Goal!

There was a piece on the internet yesterday about having a goal in life. I think I found it on the iOS News app. It was one of those aggressively cheerful screeds that swans insouciantly from assumption to panacea via gross generalisation. Apparently the thing that separates the lost sheep of this world from its forward-moving goats is having a purpose to one’s life. Presumably, the kind of goal is important. Wishing to belittle or injure someone every day is, after all a goal. The piece wasn’t very helpful in that respect. It seemed to assume that anyone going for a goal will automatically pick one that is self-improving or outer-directed in a good way.

I don’t have a goal. There is nothing I want to change. At least, nothing that I have the remotest hope of changing. I’d like to change me, perhaps. But into who, or what, I don’t know. A more loving parent. A more reliable supplier. But is wishing to address character ‘defects’, if that is what they are, the same thing as having a goal in life? As a reductio ad absurdum, I could refine my two goals in life to ‘breathe in’ and and ‘breathe out’. As long as I stayed true to both of them and followed them in a strictly alternating sequence, I’d be all right. Hungry, smelly and homeless, but all right.

As humans, we are cursed with a sense of meaning. People talk of seeking a ‘higher meaning’ in life. No, I can’t analyse that in a minute’s thought. Higher than what, exactly? Higher than shopping? Surfing Twitter? Achieving Level Eleven, gold-plated, fur-lined, ocean going enlightenment? Don’t I vaguely remember from Buddhist primers that enlightenment is a process of letting go?

Somehow, clinging tenaciously to a goal doesn’t sound the right way to get there.

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Self-driving cars – hope springs eternal

 

Idly listening to KMO on the C-Realm Vault while doing the washing-up, his conversation turned to self-driving cars (SDCs). Like a lot of us, KMO is somewhat on the rebound from what you might call ‘Stage One’ peak oil so he’s inclined to give SDCs a free pass. You know the idea: people won’t own cars – instead they’ll hail an SDC when they need to get somewhere, and it’ll first drive itself to them and then drive them to their destination.

KMO is clearly frustrated with some other members of the Mark One Peak Oil Clan, particularly JHK, who decry SDCs as just another example of grandiose techno-narcissism. He said that if SDCs and/or advanced car sharing helps shift people away from ownership towards ‘usership’ or ‘ridership’, then that’s one way to make people more discerning and sustainable about the travel choices they make. He suggested that rides could be priced lower if you booked in advance. For example, if you book a ride to get to a routine doctor’s appointment several days in advance, it’d be cheaper than deciding to go on a spur-of-the-moment trip to see Auntie Mabel in Hertford or Hartford (you say tomato).

Well, that’s a pricing model you already find in train and airline fares as well as some taxis I dare say. It’s not really an argument for SDCs though. SDCs still boil down to an attempt to perpetuate ‘one-user-at-a-time’ vehicle use (‘one’ in this case meaning a single passenger or a bunch of people making a trip together). You’ll still have cars spending a lot of time empty, only they’ll be moving while empty (to get to the next user). From the oil industry’s perspective (as Dmitry Orlov suggests, cars’ first duty is to burn petroleum), SDCs are a brilliant idea. Unlike human-piloted cars, which waste the oil industry’s time when parked, SDCs can be burning oil round the clock.

There is already a more-efficient model for this version of perpetual motion: the Israeli sherut. These are minibuses or minivans that are a cross between a bus and a taxi. They don’t run on set routes but pick up passengers as they go, setting them down more or less in order depending on how the passengers’ destinations pan out. Doubtless the engineers could come up with a self-driving sherut capable of recognising when someone wanted to get in, and then computing and recomputing routes as passengers got on and off. But you need to weight up the differences between a human driver, who does that in their head and can run on tea and falafels, and the vast, energy-hungry techno-complex of servers, satellites, cell towers, programmers, etc., needed to operate SDCs. Makes SDCs look even more like a 500-tonne press looking for a sparrow’s egg to crush.

But to get back to the real function of cars, which is to turn fossil goo into industrial civilisation, multi-user SDCs run completely counter to purpose. Granted, an SDC will potentially use 85%-95% more fuel than an ICE because it will operate round the clock if the demand is there (in KMO’s variable pricing model, poor people would travel between midnight and 6am when demand was light enough for them to be able to afford to ride). Trouble is, once the imperative to possess personal cars is removed, the scale of the car industry goes with it.

