The Thinker's Page

You came. You thought. You conquered.

Introduction

You are someone who muses, internally pontificates, cogitates and wonders with all the careful thought of an octopus working out how to slip into a jam jar.

Which all makes this section of the website ideal for you.

The Thinker's page is a new section in the vinceunlimited universe designed to collate all the relevant stuff off the site for a particular type of reader, in this case the considered, thinking sort.

Right to Reply

If you feel moved enough to add anything, why not drop Vince a vMail and have your say. Just remember to think about your response first.

Rebuilding The Dream

In time this page will be fully populated with all the thought provoking content found within the vinceunlimited site. It has started but there is more to come, so please be patient and check back in due course.

These are the first of the articles originally written and published in October 2003 and February 2005 in the original versions of the vinceunlimited website and represent opinions at the time, based on contemporaneous knowledge. They are reproduced below updated and edited only where necessary.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.064 2 Feb 2018
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003



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Animal Parts - The Big Issue - Concrete - The Millennium Dome - Escalator Etiquette



This article was originally written and published in October 2003 in the original version of the vinceunlimited web site and represented an opinion at the time, based on contemporaneous knowledge. It is reproduced below updated and edited.

Animal Parts As Spares

A monkey sat on the shoulder of Vince
A monkey transplant

One of the big issues facing mankind today is the moral question of whether we should be allowed to grow animals purely for use as spare parts for humans. Technological advancement is reaching the point where soon we will be able to grow compatible human parts within live animals.

And in 2017 the UK issued plans to make organ donor presumed consent a thing. If we have to go to the trouble of opting out then so can the mammals. Unless they fill out a form on the internet.

Imagine, a man's spare spleen, if you can, grown by a dog. Or a newborn baby's amputated lower arm being re-grown by a monkey. Or an arse transplanted from a horse onto a woman (I'm sure I've seen her already).

The issue centres on whether it is moral to do this. I believe it may be immoral not to do it. I would argue that mankind is no more than a species, albeit a very successful one and one which we are lucky to be a part of. And like all other species humans have developed the best way to survive and prosper. Being able to harvest parts from other species is just another development in the clear superiority of humans. All species use the resources available to them and just as our food farming is a clever extension of this ability so is improving this to include repair of damaged or old body parts. It is a natural extension. Nature.

And who wouldn't choose to live longer, providing the quality of their life through use of renewable, healthier parts was assured.

The only concerns I would personally have is to impose controls on the supply. I couldn't accept that the system was open to be abused by undesirable people. And I'm not scaremongering about a dozen cloned dictators. That just couldn't occur. No, I would worry about persistent drunks using surrogates to grow banks of spare livers. And I would have concerns about stinking smokers using animals to constantly transplant their lungs. Transplanting their brains might be a better idea.

My own view is that I would be happy for a pig to grow a heart for me, then for me to have it transplanted when mine is worn out. And I could enjoy a good bacon sandwich afterwards. Long live technology.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.013 27 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts a Barbary Macaque monkey sat on the shoulders of the author in Gibraltar and was added along with minor text updates in Version 5.003 6 Oct 2017
The preheader was contained within the article body in Version 5.013 27 Oct 2017



The Big (Issue) Idea

You were begging for it

By some standards I am not an overtly charitable person.

I don't set fire to Oxfam shops or kick Labradors or anything like that but equally if a 'charitable' group deluges my post-box with empty envelopes hoping that they may be filled with silver and returned then they will be sadly disappointed.

And I'm not the first to dig deep in my pockets to give money to the needy on the streets.

It is not that I dislike charity I just believe that as a society we handle the situation wrongly. The more that individuals give the less the need for society to contribute.

I do not object to my taxes being used to help those less in need but do think that it should be a government or council body deciding on distribution to meet genuine needs rather than rely on the success or otherwise of money raising campaigns. Why should a charity with a cute mascot or one with a big budget get the healthiest return?

Inevitably, one set of losers from my stringent policy is street beggars. And there must be quite a few like me as begging has developed to become high tech to compete. Well, I mean high tech in the comparitive world of scruffy tramps.

