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Somewhere

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  1. Anyone familiar with the Landmark Forum?

    I once attended Insight, which is a cousin of Landmark with less aggressive marketing. These courses are collectively known as Large Group Awareness Trainings (LGATs). Attendees are supposed to keep the material secret but there is an accurate, detailed and entertaining account of the more traditional EST/Insight experience here: http://www.caic.org.au/psyther/lgat/lgat1.htm (for later pages, just edit that web address, changing the 1 to a 2 etc, because the links on the pages themselves don't work). The Landmark syllabus is apparently a little different, but similar. The emphasis, as others have mentioned, is on taking personal responsibility; to some that is a revelation, but if it's something you already do, then you will probably not benefit from the course, apart from the experience of a weird sleep-deprived weekend.
  2. Stefan on Climate Change

    The reasons that people usually "deny" catastrophic global warming are specific to that topic. There are real concerns about the science. Many climate sceptics are former environmentalists who actually looked at the science and were shocked at what they saw, Anthony Watts of wattsupwiththat.com being one example. Many supporters of climate change alarm are science groupies who don't actually look at the science themselves. Personally, the argument I find most compelling is: if the evidence for catastrophic CO2-induced climate change is overwhelming, why don't they just present a concise summary of that evidence? Instead over the years we've had a string of weak papers to try to convince the public that recent warming is something unusual, such as MBH 1998 (inappropriate statistical technique that creates hockey sticks, selective use of time series that happen to be hockey-stick-shaped) and Gergis et al (withdrawn just hours before they would have been independently found out for not having detrended their data as they claimed to have). Regarding other forms of pollution, one of the problems with climate change campaigning is that it diverts vast resources away from addressing real pollution problems. The climate change movement doesn't actually care very much about the environment (they don't mind if their policies such as biofuel mandates damage the environment), just as socialists don't care very much about the poor (they don't mind if their policies keep the poor that way).
  3. Brexit Election Video

    As a native speaker of British English (the target audience) I found the pace about right.
  4. Actuaries give men around 5 years' additional life expectancy just for being married. Even divorced, widowed and separated men have somewhat higher life expectancy than "never married" with otherwise identical profiles. That doesn't sit well with the idea that marriage is bad for men. The stats are similar for women, although married women only live around 3 years longer than otherwise identical "never married" women.
  5. Here in the UK, older people were chastised for voting for Brexit last year, against the wishes of younger voters who would have to live with the consequences for longer. It looks like the establishment won't be able to use that line in the upcoming French election. There's an interesting graphic from the Financial Times on this page: https://forecastingintelligence.org/2017/03/19/populist-politics-and-the-dutch-elections/showing that Le Pen gets much of her support from the young. The FT's title on the original graphic was "Economic frustration drives young French voters towards Le Pen".
  6. There's a link to his questionnaire from the page below: https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/north_america/2016-u-s-presidential-election/trump-is-asking-for-your-suggestions-interesting-lets-see/
  7. There's a petition to "pardon" Julian Assange: https://www.change.org/p/donald-trump-pardon-julian-assange The petition is directed at Donald Trump, so it covers the presumed threat of Julian's extradition to the USA, not Julian's prosecution in Sweden for alleged rape, which would presumably go ahead if the US extradition threat was lifted. Sign and/or share if you think it's a good cause.
  8. Regarding the permafrost global warming scare, here's another viewpoint: http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/01/permafrost-far-more-stable-than-claimed-german-expert-calls-danger-of-it-thawing-out-utter-imbicility/ Methane release from thawing permafrost is one of the things that people have brought up in the past like the possibility (now not taken seriously) that global warming "could" shut down the thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic, bringing freezing weather to Europe.
  9. I'm no expert on the genre (I could never handle the pink cards in Trivial Pursuit) but my first reaction is, it's far from universally true. Charlie's Angels, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kill Bill? So maybe the other shows really weren't so good? Films with male leads also flop. One criticism of Ghostbusters was that all the male characters were stupid or evil, with Bill Murray's character being thrown out of a window; how would your feminist acquaintance have reacted to a film in which all female characters were stupid or evil and a woman was thrown out of a window, and would her reaction also be "really gross"?
  10. A respectful request from the UK

