1,183 comments posted · 26 followers · following 106

19 hours ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Matt Vickers: The lock... · 1 reply · +1 points

Let's try a rough calculation: the chance of being struck by lightning in a year is about 1 in a million and the death rate if struck is about 1 in 10, making a yearly chance of dying from being struck by lightning of about 1 in 10 million. The BMJ say the chance of being struck is about 1 in 10 million and that the chance of being killed by lightning is about the same as the chance of being killed by a nuclear accident.

For age 30-40 in Italy the COVID-19 death rate if infected is about 0.2%: let's call that 0.1%, and in case that's an over-estimate let's call it 0.01%, or 1 in 10,000.

On that assumption, the yearly chance of being infected by COVID-19 would have to be less than about 1 in 1,000 for it to be more likely for a 30-40 year old to die from being struck by lightning than from COVID-19, or less than about 1 in 10,000 if we go back to a if infected 0.1% COVID-19 death rate for age 30-40.

Do you feel lucky?

2 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Rainer Zitelmann: Weal... · 0 replies · +1 points

Opinion polls are about as useful as yesterday's Daily Mirror. Some wag in Downing Street claims that 64% of the population supports the government in offering 3 million Hong Kongers the right to a UK passport. Not a single person I have spoken to since the announcement among my friends and family support this appalling proposal.

--For a good snapshot of the various views of the public on policy proposals I'll trust a reasonably conducted opinion poll *way* more than what I or my friends and family think. And also *way* more than what you and your friends and family think.

You, apparently, disagree.

How about some objective tests? At some of the next elections (general, widespread council, or Scottish Parliament) you can make some rough predictions of the split of the popular vote, and I'll go with an average of the most reputable polling companies in the week before the each election (said companies to be chosen some weeks or months before each election), and we'll see who is more often right.

Incidentally, the poll in question is by YouGov, which I consider to be a reputable polling company.

3 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Profile: Franklin Dela... · 0 replies · +1 points

A bit late, but I've only just seen your comment. Is that the Reagan who allegedly:

... SPENDING - In 1980, Jimmy Carter's last year as president, the federal government spent a whopping 27.9% of "national income" (an obnoxious term for the private wealth produced by the American people). Reagan assaulted the free-spending Carter administration throughout his campaign in 1980. So how did the Reagan administration do? At the end of the first quarter of 1988, federal spending accounted for 28.7% of "national income."

Even Ford and Carter did a better job at cutting government. Their combined presidential terms account for an increase of 1.4%—compared with Reagan's 3%—in the government's take of "national income." And in nominal terms, there has been a 60% increase in government spending, thanks mainly to Reagan's requested budgets, which were only marginally smaller than the spending Congress voted.
Foreign aid has also risen, from $10 billion to $22 billion. Every year, Reagan asked for more foreign-aid money than the Congress was willing to spend. He also pushed through Congress an $8.4 billion increase in the U.S. "contribution" to the International Monetary Fund.

His budget cuts were actually cuts in projected spending, not absolute cuts in current spending levels. As Reagan put it, "We're not attempting to cut either spending or taxing levels below that which we presently have."

The result has been unprecedented government debt. Reagan has tripled the Gross Federal Debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. Ford and Carter in their combined terms could only double it. It took 31 years to accomplish the first postwar debt tripling, yet Reagan did it in eight. ...

Or is it another Reagan? Actually, *if* Sheldon Richman was right in late 1988, maybe the current First Lord of the Treasury has taken both Franklin Roosevelt *and* Reagan as models, albeit the latter not necessarily being in the way you would wish?

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Our Cabinet League Tab... · 3 replies · +1 points

Gestures - like words - can have more than one meaning. In Colin Kaepernick's own words
... Kaepernick and his 49ers teammate Eric Reid said they choose to kneel during the anthem to call attention to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality. "After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former NFL player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, ... during the anthem, as a peaceful protest," said Reid. "We chose to kneel because it's a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy." ...

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Our Cabinet League Tab... · 2 replies · +1 points

A genuine question, not (well to be honest not only) a debating point: how much of that throwing money around is due to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and how much of it is due to the Chancellor and the Treasury under the overall instructions of Number 10 Downing Street? A secondary question: if Number 10 has had a significant input into that - which seems likely given what happened to the previous Chancellor when he demurred at Number 10 having control over his special advisors? - who at Number 10 is responsible?

Put more succinctly, isn't it likely that most of the responsibility for throwing money around lies somewhere in Number 10 rather than in Number 11?

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Henry Hill: Johnson pr... · 0 replies · +1 points

Have faith. As far as I can tell from online searches Scotland's exports to the rest of the UK are about £50 billion per year compared with imports of about £60 billion, which I seem to recall being assured gives them the advantage in withdrawal negotiations?

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Natasha Hausdorff: Min... · 1 reply · +1 points

I knew it can get very cold in, for example, the Sahara Desert at night, but it seems snow is not unknown in the Sahara, albeit on the evidence of this video you're probably correct about the chances of selling snowshoes!

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Natasha Hausdorff: Min... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think that might win the weekly prize for most mixed metaphors per word, but on this occasion I wholeheartedly approve. Today seems to be the ConHome day tor undergraduate level (at least) mathematics. If only someone could work into a post my favourite maths theorem - that by Müntz extending the Wierstrauss Approximation Theorem - I would be really happy!üntz–Sz...

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Iain Dale: China's cyb... · 4 replies · +1 points

"A huge proportion of the cyber attacks launched against Britain already come from China. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen the proof. I could reveal how, but I’d have to shoot you."
--As a minor technical point, if Iain Dale would have to shoot us if he told us how, does that not also apply to whoever told Iain Dale how, in which case is not Mr Dale living on borrowed time? Or does he have a special security clearance not available to us lesser mortals? (To clarify, I am not casting doubt on his claim.)

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden and Jam... · 0 replies · +1 points

There are a lot - in fact far too many - strangely exact figures about. I wish people would round appropriately. (For example, ConHome shows its survey percentages to two decimal places: given the numbers in their survey - usually about 1,000 - and the survey's methodology even one decimal place would be pushìng their luck.) I don't know whether or not this a relatively new phenomenon.