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2:05 AM
2:49 AM
I'm having a skunk invasion right this very now!
2 hours later…
4:24 AM
LOL. It was midnight, I was tired, and I typed underwhat instead of understand
how nice if I can have food as soon as I get up every day.
5:32 AM
@FaheemMitha There was no chance of it prevailing, because only the Bolsheviks have a strong militarized intra-party structure with strict subordination. The irony! The oppressive monarchic regime (up to 1917) nurtured the next oppressive regime (1917-1991)
The oppression did not allow other parties in Russia to grow strong enough, to gain enough well-organized supporters.
The Bolsheviks adopted a Taliban-like dictatorial structure of command, which allowed them to survive. They robbed banks to obtain funding. They dealt harshly with people refusing to toe the Party line.
In the several months from February to October 1917 that Russia was free, the democratically-minded parties grew, but not enough. While the Bolsheviks, fed by German money and having a highly efficient propaganda machine, really ballooned in strength in this short space of time.
Like a pathological organism that grows by leaps and bounds once you have killed off the good microorganisms in your body by antibiotics, but stopped taking the antibiotics.
The State Duma is preparing a law that may slow down the access to Facebook and Twitter in Russia, or halt it.
Several years back, they passed a law under which all personal data must be stored inside Russia, on servers to which Russian special services would have access.
And now Facebook and Twitter have been in violation of this law for many months, and resufing to pay fines, which keep getting bigger.
6:45 AM
@Cerberus Yes. People have their agendas. The British certainly do, about the USSR.
@CowperKettle German money? Do tell.
@CowperKettle I just read an article which said Amnesty International India is shutting down its operations in India, because the Govt had targeted them and frozen its bank accounts. They remarked that this was fairly unusual, and in recent years had happened only in Russia, in 2016. I wonder what happened in 2016.
@CowperKettle I think I also read (probably Chomsky), that there was a multi-country invasion of Russia shortly after the revolution. Involving Germany and some other countries. But this particular historical factoid doesn't get much air time.
Apocalyptic posts like this make me wonder - how bad are things in the UK right now anyway?
Anyone from the UK here?
I'm not very familiar with the UK, but I did live there briefly, once, many years ago.
7:54 AM
Word of the day: perdurantism
> they believe that all persisting objects are four-dimensional "worms" that stretch across space-time, and that you are mistaken in believing that chairs, mountains, and people are simply three-dimensional
3 hours later…
10:27 AM
@FaheemMitha Misleadingly, yes.
2 hours later…
12:49 PM
@Færd Well, they aren't.
@CowperKettle yeah Mark works only with NSA
@tchrist oh crap
Literally maybe
@FaheemMitha yeah that's the point of the question
@CowperKettle OMG people other than me also make mistakes!
secretly satisfied
@CowperKettle sounds interesting, but what does it solve or explain that other philosophies fail to do so? If it doesn't add anything it would be just another perspective.
Hmm, maybe a lot of different philosophies are just that
1:22 PM
@FaheemMitha They're not semantically exclusive (they're obviously related), but the choice in answering is exclusive, you can only choose one or the other.
> China is forging ahead with a coronavirus vaccine, inoculating at least 350,000 people despite the fact that the drugs are still undergoing clinical trials.
It's a classic test of the difference between scholastic version of 'being rational' (the one that economists tend to idolize) and normal people's 'student logic' (which doesn't really operate formally on those sentences with probability and 'and')
@CowperKettle Maybe they're doing the clinical trial on 350K people?
in a world where 0 people are bank tellers, and everyone is a bird watcher, which is more likely:
a) I am a bank teller
b) I am a bank teller and a bird watcher
In a world where all people are bank robbers, and half of them are girls, which is more likely:
a) girls are bank robbers
b) boys are bank robbers
1:33 PM
In a world...
Where there are no more bank tellers...
And you really need to pay in a cheque

There could be soon a lot less cashiers, because there are checkout-free stores piloted in many countries.
> To start, Amazon One will be an entry option at two of its dozens of cashierless Amazon Go stores, located near its Seattle headquarters. Over time, Amazon plans to introduce the technology at more of its physical stores in the coming months.
