Thursday, 30 December 2010

Anorexia in an insane culture

(This was on another blog some years ago and has been requested so many times I decided to put it back up on this blog.)
How can I thread my way through all these ideas, these thoughts and concepts.  This world of constructs and understanding in my head.  I roam around driven by anger and fear and conformity.  Am I falling apart in this oppressive cauldron of my mind.  Is it a disease or is it life itself.

I start by wondering if the Formula One race today will be available on the internet and I find a YouTube video of Mark Blundell doing a simulator drive and then one of Martin Brundle doing something else.  I always struggle to keep those two names separate in my brain.  Then I find a video of ridiculous hill climbing and from there find a video under the heading of 'suicide'.  It is video by this ex Paris model who's name I cannot find who has this blog called mamaVision.  She seems to be a kind of centre for support for Anorexics.  Well this is another subject that is very important to me because I see anorexia as another piece of the jigsaw of the results of the oppression in our society.  So I watch this video and go browsing round the mamaVision site.  I find a quote which is by Jack Kerouac and went like this 'The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh...'.  So I'm thinking this is good stuff and wonder who the hell Jack Kerouac is.  So I look him up and end up on Wikipedia reading his biography.

It's winding me up in both the good and the bad sense.  I'm getting frustrated by all this attempt at authentic human experience and expression.  I'm wondering why it is so popular.  What is so popular?  People telling it how it is.  We sit here rating the likes of Vincent Van Gough to the point of selling his paintings for millions of dollars but the very society that contains the people that rate the expression are in the very act of the oppression that gave rise to his depression and eventual suicide.  Does no one see that anorexia, mass killing of Jews in the Second World War, the billions of people starving on this planet is all part of the same rubbish.  Crap.  Shit.  Excrement.  Yes I want to be radical.  I want to be out spoken. I want to say it like it is.  But I am stuck in this cruel world that says it believes in free speech but simply can't handle it.  If I want to run an affiliate web site which is all about the problems and the solutions to the destabilising environment in which we live I have a problem in that I have to be palatable to the vendors.  Well perhaps my approach has to change.  Perhaps if I use the word 'fuck' on my web site and they don't want me to sell their sausages then perhaps that is defining enough for me.  Perhaps, just perhaps, this could be a self censorship of the pretentious, unauthentic, unethical, patterned junk stuff in our society.  Benetton got very controversial in their advertising (and with good motive) and it worked for them.  Perhaps I should just unleash my shackles and tell it how it is.  I am very angry with the world at the moment.  I have (amongst other attributes) a trait that is sometimes referred to as a 'people pleaser'.  And yet I hate it with a vengeance.  I'm sure there can be 'people pleasers' who are just fine but for me it all started with my attempts to conform in order to be safe in a divisive, oppressive, manipulative, hysterical, contradictory, moralistic judgemental 'Christian' upbringing.  The self doubt, self blame, self criticism is a wonder to behold.  It is amazing what destruction can be wrought in such a complex and ingenious creature as a human being.  It is like crap software that leaks and clogs up the works and keeps struggling on, slowing down, becoming less reliable, interfering with other software, stealing memory, falsifying addresses and data,  and eventually spewing out false results and finally crashing under it's own burden of random chaos and often taking other software down with it.

Do you think terrorists are stupid?  That really is stupid.  They are perfectly functioning human beings.  They have all the potential and creativity to do wonderful things and to be benign and productive but they have been fucked in the head.  They are people too.  Personally I find it tragic to the point of almost unbearable that people destroy other people.  I tend to be more in favour of the Buddhist monks' response to the Vietnam war of self immolation but that's my choice and an aside since I don't want to do that either.  But then this mamaVision woman has a video which effectively accuses anorexics of being stupid.  What?  They are extremely clever.  They are finding a creative way to comply with a contradictory world.  They are being 'good' according to those ridiculous paradoxical values instilled in them by their parents and backed up by the teachers and supported wholeheartedly by the saturated society in which they have grown and developed.  We are all choking in this polluted and disgusting sea of crap.  Let them die.  It is their right.  It is their self expression.  It is their van Gogh.  Their genius.  Oops.  Maybe I am getting a little out of hand here.  Hang on a minute.  Er um..  Sorry can I just run back in history for a moment and have a word with that kingpin of our Christian culture?  Er Jesus, excuse me but I'm not sure how to say this, you are stupid.  You simply have a disease called a martyr complex.  Don't worry about it just go away and see a therapist.  Just invalidate the reality of your existence and become a nobody.  It really is the best thing.  It really is in your interest.  And anyway the rest of us don't like to see all this suffering and we don't like to see you hurting so fuck off and leave us to amuse ourselves to death without actually waking up to the reality of life.

Excuse me for being so controversial but they (anorexics) are not sick it is the rest of society.  How come one and a half billion people are starving to death on this planet whilst there is enough food to go around?  Eh!?  How come?

Here comes a calmer bit.  There I was dishing up dinner to a group of children.  A normal sort of motherly thing to be doing.  One of the children (but this is more the norm than not) finished their plateful and looked at me with a smile which said 'Aren't I a good child?'.  There is the oppression.  In order to be good, in order to be acceptable, in order to be safe the child has learnt to put that food inside their gullet.  It is a condition.  The mechanisms in the brain, the biochemistry, the pathways, the reality of the comprehension of that child is perverted to believing they feel good if they eat all the food.  Not just believing, they actually feel good.  We have a cultural eating disorder.  'We' being the 'civilised world' as we like to call ourselves.

