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Posts posted by DrKrettin

  1. 2 minutes ago, Manticore said:

    Me too. I decided decades ago that Americans do not speak English. Trouble is, neither do large numbers of Britishers any more.

    My aversion to American grammar originates in MS Word, which I once loaded without switching off the grammar check. I can live with a difference in spelling, but it would comment on documents I wrote, telling me off for using the passive voice, or the subjunctive mood, or any other normal feature of English grammar which I have used all my life. The effrontery.

  2. 7 minutes ago, Ted Robinson said:

    Area54 said, re: commas inside quotation marks:  “I shall be interested to see which grammatical textbook Ted cites to justify his position (and that of the comma).” 

    Tub the Quark already answered that:  http://www.grammarbook.com/

    Not really. Without a specific reference of chapter and verse, I am most certainly not going to read through an American grammar book which will probably leave me in a state of apoplexy.

    3 hours ago, MigL said:

    Arguments about where a comma goes ( outside quotes, in that case ) in a thread about 'nothing'.

    How appropriate.

    It just shows how much we need to talk about something, rather than nothing, despite how trivial.

  3. Just now, Area54 said:

    However, your absolute statement was there: How on Earth can you be confident about something for which there is no evidence whatsoever?

    (I was being completely direct, however, in regard to the reply I shall work on.)

    Yes, true - that was indeed an absolute statement. It is a general principle in Classics research that you assume there is no evidence unless there is indeed something which is clearly evidence. It is perfectly acceptable to claim there is no evidence and then expect people to contradict you: this is a normal procedure in academic papers anyway.

    I look forward to hearing your evidence....

  4. 2 minutes ago, Area54 said:

    The use of an absolute statement where arguably, and ironically, you cannot be sure one applies, is an insult to the use of logical argument.

    The implication that I am a Christian was deeply offensive to all Christians. (I've already received extensive hate mail, claiming I put you up to it.)

    I'll respond, in detail, to your argument after I complete the appropriate research. [It may take six months. I intend it to be definitive.]

    You've lost me here. Where did I use an absolute statement? The only one I see is where you are confident about something, and I challenged it. And this was less than half an hour ago - how did you manage to get extensive hate mail in that time?

    I merely asked you if you were a Christian - I don't see how that could be offensive to you or anybody else. There is a background here which I am unaware of, so if you'd like to explain, I'd be interested. 

  5. 1 minute ago, Area54 said:

    I doubt that can be attributed to the Greeks. They appear to be the oldest civilisation that we know of who practised these arts, but I am confident the courtiers in Ur used the same rhetorical skills as the Athenians and precocious hunters amused their fellows around the campfire with playlets several millenia before that. The most we could credit the Greeks with is formalising and refining the practices.

    How on Earth can you be confident about something for which there is no evidence whatsoever? Wait - are you a Christian?

    Jewish and Babylonian priests of the Hellenistic period were shocked by Greek rhetoric, because they had no cultural affinity with it. Glassman in his Origins of Democracy states that speeches in Sumeria were far more direct, and argues that Greek rhetoric is a result of the democracy where people had to learn to defend themselves. The Sumerian culture had a priest caste which had control of all governmental administration, so rhetoric was not an issue. Having said that, it is a conclusion based on very little evidence.


  6. 12 hours ago, Ted Robinson said:

    Zapatos wrote the Ted Robinson wrote “Incidentally I notice that a number of submitters use the word “it’s” as the possessive form of “it,” which is like fingernails on a blackboard to namby-pamby nitpickers like myself.”  --  Shouldn't the comma have been placed outside the quotes? 

    Not according to my education as a master’s degree in Journalism and experience as editor-in-chief of the Daily Bruin.  My staff practically

    made a profession out of insuring correctness in these matters and grammatical textbooks became our Bible.


    Sorry, but this is just silly. The comma indicates the end of a subordinate clause which states that a number of submitters use the word "it's" as the possessive form of "it". The comma is not part of the disputed text, so why on Earth should it be inside the quotation marks? Incidentally, as I write it above, it's the end of a sentence and a full stop is used instead of a comma. To claim that this should be in the quotation marks is just nonsense.

