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Questions Of The Day (Politics)
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Mick Harper
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It would seem to be the opposite of deferred gratification. If we handle it correctly we won't notice it much when the bills do start to come in. But I don't have much faith in that. Nobody in high places will be terribly keen on the populace getting the idea that GNP might not be the only show in town.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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You're nicked, sonny.

A team from the University of Harrisburg, PA, has developed automated computer facial recognition software that they claim can predict with 80 percent accuracy and “no racial bias” whether a person is likely going to be a criminal, purely by looking at a picture of them.


Is this good?

“By automating the identification of potential threats without bias, our aim is to produce tools for crime prevention, law enforcement, and military applications,” they said, declaring that they were looking for “strategic partners” to work with to implement their product.

Sounds good. There's a proper word for this kind of prediction. Phrenology. Trouble is, it sounds like a cousin of Eugenics.

Phrenology, the long-abandoned study of the size and shape of the head, has a long and sordid history of dangerous racist and elitist pseudoscience. For instance, Cesare Lombroso’s 1876 book, Criminal Man, told students that large jaws and high cheekbones were a feature of “criminals, savages and apes,” and was a sure sign of the “love of orgies and the irresistible craving for evil for its own sake, the desire not only to extinguish life in the victim, but to mutilate the corpse, tear its flesh, and drink its blood.”


Who do we know with "large jaws and high cheekbones"?

You're nicked, sonny.
What for?
For looking like a criminal.
But that will give me a criminal record.
In that case, I was right to nick you then
.


Kafka would be proud.

Ref : https://archive.is/N1HVe[/quote]
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Mick Harper
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World Leaders call for Covid Vaccine to be free for everyone Al-Jazeera

I am rarely in favour of policies urging other people to pay the bill. Let's talk to a gathering of the people most able to come up with a Covid vaccine, the hundred CEO's of Biggest Pharma.

"Are you going to put a lot of effort into something which might end up being given away free?"
"Probably not."

So now let's talk to the hundred people best able to pay for a Covid vaccine and give it away free to the world

Would you mind amending your statement to read "World leaders offer to pay commercial prices for Covid vaccines and then make them freely available to everyone."

I'm sure that's what they meant but didn't want to spook their electorates.
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Boreades


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That's strange, are you sure it didn't say:

CEO's of Biggest Pharma call for World Leaders to buy Covid Vaccine from them and then give it away for free.


?
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Mick Harper
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Sorry, I don't see the difference. Or at any rate it is a perfectly reasonable request to achieve the same end.

This reminds me of the search for a new antibiotic. Everybody wants some new ones, Big Pharma keeps pointing out it's not worth their while because they will only be used in those relatively small number of cases when existing ones have built up too much resistance. Everyone keeps getting on Big Pharma's back for being selfish. Big Pharma keeps pointing out it isn't them being selfish.

I have to keep pointing out to my colleagues that being politically correct is almost never correct.
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
I have to keep pointing out to my colleagues that being politically correct is almost never correct.


I do concur.

I have also learnt, from painful experience, that outside of this safe playpen, in the world of social media, applying the corollary has its dangers.

Explaining something that is correct, but politically incorrect, tends to result in grief, social exclusion or just merde descending rapidly from a great height.
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Mick Harper
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That's a disadvantage, is it? I confess I don't have enough contact with this 'social world' of yours to be in any position to judge. Useful corrective, I would imagine, if it ever ceased raining down. But again I wouldn't know. You have to reach a position where they're afraid of you more than you are of them and that requires complete fearlessness on your own part just to achieve parity. Including accusations of pomposity.
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Mick Harper
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This latest brouhaha about Trump taking Hydroxychloroquine illustrates nicely why el Presidente is popular and the 'experts' (and the liberal meedja) aren't.

The facts are fairly clear, Hydroxychloroquine is a) harmless and b) useless. But only against coronavirus. Trump is pointing out that medicines have another and very important role and that is to assist human beings in their constant fight against nameless dreads. When the current one has a name but doesn't have any antidote, then you should take whatever it is you believe is an antidote and go off to worry about something else. Thank you, Mr President.
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Mick Harper
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I am now satisfied that the Johnson Administration is spectacularly inefficient. I have no doubt that we will end up mid-table when all the numbers come in but that's not the point. In carrying out the policies it thought were correct, the government has failed spectacularly.

The moral of the tale? Vote Tory, the ineffectual party. We could do a lot worse.
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Mick Harper
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Khan’s ‘deeply personal’ quest to protect bus drivers prompts Covid-19 study

That is just like Muslims. They only go into politics to benefit their own.
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Boreades


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Breaking news! The LibDem leadership election is back on track.

I can hear the election rally crowd chants already...

What do we want? :
A competent and charismatic leader.

When do want it? :
Err, three years ago?

I'm pleased to see the LibDems have found some new candidates, even if I'd never heard of them before.

Layla Moran - calling for a “kinder, gentler politics” (ah, that's nice).
Wera Hobhouse - calling for “abandon equidistance”

Who she? Wiki says:

Wera Benedicta Hobhouse (née von Reden; born 8 February 1960. Hobhouse was born in Hanover, Germany. She studied History and Fine Art at the University of Münster, and afterwards studied Art for two years at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Hobhouse then moved back to Germany, completing a master's degree in History and Fine Art in Berlin. She married William Hobhouse in 1989 and moved to England the following year. They first lived in Liverpool, where Wera Hobhouse opened an art gallery on Falkner Street. They moved to Rochdale in 1999. Prior to her political career, she was a teacher, radio journalist and artist


Blimey, the perfect pro-EU LibDem person? Good for AEL Fake Art as well perhaps?

I must have been dozing at the back of the Campaign Bus, I still don't know what “abandon equidistance” means. Anyone got any idea?
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Grant



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The solution to the Football crisis is so simple and obvious that I can't believe no-one appears to have proposed it. Start playing matches but only allow spectators aged under 40. Result - a massive boost for poorer fans who can't buy season tickets, and the return of proper TV football. They'd have to compensate the older fans but it's much cheaper than declaring the season null and void. Statistics suggest that we wouldn't even notice the one or two casualties
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Mick Harper
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I went out to join in the neighbourhood applause for Boris's U-turn over NHS workers having to pay the NHS surcharge and promptly got arrested by the police for being outside without a valid reason. Talk about joined-up government!
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Mick Harper
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Should Dominic go because of stupidity, forgetfulness and inattention to detail? Let's listen in. "I'm one of the most recognisable and unpopular people in Britain. I think I'll drive several hundred miles across country but wearing a President Nixon mask like in that film so nobody recognises me and when I get to mater and pater's I'll take the kids into the garden for a kickabout still wearing the President Nixon mask but secretly I'll be Wor Jacky."

"Damn, I forgot to wear it. Now I'm for the high jump."
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Mick Harper
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But in fairness to the old boy, a sharp distinction has to be made between the two high-profile sacrificial lambs so far who were indulging themselves -- with a lover and a second home respectively -- and Mr & Mrs Dom who were arranging for someone to look after their child while they were ill (or at any rate, symptomatic). Whether the best of intentions will save him from the wrath of British hypocrisy on the warpath remains to be seen.

I'm going 7-4 on him staying but mainly because Boris has U-turned twice already this week and can't afford to complete the hat trick.
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