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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Links - 14th May 2024 (2)

Apparently you can’t even withdraw your own money from a bank here in Canada without being thoroughly interrogated. How is it any of their business what you do with your money? They refuse to let him withdraw $3000. What a joke banking in Canada is! : r/Canada_sub - "Just wait for a family member to be scammed out of money then they ask why the bank didnt ask more questions to prevent the abnormal withdrawl."
"Had this very conversation today. Had a relative scammed. He took out large cash withdrawals 3 times. He was asked what for and he lied bc he felt ashamed "his grandson was in jail". If the teller had demanded an invoice or something similar the scam would've stopped in its tracks. This questioning and inconvenience is the price we pay for other people's bad behaviour. I am guessing the manager gave this fellow his cash in the end"
"Exactly this, all these people giving these tellers a hard time are the exact same people who will turn around and blame the bank when they or a family member gets fleeced. They are all just Karen’s getting off on make others lives miserable."

Meme - Hillel Neuer: "Seems I've been blocked by the author of "Win Every Argument - The Art of Debating""
Mehdi Hasan @mehdirhasan. You're blocked. You can't follow or see @mehdirhasan's posts."

Peter Hague PhD on X - "Nobody wants to have the grown up conversation about children and taxation. Everyone just stakes out a position that financially benefits themselves and then pretends dissent is immoral and get emotional about it. People need to accept some brute facts:
1. Your taxes are spent the instant they are collected. Any government entitlement is simply you using your vote to take other people’s money for yourself
2. Spending taxpayer money on children returns many times over when they grow up and contribute to society. Spending lots of old people, although electorally savvy, has no long term impact because the recipients die a few years later
3. Those who have kids spend a huge amount of income on raising them, “paying into” the future in a meaningful way that simply paying taxes does not. Yet they receive the same welfare and healthcare provision in old age. Mathematically speaking, this is a classic free rider problem.
4. The childless, saved of this massive expense (as they sometimes take glee in reminding us) have the capacity to save a lot more, and thus prepare to fund their own retirement. Under the free rider system, it makes more sense for them to just enjoy their earnings now and sponge of other people’s children when old.
5. This is a moral hazard, a Ponzi scheme, and a dynamic that will if left unchecked lead to a decline in population and a soaring tax burden. This can’t continue forever so at some point there would be a collapse.
6. If you care about the future at all, this issue should concern you greatly."

Peter Hague PhD on X - "I am absolutely fine with people choosing not to have children. But if you do that and then become dependent on the state in later life, it is mathematically speaking a free rider problem.  Those without children should be diligently saving - they have a lot more spare cash after all - so that they are not dependent on other people's kids being taxed to death when they get older."
The irony is that there're childless people who complain that they pay taxes to support children, because they don't know (or care) that those children will pay taxes to support them in the future


Now that women are allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia, let's take a moment and look back at this unbelievable tweet by a cleric... - "Last year a Saudi cleric took to Twitter to explain why it's sinful for women to drive.  Now that women are allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia, let  "When a woman is driving, she's exposed to vibrations, this shakes her vagina, she will feel sexual euphoria and this is haraam" he wrote."

Meme - PETER @CashEssence: "Stupid ass graphs. White people make up like 75% of the county whereas black people make up 13%. When whites commit a crime, that crime is compared to the 75% of you and therefore looks lesser than if a black person commits a crime
Say there's 13 (13%) black people. 4 of them commit a crime. "Oh goodness! 30% of Black people are violent!!!". Now there's 75 white people. 4 commits the same crime. "Only 5% of white people are violent" but you don't understand that the statistics will be different"

