active 2 months ago
active 2 months ago
  • ratface posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    @songbird How does having a better definition of the correct answer make a subject harder? If anything that should single out the sciences as easier. Not that I’m making that argument since I’ve already observed that the sciences very obviously impose a greater compulsory workload.

    In literature or philosophy you are probing the mind of the author/philosopher, often from a distance of many centuries, to elicit his/her take on the great questions of life, mostly dealing with love and death, but also conflict, betrayal, lust and power. But you are obliged in that process to confront those questions yourself and blend your modern interpretation with the original, then present a case, as a barrister might, for rebuttal by a tutor or examiner, who not only understands the subject bet…[Read more]

  • ratface posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    I made a similar observation earlier and the awareness that the sciences required more hours of “compulsory” study did steer me away from Chemistry towards Languages. But science is not harder than the humanities. Once intractable maths and science problems are being solved all the time, yet a comprehensive understanding of the human condition (philosophy and literature) or influencing and predicting behaviour (politics and economics) eludes us still.

    • You can argue that this is true for the subjects, but studying sciences is definitely harder than studying humanities, if only because understanding of a subject can be tested without ambiguity. You do not get far by providing your own “interpretation” of a maths or biology problem!

    • @songbird How does having a better definition of the correct answer make a subject harder? If anything that should single out the sciences as easier. Not that I’m making that argument since I’ve already observed that the sciences very obviously impose a greater compulsory workload.

      In literature or philosophy you are probing the mind of the author/philosopher, often from a distance of many centuries, to elicit his/her take on the great questions of life, mostly dealing with love and death, but also conflict, betrayal, lust and power. But you are obliged in that process to confront those questions yourself and blend your modern interpretation with the original, then present a case, as a barrister might, for rebuttal by a tutor or examiner, who not only understands the subject bet…[Read more]

    • Being able to clearly distinguish correct and wrong answers in an exam leaves much less wiggle room for the student, no chance of getting by with some waffling and a good sales pitch! It is, therefore, possible to test a much larger body of knowledge in any given exam.

      I guess you will find that most science questions also do not simply ask for recalling material. Ideally, I want to know whether a student has understood the underlying concepts and can, therefore, apply them to a problem at hand. The regurgitating exams exist, but I would class them as simply lazy or even bad teaching practice!

    • Luke replied 2 months ago

      “The regurgitating exams exist, but I would class them as simply lazy or even bad teaching practice!”

      I agree entirely. I don’t know about over in Germany (?) but here in the UK rote learning and regurgitation of formula keyed through Pavlovian training with certain question styles seems to the the main outcome of A-level sylibii and teaching.

      Kids talk about the “suvat equations”. Putting asside my distaste about the non-acronym nature of the name, or the use of arbitrarily chosen variables to yield the name, it distressed me that they think of “s=ut+1/2at^2” et al as physics, and of bunging numbers in as doing physics. They are solutions to the equations of motion under certain rigid constraints. They should be learning the equations of motion and how to solve them, not…[Read more]

    • logi replied 2 months ago

      @ratface There’s also a lot of variation within the sciences. I started studying chemistry at university where there seemed to be usually be one single correct answer but for a variety of reasons dropped out of university for a while (ironically to get a job as a lab technician based on my chemistry skills). I later went back to study biology, mostly plant ecology, where often there is no single answer & its often a case of considering alternatives and justifying a choice. I found that much more satisfying than chemistry (a bit like you I suspect). All a long time ago but I still remember one question for our finals general paper – “Skin – the perfect wrapping ?” difficult to prepare for that & similar questions other than to have a good knowledge of the subject.

  • ratface posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    What fraction of Love Island’s applicants were black/minority? I don’t ever recall a reality show being blamed for the applicant pool not reflecting the nation’s ethnic mix.

  • IF they are impaired, totally understandable. But so far you’ve seen or heard nothing to suggest that he is, yet you’ve now told his boss you found coke in his bag and are forming an action plan?

