Category Archives: Uncategorized

Swedish government taxes plastic bags from 1 March

I guess I should write something about this as a former dustman, and as a service to English speakers living (or whatever you do) in the country of the fiery coloured donkey of the Apocalypse.

It will be possible to import up to 40 plastic bags “per occasion”, so every 40:th time you wish to dispose of your refuse, you are supposed to pay a visit to Denmark or Finland.
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Organizations and their u-turns

U-turn chart

This chart may be useful since many people seem to make the mistake of assuming that an organization’s opinion, doctrine, stance, position, reasoned consensus or whatever they might call it, will forever remain constant. Not so!

To the contrary, there seems to be a trend where the leadership of an organization narrows down the opinions that members may express, to just a few (we say that it converges and becomes a converged organization), and then changes them. The point of doing so is to get rid of honest members, because a honest person will have trouble defending opinion A, and then switch to defending not A.
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The effort to turn trucks into a problem

Certain parties and ideologies hold that it would be good for society and the environment if more people traveled collectively, that is by bus or train. They rarely mention goods.

Think about it!

If it is preferable to the environment if people journey together, then certainly it is preferable if goods do. It takes less fuel. There will be fewer vehicles.

So, in socialist countries in Scandinavia, there are lanes that only busses may use. On the contrary, there are signs saying trucks may not pass certain streets. Bus good. Truck bad. Nonsense.
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16 causes of Sweden’s migration crisis

Many people ask: “Why did they do this to us?” and “Why couldn’t they just accept that we didn’t want any more immigration?”

It would be nice to have an answer to point them to, even though in some cases the question is meant to be “rhetoric” in the sense that they would prefer if everybody pretend that it is too difficult to answer.

I picked the 16 most effective causes I could think of and I will not call them “reasons” because reason speaks against this country’s policies. The list is probably not perfect and as usual, I welcome feedback.

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Book review: God’s Library — Brent Nongbri

Brent Nongbri became my favourite papyrologist after he argued for 𝔓75 being 4th century. Its earlier date-range in the 2nd-3rd centuries had puzzled me.
Now we read about this new book, modestly named “God’s Library — the archeology of the earliest Christian manuscripts”, that “Brent Nongbri […] demonstrates that much of what we thought we knew about these books and fragments is mistaken”.
Surely that depends on what we were thinking.
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When will autonomous lorries break through?

As with all discussions of technology that is so new it doesn’t really exist yet, some people compare it to successful inovations (e.g. the Internet) in order to preridicule the pessimists, and some compare it to market failures (e.g. video conferences) in order to make the optimists sound suspect. There is a middle outcome too, that of robotic vacuum cleaners that are slowly gaining market share and that of the paperless office that came somewhat true but didn’t defeat the office stuffed with paper.

An autonomous car turns right in a crossing

The image above exemplifies just a few issues that driverless cars need to be able to handle. It is going to turn right in the crossing and the sun is reflected in the side-window of the green car. An experienced human driver would realize that it is impossible to know whether the car behind the green car blinks left or not, due to the reflection of the sun, so he/she will wait a little. Can a robot ever be sure that a flashing indicator is unlit?
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Two likely Semitic loanwords in Gothic

Reconstructing Gothic, some say, involves a lot of extrapolation. Apart from Latin and Greek, there are not many sources of Gothic loanwords that are reasonably close to Gothic in place and time and that have a preserved corpus predating the Gothic. If there was, reconstruction would be based on interpolation which is more reliable than extrapolation. But there is Hebrew. Here are a few passages involving Gothic and Hebrew “ak” – a contrasting adverb or conjunctive, and the Gothic word for house “gards” compared with the Hebrew word for a temporary dwelling-place for guests “magor”.

𐌰𐌺 (ak)
— MS: Italy, 500 CE, text-type: Moesia 350 CE
Matthew 6: 18, except
ei ni gasaiwaizau mannam fastands ak attin þeinamma þamma in fulhsnja
Matthew 7: 21, but only
ni wazuh saei qiþiþ mis frauja frauja inngaleiþiþ in þiudangardja himine ak sa taujands yiljan
attins meinis
Matthew 9: 17, but rather
niþþan giutand yein niujata in balgins fairnjans … ak giutand yein juggata in balgins niujans
Mark 1: 44, but
saiw ei mannhun ni qiþais yaiht ak gagg þuk silban ataugjan gudjin
John 16: 26, 27, for/since
ni qiþa izyis þei ik bidjau attan bi izyis ak silba atta frijoþ izyis unte jus mik frijodeduþ
Ephesians 2: 9, 10, for/for indeed
ni us yaurstyam ei was ni wopai ak is sijum taui

אך (ach)
Genesis 9: 4, but/only/except — MS: 1 000 CE, text-type: 600 CE Masoretic
נתתי לצם את-כל אך-בשר בנפשו דמו לא תאכלו
Leviticus 21: 23, but/only — MS: 1 000 CE, text-type: 600 CE Masoretic
ומן-הקדשים יאכל אך אל-הפרכת לא יבא
Isaiah 45:14, for/for … except — MS: 200 BC Dead Sea scroll
ואליכי יתפללו אך בכי אל ואין עוד אל והים

𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌳𐍃 (gards) masculin noun
— MS: Italy, 500 CE, text-type: Moesia 350 CE
Matthew 5: 15, house/room
jah liuteiþ allaim þaim in þamma garda
Matthew 9: 6, home/place
urreisands nim þana ligr þeinana jah gagg in gard þeinana
Mark 3: 25, household
jah jabai gards yiþra sik gadailjada ni mag standan sa gards jains

(magor) masculin noun, related to גר (geir) sojourner and גור (gour) sojourn
Genesis 12: 10, sojourn — MS: 1 000 CE, text-type: 600 CE Masoretic
וירד אברם מצרימה לגור שם כי-כבד הרעב בארץ
Genesis 37: 1, sojourning-place — MS: ca 50 BC DSS
[וישב יעקב ב]ארץ מגורי אביו בארץ [כנען]
Psalm 55: 16, camps?, Greek has παροικίαις — MS: 1 000 CE, text-type: 600 CE Masoretic
ירדו שאול חיים כי-רעות במגורם בקרבם
Haggai 2: 19, barn/granary — MS: ca 50 BC DSS
[העוד הזרע במ]גורה [ועד הגפן והתאנה והרמון ועץ הזית לא] נשא [מן היום הזה אברך]