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Comment: Re:what I found most surprising (Score 1) 598

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49775665) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Wow! I won't claim to be a ventilation expert, but I did read up on the subject when I designed and put my own mechanical ventilation system into my own house, and here in Sweden at least I have never heard of such a beast. Oh the humanity of breathing other peoples air, even if filtered. :-) Would fly like a brick if someone tried that here. (Granted, being Sweden, indoor climate is important, as the outdoors are somewhat inhospitable for parts of the year.)

Now, I've lived in apartments, and while I've had the usual problems of smelling someone elses smoke from their balcony when I had my windows open, to have to suffer that through a wall would really take the cake. That's definitely not to code here, and heads would roll if it ever happened.

However, as you say, probably not a reliable way of getting high on the cheap. It can't usually be that bad of a problem, surely. ;-)

+ - Coldplay makes Game of Thrones The musical! (For Red Nose Day)->

Submitted by lars_stefan_axelsson
lars_stefan_axelsson writes: If you like music and Game of Thrones, what could be better than putting the two together?

That's what Coldplay thought when they put together Games of Thrones, the musical, presented in this hilarious 12 minute YouTube mini documentary.

Now, as it was made for Red Nose Day it's probably not coming to a theatre near you any time soon, which is a pity as there's clear, at least comedic, potential. They do hint at other projects near the end though, including "Taken on ice"! I'd pay to see Liam Neeson on skates, wouldn't you?

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:what I found most surprising (Score 1) 598

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49774897) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Perhaps naively, I thought that such systems worked such that people in different units didn't breathe each other's air?

That was what the first post in this thread implied, and that's the only reason I can see that pot smoking would be a problem, i.e. if the pot smokers outlet vent becomes your inlet. Please tell me that's not the standard for ventilation in other parts of the world.

Comment: Re:Funny, that spin... (Score 1) 402

"Mostly" is the key word in your post. Morality cannot be defined as a list of do's and dont's that are mechanically obeyed precisely because it has a myriad of "edge cases" that require human interpretation.

OTOH seat belts "don't work" by the same token. There are plenty of edge cases where they could do (and have done) worse than being without.

That's not to say that seat belts are a failure and that we'd be better without. Quite the opposite. "Mostly works" is when you think about it the highest praise any technology can hope to achieve.

Comment: Re:Please correct the headline... (Score 1) 176

He is known for his work in game theory, however he is not a game theory mathematician since before fading into his mental illness he was working on quantum theory. His paper on game theory is his Ph. D. thesis. Just the tip of the iceberg this mathematician was and could have been if the illness didn't stopped him.

Indeed. If you look at his actual proof of the existence Nash equilibrium it's a brilliant piece of mathematics where he freely jumps between seemingly unrelated fields of mathematics (probability theory in one instance, geometry in the next etc.), like a butterfly between flowers on a meadow. Obvious only in hindsight.

However, as schizophrenia is a disease that is characterised by the brain making associations between things that can't even be associated (e.g. "clanging" thinking as if words that rhyme actually have a meaningful relation in speech) you can't help but wonder about the connection. A brain that is able to make fantastic connection between distant fields of mathematics to build new results always teetering on the edge of completely losing touch with factual reality by "over revving," making false connections between everything and anything, even though there are none.

Comment: Re:Are you saying that criminals don't exist? (Score 1) 163

I do have a big problem with people obscuring the truth, and thus far you've presented no compelling evidence to suggest the above information is untrue.

I can't since you don't read Swedish and obviously don't believe me who do.

All the above is media echo chamber from one police report. Even if you failed to link it correctly its this one.

Now, I'm not going to translate the lot for you, as you wouldn't believe it anyway, but just the first sentence sums it up quite nicely "I Sverige finns i nulÃget 55 geografiska omrÃ¥den dÃr lokala kriminella nÃtverk anses ha negativ pÃ¥verkan pÃ¥ lokalsamhÃllet". -> In Sweden there are at present 55 geographic areas where local criminal network are considered to have a negative impact on the local community."

