Up the spout

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  1. Any other significant differences? Let's see... Venezuela tops the Misery Index every year It has inflation of 500%+ The number of illiterate reduced from 1.1 to 1 million, the gov. boasted. They forgot to say that's because 100k illiterate people died. It's the only south American country where AIDs and malaria are increasing The Economist said Venezuela was "probably the world’s worst-managed economy"
  2. DOW falls 1100 points

    Thanks, that's exactly the info I was looking for. The tray issue is something I'm expecting, although I'll probably rarely use it as I'll just stick in a sim and memory card once (the ones I'm looking at have 2 sim slots and 64gb of memory). I'll be extra careful when on my jollies and putting a second sim in. What really attracts me is the waterproof rating. I've lost three smartphones to water, the latest a six month old Sony. It was in my pocket in a waterproof jacket, riding a motorbike through a tropical storm. It wasn't a high end unit so £200 was zapped, but still annoying. I'll wait for the G6 to come down in price when the new model is finally released.
  3. DOW falls 1100 points

    My Samsung S5 is all scratched up, cracked and buggered (excuse my French). I've been looking at the LG G6, anyone got one or views on them?
  4. Nice work if you can get it

    A bonus for bumping up the portfolios of MPs and their kids' portfolios too. You've got be in the club to win. We ain't in it.
  5. Get on the Tomato ladder before you miss out.

    The painful analogy is seedless
  6. A bit tricky in this day and age to forecast what's going to happen in the next five or ten years. Up to a few decades ago we had a few tens of millions of middle class workers in Europe, and a few tens of millions of middle class workers in the United States. Now we have hundreds of millions of middle class workers in India, hundreds of millions of middle class workers in China, and tens of millions of middle class workers in South America. Plus lots of billionaires in those countries and Africa and Russia. Globalisation has changed any model that was suitable as recently as the 90's, and had been 'the best we can do' for a long time.
  7. The AA

    This calls for an app: Break down and hit your smartphone. It has your car model and age, miles done since last service, location, (possibly) the fault if the car can talk to the phone. Sends out the details to the closest five mechanics and you accept based on call out fee and their rating. That's actually quite a good idea..
  8. The Big Saudi Arabia Thread

    Probably about as much chance as Brits having a civil war over Charles stepping aside for Bill.
  9. I had avocado on toast for the first time yesterday, can't see what all the fuss is about.
  10. The Big Saudi Arabia Thread

    Things are certainly moving in the Kingdom. Women will be able to drive soon, concerts are now allowed, women are allowed to attend football matches, a high up cleric has said the abaya isn't necessary to dress modestly, the muttuwa are no where to be seen and have been declawed, expats are leaving in droves due to high taxes on their dependants, Mohammad Bin Salman has had secret talks with Israeli leaders, VAT introduced and less subsidising of food, fuel and water, and the purge which grabbed billions from the Royals who've been creaming their wealth from funds that were supposed to be spent on Saudi infrastructure and people. What will come next, I wonder? Here's a rough timeline: 2018 current: Currently, Saudi Arabia, after amending the laws on Hai'a, women driving and hijab, is currently slightly less Islamic than Iran. Islam is the main source of law and Islamic norms are enforced in public, but the government takes a relaxed attitude regarding it. (Before restricting Hai'a and allowing non-hijabis, it was at the Iranian level, for the most part). 2019: Saudi Arabia will amend part of its laws. The Hai'a will be completely abolished (it's practically extinct at this point), and by implication, the abaya as well as rules on dating, gender-mixing, etc. will be discarded. By now, Saudi Arabia has downgraded its Islamiosity to the level of Sudan, where Islamic law is still the main source of law, but Islamic norms aren't enforced in public. 2020-2025: Saudi Arabia gets its tourist industry jump-started. In order to attract Western tourists, Saudi Arabia will legalise alcohol for non-Muslims only in certain locations, likely the coastal cities and in the hotels or bars only (much like Qatar). The government will likely point to hadiths of the Caliph Umar (R.A) allowing religious minorities in the caliphate to privately drink alcohol. Those who still disagree will likely be arrested. In addition, the hotels will not enforce any moral codes, so unofficially they will turn into make-shift nightclubs (without officially being so); the hotels will also turn a blind eye to Saudi citizens entering and drinking/partying, although on exiting the police may not. So basically, Saudi will downgrade to the Qatari level, where Islamic law is the source of law, but exceptions are made and blind eyes are turned. 2027-2029: At this point, Saudi Arabia will have became a world-class tourist destination, and it will have a similar atmosphere to the UAE. Here, the Saudi government will likely abolish or place a moratorium on hudud punishments (i.e. stoning, amputation, beheading) and replace them with European-style criminal laws. The Saudi government will likely attempt to justify this by saying "the conditions required to implement the hudud no longer exist in our times". Again, if anyone disagrees after, they will likely be arrested. Thus, Saudi will basically be like the UAE, where Islam is the religion of the state, but Sharia law is often replaced with secular law. So Saudi Arabia will downgrade to the UAE level of Islamiosity. 2029-2035: At this point, Saudi is a completely different country. Vision 2030 has been completed, and Saudi is now basically the new Dubai. Islamic scholars at this point will largely be irrelevant in wider society, and most people practice what they would view as a more modernized interpretation of Islam that looks more to the modern world for guidance, and not the Qur'an. Nevertheless, society will still disapprove of things like homosexuality or sex out of wedlock, but it will be common for the most part, and the government will likely turn a blind eye. 2035-2045: At this point, Saudi Arabia has a whole new mature generation - the MbS generation. This generation is very social-media savy and secular-oriented, and they essentially see the moral principals of their parents as outdated and backward. This generation does not look to religion at all for guidance, and sees religion as more about something you participate in during the holidays. Basically, they are like the millennial generation in the West today. 2045-and on: At this point, the new generation will take over from their parents, and the leadership and society will move together to remove the last Islamic laws in place. By now, religion won't be seen as a source of moral values at all, and the legalisation of things like weed or same-sex marriage will not center around religion at all, but on tax revenues, international image, etc.
  11. Post Your Favourite Charts Here

    During the late 18th century adult deaths from smallpox declined sharply, whilst deaths among newborns rose sharply. Often newborns who died soon after birth were labelled stillbirths and abortions as there was no fee to bury them.
  12. UK to come last of 32 wealthy nations for wages "British workers are expected to see their earnings decrease by 0.7% in 2018" And we haven't even left, yet..
  13. Post Your Favourite Charts Here

    Unemployment down since the Brexit vote, but wages aren't going up as they should. Now employers, rather than invest in new technology that increases productivity, opt instead for cheap unskilled labour on minimum wages and Zero Hours Contracts, with the full knowledge that with little employment protection and weak trade union backing, they can hire and fire as they please. Welcome to the new normal, and hope it doesn't get worse.
  14. Gold strategy in the current economy

    So what's the best way to buy silver paper? I'm not joking, I'd like to look at a silver ETF that's backed by the real metal, or something else where I don't have to take delivery. Yeah, if armageddon comes I can't use the paper to buy tinned food...
  15. Nadeem Walayat Clueless

    I feel the same, he was saying buy shares when there was a lot of negative sentiment rolling around most websites. Now I've stopped reading The Market Oracle regularly and instead read a lot on Seeking Alpha. There are a couple of authors there I follow, one is Roger Nusbaum (because he's a mate, not because he's particularly insightful), Avi Gilbert (entertaining and quite accurate), and Chuck Carnevale (good research), and there are good reads on most days by other authors.