    UK tourism up around 20% after Brexit; the good weather this year hasn't hurt. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/695015/Seaside-has-high-hopes-after-Brexit-tourism-boom
  11. My flatmate is a psychopath

    Look for another place. I don't know how it works in Berlin, but here in London, July is an easy month to find accommodation; the time to avoid if possible is September/October when you're competing with all the university students. In a similar situation, within a week I had moved to a better place at the same rent - in fact I found mine through a friend on Facebook who was advertising for a friend.
  12. Refugee economics

    There are some interesting stats at the UN's Financial Tracking Service https://fts.unocha.org/pageloader.aspx?page=special-syriancrisis especially the detailed information in the (large) spreadsheet that's generated when you go to Donor Funding 2012 to 2015 > Totals > Show full details / itemised list under each sub-total Germany did massively increase its humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in 2015, donating $519m in that year mainly through UNICEF ($193m) and the World Food Program ($146m). But that's still less than 3% of the expected annual cost for basic welfare alone of Germany's 2015 refugee/migrant intake (at $15K per head). The UK remains substantially ahead of Germany in terms of cumulative humanitarian aid, despite the complaints from certain quarters that the UK "isn't doing as much as other countries". In the table below I've listed total government humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees 2012-2015 in USD by country, in descending per capita order. It's interesting how many Middle Eastern countries are near the top. Humanitarian aid figures are from the FTS site mentioned above, population figures are from Wikipedia. table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } Country Donated Pledged Total Population Per Capita Kuwait 1,039,816,837 1,039,816,837 4,183,658 248.54 Qatar 256,967,279 3,803,270 260,770,549 2,587,564 100.78 Norway 362,537,432 14,608,919 377,146,351 5,223,256 72.21 United Arab Emirates 435,287,950 118,822,508 554,110,458 9,856,000 56.22 Luxembourg 25,462,714 25,462,714 576,200 44.19 Holy See 29,828 29,828 839 35.55 Denmark 200,072,721 200,072,721 5,717,014 35.00 Monaco 983,845 983,845 38,400 25.62 United Kingdom 1,553,810,782 1,553,810,782 65,110,000 23.86 Switzerland 197,239,702 1,142,037 198,381,739 8,341,600 23.78 Saudi Arabia 736,519,452 736,519,452 32,248,200 22.84 Netherlands 335,305,431 30,652,419 365,957,850 17,019,620 21.50 Sweden 190,870,739 190,870,739 9,894,888 19.29 Bahrain 3,580,000 22,000,000 25,580,000 1,404,900 18.21 Germany 1,253,782,339 1,253,782,339 81,770,900 15.33 Canada 550,191,075 550,191,075 36,155,487 15.22 United States 4,676,016,836 37,669,216 4,713,686,052 323,940,000 14.55 Oman 58,053,249 58,053,249 4,420,133 13.13 Finland 69,992,139 69,992,139 5,491,817 12.74 Ireland 49,939,607 1,696,065 51,635,672 4,635,400 11.14 Belgium 84,545,362 6,467,942 91,013,304 11,319,511 8.04 Australia 173,397,332 173,397,332 24,116,545 7.19 Liechtenstein 258,799 258,799 37,623 6.88 Iceland 1,755,000 1,755,000 334,300 5.25 Japan 449,012,741 23,360,000 472,372,741 126,960,000 3.72 European Commission 1,804,223,514 1,804,223,514 508,000,000 3.55 New Zealand 11,753,261 2,903,226 14,656,487 4,697,481 3.12 