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Michael Gumbrell

binary language a blog post

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still based around brexit, here is an article from my blog that deals with the polarisation of language. One of my blog post about satirical infographics on this site was the inspiration.

If you look at the Trump/ fart infographic I posted in February, on the comments is a fellow student who felt the need to quote Hitler and be very ill judged in her comments.

This lack of foresight or inability on her part to not resort to binary language prompted me to write this article:

as ever these articles are available to read, like and comment on at:


Binary: relating to, using, or denoting a system of numerical notation that has 2 rather than 10 as a base.


Binary. The language of a modern computer driven world. Instead of a range of value across a scale of 1 to10, a spectrum or continuum, binary uses a system of a value of 2 options. 1 or 0. On or off. Is or is not.

We live in an increasingly globalised world, driven by computers and software all using binary numbers as its language. We are often told that computers are making the world a smaller place, that we are becoming ‘global’ and that computers bring us together. I often wonder if this is a good thing? I can use a computer and its binary system to talk to someone on the other side of the world, instantly. But if I want to see that person and talk to them with all the subtleties of body language, vocal inflection and personal interaction, I have to fly for 22 hours, stopping once to refuel, and travelling 11,000 miles to achieve this.

So binary allows me to connect with someone on the other side of the world, but it does not allow me to interact with them in a truly personal way?

Inside my computer a series of 1 or 0’s define how it operates. So it takes me, a person with a schema, a life time of experience, a range of complex emotions and the ability to conceptualise my surroundings from a philosophical, political, artistic and emotional level to input my words into something that turns it all binary.

Now I wonder if the computer if being guided by my input and converting that into binary or is the computer and its binary language actually inputting into me? That might sound strange, but does it?

Like this. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Swipe left or right. Hot or Not. Share or don’t Share.

It sometimes seems that in the global world of social media, that the computer and global world it enables, is driving the people who use it, to settle into binary positions. It seems to me that people are starting to use binary language to interact with the world around them.

It is very disheartening to see this conversion of human interaction reduced to binary language and positions. I look at the Brexit vote. A binary choice, in or out, that led to a binary choice, hard or soft Brexit. It saddens me even further to see the interaction of people, when dealing with the results of binary choices, being reduced to binary language.

Remoaners, liberal elites, Lefties, out of touch, stupid.

Just some of the choice binary words I have seen leveled at people disappointed by the result.

Brexiteers, Fascist, Nazi, thick, out of touch, racist.

Binary words again.

I would point out to the people using binary words about remoaners, you cannot just be a leftie and a liberal elite. It would require a complex ideological position with a nuanced understanding of the philosophical concept of freedom to define a socialist and liberal perspective of the equality of outcome that both positions could represent.

But that’s not very binary is it. To look at the position of the people on the other side of the debate requires more than just insults that are binary in nature.

The same applies to the Brexiteers. How can you be a fascist and a Nazi. One position was born out of National Socialism, the other is a far right wing position. Why is a desire to restore national sovereignty to your state a racist endeavor? To seek restoration of your sovereign state might be considered to go against the globalist trend and favor more international anarchistic perspective of international relations.

Again none of these positions are easy to express without the complex understanding of the world around us and how we interact with it. They are far more subtle and nuanced than a binary position and binary language allows.

Do any of us exist in isolation, are we not bound by are social contracts, our relationship with our local and wider communities? We live complex and political world. All politics, philosophy’s, ideologies and political communities exist across a spectrum. None of them are binary, especially socialist perspectives, which produce a wide a broad church of different ideological positions. None of the complex, subtle and nuanced nature of the world we live in seems best served by trying to distill all of its complexities into binary positions and binary language.

Does that black mirror we stare into every day, at our computer, on our tablet or through our phone, reflect our face back at us or is it shaping us a new, binary, reflection?

There you have it, I have used 900 words to express, in not very binary terms, my concern at my perceived rise in the use of binary language in our society. That binary language will harm debate, degrade our interactions with each other and isolate us all into binary positions. We might be able to Ctrl+Alt+Dlete a computer, but we cannot do that to ourselves and our society.

Or to borrow the words of the recently departed, once vilified, and at the sad time of his passing, much respected former England manager Graham Taylor…

‘do I not like that’


‘This article was written by a cybetech 87765 laptop using a cortex 100100100 processor, assisted by the malleable human, Mike Gumbrell’

‘this article was then processed into a blog format by a defknel101101101 processor’ and the authors identity remodeled to be a www.thespecialistgeneralist.net virtual identity’.

