Archive for December, 2014

Merry Xmas and the Scrooge of Relative Deprivation

And so this is Xmas. Another year over:-

My New Year resolution is to help people who appear imprisoned by “Relative Deprivation”. This seems to strike at folk who form their impressions and comparisons in the world by what is local and around them rather than lifting their heads and looking ahead and thinking globally.

I look back at when I was a kid and we all say that we were poor but happy…and then joke that we never knew any better!! Who would know that sociologists have been trying to figure this out for 70 years!

I never realised that it was true. Until I read about the Paradox of the Happy Peasant and Miserable Millionaires:-

And then realised that somehow “society” is fuelling our sense of “grievance and envy” as we look around and see other people with easier / better/ jobs, grander/better houses, etc etc etc

But that way leads to bitterness and madness….as I found out at the end of my studying with the finding that the happiest places have the highest rates of suicide? What’s that about:-

So the Xmas message is not to worry about the bigger present or better phone or nicer clothes or perfect night out….Just do nice things for nice people.

I’ll be in the kitchen!!


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Good Drunk Drivers? 17%

The law on alcohol and driving changed at the weekend….so in fear and self loathing the car has sat in the driveway since!

It seems that 17% of breath test failures are the morning after and 40% of people have no idea they would be likely to fail

So is this change a meaningful contribution to road safety and public health or just another creeping attempt to criminalise us all?

Recall that when using a phone was made an offence in 2003 it was £30 and it was supposed to be all about education. 4 years later the fine was doubled and now it can be up to a £1000 fine and penalty points. Hardly any education and a total boost to the insurance industry where 3 points puts £100 on your insurance quote!

New limits are described here (for reference)

I have no time for drink driving; but are there bad drunk drivers and good drunk drivers? Yes!

I’ve noticed the statistic of 20 people dying every year in accidents.

Rospa details the hundreds of deaths of cyclists. Where is the priority?

The point is we need a lot more designed safety and education rather than the big blunt instrument.

Setting targets for things like driving licence crimes, such as failing to notify the DVLA of an address change just pisses people off.




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