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Erik of Hazelfield

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About Erik of Hazelfield

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  • Birthday 02/09/1984

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  1. One thing I recognize to be a major difference between US politics and Swedish politics is the tendency of the former to try to game the system. The supreme court assignments, the gerrymandering, the focus on swing states, the voter suppression, the filibuster... I'm not saying our type of democracy is perfect - the gods know it isn't - but we don't have that. Some reasons, I think, include: - Very low barriers to voting. No registration. If you're entitled to vote, then you get the info in your mailbox and the only thing you actually have to bring to your voting station on the Sunday of the election is your ID card, driver's license or passport. Queues are usually short to non-existent. - Proportional (well, almost) assignment of parliamentary seats. No electoral college. - The supreme court does not have the final say on laws. (Actually the system is completely different and we have a toothless "law board" that will review new laws and point out their unconstitutionality, at which point parliament can ignore it. Not saying this is a good thing.) On the other hand we get many small parties and almost suffered a constitutional crisis two years ago when the parties couldn't agree on who would lead the next government, so there's that. But it's interesting how the constitutional system of a country shapes its politics.
  2. Well, my parents met at work and they're still together 40+ years later. So I guess I have to post a defense of that too. No wait, my ex wife and I met at work. Forget what I said. Dating your coworkers sucks. Come to think of it, maybe every way of dating works, or sucks, depending on your preferences, your surroundings and your luck.
  3. Just to post a defense of online dating - no matter how impersonal, gameified, or resembling a job application it is, it still does represent a credible way of meeting someone. Like, how else do you meet a potential partner? At work? Yeah that could work, or it could be a disaster which you'll have to stare in the face for the rest of your employment, or it just doesn't happen because none of your coworkers are suitable matches for you. At a bar? Sure, but the chances of getting drunk and randomly finding someone that matches your interests seems pretty slim. Meeting through mutual friends or interests? That's probably the best, but if you don't have that many of either, it just might never happen. For all it's faults, online dating at least gets you to meet some dates. For me, one of them worked out and we now live together. Ceterum autem censeo Econ Guy esse ghostum.
  4. I disagree about the first message having to be interesting actually. I noticed that whatever I wrote to a girl on Tinder after I'd matched with her, I would only get about the same answer rate. So what I did was to start sending everyone the same message, a waving hand smiley and a happy smiley, nothing more. If she replied to that, usually with a smiley of her own, I took that to mean she'd re-read my profile and decided she was still interested, so then I could write something more thought-out, asking about something in her profile or similar. If I got no reply, I assumed she wasn't so interested after all, and didn't pursue it any further. This system worked great, because I didn't have to feel stupid for writing a long message that got ignored, and she didn't have to feel heartless for ignoring the message.
  5. I think when you're young and have a relationship, you grow up together, so you need to accept some flaws in your partner's behavior and try to change them. When you're an adult and have a relationship, your partner better have done the growing up already. I mean, you can still tell them some simple things, but teaching them not to be rude or violent, that's not something you should have to do. Don't date an asshole. You are worth more than that.
  6. Is it just me or was this whole argument a misunderstanding? My understanding of what DMC meant: "Since the entire US nation is basically an illegal occupation of indigenous lands, any and every federal building in the US should be considered an offense to native Americans". Fury's understanding of what DMC meant: "Native Americans are so fucking sensitive that they consider even buildings offensive." Please correct me if the misunderstanding is on me.