  • ratface replied to the topic BT Broadband Scam? in the forum General Chat 3 months ago

    I have some sympathy with the providers because everyone will get a different speed and there’s no real way of them knowing what that will be. The theoretical maximum seems as good a way as any of doing it.

    But equally BT are hideous. Terrible customer service, awful tech support and pricing that’s so unclear it’s got to be deliberate.

  • ratface replied to the topic How to properly heal a wound? in the forum Health 3 months ago

    I changed dressings every 2-3 days. I didn’t put anything on any of the areas (major wound or where skin was taken for graft) until they were healed. My most important find was Allevyn gentle border for the hole or the petroleum infused dressings for the skin donation site, the latter didn’t stick and really helped.

    Try not to keep looking at it if you use dressings. Let it heal.

  • I used to have broadband with them and have since moved because it was really bad. I moved half way into my contract because couldn’t take how bad they were any longer. The broadband would be constantly down and when it wasn’t down it was a terribly slow connection. The customer service was also pretty bad all you got was a premium rate phone number that got you in touch with someone from India who’s best advice is to try turning it off and on again. I would not recommend them to anyone, not worth the stress or money.

  • ratface posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    Google are just pathetic and dont like anyone even daring to question their totalitarian system.

  • ratface replied to the topic What are schools for? in the forum General Chat 3 months ago

    ‘m slightly replying in haste but firstly, I suspect many people like “faith” schools because in general they provide a good all round education. I know that that is what my children got at primary level, and the “faith” side (apart from a general moral grounding) was not strongly pushed upon them.

    Now, with two at different secondary schools, I just wish the schools were able to teach the 3Rs to an adequate standard!

    Judging by what I see on Facebook and on forums (fora!) these days, nobody even learns the basics any more.

  • I was thinking that the demand for XxxxL sizes would be smaller so volumes being made in those sizes would be lower but these days……

    Fatties could avoid the problem by eating less so save money on the food bill and clothing!

  • Ask yourself what other route can poor but bright children take to receive a similar education to those at private school? Children from rich families can have a private education purchased for them but poor children don’t have this option. I don’t think that being poor should exclude anyone from receiving the education that they deserve and that will benefit them the most but I do understand that not everyone feels the same as I do, honestly I do. I just don’t agree with them

    The clincher for me comes through lived experience. I didn’t come from a wealthy family and I remain profoundly grateful for the education I received. I got a small grant to go to a redbrick uni too, not much but it bought a few books and suchlike. I was able to enter the civil service on a ‘fast track…[Read more]

  • ratface replied to the topic New PC – any suggestions? in the forum General Chat 4 months ago

    I heard a rumour that Dell would make components in such a way that you could only buy spare parts or upgrades direct from them, such as wiring up RAM chips the opposite way round to regular RAM chips.

    Was this just a rumour or do Dell actually customise components so that you have to buy from them?

  • I tried melatonin and I’m one of the unlucky that get the side effect of really itchy skin with it.

    I keep irregular hours with work – and when I do go to bed its’ usually running around in my head like a ferret on expresso

    So I use chamomile, calif. poppy, passiflora and valerian in combination. I buy them as fluid extract strengths from Panacea Health and combine them in about equal measures. I need about 15 -20 mls to get me to sleep because I’m accustomed to it now, friends who have tried the sleep mix usually need about 5-10 mls and it knocks them out for hours

    I don;t use it every night, but when I do it’s a blessed relief

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

    Do they lie habitually? Look at the on-going tale of Barry Gardiner (no I had not heard of him either but apparently he’s Liam Fox’s shadow).

    1. He gives a private speech playing down the Good Friday Agreement and problems of an Irish border

    2. Sh1t hits the fan

    3.Instant reaction? I never said. it. Accuses critics of spouting “nonsense on stilts”

    4. Audio of speech emerges. Oh yes he did say it

    5. Second reaction. Oh bugger! Well it’s a misunderstanding then. I never meant it

    So definitely a liar. Action taken against him? Zilch

    Draw your own conclusion as to how serious an issue lying is considered to be in today’s politics

  • ratface posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    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.

