oldguy

active 2 weeks, 5 days ago
active 2 weeks, 5 days ago
  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 4 months, 1 week ago

    Anecdotally, there’s an awful lot of the latter. More about desire than capability, but it would be interesting to see some proper research on it.

    There is a risk that a lot of resources are put into trying to get women into jobs that they don’t actually want to do.

    • I saw a study this week that showed that the more gender equality in a society the less likely the women in that society are to study/work in STEM fields.

      So especially, for example, in developing countries where there is less choice of degree, more women go into Civils, in the Nordic countries, where there is a wide range of degree and career options, women much less likely.

      In that sense it looks much more that the gender pay gap argument is not about equal pay, it’s about getting women the wage they want for the jobs they like doing.

      I think you’d have to agree that Theresa May has been very weak on this again, claiming that the figures showed a ‘burning injustice’ when they do nothing of the sort.

      May seems to be jumping on the passing bandwagon rather than offering a…[Read more]

      • The rationale I saw for that was that the countries where women more readily gravitate towards STEM tend to ones at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. That is, if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to go to university you damn well make sure you choose a field of study that will afford you the greatest employment and earnings possibilities.

        More developed and wealthy countries, where we have social welfare and minimum incomes, take that pressure away and people can instead choose to study areas they desire – be that art history, underwater ballet, or applied mathematics.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 4 months, 1 week ago

    One of the interesting aspects of this is how the figures can be distorted by a small number of individuals (ie.men) at the top. If, say in a company of a few hundred staff, 8 of the top 10 people are men, and they are being paid a few hundred grand more than the next layer down, that will massively impact the average numbers. It can account for the whole “gender pay gap).

    But it tells us only what every employee knows: that the top few employees are mainly men.

    • Doesn’t quoting a median, rather than mean, largely eliminate this effect?

    • Is it due to lots of perfectly capable and qualified women being denied the opportunity for their careers to progress to that level due to discrimination, or is it due to the pool of women with the desire and the capability to select from being vanishingly small.?

      • Anecdotally, there’s an awful lot of the latter. More about desire than capability, but it would be interesting to see some proper research on it.

        There is a risk that a lot of resources are put into trying to get women into jobs that they don’t actually want to do.

        • I saw a study this week that showed that the more gender equality in a society the less likely the women in that society are to study/work in STEM fields.

          So especially, for example, in developing countries where there is less choice of degree, more women go into Civils, in the Nordic countries, where there is a wide range of degree and career options, women much less likely.

          In that sense it looks much more that the gender pay gap argument is not about equal pay, it’s about getting women the wage they want for the jobs they like doing.

          I think you’d have to agree that Theresa May has been very weak on this again, claiming that the figures showed a ‘burning injustice’ when they do nothing of the sort.

          May seems to be jumping on the passing bandwagon rather than offering a…[Read more]

          • The rationale I saw for that was that the countries where women more readily gravitate towards STEM tend to ones at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. That is, if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to go to university you damn well make sure you choose a field of study that will afford you the greatest employment and earnings possibilities.

            More developed and wealthy countries, where we have social welfare and minimum incomes, take that pressure away and people can instead choose to study areas they desire – be that art history, underwater ballet, or applied mathematics.

      • There is evidence towards the later, it being argued that if you compare the normal distributions of any traits between males and females you find greater variability in the male bell curve. You simply get way more males at the top and bottom ends of any distribution – more geniuses and more dunces as they say.

        This is also entirely compatible with there only being very small differences between males and females on average. For example, if you looked at how many woman and men were 5’10” tall, you might get a 30:1 difference. But if you then looked at the number of men and women who were just a little bit taller, say 6′, the difference would swing to about 2000:1. Distributions simply get more skewed the further you move from the mean.