Thread by @JackDetsch on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "If Russia's war in Ukraine has taught the U.S. Army anything about the future of warfare, it’s this:  Just look up.  @ForeignPolicy got a chance to travel to Ft. Irwin, one of the Army's biggest training bases, where soldiers face off against 105 drone swarms that can attack all at once.  Here are 3 things the Army is doing learn to fight and defend in a world of drone swarms...
1️⃣ TURN OFF YOUR PHONE: The cell phone is the new cigarette in the foxhole... Taylor and his team recently spotted an otherwise undetectable Apache helicopter weaving through their air defenses when they clocked the pilot’s iPhone doing 120 miles per hour across the desert.
2️⃣ COST CURVE: The $1,500 drone versus a fighter jet.
3️⃣ COVERING UP: Cutting the command post.  If something can be seen or sensed, it can be killed. Unwieldy server stacks and satellite dishes sticking out of U.S. vehicles and outposts could get soldiers killed. Maj. Gen. Jim Isenhower, who leads the Army’s 1st Armored Division, told Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George during a demonstration that he believes putting command-and-control systems onto screens, tablets, and mixed reality applications can help him reduce the size of a combat outpost by 95 percent, from 326 troops to about eight. It's so small that the Army’s opposition force didn’t even spot it during practice drills"
U.S. Army Tests Robots for Future Combat - "Robots may be harder to kill, but you can’t fix stupid, either. “They don’t have curiosity—they don’t have instincts,” said Gen. Jim Rainey, the head of U.S. Army Futures Command. But the idea of creating robots that do have curiosity and instincts is also terrifying. Are military officials worried about creating terminators?  George, the Army chief, said that he’s not. “You’re talking about completely autonomous vehicles,” he said. “Everything out there was controlled by a soldier.”...   “The scariest circumstance is not Skynet,” Miller added, referring to the super-intelligent network of killer robots from the Terminator movies as he held a cellphone with an app tracking the positions of soldiers and robots at Fort Irwin. “The scariest circumstance is that it comes under the enemy’s control.”"

Chinese destroyer Guangzhou (160) - Wikipedia - "After nearly half a year of investigation by a joint team of the General Staff, Navy, and Fleet, the explosion was finally revealed to have been caused by a lieutenant cadre, Lai Sanyang (赖三羊), who worked in the armory. Lai had been involved with a woman before joining the navy, but broke off with her after becoming an officer. She then committed suicide. The Political Department of the detachment decided that Lai should be dismissed and demobilized. But Lai begged his superiors not to demobilize him, as he would be forced to return to his hometown and he had become hated there due to the suicide. After dismissing Lai Sanyang as a cadre, the unit did not immediately demobilize him. Lai was in charge of sea mines, depth charges, underwater weapons and held the key to the armory. Following his dismissal, Lai hid in the ammunition depot and detonated the depth charges, sinking the ship. How he achieved this was debated. He either tampered with the mechanism on the charge, or bored a hole through the hull of the ship, which caused water to rush in and detonate the depth charges. Guangzhou went down with 134 sailors and injuring 28"

White bowl, and at the bottom, a picture of the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Not offering the bowl back. I want to meet the Woman. Trust me I have known you 100 years in my heart. I Will Take You As You Are. Take one of these restaurant buzzers, Walk around and it will buzz when you're at front of my house"

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier - "In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don't really concern our lives and don't require thinking. That's why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.
News misleads... News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated. We are not rational enough to be exposed to the press. Watching an airplane crash on television is going to change your attitude toward that risk, regardless of its real probability. If you think you can compensate with the strength of your own inner contemplation, you are wrong. Bankers and economists – who have powerful incentives to compensate for news-borne hazards – have shown that they cannot. The only solution: cut yourself off from news consumption entirely.
News is irrelevant.
News has no explanatory power. News items are bubbles popping on the surface of a deeper world. Will accumulating facts help you understand the world? Sadly, no. The relationship is inverted. The important stories are non-stories: slow, powerful movements that develop below journalists' radar but have a transforming effect. The more "news factoids" you digest, the less of the big picture you will understand. If more information leads to higher economic success, we'd expect journalists to be at the top of the pyramid. That's not the case.
News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress...
News increases cognitive errors. News feeds the mother of all cognitive errors: confirmation bias...
News inhibits thinking. Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. News makes us shallow thinkers. But it's worse than that. News severely affects memory... Online news has an even worse impact. In a 2001 study two scholars in Canada showed that comprehension declines as the number of hyperlinks in a document increases. Why? Because whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which in itself is distracting. News is an intentional interruption system.
News works like a drug.
News wastes time... You are not that irresponsible with your money, reputation or health. Why give away your mind?
News makes us passive. News stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence...
News kills creativity. Finally, things we already know limit our creativity. This is one reason that mathematicians, novelists, composers and entrepreneurs often produce their most creative works at a young age."

"Honk to See A Midget Twerk" Bumper Sticker - Then Sitting at Green Lights - YouTube

Meme - "My flatmate has asked me to clean up because he's bringing a date back. I've made a shrine to Princess Diana in his room."

