With the great respect due to the people who’ve dedicated their lives to saving coral reefs, the old approaches don’t work. The high mass of pollutants, climate change, and general “commuting between disasters” can’t do the job.
Case in point – Our Great Barrier Reef. Inaction and incomprehension have been the catalysts for failure. The Crown of Thorns starfish plague, for example, has rarely been under sustained attack. It’s been a problem since the 1960s, and it’s still a problem now. 50 years of dithering has done incredible damage to the reef, as much as bleaching, according to some estimates.
The Crown of Thorns is not invincible; it’s a very high volume problem but not invulnerable. It’s a big area, but not an inaccessible area or anything like inaccessible. Any form of removal will do some good.
Use “marine vacuums” to harvest as many Crown of Thorns as possible. This is quicker, cheaper, and highly efficient, not requiring as many divers or as much time as other options. These marine vacuums are basically the same as vacuum cleaners. A decent size capacity could remove the starfish before their breeding cycle, throwing a few spanners in the population issue. An older ship with enough room could be used as an incinerator. Turn the starfish in to nutrients for the Reef. Fair enough, surely.
Attack the starfish larvae. These things breed in huge numbers. Any method of attacking the larvae and throwing the repopulation cycle out of whack is at least worth trying. Doesn’t matter if you use a kid with a butterfly net or a lot of artificially bred micro predators, this is a serious weak spot in the Crown of Thorns life cycle.
Sterilize the bastards. There must be some way of trashing their ability to reproduce. This method has been used on land, but not at sea, to my knowledge. If it works, the Crown of Thorns has been crippled at its most dangerous point.
One thing I must add – The pattern seems to be that every new environmental problem is instantly put in to the Too Hard Basket for reasons of:
Cost, which is a fraction of the losses caused by degradation of our leading tourist attraction, and marine powerhouse for fish populations.
Scale, as though the size of a problem means “do nothing”.
Resources and failure to allocate resources in a timely way.
Political ignorance and cronyism, however irrational.
This is a book I did a while back about Australia’s self-inflicted problems. I don’t have a political ideology, because politics is obsolete. To have “Buckley’s chance” in Australian slang means to have no chance at all. No coincidence.
This pattern of failure must end. This is NOW an expensive problem because previous admin failed to deal with issues promptly.
The bottom line here, and the only show in town is to wipe the Crown of Thorns out. This problem should have been solved in the 60s. There are no excuses for not doing so now.
The Australian “ethnic” summary – Any obstruction from Bogan third armpits can be ignored, or preferably beaten to a pulp. This is a fixable disaster, and fixed it must be. Then we can get on with the plastics, bleaching, and the greedy ignoramuses causing the disasters.
This is a book I did a while back about Australia’s self-inflicted problems. I don’t have a political ideology, because politics is obsolete. To have “Buckley’s chance” in Australian slang means to have no chance at all. No coincidence.
The Theory of Relativity has been around for a long time now. It’s a sacred cow of physics, and many of its basic tenets have been proven. There’s an issue, though. If nothing can go faster than the speed of light, how do you get C2, which not only increases the value of C, but actually multiplies it by itself?
The irony is that this is the best proven of the Theory of Relativity’s rules. It works. It predicts yields in nuclear detonations.
At the risk of being pedantic, however:
Either C can be modified or it can’t.
If C is the limit of acceleration, C2 is out of the question.
Conversion of matter to energy isn’t an answer, if C is the limit.
How can C be the limit, if C2 is the integral dynamic function?
How can C be the limit, if C2 is the energy conversion integer?
No, this is NOT a trick question. I don’t know how to rationalize this obvious, if perhaps explicable, conundrum. Maybe there is a mathematical explanation, but if so, it’s been conspicuously ignored. Or maybe the question just hasn’t been asked? Either way, there’s a C+ involved without much further information.
Light is the observable part of the spectrum. If something is travelling faster than light, it’s not observable in that context. The spectrum, in fact, is largely invisible. UV and IR light aren’t visible. They were only discovered relatively recently, and have since proven to be universal aspects of light affecting life on Earth.
So it follows that anything above C is a hit or miss observation. Gamma rays travel a bit faster than light. It takes a lot of work to detect them although they’re quite common.
Consider how speeds and movement are currently defined:
Red shift – Going away from point of observation.
Blue shift – Coming towards point of observation.
