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About weirofhermiston

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    HPC Newbie
  1. After the war, when borders were being redrawn across Europe, surveyors went out with maps to redraw the border between Poland and Russia. One such surveyor found his map put the border right through a remote house. Being a decent sort, he knocked on the door and offered the occupant the choice of being in Poland or Russia. The occupant thought for a moment and settled on Poland. The surveyor amended his maps accordingly and moved on. Some distance further on, curiosity got the better of the surveyor and he went back to ask the householder why he had chosen Poland over Russia. Without hesitation the householder told him, "At my age I don't think I could handle those Russian winters". Eighty percent my ****.
  2. You need to walk the dog in the evening, towpaths have traditionally attracted a very different crowd at that time.
  3. It's Freemen on the Land ******. Magical thinking applied to the law. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Freemen_on_the_land Of particular interest is the comprehensive section on FMOTL successes.
  4. The housing market has little to do with bricks and mortar, housing people, energy efficiency or resilience in the face of floods. It has to do with finding a home (ha!) for the limitless credit that banks churn out. Banks don't lend on non-standard construction for the most part and while there's profit to be made from inflating the value of the existing stock they're unlikely to take on more risk. Innovation stifled; capitalism used to be the lubricant for innovation but alas no more.
  5. If you found someone teaching that, how would you know they are right? Economics, for all it would like to be, is not physics or chemistry making a detailed examination of some relatively fixed substrate which offers itself up for experimental manipulation and turns out to be mathematically predictable. Economics is a set of tools to give us some insight into a complex, chaotic and highly unpredictable aspect of human behaviour. What will be taught at university level are ways of using those tools, their scope and limitations. If you do well you will come out able to be critical of data and theoretical accounts based on it. You won't be any nearer the "truth" because to all intents and purposes there isn't one. You wil end up better equipped to understand that your goal will be forever elusive. Anyone at university or any other level claiming to have a whole and objective view is deluded or lying. Many economics students are unhappy about what is being taught on their courses. This is not just students being stroppy, they are realising that the orthodoxies that are being taught are becoming less and less relevant in a post-crash world. Those same orthodoxies looked like pretty good models (pretty good is about as good as it gets, and those nodels are now shot to pieces) fifteen years ago. Heres a google search to a number of articles disscussing it. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=university+economics+student+protest&gws_rd=cr,ssl&ei=Bl8CVrHOGYm6aZ-vmEA Lewis Carrol (a mathematician) may well have been right when he concluded that the Snark was a Boojum. If you're looking for certainty, steer well clear of economics.
  6. It was certainly said with no hint of irony from the sattelite broadcaster who were given the nod from government to form a monopoly when they absorbed BSB in 1990.
  7. Could it be this? http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-50629097.html After the kicking they got in that thread they may have pulled it and relisted at a lower price, although it does look a bit lived in which the thread suggested it hadn't been. It's in the right county, though, which is quite an achievement with my searching skills.
  8. That Citywire article is an information free zone. The Chancellor may indeed do something to SDLT. He may also scrap income tax and abolish capital gains tax, he's the chancellor. The only "evidence" they present that goes beyond idle speculation is that Ray Boulger would like it to happen. Government have various schemes in place to inflate the housing market, all these schemes benefit the banks or the builders with direct inputs of taxpayer money or buying risk off them at well below market price. SDLT changes will not benefit their friends as directly as their other schemes and they've shown themselves unafraid of criticism on that front. The housing market is heading back into bubble territory without changes to SDLT, and government revenues are improving as a result. My idle speculation is that there'll be no change. Can I have a job making up news stories for Citywire? It might be amusing to take a look at the paper edition and see who has bought advertising on the page that contains this non-story and the ones near it.
  9. Perhaps not, but the other 319 questions the research asked the participants may well do.
  10. The paper does not show that people's evaluation of risk declines as they get older, it shows that older people today have a poorer capacity to assess risk than younger people. Those older people may not have become worse at such judgements with advancing age, they may simply never have been any good at it. The abstract for the paper doesn't mention controlling for this and it is hard to think of a way that it might. The older cohort in the trials were aged between sixty and ninety. These are people who grew up in a world where gambling was frowned upon and where financial institutions took their own risks instead of disguising them and pushing them onto their customers. They grew up in a world where you took out one mortgage and paid it off, took out one pension and it paid up, took out insurance confident that claims would be met with compensation rather than an army of lawyers. I'm all for doing research in psychology it can be very revealing and interesting but it can also miss context in it's attempts to narrow down the parameters it measures. The people in this experiment are not rats or pigeons. I may be mistaken in this view, I can't see the full paper anywhere for free and a man of my age isn't going to gamble money on getting the full paper and being proved wrong. Is anyone else amused that the paper appears in a journal called PNAS? Just me then, OK.
  11. Just took a Rightmove trip down memory lane in the area I used to live as a student many years ago in Birmingham. Much of the street and adjacent streets seem to be up for sale. The new term starts in three weeks. The agents blurbs are talking about 8%+ returns, people don't sell good investments do they? Most seem to have come on in April/May, perhaps they're all part of a portfolio. The area in question is not a marginal one, ten minutes walk from campus.
  12. Let me offer some corroboration for this one. Many years ago I was getting my hair cut at a trendy unisex hairdresser in Ealing. The woman in the next chair was telling the hairdresser that she had worked with Nielsen and that he did indeed bring curries into the office. She went on to say that their concern was not that they might contain the sort of meat one wouldn't want to eat but that they may have involved the use of the same pots and utensils as were used to render down his victims. They never fully identified all the bones and bits that they got out of the drains; it amazes me how hw ever got Shergar up those stairs.
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