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Michael Gumbrell

automated cars, a blog post

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Here is one about the onset of driver less cars:

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Car Automation:

 or ‘how everything we do is NOT driven by you’


I was reading something on the BBC the other day which I found very interesting. I decided to put a few words down about it myself, I think this might be another post that will veer from one topic to another and back again. I perhaps should not have used the word veer, since this topic of thought is driverless cars!

Ford, that bastion of production values, the founder of the production line and creator of the Ford Capri is no longer a car maker. No longer a car maker? They still produce millions of the metal wagons every year. However last year Ford starting calling itself a ‘technology company’. I found this very interesting, Ford are part of the chase to achieve driverless cars, in fact they have declared that by 2021 they will be selling the things. Google, Apple and Tesla are also in the race, along with Honda.

The most interesting part of this race is, rather like motorsport itself, there are classes of driverless cars. Level 0 is an old-fashioned car, rather like the Ford Capri I mentioned earlier, it looks fantastic but it does nothing to help you drive. It came as a surprise to me to find out I already drive a level 2 car. I say I drive it, but being a level 2 (there are 6 levels in all 0-5) it sometimes drives me. How does my car fall under level 2? Well the fact that my car has front radar and automatic collision braking got me into level 1, the fact my car also has cruise control got me into level 2. The Tesla is a level 3 car, it will change lanes for you. The real interesting things happen when you get to level 4 and 5. Level 4 means the car will do everything for you, but does have the controls fitted so that you can intervene if you need to, level 5 is the top step on the podium, no steering wheel or pedals! You will quite literally be passenger to your own fate.

So to get to level 5 you need software, lots of software. This is how Ford has reasoned that they are now a technology firm. The biggest car makers have all been buying up software and radar firms for the last couple of years because it is their future. The report from the Economist about the future of car making is very interesting. The predictions are that some firms will thrive, driven by the role out of driverless vehicles, others will fold. The idea that some car makers will go under, primarily because they have not got on board with the shift of technology, leads in nicely to the buyout of GM by Peugeot/Citroen. It is a very old economic principle that buying out your competition and becoming the biggest fish is the pond is a good way to consolidate profit and market share. But set against this complex idea that car makers are going to stop being car makers in the next 10-15 years, that they are going to become technology firms that produce hi-tech ‘movement pods’, is a stab at buyout and creating a bigger firm the best bet for Peugeot/Citroen.? VW did there amalgamating years ago, to create a super large production stable of several brands. VW might yet enter the driverless stakes, in fact my level 2 driverless car is a Skoda, part of the VW group. VW have the software, they managed to get millions of cars through emission tests they could not pass with it, so the processing power must be there for the next steps.

Having a Level 5 car is only part of the step though, both Google and Apple talk about the idea that apps for car sharing will be part of the future. So I might not need to own a driverless car, I might just need an app so that I can arrange a car share with another owner to get myself to work every day. So a network of unowned cars, acting like minicabs, picking people up and taking them to where they need to be without the need to ever own the car itself. If I was the UK government I would be getting straight to this, imagine the lost revenue from, less driving tests, less licences, less car tax, less fuel duty and all the other stealth tax (10% VAT on insurance). It is going to cost them a fortune! Of course the new driverless cars will need transponders in the roads, fixed radar mapping points and band width to function. So the UK government might be able to reclaim some of the lost income with infrastructure improvements to road systems that will charge the car users (or the cars themselves) to keep everything on the straight and narrow. Also look at all the driving schools and instructors who will be redundant.

Do driverless car actually cause a lack of choice in ownership? Is this shift in technology anti-capitalist? If we are car sharing rides in driverless cars, the need for ownership is removed. No longer might I hanker after a Jaguar, fine looking things they are, if in fact I do not need to own a car. If I am just sharing it to get me to work, will I really care what it looks like, is the fact that I will not drive it going to break the mould of ownership engagement? If we break the emotional relationship with our cars, I still love my old Capri-30 years since I sold it, is that going to ruin the business model for the luxury, pretty car makers? If we do not own the driverless car, then who will? Leasing firms will be interested in getting as many paying customers into their cars as possible, so 2 seater coupes are not going to be popular, driverless or not. No taxi firm has thought ‘let’s get 16 Ferrari’s, it will lose us money but we will look fantastic’.

