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Everything posted by katchytitle

  1. These views have been debated by intellectuals many many times. Such as the points below. Wish there was an answer to human problems like this but history has taught us that humans constantly cycle through power struggles. I'm sure some enterprising person on here has an answer to all these issues with both systems (probably by becoming a dictator) : 1. Socialism doesn't work because other countries are capitalist and aim to destroy anyone who tries e.g withdraw from IMF loans / payments for oil on SWIFT. 2. Capitalism emphasises short term growth and therefore gets adopted easily as people are incentivised to "get something now and forget about the future". But duplication of everything in each country is inefficient and competitive advantage for what each nation is good at is probably a useful thing. Note: You can see if in environmentalism (even ignoring climate change it was pretty clear you can't endless mine, destroy and build without a consequence). You call this negative externality in economics and government should be there to attribute a long term cost to this within capitalism so it can be paid for i.e. decommissioning costs of a nuclear power plan or replanting trees or habitat after destruction. But government need to get elected and use capitalism to pay the bills and neglect long term decision making. 3. Socialism doesn't work because people are lazy and what something for nothing 4. Capitalism is too harsh on people who have nothing - especially when things happen that aren't their fault e.g financial crisis or health care for terminal illness 5. Capitalism has captured government as the type of person who becomes a politican today is not connected to the community they are supposed to represent; instead democratic seats are just an endless game between two parties for power rather than for the common good. Rome was a pretty good example of this during Julius Cesar's time. 6. We can't offer everyone a middle class standard of living therefore we need capitalism to create some meritocracy (Even if it is skewed its the best system we have) 7. Capitalism alleviated a huge amount of poverty globally in the last 100 years. Counterpoint with people were actually exploited to provide services to Western people at their own countries expense.
  2. The pretend "choice" is the difference. The reality of power incentives are that people with power do things that benefit themselves, if there is an ancillary benefit to the public its not altruistic, its there in order to further your power e.g. win elections. Overhauling a system is hard e.g. actually educating the young to be productive, highlighting inequality of wealth with non productive multi generational rent seekers (like the Blairs as an example). You don't do these things if you want to stay in power, you simply manage the narrative and work around the edges. Margret thatcher was probably the last senior politician that had conviction and tried to implement it. Blair showed you can "spin" your way to victory and that is the way forward ever since. Style and short termism over substance.
  3. That's why governments will end currencies and adopt digital currencies. Imagine a currency that can dictate when you can spend it and on what. Increasing interest rates if you spend it faster or slower depending on what the central powers that be need to happen. Control of power does not disappear without an epic fight and Central Bank digital currencies vs private blockchains and stable coins is only just beginning. I totally expect more crises in the monetary system to provide an excuse to change. Just like Bretton Woods, when the answer is not to your liking just change the rules of the game.
  4. Well technically the Treasury or BoE own most of the bonds we issued as there is not that much demand in such a short period of time. So we actually paid the interest to ourselves...go figure.. We did pay the bankers the bid/offer spread to keep the pretend game alive - Debt Management Office sold the debt to 20 banks on their list. The banks know they have a guaranteed buyer in the BoE/Treasury. They fill their boots and flip the bonds for a 1-2bps on 500Bn - that's still a lot of bonuses for no value add.
  5. on the 17,000 to 9bn - the maths says its +/- 1% accurate assuming a distributed model (big assumption) but as I understand you can do some maths to overcome this and I'm sure the sample size would have to rise. But the point I'm making at a country/ town level is - do you need large scale testing, sampling at 100K in the UK is probably enough but people don't trust the ONS figures? What about covid antibodies...why wouldn't we be doing this analysis for that? Caveat with the tests are still crap (so we do may need to do each person multiple times and take an average) but we could determine how deadly this disease really is.
  6. But it would work to a 1% accuracy right? So in your example, less than 1% of people are astronauts so you need to up your sample size. So in covid, you wouldn't see the first 1% of any cases but given exponential increase and daily measuring you'd see it pretty quickly?