Now, instead of asking for money in a menacing fashion homeless people can now sell a service, a magazine called The Big Issue. It even has its own website - I told you it was high tech.

Now I have often passed these one product newsstands and seen the vendor struggle to sell their magazine, despite some high profile guests and modern looks. The problem is image and the thought that it is cover to cover with dreary stories of despair, which it isn't.

But being me, I had an answer.

Once, when a scruffy lad asked if I wanted to swap one of my hard earned pounds for his magazines I initially politely declined and started to pass by, when an idea dawned on me.

I stopped and suggested he could either take the price of one magazine in exchange for said article or I could give him an idea to sell hundreds more.

Being a thoughtful, considerate man he mused over the offer for a second or two then demanded his pound.

Then announced in a slur "You're my best friend, you".

Alas, he had missed the opportunity of his lifetime.

In a charitable manner I am now going to give out the advice I had to anyone reading this article.

You see, it occurs to me that the street magazine sellers are missing out on one of the most populous parts of city society - the tourists. And my idea will make the magazine appealing to all of them.


Add a map of the city


Simple.

Now, when you have recovered from the shock of such a simple idea and wondered why you hadn't thought of it you might start to consider the pitfalls.

Copyright is the major downside. Some companies make quite a profit out of selling 'disposable' maps of cities to tourists so they are hardly likely to allow their map to be used. And our national map supplier is not known for it's charitable work.

But this is where the idea still holds ground. Why not draw the city from scratch?

I know that would be a labour consuming process but hey, isn't that what these people do? Walk the streets all day?

The only other pitfall I can see is the image issue.

Do our town mayors want all the tourists approached by a scruffy urchin offering a rain sodden map and a promise that "You're my best mate, you"?

But to deny the scheme for this reason alone would be uncharitable, wouldn't it?

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.063 31 Jan 2018
First Published: Version 1.03 in Feb 2005
The Big Issue magazine scheme was launched in London in 1991 to help rough sleepers move from street begging to selling a service and now costs £2.50 per copy with 50% of that price going directly to the vendor. Their website is www.bigissue.com



Concrete

By Vince

From an idea by my father, written in 1994


A concrete stairway lit in red

In a decade or two,
Everyone knew,
That there would be no more fossil fuel.

In a decade or three,
Everyone agreed,
There'd be no more wood left from the trees.

In a decade or four,
Everyone saw,
Total destruction from nuclear war.

But no-one 'cept me,
Could ever forsee,
The day we ran out of concrete.

The day we run out of concrete,
Is a day that we should grieve.
No more building up our lifestyle.
No more repairing what we see.
Jobs are lost.
No road repairs.
No shelter for our kids.
The day we run out of concrete,
The day we run out of concrete,
No fabric for society.

Ten years go by,
How right was I.
Concrete's in such short supply.

A decade's passed,
Science at last,
Is hunting for a replacement fast.

The day we run out of concrete,
Is a day that we should grieve.
No more building up our lifestyle.
No more repairing what we see.
Jobs are lost.
No road repairs.
No shelter for our kids.
The day we run out of concrete,
The day we run out of concrete,
No fabric for society.

Another ten on,
Everyone's gone.
No-one listened to the words of my song.

A decade goes.
Nobody knows.
Nobody here to listen to me.
Nobody here to listen to me.
Nobody here to listen to me.
I feel so alone...

I recall,
The day we ran out of concrete,
Was a day that we all grieved.
We couldn't build upon our lifestyle,
Or repair society.
Jobs were lost.
No road repairs.
No shelter for our kids.
The day we ran out of concrete,
The day we ran out of concrete,
A day I hope I never see.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.010 20 Oct 2017
Lyrics written in 1994
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts a concrete staircase, part of the South Bank in London and was added, along with the tag in Version 5.010 20 Oct 2017



The Millennium Dome

A tribute to the Greenwich blister

A landscape image depicting the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome

An enormous carbuncle or visionary monument? That is the question

Many say that the cash should have been spent on the NHS instead? They questioned the extravagance of a structure built of a seemingly temporary design and only there for a year. And no one can see where the £800m and counting went. So why am I a supporter of this apparently whitest of elephants?

