Print Story Bind my heart with your warm embrace
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 06:33:58 AM EST) Reading, Listening, Watching, MLP (all tags)
Listening: "Espionage and Covert Operations". Watching: "Never Let Me Go", "Illuminations". Me. Web.


What I'm Listening To
Latest Teaching Company course was Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius. Pretty decent course, well-presented, interesting and informative. Covers the popular mythology of the spy as well as the truth.

What I'm Watching
Saw Never Let Me Go on DVD: adaptation of a Kazuo Ishiguro novel that I liked a lot. Don't think the movie is as good, though it's quite touching at the end. The child actors are inevitably slightly wooden The mystery seems to be revealed much earlier than in the book, though that might just be my crapness at resolving clues.

Also it seemed a bit harder to suspend disbelief in the movie. I think in the book it seemed clearer that there was supposed to be a mystery about why the organ donors don't fight back and refuse, maybe they've been programmed or selected for docility, maybe it's just the same social pressure that made young men charge into machine-gun fire in WW1. In the movie you just want to scream 'RUN AWAY YOU FUCKING IDIOTS'.

Overall, decent tear-jerker.

What I'm Watching 2
Saw the BBC series Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings on Iplayer. Three-part documentary about the British Museum's collection of Royal Manuscripts: lavishly bound and illustrated books used as status symbols by the monarchs in the Middle Ages.

Visually very interesting: makes a good point that book illustrations had as much effort and art put in them as paintings of the period, but get overlooked as they're locked away. However, at three hour-long programmes it did feel a bit dragged-out as a history: two or even one might have done.

Me
Feeling a bit oppressed by decisions at the moment.

It's not official yet, but I'm going to lose my job at some point as they're closing down the whole department by September. My job could go at any point from now till the end. Unofficially, we've been told we'll still get the pretty good redundancy package. For me, four months pay tax free; plus either three months' notice or pay in lieu of notice. I've started sending out applications since I need interview practice. If I get a job offer though I have to make one decision. Take the job, lose the redundancy money, have no gap in employment; or wait for redundancy and hope I can find a job sooner.

This is complicated by another decision. I've been officially going out with Girl B since November. We live about an hour and a quarter's travel apart, and it's not a nice journey. So, we were loosely planning to move in together around April.

Originally I was hoping to rent together, but because of our deals it looks like that would be incredibly expensive. So another plan was to buy a place that's affordable by each one of us individually, so if the relationship doesn't work out we could remortgage and whoever moves out could give the other the deposit back.

That's still roughly the plan, though it's going to wait until I find another job. But while we can see places in that price range, they're not that great. Applying that price range to my area on Rightmove reduces the number of available properties from 308 to 22. That obviously isn't the nicest 7%, it's the worst 7%. I was thinking of a cheaper area (Hounslow/Isleworth), but Girl B doesn't think a nicer home in a worse area is any better.

So I worry that I'm condemning her to live somewhere horrible. If we bought somewhere that's affordable by both of us in employment, we could afford a pretty nice place. But if our relationship breaks up we'd be a in a bit of a mess: it could take ages to sell, there could be bitterness over losing the home, there could be financial losses.

In a way with the job, I'd be happier if they just called me into the office and said "You're out, here's a cheque, clear your desk". Then at least I'd have a clear plan of action, and I'd know I couldn't get a mortgage till I get a new job. As it is, I've got all these decisions, all with various risks, and uncertainty over timing. Try to get a mortgage right now while I have a steady employment history? Wait till my next job where I might get a pay rise and a payout to boost the deposit? Buy a one-income place or a two-income place?

At the moment, the plan is to try to get interviews, take a job only if it seems worth losing the package, buy a one-income place after I get a new job. But I keep wondering if it's the right thing to do. I wanted to be a breadwinner who helps Girl B live a better life, not a parasite who makes her live somewhere horrible.

Web
Socioeconomics. The Austerity curve. Lessons for Europe’s fiscal union from US federalism. The coming resolution of the European crisis. Low IQ correlated with prejudice.

Pics. Men's Rights Marmoset Watchmen Game comic.

Articles. De Gaulle and Ike at Gettysburg. Guerilla art restorers, via How the Glock became America's weapon of choice, via Why does America lock up so many people?

The normalization of prison rape—like eighteenth-century japery about watching men struggle as they die on the gallows—will surely strike our descendants as chillingly sadistic, incomprehensible on the part of people who thought themselves civilized...

