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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Is the situation in Catalonia a dress rehearsal for the future of the European Union?

Is the situation in Catalonia a dress rehearsal for the future of the European Union? Sadly the answer is probably yes! 

The Catalans argue for independence – many young people are evident! – on the grounds that their psychological and cultural identity is different from the rest of Spain. A well known 20th century tyrant – Joseph Stalin – in a pamphlet written in 1913, also highlighted this aspect as being one of the defining features of a nation: “… a common psychological make-up, which manifests itself in a common culture, is one of the characteristic features of a nation.”  Even knowing this, Stalin did not make a success of the multinational state that he created – the Soviet Union. The grim history of multinational states is a warning to take note of.

The European Union does not have a common psychological make-up, manifesting itself in a common culture. That is one of the lessons that I have learned from spending the past 30 years working with just about every nationality in the European Union, and spending much time in several Member States. Yet the blue flag waving European Unionists seem to be in denial about this. Many of these people are extremists, and European Unionists are just – nationalists!

In the European Parliament there is a place where citizens can be exposed to European Union propaganda. In this place there is a recording of a very deluded MEP stating that the problem of nationalism in Europe has been solved. Not so. The problems have been amplified and doubled, for not only do we now see peoples of the Member States reasserting their national identities as never before over the past 60 years, but we also see the creation of a new form of nationalism – European Union nationalism. Like the Spanish who tried to suppress Catalan cultural identity, the European Union nationalists, if they ever gain power, will suppress the national cultures of the Member States (actually they are already subtly trying to do this).

The conditions for conflict are being laid and if Junker gets his way, on March 30th 2019 continental Europe will begin the march down that old, well trodden road that leads to a very familiar, very European destination. And yet anyone who speaks out and warns is treated like ...  This is also an old well trodden road as well – the Nazis did this in their early days. Later they did more. Will the European Union nationalists do they same? Of course they will, for I have seen the wild empty stare in their eyes – it is frightening.

If we wish to preserve peace, harmony and prosperity in Europe, then it is time to take a stand against this European Union nationalism. It is time to tell these people that the age of grand overarching ideologies and utopian visions, is over. We have seen in the 20th century, where these fantasies lead. No more! It is also time to deal with the problem that the European Commission has become. Alas, we cannot look to the politicians for help here, because they are too preoccupied with matters economic and monetary. So what to do? Time to take up the pen and the brush and do what is necessary – ridicule and satire …

Being British, people might ask why I care about this, given that we will leave the European Union on March 29th 2019. They might say that it is not a British problem if the peoples of continental Europe once more end up living in a dictatorship – this time of technocrats – with a sham democracy that sends deputies to a parliament in Brussels that just rubber stamps decrees handed down by an elitist body – a parliament that can in any case be overridden.

It is a good question. Perhaps it is because I care. Perhaps it is because, when these things happen in continental Europe, people end up dying in numbers that defy comprehension. Perhaps it is because I have a conscience and cannot stand by and let the past become the future. Perhaps it is because I have seen too much over the past 30 years of my involvement in Brussels, and I do not want to see any more. Perhaps it is because I believe in the power of one …

Thursday, 31 August 2017

366 – A Scriptovisual Composition Unknown: An Artistic Investigation of the Spaces between Spaces in the Quest to Create a post-European Era, post-Enlightenment Science

366 – A Scriptovisual Composition Unknown is the result of several artistic processes. Founded in the artistic way of working called, not knowing, and the surrealist technique of writing described by AndrĂ© Breton in the First Manifesto of Surrealism, the work is simultaneously located in both the expressive and the cognitive. But the work is more than just a book, for it is also the product of working simultaneously in two forms of expression – descriptive and plastic. Thus the work is the product of a dual creative process, being scriptovisual in form: a painting and a book which together form the work with the title: 366 – A Scriptovisual Composition Unknown.

And the reason for the above, it transpired, was to undertake an artistic investigation of the spaces between spaces as part of the author’s life-long quest to create a post-European era, post-Enlightenment science and technology. Now is the time to bring this search to fruition, for it is surely the case that a move beyond a science and technology – a culture – that is based on conquest and domination is much needed. Many people in the modern world are weighed down with baggage from the past that comes in the form of functionalism, determinism, positivism, mechanism, scientism, technocracy, materialism, historicism, … The list is quite long! It is a baggage that is destroying humanity and the planet!

The supremacy of the fragmented, reductive, and overly rational mind, heroised in the European world, is leading humanity to the edge of doom, to the creation of a dysfunctional – dystopian – world in which no sane person would want to live. Yet the very nature of the problem – the fragmented, reductive, and overly rational mind – which craves the one best way of knowing, the sole truth, and unambiguousness, even though the complexity of human existence point towards there been many ways of knowing, many truths, and a state of ambiguity as the norm, is preventing the step forward that humanity must now take. Mix the fragmented, reductive, and overly rational mind, with mind-sets that value and prioritise data, numbers, mathematics, and computations, above other ways of knowing, as well as softer thinking based on intuitions, feelings, etc., then one has a recipe for a disaster on a scale never before been seen in human history.

Provided in this work therefore, are the reasons, presented in a way that is highly unusual, why the development of a different type of science and technology is now needed. The reader will also discover pointers towards the creation of this new form of science and technology, the development of which, the reader will learn, is far more advanced than people realise. Raised also as a consequence is an issue called Unity of Knowledge, for which so-called consilience, the author has concluded, is an irrelevance. The author proposes that what is required is the development of a new Theory of Knowledge; one that is built on a different perception of the universe and humanity to that which dominates in the European world.

The book is also a demonstration of the value of artistic thinking and practices, which contrasts sharply with the obsession that some in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have, which in many cases is nothing more than an appropriation of the arts for the furthering of an old vision of STEM, which is – to borrow from Ancient Greek mythology and the story of Prometheus – just entrails (more of that baggage referred to above), dressed up with a little good meat (art).





Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Experts, Polymaths, and the Liberal Arts – Outdated Concepts for an Outdated Western World

Given the (often tedious) discussion (not dialogue) often found in the very conventional world of academia and other such failing institutions (like the European Commission and its DG CONNECT), and the endless (mostly empty and sometimes almost fraudulent) talk about STEM to STEAM; here are some standard and (not so standard) alternative definitions of three overused words which just illustrate why the above are failing institutions, doing what all failing institutions do – retreating into the past, that place of security where everything seems fine:


Expert: a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area.

Alternative

Expert: A person who knows a lot about very little.


Polymath: A person of wide knowledge or learning.

Alternative

Polymath: A person who knows very little about a lot.


Liberal Arts: arts subjects such as literature and history, as distinct from science and technology.

Alternative

Liberal Arts: subjects still defined according to an archaic division of knowledge.


Liberal arts subjects are those that an educated person should know in order to participate in the life of the community. Hence in the real world the liberal arts include all the subjects that the archaic division of knowledge excludes …

For the most able of people, it takes about two years of full time effort to cross a disciplinary boundary such as they are able to operate in that discipline. Few people, polymath or otherwise, have time for such, and no degree course can provide sufficient knowledge in the limited time available. Yet increasingly it seems that what is needed, are for people to cross disciplinary boundaries and to operate in those second (or third) disciplines!

