REMAIN for Democratic Control

23 Jun


  • Threat to democtatic control is from multi-nationals not EU.
  • EU has defended us against monopolies form GOOGLE and MICROSOFT more powerfully than UK could have done alone.
  • EU with UK included can defeat TTIP which could vastly increase cose of NHS abd all health care in UK
  • BREXIT is probably correct that trade with EU will continue relatively unchanged. BUT it will STILL be according to EU rules, but with BREXIT we will have no power to change.
  • EU commission has power to PROPOSE regulations, and even laws, but our elected representatives DISPOSE.


  • UK needs unskilled as well as skilled labour. How ill Australian points system work for the unskuilled?
  • Immigration numbers are determined by labour demand. BREXIT increases risk of illegal immigrants driving down wages yet further.

Good Bits – EU advantages

  • Progress in science and technology and hgher educationwhere UK leads within Europe
  • Protection of labour and maternity rights
  • Human rights.
  • Many current EU rights were pioneered in UK and in UK before in EU. BUT we can still lose those key rights if UK opts for BREXIT, and many, but by no means all, BREXIT supporters would like tose thise rights replaced by a ‘free’ market

IN it to WIN it

  • UK is indeed vibrant and powerful, 5th biggest economy on planet.
  • Lets use our influence in EU to extend our inlfuence globally.
  • Brits are not quitters

Psychophysics Ms. Published and Available

15 Sep

Psychophysics of Perception of Roughnes and Time Passing

This Ms. is about perception of physical stimuli.

BUT methods apply to abstract modalitieslike utility of money, satisfaction with goods and services, happiness and many other things that matter to us all

Kornbrot, D. (2014). Human Psychophysical Functions, an Update: Methods for Identifying their form; Estimating their Parameters; and Evaluating the Effects of Important Predictors. Psychometrika, 1-16.


BIRC 2012

5 Apr

never too late

Buttons? I need SETs of buttons, all sizes & colours

29 Jan

Why is it impossible to buy BUTTONS on the UK high street?
Unbelievable, everyone must need buttons.
I just need 10 buttons ~ 14mm = 1.4cm ~= .75″ aka size 22. Navy prefered.
Tesco, 99p shop have sets of assorted buttons or pack of minute shirt buttons.

Such buttons won’t do my pair of duvet’s
Would be utterly useless for coat that kept one WARM in winter

Event John Lewis can’t do over internet

Local sewing shop went out of business!

Can’t compete with chains for big items like sewing machines, can’t live on buttons & bows alone

EBAY the only source!!! 10 large  for £2.45 [I mis-guesstimated 1st time]. 10 right size £1.75

So niche market for buttons

So here is an example of a much needed commodity that the free market does NOT supply.




Side fastening trousers for women – why not?

4 Jul

All I want is some trousers with a FLAT front, not marred by any bulk from a centre zip and fastening of any kind.  Side pockets are also essential

So why, oh why, is it so difficult to find these desirable garments?

Short answer:
Because WOMEN’s trousers are modifications of MEN’s trousers

The front fastening is obviously very useful for men, but makes for unsightly bulk for women – yes, even size zero women.

Note that market forces have made several women friendly modification to trousers in terms of shape. The women’s version has wider hip to waist ration and shorter legs, consistent with the reality of female and male physique. See poll to give your views

Long Answer – see History of Clothing, Status and Sex

Clothing seems to have been part of human culture at least since the origin of modern humans about 50- 100,000 years ago. It probably always had two functions, with good design satisfying both functions. A hallmark of  good design is satisfying multiple functions.

  1. Protection from the elements, while enabling all normal activities. Free movement, ease of bodily functions. These include eating, urinating and defecating for both sexes. For women normal functions includes comfort in pregnancy and breast-feeding  when appropriate
  2. Signaling social status. Gender is part of social status in all societies I know about. Indeed, differences in male and female clothing are ubiquitous and some religions even prohibit cross-dressing.

Back to the history of trousers. Have spent an interesting hour googling this.

Apparently both men & women horse riding people  like the Scythians wore trousers. So did both amle and female ancient Persians. European history shows trousers evolving bottom up from hose for men. Hose is individual protection for the legs, initially  covering the calves, then the thighs  and then held up a the waist – but still not fully joined up round the buttocks and stomach. Men wore cod-pieces separate from the hose. Once it all got joined up hose becomes breeches. I may be that in some cultures trousers evolved top down, by dividing skirts  and sewing seems separately round each leg – but didn’t find anything about that.

Trousers were introduced into Western European culture at several points in history, but gained their current predominance only in the 16th century.

Nomadic Eurasian horsemen/women such as the Scythians, along with Seleucid Persians were the first to wear trousers, later introduced to modern Europe via either the Hungarians or Ottoman Turks. However, the Celts also seem to have worn them in Ancient Europe.

Back to modern female trousers and status.

In the West from medieval times, men wore the trousers. Men also generally had  higher status. So as women attained ‘equality’, they came to dress like men. 1960’s feminists dressed their daughters ‘like boys’. They did not dress their sons ‘like girls’.

There is also a quite sensible view that women wore trousers because they are ‘more practical’. No doubt partly true. BUT there is a strong conflict between clothes functionality and status. Veblen points out that aristocratic clothing was deliberately uncomfortable for both men and women. 18thCentruy aristocratic garb was designed to show that the aristocrat wearer could not be involved in manual work. High status men wear ties to work to this day. Indeed a tie is fairly essential if a man want to criticize a Muslim presenter for wearing a headscarf [while still showing her attractive face with dramatic eye makeup].

So go to the poll and vote for sexy comfortable side fastened trousers – or not

Where woud you like your trouser fastening?

A new beginning

27 Jun

My very first video clip from a digital camera