Simon Farnsworth

Simon Farnsworth

  • Commented on The gathering crisis
    The hate rhetoric about Jews is still ongoing, and that about homosexuals. It's just that polling shows that Muslims and immigrants are joining Jews and homosexuals as an ineffective choice of target, partly because we've had it played so often...
  • Commented on The gathering crisis
    The problem is that that's last year's bogeyman, and is fast becoming played out as a source of fear. Trans people are the upcoming bogeyman, and not yet played out....
  • Commented on The gathering crisis
    Part of the "fun" is that many of our biomass burning stations are converted coal plants, and can still run on coal. So by one definition, we have no coal burning plants left (because they're all biomass plants), but by...
  • Commented on The gathering crisis
    Bear in mind that UK courts have already ruled that the referendum itself was void - it's just that none of the damage was done by the referendum (which was purely advisory), but by the actions taken by the UK...
  • Commented on The ends of education
    I'm not sure that would be enough - Labour discarded the Jenkins Report, and past form (the AV referendum) suggests that LD won't press hard enough on getting reform out of a coalition partner. Adding the SNP to the mix...
  • Commented on The ends of education
    I would argue that your "the mining interests that have had our two parties in their pockets since forever" is pointing at the biggest failure of a bipartite system: it makes regulatory capture by special interests easier. In the USA,...
  • Commented on The ends of education
    Just to add emphasis to that - the EU's only significant concerns about the UK joining the EU is that we'd try to insist on being able to pick-and-choose again, and that FPTP doesn't meet the Copenhagen Criteria as they...
  • Commented on The ends of education
    A side thought - one of the points of moving school leaving age from 14 to 16 to 18, and of encouraging more people to go to university is simply to delay their entry to the workforce. If you're looking...
  • Commented on The ends of education
    The analysis holds for as long as part timers are paid the same (including benefits) as full-timers, even if you cut full-time benefits down to nothing and just pay everyone hourly. Indeed, from the employer's perspective, one person working 80...
  • Commented on The ends of education
    The big deal for employers is that there is per-employee overhead: two people working 20 hours a week is more expensive than one person working 40 hours a week on the same hourly wage. All else being equal (which is...
  • Commented on The ends of education
    One of the problems we have as a society is an overly strict model of how you "should" live your life - the "standard" model is compulsory education until 14/16/18 (the age has been going up over time), optionally followed...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    Remember in this context that part of the reason for invading Ukraine now is a pair of demographic problems coming home to bite Russia: The Russian military is a conscript force, but the population is no longer growing; it's clear...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    NATO is not a trading block, but if you look at the 10 year trend, Ukraine's exports to EU countries (Spain, Poland, Netherlands), USA, and Canada have all grown, as have exports to China, at the expense of Russia. The...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    I don't see why the placebo effect doesn't apply to animals; some components of it (the components that depend on a belief that things are going to improve) will not apply, but others (such as the effect that we assume...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    I suspect dowsing of being similar to "rubber duck debugging"; in rubber duck debugging, you have a logic error somewhere, and instead of looking for the error, you attempt to state your logical chain as clearly as possible. Because you're...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    The thing is that in the non-automated scenario (in Tesco and in Waitrose), I often have to wait for the duty manager to come from their office in order to resolve things. In the automated tills case, the human cashiers...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    The same thing I do when the human-operated till fucks it up and the human operating the till can't or won't fix it - insist on getting another human to come in and fix it. If there isn't anyone around...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    And on that count, I've noted that even when a white 18 year old man goes explicitly to a black majority area to shoot up black people, and leaves behind notes saying that they're doing that because they believe that...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    To emphasise your gun culture point; I've been in a big name store in the USA (not a specialist gun retailer, just a store that sells guns among other things) and had a staff member try to sell me a...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    The difficulty AIUI is that SCOTUS has previously ruled that the "well-regulated militia" is a state-level function, not a federal function, and so while Congress could legislate to say that you have to be in your state's "well-regulated militia", Texas...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    On the topic of a wealth tax: First, any wealth tax that's workable needs to account for earnings over your lifetime so far - because Greg Tingey is over 60, you expect him to have accumulated more wealth than someone...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    It's the fact that they're winning votes instead of being arrested and convicted before they stand for Parliament that's depressing. I'd much prefer it if the nasty party ran out of candidates because they're all locked away for our safety....
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    I am not nearly cynical enough to believe that there are multiple MPs who would deliberately ensure that they matched the description of the alleged offender simply so that attempts to research the identity of the latest alleged offender are...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    This is one of the deeper issues underlying anti-globalization sentiment: where previously, money tended to circulate locally, now it crosses administrative borders, and thus where previously local politics could put restraints on the worst tendencies of your local Dragon-type human,...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    That's not my experience of 1930s builds; the low end of the market indeed didn't have servants' quarters, but the ones I've seen where the initial selling price (in the 1930s) was more than about £250 did have (small, only...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    World War 1 started the decline in live-in servants for the middle classes, World War 2 killed the profession off completely. My great-grandfather was a British Indian Army officer; income-wise, that put him in a comparable situation to a reasonably...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Absolutely - that's why I put it in terms of what full-time work can reasonably get you over a lifetime. In 1860, a London living wage was around £40/year, and with 50 working years, that only gets you to £2,000....
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    It appears, from what I can find, that it's random for most people, but that if you have a specific disability (hearing impairment, for example) and can justify that you would not use a sat nav as a result of...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Single digit millionaires do make sense. A "standard" 9-5 Mon-Fri job in the West works out to around 2,000 hours per year, and most people have a working life of approximately 50 years, give or take (some work more, some...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    That was implied by "resolved in English" - we have always stolen words from other languages in preference to inventing our own :-)...
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