This Dude Got Fired from a Band for Doing What with Estrogen?! - "“We have decided to part ways with our vocalist Diego due to admission of very disturbing and concerning behavior towards one of our band members and their partner. He has admitted to being obsessed with said partner, and has been attempting to sabotage their relationship by cutting pre workout he frequently gifts from his job with high amounts of estrogen in them.  “He has been attempting to force a transition onto him for the last 5 months, in hopes that would give him the opportunity to ‘swoop in’ once he looked stronger and more manly in comparison. (Stupid cave man mindset that makes zero sense) This tampering has caused confusion and thousands of dollars in medical bills the past months trying to figure out whats wrong.  “We would not know any of this unless Diego had gotten way too intoxicated and ousted himself, and then stated an admission to all of this via text. There are many more disgusting details that have been left out for the sake of privacy and general censorship.”... The band said that other members had been experiencing other health issues recently, so they’re going to be monitoring their levels to see if fuck face did this to them too."

Gregory the Great did not invent “Gregorian” Chant - "Even what we now know as Gregorian Chant (the most standardized, canonical form of Latin monodic liturgical psalmody) is a relatively late development born out of several other traditions. It blossomed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, and experienced some later modifications in the Late Middle Ages and in the Early Renaissance. Even if tradition credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant (hence its name, “Gregorian”) nowadays most scholars believe that this kind of monophonic psalmody is rather a musical development stemming from Carolingian, Visigothic, Roman, and Gallican liturgical chants. The plot thickens when one considers that Visigothic chant (more commonly known as Mozarabic Chant), for example, is itself the product of the melting of two other traditions. One, coming from northern Spain, known as Castilian-Leonese; the other one, from the south of the Peninsula, known as Toledane (from Toledo), although it most likely originated in Seville —as St. Isidore suggests... In fact, the melodic content of what we now know as “Gregorian” chant simply did not exist in Gregory I’s day. However, that has not kept his “authorship” as being popularly accepted as a fact, even today"

BBC Howard Goodall's Story of Music 1of6 The Age of Discovery - YouTube - "In Tudor England, if you went to the barbershop for a haircut, or some form of crude walk-in surgery, while you were waiting you could pull down one of these off the wall and have a sing-song. Yes, every self-respecting 16th-century barber had a cittern hanging around for the use of his customers, many of whom would  then accompany themselves whilst singing a jolly folk song. I'm not making this up... Often, the exact same tunes were used for both church music and secular music, with different words, of course... The first religious songs to get catchy tunes were the ones associated with Christmas. Some of the early carols were derived from jaunty folk dances." One reason these 500-year-old carols are still easy on the modern ear is because of a significant shift that was taking place in the musical structure at this time. It's to do with the positioning of the melody. When, in around 900 AD, chanting monks started to add extra voices to plainsong melodies, beginning the process that became polyphony, the layering of many voices, it was always assumed that the principal tune, the red bricks in our diagram, was the bottom one, and the added tune was on top of it. Gradually, as two lines became three and then four, this principal melody got buried inside the four voices. That's why the third line down in any four-part piece of choral music got to be known as the tenor, because this was the part that held the main tune, tenir being the French verb to hold. We take it for granted that the tune of a piece of music sits on top of the texture, but this wasn't the case before the 16th century. Gradually, in all forms of music, the tune worked itself up to the top. Once the tune was sitting pretty on the top of the texture, you were more likely to be able to hear the words clearly... Monteverdi's audience would have seen the opera's ending for what it was - a savage attack on Venice's archrival state, Rome. In the light of this, the Coronation Of Poppaea can be seen as a scathing critique of the excesses of Roman power and the pressing need for humane self-restraint."

