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Cake day: Jun 17, 2022

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It only seems to be 19 countries within or close to the imperial core, too.

I doubt the investigators would get the same results if they included the rest of the world.

But that would skew the 19-country median, so even if they conducted that research they might find a way not to publish it. E.g. by saying that the results from, say, Angola (random example) are too few to be statistically relevant. Or they would group all the African countries so they only count as one vs all the individual European countries.


I’ve seen a few similar posts recently (not a bad thing to be aware). Epson, HP…

Is it possible to 3D print a printer that can be topped up with any old liquid / inkjet ink. That might be popular. Beside the obvious privacy protection, such a printer could be easily maintained as broken parts could be replaced easily enough.

Seems there’s a gap in the infamous market.

I imagine one of the main problems is that the actual ‘printer’ end of such a machine will contain proprietary parts, possibly locked behind IP walls. So if these parts cannot be printed, they have to be bought, and big manufacturers can get their data by selling those parts.


Is it!? Haha, here’s me thinking I’m clever with a riddle and I didn’t even know the history. I never played diablo.

I don’t have a device for playing Master of Orion, but I played a copy cat version a while ago, which was fun.

I agree it’s a fantastic game; they don’t make them like that any more.


It’s the same in law and the social sciences that I’m familiar with. It’s not improved. I would avoid Wikipedia if possible and recommend that any students avoid it, too.

If the only problem was that it was too, say, general, as in, misses out some details or nuances, that would be forgivable. More often than not, if you know the area well, you’ll see that Wikipedia is simply wrong.

Any undergrad paper that cites Wikipedia will be lucky to pass. Not because Wikipedia is cited per se, but because it’s usually incorrect. A paper that cites a Wikipedia article as a reliable source usually also contains other significant errors or omissions. If a paper relies on Wikipedia it is probably not relying on other, more appropriate sources, and if it did rely on those other sources, the author would have known not to cite Wikipedia.


Thereisnocowlevel was a cheat for the first StarCraft. I can’t remember if it let you jump to the next level or unlocked all technologies.

I don’t think I played the games you listed.

Around 1996, I would have been playing C&C: Red Alert and Rayman.

Sometime before then, I played Paperboy. But it wouldn’t have been a new game when I got round to it.

And I loved Warcraft I & II and Master of Orion, but I didn’t start playing these when they first came out. In fact – this has brought back some strange memories – I remember playing Master of Orion, or looking forward to playing it in the evenings, around the time that I came home to the news about the Twin Towers. So late 90s early 00s.


If you’re on a machine and it’s busy and someone needs to use your machine… make it clear that you still need it, but ask the other person if they want to jump in. Then you have your rest when they do their set and they rest when you do your set.

You can also ask for a 'spot '. As in, ‘do you mind giving me a spot?’ or ‘do you mind spotting me?’ If they say yes (most people do), they’ll stand by with their fingers above or below the bar (not touching it), ready to help if you get stuck, or ready to tap the bar to help you finish the set. Be warned, done people are enthusiastic, but won’t be very helpful, as they may try to take too much of the weight for you even on easy sets.

Do not walk close to someone lifting any weights, whether the exercise. It’s very off putting and may lead them to an injury.

Most people in the gym will be friendly, by the way. They’ll offer advice or help if you ask. And they’ll likely be forgiving if you mess up on the etiquette, especially if they see you’re new. And if you keep a routine, you’ll see the same faces all the time and get to know people. Some may get annoyed if you try and talk to them for half an hour, but you can build some nice gym-friendships just by nodding and saying hello to the people you see every day. Some people may try to talk to you for half an hour, though, so watch out for that if you’re there to train!


Good points.

One problem I have is that people I talk to tend to accept profit seeking is a problem, and they connect the dots between ‘corporations’ answer profit, but then they hit a wall. They cannot be convinced that capitalism and the profit motive necessarily go together. They’ll accept, for instance, that profit seeking and healthcare, education, public works (roadworks, bit building projects), housing, etc, is bad. But they won’t accept that to get rid of the profit motive in these industries you also need to get rid of capitalism.

No idea how we can help to get others past that hurdle. As you say, there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance.

Have you found something similar? Or do people you speak to not even see profit as a problem?


Two great answers so far.

I might also add that police currently deal with a lot of ‘problems’ and a ‘crime’ is only an act that is criminalised in law. So we could minimise the need for the police, beyond addressing the issues that cause ‘street crimes’, with a different system of classification. The problems still happen, but they are no longer police matters.

