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The past year in Westminster by-elections – politicalbetting.com

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  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 21,302
    Leon said:

    I've been having my first traditional English Christmas ever (staying with friends) and will celebrate New Year at a village party. With my urban and Continental background it's all new to me, and exciting. Never too late to learn new tricks.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    No offence, but how can you be in your 70s, have spent decades in the UK - to the extent of being an MP for a provincial British constituency for many years - yet you've never had "an English Christmas"?!

    I am not goading you, it is genuinely perplexing. I hope you enjoy it (Christmas Eve is better than New Year's Eve, to my mind)

    In that context, I am spending New Year's Eve.... doing my tax returns. Later I shall make a laksa. Bah humbug
    I used to just have a private on with my wife when we were together (rather along time ago now, sadly, but including my time in Parliament). More recently I've just relaxed online with distant friends. So it's all very novel and welcome.

    I hope your New Year is far better than the unpromising-sounding NYE. Better times all round!
  • Pagan2Pagan2 Posts: 8,793

    Pagan2 said:

    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1609253278826610691

    Sir Keir Starmer channels Tony Blair with plans to launch a 1997 style pledge card.

    Can he not recycle and write it on the back of the ed stone?
    does the Ed Stone still exist?
    I heard they made it into something useful like a gravel path
  • dixiedean said:

    Pagan2 said:

    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1609253278826610691

    Sir Keir Starmer channels Tony Blair with plans to launch a 1997 style pledge card.

    Can he not recycle and write it on the back of the ed stone?
    does the Ed Stone still exist?
    From wiki

    In May 2017, it was revealed that the EdStone had become a decoration in the Ivy Chelsea Garden restaurant on King's Road in West London. The restaurant's owners said that it had been bought two years earlier in a charity auction because it would be "fun" to have an "iconic image of the election" in the garden. Steve Vanhinsbergh, co-owner of stoneCIRCLE doubted this was the authentic stone, for practical reasons and the fact that he was "99% sure" it had been demolished.[21]
    so bad it was actually forged then!
  • A pledge card is extremely sensible. A tight list of SMART goals offering things that people need. Of course the buggeration will be actually having to deliver those goals, but that is a challenge having won an election...

    The last thing a politician wants to do is offer SMART goals! Yes, make promises, a deliverable, or a timing, but never both.

    We will cut waiting lists by 50%
    We will cut waiting lists by 2026

    But NEVER

    We will cut waiting lists by 50% by 2026.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045

    A pledge card is extremely sensible. A tight list of SMART goals offering things that people need. Of course the buggeration will be actually having to deliver those goals, but that is a challenge having won an election...

    The last thing a politician wants to do is offer SMART goals! Yes, make promises, a deliverable, or a timing, but never both.

    We will cut waiting lists by 50%
    We will cut waiting lists by 2026

    But NEVER

    We will cut waiting lists by 50% by 2026.
    There is a certain irony that only foolish politicians offer very SMART goals.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,901
    edited December 2022

    A pledge card is extremely sensible. A tight list of SMART goals offering things that people need. Of course the buggeration will be actually having to deliver those goals, but that is a challenge having won an election...

    The last thing a politician wants to do is offer SMART goals! Yes, make promises, a deliverable, or a timing, but never both.

    We will cut waiting lists by 50%
    We will cut waiting lists by 2026

    But NEVER

    We will cut waiting lists by 50% by 2026.
    Particularly as the A stands for achievable and the R for realistic!
    Voters don't want achievable and realistic promises. Particularly just now.
    Will will ensure average disposal income falls by only 4% in 2023 for example.
  • A pledge card is extremely sensible. A tight list of SMART goals offering things that people need. Of course the buggeration will be actually having to deliver those goals, but that is a challenge having won an election...

    The last thing a politician wants to do is offer SMART goals! Yes, make promises, a deliverable, or a timing, but never both.

    We will cut waiting lists by 50%
    We will cut waiting lists by 2026

    But NEVER

    We will cut waiting lists by 50% by 2026.
    yes the politician uncertainty principle
  • pingping Posts: 3,724
    edited December 2022
    Lol

    Plucky Brighton!

    Edit: offside. Still 4-2
  • solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623

    Pagan2 said:

    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1609253278826610691

    Sir Keir Starmer channels Tony Blair with plans to launch a 1997 style pledge card.

    Can he not recycle and write it on the back of the ed stone?
    does the Ed Stone still exist?
    I'm sort of imagining an Easter Island style display except instead of heads they're all massive Ed Stone blocks.
  • ydoethur said:

    A pledge card is extremely sensible. A tight list of SMART goals offering things that people need. Of course the buggeration will be actually having to deliver those
    goals, but that is a challenge having won an election...

    The last thing a politician wants to do is offer SMART goals! Yes, make promises, a deliverable, or a timing, but never both.

    We will cut waiting lists by 50%
    We will cut waiting lists by 2026

    But NEVER

    We will cut waiting lists by 50% by 2026.
    There is a certain irony that only foolish politicians offer very SMART goals.
    Here's the despatch from simpler times;



    Not full-on SMART targets. But five things that made people's lives better with a simple "Do popular thing X by cutting/taxing unpopular thing Y" structure.
  • The fireworks have started.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045

    ydoethur said:

    A pledge card is extremely sensible. A tight list of SMART goals offering things that people need. Of course the buggeration will be actually having to deliver those
    goals, but that is a challenge having won an election...

    The last thing a politician wants to do is offer SMART goals! Yes, make promises, a deliverable, or a timing, but never both.

