Tag Archives: Life

Life, Death and Other Things

10 May

‘You might think that the biggest killer of people aged between 15 and 45 in the UK would be road traffic accidents or maybe one of the many cancers we’re reliably told will affect 1 in 3 of us, but it isn’t. The biggest killer of young people in this first world nation is suicide……’

Suicide outnumbers road traffic deaths by 2:1. The latest statistics put the total number at over 6,000 per year; that’s almost one every hour. So, the question is why? What do such a large number of otherwise healthy young people in the prime of their lives find so unbearable that ending it becomes a viable option?

From a personal perspective there is a big difference between life and living. Life is the mechanical process of converting food and Oxygen to the sustain a heartbeat. Living is gaining satisfaction and enjoyment whilst doing so. In the global model of living which we are forced to accept inequality has never been greater, the basic requirements for taking part can become all consuming, leaving many people simply treading water and trying to plug holes in the dam behind which the necessities for life continually pile up leading to the feeling that living is a secondary concern. This is not to say that all downward spirals are caused by what equates to financial stress; rich people are profoundly unhappy too, but for what may actually be the same thing, albeit caused by different circumstances.

On a planet with 7bn other people it is surprisingly easy to feel alone. The family unit or the need to belong and feel needed, wanted and above all loved is another contributory factor. This is where unhappiness doesn’t care how much wealth you have but there is undoubtedly a disproportionate number of economically strained people making up the suicide statistics. The more time you spend plugging the holes in the dam, the easier it is to begin the downward spiral of loneliness and feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.

Despite the narrative that we recognise and care about people who may be well on the way down the path to ending their pain, there is very little professional help available. I’ll guarantee the paperwork and time spent evaluating and exonerating professionals of any blame in the aftermath of a suicide far out ways the amount generated preventing it whilst they were still living.

Although everything I have just written may be factual, it’s typical of my personality to attemp to rationalise and quantify but when all is said and done it is my own internal battle with suicidal thoughts that I intended to write about. The flippant remarks and often quoted misnomer that someone who is suicidal acts completely normally and “nobody would have imagined that they would do such a thing”, is a somewhat annoying cop out. Making the choice to take your own life doesn’t happen in a moment of desperation or madness, it is a considered act in many cases. I can only speak for myself but I go around in circles considering method, guilt and a whole host of emotions and rationale.

I have asked for help but nothing ever happens. Over time I have become more isolated, unhappy and desperate to escape the overwhelming feeling of impending doom. It feels like every concerted effort I make to change things fails. The failures mount up and as they do the chronic (untreated) depression makes the basics hard to maintain. I am consumed by guilt at the thought of hurting people and it is that, and only that that has kept me alive. But I don’t know how much more I can take. I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, or for that matter, a tunnel. This isn’t a cry for help; God knows I’ve cried and cried for help but none has been forthcoming. I have posted many times about this and doubtless I’ll be labelled as the boy who cried wolf. Truth be told, I’m distracting myself from thinking because I’m afraid where it might lead. Death doesn’t scare me and the rationalisation that I could never have to face anymore pain is an appealing prospect but for now I’ll just keep plugging holes until the dam inevitably overflows……

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The Distribution of Wealth……

15 Nov

The reality of everyday life has led us to accept that some are wealthy than others, either through an accident of birth, some extraordinary luck or plain old hard work. I thought I’d look at the richest nation on Earth to see the disparity between rich and poor; the United States of America.  You may, as did I, find the outcome quite incomprehensible but enlightening.

The disparity between rich and poor is in reality larger than the perception of the public’s impression of just how big that disparity is……

A Harvard Professor of Economics asked 5,000 people how they thought Americas’ wealth was distributed.  The graph below divides the population into 5 groups each representing 20% of the population, poorest on the left, richest on the right.

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The bottom line represents how 92%, that’s 8 out of 10 Americans, would choose as an ideal distribution of wealth.

The line above represents how they thought the distribution of wealth actually is.

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Here we add in the top line which shows the actual distribution of wealth.  Note that the bottom 40% is hardly visible and are hard to see on this graph.

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The top 1% has more wealth than 9 out of 10 Americans believe the top 20% should have.

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To help make things clearer we have taken the same 5 x 20% groups and made them into a representative 100 people.

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Dividing the wealth proportionally to the 5 groups making up the 100 Americans, we have $54 trillion to allocate.

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Divided equitably, here’s how it would look.  This is idealised socialism.