And what’s in that for the oil industry? There are around 30 million passenger cars in the UK. Say each one has 10 litres of fuel on board. That’s about £360 million, including taxes, paid up front to the industry and government just to have petrol and diesel sitting around doing nothing 95% of the time. Ker-ching. Year in, year out. Kill off the need to own cars and you kill off the oil business, which for Western economies will feel like cutting off an arm and a leg and removing the liver.

Eventually, car ownership will disappear anyway because oil is a finite resource but as every good student of history knows, the way to bow to the inevitable is to do so very, very slowly. You certainly don’t want to hand the inevitable your head on a plate. Sigh. But techno narcissism (© James Howard Kunstler) is a fierce fire in the human breast. Look at the investors throwing away billions on Uber year after year.

SDCs are as logical and promising as lead balloons but, as long as the likes of even KMO see them as a twinkly hope for a better future, the saga will keep on running.

Reach for the skyr

A few things to tackle today. Firstly, there was a story doing the rounds a couple of days ago that Trump and Putin were making secret arrangements for a tête-à-tête in Reykjavik pretty soon after The Donald assumed the gilded throne of the Murcans.

Fox News, I think, was the purveyor of the canard. Along the lines of The Donald was going off to get his instructions from his KGB handler, etc. This story seemed to come out of the “Any shit we can make up against Trump is good enough to print” pile. And funnily enough, to show how easy this type of thing is, I’d written up the very same scenario for my daily ‘morning pages’ piece only a week ago.

My thoughts were that Donald and Vladimir might hole up in some glam volcanic spa for a day. Then there’d be a smiley photo op while a portentous official communique is distributed. D&P give the punditry an hour or so to work up some froth before the pair of them start putting out ‘OK, this is the real enchilada’-style tweets, outlining the likely direction of hegemonic shifts over the next few years. Ideally tweeted in French or Portuguese just to unsettle and annoy Anglophones.

Charles Hugh Smith has a good piece today on the US power elites’ germophobic response to outsiders getting into power. Trump follows in the footsteps of Nixon and Carter as someone whose unintended election, in place of the elites’ anointed candidate, was plainly some kind of operational glitch. So while the East coast mandariniat hunt down and torture the clumsy fool who left the door to the White House open to the neighbours’ cat, the media will obediently attack the foreign body in the Oval Office.

The difference between Trump and earlier outsiders is that in Nixon and Carter’s time the net fossil energy gravy train was in still full flow. Even when the insiders’ had sated their appetites over and over, there was plenty left over for Joe 99%. Not so in 2017. We appear to be five or so years away from slipping over the edge of the net energy cliff.

That means we’re three to five years away from the shine starting to seriously come off modern industrial civilisation. And 10-15 years before very deep cracks show up even here in cosy old, ‘what could go wrong in a country like this?’ Blighty. Think more-frequent brown outs, internet outages and off-the-scale motoring costs for most people.

Plenty to talk about over a bowl of skyr at the end of a long day’s summiteering in Reykjavik, then.

The mind-shields fall away from the City on a Hill

flash-city

 

What do you get when you fall in love build a self-referential neoliberal bubble? A guy with a pin to prick it.

The only ‘stunning upset’ about Trump’s election was that it left a lot of people stunningly upset. If they’d pulled their heads out of each other’s backsides they could easily have seen it coming.

One fears for America’s corvidae family. It looks like turkey will be out, and crow in, on many Thanksgiving tables on the 24th of November.

Take this example of groupthink from December 2015:

Firstly, he [Trump] will not be the next President of the United States and secondly, he will not get even close to securing the Republican nomination. By spring, he will have packed his bags and said goodbye to the circus. There are forces with more power, wealth, intelligence, guile and all encompassing self-interest that will not allow this showboating huckster anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. The GOP would never in a million years adopt an erratic train wreck like Trump to go head-to-head against Hillary Clinton for fear of electoral collapse and decades of obscurity.

Alas for the dump-Trumpsters, it was the Democrats who used their “power, wealth, intelligence, guile and all encompassing self-interest” to flirt with oblivion by crowbarring Lady Blood Diamond into the candidacy over Bernie, the membership’s choice.

Trump would probably still have beaten Bernie in the electoral college. Americans in general are resolutely misled over the difference between socialism and totalitarianism. But I’d wager that Bernie would have picked up a bigger margin in the popular vote than Clinton.

