Goodness gwacious, I think I’ve finished. Finished scanning CDs, that is. I can’t find any that I haven’t scanned. I feel withdrawal symptoms. I’ve become addicted.
It’s a great feeling of achievement. Silly, I know, but I’ve created a massive archive of around 900 high quality music files that I can take with me anywhere, unlike the discs themselves which, although portable in theory, really weren’t. Now I can take a couple of USB thumb drives and pick any CD at any time, anywhere, in the car, on a plane, in bed.
Have a look (Music CDs means non-classical):
and so on, another five pages of these. And then the classical ones:
Again, another five pages. This is fantastic, because for once I can see at a glance what I’ve got and select it instantly. The next step is to connect a USB drive to my TV (so I can see the folders and labels) and play it through my hi-fi system. I can have more than one copy, of course, so I can have one in the car, too. Good stuff.
I wish I could listen again to ABC radio from yesterday afternoon (Tues 29th) where a journalist, Brett Christian, mentioned a talk he’d heard from Dr Brendon Nelson about this post-Trump election period. (That’s a long, contorted sentence, sorry.)
Dr Nelson is a medical doctor, former MP and leader of the Liberal Party, former ambassador to the European Union and a few other high level posts. He was talking about what’s likely to happen under President Trump, and as Brett Christian put it, there was a gasp from his audience at the predictions he made. They were dark.
Dr Nelson says we should realise that, along with Brexit Britain, where the ultra right-wingers are gaining power, and the huge right wing anti-immigrant movement in Europe, the move by Hungary and Poland back to hard right politics, and many other bad signs (which I will list), we are in a new geo-political era of change such as we haven’t seen since the end of the 19th century. And it’s not a good era. He sees very dark times ahead, and so do I. If Marine Le Pen should become president of France, that would square the circle. Strangely, Germany seems to be the one remaining bastion of fair minded policies. How ironic.
The Guardian published a piece by Oxford academic George Monbiot called The 13 Impossible Crises That Mankind Now Faces. Yes, it’s an apocalyptic title, but I think it’s appropriate. Here’s his list:
- Donald Trump: The next occupant of the White House will be a man who appears to possess no capacity for restraint, balance or empathy, but a bottomless capacity for revenge and vindictiveness. He has been granted a clean sweep of power,
- His National Security Adviser: His national security adviser, Michael T Flynn, is a dangerous extremist.
- The Rest Of His Team: … partly composed of professional lobbyists hired by fossil fuel, tobacco, chemical and finance companies and assorted billionaires. Their primary political effort is to avoid regulation and taxation.
- The Transatlantic Backdrop: … Britain’s attempts to disentangle itself from the European Union are confronted with a level of complexity that may be insuperable.
- Eurozone Risks: The Italian banking crisis looks big. [A report today says that the economist who predicted the 2008 crisis in 2005 now says that the risks for a new crisis are higher than they were then. One mistake and the world crashes again. Add in the Italian banking crisis and it’s midnight.]
- The Global Risks: … If such a thing were to occur, governments would not be able to mount a rescue plan of the kind they used in 2007-8. The coffers are empty.
- Job Eating Automation: Automation will destroy jobs on an unprecedented scale, and because the penetration of information technology into every part of the economy is not a passing phase but an escalating trend, it is hard to see how this employment will be replaced.
- If Marine Le Pen wins: [Coupled with several potential Eastern European crises] it could catalyse a chain reaction. I believe that when this begins, it will happen with a speed that will take almost everyone by surprise. From one month to the next, the EU could cease to exist.
- The UN Security Council Would Become: Trump [hard right]; Putin [Communist dictator]; Xi Jin Ping [Communist dictator]; Theresa May [hard right]; Marine Le Pen [hard right]. Are we scared yet?
- The Paris Climate Agreement Abrogated: Targets were set but even if these programmes are fully implemented (they won’t be), they set us on a climate-change trajectory way beyond that envisaged by the agreement.
- Migration: One of the many impacts of climate breakdown … will be the mass movement of people, to an extent that dwarfs current migration. The humanitarian, political and military implications are off the scale.
- We Have Just 60 Harvests Left: According to the UN food and agriculture organisation, at current rates of soil loss we have 60 years of harvests left.
- An Accelerating Extinction Crisis: Species are going extinct at a scale never before seen except at times of previous mass extinctions caused by asteroid impacts.
This is George Monbiot’s list, with my edits and one or two notations. A couple of the later ones seem Malthusian to me; we’ve heard these predictions before and they have not come true.
I would add some that Mr Monbiot hasn’t included:
- No less than David Attenborough is now warning that the world will be transformed in coming years if climate change is not just stopped but reversed. This is very, very unlikely, so strap yourself in.
- The Middle East is a gunpowder magazine waiting for a spark. The Economist today points out that although the Arab world contains only 5% of the world’s population, it accounts for 45% of the world’s terrorism, 68% of its battle related deaths, 47% of its internally displaced populations and 58% of the world’s refugees.
I predict large scale war once Trump takes power. Putin will goad him and he will not be able to resist or outwit. He is a complete novice and a fool. There will be large scale conflict, leading to war.
- Climate related large scale events will get much worse. In this country, heat waves and bushfires will get much worse, with floods on the east coast and more intense cyclones on both sides.
In other countries, especially around the Pacific Rim, earthquakes will increase in scale and frequency due to the reduced mass of polar ice causing the Earth’s crust to lift and change.
- Melting of ice caps, especially on the North Pole and Greenland, is happening much faster than even the worst case predictions. This means sea level rise that will make Elisabeth Quay into Perth’s Underwater World. The Perth Underground Railway will become a Sea World viewing tube. Recommendation: buy high ground.
- PS! I forgot to add: Antibiotic resistance and the danger of pandemics. The warnings are growing louder and more urgent. A new strain of bird flu (H5 virus) has been discovered in the north of China this week and mass poultry killings are underway to try to stop it.
That will do for now. I don’t want to alarm you, heh heh. I’ve become very pessimistic and I’m more frightened now than I was during the Cold War in the 1960s and 70s. I feel very sorry for young people. They’ve been handed a basket of burning coals.
One lesson for me is – don’t bother planning for the future.
Therefore I lashed out today – I bought a full priced CD, which was in fact $19.99. It’s a new Vangelis called Rosetta. I didn’t know he was still recording. It’s dated 2016 and refers to the European Rosetta mission to the comet. Haven’t listened to it yet. Too busy listening to the latest doom and gloom on the radio. 🙂