Category Archives: FAIL

Daily Telegraph fail

Warning: “Do nothing” wankfest ahead.

Via the Telegraph:

We need more risk and less regulation of the financial sector

Um, OK?

Capitalism is based on innovation.

Adam Smith rang.  He said “did you even READ my fucking book?”

But innovations are not always well understood when they first turn up. People buy too many of them and pay too much for them.

I just want to quote this as evidence the market does not always work perfectly and people are not rational consumers.  This will become important in a minute.

That is what happened in this crisis. People paid too much for financial products that they didn’t understand.

And sold them for too much.  And floated an entire economy on the basis they would keep selling forever and would never drop in price.  Oh, and there was something about lying to investors and firing people who disagreed with that assessment, using things like evidence and projected trends.  So not so much a naive mistake and more like carefully calculated get rich schemes.

Left to function alone, the market would have punished those that had invested in the companies that lost.

And everyone else, for good measure.  The market approves of collateral damage.

Companies going bust and investors losing their money are not a “failure of capitalism”.

Not even if they are making a yearly profit, yet go out of business due to a lack of credit during more quiet seasons?  Because that’s what is happening.

It is capitalism; and if you don’t like it, then you don’t like the system.

If you love Communism so much, why don’t you live there?

There was no need for the British government to bail out the banks last autumn.

Apart from that whole “turning into the next Somalia” thing, and everyone knows Somalia is a healthy and functioning market economy, with reported growth in such vital areas as piracy, terrorism, warlordism and mercenary work.

The wrong policy response – the one adopted – was to reward investor error.

Yeah, those silly investors, believing banking CEOs.  They should have beat them until they told them the truth about the risks they were taking!  Jack Bauer would do no less.

It saved the capitalists made rich at the expense of private capitalism.

If you hate that so much, why don’t you move to Cuba or something, Che?

Calls for heavy-handed regulation to restrict the actions of banks are the flip-side of acting so as to undermine the market’s means to punish poor decision-making.

Yeah, not allowing financially risky decisions with the threat of jail is totally not a punishment when compared to what The Market will do.

This means there will be less risk-taking in the economy as a whole – less innovation and experimentation, less diversity and dynamism.

I cite the Open Source Movement as proof people cannot innovate without a profit motive.

We will have an economy that grows more slowly and a society that is less tolerant, offering fewer opportunities for those who have no money but good ideas to get ahead.

Whereas a worldwide economic depression every couple of years won’t make people more intolerant or offer fewer opportunities at all.

The financial sector is unlikely to be able to return to sustained profitability without significant restructuring of a much more radical nature than the current favourites of creating “boring banks” and “bad banks”. Governments are now the major shareholders in these institutions, and they should insist upon their restructuring.

Typical commie, looking to the government to solve all your problems.

Imagine if, instead of all that, we had used £100 billion or £200 billion for tax cuts to stimulate the real economy.

Yeah, but imagine if we had used £300 billion to stimulate the Really Real Economy (for Realness).  Or £400 billion to titillate the Somewhat Less Empheral Economy.  Or, and I will admit we are pushing the boat out here, £500 billion for The One True Objective Economy That No Rational Person Can Deny?  What then, eh?  That’s the problem with you Commies, your lack of innovative thinking.

Ye gods, that was the biggest pile of fail I have ever read.

Musings on Surviving an Anime Convention: Cramulus’s challenge, Part the First

Your good author has had a bit of the writer’s block this week, but was recently inspired by a comment from the Professor Cramulus, his fellow writer and acquaintance.  The good Professor laid out three circumstances which he’d like to see “Musings on Surviving”, pieces done on, and they WILL be addressed.  They’ll be a bit more frivolous than your usual “CRAZY PREPARED”, but still have advice you can apply elsewhere if you’re clever.


At least, that’s what your author thinks every time he finds himself at one.

These conventions are strange and diverse shindigs.  They can be homely, friendly local affairs, much like PortCon, in Portland Maine, or HUGE mass clusterfucks, like OtaCon, or occasionally Anime Boston.  Ages and attitudes range form young and hyper to old and grouchy, with varying shades of creepy, collected, or enthused in between.  There will be people who forget hygiene for a weekend at such gatherings, jumping idiots, and people who should NEVER own spandex.

