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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Chomsky v. Zizek on: February 27, 2015, 01:36:39 pm
Chomsky is a boring hack, but you can't deny he's reasonably intelligent and generally knows what he's talking about. Zizek is a rambling buffoon.

Unless your grasp of Lacano-Hegelianism is substantially more elaborate than mine, you can't really be in a position to deny that Zizek knows what he's talking about most of the time.
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: What Are the Best European News Sources? on: February 26, 2015, 03:45:16 pm
The Guardian site has a lot of worthless fluff, but The Independent has its moments where you think you've accidentally wound up on Upworthy.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 24, 2015, 05:55:22 pm
I seem to remember a similar effect last time out with 1 or 2 pollsters still insisting on a 10-15% Tory lead right up until the day of the 1st debate.

Funny that Angus Reid hasn't been heard of since the last election.

Last poll from them was from April 2013, but they do issues polls in Canada/USA/UK once in a while, last time in May about Ukraine crisis.

AngusReid's post-2010 polls had a tendency to show larger Labour leads than other polling companies, incidentally.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favourite cue-sport on: February 21, 2015, 04:20:36 pm
Toppenbiljart is the only one, for sure.

(It would appear to be rather hideously called Bumper Pool in English)
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Opinion of this ruling on: February 21, 2015, 03:26:40 pm
Not a great fan of the policing of Facebook, especially when it comes to private profiles.

In as far as this specific case is concerned, the quotes from the article quite clearly do not constitute an incitation to violence and even constructing them as expressing approval of the Holocaust seems a bit arbitrary to me. (Well, the sentiment is certainly not in overly good taste, but what is literally being said is pretty clearly legal even when one accepts the premise that this sort of thing hate speech laws should be used to crack down on.)
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bihar Assembly elections 2015 on: February 21, 2015, 03:18:53 pm
So, how realistic is it for the AAP to try to break into the Bihar Assembly? Is there any real chance of them campaigning hard here?
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: February 21, 2015, 08:50:15 am
I'm on my phone - but look into Abbott's discussions with military re: ISIS.

Nuts.

It's incredible.

Quote
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott suggested sending 3500 troops to Iraq so Australia could combat the Islamic State terrorist group alone, a new report has found.  A Weekend Australian investigation has found that Mr Abbott pitched the idea at a meeting attended by his chief of staff Peta Credlin in Canberra on November 25.

The paper says that after he received no resistance from Ms Credlin or other members of his staff, he raised the idea with Australia’s military officials.

The Weekend Australian report says that Mr Abbott was told that a unilateral push from Australia would make it the only country with troops on the ground in Iraq.

source

...

Incredible stuff. You guys should do this.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which song would you prefer as the national anthem of Scotland on: February 20, 2015, 04:43:23 pm
A Man's a Man for A'that.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Elections where the winning party lost the popular vote. on: February 18, 2015, 08:03:40 pm
Belgium 2010. Flemish nationalists N-VA got more popular vote but Walloon parties on average need less votes to gain a seat in the Belgian Federal government. This meant the Socialist ''family'' had more seats than N-VA despite less popular votes.

The comparison is a little disingenuous, since PS and sp.a combined outpolled N-VA by some 350,000 votes.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Utah's state House votes 39-34 to reinstitute execution by firing squad on: February 15, 2015, 04:08:15 pm
When firing squads were still fairly regular fixtures on the American execution scene, who did make up the squads? Were they employees of the penitentiary system or soldiers? Either would seem at least a little awkward to me.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Feb 7th Delhi Assembly elections on: February 07, 2015, 10:05:08 am
So, when do we get to see real results?
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XX: A Darn Good Judge of My Financial Situation on: February 05, 2015, 04:12:48 pm
Bushie may be on to something. The cost of living in Kenya is probably far cheaper in Kenya than in Oklahoma. If he can offshore his mooching, he may be able to extend the duration.

African countries have higher living costs than Asian and the cheapest African countries are actually in North Africa. Having a Western lifestyle in Kenya is more expensive than you would think. He needs to go native, so a Kenyan wife is a must.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Kenya&displayCurrency=USD

Does Bushie know there are tons of Molodovan orphans who could do with some loving?
13  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: The Asperger's Epidemic - not just restricted to Atlas anymore on: February 05, 2015, 01:28:10 pm
But, was Putin vaccinated?
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 05, 2015, 01:26:53 pm
Speaking of large swings, we have a Survation poll of Sheffield Hallam: Lab 33 LD 23 Con 22 Green 12 UKIP 9.

Take with appropriate quantities of salt, especially the ward crossbreaks, which are hilarious, though given the methodology (no reallocation of don't knows) the headline figures tell a similar story to the other polls of the constituency (including the ICM/Oakeshott one Survation themselves publicly criticised).

Survation's previous constituency polls - before by-elections - have been pretty poor, especially when compared to the Ashcroft ones. I wouldn't read too much into this.

Anthony Wells has written an article on UKPollingReport about the Hallam polls, specifically the Ashcroft and Survation ones and the methodological differences between them.  As he says, most of the difference between their headline figures is down to the reallocation of don't knows, because there are a lot of 2010 Clegg voters in Hallam who are now telling pollsters they don't know.  Survation didn't do any reallocation of don't knows at all, and Ashcroft, unusually, reallocated all don't knows back to their old parties.  As I said above, once you take account of this, the polls aren't telling very different stories.

Wells doesn't mention the ICM/Oakeshott poll.  That poll had fairly similar methodology to the Survation poll, though its question was a little less constituency-specific and its sample size was smaller, and it produced pretty similar figures.