Evgeny Pashukanis, an early Soviet legal theorist, argued that most of the crimes that still happen after we have dealt with e.g. poverty, are mainly educational and health issues.

For example (Pashukanis doesn’t give much detail on this, at least in his translated General Theory) , any ‘crimes’ related to mental health could be resolved by a trained medic rather than a police officer.


Do you mean rules and principles for lifting (i.e. building muscle)?

Or the rules and principles as in gym etiquette?


Here’s a test for you:

Thereisnocowlevel


I use a safety razor, too. I’ve had two. One had these clips over the top to hold the blade in. That didn’t last long, maybe four months. Then I couldn’t be bothered with it and just clipped my beard for years. But I switched back about three months ago. My new one screws together at the bottom and is entirely brass (painted blue); it seems much studier. I’ve used it for a few months now with no signs of wear.

It’s worth watching some videos first and it takes a couple of weeks to get used to. Wet the face first with hot water, preferably after a shower / bath. Small strokes. Let the weight and sharpness of the blade do the work. No need to add much pressure except to keep the blade on the skin. Lots of lather with a brush. I use the cheapest shaving ‘bars’. Change the blade after 3 to 5 shaves. Three passes: down; across from inside to out; then across from outside to in. Never against the grain. Rinse with cold water. Apply an alum block. Rinse off with cold water after 20+ seconds. Pat dry. Moisturise.

I use the cheapest sensitive moisturiser, but the problem with shaving rash, etc, tends to be from the shave more than the moisturiser. All these sensitive products, to my knowledge, exist to solve a problem that only exists because of the huge market in cartridge razors, which are terrible for skin.

In fact, with hot water and a brush, I can get away with making a lather with an ordinary bar of soap with no obvious adverse effects so long as I follow up with the alum block.

I cannot use cartridge blades at all, as they ruin my face. Electric razors seem to do the same, but I never tried an expensive one.


Read: ‘It’s so confusing. Litigants are told they have rights, but they just have no idea whether a judge will agree. It’s better to be honest. Let the people know that human rights were not meant to help them.’


Apologies, my question was more rhetorical. I don’t think we’ll get an answer to my question.

Maybe that anti-capitalist message was much stronger in the original script. The cast could have been saying things, like, ‘this exploitative system is terrible. We’re doing to these dinosaurs what capitalistas do to animals. Down with the capitalists.’

(To be fair, I’m no screenwriter and my dialogue is way off, so if the original script did have lines like this, we should be thankful the pentagon stepped in with their punchy lines.)


But what anti-military messages might have been in the original script, that had to be taken out?


I absolutely love the idea of Isabel Allende’s fiction.

Unfortunately I’ve not been able to get into any of it. This could be because I’ve gone for the Spanish translations and my Spanish just isn’t there yet. But I don’t think it’s that as I’ve had a look at the English versions and just can’t get into the writing style.

A real shame, because historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, and her themes are based.

Edit: I’ve not tried the English Long Petal of the Sea, so maybe that’s my way in to her work.


There’s definitely some racist stereotypes in the West about that North / South divide over education.

I think I got those mixed messages because I’m from a blue collar background. There’s a bit of… something… that manifests as anti-intellectualism in the blue collar world. It’s a kind of, ‘they’re not better than us just because they’re educated, and we’ll prove it’. So it can feel like you’re betraying your blue collar heritage by going to university.

I think you’ve identified another factor involved, as well. Roth’s Educated Underclass touches on this: a higher education is no guarantee of a good job or a good life. I can’t remember the exact stats from the book, but it’s something like – the child of working class, low income parents must study to Masters level to expect the same ‘outcomes’ as the child of a higher income parents (I can’t remember the income threshold for the parents) who only just passes their school exams at 16.

The real numbers may be slightly different, but the point is there’s a huge class disparity. Maybe boys in the West see more of the world than they’re given credit for, and just think (or their families / friends think), ‘nope, what’s the point’. That doesn’t explain the global trend of boys’ under performance. But it may explain negative attitudes to education in the West. I’m the global south, maybe there’s still(?) a good chance of getting a good job through education?


You’re describing me, in many ways.

It is tough. I was lucky to have a few good role models at certain key moments.

I’d maybe make two observations.

First, people like Peterson are not necessarily as popular as they appear, but they get boosted by algorithms and funded by the bourgeois partly because they funnel people away from radicalism. (Well, left wing radicalism. I’d argue that what Peterson, especially, is peddling, is a right wing radicalism.)