  7. I'm not making the point that this is the amount of testing we need. I'm suggesting that population size and sample size are not connected. So if you need to check a local cluster for instance - you'd come into a town check 400 at random in a couple of hours. You'd know how many people in the local area had covid to a +/- 5% accuracy. We don't actually have real test and trace from what I understand. Similarly, if you scaled up as we have done, you should have enough data to stratify by post code age, sex etc to get a larger view for localised out breaks or a country wide view if done at random. You could have to do this daily as its not initially a normal distribution. But I'm not a statistician I'm sure people have figured out how to change kurtosis and population skew to a normal distribution when calculating.... Just trying to get to data that actually we can rely on...statistics damn statistics
  8. I'm trying to understand this point. Do you mean to get the stratified view for age or sex or airport arrivals etc? I agree, but then we measure way more than 16,000 people anyway so some of this is already collectable as the ONS shows - so we should have accurate data. I'm inclined to look at data with no political or media filter. The ons is probably right..with the caveat that spreading exponentially means even low "doubling rates" of a virus could infect the entire country in a matter of weeks from a small starting position. At the 95% confidence level (like the ONS) you only need samples of 10,000 people in each category for +/- 1% accuracy view of how many have covid (this number drops to just measuring 400 people at +/- 5% accuracy). What I'm interested in is how many have already had it - if this antibody test is accurate and we do this calculation we might find that very few people are actually affected (which is anicodally what people "see and get angry about" - imagine what Louis Pasteur had to deal with!) and we should then protect those people. I can understand the government scientists problem. They need to err on the side of caution because they don't really know enough to do anything else. Its been fairly standard that all viruses have many spikes and waves when studied. We've never defeated a virus in humanity's history. So we are going to live with this - even with a vaccine which even if everyone took it would literally take years to administer to a large population.
  9. Code seemed fine according to nature - although badly written as a monolithic function. If anyone has ever built something of value, this is just how it is until someone has money or time to clean it up https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01685-y Lockdown skeptics take the view that the model can generate non repeatable results due to bugs.. https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/ Unless you're a coder and epidemiologist its hard to know what matters here...
  10. But this is what I mean - I've given a simple example to show how low it is as a base case. Population sizes do not really affect this number. If you want to test by age/type of activity/obesity/ethnicity/ hospital / north/ south/ towns/ airport arrivals etc - it doesn't matter you just need to get that dataset - the sample size remains low for each case. Surely we record age (DOB) for each Covid test for instance, so then you can just split this data by age easily with your sample sizes same for post codes, ethnicity/ hospital vs public The press and govt keep banging on about testing 250K people a day. There is no way you need that many to statistically ascertain how many people have/had covid..The ONS are probably correct if they are accurately testing this number of randomised people. The only counterpoint I would say is the exponential function is not intuitive to humans, a small rise in infections can rise very very quickly in a matter of days to overwhelm the NHS etc. So you have to be doing this kind of stratified analysis daily to look out for spikes.
  11. Maths tells us that sample size is not related to population size. It takes 17000 (truly) random tests to work out how many people have covid in a population of 9bn to a 1% accuracy. Even if tests are not good and need to be performed 4 times on those people, seems pretty simple for any western country to do this. Even to check how many people have covid in the UK you need to test 16700 people and you get an answer with 1% accuracy.... all you need to do is take the test results you already get and randomize them and hey presto, you know the percentage of the population that have covid, had covid (if you check for antibodies) etc.. ...wonder why the media don't report this? A certain narrative is being exploited here. Either intentionally or by useful idiots. Journalists aren't exactly mathematical in general. Feel free to check my maths but smarter people than I know this to be true for centuries... https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/calculating-sample-size/
  12. But you included pensions - people paid in their national insurance for 40 years to receive that. The government obviously mismanaged it, but they are just receiving the money they paid, not receiving benefits for nothing. The problem is always govt mismanagement - you might think its expensive to provide UBI, but if we can work with robots and AI then all it requires is taxing this work rather than the money benefiting a very small group of elite investors who will have way more money than they could possibly spend in their lifetimes or give to their children.