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This is how the graph would look if the wealth was shared out according to the ideal expressed by 9 out of 10 Americans.

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Again, this is how the graph would look according to how 9 out of 10 think the wealth is distributed.

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This is the graph representing the reality of wealth distribution.  We’ve had to cut the last 3 columns of the richest 20% to fit it neatly on the page.  However, a new column has had to be created for the richest 1% (the column in black).  That 1% holds more wealth than all of the others added together.

The richest 1% of Americans has 40% of the wealth and the lowest 80% have only 7% of the wealth.

What this means is that the CEO of an American company earns 380 times the income of their average employee.  Not the lowest paid janitor but that of the average employee.  In other words the average employee earns in one month what the CEO earns in one hour.

I chose America because somebody more intelligent than me had already worked out the calculations but I imagine this is pretty close to the reality of most nations; and in many it is much worse.

Surely there will come a point when the inequality between the richest 1% and the poorest 40% will become apparent to more and more people, especially through social media.  Eventually, given that we are reaching a point where the disparity effects more than just the starving and oppressed people of the third world where the West continue to trample their populations with their sycophantic, ideological wars that serve no other purpose than creating yet more wealth, the people will decide enough is enough and something akin to an ‘Arab Spring’ will start to spread across ‘democratic’ western nations and revolutions will abound.  If I was in the top 20% of this unequal distribution of wealth, I would start to have serious concerns about my position in society and the company I keep……

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Bilderberg 2013……

22 May

‘The shadowy globalist Bilderberg Group will meet at the Grove Hotel, Watford, England from June 6th to June 9th.  Amongst the usual invited ‘guests’ including government ministers, financiers, policy makers and royalty will be the CEO from Google with potentially worrying items on the secretive agenda……’

 

bilderberg - logoBilderberg – A Brief History……

The group first met in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands which is where it got its name.  Originally intended to bring about convivial relations between Europe and America after the World War II it was intended to develop a better understanding of the political, strategic and financial policies of the two sides.

Over time the annual meetings of the Bilderberg Group have become ever more elitist with some of the most influential people on the planet in attendance.  Although they claim it is simply an opportunity to talk frankly about policies, they are in reality the policy makers that affect everything from economics to war.  The meetings are held in secret surrounded by tight security and the locations kept tightly under wraps with disinformation used to keep journalists at bay as far as is possible, a practice that is proving harder with social networks and citizen journalists having the means to communicate instantly.

Insiders and infiltrators in recent years have reported surprisingly accurate details about future events including economics and warfare which have come to pass.  For an innocent ‘think tank’ the Bilderberg Group go to great lengths to keep their ‘guest list’, meeting locations and discussions as secret as possible and many well informed journalists who have followed Bilderberg closely for many years speculate that they are a globalist shadow government agreeing policies and represent a New World Order……

Google-Zeitgeist-2011Google & Bilderberg……

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, has been a regular attendee of previous Bilderberg meetings and the annual ‘Google Zeitgeist Conference’ will be taking place at the Grove just before the Bilderberg meeting.  On the agenda will be how an association between Google and Bilderberg will benefit both parties.

It is hard to understate the potential power of Google’s vast database.  Around 70% of all internet searches are done using Google and it has even slipped into everyday language as the generic term for a search.  It is the way in which information and trends in everything from economics to politics can be gleaned from analysing Google searches and the sites they lead users too.  There is virtually no other company in the world that knows more about your habits than Google.  Thus far we have been assured that Google respects our privacy and I have no reason to doubt that claim, but trends can prove particularly useful when making judgements about financial markets.  Chatter can also indicate where political uprisings are stirring; useful if you are in the arms trade or running an army of mercenaries.  With geo-location software which is built in to most new smart phones can even tell you the whereabouts of a group or individuals.  Under US anti-terrorism laws all new mobile phones are fitted with an RFID chip which can locate a phone even when it contains no SIM card and the battery is removed……

Conspiracy Theories and Crackpots……                                                                                                                                                            The Grove 2013                                                     

Doubtless the accusation of paranoid conspiracy theorists will be levelled at those of us who are concerned at the dominance of one company on the worldwide web and even more so when the business dealings of the Bilderberg Group are included.  But when the worlds global elite and policy makers team up with the worlds largest internet service provider, there is good reasons to be concerned……

Paul Lamb Continues Tony Nicklinson’s Case in the Court of Appeal……

15 May

‘Brave Paul Lamb and one other person simply known as ‘Martin’ have been given permission to continue the case of Tony Nicklinson who passes away last year shortly after loosing his case.  Tony was seeking immunity from prosecution for any medical professional assisting him to end his life.  Paul, like Tony, due to their medical conditions where not in a position to take this step without help due to the physical restrictions of their respective illnesses……’

