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  1. Fatter, longer, heavier - Cars

    Please do dig up the other cars in the spotters' guide! It's strange, but even after so many years, those look like cars "should". Surely you jest ... even I had heard of the Wankel engine.
  2. Deluded Old Scrapper Birds On Dating Sites

    You are right EE, the policies that underlie the changes in society weren't put in place to give women an easy life: they were engineered for other purposes entirely, but have had the effect of giving young, child-bearing women a free ride - but left the older women very much out to dry. Although I try to understand things as broadly as possible, my particular circumstance as a risk-averse single man who would have liked to have had a family, is going to narrow my view. I'm particularly missing a woman's perspective, for obvious reasons! I find it quite interesting, though that the side-effects of all the policies which were created for entirely different reasons (I'm thinking high house prices, insecure jobs, support for having children without having future plans, destruction of the need for long-term relationships when young) have uniformly favoured people comfortable with high risk and no wish to plan for the future.
  3. Deluded Old Scrapper Birds On Dating Sites

    Thank you - that's very kind.
  4. Deluded Old Scrapper Birds On Dating Sites

    I agree, there are lots of strategies that men can, in principle, adopt to secure the resources needed to bring up a family. They may be amenable producers, coalition builders, bullies or thieves. They might be cooperative with their fellow men, antagonistic or independent - and throughout history, there have been times when each of these strategies has been successful. The cooperative provider (which I suppose is the "beta male") has often been a dependable strategy in settled times (both in lean times and times of prosperity). The ability to tuck yourself away somewhere quiet and still provide, independently, for a family is a great advantage during conflicts and the disorganized, scrappy tail ends of wars; when bullying and thievery work well also. The warlord mentality usually fails catastrophically, but is hugely successful for a few individuals if it does work, so still gets selected for (I vaguely remember reading that 80% of east Asians are descended from Genghis Khan, or something along those lines). It's also notable that who chooses what "success" means can differ in different societies. Today, we have an excess of men compared to what women need to reproduce, so the power of selection lies with women, and it can be difficult to imagine what it would be like otherwise. However, in difficult times, there may be far fewer men able to provide for a family than women who want to breed, so the power balance is completely reversed. In a warlord society, there may be no choice at all for women, who are coralled in harems. In many societies, neither the man nor the woman chooses; instead, it is the parents, so a cocky bully might not find himself able to compete. The world is full of strange possibilities. I'm not sure about life strategies, but there is certainly evidence for a strong genetic component to personality, which is why I talked about getting "selected for" above (I wasn't specifically trying to be some eugenicist jerk). If all these traits are partly genetically determined, then they must have been pretty successful at some time in the past. It would also raise the spectre that it might be difficult to change one's strategy (although we know that already, and that also doesn't make it impossible). I very much agree with you, SpectrumFX, that we are in a form of society today where the most successful strategies are very different to those of only a generation ago - "so the lads need to change strategy, or get used to losing the game". The only thing I might add is that in a competitive society where we are not needed (or rather are surplus to requirements), most of us probably have to get used to losing the game even if we change strategy. I'd also like to add a word of, well, I'd like to say "optimism". This is not the end of history: we might like to tell ourselves that automation will make work irrelevant, and modern Western society, with a generous welfare state, is here to stay, but that's not a foregone conclusion. Steam power massively reduced the need for work, but didn't stop the famines, depressions and wars of the last 150 years. We have also been sowing the seeds of hyperinflation and famine in the UK for the last 20 years, by destroying the productive capacity of a generation. As Spy likes to point out, English society has been engineered into a highly paid (and highly taxed) productive minority, and a large cohort for whom work doesn't pay, and who are gradually following the rational choice of letting their skills atrophy and adapting to the benefits system. It's a hollowed out economy, and if there is an economic upset, the UK could find itself in very difficult times. Some of the less successful male strategies may then come into their own. I'm not making an argument to ignore Snow bird, and just wait for the world to come to you. I think he speaks the truth, as it may take decades for any big change in the world to materialise, if it ever does. I should also add that I am in no position to suggest any advice: I have failed in life, I'm unable to heed Snow bird's wise words, and I'm out of the game.
  5. Telford, twinned with Rotherham

    Yes, I appreciate there's nothing there which could be used to bring charges. I guess I am thinking that the press, together with its protection of anonymous sources, serves a slightly different role: to bring bad practices into the daylight. Once the Overton window has been pried open a little further, it might allow entry to testimony that would stand up in court. Obviously, the press is a morally ambivalent beast, easily diverted into witch-hunts and spreading propaganda for the well-connected. The only people I met who have had much to do with it on trivial matters (and whom I trust to have said what they know, and nothing more) have been shocked at how their words were mis-used. So personally, I'd be very cautious about making contact. Despite that, it's a tool of our democracy, precisely because it can crack open the comfortable support networks of the corrupt, using less-than-perfect information. I'm suggesting that your information fits that mould.
  6. Who do you think actually did it then?

    I have almost no knowledge of the subtleties of our constitution, and how it's enforced, so it's good to be informed! If I understand you correctly, then the PM has indeed violated constitutional protocol, and I am suspecting it is because of her mistrust of the leader of the opposition; while you think her motive is domestic political advantage. I guess if either of those motives is the true one, it sheds interesting light on the personalities involved, but I'm not sure it says much about the Salisbury affair ... or am I missing something important?
  7. Who do you think actually did it then?