I’d like to propose, relative to C2 and related dynamics:
White shift? Highest observable spectral form of C and above, heading towards observation point.
Black shift? Outside observable spectral form of C and above heading away from observation point.
Bottom line – To hell with theory, it’s facts that matter. If C2 is the key to higher energy levels and electromagnetic behaviour, the door is long overdue to be opened. 100 years is quite long enough to bask in any equation.
I was raised in a very Anglo home. I read P.G. Wodehouse, Jerome K. Jerome, Aldous Huxley, Orwell, you name it, with real enthusiasm. It was “England” to me, incarnate. The English mindset may be insular, etc., but it’s highly evolved. It knows how to express itself.
The England of my grandparents which found itself running an Empire was nether altruistic per se, or naïve per se. It was reflective, and innovative in some odd, but practical ways. It was also highly articulate. It had its own aesthetics, and genuine, if all over the shop, values.
England as an idea is a collection of people of deep roots. Those deep roots may be many things, and almost unique in their local forms, but they speak a language which is mutually understood on many levels.
The minds which created the Empire were a mix of Tudors and Drakes, Adam Smith, and pure business. The East India Company was a virtual empire unto itself, but still connected to the English metier. Opium wars and Jardines may come and go; the idiom remains.
Includes useful information on How To Be English. Insufferable, eh?
An empire based on sheer gall, as the original British Empire was, is inventive by nature as well as by necessity. The tiny little Royal Navy was able to fight its way in to global supremacy, using a unique perspective. It was no accident that the Royal Navy happened to be an effectively invincible force at the times of Napoleon and Hitler.
The most basic idea of England, the island nation, made the Royal Navy a natural first choice of weapon. If your interests are overseas, you must have a navy, and a good one. America would probably be still a member of a very different world if not for the Townshend Acts and a rather unfortunate incumbent monarch.
You could argue that England, left to itself, without the foreign complications, would have continued to pursue its own best interests to this day. World War 1 was an unnecessary obscenity leading to World War 2, a necessary obscenity, but an expensive one. Without those two wars, the British Empire, with its built-in Englishness, would still probably exist, in whatever form.
England was one of the first truly cosmopolitan modern nations, despite itself. “Foreign” has never been a recommendation in England, even if you’re an importer. It’s “there”, not “here”. That’s a mistake on its part. “Here”, by definition, is good. Anywhere else, therefore, isn’t.
Being cosmopolitan didn’t mean in any sense adopting culture; it meant reacting to it. The English sense of superiority, like most of its kind, was based on historical superiority, not some mere bits of relevant information.
It’s odd how the English mindset and those of Imperial China overlapped, even when at war with each other. The culture of England, like that of China, was paramount; it defined the superior. The Chinese thought foreigners barbarians. For the English, simply not being English was quite enough information to denigrate anyone or anything.
Yet – England has produced some of the finest ideas in history. The English mind may not be patentable, but it is interesting. The Industrial Revolution started in England. So did computing, anti-slavery, mental health care, and virtual, if not quite literal, encyclopaedia of other modern ideas.
Those ideas are now globally accepted. The little island, with all its accents, was nevertheless the cornerstone of true modernisation in so many ways. A tide of English personalities, a few Scots and Irish, but on the English stage, changed the world. England was a miniature of what the USA became in the 20th century.
Culture is one of the worst defined of all terms. According to Google, a culture is:
The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
That hardly begins to describe a living society, which is acting continuously in millions of different context. A culture, by definition, is a living thing. It may not be much of a living thing, but it acts like a living thing, trying to survive and prosper.
The innovations of England were always a form of some practical management; call it greed, call it culture, call it literature; they all came from the same organism.
…Which is why this current pathetic, inward-looking mindset is inherently anti-English. Leaving the EU is as much cosmetic as anything else. Foreigners are inevitable; whether you’re in their club or not doesn’t really matter. The English can always take or leave “there” and its peculiarities.
What matters isn’t the relationships; it’s the benefits. What profit is derived from what is now looking like a petulant, badly managed exercise in cutting one’s own throat? Melodrama, let alone on the world stage, isn’t the English way.
A quiet word, preferably meaningful, is more the preferred English style. One doesn’t have to personally outrun a horse on the race track; one can simply nobble it or beat it in the betting market, or even the breeding market.
