Echoes of A New Tomorrow: Life after Revolution in the Commonwealth of Britain

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DensleyBlair

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The House of Wraith got through okay. The parents and siblings visited from the beach (we've been around each other a lot), bringing my presents and food in the form of carnitas and leftover Beef Wellington. Overall, I'm a bit burnt out, one more shift tonight and I'm off for a few days.

That all sounds lovely. Hope the final shift goes okay and enjoy your rest!

Standard practice, as I discussed with Le Jones on their aar Royal Prerogative, is to just ignore everything at the moment and examine us purely on uk-eu law as of 31st December 2020 and prior.

Sensible enough then. Like only getting examined on what you've been taught during a strike.

What the ever flying fuck they're going to do in the next academic year (so September 2021) is anyone's guess.

Oh don't worry, all the students will b e out picking potatoes by then.
 

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Oh don't worry, all the students will b e out picking potatoes by then.
I thought that's what BA stood for - Basically Agricultural-labour?
 
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DensleyBlair

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El Pip

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As someone currently semi-seriously looking into applying for an MA in English, this painfully apt…
Well that would be quite a change from Architecture. Anything in particular prompted you to consider such a shift or just the realisation that a future discussing "design visions" is perhaps not for you?

I wouldn't blame you if so, design visions are never much fun in my experience. Pre-Christmas I was working on a bid for the Stonehenge tunnel, I suggested to our architecture team we make the tunnel portals look like Henges, proper chunky stones for the walls and roof, rough cut and aged like the actual stones, the whole works (with some proper RC hidden behind taking the actual loads). Apparently that didn't match the design vision, was 'silly' and I should start taking the architecture side more seriously. I thought I was, but apparently not. :(
 
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Well that would be quite a change from Architecture. Anything in particular prompted you to consider such a shift or just the realisation that a future discussing "design visions" is perhaps not for you?

I wouldn't blame you if so, design visions are never much fun in my experience. Pre-Christmas I was working on a bid for the Stonehenge tunnel, I suggested to our architecture team we make the tunnel portals look like Henges, proper chunky stones for the walls and roof, rough cut and aged like the actual stones, the whole works (with some proper RC hidden behind taking the actual loads). Apparently that didn't match the design vision, was 'silly' and I should start taking the architecture side more seriously. I thought I was, but apparently not. :(

Runs the risk of looking like a Disney theme park tunnel, but I get what you were going for. I imagine the brief they were given was make it as unnoticeable as possible from a landscaping perspective?
 

El Pip

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Runs the risk of looking like a Disney theme park tunnel, but I get what you were going for. I imagine the brief they were given was make it as unnoticeable as possible from a landscaping perspective?
Yep. Blend in as much as possible, put the approach roads in deep cuttings with noise baffles and gentle green slopes, big over-hangs to hide bits, that sort of thing.

My position was, once you've done all that why not try to make it a bit interesting? I knew it was a doomed effort, because infrastructure architects (or I suppose their clients) are normally really dull people. This is the Victory Boogie Woogie Tunnel in The Hague, exciting name, quite dull structure;

https://www.reddit.com/r/InfrastructurePorn/comments/j05hkq
 
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DensleyBlair

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Just popping to say, though I have only read up to general election 1928, I like this a lot so far. Can't wait to catch up!

Most eloquently written.

Thanks Derahan! I'd love to hear any thoughts you have as you keep reading. Always keen to know what people think of the early updates. Hope you enjoy catching up :)

Well that would be quite a change from Architecture. Anything in particular prompted you to consider such a shift or just the realisation that a future discussing "design visions" is perhaps not for you?

Without subjecting you to too great a history of my time at university, from day one I had a very troubled relationship with the degree and where I enjoyed it most it was basically a case of "I am going to do what makes me happy and if it suits you then more's the better." Sometimes this worked fantastically well; other times, as you might expect, it was a recipe for lots of hours in therapy.

From the middle of March where I was no longer actually at uni but doing everything from my dining room (an experience do not recommend) I realised that, away from daily socialisation within a culture that was Very Into Architecture, I actually don't really care about it as a practice. Don't get me wrong, I am very into it on a cultural–political–aesthetic level, but I have accepted that this sort of design practice isn't really for me – certainly not on a professional level.