BBC Howard Goodall's Story of Music 3of6 The Age of Elegance and Sensibility - The Best Documentary part 1/2 - video - "Mozart was a born, unstoppable tune writer. No-one who's ever lived has bettered Mozart in this respect. It's like he couldn't help it. Tunes flooded out of him, seemingly at will. And that was important, because Mozart, unlike, say, Bach 50 years earlier, was mostly writing for a paying public. If they didn't like his music, he'd starve. Ravishing melodies weren't a bad way to gain the public's heart, then as now. It pains me to say it, but if you can remember a tune, it's probably by Mozart. If you can't, it's probably by Haydn... When, in Mozart's music, we glimpse life's darker side, or sense loneliness or insecurity, it's as if a veil has momentarily slipped. Later composers, especially Beethoven and Berlioz, do little else than expose their internal turmoil all over the music, like they're in a modern-day self-help group of composers with personality disorders. Mozart's emotional honesty, on the other hand, is disguised beneath the decorum and poise required of an 18th-century artisan. We know that the 1770s and '80s were dirty, unhealthy, dangerous and grim, for anyone but the most privileged. But it wouldn't occur to Mozart to reproduce that misery. Like the portraits Gainsborough and Reynolds painted during Mozart's lifetime, his music says, "I'll do my best to make this beautiful because that's what life can be at its best." Painter and composer alike would have wanted to ennoble humanity. They succeeded... If these songs for solo voice and piano and the thousands of others that gushed out of composers in the first half of the 19th Century seemed to us to be rather immature or naive in their treatment of love, it's because these song writers were young. Their emotional development, aged 25, was probably equivalent to a modern-day school leaver. These men lived at the same time as Jane Austen but, compared to her sophistication and emotional intelligence, they're like teenagers... After Beethoven's death in 1827, a kind of parting of the waves took place between two versions of what a composer might do, whether to curry favour with an audience or become a misunderstood martyr suffering for your art. It's a rift that took nearly 200 years to heal. In the next programme, in the hands of Berlioz and Wagner, music became louder, angrier, more self-important and more tempestuous. The second half of the 19th Century saw a craze for music that was obsessed with death, doomed love and destiny. Even popular Italian opera succumbed to it in the brilliant, passionate musical dramas of Giuseppe Verdi. The future belonged to the beautiful and the damned."

Why Growth Will Fall - "It is commonplace to complain that gross domestic product does a poor job of representing true economic welfare because it omits harmful elements such as pollution. This is true. However, most readers will be surprised to learn that the major shortcoming of conventional measures is that they underestimate growth. Moreover, according to Gordon, the understatement was arguably much larger in the special century than before or after. Why do conventional measures understate actual improvements in living standards? Gordon gives two principal reasons. First, the growth of real income is systematically understated because of flawed price indexes. The price indexes used to convert current dollars of output into inflation-corrected or “real” output overestimate price increases and consequently understate real output growth. Second, GDP omits many aspects of economic activity that are not captured in market transactions. The common omissions are environmental degradation, leisure time, nonmarket work, and improvements in health."

Meme - Fortune Cookie: "That wasn't chicken"

Meme - Langkawi Hotel Menu: "CHEF LANGKAWI FRIED KEOY TEOW - RM28. Stir fried flat rice noodles with homemade fresh chili paste, prawn, cockle, bean sprouts, local chive, topped with fried egg and accompanied with deep fried prawn accompanied with whipped cream and strawberry sauce"

101-Year-Old Man Convicted Over 3,518 Murders During Holocaust Sentenced To Prison - "A 101-year-old man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of being a Nazi guard in a concentration camp.  A German court has sentenced a former concentration camp guard to five years behind bars as prosecutors accused him of involvement in the murder of 3,518 prisoners.  According to DW, the man was accused of involvement in the murders committed at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp between 1942 and 1945."
From 2022. When you scrape the bottom of the barrel. Naturally there're ignorant people claiming he murdered them