    We will cut waiting lists by 50%
    We will cut waiting lists by 2026

    But NEVER

    We will cut waiting lists by 50% by 2026.
    There is a certain irony that only foolish politicians offer very SMART goals.
    Here's the despatch from simpler times;



    Not full-on SMART targets. But five things that made people's lives better with a simple "Do popular thing X by cutting/taxing unpopular thing Y" structure.
    And the first one, although it didn't go nearly far enough, was at least a recognition of the major problem in education. And Labour did go some way to achieving it.

    The problem was that the money from the assisted places scheme didn't even begin to cover it.

    Anyone else getting deja vu all over again?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045

    The fireworks have started.

    I didn't know you lived near Cannock Rugby Club as well.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    Leon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Leon said:

    Barnesian said:

    Leon said:

    There is more chance of mankind dying out in the next year - from AI, aliens, war, plague or possibly climate change - than in any previous year in civilised human history. And yes, I am including the Black Death

    Happy New Year!

    It depends whether the six year old child in some technically advanced "civilisation" finally gets bored and turns off this simulation we live in. She has tried to spice it up by turning on disaster mode but she is easily bored I suspect. Blink.

    Ahh - the sheer pleasure of panic!
    I would actually stand by my statement. Even when the Black Death was ravaging the world, at worst it killed 60% of society, and left enough people to quickly restore an agrarian medieval economy (it's not hard, just plant stuff and wait)

    So there was no sincere threat of us going extinct. Now, there is, from any one or a combination of those threats. The threat is vanishingly small, but it is there, and not quite as small as it was

    Probably the last time homo sapiens was this endangered was when we were still in Africa, 150,000 years ago, and nearly got wiped out by the weather

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-the-sea-saved-humanity-2012-12-07/
    Garbage.

    The most extreme nuclear war/biological war concepts ever created would kill maybe 90% of the human race. Survival would be biased to hunter gathers and low tech farmers.

    Rebuilding would be much easier. The steel in a few building structures might be more iron than the Roman Empire used. In its entirety…

    Flint knapping wouldn’t be a useful skill.
    On the other hand, humanity would not have access to ample, easy to exploit hydrocarbons. Oil would, essentially, not exist for humankind as they rebuilt. And much of the easiest to exploit coal has gone too.
    It would, especially if the main oil consumers in the North are wiped out. Brazil and Venezuela have oil and gas, the Aussies have coal, South America and Southern and central Africa have a large portion of the world’s base and precious mineral resources.

    The new hegemon in this post-apocalyptic world? Probably Brazil, but Chile, South and Australia would run it close. Or, if it’s just a Russia-NATO spat then China becomes sold global superpower.
    There's not that much - if any - easy to extract on-shore oil in Brazil left.

    In the case of Venezuela, the Orinoco belt oil sands contain massive amounts of hydrocarbons, but they are no way near as easy to exploit as traditional oil sources.
    Little known fact: Guyana has recently discovered insane amounts of oil. Giving it the fastest growing GDP in the world: 19.1% in 2021

    If they play sensibly, Guyanans will all be quite rich by 2030. Tho nearby Trinidad shows what can go wrong. And, of course, Venezuela

    Offshore (90m depth), though.
    Not trivial to maintain post nuclear apocalypse.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,037
    Here’s a fun prediction.

    The Lithium Glut.

    At some point, in the white near future, ICE production will essentially end. All cars will be electric, probably.

    They will probably need Lithium batteries still.

    Recycling of the batteries will become routine. At current prices and costs, recycling is near the cost of buying Lithium. Recycling the batteries is its early days - and will get cheaper.

    So as the number of battery vehicles gets larger, recycling will follow suit.

    In the not too distant future, human population will peak.

    So we will have a future where a a fairly stable number of cars get their batteries from recycling - the Lithium will be recycled at better than 95% efficiency.

    So a number of decades from now, lithium demand will fall back massively from the amount required to build out the BEV fleet. Just enough to replace recycling loses….

  • FF43FF43 Posts: 15,639
    As public healthcare provision in the UK disintegrates, first slowly, then all at once, no-one is at all interested in how the problem gets fixed.

    That's my key political takeaway of 2022.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    edited December 2022
    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Leon said:

    Barnesian said:

    Leon said:

    There is more chance of mankind dying out in the next year - from AI, aliens, war, plague or possibly climate change - than in any previous year in civilised human history. And yes, I am including the Black Death

    Happy New Year!

    It depends whether the six year old child in some technically advanced "civilisation" finally gets bored and turns off this simulation we live in. She has tried to spice it up by turning on disaster mode but she is easily bored I suspect. Blink.

    Ahh - the sheer pleasure of panic!
    I would actually stand by my statement. Even when the Black Death was ravaging the world, at worst it killed 60% of society, and left enough people to quickly restore an agrarian medieval economy (it's not hard, just plant stuff and wait)

    So there was no sincere threat of us going extinct. Now, there is, from any one or a combination of those threats. The threat is vanishingly small, but it is there, and not quite as small as it was

    Probably the last time homo sapiens was this endangered was when we were still in Africa, 150,000 years ago, and nearly got wiped out by the weather

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-the-sea-saved-humanity-2012-12-07/
    Garbage.

    The most extreme nuclear war/biological war concepts ever created would kill maybe 90% of the human race. Survival would be biased to hunter gathers and low tech farmers.

    Rebuilding would be much easier. The steel in a few building structures might be more iron than the Roman Empire used. In its entirety…

    Flint knapping wouldn’t be a useful skill.
    On the other hand, humanity would not have access to ample, easy to exploit hydrocarbons. Oil would, essentially, not exist for humankind as they rebuilt. And much of the easiest to exploit coal has gone too.
    It would, especially if the main oil consumers in the North are wiped out. Brazil and Venezuela have oil and gas, the Aussies have coal, South America and Southern and central Africa have a large portion of the world’s base and precious mineral resources.

