For those who remember
In the Ian Fleming books, Bond drove a Bentley, which (said he) "went like a bird and a bomb."
338 posts • joined 20 Aug 2009
In the Ian Fleming books, Bond drove a Bentley, which (said he) "went like a bird and a bomb."
Here in the US of A, palaver still means talk — a confab, if you will. (A typically American diminution of confabulation.) It is usually used about trying to reach agreement or sometimes as empty talk.
necropsies of the resident fauna, I think we know very little.
Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet.
at times, verging on false. Take:
"This means that energy from burning hydrocarbons, whether fossil or biofuel, must be used and produced much more efficiently: nobody seriously thinks that the human race can power itself using renewables. (In any case, in practice the hippies are against non-hydrocarbon renewables too.)"
Recently, Germany achieved generating almost 80% of it's energy from renewables.
As for nuclear, while I have in the past been against it, due to the waste problem, with the advent of molten salt reactors, I think we may have found a reasonable alternative to today's reactors. For those who think the waste is not a problem, I would point them toward the Hanford Reservation.
that according to US law, an animal has no standing.
OK, it's not English, French, Spanish or Chinese, but there are a surprising number of places around the globe where Nederlands gesproken is. Apart from the Netherlands and Belgium, there is South Africa and Namibia, Indonesia, certain islands in the Carribean and Surinam. Maybe I've even missed something...
can't he pick on someone his own size? Or did he?
It is, of course, very convenient and simple to develop a world view if you're selective about the facts you choose. I will not posit mine here (no doubt suffering from similar flaws), but I can mention some things forgotten.
During the earlier periods, the salaries of the heads of corporations (latterly known as CEOs) was perhaps 7x that of the lowest paid worker. Today it is many hundreds of times greater, and even more so, if you factor in cheap off-shored labor.
Before 1974, salaries and standard of living rose on a near-yearly basis. After 1974, salaries (excluding corporate officers and factoring in inflation) remained stagnant.
Prior to the 60's, most families were supported by a single (usually male-earned) salary. With the advent of the women's movement, women who felt they'd been getting the short end of the stick, entered the workforce in great numbers. Now, it's common — even necessary — for multiple paychecks to support a a family. It's my belief that while those 60's white male-based employers outwardly responded negatively, in secret they rejoiced at the near-doubling of the workforce, especially with cheaper labor. (Even today women fight for equal pay for equal work.) The trend for off-shoring continued the joy as corporations raced to the bottom to find the cheapest labor. (And why wouldn't they? It is the sole purpose of corporations to profit.) This played into the breaking of union power (which was not helped by some apparent corruption among unions — I'm looking at you, Teamsters.)
American wealth was boosted by huge infrastructure projects, not least of which was the National Highway System, which fostered trade and travel with it's concomitant growth effect on the economy. This was paid for with taxes. Somewhere along the line a general tax revolt ensued, egged on by the rich who admittedly bore a large burden. Without taxes and with the addition of huge defense expenditures (military-industrial complex, anyone?), today we are faced with crumbling infrastructure, which we could rebuild, but those think government should pay for nothing but defense object and we are at a stalemate. Obama's plans for such came to very little.
The Glass-Steagall Act was an attempt to protect the ordinary citizen from predation by monied interests. Even though Roosevelt (decried as a class traitor and blamed for just about any and every governmental or economic ill that ensued by my right-wing friends) was cool to the idea, it became the law of the land until it was repealed under Bill Clinton. (For those unaware, among other things, it prevented the combination of commercial and investment banking.) Not too long thereafter, the world suffered what we now term 'the Great Recession,' caused in no small part by those banks playing money games with the economy (there are many good histories of what happened.) We need mention only in passing Credit Default Swaps; slicing and dicing unsupportable mortgages as investments which the issuers, themselves, bet against; and interest-rate rigging — though of course there are many issues as deep. Average Americans suffered dreadfully and were further taxed with paying for a bailout. Those banks (the ones that survived) did very well, thank-you and their officers, even better.
I'm quite sure there's more, but I've gone on long enough...