The trouble with the Bill of Rights, he argues, is that it emphasizes process and procedure rather than principles. The Declaration of the Rights of Man says, Be just! The Bill of Rights says, Be fair! Instead of announcing general principles—no one should be accused of something that wasn’t a crime when he did it; cruel punishments are always wrong; the goal of justice is, above all, that justice be done—it talks procedurally. You can’t search someone without a reason; you can’t accuse him without allowing him to see the evidence; and so on. This emphasis, Stuntz thinks, has led to the current mess, where accused criminals get laboriously articulated protection against procedural errors and no protection at all against outrageous and obvious violations of simple justice. You can get off if the cops looked in the wrong car with the wrong warrant when they found your joint, but you have no recourse if owning the joint gets you locked up for life. You may be spared the death penalty if you can show a problem with your appointed defender, but it is much harder if there is merely enormous accumulated evidence that you weren’t guilty in the first place and the jury got it wrong. Even clauses that Americans are taught to revere are, Stuntz maintains, unworthy of reverence: the ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” was designed to protect cruel punishments—flogging and branding—that were not at that time unusual.

Canadian Lego man in space. Boots and cats. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Local. Reddit accepts London pub quiz rematch against Metafilter.

News. Followup: Racist tram lady to be tried February 17th. Do the weather forecasters quoted by the Daily Mail actually exist??

Politics. Ron Paul sucks. How interventionist is the European Court of Human Rights?

Tech. Google+ lets in nicknames, slams door on plebs' pseudonyms. Did Google kill the long tail? New Twitter censorship system.

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Bind my heart with your warm embrace | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Ron Paul's Manly Campaign by lm (4.00 / 3) #1 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:39:11 AM EST
First, I think his "manly" campaign is more likely to be an artifact of the sort of thing that the type of people who supports support him are drawn to rather than an intentional appeal to a specific crowd.

Second, I think his relatively low appeal to women can be satisfactorily explained by his positions. If Ron Paul was driving policy at the federal level that would mean:

Granted, not all of these issues are important to all women. But I think enough of them are important to enough women to explain the disparity in support for Paul between men and women.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Take a job asap by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:39:32 AM EST
My initial reaction was that it'd be crazy to throw away the redundancy money, but thinking about it I suspect the money would be worth less than the potential stress of not having a certain future income.  This is confounded further by the fact you're thinking of buying a house - so in holding out for redundancy pay you're pushing back that process by some unknown number of months.

But that's just me being boring and grown-up.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

Yeah, I didn't vote on that part of the poll. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:32:04 AM EST
But put like that, I'm pretty sure I agree with you. And with uncertainty over my housing situation at the moment, I have to say I didn't realise how stressful it was until I was describing it to a colleague and realised quite how angry my voice was. So, yeah, knowing where you stand with these big things is good.

I'm still hanging on the rent nice/buy cheap decision, though. It's probably worth evaluating the costs of purchasing a house (c. 1 year's rent?) and the fact that mortgage repayments take a few years to actually start building capital vs. the potential instability (and pressure) of moving straight into a house you both own. But you don't want to take advice on life decisions from me. Except in the sense of taking all the exact opposite decisions.

[ Parent ]
Renting nice isn't really an option by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:58:30 AM EST
Rents have skyrocketed, renting would be expensive and pretty grotty too...
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Surprised, but not so much so. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #13 Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 11:23:15 AM EST
My rent exactly covers the mortgage on this place (which the landlord hasn't paid, hence I know what the mortgage is). If I have to move, I'll be looking at an extra 20%.

I absolutely don't get how the finances work out on the housing market. And don't know when the correction will come.

[ Parent ]
If you get an offer... by Metatone (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 11:26:41 AM EST
never hurts to ask if they'd consider letting you hang on at the old place long enough to get the redundancy... It will depend on their situation, but if they can wait, it's like they're giving you a signing on bonus that they don't have to pay for... 

[ Parent ]
Pollitt's article on liberals and Ron Paul by lm (4.00 / 2) #3 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:53:14 AM EST
It was a fairly sound article up until the end. I had some quibbles about the allegations of a nanny state over the outlawing of abortion. (Pollitt apparently does not realize that Paul wants to turn the whole affair over to the states.)  But then came this zinger ``If Ron Paul was interested in peace, he wouldn’t be a Republican''

With this line, Pollitt abandons the approach of the first three fifths of the article of examining Paul's favored policies and the disjunction between those and liberal politics. Now Pollitt turns to the policies of the GOP in general as if they had some bearing on Paul's views. This is done despite the fact that most of the other issues that were brought up are also unfavored by most of the GOP. Take the ADA, it's champion was the Bush '41 administration. Take the war on drugs. That's premium Republican turf.