Is the fad for Liberal Arts (standard definition) just another fruitless debate about liberal arts education versus specialist education? A repeat of debates already held in the past. Debates that most (including polymaths - standard definition) seem not to know took place. Likewise for the so called T-shaped person – this concept dates back to the 1970s at least, possibly earlier. The polymaths seem to have missed that point too! All this somewhat undermines the argument for – liberal arts education and polymaths (standard definitions)!

So Prometheus sits on his rock, wearing his invisible and silent chains that keep him bound there, and everyday he reinvents himself in exactly the same form he was yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that …

The Vainglorious Enlightened Ones are, indeed, in serious trouble. May you live in interesting times! You are living in interesting times …

Sunday, 21 May 2017

STARTS VERTIGO’s Surrealist Tales of Faustian Pacts with the Devil that is DG CONNECT

I heard from afar a great din, and on moving to investigate found many noisy artists, all lined up, passing through a gate above which was cast, in now rusting iron, adapted words from a long forgotten imperial decree: No Restriction to Artistic Freedom Will Here be Found.

Standing now close by, I watched as this motley crew shuffled past, and spied within the camp, a man, a guard, whose name was oft spoken, and from the speaking of, I learned this man’s name – and the name was Jury. And while each of them, the artists that is, approached this Jury, he divided them; some he sent to his left, and others to his right.

Of those who to the left did go, they disappeared from view, and I never saw them again. At later time, having enquired in another place of their fate, I discovered that through a portal they had been despatched, to find themselves – having already being put to much inconvenience – deposited unceremoniously by the side of a road in some far away and remote place, from which they then had to, with much trouble, find their way home, at no cost to the devil known as DG CONNECT.

Of those who to the right did march, a much worse fate did unfold! First each, on passing by rubbish bins, had to deposit there in the first, something that is known as artistic integrity, and in a second one, their critical independence. Each then was told to strip, and to don a special uniform, upon which was written in stripes, many times over: artist to be exploited in any way that takes your whim.

Then into a hellish chamber, full of fire and smoke they did proceed to have their nostrils filled with a technocratic sulphurous reek along with the rotting smell of evil corruption – of the City of the Golden Stars kind. And to a table, behind which stood the all powerful VERTIGO – demigod of art-science beliefs – each one was then led, to sign, in their own blood, an irreversible pack with the devil known as DG CONNECT. And once thus tied, no escape was discovered to be possible, for they had to their new masters now been bound – including their lives for ever more, for the brand of the devil that is DG CONNECT was indelibly, on their foreheads, burned.

No sooner was the signature complete – while the blood was still wet – did, from it seems out of thin air, a ball and chain appear, which by some unseen force, locked itself upon the ankles of these poor unfortunate new handmaidens. Then the hand of VERTIGO did point towards strange holes in the walls, which looked very much like prison cells, above which strange and meaningless names there were carved: AMORE, CUPIDO, Magic Shoes, and other quite ridiculous words created by STEM, another demigod of the very peculiar, art-science secular religion, and the even stranger, new, extremist and fundamentalist sect that had styled itself – STARTS. Then VERTIGO did speak these words to each of his victims: “go inside and design.”

Each of the poor shackled prisoners then towards the holes did make their way, and when within a metre or so of the entrance, a chain did miraculously shoot forth and attach itself to the approaching artist’s neck, dragging the poor creature into the cell to face whatever tortures and torment were there waiting for them to endure. And from within came cries such as: “you will do this” and “you will do that” and “you’re here as a slave to serve the project so you do what we want”, and “you must disseminate and communicate”, and “you’re here to make us more creative” and “what rights are those, you signed the pact; your art belongs to you, but your ideas do not, and we will use your art how we think fit, and you have no control over this.”

From some cells the sounds of great arguments did it occasionally issue forth, as a few artists struggled to regain their independence and dignity, but then I noticed that the demigod VERTIGO had, to absolute power evolved, and when the heat of such arguments did grow, VERTIGO intervened and silenced the dissident artists, transporting them into exile to a place called Void, where they did then become entangled in complex and distressful legal matters requiring expertise that no normal artist could afford. And when they tried to speak out, to condemn, to warn, no sounds came forth from their mouths, for into these had been inserted a strange device called a Confidentiality Clause. Thus did DG CONNECT once again silence the voices of artists and punish those who dissented, in a manner in keeping with very European traditions and past European Unions. And in the doing of DG CONNECT’s dirty work, VERTIGO – DG CONNECT’s faithful handmaiden – did demonstrate that reassuring siren words such as sympathetic and sensitive treatment of the arts are but empty promises, especially when arrogant and elitist bureaucrats take charge. Reality is indeed a hard and cruel beast, as indeed is DG CONNECT!

Observing the nightmare that is STARTS unfolding before my eyes, feeling sickened and saddened by what I had seen, I could no more watch, so I turned away to depart, thankful that, from these Detrimental Research Practices (as the National Academy of Sciences in the US calls them), I did, long ago, DISCONNECT. It was then I noticed a European Commission Commissar from the devil that is DG CONNECT, observing smugly all that transpired, being somewhat pleased that to the service of this devil, artists and their art had been corrupted in the name of another demigod – neoliberalism. Farwell l’exception culturelle!

On this leaving I did also recall, a phrase that to Google was once applied, for they too did artistic freedoms restrict, in that which they called DevArt: the exploitation of artists is evil! It is indeed! But when Faustian Packs with DG CONNECT people do make, that they should have been tricked, should surely come as no surprise at all, for DG CONNECT are the most corrupted technocrats of all, and as STARTS reveals, and DG CONNECT’s very public domain comments prove, they are also technocrats of the most ignorant kind. On the other hand, as our extensive researches have revealed, some artists, ardent disciples of the art-science secular religion, engage in fabrications too – as a matter of course – so good bedfellows such will make, for DG CONNECT is the most highly skilled deceiver of them all. Thus do both parties in this sad tale get what they deserve – each other! Thus too does that term Research Integrity in the City of the Golden Stars, become as meaningless as the empty-headed whims upon which STARTS is based. We are back to the matter of art-science fakes once again!

------


This I could see and did predict, writing such, long before STARTS did START. Thus the world now begins to see the European Commission, and DG CONNECT, for what they are, and thus does the world learn how not to bring art into research and innovation processes. Interested observers in China take note, for here is the worst practice case study that is STARTS from which you can, at European Union Taxpayer’s expense, learn, and in doing so, also add to DG CONNECT’s humiliation. Here too learn about the factors which render technocracy, and Global Systems Science, yet more of those dangerous fantasies for which past European Unions are renowned! Time to stop them in their tracks, before embryonic monsters seeking human flesh, consume us all, for in the City of the Golden Stars the conditions for their nourishment and growth have now come into existence once again. And it STARTS with STARTS – first take control of art and restrict artistic freedoms!

When will Europeans learn, that their time is done, that the future will not be European? Now is the Age of the Tao. But Prometheus just sits on his rock, to which he is forever, it seems, bound, by chains of the invisible and silent kind. His artist in residence wears those very same chains too. Thus does the past become the future! Time is a singularity.

