Interesting Links for 24-09-2017

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I've been paying attention to the many attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)* and what's been really obvious in the last year is that the Republican majority don't actually want to repeal it.

There seem to be three different groups:
1) Republican Senators who can see that Obamacare is actually about as right-wing a way to have universal healthcare as you can get**, and don't actually want to get rid of it.
2) Republican Senators who may or may not be in favour of Obamacare, but can see that their constituents are now attached to their healthcare, will be furious if they lose it, and only have a slim majority which they are terrified of losing at the next election.
3) Republican Senators who really are against Obamacare.

The problem here is that all three groups need to pretend that they're in category (3), because they've spent the last decade telling their supporters how terrible Obamacare is, to the point where there are voters who support all of the individual parts of the bill, and even the "Affordable Care Act" but will be will be against Obamacare.

And the longer the ACA exists, and the more that voters understand about it (as is happening the more Republicans talk about it) the more popular it gets. To the point where a majority of the public are now in favour of it***. But the Republican Party now has a central point of belief that "Obamacare is bad".

Which means that in order to be against it, but not actually remove it, we're left with a few Republican Senators taking it in turns to vote against repeal, on various largely spurious grounds. Being very careful to say "Oh no, I hate Obamacare as much as the next person. But I can't vote to repeal it this time, because of a minor provision. Maybe next time." - and then the next time a _different_ Republican Senator can do exactly the same thing.

None of which means that Obamacare is safe. It's balanced on a bunch of senators believing that if they repeal it they'll lose their jobs. So every time a repeal bill is put forward they have to be persuaded _again_ that the public still cares. And I am very grateful for my US friends who are involved in getting people to phone their representatives every time it comes up.

But I am moderately hopeful that we'll make it through to the mid-terms without it being repealed. Because I don't think that a majority of the senate actually wants it to be.****


*There were over 50 of these between 2011 and 2014, goodness knows how many we're up to now
**Not surprising, as it's very similar to RomneyCare.
***But only 17% of registered Republicans. It's the swing voters who have moved.
****But don't trust me. This is just my impression from what I've read from, frankly, a long way away.
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Jane and I went up to Nethy Bridge, near Aviemore, and stayed at the Lazy Duck in one of their Eco-Lodges. Which is a cabin built for two, with electricity, gas cooking, and (distant, wobbly) wifi, right next to a large duck pond full of a variety of different species of ducks.
Loads of photos and four videos )

Interesting Links for 22-09-2017

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Interesting Links for 20-09-2017

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:00 pm
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy
i keep going splat - i have things to do and stuff i've said i'll write but the duvet keeps winning ...
This evening i've ended up having to reinstall stuff on my computer so i'm about to go splat again.

Anyway on Friday i met up with [personal profile] skibbley and we went to the Queer British Art exhibition at Tate Britain which was pretty cool. Other people have done proper write ups. My highlights were the surprising number of goats in the paintings, Gluck's amazingly textural flower painting (which i found even more compelling than their androgynous self portrait which is used as the main publicity image for the exhibition) and a 50's photograph of a dyke dressed up as a drag queen ...

Interesting Links for 19-09-2017

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm

A query from a self-published pundit.

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:44 pm
reddragdiva: (party)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

My Bitcoin pundit career is going great guns! I got to go on BBC Newsnight and call cryptocurrency garbage. Don't ever buy into cryptos, btw, they're a car crash. Trust me, I'm an expert.

Soooo I just got a note inviting me to speak at a seminar, about why blokechain is pants, to a small number of people who have money. I'm gonna charge for my time of course, but I can sell books there. Which means physical paperbacks I bring in a box.

Now, one of the great things about this self-publishing racket in TYOOL 2017 is 0 capital expenditure. Has anyone here done this, or anything like it? Was it worth it? Did you end up with a box of books under your bed forever?