    The new hegemon in this post-apocalyptic world? Probably Brazil, but Chile, South and Australia would run it close. Or, if it’s just a Russia-NATO spat then China becomes sold global superpower.
    There's not that much - if any - easy to extract on-shore oil in Brazil left.

    In the case of Venezuela, the Orinoco belt oil sands contain massive amounts of hydrocarbons, but they are no way near as easy to exploit as traditional oil sources.
    Little known fact: Guyana has recently discovered insane amounts of oil. Giving it the fastest growing GDP in the world: 19.1% in 2021

    If they play sensibly, Guyanans will all be quite rich by 2030. Tho nearby Trinidad shows what can go wrong. And, of course, Venezuela

    Offshore (90m depth), though.
    Not trivial to maintain post nuclear apocalypse.
    Also, Venezuela claims that part of the ocean. They've even been known to seize Guyanese vessels steaming through it.

    Whether they will be able to maintain that claim if the big oil empires start extracting oil from it under Guyanese licence is a rather different question, but South American boundary disputes and common sense have always been strangers to each other.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,513

    The fireworks have started.

    Seems more sensible than making everyone fester in the cold and wet until midnight.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,037
    FF43 said:

    As public healthcare provision in the UK disintegrates, first slowly, then all at once, no-one is at all interested in how the problem gets fixed.

    That's my key political takeaway of 2022.

    What is interesting, to me, is the lack of interest in a proper analysis of the problem.

    On the one hand we have record staffing levels in the NHS. On the other we have staff shortages.

    Is it hours worked? Is it sickness? Is it shortages of the right kind of staff?

    Otherwise we can easily spend billions on not fixing the problem.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041

    Here’s a fun prediction.

    The Lithium Glut.

    At some point, in the white near future, ICE production will essentially end. All cars will be electric, probably.

    They will probably need Lithium batteries still.

    Recycling of the batteries will become routine. At current prices and costs, recycling is near the cost of buying Lithium. Recycling the batteries is its early days - and will get cheaper.

    So as the number of battery vehicles gets larger, recycling will follow suit.

    In the not too distant future, human population will peak.

    So we will have a future where a a fairly stable number of cars get their batteries from recycling - the Lithium will be recycled at better than 95% efficiency.

    So a number of decades from now, lithium demand will fall back massively from the amount required to build out the BEV fleet. Just enough to replace recycling loses….

    There might even be a production glut before that.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,901

    FF43 said:

    As public healthcare provision in the UK disintegrates, first slowly, then all at once, no-one is at all interested in how the problem gets fixed.

    That's my key political takeaway of 2022.

    What is interesting, to me, is the lack of interest in a proper analysis of the problem.

    On the one hand we have record staffing levels in the NHS. On the other we have staff shortages.

    Is it hours worked? Is it sickness? Is it shortages of the right kind of staff?

    Otherwise we can easily spend billions on not fixing the problem.
    Is it sheer weight of demand?
    Maybe @Foxy could enlighten us.
  • So just how many votes to PBers think that Kevin McCarthy (R-Weathervane) will get on the (initial) roll call vote for Speaker of the US House of Representatives, this coming Tuesday, January 3, 2023?

    Magic number needed to guarantee election = 218. However . . .

    "By practice of the House going back to its earliest days, an absolute majority of the Members
    present and voting is required in order to elect a Speaker. A majority of the full membership of the
    House (218, in a House of 435) is not required. Precedents emphasize that the requirement is for a
    majority of “the total number of votes cast for a person by name.”

    "A candidate for Speaker may receive a majority of the votes cast, and be elected, while failing to obtain a majority of the full membership because some Members either are not present to vote or instead answer “present” rather than voting for a candidate. During the period examined, this kind of result has occurredfive times:
     in 1917 (65th Congress), “Champ” Clark was elected with 217 votes;
     in 1923 (68th Congress), Frederick Gillett was elected with 215 votes;
     in 1943 (78th Congress), Sam Rayburn was elected with 217 votes;
     in 1997 (105th Congress), Newt Gingrich was elected with 216 votes;
     in 2015 (114th Congress), John Boehner was elected with 216 votes; and
     in 2021 (117th Congress), Nancy Pelosi was elected with 216 votes.

    Congressional Research Service - Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2021
    https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/RL30857.pdf

  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,388
    dixiedean said:

    FF43 said:

    As public healthcare provision in the UK disintegrates, first slowly, then all at once, no-one is at all interested in how the problem gets fixed.

    That's my key political takeaway of 2022.

    What is interesting, to me, is the lack of interest in a proper analysis of the problem.

    On the one hand we have record staffing levels in the NHS. On the other we have staff shortages.

    Is it hours worked? Is it sickness? Is it shortages of the right kind of staff?

    Otherwise we can easily spend billions on not fixing the problem.
    Is it sheer weight of demand?
    Maybe @Foxy could enlighten us.
    It is pretty simple really, as shown in these 4 maps of the population over 65. Most healthcare spending rises steeply with age.

    https://twitter.com/feedthedrummer/status/1605654450818863104?t=JXmqipATo4O7pIFFP3bORA&s=19
  • solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    ydoethur said:


    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    I know you said you didn't want sympathy but I will offer my condolences anyway.

    My dad died in Feb 2020. His funeral must have been just days before lockdown 1. It was an incredibly shit period all round.

    I don't have much more to add other than I have some vague (albeit distinct) notion of what you and your sister would have gone through and I hope you are doing ok.