Background……

Both Paul and Tony are the latest in a long line of people who feel that their quality of life has been so profoundly affected by their medical conditions that they feel either now, or at some unspecified point in the future, being able to end their lives with dignity and without pain is their right as autonomous human beings.  The premise behind making such a decision is based upon several understandable factors.  First and foremost is the pain many of them are subjected to on a daily basis.  Secondly, the quality of life they have to endure, in that they are not able to perform even the basic everyday tasks without assistance including going to the bathroom, feeding them self, moving around and some cases even communicating with loved ones.

There is also the question of deterioration in medical condition which the courts seem to take no account of.  If deterioration in health was a new factor, they would be faced with challenging the legal decision all over again.

Like so many before them and one fear many to follow, the steadfast judgements of the courts seem to operate within a ‘one size fits all’ methodology with one issue at its core.  That being the potential for abuse of the law and the vulnerabilities  of certain groups within society who, for whatever reason, may be ‘victims’ of a law permitting euthanasia under certain circumstances……

In the Real World……

Whilst the courts have to give consideration to vulnerable groups and any potential abuse of a carte blanche law permitting assisted dying, I feel we are intelligent enough as a society to make a clear distinction between people like Paul and Tony who are clearly capably of making their feeling known and vulnerable groups who may be acting under duress from others.

The law does not have to be ‘black and white’ and courts could employ the services of Doctors and Mental Health Professionals to establish the merits of each case on a one by one basis.  It is not beyond the courts to identify people who are clearly of sound mind to express when they feel their lives hold no quality and dignity, with little chance of improvement, and to humanly grant them their wish to end them, any more so than to recognise when the plaintiff is requesting such an action under duress.

I am not suggesting a change in law that makes possible the indiscriminate euthanasia of ever sick person but a simplified process under which a judgement can be made without causing delay and upset to those involved.

NIMBYism……

It seems that the opposition to a process which allows ill people the right to end their own lives has fallen foul of the nimbyism which is apparent in many other legal matters and works on the principal that individuals and Judges are not capable of reaching rational decisions.  This is clearly not the case.  Our humanity should allow us to accommodate special circumstances especially when people are suffering……

What can you do……?

 

I have written a ‘Living Will’ of ‘Advance Directive’ to give it its proper name.  It’s quite a simple document that lays out what you want to happen in the event that you should be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident and unable to make your feelings known.  They are quite straight forward and give instructions on resuscitation and artificial life support.  There is space for you to put a statement of your beliefs and allows you to nominate a proxy, to whom you should make your feelings known.  They can act for you if you are unconscious and not able to make your feeling known at the time.

Although an Advance Directive is not ideal if you feel strongly about this issue, it is a good thing to have in place.  Mine can be seen at the bottom of the post but it is important to print out and give copies to those concerned……

And Finally……

Until the brave battles being fought by Paul Lamb and that of Tony Nicklinson set any precedent in law there is little we can do.  I wish Paul, Martin, Jane Tomlinson and the many others fighting for dignity all the best and hope their tenacity pays off……

My Advance Directive……

ADVANCE DIRECTIVE – Blanks Left to Respect Privacy……

THIS LIVING WILL is made on the 12th day of May 2013.

I:  STEPHEN P_____ W_____ of 1, G_____ D_____, B__________ H____, L______, LN4 ___.  Born on:  3rd February 19__

Being of sound mind make this Advance Directive now as to my medical care and treatment directed to my family, my doctors and any other medical personnel, institution or authority in the event that I shall be unable to make my views known at any time.

I DIRECT as follows:

My life shall not be artificially prolonged and no life sustaining treatment shall be administered, if at any time my attending doctor, consultant or surgeon and one independent medical practitioner certify in writing that in their opinion:

 

a) I have a terminal, incurable or irreversible injury, disease or illness; or

b) I am permanently unconscious, comatose, in a persistent vegetative state with no reasonable chance of recovery; and

c) I am no longer able to make decisions regarding my medical treatment.

In the above circumstances I wish to be permitted to die naturally and to only receive such medical treatment as will alleviate any pain or distressing symptoms so as to make me more comfortable even if this has the effect of shortening my life.

