Zen Accountant

Zen Accountant

  • Commented on Duelling - Essentially a Bloody Stupid Idea
    Some comments about samurai duelling: Official retainers vs young punks with swords: Depending on period, this was more or less true. A lot of our popular conception came from the very stratified Tokugawa period. However, in more lawless periods, swordsmen...
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    I believe that the reason I don't feel like an adult is that I didn't see my parents anxieties when I was growing up. Sure, laundry & cooking happened weekly or daily, and if I paid attention I might even...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Question: do the poorer neighborhoods in British cities have the "food desert" problem that we have in the US? (Grocers are all in the nicer parts of town, so you have to buy junk food at higher prices if you...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    OK, speaking as a manager: 1. Engineers need to accept that management needs status updates on a regular schedule. 2. Managers needs to accept that engineers need uninterrupted time. 3. Engineers often work on their own schedule. How should we...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Rockets-come-down department: Oh, yes. I'm quite aware that I am fortunate. The chief executive for my county government has made a very strong push for moving towards a more effective, flexible & transparent government, where most USAian reformers only try...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Laziness/Dimness: I believe the lazy & dim at the legislative level generally either don't propose legislation, propose legislation ghost-written by lobbyists, or propose feel-good legislation like "be it resolved that we should respect motherhood & apple pie." Personal opinion, not...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    As a civil servant (County, social work, CA, USA), I see some amazingly stupid stuff coming out of our state government. Local government policies are usually better written. Generally, I categorize the faults into a few areas: 1. Peter Principle....
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Is the prime minister chosen by the largest party, or is it chosen by the parliament as a whole? I.E. if Johnson, May, or Farage can't get a majority, could Salmond, Sturgeon, or some other candidate cobble together a EU-friendly...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    "have"? Interesting choice of word there. My dad's an immigrant in my country. Been here 45 years, paid taxes all that time. He's designed roller coasters, windmill turbines, and mars rovers. He raised two sons, one also an immigrant. So,...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    Everybody loses. The big cities lose massive numbers of people, the companies that employ them collapse, and the countries that suddenly get a million folks who haven't been home for 10 years start rioting over social differences. A couple million...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    The problem is, any real reform of an organization the size & complexity of the EU would take years, if not decades. And every nation probably has it's own ideas about what should change, with most of the demands of...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    wikipedia has some figures rating traffic deaths, and US is about 2x the UK rate based on # of cars & miles driven, but 4x based on population. The UK is at the top of the list for all categories,...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    The US gives favorable tax treatment to home ownership. (mortgage interest deduction, exclusion on gain on sale of primary residence) From a very quick googling, the UK appears to offer the deduction for sale of home, and interest deduction on...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    Even using a more rigorous definition of middle class than "self-identified," they are generally in serious trouble. I'll drop some links at the bottom. Looking anecdotally at my co-workers- government accountants at the professional & middle management level, so financially...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    Oh, and I'd specifically like to know across the range of polities (city/county/UK subdivision/next country/distant country) I'll give my opinion for contrast whenI'm not typing on a smartphone, sorry......
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    So, one thing I don't get about out-group relations and British culture: When you think of people in the next political division over, how do you see them? At what level does the other become the scary person with a...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    Other than leaving room in each nodes dunbar list for family, friends & former co-workers, I like this. (say, reduce it to 32 from 64) With space colonies, you are probably also able to tailor your cell sizes to the...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    Blind reliance on received wisdom happens in religion, sure. But it also happens in other human social structures. So, it's not a flaw of religion, but of human beings & human society. Releasing a powerful viral meme which instilled atheism...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    Air: I've been thinking for a while about the transition to a post-scarcity economy, and I feel like some commodities will go non-scarce before others do. Necessities will hopefully be among the first, but not necessarily. If we had our...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    To my mind, one of the things that is needed before we can write the rules of society is a basic understanding of what the structure of the economy/support system is. 1) How is the colony put together? Something like...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    I would guess the following reasons: 1. London is 15% of the UK population, much more than NYC/US 2. UK is smaller than US, so travel times matter less for people. 3. High-Frequency trading means that ping times matter a...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    I went through that cog-dissonance, somewhere near 20 years back. If you have the basic idea that you change your worldview in the face of enough evidence, it's not that bad. But, I didn't have a completely developed case. I...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    USAian with family in England & Wales. I get most of my British news here or the Economist. No real mention of Brexit in US media, but I'd rather you stay in. Brexit seems like "go back to the gold...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    I haven't seen the US fundies getting too worked up about GMO's meddling with the divine plan. Cautious, yes, but not angry. By appealing to the "Govmint is meddling" meme, Cruz has probably made that a safe issue for him....
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    One thing I'm thinking about is character depth. I feel that one of the tradeoffs that comes with grandiosity is that characters are defined by fewer, iconic characteristics, rather than many, individual idiosyncrasies. But... does it have to be that...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    They also had some serious own-goals on the economic front: 1) self-embargoed cotton until just before the Union blockade went in 2) JDavis had previously defaulted on bonds 3) Preserved porters jobs by not having railways go through towns, but...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    well, I would guess that the system isn't going to be any good at learning as long as the components can find an excuse to either save vs learning, or shoot the messenger. One thing I'm thinking about is how...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    "I try to form a sentence in Italian, and end up too easily in Japanese" I have essentially the same experience (spanish/japanese) Once,in japan, making conversation with the people in the other bath, found out they were Spanish. So, my...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    Orbital mechanics approximate to driving between USAian cities on highways: -A ship that leaves later, but accelerates faster, will follow approximately the same arc of a ship that left earlier on a journey to the same destination. (passing slowly &...
  • Commented on Holding pattern (part N ...)
    Even within CA, it varies widely depending on area. Bigger urban counties have contingency plans & usually a nearby entity they can request mutual aid from. One thing that surprised me was the asinine rules that FEMA puts on local...
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