  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,513
    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

  • Fever - Rita Moreno with "assist" by Animal

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDjXeWksP4w
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    Sorry to hear this. I think there’s something about getting to a certain age that brings these things on more regularly. I still have that to come.
  • Blue Bayou - Linda Ronstadt and The Croakers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBmIKfm5iz4
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    edited December 2022

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    My satnav positively delights in taking me along stupid routes. It once took me down a series of back streets to a school I was visiting because it was 50 yards shorter than the main road even though it added a good ten minutes to the journey. Another time it tried to divert me onto the m6 Toll four times leading to me missing the actual turning.

    I've taken to turning it off until I get within a mile of my destination.

    I wish I could turn off its annoying habit of saying 'ATTENTION - TRAFFIC PROBLEMS' very loudly, especially when I've been stuck in the queue for n hour already.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    edited December 2022
    2024 is probably the critical year for the future of humankind. Not 2023: I think it’ll be more of the same: more slugfest in Ukraine, probably no Taiwan invasion just yet, a respite on the heatwaves and wildfires for Europe as a declining La Niña brings a wet summer, no US presidential election and no UK, French, German, Italian or other meaningful election. No overthrow of Putin. Possibly regime change in Iran and Belarus as a kind of hors d’œuvre.

    2024: that’s when it all goes kaboom, good or bad.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,901
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    Best wishes for a better 2023.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    dixiedean said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    Best wishes for a better 2023.
    Likewise, I hope your situation improves in 2023. I know what you have to put up with and I didn't find it fun.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,763
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    Very sorry to hear that, condolences to you and your family. Best wishes for a much better 2023.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,901
    ydoethur said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    My satnav positively delights in taking me along stupid routes. It once took me down a series of back streets to a school I was visiting because it was 50 yards shorter than the main road even though it added a good ten minutes to the journey. Another time it tried to divert me onto the m6 Toll four times leading to me missing the actual turning.

    I've taken to turning it off until I get within a mile of my destination.

    I wish I could turn off its annoying habit of saying 'ATTENTION - TRAFFIC PROBLEMS' very loudly, especially when I've been stuck in the queue for n hour already.
    My old home it used to direct visitors across two fords, where the cars would have to go through a Burn of indeterminate depth in total darkness.
    Saving about half a mile on the B road.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,763
    Abu Dhabi fireworks are still going after half an hour. 10 mins to go, to break several Guinness world records.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    edited December 2022
    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    .
    dixiedean said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    Best wishes for a better 2023.
    Seconded.
    All the best, @ydoethur .
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    Sandpit said:

    Abu Dhabi fireworks are still going after half an hour. 10 mins to go, to break several Guinness world records.

    Do they allow those in the Sandpit or does it have to be the 'non alcoholic stout substitute beverage world records?'
  • CookieCookie Posts: 11,300
    Best wishes to @ydoethur . May 2023 bring better.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,388
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    What a crap year. Hope a fresh start suits you in the new one.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,763
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    Abu Dhabi fireworks are still going after half an hour. 10 mins to go, to break several Guinness world records.

    Do they allow those in the Sandpit or does it have to be the 'non alcoholic stout substitute beverage world records?'
    :smiley:
  • ohnotnowohnotnow Posts: 2,873
    Have a happy new year everyone. May you be prodded and poked in all sorts of interesting ways by both woke aliens and AI controlled 'probes'.

    ...

  • solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    Sandpit said:

    Abu Dhabi fireworks are still going after half an hour. 10 mins to go, to break several Guinness world records.

    Presumably there's some criteria for "continuousness" in the display to qualify for the record - you couldn't just launch one firework, wait 20 minutes, do another one, and so forth?!
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
    I’ve found Google Maps if not infallible, then extremely reliable across the country (including around Coventry, Oxford and Stratford).
    Except in Leeds.
  • ohnotnowohnotnow Posts: 2,873
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
    I shared a car with a friend who had bought an early satnav from Aldi - the only directions it would give her was '253km Hull - turn right'.

    Really, really keen on Hull.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
    I’ve found Google Maps if not infallible, then extremely reliable across the country (including around Coventry, Oxford and Stratford).
    Except in Leeds.
    Google maps is invincible except during very occasional local road closures.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 11,300
    I met a God today.
    The real Father Christmas. In Lapland.
    Arguably a certain amount of suspension of disbelief may have been needed. But isn't that true of all religious experiences?
    The afternoon, anyway, was wonderful, just as you would want it to be - gentle, mysterious, busy, warm.
    After that, we got two hours skiing in, finishing with a gentle cruise down to the village together, all five of us, side by side, varying evels of competence notwithstanding, the piste to ourselves, or so it seemed. I wish I'd filmed it, but if I'd filmed it I wouldn't have been doing it.
    Then a pizza, a truly dreadful can of Finnish beer, and a sauna. In 40 minutes or so we will go out and watch New Year at GMT+2, which is a timezone I am finding strangely agreeable.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    They catch on quick.

    GOP doubts grow over Kari Lake’s future in Arizona
    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3792214-gop-doubts-grow-over-kari-lakes-future-in-arizona/
  • solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    ohnotnow said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
    I shared a car with a friend who had bought an early satnav from Aldi - the only directions it would give her was '253km Hull - turn right'.

    Really, really keen on Hull.
    Highway to Hull.
  • Am NOT surprised to hear of issues using satellite navigation on UK highways, byways and goat paths.

    When I was tooling around Britain (South, West and North) relied on maps and innate sense of direction. Or rather intuition.