Primo Levi (an Italian Jew who remarkably survived World War II imprisoned by the Nazis) made it so clear in his book 'If This Is a Man / The Truce' that the oppression is a continuum.  It goes from the top to the bottom with everybody joining in and complying for their own little bit of security.  This included the Germans and the Jews.  And before we forget, that included all the cultures that allowed it to happen.  They were all looking after their own bit of security.  But it won't work.  We are heading to do it again unless people get it into their heads to stop the oppression.  It's not about going to war to stop the damage it's about stopping it.  It is about stopping it at home.  About not tolerating it wherever we see it.  It is about people power.  Not going along with governments and their attempts to gain votes by finding something else to blame.

So what exactly is this wonderful world that we want the anorexics to survive to live in?  They have already grown up in it.  It has done it's damage to their self esteem, their self confidence, their belief in themselves and their own inherent beauty.  It has destroyed (or at least severely damaged) their innate knowledge that they have a right to exist and that they are perfectly alright.  Our society has crushed their flame of life, their vigour, their self expression.  Is this the society that they should want to be part of?  And, if you think that they can be alive and do something to improve it then get on your bloody bicycle and go and improve it yourself before you go round inadvertently adding to the oppression by being judgemental about them.

This anger is not aimed at mamaVision but it is aimed at that statement 'Don't be stupid' in the video.  Anorexics are not stupid.  Society is!

Don't try to make your life better by self congratulatory concern for their well being.  Don't try to save your self from pain by trying to stop them dying.  If they want to let them.  Then cry an ocean full of tears for their tragedy.  Feel the pain.  It's the only way you will wake up.  Care about THEM.  Care about their perception, their pain, their trauma, their rights.  Love them.  Don't try to change them.  Well blow me if this might not change the number of anorexics on the books.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Reply to Max Hastings on Assange

On Wednesday 22 December an article was published in the Mail Online written by Max Hastings entitled "This megalomaniac sleazeball embodies the nightmares we face in the anarchic age of the internet"

What is this strange and ineffective biological blob labelled Max Hastings?  It looks rather cute sporting its Adolf Hitler hair style and sweet chibby goggles.  The sewage that spews from its poisonous pen is beautifully crafted and a brilliant satire of the megalomaniac arch criminal.  But wait...  This is a journalist.  This is a human being.  This is a sentient, conscious, intellectual, emotional human being.  What a disguise.  It has me fooled.

On a slightly serious note what this man has written in this article really helps me understand why it is sometimes called the "gutter press".  This is an appalling piece of writing.  Apart from the fact that it is inaccurate it is also judgemental, cruel, and attempts to incite hatred.  I thought there were laws about stuff like this.

I do not have the energy or time to waste writing a careful criticism of this article.  It only takes a cursory glance to realise that it is a nasty bully making invalid and inaccurate claims about someone else in a jealous attempt to steal some of the limelight.

Go home and polish your jack boots you silly man.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Ben Brown interviews Jody McIntyre

I really am bewildered by the intellectual condition of the "civilised" world.  What is it that allows a lot of people to pick and choose the little bits they require to support their evidently inhuman view and to present them as if they have any validity at all?  Why is it that we can have well dressed PR men claiming that the reason their company should be granted a license to build a mega casino is because they are really responsible and will put some of the profits from the venture into gambling recovery centres.   It's as if the recipients brain cannot do more than bridge two consecutive ideas at a time.  Man A should be allowed to build a casino because he is responsible.  He is responsible because he wants to help people with gambling addictions.  Therefore it's a good idea!  What?

Ben Brown exhibits the same moronic short chain logic in his attempt to blame Jody McIntyre for being dragged out of his wheel chair and assaulted by several police officers.

Fact:  Police dragged a disabled man from his wheel chair.  Simples!  They should not have done it.  But in some peculiar flailing attempt to justify the bullying Ben Brown keeps suggesting that Jody McIntyre is somehow responsible for the action taken against him and that he deserves to be treated that way by the police.

A tiny excerpt from the BBC news interview (bear in mind that Jody McIntyre has already explained that he isn't capable of even driving his own wheel chair let alone hurling missiles at the police.)...

Ben Brown: "And you didn't shout anything er provocative or throw anything that would have induced the police to do that to you."

Jody McIntyre: "Do you really think a person with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair can pose a threat to a police officer who is armed with weapons?"

Ben Brown: "But you do say that you are a revolutionary."

And so the lunacy goes on.  Well done Jody McIntyre for not being distracted by this appalling and  abusive "interview".  Jody McIntyre makes the point that the mode of reporting reminds him of the BBC's reporting of the Palestinian situation.  He is, of course, quite correct.  This is a mode of approach which is attempting to find any error on the victims part which can then be used to distract from or justify the illegitimate action against the victim.  It is paranoia in action.

Therefore I would suggest that Ben Brown joins a fitness club or something to boost his self confidence and then he might realise that he has no need to be afraid of Jody McIntyre or the rest of the student population.

You can read Jody's own account of the incident on his blog at

Friday, 10 December 2010

Student riots in London on 9 December 2010

So it seems the students have caused a bit of a riot.  They attacked Prince Charles' car with him and Camilla inside it, they have occupied Parliament square doing damage to it and the statue of Winston Churchill, they've staged a sit-in at the National Gallery, they've broken windows along Oxford Street and then they've set fire to the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square.  What an unruly lot.

Now in this country we have a terrible attitude.  It's a judgemental attitude.  So all the press can do is report "Gosh, this is terrible." or "We don't condone this behaviour." or "...this is wanton vandalism."  or " ...some of the protesters have no respect for London or its citizens.".  But what about the "Well done chaps.", "Congratulations!", "Jolly good show."?  The trouble is that the decisions being made by very well off old fogies to trash the educational system in this country and to push the bankers debts further down the line and onto the children of the future whilst protecting the bankers profits and leaving the population in years to come with no education or resource to do something creative about the devastated planet is more far reaching, more destructive, and more irreversible than the puny efforts of the small number of students in London yesterday.

