July 17th, 2003



weetanya asked these questions about alcohol.

+ Do you drink alcohol?
Yes. Very, very occasionally.

+ How much do you drink each week?
Week? I reckon I go through 1-2 drinks a month.

+ Do you consider this an entirely reasonable amount?
Reasonable for me. Not nearly enough for some people.

+ Does your family drink? How much do they drink?
Yes, but not vast amounts. My father likes to get drunk, as does my brother Mike, but not on a frequent basis as far as I know. Mum and Hugh drink a fair bit less.

+ In your definition, what's alcoholism?
"I need a drink"

+ To balance out the alcoholism question, praise alcohol for a moment. What positive does it bring to your life?
It doesn't. If alcohol didn't exist I'd not be at all sad. I have enjoyed the occasional drink, but largely it's not that fun. I feel stupid and clumsy, which are two of my least favourite things.


Metallica Sue Canadian Band over E, F Chords

Metallica are taking legal action against independant Canadian rock band Unfaith over what they feel is unsanctioned usage of two chords the band has been using since 1982 : E and F.

"People are going to get on our case again for this, but try to see it from our point of view just once," stated Metallica's Lars Ulrich. "We're not saying we own those two chords, individually - that would be ridiculous. We're just saying that in that specific order, people have grown to associate E, F with our music."

I rather liked Metallica, up to the Black Album. Sadly, following that they seem to have had problems being at all inspired, and instead fell back on "making albums that sound like Metallica", only not very good.

Nice Scam

Nicked from budgie:

What you do is print up some expensive stationery and mailshot details of an investment newsletter to 64,000 potential subscribers. For half of them, you predict that the FTSE-100 stock exchange index will go up the following week. For the other 32,000, you predict a decline.

The next week, you mailshot the 32,000 who were given the 'correct' tip and make another prediction: half are told the market will go up, half are told it will go down. Then you hit the next 16,000. Then 4,000. And so on.

Soon, a core of punters will believe they've been given infallible tips six weeks' running. Finally you invite the 1,000 left on the list to sign up for a subscription at £1,000 for a year. If they all pay, that's an easy £1m.

More on stocks

The gullibility of the general public is fairly limitless.

I remember, back when the internet stocks were booming, chatting to a friend at work about them and discovering that her father was investing in stocks. Once a week he got a pamphlet that told him where to invest, and he followed the instructions.

Which reminded me of a saying I bumped into "When the ordinary person invests in stocks, it's time for the professional to leave."

The sheer stupidity of investing in stocks that you know nothing about, when you know nothing about how stocks even work is boggling to me. If you, yourself, don't even know how a stock is valued compared to the actual earnings of the company, then you have no business buying stocks at all.

I have, somewhere, half of a piece I started on why the stock market behaved as madly as it did over the last few years. I'm tempted to dig it back out again.


Trying again, because the previous wording was causing problems.

The relation between reality and perception is

There is an objective reality and perceptions reflect it perfectly accutately
There is an objective reality and our perceptions reflect it somewhat, coloured by our experiences and their imperfections
There is no objective reality at all, our perceptions create reality from nothing

Edit: I'd be interested in justifications for (3) from anyone that voted that way.