England vs Small Ideas
Big ideas do better when not encumbered by small ideas. Being lumbered with pedantry isn’t only annoying, it’s unprofitable. So Brexit, in its ponderous self-importance, is neither here nor there. Lousy navigation, to say the least.
The EU and Brexit are an example of appalling little minds. The EU is a platform. It’s just the stage, not the performers or the play. It’s floorboards, not Falstaff. It’s what you put on that platform that matters. The play’s definitely the thing. It’s also what draws in the audience, and the money.
A more English approach would be accommodating to the point of being comatose, while diligently paddling one’s own canoe somewhere worth going. Why get out of bed, simply to announce you’ll next be throwing yourself out the window?
…Particularly when you have no intention of doing either, given half a chance. Perfidious Albion has a terrible, and thoroughly deserved, reputation, but it also has a reputation for success and intelligence. The English way is to be elegantly enigmatic, superior in assumed social class, but absolutely unfathomable when it’s anything important.
The lack of subtlety and incisive initiative in Brexit and this rather sloppy range of inverse domestic policies is decidedly un-English. Not only are these things much too melodramatic; they don’t work.
Silence and achievement go well together. An enigma is much more respected than a babbling gossip of one’s least impressive issues. A silent response is not only more subject to misinterpretation, but impossible to contradict. Deception is based on misinterpretation, and if someone else is doing the misinterpreting, it’s less effort on your part.
England is a mentality. It may grow actual and social bluebells, and good luck to it, or the true classic English gardens, madly overgrown but truly beautiful. You see why England cannot be grown by fools, particularly noisy fools.
Revenge porn is nothing new. It’s tacky, it’s nasty, and it’s pretty damn cruel. What could be new is the legal situation – CAN YOU SUE if someone publishes a sex video of you? A lot of people would say that you should be able to. The good news for the damaged is that there are some legal precedents.
Sex tapes can be brutal, and bizarre in many ways. Hulk Hogan’s famous Gawker sex tape was as weird as it gets. He sued and destroyed Gawker, no loss to the world, for what was basically sex tape publishing.
The major deal here is the publishing angle. Doing a private sex tape is your business. Publishing someone else’s sex tape isn’t your business. It’s a clear privacy violation. In some cases, it could even be a criminal act.
The reason for this blog is another wrestler’s sex tape train wreck. Paige is a WWE icon, and a true-DNA wrestler. It’s literally in her blood, and apparently her mother was wrestling with Paige while she was pregnant. You can’t get a lot more authentic than that.
After a long haul to the top at a young age, Paige got hit with the full force of cyber bullying, the public embarrassment, and the massive shock of an unexpected global publicity debacle. Few people can get up at all after something like that, but she’s fighting on.
Publication of this sex tape was a gratuitous, bloody unkind, thing to do. This was a tape of Paige pre-fame, and let’s face it, people tape sex every day without it ruining their lives and threatening their career and sanity.
Suddenly, thanks to antisocial media, it was a global news event. Most media organizations don’t bother with tacky sex videos, even if it is someone famous. They don’t need sleaze. Social media, however, isn’t like that. It’s a black hole of tat, and it’s big business for these sites. There’s a lot of money in this crap.
I don’t care how you cut it – This IS malicious exploitation of the victims. It’s money for smut. A person who’d get a fortune for a nude photo shoot gets hell for a video, and somebody else profits? Come off it.
This is another side to the legal angles. Why should any publisher benefit from a nasty, quite possibly illegal, use of a sex tape? Hogan’s case made a very important point – It’s NOT legally OK to publish these things, in so many ways.
So – The legal issues relate to the potential for damage. Hulk Hogan famously got removed from the WWE roster for a remark on an old tape that nobody in the business took seriously. Paige wasn’t even born when Hogan hit the big time, but she’s a major name. The potential for career damage couldn’t possibly have been missed when her sex video was published.
Publishers are supposed to know better. They do. Even one word, or one allegation, which might be defamatory or do high dollar value career damage, is treated like a live IED – But a sex video, which is no major asset to any high profile female, isn’t?
WRONG. It is. There’s no getting away from that very basic fact. There should be a prima facie legal status for these nasty little videos, based on that fact.
Nor should the horrendous effect on the victims be ignored. Check out this interview by the very professional Lillian Garcia and see how grim this was for Paige. Talk about “mental anguish”; this kid did go through hell. Think there might be some damages in any normal legal case? Damn straight.
