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Thoughts for the Weekend & this Week’s Links

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Allergy Denier.

I am six weeks away from a year of writing a weekly article. Most weeks have been pretty easy, but the odd week, like this one, tests my resolve. Not helped by the energy and motivation drain of a bad cough and the associated green flem. I may have reached a terminal point—a point where the point has gone. Matters have been made worse by idiocy at David Lloyd’s.

Rhondda and I have just taken up a ‘two-weeks for twenty-quid offer’ to see what it’s like. The Port Solent club was oversubscribed, so we joined the branch outside Hampshire’s cricket stadium. We won’t be signing up long-term. It ruins your evenings, you feel like an ant, the cost is inflated, the exercise studio is dusty, and they ask, ‘Any allergies?’ when you go to the till with a pre-packed sandwich. This may not be surprising these days. But Tesco et al. don’t do it.

So, under which regulatory framework is David Lloyd operating to treat their members like complete muppets? I asked the guy why he was asking. He said, ‘We have to ask for everything.’ ‘What about if I want a glass of tap water?’ I said. ‘We still have to ask.’ I’m going to transpose a vowel: What a bunch of twits. I may be over-dramatising this, but this stuff is the end of the world. We need a revolution to deal with these corporate twits. It’s an insidious plot to devolve their responsibilities and control our ability to decide for ourselves.

Well, that’s warmed up the blood this morning. I’m ready to rage about all manner of things now. So what next? Let me think.

I really want to go off on one about the term Climate Crisis. It was mentioned in a meeting I attended this week, and it made me reflect on what a daft, media-driven, and fear-laden term we have attributed to this important and complex issue. But sadly, I can’t share my view on that because even questioning the syntax of the heading is not permissible. For I’d be labelled a ‘denier’ and would be spreading misinformation. It sounds ridiculous. But it is kind of true.

Last year, when I was visiting the hospital regularly to change my cast, I met a couple of nurses who admitted to being afraid of the whole gender thing. I’d got bored of orange, blue and red casts. I wasn’t allowed the black one, not on racial grounds, but in case I bled and it went undetected. So I went for pink. This invoked some nervousness among the nurses about what I was, or rather, what they should call me. I made some sort of outrageous joke about it; the tension fell out of their shoulders, and we carried on like adults and had a laugh. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

I conclude that 99% of us are confused and bemused by what we are and are not allowed to say. This leads me to reflect on what it is about the human psyche that means we are so easily controlled by so few. It must be a tribal thing. You just don’t want a whole load of people going around with their own ideas. Doing what they believe is right and rocking the boat.

But we need people like William Tyndale to push society forward. Tyndale was charged with heresy. He challenged established beliefs and customs. What did he do? A few things to upset the establishment I suspect, but his main crime was translating the Bible into English. What happened to him? Strangled and burnt at the stake in 1536. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

I’ve been reading about Nikola Tesla this week. It’s funny how things connect, but actually, here we have a sort of William Tyndale character. Tesla invented alternating current (AC)—we know about that—but he was also inventing systems that would generate free electric energy from the earth’s frequencies and vibrations. According to Tesla, his invention never gained traction because of “ignorant, unimaginative people, consumed by self-interest”— powerful men who sought to protect the immensely profitable, low-tech industries they had spent a lifetime building. Now that doesn’t sound ridiculous. Whether it’s true is another matter.

Tesla’s struggle against established interests to develop technology for the greater good reminds us that progress often requires us to challenge the status quo. So, with that in mind, I’m off to David Lloyd to buy a sandwich. All hell will break loose when I challenge the status quo; I’m starting a revolution. I’m an allergy denier and will be burnt at the stake for my cause.

This week’s web links, carefully curated to pique your interest, include Revolution, soup and some small front garden ideas.

We want to start a new feature in the newsletter that is a Q&A-type thing. So I’d appreciate it if a few of you could send in a question or two about architecture or design relating to your home or something broader, so we can get that going next month. Thanks. You will always find me at carl@carlarchitect.co.uk.

All the best

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This Week’s Links:

You say you want a revolution. Well, you know. We all want to change the world

Nikola Tesla and his free Energy for All plan.

How much electricity does AI consume?

A deeply stylish house you can stay in on one of Bath’s loveliest streets.

Seventeen smart small front garden ideas for every budget.

Make yourself some tasty soup: Zuppa Toscana.

We can work it out and get it straight or say good night.

Main image credit: You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, we all want to know if you’re allergic! (DALL-E)

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