Search found 165 matches

by ianf
Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Canada censors Dire Straits
Replies: 121
Views: 10588

Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

If you manage to blot out a word, what victory have you won against prejudice? My major point is that, for example, if you force a homophobe to stop using the word "faggot," he's still a homophobe, just one with a slightly more limited vocabulary. If you get people to understand why homop...
by ianf
Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:47 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The US Abolishes its Military: What would happen?
Replies: 80
Views: 12898

Re: The US Abolishes its Military: What would happen?

I think that it's not so much about "who would invade" (as asked in the OP) but about the internals as well. You'll suddenly have a large number of unemployed, well-trained ex-military type people (quite possibly armed). This is the situation which has caused uprisings and civil wars in ma...
by ianf
Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:34 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The exclusionary rule
Replies: 34
Views: 6319

Re: The exclusionary rule

Suppose that instead of searching illegally, the police had been given permission to search your garden and had found this planted evidence. This isn't a hypothetical. This is an impossible. The only way he would have legally been able to search is by having justifiable grounds, such as reasonable ...
by ianf
Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:53 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The exclusionary rule
Replies: 34
Views: 6319

Re: The exclusionary rule

But let me provide a hypothetical based on a true story: The people who lived next to me had a drug lab. They got busted. A police officer, with no reasonable suspicion and without my consent, entered my backyard to 'look around'. I confronted him and asked him to leave or show a warrant, he scream...
by ianf
Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:12 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Boycott of a public act because of the organizers
Replies: 12
Views: 1801

Re: Boycott of a public act because of the organizers

It's also just a good idea to focus your message so you seem clear and consistant and united rather than confused and disparate. Then again it's your protest so you can make it ineffective if you want. But sometimes it's worth trading that focus for a larger demonstration. A series of small protest...
by ianf
Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:15 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Wave of burka and niqab bans in Spain
Replies: 62
Views: 6984

Re: Wave of burka and niqab bans in Spain

They'd stay in Saudi Arabia or Syria or Pakistan or where ever they are? I'm referring obviously only to people choosing to emmigrate to other places from their homes, if one country doesn't have laws they like, they shouldn't move to that country. I'm not moving to China, North Korea or Australia ...
by ianf
Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:16 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Longest tennis match ever ends at 70-68 in 5th set
Replies: 29
Views: 3399

Re: Longest tennis match ever now tied at 59-59 in 5th set

Since the two players were clearly pretty evenly matched, let's assume each had a 50% chance of winning each game (this is probably a pretty reasonable assumption). … Instead, it seems clear that something in the psychology of these two players made them both more likely to win when they were down ...
by ianf
Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:16 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011
Replies: 86
Views: 7481

Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

VAT is not regressive, because the 'basics' that poorer families would spend most of their money on are exempt. If anything, VAT is a luxury tax. Exempt: Food, water, sewerage, books, children's clothes, insurance Rate reduced to 5%: Electricity, gas It's easy to pick things like this, but plenty o...
by ianf
Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Longest tennis match ever ends at 70-68 in 5th set
Replies: 29
Views: 3399

Re: Longest tennis match ever now tied at 59-59 in 5th set

Seriously, though, there needs to be a better way than the never-ending set. One obvious possibility is to get rid of the second serve. That would mean the server loses some of their advantage. It doesn't prevent this, but makes it less likely. Another possibility would be to stop play when the sco...
by ianf
Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:36 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011
Replies: 86
Views: 7481

Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Why would you assume that? I think Vaniver's point is that when you raise taxes on the rich too high, they'll decide to work less, which would be bad for economic growth. There are other issues too, I think, like finding more creative ways to pay less tax. The obvious way is just to do more "c...
by ianf
Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:18 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011
Replies: 86
Views: 7481

Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Eew, VAT. Why not use sales taxes, if you want to target consumption? VAT is a sales tax - just called something different. A VAT rate of 20% seems to be pretty average in Europe. True, but that's meaningless without also comparing income and other taxes too. Also, what you get for your taxes. Whet...
by ianf
Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:50 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.
Replies: 142
Views: 14165

Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

I had a roommate many years ago who was a refugee to Canada from Iran. This would have been the late '80s, so she and her brother watched the fall of the Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini. Before the revolution, she told me that women wore jeans and makeup and went to school. No covering of t...
by ianf
Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:11 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Racism and Over-Tolerance
Replies: 120
Views: 15764

Re: Racism and Over-Tolerance

Ok. Then explain the average height in Holland being significantly different then the human population, given the high heritability of height which implies it's strong genetic linking. I don't really have an understanding of the generics side of things, but from a statistical point of view it is qu...
by ianf
Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:24 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Hooked on gadgets, and paying a mental price
Replies: 62
Views: 6822

Re: Hooked on gadgets, and paying a mental price

I carry a notepad at work to help to remember details - to take notes, if you will. It helps me be more reliable at work, certainly a good thing. But now I don't remember things that I put into the notepad. Why should I, I can just look them up. But once I develop a dependency on the notepad, my ba...
by ianf
Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:25 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Should Cops Have Guns?
Replies: 91
Views: 9419

Re: Should Cops Have Guns?

