Gaming psychology

Well, there has been a lot of stress in rebuilding the computer room, and I am sure there will be more, but we are nearly operational again, with a bonus computer that I did not expect nestling between the two beasts (they sound like aircraft, I dread to think how much power they use)

 

As the plan is a personality driven series of games, I had a look around at game psychology.  Alter Ego is a very old text based game, but those interested can play it free.  I am shooting for something a little more delicate and fun, but I have trawled for something that goes in the same direction, and I think I might be onto a fairly original format for several different possible directions. There is no reason why it cannot be done, and yet it has not been done. Why not use your urge for entertainment and instant gratification for the purposes of self development?

 

So, I look up ‘personality driven games’ and I find the following personality tests for gamers.

 

 

The Multiplayer Psychology Profile  aka the Bartle Test 1996 – I am an anti-social achiever and explorer
The Four Player types test an alternative based on the Bartle Test – I am an innovative strategist

Then I try ‘gaming psychology’

Cognitive Benefits of playing computer games
The Psychology of Great Game Design
The Psychology of Video Game Play – low hanging fruit

This is not really hitting the mark for what I am looking for.  I did catch a fabulous BBC documentary on the psychology of gambling a year or so ago.  Did you know that gambling addicts are addicted to loss, rather than winning?  They believe that a series of losses makes a win more likely.

 

Having tried to be a gambler, and dismally failed due to my aversion to risk, despite playing a gambler’s game daily, I can say for sure that I do not have the gene for gambling addiction.  I have an unfortunate love of learning new things, and getting bored very quickly, however, which is why my life has been quite so complicated.  I am extremely useful, however, due to the ever-increasing skillset.

 

I then thought that gamification might be a useful thing to look up, and signed myself up on yet another course, only to find that it does not refer to educational gaming at all.  It is just another business buzzword for making marketing more appealing to millennials.  Sigh.

 

So, it looks as if I have a truly original idea.  So far, so good.  This should be fun. I was concerned about the lack of combat, and realised today that combat is really used as finite conversation in most games.  Only one percent of gamers are in it to kill other players, according to Bartle, the volume of killing is merely a quick easy reward system for avatar development and progress.

 

As my game will involve a lot of social interaction with NPC characters, I forsee my having to be a bit inventive with objects and progression.  I particularly dislike heavily story driven games, so I am likely to go for more of an organic, open scheme, which is going to get very complex with point allocation and reward/level progression.  To this end, I will be building a tycoon style game in the course of my self-training.

 

I think I have played sufficient relevant games to have a style in mind, and a clear idea of how the structure will work.  So now I just have to sit on my ass and learn languages and make games until I am ready to get on with it.

 

In the meantime I have an awful lot of research to do, so I am a happy, happy bunny.

 

 

 

Fact or fiction – video games are the future of education

 

Educational gaming commons

 

The educational benefits of video games

 

Gaming in education – gamification?

 

Teaching resources – educational games

 

Gamestar Mechanic

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Rhetoric for my beloved

Just in case Wolfe is now feeling rather neglected, I thought I would devote today’s blog post to buttering him up a bit.
Hopefully from the last few posts, he has now understood what I see that I have been pursuing from my safe position behind the curve of the Atlantic.  It took a long time to get there, and I did not expect that Conservative politics, of all things, would actually get me to the point, but there we are.  Unless Wolfe has decided to be deliberately obtuse, he should now have some idea why my particular journey makes perfect sense.
Feminine anger is a source of great fear for many sensitive souls, but it is not something that has no purpose or logic.  Admiration is a rather empty expression of rather superficial appeal, and often a well aimed jibe (or torpedo in my case) is a more caring and effective response than simply writing off one’s errors as evidence of a poor character.
I see a gem, wrapped in a cheaper and shinier wrapper for mass appeal.  I see a very intelligent and extremely thoughtful person who continues on a surprisingly emotional, and surprisingly lonely voyage through his very stressful and highly social chosen life.
Mistakes happen, people change as they grow, and we are all guilty of flippancy at different points of maturity. Having the strength of character and belief to continue on a tarnished path is not for the faint hearted.
Hopefully I have made Wolfe laugh a few times to make up for the bad days, as I have been witness to quite a few, before I decided that an even longer view was required.  I sincerely hope that his deceptively tiny empire, and extended network of influence proceeds and helps as many people on the way as possible.
Ina
PS. The nerve centre is nearly ready for the next thrilling installment of the Wolfe/Ina Disguise saga.  There will be a book or two during the construction of our interactive epic foray into the next generation.
 

