The Attitude Test

Presented by Steve Matzura

Airs Sunday at 18:00 UTC, repeats Monday at 11:00 UTC and Tuesday at 05:00 UTC

A weekly program on which we discuss, but often stray from, a given topic. Listeners are very welcome to join in the discussion or raise a topic of their own.

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Recent Shows

15 April 2018

On this week's Attitude Test, we debate the question is amateur radio a diing hobby? The original intention of becoming a radio amateur or 'hamm,' as it is often called, was to learn about and experiment with radio. Nowadays one can simply buy an off-the-shelf transceiver stick up some sort of antenna and away you go. Where now is the experimentation? Also with ever-increasing availability of good communications software for computers that allow people to easily speak worldwide, where is the necessity for amateur radio and all the trouble of obtaining a license? Are the authorities restricting what can be done with amateur radio too much to encourage experimentation?

8 April 2018

On this week's programme, we ask the question should charity begin at home? In many of the developing countries, various services are crumbling, for example health and social care in the UK are really up against it financially, and yet, we seem capable of helping refugees to come to this country, often providing housing and social services. We also, for example in 2016 spent some 14.4 billion on foreign aid, money that could well have been spent on the UK's own citizens. Much the same is being spent by other developed countries too. For instance, if you feel that we should spend the amount we do, or even more on foreign aid, ask yourself this question. Would you rather spend money you had on your family, or give it to a stranger?

1 April 2018

Being the first Sunday of the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

25 March 2018

On this week's show we're talking accessible technology for the blind and will have a very special guest, Jeff Bishop reporting on his visit to the Assistive Technology Conference at California State University known to many as CSUN.

18 March 2018

On this week's programme we discuss the subject of debt: from the debt of countries and organizations to personal debt. In terms of a country's debt, is it possible for any country not to be in debt these days? In terms of personal debt, is it too easy to obtain credit, what with credit and debit cards almost given away? What happens when personal debt becomes too much and the bailiffs are called in? On this matter we hope to speak to someone who had that experience recently over a small sum of money. Are companies often too quick to employ harsh measures to recover small debts yet are often reluctant to pay for goods and services themselves?

11 March 2018

On this week's Attitude Test, at the request of one of our participants from last week's show, we debate the question of how blind and visually impaired children are, and should be educated in a modern society. Should there be schools specifically for blind children where they can be educated alongside other blind children, or is it possible to integrate them into the standard school system? What were your experiences if you are blind or visually impaired? Do you consider you got the best education possible?

4 March 2018

Being the first Sunday of the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

25 February 2018

On this week's Attitude Test, at the request of a listener, we ask the question why are we often very superstitious? What are the origins of many of our superstitions and why do we often treat them so seriously?

18 February 2018

On this week's show, we debate the subject of free speech. What exactly is free speech? Does it mean that anyone has the right to say anything? If so, are we prepared for the consequences: if not what should not be allowed? Should what we can and cannot say be allowed simply by consensus, or should there be regulation?

11 February 2018

On this week's show, we ask the question is society today too obsessed with winning? Are political parties and corporations too obsessed with their own gain that we're losing any humanitarian aspect? Is that filtering down to what we're teaching our young people - win at almost any cost?

4 February 2018

Being the first Sunday of the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

28 January 2018

On this week's programme, we discuss conspiracy theories. As an example, there are many people who believe that Man never walked on the moon, and that the whole thing of the first moon landing was shot in a film studio somewhere.

21 January 2018

At the request of a listener, this week's Attitude Test, discusses the "#me too" movement which, mainly due to social media, has received much support and some opprobrium throughout the world. Oprah Winfrey delivered a rallying cry to women and hope for a new day when receiving the Cecile B. DeMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes. This followed many women coming out on social media telling of their experiences at the hands of often powerful men. On this week's programme we ask; has this movement's time come? Have men for far too long taken advantage of women's position in society, often expecting to get their own way whether the woman has consented or not?

14 January 2018

On this week's Attitude Test, at the request of a listener, we look at the question of care for those who have problems such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease?

7 January 2018

On this week's Attitude Test we discuss whether literature can affect world events, or is it merely a means of reporting such events? This subject has been thrown into sharp release with the release this week of Michael Wolf's book "Fire and Fury - Inside the Trump White House," available as an audio book from
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/macmillan-audio/

31 December 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, we look back on 2017. What are the main events of the year and how do you view them? What sort of a year has it been for you personally? Also what would you like to see happen in 2018?

17 December 2017

At the request of a listener, this week's Attitude Test, will ask the question how do many of us as blind and visually impaired people relate to people with other disabilities? Are we sometimes just as prejudiced as the able bodied population when it comes to other disabilities?

10 December 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, at the request of a listener we discuss the Media: do we control it, or does it control us? Can we really tell the difference between real and fake news? Are we being simply manipulated in all sorts of ways, both by the official media and social media?

