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About TestIcicle

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  1. TestIcicle

    UK House prices: News & Views

    Hatred is a very low vibration but that mortgage advertising sure brings out the heebee jeebies in me man. Like the devil offering something in exchange for your soul (excuse the hyperbole). Assisted by, ooh, just three examples of the horridness of UK renting: 1. Terrible UK renting rules for tenants - damn the assured shorthold tenancy! 6 months minimum term! a mere 2 month landlord notice period and don't be surprised to hear a "get out of my house!" 2. Insecurity of UK rental tenure for tenants. What happens if when the landlord defaults on a loan secured on the property or even the mortgage itself? See ya later tenant scum, out yer go on yer bum! 3. Loads of cynical add-on admin fees by unregulated letting agencies who "forget" to mention an original contract can just be left to roll on indefinitely on a monthly basis, and insist, pester and nag both tenant and landlord to sign up to another year's tenancy, only to charge them BOTH an admin fee. Go capitalism! Housing in this country has become the new religion/politics. It's the new topic of taboo at dinner parties. Speak up either way and be damned, for in the same social groupings I'm noting the disparity and silent resentment from those traditional HPC-ers (a flavour of whom may reside here) versus the loadsamoney MSE-ers who "loaded up" and pity those too "unfortunate" not to "achieve" as much as they have somehow (er, so far??) gotten away with.
  2. TestIcicle

    PLANETS : Found ! 3 Super-Earth Planets

    The funny thing was how deeply buried it was within the Google News aggregation service. It was popular, but made obscure. Perhaps it's not really really exciting till we know we have a way of getting there and back and perhaps something we need like Unobtainium. To extend the "preparation" argument, wasn't Avatar preparing us, just like Close Encounters, 2001...
  3. To quote the (current) thread title: "Wealth Tax and Debt Forgiveness" - isn't the former part what is happening in Cyprus, and allegedly the template for the rest of Europe and perhaps the world? Take a chunk from the "rich" to pay for the country's debts? But I guess the individuals indebted remain individually indebted. As for the general idea debt forgiveness, that's like abolishing slavery. The indebted are chattel, in a way. It's just 'flexible' how they choose to pay back and keep the whole shebang operating. My hunch is debt forgiveness has to come before the wealthy get wholloped for tax. But isn't this just a way of describing a nominal (manufactured) deflation across the board? And how could we classify what's worthy of forgiveness? Mortgages, credit cards, student loans? Timing, intention, outcome - all must surely play a part in the rationale for the debts undertaken? What about the well intended £300K flat buyer in central Manchester in 2007, only to naively lose 50% due to (inter-)national circumstances a year later. Or the stretched family using the credit card to pay higher rent and food bills. Or the students, who take on phenomenal debt at young ages for life decisions that may or may not be right for them, whether or not they complete their educations? Would you trust the government or, say, the IMF to make these decisions? It's a lot easier and less political to do QE and watch the numbers inflate across the board, in the hope they balance out overall. Until it all goes wronger and wronger! Or when asking this Q did you have a structure in mind to tax the "wealthy" and forgive the "debtors"?
  4. Yeah, you're right, but what's the sensible replacement? Always knew having a Gmail account would be a case of giving away (well, sharing (only with machines, not humans (don't underestimate the progress of the AI - we're all part of the Google Consciousness now))) a lot of one's personal life/info. But the convenience and usefulness is so, so, so seductive. But that said Google are gits when it comes to forcing "progress" on its customers users (products! for its advertisers! we are not users we are products!) with overbearing and controversial systems changes. Such is the cost of "free". To move away from Google to my other favourite internet monster for a wee moment... People wonder why I'm winding down my Facebook usage. Facebook is a useful tool but it answers a problem that was never there in the first place (as does a lot of the internet I guess). Why be connected to all the people you've met or done business with just for, er, the hell of it; that is, quite literally, to share nothing but the hell of the mundanity that each of us experiences individually? Just so our connectedness, and interests and passions, can be shared with marketing bast*rds to sell unnecessary sh1t to us? Facebook at its worst definitely lowers positive vibrations and wastes time. At its best it's a useful social scheduler and a nice thing to use to keep in touch with friends. But Facebook's big problem is that we're all friends now, right? Right?? It's got to the point where it's politically questionable, dangerous even, to "unfriend" or even "block" so-called friends on Facebook because you may disagree with them ideologically or due to the inane content of their feed ("John Smith has won $2300 on Facebook Poker! Come play Facebook Poker!" sorta thing). At least LinkedIn accepts my associates are 'connections' and not best buddies! I suspect it's about time for the new wave of social networking. And I bet Google will do well (because of its breadth of services, despite its imperfections, but Google Plus is not the answer anymore than Microsoft Spaces helped with blogging movement - the coolness/awareness factor is of huge importance), Facebook should I think go the way of MySpace once its successor comes clear (may not have been invented yet), and I think Twitter will survive due to how simple it is at heart (express yrslf in 140 chrs!). BUT going back on topic. We have to be careful who we share data with. Whether it's a good/evil corp, or a helpful individual or a "schill" - lots of room for trust/fear/paranoia issues here! (Just who IS DrB??) ;-)
  5. Greetings. Having followed BTC since the off, buying a small number as an experiment last year (I do techie stuff so interested to see the code and mechanisms) and then selling them at the high for around 6x their initial cost to me, I'm very interested in following this topic, please. I shall contribute where I can. Please note my initial "investment" was very low (less than half a dozen BTC!!! I'm not your traditional FOREX trader lol - yet! - but that's what this profit felt like). Also interested from the political and cultural standpoint. Saw Max Kaiser at the weekend declaring that BTC will hit 1000 USD (but I didn't notice by when... plus he's a vested interest, but he's good fun )
  6. KLF should reform and gig at the O2 to commemorate. Even meaninglessness has uses. (See: service "industry", university "degrees", political "honesty" etc...) ((Sorry, am I giving virtue to Thatcher or Blair? It's a bit of a blur to me, a gen Y person...))
  7. So BTC FTW ? (serious point - could this mean that bitcoin or its comparators/successors will just be the next "safe haven" for crooks and the morally bankrupt?) ((For those thinking the internet will end up tied down by government/business/etc btw, I point you to consider the human-led Mississippi management mishaps)) (((I hope I'm right about the internet... I hope human expression remains free to be expressed... in opposition to its oppressors...)))
  8. Oh please. Are we just talking semantics here? I was talking in layman's terms. Cancer is a condition, sure, but most people wouldn't turn their nose up at regarding as a disease or an illness or whatever. The point is its nasty and not that easy to fix either via scientifically-accredited methods or mad quackery. And who designed the body? I kind of had a little bit more faith in Darwinist evolution, i.e. gene mutations etc., leading to my (basic) understanding that this is just how cells work. Toxins indeed. Sure, some bad poisonous stuff will make you poorly but the idea of a perfectly cleansed body is ludicrous and like John Doe points out giving unqualified suggestions like this, let's say to "vulnerable" parties who may not be able to make reasonable decisions about treatment, is stupid and dangerous and is tantamount to giving permission to be ignorant. But hey if you're unwell, you try EVERYTHING right? your handle, notinformation, reminds me of Miss Information out of South Park http://southpark.wikia.com/wiki/Miss_Information
  9. Gillian "Doc" McKeith being a celebrity favorite of mine: http://www.badscience.net/2007/02/ms-gillian-mckeith-banned-from-calling-herself-a-doctor/ Read the book - it was a very interesting read. But funnily enough Jobs chose Isaacson to tell his story. Steve put his trust into Walter. Sure, we have to be mindful of all biases and given Steve's history of weird dietary fads (weeks of eating just broccoli), weird OCD (too neurotic to choose even a sofa in his hardly-furbished apartment!) - it's doesn't seem mega-inconsistent that he'd want to try his own way to overcome the disease which sadly didn't work. That's not to say it didn't have the potential to work... but the Jobs I read about was a man who fasted extensively to attain certain states of consciousness, euphoria, etc. Conversely, look at Bill Hicks: some people say he died not of the pancreatic cancer from which he suffered, but of the treatment he received for it: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_bill_hicks_die Coincidentally, Hicks was a frequent faster as well, as well as a veggie. Both Jobs and Hicks died of pancreatic cancer. Neither "official" nor "quack" treatment fixed them. Bummer.
  10. I love the Daily Mail. Masochistically. It's there to whip you up into a frenzy like George Orwell's 2-minute hate. A guilty pleasure of mine is to go to a particularly controversial ignorant news item in the Mail and check out the "best rated" and "worst rated" comments... And the top rated comment is to bin this art if your kid brought it home from school. Such pity I have for that guy's kid. BEST COMMENTS
  11. TestIcicle