  7. 7 hours ago, Baron d'Holbach said:



    My own personal favorites: (For fun) 

    Plato invention of Socrates 

    Aristotle imagination 

    Greeks inventions of Gods/Demons 

    Invention of miliarty Sparta 

    Greek astronomy 

    Normalised homosexuality 

    Invention of the word "Eureka"

    Invention of Hydrostatics 

    Law courts 


    There is enough contentious material here for several threads, but not much science.

    Interesting that people have listed a great many things, but nobody has mentioned two of the most culturally significant inventions: rhetoric and drama (both comedy and tragedy)

  8. 35 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

    Someone winning a lottery 10 times in a row will be evaluated to be a scheme or a broken system, rather than luck, which is reasonable.

    Recently, a local politician here in Tenerife has been under investigation for fraud and tax evasion. (What? How incredible. A Local Politician?) During the investigation it was revealed that he had managed to win a lottery 10 (?) years in a row. How lucky is that?

    The court ruled that because this was theoretically possible, they could not charge him with anything related to it because they had no proof that he did not win, despite the odds being astronomically high against this run of luck.

    (What was happening was money laundering - these lottery wins are tax-free, so if you know somebody with a winning ticket, you buy it from him with cash you want to get rid of, paying him more than the value of his win. Then you cash in your traceable and legal lottery winnings. The sheer audacity to claim that it happened 10 years in a row is the key here.)


  9. 11 minutes ago, EdEarl said:

    Charity is not limited to giving a fish, it includes teaching how to fish, and equipping the fisherman. 

    Give a man a fish and he eats on that day. Give him religion, and he will starve to death praying for a fish.

    (sorry, OT)

  10. 8 minutes ago, DrP said:

     OK - if it is essential, which I believe it is, it should be covered by the money we pay in taxes...

    This has always been my attitude towards charities which provide a service which is essential - supporting them undermines the political will to have the state pay for a service. Having said that, there are one or two charities which I have supported (such as the NSPCC) simply because of their heart-rending advertising.

    We have an interesting (and distressing) issue here in Tenerife with unwanted dogs. I don't like stating general racial characteristics, but the local people here have very little concept of treating animals well. There are plenty of hunting dogs, and when they get too old to be useful, the owners simply dump them to starve or die of thirst. Added to this is the despicable habit of people leaving the island simply to leave their pets behind on the street. This is not confined to the local inhabitants either. How can people do that? Anyway, if there is one thing the local English ex-pats are know for, (apart from serious tattoos and dodgy London East End connections) it is their keenness on animal welfare charities, and they run animal shelters of all kinds for the vast numbers of stray dogs. In a way, that is fine, but there are problems. The first is that they are almost all run by fanatics who will not contemplate putting an animal down, so that they finish up with hundreds of dogs living in seriously miserable conditions. The second is that provision for stray animals is a local authority responsibility, and they save money wherever they can. They see some foreign charity doing their work, and they have no incentive to support it financially. I will not support these dog shelters because I am sure that they are undermining the Local Authority who should be dealing with it. My refusal has often lead to very aggressive responses from rather large and very nasty people who obviously love dogs and hate people, and who just don't understand the political issues involved in what they are doing.

  11. 43 minutes ago, Strange said:

    I am guessing it is because a sufficiently large number of people see it as an alternative investment in times of uncertainty and ow interest rates. A high risk investment with a chance of a high return. It is a limited resource so the price will be determined by demand.

    A friend bought about €16,000 of bitcoin/dash and within a year the value had risen to about €80,000 and still rising. It is based purely on the willingness of people to buy, but represents absolutely nothing. From my naïve outsider point of view, it looks like a giant Ponzi scheme, even when they claim that the total number of coins is limited.

  12. On 8/20/2017 at 5:07 PM, Strange said:

    Just noticed that the price of bitcoins has shot up in the last few months. So even something that doesn't exist can have a high value.

