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About BurntBread

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  1. BurntBread

    Dodgy Christmas Fetes thread - 2018

    I don't remember having slammed anything in the past, other than a door. Despite that, nowadays I hear of people slamming festivals and newspaper articles, and even presidents. How is it done? As a six-year-old, I was disappointed at how undramatic the effect was; a fact I now put down to the room being too small and the windows closed. Do I need to choose an open-air festival for it to close with a loud bang?
  2. BurntBread

    Qanon: high level intel, AI or LARP?!

    Quavers Quality Street Q-tips Quiche Quail eggs Quinoa
  3. BurntBread

    Life as a cat

    Apologies for the obvious answer, but it's a very, very stratified society. Hence, the glittering prizes on display for anyone who can climb socially are beyond belief, and the hell that you can sink to if you lose your footing on the ladder is shoved in your face every single day. I've only worked there for three weeks or so, and the colleagues at my level were lovely to me (no doubt as I was an outsider so of no possible threat); but the way people were treated even one level down in the organization (let alone the teaming waifs and strays outside the gates) was pretty offensive, and mirrored in carefully, but incompletely concealed resentment. That was in Bangalore, where you can't even find "poor" people (according to Indian economic standards). That kind of inequality is pretty morally corrupting at all levels - although I did meet a couple of people in the lower classes (drivers and one householder) who struck me as very decent: not in any way public-spirited, but determined to do the best for themselves without cheating or screwing someone else over.
  4. BurntBread

    Happy All Saints' Day

    I don't feel any particular affiliation to all saints' day, but I do find all souls' a very poignant occasion. It would be good if you could start another thread tomorrow.
  5. BurntBread

    The make us laugh or fuck off thread

    Yeah, they would have had to rig up similar illumination on the ceiling ...
  6. BurntBread

    Phone obsessed - not just youths

    I was until last year, when I bought a £100 smart-phone with pay-as-you-go, since I felt it would be useful during job-hunting (it's worked out about £5 a month so far). I do find the map function useful, and it's good for reading DOSBODS on the train, although I always carry a book or a kindle for reading as well. I'm toying with the idea of a good dumb-phone and a dedicated GPS device if ever I need to know where I am. As it is, I find having a pdf of a map on the kindle actually more useful than google maps on my (admittedly low-end) phone.
  7. BurntBread

    Phone obsessed - not just youths

    Whilst I agree that boredom is an essential part of life, and the struggle to fill it, or the idle spinning of the mind's wheels is a great source of progress, I'm not sure that things have changed hugely with the advent of smart-phones. In the past, we had tired, uncreative periods of boredom, which we could fill with playing patience, or "I spy" with the kids. When we were slightly more intellectually motivated, there was reading a book; and if we wanted to fill those moments more socially, there was talking shit with mates at the pub. The only thing that's different now is that you always have a "pack of cards" to hand (e.g. candy-crush saga), and the distance to the "pub" (e.g. DOSBODS) has reduced to zero. Qualitatively though, I think they are the same things. I do agree that the inevitable forced times of boredom between those activities have been eliminated by the convenience of smart-phones; but perhaps not by much, if you had a pub on your street, and always carried a book with you. There is something else strange about facebook and twitter & whatnot, though. In the past, the experience of always being "on show", and having to present one's best face, with that edge of danger, to a public you did not know personally was mostly the preserve of the ruling class; the destruction of privacy was the cost you paid for being wealthy and having power. It's almost as if everyone now has been sucked into the supposed glamour of the public eye, tricked by the feeling that they are de facto aristocrats, while the reality is that they have all the morally corrosive effects of vanity and loss of self-hood, and none of the extractive power over the lower classes that that show served to maintain.
  8. BurntBread

    Phone obsessed - not just youths

    Was out for a meal a month back with a friend I hadn't seen for a while, and my jaw dropped when he said his wife had an app on her phone which told her exactly where he was, all the time.
  9. Thinking about the reflation on the other side, now: R4 this morning said that it was virtually agreed that the government would support the re-opening of the Oxford/Cambridge rail line, the construction of an express-way covering the Oxford/Northampton/Cambridge arc, and the building of a million homes in the area.
  10. BurntBread