@CowperKettle We have had cashierless check-out in supermarkets for many years here.
It's much more convenient, because it's quicker, no lines.
You have to scan your own stuff.
@Cerberus Could you weigh an arbitrary weight of apples and buy them in such a store?
@CowperKettle Yes.
You weigh them yourself, then you get a sticker to put on it, which you can scan.
What if you try to game the system? Weigh an expensive fruit, and make it appear as cheap apples?
1:42 PM
You can do that.
Then that will not work in Russia.
There are random checks.
Yes, there will have to be checks in Russia. Maybe a guy who will view everything via webcams.
So once every x number of times, someone will check whether your shopping bag matches what you've scanned.
Even so, some fraud will occur.
But it's probably much, much cheaper than all those cashiers.
And self-scanning stations are much smaller, so you save lots of space.
Several major retailers are piloting such stores in Russia already. I think that they might spread fast.
1:45 PM
I'm sure they will.
Most supermarkets here have a few cashiers, and lots of self-scanning stations.
So you can always choose.
Many old people want to wait in line at the cashiers.
there are still some things that they haven't completely automated away. If I have to top up my pay as you go electricity or gas, then I have to deal with a human.
What is "top up my pay"?
Paying for your apartment's electricity bill?
top up - add more money to
pay as you go - pay before you use
Ah! Thank you! That was unclear.
no worries :D
1:48 PM
Here in Yekaterinburg, a bill comes by mail, and I pay it via the Internet.
yeah, that's true for most people here
There is no pay-as-you-go scheme yet for electricity and water here.
@MattE.Эллен Yeah I don't get that. Why 'top up' (fill an acct to a particular pt so that things can be deducted from it), when you can just deduct straight?
for some reason the flat I live in has a top up meter
There is a pay-as-you-go system for Internet and phone expenses though.
1:49 PM
@Mitch I actually like it, it's like having a smart meter without it being plugged into the internet :D
I have read about a curious system in Great Britain in the 1950s, they paid for natural gas by dropping coins in an apparatus that was in their apartments. Very quaint.
Here we have an instant water program. You pay for instant water 'powder', put some in your cup, turn on the tap to fill up the cup, and bam - instant water.
Here, we have VodoRobot systems, in almost every fifth house. You go with your water containers there to fill clear drinkable water, 3 rubles per liter. It's a robotic contraption. Quite useful. Because the water that comes from the common water taps is not very clear. A lot of additives and sediment.
@MattE.Эллен I don't think I understand this either.
@Mitch but, yeah, if I wasn't so against making changes to my utilities (due to past experiences) then I'd sort out a direct debit system
1:51 PM
@MattE.Эллен it's just a mental extra to worry about. ok if that's what's under the hood, but jest treat it like it's a deduction and don't make me worry if the temporary limit has been reached.
I just use elecrticity and gas, and I get a bill.
@Cerberus What magical land is that?
@Mitch I assume it is the same in your magical land?
It uses a magical artefact known as a meter.
@Cerberus so I have a "key" and I go to the shop and hand it and some money over, then that amount of money is coded to the key and I put the key in the meter and then the meter knows how much electricity I have paid for. It knows the current rate (£ per kWh) and so the amount left ticks down with use
I have one of those big stone coins that is unmoveable. everyone knows where it is and how much of the stone is used up and the stone will never be broken up. The system works.
1:54 PM
@MattE.Эллен So...if I get this right, you use pre-paid electricity?
@Cerberus exactly
I have never, ever heard of that!
@Cerberus oh. yeah. water is that way too. I think they recently (past ten years) installed a bluetooth enabled meter so they just walk by the house to get a quick reading without having to search for the meter behind some wet bushes.
@Cerberus It's called 'coal'.
I never pay for gas or electricity or, really, anything. My wife handles that. ^_^
@Cerberus I think it was all the rage when people used to spit on tenants. you can't trust a tenant to pay a bill! get them to pay up front and cut them off when they run out.
1:55 PM
@MattE.Эллен yeah, it sounds exactly like that.