The last question to consider here, is will it make our roads safer? I watched the test session last week with two robotic racing cars. No drivers, just software guiding the two 160 mile an hour cars round the track, it took 2 laps for one car to crash. We will all be safer with driverless cars. Perhaps the most pertinent question is, how we the transition take place? If driverless cars are safer, then all the person driven cars would have to get off road the day before the driverless cars take hold. Could we mix the two categories safely? Will cars driven by humans need to stick to one lane, whilst the other lanes are for driverless cars? That is a massive stress on all parties involved.

And perhaps the most important question of all, will Prof Brian May have to update his Ford advertisement jingle to ‘everything we do, is NOT driven by you’


Mike Gumbrell


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Michael Gumbrell

Brexit blog post.

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 5 Mar 2017, 11:06

here is my thespecialistgeneralist.net blog post about Brexit.

For all those of you who study social science and sweat TMA word counts, you might want to jump to the last 2 paragraphs first, for a bit of a chuckle:

Brexit, from the UK perspective.

Oh my, how many words, insults and offended philosophies have been thrown at the subject of Brexit. As I write this, the Brexit bills is with the house of lords and the usual pressure points of constitutional crisis are being bandied about to try and prevent the lords from amending the bill.

We have spent so much time and energy in debating and arguing the exit negotiations from our own internal UK point of view. We have heard from the EU itself, the comments ranging across a spectrum of ‘we must punish the UK for leaving’ to ‘we must respect the UK and offer them a fair deal’.

I find myself thinking about the European position to Brexit. This summer has no major sporting event in it, no Olympics, no World Cup or European football championships, but I believe the potential exists for the new summer blockbuster of entertainment to be the first 3 months after the UK Government trigger article 50.

This might sound a bit odd, but I would like to put it into context. From the UK side, the government will trigger article 50, with a government still in position until 2020, with a decent majority and an economy with steady, if unspectacular, growth. The team to negotiate Brexit will have been in place for 6 months, agenda’s set, outcomes prioritised and much work to be done. So the UK team will be set, positions coached and a positive team win is sought.

My worry is that we are going to be negotiating with an EU that is going to spend a lot of the summer in crisis. If these negotiations are going to be held, they need two sides with the time, skills and resources to negotiate.

I have very real concerns that the EU is not going to be able to hold its own side of the negotiation on track. I would suggest this because of the following reasons, a summer of EU crisis, that may well end in the autumn and the autumn of the European Union itself.

The first major shock to the EU will be March 31st itself. End of the financial year and the UK government will press the button on article 50. Gone are all the hopes, fears and potential last minute reprieves. Tony Blair, the very self-appointed king of global society, the nemesis of Westphalian sovereignty, might well be trying to halt the process, but his is an intervention with little credibility and much too late in the day to reset the UK government. So the first blow to the structure of the EU will be landed, with full force on 31st March. No longer a problem, Brexit becomes a certainty.

So where does the next blow to European union come from? Marie Le Pen was considered a right wing no hoper until this month. A surge of 20 points, helped by the revelations of corruption and elitism by her opponents, has seen her take the outright lead in the race to preside over France. Much like Trump before her, she was written off, and yet has ascended to a potential winning position. If she is the winner in May 2017, the EU will be negotiating with a member aboard that has also promised a referendum on EU membership. The UK was never a true member of the EU, we kept the pound, opted out of Lisbon and Dublin treaties. How would the EU cope with a full member on board who also wants to head for the exit? This is bound to disrupt, France and Le Pen would need courting and coaxing back into the fold, against a backdrop of the UK getting themselves out of the fold. Any potential advantage to the UK in the negotiations around this time would hit the EU hard and tempt Le Pen into an early referendum, after all it must be surely preferable to be second off a sinking ship rather than 27th off? Or might she prefer a smash and grab raid by renegotiating?