Perhaps 30 years ago, I read in a book by Freeman Dyson the theory that the other side of a black hole is a white hole, spewing matter and/or energy into another location, perhaps another universe. It has been posited that in another universe, the big bang would appear to be a white hole.
"The concept of a “white hole,” a hypothetical object emerging spontaneously from a singularity – or a time-reversed version of a black hole – was introduced by Igor Novikov in 1964, but without referring to it as a white hole. The following year the concept was independently considered by Yuval Ne’eman, who called the object a “lagging core.” The apt name “white hole,” which may first have been used in 1971, soon became popular while “lagging core” was forgotten. Contrary to the black holes, white holes or lagging cores are not believed to exist in nature. They were sometimes called “little bangs,” a term also used with somewhat different connotations (Hoyle 1965; Harrison 1968).'
@ TW — re: ERM
Presumably, whether developed or not, this other land you speak of is owned. If not by the City itself, such a required use would again be a taking. If you are saying the current owner(s) would be allowed to build low-income housing or a trailer park for same, there can be no objection — save for the rancor of the abutters should such a project be implemented.
@ TW — taking in law
Not sure what you're referring back to, nor do I know UK law. In the US, while the point is somewhat moot, there are plenty of examples where it is.
• On the [New] Jersey Shore, landowners have been barred from building on land they bought for that purpose.
• In Massachusetts,Title 5 requires homeowners on septic systems, before the sale of their houses, to either hook up to city sewers (at their own expense, and with the ensuing sewer charges, where once it was free) or have their systems tested and certified by state-chosen contractors (again at their own expense which, 25 years ago, was $800). Should the system fail the test, it must be remediated (again at the owner's expense) or hook up as above. The Massachusetts Constitution states:
[ARTICLE X] "…no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, [EMPHASIS MINE] without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. "
(When I brought up this inconsistency during the hearings for Title 5, I was told there are some issues more important than the Constitution!) Apparently, this issue has been problematic for a long time. In the current legislative session, a bill has been put forward to remedy this:
"An Act relative to due process to prohibit the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions from adopting environmental and developmental policies that would infringe or restrict private property rights"
I could go on, but I won't.
"given that it's the good burghers of Palo Alto – through their city council – who decide on which pieces of land you can build on in that fair city, then they're fucking insane to be paying for something which they themselves created for free."
Is TW serious? Since the current owner has undoubtedly paid for the property, for the city council (et al) to simply withdraw permission for anything other than the current use amounts to government seizure by eminent domain. Surely that does not jibe with Worstallism. In fact, the US Supreme Court (in Kelo v. the City of New London [strangely by majority of the liberal justices]) ruled that a higher tax value is sufficient reason for such seizure.
Not that I'm recommending this. Among the other problems with this week's screed is externalities. When we say, "for our wealth stock is, by definition, our capital, and GDP is the annual income that we gain from employing that capital. If we're getting less GDP from the same capital, or we've more capital producing the same GDP, then the society is becoming less efficient," we are saying that things like environmental preservation have no value, primarily because they are not monetized.
And I will say again that rises in prices (too often confused with value) are more often than not synonymous with inflation, and are not really growth.
I voted for scourge as the most reasonable of the bad choices provided, but only to see the results, Vulns (already in use) is an excellent choice,
nubile |ˈn(y)oōˌbīl; -bəl|
(of a girl or young woman) sexually mature; suitable for marriage.
• (of a girl or young woman) sexually attractive : he employed a procession of nubile young secretaries.
Honestly, we do not have a democracy in America. It was meant to be a republic ("What sort of government have you given us, Mr. Franklin?"
"A republic, madam, if you can keep it.")
Unfortunately, we could not — it's now an oligarchy; some might argue a kakistocracy.
Actually, it seems they are suing people regardless of whether they have partaken in any way.
Don't know if this is true or not...
Australian Police have been unable to recommend a prosecution for the following scam:
A company takes out a newspaper advertisement claiming to be able to supply imported hard core pornographic videos. As their prices seem reasonable, people place orders and make payments via check.
