Pagename: general - General
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Pagename: general - General

R info

# R – Template info

A collection of scripts that perform common tasks in R.

## Index
– Combined template
– Common libraries and packages
– Data importing & simple manipulation
– Statistics
– Plots, charts & graphics

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Category:General
Pagename: general - General

Fourth twenty in twenty, again… – Competition

What is the go with large corporations thinking they can treat their customers like lab rats. I mean, like, I know they can and do but how have we as a society allowed the situation to develop where they can get away with it? Where is the competition? I am now old enough to remember times when people had higher expectations of the companies they used. I’m not saying things were better back in the day. Most things have gotten better. Better services, better products with better technology. Still, along with that is an acceptance that the big players ( I’m thinking Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc) can’t be expected to be held accountable for their actions. It is not unusual for me to find myself looking for alternative suppliers in my day to day life after receiving what I consider unacceptable service. I have an example on hand…

In an attempt to make my family’s xbox work, I went with a near free trial version from Micosoft’s game pass offering. I know these are often offered with the hope that people will not bother to remove the subscription. However, on this rare occasion I actually remembered to cancel the subscription after I realised the service was not going to be helpful. I received the confirmation email that the service was cancelled and I expected that would be the last of it. Not at all. While checking emails I noticed an email from Microsoft stating they had charged the full amount for the following month, which I hadn’t been aware or interested in of course. That was enough to make me disgruntled but it was far from resolved and this is where my main complaint lies. After spending copious amounts of time looking for a way to request a refund, it became apparent not such option is available. How arrogant does a company have to be to think they do not need to be contactable about products they would prefer not to discuss?

It is a crazy situation. A company that provides a substantial portion of the functionality of my computer, to which I pay frequently, feels it is OK to partake in unsavoury business practices like this with no concern of potential consequences. Indeed it is true. What choice do I have as a consumer. There is no realistic competition to MS office in the corporate world. Competition is sorely needed in the sector and in many other sectors. There appears to be no guiding principles for government to act upon other than responding to public sentiment. I see it as a symptom of bigger issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Third twenty in twenty, again… – Development

A topic I often struggle with is urban development. In Australia at present, the pressure is on to create more housing to help with the crazy property prices that have become the norm. A lot of people are struggling with rent and the cost of living pressures. On the other hand, the environment has been used and abused for so long now that fauna and flora are increasingly becoming extinct or endangered. For me, we shouldn’t be any near the situation where species have become extinct. Unfortunately, it is now becoming normalised. At one point in my life it was considered as a dire consequence while now it is talked about as something that needs to be balanced with ‘progress’.

For Australia, migration is a big factor. Our population is being increased by increased numbers of migrants who often arrive with funds greater than the average Australian. It increases the pressure on housing and our use of resources which in turn pushes on environmental limits.

Personally, I love nature. I despair that we as a society are so readily willing to sacrifice it for short term gains. Still, I feel I would be a lot more able to accept this destruction if I thought that is what Australians actually desired. However, I don’t think it is. Most people I talk to prefer living in leafy locations. Access to nature is valued by most Australians as far as I can tell. Yet, somehow in a democratic system, our leaders are constantly pushing for more development at the cost of the natural environment. Of course, the obvious explanation is that people value the environment but value jobs and other quality of life factors even more. At this point, the topic becomes harder to quantify, harder to define. Does migration equate to a better quality of life for Australians?

Migration definitely expands our economy. More people almost universally require more goods and services and thus the economy has to expand in accordance with this. Also, more people from around the world can offer more skills and knowledge and can represent an injection of foreign investment which can also be expected to expand the economy. There is also the matter of economies of scale. As processes are geared up to handle more people, efficiencies can be expected and this in turn can have a positive impact on productivity. 

To be continued in a future post…

 

 

 

 

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Second twenty in twenty, again… – Democracy

It seems to be self evident, democracy is the fairest system of government. Taking on board everybody’s views and then making decisions accordingly. Of course, there will be differences in opinion. Disagreements based on different values is inevitable and democracies have varying ways to deal with this. Namely, the vote. Putting representatives into government that have values that align with your own is the standard approach. One would think that would arrive at a near optimum solution. Yet, we see many examples from around the world where governments appear to act in ways that do not reflect the general sentiment of the population.

So naturally one is led to wonder how this comes about. What is the difference from the democratic model we espouse to and the systems of governance we have in reality. From personal observation, one of the key differences is between the knowledge within electorates (using Australian terminology). Model democracy views governments making decisions on relatively simple topics which are easily comprehended by the general public. Of course, in reality, many policies delve into complex subjects which need expert knowledge to make sense of. To make matters worse, these subjects can be controversial and can have large impacts on particular sectors in the community. If those sectors are well funded, in most current democracies, undue pressure can be applied to a government via lobbying, media and other indirect methods of persuasion.  

This needs a lot more but my 20 minutes is up for now…

 

 

 

 

 

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First twenty in twenty, again… – The exercise

I am giving this exercise another go. I do believe it has merit but I didn’t apply myself adequately in my first attempt. Writing succinctly and efficiently is important to me as I often avoid necessary communication because I know it will take me too long to formulate my writing.

I will keep the parameters the same as the first attempt. Each post should be written in under twenty minutes with some times left over to prepare and publish to the desired level. Posts that take longer to construct will have to be broken into chunks.

Because it is the end of the year, I am not going to hold myself to writing every day until the new year begins. There are just too many interruptions at this time of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

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