Why You'll NEVER See Movies Like The Lord Of The Rings Again. - YouTube - "Hell, even Peter Jackson couldn't remake the Peter Jackson Trilogy... with the rise of technology, particularly CGI and the current climate of entertainment, movies like the Jackson Trilogy are like the Latin language. They might have built the groundwork for and influenced almost everything that came after, but it is ultimately unsustainable... only the biggest studios in the world. Even if by some miracle you find this hypothetical studio you then have to convince said company to spend more than is technically necessary to execute the feature... good luck convincing a studio to spend half a billion on an adaptation that's not yet been adapted for the Silver Screen in any way. And it's not just a financial problem. The rise of CGI is nothing short of a marvel... though CGI was available, used and pioneered in the production of the Jackson Trilogy, it had much higher limitations and was far less capable. And as a result the vast majority of these movies were shot practically... with what you can achieve with CGI today good luck convincing a studio to film anything practical... it seems that studios have begun to forget about phrases like long-term investment or creative risk... studios have begun to forget about their obligations to the art form itself: movie making. That without they wouldn't have a penny. Disney in particular has mastered the art of fast food movies. These things, you know, they might not have any real substance to them but they're cheap, they're quick, and they're easy. And the problem with that is people really like fast food... No pre-existing props were used in any way, in any scene. In any movie, every single barrel, every single pipe, candlestick, wheelbarrow, cup, fork, butt case. Everything you see on screen was designed and handmade from scratch exclusively for these movies. And it goes even deeper than that because at times they had to shoot at two different scales because of the hobbits. So a large number of these props were not only handmade but handmade to scale in two different sizes and of course it goes even deeper than that because some of the sets like the Prancing Pony for example were also recreated in two different scales. I'm still yet to come across that level of care and attention to detail in almost any other movie... this movie should be praised for is the fact that many noted Tolkien Scholars were consulted throughout the production of these three movies including the real life Maiar that is Tom Shippey... I'm sure that the makers of the Rings of Power gave it a pretty good go. Remember when they sacked him?... that show was so cataclysmically awful it gave me a career on YouTube. That's how bad it was...  they spent a whole year building the entire town of Hobbiton before they even began shooting any of the movies. Which is a gargantuan amount of work to put into what ended up being actually very little screen time. But it speaks to the ethos of the movies. No corners were cut. They persisted down the path of most resistance for the sake of us, the audience... Tolkien would have been more than a little perturbed by the notion of pulling down real trees for the sake of a shot in a movie. So in this scene for example they buried an artificial tree and yanked that met down. Very respectful...  the problem we so often see today is not necessarily the writers changing the source material. It's when writers lack respect and understanding of the source material... the guy responsible for making all of the chain mail that you see on screen was making this armor for about two years straight and spent so long hand joining it all together he ended up wearing out his fingerprints... I can remember when Morfydd Clark needed counseling because she didn't like filming scenes where other actors were holding prop swords... if Christopher Tolkien thought that the Peter Jackson Trilogy was bad, lord knows what he would have thought about Rings of Power...one of the most epic scenes from Modern Cinema. And that is the Ride of the Rohirrim and I personally consider this to be the true climax of the trilogy... they spent days scouring the field where they were going to film this scene making sure that there weren't any rabbit holes... Rings of Power killed a horse. That's actually not a joke"

20 Years On, Lord Of The Rings Will Never Be Equalled - YouTube - "It's easy to forget now just how much of them were filmed in real locations using practical effects. How many towering cities and castles were actually just intricately constructed miniatures enhanced by CGI. And that's the key thing to remember here. Enhanced CGI has definitely got its place in film making but it's supposed to be used to enhance rather than replace real locations. It should be used to do the things that are impossible with practical effects, not as a lazy crutch to avoid having to step outside that lovely airconditioned sound stage and maybe get your hands dirty once in a while... just take a look at the cast interviews for Rings of Power where everyone involved is so young and soft and diverse and artificially happy that it reminds me more of an HR commercial than a serious insight into a landmark film project. Everyone's so blandly agreeable, so non-confrontational and careful not to say anything offensive... they seem a lot more interested in discussing how groundbreakingly diverse they are or the activism that's apparently so close to their hearts that they barely have time to talk about the characters they play or the experiences they've had.  Hollywood used to depict heroic actions. Now they can only see heroic identities. They used to champion escapism and wonder now they push allegory in agendas. Compare this to the cast interviews or the behind the-scenes footage from the original Lord of the Rings and you really get a sense of how focused and dedicated everyone was to doing this right almost to the exclusion of all else...  these guys really seem to want to do Tolkien's work justice even if the process was long grueling and physically demanding. The actors and writers and showrunners of today seem to actively despise everything he was and everything he represented and they certainly don't seem interested in putting in the work needed to represent it properly on screen...
'We we didn't want to put any of our own, certainly in terms of the thematic material. we didn't want to put any of our own baggage. I mean we had no interest in putting our messages into this movie, but we thought that we should honor Tolkien by putting his messages into it.'
This right here is why Lord of the Rings got it. This is why people still talk about these movies two decades later. This is why they're going to be beloved by generation after generation. And it's why I don't think we're going to see the likes of Lord of the Rings ever again because the conditions that allowed those films to get made simply don't exist"

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