Mainly I need to decide whether I want to go back to uni at all, particularly if the whole distancing thing doesn't change, but I think at this point in time I'm definitely more interested in indulging my creative literary side than trying to kid myself that I'm ever actually going to become a member of the RIBA.

I wouldn't blame you if so, design visions are never much fun in my experience. Pre-Christmas I was working on a bid for the Stonehenge tunnel, I suggested to our architecture team we make the tunnel portals look like Henges, proper chunky stones for the walls and roof, rough cut and aged like the actual stones, the whole works (with some proper RC hidden behind taking the actual loads). Apparently that didn't match the design vision, was 'silly' and I should start taking the architecture side more seriously. I thought I was, but apparently not. :(

Now this does sound like a fun case. I know exactly why you'd make that suggestion, and obviously I know exactly why the architects team would be so short about it. If you are into the idea of using massive stones, you could probably get it past your design team by making reference to Amin Taha.


Runs the risk of looking like a Disney theme park tunnel, but I get what you were going for. I imagine the brief they were given was make it as unnoticeable as possible from a landscaping perspective?

The Disney theme park thing will be the massive red flag from the design team's perspective. If done incredibly sensitively it could be great fun, but on a big infrastuctural project I don't imagine you'd be working at the right scale to resolve it finely enough? I don't know. But architects are all trained in how not to make things look like Disney, so there's an instictive negative reaction on their part.
 
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This is the Victory Boogie Woogie Tunnel

I think this is the best thing you've ever said on the board and your life has peaked.

It's an honour and a privilege to have witnessed this moment.

The Disney theme park thing will be the massive red flag from the design team's perspective. If done incredibly sensitively it could be great fun, but on a big infrastuctural project I don't imagine you'd be working at the right scale to resolve it finely enough? I don't know. But architects are all trained in how not to make things look like Disney, so there's an instictive negative reaction on their part.

Yeah...considering the entire project is extremely controversial and under a lens by the world press plus many pressure groups, the leads have to make sure that, for example, the design isn't ridiculous or offensively awful (and they're working mostly with concrete so already handicapped by british sensibilities).

I imagine they're currently drinking around the idea of seclude as much as possible, and have everything else be as garden city like as we can make it underground without encouraging wildlife in the tunnel.

What I want is for them to be brave and build a modern version of the alpine road tunnel system. Looks interesting inside and out, and smooth stone exterior jutting from the hill (or wherever the mouth is) looks vaguely paleolithic.
 

DensleyBlair

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I think this is the best thing you've ever said on the board and your life has peaked.

It's an honour and a privilege to have witnessed this moment.

A golden ticket! In my shop, too!

The Victory Boogie Woogie Tunnel surely has some great story behind it?

Yeah...considering the entire project is extremely controversial and under a lens by the world press plus many pressure groups, the leads have to make sure that, for example, the design isn't ridiculous or offensively awful (and they're working mostly with concrete so already handicapped by british sensibilities).

I imagine they're currently drinking around the idea of seclude as much as possible, and have everything else be as garden city like as we can make it underground without encouraging wildlife in the tunnel.

Yeah the whole situation screams utmost conservatism.

What I want is for them to be brave and build a modern version of the alpine road tunnel system. Looks interesting inside and out, and smooth stone exterior jutting from the hill (or wherever the mouth is) looks vaguely paleolithic.

That would be lovely. Although I suppose Wiltashire isn't prime Alpine terrain…
 
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Howdy all. I was knocked out tired with the rona for a few weeks, but I'm feeling much better now, and will be back after a brief (and much needed) *actual rest* after this week. Cheers!
 
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What I want is for them to be brave and build a modern version of the alpine road tunnel system. Looks interesting inside and out, and smooth stone exterior jutting from the hill (or wherever the mouth is) looks vaguely paleolithic.
Alas the research indicates "interesting" is essentially the same as "distracting", driver distraction being the number 1 cause of accidents and deaths. Hence no-one will ever build it, because we attach far too much value to human life and not enough to other less tangible things.