STARTS weaving the art-science tangled web …

Sunday, 23 April 2017

STEM to STEAM we STARTS to wonder, STEM to STEAM what do you mean?

And to the matter of 366 I now turn! Below an extract, reformatted for the purpose at hand:

Act 1, Scene 1

Enter Sir Eric Ashby FRS, with Julia, an artist.

Julia:     Speak Eric. Speak!

Eric:     I will. By the 1870s Oxford and Cambridge were ready to accept experimental science as an ingredient in education; but they were not prepared to jettison their cherished ideals of a liberal education in favour of the ideal of the university as a research institution. The vague but none the less attractive idea of the scholar-gentleman is still alive. Liberal education is still the aim of the Oxford tutor, and it has become the aim of the civic university lecturer; for the centripetal attraction of Oxford and Cambridge and their ideas remain a tremendous force in the provincial universities of Britain. British universities have never quite surrendered the idea of Renaissance Man to the idea of the Research Worker. These two powerful social forces – the influence of the utilitarian and the cult of the practical man on the one hand, and the influence of the classical humanists and the cult of the scholar-gentleman on the other – profoundly affected the manner in which British universities adapted themselves to the scientific revolution. Oxford did not respond as Göttingen had responded; Sheffield did not regard science as Munich had regarded it. Wissenschaft won its way into British Universities, but it never quite came to terms with the tough pragmatism of lay governors in civic universities or with the tenacious ideals of classical dons in Oxford and Cambridge. To this day the new has not become altogether assimilated into the old; adaptation is not yet complete: and here lies the cause of some of our present problems in universities.

Julia:    STEM to STEAM we wonder. What do you think?

Eric:     Not sure! But it is evident that the antitheses between science and humanism has almost vanished, but it has been replaced by another antithesis, equally mischievous. The future historian will record that the unprofitable debates of the 1860s on the humanities versus science were followed in the 1950s by equally unprofitable debates on specialisation versus a liberal education. There is an assumption that specialisation and a liberal education are antithetic. What is needed is to challenge the assumption itself. The Oxford Dictionary defines liberal education as education fit for a gentleman. That is still an acceptable definition; it is the idea of a gentleman which has changed. A century ago when Britain awoke to the need for technological education, a gentleman belonged to the leisured class. Modern gentlemen do not belong to the leisured class. Many of them work something like a seventy-hour week, and more and more of them are finding that their business requires expert knowledge. A case could be made therefore for including technology among the ingredients of a liberal education. What then is missing in a scientific or technological education? It is not a smattering of art or architecture which is missing, nor is it an acquaintance with history or literature. Indeed it is not a primary lack of subject-matter at all: the fault lies with what Alfred Whitehead called a celibacy of the intellect which is divorced from the concrete contemplation of the complete facts. It is a preoccupation with abstractions from reality, an escape from the whole of reality. In his book, Science and the Modern World, Whitehead warned us that this would become the great danger of professional education. Each profession, he said, makes progress in its own groove of abstractions, but there is no groove of abstractions which is adequate for the comprehension of human life.

Enter Alfred Whitehead FRS

Julia:    Eric speaks of Whitehead and Alfred Whitehead appears. Strange coincidence! Perhaps not! The magic works. Pray speak, Alfred.

Alfred:  I will. There is something between the gross specialised values of the mere practical man, and the thin specialised values of the mere scholar. Both types have missed something; and if you add together the two sets of values, you do not obtain the missing elements. When you understand all about the sun and all about the atmosphere and all about the rotation of the earth, you may still miss the radiance of the sunset. There is no substitute for the direct perception of the concrete achievement of a thing in its actuality. A factory, with its machinery, its community of operatives, its social service to the general population, its dependence upon organising and designing genius, its potentialities as a source of wealth to the holders of its stock, is an organism exhibiting a variety of vivid values. What we want to train is the habit of apprehending such an organism in its completeness.

Exit Alfred Whitehead, Enter John Dewey

John:    Progress in science ought to manifest itself as an emancipation of the mind enabling it to pursue new ends and new ideals; but in fact, progress due to science has been confined to more efficient means of satisfying old ends and old ideals.

Julia:    This criticism is still valid.

Exit John Dewey

Eric:     Adaptations needed to bring British universities into equilibrium with the age of technology are changes of curriculum; they could be accomplished through the normal channels of university administration and legislation. But they would not be successful unless accompanied by subtle adaptations in academic thought: professors of technology need to be persuaded that the pattern of curriculum under which they themselves were trained is inadequate for their students. Professors of arts subjects need to be persuaded that the presence of technology in universities puts them under an obligation to reconsider the emphasis in their own humanistic studies. It is at this point that universities look to their faculties of arts for help; and it is at this point that they are often disappointed. For faculties of arts have themselves become so deeply influenced by science that they seem unable to offer help towards the assimilation of technologists. Instead of contributing to the university what the Victorians understood by a liberal education, some of them are doing with grammar and documents what scientists and technologists can already do with formulae and instruments. This is doubtless profitable for the progress of scholarship in the humanities, but one cannot escape the consequences that humanities cease to be humanising when they are treated that way. It is a sort of treatment which leads to a celibacy of the intellect as inimical to a liberal education in arts as it is in science.

Exit Eric Ashby

Julia:    The involvement of artists in science and technology, so much discussed among those who live in the echo chamber that is art-science and art-technology, do the same – signs of humanisation are difficult to find! Often one cannot tell who is an artist, because they are as much caught-up in the ideologies of science and technology as the scientists and technologists themselves. Which is one of the reasons why we do not engage with this noisy lot – and they are noisy. Very noisy!

Enter George Orwell

George: Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

Exit George Orwell

Julia:    STEM to STEAM we STARTS to wonder, STEM to STEAM what do you mean? It STARTS to become a nightmarish dream. Awake. Awake. See what thou art doing! The European Commission, DG CONNECT, are fakes! What do I mean? Only those with knowledge will understand. Already that which STARTS becomes an example, an indicator, a signpost towards what not to do – a worst practice case study. And we will use it as such over the coming years to help those outside the European world. This is the Age of Tao! Goodbye Vainglorious Enlightened Ones – your time, your age, your world, is done.

Exit

Sunday, 16 April 2017

At the Parting of the Ways


At the Parting of the Ways

By dusty road, that oft I walked, do not stand,
Arching bridge, now crossed, no longer supports.
I am gone away – there is no way back for me.
On golden sands, gazing out to sea, do not stand,
Sailing ship, on far distant shore, now lies beached.
I am gone away – there is no way back for me.
On lonely hill, thinking of me, do not stand,
No roads, paths, or byways, lead me to thee.
I am gone away – there is no way back for me.
Remember me; forget you, I shall not,
For by your side, I will always be,
As together, to slippery edge of doom, we walk.
I am gone away – fair lady with beautiful soul,
Farewell to thee, our ways now do part.



It’s a work in progress, an experiment, part of 366. I have already changed it since first published. It may change again. The original version is below. Now you ask why do I keep changing it? I say in answer – what is a pentiment? More of my ambiguity! Why should I answer thee? Between that which lies below, and that which sits above, is a vast complexity that lies beyond your machine-like way of seeing an eternity. Then you ask: what is 366? Wait and see, I say by way of return.