Second, I think you’re right about that feeling of ‘it seem like everything would work out for them, and now it isn’t at all’ (emphasis added). But there are many in the previous generation for whom things did not work out. They went through the same struggles that our generation(s) are going / went through. This doesn’t change the feeling for young people, but it may help us explain it.

If previous generations of boys went through the same thing, or a similar thing, why is it that we think it’s only a modern problem? At some level I would think that this feeling comes from attempts to divide the workers in grounds of age.

This doesn’t change the stats, by the way, but it may require us to look for a different kind of answer than the one that we’re ‘expected’ to find. By this I mean, we might now ask, if working class boys had received the same level of education as do working class boys today, would we have seen similar statistics in the past as we see today?

I also am just thinking through the issues. I have no answers.

If the stats would be similar for boys in previous generations, maybe we’re looking, as you say, at the weight of maybe not neoliberal capitalism, but various forms of patriarchal capitalism. This gendered system sets up all sorts of unattainable goals and maybe some boys realise this but cannot articulate what’s going on or their reaction to it?


Maybe Munrock answered that question a bit more directly?

And you’ve probably answered your own question, there, too 🙂.

I’d also add a few ideas:

  1. I’m not sure it’s a case of imperialist organisations being compromised. The bourgeoisie is not an homogenous bloc. It contains factions. And the organisations they control, set up, or fund are run by lots of different people with a range of political views, from everything to anarchists through libertarians and Marxists to Zionists. Plus a lot of confused people, with varying degrees of commitment to capitalism, imperialism, and the status quo. All these people have some degree of influence of what their orgs produce, say, and do.
  2. Criticism comes in many forms. Every graduate will have been taught to be critical, regardless of degree classification and subject. Many, it not most of the workers at e.g. AI will be graduates. But universities tend not to teach Marxism or dialectical materialism. They teach liberal, palatable forms of liberalism. Gabriel Rockhill is very good at explaining how even the most radical-sounding school, ‘critical theory’, is anti-Marxist, if Marx is mentioned at all. Graduates are taught to self censor and to continue to ‘police the left borders of criticism’, if they see Marxist ideas at all.
  3. Within the acceptable borders of criticism, a few things are going on. I’ll highlight on two problems. (a) Critics focus on criticising paper sources or siloed events. (b) Critics often focus on what is lawful, but the legal framework limits the critical possibility within acceptable limits.
  4. The imperialists know that Michael Parenti was right when he said ‘reality is radical’. They know that people will criticise the government and the imperialists. Organisations such as AI, as well as academia, serve (in some of the ways listed above, and in more ways) to control the type and focus is criticism away from imperialism and imperialists.
  5. This means that an org such as AI appears to be critical, but it’s framing of the issues and of the solution will never point the finger at imperialism (not significantly, anyway). Nothing, or very little, will change because of AI reports. There is person may be sacked or prosecuted, governments may even fall, but capitalism will keep going nonetheless. It’s like when a Trump is replaced with a Biden, or a Brown for a Blair.

In sum, these orgs give us only the appearance of criticism, the appearance that someone (someone official, so you don’t need to get out your chair; you can trust that someone important is already on the job) is holding criminals and criminal regimes to account.



It is a different game when you want to do something you love. And this will be used against you. Anyone with a ‘vocation’ not a ‘job’ will at some point be made to work for free or for less than they could otherwise earn because the boys knows they won’t settle for just any job.

Glad to hear you’ll still be able to pay your bills, but I know how frustrating it is to be under paid.

As for selling collectibles and the ‘tumble down’, IIRC there’s an obscure passage in Capital, Vol 1 about the working class occasionally making enough money to be comfortable, accrue savings (or collectibles), but it eventually comes back round and we have to sell these possessions to meet our essential needs when different kinds of crises occur. I try not to think about it too much. That’s not to suggest I am very successful at not thinking about the tumble down, though!

Sounds like you’ve had these discussions, but if it helps, as doing a PhD is such a massive commitment, ask whether you really need one for the job you want. If so, commit! It’s rewarding and I get the impression that you have support from your wife (it helps a lot going through it with someone else in a similar position). If not, try to speak to someone in the field who has studied in the same area. If you’re ‘only’ doing it for the passion, even fully funded, it might not be worth it. Depending on the subject, you could spend three-four years reading about a single topic. You’ll miss the supervisory experience and the collegiality, but you’ll be pursuing your passion and won’t have to worry about deadlines, a thesis, a viva, or write up fees.

I say ‘only’ because things change. You might start off with a job in mind, but change your mind through the project, or might not get that job after. And either way, with a PhD, new doors will open up regardless. So it’s never really a case of ‘only’ doing one for the passion.