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Trickle down lies

My apologies to my fellow economists and economic historians, you may wish to go and do something else just now as today’s post is about the fallacy of trickle-down.

 

Our current economy still works on the age old principle that the sacred pyramid is still worthy of worship.  It is far better for you to be halfway up, or better still, at the top of this sacred pyramid.

 

The idea that in 2016, we still worship pyramids, is rather hilarious, but nobody who is busy making as much money as they can wants to hear that their efforts may not be entirely effective, or that they are making themselves unworthy through sheer ignorance or self-deception.

 

To clarify further, since I know many readers of my blog are currently people who have no time to actually think for themselves as they are busy filling their pockets from their very fortunate gainful employment and presumably, like my own siblings, ignoring their responsibility for looking after people other than themselves.

 

Here are some basic economic facts for our conservative chums:

Dead people cannot spend money
Poor people retain less money in the form of savings
Poor people spend a greater proportion of their income, with the benefit of the multiplier effect, this makes them far more active and useful economic agents than rich people.
The multiplier effect is the principle that moving money is more productive than static money – ergo people who have to spend it have a more beneficial effect on the economy than people who do not.
Centralising economic activity in one region does not benefit other regions, meaning that the creation of infrastructure becomes difficult, expensive and impractical, at the expense of areas which could easily benefit from increased mean income, property prices and in which poor people benefit in terms of standard of living by having richer people to protest about their ‘inhuman’ garbage collection etc.
Housing benefit exists to benefit property owners, not tenants. The only reason housing benefit has not been attacked under the Conservative government is because they own a lot of rental property. It is a construct designed to benefit people with money and property, not protect the rights of the people doing the renting.
Dropping public money in the forms of bombs is not cost effective, unless you are doing it to secure contracts from an ally country, or ensure a living for a friend in the defence business.
Likewise, outsourcing jobs which require no experience or education is a bad idea if you want people to claim fewer benefits. It reduces the base on your pyramid.
Attempting to replace the base of your pyramid with immigrants causes further damage to the foundations, as communities blame new arrivals for issues of poorly maintained property and services, and new cultural influences, such as mosques and outdoor fruit and vegetable suppliers, increase negative attitudes and crime amongst the inhabitants of the base of the pyramid.
Deciding that you are a knowledge economy and then providing no tangible evidence of this, leads to a lot of underemployed and unemployed graduates, who then spot that your system does not work. Indicating that these people are to have their lives effectively destroyed and feel shame over it will not help you long term.
Putting an ever increasing proportion of the population into permanent debt, means that the base of the pyramid is now extremely shaky, and if it falls down, everybody suffers and you are at risk of actual revolution.
Not everybody is a selfish economic agent, capable only of patting themselves on the back for acquiring money.  The opportunity cost of self righteous obsession with money, is compassionate and conscious care for others, and consideration of far more important issues.
Failure to address people’s more altruistic feelings leads to unstable politics
Opportunity cost – the opportunity cost of working in a biscuit factory on minimum wage when you have other irons in the fire, is that you may never get to develop your potentially lucrative creative career in app design, or whatever else floats your particular boat.  Sometimes giving people the opportunity to develop their ideas is the more lucrative option.
When the economy recedes, an intelligent Tory provides money for small to medium sized business, as this feeds the base of the pyramid, in the form of a disproportionate number of jobs provided, and encourages self motivation amongst the damned and condemned poor that you hate so much.

Trickle-down is a myth, a rumour spread by the same delusional people that think it is ok for them to have more than twice the average income in interest on their parents ‘trickle-down’ wealth, whilst other people rely on charity.  The idea was that if one economic class is given money, they would use it to make more, accidentally benefitting the bottom of the pyramid by virtue of the spending involved and potential jobs created.

 

I have known for some time, that the notion of scarcity in economics is belied by countries with high savings rates.  People do not have unlimited wants.  People do not have unlimited motivation.  What our current government believes, is that if you continue to feed your economic plants from above in the form of tax breaks, that the plant gets bigger.

 

No, if you fail to feed the plant from the roots, it will collapse.  Trickle-up economics is the only way to go.