        Naturally, the top positions in any…[Read more]

  • oldguy posted an update 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    I’m ashamed to be an Aussie. Sack the lot of them and bar them for life. What a bl**dy disgrace. The nearest example of such tactics is when Angelo Dundee deliberately tore Ali’s glove after ‘Our ‘Enry’ floored him back in the sixties.

    Grrr. Embarrassed or what?

    • Shocking. I know they’re not the first to cheat with the ball (I’m still ashamed of Mike Atherton’s dirt in the pocket episode), but this was blatant planned cheating, and they sound pretty unrepentant about it.

    • Watched the press conference with my jaw in my lap. “Yeah, we planned to cheat and got caught. Obviously it was completely the wrong thing to do. Nah, I’m not stepping down.” WTF? Utterly cringeworthy.

      Who is this ‘leadership group’ Steve Smith refers to?

    • For someone who knows nothing about cricket, can you explain what’s happened ? Ball tampering, I appreciate. ..how does it actually work ? I really am clueless about such things.

      • I believe it has to do with roughing up the surface of the ball so it enhances the friction coefficient and therefore gets more spin. I think!

        • Not spin – swing through the air, before it bounces. Roughing up one side, while shining the other side, creates an imbalance in resistance/friction as it moves through the air, so it doesn’t go straight, it swerves, making it harder to judge and hit. This is allegedly more pronounced in some atmospheric conditions than others, though I’m not sure if there’s any proven science behind that.

          The fact that others regularly do it is valid context, but no excuse. It was planned, deliberate cheating with group consensus. Unbelievably stupid, given the camera coverage (Faf duPlessis was busted the same way not long ago) they know is on them. That again is no excuse, but telling of their mindset.

          Smith needs to be stood down for the remaining match, and Bancroft sent home. Both should…[Read more]

    • I thought the interview was astonishing – how can they sit there, admit cheating and expect everyone to shrug and let them get on with it. Sadly I’d say all involved to any significant degree need to be sent home, even if this match does collapse. Certainly Smith and Bancroft. Being removed as captain but allowed to play on is a joke.

    • Well Smith and Warner have been stood down from their captain/VC roles a few hours ago, so that’s a start. I don’t think pulling them out of the current game, with two days play remaining, is realistic.

      Going by the media and public comments on articles here right now (Sunday evening AEST) there is pretty much no sympathy for them at all – it’s surprisingly unanimous against them – and most are calling for them to be sacked completely. It’s actually getting a bit hysterical and over the top, to be fair. I’d hate to see how we responded to an actual disaster!

    • Smith should have been remembered as a really good batter but now he will be remembered not only as a cheat but a bully who got a young inexperienced player to do the dirty work.

    • One match ban and loss of one match fee. Sufficient for soiling the whole game?

      listened to the interviews of other players who had been wondering just how the Aussies got so much reverse swing out of a ball. At least we know now, so if they think it’s OK then let’s all cheat?

      Trouble is the pressure on test match cricket is already immense from competitor sports. It will just fade away I guess.

    • There’s a lot of hypocrisy and crocodile tears going on. It’s professional sport. Cheating is inherent: think Atherton ball tampering, Dean Richard’s bloodgate (which was not a unique occurrence in rugby), and any number of football,, athletics etc etc cases of cheating.

      Smith’s initial refusal to resign just reflects the assumption across many professional sports and sportspeople that cheating is part of the “game” and the only crime is to get caught.

      The media and pundits know this, and that talk of the “corinthian spirit” is professional sport is rubbish, perfectly well . Their shock and horror is contrived.

    • The bowler should be banned for 5 years, the captain for at least 10 (from ALL cricket, not just Tests). The same should go for the “leadership group”. This one match ban is a farce and will do nothing to deter anyone else doing the same.

      Maybe it’s about time cricketers were not allowed to wear trousers with pockets, might be the only way to stop it happening again.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Can you give evidence of this, including evidence that there have been increases in “hate speech” (a very ill-defined thing) and violent hate crime?