The European Central Bank might not be too keen to offer France some sweetheart deal money when it has several members in dire straits. On the subject of the ECB, when does Greece default again? Oh yes the end of June. Greece are currently trying to stave off the IMF and renegotiate their repayments, but that process has stalled. The Snap election threats are out again by the Greek government, and with that going on, they also have to fend off the IMF, which they cannot afford repayment too, so that they can then run into the June ECB deadline. So without ECB support and restructure, Greece may well fall out of the Euro by mid-June. But it will not be too much of a distraction for the EU, to be trying to sweetheart a founding member whilst dealing with the monetary collapse of a poorer member, to continue its negotiation with the UK at the same time.

But that’s okay for the EU, at least the Dutch will help keep the whole onion bag together. Unless the Dutch are aware that they are going from being the third largest net contributor in the EU to Second place with the UK leaving. Would that really push the Dutch into considering anti EU sentiment? By April 2017 we will know if Gert Wilders secured enough proportionally represented seats to become the Dutch leader. That could not possibly happen, because Brexit was never going to happen and Trump would lose. So if Mr wilders is in charge and Ms Le Pen rolls beside him, will the Dutch support or derail the EU. I think we can already answer that question. Yes Mr Wilders wants a referendum on membership of the EU for Holland.

So now the EU will be negotiating with the UK with two of its senior members (all members are equal of course, it is just that some members are historically more Westphalian than others) already looking to hit the exit too. This cannot be a position of strength. There will be times when the EU will not be able to negotiate with the UK because they are too busy firefighting their own members. Greece will default and the Euro may well fold. All this just gets us to the end of June.

From June the EU will have a brief rest, whilst continuing the Brexit negotiations before Germany goes to the polls in September. We can only guess at the mood of the German voters if they have had a summer of Brexit, French revolt, Dutch Westphalian grumblings and a Greek default and departure from the Euro. This must surely take its toll on the mood of the German people, along with another busy summer of refugee influx. Will this leave the German people in the mood to support the EU or in the mood to restructure it? If restructure was to be needed the German banks would need a solution to its over commitment to the Euro Zone. Germany has been repatriating its gold bullion stocks recently. In fact they aimed to bring 10% of its total ( 300 tonnes) bullion stock, back onto German soil by 2020. In completely unrelated news, they managed to complete the repatriation by March 2017.

So the Germans draw 300 tonnes of gold bullion back to home territory one month before the UK trigger article 50, two months before Mr Wilder goes to the Dutch polls, three months before Ms Le Pen goes to the French people and four months before the Greek’s default and six months before its own people go to the polls.

And during this first 6 months with all its potential fails for the European Union, the UK will be trying to negotiate a Brexit. A Brexit which must be finalised within two years, looking at the first 6 months (25% of the total negotiation timetable) I would suggest it will not be a case of hard or soft Brexit, not a case of punishment or appeasement, it will be a case of getting the Brexit done in quick enough time before the whole process breaks down and the EU members all go their separate ways.

At least Junkers, who will be in charge of the whole process, is there. If he had handed his notice in and was sailing away into retirement, that might put even bigger breaks on the process. And in other news, Mr Junkers will not be standing for re-election.

It would appear that the EU is not going to hold itself together long enough for the UK to complete its Brexit negotiations. It might well be that we just got to the head of the queue before everyone else did, but then again we are the UK, queues are our thing, right?

So at the opening of this article I mentioned all the words, insults and offended philosophies that had been thrown at Brexit. So here are my 1648 words on the subject. I am really not sure that Brexit will officially end as a process, because the EU will change so dramatically over the next 6 months that they will not be able to complete the negotiation with the UK under the article 50 terms. The UK will need a structure of institution to negotiate with, but the EU will be shedding its institutions and all of the agreements it holds as its structure right at the fulcrum of the negotiations.

So will it all fall apart, we will see the other members of the EU revert back to their sovereign states, will Westphalian sovereignty be restored. I think so. The Westphalia treaties were signed back in 1648. Which if you look at the paragraph above about my number of words, means I can be rather too smug with myself sometimes!

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Michael Gumbrell

thespecialistgeneralist.net a blog

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 5 Mar 2017, 12:14

some of my procrastination during this block has been positive though.

If you follow me you may have noticed that I mentioned starting a word press blog.

So I started that last week, so far I have been enjoying writing content. some what eclectic content, from footballers to driverless cars by way of brexit negotiations.

But then this might well reflect the name of my blog, which deals with being a specialist generalist.

so if you want to follow my blog this is the address here:


I will post a couple of articles here as well, which are sort of relevant to my module and to the social sciences as well, well I hope so.