  13. There's always 2 sides to this and its best to pretend to be on both sides to see that things are not so black and white. Covid is new - frankly it could do anything as it spreads. Random mutations could allow it to become more infectious more easily or it could peter out. But when faced with an unknown unknown you need to stop and evaluate the tail risks which "might" wipe out your population. So on the face of it, a total lockdown is an appropriate response over and above a virus like the flu each year. If you think linearly, then you would say well, it hasn't killed more people than the flu so we should end lockdown. IF you think cyclically, viruses come and go in the population again and again, they mutate each time and are difficult to stop until everyone has some sort of immunity. So then, logically, you can't ease restrictions until there is a vaccine as it would just take one mutated strain to ravage your population and put your economy to zero. I would also point out that humans have a very hard time picturing the exponential function, this is the growth rate of natural populations. doubling in every time period is just not something we can comprehend because we don't see it very often. IF the virus grew exponentially by the time you notice it in 10% of your population, it will have infected the world in 14 days. The world, not just your country. From there, everyone would have it within a few more days call it 7 roughly. Just use a calculatorand use 2^1 and go up to to 2^8 - in 8 time periods you go to twice as many infections to 256 times the infections. That's slow compared to e^x which is 2.7^x Another consideration is human herd behaviour, most people are not schooled in the nuance of a scientific argument, they want a binary answer from scientists - YES/NO. They don't understand its a judgement call based on partial data - its an educated guess. The same as the answers to "what causes gravity?" or "what is the earth made from?" But, this question unlike the others, plays a part in the safety of people's family and so emotions are heightened and misinformation is ripe for emotional response. The media feed of emotional response so they love to push all the buttons on this and cause even more uncertainty. So far, the bottom line seems to be the current strain of the virus barely affects anyone under 40, but they can all be carriers which can affect 30%+ of people over 60 especially those who already have other health conditions (4m people have diabetes in the UK, even more are obese). So, to keep these people from overwhelming the health service and stop killing a large chuck of elderly people we are continuing social distancing and mask wearing (the former more important than the latter but every reminder helps). What could we have done differently? We could have shutdown visitors and installed PPE in care homes and hospitals much sooner. We should have got PPE to the army and got them delivering food trucks to the end of streets with large numbers of vulnerable people. We could have staggered work times in London immediately, with half of people working from home Mon, Wed, Fri. etc. We could have shut down the country sooner but in order for it to make a difference we would have to have done it end feb / early March when little was understood. I couldn't have been the only one watching the news on new years eve when 1/3 of China was locked down and thought - "this is going to spread fast". But distrust of chinese and general apathy for the exponential function led to delayed response. There's even a youtube video with dominic cummings explaining how civil servants are not hired with scientific degrees and uses the example that they don't understand the exponential function. The people furloughed are on the whole retail workers who were young and unlikely to be able to buy a house now. Those on mortgages will have government support. Commercial property will take a big hit because covid has allowed CVAs to be used as a weapon to reduce rents or go into pre pack administration.
  14. Just imagine...LoL. Everyone walked out alright - no protests and average salaries paid for 3 months. The problem will be bringing the prols back to work.
  15. You speak about these figures as if they are already set - I'm impress that you be so definitive when neither the CDC or WHO can confirm exact infection rates. I was listening to an interview with a British man in Wuhan who had Covid-19 before it was sexy back in Nov 19. He said he felt like he had "the flu" and his lungs felt like "paper". He went to the hospital, they gave him an inhaler, he didn't really use it - and recovered after 8-10 days. No doctor gave it a second thought in Wuhan. There is NO way anyone knows how many people have been infected already and be asymptomatic or indeed recovered from semi- serious ailments. People can speculate, the media want them too...notice the media never paint a better than expected picture on anything as it doesn't sell newspapers and keep eyeballs. This disease is unknown, of course it could disproportionately affect the elderly and infirm (most diseases do!), its hardly likely to stop everyone between the ages of 15 and 45 unless the media stir up a panic. FYI diseases can rarely be stopped. They can be contained for a short time (short as in months, years - look at Ebola, it'll be back); you can develop vaccines over time, but there is no disease humanity has ever stopped dead in its tracks. We have only come close with TB and Polio but those are only certain types of the disease. The government wants to pretend this a video game where they save you, but their own experts will be telling them to just slow down the virus as best they can so everyone doesn't rush to A&E, we don't have the capacity for everyone to go to the doctor, even most people who have the flu going to the doctor would overwhelm the NHS. They will have to prioritise the safety of the older people (Tory voters) and infirm and that's about all they can do. Just another point to add, in Italy where the media is currently focussed on a High death rates, many elderly people stay with their families, generations aren't thrown into care homes as much as the UK, so as the disease affects towns more elderly will die as they are more prevalent in the general population. The cynic in me is wondering why people on HPC aren't rejoicing - Boomers finally getting a disease; forced selling of probate properties; shrinking of the population pyramid. Its all ideal for a house price crash..