Your criminals don't arm themselves to begin with? I dunno about you across the pond, but our criminals are almost never using legal firearms as they require licensing and registration that makes them easily traceable by the cops, at least in most states. They're getting them illegally, and will co...
by ianf
Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:57 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Hooked on gadgets, and paying a mental price
Replies: 62
Views: 6822

Re: Hooked on gadgets, and paying a mental price

I think that unorganised, easily distracted people (and I include myself in that group) will be unorganised and easily distracted regardless of the technology available at the time. I think the Internet is replacing things rather than creating new ones. I used to read the paper over lunch, now I rea...
by ianf
Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:43 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Radiohead and the collapse of the music label industry
Replies: 104
Views: 9106

Re: Radiohead and the collapse of the music label industry

There might well be a lot of bands who would ideally like to have a violinist, but in practice they do without. it limits them in that way, but they gain flexibility in picking band members on personality, attitude, style, etc. They might add a violin from time to time when they hit it big and can ...
by ianf
Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:44 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Radiohead and the collapse of the music label industry
Replies: 104
Views: 9106

Re: Radiohead and the collapse of the music label industry

I was carefully stopping myself replying, trying to ignore the snobbishness in this discussion. Then I saw this ... and was like ... what?!? Key (major/minor/non-American scales like in Indian music) Non-American scales? Meaning major/minor ARE American scales? As used by great American composers li...
by ianf
Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:23 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Are there too many undergraduates?
Replies: 75
Views: 9308

Re: Are there too many undergraduates?

An interesting idea put forward by a friend of mine is "graduate taxation" whereby your higher education is free, but you're subject to a low rate tax for the rest of your working life, to pay for it. I would fear that this would act as a disincentive to people to attend university - an o...
by ianf
Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:45 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Cops in Ohio Can Write Speeding Tickets Without Evidence
Replies: 69
Views: 6610

Re: Cops in Ohio Can Write Speeding Tickets Without Evidence

Did speeding tickets exist before radar guns? Okay, I am talking about the UK and a lot of this might be "pub law" and not real law. Anyway, the general belief in the UK (at least in the circles I mixed in) before speed guns were common was that in order for the police to give you a speed...
by ianf
Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:42 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: At Least Five Killed After Gunman Goes On Rampage
Replies: 8
Views: 1444

Re: At Least Five Killed After Gunman Goes On Rampage

Ok, fair point, but still if you ask anyone to name a place they associate with gun crime, they'll think of a city like Nottingham or London, not Wordsworths country. Ok, fair point. However, the gun crime in places like London or Nottingham is different. For example, most gun crime in London will ...
by ianf
Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:02 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: At Least Five Killed After Gunman Goes On Rampage
Replies: 8
Views: 1444

Re: At Least Five Killed After Gunman Goes On Rampage

the_bandersnatch wrote:Crazy stuff, you don't expect things like this to happen in small, quiet towns like those. By all current accounts it seems as if he just snapped and went off shooting random people.


Both the other two things like this I remember happened in small, quiet towns - Hungerford and Dunblane.
by ianf
Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:49 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: We Are All Bad People
Replies: 65
Views: 15080

Re: We Are All Bad People

I would also note that sweatshops lead to better working conditions because it makes the countries economy dependant on labor, which creates an opportunity for unions to form. If the oppressed are integral to a country functioning they have more power then if they are a bunch of farmers who are wor...
by ianf
Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:43 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Acupuncture pain molecule found
Replies: 29
Views: 3475

Re: Acupuncture pain molecule found

Agreed on the "professor of complementary medicine" thing. Complementary medicine, by definition, either hasn't been proven to work or has been proven not to work. Because if it is ever proven to work, it will stop being complementary medicine, and become medicine. I think that it's quite...
by ianf
Fri May 28, 2010 1:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legalising drugs?
Replies: 228
Views: 36599

Re: Legalising drugs?

I don't entirely agree with this point. Yes, the Taliban are only middlemen in the trade of papaver, but they depend on the output of the farmers to make money out of it. If legal opiate traders offer the farmers better prices, that should help to compete against the Taliban, which will at least re...
by ianf
Fri May 28, 2010 12:04 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legalising drugs?
Replies: 228
Views: 36599

Re: Legalising drugs?

