Architecture for dogs

I get daily emails about “new london architecture”, and from Dezeen, the design website. From these emails alone, it is clear that the profession of architecture is in a bad way just now. Big new buildings just aren’t being built in anything like the numbers they were a few years ago. Even Zaha Hadid, who have been continuing to build big stuff in China, are being flattered by journos eager to keep in with them, not by plugging their latest Big Thing in China, but by writing about that space ship house that the late Zaha Hadid herself designed, several years ago.

The latest Frank Gehry project to get a write-up in Dezeen is a perfume bottle.

But of all the stories that speaks to this architectural go-slow, the one that I find most divertingly bizarre concerns an exhibition in London, organised by some Japanese goofballs, concerning architecture for dogs. Dezeen has noticed this, what with their being so little else of an architectural sort to be noticing, with a story about an architect who has done a sort of table thing that dogs can occupy, or something.

Dogs will get enthusiastic about anything their human bosses tell them to enthuse about. They’ll do anything to oblige. So they happily go along with this nonsense. But really. Could the world of “design”, all cool and calm and sophisticated and minimalist, be more completely at odds with the world of dogs, all enthusiasm and rushing about, sniffing each other’s arses and generally making a totally undignified spectacle of themselves and not caring a toss? To me, it all smacks of desperation. You can hear the wailing at Dezeen: What the hell else is there to write about? Well, I guess it’s dogitecture again.

Another remarkable Trump speech

Here.

I don’t agree that Trump is defeating The Virus, as he claims. I think it is fizzling out of its own accord. I therefore think that he overdoes the criticism of China, on this particular score. But otherwise, amazing.

I was particularly interested in the bit near the end, where he said:

As President I am proudly putting America first, just as you should be putting your countries first. That’s okay, That’s what you should be doing.

This is something people have always got wrong about Trump. He does admire people like Putin. But this is not because he is a Putin agent of influence, as some anti-Trumpists have absurdly claimed. It is because he admires Putin for fighting Russia’s corner. But Trump isn’t be fighting Russia’s corner. He’s fighting America’s corner.

The manner of the speech’s delivery was also interesting. He just read it out, with no gaps during which anyone might try to heckle. He didn’t seek rapport with his audience, like at one of his rallies. There was a distinct undercurrent of “I don’t give a fuck what you evil bastards think about this, and I’m taking no questions, I’m just telling you how it now is” about the whole thing. I’ve been waiting all my life for an American President willing to talk in this manner to the assembly of (mostly) pompous and tyrannical scumbags that is the “United Nations”. It’s a different world, I tell you. As Patrick Crozier and I talked about in this conversation, Trump is conferring respect upon millions of Americans who have been denied it by their self-appointed betters. Crucially, he is also withdrawing respect from the over-respected “global elite”, and never more so than in this speech. And his voters will be loving it.

Roll on the thermonuclear landslide.

Keeping eyes on the cows

Modern Farmer:

Chinese Entrepreneurs Develop Facial Recognition Software for Livestock

And from the same website:

Painting Eyes On Cows’ Butts Can Scare Away Predators

Like this:

And in political news from the same source, metaphor alert:

The Pork Industry Wants More Aid From Congress

In a barrel?

LATER: More about the eyes on cow butts story here. Via David Thompson.

Covid-19 is all over bar the “Casedemic”!

I got to this ten minute video lecture by Ivor Cummins via a Facebook posting by David Ramsay Steele. Steele had earlier written a piece which I half noticed a few days ago, as a result of someone mentioning it on my Twitter feed and me happening to be paying attention to Twitter at that moment. I have just now got back to that piece by Steele.

Steele argues that respiratory epidemics like Covid-19 cannot be stopped, and probably not even slowed much in their spread. The point is to get herd immunity (which Cummins calls, rather poetically, “community immunity”), and meanwhile to protect the vulnerable as best we can. (I seem to recall this being argued right at the beginning of all this, in Britain.)

Steele also links to and agrees with this blog posting by J.B.Handley.

Me going into further details is pointless. Follow the above links if you are interested.

I believe that the way to find out the truth about anything is to have a huge argument about it. Roughly speaking, the truth consists of a “model” which most closely describes reality. Eventually, the most accurate model wins. Not all “models” are wrong. But most models are wrong.

If I had to place a bet on which Covid-19 model will win, that is to say: be acknowledged more widely than any other model as the truth of things, then I would now bet on this Cummins/Handley/Steele model.

There is just one detail of this argument I will pick out. Trump and Trumpists have been saying that if the Chinese government had told everyone faster then the worldwide spread of Covid-19 could, perhaps or even definitely, have been confined to China. This is, says Steele, “hogwash”. I mention this merely because I have been a Trumpist about this, but will now have to find some other way to denounce the Chinese government for its handling of matters Covidic. Shouldn’t be hard.

LATER: Following.

Nathan Law versus the ChiComs

I remain totally pessimistic about Hong Kong winning in the short run, i.e. not being crushed by the ChiComs. If HongKongers want to get back at the ChiComs, then they must unite with all the other enemies of the ChiComs, and defeat ChiCom rule not just in Hong Kong, but in China as a whole. That’s the only way they’ll ever get their version of Hong Kong back.