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Conservatives cannot read?

Apparently some conservatives get through life so easily that they cannot actually use Google or read, so here are some handy links if you are  socially isolated, academically inept, and presumably cold as ice, and have not actually noticed what the public’s response to the nasty party’s recent scandals actually referred to. Saying that it is an issue about accounting practices does not make it so.

 

Thousands died after fit for work assessment

 

Over 4000 people have died soon after being found fit to work by jobcentre assessment

 

Ten thousand benefit claimants declared fit for work under Tory assessment have died

 

Harder fit for work tests connected to rise in number of suicides

 

Fit for work disability tests linked to increase in suicides

 

More than 2300 died after fit for work tests

 

Starving soldier died

 

Ian Mulholland- Sanctioned, Starved, Jailed

 

Famished woman fined £330 for stealing a mars bar after benefits stopped

 

Yes people can starve to death in benefit sanctions Britain

 

One in five benefit related deaths involved sanctions admits DWP

 

People starving to death in the UK – on David Cameron’s doorstep

 

Factcheck – is the government starving the poor?

 

 

 

Please get a sense of proportion and grow up. It is happening, just because nobody has slashed their wrists over your petunias, it does not mean it goes away.  The Tory Government has made the entire country guilty of murder by neglect. That is not good politics, and it certainly isn’t good economics.

 

 

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More thoughts on politics?

I just had a horrible thought.  I wonder how the British public would react if several thousand Conservatives were told they were to have their money and property surgically removed, that they were fit to work, but there was no work available, and if they missed an appointment made by some faceless stranger that they would receive no income and have to rely on a foodbank, but only if they fulfilled the criteria demanded by the foodbank.  If several thousand of them committed suicide, and several more starved to death.  I wonder if they understand this concept?
If they were told that the UK was being (more obviously) bought by an American corporation, and that from now on, health services would be run on lean, profitable principles, meaning that their services would suffer.
I cannot imagine how anyone could actually stand up in public and admit to being a Conservative right now, never mind represent them.  They have gone through many similar crises in the past, and still people do not seem to understand that it does not matter how much you earn – you could still end up in a cardboard box being spat on by people just like them.
I spoke to one today, who was very nice actually.  He is a notorious troll from the Highlands, but he was perfectly pleasant.
Later, I was challenged by a young lady, who announced that she was from a council estate, and had a politics degree.  This apparently qualifies her to hate other people, and her own country.  I say this because you would really have to hate Scotland to seek or support a Conservative government.
Now, this is not quite as directly daft as it sounds because I said the word snobby, and snobby, if you are an idiot, means you have had a gentle upbringing.  There are thousands upon thousands of people who have no understanding that SNOBBY CUTS BOTH WAYS. She believes that her degree has elevated her, and separated her, from her council estate, and now she wishes to make life difficult for everybody else because if she can manage to sit down and do a perfectly normal degree, then of course everybody else loses their excuse not to be in the same position.
I do not come from a council estate, and I have had a gentle upbringing, and I do not believe that it is acceptable for any government to repeatedly victimize and manipulate sectors of the community, taking it in turns to target students, the elderly, the disabled, Scotland, and areas ‘who are unlikely to vote Tory,’ to paraphrase Boris, to fund wholly inappropriate policy benefitting ‘yes men’ like Toby, over-privileged oiks like the Downing Street pair, overpaid and largely talentless people who look good in a suit and actually do very little in the workplace. There is a dearth of passion since Blair’s ‘bland leading the bland’ and this dearth has led us precisely nowhere in terms of operational efficiency.
I think we would benefit from motivated, honest, frictional new blood.  I think we would benefit from the feeling that no matter who we are, we have at least a shot at a chance of a decent life.  I think everyone would benefit from being able to care for their families without having to be in a state of constant stress, and I think the last four decades have taught us that blame culture does not lead to a healthy economy.
Whilst you can waste a lot of time arguing in a situation where everyone has a voice, you can also forge new pathways to a system which promotes fairness and appropriate opportunity for all.  Conservatives do not believe in fairness for all, any more than New Labour did.  It remains to be seen if Corbyn is the new English messiah, but as far as I am concerned, the only way forward is to reinvent the entire system to eradicate these outdated team games we are conned into playing as if the world consists of rich versus poor. The economic world consists of people.  If you do not treat people well, there ought to be a mechanism of failure.
As I have outlined in several previous posts, the rich get rich because everyone agrees to make them rich and keep them that way.  There comes a point where we should say stop, you have enough, and move on to promote competition for the benefit of companies/employees/individuals themselves, never mind us as the public. That is the rational approach to managing our outlook as consumers, entrepreneurs and employees alike.
As far as welfare is concerned, as I have already said, it ought to be a matter of national pride to ensure a basic standard of living for people no matter what their circumstance.  What Osborne and Cameron have demonstrated, is that this sense of pride does not exist.  That (their) spare money is far more important than people. That hate and the derision of others is a useful weapon in making sure that you keep yours, and somebody else suffers.
Why would you want to wear a badge or jacket that says you agree with that? What happens when it goes wrong for you?
 