That's kind of a bizarre ending.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Austerity, Fiscal Federalism, and Redundancy by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:00:02 AM EST
Concerning the austerity curve.  The problem the author has is that he doesn't differentiate between fiscal policy during a depressed/recession and fiscal policy during flush times.  During a recession you pretty much need to keep steedy on government spending to support demand and (because I am a Keynesian) increase government demand.  During flush times you cut the budget.  Go with austerity when the economy is huming along.  Government spending isn't needed at those points. During flush times you pay down the debt so that you have flexibility when the next recession comes.  This is what conservatives totally blew it on.  The Bush Administration went into deficits in the US during flush times and the English and Europeans are cutting spending during a recession.  Completely backward and shows a fundamental lack of understanding ot Macroeconomis.  Demand equals government plus consumer plus business.  It's a pretty simple equation to learn. 

Concerning US fiscal federalism versus Europe.  The author touches on, but doesn't actually go into, the transfer of accounts that the Federal taxation allows.  One of the big problems in Europe is an imbalance of accounts between Euro states.  The US avoids that by having a Federal level of tranfer of accounts between states through Federal taxation.  So that's one of the benefits of Federal taxation that I didn't see listed.  If the EU could transfer accounts from flush Germany to destitute Greece it would help the EU situation considerably.  They can't and they won't. 

Concerning your work.  Start looking for a new job and accept if you find one to your liking.  You know you have time and don't have to jump.  If you find one before the redundancy occurs I would take it.  The severance pay isn't worth the gap in employment.  Yes, you could live on the money and then have unemployment payments to further carry you forward, but the gap in employment should be avoided if possible.  The financial impact to you is likely neutral, but from a CV perspective it's a better situation to be in. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Breadwinning is a mug's game. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #7 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:59:09 AM EST
DON'T PUT HER ON THE LEASE.

Also, the victim alleges she was struck by her assailant, so let's charge her for being sweary? WTF is going on over there in Englandia?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Random comments by Herring (4.00 / 2) #8 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 06:45:06 PM EST
Rents will - obviously - fall dramatically once the HB restrictions come in.

If you get another job, how long do you have to be in it for it to cut any ice with a mortgage company?

Fucking hell! Mortgage! With a partner type person!

Low IQ & racism/conservatism. Sounds obvious to me - but then I may be prejudiced.

Mistake I made with jobs was I thought I could walk out of Crap Corp and pick up something soon enough. I did pick up something but it was a step down and I'm still there and it's shit (not as shit, but shit). So if you get offered a job you really want before redundancy then take it. Otherwise you run the risk of having to take something sub-optimal. Or shit.


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

start hunting for work by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:42:37 PM EST
You don't actually have a tricky decision to make until someone offers you a position.

I don't know what your current work situation is, any chance of them giving you a severance on short notice if you flat out asked for it? (obviously waiting until you had a job offer in your back pocket)

The weather forecaster thing is bizarre, what motive does a newspaper have for making up the fucking weather?

Weather by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #10 Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 02:08:41 AM EST
Whoever issues the "Positive Weather Solutions" forecasts is a climate change denier, but not an actual meteorologist, who also likes to claim that their "long term forecasts" are much more accurate than the real scientists of the Met Office.

If you want to discredit mainstream science, it helps to make up some scientists of your own.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
That makes a perverse sort of sense by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #12 Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 10:39:08 AM EST
It also explains why someone was motivated enough to bother exposing them.

[ Parent ]
Can you rent by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #11 Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:47:43 AM EST
Until you know what your situation is likely to be? I'm surprised that sharing won't work out cheaper anyway, you both must have very good deals.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

"going out with Girl B since November" by houser2112 (4.00 / 2) #14 Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 08:35:09 AM EST
Which November are we talking about?  If it's November 2011, it's a bit premature to even bring up moving in together, let alone buying a house together.  IMHO.  That's an awfully big commitment for such a young relationship.

This is a good point by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 05:25:49 PM EST
As you get older though there is more of a hurry. You can't wait forever if you want to, say, start a family. Also, you're more mature and if that's what you both want, you can make it work.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Bind my heart with your warm embrace | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback