Skip to main content

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - ersi

(Leastways, it hasn't been in the past: ersi keeps harping that I should read the Athenian Constitution!? How long -exactly- did Athenian democracy last?:)
There are some European exemplars but the United States of America is the record holder, hands down.
Now, had you read it, you'd have an idea how long Athenian democracy lasted, and you'd appropriately be less confident about USA.

By the way, have you converted meanwhile into thinking that USA is a democracy? You used to deny it. The constitution still says "Republican form of government", except that the Republican party has embarrassed itself beyond repair.

I recommended the book for sociological and economic insights rather, not for the best or stablest form of government. In my view, economics is woefully incomplete unless it is socioeconomics or politico-economics or at least economic history or history of economic trends and thought. And the Athenian Constitution is very much that. It reports about classes in the population, about the roles of classes, about their economic status, about their changes in status over time, e.g. the rich getting richer and the agricultural class getting extorted, etc. Sometimes the tolerable balance slides out of hand due to degeneration of the democracy, sometimes due to the abuses of a tyrant. However, periodically, the situation gets reset and pacified by land reform, erasure of debts, or redistribution of resources, and these last points are the greatest useful insights - written down conscientiously millennia before Marx or whoever your favourite scapegoat is.
When I went to school (university), I was taught the difference between method and methodology. The method is the particular method you use. Methodology is knowing about different applicable methods and being able to explain why the particular method you picked is appropriate for the current purpose.

In study of history, math has its limited place, so has genealogy. But they do not do away with the study of archeological findings and historical texts. Studying economic/power relations has its place too. With different methods you get to know different things about history.

Maybe you are not exactly afflicted with ideological blinders this time, but more like too little schooling, Oakdale.

One of my acquaintances (cannot call her a friend because of the opinion of hers I am about to share) thinks that Rammstein, some other German band (hip-hop-rave duo) that I luckily cannot remember, and Prodigy are all interchangeable and equally good. I strongly disagree. Only Prodigy is passable among those.

Or Prodigy was good until it wasn't too ravey. The last style development that can still be called music was techno. After that came rave and that's not music anymore. And since then there has been no style innovation.

By the way, did you notice that Daft Punk broke apart?

At a loss for words, I see...: )
When words are cheap, better not even try.

Have you finished C. Northcote Parkinson's "Evolution of Political Thought"...?
I likely never will. The guy is dubious in his preface,

Quote from: C. Northcote Parkinson's "Evolution of Political Thought"
The reader is left with fallacies as well as facts. These fallacies are neither stated nor upheld nor even perhaps deliberately implied. They arise indeed less from the study of any given work than, as a general impression, from all. They are none the less fallacious for that and their refutation is more than overdue.

First of these implicit fallacies is the idea that political thought is confined to authors and denied to everyone else. By this reasoning we must learn the ideas of Plato and Laski and can safely ignore those of Pericles and Churchill. This is surely to give an absurd weight to the accident of authorship.
Who is he calling fallacious here? I assume he is faulting his own professors here. This was not the fault of my own education. I have read Churchill, von Clausewitz, Napoleon, Bismarck, Kissinger, etc.

Moreover, Plato was not a mere thinker, but also a political practitioner - or experimenter rather. He learned first hand that his Republic was impracticable in real life. And Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander the Great. Not something to be ignored.

So there. You have inherited Parkinson's main fallacy: Calling out fallacy too soon when it is not even there.
Do you need more? Or are you incapable of understanding my plain English? :)
As I suspected: Plain. Factless. And wrong.

Or can you justify your opinion from something that should matter to you, such as the constitution? Well, didn't think so. So, totally worthless opinion.
:) Because I didn't have the parochial teachers you had? Didn't read the same stodgy tomes of ideological-ized theory, and "be a good little prole"?
How's the Athenian Constitution going? After school (after university, I mean) I have done about as much reading, studying and learning as at school, probably even more, so I can appropriately consider myself self-taught, not indoctrinated, particularly in the areas that are not my formal expertise. It is good to read a book every once in a while.

I fear for my country some.
What is there to fear for the most powerful country in the world? That the Commies will take it over? I know - the Democrats :lol:

But do you still resent yours, for escaping its (enforced) "socialist" malaise?
Hardly anyone over here has a problem recognising - at least in practice, if not in rhetoric - that the economy should be mixed: state-regulated on the macro level and "free" enterprise on the micro. Drawing the lines between them is of course an eternal debate. "Socialist" is not an issue.