 

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Negative Feelings are Helpful

TwistyHeadedMan is staying in my spare room at the moment, he is extremely helpful when I am lost in my creative funk, which both last year and this became oppressive in June/July. I guess I have a touch of seasonally affective disorder, since I seem to become unpleasantly obsessed with work during the summer, when I really should be out in the gardens.

Last night, I got him to take a look at my post on Wolfe.  ‘Grumpy but positive’ I said, is that OK?

‘That’s how you always are.’ he said.  I really am turning into my father.

It is often very difficult to find a positive spin to put on an extended period of unadulterated misery, especially when it involved binning two years of hard work, but I have found over the years that it is sometimes wise to be floored by the punches rather than rolling with them.  Were I to publish my classical academic work as Ina, I would at least get a few people to read it now, as opposed to sweating blood over an ignored epic under my own equally ridiculous name. World events since 2011 have proved that the academic book is not only necessary, but essential whether the object of my devotional work likes it or not. (see other posts)

I could look on it, rather angrily as four wasted years that could have been easily avoided, but it is no big deal.  I am well used to being underestimated.  Ten years ago I was involved in a corporate scandal.  The company involved simply could not believe that one scruffy woman would have the audacity to call them out.  Since then I have lived an extremely quiet life, but I learned a lot.

Back in the days of my feverish research into the raw food movement, I used to become irritated at the insistence on positivity circulated by the more popular speakers.  Positivity is all very well if you do not require your brain to be engaged on critical pursuits, but it is as useful as a chocolate teapot when you need to be more strategic or analytic.  It is almost used as a weapon – J P Sears has a rather good video on New Age spiritualism which concurs with this view. Please allow me to let you in on an apparent secret – no feelings are truly unnecessary:

  1. Grief is fine, and if you ignore it it comes back and bites you in the ass.  It lasts as long as you decide it needs to.

  2. Jealousy is a mammalian construct, any owner of multiple dogs or cats will tell you it is not exclusive to humans and is inbuilt for survival.  Whilst it is not much fun experiencing it, and I personally have chosen to reject it as useless, it is not unnatural to protect yourself from pain.

  3. Sadness, often misdiagnosed as depression, is entirely natural.  Depression needs to be clarified by definition as irrational sadness, often physical in nature, and can be alleviated first by dietary means, and then by simply giving yourself the time to pinpoint your repressed anger.

  4. Anger is fine.  It is much better to allow some flash fury than pretend to maintain your cool and become depressed later.

And so on.  My work as Ina depends on the ego, particularly the wounded ego.  If I was to pretend that everything was fine, Ina would not exist and no work would get done at all.  All feelings are fine, all feelings are productive.   Nothing in your life should be wasted.