Some people have 'smart' meters here that can be read out from a distance. But those are bad for your privacy, so I just type the numbers in an online web form once a year to get my yearly settlement.
teaches you responsibility because real world.
@MattE.Эллен Interesting.
Not super convenient?
@Cerberus no. I have thought of changing, but then I'm reminded of all the times I've changed something with electricity and it's gone wrong. every time. So I leave it alone.
Hmm at least your have the option to change it.
1:59 PM
Why does the "I am the man who commands you" question keep coming back?
people forget who commands them
@MattE.Эллен This is not a site for mending people's broken memories.
Well, they'd stop coming, but they keep forgetting that, too
Data science, anyone?
2:04 PM
@skullpatrol Makes me nostalgic for the combustion engine.
Already nostalgic for VB.
They used the f to stand in for the long-form s, when they didn't have those in their fonts.
smiling yet :)
2:09 PM
Herrick should have said "smiling yeti" ... then I'd have really wanted to read that poem.
still nostalgic?
@skullpatrol Yeah, and it's all because people are spying on your every move.
@Robusto Not usually: those are different characters.
@Cerberus I believe that's what I said.
I thought you meant they used f for long s in that image?
Which is not the case if you look closely.
I've never seen print where that was done.
2:15 PM
@Cerberus Maybe. Could be a printing artifact. But OK.
You can see it when you look at the horizontal stroke.
It's only on the left side.
Whereas, in the f, it's on both sides.
We need @tchrist to pass judgment on that.
Use thine own eyes!
It's easy to see.
I'm still trying to get my coffee to start my engine.
So ... not that easy.
Btw, an exabyte is (10^18)bytes
2:17 PM
I've always wondered why they added that little stroke to long s in print anyway.
It is not used in manuscript.
And it makes s harder to distinguish from f, so why add it?
And why do they have that weird c-t ligature?
Print likes ligatures.
Probably just convention.
A convention that people have stopped going to.
I'm sure a ct ligature can be found at some crazy convention.
Who are they?
2:22 PM
Random children from the Internet.
Who, apparently, can't even spell.
I thought they were your students.
Haha nope.
Those are far older.
Spelling is tough for kids.
See if you can spot my son in that ad from 30 28 years ago.
@skullpatrol It depends a bit on the language!
@Robusto Oh, dear, that is too hard.
Do you have him framed?
2:30 PM
@skullpatrol Ding!
I was going to say "He's the cutest one."
> Help me to look at the example if you may:
That's a very weird way of asking a question.
I'm not even sure whom to ask if I may help people look.
Amnesty International?
@Cerberus BTW, the kids couldn't be photographed all together, because ... kids. So they were shot in groups of four and then composited together to look like one big line.
2:35 PM
@Robusto IBM, I should think.
Oh fuck, someone was faster.
Well then.
True story: It took me an embarrassing amount of time to try and decide between two completely different children.
Pro tip: remind yourself that humans have two parents.
@Cerberus I meant English
But, yes it does.
At a time when joblessness has increased fivefold (official figures for my region), $150 is a heavy fine.
2:54 PM
No doubt
Such news is building up the hatred to Putin's regime. According to a study, the number of Russians who get their news predominantly over the Internet has doubled in the last 3 years.
Keep the jobless silent
But still over 60% go to their TV sets for news to receive Putin's version of the reality.
and trumps
@RegDwigнt Words of wisdom.
3:16 PM
> We hope to meet you soon, but this time we would like to invite you to “Best of Pulmonology”, an international online conference organized by the ...
It's my translation from Russian. I wonder if it reads okay. It might be contrasting.
In Russian, it somewhy reads okay.
My guessing is that the author (a corporation) expresses their hope to meet the recipient in person someday. Maybe.
3:31 PM
@skullpatrol So let's steal the information like we steal the oil.
@CowperKettle We all totally underwhat you're saying here.
Personally I like cashiers. And don't like machines so much. Though when I lived in the US I did use those automated grocery checkout things occasionally. When I had no choice. At Harris Teeter.
We don't really have grocery stores here, so that doesn't come up.
If one arrived late to shop, the cashiers were mostly gone, and the only options were machines.
