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theinspectorst

@theinspectorst@kbin.social

Liberal, Briton, FBPE. Co-mod of m/neoliberal

This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. For a complete list of posts, browse on the original instance.

theinspectorst ,
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Politically, this is magnificent. The Lib Dems have target seats throughout Surrey where they're typically the main challenger, they've been campaigning hard locally on water quality through most of this parliament (hasn't always got national attention but they worked out a while ago it's a very resonant issue in their target seats) and then just in time for the election Thames Water start warning people the water isn't drinkable...

theinspectorst ,
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I mean, is it? Under his leadership the Labour Party broke the law in relation to racism within the party - that was the finding of the independent Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation. It found that on Corbyn's watch, the culture of the Labour Party 'at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it'. He was the leader, he is accountable. That was his doing.

He then chose to put out a statement rejecting this and dismissing the evidence of racism suffered by Labour members as exaggerated - as a result of which he was suspended. That statement was his doing too.

And now he has chosen to stand against the Labour candidate in an election - this choice was also his doing.

So which part of this is 'their doing'?

theinspectorst ,
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It's a corrupt convention but it wasn't always the case. An important reform by the 2010-15 coalition government was the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which took this incredibly important decision out of the prime minister's partisan hands and have elections on a predictable 5 year cycle (barring the government falling or a supermajority for early elections).

After Boris Johnson won the 2019 election though, he set about dismantling checks and balances such as this. He also changed the electoral system for mayoral elections to First Past the Post (with no consultation or referendum - which the Tories have always insisted was needed to change the electoral system away from FPTP...) because FPTP tends to favour Tories.

theinspectorst ,
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I don’t consider Star Wars to be sci-fi. It’s a futuristic space fantasy.

Is that an unpopular opinion? Most sci-fi/fantasy fans I know would probably agree with this. I love Star Wars, but in the same way I love Lord of the Rings.

Also, Star Trek Enterprise is one of the best Trek series, IMO. Top 5.

I would say the final season of Enterprise is arguably the best single season of any Star Trek show so far. But it was a long road getting there...

The human crew (particularly Archer and Trip) were difficult to warm to in seasons 1 and 2 - I found them so much more emotional and overdramatic than an intelligent professional human would be today, and that it made it difficult for me to accept them as the bridge from today to the 23rd/24th century Starfleet we know.

Season 3 was tough for different reasons - maybe it played differently in America, but watching from outside the US a lot of it felt like post-9/11 revenge fantasy. Very proto-'America First'.

theinspectorst ,
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Do you know why I stuck with it through s1-s3, even though I couldn't know if it would get better?

'CAUSE I'VE GOT FAAAAAIIITH OF THE HEART!

theinspectorst ,
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I've found it useful for TTRPGs too. Art generators are certainly helpful for character portraits, I also find ChatGPT can be useful for lots of other things. I've had pretty mediocre results trying to get it to generate a whole adventure but if you give it tight enough parameters then it can flesh out content for you - ranging from NPC name ideas, to ideas for custom magic items, to whole sections of dialogue.

You can give it a plot hook you have in mind and ask it to generate ideas for a three-act structure and encounter summary to go with it (helpful when brainstorming the party's next adventure), or you can give it an overview of an encounter you have in mind and ask it to flesh out the encounter - GPT4 is reasonably good at a lot of this, I just wouldn't ask it to go the whole way from start to finish in adventure design as it starts to introduce inconsistencies.

You also need to be ready to take what it gives you as a starting point for editing rather than a finished product. For example, if I ask it to come up with scene descriptions in D&D then it has a disproportionate tendency to come up with things that are 'bioluminescent' - little tells like that which show it's AI generated.

Overall - you can use it as a tool for a busy DM that can free you up to focus on the more important aspects of designing your adventure. But you need to remember it's just a tool, don't think you can outsource the whole thing to it and remember it's only as helpful as how you try to use it.

London police apologize after threatening to arrest ‘openly Jewish’ man near pro-Palestinian protest ( www.nbcnews.com )

London’s police force has been forced to issue two apologies after officers threatened to arrest an “openly Jewish” man if he refused to leave the area around a pro-Palestinian march because his presence risked provoking the demonstrators....

theinspectorst ,
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I think he was pretty clearly there with the intent of his presence being antagonistic. He's not just a random Jewish man who coincidentally happened to be walking through the area at that particular time, he's a pro-Israeli activist who was hoping his presence would provoke a reaction as part of an attempt by political partisans to paint mainstream pro-Palestinian protestors as racist.

But - regardless of his intent - if the only reason the Met could point to for them believing his presence might have actually been antagonistic is his ethnicity and his religion, then on the surface he hasn't done anything wrong.

I think this episode should be read in the context of a wide-ranging assault on free speech and the right to protest by the current Conservative government, which is encouraging a pattern of overreach by the Met police in response to legitimate protest.

theinspectorst ,
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Rishi: we have a plan for dealing with the cost of living crisis.

The plan:

theinspectorst ,
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I find it all quite protectionist. The privacy risk around social media is real, but I don't see why TikTok should be singled out. And there's a perfectly legitimate concern about the ability for hostile states to use social media to influence elections in democratic states - as Russia did in the UK and US in 2016 with Facebook and Twitter - but again, it's not obvious why TikTok should be singled out for this. If the Chinese want to swing an election, they're not going to do it by influencing Boomers on Facebook, not through a platform that is overwhelmingly used by the age demographic that is least likely to vote...

theinspectorst OP ,
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Non-paywall link: https://archive.is/JVp1k

This idiot is pumping out nativist rhetoric and conspiracies which is doing nothing more for him than propagandising on behalf of the far-right party that's gunning for his voters.