    Outbreak of commonsense in the Army

    Was that so he could have a fancy funeral after he hit the ground?
  11. BurntBread

    Philip Green

    Not been following this, but I'd have thought it was pretty straightforward, morally and legally: Rich bloke does something he'd be embarrassed about with a woman, and offers her a contract to shut up. If what he did was illegal, then the contract is void, because it's not enforceable from his side. [BBC R4 this morning said something about the contract anyway having a clause permitting talking to the police/reporting a crime]. The woman decided that no criminal act was committed (by not approaching the police (is that true?)). Since she freely signed the contract, revealing what the rich bloke did is a breach, and the woman could (and should) be sued for the money she was paid. If the rich bloke deserves to fall under a bus, then we'll just have to rely on the buses of this world to do their good work, but that's an entirely separate issue.
  12. Even if this good practice were enshrined in law, it would be pretty poor protection against corruption. The stories I'm aware of seem to involve getting around this by simply switching the order: big government contract, then the pay-off is to be set up with some sinecure after you leave office (presumably in a sufficiently unrelated role so the successor does not to fall foul of the above rule). Then there's the possibility of regulatory capture (same pay-off), and swindling expenses (covered by strong-arm tactics threatening the career of any politician who gets a twinge of conscience and feels like spilling the beans (that's from a book about the House of Lords which I read a good few years ago, and will try to dig up)). Only on DOSBODS is this a mark of honour!
  13. BurntBread

    Qanon: high level intel, AI or LARP?!

    Or alternatively, you just wound your enemies. Each casualty then takes one injured and two healthy stretcher-bearers out of the combat. It may well be guff, but if it's not, then there's another explanation: The wildest rumours are that Q is a military consortium, trying win back the Republic. In that case, they don't want a scorched-earth policy. The democratic traditions (including the Democratic traditions) have to survive. They also would not want to tie themselves to one party beyond what is absolutely necessary to achieve reform. Less wildly, if the Republicans win without a huge scandal, that win will look more legitimate to everybody, including the Democrat voters, who ultimately have to be convinced of the need for reform too. I think it would be a high-risk, but ultimately correct strategy to let the mid-terms run uninterrupted, and then bring out any big revelations afterwards, when they are less likely to be dismissed as just partisan lies.
  14. BurntBread

    Just eat. Just Feck off

    It's the big gold rush of this present age: trying to be a monopoly linking individual consumers to businesses desperate for custom (an "attention-miner"). In each domain (Uber, Amazon, Rightmove, Just Eat), it's a natural monopoly, and there will only be one winner. Interesting that Amazon and Google have ambitions to be the monopoly connector of people to producers in all domains; the "one ring to rule them all". The internet has made the industrial mining of individuals' attention possible, but it's curious that the early attempts (when establishing a monopoly was much easier; a gift that dropped into your lap), like AoL or Geocities, didn't come to anything. Maybe there wasn't enough money in on-line business at the time, and no investor was prepared to keep a loss-making monopoly going for long enough to let the business base grow. How they must be kicking themselves now! Once the bastards have their monopoly, they obviously ramp up the prices: we're starting to see that with Rightmove, and if Just Eat are charging 14%, then they're starting to suck the blood hard. I guess this golden age for the consumer of massive choice and razor-thin margins for the producers will only last as long as there is competition between the attention-miners. Once that scramble for monopoly status goes away, the miner captures all the profits, and squeezes both consumer and producer. It's similar to (but not quite as watertight as) being a landholder; the owner of the "mother of all monopolies". I suppose there are two possible outcomes: a true democratic government would recognise the threat to its citizens' welfare coming from a natural monopoly, and regulate (or even nationalise) it. A neoliberal government will just get bought out with the profits, and do nothing. That political struggle seems to have been lost before it was even noticed.
  15. BurntBread

    John Major Putting riots in the minds of people

    Back in the day, I was half expecting a second revelation to follow, about the boss rather than a colleague.