The introduction of the BBC Micro Computer to the masses in the early 1980s was an ambitious project, but one I now look on with a degree of suspicion
It’s 1982, and we are busy In our factory at the edge of the Ashdown Forest.
“Come on, the customer wants the Rosetta displays.”
“The cabochons are ordered; I am thinking that we might be able to improve the sequence using EPROMs,” I suggest.
“No time left to be fupping pissing around on this one, Ray.” Colin says he is clearly feeling the pressure. “We need to get these displays out the door and into the customer’s hands as soon as possible. Let’s stick to our original plan and get it done.”
I had been experimenting with the BBC Micro at home, a microcomputer developed and sold by Acorn Computers. My legitimate reason for its purchase was to use it for programming; my ulterior motive behind the headline—the real reason—was that Lord of the Rings: Game One was due to be released and because it was based on the book The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien I was captivated, having first read all three tomes in 1970. The Model B, released in 1982, became the most successful and widely used variant. It featured an 8-bit processor, a full-sized keyboard, and a range of ports and expansions that made it suitable for various applications, including eprom programming. The BBC Micro was used extensively in UK schools at the time up until the early 1990s, and it played a significant role in introducing a generation of students to computing. Many people who grew up during that era have fond memories of using the BBC Micro for programming, playing games, and exploring various applications, including the BBC Domesday Project. I seem to remember that both of our sons, who attended the local primary school, helped with it. The Domesday Project was compiled between 1984 and 1986 and published in 1986. It included a new “survey” of the UK, in which people, mostly schoolchildren, wrote about geography, history, social issues in their local area, or just about their daily lives.
I had been on a long and circuitous journey down memory lane with my old friend George. “I still have one in the loft,” I announce, “a BBC computer; change the caps and it might even fire up.”
“I remember the old 6502 machine code,” George looks misty eyed, “those were the days.”
“The Domesday Project, well, there’s a thing,” he adds.
The BBC Domesday Project was seen as an innovative and ambitious venture, and engaging schoolchildren was a way to capture a broad range of data and perspectives. Students were encouraged to research and contribute information about their local areas, their schools, and their daily lives. This grassroots involvement added a personal touch to the project and helped create a comprehensive snapshot of British society in the 1980s.
The original Domesday Book, spanning 900 years, is housed in a chest at The National Archives in Kew, London, offering historical insights, life experiences, and related information.
The true purpose of the Domesday Book was primarily to establish an efficient and comprehensive system of taxation. William the Conqueror wanted to assess the wealth and resources of England accurately so that he could extract maximum revenue from the landholders and ensure efficient governance. And so it always comes back to the same people perpetrating the same old sh… It’s about the money, stupid. We are and have been for some time on a “people” farm and are just another inventory item along with the other animals, plants, goods, and chattels. In the beginning, there were families and small communities, and for centuries, children learned skills from their parents, including basic skills such as reading and writing. And then, a couple of hundred years ago, the children were sucked backward into compulsory schooling. Education is about exploring the earth’s classroom. Only in recent times have children been subjected to surveillance and assessment, with their achievements evaluated against a curriculum of government controlled indoctrination under the guise of “education.”
After the Norman Conquest in 1066, William sought to consolidate control over England’s vast estates. The Domesday Book helped him identify and document landholdings, values, and resources, which were essential for taxation and feudal obligations.
William conducted a survey to ensure fair land assessments and maximise revenue from each estate. The Domesday Book provided detailed records of land, livestock, and agricultural productivity, enabling accurate property income calculations.
George said, “apparently the new gold rush is data. “Have you heard of Palantir?”
“I have read the Lord of the Rings,” I say. Were not the Palantir smooth spheres of varying sizes inviolable and immutable—a dangerous tool indeed? They had permanent poles aligned with the earth’s centre and circumferential faces for viewing and channelling visions. Palantri showed users’ visions or intended thoughts—things that may have been, may yet happen, or may never come to pass.