Odds are that Reform will win no seats at the election, but they will probably skim off enough Tory votes to help Labour win back dozens of red wall seats that Johnson won in 2019.

RE: Is Ernest still here? ( kbin.social )

I check in here quite often, but for now, I'm just focusing on clearing spam and keeping the instance alive. In January, I was working on the AP module, and there has been significant progress in the work, which hasn't been publicly published yet. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the year, I developed a skin condition that...

theinspectorst ,
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A child who was groomed and sex trafficked by terrorists is now being punished for it. Also this is a punishment that is only being applied to her because she has Bangladeshi ancestors so the government argues she is hypothetically eligible for a Bangladeshi passport (which the government of Bangladesh has no intention of giving her), and so the Tories can pretend they're not illegally rendering her stateless.

This is literally a punishment that, by the Tories' own formulation of their rule, would not be applied if the sex trafficking victim was a white girl called Shania with English parents instead of a brown girl called Shamima.

We're supposed to be a country where people are treated equally before the law. But the Tories are now claiming that they and any future government has the right to render any Briton with some hypothetical right to a foreign passport (for example, most second generation immigrants and every single Jewish Briton) stateless at the whim of the home secretary.

theinspectorst ,
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I'm all for appropriately punishing people for the crimes they commit. But we usually don't deprive solo-nationality citizens of their citizenship (leaving them stateless) for the crimes she is accused of - this is a punishment that is only being applied to UK (including UK-only) nationals who have recent foreign ancestors (i.e. so who could hypothetically - but often not in practice - be eligible for another country's citizenship - in her case, Bangladesh). We also don't usually apply extreme punishments like this to people for crimes committed as children, and we don't usually punish children who were groomed and sex trafficked by terrorists as if they were the perpetrators.

The reality is that if Shamima Begum was a blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl whose parents and grandparents were all from Surrey, the media would have described her as a victim of sex trafficking; and the law that permits this punishment to be applied to her could not even have been used.

The legal system should not treat UK citizens differently according to whether or not the Tories think they look a bit foreign.

theinspectorst OP ,
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What a loon.

Reminder:

  • far from 'thwarting' her plans, the UK's economic establishment wasn't even consulted on them (the OBR);
  • causing the gilt (UK government bond) market to crash when the scale of her unhinged and unfunded fiscal loosening was announced;
  • causing UK pension schemes that were overweight gilts to almost default;
  • causing another part of the UK's economic establishment (the Bank of England) to have to come in and clean up her mess;
  • causing her own party to seize control of economic governance from her to prevent her doing more harm before they eventually got rid of her.
theinspectorst ,
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I mean, bigotry and unenforceability aside, it's also pretty unambiguously illegal.

Italy is a signatory to the ECHR which creates an explicit right to privacy (Article 8) and freedom of religion (Article 9).

The Italian constitution itself also specifies a right to religious equality before the law (Article 8).

theinspectorst ,
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I'm unsurprised that a religious school is failing to teach science properly, but which bits of geography are they objecting to?

theinspectorst ,
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Ahh, that makes sense!

theinspectorst ,
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Cheap food imports? During a cost-of-living crisis? Blasphemy! Bring back the Corn Laws!

theinspectorst ,
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[Mogg] declared the death of "Davos man" - members of the global and political elite who descend on a Swiss ski resort every year for a global economic forum.

Ah, yes the famously left-wing extremists of ... the World Economic Forum.

theinspectorst ,
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Imagine asking if it's good or bad news that an old man has cancer.

theinspectorst ,
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Maybe turn on the human being bit of your brain. The guy has cancer.

theinspectorst ,
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This is a really big factor. The public discourse around the NHS would lead you to think that NHS spending had been squeezed over the last 14 years - but it hasn't. Cameron made a big political choice in 2010 that the NHS would be exempt from the budget cuts that affected the rest of the public sector; and the NHS budget has actually consistently grown faster than inflation under a decade and a half of Tory health secretaries.

So why does the NHS feel under so much more pressure today than under New Labour?

Broadly, two reasons. The first, outside the government's control, is that the population has aged since 2010, and old people are more likely to need GP appointments and hospital beds. And the second, at least somewhat more in the government's control, is that public health has continued its deteriorating trend of the last several decades - the share of people overweight or obese in particular, who also find themselves disproportionately taking up health services.

We can't do anything about people getting older but we can act on the public health problem. We should be treating combating obesity with the same urgency we treated Covid.

theinspectorst ,
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Yes, my point was that above-inflation budget increases (so real-terms budget increases) ought to have led to improving services, other things being equal. But other things aren't equal - partly because people are getting older, but also partly because people are living unhealthier lives.

So just to stand still, the NHS would have needed even larger above-inflation spending hikes than it got; or, heaven forbid, government policy would have had to start treating mass obesity as the public health emergency that it is, rather than fretting about the Tory press calling this a 'nanny state'...

theinspectorst ,
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No, the NHS under the Tories received real terms budget increases every year but one (in the second year of the Coalition, when NHS spending rose by very slightly less than inflation).

The problem is that, with large sections of the general public living more and more unhealthy lives, the demands on the NHS have been growing even faster than the real-terms budget. Obesity is correlated with a range of serious health problems - diabetes, cardiovascular disease, various cancers - that devour NHS resources, so the real-terms NHS budget would need to grow at a much faster rate than inflation to cope with the continuing deterioration of public health.

Ultimately, this isn't a problem we should have been trying to spend our way out of anyway. The solution to an obesity epidemic shouldn't have been to try and load the consequences onto the NHS; it should have been to take strong preventative measures to head it off well before the point when a quarter of the adult population of England were technically obese (and as many again were overweight).

When Covid hit, we went into lockdown to avoid overwhelming the NHS - where was the obesity equivalent of the Covid lockdowns?

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