Until the 60s most people were naive enough to trust all but those with an inherent reputation for deceit, such as men selling things off the back of a lorry. We didn’t bother locking the front door, a lot of houses had the key on a string so the kids could let themselves in if the parents were out. We trusted the government without question, as we did most trades-people we dealt with. We never really trusted foreigners, which hasn’t changed. Now we trust very few, and very few trust the government any more. The government doesn’t trust the trades-people, having an army of people checking up on them. So all in all we don’t believe what we’re told, what we read, and what we see, – an insecure world. Are we right to be so untrusting?
The heating oil caper. Up until 2003 I had never used heating oil. The first two or three deliveries I accepted what I was given and then I decided to calibrate the oil tank. It is not an exact science because of its shape. I was able to mark where one delivery started and stopped on the plastic visions tube. Over a period of time, because deliveries started at the same spot and finished at different spots, it showed that there was no control over what was being delivered, and I became suspicious. I improved my calculations and found I was often given short measure but I had no legal proof. The delivery printout starts at nought and registers the total amount, not as it should do, by starting at whatever the tanker first contained and to the remainder in the tanker. I’m sure not all dealers are crooked, but as the tanks don’t have a reliable recorder the system is open to abuse.
Sound quality. Recently I have found the speech in films on television to be muffled, and often difficult to make out. I blamed the filmmakers, until I discovered that similar films on CD, viewed on the same television set had no such problems. I also found that the really good films could only be got on HD (high-definition), to which one had to pay yet again. I just wondered, but couldn’t really believe, that the difference in quality could possibly be engineered to make me buy into HD out of pure frustration. But then, I’m fanciful!