Sometimes it is no good being polite and doing the right thing when the damage incurred will disable the victim from fighting in the future.  Sometimes the irreparable nature of the assault has to be stopped in its tracks or it will be too late.  If the students and any other responsible members of society don't make a loud enough noise now it will be too late to try to fix things in the future.  It is clear that the financial machinations of the higher echelons of our culture are finally destroying this civilisation.  The debt has been pushed to third world countries and when that sponge was full it was pushed into National Debt and when that sponge was full it has been pushed into housing and after that into the pockets of the citizens via the likes of Mastercard and Visa (who are not exactly flavour of the month for their criminal behaviour) and now that sponge is saturated and leaking all over the place they call it a debt crisis and forward the debt to the future generations through education.  It would be funny if it were on The Simpsons or South Park but I'm sorry to say this is very real.  None of the powers that be will do anything to confront the ruthless pursuit of "profit at any cost" nor will they do anything constructive about the declining climate on this planet or the destruction of the ecosystem or the depletion of the animal populations or the deforestation - should I stop now?  They WILL NOT do anything about it because they are too greedy and too frightened and too stupid.

Well unfortunately for them they gave just a little bit too much education to the children before they thought to take it away and they are now just bright enough to recognise that it is not about winning clever intellectual arguments or doing things "properly" because there will be no civilisation to work from soon.  If the government in this country (and many others) don't stop pandering to the megalithic financial controllers the whole world will descend into chaos.  What the British politicians are doing with their "austerity measures" is basically ensuring the bankers get to keep their dosh so that they don't walk out and leave the country in ruins.  It's a kind of hostage situation.  What they need to do is take back control of the banks and make them serve the population not run (and abuse) it.  They need to invest in education (right from day one), change the educational system radically to remove the indoctrination and to nurture creativity, they need to rearrange the financial setting so that most people can live a reasonable stable life instead of this disgusting cross between a rat race and musical chairs, and they need to genuinely and fearlessly oppose corruption and get on doing the job they are currently privileged to do.

I'm kind of sorry to say that I totally applaud the students.  I am proud of them and ashamed of the government.  It is a real pity that the expensive education afforded to the likes of Cameron and Clegg obviously succeeded it dumbing their intellectual and creative abilities to the point that these austerity measures are the best thing they can think to defend.  They are the ones committing the crimes against other human beings and, worse, against the children and the younger generations.  The students are being given NO CHOICE.  I would tell the politicians to grow up but there lies double-think.  Actually it is the younger people who have more insight, more compassion, more creativity and frankly more courage.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

STOP PRESS: New Terrorist Organisations Located!

Mastercard and Visa are the new terrorists.  They are blocking free people who pay for their services from donating funds to a perfectly legitimate organisation called WikiLeaks.  They have no right to do that and they are (it seems) acting to comply with offensive and probably illegal pressure from powerful governments like the USA and GB.

Check out this statement from Datacell CEO on Visa and Mastercard action:

It is horrible and disgusting.  If WikiLeaks or any other organisation are fairly or unfairly designated as a terrorist organisation and the law stipulates that the likes of Mastercard and Visa cannot process funds for them then that is the law - like it or not.  But there has been no such legal due process and WikiLeaks is in fact a legitimate organisation working for freedom and human rights.  The powers that be are afraid because of their own guilt and it is causing them to reveal themselves as the true oppressive ruthless bullies that they are.  I for one will never forget this inhumane, cruel, and disgusting behaviour of the low life rich kids that run these organisations who are cowardly conspirators to dishonest killers.

Terrorist organisations are a conceptual item invented by the USA and Britain with other compliant governments to bundle anybody they choose into a "bad" bucket.  Actually many of the so called terrorist organisations are no such thing but what the Americans and the British have done in Iraq and Afghanistan is by their own proud admission exactly terrorism.  They wanted to kill foreigners and they lied through their teeth to get UN resolutions (not even legal declarations of war) to appear to be justified and went ahead and killed thousands of innocent people under the banner of "SHOCK AND AWE".  That is precisely "TERRORISM".

The truth is they raped and pillaged Iraq.  I don't like the oppressive Muslim regimes and I don't like the sanctimonious repressive Christian one's either.  But raping and pillaging an entire country for what retrospectively appears self interest is historically disgusting.  Now they think they have the power to threaten financial organisations like Mastercard and Visa and apparently those organisations are so inhumane they respond like cowards and act to financially terrorise other people by suggesting they are free to cut anyone off financially if they dare to speak out against the government.  This is all getting out of hand and it is time that the people made their opinion known.  The bullying will stop or we will all die in terror anyway.  So up yours Mastercard and Visa I think you are the new terrorists.

See more on the trials and tribulations of WikiLeaks at

Monday, 8 November 2010

Toxic Drums gets a face lift.

(How to get a single 1280x1024 rendered image.)
Playing with Newtek Lightwave I produced this rendered 3D image of the three drums.  This has now become the official front page image for the Toxic Drums web site.  It took a while trying to figure out a number of things.  The worst was trying to get it to render a single image with a 1280 by 1024 resolution.  I went to the Render/Render Globals panel and set the resolution in there.  Given that I am new to this game I couldn't be sure  which property related to what.  But I tried all sorts and I simply could not get Lightwave to render a 1280x1024 image.  It took me some time to get an image saved to my disk.  But I struggled for hours and eventually found a web site about Newtek Lightwave and was reading all about stuff when I encountered a reference to the render resolution of the camera.  Oh!  The camera?  So I went to Layout and opened the properties for the camera and sure enough there was a "Resolution" property and I set it to SXGA (1280x1024) and the next render produced precisely that.