  16. If you tested people for flu in flu season I would expect rates to be even quicker. Measuring infection gives you no idea how many people have already had it and recovered. ITs just the media making people stare at a counter every day so they can sell you ads - mass hysteria. Old and ill people die of the flu every year - I don't think the media gave a toss about that. All of a sudden this gets to be a story that runs and runs - saves them hunting for other stories - how's that war in Yemen going? Turkey just let immigrants cross into the EU from the middle East and Africa with no limits..it makes you wonder why billionaires own loss making newspapers doesn't it? They get to set the agenda that everyone talks about.
  17. Its easy to "predict" stuff if we all just draw straight line graphs - population increasing, religion dying, fertility collapsing. We all need a narrative which fits into our personal experience and the market is there to provide it to you. The older we get the more we understand, but the less we can think of new ideas, constantly seeing the world as a recycling of what we understand. I have often thought about the ideas in this book, but I've come to the conclusion that the future is in a practical sense unknowable, especially the further out you try and predict (e.g 30 years etc). Could you have imagined the internet in 1970? Or space travel in 1920? Trump for president in 1990? Life is full of surprises and actually doesn't last that long. The writers and visionaries out there will continually push the boundaries and invent because that's what they are driven to do. In a way, there is no altruism, you're simply doing what you want and the consequences for others are good or bad. Its better to take every day as it comes, protect yourself from knowable unknowns e.g where will I eat, live, provide for my family etc than to constantly look at bigger pictures that actually fit together only due to our biased narrative. A few points to be a bit more upbeat: Always count on human ingenuity, in my experience there is always someone out there much much smarter than you Enjoy your life in the present, enjoying the little things they will improve your world view Housing will rise and fall, sometimes these will happen outside of your life time, there is nothing you can do about it. Its better than being sent to war through conscription because you were born at the wrong time.
  18. I'm sure someone has already said this, but the CEO who resigned was called Peter Crook - you couldn't make it so obvious, even in a novel.
  19. I'm sure IVF facilities will continue to boom as sperm counts and fertility continue to collapse....
  20. Its not criminal if the government does it. That's been true throughout history but notable examples of late: Wars Pension ponzi Housing props privacy erosion
  21. The masses either don't understand private equity or the regulators stop them from learning about it has its too risky. They fail to inform them that its the only way out of debt slavery (if you can afford to invest in the first place that is). PE investments are always measured in double triple digit returns...because on average 1 in 20 investments succeed so its a numbers game and you hope that your 1 in 20 is Amazon or Google or Markit or Walmart etc
  22. So its 10 years into the 18 year deflation expected in the post. The central banks pulled out all the stops to keep the debt cycle doing, If this bubble comes to an end quickly we would have an extinction level event for capitalism, governments will fall and riots and shortages would begin. I wholeheartedly agree that their are magic money tokens, but our established currencies are just one of them too. People covet money because others believe in it and so it is transferable. Once people stop believing in its value, it quickly becomes worthless. cryptocurrencies are an attempt to find other magic money tokens, it doesnt matter which one succeeds but one is all it would take for people to begin. Everyone is trying to find what the next token will be as the writing is on the wall for the USD/EUR/GBP and G10 currencies. Gold and Silver are always an interesting fall back over centuries but who knows in this technological world. Without credit (i.e debt) the system would collapse, the capitalist monetary system is built on debt that is never paid back i.e government debt. Ever wondered why every country is in perpetual debt and never pays anything back, its because that's how the system works. The only countries that didn't have to conform to this are the oil rich gulf states, but they too have had to issue debt recently as their ballooning budgets were built off the back of $100/barrel oil prices which don't exist anymore. Th House prices look like they will rise slower than inflation to provide the unthinking masses a higher nominal number but a lower value. But the key thing to realise is every asset is relative to another, value is truly only built on what you need with the "currency" you have. If you're salary had been in "houses" rather than GBP for the last 20 years you would have a lot more GBP. A roof over your head had been taken for granted post world war 2 but that may change as large scale changes come about. I've been truly amazed how the lower middle class and poor have just bent over and taken it. Even corbyn promising bigger bribes than ever couldnt get a majority vote.
  23. Throughout history anyone who threatens the status quo is always a terrorist. For one it distracts the people - how many people due from terrorism vs car accidents. How much do we spend on preventing both? Which one helps people more? Guy fawkes tried to bring down parliament. Terrorist. The reasons become irrelevant to a media controlled by the elite.
