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thehowler

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Everything posted by thehowler

  1. Maybe pubs need to adapt to the changing demographic and cultural diversity of the UK, instead of trading on some fake nostalgia for the great British boozer, whatever that was. There are some independents in my patch that do their own food, decent music and events and they seem busy. But the pint prices are just revolting. My local does a happy hour on its craft ale, down to £2.50 a pint, that's about fair. Pint prices have joined the list of widely acknowledged outrages in the UK, like footballer salaries, investment banker bonuses, the Honours list, etc...oh, and house prices.
  2. Price has always been a main driver, as most people are looking for best location and space and the limits tend to be closely defined by price. It's commerce, straight and simple. First flat I bought in London was a two bed 90k, and the agent said it was another ten thou for another bedroom, ten more on top of that for a small house - but we didn't have the extra. But in your 20s - in my case anyway - you're not that fussed about an additional room/garden, that stuff seeps in as you age. Though of course, you have a point, the agent should at least pretend they have an interest in the nuances
  3. HPI is excluded from CPI isn't it? Must be, otherwise inflation stats would be raging. As for Corbs, he wants to borrow another 250-500bn doesn't he, renationalise the railways and give public sector workers a salary boost - just another busted flush policy idea.
  4. On inflation, the old levers and buttons used to work by CUT RATES = RAISE INFLATION, am I right? But since 2011 inflation has been dropping even with the emergency low .5% rate. Ergo, the old levers and buttons are kaput.
  5. Unilever? And then get fat eating lots of their cookie dough ice cream reduced to two quid a tub, whilst sobbing tears into the vanilla-melt watching the BoE presser highlights. That's not advice, of course. Or vintage guitars? They're nice to have around. But trouble with all portable things and money and coins buried under the lawn, it can lead to nagging and mounting sense of dread they might not be there when you go back for them. I have no savings and few possessions so have removed this anxiety from my life. As for other currencies, well I'm bedazzled that the euro is so strong, given th
  6. They have no idea what will happen, but they do know that they must avoid certain things happening, at all costs. How can the Euro CB, the Japanese and the Brits ever stop printing now?
  7. The great sages on these boards have been predicting another round of QE for years. What's significant here is that we've taken another big lollop towards the end game...
  8. CI got voted down in Switzerland by about 70% - but it might just have been too generous an allowance, think it was about 2k a month! In the UK, it could be a way to replace benefit culture, if you recognize such a thing? We're running out of ideas - have you seen the letter proposing helicopter money from the economic gurus this evening, would that really be any different from CI? As posted above, lots of people do unpleasant work already that yields little in cash, motivated by sense of social duty and other reasons. In Germany, the shared owners of buildings have a rosta to sweep the street
  9. Given all the prolonged - yawn - and febrile hype about the US sloughing off economic torpor and marching on to raise rates it's stark that they're still only at .5%, same as us. The whole thing's been a lie, natch, I don't think anyone expected rates to get back up when the only inflation is in housing excluded from the stats - but many people were expecting more QE. So I expect a boost to FLS or some other wheeze/bank handout, lots of talk and no cut. As for the dead cert .25 cut headlines and the pound holding steady paradox, well, the game's rigged, with blocks of money moved around the b
  10. I noticed lumber, wheat and corn prices tanking markedly last year and into 2016, assumed shipping and energy costs were low too so fodder should remain cheap for the foreseeable and there are easy ways to avoid any hit - lose weight, cut out choc and coffee. Consumerism is so passé. There's a vineyard not too far from me so I've been wondering about trying the 40 mile radius subsistence challenge for some time, vino tinto taken care of, coffee is the hassle. Can't grow chicory but maybe ground roasted acorns - WW2 ersatz style? Doesn't sound promising. Rubber, pepper, rare metals all tricky
  11. Odd to be anticipating/engineering inflation, with signs of supermarket price cutting war, new car sales slipping and M and S food and clothing taking a hit. It's hunker-down time...
  12. I think the gates of delirium are flapping open in the wind and Carney looked a little spooked in the last presser. Ostensibly we still have a chancellor, though only because the politicos are distracted by leadership contention, but I fear this feeding frenzy masks a deeper malaise: the vast, terrifying unpredictability of the Brexit referendum outcome is now being transferred to the real political process and they're all arguing over leadership as it's something they feel comfortable with, rather than facing the oncoming typhoon of hard Brexit choices. The vanishing of the political class af
  13. I'm just curious as to how far it can tip before gets classed as a crisis - in the New Normal Carneycopia. I've seen $1.22 proposed as a floor, but that's almost a 20% drop from voting day. Guess that's taking the August cut as a given...