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Two days of ten a day

For the doubting Thomases and Thomasinas out there, I am going to talk about the joys of ten vegetables a day.
If you are squeamish, I suggest you do not continue with this article, as I am going to be very honest indeed.
I was a raw foodist for about three years.  The only reason I stopped was a protracted period of broken hearted misery caused mainly by family strife, and a kind of self regeneration inspired by my hate-love-hate non-relationship with David Wolfe.  He may be a bit of a plaster to the untrained eye, but evidently I quite like his style in my perverse, ‘I love a challenge’, kind of way.
I have been back on my ten a day for two days, and so far the shooting pains down my legs and in my hands have gone, the chest pains are slightly better, going to the loo is considerably easier and safer and the foggy feeling that goes with eating flour and sugar, which I gave up a week or so ago, has been eradicated. The eradication is enormously helped by the fast-moving vegetables, and a colonic a few years ago verified that a colonic merely speeds up what a high vegetable diet already does.
I am not doing anything particularly unusual as yet, the vegetables are either steamed in my uber powerful health dressing and a can of tomatoes, or raw with the same dressing. If I particularly need to jazz this up a bit, I tend to use tom yum paste, or whatever else comes to mind.  Hence, although it sounds austere, it is pretty good actually.  I also made a big batch of sugar free chocolate, which as long as I have it in stock, I do not really care about eating, a bowl of sugar free raw caramel, which will be eaten with fruit when I get around to it.  I have not bothered with supermix so far, as supermix requires that I remember to drink it after soaking it. Food has not been a massive priority in the last couple of days.
The dressing is a medicinal concoction I put together during my raw period – there are a lot of very pungent ingredients. It has around 12 ingredients, each of which would make your hair stand on end for flavour, but they all have medicinal qualities.  Supermix has 80.  It is quite a struggle to remember them all at times.
Now originally when I did this, I was considerably sicker, so here comes the squeamish bit.  In the first four days when I originally went raw, (I went for 80 percent or so) bladder weakness, presumably caused by a bowel issue, vanished, the pains in my joints and legs subsided, my skin started to clear up, and I generally felt more clear headed.
In ten weeks I dropped 70lb in weight and my skin entirely cleared up.  My doctor at the time did not recognise me.  After this I managed to start walking, which I was far too tired to do before, and I ended up losing 160lb in a year and a half of not really dieting. I had been quite depressed, due to the lack of objective help offered by conventional means, and the condemnation about your ‘lack of self control,’ when the real problem is that your gut bacteria has been completely compromised by conventional food.
When I attempted to be vegan for a period, it became a real struggle, and I did find that once a month or so I was a bit like a starving lion, which is OK for a few months, whilst you figure out whether this is conditioning or your body saying no really, you should go and kill a rabbit now, or whatever your cavewoman equivalent would have done, but long term, unless you want to think like this, you really have to figure out what you are lacking or eat some animal products already. I can tell you, if you are a social creature, that before you give up the animal products you can still eat out, almost anywhere without looking like a food nazi to other, less well informed people.
I can tell you that I was severely anaemic for several years before I went raw, even as a low carber, and being raw completely cleared it up.  I can also tell you that in terms of my looks, I am probably about fifteen years younger than my actual age when raw.  Some of the arguments against being raw are nonsense, and some, by trial and error, are a matter of personal choice.  The vegan police are not going to come and arrest you if you cannot completely manage it.  For me, eventually, 90 percent raw, with an allocation for fish or meat means that I never have to think about food, which suits me a bit better.
Fruit, which is perfect for some people, is not perfect for me. I find it ages me in comparison with vegetables only. I look considerably better, and feel better on a vegetable based diet. Fruit is nice, but you really need to be able to put some time into burning it off as fast as you can.  I actually lost more weight eating ten vegetables a day than I did on smoothies, although the time spent eating alone is a bit tiresome.  Eventually, on supermix alone, I became a bit too artistic, and stopped exercising, which was not terribly healthy, so a liquid diet, whilst very effective, is not really all that good for you.
Likewise, steaming your vegetables is not quite as good for your looks as eating them raw.  You have to find a balance.  If you look great, but find yourself obsessing about food to an unbearably boring degree, then it is probably time to make it bearable. Also, your diet should not bankrupt you, so if you find yourself buying a lot of superfoods and/or exotic fruit, (durians are £25 each here, as I found out when I bought myself three on my fortieth) then it may be time to tone it down a bit. The good thing, however, about making your own supermix with herbs and superfoods, is that you can tailor it to your individual health problems.
Finally, if you consider following this route to improving your health and well being, do it in stages.  On week 1 get rid of the sugar and flour and follow a low carb diet, on week two get rid of the cheese, coffee and other ‘dirty’ stimulants etc.,  You will go through a lot of changes in physical chemistry, and it is far easier to have confidence in your process if you are gentle with yourself. The aim is permanence, and recovery, not crash dieting. If anyone argues with you, quote the World Health Organisation – it is 9-15 a day, not 5.  Governments like corporate money.

