Category Archives: Technology

The Future of the Printed Book (2014), by Sean Gabb

The Future of the Printed Book
By Sean Gabb

Early in 2003, I took my camera for servicing to a shop in Dover. While collecting it, I suggested to the old man who ran the shop that my camera would soon be obsolete, and that the future would be digital.

“Oh, film won’t ever be replaced,” he said confidently. He went into a learned explanation of how 35mm film had an assured future, and that digital would take at best a small bite from the bottom end of the market. I was less sure, but had no answer to what he said. I got my answer later in the year. I read in a newspaper report that Fuji was ending all film manufacture in the European Union, and that falling demand was its reason. By then, I had my first digital camera. Another few years, and the camera that I had paid £50 to service was fetching pennies on E-Bay. Today, 35mm film can still be bought, but high street developing shops have been replaced by printing machines with media card inputs. If people are taking more photographs than ever before, an entire technology has gone the way of the steam locomotive and the typewriter. Continue reading

Technical Question

I use a British ISP called TalkTalk. For the past six weeks, I have been unable to send e-mails via the TalkTalk server. I compose my e-mail, and Thunderbird sends it out through port 25, which is the TalkTalk standard. The e-mail is shown as going out, but never arrives.

I have been bombarding the ISP with increasingly angry complaints, but have had no reply – this may be on account of their known inattention to customer complaints.

For a few days after I noticed the problem, I set my outgoing server to Hotmail, which doesn’t use port 25. This worked. Then I signed up to the free option with an American bulk mail server, which uses port 25. This worked.

It may now be that a lot of my outgoing post never arrives when sent through the American port 25 server.

Could this be a problem with my router? Or is it most likely a problem with my ISP?

As an aside, my incoming mail arrives through a private, non-TalkTalk PO3 server. If my outgoing e-mail goes via the American server, does this mean that TalkTalk, and perhaps the British authorities, are unable to monitor my traffic? I’m not practically concerned about being monitored, and the MI5/MI6 budget is so limited, that active spying on people like me may not be an option; and I can’t think of anything I do that would provoke an averagely paranoid state to spying on me.

All help gratefully received.

Queen Elizabeth-the-Useless failed in the execution of her Coronation Oath. But I expect we will all cry sincerely when she passes on.

David Davis

I am not always precisely in tune with my colleague Sean Gabb, regarding the failings of Elizabeth-the-Useless. Although he is quite correct in stating that she _could have_ blocked Rome, the SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon at any time when these were issues. On any one of these – and the earlier the more chance of success – The Queen could have refused to assign her signature to any of this pretentious socialist rubbish, could have forced a General Election, and prevented the Franco-Collectivisto-Gramscian re-Nazification of Europe, saving her own subjects hundreds of billions of Sterling, not to say even trillions, in the process. We might even have got our managed-fisheries back before they were destroyed utterly (ask my father, who worked in the 70s for the MAFF, and who is now dead.). And at least up to Nice, she might also have got away with it. It would have been wise to resist early on.

But she continues to continue to soldier on, probably because she reminds the masses of their favourite great-aunt (I also have one, my aunty Betty who is actually a real aunt for I am rather old now and who even looks and sounds like the Queen a lot, and is only slightly older) or Grandmother.

As the Queen is old, and as she is a woman, and as it is not suitable to impeach or charge women for high treason – at least not “directly” – I would like to cleave to the position that “The Queen has been very, very badly advised, continually, for 61 years, in the matter of her constitutional dealings with the Continue reading

The internet is making life difficult for ‘progressive interventionists’

By Mustela nivalis
Ever since the launch of the World Wide Web, people have been predicting that the internet will change politics for ever. See e.g. ‘The Sovereign Individual’ by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg (1997). It wasn’t until the start of ‘Web 2.0’ (personal blogs, YouTube, social media etc.) that this prediction began to come about. See e.g. the ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ and the success of ‘Tea Party’ candidates against the US-Republican establishment. And now the vote in Parliament which frustrated the plans of the British subsidiary of the US-UK military-industrial-media-complex, which has had and is still having repercussions all the way to their HQ in Washington, DC (among LRC circles aka as ‘Mordor’).
It’s the internet wot won it. I’ve been wanting to write up something along these lines for some days but have been busy. Thankfully Sue Cameron of the Telegraph has done the job for me. I slightly disagree only with one quoted statement: ‘And the vast amounts of online information mean that people are sceptical of what governments tell them and check up on it instantly.’ No: People have been sceptical of politicians for a very long time. The internet allows them though to find out much more easily than ever before that their scepticism is well founded. And it allows them to communicate this to each other and to the politicians themselves.
This means that in particular ‘progressive’ politics are in trouble. As the highly intelligent arch-interventionist Dan Hodges conceded straight after the vote: This is a catastrophe for progressive interventionism. (I’m inclined to think he has a decent streak: he didn’t use that deceitful oxymoron ‘liberal interventionism’.) Quite. And the internet is going to continue to be a catastrophe for people of Hodges’ ilk. Because with scepticism abounding and having an already and increasingly powerful communicative tool at its fingertips, progressives will have to make an increasingly better case than hitherto as to why what ain’t broke needs to be fixed. Or why we need to fix other people’s problems. Or they will need to explain much more clearly where we have the knowledge and skill from with regard to solving other people’s problems.
The internet is making life increasingly difficult for progressive interventionists. That’s the good news. The bad news is: It’s not enough to stop them. A necessary condition maybe, not a sufficient one.

Passing Over Eisenhower

by Smari McCarthy

Passing Over Eisenhower

The Internet industries of America may just have inadvertently had their hats handed to them by the military industrial complex. Now it’s up to Europe to provide an alternative to the surveillance state.

Almost all of the major Internet industry giants are based in the United States. The reasons for this are historical and economical. The tradition of strong entrepreneurship practiced in the US since their inception, mixed with their purchasing power and history of acquiring any sufficiently profitable venture or fascinating technology from abroad, has put the US into a prime position to be the global leader in provision of Internet services. Continue reading

Here is a Brief Answer to Robert Henderson’s Doom Scenario

In an earlier post on this Blog, Robert Henderson argues that technological progress will end by making us poorer and generally less secure. I disagree.

Let it be supposed: Continue reading

Technology out of control

by Robert Henderson

Note: I think Robert is missing the point here. The sole purpose of economic activity is consumption. If we can produce 75 per cent of the things we want without having to buy them, that reduces the amount of work that needs to be done. The purpose of any production above what is needed for direct consumption is trade for other things to consume. We may be progressing very fast into a world of plenty with both security and independence. SIG Continue reading