« Over-Generalizing | Main | Brexit »

December 22, 2020

Comments

2021 will be characterized by a lot of 20/20 hindsight...

Ouch!

Hey, there's 9 days left. That's enough time for 7 more plagues, with a weekend off.

Don't count 2020 out until it's gone.

Merry Christmas

This may be the first year in living memory that I've gotten all my Christmas stuff done before the day itself.

Still have some wrapping to do, though. Don't wanna be counting those chickens...

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

Better days, y'all. Maybe they really are just around the corner.

go no further...CharlesWT wins this thread.

I concur

There's something to be said for the rare funny Libertarian, after the dour decades of the Paul Family Grifters.

Perfect.


The havoc from Brexit has begun. My condolences to the population of England.

The havoc from Brexit has begun.

Damn!

The havoc from Brexit has begun.

Surely any nation would want those sorts of products manufactured domestically. It's a matter of national security, after all. ;-)

the writer sure had a lot of fun with that open!

British sex toy manufacturers are the latest victims to fall into the gaping sphincter that is Brexit as new restrictions force stiff charges onto every purchase.

In a brutal blow to European pleasure seekers, the popular sex toy company Godemiche has announced that a charge of £25 will be slapped on the back end of every order shipped to the continent.

The company regrets that it will be forced to thrust the extra costs onto customers as the charges threaten to penetrate their profits.

open=one.

wtf. my auto-incorrect is working overtime this am.

Happy Post-Solstice, everyone.

The Dark will retreat, bit by bit,for the next 6 months, and the Light will come earlier and leave later.

I don't mind the cold or the (in Seattle) near-constant overcast/rain/freezing fog. I mind the Dark.

We get extremely long days in summer, but we balance that with extremely short ones in winter.

“I don't mind the cold or the (in Seattle) near-constant overcast/rain/freezing fog. I mind the Dark.”

I’m in Portland and I feel the same way. I feel it even more in this pandemic.

ho ho ho.

As she asked the U.S. Supreme Court this month to overturn President Trump’s election loss, the attorney Sidney Powell cited testimony from a secret witness presented as a former intelligence contractor with insights on a foreign conspiracy to subvert democracy.

Powell told courts that the witness is an expert who could show that overseas corporations helped shift votes to President-elect Joe Biden. The witness’s identity must be concealed from the public, Powell has said, to protect her “reputation, professional career and personal safety.”

The Washington Post identified the witness by determining that portions of her affidavit match, sometimes verbatim, a blog post that the pro-Trump podcaster Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman published in November 2019. In an interview, Maras-Lindeman confirmed that she wrote the affidavit and said she viewed it as her contribution to a fight against the theft of the election.

“This is everybody’s duty,” she said. “It’s just not fair.”

In a recent civil fraud case, attorneys for the state of North Dakota said that Maras-Lindeman falsely claimed to be a medical doctor and to have both a PhD and an MBA. They said she used multiple aliases and social security numbers and created exaggerated online résumés as part of what they called “a persistent effort . . . to deceive others.”

...

Maras-Lindeman, 42, served in the Navy for less than a year more than two decades ago and has said she worked later as a government contractor and part-time interpreter. She has identified herself as a “trained cryptolinguist.”

North Dakota’s assertions about her credentials came in a civil case brought by the state’s attorney general in 2018 over a purported charitable event she tried to organize in Minot, N.D., where she and her family resided. Attorneys for the state said she used money she collected — ostensibly to fund homeless shelters and wreaths for veterans’ graves — on purchases for herself at McDonald’s, QVC and elsewhere.

A judge ultimately found that Maras-Lindeman violated consumer protection laws by, among other things, misspending money she raised and soliciting donations while misrepresenting her experience and education. He ordered her to pay more than $25,000.

someday, 'conservatives' might figure out that their whole party is set up to bilk them out of their money.

lol.

lol

hey "conservatives', ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

https://twitter.com/existentialfish/status/1341078245878472706

Wexford, a traditional Irish carol, probably 500 or 600 years old. A nice version for solo cello, complete with a guest appearance by a handsome doggo.

Merry Christmas, Blessed Solstice, and all good wishes for a peaceful and happy turning of the year.

We get extremely long days in summer, but we balance that with extremely short ones in winter.

Er, no you don't. I'm five degrees north of you. And that's in the south of England. Seasonal variation is part of the rhythm of life.

Someone at the equator might think otherwise.

Okay. So now my stepmother’s horse had to be put down yesterday. 2020 is going out like tRump.

2020 can't go out fast enough.......

Someone at the equator might think otherwise.

Thanks for having a modicum of common sense, hsh, and for being a much nicer person than I am.