@CowperKettle I think everyone does that now. At least for the news that is not paywalled. Which is becoming increasingly common.
Robotization and automation will hurt many people very soon.
4:09 PM
So, does anyone think the tax thing is going to decrease the chances of the Orange Creature being re-elected? I realise that we're all guessing here.
I suppose even the people behind against it (whoever they are) don't know. But it looks like they are giving it the old college try.
@FaheemMitha Hard to say.
His supporters already know he is flawed.
But they feel that those flaws are balanced out by the stuff they agree on with him.
@Cerberus QASWZFMB. Truer words were never spoken.
> Anti-IgA in the IgG class are specific IgG antibodies against immunoglobulin A. Patients with IgA deficiency often demonstrate circulating antibodies against IgA, which have been suggested to be associated with transfusion reactions.
4:26 PM
@M.A.R. Is that something in Persian translitteration?
@Cerberus no I was just fooling around
I thought so.
@Cerberus Flawed is a polite way of putting it.
But yes, I agree, nobody really knows. Which is basically what I said already.
@FaheemMitha Politesse is always nice.
@FaheemMitha Indeed.
4:48 PM
> Some Physicists See Signs of Cosmic Strings From the Big Bang quantamagazine.org/…
Another interesting article, after reading which I will surely understand nothing.
I've already tried reading about the dark matter and dark energy a dozen times, and I still cannot understand what the issue is.
5:18 PM
@CowperKettle Is Physics your area?
But the humanity have been struggling with these issues for thousands of years, and it's interesting to try and peek when scientists are clamining to have finally solved some big issues.
5:49 PM
@CowperKettle Struggling with what issues?
6:36 PM
I was not aware of this till Chomsky mentioned it in a talk (technically an interview), but the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was set to 100 seconds to midnight on January 23, 2020.
I haven't checked on this, but according to a video I was just looking at, that's the closest it has ever been.
7:23 PM
Is it just me or is it kinda weird that though the EU has no single official language (all the member states languages are translated into for anything official), the de facto everyday language of all participants in the political process is ... English?
Is there any part of the current EU which has English as native?
Gibraltar is part of the UK, not the EU.
@Mitch All the main EU countries already speak English, so it is a good lingua franca anglica.
If they didn't have English they would have to agree on a different language. It's actually a good thing they now have a common language that doesn't belong to one of their member countries.
But that's also part of the reat of the weirdness. The two most important English speaking nations, the US and the UK, are both socially moving away and politically moving away from... the rest of the world. Sp shouldn't the rest of the world take the hint?
The world is notoriously poor at taking hints.
If China would only convert to pinyin, they'd move right to the front immediately.
@Robusto If I were them, I'd feel a little miffed at having to learn a language that I really shouldn't have to care about at all.
This should have been closed a long time ago... — Cascabel 3 mins ago
@Mitch Now you're thinking like an English-speaker. Most other countries have to learn other languages from a young age.
7:28 PM
@Robusto But English?
@Robusto They could use Esperanto.
@FaheemMitha Which nobody speaks because nobody speaks.
@Robusto Well, people could learn it. And as far as I know it's nobody's language, or everyone's language. Which could be a plus.
@FaheemMitha Yeah, but then they'd have to learn a language nobody speaks. Who but @Cerberus would do that?
The point is, people do speak English. Already.
@Robusto Well, it's just a possible alternative.
7:31 PM
Yeah, so is Old Norse. But since most of the people in those countries already speak English, why go asking for other troubles?
@Robusto Unlike Old Norse, Esperanto is a modern language. And the number of speakers isn't actually zero.
@FaheemMitha But it would look a whole lot like zero if you were to graph it next to the number of EU speakers of English.
@Robusto It's a small number, yes.
Vanishingly small.
> But there are only about 1,000 native speakers, like Linken. Esperanto was his first language — and still the main one he uses with his dad, Greg Kay.
Hello all, longtime reader, infrequent participant, and first-time EL&U chatter. I have a generic question that I don't think is a good fit for the stack, but that other users probably have good answers for:
Can someone recommend to me a good grammar book for modern English? I'm open to a textbook, reference manual, or similar. I love grammar but have found it inconvenient to study with confidence as an adult
7:44 PM
Sorry, I think you'd do better to ask on meta or on English Language Learners.