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    In a public “scene”, people can legitimately wonder whether their physical safety might be threatened. They also had no say in witnessing it.

    No-one can feel in imminent physical danger from a youtube video. And the only people who see it are those who choose to click on a video labelled “Nazi dog” where the contents are advertised up-front. So if you don’t want to be offended by it then you can simply not click.

    So, sorry, but the two are not comparable.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    The attempt at humour is this:

    The video maker regards “gas the Jews” as among the worst things one could say and regards Nazis as among the worst things to be.

    The humour is mixing Nazi slogans (totally abhorrent) with the actions of a cute little pug dog**, where the dog is of course oblivious to the meaning of the slogans. That incongruity is the point.

    Whether it works or not as humour is subjective (to me, it is slightly funny but more just silly).

    To interpret this as anti-Semitic or the same as shouting “gas the Jews” in the street is just wrong. It is not in any sense advocacy of those sentiments, and it is certainly not advocacy of those sentiments disguised or excused as “just a joke”. The whole “joke” does depend on the video maker regarding those things as…[Read more]

    • Yes, I understand that for some people it was humorous. As I thought was very clear from my post, it was not a “joke”. The distinction is nothing to do with subjective matters of taste, or lack thereoff. Just like John Cleese strutting about with an over-the-top nazi march was humour but was not a joke.

      You could argue training the dog is a sort of practical joke, but posting the video publicly is not training the dog. What would happen to someone shouting “gas the Jews” at a dog in public, even if the reasons turn out to be some elaborate bad taste prank?

      • In a public “scene”, people can legitimately wonder whether their physical safety might be threatened. They also had no say in witnessing it.

        No-one can feel in imminent physical danger from a youtube video. And the only people who see it are those who choose to click on a video labelled “Nazi dog” where the contents are advertised up-front. So if you don’t want to be offended by it then you can simply not click.

        So, sorry, but the two are not comparable.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    “Free speech doesn’t include hate speech.”

    “Hate speech” is a very vague term, and if we accept that “free speech doesn’t include hate speech” then we’ve lost free speech because anyone can shut down any speech just by claiming that it is hateful to them.

    Indeed, that’s how the term “hate speech” functions these days, it’s the modern version of “heresy” or “blasphemy”, an attempt to get one’s own views to prevail by disallowing anyone who disagrees from speaking.

    The boundary of free speech should not be “I’m upset”, it should be incitement to violence and actual direct threats.

    • I agree with the thrust of what you’re saying, but you’re being vague. What do you mean by the boundary of free speech? Do you mean what should be legal to say at all, or what should be accepted on youtube for anyone to access?

      I think that there is very little that should be illegal to say; but there are lots of public situations (and almost no private ones) where if what you’re saying is going to have a demonstrable negative impact, you can rightfully be told to STFU. That’s not an infringement of free speech, it’s being asked to cease antisocial behaviour. Being told to STFU (e.g. having your video taken down off youtube following complaints) is a very different bag to being charged with a criminal offence – which do you see as defining “the boundary of free speech”?

      A good…[Read more]

  • oldguy replied to the topic Plastic in bottled water in the forum Health 5 months ago

    In the video they say that they suspect some of it could be from when you break the seal of the lid to open it, as they are two different plastics and the lid type was found in the water too.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months ago

    If stackoverflow is anything to go by then the future is doomed and will be ran by a bunch of pedantic boring nerds.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    I have believed since the 80s that when you eat has a lot to do with it. We are eating far too much too late in the evening – it’s a cultural change that needs a real kick. I put no weight on at all, in fact I couldn’t, until I had a long spell of working away and eating my main meal in the evenings.

    • Lifestyle can have a massive effect. I now work in an environment where I am in around 7am, take no breaks and end up getting home about 8pm. If I cook I am usually eating abut 9:30-10pm and taking in most of my calories for the day before heading off to bed an hour or two at most later. This is not having a good effect on my waistline.

