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Discussion > EU must be joking

golfCharlie. I do not see the hand of the EU commiserate in this precipitate move at all. I see the intransigence of France as exemplified by Hollande. Do the group of six really want to stir up friction and resentment in Europe as a whole? Do they want to re-portray the UK's exit as a sort of expulsion of an unwanted member? It doesn't make sense to me but then I have never believed I have political wisdom - I totally misread the runes on the referendum.

Jun 26, 2016 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Another thought: perhaps I am, unwisely, ascribing to our leaders great political wisdom and therefore I am, again unwisely, expecting them to behave rationally and in the best interests of all parts of Europe. Perhaps it's me being stupid to expect this and there is no real rational reason behind the utterances of the magnifient six. They are just as stupid as I am.

Jun 26, 2016 at 8:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

I voted in the referendum to leave the EU. I appreciate that people like Alan Kendall, who think many voted for xenophobic reasons, do not ascribe those reasons to all of us who voted as we did. I was sad to vote as I did, as I believe the ideals behind the EU are fine ones, and my heart said we should stay in. However, my head won my internal argument, as on the balance of the arguments, voting to leave seemed right. I could see strong reasons to vote both ways, but for me the balance of the arguments led to leaving. Probably my main (though not sole) reason for voting as I did was the lack of democracy and accountability in the EU.

I therefore find it alarming, to say the least, that people who voted to stay in are now trying to overrturn the democratic decision of the British public. I recognise that many people are angry about it (but then I've been angry about general election results for years!) but that anger and disbelief, bordering in some cases on hysteria, does not give them the right to overturn a democratically made decision. That way lies the subversion of our democracy. To revert to my theme on the World Turned Upside Down thread, why are the "liberals" in our society so happy to subvert democracy? Many of them can only be dubbed liberal fascists. Don't like Donald Trump? Try to get him banned from the UK. Don't like the EU referendum result? Launch a petition on Parliament's website to have it overturned - so far signed by over 2.8m people.

This is no way to behave. If you disagree with someone, the answer is to try to persuade them to change their opinion, not to tell them their opinions invalid because you and your friends know best, and you're going to make sure the country does what you want even though you're in a minority. I am now deeply worried for our country's democracy. I just hope that MPs, when they debate the petition, even though most are unhappy with the referendum result, understand that democracy must prevail, and give this petition the short shrift (indeed contempt) it deserves.

Jun 26, 2016 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I do hope that no one at BH will jump to the incorrect conclusion that I would support any move to overturn the decision clearly made last week. I may deplore the result and what I believe to have been the main reason reason for it, but I believe everyone's vote has equal validity. That's what democracy means, despite all its imperfections.

With the Leave motion successful, I and 48.1% of the voting public, must live with it. More than that we should do everything in our power to make Brexit as successful as we can make it. I can no longer be a supporter of the EU (which despite its flaws held IMO such promise) so I must now support the UK as best I can.

Jun 26, 2016 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Mark Hodgson on Jun 26, 2016 at 9:06 AM

If the Snowflakes engaged with those with different views and tried to 'persuade them to change their opinion' they would encounter those dangerous opposing views and it would, the the words of Anna Soubry, find it to be the 'worst day' of their lives.

Jun 26, 2016 at 9:57 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Alan kendall
I agree with you, ultimately a successful Britain makes life easier for those us who didn't foresee this result and sell our houses in the EU and move back to the UK last year, and are now stuck in limbo for at least two years.

I have replied to you on Unthreaded with regard to the petition, which I think is wrong but can understand why people are signing it. My original post to challenge what Salopian had written on technical as much as integrity issues.

I still hope for the best and plan for the worst, looking for the regions in the UK where property rents are lowest and incomers are welcomed.

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, I grew up with the BBC. I am a fan. But just like the EU, they would not listen to criticism. Wheeling out David Attenborough to get the Global Warming message across was symbolic. David Attenborough was part of my FORMAL education whilst at school, not just informal entertainment

28Gate just exposed the BBC, however the UK media has held back so far from further exposures. I did not want the EU to fail, and I don't want the BBC to fail either. The EU is now set to fail because it did not listen to those that pay for it. The BBC has some thinking to do.