    The price of gold might be weird, but at least it is a commodity with an immense practical value. The "value" of bitcoins and dash and other internet currency is even more bizarre, and I just don't understand how it operates. It is based on nothing at all other than the price somebody is prepared to pay for it. But it represents nothing. Why has the value rocketed over the past year? Perhaps it deserves its own thread.

  13. 8 hours ago, Tub said:

    Just to get back on topic, may i quote Oscar Wilde?  " I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing i know anything about ". (Punctuated in England). :)

    But not, unfortunately, with English use of uppercase letters. :rolleyes:

  14. I can't begin to understand. There are circumstances in which I can understand somebody deciding it is better to end it all, but I would have thought that a young family and the responsibilities it involves would be the greatest incentive ever to stay alive and be useful to people who obviously need you. 

  15. 2 hours ago, DrP said:

    That evening I played a table top game with some friends...  I mentioned my conversation at work because we were about to roll some dice...  We had to roll to see who went first. We both rolled 6's so had to roll again...   we both rolled 6's 7 times before one of us lost the roll off.  It was very spooky, but a beautiful demonstration of what I was talking about. My opponent said it must mean something..  I just said that it proved my point. The whole game was riddled with rolls of all 6's all 1's and things like that....   but totally random. I have rolled a lot of dice...  sometimes they seem random, sometimes you get remarkable demonstrations of probability in action.

    I play backgammon regularly on-line, and I experience all kinds of weird improbable sequences of throws of (allegedly random) dice. Things are sometimes so annoying that you can't really believe that they are not somehow stacked. Recently I was far ahead in one game and the opponent threw three double sixes in a row to win by one pip. That's a probability of one in 46,656. But having played over 10,000 games in the last two years, I know that that kind of event is not so strange as you might think, because of you play enough games, very unlikely throw sequences do happen. One has also to take observation bias into account, because the weird throws are very noticeable and so the tendency is to think they happen more often than they do.

  16. 10 hours ago, beecee said:

    The advantages of Australia imo though is that we share our borders with no other...We are one continent divided into six states and a territory, around the same size as mainland USA and a population of 25 million. 


    That size comparison is a bit unfair, considering that 70% of Australia is semi-arid or desert. (Or were you taking that into account?) 

  17. 51 minutes ago, hoola said:

    having said all that....we are arguably still the best country in this world, 

    What on Earth do you mean by "best"? Best for what? Size of prison population? Number of people shot per day? Percentage of population who believe in creationism? Knowledge of world geography? Standard of literacy? Quality of TV? Size of pornography industry?  What are your criteria?

  18. 1 hour ago, Juno said:

    I want to pick up a point that DrKrettin makes, that people with Aspergers should seek partners who also have Aspergers.  I don't think this has to be the case at all.  

    Yes, I agree that I was making a generalisation which is clearly not valid all the time. The statement was meant in a statistical sense that an Aspie is more likely to be comfortable with another one than with a neurotypical partner, and it is definitely correct in my case. 

  19. 1 hour ago, koti said:

    What are the triggers? Theres a list of things that trigger me, longer than all the posts by cracpots on this forum :P

    Each Aspie has their own set of triggers, or maybe none at all. I'll give my wife as an example. Aspies usually have an irrationally acute need to organise their space, and react negatively if something is amiss. The triggers can be unimaginably trivial, but important to an Aspie. Example: we used to have a jar on the kitchen shelf containing coffee, and the jar had the label "coffee" on it. As everything else in the universe, it was designed for right-handed people, and if a right-handed person used it to make coffee, they would replace it with the label facing outwards. But I am extremely left-handed, and that meant that when I made coffee, I would replace the jar the wrong way round with the label facing the wall.  The result of this crime was spectacular. Amazing arguments. I talk in the past tense because in the end she smashed the jar against the wall in rage.

    That description would be sufficient to draw the conclusion that this woman is an insane stupid bimbo, but she has a PhD and most of the time is extremely rational. She herself admits this space issue is totally irrational and her responses are inappropriately excessive emotional ones, but she seems to have no control over it. There are a few other triggers which are equally trivial and catastrophic, but I'll spare the detail. Not all Aspies are like that, but it is typical.

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