  • ratface posted an update 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Should you get sent to jail for a joke? Jonathan Pie is on another rant, this time for a case heard in Scotland where a person could go to prison for making a joke.

    Does he have a point?

    Not Safe For Work.

    • I agree with him, you start locking people up for stuff like this and things can get very bad very quickly.

    • I’d rather that people are free to reveal themselves as dickheads.

      I’d rather it wasn’t up to those in power to decide whether someone is funny or should be jailed.

    • “Gas the Jews” Hilarious. Ffs.

      Free speech doesn’t include hate speech.

      It was only a joke isn’t a defence against hate speech or antisemitism.

      • Do you not think that he was taking the piddle out of the pug and the Nazi’s simultaneously?

        • No I think he was being a @#$&.

          Posting it on YouTube makes a mockery of his claims it was just a joke between him and his mates.

          Meanwhile in Scotland antisemitic attacks are up.

          • I’m kinda torn, what he’s done risks making a joke of what happen to the Jews, which isn’t on at all, and possibly makes light of antisemitism, but I don’t know if he should go to jail? The context in which he’s said what he did, wasn’t one in which he was promoting antisemitic views, ie ‘the Jews are like this, and taking advantage of xyz, and have this agenda’, he was getting a pug to do a Nazi salute to sieg heils and making it excited at ‘gas the Jews’. The second might be in really really bad taste, but I dunno if it qualifies as hate speech? Katie Price likening immigrants or asylum seekers (I forget which) to cockroaches was arguably worse. I don’t know, though, I’m torn.

            I think the line is blurred, and he’s in the blurred part between one thing and the other? It’s…[Read more]

          • I agree he “was being a @#$&.” but I also think he should not be jailed. Training the dog to respond to “gas the jews” is tasteless and makes me feel very uncomfortable , but I do not feel it is criminal. That said, maybe I am just as bad… in isolation, I would probably have laughed at a dog being trained to respond to “Seig Heil”. To me, that’s more a mockery of Nazis and the over-anthropomorphism of animals than a hate crime. My own position is pretty much the variously misttribued quote:

            “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

          • No, it really doesn’t. YouTube is a perfectly convenient way of sharing video content with a group of friends. For every famous new-media celebrity getting millions of views, there are thousands of low-profile people using the platform to share things with a handful of mates.

      • No, you’ve completely missed the point. Jonathan Pie is absolutely spot on (as usual). Hilarious as well. Goose stepping outside the court – brilliant

      • I don’t find the original video funny either, and definitely not as funny as he thinks he is. But do you think he has committed a crime, because in the context of a stupid video he repeats an offensive statement? Or even do you think the crime so bad that he deserves to go to prison?

        I don’t.

      • >”Gas the Jews” Hilarious. Ffs.

        The issue isn’t whether or not it’s funny, it’s whether it should be a crime.

        >Free speech doesn’t include hate speech.

        Freedom of speech is certainly a qualified right, and those who try to justify spreading hatred with “free speech, innit” are prats. There are a lot of them around.

        I haven’t seen the video, but it sounds like there might be ample reason to take it down from youtube, which is public and you need to have basic manners when you speak in public. But committing a criminal offence is a completely different matter to having your freedom to publicly broadcast whatever you like curtailed.

        > It was only a joke isn’t a defence against hate speech or antisemitism.

        So what’s your position? Do you think that the joke should be…[Read more]

        • I understand your point and yes, there are a lot of idiots out there spouting toxic crap but if you make people afraid to express themselves through fear of legal sanction then they just retreat to the internet, their likeminded friends or their extremist churches. The end result is that their views are reinforced instead of challenged and they never get their noses rubbed in the fact that normal folk find such people ridiculous and their views abhorrent.

