How the media aids power

This is a small example. It probably struck me because, due to my background in IT, I can see the lying rather easily.

A council in the North of England, Redcar, has been hit by a ransomware attack; its IT infrastructure is down and, apparently, has been for three weeks – leading to a disruption in ‘services’ to local residents.

Ransomware attacks occur when hackers gain access to a system and, instead of stealing data, they encrypt it and then try to sell the encryption key to you. I.e. it combines theft and blackmail.

The first question should be – how is it that this Council, where no doubt there is an IT manager and several staff on ‘salaries that compete with the private sector’ allowed this to happen. Malware attacks can only occur if people do not take steps to secure their IT systems. Continue reading “How the media aids power”

The show trial of Assange in London

Proceedings in London are unfolding in the predictable way. The US side is claiming that:

He [Assange] is not charged with disclosure of embarrassing or awkward information that the government would rather not have have disclosed… The disclosures charges are solely where there was a risk of risk. [sic.]

The risk claim relates to the claim that Assange released information which “would” place informants in Iraq and Afghanistan at risk. The claim is that Assange released the names of “individuals who were passing on information on regimes such as Iran and organisations such as al-Qaida”. Of course; relying on Iran here in the same breath as Al-Qaida is a reflection of a uniquely US view of the world. The European view (without Johnson) is that Iran is a reasonable country with whom we can do business. The use of Iran in this manner is a kind of a trope. Is a ‘non-political’ and juridically independent British court going to let it pass? Continue reading “The show trial of Assange in London”

Greta Thunberg and the retreat of intellectualism in the UK

The general line on Greta Thunberg in the progressive-liberal press is that she is ‘speaking truth to power’. She is presented as a heroine for the moment. She is the one who is telling governments the truth about the climate crisis. She is a brave leader – whom we should all admire and respect. Greta has mastered all the ‘science’ about climate change and is righteously and needfully telling our leaders the truths they don’t want to hear. Continue reading “Greta Thunberg and the retreat of intellectualism in the UK”

Social groups in Russia

The liberal UK press in the UK tells its readers a wild lie about Russia. The lie is that there is an “opposition” to Putin  and that this opposition is headed by someone called Alexei Navalny.  At least this is the view pumped out by the Guardian’s men in Moscow. Based on a reading of their articles over a period of time it is clear what is happening. These ‘journalists’ probably mix with a fairly limited set of Russians. On any question of the day they drop Navalny’s people a line on Facebook and print the Press Release they get back as the news. (The Independent follows a similar line; I don’t often look at the other papers).

In reality there are multiple oppositions in Russia – and most of them are far from being pro-Western liberals. Continue reading “Social groups in Russia”

Production Targets. Do the Russians need to be be mentored?

This is an extract from my Russia diary which will be published later this year.

16-2-20 Production Targets

My language school has required (you cannot say asked) me to take on a new class. The new class is scheduled to run back to back with an existing class. Both classes are 1.5 hours long. So, I will have to teach one class and then immediately move to the other class. How exactly I am expected to complete the paperwork and tidy up after the first class and then set up for the next class in no time at all is not explained.  Continue reading “Production Targets. Do the Russians need to be be mentored?”

Therapists [Psychotherapy]

The vast majority of psychotherapists and counsellors are frauds and con-artists in it for the money and an easy life. It is just not possible when you consider the scale of little lies they have to tell themselves and their clients to see them as misguided do-gooders, however much one would want to.

Therapeutic discourse [Psychotherapy]

The literature of psychotherapy adopts a peculiar and specialised language. Like, for example, legal documents, or certain business discourses (e.g. oil futures) the discourse is specialised and makes few concessions to be be intelligible to the layperson. It appears to pertain to a specialised ‘discourse community’. Specialised ‘discourse communities’ use their own language which is often at least somewhat impenetrable to outsiders because they are communicating about a specialised subject which the members of the discourse community have a special knowledge of. They don’t need to take the trouble to add the additional layer of explanation for the lay reader because these are technical documents intended for internal consumption by the community talking about their specialised field. Continue reading “Therapeutic discourse [Psychotherapy]”