Didn’t they always?

School boys are making rape jokes in bid to score ‘lad points’, headteachers are warned

Why would the medium change boys?

School boys are using memes and social media to make rape jokes in a bid to score “lad points”, headteachers have been warned.

More than a third (36 per cent) of 11-18 year-old boys have shared racist or homophobic pictures, more than double the amount shared by their female peers, according to a poll of 20,000 children.

The survey, commissioned by the organisation Digital Awareness UK (DAUK) and Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), found that four in ten boys see offensive memes daily.

The other 6 are better at hiding their tracks.

Dear Lord, seriously, this person teaches economics?

Third, and for me most tellingly, the article is wrong. Of course most bank loan portfolios are valued at cost. What else would you value them at? They are assets, and very few people choose to repay more than they are lent, in which case cost is the maximum value at which they might be stated in most accounts.

Is he actually that much of an ignorant?

He has, I suppose, heard of the concept if interest? Which is something additional which people pay over and above the amount they borrow. And, if it’s a fixed rate of interest (as would often be true of bonds) then the capital value can indeed rise above cost if interest rates fall.

True, loans tend not to be at fixed rates of interest. But they can certainly be at fixed premia to a floating rate. And if the company’s credit rating improves it may well be that the premium doesn’t change. Producing a loan which should righteously be valued at above cost if we are to gain a true and fair view.

True, that last is somewhat specialist. But the idea that loans can only ever be at cost and no more because people don’t pay back more than what they borrow is just ridiculous.

How to kill your own thesis

Warrior women: despite what gamers might believe, the ancient world was full of female fighters

Followed by:

But while it’s true that the Romans would not have had female soldiers in their armies, they certainly encountered women in battle – and when they did it created quite a stir. The historians of the ancient world recorded tales of impressive female military commanders from across many cultures.

When something is rare enough to cause a stir then it’s not a world full of that thing, is it?

An important point that people seem to be missing

So it will be with larger applications. The very point is that they note and act upon patterns – ones that we can’t see, that we don’t know why are happening. Just as with markets – we might not know why the price of apples has risen, but we’re all getting the information that they have and are acting according to that incentive. The desire to audit all algorithms is missing the very point of having them at all.

AI has to be based on real-world information flowing in. For any result to be useful, the system must operate on the same rules as the real world, imperfections and all, and the very point of our doing all of this is to do what we ourselves cannot.

Any attempts to insist on full audits, moral compliance and preferred data aren’t just going to fail – they’re missing the entire point of the exercise.

Politics, eh?

May moves to end austerity
PM pledges billions despite Brexit uncertainty

Theresa May has declared that Britain’s decade of austerity is over with a pledge to increase public spending after Brexit. The prime minister used her conference speech to make a series of costly commitments that will limit the options of Philip Hammond, the chancellor, in this month’s budget. They also led to immediate demands for more money by other cabinet ministers.

If they get to spend the sweeties then I get to spend more sweeties!

Fancy that, I’m more notable than a Nobel Prize winner

Or rather, I’m more notable than a Nobel Prize winner before she gains her Nobel:

When the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced the Nobel prize for physics this week, anyone wanting to find out more about one of the three winners would have drawn a blank on Wikipedia.

Until around an hour and a half after the award was announced on Tuesday, the Canadian physicist Donna Strickland was not deemed significant enough to merit her own page on the user-edited encyclopedia.

The oversight has once again highlighted the marginalization of women in science and gender bias at Wikipedia.

Strickland is an associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Waterloo and former president of the Optical Society, but when a Wikipedia user attempted to create a profile for her in March, the page was denied by a moderator.

“This submission’s references do not show that the subject qualifies for a Wikipedia article,” said the moderator.

Soon after Tuesday’s announcement, however, the Wikipedia community scrambled to build up a profile, completing sections on her research, biography and – most critically – her awards.

But the belated recognition contrasted with that afforded to Strickland’s colleague Gérard Mourou – with whom she shared the award – who had a Wikipedia page in 2005.

As to why, no, I don’t think this is gender bias although it quite obviously is bias. It isn’t – objectively – true that some blogger and writer upon the internets is more important than an associate professor, male or female. But among those who inhabit the internets that inhabitant of the same milieu is perhaps more visible, possibly even better known in that particular community. While everyone in optics would be “Who the fuck is that Worstall bloke*?”

Bias, yes, but not gender such.

*Except the couple who work with scandium oxide thin film coatings but that’s another matter.

Care in the community is modern slavery now, eh?

A suspected modern slavery victim has been rescued from a garden shed where he has lived for more than 40 years.

The 58-year-old was found at a mobile home site north of Carlisle in Cumbria in a dawn raid on Wednesday by officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

The potential modern slavery victim was taken by specialist trauma officers to be medically examined and assessed, said GLAA.

A 79-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences.

Terrors. And this might be an unkind reading but:

It was reported that the arrested man lived in a mobile home and the shed stood outside it.

A member of staff who helps run the site said: “Most people were aware that he was living there, he was a nice enough man.

“I used to say to him “you’ll have to get yourself a flat” but he didn’t seem to want to move, the shed was where he lived as far as he was concerned.

