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Pre-Xmas Mulcher Update

Rushing towards Christmas like a snowflake down a mile-high vacuum . . . no, how about, rushing towards Christmas like, ninety miles an hour down a dead end street, as Dylan phrased it. So many items, so little time.

paper-darko-profile1aHave you shopped? I have a list, at least.

Another list: outstanding Mulcher posts before the little bang of the Christmas break (it feels briefer every year). They should have been written and posted already but alas, party lineups are out of control.

They are:

1) To e- or not to e- (Part II, the visionary) — trying to finish it; it has a lo-o-ong tail.

2) Books mulched 2010 — favourites recommended

3) Music mulched this year — ditto

4) DVD/Film mulchings — ditto

5) Christmas poem offerings

I intend to get a move on over the next few days so there might be a bunch early next week. Don’t forget to send cards — it’s one of the nicest traditions, and a good way to say hello if you have not all this year.

Pictured: Darko the Wonder Poodle in expectant mode

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The probabilities of Assange arrest being politically motivated

Not exactly the spot to do it but anyway. (This was amongst other remarks in the comments of the previous post.):

Here is an interesting link sent by a friend. She points to Nate Silver, the brilliant polster at FiveThirtyEight (now NYT) who posits a “Bayesian” consideration of the probabilities of Assange’s sex charges as being politically motivated. It’s fascinating. The “Bayesian” idea is about contextual information tipping probabilities. Whether you are persuaded may still depend on your psycho-genital affinities. Here are a couple of grabs:

“There is virtually no chance that the case against Mr. Assange would have proceeded in quite the same manner if he were instead an itinerant painter named Jens Andersen, or a traveling salesman named John Andrews — instead of an internationally renowned provocateur. Indeed, the charges might not have been brought against Mr. Assange in the first place. Sweden has among the highest rates of reported rape cases in the European Union. But unfortunately, few cases are brought to trial (only between 10 and 20 percent, according to various reports), and fewer still result in convictions.”

“Most unusually still, Sweden had issued an Interpol red alert for Mr. Assange’s arrest, something they have done for only one other person this year accused of a sex crime: Jan Christer Wallenkurtz, who is suspected of multiple cases of sexual assault against children.”


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