Alan Kendall, I did not think BREXIT would be the result either. The EU have been shouting from the hip, and talking out of their aerosols ever since, because they also believed the forecasts and pollsters. Merkel is the only one who seems to have thought first before opening her mouth. With the UK out, that leaves Germany 1st, France 2nd, and Spain and Italy vying for 3rd and 4th places in financial pecking order. Oops.

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie
Did you read Mardell's article and what do you think of it? I found that it confirmed many things French and Dutch neighbours have said.

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Alan kendall on Jun 26, 2016 at 9:48 AM
Thank you for upholding democracy.

Alan kendall on Jun 26, 2016 at 6:18 AM
"If you, and others who have agreed with you, think that our high schools are peddling set political messages think again. ... my granddaughter and her friends ... seem very resistant to being preached at."

The environmentalists, pushing everything Green, the EU agenda, have taken over education. And the Erasmus and Monnet projects are part of the push, but I have heard that those at school are much less taken in than those at university or just left. Good for them!

Alan kendall on Jun 26, 2016 at 6:45 AM
who the f**k do they think they are?
They are what they have always been. It is why Britain didn't join early on. It's in Hannan's book, Why Vote Leave, page 92, where he quotes Hugo Young's book, This Blessed Plot.

Alan kendall on Jun 26, 2016 at 8:19 AM
"Do the group of six really want to stir up friction and resentment in Europe as a whole?"
Remember, their goal is 'Ever Closer Union', even if it destroys their currency, their rule of law, their heritage. They probably don't notice the resentment, or interpret it to suit their agenda.

Remember Leo Tolstoy and his quote, starting, "I know that most men ...":

And in the words of Sherlock Holmes:
"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

But don't grab at what remains and call it the truth: just let it fester. Let it become more absurd, and accept that the truth can be absurd.

They are just as stupid as I am.
I really don't think so: you are still after the truth. Not many survive that particular bit of the UEA and still hunger after the truth! You, like many, have been fed a load of cr*p, with little need to question it and been lied to by omission. We are entering a very confusing period. While Project Fear is rumbling on, I expect/hope much is happening behind the scenes.

Merkel has told Juncker to lay off. That Scottish woman has not had a friendly reply from Brussels. Hopefully Sadiq will remember his Britishness, and progress is being made:
Sovereignty by Christmas! Britain to claw back powers from Euro courts within months
BRITAIN could start to take back power from Brussels within months, with laws to deport terrorists at the top of the list.

The most important aspect is not 'what we won', but that it looks like negotiation is occurring: shock horror! :)

There will be set backs, but much will be confusion, as it does look like all those who were in Authority are stunned: they didn't plan at all. Green Sand @ 12:26 sums it up very well:

"The EU has a mega, maybe insurmountable problem. Almost every member country recognises the need for fundamental reform of the union but they have no democratic structure in place by which change could be effected. And to complicate issues further they have no democratic mechanism that allows an introduction of such a structure."

And those in positions of power on the other side of the Channel do not inspire much confidence either. At least Merel has twigged that the Winds of Change are blowing across Europe.

Jun 26, 2016 at 11:07 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Why immigration is a real issue and not a racist figment.

When some idiot reporter asks people on the street why they have a problem with immigration, the startled person mutters something that sounds xenophobic and possibly racist. 'No jobs for natives', which is probably untrue and 'school places and doctors' which certainly is. However the same people often have mates that are foreign and even might be foreign themselves. A lot of immigrants voted Leave. So what gives?

