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# /r/Peloton Pre-TDF Survey 2020
Gentlemen, Ladies and those otherwise addressed - we know you've been waiting for a good thing, and the survey results are finally ready! The answers were collected from you all during August 2020 with 1428 unique replies. That's a participation of 0.5% of all subscribers! That's really not too bad, when you keep in mind how popular these kind of surveys are. But we here at /peloton want to show you that this is all about presenting the information in the subreddit to cater better to our audience! Updated after a few hours to include some more historical data the final edit that for some reason wasn't copied properly
Without further ado, let's get cracking on the response
You and Cycling
1. Where do you live?
Largely the same picture as ever, with the US leading the way, the UK in second and then a sliding scale of Europeans countries. Slovenia continues to pick its way up the pile for obvious reasons! World Map to demonstrate
2. What's your age?
Pretty much the same as last year, with the usual reddit demographics of majority 20 somethings dominating.
3. What's your gender?
More normality here for reddit.
4. How much of the men's season do you watch/follow?
March '18 (%)
August '18 (%)
WT Stage races
WT One day races
Non WT Stage races
Non WT One day races
Literally everything I can consume
Whilst GT following may be down (somehow), all the lower level stuff is up, which makes sense considering how desperate we have been for any racing during the season shutdown.
5. Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing?
Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing?
Still very much a half/half interest in women's cycling on the subreddit.
6. How much of the women's season do you follow?
The following is true for the half of you that follows womens cycling.
Just the biggest televised events
Most of the live televised/delayed coverage stuff
All televised racing
Down to .Pro & beyond
7. How long have you been watching cycling?
Under a year
25 years +
Simplified the years a little this time, but whilst we have a fair number of newbies, most people have picked the sport up since around 2013/14.
8. Do you have like/dislike feelings about WT teams?
Once more, 14.4% of people really don't have feelings on the subject. Of those that do:
So, the most popular team this year is Jumbo-Visma, followed by Quick-Step & Bora-hansgrohe. Least popular are Ineos & UAE. As per usual, no one cares about NTT & CCC, with nearly 81% of users rating NTT as meh. Pretty damning stuff. Lastly, we have the usual historical comparison of how teams have fared over time, normalised to respondents to that question on the survey. Things to note then, firstly that the Astana redemption arc is over, seeing them back in the negative, maybe Fulgsangs spring issues helped aid that? The petrodollar teams of UAE & Bahrain are stubbornly negative too, with Israel keeping up the Katusha negative streak. Meanwhile, at the top end, EF & Jumbo go from strength to strength, whilst some others like Sunweb are sliding over time - their transfer policies no doubt helping that.
10. Do you ride a bike regularly?
No, I don't
Still a fairly small group of racers out of all of us
11. Out of the sports you practice, is cycling your favourite?
A new addition to the survey prompted by a good point last time, just over half of us rate cycling as the favourite sport we actually do.
12. What other sports do you follow?
Association Football / Soccer
Track & Field
Esports (yes, this includes DotA)
Motorsports (Not including F1)
Football always tops the charts, and Formula 1 continues to rank extremely highly among our userbase. Those who have a little following below 5% include Sailing, Fencing, Surfing, Boxing & Ultra-Running. Other cycling disciplines
13. Out of the sports you follow, is cycling your favourite sport?
Good. Makes sense if you hang out here.
14. How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race?
I always participate in Race Threads during races
I follow Race Threads during races
I often participate in Race Threads during races
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races
Slightly less invested than before, reverting back to an older trade.
15. How do you watch Races?
Free Local TV
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights
Paid Streaming services
Year on year, paid streaming services go up - the increasing availability of live content legally continues to improve, and so do the numbers on the survey.
16. Where else do you follow races live (in addition to watching them)?
We can safely say that most of us were wrong about this one. That's not a lot of confidence in Richie Porte either, the man who was to finish on the third spot of the podium. Alexander Foliforov (0,23%) had just a tiny number of votes less, and that man wasn't even in the race.
24. What for you was the defining cycling moment of the previous decade?
We had a lot of brilliant suggestions, but these were the clear five favourites when we tabulated the results.
2018 Giro - Chris Froome Solo Attack
2016 TDF - Chris Froome Running up Ventoux
2019 TDF - Landslides, First Columbian Winner, Pinot's bitter abandon - This was one race for the ages
2016 Paris-Roubaix - Mostly known for Tom Boonen losing. Also, some guy called Mat won.
2019 AGR - MvdP with his incredible catch-up for the win.
Honorable mentions go to the Giro 2018, which had Tom Dumoulin winning, and of almost identical fascination to many of you - Tom Dumoulin going on someones porta-potty in the middle of the stage. Little bit of recency bias perhaps, but that's better than ignoring that this was for the last decade and firmly insisting Tom Boonens 2005 WC win was the biggest thing. Special shoutout to almost all the Danes present in /peloton who voted for Mads Pedersens WC win last year. It's an understandable reaction.
25. Any suggestions for the Survey?
Could you add a section on rider popularity, same as for the teams?
Ask how people became interested in cycling
Ask how people watch cycling (e.g. TV Channels/Streaming etc.)
If you could be an animal for one day, which one would it be?
Would you wear a facemask while watching a cycling race live?
Which race do you look forward to see the most every year?
Favourite riders of your own country?
How many bikes do you own?
We promise to feature one of these suggestions in the next survey Suggestions
Always have a “no” or “not interested” option
We will try to implement this. But it will also skew results. About the Survey
More questions about womens cycling would be nice.
Less questions about womens cycling
The subscribers are torn on Women's cycling, nearly a 50/50 split there as the survey showed - The moderators at /peloton are firmly in the "more cycling is better" basket, and we will continue to get as good coverage of womens cycling as possible.
Are you trying to give the moderators PTSD? Because this is how you give the moderators PTSD.
26. Any suggestions for the sub?
More stationary fitness bike related content
ALSJFLKAJSLDKJAØLSJKD:M:CSAM)=#/()=#=/")¤=/)! - Your moderator seems to be out of function. Please stand by while we find you a new moderator
The Weekly threads are great for these types of questions, where several people can contribute and build up once it is understood which information is relevant.
Allow limited doping talk in result threads.
Our experience is that "limited" will never be so, if we're going to moderate it fairly. Moderating is not a popularity contest, but believe it or not, we're actually trying to be as fair as possible. and for that, we need rules that are not subjective. Unless you have a stationary exercise bike.
Written original content is always great - recaps, old race reviews or interesting rider bios, etc.
More non-race threads
Try and do some AMAs with pro cyclists, coaches, trainers, etc
All of these are good suggestions, but remember that all of you can also contribute - The mods are sometimes stretched thin, specially in the middle of hectic race schedules. It's easier if one of you has a way to contact a rider or a person of interest and can facilitate the initial communication.
Standardize major event thread titles for better search.
We've worked on this! The Official Standard is now as follows: [Race Thread] 202x Race Name – Stage X (Class)
A wiki that explains how races work. Roles of diff riders/support staff. History of racing.
This sounds as a nice community project for the after-season, and hopefully many of you subscribers can contribute.
Tidy up the sidebar!
Come with suggestions on how to tidy it up!
Don't assume everyone reading is a man, "thanks, bro". But that goes for all of Reddit. I know you can't fix that.
We have chastised all the mods. They are now perfectly trained in gender-neutral pronouns. Be well, fellow being.
Have a buy you a beer link for the mods for all the work you do.
If we can implement this for hard liquor, you know we will.
Remove the spoiler rule during grand tours. It kills the hype.
The spoiler rule is one that is discussed frequently - in general - some users absolutely hate it, but a majority love it. Perhaps we'll include a question in the next survey to see how this divide is exactly.
Lose the spoiler tag when it is for serious things; Lambrecht death, Jakobsen fall.
We actually do - whenever there is a matter of life or death, we think public information is more important than a spoiler rule. But at the same time, we try to collect all the different posts into one main thread, so to keep things focused and letting very speculative posts meet with hard evidence from other sources.
Less downvoting of opinions that differ from the fashionable consensus.
This is a tough ask of the internet. While we can agree that voting should be done accordingly to what insights they bring, not subjective opinions, it is very hard to turn that type of thinking around. We can ask of you, our subscribers, that you please think twice about hitting that downvote button, and only do so because of you think a post is factually incorrect, not because it differs with your own subjective opinion. That's the primary analysis of the survey! Feel free to contribute with how you experience things here!
CMV: Proportional Representation (PR) is the Superior System
It is more fair
I was inspired by the American elections on this one. That's because hearing Trump complain about election fraud seems rich considering he would not have come close to beating Hilary or Biden in the last two elections without the Electoral College system (in both instances he lost the popular vote). Of course, the Electoral College system is law, so gerrymandering cannot legally be "fraud" but come on - if a candidate wins the popular vote they should, morally speaking, win the presidency. The Electoral College system is even worse than British First Past the Post (FPTP) it seems, as a party that wins the Electoral Colleges still does not necessarily have control over the senate.
It reflects the voting majority better
Here in UK recently we had an election where the Prime Minister won an 80 seat majority the size of which he would never have gotten with proportional representation. While Johnson would have always stayed on as PM, he would not have had a "democratic" mandate to push through the policies he wants to: a hard Brexit, Americanising the Supreme Court, questionable Civil Service reforms (Cummings) and the Internal Markets Bill to name a few. That's because a stronger Opposition under PR would have opposed a lot of this.
