May Pieces Of My Mind #2

  • I don’t know what “the winter of 1473” means. January and February? November and December?
  • Just got home from a sunny bike ride that was also incidentally my least successful geocaching expedition ever. I was in Hammarby Sjöstad, a recently built and densely populated urban area. The only way a geocache survives in such an environment is by extreme stealth. And GPS navigators do really poorly between tall buildings. I simply couldn’t find the little fuckers.
  • Cousin E has taught us the popular old Maoist card game “Fight the Landowner”.
  • Translationale Magnetresonanztomographie. Betriebswirtschaftslehre. Unternehmensbesteuerung.
  • I’m hoping that voters around Europe are paying attention to US news and learning a thing or two about what happens when you elect poorly educated and inexperienced anti-establishment candidates to high office.
  • The Wallenberg/SEB banking family founded Saltsjöbaden in 1892. Now they’re closing their branch office at the little local mall, est. 1969. I haven’t been to a bank office in years.
  • Saw an ad for equity release. I assume that it means mutual orgasm. I’m strongly pro.
  • Almost every one of the 40 participants at the Social Democrat intro course I attended today was either the child of an immigrant, the spouse of an immigrant or an immigrant. A lot of well educated and articulate people. Encouraging both for the party and for society at large.
  • I hate pre-installed apps that can’t be uninstalled.
  • I judge books by their first 50 pages, whether to continue reading. Now I looked at The Lord of the Rings in this way. In its first 50 pp you learn what the Ring really is. Oh yeah.
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29 thoughts on “May Pieces Of My Mind #2

  1. I expect that for most people “winter 1473” would be December 1472 through March 1473, but if you are specifically referring to two-month time periods, then yes, it becomes ambiguous.

    Just off the main highway east of town there is an assisted living facility that has been advertising a Spring 2017 opening date. It isn’t open yet, but they still have about another month to keep that promise.

    And then there are fiscal years, which start at different times for different organizations. Come July it will be FY 2018 at my employer, but still FY 2017 (until the end of September) for the US federal government.

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  2. When people talk about the winter of 63 in the UK they mean January and February. It was a severe winter (for the UK) and there was proper snow in Oxford. Probably my earliest memory is someone large opening the back door and the snow being taller than me, shading from a dark grey at the bottom through white to rainbows from the crystals right at the top of the drift. My mum didn’t let anyone clear the snow until we had all seen it. I would have been two and half years old at the most. In the UK winter seems to be defined as December to February, dated the year of January and February, but we have quite short winters …

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  3. We often have snow in November.

    So does New England. We also have snow in April, often enough that we are not surprised to see it, and I expect that much of Sweden does as well. The difference is that our November show typically melts away before winter truly sets in. I don’t know if that’s the case in southern Sweden, though it probably is in the far north (Umeå/Kiruna) and in places like Fairbanks.

    There is a tendency in many English-speaking countries, at least those north of the tropics, to associate Christmas with snow. That can be traced to Charles Dickens. In his day it was routine for the Thames to freeze over. That doesn’t happen anymore.

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  4. “Almost every one of the 40 participants at the Social Democrat intro course I attended today was either the child of an immigrant, the spouse of an immigrant or an immigrant. A lot of well educated and articulate people. Encouraging both for the party and for society at large.”

    Encouraging to see immigrants interested in politics of their adopted country. However, even in Sweden this fraction is much higher than the fraction of immigrants in the general population. Does this mean that the SDAP is losing “native” Swedish members? If so, why?

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  5. My observation doesn’t say anything about what people who *leave* the party are like. It may say something about what people who *join* various parties right now are like.

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  6. Does this mean that the SDAP is losing “native” Swedish members? If so, why?

    Your question assumes facts not in evidence, namely that the SDAP is losing members in ways other than by the old ones dying off. I’ll grant that the ones who are dying off are overwhelmingly likely to have Swedish grandparents, because in most places immigrants are on average younger than the native population.

    I have no hard numbers on this, and the only way to tell is when an election happens. But here’s a guess: the people who are not comfortable around immigrants are less likely to have been in the SDAP in the first place. That’s the dynamic we see in the US: most people who are anti-immigrant were already Republicans. Which is why around 75% of American voters with Asian ancestry vote for Democrats, the party who isn’t spouting the rhetoric about throwing them or their parents out of the US.

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  7. “the people who are not comfortable around immigrants are less likely to have been in the SDAP in the first place”

    How does this jibe with Martin’s observation that almost all new members are immigrants?

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  8. @Phillip: It should be obvious that people are unlikely to join a group when they don’t expect to be welcome. So if immigrants and their spouses and children are joining the SDAP, it is reasonable to infer that the SDAP has few if any members who are vocally anti-immigrant. Thus my educated guess that immigrants joining the party are not driving out members with Swedish grandparents, because the Swedes who would leave the SDAP for this reason are already not members of the SDAP. As I said, I have no hard numbers to back this up.

    Of course a political party does not have a fixed number of members. That would defeat the purpose of having a political party. Not everybody who is a member of the party will be running for political office–some will be content to help out those who are.

