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Home | 2017 | September

Scrapbook for September

26.09.2017 – A century of progress

William Briggs, 'Statistician to the Stars!', himself a snappy dresser, had an amusing image heading a post on the decline of civilisations that just said 'steal me!' to us.

Image from William M. Briggs : Statistician to the Stars!

24.09.2017 – Please, Lord, let they handmaid depart in peace (ASAP).

The top item on Theresa May's shopping list is the regulation of 'the internet'. Content platforms of all kinds will be threatened with huge fines if terrorist material is displayed for longer than an hour or two. The idea is technically and politically a non-starter, but the fact that she could not only think it but she was even prepared to waste most of her speech to the General Assembly of the UN on this shopping list item only illustrates how dim she is. Or how malignly authoritarian she is. Or both? Yes, both.

For 'terrorist material' read 'whatever the Government does not like' and for that read 'whatever content platforms think some government might not like'. A large range of such material will be taken down, just in case. Within a short time, even we harmless bumblers on this website would be unpublishable.

Do the great minds of Government not realise how such a regulation, if they ever managed to bring it into effect, would stifle public debate? Yes, they probably do.

24.09.2017 – Keeping an eye on the Germans

German Federal Election today. The electoral spoon will stir the alphabet soup and bring up some different letter combinations, but it is all the same. Nothing will change. Having learned the lessons of history the hard way the German constitution has created a political pyramid that cannot be pushed over.

The worst that can ever happen is a grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD, which is almost a definition of the status quo. The prospects of the AfD are being talked up, just as in previous state elections, but neither of the two big blocks will enter a coalition with them. So it looks like Merkel and Schulz, one alone or both together. Nothing will change. Torchlight procession, anyone?

23.09.2017 – The school run – alpine style

The children from the farms up on the hillside have to park their bikes some way from the school.

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There's a gorge in the way.

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There are still some places in the world where bikes don't have to be chained up and health and safety is a matter of common sense, not requiring warning signs.

23.09.2017 – How to become a published author

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