You get more local representatives that may reflect your point of view
I have heard it said that FPTP returns you a constituent politician that can dedicate themselves to representing local issues. But with PR there may be several local representatives in population dense areas that reflect different political perspectives. So if you have an issue you think a socialist would understand better you can contact them, or if it was a conservative or a liberal you wanted to talk to, you'd be more likely to have those options as well. Obviously in some communities, you might find there wasn't as broad an array of representatives. However you'd have a better shot at that under PR as well as a wider choice of representatives to talk to even if they are from the same party.
It is just as "stable", if not more so
First, I disagree with the premise that opponents to PR subscribe to that a constitution is stable if it does not require a coalition government and government can more easily enact policies in accordance with their voting base (and get those through parliament). Firstly, "more stuff done" is not better: quality, not quantity. When we had a minority conservative government before 2019 I actually thought parliament were doing a good job of scrutinising and making amendments to Brexit legislation so that the country could come to a positive consensus on what would be a stable result. Being able to rush stuff through parliament just leads to chaotic mistakes like the Iraq war, where Blair was able to rush a decision to go to war even though the decision was very popular among the public at large. Would he have been able to do this under a proportionally representative parliament? Also would Cummings have as much sway in bullying his vision for the country if parliament was proportionally representative? Neither of these seem likely. The other objection related to the point about is that FPTP means the largest group can get their voice heard whereas with a coalition government the negotiations result in a compromise that represent no particular group. But actually PR just treats what the majority want a lot differently. For example if 40% of people want a No Deal Brexit but 60% of people are divided between Remain and Soft Brexit, sure the largest minority group wants a hard break from the EU. But it would seem that the majority of people (60%) would prefer to at least remain in a customs union with Europe. So FPTP has a twisted idea of what it means to represent the majority. The idea that it would be less stable and more democratic to force a vision through parliament that most people don't want because ideology exists as a spectrum rather than a binary categorisation seems perverse. If a National Unity Government was strong enough - necessary in fact - to face Hitler, it seems that coalition governments should be able to fare well enough during times of lesser crisis.
It won't particularly lead to racist parties forming, or it might but it is not that substantial
So, with the vote split between two large parties partially "left" or "right to the Overton window people will generally vote for centrist governments, or centre-right if you consider UK and America are to the right of most other countries. This doesn't really give much breathing space for racist parties in general as racist parties tend to have radical ideologies that deviate far from the centre-ground. But with proportional representation, people no longer consider voting for a party that deviates too far from centre a "wasted vote" since those parties now have a legitimate shot to either get into power, or simply to veto government. Whereas before, they would be stealing votes from a mainstream party closest too them, enabling the party you hate most to get in, now that doesn't matter because your favourite party can form a coalition with the enemy of your friend (whether in power or opposition). Or they can form a coalition with your enemy, softening the blows and impacts of that party's policy making. This can lead to authoritarian and racist parties forming, some say. But the thing is firstly, racist parties can get in power even with FPTP. For example, when the Reformed National Party won most of the seats in the 1948 FPTP election leading to apartheid South Africa (1). The Nazi Party had actually arrested all of the Communist deputies and changed the rules to make it easier to pass the Enabling Act in 1933 (1), thus making the system less proportionally representative. Meanwhile, Karl Popper has this to say about tolerating (or not tolerating) intolerance in modern democracies:
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.
More relevantly to my argument, he says:
as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise.
I extend an interpretation of this (my words, not Popper's) to mean that it could be prudent, even on a political level to occasionally hand the racists a platform so that we can debate and repudiate their ideas. Whereas complete suppression can occasionally lend credence to the idea that a person's logic is "irrefutable" and that is why their expression has been muted. Letting the racist party's a small portion of politic representation to refute their ideas can quash such a notion. And besides, we can defeat racist parties through legal mechanisms to defeat or obstruct them when their policies become too extreme. For example, the British National Party (BNP) "gained all the borough council seats in parts of Burnley despite getting nowhere near a majority of the vote" (1). However, the BNP were also obstructed by legal democratic mechanisms when a court ruled the party was legally required to allow ethnic minorities membership in the party, thus morphing the whole focus. Popper sort of makes a similar argument to this as well though neither of us have outright claimed racist or anti-democratic authoritarian parties should be banned entirely:
[W]e should claim the right to suppress [those who are intolerant] if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
I'm not saying that there is no threat from racist parties under PR as quite a few European proportionally representative democracies have them. I am just saying that the threat is firstly exaggerated and secondly we are not exactly protected from them by FPTP either. Could you imagine how bad it would be if a country were facing the same instability, economic depression and racial divisions as a country like Germany during the Weimar Republic but instead of a PR democracy, a racist anti-democratic government were able to gerrymander constituencies to their benefit through FPTP? (1) ___________________________________________
(1) Electoral Reform Website: "Did Proportional Representation put the Nazis in power?"
A proposal to eliminate the spread of COVID-19 in Ireland
This is a long one. There is no TL;DR, but Google tells me it should take about 10 minutes to read. Or, you can skip to The Plan - Summary if you want the bullet points. But why should you give this any time at all? My background is in data analysis. Making sense of numbers is what I do for a living. I have been studying COVID-19 since I was locked down in March and the experience has been frustrating in equal measure. The difference between what was happening on the ground, and the story that the media told was genuinely alarming. The government / NPHET never even tried to stop the virus getting into the country, and no one held them to account for their (non)decisions. The disastrous consequences are all around us, and much of it was preventable. Six months later, and the country has barely moved on. The ‘experts’ have no goals and little control over the virus. The media frame every issue as a crass binary choice between more or less restrictions and are otherwise happy just to have people to point their fingers at. The government / NPHET has nothing to offer the people, other than admonishments to do better and repeated cycle of restrictions. Meanwhile students, artists, the over 70s, small business owners, the entire events and hospitality industries, and regular people who cannot WFH have been left swinging in the wind. Some have been evicted, others are relying on drugs to get by. This situation is not just a problem for one or two parts of our society: this is a widespread degradation of our quality of life. If I can do anything to help, I feel obliged to try. Context As I see it, we have three choices:
Give up = ‘herd immunity’ / Great Barrington Declaration
Take the path of least resistance = ‘Living With The Virus’ (living in fear of the virus)
Solve the problem = elimination / eradication
I won’t argue over technocratic definitions like ‘elimination’, ‘eradication’ or ‘suppression’. These distinctions are semantic in an environment of oppressive civic restrictions, mass unemployment, waves of business closures, and general misery. Whatever gets us to a place where we can live our lives as normal (or close enough), and the public health infrastructure can take care of the virus, that’s what I’m aiming for. This proposal cannot work without public support. No proposal can work without public support. Public adherence is the single most important variable in the equation, yet it is the one that the politicians and the media and the ‘experts’ have ignored. FG burned through a lot of goodwill in the first lockdown (and money, and resources, and lives…). Instead of vilifying people who aren’t adhering to the rules, policymakers need to recognise the sacrifices that the people made (which were subsequently squandered) and they need to earn that trust back. This proposal cannot work without support from the North. That doesn’t mean that we need to convince them to adopt our plan. It means we need to convince them that the goal is worthwhile and achievable. From there we can work together to coordinate our policies. Managing our own affairs with competence, would be a good start. Picking up the phone to talk to them, instead of trying to browbeat them through the media, would also help. Irrespective of your goals or beliefs, some facts are certain: there will be lockdowns, there will be government spending to support the economy, and the virus will demand public health resources. All of that will happen in the coming months and years, whether we have a plan or not. The question is whether those resources are used to solve the problem, or whether they are wasted on a plan that keeps us going around in circles. So yes, there will be lockdowns in this proposal, but they will not be FG lockdowns i.e. lock them down and throw away the key. Through intelligent policies and a greater mobilisation of resources, we can do so much more with our lockdowns to reduce the burden on the people and make their experience more tolerable. Indeed, that trade-off always exists in public policy: better policymaking = happier people. Which is why the politicians usually get the blame, and rightly so. We need to move to a more ‘war time’ mindset. Not because we need a shared enemy to unite us, but because we need to mobilise every possible resource at our disposal and focus it on the single most important issue affecting us all. We need more tests, we need vehicles for mobile testing units, we need facilities for quarantines. Wherever there is spare capacity, we need to find a way to put it to good use. We need to take most of the power away from the narrow-minded medics, and get the rest of our society and our civic infrastructure involved in planning e.g. community representatives, legal experts, business leaders, An Garda, the army etc. People want to invest in their communities, they want to help their friends and neighbours. There are people all over the country who would rather be volunteering as part of a national plan to get rid of COVID-19, than to be sitting at home on the PUP, going crazy listening to the ‘experts’ – who failed to prevent this – talk about more lockdowns. We need to harness that latent energy and build it into the plan. One of the most important factors that is within our control, is the degree to which policymakers communicate with the people. And I mean real communication, not press releases or attention-seeking speeches from the other side of the world. We need to talk to the people, listen to them, answer their questions, take their feedback on board. The people aren’t stupid. They know a good plan when they see it – which is why few are paying attention to the ‘Living With The Virus’ stuff – and they have valuable information that can help make that plan work. Underlying these points is a need to create intelligent rules, and to enforce them strictly. Strict does not mean harsh. Strict enforcement is not authoritarianism, and it is not an invitation to a fight; it is simply administrative competence. In the context of a contagious outbreak, administrative competence is the difference between life and death. I’ll finish this section with the caveat that all parameters are suggestions or placeholders. The exact numbers will depend on resources, on more data and further analysis, and on input from communities and other stakeholders – all of which is within our control. The Plan – Summary Like any problem in life, if you can’t solve it directly, you break it down into smaller, less complex parts. Instead of putting the whole country into lockdown and trying to eradicate the virus from the whole island at the same time – a miserable experience for all – we should go county by county until the job is done. We seal off a county, flood it with resources, clear it of COVID-19, and then let it reopen as normal. We repeat the process for neighbouring counties and then combine them when they are cleared, to create a larger ‘Cleared Zone’. The process continues and the Cleared Zone keeps growing until it covers the whole island. This approach allows us to focus our resources on one area at a time (nurses, doctors, tests, volunteers etc) instead of spreading them over the whole country. We can be more comprehensive in our testing and quarantining measures, and more confident in our plans. Short, sharp, strict lockdowns work best. By maximising the ratio of resources to population, we also lower the burden on the people. In particular, we minimise the amount of time that people spend in lockdown, and the less time they spend in lockdown, the more likely the plan is to work. This structured approach also makes it easier for us to measure our progress and make reliable forecasts. We can allocate our resources more efficiently and plan our responses more effectively. Observers can watch our progress and judge for themselves whether it is a good idea (i.e. politicians in the North and / or protestors in Dublin). Perhaps most important of all, the structure makes it easier to explain the idea to the people and get buy-in before anything happens. We can outline the plan, explain how it works, explain how it compares to the alternatives, and then give them realistic estimates of what would be required and how long it would take. Then we can hear their feedback and take the conversation and planning from there. I have heard any people talking about elimination and ZeroCovid, but do any of them have a plan for getting to zero? Or a plan to get the people on board? Step 1: More structure and responsibility from leaders Step 2: Less uncertainty, easier decisions, better outcomes, less stress for everyone Step 3: Profit. Elimination. The Plan – Implementation We isolate a county and lock it down for an initial 3 weeks. An Garda man the county borders. They are supported by the army, who provide boots on the ground so that An Garda aren’t stretched. Most routes are closed off so that all essential travel goes through a few well-manned checkpoints. If we do a good job with planning and communication, there won’t be much work to do. We test systemically high-risk households and high-risk individuals early and often i.e. large households and essential workers. With help from local volunteers, medics screen as many people as possible every day. We use multiple measures and repeated applications to improve the quality of our results. We want to identify and remove cases at the earliest possible point, both to reduce the chance of further infection, and to protect the individual’s health. Low risk confirmed cases (young / healthy) go to a safe and comfortable quarantine. Local hotels and guest houses could be used, ideally before we invest in building quarantine facilities. Local taxis, kitted out with extra protective equipment, could take them there. High risk confirmed cases (older / comorbidities) go by ambulance to local medical facilities as required. During this period, we work with local politicians, community leaders, residence associations etc to ensure that everyone is looked after (in reality, these conversations will have started weeks before). We get our neighbourhoods communicating, looking out for each other, making sure they’ve got enough food or heating or whatever else they need. Local volunteers and taxi drivers can do odd jobs like sending packages, collecting prescriptions, lifting heavy stuff, or just checking in on people. If it is feasible, we can even invite local artists to play gigs for people in their streets or apartments. Towards the end of the second week, we begin a mass testing program with the ultimate goal of testing every person in the county (scale depends on resources). Once we have completed the tests and cleared the confirmed cases into quarantine, we can begin a slow, staggered opening process. We must be especially conservative at this point to ensure no slippage. When one county is clear, we move to the next one, and repeat the process. When we have cleared two bordering counties, we can join them together in a bigger Cleared Zone and the process continues from there. Eventually the Cleared Zone covers the whole country, except Dublin (or more realistically, the Pale). What would the other counties do while they wait for their turn? I’m assuming that, they would be doing whatever the ‘Living With The Virus’ plan dictates. This proposal succeeds in line with what happens in the sealed off zones, so I am more concerned with them. However, it would speed up the process if the bordering counties could be encouraged to get a head start. If the plan is going successfully, I’m confident they would. With its population density and its complexity, Dublin / the Pale will be the last county to be cleared. However, given that every other county would be cleared by that point, and with so much effort having been put in, it might make more sense just to burn Dublin down. We could go with a concrete mausoleum as per Chernobyl, but it might be easier and quicker if we just raised the city and started from scratch. The country needs to rebalance, so it’d be two birds with one stone. Or maybe we call that plan B. Dublin’s plan A would follow the same principles as for the rest of the country. Break it into smaller parts, focus resources on one area at a time, use layers of risk measures where precision isn’t an option, and get cases as early as possible, using whatever resources available. By that stage the rest of the country would be clear and the demand for medical resources low. We would have learned a lot along the way, and we would have plenty of ammo to throw at the problem. In general, the more resources we have, the faster we can move. The county by county approach that I have outlined above is too slow. With greater resources, we can increase the number of counties that are being cleared at any one time. One option is to work by province. Another would be to define the zones with respect to observed travel routes, in order to reduce the risk of leakage and reduce the inconvenience on local communities. At the end of the day, lines have to be drawn somewhere, and some people will inevitably lose out. The better we communicate with people in advance, the lower the burden on the people and the more of these problems we can avoid. Following on from that, one of the skills we need to take from this crisis is the ability to isolate and quarantine regions. Whether it is a city, a town, a county, a specific building, or even the entire country, we need to be able to seal it off and control movement in and out. This is an essential tool for outbreak management – whatever the outbreak and whatever the disease. The same goes for individuals. We need to be able to create and operate safe, comfortable, and effective quarantines, and to do so at short notice. It should be a matter of national embarrassment that FG and NPHET couldn’t even organise a quarantine in a pandemic. The whole process might take 3 to 4 months. That means we would have cut off all non-essential air travel for that time, but it doesn’t mean the whole country is in lockdown for 3 or 4 months. The lockdown is staggered, and the individual’s experience will depend on their location and their place in the ‘queue’. The first group of counties to go into lockdown will also be the first to come out. Once they have eliminated the spread of the virus, they will return to a normal, although somewhat isolated, society. The experience steadily improves as more and more counties join them in the Cleared Zone (or steadily deteriorates, depending on your county pride). While the first group is in lockdown, the rest of the country continues as normal i.e. living with the virus. Everyone watches as the first group goes through its lockdown (just think of the #banter). Several weeks later, as the first group is opening up, the second group is preparing to go in to lockdown. As the second group comes out, the third group goes in etc etc and the staggered lockdowns roll like a wave across the country. Every county goes from Living With The Virus -> intelligent lockdown (needs a better name) -> Cleared Zone. The earlier you are in the queue, the less time you spend Living With The Virus and the more time you spend in the Cleared Zone. The individual would only be in a strict lockdown for a matter of weeks, maybe 3-6 depending on the complexity of the region and the resources available. For counties with smaller populations that have shown that they can do a good lockdown, it will be quicker. For Dublin, it will be slower. Strengths I think this proposal has a lot of strengths. It’s a plan, for a start. We haven’t had a plan since this thing began (the FG lockdown wasn’t a plan – it was the inevitable consequence of not having a plan). The leaders take more responsibility to lower the burden on the people, it mobilises idle resources, and it fosters communication and community across the country. These are three strengths that I want to emphasise. 1 It provides clarity This might be the most important point. Uncertainty is painful. Uncertainty is a cost. Even if the bad thing is unlikely to happen, just the fact that it is a risk, or that it could happen means that you live with a cloud over your head. Suffering is bad enough on its own, but suffering for an unknown length of time is torture. And if that period is determined at the whim of a politician or an ‘expert’, that is a recipe for society-wide anger and even civil disorder. With this proposal, we can forecast the length of the period of lockdown with greater accuracy. The people will be able to understand what is being asked of them. We can make plans around resources required versus those available. The economists can make forecasts. Businesses can plan their finances. The people can plan their weddings, book their holidays, get back to training, sign up for courses, and have things to look forward to. At the end of the day, any successful proposal must remove the uncertainty and provide meaningful clarity to households and businesses. 2 Never let a crisis go to waste This plan will require tools and capabilities like rapid local testing, safe quarantines, rapid isolation of towns and regions, emergency decision-making frameworks etc. If we don’t have a capability, then we need to build it. When people say ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ this is what they mean: you build the tools in the crisis that will help you protect yourself from the next one. Nature works the same way. You lift weights until the muscle fibres tear, then they grow back stronger. We build aerobic endurance by pushing ourselves to a limit, then our body naturally reacts to increase the limit. A vaccine works similarly by stimulating antibodies for the disease. Well, we need a civic emergency vaccine for Ireland. These tools are the antibodies that will protect us next time. The sooner we build them, the better. Now is the time, not later. 3 It's the only way we can protect the economy The risk to the economy isn’t the next few months of revenue. We can borrow to cover lost income in the short run. The real risk is a wave of defaults that precipitates a financial crisis. As more individuals and businesses are put under financial pressure, more borrowers will default on their debts. But one man’s debt is another man’s asset, so as the borrowers default, the lender’s financial situation also deteriorates. Defaults are contagious, and if a wave of defaults threatens a major lender, the entire financial system will be at risk. Only an elimination plan can protect the economy. Along with the virus and the uncertainty it creates, we need to eliminate the risk of financial contagion. Weaknesses Could ya be arsed The End Goal Think about what’s on the other side of this… This is a massive challenge – the kind that defines a nation. However you think of your community, this would give you something to be proud of for generations. It would be like Italia ’90, except 10 times bigger, because we would be the players, we would be the ones making it happen. We’d become the first country in Europe to eliminate the virus. And of all the countries in the world, we’d be doing it from the largest deficit too. Those Taiwanese and Kiwis made it easy for themselves with their preparation and their travel restrictions and their competent leaders. Our challenge is much greater than theirs, but they show us what is possible. Have you ever wanted to scoff at the Germans for being disorganised? Wouldn’t you love to have a reason to mock the Danes? Aren’t you sick of hearing about New Zealand? Let’s make the Kiwis sick of hearing about the Irish! If we take this challenge on, the world’s media will be on us. The FT, the Economist, the NYT, the Guardian, Monacle, Wired, the New Scientist, China Daily, RT, Good Housekeeping, Horse and Hound, PornHub… all of these international media empires would be tracking our progress, interviewing key people, reporting daily, willing us on. The world is desperate for good news, and we can be the ones to give it to them. We would become a model for other nations to follow. They would take the Irish model and adapt it to their own situation. Instead of us copying other nations, they would be copying us. Instead of a pat on the head for the diddy little Irish fellas, we would be literally LEADING THE WORLD. Back at home, we get our lives back, and society can breathe again, free of restrictions. The over 70s come out of hibernation. The students go back to university. The protests stop because people go back to work and we announce an inquiry into what exactly happened in February and March. The pubs go back to being pubs. Our hospitality industry is taken off life support. The tidal wave of bankruptcies is avoided. We can play sport and celebrate the wins. We stop talking about things we can or can't do. Just imagine that first session... And imagine how good it would feel knowing that you had worked for it, and knowing that you had set the nation on a better path for generations to come... I think it’s worth a lash! Don’t you?