The first problem is density. The overall numbers might not be insurmountable but they're often concentrated in areas. The likes of Cameron and even I, don't experience immigration in the same way, although I've done my time in inner city Burnley, Bradford and Coventry. Not only are these places crowded but they're alien. It's as alien as if you were in another country, only you don't get to go home when you're homesick. Having a Saudi stock broker next door or a lovely Chinese couple opposite who have cats isn't the same as all your neighbours being from another nation, particularly the same foreign nation. They slip into their own language, their kids giggle and chat and you can't tell if they're laughing at you or something else. Shops nearby and round the town turn into their local shops and sell things you can't even read, never mind know what you'd be buying. Your kid can't get help at school because the teacher spends all her time with the kids that don't speak good English or have done a different course back home or are just more needy than yours can claim to be. What middle class problem can trump coming from a war zone? And don't even try to get a doctor or a dentist. Some areas can't offer enough money to attract them from their comfy gentrified zones. If people are lucky they get a GP who was qualified in a dubious university somewhere and barely speaks English. The elderly don't stand a chance at comprehension.

And where there are a lot of immigrants, the services realign themselves to help the 'minority', even when they're not the minority, you are. You're expected to muddle along because you're the product of white imperialism and they're probably one of our victims. You see newcomers installed in the new estate you hoped the council would put you in but they tell you that you've already got a squalid B&B place. Or you rent privately from another immigrant who is happy to buy semi condemned properties and rent them to those who can't afford anything better. They've got a jolly, take it or leave it attitude to renters and rental laws. And if you can't afford to rent those he has a shed or a loft on his books. If you can afford a property and are in a half decent area, the tower block you watch being built has been sold out to Chinese investors before the plans were ever displayed in the UK. Or maybe you've bought your dream house looking out onto green belt only suddenly they're digging it up for a new housing estate or school. Tough luck? How often do they build new estates near the people who are telling you it's necessary?

There are jobs, of course there are, but employers know better workers when they see them. Others have trades or qualifications and a desire to work far harder for less money. The laziness may be our fault but the lack of skills is a flaw in our society. It's leaving swathes of people without the wherewithal to work. Instead of training locals they can ship in ready made immigrants. Employers don't have to worry about fully supporting those immigrants because until recently the government took up the slack. Even now, they don't have to pay for their health care or the services they use. It will be interesting how much immigration slows when the new living wage comes in. Will they still be able to afford it or will they just move the activity to another country. The new living wage is higher than some EU countries' average wage. Cheaper to ship the product. Still zero jobs for locals.

And there are other things which I'm sure you can imagine, but these last issues are the most weighty straws on the camel's back.

There's quantity. Initially a UK problem but increasingly an EU conundrum, we have trouble saying 'no'. Once here, a migrant from a horrible area will almost certainly be able to stay and not just scrape by but be given a good life. If you were in many of the grim places on this Earth, why would you not be heading to the UK or the EU? Previously we were protected because people were less sure about the EU countries but now, they know that they can pass through with ease and at a pinch, stop in one of the others. The Nordic countries are a new destination of choice. And if you're not from a bad country, tear up your passport, get a new one and say you are. Say that you're a Christian, a homosexual, a child, anyone who would suffer if you were sent home. Oh please come in, you're in need. By the wonder of mobiles and tv, people have got the message that we're open for guests and residents.

Unfortunately nobody with their open and non racist personality has answered the question, how many is too many? We've just had Blair on the TV saying that we've always had immigration - what? 5 million in ten years? And remember it's not 5 million spread out, it's concentrated. How many in the next ten years? What encroachment on your life would be a step too far and having left the door wedged open for so long are you sure we'd be able to close it when we needed to? People aren't even asking those questions, let alone having an answer.

The final straw is crime and punishment.

We're soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime and everyone knows it. But worse, we've grown a minority triangle. Now I'm sure that there are still bigoted policemen out there but there's a new breed that is so wary of being labelled racist that they will harass anyone but a minority. The paedophile gangs of Rochdale and Rotherham are a good example. The police turned a blind eye because foreign trumps little white teenager. And guardians were ignored because little white teenagers trump white adults. Instead of being fair to all, the system has just restacked the injustice pile. Little old ladies go to prison for not paying their council tax but a rapist gets off scott free. A street gang makes threats and rude gestures but it's the old man who is arrested for calling them the N word. Hate preachers spew bile and anger for years but white people are condemned for objecting to their evil behaviour. When a Remain MP is killed by a loony, it's a reflection on all of us Leave voters but when an islamic terrorist slaughters hundreds, people knot themselves telling anyone who'll listen that it isn't all Muslims that are involved and most of them are really nice people. At any turn, human rights will almost certainly be invoked. Those EU human rights seem to apply to anyone but the poor beleaguered Brit. It's those rights that convicted criminals invoke when they don't want to go home and to add insult to injury, the EU backs them up.

