Soapbox Speakers

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday, 7th January, 2018.

In News for Speakers' Corner on January 8, 2018 at 12:54 pm

‘Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.’ 

Carl Bard.

1. Today in The Domain it wasn’t as hot as it was supposed to be, and it helped that each of the three speakers held their meetings under the shade of their own Morton Bay Fig tree.

Technically, the speakers don’t actually own the trees. The trees are under the domain of the Domain Trust.

Note: the trees are under the Trust’s domain, not under the Trust’s Domain. To even be considered to be under The Domain, each tree’s roots would have to have a combined mass greater than the tree’s trunk and foliage above ground. At the very least. Then perhaps you could say that the trees would be under The Domain and the Trust. That’s what’s called a syzygy.

Another example of a syzygy is ‘He took his hat and his leave.‘ However, it was too hot for some of us to wear a hat, but we did all leave at about 5.30.

This scribe is confused. I’m going to have a lie down and then get back to you.

2. We had John August speaking, star of 2RSR, (2Rat Shit Radio)*. John spoke about advertising and the economy. And, he explained why the atom bomb was not necessarily evidence of the formula, E = mc2.

An observant reader sent us this lookalike of John.

*Technically it’s Radio Skid Row, 88.9FM.  John’s radio segment is growing in popularity because he has interesting guests and plays music that’s appealing. Discover it for yourself by listening each Tuesday, from Noon until 2pm. It’s certainly not Rat Shit Radio.

3. John kindly stepped down from his platform to allow two other people to speak. The first was Tommy, whose topic was “Kindness versus Selfishness”. This scribe still doesn’t know if Kindness won the bout, or if there were match fixing, or what. But thanks, Tommy!

Elliot spoke about ‘the exploration/exploitation problem’. (See! You should come to Speakers’ Corner to find out what the hell these topics mean!)

Another lookalike: we have a 2014 photo of a guy (see left) who is almost a dead-ringer for Eliot (right, obviously). They even have the same name! However, today’s Eliot does look a little older than his doppelgänger.
 4. Mr B discussed infinity again. Specifically, Adolf Grünbaum’s hypothetical Infinity Machine. With Adolf’s machine we can print all the numbers of Pi. Each digit is printed in half the time it takes to print the preceding one, and is half the width of the one before it.

That means that pretty soon, the machine would be printing infinitely long numbers in an infinitely small print, in an infinitely short period of time. Result: you could print every number of Pi on the first line of a page, in finite time.

Simple, really.

5. The ‘Something Nice’ segment, to charm some and irritate others.

6. Our “aspiring novice” speaker, Helmut (who in fact has been speaking since 1972, and some of it intelligible) was in a particularly good mood when he stepped upon the Ladder of Knowledge. He quickly established his knowledge of Einsteinian physics, and graciously gave Isaac Newton the day off by talking of other things.

Unfortunately for Helmut, his nemesis, Tony, interfered yet again. What had been a highly intellectual meeting soon became a circus.

Tony Boyce, nemesis to Helmut, and to any other thinking individual.

7. Based on all the rubbish and the tents left behind at the Lost Paradise Festival (held near the Hawkesbury River), Mr B took a swipe at today’s youth. He bemoaned the fact that they were wasteful of resources and of their money. And, he complained about how environmentally irresponsible it was to leave behind those items, given that they would end up polluting the river and ocean. However, it quickly turned out that he was really having a swipe at us all. “Many people of every age are irresponsible”, he said.  “Why do so many people not care?” he wanted to know.

One insightful grasshopper added that the abandoned, used-only-once tents were probably made by over-worked, underpaid people in another country. And therefore, those tents highlighted even more starkly the obscene contrast between we, the privileged wasters, and the struggling underprivileged.

8. It seems that every week Mr B criticises the media. Today he criticised the seaplane media beat-up. A seaplane crashed and the media milked it furiously. Yet, it was just a crash. Had the family died in a car instead of a plane it wouldn’t be news. Oh, except for the fact that British CEO had died! This heartened the media considerably because it allowed them to milk the crash for a whole week! Apparently, the death of a CEO who we don’t know and don’t care about, is more important and more significant to us than the death of a janitor we don’t know or care about.

Holy moly.

Mr B volunteered the fact that ten years ago, for one entire year he avoided all forms of the news. His aim was to clear his mind of societal paradigms. He did manage to avoid all the news, but the only change he experienced was to become painfully ignorant.

The discussion prompted some grasshoppers to suggest the idea that a few bigwigs are at the top, pulling the strings. Thankfully, a grasshopper, who used to work for the media, set us straight. He said that in all his time working in the media, there were never directions from above.

But then, that’s what he would say, wouldn’t he???

 9. Scenario 1: Factory A is breaching the worksafe rules. An inspector discovers this and fines the company.

Scenario 2: Factory A is breaching the worksafe rules. Someone dies as a result. The factory is sued bigtime and the manager goes to jail for negligent manslaughter.

In both instances the factory’s crime was the same in each instance. Therefore, the punishments it received depended not on its crime, but on timing and on circumstances.

Of course, you wouldn’t want the punishments to be the same in each instance, but the question must be asked: isn’t there something wrong when the punishment depends more on luck and on circumstance than on the crime itself?

10. Other subjects discussed:
– Can a murdered person truly be considered a victim, Part 2, from last week’s unfinished discussion.

– Kudos and thanks were given to Laurence, one of our regular grasshoppers. A few weeks earlier he stood up for someone in a most convincing way. Well done, Laurence!

11. If you believe that (A) in the diagram below is a different shade to (B) then you had better subscribe to our Facebook page. Because it isn’t. They are the same shade.

This extraordinary illusion was created by Edward H Adelson.

 

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