August Pieces Of My Mind #3

A windy and rainy racing day. Ingaröfjärden, Nämdöfjärden, Jungfrufjärden.
  • My wife watches clips from the Chinese 1963 Shanghai opera movie Flowers As Matchmakers and sings along in true smurfy style. Suddenly we are very much not in Kansas anymore. 😃
  • Pickelhering or Pickelhäring was the nickname given to the comic character or stage buffoon in English comedy troupes that travelled through Germany in the 17th century. The term literally meant “pickled herring”‘. /Wikipedia
  • The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds is a shocking album. Shockingly innovative songs, shockingly bad sound engineering.
  • The talk in Swedish that I gave Tuesday is still online and has had more than 10,000 views so far.
  • If you spray WD-40 onto gaffa tape, then the world simulation crashes and you get to meet the Demiurge.
  • Why, Polish people? Why?! You modify your numerals according to gender!?
  • Wife doing swimming society admin at her friend’s house. Son in Tokyo. Daughter at teen party. Just me and my Kindle and Alistair MacLean.
  • Someone on Twitter expressed intense hatred against the inheritance tax because it works against parents’ drive to help their children. Seemed not to understand that it is cumulative, and that you’re not just giving your own earnings to your kids, you’re perpetuating social inequality by giving seven generations’ worth of accumulated capital to your kids.
  • I’m pushing 50 and the annual death count among my friends and acquaintances has started to rise. Usually it’s like 1/2 or 1/3 a year. Last year it was 3, and this year (because of the pandemic) it’s 4 already in August. I don’t like this.
  • I enjoy shifting my grip on objects single-handedly, by tossing them just slightly into the air.
  • Almost all the resources in archaeology go to the infrastructure intended to make research and outreach possible. Almost none go to actually producing any research or outreach. It’s like building a space station and not hiring any astronauts. We’re producing a lot of good grey literature, but almost nobody gets paid to read it or synthesize it.

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

31 thoughts on “August Pieces Of My Mind #3”

  1. “The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds is a shocking album. Shockingly innovative songs, shockingly bad sound engineering.

    If I recall correctly, Brian Wilson (or was it Phil Spector) was deaf on one ear. In any case, mono mixes were more appropriate for the typical transistor radios (including those in cars) of the time.

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  2. “Why, Polish people? Why?! You modify your numerals according to gender!?”

    Like “en” and “ett” in Swedisch? 😀

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    1. Or Spanish uno/una, and other Romance languages do something similar. The difference is that Polish does this with higher cardinal numbers than 1. Ordinals, since they are functionally adjectives, are generally declined for gender and (if applicable) case in languages that have this feature.

      Polish (and other Slavic languages generally) also changes the ending of surnames to match gender and case. For instance, names that would end in -ski for males become -ska for females.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. German declines all ordinal numbers according to case, number, and, gender, just like other adjectives.

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  3. I couldn’t agree more on the inheritance tax. What should not exist anywhere, however, is a wealth tax. If the rich should pay more, fine, but do it someway other than a wealth tax. Why? Because it punishes those who, for whatever reason, save some of their money, invest it, buy durable goods, etc., as opposed to spending it as soon as they get it on drugs, whores, food, whatever. Why should the second group be privileged.

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      1. A billionaire might pay 100 times for his house what I paid for mine, might have 10 cars, each costing 10 times or more what my 1 car costs, and so on, but, at most, he would probably spend only twice as much on food as I do.

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      2. I like what you did there, choosing a vegetarian and a, let’s say, ‘somewhat unusual’ guy who eats a Mars bar for breakfast as, presumably, your two ‘typical examples’ of rich people. Your intellectual honesty is really impressive.

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      3. Choose any rich person you want. I think that it is obvious that (assuming that they spend, rather than save, most of their money) most rich people spend orders of magnitude more than I do on houses, cars, wine, women, boats, travel, jewels, clothes, whatever, but not significantly more on food. Not because I spend a lot, but because one can eat only so much.

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      4. Li Ka-shing.

        Any number of Mainland Chinese billionaires (but probably not Jack Ma, although I’m just guessing in his case).

        I win. Case closed.

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      5. Check the price of bird’s nest soup, turtle soup or the highest grade of abalone, or any of the other eye-wateringly expensive dishes served in restaurants in Hong Kong to those who can afford them. Check the price of the most expensive cuts of Kobe beef, or Iberico pork. Beluga caviar. Scottish smoked salmon. Have you been living under a rock?

        The weird thing is that although Scottish smoked salmon is very expensive, Scottish salmon farmers can barely break even. Ian Anderson had to sell up and get out of it because it was sending him bankrupt.

        Your original statement was ridiculous and deserved to be lampooned. Suck it up.

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      6. “Check the price of bird’s nest soup, turtle soup or the highest grade of abalone, or any of the other eye-wateringly expensive dishes served in restaurants in Hong Kong to those who can afford them. Check the price of the most expensive cuts of Kobe beef, or Iberico pork. Beluga caviar. Scottish smoked salmon.”

        I doubt that that is typical for almost all rich people.

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  4. “It’s like building a space station and not hiring any astronauts.”

    The Beatles once hired a chap, Magic Alex, to build a state-of-the-art recording studio. He forgot the electrical sockets.

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  5. The lyrics are definitely of another time and place (as my late history teacher used to say, just an observation, not a judgement):

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older
    Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long?
    And wouldn’t it be nice to live together
    In the kind of world where we belong?
    You know it’s gonna make it that much better
    When we can say goodnight and stay together
    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up
    In the morning when the day is new?
    And after having spent the day together
    Hold each other close the whole night through?
    Happy times together we’ve been spending
    I wish that every kiss was never ending
    Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?
    Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray
    It might come true (run run ooo)
    Baby, then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
    We could be married (we could be married)
    And then we’d be happy (and then we’d be happy)
    Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?
    You know it seems the more we talk about it
    It only makes it worse to live without it
    But let’s talk about it
    Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?
    Good night, oh baby
    Sleep tight, oh baby
    Good night, oh baby
    Sleep tight, oh baby

    It is testament to their influence, though, that “wouldn’t” autocompletes to “Wouldn’t it be nice” in Google.

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  6. You’d want a wealth tax because private property is a government service. The mechanics would be insanely difficult especially since wealthy people are good at lying. We should just have a progressive income tax, but we should count all money or goods of value coming in as income, so no special treatment of capital gains, gifts or inheritance. Maybe we’d want to bring back income averaging, but that’s the mechanics.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And some people are fooled by Steve Jobs having a salary of $1 per year or whatever. I’m sure he also had some stock options.

        Which reminds me of the fact that back in the early days apart from Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak there was a third owner of Apple. He sold his third of the stock for $800. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You decline cardinal (unus, una, unum) and ordinal (primus, prima, primum) numbers in Latin too. They are adjectives and Latin adjectives are inflected so why wouldn’t you? Akkadian also (šina, šena “two” šanûm, šanītum “second”).

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    1. Schools will reopen in HK on 23 September.

      It’s premature, it’s foolish, school kids are disease vectors who will just infect their families. Online learning is no biggie. If Australian universities can market online degrees which are accredited, it’s eminently doable.

      So it’s dumb and totally unnecessary, but there are ‘pressures’.

      In Wuhan’s case it doesn’t matter because the coronavirus has been eliminated there for now. HK is not in that happy position.

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