No person suffers all of these things together. Some of them are experienced vicariously through the media but almost all of us have some knowledge of what it feels like. And what have our governments done about it? They hear the mumbled complaint of a 'bigoted' voter and go back to their gated communities, sure that there's really no problem. In fact if he or she's on the TV soon, they might pontificate about their stupid, lazy, racist Little Englanders. And they wonder why people voted to reduce immigration and take back control to men and women we can harangue, even if it's only in our local newspaper or election rally?

The rise of Donald Trump is because people want to feel that their politician has their back rather than intends to stab you in it when more deserving voters come along.

Jun 26, 2016 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

SandyS, I have read that article, and find a lot to agree with. The Northern Europe versus Southern Europe divide is more pronounced, now that it is about those countries with a Mediterranean coastline, having to cope with refugees from across the Mediterranean. Of course France has a Mediterranean coast line and one in the North, which they believe to be blockaded by British stubbornness.

I would be interested to see a chart of the major EEC/EU/EURO Treaties since 1990 (or before) showing which countries got a referendum before signing, and whether any concessions were made to obtain a signature.

The financial bail-outs resulted from countries bending/breaking the financial rules, to join the Euro. Nobody has been held to account. Gordon Brown does deserve credit for keeping the UK out of the Euro!

Jun 26, 2016 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Robert Christopher. With respect to your 11.07am response to part of my earlier post - that headed "They are just as stupid as I am" I can do without your patronising claptrap. I didn't just "survive" UEA, I thrived there. I don't think (academically) I was ever happier than at UEA where I was allowed, nay encouraged by those in authority there, to engage with young intelligent minds and challenge them to explore their core beliefs. I don't believe those minds were ever climate zombies as you believe. Nor do I think I have been sold a load of cr*p, at UEA or elsewhere. You may think you know me, but you don't. You have no idea about what actually happened within UEA during and before the Climategate debacle, except for your prejudices. You presumed to speak on my granddaughter's behalf, now you are trying to do the same job on me. Just DON'T.

I have been accused in the past of picking fights. This time it is deliberate, but I believe I have cause. I am sick and tired of being preached at and overloaded with one-sided material. It was counterproductive, I just gave up reading it. I had hoped that after last Thursday it would stop or slacken but it hasn't; you seem just as determined to rub my (and any others like me) nose(s) in Brexit's success. No appreciation at all that almost half of the country's voting population disagree with you. Keep on, after this I'll resume ignoring you and seek more balanced views here.

Jun 26, 2016 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

golf charlie 11:53 AM
I think the Euro is a case of running before you could walk, and ignoring the lessons of history (The LMU) of financial unions in Europe and Greece's record of financial mismanagement.

Not joining the Euro was one of Gordon Brown's better decisions, amongst a number of poor or downright bad ones.

I'll miss the Euro for eBay purchases.

Jun 26, 2016 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

TinyCo2. I recognise many of the arguments you make. I was brought up in what is now Newham and I saw the initial stages of the wholesale change of my parent's community into one dominated by Asians. But I would take issue with some of your points.
A) I think someone confronted by a media interviewer and startled into making an instantaneous answer is more likely to expose their true feelings. They don't have time to hide any underlying prejudice.
B Much of the anti immigrant sentiment was expressed in areas that have very low numbers of immigrants. Norfolk must be one of the most white-brit areas in the UK and repeatedly local TV news showed interviewees expressing the most horrendous ill-informed and xenophobic comments. Conversely constituencies like Tower Hamlets, with large immigrant populations voted to remain part of the EU. I would have thought that remaining white residents might have voted overwhelmingly to support limited immigration and vote Leave. Xenophobia does not necessarily require the pressures you describe.
C) Concentrations of "others" have always been part of cities. Some we often especially value now like Chinatowns - but it wasn't always so.

