January 28th, 2003


(no subject)

An article here says that sleeping less than 8 hours a night is linked to higher incidence of heart disease.

I always new it was dangerous to get me out of bed early.

(no subject)

This morning, while walking to work, I noticed the following newspaper headlines displayed prominently outside a newsagent Stunned silence as market plummets and We have the green light for war - PM.

Using the traditional philosophical method of taking two things that you notice at the same time and constructing a theory from thin air to explain how the two of them are inextricably linked, I'd like to present you with a conspiracy theory:

The reason why the US agreed to go to the UN was not because they wanted other countries on-board for any attack, but because it was the best way to deflate a dangerously overheated stock-market.

Since the end of the .com boom (which gave me a fair amount of schadenfreude) the market has certainly deflated from its ridiculous heights, but numerous studies had shown that it was still far too high - the ratio of company worth to stock price was still badly out of whack and there was no way that there was going to be a general recovery when stock prices were doomed to fall back to more reasonable levels.

Now, there were two ways this could happen - gently, over a long period of time, as people slowly came to the realisation that the stock they had just wasn't worth that much, or in a short sharp shock, as other forces smacked the market downward. While the first method has certain plus-points (it feels less painful on a short term basis), the slow drag puts the economy in a drag for much longer and postpones any kind of economic recovery. On the other hand, the short sharp shock is certainly very painful ( companies go out of business very abruptly, unemployment rises, it's more obvious to the average person that there's a problem), but as the companies that go under are the ones that were actually inefficient and weren't making money anyway, it's actualyl a good thing for the economy that they do.

In any case, by stretching out the pre-war process for a few months, Bush corrects the stock market, puts the economy in the right place for a recovery and also has the time to get a better feel for what the country wants. If there is a war, this will boost the economy and if there isn't, the relief will still buoy things up. Either way round he gets kudos for a more measured decision and any recovery of the economy will pretty much erase the memories of stock-market falls.

(no subject)

Years and years ago, Kirsty and I had a discussion about the fact that what English really needed was a way to differentiate between inclusive and exclusive "we". That is, if you say "We are going to the shops", you could mean either "Me and Bob are going to the shops, without you." or "Grab your coat, all of us are going to the shops."

In conversation today, Flamebyrd told me:

Indonesian does. Kami is exclusive, and kita is inclusive.

And since Indonesian does, there's a pretty good chance that Malay also does, and probably some other SE Asian languages.

Which just goes to show that all things come to all who wait. Now, I just have to persuade everyone else to join in on this,