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  9. Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I was raised on a dirt farm (wheat, corn, sorghums, pigs,chickens, and dairy cows) and graduated high school in Augusta, KS (a small town about 15 miles east of Wichita). A man who graduated from HS a year ahead of me, and was a fraternity brother at Kansas State, is a retired U. S. Marine NCO, lives in Japan, and is married to a Japanese lady. We follow each other on Facebook. In a recent entry, he posted a short video of the singer Myrkur, singing and playing a nyckelharpa. A couple of great plains flat landers listening to Scandy music!!!

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  10. -The reason I don’t like the Social demorats it that -at least at town level- they are still stuck in the 1950s “raze the whole town and build new houses” mindset worthy of Donald Trump. Other counties’ cities had the Luftwaffe. We have the Social democrats.

    Speaking of politics….. I love it when hate-spewing “talking heads” get a dose of their own medicine
    “Right-wing provocateurs say they are being silenced. Cry me a river” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/28/right-wing-provocateurs-silenced-cry-me-a-river

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  11. “Thus my educated guess that immigrants joining the party are not driving out members with Swedish grandparents, because the Swedes who would leave the SDAP for this reason are already not members of the SDAP. “

    I agree completely, but I never meant to suggest that immigrants were driving out ethnic Swedish members. So, my question still stands: why are there no ethnic Swedish new members?

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  12. “Almost every one of the 40 participants … was either the child of an immigrant, the spouse of an immigrant or an immigrant.”

    Many including myself were ethnic Swedes, ethnicity being defined in the anthropological sense of personal identity. I’m sure you’re not arguing that my daughter, who looks Chinese but has lived her entire life in Stockholm, is a non-Swede.

    And as I said above (#10):

    “the new members who sign up for the intro course are a particularly hardcore subset”

    Most new members do not take the course.

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  13. By “ethnic Swede” I meant “no recent immigrants in the family tree”. So that includes you but not your daughter. Of course she is Swedish, just as my children are German, even though in the case of the younger two both parents came to Germany and learned German only as adults. Unless they know this, no-one would suspect it. They are trilingual, but usually speak German to each other, probably because it is the “default language”. Occasionally someone will overhear me speaking English to them and address them in English, which surprises them (at least in Germany). (The fact that they have German names and are blond—though neither parent is—probably helps.)

    So, my question is now why are only “recent immigrants” part of the hard-core group? This question is probably easier to answer.

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  14. (The fact that they have German names and are blond—though neither parent is—probably helps.)”

    As does my last name, inherited from my first wife. For a while now, all last names are equal, no matter how they were acquired, so one can keep a married name even after remarrying. One can even become Chancellor after doing this. 🙂 (Angela Merkel is married to chemistry professor Joachim Sauer. Merkel is the last name of her first husband. Her maiden name is Kasner.) Even children from the second marriage can adopt this name, as did mine. I think this is a good idea. Changing a name is difficult, and it is nice that it can be avoided if desired. (Perhaps with the personnummer, if this is used as a primary key in database speak, it is easier.) At the same time, double hyphenated names for children were forbidden. I think this is good as well. Before, if the parents couldn’t decide on a family name, they forced their children to decide (since more than two were never allowed).

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  15. Your use of the word “ethnic” will cause confusion if you talk to academics about these things. It seems to be closer to the everyday use of the term in the US, where it tends to be a euphemism for “racial”.

    I’d say that the Swedish baseline on political issues, after 208 years of peace and 96 years of democracy, is apathy and a sense that others will take care of it. People from other countries have very different experiences there and a greater sense of urgency.

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  16. No “racial” (in the negative sense) intended, of course. I just wanted an easier word for “neither the spouse nor recent descendant of an immigrant, nor an immigrant oneself”. 🙂 What term would you suggest? Of course, in some contexts it doesn’t matter, but in some it does, otherwise you would not have mentioned it.

    “People from other countries have very different experiences there and a greater sense of urgency.”

    That’s what I suspected.

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  17. I don’t know of any easier way to say “neither the spouse nor recent descendant of an immigrant, nor an immigrant oneself”. If you skip the spouses I might say “first- and second-generation immigrants”.

    Now that svensk has come to refer to a person’s citizenship, people in multiethnic areas have coined a new word to refer to those with no recent immigrant ancestry: svenne. Some consider it a slur, but in my circles we find it to be a useful term. I’m a svenne, my wife is not, though she is extremely strongly integrated into the culture and can definitely be described as a svennig person. Both of us are svensk.

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  18. I am an uber-svenne, but I have missed out on any priviliges!
    A good thing is that nuts who obsess about being “white” are few and far between up in the north.

    Re. @ 16 -Amazing! I thought solar activity almost never were visible so far from the poles.

    Haha, Canada ripping off China! https://satwcomic.com/clean-living

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  19. Birger@24: The Earth’s magnetic dipole is not aligned with the spin axis. The north geomagnetic pole is in far northern Canada, and the south geomagnetic pole is on the Australia side of Antarctica. So of all the permanently inhabited places in the southern hemisphere (excluding Antarctica), Tasmania is probably the most likely to see aurora. It’s about as far south of the geomagnetic equator as I am north of it.

    Even so, it’s not usual to see aurora so far from the poles. But during geomagnetic storms it sometimes does happen. I subscribe to a mailing list that issues alerts when geomagnetic storms are likely, and got a notice of a red alert issued 2017-05-28Z01:24:01. (The Z means the time zone is UTC.)

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