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Messages - kleines c

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Dance / Re: The Tanks
« on: October 17, 2012, 02:49:55 am »
Why dance at all?

The Coffee Bar / Re: CAPTIONS!
« on: October 16, 2012, 07:32:26 pm »

The Coffee Bar / Re: CAPTIONS!
« on: October 16, 2012, 06:55:16 pm »
"What's up, Morticia?"

"Step out, martle, and walk in the sun."

Television / Re: Masters of Money
« on: October 16, 2012, 02:29:07 am »

'The Financial Times' leads today with some editorial comment that a practical approach secures Nobel award. Alvin Roth’s work is clever and useful but he is an example to his fellow economists in other ways, the FT concludes.

" ... While others argued that it should be legal to buy and sell organs, Mr Roth tried to understand why we find such transactions repugnant, and designed a practical alternative. He has also advocated an engineering approach to economics: rather than simply proving that something can or cannot be done, his ideas on matching ask fuzzier questions such as “will this work in most cases?” or “is this as good as we can get?” Above all, Mr Roth has understood that if you test theory in a real-world environment, the theory will improve. So may the world itself."

Stephanie Flanders argues that in the wake of the financial crisis, it has become fashionable to beat up on mainstream economics for becoming too mathematical - for "mistaking beauty for truth", as Paul Krugman memorably put it. Looking at the potential benefits of increasingly complicated financial contracts, it is said that too many economists fell in love with the theory - without thinking hard enough about what it would all mean in practice. Maybe. But it's not the whole story of modern economic theory - as the recipients of this year's Nobel Prize for economics well demonstrate. The work of Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth reminds us that economics can be both deeply mathematical and abstract, and deeply practical - not to say hugely useful to public and private organisations all over the world. Stephanie concludes thus:

" ... In the years before the crunch, many economists and policy makers thought they had finally gotten a handle on how to control inflation and growth in the real world. They were wrong. The central economic debates we hear now over how best to handle the aftermath of a financial crisis are not much different than when Hayek and Keynes did battle more than 80 years ago. You can see why the awards committee might want to look elsewhere."

According to John Keats, beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

According to John Maynard Keynes, the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.  You, too?

News and Current Affairs / Re: Today's Barking News Story
« on: October 15, 2012, 09:05:40 pm »

They have obviously never listened to kleines C, John W!  ;)

The Coffee Bar / Re: CAPTIONS!
« on: October 15, 2012, 06:28:21 pm »
"Up Aristotle!"

"Calm down Plato!"

Dance / Re: The Tanks
« on: October 15, 2012, 04:52:04 pm »
Due to unprecedented demand from around the world, increpatio is cordially invited to join us all in Tate Modern's 'Tanks' at 21:00 (BST) on Friday 26 October 2012.  If you cannot make it in person, increpatio, here are some of the highlights online:

I commend them to everyone reading R3OK.  I propose a toast: to increpatio!  Three cheers from kleines c.

Cinema / Re: Should I rent it?
« on: October 15, 2012, 02:41:46 pm »

On the contrary, Chafing Dish, we thought that Herzog's film was absolutely brilliant.  Rent it today!  ;)

Cinema / Re: Should I rent it?
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:13:06 pm »

According to Wikipedia, IRF, although it is often conjectured that the name 'HAL' was based on a one-letter shift from the name 'IBM', this has been denied by both Sir Arthur (C Clarke) and the '2001' film director, Stanley Kubrick.

... Having initially been upset by the use of their corporate logo in a film that featured a computer that killed several people, the company was further angered when they discovered that the letters H, A, and L are only one letter removed from I, B, and M in the alphabet.  Clarke, who said the letters stood for “Heuristically programmed Algorithmic computer” spent many years attempting to dismiss the rumor that this had been done intentionally, claiming as early as 1972, "we were quite embarrassed by this, and would have changed the name had we spotted the coincidence." Despite having gone to the trouble of having Dr. Chandra deny the connection in 2010, by 1997, Clarke acknowledged that the original inspiration for the name had come from Kubrick.  In the closing notes to '3001', he noted that, “far from being annoyed by the association, Big Blue is now quite proud of it.” After years of distancing themselves from 2001, IBM now embraced the “reformed” HAL.

As for BFI critics' rankings, 'Vertigo' and 'Citizen Kane' may or may not be the best films of all time, Chafing Dish, depending upon your point of view.  Like most people, I have other film favourites, HtoHe.  Nevertheless, they are probably worth seeing, if only to try and understand why they are so highly regarded by the current generation of film critics, JSC?

