Weimar Redux

Annnnnd the Germans are in deep shit:

According to release statistics from the German economic ministry, energy prices in August were more than double the same period last year, up 139%. The monthly increase was more than 20.4% higher than July. Additionally, producer prices for electricity rose 174.9% compared with August 2021 and by 26.4% in a single month.

This jaw-dropping increase in energy cost has resulted in German manufacturing prices for industrial goods jumping 7.9% in August alone, with a year-over-year increase in the cost to manufacture goods at 45.8%. That is the highest rate of price increase since Germany began recording their statistics in 1939.

It’s a pity they didn’t start in 1919, because then we could have compared today (and tomorrow, from the looks of things) to the numbers from the Weimar Republic.  Nonetheless, Germany’s in for a rough ride.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of watermelons.

2D/3D

From the Comments to yesterday’s post about the two- vs. three dimension concepts came this, from Reader Harry (no relation):

Vertical projects (buildings, towers) do have 3 dimensions. They are described as vertical projects, even though their height does not always exceed their length or width.
Horizontal projects (roads, airfields) also have 3 dimensions. They are described as horizontal projects, even though their length does not always exceed their height or width.

I understand that perfectly, especially when viewed in Platonic terms.  You may call a table a “quadripod eating-surface”, but that does not negate its “table-ness”, which exists outside any definition.

A road, almost by definition, needs no thickness — it is a line that connects a starting point and a destination, and thus requires no third dimension.  (This is not true in Britishland, however, where a road can start in the middle of nowhere, meander all over the countryside and then just expire — probably out of sheer exhaustion — never having reached an actual destination.  And one may still encounter traffic jams on said roads because while they are theoretically bi-directional, their width is usually less than that of a single car — thus proving the statement that a line may have length but not width.)

Because buildings have no ending point (projecting upwards into thin air), they must have a third dimension.  A wall cannot exist without thickness — even when joined to the ceiling.  (Just because you need only two of its dimensions when hanging a picture, for example, doesn’t mean it needn’t have a third, as a moment’s thought will show.)

And now I need to quit, because I’m starting to get a headache.

No Kidding

One of my favorite movie (and life) lines comes from A League of their Own :  “There’s no crying in baseball!”

Here’s something we all know about.

Facts be damned: Rising use of emotional language like ‘feel’ and ‘believe’ has helped displace rational thought in ‘post-truth era’

A new study suggests we are living in the post-truth era where ‘feelings trump facts,’ as language has become less rational and more emotional over the past 40 years.

A team of scientists found words like ‘determine’ and ‘conclusion’ that were popular from 1850 through 1980 have been since been replaced with human experience such as ‘feel’ and ‘believe.’

The team also identified another major shift around 2007 with the birth of social media, when the use of emotion-laden language surged and fact-related words dropped.

Although the drivers behind the shift cannot be determined, the researchers suggest it could be a rapid development in science and technology or tensions that came about from changes in economic polices in the early 1980s.

Reason #2,465 why I could never work in a modern office.

Coming from a business background where every single proposition or proposal had to be justified with fact, research, real-world experience and (lastly) common sense, the very thought of going through the same process where any suggestion of same might “trigger” some kind of emotional response at best makes me want to reach for the gin bottle. (At worst, it makes my trigger finger itch.)

In fact, an emotional response to criticism would have made my time’s audience suspicious:  Why are they getting upset?  What are they hiding?   Why should we take them seriously when they are such weak people that criticism upsets them?

Nowadays, of course, all the above responses would result in Stern Words from HR (or even, gawd help us, from your own Management, so pussywhipped has the business world become).

No wonder Socialism has become so popular:  because while the eventual goal of Socialism is complete societal control, the way it is introduced is through emotional appeal:  “It’s not fair that…”  or “We need to end [whatever supposed evil]”, without any fact-based foundation but with plenty of anecdotal or emotionally-based evidence.

Small wonder too that the entire Green Movement is based not only on emotion, but a pack of easily-disproved lies (“Climate is cooling I mean warming I mean changing, and we’re all gonna diiiieeeee if we don’t do something!!!”)

Facts don’t need to be propped up by emotion;  they stand proudly on their own.  In fact, it’s probably true to say that the greater the hysteria generated by about some supposed catastrophe, the more likely it is to be complete bullshit.

Dr. Fauci, call your office.

Living Abroad

Once again we have a list — this time, of “Best Countries To Live In“.

From our perspective, of course, we have to remove the disclaimer, “…unless you want to own a gun”, which would take out pretty much all but the U.S. of A from the results.  Also, the survey also takes into account shit like “environmental consciousness” and similar woke bollocks, so we should probably ignore the whole thing.

But then I wouldn’t have a post for today.  So here’s my take on the whole thing, ignoring the gun issue just this once.

1. Germany — I wouldn’t mind living in Deutschland too much, except that I would get horribly bored by the food after a few months.  The beer’s okay, and I love driving there.  The TV is uniformly terrible, just awful (SNL’s satire “Sprockets” would actually be an improvement), and that bland 80s Europop that seems to blast from every radio station or PA system makes me want to go all Peter Kürten every few weeks or so.  But as long as I could live somewhere like Bad Reichenall or similar in Bavaria, I could probably survive there.

2. Canada — ditto Canuckistan, maybe in Montreal’s Plateau, or out west where the Canuckis are more like Murkins.  The winters might get me down after a while, though;  as much as I like snow and such, you can have too much of a good thing.  And then there’s Pierre Trudeau…

3. JapanKyoto, maybe, rather than Tokyo.  But I have to admit, the language issue would be far more of a hurdle here than in Germany or French Canuckistan. Or even in

4. Italy — definitely, but only in the north, in cities like Torino, Milan or similar, or else in the Como area.  I found Italian surprisingly difficult to understand the last time I was there, but I’m sure I could get the hang of it after a year or so.  And that Northern Italian cuisine… que bella.  Of course, I’d need an Alfa Romeo or Fiat to putter around in.

5. Britishland — of course, but not London.  Somewhere out west or southwest (Hardy country) would do.  A small town like Devizes or Bradford-on-Avon would be excellent.  As long as I could have access to US TV now and then, because like in Europe, the Brit TV offering is dire.

As for the rest of the top ten (excluding Murka):
France:  Midi only
Sweden:  too cold for too long, plus language and Commies
Switzerland:  NO
Australia:  NO.

The rest of the top 20:
Spain:  Southern Med coast only, or maybe Barcelona
Norway:  NO, too many Commies
Netherlands:  Amsterdam, baby.  Oh yes… after Britishland — or maybe even ahead of — I could see myself there.
New Zealand:  NO, see Norway
Finland:  no, see Sweden
Austria:  Vienna, definitely — but with the same reservations as with Germany
Scotland:  Edinburgh, if you put a gun to my head;  otherwise no
Belgium:  no
Ireland:  undecided.  Lotsa Irish around, though, with strange names like Eoin and Aisling
Iceland:  NO.

Sorry, folks:  looks like y’all are stuck with me, right Over Here — oh, and did I mention GUNS?

Try owning that little collection outside Murka…