Do not stand by dusty road that oft I walked,
For arching bridge, I destroyed as I went,
There is no way back for me – I am gone.
Do not stand on golden sands, gazing out to sea,
For my ship now lies burnt, on far distant shore,
There is no way back for me – I am gone.
Do not stand on lonely hill, thinking of me,
For no roads, paths, or byways lead me to thee,
There is no way back for me – I am gone.
Do not forget me; know that I shall never forget you,
And know too I shall always be, by your side, as together,
We walk, slowly, silently, to slippery edge of doom.
Farewell fair lady with the beautiful soul – I am gone.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Fostering Integrity in Research, STARTS, and Art-Science Fakes

The National Academies in the USA have published a new report on Fostering Integrity in Research. Although data on the scale of the problem is missing, the report highlights new Detrimental Research Practices which are damaging to public confidence in research and its outcomes. We though, in the years we spent in Brussels, saw many examples of these Detrimental Research Practices, on both sides – researchers and the European Commission itself.

Fostering Integrity in Research is a hard call, given the obsession with fortune and glory that now dominates the research system both at institutional and individual levels. Fostering Integrity in Research becomes even harder to put into practice though, when the research funding agency itself, is not fostering integrity in its own operations, like for example in its dealings with so-called independent experts. This is why we have started to withdraw from all engagement with the European Commission. The problems are endemic and systemic. On the one side you have people who want fortune, glory and power, and on the other side you have technocrats with power and money who want glory. Of course not all are like this. But the culture of the organisation is such that it leads to these Detrimental Research Practices.

So we are back to the matter of the European Commission, DG CONNECT, STARTS, and art-science fakes! We have not finished with this matter. We will soon offer some web links by way of a STARTS unconventional and compelling product. In this case the product is a game – the aesthetics of play. We provide some web links, and you have to spot what is wrong with the material at the other end of the links. No prizes of course, just the fun of participating (the aesthetics of participation) and wondering – it is a game full of ambiguity. Nevertheless it may help you to see the world differently by encouraging you not to accept at face value what people say, especially those with vested interests and conflicts of interest, as they go about constructing the artificial reality that is STARTS – the emperor’s new clothes. Human delusions know no bounds. Now they START to have a boundary, beyond which there is pure fantasy – DG CONNECT technocratic fantasy.

Surreal! Yes indeed it is, partly – in the sense of allowing the subconscious to speak.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

STARTS: Science, Technology, and the Arts and Art-Science Fakes

One of the reasons why we undertake research is to increase knowledge and understanding, not to decrease it. This is why high standards of ethical behaviour are needed in research, otherwise the integrity of the research system is undermined, and it is then no longer possible to trust researchers and what they are saying. This is already happening in the world of STEM research, especially that which is funded by the European Commission. We do not need arts people therefore to contribute further to the problem – which is what is happening. Ethical melt down! No-one wants to talk about it. We do, so let’s START with STARTS – this is the name for DG CONNECT’s appropriation of art for the purpose of pursuing the European Commission’s neo-liberal agenda. STARTS is a case study in ethical meltdown, a case study in the failure of technocracy, and a warning to take action against undemocratic forces seeking to rewrite history, by making art history fit the ideologies of STEM – art-science fakes.

Moving on, the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of fraud is: A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.

To be fraudulent there is a requirement that there was a deliberate intent to deceive. This is what scientific fraud does – the presentation of deliberately misleading results, information, etc.

Alternative words: incompetence, ignorance, bias, vested interests, exaggeration, manipulation, distortion, misinterpretation, … These are words that can also be applied to STARTS. The nonsense talked by people involved in STARTS is not necessarily scientific fraud. Only time will tell what is fraud, and that which is ignorance, etc.

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of fake is: Not genuine; imitation, or counterfeit.

Art-science fakes? Art-technology fakes? For those who care to look, there are many. Most people are not able to look because they do not want to look – a form of blindness. This is why the tale of the emperor’s new clothes is important. It very much applies to STARTS. Expect therefore much in the way of art-science fakes and art-technology fakes. It takes expertise to recognise a fake. This is why we developed the expertise. We can use this. We will use this – STARTS as a worst practice case study. A case study illustrating what not to do! And every step they take they just add more material to the worst practice case study.

Meanwhile in China, not being caught-up in the Leonardo Cult, binary thinking, Ancient Greek dualities, Abrahamic beliefs, C P Snow’s Two Cultures nonsense, STARTS nonsense, art-science fakes, and so forth … We do indeed live in interesting times. Hard luck – the age of the West is over. Now we move forward into a post-European era! A post-Enlightenment era! What are the Vainglorious Enlightened Ones going to do? They will START doing what they have always done. They will START with STARTS. People will look back and say – it STARTed with STARTS. Back to this matter of art-science fakes!

To be continued …

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

VERTIGO: Symptoms of Disease – the French policy of l’exception culturelle STARTS to succumb to DG CONNECT’s Gradgrinding of the Arts

DG CONNECT’s efforts to Gradgrind the Arts – known as STARTS – which seeks to turn the arts into numbers – on balance sheets – sounds the death knell of l’exception culturelle, especially as part of the French art world has embraced the STARTS nonsense with great enthusiasm. In future art must have a utility – DG CONNECT’s utility.

Now we are experiencing a spinning inside the head, the results of VERTIGO, and someone is saying: we are bringing together the leading players in a sensitive and the intelligible desire and astonishment: artists, engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs who change and defy our present.

Back to the matter of art-science fakes once again! Expect to see many of these – but as with all art fakes, it takes an expert to tell what is fake, and what is genuine. This is why we studied art and the state-of-the-art, so that we could tell fakes from what is an original – fake or fortune?

VERTIGO is a symptom of several diseases and disorders, often also associated with a loss of balance and feelings of nausea. Chose your acronyms carefully!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The European Union is 60 and is dying

The European Union is 60. At the birthday party in Rome, Pope Francis warned EU leaders that the European Union risks dying if it does not develop a new vision. But we were also told by EU leaders to stop criticising the EU. Why? Because they think, like the leaders of the Soviet Union, that it is only the job of elite rulers to think, while the rest of us just work. In the manner of Ancient Greece so to speak! This is a measure of how out of touch EU leaders are.

The EU does not run the risk of dying for it is already dying. The disease is a cancer. It is the cancer of elitism, bureaucracy, technocracy, incompetence, cognitive illusions, corruption, deception, arrogance … This list is, sadly, very long.  DG CONNECT’s STARTS Platform is a relevant case study.

At the heart of the cancer is an institution called the European Commission, which is destroying the harmony that once existed among the nations of Europe, and is becoming a significant threat to peace, stability and prosperity! It is also a threat to democracy and is undermining our system of Parliamentary democracy.

The history of Europe is a history of European Unions. This current European Union will go the same way as all the previous ones, and will in the course of doing so, bring misery and suffering to millions of people. It is already doing this, but most people cannot, or do not want to see. It is also, like the Soviet Union, falling apart, and is being held together only by fear generated by EU Institution propaganda, and threats from leaders not to criticise.

