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  • It's pointless we're doomed, thoroughly doomed, utterly doomed
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  1. A forbidden romance; I'm not sure it's been consummated? And if there hadn't been an obvious human candidate for Theo's father at the time he was born, I think the villagers' suspicions would certainly have fallen on Arondir!
  2. Tell them you really appreciate the invite but that particular game isn't your cup of tea, but if they ever give something more casual a try you'd be keen to join them. Maybe give examples of the sort of multiplayer games you do like? Doing something you hate isn't likely to be beneficial for your limits, but not ghosting people is a good thing to push yourself on.
  3. That is what gives the books value; copies made is merely the best available proxy. Copies made but never read by anyone may as well not exist, and I'm pretty sure authors don't get paid for physical copies made but not sold. And I'm not sure "compensation" is the right term here - authors don't give up anything when a copy is made, though they should certainly be rewarded for the work they put in creating the original.
  4. Authors also receive no compensation at all if you buy a used copy or borrow a copy from a friend. Are those immoral activities?
  5. Well, it's theoretically possible, at least. I'll concede governments have been known to be less competent than we might wish! Not making loans to unethical industries seems like a win to me. But the banks could continue to operate as independent entities without politicians being able to have any say in their investment decisions, if that's necessary. If people default on their mortgages, the government becomes the landlord and the current residents are automatically entitled to stay on as tenants in the newly acquired government housing, at a reasonable rate (reasonable might not be the same as affordable - if it's a particularly expensive house, they might still need to move to more modest lodgings, but welfare should make adequate housing affordable to all). The profits are already based on private industry remuneration - if lower public sector wages were introduced, profit would go up. And leaving bad loans on the books to be nice would have financial benefits as well as costs - bank profit goes down, but so does government expenditure related to the consequences of foreclosures, eg welfare payments and demand on police and health services. Worms are vital to a healthy ecosystem!
  6. It means seeing you at all is a special treat for them! That's why they're more enthusiastic
  7. "Other people do it" isn't evidence that it's a good idea, though. It imposes unnecessary administrative costs, requires measures to be taken to compensate for its inherent regressiveness, and it interferes with international shopping. No big deal. Invest in infrastructure and pay down debt in good times, rack it up again in downturns. As long as the government plans for future downturns and doesn't spend too profligately when it has cash to spare, fluctuating revenue can be lived with. Treasury's opinion of "highly progressive" is subjective; personally I'd rate it as "somewhat progressive". There are other options for generating revenue - nationalise the banks, say.
  8. GST is evil and should be abolished. How are non-working people supposed to afford the extra GST? It's only possible if you increase benefits etc proportionately, which defeats the purpose. Abolishing GST means you can say you've cut taxes for everyone, because everyone buys stuff (including people who don't pay income tax so don't benefit from income tax cuts). And if you want the effect that high earners pay more tax but low earners don't, the best method is obviously to increase the rate for the higher income tax brackets. Plus capital gains tax etc. Touch it! Touch it! </Rocky Horror>
  9. Boarder, do you think more than feel? I said, boarder, do you sense what is real? I said, boarder, does aloneness appeal? There's no need to be uncertain. Boarder, there's a quiz you can take. I said, boarder, yes I swear it's not fake. You can judge it, and I'm sure you will find Myers-Briggs will explain your mind. It told me that I was INTJ It told me that I was INTJ...
  10. Mortgage interest payments, not the total outstanding balance. The interest rate fluctuates unless you have a fixed rate, which is usually higher than the floating rate at the time you fix it, and you can only fix it for up to 5 years at a time.
  11. Well no, not as such, my to-read pile is certainly an increasingly large problem! But I seldom regret reading as much of the work shortlisted for the Hugos as I can manage.
  12. WorldCon! 1-5 September. I'm a supporting member to vote in the Hugo Awards, which tends to be an excellent way to pick stuff to read.
  13. Hello! Not doing any international travel or large events at the moment, sorry.
  14. Because all objects have a gravity field, the size of which (but not the strength) varies depending on mass, and that gravity holds an envelope of air. A human's individual air pocket is too small to last long, but a flying machine would trap enough to last a decent amount of time, and a moon would have plenty. (If two objects are close enough that their gravity planes overlap, the gravity of the larger object takes precedence.) </Spelljammer>
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