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Society of fools

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  1. It isn't. I'm not a woman, but apparently many of them find it creepy that a large corporation's computer is accurately tracking the dates of their ovulation, more so than they do, say, about the same corporation tracking their purchases of dishwashing tablets...….
  2. I find it almost inconceivable that she made no provisions to prepare the country for a no-deal Brexit. Preparations for this should have started in August 2016 and been continuously updated. Why ? Because when you enter a negotiation situation or any situation really, you should proceed with an action by judging how things are actually likely to pan out, not how you would simply like them to pan out, in the best of all possible worlds. The latter thinking is the kind of thought process that assumed the Iraqis would be greeting American and Brit soldiers with flowers and hummus when they invaded in 2003. The EU Commission was never going to fight fair in this situation, it was never going to be reasonable. It was always going to try and make the UK suffer, conspicuously and visibly suffer, as a result of Brexit. May should have seen that miles in advance and prepared the country accordingly. But maybe she simply thought that the country had lost its balls, and didn't have the courage for a no-deal Brexit, therefore that path could not be followed. That would explain a lot of her subsequent actions if so.
  3. Oh I'm sure its true, but the human input into compiling this sort of database would be minimal. The computers are just loaded with thousands of product numbers and those are correlated with hundreds of purchasers' numbers (loyalty card holders) and analysed thoroughly. The computer doesn't care whether you are buying wine, chocolate, detergent, dishwasher tablets, deodorant, or tampons. Its all just data to be crunched and then another algorithim spits out an order "We have a new product in this particular range, the timing of previous purchases from this guy/girl would suggest they are about to go shopping for this product, therefore, send the customer an offer/reminder that this product is available." And you're off to the races...……..
  4. This is true. I read an article in The Economist not too long ago about how Tesco was tracking purchasers of feminine hygiene products to the point where they knew the menstrual cycle timings of thousands of their female customers. One of them kicked off when she got an alert one week before her period was due, asking if she wanted to try this great new sanitary product....😮
  5. I actually remember this being an issue in Australia even 25 years ago. Had a high-performing colleague whom the company wanted to transfer from Perth to Sydney. ( This was before the Mining bump bubbled up Perth HPI) He had a look at the cost of housing in Sydney as compared to Perth, especially considering quality ( he lived right on the banks of the Swan river in Perth, a beautiful place), and said he wouldn't move unless he got a 33% bump up in salary. The company left him in Perth.....
  6. The House price news coming out of Australia is almost uniformly good, really delightful stuff. All of this teeth-gnashing angst we are constantly having about the Halifax and Nationwide monthly reports, eventually, the reality simply blows through those numbers, as it has done down-under. And then you get figures like the ones just out- Sydney house prices down 1.3% in a month. And then you can smile ever more broadly every month. To be sure, there is some talk in Australian power circles about the RBA needing to cut interest rates to arrest the house price slide, but the pushback from the public, at least as judged by comments sections in Newspapers when such an idea is circulated, is about 5 to 1 against the idea. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-01/corelogic-property-price-falls-january/10769704?section=business
  7. I find the more disturbing aspect of Facebook is that it seems to do data mining from people who aren't even on the site. I have never been on Facebook for example, but my wife is an avid user. About 18 months ago I was organizing a (solo) trip to Bali. Within 3 days, my wife was getting Facebook adverts about "good hotels in Bali", even though she has never been to Bali and has never searched for hotels there on Facebook or elsewhere. And she and I use different laptops by the way. CREEPY...….
  8. That's what I just pointed out in the Australian thread. Prices there are falling both nationally and on a big city basis. There is simply no other way left for the Australian media to spin it but to tell the truth " House prices are falling". The reassuring thing is that when you read articles with such headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald the comments sections about between 70% and 90% cheering on the house price falls...…...
  9. The best part of the clarity of the Australian house price fall statistics is that they are just about impossible to spin as a good news story, especially when it is the two major cities- with half of the national population-where the price falls are occurring. Some news websites have pointed out that Hobart, population about 250,000, is still booming in terms of annual house price rises, but that would just elicit a justified national shrug.
  10. The good news keeps on coming from Australia. Why can't we get this kind of cheery stuff from the UK ? Still sitting on the knife-edge.....teetering.... https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-02/australian-housing-prices-fall-4.8pc-weakest-since-gfc/10678444?section=business
  11. Although countries as a whole can sometimes have completely skewed statistics, I do wonder if individual US states have reached this kind of Nirvana ? About 5 years ago I spent much of the year doing business in Houston, Texas. I couldn't believe some of the housing I saw. Four bedroom places in very nice suburbs, with a price tag of between $250,000 USD and $300,000 USD. And jobs in Houston were very easy to come by, even if you weren't college educated, because you could work as a driller/tool pusher in the Oil/Gas industry. I told the locals then that they seemed to have hit some kind of sweet spot and should be proud of it, but they said that while jobs were indeed plentiful and real estate was cheap, getting good healthcare for the right price was still a challenge, and so was getting the kids in a good school.
  12. Just spent two weeks in Germany and have been watching the TV avidly, but have not seen anything of that nature at all. They do seem to have a lot of "lifestyle" programs where people discuss off the wall topics such as whether it is normal for a young man to go out and date, shag and even marry a much older woman but I guess that sort of focus has been brought on by the fact that some of their European neighbours have leaders like Macron and Alex Salmond that have done just that...….
  13. It just makes you wonder how the global- or western economies at least- would be doing if all that cash was being poured into productive enterprise and startups rather than ludicrously overpriced bricks and mortar. Taken cumulatively, over the last twenty years, you'd have to say that the alternative universe would look very different.
  14. Chapeau to your post Zugzwang. It is pithy and utterly accurate posts like these that allow me to keep faith with my fellow Brits, and have confidence for the future.
  15. Spot on. It also made Sydney/Melbourne dinner parties and poolside BBQs utterly unbearable for most of the last 10 years. But I have to stress, it is very much a Sydney/Melbourne phenomenon. There are vast swathes of Australia, and even large cities, such as Brisbane and Perth, where there has been no such insane property price appreciation. I hope that the Canberra politicians and the RBA and financial regulators are smart enough to see this situation as what it is, a development that occurred through short sighted, lazy policy making, and therefore let this bubble burst, as painful as that will be for the denizens of Australia's two largest cities. That is my hope, but it is disappointing to see just how many articles there are in the Sydney and Melbourne based financial press talking of the UK/Canadian approach to a potential housing bust ( the Carney approach) as something to be followed, and even admired.
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