All 10 entries tagged Stupidity

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December 31, 2006

PhDs & Pensions

I was reading through Government pensions regs today and stumbled across something. It turns out that in order to quality for full state Pension you need to be paying NI contributions for 44 years. If you expect to retire at the normal age of 65, then you need to be paying contributions from the the age of 21. This is quite worrying, since if you are even doing a Masters within the normal time frame you are effectively ruled out of a full state pension.

If you are doing a PhD you are probably going to be 4 years down, and if your PhD roles over to year number 4 (which I believe happens for the majority of PhD students) you will be missing nearly 10% of the required time.

The minimum basic pension is £20.51/week and the full basic pension is £82.05/week, with the requirements of 11 and 44 years respectively. If we assume that its a linear scale between minimum and maximum state pensions, then it works out to £1.86/week lost for every year down on the full pension, or £9.32/week for the hypothetical PhD student.

The current life expectancy within the UK is 78.54 years, and rising rapidly. Lets say this hypothetical average PhD student lives until they are 85, to account for the rise in life expectancy before our generation dies, that means that the total cost is £9692.8. Admittedly this ignores the time value of money, but I the figures already have several assumptions in them, before I begin to predict average Interest rates for the next 60+ years.

As far as I can tell from the pamphlet I read, the government makes allowances for people caring for relatives, if they are job seekers or if they are on long term disability allowance, but not for people trying to advance our level of Scientific understanding! I can also see why the government wouldn’t give you a full pension if you haven’t worked to your complete potential. The real contradiction here is that I have a government funded research grant! The state’s position is that they think thats its worth paying someone to do the work – but refuse that person pension contributions.

December 13, 2006

Not a kangaroo Court

I accidentally stumbled across Executive Order of the President 13224 today. An interesting find. It essentially bans people from interaction with a list of organisations and ensures that bad things happen to you if you do help out with these organisations. It offers no evidence against any of the organisations, and don’t specify what crimes have been committed by the organisations.

Some of these are obviously worth of inclusion, the list begins with Al-Qaeda. Some of the other organisations don’t appear to have had any serious offences proved against them in a court of law and are in fact charitable in nature. There being a difference between a claim being satisfied within a court of law and someone pointing a finger and screaming terrorist at the top of their voice.

Worst of all some of the organisations seem to have a large number of people in Guantanamo, not because they have committed a crime, but in relation to this claim that the organisation should be banned. Aside from the fact that I don’t believe that someone can be proved to be a terrorist by applying the law of transitivity to known terrorist entities, its even worse to be applying it to organisations on a list where some charities are simply being convicted in something with less respect for law and order than a kangaroo court.

December 12, 2006

Several Small Things

So someone has done a survey and concluded that the average vocabulary of Teenagers is less than people 10 years older than them. Aside from not knowing at all what sampling methods, etc. were used it brings up the question – how much is this influenced by people parodying the excuse for comedy that is Little Britain?

The Warwick Boar website has now not been updated in 9 months, which is somewhat impressive.

This was brought to you in association with the letter T

October 04, 2006

Artificial Intelligence and natural stupidity

Writing about web page

The New York Times have an interesting article on “software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas.” This is the most ridiculous thing since they banned settling online gambling debts with credit cards last week. The article seems to imply that the sentence: “The U.S. is the first nation to have developed nuclear weapons. Moreover, the U.S. is the first and only nation ever to deploy such weapons.” is somehow indicative of a threat to the US.*

The professors in question argue that, “It can just as easily help the government understand what is going on in places around the world.” Which is a completely valid point, but utterly irrelevant. This isn’t about there being a good use for the technology – this is about an intended disgraceful misuse. The fact that Harold Shipman’s MD could have allowed him to save lives in no way excuses his crimes. Would you have trained Shipman if he told you upfront that he was intending to use his skills for murder?

  • Yes I know they didn’t say this was directly treated as such, but when an article lists two quotes – emphasizing that one of them is not indicative of a threat, and listing that as the other quote – I believe that implies that it is considered bad sentiment by their analysis.

September 22, 2006

'Political In–correctness Gone Mad'

Conservative Leader David Cameron today setup a new policy group to tackle what he termed ‘Political In correctness gone mad’ within the mainstream media. The move comes after a recent poll suggested that people thought David Cameron, ‘Didn’t moan enough to be Conservative Leader’.

The new policy group is to be headed up by former Journalist, Richard Littlejohn. In a BBC Radio 4 interview this morning he stated, “I’m working on something that’s not Racist, You couldn’t make it up!

Previously my most serious piece of political journalism was that Essex Girl Joke Book I wrote, now Davey boy has named me one of the Beautiful People.” When asked about his motivation in taking up his new position Mr. Littlejohn claimed it would help him “score” more often.

An unnamed labour official was overheard saying, “I don’t have a name, whats that all about?”

