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Soren Ras

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About Soren Ras

  • Birthday 02/06/1967

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    This Theater of the Absurd

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  1. Duh, it will obviously be both. And within the same 24-hour cycle. -- Soren
  2. The guardian article fails to mention the real impact of the recent announcement about Covid no longer being considered a socially critical disease. What that means is that the government no longer has the power to impose nation-wide restrictions on people's freedom. Local authorities could still enact certain measures, like closing a school or restricting mass gatherings, if infections or strain on local health care capacity become untenable, but without a formal declaration of the disease being an emergency, the government abandoned the powers it had accrued back in March 2020. That is pretty notable, and IMO laudable. Mind you, there were never any requirement at any point in Denmark that people wear a mask outside. On the contrary, even in the most locked down periods, the authorities recommended people be outside as much as possible, observe reasonably social distancing at all times, and mask up when indoors in public spaces. As predicted at the outset there were some errors made, but on the whole I think the authorities in Denmark have walked the fine line between freedom and reasonable restrictions pretty well (and I am saying that as someone who is politically definitely in opposition to the current social democratic government). The Prime Minister also quite early on stated in public that while the government would strongly recommend and encourage vaccination for those people for whom the vaccines have been approved (i.e. not kids), at no time would there ever be a vaccine mandate, since the government does not have the authority to make that imposition on people's own autonomy. Soren
  3. Yawn. Coasting on residual goodwill emanating from memories of the first movie, as well as the presence of Keanu Reeves. Other than that, not even a hint of any original new thought. Edited to look essentially like a remake. Excitement level: Meh. -- Soren
  4. Man, that is rough. Soren
  5. Which also come in "handy" as bread-slicers for the social occasions. -- Soren
  6. The way things are going, how do we know it wasn't Bitin' Biden doing the biting? The poor dog could just be the patsy here.😎 Soren
  7. True enough. But I used to think that China would grow old before it got to the top. No longer. I seriously under estimated the speed with which the West would work to undermine itself. They are probably going to be able to bend an awful lot of international institutions and agreements to shore themselves up before their internal issues catch up with them (demography, stifling bureaucracy, tyranny and the inevitable international joining of forces against them). Soren
  8. They are already pretty much the sole superpower, in the sense that where ever you are you need to factor in China's views. And that is not because they have those three elements but because they have the will to use what they have to pursue their interests, and as we have seen the US does not. The world's most lavishly overfunded military does not count for much when no one thinks you have the fortitude and spine to use it. Soren
  9. She has a number of good points, but although she is certainly not wrong in characterizing the behavior and motivations underlying "woke capitalism" it is worth underlining that Cancel Culture is not even remotely limited to corporations. As she even mentions in passing, NGOs, non-profits and government agencies and institutions are all displaying the exact same behavior, so it is not only an economic matter. The problem is rather with institutions in general, bureaucratic instincts, and above all, human nature, as they all adapt to changing technology. And reducing the matter to "Capitalism Bad" (which is the thrust of the article's headline and while the author may not have written the headline, it is not wildly out of sync with the main body) smacks of a left wing person reflexively trying to disavow a monster that was conceived and nurtured in the left wing hothouse of academia. Though I suppose it is fair enough to want to point out to naive progressives that corporations are not their friends, just as conservatives have now belatedly realized that corporations are not their friends either. -- Soren
  10. er, yes. I do think we all got that. <memo to self: Humor (or humour) fail. Think twice next time before posting./> -- Soren
  11. True enough. As far as brand names go, they can't all reach the sublime self-explanatory heights of NoDoz (over-the-counter caffeine pills). (and you are probably right about the survey having been at least somewhat infiltrated by wags) -- Soren
  12. Indeed. Obviously, DB should have written Or even But of course the real problem is that DB doesn't see a problem about something that is inherently problematic! Because obviously it is high time to decolonize ancient statues and smash the patriarchal, islamophobic ancients!!!!!11!!! (no need to thank me. Just a bit of public service) -- Soren
  13. They almost surely were. I believe carisoprodol (for which Soma is a trade name) was marketed back in the 1950s or early 60s, and at that time the awareness of Huxley's book was vastly larger and general education levels far better with regards to literature (among other things*). I assume it was chosen specifically because in the novel soma leaves you in bliss and feeling good, with no side effects. Also, the name provided instant brand recognition, so I could see why a marketing exec would approve of the name. -- Soren *in our stupid age, people apparently have trouble identifying in which war D-Day happened, so it is probably safe to say that very few would be aware of Brave New World. Moreover, while they might google something like soma, and learn about its literary provenance, even that might not raise any alarm bells (except that they might be excited to learn that the name was already considered a good name for a drug 🧐)
  14. The PRC interest in Taiwan is not rooted in the production and export capability of Taiwan. I am sure Xi would love it if he could get that as well, but ultimately this is about restoring China to its "rightful" size and obliterating the memory of the century of humiliation. China has significant weaknesses as well as strengths and the calculation about how best to get to the goal (undisputed Chinese control over Taiwan) will depend on whether to take advantage of the current complete lack of will in Washington and face major risks in going weapons hot (the capabilities of the PLA in successfully conducting an invasion are not obvious), or if it still better to wait and let the current favorable trend lines continue and see if Taiwan can't be brought under the boot in increments. After Kabul, it is fairly clear that the US military is - at least for now - no longer a decisive or even particularly important piece of the Chinese calculation vis a vis how to solve the Taiwanese Problem. The will to resist in Taiwan is a much more deciding factor, which is why the PRC are currently doing their best to undermine Taiwanese morale (you are alone, you are feeble, no one will help you, resistance is futile,...) -- Soren
  15. In retrospect the collapse of the Soviet Union was probably the best possible outcome for the 5th column marxist/gramscian/postmodernist subversives ensconced in their various redoubts throughout the Western world (academia, media, unions, primarily). All their ideological opponents completely lost interest in them, naively thinking the war was won and all was going to be pink and pretty forever and ever (End of History, anyone?). So they busied themselves with eroding the foundational pillars of the evil capitalist democracies and had free reign all the while. And here we are... -- Soren
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