Tag Archives: UK

More than a quarter of millennials say they would replace a human lover with a DROID

Dolly sex doll

From Daily Mail: A new report suggests that over a quarter of 18-34 year-olds will feel it’s normal to form friendships and even romantic relationships with robots in the future. The report was created by Paris-based Havas, and examined the future of artificial intelligence, and people’s attitudes to the future of technology. The findings were based on a survey of 12,000 people of mixed ages worldwide.

It found that in the UK, men were three times as likely to agree they could have a relationship with a robot in the future, compared to women. And romantic relationships with bots will more common that you might think, with the report suggesting they could be taken up by as much as 27 per cent of 18-34 year olds.

Aside from robot-relationships, the report had several other predictions for the future.

The data suggests that men in the UK, men are also more likely than women to prefer their social media lives to their real ones, with nearly 20 per cent preferring the virtual world of social media.

Despite this growing connection to the online world for some, there was widespread consensus (70 per cent of respondents) that smartphones are weakening human bonds.

Yet it is younger people who are feeling the worst effects of this.

According to the study, younger people are more likely to feel depressed about their own lives after looking at other people’s social media channels, with 42 per cent of 18-34 year olds reporting feeling depressed or unhappy after seeing other people’s lives online.

Nigel Hughes, board director at Havas PR, said: ‘Filters and AR can, on the face of it, help improve people’s perceptions of the world around them, yet our study reveals that nearly half (42 per cent) of 18-34 years olds felt unhappy about their own lives after comparing themselves to others on social media.

‘That’s compared to only 21 per cent of 35-54 year olds saying the same, suggesting we are not equipping young people with the emotional framework needed to process this virtual reality.’

Another area of tension is the fact that 40 per cent of people aged between 18 and 34 are concerned that robots will take their jobs. People aged 55 and over, meanwhile, were most likely to think AI will liberate humans from repetitive tasks, giving us more time to enjoy life.

DCG

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Here we go again: UK hospital applies to High Court to switch off baby Alfie’s life support

alfie evans liverpool Echo photo

Alfie Evans/Liverpool Echo photo

It’s the Charlie Gard case all over again. That’s the UK’s NHS system for you.

From Daily Mirror: The parents of Alfie Evans have spoken of their “living nightmare” after a hospital advised switching off their baby son’s life support, it is claimed.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool has applied to the High Court to switch off life support for the 18-month-old in a coma, the Liverpool Echo understands.

Alfie’s dad has spoken of their “devastation” and “disappointment” after the hospital reportedly said they had exhausted all options in trying to diagnose and treat the infant’s mystery brain condition.

It comes shortly after Alfie’s parents Thomas Evans and Kate James, both 20, said that after months of searching they had finally found a hospital abroad that was willing to take him.

But a letter to them, seen by the Liverpool Echo, shows Alder Hey are opposing the move to an Italian children’s hospital – and are stepping up the battle over Alfie’s life by taking the matter to court.

The Alder Hey letter says the hospital has asked the High Court to rule that it is legal and in Alfie’s best interest for long-term ventilation and intensive care to be withdrawn.

It says: “The trust’s position is that it does not consider the provision of continued mechanical ventilation nor the move to Italy to be in Alfie’s best interests. The application also asks the court to make a declaration that it is in Alfie’s best interests to be transferred to a hospice setting and to be treated on a palliative pathway with appropriate end of life care.

Mr. Evans from Bootle, told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s devastating – we feel so disappointed. I feel Alfie is being ignored, let down and not given a chance. “Why should we take him to a hospice when there’s a hospital happy to take him? Alder Hey were watching us work so hard to get this hospital – now we’ve got an offer and a doctor willing to come over, but they’ve refused to speak with him. “Now we are starting to go through a living nightmare. They are making it 10 times worse.”

Tens of thousands of people have formed “Alfie’s Army” over the past year to support and fundraise for the family, including many supporters of Charlie Gard’s parents in their legal fight.

Charlie died aged 11 months following his family’s court battle to send him to the US for treatment.

The reported decision by Alder Hey comes after months of fraught discussions between Alfie’s parents and the hospital over what to do to help their son.

An Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for the family concerned and we continue to liaise directly with them. We are unable to comment on individual cases. Alder Hey is a specialist children’s hospital which therefore means we treat many children with often complex, life threatening conditions.

Unfortunately despite the best efforts of our clinicians, some of these children are sadly unable to recover from their illness. In such a situation, medical professionals will meet to discuss the most appropriate care plan going forward, focusing on the comfort, wellbeing and best interests of the child concerned.

The Trust will often seek advice from specialist clinicians at other trusts. The care plan is always discussed in full with the family to aim to reach agreement between clinicians and parents about the most appropriate care. We also seek input from the families concerned and this may extend to include review by experts instructed by the family.

Understandably these cases place families under great pressure. We will always seek to reach agreement with parents of the child concerned but there will be some rare situations where agreement cannot be reached and the treating team believe that continued active treatment is not in a child’s best interests. In these cases the Trust will refer a case to the Family Division of the High Court and seek a determination as to the best interests of the child. In all such cases we will also invite the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service to consider the case and provide independent representation of the child.”

DCG

Wolf whistling and sexist remarks could become hate crimes in London

Seems to be the new PC norm for Europe.

From Evening Standard: The Metropolitan Police today (Thursday, 12/7) revealed it is speaking with other UK forces to assess whether it is worth cracking down on gender-based hate crimes after a pilot scheme was launched in the East Midlands last year.

The trial, led by Nottinghamshire Police, saw sexist incidents like street harassment, verbal abuse and taking photos without consent recorded as hate crimes, carrying tougher penalties for offenders.

Police chiefs are now considering rolling out the idea elsewhere in the UK, suggesting a harsher stance on everyday sexism could stop it escalating into sexual harassment or assault. Police believe halting misogynistic remarks could go towards lowering serious sexual violence crimes overall.

A Scotland Yard spokesman told the Standard: “We have been speaking to other forces about their experiences of the practicalities of recording gender based hate crime and will use this, along with feedback from our partners, to inform any future changes to MPS policy.”

Earlier this week the National Police Chiefs Council’ head of hate crime told the Commons’ women and equalities committee that the current policing debate surrounds whether to take action on sexism earlier on.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton told MPs: “Issues such as on street behaviour that people feel should be accepted as part of the interaction of daily life actually has a detrimental and damaging impact.

“Sexual harassment of a woman or a girl at a bus stop by a male might be some things that some women feel they are just going to have to accept, that no one’s going to do anything about it.

“The debate in policing now is moving much more to identify those issues in the same way as we would other types of incident or crime, establishing if a crime has been committed or not.  But even if a crime hasn’t been committed the debate now is similar to hate crime incidents. 

Should we be taking action of some variety to address the behaviour before it escalates into a crime and also most importantly to try and restore some confidence to the victim and make them feel that what happened to them is being addressed somewhere.”

Dozens of women reported misogynistic crimes to Nottingham Police in the first few months of the pilot scheme, the force said. Sexist offences were reported at a similar rate to other hate crimes.

A hate crime is considered to be any incident where someone is targeted because of their identity – whether it be race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or an alternative sub-culture like being a goth.

It can take any shape and is not always illegal behaviour, officers say.

DCG

Not a cult: Hillary Clinton Christmas tree topper is now available

hillary clinton tree topper

From Fox News: Those looking to celebrate “Resist-mas” now have the perfect accessory: a Hillary Clinton tree topper.

The newly-released 3D-sculpted ornament features the former first lady “in her iconic power suit with angelic wings.” The tree topper sells for $107 for a standard-size tree and more than $900 for a tree taller than 10 feet.

U.K.-based Women to Look Up To is selling the item, along with similar ones to honor Beyonce and Serena Williams.

From the “Women to Look Up To” web site:

In 2017 make your Christmas Tree Angel Fairy Topper an inspiring kickass woman worthy of wings and celebration – a Serena, a Beyoncé, or a woman voted for by you. 3D sculpted to order from the highest grade plaster, our Angel Christmas Tree Toppers come in a range of sizes to suit your home, office or event Christmas Tree. We ship your order insured, tracked and signed for anywhere in the world. They aren’t any old Christmas Tree Toppers. They are Women To Look Up To.

The Christmas Angel, Fairy, Tree Topper, by whatever name you call her, is a woman from a bygone era; a woman made of no more than plastic and glitter. No wonder, when the Victorians invented her!

This is a not-for-profit organisation with any profits reinvested in projects to further female equality, read more about our plans here.

Hillary lost. Get. Over. It.

DCG

British singer would push a button to kill Trump for the safety of humanity

morrissey

Good luck getting through Customs on your next visit to the USA.

From Fox News: Morrissey said if he was given the chance to kill President Trump, he would take it for the “safety of humanity.”

The former Smiths frontman told the German publication der Spiegel that he would not hesitate to kill Trump if presented with a button that would kill the president.

“I would [push it], for the safety of humanity,” Morrissey told the German outlet according to a translation of the interview by the Washington Times. “It has nothing to do with my personal opinion of his face or his family, but in the interest of humanity I would push.”

The 58-year-old also said he believes Trump won the election because of the media.

“The American media helped Trump, yes, they first created it,” he said. “Whether they criticize him or laugh at him, he does not care, he just wants to see his picture and his name. The American media have shot themselves in the leg.”

Morrissey also said he was shocked Trump won and he now has “no faith” in the political system.

“He grabs after everything like a little child. He is not a leader. He is vermin,” he said of Trump.

DCG

More lib speak: Eton college head says their young men need to be more “gender intelligent”

gender

That modern intelligence might be challenged in biology class.