As one of those not in the least surprised by Brexit or the Trumpster (even though I’m instinctively Remain/Bernie/Corbyn), it was refreshing to see a stale, corrupt political elite successfully challenged for the first time I can think of in my lifetime.

Con-job city

Remember that Bliar and Hopey-Changey were both absolute con-jobs whose actions completely belied their rhetoric. Trump, Brexit, Sanders and Corbyn are all focal points of popular frustration with a paradigm that looks like nothing so much as the elites withdrawing into a shining city on a hill and preparing to pull up the drawbridge.

Ordinary – or better still ‘ordinary hard-working’ – people have no place in the city. They just get to pay for the elites’ pleasures while listening to mainstream media propaganda telling them they’ve never had it so good.

Since the 1960s, the elites have worked hard at ‘perfecting’ – as they saw it – the democratic process. In essence that means ensuring that the government always gets in, whoever the people vote for. In terms of the quote above, idea is that the elites use their ‘power and wealth’ to co-opt bright young men and women as politicos and pundits. These charming flacks employ their ‘intelligence and guile’ to maintain what Joe Bageant characterised as a “hologram” in which every citizen props up an iniquitous structure in order to protect a redundant dream of personal wealth and self-actualisation.

Drink the Kool-Aid

Going back to the Abe Lincoln-attributed quote in the last post, when you’re trying to fool all of the people all of the time, you have to be very careful not to fool yourself too. Abe wouldn’t know what Flavor Aid is but he’d recognise the expression ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’ meaning to believe your own peer group’s propaganda at whatever cost to society and yourself.

Even my very thinly-populated social media stream was full of apocalyptic wails on Wednesday morning. They came from people who are white, middle class and, generally, close enough to the shelter of the city on the hill not to need to worry about immediate fallout from President Trump or Article 50. Yet you’d have thought black vans were already en route to their homes, loaded with government-sanctioned redneck lynch mobs.

In many cases, these reactions came from people seeing their pensions eroded, local services shut down and their children priced out of home ownership and forced into massive debt in return for an often second-rate higher education.

Not that the problems underlying those problems are fixable in the sense that real growth will come back for decades or centuries (it’s to do with net energy available to industrial civilisation). The point is that the world went through an inflection point not when American electors chose Trump this week but when it rolled over into The Long Descent somewhere between 1995 and 2005.

The folks in the city on the hill realise that the cake will slowly but steadily shrink from now on. Moreover they’ve understood why for around 20 years. Did they start a grown-up, “liberal-progressive” debate about how society might get together to find ways to mitigate the effects of its predicament?

Did they fuck. They went to war over the last remaining decent-sized stocks of oil and natural gas (high-quality energy) in the Middle East. All the while spinning out pipe dreams about self-driving cars and Elon Musk’s frankly bonkers man-on-Mars plan. The game is to prevent thinking people from thinking too hard about what’s actually happening in their own lives. And also engaging people in endless debates about which flavour of Kool-Aid ‘matters’ most – black lives, LGBT rights, Disabled Access, First Nation land rights or whatever.

Well, durrr. They all matter. But they are also being used as a smokescreen to distract everyone in the 99% from the scale of the ongoing theft of real wealth and its substitution with IOUs that the elites know they cannot honour in a resource-constrained future.

Now it seems that even the best bread and circuses that technology can provide aren’t enough. Trump and Brexit were moments when ‘ordinary hard-working’ people turned round and bit the hand that was feeding them a diet of mass media bullshit.

The shame on all of us is that we’ve gone along with it for so long that the only way for Americans to register their disgust with a democratic process systematic rigged against them was to elect a showboating huckster.

Abe never said it

As a postscript, there’s no record anywhere of Abraham Lincoln uttering the famous quip about fooling people all the time. It’s very likely the phrase was invented, long after Abe was assassinated, as an adversing gimmick to sell false teeth, tobacco and booze among many other things.

Like they say, believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

 

Good morning America, how are ya?

 

 

Yeah well, that’s a headline for tomorrow, 9th November, but everyone will be using it then.

Today a presidential candidate with a disapproval rating of 79% goes to the polls against a candidate with an 81% disapproval rating.

As Steve from Virginia said today on his blog, Economic Undertow:

“Both candidates are the products of big business. It is revealing this is the best leadership that gigantic money can buy.”

Like its rise, America’s decline is a process not an event. America peaked somewhere between the candidacies of Reagan and Trump. Who, let’s face it, have much more in common than the millions of Americans who go all dewy-eyed at the mention of Ronnie are prepared to admit.