In Estonia the more serious issue is the divide along ethnic lines - what is the country? For Estonians, the capital is Tallinn. For Russians, the capital is Moscow, Putin is the president, and Estonia is an aberration due to temporary unfortunate geopolitical circumstances. This divide most recently flared up during the vaccination campaign - Russians expect to be vaccinated with Sputnik V, the vaccine hailed on Russian TV, and refuse any western vaccines, which are dangerous according to Russian TV. Again, "socialist" is not an issue.

Regarding "right mindsets" and such, perhaps you think I need "re-education"?
More like self-cultivation to stop making a fool of yourself at dinner parties, official gatherings and such. But if those events are not on your horizon, then perhaps beware of accusing the police of being Commies when they randomly arrest you. Or something.

The right mindset would mitigate most conflicts, not exacerbate them. The fact that USA is the number 1 war criminal in the world demonstrates the wrong mindset. Who is the number 2 war criminal in the world, what do you think? North Korea, Iran, China, Russia? Whichever you pick, it would be a distant number 2, and Russia has the excuse of having undergone shrinking from their perceived identification with Soviet Union or (worse) the (ex-)Communist bloc, while USA has only ever been the aggressor, having never undergone any shrinking and any threat against their country. So, very very wrong mindset.

I know of no authoritarian government that hasn't resorted to that practice, the aligning of its citizen's beliefs, speech and thought, with the official "party line."
The funny thing is that the "party line" problem is very acute in USA. In (continental) Europe, there are always at least two parties who form the cabinet and at least five parties that sit in the parliament, usually more. Whereas in USA you have two indistinguishable parties, yet in rhetoric, against all rhyme, reason, and facts, the Repubs believe that the Dems are authoritarians about to overturn the constitution and whatever (and this "party line" has become mainstream since Tea Party and Trump), at the same time as the Repubs themselves have undertaken actual real-life coups, such as this year Jan 6th[1] and thereafter blocking impeachment of the treasonous president. Looks like impeachment of the president is the weakest point of your constitution: never once has it been successful, meaning that the president is absolutely unaccountable, if he happens to be unscrupulous. Nixon at least had a conscience...

The funniest aspect here is that the policies and platforms of the parties (actual, nevermind mere rhetoric) are indistinguishable from each other. You are the one clearly toeing the party line and dreaming of one-party rule.

Why on earth should I allow politicians -at any level- to presume they (...or any gaggle of their experts...) know better, how I should live my life?
Conversely, why should any politician allow you to have any input on how the country or the city should be run? Politicians welcome politely reasoned input, not silly rhetoric about Commies taking over or stupid extrapolations from first or second or fifth amendment. And they often actually act on input that comes along with some personal benefits. This is how politics works regardless of party.

Furthermore, there are ways to influence politicians without bribing them when there are signs that there is a broader popular cause at issue, but this requires you to recognise your own class and the politician's class. You keep misidentifying these, thus misidentifying what is good for you and what is practicable for the politician.

Overall, for peace of mind it is advisable to let politicians do whatever they are doing - and ignore it. Let them think they know better and that they have some influence over how we regular folks live our lives. Let them. And then occasionally show them what really is the case.

(Did you ever see the film "The Americanization of Emily"? (Paddy Chievski's script is wonderfully wry and worldly!) I highly recommend it. I suspect, ersi, the world gets you down because it hasn't lifted you up as high as you think it ought... :)
Whatever. Get back when you are done with the Athenian Constitution.
You are conspicuously avoiding any comment on the events of Jan 6th. Is it too recent and still requires some digestion? :)
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News
Isn't this pretty stable?

By the way, when prices go down, it's actually good news, because you can get more for less.
It's the best alternative because it is the only alternative I know of in terms of content. I can go over there to get (most of) what I want on YT. There's also Bitchute, but the average uploader there is about as bad for mental health as Conservapedia.

Do you know of anything better?

And from what I have heard from content creators who have made the move, they can import their YT content over to Odysee with hardly any glitches.

I don't know much more. I am not a content creator and I never log in to YT. I keep it at arm's length with ytdl, which works in those other sites too.
We have a fancy video embedding mechanism for Youtube and friends. Is there an easy way to implement it for newcomers like Odysee, Twitch, Bitchute, etc?
So: I what way am I naive or secluded and sheltered from the "wide" world? How am I unfit to talk seriously with a petty bureaucrat who holds degrees in what are likely the equivalent of Basket Weaving and Self-Esteem (Through Proctology)? :)
The fact that you are in a general state of invincible ignorance about most of your favourite topics, such as politics, law, justice, economics, etc. does not need further investigation or demonstration. It definitely is and remains. I have tried my best to discover if you have a valid reason for it.