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Cat Basket
« on: October 15, 2012, 09:33:04 am »

Cinema / Re: Should I rent it?
« on: October 15, 2012, 08:01:06 am »
What a night it turned out to be, Chafing Dish!  I commend 'Barbara' to everyone reading R3OK.

As for 'Skyfall', how best to celebrate 50 golden years of the James Bond film franchise?  'Skyfall' thinks it knows how: by laying out the bunting and putting on a show; by booking a delicious villain in Javier Bardem's high-camp terrorist and arranging a glorious globe-hopping jaunt for the revellers.  Any preferences?

“We don’t go in for exploding pens any more,” quips young Q (Ben Whishaw). Nor do audiences, which is why I suspect Skyfall will be a stratospheric hit.

We do explosive threads instead!  Congratulations to all!  Three cheers from kleines c (breakfast coffee)!

The Coffee Bar / Re: A Sad thread
« on: October 14, 2012, 03:18:41 pm »
If all else fails, John W, try a bad joke!  John goes into his local NatWest and shoots a cashier and two other customers, who happen to have seen his face.

"Did anyone else see my face?" JW shouts, whilst throwing all the loot into his bag.

In a timid voice, kleines c says, "I think my missus caught a glimpse!"


The Coffee Bar / Re: A Sad thread
« on: October 14, 2012, 11:27:41 am »
I tend to find that a good joke helps on such traumatic occasions, John W.  Of course, you have to be careful what you say, if anything.

Kleines c goes to the doctor, who tells him, "You're going to die."

Kleines c says, "I'd like a second opinion."

The doctor replies, "You're also very ugly, kleines c."


Cinema / Re: Should I rent it?
« on: October 14, 2012, 06:31:56 am »

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Minor Moan thread
« on: October 14, 2012, 05:12:15 am »
Greetings from kleines c.  If I, too, may address your minor moan directly, MabelJane, all be it from a different perspective:

"I accompanied my 18 year old to his appointment with our local NatWest bank manager with the intention of opening his first bank account. She took down all his details (2nd year full-time A level student, not currently in paid employment) then came to halt with the application. The computerised system was apparently demanding that he should produce his four last bank statements plus evidence of his regular income.  ???

Obviously they don't want to encourage students to open their first bank account with them. I'd have thought that evidence I showed her from the local building society regarding his savings over the past few years were a good indication that he's not reckless with money but no, that didn't tick any boxes. He even had two substantial 18th birthday cheques ready to pay in!"

I remember when I left school, MabelJane, I got a job, a job in itself these days, and opened an account at the local NatWest.  Within a couple of months, I had closed the account because the bank was totally incompetent.

These days, I can report that the situation at NatWest (now part of RBS, which is predominantly owned by the taxpayer) is even worse.  Their IT systems, in particular, are amongst the worst I have ever come across.  I am not at all surprised that Santander is unwilling to buy any of their branches.

Robert Peston offers a rather more major moan on the BBC blog this weekend, MabelJane:

Many building societies have accounts which operate like bank accounts.  I would recommend one of the bigger building societies instead (the smaller ones are likely to get swallowed up by the bigger ones anyway)!  Nationwide, for example, is pretty good.

Here are the best current accounts available at

Of course, it is worth adding that British banks, and the wider economy, are still in serious trouble.  'The Financial Times' leads this weekend with some editorial comment that the United Kingdom needs to talk about helicopters. Were a helicopter drop to be necessary, it should be designed so as to achieve its main purpose of boosting aggregate demand and, secondarily, be directed to more rather than less useful spending. The most bang for the Bank of England’s buck would come from giving newly minted money away, not shifting large asset balances between the Bank of England and the Treasury with no new money creation. The FT concludes thus:

" ... The choice would be whether to transfer a given amount of fresh money to the public or the private sector. Sending a cheque to every UK resident would boost spending; some would no doubt also save theirs. Sending a cheque to the Treasury could fund tax cuts or infrastructure spending, though this would be up to politicians who may even use it to pay down debt. It could also be fatal to budgetary discipline: if the central bank bails out the government once, why not count on it doing so again? The time may never be right for any of these ultraradical policies. However, the time has come to debate which would be best if the helicopters had to be deployed."

If you were given one million pounds sterling this weekend by Sir Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, martle, how would you spend it?

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