    Only time I got headed wrong way was in (or near) Halifax, I was already wary as signage was poor AND also the road routes apparently. What tipped me off was the SUN as it seemed odd for it to be low in the eastern sky on a winter afternoon!
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 26,334
    Evening everyone.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 11,300
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
    Sat Navs are not entirely useless. They are right more than they are wrong. But navigating by instinct and signage and guesswork I am right more often than I am wrong. They're not right more often than I am.
    And I do like the feature whereby you can route around snarl-ups - except you can't, any more, because everyone else is using satnavs to route around the snarl ups. So my competitive advantage of knowing roughly where I'm going has been removed.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,763

    Sandpit said:

    Abu Dhabi fireworks are still going after half an hour. 10 mins to go, to break several Guinness world records.

    Presumably there's some criteria for "continuousness" in the display to qualify for the record - you couldn't just launch one firework, wait 20 minutes, do another one, and so forth?!
    Yes, I think there have to be fireworks continuously in the air for the display. I think the records attempted are longest duration, most ‘formations’, most fireworks used, and most drones used in a display. One failure that cuts the ‘display’ in half, would make it a very expensive failure! I guess we’ll see tomorrow, once the officials have reviewed the footage.

    https://abudhabimagazine.ae/celebrate-year-2023-with-record-breaking-40-minutes-firework-show/
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772
    Happy New Year everyone.

    I'm off to bed soon, to be fresh for a new day and a new year.
  • Times saying Labour will only get 50-60 majority, seems more reasonable
  • While the baseline results of the poll seen by The Sunday Times, which predicts that Labour would win an almost unbelievable 517 seats at the next election, would make terrifying reading for Sunak, they do not account for the large number of wavering voters who are yet to make up their minds.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,513

    Times saying Labour will only get 50-60 majority, seems more reasonable

    That's 50-60 more than I am expecting. It would be a great result.
  • ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    Very sorry to hear this. Deepest condolences to you and your family.

    Hope you have a much better 2023.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,880
    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
  • solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    dixiedean said:

    At 11:59 do remember to raise your left leg off the ground.
    Ensures you start 2023 on the right foot

    That's the sort of balanced posting you're known on here for.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
    It’s resolutely refusing to recognise the obvious parallels between Top Gun: Maverick and Star Wars. Bloody stubborn when it puts its mind to it. Just like Hal: “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,976
    Well my hopes that we would not be watching fireworks in the rain tonight look pretty certain to be dashed. Too bad. Will be out for the bells anyway.
    Happy New Year everyone.
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,492

    Am NOT surprised to hear of issues using satellite navigation on UK highways, byways and goat paths.

    When I was tooling around Britain (South, West and North) relied on maps and innate sense of direction. Or rather intuition.

    Only time I got headed wrong way was in (or near) Halifax, I was already wary as signage was poor AND also the road routes apparently. What tipped me off was the SUN as it seemed odd for it to be low in the eastern sky on a winter afternoon!

    Blimey yes, that would have seemed very odd. The sun in the sky near Halifax?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,455
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    I hear you, mate. Here's my situation

    My Mum AND my Dad are dying. They neatly chose this moment to go together. My Mum might just last another year (I seriously doubt it), my Dad, no. A few months or a few weeks. Stage 4. So I just spent my last Xmas with them and it was lovely, yet harrowing

    I have two kids, both of them troubled - they are teens - and their troubles arguably got worse this year

    So it's been a fucking shit year. To be frank, And yet and yet. I have also been all over the world this year, to marvellous places I have always wanted to see: Alabama, Armenia, Montenegro. Tbilisi, Meteora, Tennessee, the wilds of Iceland. Karahan Tepe

    In a narrow way - travel - it has been the best of years, amidst the worst of years

    Fuck. I dunno

    These are hard times, for sure, but there are diamonds in the dross. My sympathies to you

    LOVELY YET HARROWING would be quite a good descriptor of human life, in general
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,492
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    Best wishes for a better year in 2023 ydoethur.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    I hear you, mate. Here's my situation

    My Mum AND my Dad are dying. They neatly chose this moment to go together. My Mum might just last another year (I seriously doubt it), my Dad, no. A few months or a few weeks. Stage 4. So I just spent my last Xmas with them and it was lovely, yet harrowing

    I have two kids, both of them troubled - they are teens - and their troubles arguably got worse this year

    So it's been a fucking shit year. To be frank, And yet and yet. I have also been all over the world this year, to marvellous places I have always wanted to see: Alabama, Armenia, Montenegro. Tbilisi, Meteora, Tennessee, the wilds of Iceland. Karahan Tepe

    In a narrow way - travel - it has been the best of years, amidst the worst of years

    Fuck. I dunno

    These are hard times, for sure, but there are diamonds in the dross. My sympathies to you

    LOVELY YET HARROWING would be quite a good descriptor of human life, in general
    Sheesh. That's going to be very tough. My sympathies likewise to you. Look after yourself.
  • While the baseline results of the poll seen by The Sunday Times, which predicts that Labour would win an almost unbelievable 517 seats at the next election, would make terrifying reading for Sunak, they do not account for the large number of wavering voters who are yet to make up their minds.

    It's this that is of interes

    While the baseline results of the poll seen by The Sunday Times, which predicts that Labour would win an almost unbelievable 517 seats at the next election, would make terrifying reading for Sunak, they do not account for the large number of wavering voters who are yet to make up their minds.

    This is of particular interest. It's why I'm not convinced (yet) of the inevitability of a clear Labour victory.

    There are a lot of centre-right voters on strike who haven't yet decided what to do. I don’t think this bloc of voters has just dissolved.

    What they do choose to do in 2 years time will be crucial, but we are not there yet.


  • Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    I hear you, mate. Here's my situation

    My Mum AND my Dad are dying. They neatly chose this moment to go together. My Mum might just last another year (I seriously doubt it), my Dad, no. A few months or a few weeks. Stage 4. So I just spent my last Xmas with them and it was lovely, yet harrowing

    I have two kids, both of them troubled - they are teens - and their troubles arguably got worse this year

    So it's been a fucking shit year. To be frank, And yet and yet. I have also been all over the world this year, to marvellous places I have always wanted to see: Alabama, Armenia, Montenegro. Tbilisi, Meteora, Tennessee, the wilds of Iceland. Karahan Tepe

    In a narrow way - travel - it has been the best of years, amidst the worst of years

    Fuck. I dunno

    These are hard times, for sure, but there are diamonds in the dross. My sympathies to you

    LOVELY YET HARROWING would be quite a good descriptor of human life, in general
    My deepest commiserations. That's horrible. I do hope they get to spend as much time together as possible, and you with them too also.

    I know what you mean with your final description. I was racked with guilt in 2015 as my brother-in-law was diagnosed with (and succumbed) to terminal cancer, devastating my sister and her family, and I was trying to help them navigate that and at the same time it was also a good year for me professionally and my wife got her dream job.

    Very difficult to reconcile those emotions. I'm still not convinced I handled it well.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,455

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    I hear you, mate. Here's my situation

    My Mum AND my Dad are dying. They neatly chose this moment to go together. My Mum might just last another year (I seriously doubt it), my Dad, no. A few months or a few weeks. Stage 4. So I just spent my last Xmas with them and it was lovely, yet harrowing

    I have two kids, both of them troubled - they are teens - and their troubles arguably got worse this year

    So it's been a fucking shit year. To be frank, And yet and yet. I have also been all over the world this year, to marvellous places I have always wanted to see: Alabama, Armenia, Montenegro. Tbilisi, Meteora, Tennessee, the wilds of Iceland. Karahan Tepe

    In a narrow way - travel - it has been the best of years, amidst the worst of years

    Fuck. I dunno

    These are hard times, for sure, but there are diamonds in the dross. My sympathies to you

    LOVELY YET HARROWING would be quite a good descriptor of human life, in general
    My deepest commiserations. That's horrible. I do hope they get to spend as much time together as possible, and you with them too also.

    I know what you mean with your final description. I was racked with guilt in 2015 as my brother-in-law was diagnosed with (and succumbed) to terminal cancer, devastating my sister and her family, and I was trying to help them navigate that and at the same time it was also a good year for me professionally and my wife got her dream job.

    Very difficult to reconcile those emotions. I'm still not convinced I handled it well.
    Ta. I'm OK, at the mo. Onwards to 2023!
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,455
    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
    It is going to replace personal accountancy, entirely

    I accidentally posted my tax return to-do list into ChatGPT, thinking it was Evernote, and ChatGPT was champing at the bit to sort out my returns. It is, after all, simply a code to follow. Accountants are a bit screwed. They will all have to retrain as professional mutes at high profile funerals
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 39,001
    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
    Which poster do you mean? There's a few like that.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    edited December 2022
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    So it’s almost Happy New Year 2023 in the sandpit, and good riddance to the horrible 2022.

    To say it wasn’t the best of years, would be something of an understatement. Never thought I’d be so directedly affected by war in my lifetime, having seen up close so many thousand lives lost needlessly to satisfy one man’s ego and screwed-up version of reality. Thankfully, the world has stepped up - with the UK front and centre of the efforts - and the resilience of the Ukranian people and their leaders has been nothing short of astonishing.

    On the positive side - work was good, we did get to finally take our Maldives honeymoon seven years late, and for the first time in four years Christmas was spent with my parents and siblings. Don’t also forget that, despite how many of us personally had a crap year, the world has never been a better place to be alive than it was in 2022. I’ve also managed to bag a bottle of Nyetimber to open at midnight!

    Thanks as always to everyone involved behind the scenes at PB, genuinely one of the best websites around. All the admins, moderators, article authors, commenters, lurkers, and of course OGH himself, Mike Smithson.

    So Happy New Year everyone, and may 2023 bring you all hope, joy, happiness and prosperity. Except Putin. Puck Futin.

    2022 has been a personally terrible year for me one way and another.

    I didn't mention it on here because I thought it wasn't relevant (and bluntly, I didn't want to talk about it or have sympathy, so don't feel the need to comment) but the reason I quit teaching aside from the disaster that is unfolding is because my father wasn't well and I wanted to move closer to him to look after him and not have a 60 hours a week job on top.

    But, he actually died last month before I could do so. Very suddenly. My sister found him collapsed on the Wednesday, he died on the Thursday. That's why I wasn't around much then.

    Today, I learned another very old friend of mine is seriously ill. Doesn't sound like she has long to live.

    For me 2022 has been about endings. The ending of my teaching career, the end of my family, the end of my connections with my childhood.

    It's my firm hope that 2023 will be about new beginnings. And much happier.

    If it's worse, it's going to be an unimaginably awful year.

    That said - compared to many in the world, I'm still lucky.
    I hear you, mate. Here's my situation

    My Mum AND my Dad are dying. They neatly chose this moment to go together. My Mum might just last another year (I seriously doubt it), my Dad, no. A few months or a few weeks. Stage 4. So I just spent my last Xmas with them and it was lovely, yet harrowing

    I have two kids, both of them troubled - they are teens - and their troubles arguably got worse this year

    So it's been a fucking shit year. To be frank, And yet and yet. I have also been all over the world this year, to marvellous places I have always wanted to see: Alabama, Armenia, Montenegro. Tbilisi, Meteora, Tennessee, the wilds of Iceland. Karahan Tepe

    In a narrow way - travel - it has been the best of years, amidst the worst of years

    Fuck. I dunno

    These are hard times, for sure, but there are diamonds in the dross. My sympathies to you

    LOVELY YET HARROWING would be quite a good descriptor of human life, in general
    My deepest commiserations. That's horrible. I do hope they get to spend as much time together as possible, and you with them too also.