Having travelled little is not much of an excuse. It is possible to learn about the world from books and the news without having to verify everything in person. All it takes is right thinking. You keep insisting on wrong thinking, particularly projection, e.g. Liberals are evil authoritarians who undermine the constitution - despite January 6, 2021, when the Republican representatives of the executive branch incited a mob attack on the legislative branch after having lost the election. For someone who cared about facts, January 6 would have provided an occasion to question one's own ideology a bit. You absolutely do not care. You prefer your ideological bubble. I doubt you have many like-minded friends, so it is not an echo-chamber, but rather a private comfy dream world that you will never challenge.

The best explanation to your condition is unquestioning faith in American messianic exceptionalism against all facts. It's wilful ideological partisan blindness. As a result, you have betrayed your own class, middle class or whatever they call it over there. From a socialist's perspective, class betrayal is the ultimate sin. But it is a grave sin even under Ayn Rand's Objectivism, because it makes you believe, act, and vote directly against your self-interest.

For example, if you believe in trickle-down economy, then you should welcome taxes on the rich, because (a) it's not you who will get taxed and (b) taxes on the rich is what makes their riches trickle down somewhat; there is no other effective mechanism for that. But instead, you proclaim that private property is a sacred basic human right, a sign of freedom or liberty. And even though you barely have any of this basic human right and liberty, you think you live in the promised land of justice and "pursuit of happiness", where rights are secured, and thank God not in anywhere else where the evil govt is taking all the rights away, despite of you barely having seen any other country.

I could go on. But maybe some other day. Continental Europeans have a great privilege in that they can travel just a few hundred miles in any direction to end up in an entirely different country, but this does not necessarily result in profitable learning. Observing with the right mindset does.
The best YT alternative has gained a decent website. How does our embedding work?!:d
(Eventually, you'll re-discover enough of reality to realize how right I've been...:)
Eventually I will stop being amazed how little sense of reality (or sense overall) you have.

Ever been anywhere at least two states away?
Remember the earlier guy who won on MAGA platform?

In my opinion, the far more important measure would be to agree on that, whatever the local tax system, companies must NOT be able to negotiate to evade the system. Negotiating exemptions is on a par with bribery.
But unless you live, and work, under an actual authoritarian regime, you chose the paths you described (...for reasons you did not).
I wish you well. But you made your beds, fellas! All I can give as advise is the much frowned upon route to "success": Marry the boss, with a keen eye out for the greatest opportunity: Divorce, on grounds of moral turpitude... :)
Great advice, wise old man. "Hey, everybody is free to voluntarily drop their moral integrity and it'll be fine. There's no pressure at all!"

Seriously, that's what authoritarian regimes are all about: Just drop your moral integrity and with some luck you will be able to push yourself through the holocaust and gulag, burning others along the way. And call it success and freedom and whatnot.

Every regime is authoritarian to an extent - it is there in the word "regime"! Apparently you just cannot fathom how thoroughly brainwashed you are to blindly believe in freedom that is not there and in rights that Americans are supposedly privileged to have while the rest of the world allegedly has none of it.

Americans are as un-free as anyone else, only significantly more deluded. You personally are very deeply deluded.

Do not underestimate the power of having to worship the flag in the school daily in your childhood. Even USSR and the Third Reich did not have this level of indoctrination. 
Well, over here the average work balance cannot net on overhours over a year. Not legally anyway.

The loopholes for this are as follows. First, the company may employ a person with "temporary" status (i.e. the contract has a deadline) for shift work on hour-salary basis. Under these terms, the companies can lay a completely unmanageable workload on people. Those who do not complain or crack, get their contract extended after the deadline - to a next deadline under the same terms. And so on indefinitely, except the third such extension is illegal according to the law and the law requires the contract be replaced with permanent (indefinite contract) employment terms. Workers who know this can at this point safely sue the company.

Second, the worker can be employed at several employers or start own side-business in addition to the main job and work to his heart's content. This is how the genosses here often operate: Be signed up to as many boards and committees and other offices as possible, even though they are never actually present in any of these.

I personally have, at my best, been employed at four term-limited side-jobs in addition to my main job. I was able to manage it for less than a year. I found that it was somewhat possible to be in two places at once for a while, but quite impossible in three or more. Then I also worked for many years on a deadline-contract at one company, doing the work of three people (because I proved I was able to) - and getting paid accordingly, but not getting the vacations accordingly. This work relationship eventually soured so that I had to make use of the law that was, for once, entirely on my side.