Europeans need to break free from their past, not to reinvent it in the same form that it was yesterday, which is what the European Union is doing. The European Union is Prometheus. It is also Narcissus. It sits on the rock of the past, bound by invisible and silent chains, suffering the agony of, every day, having its liver torn out by an eagle, only to regenerate again overnight back into the same form it was the previous day. And it has so fallen in love with itself that it cannot see the damage that it is doing. So it sits gazing at its reflection, admiring itself, as it did in Rome over the weekend.

The EU has been condemned by Zeus and cursed by Nemesis. Time to say goodbye! We are! On March 29th! But it is also time to start creating a new vision for Europe, in a post-European era world. This, if you were wondering, is what we are about, and we use a technique from the world of arts and literature known as de-familiarisation (from the school of literature known as Russian Formalism), also called, making the familiar seem strange, as part of the process.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

How many times does the word ‘scrutiny’ appear in the European Union Lisbon Treaty?

To clarify, I am referring to what is often called the Lisbon Treaty or the Treaty of Lisbon, but actually is a consolidated version, last updated in Lisbon, of two treaties: THE TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION, AND, THE TREATY ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. The two go together.

In the UK one of the functions of our Parliament is scrutiny of government. Both houses do this. It is part of a healthy democracy. An unhealthy democracy does not allow for Parliament to scrutinise government. Thus, all you people who make so much noise about the European Union being democratic, will no doubt believe that one of the functions of the European Parliament is scrutiny of – it would of course be the European Commission. So how many times does the word scrutiny appear in the above two treaties – all 400 pages plus of them?

The answer of course is – only once! And this relates to Europol. Yes that is correct, the European Parliament has no rights, duties, or obligations to undertake the scrutiny of the European Commission. I can assure you the European Commission are very happy about this, and this lack of scrutiny is one of the reasons why they are acting now increasingly on their own without approval from Member States. They are out-of-control.

All you continental Europeans, whom we are now leaving behind, are living in what is becoming a dictatorship of technocrats. The destiny of the European Union is to become a dictatorship of technocrats.

It seems that on March 29th we will be invoking, at long last, Article 50, and by the same date in 2019, perhaps earlier, we will be out of the EU, the Customs Union, and the Internal Market. I would wish you good luck, but you will need more than good luck to escape the fate that awaits you – the history of Europe is a history of European Unions! Why were you so foolish to believe that the present European Union would be any different from the previous ones?

You have being duped into surrendering sovereignty to dictators in the form of the European Commission. And I speak from a position on the left, not the right, for this is another lie you have been told – people on the right and the left have come to understand this, but the left does not know what to do about it. It is a strange situation indeed when the right and the left agree with each other. But all you will hear is this constant reference to far right populism – its all European Commission and European Parliament propaganda.

The European Union is not a healthy democracy. It never will be. You will have to live once again in a continent ruled by elites – the capitalist’s version of the USSR. And very strangely, this also corresponds to elements of German National Socialism. I know this because I have been studying this strange ideology. The need to do this arose during the writing of my forthcoming book – 366. It was shortly after a meeting of the FET Flagship Interim Evaluation Panel, which was held in the former HQ of the Nazis’ favourite company – IG Farben – that I ventured into this strange world, and discovered also about the conspiracy that took place between the world of STEM, manifested in the form of IG Farben, and the Nazis. Chillingly relevant given what happened to the content of the FET Flagship evaluation report in the months following that meeting! 


For your information below is the Article (88) from THE TREATY ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE EUROPEAN UNION where the word scrutiny makes its solitary appearance.

Article 88
1. Europol’s mission shall be to support and strengthen action by the Member States’ police authorities and other law enforcement services and their mutual cooperation in preventing and combating serious crime affecting two or more Member States, terrorism and forms of crime which affect a common interest covered by a Union policy.
2. The European Parliament and the Council, by means of regulations adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, shall determine Europol’s structure, operation, field of action and tasks. These tasks may include:
(a) the collection, storage, processing, analysis and exchange of information, in particular that forwarded by the authorities of the Member States or third countries or bodies;
(b) the coordination, organisation and implementation of investigative and operational action carried out jointly with the Member States' competent authorities or in the context of joint investigative teams, where appropriate in liaison with Eurojust.
These regulations shall also lay down the procedures for scrutiny of Europol’s activities by the European Parliament, together with national Parliaments.
3. Any operational action by Europol must be carried out in liaison and in agreement with the authorities of the Member State or States whose territory is concerned. The application of coercive measures shall be the exclusive responsibility of the competent national authorities.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

STEM to STEAM and Integrating Higher Education in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Is the National Academy of Sciences Being Sold Art-Science Fakes?

In the US, the National Academy of Sciences is undertaking a study that has the title IntegratingHigher Education in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

This is indeed an interesting topic to study. I wish them well. Perhaps here in the UK we might learn something that can be applied to STEM education in the UK? Or perhaps not! I say this because the study involves the idea that goes by the name of STEM to STEAM. People who are advocating the use of art in STEM education are having their say, which is good, for it allows people to reflect on what exactly they are saying and if it has any legitimacy, which is the matter that I now address.

Looking at the material already presented to the Expert Committee, I find that some material that falls into the category of Art-Science Fakes has already made an appearance, which is why in this blog I ask: Is the National Academy of Sciences Being Sold Art-Science Fakes?

On Christmas Day, I posted a blog with the title: Desideratafor People STARTing to STEAM. Note the verse:

“…pick your acronyms carefully, lest poetics be used to expose shallow graves, where lay foul phantoms of inaccuracies, myths and disingenuous claims, ready to lead astray unwary travellers lost in art’s romantic mist.”

Let me explain:

In 2013 I became involved at my own expense in a European Commission initiative called ICT-ART CONNECT, run by a FET-Open project called FET-ART, which made the claim that it was doing something new – artists and technologists collaborating. To be a genuine FET Open project, it would have to be doing something new, otherwise public money would be mis-spent. Having an academic upbringing, and thus dedicated to understanding the state-of-the-art before embarking on any research, I started a study to establish the state-of-the-art in this so-called new area, and found that my suspicions that it was not new were well founded. Evidently this project was not a true FET project at all, but just an attempt by artists to lay hands on STEM public funds – no critical thinking evident! And they had in this process a willing accomplice in the form of the European Commission’s DG CONNECT – no critical thinking evident there too! And I have also more recently discovered that one of the partners in the FET-ART project was subject to a fraud investigation by the European Commission, the findings of which led the European Commission to suspended all pending and future payments to the company concerned, which has now, according to the company’s own web site, ceased trading, as it was, it seems, solely dependent upon income from European Commission projects.

DG CONNECT is a long story of the failure of technocracy and now also of a State institution using art for propaganda purposes, image making, etc. A familiar tale from continental Europe’s past. Thus did they become the muse for my book that goes by the title: STARTS– Science, Technology and the Arts: The Artistic Voices that DG CONNECTsilenced.

By mid 2014 it was evident that I needed, partly for ethical reasons and partly because I was tired of the nonsense that ICT-ART CONNECT had become, to DISCONNECT from ICT-ART CONNECT. I also then added to my research into the state-of-the-art, an investigation – it is an investigation – into the reason why there is a group of artists, and some STEM people, in effect rewriting history, creating myths and half-truths, and, it would seem, telling lies. I have uncovered many examples. I will return to this matter at the end.