The one a religious fantasist, the other a narcissistic fantasist. Both claiming they will make America great .… and then that “again”. Both having acquired their veneer of popular recognition via the mass media.

That’s not to say they have, or had, similar characters. Reagan was a nice enough guy who was happy enough to act as a popular frontman for the financial-media-military-industrial complex. The peaking of net energy available to industrial civilisation was coming into view and Reagan was chosen as the smiley-face puppet by the forces who believed it was “America’s” (i.e. their) Manifest Destiny to hog what was left for themselves and damn the rest of the world and the electorate’s grandkids.

Now the tide of industrial civilisation has moved into its long and difficult – well, one hopes it won’t be short and nasty – ebb phase. More people, more vehicles, more stuff and ever-higher expectations vs. less and less net energy left over to power our lifestyles once one subtracts the costs of extracting oil from sand or shale, and conducting interminable wars for access to the dwindling supply of “good stuff.”

Trump is the downslope’s black mirror of what Reagan represented on the upslope. Whereas Reagan was a genial guy with a cupboard-full of goodies to squander on a grateful electorate (albeit goodies his backers were effectively stealing from future generations), Trump is the embodiment of the 99%’s anger over their own steadily-worsening situation.

What would be funny if it wasn’t so sad/disgusting is the utter shock and surprise inside the liberal elites’ media at the spectacle of Trump giving ‘their’ candidate a run for her money (ha ha: it’s our money and she represents the people who shamelessly help themselves to it). “B-b-b-but he’s ghastly”, they stammer. “He appeals to the lowest elements in human nature, etc. etc.”

What scares the elite media is the apparent incoherence of the electors’ anger. Don’t the media work ceaselessly to reassure the people that everything is rosy; that, if readers just wish hard enough and take on enough debt, they too can have the lifestyle and aspirations peddled day in and day out by the papers?

Well to quote a quote that was wry on the way up but a hard punch in the face on the way down: “You can fool all of the people some of the time and fool some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

Trump is coming within a whisker of the White House on the back of votes from people who aren’t fooled any more. They don’t think much of Trump but they think even less of Hillary and what she represents, which is a continuation of the bullshit charade that began with Reagan, was cemented in the Clinton-Bush era and got its final insulting flourish with the crushed expectations and broken promises of that ultimate liberal elite smiley puppet, Hopey Dopey.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no conservative. I’m a card-carrying liberal of the airy-fairy Green type. Except that I’m under no illusions about the possibility of maintaining industrial civilisation on renewable energy (or that airy-fairy Green types ever get to form governments). The future is not about whether more people will be better off: it’s about how we manage with less.

The US electorate doesn’t buy the story it’s been fed by the media. The one that tells it that things are still getting better. People know the pie is shrinking and that 99% of them are paying for the elites and their media to carve a bigger slice so they don’t have to share the losses.

While the elite media staggers around in shock, however, I’m pretty sure the Deep State is already over it. DS actors have already written-off Election 2016 as a patch of bad turbulence they should have seen coming but, for whatever reason, they weren’t ready for. The DS is regrouping and realigning for Election 2020 (if not sooner), which will be very different.

I also surmise that the DS is quite divided at the moment. The status quo crowd is being dragged kicking and screaming to acceptance of the thermodynamic realities facing America. It doesn’t want to accept that it can no longer foist any old candidate ..… say a corrupt, self-serving dynastic throwback .… on the people and expect they’ll be elected with the help of the tame media.

The smart crowd is positioning for the transition to what James Howard Kunstler calls The Long Emergency:.

Whoever wins tomorrow, the next presidency will be a flailing mess that’ll make the attack of the blue meanies in Yellow Submarine look like a yoga class. The thing to watch out for will be the clean, slick, fresh-faced but hard-nosed, politician who’ll emerge with the backing of the new popular media and make the idea that it’s evening in America as palatable as Reagan made the claim that it was morning.

What new popular media? I don’t know. I guess its foundations are already being laid. It’ll look like the current popular media, but shorn of clueless idiots who don’t already understand that Trump vs. Clinton spells the end of their world as they know it.

You wouldn’t think there would be any of those left but looking at today’s agonised beatings from all corners of the UK media, a lot of pundits haven’t realised that US 2016, and Brexit for that matter, may be merely a bumpy patch as far as the Deep State goes but it’s life or death for their jobs.