The voice of youth may be a tired phrase, but it’s an important concept. A generation of doormats has no voice. If such a generation now exists, it’s a serious problem.
I refuse to believe that younger people have no opinions. That’s certainly not my experience. Even the “sadly educated” have at least a few ideas of their own.
The current under 20s generation, as seen in media and tedious loudmouthed social media, seems to be a video game addicted collection of aspiring corporate corpses? Is Big Bang Theory or some excruciating bit of “entertainment” all anyone can think of to do with youth? If so, it’s a real insult.
How did that happen? Don’t people take the under 20s seriously? If not, why not? This is the generation which will be fighting the next wars, getting lumbered with a tech economy in which old style careers and jobs will be impossible, and from the look of it, largely broke and struggling to make ends meet.
This is a true future disaster in progress, and the possible answers to those questions are hardly reassuring. “Reasons” for not taking the younger generation seriously may include:
They’re broke: Therefore they’re not economically relevant, and have little if any real social clout. Try that on a spreadsheet. Talk about a no chance scenario.
They can’t influence an economy and a society they can’t access: True of the chronically poor since the beginning of recorded history, and a great way to effectively discard an entire generation.
They have no political muscle: Wrong, but expedient, this view of the younger generation is basically lazy. They will have some sort of political clout, but it’ll be handicapped by the above points, which will also be their main areas of political interest.
They’re “dumb”: This very cynical view means that younger people are stuck with the image of how things work. They’re not criminals (yet, no thanks to this thinking) they’re not corrupt, and they take things on trust, like most young people. Therefore they’re idiots? Shaky logic, but look how little is done to inform them. The most communicative generation in history is being fed garbage.
They’re sick: This toxic wasteland of an environment makes people sick. Being sick is “wrong”. Therefore the young, if sick, are bad people. Particularly if they miraculously can’t afford treatment. So it’s all their fault.
They’re obstructed by employment factors: Since some collection of morons decided people should work all the way to the grave, promotions and opportunities have been reduced for younger people. That’s their fault, too.
They’re media-dependent: Another very wrong view. That’s what they said about the 60s generation, and look what happened. That generation made its own culture, because the mainstream culture was too insane. The modern generation ARE at a disadvantage, stuck with crap in incredible amounts, but it IS crap. You can’t live on crap forever.
If this collection of “reasons” is making you puke, imagine how living it feels. If there is a “voice of youth” muttering around under all this filth, it must be doing a lot of swearing.
What “voice of youth”?
So what would you call a “voice of youth”? Instagram? Selfies to the point of death? Facebook, with its paid collection of psycho trolls? Rap? Rock? Idiotic movies full of people shooting each other? Some youth culture you’ve got there, Grandma.
Instagram is a brief attention span, low value, visual thing. Facebook is a social medium for older people. Twitter is X characters of spleen or wit, depending on your perspective.
My books are set in the England of the immortals, not some dreary little off license. Wonder why? No.
Rap and rock are both over 40 years old. “Youth” has nothing to do with it, particularly when rap and rock are both obsessing over irrelevances. Nobody gives a damn about some gangsta or hairstyle whining about everything. Whining is easy; it’s getting somewhere that’s difficult. That culture is dead and it goes nowhere anyway. It’s also avoidable, and to their credit, most younger people can take it or leave it, and they do.
The fact is that there is no place for a voice of youth. This is a middle class morgue of values, imposed on youth. If the poor bastards are glued to their phones, it’s because they have very few other places to go.
The pity of it is that this generation is quite articulate, when it gets a chance, which is almost never. Even allowing for the day care version of the arts we have now, they can be very interesting, if able to get a word in.
The voice of youth is getting drowned out by the senile babblings of a society from the past. Geriatric politics, corporate wanking, you name it, it has more coverage and more space than it deserves, at the expense of youth. That’s a damn high cost.
The environment and the voice of youth, sort of
One area where the younger generation is getting somewhere, with some natural justification, is the environment. Kids usually react to any environment in which they grow up as “normal”. This hellhole of a planet, however, as it now is, (it really wasn’t) is getting plenty of attention. They’re not treating it as normal, but something to be fixed, which is quite right.