The books are $3.03 each to print, but all author copies come from America (because Createspace is dumb), at some ruinous shipping rate to the UK. Assuming Kindle and CreateSpace pay promptly I'll have a pile of money on September 30, but I sorta don't right now.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to approach this? Doing a talk with a box of nonfiction books - good idea, bad idea, no idea?

(I'll no doubt do a pile of flyers for people who haven't got cash on them right there. Who carries cash in the UK these days? Less people than you might think.)

English usage

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:24 pm
damerell: NetHack. (Default)
[personal profile] damerell
Note: food eaten between supper and breakfast is incorrectly referred to as a midnight snack. The correct term is "dark lunch".

Interesting Links for 17-09-2017

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm

Interesting Links for 16-09-2017

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Where is my mind redux

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:20 am
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
[personal profile] purplerabbits
 In a previous post I said that I had a lot of things I was worried about and couldn't focus on. That was 20 days ago, so how am I doing?

Thing One
I volunteered to do a really big thing at BiCon and then realised that I didn't actually want to do it

I'm well on my way to getting out of that one, having sent a couple of hard emails. I also have an idea for possibly rescuing the thing, but am going to wait and think on that before I decide...

Thing Two
The camera on my phone stopped working and refuses to focus 

I still haven't done anything about that. I need to find out how to ask Oneplus to do a repair and/or get a quote from a reguar phone repair place

Thing Three
I had a chipped tooth and was avoiding the dentist

I went to the dentist! And it was way less trouble than expected! BUT then the filling they did partially came out and it ISN'T FAIR and I have to go back. BOO!

Thing Four
I have to write a five minute speech about disabled access for Berlin. 

I did succeed on focussing on that and on my workshop session and ran them and it was fine. ALSO, I am going to use the mental health one again at Bitastic in the Highlands and I feel reasonable confident about that even though it adds some things to the to do list.

Thing Five
Knitting: drove myself to tears trying to set up the cardigan for mum's Xmas

It is set up. And I am knitting it and it will look OK. Whether it will be ready for Xmas is a whole other question as it's on 3mm needles...

Thing Six
I have to pack for Berlin. 

Well I clearly did that one OK and didn't over or underpack noticeably

Thing Seven
I had to get up at 6.30am for a flight

Which I clearly did, showing that I can do mornings, just not all the time

Thing Eight
I didn't book myself into any craft classes at all for autumn and it is too late. 

I'm still sad about that. I still haven't been back to the pottery because stuff has been crazy busy, but I can do that now most of that stuff is out of the way

Things that didn't get numbers
Finding another volunteer job - done, more or less
Being a witness - done, hurrah that's over!
Birthday and Xmas plans - have started a birthday plan but no idea about Xmas - I should get on that so it doesn't make me sad.


I am angry about subscriptions

Sep. 15th, 2017 01:13 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
When I rule the world the mechanism for cancelling a subscription will have to be at least as easy as the mechanism for setting one up.

So, for example*, if you can take out a subscription to the Financial Times online in about 30 seconds online, by clicking on a few options, then you should be able to cancel your subscription by clicking on something on your subscription details on their site. And they should not require you to email their support desk, reply with a second email explaining why you don't want it any more, and then answer a phone call wherein they offer it to you cheaper and then have to insist that, no, really, you don't want it any more.

The rule shall, instead, be that if ten random people take longer to unsubscribe than they did to subscribe that your home page will be replaced by a big flashing sign reading "We will treat you badly in the hope of holding on to your money."

Secondary rule: No introductory offers. Free trials are allowed (but must be easily cancellable, as above), but you can't offer new people a better deal than your existing customers. Introductory offers are a way of tricking people into signing up, and then hanging onto them when inertia stops them from cancelling/moving. Instead you must offer a good deal in the first place, which is sustainable, and which is easily compared to your competitors. I know this makes life harder for companies who are trying to hide long-term costs from their customers. I really, really, don't care.


*Or, possibly, exactly what happened to me at lunchtime.

Interesting Links for 15-09-2017

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

Interesting Links for 14-09-2017

Sep. 14th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker
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