I am not just trying to be argumentative here. I genuinely believe this is a very important and nuanced topic that needs debating.

Jun 26, 2016 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Alan Kendall at 9.48am.

Thank you for your dignified comments. I certainly didn't think you would support any move to overturn the Brexit vote, and I hope it didn't come across that way in my earlier comment.

I remain concerned, however, that almost 3.2m have now signed the petition, and ARE trying to overturn the democratic vote. I can honestly say that if the vote had gone the other way I would have accepted the democratic vote (partly because I'm a reluctant, rather an ardent, Brexiteer, and partly because I believe firmly that democracy should prevail, whatever its faults). It alarms me greatly that to date, 5% of the total population, many of whom no doubt claim to be liberal, have such contempt for their fellow citizens and for democracy. It's a strange and worrying world.

Jun 26, 2016 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

AK, what about farm migrants? Certainly Boston, Lincolnshire has a high migrant population which probably increases in the summer when people are out and about. Not sure about Norfolk. It's why the NI numbers issued per year is about twice the official figure of 330000.

You also have to understand that cities are different from other places, especially London. Many people know what they're getting into when the move there. They've got a lot more amenities and get considerably more money, which helps. They survive by never looking at each other in the eye. Other cultures find it easier than us Brits too. There has been white flight from the East End up to Essex, partly to cash in on house prices but partly because they feel displaced.

And let's face it, most Londoners voted with their bank account in mind (not wrong but not proof they're completely free of xenophobia). And there are other racial tensions too, not just white prejudice.

Don't judge people by what they say when a microphone is stuck in front of them. They can't necessarily articulate exactly what irks them other than it stems from immigrants. It's not like the reporter would have had a chat before hand to see what underlying gripes the person had. They weren't the local professor either so are less abe to either explain or dissemble. I've seen as much xenophobia in the eyes of the elite for their own people, not least Cameron. Anna Soubry couldn't even stop herself voicing it, not to mention other stupid opinions.

Jun 26, 2016 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

On the BBC interviews, they've alternated between scruffy herberts in tee shirts and earnest young students. Why no young arabs or black guys from the less leafy parts of London? I think we know why.

Jun 26, 2016 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Mark Hodgson
Telegraph says

The petition was started, ironically, by Leave voter William Oliver Healey more than a month ago, when polls suggested a win for Remain.

On Sunday he posted a statement on his Facebook page which attempted to distance himself from it.

He wrote: “Due to the result, the petition has been hijacked by the remain campaign. Admittedly, my actions were premature however, my intentions were as stated above.

“THERE WAS NO GUARANTEE OF A LEAVE VICTORY AT THAT TIME!!! Having said that, if it had not been mine, it would have been orchestrated by someone on the remain campaign.

“I believe what we need to do now for the good of the country; is get behind the will of the British people, unite, issue Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and move forward, with the process of leaving the European Union”

An interesting change of heart. It's OK for him to start a petition when he anticipates the "wrong" result, but if the other side uses it when they lose it's all wrong and they should accept the result and get on with things?

I take it you think he was wrong to start the petition in the first place, I do even though it has given me something interesting to do when TV is football wall to wall?

Jun 26, 2016 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Mark Hodgson. You should note that I did not address my post to you. I did not want you to think I believed you were implying I might wish to support the petition. But I knew others here might well do so.

The matter of the petition is perhaps a more difficult than many think. Surely it is a democratic right for people to petition? That being so, let us engage in a hypothetical (one possibly impossible to be achieved but nevertheless one interesting to examine). If the petition was signed by more legitimate people than voted Leave, would you support a new referendum? If you believe it should, how do you view the attempts of the sponsors of the petition before they reach this result?