Austria 24,654,711 24,654,711 8,725,931 2.83 France 171,876,228 171,876,228 66,710,000 2.58 Brunei Darussalam 1,000,000 1,000,000 411,900 2.43 Estonia 2,544,435 2,544,435 1,315,944 1.93 Italy 109,801,922 3,484,310 113,286,232 60,665,551 1.87 Czech Republic 10,426,866 10,426,866 10,558,524 0.99 Spain 43,696,062 43,696,062 46,438,422 0.94 Andorra 51,496 51,496 78,014 0.66 Iraq 9,965,812 13,000,000 22,965,812 37,883,543 0.61 Malta 233,258 233,258 425,384 0.55 Korea, Republic of 21,391,500 21,391,500 50,801,405 0.42 Mauritania 1,000,000 1,000,000 3,718,678 0.27 Croatia 847,141 206,897 1,054,038 4,190,669 0.25 Morocco 4,250,000 4,000,000 8,250,000 33,337,529 0.25 Russian Federation 35,759,837 35,759,837 146,599,183 0.24 Poland 7,905,700 7,905,700 38,437,239 0.21 Slovenia 330,422 330,422 2,064,188 0.16 Hungary 1,503,251 1,503,251 9,823,000 0.15 Latvia 236,081 236,081 1,961,600 0.12 Cyprus 78,492 13,793 92,285 847,000 0.11 Slovakia 587,169 587,169 5,426,252 0.11 Lithuania 218,197 82,542 300,739 2,872,294 0.10 Bulgaria 731,992 731,992 7,153,784 0.10 Botswana 100,000 100,000 200,000 2,141,206 0.09 Uruguay 230,011 230,011 3,480,222 0.07 Romania 1,053,665 1,053,665 19,861,408 0.05 Algeria 2,000,000 2,000,000 40,400,000 0.05 Portugal 508,635 508,635 10,374,822 0.05 Greece 394,223 394,223 10,858,018 0.04 Ecuador 500,000 500,000 16,544,793 0.03 Brazil 5,690,000 100,000 5,790,000 206,131,387 0.03 Turkey 2,000,000 2,000,000 78,741,053 0.03 Mexico 3,000,000 3,000,000 122,273,473 0.02 Malaysia 500,000 500,000 31,404,332 0.02 Georgia 50,000 50,000 3,720,400 0.01 Kazakhstan 200,000 200,000 17,753,200 0.01 Chile 200,000 200,000 18,191,900 0.01 China 14,802,932 14,802,932 1,377,406,500 0.01 Montenegro 5,000 5,000 621,810 0.01 Colombia 300,000 300,000 48,758,500 0.01 India 3,594,517 2,200,000 5,794,517 1,295,170,000 0.00 Mongolia 10,000 10,000 3,092,925 0.00 Indonesia 500,000 500,000 258,705,000 0.00 South Africa 93,465 93,465 55,653,654 0.00 Philippines 10,000 10,000 103,275,200 0.00
  13. I think there is a real problem with tariffs, because in addition to the standard economic distortions introduced by any form of taxation, tariffs discriminate between two classes of producer, foreign and domestic.
  14. 20% of Men Sleeping with 80% of Women

    There may be a tendency for men to overreport and women to underreport, but assuming those figures are correct, all you can infer from them is that the female distribution of number of partners is more skewed (a minority of women having a relatively large number of partners) than the male distribution is. As you suggest, the male distribution is likely also skewed, but those figures tell you nothing about that. The figures are of course medians rather than means; the mean number of partners is the same for both sexes, assuming a closed heterosexual population for simplicity.
  15. Specifically on tariffs, there's a blog post by Criton Zoakos: "There is overwhelming historical evidence that links protectionism with rapid growth, especially in US economic history" https://letopostscripts.net/2016/05/16/myths-of-free-trade-and-protectionism/ New Zealand had a highly protectionist economy in the 1950s and 1960s and it thrived. But I'd want to know a lot more to be persuaded. As with epidemiological studies in medicine, there are so many confounding factors to be considered.
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