Monday, July 27, 2015


You can google this

"If the truth in itself is true then you can only use that as a measurement of truth"

The biggest count of people checking the quote?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Why Are You Still Looking for Headlines?

If we outsource all of the intelligence, who would notice?

Life is a peach but not a pear. Nobody can fight against a full-grown pear. I only know one fictive character doing that. He survived. The pear did not.

If I'm measuring my intelligence, how long will it take for me to know what I'm measuring?

No-one can be told about the new Playboy 4. But two people who has experienced it can talk about it. Will they be talking about the page numbers or the games they play?

Always when I'm looking at the old female pictures, I think they are a bit of conservative. We should protect the new picture!

I like people who know how to answer the right questions, don't you?

It's nice to know that performance art is not dead. I just read about it, and it seems to be thriving. 

You know people who hate politicians who say a lot and still so little. I wish they wouldn't talk so much.

When asked how I always make things look so easy, I say it's magic. Magicians never show their tricks. They make it look so hard. 

I miss those old book clubs where you would be send books every month with a price of a yearly subscription and you would just archive them into your bookcase. Internet destroyed it.

Would you accept Groucho Marx into your club? I would just post his application to Internet, and let him deal with the after shower. I would use my own name.

Do you remember when you were kids and toys were smaller than you. Then you grew up and so did the toys. And the budgets. And the bills. And the inflation. And your kids.

I still laugh about the time during that sad Christmas when I was hoping for a cancer that would kill me fast and painlessly, and I got a Playstation 4. I still haven't finished any of the games that I have bought. 

Of course every European knows that Santa Claus is from Finland, and American that he is from North Pole, and 9 percent of Christians that Jesus is from Bethlehem. I made the statistics up just to stop people mocking religions. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Finland's Grand Committee on Greece

Finland's Grand Committee had a meeting last Saturday about it's policy on Greece. Grand Committee is a compromise between having a two chambers or not. Grand Committee usually has members from all of the parties represented in the Eduskunta (Parliament), and it's foremost duties include issues concerning European Union, and law proposals that has been passed to a second round for amendments.

In case somebody is wondering how the Parliament felt about the Greece's situation you might be interested in these minutes. I could not find them in English so I have taken this opportunity to translate the minutes. Everything inside brackets are my own comments to give background information and it might not be completely unbiased. I'm solely responsible if something is lost in the translation or if the translation is inaccurate on any accounts. Also, keep in mind that politician's don't always speak the language that you would hear in a pub. Viewer discretion is highly recommended due to these limitations.


"Item 3 - Eurogroup 11.7.2015

Meetings of European Council and European Union's councils
EUN 41/2015 vp [link is broken or unpublished]


Following were heard by the Committee:
- Minister [of Finance] Alexander Stubb

Assisted by Secretary of the State Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Secretary of the State Martti Hetemäki, Ministerial Adviser Minna Aaltonen, Financial Secretary Jouni Lehto [from] the Ministry of Finance.

Follow-up Letter EJ 14/2015 vp (E 137/2014 vp) has been received by Eduskunta [the parliament]. The Minister Stubb and the Secretary of the State Heinonen outlined Finland's Policy [so far].

The floor was given to MPs Tuppurainen, Arhinmäki, Elo, Biaudet, Jalonen, Essayah, Haavisto, Harakka, Mykkänen, Kalmari and Vice Chairman Pekkarinen. Minister Stubb, and Secretaries of the State Heinonen and Hetemäki, and the Secretary of Finances Lehto then answered to queries.

The Grand Committee pointed out that the item in hand involving the contents of the Follow-up Letter EJ 14/2015 vp (E 137/2014 vp), the position of the Government, and the discussion made in the [Grand] Committee is a matter of discretion on the grounds of the Constitution § 50 subsection 3 to secure the negotiations. During the discussion the Chairman Virolainen made the following basic proposal as the position of the Grand Committee: Committee agrees with the Government's Policy.