  • oldguy posted an update 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Using propane Gas in cold weather? Does anyone have any handy hints for dealing with propane gas bottles in cold weather? Standard orange bottle which feeds to the hob but this evening has decided to stop working. Slowly fizzled out and gave up.

    A little online searching suggests that pouring some warm water over might sort it and I’ll give that a shot tomorrow. Currently too cold and dark to bother.

    Cheers.

    • Usually propane is much better than butane in cold weather. Have you checked the regulator? It may have ice on it?

    • My gas came from propane cylinders for a couple of years on the narrowboat. I never had a problem with the supply even in the depths of winter when the canal froze over. I’d be surprised if it was the gas itself that was the issue.

    • Propane is used in preference to butane in cold weather specifically because it works better in the cold. It has a boiling point of -42C so will be be gaseous down to that temp and usable to within a few degress of it. It isn’t that cold is it

      I think the problem lies elsewhere, pouring hot water on the regulator would seem like a good place to start.

    • Cover the regulator with bubble wrap or something similar on cold nights. I pour warm water over the regulator if it doesn’t work but probably shouldn’t. A full bottle causes less problems than one that is low.

    • I’ve got the blue butane gas canister in my van and it stops working in the cold, I’m swapping the gas supply to cure that. Your gas shouldn’t be ‘freezing’ in UK temperatures, it sounds like it might have ran out.

    • Never had any issues with our propane freezing. As others have said, could be ice in the regulator/changeover valve.

      Obvious question: The bottles not empty is it?

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    I think part of being a professional is showing up for events like this and pretending to care. You can always sneak out early after the spaghetti bridges are finished and nobody will blame you.

    Moaning about it to your manager can only have negative consequences and I would not do that unless these events start to become very frequent. Your perfectly valid point will be completely ignored and management will only get one message : “your a clockwatcher and is sowing discontent “.

    Suck it up for one night.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    Sounds like an ordeal to me but I hate going to the cinema anyway

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    We did this for our 40th a few years ago and it was fun. We caught the train from out local station where it stops to take on water. Then champagne breakfast (full English) on the way to Worchester, where we stopped. After breakfast the coffee kept coming.All along the route,on every bridge. in every field. people were there to spot the train. Had a few hours at the stop, then 3 course dinner on the way home. If you saw the kitchen carriage like we did, you would be amazed how they did all that food for so many people in such a small space.We had decided to go as the Pulmans passes the back of our house every couple of weeks or so and it looked so nice, tables all set up with cisp, white linen etc. Great excitement last year when the Flying Scotsman came by a few times, us and the…[Read more]

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    I know, having to lecture and give tutorials with those pesky undergraduates, nightmare. Why have a career in academia when you could earn many more times salary in industry?

    • You’ve described a third of the job. Admin (ever increasing) and research also exist too. Long hours are common, and at the bottom end of the career ladder job security is non-existent, 9-24 month contracts are the norm. I have no personal experience of industry, so can’t comment – I’m sure others can. People have a career in academia because they want to, and find it fulfilling – that doesn’t mean they should be treated like disposable shit.

      Regardless, you’ve missed the main point. An employer is proposing to reduce the pension pot of its existing employees, including those already well progressed on the scheme. There have been over 6 months of negotiations between the union and umbrella body representing different, but identical employers in the pension scheme. The employers…[Read more]

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    I’ll admit I didn’t fully read the article, I took it as wanting a reduction of their fees, not cash in pocket.
    I’d be wanting it, as a skint teenager, having to pay £9250 pa, when academics, with their cushy little jobs striking because their enormous pensions are under threat.

    • But they’re not paying. They’re building up a debt they may or may not have to repay. Some of the petitions show no understanding of this what so ever – eg https://www.change.org/p/the-university-of-york-compensate-students-for-strike-action

      It’s not difficult. I would expect anyone at university to be able to understand it and to structure their petitions accordingly.