My variation, just to illuminate the "logic":

ObWi commenter: I feel sick, and I have a temperature of 101.

Pro Bono: Er, no you don’t. I have a temperature of 102. And that’s down from yesterday. Illness is part of the pattern of life.

*****

Thus we award the Oscar for Gratuitous Mansplaining Condescension (but I repeat myself) to Pro Bono, for his Boxing Day contribution.

This did make me laugh. But on the other hand, I thought Pro Bono's remark somewhat out of character...

My sister's beloved horse, one of two she owns, had to be put down very early in the year, before pandemic and madness overtook America.

So, we have a year with a dead horse rounding out either end and the rest of 2020's oxygen taken up by a killer virus and a horse's ass, if only that was all this cave troll is.

Unfortunately, the changing of the year's number (365 days, 5 hours, 59 minutes, and 16 seconds is a mere convention somehow mutually agreed upon to keep time and calendar and the number of the year itself imposed on us in a fit of manifest arrogance by a 9th century Roman Emperor) is meaningless to America's clear and present curse, this and these monsters who keep time by their own lock-stepped inner malign clocks.

We ain't seen nuthin' yet from this EVIL.

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was

Time isn't holding us, time isn't after us
Time isn't holding us, time doesn't hold you back
Time isn't holding us, time isn't after us
Time isn't holding us...

Pro Bono bitched about how I was doing COVID stats last spring. With more good humor than I feel right now, I provided him with links and invited him to do it his way if he felt so strongly about it. As far as he ever evidenced here, he cared enough to condescend about my work, but not enough to actually do the work himself. I might have kept my "mouth" entirely shut this time, but I didn't see why CaseyL had to take that kind of crap.

My 11:25 was a response to GftNC. I would add: there are ways of saying things, and then there are other ways. You might have responded to CaseyL by saying, "Yeah, the short days are tough to get through sometimes. I live in the north of England, where they're even shorter." And left out the sanctimony about the rhythms of life entirely.

Pro Bono's choice ("Er" makes it clear that it was quite deliberate) was to flatly contradict CaseyL's statement of how she was feeling, and then to preach.

OK, I plead guilty to grumpiness, and apologise.

But not to mansplaining.

South of England, Janie, but your point is still good. It just seemed a little uncharacteristic to me, but then, this has been a tough year and it may be that tempers are fraying in more than one location, and sometimes for reasons that aren't always apparent on the blog.

GftNC: is where you live considered to be the "south of England"? I was addressing you, not Pro Bono. Or maybe I'm mixed up about where you live.

In any case:

it may be that tempers are fraying in more than one location

Including mine. Which I am now removing from this neighborhood yet again.

Better tomorrows, everyone.

PS: Pro Bono, good on ya.

"somehow mutually agreed upon to keep time and calendar and the number of the year itself imposed on us in a fit of manifest arrogance by a 9th century Roman Emperor"

and, something that should give you chills:

"Caesar used his position as Rome's chief pontiff to enact a calendar reform in 46 BC, coincidentally making the year of his third consulship last for 446 days" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_calendar

So, maybe several more months added to 2020 by executive order/tweet? Trumpuary, Ivankuary, Trumpuary II, perhaps.

Just when you thought you could escape 2020, they pull you back in.

Me, I'm looking forward to the Ides of Trumpuary.

Oh, I see Janie, I thought you were still talking about Pro Bono. I now live mainly in London since my husband died, but you're right, and as my handle suggests, Yorkshire is indeed the North (or the Grim North, as my husband used to tease this soft southerner).

JanieM,many thanks for having my back. Though tbh I didn't know what to make of Pro Bono's remark:

Were they saying that Seattle winter days are NOT shorter than Seattle summer days? Which makes no sense at all, since they demonstrably are! Winter Solstice v. Summer Solstice - an established fact.

Were they saying "You think your winter days are short? Hah! Ours are shorter!" Which, again, makes no sense unless the point was to be needlessly tendentious.

So, other than going "...wut?," I kind of ignored Pro Bono's remark altogether.

It probably says something significant that we adjust our clocks so that dawn in the summer doesn't come quite so early (clock time). Apparently having daylight late into the evening is more tolerable than light in the morning.

wj, I think that has to do with being able to sleep in. Even with the blinds drawn, in the summer I'm likely to wake up with the sunrise. When sunrise is 5:00 AM, or earlier, that can be a problem.

Actually, I've long been under the impression that it has to do more with the harvest. Extra hours of light in the morning, with dew on the fields, isn't useful. Extra hours in the evening can be used to bring in hay and grain that isn't wet. And therefore won't get mouldy in storage.

Unfortunately for this theory, a little research reveals that it was actually started an energy saving measure during WW I. More natural light in the evening meaning less fuel/power consumed for lighting. And thus, more energy for the war effort. Sigh.

