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A wilding

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Everything posted by A wilding

  1. Well anything is possible. But: There have been multiple well documented cases of respiratory viruses suddenly jumping from animals to humans before Covid. Many scientists had been saying for years that it was very likely that such a jump was going to cause a really dangerous pandemic before long. (Including one or two that I know personally, and to the extent that they had done some limited prepping for it.) There had been several near misses before Covid. The Wuhan market was just the sort of insanitary environment where such a jump is likely to occur. The Chinese hierarchical setup is one where cover up at all levels is the instinctive reaction to any situation. So their response to the outbreak proves nothing.
  2. Stick with premium bonds. You get used to being posted a letter every other month telling you that you have won £25 quid that they have reinvested for you.
  3. I can think of a few historical examples where that sort of approach did not go well. Wallenstein or Sejanus for example.
  4. It probably belongs in the Mental Health thread. But briefly, it all started with a big family meeting basically to do with inheritance. It unexpectedly turned out that there were a wide range of positions on it. We have now reached a resolution that I think gives this person all they can reasonably expect (and has left one or two other people a bit unhappy) but they are still angry. Basically they have had a difficult life and are a bit messed up. They are prone to considering themselves being victimised and to throwing around accusations of bullying and even abuse. I tend to keep my distance from them where possible. And glad to hear that you have recovered from your operation.
  5. We have worked it out. It stands for Reverse Victim and Offender. It is a technical psychological term relating to abuse cases, particularly sexual ones, basically meaning when the abuser claims that they were/are the one being abused. It appears to be a contraction of the much more widely used DARVO. So I think that I am now feeling rather insulted!
  6. I am guessing it is a term that they picked up from some obscure online pop psychology article and immediately decided applied to them (which would be typical of them). Or perhaps it was just a typo. It was part of a slightly unhinged rant. Still it doesn't matter, I was just curious. Someone is going round to try to find out what is going on and see what can be done to help out.
  7. A question for the hive mind. I (and some other family members) have just been accused of "RVO" by a relative who seems to be under severe stress and losing it somewhat. My google-fu has failed me, so does anyone know what "RVO" means? I doubt it has anything to do with the Netherlands organisation, the eye condition, or the C++ feature. From context it might be a synonym of projection (in the psychological sense)? Edit: and it definitely was not being used in the sense of "really good sex"!
  8. Hey, I remember once posting exactly that reply to Mormont when he said how long ago he had joined. Scarily, that was probably well over 10 years ago ...
  9. Well perhaps they were not playing a deep game. But the first question was "Who would you vote for tomorrow (with Sunak as party leader)?". Then the second was "who is the best recent Tory leader?" with the expected answer clearly expected to be Johnson. Also I note there was a question further down about how best to manage Brexit, but no questions or options that enabled diehard Remainers to express their views. And there was, of course, no "refuse to answer" option - I am reasonably confident that if it was even possible to complete the poll without choosing an option, then that would be classified as either "Don't know" or "Prefer not to say".
  10. I am with BFC on this. This poll is not some sort of presidential runoff where refusing to vote is abdicating your democratic responsibility. It is a transparent attempt to generate a fraudulent statistic about how Johnson is still massively popular amongst voters. (See who commissioned it.) Refusing to play their game is a democratically correct move for anyone who is not a supporter of the Tories.
  11. You seem to be assuming that all those polled voted Tory in the 2019 election? Why would it be cowardly for someone who has never voted Tory in their life to refuse to make a choice between 3 appalling Tory PMs that they would rather see strung up in Westminster Square?
  12. On the intersection of UK Politics and LGBT rights: Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has come out all guns blazing against the Church of England's recent fudge on gay marriage ("we will give it as much surreptitious blessing as we can without upsetting the right wingers or the foreign Anglican churches in deeply socially conservative countries where LGBT people are oppressed") Toksvig has started a campaign to remove the bishops from the House of Lords. She has caused some entertaining pearl clutching by pointing out that only one other country in the world has unelected religious leaders in its parliament - Iran. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64561692
  13. I would question that "most". I have talked to plenty of leave voters who had been sold the story that there would be no downside. And even to some that believed the one about more funding for the NHS.
  14. While that article states the threat being made to be a fact, we all know how it has lately been failing the country by its habit of taking everything Tory politicians say at face value. And: 1) Johnson has been proven, many times over, to be an utterly shameless liar who makes stuff up on the spot to make him look good to whoever he is speaking to. 2) Johnson has also been proven, many times over, to be a personal coward whose response to tricky situations is ro placate people getting in his face and/or to quietly disappear. If he had really felt personally threatened by Putin, he would have given Putin whatever he wanted and then kept as low a profile as possible. Though come to think about it, the UK has notoriously dragged its feet in imposing meaningful sanctions on Russian oligarchs.
