I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

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Kookla
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kookla » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:02 pm

Ooh I like that Guy, not heard it before. Along the lines of Give a man a fish, he eats for the day, teach a man ...

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:53 pm

Feynman was arguably one of the cleverest men of the twentieth century while simultaneously being a brilliant educator. He once ran an introductory undergraduate class on physics suitable for science and non-science students. Stories of how good the classes were spread rapidly and after a few sessions he found most of the senior physics, maths and chemistry academics had enrolled. He liked to play bongo drums and one of his famous comments was: "Whenever I go to a physics conference, in the bar in the evening they always press me to play my drums. Whenever I go to a jazz club they never ask me to give a physics lecture."

Warwick

Kookla
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kookla » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:22 pm

Warwick, you almost lost me at the word physics, but I read on...wow! Now I shall have to learn more about him. Sounds like quite a character.

Alf
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Alf » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:46 pm


Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:36 pm

Public health warning! Perhaps its just me but I find him highly addictive. I started watching one of his lectures on gravity this afternoon and finished up watching about 6 videos. If anybody is really keen you can read the books that were published on his lecture series online for free at the Caltech web site.

Warwick

Kookla
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kookla » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:10 pm

Oh Alf, thank you! That link was just wonderful. I do remember him, I guess it’s my age, but I remember when the shuttle went down in the 80s and reading later about his findings regarding its failure. So thank you all for bringing him, as it were, into my life with that video and thank you to Guy and Warwick for enlightening me. I shall certainly store your link Warwick for a rainy day to view!

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:43 pm

This must rate as one of the weirdest thread drifts I've ever come across?

Warwick

Tim
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Tim » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:38 am

Kilkis wrote:This must rate as one of the weirdest thread drifts I've ever come across?
Warwick


Agreed. And just what are Mr Feynman's views on Brexit .... ?

Tim

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:04 am

Sadly we would need Doris Stokes to find out. I suspect that he would raise some interesting questions that nobody has thought to ask. The world's most influential researchers are the ones who thought of the right questions to ask. Rather the opposite of politicians where the world's most successful are the ones who are best at avoiding answering the most important questions.

Warwick

Guy M
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Guy M » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:23 pm

Kilkis wrote:This must rate as one of the weirdest thread drifts I've ever come across?

Warwick


Sorry. Brain works in a funny way - didn’t mean us to go down a Feynman rabbit hole. But I do think three things (that are relevant to Brexit):

1. We should listen more - first seek to understand before you seek to be understood.

2. “Only connect” (EM Forster - from Howard’s End) - to get a decent understanding of why complex stuff like Brexit happens, we can always look at parallels from other spheres of life, like physics.

3. The best word in the English language is ‘why’ - why did we want a referendum, why did people vote to leave/remain, why did the EU and TMay sign the Withdrawal Agreement, why did MPs vote against it, why is BJohnson going to win a thumping majority in the general election etc.

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:51 pm

    1 why did we want a referendum? I don't think the vast majority of people did. A few very influential people did and we had a PM who was scared of those people. Obviously once presented with the reality of a binary choice referendum then people start to take sides. The fact that they now vehemently argue for the side they took does not in any way mean that they wanted such a referendum in the first place.
    2 why did people vote to leave/remain? All sorts of reasons, some of them patently valid, some of them patently not and some debatable as to their validity.
    3 why did the EU and TMay sign the Withdrawal Agreement? It was the nearest compromise they could achieve that went some way to satisfying what leave had promised while still satisfying EU rules.
    4 why did MPs vote against it? Again all sorts of reasons, some of them patently valid, some patently not and some debatable as to their validity.
    5 why is BJohnson going to win a thumping majority in the general election? Again all sorts of reasons, some of them patently valid, some patently not and some debatable as to their validity.

It is worth noting that overall there is little difference between Johnson's deal and May's deal. Johnson's deal leaves Northern Ireland inside the customs union and single market until a technical solution can be found to the Irish border question. This was the starting point, suggested by the EU, for May's deal. May rejected it* because she knew the DUP would not support it and she was relying on the DUP for her majority. She went for a deal that kept the whole UK in the customs union and the single market until a technical solution can be found to the Irish border question. The ERG wing of her own party rejected that. Johnson didn't achieve anything miraculous in his negotiations with the EU, he simply went back to their starting point. He didn't care whether the DUP supported it or not because he had completely lost his majority by sacking lots of his MPs. He just wanted to come back from the EU with something different that he could say, "Look what a clever boy am I" and go for a general election in the hope/belief of gaining an overall majority.

Extreme remain/leave voters will not change their minds but there is a whole chunk in the middle who I don't believe the remain parties understand at all. They are the ones who thought a lot about which way to vote. Some went remain and some leave. The remain parties seem to assume that the ones who went remain will automatically vote for a party that gives them a remain option but I am not sure this is true. Once the result was decided I think a lot of them probably thought and still think that the result should be respected even if they didn't vote for it. It is not such a big step for them to accept a leave position even though they initially voted remain. I think a significant number of them could vote Johnson. I also think Dominic Cummings is far better at negative campaigning than any of the opposition parties and there is a lot of psychological research showing that negative messages have more impact and last longer in people's minds than positive messages.