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Michael Gumbrell

grinding out TMA's

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Well i am not staring at a blank page any more, I have done and submitted my TMA 4.

It was very hard going, I have found the last 2 TMA's and blocks to be really had going.

But I have managed to grind out the 2000 words for TMA 4.

This module has been hard, I was really challenged by the jump from level 1 to level 2 at the start, and the difficulty has just kept rising all through this module.

What is disappointing is that the sense of satisfaction has not been forthcoming during the progress through this module, I find myself thinking more and more that 'thank F@@k that TMA and block are done, I will be glad to see the back of that block, and now I find myself thinking I will be glad to see the back of the whole module, I may have learnt on this module, but I cannot say I have enjoyed much of it.

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Michael Gumbrell

staring at the blank page

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Yep, i am staring at the blank page, TMA 4 is hard, my instinct is to write a straight compare and contrast block essay, but according to my tutorial and notes that's not enough for this question.

i need to get something down, perhaps i will write a version then review it in a couple of days to see if i am happy with it.

i have never really had a TMA block before, it is frustrating...

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marks, marks and more marks

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 12 Feb 2017, 11:56

i know it is way to early to be considering this point, but I have been looking through the classification rules for honours degrees. I am a little bit compulsive/obsessive about these sort of things and so I cannot help but look and think about them.

So YO32 and DD103 were just distinction or pass ranks, I passed both, with an average mark of 80%, but no distinction for me (85% required), and now we are on to level 2 scores the 1,2,3 and 4 scoring systems kick in.

So through my first 3 tma's I rank 83%, which is a level 2 pass, but as is well documented the exam/ema scores that you get as the final part of the module are even harder to score well in.

So at the moment I am ranking as a level 2 pass, or the equivalent of a 2:1 degree. I find that very scary considering the final exam might well not be as much of a good score, so the thought that even with, what I thought were good tma scores, I might only rank as a level 3 pass for this module is a little disheartening.

There are quite a few blogs and forum posts online about how hard it is to get a good degree classification from the O.U and having looked at the level of mark required to get into the top 2 degree levels I tend to agree with them.

At a bricks and mortar university the grade boundaries are different and lower, someone i know got 78% and that was a first class degree in social work. 78% with the OU would leave me sweating on a 2:2 or a 2:1 pass !

on my degree pathway, BA (Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics I have 3 level 2 modules and 2 level 3 modules, I only had one level 1 module. Since I have 90 credits already, this module I am currently on, DD211' investigating political institutions in the modern world' would give me another 60 credits, taking me up to 150 credits. I think I might investigate the options for transferring out of the O.U to another online provider or a part time course with a local bricks and mortar university.

I suppose it is a fine balance, the OU want us to study with them, after all they get the fee's for our study, however they need to have a large take up to support themselves financially. But with some of the cost cutting measures and restructuring work done by the Vice-chancellor I wonder if the level of fee they charge, combined with the challenging high marks required for a top 2 level pass is worth the debt I am incurring for it(I pay for my study with a student loan).

So I will have a look at my other options, I am sure I cannot be the only student who has considered or done this before. my apologies if I am just reiterating the previous concerns of other students.

Without wishing to state the obvious, it is a learning process. I enrolled for an access module (YO32) to see if study suited me, I had no idea back then about grade boundaries and module study. I qualified for the free Access course, then when I decided I wanted to start a degree, found that the cost of £ 675 for the access module had been added to my student loan! I had first opted for an open degree, but having done some research, I decided to switch to a degree pathway and study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

So it has been a learning process, so I feel a little bit ungrateful for having benefitted from the process, to now been in a position where I am questioning the value and nature of the process, it's classification process and considering changing to a new provider.

However I will have a £ 18,000 debt on completing study, with the O.U or elsewhere and for me and my level of income, that is a huge debt and I will be paying it back past my retirement age. So I feel I have to be sure I have made the best possible use of the loan, and off set the risk of having the loan by securing the best possible outcome from using it.

So is a £ 18,000 debt, 6 years of study and the amount of study required worth it? If I scored a solid 75% in my 5 of my 6 years of study and received a 2:1, then YES.

but if I end up with a £ 18,000 debt, 6 years of study and, what I would considered a solid mark of 70%, with a 2:2 degree, the I would say NO.

