There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless.

Monday, October 24, 2005


You can be herald or you can be hated. You can be loathed or loved, admired or admonished. You can be any of those things that you want to be, just don’t be mediocre, don't be that.

Friday, October 21, 2005


You will see the passing of time more prominently in a child. I can’t believe my nephew is one already, he’s walking, talking and terrorising the cat already.

Monday, October 17, 2005

End of an era.

The great liberation of Tibet has finally occurred, I kid you not. According to the Chinese this great liberation comes in the form of a rail link between Beijing and Lhasa the capital of Tibet. It’s been heralded as an engineering genius, a marvel of modern building, and yes I suppose in some respects, it is. The carriages are pressurised in much the same way as aircraft cabins, as this helps reduce the altitude sickness that comes with having to traverse so many miles at over 4000m. To me (and call me cynical) has opened up the last remaining sacred and desolate place in the world to the clawing hands of modern development.

here is a link to an article on the railway

I really cannot stress how much this saddens me. When I was last in Tibet the railway was under development and was an ugly sore on a beautiful landscape. As you turned your view from the vast, frozen and rolling plateau, you were greeted by hideous giant concrete pillars that supported the track a few meters above the earth. What’s worse though, is that in five years, the railway will stretch further into Tibet, extending from Lhasa to Xigaze and Nyingchi. These simple towns are by no means ready for the onslaught of mass tourism. Most of the dwellings are simple, without electricity or running water. The people live in poverty and off the land which they cherish and revere. This reverence for the earth will be lost as soon as the Chinese storm into land which they have no legal right to be in.

A Chinese news story http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-10/15/content_3620072.htm takes a typically Chinese view on the Railway. I quote:

“Regretfully, however, there are always some tub-thumpers who claim to be concerned with the good of Tibetan people but would cavil at the project.

They do not find fault with the project's engineering design, but oppose any of China's endeavors to develop Tibet simply out of stereotyped bias or even ill-disposed political attempt.

Only when one sees with his or her own eyes a Tibetan who struggled his way on rugged roads on foot on a bare mountain can he realize what a modern traffic tool means for Tibet.

They, who are enjoying all the conveniences and luxuries of modern civilization, are disqualified to make any remarks to defame China's efforts in developing Tibet. And those who think the snow land should be kept as a medieval museum to satisfy their bizarre personal curiosity should feel ashamed for their selfishness and nearsightedness.

Such tub-thumpers neglected a basic truth of human history: Development is a common choice of the human race, and no one should, or can, slam on a brake on a train to modern civilization.”

Development is a choice of the human race only if it is just that, a choice, and not some idea forced upon a populous who life in fear under a rule of iron. The Tibetan people aren’t unhappy in their struggles without modern traffic for god’s sake, they are unhappy because they are segregated, pushed out of their own land by Chinese people who are paid to go and life there is order to aid the Chinese settlement of Tibet. They are unhappy because they are not allowed to practise their religion in public. They are unhappy because their religious leader is in exile with his return prompting imprisonment. They are unhappy because the mention of the aforementioned religious leaders name is deemed wrong and to speak it brings punishment, they are unhappy because they cannot even display his picture any more.

Lhasa has two sides, the Chinese side and the Tibetan side. You can sit on a meticulous bench in the middle of the Chinese side and be forgiven if you think you are in Beijing itself. Phone shops and high rise hotels line the streets and a massive Chinese run tourist board takes money from people who want to see the Potola Palace (a Tibetan wonder!). Yet if you walk along the road you come to a large steel fence guarded by Chinese armed soldiers. They will examine you, confiscate and camera’s and filming equipment, search your bags and your personage and only then, when they are happy you will not take the story of what you see away with you, do they let you through into the Tibetan half.

Beyond that gate is a different world. The streets are in disrepair and the people impoverished. You cannot sit and stare for too long though because you are very quickly ushered on by the Chinese authorities if you look even vaguely interested in the plight of the Tibetans. All I can say is this: I’m glad that I got the chance to see Tibet before the railway, I’m glad I saw it’s beauty and tranquillity before the Chinese took it by the throat and began to squeeze. I truly doubt that I will ever go there again.

Chinese Lhasa

Tibetan Lhasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005



What is the EMA? It’s a thing the government give to kids who stay on in higher education.  Basically they give you between £10 -£30 for showing up to high school everyday on time, completing your homework etc. Now the problem I have with this is that when you finish your GCSEs you get given the opportunity to leave school, if you do then you go and get a job, if you don’t you do you’re A levels and get paid by the state for turning up. So you get bigger class sizes, more idiots staying on just because they are getting paid to and more people just generally taking advantage of the system. What a load of pants. Every time I read about things like it gets on my nerves, you should stay on to learn because you want to do just that, learn.

We have a public transport system that is a bag of shit ( I went to Worcestershire on the train yesterday and it cost me £4.10 to travel two stops! It was about 7 minutes! ) and the NHS is slowly falling apart but we can afford to pay kids to stay at school?! This country has got so many problems.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The monkey tree

Work is like a tree full of monkeys, all on different limbs at different levels. Some are climbing up and some are climbing down.

When the monkeys on the top look down they are greeted by a sea of smiling faces. When the monkeys on the bottom look up, they see nothing but ass holes.