There must surely be words and phrases that are relevant to this. What are they?

The problem seems to be centred on a very noisy group who talk about art-science (mostly actually it is art-technology) that are part of what I have come to call the Leonardo Cult, but not uniquely so. They are characterised not just by the making of a lot of noise, but also by the making of claims that do not stand-up to close inspection. These claims have inspired the investigative journalist within me, to undertake the investigations that I mentioned above.

The nonsense of C P Snow is an example of the rubbish that these people talk. Evidently most of them have not read or understood Snow, or choose to misrepresent him. Did you know that Snow only mentions artists 4 times in three documents, yet he mentions scientists 113 times and engineers 19 times? I know this because I counted! Big data telling you something? The three documents I refer to are the 1956 New Statesman article, the 1959 Rede Lecture, and the 1963 Second Look.

Artists are supposed to be critical thinkers. This is another myth. Some artists – a few – are critical thinkers, but it seems the vast majority of those in the Leonardo Cult do not engage in critical thinking, otherwise they would have discovered that Snow had an agenda, a technocratic one, and was willing to talk any nonsense to further his agenda which he reveals in another book called Science and Government, where he praises the leadership of the Soviet Union. Snow’s belief in technocracy probably links back to Cambridge in the 1930s – a hot bed of idealist communist/socialist thinking. They were taken in by Stalin – some people are easily fooled, especially, I have discovered, STEM people. This is another long story, but another scientist, also at Cambridge in the 1930s, Conrad Waddington, sets the scene well, for he wrote a book in which he announced that the future was totalitarian government, and that the Soviet and Nazi totalitarian systems should be analysed! And so on. The matter gets fuller consideration in my forthcoming book, 366 (see below).

People who know about painting in the 20th century will know that new scientific thought (particularly quantum mechanics) had an influence on art movements. The Surrealists are the most obvious case. The influence of science and technology was part of several artists’ milieu. This sometimes also led to critique of science (e.g. Wolfgang Paalen). Today there is still a group of artists – usually more interesting and quieter than the noisy lot – who still engage in critique. But generally they stay away from the STEM establishment for obvious reasons. Some of them also share my concerns about those that make all the noise! These concerns have turned out to be well founded.

One of my concerns about involving artists from the noisy Leonardo Sect in STEM education is that they will just perpetuate the myths and misunderstanding that surround Snow, and contribute to the ignorance that already stalks the domain of STEM – people who know  a lot about very little. Whereas, I would suggest, a social scientist might well use the case of Snow as an exercise in critical thinking and writing, showing the importance of not accepting what you are told, of using original source material, of extending the search to other material, and of developing arguments based on this material. I learned to do this by working with social scientist, not artists. Evidently C P Snow was also ignorant of the social sciences, for which he had to make an apology in the Second Look. His ignorance on this matter is staggering, but not surprising, because, as he said himself: “I am the prisoner of my English upbringing, conditioned to be suspicious of any but the established intellectual disciplines, unreservedly at home only with the hard subjects.” The same ignorance is evident in DG CONNECT – hence STARTS!

If you care to look in the documentation published so far by the National Academy of Sciences on their web site, there is in a document pga_175504.pdf available on the link called Program Book for the Committee Meeting held July 2016. In this document there is reference to a research paper called Arts Foster Scientific Success. Do they?

I came across this particular paper in 2016 when I was working on a new book (366 – A Scriptovisual Composition Unknown). My initial reaction to this paper was that the research method is flawed because it is based on biased material (obituary notices, biographies, autobiographies, and biographical memoirs) and the bias inherent in this material, and possibly also the bias on the part of the researchers, has not been taken into account. Social Scientists will understand what I am talking about. On checking (I have learned that this is essential) some of the reported facts, I found several errors (inaccuracies/biased statements/mis-quotes?):

First, the Royal Society is not a membership based organisation. It is an endowed society that elects eminent people from the world of STEM to the status of Fellow. A minor error perhaps, but it illustrates the lack of rigour that permeates the paper.

Second, there is in the paper a Table (No. 2) with the title: Scientists Who Publicly Exhibited and/or Sold Visual Art or Sculpture, Published Works of Fiction, or Publicly Performed Musical Pieces. In this table CP Snow is listed (as someone who published works of fiction) followed by (RS), indicating that he was, (according to the paper) a member(!) of the Royal Society. I suppose this means Fellow of the Royal Society as there are no members of the Royal Society, and becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society is a mark of outstanding scientific success.

I checked the List of Fellows of the Royal Society 1660 – 2007. This is easy enough to do as it is in the public domain and available on the Royal Society’s web site. C P Snow’s name does not appear. This is because he never made any contribution to science to warrant election to fellowship. Actually the contrary applies – he was a failed scientist who gave up science in the 1930s. The reasons for this relate to the publication of (at the time) widely celebrated scientific results that had to be withdrawn because they were wrong. This is a matter of historical record, which also shows that C P Snow then pursued a career as a civil servant and novelist, later becoming a minister in a Labour Government. So he was not a scientist with an arts avocation and arts did not foster his scientific success, because he had no success. Probably he was a novelist with a science avocation. Already you see that some of the evidence for the argument that arts foster scientific success is flawed. But there is more!

Conrad Waddington’s name also appears in this Table 2. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, but, having examined the material that was used in the research, I can find no evidence that he was an artist who publicly exhibited or sold visual art or sculpture as the Table states. I searched the biographical memoir of Waddington that was published in the Royal Society’s Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (Vol 23, Nov 1977, pp 575-622). I looked electronically for the word painter or painters. There is no reference to the word painter being applied to Waddington, just the word painters, as in other people, not Waddington. The word artist also appears several times in the biographical memoir, but not with reference to Waddington.

Waddington did write a book however: Behind Appearance. It is a book about the relationship between painting and science in the 20th century. It is not though, as is stated in the paper Arts Foster Scientific Success, linked to the idea of “that which has not been drawn has not been seen.” Neither does Waddington, as is reported in the National Academy of Sciences document pga_175504.pdf, “assert(ed) that the hands-on requirements of science and art profoundly connect(ed) the two domains.” The text from Waddington’s book that appears in pga_175504.pdf, is significantly truncated. It is part of a very long argument in Waddington’s book, extending over 35 pages, that deals with the characteristics of the new painting, e.g. Abstract Expressionism. This quoted and truncated text is part of a quite long sub-section of that 35 page long argument, that is dealing with the matter of gesture and calligraphy, in the context of the new art. The text in question starts: “There is a peculiar affinity, but also an important difference, between the experimental scientists and the painter in their experience of coaxing parts of the material world …” You will note that “but also an important difference” has been excluded from the quote appearing in pga_175504.pdf.

Waddington’s book is actually a very well researched piece of work, and in it Waddington demonstrates that there is no clear or simple relationship between the paintings he addresses and scientific thought, and thus no clear conclusions can be drawn. This is because the relationship is in fact a very complex one, as anyone who understands how artists think would know from knowledge and experience. This well researched piece of work also stands in sharp contrast with what scientists today produce. I will return to the matter of Erik R Kandel and Arthur I Miller later.

