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About Lummel

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    Council Member
  • Birthday 07/27/1973

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    In the garden of England

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  1. Umberto Eco RIP

    I love Baudolino! It is one of the funniest books I have read... more Semiotics
  2. Umberto Eco RIP

    How lucky we are that he lived and wrote! More than a fistful of decent books (unless you have expectionally big hands) Not an exciting obituary, quite like the one from the Torygraph, amused to see how his personal history made it in to the novels in different ways. Also I read something about the publishing business in France which was uncannily similar to the publishing set up in Foucault's Pendulum with the fake prizes as part of its marketing mix. So little love here for Baudolino, all of you too honest to enjoy a lie?
  3. U.S. Election - Because we know better than you do

    the facile nature of my comparison is acknowledge and accepted but I'm still interested in the voters with their waves of hope and disappointment - or maybe like believers in the imminent end of the world they rationalise their way from candidate to the next?
  4. Feminism - Distractingly Sexy Edition

    What strikes me is the amount of defensiveness, or maybe insecurity, or even ignorance (because occasionally I can do a bit of the old broad-mindedness) in reactions to Dworkin's statement. One could just as easily admit that maybe she was right, but that we will rarely be able to see ourselves from a sufficiently objective standpoint to realise this for ourselves. We can only speak for ourselves, and we only get to temper our own experience by listening to other people, and listening I understand that there are people for whom all sex is rape (say for example in some cases victims of sexual abuse, particularly in childhood) - that is simply the result of their experience, the product of their lives. There Dworkin told us something profound about her life. If that isn't somebody-else’s experience - well good for them. The degree of defensiveness and insecurity that one can see in reaction to comments like those of Dworkin really says something about the power of, I don't know, the dominant social narratives maybe, that Feminism is in opposition to (loosely speaking) in the sense that one can look at the world differently.
  5. U.S. Election - Because we know better than you do

    Something that struck me, and no doubt is a completely unoriginal observation, is that Trump and Sanders both look to be in a similar position as to Obama in '08 (it was '08 wasn't it?), that you've got a person standing for office on a vague promise of change, tapping into a sense of disillusionment among a good slice of Americans about where the country is and where it is going to, but that this can only end in disappointment because the US political system is structured, what with that whole separation of powers business, in favour of deal makers and compromisers and against change.
  6. It's quiet around here... too quiet.

    Maybe I need some spiritual advice If, hypothetically speaking, I had 'a friend' (as I believe they are called these days) who was stranded at a small town station between trains and discovered that the station cafe had sold out of 2cl bottles of brandy and plainly through the grossest of mismanagement said cafe had grievously and vexatiously failed to restock, would the best course of action to be: (i) to select one of the other 2cl bottles of either whisky or gin (ii) buy a 33cl bottle of brandy (iii) discuss appropriate stock management and reordering procedures with the cafe staff with reference to Kanban and just in time techniques (iv) any combination of the above (v) risk becoming a teetotaller
  7. It's quiet around here... too quiet.

    Me personally? No. More to the point maybe the shower beer can only be discovered once? But then again the impact of hilliness on the surface area of the Ottoman Empire is something that always has to be learnt anew? Glad to be of service
  8. It's quiet around here... too quiet.

    This is because, I suspect, as previously demonstrated, the average age on General Chatter is older than the rest of the board. So such we tend to drop off more and are less excitable so long as young people aren't standing on our lawns and they turn down that goddamn racket that they call music nowadays. Unfortunately the logical outcome of all this is that in ten years time fifty percent of all general chatter posts will be made by Ser Scot and in twenty years time that trend will have continued to the point that over ninety percent of posts will be made by Ser Scot who will be arguing with himself in a furious, yet genteel manner.
  9. I'm listening to some modern music for a change, specifically some Chopin etudes. Anyhow this reminds me that some time back I woke up in the middle of the night. Couldn't get back to sleep. So I turned on the TV and channel hopped until I fell upon a documentary about how playing Chopin had impacted upon the lives of a Japanese woman who had survived a natural disaster and a Scottish student who woke up blind one day.
  10. Oregon militia almost killed me

    Bah! Plagiarists! Where is my legal team!
  11. Merry Christmas Everybody!

    Happy Christmas, the lot of you! Best wishes to those you post here who are working today (unlike me! )
  12. Feminism - Distractingly Sexy Edition

      Yes to the first.  Who cares to the second.  Or at length this is a question about a working environment and you are the boss.  You're not claiming that input from below is unacceptable (honestly the double entendre was completely unintentional), but this sounded like a case of half a dozen of one versus six of another plus the employee couldn't talk about it but instead opted to evade the issue by going home.  He's making work for you, when the point of employees is that they reduce and share your workload (in theory or ideally, in practise a good part of management is dealing with the difficulties that people have in playing nicely together).   If he can't talk another option is to do things in writing.  Problem is I can't remember precisely how the technique went, it was something along the lines of taking a sheet of A4, drawing a line half way across the page from top to bottom.  On one side of the line you write what you imagine the problem the other person has, for example I'm concerned that you have problem taking instruction from women or from me in particular on the other side the other person can respond to that in writing.  The idea is that you both prepare a sheet like that, then swap them over, read the comments then reply in writing, swap them back and read at leisure.    The purpose is to make explicit the assumptions that you both have to each other.  The end result might be that you both realise that you can't work together, but the process of getting there is a little more reflective and doesn't require face to face conservation at first which might be an issue.
  13. The Legacy of Generals Grant and Lee

    You only had to be filled with enthusiasm and the excitement of it all once to end up committed for the duration, for the rest there was conscription... There's a lot of coverage of the injured and the dead in our recent and current conflicts yet the impact then was just off the scale by proportion and in absolute numbers. The rug you swept that all under would be awful lumpy. which brings us all back to where this all began with a white youngster shooting up black people in a Bible study class. The past is never dead. It's not even past, as some bloke said.
  14. The Legacy of Generals Grant and Lee

    :laugh: I don't know about learning from the past, it seems rather optimistic. The past doesn't come with a set of bullet-pointed lessons to absorb, we decide subjectively, perhaps entirely wrongly, what to remember and what to learn. I agree about the civil war in the USA as a blueprint of conflicts through to the end of WWI specifically in the strength of the tactical defensive with the use of longer ranged firearms, dug in positions and importance of logistics as key components to success, however despite the presence of international military observers throughout the war, many of whom were published and some of which are still available in print today, those lessons were repeated in blood right through to the end of WWI. In part because very few people wanted to learn the lesson that the spade and preserved food were more important to victory than elan and daring. For me it demonstrates the 'dog in the forest' phenomenon very nicely: the first dog to visit a forest is free to pee on which ever tree it chooses, but every subsequent dog will be sure to pee on that same tree. The first Lost Cause writers, like General Early, still influence the terms of the discussion. But the point of the Lost Cause was to continue to fight the war by other means, ie if the language of the debate is about skill being defeated by superior force then General Early is the winner. Which in a way is interesting because I imagine relatively few people would today accept the honour culture foundation of the Lost Cause - that there comes a point were a ("real") man is obliged to resort to violence particularly if defeat is inevitable.
  15. The Legacy of Generals Grant and Lee

    Lee was invited to have a command in the union forces, but turned it down. Had he taken it I doubt the duration of the war would have altered, one effect of his success with the Army of Northern Virginia was that the western theatres were relatively neglected. A more balanced strategy by the confederacy might have paid them political dividends.