Author Archives: martinknox
BOOKS WITH NOVEL IDEAS
Martin Knox has written six novels available on Amazon.
TURKEYS NOT BEES
This novel is a dramatic love story with a dilemma of individual versus collective conformance during a pandemic. Will Chance and Megan’s campaign of non-violent civil disobedience to mandatory vaccination succeed? The author portrays a nanny state in Australia with government overreach and other philosophies which could change humanity’s future.
ANIMAL FARM 2
It is a novel sequel to Orwell’s 1945 classic Animal Farm. It updates to the present the satirical tale in which farm animals overthrow their farmer, but then are exploited by totalitarian pigs. The story is updated paralleling Cold War events and superpower leadership up to recent times.
Will there be a revolution to oust the pigs?
TIME IS GOLD
In this story, Maxi Fleet is an elite marathon runner whose training is advised by a team of experts in psychology, physiology, neuroscience and Zen, led by her partner physicist Jack Cram. She adopts a running technique ‘extreme flow’ based on scientific principles. Can neurological time dilation enable her to improve enough to win Olympic Gold?
When a city council is hung between a duopoly of partisan interests, the vote of feisty Jane Kenwood, an independent councillor, could resolve the impasse. When she disappears, political skulduggery is suspected. Her partner Phillip Keane conducts an exacting forensic reconstruction to find her with police help. Will she be found in time to thwart their enemies and reform the political system?
SHORT OF LOVE
Tom is an engineer who wants his love affair with Vicki to run as exchange of a commodity, transacted smoothly with delivery at a definite future time. Without empathy, communication and trust, their relationship is stymied. How will Vicki react? Will they reach closure?
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS BROWNER
This is speculative fiction set in Australia 250 years in the future. When fossil fuels are reviled for their climate changing emissions, production is stopped, air transport ceases and sail-powered freight movement commences. The nation is vulnerable to cultural hegemony of other nations, with invasion possible, to exploit its vast resources. Can Indigenous Prime Minister Abajoe lead Australia peaceably by scientific government?
REVIEWS see martinknox.com
ENERGY TRANSITION PROGRESS REPORT
From Brisbane, Australia, May 16th 2023
Australia has enshrined in law its targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
In a group discussion today, these points were mentioned in our U3A discussion group, not in any order.
State centralised power stations from 1980 to 2010 met electricity demand with reliable low cost supplies.
Growth in peak demand was met by installation of gas turbine generators.
Natural gas supplies are limited.
Solar panels and wind energy cost more than base load fossil fuel energy.
Domestic solar panels relieved peak supply.
Solar panel farms have been built but are unable to meet 24 hour base load supply.
Batteries and pumped storage are expensive.
Shutting down of base load fossil fuel energy has increased the cost of electricity to consumers.
Restriction of coal production has reduced coal taxes, the mainstay of the Australian economy.
Increased payment for electricity takes a larger proportion of workers’ earnings than from middle and upper classes.
Cost of other products is also increased by rising electricity and petrol prices.
Effect of the energy transition is being borne predominantly by workers as a fall in their standard of living.
The energy transition is having a socially retrograde effect, penalising the have-nots.
The benefits of the transition are expected to be improving climates worldwide, which might result in better living conditions for some peoples.
Is the Australian government behaving responsibly?
My novel Animal Farm 2 is a sequel to Orwell’s totalitarian satire with the farm animals learning about climate change and electricity supply. Reviews: martinknox.com
WHY BUY FAST FOOD?
We let advertisements for fast food intrude into our lives. This is where we go wrong.
Consider a young actor whose part in an advertisement is to make a social gaffe at the office, or at home, with friends or family present. We squirm with her or his pretended embarrassment, for a moment, until the actor says ‘Did someone say KFC?’ and immediately, a picture of garishly coloured food pops up, as the tension is relieved and the group quits what they are doing to gobble greasy sugar-laden fast food. A percentage of viewers seeing this buys KFC. Fast food has become a form: a social icon lacking reason. At the end of the advertiser’s interest is fast consumption, having nothing to do with nutrition, value for money, nor societal effects. Consequences of fast food don’t matter to them.
KFC advertisements employ fakery that is dishonest, demeans viewers and diminishes respect for KFC as a responsible enterprise. Gaining public respect doesn’t pay them as well as deception. The corporate ethos they apply is a tissue of lies.
Young people’s diets are determined by fashion, emotional appeals and peer pressure, without personal preference, or diversity. They do not discriminate between foods. In their homes they probably do not have opportunities to select foods they eat, nor preparation methods, nor meal quantities, nor dietary balance. They get the same fast food as last time.
The emotion that fast foods appeal to after advertising is hunger. They see photos of colourful foods being enjoyed by beautiful people. When one of them recites the mantra: ‘Did someone say KFC?’, or alternatively, they hear the thumping rhythm ‘I don’t care,’ consumers’ imaginations are captured to buy KFC. It would take a strong leader to divert the salivating group to other brands, or to, say, Japanese food. They want instant gratification and would oppose a survey of members’ preferences or shopping around for better food.
Eating fast food is presented in media to give the appearance of an orgasmic satiation of gluttony as a reflex orgy. Fast food is shovelled down in an uncontrolled frenzy. KFC ads play the hunger emotion for every finger lickin’ mouth waterin’ sensation they can evoke, rejecting the notions of refinement in eating and mealtime discourse. Fast food is consumed quickly, without separating pieces, chewing with the mouth open, wiping on the back of a hand.
