This was intended to be my blog page, but I never did anything with it so I've decided to repurpose it as my Andrew's top eleven lists page.

So...in an effort to put the world to right, in these fraught and troubled times, I provide the following lists as guidance.

Of course normally one would have top ten lists but, just like in Spinal Tap, these go one better and go up to eleven.

Obviously all these lists are completely definitive, 100% objective, and correctly ordered.

     

     


    General enlightenment
  1. Top eleven sci-fi movies
  2. Top eleven zombie/mutant/virus/witch movies
  3. Top eleven words
  4. Top eleven songs
  5. Top eleven great sayings

  6. Random notes
  7. Top eleven pet hates
  8. Top eleven things Linda would ban when she becomes world president
  9. Top eleven things I don't understand
  10. Top eleven important truisms
  11. Top eleven dinner party conversation topics

  12. Things we need to worry about
  13. Top eleven global problems
  14. Top eleven mega trends
  15. Top eleven bad types of people
  16. Top eleven existential risks for humanity
  17. Top eleven nuclear weapon reality checks

  18. Helpful tips
  19. Top eleven good life tests
  20. Top eleven good life top tips
  21. Top eleven ideas to save the planet
  22. Top eleven ideas to save Britain

 

 

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Top eleven sci-fi movies

  1. The Fifth Element
  2. Avatar
  3. The Matrix
  4. Aliens
  5. Bladerunner
  6. Terminator 2
  7. I, Robot
  8. Star Trek (the reboot)
  9. 2001
  10. Star Wars
  11. Back to the future
  • Honourable mentions: Deja Vu, Oblivion, Edge of Tommorrow, Cowboys and Aliens, Terminator, Alien, Alien Resurrection, Silent Running

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Top eleven zombie/mutant/virus/witch movies

  1. Resident Evil
  2. Zombieland
  3. Zombieland Double Tap
  4. Resident Evil 2
  5. Van Helsing
  6. I am legend
  7. Shaun of the Dead
  8. Hanzel and Gretel - Witch Hunter
  9. From Dusk till Dawn
  10. What we do in the shadows
  11. 28 days later
  • Honourable mentions: 28 weeks later

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Top eleven words

  1. Serendipty
  2. Paradigm
  3. Juxtaposition
  4. Narrative
  5. Symbiotic
  6. Dreich
  7. Autumnal
  8. Ethereal
  9. Deja vu
  10. Synergy
  11. Karma
  • Honourable mentions: Kangaroo; Enigmatic; Metaphor

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Top eleven songs

  1. Orinoco Flow - Enya
  2. Sugar Sugar - the Archies
  3. Aquarius - The 5th Dimension
  4. 500 Miles - The Proclaimers
  5. Shining Happy People - REM
  6. Missing - EBTG
  7. Praise you - Fatboy Slim version 
  8. Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
  9. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
  10. Good Vibrations - The Beachboys
  11. Common People - the Pulp
  • Honourable mentions: Eagle Rock - Daddy Cool

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Top eleven great sayings

  1. The more you do, the more you are
  2. Carpe Diem or, reworded as, "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart”
  3. All journeys start with the first step
  4. Actions speak louder than words
  5. Everything is hard before it is easy
  6. The only person you can change is yourself
  7. What goes around comes around
  8. Life wasn't meant to be easy
  9. That which doesn't kill you, makes a great story
  10. <guest slot>
  11. <guest slot>
  • Honourable mentions:

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Top eleven pet hates

(Things that are objectively unreasonable and should not be allowed)

  1. Shag pile carpets
  2. Frills, on anything
  3. Faffing
  4. People not playing with a straight bat
  5. Cruise ships that are bigger that the small quaint coastal towns they visit
  6. Cinamon buns
  7. Chipboard (in furniture)
  8. Populist amoral politicians
  9. People not appreciating how fortunate they are
  10. Suburban sprawl
  11. Right wing chat show hosts/shock jocks
  • Honourable mentions: Anything Linda would ban when she becomes world president (see below); Conspiracy theorists with a book/lecture tour to promote;

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Top eleven things Linda would ban when she becomes world president

(Things that Linda thinks are just wrong)