Native speakers like me never consult a grammar. We just bull our way through based on what sounds right to us.
@Robusto Lol, I am also a native speaker but am very interested in grammar. English grammarians surely exist, though perhaps are rare enough that there isn't a mass produced (and certainly not a popular) book on it
I'll probably open a question on meta though, that is a good idea
Yeah, then try on meta.
No hay te qué.
@FaheemMitha Klingon and Dothraki are more popular.
@Upper_Case What I hear third hand (from people who have heard frpm people who have heard about opinions of other people about these things) is the CGEL (Cambridge Grammar of the English Grammar) is the best (= most accurate/nuanced) current grammar.
Hm...maybe that's fourth hand?
7:58 PM
@Mitch Most comprehensive, hmm?
From the passages and images of pages pasted here on ELU it seems like a very big book and not one you'd want to learn from. Like, use it as a reference for a very particular question, man.
@M.A.R. Sure. I guess. I wouldn't know. It has a big table of contents?
@Upper_Case there sure is, but the problem is, AFAICT, nobody teaches real grammar. Not even US schools, to their own pupils/students
Like COED... is that Comprehensive OED or is Compact OED?
@Mitch It has a very awesome first two chapters, they could be a book on their own, snailboat used to say. But yeah, it's 2000 pages of just grammar
Who'd read that.
@M.A.R. maybe that's why he feels he would benefit as an adult non-learner. because the schools don't teach things like that because kids already know it (but only implicitly)
forget it.
amazon's price is awful.
I'd totally get it if it were free.
then put it on a bookshelf.
8:02 PM
@Mitch well, the real benefit here would I think be gaining the micro-analyzing linguist perspective of things. And stuff
and ignore it for years.
@M.A.R. oh. well. that does put it into perspective.
Sorry I was distracted a bit
@M.A.R. I wouldn´t even read the cover.
@Robusto I wouldn't even acknowledge its presence.
Please have staff redirect it to the service entrance
I'm joking.
I'd read the cover
No doubt it would make a serviceable doorstop.
8:04 PM
I mean yeah while looking for other books.
@Robusto pressing flowers
I mean, often all the grammar laymen are exposed to consists of "oh did you know this usage that's been common since 1800 is shunned by some prescriptivists?"
hiding postcards from paramours
You'd get to the word "grammar" and then your eyes would move on to something more interesting. Like your cat.
Cats are weird.
saving large denomination paper currency
8:06 PM
That's my conclusion after browsing some reddit
@M.A.R. pfft
cats are overrated
Like, there was this gif, a cat was hugging the guy's hand, when the guy let go it was shrieking at the guy's hand, when the hand came back it licked it
@M.A.R. They think you're weird. So there.
@Mitch stuff of the museums. Interesting to look at, but handling is probably not as fun.
Actually, cats think you are just big cats.
8:08 PM
That's not inaccurate
@Upper_Case Oh... CGEL is probably not an easy read.
If they didn't think so they would attack you.
But then again neither is dr seuss.
For all I know I share many metabolic pathways with E. coli.
@M.A.R. I'm not sure how we moved on from cats to e coli...
8:09 PM
Whatever happened to A, B, C, and D coli?
but do go on.
@Mitch well, if you pick a random page, it sounds like they're going at lengths about some trivial detail you don't care about. But reading the preliminary stuff and ch. 1 and 2 is really worth it
@Robusto I didn't name them
Probably oppressed minorities
@M.A.R. haha that reminds me of a joke a dog once told me: Why is it horrible to stuff a cat? Because you've wasted all that stuffing!
ha ha
it's funny because the cat is dead.
@Mitch well, how different are 1990s computers compared to computers now, barring some exceptional stuff like crazy quantum microchips or whatever
@Mitch My cat wants me to flag that as unkind.
8:12 PM
. . . compared to things that aren't computers?
@M.A.R. uh... quantum computing isn't a thing yet. Of course, chip makes have to be aware of quantum effects at the scales they're working at, but they're not taking -advantage- of those affects, just trying to mitigate the problems they cause.