EXCEPTING as follows:

If I have elected to end my own life and have taken steps to bring about this, in the event that I am found I wish to be allowed to die with no medical intervention whatsoever.  I believe this is my right as suicide is permitted in law.  The terms of the above directive shall also apply in this circumstance.

APPOINTMENT OF PROXY

I appoint S____ G______ of 11, S___________ H_____, S____ E__, L______, as my proxy to be involved in all decisions about my medical treatment if I am physically or mentally unable to make my views known. The wishes of S____ G______ should be respected at all times and I confirm that she is fully aware of my wishes.

IN WITNESS of which I have set my hand to this my living will on the day month and year first above written.

SIGNED by the above named in our presence and by us in his/hers.

 

Maker of Living Will

 

Signed:                                                 [Person making living will sign here]

 

Proxy

Signed:                                                 [Proxy sign here]

 

First Witness

Signed:                                                 [First Witness sign here]

Name: [Insert first witness name]

Address:          [Insert address of first witness]

Occupation:     [Insert occupation]

Second Witness

Signed:                                                 [Second Witness sign here]

Name: [Insert second witness name]

Address:          [Insert address of second witness]

Occupation:     [Insert occupation]

1 + 1 = 2……

13 Oct

Questions to Which we Will Never Know the Answers……

 

Throughout history some of the most intelligent thinkers have taken their own lives or ended their days with mental health problems in institutions.  I do not believe that this a coincidence, rather the result of the realisation that the problems they spent their lives working on did not have definitive, comprehensible answers.  The sort of questions they could not answer were usually big philosophical questions about the nature of existence and consciousness which, although interesting, would not be considered by most people to be a matter of life and death but are fundamental to an academic whose sole purpose is gain an insight into ‘reality’.  I too have reached the conclusion that we cannot answer some of the big philosophical questions about the universe, consciousness and the reason we exist at all.  I don’t think we ever will and I believe I may know why……

 

The Nature and Limits of the Human Mind……

 

As far as we are aware we are the only animal with the ability to communicate ideas and abstract concepts through language.  Similarly, we are able to describe the physical world through mathematics.  However, in both of these abilities we are fundamentally flawed.  The way in which we experience the world has limitations; for example, our experience of space is in three dimensions.  Our minds are only capable of constructing a picture of the world within those three dimensions.  Therefore, when confronted with a theory requiring more than three dimensions, as in the case of physics, we cannot draw a mental picture of the extra dimensions.  This is when we turn to mathematics but this too has limitations.  Bertrand Russell and Alfred North-Whitehead dedicated 360 pages of the ‘Principia Mathematica’ to present the logical proof that 1 plus 1 equals 2.  Prima facia, this seems sensible but as Heisenberg demonstrated with the Uncertainty Principal, there is a limit to the amount of information you can know.  The Uncertainty Principal deals primarily with things at the sub-atomic scale but demonstrates the limits of what is inherently knowable……

 

The properties of our universe are counterintuitive and paradoxical.  Therefore, no matter how well versed in philosophy or mathematics you are, your understanding will always be limited by the confinements placed upon it by your own consciousness.  Worse still, the deeper your ‘understanding’, the further away from comprehension you feel.  This, I believe, is the reason so many Mathematicians and Physicists meet with an unhappy ending……

 

Where does this Leave ‘God’…..?

 

Nowhere!  Even though our comprehension of reality may be bound by the limits of our ability to accept that many things may never be known, inventing a divine creator to explain these shortcomings offers nothing other than to stifle the debate.  I would rather gain some insight into why there is a limit to my understanding than to believe I am not worthy of it……

A Philosophical Perspective on Continuing Life……

1 Oct

What is the Point of Life…..?

Life in general and, at the most basic level, has only one purpose; the proliferation of the gene pool.  The only ‘pleasure’ I get is when escaping reality through the use of Heroin, Valium, Alcohol or combinations thereof.  Only then do I get relief from the sadness of feeling alone and feeling that there is no reason to exist.  Life has nothing to offer me other than the enslavement by a capitalist society.  Capitalism dictates that money is a necessity in getting any enjoyment from living.  Being at the bottom level of a capitalist society, the basic things I need to survive ie; food, shelter, clothing, warmth and water consume every penny I have or could realistically ever hope to earn, leaving nothing with which to pay for ‘enjoyment’ because all enjoyment comes with a price tag.  That is the reality of living within a capitalist society.  That is not life; that is survival.  It is the modern equivalent of slavery.  Slaves were, and are, forced to work to get the minimum requirements needed to survive.  I see comparable similarities between enforced slavery through capitalism.  Modern life is effectively enslavement through capitalism, which affects those at the margins of society more than those who are further up the capitalist system……

And Who Really Cares…..?