  1. Buskers with amplifiers
  2. Leaf blowers
  3. Patio heaters
  4. Boris Johnson, most Tory MP's and the entire US Republican Congress
  5. Letting foreigners buy property
  6. Second homes/Holiday homes
  7. Shock jocks
  8. Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok - because it extends the reach of stupid people
  9. Smart phones. Nothing wrong with a coal fired Nokia 0.0001 (apparently)
  10. People who want to mess with the BBC
  11. Computers
  • Honourable mentions: Plastic flowers; Restaurants abd cafes that have plastic flowers; Antique iron collections (and especially mine);

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Top eleven things I don't understand

(Things I struggle with, and suspect most people don't understand either)

  1. How does gravity work?
  2. Why do women support Trump?
  3. Does an ideal society exist? What might it look like?
  4. Is there a workable alternative to capitalism?
  5. What's outside the universe?
  6. You are born, you survive, you reproduce and then you die. Is that it?
  7. Quantum mechanics. How can Schrodingers cat be alive and dead at the same time? I mean, really.
  8. How does electricity actually really work (and I'm an Electrical Engineer)
  9. How do societies function properly given they are made up of so many anti-social, selfish and generally dysfunctional people?
  10. Stock markets.
  11. Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories?
  • Honourable mentions: How can smart people believe in a god?; Why Australia is in the Eurovision song contest;

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Top eleven important truisms

(Things that are obvious and true, that I think we have forgotten about)

  1. A single nuclear explosion on any major city will still be beyond catastrophic. See (Nuclear Weapons)
  2. Democracy only makes sense if everyone votes - with care and diligence
  3. We still need to make and sell things and provide services, so we have enough money to buy things and consume services
  4. Just because someone posts something on social media doesn't make it true. Or that it's right that they do so
  5. If COVID had the mortality rate of Bird Flu (H5N1), then over half the worlds population would have died
  6. If we make the planet unlivable we will have no where to live
  7. Conspiracy theories are normally promoted by people who stand to make money out of conspiracy theories
  8. An aging population means we will have more people to support, with fewer people to help support them.
  9. Supporting Palestinians or criticising the Israel state doesn't automatically mean you are antisemitic
  10. People who argue an election was stolen probably have something to lose from not being in power, or something to gain from taking this view
  11. Transgender rights are important, but so are (biological) womens' rights.
  • Honourable mentions: An alternative explanation to a shadowy world mastermind/cabal pulling the strings of governments to control the world for nefarious means - is probably, simply, the combined effect of individual and corporate greed, government incompetence, and 8 billion people all fighting over limited and degrading world resources.

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Top eleven dinner party conversation topics

(Conversations about things that impact us all and, about which, we really should be talking)

  1. Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories? And is this getting worse?
  2. How come displaced citizens from Afghanistan, Syrian and/or Palestine (and other conflicts around the world) get a different treatment in the West, to that received, say, by Ukrainians?
  3. What should we all be doing about climate change? Right now ?
  4. What is the right role for AI?
  5. Have people forgotten about the dangers of WMD?
  6. Illegal refugees - welcome (and encourage human traffickers) or deter (and be inhumane)?
  7. Is democracy broken, and is there an alternative?
  8. What obligations do we have as a citizen, and as a state?
  9. How should we measure society wellbeing?
  10. Should one be allowed to invest in property?
  11. What functions should the state provide, and what should be left to private industry?
  • Honourable mentions: How should/can we fight misinformation?; How should we manage an aging population?; Are international flights OK (because they fuck up the planet, and all that)?; Is JK Rowling right (in the trans debate)?; Should euthanasia be legal?; Does nuclear power have a role in the 21st century; Should we ban foreigners from owning property?; Should one ban second homes, or holiday homes?; Should we ban more onshore windfarms (because they fuckup the countryside, and it would be much better for the planet if people just turned down the heating and put on a jumper)?; Does one have a right to drive a car by oneself (e.g. an inefficient use of precious resources)?