In the paper Arts Foster Scientific Success there is another quote of Waddington, this time from a different book with the title Biology and the History of the Future. The paper says that: “For Waddington, understanding how art was made was a way to understand his own field of embryology, because, ‘an art object is always an instruction, to do or to experience, not a piece of information; and living things are organised instructions, not organised information.’ What Waddington actually said was: “Your silence, Cage, is an instruction to listen. An art object is always an instruction, to do or to experience, not a piece of information; and living things are organised instructions, not organised information.” This is actually part of a dialog with John Cage, and others, about The End of Faustian Man and the Limits to Progress and in this there is discussion about silence. This is part of a discussion with the title Towards a Post-Industrial World. If you think that the statement “for Waddington understanding how art was made was a way to understand his own field of embryology,” is far removed from the content of the discussion reported in Biology and the History of the Future, you are right – there is no connection.

The name Richard Feynman also appears in Table 2 of Arts Foster Scientific Success. I have yet to fully research Feynman. It is known that he did engage in the visual arts, but so far, what I have discovered is that he did so later in life, after he had become a successful scientist. If this is the case then art did not foster his scientific success! Perhaps science fostered his artistic success? Feynman also states in the book Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman, that some artists are fakes. This is true! What would he have said about modern STEM people involved with the arts?

All of the above documents are in the public domain so can be checked. I wonder if the National Academy of Sciences are checking?

Is the paper Arts Foster Scientific Success just an isolated case? Sadly no! The European Commission and the STARTS initiative is a gold mine of nonsense, inaccurate statements, half-truths, falsehoods, and so forth. Watch any of the online recordings of the discussion sessions that have been held – no critical thinking evident – and they leave one asking this question: what illegal substances did they all take that provided the stimulus to spend 45-60 minute talking utter nonsense? Or is it the intoxicating aroma of money driving people to START talking nonsense?

There is more to come too in this rather stupid STARTS initiative which is more like a circus act – of clowns! Soon the affects of VERTIGO will be felt, and sensations of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, way out of touch with reality, will be felt, as organisations like the V&A in London, START talking nonsense too. Did I not say that people should pick their acronyms carefully lest poetics be used to expose shallow graves, where lay foul phantoms of inaccuracies, myths and disingenuous claims, ready to lead astray unwary travellers lost in art’s romantic mist? Expect much of this, as the giddiness of VERTIGO affects DISCONNECTED minds.

And what of Leonardo? Once just an artist and an engineer (but not in the modern sense), because painting went together with engineering as part of the mechanical arts, he has become not just an artist and engineer, but also a scientist, a mathematician, an architect, an anatomist, an inventor, a designer, and (why not add something else as well?). Why is this so? Is it because new convincing evidence has come to light which proves the case? Or are there other reasons why history is being rewritten? They say that no one like Leonardo has ever existed, not before or since. Perhaps this is because this Leonardo is a myth. What next then for Leonardo? Perhaps we will hear about his miracles – how he healed the sick, walked on water, fed the 5000, raised people from the dead? Perhaps soon there will be a meeting of the Leonard Cult to consider and decide upon his divinity?

This now brings me back to Kandel and Miller! At this moment in time, as I finish work on 366, in which these two characters make a brief appearance, I begin to turn my attention to my next work which will be called Art-Science Fakes: An Epistolary Tale of Scientific Reduction to Ignorance. This is what we are now seeing – a scientific reduction to ignorance. Surely you did not think that this would go unnoticed and that that you would not become the subject of artistic enquiry? You can see what I have done to the European Commission’s DG CONNECT and their art-science lovers. My alteration, as I call it in the Preface to the book about STARTS and the artistic voices that DG CONNECT silenced, is just a warm-up exercise. Now that I wield both the pen and the brush simultaneously, who can tell what will come next! The answer is 366. Then will come Art-Science Fakes: An Epistolary Tale of Scientific Reduction to Ignorance. Then the world will START to understand just what is going on and why. Something to do with what John Berger stated in …

And then too, those who learn that this STARTS nonsense is a worst practice case study, will begin to understand that they can use STARTS as a pointer towards what not to do, and then to do something different – something that DG CONNECT will not be able to do. We are back now to my state-of-the-art study. Go armed with knowledge, and you will begin to see what needs to be done – not STARTS for sure, which will, in the end, just have to contribute further to that growing collection of art-science fakes. Then shall the world laugh at the ignorance, incompetence and arrogance of DG CONNECT, for their true nature will be revealed to those who care to see – the Chinese for example! Are you listening to me in that ancient culture that became technologically advanced while Europe in medieval mud dwelt, in that longest ever continuously existing civilisation, in that country whose destiny is to eclipse the Europe Union economically, technologically and scientifically, in that city known as Beijing? Elsewhere too? Perhaps even in Washington DC, where fiduciary responsibilities and due diligence should, I would expect, be taken far more seriously than in that little city of golden stars, sitting in a rainy country called Belgium.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The History of Europe is a History of European Unions

The history of Europe is a history of European Unions! Why have people developed the idea that the latest European Union is going to be any different from the others?

On March 1st the European Commission published its vision for the future of the European Union. It generously announced that it is going to allow the people of Europe to discuss the future of the European Union – but only on its terms and conditions.

Here are some of the names of European Unions of various geographical size and coverage: European Union; Soviet European Union; Third Reich European Union; Austro-Hungarian European Union; Imperial German European Union; Napoleonic European Union; Holy Roman Empire European Union; French Imperial European Union; Spanish Imperial European Union; Church of Rome European Union; Roman Empire European Union. You continental Europeans sure love your European Unions!

As for those terms and conditions – on no account will you be allowed to discuss any alternatives to the European Union. As for democracy – forget it. You will have to live with the rubber-stamping Supreme Soviet – sorry we meant to say European Parliament. And that army and police force that people (during the UK’s EU Referendum) denied would come into being – that’s your future, along with a common criminal justice system. Now what was it that I said in one on my blogs in 2016 about what will happen when the European Commission have a police force and an army? Oh, and the use of soft power in no longer seen as adequate – so we are back once more to use of hard power. This is one of the reasons why the European Commission want an army and a police force. The other is to suppress all opposition. This, strangely, is hinted at as well, in the rather sinister ending to Scenario 5. What is a sovereign State, based on a sham democracy, run by people engaging in dangerous fantasies and delusions, with an army and a police force, going to do with all those people who feel that they have been alienated because the European Union lacks legitimacy and has taken too much power away from national authorities? I refer you to past European Unions for answers to this question.

What will make the different are, of course, those world events, as I indicated in my last blog. “It is only a temporary measure,” they will say. They will also engage in denial. They are well practiced at this with their exercises in misleading ministers and parliaments – all the ministers and parliaments of the Member States, as well as the people of Europe. The European Parliament does not count as they are only there to create an impression of democracy – a deception that most people have accepted. They should however read the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which of course they are not going to do. Thus they are easy to manipulate, and thinking they are not easy to manipulate, which people do think, makes their manipulation easier. Why, after all, do businesses spend so much money on advertising and marketing? They would not do it if it did not work!