    It's very odd, but then the leader of the opposition is also quite odd. She might just think he's too much of a loose cannon (or, perhaps more to the point, too much of an idiot) to be trusted with all the information available. I am sure there is a general feeling amongst members of the house of commons that (all political wrangling and backstabbing aside), it's the best gentleman's club in the world, and if things get serious, they can and will pull together to cover their collective backs (and, incidentally, for the good of the country). The PM may feel herself in the unsettling position that she can't rely on that clubbable attitude from Wilfred Brambell.
  8. London - Grenfell House

    I thought you were doing a parody ... but that's actually in the article! Wow. Were pilgrims travelling to Margate from the crumbling fringes of the empire to be blessed by him?
  9. Great modern tech

    Good: Antibiotics, sewerage systems, vaccines, refrigerators, mechanised agriculture so we have plentiful food. Bad: Financial engineering, and the belief of employers that now we all have computers, every library can be pulped, so space can be re-claimed for more meeting rooms.
  10. Who do you think actually did it then?

    I was going to start a "who's next on the hit list?" thread ... but I realise now that wouldn't be very, um, tactful.
  11. Telford, twinned with Rotherham

    Bloody hell, Longtomsilver. Thank you for posting this - although it is distressing reading. What I have highlighted is completely new to me (although I haven't read many of the newspaper articles), and I think adds significantly to what is already in the public domain, putting a new angle on the level of mischief in the responsible authorities. Look, I don't want to put you under pressure to do something which could be a lot of hassle, but I genuinely think you have a duty to approach the press with this information. I think it is both important to get it out there in a form that is harder for the public to ignore; and furthermore, what you say is sufficiently shocking and "colourful" (if I can use that word) that I think there is a good chance it will get published. I'd like to say "go to a respected and trusted newspaper", but opinions will differ on whether such exists. However, even getting this published in the Mail (who are clearly interested in the subject) would be a service to the nation. If you do choose to go down that route, LTS (and you might have already done so - I haven't read all this thread), I'd like to suggest (and apologies if I'm speaking out of turn) it might be good to say nothing beyond the facts as you know them, except to echo Mental Floss' opinion. For me, this is the pub.
  12. Charity plastic bags

    This probably belongs on the "skinflint" thread, but by the time I've decided I've had enough wear out of my clothes, sending them to Africa could justifiably be described as racism. I get loads of these bags through the post, and I'm afraid I'm too embarrassed to use them as bin-bags, so just throw them away. After reading this thread, though, I'll engage the rational part of my brain and make use of them.
  13. Something happening at Salisbury hospital

    Two things make me think it's not a biological agent: First, the early reports about irritation and allergic reactions. That sounds like low level chemical poisoning. I guess you could argue that all the early reports are suspect (in fact you can argue that all the reports are suspect), so I don't take that evidence very seriously. The second point is that if you suspect a biological agent, you're not going to be dabbing things with baby-wipes: you're going to flood the area with whatever cheap disinfectant you can get hold of. People will notice the chlorine smell, and you're not going to be able to cover that up in a populated area. Edited to add: People might be frightened of very low levels of chemical agents, if they are suspected to be potent carcinogens as well as showing acute toxicity. A decades-long legacy of cancer in Salisbury is going to be a bit embarrassing for the powers that be.
  14. Deluded Old Scrapper Birds On Dating Sites

    This bit I agree with, and I think you put it well. The point that the changes may have started to come in with the railroads is an interesting idea, too. I don't think the first part of this really matches up with the behaviour of societies before city-states. As for the last sentence, that's an awful lot of theory and conjecture, and feels a bit H.G. Wells fruit-loopy to me. Again, the notion of "best" is very context-sensitive. I think all one can say is that the males which trigger female sexual desires are being selected for, without any countervailing pressures - and sexual selection can lead to some odd results, which don't necessarily correlate well with high chances of survival. If evolution were driven by solely by the sexual predilections of teenage boys fed on computer games, this would eventually have some very eccentric effects on female anatomy. Likewise, and less theoretically, you see (for example) bizarre and cumbersome plumage amongst various male birds, driven by sexual selection. I definitely agree that currently, we are rapidly heading towards the kind of society that you see amongst elephant seals, with all the females breeding, but only a tiny proportion of the males fighting successfully for all the sexual encounters. The rest of the males pass their time, in boredom, on a "bachelor beach". As Spy said elsewhere, a lot of the women in 'spoons are starting to show signs of the transition. Personally, I think this is a disaster for society, but that doesn't mean it won't (or isn't) happening. However, it's a separate question whether it is a stable solution for society, or whether everything will fall to pieces after a couple of generations. For the seals, I think what makes it possible is the high density of animals on the breeding grounds (analogous to our cities), and the fact that breeding is entirely separate from raising the offspring: the seals turn up for a few weeks at the breeding grounds, fully fed, and clear off when they're done. In the case that we have a benefits system (or CI) that can support single mothers, then this part also works for the human case; but if ever males are needed in the upbringing of children, then it becomes shaky. Lastly, humans are cooperative in a way that other mammals are not: all those non-breeding males could (indeed must) get together and dominate politics and business, and cut off the breeding males economically or socially. I have an idea that this has happened several times in the past, and the way it was done was through religion: the straight-laced morality of Christianity was a weapon used against either late-phase Roman oligarchs, or warlords of the dark ages. Similarly, the "4 brides only" rule of Islam could be seen as a means to oppose tribal leaders monopolising all the women. Someone else will have to put the female point of view, but my feeling is that we, as a society, are walking open-eyed into a shitty situation, and although it won't last, it could take more than a generation, and some pretty foul changes in society (such as mass conversion to Islam) to sort it out. I only hope he we are are clever enough to come through with at least some of the tatters of western civilisation in tow.
  15. Something happening at Salisbury hospital

    I'm in the same position. More or less my only source of news these days is DOSBODS. The world seems a strange place sometimes.