    I know what you mean with your final description. I was racked with guilt in 2015 as my brother-in-law was diagnosed with (and succumbed) to terminal cancer, devastating my sister and her family, and I was trying to help them navigate that and at the same time it was also a good year for me professionally and my wife got her dream job.

    Very difficult to reconcile those emotions. I'm still not convinced I handled it well.
    Ta. I'm OK, at the mo. Onwards to 2023!
    I know what you mean about travel. It’s the big thing that’s been missing from my life since Covid: individual, paid-for travel. I used to do it all the time, short haul and long haul, mundane and exotic, and it was one of the things that gave seasoning to the year.

    Family summer holiday next year is Georgia - Tbilisi, Kutaisi, the mountains and Kakheti to visit some fellow vignerons and I’m looking forward to it but travelling alone is different, and like a lost remnant of the distant past since the corporate shutters came down.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    Leon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
    It is going to replace personal accountancy, entirely

    I accidentally posted my tax return to-do list into ChatGPT, thinking it was Evernote, and ChatGPT was champing at the bit to sort out my returns. It is, after all, simply a code to follow. Accountants are a bit screwed. They will all have to retrain as professional mutes at high profile funerals
    Basic accounting at my big-4 firm is pretty much dead already. Now ChatGPT is doing some of the simpler technical tax research too, already. The optimistic angle on AI is that, like previous technologies, it makes tasks rather than people redundant.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,455
    TimS said:

    Leon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
    It is going to replace personal accountancy, entirely

    I accidentally posted my tax return to-do list into ChatGPT, thinking it was Evernote, and ChatGPT was champing at the bit to sort out my returns. It is, after all, simply a code to follow. Accountants are a bit screwed. They will all have to retrain as professional mutes at high profile funerals
    Basic accounting at my big-4 firm is pretty much dead already. Now ChatGPT is doing some of the simpler technical tax research too, already. The optimistic angle on AI is that, like previous technologies, it makes tasks rather than people redundant.
    And ChatGPT will likely have a personality and a sense of humour, just enough to keep interaction agreeable


    I honestly can't see any knowledge job that isn't, in the end, menaced by AI
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    ‘Exhausted, broken, at risk of heart attacks’: UK headteachers quit as cuts push them to the edge
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/dec/31/heart-attacks-headteachers-uk-quit-cuts
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 91,510
    Nigelb said:

    ‘Exhausted, broken, at risk of heart attacks’: UK headteachers quit as cuts push them to the edge
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/dec/31/heart-attacks-headteachers-uk-quit-cuts

    Exhausted and broken feels like an apt description for a lot of things in the country right now.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 91,510
    I don't like these comments suggesting the Ed Stone was not worth every penny that was spent on it. You cannot buy moments of hilarity like that, it was well worth it.
  • geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,116
    Ukraine’s General Staff reported that Russia had launched about 20 missiles at Ukraine on Dec. 31, but an unspecified number of them fell in Russia instead of reaching their targets. Air defense shot down 12 missiles, Ukraine’s military reported.
    https://kyivindependent.com/national/reznikov-tells-russians-they-have-one-week-left-before-borders-close
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,492
    Leon said:

    TimS said:

    Leon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
    It is going to replace personal accountancy, entirely

    I accidentally posted my tax return to-do list into ChatGPT, thinking it was Evernote, and ChatGPT was champing at the bit to sort out my returns. It is, after all, simply a code to follow. Accountants are a bit screwed. They will all have to retrain as professional mutes at high profile funerals
    Basic accounting at my big-4 firm is pretty much dead already. Now ChatGPT is doing some of the simpler technical tax research too, already. The optimistic angle on AI is that, like previous technologies, it makes tasks rather than people redundant.
    And ChatGPT will likely have a personality and a sense of humour, just enough to keep interaction agreeable


    I honestly can't see any knowledge job that isn't, in the end, menaced by AI
    ChatGPT is never going to replace an accountant if it 'will likely have a personality and a sense of humour'.
  • geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,116
    Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov warned Russian citizens in a video address on Dec. 30 that Russia's leadership is preparing a new wave of mobilization and plans to close the border within a week.
    "I know for a fact that you have about one week left before you still have any choice," Reznikov said, speaking in Russian.

    "In early January, the Russian authorities will close the borders to men, declare martial law, and begin another wave of mobilization. Borders will also be closed in Belarus," he said.

    https://kyivindependent.com/national/reznikov-tells-russians-they-have-one-week-left-before-borders-close
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,164
    TimS said:

    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
    I’ve found Google Maps if not infallible, then extremely reliable across the country (including around Coventry, Oxford and Stratford).
    Except in Leeds.
    Google maps is invincible except during very occasional local road closures.
    Not quite; on a long trip you are almost certain to come across some error in the database or other.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 9,309
    20.8C in Bavaria today by the way. Not much need for heating gas.
  • IanB2 said:

    TimS said:

    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Off topic, after a successful visit to John Lewis in Leeds (new mattress ordered), our satnav gave us a route out of the city involving a road that was buses only. So ten minutes after leaving the car park, we were back outside the car park.

    Bloody AI shite.

    We then went old school, and followed the road signs.

    Leeds is strangely like the Bermuda Triangle in that respect.
    Most odd.
    A very early satnav I was using once (a) got confused between the M42 and the M40 and sent me along the wrong road and then all round Coventry and (b) the following day, got muddled and sent me literally all around Milton Keynes by ordering me to turn left instead of right.