That's as far as the "no-go" zones go.

Now, I'm not going to fisk the rest, because it's too tedious, but just as a "for instance": "Here is just one of many news stories on how police have to install shatterproof glass on their vehicles because they get rocks hurled at them whenever entering these areas". No, if you read the article, it says that due to the possibility of stones being thrown, the police responce busses (piketbussarna) have had shatterproof glass fitted. These are the vehicles carrying the special response units, riot police for example, that gets called in when things have gotten bad enough that its warranted (much like armed police in Britain). Again hyperbole. The offered citation doesn't actually say or support what "swedenreport" is trying to sell.

But like I said before, you're fishing in the wrong pond. There are "better" sites if you wish to keep this up.

If you're so concerned for the truth, then there's plenty of that to go around. One would think that with all this crime, drug dealing, shootings and IS supporters running rampant that would show up in crime statistics? Now, general crime statistics is a tricky subject since there's always the problem of what gets reported and how, so the usual proxy is to look at "homicide" i.e. wrongful death. That's a pretty useful statistic as dead people tend to show up in the statistics and are easy to count, and general crime tends to correlate rather well with violent crime, which correlates with people dying from it.

Here's the current count of "lethal violence" in Sweden. Since we have population of 9 644 864 at last count that means a rate of 0.9 per 100k inhabitants in 2014. This is including the last three years of gang shootings (that as you can see didn't even impact the overall statistics). That's better than almost all countries in the world. Including, I might add, Ireland.

So, by that token, it doesn't even matter that we have "no-go zones" then, as the people in them don't get up to much anyway... Police presence or not...

Comment: Re:Are you saying that criminals don't exist? (Score 1) 163

Okay, so how about this one from only a few days ago: http://swedenreport.org/2015/0...

Hyperbole. That was already included in my previous reply.

That one police officer with no official or other standing says one thing doesn't a summer make. (Why he says that I don't know, but there are a number of mundane reasons).

Now, yes, we're having problems in certain areas. And they seem to stick. No denying that. BUT, by that token, why take the word of one policeman when it comes to "no-go zones". We've had much worse in the very city I'm writing this from. That was a real loss of control of general order from the police. No question about it. And even those reports were overblown. The city was perfectly safe for anybody who wasn't either a protester or police even at the height of "the troubles" (:-)). I should know, I was there... I can only imagine what "swedenreport" would have reported had he been there... He would no doubt be on about how Sweden still wasn't safe for the public and how police were still out of control of the streets. (Hint. If they ever were, they regained it very quickly. That wasn't actually the problem, but rather the overreaction of the establishment to what was really a rather minor incident, all things considered.)

So, what we're having now is the analogue. Police can't act like the usually do, i.e. just a single patrol can't necessarily just take off after a suspect if that suspect flees to certain streets in certain parts of the city in the middle of the night or they might get a stone thrown at their car. They have to actually call for backup. And since Swedish police is dimensioned for the actual need, that backup isn't available. Hence they'll let is slide, and the fiction of "no-go zones" were invented.

When police reallocates (as they have due to the last spate of shootings), lo and behold that place is cleared out in short order. (And then police will allocate back, the bad places left to fester and the cycle repeats. We wouldn't even need more police to solve that, but for the police we have to work when crimes are actually committed, i.e. nights and weekends. But since our police force is ageing, they don't want to/need to work nights and weekends. This is actually a bigger problem than any "no-go" zone).

I mean I sympathise with your need to defend what I presume is your home country, we had something similar here in Ireland during the troubles, tourists were afraid they'd get shot in the streets - no, folks, that's Northern Ireland, part of the UK - but from those reports it does seem as though a real problem exists. It doesn't appear to be widespread, yet, but there it is.