Many people who get interested in guns and start shooting soon find out that there are a number of shooting sports out there. A lot of those shooters wonder whether that kind of shooting is for them. Maybe they’re not good enough? Maybe it’s only for the really hard core shooters? Maybe it’s super expensive? Maybe you have to be invited, or know a member of the club, or be former military? Do you have to be a really competitive person to enjoy it? Should you delay getting into the game until you are “good enough”? This post is intended to answer some of those questions. The short answer is that if you’ve been shooting long enough to safely handle a gun around others, know how to generally operate your firearm(s), and can hit where you are aiming at least some of the time, you can start playing shooting sports. At least in the United States, that is – the barriers can be higher in some other countries. But there are robust competitive shooting communities in a lot of countries around the world, including most of western Europe and other places you might not expect. Let’s run down some of the reasons people delay or avoid trying their hand at a gun game.
• I’m worried I’m not good enough.” Good enough to WHAT? To win? You’re NOT. Not good enough to WIN against people who have been playing these games for years. But that’s OK. Nobody would expect a new guy or gal to show up and win. What competitive shooters care about in terms of the new participant is: safety; attitude; safety; willingness to learn and help; and safety. OK, you get it. By and large, when a new shooter shows up to a match/game/field/whatever, the existing players don’t wonder “how good is he going to be?” They wonder “how safe is he going to be?” If you are a safe gun handler, you’re about 85% of the way home. If you’re interested in learning about the game, generally pleasant to be around, and, if needed, willing to lend a hand to keep the match going, chances are really, really good you will be welcome REGARDLESS of how you shoot. • “I just want to wait until I’m a little better.” Guess what? No matter how long you wait (or practice on your own), you’re probably not going to get good enough to show up and dominate out of the gate. Do you think you’ll get better faster by practicing alone, in isolation, with no learning sources except youtube and a subreddit? Or by meeting lots of really experienced shooters, getting to watch what they do up close, getting to ask questions of them, getting objective feedback on how you’re doing, etc.? Right, the latter. Wherever your shooting skill is right now, if you start competing tomorrow, you’ll be a better shooter this time next year than if you wait and start competing in a year. • “I’m not really a competitive person, and I don’t like super competitive people, trash talking, people trying to wager, etc.” Don’t worry. A lot of people who shoot the gun games do it because they LOVE TO SHOOT and gun games offer the most interesting shooting challenges… not because they feel the need to dominate others. There are actually relatively few intensely competitive people in many of the gun games – and they’re not going to be trying to flex on the new guy or gal. Sometimes you’ll overhear some good natured ribbing among friends, but shooting sports people are overwhelmingly encouraging to others while being very hard on THEMSELVES. There are lots of people who have shot for years and never won a darn thing. But they’ve made a lot of friends, learned a lot, had a lot of good times, etc. Competitive outcomes are secondary for a LOT of people. • “I’m worried it’s too expensive.” OK, this one does have a tiny kernel of truth, depending on the game. There are a small number of gun games where even the entry level gear is pretty expensive, but in most gun games the gear is either not that impactful on outcomes or there are equipment divisions that keep things under control and create some relatively inexpensive options. If you’ve got a service-grade/field-grade gun, chances are good there’s some game you can use it in where you’re not just taking a tricycle to a motocross rally. The more significant aspect is that people who get into gun games tend to shoot a lot. You will find shooting in games is more fun than static range work, so you’ll want to shoot matches. You’ll also want to improve (and you’ll have good ideas and information about how to do it), so you’ll want to practice more. It varies by game, but if you fall down the rabbit hole on, for example, USPSA, you might end up shooting 10,000 rounds in a year and be far from the highest-volume shooter in your immediate circle! But that’s self-directed/driven. If you can afford to shoot 500 rounds a month for the pistol games or the shotgun games, or half or a quarter of that for the accuracy-oriented rifle games, you can play and make progress. But you will end up spending more on ammo. That’s one reason so many competitive shooters take up reloading! • “I’m worried my gear isn’t legal.” Possibly. But it’s probably legal for some game, or can be traded for other gear that is legal. Although plenty of people get into competitive shooting and end up buying specialized competition gear (guns and other stuff), most gun games don’t have a whole lot of crazy rules designed to keep people OUT. Most of the gear rules are to control stuff that would be a competitive advantage, not set some minimum floor of baller-ness. In my preferred game (USPSA), you can rock a Hi-Point if you want… but not a binary trigger. • “Do I have to be invited?” In the United States, generally the answer is no. Most of the more popular games are open to anyone who pays the appropriate match or other fees, agrees to abide by the rules, is legally allowed to possess firearms, etc. That goes even for a lot of matches that are held at otherwise-private, member’s-only facilities. The national governing organization for most of the sports will help you find local matches/events and contact information for the people who run them. You can then easily email, call, or message those local folks, and they’ll be happy to tell you if the match is open to the general public – chances are very, very good it is, and that they will want you to come! • “I’m worried I won’t like anyone, and they won’t like me.” There are no guarantees, but the minute you show up, you’ve got a big plus in your column – you’re also someone interested in guns and maybe the game everyone else there already loves. In most of the gun games, there is quite a bit of standing around and talking, and you’ll get to know people quickly – but because there is a game going on, there’s no painful small talk. You can just talk about the sport! It’s super easy social interaction, even for introverts. “I’m worried it will just make going to the square/lane range kind of boring by comparison.” That one’s true, just like scuba diving the great barrier reef makes swimming laps in the pool kinda boring. So if those are the big reasons for people not to try shooting sports, what are the reasons to try it? • It will make you a better shooter. • It will make you a safer shooter. • You will almost surely make new friends. • It will launch you on a new hobby and journey of discovery. “Eh, I’m still on the fence.” OK. Go watch one of the gun games. Most of the sports are perfectly happy to have people watch a match and talk to participants. These aren’t really big spectator sports, but most of us will gladly explain what’s going on, what gear you need, the basics of the rules, etc., to someone who shows up and is just curious. “OK, that sounds kind of interesting in the abstract… how do I know which game to try?” That’s another post. If people want it, I’ll be happy to post that, too, in a few days.