So whether they find themselves cheering for Hillary tomorrow, or booing Donald, they’ll be playing a losing game. Especially if Clinton gets in, there’ll be a rump still championing the corrupt and discredited process that put her in the White House, backed by the unimaginative wing of the Deep State.

If Donald gets in then its hard to imagine what it will be like. “Berlusconi” is the only word that comes immediately to mind. A mess of a different kind to Hillary but not an existential disaster either. And crucially, a mess that will be much easier for the “progressive” wing of the Deep State to exploit.

Good evening America, how are ya?

Gold divers and diazepam pens

What’s up with the world today?

Bread and circuses news: ‘Britain’ ‘won’ three gold medals in Rio yesterday. Actually, it was three people representing Britain … in a sense … who won three medals. In that they are young, fit and committed, they aren’t exactly representative of me or most people I know, none of whom took the time to watch them. Nevertheless, this news is wall-to-wall on every news website and dead tree outlet. You’d think we were insecure or something.

Running out of tunes news: Ed Sheeran, whoever he is, is being sued for plagiarising a Marvin Gaye track. Maybe we’re just running out of good tunes. Wasn’t there someone in the 18th century who went mad worrying about that?

Hillary health news: Some people are worried about Mrs Clinton’s brain function. On top of more-than-slightly odd behaviours on camera, the potential next leader of the free world appears to be accompanied by a minder with a diazepam pen. That’s used to treat fitting and mini seizures. Hope she’s all right. It’s a bit more of an important question than who’s best at falling gracefully from a 3m diving board. But for whatever reason the mainstream media won’t ask it.

Purple-faced news: Surveyors are saying that UK house prices paused for breath in July. It was Brexit, not the fact that the pool of buyers able to stomach stratospherically high prices is drying up. Yeah, right. Prices will soon be rising again, surveyors assure us. Could that be people whose fees are a percentage of their valuations talking their own book? Yes or yes?

Pushing on a string news: While athletes born and trained in Britain were winning athletic events at an athletic tournament in Brazil, the Bank of England was missing its bond-buying target in the latest round of QE. Seems the pension funds, at whose desperate plight this money printing bonanza is directed, inconsiderately failed anticipate the event and allowed their top people to go on holiday. In August. Can you imagine that? Your money. Safe in their hands.

Dreadful news: Tens of thousands of Nepalis are still living in squalid conditions a year after the earthquake. On top of muddle and corruption among officials, victims have been hit by an economic blockade imposed by India.

Helicopter hyperbole news: One paper is calling yesterday’s helicopter incident in Wales “The miracle touchdown”. No it wasn’t. There was a mechanical problem. The pilot set down safely on an open moor. Everyone got out before fire took hold and destroyed the aircraft. The story doesn’t even attempt to justify the headline. Which is par for the course these days.

Safe in their hands news: Hospitals in Middlesex, Devon, Lancashire and Shropshire are considering shutting A&E departments for lack of funds. They haven’t got enough staff. Their costs are rising faster than their incomes. But staff are the biggest cost and staff numbers are falling. So where’s the money going? Ah, that would be all those back-end-loaded PFI deals. Hospitals are getting what Tony Blair got paid for.

Habit of a lifetime news: Hard to believe it but the BBC is actually going to try to stop presenting misleading statistics. I know, I know. Some people think that is the BBC’s job. It says here that presenters will be urged to tell us when there’s no evidence to back up a claim, instead of giving us a “he said/she said” debate between two competing spokesmen. Three-quarters of stats from politicians quoted in BBC news stories come from the governing party, too. Will this be the end of meaningless tit-for-tat interviews instead of proper news analysis? Unlike the housing market I’m not holding my breath.

Green news: It was algae what done it. Turned the Olympic diving pool green. “Harmless” claim the organisers after the filtration system broke. “Not so sure about that,” says a tight-lipped spokesman for the UK Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group.

Vetus causa bellandi news: They’ve found a British steamship sunk in an arctic river in Russia. It sank 140 years ago and regional media say its the discovery of the year. Elements in Washington are hoping to find an excuse to start a war with Mr Putin over the loss of the vessel.

Clutching at straws news: Utterly aghast at having to live with a Republican presidential candidate they neither own nor control, America’s elite are going all out to diss Donald. His badly-phrased comment on the power of the gun lobby was immediately seized on as a thinly-veiled incitement for #2A-ers to assassinate his rival. Now that a day has gone by, the papers feel able to drop the scare quotes around “assassinate” and proceed as if that’s what he specifically said. While they studiously ignore the issue of Clinton’s physiological brain functions.