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Top eleven global problems

(Global problems that we need to address right now. See (Existential Risks)

  1. Climate change (always number one)
  2. Democracy failings
  3. Breakdown in global co-operation (just when we need it most)
  4. WMD
  5. Loss of social cohesion (thru misinformation and democracy failures/inadequecies)
  6. Ungoverned AI
  7. Other dangerous and/or ungoverned technology (such as viral research, gene edititing, autonomous robots/weapons etc)
  8. Amoral and unaccountable multi-nationals
  9. Unsustainable consumption (in a finite world)
  10. Capitalism without a human (or environmental) face
  11. Social media reach (for people who shouldn't have an audience)
  • Honourable mentions: Wealth inequality; Cyber Security;

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Top eleven mega trends

(Megatrends. Global trends, over the next 10-20 years, that will define the future, and that we need to get a handle on. Many of these are global threats. See (Existential Risks)

  1. Climate change - it will get hotter, sea levels will rise, there will be more flooding etc
  2. Geopolitical tensions and economic shifts in power
  3. Population growth
  4. Evolution of AI
  5. Increasing resource scarcity
  6. Increasing environmental degregation
  7. Globalisation
  8. Rapid Urbanisation
  9. Aging populations
  10. Mass migration/refugees (thru conflict and climate change)
  11. More connectivity e.g. thru social media, virtual reality
  • Honourable mentions: Energy shifts (away from fossil fuels); Digitalisation (everything either online, digital and/or on the cloud)

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Top eleven bad types of people

(People that don't help. In the old days you could be a power hungry sociopath, and your area of impact was generally limited to a village or, at worst, a fiefdom. These days we are part of a global village AND we have social media)

  1. Amoral populist leaders
  2. People that vote for amoral populist leaders
  3. People that still vote for amoral populist leaders even when their true colours become obvious
  4. People that don't vote. Or they vote but don't think carefully about their choice.
  5. Right wing chat show hosts
  6. Conspiracy theorists
  7. People who have a bigger presence on the internet than they should
  8. People who believe that a god will save the world
  9. Nationalists
  10. People that think society laws and mores don't apply to them
  11. People with a misplaced sense of entitlement
  • Honourable mentions: People that forget we live in a society, with other people, that also have rights;

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Top eleven existential risks

(Global risks that, if realised, would be civilisation limiting. And yes, some of these risks are a bit related and the last few are outside our control and difficult to mitigate but we need be aware of them)

  1. Runaway climate change
  2. Trump getting a second term
  3. Pandemic (a proper one)
  4. Nuclear War (or the widespread use of other WMDs)
  5. Bad AI e.g. chatGPT goes rogue
  6. Other bad technology e.g. deadly manmade virus escaping from the lab, nanobots out of control etc
  7. Human environmental damage (so we can't grow anything)
  8. Loss of natural resources/loss of biodiversity - fucking up Gaia
  9. Extreme weather events (floods, droughts, tornados...)
  10. Geo physical disasters e.g. Yellowstone Volcano, San Andreas fault, Mega tsunami
  11. A big meteor strike (which would be pretty suboptimal but a lot less likely than climate change)
  • Honourable mentions:

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Top eleven nuclear weapons reality checks

(Reality checks on the dangers of nuclear weapons, about which I think we have forgotten)

  1. A single nuclear explosion on a major city will completely overwhelm all state civil support structures, kill hundreds of thousands, injure many more and cause long term health, environmental and economic damage
  2. There are nine countries with nuclear weapons, with a total of around 12,700 bombs worldwide.
  3. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs had a yield of < 20 Kiloton. Typical submarine launched (SLMB) and ICBM bombs are between 100KT and 300KT. The biggest bomb ever developed was 50MT (and potentially, 100MT)
  4. The MAD doctrine assumes consistent, rational and clear thinking leadership at the head of each nuclear power.
  5. There are no effective nuclear arms treaties currently in place to manage, challenge and reduce the number of weapons worldwide.
  6. North Korea has an estimated 20-43 bombs. Pakistan, India and Israel have a few too
  7. The controls to authorise and fire a nuclear bomb are designed, maintained and operated by people, and are therefore fallible
  8. All nuclear powers are upgrading their nuclear weapon capabilty to make them more reliable, effective and flexible and, by implication, more useable.
  9. Each UK nuclear deterrent submarine carries up to 16 Trident II missiles, each with up to 14 independently targetable bombs. One UK nuclear deterrent submarine, therefore, has the capability to destroy 224 major cities. Russian and US subs are bigger
  10. Tactical nuclear weapons, for use on the battlefield, blur the line between conventional and nuclear war, and provides an easy escalation path to full scale nuclear war using strategic ICBM's and SLBMs.
  11. There is little reason why rogue states or rogue organisations would not seek to develop or acquire a nuclear bomb, given the negotiating hand it gives them. Examples include North Korea (who has them), Iran (who wants them) and the fate of Libya's Gaddafi (who gave them up).
  • Honourable mentions:Tactical weapon yields are still up to 20 time larger than the Hiroshima bomb; There is a lack of clarity around how Russion nuclear weapons were secured during the breakup of the USSR; Nuclear bombs are much easier to design and build with computers, modern materials and modern manaufactoring techniques; Sober and considered academic studies suggest that as few as 100-500 large nuclear bombs could in theory be enough to kill enough people, destroy enough infrastructure, cause enough environmental damage, and cause enough serious climate change (e.g. nuclear winter), to doom the human race; And then of course there are other WMD's such chemical and bio-weapons, or two or more together;

