Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Thanksgiving Day: Food for thought and a time for ‘post truth’ reflection

By giving the News a helping hand ahead of unfolding events** rather than falsifying it, Cottingham TV’s editor has with creative and historical personality profiling and research successfully pre-empted events unfolding – is this also the beginning of a new ‘pre-truth’ politics*?

Ben Franklin pioneered particulate or granular money as popular printed-on-paper (aka cotton, green-back) currency denominations and accounting economics – mirroring his Electroscope (Franklin Jar) invention revealing the particulate nature of electrons and hence their flow and accumulation as electrical charge

Historical Analysis reveals additional similarities between President Donald Trump and Governor Benjamin Franklin – before the days of lawyers and litigation and the age of political correctness they’ve ushered-in: both were masters of invention, fabrication and the (social) media of their time with BF producing scurrilous defamatory printed leaflets about his opponents on his presses! Had modern online social media been on hand to BF as a ‘can-do’ pragmatist and empiricist who wasn’t so hide-bound by rules and regulations back then, democracy as we know it might well have turned out rather differently!

Profiling personalities to predict electoral success – forget the numbers – its about chatacter leadership style and charisma: Nigel Farage and Donald Trump – and Hilary Clinton as ‘rule-breakers’ and ‘rule-makers’!

A role we predicted Nigel Farage would be delighted to accept!

Read about Cottingham TV’s first major scoop

Celebrating with turkeys voting for Christmas – and what about the poor turkeys? 🙂

Read about American Thanksgiving

Analysis

The word “News” means ‘new’, or better, ‘what’s new’ (as it happens). In the German Language they call the news “Nachrichten” which means ‘after-wrighting’ which translates to ‘interpreting and reporting what’s happened after the event’ (post-truth analysis). This raises the question posed by Evelyn Waugh: should the newscaster ‘pre-empt’ the news by helping make it happen or should he/she remain a dispassionate or objective, even ‘scientific’ observer and sit on the fence **?

It’s worth noting here that those readers who are ‘of an academic or intellectual persuasion’ are encouraged to disregard the tabloid ‘popular’ press and read the broadsheets instead.

As a further aside worthy of a Mark Twain observation, ‘trust the Germans to leave the reader in suspense until the very end of each overly-long sentence where they gather-up all the important verbs and then spring ‘the truth’ on the reader catching him unawares – the shock of the News – it’s really quite shocking indeed!

Best left as is (the news, that is) and remain objective, as to interfere with it would make matters infinitely worse, as the more orderly, rule-based, pessimistic and perhaps more cynical and sensible Germans might surmize’!

 

Nick

What’s really going wrong with our food and drink industry?

So why are manufacturers really putting so much sugar, salt and artificial flavourings into what we eat and drink?

To answer that question, we’re going to take you on a journey through a fictional food company with laboratories and explain what one particular group of our bespectacled white-coated specialists are getting up to behind closed doors these days. Naturally you are each sworn to secrecy and have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before we can begin our tour as many food preparation processes contain closely-guarded industrial secrets. Any unauthorised disclosure may result in you becoming unable to find employment in the industry afterwards!

Let’s begin our tour with a visit to the tasting laboratory..

This is run on a strictly departmental basis by psychologists rather than cooks. In here, conditions are carefully controlled and “double-blind experiments” are performed on “subjects” to prevent “contamination” of results by “environmental variables” including heat, light, colour, smell, noise and even the experimenter. As you can imagine, the lab appears as a series of identical white cubicles with chairs, tables ad hatches through which food and drink samples can be placed in identical hygienic white paper cups and tasted anonymously. Our subjects, who may comprise students and other volunteers, sometimes “chosen at random from the user population” (members of the public) are unaware of  what happens behind the hatches.

The food tasting laboratory is kept separate from the factory production lines so the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. These white coated lab guys are sometimes seen walking around the factory with clip boards and nowadays tablets mysteriously. Their word is however god. What ever they say must be obeyed to the letter. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir!

Now we’ll take a look at what goes on behind those secret hatches.

