30. A change in procedure.

“Who are you?” I asked the watcher in my dreams.
“Who wants to know?” was the reply.
Paul Broks.

1. We had a weclome change in procedure today which worked for nearly everyone. Mr B left the main clutch of chairs and went to speak by the pathway, with no chairs. He soon found a handful of passers-by choosing to stand and listen. He tells me it was a wonderful afternoon, finishing at 5pm. His listeners contributed well to the discussions. Meanwhile, the circus of cockatoos he left behind managed well without him. Helmut chaired the meeting and they all appeared to be enjoying themselves. It was a win-win situation that bodes well for the future.

2. Steve Maxwell had three main topics today:
(1) The Black Wars in Tasmania. (The violent conflict between Aborigines and the British colonists.)
(2) He gave us tips on how we can argue against a Climate Change denier.
(3) He spoke about the Bughouse Debates in the U.S. which are still going strong.

3. A conundrum:Imagine there is a fatal disease that, if you have it, manifests when you turn 60 and kills you. One person in a million gets the disease randomly. There is no cure, but there is a blood test that will tell you if you have the disease. The accuracy of the blood test is 95%. You’re not yet 60 and you accidentally get tested for the disease. The blood test says you have the disease. The question is:should you be worried?

Ben the Whisperer got the answer right. Well done, Ben!

4. If there were a buttonthat made humans the same colour, would you press it? The grasshoppers provided a variety of answers.

5. “Never read to the mob!”is a golden rule for speakers at Speakers’ Corner. Yet that is precisely what Mr B did today, for the first time. He read a short story written by Henry Lawson: ‘That There Dog of Mine’.

6. Mr B gave some unusual adviceabout how to make friends. This was in response to a question regarding the loneliness epidemic. The following photo was taken from the Postsecret website.

7. Other subjects discussed.
– After the ABC Television’s Media Watchprogram exposed how women’s magazines manufacture one photograph by combining two different photographs, and then writing lies based on that photograph, why do women continue to purchase womens’ magazines? Didn’t word spread like wildfire that the magazines are manufacturing outright lies? Why is womanhood continuing to support those magazines?

– Someone suggested that animals treated cruelly in factory farms don’t mind the awful conditions because they know nothing else. They don’t feel lousy because they are used to their life and don’t know any better. Mr B took umbrage with that point-of-view and provided an “evolutionary argument” to claim the contrary.

– How can we interpret a dream? It’s easier and more accurate than you think.

– What if we viewed people in the same way we view trees?

– Mr B gave two youngsters some tips on how to gain real financial security.

– There were reasons given as to why there should be no private schools allowed, except selective schools for the intellectually gifted.

– Mr B went on a diabtribe about the following sentence: “The pain was quite horrible.”

– Leadership. Who leads you?

– The little kiddies passing by were told “Eat your veggies!”

– From Mr B’s Law Reform series: A court makes a decision and the decision is invariably appealed. If the decision is reversed it means the first court got it wrong. Why isn’t that first court held accountable for getting it wrong? If the judge in the court wasn’t smart enough to come to the right decision, why were they given the case in the first place? In the U.S.A, four orphans (all under the age of 21) successfully sued a tobacco company and won US$700,000. The company appealed and the court reversed the decision. The kids had to give all the US700,000 back, plus interest, plus pay all the legal fees. To pay the $1m+ bill they had to sell the family home. Why can’t the law get it right the first time and prevent such pain?

8. The answer to the fataldisease question above: you wouldn’t need to be worried. Remember, only one person in a million gets the disease and the blood test is 95% accurate. That means if you were to test one million people, 5% of them would be given an incorrect test result. i.e. 50,000 people would be given the wrong answer. Virtually all of them would be told they have the disease when they don’t have it. So, if your blood test says you have the disease, there is approximately one chance in 50,000 that you actually have the disease. With such low odds, you wouldn’t need to worry.

9. In our Unusual Creatures Seriesthis Fennec Fox from the Sahara might be the new logo for our Facebook page if something extraordinary and unforeseen happens.