I would be very interested in your comments, I would like to know if I am being unreasonable, or if you might think I am right to be concerned?

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I am very glad to have waited before trying to write any of my TMA 4, until after the tutorial.

The tutorial was very good, and made me realise I was barking up the wrong tree with my essay plan.

I had taken the compare and contrast element to literally, in fact the tutorial matched the student notes and explained more clearly the structure of answer required for a successful answer.

I did notice though that as with my previous level 1 and level 2 worries, level 2 is much harder now and the academic language needed is more dense and specific.

So my TMA 4 will need to discuss the merits of codified and uncodified constitution and symmetrical versus asymmetrical bicameral representatives. Fused and separated executive, and the hard one, but important to define, majoritarian is different to plurality.

I just need to get on a write it now!

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RSS Feeds

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 12 Feb 2017, 11:43

I am happy to blog away on here, and i wondered what the RRS feeds are?

I had never heard of them before.

So i have had a little google and found out what they do.

I did not blog much on here for my first 18 months, but i have picked up the pace a great deal recently.

Having had articles published with the www.starandcrescent.org.uk before, i find myself feeling very much more secure with writing articles and essays.

So having done my research i think i might well subscribe to word press and start my own domain named blog page, then i can incorporate the blog feeds into my blog page.

That seems like a plan.

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I recieved my mark for TMA 3- 80%.

So i have averaged 83% across the first 3 tma's which are 45% of the total OCAS.

so i am a couple of percentage points below the 40% minimum OCAS. But i still have two 25% TMA's to go.Which is great.

That takes all the pressure off the last 2 TMA's. Now i am looking to keep my mark up rather than stress about needing a certain score to pass. 

Happy days.

Although level 2 is still hard.

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So I have written my introduction to TMA 04.

I have a plan for my unpacking paragraph in my head (250 words)

then a gap of 1600 words awaits me....

I have completed my part 2- 10% of the final mark and I have set my reference list ready to insert the correct references into the main body of text.

And there it all sits, daring me to write it, which on this TMA is quite daunting.

It is hard to compare and contrast the political systems of the uk and us.

Contrasts abound, I think I can provide 800 words of contrast very easily, the us system was founded as a reaction to the uk system so inevitably it is very different.

Its the 800 words of similarities that I am finding hard to draw together.

So if I use 4 blocks to compare and contrast my selected points then I have to write two paragraphs of 400 of similarities, which I am unsure of. The trouble is if a scrimp on these paragraphs then my essay will be very unbalanced. I do like a good structure and balance to my essays, I often think it is a failure to submit one that has an obvious imbalance of structure to it.

Depending on my TMA 3 mark, the pressure on the tma 4 might not be as great, however substitution is not an option I want to consider, I would rather be able to have the full compliment of 5 essays with a good average mark than sub a score in.

Based on my feedback to tma 2 I changed the style of writing in my tma 03 slightly, so I really do need to know the tma 3 mark to be able to gauge the correct style for tma 4.

as I may have said before, Level 2 is hard...

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Michael Gumbrell

second part of TMa's

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i am still waiting for my TMA 03 mark.

So I decided to start my TMA 04 by doing the second part first.

I do like the second part of the TMA's. so self reflection or summation or engagement with previous feedback helps provide 10% of the mark.

Now we are at the business end of the module, both TMA 4 and 5 carry 25% weighting towards the final assessment score.

So making sure I have my part 2's done well can help secure some valuable marks towards my final mark.

so if ever asked for advice, I would suggest making sure you have time set aside to maximise the score of part 2's of TMA's to give yourself the best shot of a overall good assessment score.

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Waiting for the msrk

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I am not a fan of waiting for a TMA mark.

Need to know the feedback so it can be incorporated...

I am not good at siting back and waiting...

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Michael Gumbrell

106, including 67 years of denial

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Here's the link to the BBC news story about Brunhilde Pomsel who died today

Goebbels secretary... 

and her 106 year longevity...

Hard to see karma at work sometimes...


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Michael Gumbrell


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I have to admit i left the DD211 facebook group today.

I have tried in YO 32 and DD103 as well but left those groups early as well.

It is my fault, i think i must have different views to online learning to some of my fellow students.

I prefer to learn independently in the end.

I find the facebooks groups quite frustrating sometimes and think it is better to remove myself than get involved with them.