“Not quite the outfit I was talking about, but you may have something there, Ray.”
“Palantir is a technology company founded in 2003 by a group of individuals, including Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, with the aim of providing data analysis and integration solutions for organisations, particularly in the realm of security and intelligence.”
“I cannot even begin to guess at the “true” purpose of a company, but Palantir’s primary objective is to offer powerful data analysis tools to assist government agencies, businesses, and other entities in making informed decisions and addressing complex challenges.”
“Palantir’s initial involvement in the NHS began in March 2020, alongside other tech giants, as part of a short term attempt to predict how best to deploy resources to deal with the “pandemic”, using a so-called “datastore” of health information.”
George shows me the headline. Look, there you go, a few days back.”
“NHS England has awarded a new contract to US data analytics company Palantir to transition existing NHS projects into a new federated data platform (FDP), prompting pushback from organisations unhappy about the tender process.”
“It’s got its fingers in one or two pies, then,” I observe.
Palantir focuses on government agencies, defence, intelligence, law enforcement, and security, offering software for counterterrorism, financial crimes, cybersecurity, disaster response, and decision-making. Its tentacles extend to commercial clients in healthcare, finance, energy, and manufacturing, providing advanced data analysis and integration solutions for informed decision-making, security enhancement, and addressing complex challenges in both the public and private sectors.
The introduction of the BBC Micro computer to the masses in the early 1980s was an ambitious project, but one I now look on with a degree of suspicion. It was certainly the beginning of imbuing children with a controlled world of technocracy and making them more amenable to the planned changes in the future.
“There’s many a young warrior who cut their teeth on coding who wants to use it for good. Some will be lured by promises of fame and fortune and get lured into organisations fronted up to help minority communities, which in reality spread government propaganda,” George points out. “Many units were contracted to trawl social media to identify and remove selected topics and pass them on to government officials. The multiple counter-misinformation units tasked with targeting newspapers, MPs, and journalists for analysing COVID-19 modelling, promoting vaccine hesitancy, and spreading government propaganda But remember, we are many, and there are many ways to win a battle.”
“Infiltrate the data system and take the ‘new gold ring’ to Mount Doom; put it into the volcano where it was forged; put it in the only place it can be destroyed,” I suggest.
“Sounds like a plan, but who will be our Smeagol, our Gollum?”
I told George about our motorcycle tour of the Somme and how it was impossible not to consider “The Lord of the Rings” an allegory of WW1, at least on some levels. Le Monde ran something about comparisons being drawn with more recent events:
“Since the days of the USSR, Russians and Russia are often compared to Orcs and Mordor. But Ukrainian and Russian fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work reappropriate this imagery in different ways, in particular ever since their countries have been at war.”
“The old tactic of divide and conquer is being rolled out in Russia: stir up old hatreds, let them fight it out between themselves, and then the globalists swoop in to gather up the booty.”
“It works every time,” George says. Ukraine is the international laundromat operator; they, the globalists, don’t care who is fed into the meat grinder; it’s all about untainted money and the acquisition of wealth and feeding the masses some barely plausible story through their friends, the MSM, isn’t it?”
“Hello George,” my missus says as she breezes in, “I know correlation is not causation, but I have never, in my whole life, seen so many people walking bent over, with sticks, on frames in wheelchairs—that garden centre is an abomination with its mobile COVID-19 walk in vaccination centre.”
“Age 12 upwards, special inducements for the over 75 year olds, really?”
“What’s changed in the last…?” George looks crestfallen. She pauses and gives George a hug. “I wasn’t thinking. I’m so sorry, George. I had better go and make some tea.”
George’s next door neighbour is a nurse and suggested he had better get the jab as soon as it became available in 2021 as he was in a “vulnerable” group.
“I only got the one,” George says apologetically.
- The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
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- Coming soon: How to Avoid Digital Slavery