The function of sport, reality TV, game shows, sitcoms, news, weather and all popular entertainments, except reading, is for corporations like KFC to take money from buyers of: Fast foods, performer merchandise, music, movies, clothes, groceries, cars, holidays, devices and toys. The profit goes into the investors’ bank accounts. Corporations compete to access attention to their products, at venues and on media, where they compete for the best promotional and selling opportunities.
Fast food advertisers appeal to popularity. The easiest way to convince somebody to buy a product or service is to prove that everyone else has done it already. Once something becomes a widely recognized phenomenon or a trend, it becomes obvious that it has to have some merits – otherwise it wouldn’t be so popular. Right?
This is sometimes referred to as the bandwagon effect or Matthew Effect. The Bible says: ‘For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.’ Matt 13:12
‘In crowd’ people choose fast foods. If they don’t, they will starve. The right fast food can make you friends. The more popular something becomes, the more people buy into it and, consequently, it becomes even more popular. In the book industry, it is referred to as the ‘bestseller effect.’ People buy bestsellers. They do not exercise personal taste or aesthetic sense. KFC falsely have actors and rent-a-crowd showing social approval of their products.
Fast food vendors create venues and contexts to stimulate consumption. The corporate focus on profits can modify an event with audience timeout for peeing, scoffing fast foods and buying merchandise. Popular entertainments require only grunts, tears and hilarity, between mouthfuls. With a full mouth, standards of athleticism, observation of rules and aesthetics cannot be discussed either reasonably or critically. Audiences merely cheer, applaud punch-ups, disdain injuries and dispute referees’ decisions.
Jumbo tubs of popcorn condition audiences with simultaneous eating, as a sublimation of the competitive tension of the event. Packaging enables eating with the hands, without plates, knives or forks. In this way, audiences at public and private venues have been taken over by fast food consumption and consumption of packaging, uneaten condiments, sauces and sugar. Our fast food culture will be condemned in history by the need to dispose of mountains of leftovers, contributing to the burden of excessive resources usage and pollution.
There is worse. The consequences of fast food are physical and mental ill health, from over-indulgence, abandonment of self-control and mindless fast food consumption during media-presented entertainment. Hopefully the fast food craze will disappear as fast as it appeared.
The worst result of fast food is thoughtless followership and surrender of discrimination. Fast food emporia thrive on instant gratification. A leader of a group, seeing a fast food advertisement, asserts her authority: ‘Shut up and take my money!’. It’s an easy sell. When her group walk into the fast food depot, they are pushed into buying ancillary products, paying for them immediately, sight unseen. The food is already prepared and it is a short wait until the package is delivered for immediate consumption. This final act in the food cycle, which began with seeing an advertisement, is opening the package and comparing with expectations. Then there is eating, until bloated they sink into a torpor as their digestive systems grapple with the toxic shock of fat and sugar overload. Then they stumble out, bleary-eyed, to look for some innocuous entertainment to numb their brains, or a casual crime to commit.
Like many industries, fast food suppliers are self-interested and greedy, in the capitalist mould of cultivating indiscriminate unhealthy over-eating. It is not so widely known that their anti-societal intent is to create an addiction to fast food which is harmful to many people. Quit fast foods now!
My novel Turkeys Not Bees is a fiction story about mass entertainment controlled by The Spectacle, see Debord 1967, The Society of the Spectacle.
My writing on related topics: see my blog martinknox.com
NEW CLIMATE SCIENCE PARADIGM
Why Blame Carbon Dioxide?
Can there be evidence that carbon dioxide causes global warming? We can see that there is less arctic ice and shrinking of glaciers but the explanation could conceivably be that snowfall in their catchments has reduced. Even if there is warming, attributing these effects to it cannot be tested because causality is invisible and cannot be identified with certainty. Attributing the effect to carbon dioxide cannot be observed or tested directly. It’s too important to guess.
Scientists often establish causality by testing with a physical model. If there warming was observed in many tests and few results were without warming, nor many with cooling, then by the principle of induction the warming could be associated with carbon dioxide, under those conditions. No physical model can be large enough to approximate the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Models could possibly corroborate that carbon dioxide does cause warming (I haven’t heard of any such tests). Even so, models could add their logic to the theory but can never verify it absolutely.
People who use the reduced ice effects as evidence can be deceived by an a priori result, because melting was assumed to cause the reduction in ice observed, a circular argument and false.
Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not a smoking gun. Warming of the oceans is causing them to release some of their dissolved store of carbon dioxide. Warming has caused the carbon dioxide increase, not vice versa.
Attributing the cause of ice reduction to carbon dioxide with reasonable confidence requires that possible alternative causes are eliminated. The effect on ice of co-products of fossil fuel combustion, heat and water vapour, could also be to reduce it. Alternatively, Earth warming by the Sun has variable solar processes and Earth orbits that could cause warming and melting.
Other science theories, such as gravity, evolution and relativity, also have invisible causality and were adopted before their science was fully understood. Philosophies of science were modified to accommodate these theories. Carbon dioxide’s culpability could be accepted without evidence, provided it is logical, if it is not contradicted and if other explanations are not credible.
I have mentioned several alternative theories of ice reduction. William of Occam wanted preference to be given to the simplest theory. Thermal emissions explain warming more simply than does carbon dioxide. The significance of carbon dioxide needs to be reconsidered.
My coming novel Animal Farm 2 is a sequel to George Orwell’s Animal Farm and satirizes totalitarianism, animal liberation and climate change. martinknox.com