It’s been an odd week really. The BBC revealed that plants are doing quantum physics. (>http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22996054). Who knew? I don’t recall this being covered in ‘The secret life of plants’. I think my garden must be full of poets and artists because no plants have been seen “doing” quantum physics. But, they may be following the laws surreptitiously.
Then Edward Snowden revealed that secret intelligence services (UK and US) were listening in on delegates at conferences such as the G8. Who knew? Are you kidding me? Well clearly drama and fiction writers saw the potential. The Professionals a tv drama, written by Brian Clemens in late seventies, early eighties, had this as a plot line. Boss, Cowley, instructs his operatives to undertake the surveillance. Doyle replies something along the lines of ‘won’t they mind?’ To which Cowley says he rather thinks they expect it. Exactly! You can’t dismiss this as a product of the cold war era. If that example is too old, well it was also a plot line in the BBC drama ‘Spooks.’
Are Brits outraged at this revelation? Actually – no. We aren’t throwing our toys out of the cot with pompous statements such as, ‘we’re British and it simply won’t do.’ With the advent of mobile phones we are forced on trains, buses and in coffee shops to listen to the conversations of others, whether we like it or not. So I suppose we don’t find it as shocking to be caught listening to other people’s conversations.
We also have a much longer history of dealing with onshore terrorism than the USA. We see groups of individuals being brought to justice for planning terrorism and we accept we might not approve of the means of gaining the evidence, but we approve of the results. Bad guys go to jail and we are spared a terrorist attack. Given the choice between listening in and torture, well we prefer listening, you learn more.
We have been sleepwalking into the world of Big Brother for some time. (And I’m not referring to the TV show.) CCTV cameras are everywhere. (Go into a large garden centre and you will find nesting boxes for birds with CCTV!) Car number-plate cameras adorn the roadside, tracking our every move. Someone jokingly told me the other day that when a friend gave Gordon Brown a copy of George Orwell’s 1984 he thought it was a handbook. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 set out the parameters, and apart from a couple of amendments, Brits seem to be prepared to live with the compromise; safety for a lack of privacy.
Which brings me to the final secret of the week. The National Archives have declassified more documents and we find out the there have been sightings of UFO’s over the Houses of Parliament. <a href=”http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk They don’t appear to have made contact, probably they are still looking for signs of intelligence life, life that they would like to communicate with.
So let me know if you have any UFO sightings, the picture is of a banana lamb in Liverpool, further sightings should also be shared, if your plants are ‘doing’ quantum physics, and if you thing your internet slows down for GCHQ.