That, of course, instantly conflicts with the established apathy and stupidity of these times. It’s a very good sign that younger people are involved with the environment, and not just because of the environment. The conflict will also help to spell out other conflicts, like careers, money, jobs, and the rest of the dysfunctional, hopelessly incompetent mess this generation is entering. To fight this is to fight the war that needs fighting, against the dehumanization of humanity. The option is to win. Should work, too, given the ineptitude of this society, which can never defend against the new and fun.
Inventing a voice of youth
If you were to invent a new voice of youth, it would have to be well outside the shabby, boring, predictable, cardboard box which modern media provides. It would have to be crowd-social-accessible-acceptable, without the ancient garbage. It would also have to be sourced entirely from younger people, even if some older people would like to help. (If you’re older, be helpful but peripheral; youth is sacred, not to be intruded upon.)
One thing this generation has proven is that it’s quite happy to leave the garbage behind. Finding points of access seems to be a strong suit for a generation living in a barely functional museum, and it may well find the voice and the way out for the voiceless.
In what must be the most cringe-worthy, cowardly, bit of infantile peer pressure since day care, men feel less macho when it comes to the environment and being eco-friendly. Aww…. Diddums?
This truly dire finding of boyish spinelessness comes to you courtesy of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. It was an odd survey they did, but an interesting one, despite the findings. Seems everyone, including women, sees the environment as a feminine thing. Being eco-friendly, therefore, makes you less of a guy? How?
How simple-minded can you get? Even allowing for not-very-dazzling intellects and personalities:
May I point out to any alleged males having an identity crisis on this subject – Exactly how much less of a guy you could be, in conforming mindlessly to such a banal, truly stupid, view of the environment, is debatable.
I don’t know where you guys rent your testosterone, (same place you get your social skills?) but you’re obviously getting a supremely inferior product.
Environment? What environment? This one, idiots.
In the days of hunting for a living, and trying not to get killed by the “effeminate” environment, the view was very different. It was undisputed proof of manhood to survive that environment. Survival was very tough. Many tribes around the world had solo survival ordeals. If you failed, you were no loss to anyone, including yourself.
Let’s check out the state of play:
Now, so far from brave, almost suicidal, real hunters, we have weaklings using super powered weapons pretending to be hunters shooting sedated lions, giraffes, and calling it macho? It’s not. It’s cowardice incarnate. (To start with- How could you miss, and how could you be in any real danger from these truly stuffed animals?)
You pathetic lost hairstyles are calling yourselves men? You’re macho? How? With what? Your endless two year old egos? How can having an opinion about the environment make you less of a man, unless by your own actions?
Does wanting a decent, exciting, and sometimes dangerous place to live make you less of a man? How the hell would you know? It’s not like you’ve ever got out of your suburban bassinet, is it?
Does living in a global stinking, mismanaged criminal sewer make you a man? You seem to think it does. That says more about you than you may ever understand.
Does taking time off from grovelling to everyone and everything make you a man? It might, but you won’t, will you? If you’re too damn scared to even have your own opinions about the environment, who cares? You obviously don’t qualify as male.
Some media peasant/ dunghill dweller says the environment – the thing you depend on for survival – is “feminine” and “for losers”, and you simply agree? Wow, are you a waste of space.
This survey has exposed a flaw in male psychology and survival skills which seems to be getting as bad as the 80% drop in male fertility, caused by environmental mismanagement. A mere word scares you and threatens your manhood? Running away is a survival skill, but when it comes to the environment, there’s nowhere to run.
So – Fuck ye off mightily and far away, O “sons” of weakness, and don’t come back. Don’t call yourselves men. You don’t have the right.
Please note:Copyright ownership for music below belongs to respective artists and distributors. These materials are referenced here in accordance with the principles of Fair Use, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Progressive rock has been mythologized in to some sort of musical statue since the 60s and 70s. It’s now seen as something it never was, and that’s not helping modern musicians progress.
Be warned –This is avery long blog, for which there will be no apologies. Music is a very personal subject to me, so excuse a few catty-but-sincere remarks. I’ve included some videos to ensure a healthy sense of being browbeaten. Continue reading →
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? It’s only when you realise the extent of the corruption that the seeming insanities of governments become much easier to understand. The finance sector, that fabulous retreat from reality, is a good case. Price manipulation, in particular, in which massive moves in prices up and down don’t seem to affect profitability, is a case in point.
