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#Audiomo2017 Dogs and drilling

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#audiomo2017 judging a book by its cover

#Audiomo2017 terror

The language of terror

The events in London were of course terrible, horrific and tragic. However, they must be put in context. Due to various variables, the attackers were not able to kill a high number of people. They were not armed with explosive devices, and only had blades and a vehicle. I am not for a moment wishing to diminish their actions, but it could have been far worse. Only recently a car bomb killed over 50 people in Afghanistan, acts of terror are perpatrated on an almost weekly basis throughout the world. Thankfuly, due to the swift deployment of emergency services, the threat was nullified. However, because of the cylinder-type objects that were on the attackers person, the armed police had little choice but to fatally shoot them. This tactic, causing the police to perceive a explosive threat, meant that the attackers would ensure maximum fear and their own demise, resulting in any intelligence or infomation to die with them. I think that we need to look at the language we use when describing acts of terror. Terrorist attacks occur for all kinds of idiological, social, cultural and religious reasons. I don’t think it is very helpful for politicians and police to use words such as “hidious” and “evil.” such low vibrational words serve only to sew more division and hatred. The language we use, informs our emotional reactions, and those of others. I think it necessary to be as level-headed and calm as possible, using language that cultivates knowledge, fortidude, clear and plain policy making and logic. I also think that constantly saying that British values, that our democracy is the best model of society, breeds greater contempt. Whilst we may believe this is the case, there seems little gain in constantly asserting it. All we are doing is putting more fire in the belly. This said, I am with May when she talks of cross-border collaboration in the pursuit of pressuring internet companies to monitor the levels of freedom people enjoy. The internet is a safe harbour, a place for rhetoric to breathe and breed. It allows swift and secure communication, and makes co-ordination easier. However, it does allow facilities such as GCHQ to gain intelligence, and thus quell some potential threats. 



Smiling is a funny thing. We’ve almost become conditioned to smile on request, to pose for photos without smiling is akin to unwittingly commit a crime against social norms. I was told that the more you smile, the happier you feel. That your brain sends you a lovely chemical cocktail of endorphins that make you feel good. Smiling has become an automated response, a way of signalling well being, and a way of signalling approval and attraction to others. But where did this come from? Well, I think we can trace the smile a long way back. Imagine the scene, you are a paleolithic hunter. You want to mate, to create babies, to bring sons into the world to both strengthen your tribe and aid you in your daily tasks. So, you want to signal your intent, but social norms and even language are in their infancy. So, unless you want to pander to stereotypes, and simply throw the woman over your shoulder, take her to your cave and ravish her, how do you communicate complex concepts and subtle ideas in a moment? you simply show her your teeth. In that fleeting glance of teeth and gums, you have sent a signal to your intended mate. You have shown her that your teeth are healthy, that your breath is healthy, that you have a good diet, that you do not carry disease, that you can hunt, provide and breed. In essence, you are showing her that you are worthy of her companionship. Of course, this goes both ways; she’ll show you her teeth too, thereby signalling her age, social status and health. In time, this glimpse of the mouth, this almost intimate look at the internal workings, evolved into a smile. And this smile carries with it reminders of sex, through chemicals that make us feel good. So, association, both ovate and subtle, a smile tells a story. It shows the world so much more than our ability to take a good selfy. It reminds us of our past, are ancestors, and shows us that before Tinder and we had only our mouths, and our biological and social signifiers.