Let us consider some facts. The Dome was built in the UK, not a third world country riddled with debt and plagued by civil war. We are a first world power so shouldn't we be able to afford a bit of luxury? The money is better spent on this plaything for a few than on another weapon of mass destruction.

And I do not believe that one hospital or nurse has been cancelled because of the project. I agree the National Health Service is currently under funded and would be happy to pay additional taxes if I could guarantee an efficient service but I do not confuse this issue with the Dome. That is the job of the British Press.

As for the contents I am not a believer of criticism without seeing things first hand. So I visited this monument in it's heyday in early March 2000 and enjoyed the whole day. The content was generally of an excellent nature and there was more to see than I could in the day's visit. In particular I noted that the Journey Zone was top draw stuff (Incidently, I could not find the actual top shelf stuff).

The only disappointment was the main show. Set on too grand a scale with things happening everywhere and a pretentious story line too far up its own tent-pole to make any sense.

I predict that the Dome will eventually be fondly remembered. The media in this country is controlling how we perceive the image of this stunning structure and up to now the press has been slagging it off. Its image is at a low point so the media-mongrels [deliberate misspelling] will soon decide it is time to re-launch it as a success story.

And as for the slogan 'Only open for a year'. It will still be up and running in some form in 20 years - Mark my words.

Think about the publicity that we could get for our country if we had all got behind it - I believe it is big enough.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.013 27 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome and was taken by the author in August 2003. It was added in Version 5.013 27 Oct 2017



Escalator Etiquette Idea

Mounting Excitement

It's a nice idea to be able to set a trend but I'm having a little difficulty getting this one going all on my own. After all my influence on thousands is fairly limited so maybe all readers could help here.

I say all readers but in truth this only really applies to those in busy metropolii[*]. My personal experience is of the metropolis called London but I guess that this could be a worldwide idea. Though not so much use in the Outer Hebrides.

On escalators it is now normal for those that are too fat, unfit or even have too much time on their hands to stand still and let the moving stairs do the work.

This is appallingly lazy and frankly a hindrance to all those who are too stressed to stand still for thirty seconds.

This lacklustre attitude causes mayhem in many places and as such it has become commonplace in big cities for those that stand to occupy just one side of the travellator allowing others to rush up the other side. This system works quite well so I can't express improvement here.

However, what I do find though is that the escalators are just not quite wide enough for this difference in speed.

Maybe we have all become wider? I know quite a few that would fit that category and some so wide they would have to fit in the next category up.

And the problem is exasperated in winter when everyone dresses like they are in Siberia. Big people in big coats mean a big problem.

But I have a little solution.

I thought of the idea whilst trying to hare up one of the escalators in London. I had travelled halfway up and realised I was adopting a contorted angular shape with my torso. Not easy in public, I assure you. I had this strange forty-five degree gait to avoid crashing into every stationary pedestrian. After all, crashing past with impunity is not only sometimes painful but so terribly rude.

And there is a simple solution that doesn't involve shutting down the underground systems for years on end - sorry Unison.

Why don't the stationary people stand at a jaunty angle?

Simple eh?

This would aide all parties with very little effort. The hares could charge up and get to their heart attack with ease and the tortoises would not have their left shoulders dislocated.

This could be reinforced with signs such as 'Stand on the left, at an angle'.

As an inventor of ideas I am of course duty bound to look at the pitfalls as well as the benefits but I am at a loss as to think of them.

There are even added benefits for the businesses that provide these escalators. All those stood at an angle will be turned toward all the revenue giving advertising. And those that stand still on rising escalators will not have to have their face buried in the bottom of the person in front.

I'm sold, I'll be doing it from now, will you?

After all, as I said at the beginning - I can't do this all by myself.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.064 2 Feb 2018
First Published: Version 1.03 in Feb 2005
* Question: What is the plural of Metropolis? It is a Greek word so it should be metropoleis. However the word comes to English via the Latin so perhaps should be metropoles. Google cites a common spelling as metropolises. This is why I am not correcting my own spelling as Metropolii. Let's see who wins here