The finance sector has an advantage in government terms. The weak little political gerbils may not understand anything else, but they were raised to give priority to money, rather than people or logic. Money dictates everything and promotes corruption. That’s one of the reasons for the big collateral damage to societies in terms of acceptance of poverty at every level of government.
Poverty is humanity’s oldest and worst enemy. Corruption has a lot to do with poverty. A corrupt society, doing everything wrong for corrupt purposes, can’t/won’t manage poverty, let alone end it. Corrupt governments, meaning basically all of them, barely even mention poverty. Continue reading →
Who are the fools who are adding any number of procedures and steps to basic processes? A basic upload or download is core business for everyone. If you do as much work as I do, it’s very hard to appreciate the extra steps.
I was just using Shutterstock’s new mega size pictures. Hadn’t used them before, and wanted to resize. So; try to resize, and what do I get? A dialog box, telling me to do something with the client’s license, which I can’t, and wouldn’t, do.
The extra steps story
The extras DO affect productivity:
Download time matters. Long downloads of ridiculously oversized pictures for basic online publishing are absurd at best, infuriating at worst, and totally counterproductive. The need is Click/Done/Next job.
There is no working theory which supports the need for multi-MB sized pictures. Shutterstock has prospered happily without these monster-sized non-events. Why start now?
It took me over an hour to do a job which should have taken no longer than 15 minutes.
Any theories on why this might be a bad idea? Who benefits? Not me. Not my clients. Not their clients. Not the readers. Not the people viewing the pictures. Not Shutterstock. It’s a ridiculous situation.
Now, the other serial offender, Adobe:
Fear of creativity is the sure sign that you should be a publisher. Read this, and you’ll never need homicidal maniacs again. Maybe you should also hire useless idiots to make the entire process as cumbersome as possible? Nah, could never happen in publishing, could it?
Adobe Illustrator is a pretty good overall package. It is hopelessly spoiled by endless clicking on different functions. This is another multi-step process which achieves very little at the consumption of enormous amounts of time overall. I can do 10 frames an hour on Paint.net. I’d be lucky to do 1 per day on Adobe Illustrator because it’s so damn overloaded with clicks.
I mention Adobe because Shutterstock has come up with something that looks very like Adobe in its edit screens. That reminded me of the many issues created by the “click everything” procedures of Adobe.
NOBODY needs more steps in any process. Nobody has the time to waste, except, apparently, the geniuses who invent these nuisances.
There is no commercial value to anyone in endless new procedures of any kind. Unless there’s a meaningful audit or some other value, it’s ridiculous to add more steps to any simple process.
Less politely –
Sack anyone who justifies their existence by inventing these idiocies.
Adobe, stop screwing up the world’s ideal graphics software with ridiculously complex, slow, and excruciatingly irritating, counter-intuitive, steps.
Shutterstock, kindly have sufficient respect for your clients to cease with the multi-stage downloads and these pointless extra stages of editing. Anyone can resize an image and do the dpi to their tastes. No need to add to that. Also be aware that licensees and their contractors can’t drop everything and try to figure out a new license issue.
The sheer scale of grotesque materials added to nicotine products like cigarettes and and vaping is astonishing. It’s even more astonishing when you realize these things add nothing at all to the product. It’s also absurd, and dangerous. Chemicals include arsenic, lead, and a particularly nasty, and useless, compound called Butadiene.
Why are these things tolerated in any product containing nicotine? In any other class of product, they’d be considered absurd – and illegal.
The active ingredient in tobacco and vaping is nicotine.
The tobacco plant produces the nicotine.
Tobacco plants can be cured with sugar and water, and processed without the need for any other materials.
Other materials are in effect totally unnecessary added costs.
Fear of creativity is the sure sign that you should be a publisher. Read this, and you’ll never need homicidal maniacs again.
The theory of adding chemicals to nicotine has never had a leg to stand on. The original theory/excuse for additives, adding petroleum compounds to make smokes burn better, doesn’t stack up at all.
Tobacco has been a global commodity for hundreds of years. At no time in the history of tobacco did anyone feel the need to add a vast library of chemicals to the raw product, until the 20th century.
In fairness – All consumer commodities, like illegal drugs, are usually cut or diluted with something. There are very few pure products around unless you eat them straight out of the ground.