      Mind you international (non-EU) students pay real cash up front, and pay a lot more then £9k. They have a more direct case.

    • I hope you’re joking. Even if academics had “enormous pensions”, if you had agreed to do a job and were told that you would be getting a certain pension scheme, then your employer turned around 6 months or twenty years down the line and told you you would get 10 grand less, in your old age than was agreed, you’d be pissed.

      Yes, it sucks for students. That doesn’t mean academic staff have it in for students, in fact several colleagues have been deliberating over whether to strike, precisely because it will hurt students who have no influence over the pension scheme whatsoever.

      I hate to break it to you, academia is not a “cushy little job” either.

      • I know, having to lecture and give tutorials with those pesky undergraduates, nightmare. Why have a career in academia when you could earn many more times salary in industry?

        • You’ve described a third of the job. Admin (ever increasing) and research also exist too. Long hours are common, and at the bottom end of the career ladder job security is non-existent, 9-24 month contracts are the norm. I have no personal experience of industry, so can’t comment – I’m sure others can. People have a career in academia because they want to, and find it fulfilling – that doesn’t mean they should be treated like disposable shit.

          Regardless, you’ve missed the main point. An employer is proposing to reduce the pension pot of its existing employees, including those already well progressed on the scheme. There have been over 6 months of negotiations between the union and umbrella body representing different, but identical employers in the pension scheme. The employers…[Read more]

    • It’s flawed maths. It’s as if the university is open 120 days a week… I have left the lab latest at 5AM and came in earliest at 7AM. Never mind weekends.

      It’s just as ridiculous as the petition asking for HMRC to refund all the tax paid due to Brexit*! I get that the strike is disruptive and attention-seeking, but it’s the point of the strike, isn’t it?

      * – I am EU citizen and anti-leave, but I still find that petition weird.

    • This might seem like pedantic hair splitting, and I am not intending to comment on the (un)suitability of student loans, but…

      Students demanding “their money back” show a typically poor understanding of the fees/loan system. They’ve not spent a penny – and some will never repay a penny of their “loan”. So no, they can’t get money “back” as at the undergraduate stage they’ve not given it away.

      If they were asking for money to be returned from the universities to the student loans company, and to have that money deducted from their students loans, then that would seem logical and sound.

      • The UCU has encouraged students to request a proportion of their fees to be returned.

        • Yes but they come from – and should be returned to – the student loans company. This is different to student led calls for “compensation”.

      • I’ll admit I didn’t fully read the article, I took it as wanting a reduction of their fees, not cash in pocket.
        I’d be wanting it, as a skint teenager, having to pay £9250 pa, when academics, with their cushy little jobs striking because their enormous pensions are under threat.

        • But they’re not paying. They’re building up a debt they may or may not have to repay. Some of the petitions show no understanding of this what so ever – eg https://www.change.org/p/the-university-of-york-compensate-students-for-strike-action

          It’s not difficult. I would expect anyone at university to be able to understand it and to structure their petitions accordingly.

          Mind you international (non-EU) students pay real cash up front, and pay a lot more then £9k. They have a more direct case.

        • I hope you’re joking. Even if academics had “enormous pensions”, if you had agreed to do a job and were told that you would be getting a certain pension scheme, then your employer turned around 6 months or twenty years down the line and told you you would get 10 grand less, in your old age than was agreed, you’d be pissed.

          Yes, it sucks for students. That doesn’t mean academic staff have it in for students, in fact several colleagues have been deliberating over whether to strike, precisely because it will hurt students who have no influence over the pension scheme whatsoever.

          I hate to break it to you, academia is not a “cushy little job” either.

          • I know, having to lecture and give tutorials with those pesky undergraduates, nightmare. Why have a career in academia when you could earn many more times salary in industry?