Each subject has rated the taste of those food and drink items placed those white paper cups. Cup ‘A’ is preferred to cup ‘B’ for texture; cup ‘C’ is preferred to cup ‘D’ for being more sweet and less bitter, etc. Dozens of individual blind tastings have typically been carried out and may ingredients, recipes and flavouring additives evaluated. Tables and graphs of the results are drawn up. Statistical analysis is performed. By the time the answer comes out, all are convinced that recipe ‘F’ is superior to ‘G’. People will prefer food and drink product ‘F’! All is perfect in their uncontaminated world. The numbers add-up correctly. Instructions are passed and recommended by management and passed to the factory. People will buy more of product F. It is deemed superior and product G will be progressively removed from the shelves of the supermarket to be replaced by product F. Survival of the fittest rules, according to the commercial world. We’re all right Jack. You may not be in good shape physically, but by golly we are financially! No spots on us. Profits are up and we operate strictly by the numbers!

All appears fit and well in the commercial world at least; but there are murmurings of disquiet from the Health Service: tooth decay and obesity in the children that consume the food and drink product are on the increase. Conflicting sets of numbers research begin to emerge.

You might engage with one of the older workers in casual conversation, which is incidentally generally discouraged by company policy, who may predictably come across as ‘cautiously guarded’: “In the old days when the factory was run by Uncle Joe, a cook who invented our original pies, we used to have informal suggestions and safeguards to prevent problems from developing. Now the factory is owned by the shareholders and run strictly on a departmental basis by specialists – and by the numbers. Our raw food is sourced by price rather than location and producer. Everybody is micro-managed and has to do exactly as they are told – or they’re out”.

Addicted to love (sugar)

As a criticism of the of the above experimental procedure (experimental design), you could argue that ‘subjects’ who exhibit a preference for food and drink with more sugar, salt and mono for example are expressing a preference for more sensation – more taste. You could also argue that bland-tasting food is becoming boring and that our pallets are changing over time, requiring ever-greater ‘sugar hits’, and that to counter the increasing sweetness, more and more salt and other bitter additives are required to provide a counter-balance. Sugar and salt are valuable and essential parts of a healthy diet, however balance and moderation are required in our increasingly sedentry world.

To conclude: are we becoming increasingly addicted to glucose?

As any chef can advise, there is more to flavour than sugar, salt and mono!

The need to deconstruct our food into its underlying flavour components as a requirement held by by taste and psychology researchers in the belief that somehow unaltered natural food is a naive and simplistic notion is just plain wrong! We may be naive consumers but I’m sorry; an orange really is an orange, a cut of meat really is a cut of meat! An apple really is green! Get real! *

You’d be surprised just how much backgroud reading * it took to have the confidence to say that and not to be fearful of immediate rejection by the scientific community.. 

Stop using science as a excuse to cut corners with our food!

We need to be able to trust our science – as well as our food!

Stop press:

Heinz are now reducing the sugar levels in more of their iconic products. **

Further reading

https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201101/accounting-taste

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4613-1221-5_1

* http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/phenomenology/

** http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/Heinz-Latest-Ketchup-Variant-Offers-50-Less-Sugar.html

 

Nick

 

Bowie Songs

David Bowie Tribute

Celebrating Individuals and Characters at Cottingham.tv:

Has Cottingham.tv become a victim of it’s own success?

Celebrating 12 months of Cottingham.tv!

We marked the 6-month point with a discussion about the changing role of journalism

We now focus on local people: we think individuals and characters matter just as much as their collected opinions!

There has been a tendency in broadcasting to separate-off opinions from individuals and characters. This makes analysis and statistics more convenient. We at cottingham.tv want to be different!

Update: We’ve changed your comments and feedback option to a social network icon which you can click on and sign in with your email or Facebook account (bottom right). This was in response to the overwhelming amount of SPAM (junk mail) received through our comments inbox. 

We also investigate the world of work (and life) and ask: 

have you noticed how repressive and ‘robotic’ work and life have now become?

Are we in danger of losing sight of our individuality as the drive for standards and consistency threaten to dominate our individual sense of worth and work in the form of overwhelming bureaucracy?

Now we are investigating and emphasizing the importance of local people and keeping local people in the loop as procedures and working and living practises become ever-more robotic and online!

Technology comes at a price which appears to be threatening individuality!

Whilst we’re on the subject of ‘robotics’: it has been asked if emulation is the best form of flattery?

