GOD

From http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/kulturdebatt/per-schlingmann-arbetslinjen-ar-dod-lange-leve-arbetslusten/

GOD is spelled Globalization, Urbanization and Digitizing

half of the jobs that people perform today within 20 years will be replaced by machines.

That’s a weird article. If we turned the argument around and considered that globalisation, urbanisation and digital can have positive effects, we can get away from the idea that “full employment” is a good thing. That’s a meme from the 19th Century; that the only worth is in working.

As long as the physical and emotional needs of the people are sated, it will permit them to pursue expression and intellectual activities.

So what if a job is automated away? That’s the sort of argument that turns men and women in plow-horses. We should automate everything that is practical to automate but yes, we should consider what is practical.

A&E in NI: a problem of emergent use versus public service development

I have always been fascinated by emergent development. This is the unintended design from actual use rather than the laid down design by architects or town planners.

We see this in everyday life in the development of “cow paths”.

An architect or town planner says you should walk this way? And the public use a slightly different route and that’s because the people know best. They aren’t wilfully destroying carefully coiffeured grass ways, they’re trying to get somewhere. Planners and architects need to think about this.

The same goes for public services. This is an article from BelfastLive.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 08.49.08

Just under half the people who turned up at Northern Ireland’s A&Es last year were not emergency cases, shock figures have revealed.

Statistics provided by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) also show only 14% of patients arriving at casualty units had suffered major trauma and needed immediate care.

And yet we hear nightmare stories of people being kept on trollies for hours or how our emergency medical services are completely overburdened. It’s obvious the problem is one of design, not one of staffing.

In light of this, we should be re-designing our public services to meet what the public plainly want. They want to get seen by a medical professional.

I’ve previously proposed that a better solution might be to put a paramedic station in every town, maybe built onto the side of a health centre or GP practice. Somewhere where local people can flock and always be seen in an emergency. The current system of A&E and Out of Hours GP plainly isn’t working so we have to start to think smarter. If every large business tends to have a first-aider on every floor, why doesn’t every town have an emergency station?

The naming of the place is important too. What may be a sprain to you or me, is a break in the mind of someone who is hurt. It has to be described as the place you go when you have a medical emergency and the definition of emergency is entirely subjective.

Remembering… Northern Ireland in 1998

As I parked my car yesterday, I caught the eye of a middle-aged woman standing waiting nearby. In a typical “up-the-country” Northern Irish accent, she blurted out “I hope your car is okay, the wee skitters have taken mine.” Her frustration was palpable.

I was reminded of the weeks leading up to the Good Friday Agreement and I remember my girlfriends car being stolen. We were parked outside a friends house and the arrival of the police prompted a flurry of opening windows and beating the air with magazines. Two days later, on the day of the vote, the car re-surfaced with a heavy weight in the back along the Grosvenor road and was duly exploded in a controlled fashion by the Army.

I mentioned that may have happened to her car. Same time frame, same size of car (small hatch back with R plates). She shook her head and continued to tell me all of the business of the day; the make, the model, that her brother was coming to get her, that it still had R plates and the first couple of letters from the registration. I smiled politely and decided to wait until her brother arrived which he did about 2 minutes later.

I bid her goodbye and scurried across the road towards my next meeting and something made me look across the road where I spotted a small, recent model white Fiesta with R plates and the same first numbers on the registration. Of course, I did what any normal human would do and ungracefully loped back across the road, waving my arms like a lunatic to an extremely grateful lady.

Yesterday a man was also shot. There’s no doubt that as a former IRA commander and the various implications in his life that he was no innocent. And there’s no doubt that as a “community worker”, he had an army of people rallying around him. But someone walked up and shot him. I’ve heard rumours of loyalists, or republicans or drug lords or turf wars but really I’m left with this single thought.

In 1998, most of us turned out and voted for peace. And then most of us switched off again. Because we switched off, we have moved barely an inch forward from that vote and barely an inch forward from the supposed ceasefires of the past.

We have to switch back on and vote for a civic society because the alternative is a world where cars are turned into bombs and men, whatever their background, are shot in the street.