After several weeks, the company writes back explaining that under the present law they are unable to supply the materials and do not wish to be prosecuted. So they return their customers' money in the form of a company check.
However, due to the name of the company, few people will present these checks to their banks.
The name of the company: "The Anal Sex and Fetish Perversion Company"
One could, perhaps, be forgiven for branding me a conspiracy theorist (though after this article, you have to wonder). I would suggest the anyone interested look for the film "Loose Change," which is available free (and virally) online. Pay particular attention to "Operation Northstar,' which dates from when all this began.
Barely, if you avert your eyes from the tabloids at the check-out counter.
Alexander Cockburn wrote in The Nation many years ago (you can tell how many by the example) the following [paraphrased]:
The difference between Republicans and Democrats is, if a Contra were raping a nun, the Republican would say, "Go for it!" and the Democrat would say, "Now, you know that's not right. Ask her nicely and if she says 'no,' I'll help you."
"It's also clear that Georgia did not put its finest lawyers on the case…"
What makes you think so?
"apple have lost 90% of the smartphone market."
...and yet rake in over 90% of the profits in that market, so I'm not sure your stat is correct,
BTW: watch those caps!
Assuming (and we all know what 'to assume' does...) they succeed, would they then employ the droids in all oil and gas circumstances, given that it is cheaper in long run (or so they assume...)? Oil and gas fracking has driven a lot of new employment in these here United States, such as the boom in North Dakota, which previously employed but a few bachelor farmers, used car salesmen and a sheriff or two.
What will happen to the roughnecks? Think of the children!
Get a sense of humor, Dude!
On top of that, you are mathematically wrong.
Let's assume, for sake of discussion, that the wasters' net worth is ridiculously, egregiously low —say, $1,000 each (bearing in mind that a higher value would just bring up the average). That's just a rounding error in Bill Gates' $79.5 billion net worth. <http://www.forbes.com/profile/bill-gates/>.
So, the mean average is (1000+1000+79.5B)/3=2650000066.666666666666667
The median average is (79.5B-1000)/2=39749999500
The only average that doesn't give a result in the billions is the seldom-used modal average [more people have value x than any other]. With that, the average is $1,000.
@John Brown (no body)
Then I suppose the installation of suicide nets at Foxconn was replicated in all these other companies you mention, like Pegatron?
As for Apple bashing, I'm not one to do that, as I wouldn't be where I am today (wherever that is) without Apple.
Two wasters are sitting in a bar when Bill Gates walks in. "Hurrah!" shouts one, "Drinks for everyone!"
"What are you doing?" asks his friend.
"Our average net worth is now several billion dollars!"
This could point to the state of your Chinese factory worker, who — while better off than when he was in his village, else why would he be there? — is by no means flush. Look back, too, to the stories of overwork, dormitory living and suicides at Foxconn. And this, too, could well be exported.
But apparently, even they are getting too expensive, so 'let's go hire cheaper Indian labor!' Yes, theoretically when the global supply of exploitable and cheap labor is gone, all pays will have to rise. But even that is not a panacea, as the cost of living rises, sometimes and in some places more than the increase in pay. Until then, it's a race to the bottom, with the glorious capitalists trying to make us all rich beyond the wildest dreams of a Bangladeshi dirt farmer.
National Public Radio reports this morning that T-Mobile wants to slurp Dish Network.
Q: If Achilles covers half the distance to his destination every day, when does he arrive?
(Of course, at some point the distance is so small as to be negligible, and impossible in the physical world not to negotiate...)
Even giving the 'inventor' the benefit of the doubt, eventually the charge will be so small, it won't power your phone for the smallest fraction of a picosecond.
First, I'm amazed and gratified that Record Store Day has spread across the pond (and who knows where else) after having been started by my local retailer, Bull Moose Music.
Second, if you're so old (like me) as to have a system from back in the day (mine includes a Thorens TD 160), there are devices like iRecord that are analog-to-digital converters that can be used to put digital files on computers, iThings and flash drives from anything with RCA plugs, including video as well.