ASIC Regulation Thread - Regarding the proposed changes ( Australians effected the most )
I'm hopeless at formatting text, so if you think you can structure this post better take everything i write and put it into an easy to digest way. I'm just going to type out everything i know in text as fast as possible. I'm not a legal expert, I'm not somehow who understands every bit of information in the PDF's below, but i know I'm a retail trader that uses leverage to make profit which is why I'm posting this, in the hope that someone who can run a charge better than me, will. Some of you are already aware of what might be happening, this is just a post to educate retail traders on changes that might be coming to certain brokers. This effects Australian Customers the most, but also effects those living in other countries that use Australian brokers, such as Pepperstone and others. Last year in August 2019, ASIC ( Australian Securities and Investments Commission ) was concerned about retail traders going into Forex and Binary options without understanding these instruments properly and started sticking their noses in for tough regulation. ASIC asked brokers and anyone with interest in the industry to write to them and explain what should and should not change from the changes they proposed, some of the proposed changes are very misguided and come from a lack of understanding exactly how OTC derivatives actually work. I will provide the link to the paper further down so you can read it yourself and i will provide a link to all the submission made by all parties that sent submissions to ASIC, however the 2 main points of debate are: 1, To reduce the overall leverage available to retail traders to either 20:1 or 30:1. This means people who currently use leverage such as 100:1 to 500:1 and everything in between will be effected the most, even more so are those traders with relatively small accounts, meaning in order to get your foot in the door to trading you will need more capital for it to be viable. ^^ This point above is very important. 2, The removing of Binary options trading, which basically includes products like "Bet if gold will rise to this price in the next 30 seconds" This sort of stuff. So far from all the submissions from brokers and individuals nobody really cares if this changes as far as i know, though if you have concerns about this i would start voicing your disapproval. Though i would not waste your time here, all is pointing to this being eradicated completely with brokers also supporting the changes, I've never used such a product and know very little about them. ^^ This point above isn't very important and will probably be enforced in the future. Still to this day i see retail traders not understanding leverage, they think of it as "dangerous and scary", it's not, position size is the real danger, not leverage. So ASIC is aiming to limit retail traders access to high leverage, they are claiming it is a way to protect traders who don't really understand what they are getting into by attacking leverage and not the real problem which is position size relative to your capital. If it was truly about protecting retail traders from blowing up their accounts, they would look for ways to educate traders on "understanding position sizes and why it's important" rather than attacking leverage, but their goal is misguided or has an ulterior motive . I will give you a small example below. EXAMPLE - We will use 2 demo accounts for demonstration purposes. If you don't understand my example, i suggest you try it for yourself. - Skip if not interested in examples. Lets say we open 2 demo accounts with $1000 in both, one with 20:1 leverage and one with 500:1 leverage and we open an identical position on both accounts ( say a micro lot '0.01' on EURUSD ). You are safer on the 500:1 account as you don't need to put up as much margin as collateral as you would on the 20:1. If the trade we just opened goes against us and continues against us, the account with 20:1 leverage will run out of free margin a lot faster than the 500:1 account. In this simple example is shows you that leverage is not dangerous but safer and gives you a lot more breathing room. This trade was a small micro lot, so it would take hundreds of pips movements to get margin called and blow up that $1000 on each account. Lets now use a different position size to truly understand why retail traders blow up accounts and is the reason why trading can be dangerous. This time instead of opening a micro lot of '0.01' on our $1000 dollar demo accounts, lets open a position size much larger, 5 lots. Remember we only have $1000 and we are about to open a position much larger relative to our capital ( which we should never do because we can't afford to do that ) the 20:1 probably wont even let you place that trade if you don't have enough margin as collateral or if you could open the position you would have a very tiny amount of free margin left over, meaning a small pip movement against you will instantly blow up your $1000 account. On the 500:1 account you wouldn't need to put up as much margin as collateral with more free margin if the trade goes bad, but again a small movement could blow up your account. In this example, both accounts were dangerous because the lack of understanding position sizes, opening a position you can't afford to open. This is what the true danger is, not the leverage. Even in the second example, the higher leverage would "margin call" you out later. So i would go as far to say that lower leverage is more dangerous for you because it margin calls you out faster and just by having a lower leverage doesn't stop you from opening big positions that can blow you up in a 5 pip movement anymore, any leverage size is dangerous if you're opening positions you can't afford to open. This is also taking into consideration that no risk management is being used, with risk management higher leverage is even more powerful. ASIC believes lowering leverage will stop people opening positions that they can't afford. When the reality is no matter how much capital you have $500, $1000, $5000, $50,000, $500,000, $5,000,000. You don't open position sizes that will blow that capital up completely with small movements. The same thing can happen on a 20:1 or 500:1 account. Leverage is a tool, use it, if your on a lower leverage already such as 20:1, 30:1 it means your country has been regulated and you already have harder trading conditions. Just remember higher leverage allows you to open larger position sizes in total for the amount of money you own, but the issue is NOT that your using the higher leverage but because you are opening positions you can't afford, for what ever reason that is, the only fix for this is education and will not be fixed by simply lowing leverage, since you can just as easy blow up your account on low leverage just as fast or if not faster. So what is going on? There might ( get your tinfoil hats on ) be more that is involved here, deeper than you think, other agendas to try and stop small time retail traders from making money via OTC products, theories such as governments not wanting their citizens to be traders, rather would prefer you to get out there and work a 9 to 5 instead. Effective ways to do this would be making conditions harder with a much larger barrier of entry and the best way to increase the barrier of entry for retail traders is to limit leverage, lower leverage means you need to put up more money, less breathing room for trades, lower potential. They are limiting your upside potential and the downside stays the same, a blown account is a blow account. Think of leverage as a weapon, a person wielding a butchers knife can probably destroy a person wielding a steak knife, but both knifes can prove fatal. They want to make sure your holding the butter knife then tell you to butcher a cow with it. 30:1 leverage is still workable and can still be profitable, but not as profitable as 500:1 accounts. This is why they are allowing professionals to use high leverage, this gives them another edge over successful retail traders who will still be trying to butcher a cow with a butter knife, while they are slaying limbs off the cow with machetes. It's a way to hamstring you and keep you away rather than trying to "protect" you. The real danger is not leverage, they are barking up the wrong tree, how convenient to be barking up the very tree most retail traders don't fully understand ( leverage) , pass legislation to make trading conditions harder and at the same time push the narrative that trading is dangerous by making it even harder. A full circle strategy to make your trading conditions worse, so you don't succeed. Listen carefully especially if you trade with any of the brokers that have provided their submissions to ASIC. Brokers want to seem like they are on your side and so far some of the submissions ( i haven't read them all ) have brokers willing to drop their leverage down to 30:1 because they know by dropping the leverage down it will start margin calling out their clients at a much faster rate, causing more blown up accounts / abandoned accounts with residual margin called funds, but they also know that if they make trading environments too hard less people will trade or even worse move their funds elsewhere offshore to unregulated brokers that offer higher leverage. Right now it's all just a proposal, but as governments expand and continue to gain more control over it's citizens, it's just a matter of time till it's law, it's up to you to be vocal about it, let your broker know that if they drop their leverage, you're out, force them to fight for you. If you have any more information related to this, or have anything to add, post below. I'm not an expert at this technical law talk, i know that i do well with 500:1 leverage and turn profits with it, it would be harder for me to do on a lower leverage, this is the reason for my post. All related documents HERE CP-322 ( Consultation paper 322 ) & Submissions from brokers and others. https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/consultation-papers/cp-322-product-intervention-otc-binary-options-and-cfds/
ASLAproject - a new empire in the decentralized environment of the cryptocurrency world
Our experts are capable of providing any advises and help to anyone who wants to join the project. We promise that our projects are not only profitable but also breathtaking. We are developing every day, do not miss the opportunity to be part of a grand project with a great future. https://preview.redd.it/82fpaaolx2p51.png?width=977&format=png&auto=webp&s=80e78b1b89549ec3b6dbd60b0a6903c28bb49519 ASLAproject is A decentralized ecosystem of products based on smart contracts of the Tron blockchain project for earning profit and further investing. We, the development team, are working to improve the ecosystem and develop its products. Our main task today is to create the best environment for the users to acquire money. At the same time, we do not conduct ICO and crowdfunding. The goal is to create and implement an ecosystem with constantly updated products for your earnings, develop and implement tools for business and beyond. Much has already been done, but more still needs to be done. Today, tokens cost less than what you want, but prices are already rising due to new product releases and community / project partners that form a solid foundation for future achievements. Tokens and products Our project is based on two coins that focus on all ecosystem products: ASLA and ASLAgame (Aga). 1. ASLAtrade is a binary options trading platform. https://preview.redd.it/ga3pf8cnx2p51.png?width=978&format=png&auto=webp&s=25beb4b77b7ce0a87b9e58cd0f068f9536b6da14 ASLA is a token attached to the ASLAtrade platform, which is extracted through a unique mining system through binary options trading. In the image below, you can see the required amount of TRX spent to get a single token. Every day this amount is increasing. Below is the menu for determining the freezing/withdrawal of tokens:
When decent amount of tokens is frozen, it pays back with dividends that are collected in 40% from the platform's total pool.
By withdrawing tokens to your wallet, the user receives dividends in the form of Aga tokens, which are linked to our products such as messenger, games, etc.
