Uncertainty with carbon 14 dating

25 Jul

They now find themselves being paid for speeches to obscure American universities, writing editorials or hosting podcasts about decisions they used to take.

They have gone from discussing this country’s destiny on television to dancing under the glitterball and, in the case of Alex, hosting a talk show on an obscure Russian propaganda network.

I remember a year, too, in which people decided to stop listening and to start shouting instead. For that to be more than a vain hope, we all to need to take a lie down on the psychiatrist’s couch and undergo a bit of analysis to work out where all our rage is coming from. The oft repeated promises of peace and prosperity have collapsed, along with the banks. All of us – Leavers and Remainers alike – have a sense that our lives are being shaped by forces beyond us, whether it’s the builders of the European superstate or those who spent decades denigrating Europe and plotting to escape from its clutches, the Tory press or the liberal mainstream media, the bankers, the elite, the establishment, Trump, Putin, those global tax evading corporations… Whatever else 2018 brings, it will be a reminder of this fact – that change is daily rendering the powerful impotent and making fools of us all.

The mob which now gathers on the digital street corner is fuelled by gossip not facts; emotion rather than analysis and prejudice in place of knowledge. We feel less safe than we did and, damn it, poorer too. Globalisation has ripped down the barriers to communication, trade and travel.

Or the speculators who turned Bitcoin – a virtual currency underwritten by nobody – into a craze which is run from computer systems that use more electricity than countries the size of Ireland.

Before she can do so, she must tell the EU and her own country what Brexit really means – that it will inevitably involve trade-offs between the business, the livelihoods and the jobs of different regions, professions, trades and businesses...

Negotiators mostly identify and protect the sectors in which they have what economists call a comparative advantage – the things their country does better, cheaper and more efficiently.

On a trip to Silicon valley this year I saw how AI – Artificial Intelligence – has the potential to automate and sweep away millions of jobs, from lorry drivers to radiologists and from bricklayers to bankers.

In California, they have begun to consider the ethics of AI.