So let's say 500 'ubiquitous' metabolic pathways evolved in bacteria. 498 of them would be the same in humans with some minor changes that can be traced across different species
@Mitch shrug
Now he wants me to flag that as well.
How dare you have thought he wasn't smart enough to flag your ass?
And how dare you change your perception of him without his permission?
@Robusto Somehow your cat got their wish.
8:17 PM
@Mitch Awesome! I'll look into that one. I wouldn't expect a grammar to be an easy read-- my grammar references for Spanish and Japanese aren't. Thank you!
@Upper_Case np
@M.A.R. Yeah, it's really just a hobby for me. I think it's interesting, and even if the finest points of grammar aren't very useful I can at least think about things from a more detailed (grammar) perspective
What ambiguities exist, and how does the grammar of English let us address them concisely? Fun to think about
full disclosure, like Robusto, and probably his stupid cat too, I don't understand what the word 'participle' means.
@Mitch and what about participal.
@Mitch Isn't that like a particle that went to college?
8:21 PM
@M.A.R. you think you're making a joke but 'participial' is a word which I don't understand either.
I mean, in defense of cats (and they sure need it believe me), dogs are a bit, shall we say, not exactly dense or pushovers...
deferential to a fault?
Dogs are like four-year-olds
Except they don't throw tantrums.
I mean cats might be cruel and play with their half dead about to be food, but they don't play with their poop, like some deranged,
yeah, four year old. deranged, poop-playing four year old
calculus to a fault
Oh seismography you say?
8:25 PM
I never found out what 'fault' means either
Now you know
Originally it was just cracks
Now you have poop playing and derangement
Which are probably heroin side effects (?)
@M.A.R. Not really. Opiates cause constipation, so if you're playing with poop it's because you have opened up your insides.
Do opiates make people suicidal?
2 mins ago, by Mitch
Now you know
@M.A.R. withdrawal maybe
@M.A.R. You should have responded "OIC"
Because it stands for 'Oh I See'
8:29 PM
No, that's trademark Reg
and also Opiate Induced Constipation (I didn't just make that up)
So hilarity would've then ensued.
It's the somethingth anniversary of the Iran–Iraq war
We're all learning here, I get it.
TV is filled with war movies. Except they all seem to suck.
@Mitch Now I know
@M.A.R. So I guess no one is over it?
8:31 PM
Over what?
You're going to make me say it, aren't you.
I would edit your miscapitalization if I could.
Not if I were you. Because if I were you, I'd be doing exactly as you are doing now, which is not editing it.
They remind me of the wave of 1950s B movies
@M.A.R. There are still only a handful of movies out of thousands of WWII movies where the Germans don't come out as awful.
8:33 PM
Cartoony overblown characters and proportions designed for a population that's supposed to be already convinced which side is bad and which side is good
I mean...
They were awful.
OK no but, they were awful.
Except people aren't convinced anymore thanks to USAGM's white propaganda
Apparently an organization with a concentrated effort on spreading US propaganda abroad.
United States And Greater Mediterranean?
Dude, they're just trying to make money.
8:35 PM
The United States Agency for Global Media
which Trump defunded recently apparently?
Apr 15 at 17:16, by Mitch
Mar 27 at 18:53, by Mitch
Mar 24 at 18:29, by Mitch
Mar 12 '13 at 20:01, by tchrist
Of course he did.
@Mitch I'm not judging, I'm not judging
They can't help it.
Well, thing is, Iraq was heavily supposed by some figures I've seen saying 40+ countries
And not just pep talk, tanks, jets, you name it
And Iran only got some meager help from Libya and Syria
And my point is, remember the Omaha beach scene in Saving Private Ryan? We had many of those in the 8-year war.
And we can't seem to make a single good movie about it.
Which is mildly infuriating.
There. Rant over.
@M.A.R. *supported, ugh
@Mitch: "Astronomers got tired of watching the moon go around the earth for 24 hours, so they called it a day."
> Geology rocks, but geography is where it's at.
02:00 - 21:0021:00 - 00:00

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