We can report that much the editor’s topical content is now being picked-up and re-reported often within days by other broadcasters!

Update: in the interests of fair play, we therefore respectfully request the BBC particularly to at least quote their sources, as we do (BBC “Click” link: see below) Our recent article on hospital diagnosis exemplifying diabetes and its preventative treatment has been given full coverage yesterday seemingly without reference to Cottingham.tv! 

Our subject lead on Google has however been consolidated, so we’re achieving ‘first past the post’ status increasingly now, reaching “Page 1” for our reporting based on topical originality rather than might or rank.

Further to the editors proposals and representations over in Europe for “Europe 2.0 Dynamic Framing” on LinkedIn over the last 14 months (please google “Europe 2.0”) the work continues abroad in industry and academia: –

the latest issue of “Click” also reports on developments in ‘social or group constructionism’ as a result of the Editors Europe 2.0 initiative – using smart constructors kits, which we are now seeing the development of in the form of smart LEGO. Medical diagnosis is also reported as “Science 2.0” works its way through, opening-up more working practises.

David vs. Goliath: the battle for the individual continues – with you and on cottingham.tv!

 

Nick

Europe 2.0: Sometimes  re-invention may be the best form of conflict resolution!

Innovation to solve ice-cream seller wars in 1980s Glasgow

Watching “Comfort and Joy“, screened recently on BBC 2, (1984)

Innovation as a way of averting ice cream seller wars in Glasgow from the 1980’s.

Europe 2.0: Hive Mind Financial Ecosystems:

read on ..

Broadcasting for, by and of the People!

Celebrating 12 months of Cottingham.tv!

Editor’s Statement

It hardly seems any time at all – Cottingham.tv is having a 6 month anniversary!

Thank you to all our loyal watching viewers, thank you!

It has been a steep learning curve from early steps into an online internet ‘dot tv’ channel with engagement mission and direction!

Finding answers, challenging assumptions

read on ..

Nicholas Robinson

Ros Jump and Geraldine Mathieson

With the May 2015 Council Elections rapidly approaching,

deciding how to approach this interview required some thought and preparation, as the editor wanted to discuss what it was like to be a councillor interested and concerned about local politics ahead of the Elections, rather than go into details that would likely cause at least some to skip the content and change channel!

With the election nominations still out, we can’t yet approach all the parties, but would invite them to contact us for an interview if we haven’t already done so and advise that Ros, Geraldine and Lena Slater  will be standing for re-election.

Journalists and teachers share quite a lot of common interests with politicians speaking from experience, as no doubt do many other occupations.

It is unfortunate that a divide has opened up, as getting involved in public service can be exciting and rewarding – especially when you see the results of your efforts experienced and appreciated by others! (see below)

One gets the impression talking to Ros and Geraldine that 99% of council work is organizational stuff like so much other work and that the rewards of all their labours are only occasional – but worth the effort!

Now for the other background stuff, some ‘flat facts’: –

Ward Councillors

Parish information (Parish Councillors)

Cottingham Community Plan – as prepared by the parish council

The Parish Council is run on a voluntary basis

Greening the Green

We are delighted that our campaign here at cottingham.tv to green the green has been taken up and will be added to the Cottingham Community Plan for discussion ahead of the Elections!

Thank you to Christchurch Community Coffee for the best coffee and the room for the interview.

 

Nicholas Robinson

Local inventor Nicholas Robinson has been working on a tidal flow collector and accelerator from 2009

Based on a collapsing or braked vortex, this enabled efficient electrical energy collection in low-draft slow-moving water from smaller diameter more compact generators  that required accelerated water flow to be effective.

Collapsing Vortex Tidal Flow Accelerator: The Cinderella Energy Resource?

The UK coast as an island is surrounded and ‘even being drowned’ by powerful tidal and ocean flows!

Yet we seem incapable of harnessing this vast energy resource! Originally the devices were designed to capture offshore ocean flow as well as tidal flow.

The problem with slow water flows as encountered in tidal and ‘low head’ systems was that they required very large diameter turbines located in deeper water flows in order to be effective in order to harvest useful energy. In addition, expensive barraging was required which threatened the local ecosystem and saltwater balance – especially in estuaries.