The Victory Boogie Woogie Tunnel surely has some great story behind it?
Alas not. A great deal of works from the abstract painter Mondrian (he did the 'classic' black lines with coloured boxes paintings) ended up in a museum in The Hague, including his last unfinished work "Victory Boogie Woogie". He'd moved to New York before WW2 and been inspired by boogie woogie music to start a new series of paintings, all called *something* Boogie Woogie (which is a vast improvement over his previous naming convention, of just calling them Composition *Number*). The last one, started when it looked like the Allies would win, was named accordingly.

Frankly given that background it needed some bold abstract art on the approaches, yes that might have been a slight distraction that could cause the odd accident. But (1) Is true beauty not also truly dangerous? and (2) What is life without beauty, and thus danger?

These attitudes are why I don't get invite to Road Safety meetings except when strictly necessary.

Yeah the whole situation screams utmost conservatism.
That would be lovely. Although I suppose Wiltashire isn't prime Alpine terrain…
I understand long discussions are being had about how to best create a surface in the concrete that looks like a chalk rock face. As it is will be man-made there is also an argument about whether to go with a 'realistic' surface with an honeyed/earthy colour to match the site, or a more idealised finish to match what the public think/expect chalk should look like (the white cliffs of Dover basically). Reality never looks that realistic apparently.
 

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Alas the research indicates "interesting" is essentially the same as "distracting", driver distraction being the number 1 cause of accidents and deaths. Hence no-one will ever build it, because we attach far too much value to human life and not enough to other less tangible things.

Ah yes of course. It could always have a rubbernecking effect and slow things down, but I suppose the risk is too great to ever find out.

Frankly given that background it needed some bold abstract art on the approaches, yes that might have been a slight distraction that could cause the odd accident.

Now that you explain the Mondrian link it does rather feel like a missed opportunity. The Victory Boogie Woogie painting is fantastic so it really could have been quite something. But then yes, it's never going to get sanctioned. Someone could always graffiti it…

But (1) Is true beauty not also truly dangerous? and (2) What is life without beauty, and thus danger?

Spoken like a true Romantic.

These attitudes are why I don't get invite to Road Safety meetings except when strictly necessary.

Much call for talks on the safe operation of a horse and carriage, is there? :p

I understand long discussions are being had about how to best create a surface in the concrete that looks like a chalk rock face. As it is will be man-made there is also an argument about whether to go with a 'realistic' surface with an honeyed/earthy colour to match the site, or a more idealised finish to match what the public think/expect chalk should look like (the white cliffs of Dover basically).

Puts me in mind of Cheddar Gorge, which is limestone rather than chalk but really is quite something to drive through. Appallingly inconvenient, of course, and you have to do it at 5mph or else you will send an abseiler to A&E, but it was quite the route when I was there in the summer.

That said very beautiful things can be done with concrete if you are so minded, but all of that is so expensive to do that I don't imagine they'd faff about with it for a tunnel.

btw, I was heartened to read a Guardian article about the project yesterday and learn that one of the chief opponents to the scheme is none other than Arthur Pendragon himself.

Reality never looks that realistic apparently.

The number of examples of this sort of thing in action is staggering when you look into it. Cars that just playing engine sounds over the sound system springs to mind as a semi pertinent one. This is where we get to break out all of those lovely late-c20 French theoretical texts about reality and realism, and how never the twain shall meet.

Luckily, that's exactly the sort of thing you have to read in architectural school. Or it was at mine, anyway.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Alas the research indicates "interesting" is essentially the same as "distracting", driver distraction being the number 1 cause of accidents and deaths. Hence no-one will ever build it, because we attach far too much value to human life and not enough to other less tangible things.

Hmm. Thinking about it, there was a spectacular/terrible fire in the alp tunnel 20 years ago...thats why they filled the place with speed cameras afterwards.

Oh well.

Reality never looks that realistic apparently.

Well we all know that...you literally just told us about the existence of the victory boogie woogie tunnel...
 