Here’s how the author and his cohorts / friends / partners in crime get by:

Pack accordingly.  Bring FOOD and WATER.  Keep your blood sugar and hydration in order or you fun stops REAL quick.  The author prefers enough granola / cereal bars / trail mix to replace EVERY meal if need be.  Of course, buy other food, but always have backups and spares.  Keep a water bottle with you and keep emptying it down your throat (every time you find yourself standing still is a good time for a swig, whether you want it or not).  The hosting facility will likely put out water, so refill whenever you can.  (The author’s sister wisely brings a filter pitcher for the hotel room in her kit.)  Sports drink powder too, vital for electrolyte replacement if you plan on drinking alcohol.

Dress accordingly.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Any convention is a bad time to break in new boots.  They are good times, judging by the tone of the thing to wear unusual garments or costumes, which may have their own complications.  In costume, be ready to be grabbed for pictures, questions, or just hugged for no good reason.  (If you can act a bit, get into character and roll with it.)  If you don’t want to show off, then sensible durable clothes are a good idea, as you may have to get rough or move quickly from time to time.

Defense may be needed if you’re bumped jostled or tackled.  As with so many situations, the author has always had the most result for the least expense with a good glare, and advocates this where possible.  Otherwise, learning to keep your space and move nimbly will solve most issues.  (Out maneuvering clumsy folk dressed as ninja has its own special irony.)  Offense wise, when pressed, press back, speak up, and keep it moving.  Don’t let a crowd endanger or intimidate you.

Keep busy.  Keep a schedule of events with you at all times, and keep on the move doing stuff.  You paid to get in, make it worthwhile.  If you’re not, strike up random chats, socialize, and network.  Fandom is not always known for its social skill, but reach out a bit and you can meet some fascinating folks.  The author often attends as backup for artists, or to help out with various groups.  Perks of this include instant people to hang out with / back you up, as well as the occasional table to sit in at when you get tired.  Don’t hesitate to find a chair, wall, corner, or retreat back to your hotel room for a nap now and then.  Sleep is GOOD.

Beware of:

  • The unwashed:  Get ready to hold you nose, or call others on bad hygiene.
  • The great UNCLEAN:  Bring prophylactics.  Better yet, DON’T HIT THAT.
  • The underage:  Be friendly, but firmly refuse if a kid / teen (not yours) decides to imitate a lamprey on you.  The alternatives are ALL bad.  (CYA: Cover Your Ass.)

Is George Friedman smoking crack?

Stratfor’s analysis is starting to show its bias much more:

Note the section on the US missile program in central Europe.  Unless something has changed radically, the last I heard was Obama was putting the kibosh on the project at least until the Pentagon could make the case it had to be in Europe, and in return, Russia was withdrawing its plans to put nuclear warheads in Kaliningrad, which would allow them to strike anywhere in Europe with even their smallest nuclear capable missiles.

Also on Kyrgyzstan, while the analysis is accurate, they in no way mention the cyber attack which was almost certainly undertaken by Russian proxies there – one which may have been a trial run to see how US forces coped with bandwidth poor environments.  The US military is massively dependent on using state of the art communication systems, and they did have problems in Central Asia when first moving into those bases, in 2001-2002.  Russian expertise in cyber warfare is nothing new, but running an attack which may have been designed to test US responses is.  In the Georgia/Russia spat earlier last year, the Russians were probably too busy actually attacking Georgian websites and communications to see what they could do to American bases in the country.  This time, they had an attackers advantage, in choosing the time and place.  Given Obama, just today, is reviewing cyberspace security, I would think this was much more important than Russia’s long standing objections to the US presence in its percieved sphere of intersest.

And just to confirm my suspicions, I get a new email:

In our 2009 Annual Forecast, we let Stratfor Members know that Russia is resurging–but can she really do it? The short answer is YES.

Russia needs more than economic power to mount a real resurgence–military power is an equally important aspect. So we’re introducing a special four-part series on the Russian Military.

UUUUUNNNNGGGGHHHHHHH.  Paul Kennedy is quietly weeping somewhere.  Military superpowers need to be economic powerhouses first and foremost.  Obviously, a super rich country with little population is not much of a military risk (see: Saudi Arabia), but equally a populous country with a weak economy is not nearly as much of a threat as one with a strong economy.