Goodluck to the students that enjoy them

But for me... 'i'm out'

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The Liberal and socialist sides of debate have recently been decrying populist votes in the media.

I.E Brexit and Trump. 

Well yesterday we got some news here on a very local level.

Southampton ( Tory ) and Portsmouth ( Tory ) councils have been pushing to create a Solent Combined Authority. The Two Isle of Wight leaders ( Tory's )quit over the plans ( they were replaced by independents)

Hampshire County Council ( more Tories) opposed the plan and yesterday the government ( tory's ) killed it dead and the cities of Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight will remain independent.

The most vocal critics of the plan have all been left wing supporters.

So when is a populist vote left wing and when is it right wing?

So I had made this infographic before Christmas to try and sum up the Solent Combined plan.

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Michael Gumbrell

some more satire

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 29 Jan 2017, 16:36

So now my work is done for this week, albeit by 5pm on a sunday afternoon.

I can share some more satire.

This one is another Trump one, he really is brewing up a storm..

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Michael Gumbrell

i enjoyed block 4

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Yes I enjoyed block 4, I am so much more comfortable with compare and contrast concepts than the much broader questions from TMA 1,2and 3.

Hopefully my TMA 4 score will be my best one yet...

All I have to do now I get my head down and write it !

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Michael Gumbrell

owning the study planner

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Well I bump up against the far end of my study planner again.

I have done the 4 weeks of block 4 and now just need to write my TMA 04.

Same problem as last time though, my TMA 03 is not due till this coming Tuesday, so no feedback for me till my tma 03 is marked.

So I don't like to get so far ahead that the tma I have written has no feedback yet available from the tma before it.

So I think I might pause, spend a week writing tma 04 and go to the lecture next Saturday to make sure I am not too far wide of the mark with what I have written.

Only block 5 to do after that, block 6 is all revision for the exam...

nearing the end of this module already...

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Michael Gumbrell

more satire from me

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 29 Jan 2017, 12:27

Just another bit of satire from me.

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Michael Gumbrell

brexit and the supreme court

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last one tonight, promise.

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Michael Gumbrell

Philosophical economics infographic

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017, 20:10

Just one more for the mean time, I would not want to wear out my self awarded welcome..

This one is philosophical again, economic and Portsmouth based.

For those of you not my from home town, a 'din' is a slang word for a foolish person.

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Michael Gumbrell

another peice of satire, this time philosophical in nature

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having worked out how to add pictures to by blog without them just having on as attachments,

I felt compelled to share some more I have done.

This one is philosophical in nature, about my home town of Portsmouth...

I hope you like these satirical infographics (memes are so goochy now)

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Michael Gumbrell

life outside of work and the OU

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017, 20:17

Well i found some time yesterday to do something outside of Work and the OU !

I produced another cartoon, attached above, for the Star and Crescent micro news site.

Hopefully my editor, Sarah, will like it enough to publish it with my others.

I thought i would share it here, i am studying Politics after all.

I also did a written article, 1000 words, perhaps all this TMA writing is starting to blend into my life outside the OU and work.

I call them cartoons, actually i can not draw for toffee and so produce sarcastic infographics instead!

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Michael Gumbrell

vice chancellor's survey

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I got the email link to the online survey from the vice chancellor.

Feedback for how the complete breakdown of the tutorial booking system at the start of this module affected my study and student experience...

The online guidance suggested that it would take 5-10 minutes to do the survey,

I took me one hour !

I think I may have be very keen to use the free text boxes on the survey to register my opinions about how crap the whole tutorial experience was at the start of this module.

Anyway my feedback is complete, the free text boxes in the survey full.

How long do you think it will take the office of the vice chancellor to feedback on our feedback?

Hopefully quicker than it took them to sort out being able to book a tutorial online.

I am rather confused how they think the new system of having tutorial centre's that you can book into is better or offers me more choice than the old system?

I live in Portsmouth, so I go to the tutorial in Southampton. The next nearest one to me would be central London (80 miles away and a nightmare to park) or Oxford ( 90 miles away and a fantastical bad ring road to navigate) or Exeter (200 miles away and hours of sitting on the A303 waiting to move).

So my choice is the  same as it was before, go to Southampton or do not go to a tutorial.

I would hope some of my fellow students were not having to make 200 miles ( 5 hour) round trips to just get to tutorial...... Hopefully.

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