Posts by Rich Lock

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  • Polity: In defence of the centre, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I read somewhere that during the Depression in '29 the unemployment rate was only 25% of the workforce

    Thinking out loud, but the workforce in '29 would have (I assume) mostly been male (with certain industries such as the garment industry in New York/Chicago being exceptions), and family sizes would have been bigger - more children, and potentially more seniors for the family to look after, too (no pensions in those days).

    So 25% unemployment back then would have had a disproportionally greater knock-on effect.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Meet the middle,

    So. if I understand all this correctly, the absolute only way to be sure of winning an election is to have policies that appeal to The Middle (whatever that ill-defined amorphous all-things-to-all-people blob might be).

    In this scenario, our Labour Leader and his/her shadow cabinet will hide inside a giant horse formed from pure centrist populism and trick the citizens into rolling them through the gates of parliament, only to leap out in the night, open the floodgates, and put all to the sword of their wide-ranging socialist and green agenda.

    It is absolutely unnecessary to have a charismatic leader, a brilliant and ruthless media strategist and a potentially divided and weakly-led opposition that's running out of steam. All completely optional.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: In defence of the centre, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    So what do we do with all those unemployable people? this is worth thinking about and is the province of the Labour Party because...
    They shoot horses, don't they?

    This offers one theory. Strays a bit to far over the paranoia line, in my opinon (I don't (quite) think the system was designed like this by some sort of shadowy billionaire illuminati cabal).

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: In defence of the centre, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    here's a timely Salon article .... basically our growing income disparity is a symptom of us not handling technological change well - yes the robots are coming to take away our jobs, and if we can figure out how to spread the resulting wealth, rather than creating a 1% and an underclass they we're all going to be better off - don't we all want a 4 day week?

    There's been similar arguments floating around for a good few years now:

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: In defence of the centre,

    Well, I've got skin in the game directly, since I'm in the UK, and was enthused enough about Corbyn/Watson (and disgusted enough by the alternatives) to pay my three quid and cast a vote. And it's the first time I've actually felt enthused about 'The Mainstream' for years.

    Anyone thinking this is an ultimately pointless silly season bullshit media confection like Milifandom (a highly embarrasing last-minute pre-election (barely) sideshow that was only given legs by a bored media) is, I think, dead wrong.

    I could easily be misreading the augeries, but this feels different. People who don't normally talk about politics are talking about this, they're going to see him speak in packed out venues (and he's constantly having to upsize to get more available seats).

    The difference is, I think, that what is offered is 'hope', as cheesy as that sounds. People know what he stands FOR, they know what they are voting FOR. For once, there's some fucking positivity, rather than a general discontent and endless voting against 'to keep them out'. No-one voted FOR labour in the last election, because what they offed was about as appealing as last night's overcooked sprouts. He's acted as a lightning rod for a lot of people who wanted something different, but were despairing of the options on offer.

    And, yes, there is an element of 'fuck you' to it as well (a minority element). The opportunity to stick a middle finger up at the Blairites and their toxic legacy is really quite irresistable.

    ETA: if nothing else, it's been wonderful entertainment watching the cosy Westminster/Islington columnist-and-MP-circle-jerk get their legs kicked out from under them.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Criminal Life,

    But it turns out we're still way further in the future than the United Kingdom, where the High Court has just ruled that copying music from your personal CD collection to iTunes violates British copyright law.

    That's actually a (very) slight oversimplification. S28(B) still stands, but the associated regulations have been invalidated. Although, yes, effectively it's the same thing, and I am splitting hairs.

    It also only applies to any format-shifting or other copying carried out after 17th July. Anything copied before then has the benefit of a 'fair use' defence (i.e. the law before that date said it wasn't illegal, so users can't be sued for actions carried out before that date).

    There will also probably be a future referral to the European Court for a ruling on this, as the UK now seems to be stuck in a grey area.

    For those who like reading detailed legal analysis, there's more
    here.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Cameron Slater: computer hacker?, in reply to BenWilson,

    So when HAL tried to kill Dave, he was right, it was actually all down to human error.

    Well, the book explains that HAL malfunctions because he is unable to resolve a conflict between his general and known-to-the-crew orders that require him to to relay information accurately, and a second set of secret orders requiring that he withhold information from Bowman and Poole regarding the true purpose of the mission (a pre-launch experiment where humans were made to believe that there had been alien contact revealed deep-seated xenophobia, which was unknowingly replicated in HAL's constructed personality. Mission Control did not want the crew of Discovery to have their thinking compromised by the knowledge that alien contact was already real, and withheld the information from the crew).

    HAL reasons that with no crew, he would not need to lie to them, so he kills them. So, yeah, human error.
    Um, yeah,

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women,

    Risking derailing the thread, but I'm curious to know if anyone has ever read any good depictions of women in literature written by men.

    Thoughts?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Deep Dream: Looking at clouds,

    Oh yeah, it's all fun and games now, but just you wait until these things rise up against us....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to TracyMac,

    Cheers Tracy, I'll check those out.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2501 posts Report Reply

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