gerrit

Toronto, Canada

topjaklont.org

I'm a Post-Doctoral Fellow in atmospheric remote sensing at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I first came to Stack Exchange for practical reasons: Tex.SE has been of major help when I wrote my licentiate (midterm) thesis. Since then, I have discovered the joy of many websites. As my network profile will show, I'm interested in travel, outdoor, scientific skepticism, and as I work in academia, also in academia and LaTeX.

34m
comment Why there are no CO2 snowsfalls on Earth?
If we reach those CO₂ concentrations we're going to be in trouble!
1h
comment My manager cut my pay immediately after I started working
Or perhaps Hanlon's razor applies.
4h
answered From Switzerland to France
4h
comment My manager cut my pay immediately after I started working
...and maybe Mila does not only fit a pattern they're aware of, but a pattern they tacitly approve or worse... if the labour market is such that there is a large pool of qualified unemployed people, and employees are not unionised, then employers can and do get away with a lot of nasty behaviour.
17h
accepted Plagiarism in acknowledgements?
17h
awarded Nice Answer
18h
asked Plagiarism in acknowledgements?
18h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
That's what I find so odd about usual interpretations of "economic freedom". To me it's obvious that if a country has a generous welfare state, there is more economic freedom than if a country has a large and poor class of have-nots. After all, the freedom of people with money to do what they want is less constrained by their economy, than the freedom of people without money. Freedom is a lack of constraints, whether those constrains are legal, financial, or due to peer pressure.
18h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
@Himarm I strongly disagree with your definition of either freedom or democracy. Democracy is not just the will of the majority — that would be ochlocracy. When the majority takes away rights for minorities then in a very practical sense those minorities become less free. The fact that the majority has the freedom to enhance or restrict other freedoms does not mean that no other freedoms count. Even for transportation, if there are 20 trains per day I have more freedom to travel when I want than if there are 2 per week (unless I have no money for a ticket, which means no freedom for anything).
20h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
Freedom House lists Cyprus as free. If Israel and Turkey are in the Middle East, then clearly Cyprus must be as well (half of it is even claimed by a republic recognised only by Turkey).
20h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
It only proves that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that is free/democratic according to the Freedom House definitions and methodology.
21h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
@georgechalhoub It neither proves nor disproves that. It shows that some sources consider it biased whereas others find no evidence for such a bias. But my formulation was a bit too harsh. It's the question I dislike more than the answer. However, I think proves (..) full democracy is a too strong statement. Proof is for mathematicians. It's at best an indication. Also, what is "full democracy" even? Does this exist anywhere on Earth?
21h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
Voting to close as there is no meaningful way to rank freedom. A political dictatorship could have more liberal laws for social issues like abortion, euthanasia, (same-sex) marriage, divorce, and economic freedoms, than a neighbouring country where an elected government restricts all of those. East Germany decriminalised homosexuality before West Germany, but few would call it more free. Israel has elections and freedom of speech and press, but getting married across religions, or divorced, might very well be easier elsewhere in the middle east. Therefore, this question is not answerable.
21h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
Freedom House is not without criticism and arguably not a suitable source to answer this question. Its definitions and methodologies have been criticised (1, 2).
21h
comment Is Israel the only "Free and Democratic" country in the Middle East?
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there is no objective definition of free and democratic.
22h
comment How to make an event repeat on the third last working day of each month in Google Calendar?
How does one input these codes in Google Calendar?
1d
comment What on earth has yet to be explored?
Cartographers might add those on purpose — see phantom island.
1d
comment Travel to Portugal from Cologne, Germany
@Tor-EinarJarnbjo By boat from Rotterdam.
1d
comment Travel to Portugal from Cologne, Germany
Note that HAFAS, that bahn.de is based on, is incomplete in Spain and possibly Portugal. Do compare with renfe.es and the Portuguese railways.
1d
comment Where is the Asia-Europe divide and where can we cross it?
@sharptooth Similar fences in Lapland are to stop domesticated reindeer from running onto the track. Although I've never been to Russia I guess it'd be similar. For safety, this question may be relevant. An outdoor-loving Moscovite told me that urban people and foreigners are disliked by locals in the north and that drunk groups of people can be scary. But when far from people I don't see why the Ural tundra should be more dangerous that tundras in Lapland, Alaska, or Yukon. Prepared with clothes, gear, food, satphone, etc. it should be fine.
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