What I need is a good book that has tutorials of the sort that were in the Lightwave manuals when I bought it so many years ago.  As well as being a good reference they provided walk through tutorials which helped introduce you to all the relevant concepts along the way.  These modern manuals are seriously lacking in that they simply "precisely" explain what each button and menu item does.  But there doesn't seem to be a conceptual overview and an introduction to what is going on.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Toxic Drums mission

I don't know.  What do you do?  I have this web site and this blog and I have just read an article by Chris Crum about Darren Rowse called Taking Blogging  From a Hobby to a Business.  One message is basically define your audience and just do it.  Well I have no real idea who my audience is and I can't seem to get around to "doing" it.

Initially I thought Toxic Drums was about "saving the world".  Quite a commendable objective I think.  A bit grand but why limit your horizons.  Actually I know that I am a very small part of any attempt to prevent humanity destroying itself but each part matters so I am happy to sit with that objective to start with.  Saving the world (or humanity) has the potential to cover a host of subjects.  There are different aspects from which one is trying to save the world like pollution, starvation, war etc. and then there are the various modes by which humans achieve these ends like politics, business, science etc.

So I am happy to split these things up and to look into them and to discuss them, promote interest and insight, to express views and even solutions (if anyone's offering).  But then there are the ways that humanity seems to operate that seems fundamental to the fact that these issues are problems.  Eventually I get to the way our culture seems to operate which actually explains a lot about how the various errors are occurring.  It's like a grand unification theory of what is wrong.  So the individual issues seem less relevant since they can all be handled with the new insight into what the fundamental problems are.  Well it seems complicated but perhaps on one level it is not.  The truth seems to be...

The fundamental problem is lack of love.

It seems almost trite to say that.  But all my thinking and my experience confirms it and I am left thinking of issues like religion, psychology and education.  They are all subjects relating to love.  Okay so they don't all admit it but in some respect they do all relate to love.  Religion makes it explicit, education has it as an excuse and psychology is trying to understand the emotional stuff that seems ethereal otherwise.

I have spent a large part of my time alive looking for some REAL way to understand what is going on.  On the one hand I have been looking for answers to angst.  I am distressed, bewildered, unhappy, depressed, anxious, stressed etc and I don't believe it has to be like this.  So I have looked for answers.  I have searched religion, psychology and finally counselling.  I have found only one thing that has real practical substance and that is counselling.  It is not that different people can't find therapeutic results from different disciplines but it is my experience that religion is too much about itself and corrupts love.  Psychology tries very hard to remain academic and ends up being a good observation of distress but lacks real resolution and remedy.  Counselling, on the other hand attempts to 'practise' therapeutic action.  It fails a lot of the time but there seems more chance of success through this route than any other.  I will mention the likes of Arthur Janov's The Biology of Love and Dr Robin Skynner's Life And How To Survive It as places to look for some serious insight into the modern understandings of what counselling can really achieve but my point here is that no amount of talking about it actually fixes the problem.  Action is required and for all the theories that abound the inner knowledge of love is the best and probably the most accurate guide.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Newtek Lightwave 3D v9 problem with Registration Key Solution

Having bought Newtek Lightwave at a phenomenal price (well it was as close to half price as you are likely to get) I eagerly extracted the box from the package and opened it to find three manuals and a CD box. I duly went through the installation process and the registration process which was strangely laborious and finally got my License Key provided via a link on the internet and then in an email as well. I ran the Registration Utility program, entered the Lock ID and the License Key and pressed "Accept". A message came up and said it had been successfully written.


I now ran Newtek Layout and the damn thing said there was no Registration Key and it was running in Discover Mode. Well I searched for an answer on the internet but couldn't find how to get the Registration Key entered such that it would work. But strangely, with a bit of hunting around on the computer and scratching my head I found a file in a folder called...

[Username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\NewTek\LightWave3D 9\Programs

a file called license.key

So I opened it with NotePad wondering if it might be text and sure enough there was my License Key. So, just experimenting, I copied it to the respective folder where Newtek Lightwave was residing (i.e. C:\Program Files\NewTek\LightWave3D 9\Programs) and ran Layout once again. To my amazement it was now running correctly and out of Discover Mode.

So, if you are having a problem with the Registration Key with NewTek Lightwave the solution might be to search your computer for the file called license.key and to move it to the NewTek\LightWave\Programs folder.

Hope this helps :)

Friday, 10 September 2010

Google Chrome goes wonky over CSS a:link and a:visited

Arriving back in the wee hours of this morning I took a look at some Toxic Drums web pages. To my amazement and distress I noticed there was something wrong with the web site. The problem was that a lot of the links (particularly in the generic "see also" link bar) had gained a black background.

I investigated and found that this only appeared using Google's "Chrome". All other browsers were displaying the web pages as they had always appeared. This was slightly consoling but still a major worry. Eventually I tracked this down to the way Google Chrome was interpreting the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) info.

In short if the "link" pseudo-class actually specifies a background color then if the "visited" pseudo-class doesn't specify a background color then Chrome set the background colour to black. Quite where it ascertains the "black" value remains a mystery for me but I guess it could be arbitrary or a default within Chrome.


