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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Monday May 11, 2009
01:44 PM

The ayes have it

[ #38956 ]

Two rather interesting reads explaining "how it all went wrong":

"Iceland is no longer a country. It is a hedge fund."
Where does the money come from, then? From transaction taxes ("stamp" duties, capital gains taxes, corporate profits tax) that were paid mostly by the real-estate speculators who were making money hand over fist. Everyone seemed content with this system, even the speculators. It is, after all, easier to tax people's fake money than their real money. ... We can see now that this arrangement was a time bomb. We can also see that the politically connected developers did a good deal to wreck the economy. But there is no denying that, by golly, they paid a lot of taxes. All this meant, though, was that the state became just as dependent on the housing bubble as the private sector. When more money came in, the government just spent it.

The Iceland article is long, but like the Ireland article is worth reading to the end - one of the most memorable exchanges illustrating the naïveté that caused it all is on the seventh and last page.

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  • Hi nicholas!

    I've been subscribed the feed for a while now to follow up on all the interesting perl news. But one thing I don't like are political posts, especially those that you've posted recently, several in a row.

    Now I respect you as a programmer and a large contributor to the Perl core and other Perl projects, but I still don't want to read such disturbing blog posts.

    I suggest that you (and everybody else) refrain from posting political posts here. If you still wish to write them, th

    • It's a blog, it's full of opinions. Deal with it.

    • Please do continue your postings, political, or otherwise. I read mainly for the non-Perl content.

      - parv
    • To me, journals is "blogs by Perl people". It offers a window to their personality, turning a name into a human. I don't want an arbitrary restriction on what they want to talk about.

    • There will be only one blog. It will contain random thoughts that are currently on my mind, that are sufficiently interesting to be published, and sufficiently uninteresting so as to remain publishable. There is a reason why there's so little here about Perl or Perl related matters.

      There are a lot of political entries just recently because it's on my mind. If you don't like my blog, you really won't like Guido Fawkes' blog []. Whereas I'm finding it quite amusing.

      For example, the most recent entry is:


      • You say you only want to have one blog where you'll post about everything, including political posts. In that case, let me tell you a story from my own experience.

        I used to have only one blog - first at Advogato and then at LiveJournal []. I posted everything I wanted there whether technical or non-technical. At one point I received some important input [] that said that this particular reader was not interested in my technical posts (like vim tips, Linux bugs, etc.), and would rather have them separated.

        • I hope you understand that your subscribers may opt out of it, if they feel your blog no longer meets their expectations.

          It's a blog, dammit. It's there to meet the expectations of the author. In the case of this particular author, he's not doing it to maximise readership, or maximise feedback comments. So he's not overly concerned whether the second, first or zeroth derivative of the number of subscribers is positive, negative, real, complex, or even so wacko that it's only accurately measured using quate

    • Ho ho ho. What's this, Shlomi complaining about stuff being "off topic"? Could this be the same Shlomi who thought it would be OK to post his crappy Star Trek fanfic to a perl mailing list?
      • Ah yes. That message. [] With this reply [] from this well known phone spotter [].

      • Hi drhyde!

        First of all I should note that I never used the term "off topic" in my original post. So you're paraphrasing what I say, and not really accurately. I haven't complained about these political posts being "off-topic". I know some people post about various not-entirely-Perl-related matters to and I can tolerate most of these posts. But I find political posts disturbing and would prefer not to see them in the feed of posts from all the journals, that I wish to follow. My

        • My post was a warning to Nicholas, that I (and possibly others) did not like this, and that he should refrain from doing that in the future, if he doesn't want me (and possibly others) to explicitly filter his journal (which I'd prefer not to do). It would ultimately be his choice.

          It's possible to read this as a public passive-aggressive threat -- with or without the Hint of a Silent Majority fallacy. That never goes well, because approximately no one cares if you unsubscribe.

          • Well, it's not a threat - it's a warning, and he won't be harmed much by acting against my advice. A threat is something like "Stop posting political posts or I will burn your house, rape your wife and daughters, banish you to the middle of Antarctica, convert all your Perl code to PHP, and then post it on []."

            Regarding what you say that "no one cares if you unsubscribe", then this reminds me of what Fred Brooks says in The Mythical Man-Month []: "How does a project gets late? One day at a time

            • Well, it's not a threat - it's a warning....

              Getting all definitional is often the last refuge of someone who's already lost an argument, but a threat is a warning of intent which may affect future action. It's cause and effect. If Nicholas doesn't stop doing you don't like, you and a bunch of anonymous people who may or may not exist will stop reading him.

              If you're not careful, you might lose a large percent of your blog's readership, one subscriber at a time.

              I don't speak for Nicholas, but I'm happy

    • It's useful to know how easy it is to get you to stop following a blog. Thanks for sharing that information.

      Just for clarification, would you start filtering even more quickly if someone started posting about Middle Eastern politics?

      • It's good to know you think it's desirable that I won't follow your blog. Thanks for sharing that information. ;-)

        Re Middle Eastern politics: if someone starts blogging about Middle Eastern politics in their blog, which I have enjoyed so far, and I don't find these posts of merit, I will also warn them that I may consider to unsubscribe, and give them a chance to reconsider that. But mid-eastern politics is not going to get special treatment than that of any other politics in this regard.

    • Why do you find these posts disturbing?

      It's a programmer thinking about real life. Yes, real life *is* disturbing, but you'd better be familiar with it now.

      • First of all, as a general rule, I don't find real life disturbing. Sometimes it is, but as a general rule, real life has been pretty good to me so far.

        The reason I find them disturbing, is because I'm subscribed to the master-feed to read what people write about Perl. I also tolerate some tangential discussion that people post from time to time. However, I find such political posts (and such that are not of very good quality) disturbing because politics is, well, annoying and disturbing. As

        • I'm subscribed to the master-feed to read what people write about Perl.

          I've written about Perl on here‽ Never!

          Oh gosh. That claim. It was all within the rules.

          Er, I mean, I'll back immediately.

          Vote for me!*

          * The Spitting Image excerpt, I believe is

          What do you say, Mr. Kinnock, to all those people who accuse you of blatant electioneering?
          Neil Kinnock
          Vote for me!