Escaped Mental patient and author of, “Political (In) correctness” Professor McDougal explained, “Previously people thought that political correctness was a society’s major ill, surveys show that the public are reaching a tipping point whereby PI replaces PC”

September 10, 2006


I don’t understand how the BBC manage to attract such nutters. Its not like they are printing lunacy on their website – its actually sensible news, and yet the commentary is ridiculous. Thankfully its ridiculous to the extent of hilarious…

“The last 10 years have been a disaster for this country. A way of life that took hundreds of years to evolve has been systematically dismantled.”

“A plague on all their houses say I – we desperately need a general election and a new Government to actually tackle the pressing problems facing the country over immigration, crime…”

“I for one have no interest in a scotsman running my country … Bereft of any humility, manners, statesmanship, leadership, personality, courage or character to name a few.”

“The new PM should not be a Scottish MP, they have their own Parliament and should stick to Scottish affairs!”

“His policy is to deliberately keep the State pension at its lowest possible level and any pensioner needing more has to be means-tested or starve. As a pensioner myself I will vote for any other Labour leader except Brown, the Scottish skinflint.”

“George W. Bush should replace Tony Blair. Why have a middle man?” – the only witty one I could find.

May 16, 2006

What? What? What? What?

Why do so many idiots post on the bbc news forums? I would put money on it, that if a survey was conducted of those people the average IQ would be well below 70.

This topic, is obviously going to be one of the worst, but there's plenty of ridiculousness going around for everyone:

Here's a great quote:

"We do indeed have extremism in our society. And that extremism is of anti–Britishness. No one is allowed to call themselves British, fly a Union Jack, refer to The British Empire or any thing else which might offend or upset anyone who does not consider themselves to be British. Further, this extremism comes from a tiny minority who are imposing their will on the rest of us. This is the extremism that the Government should be tackling."

Its almost a parody, and I'm not sure when reading this to be concerned or to just to laugh. For the record, here's a fair refutation:
1. Loads of people call themselves British
2. There is no Law against flying a Union Jack. Though flags are banned in Warwick University halls of residence.
3. The post itself referred to the British Empire – best shooting in the foot ever.

There's another great quote here: "When in Rome, do as the Romans/British do"

Another person seems to think that Britishness involves "Being Christian", whilst someone else geographically restricts Britain with the statement, "Regarding England as your home."

After a while the sarcastic posts tended to dominate, such as "This government turning into a dictatorship. Treating criminals softly and allowing them to do whatever they like and then increasing our taxes to pay for it." Frankly I think this guy is the most self delusional on the site. If we conjunct the adjacent sentences, logically valid since he is claiming that both propositions hold, we find that he thinks the country is a dictatorship thats gone soft. Brilliant!

Ahh well – at least it avoided doing revision for 10 minutes more.

May 01, 2006

We are the Nation, the Colbert nation

Writing about web page

So Colbert has now officially galloped over all other competition to be the best comedian ever! Watch this Roast:

So here's the youtube links.

April 05, 2006



January 10, 2006

A Commentary on a commentary on a commentary

Writing about web page

1. Blair announces a wonderful new piece of legislation that will magically solve all the worlds problems by outlawing some new stuff that we all hate.
2. The bbc write a nice neat article summarising it for the rest of the country, albeit with no detail.
3. The bbc allow idiots to comment on this issue.
4. An idiot comments on this issue:

Well lets face it, no one should ever have expected Blair to suddenly stop being the control freak of the first two terms, just because he has a weakened majority. What would be nice, just once in a while would be if politicians gave a little evidence to back up their claims. I don't ask much – just once in a while, just occasionally. Just enough to maintain my sanity. PLEASE!!!!!!

Lets face it, its a complete pile of bullshit – in the Henry G. Frankfurt sense. If anyone can satisfactorally answer some of the following questions then answers on a postcard, or mayb you can just post a comment.
a. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for someone being a 'Yob'?
b. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for a crime being a 'Yob crime'?
c. What proportion of criminal activity is made up by 'Yob Crime'.?
d. What is respect, and how does it help us reduce this 'Yob Crime'?
e. What other options do we have?

And to the commentators on the bbc forums:
"Those of us children of the 50’s will remember the rules enforced in schools of that era."

=> Rules were well inforced in the schools I've been to – I still have no respect for people who are idiots, like you sir.

"No! Its time Mr Blair, himself, showed some respect"

=> Good call, I'm sick of being lied to.

"So Tony Blair believes that when teenagers act like yobs it's the parents who should be punished? Wasn't his own son caught underage drinking and acting like a yob a few years back?"

=> Good points, shame about the lack of a zing involved, though.

"it is hard raising children (the next generation) respectfully when you have the PC brigade destroying basic English culture and a government doing nothing to encourage or support families"

=> haha – its too funny to even be worth formulating a proper argument against.

"Human Rights activists have destroyed the order of this society, those who break the law should have no rights they have taken the choice to break the law."

=> everyone in this country has broken the Law in some way or another, including (I will bet my anus on this) the guy who posted that comment.

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