Truth be told, nobody.  If I were to die, how long would it be before anybody noticed?  I suspect a long time.  My phone never rings.  My friends are all wrapped up in their own struggles to exist, spending most of their waking hours chained to a job they probably hate so they can earn enough to eat and keep a roof over their heads.  And, in the time they can call their own they are slaves to the things they have to do to exist outside of the dismal 9 to 5.  What miniscule amount of time they have left they spend struggling to enjoy themselves and, more often than not, use alcohol or drugs to kid themselves they too are having a ‘good’ time until they are forced to conform to generate the income to perpetuate the process.  Try asking anybody you know ‘how’s life?’ and not one of them will say ‘it’s great’; most likely they will say ‘well you know, plodding on, trying to keep my head above water’.  That’s a fact; I’ve tried it……

What does the Future have to Offer….?

For me, living at the margins of society, a never ending struggle to survive with all of the ongoing misery previously described.  Looking forward to old age, the money supply needed to survive will dwindle even further and I will find myself with less then than I have now, with the added complications of deteriorating health.  That isn’t living, that is just more slow painful torture to be suffered until the inevitable happens.  Sadly, the majority of people die alone not surrounded by their friends and family……

Why Continue to Carry on in Abject Misery?

Fear of death doesn’t scare me.  The fear of death is not about dying; it’s about the fear of pain at the moment of death.  Take away any pain and dying holds no fear.  What would I miss if I were gone?  I would miss out on the knowledge of the big questions that I ponder about the nature of existence and my purpose within the universe but, I have reached the conclusion that those questions will never be answered no matter how long I wait.  The answers always seem to throw up more questions than.  It is as if the answers are always over the horizon and the closer to the horizon you get, the further it moves away.  As is apparent from the number of great scientist who died alone in Psychiatric institutions, the deepest contemplations and feelings that the answers are within their grasp can lead to madness.  There is a fine line between genius and madness……

The Alternative to Carrying On….?

I don’t want to wake up and feel misery every day.  It’s painful, tedious and boring.  I gain no pleasure from waking up to same shit everyday and I do not believe it will ever change; it will only get worse.  The dizzying questions of the nature of existence only drive one closer to madness.  The escape that drugs used offer, only work in ever increasing quantities, deigned to me by the escalating costs.  The only real escape is the permanent one.  Then I’ll never have to wake up again, I’ll never be miserable again, I’ll never have to think about the future again and I won’t have to get old and waste away in poverty without any pleasure to miss out on, until the inevitable decline happens.  It’s going to happen anyway; that is certain.  I just want to cut out the sadness, the pain and the time.  Einstein tells us time ticks at a different rate dependent on your perspective and relevant position.  I would go further, to say that time beats at differing rates to the individual.  In the unfulfilled time beats very slowly, compounding the misery of the individual……

To Be, or Not to Be…….

 

This is the ultimate question and one which only I can take.  The balance of ‘to be, or not to be’, draws every closer to a final choice; to continue to wait for the ‘to be’ answers which I don’t feel will every offer a solution, or to take an early exit from the traumatic and ultimately destructive nature caused by the time spent waiting for the answers.  The scales are tilting ever further toward the choice of ending the pain suffered in waiting for the inherently unanswerable questioned which continue to throw up more questions than answers……

F**ked Up……

15 Aug

Disclaimer:  By reading this article I accept that I am over 18 and shit….

If Quantum Theory is correct in the proposition that there may be an infinite number of universes in which, mathematics dictates that there are many versions of me, one of them contains a version of me with the Midas touch.  Unfortunately, I have to live in this universe and have had the misfortune to have just the right quantum state in every atom in my body to have ended up with the Diphtheria touch……

Thus far in my dismal existence I have hitherto managed to fuck up everything I’ve ever attempted to do.  I started by fucking up my education.  I went on to fuck up a promising career by fucking up on drugs which, with a predictable degree of certainty, fucked up my health and my family’s lives too.  I’m now financially fucked and mentally fucked.  I have arrived at the point that I’m afraid to create any attachment to anything or anyone for fear that, based on my current track record, I’ll fuck them up as well……

If anyone knows of anybody capable of making more of utter fuck up of everything than me, I love to here from them.  It might give me some incentive to regard small fuck ups as a minor achievement……

If you have anything you’d like any help fucking up, let me know……