“He was free to come and go, he’d get lifts into town and that kind of things.

“The thing is that he seems to have learning difficulties and people thought he was being looked after and seemed pretty happy with that.

“They used to feed him and treat him well he was never abused by them, he was treated like one of the family, but lived in the shed.

Well, care in the community or modern slavery, your call.


Sir Gregory is currently the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, which has now has produced 33 Nobel Prize winners — three more than Sweden. If it were a country, it would be ranked just after France, at number five in the rankings.

Well, yes

In the cloud of toxic dust thrown up by the Kavanaugh hearings last week, two new Trump initiatives slipped by with less notice than they deserve. Both are ugly, stupid – and they are linked, though in ways not immediately apparent.

In the first, the administration provided the rationale for scrapping President Obama’s automobile mileage standards: because Trump’s crew now officially expects the planet to warm by 4C . In the environmental impact statement they say it wouldn’t make much difference to the destruction of the planet if we all keep driving SUVs.

Given that the CAFE regulations themselves gave birth to the SUV perhaps we should get rid of them?

How terrible

Love Island-obsessed teenage girls are undermining MeToo cause, claims headmistress

Why will people act as people instead of doing their duty to the cause?

Teenage girls risk undermining the “Me Too” movement by focussing on “trivial” things like make up and Love Island, a leading headmistress has said.

It is hard for women to be “taken seriously” when they spend their time “glorifying” pursuits which are “insignificant at best”, according to Jane Lunnon, headmistress of the £18,800-a-year Wimbledon High School.

I’m sympathetic to the idea but…..

In the UK the sense is that the core desire is to dismantle the effect of 1945. The aim appears to be the destruction of the welfare state. The object is to recreate the raw brutality of inter-war Britain where poverty was used as an economic and social weapon of control. It did not work. But that does not matter. Ending the idea that the state should provide any form of safety net or have a role in society would appear to be the goal of the Brexiteers and their libertarian funders.

Rilly? Who is saying this? Who is going to disassemble the welfare state? The closest I’ve seen is people suggesting a universal basic income…..

In the States this message is already easier to deliver because welfare provision never made such progress.

Eh? They’ve near 100 million gaining some form of welfare. What’s he on about?

Yes, I know this isn’t what they recommend but…..

One in two women will develop dementia or Parkinson’s disease, or have a stroke, in their lifetime, new research suggests.

About a third of men aged 45 and half of women of the same age are likely to go on to be diagnosed with one of the conditions, according to a study of more than 12,000 people.

The researchers, from the University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, said preventive measures could “substantially” reduce the burden of the illnesses.

Die younger and miss the diseases of old age.

I’m extremely, extremely, doubtful about this.

Perhaps BiG, who has some expertise in this area – genes and DNA and stuff, not child abuse – could educate us all:

Childhood sexual abuse may leave “molecular scars” on a victim’s DNA which could one day be used as evidence in court, scientists have said.

A new study found similar alterations in the activity of genes among men who had been abused in childhood.

Researchers at Harvard and the University of British Columbia (UBC) believe the discovery of the differences in a process called methylation between those who had been abused and those who had not could pave the way for a genetic test to indicate whether abuse took place.

Methylation acts as a “dimmer switch” on genes, affecting the extent a particular genes is activated or not.

Published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, the study found a distinct methylation difference between victims and non-victims in 12 regions of the men’s genomes.

In eight DNA regions, the genes of victims were dimmed by more than 10 per cent compared to non victims, and in one region the difference was 29 per cent.

Objective tests about such abuse all too often turn out not to be objective.

The team was also trying to establish the extent to which changes in gene expression as a result of life experience are passed on to the next generation.

Very close indeed to Lamarckism, isn’t it? And if it were so to any great extent then why didn’t New Soviet Man turn up?

‘Uman rights, Pah! What matters is Moar Tax!

A group of contractors who used tax avoidance schemes have branded looming fines “grossly unfair” and a breach of human rights in an official legal challenge.

The tax office has targeted around 50,000 self-employed people with a “loan charge”, set to hit in April, which those liable claim will see them forced into bankruptcy.

The dispute arises from the contractors’ use of complex arrangements, popular and widely accepted to be legal in the early 2000s, in which much of their salary was paid in the form of supposedly tax-free loans.

Well, they were actually legal. What is not illegal is legal, recall? Then the rules were changed. Retrospectively.

Following the successful case against Scottish football club Rangers last year, the Government introduced a new law and HM Revenue & Customs has deemed any outstanding loans liable for tax.

The contractors will also be hit by the loan charge, which rolls all the loans received into a single tax year meaning the bill could be more than the actual tax liability. It also does not clear the original unpaid tax bill.

But Moar Tax is to be collected so that’s fine, isn’t it.

1 in 30 million chance of smartphone causing domestic row

Smartphones cause family row every single day in British homes, study finds

Not what the finding is, but what the headline says at least.

Mobile phones provoke conflict and argument every day in a fifth of Britain’s families, according to a ground-breaking study into their impact on family life.

One fifth of British homes contain* a teenager so will have a row on any one day.

*Well, no, but….