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Cold Revenge

This is a strange topic for me, because despite my snippy nature, I am not at all cold.  I have recently discovered the joy of coldness.  It is not something I relish, as it means I am becoming the bitter old bitch I was apparently destined to be.
I wrote a letter to my siblings today.  In fact I wrote two.  The first one was irate.  Why was I irate?  After another month of blisteringly hard rehab, during which I restored my mother’s ability to walk, my sister went out and bought herself a wheelchair, for my mother to use only when out with her.
After years of cancelled arrangements for the two hours off per week my sister seems to think I deserve, I do realise that this is just typical behaviour from this person.  I disowned my siblings several years ago, and even now they will claim that I have caused the problem even though they have experienced none of the attacks they have forced on me.
I am a very direct person.  If I am annoyed, I will say so.  If you pretend not to understand, I will cut you off.  The rules are pretty simple.  If I enjoy your company, you may be given a few more chances but generally speaking, three strikes and you are out.
Wolfe and Twisty have both had considerably more than three chances.  Aldous also got more than three chances.  Sometimes I am pretty tolerant.  Too tolerant.  I have wasted decades on trying to make some relationships into something they are not. When I say this I mean pleasant, reciprocal.  I mean that the underlying assumption was that the people concerned were basically OK, and circumstances got in the way.
My family, likewise got years of chances before I wrote them off, and then assumed that they could bully their way out of it.  When they realised it wasn’t working, they tried bullying my mother.  I was not impressed by this, and had I allowed them to continue, they would have caused themselves a lot of legal problems.
So today, I put my absent brother in charge of the ugly sisters, and I put the drunk in charge of the lunatic.  I announced that I would not be putting myself in a directly hostile situation, which is a bit rich considering that I have lived in one for twenty years, and that they were to look after themselves, with the inevitable infighting this will cause.  The drunk will not enjoy that one bit. The lunatic will try to persuade the other two that as she is the richest, she is still calling the shots, from a different country, whilst nobody listens to her tiresome shrieking any more.  Once you are in your sixties, manipulative girlishness loses its effect.
I feel absolutely nothing.  You would think I would be happy, having manoeuvered them into a situation that means none of them have the excuse to bother me, but I feel nothing at all.  I just wonder why I wasted so much time being terrified and anxious.  I should have been able to do this years ago. I probably wouldn’t be headed for a stroke if I had. I wasted a lot of time waiting for my mother to take care of her own children, and she had no intention of ever doing it.  Why she bothered having them, I have no idea.
I will not go into how I got through the major family issues as it is covered in the next book, but suffice to say that my mother would have a lot to thank Wolfe for, if only she or he knew. Today, however, I dealt with them.  They can kick and scream as much as they want.  I just don’t care.
Recognise Carers as Workers

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Longevity is overrated

“Why are you here?”

 

“Why did you call us here today?”

 

“Why did you come here today?”

 

“Is it OK to send her home?”

 

“Your mother is elderly, there is no point.”

 

“The NHS wouldn’t do that, there is no point in referring her.”

 

“This practice doesn’t do that.”

 

“She was diagnosed with dementia as everyone over 80 who has a stroke is diagnosed with dementia.  She has perfectly normal thinning of the cerebral arteries.”

 

“We have drugged your father as he is difficult. Perhaps he is in pain.”

Elderly face NHS discrimination under new UN death targets
Sentenced to death for being old
Elderly Patients NHS care – your stories

These are all direct quotes.  Being elderly is no picnic.  Being elderly on your own must be absolute hell. Having experienced being ignored, sideswiped, having anything I say ignored with my own doctors of late –  talking of which – here is a doozy from the doctor I was with a few years ago –

 

“If it was what I thought it was, you would be dead by now.”

 

And I can tell you that it makes no difference whether you are healthy or unhealthy, your doctor is likely to make a decision about you and stick with it, no matter how much effort you put in to getting to know them or avoiding going, to prove you are not the witless hypochondriac they seem to think you are.

 

Here is the treatment for a head injury in an elderly lady a year ago in the allegedly inferior Victoria in Glasgow:

Heart check ECG
Scan for cranial bleed and/or stroke
Blood tests
Three days observation in an appropriate ward
Occupational and physiotherapy

Here is the treatment for a remarkably similar head injury for the same lady since the Queen Elizabeth hospital was built.