Interesting - though I think the rationale for keeping DST has changed over the years.

Anyway,the ability to sleep a little later is *my* rationale for DST; and to keep the day as long as possible :)

Lighting use to be very costly. Although those dastardly Rober Barrons reduced the cost greatly.

"As the BBC recently pointed out, our prehistoric ancestors needed to gather and chop “wood 10 hours a day for six days… [in order to] produce 1,000 lumen hours of light… That is the equivalent of one modern light bulb shining for just 54 minutes, although what you would actually get is many more hours of dim, flickering light instead.”

Even when better alternatives, such as candles, became available, it was still prohibitively expensive to light the house for the common person. Further, the first candles were produced from animal fat and not from the clean-burning paraffin wax we use today, producing a flickering smelly flame.

It wasn’t until the 18th century that spermaceti candles, which were made from a waxy substance found in the head cavities of sperm whales, and were much less time-consuming to produce, became more readily available. But even then, reading light remained very expensive (not to mention terminal for the whales). George Washington calculated that five hours of reading per night cost him £8 yearly – well over $1,000 in today's dollars.

The light bulb changed everything."
How the Cost of Light Fell by a Factor of 500,000: Light has turned from something too precious to use into something everyone can afford.

How the Cost of Light Fell by a Factor of 500,000: Light has turned from something too precious to use into something everyone can afford.

and nobody got obscenely rich from it and there have never been any ill effects from the production of electricity. altruism and kind thoughts.

which is to say - this libertarian thing where technological improvments over the last 500 years are supposed to excuse current problems is really weird to me.

this libertarian thing where technological improvements over the last 500 years are supposed to excuse current problems is really weird to me.

Well, when you are trying to justify something that isn't supported by its own merits, you have to grasp whatever straws are available. Do it long enough, and the straws begin to seem like real support beams. At least to the faithful.

I thought the most recent rationale for DST was to promote commerce. People are more likely to venture out and spend money in the daylight. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce what they think.

Feel bad teasing Charles after he was helpful enough to find Russell's missing link, but I can't resist wondering when Reason will come out with an issue entitled 'Fire, the tech that proves we are right'

Perhaps next to learning how to control fire is the invention of textiles.

"From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide.

The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture.

In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code"
The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

And the history of textiles as a technology is, of course, a demonstration of libertarian principles.

Next up - Linear B and deregulation - a Mycenaean success story.

Next up - Linear B and deregulation - a Mycenaean success story.

It's all Greek to me...

I think I read a review of that, and it put a feminist slant on the book, how textiles are often ignored in preference of other artifacts. Of course, other artifacts last longer, so there is a reason for emphasizing them, but it reinforces a view of history that men are important and women are not.

It varied from location to location whether men, women, or both were weavers. But women did most of the spinning. Girls often had to start to learn by the age of three. Before the industrial revolution, women the world over spent much of the time they could spare from other tasks spinning.

A pair of jeans has about six miles of thread in them. Before spinning was mechanized India had the fastest spinners. About 100 meters an hour. It would have taken about 100 hours to spin enough thread for a pair of jeans. To spin the thread for the sails for a Viking ship would have taken about 8,760 hours or a year.

It's all Greek to me...

LOL

On the other hand the English industrialisation of textile production in combination with policies 'friendly' to the English prodcucers led to immeasurable misery and death in India. Work in English cotton mills may have been horrible by modern standards but it at least did not result in mass starvation. [not all mass starvation was the result of protectionist policies in favor of the textile industry, just to be clear].

The English weren't the only ones to engage in protectionism. For a period of time, the French treated the importation of calico from India in about the same way as the US treats the importation of cocaine. And with about the same success.

"It was Paris in 1730, and the printed cotton fabrics known as toiles peintes or indiennes—in English, calicoes, chintzes, or muslins—had been illegal since 1686. It was an extreme version of trade protectionism, designed to shelter French textile producers from Indian cottons. Every few years the authorities would tweak the law, but the fashion refused to die.

Frustrated by rampant smuggling and ubiquitous scofflaws, in 1726 the government increased penalties for traffickers and anyone helping them. Offenders could be sentenced to years in galleys, with violent smugglers put to death. Local authorities were given the power to detain without trial anyone who merely wore the forbidden fabrics or upholstered furniture with them."
Before Drug Prohibition, There Was the War on Calico: In 18th century France, wearing the wrong fabric could get you in big trouble.