The up to 4000 chemicals found in cigarettes are a lesson in total incompetence. The 4000 chemicals link contains some useful information from the Quit side. (With one caveat – Carbon monoxide is produced by burning anything containing carbon including wood, paper and just about any type of food; it’s a primary oxide created by burning. Plant tissues contain carbon, hence the presence of carbon monoxide in tobacco.)
My books are set in the England of the immortals, not some dreary little off license. Wonder why? No.
The point here is that NONE of those chemicals need to be there. NONE of these chemicals are in the raw product, or shouldn’t be, notably pesticides, which should be eliminated at the curing stage or by better agricultural practices, like hydroponics.
Why the hell would cyanide be a requirement? Naphthalene is used in moth balls. What’s it doing in cigarettes? Do tobacco companies have some raging need to add costs to their own production? Or is it just plain sloppy manufacturing?
Call me cynical, but I’d say that given that the original plant shouldn’t contain anything BUT plant materials, the smoking gun, excuse the pun, is squarely in the hands of the manufacturing process.
Vaping, nicotine and risks
Vaping is a game-changer. You can use pure nicotine, with no additives at all, in a safe solution like say peanut oil or something 100% harmless. This is no-brainer chemistry. It’s also no-brainer business, reducing costs and risks.
The big argument about vaping worldwide currently based on the issue of “not knowing” what’s in vaping fluids. It’s a stupid situation; there should be no doubt at all what’s in ANY consumer product at all, nor whether it’s safe. An epidemiological no-brainer, in fact.
It’s a pity that the pro and anti lobbies have been so maniacally effective in obscuring real research. Research designed to produce a pro or anti finding is highly suspect, and certainly no help to the credibility of the pro and anti arguments.
Nicotine delivery, explained
This is the case with all drugs: A delivery system should be measured, straightforward, and there should be minimal risks of contamination. Nicotine is a fast acting drug, analogous to vitamin B3, aka oxidized nicotinic acid, according to my Penguin Dictionary of Chemistry.
Hence the addictive properties of tobacco. You simply can’t get addicted to anything unless there’s a body chemistry analogue. Morphine, for example, is a close analogue to endorphins, etc. That’s why any addictive drug which also acts as a carrier for hanger-on unnecessary chemicals needs to be closely quality controlled.
The contaminated products also deliver any old thing in those 4000 sloppily manufactured chemicals, fast. It’s hardly surprising that toxicity is so high.
Therefore – It is nothing less than chronically, certifiably, insane for tobacco products NOT to have all contaminants excluded. Smokers won’t mind if their smokes or vapes aren’t full of garbage. There’s no sales resistance to a better product, after all.
(Before non-smokers get too smug – Those same 4000 chemicals are also at saturation levels in the highly polluted air. You’re smoking the equivalent of a few packs a day yourselves just by breathing. Your car puts out a fair percentile whack of the same chemicals, every X miles or so, by the kilogram, not the micrograms in cigarettes. Thanks to our irresponsible, anti-everything governments and their slack, lazy enforcement of pollution laws, you’re all now global heavy passive smokers.)
A suggestion or two about nicotine
Nicotine is historically used to relieve stress. It was actually prescribed by doctors in the mid-20th century to reduce stress. In a stress-addled world, it has a role, provided it’s safe to use. A deficiency of B3, in fact, is a medical condition called pellagra, and the symptoms of pellagra include delusions and death. So a fast delivery system for a close B3 relative might not be all bad, particularly if you don’t like delusions and death as part of your life’s itinerary.
Another issue – B3 is a water-soluble vitamin, and B3 levels are negatively affected by, believe it or not, sugar. Given the sheer toxicity of high fructose syrups, super-sugars in water-based products, (for which there are no dietary precedents in human history), maybe a B3 analogue isn’t such a bad idea, if fructose reduces B3 levels? Don’t worry, epidemiologists, I’ll charge you for this information later.
Decontaminate all nicotine products to reduce obvious risks.
Stop being coy about why nicotine is addictive.
Don’t ignore the de-stressing capabilities of nicotine; it may just be a way of doing something about this hideously stressed-out world of ours. As a medication, it may be very valuable, and more importantly, very effective, for chronic stress.
Just make it compulsory for any nicotine product to be ONLY nicotine, with no additives at all.
I’ve now been saying this for 20 years, so it’s probably due to become a public issue sometime. Moralize all you want, but chemistry is chemistry, business is business, and health is health. Just get all three right, and there should be no problems.