Wound cleaned
No appropriate beds for elderly patients, even if any action were to be taken following a scan, which would not be taken.  No scan

I have also been told that even if she required a drip or post-operative care, I will be doing it at home, with the occasional aid of drop in paramedics.

 

Believe it or not, for me the new system, of making lay carers responsible for nursing duties, with no training in observation and rehabilitation, is not altogether bad news as I do not have a problem with devoting 24 hours a day to my mother and I detest hospitals.  My father died very drugged  in one, my friend died in the same one, and my uncle died rather unexpectedly in one.  When you are over eighty, your survival depends on having a lot of visitors, so the fact that I am here all the time and can work flexibly around her location in the house is OK for me.  It is not the same for other people, and it certainly isn’t the same for the unfortunate elderly who lack a relative prepared to live like a nun to take care of them. The rehab is 24 hours here, and I have the luxury of knowing what motivates her, which is a mystery to most of her family, never mind anyone else.  It is extremely hard on me, however, and my life, in turn, is going to be considerably shorter as a result. I would hate to see her go the same way as her brother or my father however, so I am glad to have her here in many respects.

 

It seems that the new corporatist state wishes only for workers.  You are entirely expendable under a system of discretionary excuses, regulated by NICE and delivered in varying degrees by doctors.  Basically if you wish to attain longevity, you had better pray that you have no problems requiring conventional medicine, because from my experience, unless you have spent your life amassing visitors, you will not survive it if you are over whatever age they have deemed appropriate.

 

There is additional discrimination against women, from doctors of both genders, according to some studies, but I will not go into that here.  I spend a disproportionate amount of time monitoring the chasing pains across my chest to see if I think they are getting any worse.  Additional pains that were shrugged at turned out to be inflammatory in nature, and so alkalising helped considerably.  Try telling your doctor, or even most nutritionists that, and they will laugh in your face. Quoting what you have read about the issues does not help, and many doctors are very threatened if you have done any reading at all.

 

Since the banning of smoking in public places, and the reduced consumption of alcohol as a result, they have less means to ensure that you do not survive too long beyond your working life.  The internet and TV led culture we live in at the moment certainly help to make us unfit, but unfitness in itself does not kill us nearly as effectively as smoking and drinking. In addition, smoking and drinking pays valuable taxes, so they have discovered, since sending us on our health kick, that they have shot themselves in the foot in two respects – less tax income from cigarettes and booze, longer living and very inconvenient patients.

 

Whilst I appreciate that costs have to be managed as a result, it does not seem terribly fair that the elderly, who have paid into the system all their lives, should be told that they have had their fun, and they can just pop off now thanks.  Or that women, who pay into the system less, and take more in the course of having babies should not have their concerns dealt with. If my mother had had urethral dilation four years ago, instead of being put on permanent antibiotics, for example, I am pretty sure the cost issue would cancel itself out.

 

Instead we had problem after problem, with the former doctor who knew perfectly well that her medicine needed updated every three months, and used it as an excuse to argue with me until I changed practice so that his figures added up.  I dread to think how his parents get treated.

 

So, all in all, longevity is not altogether a desirable thing, unless you happen to have an awful lot of money to ensure that you get the best medical care possible, from someone who benefits from keeping you alive rather than balancing the books.  Living your life as hard as you can would seem a preferable option, especially in the absence of family or friends.

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In the mind of a conservative voter

Conservative voters should really be encouraged to live in gated communities, far away from the rest of the population.  I propose that we fence off Essex and the home counties and send them all there.  Or perhaps we could use all those nice tax havens for them.  In any case, people who are more concerned about themselves than about the welfare of their fellow countrymen are not people that I would recommend living next door to.

 

Why?  Well, as someone with a very progressive attitude to economics and a couple of Tories amongst my friends and family, I naturally have a lot of conversations about politics.  My Labourite and former Labourite friends tend to think I am a bit right wing, and my Tory friends just think I am stupid for caring and possibly a bit rebellious and over emotional.

 

It is very simple.  If you are interested in the nation state, and when I think about issues, I tend to think at a nation state level, rather than how things affect me, then Conservatism makes no more sense than Socialism.  When dealing with people over the long term, you become very much aware that people’s politics are determined by their self image.