What this man …:

… is doing tells me that this process is now getting cranked up. However, Newsweek’s piece has an error in its headline. They say he is opposing “China”. Wrong. He is opposing the ChiComs, on behalf of Hong Kong and on behalf of China.

Nathan Law now operates in London. Good for London.

I am now following Nathan Law on Twitter.

I have a Leader. Not necessarily The Leader, you understand. But A Leader. Someone to follow. Maybe I’ll find a better leader in the future, but meanwhile, he’ll do.

LATER: Also this guy.

A new bridge in China: More than just a bridge

Indeed:

This is the Wuchazi Bridge, and very fine I think it looks. No wonder dezeen cannot resist showing lots of photos of it, of which the above photo is one and the below photo is another.

Says dezeen:

The design team created a continual walkable path within the Wuchazi Bridge as part of its aim to make the structure a recreational destination rather than a purely functional piece of engineering.

The sort of place, in other words, where those visiting it would behave like this:

I especially like those two bikes.

I’d be taking a lot of photos like that if I ever visited this place.

Which I surely now will never do, no matter how my circumstances change. Wuchazi is in China and politically, China is now an abomination. The world played nice with the ChiComs for forty years and now they’re shitting on us all. The idea that individual bits of shitting, like on Hong Kong, or like the Plague they unleashed while forgetting to tell us in time, can now be individually cleaned up is delusional. The HongKongers, the Uyghur Muslims, the anti-Plaguers and all others who don’t like how China is now governed need all to get together and try to change how China, all of it, is now governed. We may not succeed if we do this, but we will have fun trying and the government of China will really really not like this. On the other hand, if we do not unite against our common enemy (the ChiComs (not China itself)), we will definitely fail. So, we are now uniting. I know this, because this is the only thing now worth doing. Ergo, it is happening. Just wanted to include a bit of that stuff.

Meanwhile, on a kind of Nazi-uniforms-are-cool basis, I can still admire this bridge. Here’s hoping it outlives the ChiComs and becomes a treasured part of the truly civilised China of the future that most of us would now like to see.

How to be optimistic about your own country

Just came across this quote in a posting at the Old Blog, and immediately transferred it across to this blog:

The state of the world is now such that, if you want to be optimistic about your own country, don’t whatever you do look at your own country. Look at all the others.

Wise words, I think, that will bear repetition, hence me repeating them in this posting. They are my words, so I’m biased. I originally wrote them in connection with China’s high speed trains way back in 2011. Miraculously, that link still, or at any rate now, works.

One year ago today: “You cannot do that!”

I love to photo the front pages of newspapers, while in shops from which I also buy things I still want:

And that was the front page of The Times of a year ago tomorrow, June 1st 2019.

The headlines make interesting reading now. Trump trying to stop us getting into bed with Huawei. Bet our politicians now wish she’d listened then.

And, the Lib Dems riding high in the polls. But this was because they had temporarily managed to get most of the Remain vote supporting them. Labour eventually got most of the Remainers supporting them. Meanwhile, the Leave vote was split, but would later unite in voting Conservative.

But most important of all, to me, are the pictures in between those two headlines. That’s Ben Stokes, taking an amazing catch, in England’s opening World Cup 2019 match against South Africa at the Oval, one year ago exactly. Stokes only had to take the catch this way because he at first misjudged it and got himself too far towards it. But who cares?!? He caught it. Video, with Nasser Hussain’s great commentary, here. England went on to win the tournament.

Now, YouTube is showing me the amazing Ashes test-match-winning last wicket partnership, at Headingley, between Jack Leach and … Stokes.

The weather now is perfect for cricket and has been for several weeks. But as of now, they still cannot do that, and we fans are having to be content with memories.

Tiananmen tank man – the small picture and the bigger picture

Someone calling himself hardmaru tweets, of this photo …:

… this:

The full Tiananmen Square tank man picture is much more powerful than the cropped one.

Not sure that’s right. You only get the point of this big picture if you already know the smaller picture. If you didn’t already know that, would the big picture pack such a punch? Maybe this is my bad eyesight asking, but would you even properly see the guy in front of all the tanks?

I don’t know when this big picture first started getting around. But, having seen the small picture many times, I have only now seen this big one. So thankyou
@hardmaru, and I’m glad that both can be seen.

Unicorn island

According to this January report, this has just begun being built, in Chengdu, China:

This great agglomeration of Things was designed by Patrik Schumacher, for Zaha Hadid Architects. (Although maybe that just means that Schumacher was in charge of all the people who actually designed it. I genuinely don’t know about that, i.e. what “designed by” means in a context like this.)

It will be most interesting to see how the relationship between ZHA and China develops in the next few years. Will the above weirdness ever get finished in the above form? I rather doubt it, somehow.

Meanwhile I note with approval that ZHA have managed to make designboom refer to them as ZHA rather than zha, despite designboom’s capital letters phobia (“patrik schumacher”, etc.). There should be a campaign to start calling designboom dESIGN bOOM.