meme in of itself in the vast battle of the memes such as this meme and the above memes that is the internet. Oh wait I will rephrase.

A meme is like a gene (and rhymes with gene). It needs to spread to stay relevant some memes like those of religions are long lasting and powerful and some are obscure lyrics left in your head or any other idea. A meme is simply information which exists in the brain and propagates most famously though pictures with captions. For a in depth explanation see the book – The Selfish Gene. It is a brilliant read although memes come into the book rather late.

Still I do wonder how long it till that things like this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/blachman-tv-show-features_n_3200768.html) become the norm. Must we have a society where we are always looking for something new and fresh to spout rather than look at something of quality? Portal by Valve created many memes and was a masterpiece of creativity. Is the internet the ‘if you watch TV your brain will drop out’ of the modern world?

Still I am unsure on if this is a good or a bad thing. My concern is rather that we become a culture of a waning attention who can not sit still. Time will tell.

The ego of nations

In a time in which budget cuts to military spending is it right to put money into a project that the forces themselves do not need?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/28/abrams-tank-congress-army_n_3173717.html

Read that first, let it all sink in I will give you a moment. du du du. Right lets begin. I will be looking at this from a defence and technological standpoint rather than a financial view. I will be using this project as a case study and not look towards the UK that has similar issues in priorities. This is done for the purpose of keeping this concise.

Firstly does this tank need updating? The threats that currently face the Abrams M1 to M1A2 tank these days are mostly guerrilla based weapons. Roadside bombs and the ever famous RPG-7. It is evident that even a highly dated tank would prove enough match for a man with a kalashnikov.

Well the RPG-7 hitting anywhere from the back would be pretty much useless due to the use of Chobham armour. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chobham_armour. So you may be asking yourself why if there is no current real threat to the existing tanks an upgrade would be needed? Is there a risk of Hellfire missiles?

I will be contrasting this to the f-22 Raptor and the B2 Spirit. All of these seem to come from a Cold War mentality in which the best is needed. So while sometimes issues arise with the supply of body armour or small arms fire a totally cool tank is on the budget. The B2 stealth bomber had a real purpose and has recently been used to strike some fear into N.Korea.

The f-22 despite it’s problems (http://www.dailytech.com/Lockheed+Given+24M+to+Fix+F22+Onboard+Oxygen+Generator+Airframe+Issues/article23127.htm) is an amazing 6th generation fighter. But what is it’s target? While it can work as a bomber it has no real use unless a war broke out with a powerful nation like China or Russia.

So why is such advancement used? Well firstly I suspect the idea that we need these toys is important in the off chance of a world war. The second world war was a massive change and this caught many nations off guard who were locked into a trench mentality despite the monster that was the Panzer 2 allowing greater mobility in battles.

This to me gives sufficient reason for the technology to exist in order to make these advanced weapons. I would also argue however that the actual creation of them are redundant. The Aurora which may or may not exist as a replacement to the sr-71 Is a good idea from a standpoint of technological advancement. Gearing up for war is costly but it gives great technological advancement. The flying wing ideas of the Nazi’s quickly became the b2 which still today is a useful and powerful weapon however perhaps such money would be better spent on DARPA (http://www.darpa.mil/) who have really pushed advancement far and wide which has had many civilian uses.

So while expensive unneeded weapons exist some illogical moves are made. The UK removing the Harrier was a costly mistake as while the Harrier is a powerful jet it had a great manoeuvrability and flexibility. The ability to Vertical land is something that served the Huey’s in becoming legendary during the Vietnam war.

So while advancements in technology are of great use to us all, and we all seem to be gearing up towards some imaginary war with some benefits why do nations do this?

Simply put I think it is an issue of ego. My dad can beat up your dad. I have the best fighter, tank ect yet the tomahawk and m2 browning are a bigger use. The m2 being a great example of a machine gun yet being a ww2 design. Surely better bullet shooters beat more advanced engines on tanks? The standard m1911 pistol named after it’s year of creation is still standard issue and a brilliant gun but why is one so advanced and one fits into a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” camp? The same stands for Trident. If the British need to Nuke somebody borrow a b-52 from the Americans who have plenty rotting in the desert.
Airplane Graveyard

Still while the threat of a nuclear attack is worth having and I would even go so far as to say Trident may still be a good idea. But this ego is dangerous and has left some big issues.

Auschwitz is accepted to be an evil thing and rightfully so. It did however bring some medical advancements due to the testing done on the Jews. The infamous unit 731 also provided medical advancements. While evil and depraved some ‘good’ was taken from it. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-439776/Doctors-Depravity.html.

So why the tangent? Because we sit on a greater evil than even a nuclear bomb. There was some debate on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was even known as the destruction preventer if the idea that destroying a city and even killing children born after the bomb can be such a thing. What could be worse?

Smallpox. An eradicated disease that we are loosing immunity for. Which can still be used as a biological weapon.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200695/

Unleashing smallpox would be disastrous and more dangerous than a couple of nuclear bombs. The effect of two of these weapons on cities was enough that they were never used again. We saw the evil that the mushroom cloud brought. So why do we not destroy such a thing rather than have Russia and the United states to have such a weapon. If both countries destroyed it it would be gone for good.

Yet we live in a world with it, when the fall of the USSR lead to a black market in nuclear material. http://www.cfr.org/weapons-of-terrorism/loose-nukes/p9549. Enough to build a nuke potentially. http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=506177&page=1

So while technology is important as is advancement. Better ways of advancing need to be found. Developing weapons is something that any nation should not stop doing however there needs to be a cost proportional to the threat. An army is important as is it being well equipped but surely the Americans don’t need tanks which at great cost have a very large diminishing returns? If I was on the front line I’d rather more pooled into Liquid body armour. It would potentially save more lives after all.

http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_020435

Still what do you think? Is this irresponsibility a simple beat of the chest or is there a real reason for the f-22 and tank advancements? The T-90 is far cheaper yet serves the Russians well. My own view is that while the Cold War may be over our politicians were raised in its shadow meaning that our politics still act in a cold war state. We all know how many lives that cost on 9/11 when a military system designed to win an air supremacy battle is fooled by a simple hijack.