3 December 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

26 November 2017

Over the past few weeks we've debated some fairly heavy topics so on this week's show, we debate the noble art of shopping. With Black Friday, and now Cyber Monday trying very hard to persuade us to buy, buy, buy and tempting us with major discounts, did you succumb this year? How as a blind person do you get on with shopping and what tips would you have for others? How do you manage shopping online - are you comfortable with it or not?

19 November 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, we discuss the subject of gender fluidity. Early this week the Church of England released a document called All God's Children, dealing with the subject of being transgendered. One of the points made in the document was that children should be allowed to explore gender fluidity - the example given was that a boy should not be discouraged if, for example he wished to ware a tiara. Needless to say the Media has jumped on this saying, Ah, the Church is happy for children to choose their gender.

12 November 2017

On this week's programme, we'll be discussing the issue of inappropriate sexual behaviour. We've all probably heard of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and others that have followed, both in the entertainment industry and in politics, but is this beginning to go just a little too far? I was always under the impression that people were innocent until proven guilty, yet we're seeing films withdrawn and politicians being removed from their parties just on the say so of others. Are we in danger of ceating a witch hunt: and how can sometimes 40 year old indiscretions be proved?

5 November 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, our subject will be taxation. Our special guest on the show will be Chris Coverdale who for a considerable number of years has refused, where possible to pay any tax: his reasoning being that, for example under the United Nations Charter no person should pay money to a terrorist organization, and he regards the British Government as supporting terrorism by virtue of their armed incursions into places like Iraq and Afghanistan over the last few years. He is happy to answer questions from listeners.

29 October 2017

Normally on the last Sunday of the month we have an open forum, however, this time, being so close to Halloween, we thought we'd ask the question do you believe in the paranormal? Have you ever had a paranormal experience, and if so what was it? Do you have any good short ghost stories to share?

22 October 2017

On this week's programme, at the request of one of our regular contributors, we ask the question is it too easy to be fired from a job these days? He quoted the case of a man who is the blind manager of a store in a federal building in Saint Louis in the middle of all the protests and riots going on there. his wife worked as his helper, and she was accused by some random customer, an African American lady, of making racially charged comments to her that she never made. The woman filed a federal police report about it. The director of the vending program told my friend he had to fire his wife. It's great that people feel more comfortable reporting things like sexual harassment, but have we gone too far?

15 October 2017

On this week's programme, we ask the question do you, as a blind or visually impaired person feel disadvantaged in social situations such as parties, meetings, and even one to one encounters with our sighted counterparts, and if so, does this have an effect on things such as employment, and making friends? What can be done to make it easier for blind people to interact with society in general, and why does society seem to have often what I would call a strange attitude to blindness and blind people?

8 October 2017

On this week's programme, we ask the question can we ever have an equal opportunity society? Is there destined to always be a pay gap between the genders? What about disabled people: can they ever achieve an equal opportunity situation?

1 October 2017

Most people know that if you smoke Cannabis you get high but did you also know there are many medical benefits to Cannabis? On this week's Attitude Test, we'll have a special guest, Edison Carter, who has considerable knowledge on the many benefits derived from Cannabis. We'll also consider the legal position of Cannabis today.

24 September 2017

Being the last Sunday of the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

17 September 2017

On this week's show, we discuss the current state of the music industry. Is live music well and thriving at gigs near you or have many venues closed. With the current state of computers etc., has it become all too easy to make music and because of that has the general standard gone down, or does it mean that more and more people can try their hand in the music industry? On a lighter note, what was the best gig you ever went to and why?

10 September 2017

On this week's attitude test, we'll be discussing the topic of policing practices and procedures, and where do people think they're going with handling etc. for example, like in the case of the killing of 43 year-old Eric Garner.

3 September 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, we ask a very simple question with a very complicated answer. What is the major threat to Man Kind today?

27 August 2017

Being the last Sunday of the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

20 August 2017

On this week's programme, we discuss the use of biometrics. finger prints, voice analysis, retinal scanning and facial recognition are just some of the ways technology is either being used, or will in the future be used to assist people in their daily lives. Is this technology available to work for our benefit or is it a massive invasion of privacy? What if authorities use it more and more and come to rely on it, and it gets things wrong? Already in some countries commercial companies are using the technology in shops to remember what you bought last time, and could the use of biometrics in combination with social media really invade our privacy?

13 August 2017

On this week's programme, we discuss the war of words between US President Donald Trump and the Leader of The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, known to most as North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Are we hearing merely bellicose rhetoric from both sides, or are we witnessing something more serious? Are blatant threats the only thing that both leaders understand, and what of the people of South Korea, Guam, Japan and other nations in the region? If you have strong views on the subject, then this is the place to air them!

6 August 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, we discuss the subject of genetics. This week, it was announced that researchers in the US and Korea have successfully edited a gene to removed a mutant part responsible for the transmission of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, (hcm), a disease which is often pass down through the generations. While this could obviously be a good thing and may also lead to the removal of other genetically transmitted diseases, could it mean we are on the slippery slope to being able to produce what are called designer babies, and if so, is this necessarily a bad thing. Also, what are the ethical and religious considerations likely to be?