.style4 a:link{color: #CC0000; background-color: #FFFFFF;}
.style4 a:visited{color: #6600FF;}
.style4 a:hover{color: #FFFFFF; background-color: #CC0000;}

the above used to behaves as expected with only the color changing if the link has been visited. Basically an anchor in style4 has red text on a white background for a link and the color changes to purple for a link that has been visited. The hover psuedo-class is kind of irrelevant to this issue. But the display behaviour seems to have changed in Chrome and now the "visited" links were appearing with a black background. A remedy was found by specifying the background color in the "visited" CSS psuedo-class as below.

.style4 a:link{color: #CC0000; background-color: #FFFFFF;}
.style4 a:visited{color: #6600FF; background-color: #FFFFFF;}
.style4 a:hover{color: #FFFFFF; background-color: #CC0000;}

On further investigation I also found that by removing the specification of the background color in the "link" and having no background color in the "visited" also did the job as illustrated below:

.style4 a:link{color: #CC0000;}
.style4 a:visited{color: #6600FF;}
.style4 a:hover{color: #FFFFFF; background-color: #CC0000;}

What I would be interested to find out is whether Google has got the interpretation of the CSS right and all other browsers are actually fudging things or has Google gone and made a mistake with their latest "update" of Chrome. It could be that the interpretation can go either way but I would like to know.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Swedish Prosecutor's Office commits crime against Julian Assange!

Fortunately, at the moment, the flailing machinations of the elite in power around the world are proving farcical. Julian Assange was accused on Friday 20 Aug 2010 by the Swedish Prosecutor's Office of rape and molestation. It was stated that he would be arrested. Then the Prosecutor's Office dropped the charges on Saturday morning (21 Aug 2010) saying he is "no longer wanted" and "is not suspected of rape".

Apparently Swedish media reported that two women had made allegations against Julian Assange but that in itself sounds like a fudge on the grounds that it would be very rash to immediately make a public statement and to issue a warrant for an arrest without some investigation. Maybe they assumed they could get someone to testify against him for enough dosh but spoke too soon and failed. What could that have been about? The attempts to accuse WikiLeaks and Julian Assange of anything are getting ridiculous. The American Government and its supposed allies around the globe are in a serious panic. There has been no explanation of the accusation simply a retraction. It is a smear campaign attempt I guess. But it is so rash and impulsive and inappropriate it is clearly bizarre and hopefully has quite the reverse effect. To accuse someone of rape in order to blacken their name, upset or frighten them, to disrupt their life, to create an inconvenience of significant proportion is a genuine assault on them. It is simply a crime. Who is going to now deal with that crime. The prosecutor's office should be made to compensate Assange and WikiLeaks for this assault. But I guess that really would be expecting too much.

Just more appalling behaviour by that hierarchy of judgemental oppression that governs the world. If only the people at the top would hold themselves to the same values that they impose on others.

CNN incredulous newsreaders ...

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Windows 7 Home Premium

A warning about Windows 7 Home Premium:
Microsoft claim that Windows 7 Home Premium is so much better than previous versions of Windows like er... Vista. This is true in many respects but there are some really fundamental issues that Microsoft gloss over and even try to suggest otherwise. (see more about Micro$oft Windows 7)

There is no doubt that it is much faster starting up and shutting down. It is faster to load applications and and the interface is smoother for many tasks. But the trouble is they have focused on a typical user and although that will satisfy perhaps a majority it will frustrate millions. Microsoft focus on the computer as an entertainment console. As a toy. But if you want to actually use your computer for your purposes it can become very frustrating.

Computers are general purpose machines but Microsoft is turning yours into a toy for a mindless consumer. Before you know it the easiest thing to do will be to watch movies, listen to music, play games and buy more products and services from Microsoft. There is the argument that it is their prerogative to tempt you into their world to sell you more. Entrepreneurs would congratulate Microsoft for their ingenuity and inventiveness. They have done a massive amount of research into the psychology of the "user" But this "achievement" is only a good thing in a context. Rather like oil in the sea! It is perfectly fine to wash your hands in the sea but to spew billions of tons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is no longer the same issue.

There have been years and years of of legal wrangling over the Antitrust laws basically alleging that Microsoft has abused a monopoly position in the market. Those legal battles unfortunately have only managed to focus on a tangible example of Microsoft's bad behaviour. In some way they have been a distraction from the generic behaviour of the company. Windows 7 lures you into a smooth, glossy, slick (not the oil type), environment and before you know it you are beginning to think the way they want you to.

They claim: "Share files and printers among multiple PCs" and "Connect to networks easily". The implications of this are wrong. For many people who have money to spend and little use for a computer outside of family fun these claims refer to features that will probably satisfy them. They do add the small print that says "from one Windows 7-based PC to another, you can share files, music, photos, and even printersacross your home network." and referring to the "Connect to networks easily" statement they add "view and connect to any available wireless network in as few as three clicks.". But what they don't emphasize in the first of these example claims is that you cannot have more than one network and all computers on that network must be running the Windows 7 Operating System! This is not what "networking" is about. This is a trap. Many users will find they have to buy a new version of Windows for all the computers in the house. Friends come round and they can no longer link into your network. The frustrations are endless. And for anything more than a mindless "user" this is unacceptable. There is a problem at the moment in the schools in Britain. Many of them have been duped by this sales hype. They have invested in the new operating system and found out they now have to spend vast rafts of money getting their systems to work properly. And who gets the money? Bear in mind that having invested MORE MONEY in the Windows operating system Farmer Micro$oft will come to milk them every morning and evening!