ASLA holders have implemented a feature that allows them to mine Aga tokens when in frozen state: - Purchased ASLA in frozen state gives 20% of Aga tokens; - Mined ASLA on the platform gives 25% of Aga tokens. https://preview.redd.it/d3b543nox2p51.png?width=978&format=png&auto=webp&s=f9045017ce52341529c3b8945c4f5bf170b85135 • Trading on three cryptocurrency pairs: BTC, ETH, BTH with a choice of different transaction duration • Freeze ASLA to receive dividends in the form of TRX/Aga of the total pool platform • Withdrawal of ASLA for trading on exchanges, or receiving dividends in the form of Aga tokens for storing tokens on the wallet https://preview.redd.it/707goinpx2p51.png?width=978&format=png&auto=webp&s=42cebafced5c987417408da564aae35abc72b05c ASLAtrade: https://aslaproject.com/trading?lang=ru 2. ASLAbet is the first cryptocurrency tote with a wide range of functions based on smart contracts. https://preview.redd.it/1gx7p62rx2p51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=bc94767f6223e15b25e84d00242684ca1110c1ec Our team is working on the ecosystem for maximum benefit to the project users. We present the ASLAbet cryptocurrency tote based on betting against people, not against the company! Bets on popular matches and favorite teams, winning percentages are formed automatically depending on the size of the bet and the number of players. We do not limit ourselves to one direction, but also understand the interests of users. For this case, everyone will have the opportunity to create their own event, for which they will eventually receive a reward if it passes a vote among the community. On the example of the recent match between Alexander Emelianenko and Magomed Ismailov, all those who put their bets on Alexander's victory completely lost their funds. With our platform, you would start returning your lost funds the next day, thanks to the Aga coin you received. • Reward for each bet in the form of Aga tokens with an initial turnover of 100 TRX = 1 Aga. The mining difficulty will increase daily by 1 TRX. • Even if you lose your bet when you freeze Aga coins, you will receive 30% of the profit from commissions. • Referral system 15% of the system's profit. Link: aslabet.comOfficial channel:t.me/aslabet 3. ASLA Messenger is a messenger with functionality for earning project tokens. https://preview.redd.it/a6xghlktx2p51.png?width=655&format=png&auto=webp&s=3921b6be7d7f4bda454e1926b46cff91124e2c7d Literally everyone uses messengers and communicates with their loved ones on a regular basis. We have made sure that you get paid for this. Communicate and earn - the perfect combination for the user. At this stage, an alpha version of the app has been released for use with the earnings feature already available. The beta version is expected to include audio and video calls, a more functional interface, chats and channels, and much more. • Complete tasks inside the messenger to get rewards in the form of Aga tokens. • The most convenient and modern design of the app. • Withdrawal of earned tokens to your wallet. Play Market:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aslaproject.messenger&hl=en_US App Store:https://apps.apple.com/ru/app/asla-messengeid1527990589 4. Games based on blockchain technology for earning cryptocurrency https://preview.redd.it/7o74tpoux2p51.png?width=977&format=png&auto=webp&s=83305e57fdca9c312d3d271e35d5a88e08a705f2 Today, games are of great importance, this is a new way of gaming, in which we want to participate. Our main goal is to implement a gaming platform with games for earning money. Play with your friends, compete against the best players and earn cryptocurrency for winning your favorite games. Currently in development are games such as "Heads and Tails", "Rock, paper, scissors", Dice, backgammon, chess, and larger projects – shooters with maximum gameplay, etc. • A set of games of various genres with earnings • Competitions, tournaments and other events with rewards in case of winnings • Maximum decentralization and the ability to view all smart contracts Earn money with us just playing, it's really easy! 5. ASLAbank - is a cryptocurrency bank for users with broad functionality. The project team is developing a unique cryptocurrency bank for the community. The product's idea is that users will be able to borrow cryptocurrency with different priority from ASLA token holders. The user's reputation will grow with the number of completed applications. All permits, lawyers, consulting. Everything is in the legal field of Russia. We aim to cooperate on a long-term basis within the framework of current legislation on the territory of the Russian Federation. 6. ASLAforum - is a project forum for discussing Internet industry projects. There are many developing projects in the digital world that have a place to be known to their users, and these are Russian-language projects. To do this, a forum for reviews, analyses and discussions of these projects will soon be implemented, where users will earn cryptocurrency for this. The main goal of the forum is to provide the community with visibility of all worthy projects, both those that have just started their existence and those that have years of work behind them. Consulting, assistance, training, as well as personal webinars from the project on the topic of earnings will be in one area. Users will be able to discuss, review, and share their thoughts about a particular project so that it can get a well-deserved reputation. Etc: Today, you can buy ASLA coins on two exchanges: Poloni Dex: poloniex.org/exchange?id=392 Nolex:nolex.org/main/ASLATRX.html Our project is open for suggestions and cooperation. If you wish, you can become a partner of ASLAproject and get mutually beneficial opportunities for your goals. To contact us: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Our plans for the future are reflected in the roadmap. Subscribe to our social networks to keep up to date with all the project news, as well as not to miss important information, live broadcasts and interviews with project representatives. Ask the team a question or contact support: https://t.me/aslasprojectrus Official website: aslaproject.com Whitepaper: aslaproject.com/public/white-paper-ru.pdf
Hey there Modern people, For those that have never seen me around before, I love budget Magic. Over on the Pioneer sub, I have this series that I do where I develop budget lists and run them through some games to report back there. For a couple weeks now, i’ve been getting more and more interested in Modern, so I figured that you guys could do with some of that budget goodness as well, and that’s what i’m here for today. If you didn’t catch it, last week I posted up a link to my Incomplete Compendium of Budget Modern Decks. (You can find that [HERE]) I’ve been updating that list since posting it, and it’s getting to the point where it’s almost finished. I’m going to take a couple of decks from this list and run them through some games so we can talk about how the decks perform. All of these decks are around a $100 budget in paper, and typically significantly less expensive online. One thing that I see very frequently when discussing budget modern decks is that Midrange strategies are basically completely unplayable because “YoU cAn’T tUrN a GoOdStUfF dEcK iNtO a BuDgEt DeCk”. While this is a little true (You just can’t fit 4x thoughtseize 4x Liliana of the Veil into a budget list unfortunately), it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that you can play Midrange on a budget. Here, i’ve got three lists (Featuring some newly cheapened Double Masters cards!) that I think are totally viable as budget midrange options. Without anymore fanfare, let’s just jump in! --- Skred The first up for this one, we’ve got the first midrange archetype that I ever played in a tournament setting - Skred Red. For those that weren’t around in the stone age when this deck was popular, Skred Red is a snow based red midrange deck that looks to take advantage of its namesake as an extremely powerful removal spell, jam out a blood moon to lock out greedy manabases, and take over the game with difficult to deal with threats such as Koth or some Dragons. For this build in particular, i’ve decided to go for a suite of creatures that all provide Two for Ones (which will hereby be known as 2-4-1s) in some fashion, as well as going heavy handed on the card advantage spells that are within the budget range. One thing that i’ve learned is that Mazemind Tome is an amazing card, and if you’re playing a grindy deck that isn’t in blue you should definitely consider playing it. It helps to recover and stabilize in a color that otherwise doesn’t have access to lifegain, and drawing up to 4 cards is no joke. Other key synergies here include the combo of Eternal Scourge and main deck Relic of Progenitus to provide us with an “infinite” amount of 3/3 blockers or attackers while offering lines of disruption that most decks don’t have until sideboarding. Koth of the Hammer plus Mountains is also a very solid strategy for ending a game quickly, as the emblem is essentially unbeatable for the large percentage of the metagame. The main game plan here is to keep the board clear of creatures by any means necessary so as to not die, then jam out a threat that a creature deck won’t be able to deal with. This deck is basically the creature deck killer. Against non-creature decks, we’re really just hopeful that a blood moon or relic of progenitus is enough to slow them down so we can burn them out. Anyway, after playing some games, I ended up with a respectable 3-3. Modern is a lot more varied than it was in Skred’s heyday, which means that there’s a much smaller percent chance that you’ll go up against one of the deck’s stellar matchups. However, with astrolabe banned again Blood moon is definitely back on the menu as a real threat that people need to be concerned about. People pretty frequently seem to forget that blood moon is legal in the format; either that or they just don’t care enough about it and are willing to lose whenever it shows up. Janking people out with some stupid card that they aren’t prepared for is one of the cornerstones of building a deck on a budget, and Blood moon gives the Skred deck some major power. Overall, this seems more like a deck you take to an in-person event where you know that you’ll be facing up against creature decks and decks with greedy mana bases all night. I don’t think i’d take it to a large scale tournament with an unknown meta right now, but with some tuning it is certainly capable of pulling out wins. --- Hatebears Many people will look at a Death and Taxes or Hatebears list and think “Hey, this is an Aggro deck!”. While yes, on the surface this archetype definitely looks the way of a strictly aggressive creature beatdown deck, once you start reading the abilites and thinking about how they might play out over your typical game against any other random deck in the format, you’ll see that Hatebears is actually much more flexible, and able to adapt to become the control role in a large number of matchups. Hatebears was originally developed as a “Meta crusher” deck to beat up on jund decks by dropping a Loxodon Smiter on them when they went to play their discard effects. Since, it has existed in various forms, often being named interchangeably with Death and Taxes as they perform very similar roles in the modern metagame. The point of a Hatebears deck is to use efficient green mana dorks to jump ahead slightly into your powerful disruptive GW creature suite, and grind away at the opponent by having some kind of answer to anything that they’re doing while getting in for chip damage turn after turn. For my version, i’ve decided to supplement the removal suite with the combo of Containment Priest plus flicker effects to be able to exile any creature at will and keep them gone for good. This is supported by a small cat-tribal subtheme, as well as the typical litany of Taxes creatures whose job it is to throw the opponent off axis. The matches for this one went surprisingly well, ending on a 4-2 record. I played against a couple of combo decks who were completely hosed by the main deck hate cards I was packing, and I was also able to grind it out against a bant uro pile, keeping up with their creature threats as they struggled to answer my own. I’m pretty impressed with the deck in this small showing, and would love to see where this archetype can go in the hands of someone who really dedicates time to mastering it. The deck really rewards format knowledge, even in this budgeted incarnation, as it’s a deck that runs on very thin margins and making a wrong play somewhere can have devastating side effects a few turns down the road. Hatebears or Death and Taxes are in the category of decks where you grow as you play the deck, you tune the deck to perfectly fit against the overall metagame, and you’re rewarded for your dedication to the archetype. This isn’t a deck i’d expect to just pick up and start winning games with, there aren’t very many free wins here. If you like working for your glory, then Hatebears is definitely a deck for you. --- Delirium And now for the one we’ve all been waiting for. I promised midrange decks, and this is by far the most midrange-y of them all. Budget Son of Jund, the mac daddy itself, GB Delirium is here to kick tail and chew bubblegum…. And it’s all out of bubblegum. If i’m honest, I have no idea what that reference is even from. What I do know is that yes, GBx Midrange is in fact possible on a budget. For almost a decade, i’ve seen people ask “How do I play Jund on a budget in modern?”