Google:Obama=Enron:Bush. At least Google does less harm to society AKA "Don't Be [too] Evil"
I don't see the problem here. St. Ronnie Reagan told us the Government is our enemy and we should all be entrepreneurs...
In 1990, the world population was 5.2 billion or so. Today, it's approaching (if not passed) 7 billion. therefore, 1.91 billion was was 36.7% of the world, roughly. Today's 1 billion is about 7%. Progress, indeed! Now, what per cent of the world in 1990 was 'developing' compared with today?
Sanskrit is a written, not spoken language.
("It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.")
TW's article is clear — and just a tad obvious, to anyone who follows these things. However, I must niggle at his characterization of the US insurance market as non-competitive. As a Brit, he can be forgiven and does indeed know there are various state regulators. However, there are extreme differences from state to state. For instance, Massachusetts actually sets the rates, so everyone pays the same if fall into the same group, and the state requires (again for instance) every driver to carry insurance. No real competition there — insurers must compete on things like service (gasp!). In neighboring New Hampshire, the state does not set rates and the premiums for any given policy will vary from company to company. There is a small market in Massachusetts residents trying to figure out how to register their cars in New Hampshire, even though Massachusetts is a 'No Fault' state...
Similar variances abound.
...even if it has a snowball's chance, given the Repuglican control of the Congress. Still however, physician — heal thyself!
Unsharp Masking produces a result that is different, often resulting in unwanted color or highlight variations, in my experience.
PS: I've been a graphic designer since before computers and started using Photoshop with v. 1.07
Here's a trick for those who like and/or use this kind of thing:
•Duplicate a layer (be it a flat background or otherwise) and run Find Edges on the duplicate.
•Select All and copy
•Create a new channel and paste
•Delete the duplicate layer
•Select the new channel from the Select menu
•Go back to the original image layer with the new channel (alpha) selected
•Run Gaussian Blur on the selection
I call this Gaussian Sharpen and have created an action to do this
PS: It's also good for some artistic purposes, but I leave that to you...
"Men like Schiaparelli watched the red planet--it is odd, by-the-bye, that for countless centuries Mars has been the star of war--but failed to interpret the fluctuating appearances of the markings they mapped so well. All that time the Martians must have been getting ready.
During the opposition of 1894 a great light was seen on the illuminated part of the disk, first at the Lick Observatory, then by Perrotin of Nice, and then by other observers. English readers heard of it first in the issue of Nature dated August 2. I am inclined to think that this blaze may have been the casting of the huge gun, in the vast pit sunk into their planet, from which their shots were fired at us. Peculiar markings, as yet unexplained, were seen near the site of that outbreak during the next two oppositions.
The storm burst upon us six years ago now. As Mars approached opposition, Lavelle of Java set the wires of the astronomical exchange palpitating with the amazing intelligence of a huge outbreak of incandescent gas upon the planet. It had occurred towards midnight of the twelfth; and the spectroscope, to which he had at once resorted, indicated a mass of flaming gas, chiefly hydrogen, moving with an enormous velocity towards this earth. This jet of fire had become invisible about a quarter past twelve. He compared it to a colossal puff of flame suddenly and violently squirted out of the planet, "as flaming gases rushed out of a gun." "
In RE, Adam Smith's pin factory:
[from my book, The Root of All Evil, available on Noise Trade as an e-book]
Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, illustrating how the division of labor results in greater productivity, famously used the example of a pin maker. He described how a solitary pin maker might make but one and no more than twenty pins in a day. That man would have to draw out the wire, straighten it, point it, prepare and set the head, whiten the pin and place it in its paper. He would also (though Smith does not mention it) have to procure materials, find customers and sell to them, deliver the goods and keep accounts. All this speaks of broad (if not deep) knowledge of all aspects of pin making.
Smith goes on to describe how if each of these tasks were assigned to a different individual, a group of maybe ten might make 4,800 pins in a day — far more than if those ten were solitary pin makers. Unfortunately, each of these ‘assembly line’ workers would not need to (and probably would not) have all the knowledge required to make and sell pins. They might well be more productive, but they would be lesser men. Despite being more productive, they could be paid less. Henry Ford liked this idea a lot.
