When not otherwise engaged as a Royal Marine helicopter pilot, it gave me great pleasure to play with clouds. I particularly enjoyed finding one of those nice big fluffy ones you see floating around on sunny days - quietly minding their own business surrounded by clear blue sky.
I would fly above it and then enter auto-rotation (disengage the engine from the rotors - like pressing the clutch pedal) and silently float down through the white mist - suddenly popping out below and seeing the world spread out before me. Everything seemed to be fresh and clear after the quiet, white ghostlyness of the cloud.
I have just had a similar experience on returning home after spending time in a small remote village in Scotland - celebrating my mother's ninetieth birthday. Being on the road for a few days combined with last century dial-up technology is a good way to not know what is going on.
I felt completely out of touch and noticed how little information you get from the mainstream media (MSM), particularly the BBC, and how poorly informed television and radio news journalists seem to be. For example in discussions about Iran there would be criticism of the country because it's head of state is the unelected head of a religious order with political influence - ooh! the delicious irony of Betty, our own dear Queen comes to mind.
Nor would there be any mention of the ISOG group in the Pentagon, working to create regime change in Iran (just like Iraq?) or the 2005 authorisation by Bush of money for black ops, also reported here and here.
Economic news gets the same treatment. I heard financial commentators talking about the possibility of slipping back into a 'W' shaped recession. 'Slipping back'?!! Britain is still in recession - or rather, to be accurate, the west is in the early stages of depression. Check out this report from Sprott Asset Management and this interview with Morgan Stanley's vice president for Asia - where he tramples all over the 'green shoots' nonsense. (Both these come via ZeroHedge - a superb blog site for economic perspectives and insider views on the markets.)
I can't leave the subject of clouds without a dig at 'Cloud Computing' - Microsoft have recently added their weight to the bandwagon. Simply put, the idea is to out-source your basic infrastructure activities (!) such as email, platform, security etc.
Computer Weekly has an eight-point guide for migrating to Cloud Computing. It begins with the benefits, saying: 'On the face of it cloud computing has a compelling case, at least for the firms accountants' (my italics). If the main benefit is to the accountants that almost certainly means it will be an expensive, time consuming diversion and of little benefit to the enterprise.My own experience of clouds is that when you are in the middle of one you can not see very far and have no idea of what is going on around you! Great for meditation and withdrawal - but in a fast changing, chaotic world, you are likely to be hit by something coming out of the blue!
Posted by Nicholas Moore 12:38:05 pm