That's a useful analogy. First of course, even in Northern Ireland the streets were "completely safe" even at the heights of the troubles. If you weren't a British squaddie walking alone down Falls road in the middle of the night. If you do the numbers, US crime in New York beat the death rate of "the troubles" by a factor of ten if you look at the period as a whole.

Second. Even taking that as a comparison, the very worst current level of violence in Gothenburg, taking the recent spate of shootings into account, doesn't even begin to reach the level of IRA violence in Republic of Ireland during the troubles. The tourists you speak of objectively were in more danger from the IRA walking the streets of Dublin than the would walking our streets here. In both cases, while the difference in relative risk is quite substantial, the difference in absolute risk is similar, as the absolute risk is the same: as close to zero as to make no difference.

So, it's interesting that you should mention the troubles, as we have a similar situation here, much, much more ink is being spilled than actual blood. Making the general public think there is danger where there actually isn't.

This isn't due to a need to "defend" my home country BTW. To the extent that it needs defending it can do that very well itself, thank you very much, but rather that these horrid little one man web show like "swedenreport" really needs to go off in a corner and die. They're part of the noise, not the signal. I'm happy to say that even though we've seen the general decline of news reporting that the rest of the west has seen, we never had to suffer the likes of the British tabloids, and I'll be damned if we have to suffer it from the likes of swedenreport.

So if you seriously want to learn about the current Swedish situation get yourself a real source. If you're just another one of the "OMG MUSLIMS!!!" looking to verify your preconceived notions, then there are quite frankly better (i.e. even worse, even less connected to reality) sources out there for you to quote. The conclusion however, is the same: In either case, stay away from "swedenreport."

Comment: Re:Are you saying that criminals don't exist? (Score 2) 163

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49757901) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely

From the Swedish police it would seem:

I see. I take it you don't read Swedish? His own sources doesn't actually say what he claims they say. (Even the vaunted police report he cites doesn't actually say what he says it does.) Yes, we have a growing problem with gang based crime in Sweden (we have a whopping 4000 gang members out of a nine million population, which is 4000 more than only 20-30 years ago). Yes, there are parts of cities in Sweden where police/fire/ambulance etc. have been met with stone throwing. Yes, we have a worrying increase in the number of gang related shootings.

However. All this has to be understood from a backdrop of approximately zero such problems in the past. Hence of course, relatively speaking, we take this very seriously, and we're appalled. As we should be. However, with that said, our crime indicators are still among the lowest in the world, even though gang shootings make the headlines almost every day (it feels like) it's still only a handful per year and our murder rate hasn't even ticked up as a result. Still steady at just over one per 100k/year, which is as close to zero as you're going to get. (Notably it's not any different from mono-ethnical Finland and Norway).

Most notably however, active police work in these areas inevitably reduces the level of overt crime in these areas once they've been in the papers long enough to affect resource allocation. We routinely clean up these areas (by locking up the handful of people who are the real problem) and things are normalised. Until the next time. While we of course are deeply concerned by this pattern, to say that "police have given up" and that there are "no go" zones anywhere in Sweden is taking the current situation much, much too far.

So a "pinch" of salt isn't the appropriate measure here. You need a metric ton. As I say to american friends and family when the inevitable "is it safe?"-question comes; "You being american, your level of street smarts serves you everywhere and anywhere in Sweden. If you behaved like you would in the safest areas of the US, you'd be pretty much OK in the very worst areas here." It's a bit like if Cal Ripken was dropped into a little league game asking the coach who he would have to look out for on the opposing team. The only sensible answer of course being. "No one... But please go easy on them, yeah?"

So, calling any area in Sweden a "police no-go zone" is hyperbole to the level of untruth.

Comment: Re:Those pour [sic] souls (Score 1) 94

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49724377) Attached to: Biologists Create Self-Healing Concrete

Humans have been living in concrete in NYC for over 100 years. They seem to enjoy it.