Just sticking this here because I wanted to share the notion that Trump has “ considerable charm”.

https://nypost.com/2020/12/27/give-it-up-mr-president-for-your-sake-and-the-nations/

The NY Post's volte face gave me considerable pleasure today. But on the "charm" front, we actually had a slightly contentious discussion here a few years ago. I, with the total assurance of a speaker of the Queen's English, maintained that by no stretch of the imagination would any English person say that Trump had any charm whatsoever, that the very idea was absurd. Somebody (I can't remember who - wj?) kept trying to say that lots of people found him "charming" when he wanted them to. In the end, I had to retire from the lists, on the grounds that we were two peoples divided by a common language.

by no stretch of the imagination would any English person say that Trump had any charm whatsoever

It's probably fair to say that Trump, like any successful con man, has considerable charm while he is conning you on something. Otherwise? Not so's you would notice.

Sorry, wj, I'm still certain of this: not "charm" in any sense understood by the English, who use it to include something like humour, and something almost magically appealing, a kind of twinkling. "Persuasiveness", perhaps, is what you are talking about, but not charm in the English English sense.

So, is charm, like glamor and humor, a perception of the beholder? Or, like charisma, a characteristic of the object of the perception?

Good question, Charles. Although you're probably right about charisma versus glamour, I'm not sure that humour as used here is a perception of the beholder; in the case of the humour intrinsic to English charm, it is specifically a quality that the person with charm is understood to have themself, and also about themself.

My intransigence on this question reminds me irresistibly of my old argument with bc about the meaning of "refute", which we fought about during the Kavanaugh hearings. In that case, I was outraged that philosophers who had laboured to logically refute the proofs of their illustrious antecedents could have just denied them, and earned the same description. Again: two peoples etc etc.

TV ad of the day: a hand sanitizer gadget which fits in your car's cup holder. Also holds your cell phone.
https://www.weathertech.com/weathertech-cupfone/cupfone-with-hand-sanitizer-holder/

Inventive ingenuity at work.

Sorry, wj, I'm still certain of this: not "charm" in any sense understood by the English, who use it to include something like humour, and something almost magically appealing, a kind of twinkling. "

his fans apparently think he's funny and appealing: charming. he seems deranged or disingenuous to everyone else.

The inimitable xkcd gets ahead of the curve on the vaccine:
https://xkcd.com/2404/

Then I'm going on a weeks-long somatic hypermutation bender, producing ever-more targeted antibodies, while I continue remain distanced and follow guidance from public health authorities.

Well, for what might be considered a normal (sic) English take, according to the late Princess of Wales (whom he was actively trying to charm) "He gives me the creeps!"

He may have been trying to charm her. But if she wasn't a prospect to put money in his pocket somehow, I suspect she wasn't getting the full treatment.

That's what his supporters marks get.

It's been said that Trump is the poor man's idea of a rich man. I think it can also be said that he's the boor's idea of a charming man.

But I'm with GftNC on this. He has no charm, only a sort of horrible magnetism that draws in the resentful and insecure who are too afraid on their own to lash out at those who make them feel small.

He was actively trying (he has admitted it) to get into her knickers. But like the other beautiful English women on whom he tried it (there are a few on the record) they all found him revolting. I think it is possible you may be unaware of how very off-putting boastfulness and open self-promotion is to the English.....

I think it is possible you may be unaware of how very off-putting boastfulness and open self-promotion is to the English.....

And it's pretty well certain that Trump would have no clue about that.

Well exactly. And that is why no English person (or nous!) would ever think Trump possessed that most elusive, magical quality of charm.

No accounting for taste.

"President Donald Trump has come out on top as Americans’ most-admired man for 2020, according to Gallup’s annual survey, ending former President Barack Obama’s 12-year run with the title."
Trump wins title of Americans’ most admired man in annual survey: Newcomers to the poll include Dr. Anthony Fauci.

No accounting for taste.

Or lack of it.

Well, COVID does destroy one's sense of taste, so...

One mistake nobody should be making by this point: Trump just can't get any worse. Because Trump, clearly, has more imagination than we do, we still make that mistake-- he gets worse. Case in point:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/12/29/trump-pardons-stephanie-mohr-prince-georges/
On this one, words fail me.

An article on anti-science on the left. The article is from 2016 and is a bit dated in that, based on subsequent events, the author would likely use some different examples and emphasizes if he were writing the article today.

"The danger from the Left does not arise from stupidity or dishonesty; those failings are bipartisan. Some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats, but there’s plenty of ignorance all around. Both sides cherry-pick research and misrepresent evidence to support their agendas. Whoever’s in power, the White House plays politics in appointing advisory commissions and editing the executive summaries of their reports. Scientists of all ideologies exaggerate the importance of their own research and seek results that will bring them more attention and funding."
The Real War on Science: The Left has done far more than the Right to set back progress.

Oops! Wrong thread! :}

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad