Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Carrot vs. Stick

If you have kids, and I'm sure many of you do (or may even have been one), there are a few basic rules for getting on. ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’ may have passed into law-enforced PC oblivion, so suffice to say that even with one's nearest and dearest it's best to build the structure of a reward on the firm foundation of what is and is not going to be tolerated, even though the 'or else bit' gets a bit vague these days.

I was reminded of this the other night when watching a programme about Hiroshima. It was very good, if distressing to see the sheer extent of the suffering of the truly innocent (though by way of dispassionate explanation, it was war, and you as dead from a atomic blast as you are on the end of a bayonet, but that is perhaps a topic for another time).

What was interesting, as I did not know beforehand, was that prior to dropping the bomb the Allies had decided to soften their demand for unconditional surrender to take into account the sticking point of the whole Japanese 'Emperor is all' mindset. Basically a bit of a compromise to conclude what was pretty obviously a done deal. Trouble was, this got interpreted by the 'nothing to lose' chancers on the other side as a sign of weakness, so they basically went from thinking about ways to surrender to telling the Allies to stick it, thus ensuring what came to pass.

So on to today, and I read that Iran has told the EU to.. er.. 'stick it', despite offers of political and economic incentives, designed to dissuade the theocratic Middle Eastern state from building atomic bombs. I'm not encouraged that we have any statespersons left with the balls or skill to deal with this. Even those who have read enough history to avoid repeating it. Danegeld... Munich anyone?

A bit like our own homegrown travails, we are reaping what we have sowed by our own ineptitude. Doing nothing is usually more dangerous in the long run. Look at the climate issue.

On a happier note, Junkk.com is just getting more carroty every day, with a raft of new initiatives I can't wait to share. Watch this space. Well, the one to the left on the homepage anyway.

Lack of Definition

I just have to make this quick topical comment.

Why do the autocue-reading vanilla cones and suit-capped bouffants on the news keep saying that the Shuttle landing has suffered another 'setback'?

It's a simple delay, built into the operational parameters, to await the optimal landing conditions across a selection of sites. I know delay doesn't quite have the same sensationalist cachet as setback, but if it's a slow news day, try and find some other news guys! A surfboarding tortoise would be preferable to wheeling out the endless series of talking heads to say that it's going round in circles waiting to land because that's what they've planned to do all along.

No news is no news.

I for one, especially for the sake of their families and colleagues, wish the crew well and happy landings. Until they do - end of story.