I still tend to think that Clegg will just about hold on.  Many of those don't knows probably will go back to him, he'll squeeze the Tories, the local Lib Dem party is very well organised (though Labour seems to be getting its act together too), the demographics aren't those of a Labour seat, and there's always a bit of a suspicion that constituency polls are prone to dodgy samples.  But I think it's fair to say that he has problems.

The thing is that 'Nick Clegg could lose his seat' is the sort of line that will inevitably wind up living a life of its own, and that polls like the Survation one will influence the course of the election within the seat itself.

(Btw, iirc even the Ashcroft poll had a generic Labour candidate  up like 10-15 percentage points over a generic LibDem candidate in Hallam, and it was only after being explicitly prompted to consider the situation in their own constituencythat those interrogated broke narrowly in favour of Clegg.)
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes on: February 02, 2015, 08:33:00 am
They can run, but they can't hide. They'll get theirs just like every other parasitic class has in the past.

How naively optimistic of you. If history teaches us something, it's that most parasites get away with their misdeeds and live happily ever after. A few chopped heads might make you feel better, but doesn't change the big picture.

Last I checked feudalism is more or less nonexistent in 2015, as is slavery and other classical forms of exploitative class society, so I'd argue that history teaches us otherwise.

Most of the heirs of feudal lords and slaveowners are now part of the "capitalist class", you know? The system did change, but the people who benefited from it didn't suffer that heavily.


Old upper class families only last for so long. Most of the nobility are ordinary middle class today.

However- rather disturbingly - in England studies show that the rich today are much more likely to be descended from the Norman elite of The Doomsday Book than the peasantry. Despite nearly a millennium of social change, unrest and widespread education, you still are far likelier to go to Oxbridge and be in the Civil Service if your family has Normam heritage.

William the Conquerer has a lot to answer for.

Oxbridge and Civil Service only makes you upper middle class, not upper class.

Oxbridge + Civil Service + Norman roots would certainly make you upper class by whatever definition you'd care to use, though.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of your day today? on: February 01, 2015, 06:53:01 pm
Had an insanely productive 3 hour spill where I wrote about 3000 words, most of which I will actually be able to use. Otherwise pretty much wasted my day.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Malthus/Eugenics Movement Memorial Thread of Just Not Getting It on: February 01, 2015, 04:03:11 pm
Generally it is indeed better to call an offensive idiot an offensive idiot to their face than do so elsewhere, sure.
Better still is to rebut whatever points you find so offensive rather than sinking to petty name calling, which only makes the "offensive idiot" look like the more credible of the two posters because he bothered to create an argument, even if it is offensive and idiotic.

No, no, real idiocy never looks more credible than merely smirking at it.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XX: A Darn Good Judge of My Financial Situation on: February 01, 2015, 02:32:18 pm
This example is a bit of a stretch, but I think it works. When we toppled Saddam's government in Iraq, we looked at the situation and decided that if we wanted a democratic government to stand, we to deal the people of Iraq in. We ran our infrastructure, economic development, and peacekeeping efforts through the Baghdad government so that people wouldn't rise up against the Baghdad government. Deal them in, they won't knock off the government.



Is this metaphor supposed to suggest that once Bushie has managed to get his weight down, he'll die from complications of the surgery?
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Four years from today, who will be.....? on: February 01, 2015, 02:06:27 pm
...president of France? Marine le Pen

...president of France? Marine Le Pen

Marine LePen will never be elected President of France.

N.E.V.E.R

I think it is fairly certain she will reach the second round. If her opponent is Sarkozy turnout could get really low and le Pen would be favoured in that scenario.


There'd  be some sort of Union Sacrée against her. If not officially, at least in people's heads.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Four years from today, who will be.....? on: February 01, 2015, 08:49:54 am
...president of the United States? Scott Walker
...chancellor of Germany? Hannelore Kraft
...president of France? Nicholas Sarkozy
...prime minister of the UK? Alan Johnson
...prime minister of Australia? Annastacia Palaszczuk
...prime minister of Canada? Thomas Mulcair
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 31, 2015, 06:57:53 pm
If I'm not mistaken May2015's forecasting model uses Lord Ashcroft's constituency polls to predict the results in some 100  seats that are marginal or otherwise of interest (your Thanet Souths and Sheffield Hallams), so that there is a considerable part of their prediction that is completely independent of the national polling figures. Very dubious, I'd say.
It's possible to turn those polls off when using the calculator.

Yes, but don't they include them in their own prediction?

Cf. The discussion higher up in this thread about the Tories having a plurality of seats in their forecast while their poll of polls have them on the same PV percentage as Labour.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which European Green/Hard Left/Handwringing Liberal party is the most pathetic? on: January 31, 2015, 05:49:09 pm
GroenLinks is an obvious contender. Remember when they self-destructed over Kunduz etc. in an attempt to look very, very mature?
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 31, 2015, 10:40:55 am
If I'm not mistaken May2015's forecasting model uses Lord Ashcroft's constituency polls to predict the results in some 100  seats that are marginal or otherwise of interest (your Thanet Souths and Sheffield Hallams), so that there is a considerable part of their prediction that is completely independent of the national polling figures. Very dubious, I'd say.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Opinion of Giorgio Agamben? on: January 27, 2015, 02:47:03 pm
I'm a pre-doctoral student in a heavily continental philosophy program with a special focus on political philosophy, so I'm basically used to being told Agamben's the best thing since Carl Schmitt twice weekly.  I've only read Homo Sacer (the first book in the series), but one of my best friends is always enthusing about Stanzas, so that's near the top of my 'whenever-I-find-the-time' reading list. I was wondering whether anyone else around here has read anything by him?
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which European Social Democratic party is the most pathetic? on: January 25, 2015, 06:29:21 pm
Let's remember the Flemish socialist party is the only one openly admitting to being different.
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