If you read the European Commission’s vision document carefully, which is very cleverly crafted (manipulative propaganda), the intention is to complete the discussion process in time for the European Parliament elections in 2019, by which time the UK will be outside the European Union, the Customs Union, and the Internal Market. Now why these elections I wonder? Is it because they plan to use the 2019 elections for the European Parliament to claim that their plans have the support of the people of continental Europe?

So Scenario 5! Tolkien had the right words to described Scenario 5 – the future for continental Europeans, which is the Union of Subservient State Republics (USSR):

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

Are the people of continental Europe going to be duped – tricked – into allowing the European Commission to create another one of those European Unions? It seems that they are! You have obviously learned nothing from your past.

You are crazy Paul! Ah, if only I was! I went to Brussels for a reason. I know you are not going to listen. You never do. Thus, do I take up the pen and the brush, for they are far mightier than the European Commission!

Now do I walk with you, fair lady with the beautiful soul, to the edge of doom! Have you learned yet how to listen to me?

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Farewell to the European Union! Hello to the Union of Subservient State Republics!

In 2016, while writing the first draft of my forthcoming book, 366, I came across a book called The Rotten Heart of Europe. It’s about the European Commission, written by a European Commission employee, who became an ex-European Commission employee for writing the book!

Now it is 17 February 2017 and I have received an email announcing the publication by the European Commission, of the FET Flagship Interim Evaluation Report – the report which I spent 2016 writing with the FET Flagship evaluation panel. The email carries the header The FET Flagships receive positive evaluation in their journey towards ground-breaking innovation. It is of course a propaganda message – that’s what the European Commission produces these days.

Moving forward in time, it is now 22 February and a journalist has published a blog with the title: Human Brain Project: Bureaucratic Success Despite Scientific Failure.

Back in time now to 17 February and after downloading the pdf version of the report in the link in the propaganda email, I visit the Participant Portal, login into my entry in the experts’ database where I then remove what I can of my CV, replacing the content with the statement information removed. I then login to my domain name control panel and delete the email that is used as my access to the European Commission’s electronic tools, and the one by which official requests to undertake tasks for the European Commission are sent to me.

Thus now do I walk away from the European Commission, and in doing so I am implementing an idea that first appeared in my mind while sitting in a consensus meeting, in Brussels, in 2011. It was the proposal evaluation exercise that led to the six pilot projects from which the two Flagship projects – Graphene and the Human Brain Project – were eventually selected for funding. But I am not abandoning the peoples of Continental Europe to the fate that awaits them!

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is one of several European Institutions. It carries out audits of the European Commission. It has several types of audit. One of them is called a performance audit. According to the ECA web site this type of audit asks questions such as: Do the EU funds provide value for money? Have the funds used been kept to a minimum (economy)? Have the results been achieved with the fewest possible resources (efficiency)? Have spending or policy objectives been met (effectiveness)? Perhaps it might also turn over stones like STARTS, and see exposed there the waste of public money that STARTS is, and the disingenuous claims, ignorance, etc, upon which it is founded by people in the European Commission who think that they can spend public money on their image making activities – propaganda – and that no one will see because? Good question! Why will no one see?

In 2013 I was the independent observer for the Marie Curie ITN evaluation. I have often wondered which report was submitted to the Programme Committee – the one that I wrote detailing the catalogue of avoidable and damaging events that took place during the evaluation or the one that the Research Executive Agency (REA) wrote covering up this disaster? This latter report and the cover-up I refused to be party to.

Here are some words that I have, since I first became involved with EC research projects in 1986, come to associate with the European Commission: technocracy, incompetence, corruption, ignorance, delusion, cover-up, manipulation, deception, illusion, fantasy, propaganda, elitism, contempt, ideology, scientism, …

Here is a spokesperson for the German Federal Government reading from a most unusual document to find in the public domain – Position Paper of the Federal Government on the Horizon 2020 Interim Evaluation:

“In many instances the discussions on the work programme are inadequate. Drafts of the work programme are often made available without sufficient notice in spite of the principle of comitology which stipulates that drafts must be made available 14 days before the Programme Committee meeting. The scope and quality of the data provided is also often inadequate. This means that the Programme Committee cannot fulfil its function as a counselling and control body. The coordination of Member States’ activities with activities at EU level cannot therefore be guaranteed.”

I recall writing, in the FET Flagships Interim Evaluation report, a very clear and strong statement relating to the same matter as the German spokesperson just raised, about how the Programme Committees are not provided with satisfactory information about the FET Flagships. Is this strong and clear statement still there?

Here is an extract from one of my previous blogs, the one that goes by the title Desiderata for People STARTing to STEAM:

“START by learning about DG CONNECT’s former European Commissioner – the one that could be said to be responsible for ICT ART CONNECT – who now finds herself investigated for not declaring the holding, while in office, of a directorship in an offshore company; a clear contravention of conditions laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. START too by learning of OLAF’s investigation into alleged fraud by the company that led the ICT ART CONNECT project. More revelations will no doubt in time come, when the world learns of the artistic voices that DG CONNECT silenced; so reflect before STARTing to STEAM, that DG CONNECT’s woes might, one day, be yours too.”

Oh yes – STARTS! Science Technology and the Arts: The Artistic Voices that DG CONNECT Silenced. See the list of words that I provided above.

Here is that German Federal Government spokesperson again, reading from that very unusual report:

“On the matter of generating European Added Value, it remains to be shown whether and with what outcome the EU has been able to make substantial progress through concerted action. We are now seeing a growing trend towards autonomous action on the part of the Commission. The European Commission must not set political agendas without consulting the Member States.”

Here now is Sir Walter Scott reading some lines from his play Marmion:

“Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

Do you know what mushroom strategy is? I first heard this term many decades ago, in connection with what a company called ICI, I was told, used to do to its employees: keep people in the dark and shovel lots of horse manure on them!

Now I will read some words from the Treaty on European Union:

“The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”

The European Commission does not comply with this article, which is why, many years from now, people will look at what the European Commission did, and be surprised that it was possible, given what I have just read, to which will come the reply that, these types of words were also written into the constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which too had an elected Parliament, which just rubber stamped, what the USSR's version of the European Commission had decided to do.

Thus in Continental Europe did the Union of Subservient State Republics come to be! The process has already STARTed as the German Federal Government spokesperson has just indicated. Back to STARTS again – soon, I think, I will START work on a new book called Art-Science Fakes: An Epistolary Tale of Scientific Reduction to Ignorance. This will be a story about how STEM people, including those in the European Commission, as well as some artists, are rewriting art’s history to make it fit with their ideology and the rule of science and reason, which you will find is what the new USSR will be based upon. Thus will the people of Continental Europe once more fall under the tyranny of perverse ideology and dogma! And the rewriting of art’s history is an attempt by this new ruling class in waiting, to use art to legitimise their forthcoming rule, and the crimes that they will reason are necessary for the sake of the rule of science and reason.

I have seen the future of the peoples of Continental Europe, and it is your past!

And what exactly will take place that will lead the European Commission to do the things that it is going to do? The answer is very simple; what has always been the case – world events! Some of these you have already witnessed. More will follow.

Thus, now disconnected from the European Commission, and soon to be outside the EU, the Customs Union, and the Internal Market, will I walk with you to the edge of doom! Have you learned yet how to listen to me, fair lady with the beautiful soul, for I speak to you and to you alone?