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Iskaral Pust

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  1. Iskaral Pust

    Exercise & Fitness: Summer Bodies (TBD)

    No workouts for me over the weekend. I was too busy overseeing our movers as we finally moved our furniture and belongings out of Chicago. Now I’m traveling all week, already very tired after a draining weekend, and I’ll be jet-lagged too. So I am hoping to get some exercise this week at a hotel gym, but the situation doesn’t look great.
  2. Iskaral Pust

    Rugby: A New Dawn

    Ireland don’t currently have a way to win when physically out-matched. But that’s a real problem for a nation with a smaller population: the likes of England and France (not to mention the Southern Hemisphere three) have a greater likelihood of finding athletes who are extreme physical outliers.
  3. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    I meant outside of United. I took it as given that he’ll leave this summer, although it remains to be seen who’ll be willing to pay a big fee for him.
  4. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    Do you think Pogba will bounce back from his period off the radar at United and succeed as an elite player? I think he should have the ability to be successful if surrounded by a strong cast, but there’s at least some chance that he ends up like Coutinho: a bit of a luxury player without enough consistency to really justify it.
  5. Iskaral Pust

    Job Guarantee vs UBI

    There are pros and cons. Guaranteed jobs probably do a better job of maintaining productive skills, preserving a sense of worth, and delivering a higher level of income. But it absolutely is work-for-dole. OTOH they would leave a lot of people in unproductive drudge jobs for which they are simultaneously unsuited to doing and resentful of. And those jobs become protected sinecures and entitlements that people are unwilling to give up to take a risk elsewhere. It costs a lot to pay a full wage for ineffective work, while also crowding out free enterprise from that sector. There will always be a mismatch — in skills, capability, location, attitude, etc — between the labor pool available and what the govt program could put to work. UBI has a higher gross cost because of the universal part but, assuming tax sterilization for those with existing incomes, has less net cost to deliver basic income to those with little or no existing income. The main benefit here is freedom and flexibility on both sides: recipients are free to pursue other interests or sources of income, while the govt isn’t locked into maintaining a large, unwieldy force of unmotivated employees. UBI has a difficult needle to thread: too little has insufficient impact, too much means that low skill jobs lose their labor, requiring big price adjustments with negative effects (e.g. fruit and vegetables get very expensive), automation or just lost to the economy. And the tax sterilization has to be nuanced and graduated.
  6. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    VAR itself doesn’t have any problems, aside from frustrating delays in games. The referees using it, OTOH, have been quite poor.
  7. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    He has been in great form. And so weird that it comes right after a two week break for him. Hopefully Keita and Ox can step up, and Fabinho can shake off the rust.
  8. Iskaral Pust

    Better Call Saul -- Season 4 Better Get Emmy

    I finally just started S4 on Netflix. I watched the first three eps yesterday on a flight, and I have plenty of flying time within the next week to finish the season. I’m enjoying it so far, especially after such a long wait, but I know the slow pace will be frustrating eventually. I may DVR S5 as it starts, but I prefer to binge watch during flights. So I may have to just accept another long wait until Netflix has it.
  9. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    Aren’t those commercial revenues parts of the problem? They’re above-market commercial payments from their owners and related parties, so they’re not supposed to count as eligible revenue for FFP.
  10. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    But United have vast sources for other income from commercial partnerships. Woodward might not be a DoF but he’s worth nearly as much as CL qualification to the club. City don’t have anything like that kind of additional revenue. In fact it’s not clear whether the “Emptihad” even produces PL match day revenue comparable to the other big clubs. And it remains to be seen whether City’s Football Group can continue paying for a slice of the club’s operating costs under FFP. City’s wage bill is definitely higher than Liverpool’s if you just look at the respective squads, so you are already seeing how their creative accounting hides reality. Plus they incur much greater costs for transfers as they keep cycling through full-backs at 50m per. Their one area of legitimate financial advantage is that they did a lot of their player acquisition before transfer prices reached the post-Neymar inflated level. David Silva, Sterling, KDB and Aguero would all cost a lot more today. Although that advantage disappears over the next few years as their top players age.
  11. Iskaral Pust

    Does the flu shot actually work?

    I get the flu shot each year. It’s important for herd immunity, which saves a lot of lives, even if you cannot always tell how much you individually benefit. Pebble gave a great description of why the benefits can be unpredictable. I did get a flu-like virus this winter, but the delirious high fever and wracking body pains broke after only two days, which is shorter than a full flu. So did I just have some lesser virus or did my flu shot protect me from a longer bout of misery? I would need a blood sample tested to confirm either way, but thankfully I wasn’t bad enough to need a hospital.
  12. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    He looks much better for Liverpool as an attacking midfielder. He’s less effective as a winger or wide forward. But he hasn’t yet had a long run of games after his injury, so he isn’t yet back to that prior level yet.
  13. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    I think Klopp likes solidity in away games. He rarely risks much, and instead relies on goals at Anfield to clinch the tie. Porto are probably the exception. It’ll be an ugly game next time, with Atletico time wasting, diving and defending very deep. Hopefully we’re sharp enough to get the win, but it could go either way.
  14. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    Liverpool really struggle in European away games under Klopp. But we have time to turn it around. I won’t actually watch the match though. Atletico and their shithouse tactics are just unwatchable.
  15. Iskaral Pust

    Football: winter break over

    Setting aside the VAR gifts to United: Maguire should’ve been off rather than scoring, and Zouma’s goal should’ve stood... Fred has rehabilitated his reputation at United in just 2-3 months. He was dire before that but is now consistently one of their best players. And Bailly could do something similar if he can stay healthy — I always thought he had a much higher ceiling than any of the other CBs there, albeit prone to rash moments. And Fernandes offers them a new creative schemer since Pogba is clearly a lost cause. OTOH, they still don’t have any coherent plan to use possession. Chelsea were unfortunate to lose Kante early, on top of injuries to Abraham, CHO and Pulisic, but they have self-inflicted problems with their team selection, especially the bizarre exclusion of Giroud, and the ongoing circus with the keepers. They’ve been struggling for goals for a while, but they keep persisting. Lampard had an early period of success from Abraham and Mount, but he’s had no clue what to do since their form ebbed. You cannot rely on youngsters performing significantly above their average for an entire season. They can certainly raise their average season by season, but it’ll fluctuate as they’re learning.