    Disappearing Island

    I thought this thread was going to be about Japan. Maybe Sandy is a test run for Japan.
  12. TestIcicle

    Hierarchies, Pyramids and Ponzi schemes

    This thread is awesome. Never heard of tall poppy syndrome. Have known about adored Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs (I didn't see a pic of Einstein though, probably my favourite self-actualiser). For myself I know I have not attained my full potential but I'm sure I've started successfully self-actualising in some areas. And yes, people DO pull you down. I understand why successful people can appear aloof now. You really have to be careful who you associate with, and furthermore take care not to knock others just because you feel low about achieving your own potential... UNLESS of course that is your game plan, then you have to think like a general and remember the Art of War! Steve Jobs, my 2nd favourite self-actualiser, was utterly brilliant, brutal and ruthless in his manipulation of people to do his bidding. He'd build up otherwise meek but highly intelligent (if socially awkward and shy) engineers, e.g. Steve Wozniak and Jony Ive, to achieve great things i.e. the first Apple computers and iDevices respectively. Those who self-actualise and have a big enough ego know not to let others knock them off their perch!! And as for the internet sapping productivity out of the economy, well... just take a look at this forum, which for all its madness and eccentricity is quite a brightly lit and fun, fascinating, educational if controversial place and for me is a lovely opportunity to use completely separate parts of my brain to what my dayjob demands. As such, I theorise, a productive employee is the happy employee: the employee who is permitted to take little breaks throughout their shift and respected by their boss.
  13. There are loads of Jesus-y figures littered throughout history. Similarly loads of Antichrist-y figures. There will be more of each to come. Just part of the Human Condition and the process of application of subjecting consciousness to itself. We are weird beings. I just wonder if this ex-Nazi elderly Pope's dementia has kicked in, and he's just been subjected to a viewing of Back to the Future 2 whilst his associates spiked his holy water with LSD. A doped Pope!
  14. TestIcicle

    Just for laughs

    http://www.omfgdogs.com/ Keep the dogs running!
  15. TestIcicle

    PLEASE POST! Give GEI a boost

    Are you a mouse, CMJ?