 

The hospital issue in the West of Scotland, that I was discussing yesterday is a case in point.  When I informed my Tory friend about it, his first reaction was how this affected him. It did not cross his mind for one second that thousands of people were suffering and potentially dying as a result.  This is typical of the Tory voter.  It is all about you, the money, legally obtaining the money whether it is fair or not, and everyone who does not think like this is simply stupid.  Such people need a lot of bombs, weapons, policing and laws to protect them, because they, at heart, just aren’t very nice people who do not care about others.

 

Socialism, on the other hand, is in a sorry state in the UK.  It is divided, it is still hampered by this Blairite hangover of Thatcherism, and the genuine socialists wait to be told what to say and then repeat it ad infinitum.

 

Here is my perspective – running a country is no different from running a tribe, in much the same way that running a multinational is much the same as running a market stall.  There may be more components, but the basic transactions are the same.  If you want to run a country well, you make sure that all sectors of the community are treated with a basic level of human dignity.  If you cannot manage that, arm yourself because sooner or later the rest of your tribe will turn on you.

 

Conservatives like to think that there is a rule book for life, that nothing bad will happen to them, and if it does, the money they have squirreled away will solve the problem.  Try replacing an absent arm or leg with a pile of cash and you will see that this idea is false.  Enjoy the sensation of that pile of cash dwindling because you do not qualify for benefits if you have too many savings. Pay out some more cash on people to do what you cannot because of your absent limb. Nobody will help you, in a conservative world, because nobody can survive without working, just like you. Life is not fair, and the only thing you can do is decide that if you prefer not being murdered or robbed, it is really better if people do not starve to death or commit suicide.

 

Likewise, in Scotland we have the case of the Unionists.  Unionists, whether Conservative or Labour, are a little bit thoughtless, a little bit selfish and they have little imagination or vision.  They have their house, they have their pension, everything is very neat and the question of independence is too far fetched for their tiny brains.  Having ‘eaten their cereal’, they are now constipated and their movements are hampered as a result.  They do not wish to consider the matter of morale, of a rebuilding of a system that does not work and they fail to realise that Scotland is actually an occupied country.  It may not be occupied by military (so far) but it is certainly occupied by the media and the crippling influence of Westminster.  It is entirely beyond them to consider that they could create something much better, that works for everyone and makes it much easier for people to progress and enjoy their lives.

 

I have earned astonishing amounts of money at different times in my life, in my various careers, and it has never crossed my mind to begrudge my taxes to people who either should not be in the workforce, cannot be in the workforce, or who are taking a few years out to have children or take care of the sick.  I had a Tory mother and a very strong tradition of Socialism on my father’s side.  I count myself lucky to have experienced a great deal of debate in my family household.

 

When I visited America playing backgammon in 1998, I was asked several times whether I wanted to move there, and my reply, a surprise to me as much as anyone else, was that I could not possibly live in a country that allows people to starve to death or deny people healthcare on the grounds of money.

 

The primary reason for fairness in a society, and this ought to be understandable to all, is safety. Your pile of useless cash and friendless, money funded life of luxury is far more assured by treating everyone with a basic level of human dignity, than by having an armed policeman outside your door. In a corporatist world, people are learning not to trust government.

 

This is serious stuff, we are moving out of the period of political economy financially, and everyone is aware that artificial growth figures are sustained only by inviting more rich people into the country and selling them luxury goods, by using our tax havens to get 3 percent of something rather than 23 percent of nothing, and by putting thousands of students into debt, hampering their growth in a way that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago.  Yes, students, your debt counts as growth on which the political class get themselves voted in.

 

As a result, nation states are going to be phased out, unless we find a way to make our governments trustworthy, unless we stop feeding the giant companies that influence them, and unless we stop getting bound up in issues of who has the biggest pile of cash and whether that makes them more worthy than us.

 

It is very simple.  Nobody is more worthy than you, and your pile of cash is meaningless to anyone but you.  If you employ others to work for you, the likelihood is that you are paying them less than yourself.  It does not make them a less essential component.  It just makes them impermanent. And so you can continue to draw the analogies.  Everyone in a society is worthy, and whether you are a nasty little boy that went to Eton, or a paraplegic from Cardiff, you deserve a basic level of welfare.

 

Lining your friends pockets with public money because you managed to get your hands on the public purse is not smart, and it isn’t funny. Neither is pretending you are something you’re not. Honesty is a basic requirement for running a country and there is nothing funny about putting one over on the public.

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