Category: Links (page 1 of 168)

Britain is screwed

I followed a link from this article to some OECD data which, as shown in the chart below, the UK has even lower welfare payments that the US. The economy of our country is absolutely broken, mainly due to Brexit, but also due to the chasm between everyday people and the elites.

OECD chart showing UK last in 'Benefits in unemployment, share of previous income'

On most measures, the country has the most limited welfare state of any developed country, including the United States, with the result being that working households are shouldering more risk than their peers and—as the Resolution Foundation recently found—today’s young Britons face paying far more in tax than they will ever receive back in terms of pensions and other benefits. The reverse is true of older cohorts.

There is also an unprecedented housing crisis, with young people increasingly excluded from home ownership if they cannot access family wealth. Public services are under unprecedented pressure, especially health care. Excess deaths have risen while Britain is the only country in Europe suffering from declining life expectancy.

Source: Britain Is Much Worse Off Than It Understands | Foreign Policy

Synesthetic xkcd

I’m a migraineur and there’s an overlap between that group of people and those who are synesthetes. But it turns out that my kids, who do not (yet?) suffer from migraines, also associate colour strongly with things that other people do not usually associate colour.

For example, days of the week. We’ve hard arguments over what colour ‘Monday’ is, for example. So this xkcd cartoon made me laugh.

Source: xkcd: Electron Color

Bad Bard

Google is obviously a little freaked-out by tools such as ChatGPT and their potentially ability to destroy large sections of their search business. However, it seems like they didn’t do even the most cursory checks of the promotional material they put out as part of the hurried launch for ‘Bard’.

This, of course, is our future: ‘truthy’ systems leading individuals, groups, and civilizations down the wrong path. I’m not optimistic about our future.

Google Bard screenshot

In the advertisement, Bard is given the prompt: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year old about?”

Bard responds with a number of answers, including one suggesting the JWST was used to take the very first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system, or exoplanets. This is inaccurate.

Source: Google AI chatbot Bard offers inaccurate information in company ad | Reuters