  24. I'm not disagreeing that the young are being screwed, just suggesting that someone must be buying fast fashion, and it sure isn't the over 55's so how can you explain it? Is it just the rich 5% of 20 years olds buying everything? I'm not saying they should save and they would be better off because that's clearly ********, they will not have what their parents had. But if I faced an uncertain future I definitely wouldn't be enabling these companies and thinking about what assets I could feasibly buy - less than 12% of the population invest in shares as an example. A lot of immigrants come to this country with less and do more, accepting lower standards for the promise of a better future later on. BTW you can double your income if you move to Mongolia and manage a coal mine, but few do. Instead eastern Europeans come here to work in Pret and live 4 to a room to save cash to take back home, not really understanding that inflation in their home country in Euros will erode any wage difference in a few years. John Lewis is doing badly, increased profits have to spent on competing with Amazon rather than shared with partners as despite rose tinted glasses they will not be able to compete on price ever again - they are cutting hundreds of jobs and going online. Companies that know they will do well next year release dividends when there are profits. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/09/john-lewis-staff-bonus-6-profits Pubs have struggled for 40 years as people want more that a shoddy place to drink. BTL has bought them all to turn to flats and our tastes have changed. 20 year old in the 70s ate bangers and mash or a burger and drank cheap cider and lager when they went out not gastro pub lunches with wine. A lot of them lived at home with their parents well into their 20s. girls did secretarial jobs and waited to get married living at home. The problem is, the children of the 70s made lots of mistakes and they're still relatively ok. If you're 20 now and didn't have a good education or pissed away any chances you got, you are screwed. Times are certainly different now. I know plenty of wealthy 20- something year olds who bought a flat and have disposable income but I am assuming they are the lucky educated minority who moved to large cities and got the top 1% of jobs. Education for the general masses is very poor and mathematical understanding is low so most 20 year olds will be exploited. Not saying the kids in the 70s were better, just that you're now competing on a global scale so times have changed. Caused by globalisation but ironically the young hate brexit....they literally believe the media rather than looking at their very own life experiences. How many look to understand nominal vs inflation adjusted income growth? If I were them I would stay in my parent's basement and whatsapp and never work as a silent protest. The phone item was just because you mentioned it - doesn't change anyone's world just highlighting the lazy nature of spending the limited income they already have. Insurance is normally on top of the price (much like in car leasing) and its generally always cheaper at a 3rd party rather than the phone company. Buying the latest greatest phone never has a discount, buying the slightly older one has a huge discount, but you don't look cool so people spring for what they can't afford. Style over substance has been what the 90s and 00s were all about - Blair's cool Britannia was very much spend now think later. I remember hearing 16 year olds discussing getting a credit card in 2004 when I walked down the street. He spent on education, he spent on welfare, he lowered poverty and improved your ability to create new and innovative products - wonder why everyone isn't happy? Its because most people just want a job, a house, a family and a quiet life with a bit of cash - they don't want to be educated to be more productive or to learn so they can create. That was always going to be a minority of people, but political correctness has driven us to pretend that somehow we are all equal when every where you look you are reminded that you are not. The people in the 70s knew this the kids of today don't get it. They are economic slaves to a land owning super class but they've been told that the world is their oyster. This major reality shock is going to be a huge problem for mental health and self esteem issues in the next two decades. Did you know the number one cause of death in the US for people aged 20-45 is suicide? - it has been for some time.
  25. Agree that the over 55 earnnigs are unearned don't worry about that. But just to be clear... you think the over 55's are the main spenders on boho.com/ asos.com / sportsdirect.com / primark - even amazon.com- name any random fast fashion house that is less than 10 years old with fastest growing revenues Why are M&S and John Lewis struggling with growth then? Surely the over 55's would not need internet sites and would trust these venerable brands. Suffice to say when you are over 55 you actually spend less on consumable goods because there is only so many suits and dresses you can buy, sofas lamps, desks, art - etc. After a few decades with kids you also know that you can stay home and eat a meal (alhough I grant you that they are able to go out more with disposable income). Its always been the case that people in their 20s spend more of their disposable income as they don't really understand what they should save for and their expenses are lower. You might be a saver but the majority are not. Also - just a btw - three mobile and giff gaff do all you can eat data and voice for about half the cost you're paying. I'd also re-iterate from a previous post that renting a depreciating asset (phone) in a low interest rate environment is just not something anyone over 40 with an idea of mathematics would ever do. Its much cheaper to buy a phone outright (or on ebay at a discount) and a sim card. Or borrow money to buy a phone on ebay and get a separate monthly contract. Its as if people no longer think the laws of maths apply if enough advertising is thrown at them. Same applies to car leasing deals.
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