Those experiences tired me out for good in about ten years. By now my manner of work is focused on seeking out opportunities to slack, just do the unavoidable, and get promotions anyway. And take out as long vacations as possible to enjoy a sort of pre-retirement. Totally exhausted even of the idea of overwork.
I've received several promotions over the years and tend to average 55-60 hours a week.
Isn't this overhours? Isn't it illegal? The way the law is formulated here, it makes it the employer's crime to make - or even allow - employees to work overhours. Overhours exist, but they have to be strictly compensated with both salary and vacation, so that by the end of the next year at the latest there would be no overhours. Something like "tend to average [some overhours]" is illegal.
DnD Central / Re: Today's Good News
The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 influenza pandemic, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. Lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, it infected 500 million people - about a third of the world's population at the time - in four successive waves. The death toll is typically estimated to have been somewhere between 20 million and 50 million, although estimates range from a conservative 17 million to a possible high of 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.
The Spanish flu was devastating because there were no countermeasures taken. The Spanish flu was named the Spanish flu because Spain was the first and almost only country where the press freely reported on the pandemic and where the authorities attempted countermeasures.

The current pandemic with countermeasures attempted by most countries seems to end up about as devastating in terms of absolute numbers as the Spanish flu was, but quite different against the proportion of population of the globe. Around 1918-1920 the estimated world population was much below 2 billion.

Personally, I am not sure that it is quite the same disease. Amazingly, in my extended family (which happens to be quite numerous), not a single person has caught covid even while Estonia is spearheading the contagion in relative terms. However, there are a few cases among colleagues.
Yes, the concept is obvious, and the benefits for the consumer are obvious. Yet e.g. in mobile phones the development was to make batteries non-removable precisely to make things worse for everybody. It's the way progress works.
Earlier I discovered bc, a command-line calculator for basic arithmetic that is likely preinstalled in your Linux. Now I discovered dc, another command-line calculator, likely preinstalled in your Linux, except that dc operates on a stack like financial calculators do.

Quote from: info dc
'dc' is a reverse-polish desk calculator which supports unlimited precision arithmetic.  [...] Normally 'dc' reads from the standard input; if any command arguments are given to it, they are filenames, and 'dc' reads and executes the
contents of the files instead of reading from standard input.


To enter a number in 'dc', type the digits (using upper case letters 'A' through 'F' as "digits" when working with input bases greater than ten), with an optional decimal point.  [...] To enter two numbers in succession, separate them with spaces or newlines; these have no meaning as commands.

Basic arithmetic:
Quote from: info dc
Pops two values off the stack, adds them, and pushes the result.
The precision of the result is determined only by the values of the
arguments, and is enough to be exact.

Pops two values, subtracts the first one popped from the second one
popped, and pushes the result.

Pops two values, multiplies them, and pushes the result.  The
number of fraction digits in the result is the largest of the
precision value, the number of fraction digits in the multiplier,
or the number of fraction digits in the multiplicand; but in no
event exceeding the number of digits required for an exact result.

Pops two values, divides the second one popped from the first one
popped, and pushes the result.  The number of fraction digits is
specified by the precision value.

Pops two values, computes the remainder of the division that the
'/' command would do, and pushes that.  The value computed is the
same as that computed by the sequence 'Sd dld/ Ld*-' .

Pops two values and exponentiates, using the first value popped as
the exponent and the second popped as the base.  The fraction part
of the exponent is ignored.  The precision value specifies the
number of fraction digits in the result.

Pops one value, computes its square root, and pushes that.  The
maximum of the precision value and the precision of the argument is
used to determine the number of fraction digits in the result.

Another thing worth noting is that the stack and the answers are not visible unless explicitly called. Therefore the most important call:

Quote from: info dc
Prints the value on the top of the stack, without altering the
stack.  A newline is printed after the value.

So first, launch it by issuing dc in the terminal. Second, type two numbers either with a space between them (and operators-commands with no space required) or in successive lines, as follows, either

Code: [Select]
3 2+p 
for "put three and two, add them, and show me the result"; or

Code: [Select]

for the same. More calls:

Quote from: info dc
Duplicates the value on the top of the stack, pushing another copy
of it.  Thus, '4d*p' computes 4 squared and prints it.

Reverses the order of (swaps) the top two values on the stack.

Pops the value off the top of the stack and uses it to set the


Code: [Select]
2k6 3/p
results in 2.00 as in "set two-decimal precision, put 6 and 3, divide them head-first and show me". And immediately after this

Code: [Select]
6 3r/p
results in .50 as in "6 and 3, divide them tail-first and show me".

Some stack calls:

Quote from: info dc
Prints the entire contents of the stack without altering anything.
This is a good command to use if you are lost or want to figure out
what the effect of some command has been.

Clears the stack, rendering it empty.

And zp shows the depth of the stack (the number of items in the stack).

