Sunday, July 29, 2012

Assumptions of ignorance

Just because a (yet another) Guardian journalist is staggeringly yet, unsurprisingly, ignorant, doesn't mean the sensible bits* of the public are:

You are unlikely to have heard mention of it for a simple and disreputable reason: the victims are working-class men rather than celebrities.

Anybody involved with data protection, human resources law or investigations, plus anybody who has read the relevant news stories (Guardian 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Independent 1, 2, 3; Telegraph 1, 2, 3; even that solid friend of the unions - the Daily Mail 1 & 2), in the last three years knew about it. Hell, it even has its own Wikipedia page!

* On the other hand, I am pleased to be ignorant about x-factor, TV soaps, darts, football, the Top 40 etc.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things that are currently pissing me off - 8

Saw this in the airport on Monday:
I thought. Hmm. Bored? Check. Forgot my book? Check. Think I can make reading the freebie copy of the Scotsman last longer than the taxying (especially after I've binned everything that mentions Rangers!)? Err, no. Okay, looks interesting. Funny name for a Brit though:
So. He's not a Brit. Why then, Mr Publisher, is he in Brit C95 Desert Camo, wearing Brit Osprey body armour and carrying a Brit SA80 rifle (note - not a sniper rifle. No, Sir!)?

Olympic Level Fuckwittery

Offence 1:

A non-text link to the LOCOG site. Even a relevant one. But hardly claiming their (or the Royal Mint's) endorsement of this blog.

Edited to add: In clear, explicit and deliberate contravention of LOCOG's Ts&Cs for the use of their website:
Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format.

Offence 2:

Gold Sponsor
An offence currently being committed by pretty much every conference on the planet.


Offence 3:

I predict that it will rain "Citius Altius Fortius" on all of the medals ceremonies in the London 2012 Summer Games. And I hope it rains gold, silver or bronze pure-oleum piss on all of the sponsors, IOC officials and especially the idiots who permitted the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 to be passed in to law.

But good luck to the athletes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Long odds?

People generally live, in the Western world, for somewhere between 70 and 80 years. It's getting longer, but that's not significant as far as what I have to say goes.

80 years is on or around 29,220 days. Within a couple, depending on how you sort leap years and centuries.

So, making some flying assumptions including a grotesque one of flatness, any odds worse than 1 in 30,000 are worse than your chance of dropping dead tomorrow.

So when some idiot says that something you enjoy "has a 1 in 200,000 chance of giving you cancer", for example, you know which finger to give them. Especially as cancer survival rates are improving. Remember, your chance of dying is 1 in 1 ...

Update: Swine flu, which was greeted with massive panic and, in the end, resulted in a resounding "Meh!" actually had, in the UK, a death rate of about 1 in 3850.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Wrong, wrong, just wrong

Don't the MSM have any quality checking?

Dr Skelton used the descriptions of 12 women given to a radio station to create the composite and said most had drawn "comparisons with famous film stars".

Haven't read the book. Don't intend to. But he's a bloke.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Things that are currently pissing me off - 7

People who misuse "decimated". This report describes 6000 down to 8 as "decimated".

No, you fool. 6000 down to 5400 is decimated. 6000 down to 8 is "almost wiped out" or "only a handful remained".

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

More Julianophilia

The allegations against Assange, in contrast, are not nearly so serious, but a case of "he said, she said".

Isn't that true of most rape?

And another thing:

The treatment that the Swedish legal system has inflicted, and would be likely to inflict on Assange would mark him out as guilty and prevent him from preparing a proper defence and, for that reason, having a fair trial.

He's, hopefully, going to be tried in Sweden. This, the article claims, is standard practice in the Swedish legal system. Horror of horrors, no special treatment for St Julian!

So how would it mark him out as guilty? He's allowed to meet with his legal team. How would this preventing him from preparing a proper defence? Anyway, apart from pimping himself on the world stage, what has he been doing for the last 8 or so months?

Note to MSM - avoid hyperbole in factual articles

Leave it for the editorials ...

See here:

The last Indian scientific discovery that is fairly universally acknowledged is the zero.

If this is true, which I doubt, then it is down to the scientific ignorance of the public, not anti-Indian racism. The bit of Indian science I regularly use is Chandrasekhar's work - best known for his calculations of the maximum size of a white dwarf. Hence neutron stars, stellar mass black holes and Type 1a supernovae. He won a Nobel prize, as had his uncle.

Is it too much to expect some basic research from these people?

But, then, perhaps that is the level of complete scientific and cultural ignorance we might rationally expect from a "professor of contemporary literature at the University of East Anglia".

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Politically correct bollocks


While I appreciate it is essential to ensure that commercial landlords and professional letting agents don't discriminate illegally, I'm not sure that insisting that flat-shares, "empty nester" room-lets and room shares should be* subject to the same rigorous scrutiny.

I have no problem with Hindi young ladies wanting to share with other young Hindi ladies - or even other vegetarian ladies, rather than some scruffy kebab-stuffing ned. Equally, kebab-stuffing neds might not want some neat and respectable young lady around continuously nagging them to wash the ? (Ed notes: S-E was trying to find something that neds might use for food - but it is all eaten by hand from the cardboard or styrofoam and drunk direct from bottle or can. No washing up ...)  Okay, tidy up their mess, wash themselves, put on clean clothes. Etc. If they wanted that, they'd not have run away from their mums!

Or the orthodox of any religion wishing to share with fellow travellers who would both understand and respect the restrictions of their faith. The law is, if it applies as being suggested, an ass.

"David Goodhart, director of think tank Demos" obviously mixes with some frighteningly unpleasant people if he really thinks that

There's a danger these adverts could create anger and division

Or, as you might expect from Demos, he is merely the asses' arse.

* This was amended on 4 Jul - it originally said "are". Which completely fails to express the point I was trying to make - the private sharing probably 'is' as regulated as the commercial proposition, whereas it almost certainly shouldn't be.
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