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Top eleven good life checks

(Tests to confirm you are living a good life. You have/are ... )

  1. Meaningful friendships.
  2. Good physical health
  3. Financial stability
  4. Personal growth
  5. Environmentally aware living (i.e. you are not fucking up the planet)
  6. Meaningful work (if you are working)
  7. Nice to people (treating others as you would like to be treated)
  8. A sense of purpose
  9. Hobbies and interests
  10. Attention to mental well being
  11. Putting back into society
  • Honourable mentions: Mindfulness/Living in the moment; Community spaces, parks and a square for playing boules;

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Top eleven good life top tips

(Good life checklist translated into top tips)

  1. Put effort into your friendships
  2. Go for lots of walks (or cycle rides, or climbs..)
  3. Think global, act local
  4. Connect/reconnect with nature
  5. Simplify everything
  6. Have dinner parties
  7. Have more camp fires, and BBQ's
  8. Build your own music playlists
  9. Interact in real life (not via social media).
  10. Don't underestimate the importance of gossip and rumour over a red wine with friends in a bustling and atmospheric Italian restaurant
  11. Patronise small local independent pubs that have real ale, friendly staff and a dog curled up in front of a non-fossil fuel fire
  • Honourable mentions: Declutter; Think about, and act for, the less fortunate; Live in the moment; Be guided by Leunig and Gary Larson wisdom and humour; Read (paper) books; Don't obsess over money; Fight materialism; Go (internet) dark; Don't doom scroll; Don't forget to put the bins out (Linda's contribution); Don't procrasinate (thanks Linda, again); Sleep more; Let bad things wash over; Take up boules or curling (never played either but it seems like a good thing);

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Top eleven ideas to save the planet

(Simple ideas that start with the old Greenpeace slogan 'Think global act local', and go from there.)

  1. Think carefully about how you vote.
  2. Influence by what you buy (or don't buy)
  3. Be informed and think critically.
  4. Champion capitalism with a human and environmental face
  5. Reduce, reuse, recycle
  6. Use sustainable resources
  7. Use renewable energy
  8. Eat less meat
  9. Be less material
  10. Drive and fly less
  11. Turn down the thermostat and wear a jumper
  • Honourable mentions: Buy local and support local community; Live close to work; Pick up rubbish; Support charities; Think about food miles;

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Top eleven ideas to save Britain

(Ideas to improve Britain but also applicable to most countries)

  1. Reduce the number of politicians, and pay them a decent wage. Get some good people in.
  2. Ban second homes and stop people buying homes as investments
  3. Stop foreigners from owning property
  4. Teach people to think critically
  5. Sort out misinformation on the internet
  6. Nationalise key UK infrastructure - water, power, transport, IT backbone etc.
  7. Get rid of sheep and cows, and cull deer, in Britain's moors, hill lands and highlands - because they fuck-up the environment
  8. Provide and promote alternatives to private cars;
  9. Promote global justice (and the good karma will come around)
  10. Decouple the economy from continual population growth
  11. Beavers
  • Honourable mentions: Rethink the type of growth we want ; A constitution; Rewilding; Refocus on equality; Stop this obsession with everyone having to go to university; Impose the death sentence on people that don't separate their recycling properly (Linda's suggestion);

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