Russia had an economy comparable to Portugal, a thin strip of mostly barren land on the Atlantic sea, which makes the majority of its money from tourists who don’t realize they crossed the border from Spain, and from the quite frankly disgusting “firewater” drink.  Oh, and Port, of course.

And most of this was because of Russian reliance on energy resources, in particular oil and gas.  Oil prices have essentially collapsed, putting the Russian economy in dire straits.  Their weapons systems are their second main export, but with the economic crisis hitting their main clients hard as well, they cannot hope to pick up the loss of earnings there.

Russia still has a decent amount of firepower, of course.  It has the world’s biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons, for starters.  It has numerous WMD programs, including a very advanced biological weapons division.  They still maintain large numbers of missiles, both conventional and otherwise.  Its intelligence assets were primed towards Europe and America for 60+ years, and many of those assets are still around, if in a reduced capacity.  It also has its much vaunted cyber warfare capacity.

But those are costly to maintain.  Equally, Russia’s population is steadily decreasing, as is its economy.  Sooner or later, cuts will have to be made, in order to save the careers of those in the Duma and Kremlin.  And Russia is already well behind in certain technical innovations than NATO, China and Japan.  Can they sustain the economy necessary for high-tech research and their already existing military power, which is still a shadow of what the USSR possessed?  Highly unlikely.  Unless Russia can reverse its economic woes, presumably by seizing the Arctic oilfields and then orchestrating price fixing via Gazprom, its a power on the decline.  Again.

Conservatives and punks

This seems to be a meme that is emanating out of various stale and tired orifices, that because conservative parties are nominally in the opposition right now, they are therefore rebellious punk type figures who appeal to the modern day yoof.

Example one: Michael Gove, who hilariously tries to claim that having his tea and candles without perfume means this label applies to him.

Example two: Just to prove idiocy strikes without concern as to nationality or borders, Doug TenNapel, over at Breibart’s hilarious (for all the wrong reasons) anti-Hollywood blog assures us that since now Obama is the establishment, Republicans are anti-establishment and not just a currently embittered and infighting faction of privileged pricks (h/t to D Aristophanes)

Its almost like they’re having a mid-life crisis or something.

I coulda cleaned up on this…if I had any money to bet

Iceland’s coalition government just fell into squabbling over…well, pretty much everything, it seems, but mostly whose economic policy sucks more and who should really run the country.

That sounds so familiar.

Anyway, yes.  This has been in the works for a while now.  The collapse of the Icelandic government should come as no surprise.  When 10% of your GDP gets wiped off, people get pissed.  There is a lesson in that, I think.

Keep an eye on the Baltic states and Hungary too.  Oh, and Italy.  The Italian government is pretty brutal, for a democracy, but all that means is that people are going to be even more pissed off and violent when they finally decide to act.

FAO Mr Derek Draper

While all caps may in fact be cruise control for cool, even with cruise control you still have to steer.

Oh LabourList promises to be so much fun.  Not in terms of content, of course, but with personalities like Draper running it, not to mention the automatic managerial reflex of New Labour vs the more democratic, open-minded and accountable attitude of the web, anything to do with the site will result in laughter and hypocrisy.  Its wonderful.

Message from owner

I am strongly advising people against buying the hardcover version of the Principia Discordia I have brought out ’til further notice.

My publisher has done a bunk and run off with the money. I wish it were not true, but it is. Exposure Publishing/Diggory Press have walked off with the only cash I have to keep POEE online.

I have now published the paperback version through Lulu . It will be available on Amazon in a few months, but if you buy through Lulu we will make more money.

Please, for the love of whatever (maybe this community, maybe something else) tell everyone you know, who may be interested.

Thanks, people.

Syn out.

Naturally, this sucks beyond words, and its terrible that his publishers have done this to him.  So for now, if you are thinking of buying a hard copy of the Principia, please buy from one of the above links.  Furthermore, if you already have the PD, but have some spare change knocking about, consider donating some in order to keep POEE running.  Its a great Discordian resource and site, and deserves our help.