In later days, technology replaced these men with pin making machinery that might produce as many as 100,000 pins in a day. But then, no one would know how to make pins. That’s considered acceptable, even though the men are all out of work, except for the guy who throws the switch and the one who occasionally must come in to work on the machine, since we can have all the pins we want.
In today’s world, such productive technology is reversing the trend and moving us back in the direction of the solitary artisan. Only twenty-five years ago, if one wanted a full color publication with photographs, he would need a writer, a photographer, a typesetter, a graphic designer, a color separator, a stripper, a plate maker, a printer and a binder, at a minimum. (This doesn’t include paper and ink merchants or distribution and delivery people, either.) All along the process, these nine people would be fully capable of identifying errors made by others previously. It served as a check to ensure quality workmanship. Such an operation is an art, a craft and a science.
Now, however, a solitary designer can call up stock photography on the internet, place it in the article he’s written in his page-layout document on his computer, impose and output color separations, then send it all off by e-mail to a computer-to-plate automated printing press. One artisan can easily produce what was once the work of nine. Nine people can produce nine times as much. That artisan is responsible for knowing the full process. Why, inside of a few short hours, he can produce 45,000 full color, bound books —of the wrong thing! And many of the specialist craftsmen have become graphic artists, responsible for their own projects, thus driving their pay down as their number increase.
Additionally, one might think from TW's article that centralized power generation and the concomitant distribution lines is the way to go — after all, there's an example where a few can generate for the many and free the many up for more useful and/or profitable work. Really? I can think of a couple of things wrong with that: 1) a centralized power plant, say a nuclear station like my local Seabrook, makes a fine target, 2) should all or part of the system go down, everyone involved is down and 3) distributed power generation, such as having solar panels on everyone's roof will prevent problems 1 and 2, while increasing the wealth of the owner. (Yes, I know they're inefficient, but they are getting better and cheaper. At the current state of the art, I could wipe out my entire electric bill. [Truth in Advertising: last time I looked (a few years ago), such a system would cost me $17,000, which at my current usage and assuming (hilariously) that there will be no rate increases, would take 15 years to pay off, leaving me with perhaps 5—10 years of free electricity, given the life span of the unit. I probably will not be in this house then.])
Lastly, a quote from my haftorah:
Q: Who is rich?
A: He who rejoices in what he has.
the music sounds more Soviet than Chinese...
Why— we've known about this for yonks! Yonks of plonk!
Dat zij hebben vertaalen geleerde? Och, aye...
that Joseph Stiglitz won his Nobel for showing that perfect information in markets is unobtainable — one party almost always knows something his/her counterpart does not.
On another matter, we sometimes have conditions where Governments (and even corporations) a) know the true price of a given commodity or service because they fix it and b) the massive purchase of said commodities or services helps regulate those prices. There are social values to this. The US Government has steadfastly refused to bargain for the price of pharmaceuticals used by its services (Medicare, for the elderly and disabled), the VA (for veterans), etc. The result is we have the highest prices in the world. (No mention here of the lobbying and campaign funds provided by pHarma, headed by former powerful Congresscreature, Billy Tauzin...)
"...arguing for massive government and economic action, action which people would not take voluntarily - that is action which will make people poorer, then."
Really? Here in the states, while there is a government subsidy (which is paid for by the tax-payers), it is entirely voluntary and if you should decide to take advantage of it and reduce the cost of a solar array, you may very well wipe out your electric bill (according to the late, lamented roofrays.com, I would), which at worst would be a wash, and might even make you richer, as electric rates keep going up (15% this year alone, here). But don't fret about the poor downtrodden corporate utilities. They want you to pump the free solar energy back into the grid (to run your meter backward). Should you pump in more than you use, they don't pay you for it, no — they get free power to charge others for!
In America, the concept of 'world + dog' would generally be rendered as 'everyone and his brother.'