Micro$oft seem to be taking the term "Computer USER" to a new level of meaning. Oooooh - I just need some more of that WINDOWS 7 Home Premium.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Convert Delphi project to Delphi 2010 look and feel

Delphi 2010 button "look and feel"
How to convert a Delphi 6 project to Delphi 2010
convert old Delphi project to Delphi 2010 "look & feel" to Delphi 2010
buttons in Delphi project still look old
move project from old Delphi version to Delphi 2010

I bought a new Windows 7 machine.  It's a Packard Bell IXTREME X5620 with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor.  In general use it is wickedly fast.  I installed Delphi 2010 on the Windows 7 machine and ported all my Delphi 6 projects from my old trusty XP machine to the new one.

I noticed that in the designer the buttons were looking very up to date and Windows 7 ish but when I ran the application the form looked Windows 7 style but the buttons and other controls were clunky old XP/Delphi 6 buttons.  Very grey and stiff with sharp corners that any unsuspecting child could injure themselves on.

So I set about looking for a solution.

Select Project/Options/Application and set the "Enable runtime themes"

This does the trick.  Now everything is looking nice and modern.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Don't vote for the bad guys

Well thank goodness John Humphreys isn't a politician. On Thursday 22 April 2010 he interviewed Chris Huhne (the Liberal Democrat candidate for Eastleigh) on Radio 4. John Humphreys evidently doubts Nick Clegg's credentials to run for Prime Minister of the UK. I gather there has been a lot of complaints about Humphreys' manner of interviewing Huhne and Toxic Drums doesn't really give a damn who gets into power in the up and coming general election because most regular politicians are full of the proverbial anyway. Power is a funny game and some doubt that you can be genuine and survive in the political world. But the interview has prompted me to stick my ore in and to say what I think on the whole process of elections and the way people vote. (See: Election Fever)

In 1979 Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female Prime Minister. Jolly good thing from the perspective of liberalism (with a small "L") just because she was female. She put into action a series of policies to reshape Britain and particularly it's economic model. The consequences were disastrous on many levels. It was immoral (but who the hell cares), it was selfish (but most people applaud that), it was short term (but that's what politics seems to be about) and it wrecked the financial foundations of Britain. The consequences were huge unemployment, riots in South London and across the country, and the total destruction of the coal industry.

Watching a fiction drama it is often easy to see who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. The good guys are often in rags, they are often oppressed, they are usually passionate about humanity and justice. The bad guys are power orientated and driven by the objective to control the rabble. They are often uniformed and mechanistic. The foot soldiers obey their masters unquestioningly and overall they use ruthless and overpowering force to destroy their enemy. They are almost invariably driven by their own interests.

Why was it that leading up to the 1983 election the image of the good guys was evidently the labour party who were supporting the miners in their desperate fight for survival and the bad guys were clearly the authoritarian Conservative Party. Most people I spoke to at the time were clear that they disagreed with Thatcher's policies and were in favour of helping get Britain back to some just system with less unemployment and wanted to do something to support the miners as their industry and living were being destroyed. I mix with people who are likely to be more left wing than right so this was not surprising. It wouldn't even surprise me if the Conservatives were voted back into power. But what really surprised me was when I had many discussions with left wing and liberal people after the 1983 election, when Thatcher got a landslide victory, it turned out that they had paid lip service to the left wing but had actually voted Conservative.

My conclusion was that when people are afraid the system is collapsing they will often side with the right wing power mongers. People seemed afraid that the system was collapsing and they wanted a bully to force control to "save" the country. You wonder how the baddies win? It is the old psychological oppressor scenario. The oppressor creates a bad environment and when you do what they want they reduce the pain. Conclusion for a semi-conscious sentient being is that they perceive the oppressor as their saviour and support them (because it gives them less pain). What is surprisingly missed is that the majority of the pain from which they want relief is caused by the oppressor.

Then there was the 1997 election when Tony Blair won the noble position of Britain's Prime Minister. Well that was a joke. Much as I tend to roam around the left side of the world of politics (and I don't care too much for the game anyway) Tony Blair made a speech which I watched on the television prior to the election and I was appalled. He was so committed to getting into power he actually said that given the Labour party was the right party to win they would do whatever it took to get into power. My old friend Uncle Adolf came to mind. He believed in saying whatever it took to get what he thought was right. And here we had another socialist doing the same thing. I really thought the British public was a little less gullible than that. Now Paddy Ashdown was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Prime Minister but he had been in the armed forces and I don't generally rate someone who dedicates their life to doing someone else's biding by using force. But he seemed a bit avuncular and I bet he would have made a better prime minister than that toff Blair masquerading as a labour candidate.

My point in all of this is that given you cannot trust any politician and given that the whole game of politics is largely a scam how about voting for the people or person that appeals to you most. How about avoiding all that distraction of policies and rhetoric, all that guff about promises and intentions, all that bull-shit and smear that comes off the political fans and just follow your heart - you know the liberated bit not the fear bit. Vote for someone you like and see what happens to Britain's politics. One thing I can guarantee is that we won't get a pleasant ride whoever gets into power but I bet we'll be heading in a better direction if we start voting for the people who at least appear to be nicer. And for your information I doubt I will be voting for anyone because I don't like picking the bully that I want to run my life. And I think a no-vote makes politicians a little more nervous about the security of their position. Anyway I am just a victim in the sea of other people's machinations so I don't give a damn. I'll be laughing at the stupidity of it whoever gets in.