. It’s the most widely requested budget deck, and one of the most beloved playstyles. Magic as Richard Garfield intended, trading your resources with your opponent 1-4-1 in a true test of pilot skill and preparation. The deck with a 50/50 matchup against any other deck in the field not accounting for pilot skill. The deck that every man wants to be, every woman wants to be with, and every non-binary or asexual person looks at with the familiar fondness of a lifelong friend. The deck was just kinda fine. Another 3-3 record, I actually had much higher expectations for this one. I want to focus in on what the deck does well first, and that is approximate on a budget the playstyle and patterns of a non-budget GBx midrange deck. The choices feel almost the same, even though the card-for-card value is much less on our end. The deck offers an excellent stepping stone into GB Midrange decks in modern, and I feel as though if you’re looking for a first step into the format that this is one of the best ways to do it without playing aggro. Now, to what the deck does poorly. In building on a budget, we are limited severely by what we have access to, namely that we can’t build a “goodstuff” deck because all of the good stuff is heckin expensive. This means that we need to shift our focus onto synergy, because synergies exist at all levels in Magic. When we look for synergies in the GB colors, the most common theme we find is graveyard interaction, or playing around with our dead stuff. Going this route in modern without going all in on it means that we’re left weak to all the various graveyard hate that exists in the format without netting much of the benefit. While this means that we still get to play with some of the best cards we have access to, we’re left in a more vulnerable spot than if we were a non-budget build. Another area where we face difficulty is in the overall popularity of GBx as an archetype, meaning that we’re fighting against ourselves when trying to join in because anything of use to us is naturally going to be more expensive. While GB isn’t very pressed when it comes to making a mana base, we are pretty pressed in terms of removal as all of our best options are either $7+ or 3+ mana. We should also talk about timing in the metagame and what you should expect when taking a budget list for a spin. Right now, modern is dominated by Uro midrange piles, combo decks, highly efficient aggro decks, and prison style control decks. Not very many of these are excellent matchups for us when we’re not equipped with our strongest answers. Our small discard suite can keep the combo decks at bay long enough to sneak in some damage with our cheap creatures, and our removal can dispatch the early threats from opposing aggro decks, but when it comes to having better card for card quality than our opponents we’re just a little lacking. It doesn’t matter how solid your list is, budget or not, if the strategy overall just folds to an uro, and not all of your losses will be chalked up to your deck being cheaper than your opponents. It’s very easy to become discouraged when taking a budget list to an event and flopping, blaming your lack of investment for your lack of results. But sometimes its just a matter of your deck choice too, and that you picked the wrong deck to bring to an event. One thing that i’ve learned over my years of brewing with budget lists is that any deck, well enough tuned and piloted, can take down any tournament at any time. GB Delirium does a fantastic approximation of a midrange game plan in the modern format. It won’t net you the results that a full no-budget list might, but that isn’t the point of playing a budget deck. You don’t play budget decks to spike tournaments. You play them to get into formats, to learn, to get better, and to grow as a player. You’re meant to toss your budget deck to the wayside when you’re done with it, if you want. If you like the strategy, a majority of the time you can also use it as a base to build into the no-budget version of the archetype you wanted to play in the first place. If you take two players, both brand new to Modern UWx Control, and run them through series of tournaments with the only difference between the two players being that the first was playing a budget UW control deck for a year and the second is going in blind, the first will come out with a better record almost every time. They put in the time to learn the deck even before they could get their hands on it in full, and that practice will pay off. Moving 'round to the finisher, I just want to say that playing a budget deck doesn’t make you a bad player, it makes you someone who’s going to be a great player someday, and someone who recognises the value in investing time and learning. If you’re forced into playing on a budget, that’s alright. There’s options for you to play as competitively as possible. If you’re just unsure about whether you’d like the format you’re jumping into or not, that’s also alright, there’s room for you to grow. Budget deck building is a real passion of mine. I hope that you got something out of this, or at the very least had a bit of fun along the way. I have plans to make a whole bunch more content for budget modern, so stay tuned for that. If you’re curious and want to look through my whole catalogue of budget lists that i’ve made so far, you can do that [HERE] as well. Until next time, stay safe, stay smart, and thanks for reading!
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Peri-areolar top surgery with Dr. Fischer - the pre-op report
Hi everyone – this is a follow-up to a post I made about a month ago, asking if anyone would be interested in the details of my then-upcoming top surgery. I’m officially post-op now (five days!) and working on a ridiculously detailed writeup. This is the first part, which goes right up until the surgery itself. I’m going to wait a few more days to do the post-op one so that I can go up to the process of getting the drains out. Feel free to skip to the end to get to the salient info, and to comment with any questions about stuff I might have left out! So, without further ado, how I got here: First the basics. I'm 31 years old. I live in Maryland. I'm five feet tall and weigh around ninety pounds, give or take a couple in either direction. My chest measurement before surgery was about 28 inches, and about 26 "underbust." I've never been on testosterone or puberty blockers. I've never really had to wear a binder, and avoided it because I knew that I had to be gentle with that tissue if I wanted the results that I'd really hoped were possible. Keep this in mind - I'm hardly an average representation of anything, so my experience is most likely atypical in a lot of ways. But I'm hoping the overall information could be helpful. I came out when I was 25, though I'd known since high school. Top surgery was on my radar, but trans stuff was on the fringe then - I read a lot of "butch lesbian who got top surgery" blogs, which was the only thing that made it seem possible for me, though the thought of paying for it (I was overestimating the cost by almost double, and too scared to actually look it up) seemed unthinkable. I didn't know about anything but double incision surgery, which was pretty horrifying to me. So I put the thought out of my mind for almost ten years. When I aged out of my parents' insurance and got my own, most plans had a line specifying that they did not cover anything meant to "alter the patient's physical sex," or something to that effect. This changed a few years ago, but at the time I didn't qualify for sick leave at work, and I was still paying off my student loans. Along the way things progressed - I started using a new name, then changed it legally, and then my state started allowing "unspecified" gender markers on driver's licenses. I paid off my loans and saved some money, without acknowledging to myself what I was saving it for. And then I got a letter at work, informing me that they were now required to provide medical leave for anyone working over 15 hours weekly. And suddenly a lot of things came together, fast. My mom has always been supportive of me, but she was not very happy to hear about this. After talking it over a lot, we ended up going together to a therapist who worked with both trans people and families - incidentally, our therapist was also nonbinary, and we had to take a break in our visits while they recovered from their own top surgery. We visited them a few times over a few months, and they suggested that I at least look into getting my surgery covered by insurance, and directed me toward the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health. I had done research on several of the big names in top surgery, particularly those who do a lot of peri-areolar surgeries - I was very not into the idea of double incision, and knew that, while I was not the seventeen-year-old kid on T who's a sure thing for peri, I had a chance. But getting it covered would make the financial hit more bearable. I did some research on insurance coverage. When it came time to renew my Medicaid coverage, I switched to an MCO that had a history of working with Johns Hopkins. I contacted them about finding a therapist to write a letter for me, and about getting a consultation - I expected to have a long wait to meet with Dr. Devin O'Brien-Coon, but they suggested that I come in much earlier and meet with Dr. Benny Tan, who had only recently come to work at the Hopkins center, so I got my letter and scheduled my appointment with him. Dr. Tan had just started at the JH center when I had my consultation with him, and while he had a lot of previous experience doing breast cancer mastectomies, he was clearly a lot less familiar with top surgery. He was adamant that I was ineligible for peri-areolar surgery, and would have to have double incision. He seemed to have some weird misconceptions about the details - at one point he said that no one ever regains any nipple sensation after surgery (???), and when I mentioned the concept of the eventual shape of my chest being somewhat dependent on how much muscle I can develop through exercise he sort of laughed and said, "Well, maybe if you decide to become a bodybuilder." When I asked if I could see post-op pictures of some of the previous procedures the center had done, I was told no, that Dr. O'Brien-Coon didn't want to suggest that there was any guarantee of a specific kind of results. He seemed like a nice guy. He answered the questions I had, and my mom's. But I did not feel good about this. At the same time, I was trying fruitlessly to get any information at all about whether I would, in fact, be able to get this covered by insurance. I won't go into the boring details of one million phone transfers, but after several days the question was