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DensleyBlair

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A few bits of admin:

First of all, the Q4 ACAs have now opened for voting, so I would urge everyone to go and do so. At this time of year, the ACAs are great for giving a nice dopamine hit to authAARs who may not be in contention for the Year-Enders, so it’s important in my eyes that they don’t get overshadowed by their glitzier counterpart.

Speaking of, although I’m a hypocrite for saying so because I have not yet publicly added to my ballot, the Year-End Awards are still ongoing and open for votes until Feb 1. There haven’t been many ballots or placeholders yet at all, so would be nice to see some more in the New Year. (For my part, I’m working on my vote offline and will post a final version some time next month.)

This AAR is eligible for consideration in both sets of awards, but as ever there is no obligation to vote for it.

As for matters domestic, me and KH have decided that we will resume the crisis series after the New Year, so look forward(?) to regular programming finally restarting some time after the 4th. (In the mean time, if there are any other tunnels out there named after Mondrians or De Koonings or anything, I’d be fascinated to know…)

A safe and healthy New Year to all commenters, readers and lurkers. Let’s hope it brings better things than this sorry twelve months…
 

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The Gothard base tunnel has a very dull name, but the opening ceremony was genuinely barking mad.


This is exactly the sort of thing I want to know about, thank you. Also watched an enlightening related video about the tunnel itself.

I reckon this probably takes the cake as one of the most bafflingly ill-judged things I’ve ever seen.

E116C487-A4D2-48F7-9942-FAE6BAAA9236.jpeg


EDIT: Also quite a poignant bit from François Hollande in the main tunnel opening article where he makes a reference, just weeks before the EU referendum, to Britain and France being more united than ever by the Eurotunnel. Really does feel like a completely different time somehow.
 
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Whew! Finally caught up on this story and waiting with baited breath on the conclusion of the Cuban "intervention." I'm a bit surprised the European Syndicalists haven't offered a more forceful condemnation - is it really just due to "the enemy of my enemy (i.e. the USSR)" or is there something else at work?
 

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Whew! Finally caught up on this story and waiting with baited breath on the conclusion of the Cuban "intervention." I'm a bit surprised the European Syndicalists haven't offered a more forceful condemnation - is it really just due to "the enemy of my enemy (i.e. the USSR)" or is there something else at work?

Welcome back, Kienzle! I too am very eager to see how the Cuban debacle continues. (I know where we’re ending up, of course, but quite how we get there is a mystery still.)

On Eurosyn condemnation, there are a few things in play. The biggest factor is that the ES have adopted a “mediator” role, which is sort of an extension of the policy of "moral isolation" formulated in the wake of the Syndicalist–Soviet nuclear agreement. Recognising the fact that the Syndicate can't compete with the US militarily in the Western Hemisphere (the USSR probably could, but it would mean the end of the world), in the absence of any supranational organisations to do the traditional liberal-democratic 'statesman' thing, the ES's gambit is to set itself as a moderating force to check the threat of nuclear armageddon. It's a massive gamble of course, and it's not particularly forceful, but with Bevan's nuclear policy in mind (ie efforts to disarmament) anything aggravating would be an embarrassing volte face domestically, at a critical time for the heath of the regime.

From Washington's perspective, the Eastern Hemisphere powers have very publicly put themselves on the path to a non-nuclear future, so the Cuban "intervention" is Kennedy calling the bluff. The unknown quantity is Castro, who is an unwilling Soviet protege at the best of times. London's strategy is to leverage its influence in the West Indies (which remains fairly considerable) to contain the conflict to Cuba, and more broadly the ES are looking to pull strings in the rest of the world to cement opinion against America and Cuba. (Not a particularly difficult task.)

The ES–USSR relationship is in a warmer patch going into the crisis, probably at its best since 1940, but obviously the Soviets being the Soviets there isn't really anything like trust between the two powers yet. So the challenge for the Syndicalists in Lyon is to keep the Soviets happy while not antagonising Washington to the point that mediation becomes impossible.

Or something like that, anyway. The alternative answer is very simple, which is that everyone in the Eurosyn is a wet blanket and there are no Cold Warriors in the world outside of Washington and Moscow.
 
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