To quit, type q.
Do you have any idea of the cost savings that single advance will net?
Space Shuttles have been tried. It turned out "pyric" as you say.

For dense usage of near-earth rockets, there needs to be a market somewhere for cargo and public transportation that airplanes cannot fill. The rockets should provide at least a significant load or speed or maintenance advantage. They are not providing any of it.

Electric cars are not properly taking off either. They are good only for short distances, and luckily for them, most driving is over short distances. Over longer distances, where you need to refill, combustion engines are still much better - refill in minutes and continue.

Somehow the awesome Tesla engineers have not even come up with the idea that the electric car batteries could be removable: Arrive at the refill station, give away your empty batteries, put new charged batteries in the car and continue. It would be somewhat faster, I suppose. If not, then electric cars can only survive by forcing them by regulation.

Overall the entire idea of electric cars as eco-friendly is misguided. To be eco-friendly, we absolutely do not need more cars. We need to drastically reduce the number of cars.

And you're too young to be such a cynic, my friend...
I'm older than Emacs!

I don't like anything written by Aristotle, but I like that book very much, so I'm sure it is not by Aristotle.
:) You used to sing a different tune! (Have you accepted the Frege/Pierce modern logic of quantification at last? Whence came syllogism? :)
Aristotle can be credited with formulating the syllogism, but valid deductive reasoning definitely precedes him. Quantification is secondary and rests the syllogism.

I have heard that in Bangladesh people have lots of respect for Vivekananda, but hardly any respect for Ramakrishna. I wonder what they make of the fact that Ramakrishna was Vivekananda's guru, not the other way.

Did you ever read C. Northcote Parkinson's book on political science via history? I know I recommended it to you... (Since the book was never translated -form plain English to academic gobbledygook- it might be hard to find: Let me know, huh?
First read what's easily available online. Of course exercise your discernment to find what is valuable.
It was the show when they did weed on camera.
And to provide silly talking-points to flat-earthers, cynical greenies, an' a certain Scot whose name we won't mention! But, ersi, riddle me this: Was the "discovery" of America less a feat and fortuitous boon because Isabella finance it? :)
Elon Musk is not discovering anything. The entire latter half of last century was the space age. Space has already been discovered and all the relevant technology has been invented. Musk's Spacex is deploying the existing technology and calling it invention and discovery.

(You thought Trump was the naif who got the job -candidate, then presidency- by bluster and buffoonery?
Yes, Trump bluffed himself to the presidency. Bluster and buffoonery is his style of managing anything and everything. Putin's army of hackers helped a bit too, which might have been the tipping point.

These facts are not worrying by themselves. Rather, it is worrying that in USA such behaviour goes completely unpunished.

Same with Musk. It should have been somebody's job in his team to secure the licences to start drilling the city's underground. Well, breaches in the area of construction - particularly including outrageous breaches - go mostly unpunished here too.

Why do you seem like a fan of Musk? He is not even American.

Thanks for recommending Aristotle on politics to me!
There are those who assume that Ἀθηναίων πολιτεία is misattributed to Aristotle. I am solidly in that camp. I don't like anything written by Aristotle, but I like that book very much, so I'm sure it is not by Aristotle.
Digital euro could take four years, says ECB president Christine Lagarde
"The whole process [of launching a "digital euro"] -- let's be realistic about it -- will in my view take another four years, maybe a little more. But I would hope we can keep it within four years," [ECB prez says] ... "Because it's a technical endeavor as well as a fundamental change because we need to make sure that we do it right. We owe it to Europeans, they need to feel safe and secure."
Well, since all money, not just euro, is mere fiat these days, an accounting unit that is already entirely in the air and mostly in digital form, there is actually no fundamental change and no technical endeavor involved. It will only be a matter of political courage to state the fact that yup, euro has been digital all along and let's call it that now henceforth.

But in the EU, some facts never get acknowledged for the sake of keeping up appearances. E.g. that Greece went bankrupt big time.
Elon Musk is hardly spending his own money. Like with every good CEO, his most important function is fundraiser. He attracts investment (i.e. creates hype) to a project and that's the money that gets spent. Government money might be among there, might not. Some of Musk's own money might be spent in projects that he really believes in, but I don't think he really believes in any of the projects he is famous for.

I watched Elon Musk's appearance on Joe Rogan show. At one point, Joe Rogan asked something like "But how did you get the licence for digging the tunnel under LA?" and Elon Musk looked at him confused, as if puzzled "Licence for digging? What's that?" He did not answer the question. He might have been already pre-confused for the entire day. It was the show when they did weed on camera.
Our president is as Catholic as a vegan cannibal!
Do you mean he is lapsed?