The meeting was suspended at 16.34, and it was adjourned at 16.50.

MP [Johanna] Karimäki made the following proposal for the Grand Committee to approve as it's position supported by MP [Eva] Biaudet: 

"Finland's objective of negotiations should be to secure the stability, the unity and the future of the Eurozone. Greece has made a new request for a new loan program via ESM [European Stability Mechanism], experts have given their views of the Greece's reform proposals, and the Greeks have indicated through a referendum that they want a change.
The evalution given by the Institutions were presented to the Grand Committee only verbally. According to the statement the Government's position is against the recommendations of the Institutions. The Grand Committee acknowledges that the evaluation should have been trusted. The growing humanitarian crisis has to be stopped, people should be able to fulfil the requirements for living in the whole of European Union. It is in the core of the European values. The legitimacy of European Union is based on this.
Finland's overall liabilities should not necessarily be increased as there is still capital in ESM to cover Greece's third loan program. In the long run it should not be a threshold question should the capacity of the crisis solving mechanism be increased if the stability of the Eurozone requires it. Crisis solving mechanism to maintain the stability of the Eurozone has been proven to be a success. For example, Portugal and Cyprus have been able to get their economy on a more sustainable foundation due to the support program. 
For the last five years we have been solving the crisis by saving banks. According to experts 75 per cent of the benefits of the European Union and other creditors went to international banks. Most of the benefits went to Germany. In a normal market economy banks and the investors would have carried the risk. Cuts in the Greece have been substantial, and most of it is being paid by people who are already in the low income and unemployed. This does not remove the fact that Greece needs to do systematical reforms to expand the foundation of taxes and to tackle the grey economy, tax evasion and corruption. Also the reform of pension scheme should be continued so that the raise of the pension age would not only affect the now young generation. Greece's government should be able to decide what are the reforms that provide the best growth. 
Big part of the Greece's economical problems and the amount of the debt is derived from domestical problems. But also a very big part is derived from the financial crisis and the bank saving operation. This has to be acknowledged when we are thinking about the terms of a compromise. 
Uncontrollable exit of the Greece from Euro would lead to a long-term instability which could in the worst case expand to a European wide crisis. The objective should be to keep all the current Eurozone states in using common currency. In case the Greece exits the euro it would be probable that the Greece would not pay their debts. Also the risk of Finland losing all it's receivables is high. 
The terms and conditions of the crisis countries' support programs or loans should be able to be readjusted if the crisis countries implement healthy reforms for their economies and if the readjustment is to secure the well-being for the whole Eurozone and Finnish economy. Support programs are to be implemented in the matter that they support employment and growth. Principal is that the loans given out through the support mechanism will be paid back.
Greece's government needs room to choose their economical means to get by the crisis, but we also need to to see true commitment to necessary reforms. Syriza needs to be held responsible for credible accounting. In the mean time EU and Finland should be prepared to give humanitarian aid immediately if the whole economical system of Greece, and the availability of groceries and medicine collapses in the immediate following days.
[Grand] Committee expects that the negotiations are driven to find a compromise that secures Finland's and Europe's interests, secures our receivables, secures the stability of Eurozone, and is fair to Greece and to their ability to see growth as a part of the union of common currency. From this position Finland can agree that we will negotiate with Greece about the ESM program."

MP Karimäki's proposal lost the vote by 17-4, 4 abstained. 

MP Arhinmäki made the following proposal for the Grand Committee to approve as it's position:

"Finland is prepared for a solution that enables Greece's economy to grow, unemployment to go down, stop the growing of the humanitarian crisis and is ready in principle to start the negotiations for the ESM program. Also as proposed by the so called Institutions (Comission, ECB, IMF) the Greece's proposal will be the foundation of the negotiations for ESM program.
Objective is that Greece can also pay back it's debts. Sustainability of Greece's debts might require restructuring of the debts. 
Negotiations should include that Greece will make major reforms to tackle corruption, stop tax evasion and improve it's taxation. Also the pension scheme requires restructuring reforms."