resolved: because the insurance required a previous twelve-month period of hormone replacement therapy, I was out of luck. At this point I wasn't even upset - it just made it clearer that my original plan was what I was going to go with. Finally, I paid $100 to have a consultation with Dr. Beverly Fischer in Lutherville. Dr. Fischer was one of the surgeons I'd been researching from the beginning - she's been performing surgeries since the 90s, including a lot of peri-areolar surgeries, and she also is the most local of the surgeons I'd looked into. I'd seen pictures online that people had posted of her work on people with body types very much like mine, and I was impressed. Dr. Fischer doesn't take any insurance (you can try to go through a process on your own afterward, and perhaps get at least a partial reimbursement from your insurance, but that's up to them), but I had the money saved, and I felt it was a fair trade to have a greater level of control over the experience. Since Dr. Fischer has her own small facility, the consultation was very smooth and low-key. Again, my mom went with me (this was right before covid started, but even now she allows one visitor to come with a patient). She looked me over and assured me that I was definitely a candidate for peri (they all say "keyhole" there, which confused me, but I'm going to keep saying peri, by which I mean full circular incisions around the areola). We were given a breakdown of the cost ($9,700) and shown into a little room where they gave us a binder of pre- and post-op photos to look at. Again, her work is very impressive - my mom, who was not familiar with the different styles of surgery, was reassured that they did not look as scarred up as she was probably expecting. This was a much better experience than I had at Hopkins, enough to convince me. Then the pandemic hit! Needless to say, things were on hold for a while. The library I work at was closed for over two months. In June, we started working again, but with a very minimal schedule. I'd been doing almost double my baseline hours by filling in for vacant positions, but now I was working fifteen hours per week maximum, meaning I didn't lose any substitute pay for taking sick leave. So I called Dr. Fischer's office and made the soonest appointment I could, for September 16th. I made a 10% payment over the phone ($970) and scheduled my appointments for three weeks prior to surgery. Three weeks before surgery: I went to Dr. Fischer's office for my pre-op appointment. Because I'd already been measured during my consultation, this was mostly a lot of information and question-and-answer sessions with their surgical coordinator Shannon. My mom came with me (all of us wore masks, and we had temperature checks when we came in, as well as standard "have you had any covid symptoms or been out of state" worksheets to fill out). Shannon brought out a set of the drains and showed us how they'd work (they are still stuck in me at the time of this writing, so I'm trying not to think about it too much!), and gave me a folder of pre- and post-op information, plus the sheet to give to my primary care doctor when I went to get my bloodwork done. The instructions were pretty standard - try to eat a lot of protein in the weeks before and after surgery (raises your red blood cell count so you recover faster), get up and walk around on the first day (helps the anesthesia junk work its way out of your body), don't lie on your back eating applesauce the whole time (you're not going to hurt yourself, live your life, just be gentle). Mentioned, but for some reason not included on the printed sheet: there's a one-day-post-op appointment the morning after, just to check everything out - this means that AFTER your surgery you shouldn't eat or drink after midnight, and through the morning, just in case there's an unexpected need to put you under to correct anything. I brought them a check for the remainder of my payment - $8,730. As weird as it seems, seeing the money actually come out of my bank account didn't bother me at all. I'd saved that money with this in mind, so it seemed natural to finally use it. They also gave me a stack of four prescriptions, which I filled on the way home: One pre-op anti-nausea pill, one pre-op Xanax, several post-op pain pills (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) and several post-op anti-nausea pills. Fortunately this was covered by my insurance, because I sure did NOT need all of these. I went within the week to get the required physical and bloodwork at my regular doctor's office, and just handed them the sheet that said what results needed to be sent to Dr. Fischer. Apparently there was some kind of faxing error and I didn't find out for a couple weeks that they hadn't gotten the results, but that was fixed by some relatively simple phone calls. I'd recommend calling a week after the blood test to confirm that they've received everything. I put in a request for six days off work - starting and ending on a Wednesday, with a normal weekend between. They usually recommend ten days, but I have a very low-activity job and only work short shifts, so they agreed that eight days would be fine. This is another factor that might have been different if I had been getting double-incision surgery, which I've heard can take a few more days of recovery. Some days later, I got a call saying that the anesthesiologist wouldn't be able to be in on the Wednesday I was scheduled for. I was all set to move everything forward by a chunk of time when they clarified that no, they wanted me to come in one day earlier. Well, okay then. I added a Tuesday to my leave. I am told that I will need to get an "excuse note" to take back when I return to work, which I haven't asked for yet, but will probably get at my one-week-after appointment. A few days before surgery: This is the time to get things in order wherever you'll be staying. Of course you can't prepare for everything, but I did as much laundry as I could, made sure I had plenty of prepared food in the house, checked out a ton of books and DVDs from the library. Trimmed my hair and nails. Note that you are required to shave your armpits so the tape doesn't stick to them when they bandage you up - if you're not used to this, I recommend doing it a couple days in advance, because it's a Bad Time. Night before surgery: I got the usual confirmation call from them the Monday before my surgery date. I got everything together (medication. Sweatpants, button-up shirt, socks, slip-on shoes, COTTON underwear, which is the only kind you may wear in surgery. The folder of information. My old ipod and headphones). I went to bed relatively early as I knew I was going to be up early, though it might have been better to stay up and have a late snack before the midnight deadline. Day of surgery: September 15th - my surgery was scheduled for 9:30, and my arrival at 8:30. I was told to shower and wash my hair, to only use antibacterial soap (we had the Dial orange bar) for my body. I used baby shampoo on my hair, because I wanted something that wouldn't leave any weird residue, since I knew I wouldn't be able to wash it again for some days. Deodorant is allowed, but no lotion. Brushed my teeth. No food, no drink, no chewing gum. I went to the surgery center with both my parents, but right now they're specifying only one guest per patient, so only my mom came in. There's a little retirement community and some stores around, so they had somewhere to hang out while they waited. I left my mom's phone number with them on a post-it so they could call her when they needed to come back for me. I took my bag and went into one of the patient rooms, where I was given this hilariously large toga-looking thing to change into. I gave them my bag of meds, and they came back with a tiny bit of water for me to swallow the Xanax. The anti-nausea one dissolves in your mouth and tastes like strawberry mentos. In a little tiny room with a ring light, they took a series of pictures of me from ribs to neck, at straight-on, side, and three-quarter views. Later I looked back at a computer screen and saw these pictures and briefly thought "who the hell's that?" Not that I'd had any doubts before that I was making the right decision, but that made it pretty clear. Dr. Fischer came in after that, and drew about three dashed lines on my chest. My assumption is that these were so that when my skin shifted while I was lying down, she would be able to see what parts corresponded to where when I was upright. I asked briefly about what kind of resizing she would do around my nipples, which are very slightly asymmetrical, and she said that she uses a kind of template that would make them turn out a bit smaller, and, yes, the same size. The anesthesiologist came in to give me the rundown on what would happen when I was taken into the operating room. I would put on a hairnet, I would get an IV that would put me out, then a mask of gas to keep me unconscious. A small tube would be put in the back of my throat to keep my airway open, and might give me a sore throat for a couple days after (spoiler: it did, but it wasn't too bad). Some kind of contraption of sleeves would periodically squeeze my legs to promote blood flow. All fairly standard, probably. So they let my mom come in and hug me, and I said, "see you soon!" and they walked me back. Sorry for the huge cliffhanger, but this thing is way longer than I thought! I'll be back with the post-op section in a few days, ok? And definitely comment any questions you might have. Recovery is boring. TLDR:
Total cost was $9,700, which was not covered by insurance, but depending on your provider it's possible to get reimbursed afterward for at least part of the cost.
Check with your insurance about getting coverage. Be persistent. They might have weird requirements that knock you out of the running, but it's worth seeing what options are available to you.
I had a copy of my therapist's letter sent to the surgeon before the procedure
Three weeks before surgery, there's a physical and bloodwork that has to be done by your primary care doctor, and the results faxed to the surgeon. I'd recommend calling both parties to confirm that the documents were both sent and received.
You'll need to be off work for at least a week, and more likely ten days, so plan for that.
Make sure everything you need is really accessible before you get back. If the cabinets are higher than your shoulders, put the dishes on the counter. It's like anti-baby-safing your house.
You definitely need someone to drive you to and from surgery, and I really, really recommend having someone you trust to stay home with you. Somebody asked about this in my previous post, and here's my updated answer: while you could technically be by yourself most days after the first, I really would not recommend it.
The night before, you must stop eating and drinking before midnight, but you might want to have a late snack if your surgery is later in the morning like mine was. I did not take this advice and I probably should have.
The day of surgery, no food or drink in the morning. Shower, wash your hair, and use antibacterial soap on your body. You can wear deodorant but no lotion. Shave your armpits if you haven't already. Brush your teeth. They will call you the day before and let you know exactly when you need to get there.
Stuff to have with you: Clothes that somebody else can put on you, including a shirt that opens in the front. Sweatpants are great. A skirt would probably be even better. The bag of pills they prescribed to you, plus any other meds you take normally (I brought my inhaler, but didn't need to use it). Just give them the meds and they handle giving you anything you need while you're there. A snack in case you have to take the pain meds on the way home.
Don't panic! People do this all the time, and the doctors know what they are doing. It's a lot of faith to put in someone you don't really know, but they want to do the best job they can.
Good luck to everybody reading this! I am feeling good. My recovery's been great so far and I'll go into more detail when I come back for the next part of this.
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