    It kind of put me off satnav.
    I’ve found Google Maps if not infallible, then extremely reliable across the country (including around Coventry, Oxford and Stratford).
    Except in Leeds.
    Google maps is invincible except during very occasional local road closures.
    Not quite; on a long trip you are almost certain to come across some error in the database or other.
    Waze is most quickly updated
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    TimS said:

    geoffw said:

    Ukraine’s General Staff reported that Russia had launched about 20 missiles at Ukraine on Dec. 31, but an unspecified number of them fell in Russia instead of reaching their targets. Air defense shot down 12 missiles, Ukraine’s military reported.
    https://kyivindependent.com/national/reznikov-tells-russians-they-have-one-week-left-before-borders-close

    This year has had one silver lining for me. An utter moral clarity on who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are. First time since, what, 1991?

    2022 has turned me, a remoaning semi-lefty with long-standing suspicion of the US, into a borderline neo-con Atlanticist.
    Putin is a master strategist.

    You have to wonder what the CIA are paying him, and who the genius is who somehow eluded the general dross of that agency to come up with him and make it work.
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,492
    Leon said:

    TimS said:

    Leon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    ChatGPT anecdote. I know. Youngest has got hair lice. A few questions and answers with ChatGPT have saved me hours of googling on the best treatment, whether or not to wash our sheets, whether the cats can catch them. It’s replacing Google in this household for most things now except news and business opening times.

    It's great... But it will also completely make shit up, and write with absolute confidence about things that don't exist
    It is going to replace personal accountancy, entirely

    I accidentally posted my tax return to-do list into ChatGPT, thinking it was Evernote, and ChatGPT was champing at the bit to sort out my returns. It is, after all, simply a code to follow. Accountants are a bit screwed. They will all have to retrain as professional mutes at high profile funerals
    Basic accounting at my big-4 firm is pretty much dead already. Now ChatGPT is doing some of the simpler technical tax research too, already. The optimistic angle on AI is that, like previous technologies, it makes tasks rather than people redundant.
    And ChatGPT will likely have a personality and a sense of humour, just enough to keep interaction agreeable


    I honestly can't see any knowledge job that isn't, in the end, menaced by AI
    Medical diagnosis has to be a big potential benefit.
  • geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,116
    ChatGPT
    Recently I spent a fair amount of time learning about a couple of new-to-me methods of time series analysis alternatives to frequency spectral (Fourier) methods, namely "Empirical Mode Decomposition" and "Singular Spectrum Analysis". Today I asked ChatGPT some questions about them and got outstandingly clear and accurate replies. I cannot see how ChatGPT will not make traditional essay and dissertation writing redundant in higher education, which was my career of over 40 years, though I'm safely retired now.
  • My personal record (limited to politics) was ~£500 up this year, down from ~£1,200 in 2021, but still safely in the black.

    If GPT-3 can replicate that, it won't need humans anymore...
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,045
    edited December 2022
    Nigelb said:

    ‘Exhausted, broken, at risk of heart attacks’: UK headteachers quit as cuts push them to the edge
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/dec/31/heart-attacks-headteachers-uk-quit-cuts

    I am wondering what date the actual collapse - when schools are shut because they literally cannot get staff - will occur.

    I would say there is a 15% chance it is in the next year, perhaps a 50% chance it is within two years.

    If it is more than four years away I will be surprised. I think that it will gather momentum as the disintegration progresses. Also, of course, there is a severe restriction on training places coming through.

    I also don't think Labour coming to power will help. The problems are too deep-seated. Instead, they should be considering what will replace it (and how to sideline the DfE so they don't fuck everything up again).
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,388
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    ‘Exhausted, broken, at risk of heart attacks’: UK headteachers quit as cuts push them to the edge
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/dec/31/heart-attacks-headteachers-uk-quit-cuts

    I am wondering what date the actual collapse - when schools are shut because they literally cannot get staff - will occur.

    I would say there is a 15% chance it is in the next year, perhaps a 50% chance it is within two years.

    If it is more than four years away I will be surprised. I think that it will gather momentum as the disintegration progresses. Also, of course, there is a severe restriction on training places coming through.

    I also don't think Labour coming to power will help. The problems are too deep-seated. Instead, they should be considering what will replace it (and how to sideline the DfE so they don't fuck everything up again).
    I don't think schools alone amongst public services in exploring the possibility of collapse. These things happen slowly, then very quickly.
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 5,876
    Wish all at PB a very happy 2023. My deeply rewarding social life has supplanted you all over the last few months, but hope to get involved again come GE 2024.

    Sad that Indyref2 isn't on. Whatever your view, it's good to challenge the status quo on occasion. Healthy.

    Also thanks to my GF, who monitors my anonymous social accounts with increasing concern (especially Twitter, where I've gone national). We're moving to Aus in August, but back to Scotland at some point (maybe).
  • ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    ‘Exhausted, broken, at risk of heart attacks’: UK headteachers quit as cuts push them to the edge
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/dec/31/heart-attacks-headteachers-uk-quit-cuts

    I am wondering what date the actual collapse - when schools are shut because they literally cannot get staff - will occur.

    I would say there is a 15% chance it is in the next year, perhaps a 50% chance it is within two years.

    If it is more than four years away I will be surprised. I think that it will gather momentum as the disintegration progresses. Also, of course, there is a severe restriction on training places coming through.

    I also don't think Labour coming to power will help. The problems are too deep-seated. Instead, they should be considering what will replace it (and how to sideline the DfE so they don't fuck everything up again).
    Two grim thoughts.

    One- if it comes to it, and you give up on actual education, how few staff can a school get away with?

    Two- where has the baby boom/bust got to? In the next few years, all the bulge classes and schools are going to become redundant again.
    (Answering my own question - the boom was 2002-2012. So the increased demand is hitting HE now and the reduction is about to reach secondary schools).
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