So thank you Mr Humphrey, your evident dislike of Clegg has up-rated him in my opinion. If I were going to vote I guess I would vote Liberal Democrat as they are the only realistically available alternative to the two lunatic parties called Labour and Conservative. Where is the "Official Monster Raving Loony Party" when we need it? Come back Screaming Lord Sutch we need you.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Good God the Oppressor

Well it seems that I haven't got this blog thing sorted yet but for the time being I will just have to carry on in my chaotic way.  Someone introduced me to an idea the other day and it was this:  If you believe in a benign God then every thing that is good that you achieve can be accredited to him.  But when you encounter unfortunate or bad circumstances that is not God's fault and you are left holding the proverbial.  It is your fault.  So God gets the credit for good stuff and you get the blame for bad stuff.  I recall seeing a nun in a dressing-gown on television.  She was being interviewed after an earthquake.  Many other nuns in the convent had died when it collapsed.  She had a cheery smile on her face and declared it was a miracle and God had saved her.  I was left wondering who had killed all the other nuns.  A benign God leaves us with a bad self image and this is the work of prejudice and the oppressor.  See more ...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Martingale doubling technique explained

The Doubling System
The Doubling System is also known as the Martingale Method.
roulette wheel
Does the doubling system in roulette really work?
The doubling system is sometimes referred to as the Martingale doubling system or the roulette doubling system.  The Martingale system has some history and is a concept or idea in mathematics which can be applied as a method of gambling in roulette but the subject here is specifically "DOUBLING" in any 50/50 gambling situation.
For those of you who do not know of the doubling system it is pretty simple to grasp.  The idea is that you are betting on a 50/50 bet like the toss of a coin.  So each time you bet you stand to either win or lose with equal probability.  And the bet is 1 to 1.  I.e. you pay £1 and if you lose you get nothing and if you win you get £2.  It's like you and the other player both pay £1 each.  Whoever wins gets the £2.
So even odds and even money.
The simple rule is that if you won last time you bet £1 and if you lost last time you double the stakes.
More on this subject with detailed explanation and graphs at:

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Pope understands equality!

Pope understands equality!
Is equality simply what works for one person or group?
pope benedict robes
There seems something contradictory about the Pope claiming that the British equality laws are unjust.  Slightly ironic too when he won't meet women without them wearing a veil.  Can you imagine Jesus refusing to meet women without a veil?  Mind you, can you imagine Jesus living in a palace, wearing the most ridiculous head gear, lording it over the rest of the world... hang on... wasn't that what Satan offered Jesus in the desert?  Has anyone pointed this out to the Pope?  I think he ought to know.  He wouldn't be living like he does if he knew.  Or is it perhaps that he does know but he doesn't care and most of his "flock" are too "sheep like" to notice?

Friday, 29 January 2010

Toxic Drums Newsletter 2 published!

Toxic Drums Newsletter 2 published!

Toxic Drums on Ice
From Toxic Drums point of view today has been productive.  Newsletter 2 was finally produced and issued.  There is little premeditated, thought out and planned here at Toxic Drums.  Things happen more by inspiration or desperation.  There are too many things distracting from the work.  There are too many ideas and half baked plans.  There is the software updates to write and the new applications to get started.  I have far more ideas than I could possibly execute but the difficulty is deciding which will be most useful in the shortest time.  Most of the time things get started and not finished.  But I decided that enough was enough and Toxic Drums will have to survive no matter how polluted the site becomes.  Appropriate though that may be!

It seems Toxic Drums has had a patch of psychological indulgence.  Prior to Newsletter 1 there was quite a lot of atheistic, anti-God, anti-authority, verging on conspiracy theory stuff.  Post Newsletter 1 things seem to have gone a bit mental with cascading oppression, fractal abuse and the double bind.  Things will settle down and crystallize but just at the moment there is a kind of mental chaos that is both uncomfortable and creative.  Maybe I need a spot of transcranial magnetic stimulation to relieve the repression and to allow the creative forces to flow.  The fear with that, of course, is that I will explode.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Delphi 2010

Having bought Delphi 2010 as an upgrade from Delphi 6 I was expecting it to be a vast improvement.  Knowing and loving the product since it was the Turbo Pascal I have seen the changes over the years and the introduction of the Integrated Development Environment under DOS and then with the advent of Windows the virtually sublime Visual Component Library.  I have owned most versions of Delphi up to version 6 and have used Delphi 7 in someone else's office.  I was impressed with the advances in some areas and the debugging in particular.  I had a lot of experience of that because I was working for someone else and having to fix some dire code.  I don't normally have much call for a debugger with my own code.  But the help had become almost helpless.  I rely on the help because my memory is no good.  I have a good conceptual memory and I only have to understand polymorphism once and I've got it but can I recall where the ... well there you go.  I went looking for the override directive and could I find it?  No!  I'm not going to spend all day trying to make this point but it seems that Pascal is being forced into history.  I did eventually get to what I suspect is the best help by searching for Pascal Language Guide but it is seriously lacking in integrity.  I even read a remark in the help somewhere that "Real programmers don't use Pascal."  Whether that was a joke or not I don't know but if it was a joke it wasn't funny.  Pascal is a seriously good high level language.  As far as I understand it the guy who concocted C which later became C++ was basically coding Pascal so that it was unreadable.  The whole idea of a high level language is that it is easier than writing in machine code.  But hackers (as I like to call them) prefer to massage their egos by having code that "looks" really complicated.  It makes them feel cleverer.  But it doesn't help productivity.  And anyway they get away with a lot more bugs because it is nearly impossible to spot them.  Pascal was developed with two main characteristics.  One was that it was a teaching language so it was designed with very clear reserved words like begin and end to mark the beginning and end of a block of code and "English" style commands like for N:=1 to 20 do, and repeat...until  but C has to "shorten" every thing with curly brackets and weird arrangements of symbols.  It is simply not explicit and you have to have a memory for what all the codes mean.  The second significant thing about Pascal is that it is rigidly consistent.  It is fractal in a way.  There are a few simple rules and everything else follows.  It has been thought out very carefully.  But C comes along and starts making exceptions right left and centre.  After a while it is a jumble of special cases.  But back to the Delphi 2010.