      • “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]

      • Free speech doesn’t include hate speech? That’s a very odd statement. Stopping people saying they hate something doesn’t stop them hating it (anymore than stopping them saying they love something would stop them loving it). Given this, it’s surely better to let them speak and know where things stand and manage matters accordingly?

    • Isn’t this just the unfortunate conclusion to the over Political Correctness that has proliferated social media in the last few years or so?
      It seems that social media (and utterz is not immune to this) goes into a frenzy whenever anything is deemed offensive and with people demanding that the offender loses their job (gets banned), etc.
      In fact, I would say that some of the posters on this very thread, quite often get enraged if for example Clarkson/Boyle say something racist/bigoted/homophobic/sexist, etc. I’m not saying that those some posters would call for Clarkson/Boyle to be jailed, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see that others would see that a bloke encouraging a dog to do a Nazi salute is a hate crime and that hate crime seems to be something that the Police…[Read more]

    • Regardless of my views on the sentencing, I don’t think what he did is in any sense a joke as your OP suggests. It may be found funny by some people, but it doesn’t have a punchline or any other defining characteristic of a joke.

      My views on the sentencing: If I ran through town shouting “gas all the Jews” I’d expect similar consequences. Some people seem to have real trouble accepting that “but the internets” isn’t actually a mitigating factor.

      • I just watched his video on YouTube and he does introduce it by saying that by training his girlfriends dog up like a Nazi it’ll piss her off. I think it’s very hard to see that in any other way than as a deliberate joke. Whether it’s funny or not is another thing, but it is clearly introduced as something to wind up his girlfriend.

        I like freedom of speech, I dislike the idea of restrictions on that due to hate speech, as there is no clear definition on what it is. It depends on people’s willingness to be offended. Do I agree with a group of white supremacists chanting at young children from a minority and claiming freedom of speech? No, so I wonder what the middle ground is.

        There is a current trend of reporting out of context, Pie identifies this and it seems the judge did…[Read more]

      • 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.

      • I don’t think I’ve actually seen anybody suggest that being on the internet IS a major mitigating factor. The mitigating factor is that, if somebody actually watches the video with their brain engaged, it’s impossible to conclude that he endorses, approves of or encourages the gassing of Jews. I did watch the video after seeing the news stories and whilst I didn’t think it was all that funny, the humorous intent was never at all in doubt.

        Your example of running through town shouting “gas all the Jews” is different mostly because it could reasonably be interpreted as a serious suggestion.

    • Where has the nation’s sense of humour gone?

      The first thing that came into my head was that when I was growing up I’d see bikers going round with Iron Crosses on their leather jackets and swastikas on their backs. Did many people care? Not that I remember. Did the country turn into a fascist state. No? And I’m going back to when many adult males had fought in WWII.

      It’s a joke! If you can’t see that then the problem is with you, not with the comedian.

    • Should sue youtube for taking the video down for no legal reason only subjective opinion.

      • I imagine that a clip that causes a lot of complaints because it’s construed as racist or antisemitic breaks their guidelines and they can take it down if it’s giving them a bad name. Their sandpit and all that.

        While it’s the role of the law to ensure support freedom of speech (first and foremost by not making jokes or opinions illegal) it’s not the role of YouTube. People who complain that if you can’t post whatever you want on the internet without someone else deciding to take it down, then that’s an infringement of free speech simply don’t understand what free speech means.

        • > they can take it down if it’s giving them a bad name. Their sandpit and all that.

          Last time I looked, just after the verdict, the original video had been blocked or removed but several other people had uploaded copies of it that appear when you search for it. It could be that the original author had chosen to take it down but it seems more likely that YouTube did it. They’re obviously not bothered enough to make it hard for people to share copies of it though.