  14. Pound is at $1.300 as I type, and a sniff of panic on the business channels. If we get another 2 - 3% drop in the morning, what happens at the BoE? Is there a threshold at which they have to intervene or can we get right down to parity with no raise?
  15. Think it's more like 5k per year per kid - but it's regional, with more for London boroughs, natch...
  16. Amazing that Jamie was just strolling across Parliament Square and bumped into an obliging film crew...what a scam. Doesn't the tax mean they'll all move to aspartame - banned in the US? - as it's cheaper than sugar by the kilo anyway?
  17. There are some positives for the petrolheads... imagine track riding as a passenger in an AI driverless, way beyond the speeds and capabilities of any human. Fighter jets are all fly by wire now, human pilots can't match the reaction time of processors. Or watching rally racing and demolition at extreme speeds, robot drivers taking all the risks. With driverless we could lift motorway speeds to the max, up to 120 perhaps? It could be my age but I don't know anyone who enjoys tinkering with their motor anymore, it was always a hassle watching them rust to bits. Antique motors are a niche inte
  18. Yabsolutely. You won't even be able to deviate from the set route. And the young won't notice, they'll be hooked into the network in the back of the car, widescreen Youtube jocks, snapchat and insta updates, VR goggles, aspartame fruities, beards and vapes. They're loving it all the way...
  19. Wasn't the move to promote higher education for all due to the collapse of manufacturing and ethos of skilled manual labour? Those kids are all shoring up the service economy now, aren't they? And regards the productivity mantra, doesn't that come from the human inability to accept and plan for things getting worse? We can't all make dishwashers but we can all brew and sell each other cups of coffee. As for working, we'll all be on the universal wage soon, I'm sure, so can hit the hammocks, the PS3 and the four packs...
  20. And on legal concerns...no more speeding, illegal parking, road rage, driving without due care, mobile phone use, drunk behind the wheel, heart attack accidents, falling asleep at wheel, crashes, traffic jams or nonagenarians nodding off. Will we even need patrol cars?
  21. In all those cases the calamity would be avoided if all the vehicles were networked... sensors on your car would relate bald tyre problem to nun bus, nun bus swerves to safety you wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the steering wheel - what wheel? the google car would know where you were, what speed you were moving at and might even be able to override your controls before any collision the ambulance and your vehicle would be communicating long before they came anywhere close, clearing traffic and calculating best route A bigger issue for me is trust in the manufacturers writing the code..
  22. Agree, problems will come from insurers and legal issues of driver responsibility - if you pile into a driverless at 3am, smashed, and start watching a movie, who is to blame if the tech makes a mistake and misses some roadwork signs, turning left instead of right, into a canal etc? However, the momentum here is to make all vehicles on the road driverless and hand total control to the city network. If you were only a registered user, rather than an owner, the legal problems moving to driverless would be a lot simpler.
  23. Regards the Nissan pitch, it's clear that major car manufacturers are trying to insert their product at the heart of clean energy/networked city future visions. But the move to driverless is all about the loss of status of the car and reflects widespread and growing disinterest in car ownership amongst the young. Car makers are stuck in that seventies magazine culture of cream leather interiors, spoked wheels and coupes on country roads. Take a look at the google driverless testers and you'll see that they are built without any old-style car design aesthetics, just plain-ugly utility, A to B
  24. And how do we know how "organic brain material" approaches the task of playing Space Invaders? Or indeed, how we "learn" or "self organise" anything? Pure conjecture. Most of us, I imagine, didn't start playing video games driven solely by the ambition to earn more points (though that may be one element), the sole ambition for DeepMind, as one example. My point was that they're very selective with what could be described as bio-inspired or mimicry, it's got little in common with natural selection over the aeons, these are mathematical ploys. It's perhaps a slender point, but I don't think it'
  25. "I'm arguing that purposeful design cannot create intelligence - its only achievable through a process of emergent complexity" It's either a machine or it's not. If it is, we should be able to build it, or at least aspire to study and learn from it on a pathway towards intelligence. "In other words its trying to mimic nature rather than a process of deliberate/purposeful design" No, because the machine learning techs are not trying to emulate the higher, abstract functions of human intelligence, as far as I can tell anyway. They've cut out a lot of the evolutionary themes, like emotional in
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