Why has there been so little UK Government funding for tidal flow development?

There have it seems been ‘more academic tidal flow research initiatives than hot dinners’ served up in the UK over the last two decades!

N.B: to all present and future Cabinet Ministers:- Virtually all novel new technology initiatives require fairly distributed early-stage government support!

With New labour ‘frittering all the R&D money for a Severn tidal barrage on wasteful conferences’ through the 2000s and the Coalition opting for the less cost-effective but proven offshore wind farms with their problems relating to energy generation intermittency, Tidal Flow has been neglected. By contrast with wind energy intermittency, tidal flow is both abundant and highly predictable!

Fracking for underground gas also offers cost savings, but it seems that it has been met by vociferous public concerns about preserving the countryside, not unlike the vociferous public concerns expressed about deploying onshore wind turbines.

Sadly, the government lobby groups have the whip hand here in the UK, where monopoly-busting new technology initiatives are inevitably strangled at birth in favour of the established energy cartels – and it appears even a Liberal Democrat-moderated Coalition isn’t immune from this!

read on ..

What do you think?

We would like your views please to http://Cottingham.tv
Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evelyn Waugh SCOOP!

NEWS SCOOP SENSATION!

Read all about it here at Cottingham.tv and Hull Books!

Cottingham.tv’s editor Nicholas Robinson involved in a series of sensational international news and press scoops!

BBC Newsnight and then BBC News have been broadcasting our electronic democracy and politics press scoops here on Cottingham.tv this week also through the night, also with a “life in comedy after politics” becoming “actively considered” by at least one leading politician, further to our “Tribute to comedian Norman Collier”!

In Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop! The roving news reporter from a local rag achieves fame and notariety for going out into ‘bongo-bongo land’, to ‘stir things up a bit’ amongst the natives, to then create and report (or scoop) the news reporting internationally back home!

The plot thickens: Licence to Kill!

If you remember James Bond and the evil press baron Elliot Carver filmed in Hamburg, stirring-up trouble in the South China Sea, an arch villain of democracy disguised his identity with a ‘Stealth Boat’ and hid behind digitally-encrypted digital satellite systems. This was also based partly on Evelyn Waugh’s famous novel SCOOP!

Back to the Present

In this case however, the BBC re-invented their own beck end of beyond’, to be not our own lowly UK provinces (that would be too close for comfort), but in several ‘banana republics’  in South America!

In this case, a lowly provincial Brit (this humble editor) got to invent and scoop the news first!

To Ewan Evans, acclaimed promoter of British inventors on Dragon’s Den and latterly of Newsnight & co: “I must have tuned out for a minute there Elliot”!  No: better; let them eat cake! Electronic Democracy – not merely to be seen as an alternative to electronic balloting – was invented as described by this Brit right here! Google agrees!

 

The trouble with democracy is: –

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”

that we invented it here and in Europe; but it’s always someone else’s fault when it goes wrong!

Nick

 

Posted by admin at January 26, 2015

Category: Democracy, Elections, electoral reform, Electronic Democracy, Europe, news, Online Democracy, Politics

Our Democracies may soon get augmentation!

Healing the electorate’s political disconnect

– online technology comes to the rescue!

With turnout to elections falling, new ideas are to be explored by Parliament

Our governance and hence democracies are becoming outmoded and disconnected by online developments in social media and computer gaming and they are in need of an upgrade!

 The editor has been researching, blogging and corresponding with like-minded people in Europe through 2013 and 2014

Please google: “Europe 2.0: Dynamic Framing”

The editor’s namesake Nick Robinson at the BBC reports today that our UK Parliament is to debate online democracy

They said it’ll never catch on – nobody’s remotely interested in the topic – my interest in “Europe 2.0: Dynamic Framing”

Online Democracy or Electronic Democracy offers hope for our future gevernance

This shows how original ideas and creativity can and do sometimes lead Google’s measurement-led approaches! Indeed the wider subject of ‘cognitive’ vs. ‘behaviouristic’ decision-making is explored as both can be enhanced by online participation in gaming and social networking. In plain English – do you reach decisions ‘strictly by the numbers’ or ‘by gut instinct’ – or are you someone who appreciates both sides of the argument?

Nick