  15. Though here is a spin off idea: I can think of one category of British people who are statistically more likely to be sexual predators. And to have a general contempt of the law. And there are relatively few of them, so it would be practical to take special action to protect the rest of us from them. I refer, of course, to Tory MPs.
  16. My opinion: Andy Weir absolutely cannot do characterisation. The Martian works because the interest is in the central issue of Watney's survival and in the various problems that need to be surmounted to achieve it. Especially as the technical details are nearly all totally correct. The characters are mostly highly trained astronauts or scientists doing their stuff (and occasionally sticking two fingers up at authority) and so don't need to have much psychological depth. Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1536/ So both the book and the film are good. Perhaps the film edges it if you don't know so much about (or aren't interested in) the technology behind space travel. I was unimpressed by both of Weir's subsequent books through, sadly.
  17. Personally I would consider it calling out the many right wing types going on about this who never normally concern themselves about women's safety or well being.
  18. Since we seem to be generating a great deal of heat on this topic, here is a couple of sensible quotes from the BBC :
  19. I agree up to a point, but I have difficulty with describing the consolidation of the UK into a single political unit as "colonialism" pure and simple. However much it was achieved by military force and propaganda. This consolidation is, after all, something that has taken place in many other European countries. In the UK here is a scale between Ireland (most definitely a separate country), Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and finally Northern and Eastern England (which were heavily Scandinavian at one point). The extent to which Wales was a separate country is slightly questionable - as a Welsh relative once told me, "the Scots know that they are a separate nation, the Welsh ... are not sure".
  20. Out of interest, what was so wrong about the pushing of the Arthur myth? It is a tragedy of heroic but doomed defence against invaders, carried out by a group of people with high ideals, where the bad guys are the people who were the ones then living in England and hearing the myth.
  21. There has been a lot of mention of democracy on this thread, but I have not seen any mention that those democracies are in fact all representative democracies. Now partly that is because population size makes direct democracy unviable, but also in my mind it is to prevent democracy descending into mob rule; a situation in which any change can be made to the law or the constitution whenever a bare majority can be whipped up for it by populists, the web, biased news channels, tabloid newspapers, and their ilk. Never mind if the implications of the change are not understood by that bare majority or are successfully kept from them. This could easily lead to such things as reintroducing the death penalty, to taking votes away from some groups of people, or even (whisper it) to Brexit. So making a democracy a representative one is a necessary check & balance. Humans being what they are, then a good political system requires as many of these as possible. In my personal opinion, a very useful additional one is to center the mystique of power on a ceremonial head of state who does not have to think about standing for re-election in future, rather than on the executive. Possibly making this role hereditary is not ideal, but there are worse approaches.
  22. Using NDAs to silence whistleblowers and keep harassment and other bad behaviours secret is commonplace. Even when legally doubtful they are often still effective in scaring people into compliance. Musk is merely ramping things up a notch here.
  23. A bit late, but I would like to comment on the history behind all this. To put those tax rates in context: by about the middle of WW2 the UK was basically bankrupt, with a desperate need for whatever money it could scrounge up from wherever it could be obtained. Then, after WW2, money was also needed to fund the promised welfare state - the NHS and so forth. Why should the very rich have been allowed to preserve and increase their inherited wealth though all this, with the literal consequence of the rest of the country starving and dying young of preventable diseases? Incidentally, the UK before WW2 was still a massively unequal society totally dominated by the wealthy upper classes. For example, all those big houses were run by small armies of servants who worked very long hours and were paid a pittance. This, by the way, is the reason why those UK upper classes tried so hard to avoid WW2, in some cases to the extent of actually supporting Hitler. They knew that any war would overturn the UK social order and end their cosy existence. (You get some echo of this dilemma at the beginning of Lord of the Rings.) It is also the reason why so many people became communists in the 1930s. Of course, once prosperity returned in the 1960s it was another matter. By the way there exists a very large and well funded UK charity, the National Trust, that exists to preserve as many of those big houses as possible. In some cases they have negotiated deals with the owners to allow those owners to continue living in them. Feel free to donate! (Actually the National Trust is schizophrenic, it also owns a large amount of wild country in the UK for the purposes of preserving it unchanged. I support that cause, but can't support the National Trust when they are also about the big houses.)
  24. I am sure that many of them will. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Sunak is deliberately destroying the NHS.
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