I know it would never happen today, but our views on how we are governed should be determined by considering such hypotheticals. I deplore the attempt by some to muddy the waters over the referendum, but if they ever gained significant support from the voting public, say approaching 40% I would find my position changing, and that's regardless of the issue itself. I would not consider the original determination "safe".

There is one possibility that my scenario above might come to pass. What if over the next two years it all goes horribly wrong and the overwhelming proportion of voters (together with the newly enfranchised young) show their desire not to leave the EU? In these circumstances do you think an attempt to overthrow the 2016 vote to be undemocratic?

I would not vote in any such petition.

Jun 26, 2016 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

SandyS (4.11 pm). What delicious irony. You have made my day.

Jun 26, 2016 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Alan kendall on Jun 26, 2016 at 1:33 PM
patronising claptrap
It wasn't my phrase, and it is true that others there are not held in such high esteem any more.

You have no idea about what actually happened within UEA during and before the Climategate debacle, except for your prejudices.
That is true, the UEA spent a load of our money ensuring we didn't know, yet its work has detrimentally influenced our national energy industries and wasted a lot of money: some consider the 2008 CCA the most destructive act of parliament that was ever passed.

You presumed to speak on my granddaughter's behalf
I didn't: I said, 'Good for them!', all those who are rejecting EU propaganda. It was a general comment about those whom I had heard about, elsewhere.

I don't believe those minds were ever climate zombies as you believe.
I have witnessed, and seen other posts describing the young, believing in the make believe world of Climate Change and other EU mirages, like the destruction of nation states. Just look at the reaction to the referendum result, the young wanting to go against the democratic decision and stay with an alien, undemocratic political power. And the Government believed it too: they actively sought out the 18 to 25 age group for registering to vote.

almost half of the country's voting population disagree with you
A majority agree with me, in spite of Cameron's 'unlevel' playing field, yet there are those who want to annul the result. It doesn't bode well for those trying to implement the changes that follow from the result. That is probably why the discussion has continued.

For years, I have thought that the EU was heading for the rocks, certainly since we were thrown out of the ERM, and thought that the referendum might give us a Brexit, but it was tempered with the problems of inertia and Project Fear, though I never thought it would reach such depths of unreality and highlight such complete dysfunctionality. Nor did I think that Cameron would be such a disgrace, appearing to renegotiate with zero effectiveness and then loading the dice so heavily in his favour.
I never thought that a Remain victory would be overturned, no matter how obvious the malpractice, because the Establishment would have won. It was only after a couple of results had been announced, that I felt, for the first time, that I might be on the losing side because, up until then, I was focusing on doing what I could for a Brexit, and my comfort was always that, no matter what the result, the EU was heading towards self-destruction, it was just the timing and how much it would take us with it that was unknown. Even before the referendum, the news from Europe pointed to that conclusion.
We are safer than we were, for now, but that is all we can say, especially as so many in Britain are not accepting the validity of the referendum result.

Jun 26, 2016 at 7:50 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher

Taxes etc from Northern Iceland go to the Crown. We currently receive back £47billion from Westminster as a block grant to run public services.

Because we are poor, peripheral, troubled and mostly agricultural we also receive £50billion from the EU.

This gives a total annual income of £100billion.

How much money can Northern Ireland expect to receive each year once Brexit is complete?

Jun 26, 2016 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic man on Jun 26, 2016 at 8:35 PM

It will be up to the Government at the time.

Jun 26, 2016 at 8:41 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

The definition of a level playing field, according to Cameron, from a doom laden article it must be said:

A ban issued from Downing Street on Brexit preparations – lest it boost the leave campaign – meant Britain’s most senior officials were permitted to “think” about a Brexit, but not allowed to write anything down.
Telegraph: The EU will treat Britain like Greece

Jun 26, 2016 at 8:49 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher

The Leavers promised that we would be better off outside the EU. To maintain the same level of public spending our block grant would need to be doubled.

That would require that £50billion of the £350billion saved from Brexit would need to go to Northern Ireland.

This sounds unlikely. Have you been lying to me?

Jun 26, 2016 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man