Proposal was not put into a vote as it was unsupported.

MP [Tytti] Tuppurainen made the following proposal for the Grand Committee to approve as it's position supported by MP [Riitta] Myller: 

"Finland's government has been unable to acquire enough information and credible estimations of the situation in Greece to make decisions. Finland has to hold on to it's receivables negotiated through [our] liabilities."

MP Tuppurainen's proposal lost the vote by 17-8. 

[Grand] Committee approved the position of the Eduskunta: [Grand] Committee agrees with government's policy."


It is also notable that even though the Grand Committee is formally representing the Parliament all the amendments to the Grand Committee's basic proposal came from the members of the opposition parties.

Hopefully this translation shows that not all of the Finland, or it's Parliament, is in anyway supporting the unreasonable terms that the Greece is presented with.

Utrecht puts basic income to the test

While the Greece is currently the main focus of economical experiments, meanwhile in the land of wooden shoes the concept of basic income is getting an interesting treatment. Basic income being the social welfare model where everybody (presumably) gets a certain amount of money (per month) regardless of their situation.

It is going to be put into a test in Utrecht, Netherlands. This time it is not entirely political. 300 people living on welfare have been chosen and divided into groups. 50 of these people will receive something between 900-1300 (according to Quart's article). The idea is not to put basic income in use permanently, but to do an experiment to see if people will be "lazier" if they get free money. Local university is involved in the experiment.

Interesting part about this experiment is that there are two other groups as well. One which continues to receive benefits according to current legislation which is not that interesting, but provides a necessary comparison. The third group is the bomb. They have to earn their benefits through a system involving incentives to get rewarded. Think about a social welfare system were you would be required to do certain mundane tasks just to be considered receiving social benefits.

Of course there are requirements to be fulfilled before being eligible for social benefits in every country around the world. In Ireland to be eligible for Job seeker's allowance you have to have a certain amounts of job history behind you, you have to be unemployed, and you have to be looking for a job. I admit that it is not a lot that is being asked.

There are two reasons why this experiment's outcome could be criticized even before any final conclusions have been made. The amount of people participating is quite small. Only 50 people from 300 is participating in the basic income part. Sampling size is too small, and it is also too local to draw universal conclusions out of the outcome.

Secondly, all the selected people are already customers of the social welfare. Now the hypothesis of "people dropping out of job markets" is not included. I don't have any deeper insight in to this experiment as I was unable to find more details about the methodology that is being used. For starters I don't know how long the experiment will take. Will it last for a fixed amount of time or will it continue ad finitum and the sampling size is measured with the same questions every half an year or an year?

But we should be excited as this social experiment might give us actual information about how the basic income could and would affect behaviour. It will add much more weight to the debate concerning basic income than (politically) opinionated 'might-happens'.

Also check:
Independent: Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional 'basic income'

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Clever Headlines Are Not What They Used To Be

"In the old days. Days when even the Nostalgia was better. You noticed that clever timejump wordplay? Well, it's too late to play with time travel when you already got this far.  Unless we try to undermine the original premisses. That is only if we don't go that far back in time - only to the moment when the actual change in headlines happened - and not go too far. Would that be okay? Are you a man from the future talking to me? Or am I just talking to myself?", he responded.

"They are all very good questions, but they are not even touching the interface of How Language Has Changed During All These Years -App. ", was shown on the screen opposite of the mall hall. She didn't really react to the man talking about "days when", "Nostalgia", "man from the future", and "am I just talking to myself." It all seemed so eerie. Misty as a hall full of people could ever be. But they did not know half of it.

You don't know yet how, but the next paragraph is going to start with a small reference to the structure. And it is going to end to the conclusion.

It is trying to reflect itself from the headline without realising that the headline is just a foreword before the afterword. At least then the headlines used to make sense.