I had the pleasure of having beer with Theo when he was in Edmonton, AB several years ago. He even refused to let me go to the ATM to grab cash; he bought the beer for me.
My only complaint about the guy was that he was way too smart, and I struggled to keep up with all the computing security things we discussed. Hardly the worst complaint to have about him
He just has zero patience for bullshit, and I think that's why people complain about his personality. If you ever get the opportunity to meet him in person, I believe you'd rethink this meme about him being an ass.
Because the monarch plays a limited but important role in government. It is her job to appoint a Prime Minister (not always trivial in a hung parliament); and, it's her decision whether to call an election, or to appoint a new PM from the current Commons should the government fall on a confidence motion.
You could eliminate the monarch...but then you'd just need to replace her with someone else who would do those jobs (call that person a president, chancellor, or whatever else you like). And what have you gained? (Aside from having to reprint all your currency, reissue passports to all your citizens, rewrite parts of your constitution, etc.).
Are you saying that there aren't local governments in the UK? Because that's not correct in the slightest.
Or are claiming that the landmass of a nation determines when it can be successful as a monarchy? Because Canada is larger than the US, and functions well enough with a queen and parliamentary system very similar to the UK.
Or are you claiming that it's population size that determines if a monarchy could work as a form of government? Claiming it doesn't scale with population is as ridiculous as claiming that counting ballots by hand doesn't scale in large populations -- the arguments just make no sense.
Fry: Uh, just so we'll know, who's the enemy?
Brannigan: A valid question! We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like. But we can assume this: they stand for everything we don't stand for. Also they told me you guys look like dorks.
I'm curious - what do you suggest as a better way to compare 400 candidates applying for 4 jobs? Don't forget the most important constraint: you are not an expert in any of their fields.
And the other important constraint: you don't have infinite time to read material and seek out experts to determine the quality of their publications. It is unfortunate, and I wasn't trying to imply with my comment that there is some better way (or that I have any idea what a better way would look like).
But, I've found some amazing, insightful papers on the personal webpages of professors near retirement, who no longer care about the grind of publication. I've seen absolute crud (to the extent of being poorly plagiarized) in high-calibre conferences, and I've seen truly insightful work decried as pointless by one of the "old boys' clubs" that run some of the high-calibre conferences. I'm not saying I have a fix; I'm just saying that the perceived "value" of a venue isn't reflective of the quality of work in that venue relative to other places.
Aside from the peer-review process, what do these journals offer the scientific community that they can't get for free on the Internet?
Unfortunately, within the academic world, the quality of publications on your CV is determined by the perceived quality of the venue (e.g., high-impact journals, low-acceptance conferences, etc.), as opposed to the quality of the actual work getting published. There's an inertia problem faced by any new publication venue or method, and the academic world is ironically slow to adapt. At the end of the day, professors need tenure, grad students need scholarships, etc., so they will continue to publish in what are currently accepted as quality venues.
The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.