This looks interesting, but if you are serious about changing the law then the people you need to convince are the people who don't take drugs and don't wish to. The other set of people you need to convince are the people who do take drugs and don't care that it is illegal. So, basically, you need t...
by ianf
Wed May 26, 2010 12:10 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?
Replies: 183
Views: 25800

Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Like was said earlier, I can see the attraction more with other forms of gambling. Essentially, your losses are the payment for the enjoyment of that activity. I don't know enough about gambling to give accurate numbers, but I assume that if you play roulette then on average you would lose a percent...
by ianf
Wed May 26, 2010 11:48 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 14 years in jail for being gay
Replies: 50
Views: 5902

Re: 14 years in jail for being gay

I know I am preaching to the choir here (heh), but why is not the Vatican releasing a statement along the lines of "Hey dudes, this is way not cool with us" (well, this exact wording would get bonus points from me, but as long as the message was this one they could even use Latin and I'd ...
by ianf
Mon May 24, 2010 6:27 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 14 years in jail for being gay
Replies: 50
Views: 5902

Re: 14 years in jail for being gay

ianf, you are assuming that being gay was fine before the British arrived. And I very much doubt that was the case. But we don't really know one way or the other, do we? We can, however, see stories in (for example) Santeria where homosexuality is not presented as a bad thing. We also know that pos...
by ianf
Mon May 24, 2010 11:54 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?
Replies: 287
Views: 36499

Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

It's fairly evident however, that relatively few white men are interested in black women, and the same goes for white women and Asian men. I'm not sure that's true. I think that you need to look at opportunities for people to meet each other. Take the example of black and white relationships in the...
by ianf
Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Rape accused to be given anonymity in UK
Replies: 221
Views: 24275

Re: Rape accused to be given anonymity in UK

The most important law of all: presuntion of innocence. This is the UK. We lost that one a long time ago. Nowadays, whether you get presumption of innocence or not depends on the crime you're accused of. Also, CRB checks which are necessary for many jobs report back arrests and not just convictions...
by ianf
Mon May 24, 2010 11:28 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 14 years in jail for being gay
Replies: 50
Views: 5902

Re: 14 years in jail for being gay

Yeah, hating homosexuals is not something you can really blame on colonialism. But colonialism needs to take some of the blame. They are the people who introduced Christianity (to a large part of Africa, anyway - not Ethiopia) and they are the people who introduced their laws. At the time Malawi ga...
by ianf
Sat May 22, 2010 12:47 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Rape accused to be given anonymity in UK
Replies: 221
Views: 24275

Re: Rape accused to be given anonymity in UK

Does the UK provide anonymity for people accused of other serious crimes like murder or terrorism? I can see why there is a potential justification for this law (innocent until proven guilty and all that), but to single out rape alone seems odd. I think that part of the issue here is that the accus...
by ianf
Fri May 21, 2010 12:13 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Draw Mohammad Day
Replies: 414
Views: 46904

Re: Draw Mohammad Day

These analogies between the draw Mohammed day and and Gay Pride march are interesting, but I've been thinking of it from a different side. Suppose that the analogy we use for "drawing Mohammed" is "playing Buju Banton records". It shares some of the same characteristics - claims ...
by ianf
Wed May 19, 2010 12:25 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Women Lie More Than Men
Replies: 141
Views: 15328

Re: Women Lie More Than Men

Didn't Chris Rock cover all this? Something along the line of ...

Women lie all the time ... you're wearing high heels - you ain't that tall ... you've got a weave - your hair ain't that long ... you're wearing makeup - you don't look like that.
by ianf
Thu May 13, 2010 3:56 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: When did lying become kidding?
Replies: 39
Views: 10188

Re: When did lying become kidding?

Ironically, society sort of saves itself regarding Santa Claus because although it is against basic principles people almost universally convince themselves it's really okay anyway. Kids grow up being taught this -- there isn't a risk about having the wrong message on honestly because they know San...
by ianf
Thu May 13, 2010 3:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: UK Election Results
Replies: 58
Views: 7291

Re: UK Election Results

My answer: yes, but that is not what is proposed. What is proposed is that the majority government passes a law such that if the government losses its majority it can still remain in power. Actually, it's moving the odds in their favour, but it's still not definite. For starters, it's not a block v...
by ianf
Wed May 12, 2010 12:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?
Replies: 287
Views: 36499

Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

I won't contest that white-male white-female are by far the majority, but that doesn't change how white-male Asian-female pairings far outnumber Asian male white-female pairings. What's even stranger is that I think they outnumber Asian-male Asian-female pairings, which should be a pretty clear ind...
by ianf
Wed May 05, 2010 12:21 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Do celebrities hold too much power?
Replies: 15
Views: 3619

Re: Do celebrities hold too much power?

they aspire to be Paris Hilton or David Beckham. Perhaps they always did, but it doesn't seem that way to me. Simply it's become more about what you can get than what you can give. (There's no doubt that David Beckham is talented, by the way). Boys have always aspired to be footballers - when I was...
by ianf
Wed May 05, 2010 12:02 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: British Election, take two
Replies: 68
Views: 8134

Re: British Election, take two

But surely the point of tactical voting is that you don't care who wins, but you do care who loses. There are those on the left who would be happy with the lib dems or Labour in power, but want to do their best to get rid of the conservatives. In those cases tactical voting does make a certain amou...

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