And they're quite good at sealing up cracks in concrete to! No bacteria needed, and no need for complicated feeding schemes. Just send the sealers to the next supermarket. (They even pay for the food themselves!)

Comment: Re:They're right you bunch of freetards (Score 1) 612

I think you are a bit confused. The EU (United States of Europe) is ONE economy with ONE currency - the Euro.

Nope. Not even close. The Eurozone excludes important economies, such as the UK. So their poor state doesn't have anything to do with the Euro per se.

Now it's not surprising that an american would see the EU as a US style federation, but it's anything but. Far from it. All the member states retain their full freedom, the limits of which are only voluntarily agreed to by convention. Hence the Euro was as doomed as all previous European currency collaborations, when push came to shove, there wasn't sufficient power to actually punish the countries not holding up their end of the bargain.

Now traditionally, that was "fixed" by leaving the cooperation, hence it was thought that by actually agreeing on one currency, that would take that option away and make everybody keep in line. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the opposite. Instead we got all the old problems without the old solution available. Hence they're in worse shape than they were before...

That couldn't happen in a federation such as the US as the central bank has actual teeth. In the Eurozone, it doesn't. Hence the two economies are not comparable.

That's quite a load of bullocks. The Greek people, for instance, have always been one of the hardest working cultures on the continent. For you to simply claim it's because they are in trouble because they are lazy is really stunning.

Nice way of putting words in my mouth... But at least we now know that you consider yourself Greek, and hence the big mouth, and bad manners have been explained... ;-)

No, I didn't ascribe the Greek/Italian/Spanish/Portuguese economic situation to laziness. As a matter of fact, I pointedly, didn't ascribe it to any one, multitude of, or particular cause. I just observed that these economies have never done well in modern times, for more than a short period of time at a stretch. And that's even when pumping in billions to try and get them on the right track. (Hell, this is even true within Italy, and hence the Lega Nord party's rhetoric to get rid of the "south," meaning southern Italy).

Of course, it goes without saying that however hard the Greeks work (or not), has no bearing whatsoever on the Spanish economy... You might as well blame their lack of economic success on too much sun. At least they have that in common.

Comment: Re:They're right you bunch of freetards (Score 1) 612

Well, it's not just Germany. There's Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria etc. doing great, for example.

Now of course, economy is a complex beast, but compare the deficits in this table with the US 2014 deficit of 2.8% of GDP (which was a record low). You'll see that most EU countries are doing better or much better than the US even though the EU as a whole is doing slightly worse as some of the large southern economies are pulling the rest of us down.

So, as is always the case these days, news reporting skews the general picture to be (much) worse than it already is. That the southernes aren't doing to good is furthermore not exactly news... They've always done poorly, one way or another... (So why someone thought it would be a good idea to include them in the Euro I don't know.)

Note also today's news that even if Greece didn't pay back their loans, it wouldn't be a disaster, and could be handled quite nicely. Not that we don't care, it's a precedent we don't want set, but still. The worst is over. And if you're looking for economic stability, go to Northern Europe. South of the Alps is and has always been a crap shot. And stay out of the east if you don't know what you're doing... :-)

Comment: Re:They're right you bunch of freetards (Score 1) 612

You would think unions would have learned the lesson by now, with all the jobs they have lost by destroying companies with non-union competition and putting ALL of the workers on the street. But it seems the union bosses are doing just as well as the corporate CEOs with their golden parachutes, so fuck all those prols, I guess. It's almost like the elites are cooperating to screw everyone else and only put on a show of "protecting the workers."

I don't know about american unions, but as I said in other posts, that's most definitely not true about northern European unions (let's call them "Germanic" for short). Not by a long shot. We have the highest standard of living indices known to man, lowest inequality, and well running economies (much better than the US), and some of the strongest unions on the planet. In fact, many big business leaders admit in private that it's the unions that make it easy to do business here. It levels the playing field when it comes to employees, everybody knows the rules, and you don't have to suffer strikes all the time, but can negotiate instead.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

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