  7. I don't think we can ever come up with a general rule that fits every case. Never removing any statue is a bad rule, because statues of confederate generals or mass murdering conquistadors are simply offensive. In Belgium they recently began removing statues of king Leopold II, who was among the absolute scum of the Earth, no holds barred Hitler-class evil. I can't see how that can be a bad thing. On the other hand, if every slave owner must go then down goes the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, and basically everything else celebrating the earliest history of the US. (And similarly in the rest of the world.) What we have to do is a case by case judgement. Washington? Probably stays. Nathan Bedford Forrest? Tear down that asshole. It's OK if it's not consistent - something tolerated in one place might be considered offensive somewhere else - and it's also OK if a statue that was considered fine 10 years ago is now regarded as offensive. The times change. The public perception is the guiding star here. I don't think you should hide or censor history, but statues exist in the public space and don't just reflect the history but also who we as a society today think are worthy of honoring. People have a right to decide about their public space. If there's widespread enough support for removing a statue, then let's remove it. Simple as that.
  8. I can absolutely see an increased interest in living elsewhere, and the working from home thing can probably enhance that trend a little bit. But I doubt the order of magnitude is enough to make more than a dent in the century-long trend towards increased gentrification. As per the quote in the first post, 5% of the New York residents had left the city during the pandemic. Even if they would all leave permanently, I think there'd be plenty of people eager to sweep in and buy those apartments for the new, lower price.
  9. I feel I have to defend Elon Musk a bit. He's wildly eccentric, quite vulgar at times, and has a hubris that's something out of this world. But he did transform a small electric car startup company into the world's biggest manufacturer of electric cars. Tesla showed the world what an electric car can be - fast, practical, cool - and this has forced the competitors to invest in EV technology. Without Tesla, it's likely that EVs would still be small, impractical things with a way-off price tag. Same goes for SpaceX. The cost of launching a Falcon 9 is less than half of what launches used to cost. Even if both companies would disappear tomorrow, the impact they've made is here to stay.
  10. When it comes to science, the more advanced it gets, the less you'll be remembered for it. For example, Pythagoras is way more famous than any current mathematician, Newton is more famous than the physicists of today, and so on. Part of the reason is that when you study a subject, you often get taught who first came up with the idea. The more basic the idea, the more likely you are to have studied it at some point. Pythagoras and Newton did work that you teach nearly all children, hence the fame. Einstein is the exception. I guess he just became synonymous with the cliche of an intelligent but goofy professor.
  11. The question shouldn't really be who's remembered, because no one is remembered longer than a generation. I do remember Michael Jordan, but I don't remember Isaac Newton - I was taught about him. So to answer the question, we need to ask ourselves: what will be in the school books of the future? Who will be so important that future kids will be forced to learn about them? I don't see that many people now who could reach that status. J.K. Rowling was a good suggestion, because books don't lose popularity as quickly as movies. I can see kids reading Harry Potter 500 years from now. Trump will fade into obscurity as the scandal president, a curiosity. Hillary could have been remembered as the first female U.S. president. I think whoever succeeds with that will have their 500 year fame done. Obama might get an honorary mention for the same reason - being the first of something is always a good way to get into history books. Some freak stuff might happen. What if no one, in 500 years, beats Usain Bolt's 100 m world record? Then he'd be a legend. That's the only way I see that a sports star can still be relevant that far into the future. Giving your name to a company works too. Walt Disney, Henry Ford and perhaps even Louis Vuitton will be recognized names as long as their brand is popular. Not sure if any of those will be around 500 years from now, but Disney seems most likely of those. If certain religions are still alive by then, names like Bob Marley and Haile Selassie are candidates. L Ron Hubbard? I hope not...
  12. It's funny. Even though I did join in the latter days of the EZ Board era, I don't really feel like an old poster. Maybe because all the time I've lurked a whole lot more than I've posted. This forum is so full of smart people that I rarely feel I have anything to contribute.
  13. I do think working from home will increase, but mainly because employers will realize it's an effective way to cut office rental costs.
  14. I think this might be one of those situations when you apply your own bias to everyone, believing it to be the norm. Those who have sometimes fantisized about gay sex or perhaps even tried it think almost everyone does it and those who haven't think it's very rare. Both are probably wrong.
  15. I was going to see the French Alps, Los Angeles and Peru this year if it wasn't for the virus. L.A. was a job trip, but the rest was definitely bucket list material. And the worst part is I can't even complain, because, you know, people dying and stuff.
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