Warwick

* I am pretty sure that May was about to sign up to a deal like Johnson's when Arlene Foster told her to stuff it where the sun doesn't shine. Only then did she change to the whole UK position. A Northern Ireland only backstop probably suits the EU better than a whole UK backstop because the Northern Ireland market size is so insignificant to the rest of the EU. If it doesn't work very well it wouldn't have a big impact.

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:17 am

It has been interesting to watch how the election campaign is unfolding with the release of manifestos, the presentations accompanying them, the questions asked by the media and how opponents try to use them to attack each other. One narrative that the Conservatives are pushing very hard is apparent indecision by Corbyn on what his position on Brexit would be if he was elected PM. This is also being pushed hard by the media. In reality his position is quite logical.

It should be noted that there are very close ties between the Labour Party and the trade union movement. A large percentage of labour members are trade unionists, many Labour MPs have a trade union background and the trade unions provide a significant chunk of Labour party funding. Labour thinking is similar to trade union thinking. A major activity of trade union leaders is to negotiate a deal on terms and conditions, especially pay, with the owners/management of businesses on behalf of its members. This is directly analogous to a government negotiating a deal with the EU on behalf of the citizens of the UK. No interviewer would dream of asking a union leader if he was going to recommend the deal to his members BEFORE he had gone into the negotiation. It is patently obvious that if he can get the deal he wants, or very close to it then he will recommend accepting it. If, however, he cannot get the deal he wants and the only thing on offer is a very long way from what he wants he will recommend rejecting it. He can only make that judgement once he knows what the deal on offer is. Brexit is identical. Whoever is negotiating only knows whether they will recommend the deal or not once they have concluded the negotiation.

Clearly Johnson thinks the deal he has negotiated is a wonderful deal so he has recommended it. Strangely it is extremely close to the deal negotiated by May, which he thought was the worst possible deal. It makes me wonder if it is wonderful because of its content or it is wonderful simply because he negotiated it. Corbyn has not had the opportunity to negotiate a deal so he has no idea what deal he would end up with.

I don't make the above comment to defend Labour or to support any particular outcome but to highlight a process that seems to be common in this election. One of the parties raise an issue concerning one of their rivals. They ask the same question again and again so it is picked up by the media and they then repeatedly ask the same question. Voters see the same question being asked over and over again so they start to assume it is an important question, whether it is or not. Often it is not. Whether there should be a second referendum is clearly a contentious issue and opinions will be understandably divided. What position Corby would take is irrelevant. If there is a second referendum everybody gets a vote and can use it however they want so who cares how Corbyn would vote? If there isn't a second referendum nobody gets to vote, including Corbyn, so again his position is irrelevant. It is a non-question that has been totally dominating coverage of the Labour campaign, although that will probably change to the cost of their promises with the release of the manifesto.

Warwick

bobscott
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby bobscott » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:45 pm

Your last paragraph just goes to emphasise what I have been saying for a long time - admittedly in respect of some of the blatant lies being peddled on all sides: "Say it loud enough, often enough and eventually people will believe it".

It reminds me of that chorus from Handel's 'Messiah' -- 'All we like sheep have gone astray' . Not half. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

altohb
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby altohb » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:23 pm

[quote="bobscott"]Your last paragraph just goes to emphasise what I have been saying for a long time - admittedly in respect of some of the blatant lies being peddled on all sides: "Say it loud enough, often enough and eventually people will believe it".

It reminds me of that chorus from Handel's 'Messiah' -- 'All we like sheep have gone astray' . Not half. Bob.[/quote

Don't forget how that continues, Bob - "we have turned every one to his own way"! Kind of supports the entrenched positions of many!

Toebs
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Toebs » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:27 pm

Well, back again after some time - started a new contract, so been busy, and logging into this board and posting is always difficult because of the anti-Tor protections (which don't work well enough to stop me, but work well enough to make me post less often).

Labour appear to be throwing themselves from a great height upon sharpened stakes.

Their hard-left full-on nationalize-the-lot approach doom their electoral chances.

What we're seeing I think is the product of dictatorship : one mind making the decisions, and so being able - and in this case actually doing so - of ignoring all contrary advice or consensus.

Corbyn's failure will I expect be cushioned by the Brexit Party, who will split the Cons vote. Who would have imagined the Brexit Party could do yet more harm? at least if Labour utterly failed Corbyn would then have the highest probability of finally getting the boot and so allowing Labour to begin to offer a viable opposition.

Cons are going to win, and then Johnson will implement his deal. The UK will have a hard exit, the economy will be hammered, terrorism will begin to grow again in NI, and apart from the loss of various benefits from being in the EU nothing will change.

I continue with my struggle to obtain Irish citizenship; I'll get there in the end.

I registered to vote, for the election. Or rather, I've been trying to register to vote. The process is - you'll never imagine this - confused and confusing. I believe I may be close to getting it done.


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