            • You’ve described a third of the job. Admin (ever increasing) and research also exist too. Long hours are common, and at the bottom end of the career ladder job security is non-existent, 9-24 month contracts are the norm. I have no personal experience of industry, so can’t comment – I’m sure others can. People have a career in academia because they want to, and find it fulfilling – that doesn’t mean they should be treated like disposable shit.

              Regardless, you’ve missed the main point. An employer is proposing to reduce the pension pot of its existing employees, including those already well progressed on the scheme. There have been over 6 months of negotiations between the union and umbrella body representing different, but identical employers in the pension scheme. The employers…[Read more]

      • I paid for my annual southern rail season ticket with a credit card.

        When they were on strike I got a refund.

        I got the money, not my credit card company.

        • Jolly good. As you paid for it, that’s only fair.

          “I got the money, not my credit card company.”

          Yes, but you owed the money to your credit card and short of bankruptcy you will have to repay it generally within months. Not so for student loans – many students will never repay a single penny of their loans as they will go on to earn below the repayment threshold, so how is it fair or right for them to get the cash when they won’t repay the loan and therefore won’t ever spend a penny on their fees, unlike your rail ticket? Obviously we can’t predict with certainty at the undergraduate stage who will go on to repay and can therefore fairly be given cash, and who won’t.

          Now, I know that from past debates you do understand how and why a student loan is almost entirely different…[Read more]

          • A student has paid for their course in the same way as anyone else who’s taken a loan to pay for something.

            The terms of that loan might be ridiculous, or counter intuitive or frankly nonsensical, but it’s debt.

            I was merely pointing out, using the only comparison I could think of, how it is entirely possible that students could get that money without giving it to the SLC, who would probably lose it anyway.

            • Why do you persist in ignoring the fact that – unlike any other loan – many students will freely and legally walk away without repaying a single penny of their student loan.

              Consider a student who is never required to repay any of their loan, and then has their loan cancelled with no penalty. Have they paid for their course in the same way I paid for my lunch on my credit card?

              I can’t see any sane argument that they have paid for their degree. None. Feel free to enlighten me.

      • When our kid graduates in a few years time with a £60,000 debt at the age of 22, accruing interest at 6.1%, of course she won’t have to pay it off if she doesn’t earn more than £25,000 pa for the next 30 years.

        Then when she does exceed the limit, that’s money she can’t put into her pension, and she’ll be paying more tax as a higher earner.

        • I’m sorry, but what you’ve written is (a) not clear to me and (b) doesn’t apparently address my point that a student who repays £0.00 before their loan is written off does not pay anything for their degree and therefore isn’t eligible for a “refund”.

          My simple point is that a “refund” to the student is not justifiable as some students will never pay a penny for their degree, and that a reduction in their loan is fair and defensible.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    Is the word a derivation of “lode”?

    • Ah! That looks very likely.

      Thanks

      The Industrial South East! It seems to have peaked during the Napoleonic Wars when the heavily wooded areas we know today were completely stripped of trees to provide timber for shipbuilding, and charcoal for the furnaces that smelted the iron used in ships, gun and weapon manufacture. Some of Turner’s paintings of the Sussex give a glimpse of a bare almost desert like landscape covered by smelter furnaces.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    I’ve just had a quote for our lights. 5 of them £500+vat. That’s replacement low energy bulbs about £40 each.

    The main cost is travelling to site and use of a high lift. Previously we’ve done a couple of lamps ourselves off a ladder but even the one of us who is a builder and does roofs doesn’t want to go up again.

  • oldguy posted a new activity comment 6 months ago

    You would think but the police are very petty. Here’s a true story from a couple years back when I had some one park on my driveway.

    1) I put a polite note to the guy behind his wipers. He screwed it up and threw it at my front door.

    2) Asked him nicely.

    3) Wrote “Do not park here”on his windscreen. Two police arrived and said they were going to arrest me now for criminal damage unless I removed it completely. I had a long talk with them. They were stupid and bloody minded.

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