          > While it’s the role of the law to ensure support freedom of speech (first and foremost by not making jokes or opinions illegal) it’s not the role of YouTube. People who complain that if you can’t post whatever you want on the internet without someone else deciding to take it down, then that’s an infringement of free…[Read more]

      • Youtube, control what you can and can’t say on their platform. We should be, and generally are, free to say pretty much what we want, but no one is required to provide us with a megaphone with which to broadcast our views. And if you own the megaphone, then it’s your choice who to give it to.

        The state has, I think, responsibility to ensure that we have unimpeded access to diverse views, and so should obviously not control the media and internet. The state also has some responsibility to ensure that the media and internet aren’t used to harm those who can’t fight back or to undermine democracy and the rule of law. I tend to find arguments about free speech often ignore the balance that I think needs to be struck – if everyone’s free to broadcast whatever they want then we…[Read more]

    • Is this really ‘hate speech’?

      In my view it is quite the opposite. Someone like this taking the most sacrosanct Nazi symbolism of the entire regime and making such an open mockery of it is about as far from antisemitism as it is possible to get.

      To take offense is to totally and utterly miss the point.

      Outlawing offensive jokes should be far more offensive to you than this joke itself. Think about Turkey where you’re prosecuted for joking about Erdogan. Do we really want to walk that way?

      • Being able to be rude to or joke about the prime minister is free speech. Joking about the mass deaths of a large number of people due to their heritage isn’t in my opinion.

        I don’t agree with what’s happening in Turkey, but I don’t think it is the same.

    • For me this was hate speech.

      There appears to be a strong correlation between increase in hate speech and increase in violent hate crime. If people feel more able to say anti Semitic things, a number of them will feel it is ok to hurt people. Personally I think we should challenge hate speech strongly and I support the sheriff in this case. I appreciate it’s not a popular view on here, but I haven’t been persuaded otherwise yet.

      A large number of comments on the video were not in anyway joking, and the involvement of the EDL or ex EDL lot doesn’t make me thing better of it either.

      • 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?

  • ratface replied to the topic Space and time in the forum General Chat 4 months, 4 weeks ago

    I think an interesting (I suppose psycholological) question is whether you see yourself moving forward through time or whether you see yourself static with time rolling towards you. Personally I think I see time as a really long unrolling carpet with me riding the roll!

  • I’d agree with this, it feels like they’re pushing people towards paying for quicker delivery or signing up for Prime.

    On the subject of prime, the free next day delivery isn’t very reliable and Amazon have ignored my emails of complaint.

  • ratface replied to the topic Tooth extraction after care tips? in the forum Health 5 months ago

    When I had my wisdom teeth extracted at the Dental hospital, the advice was only to sip cold or at the most tepid drinks for the first few days as anything hotter can disturb the clot.

    Also if its an upper molar, try to avoid blowing your nose hard as it can sometimes rupture between the top of the tooth socket and your sinus – this happened to my brother and was pretty painful….

    If its very painful then for a couple of days keep topping up your painkillers as per dosage instructions on the packet rather than waiting for the painkillers to wear off before taking the next dose.

    I hope you get over it quickly!

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

    I think future robots and AI will be very psychologically damaging to a lot of people knowing that they have nothing to strive for and that a robot will be able to do everything that they can do and more. The devil makes work of idle hands.

    I think robots will spell the end of capitalism all together and then what will the elites do when is everyone is just sat around doing nothing and just multiplying? People always want to seem important and stay at the top of pile so I imagine that some will try to come up with new ways to control people. Maybe they might make up fake religions and stuff (some one in silicon valley already has created his own religion announcing AI as god ). It is also not that far fetched to think with the rise of technology and possibly rise is anger…[Read more]

    • We are thinking along similar lines on this subject. Thanks for taking on board a serious subject that some on here surprisingly think its far fetched. We all like our tech but some have not realized the path we are going down, despite there being alot of media of various kinds on this.

    • There’s plenty of organizations which need volunteers, though, and charities. There’s many ways of feeling useful which don’t involve working for money.

    • They could come up tournaments to entertain the masses – call them the Hunger Games or something.

  • Load More