30 July 2017

Being the last Sunday of the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

23 July 2017

This week, at the request of a listener we ask the question what makes you laugh? Why, for example do we often find others misfortunes funny? Do people from different countries have a difference sense of humour? We'll also reminisce about comedies we remember, be it books, radio, TV, film or theatre.

16 July 2017

On this week's show, we debate the possibility of a cashless society.

9 July 2017

This week, we are taking a short break from our live Attitude Test and streaming an archive from last year. Around this time each year, both the ACB and NFB hold their national conventions. On this week's Attitude Test, our program will be centred around convention memories. Have you been to one of the conventions and what are your abiding memories?

2 July 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, at the request of a listener, we discuss the issue of sleep disorders, commonly experienced by blind people who have no light perception. We'll also be talking about dreams. We'd be interested to hear of any sleep problems you have; whether you've found a solution, and what it is. We'd also like to hear about your dreams.

25 June 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

18 June 2017

On this week's programme, we discuss what went wrong resulting in a fierce blaze in a 24 storey high tower block of flats in Kensington, London. Local people are extremely angry because the Residents Committee had expressed considerable disquiet for many years at the fire risk in the building, much of which is being attributed to what is called Cladding, an exterior surface consisting of aluminium sheeting with some sort of foam insulation which, residence claim was not particularly fire proof and allowed the blaze to spread rapidly up the building.

11 June 2017

As mentioned during this show, a demonstration of the AIRA glasses is available. Please use the following link to
download it

On this week's show, we look at how blind and visually impaired people handle print, be it on digital displays, or, for example letters that come in the mail. There are now several apps that deal relatively effectively with printed material on paper and we ask what's your favourite app and why; what tips do you have for other people, and what would you like to see improved. In the case of digital displays, would it be too much to ask manufacturers to put in some sort of ability for the displays to be read out with speech?

4 June 2017

On this week's programme, we discuss the subject of loneliness. You would think these days with all the social media, plus many people living in large cities, no one would ever be lonely, however quite the opposite appears to be the case. On this week's show we ask have you ever felt lonely, and if so, what, if anything have you done to alleviate the feeling? Do you know your neighbours, and if so do you have regular contact? And we'll debate many other aspects of the subject.

28 May 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

21 May 2017

Last week, the screenreader community learned of the death of Window-Eyes, one of the two most popular screenreader programs in the world. An announcement was made to the effect that it had been decided to discontinue Window-Eyes and that current Window-Eyes users in the US could migrate for free to the other major screen reading program JAWS. This caused a certain amount of disquiet amongst Window-Eyes users outside the US and a further announcement was made to say that users in the UK and Australia would have the same migration facilities as those in the US. On this week's Attitude Test, we'll discuss the demise of Window-Eyes and its repercussions.

14 May 2017

On this week's program, at the end of Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK, we ask the question why is mental health not given the prominence in society that physical health is?

7 May 2017

Following on from our discussion on last week's program concerning technology and society, on this week's show, are we living in a "throwaway" society, with everything from material things to relationships being easily discarded at a whim? We all know about the people who must have the latest of everything, which of course is fed by commercial concerns who need to keep making money by selling us the very latest something. To this end, are commercial concerns deliberately fuelling this by making things either so unreliable or difficult to repair - consider the iPhone for example - you can't even change the battery yourself - that often it is just easier to throw the thing away than pay a fortune for someone who actually can repair the thing?

30 April 2017

On this week's show, we'll discuss the premise that the future is approaching, and many of us won't see it coming. Technology is improving exponentially, but will society be ready for what is to come, for example when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3-D printing, agriculture and jobs? Much of what we know and take for granted today will be simply swept aside to make way for the new, but will the general public be prepared?

23 April 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

16 April 2017

On this week's programme, we ask the question are current school curriculums fit for purpose? Do they accurately reflect what children need to know to live in a modern society? What would you add, or remove from the current curriculum to have children be more prepared to live in our modern world?

9 April 2017

On 7 April 2017, US President Trump ordered a military strike against Syria, using some 59 missiles. He said this was in response to the chemical attack by Syrian forces on their own people. On this week's Attitude Test, we debate the whole question as to whether this was a correct course of action. Why, for example are chemical weapons considered much worse than any other form of destruction? Is the US being dragged into yet another war they really can't finalize? Could we be heading to some form of conflict between the US and Russia, and has President Trump gone back on what he said during his presidential campaign??

2 April 2017

On this week's program, we ask the question do we give our consent to things too easily these days? How many times have you installed a piece of software on your computer or phone and just said "yes" to the licence agreement, or how many times have you received correspondence from, say the tax authorities and just accepted and agreed to what they say? How many times have we allowed our personal data to be given away simply because the request for our consent to so doing is buried deep down where we're not really going to look for it?


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