I personally don't mind being on CCTV for example, and I wouldn't mind my DNA being held on a database. Of course, it cuts both ways. I suspect that one would be thrown out of a shop if one started filming it, and the police probably don't allow people to film them. I support the principle that if they can film you, you should be able to film them.
Anyway, Rand uses the book to promote her philisophy of objectivism. I think that the book is good, and the philosophy is interesting but not something I can really adopt. Rand says that one should always act in one's own self-interest, she abhors altruism. Well, maybe, but then she goes on to elevate the lone genius, and denigrate working as a group. This clashes with my experience of life. I often swap ideas with other people, to mutual benefit. Cooporation, that's the word. She could have kept her idea of selfishness, because cooperation is often the most selfish option.
Does the philosophy work if you're not a genius? Rand doesn't seem to think much of ordinary people, and yet the book is widely read, so we must like her! I think the hero of the story, Roark, has a particular type of personality. In fact I know someone a bit like him. It's possibly not what Rand intended, but the book kind of says it's okay to be like Roark if that's your nature. My opinion is that it was wrong of him to dynamite the building.
Reading the book prompted the question, 'does not being a genius mean you get on with people better?'. Yes, because if you have a technical skill that's very much in demand, you can get by without having to learn how to get on with people.
Donaldson has overturned my prejudices about fantasy books. I wouldn't compare him to Dostoevsky, but Donaldson deals with morality, innocence, guilt and suffering in a sophisticated way.
I've just started on a Malcolm Bradbury. Paddy shook his head when he saw it, saying despairingly, 'Tony, Tony..., that's the sort of book that old people read..'
|Issue||Tom James||Peter Fuller||David McQueen||Me|
|Local post office closures||Opposes||Opposes||I think that this is a commercial decision for the Post Office themselves.|
|Local hospital closure||Opposes||The private sector should compete to provide health care, funded by central government, with patient choice at its heart. In the meantime, I don't know whether it's right to close Trowbridge hospital or not.|
|Doorstep cardboard collection||Supports||Supports||I favour doorstep collection, together with a disposal tax on products. The current administration isn't managing to collect cardboard even at the current collection points.|
|More pedestrian crossings||Supports||Yes, as long as they're zebra crossings.|
|Affordable housing||Supports||Particularly on brownfield sites||I'd like a building area tax.|
|Hilperton Gap||Supports||Supports||I support the preservation of this green space.|
|More school places||Supports||I'd like education to be privatised, but still funded by the state.|
Actually I still don't know for whom I should vote. Okay, let's rule out Fuller because my direct experience of the conservatives' running of the cardboard recycling has been lamentable. Alright, I'll support the Green. I'm against his policy of subsidising public transport though.
I've said to West Wilts District Council:
Almost every time I take our cardboard to the recycling point (the one by Trowbridge College), the container is overflowing. This must mean that cardboard has such a low value that the District Council has to pay someone to remove it. On the other hand, cardboard must have a higher value than general household waste, otherwise there wouldn't be any point in collecting it seperately.
Therefore, by allowing the cardboard recycling bin to overflow, which means residents put cardboard in with the general waste, the District Council is increasing the council tax bill. Is this correct, or am I missing something?
I'll let you know what they say.