Red relations and green water

So what’s new in the world?

Big news: Theresa May says its time to repair relations with Russia. That’s sticking it to A LOT of people, here and especially in the US. How the UK right wing media, who’ve been dutifully following the neocon line these past years, will take it remains to be seen.

Little news: The Olympic diving pool in Rio turned soupy green overnight. Global warming? Bad plumbing? A spell?

Bad news: Trump ‘jokingly’ hints that good ol’ boys might exercise their gun rights to ‘stop’ Hillary. As The Donald is the candidate most likely to be ‘stopped’ that way by Dark Forces from deep in the state, it’s hardly a funny line. Anyway, everyone knows that Clinton couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything to upset gun owners.

Chew news: Dogs in Britain are getting less fertile for the same reason as Californian condors are. It’s their diet, which is increasingly laden with toxins from the environment. Who’s next? People? That’s what the stories are saying.

Painful news: A hospital in Lincolnshire may have to close its A&E at night. One in Liverpool is planning to stop routine operations and axe its IVF programme. Staffing and funds are at the root of the problems. Actually, that’s more or less the same thing. No money, no staff. No-one’s saying so but the hot money would have to be on PFI repayments sucking the life out of the Trusts running them. No wonder those shadowy financiers gratefully funnel so much money to Tony.

Saucy news: HP Sauce is the favourite brand of Brexit voters. They also like Bisto, Birds Eye, Cathedral City and Richmond sausages (is the last one a brand?). Remain voters like BBC.co.uk, iPlayer, Instagram, Spotify,  London Underground, AirBnB, Virgin Trains and EasyJet. Obvious conclusion: Brexiteers are salt of the earth types, though probably somewhat prone to body odour. Remainers are masochistic, narcissitic  metropolitanites with their heads in the Cloud. Less obvious conclusion: remainers’ brand choices are ”progressive, up to date, visionary, innovative, socially responsible [EasyJet???], intelligent.”  You’d never have guessed that the conclusions were drawn by a bunch of metropolitan ad-men and the story appeared on BBC.co.uk

Tippy-toes news: Will Young is the second celebrity to make the line up for Strictly Come Dancing. No, I don’t know what any of that means. Nor the name of the first celebrity.

Repent at leisure news: More than a third of recent graduates regret having gone to uni. Reason? A bucket-load of student debt to pay off (average £44,000) and jobs that give them an average monthly disposable income of £160. Funny how the media that’s endlessly cheered for universal student debt, sorry, degrees for all, is all of a sudden discovering what a complete crock Tony’s companion debt-wheeze to PFI was bound to turn into.

Quis custodiat? news: Yesterday all the stories were about the Competition and Markets Authority giving the banks a hearty slap over their treatment of customers. Today, everyone’s suddenly discovered that it amounts to little more than a loud ‘tut’. Needless to say, the job of policing banks’ better behaviour has been left with … the banks.

Who that? news: Charles W Sweeney. Now, if I’d written Paul Tibbett, people would have got it easily. Yesterday was the anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki. It would have been tomorrow but the weather forecast was apparently bad. Sweeney flew the plane –  whose name no-one remembers either.

Shouty Americans news: Trump is reckless and not qualified to be a US president, say republicans. Apparently that means he’s not a complete two-faced puppet of corporate interests who’ll go back on all his promises as soon as he’s elected. Anyway, aren’t all the Republican high-ups promising to vote for Hillary?

We’ll never hear the last of this news: Tesla driver gets chest pains. Puts car in ‘auto pilot’ mode and it drives him 20 miles to hospital. He’s treated for a dangerous blood clot. Fans of autonomous cars will be all over that one like a rash. Anyone want to give me £60k to buy a Tesla?

Turn back 10 pages news: Tomorrow’s graduates will be applying for jobs working in virtual worlds and outer space, according to ‘experts.’ Future careers will include Virtual Habitual Designers, Ethical Technology Advocates, Space Tour Guides (I kid you not, these people will “use their knowledge to construct visits to the more interesting parts of Earth’s orbit”), and Personal Content Curators. The latter will manage software-brain interfaces, organising thoughts and memories for fellow graduates who are too busy spending their meagre £160 monthly disposable income and worrying about their student debt to think for themselves.