From The Guardian: Pupils at Eton College need to be more “gender-intelligent” according to the headmaster, who indicated that any student at the all-male boarding school wishing to transition genders would be allowed to stay.

Simon Henderson, who took over the elite public school in 2015, told the Guardian that efforts to prepare its pupils for the modern world now included LGBT-awareness education and talks by the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates.

“I’m very keen that we are very aware that as an all-boys school there’s a responsibility for young men to be gender-intelligent,” he said.

Asked whether this extended to accepting transgender students at the £38,000-a-year school, Henderson said: “With any pastoral situation, we would support them in the best way we thought was appropriate for their particular circumstances.”

Eton College, which was founded by Henry VI in 1440, has educated the sons of the rich and powerful for more than five centuries, including 19 British prime ministers. Unlike many other schools, Eton has not yet been required to accommodate a transgender pupil,” Henderson said. “We have not been faced with that particular situation. Conceivably they would stay if it was felt to be the right thing for them.”

With growing transgender awareness among young people, schools across the country have been trying to adapt, among them Brighton College, an independent co-educational day and boarding school, which has scrapped distinctions between girls’ and boys’ uniforms. Single sex schools have also successfully dealt with young people transitioning.

Arguably, Eton – with its tailcoats, boarding houses and idiosyncratic traditions – may find it harder than others to adapt. In addition to the 1,300-strong all-male student body, just 20 of the 180 teaching staff are women and there are no plans to admit girls.

To that end, Henderson is trying to build more meaningful links with girls’ schools. He wants to increase the number of female teachers, as well as ethnic diversity, and he emphasises the broad diversity of visiting speakers, among them an Old Etonian whose subject was coming out as gay while a pupil at the college.

Read the whole story here.

In closing, Henderson argues that Eton may appear unaltered with its old-fashioned uniforms, quirky games and bizarre lexicon, but underneath the surface it is changing inexorably. Like any other school, Eton has to deal with the modern challenges of drugs, social media and mental health difficulties.

“I want us to be a modern, forward-thinking, relevant school,” he said. “Eton has always subtly reinvented itself. But you have moments in an institution – and this is one of those moments – when it has to take a step forward.”

h/t Breitbart

DCG

In the UK, drag queens used in nurseries to “help 2-year-olds learn about LBGT issues”

melissa harris perry

Indoctrinating young UK children…just being good little commies.

From Daily Mirror: Drag queens are being sent into nurseries to help children ’embrace their individuality’ and learn about ‘ LGBT tolerance’.

Call centre worker Tom Canham is the brainchild behind Drag Queen Story Time (DQST), which education bosses claim will help children ‘see people who defy rigid gender restrictions’.

The 25-year-old launched the project in May and set up a Crowdfunder campaign in the summer to buy books and pay for DBS checks.

During the winter DQST is holding sessions at seven nurseries run by the London Early Years Foundation. If successful (I am QUITE CONFIDENT that it will be successful, wink, wink), the project will be rolled out across all the nursery’s 37 sites.

The programme is for two and three year olds who have not yet developed any discriminations.

He told The Bristol Post : “For me the project is about drag queens providing fun and inclusive reading for children about issues around misogyny, homophobia, racism, LGBTQ and gender fluidity in a way which they can understand.

Racism, homophobia, misogyny and the like are all learnt behaviours – we aren’t born with any form of hatred, you get taught it over time. And if projects like these can go some small way to helping prevent or curtail that, then it can only be a good thing.”

The 25-year-old was inspired to launch the project after reading about a similar American scheme called ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’.

He said: “I saw a tweet from the producers of the drag TV show, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ about ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ and replied saying ‘why can’t we have something like this in the UK? To my amazement they replied and suggested I set up my own group, and it went from there really.”

In the summer Mr. Canham recruited 30 drag queens to take part in the project, and said he was getting more requests to take part on a daily basis.

Mr. Canham has a selection of books for the sessions entitled: ‘And Tango Makes Three’, ‘My Princess Boy’ and ‘Red: A Crayon’s Story’.

While most people have responded positively to the scheme, the 25-year-old has encountered harsh criticism and even abuse.

Child psychotherapist Dilys Daws claimed the scheme could ‘blind impressionable children of two and three to one of the most basic facts of human existence’.

This week she told the Daily Mail : “There’s this idea that’s sweeping the country that being transgender is an “ordinary situation”. It’s getting so much publicity that it’s getting children thinking that they might be transgender, when it otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them.”

But Mr. Canham has said the critisism does not bother him. “I have been called a paedophile for wanting to set up ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ and accused of trying to incite young children in to being gay,” he said.

“But thankfully that is only one in 1,000 people. I try to think of it as the negativity is what we are trying to change, so in that way it spurs me on – and being a gay man I have had to deal with lots of horrible comments throughout my life, so it really is water off a ducks back.”

DCG