I was trying to get the main form that I was designing to tear itself away from the top left corner of the space in which it's container was docked.  Eventually I found, under Tools/Options/Delphi Options/VCL Designer, that you can set "Embedded designer" on or off.  If it is on then the forms you are working with are as a multi document interface and they are stuck to the top left corner of their work space.  If you turn it off you are informed that it will not take effect until you close Delphi and restart it.  Funny but true.  So I did that and it seemed more agreeable until I realised that the form had a "Stay On Top" quality so that when you are editing the code the form is in front of it.  There seems no way to get it behind your work space so you have to minimise it every time you want to edit the code.  I found also that you can do something about the arrangement under View/Desktops.  But although it gives you the option to select the old style "Classic Undocked" (which I was so relieved to discover) it turns out that all the windows are undocked except the form in the corresponding workspace as the text editor.  So it is still stuck in the top left corner of a container.  So the frustration is mounting.  I don't get the "advances" in the code completion either.  Maybe I will understand it one day but at the moment it takes more work to manage the code completion unless of course you don't know how to program in Pascal at all.  That's a thought!  Maybe I could learn C that way.  No - it wouldn't work.

A lot of this ranting is so that a) I get to vent my frustration, b) I get to have notes on things I have found like the search for "Pascal Language Guide" and other interesting things I might forget in months to come, and c) so that there may be some useful hints and tips, workarounds and solutions for other people searching the internet.

Anders Hejlsberg was the guy responsible for designing the Visual Component Libray and he made an exceptional job of it.  He was then pirated by Microsoft and designed the .NET framework.  If any of you budding techies out there are wondering why C# ever got invented it is because the .NET environment is written in Pascal with the Visual Component Library and is basically an extension of it.  XML is largely the streaming structure from the VCL.  All down to one very clever man.  But most programmers use C++.  As the comment I noticed referring to "real programmers" not programming in Pascal suggests most people who were going to use .NET are C programmers but it is written in Pascal.  So they invented a middle ground for C programmers and called it C#.  Why not Pascal?  It annoys me.  But that is probably because I have spent so many years programming in Pascal and I am a very slow learner and don't want to learn C.  I have recently got involved with HTML and am shocked by the inconsistencies in that.  Sometimes I think it is a bit like evolution.  It has to have inherent weaknesses otherwise it couldn't evolve.
The Double Bind

An inescapable mind knot that can lead to schizophrenia.

On the surface the double bind seems a simple idea. It's a bit like a reef knot. Two twists and when you pull on one it tightens on itself ensuring a strong bind.

The term "Double Bind" was first coined in the field of psychology by Gregory Bateson in the mid 1950's. It is an important concept and Gregory proposed that it was the cause of schizophrenia. The double bind involves two contradictory demands in a context where questioning the contradiction is impossible or implicitly prohibited.So, for example, a teacher asking why you are late, expects an answer to the assumed situation that you are late. If, however, you point out that you are not late you get told off for being rude. The contradiction exists in the implication that a solution exists in the answering of the question. However, answering the question only asserts that you are late. So if you don't answer the question you are evidently in the wrong and if you do answer the question then you are confirming that you are wrong. To question the question is simply not allowed. Stuffed!The above example is very simple and easy to see. But the double bind is a severe problem when it is deep in the culture and communicated to very young children by the people they depend on for survival. When the parents have learned to survive in a world of double binds they will transmit these complex paradoxes even in their body language.What makes this situation serious is that the child learns how to survive by satisfying the demands and expectations of the parents. It becomes a mechanism of perception. That is to say that the child grows up actually seeing the world in terms of these contradictions. So they actually see a child contradicting a teacher as "rude". They are ensnared by the contradictions and, unless they are fortunate enough to have managed to resolve this dilemma themselves they will behave in a way to support and perpetrate this problem.

More on this at

Magnetic Morality

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) alters peoples moral judgements!

Inside your brain there is a little area that deals with thinking about how other people think. It's a highly specialised area of the brain and the only area that deals with this particular issue. It is also not used for solving any other types of logical problems.

human brain

This specialised region is called the Right Temporal Parietal Junction and is located just above and behind your right ear. This particular function performed by the brain seems to be exclusively human. And it doesn't function from day one but takes many years to develop this unique skill.

Experiments with children have illustrated that this ability seems to begin developing around 3 to 5 years old. There is the Smarties, pencils and child experiment (Smarties are sweets like M&Ms in a tube) where the child is surprised to find pencils inside the Smartie tube and when the lid is replaced and the child's parent is invited into the room the child, at age 3, will expect the parent to think there are pencils in the tube. This is because there are pencils in the tube and the child isn't able to think of what someone else might think. By the age of 5 a child will predict that the parent will think there are Smarties in the tube and be surprised to find pencils.

This ability to simulate someone else's mind inside your own brain seems to continue developing in sophistication certainly through adolescence. At an early age children will make a moral judgement that someone is wrong to do something naughty but it makes no difference if that person was mistaken. They are still blameable. By the age of 7 children can realise that someone thought they were doing something okay but were mistaken and so are not so blameable.

The rest of this article is on the web site at

Good and Evil

"The problem of good and evil is that the good people think the evil people are evil and the evil people despise the good people and evil is to be despised. So the good people are evil and the evil people are good and that's why the good people can't figure it out. But the evil people have it sussed thereby proving that the evil people are really the good people and as for the good people... well they're just a nuisance."

If you have that understood then we can continue...see