Monday 23 January 2006

Lottery Therapy

I bought a lottery ticket yesterday.

I rarely buy lottery tickets. Clearly, the odds of winning are ridiculously slim so a lottery, to me, isn't about winning. No, what a lottery does is give you a few delightful days of fantasies about being really, really, wealthy.

You're not going to win so make the best of those fantasies. That's really what you've paid for. The right to a fantasy that just might come true. Once you get past the many hedonistic fantasies, you can start thinking about what you really want and value. And when you don't win, you can start thinking of other ways to get where you'd like to go. I should write a book about it and call it Lottery Therapy.

The EuroMillions draw is for £100 million this Friday. Ridiculous jackpot isn't it? But, hey, great fantasy material!

Thursday 12 January 2006

Iran's Nuclear Stance

I've been watching with some bemusement the debacle over Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology. I'm inclined to side with Iran.

As I see it, for better or worse, the current principle is that nations have the right to develop whatever technologies they want despite whatever risks they entail (nuclear, genetic, nano, etc).  A nation does this within any treaties and restrictions it has signed up to with other nations. The caveat, however, is that weapons development which threatens regional security can attract sanctions and worse.

Iran has the right under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) to develop a nuclear fuel cycle under inspection. Would I trust them not to develop nuclear weapons. Nope! Of course not. But they still have the right to develop nuclear energy technologies.

The West proved very well that you just have to get past the bouncer at the door and once you're inside the nuclear club, everything is OK. India and Pakistan were welcome with open arms after their nuclear tests. You can only join the club by deception. It's a losy way to control technology.

What irks me is the "haves" controlling the "have-not wannabee's". Shouldn't there be a broader consensus on how dangerous technologies get developed and controlled? Genetic-modification is seriously dangerous. Nanotechnology can be too. Human cloning could be nightmarish. Is the club of nations that develop these technologies the ones who get to control them?

Monday 9 January 2006

Skiing Mount Washington

We arrived back home yesterday. Thanks to everyone who hosted and fed us! As usually, it was great visiting everyone but wish we had more time.

The ski trip to Mount Washington went well. Enough snow fell just before we arrived on the Monday to open most of the runs. In fact, a blizzard kept us indoors on Tuesday (although Jenny did brave it for her lesson) and a 24hr power outage kept us in the dark on Wednesday. Altogether, I managed to get in three good days of skiing without too many body aches. The picture is me at the top of Mount Washington on Thursday. It's absolutely beautiful up there. The kids did well. K* was very enthusiastic and managed to ski down a blue run. R* was much more cautious. Unfortunately, Jenny seems to have cracked a rib but isn't quite sure how she did it!