Monday, 3 December 2018

Modern world stuff.

Modern solutions to modern problems throw up new problems.

In the Arctic bit of Sweden they are planning to move a whole city. The city of Kiruna largely exists because of the iron ore mine which is undermining it. Quite literally undermining it. The mine has tunnelled under the town and cracks are appearing. Sinkholes are appearing. The place is going to fall into the mine.

And so they plan to move the whole town. They are offering to buy people’s houses and rehouse them in the new place, or they will actually move the houses in some cases. Apparently modern technology makes it possible to do that and it might be cheaper than building new from scratch.

Modern solutions!

There is one problem and its name is Sami. The Sami are the indigenous people of Lapland, reindeer herders, who are opposed to the idea. They are not opposed to the idea per se but to the location of the new / relocated city. Some Sami work in the mine but The Sami’s reindeer herding is often disrupted by mining. “We have a reindeer community here, this is their moving territory. Or it was – everything changed with the city. Kiruna as a city doesn’t take much consideration about Sami people or Sami lifestyles.”

It’s an odd fact that the rich can set themselves up in communes to live a simpler lifestyle but all over the world indigenous people who want to continue with their simpler life styles come up against the modern world. Here’s a link to an article about Kiruna.

Another problem they all have is that modern mining methods, mechanisation and robotics and the like, mean that there are fewer jobs - including for those Sami who work for the mining company. So they will need to diversify, maybe launching into tourism, bringing in people to view the Northern Lights.

Here’s another modern world problem.

Driving test examiners are accused of racism. It may not be overt racism. It could be a subconscious thing but “Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) after a freedom of information request show black women had the lowest pass rates (32%) and white men the highest (56%). The figures, covering 2008-17, also show all women had a pass rate of 43% and all men 50%.”

One factor to be taken into consideration is that only 21% of examiners are women. That may have something to do with it. The DVSA said: “Ultimately, all candidates regardless of gender, disability or ethnicity are assessed to the same standard.”

Now, I have long held the belief that on the whole women are better drivers than men, possibly because there are more stupid men driving than there are stupid women driving. The figures may bear this out as female drivers were less likely to be involved in road accidents than men (they accounted for only a third of accidents in 2016).

One of the men involved in collecting the information commented, “The behaviour post-licence suggests women are safer and better drivers, so the pass rates require further explanation.”

Of course, it could just be that women are altogether superior!

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